lørdag 5. desember 2015

Battle Report #25 - Haley2 vs Vayl2 (50)

:: Prologue ::

Having suffered two defeats in a row I was ready to try yet again and this time really keep in mind the lessons learned. I was determined to bring my A-game and really give those birds something to think about. We were really short on time so we knew we were unlikely to finish the game but wanted to see how far we'd get anyways. We thus kept the scenario and Legion went first.

:: Lists :: 

Major Victoria Haley - WJ: +5
- Squire
- Stormwall - PC: 19
- Lightning Pod
- Thorn - PC: 8
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 3
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution - PC: 3
Alexia2 - PC: 4
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team - Lynch, Ryan & Watts: 4
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers - Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
- Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer - Officer 2
Tactical Arcanist Corp - Leader & 2 Grunts: 4
Vayl, Consul of Everblight - WB: +6
- Succubus
- Angelius - PC: 8
- Angelius - PC: 8
- Angelius - PC: 8
- Angelius - PC: 8
- Ravagore - PC: 9
- Seraph - PC: 7
Blighted Nyss Shepherd - PC: 1
Blighted Nyss Shepherd - PC: 1
Spell Martyrs - PC: 1
Spawning Vessel - Vessel & 6 Grunts: 3
THEME: Machinations of Shadow - Tier 4

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

This time my opponent wanted to try a new approach: Go out super-aggro. In game 1 I was the one who dictated how we should play this based on where I put my army. In this game however I'd committed the Stormwall skewed so by going across from him with the Angelii I didn't see much of a choice. Perhaps I could've found a counter-skew and used Thorn to create openings if he tried to box my Stormwall in but the key essence here is that the Stormwall has to pump out damage every single turn. If I have to spend my first turn running away then chances are I'll be in trouble really quick. As we were short on time as well I let him have his full speed ahead start.

:: Game ::

So the Legion birds went up again. One was slipstreamed to directly enter the Trench before I'd even moved while the rest stood menacingly close.

I spent a lot of time debating what to do. The TL;DR version is that I ended up feating and targeting the one in the trench. I was tired of never even having feated and delaying the feat too much (a bit of a habit as I'm trying to look for openings of when to delay Haley's feat) and I concluded that if I feated now I'd establish a solid lead in both board control and attrition which I believe Legion would be hard pressed to come back from. The thing is that I wanted the Stormwall on the hill to protect Haley and there was no way to do that without letting the Angelii on the right charge me. 2 Angelii into Stormwall = game over, which implicitly means that you *always* have to handle this, by way of Thunderbolt, TK or Time Bomb (the latter usually being the safest best). So yeah, I feated and put tons of damage into the Trench-Angelius who was boosted-TK'd out.

As expected the retaliation was not much to write home about. The wounded Angelius blocked out the Stormwall but apart from that I think I only lost Ryan or something.

I sent Thorn around the Effigy to TK the middle Angelius into the Stormwall. I also cast Time Bomb on the other Angelius because having that one + Ravagore into the Stormwall simultaneously is iffy, to say the least. The Stormwall then killed off the two birds, backstrike bonus helped and one was low from the turn before. The ATGM provided board control by pushing the other Angelius away. Alexia took the zone for a point. I brainfarted with the Stormwall as I podded away from the zone, thus making it 1-1.

At the beginning of Legion's T3 we were running out of time. However all my crucial models were unharmed. My opponent decided that attrition was impossible and tried to look for one last, desperate opening. He found none and with that, the game was over.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

Finally a game where I started doing things right. The problem against Legion like this is that there are so many models that are fairly ineffective. A few choices have to pull off so much work. I think my T1 feat was premature and I was lucky to lock down things as much as I did with TK + Time Bomb + killing off 2 Angelii (though B13th certainly helped here by putting in some good brutals!). It's easy to miss one of these crucial rolls. 

There are still chinks in my game vs Vayl for sure and I play a lot against Legion because they truly are one of our hardest matchups and hard matchups require tons of practice to play well into. These 3 games in a row have given me good input on what I can and cannot do and how I should prioritize my focus. Haley always has tons of options but in this matchup in particular it's super important to consider exactly what you should do and what risks you must take. The clue, I believe, when there are this many Angelii around (the move-attack-refuge-move-animus is the real killer), is to simply not care about Deceleration and consider whether TK or Time Bomb or Thunderbolt or Feat is the preferred defensive measure and just keep that Stormwall shooting things up. If the Legion player messes up you can get a big head start. If you mess up, you are likely to die. 

Although this game wasn't over 100% (part of the reason my opponent gave up was because we were out of time) the T3 was looking really good for me: Ravagore had shot stuff up but nothing major, the Angelius to the right was committed behind the Stormwall with a Slipstream and all to try an animus-push on Haley's super-bunker. In summary they both likely would've died with the Angelius on the left being bolted out again. I could also have tried for scenario here as there was very little-to-nothing contesting either zone, dominating one and controlling the other + killing the objective is 4 points and insta-win itself. 

Overall a good string of games and the last one was my best one in this series. Game 2 was also really good but I made a grave mistake which was just silly. This time I managed to avoid that and brought home the win!

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