Skarre2 today. I've only faced this caster once before and I think it's an interesting matchup vs Haley2. Game on!
:: Lists ::
Major Victoria Haley - WJ: +5Opponent:
- 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:
Skarre, Queen of the Broken Coast - WJ: +6
- Deathjack - PC: 12
- Nightwretch - PC: 4
Satyxis Raider Captain - PC: 2
General Gerlak Slaughterborn - PC: 3
Warwitch Siren - PC: 2
Satyxis Raiders - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
- Satyxis Raider Sea Witch - Satyxis Raider Sea Witch 2
Bane Riders - Leader & 4 Grunts: 11
Bane Knights - Leader & 9 Grunts: 10
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls - Necrosurgeon & 3 Grunts: 2
Last time I faced Skarre2 the main idea was the same but that list had Withershadow Combine and no Bane Knights. The absence of Withershadow makes the Stormwall a lot tougher. The presence of Bane Knights provides significantly more board control. Going into this game my mindset was to play for attrition. We were playing Recon and I got first turn. I deployed the Stormwall centrally, Thorn + Alexia off-flank and ATGM + B13th + TAC with Haley on the other flank. The response was Bane Knights central, Bane Riders left, Satyxis right.
:: Game ::
T1 I sent everything up, spreading out ATGM behind the Stormwall. Eiryss ran left.
The Cryx response was to position the Satyxis conservatively while the left flank pushed hard together with the Bane Knights in the middle. DJ got the armbuff.
The Bane Knights present me with a bit of a problem: Thorn is kind of exposed if he wants to go up to Time Bomb range of DJ. I don't want to kill any Bane Knights because of Vengeance. Now, what I should have done in this situation was to put 2 focus on Thorn, enabled Disengage and run with him, cast Time Bomb on the Deathjack and put 2 focus on the Stormwall to shoot the Riders. The thing is that with Reaction Drive + disengage + covering fire from the Stormwall Thorn should be more than capable of staying safe. The problem with this approach is that it doesn't put a whole lot of damage on the Riders and from experience it hurts when they are kept alive too long. Instead what I did was to focus on the Riders, putting 4 focus on the Stormwall and casting Temporal on it. I also sent 2-3 ATGM to help Thunderbolt them away to avoid retaliation. On the right flank I killed a couple of Raiders with Deadeye on ATGM.
Cryx jams and feats. DJ goes into Stormwall due to perdition and cripples one side + a bit more. Satyxis show that Alexia was placed just a little too aggressively, luckily she survives as they miss their attack.
Granted that I never Time Bombed Deathjack I knew he was going to get the first strike and that I'd have to counter-feat. I tanked a free strike as the Stormwall walked away and I podded behind mr DJ, disrupting him and taking 4 wounds. Haley then Time Bombed the pod. On the right I cleared out just about everything with Alexia summoning 3 Thralls -and- getting 3 more souls.
Bane Knights walked up to jam yet again and DJ crawled into the trench. Skarre2 tried a play where she cast Perdition on my ATGM on the hill twice but missed both times. This would've allowed DJ to kill the objective and the ATGM model there, netting him 4 points.
At this point in time I could've gone for Assassination. 4 focus Stormwall, Temporal Stormwall, Deadeye Stormwall. Skarre was left on 1 focus and this would've given me quite a few shots at her. I did however consider it a safer play to take out Deathjack as nothing else in his list could really hurt the Stormwall at this point in time. Thus 4 focus went on the Stormwall and 4 on Haley. Thorn spent the last focus point to run into the Trench. Haley then TK'd DJ out but the Stormwall fluked and it was left with 0 (!) crippled systems. It had 28 boxes left so it's not too unlikely that it'll survive but I failed to plan ahead and Alexia had already activated and spent her Thralls clearing Bane Knights. I should've foreseen the possibility that DJ could survive in which case I'd need her Thralls to step up.
With DJ alive and all systems go the problem was reversed: I had little that could deal with it in return. It killed off the Stormwall.
I tried to Time Bomb it but missed. The TK hit at least, bringing it out where I could charge it with multiple Thralls. They did some work but not enough.
The zone wasn't properly contested and with Skarre2 having 2 points due to the flag she managed to get into the zone and kill off the objective with Perdition (it had 3 boxes left), taking the win home for Cryx.
:: Evaluation ::
A few technical mistakes here and there cost me unnecessarily, for example Ryan going down to an unnecessary and greedy gamble. However the main problems here came from me not understanding the impact of DJ hitting the Stormwall on feat turn. In itself it's not that big of a problem: It takes our roughly half a side. The problem is that I have to leave the scenario in my ensuing turn and thus the board control is huge. I also have to devote a Time Bomb to ensuring it can't simply follow the Stormwall because of Perdition.
There is a solution and that solution is Thorn. I failed twice to do what he was there to do in this game: First when he didn't Time Bomb DJ T2, then secondly when I was greedy to clear all the jammers (which to be fair is overkill as I'm fine with losing a couple of models under my feat turn, he's not going to do a whole lot else regardless). I should've sent Thorn up so that I could've disrupted DJ in case the Stormwall didn't kill him, ensuring the Stormwall's survival in the ensuing turn in that event. As it were I had to run Thorn up instead, meaning I couldn't attack DJ. I could also of course have taken care to Reaction Drive Thorn after the Telekinesis so that DJ would be tanking a free strike and thus losing all focus points. Many options, many mistakes.
I did learn a great deal and it was a very close game. I feel that Skarre2 presents a lot of unique problems for Haley because of DJ's flexibility, Perdition and of course her feat. I think the key for Cygnar here is to play more aggressively and keep DJ at bay. I also should've had the ATGM more tightly packed on the right flank as the ones on my left just presented me with more problems than anything else.