onsdag 9. desember 2015

Battle Report #29 - Stryker1 vs Ravyn (50)

:: Prologue ::

It's a busy week and I'm not getting that many games in. I have however lined up a couple of quality games, the first of which was tonight. It's been a lot of Haley2 lately and Stryker1 needs some practice games. Facing Retribution with Ravyn tier list is a perfect situation for him because he'll realistically be dropped here every single time I believe. It's been a while since I've faced Retribution as well: It's always good to be reminded of just how dangerous they can be!

:: Lists ::

Commander Coleman Stryker - WJ: +6
- Squire
- Stormwall - PC: 19
- Lightning Pod
- Stormwall - PC: 19
- Lightning Pod
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 3
Stormsmith Stormcaller - PC: 1
Stormsmith Stormcaller - PC: 1
Storm Lances - Leader & 4 Grunts: 11
Ravyn, The Eternal Light - WJ: +6
- Hyperion - PC: 18
Fane Knight Skeryth Issyen - PC: 5
Narn, Mage Hunter of Ios - PC: 0
Mage Hunter Strike Force - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
- Strike Force Commander - Commander 2
Mage Hunter Strike Force - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
- Strike Force Commander - Commander 2
Mage Hunter Strike Force - Leader & 5 Grunts: 5
- Eiryss, Mage Hunter Commander - PC: 3
Stormfall Archers - Leader & 3 Grunts: 5
THEME: Will of the Nine Voices - Tier 3

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

We were playing Outflank and I won the roll-off. I believe the table initiative is important in this matchup so I went first. Stormwalls were both dropped centrally, symmetrically since I was going for one zone contested and one zone to dominate and I put Stryker + cav near the second one.

:: Game ::

T1 everything went full speed ahead with the Storm Lances somewhat curved. The idea was to force him so far away that T2 would be a bit of an issue for him: He'd either have to commit, meaning I'd be in a very good spot to feat + attrition, or he'd have to back off which leaves me with a lot of board control. Stryker put up Snipe on the Storm Lances which I intended to abuse if need be to bounce e-leaps off the Hyperion.

Eiryss3 and her min-sized unit moves up and blasts my left Stormwall. Dice are spiking left and right and I nearly lose a side. Ravyn casts a cloud next to Hyperion. One Storm Lance goes down to spikes.

I commit: The Stormwalls trample up and pod. In hindsight I should've considered blasting Hyperion with big guns here. As long as they are threatening the zones they are doing their jobs. I wanted the pods up far but that wasn't as crucial as beginning to put damage on the Retribution colossal. Furthermore this would've allowed Stryker to spend his focus better since this was feat turn anyway (given that I had to claim the table). Anyway, I trampled and podded, getting a couple of MHSF. One Stormsmith was 2" off his range and missed the triangulation, the second one helped out. Storm Lances blasted MHSF on the right, e-leaps helping out although I made a couple of mistakes with regards to proximity to my own models and bounces.

With Invincibility up Retribution pulls back, leaving me the field. He's contesting both circles but it's marginal. 

Left Stormwall takes its zone, Storm Lances jam, Stryker moves back and blurs himself while touching the hill and the right Stormwall clears the middle and starts shooting the Hyperion with boosted big guns. 5-0.

Hyperion decides to try his luck with just moving up, he's barely outside the zone however and with that the game's effectively over. With this being a practice game though we played on as though he'd barely reach it to see if I could clear him out in my ensuing turn.

At this point in time my left Stormwall is down to 8 boxes and its left side is crippled. This effectively means, given the situation on the board, that I am unlikely to win a long-drawn attrition fight: There are too many MHSF models left and I have only one Stormwall that can be expected to survive next turn. Stryker might also be in dire straits. Basically it boils down to killing the Hyperion. I make a judgement call that the left Stormwall is outside of 10", which it is (10.5"), so it spends its 3 focus points shooting the Hyperion with its right-side guns. The right Stormwall then casually walks up. The big question is whether its 5 attacks can kill off the Hyperion (i.e. have I put enough damage on this beast in previous turns?) or if it'll just survive. It's barely enough, I roll exactly 1 more than I need (I don't remember how many boxes it has, I missed one attack and believe the rolls were around average ish so ~30-35 I guess) and with that, the game is 5-0.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

This is a hard matchup, way more volatile and tricky than it might appear in a report. I made a number of technical mistakes but they are trivial so I'll focus on the tactical decisions that were sub-par. 

First off is the T1 move with the Storm Lances. When I put them in a curved position I allow the MHSF to quite easily pick on one without exposing themselves to a massive counter-charge. This is bad becauseI really want to hurt him if he decides to go for that play. Sure he can snipe them and keep out but I'm not sure he wants to: That means less MHSF threatening the left Stormwall from a safe point of view. Regardless, lining them up I believe is superior. 

Secondly we have their T2 committing move. I'll admit that I flat out forgot ride by attacks here. With Snipe up, I should've done this to e-leap off the Hyperion I believe. RAT5 is not all that with it being on a hill and all but the thing is that I had a hill of my own which I likely could've toed and made the range. Finally Stryker could've cast Blur on them after their activation to ensure that SFA couldn't hurt them under my feat (which they really did!). Storm Lances are amazing but they are so hard to protect and keep in the game. Balancing them vs MHSF and SFA especially is a delicate task. 

What I learned from the finishing play is that the Hyperion needs to be targeted repeatedly. Big Guns do quite a lot of damage to it on average with boosted damage rolls and the Storm Lances are also decent when they charge (doubly so with e-leaps killing stuff off). 

All in all a really good game and a true match for Stryker. I think Retribution has to play more offensively here and that probably chances the dynamics of the game a bit, but then again if I focus more on shooting with the 'walls T2 and do a better job keeping my Lances alive I believe it's still very much a game Stryker can play. It's volatile and extremely swingy both ways I think and whoever gets to move first likely shapes the pace of the game. Ravyn tier is hard for Cygnar, no doubt, but with Stryker being able to essentially buy himself a turn with the feat there are a couple of nasty counterplays. 

Lastly, ARM24 Stormwalls pre-Arcane Shield are a thing. Even MHSF struggle to deal with that, short of having damage amplification like Ossyan + Kiss or something. 

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