søndag 13. desember 2015

Battle Report #33 - Stryker1 vs Harbinger of Menoth (50)

:: Prologue ::

Second and last game of the day and I continued to play with Stryker1 as more learning is needed. This time my opponent fielded Harbinger with bastions and solo spam. Bring it!

:: 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
The Harbinger of Menoth - WJ: +5
- Devout - PC: 5
High Paladin Dartan Vilmon - PC: 3
Paladin of the Order of the Wall - PC: 2
Knights Exemplar Seneschal - PC: 3
High Exemplar Gravus - PC: 5
Nicia, Tear of Vengeance - PC: 3
Saxon Orrik - PC: 2
Exemplar Bastions - Leader and 4 Grunts: 8
Exemplar Bastions - Leader and 4 Grunts: 8
Exemplar Vengers - Leader & 4 Grunts: 11
Daughters of the Flame - Leader & 5 Grunts: 5

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

This time I went second and I tried a deployment thingy I've been contemplating for a while: Storm Lances in the middle. The idea is that their speed can bring them where I need them and as fast as I need them if they get this spot. Although I went second I thought this would pay off. 

:: Game ::

Menoth run up, Daughters on the left flank and Vengers on the right. The rest is tightly packed in the middle with Nicia at the front.

I mess up the Storm Lances as I move the Stormwall first. Too eager to get those Daughters means my Lances have to run around its footprint. I would've preferred a wider sweep than what I got because of this. Snipe on the left Stormwall with max. focus, pod and Stormsmith allowed it to seriously put the hurt on the Daughters, leaving a single model. The Stormwall on the right shot a Venger down.

Another fairly hard push comes and although I'm second player I'm kind of worried given the pace Menoth is approaching me with: I am not sure I can clear the zone and if I don't I can quickly find myself in a 0-2 spot when my T3 starts... Harbinger spent feat.

So, given the state of the board I decided to try and shoot my way out of this, using Stryker to arcane blast Vilmon who is immune to anything non-magical. I rolled miserably and he survived easily, but as my opponent pointed out Harbinger could've sacrificed D3 wounds to keep him alive regardless so my plan was flawed from the start. The rest of the shooting is so-so and due to me not wanting to commit Storm Lances under Harbinger's feat vs weapon master Bastions, Stryker was kind of exposed, sitting on 0 focus, feat and arcane shield.

2 Bastions and Gravus reached Stryker with Guided Hand and that was the game.

:: Evaluation ::

Deploying Storm Lances centrally is kind of flawed in a situation like this because Daughters have AD -and- move first. I should've put them on the left as in this context I often want them clearing my own zone T2. With Arcane Shield up from T1 (snipe on the Stormwall without Arc. Shield) and Stryker feating they can weather Harbinger's feat without spikes messing me up.

Furthermore the entire activation order is messy when Stryker has to move before the Stormwalls. To get the benefits of Snipe it's kind of hard to get him where he wants to be: Behind their big, bad footprints. I knew I had him in a very risky spot but I had made too many mistakes for it there to be a good solution (at least that I could manage to find). In 20/20 hindsight I think the play here is to activate the Stormwall first, have him tank the dice-5 Harbinger feat and make sure Stryker gets tucked in behind. By not taking tons of focus to kill off the Daughter (which I boosted to hit against) but instead simply podding her and not spending focus trying to take down Vilmon (which can be kept alive) the Stormwalls can probably get a lot more done with their shooting as well.

Again this is a matchup I don't expect will happen very often. The Stormwalls here rely heavily on the upkeeps and Harbinger with her 10 focus and purification is a perfect counter to that. Regardless it reveals flaws and learning points and although this wasn't quite the nail-biter of the first game it was still enjoyable. Had the assassination run failed I believe I would be in a good spot for a comeback as Menoth had committed 100% for this. I don't know the math precisely but suffice is to say that the odds were in his favour, but probably not by a huge margin. DEF16 ARM20 with 17 boxes takes quite a bit, after all.  

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