onsdag 16. desember 2015

Battle Report #35 - Haley2 vs Krueger2 (50)

:: Prologue ::

We have a mini-tournament coming up on Saturday and today I had my last practice game. I was originally hoping for 2 games but due to a couple of delays plus the first game being -very- long, this was all we had time for. At least it was a really close and cool game, read on to see how Haley2 did vs Krueger2!

:: 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
Krueger the Stormlord - WB: +5
- Ghetorix - PC: 11
- Gorax - PC: 4
- Warpwolf Stalker - PC: 10
Una the Falconer - PC: 3
- Rotterhorn Griffon - PC: 3
- Rotterhorn Griffon - PC: 3
Blackclad Wayfarer - PC: 2
Blackclad Wayfarer - PC: 2
Gallows Grove - PC: 1
Druids of Orboros - Leader & 5 Grunts: 7
- Overseer - PC: 2
Shifting Stones - Leader & 2 Grunts: 2
Tharn Bloodweavers - Leader & 5 Grunts: 5

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

I have faced this list and variations of it previously on numerous occasions. We were playing Fire Support and the map is a little tricky due to a big piece of impassable in the dead center of the map. For my army this is bit of a love/hate piece of terrain as Haley + Thorn love playing around it whereas the Stormwall absolutely hates it. On this map in such a matchup it is my experience that whoever takes the initiative and moves first gets a big advantage. I lost the roll-off and Circle immediately took T1. Going into playing as number 2 was, in my opinion, down to a game of attrition where I wanted to establish a dangerous spearhead towards his objective to put pressure on him. I put Haley on this flank then with TAC + Eiryss while the rest went on the other side. The idea was to sweep around.

:: Game ::

Circle went full speed ahead T1. Krueger was at the very front with Storm Wall, effectively meaning I'd get no shooting done. The good thing about Fire Support is that it's really slow for player 1 so I simply continued with my plan to establish the spearhead. My entire army took it slow and a couple of the elements on the left side went wide.

I took care to keep 15.1" away from the Warpwolf (and thus, as I put my models on a straight line, by extension also Ghetorix). Circle responded by taking the middle.

This was a bit of an unexpected move and an unprecedented show of aggression. The thing is that Krueger was right behind the house and I'm 99% sure I could see him and reach him with the Stormwall if I charged the druid right in front (Haley parallell to my colossal made guesstimating this easy). With Temporal Acceleration that's a couple of boosted to hit rolls on Krueger. Sure he can transfer the damage but that's still a -lot- of damage. The problem however was that Ghetorix would probably be less than 4" away and I certainly didn't want him hitting me back this early: Landing hits on Krueger when I need 9s isn't exactly a safe bet either. Perhaps I should've gone for this, I don't know. Instead I opted to charge the Rotterhorn on the opposite side because this was more in line with my overall strategy of putting pressure on the scenario. However Una was really close and I forgot about Watcher. Initially the Rotterhorn took 15-20 boxes from the free strike and I followed up with a pod, killing it off with boosted damage and taking a Bloodweaver with me (also netting Alexia 2 souls, she had run up as my first activated element). Haley spent feat, the rest of the army advanced and killed a couple of Druids etc (in hindsight I believe ATGM should've ran to be a relevant factor T3) and I was wondering how Circle intended to respond to this.

My opponent made a mistake I have seen many players make many times: Not knowing what to do under Haley's feat. He spent forever figuring out what to do this turn and in the end he simply pulled everything back. Now, what really caught me off-guard was that he *didn't* feat. I was so sure he would and be a little more aggressive, in which case my plan was to simply back off and Time Bomb lightning pods (counter-magic makes this a little less trivial than usual). The Stones went in and blocked off the Stormwall together with a Druid.

Since Krueger never used feat it was now my time to figure out what on earth to do. I decided to pull back eventually as well, I was looking for aggressive openings but I found none that would be sufficiently safe. Besides, I felt that with a pod-bomb on Ghetorix I'd be good to go for attrition. Despite spending a lot of time this turn I was still comfortably ahead on time which was getting dangerously low for both of us.

So, the pod killed Una and was time-bombed with boosted damage rolls to take out Druids and keep Ghetorix from charging. ATGM and B13th were now in a decent spot to force him away from the center and my support was safely away behind my lines. Alexia spent but a single soul to summon a Thrall as I wanted to negate double Hunter's Mark if needed to make it really dicey for the Stalker to make a charge around the building.

Circle decides something needs to happen. With Haley behind the wall (see the picture above) and clouds to boot, assassination was out the window. Thus it boiled down to scenario. Krueger went over to the flag and the remaining Druids clouded in front of him. Now, as my Thrall had rolled a little below average last turn the Stones were still intact to teleport stuff and now they moved back to surround the big heavies, so that if I time bombed my pod again they'd simply teleport Ghetorix into the Stormwall anyway. Nice! Krueger this time spent his feat as well.

The time had come for me as well to make some commitments. At this point in time my time was running dangerously low as well, I started the round on 12 minutes to his 5. Alexia summoned max. Thralls which ran in and engaged Druids + beasts, rolling amazingly high attack rolls and taking out 2 of the former while the beasts were fine. She was also in a position so that the Stormwall would require a -lot- of effort getting to. With Krueger's feat I had a hard time getting things where I wanted them on the right flank but the left flank was now swarming with my things.

As I handed the clock over to my opponent we agreed that I'd won this game. All I had to do with my 8 minutes left (to his 5) would be to camp all with haley, run to flag, covering fire and pod to contest. I win this before he will because he has to make a lot of correct moves on less time and -still- score his own flag 5 times. Instead of simply calling it we decided to play out the game regardless of the clock.

What happened then was that he suddenly had the time to find the perfect opening into the Stormwall. The Druids + Blackclad cleared Thralls, Stalker got Alexia (though it was kind of close in the end!) and Ghetorix was teleported into the Stormwall with Primal. He took one side out (5 attacks at dice-1 average ~30-35 boxes and he had 1 attack with dice -4 or so. In other words, while a little below average it's not hugely so and serious spikes would be needed to deal significantly more damage).

In return I gave the Stormwall 4 focus, killed Ghetorix with a power strike + buying attacks (DEF14 is a bit of a treshold). I then shot the Stalker with what I had nearby (junior, ATGM etc) and charged him with TAC. One had backstrike bonus and both made their attack rolls so this actually took him down.

At this point the game truly was over and we called it.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

What an intense game! When Circle approached me so fast T1 I considered feating straight away and running into his face. The problem with this is that it's relatively easy for him to disengage and it leave my Stormwall potentially fragile. I measured Haley's control and realized I could advance a little and basically force his hand since I was player 2. He ended up taking the middle, which I saw as the least likely of 3 options (push up with some elements and go for flag, back off or take the middle). The problem with taking the middle, as evidenced by the game, was his inability to hold it when I smash into him and feat in return. In hindsight I believe this is the moment when I should've engaged Krueger instead. Even if I had gotten within 4" of Ghetorix (thus enabling TK + reach attacks) I think it would be worth it. I'm not 100% but I'd likely get a P+S20 hit or two on Krueger. Even if he transfers, that's a LOT of boxes to transfer. Furthermore with my feat up, simply getting stuff out of melee with that Stormwall is a pain and it buys my shooters time and space to wrap around quicker. 

Haley2 vs Krueger2 is one of my favourite matchups to play. There are so many crazy angles and multi-activation combos that it's about impossible to see all options at all times for anyone. This leads to very intense games where the slightest mistake could make for big openings and where the time typically plays a big role. Since I've played it a lot I am quite comfortable with the matchup as well - I know Circle by now and from my point of view they seem to have a harder time with this matchup than I do. I think this boils down to Krueger and druids being so crucial here: The placement of Storm Wall, clouds and counter-magic is absolutely essential but it's mostly defensive tech and my offensive tech simply outplays this. As long as I can Time Bomb the pod and boost damage to kill druids or slow down Ghetorix from charging the pressure really is on Circle to make something happen. 

Part of the reason why I've switched from Fuel Cache to Effigy in this list is to provide a haven for Haley when the map is otherwise open around the objective. In this game I think I would be better off with Haley on my left flank. Effigy of Valor keeps her safe until I can move up and in my experience she just plays the scenario game better than Krueger because his list has poor answers to ATGM wrapping around (inherently making it hard to contest and keep druids alive) while I can pod endlessly to contest. While having the wall with Haley certainly was nice, I could've put a lot more pressure on him in my feat turn by taking the flag with her, not to mention how much better the Stormwall would've been in the position right next to the house with Haley nearby (because this inherently means that TAC would be nearby as well and they're quite lethal against Circle beasts, as shown in this last turn when 2 of them basically killed off half a Stalker (at dice -4 it's not that unlikely either for them to deal ~14-15 boxes on the charge - assuming of course that they hit that is). 

So overall an interesting game which I thoroughly enjoyed. I must also admit that while practicing Stryker lately has been interesting, Haley's a lot more fun to play. I look forward to Saturday's mini-tournament and I feel I am well prepared with both lists. 

Ingen kommentarer:

Legg inn en kommentar