mandag 28. desember 2015

Battle Report #46 - Caine2 vs Skarre2 (50)

:: Prologue ::

A few days off from gaming and I was ready to bring Caine2 to the table again. This time Cryx awaited me. While I've thought of a few counters for Deathjack with Haley2, I think Caine2 has a completely different dynamic against Skarre2 + DJ. How would this go? Read on!

:: Lists ::

Captain Allister Caine - WJ: +5
- Squire
- Ace - PC: 7
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 3
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire - PC: 4
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution - PC: 3
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator - PC: 1
Stormsmith Stormcaller - PC: 1
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt - Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt: 4
Tactical Arcanist Corps - Leader & 2 Grunts: 4
Greygore Boomhowler & Co. - Boomhowler and 9 Grunts: 9
Rangers - Leader & 5 Grunts: 5
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
Skarre, Queen of the Broken Coast - WJ: +6
- Skarlock Thrall
- Deathripper - PC: 4
- Deathjack - PC: 12
Satyxis Raider Captain - PC: 2
Warwitch Siren - PC: 2
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist - PC: 2
Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile - PC: 2
Ragman - PC: 2
Bane Riders - Leader & 4 Grunts: 11
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls - Necrosurgeon & 3 Grunts: 2
Satyxis Raiders - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
- Satyxis Raider Sea Witch - Satyxis Raider Sea Witch 2
The Withershadow Combine - Malevolus, Admonia, & Tremulus: 5

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

We were playing Destruction and I won the roll-off. I elected to go first but in hindsight I'm not sure this is what's best for me. I put down Caine2 centrally with ATGM, Ace, Rangers and Eiryss while Boomies + ATGM flanked left and B13th flanked right with Aiyana + Holt. Unfortunately I forgot to take a deployment picture.

:: Game ::

T1 I put up True Shot on Caine in case he needed to take out Gorman or something T2, Reflexes on Boomies for obvious reasons and Blur on Alexia to stop Skarre from sacrificing the arc node for a potential alpha. I advanced cautiously in the middle because of DJ which I didn't want to have charging home T1.

The Cryx reply is somewhat cautious as well with DJ taking the hill and Raiders moving to the center/right flank.

I wasn't sure whether to bide my time or commit now. When in doubt push, so I did. Caine used feat to take out DJ. Aiyana + Holt were perhaps just in range of the Knights but I didn't want to risk losing Kiss (though in hindsight there was nothing to lose in doing so because once DJ is down the Knights are the only models left that care much about Kiss) so they chilled. Caine took out DJ + a rider, unfortunately he missed an attack that could quickly have been another. I made sure to contest the zone with a ton of stuff. Boomies jammed up with ATGM behind and Alexia physically blocked off Caine: Due to SPD4 my TAC boys were unable to cloud him up properly so all he got from them was concealment. Eiryss chilled out near Caine.

Disaster strikes as McNaille mini-feats which allows Gorman to get in range of Alexia. DEF19 isn't something he can hope to hit but the Blind scatters onto Caine2, who in turn goes from DEF21 to DEF17. Wow. Skarre follows up with some serious damage on him (I had arcane shield up which saved him but I camped 0). I was left on 3 or 4 boxes with Corrosion. The remaining Rider went in to try and take out Alexia and despite the blind landing on her as well he failed to deal enough damage. Boomies failed their CMD-check, so Effigy of Valor will be making a re-appearance shortly. Skarre feated on Riders, herself and the anti-upkeep girl from Withershadow.

Boomies back off a bit, ATGM + Caine + B13th focused out Satyxis, Gorman and crippled the Arc Node on the nearby jack. Ace participated with trick shot while aiming as well. Due to bad planning in my previous turn I was unable to screen off Caine2 completely with TAC: The space was too crowded and I hadn't thought of where I'd want him. SPD4 clouders are unforgiving in this regard.

The problem was that Caine was still very low on boxes. I healed up 2 or so but 5 boxes on ARM16 isn't much to write home about.

The Satyxis mini-feat and try to reach Caine with Puppet Master on the UA. Previously the Rider + jack had cleared off a couple of models but they were still unable to get more than one in range of Caine. At MAT7 the 10+ needed couldn't be reached despite Puppet Master: Another model in melee-range for CMA would've been another story entirely. At least I was still alive and kicking, my main problem now was the time which was getting away from me.

I sacrificed Aiyana to land a perfect mage storm and I finally managed to block Caine off completely. He took out the Riders and a couple of other solos first with the rest of the army rushing in. This time I also remembered to activate Alexia (which I forgot in my previous turn and those 3 Thralls would surely have come in handy!) whose minions helped clear stuff out.

At this point the attrition game is swinging heavily in my favour and Cryx spend their turn just making life as hard for me as possible.

I have 7 minutes left on the clock. I blow up the objective with B13th + Caine and clear out the rest with Thralls and ATGM while TAC cloud up Caine again. 3-0.

Cryx jams the zone as well as can be expected given the few models remaining.

So, this was the clock before my last turn. I'm the left player...

I load up Caine's focus and he starts shooting stuff out. I remember that Casters don't contest so I focus on the rest. McNaille manages the first 4 toughs (!) so I'm sweating a little but he finally goes down and I kill off the Withershadow Combine as well. With 33 seconds left on my clock, I win the game 5-0 on scenario.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

What an intense game! I've rarely been this short on time and I attribute it to the new list (never played before!) and sheer number of models to move and dice to roll. Compared to the Haley variants I've been running lately this is a true troop-spam list. 

Ok, so let's first take a look at my decision to go first. The problem with going first is that I'm playing against the scenario here. I believe that if I let Cryx go first I can counter them quite well since I get to shoot in my first turn while he can't take the scenario in the ensuing turn. If he wants to rush with something, e.g. DJ with Perdition, he can't really support the jack properly. Therefore I believe a Cryx T1 is necessarily constrained by the context here, I don't think it can simply run up. The question then becomes if I in turn become similarly constrained. Hard to tell, but given DJ's AD + 15.5" threat range I find Caine to be unable to charge up his usual 10" and thus threaten the board T2. 

Something I could and perhaps should have done was to save infiltrate for T2. I spent it to avoid a suicide-alpha on Caine from the Arc Node but in hindsight I'm probably better off simply putting Arcane on Caine and camping a couple of focus. By having infiltrate T2 I could've put Eiryss nearby to basically make it extremely hard for Skarre to land any spells on Caine. Ace is a lot of fun to play but I have to consider the timing of his abilities. Infiltrate is very powerful and should not be wasted. 

My TAC/B13th play this game was quite poor. Contrary to Boomies I can't blame this on the "new unit syndrome". I was simply not thinking ahead of the game and they ended up being too far away from where I needed them. Aiyana and Holt a bit, too. The thing is that with this many models on the field and Caine, as opposed to Haley, relies on being close to the action, the models clog up the area quickly. 

Boomies did an amazing job holding their flank. With Effigy I believe I would've gotten a lot more out of them because of the failed CMD which would've been auto-passed and the ability to put a couple of them in cover so McNaille's Quad-Iron wouldn't hurt them as much. 

Mid-game I managed to keep my cool and go for the attrition game. It was a close call as the Raiders nearly got Caine, Next time I face the Gorman/McNaille combo I'll make sure to look out for the surprisingly long threat range!

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