lørdag 19. desember 2015

Internal Affairs Mk. I Game 3: Haley2 vs Caine2

:: Prologue ::

Cygnar civil war! A rematch against my opponent from Challenge, incidentally also game 3 with the same casters. Moving up to 50 was something I thought would favor me. Perhaps it had more to do with his being more optimized, I don't know, but I sure felt this was more of an uphill battle than last time. Read on to see how Major Victoria Haley performed against Captain Allister Caine!

:: Lists ::

Major Victoria Haley - WJ: +5 Effigy of Valor
- Squire
- Stormwall - PC: 19 (bonded)
- 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
Captain Allister Caine - WJ: +5
- Squire
- Ol' Rowdy - PC: 9
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 3
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution - PC: 3
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist - PC: 2
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator - PC: 1
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers - Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
- Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer - Officer 2
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team - Lynch, Ryan & Watts: 4
Rangers - Leader & 5 Grunts: 5
Alexia Ciannor & the Risen - Alexia & 9 Risen Grunts: 5
- Thrall Warrior - PC: 0
Greygore Boomhowler & Co. - Boomhowler and 9 Grunts: 9
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt - Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt: 4

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

We were playing Two Fronts and in my ignorance (or was it perhaps arrogance?) I thought I could take Caine on in a war of attrition. I won the roll-off and opted for T1. I realized before deployment was done that I'd made a mistake. Regardless, the situation would've been the same had my opponent won the roll-off and made (what I believe to be) the right choice so whatever. I positioned Haley aggressively and the idea was to hide behind the house and go for points T3. I sent B13th with her to cover the zone along with Alexia + TAC while the Stormwall's duty was to deny Caine 3 points bottom of 2 by toing my own zone. ATGM nearby him to help him and zone out Eiryss.

Caine deploys skewed aggressively as well. Interesting!

:: Game ::

I spread out and keep a defensive posture. I don't want Magic Bullet taking out too many key targets right off the bat. Haley throws out Decel and Temporal on the Stormwall to make him get up the field. Alexia tries to toe the hill but falls just short of it.

What I didn't realize was of course that he can just shoot himself with magic bullet. Bye-bye Eiryss! Boomies fan out in his zone. The rest of his moves are somewhat cautious though. In particular A+H take care to stay way back. Eiryss is on the edge and I wonder if I can't maybe take her out.

Caine is in a perfect position to start putting magic bullets onto my more important elements should he want to. Because of this I restrain myself and keep 4 focus on Haley for safety reasons. Alexia gains souls, summons Thralls to jam boomies and moves to the right. B13th and said Thralls help clear out Boomies with the help of TAC. More souls (for his Alexia1, too, unfortunately). Stormwall toes my own zone as intended and although 2 ATGM with Deadeye get in range of Eiryss they both miss. Because of this junior has to run behind the Stormwall. No biggie, but it keeps him away from Haley which I'm most certainly not a fan of.

Caine's reply is attrition. Ryan goes down to magic bullet, a couple of other models die. Nothing major though, Alexia is largely protected by Mage Storm (which is absolutely crucial). Stormwall loses Arcane Shield.

Time to initiate the plan! Stormwall shoots up the objective and a couple of other models. Haley TK's out a boomie in a trench and Ol' Rowdy and feats while toing the zone for 3-0. ATGMs take out Eiryss at long last. Alexia physically blocks Haley. I have Caine in my feat.

My opponent spends a very long time figuring out how to deal with this. He is looking for Magic Bullet openings on Haley. The best he can come up with is Ol' Rowdy but he's not close enough. Planets almost has to align for this: His base is just shy of 2", Caine can shoot 12" and it's 4" more to Haley. It's true that I didn't measure this and he was only half an inch away (while this sounds trivial on paper consider the context as well). I breath a sigh of relief, right after I hit the clock over to him I remembered that I didn't check Haley's range to the Stormwall. With B13th and Rangers outside of feat that's 3 potential targets there which could've made Haley very, very sad. So many angles to consider with Caine! I need to practice more against him.

The rest of his turn was spent jamming the zone. Everything on this plan did its best to get into the fray and in the end he had something like 2 boomies, 5 risen, gorman, ol' rowdy and the squire there. Might've been more, I'm not sure.

My opponent did have a huge problem though: The clock. When I started my following turn he had 1 minute and 30 seconds left or something like that. Instead of looking for the opening of all times to go to 5-0 I simply allocated 1 to the Stormwall for it to clear the 2 enemy models in my zone (one auto-dies to pod). It did this and Haley ran behind it, camping 7. Junior gave her Arcane while TAC + Alexia clouded and blocked up. 4-0, and pretty much an impossible situation to get back from given the 90 seconds available.

Caine tried to do something but 90 seconds is 90 seconds and with that, the game was over.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation :: 

Going into attrition against Caine is nigh impossible with Haley I believe. At least I haven't cracked that code yet. The thing is that as the board gets cleared of models, Caine inherently gets an advantage. He can favourably trade 2 for 1 often times because suddenly he feats and removes the Stormwall. Furthermore he has a ton more models than I do so sacrificing 2 gun mages to get 1 isn't necessarily a bad trade. While I should perhaps have known this, magic bullet makes it incredibly hard to play a tight game against him as well. In the end, I simply have to sit down and think about how I approach this matchup. I believe it might be slightly in Caine's favour but as always my feat is absolutely brutal.

My feat turn in this game was a bit on the risky side. I should've camped but 1 focus on Haley (I needed to blow up the objective though and remove a fair share of models!) because it makes that magic bullet run so much less likely to succeed. I believe the opening was there because of careless positioning and that's just bad.

Alexia and TAC did a lot of work on the right flank. Boomies and risen are quite decent targets against them, especially TAC as they generate flaming continuous and get their battle mages benefit. I was afraid of Alexia going down T2 to Caine but I'm not sure it would be a prudent move considering where he'd end up etc. Possibly a game-changing moment and perhaps a bit greedy of me to want that hill with her.

I was happy to take away a win here and I certainly learned a thing or two about how Caine can put on the hurt with his tricks!

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