onsdag 20. januar 2016

Battle Report #68 - Kraye vs Mohsar (50)

:: Prologue ::

NM is over, I've had a couple of days away from Warmahordes and it's time to start a-fresh! A new beginning, if you will. First of all I haven't decided what I'll focus on yet, I have a couple of wacky ideas that I want to test out so in the near future I hope I'll be able to play casters I haven't played much (if, indeed, at all). As always I'll play lists that are as hard as I can make them, given the goals I have in mind.

First up in this game we have Jeremiah Kraye. He is a caster I really like conceptually, he's all about speed, flexibility and board control. In particular the option of going guided fire vs full tilt + feat caught my eye as something that would allow our Stormwall to really play to its strengths, for example. During NM, I saw an Issyria ADR variant used to counter Legion: Hyperion + Imperatus or Discordia with double Aspis and an Artificer. That list has the strength to withstand Lylyth2 for example and simply push her down. I wanted to see if Kraye could copy that setup. Let's get to it!

:: Lists ::

Captain Jeremiah Kraye - WJ: +6 (Effigy of Valor)
- Squire
- Stormwall - PC: 19
- Lightning Pod
- Sentinel - PC: 4
- Sentinel - PC: 4
- Ol' Rowdy - PC: 9
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 3
Anastasia di Bray - PC: 2
Savio Montero Acosta - PC: 3
Sword Knights - Leader & 9 Grunts: 6
Tactical Arcanist Corps - Leader & 2 Grunts: 4
Mohsar the Desertwalker - WB: +5
- Druid Wilder
- Ghetorix - PC: 11
- Pureblood Warpwolf - PC: 9
- Megalith - PC: 11
- Rotterhorn Griffon - PC: 4
Gallows Grove - PC: 1
Gallows Grove - PC: 1
Blackclad Wayfarer - PC: 2
Blackclad Wayfarer - PC: 2
Shifting Stones - Leader & 2 Grunts: 2
- Stone Keeper - Keeper 1
Druids of Orboros - Leader & 5 Grunts: 7
- Druid of Orboros Overseer - Overseer 2

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

One of the things that Stormwalls typically struggle with is unjamming stuff and spreading out to control the table. That was the main reason for including the Sword Knights. They are a tricky unit to master but the combination of being cheap and having flank[warjack] has lead me to have faith in them on several occasions. The Sentinels I was hoping would actually be able to do some work with Kraye, both Mage Sight and Guided Fire looks like strong abilities on paper at least.

As for Mohsar, he's not the perfect test for this list. I don't even know what I'll play into Circle or how I'll pair Kraye up if I even enjoy playing him. Anyways it was what my opponent wanted to field and I was, as always, happy to meet things I've never faced before! I had no idea what he could do and looked at his card too briefly to get the big "ah-ha!" moment. We were playing Recon and I won T1. I sat up to move aggressively with jacks on my right and knights on my left.

:: Game :: 

I put Full Tilt on the Stormwall, sent it ahead as far as was safe (13" is the threat range on Ghetorix T1) and had the jacks nearby. Arcane on Ol' Rowdy. Sword Knights ran up with Anastasia and Acosta nearby.

So here I thought Stormwall would be a headache for him. Enter Mohsar. He simply put up buildings in front of me. I've literally never been as WTF-surprised since I started playing Warmahordes as when my opponent explained that he could actually summon buildings. Wow! This obviously put up huge problems for me.

So, eh. What to do? Well, I mistook the 2 druids at the big, having put up elemental protection and counter-magic, for the 2 Blackclads. Don't ask why. With the aggressive Druid placement my plan then was to cast Guided Fire and take them out with Sentinels. This worked well and I even got another Druid or 2. As I thought I had taken out the Blackclads I wasn't worried for my Stormwall who went back 5" and was joined on the side by Ol' Rowdy because the latter doesn't fancy walls (makes it tricky for him to charge and easy rider is very expensive for Kraye).

I also spread out Sword Knights, perhaps prematurely I can see now in hindsight, with Acosta behind them and Anastasia behind a building.

The fuckups continue as my opponent wants to take out Rowdy: He sends up a Druid to cloud him up (thus preventing counter-charge) but in doing so he also gives me +6 (!) DEF. He doesn't realize this until Mr. Megalith has cast a spell on him. As a result the damage-boost doesn't go on the Stormwall and he doesn't want to commit Ghetorix to taking on a Stormwall he's unlikely to kill (I had arcane shield here now). Sword Knights lose a few and the Pureblood misses Acosta with its spray.

The pillars give me a headache again but I have a plan now: Send Sword Knights + Acosta into Pureblood, hopefully taking him out. I also eye an opening on Ghetorix with Rowdy, if I feat + tilt him I should be good (tilt was upkept). The problem was I forgot Megalith's undergrowth for a moment and thus there was no easy rider up for Rowdy who failed the charge miserably and wasted my feat after the Stormwall cleared the pillar in front of him. Wow. The chain of mistakes was now so long that the game no longer made any sense and we basically just switched between shaking our heads in frustration and laughing. Acosta took out the Pureblood after Sword Knights had landed a couple of good hits at least. TAC took out 2 druids nearby and I felt that Kraye was safe, at least.

Ghetorix kills Rowdy, Stormwall is blocked in. Due to bad luck Acosta kept surviving stuff thrown at him. Eventually Mohsar himself stepped up to finish him off with Crevasse. Unfortunately for him, this left him at 0 fury. The stones went in to block him and the Pillars went up again. I was used to this now but my army composition isn't exactly well suited to taking these things out without Acosta nearby.

I put a focus on a Sentinel which moves up and kills a pillar, granting the Stormwall LoS. Since the Stones had UA they had stealth, meaning I simply had to move more than 5" away from them to see poor old Mohsar behind them. The Stormwall had 3 focus and after Kraye moved out of the way and cast Guided Fire, the 14/14 caster didn't last long. A messy game to say the least, but eventually (and kind of out of nowhere) I took it home.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

Kraye is interesting but I feel that he lacks the focus he wants to enable all the crazy plays he has. I love his flexibility and how he can change playstyle on a whim, going from insanely accurate and powerful shooting to blazingly fast hard-hitting colossals. A cool thing is to cycle-feat-tilt-charge: E.g. upkeep Full Tilt on Ol' Rowdy, have him charge X, activate Kraye, recast Full Tilt on the Stormwall, feat and charge X as well. The problem is that this costs mr. Kraye 3 focus, which doesn't let him fuel the jacks to their max. potential. There are no ways around this, an obvious choice would'
ve been Jakes, since Full Tilt only works on his own battlegroup. It truly is a shame because while Kraye has the speed, he lacks the power to make this list truly hard-hitting. While it's most certainly true that the biggest problem a Stormwall has is often to hit, what I was hoping Kraye would enable this list to do was to pack enough of a punch to counter arm-skew. Based on my experiences with Haley2 and Stryker1 double Stormwall builds, I sadly don't think this is something Kraye is capable of doing. At least not with this kind of configuration, perhaps double colossal + Ragman or something could work. 

Mohsar was very interesting to play and oh my how I struggled with his Pillars! I think my first mistake was jamming the Stormwall up so far T1 because this gave me a real headache with regards to Ghetorix. The constant mistakes on both sides really ruined the game from a tactical perspective, but fortunately I still learned tons since there were so many new things on both sides of the table. 

Kraye brings a lot of speed and can change gears when the game calls for it. I really like that, but does he really have what I'm looking for? Sentinels going back after shooting sure adds a lot to their game, as does his spells, but after all it's just more POW10. I wasn't sure Kraye did what I wanted him to but I had the opportunity to play another game with him against Issyria right after this was done. Why is Issyria a decent test for this list? Hyperion is among the toughest colossals out there and typically focusing on a single model is easier than taking on multiples. Hence, I considered it a good test for this list's ability to handle armor. 

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