onsdag 27. januar 2016

Battle Report #73: Caine2 vs Haley3

:: Prologue ::

In the midst of trying out various casters I have been looking for opportunities to practice my game with Caine2 as well. Today I had a golden opportunity to do just that in a Cygnar Civil War against Haley3! This was a perfect matchup for many reasons: I've never played with/against Haley3 before, I have insufficient experience with mirrors and I get to play Caine2 again!

:: Lists ::

Captain Allister Caine - WJ: +5 (Effigy of Valor)
- Squire
- Ace - PC: 7 (bonded)
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 3
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire - PC: 4
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution - PC: 3
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator - PC: 1
Acosta - PC: 3
Corbeau - PC: 2
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
Major Prime Victoria Haley - WJ: +3
- Squire
- Lancer - PC: 6
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 3
Haley Future - PC: 0
Haley Past - PC: 0
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution - PC: 3
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord - PC: 2
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team - Lynch, Ryan & Watts: 4
Storm Lances - Leader & 4 Grunts: 11
Tempest Blazers - Leader & 4 Grunts: 10
Trencher Infantry - Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
Stormblade Infantry - Leader & 5 Grunts: 5
- Stormblade Infantry Officer & Standard - Officer & Standard Bearer 3

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

I made a slight change compared to my last games with Caine2: A+H were left at home in favour of Acosta + Corbeau. Since I've been practicing Haley1 lately and considering Stryker2, Caine2 could easily end up having specialists. I wanted to see how Acosta would perform with him and I can see A+H being left at home in a low-arm matchup like this.

We were playing Close Quarters and I went first. I deployed Caine centrally where he'd be able to charge onto a hill. Boomies were on his left flank, ATGM to the right with B13th and the rest were placed in the middle. Haley3 responded with murder ponies on my right flank and Storm Lances on my left with the cloudwall and infantry in the middle.

:: Game ::

I move stuff up. Heightened Reflexes on Boomies and True Shot on Caine2.

Cloud wall goes up, Eiryss backs up a bit, murder ponies take out 2 Rangers and Storm Lances threaten the left flank's advance.

I see a huge opening which I'll believe he'll struggle to deal with: By sending in Alexia with Arcane Shield I can mage storm her and grab a few models, following up with magic bullet to really put the pressure on him as well. With Mage Storm the Stormblades can't hit me in melee, Baby Haley going in is also risky (unless he's willing to part with Arcane Shield on the Lances and even then it's kind of a risky play), besides she might be too far, and I just don't know how he'll deal with DEF15 ARM22 in a cloud that autohits on POW12. So I go for it and kill 5-6 infantry models after Lynch lights her up. I also get Eiryss2 because I get a Ranger within 5" of her which lets ATGM snipe her. Close, but totally worth trying to do.

Haley3 feats in return and I use Arcane Vortex to handle the force hammer. Future Haley shoots her up a bit, Stormblades try their best but no such luck and lastly the Blazers manage to finish her off with a few, good Brutal shots (B13th pitched in as well). So basically his entire army was spent clearing Alexia out.

In a game of attrition that is the perfect sacrifice. Her feat was out, mine was intact, my position was superior and I had gained control of the right flank. I use Caine's skills defensively as he puts up 2 magic bullets. With Ace's Trick Shot this clears out the last Trenchers, so no revives on them and no more smoke walls. Boomies take out 2 Lances, TAC cloud Caine, Junior gives him Arcane (and he was camping 2 focus) and the Lancer is left on ~5 boxes with M and A crippled.

Lancer moves out the way and dies to free strike. Haley goes for a last, ditch effort to take out Caine by force hammering a TAC onto him and have the Murder Ponies follow up. Unfortunately for my opponent my ARM18 is too much and the Captain survives.

So with Haley3 stuck in the middle of nowhere with no support or defensive abilities I hit her with Eiryss to strip off her few remaining focus before Caine feats and kills her.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

What an intense game! The action really kicked off early and never slowed down. I should've cast Heightened Reflexes on Caine early game and upkept it throughout I think because Force Hammer really is disastrous. Blocking its angles is also pretty much impossible. 

Approaching this game I was looking to get durable models into a position from which I could run up far and magic bullet myself. This trick worked wonderfully and indeed the Alexia2 headache T2 won me the game, by and large. 

Haley3's angles are so many it's impossible to consider them all. I know well what she can do on paper but in-game with electro leaps, knockdowns, Pow13 shots etc it's just incredibly hard to get a complete overview. I wasn't prepared for this and in hindsight I believe I could've taken general measures such as Heightened Reflexes on Caine to be more safe against her caster-kill runs. 

What I didn't learn this game was how I should deploy against her, i.e. what elements were needed where etc. This is a bit of a pain because in most of the games I've had I've reached a realization of what I need where. This game didn't help me in the least to figure that out. Regardless, it was a good game and I learned tons about Haley3!

Lastly, TAC are great. Don't leave home without them on Caine2!

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