I pulled out Caine2 today, again. I really need more practice with him and facing Skarre2 is a perfect matchup to test my skills. I used the same list that I played before NM instead of the ADR-variant I had yesterday.
:: Lists ::
Captain Allister Caine - WJ: +5Opponent:
- 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
- Deathjack - PC: 12
Aiakos, Scourge of the Meredius - PC: 3
- Kraken - PC: 19
Ragman - PC: 2
Satyxis Raider Captain - PC: 2
Bane Riders - Leader & 4 Grunts: 11
The Withershadow Combine - Malevolus, Admonia, & Tremulus: 5
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls - Necrosurgeon & 3 Grunts: 2
:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::
ARM-skew Skarre2-style! Interesting. On paper I'm not well equipped to deal with this but A+H and a dangerous scenario (Incursion) gives me some options.
I win the roll-off and take T1. I put Boomies on my left, ATGM on my right and the rest in the center. I AD Ace in front of Caine and Eiryss towards the Kraken, which is far off on the left flank.
:: Game ::
The idea is to jam the Kraken down hard with Boomies, push stuff out on the right with ATGM and just deal with whatever's in my face at any point in time. Unfortunately I move Rangers a little too aggressively up, giving Skarre an unnecessarily easy Perdition. I put a focus on Ace which he uses to boost a Thunderbolt on DJ. Magic Bullet takes out the Satyxis solo nearby but the pushback isn't enough to get Ace free of Perdition + Charge range.
Skarre camps all herself. She moves up to the wall, Perditions the Ranger there and DJ moves in to take out Ace. Except it can't finish the deal because attack rolls are hard to make on a 6+, apparently. Ace has ~8 boxes left. Kraken moves up slowly and kills 2 Rangers. The rest fail their CMD check.
While Ace was a calculated risk (even if he feats I reckon that's fine for me), having him survive allows me to handle DJ easily. I move Ace away and he tanks a free strike to create a cover marker out of my lines of fire. I kiss DJ and start shooting with Holt, Junior and B13th. By the time they're all done Caine doesn't even need to feat to kill him, I boost damage and Gatecrash away to my left, intent on putting pressure on Kraken + Skarre. Boomies run up to jam and Alexia moves B2B with the objective. ATGM push out Riders as best they can and 1 even gets knocked down.
Kraken starts clearing Boomies and puts 7 boxes on Alexia. Skarre feats on herself, Aiakos, Ragman and a Withershadow dude + Caine, who was just in range (sadly). Riders jam me up but because of messing up Curse no ATGM dudes die. Withershadow takes the middle.
With Caine unable to attack his sole purpose is to dish out 3 magic bullets. I put one each on Ryan, Watts and Lynch. They aim and with a little tricks here and there + kiss from Aiyana, I just barely manage to get all the Riders (!) with brutals (aim + rangers mean I hit on 4s). Boomies tighten up the jam again but I can't score points on the left side because Ragman contests with feat. I get 1 on the left however from Stormcaller.
The Cryx forces have started losing their punch. Some Boomies + Alexia are killed but on the right flank there's basically nothing left to deal damage. At least the flag is contested.
I Thunderbolt away the withershadow model contesting my flag, Caine take out one in the middle. I forget to run up Eiryss to score on the left so "only" 2-0. A Boomie takes out Aiakos because Kraken was careless with its angle.
A final ditch effort to contest.
I kill the 2 withershadow models and take the 3 flags for 5-0.
Victory to the Swans!
:: Evaluation ::
The early-game taunt with Ace which draws out DJ combined with a Kraken that spends all game killing Boomies ensure that I can focus on what I want to, when I want to. I'm also able to save my feat, which means he has to be really careful mid-game.
What if Skarre had feated T1? Assuming she had and assuming Ace had gone down, I believe I could've jammed DJ down utterly until the feat had been off, at which point in time I can deal with it "as usual". Also, Skarre has to be super careful with her feat down that early because Caine can simply force her way out.
The Rangers moving up so aggressively T1 is a mistake and there's no reason for them to be that far up.
All in all a game I'm fairly happy with. I think the Cryx list is too skewed to play effectively into game, but then again it's a completely different thing if e.g. Leviathan goes centrally and Cryx get T1 so it's hard to judge from a single game.