søndag 31. januar 2016

Battle Report #78: Haley3 vs Kromac2

:: Prologue ::

With a relatively quick game 1 we were ready for a second round. This time we changed the scenario to Close Quarters because we felt it would be more interesting: Circle had a hard time keeping the flanks intact against all my cavalry. Close Quarters is in many ways quite the opposite of Incursion and I was eager to see how this would play out!

:: Lists ::

Major Prime Victoria Haley - WJ: +3
- Squire
- Thorn - PC: 8
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 3
Haley Future - PC: 0
Haley Past - PC: 0
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord - PC: 2
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution - PC: 3
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire - PC: 4
Storm Lances - Leader & 4 Grunts: 11
Trencher Infantry - Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
Tempest Blazers - Leader & 4 Grunts: 10
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team - Lynch, Ryan & Watts: 4
Kromac, Champion of the Wurm - WB: +4
- Druid Wilder
- Ghetorix - PC: 11
- Warpwolf Stalker - PC: 10
- Warpwolf Stalker - PC: 10
- Gorax - PC: 4
Blackclad Wayfarer - PC: 2
Blackclad Wayfarer - PC: 2
Viktor Pendrake - PC: 2
Druids of Orboros - Leader & 5 Grunts: 7
- Druid of Orboros Overseer - Overseer 2
Shifting Stones - Leader & 2 Grunts: 2

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

This time, Circle got the initiative. I wasn't sure whether to approach this game like a scenario game or an attrition game but I figured I'd deploy in the same manner anyway: Storm Lances center opposite his heavy hitters and caster, Blazers on my strong flank and Haley behind my flag. Pretty happy with this setup:

:: Game ::

Circle moves up and split their heavy hitters + druids.

I place the Blazers on the flank, hold the Storm Lances a bit defensively and put up the cloudwall as far as I can. Haley does her usual: Tac Supremacy on Trenchers, Temporal Flux and Past + Future.

The right flank basically shuffles. Kromac moves into B2B with the flag flanked by 2 Druids.

One of Haley3's streanths is her assassination run. I need practice with this and figured this would be a good place to start. I ran a Blazer 18" up so it was basically B2B with the rightmost Druid flanking Kromac. Thorn ran up and Haley feated. Baby Haley hit the Blazer but rolled a '2' (I needed 3+ for the slam to hit Kromac and knock him down). Without the KD I wouldn't be able to put enough wounds on him because my Storm Lances would be -2 from clouds and -2 from Howl. Although it was very awkward to do something else from the position I had the assassination turned into an extreme long-shot and I had to switch. Haley Future shot up Kromac as best as she could and 3 Lances charged in to take care of the 2 Druids. Tactical Supremacy went up on the Trenchers again and I pushed the cloudwall up. I took the flag for 1-0.

Ghetorix pushes back: He goes into melee with Thorn but rolls poorly and Thorn lives. We forgot Temporal Flux here and when we did the math he'd end up at roughly what he did anyway, so there's that. The 3 Storm Lances were killed and a Stalker jammed the remaining two. He failed to contest. 2-1.

Blazers went in. This proved to be a mistake but at the time I just wanted to jam things down. Past Haley hit Ghetorix with a Force Hammer through Thorn. Future Haley + Prime got 2 Lances back up which killed the Stalker despite Kromac's feat being up. Alexia stood next to Haley, Thorn walked away, Trenchers stayed in the clouds as Haley couldn't upkeep + flux + revive. Eiryss2 ran up to contest. 3-1.

Kromac ran in, killed all lances, ran back out. This mistake goes back to my decision to send 3 Lances into the druids + Kromac instead of 2 on my feat turn. I should've kept 1 Lance safe for revival purposes. The problem with my last turn was that the 2 Lances alive were both engaged and I had to get the charge bonuses from the 2 others to make an impression on the Stalker. Anyway, the remaining Stalker + Ghetorix cleared house on my right flank, many thanks to me stupidly placing my models too aggressively. Eiryss2 went down to Pendrake + a druid. Ouch. 3-2.

The Revive-train went on the Blazers this turn around. Haley Past proved she understood the gravity of the situation as she dealt major blows to Ghetorix. This enables the Blazers to finish him off. Alexia summoned 2 Thralls which ran in to engage the middle. I forgot to contest with my Trencher in the center, 4-3.

Kromac goes balls to the wall and sends up just about every model to contest. He kills my Blazers as well. Gorax kills Alexia. Should've had Arcane Shield on her instead of Haley3 I suppose...

So there is an almost full-health Stalker, a druid, Gorax, Druid UA and Pendrake blocking me. My idea is to have B13th + Haley past take out the Stalker, Haley Future + Junior take out the rest. I start with the Haleys because I need Temporal Flux. I cast it and stab the Stalker with her remaining focus. Haley Past continues the job and he's starting to hurt. Future Haley zaps Gorax and the Druid UA.

B13th is up next. They finish the Stalker but both Lynch and Watts spend their shots doing so. That leaves 2 models and I only have Junior left. He does manage to kill Pendrake after a crazy bad boosted hit roll (which hit because aim + flux + backstrike is a thing) but that still leaves the last druid.

I am desperately looking around the table for solutions because I will not survive Kromac coming in at all. Rhupert and the Squire are both useless but there are 2 Trenchers left. 1 is engaged in the middle, the other is free to roam around. He walks up to the druid, stabs him with help from Temporal Flux and kills him.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

My messed-up assassination run really cost me a lot here, unsurprisingly. It's not the best move but I had to try to get a feel with how it plays. As was seen in my last game where Haley3 was involved, where I was on the other side with Caine2, her assassination run largely hinges on the Force Hammer Slam distance. What this effectively means is that, unless you can get B2B with your intended target, there will be unlucky times when it all falls apart. The turn when Ghetorix went into Thorn would be amazing to counter with a feat turn, sending Haley Past into him and spending the other 2 models in the unit getting back Lances and jamming stuff down. This would also have saved the lances (although this could've been accomplished anyway with more careful play).

Whereas Thorn is awesome with Haley2, I find the extra 2 points over a Lancer appear to be overkill with Haley3. I could really see Anastasia being great here: Haley3 struggles with going 2nd against hyper-aggressive opponents because she cannot punish fast armies (her entire T1 is spent setting up for T2, regardless of going first or second). Also, with the cloudwall I believe Espionage, or the sheer threat of it, will largely affect the way the game flows.

All in all I'm thoroughly enjoying Haley3 and the way she plays and I'm hoping to explore her further in the not-too-distant future. Some list tweaks are required, as well as a better defined role in terms of what I want out of her in pairings. 

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