søndag 17. januar 2016

Norwegian Masters 2016 Game 2: Caine2 vs Issyria

:: Prologue ::

Ah, Issyria! A classic matchup and a caster I'm conceptually a big fan of. Nevertheless she can be a bit of a pain for Cygnar. I dropped Caine2 into her, intent on making her feel how hard we can shoot as well. Game on!

:: 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
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
Issyria, Sibyl of Dawn - WJ: +6
- Hyperion - PC: 18
- Chimera - PC: 6
Arcanist - PC: 1
Mage Hunter Assassin - PC: 2
Mage Hunter Strike Force - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
- Strike Force Commander - Commander 2
Stormfall Archers - Leader & 3 Grunts: 5
Houseguard Halberdiers - Leader & 9 Grunts: 7
- Halberdier Officer & Standard - PC: 2
Stormfall Archers - Leader & 3 Grunts: 5

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

Ah, deja vu! One of my last practice games before NM was against this very same list on this very same map. Same player as well, not surprisingly given that the lists were the same. So anyway, I was going first and this time I put down B13th with Caine to keep my flank safe, thus opening up a possible scenario angle while the ATGM took the center. Boomies went further out on the flank to prevent too much of a cluster in the middle.

:: Game ::

I noticed he had maxed out the distance his MHSF had AD-ed. Due to a recent forum-tip I received I tried to get off to a good start with Ace: I allocated him 1 focus, cast Magic Bullet on him and used Trick Shot. Much to my dismay he failed the 7+ boosted roll needed to take away 3x MHSF before Retribution had even moved. Caine cast True shot on himself and charged onto the hill for a controlling position. TAC ran to his left, Alexa in front and B13th were nearby as well.

A lucky Stormfall Archer scatter took out Ryan (losing her 2 shots/mage storms hurts more than one might think). 2 Boomies died as well and a ranger + tac died. At least his MHSF were very exposed.

I took advantage of the vacuum which was on the right flank due to his lack of Halberdiers in a jamming role and decided to start putting the pressure on him. I cleared out as many MHSF as I could, leaving only a model or 2 I believe. Caine cleared the MHA in the trench and Alexia took up a spot there to receive full souls, putting her on DEF19 ARM22. A+H chilled out stealthed behind a wall.

Issyria feat turn! I had put a lot of models too close to the objective but the Hyperion was a tiny bit too cautious, missing out on its range by just a tiny bit. I still lost a ton though, the Halberdiers cleared most of the boomies and the rest of the Retribution units shot down my central elements, including Ace. However no-one was in a position to contest Caine so I moved to 1-0.

Now, Issyria had fed Hyperion with max focus, upkept Inviolable Resolve on it -and- cast blinding light on ATGM. This left her on a single focus so I decided to give him a tough proposition. Caine disregarded his upkeep (there were hardly any stealth left, if there in fact were any at all), stood on 7 focus and was up to no good. A+H went up, kissed the Hyperion which was then vortexed by Issyria. All good to go, Reinholdt reloaded Caine who cast Magic Bullet on himself 3 times, hitting the Hyperion 3 times and bouncing onto Issyria 3 times at dice minus one. With only 15 boxes she could not stand this and I won on assassination. 

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

While Caine2 isn't much of a scenario caster per se, giving him an opening as big as my opponent did her is very risky. Had my magic bullet run fluffed I could still have moved to 3-0 fairly safe (remember: If the 2 first bullets fluff I can gatecrash away with the remaining 3 focus) by using Alexia's Thralls to take out the objective together with the B13th + Eiryss. With Issyria's feat out and half the Stormfall Archers and all the MHSF gone the Retribution shooting isn't that disastrous. 

I'm struggling to use Ace to his full potential. I feel he often ends up too exposed. I should also have infiltrated T1 here I believe to force a tough decision on Issyria. If she doesn't feat Ace is 100% when T2 starts. 

All in all a good game where I managed to use one of many angles to land a killing blow. It would've been interesting to play out the scenario version, i.e. one in which I instead land boosted shots on the Chimera and gatecrash to safety behind TAC and 3-0. I felt that 3x Magic Bullet was the better option on dice minus one and indeed it worked out perfectly! 

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