tirsdag 2. februar 2016

Battle Report #81: Stryker2 vs Kromac2

:: Prologue ::

Time to start practicing the new lists! First up is Stryker2 vs Kromac2. The reason I'm trying out Stryker2 here is because I don't think my current Haley3 list is particularly good vs Bradigus. Against other Circle pairings she might be the best choice, I'm not sure. Anyways, Stryker2 it was!

:: Lists ::

Lord Commander Stryker - WJ: +6
- Squire
- Ol' Rowdy - PC: 9
Archduke Alain Runewood, Lord of Fharin - PC: 3
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 3
Captain Arlan Strangewayes - PC: 2
- Charger - PC: 4
Stormblade Infantry - Leader & 5 Grunts: 5
Sword Knights - Leader & 9 Grunts: 6
- Sword Knight Officer & Standard - PC: 2
- Stormclad - PC: 10
- Stormclad - PC: 10
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 ::

We are playing Two Fronts and I'm going first. I haven't decided what objective I'll go for yet so in this game I tried out Fuel Cache. I think it's the right one to go for but I can also see Effigy being useful.

I grabbed first turn and put up my army skewed behind my own zone. I considered this an attrition game. I put the Sword Knights behind a wood, intending to help them out with Alain. One Stormclad on either side of them and Ol' Rowdy close by as well.  Circle responded with a familiar, symmetric deployment.

:: Game ::

I ran stuff up. It got pretty crowded because of the lake in the middle. My problem was that I wanted Stormblades near both Stormclads for focus. I realize in hindsight that both Stormclads should've deployed centrally for this to be viable. Ol' Rowdy furthermore kind of got boxed in. The Charger went on the other flank to threaten things that might want to flank me.

My opponent reveals a mistake as the Druids start pulling in the closest Stormclad. Luckily for me he rolls terribly and can't charge it. Lesson to learn: Druids don't have to cloud. Make sure situations like this is covered by e.g. the objective.

I had a big opening here which I seriously considered: Drive both Stormclads up and charge 1 Stalker each with positive charge. Run everything else up and feat, hopefully killing both stalkers and the druids. This would've given me a massive advantage. In the end I chickened out because the angles were really hard to see and I think the Druid on the edge of the wall on my left flank prevented this move from hitting home. Now, what I realize in hindsight is that I could've gone balls to the wall with Stryker and charged said Druid with Alain's +2MAT and boost the charge roll. The distance might've been a little iffy with regards to getting Ghetorix in my face in return though.

So anyway the play I end up making is kind of bad, unfortunately. I take out a couple of Druids with one clad + shooting and drive him back. It takes me too long to realize that I should've put the pedal to the metal here and when I end my turn I know it's going to hurt in return.

Kromac feats and the army shifts right. The Druids drag out my closest 'Clad and the Stalker kills him easily. The other Stalker kills the Charger. Because of their animi they're not particularly exposed either as they move 6" back.

So I do what I should've done in my last turn and go all-out. The problem now is that I'm short one 'clad and neither Stryker nor Ol' Rowdy can really help out. Stryker gets out a positive charge and shoots a couple of druids before he feats. He camps 3 and Ol' Rowdy is nearby. At this point I'm kind of desperate to put some pressure on Kromac with Stryker. I know I have an exposed position but I'm losing too many important jacks and with the feat gone my momentum is largely spent.

I get Pendrake, a couple of Druids, a Blackclad (or was it 2? Can't remember) and the left-most Stalker.

Druids drag out Ol' Rowdy, lowering Stryker's defense. The Stalker receives Primal and Kromac casts +2 MAT thingy. Said Stalker ports in within Reach of Stryker and kills him.

:: Evaluation ::

I'm really struggling with Stryker2 as this report shows but at least now I'm starting to see what I could've done better. First of all I believe Stryker's right play here is to focus right instead of left, because the wall on the left is terrible for him to deal with and I need to pressure scenario over attrition here: I have one turn available because of my feat where I'm out-ranging Circle on threats and if I can hold that until T3 I can threaten a 3-0 lead on scenario. Given the speed with which I move up the table I don't think Circle can realistically move to 3-0 bottom of round 2.

Deployment makes a mess of things because my infantry is clumping together. With Stormclads more centrally deployed the Stormblades could've spread out further. With Alain helping them out T2 they could've crossed the lake and with my feat I'd cover a wide area and probably would've dealt quite a bit of damage to the Druids/Beasts as well.

Ol' Rowdy and Stryker needed to find positions T2 from which they would really threaten the Circle heavy hitters. As I failed to do so I got taken apart one piece at a time. I should've used my feat proactively, instead I used it as a reaction. I didn't manage to play Stryker's game - which is shock and awe - instead I played Circle's game, which is tit for tat. Stryker's feat doesn't enable to play that very well compared to Lightning Strike, Shifting Stones and Druids.

When I feated I could've moved Rowdy + Stryker 3" to my left. I still would've threatened just about his entire zone and I would've been outside of the Stalker's threat range. Furthermore, with Rowdy being behind Stryker in this position, he could not have been dragged out and robbed Stryker of his +2DEF bonus. I think the game still would've been interesting in this scenario because Stryker is a monster, despite my bad start.

Well played by my opponent and a deserved loss. Losses are what we learn the most from and there were many lessons to take away here, as noted above. Also, I need to start considering how to avoid being the victim of control elements when they are relatively easy to prevent. The fact that Force Bolt was game-breaking 3 turns in a row obviously means I'm a slow learner but next time I'll make sure to remember this!

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