søndag 7. februar 2016

Battle Report #85: Stryker2 vs Durst

:: Prologue ::

Quick rematch vs Durst! We changed sides to see how Cygnar going first would affect the nature of the matchup.

:: 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
Anson Durst, Rock of the Faith - WJ: +6
- Hierophant
- Judicator - PC: 18
- Reckoner - PC: 8
- Reckoner - PC: 8
Vassal Mechanik - PC: 1
Vassal Mechanik - PC: 1
Vassal of Menoth - PC: 2
Vassal of Menoth - PC: 2
Wrack - PC: 1
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution - PC: 3
Choir of Menoth - Leader & 3 Grunts: 2
Holy Zealots - Leader and 9 Grunts: 6
- Monolith Bearer - Monolith Bearer 2

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment :: 

I wanted to get up the middle and create a Fort Stryker with the Charger wreck marker. Deployed accordingly.

Fort Stryker is established. One Stormclad fails the pronto-check and is left straggling behind.

What I failed to take into account is this: What would happen if Zealots move up in a stagger-formation and mini-feat so I can't reach anything of value? Some solid shooting from the Protectorate jacks also took out a handful of models with Judicator's scatter nearly taking off both the SK Officer -and- Junior (both left on 1 box). Wow, Vassals. Imagine Stormwalls with Vassals. *Drool*. Anyway, moving on. Durst went behind Judicator and cast the +DEF upkeep spell.

I contemplated many angles here but it boiled down to the same: If I don't engage now, I'll lose a ton of models in the ensuing turn. Besides, he can feat and I found out last game that alpha-striking against his feat is just about impossible. It's too much armor, simply. Only Stryker can crack that much reliably and even then, at great risk. Instead I deviced a plan in which I would take out Judicator with Stryker and feat to bring him back behind a wall of Warjacks.

One Stormclad was driven up. It then activated and used a throw power attack on the Zealot in Stryker's optimal path. Stryker then spent 1 focus on Velocity, charged in and killed Judicator. Feat went up. SK jammed Zealots, I got the jacks in front of Stryker and the support were in good positions.

A major problem however was my inability to remove Eiryss2 from the equation and Ol' Rowdy not being B2B with Stryker for +2 DEF...

The Stormclad in the front/middle of my screen had Arcane Shield, which Eiryss shot off. The Zealots removed themselves and the nearest reckoner went in and killed the Stormclad with some Vassal help. Durst cast Boundless charged and killed Stryker. 

:: Evaluation :: 

The Zealot screen is something this list does not have an answer to. At all. I don't know how I should've approached this game given that predicament, it looked even worse than simply going second myself because of the nature of when scoring starts etc. With me going first, Protectorate usually doesn't have to feat until the second turn but with Zealots mini-feating the turn before it's really hard for me to launch an alpha. 

My plan came kind of close to succeeding. Perhaps Stryker should've simply velocity'd further and charged up to get right behind the fence for DEF20 (with Arcane Shield in that case!). This way he'd threaten a lot more on his own and the Zealots would have to move extremely close to protect everything important from his angles. The problem he's having with going in so hard is that he can't get back out to safety. If I can get him in a position where he won't need velocity to get in and/or he can velocity in and walk out, the equation changes drastically. 

Regardless, I'm struggling to see good openings here. The Protectorate has all the tools to control the table as they need until Durst can force a favourable fight and/or attrition with his feat. Perhaps Haley3 is the better caster in my current pair to play into this but I don't particularly like her into neither Harbinger nor Severius1. Anyway it's clear that Stryker's the one I'm struggling the most with, so more playtesting needed!

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