torsdag 11. februar 2016

Battle Report #90: Stryker2 vs Grim

:: Prologue ::

Second game of the night and yet another caster I haven't played against before: Trollbloods' Grim! I was hoping I'd get Doomie3 when facing Trolls because I believe it would be a good test for Stryker2 but Grim sure is interesting as well. With double Croaks and Scattergunners I was up against yet another list that seriously threaten to obliterate me at a distance. With Kraye vs Jarl (link) fresh in mind, I knew very well that he would be able to take out my jacks as well with proper planning. Anyways, to the fight!

:: Lists ::

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

Grim Angus - WB: +6
- Dire Troll Bomber - PC: 10
- Troll Impaler - PC: 5
Viktor Pendrake - PC: 2
Fell Caller Hero - PC: 3
Scattergunners - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
- Scattergunner Officer & Standard - Officer & Standard 2
Croak Raiders - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
Croak Raiders - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
Pyg Burrowers - Leader & 9 Grunts: 6
Northkin Fire Eaters - Leader, Grunt, and Pyg Buddy: 4

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

As the astute reader will surely have noticed, the Lancer is gone. Corbeau is in my opinion a model that is too situational and that skilled players can dodge when it's crucial, at least in this setup. I can see her working well behind a cloudwall (e.g. from TAC) in other settings, but I digress. Rowdy in! More punch! 

Yet again I went first and the idea here was quite simply to stand outside of his threat range T1 and either send home a big punch T2 or maybe just threaten his caster and keep the army out of range. I went first, again in Incoming. 

:: Game ::

Stryker runs up 12" with full camp and Arcane Shield. The rest follow suit and I take care to place Sword Knights on the right so as to tempt the Croaks.

Croaks on the left try for some crazy pot-shots on Stryker. No damage dealt. Right Croaks tried for Sword Knights. One in range, he missed.

In this matchup I will just about never, ever get an opening as good as the one I had at this point in time. Croaks on both flanks are close and I can position Stryker so as to both threaten the caster and a scenario play: If I clear out the right flank sufficiently it'll be hard for him to deal with a T3 skew from me I think.

So it is that we go in and we go in full speed! I pump Sword Knights into the center + right side. A+H start working on Northkin. Ol Rowdy moves up left, as does a Stormclad. The other takes on Croaks on the right side. It's a glorious day as filthy Trolls and their minion allies all die in droves as Stryker feats, allowing all the boys running up to really bring the pain train.

Stryker himself however does end up a little far ahead. It's not a big problem per se, camping 7 focus and having Arcane Shield should be enough to keep him safe. The problem is that if Grim feats on him he'll be struggling to get to my zone for said scenario play I was considering.

Grim does indeed feat in return. Burrowers come up and make a big mess in the middle, many thanks to the Fell Caller helping boost their MAT. Bomber goes into Rowdy, Croaks damage the Stormclad and my Sword Knights lose well over half their number, including the officer + standard, to Scattergunners.

Grim is however in a very exposed position. I move the Stormclad away (it was knocked down with no means to shake the effect), Stryker moves up 3" and spends 2 points on Velocity to get there. Now, the Bomber had spent all its fury trying to take down Ol' Rowdy so Grim could only transfer to the Impaler. All I needed now was a big roll and some sweet hits. Overload came in 4,5,6 so I was hitting at P+S30. The first attack boosted to hit and took down the Impaler straight. The second attack was bought and boosted as well, and when I made the 9+ required, Grim couldn't do much but bite the dust.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

The setup I was able to get here with Croaks tightly packed on both flanks and even some Scattergunners in range was just pure awesomesauce. It went so well in fact that I probably should've changed my plan mid-feat to focus on scenario instead. Arlan and Alain can be used as contesting pieces midgame, even the squire for that matter, which means that I could (and probably should) have kept Rowdy back together with Stryker so I could more easily have moved into the right zone and started scoring T3. 

So why didn't I go for scenario regardless? It's actually a good question because Stryker did have range to get there. Camping 4 focus and Shield puts him at ARM23 which none of the elements on that side of the table could've dealt with. I also had a full-health Stormclad there, Aiyana + Holt, 3 remaining Sword Knights and some Stormblades. The answer is unfortunately that I was tired and just wanted to end it. Given the situation at the start of my turn (see the last picture) I think the better play really is to go for scenario. I believe Trolls will struggle to do anything but feed me models on the right flank whereas my models on the left flank still hurt him a lot. 

Had I not gotten the big Croak-opening T2 I believe I would slowly have been shot apart. If they're dispersed properly I can't alpha them to death. In this game the scattergunners + burrowers alone caused a huge mess. With 4-5 more croaks on both sides it would've been disastrous. 

I've had a good few games now with the multiple Prontoclads approach. I feel that I need something else and next Stryker2 game will likely feature a different list. I'm also on the verge of giving up on the caster because I feel he always ends up in super-risky and dicey spots where I often end up winning because I exploit a tactical mistake. As evidenced by his inability to have the strategical upper hand against shooty lists like this Troll list, he'll also be hard to pair properly. An idea is to try and swap his and Haley3s roles around, but I don't fancy Haley3 into Menoth (Severius1, Rhoven, Harbinger feat...) nor Stryker2 into Cryx, Haley2 etc either. 

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