lørdag 20. februar 2016

Battle Report #95: Haley3 vs Hexeris1

:: Prologue ::

I don't get to play against Skorne all that much, unfortunately. Furthermore, the games I've had against them have largely been against Fist of Halaak. It's time to widen my perspective! Furthermore I need to practice Haley3 more and Skorne is a decent test for her I believe. Time to expand my knowledge! First up today was Hexeris1 Tier4.

:: Lists ::

Major Prime Victoria Haley - WJ: +3
- Squire
- Lancer - PC: 6
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 3
Haley Future - PC: 0
Haley Past - PC: 0
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord - PC: 2
Captain Maxwell Finn - PC: 3
Ragman - PC: 2
Stormblade Captain - PC: 2
Stormsmith Stormcaller - PC: 1
Storm Lances - Leader & 4 Grunts: 11
Trencher Infantry - Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
Stormblade Infantry - Leader & 5 Grunts: 5
Horgenhold Forge Guard - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
- Captain Jonas Murdoch - Murdoch 2
Lord Tyrant Hexeris - WB: +6
- Aptimus Marketh
- Titan Gladiator - PC: 8
- Basilisk Drake - PC: 4
- Razor Worm - PC: 4
Extoller Soulward - PC: 2
Extoller Soulward - PC: 2
Agonizer - PC: 2
Ancestral Guardian - PC: 3
Cataphract Incindiarii - Leader & 3 Grunts: 6
Cataphract Incindiarii - Leader & 3 Grunts: 6
Paingiver Beast Handlers - Leader & 3 Grunts: 2
Praetorian Swordsmen - Leader & 9 Grunts: 6
Praetorian Swordsmen - Leader & 9 Grunts: 6
- Praetorian Swordsman Officer & Standard - PC: 2
THEME: Kingdom of Shadows - Tier 4

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

Okay so he has ways to give Incindiarii Eyeless Sight. At least a couple of models. That is potentially disastrous, but something I should be able to work around. The Remove from Play Feat is also nasty so I have to beware of how I commit my Lances. It also has the potential to wipe out huge portions of my army, but at least Temporal Flux helps me out greatly here.

The scenario was Two Fronts. I had no intentions of going for scenario here so when I won the roll-off I took first turn.

:: Game ::

Finn gives Desperate Pace to Trenchers so that I can push the clouds up maximum. This leaves Forge Guard quite a bit behind. Note to self: Probably rarely worth it. Lances flank right with Stormcaller.

The Skorne infantry spread out.

I decide that I likely won't need my arc node this turn. I commit 2 Lances, the Lancer and 2 Forge Guard. The effect of this is pretty much to force him to commit heavily or face a potentially devastating T3. I also used my feat to kill the Razor Worm because of its potential shenanigans. Coupled with Eyeless Sight + Feat that could be game.

Hexeris goes for the huge counter-play with feat. He doesn't get a whole lot of models through the smoke but those that do wreak a lot of havoc. I lose most of the Trenchers and a few more models. The ripple effect of this feat was pretty intense!

Regardless, Skorne has spent their available momentum. I get Ragman into position with Death Field, after which Forge Guard charge in and take care of the single heavy beast easily. 1 Lance was removed prior to feat so I get a revive off on him to take out a lot of models on the right flank. Haley moves to the rear-most part of where I can stand without giving away points on killbox and casts Tactical Supremacy on her own unit.

Skorne tries to counter-clear the middle but Forge Guard with Arcane Shield + B2B are simply too hard to get rid of. Rhupert also gave them tough.

I am winning solidly on attrition so my play here is kind of stupid and uncalled for: I take out the right zone and the objective there and move Haley in for 3 points. Old habbits die hard I guess. I could've simply camped on the hill behind clouds and gone to 2 points instead of 3, it really doesn't matter all that much at this point in time. What I should be concerned about however is keeping Haley alive. With Arcane Shield and Temporal Flux (instead of the second Revive to ensure the destruction of the right zone) she's a lot better equipped to do so. Anyway, 3-0.

So my opponent goes for the last, ditch assassination run. In order to get in range of Incindiarii to Haley he has to kill 4 Forge Guard models in the middle. He manages this and Haley is promptly set on fire. Hexeris charges the Agonizer and tries to Obliterate me but he fails the 10+ boosted roll. With that, I can breath a sigh of relief as my mistake didn't end up costing me the game.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

In all the games I've had with Stormblades, be it with Stryker2 or Haley3 or whatever, I've found SPD5 and lack of reach to be a huge liability. I've often wanted to try Forge Guard but their total cost of 13 points (which is in my opinion almost a must) has put me off. Having seen them with Arcane Shield and Desperate Pace behind clouds however has definitely convinced me. They are not auto-include in the same way Storm Lances are, yet, but I really like the way they play. Even Temporal Flux helps them out, moving from DEF10 to DEF12 means that stuff misses you every once in a while. Sure it's not as great as it is with troops that start off just a bit higher (12 -> for Lances is pretty good for example), but their overall synergy with H3 is very good in my opinion.

As I feared the lack of a more flexible game (read: More shooting options) was a pain to play with. I ended up giving away too much of an opening T2 which cost me a lot of Trenchers. While I certainly came out on top regardless I believe my strength lies in wielding a combined arms force. I see so many openings and opportunities that I am unable to capitalize on. Because of this I decided to try out a slight variation of this list with a couple of different elements, check out the next report for details.

Lastly, I have to keep calm and take it slow when ahead on attrition. Unlike Haley2's shock and awe type of scenario plays where the difference between 2 and 3 points can be huge, a lead of 2 or 3 points when your opponent can't possibly come back on scenario is irrelevant in a war of attrition. I learned this game by having a very strong scenario focus and always look for openings, now I have to appreciate the subtle differences in how to go for attrition-scenario instead. This time I got lucky, next time I might not be.

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