torsdag 25. februar 2016

Battle Report #97: Haley2 vs Butcher3

:: Prologue ::

Khador is a faction I rarely get to play against, unfortunately. Yesterday I had 2 games lined up. First up was a classic matchup between Haley2 and Butcher3. Game on!

:: Lists ::

Major Victoria Haley - WJ: +5
- Squire
- Stormwall - PC: 19
- Lightning Pod
- Thorn - PC: 8
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 3
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution - PC: 3
Gastone Crosse - PC: 3
Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile - PC: 2
Lynus Wesselbaum & Edrea Lloryrr - Lynus & Edrea: 3
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt - Lady Aiyana & Master Holt: 4
Tactical Arcanist Corps - Leader & 2 Grunts: 4
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team - Lynch, Ryan & Watts: 4
Kommander Zoktavir, The Butcher Unleashed - WJ: +4
- War Argus
- War Dog
- Ruin - PC: 10
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor - PC: 2
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire - PC: 4
Ogrun Bokur - PC: 3
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution - PC: 3
Madelyn Corbeau, Ordic Courtesan - PC: 2
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters - Cylena & 9 Grunts: 10
Greygore Boomhowler & Co. - Boomhowler and 9 Grunts: 9
Tactical Arcanist Corps - Leader & 2 Grunts: 4
- Koldun Kapitan Valachev - Valachev 2
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt - Lady Aiyana & Master Holt: 4
:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

We were playing Recon and Khador went first. I deployed my somewhat fragile troops opposite Boomies as Nyss were on the other flank and I didn't want them CRA-ing my solos to death. The idea was to take down Boomies, keep Thorn and Stormwall + Eiryss offensive enough to keep Butcher wary of his otherwise aggressive nature and take apart his elements first. I intended to hold my feat and play for attrition, without killbox and fairly little chance of a scenario game for anyone (given Khador deploying Butcher in the middle) I could afford to keep back and let my ranged supremacy take effect.

:: Game ::

Khador moves up with Nyss on the flank and Boomies centrally. Butcher and the rest take up positions behind a wall. His TAC are fairly far behind.

I temporal the Stormwall and start shooting Boomies. I only get 1 as the tough rolls of 4+ are all over the place. I got too eager and spent the Metal Storms as well, which should have put down covering fires because I had a building on my right side and the objective on my left flank. Eiryss guesstimates 12" to the nearest Nyss, gets it right and kills one. Gastone casts Moving Shadows. Thorn goes up a bit, I figure only a couple of nyss can reach him and with elevation + deceleration I don't fear them at all.

The lack of Covering Fire means Boomies can jam and this they do. One model runs B2B with the Stormwall and highlights my mistake from the previous turn. The rest move up as well, Ruin quite aggressively and Butcher behind Effigy with all the camp in the world.

Effigy usually isn't a problem for Haley unless you have high natural DEF. Butcher3 surely does not. While I dislike going for assassination runs, this was a fairly safe one. I put 3 focus on Stormwall, 1 on Thorn and 5 on Haley. She gets Collaboration from Lynus. Thorn runs up to within 8" of Butcher. Haley casts TK but it misses despite Collaboration and Squire. I have 3 focus left so I try again and this time it works. Phew! Dougal mini-feats and Eiryss shoots Butcher in the back to remove his camp, Aiyana + Holt move up and when B13th and Gastone have done their job as well the aggressive Butcher is dead before my Stormwall has even activated.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

One of the reasons I am comfortable playing Haley against a lot of things is that she has an ever-present assassination run that reaches quite far. It forces an opponent to play conservatively, pretty much regardless of what the caster wants to do. This game highlights really well just how powerful that threat is. Killing Butcher without even using the Stormwall speaks volumes as to what this list can accomplish in terms of sheer damage output. 

I think Khador's problem in this game was that Butcher didn't have a clear plan as to how he should approach the game. Assassination is always out of the game unless Cygnar screw up majorly so that leaves him with scenario or attrition. Deploying Butcher centrally isn't necessarily disastrous for scenario purposes since he often runs regardless, but if scenario is the goal then he has to capitalize on the weak flank on the left in the early turns, preserve Boomies and make sure he can jam my right flag. I'm not sure it's a winning play anyhow. Let's consider attrition then. To attrition successfully here, Butcher needs to do some work. To do that, he needs Nyss to pressure me and TAC to cloud him up. With Valachev and Zephyr they can get those clouds scarily far up. The Nyss were neutralized in large parts due to their deployment (which I realize is largely because Ruin is such a pain to deploy around): Since he put them down first I could counter them easily (which I did). It should also be noted that B13th with Prowl in TAC smoke is a really hard counter to Nyss. 

My own plan, had Butcher played it slower, would be to just continue pounding on Boomies and Nyss. When those units are reduced his ability to jam and threaten me basically boils down to Butcher and Ruin, both of which are controlled by Time Bomb (on a pod, if need be due to Orgoth Zeal). I was set up pretty well for this and even if Butcher had been more conservative T2 I could've held my feat until T3 at the very least. 

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