torsdag 25. februar 2016

Battle Report #98: Haley2 vs Butcher1

:: Prologue ::

The second game yesterday was against a caster I've never met before (when it comes to Khador, there are lot of them unfortunately): Butcher1! He brought a Tier list that is supposedly hard as nails. Interesting!

:: 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
Orsus Zoktavir, The Butcher of Khardov - WJ: +6
- War Dog
- Devastator - PC: 9
- Devastator - PC: 9
Iron Fang Kovnik - PC: 2
Iron Fang Kovnik - PC: 2
Great Bears of Gallowswood - Volkov, Kolsk, Yarovich: 5
Iron Fang Pikemen - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
- Black Dragon Officer & Standard - PC: 0
Iron Fang Pikemen - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
- Black Dragon Officer & Standard - PC: 2
Iron Fang Pikemen - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
- Black Dragon Officer & Standard - PC: 2
THEME: Claws of the Dragon - Tier 4

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

Recon again, I went second again. Before this game started I alerted my opponent to how hard Domination counters Devastators. Definitely worth knowing! So he deploys his 3 units spread out, in part blocked by terrain, and I skew to the flank where he's weakest. He advance moves up and we are good to go!

:: Game ::

The Pikemen all spread out. No mini-feats.

I kiss the left unit and start blasting them apart. I use Mage Storm and Covering Fire to keep him from advancing on that side. I see in hindsight that I should've pushed the covering fires further up.

The center-most and left units mini-feat and go in Shield Wall.

I feat, cast Domination on a Devastator and kill it with Stormwall. I shoot up whatever's closest to me. Thorn moves up to the flag with Eiryss going wide.

Stormwall is somewhat jammed. The right-most unit mini-feats.

I realize I feated too early (more on this later) and I struggle to both ensure that I can keep Butcher off of a scenario game -and- keep the Stormwall safe. The solution is one I'm not very happy about and I could most likely have done better here: Thorn moves over to the devastator and disrupts him, Stormwall backs out and loses ~10-15 boxes on free strikes, I put down Covering Fire and Ryan Mage Storms to block off the middle and give me some space. The problem is that I don't use this space as a safe haven for my mercs and several of them are exposed on the North side. At least I grab the flag for a point.

Thorn predictably dies for his troubles from Fury Great Bears. I lose Edrea and Holt up North and Ryan dies.

So luckily I have an opening for attrition, still. In killing Ryan the Pikemen didn't go in Shield Wall, which means their ARM is crap. I cast Temporal on Stormwall and give it 4 focus. The mercs clear up most of the threats near Haley (including TAC fire-bombing Great Bears) and I TK the Devastator around. Gastone + Dougal + B13th start working on the Pikemen on the hill and kill a couple. Stormwall activates and moves down to the edge of zone where Butcher can't reach him. He then rips loose with all his shots + pod and when the dust settles there are hardly any Pikemen left alive.

With such a firm grip on the attrition game Butcher has to make a crazy play and the plan is to kill Haley. I forgot about the Devastator's auto-hit thingy, in which case I would've carefully measured the range (as scenario points at this point in time is irrelevant given my play for attrition with the Stormwall). So Butcher feats and misses Haley with Obliteration (DEF18 from concealment) and Devastator moves up. I'm camping 0 so I'm looking at 4d6 minus 5, meaning he'll need 20+ to kill me. He fails.

I move Haley up, TK Butcher around, shoot him with what I have and Stormwall kills him in melee. 

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

Interesting game and one I nearly fucked up by giving away Thorn unnecessarily. I think the matchup is largely in Haley's favour because of how hard covering fire + mage storm counters a solid push. Furthermore, Shield Wall and Iron Zeal only work together, I don't care much about only one of them because of Kiss combined with my shooting which is typically POW12 and/or boostable.

The opening was really strong and I had all my models in the right positions. Thorn far up aggressively, Stormwall anchoring my weak flank and all shooters in range of relevant targets with Eiryss wrapping around to threaten Butcher mid-game. The problem was that I feated T2. I should've let the juicy Devastators be alone and kept shooting him up: With the middle unit having spent Iron Zeal I could've blocked them out. What I did was feat and move up Stormwall to take out a devastator. What I should've done was to toe the zone with Stormwall, covering fires on either side, lightning pod in front of my objective for mage storm and time bomb on the devastators + Pikemen near the flag (to allow Thorn to stay safely near the woods). See this picture for details (red circles are covering fire positions, blue circle is mage storm):

By doing this I would've held my feat until he'd either be committed -or- I could've made a decisive play on scenario or attrition. I could definitely have solved the position I found myself in better as well, which largely boils down to "don't surrender Thorn". Disrupting the Devastator is irrelevant when I could just as well have Dominated it and moved it away.

Anyway a win is a win and I'm happy with the opening and how I managed to find an attrition opening after making a big mistake. Had I seen the Devastator assassination move as well this would've been a perfect comeback!

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