torsdag 25. februar 2016

Battle Report #99: Haley3 vs Zaal2

:: Prologue ::

The last game yesterday was against Skorne and yet another caster I've never faced before: Zaal2! My opponent had to proxy a fair bit but I didn't mind (how can I, given how I always proxy with Haley2 to get Lynus + Edrea?). I usually don't mind in friendlies because the collections you have to own in this game to test everything are just huge. So anyway, I dropped Haley3 mostly because I wanted to practice with her. Against Skorne without Fist I believe I'll usually drop Haley2, but needing practice trumps that in my current position.

:: Lists ::

Major Prime Victoria Haley - WJ: +3
- Squire
- Charger - PC: 4
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
Storm Lances - Leader & 4 Grunts: 11
Trencher Infantry - Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
Horgenhold Forge Guard - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
- Captain Jonas Murdoch - Murdoch 2
Tempest Blazers - Leader & 4 Grunts: 10
Zaal, the Ancestral Advocate - WB: +6
- Basilisk Krea - PC: 4
- Cyclops Shaman - PC: 5
- Titan Gladiator - PC: 8
Hakaar the Destroyer - PC: 4
Ancestral Guardian - PC: 3
Ancestral Guardian - PC: 3
Immortals - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
- Extoller Advocate - PC: 0
Immortals - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
- Extoller Advocate <! OVER FIELD ALLOWANCE !> - PC: 2
Immortals - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
Paingiver Beast Handlers - Leader & 5 Grunts: 3
THEME: Exalted Legions - Tier 4

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

Recon again with the same map to save some time in setting things up. I went second yet again, which is fine as Haley3 needs to practice not getting a dominating position with a cloudwall far up the table in every game I play. I put Blazers on what I expected to be my possible weak flank to ensure he couldn't wrap around, Storm Lances on the other and the rest in-between.

:: Game :: 

Skorne spread out.

I put things in place, summon Past + Future and cast Temporal Flux as well as the mandatory Tac Supremacy on Trenchers. Forge Guard run up so as to ensure they have clear lanes for my next turn.

Zaal wants to get down and dirty so he jams me across the table and feats. Interesting!

So, I have a ton of ARM22 models in my face with magical weapons and reach, with the solos behind gathering souls. I figured I'll do my best to un-jam Trenchers so as to continue keeping up the cloudwall. In a moment of brainfart I forgot about Ghost Walk so I struggled getting the Forge Guard where I wanted them because of free strikes but I still got pretty decent coverage. Ragman had of course used Death Field and with Arcane Shield up on the Forge Guard, who ensured B2B across the board, I reckoned I could hit him really hard and probably survive the ensuing counter-attack. The anti-jam worked well and I got the cloudwall up effectively.

The counter-charge is real! I lose ~10 models but it's all spread out with a Blazer here, Storm Lance there, a couple of Forge Guard etc. The main thing is that overall he couldn't really significantly hurt me because of the strategical depth of my position (i.e. it was impossible for him to get far enough into my lines to take out all models from one unit), a key concept with Haley3. Temporal Flux does a lot of work for me, but Hakaar's MAT9 (!) does help him out. The souls also enable him to put a lot of work in.

This is quite obviously a feat turn and I revive a couple of models, Past really gets some good numbers in on Hakaar (many thanks to Death Field) to take him out and when the turn is over I am significantly ahead on attrition. I ensure that Prime is blocked in if he wants to go for some fancy Mage Sight runs.

I forgot a Skorne picture here but the next 2 turns were spent with him trying to use the heavy beast to get back on attrition but without reach there's just not enough it can do. In return I kill it with Past + Death Field + Forge Guard and consolidate my position with a focus on protecting Prime again.

Despite the DEF21 + physically blocked Prime, Zaal goes for it as he's out of options pretty much. He has a ton of fury (11 or 12 I believe it was) because of things basically dying all over the place so it's a few casts of Sunder Spirits. Alas, even killing the one in-between isn't enough as 14+ to hit is just too much. Haley lives and my opponent concedes.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

Yet another new caster, good stuff. Zaal2 is unique in the sense that he presents a brick wall with some serious punch both in the wall itself (Transference + Vengeance really help out here) but, perhaps more importantly, also behind it. Those solos hurt a lot and with souls they are just downright scary. Defensive Strike is also a pain to deal with when every model counts.

I think Zaal's feat was spent a little too soon as he couldn't capitalize on the jam properly: I was able to remove the jam and not receive significant damage in return. My feat turn basically crippled his ability to fight, but if he had removed a larger amount of Forge Guard and Lances for example in the turn before it might not have. That said, I don't know how he should've played it differently.

Haley3 into Skorne is interesting, but I think it largely boils down to how good their anti-cloud lists are. They have the tech and the question is how often they bring it and what lists they bring it with. Without said tech I believe she's up almost regardless of what she's facing, with it however I'm not sure. Depends I suppose.

I find that I'm learning to play Haley3 quite well. I manage to move and attack quickly enough to not lose on the clock in a game of attrition such as this (which really is an issue with her). I also manage to place the various models so that it's very hard for an opponent to launch a crippling strike, enabling all kinds of shenanigans in return. Next time I'll try and remember Ghost Walk as well, which really is a fantastic spell. 

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