mandag 28. mars 2016

Battle at Lund Practice Game 2 (#120): Haley2 vs Dr. Arkadius

:: Prologue ::

After I finished with Magnus I was lucky enough to get a game against one of the organizers who go by the name of Jens. This was an excellent opportunity because Jens brought Minions! I have only ever played Minions once and that was at 35 points. Then, as now, I faced Dr. Arkadius and he seems almost tailor made to counter Cygnar with his tech (feat and spell list is amazing and once he's dealt with the Stormwall the game swings in his favor).

:: 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
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator - PC: 1
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt - Lady Aiyana & Master Holt: 4
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team - Lynch, Ryan & Watts: 4
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers - Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
- Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer - Officer 2
Dr. Arkadius - WB: +6
- Targ
- Gun Boar - PC: 5
- Gun Boar - PC: 5
- Razor Boar - PC: 0
- Razor Boar - PC: 0
- Razor Boar - PC: 0
- Razor Boar - PC: 0
- Razor Boar - PC: 0
- Razor Boar - PC: 0
- Road Hog - PC: 9
- Road Hog - PC: 9
- War Hog - PC: 8
- War Hog - PC: 8
- Gorax - PC: 4
- Gorax - PC: 4
Farrow Bone Grinders - Leader & 3 Grunts: 2
THEME: Nature of the Beast - Tier 4

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

We were playing Outflank and I went first. The idea was to play this as a game of attrition and establish control in one zone top of 2-3 to allow the Stormwall to contest the other zone top of 4 (i.e. I'd allow him to get 2 points). To this end I had ATGM on one flank and strong shooters in the center with Stormwall in-between.

:: Game ::

Stormwall tramples and pods. Ryan Mage Storms pod to create a no-vision zone in the center, allowing Haley to get far up without the threat of crazy Arkadius-slingshots.

Arkadius does indeed go for the slingshot but into the Stormwall instead of Haley. He is unlucky as he is just outside of Crippling Grasp range. He also forgets to give his beasts Primal from Gorax. The end result is that the few beasts getting into the Stormwall don't do significant amounts of damage. On top of that he misses Eiryss with a boosted attack. That could have been way worse!

Given the development and the early feat I forget my original plan. Instead I am too focused on the left zone. Haley TKs Eiryss out of danger, moves to the left, Deadeyes ATGM and feats. ATGM all aim (and this means they won't be in a position to help out so as I can contest the zone with the Stormwall quickly enough) and thunderbolt away beasts engaging the Stormwall. This opens up a door for him to move up. I kill quite a few beasts but there are so many left.

Despite feat being dropped he scores 2 points. His beasts all jam me up as best as they can.

Hyper aggressive is a thing and I need to consider what I can do. I have to set up so that I can get something nasty into his zone next turn because if not it's game over. I now realize that ATGM should've moved last turn because they are horribly out of position. I am tempted to run them but figure they'll likely do more if I don't. I pod the zone to contest. 2-2.

Arkadius moves a lot of beasts to jam me up, however he also casts Crippling Grasp on the Stormwall which exposes him to an assassination run.

Thorn moves up and Haley one-shots Dr. Arkadius with a lucky charm + boosted time bomb damage roll. Crazy dice but I had focus to follow up with TK and lots of shooting behind, so a fairly safe run.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

I don't know if it's the specifics of the lists, the matchup in general, lack of experience or something else, but I find Dr. Arkadius to be a strong caster into Haley2. Hyper Aggressive on the entire battlegroup of 3 million beasts gives me a headache just considering how to approach the ranged game (which I rely so heavily on), Forced Evolution is brilliant defensively and Crippling Grasp is a killer if he can safely get in range of the Stormwall. Also the feat is incredibly flexible, it can allow him a devastating alpha or basically negate a huge part of my own feat (not a lot of things in this game can basically nullify Temporal Shift).

My original strategy was sound but I should've kept Eiryss as a reserve piece behind the Stormwall, not opposite it. This allows her to run in a wide circle around my strong flank and either shoot off Crippling Grasp or Forced Evolution depending on what I need. Also I need to keep in mind my game plan despite my opponent finding openings. With ATGM moving T2 I could probably have freed the Stormwall, shot off Grasp and cast Temporal Acceleration on him to have him walk over to the other zone. Outflank is a tricky scenario because you score insanely fast, but it can certainly be dealt with if you plan ahead, especially if you play a control caster yourself like Haley2.

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