tirsdag 29. mars 2016

Battle at Lund: Road to Invitationals #1 (#127): Haley2 vs Butcher3

:: Prologue ::

Friday was intense. Tons of fun and of course an incredible feeling to win the whole tournament, but regardless playing from 9 in the morning until after midnight takes its toll. On Saturday I was scheduled to play in the Road to the Invitationals (top 16 players from the tournaments would meet on Sunday), but as I had already qualified from Friday I didn't intend to take it too seriously. That was until I drew Khador in round 1. Following my recent loss to Butcher3 (read the report by clicking this link), a matchup I truthfully consider to be one of Haley2's very best ones, I was extremely eager to play my best. Opposite me was Pär who indeed dropped Butcher3 into my Cygnar. 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
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
Kommander Zoktavir, The Butcher Unleashed - WJ: +4
- War Argus
- War Dog
- Beast 09 - PC: 11
- Ruin - PC: 10
- Behemoth - PC: 13
Madelyn Corbeau, Ordic Courtesan - PC: 2
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor - PC: 2
Ogrun Bokur - PC: 3
Saxon Orrik - PC: 2
Kayazy Eliminators - Leader & Grunt: 3
Kayazy Eliminators - Leader & Grunt: 3
Widowmakers - Leader & 3 Grunts: 4

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

The 3-heavy Butcher3 list is an exceptional version for Cygnar to face. Domination, TK and Time Bomb control it so hard and the threat of assassination is ever-present. Behemoth is a new sight for me in Butcher3 but apart from keeping Haley close to the Stormwall and Eiryss at a safe distance it didn't worry me. The rest was pretty standard and I felt confident going into the game. We drew Fire Support and I even got to go first. Perfect!

:: Game ::

So another ridiculous piece of forest dominates the table. I think it hurts him more than me, luckily. My stuff runs up, Haley puts up Decel.

Khador advances in return with Ruin in the woods, Beast centrally and Behemoth behind. All are B2B to hide the Butcher.

I realize Gastone and A+H are a little too defensively placed for a big play now so I decide to slow the game down a bit and shoot instead. Beast is positioned sort of behind Ruin so he cannot use Hyper Aggressive to advance on my Stormwall. I put focus on the Stormwall which spikes hard on Beast, taking 15-20 boxes or so, before I Time Bomb said Beast to reduce all heavies by -2SPD.

The Butcher realizes his heavies are stranded and runs to the flag to try and put scenario pressure on me.

I TK Behemoth around so it has its back arc to me. Stormwall goes in and wrecks Ruin + Beast whilst locking Behemoth, covered in Haley's feat. The Butcher can go in himself to do some work if he wants but he's super exposed to assassination if he does choose to do so: This time I have all my shooty supports in the perfect position and most of his support in relevant positions are cleared out. Note that I killed a dog here which gave Butcher Vengeance, so his threat range on Haley was 3+3+5+5 = 16". I thus had to TK myself away to put 17" between us.

Butcher goes for Stormwall and kills him, camping 3 focus I believe.

Lucky charm on Haley. Thorn moves up. Haley casts Deadeye on Eiryss, then TK on Bokur, then TK on Butcher. Eiryss shoots off his focus. Aiyana kisses and Butcher dies before I've activated even half my shooters.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

Some poor evaluations on A+H and Gastone placements early meant it took longer than it should have to start putting pressure on his heavies. Top of 2 I should be able to shoot significantly harder into his warjacks if I play it right. Apart from that, the game was pretty straight forward from my point of view. I managed to keep my vital pieces intact and force him into a poor trade. He could perhaps have made it harder for me by spending more focus on Energizer to get further behind the wreck marker but that seriously compromises his ability to take out the Stormwall: At dice -6 he lands ~4.5 - 5 boxes per attack and he "only" has 12. If he doesn't get the Stormwall it's pretty much disastrous still though, so I don't know.

I still think this matchup is heavily in Haley's favor and playing against heavies is so much easier than the Conquest. Shenanigans is what Haley does best and Beast + Ruin do absolutely nothing useful at a distance. In fact Ruin even caused his Widowmakers to fail their command check during the first turn. Perhaps my list's ability to kill Butcher even if he kills the Stormwall tips it, I don't know. All I know is that I'm very comfortable with this matchup and I have yet to lose it apart from when the Conquest decided to show up.

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