mandag 28. mars 2016

Battle at Lund: Swedish Masters #2 (#122): Haley2 vs Feora2

:: Prologue ::

For my second game I got paired up against David and his Protectorate of Menoth. One of the guys I play the most against is a skilled Protectorate player and I have practiced a lot against them so I felt really good about the pairing. I naturally dropped Haley2 and was surprised to receive Feora2 in return as he also had Harbinger in his pairing.

:: 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
Feora, Protector of the Flame - WJ: +6
- Redeemer - PC: 6
- Hand of Judgment - PC: 10
- Reckoner - PC: 8
- Vanquisher - PC: 8
Vassal of Menoth - PC: 2
Vassal of Menoth - PC: 2
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution - PC: 3
Reclaimer - PC: 2
Holy Zealots - Leader and 9 Grunts: 6
- Monolith Bearer - Monolith Bearer 2
Choir of Menoth - Leader & 5 Grunts: 3
Visgoth Juviah Rhoven & Honor Guard - Rhoven, Gius, and Cassian: 4

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

On paper this matchup is in my opinion massively in my favor. Add to that, we were playing Two Fronts and I got a blatantly ridiculous piece of forest to hide Haley and squishy supports behind and I knew I was in good shape.

The idea was to take this on attrition but to slowly threaten scenario. Feora can push hard early until I get control of the jacks and the Redeemer can make life miserable for any support pieces in the open. Careless play could see Protectorate sneak in a nasty scenario angle. I deployed ATGM opposite his zone with Thorn, Stormwall centrally and the rest going for the woods.

:: Game ::

He runs up and gets Enliven on the Reckoner. Not much interesting T1, as per usual.

ATGM spread out. Thorn runs for cover. I have experienced many times how hard the Protectorate can shoot if I don't have defense bonuses. Eiryss stays safe far behind. Stormwall moves up with Temporal and opens up on the Reckoner who elects to use Enliven to fall back. I had back-up plans activation-order wise in case he'd go for an aggressive move here. B13th run around the house.

Redeemer opens up and lights up half my ATGM. Zealots mini-feat but they are still rather far away.

I feat and move the Stormwall up after TK-ing the Reckoner around. I roll like crap however and not only does it survive but its melee weapon system and cortex are intact. I rip up Rhoven and co a bit. ATGM contest his zone. Thorn moves in to disrupt the Vanquisher and Redeemer I believe. My memory is a little fuzzy on the details in this turn.

Hand of Judgement moves back up and gets enliven. ATGM contesting is killed by zealots and he goes to 1 point.

This is the turn where I am supposed to deliver the killing blow: Take apart the Hand of Judgement and the Reckoner with a fully intact Stormwall and the game is over. I need to remove a couple of choir + zealot models to clear a path for the Stormwall. I also wanted to keep disrupting the Vanquisher just for good measure. Thorn disrupts the Vanquisher, ATGM snipe out a Choir dude, Haley Arcane Bolts a Zealot and casts Temporal on the 4 focus Stormwall.

So let's pause for a moment. My past couple of games vs the Protectorate have seen me get into huge trouble because I forget enliven. My -one- goal for this game was to not forget Enliven. I even debated boosting the headbutt or not. So what do you think happens when my 4-focus Temporal Acceleration Stormwall moves up to the Hand of Judgement? I fucking forget Enliven. I spend the rest of my focus taking apart the Redeemer (down to 5 boxes or so with Cortex crippled I believe) and Rhoven's unit. To add insult to injury, the combined efforts of A+H, Gastone and B13th fail to finish off the Reckoner.


My opponent makes a huge mistake in my opinion as he doesn't allocate focus to the Reckoner. With his Reclaimer being able to fill the Hand of Judgement with 3 focus he can afford to fill the Reckoner -and- cast Ignite on Hand. I think he probably overestimated just how hard Hand strikes because even with 5 attacks + ancillary attack at dice damage the Stormwall isn't going to be nearly dead. Before dice, that is. The 3 first damage rolls come up 12, 11 and 10 and I am seriously beginning to worry. However with no focus on the Reckoner he can't finish the job and it survives on 10 boxes or so, as per usual with cortex and a weapon system intact.

With no enliven up on anything it's go time. I allocate 4 to the Stormwall and he exacts revenge on the hapless jacks. I clear up my flank and get the Vanquisher with shooting (I had kept putting pot shots into it throughout the game as well as boosting Thorn's damage now and then) after Gastone spikes. Gastone is a spiker, remember those words.

He finally kills the Stormwall but I'm not too worried as there's hardly anything left.

I wipe out the remaining pieces and he's left with Feora pretty much.

He makes a play to threaten assassination by putting Feora into the wreck markers but the odd CP here and there means I kill his objective to win on scenario.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

That became too close for comfort! I wonder why I can't for the life of me remember Enliven when I've had -so many- games where it completely turns the tables around. I suppose the only upside to this is that I know how I have to play if it happens. This list shoots so hard that it isn't necessarily a disaster if the Stormwall dies and he has 2 heavies left (see this report for an example of a game where I mess up even more and am left in a similar situation), but in this game the scenario angle was an issue. If the Stormwall goes down I could've taken apart the Vanquisher and Reckoner but if he simply clear my objective by sacrificing Hand he'll still be massively up on scenario and that can be a problem for me. Thorn had taken a beating from Zealots mid-game as well so I was out of reliable contest pieces (in the end he had 6 boxes).

A mistake I made after the Hand walked away was to not boost a pod on the Reclaimer. That would probably have kept him from killing the Stormwall regardless of assigning to the Reckoner.

Overall I think my plan here was sound but again the execution wasn't stellar. I should perhaps have more emphasis on taking out the Reckoner on feat turn as well because dice happens. One thing I learned in this game is that Eiryss should probably just spend the first couple of turns running far away so that scatter can't get her. I knew the Stormwall and Thorn would be jamming the middle and thus I could've had her on the left side. Disruption on Hand mid game would have be gold!

In the end I win the game despite the Enliven fuckup and other mistakes, which I think shows the nature of how strong Haley2 is into jack-heavy protectorate more than anything else.

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