With the second game being over so quickly, we went for another and swapped the position of the trench with the forest. This time I wanted a different kind of game where I would try to play Haley more conservatively. Let's see how that went!
:: Lists ::
Major Victoria Haley - WJ: +5Opponent:
- 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
Vayl, Consul of Everblight - WB: +6
- Angelius - PC: 8
- Angelius - PC: 8
- Ravagore - PC: 9
- Ravagore - PC: 9
- Scythean - PC: 8
- Seraph - PC: 7
- Shredder - PC: 2
Blighted Nyss Shepherd - PC: 1
Blighted Nyss Shepherd - PC: 1
Spawning Vessel - Vessel & 6 Grunts: 3
THEME: Machinations of Shadow - Tier 4
:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::
The main mistake last game was clogging up so many resources between my objective and the impassable. This time I swapped B13th over to the left flank as they can effectively threaten small things there, and I put A+H and Thorn on the other flank. Due to Thorn being further right Eiryss needed to go further right as well. Gastone kept next to the Stormwall because the Scythean + Ravagore were there.
:: Game ::
Legion spreads out a little differently since there's no forest in the middle to abuse.
I TK the angelius out of the trench and put up Deceleration. The rest of the army kills it. I set up Eiryss and Aiyana in a tempting spot for the Angelius but I don't think he can charge Eiryss with Overtake distance to Aiyana without having to strike me over the wall. TAC and Dougal (having mini-feated to ensure Gastone could shoot the Angelius) block LoS to Haley together with Thorn. A bit risky not to use Edrea + Lynus here as well because of the Angelius Animus possibly pushing Thorn away but without having moved Haley up I believe it was too far for him.
So the Angelius is happy with Eiryss and Refuges away. Scythean is Slipstreamed and charges Ryan who dies. The Ravagore on the right flank shoots Thorn and deals 5 boxes to him or so, setting him on fire.
The initial plan here is to Time Bomb the Angelius and kill the Scythean -without- feating. My problem with this is that behind the Effigy the Scythean is a real pain to get to: If I move the Stormwall over there his charge lanes will be severely impeded in my next turn. I should not have cared about this I think as getting the Scythean + Angelius out of the action with the feat intact basically ensures a pretty good starting point for attrition -and- a scenario opening.
Instead I changed my mind when I realized how clusterfucked the middle would be. With the focus allocation accordingly this was a huge mess. I move Thorn to the left and TK the Scythean out after which the Stormwall kills it. Haley feats.
So I feared that Vayl wasn't in range of my feat. I never did measure. However I podded and used Squire to block off Haley's LoS on my left flank. The idea was that if Vayl is not within range of my feat, then hopefully the Ravagores are out of range on the pod so that Vayl cannot get LoS to Haley. It turns out 1 Ravagore was in range of the pod so the assassination run begins with the Seraph moving up. However Vayl is -just- in range of Haley's feat so she has to change plans as well. She feats regardless, pounds Stormwall with double boosted Obliteration following Purification, after which the remaining blocks it and the Angelius shoots it.
Finally some options! Thorn moves up and I cast Time Bomb on the rear Ravagore. Reaction Drive back (see the proxy base) to block off LoS ahead. Gastone and B13th start working on the Seraph. Stormwall kills the other Ravagore. It's looking bright, but the Stormwall is significantly damaged and I had no focus for Deceleration.
Seraph hits Stormwall following Purification, Vayl Obliterates it and the Ravagore shoots it. I am now down to 10 boxes on the Colossal.
I am really short on time which is a bigger problem than attrition at this point in time so I decide to go for Vayl. B13th cripple Seraph's Body. Junior puts Arcane on Stormwall. Thorn moves up. Gastone + TAC takes out the severely damage Ravagore. Haley TKs Vayl. Edrea casts Arcane Bolt on Vayl, who has 2 fury. Stormwall moves up, tanking the free strike from the Seraph but having one weapon system, cortex and movement intact, and hits Vayl with enough attacks to kill her (4 focus vs ~8 boxes and 2 transfers).
Victory to the Swans!
Quite a few quirks, my Legion game is rusty. Fire Support does me no favours, it is a terrible scenario for a Colossal on the defensive. Regardless, I pulled off largely what I wanted to do and learned a few lessions along the ride as well. First of all I should note that Lynus + Edrea have an amazing ability that I completely forgot about how well could protect Haley: While I used Wind Barrier for their own defense it is an absolutely brilliant way to shield off Haley together with TAC. Had I remembered this I believe my position would have been significantly stronger during turns 1 - 3.
If you look at the big picture in this game, I managed to bring down one beast at a time while avoiding the rest retaliating on the Stormwall. I believe Vayl plays too much of an opportunist's game here: If she instead casts Purification and Obliteration every turn I think the Stormwall quickly finds itself in trouble from the sustained barrage, forcing Haley to play a different game. Bear in mind how much damage she did in 2 simple turns here. By continuously letting me have Arcane Shield up and focusing on Admonition, Refuge and Occultation, Vayl is largely letting me play my game. Occultation on herself can be upkept along with Refuge on a key piece and she will still have fury left to do Purification + boosted Obliteration every turn. She doesn't need to camp in this game with Occultation up.
I think a better move for me here is to deploy to threaten scenario. Unlike H3 in the first game of the day, H2 can deploy centrally without abandoning her own flank. Furthermore, getting her behind the wall T1 puts her in a really dangerous spot T2. Now, Haley3 couldn't cope with Vayl's T3-move for scenario, but H2 can save Shift and/or pod to contest and/or get the Stormwall into the action and/or place Thorn so as to threaten the caster should he want to go for such a solution.
Haley2 vs Vayl2 is a classic matchup for me. I have played it tons. It is really hard and demanding, but rewarding when you pull it off. It embodies everything I love about Warmahordes: Tons of angles, openings, decisions, time pressure, assassination runs, scenario plays, attrition wars, close calls and much, much more. It is so unique however that it needs to be played often and frequently from Haley's perspective, otherwise you forget what's important in terms of positions, priorities and tactics.