tirsdag 8. mars 2016

Battle Report #108: Haley2 vs The Harbinger of Menoth

:: Prologue ::

Second and last game of yesterday night and a classic match was at my hand: Haley2 vs Harby. I've played this quite a bit and I'm positive it's almost always in Haley's favor. The thing is that the combination of covering fire, mage storm, time bomb and telekinesis buys me so much time while the feat typically stops the entire Protectorate army from doing anything for a turn. Onto the game, then!

:: 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
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
The Harbinger of Menoth - WJ: +5
- Devout - PC: 5
Kell Bailoch - PC: 2
High Paladin Dartan Vilmon - PC: 3
Nicia, Tear of Vengeance - PC: 3
The Covenant of Menoth - PC: 2
Knights Exemplar Seneschal - PC: 3
High Exemplar Gravus - PC: 5
Saxon Orrik - PC: 2
Daughters of the Flame - Leader & 5 Grunts: 5
Exemplar Vengers - Leader & 4 Grunts: 11
Knights Exemplar - Leader and 5 Grunts: 5
Visgoth Juviah Rhoven & Honor Guard - Rhoven, Gius, and Cassian: 4
Knights Exemplar - Leader and 5 Grunts: 5

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

Same map & scenario, opposite sides. I was still first, though. This time I put more shooters on my left flank and didn't bother as much with the right. A big piece of rough and lack of cover meant I wasn't expecting him to put much pressure there. If he did, I had Thorn and B13th. My guesstimate proved to be true though and I was happy with the position of my shooters.

:: Game ::

I send stuff up. I'm cautious on the left in case he wants to use Nicia to jam or something. I put Arcane on Haley because I truly expect him to feat T2. I can cycle it to the Stormwall and have both move without taking significant damage. B13th go wide on the right flank.

Menoth run up and Harby, as predicted, feats. Vengers are somewhat cautious whereas Daughters go mental.

I guesstimate what's not in Harbinger's command and focus on taking those things out. Gastone gets a Venger on the left flank before moving back from Gun & Run. Haley moves to the center, taking care to not give away points due to killbox, and I Time Bomb Gravus. I clear 2 Daughters with support elements on the right flank of the Stormwall. I make a mistake with it though as I put down Covering Fires aggressively, I didn't consider how many models could reach me with Crusader's Call (I should've backed up more and put the covering fire templates right in front of me). I kill 2 more Daughters with a pod, leaving just 2 alive. Big Guns take out Gravus' Horse and force Harby to Martyr to keep him alive.

The Protectorate pushes up. Stormwall loses half its boxes (!) to 6 models or so. Weapon Masters + Purification is bad news and my covering fire mistake costs me. Losing an entire side this early is a little too much.

So this is definitely a feat turn. The idea is to wipe out the right flank and make a feigned move on scenario. I don't intend to win on scenario save for through attrition but it'll force the Protectorate to respond. The problem however is that with Exemplars having lost a few they're up to ARM19 and my TAC can't for the life of me roll 7+, nor can my B13th Brutals roll 10+. It takes a tremendous amount of work to kill them off and I don't take out as many as I'd hoped. Thorn helps me clear up around the Stormwall at least so he won't get pot-shots on him during my feat turn. On the left flank my shooters put a ton of damage on the Vengers.

Not much point in trying to get work done on my feat turn. He pushes up and jams me on the right, sets up for the Stormwall in the middle and contests.

No point in going for scenario any longer and he's in a perfect spot for me to contain and continue attritioning. I pull Haley back and use Thorn with Covering Fire in front of her to zone the Protectorate forces out. Stormwall backs and I Time Bomb the middle of his juicy solos to prevent them from reaching me. On the left I lay down withering fire once again and a single Venger is left alive on 1 box.

The last Venger tries for Thorn but fails. Nicia and Kell take out a lot of my TAC + B13th. Gravus kills A+H.

Despite the damage done to me I'm confident I'm ahead on attrition. I'm also way ahead on the clock, something like 15 minutes to his 3 or so. As such I pretty much consider this game over: Nicia is outside of 8" of Harbinger meaning I can TK her out and kill her. The Venger dies to Junior and I can Time Bomb/Stormwall the rest. I decide to practice my assassination skills instead: Junior kills Venger, Thorn runs up, Haley Dominates away the Shield Guard and then TKs Harbinger closer to me. Lynus puts Collaboration on Eiryss who moves up and shoots off Harbinger's focus. Gastone follows up but misses one of its shots. The Stormwall moves up and misses all his shots as well, luckily I am close enough to be able to pod her. The pod takes her out and the close call reminds me very well why assassination is something you should rarely go for when ahead.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

A classic matchup and a classic game. I didn't make any blunders as big as in the last game and I felt I had control throughout. Having the Stormwall lose nearly 30 boxes T2 is bad, though. With better play I can keep playing it offensively and perhaps even hold my feat for yet another turn. 

On the right flank the ARM19 Knights proved to be a huge pain. I hate rolling 7+. I've had games vs Cryx where my ATGM can't for the life of them kill a single Bane Knight. Same thing. Rolls in this game that are close-ish to 50-50 are so unreliable and I always try and avoid them being an integral part of my plan. This goes to show why. With better control on the right flank I get an even better position post-feat. 

Speaking of the right flank: My play here post-feat was too aggressive. No reason to push neither TAC nor B13th far up like that. They won't put pressure on Harbinger regardless and they threaten a lot from further back as well. Losing them just like that towards the end -could- have been an issue. I often push B13th especially too hard when I'm ahead and that's a bad habit. 

Overall I'm happy with the game. Gastone and A+H is an amazing combination. They put out so much hurt it's ridiculous. Do note though that often it's the list's ability to project serious firepower on all parts of the table simultaneously that gives me the attrition advantage. For this game it was B13th + TAC on one flank, Stormwall centrally and the rest on the right flank. 

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