fredag 11. mars 2016

Battle Report #109: Haley2 vs Vyros2

:: Prologue ::

Vyros2 with his Griffon spam is a much feared list that I've never played until today. I requested this matchup largely because I wanted to see how Haley2 could cope with such an amount of arm-skew. Although I haven't played him previously I had a couple of thoughts of how to handle him. Let's get to the game!

:: 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: 
Vyros, Incissar of the Dawnguard - WJ: +5
- Aspis - PC: 4
- Griffon - PC: 4
- Griffon - PC: 4
- Griffon - PC: 4
- Griffon - PC: 4
- Griffon - PC: 4
- Griffon - PC: 4
- Imperatus - PC: 12
- Moros - PC: 6
Arcanist - PC: 1
Arcanist - PC: 1
Soulless Voidtracer - PC: 1
Soulless Voidtracer - PC: 1
House Shyeel Battle Mages - Leader & 5 Grunts: 5

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

The scenario was Destruction and I went first. My idea going into this game was to stay spread out so as to divide my damage across the table. This is a counter-intuitive approach but with Vyros' feat I think it's the right thing to do. If he feats early I can't allow him to start sending things up, however if I play my cards correctly I should be able to land a devastating blow in the turn 1 round later (i.e. he feats -> I feat -> he moves -> I go in for the killing blow). With that in mind I had B13th + TAC on one flank and A+H and Gastone on the other.

:: Game ::

I run up. Haley is placed aggressively to give me options if he does something crazy.

So he spreads the Griffons into 2x 3, one on each flank. In the middle he places Vyros towards one flank and Imperatus towards the other.

With the Battle Mages exposed my plan is quite simple: Focus as much on them as possible so he can't force hard decisions on me with feating in his following turn while I start pounding his Griffons (going after Imperatus with shooting is madness). I Time Bomb Imperatus to ensure that, at most, 2 Griffons or so can reach the Stormwall. I can live with that. Given that I wanted Time Bomb I didn't cast Temporal but the Stormwall still did some decent damage.

Retribution forces swarm the field and Vyros feats. He tries to charge the Stormwall with 1 Griffon but falls short because of the Fuel Cache forcing an unfavourable angle.

With his feat out, it's time to counter-play: I want to keep my distance so he can't lock me down by engaging the +2" on his Griffons and simply advancing up. I also want to spread my damage and counter-feat to contain him. No need for Time Bomb now. I put 4 focus on the Stormwall and don't pull from the Squire. This proves to be a huge mistake as I move Haley the full 6" behind a wall, only to discover I'm completely within 14" of the table edge. A stupid mistake as there's no need to even be behind a wall on feat turn especially (and by pulling from the Squire I could've TK-d myself). Anyways the game suddenly got lots more interesting: 0-3. Stormwall, B13th, TAC, A+H, Dougal, Lynus + Edrea and Junior follow up with damage spread across the board. I do kill one Griffon which is outside of Vyros' control area. It dawned on me as I clocked over to my opponent that I could've gotten another by TK-ing Vyros further behind. I'm not sure it's a better play but it's a play I should've seen at the very least.

My opponent is smart enough to know that he probably won't do much under Haley's feat so he simply sets up.

Here is the biggest mistake I make in this game: I plan my turn around TK-ing Imperatus away. 360 degree front arc means that's about as useless as, well, anything. I should've Time Bombed him instead. Regardless the Stormwall goes in and kills lots of Griffons (think it was 3 or something). I try to boost a pod on Imperatus to Disrupt, but I fail to get the 9+ needed. The rest of my army tries to kill what jacks are left and I'm rather unlucky as one jack has 1 box left. I charge with Dougal but can't roll the 8+ to take it out.

Vyros & Co start building synergy on the Stormwall and when the 3-focus Imperatus goes in, it's sitting on P+S 23 because of Power Booster. That hurts, for real. Stormwall ends up having ~16 boxes left.

At this point in time I realize that all the cover markers are -really- hurting me. There's cover + melee DEF bonus everywhere. While I can often count on hitting reasonably well, +8 is just crazy. I start to struggle with setting things up so instead I opt to run a few models like Eiryss2 this turn on the left flank to try and wrap around. I know the Stormwall's going down regardless, but I want to see how much damage it can do first. Thorn moves up within 2" of Imperatus. Haley channels Time Bomb through him so Stormwall hits on 5s instead of 7s. Said Stormwall brings Imperatus down to ~5 boxes or so, Phoenix Protocol gone.

Imperatus kills Stormwall but doesn't want to lose its remaining cortex box to Thorn, which is kind of a mistake in my opinion as it has next to no boxes left regardless.

I am getting the upper hand in attrition because he has almost nothing left, but the HUGE amounts of cover is really messing with my ability to actually put that to good use. Furthermore I have to beware scenario -and- I am massively down on the clock: 5 minutes to his 27. I keep moving stuff up but I don't accomplish a whole lot this turn, apart from some damage on Moros.

At this point I don't have time to take more pictures. Thorn is killed and in my ensuing turn I am so low on time that I have to go for assassination. It's a crazy run involving Eiryss2 having to hit Vyros in melee because I forget to Dominate the Shield Guard away, with an ensuing attack from Lynch missing Vyros -and- hitting Eiryss to remove Vyros' melee bonus (I know, totally fucked up) before Gastone moves up and blasts Vyros apart because he's the go-to guy. I have 57 seconds left but hey, that's enough.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

What a game. I used to think Vyros would be boring to play, but he actually looks really interesting and it's a real challenge to face him. There are tons of angles and approaches to beware. I did get a couple of things right, but my main mistake occured in my post-feat turn. I should have ensured that Imperatus could not have gotten into the Stormwall. If need be, Thorn can disrupt him at least. Forgetting Bird's Eye was disastrous. By Time Bombing I couldn't have moved Stormwall up as aggressively (unless I had TK'd Imperatus as well as Time Bombed) but I reckon I'd still be fine. Stormwall had lost no boxes and a couple of Griffons don't do too much damage even with synergy.

I also had openings on Vyros a couple of times with Collaboration on Eiryss and stuff. The problem is that 15/18 base is just crazy! With such stats I kind of want Collaboration on both Eiryss and Aiyana, alternatively dead-eye on Eiryss (though this'll typically mess with my activation order). In short I think I did the right thing in not engaging him.

Killboxing myself while feating was really bad. It didn't end up having much of an affect on the table but the ensuing planning drained my time, which really hurt me towards the end. We played for many turns and I had way more precise plays I had to get right than he did.Overall though my conclusion based on this game is that this is definitely playable. It boils down to Imperatus being the only -real- threat unless he can load up on lots of Griffons at once, which is basically impossible against Haley2. 

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