tirsdag 15. mars 2016

Battle Report #115: Haley2 vs Kreoss1

:: Prologue ::

With game 1 being over so quickly we went ahead for a quick rematch. My main lesson learned was that I need B13th more centrally because the Errant screen doesn't like Mage Storm + covering fire zone denial. Other than that I was good to go!

:: 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
High Exemplar Kreoss - WJ: +5
- Reckoner - PC: 8
- Reckoner - PC: 8
- Redeemer - PC: 6
The Covenant of Menoth - PC: 2
Vassal of Menoth - PC: 2
Vassal of Menoth - PC: 2
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution - PC: 3
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist - PC: 2
Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile - PC: 2
Taryn di la Rovissi, Llaelese Gun Mage - PC: 2
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord - PC: 2
Exemplar Errants - Leader and 9 Grunts: 8
- Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard - Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard 2
Choir of Menoth - Leader & 3 Grunts: 2
Visgoth Juviah Rhoven & Honor Guard - Rhoven, Gius, and Cassian: 4

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

I was anticipating Kreoss to be more careful this time. Apart from putting B13th further to the center (but still on Haley's flank so I could possibly control a flanking move) I deployed likewise as game 1. Menoth however went nuts as the entire army went across from Haley. In my experience this is a super risky move and my T1 shows why. Let's get to it!

:: Game ::

So basically: Skewing this hard presents Haley with an interesting option to counter-skew immediately. When she moves first she can afford to be super fast: Temporal and TK and charge on herself moves her -very- far up, to the point where I'm threatening to get in the zone and score in his turn without him being able to do anything about it.

The panic button is pushed and the entire Protectorate army skews left. Eiryss hides out behind the forest.

This is pretty much a perfect situation for me: By having him deploy opposite me and then skew and have him re-skew I get a lot of space for strategical depth. If he had deployed centrally or in the opposite corner to begin with this would not have been possible. From this point I can safely bring the majority of my army out of vital threat ranges and still pound the Protectorate models so desperate to jam me down. I don't remember my focus allocation at the moment but I believe I put Deadeye on ATGM. One guy took a pot shot at Eiryss which took her down. Big win. I also dealt a blow to the Errants and Ryan put a mage storm on a Pod in the middle of them, which combined with covering fires to control the middle of the table. Haley went back and put up a screen just in case a Reckoner would be in asssault range.

If you compare the pictures above and below you can tell that the Protectorate is still struggling to keep up with my backing off, which in turn is due to the T1 Haley move. Essentially he's trying to keep up but his front ranks are killed all the time. By placing the Reckoners on one flank each he's at least making life miserable for my Stormwall (due to the threat of a pincer move).

One of the reasons why I'm struggling so with Errants is Defender's Ward. It's time to put Eiryss in action. She moves back behind my impassable and shoots it off. This creates a bit of an issue for the Stormwall though because I'm temporarily disconnected from my brain: I should have walked left, put a pod in front of the Reckoner there and Time bombed said pod. Instead I'm too focused on contesting the right zone, which is completely worthless as there's no way Kreoss can get there reliably, let alone at all nearly, and even if he did he's not winning this on scenario. The result is thus that I have to TK Eiryss away to create space and even then it's a close call whether the right Reckoner is out of range or not. Poor play. At least I clear out a lot in the middle.

So Kreoss goes for the Stormwall. Purification takes off Shield and Gorman puts up Rust. The right Reckoner is 10.5" away so can't charge but still gets off 2 shots (1 due to Vassal). The damage keeps coming on and I'm amazed at how much hurt is put on the Stormwall, indeed it nearly dies with ~12-15 boxes or so left. The lesson to be learned I suppose is don't underestimate their shooting and -do- prioritize Deceleration. When they can take off Shield those battle'd jacks hurt. A lot.

 There is not a lot of options left. Haley moves up, TKs herself to get stuff in range, feats and puts up Deceleration. I clear out the left zone and move Stormwall to claim it after it kills the left Reckoner and lots of solos with Electro Leaps. Thorn moves to my zone to threaten Kreoss. I disrupt the Redeemer with a boosted pod and the remaining Reckoner with Eiryss.

Kreoss tries to handle the Stormwall but when his entire army does a total of 3 boxes to it the game is pretty much over. My opponent concedes and I take home a game that was a little too close for comfort after I underestimated the Protectorate shooting. I had an amazing start and was in control for a lot of the game, however I also learned the lesson to prioritize Deceleration for sure. Regardless, a...

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

Throughout the report I already touched on most of the key issues like strategical depth, importance of skew/counter-skew/threaten scenario play etc, but one thing I'd like to take a closer look at is Thorn. Kreoss1 threatens to overwhelm me in a game of attrition by simply removing elements who otherwise rely on their high, natural defense to carry the day. Pretty much everything barring my warjacks. 

However if we assume that I can keep Deceleration up, there's not a lot in his list that threatens Thorn significantly outside of his Warjacks charging me. Sure, he can put a lot of hurt on him, perhaps even kill him, with feat + shooting (despite Deceleration) but is that worth it? An option in matchups like these might be to have Thorn play more aggressively and simply cover him with Metal Storm AOEs. It's not like Errants have reach so it's fairly easy to protect him. With MAT7 and P+S13 he's one of the most effective ways I have to deal with them as well, meaning it takes less turns to clear them up. This also puts a lot of pressure on his supports as a Thorn this aggressive can arc Arcane Bolts into solos like Rhupert, Vassal etc. Definitely an approach I need to try out. 

Errants had a huge impact on this game because Aiyana was largely useless, Holt was wasting his quality shots on them, ATGM were too far away to take control with Thunderbolts and they bought the jacks the space they needed to be safe from the Stormwall. It's important to keep in mind how units who often seem to be doing little/nothing can sometimes affect the game tremendously. Likewise the Stormwall often does very little, put out 2 shots and kill a model or two isn't a lot for 19 points. However its presence combined with its threat range and covering fires certainly help me control the pace of the game. It's an easy aspect to overlook, especially when theorymachining this game, but in reports like this it's glaringly obvious if you know what to look for. 

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