Tomorrow I'm leaving for a convention: The Battle at Lund. With hardcore painting requirements, I've had to do a -lot- of painting recently. That means little time for actually playing, unfortunately. Haley2 has seen quite a bit of action in the past few weeks but Haley3 not so much. Today I got a final practice game with her, facing off against Asphyxious2 and his Cryx.
:: Lists ::
Major Prime Victoria Haley - WJ: +3
- Charger - PC: 4
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 3
Haley Future - PC: 0
Haley Past - PC: 0
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord - PC: 2
Captain Maxwell Finn - PC: 3
Ragman - PC: 2
Stormsmith Stormcaller - PC: 1
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire - PC: 4
Viktor Pendrake - PC: 2
Savio Montero Acosta - PC: 3
Storm Lances - Leader & 4 Grunts: 11
Trencher Infantry - Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
Horgenhold Forge Guard - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
- Captain Jonas Murdoch - Murdoch 2
Lich Lord Asphyxious - WJ: +6
- Nightwretch - PC: 4
- Helldiver - PC: 3
Bane Lord Tartarus - PC: 4
Saxon Orrik - PC: 2
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor - PC: 2
Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile - PC: 2
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist - PC: 2
Warwitch Siren - PC: 2
Bile Thralls - Leader & 5 Grunts: 5
- Skarlock Commander - PC: 1
Bane Thralls - Leader & 5 Grunts: 5
- Bane Thrall Officer & Standard - Bane Thrall Officer & Standard 3
Bane Knights - Leader & 9 Grunts: 10
Satyxis Blood Witches - Leader & 5 Grunts: 4
- Satyxis Blood Hag - Satyxis Blood Hag 2
Mechanithralls - Leader & 5 Grunts: 3
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls - Necrosurgeon & 3 Grunts: 2
:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::
We were playing Destruction and I won the initiative. I deployed Alexia, Charger, Junior and Acosta on one flank, Lances + Stormcaller on the other and the rest in the middle. Cryx replied opposite of what I had expected: Bane Knights + Witches opposite Alexia + Charger, Thralls opposite Lances. I was expecting Thralls to take advantage of Stealth which makes the Charger significantly less impactful and the Knights to threaten Storm Lance shenanigans with Vengeance.
:: Game ::
With Witches tucked in behind Knights I knew I wouldn't be likely to get early souls with Alexia2. I still ran her up max though to taunt him out. Rhupert handed out March to Lances who ran up on the opposite side and the rest went in the middle. I took care to position Past + Future so they could both feed the Charger next turn.
The Cryx advance is largely wave-based. Hellbound goes up on Gaspy, a useful spell to counter revive shenanigans.
I send in 2 Storm Lances because I have to start clearing stuff even if McThralls come back. Charger + Alexia + junior start sweeping the right flank and Acosta positions himself to receive Swift Vengeance on the right flank if he kills anyone with Vengeance in the opening there.
The battle of the clouds is real! I get a bit of a "wtf" moment when Tartarus reveals that he has RFP. What the actual fuck? Luckily he only kills one of the Lances. The Knights on the right try for the Charger with the foremost guy but he's too far away, even with Vengeance helping him out (besides DEF15 is a thing). I do lose some models to a Bile though so Acosta gets his Swift Vengeance.
I clear up the right flank again and the Knights are now down to one model. I play double revive and no Flux to take out Tartarus but I mess up as I don't cloud up the last Storm Lance properly. I'm vulnerable to Gaspy feat taking out objective + lance + forge guard.
There has been a ton of models to move and lots of decisions to make so in the heat of the moment Gaspy's feated boys do not get the angles and ranges they require to reach the Storm Lance. Crisis averted! I could definitely have saved him by playing the Trenchers better, but I'll take stress and luck as well. Cryx still move to 2-0 though.
My turn to feat! I bring back 3 Lances and get Flux up. With the right flank having cleared off the Banes I am now finally getting souls back of my own. The Revived Lances obliterate the left flank and I feel I'm back in control. Acosta has also gotten into the thick of it, taking down Gorman and Midwinter. With Gaspy lacking many of his key pieces he will be forced to spend focus to take Acosta out reliably.
A bit of a desperate play by Cryx here as Gaspy elects to upkeep Hellbound and run into melee with a Storm Lance on a hill. He taunts me to try an assassination, obviously.
After weighing the odds I don't see an assassination run succeeding reliably, besides I believe I can simply wait for a turn and keep winning the attrition fight. I am lucky when one of the revived Forge Guards slam Gaspy 6" back, but then I follow up with clouding too far up, actually enabling Gaspy to get vision to Prime (which was -also- a mistake as I was running low on time as well and Past started hitting Witches that were boxing her in before I had moved any of the Haleys).
Even with LoS he needs luck here: There's a boosted Headbutt from the Helldiver on MAT6 vs DEF19 to set off the chain and when that misses the game is pretty much over. Gaspy tries the hail mary assassination of the hail mary assassinations as he goes for an Excarnate unboosted attack and boosted damage to take out Haley's 15 boxes. He misses the box cars attack roll and with that, the game is over.
Victory to the Swans!
This is an interesting matchup and my struggle to effectively deal with Biles was obvious. They cost me a lot. On paper you might think Forge Guard are resilient to them but their continuous corrosion rips through them. Furthermore I believe that even with more shooting Haley doesn't have the tools without an arc node to effectively deal with them because of Excarnate. Haley2 is often easier to contain them with.
The flanks however were definitely in my favour here. As I wrote initially I believe Cryx got the matchups wrong here and should have done the opposite. That said, the McThrall-boat with Bane Thralls nearly wiped out my Lances. True, lots of mistakes on both sides here and lots of risky plays (one of them because I didn't know Tartarus has RFP), but in the end I came out on top on both flanks. That is huge in a game of attrition.
I saw a 3-0 opening on scenario mid-game. I contemplated feating to camp a few and stay with Arcane Shield, 4 or so camp and Flux + Dirge but I considered going for the attrition to be a better play. It's also a safer play when you are up, I believe, as your caster isn't as exposed.
As the astute reader will notice my formerly "all-black" H3 army is now nearing completion. I have a couple more hours of painting to do and tomorrow I'm off to the Battle at Lund. I expect tons of good games and I'll be bringing this H2 + H3 pairing. If painting doesn't take too long I'll write up a couple of paragraphs with my thoughts on the matter before I go to bed.