Seeing as I didn't want to be list-locked in Game 4 I was hoping for a good matchup to drop Haley2 into. What better than a rematch into the dreaded Butcher3 + Conquest build I lost to recently? Game on!
:: 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
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
Kommander Zoktavir, The Butcher Unleashed - WJ: +4
- War Argus
- War Dog
- Conquest - PC: 19
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution - PC: 3
Madelyn Corbeau, Ordic Courtesan - PC: 2
Ogrun Bokur - PC: 3
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor - PC: 2
Saxon Orrik - PC: 2
Kayazy Eliminators - Leader & Grunt: 3
Greylord Ternion - Leader & 2 Grunts: 4
Widowmakers - Leader & 3 Grunts: 4
Alexia Ciannor & the Risen - Alexia & 9 Risen Grunts: 5
- Thrall Warrior - PC: 0
Greygore Boomhowler & Co. - Boomhowler and 5 Grunts: 6
:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::
It is ironic that we should get the very same scenario and map as last time. I won the dice-off but elected to go second. It's a bit of a gamble here but oh well. Doesn't matter. I was hoping to get some early shots off and capitalize on that for a mid-game scenario push.
My idea going into this game was to use my ATGM to neutralize his shenanigan stuff and have the Stormwall take out the Conquest asap. I also wanted to downright ignore Boomies and deny Alexia1 souls. To this end I replied with Thorn + B13th + Gastone opposite his Boomies and the rest opposite his "weak" flank.
:: Game ::
Khador runs. Crucially, Conquest charges 9".
Big mistake on the Conquest in my opinion: Stormwall with Temporal threatens 23". With him going 9" ahead and us being nearly 100% aligned, that puts him in my threat range. I put 3 on the Stormwall, pull off the Squire and put up Deceleration and Temporal. Thorn + Gastone take the hill with B13th behind. Stormwall moves up 9" and shoots its first shot at Conquest. Snake eyes. Christ. Second shot hits. Boosts damage for 5 points or so. Last shot hits but I roll poorly. At this rate it'll take years to make a meaningful impact on the Khador colossal. ATGM run to set up for next turn. A+H Stealth.
His Eiryss chills out behind the impassable. Boomies jam, Alexia1 behind. Conquest runs to contest. Widowmakers move up and make a 10+ to take out the ATGM Officer. The rest miss. Eliminators go as well.
The idea is to feat and take out the Conquest and have the shooters on the left run to the right. 4 focus on Stormwall + Temoral Acceleration. Haley receives Reload from Reinholdt and puts 2 boosted POW12s into the Conquest following Aiyana's Kiss. I feat. Stormwall moves in and starts whacking the Conquest. It dies as I have 1 focus left. Boost pod on Madelyn, dead. Pretty crucial.
My opponent thinks long and hard about this turn and ends up sending Butcher in to take out the Stormwall. Before he does so Eiryss manages to shoot off Arcane Shield. Butcher kills it with 2 focus left and Energizes away. Really nice positioning from him there, if I had managed to force him to energize to get to me he'd be in a way harder predicament. Boomies jam Thorn. Support tuck up Butcher sufficiently so that I can't get him out to the Danger Zone unless I risk a lot.
I decide to go for a simple point instead. I move Haley back so as to be away from Butcher's threat range. 3 focus on Thorn and Deadeye on both ATGM and B13th. I clear out the right zone and score a point there. I brainfart as A+H don't run in centrally though and I kind of put them out of position myself. Ryan Mage Storms Thorn and this knocks out the Boomies that do not die. Lynch, Watts and Gastone follow up with more focus on Boomies and Thorn clears them out with a focus point left over, which I use to activate his Imprint: Disengage. 1-0.
Butcher goes for what I consider to be a risky play (but then again, what choice does he have given the state of the board?): He energizes for 3 and charges Thorn. This puts him at a 6+ to hit with 3 focus left (and he really wants to buy attacks) and if he misses I walk away. Much to my dismay he makes the hit and keeps whacking Thorn until he dies. He camps 1 focus. Boomie himself jams Watts.
My options here are very clear: Try and clear the zone and win on scenario or go for Butcher. Considering the cover markers and the woods blocking LoS I go for the latter. I figure Haley with TK and Time Bomb can do a lot of work and allow Lynch, Ryan and Gastone to do some work. With TK hitting Junior will likely be in range as well and maybe Watts can participate too if he survives a Free Strike.
I pull the last focus off of the Squire and Reinholdt gives Haley lucky charm. She charges Lynch, TKs herself closer to butcher. I cast Time Bomb but fail the 6+ to hit. Squire had run first though so I got the re-roll and made the hit. I boost damage and add Lucky Charm. Huge roll and Butcher loses 9 boxes. I then roll snake eyes for TK. Curses, no Junior participation. I shoot with Hand Cannon, no damage. Lynch + Ryan follow up with some beautiful brutals and although Watts dies to Free Strike, Gastone finishes the job on the Butcher.
Victory to the Swans!
:: Evaluation ::
When in doubt, push! That's a motto I'm a big fan of in this game. However in sacrificing the Stormwall for the Conquest in the way I did I allowed Butcher to get an easy revenge. The lesson to take away is to ensure one out of 3: Have a better position otherwise, force him to use Energize to get there or kill Eiryss2. He had one Widowmaker left which prevented me from scoring in that turn. Had I killed him the board would've looked way better for me with the possibility for a 3-0 post feat turn.
It's a tricky matchup because you cannot control the Conquest like you would with heavy jacks. While its shooting never amounted to anything here I know that once those guns start firing life is miserable for my crucial support pieces. I had a couple of things I managed to do right this time around however and although the ensuing assassination run was iffy, I felt I came out way better than last time's encounter.