tirsdag 5. april 2016

Battle Report #141: Kraye vs Ravyn

:: Prologue ::

I believe there is a lot to making dark horse lists work. People don't understand how they play and thus they will make mistakes which you can capitalize on. I don't play weird choices for weird choices' (read: SUSS) sakes, but rather to learn and perhaps discover if they competitive viability. With a lot of Haley2 and Haley3 lately it is time to put them away for a short while and explore other casters again. First on my list is a bit of a Krayze list. To start off properly I asked to play him into Will of the Nine Voices: Nothing better than grabbing the bull by the horns!

:: Lists ::

Captain Jeremiah Kraye - WJ: +6
- Squire
- Stormwall - PC: 19 - Lightning Pod
- Stormwall - PC: 19 - Lightning Pod
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 3
Stormsmith Stormcaller - PC: 1
Stormsmith Stormcaller - PC: 1
Stormsmith Stormcaller - PC: 1
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution - PC: 3
Gastone Crosse - PC: 3
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt - Lady Aiyana & Master Holt: 4
Ravyn, The Eternal Light - WJ: +6
- Hyperion - PC: 18
Narn, Mage Hunter of Ios - PC: 0
Mage Hunter Strike Force - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
- Strike Force Commander - Commander 2
Mage Hunter Strike Force - Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
- Strike Force Commander - Commander 2
Mage Hunter Strike Force - Leader & 5 Grunts: 5
- Eiryss, Mage Hunter Commander - PC: 3
Stormfall Archers - Leader & 3 Grunts: 5
Stormfall Archers - Leader & 3 Grunts: 5
THEME: Will of the Nine Voices - Tier 2

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

The idea behind the Kraye list is to clear a path with shooting and Stormcallers, cutting down weak models to allow the Stormwalls to do the heavy lifting. On paper, the potential against stuff like Retribution is great: Full Tilt (possibly cycled) with Trample/Charge, pods and Triangulation sounds like a pretty good start. I wasn't sure how this would play out in practice though.

The scenario today was Close Quarters. It's one of the trickier scenarios to face Ravyn in because it has Killbox and is slow. Again, my request. I won the dice-off and decided to choose side, hoping he'd move up with MHSF into my threat ranges. I put down 2 Stormwalls on what I considered to be my flanks and kept the Stormcallers in-between. Alexia proxied as Kraye and ATGM models proxied as Stormcallers (don't worry - the models have all been ordered and are on their way!).

:: Game :: 

Strike force all run up. Yummy-yummy!

I deliberate feating T1 because in doing so I believe I can kill almost every single strike force model in the left-most unit. The problem is that the right Stormwall won't benefit from it at all and additionally I'll lose my shock and awe potential for later angles. I decide to put up Full Tilt on the left Stormwall instead and it goes in, crushes a couple, e-leaps a couple more and lastly pods a couple more. The second Stormwall tramples ahead and pods a MHSF to death, after which Stormcallers follow up to the best of their ability. In total I kill around a dozen. Not too shabby!

Retribution strikes back hard. The left Stormwall is brought down to something like 20 boxes or so. The remaining MHSF charged it (which hurts even more than their shooting), SFA aimed + Brutal Shots and Hyperion focused its firepower on it. The right Stormwall also lost quite a few boxes -and- I lost 2 Stormcallers. However in escaping the killbox, Ravyn elected to go towards the center, where she had no models blocking my path to her.

The problem I have here is this: If I want to continue the grind I have to either neutralize everything on the right or everything on the left. I don't believe that's possible. Maybe the left Stormwall could've trampled over to the SFA/Hyperion and the second could've charged said Hyperion, but the problem is activation order: If I feat first the right Stormwall won't be in range to charge Hyperion. If I activate the left Stormwall before I feat I won't get boosted melee attack rolls on the trample, meaning it'll most likely die to free strikes (or close to). Furthermore, if I take out the MHSF next to it and the right Stormwall kills everything on the right flank, I am still left in an inferior position from an attrition point of view: I've lost a Stormwall and most Stormcallers with the second Stormwall being damaged and he'll have SFA and a fully functional Hyperion remaining.

Instead I decide to go for gold. As far as I can tell, Ravyn must be within 17" of the right Stormwall. I put 2 focus on the left Stormwall and 3 on the right. Kraye does not upkeep Full Tilt and keeps 3 focus. Gastone activates to kill the MHSF model on my left flank to allow that Stormwall to move a little ahead. It boosts a shot into Ravyn (since it's on a hill it sees past Hyperion) which deals massive damage. She has a handful of boxes left. Squire runs up. Kraye moves up but is 14.25" or so away from Ravyn and thus I cannot Mage Sight her (which I think would be a safer approach given the 'dicey' nature of the distance). I cast Full Tilt and feat. The right Stormwall charges Hyperion and indeed I am within 17" of Ravyn, 16.5" to be exact, and with free charge, 3 focus points and boosted melee attack rolls that was it.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

Warjacks have amazingly short life expectancy vs MHSF. Stormwalls are no different. When I commit I need to take out vast numbers of MHSF and/or keep my Stormcallers safe. The big impassable outside of my deployment zone kind of worked more against me than for me here because it made it a lot harder to get the Stormcallers to a position I wanted them in. If I am to keep playing 3 of these I need to work on thinking ahead to get multiple turns worth of power from them. They are very victim-like in their stats and will quickly die if not tended to.

Retribution moving up so offensively T1 is a mistake. It's a force of habit I suppose but against aggressive Cygnar variants they have to play a slower game to deny me such an effective alpha. In my experience though this often happens so pay attention to how you can maximise your gain from this.

Originally I only had time for 1 game tonight but given the speed with which this matchup plays we found time for a rematch!

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