søndag 10. april 2016

Battle Report #148: Stryker3 vs Feora2

:: Prologue ::

For our second game my opponent made some minor changes and I proposed Stryker3 as the opposing party instead of Kraye seeing as double Stormwall with triple Stormcaller is a bit one-sided vs jack-heavy Protectorate. Time to call the cavalry!

:: Lists ::

Lord General Coleman Stryker - WJ: +5
- Squire
- Stormwall - PC: 19
- Lightning Pod
- Thunderhead - PC: 12
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 3
Ragman - PC: 2
Gastone Crosse - PC: 3
Stormsmith Stormcaller - PC: 1
Stormsmith Stormcaller - PC: 1
Stormsmith Stormcaller - PC: 1
Storm Lances - Leader & 4 Grunts: 11
Feora, Protector of the Flame - WJ: +6
- Hand of Judgment - PC: 10
- Redeemer - PC: 6
- Reckoner - PC: 8
Vassal of Menoth - PC: 2
Vessel of Judgment - PC: 9
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution - PC: 3
Vassal of Menoth - PC: 2
The Covenant of Menoth - PC: 2
Aiyana & Holt - PC: 4
Holy Zealots - Leader and 9 Grunts: 6
- Monolith Bearer - Monolith Bearer 2
Choir of Menoth - Leader & 3 Grunts: 2

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::
I expected this matchup to be significantly different - and harder. I would have to use the 3 heavy hitting units in combination with eachother to keep threatening him from multiple angles and ensure that if he takes 1 down, it'll hurt in return. I was also hoping for the Stormcallers to be kings of the game again. Again it was Destruction but this time I went first. The idea was to have Gastone + Stryker on one flank, the Stormwall centrally and everything else on the other flank.

:: Game ::

Part of the reason Stryker went at it alone was to get the benefits of Arcane Wonder. I run up stuff to be out of his threat ranges, unless of course he assaults. I put Iron Aggression on the Stormwall: Arcane Shield would in theory be better but he has Eiryss2 on the left flank and with no counter to her I'm better off with the Shield somewhere else. I put it on Thunderhead. Stryker casts Escort of course but I forget to charge with him. Gastone casts moving shadows.

I have made a mistake with my Storm Lances becuase he's able to move up and shoot one of them to death with the Reckoner. I probably calculated his Vessel threat range instead of escorted Reckoner. Annoying, but I also need the board space to be fair.

I believe this will be a drawn out war of attrition so I fully expect my solos to be game-breakingly valuable. That means taking out the Vessel and doing so now. I put 3 focus on Thunderhead, 2 on Stormwall, ditch Iron Aggression and upkeep Escort. I then cast Fury on Storm Lances for 1 (Arcane Wonder) and my models all start working on the Vessel. It goes down and I also proc Enliven on both Hand (who elects to fall back a bit) and Reckoner, who elects to move forward. They are both disrupted. Stormcallers for the win!

Hand moves in to flame a Stormcaller, the objective and the Stormwall. He really went all-in on the Stormwall this turn with kiss and the works. I was left on 13 boxes or so. Not having a solution for Eiryss what so ever was very painful, I must amit. The Reckoner backs off and the Zealots mini-feat.

I fail 2 single strikes from the remaining Stormcallers on the Reckoner. Thunderhead clears out A+H and procs Enliven on the Reckoner. Stryker feats and charges the Hand after Spikestone Crosse has taken 14 (!) boxes off of it. It's left on a single wound, which is probably because I forgot my assault shot. I contemplate whether to kill it or not for ages but decide that this game is so dicey anyway (doubly so with Reckoner not disrupted) that I have to get some work done and hope it can't affect me too much. Thus the Stormwall charges and kills the Redeemer and the Storm Lances charge the Objective + Reckoner. I forget Reform which is actually huge as I could've blocked him up thoroughly. It was fun seeing PS18 and 4d6 damage dice though.

I know the Stormwall dies anyways but with the lack of blocking him with the Storm Lance he suddenly threatens the Thunderhead a lot more as well. He keeps buying attacks and does a number of boxes on it. Feora contemplated an assassination run but didn't want to risk it because the angles + distances were so hard to estimate. We checked it after the game and to the best of our ability she would've been in with just a couple of millimetres to spare. Anyway, Stormwall dies and Stryker is set on fire.

I am really running low on models and I was hoping my remaining Storm Lance with Fury was going to get some work done. If he could charge the Reckoner and deal some damage + proc Enliven I'd have options with my Thunderhead. The dice gods disagree though as my opponent rolls box cars for fire continuous. Wow, that certainly didn't help. Now what? Hand has lost movement so I expect Junior to be able to take him off (Gastone died to a Zealot in the previous turn), which he does. The Thunderhead has to tank a free strike the way I see it and loses another 5 boxes or so. I then pulse out his Zealots and avoiding damaging the Reckoner. Reckoner is disrupted by the Stormcaller however so I buy an additional attack and boost the damage on this. He elects to use Enliven to go hide. Fine. Stryker moves to a position where Feora can't make a charge on him, even with Fire Step.

Feora moves up to threaten, Reckoner stays in the wreck.

Stryker is down to 12 boxes because of the fire damage. The idea now is to move back, keep preventing Feora from getting a charge off and hopefully clear out the Reckoner. Thunderhead manages this and I'm sort of in a decent spot. I do kill my own Squire as I mess up activation order and Thunderhead pulse hits it.

Feora gives chase to Stryker. Protectorate is very low on time.

The Covenant is brought down to 1 box. Stryker runs away and killboxes himself as I forget about it completely.

Feora charges and kills Thunderhead but when he clocks over to me he has 3 seconds left. Fire continous takes Stryker down to 8 boxes but I run away and don't really care too much about whether he can reach me or not. He can, but he runs out of time before the attack roll dice come up. He never had the chance to cast the damage roll but we rolled it anyway for the fun of it and Stryker would've died in a spectacular fashion. Regardless, a clock win is as good a win as any, so...

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

This was actually more of a game than I thought, I pretty much expected to be steamrolled. The Stormcallers again weigh up for my lack of defensive tech. If I had remember reform on Lances the game might've been better as well. Lots of small things here and there but forgetting stuff like Reform and Assault is what'll make you lose games. 

There was also one other big mistake in here: By not casting Arcane on the Stormwall in my second turn I am basically inviting him to run Eiryss in and jam my jacks up. If he had prevented focus allocation that turn I would be in dire straits. Luckily for me he never took that opportunity. 

A very interesting and close game. Stryker3 is hard to get right. His offensive capabilities are amazing. I am learning more about his positioning game and felt I was on my way this game to making an opponent pay for every piece he takes out. 

Now I've had 4 games against the Protectorate in a row. Hopefully I can practice vs something else as well before next weekend's tournament! 

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