mandag 18. april 2016

WarCon 2016 Finals (#154): Haley3 vs Siege

:: Prologue ::

A bit of a deja vu as I have recently had 2 other finals that were Cygnar mirrors. This time the pairings were Haley2 & Haley3 vs Haley2 & Siege. I feared assassination angles from both Haley2 and Siege if I dropped Haley2 but was quite confident with dropping Haley3 into the both of them. My opponent dropped Siege and off we went!

:: Lists ::

Major Prime Victoria Haley - WJ: +3
- Squire
- Lancer - PC: 6
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
Alexia1 & The Risen - PC: 5
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
Major Markus "Siege" Brisbane - WJ: +5
- Squire
- Stormwall - PC: 19
- Lightning Pod
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 3
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire - PC: 4
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator - PC: 1
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord - PC: 2
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers - Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
- Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer - Officer 2
Rangers - Leader & 5 Grunts: 5
Storm Lances - Leader & 4 Grunts: 11

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

We were playing Destruction and I went first. Going into this game my main objective was to get into the middle to force Siege ahead so I could put my Forge Guard to good use. I would also have to be careful with assassination angles as the combination of mage sight and foxhole is impossible to protect against in terms of blocking vision.

:: Game ::

Stuff runs up, I cloudwall. 2 Lances are put in harm's way with the leader on the right. If he doesn't kill him I might have a couple of interesting revive angles. I put one Lance behind my clouds to act as leader if the front 2 models are both killed, but I make a mistake with tactical supremacy as his path is blocked. This would prove to be crucial.

Stormwall shoots off both Lances with boosted damage rolls (one boosted attack roll). Covering Fires go down. The rest of Siege's list takes it slow.

I contemplate my options and make a grave mistake: I decide to ditch Tactical Supremacy to get up Flux + 2x Revive. The problem with this is that Flux doesn't really matter here and instead I could've upkept Tactical Supremacy and cast 2x Revive still. The idea was to revive 2 Lances centrally and send one into his Squire (which would e-leap into Reinholdt I believe) and one into one of his Lances to take it down. To do this however I had to move either the Forge Guard or the Trenchers before the Lances. With the Trenchers wanting to cloud and thus block LoS I had to move the Forge Guard first. They went up a bit too aggressively and I ended up with a very poor cloudwall. Adding insult to injury the Lance which charged the Squire failed both its assault shot and its charge attack and Past failed to kill a Lance with Chain Blast.

Siege takes the opening and feats in return. A great deal of models are killed as the Storm Lances on the right flank even get a handful of kills. I am suddenly down on attrition as I lose Lances and Ragman as well as Alexia grabs a lot of souls.

This isn't looking too good. I contemplate assassination angles but I can't find any reliable ones. Siege is camping a few focus as well and the covering fires deny reviving Forge Guard to charge him, I fear. Regardless the choice I end up making is clearing the zone and going for 3-0 and hope that DEF21 can keep Prime safe. Alexia has a ton of souls and moves to block out Rangers and start killing Lances. Haley has to feat to help out here but I make a big mistake as Past isn't placed within Reach range of the objective. Because of this Forge Guard have to clear it out and this prevents me from placing them far away from Prime and I am pretty susceptible to a Force Hammer assassination. The revived Lances struggle greatly but at least I clear the zone with Finn desperately taking out a Pod after a Lance failed to kill it on impact attack.

My opponent doesn't see the Force Hammer opportunity. He tries to run Rangers through the Risen (where I had awkwardly left him a gap with which to do so) but he ended up outside of 5". It didn't matter though as Siege could aim and with the help of Reinholdt's reload, he landed both shots on Prime despite needing 13+ and the boosted damage rolls killed her at dice minus 3.

:: Evaluation ::

The ensuing assassination run was a bit of a lucky one given its execution. Apart from Siege himself only the Stormwall could likely have hit Haley. It would need to clear Acosta though and with aim it would get a single shot off at her, also needing 13+. That said, there were better opportunities and the Force Hammer would have slammed a Forge Guard into Haley on a 3+.

Regardless though the turns leading up to this point were a string of mistakes from me, starting as early as T1 with the Trenchers using the 3" move poorly to allow the Lances to go through. This in turn made the Forge Guard run too far and the huge gaps in my cloudwall + Trenchers remaining visible on the right flank allowed Siege's feat to perfectly capitalize on the situation and kill enough to ensure he was up on attrition. All of this because of poor spell prioritization.

It's funny how mistakes as early as T1 end up trickling down to forcing me to play risky in T3. Among other things it's part of what makes this game so complex and enjoyable. I fully deserved to lose given the mistakes I made and how my opponent exploited them, Dice happen and I've been lucky more than my fair share earlier on.

It should be said though that if I had made the right priorities T2 with Tac Supremacy being upkept and the Forge Guard taking care not to disrupt the cloud wall I think Siege would have been in trouble. So much for the "what if" game, I know, but rest ensured that this lesson will be remembered!

I ended up getting a crazy Strength of Schedule, 11 or 12 I believe in just 4 games, which gave me 2nd place out of 14 participants. That is a result I'm happy with as I had 4 interesting games, the majority of which gave me lots of problems to consider.

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