Following yesterday's last game that ended somewhat abruptly when Rasheth took out Caine I was eager to try the list again. Today I would be facing Circle for 2 games. Traditionally, Circle has been a matchup that is dominated by the presence (or absence) of ATGM and Druids. With lots of changes to the both of them I had no idea how this would shape up. My opponent brought Kromac2, a caster I find very interesting in the current meta.
:: Lists ::
Aiyana & Holt
- Feral Warpwolf
- Warpwolf Stalker
Lord of the Feast
2x Shifting Stones
Wolves of Orboros
:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::
We were playing Outflank and I went first. I got the Stormwall down centrally with Caine on the right side and A+H on the left. I expected Circle to shift left and thus wanted the Stormwall in-between with Aiyana in a position to throw out kiss. His deployment indeed looked like he would do just that so I played Trenchers a little to the right as well with Rangers central.
:: Game ::
Turn 1 is usually boring and this was no exception. I shifted the Trenchers right and A+H left. Bullet Dodger up on Caine.
Circle responds in kind. They send up Ghetorix behind the impassable in the middle along with the Wolves in a jamming position. The rest go on the left side.
In reply I get a little too eager as my infantry advances up too far on the right flank. I completely forget that Ghetorix has Overtake with Kromac. So when I get to Caine's activation I have to be a little more cautious with him than I'd hoped for. At least I get the Argus and the majority of the jammers on my right flank with Trick Shots before he jumps away to safety. I set up the Stormwall to shoot out a stone, taking care to stay out of Kromac's base threat range.
What I didn't ensure however was to stay outside of 16" of the Blackclads. He could thus land Hunter's Mark. Kromac feated and kept a semi-defensive position while the Feral charged the Stormwall through the woods alongside the Stalker in the front. The Colossal went down. Now, we only discovered afterwards that indeed the Feral doesn't have Pathfinder. We decided to play on regardless. On the right flank Ghetorix wanted to slaughter stuff. I tough with a Trencher and he proceeds to miss a ranger something like three times I believe and the damage he does then is just completely irrelevant.
So I have 3 big bad wolves knocking on my door and they all have extra armor because of Kromac's feat. Problem? Possibly. I forgot about the Feral and Warpwolf being affected by Primal and how that would affect their activations in the ensuing turn. I set up a plan to take out Ghetorix + Feral with Caine2 and then start shooting up the Warpwolf with whatever was left. Aiyana opens the show with missing kiss on the Feral despite backstrike bonus. Caine feats following Reinholdt's reload but I come up with a snake eyes roll and roll somewhat low on the damage rolls. The net result is that not even Ghetorix goes down. Oh wow. Luckily he has but a couple of boxes left. The Trenchers charge following mini-feat with clouds and one of them gets the hit and takes him out. Another Trencher goes into Feral. Arlan charges the Feral and loses 7 boxes to Retaliatory Strike after dealing some boxes to it. The Trench Buster then charges the Feral as well and the damage is brutal, as expected. The Feral is left on fairly few boxes. I try and spread out so that he can't clear the right zone but even if he can I'll be ahead on scenario.
With me going to 2-0 my opponent has to do a lot of work to even get to 2-2. That doesn't happen and he concedes the game.
Victory to the Swans!
:: Evaluation ::
Lots of things done poorly, lots of lessons learned. Let's start with the Trenchers. I think I'm playing them wrong. I try to mimic the playstyle of ATGM in Mk 2 but that simply isn't how they play. I believe Trenchers are more effective as a screen. Whereas ATGM usually liked to flank and clear out infantry, the Trenchers' role is to simply roll up ahead of the Stormwall and force an opponent to respect them. Despite perfect distance for placing clouds there will be no room to let a heavy charge through in-between them. I think this is a key to their playstyle, i.e. they aren't meant to let models through, friendly or enemy! I believe that they should stay tight and simply hold the line so that your opponent has to either wade into them or face a charge from them + whatever's behind in return. This is far from how I used them in this game. Based on this I wanted to try a bigger unit and change how I approach the game with them.
Also, Aiyana + Holt & Murdoch were very lacklustre this game. Kiss is an amazing ability but I do remember questioning their inclusion several times in Mk. 2 as well. With Caine2 and Trenchers perhaps Ragman can largely perform the same role? The idea is that an enemy has to throw himself on the Trencher front lines in which case Caine2 can probably feat with Black Penny shots and use Death Field as sort of a poor man's kiss.
The Stormwall performed well: Buying me the time and place I needed. Although forgetting the Blackclads was pretty bad, the ensuing string of events go to show why I love this model: At ARM22 an opponent really has to commit to take it out. So despite it doing nothing other than shoot up a stone and thus prevent teleports on the left flank, I think it helped me win the game because of the 2 Primaled wolves moving in.