I had time for a game today and I was facing Mercenaries. I'm unsure of whether I should drop Sloan or Haley2 into Mercenaries in general. Against Cephalyx though I believe Sloan is by far superior now that so many of their crucial pieces gained Stealth (which means Thorn cannot have fun with Arcane Bolt any longer). As such the game today ended up being Sloan vs Exulon Thexus.
:: Lists ::
Exulon Thexus:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::
Mind Bender & Drudges
Mind Bender & Drudges
Mind Slaver & Drudges
Between Hex Blast, Agitators and the out of activation movement + massive stat boost, Cephalyx are perfectly capable of taking down high-armored constructs with Arcane Shield... Such as a Stormwall. My primary concern was thus to handle the monstrosities and Benders, Agitators if possible. We were playing Two Fronts and I went first. I deployed the Stormwall centrally and most of my units to the left in a conservative pattern.
:: Game ::
Stuff runs up, Sloan casts Refuge on herself.
Cephalyx run up a bit in return. Decel goes up.
I don't upkeep Refuge as I don't see a need for it. I start working on the monstrosities, taking down 1.5 of them. I also make sure to kill all grunts from the Slaver unit (the one in the center) that are fairly close to me and throw up a covering fire to deny him the usual tricks to engage the Stormwall.
My opponent decides to jam and tons of models are sent rushing up the table.
I take out a lot of models as I choose to feat now. I use the Stormwall to block off Sloan, preventing any assassination runs on her. However I make a mistake as I don't spend its covering fires to protect its arc. Regardless I feel happy with the progress I've made in the game - a Firefly even got a Soul Bender with its leap!
The last remaining monstrosity and 3 super-buffed grunts charge the Stormwall after Exulon has removed its Arcane Shield with Hex Blast. It goes down to 15 boxes or so but Exulon himself is now very exposed and has no targets for sac pawn.
With only 2 focus and no Deceleration up I decide to go for the kill: I have a lot of shooting to pump into him and I need abysmal dice to fail the run. Charger starts off and leaves him on 5 boxes and Sloan finishes the job on her first shot.
Victory to the Swans!
:: Evaluation ::
This game felt harder than it might look like based on this report. There are so many models and with ARM17 they are just outside of the sweet spot. Electro leaps naturally help as Deceleration doesn't work against it and the Fireflies were truly instrumental in keeping the infantry at bay.
The list is trickier to play than it might look like. Thinking ahead and getting the right positioning is key. Often the problem is having a decent starting point in your ensuing turn. There are no control elements or speed buffs from Kara so I'm forced to rely on positioning and Covering Fires. Both of these have a lot of room for improvement. An obvious example is spending the Covering Fires, or at least 1, to protect the Stormwall itself from grunt charges.
In terms of the list I still think it's fine and I'm not really missing anything per se. Tweaks and redesigns are of course considered continuously but for now I think it largely depends on the meta, i.e. what will people actually take? I also need more playtesting to verify its usefulness in a Cygnar mirror match and against Retribution for example.
I will hopefully get more games in this week and with a little luck we can play with full Mk. 3 rules soon as well!