lørdag 18. juni 2016

Battle Report #182: Sloan vs Kromac2

:: Prologue ::

Following a game against a very unique caster I was eager to see how Sloan would perform against something more traditional. We settled on Kromac2 as the matchup as the hypothesis was that he could get far enough up the field with feat to weather her shooting and push the advantage home.

:: Lists ::

Captain Kara Sloan - WJ: +28
-    Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator - PC: 4
-    Firefly - PC: 0
-    Firefly - PC: 0
-    Hunter - PC: 0
-    Hunter - PC: 10
-    Defender - PC: 16
-    Defender - PC: 16
Gobber Tinker - PC: 2
Storm Lances - Leader & 2 Grunts: 12
Storm Lances - Leader & 2 Grunts: 12
Field Mechaniks - Crew Chief & 3 Grunts: 3
Kromac, Champion of the Wurm - WB: +28
-    Ghetorix - PC: 0
-    Warpwolf Stalker - PC: 12
-    Pureblood Warpwolf - PC: 17
-    Shadowhorn Satyr - PC: 12
Blackclad Wayfarer - PC: 4
Blackclad Wayfarer - PC: 4
Lord of the Feast - PC: 6
Shifting Stones - Leader & 2 Grunts: 3
Shifting Stones - Leader & 2 Grunts: 3
Tharn Bloodtrackers - Leader & 5 Grunts: 10
-    Nuala the Huntress - PC: 4

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

Same scenario, same map. I went first again. Deployment was by and large the same as in my previous game. The idea was to stay centrally more or less since there would be little terrain for my opponent to advance with the protection of with the exception of the trench (the linear obstacle being too far away to concern me). My opponent put the Lord of the Feast behind the obstacle and the Bloodtrackers on the left. The heavy beasts were slightly to the right.

:: Game ::

The Lord of the Feast was within 22" of my right-most hunter so I decided to go for him straight away, pew-pew style. He went down and I advanced in a very wide formation.

My opponent proved how clumsily I had positioned my Storm Lances: The left ones were jammed up (I was thinking 14" not 14.5" which is their jam range). The right ones lost their leader which put 1 out of command. On top of this the Satyx and Ghetorix both advanced with Kromac's feat, the latter having his animus up as well and taking the trench. 18/21 is a thing.

So I had a few problems to deal with. I ended up resorting to aim with Sloan and Hunters to deal with Ghetorix, anticipating the lack of the heavies' activating to keep him true and not use hyper aggressive. This worked fairly well but ARM21 is still a ton to go through and only solid spikes from Sloan saved the day. The Satyr on the other hand proved to be a bit of a problem and I was lucky to eventually bring him down as well. I didn't remember he could place himself within 5" so this would likely have lost me the game. Anyway the Satyr + Ghetorix were both down and I had a decent position on the table with quite a bit of space and multiple models preventing scoring.

The Pureblood, Kromac and the Stalker cleared up a bit on the right flank, however the Stalker fluffed so the Firefly in the middle survived. I also had models within 4" of the right flag still which contested. On the left flank Nuala took out 2 of the Lances. Ouch. The Blackclad scored, 0-1.

I finally remembered fuel cache and popped my cloud. The idea was to take out the Pureblood and the Stalker. I put 3 focus on both of the Defenders and hoped their MAT7 would help out. The first Defender went into the Pureblood and fluffed. The second dealt a lot of damage to the Stalker though. Kara boosted 2 attacks roll on the Stalker to bring it down further and I think it was the Firefly who eventually took it out with a boosted attack roll. I did however forget to contest which put the score at 2-0.

Kromac went for a play to kill both Defenders and score more points. He did manage that and got both flags but the crucial 5th point was far away as there was no power left to take the objective with. A Blackclad went to jam Sloan.

With Kromac exposed and having taken a few boxes from a Hunter shot last turn, combined with just a single beast to transfer to who had like 10 boxes left or so the decision to go for assassination was easy. A little pew-pew later and Kromac went down.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

I made a lot of positional mistakes T1. The Lances were in no position to threaten anyone advancing to the center and potentially moving further with Hyper Aggressive which my opponent brilliantly capitalized on. I also forgot that my Fireflies are pretty decent at denying moves like this through slams and/or headbutts. While Angelii cannot be knocked down, Circle heavies most definitely can. True, -2 to hit hurts but it's still a 10+. Combined with the Lances being in a position to actually counter-attack that position I think it's the right play.

Alternatively: Instead of killing Ghetorix I can jam him up and focus on the models behind him, i.e. the Satyr and Stalker. By sending in both Fireflies he should be stuck, pretty much.

The Lances were managed poorly and my opponent got a lot of value out of his Bloodtrackers, way more than he should've. My take away from this game is that I have to identify my opponent's "winning push play" and position my units solely to counter that. As with my recent game vs Thagrosh2 I'm simply not positioned to deal with an all-out push where I easily could have been. Essentially I must learn to think like my opponent and find his optimal moves before I make my own. A demanding exercise and completely different to what I'm used to as Haley2 and Haley3 in Mk. 2 could usually bully their way into forcing the opponent's hand.

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