A couple of days ago my regular Protectorate opponent proposed Reznik1 as a decent counter to Haley2. I thought he looked really interesting so today it was time to try it out in practice!
:: Lists ::
(Haley 2) Major Victoria Haley [+25]Opponent:
- Thorn 
- Stormwall 
- Squire 
Journeyman Warcaster 
- Charger 
Gastone Crosse 
- Buccaneer 
Storm Lances (min) 
Captain Arlan Strangewayes 
High Executioner Servath Reznik - WJ: +28
- Hierophant - PC: 3
- Reckoner - PC: 0
- Reckoner - PC: 4
- Redeemer - PC: 11
- Revenger - PC: 10
- Scourge of Heresy - PC: 16
Wrack - PC: 1
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord - PC: 4
Choir of Menoth - Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
Temple Flameguard - Leader & 9 Grunts: 11
Visgoth Juviah Rhoven & Honor Guard - Rhoven, Gius & Cassian: 9
The scenario was The Pit and I had first turn. I knew Witch Hound would be a problem and I feared Reznik's shut-down feat. Other than that I didn't really know what to expect. I deployed the Stormwall + Lances on the right flank, Gastone on the left and the rest in the middle.
:: Game ::
My Storm Lances mistake was made clear to me as the Flameguard deployed diagonally opposite me. Oh well, too late now. Haley TK'd herself, temporaled the Stormwall and charged up with Decel.
The Redeemer tries to pot shot Haley hoping for 1-2" scatters. It didn't happen. Note to self: Avoid that. Unnecessary. TFG spread out on the left.
I figured I could deal a significant alpha here: He cast Shielding with Choir so his jacks were up for grabs. To properly pull this off I would need to kill a few TFG and/or covering fire to prevent them from reaching my flag. The Buccaneer knocks down his arc node. Thorn moves up and kills 3 TFG. Haley then kills Rhupert with a lucky Arcane Bolt (non-boosted, I forgot to pull from Squire), Temporal on Stormwall and the flag with feat. Gastone cleared out 2 more TFG. Charger put its shots into the Arc Node which dealt massive damage. Stormwall followed up with 2 boosted big gun shots which left it on a few boxes. The Temporal shot brought it very low and the right chain gun killed it. There were now 3 TFG left. Only 1 could reach my flag to contest. The pod was spent on 2 other TFG. I had 1 focus left so I decided to try and kill it instead of covering fire - after all I needed to get up on attrition if I wanted to go to 5 points here. I got extremely lucky as all 3 (!) shots hit the TFG and killed them unboosted (they had Dirge up so I was at 9+). Wow, hot dice indeed.
With all (!) the TFG wiped out my opponent felt he had to do something to get back in the game. The decision ended up being sending in the big boy himself - Mr. Reznik - to feat and force my hand. He shot the Stormwall and then charged with Reznik having Engine of Destruction up. Purgation ensured the Stormwall's demise but Reznik was left with 0 focus. The Honor Guards went up to provide Shield Guards for him.
So the question was: Could I kill Reznik? No focus on any of the jacks was a real pain, obviously. The initial plan was to Time Bomb an honor guard to get Reznik to DEF12. After we found out that this also triggers Witch Hound that approach failed miserably and I would've failed and lost the game if played out. Instead we reset the turn and I went for an approach where Haley used her spells to kill the Honor Guards. This worked out well and without Shield Guards and with 2 Storm Lances in charge range Reznik went down.
Victory to the Swans!
:: Evaluation ::
A very interesting matchup. Reznik's spell list, feat and Witch Hound all seem tailor-made to counter Haley2. I don't necessarily think it's uphill because I still have the ranged advantage and my feat + spells have more control elements built-in than his. However this is the first Protectorate caster I've played against where Haley2 haven't felt like she's massively up. That is a good thing in my opinion and I look forward to cracking Reznik1.
My Storm Lances deployment mistake was glaring but my dice were on fire T2 and that allowed me to basically ignore said mistake. The alpha taking out the Arc Node is possibly a little overrated as Reznik with 2 honor guards and this many jacks can usually walk up to spell range of the Stormwall anyways.
I really enjoyed the game and because it was over so quickly we had time for a rematch!