Both sides had learned a thing or two in the first game. I was hoping that the second game would be more indicative of how both casters have to approach the matchup.
:: 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
Following the assassination victory in Game 1 I had a feeling that this matchup is a race against the clock for Haley2. I don't think my list is capable of dealing with his shenanigans and sheer number of jacks in terms of attrition. So I have to rush scenario and/or pressure assassination.
This time I deployed the Storm Lances centrally so that they could swing either way depending on my opponent's deployment of TFG. Otherwise I kept the pattern from the first game.
:: Game ::
Storm Lances shifted right. Haley2 took care to stay outside of the Redeemer's threat range so only lucky scatters would get a partial.
TFG Shield Wall this time around. Jacks are more careful and the Choir sings Passage.
The left-most Reckoner is positioned as such that a Domination will take it out of Reznik's control range. My plan then is to drag this one out, shoot it to death and feat to get ahead on scenario. This works out quite well with Gastone's Backstab rule. 2 Lances charging finish it off. The Stormwall + Charger pound Reznik a bit. I figure scratching his jacks is useless but by putting a few boxes on Reznik he has to consider what he'll be doing mid-late-game.
Reznik casts Brand of Heresy on the Storm Lances. 2 of them die, leaving a single one alive. Not much to do about this given that I wanted to kill the Reckoner. The Arc Node moves up to contest the zone and Reznik feats, hitting all of my jacks.
I have a 1-0 lead and I'm hoping I'll be able to make this a 3-0. That means dealing with TFG and creating a "fort Haley" so I won't die. Unfortunately I can't deal with the TFG as well as I had hoped. I Time Bomb 4 of them, killing the target and slowing the rest sufficiently down to prevent them from contesting, but 1 ends up toughing (thanks, Rhupert) and will thus be able to move up. Basically the Storm Lances dying was what created this mess on the left flank. I did cast Deflection though, perhaps Arcane Bolt would've been better.
Reznik goes for gold: He shifts left to throw out Perdition on the Buccaneer. Scourge moves up. Reznik camps 2 instead of putting Ignite on said Scourge. Scourge then charges the Stormwall with Battle. With PS20 and Purgation it's really, really nasty. I survive on 20 boxes or so.
The TFG denying my third point makes this kind of a hard situation to be in. With a 3-0 in his turn and a 4th now I could possibly set up for 5-0. Given the sad state of my Stormwall that is unlikely. Instead I decide to go for Reznik: While he has 2 Shield Guards and 2 focus he still has the ~10 boxes or so that he lost previously. Additionally Thorn is within range to move over there and hit him. The icing on the cake however is that Reznik is 9" away from Scourge (center-to-center) so the Stormwall can quite reliably throw Scourge on Reznik to knock him down. I do this and Thorn moves up. I shoot with what I have to bring Reznik down and Thorn moves in to finish him off.
Victory to the Swans!
:: Evaluation ::
The scenario game is really stressful for Haley but it is fully a viable approach I believe. I came really close and perhaps prioritizing arcane bolt over deflection is what I should have done.
The matchup is really tense and with Reznik shutting down so much of Haley's tech and his feat really crippling me in return, this is very back and forth with different strengths and peak moments of power. Lots of angles to consider and at the end of the day you have to find the most critical ones on both sides and deal with those.
Lots of good games today! Tomorrow more games will follow and I look forward to tweaking and testing my lists further. I feel now that the Haley2 list is the one I'm the most unsure of. Gastone relies so much on TK and Buccaneer simply is too situational in my opinion. Theorycrafting and playtesting will ensue.