You know, for some time now I've made a mental note of the fact that Defenders don't die in my games unless a) There's a crisis, or b) There are shenanigans around! After dojoing a little with fellow Cygnar players (including Tor from www.playtestedforyears.com), I concluded that if they don't die, a Stormwall shouldn't die. Right? Right?!? Thus was born the Sloanwall and today, it had its first test.
:: Lists ::
Captain Kara Sloan - WJ: +28Opponent:
- Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator - PC: 4
- Firefly - PC: 8
- Hunter - PC: 11
- Hunter - PC: 11
- Stormwall - PC: 11
- Lightning Pod
Captain Arlan Strangewayes - PC: 4
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord - PC: 4
Gobber Tinker - PC: 2
Storm Lances - Leader & 4 Grunts: 20
Servath Reznik, Wrath of Ages - WJ: +29
- Hierophant - PC: 3
- Reckoner - PC: 0
- Reckoner - PC: 3
- Scourge of Heresy - PC: 16
Wrack - PC: 1
Wrack - PC: 1
Vassal Mechanik - PC: 1
Alten Ashley - PC: 5
Kell Bailoch - PC: 5
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios - PC: 7
Choir of Menoth - Leader & 3 Grunts: 4
Visgoth Juviah Rhoven & Honor Guard - Rhoven, Gius & Cassian: 9
Idrian Skirmishers - Leader & 9 Grunts: 15
- Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide - Chieftain & Guide: 5
:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::
So you know, Protectorate probably isn't optimal for this list, like at all. However I wanted to try it to really get a feel for how bad it can be. I had a feeling Hunters might be hard pressed to find viable targets. Oh well. We were playing Entrenched and I went first. The idea was to establish the Stormwall centrally, Sloan behind my zone and Lances opposite. The Protectorate responded with a central battlegroup, Idrians on the left and solos on the right.
:: Game ::
I run up. Idrians preyed a Hunter so it ran straight right.
Idrians camp outside of Lances' threat range. BG moves up to get cover. Reznik camps a LOT of focus. Solos run up on the right flank, taking care to stay outside of 4" of eachother.
Hmmm, I make a bit of a bad play here I think as I back off with the Lances. With Dirge I think the better play is to push them to 10.1" away so as to prevent charges and aims. The Idrians are unlikely to kill even remotely all of them and that buys me space and puts pressure on him. With prey it's different but he preyed the wrong target. Anyway I decide to back them off. Next issue: Solos on the right flank. Can't have Eiryss1 and Ashley lurking around there. Hunter aims and takes out Eiryss. Boom goes dynamite! Firefly follows up with Ashley. Sloan takes a couple of shots at the closest Reckoner and the Stormwall joins in as well. It loses ~half its boxes or so.
Reznik moves up slowly and Idrians keep coming while the Reckoners shoot out my objective.
I don't want to commit my feat while he has cover. Since Arlan has to provide magical weapons with the choir singing Passage, I'm focus starved since I need Guided Fire. This time I realize the Lances have to get some work done so I do what I should've done last turn: 10.1" away and Dirge. Sloan and Stormwall keep shooting. Reckoner at 5 boxes left after Sloan flukes her shots.
The problem with this kind of contest game is that the Scourge of Heresy gets it super-move very easily. I was safe for now but it can't go on like this. So the Idrians CRA 2 Lances to death, Scourge moves up and the Reckoners start claiming space as well, the seriously hurt one charging the Hunter (and doing next to nothing) while the other moves up as well.
Stormwall charge + Sloan feat time. I send the 'wall into the "healthy" Reckoner on full focus and do a lot of boxes but it survives because I fluke (and I had to disrupt Scourge since Sloan could not expect to kill him). Sloan shoots Scourge up a fair bit and Lances start clearing Idrians. A hunter moves up to contest.
The Hunter with Prey dies and so the Idrians switch the Prey to Lances. Oh-oh. They die. Reznik clears his zone again and moves to 4CP.
I figure it's all in at this point. I clear the Reckoner blocking out the Stormwall with Sloan + Hunter and the Stormwall charges Reznik. I deal 8 boxes or so. Tbe idea was to survive for a turn, can that be done?
All my opponent has to do to win is to clear out the Stormwall. Reznik gets 9 attacks at weapon master minus 5, so that's 9 * 5,5 = 50 ish on average. A couple of more things can weigh in so I'm going to need some help from the dice to survive this. That help never comes and as the Stormwall goes down, my opponent moves to 5CP and wins the game!
Sadly, a loss for the Swans.
:: Evaluation ::
As I had feared the lack of Hunters having viable targets is too much of a handicap. It feels like I'm playing nearly 22 points down. This would have been significantly worse with a caster that could've stayed deeper and exerted his power at a distance, e.g. Severius2. It is clear to me from this game that Sloan isn't viable into Protectorate even with Arlan to help the 'wall get work done.
I really liked the list though. I think I have to play around with it a bit to find out how I can really utilize some of its unique aspects. Making the most out of the Stormwall means I have to think differently in terms of how I approach the game. I find I'm still stuck in the double defender list mindset, my left flank was a complete mess because I'm used to having Lances on both flanks for example. Rhupert, Arlan and the Tinker helped bring the list a lot of flexibility and I think that's worth pursuing further.
The game was probably winnable despite the Hunters being subpar. Once the Idrians preyed the Lances I could -and should- have played them more aggressively and had Hunters over on the right flank. I could possibly have feated early to remove Choir for example if I had gone straight for the woods with them. Again, this list simply dictates a different approach. I will continue to try and find that!