søndag 31. juli 2016

Indian Summer Game 1 (#238): Haley2 vs Severius2

:: Prologue ::

This weekend I attended a tournament in a small city called Gjøvik. The attendants were a good mix of veterans and relative beginners and the event was great. Before we got there we had some car issues so we were delayed. Because of this the four guys in the car got paired against eachother. For round 1 I drew my regular Protectorate opponent. Drops were pretty obvious: Haley2 and Severius2. Game on!

:: Lists ::

(Haley 2) Major Victoria Haley [+25]
- Thorn [13]
- Stormwall [39]
- Squire [5]
- Ironclad [12]
Journeyman Warcaster [4]
- Firefly [8]
Captain Arlan Strangewayes [4]
Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress [3]
Storm Lances (min) [12]
Hierarch Severius - WJ: +26
-    Hand of Judgment - PC: 18 (Battlegroup Points Used: 18)
-    Blessing of Vengeance - PC: 13 (Battlegroup Points Used:
-    Reckoner - PC: 16
-    Reckoner - PC: 16
Allegiant of the Order of the Fist - PC: 3
Wrack - PC: 1
Vassal Mechanik - PC: 1
Choir of Menoth - Leader & 3 Grunts: 4
Idrian Skirmishers - Leader & 9 Grunts: 15
-    Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide - Chieftain & Guide: 5
Visgoth Juviah Rhoven & Honor Guard - Rhoven, Gius & Cassian: 9

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

The scenario was Outlast and I won the roll-off. The terrain was pretty skewed: 2 woods on one side of the map with literally nothing else meant that it would be very hard for Severius' forces to effectively get up ahead where they wanted to. Furthermore he had Rhoven so the woods wouldn't give me a lot of protection and lastly Haley2 is quite comfortable moving second in Outlast. I deployed heavily towards the right zone.

:: Game ::

Idrians receive Arcane Ward and spread out.

Notice my Lance deployment. With Lances like this (remember, they go down before Idrians deployment-wise) you have a pretty huge threat-range. While I can't get a good pod bottom of 1 (this is almost always impossible), the closest Idrian on my right side is 16.5" away. TK + TA lets me get there and, given the board, the Stormwall doesn't need to run 12". I decide to give it a go but unfortunately my Lance can't make any 8+ rolls and I fail to kill any models. I had hoped to force his Idrians up ahead to deal with this and kill 2 (2nd with electro leap) + jam 2 or so, but now it didn't look so good.

Severius wants to go for a hard denial play. Jacks move up on both sides, Blessing of Vengeance under Shielding ensuring that I can't take both zones in my second turn (along with the Monk who did his Stance on the left flank). The Idrians luckily only killed 1 Lance but they did give me a bit of a headache regardless.

A big problem was that I had placed my Firefly b2b with the Stormwall T1 for absolutely no reason. With Hand of Judgement sitting a juicy 11" away from the Stormwall I was definitely charging him. Having to move the Firefly first was a bitch though because I wanted to pod in the middle of the hardest-to-kill-Idrians and shoot the pod. Obviously that was impossible unless I could TK the Firefly and I certainly had no focus left to do that as I needed both Haley, Ironclad and Stormwall to get some work done.

So the Firefly tries to move, boost a hit and do work without help. Fails miserably as I don't make my boosted 9. Bad start. The Ironclad and Haley2 luckily perform better and Junior kills the annoying Idrian in front of the 'wall so that I can charge Hand. Stormwall charges in and kills hand despite Oracular Vision and pod a Skirmisher. The Lances kill the rest. Thorn contests the left. 2-0.

You might notice that the Squire is not in the picture. I forgot to move it but my opponent allowed me to put him within 5" of Haley. Rusty play on my part (I blame it on being away for a week) but very sporting of him!

The remaining Idrians jam and Protectorate shifts left.

I kill a Reckoner and some support models. Haley camps focus and receives Arcane Shield. I move to 4-0 and my opponent can't realistically do anything now so instead he goes for tie breaker points by killing off as much as he can and dominating the zone for 2 points.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

Aside from a couple of technical mistakes like the Firefly b2b with Stormwall and forgetting to move the Squire, this was a very good game for me. I did most things right, but in hindsight the Lance move T1 is probably a little risky and uncalled for. If I don't cast TK I can get up Deflection instead (I wanted to camp 1 on Haley and cast TK on Ironclad to get him into the Trench) and abuse DEF15 and the fact that he can't get a lot of models into CRA range to place the Lances differently and still be relevant T2. I've learned from previous encounters with Severius2 that his feat is lethal so I wanted them to swing wide. I could perhaps have deployed them all on the right flank seeing as Severius was deployed centrally and could not realistically have shifted right.

Removing the Idrians in my second turn was a pain once the Firefly missed. It worked out in the end but I had just enough attacks to make it work. In hindsight I should perhaps not have been so focused on scoring the points early: If I can alpha the Hand of Judgement and kill it then I'm up on attrition and he's not scoring under my feat anyway. As such perhaps the better move is to charge the Hand and boost a pod to disrupt him so that he loses his focus (and thus prevent Oracular Vision
from stopping the charge damage). I'm not sure but it's an interesting thought as you can often get tunnel vision.

Haley2 is still a caster I'm very comfortable with into the Protectorate. All of my models here are big pains for them to deal with and get massive amounts of work done. The more experience I get with Severius2 the more I think this matchup is clearly in Cygnar's favour as well.

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