The Tree, aka Wurmwood, is a thing. It's time to explore some potential counters. One idea I've discussed with other Cygnar players is a Haley3 variant with minutemen who can jump in and threaten stones and/or Cassius. While I wasn't able to play vs Circle today, you can often rationalize and reason how a list plays in another matchup just by fielding it. As such I played a wacky Haley3 list concept into Issyria.
:: Lists ::
Major Prime Victoria Haley - WJ: +25Opponent:
- Haley Past
- Haley Future
- Minuteman - PC: 9 (Battlegroup Points Used: 9)
- Thorn - PC: 13 (Battlegroup Points Used: 13)
- Ironclad - PC: 12 (Battlegroup Points Used: 3)
- Minuteman - PC: 9
Ragman - PC: 4
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 4
- Charger - PC: 9
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord - PC: 4
Storm Lances - Leader & 4 Grunts: 20
Trencher Infantry - Leader & 9 Grunts: 16
Issyria, Sibyl of Dawn - WJ: +29
- Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker - PC: 4
- Hyperion - PC: 36 (Battlegroup Points Used: 29)
- Chimera - PC: 8
Arcanist Mechanik - PC: 2
Arcanist Mechanik - PC: 2
Arcanist Mechanik - PC: 2
Elara, Tyro of the Third Chamber - PC: 4
- Discordia - PC: 18
Fane Knight Skeryth Issyen - PC: 8
Dawnguard Invictors - Leader & 9 Grunts: 16
- Dawnguard Invictor Officer & Standard - Officer & Standard: 4
:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::
The scenario was Recon and I got first turn. Now, considering the viability of this into Wurmwood I wanted to see if I could stretch out my front lines and perhaps play the Lances on a flank, much like I often did with Haley3 in Mk. 2. To this end I deployed Trenchers a little to the right and Lances a little to the left.
:: Game ::
Stuff moves up, I summon Past and Future and realize it's now completely within 2" just after I take this picture. Yet another small change. Trenchers make a wide cloud wall connecting with the Fuel Cache. After the picture is taken I also remember my Minutemen (proxied by Hunters). The idea was to force the Invictors to care about these early.
Retribution advances in return. Invictors spread out.
I decide to make a play to try and bait out his feat without it being too disastrous. However I make a mistake as I expose Future too easily to the Chimera. The Minutemen go in and together with the Charger I kill a handful or so of Invictors. Cloudwall is pushed up.
Much to my surprise my opponent does not feat. This ensures that both (!) Minutemen survive and Discordia never gets to spray Future following Blinding Light from the Chimera.
I punish my opponent for not feating: Minutemen kill Elara and more Invictors, I nearly kill Discordia, push the Cloudwall up and consolidate my backlines. I mistakenly thought Blinding Light was spells but it's "only" magical attacks so I should've put up Temporal Distortion here.
Finally the feat comes, but at this point in time neither Discordia (who is inert) nor the Invictors (who are nearly all dead) get to do much work. Hyperion moves up as he has to get into the scenario game. Ragman survives.
So this is a feat turn for me for sure. Now the idea was to have a Lance in reserve so that I could feat them back following Issyria's feat turn and keep playing for attrition. The idea was sound but I had placed Future and the Lance too far apart to effectively get what I wanted: I had to give the Haley unit a Press Forward order to get Past into Hyperion and as such Future needed to cast her spells before I moved her. This ended up having the Lances in a very awkward position. Prime repudiated off Inviolable Resolve, Ragman got up Death Field and I went in with Past. Unfortunately I forgot to load the Ironclad up with focus so it wasn't able to contribute significantly. I took out the objective with it instead of making a single, puny attack on Hyperion because I would've needed Ghost Walk to get in because of the Rubble in the middle.
Hyperion kills the Ironclad but fails to deal with Past.
Issyria is very exposed and Charger + Past take her down.
Victory to the Swans!
:: Evaluation ::
The Wurmwood viability of this list is unfortunately a no from me. The backlines are too crowded to the point where Hellmouth just gets too much work done. Wurmwood is also so tanky that he can afford to move up aggressively, feat and not fear getting killed off.
So: As to the game. Lances were played a little too much like Mk. 2 Lances I think. It would have been better to try and get them behind the clouds as well. With Tactical Supremacy now being after activation instead of end of turn it's a lot easier to set up lanes.
The Minutemen performed well on the right flank but it largely boiled down to my Ret opponent mistakenly allowing them both to get in range of 2 different Invictors. The aggressive run from the Invictors was uncalled for and they could have been 2" further behind without the difference in their position negatively affecting his strategical position.
The Hyperion was painful but I also found that it was unable to get much work done outside of feat turn. Effectively I found I was able to play around it. With better play from the Lances I might've been able to deal with it directly as well. If it goes forward, so does Issyria or else Repudiate and Ragman combine to make it fairly vulnerable.
The Haley3 list has potential but it's not what I'm looking for. It did give me a couple of interesting thoughts and insight but I doubt I'll be returning to her anytime soon. Time will show!