onsdag 17. august 2016

Battle Report #259: Caine2 vs Ossyan

:: Prologue ::

On the request of a friend I played a matchup he recently lost. The lists were nearly identical and the scenario + map as close as I could manage. Caine2 vs Ossyan everyone, let's see this explosive pew pew matchup in action!

:: Lists ::

Captain Allister Caine - WJ: +27
- Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator - PC: 4
- Stormwall - PC: 39 (Battlegroup Points Used: 27)
- Lightning Pod
Captain Arlan Strangewayes - PC: 4
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 4
- Charger - PC: 9
Gobber Tinker - PC: 2
Ragman - PC: 4
Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress - PC: 3
Rangers - Leader & 5 Grunts: 9
Storm Lances - Leader & 2 Grunts: 12
Storm Lances - Leader & 2 Grunts: 12
(Ossyan 1) Lord Arcanist Ossyan [+28]
 - Discordia [18]
 - Manticore [14]
Dawnguard Sentinels (max) [18]
 - Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard [4]
Mage Hunter Strike Force (max) [16]
 - Mage Hunter Strike Force Commander [4]
Stormfall Archers [9]
Stormfall Archers [9]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution [6]

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

The scenario was Recon and my deployment was pre-determined by my friend's. It's pretty good and I have no major changes I would've done. I would have wanted one of the lances from the right unit on the left side of the house there to get more trick shot angles T1, but apart from that it's all good!

:: Game ::

Strike Force shuffle right. It is a wise move since it prevents Caine skewing hard right early on. I think it is disastrous for Ret if I choose to do so because I can probably get ahead on scenario and get a very advantageous position for attrition. My opponent takes care to keep the MHSF outside of wall-throwing-charger-to-trick-shot-strike-force threat range. He's had that treatment before and would have none of it now. The Sentinels received Quicken and ran up on the left flank.

It's a brilliant squeeze by my opponent: The Strike Force prevents the Stormwall from getting up the field on the right and the Sentinels are flanking hard enough so that I can't effectively deal with them. Note to self: Going second Caine should probably deploy opposite the Sentinels so that they will be unable to perform such an aggressive move without possibly facing repercussions. Mind you it's not their move this turn which is necessarily the problem (it could be), it's thinking ahead and having Caine in position. Anyway. I pre-measure to ensure Strike Force can't go for a juicy assassination (he'll only get roughly half in range and with Bullet Dodger and 4 focus I should be able to dodge out and kill them in return if he goes for this move).

The problem with the Stormwall is that he'll most likely die next turn. I don't see a way around that. What I need to try and do then is to ensure Ossyan has to really commit to get to it. I make a slight mistake as I allow a couple of Sentinels to charge as I run it up, I could probably have avoided this. Lances on both sides pre-measure to stay outside of SFA range. Deadeye on those guys make them lethal.

Oh and yeah, I forgot Rangers! They were originally deployed behind the house so this was a fairly obvious T1 move.

The Sentinels jam Lances and charge 'wall. Discordia takes up cover in the rubble. Strike Force shuffle back left as they'll face inevitable death by Lances/Trick Shots/Rangers on the right flank. Manticore sets up and his heavies are in a very strong scenario position.

I need to buy space on the right flank. The left flank is too much in Ret favor. True, I need to get some work done here as well but there's no way I can clear it. My big problem now is how on Earth do I deal with the scenario? He might find an angle to feat from where he can catch both the objective, Stormwall and Charger. With MHSF mini-feat he might get them all. I pre-measure though and the Charger should be fine, not to mention Ossyan can't get all these in range without opening up for Caine. As such the idea is to have the Charger be the anti-scenario piece and sell the Stormwall as dearly as possible. On the right flank I run up 2 Lances and the idea is to trickshot off of the both of them to take out Eiryss2 and some Stormfall Archers. I get 3 or 4 models down I think but both Lances die as well. That's too bad. On the left side the 'wall has to tank a Free Strike to free up the Lances. This is easily worth it as the combined effect of the Lances help reduce the Sentinels to insignificant numbers. Sure their mini-feat and wall of steel are cute but PS15 is just too much for them. Moving the Stormwall further down to the left also has the effect to force him to commit positioning-wise to take it out. I hope I've made it expensive enough.

Ossyan indeed goes for the 'wall, but it is extremely close: He kills it with the last attack at just one more damage than he needed. It basically boils down to me letting 3 Sentinels charge me top of 2, which is kind of unnecessary as the 'wall itself isn't a relevant long-ranged threat piece here. It is an enabler for the rest. Anyway, wall down, but he paid the price! Objective still alive as he had nothing he could commit to it.

Usually when people see this they think "oh-oh, Cygnar in trouble". Usually, that is not the case with Caine2. It certainly can be, but for Caine it can be a big advantage to trade the 'wall for a positional advantage. All I need to do now is kill Discordia and wipe out the right flank.

Charger puts 2 boosted Pow12s into Disco to start it off. Caine then feats following Reinholdt's reload but I roll pretty poorly and she survives on 2 boxes. Lances clear up on the left and the remaining Lance from the right unit moves in to contest, making it kind of hard for him to clear the scenario.

There is again an assassination opening on Caine but he can't get all models in range and without feat it's dicey. He tries to go for a scenario play by charging the objective with the Manticore and have disco follow up. Disco has no useful systems though. The Strike Force mini-feat to try and take out the Storm Lance but they fail, Ossyan had to spend his focus taking out a Lance on the left flank.

I move Ragman up for Death Field. The last Lance charges the Manticore and deals pretty massive damage. Discordia dies to electro leaps and the Charger takes out the Manticore. Caine shifts right, shoots a ton of trick shots at the objective to wipe out 6 models or so and said objective. He then gate crashes onto the right flag and I move to 3-1.

The game is pretty much over now. Retribution can't contest me or move ahead on scenario in time. I have too many pieces spread out which can contest and control and Caine is a master of cleaning up a table like this.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

I must admit, the matchup was closer than I had thought. I handled the Sentinels poorly. Part of it was deployment not threatening them enough with Charger and Caine2, but the biggest part was letting them get 3 models onto the wall. Unnecessary and easily avoidable.

This is another matchup where Rhupert would've been great. Caine's defense is a little on the low side against MHSF with Deadeye to be honest. Sure it's dicey to go for him but it's not out-of-this-world lucky if he dies. It really pains me but I must admit that my current list doesn't feel 100% considering what I want it to play into.

The big thing in this matchup is how the Strike Forces zones the Stormwall and how Caine zones them. Usually the Stormwall is a solid scenario piece but in this game he can just forget about it. It should be possible to keep him alive until T3 but to do so you need a solid understanding of the matchup and have positioning so that Ossyan can never move to 3-0 without seriously compromising himself. In this game I managed to draw out Ossyan's feat and the positioning of his units to deal with the 'wall and that sealed the deal.

A very interesting game and I hope my friend will find that I did the matchup justice. As the astute reader might notice I've written quite a bit more than I usually do, which I've done on purpose to elaborate my thoughts and evaluations throughout the game.

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