mandag 22. august 2016

Iron Moot: Iron Gauntlet #4 (#269): Sloan vs Wurmwood

:: Prologue ::

Jarle, how on Earth did you end up playing Wurmwood with Sloan? Let me tell you a story. One of my common Circle opponents from the local club (2d6), Jonas, loves Kromac1. He has for a long time and couldn't stop himself from playing him in Mk. 2 even. Now in Mk. 3 Kromac1 is a solid counter to a number of the casters in this game. He of course had Kromac1 as one of his 3 lists. Now, I know that he knows that Kromac1 is massively up against Haley2 because Thorn is a brick and Sentry Stones + Reeves are -really- hard to play against. We have played this previously (report here) and although I won that game he learned a lot. On top of that, he had about 5 games total with Wurmwood at the time we faced off for this game. My thinking was that he would think I would drop Haley2 because it is the safest choice for me and that he'd thus drop Kromac1 because he knows the caster better and he knows it's a solid matchup.

So yeah, I went for a gamble and dropped Kara Sloan. Jonas dropped the Tree. Fuck. Me.

:: Lists ::

(Sloan 1) Captain Kara Sloan [+28]
 - Firefly [8]
 - Defender [16]
 - Defender [16]
 - Hunter [11]
 - Hunter [11]
 - Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator [4]
Rangers [9]
Storm Lances (min) [12]
Storm Lances (min) [12]
Captain Arlan Strangewayes [4]
Wurmwood, Tree of Fate & Cassius the Oathkeeper - WB: +27
-    Wurmwood, Tree of Fate & Cassius the Oathkeeper (Cont.)
-    Ghetorix - PC: 21 (Battlegroup Points Used: 21)
-    Megalith - PC: 20 (Battlegroup Points Used: 6)
-    Pureblood Warpwolf - PC: 17
Blackclad Wayfarer - PC: 4
Gallows Grove - PC: 2
War Wolf - PC: 2
Sentry Stone & Mannikins - Leader & 3 Grunts: 5
Sentry Stone & Mannikins - Leader & 3 Grunts: 5
Shifting Stones - Leader & 2 Grunts: 3
Reeves of Orboros - Leader & 9 Grunts: 16
Wolves of Orboros - Leader & 5 Grunts: 7

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

The scenario was Extraction and I was luckily able to get first turn. I know how much Wurmwood hates going second (he's a lot like Haley3 in that way) so my plan here was to bully my way up the table, buy time and space and hopefully get some sort of angle either on attrition or scenario.

:: Game ::

As with my game vs Ossyan I skewed all jacks in one direction and all Lances in another. The idea was to force Wurmwood to surrender the LoS game on at least one of the flanks. He had an absolutely ridiculous piece of forest to play around with but I got out really wide so he was bound to give up -something-. Also, my sheer threat ranges forced him to be careful.

Stones move up and he gives up denying me LoS on the right flank. He does hide one Sentry Stone with his Forest spell and the other Sentry Stone but crucially the second Sentry Stone is visible -and- Megalith tramples into (!) this forest.

This was too good of an opening to miss out on. The feat was mandatory here and the goal was to take out both the Sentry and Megalith. I contemplated trying to get some Lances onto the hidden Sentry by charging Mannikins or whatever but decided against it because dice off 5 requires a miracle to perform. Besides, I could force him to commit a ton of his power to clear out the right flank by just providing him with a super-juicy target there. I even got a couple of charges onto Ghetorix which did a few boxes worth of damage on him.

The Lances are all cleared out and Wurmwood feats. Luckily for me he stayed defensively and only got a minor positional advantage from it, not even scoring because I had a Stealthed Ranger in the woods nearby. Losing the Lances hurt a lot but he was now out of LoS shenanigans and didn't have an advantage scenario wise. Did this really just become a game?

The left flank was perfectly set up for the Firefly and I got lucky with its 3 bounces killing 4 models, clearing that part of the table and enabling me to take the scenario lead (!). I also continued running the Hunters further around to pressure him and took care to have Sloan in cover from all possible angles. On the right flank I had Rangers moving up to harass Ghetorix.

The writing was on the wall for Wurmwood: He was out of tricks, down on attrition and down on scenario. He might have had a couple of plays left but Ghetorix was badly damaged so it would be risky and he still had a scenario opening. He sent in Ghetorix then to kill the objective and tried to protect him with his forest spell whereas the Blackclad took the flag. 1-2.

I make my biggest technical mistake of the weekend as I move Sloan down to kill Ghetorix but I am not cautious with her Refuge move and she only gets cover from the angle dead ahead. I run Arlan right to have more contest pieces, the Rangers contest (one runs out of command to run in and contest next turn) and one of my Defenders start moving over and it kills Ghetorix. The Hunters take out the last Sentry and the Firefly grills infantry. If memory serves I also kill the objective this turn.

Cassius runs up to get a cover-less angle onto Sloan. Wurmwood then goes for a Stranglehold. He hits and I'm on 1 focus so it's dice minus 3 base, or dice minus 8 if I spend the focus. I kid you not, the damage roll comes up 6, 6, 6. Holy mother of... Ok, so that's 10 boxes down, 6 to go. The second Stranglehold misses and he now only has 3 fury left. That means he can either boost the attack or the damage roll, but not both. He's 9+ to hit and 9+ to kill so it doesn't matter that much which of them he goes for if this is his only chance (which it is, kind of) but he boosts the attack roll regardless. It hits and he needs a hard 9 to kill me and win the game. He rolls an 8!!!

It's clean up time basically. I just have to take care to not have Sloan die on me. Pureblood is killed and he has nothing which can get in range and even theoretically land anything. From here on out it's a straightforward game.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

It seriously looks like I'm giving away the game here on purpose but it's just such a terrible, terrible mistake. The Dice Gods wanted me to win though and I'm very grateful for that as it gave me a ticket both to the Gauntlet Rounds and the Invitationals.

This matchup is extremely hard and the only reason I got away with murder here was because Jonas doesn't know neither Sloan nor the matchup at all. He's never played Sloan before and he's hardly played Cygnar at all with Wurmwood. Obviously stones should be protected and Megalith should be chilling out early game but also his feat needs to be aggressive (I literally only threaten a handful of inches in front of me on his feat turn so he could've gone all out here and pushed me back), which it absolutely was not. The Lances sacrificing themselves looks like a really expensive and wasted move but it provides just what I need: Time and space.

I am very happy with the fact that I was able to capitalize on the openings which were presented to me and outside of the stupid, stupid, technical mistake with Sloan I think I delivered a solid game.

Gauntlet Rounds Semi-Finals coming up!

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