mandag 22. august 2016

Iron Moot: Iron Gauntlet Finals (#271): Haley2 vs Karchev

:: Prologue ::

Ever since my first game on Friday I knew there was a player around with Karchev and no less than 14 heavy warjacks. The mere fact that this is possible is baffling, what makes it even worse in my opinion is that the spell- and feat synergies here are downright ridiculous. It was finally my turn to face Johan's arm-skew of doom! The format here was big for me as I could tool my list and get in what I needed. I immediately knew that Arlan would be overkill because there simply wouldn't be enough to spend my focus on here. Ragman however would be golden and with the Firefly I could get to POW14 electro leaps. That is massive in this matchup. I also wanted Lanyssa over a tinker to get as much out of my alpha(s) as possible.

This game was streamed live with two commentators. I recommend you watch the video as well as read this report. The YouTube link is here (this game is from ~1:27:00 until the end).

:: Lists ::

Major Victoria Haley - WJ: +25
-    Squire - PC: 5
-    Stormwall - PC: 39 (Battlegroup Points Used: 25)
-    Lightning Pod
-    Thorn - PC: 13
-    Ironclad - PC: 12
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 4
-    Firefly - PC: 8
Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress - PC: 3
Ragman - PC: 4
Storm Lances - Leader & 2 Grunts: 12
Karchev the Terrible - WJ: +30
-    Mad Dog - PC: 7 (Battlegroup Points Used: 7)
-    Mad Dog - PC: 7 (Battlegroup Points Used: 7)
-    Mad Dog - PC: 7 (Battlegroup Points Used: 7)
-    Mad Dog - PC: 7 (Battlegroup Points Used: 7)
-    Mad Dog - PC: 7 (Battlegroup Points Used: 2)
-    Mad Dog - PC: 7
-    Mad Dog - PC: 7
-    Mad Dog - PC: 7
-    Mad Dog - PC: 7
-    Mad Dog - PC: 7
-    Mad Dog - PC: 7
-    Mad Dog - PC: 7
-    Mad Dog - PC: 7
-    Mad Dog - PC: 7
Gobber Tinker - PC: 2
Gobber Tinker - PC: 2
Battle Mechaniks - Leader & 3 Grunts: 3

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

Ok so there's something like 4-500 boxes to go around? Luckily for me the scenario is Outlast and this is very much a live scenario so perhaps I can force favourable fights from this. The idea is to overwhelm one flank, have the Stormwall act as an anchor towards the middle and clear its flank with the other jacks. Khador moves first so I have to see what kind of an opening I can get. The Lances are getting the jam-opposing-zone-and-or-middle duty because I simply can't spare anything else for this.

:: Game ::

All Mad Dogs pop a movement box to run up 12" instead of 8". Karchev casts counter-charge.

One Mad Dog is within 19" of the Stormwall. Opening found! TK + Domination + Temporal Acceleration puts it into charge range if I can land Kiss. I go for it and get Ragman's Field as well which ensures the demise of the Mad Dog. 13 to go! Ironclad and Thorn flank but I am to passive with both Haley, Junior and Firefly here unfortunately.

Karchev keeps sending his machines up. Now, Counter-charge is a legitimate concern here because it messes with my positioning. The damage itself is negligible but the positioning game can be a problem here. Karchev moves away from the left zone though so I won't have to worry about him. There are plays if he goes in for a counter-charge here for sure, either TK-ing him around or simply having enough backup to deal with him if need be. It can be a trap for him for sure to go in like this because there is so much backup to kill him, if not directly then the ensuing turn.

I can set up to kill anywhere from 1-5 Mad Dogs this turn depending on dice. I TK stuff and engage stuff to make sure I have things covered but I make an uncharacteristic mistake when I don't pre-measure the Firefly and end up blocking my own Ironclad from charging in and helping out. This annoys me no end, but luckily it's so late in the turn that the effect on my judgement is irrelevant. The Storm Lances got a lot of work done in the middle and the Stormwall was just brutal. I rolled quite well here but I took care not to kill the mad dogs: I think 3 of them or so were left on single-digit boxes. You don't want to spend PS22 attacks on that since you are dice +4 and there are POW14 electro leaps available. That's quite ineffective and they were mostly crippled anyway so the return damage was approaching an expected amount of 0. Better to harm a lot of them and have the other jacks finish them off in the ensuing turn, way more effective. I can't score and move ahead on scenario just yet anyway.

As expected Khador does a total of something like 3 boxes on my Stormwall. I have now gotten over my ridiculous mistake with the Firefly and have a clear mind for this turn. The opening here is downright ridiculous, if I clear enough jacks now the game is over barring insane dice. I need Haley in safety and preferably in the zone behind the Stormwall: Following the destruction of a lot of Mad Dogs there is only one play left for Karchev and that is to move all in on the Stormwall and hope Karchev can survive. That is an extremely poor bet but one he has to make regardless if my plan succeeds and if he does do so I want every single attack available. Haley is no joke in melee (just ask this TEP). True, she is no Butcher3 but with Ragman she moves to PS15. With TK to rob Karchev of Unyielding that is dice minus 4. Johan moved in as much as he could and got a Tinker contesting.

The idea is for the Ironclad, Junior and Firefly to clear out the severely wounded Mad Dogs, Lances to jam the center, Haley to charge the Tinker in the upper left corner and the Stormwall to get work done with PS22 melee attacks and POW14 electro leaps. Pew pew and all that.

This all works out perfectly and I'm pretty sure this game is over when I clock over to Johan. Thorn killed the Tinker so I even score. I am up massively on attrition, the Stormwall has lost perhaps a handful of boxes or so and Ironclad + Thorn have lost 0 boxes. The Lances are even all alive. There are no assassination angles on Haley I think (perhaps some slam + spray play is possible with crazy dice), which leaves Karchev having to kill the Stormwall. The problem with him doing so is that his chances for survival are close to 0%: Even if he camps like 4 focus there is no way he can survive the ensuing onslaught: He has no Mad Dogs to put in the way so at most I'm looking to TK 1 or max. 2 Mad Dogs to clear the path, after which I get Junior's shot, Haley charging, Firefly charging, Ironclad charging, Thorn charging, all on free charges and full focus because of Lanyssa and all with +2PS because of Ragman. That is enough power to kill him twice or thrice over so camp won't matter.

Johan goes for the play to kill the Stormwall but even his dice fail him and despite spending every single focus point the 'wall is alive when Karchev is done activating. His remaining mad dogs struggle to clear out Lances to get to the Stormwall and those that to even still fail to kill it.

With the Stormwall alive I don't even have to care about Mad Dogs counter-charging and killing him becomes even more trivial. Johan shakes my hand and concedes the game before clocking over to me but I ask if he's serious as this is the final game and crazy dice have happened before. We roll it out and the Ironclad kills Karchev alone.

Tournament Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

What an absolute blast of a game! MVP goes to Ragman who accounted for something like 100 boxes over the course of this game. So many attacks, electro leaps and pods doing tons more damage than you can usually rely on ripping those Mad Dogs apart.

It all started off very well when I got a Mad Dog bottom of 1. Every single bit helps here. The ocean is so vast but you just have to start somewhere. Focus on the problem at hand and the solution will eventually present itself. Keeping my cool and dishing out the most damage possible over finishing the Mad Dogs in turn 2 was absolutely vital to my success here and I think quite a few observers wondered what on Earth was happening in turn 3 when Mad Dogs literally dropped like flies to basically all of my jacks. It should be noted that throughout the game I had solid dice, at one point rolling 12, 11 and 12 consecutively for electro leaps damage, whereas Johan could hardly get any work done (Karchev and 2 Mad Dogs not killing Stormwall on feat turn for example). Luck sure helps, but I still think the strategy was sound: After all I fucked up the Ironclad turn 2 with the horrible Firefly move so that's basically 4x PS20 attacks lost right there which accounts for more than spiked electro leaps really.

It was a great game and I really enjoyed this final. It was so rewarding to be able to pull off a winning play against such an extreme skew, just knowing I can handle it is a huge confidence booster both in terms of my ability to create lists, execute plans and play the game.

One thing I feel I must remark on though is a subject which the commentators brought up (and did so multiple times) which concerns how you handle the clock. The clock thing for me is a principle. You never ever touch your opponent's clock. You just don't do that. He is in control of his time and you are in control of your time. If an opponent clocks over for me I get pissed, unless it's on my request. The argument presented by the commentators was that when I hit over to Johan because he spends time to mark damage I should be the one to clock back to myself as well. This concept feels completely alien to me. Why would I do that? It is -his- action and -his- time, only -he- knows when he's done. Oh but it's only marking damage, they say. Well, when you have POW14 electro leaps running around and each attack damaging two different models out of 14 (!) identical ones that takes a -lot- of time. I played Johan again on Sunday as well and in both games there were multiple instances where the damage was marked on the wrong model and he had to rewind and re-apply it. I'm not the one who brings a list which is so difficult to keep track of, it's not my decision that this takes a lot of time. Why should I suffer for it? As you will note in the video linked above, I am ready with the card, far up on the table so my opponent can keep track that I do things correctly and the pen in hand before a single blow is struck. This is out of respect for my opponent and his time and if I for some reason am not ready to do so (e.g. I forgot to take out the card) I politely ask him to clock over to me while I prepare myself, at which point in time I fully expect to clock back to him when I'm done myself, rather than have him do it. You don't automatically clock over to yourself when an opponent has activated all his units and in principle it's the same thing. When a player is doing something he owns that time, be it resolving a turn, resolving out of turn activations like counter-charge or admonition or marking damage boxes. It's a matter of principle. You own your own time. Calling me out for bad sportsmanship here really gets me annoyed to be honest, and a little sad. I have every single character name on my front arcs so opponents can easily keep track of what's what, every single leader has "leader" marked on his base so opponents can exploit out of formation tricks easily, I put down boxes taken on multi-wound models with dice for greater clarity and just basically do what I can for the game to flow well as per the rules. I can see their point but I think we should agree to disagree on the principle here instead of calling out poor sportsmanship. I'm so sorry to clutter this report with this long rant but this is an important topic for me. A lot of what makes this hobby so great is the games you get against other people. These games rely on mutual cooperation and respect and this is something I try to do my best to uphold, within the rules of the game of course. I like to think that I play hard, but fair, and I expect my opponents to do likewise. I didn't ask Johan for a takeback on the Firefly for example despite such moves being commonplace now that premeasuring is a thing.

Anyway, Iron Gauntlet Qualifier Win! I was very, very happy and satisfied that I managed to win this tournament, especially with such an incredible field. 6 great games, 6 great opponents and finally the grand Victory to the Swans which I love so much.

5 kommentarer:

  1. I don't know the circumstances around your clock issue, but if you do switch it over so your opponent can mark damage, it would be good sportsmanship to also remind him to switch it over again when he's done. This helps from a referee perspective too because nothing is worse than players forgetting to switch the clock and playing on the other person's time. Helping each other play a clean game is the best approach.

    1. Oh, that was not the issue. The issue was merely that the commentators wanted me to switch back to myself: I.e. I clock over to Johan when he marks the damage and then I clock back to me when he is done marking damage. I never played on his clock. If my opponent forgets to clock me back I will politely request that he does so before I continue playing. I'm sure there have been exceptions but those situations are honest mistakes.

      As Johan pointed out in a comment on facebook, I did clock over too early a couple of times (more specifically I clocked over once the dice were rolled, not when the damage was calculated). He asked that I calculate the damage first and I completely agree with him of course and changed the timing of clocking over accordingly.

  2. You should absolutely clock to your opponent when he's marking damage, you don't even have to justify it by him being slow, typically you won't know in advance if he will be messing around with his cards.

    And yes, it is his own responsibility to clock back, but of course, if he forgets then it is also your moral responsibility to remind him.

    Grats on the win, I must say that you continue to impress and it's very interesting to follow your journey.

    1. Yes, the issue here was that I was not the one to clock back as well. Johan didn't forget about it or anything, the commentators simply remarked that they wanted me to do so in the first place, which is what I disagree strongly with (and especially being called out for bad sportsmanship).

      Thank you :) The journey is not over!