mandag 22. august 2016

Iron Moot: Steamroller #1 (#261): Haley2 vs Madrak2

:: Prologue ::

The very first game of Iron Moot 2016! Ok, so before we get to the first report I'd like to take a moment and discuss a few things. For those of you who don't know the Convention format, it is basically a big event with multiple tournaments running in parallell all the time. On Friday for example there were 2 Steamroller events, 1 Hardcore event and 1 Champions event. There may have been more, I am not sure. The best X players from each event get a ticket to an "Invitational" event which runs on Sunday. On Iron Moot there was also a big event on Saturday, the Iron Gauntlet Qualifier. Basically if you perform well in multiple Iron Gauntlet Qualifiers you get invited to the Iron Gauntlet event at Lock and Load. I was signed up for a Steamroller on Friday, IGQ on Saturday and another Steamroller on Sunday.

Secondly, a note on player skill, expectations and competitive mindset. In any game, I look at the game at hand and respect my opponent and his ability to execute amazing moves. It does not matter how many games you win or play, if an opponent knows his army well enough he can always find openings that can potentially win the game. That is why my expectations are often fairly modest, something I've had multiple people question me about. When I go into a 6-round event, I never think about anything else than the game at hand. If I am done and waiting for the next game I'll try and get a break, sit for myself and just do something else to clear my head, go outside with friends to draw some fresh air or whatever. Naturally when the field narrows it's common to start thinking about what you'll likely meet. If you start a 6-round event with a dozen people easily capable of beating you I think your focus will be off even if you are the best and have the best shot at taking it home. If you start a 6-round event with all of your opponents easily capable of beating you I think you will effectively have a "paralysis by analysis" situation. In any case then, I think it's important to solely consider the one game at hand, expect the best from your opponent and just try and do your best.

With that out of the way, it's time to start this string of reports! My very first tournament at Iron Moot turned out to be a Shark Tank where the average player skill was through the roof. A true joy to play and I had 5 absolutely amazing games. First up was David with Trolls. A perfect start, I get way too few games against Trolls and I love to play things I don't usually meet. Unfortunately my inexperience would be glaringly obvious in this game...

:: Lists ::

(Haley 2) Major Victoria Haley [+25]
- Thorn [13]
- Stormwall [39]
- Squire [5]
- Ironclad [12]
Journeyman Warcaster [4]
- Minuteman [9]
Captain Arlan Strangewayes [4]
Gobber Tinker [2]
Storm Lances (min) [12]
Madrak Ironhide, World Ender - WB: +28
-    Trollkin Runebearer - PC: 4
-    Dire Troll Mauler - PC: 15 (Battlegroup Points Used: 15)
-    Mulg the Ancient - PC: 19 (Battlegroup Points Used: 13)
-    Pyre Troll - PC: 9
-    Troll Bouncer - PC: 9
Fell Caller Hero - PC: 5
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes - Leader & 5 Grunts: 9
-    Stone Scribe Elder - PC: 3
Trollkin Fennblades - Leader & 9 Grunts: 15
-    Trollkin Fennblade Officer & Drummer - Officer & Drummer: 5
Trollkin Warders - Leader & 2 Grunts: 10

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

The lists were fairly obvious drops I think, he had Calandra paired and I had Sloan. Calandra looks really dicey into Sloan so I was expecting him to drop Madrak2 (which might also be dicey given my 2x 3 Storm Lances to be honest but not as much). I have always been comfortable with Haley2 into Trollbloods because of shenanigans and I wasn't about to start experimenting now, doubly so because the scenario was Outlast. I got first turn and weighted as per usual so that I would likely have the option to feat early and force him to let me score in his turn.

:: Game ::

Stuff runs, I get far up. Double TK from Haley to get herself and the Ironclad as far up as possible as well.

Madrak has the balls to charge (!) up ahead in front of his entire army. I didn't understand this move at all...

...until my opponent told me he thought that Earth's Blessing stopped Telekinesis. Unfortunately for him, it does not. Ok so I can get the Stormwall on full focus, the Ironclad on full focus, 3 Storm Lances assaulting and the Minuteman shooting Madrak. He'll have 4 models to transfer hits to. He was camping 1 Fury. I figure I -have- to go for this play.

It all goes well until he starts to transfer to the Krielstone Leader. What I hadn't thought about was that this model can have other models in its unit sacrifice themselves to keep it alive, thus enabling him to keep transferring hits. Oh my, I could've just TK'd that model and be done with it. The long story short is that I killed all models he could transfer to and dealt... 1 box worth of damage to Madrak. I felt so stupid, I knew very well that Madrak2 is one of the hardest casters in the game to try and assassinate but yet I went for it and I failed so miserably. Oh well, live and learn.

With Shift up there shouldn't be any solid retaliation at least. I figure Madrak should just tank a free strike here, transfer damage, move out and position himself for the long run. After all I feated without being able to get either an alpha or points and I even forgot to toe the left zone with Thorn so this is absolutely huge for him. In any case he goes for the fancy play which is feat to kill a Stormlance, move Mulg in and have Mulg munch his way to the Stormwall. The math on such a move doesn't add up on average, even with Mulg, so it's an unecessary risk in my opinion, but I am super happy to see him try for this as Madrak's greed puts him on 0 fury. The Stormwall survives Mulg as well... now I can finish what I started. I TK Madrak away from his sac-buddies, get the minuteman into the thick of it clearing out Fennblades with Flak Field and the repaired Stormwall murders Madrak at last.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

There's not a whole lot to say about this game I think, it boils down to a big mistake on my opponent's part (thinking Earth's Blessing stops TK), followed by an equally big one on my part etc. A mess of a game, in other words. At least we both learned very valuable lessons! The game was great fun though and I hope David enjoyed it as well.

I think feating for 2 would have been a viable option but I'm not 100% on how it should be set up. It's kind of risky considering I don't know his tricks and likely requires multiple TKs.

At the end of the day this is an excellent example of why you simply need experience with matchups.

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