mandag 22. august 2016

Iron Moot: Steamroller #5 (#265): Sloan vs Ossyan

:: Prologue ::

With a 3-1 record the field was really starting to tighten again. So many strong players in this tournament and despite my game 2 loss I was now facing some of the very best. I ended up drawing Niels from Germany with Retribution. He had a pairing which absolutely disgusted me (from a Cygnar point of view): Ossyan with double (!) Strike Force double Storm Falls and Vyros2 with double Sentinels. A huge list chicken situation. Well, Haley2 is useless into Ossyan, like auto-loss useless, and I have quite a bit of experience with Sloan into Vyros. I had also played Haley2 all day so I decided to drop Sloan. He dropped Ossyan and the game was on!

:: 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]
Lord Arcanist Ossyan - WJ: +28
-    Discordia - PC: 18 (Battlegroup Points Used: 18)
-    Sphinx - PC: 13 (Battlegroup Points Used: 10)
Arcanist Mechanik - PC: 2
Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress - PC: 3
Mage Hunter Strike Force - Leader & 9 Grunts: 16
-    Mage Hunter Strike Force Commander - PC: 4
Mage Hunter Strike Force - Leader & 9 Grunts: 16
-    Mage Hunter Strike Force Commander - PC: 4
Stormfall Archers - Leader & 3 Grunts: 9
Stormfall Archers - Leader & 3 Grunts: 9
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt - Lady Aiyana & Master Holt: 8

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

We were playing The Pit and Ossyan moves first. I just pray he doesn't know this matchup very well. Deployment-wise I skew all jacks behind my flag. The idea is to have the Lances opposite them and effectively zone out the Strike Force. I still deployed lances symmetrically in case he'd skew Strike Force, which he did not.

:: Game ::

Ossyan casts Quicken on the Strike Force to my right and both units run up hard and long. I am so eager to measure the actual distances here but I hold my "game face" as best as I can.

My prayers are answered: He did indeed move up significantly too far on the left flank. The angles are almost perfect for me with the moves being -just- in on all important shots: Sloan, Defenders and Hunters targeting things in the rear and the Firefly getting 2 models with solid leaps within 18".

I run Rangers up, reload Kara, activate Kara, cast Refuge + Guided Fire, move up, feat, kill 3 Strike Force and move away to relative safety. The jacks follow up with amazing performances and the Firefly in particular is just destructive beyond belief. The end result is pretty nasty considering how the table looked like just one turn before:

With my Lances kept back it's hard for Ossyan to get a significant counter-alpha here (to be fair I was probably too defensive with them). He settles for the long game and inflicts little damage of importance. Nothing of value was lost.

Time to start claiming some table space. I figure I need to put the attrition pressure on him: I can't hang back because whatever I put in the zone he can likely kill unless I put a -ton- of things there. The goal then is to have the Lances harass his Strike Force to the best of their ability and put 2 jacks in the zone while all my heavy shooting targets his Manticore. It works out well and despite Discordia having her imprint up the Manticore nearly dies.

Ossyan does kill most of the Lances and I believe he did feat this turn as well. He wasn't able to clear the zone however so I was now up on attrition and scenario was more or less dead to him.

The remaining Storm Lance wreaks all kinds of having on the remaining Strike Force models. I nearly kill Discordia and make sure to contest the zone sufficiently just to be safe.

The lack of Retribution counter-punch is evident as he only manages to kill a Defender with all of his army focused on doing so.

I respond by taking out 2 solos, Discordia and some models with the Storm Lance in his back line.

At this point the game is effectively over in my favour but I've made a silly, greedy mistake by putting Sloan on the flag. There is no reason for me to do so and give him an assassination angle. True, it is a long shot but I am so massively up that I can simply wait it out. Niels goes for the kill but luckily for me, the crazy dice he needed are not present.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

Wow, what a game! This matchup is so extremely tense and the double Strike Force are a nightmare to play against. Niels not having experience with it was definitely what gave me the upper hand here. I've talked a lot about understanding matchups and this is yet again a very good example: Strike Force within 18" of the Firefly is a dicey prospect.

I might have been able to get more work done with the Lances here. When they died they went down exactly as I needed them to: Saving the rest of my army from Ossyan's feat. A small price to pay, relatively speaking. However I think I could've been more aggressive with them bottom of 1. I'm not sure though.

This was the last game of day 1 and the opponents I had met throughout the tournament were all delivering solid results so my SOS was surprisingly strong for having lost game 2. In the end it came down to the very last game where my Retribution opponent from game 3 would send me to 2nd place with a win. Unfortunately he lost his game and I ended up in 4th place, just outside of the podium. It was a pity as only the top 2 qualified for Sunday's Inviational event but I was happy regardless: 4-1 in this field is a result I am proud of and I had 5 amazing games.

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