mandag 5. september 2016

Battle Report #283: Haley2 vs High Reclaimer

:: Prologue ::

Following an interesting game with Amon, it was time to try out Haley2 against the trending Protectorate caster High Reclaimer.

:: 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
The High Reclaimer - WJ: +32
- Hierophant - PC: 3
- Crusader - PC: 10 (Battlegroup Points Used: 10)
- Fire of Salvation - PC: 16 (Battlegroup Points Used: 16)
- Vigilant - PC: 9 (Battlegroup Points Used: 6)
The Covenant of Menoth - PC: 4
Wrack - PC: 1
Wrack - PC: 1
Vassal Mechanik - PC: 1
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord - PC: 4
Knights Exemplar - Leader & 5 Grunts: 9
Knights Exemplar - Leader & 5 Grunts: 9
Exemplar Vengers - Leader & 4 Grunts: 20
Idrian Skirmishers - Leader & 9 Grunts: 15
- Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide - Chieftain & Guide: 5

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

High Reclaimer is an interesting caster. I've faced him once I believe, way, way back in Mk. 2. This list is something which I think Haley would usually be fine with in general, however feat and Hand of Fate makes for some really dangerous plays which I have no tools to defend against save for like terrain, positioning etc. As my pair is currently Haley2 + Haley3 I think Haley3 in a nutshell is a better drop here but it's worth trying out Haley2 first because I believe she's up against basically anything else which the Protectorate might bring (yes, despite my loss in the previous game I think Haley2 should have the upper hand vs Amon). In any case: Same map and scenario and I went second. This time I wanted to force a stronger flank to threaten complete annihilation of infantry there and possibly going for a classic super-quick scenario play.

:: Game ::

The Protectorate forces spread out with Vengers taking my weak flank. I reply with sending Thorn towards my weak flank, intending to contest and flank him. Stormwall moves up centrally with TA and blasts a couple of Idrians. I also pod and eleap off of said pod (as eleaps are not attacks HR doesn't get souls) to clear 3-4 more models. A good start.

Vengers jam Thorn shut and occupy the right zone. Exemplars and Idrians take the left one. HR and BG chills out in cover.

I figure I can clear out the left zone and go to 2-0 under Shift. It becomes painfully obvious to me that not having Thorn on the left flank is super bad as I sorely needed him there now. Nothing to do about it unfortunately. I have to spend focus to unjam him and the Ironclad needs focus to go do its job so the Stormwall gets nada. I also have to camp as much as I can.

I go to work with the Ironclad which clears up perfect lanes for Lances. They do a ton of work but unfortunately Haley has to help out as well, leaving her dangerously low on focus. The Stormwall finishes my turn with clearing out the rest in the zone but crucially an Idrian in front of said 'wall toughs.

With Haley on only 2 focus my opponent decides to go for assassination. The Idrians are alive, largely thanks to Thorn being on the wrong flank, and with one member so close to Haley he can easily feat them up (with Hand of Fate, remember!) and go for the big kill. I also helped out with getting him souls so HR is sitting on 10 focus.

He casts Immolation three times, hitting two and boosting damage on one. When he's done I'm sitting on 7 boxes left and 1 focus. He rolls a 5 for the feat and 8 Idrians come back. This allows 3x3 CRA hitting me on 8s. The first misses, the second hits and as he rolls box cars for damage even my focus won't keep her alive and that's all she wrote.

Sadly, a loss for the Swans

:: Evaluation ::

I actually didn't know HR had Immolation, I thought his only nuke was Ashes to Ashes. It does make a slight difference. I made an overly aggressive play which might have been a little uncalled for here as I was way up on attrition. My thinking was that I could get my third point in the ensuing turn with Haley in the trench and then go to 5 later. It's probably better to just go to 1 though (the Ironclad takes it) and take it from there. Attrition is so heavily in my favour and he has very few answers for my jacks. Not to mention the lack of Choir makes his jacks extremely unreliable.

In any case another great game and another list I believe definitely has game into Haley2. I really like that Christian's found some lists that work so well and that actually provide me with a real challenge. It's good for the game and it's good for me. One sided matchups are no fun. I'm positive his list needs Choir but apart from that it's solid. The Choir probably allows his BG to push up more offensively and with the Vengers as well I can easily see the list proposing too many problems at once coupled with the pretty insane angles of the feat. Very cool.

Lastly I should note that with better turn planning I could've had Junior ditch the upkeep to cast Arcane on Haley. Under my feat he's not doing significant damage to the Stormwall anyway. Small things like this are important to keep in mind. Indeed Arcane Shield by default goes on Haley3 in most of my games with her so I'm no stranger to protecting my caster with it. Just have to plan the turn better and look for the little things at all times.

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