mandag 12. september 2016

Invasion 2016 Game 2 (#289): Haley2 vs Madrak2

:: Prologue ::

While the first game was over quickly, the second one would take an entirely different turn altogether. Mats and his yellow horde was facing me. I dropped Haley2 and received Madrak2.

:: 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 
Madrak Ironhide, World Ender - WB: +28
- Mulg the Ancient - PC: 19 (Battlegroup Points Used: 19)
- Troll Axer - PC: 10 (Battlegroup Points Used: 9)
Fell Caller Hero - PC: 5
Fell Caller Hero - PC: 5
Troll Whelps - 5 Whelps: 4
Stone Scribe Chronicler - PC: 4
Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress - PC: 3
Swamp Gobber Chef - PC: 1
Trollkin Fennblades - Leader & 9 Grunts: 15
- Trollkin Fennblade Officer & Drummer - Officer & Drummer: 5
Trollkin Fennblades - Leader & 9 Grunts: 15
- Trollkin Fennblade Officer & Drummer - Officer & Drummer: 5
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes - Leader & 5 Grunts: 9
- Stone Scribe Elder - PC: 3

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

The scenario was Take and Hold and I went first. The idea was to try and get Haley positioned centrally for feat and play for attrition, pressuring Madrak on assassination and look for scenario openings.

:: Game ::

Stuff runs up.

Measuring 16.5" or so from Lanyssa, Mulg is put down. The Fennblades on either flank fan out, the ones on the right ensuring that Lances couldn't get through.

I don't think I can pass up this chance. Temporal Acceleration on the Stormwall, TK on Mulg and TK on Lanyssa ensures what should be a pretty devastating alpha. Mulg has a lot of juicy infantry for eleaps around him as well. I decide to go for the play and send the Lances into the Fennblades forming the vanguard on the right flank. The rest of my jacks are sent up to support the Stormwall and keep the pressure up on the aforementioned assassination possibility.

Ragman is unfortunately not in range. More than anything this is kind of a mistake in the deployment/T1 movement. He is safe against this list even if he runs 12" dead ahead. Anyway. The Stormwall flukes and not only does Mulg not die, I don't kill a single infantry model (or even achieve a KD!). My inexperience against Madrak shows as I drop a pod. Ouch.

In what looks to be a game-ending disastrous turn, I escape through sheer luck. It turns out that the Fennblades on the right can Vengeance out of Haley's feat range largely, which combined with their mini-feat allows them to charge my Lances. Somehow I only lose a single Lance. Furthermore I don't know if Madrak doesn't see it, doesn't dare go for it or what but the pod is left alive. This is arguably possibly because Warpath isn't up and he's low on fury. I was fully expecting an angry Mulg to turn around though.

It's a mess on my right flank, I don't have the models to keep the Fennblades there at bay. However as of right now I don't think it's crucial, what -is- crucial is to start clearing out the left flank so I dedicate my resources to this and leave the Lances. This time I have the Firefly and Ragman in range so the POW14 electro leaps do some serious work. Mulg of course goes down as well.

Considering how bad the situation looked last turn, I am quite happy with the state of the game when I clock over.

Madrak goes all-in for the Stormwall and charges in personally. One side is crippled. Fennblades on the right clear out Lances.

I figure that if my jacks can clear out a few models I can TK Madrak away so he can't transfer hits. Sadly I lost Ragman. Anyway the jacks do their thing and I TK Madrak with his back to the 'wall. I forget to pod the remaining whelp before I strike Madrak so the first hit is transfered and when I miss an attack I can see the writing on the wall. I need a spike to get him and I don't roll particularly high. Sadly Madrak escapes on 4 boxes and I'm kind of out of ideas.

The grind has turned into a long one and the clock is becoming a serious issues for the Trollbloods. Mats spends too much time killing off my things and even though I lose both the Stormwall and Thorn I see an opening at last by simply keeping the game alive.

I stopped taking pictures because the game became so tense. What happened was that I cleared out all the Fennblades and Lanyssa while I kept sending in pieces to contest. In the end the Trolls were up 3-1 on CP but had like 10 seconds left or so. I had Arcane Shield up on Haley and camped a focus or two and the very last effort to win the game included the Axer charging me, but he couldn't even land the attack roll and after that the clock timed out.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

More than anything this game shows my inexperience with Trollbloods. I make a plethora of mistakes, ranging from strategical ones (Haley should look for scenario openings right off the bat), to tactical ones (positioning of Ragman, leaving Lances alone vs Funblades) to technical ones (giving him a pod to kill, forgetting that I could Madrak2 with spells when he had only 4 boxes left by simply TK-ing a little guy around).

The game suddenly explodes T2 when I get an opening for Mulg. It screws my initial plan of playing slowly for attrition and hopefully conserving the feat a bit, but I can't -not- go for this. I needed 3+ to hit him so not killing him was unlucky considering I had 6 attacks and the free charge from Lanyssa. Not killing anything else with electro leaps was also not anticipated. But hey, dice happen and at dice minus 1 it surely wasn't a safe bet.

The Vengeance combined with minifeat from the Funnblades allowed for some serious anti-Haley shenanigans, killing a Lance (might as well have been all 3 to be fair!) and crippling the Ironclad's Hammer right off the bat under Temporal Shift. Mats did a great job spreading the infantry out so that it was impossible to catch them all. It's something to keep in mind for future games for sure.

I am happy and feel kind of lucky that I got away by simply playing the clock in the end here. My Mk. 2 experience allowed me to keep my cool when things got rough as my backline largely reminded my of lategame experiences from the old edition. As the top of 3 left flank play shows there's a surprising amount of wave clear in just a few models. So much so that I actually keep asking myself if I shouldn't perhaps have dedicated more to help the Lances on the right and perhaps simply have left a couple on the left flank.

A call too close for comfort and indeed the Trolls could've won this and claimed a deserved win. Experience is important and I need to try and play this matchup more.

Game 3 can be found here

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