mandag 26. september 2016

WTC 2016 Game 5 (#308): Haley2 vs Butcher3

:: Prologue ::

For our fifth game we drew Netherlands Vermeer. Lots of interesting matchups here and again I play as our joker because I can face just about anything they have. I end up taking Butcher3 which ensures us solid matchups across the board elsewhere.

:: 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
Kommander Zoktavir, the Butcher Unleashed - WJ: +22
- War Argus
- War Dog - PC: 3
- Devastator - PC: 14 (Battlegroup Points Used: 14)
- Devastator - PC: 14 (Battlegroup Points Used: 8)
- Kodiak - PC: 13
- Ruin - PC: 17
Widowmaker Marksman - PC: 4
Alten Ashley - PC: 5
Kell Bailoch - PC: 5
Ragman - PC: 4
Ogrun Bokur - PC: 5
Kayazy Eliminators - Leader & Grunt: 5
Kayazy Eliminators - Leader & Grunt: 5
Battle Mechaniks - Leader & 3 Grunts: 3

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

As I have experienced and commented on before this is always a hard matchup. Butcher3 is no joke for Haley2. At least I had a fresh lesson in mind from Friday: Keep Haley safe! I got a table which either let me have Haley safe from being pulled or would force him to deal with tons of rough terrain. He went first and chose the former. I deployed as I did against the Mad Dogs and he countered with his AD solos to threaten Thorn.

:: Game ::

Stuff runs up.

I trample the Stormwall, launch a pod, electro leap to kill Marksman and Arcane Bolt the two other solos. Flank secured!

Butcher goes on the flag, jacks commit.

I look for an opening on Ruin but I can't find it without the big, bad Butcher coming into the 'wall in return. I can't have that. Instead I look for an opening to kill both of the clamjacks and I can probably do so: Ragman + Firefly ensure solid electro leaps as per usual and with Domination my electro leap damage rolls move from dice minus 13 to dice minus 5. I dominate the yellow jack out, hit his clamjackbrother, put up Hunter's Mark on the ARM23 one (because this is where I need help), Firefly and a Storm Lance move into the ARM19 guy with help from Ragman and I have some solid rolls to bring it way, way down. The Stormwall charges the fully healed one with Temporal and kill it, killing off the other one with electro leaps. I boost a pod which disrupts Kodiak and contests his flag. Ironclad runs up to flank and Haley covers basically everything in Shift. 

My opponent is shocked that both clams went down in one turn. True, the rolls were good, but on average they aren't that unlikely to both die or at least be severely damaged. The focus I spent to boost the pod could've been another attack. Anyway! He tries to salvage the situation by having Ruin back off, Kodiak move up and cloud and just shuffle the left flank. He moves to 1-0.

I don't fancy the play to go for Ruin here. I simply find it too risky. On the hill he is DEF12 and he has meks around so if I fluff it's basically game. Remember, this matchup almost always comes down to whether or not I can kill Butcher after he kills the Stormwall. Conceivably I could shoot Ruin here and charge with the Ironclad because Butcher doesn't have anything left which can deal with the Ironclad apart from himself. Anyway, I see a much more interesting opening. Kill the Butcher! This is an insanely complicated assassination run which requires a ton of thinking, pre-measuring etc so I call a judge over to ensure this all goes smoothly. There are so many teeny tiny interactions that are hugely important to pull this off. What happens is as follows:

1. Lanyssa tries to kill a mek but fails.
2. Junior tries to kill a Mek but fails.
3. Lances charge to kill a Butcher dog and a mek there. I reposition so that I will be within reach of Butcher's "eventual landing spot" and within 3" of Ragman's final position without engaging the last mek. I also have to take care that I don't block the Kodiak's "flying lane".
4. The Firefly moves out and shoots the Lance in the back, killing the last Mek there and dealing 4 damage to Butcher (which is negated by a focus).
5. Ragman moves up, casts Death Field.
6. Thorn runs around the Stormwall with the path now cleared of support models.
7. Stormwall moves up, throws Kodiak onto Butcher, displacing Butcher a little towards his own deployment zone.
8. Squire runs up.
9. Haley moves behind the Stormwall, casts TA on the Ironclad, then casts TK on the Ironclad via Thorn (who can barely see him past the Stormwall's landing spot), reaction drive Thorn so that I get within 8" of Butcher, TK Butcher closer to Ironclad.
10. Ironclad charges a knocked down butcher who has 2 focus left and has taken 3 damage points. I have Temporal Acceleration so that's a total of 4 attacks at dice +2, thanks to Death Field. One of said attacks is boosted from the charge and I have the open fist at dice -2. Luckily the dice don't fail me and Butcher goes down!

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

Wow, what a run! This is why I love Haley2. That run was positively one of the craziest plays I've had in this game. It took me 20 minutes to simply plan and execute once I decided to go for it, there were -so- many things to consider along the way and precise placements to contemplate. At one point we had something like 10 proxy bases in play and my head was about to implode from trying to keep track of what's what.

Now I should perhaps have looked for ways to continue the attrition play here. Either look for an opening on Ruin on simply move outside of his threat range. Perhaps dominate the Kodiak to kill it or something, I don't know. The problem is that Butcher had cast Silence of Death on himself so he was ready to get work done for sure. As I learned in my last game he has solid threat ranges. The linear obstacle would keep Haley safe but the lake on the right flank limited my ability to move the jacks around as I wished. I should've deployed Thorn more centrally I think, too much rough terrain.

My Protectorate team mate won his game right before I finished mine so we were 2-0. The last 3 games were looking good for us. Then one guy loses on the death clock. The second guy does the same. Aaand the last guy does the same and we lose 2-3, for a total score of 2-3 after 5 games. Damn. 

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