søndag 16. oktober 2016

2d6 Internal Affairs Mk. V: Beermachine

Yesterday our club hosted a doubles event. The purpose was to do something else than what we usually do. With most members being highly competitive we tend to play 75p steamroller almost exclusively. Hosting a doubles event with random teams and some house rules to spice it up was the perfect excuse to shake things up. 

The house rules for the event were fairly straight-forward: Everything which counts as in-faction counts as in-faction for your ally as well. Multiple casters follow the rules outlined in Steamroller (same as Coven for that matter) and a single assassination means it's game over. We were playing 50 points with 75 minute deathclocks.

As the name of the tournament, Beermachine, implies, we all met up to have a good time. However, "having a good time" and "doing something different" don't mean I expected people to bring out their fluff bunnies. I know from past experience that my club mates prefer to try and break the system. As such I expected some brutal combinations. Originally I was looking to play Stryker3 here but I couldn't finish painting him nor the choices I wanted in time so I decided a couple of weeks ago that I'd bring Haley1 instead. An event like this is a good opportunity to learn a new caster and I've hardly fielded Haley1 at all. Besides, her skill set should be amazing for a doubles event. I got lucky enough to pair up with a Severius1 shooty list!

:: Lists ::

Captain Victoria Haley - WJ: +28
- Squire - PC: 5
- Stormwall - PC: 39 (Battlegroup Points Used: 28)
- Lightning Pod
Gun Mage Captain Adept - PC: 5
Captain Maxwell Finn - PC: 6
Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress - PC: 3
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 4
- Hunter - PC: 11Captain Arlan Strangewayes - PC: 4
Grand Scrutator Severius - WJ: +28
- Blessing of Vengeance - PC: 13 (Battlegroup Points Used: 13)
- Reckoner - PC: 16 (Battlegroup Points Used: 15)
- Redeemer - PC: 11
Allegiant of the Order of the Fist - PC: 3
Wrack - PC: 1
Wrack - PC: 1
Choir of Menoth - Leader & 3 Grunts: 4
Idrian Skirmishers - Leader & 9 Grunts: 15
- Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide - Chieftain & Guide: 5
Visgoth Juviah Rhoven & Honor Guard - Rhoven, Gius & Cassian: 9

:: Game 1 ::

A pretty good match for my list. Eye of Menoth on the Stormwall is amazing, bringing it to MAT7, RAT7 and increased power on all attacks. Choir as well makes it pretty ridiculous. The combined amount of firepower we had was pretty awesome as well. My main concern was having 2 frail casters and perhaps not enough melee punch.

The first game saw us face another incredibly strong pairing: Butcher1 and Lylyth3. Haha, wow. That is quite something. Their lists were both fairly optimal with Lylyth bringing the Bolter, Naga and Typhon. Butcher opted for a string of heavies, including 2 Devastators because ARM23 is a thing.

We were playing Entrenched and our opponents won the roll-off. They thought about their choice long and hard but decided to go first despite giving us a huge forest to hide behind in doing so. I probably would've made the same choice as our firepower getting up the table can be disastrous, not to mention getting off Temporal Barrier quickly. Our opponents set up with Khador mostly towards our zone and Legion towards their own. Not fearing SPD4 jacks taking our zone under Barrier we weighted our heavy hitters and firepower on the left flank.

Butcher casts Iron Flesh on Typhon. Lylyth puts up Battle Host.

Haley goes up with Barrier, making sure not to be seen. Severius keeps back. Stormwall is carelessly positioned just outside of 3" from Haley. Idrians mini-feat and spread out in front of the 'wall (Typhon was their prey).

Our opponents decide to try and kill the Stormwall with Butcher's feat and Typhon going on with Kiss from Blackfrost Shard. The math doesn't add up as I even had Rhoven's buddies nearby which could've dealt with additional hits from secondary models but poor dice made it just terrible and the 'wall easily survived.

In return Haley feats and the Idrians make a mockery of the Typhon. With 2 shots per member due to Blitz and Prey it was just no chance. Last turn the Choir sang Passage, however now it was time for Battle. We took out Ruin and a Juggernaut. Amazing feat turn! Having 3 pow 18 shots from the Stormwall was brutal, effectively RAT9 as well because of Eye and Barrier.

Khador tries to push Devastators out left, Lylyth scores a point.

We figure that if we take out Naga our casters can slowly move towards the zone and start scoring without fear of being assassinated. To do this the Stormwall needs to put itself in front of a Devastator, that can't be helped.

Butcher sends in a Devastator with Fury which does a number on the 'wall. Arlan has done his best repairing it all game but it's clear that it's unlikely to last a whole lot longer. We kill the Devastator in return and their objective while moving Severius into our own zone, covered in spells, shield guards and what not.

Khador and Legion try and clear up the table but they are out of models to contest with. We are both very low on time, our 4 minutes to their 40 seconds in the end. Lylyth has to go for a crazy run but she fails. With that, the game is over as we move to 5 CP.

:: Game 2 ::

The frailty of our casters would prove to be the central issue in our second game as we faced Vayl2 and Caine2 in the Pit. Fortunately for us their lists were lacking a couple of key models, Caine's Stormwall not having a Junior to shield it for example and Vayl having neither Seraph nor Bolt Thrower. Again we lost the roll-off but our opponents wanted to choose side to get a forest to hide behind.

This is a very explosive matchup and our goal here is to ensure we pick off what we can at a distance and use the scenario to force them ahead into a favourable alpha. To keep the enemy 'wall away the Idrians chose it as their prey target, making scenario even harder for them. Turn 1 I run up Finn behind an obstruction on the right flank, forcing our opponents to either spend a bit of effort getting him down or letting him have a dominating position for the next turn.

Caine does take out Finn and their forces advance, but they are very, very aggressive.

It's time to launch the alpha! In our opening turn Haley put up Shield on herself and Severius Defender's Ward to prevent Trick Shot assassinations. This turn we were all set up to deliver the pain for sure. TL;DR Haley feats, we shoot the crap out of everything. The Hellmouth dies, the Stormwall dies, an Archangel takes a real beating and a ton of infantry die. Severius feats to prevent Vayl helping out in the counter-punch.

Caine has to get a lot of work done personally but there are too many things for him to deal with. He ends up on his flag with Bullet Dodger and 2 focus. An Angelius moves in the way so the 'wall can't throw anything on him.

We keep pushing the advantage and take a scenario lead. The attrition game is virtually over at this point. Our forces have suffered negligible losses whereas our opponents hardly have anything left.

Caine gets an angle on Haley and goes for the last, ditch assassination run. I am DEF20 ARM17 with 3 focus camped. Vayl feats to remove the shield guards at least but it's not enough by far. Caine fails and with that, the game is over.

:: Game 3 ::

With a 2-0 record we were suddenly in the finals! Facing us was our hardest matchup yet: Severius2 with melee jacks and Father Lucant on Incursion. That list has an incredible number of shield guards, a DEF-bonus and 2 very solid feats against our lists. To add insult to injury we lost the roll-off yet again and went second. Luckily for us our opponents decided to have a very segregated battle line with Protectorate on the left and Convergence on the right. This allowed us to put Haley across from the Protectorate forces to get the Barrier up ASAP and concentrate our hitting power towards the Convergence flank. The idea was to open a scenario angle and force them into an unfavourable fight of attrition.

Our opponents run up. Lucant puts up Deflection.

As with our last game the Idrians put up prey on the colossal. We sent them up to take pot shots on the Convergence infantry. Together with the Hunter we managed to kill one. Haley charged into a pre-measured position which was safe to get up Barrier on the Axiom and all of the Protectorate heavies. Stormwall ran up, as did the Reckoner. We were fairly happy with our positions here.

We were a little careless in the reposition move of the Idrians, allowing the Convergence infantry to charge us under Lucant's feat. We only lost 2, luckily, Defender's Ward saving the other 2 being targeted. The power of Barrier was evident as the left flank, composed entirely of Protectorate jacks, ground almost to a halt with SPD2.

We couldn't commit under Lucant's feat so we opted to bide our time, make sure we contested the scenario and try and deal with the infantry in our midst. This all worked out well and Haley even got off a Scramble to disrupt the lead Protectorate heavy. Not even being able to run with SPD2? Yes thank you!

Blessing of Vengeance is pulled in by the PA and pummeled to death. Nothing else important happens.

It's finally go time. We both feat and send our heavy hitters in. The Prime Axiom dies, the Inverter dies, a Templar dies, a ton of support dies and the second templar gets disrupted by Scramble. We also score 2 points.

Our opponents don't immediately give up on the attrition game but we'e slowly pulling ahead. Eventually it boils down to Severius2 having to try and assassinate Haley. I'm camping 2 or so I think and he has to cast Awareness to see her. It boils down to hitting a hard 8 followed up by a 16+ boosted...

...the assassination fails and we win the game!

Tournament Victory to the Protectorate of Cygnar!

:: Evaluation ::

That was a blast of a tournament. We had 3 great games which all boiled down to our opponents trying long shot assassination runs. As a Cygnar player this is nothing new to me but it always creates a tense atmosphere in the very final stages of the game.

Our team had an absolutely amazing amount of firepower. The Stormwall with Severius1 and Choir was a beast on a whole other level, believe me. The Idrians benefited a lot from Haley1. I never did cast Deadeye but between Barrier (which I just call "massive nerf" because Haley4) and Blitz, they got so much work done.

We saw a ton of solid pairings throughout the tournament and despite people bringing their best lists I think everyone had a great time. Lots of beer as well.

A lot of the in-faction restrictions become a lot clearer when you play in an environment like this. Among the opponents we did not play against we had pairs like Wurmwood + Vlad1 and Haley2 + Ossrum. The moves those pairs can pull off...

I'll be putting Haley1 on the shelf for the foreseeable future now. With ClogCon up in about a month it's game time now and full on focus with Haley2 + Haley3. Perhaps the occasional game with Stryker3. In any case I look forward to the next doubles event as well and I'll certainly field something else. Stryker2 maybe?

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