lørdag 29. oktober 2016

All Haley, All The Time!

I was recently asked to do a piece explaining my current lists in detail. I constantly revise and update my lists as I see fit, but now I am taking the exact same lists to my third event in a row. This is solely because I believe this is the best pair available to us and I have not been able to find any variations of the either of the lists I like better.

So, why do I have 4 Haleys in a 2-list pair? Let's take a look at the lists in detail.

:: Haley2 ::

Consider how Haley2 plays in Mk. 3. In my experience she plays a blazingly fast and aggressive game, shoving pieces in your opponent's face to deal with and having tons of angles for shenanigans from a multitude of models. Her board space development is typically to take control of one flank, anchor the other and have the Stormwall act as a central, pivotal piece. This report against Karchev illustrates this pattern quite well. Haley2's strength is primarily to control melee-oriented armies. She struggles against quite a few lists of course but in general she is better agianst melee-heavy lists than shooty ones. She often gets a double alpha, or a ping ping if you like, through the use of her feat. It is harder to do than it used to be in Mk. 2 and I frequently find myself feating more for positioning and scenario than an alpha per se. This report against Reznik2 shows this in practice.

Ok, so we have a caster which plays "fast and furious", running her battlegroup across the table. What's important is to have enough power to smash what needs to be smashed, clear off anything trying to jam you and have enough speed and firepower to remain a threat even if an opponent tries to keep the distance. Let's take a look at the list:
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
From the top: Squire is a no-brainer. Stormwall is a fundamental choice you either go with or without when it comes to building Haley2 lists. Some prefer multiple heavies, I prefer the colossal. The shenanigans you have available and the sheer amount of things you are immune to are what make it my go-to choice. Its flexibility in terms of shooting, covering fire and the very powerful Lightning Pod just add to make it an amazing choice.

Thorn is also a no-brainer. My opponents have learned to really hate this little guy in Mk. 3 and I can empathize. He is quite ridiculous.

The Ironclad might seem out of place. The fact of the matter is that the Stormwall alone does not have enough punch in the current meta I find. I have tried with more lances but didn't like it. The Ironclad is a perfect compromise between cost, hitting power and survivability. Its lack of reach isn't that big of a deal and with Lanyssa in the mix I can send it off way more than its SPD5 Melee RNG 1" might hint at. Tremor has also come in handy more than once and even the extra jack which can perform a throw power attack has been game breaking for me.

Junior is a no-brainer -if- you take a Stormwall. I am not sure he is needed if you don't have one but that's irrelevant for this list. Anyway. His jack is bound to be an 8-point choice since the list is exactly 75 points. Otherwise the Charger is an interesting candidate. However I do like my Firefly. He combines with Ragman to provide the Stormwall a potential for POW14 pods and electro leaps. It actually is quite a big deal when you simply have to add up as much damage as possible. This game vs Butcher3 shows it off quite well. The ability to threaten solos very far away with shenanigans (hitting my own models, including a pod, receiving threat range boosts from Haley) also makes this list so much harder than it looks on paper. Lastly, its 2" melee range helps it clear out infantry surprisingly well.

That leaves the list at 19 points. I consider the Lances a no-brainer. Their ability to perform multiple roles ranging from infantry clearing to jamming to helping out killing heavies is a game changer for Haley. Their main weakness is their fragility, but Haley's playstyle and feat combined with careful positioning effectively makes this a non-issue in most games.

With 7 points left to spare we're down to pure support. I have tried multiple options here but landed on Ragman and Lanyssa to increase my power and threat ranges. In the current meta I find that Ragman is essential in so many matchups. Initially I found the same with Lanyssa but the fact of the matter is that she is currently the only choice I'm not 100% on. I do miss repairs as having the ability to bring back a few boxes is amazing for all of Haley's jacks. I have games every now and then where a shot cripples something useful on a lucky spike. Dice happen. However overall I think Hunter's Mark is a more valuable asset and hence I'm still running with Lanyssa. The potential replacement for her is min. mechaniks. I have run them a little in Caine2 and they make the Stormwall an absolute beast to take out.

That concludes Haley2. Before looking at Haley3, let's consider what her weaknesses are in terms of matchups and what she needs help with. This post is up to date (at the time of this writing) with my thoughts on the current meta. Going from the top I think Khador is fine for Haley2. Retribution is ok as well, but Ossyan is a problem. I can accept a list chicken situation. Circle I don't like with her. Cygnar mirror is fine I think. Minions I think we have better answers for. Protectorate I'm not 100%, I need more practice vs High Reclaimer but she should be fine against their other variants. Mercenaries are fine for her but I don't like her into Cephalyx. They seem to be falling out of favour but both Kingmaker's and Rhulics are fine I think. Trollbloods have been fine. I don't like her into Skorne because she's not solid vs neither Rasheth (unless scenario + terrain help me) nor Makeda2 kitkat. Legion have too many angles to kill her, Deneghra1 makes her Stormwall miserable and lastly Convergence is a good matchup.

So we have Circle, Ossyan, Minions, possibly High Reclaimer, Cephalyx, Skorne and Legion to worry about. No easy list of matchups. The answer is to just get more Haley!

:: Haley3 ::

Haley3's playstyle is so different from Haley2 that it's hard to fathom. Haley2 is about pushing the advantage, launching the insane angles and making the crazy plays. Haley3 is patient. She plays the long game and is ridiculously evasive to play against. It is hard for most opponents to land decent alphas against her because no matter what you do, chances are there will be enough pieces left to get work done. Board space wise she typically claims a big portion of the middle of the table, examplified in this report. She rarely plays for scenario or assassination (although she's perfectly capable if the situation presents itself), but then again I favour lists that are primarily built for attrition in the first place. Her shooting and feat sometimes ensure her the alpha, but more often than not the opponent will be the first one to make a push which commits him. She can then bide her time, setting up pieces and eventually the counter-punch connects and breaks the game. This mirror match vs Haley2 is a very good example.

What she needs is a number of models capable of taking advantage of Temporal Distortion. I.e. sheer numbers become a quantity for her. She also wants to dodge pricey models because she doesn't help a single model out much at all (especially compared to Haley2). It's more important to simply have a lot of stuff around so that there's always something more dishing out hurt regardless of what an opponent tries to take out. Let's take a look at the list:
Major Prime Victoria Haley - WJ: +25
- Haley Past
- Haley Future
- Grenadier - PC: 9 (Battlegroup Points Used: 9)
- Grenadier - PC: 9 (Battlegroup Points Used: 9)
- Thorn - PC: 13 (Battlegroup Points Used: 7)
- Ironclad - PC: 12
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 4
- Charger - PC: 9
Ragman - PC: 4
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord - PC: 4
Storm Lances - Leader & 4 Grunts: 20
Trencher Infantry - Leader & 9 Grunts: 16
Starting from the top, the Grenadiers are the bread and butter of this list. The echoes have plenty of focus to feed them with and their insane firepower has won me many games. In a recent game against Lylyth3 for example they start pounding an Archangel with POW15 shots. Ouch! With a base DEF of 14, a 1" melee range and PS13 they synergize well with what the list is trying to do, even sporting AD and dig in for the ridiculous cost of 9 points. I am quite serious: Grenadiers might very well be the most broken warjack Cygnar has.

Thorn is not as much of a no-brainer in this list as he is with Haley2 but he becomes amazing with Temporal Distortion and when you need to bring Past's presence to bear or Prime's Repudiate to connect he is a beast. He is also an undercosted jack in general with an amazing skillset. Lastly for her battlegroup the Ironclad is pretty much in here for the same reason it is in the Haley2 list: It is the perfect compromise between cost, hitting power and survivability. You can see him going to town in this game vs Amon.

Junior is important. The Shield often goes on Haley herself which makes the echoes near impossible to go for. It also helps out a ton against assassinations. In many situations going for Prime is just impossible. Since I'm used to playing Haley2, Caine2 and Sloan for example this is a welcome trait. The Charger here doubles up as another solid shooter to help amplify the strength of the Grenadiers while still getting a lot from Distortion. He is also decent in melee.

Ragman and Rhupert are both essential. The former is a huge force amplifier and is, in many matchups, the only model which I truly need to keep alive for as long as I can. The latter is essentialy because there are so many models around and I'm bound to need Pathfinder. Also, Dirge helps skew the DEF even further, often very valuable for Haley's unit. Lastly Tough isn't exactly bad in this list.

The max. Trenchers and max. Lances are essential to how the list plays. You simply need bodies to go around. The list rounds off perfectly at 75 points. There are multiple nice-to-haves which you will often see in other Haley3 lists, e.g. Squire and Alexia1, but I have yet to analyze a game where it makes sense for Haley3's intended matchups to make the switch to any of these choices. Min. Trenchers are favoured by many but I think Haley3 really wants that unit maxed out. Consider how important it can be to have just a few models left in games against Legion. Take a look at this game for example.

Where do I go from here with the Haleys? I honestly don't know. ClogCon is coming up in just a couple of weeks and that will be the last tournament I take the Haleys to for some time. I need to explore other options and I need to experiment. I fully expect the errata in January to hit Cygnar both directly in terms of nerfing and buffing various choices and indirectly in terms of changing the meta. We will see what happens when we get there. I'm excited!

2 kommentarer:

  1. how do you put up smoke in front of your army?

    1. Trenchers pop smoke and then back out with Tactical Supremacy