mandag 14. november 2016

ClogCon: European Invitationals #1 (#344): Haley3 vs Deneghra1

:: Prologue ::

The European Invitationals, my main goal for 2016. I think the European meta features some of the very best players in the world right now. Sweden, Germany and Poland all perform consistently well at the WTC and many of their players have won tons of international tournaments. I got the invite to this tournament following my success at the Battle at Lund back in April. Everything I have done since that has more or less been preparing for this tournament. You can read more about it here.

For my first game, I was paired up against Francesco Recchiuti of Italy. Francesco qualified by winning the Italian Masters with Cryx, which he brought for this event as well. Our game was Haley3 vs Deneghra1 on Extraction.

:: Lists ::

(Haley3) Major Prime Victoria Haley - WJ: +25 Bunker
- 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
Warwitch Deneghra - WJ: +28
-    Skarlock Thrall - PC: 4
-    Deathripper - PC: 6 (Battlegroup Points Used: 6)
-    Deathripper - PC: 6 (Battlegroup Points Used: 6)
-    Stalker - PC: 8
-    Stalker - PC: 8
Machine Wraith - PC: 2
Darragh Wrathe - PC: 9
Satyxis Raiders - Leader & 9 Grunts: 16
-    Satyxis Raider Sea Witch - PC: 3
Satyxis Raiders - Leader & 9 Grunts: 16
-    Satyxis Raider Sea Witch - PC: 3
Soulhunters - Leader & 2 Grunts: 11
Soulhunters - Leader & 2 Grunts: 11

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

My experience with Cryx in Mk. 3 is unfortunately limited. I did know not to drop Haley2 into Deneghra1 at least. The Stormwall gets so gimped it's not even funny. This match should be in my favour I think but I don't know the specifics of how it plays out. My idea is to try and establish myself in the center and play a fairly typical Haley3 game. He deploys symmetrically (I went first by the way) and off we go!

:: Game ::

The Lances end up going on the left flank. Partly because of the impassable on the right but also partly because I have no other solution if the Satyxis take up the wall on the left flank. The rest runs. I am possibly a little too scared of Stalkers here but I really don't want them messing with my Grenadiers while Raiders claim the table.

Satyxis do indeed claim the table and the cav + Stalkers start flanking out.

It's party time! I need to get clouds up and claim table space. I put Future to contest the left flag along with a couple of other models. Grenadiers both fully loaded start pumping out shots with aim to clear tons of Raiders (no blast was not an issue with RAT8, 10 on those affected by Distortion), helped by the charger and a couple of Trenchers it's looking fairly well. Lances clear the remaining Raiders on the left behind the wall. I like my position.

Disaster strikes. Deneghra feats, no surprise there, but what comes as a surprise is that she goes for the 2-0 scenario play. This means killing Future. Eh? She's 18/17 with camp, so 16/15 after feat. A single venom is the tool of choice, meaning he'll need a 15+ on 3d6 to kill her, if he hits that is (9+ can still miss...). Remaining Raiders jam.

Prime, Past and Lances are not affected by feat. Everything else is. Ok, calm down and assess the situation. Stopping the first CP is irrelevant. Stopping the 5th really is all that matters. How do I proceed? The left flank is impossible for me to contest beyond one turn. Since I lost Future there I also lost the bubble. However I can make a credible play to try and save the right flank. If worst comes to worst I can conceivably win by attrition even if he moves to 4 CP so this turn is all about making the optimal attrition plays. In plain English: Kill stuff dead. That means I cannot cloud.

The jamming Satyxis receive a dose of Temporal Distortion and warjacks. This frees up the Trenchers, severly gimped by Darragh Wrathe and Feat, to push out and take a couple of pot-shots. Lances get some work done on the left flank and contest. Very important at this point in time.

The Stalker on the right tries to kill Past but fails to do so. That ensures that my right flank holds. The left is cleared out and Francesco moves to 3-0. Deneghra moves to relative safety.

The rest is just a mop-up basically and before my turn is even finished my opponent concedes.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

Wow, that was a little too close for comfort! If the Stalker clears out Past and the right flank collapses I could be in serious trouble. What set up the trouble in the first place though was the crazy play to kill Future. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that Francesco went for this play. The odds of Venom hitting and one-shotting Future are less than 16%, meaning it's less than rolling a 6 on a single dice. As far as I know there was no follow-up either so this was an all in play. Perhaps the situation was indeed this dire that he had to go for it. Whatever his reasons were the results sure made for an interesting game! It also highlights a strategical mistake on my part: Going center-heavy here is the wrong play. Contesting every now and then should not be a problem for me. Again, it's the 5th CP which matters, the rest are all irrelevant by and large. As such I should have tried to commit heavier to one flank here, making it extremely unlikely for Cryx to even remotely be capable of going to 2-0. Experience matters!

I was exhausted after a long day and took an early night. I was very happy that I got off to a good start. Francesco sure gave me a headache and we got a game which was a lot more interesting than I had hoped it would be. I consider Cryx one of the weakest factions in the game and I believe that if I had more experience here it is nigh unplayable for him. Indeed the only thing that meant this was a game at all was Future dying. If she survives I think the rest of the game is a walk in the park.

For a spoiler-free series, read about my next game in this tournament here.

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