mandag 14. november 2016

ClogCon: European Invitationals Semi-Finals (#346) Haley2 vs Ossrum

:: Prologue ::

We all have a comfort caster. In a pair, it's the caster we like to fall back on in case we are in doubt. Obviously my comfort caster is Haley2. I love to play her and I'd rather take a loss with her than any other caster because I'm confident enough in my play with her to accurately judge whether I lost because I made mistakes or because the matchup is simply uphill.

For the semi-finals I met a pairing which I don't really know what to do with nor have enough experience with: Ossrum and Magnus2 Kingmaker's in the very capable hands of Marcin Mycek from Poland. Marcin qualified by winning Steamstorm and played for Poland Wisents this year. They finished in 5th place.

I probably should play Haley3 here but I defaulted to Haley2 for comfort reasons. Ossrum and Magnus2 is a very hard pair to face I think and it's madness that it's on the next ADR season while we have stuff like Darius and Jakes2. Anyway, it is what it is. Marcin dropped Ossrum.

:: Lists ::

(Haley2) Major Victoria Haley - WJ: +25 Fuel Cache
- 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
General Ossrum - WJ: +28
-    Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator - PC: 4
-    Grundback Gunner - PC: 6 (Battlegroup Points Used: 6)
-    Grundback Gunner - PC: 6 (Battlegroup Points Used: 6)
-    Grundback Gunner - PC: 6 (Battlegroup Points Used: 6)
-    Grundback Gunner - PC: 6 (Battlegroup Points Used: 6)
-    Grundback Gunner - PC: 6 (Battlegroup Points Used: 4)
-    Grundback Gunner - PC: 6
-    Grundback Gunner - PC: 6
-    Grundback Gunner - PC: 6
Anastasia di Bray - PC: 3
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios - PC: 7
Kell Bailoch - PC: 5
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt - Lady Aiyana & Master Holt: 8
Horgenhold Forge Guard - Leader & 9 Grunts: 16
Horgenhold Artillery Corps - Gunner & 2 Grunts: 6
Horgenhold Artillery Corps - Gunner & 2 Grunts: 6

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

The scenario was Take and Hold and despite Marcin having Anastasia I won the roll-off and got to move first.

The idea here? Take the flag, try and jam him out. Establish control of the right flank, try and grind him out.

:: Game ::

Okay, so Eiryss1 with the possibility of Fire for Effect and Snipe? Eh... That's nasty. I figure that I simply have to risk leaving theoretical Snipe angles but I can favourably dodge FFE. I stay outside of 19" and put up a Lance in front. This means that he basically has to feat and get a gun bunny up to remove the Lance to have a chance of landing an Eiryss shot and since she's not in range for FFE that will be a snipe shot needing 9s to hit. If he goes for that and makes it then it's game but I think this is an uphill battle anyway and he commits so much if he goes for it so I'm ok with that. The Ironclad presents itself as bait. I figure that I need to get control of Eiryss. The sooner the better. If she disrupt him now that doesn't mean a whole lot, he's a mid-to-late game piece here anyway.

Eiryss disrupts the Ironclad. FFE is put up on a Mortar. Both Mortars target Stormwall and do some damage. Kell double-taps it.

I figure I should get Haley on the flag and feat. I figure I need to send the Stormwall up and start getting work done. Eiryss is parked behind a gun bunny and I can assault said gun bunny with a Lance to hopefully have an electro leap kill her.

There is an assassination angle here as well: Throw a Lance onto Ossrum and following up with Thorn + bolts. Odds Machine puts this as basically "miserable" so I leave it be. We commit to flag and sending in the Stormwall instead. I kill Eiryss with a pod since the Lance missed the gunbunny and I kilk Kell with electro leaps. 2 bunnies are also killed.

Ok so it turns out the Rhulic artillery has arcing fire of course. Lol, am I in trouble or what? The TL;DR of if is that Marcin can get 2 Gun Bunnies and both Mortars with FFE shooting Haley2. I camp but a single focus and have not cast Deflection. The odds of her dying are roughly 70%. The TL;DR of the execution is that the dice gods really love me and the assassination fails. The Forge Gurad move in to jam up the Stormwall together with the Gun Bunnies. I think this is overkill since he feated and this ruins his attrition options, perhaps he was just tilted following the downright shitty dice he had trying to kill Haley.

I am aware of bulldoze but I completely forget that I can simply park a model behind another model to basically make it irrelevant. As such, while I create fort Haley and camp 4 focus + cast Deflection (lesson learned much?) on 9 boxes left, I leave Thorn as a part of fort Haley without anything protecting his back. This could've been whatever really, Squire, Lance, you name it. I also completely forget that Anastasia can only enter from the sides of the table so I spend forever figuring out where I should put Squire and Junior. Lastly Ragman runs to a fairly poor position as far as negating bulldoze is concerned. Overall a fairly poorly executed turn. The Stormwall focuses on killing Hammer Dwarfs. There is too much power left in his list for me to dare put Shield on Haley. Although Aiyana does die to a pod this turn there are so many dangerous elements left.

Marcin spends forever trying to clear out the Firefly and find an angle for one last chance at Haley's life. He does indeed get to bulldoze Thorn away and a final Mortar Shot gets the angle it needs. However he can't aim so he needs a 13+ to hit me. It fails and with that, the game is over.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

Luck pulled me through here. There's not a lot more to say about that. Ossrum feels like he's way up against Haley2. He is so flexible and has a combination of durability, firepower, punching power and speed (by way of energizer and feat) backed by powerful utility choices like Aiyana, Eiryss and Anastasia. Altogether it doesn't feel like Haley can deal with it all. I think that despite me getting a fairly solid alpha Marcin could have went for an attrition play instead (I'm not saying he's wrong to go for the 70% assassination by any means), which says a lot about the strengths of his list. Imagine Aiyana moving outside of pod range, Forge Guard setting up to charge and the gunbunnies simply jamming me for example. I can see that as more than a little viable for sure.

Inexperience shows and Marcin plays the better game. Dice simply won't let him win. I must give him credit though because considering how shit his dice were he took it very well. A great sport and I hope we meet again so he can hopefully get a shot at revenge without cursed dice.

This semi-finals win means I'm in the finals!

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

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