Rematch time! For this game I got to start, my opponent chose the same side he had last game. I wanted to try and protect the Stormwall better now and keep my forces more centrally. The terrain in this game really made me miss Pathfinder for the Lances, one of the many pains of the compromises made to build my list.
:: Lists ::
(Nemo 3) Artificer General Nemo [+25]Opponent:
- Storm Chaser Adept Caitlin Finch
- Stormwall 
- Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator 
Journeyman Warcaster 
- Firefly 
Major Katherine Laddermore 
Gun Mage Captain Adept 
Storm Lances (max) 
Storm Lances (min) 
Wurmwood:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::
2x Sentry Stones
Nemo3 has the unique ability to threaten complete devastation top of 2 if you don't respect him. I'm not talking about Haley2 sending in a Stormwall under feat to make it hopeless for your opponent or rolling up the cloudwall with Haley3, Nemo3 simply completely demolishes you if you don't respect his damage output. I wanted to play to this strength and give Circle the option to either try and take pot-shots here and there and risk annihilation, stay very defensively to avoid just this or feat bottom of 1. To do this I largely deployed as I did in the first game but with a few more models centrally and the small Lances flanking the 'wall.
:: Game ::
According to play stuff runs up. Reeves are too far away to get any meaningful shots onto the Lances.
Wurmwood plays his heavies cautiously. An option here would be to have Cassius chop on Farrows I guess to create a tree line but it would be fairly defensive in nature. In any case Wurmwood doesn't feat and the Sentries are fairly far up. Mannikins tried to get work done but without help they really struggle vs Lances. Curse is put up on the 'wall.
I see no reason to commit heavily. The small Lances can start dealing with the Reeves who are too ambitious to repeat their success from the first game against the Stormwall and I can deal with both sentries through Reinholdt and the GMCA.
The Stormwall is eager to get into the thick of it following its game 1 demise and pays back in full this time by killing both Sentries single-handedly. The Lances on the right kill Reeves and the rest of my forces simply consolidate my position.
I think the only play for Wurmwood back into this game is to move up very aggressively and feat, hoping a counter-feat won't do too much. He doesn't do this however, instead resorting to trying to deal with the Lances on his flank. Despite feating this doesn't nearly get him what he needs.
This time around I can simply wait out his feat, I'm even scoring! Dealing with Sentries quickly and having a caster which is almost immune to Hellmouth shenanigans is awesome. Definitely something I can learn to love. I keep the 'wall in the zone and score while Lances contest.
The Blackclad has been a little more cautious this game so he's alive and well. He lands Hunter's Mark on the Stormwall and the Pureblood goes in. Without Reeves though it simply isn't that big of a deal and I survive easily.
It's feat time! The counter-punch hits hard and Wurmwood basically has nothing left at this point in time, on top of this I'm sitting at 4CP now.
Without assassination angles this game is quite simply over.
Victory to the Swans!
:: Evaluation ::
It sure felt a lot better going first. I do believe that if Nemo establishes table control and keeps the 'wall safe from being taken out slowly from a distance, the game is in his favor. However this hinges on a hyper-aggressive play from Wurmwood being impossible. I'm not sure whether it is or not. The thing is that the Stormwall's pod alone is a pretty big deal on feat turn, especially since Nemo can fuel it effectively and Circle have to really tighten up to benefit from LoS denial, allowing the pod to rip through at least 2-3 high-priority targets. On top of that Nemo's Chain Lightning is boostable so it might be that such a play simply gets shut down. I think it's really hard to tell.
Interesting matchup for sure. I was hoping it would feel better for Nemo. The main problem is that I simply don't have the volume to really force an iffy situation for Wurmwood when LoS is blocked. Leaving the Stormwall is an obvious reply to this but doing so also robs me of a huge counter-scenario element: Without the pod a ton of scenarios become super dodgy to try and fight Wurmwood on. I also lose my long-ranged threat to Sentries and the sheer denial presence of an ARM22 colossal.
I certainly have some thinking to do. Nemo proves to be a lot of fun to play!