søndag 29. januar 2017

Norwegian Masters #1 (#405): Nemo3 vs Horgle2

:: Prologue ::

NM was finally here! This event is one I had looked forward to for many reasons: My Stryker3 experiment would come to an end in a meta filled with strong players. I was curious to see how well I could do. The event itself was also structured like a Convention (despite only being 2 days) so we had multiple tournaments running at all times (6 in total), everyone could get a bit of what they wanted. Lastly I was organizing an event on Sunday so all in all an exciting weekend.

Last summer I made a bet with a friend to play a caster of his choosing. You can read about that here, as well as my thoughts on the matter: link. What's funny is that as I agreed to play Stryker3 I figured I might as well go for a wacky pairing altogether. I didn't have the motivation to play Haley3 intensively to hopefully drop Stryker3 in but a single game and ride the power of the Haley throughout the rest, so initially I set out to try Sloan. I wasn't happy with that and I had my eyes set on Nemo3, another interesting caster. I couldn't quite get Nemo to work as well as I'd have liked, but then Storm Division dropped. Oh my, that is such a game-changer for him! I quickly fell in love with him and decided a few weeks ago to bring him to NM. No Haleys, no excuses, balls to the wall and hope I can outplay/luck my way as far as possible!

For the very first game I was hoping to draw something I could drop Stryker3 into to rid myself of the list-lock I'd eventually run into. As soon as I saw the pairings I knew straight away that Stryker3 would not be getting the first match: I was up against Christoffer Wedding, the number 1 ranked player in Sweden. I have faced him only once before in a game, a truly epic match which ironically was on the same scenario at Norwegian Masters last year (report link). Little did I know this game would end up being so similar...

:: Lists ::

Theme: Storm Division
(Nemo 3) Artificer General Nemo [+25], Bunker
- Storm Chaser Adept Caitlin Finch
- Squire [0]
- Firefly [8]
- Firefly [8]
- Firefly [8]
- Dynamo [18]
- Lancer [10]
Storm Lances (max) [20]
Storm Lances (min) [12]
Major Katherine Laddermore [8]
Journeyman Warcaster [0]
- Firefly [8]
(Horgle 2) Horgle, the Anvil [+29]
 - Dire Troll Bomber [19]
 - Dire Troll Bomber [19]
 - Troll Bouncer [9]
 - Trollkin Runebearer [4]
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (min) [6]
 - Stone Scribe Elder [3]
Northkin Fire Eaters [7]
Pyg Bushwhackers (max) [15]
Trollkin Sluggers (max) [10]
Trollkin Sluggers (min) [6]
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew [2]
Gremlin Swarm [3]
Swamp Gobber Chef [1]

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

Recon and I get first turn. I don't know Trollbloods well at all, I just know they're generally bad and I feel favoured here. The idea is to basically try and claim the table space and force him into a ton of juicy, electro death.

:: Game ::

Stuff runs up. Small Lances right with Electrify, big Lances left with Arcane Shield.

Bushwackers do some kind of order which lets them shoot first and then move. Sneaky buggers. They do a number on one of my Fireflies. Inviolable Resolve gets put up on the left Bomber. Solid Ground is cast.

Wedding forgot to put down the Fuel Cache cloud so his 5" aoe was the only LoS-blocker. Unfortunately for him he was careless in the positioning of the right-side Bomber: Dynamo could move up and have him in range. I figured I could also get a fairly solid amount of shots onto the other Bomber. Feat time!

The Bomber on the right goes down to Dynamo with help from a couple of Lances. The one on the left however is fine, unfortunately. "Fine" is relative I guess but it had ~10 boxes left.

I still have my Lances well out of his threat ranges. Annoyingly I didn't manage to kill both Swamp dudes so he still has a cloud from them. Remembering the Fuel Cache as well this time he's able to make a bit of a cloudwall. The rest of the army backs up though. I lose 2 Fireflies and 2 Lances, but the scenario is wide open.

I go for the 3-0 play here and take care to stay outside his most dangerous threat ranges. He could go for a long-shot assassination but I figure it's close to 0 because virtually hardly anything's in range. I camp and put Electrify on Dynamo.

Trollbloods have to contest now. The annoying little incorporeal swarm runs into the zone and the Bouncer + remaining Bomber also run in. A model or two more also contest.

The incorporeal swarm is a problem. In a case of rare brainfart I forget that I can cast chain lightning on one of my own models and bounce into the swarm and boost damage for great justice. This means it takes me forever trying to set up for the 5-0 play. When I finally land my plan, it all starts with a chain lightning directly on the swam, by the Lancer. Guess what? It has stealth. I even checked the card earlier in the match. Well, fuck me. There are no other magical attacks in the list so I have to change plans now. I somehow have to make this a fight of attrition I can win.

Lightning Shroud goes up on the Lancer. I had fueled it fully because I anticipated my jacks having to go in to get work done regardless. Said Lancer and Dynamo charge in, hoping to get work done. Dice however don't even remotely agree. I barely kill the Bomber with help from the Lances. How on Earth will this go? Adding insult to injury I am short on time as well.

Time became a big issue following this turn so no more pictures. The very same thing happened in my game against Christoffer last year and I could already visualize a deja vu. Perhaps in a bit of an ironic twist of events, Christoffer forgets what Electrify does. The Bouncer moves to the Trench from where it wishes to strike Dynamo and just touch the zone. However its Animus isn't up so it pushes itself out of the zone and thus out of contesting me. I can hardly believe this!

There are no other durable models left: The Bombers are both dead and the Stones + Sluggers have activated to rain down death on me. Dynamo does indeed to go down in the end, as does the Lancer, but there are only squishy models contesting me. True, a ton of them, but that's what Nemo loves. Right? Right?!?

I have 4 minutes or so to clear the zone of ~10 models with Tough and Solid Ground. A couple of Lances, a Firefly, Junior, Finch, Nemo, the Squire and Laddermore are the heroes of the day. I try to start clearing out a path to allow Laddermore to charge. Getting off both her shot and the melee attack will greatly help out. She is jammed up by Bushwackers so a Firefly tries to help out. It fails, because tough + no KD is a thing. No charge for Laddermore then. She tries to clear the Lances, but fails. Oh my. So much 5+. Makes my head hurt. Lances do ok-ish, not spectacularly. Junior misses and it's down to Nemo and Finch.

In an intense finish with less than 2 minutes left on the clock I manage to land all the attacks I need, roll the necessary amounts of leaps and watch as the Bushwackers fail their tough rolls, one after the other. This time I also remember to cast Chain Lightning to bounce into the swarm so it dies. 5-0 on scenario!

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

What a start! That was a crazy close game. For sure a great start for the weekend, but also very taxing. Fatigue is a thing, especially for long days. 

I obviously went wrong when I went for the 5-0 play. Up until that it was all good I think. I got favourable trades, had a really strong position and got a solid alpha. Having crap dice here sure didn't help either, but the overall plan wasn't that solid unfortunately. I cannot believe I forgot I could leap off of one of my own models with Chain Lightning. Oh well, likely won't forget that again. 

Mistakes were made on both sides of the table for sure, we jokingly dubbed this "a game of skill". The Bomber being within Dynamo's threat range, the Chain Lightning on a stealth target, a Bouncer hitting Dynamo with Electrify etc. In the end I think Nemo's inherent advantage in the matchup was what tipped it for me, it was simply lethal for the Trollbloods to try and get up the table.

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