mandag 20. februar 2017

SmogCon: Masters A #1 (#422): Nemo3 vs Lylyth3

:: Prologue ::

I just got back from SmogCon. It was a huge event with literally hundreds of players. The venue was great and I had a weekend full of good times. I'm not sure the picture below properly conveys how big this event is, but I tried to capture the sheer size of it:

The big thing at SmogCon is the Masters. It's a huge tournament with somewhere around 200-250 players. These are spread out into 4 heats of max. 64 players. Each heat lasts for 5 rounds and the top 2 (undefeated) players move on to the finals for the top 8 on Sunday. Heats A and B run on Friday while heats C and D run on Saturday. 

I was signed up for Heat A. My preparations for SmogCon weren't optimal, I have not had enough time to properly test the lists into the current meta. The Stryker3 experiment to NM meant I didn't start playing the Haleys until February and I haven't had the time to look into the possible powerhouses Stryker1 and Maddox. That being said I was confident in my 3 lists (Haley2, Haley3, Nemo3), I just weren't sure how they'd match up against what everyone else was bringing. 

For my first game I was matched up against a Legion player: Cole. Cole studies in the UK but is originally from the USA. He had a vanilla Lylyth3 list and it didn't take me long to settle on Nemo3. As expected I got the shooty-shooty caster in return and thus my SmogCon 2017 adventure had begun!
:: 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]
(Lylyth 3) Lylyth, Reckoning of Everblight [+29]
 - Naga Nightlurker [8]
 - Nephilim Bolt Thrower [11]
 - Ravagore [19]
 - Typhon [24]
 - Seraph [14]
 - Succubus [4]
Annyssa Ryvaal [8]
Blighted Nyss Shepherd [1]
Blighted Nyss Shepherd [1]
Strider Scouts [9]
 - Strider Scout Officer & Musician [4]
Blighted Nyss Shepherd [1]

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

We are playing Outlast and I got to go first. The terrain is pretty legit for me, there are places to hide and good lanes for the Lances to assault. I also see that it can be hard for Legion to reliably contest. My aim here is to play the long game and simply wait for a mistake. 

:: Game ::

Annyssa preys the small Lances. I hold them back because I don't want to lose them. Big Lances receive Arcane Shield and run up on the right flank. I'm hoping that their sheer presence will make it dicey for Lylyth to move right at all.

The Scouts more or less sacrifice themselves. The damage is negligible.

While Lylyth's position is defensive, she has the range and speed to take a scenario lead if I don't take steps to prevent it. I ensure that both zones are properly contested and clear out the Scouts. I did look for an alpha angle by slamming the Typhon into the Ravagore but I didn't have enough shooting in range to follow up to make it worthwhile. I'm biding my time as best as I can!

Lylyth feats but it is a very lacklustre turn. If memory serves there were some technical mistakes involved here like order of activation.

I lost the Lances on the left flank because I underestimated Anyssa. Bad mistake. However as I far as I can tell, Lylyth is super-exposed. I run the numbers in Odds Machine and it's somewhere above 80%. In terms of attrition I am somewhat spread out. In a nutshell I don't know if I can actually kill beasts or just wound them. The scenario is too slow as well because Nemo quite frankly cannot go to either of the zones. I figure out that assassination is probably the best way to win the game and go for it.

What I had not considered is that the Naga is fairly close to Lylyth. If she dies, Lylyth gets more fury. Oh-oh. Luckily for me the bounces aren't there to kill said Naga, and Lylyth goes down to the lord of lightning.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

Although I have some experience with this matchup now, it always feels iffy. In this game I had several angles which felt "sort of close". Instead of the assassination I could have tried to take out Ravagore + Typhon and had Dynamo try to clear the Bolt Thrower for example. However to me being spread out and the small Lances being basically given away I wasn't sure I had the volume. Top of 2 there was also a solid play to run up the Lancer and slam the Typhon into the Ravagore, but the follow-up volume simply wasn't there.

I think this is something I need to be more aware of in split scenarioes against Lylyth3. I depend on having my forces concentrated. We both have terribly destructive alphas and I need to use mine to keep her forces in check.

Cole put up a good fight and gave me a lot to think about. I don't know if he has experience with Nemo, but assuming he does not the ensuing assassination which won the game is incredibly hard to see if you have not been through it before. Nemo's pretty cray-cray sometimes! I shall also admit that there's no small satisfaction in actually assassinating Legion casters, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy...

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