mandag 20. februar 2017

SmogCon: Masters D #1 (#427): Nemo3 vs Xerxis2

:: Prologue ::

Day 2! I got a spot in Masters D heat so another chance at qualifying for the top 8. Friday night was an absolute blast, following the final game against Stryker1 we were a bunch of people just chilling out and discussing all things Cygnar. For some of us it did get way too late before we eventually went to bed, but that's another story. In any case, to summarize the Cygnar discussion so I can move on with these reports I made a change in my 3-list pairing:

Yeah, no Haley3. The more I've played Nemo3 the less and less I experience that I really need Haley3. Factions and casters she used to answer can often be handled by Nemo3. Furthermore Stryker1 feels like he's able to cover some of her matchups as well. I went for the double Charger configuration instead of a Firefly because I believe the mirror is a big, big deal and having double Chargers make the Lance Wars™ tilt so heavily in your favour.

Anyway! Game 1 on Saturday was against Skorne. Steve was my opponent and he had Xerxis2, Zaadesh2 and Rasheth. Zaadesh looked like something any of my lists could handle. Xerxis2 had 4 (!) huge-based models and Rasheth looked vanilla-ish. I figured Nemo would be the way to go. I didn't see how any of his lists could deal with the lightning very well. Boy was I in for a surprise...

:: 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]
(Xerxis 2) Xerxis, Fury of Halaak [+28]
 - Desert Hydra [38]
 - Mammoth [38]
Siege Animantarax [17]
Paingiver Beast Handlers (min) [5]
Paingiver Beast Handlers (min) [5]

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

Line Breaker. I wasn't anticipating this to be a scenario game anyways so I didn't matter that much. I got to go first and my idea here was basically to rush up, avoid the worst shooting and alpha hard, the sooner the better.

:: Game ::

Stuff runs up and I'm still completely oblivious to what I have coming for me.

The huge-based Skorne army moves up and my opponent asks for SPD and RNG across the board. He then proceeds to use 13" as the main thingy. I kindly point out to him that 6 + 10 is a lot more than 13, to which Steve replies that he has a spell which reduces all of my shooting by 3". You what? I was sure I'd read Xerxis' card before I dropped my caster. Wtf? Oh right, Hordes have animi. Desert Hydra. Ok, that is problematic considering how strong his shooting is and how far he threatens stuff in melee...

I suddenly had a fairly big problem on my hands. Launching an alpha against something like that is a completely different thing. Suddenly I need to make a play for scenario. That play can happen on the left flank. Hydra threatens 12" in melee so I position Lances at 12.5" ish. I keep the rest of my forces outside of his heavy shooting and just pray that the clouds don't go away. I need to keep the pressure up. Luckily it stays.

The Hydra moves over to the lances because although it threatens 12" in melee it threatens 13" with pretty legit shooting. My opponent is a bit over-confident though and manages his fury somewhat poorly so I only lose a single lance. Feating here could possibly have broken the game.

Time to make a move! What I want to do here is kill the Hydra and the objective. Easy, right? It's sad not gettng to shoot with Dynamo on feat turn but hey, what can you do? They both go down and I form a wall in front of Nemo with 2 Lights and Laddermore.

Xerxis feats, kills the Firefly in the middle and sprints to the Lances. This was not pre-measured and he ends up in a really awkward spot, not only does he not even engage me, he also blocks his own beast handlers from running to contest.

His Mammoth decides that this game needs some more problems for Cygnar so it starts shooting Laddermore. He unhorses her in the first shot and then kills the dismounted girl in the second. Of course he rolled 4 shots so now he has LoS to Nemo with 2 shots left. The dice keep being pretty crazy but luckily I have focus camped and I survive on a handful of boxes, phew!

Since the beast handlers could not contest on the left flank I move to 3 CP in his turn. I need to secure the right flag to win the game. The Lances can run and take it so I allocate focus to all jacks. They remove the battle engine and the Lances run in to take the 5th point.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

Wow, that sure got real interesting real fast! Inexperience with the matchup can have effects like this for sure and the Desert Hydra completely caught me off guard. Luckily I was in a position to put scenario pressure on the game, despite playing Line Breaker. More than anything this has to do with Steve's army working against him: Having only 4 huge bases and support does not you spread out very well and removing 1 element creates a huge vacuum.

In hindsight I'm not sure what the best drop is. Skorne has enough power to simply force their way through Stryker's defensive tech. Rasheth's no-arc spell is a disaster for Haley2 and I don't know if she can work around it. Maybe Nemo is the best drop, after all this did work out in the end. Very interesting to face new things for sure!

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