søndag 19. mars 2017

Internal Affairs Mk. IX Finals (#458): Haley2 vs Makeda2

:: Prologue ::

Luckily we were able to play the finals rather quickly and thus formally end the tournament. The table was set and we honestly forgot to pair, it is a no brainer anyway since Haley2 vs Makeda2 is the only matchup which makes sense considering our pairs (Stryker1 and Makeda1 respectively). The scenario was Recon and Hans, my opponent, won the roll-off.

:: Lists ::

Theme: Heavy Metal
4 / 4 Free Cards 75 / 75 Army
Major Victoria Haley - WJ: +25
- Squire - PC: 0
- Thorn - PC: 13 (Battlegroup Points Used: 13)
- Stormclad - PC: 18 (Battlegroup Points Used: 12)
- Stormclad - PC: 18
- Avenger - PC: 17
- Firefly - PC: 8
Captain Arlan Strangewayes - PC: 0
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 0
- Firefly - PC: 8
Lieutenant Allison Jakes - PC: 0
- Stormclad - PC: 18
(Makeda 2) Supreme Archdomina Makeda [+27]
 - Basilisk Krea [7]
 - Despoiler [19]
Praetorian Ferox (max) [20]
Praetorian Ferox (max) [20]
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer [6]
Mortitheurge Willbreaker [4]
Mortitheurge Willbreaker [4]
Tyrant Rhadeim [9]
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew [2]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [5]
Paingiver Beast Handlers (min) [5]

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

Recon, going last. What I want to accomplish here is to skew towards one flank and maybe get an angle where Haley can get to a flag and work from there. Post-feat turn she tends to be exposed against Makeda2. Skorne deploys relatively symmetrically, I respond doing the same but we are somewhat skewed towards one flank each: I want to avoid terrain, he wants to hug it.

:: Game ::

Skorne runs up.

The least important jack in this matchup for me is the Avenger. I also don't think Makeda wants to commit aggressively against suboptimal targets so I decide to AS the Avenger and send it up. Together with the cloud from Fuel Cache he blocks off LoS to Stormclads. Haley's Firefly runs up on the right flank. I very much doubt Makeda wants to have Ferox here. The solos and Haley ensure they aren't exposing themselves to #justFeroxThings. I take a cat down to 1 HP with Time Bomb (got nothing better to spend my focus on) and that's my first turn.

With me having set up to possibly swarm the zone and take out the objective, Makeda creates a line of Ferox to deny me doing so.

See, this would be problematic for a lot of lists. There's just so much to chew through! I realize my right flank Firefly was a bit too defensively placed last turn, which is a shame as it'll struggle to participate. All that said, I think this is a legit setup to try and handle with the Electrobots. I have the volume and MAT7, Future Sight and electroleaps with Ionization should be solid. TL;DR I commit, kill 5 cats, a 6th dodges out after a couple of misses. Temporal Shift to cover my stuff.

Makeda backs out and tries to use the rubble to keep me out. 0-1.

Haley is within 12" of the right flag and as such can run over. Clearing the zone is trivial so I have 2 options: Clear zone, take objective and back out or commit. I am unsure and I try and weigh the two against each other. In the end I'm really unsure of what to do so I go for the commit option. The rubble does indeed slow me down massively though so in hindsight it might have been the wrong call: By staying I do eat a charge, true, but the Despoiler won't get to assert its presence. Then again I need to contest. I don't know, it worked out ok I guess. I go to 3-1.

One Ferox runs over to Haley. Radheim takes a dozen boxes ish off of Thorn, crippling his shield. The Despoiler kills Jakes' Stormclad.

Jakes and Junior backed away last turn, leaving their jacks to their own fates. I figured they'd likely die / be irrelevant anyway and having Jakes + Junior far back allows me to help Haley clear annoying stuff. Like, say, a lone Ferox contesting me outside of Stay Death range. Junior aims and plants a Hand Cannon shot in the cat to kill it dead. MVP journeyman! Avenger kills Radheim: My opponent is running low on time and I clock over to him when he has to think about stuff like stay death, dismounting etc. He fails to ensure Radheim is within 10" of Makeda so no stay death post-dismounting. The Stormclads and Thorn try and kill Ferox but the tough rolls have improved. 4-1.

A Willbreaker runs to be within 4" of my flag. He is not within 2" however and Orin cannot get within 3". Makeda runs to within Stay Death range.

I move Haley to ensure I am within 2" of the flag and that the Willbreaker doesn't get cover. I need to hit one TK with 3 attempts on 5+ with future sight and Squire (the 4th TK has to ensure I go back to the flag). I hit the first attempt and with that, the game is over!

Tournament Victory To The Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

Yay, go heavy metal #noLances! I was really unsure about my lists going into this tournament and indeed my conclusion is that Stryker1's "Immovable Object" is going back to the shelf (more on this matter later in a separate blog post). The Electrobots is a ton of fun to play though and I think the list really shines in matchups like this, where pure volume is the name of the game. There are a few of these matchups now, really.

The thing about Haley2 is that while she can propel one piece to ridiculous ranges, I don't find that is how she is the most effective. On the contrary I rarely -want- to cast Temporal Acceleration for example because it's so expensive. Early game for shooting purposes it's fine, but once the brawl start the investment is just too much. This is exactly why I designed the Electrobots, the idea was to have as many models as possible threatening as long as possible. The Stormclads ensure volume as well through assault and electro leaps both on the shots and in melee. Fireflies applying Ionization make said leaps effective against all but the heavies of enemy models.

This game showcases the strengths of my list very well. Haley essentially is a focus battery, letting the jacks do work and go to town. My opponent probably could have forced me to "try harder" to deal with the cats in the second turn, but given the scenario nature of Recon and our positions I'm not sure how hard he could've made it really. Indeed I had a full Stormclad on max focus left when all the 5 cats were dead which simply had to just run and position itself for the next turn.

My feat turn basically broke the game. From there it was a matter of me ensuring that key pieces were safe and that I could reliably go to 5 CP. I'm still not sure going aggro as opposed to consolidating my position was the correct play bottom of 3. I'll have to take a closer look at it, something I didn't have the time to do live. Figuring out things like this is crucial to truly understanding the dynamics of a matchup, something I think this tournament has really showcased the value of.

Speaking of this tournament, I had 5 games which all felt close, tense and interesting. They could've swung both ways. I believe it shows that the game balance just keeps improving and I really think Warmachine is currently the best it's ever been. An amazingly fun game to play for sure. Now if you'll excuse me I have some more lists to dojo. More blog posts with musings, reports and analysis will follow in the near future!

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