søndag 19. mars 2017

Internal Affairs Mk. IX Game 1 (#454): Stryker1 vs Maddox

:: Prologue ::

First tournament since SmogCon! This time we opened up Internal Affairs for non-club members and we got a lot of people to attend, travelling from as far away as Karlstad, Sweden! 32 players in total showed up and we had a blast all day. I've been experimenting with various builds lately and for this event I decided to go for the #noLances approach, running Stryker1 "Immovable Object" and Haley2 "Electrobots", both in heavy metal.

My first game saw me draw Christian and his Cygnar. Christian and I dojo quite a bit so I was familiar with his setup: Maddox and Nemo3. I think it's very cool that Christian's taken a love to Maddox as she's rarely played around here and I think she has a lot of potential. She grants a couple of abilities in Storm Division which no other casters can (not in combination, anyway): Jack threat extender, offensive feat and pathfinder. Snipe, in a nutshell, is also quite sexy. I was expecting Christian to drop Maddox here because Nemo3 feels like suicide vs Stryker1 unless he can get some kind of crazy angle. Even then, Stryker is rather hard to hit and tanky. In any case I considered dropping Haley2, but eventually decided against it because I frankly don't think she has the necessary volume of non-lightning stuff to deal with the troop spam Maddox brings, at least not reliably. Stryker1 felt like the better choice.

:: Lists ::

"Immovable Object"
[Theme] Heavy Metal
(Stryker 1) Commander Coleman Stryker [+30]
- Firefly[8]
- Stormwall [39]
- Stormwall [39]
- Squire [0]
Captain Arlan Strangewayes [0]
Journeyman Warcaster [0]
- Charger [9]
Lieutenant Allison Jakes [0]
- Charger [9]
Storm Division
- Squire
- Ironclad
- Charger
- Charger
- Firefly
Stormblade Captain
Max Lances
Max Lances
- UA

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

We are playing Entrenched and Maddox got first turn. I would have loved to go first here to assert my shooting presence ASAP, but oh well. Maddox deploys symmetrically but crucially keeps a unit of Lances way, way left. I deploy defensively and intend to go for a very dumb scenario play. The thing about this matchup is that I fear Christian can jam up my 'walls early game, force me to feat and then counter-feat with lots of models intact. My number one priority then is to slowly whittle him down while keeping my models at such a distance as to make it impossible for him to force me to fear early. To do that, I need to apply scenario pressure. Having a unit of Lances far, far away certainly helps as well!

:: Game ::

Christian, to my surprise, runs up very aggressively on "my" flank. One unit of Lances with Arcane Shield run balls to the wall. Stormblades minifeat in the center with Dauntless Resolve.

This is a very interesting start for me. If I can more or less kill the Lances on the right flank I have an amazing start. The plan is to move up the right 'wall, shoot its big guns at Lances, drop covering fire and then pod for Earthquake to KD 2 Lances. This all works out and the second 'wall follows up with shooting more lances. Covering fires ensure Stormblades have to risk dying if they want to get work done, and the 'walls are outside of 9" anyway. The Chargers, Jakes and Junior follow up with POW12s on the Lances on the right and there is only one left alive when I'm done. He's sitting on 2 boxes and is knocked down. Good start!

Christian has positioned his Chargers behind a rock pretty far back. One of them has Snipe and it starts trying to chip off some damage from Junior's charger. Stormblades also assault said charger, losing 1 guy to covering fire. I lose a few boxes but no systems. The other Lances receive Arcane Shield instead and the remaining Lance on the right flank moves to jam Jakes' Charger.

#priorities! Clear zone, score point, feat, kill stuff dead? I positioned the Firefly on my left flank because I anticipated that I needed some anti-clear for the 'walls and with a 2" melee range this is the best piece to do so. However dice don't agree, fully loaded on 3 focus it kills 0 Stormblades. Wow. This leaves the 'walls having to do some work. They do clear the blades in the zone but too many for my liking remain alive. Jakes kills the Lance and then sprints behind the wall and I have my support tucked away safely in the back ranks. 1-0.

The jam continues and Lances try to get work done on the Firefly. Lances are, after all, still Lances so some damage is done, but Cortex and melee system remain operative. Maddox scores, 1-1.

This is a crucial point in time. Scenario points will start running quickly soon. However if I commit the 'walls when Maddox has too many models left I risk losing out on attrition. With Maddox' Chargers behind the central obstruction I can't physically block him out from contesting me either.

I sit down and I basically try and envision the ping pong theory in practice to "count" if he can make it to 5 before I get a 'wall in his zone -if- I back off now. I conclude that it can only happen if I have somewhat poor dice -and- my objective dies. This feels ok so I back off and keep shooting him. This time the Firefly scores a couple of kills which sure helps. 2-1.

Unable to land a strong alpha, Maddox holds her feat. There are few models remaining now and Maddox sets up to try and force an engagement next turn. Lances contest. 2-2. Some pot shots go into the objective. Luckily, it's bunker!

I clear the Lances, send in a 'wall, repair the objective to full health, move up the support models. 3-2.

My opponent is getting very low on time and forgets to allocate to the Ironclad. The feat turn is fairly lacklustre because of this but math shows it would've been somewhat poor regardless. 3-3.

I send in the second 'wall as well and kill most of his remaining models. The last pod comes out to contest and my earlier calculation proved to be correct: 4 CP is all Maddox gets. She does clock out but it's irrelevant, I would've gone to 5 CP before her in any case.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

A close-fought game and an interesting start to the tournament! I think that this match, more than anything, shows how important it is to understand how a matchup plays out and what your victory condition is. With Maddox going first here, I think her winning play is keeping Lances alive and forcing an early feat from me. The jacks also need to move up aggressively to help with this, the Chargers and Firefly accomplished very, very little in this game. My hypothesis is that if Maddox can force me to feat bot of 2 and have a lot of Lances + jacks intact, it will be a hard game for me.

I did struggle to kill the Stormblades for a couple of turns. I couldn't quite get the LoS angles I wanted with the Chargers and the 'walls fluffed a bit. I also prioritized one Stormwall's shooting poorly, which wasted a lot of potential for that turn. Having the 'walls jammed up is a big, big issue. I think that as players get used to builds like this (double garg/colossals) we will see more game-winning plays come out by simply denying them board access. Indeed, with the 'walls jammed here and the jacks positioned at the edge of Maddox' zone, podding might have been impossible. At that point in time we have ourselves an iffy situation to say the least.

A great game and I learned a lot, both about Maddox and my own list. It's the first time I play against her (haven't played with her either) and I must say I was impressed. She's interesting! Storm Division is such an enabler for so many of our casters and I love it.

Christian also blogs! To read his report from this game, check out this link!

3 kommentarer:

  1. Dang! Great game!! I'm new to Cygnar and returning to MkIII having left at the end of MkI. Like Christian, I'm quite fond of Maddox. It's the only caster I'm playing right now as I relearn the game, and reading your Cygnar blog has been a huge perk to my re-education. Maybe someday I'll graduate to Stryker and Sloan, they seem really interesting as well. I'm building a Storm Division army with 2 max unit of Lances and Stormblades. I have all the models (mostly) built, and am in the process of painting them. Thanks for all of your Cygnar battle reports and analysis. It's extremely helpful.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, I'm glad you enjoy this blog :) Maddox is a great caster to get to know the game with, but to be honest I think Stryker1 is even better. More forgivable, too :)

  2. He's on my 'buy list' for sure. I played him once (a friend's army), and played against him; no doubt he's a keeper. :D