For my second game of the day I meet Circle. The pairing is Krueger2 and Kromac2. The former with a variety of heavies, the latter pretty much the same! Whereas Krueger is full of shenanigans, Kromac is full of power. Also, field marshal hyper aggressive can be a problem. I'm not sure how either Haley2 vs Krueger2 or Stryker1 vs Kromac2 are. I am confident Haley2 is up vs Kromac2, however I'm not 100% on Stryker1 vs beast-heavy Krueger2. I really don't know what my opponent will drop so a combination of being unsure about Stryker1 in both matchups and kind of wanting to test out Haley2 vs Krueger2 leads me to dropping her. If I get Kromac I know I'm good. Unfortunately, I do not.
:: 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
2x Sentry Stones
:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::
We are playing Extraction and I go first. The idea is to force Krueger away from one flank, hopefully draw the game out to avoid a top of 2 feat and then enable a strong scenario play under Temporal Shift top of 3. I deploy fairly far left because of this, keeping a Firefly on my right flank for contesting purposes. They are not the best jacks in this matchup exactly.
:: Game ::
I run up stuff. I'm probably too afraid of the Woldwyrd here: If it does decide to go for a bot of 1 play I can likely feat top of 2 regardless and quite simply leverage the situation.
Krueger shifts right. He's very aware of Jakes' clad's 16" threat range. The Feral is kept on the left flank along with a Sentry.
As I hoped for the game is slowing down instead of speeding up. All I need to do now is play carefully and wait for the game to open up. If I can land a strong feat top of 3 we're good to go.
I don't have a lot to spend my focus on this turn. I did consider going for the Blackclad but then remembered he has Prowl, which essentially makes it not worth it (by far). Instead I decide to Time Bomb the Feral to start putting some boxes on him. After all, clearing out the left flank is my priority. Between Gallows, TK, Megalith trampling and casting either of these, Loki and warp speed, there are tons of angles to consider. I spend a considerable amount of time setting up proxies to ensure I can get Thorn in safety following this play. When all this planning is done it's time for the Stormclads. The same angles apply for them, but Jakes' Stormclad is the MVP solution. By putting it in the Trench and then having the others behind he needs to commit an extreme amount to even theoretically get an angle for one of them. I figure that if he does this I can retaliate and get a "perfect feat".
The last 'clad is placed in cover, in front of Thorn. Due to the flag TK angles are bad and I ensure he cannot be angled out easily. Again, if this is to be possible, a heavy commitment is needed.
Unfortunately my carefully laid out plan forgot one small thing: Hunter's Mark. With my last Stormclad's positioning focusing solely on not being TK'd out, the Blackclad is able to walk up and cast Hunter's Mark on it without cover. This ensures that the Feral can charge it. Oh my. With Primal it goes in and Thorn is killed. Luckily for me my opponent forgets that Sidekick stops pushes (I told him at the start of the game as we went through our various choices) so he tries to have Loki pull it in with hook.
Right now, losing Thorn isn't that big of a deal. The state of the board is such that I don't need spells offensively. However lategame against Krueger2 without Thorn? Consider me not a fan. At all. The slow game I wanted suddenly turned into a race against the clock.
So Krueger is standing right behind the objective and he is camping 3 fury. He did not cast Windstorm so the Avenger can knock him down easily enough. If he does manage this I can get Jakes' clad on him, assuming I can kill the objective. Killing the objective however looks very, very hard: The Stormclad on my left is intentionally blocked from being TK'd out and this turn it swings back at me. The central Stormclad behind Jakes' clad is 12.1" away (poor of me not to measure this properly last turn), which means it needs Temporal Acceleration on top of TK. not a disaster, but it means that Jakes' clad does not receive it, which means it will only get 4 attacks, one of which is only PS14. With 3 fury on Krueger, there's no way he'll go down. With TA I think this play is the best I have, given the state of the table, but alas it is not possible.
Annoying, but I have to try and come up with another angle. Desperate times, desperate measures. The Avenger shooting the objective is the place to start regardless. Loki needs to die, along with preferably the shrimp and the objective as well. Oh, and the Feral of course. Haley puts out focus and ensures jacks get in places to get work done, then moves up and feats. Arlan power boosts and puts himself b2b with Haley and the stone so that Krueger cannot feat Haley's feat further back. The Stormclad and Firefly on the left flank kill the Feral. In the middle however my clads show a somewhat poor display, killing only Loki. Leaving the shrimp alive was pretty bad.
I had to have Junior on the objective quite frankly because there were no pieces left to score with. It would have been better to have Junior behind Haley and Arlan on the flag. I consider the game pretty much lost at this point in time, that is until my opponent starts making crucial mistake after crucial mistake. It starts off with Megalith, who is just within 18" of Haley. It activates and TKs itself out of 18", but the feat wording is start of activation so it just wasted its entire activation. Such sadness. Krueger then feats, which pushes my jacks away, and furthermore killboxes (!) himself, making me go to 3 CP. At this point the game is over and my opponent concedes, however we play on. I did lose both Jakes and Junior (a pretty good indicator that you're doing something wrong when this happens under Temporal Shift), however the position was still somewhat playable.
With Jakes going down before Krueger's feat, her Stormclad could be pushed, which meant it was suddenly in range to be taken over by Arlan. My plan this turn was thus to kill the Shrimp, score another point and set up to hopefully stay relevant in the end game. This meant putting Haley herself on the flag with a couple of focus.
My opponent doesn't like his position. With me having 3 active heavies in relevant positions and a lead on CP, he decides to go for the assassination on Haley. I guess it's a fairly decent shot, never ran the numbers to be honest, but Haley survives on 2 boxes.
Victory to the Swans!
:: Evaluation ::
This game feels like it's uphill for Haley. A single Stormclad is unlikely to kill his tough heavies, Loki and Megalith for example require solid dice to go down. In return however both Loki, Feral and Megalith are capable of one-rounding a clad. On top of that he has so many angles, Gallows, TK, Loki pull. Megalith trampling and casting Gallows/TK is very hard to defend against, and Stones porting Loki with TK setting him up even further... It's just a nightmare.
I did solve all of these angles turn 2, but the Hunter's Mark was crucially forgotten. Up until this point I was good, but losing Thorn changed the game entirely. After this it was just a matter of trying to claw my way back in and some helpful mistakes from my opponent ensured the game went my way in the end. A very interesting matchup and as with my first game, I think knowing how it plays is the biggest factor.