søndag 19. mars 2017

Internal Affairs Mk. IX Game 3 (#456): Stryker1 vs Iron Mother

:: Prologue ::

The third game is Take and Hold and I draw Convergence. Great. A list chicken situation where I don't even know if my "upside" is particularly "up". My opponent has Father and Mother and ideally I want Haley2 vs Father, which is unlikely to happen. I think Haley2 vs Mother borders on unplayable with the Electrobots, and Stryker1 feels bad vs Father. However my opponent knows how badly Haley2 decimates father and he has dropped him twice already, in a 4-game tournament he'll be locked into Mother next game if he drops him again. I drop Stryker and luckily get Mother in return.

:: 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]
Theme: Destruction Initiative
Iron Mother
- Prime Axiom
- Assimilator
- Assimilator
- Assimilator
- Corollary
- Diffuser
Min Meks
One million bots from theme benefits

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

This game is hard. I have to somehow remove all of his bots. It's not that they have Shield Guard, at least not primarily, it's that they are so strong with Backlash. In a nutshell I have to pressure his jacks, remove the bots, not spend focus from Stryker (since he has to heal and camp) and not lose on scenario. Easy!

:: Game ::

I run stuff just outside of his threat ranges.

He runs stuff just outside of my melee threat ranges.

I did consider feating here, running both Stormwalls up and jamming him. Against a weak player this might work, he might panic and I might win. However taking two seconds to consider this, my opponent can go for the Smart Play™ which is to apply backlash, hit with puncture bots, throw out Shrapnel Swarm twice and simply jam me. Very, very hard for Stryker to survive that considering the 'walls will be around next turn as well, at which point he can cycle (!) backlash to apply maximum damage. I don't see that as a likely win for me, sadly. Also, I can't one round Prime with a 'wall so I quickly discard that idea.

Instead I try and remove bots with shooting I clear a few and apply a protective field of covering fires. Snipe is up on the left 'wall to accomplish this.

Backlash is applied to the right 'wall and the fun begins! Stryker takes a couple of boxes, spending his focus to stop what can be stopped.

There are too many bots left still so I have to shoot, shoot and shoot bots. In my frustration over the matchup I forget covering fires from one wall, which is pretty bad.

The Conservators keep coming and my opponent scores my flag. 0-1.

I'm at the edge of the killbox, scenario pressure is mounting up and I have to make a play. I've saved the feat for so long, but if I can make decisive play now I might be able to stop Backlash slowly winning the game for Convergence. I heal up with most of my focus, allocating as little as possible. The Chargers, Jakes and the left 'wall kill a Conservator (woho!) and some bots with shooting. The right 'wall charges the Diffuser but dice don't agree and it survives. A pod disrupts a Conservator. The Firefly runs to score a point, forcing a distraction.

With bots out the Backlash threat isn't there any longer and my opponent instead decides to back off. The tide is turning!

I consolidate my position, happy to keep pounding him with shooting. I even score another point with a Charger on his flag.

Convergence is running low on time and the feat finally comes out with a last, desperate effort to kill Stryker with a Hail Mary run of epic proportions. It fails and I win the game!

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

Slowly whittling down the bots was crucial in this game. If this had somehow been prevented, my opponent might have been able to overload me and win. At one point he tried to wrap around on my right flank but the junior warcasters and Chargers stopped that effort dead in its tracks. I'm not sure exactly how Mother should've approached this differently, but leveraging the fact that I cannot commit, even with feat, when there are many puncture bots alive surely is possible somehow.

I was glad to walk away with a win. Iron Mother is naturally very strong against Stormwall-based Cygnar because of Backlash. Domination ensures that normal jacks, outside of Gallant anyway, are fairly poor as well. Lastly, Prime Axiom having tow cables can make life miserable. It should be noted though that my opponent's list struggles somewhat with defensively buffed Lances, especially Stryker1 Lances. Standard Stryker1 Storm Division might indeed be legit here, it certainly is better than this list.

3-0 thus far and it certainly wasn't easy. All games were close-fought and I feel as though they all could have tipped the other way. Time for the semi-finals!

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