mandag 17. april 2017

Battle at Lund: Invitationals Finals (#501): Haley2 vs Stryker1

:: Prologue ::

The Invitationals Finals saw me face my good friend Olov Winroth. Olov and I frequently talk all things Cygnar and we've faced each-other three times previously in tournaments. Since ClogCon last year he's been fairly inactive though and just recently getting back into things. He played a Stryker1/Haley2 pair. His Haley2 list is virtually identical to mine whereas his Styker1 list is a vanilla Storm Division variant. I recently played Haley2 vs Stryker1, ironically on the very same map we had now: Extraction. I know that this is a very good matchup for Haley2 and I had experience. Sloan on the other hand is not trivial to play vs Stryker1 SD and she can certainly struggle against Haley2 as well. I chose to go with Haley2 because it felt like the stable option: No matter what Olov dropped I wouldn't be down in the matchup. I was very, very relieved to see Stryker1 in return!

:: Lists ::

Cygnar - Technical Death Metal v4
[Theme] Heavy Metal
(Haley 2) Major Victoria Haley [+25]
- Charger [9]
- Hammersmith [12]
- Stormwall [39]
- Thorn [13]
- Squire [0]
Captain Arlan Strangewayes [0]
Journeyman Warcaster [0]
- Charger [9]
Lieutenant Allison Jakes [4]
- Stormclad [18]
[Theme] Storm Division
(Stryker 1) Commander Coleman Stryker [+30]
- Firefly [8]
- Stormwall [39]
Storm Lances (max) [20]
Storm Lances (max) [20]
Journeyman Warcaster [0]
- Charger [9]
Captain Arlan Strangewayes [0]
Major Katherine Laddermore [8]

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

I won the roll-off and elected to go first. I believe that if I do so there is no way Stryker1 can get any kind of game without feating bot of 1. If he does that I counter-feat and pick off a few Lances. If he does not I simply consolidate my position and pick off a few anyway with little-to-no damage in return. Due to a lack of pathfinder in his list (I guess), Olov chose a side which gave me plenty of terrain to hide important pieces behind.

:: Game ::

I run the Stormwall up max, put up Force Field on Haley and hide jacks in cover.

Full spead ahead! Stryker's Lances run up and he feats. Arcane Shield on both units of HORSIHORSI.

The rightmost Storm Lance is outside of feat so I figure Junior's Charger can pick him off. There's a Lance on the flag on the right side which Jakes' Clad can get to without Jakes being within 18" of the Stormwall (you know, Snipe and stuff is bad) and still have the 'clad in her control. I figure I TK away the Lance jamming my 'wall so it can move up and get more work done.

I make a couple of technical mistakes here. I had intended to run the Hammersmith up so that it would only be in one of the Stormwall's arcs of fire. The idea was to reaction drive Thorn away following the TK and block off LoS to Arlan with him and the Hammersmith with Thorn having Evasive Action (which is kind of hilarious when combined with Dodge). Since I messed up the Hammersmith positioning and the reaction drive I figured I might as well give Olov a juicy target in the shape of Arlan in cover. If he goes for him there's a good chance my jacks escape with everything intact and I hardly need to remove disruption on either the Hammersmith or Thorn in this matchup. Losing repair could be bad but losing the Hammersmith is so much worse.

Indeed the Stormwall goes for Arlan, luckily for me DEF16 proves sufficient and no damage is done. Phew! Bad plays but saved by dice. The various models who can shoot try and get some work done on the Hammersmith but ARM19 keeps all systems go.

I clear out a ton of Lances and move Thorn into the 'wall to prevent Stryker's Stormwall from getting an alpha. When I end my turn I am very happy with my position.

Hilarity ensues as Olov tries to kill one of the pods blocking in his Charger on the left flank. Junior Hand Cannon, Stryker Arcane Bolt -and- a Stormwall chain cannon all fail to do so. I am quite frankly amazed that it's still alive. Stryker disrupts Jakes' clad.

Time to get work done on the 'wall. I send in the 'wall after I killed the last jamming Lance together with the Stormclad. Really poor dice sees not even a full side down. I run Haley's Charger to the left flag to score a CP. I forget to activate Thorn because I literally did not see him behind my Stormwall.

Stryker's Stormwall hits me back but fails to impress as well. It's a sad fight as our two colossals stand there and punch each other with neither doing much work.

I forget to repair my 'wall with Arlan. Stormwall and Stormclad fully fueled still do not kill his 'wall. Wow. 2-0 CP.

Another round and his 'wall finally dies. There is no assassination angle and no scenario play and I eventually get to 5 CP!

Tournament Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

Practice makes perfect! The last con I attended, SmogCon, saw me take off with lists I had not practiced enough and with a meta I had not had the time to truly analyze and understand. The result was a bad encounter with Stryker1, indeed an identical list to what Olov played here. This time however I had done my research and played sufficient practice games to really know my lists, their strengths and by far the most of the meta benders out there. That really paid off.

This game saw a number of technical mistakes from me. In my defense this was game 15 in 4 days and I just had a very, very taxing semi-finals game. Olov had a couple as well and there's not much to say about it other than that fatigue really is a thing at cons.

The matchup itself is heavily in favour of Haley2. This game very clearly shows why I don't believe in Storm Division and why I in fact believe Lances are more than a little overrated. They have so many weaknesses defensively: Anything from stationary/kd to shooting to simply killing them in melee despite of Stryker1 feating... Problems all over the place. Haley2 is far from the only caster in this game which can trivially shut them down. Don't get me wrong, when they are strong Lances are amazing. However there are so many situations out there right now where they are more of a liability than anything else. I'm not trying to prove anything by avoiding Storm Division in my pairing, I simply believe Heavy Metal is stronger. Olov and I discussed this matchup after the game was over and he didn't know it was so much in favour of Haley2. I believe Stryker1 had his deserved time in the sun around the time SmogCon was arranged, but since then the meta has simply evolved past him. It's crazy, but I love it! Makes the game so exciting. Always things to analyze, games to play, builds to consider.

This weekend was an absolute blast. I played a ton of games, went undefeated in the tournaments and took home two big wins, defending both titles from last year's Battle at Lund. The event was great, I had nothing but nice games and got to socialize with a lot of people. Venue was spacious and food was good. I would like to thank Leif and Robin for final warm-up games. Sergei, Henrik, Cornelius, Torbjörn and Magnus for the Masters games. Michael, Henrik and Gustav for the team tournament games. Gustav, Torbjörn and Olov for the Invitationals games. Lastly a shoutout to the "Age of Cygnar" group for continuously developing lists, discussing games and improving our understanding of Warmachine. 

4 kommentarer:

  1. What is the Age of Cygnar group?

    1. A group of friends whom I dojo with :)

  2. Nice job on all the tournaments! Thanks for writing these up!