mandag 17. april 2017

Battle at Lund: Swedish Masters #1 (#490): Sloan vs Cyphon

:: Prologue ::

The first game of the Swedish Masters saw me face off against Mercenaries, more specifically Cyphon and Cephalyx into which I dropped Sloan. My opponent was Sergei, a player from Estonia who took the trip alone to Sweden to play. Awesome!

:: Lists ::

Cygnar - Firing Solution v4
Theme: Heavy Metal
4 / 4 Free Cards 75 / 75 Army
Armory - Steamroller Objective
Captain Kara Sloan - WJ: +28
- Squire - PC: 0
- Hunter - PC: 11
- Hunter - PC: 11
- Hunter - PC: 11
- Stormwall - PC: 39 (Battlegroup Points Used: 28)
- Lightning Pod
- Firefly - PC: 8
Captain Arlan Strangewayes - PC: 0
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 0
- Hunter - PC: 11
Lieutenant Allison Jakes - PC: 0
- Hammersmith - PC: 12
Theme: Operating Theater
Cognifex Cyphon - WJ: +29
-    Wrecker - PC: 14 (Battlegroup Points Used: 14)
-    Wrecker - PC: 14 (Battlegroup Points Used: 14)
-    Wrecker - PC: 14 (Battlegroup Points Used: 1)
-    Warden - PC: 10
Cephalyx Agitator - PC: 3
Cephalyx Agitator - PC: 3
Cephalyx Dominator - PC: 1
-    Alexia Ciannor & the Risen - Alexia & 9 Risen Grunts: 10
-    Thrall Warrior
Cephalyx Mind Bender & Drudges - Mind Bender & 9 Drudge Grunts: 11
Cephalyx Mind Bender & Drudges - Mind Bender & 9 Drudge Grunts: 11
Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges - Slaver & 9 Drudge Grunts: 12
Cephalyx Overlords - Leader & 2 Grunts: 0

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

That sure is a lot of bodies for Sloan to deal with! My main worry is his heavies actually, the feat makes them nasty. We play Take and Hold and I hope I can keep the heavies at bay sufficiently long to deal with all the little dudes. The idea going into this game was that this is purely attrition. My main priority is keeping my own models alive, while they live I keep getting more work done. Other than that I need to contest the scenario.

:: Game ::

The Slaver and his Drudges Ambush. The Benders, Drudges and Alexia advance on the right flank, the heavies on the left. No feat. No blur.

I feat and take out 2 heavies, an Agitator and all 3 Overlords.

The Ambushers come in. Instead of making the right flank even stronger they ambush on the left side. This is a brilliant play from Sergei as it forces me to redirect my efforts: Remember that my number one goal is to keep my lines safe here. The right keeps pushing. Cyphon forgets to feat.

Crucially, no units/models are currently scoring on my flag. This enables me to withdraw my forces and not contest at all. This in turn is important because it allows the 'wall to pod the ambushers and thus hit many models. Jakes puts her dual initials and sprint to good use. I also send in the Hammersmith on the first monstrosity and take it out. A very important job. I clear out the Ambushers and with a covering fire to protect my squishy jacks I feel I'm in a decent position.

Cyphon doesn't trust his heavy to kill the Hammersmith despite feating so the heavy throws the Hammersmith out to allow him to score. This in turn sets up the Drudges to charge it with Adrenal Flood, but ARM19 is a thing and the 'smith survives. The rest of the infantry try and set up as best as they can.

With the feat gone the remaining heavy is of little concern to me. What matters now is that I get the infantry under control. Why? The Stormwall isn't threatened any longer so the only way I lose this game is on CP (or a crazy assassination angle). However to do that my opponent needs stuff to jam with. The Hammersmith got thrown back into Jakes' control area so I load it up and start spinning up various attacks at the infantry. I thin out a great deal and also kill the Dominator and both Benders. A Hunter contests my opponent.

Alexia gets a ton of risen but due to the Dominator dying there's not a lot she can do this turn. The remaining heavy moves towards the Hammersmith but rolls miserably and I'm left on a couple of boxes. My flag is scored to make Cyphon go to 3CP. Speaking of Cyphon, he runs to the middle of the map and camps a few focus (he ran after I took this picture).

I had a very crucial turn ahead of me: I had to stop Cyphon from going to 5CP and with him looming over my flag like that I needed to contest it badly. Sergei had flooded me badly so I had a ton of risen to kill to contest. The Stormwall could not run and contest because there was an agitator in the way and he could sac to the monstrosity. I considered trying to kill Cyphon but the 'wall couldn't get him in LoS.

The solution I ended up with saw the 'wall clear out tons of infantry with a pod. I think I took out 6 or 7 dudes in a straight line. I also killed the last heavy with the wall. This enabled my junior casters to clear a little path and then my lights started moving in to contest, one after the other. In the end I had 4 lights contesting and was pretty happy with my turn.

Cyphon sees no scenario angles any longer, he can't kill all lights nor get to 5 on his own flag. Instead he chooses to go for the Hail Mary of Hail Mary assassinations: Arlan is blocking LoS to Sloan which camps 2 focus and has cover. He wants to spray them both, one-shot Arlan at dice off 6 and then follow up with a spell and Alexia's POW12 Hand Cannon on my DEF20 Sloan. It's an interesting angle and indeed his best play given the position. As expected the dice do not work out in his favour and I survive.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

That was a long and tense game! An awesome start to the tournament weekend. This game proved to be every bit as difficult as I had feared, but I pulled through by systematically focusing on the most important threats at any one point in time.

The MVPs of the game were the Hammersmith and Jakes. They got so insanely much work done and provided a flexible centerpiece I could work around. Sure the Stormwall did a ton of work but at 40 points he should do so. The fact that chain cannons with covering fire opportunities and a lightning pod work well against infantry is nothing new. The humble 12-point module of Jakes + Hammersmith though stopped the heavy push in the middle dead in its tracks, continuously punished drudges all over the place and sucked up a -lot- of hurt throughout the game.

Sergei's ambush was brilliant and really got me thinking. I was expecting it to be disruptive. The problem was that I had so many things at once to deal with. At points like this it is absolutely crucial that you get work out of every single model you have in the best way you can. This is the time where you charge in with Jakes to get 2 initials and then sprint back out, Junior boosts his Hand Cannon. Hell, I even cast dust-to-dust with Sloan I believe. Every single attack matters.

A great start to the event. Right off the bat I face a competent opponent with a very strong list. Although Thexus is better in general than Cyphon, this particular matchup on this table is probably harder for me with Cyphon due to Onslaught and the feat making his heavies so dangerous. While Sergei forgot to feat turn 2 and that was a relatively big deal, I think that perhaps conserving all heavies to go for a jamming feat top of 2 / top of 3 should perhaps have been his preferred approach.

3 kommentarer:

  1. A pity you didn't take that one picture, would have loved to see the way I jammed with drudges and whether there was a better way. Also, I think it might have been good here to feat turn 1, run all monstrosities 16 inches forward and have speed 8 available for Hyperagressive moves, with effective ARM 11 against hunters. Quite a few good lessons learned.

    1. (i meant the jamming with risen)

    2. Hey Sergei, thanks for the reply :) I found the picture and have edited the report now. I agree, feating turn 1 would have been an interesting option :)