As part of our WTC preparations we play team games. We mimic the WTC process with lists, pairing etc. For this round I was paired against Protectorate and received High Reclaimer into my Haley2 list.
:: Lists ::
:: Cygnar ::
Cygnar - Technical Death Metal v6:: Opponent ::
[Theme] Heavy Metal
(Haley 2) Major Victoria Haley [+25]
- Cyclone 
- Stormwall 
- Thorn 
- Firefly 
- Squire 
Captain Arlan Strangewayes 
Journeyman Warcaster 
- Charger 
Lieutenant Allison Jakes 
- Stormclad 
- Eye of Truth
- Scourge of Heresy
Aiyana & Holt
:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::
We are playing Breakdown and I get to go last. I'd prefer going first, but it should be fine anyway. Plan: Create a tight center, lash out where I need to with shooting, don't feat and commit unless I can get a decisive attrition play. Leave jacks alone if possible, if all units die I basically win almost no matter what.
:: Game ::
Idrians spread out and mini-feat. The right-most unit receives Hand of Fate.
Keep everything far back, TA on Firefly, pod to spark off of. Cyclone and Charger somewhat offensively placed but quite a few Idrians die so it shouldn't be a problem.
Idrians take pot shots at my two shooters but no significant damage is done.
I check that the Stormwall can kill Aiyana -and- Holt with a pod if I charge in with Temporal Acceleration. I go for it and get the both of them plus a few Idrians. The shooty jacks all clear tons of Idrians and I feat.
So... With the Attendant Priest my opponent can just feat Aiyana back up. Ouch. That was not a part of my calculation. Prey, Kiss, blessed, Hand of Fate... TL;DR my opponent goes for the 'wall. The rolls are terrible though and it survives on 2 boxes.
I contemplate two courses of actio nfor the 'wall here: Commit Thorn (and it) to kill Eye and just leave it, or back off, keep shooting and force Protectorate to advance. I decide on the latter, it just feels like the safer play (in many ways because I keep Thorn, he is such an MVP in this matchup). The Stormwall doesn't get a lot out of its shooting but it forces my opponent to commit if he wants to avoid having Arlan simply repair it turn after turn.
The remaining forces commit and kill the 'wall, just barely with a huge damage roll from Eye. Scourge camps 3.
Scourge on 3 = 3 denied TKs. Well, I have 4. The 4th turns Eye around and I kill him with Thorn and the Stormclad. I start scoring now as well.
We would rather play a second game and get home before it gets too late so my opponent concedes, understandably. With both Thorn and the Stormclad outside of Scourge's threat range the game is essentially over anyway.
Victory to the Swans!
:: Evaluation ::
Protectorate struggles against Cygnar, no doubt. I believe the Exemplar theme will help that (more on that in just a few minutes!), but right now it's just too hard for them to face Haley2. I made a big, big mistake here by committing because I forgot Aiyana could be feated back up. Even then I think I'm favoured to win even if the 'wall had gone down. That says a thing or two about just how hard this matchup is for HR.
I also had a "what if?" in the back of my mind. Yeah, TimeStorm would probably wreck this HR variant even harder.