Sunday, 4 June 2017

LinCon 2017 ("battle reports" 26-30)

Greetings and salutations, time wizards!

LinCon is a tournament at a general nerd-con held in the city I live, Linköping, about this time every year. Being an (ex-)PG I signed up to run it. We wound up with 27 players and considering that'd mean byes I decided to play too. I had a couple of the other local players who'd help me with judge calls, and honestly there were very few of them.

Having to decide my lists on the fly, I opted for Haley2 (come on, she's a given still) and my favourite comfort caster, Haley3. The Haley2 list is common these days, and the Haley3 is a slight variation of my old list.

Haley2 in Heavy Metal
- Stormwall
- Ironclad
- Thorn
- Charger
- Squire
- Charger
- Stormclad
Arlan Strangewayes

- 2 Grenadiers
- Defender
- Thorn
Max Trenchers
Max Storm Lances
- Charger

Sadly there'll be no pictures from this event. This means I'll be running from memory only, and that means errors and uncertainties.

I get paired up against Tobias Olsson, running Convergence of Cyriss. We wind up playing Haley2 HM and Syntherion in Destruction Initiative, respectively. Scenario is Recon.

- Prime Axiom
- 2 saw-wielding lights
- 2 ground pounder heavies
- Corollary
- 1 lightning shooty heavy
1 Arc Node guy
Lots of balls - I think 6 puncture servitors and 6 counter-charge

I guess I should've called him Swiss Army Knife-man..

This game starts pretty badly. I go first, advance aggressively to pressure Tobias back. He can just barely run the arc node and get Magnetic Hold on my Stormwall bottom of 1. Top of 2 I do decently: I get the ironclad doing more than half the Axiom with Temporal Acceleration and TK, and I get the Stormclad into the lightning heavy which dies. I also feat this turn. Two big mistakes nevertheless: Jakes is a coward and can't allocate next turn, and the Stormwall doesn't advance far enough to be able to get to the Axiom next turn.

Tobias does a bit his turn 2, as is expected. He hasn't got very many servitors left, and leaves Syntherion empty for some reason (there was one - I just can't remember it). I believe there was a fair bit of shooting and the Axiom killed the Ironclad. I decide I have an good assassination: I can run Thorn and arc on Syntherion. A telekinesis gets him away from his shield guards, and an arcane bolt can do some damage. Stormwall gets allocated and temporally accelerated and has to finish him. I wind up leaving him at 1 box, after missing a boosted 5.

Luckily Tobias fails an assassination of his own the following turn. He feats, builds the synergy and the Prime Axiom walks up to shoot his draggy guns on Haley. Luckily he misses both boosted 11s. As a result of trying though, he doesn't finish the Stormwall off.

From here on the Stormwall kills the Axiom and then dies, the Stormclad lives surprisingly long but without a sword arm. It comes down to me winning on scenario. A central house allows Haley to stay safe from harm whilst being active. Highlights include Haley charging a heavy on 10ish boxes and killing it, then charging the objective to score 3 the following turn, and finally charging the corollary, killing it to score the last 2. Both me and Tobias were down to our warcasters and a model or two at this point. Incredibly close fought and fun game.

I get paired versus a local player, Patrik Rasmusson. We played pretty recently at the club, Haley2 Heavy Metal into Wurmwood. Then as now, Patrik paired the tree with Krueger2. Another friend of ours plays a fair bit of Nemo3, which scares Patrik into Krueger2. He dropped Wurmwood then so I'm pretty sure he will again. I on the other hand decide to go for Haley3 over Haley2.

- Loki
- Pureblood
- Ghetorix
- 2 Woldwyrds
2 Sentry Stones
2 Shifting Stones
2 Swamp Gobber Chefs
Blackclad Wayfarer
Min Farrow Bonegrinders

Scenario was Entrenched and Patrik goes first.

The game starts horribly and turn 1 Patrik Hellmouths and kills 4 trenchers. Another 2 tough. And the Cassius goes back to his master. Luckily Patrik gets his pureblood and woldwyrds a bit tangled up killing pigs so he can't pressure as far forward as I was afraid he would.

Poor fuckers

Down to 4 clouds I advance cautiously and lay down a pitiful excuse for a cloudwall. I kill 5 mannekins too. My army is hidden or out of range.

Turn 2 Patrik goes for another Hellmouth play onto a Grenadier, but luckily misses the boosted 9. I charge and almost kill the objective with a storm lance. Haley Prime goes into my zone I believe. I think I score 1-0 here. I wind up winning 5-2 on scenario anyway. I'm up on attrition too, I think. The Storm Lances get the objective but eventually die to woldwyrds and and pureblood, but they've drawn his battle group away from my zone.

Future Haley has managed to shoot down the sentry stone on my right, securing my zone more or less. I wind up killing Ghetorix and the pureblood the same turn I win on scenario.

The last game of day 1 matches me against Mattias Tell running Skorne. He's got Zaal2 and Zaadesh2. I feel like either of my casters are great into either of his, so I go for Haley3 again.

He chooses Zaadesh2.
- Agonizer
- Aradus Soldier
- Titan Gladiator
- Tiberion
- Archidon
Extoller Soulward
Cetratii with Vorkesh
Beast handlers (min)
Swamp Gobbers

Scenario is Take and Hold, I think I went first.

I push up very aggressively turn 1 to threaten far with my short range guns. Turn 2 I get my Storm Lances charging the Aradus on my left, and charge in with 5, killing the bug. I play very badly against the counter-charging BG; here the gladiator gets to kill a storm lance. Tiberion kills off all storm lances, but in return gets killed by Ragman-assisted Past Haley.

Meanwhile on my right, I trigger counter-charge on the archidon when trying to cloudwall up. As a result I have to put 2 more clouds in front of Prime, and spend my Defender shot killing the Extoller Soulward. The Archidon hurts the Defender after charging it, but it still has its systems so it kills the bird.

I get tangled up in the cetratii with Inviolable Resolve on the right with a couple of trenchers and a grenadier, stopping me from scoring. Grinding the skorne down on my left as well, Zaadesh eventually has to come in punching stuff himself to clear a charge path for the gladiator. It kills a Grenadier and in return I kill the gladiator with Past Haley and some assistance. I take two charger shots onto Zaadesh, having ground most things down by now, and accidentally kill him.

Boom, baby

Day 1 finished, and I'm one of 4 undefeated. I get informed that it apparently is poor form winning a tournament you're organising yourself. Not being much for Jantelagen (it's a Swedish thing) I say screw that and carry on into day 2.

By now we're two cygnar players, one mercenary and a ghost fleet player left undefeated. I get matched against Oskar Sibeck running mercs (or the merc boss, as he's known nationally). He's got Ossrum and Damiano. I weigh my options back and forth but decide I'm pretty comfortable with Haley3 and Damiano is running 50 dudes which I'm not liking my Haley2 into. Scenario is Incursion.

This is "the mercenary boss" according to google image search. I don't know what he's from

He winds up going for Ossrum anyway:
- Basher
- 2 Drillers
- 3 Gunners
- 3 Blasters
- Reinholdt
2 Artillery
Anastasia di Bray
Gobber Tinker

Oskar wins the roll and goes first. This leaves me with the side with a cloud terrain piece which I can build my smokewall from.

I wind up doing just this. Ossrum feats to push his 6 lights into my smokewall and kill trenchers. Normally this isn't that bad, combined with Eiryss shooting a trencher most turns this'll make my cloudwall shrink quickly and the artillery corps can get going. In this case, the pre-existing smokecloud makes this too hard work. I kill or disrupt his bunnies.

Following that I can slowly grind his list down. The artillery is pretty useless. The heavies jam into my army the turn following the bunnies, but get slowly ground down by Past Haley and friends, and disrupted by Thorn until then. I run Storm Lances into the artillery by the time the trenchers have died off. Oskar gives me a half-decent assassination shot, charging Ossrum into one of the horses. I think he hoped I would go for it (and fail, the dwarf is deceptively survivable) but I continue grinding and eventually win on scenario, 5-1.

Oskar's shot at this game is feating and pushing his entire BG down my throat, and from there on hoping to bring down Thorn quickly and have enough left for me to choke on. By holding his heavies back a turn he put himself in a situation he's very hard-pressed to come back from.

In a big surprise, the final table consists of me and Arvid Nordland. I'm a big deal in my local meta and all, but this is only my second final table at a semi-national tournament or bigger. Arvid is pretty new to the game but has been practicing his Ghost Fleet a LOT I learn. He's played Deneghra1 Ghost Fleet four times so far, and I instantly regret making the tournament D&C 0.

He just knocked out Christoffer Wedding playing Haley2, but I think my Haley3 is pretty weak into Ghost Fleet so I decide I have to try the same caster Wedding tried.

Arvid drops Deneghra1
- 2 Leviathan
- Nightwretch
Captain Rengrave
Pistol Wraith
Hellslinger Phantom
Machine Wraith
Max Blackbane's Ghost Raiders
Min Revenant Crew with 3 rifles
Min Revenant Crew with 3 rifles
Min Revenant Crew with 3 rifles

Scenario is Extraction. I can't remember who went first, I think Arvid did.

Early game isn't very interesting. I refrain from shooting almost at all turn 1 even though I can, there's nothing I can kill which won't come back.

Arvid spends WAY too much time turn 2 positioning Deneghra. He's incredibly afraid of me being able to get Thorn and maybe a pod or something onto her. I'm pretty scared of Ghost Fleet, so I'd take even a half-decent chance at assassinating, but Arvid winds up spending 20 minutes on a turn where he accomplishes almost nothing. From here on I decide that I have a shot at timing Arvid, and that's my main plan now.

I wind up pushing for the left flag. This is mostly to conceal my real intentions of timing him out. Turn 2 I kill off tons of Revenant Crew (most come back of course) and leave his rifles out of command. He's kept one pirate from each unit way the fuck back so he doesn't risk losing any units. I wind up being scared into feating this turn too.

From here on Arvid slowly grinds me down, ignoring the stormwall but killing most other things slowly. I just barely miss out on scoring my left flag twice. Arvid goes to 3 eventually, scoring on my right flag. I stop killing dudes and spend my stormwall's shots killing a Leviathan. My final chance is running both Junior, camping 1, and Arlan to contest the flag he's scoring. At this point he's got less than a minute left.

I get really lucky and he can't kill both before he times out. Junior took 2 shots to kill since he camped, and Arlan survived at 1 box. I snatch an undeserving victory from the jaws of defeat.

Even an undeserving win is a win

Arvid had my number for sure. I think Ghost Fleet is a list you need a few games of practice versus before you really know what to do (at least I need them). I'm told Haley2 can play into it, but I'm not sure how personally. If Ghost Fleet becomes a meta problem I think I have to consider dropping Haley3 for either Sloan or (less likely) Siege.

Other than that, my lists performed admirably. Haley3 did well as usual, and my track record with Haley2 in mk3 is (undeservedly) incredible. When battle engines gets updated I'm making room for the Storm Strider with Haley2. Even so, I think the Haley2 list is probably the second strongest list in the game right now.

For the future, I'm considering if Sloan warrants a slot in my pairing. Haley3 is weaker than Sloan in the mirror, but incredible in many match ups. She's also my favourite caster to play. Sloan on the other hand, well, is very strong albeit not as fun.

I get saved from peak awkwardness by local player David who grabs the first place trophy and takes over the prize ceremony when it's time for first place.

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