Podcast 054 – Cygnar vs Legion, pHaley vs eVayl: Second Verse, Same as the First!

This week’s game saw me squaring off against Nick and his Legion again… last week I managed to squeak out a victory against eLylyth (read all about it in Battle Report 041!), but this week Nick came with the most popular Legion warlock on an international-competitive level… eVayl!
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Could my humble pHaley list once again prove triumphant over the vile forces of the dragon? Find out, right here, on Combo Smite!


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My tournament pHaley list needed a few tweaks… I love it, it’s great, but it’s not quite perfect yet. Damn close though… so for this week’s attempt, I swapped out Aiyana and Holt, and tossed in a Journeywoman Warcaster and a 2nd Stormcaller. Having 2 Stormcallers is exponentially better than having only 1… you can basically Triangulate every turn the Stormwall pops out a pod! And the Journeywoman makes the difficult task of deciding which Huge Base to protect irrelevant: both! Also of note is putting Arcane Shield on Tempest Blazers makes them extremely survivable against big honkin’ AoEs… ARM16 is dice-8 against all but the mightiest blasts. Very useful against Stormfall Archers or Incindiarii. But, basically, it was nice to have the flexibility in this list!

So, with that in mind, my latest iteration of pHaley’s Army is as follows:

Captain Victoria Haley
– Squire
– Stormwall
Storm Strider
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages
– Officer
Tempest Blazers (max)
Journeywoman Warcaster
Stormsmith Stormcaller
Stormsmith Stormcaller
Anastasia di Bray

As for Nick, he’s still trying to work his way through playing each of the Legion warlocks once. There’s a lot of them, so I sympathize… and especially trying to avoid knee-jerk reactions (losing with a warcaster the first time you use it can taint your perception of how much fun that warcaster is… my first 2 brutal losses with pCaine have possibly soured me to the man forever). He went to the WTC website, where they list all the Faction lists taken, and realized that everyone (and we mean everyone) who took eVayl brought her in Tier, and basically brought the same thing. And so… Nick brought the following list:

Vayl, Consort of Everblight
– Shredder
– Ravagore
– Ravagore
– Angelius
– Angelius
– Seraph
Spawning Vessel (“Blighted Bather”) (max)
Nyss Hex Hunters (max)
Shepherd
Shepherd

We rolled for a Scenario from 2014, but applied some of the rules from 2015 (which, again, we are not allowed to discuss at this time). The scenario we got was Rally Point (two 12″ circle zones, one friendly and one enemy, and 2 objectives asymetrically on center line. 1 to control enemy or dominate friendly, 2 to dominate enemy, 1CP to destroy the enemy objective, Objectives give “Inspiration”, and no Killbox)

I won the Initiative and decided to go first, Nick chose his side to deny me the hill (wise) and the forest, but sad to give me 2 walls for Haley to hide behind.

Deployment

Stormcaller on far right, the Strider, then Haley with Squire and Journeywoman, then Stormwall, then Tempest Blazers with Stormcaller behind, and then ATGM on far left flank.

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Nick: both Angelii across from my huge bases, both Ravagores across from my ATGM and Blazers. Hex Hunters with Pasta Pot in the middle of the table, Vayl with Seraph near middle of the table.
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Cygnar, Turn 1

My turn 1 was designed to get my huge bases up field, get Haley into a position for a profitable Feat next turn, and to start emptying out Nick’s zone so I could start scoring as soon as possible. Towards that end, 1 Focus to the Stormwall.
– Journeywoman activates, puts “Arcane Shield” on Stormwall
– Strider runs forward
– Stormwall runs forward, blocking LoS to Haley
– Haley moves up, puts “Arcane Shield” on Strider, camps remainder
– Blazers run from left flank towards right, behind a wall.
– ATGM run forward and spread the hell out, getting 2 into the zones
– Stormcallers shuffle a little.

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Legion, Turn 1

Nick decided his best approach would be to threaten forward with his Hex Hunters and Ravagores, while the double Angelii and Seraph move to protect his friendly zone.
– Vayl goes first. She puts “Occultation” on herself, “Tenacity” on both Angelii, “Refuge” on one Angelii, “Admonition” on other. She then moves up onto the hill.
– Ravagore on far right goes first. Moves up, shoots ATGM: misses, scatters harmlessly.
– Other Ravagore moves up. Shoots ATGM, hits, vapourizes the guy.
– Shepherds move up and remove Animus, moving into forest.
– Hex Hunters run forward and spread out
– Pasta Pot moves up behind them
– Angelius on far left moves up, toes onto hill
– Other Angelius moves up into middle of hill (proxied by orange wreck marker)
– Shredder moves up, puts “Tenacity” on Vayl

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Cygnar, Turn 2

1 Focus to Stormwall, upkeep both Arcane Shields, pull 1 from the Squire
– Consider Feating this turn, decide to do it. Move Haley towards left side of Strider and as far forward as possible: cast Temporal Barrier (of course), but only catch closest Angelius. Cast Deadeye on Blazers, camp last Focus, promptly forget to Feat.
– Strider activates, moves in front of Haley. Opens fire on TB’d Angelius: hits twice, does moderate damage (cripples Mind), chain leaps kill 4 Hex Hunters
– Stormwall activates, moves over to block LoS to Haley (forget to keep it within 3″… stupid, stupid, stupid), drops pod behind a Hex Hunter (vapourizes him) and just inside the left zone. Drop Covering Fire to protect Pod. Big Gun shot goes into Pasta Pot: hits, but rolls no damage (at dice-3… yeah). Second gun shot goes into Angelius, hits for moderate damage.
– Blazers activate and move forward. Take Brutal Shots at further-back Angelius: only 2 are in range, both hit and inflict light damage. Light-Cav move backwards.
– Left Stormcaller runs forward.
– Right Stormcaller moves up and Calls Lighting on 2 Hex Hunters: Misses both.
– ATGM stand and aim: kill a few more Hex Hunters with Snipe shots.
– Journeywoman remembers that Vayl has Purify: moves up.
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Legion, Turn 2

– Nick drops all upkeeps and pulls in Fury back to max.
– Vayl goes first. Puts Slipstream on Vayl, moves up, moves Angelius closer to Stormwall, moves back. Pops Feat, casts “Purify”, puts Refuge on closer Angel and “Admonition” on left-most Angel, heals Angel for 1 point to uncripple Mind, shoots Angel in the back to make it an Arc Node (no damage), casts “Obliteration” on Stormwall twice, inflicts moderate damage (dice-4). Puts “Occultation” back on herself, 1 remaining Fury.
– Closest Angel walks up (through Covering Fire, takes 6 damage) and Armour Pierces Stormwall: Inflicts a whopping 16 points of damage with first hit. Other hits inflict light wounds, leave Stormwall half-dead. Refuges out of the way.
– Nick realizes other Angelius can no longer charge (was out of TB range, but the Slipstream moved it up into TB range), instead walks and fires at Stormwall: no damage.
– Seraph moves up, gets 2 shots that go into the Stormwall: neither wound.
– Ravagores both move up and pump fully boosted (and Animi’d) shots into Stormwall. First hits and inflicts moderate damage (leaves it on 18 boxes), second misses and scatters to hit Stormwall and Storm Strider: no damage to either (but both on fire)
– Hex Hunters move up and open fire on Stormwall: 2 miss, 2 hit but inflict no damage.
– Pasta Pot moves up and poops out a Shredder
– That Shredder walks up to Stormwall. Rabids, hits and inflicts 2 damage. Buys an attack and inflicts no damage.
– Shepherds pull off Fury from Ravagores, last Shredder puts “Tenacity” on Vayl

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Cygnar, Turn 3

Stupid Shredder ruins all my plans
– Haley pulls Focus from Squire, nothing to upkeep. Ambush Anastasia on left side of table near Vayl
– Haley goes first, casts Temporal Barrier, tries to walk around Storm Strider again: catch all three heavies on my side of the table, but can’t *quite* get Vayl (out by a fraction of an inch). Oh well. Pops Feat, casts “Deadeye” on Blazers, camps last 2.
– Blazers activate, move up and pump “Brutal” shots into Angelius and Seraph until both are dead (10 shots, plus a few spare for the other Angelius). Light-Cav further forward.
– Strider walks forward. Pumps shot into Shredder: hits, inflicts light damage, leaps into Vayl. Inflicts 8 points of damage (boosted from Power Token), which Nick transfers to the Shredder, killing it and feedbacking 7 points of damage into Vayl. Sadly, no other unStealth targets nearby, so can’t kill Vayl: instead, send last 2 shots into Angelius, killing it and a few Lunch Ladies.
– Junior walks up, pumps Boosted shot into Shredder engaging Stormwall: hits, but can’t kill it (unlikely to without boosting damage). Puts “Arcane Shield” on Haley.
– Left Stormcaller activates, calls Lightning on 2 Hex Hunters: misses 1, kills 1.
– Right Stormcaller moves up and calls Lightning on Vayl: hits and leaves her on 1 box (!!)
– Stormwall activates. Walks away from Shredder, taking a free strike that inflicts 2 damage. Drops a pod behind Hex Hunters, killing 2 (and they break!). Big Gun shot goes into Pasta Pot: hits, but doesn’t kill. Second (broken) big gun goes into a Hex Hunter: hits and kills. Feat Big Gun shot goes into Pasta Pot, misses. Metal Storm cannons fire on Pasta Pot: 2 shots, last shot hits and kills (phew!). Nick poops out another Shredder.
– ATGM move up and spread out into the zone. They fire Thunderbolt rounds into Ravagores: no Criticals. 1 manages to kill a Shepherd. Other shots fly wide or do nothing.
– Anastasia moves up, but is 1.5″ out of Espionage range. Oh well!
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Legion, Turn 3

– Vayl drops everything, pulls back to 6 Fury (can’t cut, on last box)
– Vayl goes first, moves up, “Purifies” off my Arcane Shield. Shoots Storm Strider: hits, no damage. Arcs “Icy Grip” onto Haley: she Arcane Vortexes it away. Left on 1 Fury
– Last Shredder created by Pasta Pot moves up and destroys Stormpod.
– Ravagore moves up, getting LoS to Haley. Boosts to hit: misses! Scatters away harmlessly.
– Second Ravagore moves up, *just barely* avoiding being engaged by Stormwall (3mm, no more). Pumps a shot into Haley… misses! Scatters onto her, though, and inflicts 3 points of damage, and lights her on fire.
– Shredder activates, takes Free Strike from crippled side of Stormwall: misses. Takes a free strike from Stormcaller: misses. Shredder Rabids: misses Haley! Buys an attack… hits! Does 3 damage, leaving Haley on fire and with 9 health.
– Shepherd moves up and pulls off Fury, for reasons.
– Hex Hunter fails to rally.
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Cygnar, Turn 4

3 minutes left on the clock! Panic!
– Haley pulls last Focus from Squire, full Camp.
– Journeywoman charges Shredder, boosts to hit: hits! Splatters Shredder.
– Haley moves into zones: I realize (in terror) that I can’t win this turn (2CPs from controlling zone last 2 turns, plus 2 for dominating… not enough!). Cast Temporal Barrier. Cast Deadeye on Blazers.
– Blazers open fire on Vayl: first 3 shots are Transferred to Ravagore, 4th shot hits and kills

Victory to Cygnar!

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Post Game Analysis

I made a few mistakes (although none of them game-ending). On my last turn, I should’ve given the Stormwall 2 Focus, moved up with Haley and Temporal Barrier’d, cast “Deadeye” on the Blazers. Then activate the Stormwall, move up to engage both Ravagores and spend the Focus dumping shots from its functional side into the Objective. If it survives (likely), the Strider aims and pumps 2 shots into it… 3 POW15s (with 1 boosted) at Dice-3 damage is an average of exactly 15, plus at least 1 boosted POW12 and a crippled POW15 on top of that. Destroying the objective scores me 1CP, and bam, victory is mine without the risk of having to actually hit and wound Vayl. This would’ve been especially significant if Nick had put Occultation back on Vayl to protect her… a couple of my Blazers would’ve needed to move, and that means a much, much higher risk of missing. And if Nick remembered “Quick Draw”, I’d be in even more trouble!

So I guess I’m lucky that things went as well as they did! I mean, I think I was in a stronger position overall… Nick still had 2 full health Ravagores, though, so he wasn’t out of this fight by any extent. I suppose, given far more time, I could’ve loaded the Stormwall up with 3 Focus and sent it to go ruin the Ravagores… but 4 full power punches *probably* aren’t enough to wreck both (at average dice that’s 24 points of damage each, well short of killing them), but even wrecking 1 would be pretty safe (the other would need to spend its activation killing the Stormwall, and then the following turn I can take it out with Blazers, Storm Strider, or ATGM).

Anyway, I think Nick played a solid game, and under the circumstances did about as much as he could. A few flubs (missing Admonition on his Angelius the turn I killed both of them and the Seraph), but not a bad game at all.

Thanks for listening, and only 2 weeks until our big Winter Holiday Special! We have plans, my friends… oh yes…

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