I took a couple of pics but they are pretty lousy, sorry about that.
So, I got some great feedback from this thread and was able to play the first game using suggestions. One of my favorite casters is Vlad3 so it seemed to be the easiest choice for me despite the fact that I am about 13 models short for the list. Also, my favorite army for the game I used to play was a bike heavy SM list so the style is one that is very familiar and comfortable to me. My dojo sparring partner and I are pretty lax about that when we are testing things out so we found some suitable proxies and went for it.
The eHaley list he has been using lately is a pretty standard and brutal one:
Full Gunmages with UA
The list I took was inspired by a conversation with Wargolem (thanks for the tips on how to run it, too)
Vlad3 – Charge of the Horselord
I decided that for this game I wouldn’t really care about the scenario objective – instead I would just try and threaten to assassinate Haley and kind of see how things worked out. The scenario was the disappearing flag one and since we are prepping for a tourney at Game Empire next week we decided to do death clock.
We both rolled a 4 to choose who goes first and thanks to the +1 to the roll thanks to the tier bonus I selected to go 2nd in order to choose the side with more LOS blocking terrain. I knew I would end up in his backfield so wanted to make sure I had nice long swathes of LOS to take advantage of my speed.
[b]Deployment and early game[/b]
Deployment was fairly straightforward – stormwall mostly center, B13 and gun mages on my left flank, junior and stormcaller to the right. On my side of the table I put Vlad center, Drago and kodiak to his right, a drakhun on each side, to my left I then had a unit of Uhlans and then fenris out way wide (forgot Markov’s autopass command and was worried about the uhlan’s failing a terror check.) The final uhlans were wide out on my right flank.
Haley went first and knew that I would be jamming her hard (insert immature giggle here) so ran pretty much everything up and advanced herself. My answer to that was to activate Vlad first, cast Hand of Fate on one of the drakhuns, infernal machine on drago, and dash and then advanced some. Uhlans on right flank did a run, as did both of my jacks (for free which is why i chose them) – just as a quick aside here, infernal machine +2 spd turn 1 for tier bonus is almost like having a Vlad1 first turn feat (one of the jacks it is the same, the others are a bit slower). Drago ran to engage Stormwall in the middle of the table and the Kodiak ended up in some woods ready to charge the following turn. I ran most everything else forward, but forgot that uhlans had defensive line and was pretty sloppy on their placement – still much of my army was just shy of the halfway line, and both Fenris on the left, and the uhlans on the right were over the midway line, which was further than they should have been. The non-hand of fated drakhun had also run to engage stormwall thanks to reach and dash.
Shep was a bit taken aback at the speed and had to feat this turn. I wasn’t as conscientious as I should have been with the flanking uhlans and one of those models was caught in the feat affecting the whole unit. Fenris was the only model not affected by the feat. Stormwall shot at the right uhlans killing one, and then the drakhun he was engaged with dismounting him and then killing him with the third shot (thanks to the feat). He then laid down 2 covering fire templates. The rangers marked the closer uhlans and fenris and did some shooting maybe damaging a couple of things but I don’t think they killed anything. Black 13th and a couple of gunmages dismounted and then killed Fenris and killed another of the close uhlans. The stormcaller disrupted Drago (and would for the rest of the game but I won’t mention it again).
I mostly advanced to engage as much as I could on the left and the uhlans on the right did a full 8″ advance. Vlad activated last and advanced a little and cast windwall to protect markov and the remaining drakhun. The right flag disappeared.
[b]Mid game and end game[/b]
There was a bit more shooting and I lost another two uhlans on the left flank leaving me with just 1. Stormwall shifted slightly which triggered countercharge. I debated on whether or not to take it as it took me out of windwall but in the end decided to take it. I rolled a grand total of 7 on 4 dice proving it was a bad idea. On the plus side stormwall hit the drakhun with the big guns but failed to get through his armor. His second shot did something else I don’t remember. The gun mages really struggled for shots – there was an uhlan in range, but he both in concealment and engaged with thorn so they didn’t do anything to him. Thorn missed the uhlan with his shield and hit with the spear but rolled snake eyes for damage. It was an unexpected bonus – he had done his job in tying some stuff up but was largely irrelevant for the rest of the game. Gorman black oiled the drakhun. Haley backed up basically to her deployment zone – no killbox in this scenario.
I measured my control area and guessed haley to be about 19″ away from Vlad so it was feat time. I dropped all upkeeps but unfortunately, due to some of Shep’s positioning, I had a less than ideal activation order. Markov charged Gorman and killed him and 2 gun mages. The drakhun advanced around behind stormwall . The uhlans on the right did a charge order, 1 of them charging and killing the stormcaller and the other 2 ran to try and engage the journeyman warcaster (short) and the stormwall (fine). I knew where I wanted Vlad at the end of the turn and I didn’t want stormwall getting to him so I tried to stagger as many large bases as possible. Finally Vlad activated, cast dash and charged a group of 2 gun mages with one impact along the way. I killed on impact and then my charge target. I sidestepped and hit and killed another target again and sidestepped into a group of 4 (with 1 behind the wall). Critically, the gunmages failed their command check. I had 3 focus left and bought a flashing blade and boosted everything I could. I ended up with 4 or 5 blood quenched tokens and then sprinted behind haley engaging both her and the squire in their rear arcs.
Haley basically had to try a hail Mary here. She gave 1 focus to the stormwall and pulled from the squire. She ran thorn over to get range on the drakhun and took a freestrike but it didn’t do anything to him. Haley boosted the TK on the drakhun and missed the first time. She boosted a second time and moved him back 2″. She then advanced but stayed within Vlad’s reach range to not trigger a free strike. She telekinesised him 2″ closer to the stormwall and turned his back. Finally, she placed Drago out of the way too. Since Vlad was in stormwall’s rear arc he had to flip around and trample (thus losing all of his initials we remembered as it was happening) but the angle forced by the drakhun and the position of a wall I(the one I had to attack over earlier) he was unable to get where he needed, even with the bond and trample movement. At this point my opponent conceeded since Vlad 7 focus and was standing right next to her on 0 (maybe 1) focus.
Victory to the Motherland!
[b]After Action Review[/b]
Wow, my plan went pretty much as I had hoped and thankfully the dice were on pretty even keel on both sides – there were some hot moments but also some cold ones so it was pretty typical. As to be expected when using a lot of new models/units I made some pretty big play errors. One of the biggest was forgetting defensive line on the Uhlans. 5 wound and 17 armor was causing some heartache for Shep, but had they been armor 19 it would have been a whole different realm of pain. The down side is that they would have been a much bigger time bomb target, but that is okay, I think it still works in my favor. I played Fenris way wrong, and basically threw him away for no gain. Aside from the aforementioned minor issues, I was pretty happy overall. The list is super fast and with dash it is also super mobile in that I can ignore free strikes. If only the uhlans had reach natively…
As far as death clock, my list played really fast, even with me not knowing what the heck I was doing most of the time whereas the questions that if asked Shep really ate into his time. Also, failing to get through armor meant more attacks, etc. I think at the end of the game he had like 12 minutes left and I had 23.
I really appreciated the low focus weight of the two jacks both running for free. If I were faced with a lot of heavy armor I would have been in trouble, but honestly, my other list is most likely going to be either one of the Irusks or Sorscha2 and neither of them have any issue with armor whatsoever. I am not gonna lie, when I went into this game, i was really rooting against my own list – I own very few of the models but am definitely going to be picking up the core of this list. It was great fun to play and when I remember things like hand of fate, drago’s affinity, and defensive line, as well as getting distance and positioning down, I think it will be a pretty legit threat.
Thanks again to everyone who has helped with this Haley hate project – I don’t need to necessarily own the list to beat her, I just need to know that it is possible within faction and I feel pretty good about that now. Obviously Shep would get better at playing this matchup as well, but even so, it is a tough slog for him and it is my hope that if I brought this to a tourney and faced a Cygnar player either than haven’t seen it before so reach for eHaley, or they have seen it before and realize that it is a really difficult matchup for them and consider their second caster.
I think this list would also do really well against most any other heavy gunline army such as many of the ret builds, other cygnar lists, some merc lists, as well as even, possibly, Lylyth2 type lists.