Fratzengeballer 2

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On the first weekend of June, my club (Headblast in Oberhausen) held a small Steamroller, the second edition of the Fratzengeballer (#1 was back in January). 18 people came and we decided to try the SR 2017 rules. Since I was too lazy to assemble a few Hunters for my Kara Sloan list, and since the pairing had served me well at the Nordisch Masters three weeks earlier, I brought Haley 2 and Caine 1 again.

[Theme] Heavy Metal
(Haley 2) [+25]
– Charger [9]
– Hammersmith [12]
– Stormwall [39]
– Thorn [13]
– Squire [0(5)]
Captain Arlan Strangewayes [0(4)]
Journeyman Warcaster [0(4)]
– Charger [9]
Lieutenant Allison Jakes [0(4)]
– Stormclad [18]

[Theme] Storm Division
(Caine 1) [+30]
– Hurricane [39]
– Squire [0(5)]
Storm Lances (max) [20]
Storm Lances (min) [12]
Stormsmith Grenadiers [7]
Captain Arlan Strangewayes [4]
Journeyman Warcaster [4]
– Firefly [8]
Major Katherine Laddermore [8]
Stormblade Captain [0(5)]
Field Mechaniks (min) [3]

Round 1 – The “Ok, then I am gonna kill your caster” Game

The first round saw me paired against a player I had never seen before (always a good thing). Ralf had brought Legion, with Absylonia 2 and… Fyanna 2 I believe? He dropped Absylonia 2. Since I didn’t think Caine could handle this, I dropped Haley 2.

We played The Pit 2 and I chose the Healing Objective.

Turn 1. I start and run everything up. He doesn’t have a lot of shooting that can hurt me right now, so I can move up aggressively. He runs up as well, and with every beast he puts forward I am thinking “I am gonna kill this next turn”. The Angelius on the right flank is especially far forward – Jakes’ Stormclad could reach it easily.

Turn 2. I decide to ignore the Angelius on the right flank, instead I am going into the middle, where Proteus is in walking distance of the Stormwall. Junior’s Charger puts a couple of boosted POW 12’s into the Seraph, taking out half his grid, I think. Stormclad goes into Proteus, does a few boxes. Stormwall goes in as well – but Proteus lives, as the ‘wall misses 2 hits on a 5. Haley’s Charger puts shots into the Carnivean, Hammersmith runs into position.

Haley moves up and feats.

He can’t do much, since I have everything in the feat, except a couple of Sheperds. Most of the stuff just moves up and does nothing. He does feat as well, slipstreams the Carnivean and both him and Proteus start whacking at the Stormwall. If his dice had been better, the Stormwall might have gone – but he misses 1 attack and 1 doesn’t do damage. That was a surprise – I didn’t realize he could put that much damage out with just 2 beasts.

While he was doing that, Abby flew next to the Stormwall to slipstream the Carnivean.

And he promptly forgot her reposition.

Turn 3. The Hammersmith gets loaded up, as does the Stormwall, in case I need him. I don’t. The Hammersmith walks over to Abby, into her backarc, and proceeds to smite her into the Carnivean. Even 3 transfers don’t help her and she dies.

Learnings: I really need to look at the opposing casters cards before the game – It didn’t register that he would be able to get that much damage onto the Arcane Shielded Stormwall in Haleys feat. If the ‘wall goes (and he remembers Reposition), that game might have gone differently. Other than that – even SR 2017 doesn’t curtail Haley’s abilities much.

Round 2 – The “Oh fuck, you are gonna walk all over the table, huh?” Game

I get paired up with Marv, who brought Retribution instead of his usual Mercs. Vyros 2 and… something else, he didn’t drop. Kaelyssa, I think. Again, Caine 1 is not the answer, so its Haley again.

We play Spread the Net.

Turn 1. He runs everything up pretty far, empties out Vyros and moves him up aggressively as well. Naturally I contemplate a casterkill. If I TK him, I have him out of range of both Discordia and the Aspis. But even the TK doesn’t get him far enough – only a few millimeters more and I could get Line of Sight with the Stormwall.

Since the CK is off the table, I try and do as much damage as I can to Imperatus. He gets TK’d around and Stormwall and 2 Chargers put shots into him. Both arms are gone, but he is nowhere near dying.

Turn 2. Marv pulls Imperatus back. Since Thorn had to be pretty far foward to get to Imperatus, he tries to kill him. But the Griffons can’t finish him. The rest just advances a bit to get into position for next turn.

I kill both Griffons and feat. Hammersmith and Stormclad kill a few Sentinels – and here I make my first mistake. I measure the 3” of Vengeance, totally forgetting they have 2” melee reach. I thought killing the front guys and feating would keep me out of reach of the back guys, but yeah…

Turn 3. Marv can’t do much, but shuffle around, repair Imperatus and move into position for next turn. The Sentinels put quite a few boxes into both the Hammersmith and the Stormclad, but don’t take out either – thanks in part to the ‘clad’s DEF 14 at that moment. Vyros feats.

I move up Thorn, Dominate Imperatus and have him walk forward. Stormwall gets Temporal Acceleration and moves up to kill Imperatus. The 2 initials trigger Phoenix protocol – and Marv decides to not trigger it, but let Imperatus die. Just so he could have a feat move. He moves up Vyros a bit – and I am thinking, yeah come on over to my other heavies.

The Chargers are killing Arcanists in the back – Vyros moves up some more. Stormclad is starting to kill Sentinels – and now it dawns on me (way too late), what Vyros is trying to do. He wants to get in range of Haley, who is standing at the edge of the killbox. I needed to clear out a few Sentinels, so the Hammersmith wouldn’t get any freestrikes. Which causes Vyros to move up again. Eventually the Hammersmith goes into Vyros – but I miss 1 initial, so no Chain Attack. The Hammersmith had 1 focus, and I needed 8s to hit, so it wasn’t really likely.

Now what do I do? Jakes charges Vyros (at a stupid angle btw, could have blocked his way), doesn’t do much.

Turn 4. Vyros is in walking distance of Haley. He gets 3 free strikes (Jakes, Hammersmith, Strangeways) – but they do basically nothing. Two hits later, Haley bites the dust.

Learnings: Crap, I was way up on attrition when I gave him that casterkill. I realized way too late what he was trying to do and by then, I didn’t have the resources anymore to stop Vyros. Maybe Haley could have moved differently and he wouldn’t have been able to get to her, but yeah, I fucked up.

Round 3 – The “Oh right, Amon still exists” Game

So I am 1-1 after the first two games and thankfully don’t get any of the sharks in the tournament in round 3 (there are a few WTC players running around). I get Torben, who brings the Protectorate of Menoth. Amon is his first list, I forgot his second list. I think it was Feora 2. Naturally Caine would be a good idea with his Field Marshal [Magic Weapons] – but I fear he is gonna drop Amon, and I don’t think I can chew through that much armor. Although, he did bring a somewhat unusual list. The Vigilant was the only light in the list – a Templar, 2 Castigators, 2 Reckoners and a Crusader fill out the list (with choir and solos as well).

So Haley it is again.

We play Standoff (also a reason I dropped Haley) and I choose the Magic Weapon objective. Together with Strangeways that should give me enough magic weapons to hurt his jacks on the approach.

Turn 1. I am starting and run everything up, staying out of range of the Reckoners, but the rest moves up aggressively as usual. He does try and put a shot into me with the Reckoners, but doesn’t get anywhere. The rest runs up and gets into position for turn 2.

His jacks run up – way too far again. Since he believes I can shoot him anyway, he puts “no magic” on his jacks and forms a line in front of Amon and the objective.

Turn 2. I do what I do every Turn 2. I think about a casterkill. But since I can’t move his jacks via TK or Domination, I can’t get to Amon. So I do the next best thing – I kill 2 heavies (Crusader and 1 Castigator) and feat on him. Haley is in my zone, so I will score there on his turn. I put a pod in the right zone, telling him that thing not only contests, but scores as well. I am not able to put Jakes into the left zone.

I had moved Haley a smidge to far forward and one Reckoner can shoot her – but doesn’t do anything. The rest of his army moves back to the edge of his zone – the other Reckoner walks over to the pod, contesting that zone.

I score 1 point.

Turn 3. If I had managed to get Jakes into the left zone a turn earlier, I could have ended it right here. But now I am just doing what I can. His objective dies, as does the Vigilant (I think). And I think I killed one of his heavies – my memory is a little fuzzy and I had stopped taking notes at this point.

I do put Jakes in the zone finally and score 3 more points. Haley moves away as far as she can.

His turn, he realizes he can’t contest my 2 zones and even scoring himself wouldn’t help – so he puts a bit of damage into the Stormwall and then its over. He doesn’t contest my zones, I score another 2 points for a rather easy 6-0 “mercy” victory.

Learnings: Haley 2 is still nuts and can basically blitz that scenario against the right opponent. Getting to kill 2 heavies and then feating on him was great. (Spoiler alert: Read the “Final thoughts” section below)

Round 4 – The “Crap, not Magnus again” Game

I am 2-1, so my goal of at least going 2-2 would be safe, with a chance of going even 3-1. Alas, I got paired up against Alex, one of our WTC players. He plays Mercs and I had played Caine 1 into his Magnus 2 list earlier this year. I wasn’t looking forward to that matchup, as I was certain that I was gonna lose. I still have a problem playing proper attrition against jack heavy lists. Especially if my opponent knows what he does.

He drops Magnus, as expected (with 1 Buccaneer, 7 Nomads, Orin and Trenchers – Kingmaker Theme Force) – I drop Haley 2.

We play Recon, I take the Healing Objective.

Turn 1. He starts and runs up. I do my usual spiel and contemplate a casterkill. I do however see that Orin Midwinter is there, so I abort the mission and kill a couple of Trenchers instead.

Turn 2. He moves up cautiosly, and puts up a cloud wall with Trenchers. I shoot a few of them – 2 in the right zone with a pod (instead of going after Orin, who was in range of the pod). I feat. I don’t score, since 1 Trencher survived in the left zone.

This is what it looks like before I go in.

Turn 3. Here it goes off the rails. For him. He can’t do much but shuffle his jacks around. Magnus moves up – a little over 2” from the Stormwall. He feats, chooses his table edge and my right side. The Buccaneer moves up to shoot his net at Magnus and send him knock down – so that he gets Feign Death.

And rolls a triple 1 (needed a 7).

So – I can kill Magnus here. And I nearly fuck it up. Haley starts. Puts Temporal Acceleration on the Stormwall. Shoots Magnus with her Handcannon – misses. I don’t boost, cause I want to shoot Arcane Bolts at him as well. Which he negates with Orin – crap. Should have boosted the Handcannon shot. Charger shoots him twice and does a few boxes. Stormwall turns a little (cause I am stupid and still think somehow I need both firing arcs to have LOS), thus giving up aiming. So I need 8s to hit. I don’t hit ’em all and leave him on 3 boxes.

Crap. Crap. Crap. What now? Then I see Junior. He is not in Magnus feat. He moves up on the hill, ignores the Stormwall for LOS and shoots Magnus. Needs 2 boosted 10s to kill him – and gets it.

Game over.

Learnings: It was suggested to me afterwards, I could have played attrition as well – but I didn’t see it. I maybe could have killed 1,5 Nomads or even 2, and disrupted 2 more. I still probably would have lost the Stormwall. And my eye is not trained to see that kind of opportunity. I’d rather go after low probability assassinations. Or fuck up the higher probability ones. Like this one – I should have killed Orin a turn earlier. I should have boosted Haley’s Handcannon shot. And I should definitely have let the Stormwall aim.

But I take Junior heroics when I get them.

Final thoughts: I came in 6th overall. I am really happy with the lucky 3-1 – for all intents and purposes, I should have lost that last game. Haley 2 performed really well again and so did I in at least 2 games.

After that tournament PP put out an Insider, detailing some of the final changes to SR 2017. That mercy victory in round 3 would have both gotten easier and harder. Easier, because in the final version you only need 5 points difference instead of 6. Harder, because in the final version, Solos don’t score round zones anymore, only flags. So on that particular scenario, I had no way of scoring the round zones – as I have no units in that list to score there. Or I would have needed to get Haley there – I think even a small base caster can score both the rectangular and round zone at the same time in that scenario, but I am not sure.

So SR 2017 will really shake things up. Looking forward to it.

Now with SR 2017 coming up and the huge CID of Cygnar models right now, my caster pairing is in limbo. I tried out Kraye (before he was changed in CID) for a couple of games, but I guess, at least for Heavy Metal Dayz, Haley 2 is still 1 of my casters.

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