As I am currently preparing for my first tournament with Legion of Everblight, I really want to get as many games in as possible, especially against the more common warlocks and warcasters that I can expect to see. This was partly inspired by a Muse on Minis podcast I listened to last week where they discussed the most common matchup one can expect to face and the casters that are very problematic to deal with the first time you face them. And the one that was mentioned most often was Haley2, especially in Incursion. So as I have my own Cygnar army and found a willing victim to take the part of the Cygnar player, we were off to see how my Legion army is going to face off against the blue menace.
I played the same Vayl2 list I have played previously, running Hex Hunters and the Blackfrost Shard to clear out infantry and 4 heavy warbeasts to do the heavy lifting. The Cygnar list was a pretty standard list inspired by the lists I found online:
Major Victoria Haley
Centurion (bonded to Haley)
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord
Gorman Di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist
Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer
Lady Aiyana and Master Holt
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team
Horgenhold Forge Guard (max)
Vayl won the starting roll with a 7 to 4 and chose to go first, letting Haley pick her side.
This is the Legion army after deployment and Advance Deployment. The Shepherds stand in front, ready to take cover behind the Angelii once they have flown forward. The Scythean goes to the right flag with an Angelius, ready to swing into the centre if necessary. The pot is deployed in a way that allows it to either swing to the right flag or go to the centre, depending on the Cygnaran deployment. Vayl is next to her Ravagore and the Angelius is deployed behind it as it has a potential 18″ movement due to the tier bonus, so it can move forward to keep pace with the first line, but does not block a place in the front row during deployment. I have to remember that one. The Blackfrost Shard comes next, then the Bloodseer and finally the Hex Hunters on the left to move quickly through the forest and harry that flank.
Cygnar’s battleline: Dougal is on the extreme flank to engage the Scythean or Angelius or try to snipe out Shepherds. The Hammerdwarves are next to it with Rhupert next to them to let them walk through the forest. Then the central group with the Black 13th, Gorman, Centurion, Thorn and Haley and Junior behind them. Then we have Aiyana and Holt and Gastonne with the Gun Mages on the extreme right to engage the infantry.
Both sides facing off before the game starts.
Turn 1 Legion: Everyone generally moves up. The lunchladies decide to go to the centre as the Forge Guard will be dealt with by the Scythean which will probably use Slaughterhouse to cancel Tough if Rhupert gives it to them. They then kill three of themselves with backstrikes and the pot creates a Shredder. The left Angelius gets Refuge. Vayl and the Shredder spam Tenacity, making sure each heavy gets it. The Hex Hunters hide in the forest to try and engage the Gun Mages next round (as they have 14″ run move and Snipe gives the Mages 14″ range, so should a few survive, they could take the Pistoleers out of the game for good.
Turn 1 Cygnar: Haley allocates one to each warjack and keeps 6. The army performs a general advance to the centre, hoping to score next round and put pressure on me. Dougal flanks hard to avoid being charged but to be in range next turn. Aiyana kisses the Angelius and Holt does a little damage to it, but misses on the second shot, needing a 7 to hit. Gastonne tries to outdo him, but also misses on one boosted shot. Junior casts Arcane Shield on Haley to avoid a random Ravagore hit killing her. Haley casts Deceleration and Deadeye on the Gun Mages over Thorn. She advances, gets the complete army apart from the Pot into her control zone and yells: ‘Feat!’ Time to clench my cheeks together and weather the storm I guess. The Gun Mages kill all 3 Hex Hunters that are in 14″ after moving. Gorman runs over to shield the Gun Mages next round as the Hex Hunters are the only ones that cannot ignore the clouds (apart from Vayl).
Turn 2 Legion: Vayl upkeeps Refuge and Haley decides how I should activate, trying to be as inconvenient as possible. The Shepherds have to go first and one heals the central Angelius to get all its aspects back. The Hex Hunters, Blackfrost Shard and Bloodseer hide in or next to the forest to avoid being gunned down by the Gun Mages. I leave three Hex Hunters slightly forward to lure the Gun Mages closer forward, whereas the rest stays more than 3” from the edge of the forest to be invisible, but within potential run range if the Gun Mages move up to finish the first few. Vayl again drops a number of Tenacities, as well as Admonition on the Ravagore in case the Centurion gets frisky. She also cast Occultation on herself. The Angelius on the right stay in place and shoots Dougal, killing him with a boosted shot. On the other flank, the Angelius reasons that if it was in 12” of Gastonne when he shot, it should also be in 12” of him. Another boosted shot and the mercenary warcaster goes down, letting the Angelius Refuge closer to the Bloodseer to threaten the Gun Mages or anyone moving to either the left or central flag. I was lucky here, being able to twice roll an 11 on three dice, which is 0.5 above average. Speaking of lucky, the Ravagore tried to shoot Watts, but missed on a boosted shot. The shot only scattered one inch to the 2, catching Haley, Watts and Lynch. As the animus was up, I boosted on Watts and Lynch to be certain to kill them and ‘only’ lighting Haley on fire, as there was no way I could deal damage to her with ARM 21 thanks to Deceleration, Arcane Shield and two Focus camped. The Shredder casts Tenacity on a Scythean and moves closer to the well. Then the pot is finally allowed to move and is pushed up before another lunch lady is thrown in the pot.
Turn 2 Cygnar: I managed to do some damage, but being unable to move and fire has seriously put me on the back foot. Turn 1 Haley feat is mean! To make matters worse, the fire on Haley immediately goes out. Aiyana and Holt advance towards the Ravagore, then she kisses it and Holt lets rip, doing 5 damage at dice -5. The Journeyman upkeeps Arcane Shield on Haley, then takes a shot at the Ravagore, doing four points of damage as well. Haley casts Telekinesis to move two Dwarfs out of the forest, followed by Deceleration and a Deadeye on the Gun Mages, camping one taken from the Squire. Rhupert gives the Forge Guard Pathfinder again and they issue a run/charge order to spread out in two-men groups to be able to countercharge my Scythean and Angelius if necessary, making sure that neither of them can engage more than one pair. Two of them charge the Scythean and one spikes a 20 on 4d6, so the Scythean takes a respectable 20 total damage, losing its Spirit aspect in the process. Ryan moves up to the well, easily executing the Shepherd and then dealing 5 damage to the Shredder next to Vayl. The Centurion casually walks up to the central flank and puts up Polarity Field to be unassailable. Thorn moved closer to the right flag when Haley arced Deadeye through it, so it can now just walk up the right flag and touch it. The Gun Mages kill the three Hex Hunters I used as bait and then pump some shots into the Angelius, but failing to pierce its ARM18 under Tenacity. Gorman drops a cloud on some Gun Mages. At the end of the turn, Haley scores two points for controlling the central and right flag, with the left one being contested between the Scythean and the Forge Guard.
Turn 3 Legion: Yikes, 2-0 already and two tough warjacks sitting on objectives. This could be over this turn if I do not manage to do some damage soon. Vayl only upkeeps Refuge and drops all other spells. Thanks to Haley slowing me down, I actually only had 8 Fury on my beasts, so no Threshold tests to take. The pot moves up two inches and another lunch lady goes in. The Shredder goes Rabid and eats Ryan, healing itself for 3 damage and sitting on the well facing the central Cygnaran group, in case Vayl needs an Arc Node later on this turn. Time to clear some objectives. The right Shepherd heals two damage on the Scythean, then it kills the two Forge Guards next to control the flag. The Bloodseer flies closer to Thorn. The Blackfrost Shard advances, Sevryn casts Ice Cage on Thorn, only hitting thanks to the +2 Telemetry bonus, Rhylyss kisses Thorn and Vysarr Ice Bolts it, doing no damage. Angelius Time! It flies to engage Thorn, boosts the Armour-Piercing attack and damage to deal a monstrous 14 damage (which is actually below average as I rolled an 8 on 3d6), but fortunately knocking out the shield arm, so the next attacks would be POW16 against ARM16 due to the Kiss, so dice even. Another two attacks later, Thorn is wrecked and the Angelius overtakes an inch to touch the now vacant flag. The Hex Hunters run out of the forest and engage four Gun Mages. The Ravagore moves closer to the central flag to contest it, then shoots two Forge Guard, boosting all rolls to kill both of them. Time to have Vayl do her thing. She moves closer to the well and uses her feat. Purification drops Arcane Shield on Haley, who is Icy Gripped (boosted to hit) next, but I do not wish to engage her directly with Obliteration as I do not wish to give her access to it in case she survives. Refuge is cycled to the right Angelius, the Shredder is hit with the Oraculi and turned into an Arc Node, luckily surviving the hit thanks to the three damage it recovered from Ryan. Vayl casts Admonition on the Ravagore to let it move away if the Centurion engages it and Occultation on herself to be immune to any shots Haley and the Journeyman might want to put into her. Finally, she unleashes two Obliterations to clear away the two last Forge Guard between the Angelius and Haley. As the Angelius now has a free charge lane, it swoops into Haley, boosting to hit and hitting on exactsies (needing 10s due to her having DEF 16 (16 + Set Defence – Icy Grip) and then putting her down by rolling a 13 for 15 damage!
Nothing is quite as satisfying as watching a Haley on her back.
I admit that I made a few lucky rolls the last turn, hitting exactsies whenever I needed them on both 2d6 and 3d6. Still, the odds that I should be able to kill at least some of my targets were there and I would have been in a pretty good position for the next few turns, as the Gun Mages were tied up by the Hex Hunters who would have received support from the Bloodseer next round to finish them off. The Angelius and Ravagore would have threatened the Centurion and forced it to commit to engaging one of them, then letting the other one counterattack. With the Blackfrost Shard still in good shape, the Centurion would have been reduced to a more manageable ARM of 19 or 12 against the Armour-Piercing strike, so it too would have suffered next turn. Aiyana and Holt were still around, but they could only do so much. The Dwarves were down to 4 and failed their Command check, so they would not have done anything next turn either. Going back to the game, the double Obliteration on Haley would have been the safer option, I still had 6 Fury left after dropping the Icy Grip, so I could have boosted both to hit rolls on a 6+ and done dice+1 damage on either to deal 16 damage on average, one more than needed. I should revisit the match-up with Haley starting, as this will be a different game I think.