Thursday, April 12, 2012

Debriefing: pKrueger Battle Report

Yesterday I posted a battle report with pKrueger vs. Venethrax - the first time using Prezi to do so.  So far the response has been fairly positive, so thanks everyone for being supportive!  I clearly learned some lessons using Prezi for a battle report, as in the past I've only used it for teaching a lesson for class and I didn't use so many high-res photos.  I do like how it turned out, and I will use it again in the future, but I clearly need to streamline the process a bit and adjust the picture quality.  I promise that in the future, the photos will not be so intense and Prezi won't freak out so much and use up too many of your system's resources.  For those who had that problem, I apologize sincerely!

Beyond the lessons I learned from using Prezi for a battle report, there were some valuable lessons that I learned from my first game against Venethrax, and that is actually what this article will focus on.  Today, I debrief my performance using pKrueger at 35 points.

The first thing that I need to admit is that I haven't played my Circle nearly as much as I should have, considering there is a tournament this weekend. and I plan on using them.  This match should have been much different and I should have been better able to deal with the variety of threats that I faced across the table.  I had all of the tools I needed at my disposal but made some crucial errors each turn which threw my game off.  While I ultimately won the game, I should have done it sooner or should have been in a much better position than where I ended up.

Clouds can get in your way as well
First Turn
This is where most of my errors occurred, to be honest.  I probably should have just taken the first turn, honestly, because I would have been able to advance more aggressively and not worry so much about getting stuck back in the land of the Kill Box.  I had originally hoped that my opponent would run everything really far forward and with my 10" deployment zone, that would have meant some early Chain Lightning.  While this did end up happening, I realized that my opponent largely had only SPD 5 infantry, meaning they weren't very far forward, and that meant that my shifting stones were not as close as I had hoped for their arcing.

Also, since I went second, I tried to refuse-flank against the Bane Knights, meaning that I was squished into the corner against the hill opposite the Bile Thralls.  I knew I could kill the Thralls easily, but with the hill and their slow advance, I wasn't able to clear out as many of them as I needed, and they were able to get two purges against me when I should have been able to prevent all of them.  Also, my activation order really screwed me this turn, as I advanced and popped Vortex with my Druids before I shifted the stones into position, meaning that only one Woldwarden was able to see anything for Geomancy, instead of both of them.  Lastly, Krueger should have been able to throw out a THIRD Chain Lightning if I had activated him first, and then I could have either repositioned his feat templates or saved my feat entirely for taking out Bane Knights.

In summary, I should've taken first turn and activated everything else before I activated the Druids.

Druids going after Venethrax was a dumb move
Turn Two
I got pretty lucky here as I killed off enough to essentially knock his forces back a couple of inches and the Seether could only charge a Druid.  While it gave Venethrax a soul, it was hardly game-breaking considering I was practically able to wreck the Seether.  I saw Venethrax somewhat close and I mistakenly thought that maybe I could get him.  I needed to roll 10s to hit with my Druids but I figured one would be able to get him and move him out of the woods, but I forgot a) how hard it is to roll a 10 on two dice and b) even if I had hit him, I would've only moved him a max of 1.5".  Clearly a bad decision here and I should have just moved out of the way, cast some Force Bolts onto some Bane Knights and throw up some Vortexes on the right flank to try to hold off the Bane Knights for one turn.  At least I remembered that Woldwardens could Geomancy and then charge, so I was able to get a lot of life out of the right-flank Woldwarden, killing off some key models, followed by a charge against the Seether.  I wish I had killed the Seether since it was a bit annoying at the end, but I was pretty thankful that I was able to hit it as much as I did.

This was also the turn that I was starting to feel the pressure of being so close to those Bile Thralls without thinning their numbers more.  That hill was a very significant obstacle over the course of the game and I wish I had just deployed against the Bane Knights - even if they were more resilient against my Chain Lightning - at least I could have been hitting them for longer before they got to me.

I'm living proof that it's better to be lucky than smart

Turn Three
Compounded with my previous mistakes, I was really feeling the pressure without much to do here.  I made a stupid mistake by thinking that Krueger could be okay on the hill and got greedy by wanting to kill Orrik.  I should have shut down most of his infantry by this point but my earlier mistakes were haunting me now and it led me such a terrible error.  Sure, in the end it worked out, but I could have just as easily have died if Venethrax tried to go for the kill himself.  My opponent should have won on this turn by crippling my beasts alone, and then I would've been in terrible shape.  I got lucky with him killing the Woldwarden first as it gave me a transfer which I desperately needed.  Slaughterborn shouldn't have been able to charge me anyway because of his facing, but then again, Venethrax was more than likely in range to do it himself, and I really wouldn't have survived a direct charge from him - even at DEF 17.

In the end, everything worked out really well, but it was too close for comfort.  The way my pKrueger list needs to work is that I need to clear out infantry with Chain Lightning enough that by the time they do come to me, I can levy my weight against my opponent and eventually swing over the edge between Krueger himself (against low-ARM targets) or the Feral (for high-ARM).  The Woldwardens have great utility for Krueger and are the real winners in the list, while the Druids play a denial game and Krueger floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee.  Surprisingly, it's an attrition list by destroying my opponent piecemeal, and unfortunately, this game I was unable to do that.  I now remember how important activation order can be and how I need to make sure that I have clear lines of fire to my targets because I need them open more than my foe does.
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