This week on Nemesis, we’re laying a trap. We’ve always been able to set up traps for collosals, but against Haley2 she will trivialise and de-tooth your counterattack. And there isn’t much you can do about it. Butcher3 is an exception. He should get to move 6” in his maintenance phase independent of activations. Even crossing a wreck, you’ll get to where you want to go. Today we are talking about the math, and our assumptions about how the matchup will play out, and where we can expect the pieces to be in relation to each other.
Because of his ability to potentially kill a stormwall, even on her feat turn, I’m planning Butcher as a solid drop against her. Now the plan is not necessarily to do this, it’s not trivial. Before we do anything else, we should look at the math for Butcher against a stormwall.
Stop! It’s Number Time!
On the feat we will assume you can’t use Eiryss or Aiyana, but that you have left yourself a lane to get Butcher to the wall. Butcher can walk over, and doesn’t get his initial attack, then begins buying flashing blades. You are power 16, rolling 3 dice for an average of 26.5, so you’re dealing 4.5 damage per attack. The stormwall has 56 boxes, so it takes 12.44 attacks to down it. That’s not great, as you fall short even on the feat. The lesson her is that you want to put a bit of damage on the wall first. Butcher3 often comes with widowmakers and Eiryss2. Even if you can’t strip AS, you can deal 5 damage to the ‘wall guaranteed with sniper shots. Moreover, I’m going to suggest a conquest in this list, and you’ll probably get a shot or two off on the stormwall on the way in, it won’t do huge amounts of damage, but you’re just fishing for hurt on it. If you have to energiser, you won’t do it. You shouldn’t have to.
If you plan well, and poke 8-10 damage on the wall before or on her feat turn, you can kill it and be left camping 1-2 focus. You’ll be left in a wreck, sitting at 18/20 against ranged attacks which should help you survive a second stormwall. Against a single wall, 18/20 is usually invincible against a Cygnar army. In a split scenario, you can rely on/plan for not letting the second wall get a charge.
Let’s look at the math of a bonded stormwall with TA going for Butcher, just for comparison. Assuming full camp, and that the dog survives and unboosted pod because it’s Arm 14, 5 boxes, Tough. It needs 10s to hit, gets three boosted to hit, hits at dice -4, and I’ll assume it lands all 3, which not guaranteed. It does 12.5 damage. Butcher is way more likely to kill it, than vice versa.
The worry here comes with Haley having one stormwall and Thorn. She can reliably move him out from the war dog, still allocate 3 and TA, and turn him around. Now it needs 6s, so it goes for the full amount of attacks. That’s 5 attacks, so assuming one misses, and it isn’t the charge, he does 15.5 damage. Even blowing her whole stack it’s very hard to kill Butcher on a full camp. So priority numero uno has to be killing Eiryss if she’s hit Haley. Now, often, she won’t be. The ‘Yes, We Caine’ list is everywhere, and usually eats up Eiryss. But you have to watch out for her, and plan to kill her.
How to make friends and alienate Stormwalls
That’s the core understanding of the math we want to talk about. I want to talk about the positioning game. Haley will almost always feat when she either needs to drop covering fire in order to shoot your infantry down with the stormwalls (not a bad play) or more likely just after the bonded wall charges your heavy. You can make screening it a priority against two stormwalls, and you might be able to ding some additional damage on it that way. In a split scenario, you are mostly going to crowd your army into the other zone, and tie up a stormwall will Butcher and your heavy work towards taking the bonded ‘wall down. Against one wall, you can’t rely too heavily on screening, and most of your army will have to focus on her infantry, which can be gruelling fight, but remember the plan is to not lose scenario where Butcher isn’t.
Hold zone, don’t die. Got it Boss.
Hey is that a gunmage? I’ve never seen a gunmage.
If you are planning to go for the wall on her feat turn, you need to screen your heavy with a War Argus, force them to trigger vengeance. That’s not hugely difficult, you should be able to run it into position to force your opponent to kill it, or have them get charged by your heavy while in the zone. If for some reason they feat to keep your threat off but don’t kill your heavy, you have probably won. That means butcher’s counter attack will be not on her feat turn, so you’ll get to utilise the support staff, and strip Arc, etc, maybe even harm it, and Butcher will get to charge it. Under these conditions, you can kill it from full health with 5 focus, and either feat to be invincible, or camp one or two and safe the feat. A terrifying proposition, but risky.
One of the most clever ways to force you’re opponent to trigger Madelyn’s move is to plan for where he’s going to place a pod. That lets her stay much further back from danger, and reliably trigger her ability to move Butcher. Often you can do this be placing something juicy a bit too far forward. Though, in the two stormwall matchup, just placing infantry near your heavy will lure a pod as two stormwalls needs to be killing infantry all of the time. Use the pod, and block with the dog. It should be reliable to trigger your free 6” of movement, and if you are positioned to counterattack if she only gives your 3” you are in a good position. Don’t forget to account for rough terrain from a wreck marker.
Now, the question becomes what does my army look like? It will have probably one ‘jack, Madelyn, Black Dragons are hard to say no too. I really like widowmakers and Eiryss2 with him. Aiyana and Holt can be harder to justify if you don’t like him into the Cryx matchup. We’ll discuss the common options next week, as well as seriously consider the advantages of three different ‘jacks with him.