After PreWTC tournament I wanted to finally test the upcoming new releases, including Morrowan Archon. I was excited with Requisition Options idea, what essentially enables players to create any list they want within given theme force. That being said, I wanted to try Haley3 DEF skew with Morrowan Archon. I had enough of playing her in Gravediggers back in the day, so I wanted to try a list in Storm Division. One of ideas was to give Jakes1 a Stormclad, so with Sidekick, Temporal Distortion and Awe would make that jack DEF 18 against melee and no knock down! Sadly, Paweł decided to take a warlock capable of improving accuracy to the extent of being able to hit such high defence models.
Paweł’s Xerxis2 list:
[Theme] Disciples of Agony
[Xerxis 2] Xerxis, Fury of Halaak [+28]
– Agonizer [0(6)]
– Aradus Sentinel 
– Desert Hydra 
Tyrant Zaadesh [0(4)]
– Basilisk Krea [0(7)]
– Titan Gladiator 
Paingiver Beast Handlers (min) 
Siege Animantarax 
Siege Animantarax 
My Haley3 list:
[Theme] Storm Division
[Haley 3] Major Prime Victoria Haley [+25]
– Ironclad 
– Thorn 
– Squire [0(5)]
Journeyman Warcaster 
– Charger 
Lieutenant Allison Jakes 
– Stormclad 
Morrowan Archon 
Savio Montero Acosta [0(6)]
Storm Lances (max) 
Stormblade Infantry 
– Stormblade Infantry Officer & Standard [0(5)]
– Stormblade Infantry Storm Gunner (1) 
Morrowan Archon was proxied by Alexia2.
We played Recon II.
I won the roll and decided to go first, because I didn’t want to begin the round with Hydra in the middle of the board 😛 I put Lances on the right, Stormclad and Jakes in the middle, and Stormblades on the left.
Paweł put his Hydra on the far right, Xerxis2 in the middle with Gladiator next to him, both Animatraxes on the sides.
Round 1 Turn 1
Lances ran forward, just outside of any threat ranges. Stormblades tried to keep up, but without advance move that was taken out from the theme force, they couldn’t really even got into any threat ranges… Ironclad took cover behind the wall. Thorn stood begind Stormclad. I summoned both Haleys and cast Temporal Distortion and Tactical Supremacy, so they would be able to spread the +2 DEF buble a little bit farther.
Round 1 Turn 2
Paweł advanced forward cautiously. He didn’t want to give me any good targets in the following turn. He knew that he is the second player, and he will be the first to score any points. His supreme threat ranges allowed him to stay far enough to threaten entire zones next turn.
Round 2 Turn 1
I couldn’t stay outside of Skorne’s threat ranges and since I planned to rely on my high DEF I decided to push forward (please bear in mind that I used last CID version of Morrowan Archon, so his aura worked on living models within 8 inches). I saw a nice opportunity to put damage without risking too much. My objective gave pathfinder to Stormclad, who trampled forward, hit the Aradus Sentinel once or twice and then Jakes Energized it 2” backwards, deep in the forest. I put Morrowan Archon right behind it. Haleys advanced to spread the DEF bubble I little bit, but I didn’t get the Stormclad in. Acosta stayed behind my lines, ready to go in wherever it will be needed. Stormblades moved forward ready to be charged at. Thorn stayed outside of Animatrax charge range.
Round 2 Turn 2
Sadly, Xerxis2 had a way of improving accuracy of melee attacks. Paweł decided to use his feat and went all in with his battle engines. On the right flank, Paweł focused on killing Morrowan Archon, but even after hitting all of his attacks he couldn’t get enough through his armor and the Archon somehow survived. Afterwards, Gladiator managed to kill Stormclad with 3 attacks, that was something I didn’t expect to happen. I thought DEF 16 would be enough, it wasn’t. On the left flank, Animatrax got through to engage Ironclad and killed it. Losing 2 heavy beat sticks in one turn was painful. Paweł scored a point on his flag, 0:1.
Round 3 Turn 1
I had two huge bases sitting on my face, and another two hiding in the back. I had to get the job done. I began with Acosta charging the right battle engine. Haley3 feated, as I dramatically needed to increase my damage output. Past and Future Haley engaged both engines, Haley3 simply cast Temporal Distortion and stayed in a safe spot. Both Past and Future Haleys dealt significant amount of damage to two Animatraxes. Stormblades finished the left one, Morrowan Archon finished the other. I didn’t want to risk not killing it, Jakes failed to deal last boxes, so Archon charged it and got the job done. Charged shot Aradus twice, Lances got rid of Krea. I scored two points, in the left rectangular zone and the flag, 2:1.
Round 3 Turn 2
In revenge, Gladiator killed a Storm Lance, smashed the Archon and ripped Past Haley to pieces. Aradus Sentinel killed the other Storm Lance, Hydra ate the last one. Paweł didn’t have enough contesting pieces, and Hydra couldn’t hit Acosta, so we both scored a point in our flags, 3:2.
Round 4 Turn 1
Acosta, together with Stormblade Officer finished already damaged Gladiator. Charger killed Zaadesh1. Haley put Haley Past back in the game, Haley Future shot Aradus couple of times. Stormblade Standard contested the flag, Thorn charged Hydra but didn’t do much. Squire scored another point on my flag, 4:2.
Round 4 Turn 2
Hydra finally came in, killing Thorn, Squire, Acosta and Sb Officer with sprays. Aradus approached Haley Future. Paweł scored one point on his flag and the other in the right rectangular zone, 4:4.
Round 5 Turn 1
I was running low on models really fast, but I still could score some points. Journeyman warcaster ran to score a point on my flag and contest the zone. I managed to get rid of Aradus Sentinel, so I scored 2 more points, 6:4.
Round 5 Turn 2
Hydra destroyed my objective and easily killed Jr. Xerxis killed Haley Past and repositioned away. Paweł contested the zone with a paingiver and scored a point in right rectangular zone, 6:6.
Round 6 Turn 1
I killed the Paingiver and scored a flag with Haley, Paweł scored a point in the right-hand zone, 7:8.
Round 6 Turn 2
Paweł ran with Hydra and moved Xerxis to the flag, scoring two points. Paingiver contested the flag, 8:9.
Round 7 Turn 1
Well, there wasn’t much I could do. I destroyed the objective and killed the contesting Paingiver, I scored two more points while Paweł scored another one on the flag. By mistake we added one more, since Haley Past was still contesting the zone, 10:11.
Round 7 Turn 2
Hydra advanced, killed Haley Past, scored a point in the zone and contested the flag, while Xerxis scored the flag and another one in the other zone. Paweł won with four points advantage in turn 7, 10:14.
I didn’t expect Paweł to bring 4 huge bases and a warlock who is able to make my DEF skew essentially irrelevant. Hydra is a real monster, and for a list like mine, it is difficult to remove, especially without heavy warcjacks 😛
All in all, I had a lot of fun playing Haley3 in Storm Division. Sadly, Archon’s aura decreased to 5” only, what makes it even more difficult to apply. At least it is not living-restricted any more.
Because of that change, I will need to think more about making the DEF skew viable. I believe two Archons are required to spread the bubble farther, and this is doable in Heave Metal list. Sword Knights can get to DEF 19, so why not? I like the idea of a heavy warjack with DEF 18.
What are your ideas for a DEF skew? Do you think it is reliable? I believe it is much better against an infantry list than against a beast heavy list. Additionally, in a DEF skew list it would be great to have not only models difficult to hit, but also difficult to damage/kill. Tough and high armour would force the enemy to commit more resources to get rid of those models.