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About Slothrop

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  • Birthday October 19

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  1. Quick little plug—STW did an episode on getting the most out of practicing. I think I improved most quickly when I was taking notes after my games, especially games I lost, and when I was watching and rewatching games by players I felt were better than me. I also spent a lot of time in particular thinking about how I lost—that is, did I lose mostly to goals? To take-outs? Were my losses close games, or slaughters? Did I lose mostly to a specific guild, or a specific player? Really you should be considering both wins and losses in this way, but I think for most people (myself included) it's easier to trace the cause-and-effect of a loss more directly than the cause-and-effect of when exactly I made good winning plays. Also, a good player has to be able to evaluate models, strategies, and rules and determine what's good and bad. You won't (and shouldn't!) always agree with the current zeitgeist or what players are saying (good players, bad players, whatever), but you need to be able to say why you agree or disagree. Don't let extremely bad or extremely good dice (or extremely good or bad opponents) skew your thinking about strength and weakness... results-oriented thinking is the death of good play.
  2. The cat threatens 15" [woops, 17", shadowlike lol] off deployment, and as long as the cat then touches one model Tapper threatens 15" from deployment/11" from where he kicks. Certainly avoidable, but just as certainly a pain to avoid, so at the very least if your opponent sees it coming they have to be playing way far back. How much of an advantage that is will change with every matchup, but it should stop an opponent from interacting with you (whether through attacks or goals) without some serious counterpunch from Tapper. EDIT: Also, and this is just as important, what else were you doing? If you kick, you're likely kicking with Tapper anyway, since he does a bajillion damage and you want him up the field. When you're kicking, I doubt the cat was doing anything more interesting than this, and though you do give the opponent the cat to attack, they're getting momentum from the ball anyway, and the cat is a pain to attack successfully. Even Friday's positioning doesn't have to be anything special. What's nice about this idea is that it's relatively low-risk, potentially high-reward, and feeds into general good principles of Turn One regardless.
  3. Couple things. First, she is as people have said a good and extremely efficient goal threat. Second is she herself can kill the ball in a different way from Mash. Greyscales was mentioned as a problem elsewhere in the thread, well 5+/1 behind a bunch of people waving 2" melee around makes her, at the very least, complicated to strip the ball from for a 5 TAC tackle-on-2 (or, for example with Mist, 4 TAC tackle-on-1) model. Third, she enables the cat missile, so at the very least when kicking you really want her. STW throws around "the cat missile" a lot (patent pending THE PAT CAT), and we've been asked in a few different places what it is exactly. It's a kick-off strategy for Tapper. Basically, assuming you kicked with Tapper, your last four activations turn 1 are: -Friday GOH's Scum into charge threat of 1+ enemies -Scum charges a model, getting 1-2 MOM and, if the opponent is outside 11" of Tapper, using momentous pushes to push them inside 11" of Tapper. (If threat range isn't needed, just damage them). -Spigot1 Tools Up Tapper and Time's Called. -Tapper has an 11" threat for his activation, is Tooled Up, and if Scum got 2 MOM has a MOM to clear conditions. This gives him a very strong last activation which somewhat mitigates the disadvantages of a slow team kicking off and can really take opponents by surprise. Couple nice things about the strat: Cat is only worth 1 VP and is pretty hard to hit for a mascot, it's a surprise at least the first time it happens, and then after that if your opponent is playing cagey enough to avoid this play you're getting some positional advantages cause they can't totally take centerfield on turn one. I'm not the resident Brewers player, this is just observation, but trying this out if y'all aren't already should help a bit with the Season 3 woes. Aaaaaanyway that strat obviously needs Friday so that's a pretty good argument for her.
  4. I think there's a few things going on here... First off, I think visually Blacksmiths and Masons can't help but overlap. If Steamforged really wanted to do Blacksmiths I don't know how they could have avoided that. They've already established Masons as armored knight-like people, and Blacksmiths can, at best, be more working-man unpolished versions of that. Second, there are a few things you've identified as Mason's identity that I think, as the game expands, more and more guilds will break in on. When DEF and ARM are the only stat dials that can be tweaked for defensive stuff (specifically stats, there's of course traits and attacks whatnot), there's going to eventually be more than one guild that is low DEF/high ARM. There's already a couple high DEF/low ARM guilds, and we've just gotten our first low DEF/low ARM guild, but assuming SFG is gonna keep making guilds the statlines will eventually just overlap between guilds. There's just no way to completely avoid that. Ditto to positional synergies... While Masons probably have the most explicit version of that ATM with two positioning-requirement countercharges, other guilds have this idea as well. In particular Brewers to me have this trope, it's just that theirs must be activated in most cases (Commanding Aura, Esters's Heroic, Time's Called, Tactical Advice) whereas Masons' are more passive. Now, that said, Blacksmiths have all of those things, not just a few. I get that they look pretty similar to Masons thus far, but I actually think there's more of a problem with Masons as they currently stand. Masons do have a unique identity on some of their models, but that identity is kind of subtle and not always obvious. For me, the really unique things about Masons, which have not been seen on the two Blacksmiths, are playbook structure and activation shenanigans. No other team has playbooks in the exact way that Masons do, and the way Masons' attacks work are significantly different than other teams because of that. In addition, no other teams are as active outside of the normal activation order (combination of Countercharge, Superior Strategy, Hammer Time and all of Hammer's plays, Go Ape, Linked, Granite's move thing, Poised and Reactive Play once upon a time, Knockback making counterattacks SUPER good, etc) as Masons, and just based on these two Blacksmiths that isn't changing with the new guild. The problem I have then is with Masons more than Blacksmiths. Masons' unique traits are first of all pretty complicated to explain to a new player, so I think it's hard to illustrate exactly why they are unique, and if all you can easily say is "tanky slow guys with armor" then they are gonna sound identical to Blacksmiths so far. The second problem is I don't feel like Masons are very consistently designed. Activation shenanigans in a game structured around activation order is definitely hard to balance, but it seems to me that Masons have suffered too much for that particular perk. Pretty much everybody I talk to is underwhelmed with Granite, since she's been slowed down so much to make up for her out-of-activation movement that she has trouble impacting the game or helping an already slow team. Then you have models like VetHarmony, Chisel, and Wrecker, who don't really fit the themes of Masons very well at all IMO (not a comment on strength). Finally, while both playbook consistency and activation tricks are cool, neither of them obviously have anything to do with masonry as far as I can tell. Basically I think you've misidentified what makes Masons unique from a gameplay standpoint. The Blacksmiths are butting in on the aesthetics of the Masons, but not the gameplay space. But that doesn't excuse the fact that what does make the Masons unique has not been 100% executed on from a design standpoint in my opinion, and I can understand why Masons players have trouble getting excited about their guild for that reason. If I was king of Guild Ball, Masons would probably get a bunch of small changes to unify their design a bit more going into next year and up their power level a tiny bit.
  5. You've outdone yourself this time, @JS
  6. Haha, sorry if i read too quickly. It just felt awkward to do while they waited, I'll try to get it down better in the future.
  7. Hey so I think there's a couple reasons we didn't feel we needed to go into a list of every captain's interaction with this rules change. First off, I think we covered the basics of our interpretation-- That it's a reduction of strategy in the draft, that captains that really need to be receiving (or kicking, theoretically) are hurt by this, and that captains that can be easily counterpicked are also hurt. The flipside, of course, is that since those captains are weaker, if their fellow captains don't have those problems to the same degree, the fellow captains will be played more. In Farmers, since we feel that Grange really really hates kicking, we feel that Thresher is basically always the better competitive choice since you can't know when you choose captains whether you'll be kicking. Second, since this change is essentially just a total net loss of strategic depth for drafting, there aren't really boosts/buffs intrinsic in the change. Speaking for myself, I think of the impact of game changes in tiers... a first-tier change to, for example, Brisket3 would be a change to her card. No captain received any of that type of change in this OPD update. A second-tier change is one where the environment is definitely changed in a way that impacts models. This OPD update is almost exclusively this: since Brisket3 really wants to know whether she's kicking or receiving, and also what captain she's up against, Brisket3 has received second-tier nerfs in that she can't have the information she wants before she's chosen. There are no positive second-tier changes in this update in my opinion, simply because no player of the game of Guild Ball got any new information or options from this change. They only got less, or the same, basically. There may feasibly be third-tier changes that are buffs for models in this OPD update, but we can't quite tell yet. A third-tier change is one where the environment is sociologically changed in a way that impacts models. By "sociologically" I basically mean the community of GB players, the meta. If, for example, Brisket3 was definitely weak against Smoke, and the OPD update made a ton of GB players stop playing Smoke, I would say Brisket3 got a positive third-tier change from the OPD. The problem with third-tier changes, and talking about them two days after the update, is that they are unpredictable especially in a game like GB where players don't interact outside their own metas much. If we felt that Smoke got slammed by this update, and therefore would not be played anymore, then in the above example we could expect Brisket3 to benefit from a third-tier buff. But that relies on everybody else agreeing and playing with only the best models---even if we're right about Smoke's strength, if tons of people continue to play Smoke anyway cause they either disagree or like her regardless, Brisket3 doesn't get her predicted boost. We on the podcast do participate in conjecture about who will play what and when, but if we're being honest we can't really predict what other players (even other good players, or other players who agree with us) will play on an individual level. Very broad trends, at best, are what we can guess at. Finally, with the negative reaction to the draft order changes basically across social media/the forums so far, it seems likely to me that the document may be altered again fairly soon. That would make our captain-by-captain analysis not only dubiously accurate, but quickly outdated. Not really useful for anybody. Hope that all makes sense! I think we all feel that way, but Vince puts a ton of effort into putting those reports together. That's why they're definitely the best battle reports for GB in my opinion, but it's also why it takes so long for him to put them together. I've seen the man refuse games of League of Legends just to keep working on a report late into the night. Weep for the poor lad!
  8. Friends! Romans! Countrymen! On this latest episode of Strictly the Worst, we've invited our pal Kevin "Guildball.zone" Stewart to talk with us about the South Ontario Open, the new OPD, the new Union players, and the general concept of activation advantage! TAKE A LISTEN DOWN BELOW AND SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS YET FURTHER BELOW http://strictlytheworst.libsyn.com/episode-17 Pat also played against our pal Vince Curkov in his YouTube series "Run the Length" recently. You can check that out here: Link! Finally, feel free to join in on the on-again-off-again chatter at Kevin's all-purpose Discord channel: https://discord.gg/WWkvubn You can follow the cast here:Twitter — @strictlyworstgbFacebook — facebook.com/strictlytheworst You can follow the individuals here: Alex's Twitter — @LeftSlothrop Pat's Twitter — Scum.online Special Guest Kevin's Twitter — @guildball_zone Special Guest Kevin's Website (again) — Guildball.zone Thanks as always for listening, you guys are the best
  9. I dunno man, the speed increase has to be an activation and Grace's personal output is pretty low. I kinda disagree that she's a good striker too... 1" melee and a 9" threat (or 11" if she spends her two special INF on herself and THEN becomes INF-negative anyway by charging) is really not very impressive for ball retrieval and kinda dampens the impact of her admittedly decent playbook. She can be given the ball by other people of course, but then her 18" goal threat for 4 INF (2 of which would have to go to her anyway, but that 2 coulda been speed or heals elsewhere so it still isn't really "free") with 2 dice is pretty disappointing compared to Mist, Brisket, A&G, and even arguably Decimate. Mist can match the 18" goal threat for one less INF and one more die, or use the same amount of INF for 2" more (and some of all that is a dodge, AND it goes up further if there's a Solthecian around). A&G get up to 24.1" for 4 INF, with TWO more dice than Grace. Decimate can only get up to 15" in a straight line, but dodges off of targets more consistently, and that 15" (which, remember, is only 3" less than Grace's) costs two less INF and has one more die. The speed buff bot role is OK but I don't really think she's worth taking as one of your six players just for that, and her statline in general is so bad. If there's one thing she does though, it's make Mist SUPER fucking fast, which is kinda cool. Still likely gonna pass on Grace based on the couple games I've played her.
  10. Jeez yeah that seems like such a general characterization that it's definitely going to be wrong in at least some cases. The idea of both players being "sufficiently skilled" isn't really telling the whole story, players are skilled in different ways. There are excellent-but-slow players, fast-but-bad players, and all manner of other permutations. Some players are great at playing grindy games where they force opponents into making series of incremental decisions, and some players are great at playing fast, high-risk-high-reward playstyles where the opponent has no room to adapt or learn. Beyond that, different guilds and even compositions within guilds relate to the clock in different ways... The metagame and the balance changes between seasons/releases certainly changes what types of styles are strongest or most viable, but it's really hard to say the clock will matter to the matchup between, for example, Tim Wichniowski and Jordan Nach playing Obulus vs Obulus in the same way or magnitude it matters to Stephen Easton and Patrick Vance playing Honour vs Fillet. I think the only generalization about good players you can make is that, compared to bad or new players, they are aware of the clock, and may consciously use the clock, whereas new or bad players will just be playing their game and the clock will eventually appear to declare a winner if they don't decide amongst themselves.
  11. Hey folks, this dropped: Beyond being over the moon about the tiebreaker changes, the changes to drafting and the new 10-model roster size will, I think, change a lot about how some guilds build their rosters for tournament play. It looks like a lot of people (including me) are pretty unhappy with the new draft order and in particular captain choice being before roll off, so that might change, but for now I'm assuming it won't. I wanted to make this thread to solicit the thoughts of other Union players about how this changes our guild! For me, a couple things jump out. First off, the bad news: I think the drafting changes effectively drop Brisket3 from contention as a second captain for me. She's already such a situational pick who really wants to know what guild, captain, list, and turn order she's up against before she's played over VRage, and all of that is now off the table for her except guild. Blackheart has less if/then statements in his drafting in my opinion, so I think Rage/Blackheart is now the obvious pairing. The good news is that my list choices based on who's kicking are usually choices made in the player-selection phase, not captain-selection. In most cases I play Mist when I have to kick off, and A&G when I'm receiving, so that's a choice I still get to make with all the information I want. I think Union somewhat dodged a bullet in that regard, there are captain pairings (Grange/Thresher for example, Shark/Corsair often) that in my opinion make decisions based on roll off and those pairings now have to go in blind. Finally, the tenth slot is as nice for us as it is for everyone else, in that we get to add another situational pick. The way I look at Union right now, there are three levels of models in the list. There's the autoincludes: Harry the Hat, [Mist or A&G] There's the often-includes: VRage, [Captain2], Strongbox, Gutter, [Mist or A&G], Minx And there's the situational/matchup-dependent picks: Rage1, Coin, Decimate, Benediction (probably) Assuming we take everybody in the first two categories, we used to be able to take one of the bottom list. Now we can take two! I think the 10-man change lets Rage1 into the lists no problem now which is very nice for Blackheart (or Brisket for the brave souls playing her after these changes). Probably I take Rage1 and Decimate from the bottom set for now, but I think Decimate gets dropped for Benediction once he's out since he seems very very solid with either captain. What do y'all think?
  12. Can the tenth, least-important member of a Guild Ball tournament roster be called your "Gollum"? We need more incomprehensible jargon.
  13. Alright BILL it's been 50 whole minutes in the middle of the workday, where's the decision about whether Spring Fling is using the new OPD?
  14. I guess since that appears to also be in the OPD it must have been intentional. I'd like to see reasoning for this, there was a lot of captain choice that went down to kicking or receiving for some teams and being subject to a random roll seems unfair for those teams. Would personally prefer if steps #2 and #3 were swapped.