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  1. 14 points
    Lately I've been asked a few times for some tips on Brewers. To avoid writing this stuff over and over again I decided to make this thread and keep it nice and clean in one place. 1. The roster My roster is Tapper, Esters, Scum, Hooper, Spigot, Friday, Pint Pot, Stoker, Lucky, vetDecimate. 
Tapper - my main captain, gives great inf efficiency, you basically play with 15inf and dials up the dmg output up to 11. Tough Hide 18HP, 2" melee and easy KD make him hard to deal with and a great front-liner. If you pick your targets correctly he can deal out a ton of dmg himself and get a lot of momentum as well. If you get 3-4 MOM out of his activation then you have enough to use all the other Heroics. So either make sure to target players you can TO in one activation or players that you can setup on. For example models 3+/1 are great for setup (KD, CA and you can easily get MOM 4dmg every attack) and 12HP models are easy TOs. You can hard cast CA and on 2 net-hits you get 3dmg for a total 12hp. Also on models 4+/1 you should get some MOM 4dmg. Other than that he's great at kicking for more details check the Pat Cat video.
 Esters is the more versatile captain. Has ranged pressure, gives out buffs for free, has a great playbook for generating momentum. I mostly play her into condition heavy games, fish (because Tapper gets rekt by Corsair) and Morts (again, Tapper hates Obulus), Butchers and I think Masons but with vetDecimate I think I'll give Tapper another go against them. There isn't much to say about Esters I feel. Gives out good buffs, has board control, good playbook. Allows for a maybe bit slower game than with Tapper but a more stable one as well. A nice trick for her against heavy goal scoring teams is to keep the ball on Friday with Agility near Spigot. 6+/1 and the ball isn't going anywhere.
 Scum is great. Allows Tapper to deal good dmg, helps with Ganging Up, is annoying to deal with because of UM, deals huge dmg under CA and gives an option to gain MOM on turn 1. Would love to play Quaff but Scum is just too good to give up and don't see place for 2 mascots in the roster. You need to keep him 4" from Tapper at the end of each turn. 
 Spigot is the anchor of the team. Time's Called make the team as fast as Fish, Tooled Up works wonders in a team that's known for wrapping easily and makes Friday a great ball holder. Keep him in the back lines, he's the easiest squaddie to TO. He just hangs around giving Football Legend and Time's Called. On occasion he can go and deal huge dmg if there happens to be a KDed player. Friday, most of the time is a setup piece and ball holder. Helps keep the cat near Tapper, throws DK at people and enables the Fur Ball (I'm not a fan of the name 'Pat Cat', let's make Fur Ball a thing). Against goal scoring teams, keep her in cover near Spigot and most of the time people will sink a lot of INF trying to get the ball off her. Hooper, Tapper's best friend. The two of them are great together. 18/17HP, Tough Hide, 2" melee makes them great frontliners. Hard to TO them and Hooper with True Grit and CA deals sic dmg. Pint Pot, brings more inf efficiency to the team, surprisingly hard to TO, has potential for dealing huge burst dmg which is crucial for an Esters team. Works wonders in a mirror match, so far in my 5 mirrors he player 5 times and I have 5 wins. Opponents never took him. Great against player with great Counter Attacks and against Counter Charge. Takes the third spot in the front line with Tapper and Hooper. Stoker brings some ranged pressure to the team, board control with burning AOE and MOM >> on 1 net-hit. Is a good tank, can heal 10HP a turn and clear conditions. Can deal good dmg but needs some Ganging Up to really shine. For me essential against condition heavy games like Hunters and Alchemists. Lucky is a good solo player. Gives some breathing air in a synergy heavy team. Works great in every line-up and will get some value in every game. Helps with conditions, is good for MOM generating with MOM 2 on 2 net-hits and is a solid striker with an 18” goal threat range without any setup. His dodging ability I mostly use for goal runs or it can put in position to engage 2-3 enemy players and the opponent doesn’t gain all that much from his own 4” dodge. Use the dodge with caution and if you’re not sure about better don’t. vetDecimate, the newest addition to the team. IMO she’s a bit broken, not on her own but with all the buff the guild has to offer. I think she’ll be kicking when I’m playing Esters. With Tooled Up and Speed she has a 12-14” threat range and some serious dmg dealing potential. She does everything to be honest, she would probably feel fair with INF 2/3 but I guess all the whining that brewers are bottom tier paid off. For now I can’t see a reason not to take her into a game, apart from not owning the mini still. I can’t wait to try her with Tapper and Hooper, 3x Tough Hide, insane dmg output it will be insanely difficult to reach the back line with them in front. I leave Quaff, Stave, Mash and vetSpigot at home. I’m missing the point of Mash, he’s a solid player but in every aspect is outshined by other Brewers. Friday, Spigot, vetDecimate and Lucky are better strikers, Friday and Scum are better at killing the ball, Hooper and Stoker are just as good if not better at pushing people around, his parting blow isn’t all that great since his KD is on 4 net-hits. He needs some tech to make him unique, his rookie variants are great, if he got the ability to pass the ball after receiving the ball that would be sic. His Volley Shot is a trait I never used to be honest. Stave is situational and I would take him if I had another slot in my roster. If you misplay with Stave you get punished really badly but you can get some good value out of him and against Farmers I see a place for him in a Tapper team. vetSpigot is a tremendous striker with only one problem, his name. Football Legend and Time’s Called are too important for me to give up. 2 Matchups By default Esters plays into Alchs, Butchers, Farmers, Fish, Hunters, Morts and for now Masons. Alchs in case they go Smoke and spam conditions, Butchers because Fillet wrecks Tapper, Farmers because Tresher out-threats Tapper and Millstone is a huge problem (maybe after the nerf this will change, still didn’t play this MU after the errata), Fish because Corsair is a thing, Hunters because of conditions as well but Tapper can play this out as well but more so when receiving. Morts because Esters can put huge pressure on Obulus from range and he needs 6INF to puppet master her so it’s no longer that good a deal. Tapper plays the rest. MY fav captains to play against are vetRage and Ballista and with vetDecimate these should be even easier to deal with. 3 Playstyle When playing Tapper, my team is Tapper, Scum, Hooper, Friday, Spigot and flex. In the flex spot most of the time I take Lucky or Pint Pot. Lucky when I feel like having more goal scoring potential, Pint Pot when I need to scrum harder. Tapper, Hooper and Scum make the front line and block access to Friday and Spigot. Most of the time I will lose an early goal and after that I hide the ball on Friday in cover near Spigot. From my experience this is the safest place to kill the ball as most strikers struggle to tackle her and the opponent ends up sinking inf and activations trying to get the ball off her. Friday also repositions scum to help keep him within 4” of Tapper and I like to give her 1-2 INF to threaten the opponents goal (20” goal threat range WITHOUT Time’s Called) or to throw Dirty Knives. Spigot gets 1 or none inf most of the time. With Commanding Aura up Tooled Up isn’t all that important and I often feel like going one activation earlier but without Tooled Up is the better option. Tapper, Hooper and Scum focus enemy players between the three of them you might look for 2 TOs a turn or 1 TO and good setup for the next turn. I use True Grit and Old Jake’s almost every turn. The flex spot just fills in what I need in a given game. Against vetRage I take Pint Pot for the additional dmg and with his Heroic he’s annoying to deal with, against Ballista I take Lucky for the first turn fi Tapper is hit with Dead Bolt and I don’t have momentum. The most important thing in a Tapper team is to keep Spigot alive, Time’s Called, Football Legend and Defensive Support on Friday might not be flashy plays but they make the team insane. Keep them all rather close to each other so they can support everyone. With Esters it’s a bit different. You gain easier support, ranged pressure, good condition clearing and a more defensive team. Since you don’t have Tapper you might lack burst dmg. A model that can deal huge dmg without time to react from the opponent. That’s why I think Pint Pot is essential for her. You get 2 turns of 2 INF 5 players, if both of them get some dmg buffs (Strength or Tooled Up or both) then you’re good to go. My standard Esters team is Esters, Scum, Friday, Spigot, Pint Pot, flex. Spigot and Friday for the same reasons as for Tapper, Pint Pot for the burst dmg and the second Glut Mass (really burns down enemy inf). The flex spot is mostly Hooper and Stoker. Sometimes I’ll swap Pint Pot if I’m fearing a really condition-heavy game and take both Hooper and Stoker. Against Obulus and Corsair when kicking I kick with Esters. Glut Mass makes their key plays really expensive when it comes to INF. Against Obulus dropping 2 Tooled Up AOEs on him forces him into a more defensive play. If you also land a Dirty Knives on him he starts his next turn on 5HP and that hurts. Into Fish just Agility Friday and hog the ball on her near Spigot. Ruin the opponents game plan and grind it out. I believe she’s the safer option most of the time but I sometimes get impatient with her and start rushing her in as if she were Tapper. That’s when you throw the game. She really ok with only 2-3 INF a turn and letting the other players do all the work, but with some Ganging Up she’s great to go in herself with Strength. With vetDecimate I guess her team will change a bit, maybe she’ll take Hooper’s place in the Esters six, but time will show. With both captains by default I aim for a 1-4 game. 2-2 also happens but you need to look for those openings for the second goal that won’t give you opponent too big an advantage. Usually I do this when I catch the opponent into a solid scrum and even he gets the ball after my goal he’s struggling to get anything done with it.
  2. 14 points

    Murderball: Vet Rage Primer

    Figured I'd write up some details on how to get good use out of Rage, what he does and who he plays with. Rage is a very unique captain who does things no others really do in the game, and plays quite differently to how you'd expect. He's both powerful and versatile, though he definitely leans more towards a beatdown plan. There are a few different team compositions and plans you can run with him, and generally he makes for a very solid foundation of a team, especially when the rest of his team is also individually powerful. To start by going down the pre game sequence: Game Plans Rage is less hungry for +6s and +7s compared than most teams, because he tends to generate excessive amounts of momentum once he gets going. Grudge Match and Seize The Initiative are still great, though. Kick 'Em While They're Down is a great effect to play after you just won initiative if you set up for it, but it does take some work - A&G use it very well. Get Back In There is great for increasing Rage's threat range and lets you play aggressively with him, and Full Back and Go For The Knees have good universal bonuses you're never unhappy to have. Back In The Game is generally useful for throwing models deep into enemy territory, while also having potential for huge blowout turns if you can set up a Gutter activation in the right place to take your own model out as you spend your 4th influence. The footballing plans (Sell It To The Crowd, Stick to the Plan, Keep the Ball Moving) are generally the cards you're least interested in. The Initiative Roll You pretty much always want to receive. It gives you a lot more flexibility in your player choices, and the ball is an important resource. Kicking off means you're lacking that resource, and you're forced into taking a model that has good kickoff pressure as one of your 4 player choices, since Rage doesn't have the threat range to do so himself really. By default that's Mist, who causes other issues with your team composition also, since he's an influence hungry model that doesn't deal damage, though I'll talk more about that later. Note that if you do end up kicking, this does mean you get to choose which half of the pitch to deploy on. Usually it doesn't make much of a difference, but a good piece of cover for Mist to work from, or something to protect your team from an attacking team, is always nice. If there's a large chunk of rough ground in the middle of someone's half, forcing your opponent to deal with it is nicer than having to work with it yourself. Mascot Choice Both Strongbox and Coin are useful models to have in your roster. It's doable to run with only one of them, though I prefer to take both. Coin is consistently moderately useful, where Strongbox is sometimes completely worthless / a liability, and sometimes incredibly powerful. Usually, you want to take Coin into teams that spread out a lot or primarily play football, and Strongbox into teams that group up and brawl, especially if they are going to be coming towards you rather than you needing to go to them. Strongbox is also very useful against teams that Jog your players around (primarily Morticians with Puppet Master/Lure and Ratcatchers with Haunting Melody) since he can act as an 'anchor' and keep your players where they are by taking a KD on his parting blow. Rage otherwise doesn't like playing against Obulus very much (he can split your players up quite well) so if you're going for Coin only, have a think/plan about what you want to do about the Obulus matchup. Strongbox is also a useful KD merchant if you drew the Kick 'Em While They're Down game plan, so keep that in mind. It's not as huge a synergy as Sic 'Em was, but it's still relevant - though if someone is within 1" of Strongbox and KDed, they're probably getting taken out whichever game plan you play. Coin is also useful for player flexibility, since the additional influence the snake provides (and not needing any itself, where Strongbox sometimes wants 1-2) allows you to fuel more influence-hungry players in a line up. Union have a lot of players that really want more influence than they generate, so this is a useful effect to have available. While both mascots allow you to effectively turn a 1-die character play into a 2-die (via Confidence or Bag of Coffers), Coin requires no influence investment to fuel that two-die play where the Confidence line needs two inf investment, so if you're planning on throwing a lot of Blinds, Goads, Marked Targets or similar then Coin is handy to have around. Squaddie Choice This is the difficult one. Almost every player in the Union line up has at least some use with Veteran Rage (excluding Rage1, of course). There aren't any unplayable choices, really. One thing to keep in mind is that you will want to be allocating four influence to Rage on a majority of turns. This means you'll have ~8 influence to divide among your remaining four players, potentially adjusted for Game Plan, goals scored, and anything your mascot wants. Usually because of this, you don't want to be taking more than two squaddies that want to be regularly stacked to full with influence. Naturally, sometimes players will be taken out, or unable to reach the action, but usually it's good to have a 'standard' three players that do a lot of work when fully stacked, and then have the other two players be more efficient and able to do things with minimal influence investment. If your 'payoff' players do end up out of position or unable to get much influence for some reason, your backup players will still be able to use the inf to at least reasonable effect - pretty much nobody in the Union is going to be 100% useless to put inf on. Benediction Benediction is a cornerstone of pretty much any Rage line up. He brings several tools that are relatively hard to get, and in a durable package with a great counterattack. One of Benediction's main advantages is how tough he is. Rage really likes to be able to start beating down on a model that's already engaged. Benediction is your best option for moving up at the start of a turn, putting a melee zone on a person or three, and setting up for Rage to go in - and not dying to the enemy first turn before you get the opportunity to capitalize. There are no other models in the faction which can do this reliably, and it is huge for helping Rage start fights. Benediction is also great at pushing other models around, which allows Rage to use Red Fury to maneuver models into position to take them out, disengage himself or other Furious models, and generally control the scrum well. Benny doesn't need much influence to do work - usually 0-2, just as much as is needed to ensure I have momentum at the start of Rage's activation - which is another major upside in an inf hungry team. Extending the range of Red Fury lets you pull off some great plays too. He's also the more useful of the two Solthecians, and you probably want one or the other if you are going to be playing Mist, since 2" extra threat range for completely free is a nice benefit. Stand Firm is useful to apply to the model you kick off with, giving you some resistance to counter attacks or enemy assaults, especially Deadbolt and Lob Barrel. It's also occasionally useful if you expect Rage to be targeted, though you usually don't have the spare influence. Gutter Gutter is a fantastic payoff model for Rage. She has several important utility tools, but her primary function is to convert influence into both damage and momentum at a good rate. She has a long threat range, and along with her 4+/1 14HP statline the free healing off her damage makes her surprisingly durable - note that it works on counter attacks. The great thing about Gutter is that if she doesn't have a lot of set up done for her, you can still put a stack of influence on her and be reasonably confident that she will get something done with it - be it a bit of damage to generate momentum and set someone up, or Chain Grab to engineer a scrum for Scything Blow next turn, or the huge Scything Blow payoff when everything lines up just right. Anatomical Precision is great for making playbook results easier to hit, means she almost never completely whiffs, and lets her hit some poor models (looking at you, Flint and Brisket) as though they had no defenses at all. Chain Grab is also a great play for Rage - Red Fury does many things, but anything that can be triggered off the playbook is suddenly a play that Rage can buy in his activation as well as Gutter's own. Yanking strikers into a scrum they don't want to be in is very handy. Gutter also has a knock down in her playbook, and 4 hits is not exceptionally hard to find when you have Anatomical Precision, so her parting blow is nothing to be sniffed at either. Tackling people is usually not worth it over the KD, though. Gutter's 8" sprint and 3/6" kick stats also mean that if you manage to pick up the ball, an opportunistic goal isn't out of the question either. Hemlocke Hemlocke is the third squaddie I take in a large percentage of my teams. She has a ton of advantages and most importantly, all the things she does for the team are just not replicable by any other option. Firstly, she's an acceptable backup footballer, with a momentous tackle on her first column, a respectable 3/6" kick and an 8" sprint with DEF6+ against parting blows. Most of the time, though, Hemlocke is here for her character plays. The least impactful in my opinion is Smelling Salts - while it looks powerful, 2 influence on Salts could be two more attacks for momentum, which is usually a similar amount of condition clearing as Salts while bringing a lot of versatility. It is handy against teams with a lot of knockdowns like Farmers, though, since it lets you keep your Take A Breather for a future knockdown or a heal if you need it, rather than getting trapped on the floor with no way of getting out. Noxious Blast does a lot of work against some teams - particularly melee-heavy ones with poor defenses, like Masons. Having access to ranged damage is particularly powerful for Rage because it means your opponent can't just sit back defensively and force you to engage on them - instead, you can whittle them down with Hemlocke which forces them to engage onto you instead - this is huge when your teams is as powerful in an established brawl as Rage's is. Finally, Blind is one of the best control tools in the game. Hemlocke single handedly makes Rage's turn one reasonably good instead of pretty underwhelming. Blind is primarily useful for screwing with your opponent's best activation - usually you want to be blinding whoever is threatening the ball, or looking at starting a fight in the near future. You want to be bonus timing Blind pretty much whenever you get the chance - usually a hit blind costs the opponent at least a few points of momentum,so you're still trading up - but don't be afraid to one die blind (especially on turn one) if you expect your opponent to make their move before you get the opportunity to generate momentum. Coin is useful here. Blind is particularly solid on models that are aiming for the ball - since it reduces their threat range on the ball carrier, their TAC to tackle it with, and then their kick to move it afterwards as well. It's also good on models with low TAC values, since it has more chance of giving them no hits at all - models like Mallet - and those with poor defensive stats and telegraphed activations like most of the Blacksmiths. Note that Blind doesn't do anything to character plays, so some players can avoid suffering many penalties - Rage can bypass it by spending his inf on Red Fury on someone else, Obulus can get work out of his influence with Puppet Master (though his attacks become pretty awful). Decimate Decimate is my preferred fourth slot for a second influence hungry model. She consistently and reliably turns influence into damage, with her TAC6 and Anatomical Precision she pretty much always gets work done. She's also got a great counter attack against anyone who can't reliably knock her down, and good defensive stats to go with it. Decimate's speed and easy dodges, with another good kick stat, mean she is a solid goal scorer - not great at tackling (though that T<< on column 4 isn't impossible to hit) but good at turning possession of the ball into 4VPs in a single activation. Scoring right at the end of a turn with Decimate is particularly nice, since having her up near the enemy goal usually means there are some juicy targets for her to chop up at the start of the next turn if any of the enemy footballers are looking to recover the ball. Decimate is great at hunting down lone flimsy models, especially those that just returned to the pitch - she can be relied on to put 8 damage on anyone without Tough Hide or a great counter attack, and generate momentum while she's at it. She's an acceptable kick off model if you need her to - though not as good as Mist. Thousand Cuts isn't a play which gets used a lot, but it can be great for setting up Gutter to really take someone out. The nice thing about Decimate is that she is a very very reliable player who always turns influence into results - but at the same time, if you hit a spike and roll that Thousand Cuts, she also has an amazing best-case scenario and sets up for the rest of the team. She doesn't do anything incredibly unique, though, so she is probably the easiest player to drop from the 'core' lineup. Mist I am not too fond of Mist. Now, he's a very powerful player, and definitely the best striker in Rage's options. However, he has some major downsides. Primarily, he is an influence hungry player who does not deal damage in any reasonable amount. This causes a lot of issues in your roster. If you're taking Mist, then in order to reliably fuel him you probably only want one other inf-hungry model. This often means that you end up unable to allocate more than ~8 influence to dealing momentous damage, which is a real issue for Rage's legendary turn, where usually you want to be spending at least 10 influence on taking people out given the opportunity. The solution here is to take an influence efficient player with good momentous damage in their playbook - primarily, this means Minx. The Rage/Gutter/Benny/Minx/Mist lineup in particular is pretty solid and does most everything well, but means you miss out on Hemlocke which I personally don't think is worth the tradeoff. Mist does do a lot of work, so if you're comfortable with being somewhat weaker in a brawl and more vulnerable to control (since if the ball is killed you're in a 5v6, and if you lose a beater you only get 4inf of relevant attacks that turn) then his goal scoring potential is second to none. One of Mist's main advantages is that he is by far the best kickoff model Rage has, with 12" of threat on the ball (if near Benny or Grace) without any influence investment, 14" with some well placed cover. This makes him a real nightmare for some teams to protect against. Throwing Mist in for a goal and having him immediately taken out is usually a trade you're willing to make. With his first column tackle, good Def and 2" reach, he's also a solid model to put the ball on if you need to protect it against a footballing team, especially considering how little influence investment he needs if he's just keeping the ball safe rather than actually doing anything. Minx Minx is influence efficient and also does good damage. This is not a common combination. Snared is a useful setup tool for the rest of the team, and Marked Target is useful for increasing your threat ranges, particularly if you have Coin to make it more reliable on turn one. Minx's threat range is extremely long, especially with Damaged Target, so she's good at hunting down models which returned to the pitch after being taken out. However, she has some trouble sometimes - if she can't charge she doesn't reliably do anything at all to a model with Tough Hide, and she is also really quite flimsy with her 12 max HP and poor counter attack. She also has a tendency to get isolated on her own near the enemy team, since she's much faster than anyone else, so she does occasionally get ganged up on and beaten down, which usually results in a taken out Minx very quickly. It can be difficult to justify the slot on Minx, since your two influence efficient models are usually filled by Benediction and Hemlocke. Minx is particularly good into footballing teams who want to play keep away, since her slightly lower toughness doesn't matter so much there, and she can chase them down well and keep them pinned down. Back To The Shadows has some awkward anti-synergy with Rage, since he usually likes for his players to remain engaging the enemy rather than dodging away. Grace Grace has a few utility effects which are quite handy. The most relevant of these is Quick Foot, which is great for increasing threat ranges and getting your slower models into the fight. However, this isn't usually worth an entire player slot, when you consider Grace's downsides - she's quite easy to take out, she doesn't play football particularly well, and she doesn't do much damage either - she's only really relevant as a support piece, and she isn't as good a support piece as Hemlocke. However, she should still probably be in your roster, solely because of Purity. As a final player, she is a great drop into Smoke because removing AOEs placed by Smoke's team (preferably, before she can drift them on top of your team) really messes with Smoke's plan. Smoke is otherwise a tough matchup for Rage, since she's good at playing keep-away, pretty resistant to Rage himself, and controls the board well while threatening to score goals very easily, so adding a model to the roster entirely to turn a poor matchup into a quite good one is probably worth it. Avarisse and Greede A&G bring damage, and lots of it. What they don't bring is durability, mobility, or indeed anything other than a big old bundle of murder. Now, that's not to say that these esteemed gentlemen aren't useful. However, there are a lot of matchups where they won't get much done, or will be a liability. Anyone that's looking to ignore the scrum and play football is likely to cause A&G issues, as is anyone who brings enough damage to take Avarisse out quickly. With his 3+/0 statline, that isn't too hard even with Tough Hide and 20HP. There are some teams where they are a solid choice, however - the stand outs are Corsair (who can't really kill Tough Hide models well) and Farmers (who tend to want setup before they do things, and have a lot of HP but are vulnerable to high raw damage numbers). A&G also make fantastic use of the Kick 'Em While They're Down game plan. They are quite influence hungry (though if you're feeling greedy you can stack up Avarisse and leave Greede on 0, and just hope nobody comes too close). Note that if Greede gets taken out, Avarisse becomes a whole lot more useless, especially since Greede isn't exactly great at reaching the scrum again once he's back on the pitch. A&G are one of the only optiions Rage has which brings a damage buff, since he can't take Rage1 for tooled up. This is handy because if Rage goes down, nobody else on the team can punch through a durable model, except A&G. Harry 'The Hat' Harry used to be a fantastic choice, but no longer sadly. He's still okay, but in the role of pusher / setup model he is outclassed by Benediction. He does have his advantages though - a good knockdown, and Goad and Inspiring Hat are very useful to have. Goad is a fantastic play for controlling the enemy team, especially into footballing teams - brawling teams will often just shrug and kill Harry. His 3+/1 defensive stat line isn't great, and though Rising Anger helps, he often gets knocked down and proceeds to get taken out in short order. Not having momentous damage till his fifth column of five isn't good enough to be usable most of the time. Unfortunately for Harry, he doesn't get enough out of his influence compared to the inf hungry models of the team, and when he isn't allocated a stack he doesn't really do anything Benediction doesn't do to make up for his low durability. He is a solid player, like Minx, into footballing teams, but it's hard to fit him in the roster even there, since you also have other options for control or anti-football tech models. He's also okay into control teams - especially Hunters, since all their ranged control effects also deal damage and so proc Rising Anger - however Rage already is naturally resistant to control himself, and the Hunters' likely solution is just to not focus Harry and instead focus on controlling those models in the lineup which actually do things. Snakeskin Snakeskin is a weird mix between footballer and fighter. She's nowhere near as good at snagging a ball and putting it in the goal as Mist, but she is amazingly good at picking up the ball and holding onto it while preventing anyone else from getting anywhere near it. Clone, Nimble, and Charmed all help her keep the ball away from those who would want to put it into the net. She's also quite influence efficient when it comes to damage if she has it spare, since her 2 damage result, while not momentous, is somewhat easy to hit and also applies poison. She is an interesting substitute for Mist - one I need to test more, to be honest - if you want a little bit more beating down power, and primarily want to kill the ball if you get hold of it rather than score with it. She is very influence hungry, and dies quite quickly if a beater (especially a female one) manages to reach her without clone up. She's also an okay kick off model, with an 11" threat range on the ball and damage to back things up if the ball becomes unavailable. She's DEF5 against most ranged control effects (Deadbolt, Pinned, Puppet Master) which helps her avoid too much interference. Fangtooth Fangtooth is sort of like A&G, in that his defenses are pretty terrible but he brings damage output. Unfortunately, unlike A&G, Fangtooth only brings 1 influence which is a real issue in a Rage lineup, since you started out with just 12. Unlike Grace, Fangtooth is also quite influence hungry himself, and he slows your team down rather than speeding them up. He is a good knock downer, and his Gluttonous Mass makes him resistant to ranged control and not bad against 1" melee fighters. He does die quite quickly if the opponent is committed to putting him in the dirt, no matter what his 29 health says. Like Gutter, Fangtooth's best case scenario involves killing an entire team at once - though his max-inf of three hurts this somewhat, Red Fury helps, and so do potential Back In The Game shenanigans. Unlike Gutter, though, Fangtooth's 'fail case' scenario when he doesn't go off and blow everyone up is pretty underwhelming, which is a pretty big downside. Basically, if you're going to look for a best-case setup to kill entire teams, you could be doing so with Gutter instead and have a reliable fighter the rest of the time, rather than take Fangtooth for a similar upside but get a slow bundle of hitpoints that screws over your own team the rest of the time. The First Turn Most of the time the first turn is not anything special. Usually you want to be moving your players up enough that they can threaten to do something next turn, and then have 1-2 activations of actual work being done towards the end of the turn. Usually one of these is Hemlocke and the other is either the model you kicked with, or a model you dodged up the table with the ball. If you're dodging someone up, it's often Decimate, since she has a long threat, reliable damage, and can score if needed or pass for another dodge if one of your previous passes missed. Hemlocke wants to be blinding the enemy's relevant turn one activation, and if possible also Noxious Blast multiple people. Benediction usually puts Stand Firm on the model you're throwing forward if that's expected to be an issue, possibly also Confidence from Strongbox (though it may be better used on Hemlocke if you really need that Blind to hit). Rage usually Quick Times the forward model. Take care for the enemy's late-activation model going in on your team - Blind helps a lot, but if it missed you need to be more careful. If the enemy received, then if they go for a goal you only really want to go for a snapback goal of your own if you expect to win initiative - otherwise it's usually a more reliable plan to beat up whoever they scored with an put the ball somewhere safer. If you're receiving, then a blinded kicker often means a snapback goal isn't possible, which makes a goal of your own a lot more reasonable and often puts you 4 points ahead effectively for free. Later Turns Your first priority on most turns should be ensuring you get to spend most of your influence well and your opponent gets to spend as little as possible. Often you don't get to shut down much of their influence, but it should help your decision making. If you get the opportunity to take someone out who has inf allocated, go for that. If one of your models is going to be taken out if it doesn't activate now, activate it. Note that Mist's influence is usually only relevantly spent if he's doing footballing things, so if the ball is going to be out of mist's grasp in the near future then activating him is a good plan. A good plan for getting work out of your influence and restricting the enemy's is to feed them Benediction. Shove him up the pitch, push people around such that they're in your other models' threat ranges, especially ones with Inf on. Put up braced if you can get it on the playbook, or if there's a 1" model with a KD that's likely to go in afterwards (that isn't named Hammer). The mort important bit, though, is generating momentum and putting people inside Rage/Gutter/etc threat ranges. Sometimes this doesn't require any influence on Benny at all. Afterwards, prioritise getting work out of Rage and anyone else with influence, kill people with inf on them if possible. If you can get the scrum to form near Strongbox that's a nice bonus. Hemlocke usually gets 1-2 influence, and either throws an early Blind if an opportunity presents itself, or waits till the end of the turn and either Noxious Blasts if possible, or grabs the ball and potentially scores / secures it if needed. If the opponent doesn't have access to much KD or 2", putting Decimate right in front of their team (just ahead of Rage) can do well. If they go in on you, she can counter and dodge away to engage a different model, leaving a melee zone on someone Rage can kill without them being able to do much about it. Rage Himself Rage's personal card is relatively simple, but it does a lot of unique stuff. He's an influence efficient beater, like Fillet or whoever. However, in order to do the real scary / powerful amounts of damage, he needs an allied engagement zone on the target. This is a non negligible downside. Naturally other beaters have similar issues - Hammer wants an ally to take influence off, Honour needs Marbles, Thresher needs harvests, Fillet folds to counterattacks, and so on - but Rage's is one of the more awkward to set up. In exchange, he is very influence efficient - only taking 4 of the team's ~12 influence even when fully stacked - and additionally is very hard to control. Playbook Seven columns - matching his TAC - means he doesn't wrap very easily. It does happen, though. With momentous 1-2-2-3 on the first four columns, he doesn't need many hits at all to inflict some serious damage. While his 4 isn't momentous, its existence helps plenty against tough hide and high health targets. The fact his 1 is momentous also helps him double up on momentum when wrapping. Tackle on 1 isn't used often, but is handy occasionally. The third column KD is early enough that you hit it reliably on a charge, making Rage pretty resistant to counter attacks and good at setting up teammates' damage. Rage also has access to pushes along with his damage (at no loss of damage) which helps him bring targets further into his scrum, prevent easy disengagement, and B2B people who might dodge out on a counter without having to spend an attack applying a KD. It's also useful for pushing people out of your melee zone so you can charge them. Concussion doesn't come up often, but it costs only 1 damage (or a momentum and a push) to apply so if you get the opportunity it's powerful. Usually you don't get the opportunity to kill someone with inf on them - and if you do, they usually die so the inf is lost either way - but when you do it's a handy bonus. Quick Time In an 'optimal' game, you pretty much never want to use Quick Time. 2 influence for no momentum and no damage is never really what you want to be doing. That said, it's reliable and doesn't need your team's help to do things, which means sometimes it's the best option if you're stuck in a fight you're going to lose. Usually if you need to disengage so you can charge, you want to be Red Fury-ing Benediction instead, since it costs half as much influence and generates momentum. Quick Time is also useful for other things, though - it gives your kicker / last activation more threat range on turn one, it gets you into range of enemies you might be outside of otherwise. Generally though, avoid using Quick Time unless you have to. Red Fury Honestly, Red Fury is up there for one of the best character plays in the game. Primarily, because it makes your influence pretty much always useful. It's extremely difficult to shut Rage down, because if you put Pinned on him, knock him down, engage him so he can't charge, Blind him, or whatever, he's still going to get to spend all his influence, probably on attacks from a player without any debuffs on. Sure, he might not get to charge, but he still does plenty of work. Red Fury lets you reposition the scrum to your advantage, with Benediction's pushes, Gutter's Chain Grabs, Mist's tackle, or Decimate's dodges. Red Fury also lets you spend more influence on very high-value attacks - like on Strongbox's absurdly short playbook, or Avarisse's huge damage numbers. You can activate Rage and push people into position, and set up Chain Grabs with Gutter, and still have the 4 influence on Gutter ready to do the actual Scything Blows. You can do it the other way round, and spend Gutter's activation setting up and generating momentum, and then spend Rage's influence on the payoff. You can also avoid allocating to a model that might die, then still use their playbook. Red Fury also extends Rage's threat range, by buying attacks on Benediction or Gutter to push players into Rage's path. It also lets you use Rage's heroic play on someone else, then use that buff on eight attacks, rather than the 4 attacks you'd cap out at with Tooled Up or similar on a Squaddie. Red Fury lets you sneak around most defensive effects in the game, either by pushing people around or by just spending your influence elsewhere if Rage can't reach engagement due to a counter attack, Unpredictable Movement or similar. Furious Furious is where Rage gets his efficiency. He gets to do a ton of personal work without taking all of his team's influence. This is huge because all the Union players do lots of work with influence themselves. Being able to fully stack three players with 4 influence is great - most other brawling teams, if they want their captain to have a full stack, get to fill up one other player at most, maybe with 1-2 spare to buff with. Furious is also a free sprint on turn one (unless you need to use Quick Time or something afterwards). On a model which can make four normal attacks, and has pushes and KD, it's pretty trivial to enable furious if you start engaging. If you're engaged but not able to immediately attack, you may need assistance from a friend like Benediction, but even then it's not the end of the world to just walk up to someone and beat them to death. Spending more than 1-2 influence to enable furious is a losing proposition - you're better off just making more attacks. Usurper It's a nice bonus, but doesn't affect how he plays at all. Don't try and single out Union models, just kill whoever you can reach. Rising Anger Rising Anger is handy for making Rage harder to control. Many control effects - such as Deadbolt - also apply damage, which means Rage gets the momentum to immediately clear the effect. It also means that in a straight brawl where both teams spend all their influence in a turn on beating down with damage, the Union are likely to win the momentum race. Be careful when Obulus hits you, since triggering Rising Anger and then taking the momentum with Rigor Mortis is a common plan, but there isn't much you can do about it anyway. Rising Anger is also handy because a common solution to brawling captains is to put them on 1HP and then kill them at the start of the turn for a turn's safety from the fight - this still works on Rage, but you at least get to double up on the momentum bonus from Rising Anger, which helps you to recover. Bloody Coin / My Gang The damage buff. It's great. However, because you don't have access to Rage1, this is the only one you get, so use it well. Rage often wants to activate early in the turn to apply it, especially on his Legendary turn. You pretty much always want to be popping the heroic or legendary. If you're rolling an extra die, you're more likely to wrap, and if you do so just once it compensates you for the momentum you spend, since almost everyone (benny, rage, box, decimate, gutter at least) has a momentous result on their first column. Often because you get eight buffed attacks, it's a better idea to charge with Rage and then heroic someone else engaging your target and have them attack instead. Note that this doesn't benefit character plays, so Scything Blow isn't affected - however, it's usually still worth it to heroic Gutter for the extra die, and additional damage when wrapping / if you don't want to take Scything Blow or you need the healing from Life Drinker. On Rage's legendary turn you usually want to be spending as much of your influence as possible on damage, preferably momentous - even Hemlocke and Mist can beat down reasonably under My Gang, though. Sometimes you want to Legendary to avoid having to spend momentum, even if you don't have more than one model to affect, but only do that if you have to. Note that My Gang is an Aura while Bloody Coin is a one shot effect - sometimes it's a good idea to use Bloody Coin on someone even while My Gang is up, since that way they keep the buff if they move more than 6" from Rage, or Rage is taken out. It's only the attacking model that needs to be within 6" of Rage to benefit from My Gang - the enemy model, and the friendly engaging model, can be wherever you like. The Stats / Raw Numbers Rage's movement stats aren't great. He only has an 8" threat range unless he spends influence on Quick Time, which you don't want to do. This is why Red Fury is so big, and one reason why it's so effective to let the enemy come to you (or force them to with Hemlocke). Get Back In There is also fantastic on Rage, since it means that rather than moving 5" and then threatening 8" for a measly total of 13" from the pitch edge, he goes a much more respectable 17" - that's in line with Fillet on an unbuffed respawn. His defensive stats are pretty solid - not enough to survive a sustained fight (then again, if he's under attack you probably want him dead so you can come back on and charge) but enough to live through a single activation attack unless he's somewhere hugely dangerous. Rage (and the rest of the Union) are also somewhat more durable than they seem, simply because the team generates a large amount of momentum very easily which means you often have enough spare to heal your players pretty happily. Rage's Kick stats are pretty bad, though - usually you want other models to be doing the kicking. He doesn't disengage super well and often is in the middle of the scrum, so this isn't a huge issue - but if you're planning on dodging someone up in turn one, have Gutter or someone pass to them rather than Rage if you really need that teamwork action to go off successfully. Conclusion And that's it! In my opinion Rage's toolbox is one of the deepest and most interesting in the game, and he does a ton for his team while not demanding a huge amount from them. He's great fun to play and always has options and tools for any situation. Where most captains would have a few options - attack, use a play, maybe reposition - Rage has many at any moment because of the raw potential of Red Fury, and it's great to do and very satisfying. If you haven't tried Rage out, give him a shot, because he's honestly awesome. - Henry
  3. 13 points

    Tactics for the Brewers Guild

    In tandem with @Makoexcellent beginner player rundowns, this is a post for beginner tactics for the Brewers Guild to improve our new player resources. It is not intended to be a bible nor do I propose this is the only way to play Brewers. Please feel free to suggest your own tactics that would be useful to a beginner here. I will outline a few strategies I have played myself which may or may not be helpful. Together we will try to make this a useful guide for beginner players - remember this is not designed for the 'expert' or top-level play. Play style The Brewers play style lends itself towards beatdown scrums with sudden break away goals – think a rugby team in effect. They are quite durable, have low KDs in their playbooks and want to get into a fight. However they are not dumb brawlers and have a few tricks in their Character Plays and Heroics. Indeed they have more Heroics than any other Guild. So accumulating Momentum causes the Guild to Power Up and become even stronger. They aren’t Butchers and are often not easily rewarded for causing DMG, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t and indeed many models are quite capable DMG dealers, with many ways in-Guild to boost DMG. So Brewers are a balancing act between doing what the Crowd wants and doing what is most efficient to win the game. TIP: This guide will not discuss Union players. Partly because the minor guild will take these away, partly because this is a beginner guide. 1: Team Selection Brewers are in the middle of a Guild power struggle between their two captains – Tapper and Esters. These captains are quite different and you may find that your natural playstyle favours one over the other, or that one works better into certain guilds. It is recommended that you try both. Captain Tapper Tapper as a captain likes to pick a zone on the pitch and make it a Danger Zone for enemy models to linger in. He is happy punching faces, supporting his team through Character Plays and just being hard to kill. His simplest function will be as an effective beatstick but he is capable of much more. Tapper is not especially fast (a trade mark of the Guild) but his 2” melee is extremely useful for attacking players and avoiding counters, or circumventing special abilities such as Unpredictable Movement. He has pretty standard captain stats – a little low on defence but he also possesses Tough Hide which can make him surprisingly durable and one of the harder captains to take out. Throwing Tapper into the enemy unsupported isn’t his greatest strength, but Tapper can last quite a long time. TIP: If Scum starts within 4” you can allocate a 6th INF to Tapper. You won’t always want Tapper to run hot like this, but it can be very useful on a beat down turn. Tapper – The Commanding Aura King One of Tapper’s signature abilities is his Character Play Commanding Aura. This Aura is simple enough – any friendly Guild models gain +1 TAC and +1 DMG to playbook DMG results (ie NOT Character Plays that do DMG). Tapper should ALWAYS have this up – even if he isn’t right next to enemies (as they might come to you). There are two ways he can activate Commanding Aura – hard cast it for 2 INF or try to trigger it in melee. TIP: The only time it is not worth casting Commanding Aura is if the opponent is deliberately avoiding a scrum and attempting to ‘run the wings’. In this case, try to get Tapper closer to his key models and threaten them next turn. TIP: Commanding Aura only requires that friendlies be within 4” – this can extend the threat of it much further. His slow Jog speed of 4” means that unless an enemy is within 6”, you likely going to have to charge your target until the lines clash. Once they do, Tapper will probably last long enough that you won’t have to worry about this speed issue. When Tapper’s charge hits, if you are lucky you should end up with 4 successes – ALWAYS pick Commanding Aura unless a severe risk on the counter attack. With Command Aura up, Tapper’s TAC and DMG goes up substantially. TIP: Commanding Aura is sometimes worth casting first before Tapper moves because the +1 TAC and +1 DMG are rewarded not only on the rest of his INF but also his team mates. Tapper wants Commanding Aura up one way or another. If you can walk to your enemy, or they are high DEF, always hard cast it. TIP: Spigot’s Time’s Called is essential for Brewers as it mitigates their greatest weakness – speed. Putting up Time’s Called increases Tapper’s threat range substantially and can allow him to walk into melee, increasing the number of swings he can make. Also the Brewers are FULL of pushes – use these to push enemies into Tapper’s threat range. If you had to KD (because you missed 4 successes or they threatened some sort of disengaging counter attack), spend 2 to cast Command Aura (see above). Once Tapper has charged if he didn’t KD, his subsequent attack should be to KD. From then on you have a choice but hopefully you are hitting his MOM 3 DMG (actually 4 DMG now under the Aura) or if you miss it, you can try 3 non-momentous DMG or a momentous Push. TIP: Try to end Tapper’s activation with at least 2 momentum (preferably more) – you will want to fire Old Jakes as it increases your INF which is very powerful. Your other players can also each benefit from their Heroic Plays, especially Spigot with Time’s Called. Once Commanding Aura is up, Tapper can concentrate on DMGing models and while he is alive, the enemy models near him are extremely vulnerable to Take Outs. This may focus your opponent on Tapper – but he is tough enough to take several hits and while not KD, you should heal him. TIP: The point of Commanding Aura is to make all your friendly Brewer players much deadlier in melee. Given that they already have more TAC than columns, Commanding Aura boosts this effect even more. #Winning! TIP: Tapper should consider KD multiple enemy models instead of doing DMG himself. This is to setup a No Win Scenario for the opponent who risks whomever is left on the floor getting annihilated by Hooper or Spigot. Tapper isn’t just a beat stick. He has two other essential attributes – Marked Target and Old Jakes. Tapper can trigger Marked Target very easily in melee and should always do so if it will make the difference between a wasted activation by another player and them connecting. He can also risk firing it off at RNG to allow a teammate to attack a target. TIP: If triggered in melee it AUTOMATICALLY hits whichever target you pick – which does not need to be the model you hit in melee. TIP: Tapper can use this play on Turn 1 to sometimes put Hooper (or another Guild model) in range to charge an enemy model. Old Jakes is a way to convert momentum into INF. INF is power and having more of it is extremely good. To maximise this you need unactivated models within 6” – in a scrum this won’t be a problem but if the enemy spread out you will have to be careful with Tapper’s positioning. Because Old Jakes is ALLOCATE not GAIN, you cannot put INF onto models that would take them above their maximum INF. This means you need to think ahead a little when allocating at the start of the turn – who is going to benefit from Old Jakes. TIP: Aside about Allocate and Gain. Allocate is a game term and means you cannot exceed maximum INF. Gain is a separate term and does allow exceeding maximum INF. TIP: To help make Old Jakes easier to use, consider having Scum hang around near Tapper or where Tapper will be going. Scum is a surprisingly good attacking model and when charging can benefit from wrapping its playbook – especially under Commanding Aura. Scum charging a model Tapper is engaging under Commanding Aura is rolling 9 dice and against models Tapper has KD, can often score 6+ DMG momentously. Scum can also just wander up to attack twice for similar effect – try to work out the probabilities on what is best. Lastly, whilst Tapper is no footballer, he can strip balls effectively with easy KD and T on 3 columns (which against Commanding Aura helps). He usually won’t be in a position to score (unless you have aggressively pushed the enemy back to their goal), but he can KD engaged models easily enough and then pass the ball out to Friday or Spigot or Scum (as Scum will probably be hanging around). Don’t be afraid to Pass N Go the receiving model 4” to safety. TIP: A word on pushes. Brewers have access to A LOT of pushes. While these are less glamorous than DMG, they can be much more useful. Being able to move enemy models is very effective. Some uses include 1. Pushing enemy models out of cover 2. Pushing enemy models out of their melee zone so they have to move to engage 3. Pushing models into Ganging Up zones 4. Pick Pushes on Counter Attacks to disengage enemy models TIP: Remember that Pushes are combined into one push that must be in the same direction – you cannot change direction mid-push. So > & >> is a 3” Push in one straight direction. Don’t move a model around your base for example as you cannot bend a push like this. Do not be afraid to pick a momentous push over DMG if there is a clear gain from it. Suggested Beginner Team Selection Tapper’s Lock In Crew: Tapper (C), Scum, Spigot1, Friday, Hooper, Stave TIP: This line up is the Kick Off box set. This box is strongly recommended to new players as a cost effective way to start Guild Ball providing two teams, a pitch and all the gubbins you need to play. TIP: Brewers are very versatile and I will discuss substitutions to the list below. TIP: Stave is in the Kick Off set hence I have included him as a starter recommendation. He is somewhat divisive in the Brewer community so consider subbing him out. However he does have a few tricks. Captain Esters Esters is different to Tapper in that she is a support captain that can mix it up in melee. She is even slower than Tapper and only has 1” melee but she has a lot of tricks to her and her chief strength is her versatility. Esters can be given no INF and still really help her team or she can be loaded up and go to town on the enemy. Esters is slow, low captain TAC and is easy to hit. But ignore her raw stats as her magic is everywhere else on her card. The core of Esters is her ability Empowered Voice. This lets her pick one model within 6”, including herself, to gain either +2” MOV, +1 DMG to melee attacks or +1 DEF. This is a free ability and the key to using Esters is knowing when to activate her to put this out. Her Legendary ability is she can do Empowered Voice 3 times – including on the same target. TIP: Empowered Voice does NOT stack – if you pick the same model to gain the bonuses they must be separate bonuses so SPD and DEF for example. You cannot have x3 SPD on the same model. You CAN pick the same bonus for DIFFERENT models. Esters the Beat Stick Because of Empowered Voice (and her Legendary), Esters can make a surprisingly good beat stick. The +1 DMG combined with her short playbook and low DMG results mean she can reliably hit 3 DMG a hit, which if she can walk into melee (which her Legendary can help with) means 15 DMG and a taken out model. This isn’t momentous but removing a key piece, or depriving your opponent of INF can be crucial. Her access to KD means she can boost her chances to make these attacks hit. TIP: Her Legendary (It’s Not Over) can allow Esters to boost her SPD and DMG (and her DEF if you are worried about retaliation). This can allow Esters to walk into melee and attack or charge a model 9” away. TIP: Consider casting Tooled Up on Esters from Spigot1. This combine with her +1 DMG boost cranks her DMG to frightening levels. TIP: Esters has Gluttonous Mass which means she can ignore counter attacks and pick DMG results over KD if she wants. However consider picking KD anyway, partly to boost her accuracy and partly to maintain her Gluttonous Mass shield for as long as possible. This will help her survive subsequent attacks. TIP: Gluttonous Mass does NOT work against Parting Blows – be careful with these and usually try to KD a model engaging you or attack that model over risking a Parting Blow that could KD Esters. TIP: Gluttonous Mass does NOT work against AOEs – these do not TARGET Esters and so do not trigger Gluttonous Mass. TIP: Esters has easy access to Pushes – use these to move enemy models out of cover, push them into Ganging Up zones etc. Esters the Support The other half of Esters play style is her Character plays & using Empowered Voice to boost her team. Her Character plays ensure that if INF is put on her it is rarely wasted. TIP: Try to always put 0,2,4, or 5 INF on Esters as she rarely needs to run to hit someone with her Blasted Earth play. Blasted Earth is a 10” RNG AOE that does 2 DMG and puts Rough Ground down. Use this to slow enemy models down and rain death on them from a far. Fire Blast is a once per turn AOE that also does 2 DMG and sets the targets Burning. This combined with Blasted Earth can really slow models down (-4” MOV) so use it to control the enemy if you are not yet engaged. TIP: Use the threat of Tooled Up Blasted Earth bombardment to bring the opponent closer to you for a melee whooping. This can force an enemy that would rather hang back to close the gap. TIP: Consider casting Tooled Up from Spigot1 onto Esters as Tooled Up boosts the DMG of her RNG plays. TIP: Empowered Voice DOES NOT boost the DMG of her RNG plays. Ester’s Heroic is a nice 3” bubble of condition removal – very useful against teams that put out multiple effects such as Alchemists and Hunters. TIP: Soothing Voice can be cast when Esters is Knocked Down. So rather than clear conditions, use this. If she is subsequently KD, she can still use Momentum to clear conditions like a normal player. This means Esters can tank multiple KD attacks as long as she has Momentum. By using Soothing Voice to clear KD it gives you the option to Heal instead of clearing KD with momentum. Esters can use Empowered Voice for free and if she herself is not doing any heavy lifting, she should consider which friendly model will benefit. Examples include: 1. Putting +1 DEF on Friday. Friday within 4” of Spigot goes to 5+ DEF and this takes her to 6+. With her 1 ARM, this can make her almost untouchable and a great place to kill the ball. 2. Putting +1 DMG on Hooper. Combined with Esters KD, Hooper can then activate and go in with +2 DMG buff. 3. Putting +1 DMG on Spigot1. If Esters or an ally can KD a model, Spigot1 has a good chance to wrap as he rolls 7 Dice with only 4 columns on his playbook. This can lead to wrap DMG which can be huge. 4. +1 DMG to Stoker. Stoker can also buff his DMG by his Heroic (or by Esters setting targets on fire for him via Fire Blast) and can start hitting with a +2 DMG buff. 5. +1 DMG to Pintpot – his ability to attack 5 times makes an efficient target for this buff 6. +2” MOV to Friday. This increases her goal threat to 20”, 22” if she uses her Heroic. This can make for a Turn 1 goal if desired. 7. +2” MOV to Mash. Mash is slow, this fixes this, allowing him to get close to the enemy goal and become a great Snap Shot turret. There may well be more – Esters’s ability is very versatile and if she Legendaries, you can concentrate or spread out the buffs as required. Suggested Beginner Team Selection: Sing When You’re Winning: Esters (C), Quaff, Mash, Spigot1, Friday, Pintpot TIP: There are many good models with Esters as she can boost any model to be even better. I have picked these as the easiest for beginners to play with – there are more esoteric line ups you can experiment with (see below). 2: Kick/Receive Brewers are a little slow and this can limit some of their first turn game. However they have some tricks to get around this. Possible Kicking Strategies Tapper The Scum Catapult There is an excellent video on this here by Vincent Curkov ( @TheCurkov ): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXoes28FiJo&t=229s TIP: I strongly recommend you watch his videos and subscribe to his channel – his fast forwards through games allows you to quickly digest tactics in 20 minutes. His comments are insightful and I recommend the Strictly The Worst podcast if you would like to improve your competitive game. http://strictlytheworst.libsyn.com/ TIP: I will never call this the Pat Cat. In short you kick off with Tapper, use Friday to pull Scum up, launch Scum into an enemy model, generate momentum, push an enemy closer to Tapper, activate Time’s Called and propel Tapper into the enemy for a whooping. Kick Off Pressure Friday can provide pretty good Kick Off Pressure. As long as she moves up such that she is still within 4” of Spigot, she is very hard for the opponent to deal with and with Shadow Like her threat range is 11”, which means she has about 16” (5” up field, 2” Shadow Like, 8” Charge, 1” melee). She can Momentously Tackle on a 1, and potentially score a goal. Mark The Target Kick off with Hooper, move up with Tapper and throw out a Marked Target on an activated model, charge Hooper into said model. The Barrel Lob Kick off with Stave, wait a few activations, then activate Stave, move up as required such that you lob a barrel with the centre behind the centre of the target model. If you hit, the target model is KD and pushed 4” towards your team. Pounce on this model with Tapper and Hooper. The results should be messy. Esters Kick Off Pressure This works the same as above but with Empowered Voice Friday has an extremely long threat range. How many Pints Can you Pot Kick Off with PintPot. Empower his MOV. He now has 10” of threat. Coupled with his 5” Kick Off, that’s 15”. Tool Up from Spigot for added fun. Apply Bag of Quaffers as well. This should allow him to activate last, hit the enemy and using 3 beer tokens generate up to 4 Momentum and do a lot of DMG. Also consider Smashing Face if opponent has left models too close together. TIP: Combine this with Esters bombardment below to potentially take a model off the board Turn 1. Esters Bombardment Kick off with Esters. Tool her up. Activate her and drop Blasted Earths on the opponent for 6 DMG to potentially multiple models. This doesn’t help with momentum but can disrupt enemy gameplan. Also consider using Fire Blast for Burning. TIP: You can do this with Esters while doing another Kick Off (such as Friday Pressure) because Esters can run 6” and throw her Blasted Earths at targets 11.5” away (width of the AOE). With 17.5”, you are quite likely to hit something. Possible Receiving Strategies Tapper and Esters First Turn Goal Pass the ball around, ending it up on Friday, Pass N Move Friday 4”, then with Shadow Like and a sprint she has a grand total of 22” of goal threat (24” if spare momentum for I Shoot Better) from 4” dodge, 2” Shadow Like, 8” Sprint, 8” KICK. Esters can boost this to 24/26”. Tapper Aggressive Option Use Momentous Teamwork action to dodge your team forward to strike e.g. Tapper up the field to hit things. This is accomplished by Pass N Move and Give N Go. Try to ensure the ball ends up on Friday. Make sure you Tool Up Tapper or Hooper first. TIP: While fun this can lead to over extension and hurt your team in the long run. It is recommended only against teams that do not want to engage you in melee such as Fishermen or Engineers – do not try this against beatdown teams unless confident you are controlling the engagement! Patient Approach The Brewers work best when they stick together and they really benefit from momentum. This means that even when you have the ball, patiently repositioning can be worth more. Move your Brewers up in a blob, passing the ball around and wait for the enemy to come to you. Keep the ball on Friday near Spigot or on Scum on a wing to avoid them getting a goal from their Kick off model. Look to strike on Turn 2 rather than Turn 1 with all your Brewers together. With Friday having the ball, she can threaten a goal at any point – make sure she has at least 2 INF OR use Old Jakes to allocate it to her. TIP: This approach works best into beatdown teams as you can set the terms of engagement and ensure all Brewers can support each other. Patience is rewarded less against teams that won’t scrum with you. Esters Patient Approach Because Esters is slower than Tapper, and she benefits even more from moving as a block, it is suggested you play the patient approach as above. You can leap Esters forward, but she is not as durable as Tapper and will get dogpiled on. Instead use her RNG plays to attack the enemy forcing them to come to you while you hide the ball on Friday ready for her 24” goal if required. Turn 2 you should be able to control the engagement. 3: Tapper’s Lock In Crew Strategies This team works around Tapper – his Commanding Aura, melee skills and durability combined with his extra INF generation. Brewers work best when working together and this crew wants to follow Tapper around. Tapper should pick a point on the pitch and declare it as the point about the scrum will happen on the Brewer’s terms. Tapper will usually lead the turn, putting up Commanding Aura, dishing out extra INF and KD enemy targets and applying DMG. The key with Tapper is to create a danger zone around him that the enemy will not want to stay in, while locking them there by Tapper’s 2” melee and easy KD. Once Tapper has primed his area of the pitch, the rest of the Brewers can roll in and start taking out models. Scum Scum is going to spend a lot of the game hanging around Tapper. This is because not only does it increase Tapper’s maximum INF cap, it is also a perfect target for Old Jakes, and when attacking models within Commanding Aura extremely dangerous. TIP: Scum’s DMG potential increases substantially with each extra Gang Up or KD on the target. If you can wait and set this up, Scum can often take models out at the end of the turn. Scum’s other role will be to skulk to the wings killing the ball from aggressive football teams. Unpredictable movement can make it hard to tackle and 5+ DEF will cause trouble for even dedicated strikers. Pushing Scum out wide weakens Tapper but can be worth it to give Brewers the time to get the smackdown machine going. TIP: Don’t forget Scum’s Character Play of Hamstring – crippling MOV can be essential in the game to stopping goals which might be better than simple DMG. Try this against models such as Shark to piss them off. Follow up with Hooper’s Smashed Shins and laugh maniacally. Spigot Spigot is incredible. He offers so much to the team that unfortunately he eclipses his Veteran version – who is a great player but just not as great as original Spigot. Spigot’s stats are unremarkable except that his KICK stat is really 4/7”. The other important fact is that Spigot has a 2/4 INF stat rather than the common Brewer 2/3 stat. Spigot can do many things for a team. Firstly, he is a straight up murder machine even though he doesn’t look it. Able to take 4 INF and having a very short playbook, if Spigot can get the target KD (and he only needs 3 successes to do it himself) then he gets 7 Dice to attack with a 4 long playbook. This means he is likely to wrap and if under Commanding Aura, dishing out insane DMG. Spigot can straight up take models off the table – even better than Tapper or Hooper. When not murdering players Spigot is providing extremely powerful buffs to his fellow Brewers in the shape of Tooled Up for +1 DMG and his Heroic Time’s Called. Time’s Called is fantastic in Brewers, who are otherwise quite slow. Unless you are fighting in a dense scrum in one area, Time’s Called can allow models to walk to engage the enemy – leaving more INF for attacks, or boost Friday’s goal run, or counter act enemy movement debuffs. TIP: Scum and Hooper are great targets for Tooled Up as Scum can wrap very easily and Hooper can gain 7 TAC quite easily and benefits from his own +1 DMG. Tapper also would benefit given his higher INF stat, but usually you will want Tapper to go first. TIP: Uniquely, Spigot actually benefits from casting Tooled Up on himself because if he is wrapping the Tooled Up DMG actually adds up to more DMG than a normal wrap. Since Spigot should be wrapping, consider self-casting Tooled Up if not able to reach Commanding Aura. Spigot is not finished in his awesomeness. He also is one of the best ball strippers in the game with Ball’s Gone – a way to Tackle the ball and immediately dump it off to prevent counter tackles. Remembering Spigot’s 4/7” KICK, even though he would suffer a -1 Dice penalty because engaged, he is still very accurate. He can be an effective Snap Shot turret with his KICK stat and even act as a striker himself with an easy Tackle and reasonable MOV (which he can boost). TIP: Ball’s Gone circumvents Close Control (because you are not Tackling the ball) – making it very effective into teams that are hard to Tackle from. Further his +1/+1” Kick Aura stretches out 4” from him and makes his whole team much better at passing the ball around – even Hooper can reliably kick it about. This can be very useful on Turn 1 to generate momentum from passing the ball around. And lastly, he grants +1 DEF to Friday. Spigot is an amazing player, one of the best in Guildball and needs to be protected because while he is on the pitch, Brewers are cranked up to 11. Don’t run him in the first wave – use Hooper and Tapper to tie up enemy models and take the hits with their Tough Hide. Hooper Hooper is a beatstick but has a little more going for him than just hitting people. Hooper’s secret weapon is True Grit – not only does it remove conditions (such as KD) it also grants +2 TAC. This takes his TAC to 7 on a 5 long playbook, allowing effective chances to wrap. TIP: Always remember to activate True Grit at the start of Hooper’s activation assuming he is going to strike enemies - even if you have no conditions on Hooper – the +2 TAC is a fantastic buff. TIP: True Grit lasts the rest of the turn – making Hooper dangerous on Counter Attacks. TIP: Heroic Plays can be used even when KD (unlike Character Plays). This means Hooper should always be using True Grit to remove KD. If he gets KD again, he can clear it again, or just spend the momentum to heal. Hooper gains a DMG buff against KD models – and should try to attack KD models or KD them himself. Not only does it improve his accuracy, it gives you the option of picking 3 DMG on 2 hits or 4 DMG on 5. However Hooper is not the best DMG dealer in Brewers because of his slow MOV and maximum 3 INF. Hooper is more a finisher – particularly enemy models in Tapper’s Commanding Aura still on the floor. These models are in Take Out City. Hooper isn’t just his stick – he has two Character Plays that can also help Brewers swing the tide. The first is Tough Skin – a simple +1 ARM boost, this can help keep vulnerable players such as Spigot alive. However consider casting this on Friday. A 5+/2 model (because Friday is likely to be near Spigot) is basically impossible for most strikers to tackle. This can make an excellent Ball Killing model. TIP: As well as making Friday hard to Tackle, it can benefit her after she has made her goal run and is out of Spigot’s aura – a 4+/2 model is hard to put in the dirt. Hooper’s other play Smashed Shins can be very effective against those goal scoring teams. -4/-4” basically reduces all strikers to 1 dice kicks and while that can be circumvented by momentum, the -4” can stop goal runs, or at least force them to come closer to the Brewers to make the shot. Consider this play against super strikers such as Shark or Midas. Friday Friday is the Brewers most effective striker with a built in 18” goal threat that her Heroic takes to 20”. However she is more useful to Brewers than just a striker. She is good at tackling, and able to kick the ball into space after doing so to prevent enemy goal scoring teams going too fast. But her best talent is Dirty Knives. This Character play not only does DMG but also cripples DEF and Poisons the target. This can be very useful to apply a debuff that the opponent cannot remove. This allows Spigot and Hooper to maximise their long TACs vs playbooks. TIP: Dirty Knives can be cast in melee and is NOT OPT. While DMG or momentous dodges can be nice, consider loading up Friday and multi casting this in the scrum to not only put Poison everywhere but also cripple the DEF of the enemy team, setting multiple models up for doom. TIP: Try casting Dirty Knives at the end of the turn if no better target earlier in the turn – often players won’t be able to clear it (or risk going second) and you have just caused 3 DMG instead. TIP: Friday is a good target for Old Jakes as he can either walk into the Command Aura to try to get her Dirty Knives off, or hard cast Dirty Knives on a critical enemy model (such as a captain) to prime it for removal. TIP: Often forgotten, I Shoot Better grants Friday +1 DEF against Parting Blows. Use this when engaged base to base by a 2” melee model threatening a KD. TIP: Don’t forget to ‘Get Over Here’ Scum not only to boost her TAC (as Scum can dodge 6” towards the model Friday is engaging) but also to get Scum into position for Tapper, or to increase its threat range if you need momentum. TIP: Brewers can struggle with enemy goal keepers and Rush Goalie charges. Friday going to 10” KICK can help with this. Stave Ah Stave. Stave is a controversial figure. But let’s review his qualities. Firstly he has a high TAC – which means he can easily hit models in melee. His KD on 1 is also very good for ball stripping or weakening already activated models and setting them up for Hooper or Spigot. His signature move is Lob Barrel which is a ranged play AOE that allows him to KD multiple models and push them around. This is very powerful and should not be overlooked – ranged KD is very good in this game and this also has a Push. Use Stave to KD already activated models or provide threat extension for the rest of the team by separating enemy models and moving some closer. TIP: Consider moving enemy models back as well as towards your models – sometimes pushing key beatstick models back (such as Ox) can waste their INF or put their Auras in the wrong place. Stave however is extremely vulnerable. At 2+/0, he is going to be easy to hit and while Tough Hide will protect him for a while, he will gift the enemy a lot of momentum. Worse he can be used to throw lots of Character plays at your team. Keep Stave back as long as possible and bring him out towards the end of the turn. Using him for ganging up bonus and easy KD are useful to lock players – but he can be turned against you. TIP: Consider Stave as an Old Jakes target for 1 or 2 INF. 2 if you want that Lob Barrel, 1 if you just need an easy KD. 4: Sing When You’re Winning Strategies Esters team can still mix it up in melee but is more capable of scoring goals. Esters offers a lot more tactical flexibility than Tapper but at the cost of durability and 2” melee. This team wants to try and score as well as going for the beatdown route. Using Ester’s Empowered Voice on the team can really boost their function on the pitch. Esters will be moving around the middle of the pitch, throwing out AOEs and boosting/clearing conditions of her team mates. She can be given nothing and still contribute, or given 5 and go on a rampage. Try putting Tooled Up on her first to really hurt the enemy. Quaff Quaff differs markedly from Scum. While Scum wants to hurt things and is very quick and able to do so, Quaff is less likely to see combat. However do not think he isn’t useful in melee. Quaff has easy access to momentous Pushes and he should use these to push models a surprising distance. When Quaff charges he rolls 7 dice, and the chance he will wrap is extremely high. If he does so, you can often push models 3 or 4”. Use this to push enemy models that have activated closer to your team to take them out. For example – perhaps a model is hovering within 9” of Quaff but too far for Spigot or Esters to reach with a walk. Charge in Quaff, push the model 3”-4” closer generating plenty of momentum. These team members can then activate and walk into melee – saving INF for attacks. TIP: Quaff can use his ability to push wingers off the table. Charging in Quaff, you may be able to push an enemy model up to 4” – enough to push them off the table and score VP. Quaff also comes with a free bonus – Bag of Quaffers. A simple +1 TAC sounds weak, but in a faction that already has longer TAC than playbooks it can be amazing. This also synergises nicely with Loved Creature – consider exposing Quaff just to trigger this as in Brewers +1 TAC is excellent. TIP: Try putting Bag of Quaffers on Spigot as well as Empowered Voice +1 DMG to simulate Commanding Aura that Spigot can use anywhere. Friday and Spigot These two are running a similar role in this line-up as above but without Commanding Aura, Spigot is free to roam a bit more. Either use Spigot to Tool Up Pintpot (who benefits when making 5 attacks with his beer tokens) or Esters for her RNG or melee DMG. Or use Esters and Quaff to boost Spigot and go to town on models. Friday can be even faster with Esters as well as gaining a nice DEF buff. Consider using a DEF 6 Friday as a place to store the ball (Spigot Aura + Ester buff) against football teams. Mash Mash is a striker – but an unconventional one. It is unlikely you will score many break away goals with Mash as his goal threat is only 14”. However instead consider Mash a great Snap Shot turret. Try to get Mash within 8” of the goal, activate him to put up Super Shot and then any Brewer that passes the ball to him allows Mash to make a Snap Shot owing to Volley Threat. This can allow the Brewers to score surprisingly quickly – potentially twice in one turn. Since the effort to move Mash is often not worth it, this creates a dilemma for your opponent. TIP: Combine this with Spigot’s Ball’s Gone for sudden unexpected Brewer goals. Mash also has Unpredictable movement and is a 2” melee model. This means that almost every other model in the game moving into melee with him will allow him to move away. It can be circumvented by base to basing with 2” melee models or dodges, but otherwise it can be very useful to avoid melee – for example giving Mash the ball can make it very difficult for many Guilds to get the ball back, or enemies trying to move Mash away from their goal can have real trouble. Pintpot Pintpot is a little engine of destruction but he has a few tricks to him beyond hitting people. His odd INF stat is balanced by his Six Pack rule – he can behave like a captain for two turns or you can eke him out over longer – I usually favour explosive 5 INF turns. His playbook is designed for DMG but he can also move with it as one of the few Brewers with Dodges. As well as the normal pushes, he has the Brewer KD on 4, which with TAC 6 and some buffs or charging is not too hard for him to reach. TIP: Remember he has Rowdy – he never gets the benefit from friends nor the penalty from enemies. This can be confusing but what it means is that when he is attacking he always uses his straight TAC 6 unless he has a bonus from a Character play such as Commanding Aura. It does NOT affect enemy models making attacks on him. Rowdy can be useful but in the main it’s probably more of a weakness. His special ability – Six Pack – is where he shines. For a couple of turns he can churn out a phenomenal amount of attacks for free, making him very efficient. However he can also use those tokens to pay for Smashing Face or power up Come On Then! These will be situational but it is a very flexible ability. Experiment with Going Large on a turn to guage when it’s worth it. TIP: Because of the number of attacks, Pintpot is a great target for Tooled Up. His Heroic Play – Come on then! – is basically Gluttonous Mass – i.e it absorbs the first attack or character play that targets this model. This is a very powerful ability – being able to switch this on you can render counter attacks useless against him, or use it to defend him once he is stuck in. TIP: As stated, use Come On Then before you start attacking if you don’t want to risk the counter attack. TIP: Because of the shape of his playbook & Rowdy, he really wants to target KD models for an accuracy buff. Consider charging him in to hit that KD. TIP: Pintpot loves Bag of Quaffers to help him since he can’t use Ganging Up bonuses. TIP: Use Come On Then to protect Pintpot from Ranged plays. TIP: Always look for opportunities to put out Smashing Face Bleeding condition – but remember it can hit your players! 5: Other Players Above are some of the classic Brewer models but there are plenty more in the roster to consider slotting in to your line up depending on play style or opponent Guild. Lucky Lucky is player that can work for Masons or Brewers. His card looks odd but if it is a filled in playbook result it is momentous – it doesn’t have to be the right colour! He has pretty standard stats (perhaps higher than usual for Brewers) and while he doesn’t have a truncated playbook compared to his TAC, he has some great low down momentous results. Lucky works well with either captain – condition removal for Tapper or low DMG for Esters to easily boost. Raise the Stakes can be hard to use, and initially it is recommended only to use if Lucky would do nothing in a turn. It can be very powerful (enable Lucky to make a goal run for example) but it’s a double edged sword. TIP: Try Kicking with Lucky and combining with Raise the Stakes & Stack the Deck to get momentum from reaching melee to power up Time’s Called and potentially start attacking enemy models. TIP: Sleight of Hand is excellent and can be used on Lucky himself. Veteran Spigot (Spigot2) Poor Spigot2 – if Spigot1 wasn’t so useful to the team, Spigot2 would be selected more often. He is fast, very effective with the ball, combining Spigot1’s ball stripping with speed to strike home goals. Consider picking him if you want to run a much heavier goal scoring team – Esters can boost him even more. TIP: A Team with Esters, Spigot2, Friday, Mash can be a surprisingly good goal team – but it’s hard to play and moves away from the Brewer comfort zone. Stoker Stoker works well with either captain but Esters can help him shine by setting targets Burning and giving him a MOV boost. Stoker has an excellent counter attack, and is hard to hit owing to his armour. TIP: Consider ‘Going Loud’ with Stoker and dropping +1 DMG boosts on him from Spigot and Esters. Then at the start of his activation, activate Human Ball of Fire, move into base to base with an enemy and attack for a +3 DMG boost. On models already Ganged Up on, this can cause insane DMG. 6: Guild Weaknesses and Other Guilds The Brewer’s Guild has one primary weakness – speed. Not just MOV but in tempo – the guild usually needs to wind up to deploy its full effectiveness. When given the time to do so, Brewers can be frightening. However opponent’s will try to disrupt this wind up and also hit the MOV weakness. It is usually essential that the Brewers stay together – Don’t Split The Party! This doesn’t mean you can’t and sometimes you will have to – some opponent’s will ‘run the wing’ and you don’t have the raw MOV to reengage them if they do this. So sometimes you will need to position models such as Friday, Scum, Quaff, Hooper on the wings to try to force players back to the centre. The Brewers are also pretty vulnerable to character plays. Their low DEF meaning opponent’s may be able to control them more than other guilds. Blind is a particular nightmare for Brewers. If an opponent has a Blind bot, TAKE IT OUT ASAP. Brewers also have momentum issues – they want to spend it as fast as they generate it and if going for Take Outs, may not generate DMG momentum. This can make it harder for Brewers than for other Guilds to control the ‘momentum race’ for first turn activation. Try to force the opponent to ‘waste’ momentum on clearing KD condition and healing. Pepper them with Dirty Knives Poison to increase this. Brewers vs Condition Teams Teams such as Hunters and Alchemists will try to control Brewer MOV, and have multiple tools to do this effectively. Things to try in these sorts of matchups: 1. Lucky for condition removal and surprising speed from Raise the Stakes 2. Stave (to try to push enemy models to you – you’re getting hit by arrows anyway) 3. Pushing forward as best possible and waiting for Turn 2 and using that momentum to activate Time’s Called. 4. Esters to boost MOV on 3 models via Legendary 5. Esters to fire back at opponent’s weakest models forcing them to rethink their strategy 6. Hooper for True Grit 7. Stoker for Magical Brew and ranged DMG 8. Scum Catapult to get the momentum train going to clear conditions Tapper is probably not recommended into these teams unless you can clear control on him by some means. While Stacking Esters with 5 INF is hard to control, Tapper can be shutdown. Brewers vs Scoring Teams Brewers are slow, scoring teams are FAST. This is bad. The Brewer player needs to gain control of tempo fast (tempo = who’s in charge of the game). Some ways to do this – KILL THE BALL on Friday/Mash/Scum. This can mean running it into a corner (in front of your goal line – you need Momentum!), putting it on a high DEF model, etc. Once the ball is out of play, the scoring team has to work harder to get it back into play – meanwhile cripple and take out their strikers. Maintain tempo, and score to close out the game. With Knee Slider gone, scoring goals is now a risk – Brewers should be able to capitalise on this to punish foolish strikers. TIP: As mentioned above, Brewers have Character Plays that can screw up Strikers – consider these over raw DMG.
  4. 13 points

    Best and worst pairings Smoke/Midas

    The Alchemist pairings as I see them are as follows. Worst: Farmers with Grace Grace is essentially the hardest counter to Smoke in the entire game and until they give us a player that can throw both types of AOE it will continue to be this way. She picks up the fire AOE right after the model that placed it activates and then quick foots the most dangerous model on their team. Farmers are the worst due to the constant healing of harrow that can counteract the poison condition. Farmers also have some of the largest HP pools in the game so waiting for them to bleed out to conditions takes the longest. The reason this falls into our worst matchup is that the team is well set up to deal with Katalyst. Counter charge and Millstone's aura means that they can control where Katalyst attacks and end his activation prematurely with well-timed counter-attacks. Furthur controlling Kat is their easy access to knockdowns preventing him from coming into them while on fire. The best thing going for us in this matchup is the fact that they don't control the ball particularly well allowing us to play an all in goals plan. The downside here is our guild is not great at the 3-0 plan. Pretty Bad: Union with Grace This is bad for similar reasons. The main thing here is that without counter charge your Midas list has more control over when and where you get them and they don't control kat that well. However, they do kill him very well. Skill-based: Alchemists, Brewers, Engineers, Hunters Obviously, the Alchemist mirror is a straight 50/50. Brewers, Engineers, and Hunters are here because they have the ability to shoot back at you, have control elements, and/or tough hide. Typically the better player wins these games. Advantaged: Blacksmiths, Farmers without Grace, Fisherman, Morticians, Union without Grace Blacksmiths are a guild all about insane turn 1 pressure and the ability to ride a lead all the way to the finish line. Smoke is very good at denying turn 1 pressure this combined with the fact that apprentices have below average health gives Smoke a leg up here. Morticians also struggle into Smoke due to the fact that they have the lowest health pools in the entire game. The fisherman matchup should largely be about how well you can kill the ball vs shark. If they drop corsair into you hide your entire team behind a wall and throw bombs on them till they die. This works because Lure and Drag cannot move models over an obstruction and Corsair is pretty bad without access to lure and drag. Farmers and Union lean on grace really hard to deny your control and if they leave it at home they have the same issues as everyone else. Heavily advantaged: Butchers, Masons, Ratcatchers The Alchemist's Guild is an absolute nightmare for Butchers. Filet has very few ways to deal with Compound and Ox should never be able to get to you. Masons have a ton of really interesting ways to counter smoke but all of them look better than they actually are and can be played around fairly easily. Smelling salts only works if you have the last activation then the first activation otherwise smoke just puts the conditions back on or Calculus blinds the model coming into your lines. Lucky can be countered by holding the fire AOE until late. The biggest tool they have is the vet harmony aura that absorbs damage. If they use it to prevent a witness me it can invite disaster. You will need to put pressure on her life total. Ratcatchers will suffer from condition control super hard due to the nature of disease. They can play the ball against you but their ability to get it back from you is severely worse than the Fish. Like it or not a competitive Alchemist player's mindset needs to be "I am a Smoke main with a pocket Midas for her bad matchups."
  5. 11 points

    Tactics for the Masons Guild

    Last Updated 09/04/18 In tandem with @Mako excellent beginner player rundowns, this is a post for beginner tactics for the Masons Guild to improve our new player resources. It is not intended to be a bible nor do I propose this is the only way to play Masons. Please feel free to suggest your own tactics that would be useful to a beginner here. I will outline a few strategies I have played myself which may or may not be helpful. Together we will try to make this a useful guide for beginner players - remember this is not designed for the 'expert' or top-level play. Play style The cornerstone (see that’s a Masons pun…) of the Masons play is versatility. Not only in their team roster before the game but on the pitch they can switch playstyles between beatdown and goal scoring depending on the situation. This makes Masons one of the most adaptable teams when playing against multiple different Guilds. They are the all-rounders – they can fight and they can move the ball. They like to synergise with each other and are stronger than the some of their parts – but even individually they are still strong. Masons pay for this versatility in two ways. Firstly they have lower DEF (but higher ARM) than other teams so they are vulnerable to Character Plays. Secondly, they have low column momentum playbooks. What this means is that only their first few results are momentous but the end of their playbook is not momentous. This often leads to a Masons dilemma – if you roll big do you grab momentum or go for the big result. TIP: This guide will not discuss Union players. Partly because the minor guild will take these away, partly because this is a beginner guide. 1: Team Selection When picking a Masons team, the choice of team will often be decided by the captain choice. This is because each captain naturally brings a different synergy to certain players and because Masons thrive on these synergies, the captain starts the appropriate chain. Of course this is not prescriptive – you should try out different team setups, but when beginning you may want to be aware of these synergy loops. Captain Honour Honour is a perfect example of Masons playstyle – a very versatile model that both supports her team and can be loaded up to taken on the opposition herself. She has good stats and even her defence is surprisingly good – 3+/2 can make her hard to put in the dirt. She is limited by her 1” melee zone, so be aware of this. Her simplest character trait is Poised so anyone engaging her within 1” and not Knocking Her down is likely to see her dance away for free on the Counter Attack. Her playbook is very good – Tackle on 1 means she can strip balls effortlessly. Low 2 DMG is also excellent if you want to switch her up to beatdown (see below). She also has plenty of repositions very low down - << on 2 (with DMG!) or >< on 3. She is very slippery and can bounce around enemy models when required. This plays into her Poised trait allowing her counter attacks to be particularly good at disengaging. As befits a Mason the high end playbook is not momentous, but with 3 and 4 DMG in there along with KD, she can trigger some powerful results if she gets the successes. TIP: Honours KD is very high and difficult for her to trigger. Be careful when charging enemy models with low down 2” repositions – Honour CAN get back into melee if they counter attack but it is very expensive in INF. Consider adding in debuffs like Weak Point or Singled Out to enemy targets to help her hit these. Her Character Plays are all about supporting her team or getting Honour out of a Jam. Quick Time allows her to extend the threat range of either herself or another critical model. It’s also a dodge so can be useful against certain enemy models with special movement Character Traits. TIP: Quick Time can be used on Honour if her target disengages through a Counter Attack. It can also be used to circumvent Unpredictable Movement and Rush Goalie. TIP: Quick Time can also be used to extend threat ranges, and not just for Honour. Consider it for models looking for goal runs like Flint or Harmony. Superior Strategy is such a versatile play that it is discussed below. Suffice it to say that it is rare she will cast this on herself but she can do so if it would help her score or move into a better position. Her two team Character Traits are Linked [Harmony] and Assist [Marbles] and these demonstrate not only a preference in Team Selection but also how the Masons work together. Linked is a special trait here as Honour is a Captain and thus the bond can be extremely powerful – it is discussed below. Assist is more straight forward – you want Marbles to be engaging models for Honour to walk over and remove from the pitch. This is also discussed below. Her Legendary is also versatile and powerful – adding ARM or INF is an incredible ability (and 6” is a wide area) but when in doubt, usually INF is the better choice. TIP: Aside about Allocate and Gain. Allocate is a game term and means you cannot exceed maximum INF. Gain is a separate term and does allow exceeding maximum INF. TIP: While Superior Strategy is Allocate (and thus cannot exceed max INF), Topping Out is GAIN and so CAN exceed max INF. TIP: Topping Out affects Honour as well – this can give her a 7th INF to spend hitting/shooting etc. Honour the Beatstick If you want to, Honour makes a very effective beatdown model. With a stack of 6 INF, good speed and low 2 DMG, Honour can do a lot of DMG. However she is even better if supported by her team. Marbles gives her +1 TAC and DMG, so with 7 TAC and +1 DMG she is extremely likely to be hitting 3 DMG a hit – not much is going to last against that. Tower can give her Tooled Up to also boost her DMG and these both Stack so she can start doing 4 DMG trivially – nothing in the game can take that for long. TIP: Consider moving Marbles as a last activation when you know you can likely go first with Honour – this way you can engage models setting them up for Honour and they likely can’t move away. TIP: Remember Topping Out gives Honour +1 INF, use this if you need one last attack to take a key model out. TIP: Remember that Honour is unlikely to KD her target - be careful of slippery enemies who will disengage from her. Honour can also Link into Harmony. This means that Harmony activates immediately before your opponent gets a response. As long as Harmony was within 8” of Honour she gets Honour’s TAC 6, which can allow her to continue a beatdown. This is extremely INF inefficient and only recommended on priority targets (e.g. Shark before he activates legendary/scores) or to ensure maximum use of the INF. A far better use is to try and score (see below). Harmony has 2 DMG on 3 which with Honour’s assist she can likely hit – it is worth triggering her Weak Point to help her hit this more reliably. TIP: To lessen the INF inefficiency of this, consider using Topping Out to at least boost the remaining INF left after these two activate. Honour the Striker When not beating face, Honour is very adept at scoring goals with or without Harmony. Firstly she can easily tackle any model. She can also dodge around models using her low <<. She also has access to Quick Time for a further 2”. This can extend her goal threat from beyond her basic 16” to much more. Look for opportunities to Dodge around like this towards the 6" Kick on goal range. However the real show is working with Harmony. After easily stripping a ball and getting to within 6” of Harmony (either by attacking for << or Quick Time), Honour can pass Harmony the ball and potentially Harmony can then jump 4” from Give N Go Momentous Teamwork. Then Honour can Link into Harmony immediately and Harmony can run and score. This can give a very long threat range for goal runs and doesn’t require a massive INF investment. TIP: Harmony has Acrobatic so measure out the goal run to see if the Give N Go is even required. TIP: Remember to try to keep Harmony still within 8" - 4 Dice KICK is much better than 2 Dice KICK! Honour as Support Lastly Honour can support her team. Topping Out is a fantastic support power and if you are looking to select INF, try to maximise the number of Mason players in range. 4+ Extra INF is a fantastic boost to the team for one turn. However pushing ARM to 2/3 on multiple models can reduce enemy counter assaults so it is worth weighing up whether you want to try to do more, or defensively protect your players. While Quick Time and Linked are great support plays the special one is Superior Strategy. Superior Strategy is hard to use after the first turn because of the cost but it has situational uses even then. But on Turn 1, Superior Strategy is extremely powerful as it unlocks a play often called The Mallet Missile. There is an excellent video on this here by Vincent Curkov ( @TheCurkov ): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAIXy4xs-OY TIP: I strongly recommend you watch his videos and subscribe to his channel – his fast forwards through games allows you to quickly digest tactics in 20 minutes. His comments are insightful and I recommend the Strictly The Worst podcast if you would like to improve your competitive game. http://strictlytheworst.libsyn.com/ The summary of this tactic is you put N-1 INF onto Mallet, cast Superior Strategy on him (which takes him to N maximum INF), move/run up the pitch on his first activation, whale on someone in his second activation. You can burn Topping Out to give him more INF but this is a waste and not recommended. In short, you can use Superior Strategy to not only give you last activation, but also extend the threat range of your team substantially and allow them to punch into the enemy to either DMG a target to hopefully capitalise on or score a goal. The beauty of Superior Strategy is that it allows you keep models safe before they attack and allows you last activation even when you receive the ball (as normally the kicker would have last activation). There are variants to the Mallet Missile (you don’t have to use Mallet) and you can choose goals over DMG. Suggested Beginner Team Selection Building Blocks: Honour (C), Marbles, Harmony, Brick, Mallet, Flint TIP: This line up is the Kick Off box set. This box is strongly recommended to new players as a cost effective way to start Guild Ball providing two teams, a pitch and all the gubbins you need to play. Captain Hammer While Hammer is the opposite in style to Honour he is still a Mason. Hammer leeches from his team to make himself better. As such he likes to play the Super Solo role of smashing people up or scoring goals (or both). He has a lot of tricks to him, but is also a little more predictable than Honour and less versatile. However he can be a scary dude and fun to play. TIP: Hammer’s secret weapon compared to Honour is his easy to hit KD. This makes him annoying to escape from on Parting Blows and he can disable annoying models that try to counter attack to dodge away. Hammer the Super Solo Hammer’s stats are not particularly remarkable other than his TAC and KICK distance. He has low DEF (although Tough Hide will keep him alive) and can only carry 5 INF and is surprisingly slow for a 1” model. However in his character plays you start to see where his power comes from. Hammer can steal INF from friendly models within 6” to boost his DMG, MOV and KICK. He can do all three but it will leave his team starved of INF so choose only what Hammer needs when he activates. TIP: Hammer can steal INF at any point during his activation so he can potentially move closer to a friend and take DMG or KICK (he cannot interrupt a move so MOV buff wont help). TIP: Hammer can over extend himself such that no friendlies are within 6” – this severely weakens him. Try to keep a friendly near him. Most of the time Hammer is likely to want to engage in beatdown Take Outs. With his own DMG buff and Tooled Up from Tower, he can start pulverising enemy models. Hammer will like to run with maximum INF every turn because he is all about himself. With 5 INF, he should see whether he needs the accuracy buff of KDing his target. If he does not, then 5 swings of 3 DMG should take most models out. If you can wait and Tool Him up, he should destroy most models. TIP: Hammer can take the MOV buff to allow him to walk into melee rather than wasting INF on charging and risking Defensive Stance. TIP: Hammer has Stoic. What this means is that he ignores the first push. Combined with his low momentous results, this means he can often ignore KD and Pushes on counter attacks and only be vulnerable to Dodges that might allow prey to escape. This can allow Hammer to avoid wasting INF on KD and just pick DMG, knowing an opponent cannot push him away or he can just burn Momentum to stand up. Hammer has Knockback (as do many Masons). Knockback has a variety of applications but here are some examples: 1. Allow Hammer to disengage a 1” melee model. For example, Hammer can Tackle and Push the model away 1” (Hammer also KDs so this will probably only be relevant to Sturdy models or when Hammer picks a DMG result). 2. Allow Hammer to ‘surf’ by pushing a model and then moving after them. This can allow Hammer to push further towards the enemy goal than might seem possible initially. 3. Burn through enemy Stoic. If Hammer selects a Push Playbook result, then this result burns Stoic and his Knockback will then fire and push the model. 4. Surf the model into Gang Ups with friendlies 5. Push enemy models off the pitch and earn VPs. TIP: Hammer can use his pushes to line up Knockback direction. This is because unlike other pushes on playbooks (which are combined into one single push in one direction), Knockback happens afterwards, so you can pick a Push Playbook result, then push the model, then fire Knockback and push the model again directly away. TIP: Remember that Knockback works on ANY successful attack. Hammer the Striker As well as pulverising the enemy, Hammer is good striker. This is because he is very good at ball stripping with a low T result, and can then surf to within 8” of the goal (see above) and score. Hammer is often able to do both – pulverise the model he tackled from (which is now Knocked Down), probably surfing and Taking them out and then with his last INF, take a shot. As long as he steals INF to boost his KICK to 3/8”, he is pretty reliable. This often leads to Hammer making 6 VP activations. TIP: Remember that you can use Momentum to boost the number of dice rolled by one, so Hammer can boost himself to 4/8” if required as he usually generates plenty of momentum. TIP: Hammer has a unique interaction with models with Close Control. Because his Tackle and KD are together, Close Control absorbs the Tackle but then the KD knocks the model down so the ball scatters. This can make it harder for Hammer to take it and score. Be careful around Close Control models and be aware of this effect. Hammer’s Support Hammer does not support his team at all except for his Legendary Play. This allows teammates when they activate within 6” of Hammer to take one of three benefits – MOV, DMG or KICK. This can be very flexible but it requires that Hammer be near his team – consider using it when a scrum develops, or when Hammer isn’t launching himself off into the enemy. Suggested Beginner Team Selection Iron Fist: Hammer (C), Wrecker, Mallet, Flint, Veteran Harmony, Tower 2: Kick/Receive The Masons are flexible about Kicking or Receiving, especially with Honour, but here are a few suggestions. Possible Kicking Strategies Hammer & Honour Flint Kick Off Pressure Flint threatens 13” from his KO position – which is virtually the entire enemy starting line. With an 8” KICK, he can probably Tackle and score from almost anywhere. Use this to threaten a sneaky first turn goal. Use vetHarmony to clear KD if Flint is KD, or Honour if using her team with Superior Strategy. Hammer Hammer Time Kick off with Hammer. That’s it. Oh and cast Tooled Up on him for chocolate sprinkles. Pretty much anything that pushes Mr Hammer further up the board is great. Hammer has a fixed Threat Range so be aware canny players will measure this out and stay outside it. But this can work to your advantage as it fences them in. Veteran Harmony has Marked Target which can unexpectedly extend his Threat Range by 2” – it’s a gamble as you won’t be able to boost beyond 1 dice, but consider it if facing low DEF teams. Also if they try to score a first turn goal you can kick the ball out to Hammer and he can potentially smash the striker’s face in and score, or setup a 6 VP activation first activation of Turn 2. Use vetHarmony to clear any cheeky conditions on Hammer. Hammer will activate last and leech 2-3 INF from his team (make sure you leave team members with 2-3 INF within 6”). Honour Mallet/Flint Missile As described above, use Superior Strategy to give a model a double activation, ensuring that you get to activate a model twice after all the enemy models have activated. This could allow you to setup DMG from Mallet or Scoring from Flint. Possible Receiving Strategies Hammer & Honour First Turn Goal The simplest version of this is to simply collect the ball, pass it around (using Mallet’s Football Legend Aura as much as possible) until it lands on Flint, then Pass N Move Flint 4” using the Momentous Teamwork action. Then Flint should be able to easily run, Where’d They Go and kick the ball in with 24” of combined Threat (4” Pass N Move, 8” Run, 4” WTG, 8” KICK). Honour Mallet/Flint Missile Same as above but with Superior Strategy, Honour’s team can hold on to the ball passing it around for momentum and steal last activation so the opponent cannot respond and lacks any momentum for counter attacks. Move Harmony up one wing, Honour somewhere in the middle (8” from Harmony) and Flint ending up on other wing. This has the unique approach of combining patient progress up the pitch with VPs and going first Turn 2. This way depending on where they kick it out you threaten another immediate goal from Honour/Harmony or Flint. When it all works you’re 8 VPs up after the first activation of Turn 2. Hammer Hammer Time + Same as above but Hammer can use the ball to extend his Threat Range beyond what the opponent can deal with and potentially score as well. Tool Up Hammer. Pass the ball to Hammer, Pass N Move him 4” forward. He can activate, suck in INF as required for his Character Plays and then pass the ball to Flint (who should Pass N Move) or Give N Go to move Hammer another 4” (if the enemy models are outside Hammer’s Threat Range). If you passed to Flint, Hammer can then charge into the enemy and generate momentum through destruction. Then you activate Flint who can do his First Turn goal run as above. If you had to Give N Go, give the ball to another model who hasn’t activated yet to pass to Flint if possible to let Flint First Turn Score. Hammer can cause mass destruction as he walks/charges into the enemy and then Flint scores. 3: Building Blocks Strategies This team has a lot of internal synergies that increase the potency of the parts. Honour and Harmony can function as a unit to beatdown or score, Brick and Marbles can provide defensive counter charges, Mallet can smack the enemy while providing setup and Flint is a striker supreme. Honour has all the options listed above and is a versatile piece on the pitch. What she does each turn will depend on board state but you should try to keep her and Harmony near each other to maximise the two models and the Linked ability. She will want her loyal Marbles to be chasing her around as well. Marbles Marbles has two links to players on this team – Brick and Honour. With Brick Marbles gains Counter Charge – one of the most powerful and disruptive abilities in the game. Counter Charge Counter Charge is triggered at the end of an enemy models normal movement and this will often mean said enemy is engaging (and hopefully engaged by a friendly). It is powerful because it triggers before the enemy can carry out an attack (even a charge) and allows Marbles to charge the enemy. Marbles gaining +4 TAC so rolling 7 dice (potentially 8 if a friendly model – the charged target – is engaging the model) allows him a couple of options: 1. Tackle the ball from a Striker. This can mess up a striker’s INF calculation and prevent goals 2. Hit his Push – potentially moving the enemy out of melee with the charge target, wasting their charge INF. The enemy can still activate, they just may no longer be engaging. He only needs 5 successes to 2” Push – not impossible. 3. If nothing else inflict some free momentous DMG. This is particularly devastating against 1” melee models as Marbles can push them 1” such that they are no longer engaging ANY model (remember that Marbles only needs to be within 1” not base to base). Even if you cannot disengage the enemy model, Marbles is now engaging the target, reducing their TAC through a Crowd Out and helping the charged target with a Gang Up. TIP: Counter Charges are considered NORMAL charges – all normal rules apply and you CAN generate momentum from them. Consider this free Momentum if nothing else. TIP: You can still declare a Counter Attack from the (charged) target and gain a +1 Dice from Marbles Gang Up. TIP: Be careful with Marbles positioning – Brick is a 40mm base so a canny opponent could charge a model (even Brick) in the total eclipse granted by this larger base – Marbles MUST be able to see the enemy model to declare a Charge. TIP: Marbles and Brick will often be close together to allow Marbles to Counter Charge – it may happen that BOTH can Counter Charge and this is perfectly fine. You declare the order of the charges and carry out the charges sequentially. Be careful with positioning models – if one cannot reach the enemy through blocking player the charge fails. Marbles has the Character Play Goad. Goad can be very powerful if inaccurate to hit with. Goad forces the target model to move DIRECTLY towards Marbles. Note that the model must move directly towards Marbles and cannot move around Barriers/other models etc. This can be used to: 1. Position Marbles such that a Barrier is partially along the path to effectively freeze a model in place as it can only move into the Barrier which is not allowed. 2. Marbles can Goad a model and then Run/Walk off – this can waste a model’s activation as it cannot move towards a target it wants to, potentially only able to move into a pointless space near Marbles. 3. Marbles can Goad a model it is in base contact with pinning the model completely as it cannot move in any direction that would be DIRECTLY towards Marbles. This can lock down Striker models. This can also work well with Honour as then Honour can come in and benefit from Marbles and the enemy cannot escape. TIP: Character Plays do not lose dice if targeting a model you are engaging/engaged by. However Goad only has 1 Dice so this is just an FYI! TIP: Consider using Bonus Time momentum to boost the accuracy of Goad. It is usually worth the investment given the power of the play. Marbles boosts Honour as discussed above so should always try to move up and engage enemy models that have already activated (unless trying to Goad a model to pin it as discussed). This offers Honour the option of an easy take out if she is nearby. Loved Creature, Marbles’ other Trait works well with the above as if the enemy if pinned to Marbles they will likely trigger it, or if Marbles is exposing himself to the enemy by moving up the pitch to support Honour, they may be given a dilemma of whether to trigger Loved Creature or not as the rest of the Masons will benefit from the TAC buff. Brick Brick is a tank – he is unlikely to score goals and while he can do DMG, that isn’t necessarily a good use of INF. However with Tough Hide and 2 ARM, he can be very annoying to deal with and his counter attacks can be irritating as he has Knockback (see discussion above) and Tackles. His best trait is Counter Charge though. As discussed above Counter Charge is an amazing rule that will confound your opponent because they will forget it, or have to work out how they are playing around it. Brick doesn’t have any Pushes but instead has an Auto-Push in Knockback. This means that should an enemy model move into his Counter Charge Bubble, Brick might be able to disengage the enemy model or even Knock them down and disengage. Knocking down the enemy model is a great result as it wastes the Charge INF of the enemy and they need to burn Momentum to stand back up. If they don’t have any (say at the start of the turn) this can be devastating. TIP: KD, Parting Blows and Counter Charge. It may happen that a model chooses to risk a Parting Blow from Brick and gets Knocked Down. If this happens, they are considered to have Ended their normal move – within 6” of Brick and outside his melee….yep, you can Counter Charge the now Knocked Down model to really add insult to injury and reengage them. Brick is ‘easy’ to hit so be careful with him against teams with lots of Character Plays – they may try to use him to throw these around at other Masons or just slow Brick down. However a Burning Brick can still Counter Charge like normal as the enemy model has to be within 6” and Brick’s Threat Range is 6” when Burning. Brick and Marbles – Always Two There Are... A few quick words on these two working together. Once Marbles is within 4” of Brick, the Mason player can create a huge bubble of Counter Charge. Use this to lockdown the centre of the pitch and protect other Masons. It takes practice on where to put these modes, but usually you’ll want Marbles about 3” from Brick. This is to: 1. Reduce the positions in which an enemy model can engage both Brick & Marbles and prevent either Counter Charge 2. Allow Marbles’ Counter Charge Bubble to cover Brick 3. Force enemies to have to push Brick more than 1” to ‘switch off’ Marbles. 4. Reduce the Eclipse angle TIP: Be aware enemies will try to ‘switch off’ both Brick and Marbles – if they do this, consider using other Masons to Push these models out of position so these two are ‘switched on’ again. Remember that both have Pushes so can at least switch one of the pair back on. TIP: While not relevant when starting out or playing casually with friends, if you decide to play competitively then you will appreciate the pressure these Counter Charge bubbles place on the opponent’s clock as they try to work it out is worth its weight in gold. Harmony Harmony has links with Brick and Honour. While the main reason to take Harmony is her synergy with Honour, don’t discount having her hang within 4” of Brick for the +1 ARM. A 5+/1 model is hard to take out. Honour and Harmony working together has already been discussed but to summarise – you can consider Honour & Harmony to be a Super Player (a Voltron-like entity) that can use up to 10 INF and do AMAZING things that no other player can do. Just be aware that if Harmony starts her activation NOT within 8” of Honour she is extremely weak. Try to keep her in that bubble. TIP: If Harmony scores, use Run the Length to bring her back to 8” of Honour. This can be combined with Back to the Shadows for an 8” Dodge, which should bring her within 8” of Honour. Harmony has access to Acrobatic, often used to disengage her from enemy models or increase her Threat Range, and Weak Point. It can be worth going first with Harmony prior to Honour to apply Weak Point (she still gets Honour’s TAC if within 8”) so that Honour and the rest of the Masons can take the targeted model out. TIP: Linked is amazing, but don’t get too obsessed with it – sometimes you’ll want Harmony to go first. Harmony has Back to the Shadows so she should try to inflict some DMG to trigger this and allow her to disengage back to near Brick or at least away from enemy takeout machines – Harmony is not untouchable and only has 10 Health Boxes. Mallet Mallet doesn’t have any particular links to other players but he is a strong support piece, able to setup his fellow Masons and contribute to the beatdown game. Mallet is slow and easy to hit with Character Plays (but his ARM is high) but his secret tech is a 3” melee zone during his activation. This allows Mallet to attack any model in the game without fear of retaliation. TIP: Be careful with Mallet’s Extended Reach – once your activation ends the enemy model will no longer be engaged and can move off without risk. Consider whether you want to engage at 3” or 2”. Mallet has Forceful Blow which encourages him to charge (which with his slow MOV you may find you need to do) but given he has a 7” walk threat don’t feel like you have to charge every time – decide whether you need the Push or 2 DMG, and if not walk up and attack twice. TIP: Forceful Blow is not affected by either Tooled Up or Tough Hide Mallet also has a KICK boosting aura always on around him which boosts his own KICK to 3/7”. This can be used if you receive the ball and want to kick it around to minimise kick failures. Perhaps Mallet’s best ability is Singled Out. This is relatively easy for him to hit, generate momentum, and prime the target for a whooping. Mallet himself can benefit because he can do tremendous DMG at the end of the playbook, but once setup like this, the model is extremely vulnerable to the rest of the Masons. TIP: He also has Smashed Shins. Consider using this on annoying strikers such as Shark or Midas to cripple their goal threat ranges and reliability. Don’t be afraid to load up Mallet when you can – he is a very capable player and can do a lot of DMG and disruption to the enemy. Flint Flint is one of the best (maybe the best?) strikers in the game. With a built in 20” goal threat, Close Control and a 4 Dice KICK, he is reliable and effective. He also has a Momentous Tackle in Column 1, so when charging he WILL tackle the ball and potentially even wrap against some Close Control models. He’s not a complicated model – he’s easy to hit (by non-male models), is very slippery with Where’d They Go (the best Dodge play in the game) and WILL score if given the ball. Basically, as Alan Partridge might say ‘He’s Liquid Football’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xhlx43rTs2Q TIP: Flint can be a very effective Snap Shot turret – consider leaving him within 8” of the goal after scoring because then anyone passing to him and slot another goal in. TIP: Flint has an ‘easy’ >< result – use this to disengage or ‘surf’ closer to the goal. In short, it’s well worth giving Flint 3/4 INF to threaten a goal from pretty much anywhere. 4: Iron Fist Strategies This team will revolve a lot around Hammer – be careful with him as he will be easy to over extend with. Hammer is not indestructible and once taken out the team suffers substantially. However if you martial his abilities as described above, he can be a one-man army, Taking Out or Scoring Goals with ease. TIP: Hammer works very well with Flint as Hammer can smash people up while Flint threatens to score leading to a dual dilemma for opponents. There are no obvious synergies on this team – it’s all about raw power. Hammer will be the focus of every turn – making sure he has the necessary INF to achieve your plans. However make sure you give INF to the rest of the team – every player has their part to play in victory. Wrecker Ah the little ball of fury that is Wrecker. While Marbles is very good to take if taking Honour or Brick, if you take neither (as here) then Wrecker is a great model to be extremely annoying to your opponent. Firstly he is 2+/3 making him surprisingly hard to hurt – it takes dedicated beaters to take him out and since he is only worth 1VP this is usually a waste. So throw him in as a Gang Up model at the very least. However what makes him particularly special is his Character Trait Rollerball. Rollerball increases his MOV to 8”/10” and he can cast Ramming Speed for free. This allows him for no INF at all to move around 8”, and push enemy models 2”. This can be used to: 1. Push them towards your players – Threat Extension for Hammer is worth pure gold. 2. It can be used to push them away from cover. 3. It can be used to push them off your models, freeing them to move away or have less Crowd Outs 4. It can be used to push enemies away if the extra 2” (and then Wrecker being in the way) will block a goal run. TIP: Combine pushing enemy models out of scrums and replacing them with Wrecker for a 2 TAC swing. TIP: Remember it only affects ENEMY models – you can’t push friendlies. Aside from his free powers, Wrecker has a powerful playbook. He has a 1 DMG & KD making Parting Blows against him very dangerous – players will have to waste resources to disengage from Wrecker. He can also Tackle – consider charging to Tackle the ball (preferably into cover). The ball being on Wrecker can be painful for Strikers with low TAC to get back, especially combined with That’s Not the Ball. TIP: Always try to combine Wrecker’s ARM with Cover – it can make him nigh untouchable. Wrecker has other abilities that make him extremely annoying. Follow Up means that even if they pass the Parting Blow, Wrecker simply follows them and makes their life a misery. That’s Not the Ball can ‘wreck’ Strikers – they may no longer have the INF to score after dealing with Wrecker. TIP: Remember that Rollerball lasts until the end of the turn so works nicely with Follow Up. TIP: Wrecker is also a great battery for Hammer as he can store up to 3 INF for Hammer to leech. Putting INF here means that other players don't suffer. Mallet & Flint These are both operating similar as in Honour’s team. Flint will be looking to tackle and score and Mallet will be supporting Hammer in Take Outs. Mallet can either setup enemy players or act as a finisher if Hammer doesn’t quite close the deal. TIP: Mallet is a good target for Tooled Up because once he Singles models out and potentially KD them as well he has a good chance to wrap and do a substantial amount of DMG. A single Tooled Up wrap with Mallet can do 7 DMG – if he charges (increasing the likelihood of wrapping) 9 DMG! TIP: Mallet also likes Hammer Time Legendary for +1 DMG as it achieves the above without Tooled Up or even better stacks with it to take his DMG output into the stratosphere. Veteran Harmony Veteran Harmony is very different to her original self. Firstly she is completely independent of Honour and cannot be Linked to. Secondly she has a several ways to help her work better with those around her. Marked Target is an unreliable Character Play to extend Threat Ranges – but it can be worth a gamble if it makes the difference between Hammer hitting a target. If you do get access to Momentum, you can boost it. Smelling Salts is a great AOE to remove conditions and while it will see most use against condition heavy teams such as Alchemists, it can be used to remove KD when you don’t have access to Momentum. Her final team buffs come from her Character Traits and are always on. Team Player and Breaking Play. The simplest use for Team Player can be to prevent Take Outs on friendly players within 4” – Harmony tanks the DMG instead. Consider using this before Harmony activates so she can clear the DMG with just 1 momentum. Breaking Play can help with your team’s weakness to Character Plays and leads to a difficult activation point problem with vHarmony – activate early to trigger Breaking Play or late to heal the DMG she took for Team Player and throw out a Smelling Salts. It will depend on board state and whether you fear incoming Character Plays. On top of all her abilities, Harmony is a good ball stripper with a Tackle on a 1 and can walk/charge in, strip the ball and pass out to a team member such as Hammer or Flint. Tower Tower is a versatile player that is best suited for setting up other players and offering unexpected goals through ‘surfing’. Tower has pretty standard stats with the classic 3+/2 Mason defence. What makes him shine is a combination of his Traits and Character Plays. Firstly he has Knockback and as discussed with Hammer, this rule can be very powerful. Tower has a 1” Push (momentous) on his first column – this means that he has an easily reachable pseudo >> and a >>> on 3 successes. This can be used to Counter Attack to disengage 1” melee models, or used to surf models towards the goal etc. Use Tower to setup enemy models (particularly those that have already activated) into kill boxes with other Masons, or even consider using him to push models off the pitch if they hang too close to the edge. He can Tackle reasonably reliably – and combined with Knockback, he can Tackle and push a 1” melee model out of counter attack range – preventing many models from getting the ball back. He can then pass it to a friendly or attempt a Snap Shot of models like Hammer or Flint. TIP: Tower also has Floored – try attacking models already setup for him by Mallet or Hammer to reach the end of his playbook and do substantial DMG. Note unlike Spigot, he doesn’t really benefit from Tooling himself as he is unlikely to wrap. Tower comes with Tooled Up and this play is very useful to the Mason Take Out game. Useful on Hammer or Mallet, this play can give them enough DMG output to easily Take Out models. His other play, Defend the Ground is situational, but can be useful if starved of momentum or of the Masons are clumping together to allow them to maximise their DEF bonus. You will use this play less, but it can be useful, especially on early turns. TIP: Remember that models can Defensive Stance even when Knocked Down (somehow…). Use this and Defend the Ground to protect models from sinking to DEF 2+. Tower’s last trick is his Heroic – Protect Those Close – which can be very powerful, especially for Masons. Masons are often DEF 3+. Moving from DEF 3+ to DEF 2+ from KD doubles the number of dice successes. Thus it makes immunity to the first KD very powerful to prevent Masons getting whaled on in melee. It also means that Masons will get a chance to Counter Attack (although many Masons have 1” melee, many enemy models do as well, particularly Butchers) and try to disengage (through Pushes or Dodges). TIP: Consider going first in a turn with Tower to Charge an enemy model, generate momentum, cast Tooled Up on Hammer and then cast Protect Those Close. If Hammer then activates he can benefit from the aura and be immune to the first Push and KD. Only Dodges can disengage him and he has an easy KD for them. 5: Other Players Lucky Lucky is player that can work for Masons or Brewers. His card looks odd but if it is a filled in playbook result it is momentous – it doesn’t have to be the right colour! He has pretty standard stats (perhaps higher than usual for Masons) and he has some great low down momentous results as well as a low KD. Lucky works well with either captain – condition removal is always useful and extra INF welcome. Raise the Stakes can be hard to use, and initially it is recommended only to use if Lucky would do nothing in a turn. It can be very powerful (enable Lucky to make a goal run for example) but it’s a double edged sword. TIP: Try Kicking with Lucky and combining with Raise the Stakes & Stack the Deck to get early momentum and soften targets up. TIP: Sleight of Hand is excellent and can be used on Lucky himself. Chisel Chisel is a strange player – her long playbook and low TAC means she needs Crazy to operate at normal efficiency. However while she can be a little awkward, she brings a 2” melee threat, low Tackle and plenty of Dodges. Chisel is best deployed as a Striker or setting up Flint to score by stripping the ball. She is vulnerable to counter attacks though, with only 3+/1 defence and Crazy, she may find she lacks health boxes to last long. Painful Rage is best used as a defence tool in case they fail at the job. Don’t overlook her Character Plays – Sadism can help her heal (for example on a Counter Attack) and Feel My Pain can be a huge disincentive to attack Chisel – especially if Sadism is up as these two Plays will reduce the DMG Chisel suffers while hurting the health of the attacker. TIP: Feel My Pain triggers off targeting an Attack – the result is irrelevant (even if it fails or was a Dodge!). It doesn’t affect Character Plays. TIP: You can trigger Painful Rage if Chisel is at 6-8HP by firing off Crazy which immediately pushes her below trigger for Painful Rage. Be careful with Sadism and healing – if she rises above 5 HP it turns off Painful Rage. Granite Granite has a beautiful playbook. In fact it’s so amazing, combined with TAC 6 that you'll wonder why she isn’t an auto-include. We will examine her issues in a moment, but first let’s look at her abilities. Granite comes with a very low KD (for a TAC 6 model) which is momentous. So her first strategy is to simply KD players as an accuracy buff for her fellow Masons. The real money though is Gut & String & Tar Pit. Gut & String is an extremely powerful Character Play – it cripples model MOV while also placing a DEF debuff on them – neither of which can be removed. This sets up enemy models to be annihilated by the likes of Hammer – they can’t escape and they are easy for him to hit. Tar Pit is a nice extra MOV debuff as it puts up rough ground. It at least causes them to waste momentum on gliding, and it will quickly (if setup in the right location such as the centre of the pitch) get annoying. TIP: ALWAYS, always apply Gut & String if you can. It cannot be stressed how powerful this play is. Granite also has Sturdy so she will often get to Counter Attack against 1” melee models. She also gets a free jog at the start of the game and also ONCE per turn if any of her friends are hurt within 4”. Finally she has 24 Health Boxes which is substantially more than other Masons. She can tank DMG – but not for long (see below). However after all this awesome, we do need to examine her problems. Firstly she is the second slowest model in Guildball at 3”/5” (Jack Straw is the slowest but he has secret tech to actually be insanely fast). This means that once she is taken out of the game, she is out. She will take too long to get back into a meaningful place. So try to heal her and make sure she doesn’t get taken off or your opponent will capitalise on having less models in the main channel to deal with. Because of her slow MOV, opponents will likely either kite her Threat Range at 6.1” or worse, debuff her MOV with Burning, or some other form of movement debuff, rendering her stationary. Be very careful when playing into these teams when you put INF on her – it can be rendered useless. She is also very easy to hit at 2+/2 and while her ARM will help her, a determined attacker will mulch through her health boxes. She has Determination, but this is situational and a canny opponent won’t let this happen – they don’t really need Gang Ups to punch through her DEF. Also be aware – two or more Gang Ups renders Determination useless – and they can still KD her to take her back to 2+. Lastly her Between a Rock Aura has a few issues – firstly the above MOV debuffs she is likely to be taking will make this not work. Worse, her 3” Jog means she might not be able to engage the model pummelling your ally within 4”. TIP: You can do some amusing Jank with Veteran Harmony’s Team Player and Granite’s Between a Rock. If the model hit is within Harmony’s aura and Harmony is within Granite’s aura, Granite will get the Jog even if the original target was too far away. Granite is best deployed in the centre, trying to be as annoying as possible and forcing the opponent to waste resources on her, while she looks for an opportunistic Gut & String. She is particularly effective against teams that like to scrum and don't throw out any MOV debuffs. 6: Guild Weaknesses & Other Guilds Masons are ‘Jack of All Trades, Master of None’ in their approach to Guildball and have few weaknesses. They aren’t the killiest of teams or perhaps the best at football, but they possess players and abilities that can do both, and can often switch between styles as required. They are usually easy to hit, although they use armour to defend against melee blows, so Character Play teams are their nemesis – Hunters & Alchemists are not your friends. Veteran Harmony & Lucky can help here, so all is not lost. Their strongest opponents are probably fast scoring teams as Masons like a medium speed tempo – they start strong but they like to work together to maximise their potential so they aren’t the fastest in gaining the upper hand. Masons should look to either pull back tempo through Hammer eliminating models and scoring, or blowing a Honour/Harmony activation to suddenly pull the game around, leaving Flint and Mallet to threaten the rest of the turn.
  6. 11 points

    Tactics for the Blacksmith Guild

    In tandem with @Mako excellent beginner player rundowns, this is a post for beginner tactics for the Blacksmith Guild to improve our new player resources. It is not intended to be a bible nor do I propose this is the only way to play Blacksmiths. Please feel free to suggest your own tactics that would be useful to a beginner here. I will outline a few strategies I have played myself which may or may not be helpful. Together we will try to make this a useful guide for beginner players - remember this is not designed for the 'expert' or top-level play. If this works we will roll it out to the other guilds as well to help improve anyone looking to start playing the game. Playstyle The Blacksmths are capable of take outs and scoring but have strong leaning towards scoring goals. They have plenty of armour and it will weaken some attacks but do not think they are invulnerable – Blacksmiths are easy to hit and will suffer from Character Plays and Knockdowns much more than other teams. Their armour when used well can make them frustrating to attack for low TAC opponents, but high TAC teams will still crush them as many players have low health. With many 8” Kicks and several 4 dice Kicks, Blacksmiths are one of the best football teams in the game. They should usually keep an eye on where the ball is and try to play for goals with opportunistic take outs. 1: Team Selection Some key features - Blacksmiths are split into Masters and Apprentices. Unique to Guildball, this means that you are a little more restricted in your squad choices for two reasons: 1. You must have equal number of Masters and Apprentices (type is written at the bottom of the card). 2. Some apprentices do better with their specific master. This means that when picking your team, unlike in other guilds you will want to pick 3 Masters and 3 Apprentices that complement each other. For example, if picking Alloy, you will want to pic Hearth as she unlocks his abilities. You do not HAVE to take the master/apprentice combos (and some work fine with other masters such as Cast & Furnace rather than Burnish) but when starting out it is recommended you take the couples together to learn what they can do. Master Apprentice Ferrite Iron Anvil Sledge Furnace Cinder Hearth Alloy Burnish Cast Farris Bolt However Blacksmiths have an ace in the hole – they can pick ANY master to be their captain. This means that you can vary your playstyle to match your opponent and potentially have up to 6 captains to choose from! TIP: Remember that regardless of whether a master is a captain they can still fire their legendary – it just only triggers the top sentence that applies to the master only. When picking captain the default choice is Ferrite. She provides a speed boost to the team as well as Hobble (crippling enemy movement on DMG), can do a lot of work with 5 INF, and is one of the Blacksmiths best strikers. TIP: Hobble works on any DMG not just melee. Combine with Burnish to drop -4/-4 MOV on enemy players in an AOE (Hobble + Burning). This also works on Cinder’s Hot Shot, Alloy’s Dirty Knives and Cast’s Shield Throw. Alternative captains are Furnace for Searing Strike to push through enemy ARM (useful into all teams except Farmers, especially Blacksmiths and Masons), Anvil for Tough Hide to reduce DMG vs beatdown teams, Burnish for the 3 AOE turn of fiery doom (Tool up from Furnace to do 4 DMG per hit). Hearth and Farris captains are situationally good so not recommended unless you have tried them as players first. Suggested Teams for beginners: All Rounder: Ferrite (C), Iron, Alloy, Hearth, Furnace, Cinder Scoring Team: Ferrite (C), Iron, Alloy, Hearth, Farris, Bolt Fire Team: Burnish (C), Cast, Furnace, Cinder, Alloy, Hearth 1: Kick/Receive Blacksmiths are very strong in both kicking and receiving. It is recommended that every team take Alloy and Hearth for this purpose. Together they can provide kick off pressure or threaten a first turn goal if they receive. Possible kicking strategy Alloy provides a lot of kick-off pressure when starting in 6” of Hearth. Able to move up 7”, take an accurate Kick and then first activation take 2” melee from Hearth and go for the ball and a goal. Enemy teams will have to be careful where they put the ball under this pressure. TIP: Alloy is fragile and vulnerable to beatdown. This is not recommended into Morticians or Fishermen as both can pull Alloy easily into a beatdown situation and outside Hearth’s boosting aura. Be careful to know if your opponent has melee threats that can reach Alloy. TIP: Ferrite can boost Alloy’s already large ball threat range with her Legendary. Possible Receive Strategy With most players able to successfully pass the ball, simply pass it along to Alloy to generate some momentum and then jump Alloy 4” forwards using Pass N Move. Then Alloy has 9” run, 2” Acrobatic, 8” shot – 19”+4” jump, 23” goal run. Ferrite can boost this to 25”. TIP: Back to the Shadows and Run the Length can be combined into an 8” Dodge at the end of activation. So if Alloy can hit someone as well as score, he can retreat to relative safety. There are alternative setups for this – Farris & Bolt also provide a similar Turn 1 score and Ferrite Kick Off can be combined with Get Over Here (Iron) to provide pressure. 2: All-Rounder Strategy This block of players is a good place to start – 4 players have an 8” Kick and Iron is a special case (see below). Hearth shouldn’t really ever be trying to score – if she is, you’re probably getting desperate but even there she has a 3/6” Kick. But this team is also pretty good at beatdown. The Beatdown Side Look to weaken models with Ferrite (Disarm and Weak Point, KD if lucky), rip off their ARM with Furnace, KD with Hearth. Once the target is prepped, go in with Iron or Alloy. Furnace should be Tooling one of them up to go nuts if possible. Iron should be hitting 4 DMG if prepped properly (and 7 DMG if the dice like you) for 12-16 DMG – enough to takeout many players. Even better use Hearth to give Iron 2” melee to avoid annoying counters AND +2 net Hits to potentially hit that sweet 7 DMG. Alloy can similarly be boosted (Alloy can take Anatomical Precision if Hearth gives him 2” melee) and should ALWAYS pick Dirty Knives as the first result. This deceptive result can do 3 DMG if they don’t clear the poison, is momentous and crucially is -1 DEF. The next 3 attacks (because who isn’t within 9” of Alloy?) will then likely hit the 3 DMG – for 10-12 DMG. Not too shabby. All momentous. However you shouldn’t discount the Masters from beatdown. Hearth and Ferrite both have 4 column playbooks with TAC 5. Both have a way to ‘boost’ the effectiveness of their attacks (Weak Point and KD). If you can hit that 3 DMG at the end of their playbooks or better yet, prep them with some crowd outs for wraps, both these ladies can do a lot of DMG (and one is probably your captain). The Football Side While punching people in the face is hilarious fun (*don’t try this at home kids), it should really be used to either close out the game with a take out or take out powerful pieces from the board (support models like Millstone or Ratchet are perfect targets as they weaken the whole team when gone). Meanwhile you should be chasing the ball. Everyone other than Hearth is a ball threat (and Hearth is a great ball stripper with an easy KD). Alloy, Furnace, Iron and Ferrite all have very low Tackles, and Hearth can give Iron and Ferrite 2” melee to avoid counters. TIP: Use This! works on ALL Blacksmith models, not just apprentices. Consider giving it to Ferrite if she is your captain for some janky goals as she is both fast, has a 2” Dodge and a low Tackle. Once you have the ball, Alloy, Iron and Cinder are all great scorers. Alloy and Cinder are both 8” KICK threats – as long as they are up the field they should be able to pop it in the goal. TIP: Cinder is a great target for Instruction. It works with her Hot Shot ability so that she has a good chance to Tackle the ball at 6” and then score. Alternatively, use it to get the Momentous Dodge so she has the momentum for a goal. Iron deserves some discussion. Battering Ram can be used to simply push through 1” melee models as if they weren’t there (remember to hit them at a suitable angle to push them out of the way). If he can’t push people out the way, Close Control means that Iron can risk parting blows against models that don’t have KDs (his 2 ARM should prevent the wrap preventing double T). Impetus means that Iron has a native 10” run, Ferrite can not only potentially boost this to 12”, but also Get Over Here can boost it further. Combined with Battering Ram, this can allow Iron to race from one side of the field right up to the goal. Hence Try Hard. Iron should usually be in Snap Shot range when taking goals because of this. TIP: Battering Ram can be used to move models into better positions to attack – e.g. out of cover, into a Gang Up ranges etc. 3: Scoring Team Strategy These players are built to score goals. By taking Furnace and Cinder out and putting Farris and Bolt in, you lose access to Tooled Up and Cinder’s Hot Shot as well as Searing Strike. This weakens the Beatdown options. Instead you gain a super goal scoring threat and the ability to KD models without rolling a single die. Take the above tactics but adapt them – now you can pass the ball to Bolt and if he starts within 6” of Farris, he can walk 4”, pass the ball, jump 4”, I am Open for free back (Alloy or Ferrite are great targets for this), jump 4” and then run 6” and Kick 6” for a 24” goal threat. Farris can boost this to 28” for 2 INF, Ferrite can take this to 32”. It’s pretty long. TIP: Be careful with Bolt – I am Open is only 6” so don’t jump him to far away from his target. Bolt’s other ability – Shoemerang is a curious beast. It allows Bolt to target ANY model (including himself) to take 2 DMG. If you target a friendly, no dice are rolled. Then an enemy model in 4” gets KD. This can be very powerful into high defence model such as Fillet with Swift Stance up or simply to scatter the ball so Bolt can retrieve it. TIP: Tutelage can be used at any point during the activation as long as you started within 6” of Farris. Stamina can always be used regardless of Farris. Farris’s unique ability is not only can she place the ball (as long as not engaged) in front of her up to 1” away, she can then kick it. This gives Farris a sort of 8” KICK. It can also be used to place the ball such that the line of kick doesn’t cross any enemy models to avoid losing dice. Farris can do Impact – basically a run/hit. This requires that she get base to base, so it does expose her to counter attacks, but it does give her a 12” threat range for 1 INF. Ride Off – her legendary, allows her to hit someone with Impact, push them, scatter the ball and then keep moving to grab the ball and maybe then pass/score (remembering she can use Give it a Whack to drop the ball closer to the goal). She will take parting blows from Impact, but with ARM 3, many models will not be able to KD her, so you can shrug these off. TIP: Impact does not trigger Unpredictable Movement – use this on annoying 2” melee models like Obulus (Midas you can just sit outside 1”). TIP: Be careful when moving Farris for an Impact – you should use steppers or something accurate as you need to know how much movement you have left after the attack. 4: Fire Team The Fire Team tries to leverage all the synergy with Burning that the faction has. Using Burnish and Furnace, you can pump out a lot of 4 DMG AOEs, and Burnish, Furnace, Cinder can all put the burning condition out. Cast can then do terrific beatdown – once Furnace has stripped armour and set the target burning, Cast should be hitting her high DMG slots and with Tooled Up and +1 from Burning, do 4 DMG easily. Shield Glare is also a must to cripple models. Use Cinder and Alloy to score goals while the team controls the opponent by setting them on fire and threatening Cast. 5: Other Guilds Other Guilds will vary in their threat angle, but the biggest threats come from control teams (such as Engineers and Morticians) and beatdown aggressive teams (Union and Butchers). But a special place is reserved for Alchemists. Smoke and her chums can shutdown Blacksmiths very quickly and with the vulnerability of Apprentices (low health, often low DEF), she can kill off models before they can reach and interact. Anti-Alchemist options Speed. Blacksmiths are surprisingly fast. I suggest the Scoring team into Smoke. Go for speed and try to engage Vet Katalyst with Farris to tie him up. Once enagaed Smoke will be less likely to play games with AOEs and Smoke herself is very vulnerable as many models have 2” melee or can get it. Try to target the models producing the AOEs for beatdown such as Mercury or Calculus. Be very afraid of Blind – one of your models will be Blinded a turn (because low DEF) so taking Calculus off the board early is crucial. Try to repay the favour with Ferrite (remember Hobble). The Fire Team also has some option – using Burnish to ‘clear’ conditions and potentially use his Legendary to shield the team for a turn.
  7. 11 points

    The Goal Post Thread

    My Union/ Solthesian goal
  8. 10 points

    Tactics for the Hunter's Guild

    In tandem with @Mako excellent beginner player rundowns, this is a post for beginner tactics for the Hunters Guild to improve our new player resources. It is not intended to be a bible nor do I propose this is the only way to play Hunters. Please feel free to suggest your own tactics that would be useful to a beginner here. I will outline a few strategies I have played myself which may or may not be helpful. Together we will try to make this a useful guide for beginner players - remember this is not designed for the 'expert' or top-level play. Play style The Hunters play style lends itself towards control and takeouts, with sudden or opportunistic goals. However they have one of the best, if unconventional, striker captains in the game so a scoring game is certainly possible. Hunters have a wide selection of Character Plays and some of the strongest ranged disruption plays in the game. However it can be very easy to overdose on these - the playbooks often reward DMG and mobility over Character Plays and Tackling, so as a rough guide look to use melee over ranged play in the main. The Character plays should support your team towards victory not be their focus – Hunters will rarely win playing a ranged game. Hunters are very fragile – many of your players have low DEF, low ARM or few Hit Boxes. Do NOT get into a scrum with your Hunters unless you are confident it is on your terms. This doesn’t mean avoid melee though – far from it, Hunters can excel in combat. Try to pick your targets and gang up on them, or prep the target first for a take out/tackle & score. The secret to Hunters is to control your opponent such that they are fighting sub-optimally while you run around controlling the game. If Hunters lose control, they can start to crumble quickly. Fortunately, Hunters are stacked with tricksy Character Plays and possibly the best condition in the game – Snare. TIP: This guide will not discuss Union players. Partly because the Falconers minor guild will take these away, partly because this is a beginner guide. TIP: Quick reminder, the Snared condition is -1 DEF and -2 MOV and lasts from turn to turn like all conditions. These effects can cripple enemy models and your opponent will be spending their momentum to get rid of it giving you a momentum advantage. 1: Team Selection When picking a captain for the Hunters, you are presented with two very different choices. Both exemplify an aspect of Hunters, but players may find they settle into one or other play style. Captain Theron Theron is perhaps the most flexible captain in the game. He is a very capable DMG machine, he puts out conditions, he has control Character Plays and he is surprisingly mobile and a reasonable striker because of his low dodges. In fact, it is hard to pin him to a specific role each turn, but usually 6 INF is not wasted on Theron – he can do a lot for your team. Stat-wise he is pretty standard captain – normal speed, high Tac, Good KICK, reasonable defensive stats. The secret to Theron is he has possibly the best playbook in the game when combined with all his passive abilities. Master of the Forest Theron’s special ability is his unique trait – Nature’s Growth. He is able to place a 3” Forest AOE anywhere on the table, 2” from other terrain. This can be extremely powerful. The most basic use for this can be to simply place terrain to provide cover to Theron when he attacks an enemy model – place the terrain next to but not touching an enemy model, walk/charge through the terrain with Light Footed trait and start hitting your target with -1 TAC if they try to counter. Some more uses of the forest: 1. Rough terrain placed in between Theron and a Pinned Target to prevent them having enough MOV to reach Theron. 2. LOS blocking for charges – place the terrain, pin someone in range, walk behind the forest. 3. LOS blocking for strikers – even placed 2” from the goal it can be annoying for strikers. 4. Rough terrain for multiple enemy targets – simply place the AOE to hit multiple targets – beware this gives them Cover. 5. Rough terrain for Chaska to gain +1 ARM 6. Forest for Hearne1 to teleport to – place this 4” from Hearne to maximise his mobility, or place it 4” beyond his maximum move etc. I’m sure you will find other opportunities for it - Theron’s forest can be extremely powerful and is free to use every turn. TIP: Remember that the forest MUST be placed at the START of Theron’s activation. It is not affected by whether he is knocked down or not. Consider placing the AOE behind your goal to remind you to place it. TIP: Remember you cannot place it within 2” of TERRAIN. However GROUND is NOT TERRAIN. You can place it on top of rough/fast terrain if you want. This can be used to extend rough terrain or turn off fast terrain for the enemy. Remember most Hunters have Light Footed so will not be affected by this. TIP: You cannot see through the forest (but can see out fine). However you can draw LOS from any point on your base – so use this to make direct movement lines run through the forest. Be careful when you place it to not block Theron’s LOS to his target later in the turn. TIP: People often forget the forest rules – models within or kicking to a target within a forest suffer -1 KICK die penalty. Models can kick to targets they can’t see but this increases the difficulty by 1 (TN test is +1 modifier). TIP: The AOE is special in that it is placed within 8” which is measured to the EDGE not the centre of the AOE. This gives you an extra 1.5” of RNG. Theron’s other signature ability is that every time an enemy model is DMGd by him, it suffers Snared. This works with both his melee attacks AND his ranged attacks. Combining this with his playbook, Theron can easily snare most models on 1 hit (momentously) and this immeadietly shifts the playbook math up such that he can hit the higher results. Such as KD, which then shifts the math higher again. Two attacks from Theron on a 4+/1 model can quickly turn this into 2+/1. If using Snow, Feral Instincts can make this much easier – 4+/0 goes to 2+/0 very quickly. Once a target is at 2+, Theron can continue to beat it up for 2-3 DMG a hit or push it around etc. A 6 INF activation from Theron can quickly do up to 11 DMG all momentously without any setup – and with setup, much much more. TIP: Theron can cast his Heroic on himself such that he can beat a model up and then shoot it. Because you Snared the target you can spend Bonus Time to boost the odds of success against most models to be very high. This allows Theron to do an additional 2 DMG which can sometimes be all he needs to take out important models such as captains. Theron the Striker Alternatively, from the beatdown, Theron can be surprisingly agile footballer. Charging a ball carrier near the goal, Theron can initially do DMG to Snare the model (or Tackle if the target looks to try to Dodge away), then follow up with a Tackle (or DMG to Snare target) on the Snared target, then follow up with as many << as he needs to get closer to the goal, then try for a shot. This way Theron can get a surprising distance for goal runs. Theron can also carry the ball and use his low << to jump closer to the goal – extending his goal threat beyond his basic 14”. TIP: Consider shooting the target (potentially for free) to put Snare on it before charging in so that you can maximise your chance to Tackle AND Dodge to avoid dangerous counter attacks. TIP: Don’t forget to place your forest for cover if it will make the difference between a successful or failed counter attack – just remember that your KICK is affected while in it. Theron’s Magic Bow – How will you kick the ball with an arrow to the knee? Theron isn’t done beating enemy models up and Snaring them in melee. He is equipped with a versatile bow which can be used to control enemy models very effectively. Pinned is his signature ranged move. It does 2 DMG and Snared (Hunter’s Prey Trait) but the key is it forces that model to advance (not reposition – dodge/push can be in any direction) DIRECTLY towards Theron. This can be very powerful. Consider these options: 1. Theron Pins a model with lots of Influence, then walks/runs away. Now that model can only move towards him, has no hope to reach him and wastes a ton of INF because no other Hunter models are within its melee. This can be very effective against beatdown models such as Ox or Hammer. 2. Theron Pins a striker, then runs UP the pitch. Now that Striker cannot move towards the Hunter goal. 3. Theron moves into melee with a model, attacks it several times, and then Pins it (remember that models DO NOT lose dice if using non-AOE character plays against a model they are in melee with – only other models remove dice). Now that model cannot advance away from Theron – potentially freezing it in place for other Hunters to finish off. 4. Theron pins a model such that the direct path is through an obstruction or a barrier - this can prevent the model reaching Theron. TIP: Try to Snipe an important model first – putting Snared on the target increase the chances of Pinned hitting which can be crucial. When not pinning models to himself, Theron’s other ranged ability is Snipe. As well as the 2 DMG and Snared (Hunter’s Prey Trait), it cripples KICK stats. -2 Dice and -2” range can make all the difference between an easy goal and a dicey one. In addition, it can be fired multiple times per turn including at the same Target. This can be used to cripple a football team if all their strikers are all suddenly -2/-2” KICK and -2” MOV. TIP: While a model cannot be effected by the -2/-2” stat effect more than once, it can suffer additional DMG – if a model is very low on health, a barrage of Snipe can finish it off. His final ability is Sun Strike. Sun Strike at its simplest is a way for Theron and his buddies to generate momentum at range. If Theron casts it on himself, every time he hits with his bow, he generates a momentum. While not crucial every turn (Theron will likely be in melee to generate momentum pretty quickly) it can be essential on Turn 1 or on a goal run turn if you can’t get to melee and score. TIP: Sun Strike is deceptive. Theron can cast it on multiple targets – consider Hearne or Egret. Egret can fire up to 4 times with Snap Fire – generating 4 momentum off low DEF models like Blacksmiths. TIP: Sun Strike is even more deceptive. Sun Strike generates momentum from any character play that TARGETS an enemy model. While RNG plays are obvious, there are some melee Character plays such as Singled Out and Gut & String that ALSO target enemy models. These ALSO generate momentum. Consider casting this on Hearne1 a lot. Jaecar is situational but still a nice bonus. Singled Out can generate 2 MOM each time Hearne hits someone with it, and with his 2” melee zone he can attack multiple targets. Useful if you want to win the momentum race. Theron’s weakness is his 1” melee. Be careful of 2” melee teams that can take him on such that he cannot counter attack. Otherwise Theron’s counter attack is very strong – he does Snare on 1 success, and on 2 successes has a <<. Theron can be surprisingly annoying for 1” melee models to engage. Consider Defensive Stance against Charges – 5+/1 can prevent the KD and open them up to counter attacks. TIP: Theron has such good counter attacks that it is recommended that you stand him up (remove KD) rather than heal. This is situational – 2” melee teams for example – but often the better long term choice. Suggested Beginner Team Selection: Arrows to the Knees: Theron (C), Fahad, Hearne1, Zarola, Jaecar, Egret TIP: I agonised over Egret vs Chaska vs Ulfr here – any of these models would be a great fit for Theron. Try Chaska for his traps and Boom Boxes under Blessing, or Ulfr with his free Where’d They Go under Blessing and scoring. Egret is the middle ground between the two. Hence I picked her for beginning with. Captain Skatha Skatha is a very different beast to Theron. While Theron seeks to support his team by beating models up, putting out Snare and crippling enemy movement, Skatha manipulates the SPD of her team. Do not underestimate how powerful an effect this can be. Skatha looks like a slow striker at first glance – but there is much more going on. In a mirror to Theron’s Forest, Skatha puts out a 3” AOE of Fast Ground with the same limitations (it can be placed on Rough Terrain for example). What this means is that not only Skatha but her whole team can suddenly benefit from +2 MOV. For free. TIP: As with Theron, remember the AOE must be placed at the start of her activation. TIP: The AOE is Fast Ground – this can be used by your opponent as well. Be careful with placement. Placement of the AOE will depend on board state but here are some examples of use: 1. To make Skatha go faster herself. Simply place it beneath Skatha – remember only a tiny bit her base needs to be on it to benefit from Fast so consider placing it mostly BEHIND her. 2. To make other models go faster. Example on Turn 1 place it such that models will either move through it on a path to enemies to expand their charge range. 3. To ‘switch off’ rough terrain for non-light footed Hunter models such Seenah. Placing the AOE takes a little practice as Skatha has a habit of not starting to advance where she starts her turn owing to her signature trick – making snowballs. Snowball allows Skatha to create a fake ball that only works during her activation. She can then pass the ball as if it were a normal ball. This allows Skatha to easily unlock the Momentous Teamwork actions – Pass N Move and Give N Go. With her excellent 4 dice KICK, she can ‘reliably’ either make herself or one of her teammates suddenly jump 4” as a dodge. This can extend her/their threat range towards targets that were out of reach. When combined with her Fast AOE, this means that Skatha can suddenly reach models 14” away. TIP: Remember that you have to pay for the normal KICK. This means Snowball costs 2 INF (1 for the Snowball, 1 for the KICK). TIP: Snowball pass can be used to jump your players out of melee. Be careful though – the TN value increases for each enemy model they are in melee with – 5+ is dicey, 6+ is probably not worth it. TIP: There is one OTHER benefit to Snowball – Skatha can GENERATE MOMENTUM from the pass if no one moves. This can be corner-case but sometimes you need MOM to score that goal first activation or stand someone back up etc. Skatha’s other abilities are an AOE to drop Snared on models which crucially is also triggerable from her playbook and Blessing of the Moon Goddess. Blessing is very situational but you should consider casting it on Strikers such as Ulfr help them Tackle and disengage. TIP: Once cast Blessing of the Moon Goddess is not optional usage – you must use it on the next attack. It can be used to help models counter attack and disengage. Her last ability is her Legendary. Winter’s Night looks odd at fast glance but is deceptively powerful. Skatha should try to hit as many enemy models as possible as early in the Turn as possible to benefit. It adds a <> to the next attack. What this means in practice is that it allows models such as Skatha to either trigger Super Dodges such as 3+” repositions or Tackles and 2” repositions to disengage from enemy models. This can be used for multiple effects: 1. Allow a Hunter to Tackle and disengage to avoid counter attacks such as T or KD. 2. Allow a Hunter to move much closer to the goal, through enemy melee zones and out the other side 3. Allow a Hunter model to counter attack and disengage from an enemy model When you put all Skatha’s abilities together she is a very agile goal scorer. 1. Skatha could simply use her abilities to score a goal 19” away. 2. She could use her abilities to move up to an enemy model 14” away, pop her legendary, attack them to trigger a momentous < on 1 which allows her to move another 2” and move an enemy 1” away (using the free <>), then score. 3. She could move up to an enemy ball carrier 14” away, Tackle and use the <> to disengage and score. 4. Or she can change the order – move up to a model 10”, pop legendary, Tackle the ball and disengage, throw a snowball to a friendly model 6” away, jump 4” and score. Etc. She doesn’t necessarily need her legendary, but it helps her gain range and move around. TIP: Skatha is very effective running/hitting as well as charging. Try to be aware of the odds and whether an enemy model will Defensive Stance. Her T on 2 is usually easier to trigger on a Charge but it depends on various factors. But crucially running/hitting allows you to pop your legendary BEFORE attacking. Skatha loves to score goals but she can mix it up in melee if she has to – her MOM 2 DMG is easier for her to hit if the target is prepped with Snared first or Gut & String for example. However usually Skatha won’t need the full stack of 6 INF unless trying a tricky goal run that needs all her powers. Skatha is a classic 5+ model and is vulnerable to KD and beatdown. She has very good counter attacks to disengage so be wary of 2” melee models that can circumvent this. Try to keep Skatha on her feet rather than heal – 5+ is frustrating to hit. You can further boost her survival with Tough Skin from Chaska for +1 ARM (if you try out Chaska with her). She is so fast that should be taken out, she can usually get back into the action quickly and be a wing threat. Suggested Beginner Team Selection: Winter is Coming: Skatha (C), Snow, Jaecar, Hearne2, Ulfr, Seenah 2: Kick/Receive Hunters are very flexible when it comes to Kicking or Receiving and there is no right or wrong answer – it all depends on your opponent’s Guild and your play style. Here are some suggestions only: Possible Kicking Strategy Skatha Strategies First Turn Goal Kick off with Skatha. Skatha can apply kick off pressure because her threat range is so long. If the ball is move such that Skatha cam reach it (and she can reach a long way), consider activating her immediately. If you do this, place the Fast AOE so that its furthest edge is 4” towards the direction she wants to go. Then snowball pass on to it, and run, legendary and try to score. If you can, wait as long as you think possible (while ensuring Skatha isn’t attacked) then launch her goal run. Use Snow to put Feral Instincts on Skatha – this substantially increases her chances of getting the T. Waiting longer also reduces the beatdown she will receive afterwards. Because Skatha is only 5” up the pitch but has a 14” threat, it’s likely that she will be able to wait a little before committing. Back to Back Seenah ATTACK! Move your models up the pitch carefully killing activations. Use Snow to put Feral Instincts on Seenah. Use Skatha to place the Fast AOE just less than 4” in front of Seenah. Snowball Seenah 4” forward onto it. Then move Skatha up (potentially through the Fast AOE) and throw Cold Snap AOE on to target enemy models for Snared. Last activation, Seenah can then charge 9”, threatening a model 11” away for a total of 15” of threat. This should generate a healthy dose of momentum and potentially take a model out. Then if able, go first Turn 2 and finish the job or move on to another target. Theron Strategies The Hearne1 Teleport Attack Kick off with Egret. Use her to target a model to put multiple poisons out. Retreat Egret. Kill activations moving models up pitch. Activate Theron, placing the forest 4” from Hearne1, place Sun Strike on himself and Hearne1. Move up with Theron and shoot someone in range. Last activation, teleport Hearne1 into the forest such that the back of his base is just touching the forest – this should have catapulted him 7” up the pitch, which with is his big base equates to about 9”. Then walk him into someone Theron Snared and whale on them to generate lots of momentum and DMG. Consider using Blessing to do more DMG. Go first Turn 2 and take model out with any Hunter. TIP: Variation of the above – kick with Theron if you are worried about the RNG. TIP: Another variation – use Zarola to pull Theron back if exposed. TIP: Another variation – use Hearne to try to combine Singled Out with a chance to Tackle to score. Aggressive Attack Kick off with Theron. Kill activations until 4th activation, use Zarola to move Theron forward. Activate Theron, placing Forest as before for Hearne1. Launch Theron into the enemy. Follow up with Hearne1 teleport attack. TIP: This is extremely aggressive – not recommended against Guilds that can cripple Theron first. Patient Hunter Variation of the above – kick off with Theron and use him to generate momentum from RNG, use Zarola penultimate activation to move Jaecar 7” up the pitch. Activate Jaecar last activation and walk into people to wreck face. Then hopefully go first Turn 2 and create more chaos. Possible Receiving Strategies Skatha Strategies First Turn Goal Simply pass the ball along to Skatha, then use her natural abilities last activation to score a goal. Run the Length away from the enemy to reduce counter attack and place countering enemies closer to Seenah. Theron Strategies The Trap Instead of moving a model to collect the ball in the first activation, activate Theron and use Pinned to trap the kick off model applying KO pressure. Ensure you have walked Theron AWAY from the ball. Use Snipe first to help Pinned hit. If successful the KO model which was expecting to score is now left having to deal with Theron. Use Hearne to teleport in and attack the KO model (ensuring he is not in range along the line to Theron). If you can, use Theron’s wood and movement such that Theron is exactly 8” away and the model will need 12” of Threat to reach Theron (2” for Rough Terrain, 2” for Snared). This can leave the KO model (potentially loaded with INF) wasted. First Turn Goal Use Theron to generate momentum but in the main, pass the ball to Egret. Use Zarola to walk Egret forward. Egret can then Run and Score with 24” goal threat. This can be increased to 28” with Pass N Move. 3: Arrows to the Knees Strategies This team is all about control and takedowns with opportunistic goals being available through Theron, Jaecar and Egret. By picking targets, you can delete essential models, cripple strikers and interfere with your opponent’s plans. You need finesse as your team won’t last long if you start scrumming and you need to know your enemy’s strengths to guess their plan to disrupt it. Theron is at the heart of this team, providing melee beatdown threat, opportunistic goal scoring and enemy team control. He’s probably going to be running pretty hot most of the time but if he gets isolated can take no INF at all and still walk and shoot someone with his Heroic play. Hearne1 is Theron’s other half, so much so that these two are inseparable. Whichever way you activate them, either Theron goes first to provide a teleport wood and soften up targets, or Hearne going first to Single Out models to crank up Theron’s DMG output, they work as a team. I like to have at least 1 INF on Hearne for a Singled Out – the Guild has no Tooled Up so relies more on wraps and end of playbooks for DMG. TIP: Use Theron and his wood to allow Hearne to teleport out of combats and attack where he wants OR teleport OVER enemy models and potentially score. Hearne also has access to Blessing and if self-cast, can inflict a further 3 DMG and Snared. This allows Hearne to do a surprising amount of DMG when combined with Singled Out. TIP: Consider not triggering Skewered off the playbook if hit, as then you can’t use momentum to cast it. 3 DMG is usually better and then fire off the Skewered after you are out of INF. TIP: Consider casting Skewered (through Heroic Play) before attacking to maximise chance to hit. TIP: Consider always taking Singled Out even if you hit a momentous DMG result - Singled Out will not only boost your follow up attacks, it will boost the whole team attacking this target. Jaecar is a melee monster. However he has even more going for him than being insanely fast and dodgy. Firstly consider ALWAYS taking Gut & String on your first attack unless under counter attack pressure. Gut & String is one of the most powerful abilities in the game – crippling MOV while also lowering DEF. While DMG is tempting, putting G&S on a target all but guarantees its death at the hands of Jaecar, Hearne or Theron. Worse it can end potential goal runs, and protect Jaecar from counter assaults as he Back to the Shadows 4” away. ALWAYS pick it first if you can. Each subsequent attack is much more likely to hit and the target is prepped for another Hunter to take out. TIP: Jaecar loves attacking Singled Out models – with 8 Dice he can often start to get wraps and do substantial DMG. Jaecar has a trap and can benefit from it himself. A simple trick is to walk up to a target, place the trap within 1” and then attack. If you hit the 4th column, you can Push/Pull the target, triggering the Trap, Snaring and Bleeding the target. This can combine with Gut & String to cripple the targets defence and open up the sweet MOM 4 DMG at the end of Jaecar’s playbook. If you fail to hit the column, trigger G&S and try again. TIP: Instead of using the Trap offensively, consider dropping it and not triggering it (remember it auto triggers if you push a model within 1”). Then the opponent has a dilemma – if he starts to move his model he gets Snared – which cannot be cleared until the end of the advance. Jaecar isn’t just a knife. He is also a potential goal threat. With anatomical precision and the above abilities, he can reasonably reliably hit the 3rd column T. Combined with his easy access to <<, he should be able to make shots on goal if the ball carrier is near the goal. If not, he can strip the ball and kick it away, potentially back to Egret or Theron. He can use G&S to cripple the striker running after it. If Jaecar is carrying the ball (perhaps because it was passed to him or after a Goal Kick), he can make a blitz on the enemy goal by charging an enemy model near the goal (preferably a low DEF target). Then with 10 Dice, look for at least a <<, potentially a wrap for <<< or <<<<. After that jump he can make a shot on goal boosted by the momentum. This allows Jaecar to make 17-19” goal runs. Since you don’t care about counters (because you are dodging away), this can be very effective. Jaecar can also leverage Back to the Shadows to hide the ball. By attacking models, dodging away, potentially then advancing if he started in base, and finally Back to the Shadows, you can move Jaecar where the enemy strikers aren’t (such as in a far corner behind their goal line). This can allow you to control the football game while threatening an easy Jaecar tap in whenever you want. Jaecar is fantastic and extremely flexible. However he is not a god. He only has a 1” melee and is vulnerable to counter attacks with his lack of ARM. There are ways to avoid the inevitable counter and dodge away though. Firstly if you can place your trap, you can make that dodge unappealing as they get Snared & Bleed. Secondly you can use Pinball to escape the counter – this is done by attacking a model near another model, using your << to dodge outside the counter attacking model and into melee with target B, then << back to A. This can waste a lot of enemy momentum and allow you to attack whomever you like. Zarola is not a particularly strong piece in melee – she shines in her character plays. Chain Bolas is yet another way to put Snared out to weaken the enemy team and setup Fahad. But Midnight Offering is pure money. Being able to extend threat ranges, pull vulnerable models back, push Fahad out of melee so it can charge and setup the Zarola/Fahad goal, etc. It is a versatile play – and Theron or Hearne can make it free to cast. TIP: Consider putting the ball on to Zarola if looking to ‘kill it’ from enemy strikers. With 5+ DEF and Unpredictable Movement, she can be annoying to wrestle it from. Fahad is a very efficient melee model with Furious granting free charges. This often means Fahad can be allocated no INF and still provide a nice measure of DMG and momentum. What makes Fahad shine is Snared on enemy models. Many of the Hunters can do this, and Fahad is linked to Zarola who has a ranged play which applies it and can then link into Fahad before the opponent has a chance to clear it. Fahad likes anything that increases his Dice pool or decreases the targets defence stats. This means that Singled Out, Gut & String and Crowd Outs are all excellent additional buffs on top of Snared. Because of Isolated Target, Fahad gains a +1 DMG which works on all wrap DMG as well. This can quickly cause Fahad to do a surprisingly large amount of DMG – for free. TIP: Enemy models will often try to engage Fahad to prevent these charges. Use Zarola’s Midnight Offering to move Fahad out of combat. It does not matter if the enemy KD Fahad – Fahad is knocked down OUTSIDE their melee zone. Then Link into Fahad, spend a momentum point to clear conditions and charge. Fahad and Zarola also make an unlikely (and somewhat unreliable) goal threat. This involves passing the ball between Zarola and Fahad and using Pass N Move as well as Midnight Offering to extend the goal run. Usually Zarola will pass to Fahad, who jumps 4”. Then she will cast MO so he can move 6”. Then link into Fahad who can Sprint 8” and then Kick 4”. This gives a total of 22” of goal threat (and Fahad will be in Tap In Range if able to score). It requires some input of momentum to work and it involves some shaky dice rolls but it can be unexpected. TIP: Try this on Turn 1 after receiving to potentially gain an early lead with minimal exposure of critical players. Egret is looks a basic 16” striker at first glance, but there is more to her than meets the eye. She provides a fantastic ranged play in Flurry – not only does it do 2 DMG to the target and all models within 2”, it also sets all ENEMY models Poisoned owing to Venomous Strike Trait. Snap fire is a similar ranged play, short ranged version that does 1 DMG to the target and Poison. TIP: Be careful around Tough Hide players – Snap Fire will do nothing against these TIP: As scrums form you may find it hard to pick out Flurry targets. However consider that it only Poisons the enemy – sometimes this can be worth it if you can go first and maximise on the potential 4 DMG these models have just taken after maintenance phase. TIP: Snap fire can be dicey to roll – try to improve this by targeting Snared targets as their lower DEF will increase her chance to succeed. TIP: Consider loading up on INF and having Theron cast Sun Strike – you can now potentially gain 4 MOM and poison multiple targets. This is especially effective against low DEF teams such as Masons and Blacksmiths. Egret has another trick in her arsenal – she can dodge 1” on any successful DMG. This can be used to extend that basic 16” goal threat range. She also has Back to the Shadows that allows her to ‘kite’ enemy models – move into range to shoot them, then move back out of retaliation range with Back to the Shadows. TIP: Swift Strikes works in melee as well as ranged. Consider that the 1 DMG in Egret’s first column is actually 1 DMG, Poison and a dodge. This can be surprisingly effective if you don’t like your probability of shooting the target – charge/walk into them instead. She can then Back to the Shadows to disengage. TIP: If Egret has the ball, consider charging an enemy on the way to the goal – she can quite likely hit at least that 1 DMG, Poison, Dodge and Tackle. Consider charging her at Snared ball carriers to trigger this to tackle and then score. TIP: Back to the Shadows can be combined with Run the Length to pull Egret 8” out of danger and foil counter assaults against her. TIP: Remember that Egret does NOT have Light Footed so be careful with her around Theron’s wood and rough terrain. 4: Winter is Coming Strategies This team is a little different to Theron’s. Instead it looks to try to score goals and accelerate the speed of all its models to achieve either takeouts or goals. There is limited control in this team but you still have access to Snared and Gut & String, and primarily, accelerated speed. Skatha should be hunting for goals as much as possible. She is fast and as discussed above has many ways to intercept the ball and score. Even when taken out she is quickly back in the fight and can pose a threat from the wing. She should be looking to try to maximise her Fast AOE every turn to her team’s advantage. TIP: Skatha is a great target for Feral Instincts as many models have 1 ARM. Snow provides a great team boosting play in Feral Instincts. Most of the team will benefit from it, Seenah and Skatha particularly as they will often be in melee. Her other ability Pack Mentality is a great aura against beatdown teams that don’t want to or can’t KD their targets. TIP: Pack Mentality can be combined with counter attacks with 1” melee models. First dodge from Pack Mentality to 1” after enemy attack, then counter and try to dodge another 1” to be outside the enemy 1” melee. Jaecar works similarly to above but here has the added bonus of +2” MOV, which takes his SPD to frightening levels. Hearne2 is all about the ball in this incarnation. With a low T and KD, he can strip balls from enemy models and kick it back to his own team. He retains his DMG capability and Skewered plays so can threaten DMG or Snared if required and with Last Light has way to cast Skewered for free. TIP: Last Light can also be used on other models such as Ulfr for a free Where’d They Go. Hearne’s other useful ability is Winter’s Blessing – he gains +2” MOV when moving through Rough Ground. This is cumulative with the +2” MOV from Fast Ground if Skatha places her Fast AOE on Rough Ground. This ability can make Hearne situationally very fast. Seenah is a monstrous bear but she is not quite as simple as she appears. While her primary focus should be charging every turn and hitting Snared models to potentially take them out, she has a few tricks up her sleeve. Intimidating Roar allows her to disengage models that are trying to pin her from charging. TIP: Even 2” melee models can be unstuck. Seenah can roar them 2” away, hit them to Push them on 1 success and then charge. TIP: Seenah benefits like Fahad from Snared – try to put this out through Skatha, Hearne2 and Jaecar. Seenah has another trick that your opponent might not be expecting – a T on 2. This allows Seenah to strip the ball off most models easily and then potentially charge towards the goal and then score or charge a ball carrier near the goal while placing Seenah within 4” of the goal to score. It won’t always be the best play but Seenah can be used to score goals on unwary teams that don’t recognise her goal threat. Ulfr is a tricky striker that can switch modes to DMG dealer if required. He requires a little finesse to use as you will want him to be attacking enemy models while more than 4” from his friends. He has a low T and even a Tackle & Dodge which can allow him to avoid counter attacks. His Ambush ability means that Defensive Stance against him is inefficient and impossible first activation of a turn. This means he is better off charging targets. Ulfr ideally wants to cause DMG on his first attack to trigger Blood Scent and improve his goal striking ability substantially. This can occur after wraps and as such his ideal prey is against Snared targets. You need to pick your results carefully with Ulfr as the opponent will often choose to Counter Attack. Pick the result that counters the most likely enemy result – DMG if they are likely to Tackle, Tackle if they are likely to disengage. Ulfr does have access to Where’d They Go so can circumvent disengaging models that way as well. This can also be used to get close to the goal or get around Rush Keeper charges. TIP: Ulfr really wants to do everything and his INF cap limits this. Consider casting Last Light on him to allow him to do everything he wants. TIP: Ulfr loves fast ground – pair him with Skatha. 5: Guild Weaknesses & Other Guilds The Hunters have a lot of tools to control the opponent but they need to be careful. Many of the Hunter models are fragile and a direct scrum will cost the Hunters player more. Hunters should be careful when playing the ball as the guild has less obvious goal strikers than other Guilds and is usually not hard to strip the ball from. Try to avoid the KD condition – many Hunters have good counter attacks (at 1”) and so keeping them on their feet is a good idea. Hunters hate Tough Hide models as they lack in-Guild Tooled Up. The best way to circumvent this is to apply multiple debuffs to the target such as Singled Out, Snare, Gut & String and try to wrap to DMG results. It usually takes a combined effort to bring down Tough Hide models - pick on weaker targets if you can. Hunters greatest foes are those who can score goals quicker than the Hunters can control. Alchemists, Engineers and Fishermen are all fast goal scoring teams and the Hunters need time to pick out their prey. Some ideas to try are: killing the ball if you have control over it. Putting it on Zarola and simply running her to a wing can slow the inevitable goal. Then when they score, score a snap back goal and hopefully by now you have taken some models out. Also consider using Theron to control their best striker. The use of Pinned and Snipe can impact football teams heavily. Try to pull them away from your goal or where the ball is. Look at who is important to them and try to concentrate your takeout skills on them. Use Gut & String to cripple important models. A handy trick is rather than score with Jaecar, take the ball Back to the Shadows to a far corner of their deployment. Now they have a dilemma – if they bring models on near Jaecar he can finish them again, or the ball is out of play allowing Theron and Hearne to take models out.
  9. 10 points

    vGutter card shown

    I am no top 100 player, but I am decently ranked in the community. That said, I've played 8 games with her so far and have the following observations: She seems to have a place in both Ox and Fillet lists, and 1) her damage output is pretty reliable, but you have to think about her activation as an investment into the long game, especially if you are planning to use grappling hook, 2) that over extension is very possible with her, especially against opponent lists where they have some beaters on the team, and 3) the extra MP on a kill is really relevant on a well set up turn. 1) Investment: Depending on the team I was playing against, I would chose to actively load her on turn 1 with the intention to Jog/Sprint and Grapple, then get one attack in for most likely 1-2 damage. Generally, I would do this to a team that I know couldn't hit back hard (Shark Fish, Engineers-ish, etc). Yes, I would only get 1 momentum out of 4 influence, but my Butchers are engaged turn 1. I would then use the rest of my team, and especially Ox to position for her to be within the aura on the top of turn 2. If I had Shank and Brisket on my team, I could easily get a crowd up set up on that one player at +1-2. As such, the one thing I wanted to do in my game plan, which is closing the gap and killing, is perfectly set up at the top of 2. She would then be attacking at Tact5+1 or 2, and hitting 2-3+1 damage under Ox's Aura, which can total to 12-16 damage, plus 1-2 from the last turn, or 4 momentum and 2 for the kill (6 momentum). To me, the heavy cost of turn 1 sets up for turn 2 return. Just saying as well, the anatomical, buffs from the team, and crowd outs with 2" melees made wrapping (and tons of momentum) easy in most cases. 2) Over-extension: Keep in mind though that if the opponent can punish you for overextending, then don't (if you are playing against a beaty team or the opponent is playing cage-y). As well, I usually kept this activation as a late activation with the hopes that I could get away with just a jog and chain grab and 2 attacks (2 momentum). 3) 2 MP on a Kill: If a stacked Gutter can kill a player, that is 6 momentum. I usually pretended that this momentum was immediately lost and spent it fast on crucial healing, counters, and defensive stances, especially given that if the Butcher's momentum train starts, the rest of my team could easily generate 4-6 more momentum Some lists I've play tested are: Ox, Princess, Boiler, Shank, Vet Gutter, Vet Brisket, Flex Ox, Truffles, Boar, Shank, Vet Gutter, Flex Fillet, Princess, Boiler, Shank, Vet Gutter, Vet Ox, Flex Fillet, Truffles, Boar, Shank, Vet Gutter, Vet Ox (4x 2" melee!) Conclusion: Thus, after playing a few games, she almost always makes my list just based on her utility and reliability. Interestingly, she has allowed me to also feel more comfortable taking Truffles and Boar in lieu of Boiler and Princess in my 10, thereby less competition for resources and highly efficient lists. For example, below are the average allocations I have done with decent success: Tournament 10: Ox, Fillet, Truffles, Boar, Shank, Vet Gutter, Vet Ox, Vet Brisket, Meathook, Tenderizer 0-1 Ox, 0-1 Truffles, 1 Boar, 3 Shank, 4 Gutter, 2-3 Meathook/Brisket 6 Fillet, 0-1 Truffles, 1 Boar, 0-4 Brisket, 0-4 Gutter, 1 Vet Ox So, does Vet Gutter alone fix the guild? IMO, no. The guild still seems to struggle in general. However, she does change how I use the guild. Thus, I am happy for the new character. I think that it was a unfair expectation that Gutter would be the key to elevating Butchers to higher levels of play.
  10. 9 points
    Hello again sports fans! Today I'm going to talk about one of my other favorite Mason models, and a source of great contention: Chisel. The main point of contention is: Chisel is bad at what she does. But the real question is: What is Chisel supposed to do? The easy answer is that she's supposed to do damage, because she has Crazy and Painful Rage, two abilities that make it seem like her core role is to get up as high as possible in her playbook for big damage numbers. And yes, like many Masons, Chisel has bigger numbers later in her play book, made stronger with the potential combo of Tooled Up and Painful Rage. But it takes a lot of resources and timing to make Chisel decent at doing damage, so in this light, she's a bad player who just doesn't have the damage output to effort balance that other Masons do. And so, you're right: Chisel is a bad damage dealer (or at the least, is' the same as other Masons at doing higher level damage). But what if Chisel isn't meant to be a damage dealer? What if Crazy and Painful rage are merely tools to help Chisel do her real job, instead of indicators that she's pretending to be Cosette? For me, Chisel is the Mason Ball Retriever. Ball Retrieval: Masons have a strong scoring game, but once you score, how do you get the ball back? The Majority of our players have 1" melee, and those that have 2" melee are rather slow and not an easy to reach Tackle (Brick and Mallet). But then there's Chisel. She has a 2" melee and a momentous Tackle on 2 successes, arguably the best option for getting the ball back in the Guild. She's also SPD 6/8", so she can get to where she needs to go to threaten the ball, or take it away. But lets take a look at our typical strikers and ball holders? They usually have high defense, hang around near Cover, and in the case of Brisket and Flint, have Charmed to boost their defense. They also tend to hide behind the rest of their team, so getting to them can be quite the trick, especially because of crowd outs. This is where Crazy comes in. With it, Chisel becomes TAC 7, and with her Tackle on 2, has a much greater option of being able to ustilize the dodges in her playbook to get to the ball holder, strip the ball from them, and kick it away to an available team mate, or out into the open away from the opposing team. In my experience, if Chisel is near the person with the ball, she can get it. Unpredictable, High Def, Gender based DEF boost, crowd outs...Chisel can get around it all. The only thing she can't ignore is Close Control, but she can trigger it easily enough for her follow up attack, or for a Parting Blow. Survivability: Generally the Masons lean on their ARM stat to take the hits, but Chisel is in the camp of the 1 ARM Masons, and with 13 health, is in danger of being taken out easily, especially if you're using crazy. But if used right, Chisel can be rather hard to remove from the field. Sadism lets her heal each time an enemy model in 4" takes damage, even if a different model on your team is doing the attacking. Assuming you give Chisel 4 influence, she can go Crazy, activate Sadism, hit an opposing player three times (looking for her 2-4 columns of options), allowing her to dodge, generate momentum, and heal. After your attacks, she's healed up her Crazy Damage, possibly put Feel My Pain out, and likely dodged to a better position, as well as having generated 3 momentum. If she had taken damage before, she can still Take A Breather to get her health back up 4pts. Feel My pain also triggers off parting blows, so if you're engaged by models that can only damage you (Fish), you can cake a parting blow from a player, damage them, and heal up from Sadism on her way to chasing the ball. Annoyance: Chisel can be very annoying, from her 2" melee, to her dodges on her playbook, and most importantly, because of Feel My Pain. With FMP in place on a model engaging Chisel, they suffer damage every time they attack Chisel, which heals her if you have Sadism up. No matter what option they choose, Chisel gets healed and they take damage. Say they decide not to attack her, and walk away? Chisel doesn't have a knock down, but she can still do damage on the parting blow, which heals her, and denying someone the charge with her melee range is always a good option. So with set up, Chisel can just be frustration to remove from the field, leaving your opponents choosing a different model to focus on instead of lesser returns against Chisel. BUT WHAT ABOUT PAINFUL RAGE?!? It's a trap! Well, it's not a trap, but what it does is allow Chisel to start her healing shenanigans without having to worry about using Crazy to up her TAC to reasonable levels. If Chisel has taken a fair amount of damage and is below 6, her TAC goes up to 6, which makes hitting the first two columns of her playbook easier to access. This allows her to Tackle, to dodge, and to dodge/damage, allowing her to re-position out of harms way, to heal herself with momentum, or to even trigger Sadism if she wants. Does it also allow her to do more damage? certainly, but I see that as a guard against being engaged by a Tough Hide model when she's low on health, so she can still trigger Sadism and get her self heal up and running. It also allows you a better chance at a counter attack being successful if she's attacked before she activates, and gets damaged to below Painful Rage levels. So, to summarize: Chisel is the Masons answer to "how to get the ball", and can absorb a lot of damage and heal it up with her built in healing tech while she harasses strikers. Pick your targets wisely, don't throw Chisel into a scrum unsupported expecting her to kill everyone, and let Chisel chase the ball like she's built to do. Thanks for reading!
  11. 9 points

    Will GB die because of the Minor Guilds

    Classic Fox News title.
  12. 9 points

    Morticans, Ratcatchers and Union

    Hello there! I finished the Bonesaw! At least without the base.... I still have to build and paint it, and certainly put some blood on the blades. But it will be done with the last Mortician: veteran Grave!
  13. 9 points

    Organized Play Update

    Everyone that plays a major guild and plans on doing so even once this becomes tournament reality, take a step back, think about HOW you're going to counter Piper and the other Ratties with your own players and get some practice going. We all have a distinct advantage of knowing EXACTLY the captain choice of this team, which you can't really say about other guilds. Plus, if you don't like your main captain's matchup against Piper... time to learn the other captain of your guild. C'mon people! Let's be challenged instead of crying for nerfs!
  14. 9 points

    Gameplan deck

    Ursus is latin for a bear while Arctos is Greek for a bear. A grizzly bear is Ursus Arctos Horribilis meaning basically a horrible bear bear. But a brown bear is Ursus Arctos Arctos so a bear bear bear. You can't essentially get anymore bear than that. (Also note that Arctic is basically "the place with the bears" and Antarctic is "the place without any bears" - it's a fine way to define regions!)
  15. 8 points

    Tactics for the Butchers Guild

    In tandem with @Mako excellent beginner player rundowns, this is a post for beginner tactics for the Butchers Guild to improve our new player resources. It is not intended to be a bible nor do I propose this is the only way to play Butchers. Please feel free to suggest your own tactics that would be useful to a beginner here. I will outline a few strategies I have played myself which may or may not be helpful. Together we will try to make this a useful guide for beginner players - remember this is not designed for the 'expert' or top-level play. Playstyle The Butchers are one of the oldest Guilds in Guildball and are certainly capable of moving the ball around but their focus is on controlling the game through takeouts. This doesn’t mean they win only through takeouts – even Butchers need to score goals. More that you can control the game through taking out key enemy players preventing you from scoring and cripple your opponents gameplan. Their momentum comes from getting into melee with their opponent and doing DMG. Butchers are glass-cannons however – throwing your players at your opponent will often get them taken out – Butchers are not Orcs! They require a little finesse to work, but when the machine is rolling they can seem to take control of the game. Many of your players have easy access to momentous DMG and you should leverage that to gain control over tempo (who is dictating the action – or who is on the offensive/defensive) because Butchers lack the janky skills of other Guilds – what you see is often what you get. Which is a lot of punching. TIP: This guide will not discuss Union players. Partly because the minor guild will take these away, partly because this is a beginner guide. 1: Team Selection Butchers currently have two captains to choose from and they are very different in their approach – while still being very Butchery. Captain Ox The Ox-man is a multi-talented piece that you can switch roles with – support element with low INF, or beat stick with max INF. A team lead by Ox is focused on taking out the enemy and doing so extremely well – an Ox Team can put out the highest DMG in the game without special setup. Ox the beat stick Ox has fairly generic stats and his defence is low. His special trait The Owner is where he shines. This converts his high TAC and low playbook DMG into deadly effect. +1 DMG always on means his playbook actually reads: 2 T 3 KD 4 etc. For a TAC 7 model with access to 5 INF, Ox can deal a lot of DMG to models. His Legendary pumps his personal DMG output to insane levels – 3 DMG on 1 success is incredible and 4 DMG on 3 when the enemy is at -1 ARM is usually enough to dispatch any model, including captains (assuming they don’t escape his clutches – see Weaknesses). TIP: The Owner and Get ‘Em Lads! Both boost Character Plays that do DMG as well as melee combat. Brisket’s Dirty Knives, Shank’s Thousand Cuts and Tenderiser’s Ground Pound all benefit at range. Meathook's Scything Blow is especially nasty under these. While situational, having Brisket throw 3 DMG Dirty Knives at models can be effective. TIP: Don’t forget Get ‘Em Lads! reduces enemy models ARM by 1. It can be easy to forget this is in the whirlwind of pain Ox generates. TIP: The Owner and Get ‘Em Lads! Only require friendly models to be within 4”/6” respectively to get the +1 DMG (enemy models need to be in for -1 ARM). This can extend the effect of these Auras quite substantially when combined with 2” melee models such as Shank and Boar. Ox the Support Captain Ox doesn’t have to be tearing people up to be effective on the pitch (although a good turn with him doing so can often swing the game heavily in your favour). Ox’s aura’s can allow him to help his team with no INF at all. Just walk him into range (or be in a scrum) and your opponent is in serious trouble. Try to get Ox into the thick of a scrum and let his team start to tear the opponent apart with +1/+2 DMG. He also has a few Character Plays that can be used to support his team if Ox can’t make it into melee. Tough Skin can help keep fragile models or low defence models (like Boar) alive, although this is often best cast on Ox himself as your opponent will know that Ox is making his entire team do much more DMG than they should and removing Ox is the only way to stop it. They Ain’t Tough! can be used on any ARM target (and especially Masons and Blacksmiths) to increase the effectiveness of Butcher attacks. This is also very easy for Ox to trigger in melee – and situationally this might be the right play if facing a wall of ARM. Butchery is another DMG buff Butchers can put out – which when combined with Tooled Up and Ox can give models up to +4 DMG to every hit – no model in the game can survive this. Butchery is often best used if INF is left on Ox for some reason. Ox is not unstoppable. Ox suffers from painting a huge target on his head. By cranking the Butchers team DMG up to 11, he is the number one piece enemy teams will try to remove in some way. This might be a simple take out, or more tricksy means such as Puppet Mastering him to walk backwards etc. His defence is low and his 19 boxes won’t save him from a combined assault. Use of Tough Skin can help as 3+/2 is ok, but Ox’s greatest fear is being knocked down. Consider buffing his defence with Swift Stance from Boiler even if KD. TIP: Keep Ox on his feet as much as possible. Butchers should be generating plenty of momentum – stand him up rather than heal him. 2+ doubles the number of success rolled against him and also switches off any sort of counter attack he can make. Ox has a Double Push on 3 hits – if you can roll a counter attack, Ox has a good chance to disengage many adversaries. Finally, because his defence is so weak, Ox is easy to counter and dodge away for some models. Try to hit the KD to stop this on the first attack – the KD will also increase his subsequent DMG so it’s not wasted. You can boost this chance by charging – but beware Defensive Stance. Suggested Beginner Team selection Hurt Me Plenty: Ox (C), Princess, Boiler, Brisket2, Meathook, Boar Captain Fillet Where Ox is the centre of his team, Fillet is a super star. She wants all the attention and she can do it all. It is not unusual to start every turn giving Fillet 6 INF and going from there. She runs hot, but she will deliver often without support. With support she can be one of the most dangerous models in the game. Fillet the Super Star Firstly a quick look at Fillet’s stats shows that she above average in every department. Extremely fast, extremely high TAC, good KICK, high Defence. She lacks ARM but 5+ defence means that outside KD she has less to fear from most models outside bad luck. Her playbook is pretty linear in her DMG but the most important result is in column 4 – Blood Rain. Her traits explain this – Smell Blood and Blood Dance. Smell Blood is a +1 DMG buff against bleeding targets (and a SPD buff as well if she needs it) and Blood Dance adds a dodge to everything she does in melee. Combined with Blood Rain, Fillet can start to dish out a lot of DMG quickly and has the INF to keep on hacking at models until they are taken out. TIP: Remember that Blood Dance and Smell Blood require the target to be already bleeding prior to the attack to take effect. Fillet wants to hit that Blood Rain trigger, and if she can charge, she should do so. She won’t always hit it, but through use of Bonus Time and her TAC 8, she has a good chance. ALWAYS take Blood Rain if the target is not already bleeding. TIP: Prepping a model for Fillet to go into increases the chance of Blood Rain and is recommended. Meathook's Hooked, Brisket1’s Dirty Knives, Truffles 1 INF charge for a KD and Shank’s Thousand Cuts can all boost Fillet’s effectiveness. TIP: Because Fillet has a high INF stat she can benefit the most from Tooled Up – try to tool her up from Meathook and watch Fillet keep swinging and getting a benefit. Once the target is bleeding, Fillet can usually cut them down. If she cannot her Legendary allows her to instantly do 3 additional DMG – which after a Fillet assault should be the end of the target. TIP: Watch for clusters of enemy models – putting Bleed condition onto multiple enemies is very effective. Fillet isn’t just a scalpel to the enemy’s heart, she is also an effective striker. If given the ball, Fillet can often use her natural abilities to dodge around enemy models and score. Her low Tackle makes tackling her relatively pointless and her high Defence means she can shrug off even parting blows. Fillet is so fast (up to 11” of MOV) that she can often score goals, or tackle the ball carrier, take them out and score in the same activation. While her 6” KICK seems short ranged, her ability to dodge, combined with her natural speed often allows her to reach the goal. Fillet has a few toolkit options for when she isn’t directly slicing people up. Quick Foot can either speed her or her teammates up and Pain Circle can be used to push the Bleed condition out for other team mates, or to DMG the opponent or just sap their momentum. Fillet is vulnerable to Knock Downs – 4+ won’t keep her 14 boxes filled for very long. She should always clear KD when possible – 5+ is hard to hit and might keep her alive. TIP: Throw Boiler’s Swift Stance on Fillet to take her to 6+ DEF and watch your opponent cry. 6+ DEF Fillet is near unstoppable outside of a few models with column 1 KDs or high TAC (beware Corsair). Add in Meathook’s Tooled Up and while you’ve spent 3 INF, the 6 INF on Fillet will reap a substantial reward with little to fear about losing it before it can be used. Suggested Beginner Team selection Make them Bleed: Fillet (C), Truffles, Boiler, Meathook, Brisket1, Shank TIP: Veteran Ox is a very good player and even Tenderiser has his moments. They have not been included here simply because this focusses on beginner teams. 2: Kick/Receive Butchers are flexible in kicking or receiving. However it can dictate the captain selection as Fillet provides a lot of kick off pressure and Ox with the ball can setup a powerful turn. Possible Kicking Strategy Kick off with Fillet. Move her 7” forward to threaten the enemy team and stack her full of INF. The opponent either has to kill the ball or deal with Fillet. Further activations should be to put Swift Stance and Tooled Up on Fillet. At this point you now have reached Peak Fillet. However you do not need activate Fillet until last – and unless a Tackle/Score opportunity presents itself, it is recommended waiting until last activation. This is to try to allow Fillet to generate maximum momentum and go first in Turn 2. A back to back activation from Fillet is extremely painful. Instead prep the opponent with Thousand Cuts or Dirty Knives if possible. At 6+ DEF, she is usually too difficult to remove and if they cannot knock her down, extremely dangerous to risk going near. Activate her last, and cut through the enemy, doing as much bleed and DMG as possible to go first Turn 2 and cut the heart out of the opponent. Finish off with a Tackle/Score. TIP: Fillet is almost untouchable at 6+ but beware low KD models or models that Fillet doesn’t want to get stuck with. Watch out for Fire AOEs that can slow Fillet down. Possible Receiving Strategy Hyper Aggressive Picking Ox, collect the ball and try to pass it around such that it finishes on Ox. Jump Ox forward. Put Swift Stance on Ox and if necessary tough skin to make him 4+/2. Tool him up so that every hit does insane DMG. Last activation for you, pass the ball back to Brisket to setup a goal next turn. Jump Ox again. Then launch Ox into the opponent. Wreck face and earn a pile of momentum. Go first with Ox, pop legendary, rip the heart out of the opponent (take out a model with the most INF), and afterwards send in troops to mop up. TIP: When Ox jumps 4” forward he is ‘vulnerable’ – watch out for plays such as Puppet Master and Blind. These will waste all the setup you are trying to achieve. This approach is not recommended into Morticians, Hunters or Alchemists for this reason – pick Fillet. Patient Approach Similar to the above but rather than launch Ox into the enemy, pass the ball around, generate momentum, bounce Ox forward and leave the ball on Ox. Then first activation Turn 2 jump Ox forward as necessary, legendary and repeat as above. Maybe just score Alternatively, pass the ball along to Brisket sitting a central(ish) position. Brisket can then dodge forward 4” from Pass N Go. She can then either put up Super Shot (Brisket1) or dodge forward 2” (Quick Time on Brisket2). From there she can run and potentially score with 22” goal threat. TIP: Scoring with Brisket2 gives 2 extra INF instead of 1 – the earlier she scores the more you benefit from this. 3: Hurt Me Plenty Strategy The key to this crew is wrecking face with everyone, applying too many threats that your opponent cannot defend against them all. As you gain more momentum and hopefully start to take out key players, tempo should shift towards you and Brisket can slot home goals to boost your INF and keep the machine rolling. Working together to smash the enemy’s teeth out – Teamwork yeah! Ox is the heart of the crew – keeping him alive is important. While the team can continue without him, he takes their DMG output to the next level. He is vulnerable as discussed but this team when working well should generate buckets of momentum and pose multiple threats. Try to put Ox in the second wave (if you haven’t gone hyper aggressive) so that your opponent is already dealing with other players. Meathook deserves special mention – she is an excellent setup piece to go first. This is because her attacks are extremely effective. With a TAC 6 she can usually hit her target. From there she only needs 1 success to do 1 DMG, generate 1 momentum, set the target Bleeding and Hook the target for -1 DEF. After this, her additional attacks do +1 DMG (and if in Ox’s Aura, more) owing to Smell Blood. Also consider firing off her Heroic Play. Sanguine Pool can freeze enemy players in place. TIP: Consider attacking different targets with Meathook even if she could concentrate her attacks - Hooked & Bleed on multiple models can be worth more. TIP: Crucial Artery works with Scything Blow. Consider picking attacks against low DEF models to trigger this on other targets. Hooked does NOT work with Scything blow. TIP: Scything Blow works with Ox’s Aura’s – look for opportunities to do 5 DMG to multiple models. And set them Bleeding. Joyous fun times. Boar is a very efficient wrecking ball – for 1 INF you can get up to 4 attacks from him. If he is within Ox’s auras, those attacks will hurt. A lot. With his 2” melee, he can often avoid counter attacks. If he cannot, you will have to waste an attack on KD. However, he will still do a phenomenal amount of DMG. Boar will force your opponent to deal with him - which takes the pressure off Ox. Splitting attention is key for Butchers. TIP: Consider using Brisket’s Quick Time 2” Dodge on Boar to surprise people. TIP: People will try to engage Boar to stop his free charge. Use your team mates’ pushes to disengage Boar for dramatic Godzilla moments when he charges. Boiler should be hanging out with Princess. Princess should try to move in to engage a model that has already activated. Boiler can then move up to engage the target and hit them with +2 TAC and +1 DMG. Combined with Anatomical and Crucial Artery, Boiler can pump out a lot of DMG. While fantastic within Ox’s aura, Boiler and Princess can run independently. TIP: Marked Target can be used to grant extra threat range to enemy models for Ox or Boar to reach. It is also very easy to trigger in melee so consider picking this if another player’s activation would be wasted. Brisket’s job is to score goals. Your team might struggle to tackle enemy models so their approach will probably be to cripple them with Sanguine Pool or take them out. Use Brisket to score snap back goals or Tackle people with her 2nd column Tackle. TIP: Watch out for your opponent bringing players back on the wings – this sucks the fuel out of Ox’s takeout game and can allow them to sneak around and score goals with you out of position. Consider keeping Brisket on one wing and Boiler & Princess on the other. 4: Make Them Bleed Strategy This crew is all about supporting Fillet do her incredible thing while also putting Bleed on all the things and having multiple credible strikers. It is a surprisingly fast moving team that wants to take the upper hand quickly and hold it by crushing your opponent’s key models and scoring quickly sowing disruption into opponent’s gameplan. I’m going to cut your heart out with a spoon! Switching to using Fillet changes the game substantially. Fillet will want maximum INF each turn. Try to use her as a laser guided missile – pick a target, maybe prep it with Meathook or Brisket if you can, then bust it up. However Fillet isn’t just about take outs, she should look to the ball carrier and while potentially busting him up, also Tackle the ball, dodge and look to score or pass the ball back to Brisket. TIP: Brisket doesn't have to be in range of Fillet's pass - simply passing it back in her direction may be enough to keep it out of enemy hands and set Brisket up. Meathook works as she did in the other team mostly, but she’ll often want to do Tooled Up more here (especially on Fillet) rather than just enjoy Ox’s Auras. Look to apply Bleed as much as possible. Hooked targets are excellent for Fillet (especially if still Bleeding) as then Fillet can do her thing much easier. Truffles is in over Princess simply because it can charge for 1 against most targets and has a very low KD (which Fillet lacks). This can disrupt enemy ball carriers, but more importantly prep targets for Fillet and co to attack. It is also possibly the hardest mascot to take out in the game and not worth it to your opponent – so it can wander around disrupting enemy models and generally being annoying. TIP: Be careful when playing Engineers – most of their team are NOT human. This means Truffles is less effective and probably not worth fielding. This reduces Boiler’s DMG output but he can either make up for it with Tooled Up or just rely on his native DMG and Bleed to do the work. Brisket1 is selected here because she can support Fillet more with Dirty Knives, is another very capable Striker with an easy Tackle and is hard for male enemies to attack. Use Brisket and Fillet together to score goals from all over the pitch. Shank is the final mobility piece. Shank is surprisingly fast and should be used as a sweeper on models that try to escape, as well as a potential goal scorer with his natural speed. His 4” dodge can be used against teams using goalkeepers to avoid triggering their Rush Keeper rule allowing them free charges. This team is about speed and target selection. It lacks the brute force approach of Ox, but instead can run rings around slow opponents and tries to reduce their options. By putting out DMG and Bleed, it looks to sap opponent’s momentum and keep the upper hand. Unlike Ox, if Fillet is taken out she can often just zoom back onto the pitch and continue wrecking the place (look out for Fast Terrain)! 5: Guild Weaknesses & Other Guilds The Butchers as discussed are fragile to enemy attacks and need to remove these threats. They have few janky Character Plays and their gameplan can be dismissed by enemy players as ‘simple’. This is an over simplification, and can be exploited by Butchers but it is true that in the main, Butchers need to be in melee to impact the game. This means they need to expose themselves to counter attacks. To avoid their prey simply dodging away, Butcher coaches need to be creative. The first option is to KD the opponent. Many models have access to KD but it’s not a Guild focus so you may find this hard to hit. The second option is boosting DEF to high enough value to make counter attacks a waste through Swift Stance. 5+/6+ models are annoying to hit and only low results will trigger – this will dissuade some counters. Other options are to crowd the target out, attack from cover etc. Where 2” melee is available, use this to pick on 1” targets. Alternative options are the death by a thousand cuts approach – charge/walk models in to make one attack only. By forcing your opponent to risk burning through momentum for limited gain you can keep tempo. Use a ‘wasted’ INF on Character plays. TIP: Even if Ox is pushed out of combat, simply spend his INF on Character Plays and then his Aura can still be doing tremendous work. When playing Ox, avoid splitting up the party as Ox’s big selling point is his aura. However you might want to consider splitting off 1-2 players to sweep the wings in case your opponent dishonourably runs away! Fillet’s team is more mobile and usually has less issues splitting up. But concentrated force is still more effective than diffused effort. It’s no surprise that the Guilds that Butchers struggle with the most are Alchemists and Engineers. Both seek to NOT get bogged down in melee combat and have multiple tools to frustrate a Butcher player. Into these teams Fillet is usually a better choice, but beware both Guilds can muster formidable melee combatants. The only option is to often to adopt the hyper aggressive strategy of ‘running madly towards them’ and let those that survive help you generate momentum to take back tempo. Any Butcher plyer is a credible threat. I find that Shank is particularly good for this as he is deceptively mobile. If you have the ball you have the power in these match ups so use that wisely to generate momentum and dodge players as required.
  16. 8 points

    A Beginner's Guide to: Widgets

    Forum! I made a new video that I hope will become a resource for teaching new players clean play. Special thanks to Botts and Pat for starring in the opening skit. Follow me on Twitter: @TheCurkov https://mobile.twitter.com/thecurkov My Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/TheCurkov Strictly the Worst Guild Ball Podcast: http://strictlytheworst.libsyn.com/
  17. 8 points

    Unsportsmanlike But Legal

    This is largely a carryover from other combat-based gaming systems. When folks take the time to learn to play the game for a few months they will realize how much of a terrible strategy this is. The ball is a resource to be used, just like momentum and influence. Yes, even for a fighting team. Honestly I'd challenge you to figure out a method to overcome. If you are having difficulty, perhaps next time this happens to you take a snapshot and we can provide suggestions? All striking teams have the ability to weasel a ball away, but it does take planning and foresight. I agree with most of what you said, however this part is just not true according to recorded tournament results: 3.1 Meta. Yep this is the last time we really see primary goal scoring teams super taking advantage of the field, but this era existed between 8 & 15 months ago. As you statement says "right now" I think it is fair to ignore this. Also big nerfs happened. 3.2 Meta had fish on top of win rate followed by union (mostly Corsair/Rage). While Corsair can run a scoring list, if scoring was "top of the meta" would we not expect shark? I doubt we can consider Vet Rage to be a scoring list. Tournament wins were lead by Masons, and believe it or not, followed by Butchers then Union. Admittedly the Butcher wins are much more focused around smaller events, but this doesn't hold true for masons. 3.3 Meta largely dominated by Thresher. Certainly not a scoring team. Had the highest win rate and tournament wins. Yes fish and alchemists come in behind him, but those teams saw Corsair and Smoke leading the way versus their more score-focused options of Shark and Midas. 3.4 Meta what about right now? Less than a month of data to go on, but take a wild guess who is the top performing guild/captain... go ahead and pause and guess.... Did you guess Butchers/Fillet? They're leading the pack right now (blame @Slothrop). Then you've got Corsair beating people up as always, followed by Hunters in 3rd??? Wild. Simply not enough space on the pitch to really "Run Away" with any degree of reliability. Smoke's team can do this for a little while, but she's not really a scoring team. Overall - I think the comments in this thread are largely a symptom of experience. It seems most emerging communities go through these growing pains really since the game began. Butchers are always kind of an early days power house. Eventually folks figure things out. Killing teams work on how to stall the ball. Scoring teams learn how to deal with it. Eventually you'll come to realize how balanced the core of this game actually is. Seems most groups follow this path in some form or another.
  18. 8 points
    Granite's aesthetic design actually helped draw me to the game in the first place. My subsequent disappointment with her performance on the pitch and analysis of her card, however, make me feel like I'm having some kind of dissociative episode whenever I watch people trying to defend her. It's deeply surreal to me. Perhaps the most damning thing is the arguments in her favor. The most common I've seen on this forum is, "Granite's fine/okay/pretty good, I'd just never ever waste a 1 slot out of 10 to even humor the idea of fielding her.". Along those lines, I've heard a member of my local playgroup try to insist, "She's not bad, she's just 'Masons bad'. The other Masons options are just so good, she's crowded out.". Okay, here's a thought experiment, imagine that Granite is totally factionless. What if anyone could field her! Is there any team that would? I'm sure you can maybe think of some magical christmas land combo scenarios, but I promise you, if you playtested it, she'd underperform. EVERY TEAM IS COMPOSED OF OPTIONS BETTER THEN GRANITE. I sympathize with the case Devilsquid has made. I once tried to convince myself of much the same, but here's the thing, his case for her is essentially just as condemning. In the best case scenario described, Granite is a sinkhole of utility. A huge amount of strategy and resources must be committed in the name of bringing her into a position of being merely functional. Ideally, every piece in a coach's team should grant some kind of advantage, but for fun and balance sake, also contain some flaw or drawback the opponent can potentially exploit. The recurring, bone deep, theme of Granite is that she works the opposite way. She's a drawback that her coach can sometimes potentially exploit for some kind of advantage. But why so? She's got a great playbook with good character plays, decent TAC, good kick, lots of health, and (AND!) out of activation movement. Out of activation movement! Well, lets come back to that. To my mind Granite has three core problems, but the third seems to be invisible to most people, so requires some explaining. So, in order from most to least obvious... 1) She Is Literally Hobbled: At some point in Granite's childhood someone broke her ankles and set them incorrectly to insure she'd never run again. She's so slow that if (when) she gets taken out, she's basically just flatly gone from the game. In most games it'll be a glacial age and a lot of wasted sprinting influence before she can waddle back to a position where she'll be relevant again. At Defense 2, she'll be hit with every single enemy character play, meaning that once you do get her in a good position, your opponent most often can and will easily fix that for you. 2) She Is Easy To Ignore: Her 1'' melee zone is unforgiving and unforgivable. I can understand not wanting her to be able to apply a 2'' zone offensively, but not being able to effectively project gang ups/crowd outs, threaten Parting Blows, or reliably counterattack, means she fundamentally cannot fulfill the basic requirements of her archetype. She's meant to be a viable alternative to Brick, but Brick passively generates a 6'' aura of control for no Influence, while Granite projects 3'' of control for 1 influence and lost tempo from activating. Name a guild and I can point you to a model who does a better job of gumming up the pitch more reliably. More often then not it only takes 1 influence totally paralyze her, to punt her helplessly out of position, or 1 momentum to glide past untouched and indifferent. 3) Most of Her Traits Are Secretly Penalties: 'Determination', 'Between a Rock...', and 'Foundation' are not benefits, they're partial refunds. This, I think, is core to what makes Granite's card objectively bad. 'Foundation' does not grant Granite "extra" moment. Its effect is functionally identical to "This model has [MOV 6''/8''] on the first turn of the game". 'Between a Rock...' is only once per turn, meaning Granite it elevated from hobbled all the way to average MOV for a turn if a friendly model takes damage from an enemy action while within 4'' of her. [DEF 2+] [ARM 2] leaves her so vulnerable so often in practice 'Determination' often feels like, "This (DEF 3+) model has [-1] DEF unless crowded out". I'm partially convinced Granite must have been insanely broken in some early iteration of design, leading Steamforged to massively over-correct before rushing to release for some reason. The easiest way to fix Granite (and yes, she badly needs fixing) might be to just remove all her traits but Sturdy and refund all the deficits attached to them. Would anyone draft Granite competitively if she had [MOV 6''/8''] [DEF 3+] [ARM 2] and Sturdy as her only trait? I think it might be worth trying out on the table. It'd essentially make her almost unique as a model, one who's main gimmick is having virtually no gimmicks, just good to decent stats.
  19. 8 points

    Mako's Expert Procrastination Thread

    Well, he's finally done. Which is a relief! Which gives me eight morticians ready to go:
  20. 8 points
    I think this is actually one of the issues with guild ball, in a weird way. It's very easy to give advice to someone in MTG, for example, because a lot of the game is in deckbuilding, and that's done in downtime. You can give someone your list and ask 'how can I make this better' and get a concrete response of choices to make, replacements and upgrades to consider. In guild ball, almost every 'bad at the game' mistake is something that happens on the pitch, rather than off it. You can give someone an optimal lineup and a 'counter' matchup and they will likely still lose to a player with a reasonable amount more experience than them. This means that coaching people at GB is hard. The only really good way of doing so is to play a lot of games and talk them through things. Giving advice on choices to make in-game is nice, but a lot of the time the common things you need to learn (threat ranges, expected damage outputs, when to engage, how to avoid wasting influence, when the ball is safe and when it isn't) are not very easily learned and they are not questions with hard and fast rules which can be used to answer them. GB is a game which involves a lot of decisions all the time. Significantly more than a card game, at least. Usually in MTG, in a game I might make a few pregame decisions (mulligan choices) and then what land to play, what of my 2-3 options on what to do with mana, and that's about it. Over an 8 turn (so quite long) game I might make 25 or so 'decisions' where I have an opportunity to misplay in total. In deck construction, I have 75 decisions to make, and lots of options in all of them, but deck construction decisions are very easy to get advice and input on. In guild ball, I only have 11 pregame decisions to make (guild choice, roster choice) from a relatively small number of options, but then just the draft (6), kick/receive, positioning in deployment (6), kicker if relevant, how to position kicker, where to place the ball, how to distribute each point of influence, who to activate each activation (6), where to go with each model (6), how to spend each point of influence (12)... I make more decisions in just the first turn of a GB game than I do in an entire game of Magic. The number of opportunities for a new player to mess up in GB are extensive - there are a lot of choices to be made and they are usually not ones that can be easily advised on, because they are made ingame, and depends heavily on what the opponent is doing / the terrain / what team you are against and so on. They also aren't ones where it is easy to statistically analyse the correct answer, either. Nobody has stats for 'games where Shark gets taken out in exchange for a turn one goal, Fish win 54.2% of the time' or whatever. That means that a lot of the time, the right answer to all of these decisions is pretty much based on gut feeling rather than actual numbers.
  21. 7 points

    Unsportsmanlike But Legal

    I’d certainly prefer if people could offer advice without being insulting, belittling or dismissive. This is a thing that most metas go through as far as I’ve seen, so a little guidance and understanding goes a long way.
  22. 7 points

    Darn SJW's *shakes fist*

    https://store.steamforged.com/collections/guild-ball/products/the-exiles-new-alliances The new Alliances box is ALL WOMEN!!! REEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! How DARE they patronize their consumer base by providing them a unique and interesting cast of characters who deviate meaningfully from norms to fill interesting design spaces among aesthetic fantasies! GRRR!!! I wish SFG would quit pandering to the overly sensitive hordes of ESS JAY DUBYAHS!!! It's probably because there are hordes of snowflakes who get offended at the merest thing. Such as representation of a demographic which doesn't align with their worldview! My women friends who totally exist feel infantilized by this shoehorned representation which only exist to tick diversity boxes! Don't they know that women have naturally less upper body strength and thus are ill suited to the sport of Guild Ball! (Disregard the practicality of scythes, wooden robots, magic, and the egregious amount of dangling blades each of the butchers carry) *shakes fist impotently* But actually SF, this is awesome and I wanted to thank you. A greater diversity of stories is always welcome, and whether that variety is an accident or a conscious awareness of tropes and trends to avoid is beyond the point. My daughter was born 10 months ago and I'm hoping that by the time she's old enough to begin identifying with fictional characters she'll be able to find herself reflected in any archetype she wishes. Also more pretty women are always welcome.
  23. 7 points
    I agree with Gauntlet and I've actually had the conversation a lot locally with people in the South of the U.K. Guildball doesn't really have a off mode, it's hard to draw an example from another game but let's use 40k. 40k you can play narrative games, you can recreate hugely cinematic moments, you can forge your own characters, make your own scenarios and run campaigns. Guildball really lacks the capacity for a lot of what "Casual" games normally offer. Guildball is 1 scenario, 6 players with only 2 ways to "win" the game. For example say you're playing Age of Sigmar and you make crazy scenario where deamons are pouring out of realmgates and victory conditions aren't anything to do with achieving a points it's purely a narrative victory / loss. Guildball ultimately a mechanical game about achieving your 12 VPs to win the game. I think the toughest for me is trying to sell the game to newer players that are trying to break into a community of experienced players. There is no two ways about your first 3 months of Guildball against players that know the game mechanics just somewhat are either them letting you win the game, or them beating you and explaining the mistakes you made. It's not exactly a "enjoyable" learning curve losing over and over again. I don't think Guildball can never be played casually but I think Guildball at it's core is a competitive game with a ultra tight ruleset that allows people to compete at high skill levels very well due to the nature of the rigid mechanics it has.
  24. 7 points

    Erahf's WIP Teams

    Smoke’s pretty much done, just needs a puff of matt varnish. And a better photo setup.
  25. 7 points
    I don't think anyone here is really disagreeing that the tournament scene for Guild Ball is great when you're "in it," or saying that competitive players are a bunch of super-serious assholes. Pretty much everybody who's ever been to a tournament has great things to say about the community, and that seems to only get stronger as you go deeper into the scene, eventually making it to Worlds or WTC or whatever. The issue that this thread started with seems to be the part about GETTING there. I'd say that Guild Ball is an incredibly interesting, inviting, and satisfying ecosystem for a player at the top 40-50% of the curve in terms of investment and/or skill. But everybody pretty much starts at 0%, so... that's not a great look for the game's longevity. I don't really think that telling these players to "stick with it and git gud" is useful; new players don't want to be told to keep playing for some reward a year down the line, they want a reason to continue playing NOW. This is a hobby, for god's sake. How to get new players into Guild Ball and keep new players dedicated to Guild Ball long enough to see the parts of the community that are best is a crucially important question, but it's tough. Huggy has good ideas above, but not every community can be blessed with a great teacher/demo-er for new players. I try to avoid playing new players too, because it's hard for me to "turn off" when it comes to Guild Ball, and I think that's a problem shared by most top players. Casual formats do help with that in my opinion, and I think a lot more of those types of events should be run; it's a lot easier to shrug off the competitive drive and fuck around when you're playing doubles. A problem with that solution, though, is that some of the alt formats just flat suck in my opinion. Does anybody REALLY enjoy Homelands? I sort of like thinking about it until I remember that the Skaldic team is just flat, no-question the best team in the format, and then I forget about it again. More action-packed, fast-paced formats would be welcome, but how much the dev team can and should dedicate to that is an open question. Different regions have different problems in this case too. The UK has typically had dramatically more events than any section of the USA of similar size, so I think for the UK more casual events where top players are encouraged to play but relax is a good direction. But in the USA, we struggle to have enough events (and big enough events) to satisfy the dedicated players. More casual events would still be useful, but as a competitive player I'd be pretty frustrated if my already-inconsistent tournament selection got overrun by Dodge Ball. Other than, again, the arrival of a super energetic and patient teacher, I'm struggling to come up with a direct solution I can help implement that satisfies the community AND grows it, while also (hopefully) being at least sort of fun for me. I think Steamforged is to blame here as well. About a year ago everybody was hyped for the Season 3 changes, trying out new stuff, finding good plays and bad plays, and generally the established community was gushing about the game. I don't really think the game has gotten worse—in fact I think it's better than it was then—but it's hard to get hyped with such a dramatic change to the game notably missing. I think Season 4 happening sometime around now would have been good, or at least a patch involving buffs to most guilds' least-played models like Venin, Bonesaw, VetSpigot, Locus, etc. Compound that lack of excitement with the weird uncertain place metal teams are in right now regarding their sale and relation to the plastic teams, and the fact that of the four currently available plastic teams, one might get you shamed for playing them and another is considered maybe the most complicated guild to play in the game, and it's pretty hard to figure out exactly where to point a new player's money. The wiki idea is a great one and if one starts getting built up I'd happily help add some tactica/tips for parts of the game or specific models. Maybe a more honest and direct pitch for Guild Ball would be good too. Is there something so bad about being THE competitive miniatures game? If you want fair fights, rewards for skill, and a deep tournament scene, come to us.