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Bathoz's Match Reports

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Bathoz and I just had a 4 hour epic on vassal. He took Engineers and I took Alchemists, both were teams that we hadn't played before.

Unfortunately I don't have the energy for a complete report but since I actually managed to beat Bathoz at something for a change, I couldn't resist putting something down.


The Alchemists kicked to the Engineers and after an initial turn of positioning the second turn opened with a goal from Colossus and an immediate reply from Vitriol. The rest of the game devolved into a passing fire fight. The Alchemists dominated the left wing with Vitriol as a constant threat, while the Engineers owned the center of the pitch, trying to feed the ball up to Colossus hanging in the goal.

Fortunes turned back and forth with the ball moving up and down the pitch between strikers. A failed pass and Don't Touch The Hair prevented the Engineers from taking the lead and a failed hit on Mainspring by Vitriol failed to generate the momentum she needed to score. All the while the bolts and flasks were flying and health was running low with a couple of players from each side taken out.


In the end a heroic effort from Midas, pulling off two tackles from a single hit freed the ball from Colossus and he spread it wide, through Catalyst to Vitriol, who had just run back onto the pitch. She didn't have the move to score that turn, but managed to get into cover just outside the Engineer's deployment zone and pop clone. She survived the turn but the Engineers won initiative, so she had to face down a fully loaded Salvo before she could hit him for momentum, jump over her cover and score at the very end of her range. 12-8 to the Alchemists.


It was a tight and tense game and the only times I felt that I even had a chance were when Vitriol was in front of the goal. I should point out that had Salvo managed to interrupt the last goal, it would almost certainly have been an Engineer victory. Vitriol herself was on 3 hitpoints, Katalyst was on 4 and Flask on 3. Any two of them could have easily been taken out before I managed to reclaim the ball.


The Engineer/Alchemist match up is a very interesting one. Both can deal damage at range and both are very competent with the ball. There was very little actual engagement and a lot of character plays. Both teams are a lot of fun and I look forward to playing them again.

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Additional thoughts:


Vitriol in cover is a monster.


Colossus is interesting, but other than playing him as a useful midfielder, I'm uncertain what he does. In this game, he tied up a couple of players just by goal hanging. They couldn't do much to him, though he really couldn't do much to them in return. I suspect that Velocity could have fulfilled the same role fairly simply.


Ballista has fairly solid damage potential – especially with the 'stealthy' flurry. Two the 2+ defence guy, hit all the other annoying trogs. Deadbolt is also fairly brutal.


Also, my MVP was Mainspring (see, Gary, see!) He took out Vitriol (by blowing up), was instantly back on the field, recovered the ball, took out Mercury (with a charge) and got to pass the ball. All around success.


Otherwise: I expected to be fairly momentum starved – but in a standoff ranged battle with the Alchemists, I had a huge MP lead – simply because I could generate at ranged, and he could not. I'm interested to see how else it went.


I lost the game on a bad decision – though Yeti had given my a raft of bad choices to make. I could either shoot at Vitriol with Ballista – and probably miss. Shoot at her with Salvo – and probably miss. Or, as I did, charge her with Salvo and maybe tackle her.


I did the last. It didn't work (def 6, y'all). And by moving Salvo in, I gave Yeti an easy way to generate momentum with Vitriol for the shot. Basically, I should have stood off and forced him to generate that stuff elsewhere. Oops.

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This match report is a few days removed, so forgive the blurriness.


Bathoz's Alchemists (Midas, Flask, Mercury, Calculus, Vitriol and Decimate) versus Yeti's Brewers (Tapper, Scum, Hooper, Stave, Hemlocke and Stoker)


The brewer's kicked off, through Stave, which looked like a perfect opportunity to get True Replication out the way early by stealing barrel toss with Midas. Stave immediate demonstrated why that's a good skill, and but both Mercury (who had the ball) and Flask on their asses. Worse, the ball scattered behind my goal. I felt rather hard-done by this, as I was getting punished by no momentum for the action of my opponent. Still, thankfully the game was young and distant, so I could recover it fairly comfortably (though my initial passing was a touch wayward.)


The brewers moved up, I spread out... ish (Vitriol had gone back to retrieve the ball). And after some long range throwing of things from all sides, Midas made a move through a gap in the middle  – trusting in Clone to look after him – while Vitriol did the same on the left flank, ending up in some cover. Clone did it's job pretty well. As it unpredictable movement. Midas shot and missed.


After, eventually bouncing off Hemlocke – who spent most of the game engaged by Decimate – for some momentum, Midas scored. I know that sounds fast, but this was probably turn three or four by now. Even better, I had Vitriol, Decimate and Midas covering most of the field – so there weren't many places for Yeti to kick the ball out to safely.


Still, he found it. A kick reached Tapper with space to move up. Thankfully, he was on fire and didn't have momentum to clear it, so his initial plan to score turned into a plan to beat on Calculus. This was one of the more memorable parts of the game for me. Calculus just had no way of getting free from Tapper, and seemed to spend most of her game trying different ways of pushing him off. On the other hand, she was ridiculously lucky with Tappers rolls. Def 4, armour 1 is solid. Also, blind did some lucky work.


After three turns of beating on Calculus, out she went – and clumsiness, was quickly 'collected' by Tapper again. Sigh. Honestly, I tried to avoid it.  At the same time, fighting over the ball was going poorly, while Hooper seemed stranded in midfield by a combination of blinds and burning speed debuffs. It was 4-2, but the Alchemists had felt on the back foot all game. Then that changed when the strikers combined.


The plan was to use Midas's +1 damage skin condition to take out Hooper, who had been suffering from conditions for a bit, then move the ball onto Vitriol to score (or at least get somewhere safeish with a smoke cloud and clone). Hooper did the whole 'don't touch the hair thing', thinking he was so clever to being pinned between a 7 influence Midas and 4 influence Vitriol. Well, Midas wasn't listening to that script. One tossed barrel later, and Hooper was back at their feet; just lying down. Then tried to beat him up, inefficiently. The damage storm ended up being 2 attacks that just didn't do enough against a a tough bastard like the brewer.


But that forgets Vitriol. She dropped a smoke cloud on Hooper and then just removed him from play. +2 tac, +1 damage and an easily reachable 3/4 damage result is nasty.


Then next turn was even meaner. Hemlocke was bounced from play, while Calculus returned to the dugout – this time with Decimate in tow. 8/6.


The Alchemists had been winning initiative pretty consistently all game, and the last turn was no different. And after initially trying to win the game by taking out low health Stoker and Scum (only the former got smashed out), Midas just went screw it. Wandered through a gap and popped the ball in the goal. 




The grenadiers did good work, but didn't enthral me. Flask was largely just an extra influence point. Vitriol is a monster. Midas is pretty flexible. And Decimate was probably wasted as I used her. Would it have been better to take Katalyst? I don't know. The idea was to use thousand cuts on Hemlocke to make her a quick takedown. Of course, landing 1000 cuts on Hemlocke is just impossible, so... um.


Yeti had two tactican advice combinations on the field (Stoker Stave and Scum Tapper) but never got anything out of either of them. Still, Tapper's Old Jakes (used exclusively on himself) made up the influence gap quite efficiently. Tapper can be quite a brutal damage engine by himself. And is very difficult to escape from with a KD on a 1 result.


Pop quiz:


Who's better: Calculus or Hemlocke?

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On paper, I'd have to say Hemlock - I'd rather have higher defence than Armour, and the ability to remove conditions, both from

Herself and from allies is very useful in the right match ups...

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Two matches today - both against Yeti, because, well... there you go.


First up:


Bathoz's Morticians (Obulus, Dirge, Silence, Casket, Graves, Ghast) 




Yeti's Butchers (Ox, Princess, Brisket, Boar, Shank, Rage)



I'm not going to give a turn by turn because, well, I can't really remember it. But basically, after Silence kicked to the butchers, he got to throw some gunk on them and shutout Ox. Then he had rage charge him, and do very little, as he was in cover. Ox also did some hitting. Overall, much pain. Ox - who had the ball after being passed it by Brisket, forgot to pass back to Brisket, and so it was puppet-mastered to Obulus. Graves hung out on a flank with Shank and got hurt a lot.


Then Princess got beaten up by Ghast and Casket. The free charges on Ghast made me grumble about fear. And somehow the ball got to Silence, who scored at the same time that Ox got taken out. He'd gotten too far ahead. Brisket scored a return goal. And Silence, one more. (I still... think.) At some point Dirge died and emptied all of Yeti's momentum.


The final score was... 12-6 (I think), to the Morticians.


Things I remember:

  • Oh yeah, Dirge gets to follow up on charges that go past him. That's unfriendly.
  • Also, who cares if Dirge dies? Rather get it out of the way early then have fun with him.
  • Boar and Rage is plenty of momentum, but Casket's ghastly visage and foul odor can really shut down their charges.
  • Casket is a monster. Other than Obulus, the best player in the team.
  • Oh, let's talk about Obulus - I don't think he was even that instrumental this time - but he was mobile enough, elusive enough and disruptive enough to make use of the great space afforded to him by the Casket/Ghast combination.
  • The 'messing with you' effects of the Morticians weren't actually that strong in a directed fashion - instead they made Yeti make sub-optimal choices.
  • I suspect you need to be very aware of your melee ranges against the Morticians. Too many 1" ranges are going to significantly handicap you.


Second game:


Bathoz's Fishermen - (Shark, Salt, Angel, Siren, Greyscales and Jac)


Yeti's Engineers - (Ballista, Mainspring, Colossus, Velocity, Gutter, Rage)


Yeti's choices here were slightly defined by "I have the Rage model and I will play him." (I had the same with Jac and Casket in the previous game.) It's much nicer playing with metal than with paper dolls. He also benched Salvo because he was worried about Siren. I guess.


This game was only to 8 points, because of time constraints, and started with Ballista kicking pretty much straight to Salt, who gave the ball to Shark. There quite a bit of 'finding space' from Greyscales, who drifted up the one flank, and Jac who strode into the middle in a 'come at me' way. Siren lured Ballista forward (to set up a Shark play), standing rather too close to Jac. Ballista took Jac's earlier invitation knocking him down and then flurrying him and Siren. Shark charged Ballista and bounced off him. The intention was to then pass back to Angel, who would pass and move and set herself up for the first goal. Except Shark missed his kick (back to Salt). Gutter sucked Shark in and did a rather incredible amount of damage to the Captain.


With the missed pass, Angel simply moved up into cover, so she was in range for the next turn.


The next turn involved more pain for Shark - being shot at by Ballista and hit by Gutter. More pain for Siren - again a flurry victim from Ballista. And a game breaking move from Jac. He fired off his Trident Tested in the middle of the field, moving Velocity, Gutter and Ballista way out of the way. Angel then went done her flank (after getting the ball from Salt), and took a shot over Mainspring. Well, that was the plan. Actually, 5 dice against 5+ meant she kicked it straight at the robot.


We had to reroll initiative 3 times (with Yeti have a two momentum advantage). I won it. Yeah, luck is nice. Angel charged Mainspring, took the ball and kicked it into the net.


The ball went out directly to Velocity, and then Yeti did something odd. He chained in Jac (who was in charge distance of Velocity), despite the fact that Greyscales AND Siren were also in range of the robot. Siren charged Rage, got seduce off, retargeted it on Velocity, had the robot pass to her. Pass n Moved closer to the goal and made it 8-0.


Bang bang.




  • This the first time I've played the Fish since the release of the rules (after playing them plenty in prior versions). There were a number of "oh, he's got what" moments.
  • Siren is good. Soft, but good. Best defender in the game? Excluding Obulus, obviously.
  • Angel does one thing and well and when she doesn't, she doesn't do lots.
  • Jac can move people miles. I worked it out as up to 9" in one turn. That's... far. He's also amusing tough while being quite and a solid ball handler.
  • Greyscales was ignored because all those 1" melee ranges could do nothing to him. Salvo would have come in useful there.
  • Gutter is good, but when no-one is hurting her, all that healing goes away. Still, her chain generates momentum when near Ballista, which is neat.
  • I won with Shark have an awful game. He did nothing, and actively failed the important things I lined him up to do.
  • Interestingly, with reference to Phil and Bill's talk about influence allocation: with the Fishermen, I kept my influence very spread out. With the Morticians, it was focused on key players.
  • Rage is not designed to play against a team with that many 2" melee zones.

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Week two Vassal ball versus TimW.


Engineers versus Masons.


New world versus old.


Robots versus monkeys.


Battle of the bottom of the table.


Ahem. Enough preamble.


My engineers: The normal line-up with Colossus replaced by Rage.

TinW's Masons: Honour, Marbles, Brick, Mallet, Flint and Decimate



The game


The mechanical cockroach kicked off, and turn one mostly followed the traditional jockeying for position narrative. Highlights included Honour fetching and passing the ball back to the defensive line – where it eventually ended up with Flint; Marbles goading the Cockroach (how? It's a windup toy!); and a little bit of crossbow fire.


Then Flint, activating second last, runs the length of the field and scores a goal. For revenge, the cockroach accepts the goading and overcharges into a group of three masons. Boom.


Engineers 0 - 6 Masons


The ball was cleared out to the west flank, where Velocity was lurking. It became a bit of a Engineer favouring scrum. Rage hit some people. Ballista, Salvo and Ratchet shot some people. Decimate and Mallet hit back, while Flint made a nuisance of himself with Velocity.


Then the cockroach returned to the field and blew up again.


And again. Did I mention, again?


Marbles, Brick, Mallet and Decimate eventually left the field. Honour only barely survived the non-stop flaming mecha parts.


After using minefield to freeze the masons for a turn (as they had been left low health by the cockroach) and allow the engineers to dominate midfield, Velocity won a tussle with Flint for the ball (the T<< playbook result helping her avoid "Protect your balls") and passed to Ratchet, who slotted home easily.


12 - 6 final score.




I have underestimated how dangerous Mainspring and Ratchet can be. The bug did at least 20 damage in the game, but probably closer to 30. All at the low, low cost of 3 momentum. Maybe TimW gave Ratchet too much space – but I don't know if them hassling him would have changed much. As it was, I blew up Mainspring in Ratchet's face at least once. 3 damage to one of mine versus 9 to him seemed like a good trade.


I'm still not sold on Velocity as a striker as she's just too slow, but considering that Salvo's 3/6 kick is the worst on the team, all you really need to do is get someone in range of the goal and you're set to score.


I've dropped Colossus two games in a row now. Next up are the Butchers, and I'm wondering whether I'll bring him there. The added toughness is good, but ... would Gutter be better?

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Great write-up, definitely agree I should have worked harder to stop the exploding cockroach missile, especially after the second or third time it was launched at me :-)


But was well-played by you throughout and an enjoyable game despite nothing working for me after that first turn Flint goal.  But I was pretty happy to have gotten that off so the game still had some positives for me!


Great use of Minefield in the second-to-last turn, definitely stopped my ability to respond to just about anything!  And nudging 1 HP Brick around in it to take him out was a solid play!

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