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Engineers at the Captaincon 2017 CaptainCup

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Hey all. Last weekend I brought my engineers to Captaincon to play in the CaptainCup. Overall, the convention was an excellent time, as always. Specifically, guild ball had an amazing presence there this year. Got to meet up again with all of the liberty GB guys, the Mass/CT/RI crews, etc. Also got to meet some amazing players from the NH/Maine metas. NYC represented well, with all 3 of our players qualifying and taking a run at the championship. I thought I would share my games and my thoughts on the Cogs, how they performed, their place in the competitive meta, etc. 


Day 1 - Qualifier (Flight 2)

Game 1: Engineers (Ballista) vs. Butchers (Ox) 

I don't remember a ton of this game, except the end. Basically, the game started off as normal. Ballista deadbolted Ox whenever there was the opportunity. I believe velocity goes up for a goal turn 1 or start of turn 2. Eventually he does this interesting conga line with ox boiler, and boar flanking slowly around obstructions on the left side of the field. I don't try to contest the goal as I already have shank locked down for a kill (crowded out, singled out, knocked down and stuck in by engineers). So I wanted my opponent to score so I could kick out to colossus and have him snap back a goal. My first huge mistake here is getting greedy and trying to delay the colossus activation. The ball had scattered from the kickoff a mm outside of 2" of colossus, so the ball was not snapped to him. The only model he had anywhere nearby was princess. However, he makes a smart play and picks up the ball and kicks it off the pitch. It then scatters in precisely the worst possible spot for me, where my players have already activated, and he will be able to get to the ball with brisket/boiler. He ends up scoring again, putting him up to 8. I charge colossus up to brisket, which ends up being a horrible decision, as I put myself within threat range for ox who can then push me into boar's threat range. I end up scoring a tap in goal with velocity and he takes colossus out. I also am able to set up a few crowd outs on boiler who is a few inches in front of my goal. Last turn, I win the roll off. The ball is sitting about 2 inches in front of boar and brisket. I load up Ballista and start measuring for the angle on the goal. Unfortunately, I am aobut 1/2" out from charge boar, snap ball, gain momentum and shoot to score range. I am also about 1/2 and inch away from passing to velocity for the snapshot (or so I think). Here I throw the game, as I totally blank out that the legendary allows for a 10" pass as well as kick, and I was certainly in range for that. I could have easily deadbolted boar, charged him, attacked 2 more times, hit the legendary and bonus timed both the pass and snap shot for a very high odds goal. 5 dice pass followed by 5 dice tap in. Instead, I convince myself this option is off the table, and go to kill boiler. At this point he was crowded out twice at 13 hp. I decide to walk into range and take 6 swings at him. I figure that on 8 dice rolling average I hit the 2mom dmg >> and then can bonus time the remaining attacks for good odds to kill him. Unfortunately, I roll so terribly that he is left on about 6 health or so. He then goes to shoot the goal, luckily colossus and mother are intervening and blocking LOS, so even with super shot he cannot shoot the ball in. Unfortunately for me, I ping off a bit more damage on boiler with hoist but fail to kill him again, and heal hoist to full. I body block ballista from Boar as I figure hoist is more likely to survive than ballista vs a charging boar. Unfortunately, with Ox aura boar is able to 1 round hoist for the win. 

Result: 10-12 loss

I definitely was a little frustrated with myself after this game. All credit due to my opponent, he played well and didn't give up despite both of us I believe feeling like the game  was in strongly my favor about 90% of the way through. With that, I certainly defeated myself in this game through a few key errors, both with over delaying the colossus activation, and not taking more time to confirm the best play for the last ballista activation. Not a great start!

Game 2: Engineers (Ballista) vs. Brewers (Esters)

Played the awesome Mike Mac from the Liberty GB meta. An amazing opponent and tons of fun to play with. I picked Ballista again, and went with the same lineup (Ballista, mother, velocity, hoist, rachet, colossus). He took Esters, quaff, stoker, tapper, pintpot, spigot. 

I received the ball here. First turn was pretty standard, I passed the ball around for momentum and dodge velocity up for the late turn goal. She second winds out of range of any of his players so he is unable to generate any momentum in response. I also do some deadbolts and blasted earths to spread out some damage and gain some momentum. 

Turn 2, I win the roll of and choose to let him go first. The reason for this was that our lines were still quite far away, and having last activation and the extra momentum seemed much stronger than overextending a scrum on his half of the pitch. He decided to throw pintpot into the mix and burns 3 beer tokens to get out some damage, do some dodges and bleed a few models. I am able to spend the next few activations ganging up on pintpot and getting ballista in to deadbolt hooper and put up minefield and damage onto pintpot. He tries to charge in esters to save pintpot from the scrum, but doesn't get a ton done. Colossus ties up stoker and eventually hooper. He brings him down eventually but it takes a few activations. I believe velocity or one of my strikers is able to get the ball back and get it in for another goal. In the final turn, I am able to gang up on esters and put her into the dirt for the victory.

Result: 12-2 victory

Ballista, especially with that lineup, can be pretty difficult for brewers. It is just way to tanky for the brewers to outfight before you get some goals, and if they brewers player does get aggressive to try to break your control and force the fight, ballista and crew can lock them down in the scrum and slowly grind them down. 

Game 3: Engineers (Pin Vice) vs. Union (VRage)

My experiences with the ballista vs. vRage matchup is that it is really dangerous to play as you need to control his team and force vRage to commit to overextending to have any chance of winning the fight. With that, I decided on pin vice and ceding the fight to my opponent and going for a quick 2 goals. From there, I figured there were several options for either a 3rd goal, or an opportunistic takeout or two with pin vice. My opponent opted for a very fighty lineup, which was initially a bit surprising, but then I saw his score sheet and saw he had gotten 5 and 6 takeouts in his previous games. He brought vRage, strongbox, Decimate, fangtooth, gutter, and Averisse and greede. He won and chose to receive. I kicked off with hoist and kicked it to the left flank, where all he had was fangtooth. Fangtooth sprints and grabs the ball, and chooses to kill it for the turn. I understand the strategy my opponent was going for - kill the ball, force a scrum in the middle area. However killing the ball meant he was not getting momentum this turn unless I gave it to him. Basically, the rest of the turn was everyone moving up, colossus on the left flank, velocity on the right. He moves up decimate pretty aggressively. I come in and use hoist to put 1 or 2 damage on her and drag her in a few inches into the 12" range of an alternated pin vice. I also get tooled up on her (dat self damage :*( ) and she goes in bottom of the turn, charging and hitting the KD on decimate. Then proceeding to bring decimate down to 4 while generating momentum. I win the roll off, pin vice goes and finishes off decimate, then walks around vRage and hoist to engage fangtooth. I attack, he counters, he hits the KD but I stand up with momentum, tackle the ball off of him with 2 influence remaining. I then legendary and pass to colossus, dodging out of fangtooth's range. I dodge again with the pass back and am in range for the goal. He kicks the ball back out to A&G, who charge into hoist and do some damage and pushes to set up for vRage. Hoist then goes, tackles the ball from averisse, >< out of range, then passes to colossus who hasnt activated yet...pass failed. No worries, it scatters to him. My opponent proceeds to take out hoist. Colossus goes to pass to pin vice for the snap shot...and misses. The ball scatters to a few inches from his edge of the pitch about 3 or 4 inches in front of pin vice on the left flank. He wins the roll off, brings decimate back on the pitch and into melee with pin vice, but does not choose to pick up the ball. He puts some damage on pin vice and heals but not much else. Pin vice deletions, takes the parting blow from decimate, sprints to grab the ball and end in melee with greede next to the goal post. I then proceed to kill greede on 4 attacks (needed to hit the momentous damage on 3 or 4 on the first bonus timed attack and then the kill is quite highly likely) and tap in the goal to end the game. 

Result: 12-2 victory

Pin vice got to live the dream here. My opponent seemed like a decent player, but was definitely not familiar with what pin vice could do. He underestimated her threat range and mobility, as well as her ability to kill squishier models. She was able to take advantage of this to execute her ideal gameplan. 

Game 4: Engineers (Ballista) vs. Masons (Hammer)

 My lineup was the same standard ballista lineup (Ballista, mother, hoist, velocity, colossus, rachet). He brought hammer, wrecker, minx, tower, brick, flint. I received. First turn I stay out of hammer's threat range. He does a good job moving a model to stop the deadbolt push. I instead deadbolt brick and second wind back out of range of hammer. I believe velocity scores a goal this turn (or early next turn). The rest of the game is fuzzy, basically flint scores I play "Who are ya." Ballista tries to go in on flint, planning on killing him easily and then going into hammer (who had been crowded out twice and knocked down. However, my dice rolls fail spectacularly and not only can I not get in on hammer, but flint doesnt even die. From there, hammer is able to start pounding his way out of the scrum and getting takeouts. Eventually he is able to 1 round ballista before he activates on full influence. Things don't look great at this point, however I am able to get the ball onto colossus on the left flank, who is sparring off with minx. I am able to get the ball and get out of there, while ballista and my team starts shifting towards that flank. He does the same with hammer and his team. I recognize that I am way up on my opponent on clock, and that if I score I lose instantly to flint, and if I try to fight I also lose to hammer. So I delay, scattering my models to the winds and pushing colossus towards my opponent's side, keeping him within threat range but far from other models. He clocks out trying to get some more points and I get 5 points from clock before walking colossus up and tapping in the goal for the win. 

Result: 12-8 victory

I'll talk more about this at the end, but this was the first game in which I really started to understand how much pressure the engineers can put on an opponent's clock. Between all of their tankiness, which keeps them alive for longer, and their ball control, which slows down the scoring game, you can play a really interesting VP denial game with the engineers. By holding the ball on to a good striker, scoring only when advantageous, and then trying to get an advantage by controlling the scrum, you can make it really difficult for an opponent to actually close out a game. I certainly started to recognize this throughout the tournament and would take much use of it on day 2. 

Overall Thoughts - Day 1


Day 2 - Top 8

Quarterfinals: Engineers (Pin Vice) vs. Fish (Shark)


Result: 12-8 victory 

Semifinals: Engineers (Ballista) vs. Alchemists (Midas)


Result: 12-8 victory

Finals: Engineers (Pin Vice) vs. Union (VRage)


Result: 6-12 loss

Final Placing - 3rd place

Overall Thoughts - Day 2


Overall Thoughts - Engineers


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