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Is going first too good, essentially starting 4-0?

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16 minutes ago, Valorci said:

I don't mean to derail the discussion here too much. But as Brewers, who are good choices to kick off with?

My thoughts lead to Esters because of GM trait or Mash because of Unpredictable Movement...any other suggestions + reason?

Friday can score after kicking off if the scatter isn't bad.  I'd kick off with her.  If you're using Mash, the extra advance to get him up the field isn't terrible.  Tapper projects a considerable threat bubble turn one.  I could see an argument for kicking with any of these players.

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5 hours ago, Valorci said:

I don't mean to derail the discussion here too much. But as Brewers, who are good choices to kick off with?

My thoughts lead to Esters because of GM trait or Mash because of Unpredictable Movement...any other suggestions + reason?

What MechMage just said really. Esters can layout a bunch of AOEs, Harry is also a decent choice as he can push the ball retriever into the Brewers half. 

I think Tapper is the favourite though just to get him up there.

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For Masons, Granite is also a pretty good kicker if there is Fast Ground available, since she has reasonable (~50%) odds of getting a scatter which lets her retrieve the ball immediately, and as the kicking team you get to choose which side of the pitch you start on and claim the Fast Ground for yourself.

The only team which is seriously disadvantaged by kicking is Brewers in my opinion, and even there you have plenty of reasonable options. Esters is probably the best, primarily because she can project threat into a large area of the board, and still get work done if the opponent stays outside her threat bubble. Tapper has the same 9" threat bubble, does more against people who enter it, but doesn't have the backup plan of throwing ranged damage out if there are no good targets in range.

Getting choice of table side as the kicker also allows for claiming the fast ground, which seriously helps those teams which otherwise have limited threat ranges. Tapper loves his threat range extensions.

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26 minutes ago, Gauntlet said:

The only team which is seriously disadvantaged by kicking is Brewers in my opinion, and even there you have plenty of reasonable options. Esters is probably the best, primarily because she can project threat into a large area of the board, and still get work done if the opponent stays outside her threat bubble. Tapper has the same 9" threat bubble, does more against people who enter it, but doesn't have the backup plan of throwing ranged damage out if there are no good targets in range.

But even then, if the Brewers kick off with Friday, there is a good chance she'll be in charging range of the ball carrier. Her momentous tackle if she's in range, her momentous tackle can give her the ball and the momentum to score. 

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As morts i actually find it easier to kick. Putting obulus in prime position to puppet master the ball retrival player into my half to generate a boatload of mp and probably a kill. Ok this means they might score.....but then most likely im killing the player that scored and i have the ball.

Also obulus at this point is probably going near the end of the first turn so has options to make them pass to him so no goal at all. 

I think its fair to say that you need to plan and play differently depending on kicking or receiving, and against some teams it is harder depending on your team and line out if you kick. That being said its not a defining factor in the outcome of the game, the choices you make are.

As others have said, if you kick use that extra movement for positional gain.

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I'm finding Morticians much better at kicking than receiving as well. The Obulous plays have been mentioned above but Scalpel is also excellent at kicking and projecting a huge threat range, I've scored multiple first activation goals with her when the ball has been retrieved and put in a less than optimal place, she can also then dodge and second wind to relative safety a lot of times. Also having the last activation of the turn means you have the possibility of getting another goal with certain players (Bonesaw etc.). The holy grail of Morticians first turns is getting 10 points; tooled up Scalpel killing a player and getting a goal then getting the last goal of the turn as noted above. Its unlikely but far from impossible and really puts the teams that need to score on the back foot.

Silence messing up activation orders when your opponents have the ball is also highly useful. Forcing the timing of an inevitable goal is huge.

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I'm primarly a Morticians player and I always opt to kick I find it gives me a more consistent first turn and means I am more in control.

I like having the final pick in the draft because it allows me to always react effectively to my opponents line up choices. I always know what captain my opponent is playing and thus what sort of game I should expect.

The choice of terrain is also another advantage that I see downplayed a lot when kicking is brought up. Avoid sides with rough terrain/forests in awkward spots and taking sides with fast ground can make a huge difference. Force your opponent to take a side with an obstruction/barrier close to the centre on their side that you can kick the ball into, potentially forcing them to overextend to retrieve the ball.

Having the last activation of turn 1 is a huge boon for putting your opponents on the back foot, often you will win the momentum race. Two back to back activations is powerful and can result in a VP lead that applies pressure to your opponent.

When kicking your choice of player to kick with is key. I think a good kicking player is one that your opponent stuggles to engage/attack and one that threatens the board. You are choosing the player your opponent often gets a chance at attacking so choose someone who's awkward for them.

Both of the Morticians captains are good choices for kickers. Scalpel does less of the former and more of the later, where as Obulus does both immensely. He is a hard player to engage and pin down limiting your opponents choices,  with Puppet Master he threatens a huge amount of the board for stealing the ball or drawing a player into threat of my other players. This is before you factor in other options such as tooling him up or if your first turn goes badly activating Rigor Mortis to ensure you get second turn.

Granted Morticians have a lot of unique tools that make this great(Lure, Puppet Master, Second Wind on a captain) but I prefer kicking with my Hunters(the other team I have played most in S3) as well.

 

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15 hours ago, Killermonkey said:

I agree that there are some nice mitigating factors to help kicking off not feel so terrible. It's close to balanced in that you don't feel like you've lost the game immediately if you've been forced to kick, but the deciding factor is that receiving is better 90% of the time. This can be proven by the amount of times someone has won that roll and chosen to kick. Sure, some models are extremely good at kicking, but are probably just as good at receiving. Shark for example; he is happy to kick and still maybe score and compete for first activation turn two, but he would rather just guarantee a score and first activation to proceed to lock you out on that turn with his shenanigans  

The ball is such a powerful resource that having it allows you do things your opponent simply cannot. Have you ever had your kicking model wrecked by a face-smashing captain? It's pretty simple really... just get the ball to the captain, pass it off and dodge toward, then proceed to charge and put your model into the dirt. 

Yes, there are counters to this, but it involves you being way out of threat for what you were trying to accomplish with your kickoff. So I guess to answer the question, no it isn't TOO strong or OP, but I believe it is unquestionably better to be receiving the ball. 

I'm not really sure "most people do x, so x is better" is great logic.

Yes dodging your face smasher forward with the ball is great, but your they could just be 4-6" up the field from kicking off anyway. Of course the difference is a pre-set move vs a move on the fly, but you've also now have to deal with the fact your face smasher... has the ball... He needs to do something with it, dump it off or spend an influence for that kick he just made. Kick off distance is free of charge.

I think there are two reasons folks generally elect to receive.

1) Momentum generation. If you receive you're probably going to bank at least 2 or 3 momentum right out of the gate. Especially with the current prevalence of Harry. This puts a lot of pressure into the last activation model. If that model can't overcome the momentum deficit it may put you in a rough spot for turn 2. 

2) Proactive vs Reactive plays and Tempo. A bit harder to explain. It is much easier to come up with and execute a set play for receiving than it is for kicking off, your "opening gambit" if you will. When you receive you generally have a pretty good idea of how your turn one is going to play out. Get the ball, pass the ball backwards, maybe dodge maybe not, pass again, drop some ranged effects/score a goal/set up for t2. It's generally a very proactive turn. A lot of your influence is already claimed so it is less mentally taxing. You can come up with these plays before you even show up for game night. It's not quite as simple for the kicking off player. Sure you can have a rough idea of what you want to accomplish, but your plays are going to be reactive. I think it is simply psychological. People (especially new players) want to have a plan rather than have their moves somewhat dictated.

I think these two items are why it is so important to learn how to kick off. Strictly the Worst has some nice commentary on this. To summarize: a strong kick off can set the pace of turn 1 putting you back in the drivers seat. If you scrub-kick it just over the edge or into a corner it can be highly disruptive for the receiver, especially if you can make them retrieve with someone unusual.

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12 minutes ago, tehlon said:

I think these two items are why it is so important to learn how to kick off. Strictly the Worst has some nice commentary on this. To summarize: a strong kick off can set the pace of turn 1 putting you back in the drivers seat. If you scrub-kick it just over the edge or into a corner it can be highly disruptive for the receiver, especially if you can make them retrieve with someone unusual.

Oh I fully agree with this. Learning how to kick off is a big skill you need to have if you want to consistently perform well because relying on the first to compete is bound to be disastrous. I still believe it is an advantage that you need to be able to capitalize on to be worth it, but it's an advantage nonetheless. Just not an overbearing advantage that should dishearten you. Speaking of Strictly the Worst, they discuss this exact topic in their earlier podcasts, although I'm not sure if they still feel that way or not. 

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Contrary to that, I've never had an opponent NOT be able to to retrieve the ball on their first turn regardless of what team they were or where I placed the ball. 

I'm looking at getting tons more games in this year though, so hopefully I can improve.

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I've found it's usually best to either kick towards their slowest player (to try and prevent them from reaching the ball and let you retrieve it, or make them unable to pass back to their team afterwards) or towards their striker (because if they use their striker to retrieve the ball, they can't use them to score a turn one goal later on).

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8 hours ago, NowYouSeeMe said:

I suppose it really boils down to is kicking off such an advantage that's it's not a decision at all. It sounds like in the higher levels of play some players are happy to kick off. 

That's because in higher levels of play, the more ball-loving teams are played more.

Granted that's a different discussion, but I'd like some more numbers on what teams are played most and why the players come to that decision.

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If you dont have a very strong kick off option i think the imbalance is huge. 

I play a lot of corsair and recently Obulus, i choose to kick off for the free threat extension almost every time

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