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BunkerDan

Project positivity - making Masons great again.

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I believe guild ball is in a great place regarding balance, varied play style and competitive play. The Masons, my original guild, are still competitive and great fun to use on the table. I want to be positive about the guild and help some new players.

 

Let's talk about the Kick Off set. Honour, marbles, brick, mallet and Flint is a great team to begin with. First of, double counter charge waiting in front of your goal can deter strikers and really protect other players. Don't give them any influence and you have two models who provide board controll and potential damage/ momentum for free. That 3 influence you didn't use on them is great for Honour.

 

Honour. I love Hammer but man is Honour amazing. She breaks the game with linked and super strategy. If you set up the counter charge you can get marbles engaging a model for her to then batter. But here is the thing, it's linked that enables her and her sister to murder payers and get crazy goals. I played an event two weeks ago where Honour finished off VKat, killed Vitriol, then activated Harmony for a goal run. 8 VP at the start of turn 2 - yes please.

 

So her sisters amazing when benefiting from family. Don't over extend her and she will usually survive. Don't feel you have to keep her near brick either. Her back to the shadows move is great when you are activating her late in the turn. She can get to safety and set up another sister act double activation easily. 

 

Flint. Flint scores goals. He is great with super strategy and  likes hunting the ball. Don't stick him too far out, I often find having him near the centre means my opponents fear for ball placement. 

 

Mallet. He might be slow but having singled out on a player makes the sisters even more happy. The football legend is great to make him a 3/7 kick when he does need to put it in the goal. However, the greatest benefit is his 3" mele. Use it against shark and smash his shins in for days. 

 

I honestly think the kick off team is great. I'm playing it on the BattleHammer YouTube channel tomorrow if anyone is interested. 

Let's keep this positivity going. Masons are a fantastic guild with so much flexibility. The Kick off 6 can switch between goals and take outs in an instant. 

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The Kick Off Masons set is definitely an amazing team.  

 

A member from our gaming club, who has been using Alchemists for the last two years, has recently switched to the Kick-Off Masons and he is loving it.   He prefers the synergy Masons gives than what the Alchemists can offer.
 

I was planning to switch to Unions, but have recently enjoyed playing with Hammer and using Granite in both Honour and Hammer like up.  

 

I feel people are getting to grips with the Masons now.  There are more people using them in recent tournaments and doing well as well.   

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I love the Masons, always use both captains in my tournament 10 and have had success with them in my local meta.

I have a theory on why they seem to get more than their fair share of "internet hate" - they are stronger in a tournament setting than they appear to be in casual play. My reasoning is that in casual play most players do not use a game clock. With their counter charges, linked/extra activation and re-positioning shenanigans via knockback Masons can put a lot of clock pressure on an opponent. 

This increases the chances that your opponent makes a  mistake and Masons excel at capitalizing on misplays because of their adaptable playstyle. Another tertiary benefit  is that a lot of players will regularly measure your counter charge bubbles which hands you free information that can speed up your own game play. 

Take everything said above with a grain of salt - they are the rambling of an average skill level, aged miniatures gamer (I remember when White Dwarf was a magazine that primarily featured D&D) who thinks Steamforged gave us gamers one helluva gem with Guild Ball. 

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I love Hammer! Hunters were my first Guild Ball team, I still take them to tournaments mostly, but playing with masons is super refreshing. The playstyle and synergies feel much easier. Also, I love loading Hammer up and sending him in to beat face - it may not be the most optimal tactic, but I'm only here to have fun, and I love watching hammer smash people :) 

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The folks I play with regularly are fairly certain Masons are on the come-up in a big way after this most recent errata. The Hammer changes are solid, not a giant leap in strength at first look but at least a small improvement. But more importantly, I think the guild is suddenly in a great meta spot—Shark got a lot worse and he seemed like a huge problem for Masons, the other top-performing guild went down as well, and Harry was nerfed. Harry being nerfed should be a big deal for Masons, since 5 guilds lost a great player who was good at engaging Countercharge models and moving around Masons so they lost positional synergy, but the Masons never had Harry so they didn't lose anything from the change. 

It's certainly not as exciting as a new player or a suite of buffs would be, but with Shark and Midas diminished I think the metagame at tournaments will trend toward a place where Masons are among the top two guilds. They have a lot of tools for breaking stalemates and playing a mixed game with defensive tech that other fight-y teams—like Butchers and Brewers—will struggle to consistently overcome. 

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56 minutes ago, Slothrop said:

The folks I play with regularly are fairly certain Masons are on the come-up in a big way after this most recent errata. The Hammer changes are solid, not a giant leap in strength at first look but at least a small improvement. But more importantly, I think the guild is suddenly in a great meta spot—Shark got a lot worse and he seemed like a huge problem for Masons, the other top-performing guild went down as well, and Harry was nerfed. Harry being nerfed should be a big deal for Masons, since 5 guilds lost a great player who was good at engaging Countercharge models and moving around Masons so they lost positional synergy, but the Masons never had Harry so they didn't lose anything from the change. 

It's certainly not as exciting as a new player or a suite of buffs would be, but with Shark and Midas diminished I think the metagame at tournaments will trend toward a place where Masons are among the top two guilds. They have a lot of tools for breaking stalemates and playing a mixed game with defensive tech that other fight-y teams—like Butchers and Brewers—will struggle to consistently overcome. 

Meh until the farmers are released that is :) 

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2 minutes ago, Lord Antoine said:

Meh until the farmers are released that is :) 

Mmm I think Farmers will be top half of guilds for sure, but pretty sure Masons are better right now. I could always be wrong of course, and also the game or OPD could change, but especially with new Hammer playbook I think Masons have a really solid Farmers matchup now. 

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I've played with Alchemists since release but since Vengeance have decided to get more games in with Masons. I've always enjoyed Hammer more, but with S3 Honour and Harmony have certainly upped their power level. There is a great set of players in Masons, but as Chisel, vHarmony and Granite seem to be clear 10, 11 and 12 position players, the event roster is pretty set. I'd like to see some boost or tweak for those 3 to shake up the roster a little, but the rest of the team can be great.

Looking forward to seeing your game online, @BunkerDan, and hopefully will see you at Wyldhammer. Bringing your Masons?

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I've already mentioned that I'm not a fan of the new hammer playbook quite a bit so I'll leave that out of this thread. I do think the changes to alchs, fish, and Harry are all great things for Mason's as far as the meta is concerned.

We might have to watch out for hunters though. With Theron and herne getting buffed hunters could be seen far more often. Theron throwing out multiple snares a turn could be very detrimental to our already slow models. Also egret being able to flurry poison into our clustered up team is something to be weary of.

Overall though I think it will be interesting time for Mason's. I'll probably be jumping to blacksmiths after gencon though. Those models just look amazing.

 

One thing I would like to say though. A lot of people talk about fixing models like granite, chisel, and vHarmony, but I think they should also look at oHarmony. SF does a really fantastic job with guild ball, but I think they really worked themselves into a whole with her.

The problem is that she's built around family bond. There's no real choice to it. You need to use it or you have a really subpar model, and one that can't work with another captain. I'd love to see her reworked to be a bit similar to vVelocity. Where she's built to be one way but when she uses family bond she gives up some options in order to gain others. So that way you actually have to think about whether or not to use family bond. That way she could actually have a role with other captains or if honour goes down but she gains some synergy with her particular captain.

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17 hours ago, OctaBit said:

One thing I would like to say though. A lot of people talk about fixing models like granite, chisel, and vHarmony, but I think they should also look at oHarmony. SF does a really fantastic job with guild ball, but I think they really worked themselves into a whole with her.

The problem is that she's built around family bond. There's no real choice to it. You need to use it or you have a really subpar model, and one that can't work with another captain. I'd love to see her reworked to be a bit similar to vVelocity. Where she's built to be one way but when she uses family bond she gives up some options in order to gain others. So that way you actually have to think about whether or not to use family bond. That way she could actually have a role with other captains or if honour goes down but she gains some synergy with her particular captain.

This is one of my biggest frustrations with season 3, Whereas most models got worked to not rely as much on specific others, Masons seemed to get tied even closer together.  Its not that Masons cannot be competitive, its just that my list was mostly chosen for me, Honour, Harmony, Brick, Marbles, and most of those models lose something/alot without one of the others.  

I'm generally hoping come season 4, Masons might get a significant rewrite to help them stand out thematically.  They tend to be fairly vanilla, and now we have blacksmiths starting to encroach on them as well with the armor and hammers vibe.  I actually think the team work thing is not a bad idea to focus on, but it cannot be through a chain of models that basically builds your list for you.  However, if you generify it, you could wind up with one model building upon any other nearby model like bricks making up a wall.  That seems a fair way to make Masons feel like Masons, at least to me. -shrugs-

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So project positivity still turns into negativity. 

 

Lets tak about Harmony. The family and linked makes her far superior and allows you to have explosive linked activations. She is designed to be better with her sister and I think many would argue that Masons are great because of their synergy. Masons are such a flexible team which when working together equal more than the sum of their parts. The linked activation breaks the rules of the game and can allow for 10influence to be spent in quick succession to gain Vp. I often use this to get 6vp linked activations. 

You don't have to play Honour with brick, marbles and harmony. However, they provide massive benefits. Games, guilds and lineups are built around the buffs you get as a whole.

Other note, played the Kick off 6 twice over last two days. 12-9 win vs Obby and 12-7 win vs Farmers. Lots of fun and flexibilty. 

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I think you could make a strong argument that the strong synergies between players is a key defining feature of the Mason's playstyle along with their great flexibility and ability to break the rules (out of sequence activations, additional activations, out of sequence charges, etc.).

 

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Masons definitely have great synergies and between Captains, Mascots and players.  

 

My only difficulty is finding space for one of the Harmonys in my list of ten.  I hardly use V.Harmony but want to include her based on the possibility of facing Smoke's Alchemist.  A few people have found V.Harmony great and a battery for Hammer, but as of yet I haven't figured her out.

 

I feel O.Harmony is fine as she is, and the argument will always be her being ignored in a Hammer team, but with Honour she is such a powerful game mechanic that it's good to have that decision in the team.  

 

I have been using Granite in my last few games and she has been great.   The more I use her the less I feel her movement is a constraint, but this will depend on the Guild she is playing against.  

 

I even tried A&G in a Honour line-up, but they didn't do anything as Granite and Brick did majority of the work for me.  

 

Masons are a top Guild despite what some might think.  I had a smirk last night when Hammer took out V.Rage with 4 influence with Iron Fist.  KD, 5dmg, 5dmg and 7dmg, Boom! :) 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, naiconn1981 said:

Masons definitely have great synergies and between Captains, Mascots and players.  

 

My only difficulty is finding space for one of the Harmonys in my list of ten.  I hardly use V.Harmony but want to include her based on the possibility of facing Smoke's Alchemist.  A few people have found V.Harmony great and a battery for Hammer, but as of yet I haven't figured her out.

 

I feel O.Harmony is fine as she is, and the argument will always be her being ignored in a Hammer team, but with Honour she is such a powerful game mechanic that it's good to have that decision in the team.  

 

I have been using Granite in my last few games and she has been great.   The more I use her the less I feel her movement is a constraint, but this will depend on the Guild she is playing against.  

 

I even tried A&G in a Honour line-up, but they didn't do anything as Granite and Brick did majority of the work for me.  

 

Masons are a top Guild despite what some might think.  I had a smirk last night when Hammer took out V.Rage with 4 influence with Iron Fist.  KD, 5dmg, 5dmg and 7dmg, Boom! :) 

 

 

@naiconn1981 I've only played a couple games with my Hammer team, but I normally take Hammer, Wrecker, Mallet, Brick, Tower, VHarmony (sometimes swap her for Flint if I think I can dominate the Football game) and I've found VHarmony really useful! She's pretty fast, respectable football skills. If I have the ball, I keep it on her behind my Hammer phalanx, with 2 inf. Those 2 inf I adapt as the turn goes on - Hammer can use them if it looks like she won't need them, she can throw out a marked target and a pass, or sprint and shoot etc. Or even just an early activation to increase the def of my team against ranged plays, leaving her 2 inf for Hammer to absorb.

Also, the model is pretty cool! I find she's pretty versatile, so I include her in most games and find she has a use.

As a last point on my fanboy post about VHarmony, in my last game she killed Stave. Hammer had been taken out, so I brought him back on the pitch behind my team with 1 inf, and then popped his legendary. Mallet, Tower and Vharmony all took the +1 damage, loaded up on inf and went to town. Tower killed Mash (after Wrecker popped his UM), Mallet killed Stoker and VHarmony beat up a 10 health knocked down Stave. So she can do damage in a pinch too :)

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2 hours ago, naiconn1981 said:

I have been using Granite in my last few games and she has been great.   The more I use her the less I feel her movement is a constraint, but this will depend on the Guild she is playing against.  

She annoys me so much when I face her :P 

Her tiny move stats have no real relation to how much she can actually get about, and if I try not to trigger her extra moves so I don't get bogged down by her,  I end up having to leave a bubble of masons uninjured to wander as they please! Taking her out isn't practical either.

If I'm not careful she blunts the combat half of my mixed morticians team without even trying. Once my masons opponent refines his positioning and shuts down my goal scoring group, I'm really screwed...

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I feel her traits really compliment each other.  With Foundation it really helps her with the initial 1st turn.  Between a Rock and Sturdy gives you an option to move away from a KD part blow if you want.  So she has a lot of movement up her sleeves if needed, especially with the Captains.   

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@BunkerDan

I think my point might may have gotten a bit muddled. It's not that I think oHarmony is bad, far from it. As anyone who's played honour/harmony can attest you can have some amazing activations. My problem with oHarmony is that she suffers from the problems that numerous models suffered from in seasons 1 & 2, that they are completely reliant on another model.

The problem with her is that you need to use family to get the most out of her. Abilities like family should be choices not auto takes. As it is right now your essentially punished for not using family. It's like how tapper always had to take scum. Yes it made him better, and no you didn't have to take him, but you always felt like it was sub optimal take quaff. Now however you have a choice between the two, and that creates a fun decision making process. Do you take bag of quaffer's and second wind, or do you want a pretty high damage mascot that also gives tapper +0/+1 INF? 

The other example is for vVelocity. She has an ability that allows her to swap between different roles. Why can't we do something similar with oHarmony? As is when she uses family she trades out two bad stats (her tac and kick) for two great stats. There's no thought process to it. It's just a clear upgrade. Why not add some decision making to it? Have her exchange some benefits for others. They don't have to be just stats, they could be abilities as well, as is the case with vVelocity. In doing so we could give her a role of her own that she can do if she's not with honour, or if she's not within range.

She doesn't have to give up the synergistic playstyle that Mason's are know for. If anything this would just highlight it while fixing a problem. Right now people dont think much of that fact that you can't take her with hammer, but the problem is just going to grow as we get a third captain, or even a fourth. 

Plenty of models got reworks going into season 3, Meathook, oKata, and Harry to name a few. Most of these models lacked a definable role, but after they're rework they became very interesting and exciting models, and it added another decision to your team building. Why can't oHarmony be the same? She can still be bonded to honour, but what's the problem with making her a actual choice for hammer, or captain #3, or even captain #4?

 

I don't think Mason's are bad. They're my first and favorite team. I think they've always been better than public perception would suggest, but I still think they have a few problems in some of their designs, and I think we can fix them. So why not try to?

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I personally have a hard time thinking of oHarmony as her own model and not just an extension of Honor.  That's why she was the Mason to get a veteran version; it simply makes no sense to take oHarmony without Honor.  I'd be like taking Greede without Avarisse.  That said, it always struck me as weird that Harmony sucks if she's separated from Honor.  If I were going to rework them, I'd make oHarmony tac 5 kick 4/6", Honor kick 2/6" and give Honor Family [Harmony].  It isn't as if that relationship isn't reciprical.

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I got the impression that the aim of this thread was to discuss masons without ending up in that familiar "these models should be changed X way" territory. 

There's plenty of threads for that already after all :P

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@MechMage

That is an option, but I think Honour is fine as is. I don't have a firm idea of what to change, but one of the ideas I thought about was making her a striker base, and then transition her into a beater with family. Another idea I had was to have her go from a long range ball retriever or something into a short range striker whos more accurate or versatile. This version would probably have to lean more on abilities. Such as giving her composure to emphasis her role as a ball retriever and then having her swap to something that makes her better as a goal scorer.

 

@Mako A little bit, but lively discussion can be a good thing as well. As long as its done in a polite way of course. :P

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22 minutes ago, OctaBit said:

 

A little bit, but lively discussion can be a good thing as well. As long as its done in a polite way of course. :P

It's @BunkerDan's thread so it's his call, but like I said that discussion has a lot of other places already if he doesn't want it taking over here. 

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I'm jumping in with S3 Wrecker love, even though I was mocked for it, mocked I tell you, early on.

Until the rest of my local crew caught on, it was great fun to kick off the ball and then have Wrecker zip out and retrieve it and then cross my fingers hoping he could pass it to a friend.

Before that, a lot of my local guys would literally leave the ball out there confident that no one but Flint would have a chance to do anything about it. Now they rush up and snag it as fast as they can with Wrecker on the pitch.

 

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1 hour ago, Von Ether said:

I'm jumping in with S3 Wrecker love, even though I was mocked for it, mocked I tell you, early on.

Until the rest of my local crew caught on, it was great fun to kick off the ball and then have Wrecker zip out and retrieve it and then cross my fingers hoping he could pass it to a friend.

Before that, a lot of my local guys would literally leave the ball out there confident that no one but Flint would have a chance to do anything about it. Now they rush up and snag it as fast as they can with Wrecker on the pitch.

 

This is the positivity I want to see.  I love me some Wrecker too, he brings 1 inf that he doesn't need and with Hammer's new legondary could be even crazier. 

 

@Mako you are correct that the intention of this post was to be positive and encourage free thinking to get the most out of the Masons guild. I'm not a fan of the "model x is bad" or need to be changed. Unfortuently it's that kind of attitude that has made the forums as a rancid place for many. 

 

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