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Nykolae

Nothing important. Just looking for some optimism.

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Hi all!

First of all, I'd just like to say that there's nothing really important in this thread. If you're looking for some juicy SFG news, or some in-depth discussion on game mechanics, this'll not be a useful thread. I mainly need to vent and I hope to find some help in regaining my enthusiasm for the game. Also, I'd like this thread to not end up being a Mason's strategy thread and being removed of placed in the Mason's subforum. I'm pretty sure there'll be other players out there, that experience the same things, but use other teams.

So, about me...

I've basically been keeping a record on my scores since I've started, to see if I can find some sort of improvement. Sadly, I can report that after 22 Mason's games, I have a win-rate of just under 24%, with a VP difference of -83 (-3.8 per match). My tournament games can be seen here. As you can see, my only competitive win was through a bye... :(

Besides those competitive games, I also play in my own meta. We have a 6-player Big League, that all roughly started to play the game at the same time, with one player having a bit of Warhammer experience. We usually play one League game per week, unless there's too many drop-outs. On those drop-out occasions, we just play practice matches. The first League, which we played with 5 players, consisted of Mason's (me), Brewer's x2, Fishermen and Butcher's. The player with wargaming experience came in first using Brewer's with a 100% win-rate, and #2 had a 4-4 record with Butcher's. #3 was Fishermen with a 3-5 record. I came in last together with the other Brewer's player with only two wins and a draw to our name, but I lost on total VP difference. This might give you some idea on the relative strength of my meta.

So, now knowing that I have a pretty bad record, it'll not be very surprising to know that I'm growing quite disheartened about the game. :unsure:

I was totally hyped about it at first, and very excited about painting my own mini's, but at this moment I've left my mini's unattended for two months now, with most of them still unfinished or not even primed. I've also started noticing that I've grown less and less interested in theory-crafting (tourney rosters, or 6-man line-ups to counter-pick certain meta squads) And I've gone into my games less and less prepared. Just playing on the fly, picking whatever suits my fancy at that particular time, not having a particular turn one strategy in mind.

Thing is... I really don't want to stop playing this game. While I'm currently on a big losing streak, I still find fun in the games that I play, even if I end up slightly irritated for losing again. I still have 4 other Guilds on my wanted list. I also still want to attend more tournaments and meet new people, as the GB community is just awesome. :) The love for the game is still there, but my % is growing lower and lower every week. I would just like to start winning some games, which (I hope) will also revitalize my out-of-game enthusiasm for Guild Ball.

Is there any advice people can give me, even if it's the most basic of basics? Any tips 'n tricks? If people need more information, I'm happy to answer questions!

Also, are there other people that also feel like they constantly pull at the short end of the straw? How do you handle it?

Anyway, thanks for reading my rant, and sorry if you felt like it wasted your time.

-Nyk

PS: To the admins: if this thread still seems to result into mostly being a Mason's strategy thread, I'll make a new thread in the Mason's sub-forum or ask for any of you to move this thread there. I'd hate to clutter the general forum!

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Without wanting to sound flippant, have you tried any other Guilds - maybe you will click better with another.

Having said that the Kick Off Mason team is a good one to start with.

Mason forum might be better for advice but what's your usual team, who kicks off and what mistakes do you or your opponents think you make?

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I know the feeling, I'm pretty good at maintaining an endless losing streak and feeling like I'm not learning anything!

Not sure I have any good advice though, I usually just resort to painting until I feel like playing again. 

That, or just me and my opponent grabbing a random guild and random players, seeing what happens in a casual friendly - no plot cards, no careful planning and tactics, just enjoying the gameplay flow for a bit.

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Your meta is about the same size as mine, ours is about 10 guys. We are on opposite ends on the spectrum though. My advice may seem pretty cliche but I promise you it works. Play as many games possible with your butcher player. Like literally as many as your schedules will allow. Practicing against the best WILL make you better. When I got into my first minis game I lost all the time. I kept playing the best guy until I was beating him sometimes, then most of the time, then... well then he moved but pretend I said all the time. I started going to tournaments to find better guys to play and wound getting a top 10 at the largest tournament they'd held up to that point.

We have a Brewers player that has always done poorly. I play fish and don't do much with Brewers. 3 weeks ago we started playing at least 4 games a week, just drilling through as many games as we could. He got last in our last league. Yesterday he crushed the guy that got 4th (out of 10) and couldn't believe it. Practice again anyone is good. Practice against someone better than you is the best.

GICs are going to go a long way with Masons and Brewers too so don't lose hope just yet. If your still can't make it work then consider another guild. Masons are (in my opinion) a really tough team to be competitive with. I know others have great success with them but I haven't seen it first hand.

Perhaps the last bit of advice if offer is films. Find videos of people playing Masons and analyze it. You very well could pick up something new. Our butchers player started doing this when I started pulling ahead of him in wins and he came back playing then completely differently, we are back to about 50-50 and it usually comes down to who lost list chicken.

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I've never been good at cheering up people, but I could give some pointers (non Mason specific) that could possibly raise your skill and win rate. So I hope this directionless ramble is able to help you. Also a 3.X average VPD isn't bad, it doesn't tell the whole story about board state and how close you were but that's still within 1 goal of winning. Finally my experience is USA based where we travel several hours to play so if there's a meta issue where the only ones you can play with are super strong I don't know how to help :/

First: You described being demoralized and going into matches in something of an auto pilot mode. Obviously this will hinder your performance, so avoid it at all costs. I will only go into auto pilot if I think the match will be easily won, and even that has cost me matches.

2: Best advice I can give to a newish player who's looking to get better is to get good at turn 1. I think a lot of people under value this turn because either not much happens, they want to rush to the action, or whatever. I think a player who's good at turn 1 and just average at the other turns will get a winning record. Don't Sprint into threat ranges, the only reason they should be able to attack you turn 1 is because you just scored or you had no other option, like ball retrieval from a kickoff. Make an Excel sheet of every model in the games threat ranges, if you systematically go through them all yourself rather than seeing other people's math you'll remember it better and add it up in game quicker

3. Time your goal kicks. This game is a bit funny where it's extremely difficult to make a comeback on goals. Due to the way that most people will be ready to score right back after you, a goal shot is less about VP and more about making the end of the game come faster. If your opponent has 8VP it's almost never safe to score a goal unless it will make you win right then and there. I think that if receiving it's easiest to aim for a 2-2 and if kicking off a 4-1. This is because the receiver always has access to a goal to start the game 4v0. If the kicking off player targets 2 goals they're giving the opponent the ball 2 times, meaning if they score each time they get the ball you're giving them 8VP to add to their 4. Get to a lead or tie game before scoring. 

4: when going for a takeout two things are super important, besides being sure to pile in on one person. First is target priority, you want to be sure you target the easiest to kill models available. For Brewers this is Spigot, Friday, and maybe Lucky (Stave if you have damage buffs like assist Marbles). Second is timing. If they're not going to die in one (or linked) activation try to aim for models that have already activated. At that point they have few ways to fight back besides counter attacks and friendly models helping/joining the scrum. If they've already activated knock them down to 1 HP while winning momentum, go first next turn and takeout that model. This gives you a huge advantage of going first, getting VP, denying them use of said player, and getting last activation as long as they don't kill you back.

5: when in doubt try a new team, maybe Masons playstyle doesn't mesh with how you learn. I have a decent record but I know there's going to be some teams that I can't do as well as others. I struggle to get butchers style aggressive takeouts so I rarely go for them and that team.

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28 minutes ago, LeadDiceandBeers said:

Without wanting to sound flippant, have you tried any other Guilds - maybe you will click better with another.

Don't worry, @LeadDiceandBeers. The thought has also crossed my mind. Other teams that also capture my fancy through their mechanics and aesthetics are Engineer's, Mortician's, Hunter's and Union. I started Mason's as I thought the Family/Linked combo was very awesome and I loved the activation-shenanigans of the whole Guild, with Superior Strategy and Counter Charge being the most well-known examples.

28 minutes ago, LeadDiceandBeers said:

what's your usual team

I usually have two line-ups; either footbally with Honour, Marbles, Brick, oHarmony, Mallet and Flint, or tad more beaty with Hammer, Marbles/Wrecker, Brick, Tower, Granite/Mallet and Minx. Usually I only bring Chisel against Fishermen and I've still not figured out vHarmony. I've also played a couple of games of Honour, Wrecker, oHarmony, Flint, Mallet and Mist against Brewers, just to try and out-football them.

28 minutes ago, LeadDiceandBeers said:

who kicks off

In the Honour team, I like to kick with either Mallet (threatening a missile) or Flint (threatening an early first activation goal). In the Hammer team, it's usually the big man himself, as I've seen he's able to turn around a beatdown in a goal try quite handily.

28 minutes ago, LeadDiceandBeers said:

what mistakes do you or your opponents think you make?

 

My turn one strategy is usually pretty on point, but after that is when things start going sour. I've talked about it with the somewhat experienced player of my meta, and he seems to notice the same trend. Win the early game, but afterwards still lose due to stuff like mispositioning, not giving enough respect to certain threats, making the wrong decisions on the fly. At my last tournament, I could've handily won 2 of my 4 games, as I started out very solidly after turn 1 (being 8-0 and 5-0 up against Brewer's and Mason's respectively), but afterwards I just start making stupid mistakes, which make the opponent come back into the game, and then I lose due to losing 4-8 VP to the clock. These losses are mostly due to clock stress, I'm sure.

Or am I? During non-clocked Big League matches, I still make the same mistakes! All my matches have currently been me winning turn 1 heavily, and then losing it due to constant errors in judgment, or losing turn 1 and ending up with a 0/4-12 score, feeling like I didn't have a chance at winning anyway. I sometimes think that it's just a lack of creativity to help me in improvising on the state of the game.

22 minutes ago, Mako said:

I know the feeling, I'm pretty good at maintaining an endless losing streak and feeling like I'm not learning anything!

Good to know that there are indeed others that are in my predicament, @Mako. Maybe we should play some games, if we're ever at a tourney together? :P I'd love to get some painting pointers, during the match! ;) Of course no clock and no plot cards, just a game for fun. :)

 

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All of what has been offered for advice thus far... oh... and have you considered blood sacrifice to the Dice Gods? I jest!! Well... maybe not.... I know they hate me with a passion. :P Hang in there!!!

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9 minutes ago, Malritch said:

All of what has been offered for advice thus far... oh... and have you considered blood sacrifice to the Dice Gods? I jest!! Well... maybe not.... I know they hate me with a passion. :P Hang in there!!!

This advice is more sound that it may seem. Haha played against Brewers last night and had 4 charges of 10 dice + whiff entirely... against all DEF 3 models. Have to go find some village girls to throw off the pyramid or something.

(Don't throw people of pyramids and if you do I'm not taking responsibility for it)

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9 minutes ago, Pending Forum Suspension said:

Yesterday he crushed the guy that got 4th (out of 10) and couldn't believe it.

I felt the same way, the day I beat our Fishermen player. :lol: Thanks for the advice, @Pending Forum Suspension. Appreciate it a lot! I'll see if I can get more games in with our 'veteran'. :)

@Ik-tornado, thanks for the pointers! I am a huge statistics nerd, so usually I know the opponent's cards better than they know them themselves. :P Still, statistics only get you so far, and it's usually the combo's that surprise me, like the Scum Rocket with Friday and Tapper. The info on when to score is also useful, and timing or setting up take-outs is also still a problem, so I hope your pointers will make a difference. :)

1 minute ago, Pending Forum Suspension said:

played against Brewers last night and had 4 charges of 10 dice + whiff entirely... against all DEF 3 models.

This feels like the last game our 'veteran' played against me! He tried out his Alchemists, and I picked my Hammer line-up. He should've handily won, but his dice rolls were 2-3 average, while mine were 5-6 average. Favor from the dice gods seems to be the way to go! :P

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The advice to play often against the best players you can find is pretty good. It really is the best way to improve, however what might also help is to talk through a game. Treat it as a complete learning experience and approach it more as a coop game than a 'competitive' game. Talk about the different tactical option. Discuss what you want to do, why and what the likely outcome is. Have your opponent explain why he is doing what he is doing, what things he is looking out for. I've done similar things with people for various games and it seems to have worked reasonably well.

Or if you don't want to take it quite that far, just some solid post-game discussion is good. 

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Perhaps try games on vassal and/or play stuff through the first 2 turns only and talk to your opponent about why you are making the decisions you are.

Mason are a very strong and versatile team and only have a couple of bad match ups which have got easier with the release of lucky

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@Gorbad, thanks for the advice! It's heartwarming to see how many people react to this thread. This is why I think so highly of the GB community. ^_^ I'll try and get some of those coop games in!

5 hours ago, Stephen78 said:

Mason are a very strong and versatile team and only have a couple of bad match ups which have got easier with the release of lucky

Yeah, this is what I also thought when I picked them up, due to their versatility and ability to change their playstyle on the fly during the game. Also thinking of trying to pick up Lucky via eBay or something. Would that be a worthwhile venture?

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I am still new to all of this as well, but my first reaction was to say play more.  It seems that I am in good company with that suggestion.  :D  As others have mentioned it is sounds cliche but I have found it to be true play more and think more about it and you will get better over time.  I would also second the vassal as a way to get more games in.  This may sound sad as I have done it a few times but play both sides (IRL or in vassal) just know that it will take longer.  By doing that you can try out combos, see how your team works together, and see how to set up an opponent.  Gaming is 90% the game you are playing and 10% figuring out your opponent.  Good luck with everything and maybe I will see you on vassal some time.

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Great to see another Masons lover and trying to make it work!  Many have said what I wanted to say already in terms of practice more (with the best player), talk through each and every activation, especially the first 2 turns, and talk through the lineup choices. 

All I wanted to say is to keep your head up, keep practicing, and don't get down on yourself.  Masons are strong but also take a bit of figuring out to get to the top levels due to all the interactions between the players and activation order.  Even something like setting up on the first turn that comes relatively easy for other guilds is an exercise in itself for Masons.  If you like their style and aesthetics (I do!), then follow the good advice others have given you here and keep at it!  I'd be happy to also help on Vassal to talk through a turn or two if you like too.

Good luck!

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I guess it's what you want to get out of the game.  For now, best not let results dictate your performance but review how you performed in each game.  How you manage the board state and what your Masons players can do for you. 

 

I'm an average player, with the only wargaming experience being Guild Ball, Mason being my team.  In the last two years I have learnt a lot playing nearly once every week, with some good players in my meta.  In all the games I do think about what I did wrong and where I can improve.   I feel I have improved, though my thought process needs to be quicker since I'm playing more competitive games. 

 

Definitely carry on with your theory crafting, even the very good players do this and lose, but this will keep your mind sharp when playing. 

 

End of the day, enjoy all the aspects this hobby has to offer.  I know it is difficult if you're playing and not getting the results you want, but like I said forget about the results and focus on your team and how you approach the game.  Maybe for now review just the first turn, how you positioned your players, if you get better I guess review other aspect of your game. 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, kryzak said:

I'd be happy to also help on Vassal to talk through a turn or two if you like too.

Thanks for the kind words, @kryzak! I might just hold you to that! ^_^ Can we set something like that up through PM's?

1 hour ago, naiconn1981 said:

forget about the results and focus on your team and how you approach the game

This is actually a really helpful way of thinking about it! I tend to let the results take over, and forget that there's a reason the results are negative. Thanks, @naiconn1981 :)

 

I'd actually like to take this moment to thank everybody for their comments. I was in a blue mood when I made this thread, and let the results take over how I felt about the game. But replies like these sure have a way of lifting someone's spirit! I'll take all these words of advice to heart, and would love to meet y'all someday, so I can thank you in person. ^_^ Like I said before, I really think highly of this community, and stuff like this only strengthens that feeling. :)

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@Nykolae have you a regular opponent? I would suggest asking them a "think out loud" training game or two. Recently started this and it's been a huge help to us, really started to see where the holes in my defence are, and how to capitalise on my opponents errors. 

It's a good path to improvement and a nice reminder to all that it's not all about crushing the other player. We still play those games though, when the clocks come out the gloves come off!

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Gotta agree with the practice with a better player advice. I lost my first 10-12 games, all against Union, all but 1 against the person who was ranked 3rd on Black Orifice for ~2 years, but we always talked about the game and what I did and how he reacted/thought about things afterwards. Then I went to my first event just looking forward to playing against different teams and ended up winning 3 of the 4 games and coming 3rd.

I've had a 2nd and a 3rd place since, but otherwise, in three years, place generally somewhere in the top half. The key thing is to enjoy the game - if you enjoy playing and meet pleasant opponents, then placing high is really just a cherry on the top. Set some achievable goals perhaps - score 4/6 VPs each game, get a TK with Hammer in every game you play, etc. I go into every event hoping to get an even W-L ratio, hopefully placing top half. If I could get to top 3, I'd be ecstatic, but I don't worry if I don't.

You mentioned the Scum torpedo, which showed me why practice is so important. I had no idea about that tactic until the game where Scum ripped me apart. Now I keep an eye on that little bastard and break up the play when I see it coming. After two recent games where I lost to Brisket holding the ball in his backfield so I couldn't score any more, I rethought my list and dropped Minx for Mist, so now at least she can't use UM against my ball retriever (Masons don't have great options to deal with Brisket).

Videos are also good, especially while painting - Hot Gates Gaming is really well presented and very watchable, and has a few Masons games, including SFG's own Jamie Giblin showing off some tricks. I'd recommend The Battlehammer, but I doubt many would call them players to imitate ;) but they have some good players on (Dan Harwood, in particular, is a damned good Masons player, was highest ranked Mason on Black Orifice and won several events I attended with them) and are a good laugh.

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When I see players struggle, it is usually because of two things:

The ball is on your half of the pitch the entire game, and sending your players in unsupported. 

You can't win a ball game if you don't have a chance to score. Sometimes just kicking ball upfield can give you the space you need to give you some options.

You can't expect any one player to take out another player. Don't fight man to man, always have at least another player to commit to a fight. 

Don't sweat dice rolls, they always even out over the course of a game. Just have faith, you'll come out fine. 

Masons have some great tech, but low DEF high ARM isn't as resilient as it might seem. Without going to deep, the sisters are deadly, and under the new deployment rules Granite seems really interesting. 

Stay positive, keep reading, and don't give up.  

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8 hours ago, Nykolae said:

Thanks for the kind words, @kryzak! I might just hold you to that! ^_^ Can we set something like that up through PM's?

This is actually a really helpful way of thinking about it! I tend to let the results take over, and forget that there's a reason the results are negative. Thanks, @naiconn1981 :)

 

I'd actually like to take this moment to thank everybody for their comments. I was in a blue mood when I made this thread, and let the results take over how I felt about the game. But replies like these sure have a way of lifting someone's spirit! I'll take all these words of advice to heart, and would love to meet y'all someday, so I can thank you in person. ^_^ Like I said before, I really think highly of this community, and stuff like this only strengthens that feeling. :)

@Nykolae I'd be happy to.  Yeah, just PM me and we can set it up.  I play a few "Turn Based GB" with international friends, where we each do a log file of one activation, and email/FB message the .vlog file to each other.  Worked pretty well so far with the time difference (I'm in San Francisco, CA).  If we have each other on email or some messenger service, the counter attack/defensive stance stuff can be relatively easily communicated in real time.  I found it to be a good way to play with people who are very different in time zones, especially learning games. 

Would love to help out a fellow Masons player, because they are my "first love" team, and no matter what, they will always be the team I main at big events, even if they're not "top tier". :)

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9 hours ago, CurlyPaul said:

@Nykolae have you a regular opponent? I would suggest asking them a "think out loud" training game or two. Recently started this and it's been a huge help to us, really started to see where the holes in my defence are, and how to capitalise on my opponents errors.

My 'regular' opponent is on the point of becoming a father, so his playing time has been reduced drastically, sadly. The rest of my meta, I feel, is somewhere around the same level of skill. Still, I can try and set up some games with them with "thinking out loud" in mind. Thanks!

7 hours ago, S_A_T_S said:

Videos are also good, especially while painting - Hot Gates Gaming is really well presented and very watchable, and has a few Masons games, including SFG's own Jamie Giblin showing off some tricks. I'd recommend The Battlehammer, but I doubt many would call them players to imitate ;) but they have some good players on (Dan Harwood, in particular, is a damned good Masons player, was highest ranked Mason on Black Orifice and won several events I attended with them) and are a good laugh.

This is a good idea, @S_A_T_S! I'll look them up right away!

7 hours ago, Folkenhellfang said:

The ball is on your half of the pitch the entire game, and sending your players in unsupported.

This happens to me way too often. :P Unless I receive and play my Honour line-up with a double Flint activation. Sending in players unsupported is something I regret I keep doing, because I feel I get greedy and forget to think of repercussions of pushing a character 'too far' up-field.

7 hours ago, Folkenhellfang said:

under the new deployment rules Granite seems really interesting. 

Haven't played a game with those rules yet, but I did play an interesting game against a prototype line-up of the Brewers last week. Hammer, Marbles, Brick, Granite, Tower and Minx vs Esters, Scum, Friday, vSpigot, Mash and Hooper. Granite really bogged down the two strikers, as he chose to deploy them on the same side, and having Brick + Marbles behind her enormously limited his options. Hammer and Minx did their thing, backed up by some of Tower's buffs. We stopped at a score of 4-4 due to time. I said he could roll his dice one more time, as vSpigs was in prime position for scoring next activation, and he rolled a goal, so we decided he won that practice game. I basically lost that game, cuz I couldn't get rid of that damned cat, being damned annoying to my counter-charge combo of Brick and Marbles He moved the cat into melee range with Brick and just UM'd from Marbles eventual charge. Next turn, he basically just moved Scum also into melee with Marbles. Due to Granite, Tower, Hammer and Minx being pre-occupied with fighting Esters, Hooper and Mash, I didn't allocate any INF to the counter-chargers, which resulted into Friday and vSpigs having free goal tries. Darn cat... [If people would like a more detailed recap of that game for some reviewing of my actions, just ask!]

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@Nykolae The Dan Harwood link in the post will take you straight to his game against The Battlehammer, where he shows you some Hammer love.

Also something I thought when I read:

9 hours ago, Nykolae said:

This happens to me way too often. :P Unless I receive and play my Honour line-up with a double Flint activation. Sending in players unsupported is something I regret I keep doing, because I feel I get greedy and forget to think of repercussions of pushing a character 'too far' up-field.

I thought, if you receive and Flint has 3-4 INF, there is no reason he can't score turn 1 regardless of Superior Strategy, so why do you think you need it? Then I remembered, a key skill that is one of the dividing lines between new and experienced players is remembering the Give'n'Go/Pass'n'Move 4" dodge when you pass/recieve. If you kick to Flint in a penultimate activation with 1MP spare, make sure you give him the 4" dodge toward their goal. With his sprint and Where'd They Go? you should be in scoring range for his activation. It's quite hard to stop, and as is often said, trading a 2VP Take Out for a 4VP Goal isn't a bad deal.

That 4" dodge is something to use (and beware) with fighty players as well - you might think your guy is out of a threat range, but if your opponent has the ball, his players all have the chance of a 4"-8" dodge (kick it to them, dodge, then in their activation kick it back, dodge). Union in particular are a bastard for that (Blackheart has On My Mark, sBrisket has I'm Open!). Once you get used to it, those dodges can really open up a game.

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2 hours ago, S_A_T_S said:

Dan Harwood link in the post will take you straight to his game against The Battlehammer, where he shows you some Hammer love.

Oh my god, Dan is amazing! :blink: Those mind-games! He actually plays Honour, though!

Also, I think I know what you mean when you say: 

19 hours ago, S_A_T_S said:

I doubt many would call them players to imitate

LOL! :lol: Great to watch, though! 100% fun! Thanks for introducing me to these guys! :D

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Hello!

French here!

I'm kind of in the same situation here. It has been for 3 months I played Brewers and my record are very bad... But the most discouraging part is the one way game. I don't mind losing I'm not sure I'm a great player but just go for a 1hour game and a 12-1 is kind of hard and disappointed. I'd like more games with tense and suspense.

I could quit the game and just paint but the problem is i like going to my club and seeing my friends, playing, laughing and so on. I guess I'm a social player^^

So i decided because of mystery box to go to hunter, just one of the opposite style guild brewer Ahah! I'm note sure it's a good advice for you but i think you should pick a guild which is very different from Masons and go for it! Maybe you'll win, maybe not but you'd see a different game. Because between Masons and Moricians by exemple the game is totally different!

Let's try it and we'll see!

And I agree with others: 

It helps to play against better player and more often. I try to play between 2-3 games by week but it's not possible everytime sadly...

Good luck to you and keep in touch about our situation ;)

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