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Csonti

WTC with Masons

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I just thought I could write a short summary about last weekend's games where I played my beloved Masons. As a member of Team Hungary I wasn't sure how we and personally I could fare against the best of the rest. We are a small country and GB started to get rolling here only last fall when Kick Off got released -> limited meta, limited experience...

My 10 was: Honour, Hammer, Marbles, Harmony, Mallet, Brick, Flint, Tower, Lucky, Minx

 

The initial plan was to play mostly the Kick Off 6 and maybe substitute Tower (against tougher opponents) or Lucky (against Ballista). But as a sudden idea I played two warm-up games with Hammer on Friday night. That essentially doubled my experience with that selfish bastard. :)

1st game against Brewers - Tapper, Scum, Friday, Spigot, Hooper and Stoker (Pawel Korpal, Poland)

I went with the Kick Off 6. I couldn't remember all the details but I think I had to kick it off. Scatter was fine for me and Flint could retrieve the ball. With the mobility on my side I could lay down some pain and bank a few MPs. Start of next turn Honour wiped out (most probably) Tapper and I was in a good spot. Unfortunately for me, my opponent played well and with determination. I got a bit overconfident and made some misplays which allowed the Brewers to steal the ball and go for a snapshot try. Luckily 5 dice failed to produce enough 4+s and I could seal the game. 12-9

2nd game against Morts - Obulus, Dirge, Cosset, Graves, Silence, Brainpan&Memory (Stefan Benediktsson, Sweden 2)

Again went with Kick Off 6, and I was again forced to kick it off. Scatter was not bad but I didn't want to risk Flint to get the ball. I was very cautious not to offer anybody important to get Puppeted. Ball eventually landed on Obulus who moved in Marbles. He was beaten up but not killed (memories are hazy about why/how he survived the deathball of Morts). I double activated Flint and went for a goal run. Dodged near Obulus from Brainpan, tackled, dodged away and scored (Loved Creature helped a lot here). Ball went back near Silence who gathered it. I won 2nd turn, went with Honour, shot legendary, tackled the ball then destroyed Silence without any problem since the ape was there to assist. With tons of MP in the bank I went for a bonus timed snapshot with Flint but he missed it. (I guess karma hit me back after first game's luck.) So instead of going up 10-0, I was "only" at 6-0 and my most important players were in lethal proximity of a tooled up Cosset. I could save Flint but the ape and the captain went down easily. I tried to reorganize myself at the left flank while the Morts continued with their plan to kill everybody who is moving on the pitch. Eventually the center was cleared and he scored. The scoreboard was at 6-11 when I received the ball back. I played fast to put time pressure on my opponent and force him to move towards me hastily. That paid off since Obulus and Cosset arrived at an unfortunate moment. Honour was unactivated and she held the ball. After a pass I could reach Cosset and start the catfight. With the momentum gained I got the initiative, killed Cosset, run back near the sister to provide Family who linked activated and went on a goal run. It was a 5 dice tap-in attempt and my rolls were something like: 1, 1, 2, 2, 3. Pheeew, that was close! 12-11

3rd game against Brewers - Esters, Scum, Friday, Spigot, Hooper aaaand Stave (Russ Charles, Steamforged Paint)

I brought in Tower instead of Flint. (Sidenote: Russ is not just an awesome sculptor but a really lovely guy.) Not much detail remained in my head about this game since it was clear from the start that Russ plays for fun. We were casually talking and joking through the whole match which was a one-sided affair after I could lay my hands on Stave and do horrible things on that 2+/0. Russ could muster a goal so we ended with 12-4.

4th game against Butchers - Fillet, Princess, Boar, Meathook, Boiler and Minx (Jay Finnegan, Steamforged Sponge)

This was on the second day and I was brave enough to send Hammer up the pitch with Marbles, Tower, Flint, Brick and Mallet. I received and got the ball safely back with Flint. Meanwhile Fillet was buffed up to the skies (def6, tooled up and marked target on Brick). At the last activation I leached my team dry to get everything to Hammer and went after a very unwary Boar who charged upfield a bit too much. With only 4 hits the tooled up, superbuffed Hammer smashed him into little pieces and at the end Hammer was back in the relative safety of his teammates. Before that I made a huge mistake and positioned the monkey too close to Brick so that Fillet could charge Brick and kill the Counter Charge by engaging Marbles. Blood, blood and a little more blood everywhere. After the legendary and the bleed damages Marbles was dead and everybody was in a bad shape except for Flint. Thanks God I could win the initiative with +1 MP and Hammer hammered the brave Fillett into the wall of Masons and to the turf. She was left on 1 HP and KD-d but my opponent couldn't save her. After that I was in a good spot. Boiler was too far away, Boar was at the side and Meethook and Minx was just not enough to keep the pressure. We exchanged some hits, Brick went down but the VPs started to rack up on my side much faster. In the third round I had the ball on Flint who was around my deployment line. Jay tried to save the game and went in with Boiler but the CC pair returned to the pitch and made short work on the youngling. Flint hit for some extra dodges and scored the necessary points. 12-6

5th game against The Union - vRage, Strongbox, Benediction, Hemlock, Gutter, Minx (Shane Wattie, Canada)

After the last game I was pretty pleased with Hammer so went with the same six. I kicked again but Flint made a perfect scatter. I retrieved the ball and landed it on Hammer to send him out hunting. My opponent was forced to pull back Gutter with Rage because of that and position his line very conservatively. Luckily he couldn't save everybody so Hammer knocked around Beny, made MPs and destroyed the giant at the start of turn 2. I kicked but now I had the ball, 2 VPs, activation advantage and a good many momentum. Unfortunately first game's problems arose again. In a confident state I made a few slight mistakes and didn't play as safely as I should. I used a lot of clock too, so time pressure was not on my side. At least for the first half of the game since I shifted gears and regrouped on the left flank while Rage and Co. destroyed Brick, Marbles and Tower one after the other in the center. Meanwhile Hammer caught Benediction again and pushed him out of the pitch. Sadly I was very bad at winning initiative rolls in the game (not even with +2) so I was suffering from activation control. Hammer was pushed out in return by Beny and things started to look bad. Both of us went very low on time and I had miserable rolls with the returning Hammer who tried to knock out Gutter near the left side. To make things worse I miscalculated my opponent's VPs in the state of time rush. I thought he was only at 9 points and went for a TO exchange so that I could reach 8 points and win with a Flint tap-in goal. Unfortunately he was at 11 so Shane won the game with something like 23 sec left from overtime in his last activation. A really, really tense game where my first turn scatter gave me a royal position but a series of inaccuracies and a truckload of bad dice ruined my perfect score. 8-12

All in all I was very happy with my performance and the 4-1 is pretty fair. I could win the last game with just a tiny bit of more luck (or brain) but on the other hand, first game was sort of a gift.

Team finished 19th out of 32 with 2 wins and 3 losses. We would like to be a little bit higher but as a first try, middle of the pack is good enough. :)

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Congrats on the 4-1 in your first major international tournament!  I'm always super happy to see Masons do well (they're my first and favorite team), and loved how you played with the team.  Funny that you played Pawel in your first round.  I actually met and played him last December in Poland when I went on a road trip there, and we had a very tight game too!  He must hate the Masons now, haha. :P

 

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2 minutes ago, kryzak said:

I'm always super happy to see Masons do well

Check the Longshanks page. The #1 player was a Mason! :D

I do think it's amazing how the Masons can go from being in the Tier 3 bin to a solid Tier 1 powerhouse, with only some changes to the Alchemists and Shark! Hammer's changes were not thát influential, right? People still play Honour mostly, if I recall correctly.

Anyway, congrats on the good showing, @Csonti! Proud of ye, as a fellow Mason.^_^

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Yeah, I'm still not understanding how Masons are "top dog" now in people's minds, when pretty much nothing has changed besides Alchs and Fish getting worse.  I just hope SFG doesn't take this as "let's nerf Masons more"... Since we've pretty much been on the nerf train since S2->S3 transition.  And yes, I don't consider Hammer's change to make that big of a difference.  It makes him competitive as a selection from Honour. 

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Actually I do think that Masons are in a very good spot right now. The WTC stats maybe screwed a bit because of the team format, player pairing system and the relatively low match numbers but they show a comfortable third place for the Guild just behind the Cogs and way behind Fish (Corsair got a huge buff in the last errata with A&G). 

As for Hammer: I practically never played him before the errata. It looked too one-dimensional and boring compared to Harmony. But after the changes I can definitely see match-ups where he could shine (vs Fillet, vRage and even Corsair).

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17 minutes ago, Csonti said:

Actually I do think that Masons are in a very good spot right now. The WTC stats maybe screwed a bit because of the team format, player pairing system and the relatively low match numbers but they show a comfortable third place for the Guild just behind the Cogs and way behind Fish (Corsair got a huge buff in the last errata with A&G). 

As for Hammer: I practically never played him before the errata. It looked too one-dimensional and boring compared to Harmony. But after the changes I can definitely see match-ups where he could shine (vs Fillet, vRage and even Corsair).

I've always had issues against Fillet, vRage, and Corsair with Honour, but Hammer definitely solved that for me, even before the errata! :)

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I'm not sure I'm envisioning things correctly; how were you able to consistently get the ball with flint despite kicking off? We're your opponents ignoring the ball with their first activation, or deploying so poorly that they weren't able to get to it?

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5 hours ago, TheCaptain said:

I'm not sure I'm envisioning things correctly; how were you able to consistently get the ball with flint despite kicking off? We're your opponents ignoring the ball with their first activation, or deploying so poorly that they weren't able to get to it?

Consistently is a bit of an overstretch since it happened in 2 games out of probably 4 kickoffs (going for it against the Morts was a suicidal option). But when it happened it was a fortunate coincidence of events. Part of it was the tight deployment of my opponents. Part of it was the good scatter roll (or re-roll). And part of it was how awesome Flint is, especially under Football Legend aura. I usually tried to trick my opponents and let them think that I will kick towards a certain side of the pitch. I positioned Flint on that side but not too far away from the middle. They responded to that by placing their fast, footballer type player(s) in that side. Then I just run up towards the opposite side while arriving into 4" of Mallet. That gave me a 9" long kick that could travel very far on the other side. With a kick stat of 5 the option to reroll is a near sure thing. Usually 2 or often even 3 directions out of 6 are perfect for you (and the rest is not too bad either, so you can't really go wrong). That makes the odds of very decent placement around 55-75% which is roughly the same ratio I got in my games.

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3 hours ago, Csonti said:

Consistently is a bit of an overstretch since it happened in 2 games out of probably 4 kickoffs (going for it against the Morts was a suicidal option). But when it happened it was a fortunate coincidence of events. Part of it was the tight deployment of my opponents. Part of it was the good scatter roll (or re-roll). And part of it was how awesome Flint is, especially under Football Legend aura. I usually tried to trick my opponents and let them think that I will kick towards a certain side of the pitch. I positioned Flint on that side but not too far away from the middle. They responded to that by placing their fast, footballer type player(s) in that side. Then I just run up towards the opposite side while arriving into 4" of Mallet. That gave me a 9" long kick that could travel very far on the other side. With a kick stat of 5 the option to reroll is a near sure thing. Usually 2 or often even 3 directions out of 6 are perfect for you (and the rest is not too bad either, so you can't really go wrong). That makes the odds of very decent placement around 55-75% which is roughly the same ratio I got in my games.

Yeah, had someone do this with Hammer against me. 9 inches is quite the distance. 

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I agree with the fact that Masons always were good. However they were not very represented IMO. Now with the meta favouring Masons, or at least the perception of it, bring the play rate of Masons up again. 

I find Masons quite interesting, because they seem to occupy both the higher end of the results and the lower end. And have been hanging around the 50% win rate mark on longshanks. That indicates to me that they can be very good if they are played well, and can fall a little flat if they aren't, and overall quite balanced. 

And well played @Csonti ! Impressive performance from a small meta.

I was a bit anxious about picking Masons to the WTC myself, but it turned out to be a good choice - they felt very strong. Though my team as a whole did not do great, I won all 5 (4  with Hammer)

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12 minutes ago, Warpstoned said:

I find Masons quite interesting, because they seem to occupy both the higher end of the results and the lower end. And have been hanging around the 50% win rate mark on longshanks. That indicates to me that they can be very good if they are played well, and can fall a little flat if they aren't, and overall quite balanced. 

This very much seems to be the problem with them. You need to get through the first "boring" games to work out how to use them in a interesting way. As you said, up to that point they seem very flat and uninteresting meaning that newer players will move on different guilds.

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I maintain that Masons have the highest learning curve because most of them don't have obvious one trick pony plays.

This is in part to their tool-box nature along with their passive nature in affecting your opponent (which becomes more apparent under a clock than it does in casual play. )

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Agree with y'all, it's the reason why I find Masons endlessly fun, because even after 100 games, I'm still finding tricks to do with them!  Amazing!

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I've just noticed this thread ;) In our game in the first round I was receiving and I put Friday and Scum on both ends of my line-up,  but the 9" kick from Flint and the I believe 6" scatter almost directly towards the side of the pitch meant that Friday even with Shadow Like and a Sprint couldn't reach the ball. I think the ball was like 1" too far for her. We had a really close game, I had a problem to stop Honour and Harmony with the help of Marbles, and there was 1 wrong ruling that worked out well for you (not being salty here, I've done my fair share of refing at big events and I know mistakes happen) and you shouldn't receive a Ganging Up bonus from a model who did not have LOS to my model but was within his melee range. I had a good option for a cheeky snap shot (5 dice snap shot has a 81% chance of success) so I invested 4inf and 3MOM to do that and it didn't work out. Later I managed to get a 4-1 so only went better from there on ;)

 

BTW Hi, Kryzak :)

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12 minutes ago, Edek said:

I've just noticed this thread ;) In our game in the first round I was receiving and I put Friday and Scum on both ends of my line-up,  but the 9" kick from Flint and the I believe 6" scatter almost directly towards the side of the pitch meant that Friday even with Shadow Like and a Sprint couldn't reach the ball. I think the ball was like 1" too far for her. We had a really close game, I had a problem to stop Honour and Harmony with the help of Marbles, and there was 1 wrong ruling that worked out well for you (not being salty here, I've done my fair share of refing at big events and I know mistakes happen) and you shouldn't receive a Ganging Up bonus from a model who did not have LOS to my model but was within his melee range. I had a good option for a cheeky snap shot (5 dice snap shot has a 81% chance of success) so I invested 4inf and 3MOM to do that and it didn't work out. Later I managed to get a 4-1 so only went better from there on ;)

4

Well done, mate! Although my memory is really hazy now and I'm sure I had a very good scatter but you must had a tighter than safe setup if you couldn't reach the ball on your half with a model that moves 2+8", right? As for the ruling, yeah, I checked the issue now and you were right. Sorry that the ref went the wrong way.

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As I say, refs make mistakes and we have to live with that ;) It's not like I lost the because of that alone ;) And it's true that I could deploy a bit wider, but it's a stupid brewers habit to keep everyone rather close ;) 

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