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Sunny Ravencourt

Kickoff Strategy with Scoring Shark and Murdering Corsair

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Hey all,

So back when I played xwing, I found the best way to improve my game and actually start winning some tourneys was to have a SOLID plan for the first 3 moves.  In guild ball, that basically translates to the kickoff and maybe 2 activations afterwards, but that's enough.  After that it becomes adaptation.  If you're receiving, it's pretty much an entirely different topic because they have a lot of control.  But the kickoff you can control.  

So there are 2 teams that I typically run.  Against Brewers, Butchers, Union, Farmers, Masons I run a Shark all out scoring team; Shark tent/salt Jac Sakana oSiren Greyscales.  Corsair against Alch, Mort (rethinking that one) hunters, engi, blacksmiths With Corsair it's him tent Hag Jac Sakana/Grey oSiren and the last one is all over the place.  AG, Kraken, whatever. 

So if I have the ball on the Shark team, what's my general kickoff strategy.  Who do I kickoff with?  Where do I generally want to put it?  Same question with the Corsair team.  What are your strategies on the kickoff with these two teams?  I'm really thinking that a better understanding of the kickoff will help me greatly. 

Thanks!  

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With Shark teams, do the Kickoff with Shark unless the opponent has ways to control Shark (Ballista Deadbolt, Obulus Puppetmaster, etc.). In this case kick off with Siren1 and make sure to stay the relevant distance from these players (11 inches from Obulus, etc.). Kick shallow/to the side and have Sakana/Greyscales threaten to retrieve on that side if the opponent doesn't collect it. Of course you always threaten that with Shark anyway, but you are stronger if you can keep Shark for later.

 

Always have Sakana on one side and Greyscales on the other. This way the opponent has more trouble hiding the ball on turn 2.

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My Shark kick off usually has Shark in the centre with the ball and Greyscales and Siren/Sakana on a wing each. I kick to whatever side my opponent has their best scorer on in a bid to force them to activate first and collect the ball rather than be free to activate later on and score. The kick is set up to end up in the opponents half with a 6 on the kick-scatter (or a 1 depending on which way the kick is going) forcing the ball to run parallel to the halfway line. You need to move Shark slightly left of centre with his move if kicking to the right and slightly right if going to the left wing unless you are happy to play silly buggers and willing to risk the ball going out of bounds going for a kick to extremes of the wings.

In theory what you get is a ball just in the opponents half under threat by Shark and one other that will force an over extension of a strong movement/kicking piece on the opponents team.

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5 minutes ago, Banjulhu said:

My Shark kick off usually has Shark in the centre with the ball and Greyscales and Siren/Sakana on a wing each. I kick to whatever side my opponent has their best scorer on in a bid to force them to activate first and collect the ball rather than be free to activate later on and score. The kick is set up to end up in the opponents half with a 6 on the kick-scatter (or a 1 depending on which way the kick is going) forcing the ball to run parallel to the halfway line. You need to move Shark slightly left of centre with his move if kicking to the right and slightly right if going to the left wing unless you are happy to play silly buggers and willing to risk the ball going out of bounds going for a kick to extremes of the wings.

In theory what you get is a ball just in the opponents half under threat by Shark and one other that will force an over extension of a strong movement/kicking piece on the opponents team.

So you're kicking with Shark then and trying to get it close to the center line close to their best scorer?  That's a pretty good plan.  Are you saving that Shark activation until last in the turn if you don't have a chance to steal and score?  

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Yes, you want their best scorer to pick up the ball first (not just with this team, this is true against any team that you expect to want to shoot an early goal).

And you wait with your Shark activation as long as possible. As soon as you activate Shark, your biggest threat is over and your opponent can be more aggressive with the ball.

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The ball should in theory be as close to the centre line as possible, I usually re-roll the scatter if the ball is going deep into the opponent's half (assuming the kick roll passed), as long as it goes further towards the wing than to the centre I'm less bothered by the extra distance as my players on the wing can nearly always collect. The worse result to get is usually a direction 2 (or 5) with a 6" extra distance as that usually puts it in easy pick up range for more than one player on the opposite side with only Shark as your main ball threat (the less options they have and the more you have the better).

The only player combo you have to really be wary of with this kick technique is Flint and Honour as they can work together to give Flint a 2nd action later in turn 1 with enough Inf for a goal run after he collects the ball.

Beyond that you have to be watchful of glass canons setting up a killing run on Shark and ignoring the ball but usually the threat of the Fish being in possession 1 activation after they kick off is enough to stop that.

I sometimes start Shark off early after a kickoff if I know I can chain into a Sakana or Greyscales goal at the end of turn 1 but it is very dependent on who is on the other side of the board because as @Mootaz says, Shark is the biggest threat you have to leverage against your opponent.

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7 minutes ago, Sunny Ravencourt said:

So is this what you guys are describing? You've got shark moving slightly left to kick to the right, hoping for the ball to go parallel on the same side as the threat? 

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I'm guessing you did this just for clarity since it is on paper but, you don't actually have to make the angled movement. So long as Shark is left of center at the end of his movement (or right if going the other way) the same effect is achieved.

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So the effect is to put shark on closer to the side away from the ball since presumably they're going to get it over to the side Shark is now on to make their run and he can threaten  better. 

What's the strat with Corsair?  Same?  Or is it different. He has a lot shorter jog and kick. 

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4 hours ago, Sunny Ravencourt said:

So the effect is to put shark on closer to the side away from the ball since presumably they're going to get it over to the side Shark is now on to make their run and he can threaten  better. 

What's the strat with Corsair?  Same?  Or is it different. He has a lot shorter jog and kick. 

I try and do something similar where you are getting direction 5 or 6 to be a pain in the rear to recover. Corsair likes to kick so he can threaten drag T1. Hold back a goon if possible (A&G, Kraken, Gutter, Jac can suffice in a pinch) and after Corsair drags you push damage the unlucky SoB closer to your goon. T2 if you think your goon can finish the job have them do it and repeat with Corsair. If you don't think the goon can handle it finish with Corsair and try to hit that momentous drag to give your goon a target that is easy to reach.

If I drop Corsair into a team with a lot of 1" melee models sometimes I'll have Greyscales kick on a wing. It keeps your opponent from ignoring the ball and forces the to do something with it early lest the old man come in and harass them.

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I like the shark kickoff approach and I feel like I've learned a lot about him through this thread.  Where to put him, when to activate him, etc.  Corsair I'm still kinda in the dark over, other than the kick off in the middle and try to drag/kill.  Is that about the best we can do? 

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Corsair's kick off depends on way more variables than Sharks does. Shark is looking to kick off in such a way where he personally projects a strong threat.  And this threat is very specifically to score a goal.  

Corsair on the other hand, depending on your own team comp and your opponent, has a decent threat to set up a scrum or threaten the ball.  Hag helping Sakana jump into some cover to launch into a ball carrier is definitely a strong play.  Ranged ball stealing on Corsair and Siren also project decent bubbles of ball retrieval that your opponent might miss. You can definitely set up to play the ball and not go for a kill.  But you can also put 5 on A&G turn 1. Get a drag and/or lure off and crack some skulls.

Personally I like to get Siren and Sakana most of the early inf and set up to fight turn 2.  That's not to say that Corsair won't get a drag in to try and set up a favorable board state for next turn.  If I kick off into a goal focused team and turn 1 ends with a valuable enemy piece KD'd at Corsairs feet and the rest of my team kept the score 0-0, then I feel like it was a decent opening turn and I'm in a fine position. 

Shark really cares where the ball goes after he kicks it off, but Corsair is more concerned about where he ends up after the kickoff.  The main difference between the two is that Shark threatens the ball and Corsair threatens players. So try and set them up with those sorts of targets in mind. 

 

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