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Furnace

How to Shark like a pro?

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So how do you play Shark well? 

I've played a few games now and I'm struggling. Are you looking to kick or receive? And I get that you're looking for a 3-0 game with Shark. But my question is how? I can get that first goal. Might be able to get that 2nd one. But after that I'm dead in the water as my models start dying and there's no way I'm getting that ball back anymore, it's so easy to hide it. And then it's just free pickings for my opponent as I'm trying to scurry my way over to the ball. 

I've been trying to have Shark around the middle, Sakana on either left or right, depending where's cover, Greyscales on the other and usually oSiren somewhere around too. Then it's Salt/Tentacles and usually Hag somewhere around too for ball retrieval or pushing models. 

But I don't have momentum almost at all to win the initiatives. And Fishers can't beat down anything. I once managed to kill a half dead Cosset with Shark though. But they don't really adapt to a 2-2 playstyle and the 3-0 seems horribly tough. 

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Kicking or receiving I often find depends on what team you're playing against. For example kicking to a captain like Theron, or Obulus who makes getting the turn one goal super hard it's often better to kick to them. A well placed kick mean Shark threatens the ball super hard and puts a lot of pressure on the opponent. 

Against teams like Brewers, Butchers, etc who can't threaten your turn one goal it's better to receive. Get the turn one goal, build momentum with the ball and position your players to attack each angle of the board.

Shark actually requires quite a lot of forward thinking, as you say it's easy to one or two goals but by that time you're deep in the water with players losing health. You really need to be careful of what players are scoring and to make sure you're always covering as much of the board as you can. You never want to be in more than a 1v1 fight. Spread, force your opponent to either commit 2v1 3v1 to lock your players down or if they stay 1v1 use your dodges to disengage and attack the ball. One thing worth noting in Shark teams is you only have objective. The only thing that matters is you're alive and threatening the ball or you're dead and not. 

Where you can make attack to just hit those momentous dodges and abuse your abundance of 2" melee to avoid counter attacks. Stack the momentum so you can be the first to go and get that ball. Shark plays 100MPH game and his games are somewhat binary. You're either fast enough to score the goals or you aren't and you lose, though the positioning of your players is hugely important. 

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Shark is all about the ball. If you don't have the ball, you can't score.  Everything you do should be about trying to get the ball and score with it. As a distraction to help with this, I quite like Jac, he's tough, great at disengaging your players from the scrum, and with Goad, he can sacrifice himself to protect everybody else. 

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15 minutes ago, ningu said:

Shark is all about the ball. If you don't have the ball, you can't score.  Everything you do should be about trying to get the ball and score with it. As a distraction to help with this, I quite like Jac, he's tough, great at disengaging your players from the scrum, and with Goad, he can sacrifice himself to protect everybody else. 

But how do you get the ball is my problem, if the opponent hides it, this has happened multiple times now, they get the ball to the other side of pitch on their end and start killing my models and oh boy, they will die to a little sneeze, meaning I'll have to run my way through an entire team in the hopes of getting the ball which the Fishers won't survive. 

And to this same dilemma I run into every game, max 2 goals and my team is done for. Too low health to survive any longer and then the ball gets hidden and I'd need to somehow retrieve it with half dead models since I can't adapt to the fighting game. 

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With Shark in the middle (easy threat of 13 inches), Sakana on one side (threat of 12 inches) and Greyscales on the other side (threat of 13 inches), where are they hiding the ball?

Add to that Siren1, who can force a pass from 15 inches away.

Plaing Shark is all about spreading your threats. If all your players are racing towards the same spot, then it is easy for the opponent to get the ball away from there. If you are spread out, that is not so easy. Shark can charge in, get a double dodge, do 2 more attacks, resulting in a further 2-4 dodges and still have 2 left to tackle the ball and kick/pass it.

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31 minutes ago, Mootaz said:

With Shark in the middle (easy threat of 13 inches), Sakana on one side (threat of 12 inches) and Greyscales on the other side (threat of 13 inches), where are they hiding the ball?

Add to that Siren1, who can force a pass from 15 inches away.

I'm not entirely sure about this since you seem to make out like it's impossible but.. 

You kill Sakana and kick to that side, Greyscales can't make it and probably dies on the way there or vice versa, Shark won't make it there in one turn and score a goal either, but will probably hurt like hell before he can try and do something, at which point he's give out enough momentum to guarantee the next turn for the opponent and be dead enough to be easily killed. oSiren won't make anyone pass the ball if they drop it on the ground behind enemy lines either since there's not too many means to actually make it running either way so it's not a huge issue to just drop it.

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I'm not saying it is impossible, but very hard. Killing the ball against a well spread out Shark team is an art form, not something done easily. And if you drop the ball so Siren1 can't seduce it off you, this risk a fish just coming in taking it without having to tackle it first (as they are all very mobile and able to dodge through enemy lines).

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Shark  has a really interesting learning curve. If you pick him up early and play other newbies, he has the power to seem incredibly oppressive and impossible to beat. Then you start to run into people that have an idea of whats happening, and that final goal is hard to come by. And then, after you work your way through that wall, Shark can be a huge monster again, particularly in certain matchups. 

 

Here's a couple tips and tricks to focus on:

1. Get to 8 first. This is pretty standard advice for every team, but for Shark in particular, he wants the threat of the killing blow looming over the opposing coach as long as possible. @Mootaz is right that killing the ball properly here is an art form. And forcing the opposing coach to focus on that instead of fighting is an important first step. 

Every activation spent on killing the ball, is an activation that your opponent is likely not working efficiently to advance his own win condition. 

 

2. Starve your opponents of MP as best as possible turn 1.  This can be tough, especially if you kick, but when Shark receives, you should make is as difficult as possible for your opponent to make any MP at all. How are you using his Legendary? The goal should be to win the MP race turn 1 and then net as many opposing players as humanly possible on the top of 2.  The goal here is to have 2 turns where your opponent is really starved for ways to interact with you. 

 

3. Run away. Seriously. Your opponent is killing the ball to prevent you from scoring, which means he likely doesn't want (or straight up can't afford) to score and put the ball in play. That means that he needs to be into your models to score points. Deny him right back. You're likely faster and Fish counterattacks are usually all pretty live.  If he doesn't want to play with you, just don't play with him. 

 

Shark is not easy against knowledgeable coaches. But he is strong. You have to pressure early and often.  If your opponent can weather the early storm and go into turn three down only 4-0, sorry but Shark's probably already lost. At the very least you're going to be taking janky shots. But Shark definitely has the tools to be up 8-0 before your opponent activates turn 2. 

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2 hours ago, Furnace said:

Aye, I've tried that, spreading them around but my opponent just kills them all dead and worries not. :D

What teams are you usually playing against? The problem you are having sounds like teams who go 6-0 or 4-1 scoring only to end the game. The biggest issue, especially for newer goal threat players, is creating the formation that best fits the three goal mindset. I like to kick off with shark for immediate turn one pressure. The ball better be long gone before my first activation or else I will score right away and dodge back to "relative" safety. Even if shark dies after scoring that is 4-2 trade. The rest of turn one is spent setting up greyscales, siren, sakana, and hag to be the most dangerous for turn 2 once the ball is back up for grabs. The second goal should be fairly easy once you have fanned out and centralized hag and siren. The 3rd goal is always the trickiest because you have probably broken formation to retrieve the ball or try for a goal run. Shark should either be coming back on or hanging somewhere off to the side, waiting for the ball to come to or make a dash in and score the game winner. 

Biggest problem I run into is smart player who know to kill the ball in my half of the pitch so I have to retreat to get it. That kills more time and influence than I like to admit. Even worse is when the center of the pitch gets cleared and they kick it off the table so it has to be full scattered from the middle. 

3-0 games are tough and good opponents can make you want to pull your hair out, but just remember that a well positioned formation can just as easily frustrate your opponent into making mistakes and you winning early.  

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On 1/23/2018 at 7:21 AM, Furnace said:

Aye, I've tried that, spreading them around but my opponent just kills them all dead and worries not. :D

Yeah, as I keep playing Fish, because the scoring game is what I like to do,(too many years of organized sports from my mispent youth, it feels more natural to me).

From left to right Sakana Mascot Shark Hag SIren Greyscales.  You don't have to bunch your models up, you can spread them out. Just keep Hag around so you can Talisman, and Reel for free.  I tend to kick with Shark, because it makes the opponent respect an immediate goal. 

ForrestRambo makes a great point, it you are in a 2v1 melee with the 2 being them,  you're going to die. Nuff said. The beauty of the Fish is that almost every playbook success gets you to dodge away from damage. They almost always have the melee advantage of 2". It too  me forever to learn this, i don't need to go in and be base to base, I want to be 2" away, and skirt away at trouble. 

Look, you're going to lose players, every game, someone is going to die, it's just that simple with this team. Just decide who you're going to sacrifice. This took me forever to learn this too. It's to the point now, if Shark survives the end of turn two, I've done something good. I try to make sure it's Greyscales that buys it. The beauty of Fish dying is, it doesn't matter, they're so fast they can get right back up in the fray. Unless it''s Hag or Tentacles. Trade 2vp for 4vp any time. 

Don't be afraid to give up that goal to your opponent if it means tossing the ball back in on a flank and having your guys go in and score the game winner. Another great thing about FIsh, you're never truly out of the game. You can easily score a goal after your opponent does. I try to never take anyone up the gut of the pitch, unless it's Shark, and only because he can bounce his way around and off of most players.

I am curious as to who you're playing against, that keeps killing all your guys.

 

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Theron and his obvious 5. Usually my models are all hampered down with their movement, or dictated where they can move and done damage to from a distance and then someone runs in and finishes them off. 

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26 minutes ago, angyi said:

IMO Theron+hunters are as close to an anti-Shark team as possible. But you have the opportunity to switch to Corsair when your opponent declares hunters :)

Obulus makes Shark nearly impossible to play. Theron is a close second. 

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Try running the Fat Man against these opponents, especially Obs...that guy is a Shark nightmare. Anything that debuffs your speed is going to give Shark tons of problems, and with the Fish being so soft HP wise, they are easy TO's for the Bear Hug and Jaecar.  I would'n't be surprised if your Hunter opponent is killing FIsh off a couple a turn.

Is this what seems to be happening?

Just think, next time your mate drops Hunters, you pop out Corsair, and see his smirk go sideways.

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Well one of my friends fields almost exclusively Theron and the other guy has Obulus. :D Though he swapped to Brewers now. We tried playing Corsair vs Theron but it was such a snoozefest we decided we ain't going to try that again anytime soon. That game dragged on for ages. I think my list was Corsair, Tentacles, vSiren, Sakana, Hag, Kraken. After that game though I swore off Kraken for good, that guy gives so much momentum away without doing much at all it isn't even funny. 

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3 minutes ago, Furnace said:

Well one of my friends fields almost exclusively Theron and the other guy has Obulus. :D Though he swapped to Brewers now. We tried playing Corsair vs Theron but it was such a snoozefest we decided we ain't going to try that again anytime soon. That game dragged on for ages. I think my list was Corsair, Tentacles, vSiren, Sakana, Hag, Kraken. After that game though I swore off Kraken for good, that guy gives so much momentum away without doing much at all it isn't even funny. 

Do you have Avarisse or Gutter? Yeah, Corsair turns it into a snooze fest, but that's how he l plays, and that's how he wins. That is the lineup. Kraken is shite, I love the big guy, but he is shite. 

Maybe your buddy, if he owns them, would run Skatha against you? That would be more Shark's speed. Talk to FOrrestRambo, he's a fantastic HUnter player. He can give you pointers.

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I have Avarisse but no Gutter. Kraken is the worst. But I don't know about Avarisse, we're losing them anyway so I don't want to crutch myself to Union right now. It's a pretty bad deal that they're going away. 

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6 minutes ago, Furnace said:

I have Avarisse but no Gutter. Kraken is the worst. But I don't know about Avarisse, we're losing them anyway so I don't want to crutch myself to Union right now. It's a pretty bad deal that they're going away. 

Yeah, I hear you. I run into the same problem against my buddies Farmers...i want to drop Avarisse in there to smash the crap out of Windle, but it seems like a crutch, since he will be gone. 

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Just now, Ragnar Rok said:

Yeah, I hear you. I run into the same problem against my buddies Farmers...i want to drop Avarisse in there to smash the crap out of Windle, but it seems like a crutch, since he will be gone. 

So what do you do instead? Because in guild, you're just screwed. :D

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You should try playing Shark with A&G and Kraken. They have some nice synergy with a shark lineup and take the 3-0 pressure off of you.

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2 hours ago, Marbles said:

You should try playing Shark with A&G and Kraken. They have some nice synergy with a shark lineup and take the 3-0 pressure off of you.

So Shark, Tentacles Sakana A&G Angel oSiren?

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1 hour ago, Ragnar Rok said:

So Shark, Tentacles Sakana A&G Angel oSiren?

That list is going to be Shark, Tentacles, Hag, Siren, Sakana and A&G. 

Hag is an important part of making A&G work. I would also recommend testing out that list with gutter. You keep tentacles with her and Shark or Sakana can slide in and help them out as necessary. 

The gameplan with Murder-Shark teams is to put the same aggressive goal pressure on early, and set up for takeouts after your opponent overextends. You have to remember that you're still Fish and you can't fight toe-to-toe. But you can definitely sneak in and grab a take-out before bailing back to safety. 

 

On sort of another note, Shark's strength as a min/max style player means that he does have some harder counters. I wouldn't recommend playing him into Morticians, Hunters, or Engineers. If your two main opponents are Theron and Obulus you aren't getting a well rounded view of how Shark works. 

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