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Lemminkäinen

How do you stop a Mexican standoff between two bruising teams?

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We had the weirdest game on Monday.

I had Tapper, Scum, oSpigot, Hooper, Friday, Pintpot
vs
Ox, Princess, Broiler, Boar, Meathook, vBrisket

Butchers get the ball but fail a pass with basically the exact only possible scatter result that makes the ball go way behind their goal. vBrisket retrieves the ball, Cat farms a bit of Mom out of Broiler, Ox comes in and does a number on Pintpot but Tapper retaliates. Brewers win Ini and Tapper finishes off Ox. Broiler just barely fails to kill the cat who heals up and skitters into cover.

And then the magic happens.

The Butchers retreat.

We have a Mexican standoff.

Next turn the Butchers faff around with the ball gaining Mom for healing Ox and Broiler while the Brewers watch.

This was just bonkers. Whoever commits, dies. To do something, my opponent sets up a Boar Charge into Pintpot with Ox and Meathook able to come in to support with some Ball shenanigans. Butchers win ini, Boar Charges into Pintpot. He does a lot of damage but PP survives on one wound. Tapper takes out Boar.

We quit.

It seemed very strongly to us that whoever commits, ends up fighting on the opponent's terms and dies. There is little benefit to making the first more as whoever comes doesn't have the support and the synergies which are absolutely huge. Retaliation does more damage than the Charge.

How do you stop this from happening?

After the game (well, "game" more like) I speculated that maybe vBrisket just should've gone for a goal. Her threat range is so long that I couldn't reach her and she could come, make a shot (likely four dice looking for a five) and then get back to safety through Unpredictable and such. I'd get the ball and maybe try a similar thing with Friday but she'll die to retaliation much more likely (though she does have a longer threat range so it kinda depends). But that seems like an even more unsatisfying game...

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Playing on the clock.  I have never seen the Mexican standoff but the clock stops this and other forms of unintentional slow play.  

Stave also can break it up and mess with his plan as he is pushing people around can let you commit by pushing them towards you. 

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1 hour ago, polluxx66 said:

Playing on the clock.  I have never seen the Mexican standoff but the clock stops this and other forms of unintentional slow play.

But both players are refusing so I kinda find the clock quite an unsatisfying breaker here. If we forget the original Ox thingy from the game I described, the "correct" move from the Butchers would've been to just call out a model and pass immediately. Then if the Brewers do it as well, both can swap as fast as possible until one's clock runs out. Which turns the game into a really weird one and a half hour long speed contest on who can press the clock button the fastest while shouting the name of a model. Which is probably how they play Guild Ball in hell.

Quote

Stave also can break it up and mess with his plan as he is pushing people around can let you commit by pushing them towards you. 

His range just sucks and the Butchers will butcher him. But yeah, in general having a believable ranged threat helps.

3 minutes ago, Charlie said:

It's an older episode and not Brewers specific but the STW guys talked about some ways around this situation.

http://strictlytheworst.libsyn.com/episode-19-make-the-other-player-go-first

Thank you! That sounds like what the doctor ordered! I suppose I need to listen to that (though I hate podcasts - my general experience is that they tend to end up being an hour or two of talk which could've been condensed to two to three paragraphs of text and a picture :( )

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Am I wrong in thinking that the brewers outthreat an Ox team? With Time's Called you have an 11" threat range on both Tapper and Hooper. You can also threat the ball with Friday with a 13" threat range. Also the cat missile is an option to shake things up. I don't really fing myself in such a situation while playing brewers.

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1 minute ago, Edek said:

Am I wrong in thinking that the brewers outthreat an Ox team? With Time's Called you have an 11" threat range on both Tapper and Hooper. You can also threat the ball with Friday with a 13" threat range. Also the cat missile is an option to shake things up. I don't really fing myself in such a situation while playing brewers.

Threat range isn't really all that important unless the difference is massive. The problem is that whoever goes in does so without the support and synergy and therefore does less damage than the retaliation. Support and synergy are pretty huge multipliers for beat-down efficiency for both Butcher and (especially!) Brewers.

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Yeah, but if the brewers go second then they have the last activation. That means Tapper can go in with Tooled Up, do some bashing, probably win the Momentum Race go first on the next turn, get a TO and fall back. Also a Tooled Up Tapper has a really good chance of Taking Out a full HP Ox.

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Its all about piece trading in this sort of situation. As the Brewers player you could throw in the cat into someone do some damage then either they move into position to kill the cat (potentially putting a model into a bad position) or leave it. You can drag the cat out with Get Over Here from Friday potentially mitigating counter damage and be up momentum to press later in the turn/next turn.

There isn't really such a thing as a Mexican Stand Off in guild ball, you just need to think your way around it. Whoever has the ball is at a big advantage for threat distances if their opponent is sitting off. Even super high end players against each other in a well matched game will struggle not to see opportunities/mistakes by their opponents.

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2 hours ago, Clanger said:

Its all about piece trading in this sort of situation. As the Brewers player you could throw in the cat into someone do some damage then either they move into position to kill the cat (potentially putting a model into a bad position) or leave it. You can drag the cat out with Get Over Here from Friday potentially mitigating counter damage and be up momentum to press later in the turn/next turn.

There isn't really such a thing as a Mexican Stand Off in guild ball, you just need to think your way around it. Whoever has the ball is at a big advantage for threat distances if their opponent is sitting off. Even super high end players against each other in a well matched game will struggle not to see opportunities/mistakes by their opponents.

My point is that both teams are basically dependent on their Captain's buff to damage. If you remove that, the other guy wins the scrap.

So, let's say that Tapper goes in on his last activation. Ox is a bit further back so he is safe. Tapper mauls someone (let's say Boar), get Mom, win ini. Tapper goes, takes ou Boar, damages someone else who is around. Let's say Broiler. Then Butchers retaliate using Broiler and either take out Tapper or almost take him out (due to Ox). Hooper comes in and either takes out Broiler or damages, I dunno, Meathook. Tapper dies. Pintpot goes in and takes out Meathook or Broiler. Ox takes out Pintpot. oSpigot comes in and takes out the one who is left.

6-4 to Brewers. But now Tapper and Pintpot are a million miles away, while Ox is in the thick of things and Boar, Meathook and Broiler are back. Hooper and oSpigot die, vBrisket scores and the Butchers win.

Or, if it is the other way around (Ox goes in), the opposite happens and Brewers win (maybe - they probably need the ball at some point). But my point is that unless you can take out the lynchpin model (the Captain in this case), committing doesn't seem like a good idea because you end up fighting on their terms and the Captain synergy is such a huge damage multiplier. Unless you can take out two players when committing but that's a tall order.

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I've nothing meaningful to contribute, but from the Forum home the thread gets cut off at, "How do you stop a Mexican."

Which paints a fun mental image of like, three Mexican dudes named tearing up tournament after tournament such that it warrants the thread.

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1 hour ago, ForestRambo said:

Or Tapper goes first, kills boar and runs back to where he was. 

2-0 Brewers. 

Super fun game for everyone. 

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have to be honest, I'm not sure what were talking about here.  the clock absolutely stops stand offs 99% of the time. if your playing brewers you have to give a little to get a little. there not a team  that shuts other teams out and often finds success when the other team scores some points either through snap back goals or loosing a player and capitalizing on there positioning. you should absolutely start a scrum hopping the butcher player comes into it. I unapologetically smash Tapper into anything all the time and ya sometimes people get him but its usually harder then they anticipate. conversely  sacrificing pint pot is a great way to break a stalemate. he can use beer token's to generate a bunch of momentum and put up come on then which even though is a small deterrent is  enough the make sure boar is not the one that come into him. now you have some momentum and still a bunch of influence on the rest of the team. make good use of the momentum to heal and counter attack forcing the butcher player to take KD or other non damage dealing results and you should be fine.

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The Brewers with Scum have many ways of forcing an engagement, as I said before I never had a mexican standoff and can't really imagine one. The brewers outthreat ox-butchers, so the butchers have to fall back and sooner or later (rather sooner on a 3'x3' pitch) they will run out of places to fall back. 

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I will agree with others, with factors like the clock, player positioning and the fact the player with the ball has such huge control of the game Ive never seen a position like one described in this thread. 

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Every time I go into a fight heavy team, I like to bring a hard to kill bait option. Pint pot and esters are solid bait targets. Also blast earth and fire aoe's can put up a decent way to slow the counter attack.

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Esters doing Artillery Strikes tends to encourage the Butchers to come play up close.

If people are just stalling out the game playing super cagey, absolutely introduce the clock. If folks want to hide from a fight and 'avoid' winning or losing, then they should be punished for it, and their opponent win.

 

Also, it's ok to lose players to get what you want. If you bumrush their team, you may lose a player or two, even your captain, but if you can force the results you need, you can still win the game. Being afraid of giving up points just because hampers the overall potential for winning the game.

One goal makes up for two take outs, and Brewers should never try to race Butchers to take outs for VP.

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I don't think that a clock is all that satisfying an answer.

As the problem isn't that no one commits, that's a symptom. The problem is that committing is punished when both players have bruiser teams. The way that the game works, it's far better to fight on your own terms on your own turf. The synergies that are so important are far better when you are receiving the assault rather than when going in. And players coming back from the sponge reach the scrum faster when it's on your turf.

And the idea that Butchers shouldn't go for a bloodbath against Butchers isn't true because of this. If they come to you, and you can kick their behinds because either they bring in the Ox in which case he dies or they don't, in which case they lose out on synergy.

So the answer being to boomerang kill with Tapper or use the clock are IMO unsatisfactory.

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13 hours ago, Lemminkäinen said:

I don't think that a clock is all that satisfying an answer.

As the problem isn't that no one commits, that's a symptom. The problem is that committing is punished when both players have bruiser teams. The way that the game works, it's far better to fight on your own terms on your own turf. The synergies that are so important are far better when you are receiving the assault rather than when going in. And players coming back from the sponge reach the scrum faster when it's on your turf.

And the idea that Butchers shouldn't go for a bloodbath against Butchers isn't true because of this. If they come to you, and you can kick their behinds because either they bring in the Ox in which case he dies or they don't, in which case they lose out on synergy.

So the answer being to boomerang kill with Tapper or use the clock are IMO unsatisfactory.

You could always try playing a more football orientated team, something like Tapper, Scum, Friday, Lucky, Mash & oSpigot. Still plenty of potential but lots of players who can attack a ball. 

Whoever has the last activation can also commit and roll that in a last turn - first turn activation. You're then a activation up and can snowball that in turning the scrum into your favour. 

But honestly like I've said nearly 300+ games of Guildball and I've never been in a situation where neither player wants to commit. At the very least the player with the ball can take a free goal, which then releases the ball and the player has to commit the player which can be offered up as a kill. 

We'd all love to help more but it's very hard to give you specific advice unless we can physically see the table state, player position, where the ball is, where terrain is etc etc etc. I hope all the good advice you have received can help you in some way buddy :)

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Okay. So both teams are near their own goal line, in the middle of the pitch. One player (say, Brewers) has the last activation of the turn.

1. Walk Tapper up to the centre line. Not right into the enemy team, note, but somewhere where he is within the threat range of the players on both sides. Put up Commanding Aura. Most of your influence is on the rest of the team.

2. If Butchers commit, they can't kill Tapper in a single activation (Ox can only kill him if he's in Jog range or has extra dice, normally). That means the Brewers will be able to strike back on models within Tapper's aura, and heal Tapper up again before he goes down. If Ox commits early, he's vulnerable, but if he commits late, the team lacks damage.

3. If Butchers don't commit, Brewers keep moving up models, holding the ones fully stacked with inf back to kill with at the end of the turn. Maybe Tool Up Pintpot and so on.

4. The best outcome for the Butchers if if they move Ox up a bit (to where Tapper's within the Owner), put up Butchery, and go for a takeout there. But then they're in range of all the Brewers, who also have the last activation. Ox is somewhat exposed and whoever they used to beat down Tapper is likely taken out.

5. Both teams' best option is to commit as hard as possible and hope they come out on top. The game descends into a brawl. Job done.

 

From what it sounds like, both teams are over committing into enemy territory hard, and then being stuck on their own. Moving up to claim the center of the pitch forces the enemy to come to you, and usually means you don't immediately die to the backswing (because you aren't sitting inside their team).

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I've seen stand off's several times. I know that Jason Mountain has had Hemlocke in his Union 10 partly/mainly for this exact situation, for the 9.5" range 2 DMG and Poison, which will get you kills in a stand off if you can keep going second to starve them of MP.

The clock doesn't really end a stand off, it just means there is an end to the game. Either one team is ahead on points when the stand off starts, in which case they will win at clock-out, or both teams are equal and the kicking team will win (both depending on who reaches 12 on timed activation points first). At best, the clock forces the team with the least points to commit, as the onus is on them to get some points, but it will often just end with them getting that player killed and going even further behind.

Maybe clump up and walk someone slightly ahead to tempt them in. If they don't get tempted, keep walking forward until you can lay about you with :KD: then bring in support easily.

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Thank you, @S_A_T_S - I was starting to doubt my sanity for a moment there! Now, I don't think that this is a very common occurrence as it requires quite evenly matched brawling teams facing one another without way of doing much ranged damage or pulling in enemies one by one.

Also, thank you for the solid advice! And @Gauntletas well!

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One of our main players in our group plays Butchers almost religiously, so I have played this matchup a good amount!  I've found that pairs of Brewers usually beat up pairs of Butchers better than vice-versa; the Brewers have a number of buffs/debuffs from different sources (Commanding Aura, Tooled Up, Dirty Knives, character traits), and they're harder to kill than the Butchers, so if you can spread out and change the six-on-six fight to a few two-on-twos, you're often advantaged.

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