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The Casual Mortician

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Just wanted to say thanks to Mako for this thread. I've been trying to play Scalpel for sometime and just never "got" her. Tried the kick push/dodge thing and it was ok but didn't really seem to be fun. 

Last night tried a solo game with her and Bonesaw as a duo just focussed on scoring and making a nuisance of themselves into a bog standard Brewer team. Wow! I think I found what I was missing. Bouncing around, tackling the ball, not even trying to get a TO. Super fun. 

Thanks again sir- for opening my eyes! 

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I should have my Scalpel line up finished this week ready for a run out at weekend!

I know V Graves and VS get some stick but I think you could have some fun with VS. Your opponent doesn’t want to kill him (boom!) so you could just keep him around, keeping people engaged, getting parting blows or the occasional cheap charge.

Dirge wins though. That 10” sprint is so good for ball retrieval.

I’ll be looking at:

Scalpel, Dirge, Bonesaw, Brainpan and Memory up front, harassing for goals.

V Hemlocke  and Casket throwing out Blind conditions, and generally tying up/slowing down opponents.

I’ll just have to hope for three fast goals in Turn 2. Or just 2 if I get BS to get his usual T1 goal!

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Yeah, for the brewers keep-away game vileswarm would do more than dirge... I’ve never found the bird to be in a position to get the ball when scalpel can’t, because she’s super mobile and likes to play with the other ball players. Problem is, I have to get on with prepping it and it’s a big lump of metal to chase mould lines across :P

Brainpan and Memory are great, especially when they aren’t facing brewers or a lot of :KD:.

I need to finish painting vHemlocke, as I would like to try the ladies tea and murder squad of Scalpel, Cosset, vHemlocke, Pelage and a token bloke. 

if you end up kicking rather than receiving though, I’m still on sketchy ground with that one. Never really managed a good ball capturing effort...

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Man, tonights game was...bizarre. Kind of grindy, and also full of weird dice rolls (and of course my traditional moment of rampant stupidity...)

I faced the Alchemists tonight, in the form of Smoke, Flask, Calculus, Mercury, Compound and vKatalyst. Managed to win the roll off and elected to receive.

So I took (without any real plan) Scalpel and Dirge, Bonesaw, Cosset, Graves and Brainpan/Memory.

The opening was pretty much the flag for the whole game - ball way out on my left flank, out of everyone's comfortable range except Smoke (who'd kicked off). Eventually I had Scalpel sprint and second wind, so she could reach it and get partway back. Snagged it off her using I'm Open off Brainpan, who dropped it next to Dirge to get the passing chain going. That did leave me out of position for any goal runs though, so I took a risk and used Bonesaw's spare inf to dervish back and forth with Graves twice to build momentum. 

Turn two went strangely. I lost initiative, so the onslaught of AoEs began in earnest and vKatalyst came piling in. Scalpel's response was to Use Voodoo Strings to yank him closer, bounce off him, and then charge Mercury for a nice early takeout and getting into position to support Bonesaw's efforts. Which he promptly fluffed, giving the ball to Scalpel on an intercept and killing the goal run. He later died to an angry vKatalyst, leaving the score 2-2 and Scalpel and Dirge loitering about with Compound. More condition hammering also occurred, leaving me with a lot of fragile people. 

I thought I'd be clever on turn 3, and have Scalpel run round Compound, hit him for momentum and to dodge away, then shoot. @Secondbreky even said "are you sure?" as I positioned her 1" away and I still didn't think to check what would happen. Which of course was gluttonous mass, followed by the counterattack tackling her and shoving her away, leaving 5 inf on an isolated model. Fortunately, I could second wind her and Wake the Dead Cosset, who was not looking healthy, so I only really wasted 1 Inf. That also let me tuck back in to annoy Compound some more, in case anything useful happened. Graves poked away at smoke, doing a bit more damage, and the general drain on all sides continued.

At the end of turn 3 though, after some serious beatings and a fair bit of AoE abuse by Smoke, Scalpel Cosset Graves and Bonesaw ended up either dead or succumbing to poison... eight points in one turn, four from condition damage. At 10-2, it wasn't looking good for the Morticians. 

Luckily, my next gameplan was +1/+1 move, which combined with a handy patch of fast ground at the end of their returning jogs allowed the three damage dealers to reappear in a cluster and be able to reach a huge area of the field. Bonesaw showed up on the other side, planning to try and pincer whoever went for the goal (hopefully without them scoring). A great play from @Secondbreky put flask squarely in front of my three key players, with a smoke cloud stopping any of them seeing Smoke and forcing me to completely rethink things. So instead, I had Bonesaw (with support from Memory) throw Katalyst in the way of an easy pass from Calculus to Smoke, Dirge move up to block Smoke from Unpredictable Movement-ing further away from the trio, then eventually ran Scalpel up to park right next to Smoke. Memory worked Katalyst over, leaving him on 2 health and poisoned (from one of his own team's AoEs), Smoke ran towards the goal ready for a snap shot only to be charged down by Cosset, and Graves decided since he couldn't get to anyone else, he'd use his 4 Inf to leave Flask on 1 health with Bleed, generate a load of momentum, and then run off before the explosion. 

Turn 4 started with the score 10-7 to the Alchemists, and Scalpel once again walking round Compound. Only this time, she didn't attack him (see, I do learn eventually :D ). She went right round to reach Calculus, the ball holder, and with Memory again providing the Crowd Out she repeatedly hit her, generating some momentum, doing a bit of damage, tackling the ball and dodging away. I bonus timed the tap in, and rolled :1 :1 :1 :4 - because the best bonus time is one you really did need :)

That put the game at 11-10 to the Morticians, at which point Katalyst decided enough was enough and hammered Scalpel into the floor to win the game. 


So... there was a lot of chip damage and denial going on in this game. I had expected to face a footballing team with a side of takeouts and took something designed to do a mix, but what ended up happening was an 8 VP swing one way followed by a 9 VP swing the other, bringing the game close despite wildly veering one way at first. The whole game was an exercise in doing things to mess the other side up (and one or two really high quality mistakes ;)) that meant it was real work to get any VP scored. I have no idea what I'd do differently next time beyond remember Gluttonous Mass and plan for it, if I'd thought to park myself in base contact I would've been able to carry on swinging, get the ball back, and probably score much earlier. But then, the chances are it would've meant a goal on both sides, and that would mean the game ending before I could claw back from the mass casualties. 

In interesting notes, Memory did a lot more crowding out than usual and even some attacks, because converting 2inf to 4mom was pretty handy in securing that crucial turn and setting up a takeout. Brainpan for once didn't get killed, which is also a win! Graves finally did some proper attacks and made a noticeable dent in Smoke (and Flask, despite the 2ARM), so he performed better this game. Didn't actually use Tooled Up on any attacks though, as I preferred to have the Inf spent poking someone for Bleed. I'm not totally convinced by him, as there's vHemlocke or Pelage that can (probably) do similar work to what he's doing in my games. Cosset, sadly, still does a 2VP for 2VP trade usually. She's effective at securing a takeout and maybe assisting a second (provided I give her Reanimate), but she's not winning me games yet. Scalpel is doing more work for me now, though I can't really say why I'm using her differently. She's putting down damage for sure, but her mobility, ball retrieval, and ability to get in the way (and often hijack an opportune ball) seem to be working more for me. That may just be the change to facing Alchemists though. DIrge still just floats about with no Inf, serving to trigger Memory's dodge and add a crowd out/parting blow. He's often not near Cosset's target though, so I don't seem to get much from the damage assist.

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21 minutes ago, Ruffy said:

I am 99% sure that smoke clouds do not block line of sight.

They don't.

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Oh well, it wouldn’t have changed anything (except maybe order of operations, and graves would maybe have had to charge flask instead :D

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I forgot to mention that for the first turn and a half or so, @Secondbreky‘s dice were on strike. I’ve never seen him roll so many 3s on DEF4 models... attacks, character plays, you name it he fluffed it :D

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Tbh, I have no idea now (I started forgetting details before I’d even made it home...). I think we treated it like a forest :D

Though even if I was, I was picking column 1 or 2 mostly and rolling 2-3 net hits, so it still didn’t mess anything up. It wasn’t a stretched to the limit activation so much as “well, I can’t do anything else with my 4 inf, so I’ll just beat on this already damaged mascot”. And even ARM2 couldn’t save him there!

Entertainingly, Flask would still have blocked him doing anything else just because of the angles, the annoying little sod 😛

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Another game last night, against Smoke and her vicious brood...

This time I faced Smoke, Flask, Calculus, Mercury, Vitriol and vKatalyst. 

I hadn’t taken a big guy for a while, so decided to let @Secondbreky pick randomly between them, giving me Scalpel, Dirge, Graves, Brainpan/Memory, Bonesaw (I was receiving) and Casket. 

Turn one was something of a non-entity, when my traditional goal run failed due to Bonesaw not being able to get one net hit on Mercury to give him a dodge, getting tackled on the parting blow, and having to stop and come back to bog the alchemist down instead of scoring. 

Turn two was much the same, with neither team able to score any VP (and of course lots of conditions going out that I didn’t have the momentum to heal). 

Turn three, Graves finally managed to get Scything blow off on someone for the first time ever - vKatalyst and Calculus. Vitriol scored, the ball went wide to Dirge, and the general death on my models continued with Bonesaw and Graves going down to chip damage (although Graves did narrowly avoid being Witness Me’d). 8-0 to the Alchemists.

Turn four,  I had the ball on Scalpel on the right flank (had managed to drop the ball on her via dirge the previous turn). With vKatalyst now almost dead, and memory dodging in for the gang up, Scalpel could charge him, slap him for a few momentum, take the counter attack without any worries (13 health and a spare inf and mom meant any result would likely not screw me up too badly), dodge out and manage to squeak in a 2 dice goal (because Flask had been parked in the perfect position to prevent me going round him). 

Luckily, the ball went out to Smoke who wasn’t quite in range to give vitriol a snap shot, so it was passed to Calculus and I had one activation left to do something before the game was over. So I Casket Timed, charged Casket into vKatalyst, wrapped right round to my fourth column again (unnecessarily, as he only had 2 health), and somehow shoved a huge monster into a fairly small box. 

Inevitably, the well-crafted 5 dice tap-in snap-shot then went off without a hitch, ending the game 12-8 to the alchemists. 

There’s a whole bunch of stuff that I did that wasn’t optimal, particularly having Graves, Scalpel and Casket spending vast amounts of inf to box vKatalyst, but unfortunately my preferred target (Calculus) was hiding behind him, and my other potential target (Vitriol) was about an inch from my goal, making it a long way to go for higher def model with reasonable health left. 

I also probably shouldn’t have gone for the goal but instead dropped the ball on the alchemist-free wing, gone in and pounded vKatalyst down then followed up by boxing Calculus for 6VP, and a race up the wing for the ball that Bonesaw would’ve probably been good for... but I got someone in the box and got Scything Blow off, so I’m claiming moral victory :D

I really felt the drop from 13 to 12 from taking Casket instead of a 2 inf player. After the game, we realised that’s probably because I’m having to stack 3-4 inf on models to get any real work out of them - I don’t seem to be able to get much done by spreading it out across everyone, especially when it’s a 12 inf team and the game plans can make that 11. Most turns I’ve only got inf on 3 people, because if I want to make a goal run or do some proper violence I seem to need the key people to have full stacks. Giving Graves 1 for tooled up seems useful, but then unless you’re putting that on Cosset, it means giving someone else a big stack and committing yourself o a takeout attempt to make proper use of it (1 on Graves and 4-6 on Scalpel, and that’s you almost done for the turn, with a 1” melee model vulnerable to counterattacks). I’ve found I’m getting more out of him since I stopped Tooling Up and just tried to get him to charge in, spread some bleed about. 

It might just be how I’m playing, needing to stack people rather than just give them a few each, but I never seem to have enough inf for two plans, so there’s then no backup when the dice decide to laugh at the first plan. Which they do regularly :)

But that said, getting Casket up in people’s faces did slow the other side down pretty well (and hand out momentum to them, but *shrug*). He did mostly neuter vKatalyst, and accidentally got his rough ground in everyone’s way to break Smoke’s final run, so he was handy. 

Bonesaw was the weak link this time, even with Dervish going off he just couldn’t make the goal, and eventually gave away 2VP for little gain (he delayed the first opposition goal, but only after handing them the ball for it). The Alchemists might just push me to drop him for a while. Maybe for vHemlocke if she’s based in time, or Cosset if she’s not. 

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