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Jotnebane

Tips against Ballista gunline

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I played a vassal game against a friend last night. Took the kick-off six against Ballista, Mother, Ratchet, Hoist, Harriet and Gutter. 

Ballista kicks, I get the ball back to my lines, but due to a failed kick I don’t get Mom quick enough and harmony gets taken out turn 1.

I then proceed to score, take out Ballista and mother, then at 7 points I stupidly score again loose the ball and several turns worth of shooting starts to take its toll. Without the ball I don’t have any way of generating Mom and healing so it’s just a slow grind with me talking a few chances and eventually loosing  . 

Had it been on the clock I probably would have won, but the problem of being shot half to death with no chance of sending enough models forward to get that last takeout still remains. 

How do you dig yourself out of such a situation. 

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Who are you playing into ballista?

Hammer is pretty good, also players like v harmony and lucky, tower....hard to control hammer coming in and deleting a player even with rough ground. Once you get in there it gets rough for them, can clear conditions (lucky or v harmony) and glide turn 2 for a big threat range...just have to make sure you keep hammer alive (again v harmony). Pressure turn 1 with positioning and if you receive you are in a solid place. Maybe then even an argument for football legend to make those kicks super reliable to get in and win mp.

 

Also positioning...make sure they are over 3" apart, and centered around v harmony

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I am in the same boat when it comes the cogs any advice is very welcome. The best i have played against them is when i managed to use Hammer and get into Hoist/ Velocity and even Ballista. I'd say practice it and learn from mistakes you make.  

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This is coming from a Brewers player, so it's going to be a little different for you, but my normal goal against Engineers is to get in there as rapidly as possible.  Without the ball, you're right, you're not going to keep up your healing as well as you'd like, but you CAN outfight them if you can get close.

For as long as you've got Union options, I'd also consider thinking about Mist against them- 2" melee is a big problem for their "hide the ball and shoot you" strategy, as few of the gunline models have 2" reach, so Mist can get in there and get the ball back without much fear of reprisal.

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My usual lineup against Ballista is Hammer, Marbles, Brick, Tower, Lucky, Flint. Hammer is key, as Tough Hide means he's dying much slower to the Engineer ranged plays, and Stoic prevents the push from Deadbolt. Easy access to +2 DMG also means he can push through their Tough Hide pretty easily. Lucky's free condition clearing can be really nice on early turns when momentum is tight, especially when you are kicking off and don't have momentum to clear a Deadbolt KD on turn 1. He's not critical when receiving but I still like him for his solid playbook.

Move Brick forward every turn, putting pressure on Ballista to Deadbolt him. Once they have to spend a turn doing that, take advantage of that big tempo swing. With +2 DMG, even Hoist is a possible target, though he should only be your target if no one else is available.

IMO Flint is the one model in my list that is definitely personal preference. I see the argument for any of Flint, vHarmony, Mallet, or any of the Union options, though I see Mallet's slow speed as a liability when you're pressured to move through rough ground into your opponent's half of the pitch. 

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