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Coffee Shop Triumvirate

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Saturday October 13th 2018 - Season Four

Blacksmiths - Kicking (Perspective)

  • Hearth (Captain)
  • Alloy
  • vCinder - Kicking
  • Anvil
  • Sledge
  • Farris

Union - Receiving

  • vRage
  • Coin
  • Mist
  • Benediction
  • Avarisse & Greed
  • Harry

Team Analysis 
Union: 

My usual Union opponent is trying a lineup slightly altered by the season four changes by swapping in Harry The Hat to take the place he most commonly uses Gutter. I think by keeping A&G over Gutter it makes his lineup easier to control in exchange for higher damage output when they make it into the enemy lines. Swapping out of one his damage dealers for an extra utility piece adds a small amount of AoE control and extra mobility from Harry's aura.
Blacksmiths: 
I ran a lineup similar to the scrum focused lineups I’ve been running in season three but decided to try Hearth as captain primarily for the changes to her legendary. The main goal of this lineup is to form a scrum using the knockdowns, sentinel auras’, and two inch melee to control the threats to apprentices while either heavily allocating to vCinder & Sledge for takeouts or switching to Alloy for a goal-run at the expense of the beater apprentice's influence. I wanted to see if the new legendary from hearth would be able to enable a multiple threat turn by enabling both Alloy and at least one of the fighting focused apprentices.

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Kickoff-
I lineup off center to the left to minimize the effect of terrain denying my apprentices charge lanes as both of my beater apprentices have key effects on charge. He lines up fairly grouped up in the center with his striker opposite the kickoff side. Since I’m kicking off with a fighter threat rather than a striker threat I’m aiming to make the ball as difficult to retrieve as possible to hopefully force him into vCinder's threat range. Whereas he lines up to set up a bottom of turn one or top of turn two goal threat after passing down his lines.


Turn One Allocation
BS
- Full stack vCinder & Sledge, Anvil 2
Un- Full stack vRage & Mist, Molotov+sprint influence to Harry
Turn One Key Activations

  • Harry lays down Molotov in front of vCinder blocking off full stack Sledge and forcing vCinder to take burning if she goes in
  • Farris sprints in and pushes Harry closer to vCinder & Sledge
  • Anvil dodges up the team primarily to enable vCinder’s charge (dodges her into Molotov) who’s charge significantly damages Harry, while catching A&G
  • vRage takes Farris low and wins momentum race

Turn One Recap 
Blacksmiths - 0  Union - 0
I trade over-extending Farris for getting both of my apprentices into the enemy team to kill Harry and damage Avarisse for turn 2. However Harry’s Molotov is positioned perfectly to just barely block off sledge. This results in both Harry & Farris being very low but not dead but more importantly gives the Union team the momentum race.

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Turn Two Game Plan and Allocation
Gameplan Cards 

  • Blacksmiths- Offside Trap 
  • Union- Go For The Knees(Wins Initiative)

Clock 

  • Blacksmiths- 36:50 
  • Union -28:39

BS- 3 vCinder, 3 Sledge, 4 Alloy, 3 across masters
UN- Full Stack vRage & Mist, spread the rest on Avarisse & Benediction
Turn Two Key Activations

  • Mist takes out Farris (on two) in two attacks for the momentum and a six-point activation but fails a swing on Alloy after jogging and as a result doesn’t have the second momentum he needs due to off-side trap. Instead kicks back to vRage.
  • vCinder kills Harry does some damage to Avarisse and runs back towards safety
  • vRage charges Alloy who escapes on the counter attack
  • Alloy gets a goal run off of coin
  • Sledge kills a damaged Avarisse

Turn Two Recap
Blacksmiths - 8  Union - 2
The mist activation at the start of this turn was the most important activation of this game. By not being able to get to two momentum to shoot the goal the Union team lost it’s goal run, over extended Mist, and allowed vCinder an opportunity to activate. If he hadn’t forgot ‘Offside Trap’ or if Mist had managed to get a momentum off the attack on Alloy this would have been a completely different game. But the disaster snowballed over the course of this turn. vCinder & Sledge both ended up having softened targets to takeout and he wasn’t able to get the ball out of Alloy’s goal threat before he was able to go in with a charge + instructions to tackle the ball off of coin and dodge out for the goal. As a result, all three blacksmith’s apprentices had +VP activations propelling them significantly into the lead.

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Turn Three Game Plan and Allocation
Gameplan 

  • Blacksmiths- ”Won’t Touch The Hair” (Wins Initiative) 
  • Union- ”Midfield General”

Clock

  • Blacksmiths- 25:35 
  • Union- 15:59

BS- 4 vCinder, 3 Sledge, 3 Alloy, spread remainder on Masters
UN- Full stack vRage & Mist, Harry 2 for sprint & pass
Turn Three Key Activations

  • vCinder charges vRage, a dice spike on the second attack enables her to take him out
  • Harry gets the ball to mist for a snapshot goal
  • Sledge kills Benediction

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Game Recap
Blacksmiths - 12 Union - 6
The attack on vRage by vCinder at the top of turn three sealed the fate on this game by taking away the Union’s fighting options for the turn and leaving them only goal-scoring options. It was turn two that decided the game however, with the combination of Mist’s failed goal-run and the double takeout plus goal-run by the blacksmith’s apprentices that made this game a desperate situation for Union

Mistakes

  • The Mist goal run at the top of turn two seemed like a golden opportunity for a six-point activation. But once I played off-side trap I think the six-point activation is off the table and instead the Union team should either go with vRage and likely takeout vCinder, which might leave them open to Alloy taking the ball off Mist and possibly getting a goal. Or give up on Mist being able to both takeout Farris as well as get a goal and instead take multiple dodges off of Farris and use that momentum to go for the goal, which only trades allowing vCinder to activate with three influence. To his credit he had forgotten about the effect of the “Offside Trap” gameplan card and so thought he had a safe six-point activation.
  • My positioning of both Farris and Sledge turn one was a mistake. The idea was to extend Farris then back her up with both of my fully stacked apprentices hopefully winning momentum and having a significant positional advantage going into turn two. But this was overly ambitious since Harry’s Molotov managed to block off Sledge which both stopped Sledge from getting into position and dealing damage, but also lost me the momentum race to take control of the scrum in turn two.
  • I also think his activation order and choice of when to spend momentum on healing in turn two was a mistake. Once Mist failed his goal run and vCinder activated there was either the option of trying to get in immediate damage/takeouts or re-positioning players and the ball. He was a little flustered and opted to pass the ball with vRage and charge Alloy likely hoping for a takeout or removing/mitigating Alloy’s threat on the ball. But Alloy was able to slip away from vRage which was the start of the cascade since it leaves the Union in a position where the ball is under threat from Alloy, A&G are in threat of dying to sledge and there’s no one left to mitigate either threat.

Key Model
Blacksmiths- Veteran Cinder
She did vCinder things in this match, taking out players with little to no support and softening other models. Her ability to threaten models before the rest of her team can catch up was a significant part of how I managed to take control of the center of the pitch and force the Union’s hand at key moments.
Union- Harry The Hat
Harry was at the center of everything that went right for the Union in this match. He enabled threat range extension when the Union was passing the ball down their line on turn one. He disabled models from getting into their lines turn one which allowed him to win momentum for turn two, and he even managed to use his goal-kick to the side of the pitch that Harry ran back on to allow a snapshot goal from Mist.

Under-performing Model
Blacksmiths - Farris
I overextended Farris this game hoping to start the scrum with a forward Sentinel aura and crowd outs. However I overestimated her survivability by thinking a high HP 2/3 model in cover would take longer to kill than what turned out. As a result she simply ran in and died at the start of the game and never quite made it back into a meaningful place when returning.
Union - Avarisse & Greede
He had a lot of difficulty getting Avarisse into this match. The combination of slow movement and 1” melee on Avarisse resulted in him getting burned and damaged by vCinder and finding himself unable to chase after anyone without clearing his conditions at the expensive of his vulnerable HP levels. As a result he never got in range to contribute to the fight and was a sitting duck for Sledge.

Play of the Game Award
Veteran Cinder’s charge into Veteran Rage at the start of turn three for the takeout on a full influence captain.
 

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Lol, vCinder is pretty fun.

Then again it could also be that I have more games against vRage than all the other guilds combined at this point :P

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Blacksmiths - Kicking (Perspective)

  1. Furnace (Captain)
  2. vCinder
  3. Iron
  4. Anvil - Kicking
  5. Sledge
  6. Burnish

Fishermen - Receiving

  1. Shark
  2. Tentacles
  3. vSakana
  4. Hag
  5. Greyscales
  6. vSiren

Team Analysis:
Fishermen: Phlop Donkus
I mostly played Corsair in season 3, and tried him out in previous games against the Blacksmiths in season 4, which I don’t feel was a good drop. I think the last thing I want to do is pull Sledge into my scrum, especially if I don’t kill him! I played Shark in order to put constant pressure on the ball, and Vet Siren as I was not going to be playing Kraken, and Vet Cinder would not be affected by Siren’s charmed male. Seeing Iron and Burnish being drafted really is the stuff of nightmares, and dealing with it was not something that I was looking forward to. I hoped that Vet Sakana and Hag would be able to deal with their ability to kill the ball, and maybe Shark getting a couple of luck tackles with a stack of six influence would work too...
Blacksmiths: Tsar14
The goal of this lineup is to combine the best offensive threats from blacksmiths with the passive ball killing potential of Iron & Burnish. Ideally I want to get Iron under Burnish’s reinforced plating and hopefully under either Anvil or Furnace’s Sentinel  and make it extremely difficult to get the ball off of him. While Iron kills the ball vCinder & Sledge try to get into the enemy team and takeout any player that can retrieve the ball. I chose Furnace as captain ultimately for the offensive legendary but was considering Anvil to make it harder to disrupt the positioning when Iron tries to kill the ball.

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Kickoff:
I lineup on the right wing to avoid the large rough ground in the center of my half of the pitch and to control one wing of the pitch when I go to kill the ball. My thinking here is that I likely can’t stop the turn one goal but I can set up so that after my goal kick I can have Iron, Burnish, and Anvil in position to control turn two and onward. Anvil’s kickoff was risky but worked about as well as possible with a scatter onto the left wing of the pitch. I kicked off with Anvil to try to get his sentinel aura further forward for later, but it might have been better to kickoff with an apprentice threat or burnish in hindsight.

Turn One Allocation
Bs- 3 Sledge & vCinder, 2 Anvil & Iron, 1 Burnish & Furnace
Fs- 6 Shark, 3 Hag, 2 vSiren, 1 vSakana 
Turn One Key Activations

  • After Shark and Greyscales move up on some passes, Burnish sprints up next to Anvil and uses flame belch on Shark & Greyscales
  • Shark, with the ball, charges burnish and dodges off of him before shooting a goal 
  • vSiren uses Dread Gaze on Sledge who is threatening to dodge up vCinder and charge shark. This also pushed Sledge just outside of the six inch tutelage aura
  • Sledge passes to Iron and charges vSiren, fails to hit damage after defensive stance
  • After the goal kick, Iron gets setup under Burnish, Anvil, & cover to the left of the center obstacle.

Turn One Recap 
Blacksmiths - 0   Fishermen - 4
The turn one goal was basically unstoppable, so I instead opt into trying to get Sledge & vCinder as far up the board as possible while setting up Iron to protect the ball. Unfortunately I position Burnish in a short-sighted way and end up setting up Iron in the center of the pitch surrounded by potential threats, it likely would have been worth simply sending Iron up the right side of the field even without Burnish's support after my positional mistake.

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*Picture is after Shark starts to activate on turn two*

Turn Two Game Plan and Allocation
Gameplan Cards

  • Blacksmiths - “Full-Back”
  • Fishermen - “Keep The Ball Moving” (Wins Initiative)

Bs- 4 vCinder, 3 Sledge, 2 Furnace & Iron, 1 Anvil
Fs- 6 Shark, 4 Greyscales, 3 vSakana
Turn Two Key Activations

  • Shark jogs to Iron and fails to reach his tackle, with his last couple attacks he switches into taking dodges towards the goal to get in snapshot range
  • vCinder uses her one influence charge on Siren, catching Tentacles, but fails to finish the takeout and trigger Grim Vengeance to potentially kill Tentacles
  • Hag jogs in and legendaries Anvil, Burnish, and Iron to break up the formation
  • Sledge attacks Greyscales and gets him very low
  • Greyscales gets the ball off of Iron and passes to shark for a snapshot goal
  • Furnace uses his one influence charge to finish off vSiren
  • Blacksmiths reform, in-part, the Iron ball kill on the center-right side of the center obstacle. Burnish attempts to jog over to Iron but gets knocked down on the parting blow. 

Turn Two Recap
Blacksmiths - 2  Fishermen - 8
This turn looked like a disaster for fishermen at first with Shark’s six influence nearly going to waste. It’s worth noting here that he opted to jog in rather than charge to avoid the defensive stance from Iron, but the math would have favored hitting his column two tackle on the charge rather than two normal attacks. But the Hag legendary enabled the fishermen to get the ball back and a swift snapshot goal pushing them into a controlling lead. Meanwhile the blacksmiths damaged many models and tried to re-kill the ball but we’re too tied up to get much distance.

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Turn Three Game Plan and Allocation
Gameplan 

  • Blacksmiths - “Go For The Knees” - Sledge - (Wins Initiative) 
  • Fishermen - “Back In The Game”

Bs- 4 vCinder, 3 Sledge, 2 Furnace & Iron, 1 Anvil
Fs- 4 Shark, 4 Greyscales, 3 vSakana & vSiren
Turn Three Key Activations

  • Furnace charges and finishes Greyscales, influence moved to Hag
  • vSakana pushes Sledge then hits ‘Fancy Footwork’ to get the ball off Iron, passes to shark for a snapshot goal

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Game Recap
Blacksmiths - 4  Fishermen -  12
While the Iron triple setup ball-kill was established by the blacksmiths, the fisherman controlled the center of the pitch. The main consequence of this was that despite having to put extra resources or risks to retrieve the ball, when they did the fish were setup to immediately take advantage giving no time for me to retake the ball and set back up. End the end this resulted in a rapid series of goals despite almost every member of the fishermen being under threat.

Mistakes

  • Blacksmiths - Kickoff lineup
    • I overestimated how far on the wing I could setup Iron after the goal kick. While if I had positioned models better turn one I could have setup further to the right I’m not sure it was enough to justify how much control over the center I lost as a result.
  • Blacksmiths - Burnish’s flame belch instead of prioritizing positioning turn one. 
    • Burnish’s priority for turn one should be to position for Iron’s ball kill, instead I went forward to take an opportunity at softening what I viewed as the two goal-threats on his team. This was very short-sighted play as it forced me into setting up on the left side of the obstacle instead of the right in exchange for a flame belch that didn’t have much if any effect on the game.
  • Fishermen - Shark jogging in to attack Iron at the top of turn two. 
    • By jogging in and attacking a 3/3 model in cover Shark was only at a 13.2% chance of hitting his tackle. If he had charged, even after defensive stance, he would have a 50% shot at hitting his tackle. Regardless due to close control this is a very long shot of being able to hit two tackles and still momentously dodge to get into goal range.
  • Blacksmiths - vCinder’s charge at top of turn two.
    • I overestimated vCinder likelihood of killing vSiren due to her having a one influence charge. As a result I got greedy and included Tentacles in the charge at the expense of taking a crowd-out thinking I would be able to kill vSiren and use Grim vengeance to damage or even kill Tentacles for a momentum lead. Her six defense on the charge and five defense on the remaining attacks left vCinder only hitting her first two columns on most attacks. I went for this partially because I wanted to take the opportunity to get in vCinder’s charge before he could move vSiren thinking that the ball was safe once Shark had activated. But had I foreseen the effect Hag was going to have it would have been wiser to activate Sledge threaten Hag or Greyscales
  • Blacksmiths - Allowing Shark to stay in tap-in range 
    • I was prioritizing minimizing the fishermen’s ability to retrieve the ball all game. But after giving up the center of the pitch I severely underestimated the potential of having Shark in snapshot threat range with so much of his team in range to pass to him. Most of our games involving shark are much more spread out than this and it caught me off guard not having an activation to potentially retrieve the ball.
  • Blacksmiths - Prioritizing finishing Greyscales over likely killing vSakana turn three
    • This one is borderline but looking back I think Sledge could have killed vSakana or taken him so low that he’s in threat of dying to a counter attack. Instead I saw Greyscales and Shark as a threat to take the ball and immediately score a goal and tried to mitigate that since Furnace was capable of killing Greyscales due to how low he was. This was mistaking that vSakana was actually the stronger threat to retrieve the ball and be able to get it to Shark since neither Greyscales nor Shark were likely to tackle off of Iron but without burnish making it into range to protect Iron vSakana was very capable of stealing it off of him.

Key Model
Blacksmiths - Iron
While his play was entirely passive, the defensive tech was key to the game plan and the only thing slowing the fishermen down.
Fishermen - vSakana
vSakana’s ranged tackle that ignores close control was a constant threat, combined with his anatomical precision to make it easier to hit target models and bag of coffers providing a more reliable pass vSakana both altered where and how I could play my models while also making a game-winning play himself.

Underperforming Models
Blacksmiths - Burnish
I failed to position Burnish well, which both altered where I setup Iron and made it difficult to reposition next to Iron after the Hag legendary.
Fishermen - Tentacles
Hard to say anyone on the fishermen lineup underperformed since every squaddie made a game-altering play and Shark scored all three goals. Their mascot however didn’t manage to get into the game for either significant crowd-outs or blind and was a liability to vCinder.

Play of the Game Award
Hag Legendary breaking up the Hellraiser puzzle box. This single play turned the game around by adjusting the positioning of every key model and enabling the Fishermen to take a commanding lead turn two.
 

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When ever you face a scoring team you are almost certainly sealing your doom when the ball is on your half of the board the whole game. 

I think the Hellraiser box formation was as impressive as it was effective, right up until it was broken. 

Beater teams playing scoring teams need to prioritize keeping the ball in the other half of the pitch, and keeping enemy players out of snap shot range. 

Supremely easier said than done, but it's what I try to shoot for. 

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I definitely over prioritized getting the trio into position rather than where on the pitch they were. There were a number of opportunities I glossed over in favor of just throwing high damage apprentices in. I definitely need more practice against that kind of threat.

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