Thursday, January 21, 2016

Fishermen 201

I thought I would kick off what will hopefully become a long-term collective work in writing about different teams in the game, aimed slightly above the very beginner overview stages, but still relatively noobish.

There are many examples of 'summary' articles that can be found on every model in the game online, as well as the actual cards. I hope the approach in this series will therefore not be to repeat the information you can find on the cards, but to provide player summary information in the context of applied play experience, as well as discuss particular players' weaknesses without going into great detail.


Captain, Striker
  • The most important thing to know about Shark is that he is without a doubt the best striker in the game. Flint and Mist might be able to score from almost anywhere with the right support, whereas Shark can score from almost anywhere by himself, as long as he has a nice stack of influence to do it. Very fast, good kick, and a playbook built around mobility - and the fact that he is a Captain!
    On top of his rock solid KICK, his mobility is unparalleled. He can get out of almost any combat with high TAC and low result dodges, then follow it up with a jog/spring/charge, some additional attacks to dodge and get momentum and then score a goal and/or lock down the enemy with G&S/feat.
  •  His team buffs are movement oriented, namely Quick Foot and Tidal Surge (which can also be used on enemy models). In my experience these buffs alone are reason to always give him at least 3 influence, even when he's just come back onto the pitch. It adds a good deal of unpredictability to the Fish team, extending almost any threat range.
  • Shark's other big team support lie in his movement debuffs, either via his Legendary "Caught in a Net" and Gut & String. Unlike damaging legendaries (ie. Ox, Ballista), this legendary doesn't really have an optimal use-by date, and is arguably more useful in the later stages of the game. Used very early, the Legendary will usually be used to protect Shark after scoring a superman goal, used midgame it will usually be used to stop an opponent getting to the goal kick or scoring/protecting from a goal, while late game use is usually about protecting the remaining Fishermen.
  • Finally, Shark is also one of the better damage dealers in the team (along with Corsair, Jac and Kraken), with 2 damage on 3 successes and 3 on 5. Don't be afraid to use Shark's boatload of influence to take out an enemy player, even if doesn't give you any of the momentum you could be getting from his dodges and character plays. 2 takeouts, 2 goals is a pretty good win strategy for Fish against most teams.
In terms of weaknesses, the only things he really hates are KD and being taken out (he is one of the less durable captains and has no defensive tech available), although movement reductions such as Burning or Hamstring are also good ways to clamp him down a bit (outside his million dodges of course).

Look at this fine specimen of a man. Admire him.



Salt is the worst mascot for sure, but not totally useless.
  •  If Angel is around I just keep him around her for the DEF bonus. It's pretty good. He's also not bad at running to pick up missed passes.
  •  He's basically +1 TAC for Jac (Ganging Up), and also protects him a little bit (Crowding Out). Then can get out of combat easily for 1 influence and be where you want him. Not too bad.
  •  If you combine the two things above, then it's a respectable amount of work for the little guy. If you keep him distant enough to make your opponent go out of his way to deal with it, then good!
  • If neither Angel not Jac are there, his suckitude reaches its peak. I will either use him as a goalkeeper (if playing against an aggressive football team) to reduce shots by 1 die or pick up missed shots, or play him aggressively to get in the way of charges and Gang Up/Crowd Out. If you can get him killed early in the turn and thus get a goal or two out of Loved Creature, that's not terrible either but the important part is trying to be annoying, especially to ball carriers who might take a parting blow.
  •  His best trait is that being bad means people often ignore him completely, so he can often sneak out, pick up loose balls, and miss shots on goal a surprising number of times. Also sometimes his DEF 5 will save him and frustrate people, which is always hilarious.

Basically he's a 30mm base with little ability to do anything except be quite mobile UNLESS Jac and/or Angel are there, where the synergies enter the realm of "almost one third as good as Scum". He's just a little bit off where he needs to be outside of the Jac/Angel teams.

In summary, #buyflask

Visual representation on the Fishermen community whenever
we discuss our appropriately named Mascot.



  • Greyscales embodies the slippery, slippery nature of the Fishermen. He is all about his abilities, which are about staying out of combat, getting where he wants, and controlling the ball.
  • The way I usually play Greyscales is to put him on a flank such that only one or two enemy models can potentially get to him, most likely enemy models without reach who can't hurt him due to Unpredictable Movement. As such, he can control a large part of the board and pick up loose balls and goals kicks, either scoring himself or passing it over to someone who can.
  • In terms of ball control, he has a Tackle on 2 and "Ball's Gone!" on 4, which gets around Close Control and such jank. He's not the best kicker, but with a momentum to Bonus Time he's usually able to hit it home with his high mobility. A very good player for late game clutch plays, since he'll usually be one the players left on the field in a reasonable position.

Greyscales, when he was but a lad.
His weaknesses are:
a) if you focus him with quantity (as opposed to quality) of attacks, he will go down hard. 4+/0 with 15 boxes goes down surprisingly quick once you get around Decoy, Unpredictable and his counteratttack -> dodge out tricks. The flipside of this is that it makes space for the other Fish.
b) Outside of being mobile and hard to pin down, he doesn't contribute a whole lot. He's an average kicker (for the Fish), his damage output is crap, he doesn't stop the enemy team doing anything, he doesn't buff anyone else. He just slips around and plays the ball. If you can hide the ball from him, he does almost nothing to be scared of.

NB: Decoy works only against the next 'Attack', which applies only to melee attacks and not character plays. Think of it as a bad version of Gluttonous Mass for 1 which gives you at chance at counter attack rather than death.


  • Angel is the best kicker in the game - not the best striker, but the best kicker at 5/10" with Super Shot without any external help. Throw in some buffs like Corsair's legendary, Shark's Quick Foot or Tidal Surge, and her goal-scoring threat gets slightly ridiculous.
  • Unlike other strikers though, she lacks mobility and easy access to dodges. While her playbook looks good with a momentous Tackle on 1, and dodges on 2 and 4, with a TAC of 4, she will often have trouble getting the results without a charge or a little assistance. Her lack of reach compounds this, meaning she has a harder time getting out of combat. In summary: she needs a lot support in terms of mobility and survivability.
  • As such, Angel is best used as a turret - standing in a good spot with Nimble + Salt nearby puts her at DEF 6, and with Super Shot up can pretty reliably put Snap Shots in the goal even while engaged. Usually you try to get a first or second turn goal with her, then leave her on the enemy half of the field with her buffs up to try and get another goal (either via a pass, or by stealing the ball with that momentous Tackle on 1 and then scoring straight away).
  • Speaking of first turn goals, she has an easier time of this than many others thanks to her +1/+1 INF buff if she starts within 4" of Shark. Past turn 2 however, I don't think you will ever get this bonus given Shark's need to stay on the move to live/make plays.

Weaknesses? Baseline 4+/0 with 12 boxes means she gets wrecked without the proper support. She is also vulnerable to KD as it stops her moving and kicking, not to mention the decrease in DEF. Similar to Greyscales, she also contributes nothing besides the ability to kick the ball really well - no damage, no control, no buffs, no positioning tricks.


Defensive Midfielder

  • Jac - the Brawler. An accurate nickname, given that Jac is one of the toughest and most combat-capable Fishermen. He's quite resilient: 3+/1 and 15 boxes isn't stellar, but with Tough Hide he can usually stay in the fight for a bit against teams that don't stack a lot of damage buffs. As a defensive midfielder, Jac does well holding the centre of the pitch and disrupting the enemy.
  • He is also one of the best damage dealers in the Fishermen - 2 damage on 3 successes and 3 damage on 4. TAC 5 (usually TAC 6 with Salt on the table) helps get these results. And at a 3/6" KICK, he's not bad with the ball either.
  • While Fish usually like to dodge, Jac likes to push. Momentous Push on 2 and Momentous 2" Pushes on 5 successes. He also has Ramming Speed for 1 influence, and a sweet heroic play (the only one in Fishermen) that pushes all enemies within 3" a grand 4" directly away. For 2 influence and a momentum (which he usually generates himself), he can push someone up to 7"! If an enemy is on the wings, Jac can charge in and shove almost anyone off the board.
For his weaknesses, he can't unengage from combat without Parting Blows as easily as most other Fishermen. As such, he doesn't fit into the standard Fish gameplan of staying out of combat and scoring goals, which means that he can often get isolated and focused if left entirely unsupported.


Centre Back

  • Kraken is a tar pit. He pulls people in and holds them there. His best skill by far is his momentous KD on 1 combined with reach - if you do not have dodges or pushes on your playbook, you are probably not getting out of combat, especially if you don't have reach. He can also convert influence to momentum 1-to-1 quite effectively with this result.
  • He is also pretty good at dealing damage. 2 damage on 2 successes, 3 damage on 4. And you get almost his entire playbook on 5 successes (Release the Kraken = KD, 6" Push, 3 damage. Baller). If you have a mildly soft KD opponent already in front of you and no Crowding Out or anything, go to town with damage results!
  • His last sweet trick is that he brings some bursty repositioning to the Fish (like Siren), in the form of Harpoon and Release the Kraken. Harpoon is an excellent skill for a tarpit to have to bring desirable targets out of position and into Kraken's loving arms, and Release the Kraken is great for slamming models off the pitch or into irrelevance under Shark's legendary.
The downside is that despite having all the tools to tarpit, he is still a big guy with 2+/1 and only Tough Hide to protect him and his 20 boxes. Teams that can stack damage or wraps like Butchers or Brewers will mop him up quick if left to their own devices, and his slow speed means he will take a while to get back into action. On top of that, he brings only one influence and usually demands his full 3.


  • Siren does one thing, and one thing well - she messes with your opponents. She is basically a baby Obulus.
  • Lure is excellent when used to move either an enemy model that has yet to activate away from where it wishes to go, or an enemy model that has already activated to bring it in for a beating/really bad position for next turn. It combos well with Shark's movement debuffs or other repositions (ie. pushes, harpoons).
  • Seduced is her big money play, available on either 3 successes for 3 influence (thus sometimes worthwhile to charge in or simply hit a low to mid DEF model with her TAC 3). It is basically a baby Puppet Master, and you can make an enemy model within 6" make an attack or pass the ball once per turn. Excellent way to get the ball back in your hands.
  • Despite her pathetic hit points and 4+/0 stat line, she has a handful of defensive abilities that can protect her in the right situation:
    - Beautiful gives -5 RNG on character plays targetting her. This makes her excellent vs teams like Engineers who rely a lot on these accurate shots, or protects her from Puppet Master! Also a good choice for the initial kicker vs such teams, as she can then Seduce the ball right back and be safe thanks to her mysterious
    - Charmed [Male] brings her to 5+ DEF vs most models in the game.
    - Protected [Kraken] gives her 1 ARM if Kraken is nearby, and to be honest they play very well together. She is best used as a backline model anyway, since you want to keep her safe until she does a big play, and her high base speed allows her to get around the battlefield and gives her abilities a significant threat range.
    -2" reach, low dodges on playbook... the Fishermen specialty.
  • And at the end of the day, she's also a decent kicker at who can help you move the ball around. 

If you're looking for weaknesses, read the bit about the pathetic hit points and 4+/0 stat line, and avoid the things that follow it :). Not to mention the characteristic crap damage output, low TAC and only having a Tackle on 3 successes. She does one thing well - the rest, she's not so good at.

Season 2:

I haven't had much experience with Corsair yet, so I'll only write about Sakana for the moment.



The most important thought I have about Sakana: he always feels relevant.
  •  He can score goals and play ball: He's potentially fast enough to get where he wants with a good base MOV and Cover of Darkness. His playbook has some very strong movement results, which he usually gets due to Anatomical Precision. He's also good kicker - not at good as Angel or Shark but certainly good enough to put the ball in the net.
    Especially good in a dual Striker team, he is stellar at being put on a flank with some cover and waiting for goal kicks or long passes.
  •  He can support his team: He has an ARM debuff in Weak Point (huge in Fishermen in my experience) which makes him excellent vs teams like Union, Masons and Brewers. He can also drop cover from a long range away on exposed teammates. Dropping a cloud early in the turn with spare influence gives your team some additional options in advancing up the field.
  •  He's pretty survivable, at least for Fish and a Striker: He gets a free counter attack, even when you lose first turn, and if he can't get out of combat with it then he can just apply an ARM debuff to help him/the team get out later. Respectable HP, stats at 4+/1 and a fondness for hanging around cover.
  • Basically, he's always got game, whether he goes early, or late. He might not be the best at any of those things, but he is good at all of them.

He also doesn't feel like he has any uncharacteristic weaknesses that stand out, other than not being excellent at any one aspect of the game. Like most Fish, he is vulnerable to knock down and/or focused aggression, and his damage output is pretty terrible (however he does have ONE momentous damage result when applying Weak Point).