More quality English that Handsome Dave will be missing out on.
I was hoping Chris would drop Hunters but it turned out he's already melted down the resin for a more useful purpose so he opted to drop Fish instead. FML. With little to no real experience to draw upon, here were our 9-man rosters.
Fishermans: Corsair, Shark, Salt, Sakana, Angel, Jac, Greyscales, Siren1, Siren2
Morticians: Obulus, Scalpel, Dirge, Graves1, Casket, Ghast, Cosset, Minx
So we're clearly finding our feet yet. We rolled off and as per tradition I not only lost the roll and was blessed by my generous opponent in being rewarded with the kick-off but we also stayed where we were instead of legitimately choosing sides (a time-honoured practice amongst lazy gamers). We chose teams and I took my opening kick.
Then we remembered we should have dialled up some Plot Cards. Good grief. L2GuildBallNoob.
The teams chosen ended up being Shark, Salt, Angel, Greyscales, Jac and Siren1 into Scalpel, Dirge, Cosset, Casket, Minx and Graves1. I couldn't understand why Chris didn't take Sakana instead of Jac, and Chris couldn't fathom why I'd taken Casket instead of Ghast. So all in all, a confusing time for everybody.
1. Scalpel kicked off a good 6" advance up the pitch. Kick went "1 to the 1" just over the line so we'll call that a success. Greyscales retrieved and passed to Shark who held the ball. Stupid Greyscales and stupid Unpredictable Movement. Graves sprinted and Tooled Up Scalpel. Shark Tidal Surged and charged Scalpel. Mom Gut and String and a Mom Dodge (wrap city) put him in striking range. Legendary went up to screw the rest of my turn. Shooting for goal through Dirge we got the kicking penalties wrong like the champions we are - he should have been kicking with a (Bonus Timed) 4 dice needing a 4 to hit. Instead he took a shot with 5 dice needing 5s to hit. Whatever, the big dork MISSED and the ball sailed well behind the goal line.
I mucked around thinking a bit because Scalpel at -8" of speed was too far away to sprint and engage Shark and I was trying to avoid popping my Legendary because the clever git would otherwise just Dodge away after my first punch. So Minx went first and fluffed a Marked Target. Then she charged and pinged him for some damage and a Double Dodge. This avoided the declared Counter-Attack nicely and gave Scalpel the opening she needed. Jac and Salt caroused up one flank, intent on the distant ball marker. Scalpel popped Voodoo Strings and pulled in both Shark and Greyscales (although Greyscales was out of anyone's melee ranges). I can now confirm that Tooled Up Scalpel on Snared Shark is legit good. She left him on one box and had Dodged into engagement with both Shark and Greyscales. Siren durdled up.
Cue the real tech. Shark on 1HP. Cosset comes up, angles it just right, and Lures Shark into range of Casket. Angel durdles up. Boosh! Casket Timed Shark - in the box you go lad! Dirge flaps around semi-pointlessly.
2. Morticians win the turn. Scalpel tucks into Greyscales, being engaged and so not triggering UM. Tight. He ends up Knocked Down and sitting on 5 boxes. Chris holds the MP from losing initiative to pursue goal-scoring plans with Salt. Plans go off and Salt scores an easy goal with the Tap In. Nice. Kick in lands near Minx (close to the goal) and I opt not to snap the ball. Graves, also engaging thanks to a timely Push/Dodge from the captain, finishes Greyscales off and advances up the board looking to receive for a goal next turn. Fish tech play of the turn is Jac Goading Minx in one direction before Siren Seduces Minx in the other direction. Minx snaps the ball under Chris's control and it look bad until the rules kick in. Seduced models are friendly to the controlling team so Minx suffers a badass Parting Blow from Dirge who tackles the ball off her (and accidentally wraps like a boss and does a point of damage). Ha.
Dirge. On the wings of eagles.
Dirge drops the ball (snaps to Scalpel) and I play the Sic 'Em Plot Card to get a Furious charge onto Jac, putting up Singled Out. Cosset charges towards my own board edge to club a baby seal. Chris is wise to the plan, playing Braced for Impact (Tough Hide and Stoic against the Charge attack) and Counter-Attacking. I punch the seal, trigger Loved Creature (oops). Counter-Attack fails because rolling a single 4+ is obviously too challenging. Cosset then continuously fails to dial up the 4 hits required for a Push/Dodge to move the damned water rat off the board.
3. I win the turn again but Scalpel, holding the ball, is about to get swamped in angry Fish who are hungry for another goal. Successfully passes to Graves who tries to Dodge upfield before tickling Angel (possibly crucially taking 1INF with Tormented Agony and putting it on Jac). Alas Graves does not get far enough away and Siren proves the Seduction gag is still worth a laugh. She drops the ball next to Angel who snaps it up. A series of plays lacking any synergy or real foresight lead to Graves charging Angel (Damaged Target negating the speed penalty he was suffering by loitering in some rough ground), tackling the ball, and wishfully smashing it into space towards the Fish goal. Unfortunately Graves isn't as great a footballer as his card suggests and the kick scatters "6" to the 1". Literally just enough for Shark to Quick Foot, Sprint and successfully kick to an engaged Angel who dodges away. Minx disengages herself from Jac with a Double Dodge, charging Angel and tackling the ball, and Dodging away another 4". The ongoing play and counter-play shenanigans are taking their toll on both players now.
A second cup of tea is ordered and we steel ourselves for the increasingly bitter battle for ball control.
Angel steals the ball back, Pushing Minx into Siren engagement and Dodging herself away. Casket engages her but otherwise can accomplish nothing. Cosset, tiring of the attempted Push/Dodge attempts on Salt's life, just decides to let nature take it's course and obliterates him the old-fashioned way. Not only do I trigger Loved Creature again (allowing Jac to punch Dirge for 2MP - Knock Down and a Push) but I realise the full horror of Mascots only being worth 1VP. Probs still worth it to remove the Snapshot opportunities (I guess?).
Fish are up on Momentum by two but Morticians take the initiative anyway. Woo! Scalpel loads up and charges Angel who uses Defensive Stance. To Chris's surprise I manage the tackle but don't take the ball. Instead I just opt to pound Angel into the dirt, using Second Wind (plot carded to effectively cost zero) to collect the scattered ball and put myself in a reasonably safe place. Siren tries to take it but can't get past a Defensive Stance in combination with the wall that Scalpel is cowering next to.
And we call the game. Siren is about to die (on HP, fully loaded Graves and Cosset about to come in) and Shark is on 9HP having not healed when he returned to the pitch. Chris is way down on momentum (although a fully loaded Jac could have dialled some up quite nicely). If I could have taken out Siren (possible) and set myself up to win the next turn, then it was a matter of time before I collected Shark for a second time or even gone all in with the whole team on Jac and just ground him down.
Game called 9-4. Morticians win.
No, we didn't use a clock. Yes, absolutely one or both of us would have clocked out (I assume me first). Other things that were or felt particularly relevant:
- Cosset was pretty good. Didn't manage to arrange the Assist death-dealing machine this time.
- Minx was VERY good. Applying Snared, a great playbook, and the extra 4" Dodge are all fantastic.
- Casket Time went off on a key target but much discussion post-game about whether Ghast should be in there instead. Dat 2" melee range with low playbook Knock Down.
- Scalpel was all sorts of awesome, as usual. Killed two dudes and didn't score a goal mostly because I'm bad with both timing and positioning.
- Graves was good. Tooled Up Scalpel once, Punched some guys. Low tackle was good. Felt quite versatile which was appreciated.
- Dirge was bloody amazing this one time. Who knows if he'll ever manage that level of impact again. Yoinking the ball off a stupefied Minx, dishing out a (pretty much irrelevant but still moderately exciting) Furious charge into Jac and getting off a Singled Out and Dodge on the wrap (both momentous).
- Shark missing the goal was mind-bogglingly statistically unlikely. If he nails it and uses the 4" Dodge I don't kill him. Figuring out just how badly I lose at that point is up for discussion.
- Angel felt better. Natively higher DEF was relevant. Damn fragile though.
- I managed to work around Greyscales jank and to be fair he didn't have a great game. I've found him to normally be exceptionally frustrating to deal with.
- Salt. Scored a goal, sucked up Cosset's attention for two turns, gave up practically nothing effectively when he finally went down. Jerk.
- Siren gave Chris the "ins" and opportunities he really needed. I thought she was pretty fantastic.
- Jac. Still maintain he should have been Sakana. Not sure if he wants to be in a Corsair team instead. Definitely felt out of place for some reason this time.
Lots to think about and obvs very keen for more games. Hooray for Season Three!