More like alcolol, amiright?
So a rematch of sorts after the previous game and such derp. This time I decided to unfairly catch Chris almost immediately post tax exam while he had all the remaining mental faculty of a half-baked and physically-exhausted-from-causing-chaos-and-destruction-on-an-unforeseen-scale corgi pupper.
Said pupper. Creating the apocalypse of the universe can be downright tiring!
Chris chose from the following reworked 9-man squad: Shark, Corsair, Salt, Jac, Siren1, Siren2, Sakana, Greyscales, Angel.
I picked from: Scalpel, Obulus, Dirge, Ghast, Cosset, Casket, Minx, Silence, Graves1.
A few small changes from the last report. I subbed out Bonesaw for Silence on the off-chance that he looked more consistently relevant. Plus I'm a sucker for internet chatter and I'm still not convinced Bonesaw will go the distance. Wanted to try Ghast in place of Casket otherwise the team remained the same giving me at least a sense of consistency over time. Chris took Sakana in place of Angel otherwise his team also remained the same as the previous game. The inclusion of both Siren1 and Siren2 in the team excludes Kraken which I guess is part of the experiment.
I won the roll-off after we dealt and selected Plot Cards. Shark kicked off moving all 7" up the pitch. He looked for an acute angle to put the ball towards a flank but even with a successful kick managed to go sufficiently "to the 6" both times to put the ball back into his own half. Legend. Scalpel took position of the ball and I started up the Mortician engine.
1. With Shark fully loaded in the middle of the pitch, the top two priorities for this turn were gaining MP and attempting to disable him in some way. Scalpel activated, passed the ball to Graves and used the MP to dodge up the field. This put her in walking range of Shark so she advanced into melee. On 6 dice (Shark within 1" of a wall) I simply hoped to Tormented Agony a few INF off him and Push/Dodge the guy into range of Ghast. Instead with the first hit I blew the dice off the pitch and knocked him down. Unexpected... but I'll take it. Now being hit on 3s I stripped him of 2 INF (placed onto Sakana who was in no position to be useful at this stage) and Push/Dodged him into Ghast range as planned, leaving him on 11HP.
Not best pleased by how this was unpacking so far, Chris stood Shark up and used Tidal Surge to get the heck out of there!
The rest of the turn continued to play out with me passing from Graves to Ghast and using the momentum to dodge Ghast up the field (back into range of Shark) and applying Tooled Up. Greyscales intervened and put up Decoy (Operation: Save Shark is a real thing). Ah, Guild Ball... the plays and counter-plays. I didn't have any way to delay the next part of the plan so Ghast dropped the ball and ran to engage both Shark and Greyscales. Punched Shark twice but only managed to knock him down (really wanted two double Pushes which would have put him charge range of both Minx and Cosset!).
Now occupying prime real estate, Ghast took the attention of the rest of the Fish team. Fear and Rising Anger were both triggered in order to gain as much MP as possible. He ended up being engaged by everyone and obviously just tanked like a champ. This did put Chris ahead on MP though.
The turn ended with Dirge picking up the loose ball and rather dubiously dropping it to Graves who snapped it up, which was probably a terrible idea but how the hell do you hide from Greyscales and Sakana and Siren?
0-0, no action.
2. Chris won the roll-off and took the initiative. Greyscales, Sakana and Siren were all loaded up and Shark received a token INF. I loaded Scalpel and put some love on Ghast, Graves and Cosset.
Siren went first using Seduction on Graves to force him to pass the ball to her before playing the Composure Plot Card allowing her to pass the ball to Sakana with effectively a +1 to her kick stat (engaged by Ghast). A successful kick allowed Sakana to Dodge away and the ball was safely in Fishy hands. Ghast went next taking two Parting Blows from Greyscales and Salt (maximum disrespect) and gaining me 2MP after Rising Anger was triggered. Now engaging Shark (still knocked down), Siren and Jac he opted to punch Jac first and managed with a Bonus Time to roll uber-dice with Ghast landing all 6 hits and dialling up a monstrous (and fully unexpected) Unmasking! Five Fish players took damage (everyone except Sakana - a new record!), as did Graves who was just a little too close to the action now. Jac was then knocked down. Baller.
Sakana responded the only way he knew how, lining up a goal that was made only slightly tenuous when he missed entirely with his first attack into Dirge (looking for a Dodge to get into range to strike). I played the Plot Card that gives him a Vengeance token for scoring a goal and Sakana, standing well within jog range of Scalpel, turned an interesting and pale off-white. The ball went out wide way away from Greyscales, hitting a wall next to Minx.
Killing Sakana demanded some setting up though so Dirge played Sic 'Em (love this Plot Card!) to charge Sakana for free applying Singled Out and gaining 2MP from wrap city. The free counter-attack dealt two points of damage in return. Greyscales tickled Scalpel and Graves for Dodges and a Where'd The Go? to build momentum and chase towards the ball. The Scalpel train continued its inexorable advance with Graves giving her Tooled Up - looked like a LOT of tokens were going to be involved in that activation!
Cosset free-charged into Siren, taking her out and engaging Shark.
Finally, gloriously - Scalpel. Fluffed her first attack but spent the Vengeance token to get a Knock Down on Sakana. Push/Dodged him around a bunch (one attack wrapped for a Push/Dodge; a total of 7 damage - lovely), got the Take Out, and used Unnatural Stamina to engage Shark.
Minx grabbed the ball, retreated to behind a wall, and dropped it.
3. I won the roll for initiative. Scalpel took 6INF and the rest was scattered around. Greyscales and a returned Siren were fully loaded, as was Jac. Sakana came back on waaaay the hell away from everything.
Scalpel opened up on Shark, taking him out and using Unnatural Stamina to do a circuit of the board centre to engage Greyscales. She triggered Unpredictable Movement (oops!) which gave him a 2" Dodge around her and towards the ball. A combination of Where'd They Go? and punching gave Greyscales the necessary mileage to snap the free ball, grab some much needed momentum and stay safe. Unfortunately he was unable to off-load the ball too but Siren was lurking on 4INF and could likely solve that problem (EDIT - Seduction is target enemy model only. Cheers to Trent for pointing this out). Graves advanced into Greyscales and punched but instead of tackling and taking the counter-attack he just double Pushed him away (towards the side of the board, away from the goal). Siren decided for a completely different tack and advanced towards the centre instead, using Lure to pull Cosset out of the scrum and engaging her to prevent a charge.
Cosset went Crazy! and with two attacks punched Siren down to 1HP. Siren suddenly regretted her life choices. Jac and Ghast slapped each other around to generate MP while the otter tried to stay out of the way but remain a thorn in my side. The new 1VP rule for Mascots is incredibly frustrating! Finally, because the dice were in the mood to be overly generous, Minx Furious charged into Greyscales, wrapped to the 2nd column, did 3 damage, double Dodged and tackled the ball, before using Back to the Shadows.
4. After two tied rolls Chris won initiative! Greyscales went first, easily stealing the ball from a hapless Minx and scoring to take the Fishermen to 8VPs. The ball was kicked out and scattered but not enough to stop Scalpel from picking it up and she sprinted towards Siren. The free momentum from losing the initiative roll allowed me to glide over a patch of rough ground. Maximum widgeting told me that Scalpel wasn't in range to kill Siren and shoot for goal so instead she took her out and passed to Cosset who Dodged away.
And here we called the game. Jac was knocked down and unable to help, and the otter was about to be pulled in by Scalpel's Legendary and dealt to with the 4INF I had left. Cosset was free to run in and shoot for the Tap In goal and the win.
A great game. The constant answers and solutions provided by both teams turned it into a staggering and gruelling mental battle. Once again we didn't use the clock (time to use the clock methinks) and so it took around 2.5 hours to get to a conclusion. This might be the last we see of Shark for a while :) There's predictable talk of Corsair making a swift return to the pitch but also distressing murmurs of "Hunters aren't that bad, right?" and "Engineers look pretty good...".
Well, at least I agree with ONE of those quotes...