Thursday, January 19, 2017

Into the Wild Blue Yonder - Episodes 1 & 2

Following on from my previous article elaborating about my thoughts on a Season 3 Fishermen tournament roster, we have tragic tales of my failures:

Game 1 - Alchemists

Shark, Salt, A+G, Siren1, Greyscales, Kraken
Midas, Naja, Vitriol, Venin, Katalyst1, Harry

Wish I could make a sweet '6v6' graphic like this for these matchups

This game was a bit of a non-game on account of being a perfect storm on my side. A brief summary of the match:

  • I lost the roll and my opponent elected to receive. Shark was the easy choice for kick off here - there was a patch of rough ground on the right and the kick landed perfectly.
  • Vitriol had to run to retrieve and kick back to Midas.
  • Using his advanced move from the kick off, Shark charged Midas, got the ball, a dodge and a Gut & String, then scored and dodged back into Vitriol's waiting arms.
  • Ball goes back to the Alchemists and ends up on Venin.
  • Venin gets dragged up by Siren & Kraken, ball is taken and given to Greyscales
4 - 0 Fish

Turn 2:
  • Greyscales gets some momentum and dodges into Tap In range to knock in another goal. Ball flies back to Katalyst1.
  • Katalyst goes balls deep into Kraken/Siren/A+G, dropping the ball to Venin? on the way in. Knocks Kraken around a bit and sets shit on fire.
  • Avarisse + Greede start their activation B2B with 2 INF on the big guy. Greede  reattaches to clear conditions. Avarisse clears fire, walks up to momentously push/Tackle Venin. Greede dettaches, walks around Harry and uses the second INF to kick 6" to Greyscales, who uses the momentum from the pass to snap shot a goal within Tap In range.
12 - 0 Fish

Didn't get to really test the roster much in this game. Greyscales and A+G were definite MVPs.

Game 2 vs Masons

This one on the other hand was a real grinder, with my opponent almost bleeding 1VP to clock (this doesn't happen during influence allocation), whereas I was sub 2 minutes by the end.

Corsair Salt Jac Kraken Siren2 Greyscales
vsHammer Marbles Tower Brick Flint Mallet  
  (sitting out: Honour, Chisel, Mist)

I won the roll and chose to receive, likely the right choice given that Flint is both a great turn 1 goal scorer and Close Control stops Shark's first activation goal trick.

The draft went like this:
  • Salt / Marbles
  • Corsair / Mallet
  • Siren2 / Tower
  • Greyscales / Brick
  • Kraken / Flint
  • Jac / Hammer
Needless to say, this went pretty shit and I got outdrafted (well, as much as you can get outdrafted in this simple draft system). I gave away the fact that was I wasn't playing Shark way too early, and also committed to one of the Sirens too early. Both give away a lot of my game plan and remove my options.

A better order would like have been Salt -> Jac -> Greyscales -> Kraken -> Corsair -> Siren2

I didn't think about this too well at the time, but there are 3 main issues for my roster in this Masons line up:
  • Tooled Up + Iron Fist makes Hammer able to chew through one of my big guys in one activation.
  • Tough Hide on Hammer & Brick makes them really tough to kill with my lineup (Siren2 and Corsair being the main damage dealers.
  • Hammer's Stoic makes him resilient to all my Pushes.

Turn 1:

Hammer kicks the ball to my left, just outside of a forest.  My plan here is to go for a Turn 1 Salt goal, so he gets 3 INF.

Siren gets 1 INF to retrieve the ball *mistake 1*, and it gradually gets passed up the line. 

Brick runs up next to Hammer, like a warm safety blanket. Hammer is virtually immune to first turn Drag, which is quite annoying. So instead I use Corsair to run up and bait a Counter Charge from Brick (didn't take it, wisely). I Drag Brick over and KD him. 

Kraken then charges Brick and wraps, getting Release The... + 2" Push to send him flying to the other side of the forest, where he stays most of the game, doing nothing. In the meantime, Hammer is getting swole as f*ck and proceeds to beat Kraken to almost death. It was at this point that I realized the following:

Fortunately I managed to land a goal with Salt without too much difficulty, since most of the Masons were busy 'miring at Hammer. The goal kick flies back towards the forest just behind Brick, and Flint jogs over and picks it up.

4 - 0 Fishermen.

Turn 2:

Masons unsurprisingly won the roll to go first, Mallet and Hammer get a full stack, with Flint getting the lion's share of the rest. Mallet proceeds to finish off Kraken first activation. 3" melee pretty good vs those monster counter attacks, it turns out.

My first activation is to Goad Hammer with Jac, and then walk away from him, with Greyscales in the direct path. Jac then spends his remaining INF to hit Marbles, hoping to get a momentous push, but only gets 1 hit (TAC 5 vs 4+/1 - math fail) so has to damage for 1. Numbnuts. *mistake 2*

But yeah, Goad is a pretty good play. If there was a mascot with Goad, that mascot would certainly be pretty decent at worst.

Fortunately for me, Hammer is now sitting in the middle of nowhere and his only option is to advance directly into Greyscales, who can just dodge away. I realize that his only chance to get out of this is to get the ball to Hammer for a Pass 'n' Move teamwork action. 

I don't remember what the next Mason activation was, but there was probably a good reason why it wasn't Flint just passing the ball to Hammer. Nevertheless, I use Corsair to glide up just into the forest and Drag Flint within 2". I am reminded that Flint has Close Control, so instead opt to KD him *mistake 3*. Damn you Jedi mind tricks! 
The ball flies back directly behind Flint, who gets up, use Where'd They Go to get out of dodge and kick the ball to Hammer, who proceeds to dodge over to Corsair and take him out to the box.

Greyscales takes the opportunity to charge Hammer, triggers a Ball's Gone! to pass to Siren. Siren then runs way up the field and throws a pass towards Salt, which scatters right on top of him, and the little otter that could slots another one in the goal and Knee Sliders way back to the forest on the other side. He gets a Vengeance token from 'Who Are Ya?' for his troubles. The goal kick flies into the waiting arms of a large bald Mason captain.

8 - 4 Fishermen

Turn 3:

My memory gets a little hazy at this point so some details from here on get obscured. I think I went second again.

Hammer & Mallet get their usual stack. Kraken and Corsair both shuffle onto the board with 1 INF each, which they later use to run in front of the goal and stare down Brick.

Mallet opens the turn by beating the living crap out of Greyscales, bringing him to 5? boxes. Greyscales responds by tackling the ball from Hammer and beelining for the goal, hunkering next to cover and ready to score next turn *mistake 4*

Hammer responds by Iron Fisting Siren into the dirt, pushing her all the way over to Jac on the way and triggering her 1HP heal and 4" dodge. Siren then charges into Marbles (still in combat with Jac) to get some momentum *mistake 5*, before being taken out by Flint.

Jac responds by walking around Hammer, taking a parting blow from Marbles and using Ramming Speed to get rid of Hammer's Stoic, before hitting him a few times and using his heroic to push him within 5" of the board edge, and Marbles into a patch of rough ground.

8-6 Fishermen

Turn 4:

I go second again. Siren comes back on the side of the board near Brick. Hammer and Mallet get their full stack.

First activation is Mallet bringing Greyscales to one, Singling him Out, Smashing his Shins and tackling the ball. Savage. This was necessary or else Greyscales would probably have taken the ball back off Mallet and scored. 

Jac is my first activation of the turn - he charges into Hammer with Ramming Speed to take off Stoic, then proceeds to massively fluff the charge dice, getting only 1 hit through, which is effectively nothing. I try again with a second attack, bonus timing the roll to get that crucial momentous push, and again fail to get more than 1 hit. 
What a failure. A single push + heroic would have taken Hammer and his 5 INF off the board.

Jac, what a champion

Flint then finishes off Greyscales - what a deadly takeout machine. Hammer proceeds to KD Jac and beat him to about 1/3 of his health. Meanwhile, on the other end of the board, Corsair, Siren and Kraken proceeds to beat Brick down to about 1/3rd health and farm up heaps of momentum, allowing me to go first next turn.

8 - 8 tie

Turn 5:

At this point I am in deep shit, as Masons have the ball, Flint is easily within scoring range, outside any of my threat ranges and there is nothing in the way to stop him. I considered going second for the momentum to get Jac up, but by then I think Mallet would have killed him and dropped the ball to Flint. 

I decide take a risk in charging Mallet with Kraken, hoping for a Release the... to slam him back towards his goal and scatter the ball from there, hopefully well away from Flint for the turn. If this works, then I can probably get a take-out on Brick and win on clock 12 - 10 after Jac goes down to Hammer.

I activate Kraken, KD Brick, and charge Mallet, bonus timing the roll and getting a glorious 2 hits. not even enough for a Tackle. GG. I opt to KD Mallet and hope for a good scatter, which of course lands right next to Jac/Hammer/Marbles.

Flint happily picks up the loose ball and fades into the sunset.

12 - 8 Masons.


What a grinder of a game.

As any good competitor knows, you learn more from hard fought losses than you do from wins. I thus present:

A Map of All My Failures

*Mistake 1* - A better play would have been to  give Siren 1 more INF, put up Dread Gaze for 2 and just drop the ball to Corsair, which would have saved Kraken's life. 
*Mistake 2* - Yeah, don't attack Loved Creature models with playbooks like that.
*Mistake 3* - I essentially forgot that Corsair himself had Close Control. It would have been a much better play to just Tackle Flint twice and hold the ball with the big man, since Flint wouldn't have been able to get it back and safely pass it back to Hammer in that activation. My initial plan was to Tackle the ball and then use the second INF to kick it back out for Salt to pick up, but Close Control killed that.
*Mistake 4* - Instead of using Where'd They Go to get closer to the goal, the right play here would have been to use Greyscales' last INF to dump the ball as close the enemy goal as I could, since Salt most likely you have been able to get to it and Masons would have to commit a lot to stop him.
*Mistake 5* - I think I straight up forgot about Siren's aura here from the playbook result, and then didn't heal with the momentum. Certainly would have saved her from Flint's melee onslaught. Pro. Dave would be proud.

Overall I need to use Siren2 much more effectively, practice Corsair a bit more, and roll better with Jac. Next game I might put in Sakana instead of Siren2 and see how that works out. Alternatively I have to git gud with angry Siren.

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