I can hear your screams now. More, more, Morticians!
With my Engineers still sitting on the painting table it was again down to my Morticians to carry the day at Field of Screams way way down on the South coast of the UK. With a good chunk of the 'top rated' GB players in attendance I had my work cut it for me again. Plus, 5 hours travelling for a tourney? NZ taught me well.
Round 1: James Reeves (Masons)
My last few games on (and off) here against Masons have almost universally been against Honour, Marbles, Brick, Flint, Mallet & Harmony1.
James took not a single one of these models.
Hammer, Tower and Granite meant I had a locomotive of pain heading my way. Accordingly I swapped Casket into Brainpan & Memory's slot (the only real variation in my team these days).
True to my predictions, Hammer came screaming out the gate by kicking off and rocketing into my sacrificial lamb (Casket). With Iron Fist and Tooled up, Hammer will easily put out 3-4 momentous damage per hit, and crucially his "Knockback" ability makes it almost impossible to cage him in.
Casket eventually succumbed but it took Granite and Tower too long to join the scrum. Mist slotted two into the goal in the meantime and the pic below is Obulus' successful run on goal for my twelve points. Ten points if you can work out the stages that the wooden tokens represent ;)
Final Score: 12-2
Lesson learned: When it comes to Masons, Oranges are not the only fruit. Though I'd still probably rate Honour over Hammer currently.
Round 2: Maria Wieland (Alchemists)
I've seen Maria around a few tournaments but haven't had the chance to play her until today. She took Midas, Naja, Vitriol, Mist, Compound and Katalyst. I haven't seen too many Alchemists players use Mist AND Vitriol in a while, and along with Midas this was a powerful football squad.
This was a masterclass in how to play the game. Vitriol push/dodged people into vKatalysts threat range when I thought they were safe. Memory strayed a little too far forward allowing Midas to catch him for push/dodges and a goal. I managed to swamp Midas and take him down and of course Katalyst exploded taking it to 4-8. What to do at that point with so many strikers and vKatalyst returning to the pitch?
I'd killed the ball to the best of my ability and just plain ran away from Katalyst. My best bet was to score with the puppet on the last activation and hope for a lucky kick-off but it was not to be and evil-timeline Mist skipped through the scrum to collect the ball and slot in the winner.
Final Score: 8-12
Lesson: Vitriol and Midas are pseudo threat-extenders for vKatalyst with their push/dodges. Brilliant play.
#Lunch #PressureOff #Submarine
Round 3: Barry Gingell (Alchemists)
Obviously. Alchemists again. He also took Midas and Vitriol but Avarisse & Greede and Katalyst1. In my mind this switched the dynamic such that even if I lost the goal race I could hold my own in a brawl without 'witness me' on the table. I switched in Casket again as that means Greede's turn1 ubergoal is pretty risky.
He snagged a goal with Vitriol, and in return I swamped her and stuffed her in the coffin. This starved him of Influence and activations for a couple of turns allowing me to set up a goal and 8-4. He isn't winning the brawl race so he too was forced to score and hope to retrieve the ball in time. Alas, Obulus jank meant I could move half the length of the pitch for the winner. Another ten points for describing this Obulus activation. Every one of those tokens is relevant.
Final Score: 12-8
Lesson: Do not, do not, do not forget that Midas has unpredictable movement and Light footed. I moved Casket up to engage him and slow him down and it actually essentially sped him up. Stupid Dave.
Round 4: Neil Bates (Masons)
DOES NOONE PLAY ANYTHING OTHER THAN MASONS OR ALCHEMISTS ANYMORE?
At least Mr Bates took a more familiar list. If I'm honest I think he misplayed his first turn, using Honour's legendary just to allow a "superior strategy'd" Mallet to put a few points of damage on Ghast. In return Mist scored and if I'm honest I probably, arrogantly, relaxed too much. We traded another goal apiece and I even took down Mallet. 10-4? Happy days.
Then things started to fall apart. Honour deletes a player a turn. 10-6. Fine. 10-8. Hmm. Mist made a run on goal but I completely forgot about Marbles' countercharge. Momentous tackle on 1? Ahh! I took the ball back for a tap-in. I missed. Aaaaah! No worries, Obulus can try another tap-in. He also missed. Aaaaaaaah! I'm not too proud to admit that I might have slightly been on tilt at this point.
He took out Dirge and even Obulus himself (thanks Mallet). 10-11. Aaaaaaaaaaaah!
The clouds finally break when Mist carefully retrieves the ball, avoids Marbles and bounces in a winner from 1" away with me pointing to the goal like I'm trying to housetrain a dog.
Final Score: 12-11
Lesson: 1.) MARBLES HAS COUNTERCHARGE 2.) Don't get cocky kid 3.) Never tell me the odds
Round 5: Greg Day (Masons)
I have a bad feeling about this.
I've played Greg a couple of times on this blog. He's a lovely guy and currently ranked world '3rd' (I get these from theblackorifice.co.uk by the way. Don't worry, it's not NSFW). I've gotten lucky against him in the past so I don't think he was happy to see me.
These plots. Francine, these plot cards.
Again it's Masons, of course. Honour, Mallet, Tower, Harmony1, Marbles, Brick. Without Flint I thought I might have a chance of winning the goal race so I opted for Brainpan & Memory over Casket.
Honour kicked to me and in taunting her further forward I mistakenly walked Ghast right into Marbles' countercharge range. AGAIN!!!
'Tooled up' plus Assist [Marbles] meant that Honour put Ghast in the ground on turn1. This is a mental bodyslam, I messed up badly.
I did manage to slot in a Mist goal and use Obulus' legendary play early to gain first activation on turn 2. However Mist failed to get the ball from Brick (sigh). That, plus Memory AND Obulus getting their shins smashed meant that I was flapping in the breeze for a turn before getting another goal. Pretty tilting I can tell you.
Greg seems to prefer takeouts regardless of faction so to some extent he ignored the ball (once he'd smashed my team's shins in sufficiently to remove goal threats). He continued to ramp up the bloodshed with Honour dispatching Graves, Brainpan and Mist in quick succession. A linked activation from Harmony stole the ball from under Obulus' nose and booted it off the pitch just to get it away from him.
The ball scattered back on from the centre of the pitch (been a while since I've seen that) and only 1" to Mallet who after some thought elected to snap it to.
This did however leave him within puppet master range so Obulus did what Obulus does and the football legend obligingly returned the ball to the Spooks captain for a winning goal.
Final Score: 12-8
Lesson: MARBLES HAS COUNTERCHARGE!
What a lovely day! 4-1 and a good SoS meant I came in third and picked up a bronze certificate/dice/patch to add to my silver and gold ones. Full set! I also picked up another set of measuring sticks, tokens and "Shadow Games" for coming third along with a Best Morticians patch.
I think I let myself down by forgetting Unpredictable movement and Countercharge TWICE (from the same model) but I got lucky that they didn't affect the outcome of the games.
Next time: British Nationals!