Category: Not So Close Control

Match Report 1: Engineers vs Masons

For this game I wanted to try out the remainder of my (functionally) new players.  Mother and Vet Velocity haven’t arrived just yet so they were out.  While grabbing minis I completely forgot that normal Velocity existed or she would have been in there somewhere.  Pin Vice was a given for the captain.  Rather than build the heavy footballing team she usually runs, I decided to try something a bit more brawl focused.  Hoist and Ratchet were meant to play a different roll this time.  Rather than raining Blasted Earth, Hoist planned to tool up Ratchet or Pin Vice and then use his natural hardiness to safely add crowd out dice.  The perfect world idea would play out as follows:  Hoist puts tooled up on Pin Vice, Pin Vice uses Mechanical Heart then deletions Ratchet and herself before going in for four attacks, Ratchet puts Tooled Up and Overclocked on himself and charges for four attacks total.  On average dice against a 4/1 opponent this should come out to a little over 30 damage between them followed by whatever Rage manages.  In practice it didn’t quite work out that cleanly but it was a fun experiment.

My List:
Pin Vice
Mainspring
Ratchet
Hoist
Compound
Rage

My opponent was playing the Masons from the new Kick Off box.  Despite several players in the area owning Masons I don’t have that much experience against them.  Beyond Flint being a goal master and Mallet hitting like a truck I was largely in the dark.  As a quick side note, these models are great.  If the detail is less than the metal casting its minimal.  I look forward to seeing what they produce in the future.

Opponent’s List:
Honour
Marbles
Harmony
Brick
Mallet
Flint

Turn 1:
turn1

Engineers won the roll and elected to receive.  Masons deployed across the middle with Brick and Marbles guarding the fast terrain side.  Flint had the ball and I feared that could mean a turn one goal if I wasn’t careful.  Mainspring went far left with hopes of retrieving the initial kick.  Pin Vice and Hoist went right in hopes of settings up a turn 2 legendary goal.

I got extremely lucky and the kick off scattered close enough for Mainspring to snap to.  The turn was mostly positioning from here.  Some rough ground went out from Ratchet and Hoist in an attempt to slow the Masons more than damage them.  Mainspring passed Pin Vice who kicked back and forth with Rage for momentum.  Masons shift to counter my movement in preparation for next turn.

 

Turn 2:
turn2

This was it, I had won the roll and was ready to live the dream.  In hindsight I have no idea why I thought Rage going first was a good idea.  Rage charged Honour and failed to kill her.  Honour then proceeded to tackle the ball from Pin Vice and pass it to Harmony.  My opponent slips between Ratchet and Mainspring to engage Compound to prevent any charges.  Harmony kicks and the score goes to 0-4.  I am able to scatter the ball safely into my back field.  Ratchet moves up to slow down Mallet and Brick.  Flint charges in and is able to put some damage on Mainspring but he survives.  Pin Vice takes out Honour and decides to leave the ball for now.  Mallet, Brick, and Marbles take a more aggressive stance and move forward.

 

Turn 3: 0 – 4
turn3

I’m safely ahead in momentum and everyone is near full health.  Engineers win the roll for first and Rage charges into Flint who luckily goes down.  Mallet retaliates into Rage who survives with only two boxes remaining.  Compound and Brick both reposition to protect their respective teams.  Ratchet Tools Up himself and walks to engage Harmony before dropping Overclock on Hoist.  His dice are good to him and it goes 6-4.  Marbles slides around to aid Brick.  Pin Vice throws Alternator on herself and charges in to Brick.  Through a combination of dodges, she is able to get within kick range of the goal and pops her legendary.  Honour positions herself down field to receive the ball in the event of a goal.  Mainspring walks to within 8” of Pin Vice and turns on Launch Control.  Hoist uses his free run to grab the ball and pass to Mainspring who passes to Pin Vice for a snap shot and goal.  In an effort to stop the return goal, Pin Vice uses the momentum to dodge toward Honour.

 

Turn 4: 10 – 4
turn4

My luck continues and Engineers win initiative.  Pin Vice isn’t in a position to both grab the ball and generate momentum and her health is running low so I figured her for dead.  With Flint and Harmony back on the field I didn’t think the ball would be there to make a second activation attempt.  In a vain attempt to stop the impending goal Compound repositioned himself slightly and activated Horrific Odour.  Harmony grabbed the ball and back passed to Honour for a teamwork dodge down field.  Pin Vice was able to tackle the ball away but didn’t have the influence to do much with it.  Honour rolled well enough on her first attack to guarantee a takeout on Pin Vice if she followed up bringing the score to 10-6.  She was left with not quite enough influence to finish out the goal but the ball was safely in my opponent’s possession.  An uneventful skirmish broke out in the middle of the field between Rage and Brick while everyone else largely shuffled around.

 

Turn 5: 10 – 6
turn5

Masons won the roll to go first.  I loaded up Ratchet and Pin Vice who walked on to try and block the goal.  Honour went first and passed to Harmony.  Harmony was able to bounce off Ratchet for plenty of momentum and score (10-10).  I scattered the ball as close to Pin Vice as possible.  Pin Vice and Ratchet both had a shot of getting to Harmony for a takeout but it felt risky against the counter attack.  Pin Vice grabbed the ball and jogged toward Ratchet.  She made a successful pass before applying Mechanical Heart, Alternator, and Controller to him.  Ratchet used his one remaining momentum to Overclocked himself and charged Flint.  He was able to achieve enough momentous results to kick with bonus time for the final goal.

 

Post-Game Thoughts:

It was extremely close and I fully believe Rage would have gone down on my opponents next activation.  Only one or two rules errors came up and I feel confident they wouldn’t have had a major impact on the game.  My biggest misplay was probably going for the turn 3 goal.  I was at 6 and knew he had his best strikers coming back on to pick it up.  I could have safely left the ball in my back field until I had the fourth takeout.  I definitely need more practice against Masons and hope to get some in.  The plan for the next one of these is to get pictures of the big moments instead of just allocation.

First Impressions of the New Engineers

After two seasons of listening to other teams complain about having their models knocked down and denied momentum, we have a rebuild!  The Engineers have been in need of some help since release and I believe Steamforged may have nailed it.  I’ve only gotten one game in so these are certainly early thoughts.  That said, everything feels better.  Every player felt like they had something to do every turn.  This is my take away from my first S3 game against Butchers.  I very much enjoyed the old Ballista firing squad setup and so chose the following to open up S3: Ballista, Mainspring, Ratchet, Salvo, Colossus, and Hoist.  I’m going to start with my last pick, Hoist.

In past seasons I have had trouble making use of him.  He felt somewhere between Colossus and Velocity but not as useful as either.  If I wanted to play the ball hard under Ballista, he might come in for Salvo and under Pin Vice he might replace Rage but odds were low.  In most of those cases his job would come down to not dying and hoping for a good True Replication target to come in range.  Thankfully that has all changed.  With the change to true replication he has become an amazing force multiplier.  Need more rough ground? Hoist.  Need some to making kicking more difficult? Hoist.  Want to rain flurry into the enemy team? Hoist can help.  On the first turn I was able to get rough ground in front of every member of the team except one.  He continued this move for most of the game receiving four influence each round.  He did lose a bit of speed but the improved playbook and True Replication more than make up for it.  It may be too early to say but Hoist feels like an auto include for most lists.

The second auto include (and Hoists new BFF) is Ratchet.   He traded 1 TAC for a better playbook, better character plays, better character traits, and better heroic plays.  I have no complaints.  My new favorite play with him is to let Mainspring die (heroically), choose not to bring him back on with an icy sponge, then use him as an extension arm for Ratchet when you need ball retrieval.  For the cost of one net momentum he can walk toward a loose ball, spawn Mainspring, let him run for free, pick up a ball up to 9″ away, and then have it passed back to him.  Beyond the above shift in how Mainspring tricks work, he plays largely as he did before with a slightly better ball game.  Mainspring’s improvements are so tied to Ratchet’s that I feel like that need to be dealt with together.  Long Bomb is a huge upgrade from super shot even before the +2 /0” kick change.  Thanks to Launch Control and Overclocked he becomes an amazing ball retriever that you don’t have to be too worried about losing.  Even though Mainspring is now worth points after a respawn, I believe Overheat is as strong as ever.  It just needs to be used a bit more carefully.  I’m still not sure he is stronger than Mother but at least there will be some thought in to who is on the team.

Colossus got some minor changes but they reinforce his play style significantly.  He is problematic to remove and his playbook makes him a threat if he needs to be.  Ramming speed will be missed but I can admit that unexpected arrival will be more useful.  Trading Smashed Shins for singled out seems like a buff with his easy access to knockdown.  Long Legs and Stoic both feel like they were missing from the original version.  His biggest upgrade feels like it comes from the changes made to Ratchet.

Salvo feels very much improved from his previous version.  An increase in kick range makes him feel like the ball handler he was meant to be.  The extra point of TAC combined with the new playbook results makes him feel much safer if he needs to moved up the field.  Kick Bolt and Floored Bolt will be missed but they needed to go.  They were extremely powerful in the correct situation but too unreliable to really lean on.  Flurry seems a perfect fit and arrow to the knee will give him some utility.  My initial feelings on Tether Ball were that it would see little to no use and I can happily report that is not the case.  My Butchers opponent was able to leave the ball outside of any reasonable reach and force me into melee.  Tether Ball allowed a safe retrieval and a (failed) snapshot with what should have been a dead ball.  His new heroic seems nice and is probably a fair trade for pumped up since you will have the same number of dice anyway.

Lastly, our original captain got the love he needed.  As with several of our players he got an amazing playbook upgrade.  Flurry feels much more natural on Salvo and opens up more options so it’s not a big loss.  Minefield seems stronger somehow even with the range decrease.  Activating it through the momentous play seems like the way to go whenever possible.  His new legendary seems to play well with the easy access to Long Bomb by encouraging us to keep strikers near the goal for ready snapshots.

This went a bit longer and more in depth than planned but hopefully gives some insight into the changes.  For the next game I’ll be breaking out Pin Vice, hopefully with an actual battle report.  Season 3 has given the Engineers some new life and given me a passion for the game that I have been missing for quite a while.  The new rules are fresh but the future is looking bright.

Snowball Tournament Report: Engineers

There was a slight delay in getting this posted but here is, the abridged notes from the Snowball Tournament.  This was my first tournament and I had only played three real games when I went.

My lineup was: Ballista, Mainspring, Salvo, Velocity, Colossus, Ratchet, Mainspring, and Compound

Round one vs Brewers:  Most of my games up to this point have been against Brewers and I went in feeling comfortable.  I can say that this is one of the closest games I’ve ever played.  We traded blows and the Brewers were in a good position to win.  Even being down by quite a bit I was able to make a very bloody game of it.  Ultimately my opponent clocked about 10 seconds before my own time ran out.  If I remember correctly this got me at least one if not two extra turns.  On my last activation I got two take outs with Ratchet to close it out.  We finished out at 12-10.

1-0

Round two vs Fisherman:  This was my first game against fish.  I had heard that there was a very real threat of turn one goals.  I kicked off with Velocity landing the ball just across the mid line and behind a forest.  The hope had been that whoever took the time to get the ball would either separate the team for put them all on one side of the table.  My opponent made a very crucial mistake by giving Shark one less influence than he needed for whatever play he was planning.  Shark was left holding the ball about six inches from Velocity without the focus to kick it away.  Velocity, who had 4 focus, charged tackled, dodged, away, and passed the ball to Compound.  At this point I turtled with the ball behind a gun line of Ballista, Salvo, and Ratchet.  The middle of the table became shooting range with Mainspring suiciding every turn.  A later game attempt to get momentum from a pass ended with the ball out in the open.  Angel was able to pick it up but spent the rest of the game engaged with compound.  Between unlucky rolls and gluttonous mass, she was never able to produce the momentum she needed to score.  Things ended with 6 take outs and a score of 12-2.

2-0

Round three vs Union:  This was my first time seeing an all Union team but definitely not my opponents first time against engineers.  My only change at any points vanished when Velocity missed a clear kick at the goal.  After this my team fell apart to a combination of speed and damage I couldn’t hand.  The incredible damage output I saw would eventually lead to my purchase of Rage.  I don’t believe I had seen much use of the healing mechanic before this game and it was powerful.  It was a crushing defeat at 0-12.

2-1

Round four vs Brewers:  This was the only match I felt truly comfortable in all day.  Playing against our own Moonshiner, I had a decent game plan going in.  We had a good but very slow paced game which is just what my Engineers like.  The game was fairly close and I will hopefully do a full battle report of this match-up someday.  Engineers finished it 12-8.

I finished 8th overall in a field of 21 and took home best Engineers.  I was thrilled with my performance overall.  I took away from that I need a lot more practice.  I also need to expand my model range and possibly playstyle.  Round three was particularly eye opening to how useful healing can be and I have tried to incorporate it into my games.  The tournament itself was extremely well run.  Despite a fourteen hour round trip I think the tournament was well worth attending.  That’s it for this article but I expect more in depth posts to follow.

Snowball Painting

With the requirement to have fully painted models Ive been scrambling to get my Engineers ready.  They turned out much better than I was hoping for but still need a few touch ups.  Hopefully some battle reports will be up in the next couple days showing them in action.

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Step 1.

Greetings all.

This blog will discuss Guild Ball from an Engineers player’s perspective. My name is Matt and as you may have guessed I play Engineers. I’ve been playing Guild Ball for about a month and Engineers since my first demo. The massed ranged knockdown and ignoring armor was an instant fit. In my other gaming experience (40k, Warmachine, MTG), I tend to choose a ranged control option and I’m hoping that experience will carry over to Guild Ball as well. My current plan is to use this blog to post strategies, battle reports, painting progress, and general thoughts on the game. This was just an intro so I will keep it brief. More content should be on the way soon!