Friday, February 10, 2017

Into the Wild Blue Yonder - Episode 6: Return of the Numasai

Continuing on with the Star Wars naming theme.

Little dad joke opener for our wiser readers

Game 6

Another Masons rematch, attempting to regain my dignity after the last game.

Here I won the roll and chose to kick, like a proper Fisherman, meaning I also got to draft reactively (win-win!):

  • Wrecker / Salt
  • Mallet / Sakana
  • Granite / Avarisse + Greede
  • Flint / Greyscales
  • Chisel / Siren2
  • Hammer / Shark

Hammer, Wrecker, Mallet, Granite, Chisel, Flint  vs Shark, Salt, A+G, Sakana, Greyscales, Siren2

We both agreed that Granite was not an optimal choice here - with all the 2" melee and dodges on the Fish, her low speed would be a detriment and her tarpitting ability would go to waste. This turned out to be a very accurate prediction as she (spoiler) did almost nothing all game but feed everyone else's abilities via Hammer and his Heroic.

Putting out Siren2 leads one to think I would player Corsair, but without any real way to stop the Shark first activation blitz, this was looking pretty good for Shark.

Turn 1:

I kicked off with Shark just to the edge of a forest, barely across the centre line (as you do), which forced Flint to blow all his INF trying to get to it. It was hopped that Close Control would be enough to protect the ball from the Shark onslaught. Alas.

Shark activated with his 6 INF, did a momentous G&S on the charge, followed by 2 tackles, a non-momentous 2" dodge to get within 8" of the goal, and banged the ball into the Mason post, running the length back behind the forest and outside Mallet's LoS.

The ball was kicked back to Wrecker, who ran it back into the middle of the table next to an obstacle. What a hero this little douche turned out to be.

Other than that, the only real action was Hammer stealing everyone's INF to go in on Avarisse.

4:0 Fish

Turn 2:

I think the first activation here is Shark who thinks he might be able to score by stealing the ball off Wrecker despite having to run through both Mallet's and Granite's melee zones to do so, thanks to the Wingback plotcard.
Despite best intentions, Shark rolls a few too many 1s when it counted and is left 1 INF short of making the goal shot. ARM 3 + cover is a monster, especially when crowded out. He throws up Caught in a Net, catching all Masons but Flint. This renders Granine a sweet 0/1" MOV.

Mallet takes the opportunity to shut Shark's potential scoring game down with Smashed Shins + a tackle (shit dice, even with a Vengeance token from Who Are Ya?), passing the ball to Flint over the forest, while Chisel hits Shark for a little damage.

Hammer responds by finishing what he started on Avarisse, taking him off the pitch, and knocking down Greyscales. He is promptly swarmed by Sakana, Greyscales and Siren who farm momentum off him, pushing him onto an obstruction (to stop charges) before safely retreating away to various pieces of cover near Flint.

The last activation of the turn is Wrecker, who sprints a little further up the table.

4:2 Fish

Turn 3:

Masons win first activation, despite being behind a momentum (10 to 9). Given Flint's current location, he would not have been able to reliably get the momentum to take a goal shot, so he instead attempts to put the ball into a safe place, namely Wrecker's loving embrace.

Sakana, who had somehow been knocked by Granite the turn before, decides to yolo a winning play by using his momentum to stand up, momentous dodging off Granite, running to attack & tackle Wrecker (dat Anatomical Precision, so good) and pass the ball to Shark, who tapped in a Screamer! Snap Shot, and used 1 MP to dodge into the forest for the cover bonus. What a hero. The ball is given directly to Mallet thanks to the Super Fan plot, who attempts promptly gets it away from Shark (to Chisel? I think) and beats him up a bit, applying Smashed Shins to stop further Sharkamania.

Shark decides to help Greyscales back into the action, dodging away from Mallet and using Tidal Surge (spending the INF) to dodge the old timer through the forest, which helps Greyscales get back into the fray. Shark spends the rest of the game hiding out in this little corner of the forest, farming up momentum when he can.

Granite and Siren have a bit of a scrap near some rubble, which results in nothing exciting.

Hammer is now left mostly on his own in the centre of the pitch, with no great targets but decides to help Chisel take Salt out of the equation on the upper left wing, as the little critter is getting dangerous.

A+G trot back on and admire the scenery.

8:3 Fish

More classic Shark action - he is everywhere.

Turn 4:

I believe I lost first activation again, and Hammer decides to go to town on Sakana with a full stack + Iron Fist and gets him to the box, thanks largely to his neat Beat Back ability.

Salt, who had just come back on, runs back to his previous spot on the upper left wing, while Granite, Siren and A&G farm momentum off each other and achieve very little otherwise.

Wrecker somehow ended up with the ball during this engagement, and runs to next to the same obstacles as before.
At this stage I start to bleed VPs due to clocking out on my last activation (likely Shark).

8:7 Fish.

Turn 5:

Masons win the initiative, and Mallet beats up on Shark but leaves him alive, but debuffed enough to be near useless in the scoring game and soon to die (that old momentum GB on one hit, classic).

Sakana had just come back on the table, takes the ball from Wrecker (again) and passes to Salt, who uses the momentum to dodge away from any possible threat (thanks, Home Crowd change). 1 VP is given at the end of Sakana's activation.

Faced with an imminent Salt goal, Masons curse their lack of a ranged game and Hammer decides to please the fans by beating Shark into the ground, while Salt soaks up the glory that comes from a 2-dice Tap In.

Final Score:

12 - 10 to Fish

Fish goals = Shark, Shark (snapshot) and Salt
Mason takeouts = Shark, Sakana, Avarisse + Greede, Salt + 3 VP to clock.

Look at this smug Mason destroyer.
A chin that would make Batman jealous.

MVP definitely goes to Sakana who had an assist on the last 2 Fish goals, both via getting the ball off Wrecker in cover, where other Fish would really struggle to do so without at least a crowd out. Even Shark had a hard time! What a mascot. What a player.

I am surprised to see Sakana fitting in so well with the lineup - granted, Masons are an ideal matchup for him due to Anatomical and Poised, but his flexibility is undeniable, which I think gives him a slight edge over Jac and Angel in a 9man 2 captain roster. TBC.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Into the Wild Blue Yonder - Episodes 3 + 4 + 5

Catching up to Star Wars, and about as exciting a series so far.

Game 3 - The One That Should Be Forgotten

Rematch against my Masons opponent from Game 2.

Honour, Marbles, Flint, Mallet, Brick, Tower  vs Shark, Salt, Angel, Jac, Kraken, Greyscales

Draft went much better, except I drafted around a footbally Corsair lineup then picked Shark last. Doh! Even knew I was receiving. Double doh!

Here is a summary of this game:

☐ Not REKT 
☑ REKTangle
☑ REKT-it Ralph 
☑ Total REKTall 
☑ The Lord of the REKT 
☑ The Usual SusREKTs 
☑ North by NorthREKT 
☑ REKT to the Future 
☑ Once Upon a Time in the REKT 
☑ The Good, the Bad, and the REKT
☑ LawREKT of Arabia 
☑ Tyrannosaurus REKT
☑ eREKTile dysfunction

So yeah, I lost 0-12 (1 goal, 4 takeouts) in a game that went almost to clock for both. I literally did nothing, had no plan, floundered around (ha, fish) for an hour and a half doing nothing. Evidently my head was somewhere else.

I'd write a report but I have systematically erased most of it from my mind. If you watch a video of a frog being dissected by scientists, that's pretty much what this looked like.

Or, sticking with the Star Wars Episode 3 theme, we have possibly the worse scene in recent cinematic history:

I do remember why I don't usually put Angel in lineups though - she does (almost) nothing without the ball. The ball was kept away from me a lot of the game and I did not have a great method of retrieval outside using up 6 INF on Shark himself. I mean, if you do have the ball she is great at putting it on the goal, moving it around, and she is pretty tanky so also holds it quite well (especially against 1" melee models - counter attack Tackle on 1).
However if the ball is kept away from her, she does nothing. No damage, no momentum, just surviving.  Not so bad if you have really good ball retrieval (Siren1, Corsair), but otherwise, it's a gamble.


Game 4 - A New Hope:

Game 4 and Game 5 are both against the same opponent, who had never played Fish before, so it was a good learning experience.

For this "draft" (she only had the 6 players, so I blind picked vs "Butchers" in general). The result was:

Shark, Salt, Greyscales, Sakana, Siren1, A+G   vs  Ox, Princess, Boiler, Shank, Boar, vetBrisket

I ended up putting Sakana in the lineup for these two games over Jac - he is pretty good at football and generates momentum very reliably, helps with crowd outs, fast... the downside is he is not a particularly stellar kicker (for a Fish, anyway) nor does he have a great playbook.

Turn 1:

I lost the initial roll, and got the opportunity to kick with Shark, with a nice little patch of rough ground about 10" from the board edge. Shark got his 6 INF and off he went -  tackling the ball from Brisket who had retrieved and retreated, throwing Gut & String on Boar, get a few momentous dodges and strike one up for the Fish before dodging safely next to Brisket.

The ball went back out to my left wing, where it was chased by Shank and dribbled out to the board edge. I tried to Lure in Princess with Siren but failed, and all the Butchers clumped up behind her.

4: 0 Fishermen

Turn 2:

I managed to win the initiative at dice +1,  getting me another nice activation with Shark. I took the opportunity to farm up some momentum, G&S Ox, use my Legendary on all Butchers but Shank, and momentously Tidal Surge Brisket right back towards her goal. Shark - what a dick.

The Butcher response was quite crippled, although Brisket was just in range to Quick Time Boar to charge into Shark and do something like 9 damage on two swings (+forced KD on the charge).
A+G and Sakana joined in the fun, beating up and debuffing Boiler a bit before he charged into Shark to deal another few points of damage. Shark's counter attack put up G&S on Boiler.

Siren then managed to line up a charge on Boiler with Weak Point, Singled Out and G&S and managed to land a pretty meaty double wrap, using Seduced on Boar to wrack up another 2 momentum and some nice damage on Boiler, resulting in a 2 INF -> 5 MOM conversion. Primo.

Shank then slotted a goal, and the ball flew right back to Salt who returned the favour.

8:4 Fishermen

Turn 3:

Thanks to Siren, I managed to win the first activation, load up Shark, retrieve the ball from the Butcher scrum and put in the winning goal. Given his position, there was really nowhere on the table that it could have been kicked without either Shark or Sakana getting it and scoring within 2 activations.

12: 4 Fishermen


Kicking with Shark is good. Very good. To the point when I should probably choose to kick most times given the choice, against most teams. Except Brewers with Stave, that would actually make my life difficult. Good thing nobody ever takes Stave.

Its one weakness - a well Lobbed Barrel.
And fire. But really, Lob Barrel. 75% of the time. 25% it's a total disaster instead.


Game  5 - The Meat Processors Strike Back

Since the last game went pretty quickly (~25 mins?), we managed to get another game in. 2 games of Guild Ball in about 2.5 hours, quality stuff. The second game was off the clock, so dragged a bit more and was as much an learning experience and an exercise in board analysis as anything.

Same lineups, roughly the same terrain, with the exception that I received with Shark, which makes for a very different story..........

Turn 1:

Boar kicks off and the ball is retrieved by Greyscales and passed along until Salt managed to give his life to slot in a goal (I forgot to play Knee Slider to save him). The ball is thrown back over to a wing, a couple of inches from Brisket and in rough ground.

In the meantime, Boar is dragged into cover and beaten up a bit by Shark and Siren. Boiler manages to throw out a Marked Target on Avarisse, whom I then foolishly ran just within charge range of Ox. What a pro play. dat Boi....ler.

A quality meme that faded too soon.

4:1 Fish

Turn 2:

Thanks to that long charge on Avarisse, I lose the first activation, which means Ox gets to set things up and go to town on Shark. Legendary goes up, he jogs into Shark and is forced into a (lucky) KD to stop a counter attack. However he was only given 4 INF, so Shark (who also had 4 INF) lives on a couple of health.

I chose to activate Shark to save his 4 INF over getting that loose ball - Shark manages to Gut & String & Tidal Surge Ox straight back and heal up, which limits some of the Butcher damage potential keeps him alive for the turn. Boar responds by hitting Siren twice to bring her to 2 health.

Siren activates, heals up, rushing to retrieve the ball and taking a parting blow from Boar for 4 - she then fails a pass back to Greyscales (who likely would have been able to score during his activation with an extra 4" of movement), and promptly dies to a Brisket charge.
The loose ball is then picked up by Salt, who also fails a pass to Greyscales, but fortunately this one scatters into the old man's possession, so he can use his activation to run free and set up a goal next turn.

Princess jogs into Shark - I see his demise coming and move Avarisse to beat up Boiler and push him around, thereby keeping him away from Shark. This was not as clever as I had initially intended, since Boiler hits pretty hard under Ox's legendary even without his doggo. The little lad manages to bring Avarisse to under half health all on his own, and Shank finishes the job after shrugging off a pathetic parting blow from Sakana.

4:5 Butchers

Turn 3:

I lose first activation again, so Shark gets taken out by Shank and a few INF goes with him. Avarisse responds by charging back on the pitch to generate momentum, pushing Boar and Princess around a bit and healing up. Greyscales uses this momentum to slot in a goal, and the ball is thrown back out near Brisket's wing.

Avarisse is soon sent to the sidelines again by the Butcher onslaught. Salt goes for the big winning play by picking up the ball and throwing it towards the goal, hoping for Sakana to run to it and take a Tap In.

Alas, Boiler has different ideas, and charges Sakana and knocks him down despite Sakana using defensive stance and being in cover. At this stage I can still theoretically stand Sakana up with someone else (Siren had just come back on that wing), and attempt to luck out of a parting blow to score. Siren manages to get the momentum to stand Sakana up and still have 1 MP to take a goal kick, but Boiler's parting blow manages to get the KD on Sakana regardless, leaving him helpless to do anything but generate back the momentum he needed to stand himself up again.

Brisket, seeing 3 Fishermen able to get the ball next turn, decides to pick up the ball and kick it off the pitch, hoping for a good scatter in the middle. It ends up directly behind Shank, but outside 1".

8: 9 Butchers

Turn 4:

Somehow I managed to win initiative this turn, which is always good when you're playing Shark and the ball is within his reach. Shark flies on the pitch with 6 INF, gets a nice pile of momentum and passes the ball over to Greyscales, who is functionally immune to all nearby Butchers on account of his Unpredictable Movement.(NB: at this point I had forgotten that Brisket had Quick Time, which would have allowed her to dodge into melee with Greyscales and likely get a tackle without great difficulty. However she did not have enough INF for this, and if she had, Sakana was always a valid secondary pass target for Shark.)

Needless to say, with no real way to stop Greyscales, Shark ends up taking the Butcher's anger to the face and gets dragged off the pitch again, leaving Greyscales to jog in base-to-base with the goal post and tap one in.

Apparently this is from a law firm website.
America - what a phenomenon.

Final Score: 12 - 11 Fishermen.

Fish goals: Salt, Greyscales x2
Butcher Takeouts: Salt, Shark, Avarisse x2, Siren

Very close game overall - it was basically a race of takeouts vs goals, and in Season 3, goals often have the slight advantage.


A grinder where Shark again shows his control magic (albeit not to its full potential), even when he isn't scoring goals. The hero Fish need and deserve.
I think the whole team did work here, but Greyscales was particularly useful on account of his Where'd They Go? and 2" melee + Unpredictable Movement. Excellent against a team that usually doesn't have too much 2" melee and relies heavily on big melee damage.

I think the biggest mistake I made this game was not using Shark's legendary on Turn 2 (as you usually do) to greatly minimize the impact of Ox's legendary. Forcing the Butchers to spend an INF to sprint/charge rather than have an extra attack would have been the best use of it.

Soon we also will hopefully hear of the exploits of Billy "Football Legend" Wijnveld and his huge man bat: