tirsdag 29. mai 2018

Guild Ball: Brewers Cup - Falconers sighted!

We had a double event this weekend. Steve Margetson, who works as a game designer at Steamforged Games, was invited by our excellent LFGS Outland to give a talk. Also, he would join us Norwegians on Sunday for the Brewer's Cup hosted at Brygg. Our first international Guild Ball visitor ever, I think. Also, he brought Falconers, making this the first ever tournament for that guild.

I had met him once before at BonesCon, nice to see him again, such a nice guy!

We talked for a couple of hours about GB game design, the future, and got a spoiler - Horizon will only be worth 1 VP. Local pundit Stig was giddy with excitement, that man loves his spoilers. :D

Brewers Cup

I brought my now pretty much fixed Fishermen lineup to the tournament.

Captains: Corsair, Shark
Mascot: Tentacles
Squaddies: Angel, Greyscales, Hag, Jac, Sakana, Siren
Union: Gutter ( while it lasts... :D )

Looks like you can learn to brew beer here, this must be tested at some point

I had spent some time looking at Falconers in case I was lucky to get a game. Corsair seems like the better pick, Falconers are fragile, and Corsair and Jac can tank better than the Shark lineup.

Pub opens, I go for one of my summertime favorites, Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc, game on!

Match 1: Corsair vs Theron

Gaspard has been away for a couple of months, nice to see him back!

I don't like Shark into Hunters, so it's going to be Corsair. I pick Angel for the first turn goal threat. He picks all the damage dealers including the new Veteran Minx. Jac gets scrum control duty.

Fishermen: Corsair, Tentacles, Angel, Hag, Jac, Gutter
Hunters: Theron, Fahad, Hearne, Veteran Minx, Seenah, Zarola

First round, Hag grabs the ball and passes it to Angel. Corsair pulls in Theron and he and Gutter get him down to 5 health. Angel scores as the last activation, and moves up to engage the bear. I had forgotten about the automatic 2" push so that was not a great idea.

Next round, my first activation is to put Angel on 6 defense, to make the Hunters spend as much influence as possible on her. She has already scored so she is not so important now.

Gutter takes out Theron, then Shark waddles up and starts beating on Zarola. I lose Angel. Jac resets the scrum, moving out Hearne and the Bear and leaving Minx and Zarola engaged.

Corsair takes out Zarola and Minx, and then everyone piles up on Hearne after Hag pulls him into the crowdout. Hearne goes down. Fishermen win 12-2.

I think having more control maybe makes for a better Hunters lineup than going pure beater like this list.

Match 2: Shark vs Tapper

Corsair is not happy with Tapper and all the Tough Hide, and Esters ignores a drag and has good control. So I drop Shark, even if I am not receiving. Next beer on tap: Brooklyn Lager.

Fishermen: Shark, Tentacles, Greyscales, Hag, Sakana, Siren
Brewers: Tapper, Scum, Friday, Hooper, Spigot, Veteran Decimate

Shark kicks, Hooper grabs the ball, passes it to Spigot, Shark does Shark things, goal! A good start. Since I saw a goal run I went for it immediately, even if it meant Shark would almost certainly die.

Shark survives the first round, for some reason. Friday is holding the ball but I can get to her with Greyscales, so Fredrik is forced to use Friday to take out Shark. Sakana gets the ball and kicks it away so that Siren can get it. Decimate pushes Sakana off the table. Score is 4-4.

Fredrik was really nice to give me a takeback after I head miscalculated the dice when Sakana was trying to get the ball - I thought I did not get a critical dodge, but I had forgotten Anatomical Precision for some reason. Maybe the beer was getting to me. Great sport!

The ball is passed around the pitch until it ends up with Greyscales, who scores. Shark is then able to zoom up the pitch and get hold of the ball again, making it 12-4.

Finally, I got revenge! I am pretty sure the last time I beat Fredrik was last year, I think he had at least 5 straight wins against me.

We had a discussion about the game afterwards. We agreed his main mistake was not using Friday to kill the ball. 5/1 is tricky to deal with for Fishermen, since my tackles are at 2. The worst option is Greyscales with a 21% per attack to get the ball. Shark has 32%. My best bet is Sakana, with 53% due to Anatomical Precision. Siren only gets one shot with her Seduction, however it has a 70% chance to land. If Friday is in cover or I am forced into crowd outs, it gets a lot worse.

I think the matchup is playable by either faction. Certainly the threat and flexibility of Veteran Decimate makes it a lot more even than it used to be.

Match 3

Last match I get Gaute playing Masons, and since we are the only two who are 2-0 this will be the last match. This matchup is list chicken. Corsair does not want Hammer, who outfights him, and Shark versus Honour is at best even. At least I am receiving. I drop Shark and get Hammer, which makes me happy. Another Blanc 1664, and off we go!

I blind Hammer and Shark lands the first turn goal. I am not able to get away from his threat range, though, so Shark gets boxed in.

Round 2, Mallet takes out Shark and Hammer drops Siren, so we are back at 4-4. I get the ball with Sakana and score again. Hammer hammers Sakana into the dirt.

Flint receives the ball but is engaged by Shark. He has to run out of my melee to reach the goal. I bonus time the parting blow and get a pretty lucky 5 hits (25% chance). This allows me to get the ball away from his guys and over to Greyscales.

Shark is taken out again, but now Gaute runs out of time. It's probably impossible for him to get 2 takeouts in time, but I do my goal run anyway since he cannot really get hold of the ball even if I miss. The final score is 12-8 to the Fishermen. Victory!

Post Mortem

Well, that went well! Both Fredrik and I were checking Longshanks in the bar afterwards. Damn it, but he is still ahead of me!

And Steve is now the #1 Falconer in the world!

Steve had time for a game afterwards - so I got my Falconers match, which I will post soon!

mandag 28. mai 2018

Guild Ball: Hungarian Nationals 2018

I went to the Hungarian Nationals this year. This time I brought my wife & kid along for the trip, making it a long weekend in beautiful Budapest. Pro tip for the married: Getting time for tournaments is easier

View of Budapest from Gellert Hill

Things got pretty stressed during the tournament, 5 games in a single day, with very little time for breaks. So going through the pictures I see that I have way too little to do the normal battle reports here, but I'll give a brief overview.

If things go south, at least I'll have this.

Match 1: Corsair vs Ferrite

My first game was against Gordon Johnston, super nice guy who even gave a little gift before the match - a postcard from Northern Ireland, a couple of dice, and a proxy base!

Fishermen: Corsair, Tentacles, Angel, Hag, Sakana, Gutter
Blacksmiths: Ferrite (Captain), Alloy, Cinder, Furnace, Hearth, Iron

My picks here were both the Anatomical Precision models, of course. Not so sure about why I picked Angel here, I usually prefer her when receiving.

Corsair kicked. The first round I grabbed Cinder and took her out with Gutter. Gordon tried to keep his pieces far away, giving me control of the center of the board. I know Corsair is scary - but I think giving up control of the center is pretty dangerous. 2-0 to Fishermen.

Second round, Alloy tried to flank to the far right on the pitch - so close that Angel was able to charge in and push him straight off the pitch! Not often Angel does a takeout... but today it happened. 4-0 to Fishermen.

After this, the Blacksmiths started punching back. Iron took out Hag, then I got the ball with Sakana and landed a goal. I cannot quite recall what happened next, but I pretty sure Blacksmiths scored. I finished the game off with the Cap'n himself using his legendary and scoring. Final score: 12-6 to the Blacksmiths.

Match 2: Corsair vs Ratcatchers

Fishermen: Corsair, Tentacles, Angel, Hag, Jac, Gutter
Ratcatchers: The box.

Played this game against Attila Kovacs from Hungary.

My notes here are pretty limited. I kicked. The game started off with Corsair taking out Miasma quickly. Piper then did a goal run with Pelage doing the kick.

The Corsair ball then kept trundling up the center, while I did takeout after takeout. Tentacles babysat the ball. Piper fell in round 2.

He did get one more takeout, I think it was Gutter. I kept beating up his models, controlling the ball, and using Jac to reposition pieces. I then finally passed the ball over to Angel, who closed out the game. Final result was 12-6 to the Fishermen.

Match 3: Corsair vs Shark

Piratey Fishermen: Corsair, Tentacles, Angel, Hag, Jac, Gutter
Kicky Fishermen: Shark, Tentacles, Angel, Greyscales, Sakana, Siren

Next game was a mirror against Sylwester Szewczyk from Poland.

I was sure it was going to be a Corsair mirror and was pretty happy when my opponent dropped Shark. Getting the ball of Corsair is not easy for a Shark team, outside Siren. My plan was simple: Hold the ball, kill his models.

Shark scored the first goal, as Sharks do. But that was it.

I wish I had taken a picture if all my 5 Fishermen standing in a circle - with Tentacles holding onto the ball in the middle. The end result was 12-4 to me, after doing 7 takeouts - including the mascot.

I think this matchup is terrible for Shark. Getting the ball off the Corsair murder ball is just so difficult, and he has to do half of my work for me by feeding me his models to do so.

So, it's three matches and three wins! I have done much better than I expected, so already I am pretty happy. :D

Match 4: Corsair vs Pin Vice

Fishermen: Corsair, Tentacles, Angel, Hag, Jac, Gutter
Hunters: Pin Vice, Mother, Compound, Hoist, Locus, Ratchet

Fourth game was against Wolfgang Weber from Austria.

I was getting the fight I was dreading - I have hardly played against Engineers. I think I haven't had any games since last year. I know they are good and a rough matchup for Fishermen. So I let blogging be blogging, took no pictures and focused 100% on the game.

My opponent got a good setup with Hoist and Ratchet behind a wall shooting things away, preventing drags, and I was not careful to keep my models 3" away from each other, taking a lot of damage that I should not have taken. Also, Pin Vice is quite the monster when she goes in with Tooled Up and Deletion. When I have played against her before it has been more football, but this setup was all damage and tanking.

I got Hag, Gutter and Tentacles taken out landing behind 0-5, before I scored with Angel and took out Ratchet going to 6-5. Pin Vice then scored a goal, there was one more takeout on each side, and then Tentacles again. I ended up losing 12-9 in the end, after Wolfgang had timed out.

It was extremely close, his only possible takeout at the end was Tentacles - who I forgot to heal back up. If I had not messed that move up then it's likely that I would have won on activations. But hey, with only two minutes left it gets hard to remember everything!

Wolfgang played an excellent game, and went on to win the entire tournament. Nicely done!

Match 5: Corsair vs Theron

Fishermen: Corsair, Tentacles, Angel, Hag, Jac, Gutter
Hunters: Theron, Fahad, Chaska, Egret, Jaecar, Zarola

Last game was against  Jan Geric from Slovenia.

I am totally exhausted now. The Engineer match was really hard and went to time, and the next game was starting right away. My opponent Jan was kind enough to suggest I take a 10 minute break before we start the final match. Thanks Jan, I needed that! :D

I got an early takeout by using the Hag legendary and Fisher's Reel to get Corsair into position to drag. But, I got to see how ridiculously hard Jaecar hits when all the debuffs are stacked. I missed a critical 2 dice Blind, which allowed Jaecar a charge on Corsair, and then he spiked like mad - rolling one single 1 with all his attacks, he rolled 28 dice or something. This was exactly enough damage to take out Corsair.

I thought I was way ahead, and suddenly things were pretty even again!

There was a lot of crazyness with dodges, Pinned, Goad, pushes and so on to get things into the right places. Jan did a great job trying to make things hard for me.

The match ended with Corsair himself landing the decisive goal, on a 3 dice kick needing 5+ to hit. If I had failed then Angel would definitely have died on the next activation. In the end, luck was on my side, and I won 12-10.

Post Mortem

I am happy with how this all turned out. Going 4-1 and placing 4th was definitely better than I had expected!

It was a really great tournament. Well organized, and friendly people all around. I can recommend making the trip, and Budapest is a really nice destination too!

Afterwards we went out for some well deserved steak and beer at Stex House.

After that the vacation continued... here my son is steering some bike-car thing we hired out on Magaret Island, dodging pedestrians and buses.

We biked around, looked at the ruins, and spent a day relaxing and swimming at the pools there.

I hope to be back next year!