Sunday, July 24, 2016

First Guildball Tournament and rude awakenings

  I have no idea what I'm talking about.  We can lead off with that.

  We had 12 signed up for a tournament, with four or five people coming on top of that who didn't have their names in the hat.  Unfortunately at the last day, we lost most of those due to a number of reasons.  We ended up with only 7, but one dropped to keep the numbers even.  He came back in on round 3 to cover the bye, but that's about it.

  I took an Esters team with Scum, since I didn't have any choice on the mascot.  I really like Tapper, but he really struggles against any control it seems like, and if I'm not able to gain any momentum, it's hard for Spigot to use his Heroic to get some speed into the team.  I've found I have a lot better grasp of the game when Esters is able to affect the team from turn 1.

  For the full lineup, I took:


  Spigot is always good with tooled up and football legend.

  Friday is there if I really want to play the ball.  If I go into a strong beating team, then I'll just go all in on footballers.

  Mash, I actually like to put in my teams when I'm up against scoring teams.  He retains the ball very well with the dodge against everyone but the kickers with 2'' melee.  Even them, he's 3/1, but can become 4/3 extremely easy.  Between him and Esters with Gluttonous Mass, I can usually retain the ball pretty well.  On top of that, once they start getting me surrounded, Mash just Long Bombs the ball into the backfield.

  Hooper is Hooper.  In this particular lineup, I didn't know if I prefered him over Stoker since Stoker has the extra influence, and with Stave (who wasn't in this line up), can go to 5 influence.  However, I'm finding that for 2 reasons, Hooper is more reliable.  2'' Melee, for starters, lets me dodge of a lot of problems and solve many others.  Secondly, his Heroic nearly counters Stoker's influence.  At TAC5, Stoker really wants some crowdouts so he can wrap, even at 4 or 5 influence.  He also wants things on fire to do damage.  Hooper just wants them knocked down.  Stoker, with 1'' melee, struggles into packed centers where he can be crowded out easily.  Hooper just stands outside of the circle and plays whack a mole, and if you've got any momentum at all, he does it at TAC7.  Any crowdouts or help at all and he's wrapping pretty easily.  I can consistently get 6 momentum a turn off of Hooper where Stoker, even with a shorter playbook, needs more setup for that.  I don't think Stoker is as bad as people give him credit for, but when Hooper can bump up to TAC7 and gain his +1 Damage without getting into b2b contact with the opposing model and do it all from 2'' away, it's hard to let him go.

  Gutter lets me play the game at my pace.  Instead of having to go to enemy and scrum, I can easily sit back, let Esters slow down the pieces I don't want to deal with, and have Gutter pull in a specific target for Hooper/Stoker to beat down.  If it comes to a scrum in the middle, Gutter is a solid choice for putting all that damage out there on multiple models.  The other option is Stave, but Gutter is able to survive considerably easier at DEF4 ARM1 instead of Stave's DEF2 ARM0.  I really want to play Stave, but I don't think he's an option until I'm able to take Quaff and pull Stave back with Second wind.

GAME ONE: Brewers vs. Masons

  My wife plays a lot of Masons, but never Hammer, and she hasn't figured out Brick yet.  So while I felt comfortable into the Masons, I was wary of Brick and Hammer both.  Hammer, I know what he does.  Brick, I hadn't seen played effectively before.

  Spoilers: He got played effectively.

  I left Hooper and Friday out.  He took Hammer, Mallet, Tower, Brick, Flint and Marbles.  I won the rolloff, Brick kicked, and I bounced the ball around a bit, trying to stall Gutter and Stoker's activations till someone came close enough.  Esters activated early, moved up and targeted Brick with Fire and Rough Ground both, hitting him both times and lighting both Brick and I believe Mallet as well, on fire.  This, as long as my opponent couldn't gain momentum, would prevent a mostly loaded Hammer from getting to me on turn one, allowing me to win the momentum war on turn one at least.

  I ended up pulling Mallet in I think.  Brick sprinted up his 2'' while on fire and in rough terrain, and when Stoker went in on Mallet, Brick countercharged.  This didn't bother me too much since I didn't expect him to do much of anything and I didn't think you could generate momentum on out-of-activation attacks like Counterattacks.

  That's not correct.

  Brick didn't do anything to stop Stoker from doing much, but gained one momentum.  This allowed Hammer to come flying in next activation and easily win the momentum war.

  So now on my back foot after a noob mistake, I tried to regain momentum and slowly pushed stuff around, did minor damage and kept the ball on Mash and away from Flint.  Esters did a legendary and gave Stoker another damage, and he got tooled up as well and had a max of 4 influence on him.  At this point, Hammer was knocked down and a little hurt but not bad.  Stoker moved into Hammer, staying out of the scrum in the middle, and Brick countercharged from behind other models.  I didn't think he'd have reach, but he did, and it was tight, but he got a momentous push and pushed my fully loaded Stoker out of melee with Hammer, and coincidentally, everyone else.

  The game continued, but I certainly did not play it much after that.  Models moved, but I was done.  We played it out for the sake of playing but I was pretty pissed at myself for screwing it up on turn 1 with giving my opponent momentum to glide Hammer, and then not premeasuring Brick's countercharge on turn two.  I wasted 4 inf and a legendary on that, and I was done.  I lost 12-0.  My opponent played it very well with Brick, and I should have known better by then.  It was an easy mistake I could have rectified if I had checked Brick's range first, but because he was behind other models, I didn't expect him to be able to get there with the melee, but he did.

  GAME TWO: Brewers vs. Fishermen

  I took the same list into my Round 2 opponent who was playing a Corsair Fisherman list.  He had Jac, Sakana, Kraken, Avarisse and Greede, and Salt, all under Corsair.

  I again won the rolloff, and Corsair moved up to kick it.  There was rough terrain in the middle, and he kicked it to my left where only Scum could really reach it.  Scum went out and grabbed it and made a lucky kick back to Spigot.

  Esters really dominated this matchup.  Again, I wanted to save Stoker and Gutter for the last activations and pull in either Kraken or Corsair himself but my opponent wouldn't particularly cooperate, especially since he was trying to do the exact same thing with Corsair.  However, as soon as the cat was done and his next activation was over, Esters moved up and landed both a rough terrain and fire AOE on Corsair, removing 4/4 movement from him and severely hampering his threat range.  The rest of the turn was my stuff staying out of Corsair's drag range.  Gutter moved up and pulled Kraken in at the end for some extra momentum, and Sakana ran in to try and crowd her out.  I won the next turn rolloff.

  Similar things happened.  Esters hammered Corsair with AOEs again and then Legendaried Stoker for damage, maybe movement, and I think DEF on herself.  Corsair did have range on Gutter though, and drug her in.  He failed to do much damage, or build significant Momentum.  Spigot tooled up Stoker and went in on Kraken for a little bit of damage.  The rest of the Fishermen were out of range for much so they just shifted around and Avarisse tried to run to my side of the board to be relevant.  Gutter activated and did damage to Corsair, Sakana and Kraken, but not a great, great deal.  Got me plenty of momentum though, swinging onto a KD Kraken with Spigot engaging.  Stoker was the last activation and I think he killed either Corsair or Kraken. This gave me enough momentum to win the next round where a fully loaded Gutter killed whoever I didn't kill the turn before, and Sakana died shortly thereafter as well.

  Midway through the third round, a mostly ignored Mash walked up and scored for kicks and giggles.  However, I timed out, and things got very tight.  I won the game 12-2 when a fully loaded Stoker finished a knocked down, crowded out Jac.  The 2 points my opponent scored were because I had timed out.

  This game, I felt like I paid better attention to the gotchas in my opponent's list, and with pretty stoic threat ranges, I was able to really neuter the other team by simply lighting their hard hitters on fire and in rough terrain, and denying momentum.  It was a best case scenario for my list, and Gutter being able to pull out the one I wanted to kill every turn just made it even better.  It was a pretty rough game for my opponent, probably every bit as rough as mine had been in the last round.  The only thing I really botched was the clock.

  Stoker was pretty hilarious in this game.  He easily did the most killing, but in the last round, my opponent kept trying to take him down and keep him out of 1'' of his models so he couldn't just stand up and walk around.  However, Esters stood him up with her heroic once, Gutter got him 2 momentum to stand him up once, and then on his turn, he just stood up with Magical Brew.  It was pretty funny how often he went down, and how often he simply stood back up again.

GAME THREE: Brewers vs. Brewers

  There were only so many players left, and my fight was actually for third or second at this point.  My opponent from round one was absolutely thrashed by a Obulus list in the second round that managed to get up to 23 momentum in one turn without using the legendary.  He told me later he was in pretty much the same boat I had been.  Just pushing models around with no hope and wanting the game to be over.  So that left me and another guy pushing for second or third given the turnout we'd had.  We stayed on the table I had just played on so the rough terrain in the middle was still a factor.

  The remaining opponent was another Brewers player.  He was also playing Esters.  His full list was her, Scum (for now), Stave, Stoker, Friday, Spigot.  I took Mash out of mine and put in Hooper, leaving me with him, Esters, Scum, Stoker, Spigot and Gutter.  The running joke was that since the main difference was Stave, I was definitely loosing this game since Stave would control my list so easily.

  I again won the rolloff and received the ball.  Gutter was the best to retrieve it, so I settled for not pulling anyone in this turn and kicked it to Spigot.  Esters moved up and bombed his Esters and Stave both, but stayed out of range of Stave being able to push her in.  Hooper moved up and repositioned, Stoker wandered around kicking the ball.  I won the rolloff just barely and Gutter pulled in Stave and began cutting him up for momentum.

  Stave, engaged, was unable to do anything, so Esters moved in and knocked Gutter down to free him up.  My Esters moved in, stood everyone up and Knocked down Stave, then legendaried herself for a defense, Hooper for damage and maybe Stoker for damage too.  Settling for not getting a Barrel off, Stave swung at Esters and she counterattacked, knocking him down.  This was basically how most of my game went.  I was always ahead in momentum, by several, and could easily defensive stance and counterattack to KD unless they were able to knock me down.  With Esters at DEF4, and Gutter standing up, it didn't happen much.

  His Spigot and Friday slowly began hunting my Spigot, trying to get the ball from him.  I wasn't too worried about it, and simply kept tooling up Hooper.  My cat wandered aimlessly.  His Stoker took three rounds to get into the fight simply because he was on the wrong side of the central rough terrain.  However, he was loaded up constantly, and ended up just burning my Scum to death over two turns.

  At the end of Round 2, Hooper was at +3 damage and went in on Stave, killing him handily and generating 6 momentum.

  Round 3 led off with a fully loaded Gutter moving up, dragging Stave in and getting him pretty low.  Stoker finished him in the next activation.  That left Esters and another fully loaded Hooper counterattacking into Esters and putting her in a bad spot as well.  Spigot got a "Ball's Gone!" off on my Spigot and gave it to Friday, whom I continued to ignore.  That round ended, again, with a fully loaded Hooper beating the living daylights out of Esters for VP 5 and 6.  Friday went and scored, getting my opponent to 6 as well.  Esters would get the ball on the goal kick.

  My opponent won the rolloff, but even though the score was tied, the end was in sight.  His spigot was tied up pretty well by Hooper, and Esters ended up walking up, throwing the ball to Spigot and putting some hurt in bad Spigot.  Bad Stoker tried to hurt Gutter, but did very little.  My Spigot walked up and scored with no issues, and a fully loaded, tooled up Hooper killed bad Spigot for the win.

 In conclusion, I missed 2nd place by 2 score difference, and/or a ball score.  However, after being absolutely trashed by the Masons, I was ok with it.

  I really think the Masons game was the lynchpin, obviously.  There's two easy mistakes I can look at and know that's where the problem was.  I expected to have a difficult time into that opponent, and was prepared for a grindy game, but not knowing that momentum can be scored on the countercharge really hurt, and then having Stoker pushed out when fully loaded with the end of it for me.  There wasn't much I could do to score after that anyways, and it wasn't of much concern to me.  However, Mash had the ball most of the game, and if I had been inclined, could have probably scored it if I wanted to, and that's what cost me 2nd place.

  I need to premeasure.  If it's a possibility, premeasure it.  Check it.  Find out.  I can in this game and I don't every time, and it costs me.

  My future line-up is pretty exciting.  I will probably not play Scum for a long time, especially with a Gencon release of Quaff and no tournaments before then.  There's a couple of lists I want to play with a try, and hopefully batrep properly but we'll see.  I also have Hunters that I'll switch to playing some more here in the future.

  So, for my first n00b tournament, I'm ok with it.  Hopefully there's some basic mistakes in here that you can read and say "Oh yeah, don't be stupid like that guy."


  1. Thanks for a nice informative write up.I'll be playing in my first GB tournament at the end of Sept. I'll be playing an Esters Brewers line up too. I'm trying to decide between Gutter and Avarice for my final 8. Your write has helped my nerves :)

    1. Esters doesn't really feel like she needs Gutter as bad as Tapper does. But I'm also getting more comfortable with Stave too. That's probably what it boils down to. How ok you are with bringing a 2/0 model to the game.