Good day one and all. It is time for another battle report, this time against the alchemists. Again, this was part of a Vassal league, so I hope you do not lose the feeling of tactile integrity that is sated only by the handling of toy soldiers.
Today, the team I selected was:
Why did you choose this team?
By now, most of these people are of no surprise. The ability of Mallet to swing his, er, mallet are well documented. Despite the chances of him being blinded, poisoned and generally hit by horrid character plays I wanted to take Brick as I love Counter Charge and the loops your opponent has to (sometimes) go through to avoid it. Flint is a natural choice for scoring goals, as I hear they are useful things to score. Finally, in my elusive search for the sixth player, I went with Mist. Despite being (in my opinion) slightly worse than the boy toy at scoring goals, I wanted the high defense on my team to help with any sneaky alchemist character plays. Also, some extra speed and goal threat is always a good thing.
My opponent went for:
This game was played a couple of days after the errata dropped, but Hemlocke was still taken, as her utility is still a big deal. Venin is handy at tackling when he needs to be, is fairly resilient (until he pops Melting body, then he gets very resilient). Evil Mist was taken as he scores goals like a champ, and so does Vitriol. It is worth noting here that, as well as being an accomplished striker, Vitriol can reall kick the damage out with her 2″ reach and Hidden Damage.
I won the roll off and elected to receive. My opponent deployed fairly spread out, as did I, with the intention of receiving the kick with Mist, and passing down the line towards Flint.
I allocated a couple of points to Mist to move the ball back, a good pile to Mallet and Honour, and a couple to Flint. My opponent gave seven points to Midas, three to Vitriol and a couple to Hemlocke.
Fearing a cheeky ball steal, Mist ran up, collected the ball, and pegged it back. Not really wanting to allow Midas to steal Where Did They Go? first turn, he made sure that he would be out of any possible True Replication shenanigans. I released that as I wanted to move Mallet up late in the turn passing the ball down the line would be difficult, especially as I had not allocated any points to Marbles. Musing on this early mistake, Mist passed the ball to the Masons mascot. Venin jogged up, using the pillar as cover. Brick ran up the pitch, to guard against any sudden advances from other Alchemist players.
Honour used her Legendary Play, Topping Out! on Mallet and Marbles, followed by Superior Strategy on Mallet, and then jogged up the pitch. Evil Mist ran up the right channel, using the crates as cover. Realising that ball handling with Flint (fnar fnar) this turn would be darn hard, I had the striker run up to mark his opposing striker.
Vitriol moved up, using the forests as cover, and struck at Mist. He used Don’t Touch The Hair! to flee the fight, after she had gained a point of momentum from the encounter. Marbles used Tooled Up on Mallet, then jogged forward. In my haste, I left too narrow a gap between my models, which Hemlocke capitalised on, jogging whilst being careful of Brick’s Counter Charge threat, then throwing a Noxious Blast at both Honour and Marbles. She then threw a Blind at Honour. Dear me, hadn’t she heard it had been errata’d to be useless?
Now, I was faced with a conundrum. Midas was left to go, and Mallet had to take his first activation next. Mallet could head towards Venin, or hang back and see where Midas was going to go, though this would potentially waste Mallet’s bonus activation. Deciding I would go with a certain bet rather than second guess myself, and the thousands of things Midas could do, Mallet moved towards Venin.
Midas first of all activated a Clone, then moved to engage Honour. The only way he could do this was to also be within Brick’s Counter Charge range. Knowing this would also activate Responsive Play, I had to choose which one to use first, knowing also that this first hit would trigger Clone, and also give Midas a free 2″ dodge.
I eventually decided to trigger Honour first as I was fairly sure he wouldn’t be able to dodge out of range from Brick. Her blow connected, was ignored by Clone, then Brick charged into Midas. He knocked down Midas, but I neglected to push him back an inch. Midas spent a point of momentum to get up, and started swinging at Honour. A couple of swings missed Honour with help from crowding out. His intentions were to get enough push / dodges to allow him to use Heavy Burden on Mallet, but with not enough hits he settled with one swing to give Heavy Burden to Honour for the momentum.
Mallet was to finally activate. He jogged around the crates and started to beat on Midas. Six attacks later and the Alchemists’ team captain was taken out.
Score: 2 – 0 (Masons)
I allocated a good amount to Honour and Mallet, and a couple of points to Mist and Flint, and a single point to Marbles.
My opponent used Sideline Repairs to bring Midas very close to the half way line, which would bring him within almost intimidate charge range of the ball. This was far from ideal, but fearing ball theft I had to resort to using Marbles first. Marbles passed the ball to Honour, and she used the momentum gained to get a 4″ dodge away from Midas.
Being a silly player, I did not account for the fast ground, which meant Midas was (just) able to charge into Honour regardless, using Clone to soak up her Responsive Play. He then tackled the captain, used Heavy Burden on Honour, and passed the ball to Venin, using the momentum to get a 4″ dodge away from Honour.
At this point Honour was still in charge range of Midas, and as he had activated I could take my time. Fearing his high defense, I wanted to buff the assault on the golden one. Mallet moved back around the crates, rolling well and using Singled Out on Midas, then knocking him down. Hemlocke was next to go, using Blind on Honour to reduce her charge range further. Honour was able to (just) get to striking range of Midas, after using a Quick Time to supplement her now miserable MOV of 0 / 2″. Her blows did a little damage, taking Midas down to 8 health.
As the Venn diagrams of doom show, Vitriol was next, moving up to Honour. As I had thoughtfully given her cover, I had also thoughtfully given Vitriol +1 damage. She struck true, taking the first lady down to low health.
Wanting the ball, but knowing there wasn’t much that could be done with it, Mist charge Venin, tackling him and darting into the middle of the pitch. Flask moved up to mark the Union striker.
Wanting some momentum, Flint charged Evil Mist. Finally, Venin moved into contact with Honour, giving her the gift of poison and bleeding, meaning that at the beginning of the next turn my captain would be on a single point of health. At the end of the turn, I had a single point of momentum more than my opponent, which would be critical for Honour to survive. Like a champ, I lost initiative.
Score: 2 – 0 (Masons)
My opponent allocated a good stack to Vitriol, Midas and not much else. I gave a good amount to Mallet, Mist and flint, and a point to Honour, because you never know.
Vitriol did know. She dispatched Honour with a single hit, and moved up to tackle Mist, before (very unsportingly I should say) booting the ball towards the left pitch edge. Needing to dispatch Midas again, Mallet swung several more times, reducing him to a couple of points of health. Wanting to block any Counter Charge issues, Hemlocke moved up to engage Brick.
Aware that with a model down I was on the back foot, I decided that I needed to try and score, but the ball was a long way away. Mist ran up to the ball, and, leaving it to the whims of fate, kicked the ball off the pitch. The ball scattered near Brick. The centre back, assuming it was some kind of snack, picked the ball up. Venin moved to engage Brick, striking at the big guy, poisoning him.
Having no influence to do anything constructive with the ball, Brick moved and released the ball upfield. Midas struck at Mallet several times, pushing the old man around, netting a pike of momentum. Flint, eyes on the prize, sprinted, used Where Did They Go? and shot at goal, scoring! It was now 6 – 2 to the Masons!
The ball scattered well, landing at Vitriol’s feet. Finally, Flask moved up to mark Brick.
Score: 6-2 (Masons)
Having more momentum than you could shake a test tube at, the Alchemists went first. Midas once again got a huge stack of influence, as did Vitriol. I have a couple of points to Mallet, needing only to connect twice to drop Midas. I gave a few to Mist and Flint, and some to Honour to get her closer to the action.
Deciding football was for chumps, Vitriol went into Flint, taking him down to a few health. Feeling vengeful, Mallet struck at Midas, taking the captain down again.
Feeling very unwell, and not wanting to be near Venin, Marbles ran away, using some momentum to heal. Evil Mist moved to give more support to Vitriol. Mist, being too far away from Vitriol to do much that was useful, moved closer to the action.
Flask activated, striking Brick hard, causing a double Intensify on my big man and monkey, and taking down Flint. Brick, locked down, stayed where was and had a good think about his life choices. Hemlocke helped with this by hitting him with a Noxious Blast, followed by some help with Venin, who used his Heroic Play, Coagulation. Brick now looked in trouble, being both poisoned and bleeding.
Honour moved up, looking at her options next turn.
Score: 8 – 4 (Masons)
Both of us were on equal momentum, and the game could go either way. My opponent won initiative, and the game was on.
Vitriol got a load of influence, as did Venin. I gave a good pile to Mallet, Honour and Mist, looking for an opening to win the game.
Vitriol went first. With help from a Smoke Bomb and Hidden Damage she was able to take out Brick. Eyes on Venin, Mallet charged into him, hitting him with a Singled Out and taking him down to ten health. Hemlocke activated and healed Venin. Honour went into the master poisoner. He declared a counter attack, forcing Honour to choose her 1 damage / double dodge result to base him, ensuring any dodge would not move him out of melee. She carried on swinging, but it only took him down to 4 health. Venin was next to go, and he dispatched the Masons’ captain, her momentum spent on Bonus Time attacks the previous activation.
Mist moved around, breaking through Vitriol’s Clone to take the ball. Unfortunately, the extra cost of breaking through this meant he was unable to get towards the goal.
Flask moved up, and to my amazement, tackled Mist, then released the ball. My opponent won the initiative for the next turn.
Score: 8 – 8
My opponent gave all he could to Vitriol. Knowing it was over, she struck at Mist, gaining some momentum and activating Clone. She grabbed the ball, sprinted forward and kicked. It rang true, resulting in an Alchemists victory!
Result: 12 – 8 (Alchemists Victory)
- Mallet, slayer of Midas! Look at him roar! He rolled well, and that certainly helped. I can’t see why you would ever ditch the old man.
- The Mallet Missile. Good quality opponents (the ones I almost always face) are aware of this trick and tech against it. I can’t help feeling I would have been better off using Superior Strategy on Flint to help him score earlier in the game.
- I should have been more aware of the terrain, giving Midas an easy tackle on Honour in the second turn. It was a silly mistake, and quickly bogged down my game.
- I wasted momentum on Bonus Time attacks with Honour near the end on Venin. She healed with some, but a counter attack could have saved her life, and 2 VP near the end of the game is a big deal.
- I really need to practice my ball receiving skills first turn. It didn’t go too badly in the end, but that was more luck than judgement to be honest. Halting the chain of ball passing can really mean your second turn is much harder work than it should be.
It was a good match. Next time, Alchemists, next time!
See you next week.