Hello all. It has been a while since my last battle report, so I think we are due one, don’t you think?
This was a 100% real battle report, using small (almost miniature) painted figurines, with none of that Vassal rubbish. Except the Vassal I used to model the battle after. Sorry Vassal.
Today was Masons vs Brewers.
Today the team I selected was:
It may be familiar line up, as I have used it a fair bit now. I like it a lot. Mallet sets up targets with Singled Out and a handy knock down, ready for Honour to beat them up. Brick can be a very useful control piece, and he always brings more influence to the table than he needs. Finally, Flint and Mist have very similar goal scoring potential, and so can grab a handy goal fairly easily.
My opponent used…
My opponent was trying out Esters, and went for Friday, who can score goals as well as do decent damage, as well as get to a potential crazy stat line of DEF 6+ / ARM 1 when buffed by Esters and being near Spigot. Spigot can tool up Esters when she is throwing out Fire Blasts and Blasted Earths, as well as being a handy tackler for Friday. Mash can have some great goal threat, as well as having 2″ reach which is always handy. Finally, Stoker can be significantly buffed by Esters, up to a potential 6″/8″ MOV, as well as DEF 4+ / ARM 2. Also, he can kick out a fair quantity of damage himself.
My opponent won the roll off and elected to receive. I kicked with Mist, with the increase to his KICK to 4/9″ for being near the Football Legend that is Mallet, meant he barely had to move of his deployment line to kick the ball over the line. Despite a re-roll, the ball scattered in exactly the same direction twice, resting near Scum.
My opponent allocated a good pile to Esters, a couple to Spigot and Scum, and little anywhere else. I allocated the requisite four points to Honour for Superior Strategy shenanigans, a point to Mallet and Brick to get them up the field, three points to Flint and a couple to Mist.
Wait, Andrew, I hear you cry. No maxing out on Mallet to allow him to Superior Strategy up the field and beat face? Well, I am trying new things out, in the attempt to be a special and unique snowflake. You will find out how well that went, below.
Scum moved to collect the ball, kicking it towards Friday in a fabulous flurry of feline football. Mallet ran up, avoiding the huge rough terrain in the middle of the board. Spigot used Tooled Up on Esters and Time’s Called for a MOV boosting aura, before trotting upfield. Marbles matched the forward movement, as did Stoker. Mash ran down the right-hand side. Brick moved forward slightly, much less than intended as I soon realised the folly of picking this table side with the rough ground on it.
Mist ran up the right flank, taking some cover. Friday passed the ball to Esters, and charged Mist, but achieved little.
Time for me to engage my special snowflake idea. People I play against always seem to avoid the Mallet missile (probably a reason for me to try the Chissle instead) so I have been looking at other plays I could try. So Honour used Superior Strategy on the Heartbreak Kid, Flint, with the aim of him being very aggressive with wherever the ball ended up. She then trotted forward. I was aware of the issues of Blasted Earths or, more likely, Fire Blasts from Esters, so I kept 3″ from my other pieces. Unfortunately, due to the funneling effect of the rough ground, it was going to be difficult.
Esters started with the bombing, using her Empowered Voice: Speed to gain +2″/+2″ MOV to get herself into a better position. Double Fire Blasts flew, setting Honour and Marbles on fire, and doing six points of damage to both.
Time to engage the boy toy. Due to Glutinous Mass, I was aware that Flint would find getting the ball of Esters problematic this turn, not to mention all the the crowded out penalties he would face from a frontal assault. However, my opponent was low on momentum, so I was happy to get Flint into position and gain enough momentum to go first myself next turn.
He used his first activation to jog into a clear charge lane, then charged into Spigot. He triggered a momentous Where’d They Go?. He used this to move towards Mash, who he then attacked. Forgetting that Mash had Protected (Esters) really cost me, meaning my attempt to get two successful push/dodges towards Esters was partially foiled. Still, one hit connected, netting me a couple of points of momentum.
As I had hoped, I won initiative. I gave Flint four points of influence, Honour her maximum amount, a couple of points to Mallet, and a single point to Marbles and Mist.
My opponent gave a good stack to Stoker, and couple to Friday, Esters, Spigot and Mash.
Time to try and score a goal. I would have rather tried a goal later in the turn, but if the ball was kicked to near Friday / Mist I could either grab the ball with Mist or, if he counter scored Honour could collect it and score again. Alternatively, if the ball was kicked far to the deserted right flank or the centre, as Honour had 6 points of influence and an unused legendary play, with Superior Strategy I was fairly confident she would be able to claim the ball.
So, Flint used Where’d They Go? to get out of Mash’s melee zone. His first hit was going to bounce of the Glutinous Mass of Esters, and it did. With two points of influence left, all he needed to do was tackle Esters and shoot at goal. It would only be with two dice, but it was a gamble I was willing to take, after all it was still a 75% chance of success.
He tackled Esters, needing two results of 3+ on four dice to tackle. He failed.
At this point he had one point of influence left and I was unsure what to do with it. With an eye the board, the only model that could really hurt him this turn was Stoker, and that would give up a lot of his board positioning. So, I decided to rely on his Charmed (male) and Close Control for turn, and attacked Esters again. This time it connected, and he tackled the ball of the Brewers captain.
Esters went next, throwing a Blasted Earth at Honour and Marbles, before moving around Flint. To try and protect Flint from any horrible ganging up in his future, and potential ball capture, Mallet charged into Spigot. His charge attack barely did anything at all, and the sought after knock down didn’t materialise, instead going for some damage.
Friday used Shadow Like to move out of engagement with Mist, and charged into Mallet, doing a couple of points of damage. Fearing a possible painful Stoker charge into Mallet, Brick moved up to threaten his Counter Charge.
However, I forgot about the threat range of Mash, who was able to charge Honour and also engage (just) Brick as well. He struck the Mason’s captain, knocking her down. In retaliation, she got to her feet, using Quick Time to get into melee. Thanks to ganging up from Brick and Mallet she was able to knock down the Brewers striker in return, dealing him some damage, and using a 1 damage / double dodge to move back.
Now Brick was able to threaten Counter Charge again, which made me happy. Spigot disengaged from Mallet, taking a little damage and moving to strike Flint. I was unaware that Close Control was completely negated by Balls Gone! as Close Control only applies to playbook tackles. As such, he was able to tackle Flint, keeping the ball for himself.
Stoker was still left to go, and I was still concerned about his damage output. He was pretty much unable to go towards my front line with Brick threatening with Counter Charge, so Flint seemed to be the target. Mist used Where’d They Go? to move out of engagement with Scum, and moved to engage Stoker at his maximum 2″ melee to deny him a charge onto Flint. This might end the life of the poor Union Striker, but with his position I was more willing to sacrifice Mist than Flint.
Sacrifice him I did, and Stoker activated next, setting Mist on Fire then taking him out without difficulty. Finally, Marbles lurked backfield, and Scum moved towards the scrum in the middle.
Score: 2-0 (Brewers)
I won initiative. I used Sideline Repairs and Second Wind to bring Mist on the Right flank to threaten the ball. Optimistic of Flint being able to grab the ball, I allocated him a good deal of influence, as much as I could to Honour, and a couple of points to Mallet. I also gave a single point to Mist in the hope he would be able to dash into position for next turn.
My opponent gave a couple of points to Esters, a couple to Mash and Spigot, and as much as he could to Friday.
I didn’t like the idea of Mash being anywhere near my goal with his snap shot ability, plus with his 2″ reach and knock down-laden playbook he was efficiently jamming up my front lines. To avoid his Unpredictable Movement issues, Mallet went first, striking him with a push result towards Honour, then striking again with a Singled Out.
Spigot booted the ball towards Scum and missed, the ball scattering extremely wide, almost going behind his own goal line.
After some widget-wrangling, despite Mallet’s push Honour was still (just) out of melee with Mash, so she had to use Quick Time to engage the beefy striker. However, thanks to Singled Out and her legendary play she was able to take him out.
Finally, some VP to the Masons!
Esters went next, knocking Flint down and dealing him a little damage. Brick, punch drunk with the single point of influence he obtained from Honour’s Legendary, moved up to attack Friday, trying to go for a knock down with help from Mallet, but he completely missed.
Stoker could see a take out coming, and he moved towards Flint, leaving him on very little damage. Marbles was too far to try a Goad on Friday, so instead he moved slightly up the field, using momentum to heal himself and Honour. Friday used Shadow Like to disengage Mallet and Brick, charging into Flint. This started a astounding chain of events where she was able to repeatedly use the knocked down Flint to generate a flurry of Dirty Knives, flinging several at Mallet and one at Brick, before finally finishing off Flint. Now the ball was a long way away, Mist moved towards it, whilst staying out of the threat range of the Brewers. As the Brewers winning initiative was almost guaranteed due to the momentum generating Friday, Mist used some of the momentum to heal.
Finally, Scum scampered up and claimed the ball.
Score: 4-2 (Brewers)
My opponent won initiative. He gave a single point to Scum, and as much as he could to Stoker. He also gave a good amount to Friday, and a couple to Esters. Mash re-entered the fray near Scum, on the left flank.
Resigned to this no longer being a football match, I gave a single point to Mist, as much as I could to Mallet and Honour, and a point to Marbles. Flint matched Mash, re entering on the left.
Esters went first, using Fire Blast on Mallet and Brick to slow them down and to add burning to their poison from Friday’s Dirty Knives the turn before. She then used Empowered Voice on Stoker to add to his damage potential.
Mallet, wanting to negate Stoker’s damage threat for a while, charged in again, looking for a handy knock down, but once again fluffed his dice, settling for some damage instead.
Stoker was next, moving to engage Mallet. Despite being on fire, Brick was able to get off Counter Charge, knocking back (and knocking down) Stoker, effectively ending his turn.
Honour used some momentum to finally put the fire out she suffered in the first turn and charged into Stoker, taking him out!
Spigot moved to engage Mallet, doing little damage. Mallet, in return, counter attacked and knocked the Brewers midfielder off his feet. Mist ran backwards towards my own lines, in case a goal from Friday was imminent. It wasn’t Friday settling for moving into Mallet, dealing several wounds to the old workhorse.
Marbles ran closer to the front lines, for potential Assist help next turn with Honour. Scum passed the ball to Mash and missed, but due to the short range he was able to intercept regardless. Flint moved to slightly up to threaten Mash next turn. Mash, ball in hand, moved up to the centre line.
Score: 4 – 4.
I won initiative. I gave as much as I could to Honour, a good amount to Mist, and a couple to Flint and Mallet. Mallet, now burning and poisoned, may not survive the turn, but I lived in hope.
My opponent gave as much as he could to Friday, four points to Esters, a couple to Spigot and a couple to Mash.
Feeling like I needed to ride the take out train Honour moved towards Spigot, taking the parting blow from Friday to prevent and crowding out. She used Quick Time to bring Marbles into engagement range of Spigot, and took him out from full health to zero with ease.
Vengeance was swift though. Esters used Empowered Voice: Agility to help Friday then she struck Marbles with two Blasted Earths, taking out the poor monkey.
Mallet struck at Friday, hoping to take her down to low health, but he barely grazed her. In return, Friday took out the old workhorse.
Mist moved further back to threaten the ball. Too late I realised that I had moved Flint in threat range of Mash. Scum moved to engage Flint. Brick, still on fire and on rough ground from Blasted Earth, did little. Finally, Mash charged into Flint, knocking him down.
Score: 8-6 (Brewers)
My opponent won initiative, and allocated as much as he could to Friday and Mash. Knowing it was almost certainly over, I allocated a pile to Mist and to Honour, in case I could tackle and / or take someone out if by some miracle my opponent didn’t win with his first activation.
Miracles were not coming. Mash struck at Flint several times, gaining momentum and allowing him an easy shot. It connected, giving him the game.
Result: 12-6 (Brewers Victory)
- Despite the issues with Glutinous mass, I liked the ball threat Flint had with Superior Strategy. Against most other targets he would have claimed the ball with relative ease, and I could have then used Knee Slider to get him out of any repercussions.
- I normally give Mallet more than a couple of points, but using him for mainly Singled Out assists for Honour worked pretty well.
- Back to Flint again. Once his goal gambit failed, I should have stopped trying to claim the ball, and given him a couple of points just to get him out of the beating he was about to face.
- Brick placement. I’m getting better, but he could have moved to threaten a stoker charge into Flint, and potentially prevented the takeout. Instead, he wasted his activation trying to hit Friday.
- Yes, Marbles helped a Spigot take out, but Blasted Earth claimed him easily, and the 2 VP swing partially paved my way to a loss. Which brings us to…
- Moving Flint to where I did basically gave my opponent the game. Even if he was an inch or so further back would have meant no charge / knockdown, and no momentum swing which helped me lose the initiative the next turn. Flint out – threats Mash, as does Mist, and so claiming the ball would have been relatively easy. As it was, I gave my opponent a goal when he was on 8 VP, which is just plain dumb.
- More on the above point really. I have been using Vassal a lot recently, and whilst it is a great tool for playing, using all the Venn diagrams to show threat ranged has made me a little lazy, and certainly contributed towards the mistake above. More real life practice needed I think.
Mistakes were made, lessons have been hopefully learnt. See you next week!