Hi everyone. Once again there are common apologies about little written content. I only have myself to blame. Mainly as I am the one who writes these articles.
This article is not a battle report (remember when I did those?) or a Guild Ball tutorial, or even why I love a player (even when I am not that fond of them anymore).
It is now about 8 months since I have started playing Masons. In that time I have played approximately 35-40 games, and I have used no other team in that time. Also, I have used all models available to the team at least 2-3 times (in the case of Tower), or almost exclusively (in the case of Honour and Mallet) . For this reason, I thought I would pen some of this down. Some of it might even make sense.
To be honest, if you want to hear more sense, listen to this podcast episode. It has the highest viewing figures by quite some margin. Well done Nobby!
Anyway, time to get on with it!
Momentum and Masons
Momentum results for the Masons are freakish. There are almost no momentous results for the team beyond the first half of their playbooks. This means, generally, you have to choose to do lower damage results and gain momentum, or higher ones and get little or no momentum. This, of course, means they often have a lot of momentous results early on, with a plethora of dodges, pushes, occasional knock downs and damage.
Oh, and most of them have a momentous tackle, often on the first hit. This tends to lead me to a playstyle of always looking for goals, with occasional take outs to mop up VP. It does mean, however, if you want to take a player out you may have to choose higher up non momentous results, which can mess with you a bit if you haven’t planned for it.
Honour – and why she wins me games
Honour seemed to need at least 4 influence, but with only a momentous 2 (I know, I know…) on the first half of her playbook it meant she would not do much damage.
This is due to, in my first set of games, under allocating influence to Honour. In early games I tended to give 4 to Honour and 4 to Mallet, and the rest was spread around the team. This meant that, while Honour could handily do 8 damage with 4 influence, and Mallet roughly the same, it gave a valuable activation where models could heal themselves.
Also, due to this limited stack on Honour, she was rarely able to throw out a Quick Time or a Superior Strategy, so her flexibility was limited.
Let’s talk missiles. The Chissel, the Mallet Missile, or the Flissle are all good, and have their place in some games, but make sure you have selected a good target (some missiles can fail, even against 4+/1 players if they have good positioning), and you are aware of what to do with the missile after it has shot forward.
Later on I found myself almost always giving the first lady a full stack of 6. If anyone is in threat range she can relatively easily convert this into 6 momentum. Or 4 momentum if she is further away (or needs to get round Unpredictable Movement) and needs to use Quick Time, or 3 if she needs to use Superior Strategy on herself as she is really far away, or 2 if she needs to use Superior Strategy on someone else…anyway, you get the idea. She can make momentum happen.
Also, I found often keeping her legendary play, Topping Out, until later in the game can be very, very useful. She can do crazy goal hi-jinks with 7 influence.
Without ranting about her too much (my other article is on that) , I have found Honour scores probably 2/3 of my VP, either from goals (normally the second or third one), and take outs later on.
I have played her in all but one of my games, and I am still not bored of her.
Flint – and scoring goals with Masons
Flint, oh Flint….you have scored many a goal for me.
I have used Superior Strategy on Flint a lot. Often to score a goal on turn 1 after everyone has activated, often to score an early second goal after.
However, of late I have fallen out of favour with this. Maybe my opponents have got wise to it, or I am getting worse, or they are reading these articles (unlikely I know)…..but recently that second goal often hasn’t come, and he gets beaten senseless.
His goal threat, while huge, is easy to work out, and when that goal is scored he is often then miles from the ball, and relatively near people who want to beat him up. This is almost certainly my fault. I need to return to him I think , and after that first goal try and use him to try and initiate fights, maybe as a nice bit of blonde bait to draw people in to Honour’s warm embrace.
Also, in many games where he has been the only striker, ball retrival after that goal is difficult. I have now found myself going towards players who are more well rounded. Such as….
Decimate – and winging it
Following on from Flint, I found it difficult to score more than one goal if I had noone else on the other side of the pitch, as the could be easy for my opponent to hold on to the ball and just not give it to me.
And so, Wingers! I experimented a little with Snakeskin. The issues I had with her was that she wants to go relatively early in the turn, for either a Nimble or a Clone, and that hampered her options, though she can be very hard to pin down. I also used Minx a little. She is nice and cheap to run, having free charges counts for a lot, but she is no ball retriever, more of a marking piece to me.
So, Decimate! I initially found her underwhelming, due to her high influence demand. Later on I found I was giving her little until later on in the game – but I am fine with that. I was able to have her lurk around, grab the ball if needed (with those glorious tackle results), and do damage at a pinch.
But hang on, isn’t there another winger in the Masons?
Harmony – and why I was (mostly) wrong about her
I was challenged to take her to a team tournament, and play her in every game. Not only did I win all my games, she scored over half my total VP in goals.
I’m not saying she’s amazing (yet), but….she merits further investigation.
She has bad match ups. Any team with strong ranged character plays and conditions will murder her.
I have only played her for 6 or so games so far….but Linked has impressed me. A lot.
Tackling the ball in Guild Ball can be a bit pointless, especially if they are going to kick you in the teeth after, or just take the ball off you again (maybe gaining momentum), and then score or whatever.
But, if Honour, who is super-mobile, can get to that ball….and pass it to Harmony, well that can mean a goal that your opponent can do literally nothing about.
There are some caveats here. If she want to share Honour’s stats, she has to activate within 4″ of Honour. I have, at least twice, passed the ball to Harmony, used a pass ‘n’ move to move Harmony 4″ up the pitch to get goal threat, only to find I have dodged her out of the bubble.
Still, I want to give her more of a run out. I think she does require a fair bit of finesse to run, but her goal scoring (or double activation take outs with no healing) can be ball busting.
Bricking up – and that damn dwarf
I have used Brick a lot, and without going too much into him again (article is here for that) I love him still. His counter charge rarely goes off, but the threat of it is substantial. He is also a great INF battery.
What about that other big dude, you know the pair of them who you see in almost every game right now, Avarisse & Greede?
I still love them for their activation shenanigans, but I have gone off them in a big way.
Their first turn game, and probably second turn game as well, is very strong, but I find mid-late game they loose of steam. Avarisse with only a max stack of 3 INF can’t dish out as much pain as I initially hoped, and with 3+ DEF and no armour he can be a real target for character playbook results. And, against a fair few teams, Greede is easy VP.
So, as of late I have not been using them, early game I can use Superior Strategy anyway, and late game I would rather have a piece that did more for me.
The Chissle and the, er Malleissle
Early on I was finding that Mallet missiles were too short ranged, so I stopped using them completely. The same went for giving Mallet a full stack of INF. Nowadays I tend to give him 2, for a Singled Out and a knock-down, and then have him in the middle somewhere, forcing players to deal with him as his parting blows often lead to more players falling over.
So, Chisel? Like Harmony, I have only used her recently. I think, again, she has poor match-ups where she can get wounded at range too easily. But, her Missile has it’s place. Even if a model isn’t killed by it first turn (which is relatively likely), she will kill them second turn. This can be powerful, as it means that your opponent is an activation down.
This can mean that she is vulnerable, which is where I have found that target selection is pretty important. She often goes for the flanks, and picks a target off, then heals. If she takes someone out turn 2, she often then can use her move to move somewhere out of threat. Hell, sometimes she can then tackle and score a 6 point activation. If she does this she almost certainly will have to take her out, but at that point I am fairly OK with that. Especially as then next turn she can hurtle on, with Painful Rage and Crazy, ready to rock.
Again, I have not used her much yet, but she merits further investigation.
So, that is 8 months. Let’s see how the rest of the year goes, and in December how wrong I was when I was writing this.