Guildball Batrep #5 Alchemists (Midas) vs. Union (Rage2)
by JD Haigler · Published · Updated
Welcome to another Batrep. At the end of our last one, we travelled to the other side of our state for a small tournament and brought back 1st and 2nd, which sounds great until we mention it was a 6 man tournament, so…. practice paid off I guess? That said, there were 3 farmers (Including me), so while Adam contemplated suicide, I Threshed Grange twice. It was fun though, met some new faces and had a good time.
Adam’s had his Alchemists for a bit and has been wanting to get them down on the table for a shot. I pulled out my old flame, the Union, and we duked it out. Adam’s contemplating the next Guild he wants to roll into, and he’s got three strong options between his Butchers, Blacksmiths and Alchemists and it’s anyone’s guess who he’ll take. I still want to flesh out my experience across my Guilds quite a bit so I’ll probably delve into my Blacksmiths a little bit, play some Fishermen and Morticians and maaaaaybe bust out the Hunters once or twice because I like the models.
Today though, it’s Midas into Rage2.
My lineup is pretty tried and true at this point with one exception, Snakeskin. I finally acquired a Snakeskin model, so I added her. However, in a Rage2 list, I’m taking Benediction so it’s unlikely that I’d take Snakeskin as a second ball holder. She’s for Brisket3. That said, Brisket3 is not my Alchemist drop. I’m here to kill things. So, my full lineup is Rage2, Brisket3, Strongbox, Benediction, Decimate, Mist, Gutter, Harry, Grace, Snakeskin. Snakeskin, Grace and Minx have all been fighting for the last two spots, and I really like Minx. It’s not worth getting into in this list though since I don’t take Snakeskin here.
I also like Coin, but I need more player space and Strongbox serves both Rage2 and Brisket3 great whereas Coin would just really be for Brisket3. So Coin got the cut as I’d rather have a deeper player base.
My line up going into this one is based off my own research I’ve done into the Alchemists Guild. Since I don’t have a Harry model, I use JD’s here. I’d try to buy one but seeing as the minor guilds are starting to roll out I don’t really know if it makes sense to look for one. I end up taking midas, Smoke, Vitriol, Naja, Calculus, Mercury, Katalyst, Vet Katalyst, Harry the Hat and Compound. I like the little butler robot, Flask, but seeing as I’m not going to to try Smoke Again, I don’t see the point in bringing him here. Sadly, I got into this guild post nerf so it seems his usefulness isn’t quite what it once was.
I lose the rolloff to Adam, who elects to receive. I briefly considered taking Brisket3 if I won the rolloff, but I did not and that locks me into Rage2. Adam takes Midas, and is locked into Naja already. He takes Kat1, Vitriol, Harry and Calculus. My players are Gutter, Benediction, Grace and Mist.
JD: I don’t like taking as many support pieces as I did here. I debated about Mist and Grace both, but Grace’s ability to remove AOEs was too good to pass up against Harry and Calculus, and Mist just exerts so much pressure from the kickoff. I strongly considered Decimate but finally chose Grace. Benediction and Gutter are absolutely required for Rage2 in my opinion. Gutter is basically a 2” melee Rage2 drone. She either follows him into the fight and finishes off the model and everyone around him, or she opens the ball and Rage2 puppets her from aways back. Benny is my ball carrier, and I can use Red Fury to trigger Braced on him for an out of activation ability there. He’s also my pusher, so he usually follows pretty close to Rage2 and disengages him or KDs models for Rage before Rage2 goes in.
My plotcards are Sic’ em, Match fixing and Field Dressing. We forgot to use GIC.
I feel pretty good about the pieces I’m picking here, Kat and Vitriol work well together with her, I’ve been burnt before ability, Calculus always feels useful to me especially with the blind ability, Harry, has Molotov and Goad, which are both great options for alchemists, along with fairly accessibly knockdowns. I took Naja as well, since I felt like a 2’ melee model at def 5, with unpredictable movement, is tough to hit. Plus hypnosis, makes someone potentially waste an influence. I felt like these all supported Midas, and the football game pretty well. I also don’t know the Alchemists well enough yet to really decide which player is better than another, into his union players. So most all my picks here were just based off what I had read for team composition.
My plot cards were; good marker, wingback, and Who are Ya? Which I figured would get activated on mist sooner or later.
I deploy left of the forest, which pins me behind the barrier a bit but that’s ok. I like camping Benny in cover and of course Mist loves it too. Benny is also in range of most “Impart Wisdom” shenanigans from Rage. Gutter was a bit out of position and probably should have traded with Grace but it worked out ok.
I split my deployment, making sure that Midas of Vitriol would have a solid chance to go out and get the ball. Kat needs to start next to Vitriol, so she can get her Free 2″ dodge. I also centered Harry so he could allow the team to hopefully make use of their teamwork options without costing me any momentum.
Mist moves up to cover and boots the ball to the left. My goal is to get it far enough into left field that it forces Vitriol to activate and get it. If Katalyst can fetch it back to the lines, that leaves Vitriol available for a later activation and since she’s hella good at momentum farming, I don’t want that. So Mist delivers a kick that just barely gets it away from Kat and we begin.
Adam puts one on Naja one on Harry, Two on Calculus, I think 3 on Kat, 2 on Vitriol and the rest on Midas.
Mist gets 4. Gutter gets 3. Grace just has the 2 she generates. I give 2 to Rage, 1 to Benny and 1 to Strongbox. I just want enough on Rage to dodge Gutter up, and same with Grace. Get her a 4” movement boost and get her into the game early on. Between her and Mist, I hope to go first next turn.
Adam pulls his Alchemist dice out, deciding to try them for the second time. I own a set of Alchemist dice second hand and both I and the friend I bought them from hate them, so in jest I warned Adam that he was just begging for trouble with those things. Vitriol runs out to the ball, runs back to cover and boots a 4 dice pass to Kat.
The Alchemist dice go back in the bag and the Mason dice come back out. Kat can still intercept, or Naja can snap it but Adam was hoping to get a free dodge on Kat using Harry’s aura. Adam is very much concerned about Mist’s threat range. However, the ball misses, and debating between Kat and Naja, he picks Naja. This is the correct decision or Mist nearly auto scores with 4 INF into a 3/1 model. Likely tackles on the charge, maybe even wraps, buys an attack for the first or second momentum and scores. Even if Mist dies, that’s a trade I’m willing to make and with fast ground and Solthecians nearby I can have Mist very relevant very quickly. However, on Naja, 2” UM and 5/0 makes the bid a bit riskier and I leave it be.
Instead, Benediction runs to cover.
Naja misses a pass to Calculus, but she intercepts. This is relatively expected though with just a 1 dice kick.
Calculus boots a pass to Midas, successfully finally, and he dodges forward, staying at the edge of Mist’s range as much as possible. I can still reach him, but Calculus jogs forward as much as possible to block that lane, and throws a Blind at Mist for kicks and giggles. It misses. The mistake here though is that Calculus is now 10” from Rage.
This changes things for me. I’ve been planning on how to get Gutter into Kat or Vitriol, but getting Rage into a target is better I think, especially since it’s a straight shot. So Grace Quickfoots Rage2 and jogs forward.
Harry moves up and throws a Molotov at Benny, lighting him on fire. This was another mistake on Adam’s part since he just threw the AOE on the obstruction, and we didn’t sit it down since no models were going to go there. However, he could have placed it to the right of Benediction to slow Rage2 down. He did not do that, to my joy. Rage2 could still dodge forward and make the charge, but I lose 2 INF for it, and Grace has already activated so she can’t clear that AOE.
Having given up on using Gutter, I just run her up through the fast ground and position for next turn, wasting 2 INF. I stay out of Kat’s range though since I don’t like giving away free momentum.
Kat1 is out of range of everyone, so he just runs as well.
Rage2 charges Calculus. He does a total of 8 damage and 3 momentum.
Midas sprints around the woods and buys an attack on Grace. I go ahead and counter attack because I can, but he takes the momentous dodge and backs away. He then spends that momentum for his heroic which is a 2” dodge and gets in range of the goal. He fires a shot successfully. I bounce the back into the middle. and it scatters to just in front of Benny, who declines to snap it. 4-0 Alchemists.
Mist is fully loaded, so he sprints across, snaps the ball and glides through the woods into melee with Calculus. I buy an attack on her but it whiffs and I only do one damage rather than farm a momentum. I decide to just Acrobatics out into range of the goal and fire a shot in for 4VP, tieing me with Adam. He tries to throw the ball back to Kat or Vitriol but it scatters into the center not far from Rage. I am up 3 momentum to 1. Maybe 2 to 1. Not amazing but in my favor, and I win it.
This is a bad spot for Adam since I don’t have to work super hard to retrieve the ball. My mistake here is that Mist is just out of range of either Grace or Benny, so he’s kind of in a bad spot to go and get it and score. I give Rage2 a full stack of INF, Mist 3, Grace her normal 2, Benny 1 and Gutter 4.
Adam puts 4 on Vitriol, 3 on Kat, 1 on Naja, 2 on Harry I think and 2 or 3 on Midas.
Rage2 activates and dodges out 2” for 2 INF and snaps the ball. He uses his legendary and charges Calculus. Between the charge and one more attack, he removes Calculus from the board and kicks the ball to Mist. It misses and scatters back behind Mist and towards the goal. 6-4 Union.
Harry moves into Mist and hits him. I counter attack. Harry pushes Mist into melee with Naja and Mist whiffs the attack back into Harry. Harry hits him again and sticks him right in the pocket between Harry and Naja.
Benediction sprints up to get within range of Mist to help free him up and engage Kat so he can’t go get the ball and kick to Vitriol. This is a really blurry pic, I apologize. However, if Kat kick to Vitriol, she’s free to do what she wants to do, so the goal is to lock him down so she has to go away from my goal to do anything.
Adam does some crazy math and thinks long and hard about sprinting Vitriol up to the ball and dodging off of Mist down to be in range of kicking to Midas but the math isn’t good against a 5/0, even on a crowded out model. So she sprints to the ball, engages Mist and farms him for some momentum. She actually does ok dice wise, getting Clone and some good dodges. She double dodges back on her second attack and puts a smoke cloud down. This was cool, except that if I get Mist free, it’s an extra TAC on her in cover because of Skilled within Shadow.
Gutter charges Kat1. I engage the snake as well, and this triggers Unpredictable Movement. I’m ok with this since it means it’s easier to free Mist up. Gutter wraps on the charge against Kat, even in cover, and does momentous 2, and a chain grab on Vitriol. Obviously, the chain grab fails against Clone, but now I’ve popped it and Mist can do some things. Gutter buys two more attacks into Kat and does 9 damage total. I feel like I’ve made a minor error here though because I’ve blocked Rage’s charge lane and Kat’s my best target.
I also wished I had Strongbox closer but I felt I couldn’t wait any longer on Gutter.
Kat activates and moves out of melee with Gutter. She gets the parting blow and knocks him down. Adam clears conditions on Kat and that’s a problem since he loses the 2 TAC now that he’s not on fire. Even then though, he KDs Benediction and pushes him around the board. The plus side to all of this is that Rage2 has a charge lane.
Strongbox moves up. I’m pretty sure I’m not going first at this point as Adam has 2 dice up there to count his momentum and I’m at like, 3. So I stand up Benediction with Strongbox as well.
Naja activates and tries to hypnotize Mist but fails.
Kat’s pushing on Benediction move my Solthecian away from Mist so I activate Grace instead and run her up into Harry. She buys an attack for momentum but just dodges around with it. Harry counter attacks and whiffs it.
Adam moves Midas up through the forest and uses Lure of Gold on Vitriol, pulling her away from the smoke and Tap In range, which is a really solid play I didn’t see coming. He buys an attack into Grace, who counter attacks because I’m not worried about saving momentum at this point. He hits and dodges back though.
Mist activates, solthecian dodges out of the mess, acrobatics away from Naja, walks over to vitriol and bonus times a hit into her, tackling the ball. Vitriol counter attacks and tackles it back. Mist repeats the process and retrieves the ball. Adam is very, very high on momentum so he will go first. Score is still 6-4 Union.
Vitriol gets fully loaded. Kat gets 3 and I don’t remember the rest. I dole out the usual 3 to Mist, 4 to Rage, 1 to Benny and 4 to Gutter. Grace generates 2. I’m beginning to like that a lot.
Vitriol activates and swings at Mist. She whiffs the attack, and I counter attack, and therefore counter whiff. So she attacks again and gets it, but now she’s 2 INF in with no momentum. She swings again and misses, so with her last INF now that her plan is shot to pieces, she kicks to Midas successfully even while engaged. Midas dodges around the forest.
This is ok with me. The score is 6-4 in my favor and I can easily score 2 more this activation I think, meaning if he boots the ball back to me I win. Secondly, I go to 7-4 as Adam clocks out.
Rage2 activates, and he Red Furies Benediction. At TAC7 (Shelled out + Gutter – 1 for cover), Benediction handily KDs Kat1. Rage2 uses the momentum for his heroic and charges. He wraps and does crazy damage to Benediction and then spends the rest of his INF on Gutter who makes full use of Bloody Coin. She wraps on Kat both attacks, getting Scything Blow and a Momentous 2 up to 3 and removes him from the board. Her last Red Fury attack goes into Naja who’s down to just 1 health from the scything blow. She misses though, even under Bonus Time. Score is now 9-4 Union.
Seeing the end is near, Midas moves up and boots the ball into the goal, taking him to 10-8 as I accrue another point under the clock. I drop the ball back in the general vicinity of Mist. Mist can dodge out, pick it up, charge Harry and then dodge up into tap in range, for the final 4 VP, but it’s easier to just kill Naja. Gutter bonus times an attack into Naja and kills the snake for the final 1 VP, taking me to 12-8 Union.
Thoughts on the Game
JD: A lot of minor mistakes and some lousy dice rolls for Adam I feel like. Missing his initial kicks hurts any early activations in the game, and then there were things like not blocking Rage with Harry’s AOE that made my gameplan a bit easier. I feel like the second time through, Adam would go about that a bit better, but missing the initial kicks hurt. Losing the initiative roll going into turn 2 was bad too since I had the opportunity to score the ball back to back, and it worked out that I just couldn’t get to it well. If Rage had made his successful kick to Mist, Mist would have dodged back 4” and been a lot harder to lock down like he was. Even then though, retrieving the ball was a problem for Adam at that point and it just didn’t seem to work for him when he needed to get it back.
Adam’s also used to a fighting team with just a hella good striker named Flint who ignores most of the rules with Where’ they Go and Close Control. Vitriol, while as good or arguably better than Mist, is amazing, she can’t just 4” dodge out of a problem and disappear into the goal lines. I also don’t know if Kat1 was used super well. He did some work on Benny but that’s about it and for the most part I didn’t have to deal with him. I was concerned about some Siesmic kicks though and they never happened.
A bullet point on Mist though. I’ve really instilled the fear of Mist into my local meta, and not unjustifiably so. If he’s in cover in a Solthecian list, he threatens 16” on his own (MOV8 + 2” Melee, +2” Acrobatics, +2″ Solthecian dodge, +2” Cover) and this is before Grace or Rage buff him any. So he’s got a crazy amount of Kick Off pressure. However, it’s a lot of INF, and because his tackle is not momentous he has to hit a model twice. Ideally what he wants is a low DEF 1” melee model holding the ball that he can tackle, maybe wrap and bounce off of. Maybe hit again for another momentum and then bonus time a goal. Adam almost gave me that opportunity with Kat1, but anyone other than Kat1 or Harry and the plan gets dicey. Even against Calculus you need some solid rolls to get that kind of play off, and against 5/0 Midas it’s a bad idea. Against 5/0 Naja or 5/0 Vitriol, both with 2” melee, it’s virtually impossible and 2” melee lets them tackle it back. So I’ve done a lot of great, reliable work with Mist and he’s one of my favorite models in the game (both the LE sculpt and his rules) but he’s not unstoppable by any stretch. I’d almost rather face him than Flint or Greyscales. So when Mist is up on the line, having kicked off, I think Adam worried about him too much and gave me more power over the first turn than I had any right to. I actually regretted not kicking off with Gutter a little bit but Mist did work out. Honestly, if Midas had waited a turn to score til Turn 2, I would have had to refrain from counter scoring unless I could prevent Vitriol from immediately turreting a shot off of Midas again. It’s likely I would have gone first but I’d be down an INF and no idea where the ball would go. Calculus would have died and then I guess Rage would have gone into Kat1, but there’s no telling.
This game was a pretty solid learning chance for me, and I’m planning to go back to the Alchemists again. I really enjoyed the game even though I lost, since it gave me a solid chance to just feel out the Midas team and the other Alchemist players. Something I regret doing on my first turn was letting JD know that where he moved Gutter was still in Kat’s initial range, which could have allowed me to tie the momentum race up and not waste two INF. I didn’t feel like I got a whole lot of use out of Kat1 for my first time either, but he seems to be a very solid model in the scrum. Kat was honestly the reason I got this team since I really like his Veteran model.
I also didn’t realize that after I goaded Mist and stuck him into the middle of Naja and Harry that he could just dodge out of the situation with acrobatics/shadow like. Pulling the ball away with Vitriol, and putting up clone ended up being a really solid move on my part, since it allowed me to end up moving her further around thanks to Midas. Also, Showboating is probably one of my favorite things ever. I even forgot about it going into turn 3, and realized I never spent a momentum for my dodge. It gives Midas some crazy goal threat for free. I’m kind of sad that I never got to see him during his Season 2 or early 3 Glory. Also, let me take a moment to bring up Midas’s legendary. Jd and I talked about this after the game, and we agreed it’s basically the Dollar Store version of Shark’s. I’m surprised by how small of range that it is, given his recent nerf, and the fact that the crippling movement can just be removed, and you have to score to activate it. Snared isn’t as bad as -4/-4 for the whole turn that you can’t undo, and it’s a 6” pulse. I feel like it wouldn’t be that big of a deal to up the range on it some.
Thinking about the future, I may end up taking Vet Kat into this line up, put down some poison, and fire and let him get a Witness Me! Take out. That easily turns the game into a 2 goal one take out scenario, which would be pretty do able for sure. The worst thing about this game was my dice, the last time I played alchemist into JD, my dice were hot garbage, just like they were this time. Failing, 4 dice on a pass at the start of the game entirely ruined my momentum race, and killed my plan with Harry. There was noting more infuriating than that roll and later when I Failed a single result tackle later on in the game with Vitriol. That being said I’ve really come to like Vitriol, after playing around with her some. Clone is a very handy ability, and I never realized how hard it is to get the ball off of her. I think I’m going to try to stick with alchemist for the upcoming few games. I want to try blacksmiths again as well, but not until I can get my hands on the second box.
JD: Yeah when you got visibly excited about my Gutter placement and even mentioned it, I did the math and decided I didn’t really want to just give you that lol.
I don’t miss Old Midas at all. True Replication on enemy models was ridiculous. The opening turn of the game just had players trying to hide from Midas’s range so he couldn’t steal their favorite play. It was nuts.
But yeah, really great game and I’m looking forward to seeing more Alchemists on the table. I expect that as you settle out with them, that you’ll really enjoy them more. You’ll probably pick up some hatemail for the Smoke comment at least but meh. I don’t know what the next batrep will be. I’m tempted to try Morts into this since we have the Pelage rules, or maybe break out my Hunters which have yet to make an appearance in this series. Either way, looking forward to it.
Hope this article’s been worth you’re reading. Feel free to correct rules and/or insult us. Thanks for reading!
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