Guildball Batrep #6 Alchemists (Midas) vs. Morticians (Obulus) ft. Pelage
by JD Haigler · Published · Updated
Welcome to Batrep #6! This week we have Alchemists again as Adam tries to push them a little further and I’m playing my Morticians again. Adam’s Midas outing wasn’t super great last go around and he wanted to try him again.
In counterpoint, I wanted to play Pelage, which requires me to play Morticians (For now). I don’t yet own Scalpel, nor do I feel like proxying her yet since I’m already proxying Pelage, so Obulus is my Captain for sure.
Pelage is the newest addition to the Morticians, by way of the Ratcatchers. She’s one of two Ratcatchers the Morticians can field, the other being Skulk. She’s proxied today by Skatha. Pelage is something like Cosset2. She can bring the damage extremely well with Killer [Male], and Tooled Up from Graves1 if you’d like. She’s also something of a speedbump because it’s not very enticing to attack her for now Momentum and possibly 3 Damage. She has a very solid Counterattack with a Dodge on 1, so against 1’’ melee models you have to be careful or she’ll just leave. Or she can single out, and Counter attacks are my favorite way to apply Singled Out. Pelage doesn’t want to spend time Singling out if she doesn’t have to, she’d rather be TAC7 four times instead of three. She’s a really interesting model and dies to a stiff breeze, so I’m excited to play her and see what I think.
So, JD’s Lineup.
I’m bringing her, Mist, Ghast, Silence, Graves1, Bonesaw, Brainpan/Memory, Cosset, Dirge and Obulus. I know Mist is leaving, but I’m enjoying him while I can.
I decide to bring Midas, Smoke, Naja, Harry, Kat 1, Kat 2, Calculus, Compound, Mercury, and Vitriol.
I win the rolloff and elect to receive. I’m locked into Obulus and Dirge and Adam chooses Midas to go with his locked in option of Naja. My first draft is Pelage, because I want to play her. I’m mildly concerned about the condition damage on her but she’s a 5/0 and I’ll just have to play it safe. Adam brings Calculus. I counter with Graves. He brings Vitriol. I bring Ghast. He brings Harry. I bring Mist and he brings Kat2.
JD: The list nearly builds itself. I’m bringing Pelage, I’m bringing Graves1 for Tooled Up and 2’’ melee, and I’m bringing Mist to either score the ball or hide it. I chose him last to try and give Adam less time to think about him, but I don’t know if it worked. Ghast, I also kind of want to hide the ball on. If it’s anyone but Midas retrieving, Fear is a bit of a pain to get around with limited INF and he’s got a decent counter attack. I want him up front, locking down center and roadblocking for the rest of the team.
My plotcards are Wingback, Match Fixing and Field Dressing. My GIC is Near Death Experience, where I can “Take a Breather” twice in an activation.
Adam: So I already planned on playing Midas again here just to see if I could get a better handle on how he played. My big deviation from last time was picking Kat 2. I was kind of iffy on this because I didn’t know how easy it would be to get conditions on someone, but with Calculus and Harry. I felt like I had a pretty solid ability to lay some down. Mist can easily be a pain to deal with but with Vitriol is a solid way to be able to match him. I’ve come to like vitriol especially with clone, but it’s kind of a bummer to not have Kat 1 on fire for the free dodge. My hope was to be able to use Midas to lure up kat in the first turn, to hopefully get him ready to generate some momentum. Calculus is always helpful with blind, and Harry has a decent access to a KD.
JD: Harry having “decent access to KD” cracks me up as an ex Brewers player, but I guess in Alchemists it’s true.
Adam kicks with Vitriol, dropping it pretty well away from me on the other side of the rough ground with his reroll after the first deviation wasn’t what he wanted. I use Match Fixing immediately and it scatters to land directly in front of Obulus. Otherwise, I had to retrieve with Obulus or Dirge and I didn’t want to leave a model that exposed this early. I’m pleased with my deployment though. Graves and Dirge both can reach the ball in nearly any situation, and both Graves and Pelage are decent kickers. Enough to get the ball down to Mist and gain momentum doing it. However, I don’t have to retrieve with either and I get my cake and eat it too.
Mist gets 4, Pelage 2, Ghast 2, Obulus 3, Graves 2 and Dirge 0. Adam gives Midas.. 3? Kat2 1, Calculus 3, Harry 2, Naja 1 and Vitriol 3. This, I feel, is a mistake. When you’re kicking off with a model to exert kick off pressure, I feel like you should load them up or the threat just isn’t that real.
Obulus Confidences himself, shadow likes up to the ball and walks forward with it. He kicks back to Ghast, successful with the first roll. He then spends his last INF to Confidence Ghast.
Harry moves forward and launches a molotov into Obulus which misses.
Ghast moves up and kicks to Graves1. I miss the first roll, but with Confidence, I reroll and get it successfully the second time. I originally thought Ghast was a 2/6 or I would have probably not kicked him the ball.
Vitriol seriously considers charging Graves1, but I have enough momentum to counter attack and defensive stance, and both Graves and Pelage have yet to activate. He can likely retrieve the ball, but hanging onto it and not dieing is pretty unlikely so he activates Calculus instead. She runs to cover and puts Poison on Obulus and Ghast, hitting them both.
Graves tools up Pelage, walks up to the fire and kicks the ball to Pelage successfully.
Midas runs forward and Lures of Gold Kat2 up. Midas is careful to stay out of cover, watching Mist warily. I don’t want to hit a 5/0 model though.
Pelage kicks the ball to Mist, who dodges to cover. She then sprints up to cover herself, within 2’’ of Calculus. Cloak of Rats kicks in and Adam chooses 3 damage on Calculus rather than Snared, which is the correct decision. I want snared.
Kat2 decides to go for it. He charges Obulus, who Defensive Stances and Counter Attacks. Kat is careful to stay out of engagement with Pelage, fearing that 3 damage. With Deteriorating, that’s 7 free damage for me. However, Kat2 completely whiffs the roll, getting only one miserable net hit. Obulus counter attacks, aided by Ghast, and between Unpredictable Movement and the Dodge on 1, leaves Kat2 in the dust. Kat2, with only 1 inf, doesn’t have enough to buy an attack on Ghast with Fear, so has to waste it.
Mist goes ahead and activate. He’s 8/10 with cover, so he charges into Calculus and gets the double dodge momentously. He dodges up 2’’ between her and Midas, staying out of their melee. He buys another attack, but can’t get any more momentum out of it. Kicks on goal, scores and hangs out where he’s at. 4-0 Morticians. I have 4 momentum, thanks to passing, scoring and Rising Anger triggered by Calculus when she poisoned Ghast. Adam uses his “Who Are Ya?” plotcard to get a Vengeance token on Mist.
Adam is hoping to counterscore, but he has to dodge off of the bird to do it, who would be 6/0 against a charge because I would absolutely defensive stance. However, the ball scatters badly and Vitriol doesn’t have the range to retrieve and score.
Vitriol takes the ball and runs. He plays it safe and I win the rolloff. I give Pelage 4, Obulus 4, Graves 2, Mist.. 3? Ghast 1. Adam gives 3 to Vitriol, 2 to Kat2, 1 to Naja, 2 to Harry, 2 to Midas and 3 to Calculus.
Graves goes first, for two reasons. He’s the easiest model for Vitriol to bounce off of and score from. Secondly, I want Tooled Up out soon and I want momentum. Graves engages Kat2, Tools Up Pelage, and hits Kat. I get a momentous single push and push him towards her, but not quite in melee.
Harry activates, and trying to save Kat2, molotovs the whole circle. He misses Obulus and Pelage, but he gets Kat2 and Graves. He walks away, setting a line where I can’t engage Calculus or Kat with Pelage if Goad hits. He bonus times the Goad and gets it on Pelage.
I activate Ghast instead. He hits Katalyst and I opt for the non-momentous double push, shoving Kat back into Pelage, and in melee range of Obulus again too.
Midas activates, determined to save Kat. He leaves Mist’s melee, taking 1 damage in the parting blow, and swings at Pelage. Pelage counter attacks. Midas only gets a momentous dodge, and can’t push Pelage out. She hits him back and dodges closer to Kat.
Then it’s her turn. She hits him three times, wrapping each time, doing a momentous 5 and non-momentous 3 every attack. Once this is done, she clears conditions, walks over to Harry and hits him for four momentous damage, and Adam chooses 3 damage again from Cloak of Rats instead of Snared. 6-0 Morticians. Adam is about to clock out.
Calculus stays where she’s at, puts poison on Ghast and Graves then tries to blind Obulus but misses, Adam clocks.
Dirge runs to Harry.
Naja tries to hypnosis Obulus but misses that too.
Mist hits Calculus once, dodges out momentously and walks over to Harry to engage.
Vitriol runs closer to goal, hanging onto the ball.
Obulus walks over to Harry and hits him. I trigger rising anger, then use the legendary to take all of the momentum and clear conditions everywhere as much as possible. Obulus hits Harry three more times, taking Harry down to 7 health. I go first.
I give Pelage 3, Obulus 4, Mist 2, Graves 4 and Ghast 1. Midas gets 4, Vitriol just 2, Calculus a couple and Kat2 gets 2, and comes back on near goal. Pelage activates and uses all 3 INF to put Harry in the ground. Score is 8-0 Morticians. She then walks over to Calculus, and Adam chooses Snared this time on her.
Calculus gets poison onto Mist and Obulus. I go to 11-0 because of clock.
Obulus moves up, throws Puppet Master on Kat2 and sticks him behind the goal.
Vitriol scores, and the game goes to 12-4, Morticians
The game, again, was decided by clock, but I turned back the 4VP I got by clock and we played through a few options. If Adam had not clocked, he would have played Midas. Midas uses Lure of Gold on Kat and brings him forward, at which point Mist who is poisoned, has to activate and get away from Kat. I run him over to the other side of cover near Calculus, engaging her and trying to hit her for a momentum.
At this point, Kat2 charges Obulus who is on 9 health over conditions. Obulus defensive stances and counter attacks and we rolled it out. If Kat rolls above average dice and gets the KD, he has a chance of killing Obulus but the dice favor Obulus getting the unpredictable movement and single dodge away from Kat.
If he’s able to get the KD, killing him is a little more realistic, and Adam rolls out a Witness Me activation that would take Adam to 4vp before Vitriol scores. Ghast moves into Calculus and KDs her. Vitriol scores, taking Adam to 10-8, Morticians still because I get 2 VP for Kat’s demise. Graves takes the ball with him and tries to kill Calculus. We roll it out and Graves leaves her on two, and next to no momentum, so Adam goes first. He rolls out three or four attempts to take the ball from Graves and still score and it’s pretty sketchy. He still have a vengeance token on Mist that he can use for something but Graves almost gauranteed tackles the ball back and it’s hard for Midas to get everything he wants to stay out of melee with Mist or Ghast.
If any single one of his rolls fail, someone kills Calculus.
So, removing the clock from the situation gives a lot closer game, but we’re still pretty sure Morticians carry the day.
Thoughts on the game:
JD: I like Pelage. She’s like more reliable Cosset. She can still die from range, so the concerns I have against Smoke or Ballista with Cosset exist for Pelage. The said, she’s still better IMO. I think a team all in on fighting can run both, but Pelage has a 3/6’’ kick compared to Cosset’s 2/6’’. Pelage also doesn’t need Crazy. She’s slightly slower but still pretty quick. Overall, I like her. She’s doing 2 damage on column one against males, and 3 damage on 3 momentously. With access to Singled Out on Column 2, she’s probably doing a minimum of 9 damage to a male. Start mixing in crowd outs or Tooled Up, or being KD and she’s really doing some work. This is before Cloak of Rats too where she snares or does 3 damage.
She’s also pretty discouraging to fight. You can really get ballsy with her turn one because it’s so important to farm momentum on that turn and you can’t do that against her. If you kill her, it’s worth 1 momentum and that’s something of a hard pill to swallow.
I like her. She’s a lot of fun, and Adam never let me benefit from snared but just doing 3 damage out of activation every turn is pretty solid. She’s an interesting piece and I enjoyed playing her a lot. That 3/6’’ kick is good for Morticians in general too. It’s a nice “I’m Open” target for Brainpan and Memory or even whatever you call Bonesaw’s ability. With her double dodge on column four, she’s likely not striking much but it’s nice that she can still reliably pass.
As far as the game goes, I think there were a lot of things that went in my favour off the bat. I received, for starters. On top of that, when Adam had a decent kick I was able to scatter it and the scatter wasn’t even retrieval. It landed an inch and a half from Obulus. I never missed a kick or a pass the entire game, and when Mist scored the return scatter was really bad for Adam. Never having to deal with Vitriol the entire game was really nice too. She spent the game hiding the ball and that’s a bad place for her to be.
I also felt like Adam spent a lot of time trying to save Kat. I was more concerned about him scoring and forcing me to choose between killing Kat or chasing the ball to prevent back to back scores from Vitriol and Midas. There weren’t a lot of ways to save Kat honestly, and he put a lot of time and effort into preventing me from scoring 2VP. I was surprised he left influence on him at all, actually.
I also think Kat hates Ghast. Furious is nice but he still can only buy one more attack because of Fear, so I can stick Ghast right in there and Kat doesn’t want to deal with him at all. Obulus is nearly impossible to button down, and being engaged with Pelage is a bad idea in general. There just was a lot of punishment to be had out there. His initial charge into Obulus was a mistake too, it should have been a charge into Ghast. Let Furious ignore fear, then buy an attack on Obulus. I’ll still counter attack but he’s got a better chance of capitalizing on his INF.
I really think that my dice just worked for me, Adam’s didn’t work for him, and he made some smaller mistakes. My biggest mistake was passing the ball to Graves on turn one without considering Vitriol’s threat range. In hindsight, it was fine. Vitriol couldn’t get there, take the ball and survive or prevent me taking it back. However, one more INF and the math swings into Adam’s favor. I should have checked it and considered it.
At the end of the day though, the clock is what beat Adam. We ran through all of the other scenarios and the game was much, much closer, even with Adam’s previous bad decisions or luck. He just didn’t have any time to get there. I feel like he goes into a tank looking for his cake, and the ability to eat it too. He spends too much time trying for that goal when in the end, he can’t have it and even on the off chance if he gets it, he’s already so far down on clock that he’d been better off making a worse decision but in a shorter period of time. A lot of this is knowing the models, but Adam made good decisions for the most part. He just spent a lot of time getting there, looking for the perfect solution that solves all of his problems. They just don’t exist sometimes. He spent a lot of time at the end of turn one trying to figure out what to do with Vitriol. Should he charge the bird at an almost definite 6/0 and try to dodge into goal? When he finally kicked, he’d already burned a lot of clock debating, and it didn’t even matter because of the ball scatter.
Really a decent game though, and it was cool to break down the endgame after the fact and try a bunch of different scenarios. If we had time, we could have swapped Guilds, re racked and gone again but there wasn’t any kind of time for that. One day.
Adam: So Pelage is a pain to deal with, and she’s a catch 22. You basically have to deal with her eventually, and sacrifice getting momentum, or you just let her run around and do what she wants and it’s just as bad. I’ve come to realize I can generate momentum on her by shoving her around some after thinking about her card, but she’s really not a model you want to do that with. Unless of course you’re just pushing her away from you so she doesn’t hurt you with her passive. She’s a really good model in my opinion, that forces some tough choices.
It really hurt for Kat to whiff, but I should have gone into ghast, and I regretted not doing it later. I would have definitely generated more momentum that way and put myself in a better position. Same thing with the following turn, If I would have activated kat first, and tried to get some intensifies off with 7 dice, I probably could have at least put some solid damage into obulus, and then at least Kat doesn’t die for nothing and I don’t waste other activations just trying to save him.
Clock also has a bad habit of not being my friend in these kinds of games. There’s not always a good answer like Jd has said, and I spend too much time mulling over what bad decision I want to make. I think that gets remedied the more I play with the guild though. If we play the game off the clock and I kill obulus, I probably can’t close out the game, its super sketchy with Midas. The other option is going into mist with Kat and just wrecking his world, but even then I’d go to 12 and so does he and then we have a tied game and Calculus still dies.
Up to this point the alchemists really just haven’t clicked for me. However since we recorded this game JD and I had another match with Alchemists where I opted to use smoke and I came to understand some stuff. As I played I became kinda annoyed with what seemed like my linear ability to kill things. The one choice I really seemed to have is Kat 2, in a lot of situations and he just seems to be easily controlled and go down fast, while giving a lot of momentum. So most cases I’m gonna boot him out of there for 2 more vp with “Witness Me”.
Kat 1 also does a solid job in a scrum too and I haven’t played him a lot. I’d look at my playbook and be like man, I can generate momentum, or I can do damage, and lose the first turn advantage here. Which just seemed to suck to me. My problem was, I’m used to the Masons where I just pivot between punching and shooting, and get momentum however I want to, as long as I don’t want high playbook results for the most part. Up until that last game I’ve been playing them how I would play the Masons and missing the whole dynamic of the team. Yeah Smoke can lay out some pain with Conditions, but the main point is scoring of course. Midas and Smoke both want to do that and do it well. Kat wants to punch people, but he’s probably the only model who’s going to get you momentum doing it. However at their core they are fast, slippery, ball handling players. Who all handle the ball relatively well, if you count out Kat 2. They don’t want to just fight a bunch, they are okay with bouncing around for momentum, getting over to a ball easily and taking that thing and kicking it in. I didn’t realize this fully until my last game, and I played a lot better because of it. They’re an entirely different style from my main guild, and I guess that really hadn’t full sunk in yet, and it makes playing them a lot more enjoyable now that I’m not still rolling with the masons mindset. I still have a couple different combinations I want to try out for them too, and I’m sure I’ll be doing that before too long.
JD: Yeah, our last game was really good, and you did better than I did on the clock even. It helps that you were playing the Alchemists and getting used to their cards while I tried Hunters for the first time in ages, but even then, I can’t think of a lot of moments where you tanked super long. There were a few things that we talked about post game that were something of “What If” situations, but I thought you handled the clock pretty well there compared to the two Midas games that we’ve batrepped.
I hated clock in Warmachine, and it was a long time before I started trying to play it. I didn’t struggle with it too bad since by the time I started playing on it I was pretty familiar with my team. Guildball is pretty intricate though. Warmachine is more linear in that X buffs this unit, and they move or they make attacks. It’s not like where any single model can have up to 4 attacks, move first or move later and choose between options on the playbook. Guildball has the most depth in any of the miniatures games that I’ve played and it’s something I really enjoy about the game. It can be clock intensive though, and if you haven’t practiced it, your first tournament will suck.
In this particular batrep, again, I think a lot of the decisions Adam settled on were really decent decisions, but by the time he arrived at them he’d lost so much clock that he was on the edge of giving me points anyways and he ran out of activations. The game he just talked about came down to the wire because I clocked out three minutes ahead of him and had to score 4VP in like 4 activations, and I was barely able to do it because the scrum was already set up. However, if I’d had one less activation, or he had one more VP, it’d of been game.
That’s about it for this batrep. Really enjoying seeing the Alchemists though. I think Adam’s second box of Blacksmiths is about here though so we may see them back before too long. Hope you enjoyed reading and seeing the new Mortician/Ratcatcher!
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