Building the Masons – Flint

What can I say about Flint? Our charming out-and-out striker needs no introduction. He appears to be one of the few ever presents in my line ups and you’ll soon see why. As one of the games pure strikers he possesses all the key aspects to make him one of the best out there, if not the best out there.

Stats

Mov – With values only just shy of Honour at 5/8” Flint is still very mobile. He can outpace most of the players in the Butchers or Brewers team but will be caught by the Fishermen. His normal move of 5” isn’t fantastic however the 8” Sprint is what you can expect to use move of the time, either in pure movement distance or charging.

Tac – A Tactical Ability of 4 isn’t fantastic, a certain angry cat shares this value. However it’s enough for what you need. Flints most important Playbook results are all really low scores so on a charge with 8Tac he’ll usually be able to pick up what he’s required to. While not his most important stat it’s one he’ll use a fair amount in-game.

Kick – His dice pool of 4 which is standard for a striker really as is his distance of 8”. A pool is normally enough to get the job done (especially if you use Bonus Time it). This gives him a natural 16” Goal Threat without bonus’ (he has those as well) which is pretty fantastic no matter how you look at it.

Def – A Striker who’s hit on a 3+? What’s the point of this I hear you ask. Don’t worry though, against a vast majority of the players in the game he’ll only be hit on a 4+ and he does have Arm which most others strikers do not.

Arm – As mentioned above, 1Arm is more than most strikers which will protect him from some attack rolls. If Boar gets into him he’s going down though, he’s not that tanky.

Inf – The rather standard 2/4 for Masons if ever-present again here. Flint however fills that nice point where in early turns where he just needs to position he’ll be a net gain for the team only requiring 1 to run or advance and “Where’d They Go?” into position. However on the turns where he needs to turn it on in a similar fashion to Ronaldo he’ll pull in all 4 he’s allowed and make damn good use of them.

Character Traits

Close Control – The skill all strikers want but only a few have. Close Control allows you to ignore the first tackle playbook result (just the playbook, if you are tackled as the result of a Character Play you’ll still lose the ball) suffered each turn. This means that for most opponents (even charging ones) they’ll need to spend an additional Inf for yet an additional attack to strip the ball off him. Any time you force your opponent to roll dice there is a chance they’ll fail the required roll, anytime they fail it’s for your benefit!

Charmed [Male] – Due to Flints … nature … with other male figures in this game he’s at +1Def against any attack made by them again him. Boar now hits on 4’s instead of 3’s. 5’s with Defensive Stance up. That 1Arm you have doesn’t look as useless as it did a few minutes ago now does it? Lucky for us that Flint is who is ‘eh?

Playbook

As I mentioned earlier, Flints Playbook while only short isn’t by any means weak. It contains all you want from a striker. A first result momentous tackle is the most important result in there, however the 2 hit Push&Dodge has won me games when failing to get to the 3 hit trigger for “Where’d They Go?”. He has a 1 Damage (on 1 hit) and 2 Damage (on 4 hits) within his play book but when you’re having to use Flint to Deal the Damage it’s either a certain thing or you’re desperate. Don’t worry again though, against low Def Models without Tough Hide he can do 3 Damage on a Charge, 5 if buffed by Marbles.

Plays

Where’d They Go? – One of the more useful skills for a Striker to have. Being able to spend 1 Inf for a 4” Dodge is massive. However you can also trigger this skill by scoring 3 hits, something which isn’t too hard against the right targets on a charge, you’ll also generate a momentum to shoot. So with 3 Inf you can charge 8”, hit, generate the momentum and the 4” dodge and shoot accurately from 8” away, 10” if you gave him 4 for the Super Shot. Not bad goal threat really is it?

Overall

So there we have Flint. Arguably one of the best Striker in the Game. After all he’s quick, has plenty of low Playbook scores which generate momentum and has a 4” dodge on tap! What more could you want?

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Building the Masons – Mallet

The Old Man of the Masons, if it’s happened in Guild Ball then he’s heard or it, seen it or most likely been involved in it. Mallet is a different proposition from the other members of the team, he’s slower than most of the rest of the players but has one of the best footballing buffs in the game and that along is often enough to grant him a place in your starting 6.

Stats

Mov – At 4”/6” Mallet is well down the scales in terms of movement, however his 2” Melee (3” during his activation) range does increase this. As a result with 2” movement less than Harmony or Honour his actual threat range on the charge is the same. You’ll need to keep him where you need him because he won’t get from A to B as quickly as other members of the team but can bring his might to where it is needed if required.

Tac – 5 is not bad by any means. As he’ll usually be trying to charge it’ll be 9+ most of the time you’re attacking, especially as you usually don’t have to suffer the Crowding Out penalties only the ganging up ones. Even if you don’t get to charge and are in melee following only a Jog or Sprint 5 is still plenty, slightly above average.

Kick – At first glance 2/6” isn’t that good, in fact I lamented against it with Harmony. However that isn’t a true reflection as he benefits from his own Football Legend Aura meaning he’ll always be at least 3/7”, better than a few strikers out there for sure.

Def – 3+ is once again the standard Masons Defensive Line. Being quick on his feat was never his strong point anyway, that’s why he has that Mallet. Defensive Stance will take him up to 4+ meaning half of all attacks miss at which point the next Statistic is really useful.

Arm – 2 Arm is far and beyond what most teams can dream of and yet we have another player clad in finely crafted steel. Boar is the most feared warrior out there but lets look at maths of this. He gets 12 Dice on the charge, if you defensive stance that’s only 6 hits, a third of those are disregarded leaving only 4 Hits, 4 hits from the mighty Boar! What’s 3 Damage from 16? Boars 2nd attack, that’s 5/6 hits, again, another 2 blocked the Arm and another 3ish damage. You’ll pull most of that back in Momentum beating on Boar in return. How many characters can easily stand up to Boar 1-on-1 and come out ahead?

Inf – The very standard 2/4 for Masons is present again. Mallet can be somewhat greedy due to either needing to sprint to keep up with the Sisters/Flint or Charge to get the most from his Tools. I tend to find myself usually pumping 2 into him most turns but don’t be shy from fully loading him when you need to. He’ll get the job done.

Character Traits

Football Legend [4” Aura] – There aren’t many buffs which effect more than one team member, this is one of the very few. The extra 1” on kicks is nice but isn’t a massive boost, the extra dice though, that’s good. I’ve had a Harmony [Family] Buffed engaged with 2 enemy and also have another intervene on the shot. All of that takes her down to 1 dice. At the same time she’s been within this aura and used “Bonus Time” to get back to 3 Dice, not bad for a near impossible shot!

Extended Reach – I know it seems like I keep talking about Unique abilities but this one really is. 3” Melee Range during his activation. Bonkers! This means that someone who has 2” less move than Honour has the same threat range. This does fall back to 2” outside of his activation though so don’t forget about that when it comes to ganging up or crowding out.

Forceful Blow – Mallet only gets this if he charges, this means if he’s already engaging his target or wants to just advance into it then he won’t be able to use this trait. However it’s a massive boost being able to do an additional 2 damage. This is in effect the best part of another Inf’s worth of attack so if you were worried about charging then don’t, you’ll earn it back. In addition the 2” Push can used to free up other characters, push enemies into more melee ranges for ganging up or even push them off the table itself. Be aware that you much pick a damaging result to trigger this so the Guildball Symbol, the Push, Knock down or Tackle won’t trigger this bonus.

Playbook

The most important aspect of Mallets Playbook is its length. Its only 5 long and as we’ve discussed you’ll want to be charging lots, this means that you’ll be able to wrap around a fair amount. You have 5 useful Momentous results within the first 3 columns, this gives you a very reliable way to get the job done. The single hit results gives you access to both of Mallets Character Plays (described below) and knowing when you use these over other plays are the key to getting the most out of him, especially when you’re trying to use them in tandem with Forceful Blow. As with Honour the high damaging results aren’t Momentous. On a Charge against one of the 2+ Def enemies you’ll get 9 Dice, this should grant you around 7/8 hits. That’s a rather tasty 4 Damage from the 5th Column, 2 Momentous Damage from the 2nd Column and a bonus 2 Damage from the Forceful Blow. 8 Damage, 10 if he’s been Tooled up. Plus a 2” Push. Not bad at all is it?

Plays

Singled Out – For the Cost of a single hit you can apply this play. It de buffs the enemy player so your players gain +2Tac against him for the remainder of the turn. Use it on someone you need to secure wrap around’s to hurt and take out in a turn or against a high Def enemy where the extra 2 dice might grant you an additional hit to secure a KD result which will by the end of the turn result in a kill. The other use is to apply it easy on to a player you expect your opponent will send into your lines, with an additional 2 TAC on all attacks made against that player your opponent should think twice. Even the average striker will go up to 10 Dice on the charge with this.

Smashed Skins – This play again can be triggered for a single hit. Applying this to an enemy striker will make them far less likely to score. Apply it to an enemy midfielder and they’ll find it really hard to score, due to such a large negative. Now getting the best out of this will be hard as a lot of the good goal threats are faster than Mallet can be normally so some tweaks will be needed to get the old fella going.

Overall

Mallet is the pivotal backbone to most Masons line ups. He gives you a good footballer, a brilliant melee threat and not only the best team footballing buff in the game but someone with two fantastic (if situational) de buffs for the enemy players. If you ever needed the Mortar in between all those fantastic blocks you have to hold them all together, look no further than this man.

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Building the Masons – Harmony

The Younger sister of Honour has a lot to live up to. Her sister was sought out after the War to lead and it’s only so long you can keep in the shadow before it’ll start to swallow you up unless you step out of it. Harmony doesn’t need the excitement and thrill of the Game like her sister, instead she sees it as a means to an end. With Rich Dignitaries, Princes and Guild Masters being so involved in the game she’s hoping to pick up a Husband before she suffers as so many others have.

However all of that doesn’t mean that Harmony doesn’t belong on the pitch. She has some skills and abilities which aren’t that common in the game let alone in the Guild. One of these means that her statistics aren’t really her statistics!

Stats

Mov – The normal 6”/8” (noticing a pattern here yet?) as with Honour & Marbles. Not the slowest but by no means the quickest. A nice steady number here.

Tac – 3 is a little low, in fact it’s horribly low outside of Mascots. However don’t worry, Harmony usually has that covered but we’ll look at that later. Harmony’s Playbook is also fairly well-balanced around the Family skill however she like her sister has some pretty decent low momentous results including tackle on 1, dodge on 2 and 2 momentous damage on 3.

Kick – For someone who’s not that flighty or super quick you’d expect her to shine somewhere, however it’s not here either. At 2/6” it’s at least got 6” on it but with only 2 dice you’re only at 75% chance to make an easy pass. Presuming she’s still playing in Season 2 she needs to get in some kicking practice.

Def – Something unique to the Masons human players outside of Union representation, a Def better of a 3+! At 5+ Harmony presents a different aspect to the defensive aspect of the Masons. Defensive Stance against charges combined with a Counter Attack against none 2” melee range opponents will mean they’ll only hit you once, maybe twice at best (which isn’t an issue if Brick is close to Protect her) and she can counter, pick up a couple of hits herself and dodge out of melee without taking any damage.

Arm – The reason Harmony is far more nimble than the rest of the Masons Team is that she’s forgotten to wear the armour they normally provide their players with. However in her defence how would she be able to show off her assets to suitable suitors covering herself up like the rest of the squad?

Inf – at 2/4 we’re back to the normal standard outfield player statistic you’d expect from most players. The 2 Inf she brings to a team will be farmed out in most turns however when she’s fully buffed being able to go to up to 4 Maximum Inf will turn her into a little wrecking ball.

Character Traits

Family [Honour] – Always in her Sisters Shadow that Harmony, actually it seems that pretty much suits her perfectly. When activating within 4” of her older sibling she replaces her Tac (3=6) and Kick (2/6=4/6) with those of her sisters. That Tac of 3 is now a 6, 4 Dice Kick, who cares if I’m engaged, this is easy! Now this means you’ll have 2 players (3 as Marbles is normally near Honour) grouped up, however having 2 Tac6 Players is something not many teams can have and when you’re allowed to activate them back-to-back without reply due to Honours Linked Skill you can really bring them to bear.

Protected [Brick] – Remember how I said you’ll have 3 players close together due to Family, you’ll now have 4 due to Protected if Bricks in the team. This 1Arm can help save her life due to only having a small amount of hit boxes but coupled with her high def it’s usually all she needs.

Back to the Shadows – Increaes her speed as if she causes damage during her activation she gets a free healthy dodge. Which can get her out of trouble or at least into a better position. Like need cover or Brick..

Playbook

She has a decent playbook, it’s not as good as her Sisters (few are) but she still has the mentioned 3 good, easy to generate momentum results. She also has a reasonable damage output and even a 4 damage result at 6 Hits. Though she’ll normally need to either charge to have Family active to even dream of achieving these higher scoring results.

Plays

Acrobatic – Only player to have this skill, not 100% sure why it isn’t just Nimble so it could have more general uses but it’s Acrobatic so we have to live with that. +1Def to Parting Blows is still useful, activating it and advancing out of combat into a nice easy to hit target (Kraken, Stave etc) to generate momentum is my normal plan with this however being able to move out of combat when in possession of the ball is still fantastic. If Bricks close enough they’ll only hit you on 6’s with you having 1Arm. You’ll be keeping the ball unless you’re really unlucky in most situations.

Weak Point – Costs 1 Guild Ball (3/5 hits), target model removes a point of ARM from an enemy model. This is pretty nice as a set up for the hittier models in the faction. If she is going early in the turn it is worth considering just to make any model nervous for the rest of the turn. As that extra hit can make a very big difference.

Overall

That’s Part Two of the Sister Act for you, you’ll never take her without Honour being in the same team and at the moment that isn’t an option anyway. However in Future Seasons who knows, she might even no longer see Guildball as just a means to an end but instead something she wants to progress in maybe stepping up to become Captain herself. As I mentioned before she’s fairly tanky due to Def5+ along with 1Arm (if Bricks in the team) as well as being a bit of a bruiser and scoring threat due to her Family skill when activating near Honour. However if she gets picked on and ends up on the floor she’s going to go down quickly with no Arm to protect her so be careful.

Make sure you check out Leodis Games for all your Guild Ball Goodness

Building the Masons – Marbles

The Team Mascots are something of a unique proposition in the game. These animal companions which follow their team captains all bring something different to the team they play for, luckily for the Masons Marbles is one of the best little mascots out there.

As I mentioned with Honour it’s the flexibility of the team which is their key to victory and Marbles maybe shows this more than any other player on the team. Marbles is firmly in the middle of all the statistics of the mascots with nothing special in any section but that doesn’t by any means make him weak.

Stats

Mov – His decent move of 6”/8” will keep him out of trouble vs most of the games heavy hitters but he can get bogged down by the quicker teams. Keep him out of trouble until you need him and use his half decent speed to get to where you need to when you need it. With 1 Inf he can engage from 9” away which will give you far more than any other mascot for a single Inf due to him providing both +1Tac (+2Tac with Ganging Up) and +1 Damage to Honour via his assist ability.

Tac – His Tac of 3 isn’t brilliant but in tandem with his playbook it is all you need at times. On the charge he picks up a pretty decent 7 Tac Attack, that’s enough to tackle a Defensive Stance’d Hemlock on average rolls.

Kick – This is little Marbles weakest statistic. With only 1/4” is isn’t much to write home about but with abilities such as Bonus Time or Mallets Football Legend to accompany it its workable.

Def – He’s not as nimble as a Cat so a solid def of 4+ while not fantastic it’s still one of the better numbers in the standard Masons line up. It means that some of the dangerous single dice plays only have a 50% chance to hit while even some of the two dice plays only hit 75% of the time. This’ll get you out of more than one sticky situation.

Arm – While not as nimble as the Cat he’s definitely more protected once he gets hit. 1 Arm isn’t the best value on a Mascot however it’s by no means the worse. 1 Arm won’t protect him against someone like Boar or Ox however against those nifty little strikers looking to get a quick bounce after a normal advance into melee it might just tip the odds in your favour.

Inf – Pretty average for a mascot here. He adds one to your pool which is always good and in most turn you’ll feed it back into him to keep up with your team, run into Assist range or use one of his Character Plays. There are occasions when you’ll want to give him two though, I’ll let you work out the best time for that though.

Character Traits

Loved Creature – Seen on other mascots, when Marbles takes some damage he hands out a TAC bonus to the team. Which is pretty nasty as more dice hopefully means more hits….unless you have my dice

Go Ape (Brick) – While he stays near Brick he gains Counter Charge, that means you have 2 models on the board that have access to it. Can bring some great images of the ape charging in then his bigger buddy joining in as well. The potential could be pretty nasty!

Playbook

Marbles Playbook isn’t that long, only 3. However each pip has a momentous result which is always useful. Having Tackle on the first result can be goal saving as well. Being able to quickly tackle then move away is always good but having the tools to get the enemy model with the ball to move towards your little tackle monkey is also a tool you hold.

Plays

Goad – This is one of the most useful skills out there. Want to trigger Loved Creature? Give them reason. Want Friday to move away from the Goal? Get her attention. Want Boar to advance into that Building? Yeah, it does that too. That last ones something which you’ll need to get used to before being able to use it as best it could. It requires you to start your activation within 6” of the target, and then be able to move to behind cover without any intervening friendly models either engaging your target or along his travel path. If you do this right you can tie up an opponent like Boar for a couple of turns, not bad for 1 Inf from your mascot. However this isn’t something you’ll be able to use every game and isn’t something even when you get chance to you’ll be able to pull off. But when you do, it’s really really satisfying.

Overall

He makes a great INF battery like Brick if you keep him near Brick which can both limit your placing but also covering a nice area of pitch to 2 different count charges. He helps out Honour a lot as well so getting his placing is going to be a balancing act.

Make sure you check out Leodis Games for all your Guild Ball Goodness

Building the Masons – Honour

Welcome to a new round of in the Team Talk series this time its the Masons go. My huge thanks for @LiamCJordan for taking the time and doing these for me. First up the Captain!!

Honour is one of the two building blocks all Masons Teams are built upon. This former gifted War Commander will one of the two ever presents in your side (until Season 2) and getting the most out of her will be what will either push you forward towards victory or drag you back and leave the Masons languishing at the bottom of the table.

Stats

Mov – Honour isn’t a slouch, she’s a very dependable 6”/8”. This isn’t the quickest of any of the captains but is neither the slowest, this perfectly sums up the Masons. This team with no over reaching play style but instead a team able to adapt to any situation. She has a nice 7” threat on an advance which moves up to 9” on a Charge, a pretty respectable distance when you consider the next statistic of value.

Tac – Here we go, as some who’s accustomed to War you’d expect a nice decent number here and you aren’t to be disappointed. A Tac of 6 is pretty decent, especially when combined with a pretty fantastic playbook.

Kick – At 4/6” this is a little special. You can push though even tackle zones to make a reliable pass which is something not many of the Captains or even Strikers in the Game can manage with any sense of reliability. She’ll give you (while engaged) a 87.5% chance of success, not bad at all really.

Def – The one generally standard weak point of the Masons Team. Being clad in the nicely crafted armour can leave you unable to move as freely as you might wish. This can leave you more susceptible to Character Plays however in one on one combat in the middle of the field the 2 ARM which accompanies this Def 3+ will usually more than offset this.

Arm – As mentioned before, ARM 2 is a little special in the World of Guild Ball. No other team outside of using Character plays can get that high. Arm does have a mathematical edge in some environments but doesn’t protect you from Character Plays so learn how to know when it will save you and when it won’t. You’ll need to.

Inf – The last standard value on every card. Honour picks up at reliable 3/6. 3 isn’t by any means the most any captain brings to the table but 6 is one of the better values for top loading. With 6 Inf she’ll be able to take down just about any target.

Character Traits

Linked [Harmony] – Lets you activate Harmony after activating Honour. This ability is unique in the game and can be seriously powerful if employed in the right way at the right time. Back to Back activations don’t happen that often for a reason. In your previous turn you’ve pushed Harmony up the field and she’s been protected by Brick or her high Def. At the start of your next turn you can have Honour charge the enemy with the ball, tackle, dodge away and pass to Harmony, then before your opponent can react you can push Harmony to Sprint towards the Goal and Shoot, all without the aid of burning Momentum or having to risk a Snap Shot. A little good. However just be aware that if you have the first activation of a turn and choose to use this while there are an even number of players on the field for both teams your opponent will get a double activation with their last two activations as well. This is a powerful ability but don’t over use it as it can land you in trouble.

Poised – Once a turn you get a free counter attack without the need to spend Momentum. This is a strong ability as it keeps that precious MP for other things.

Assist [Marbles] – The 2nd skill which required another player, this time not her sister but her trust sidekick. Assist is one of the best damaging abilities in the game but does take some getting used to make the most out of. Against a solo target Honour will be rolling 8 Dice (her 6, Marbles Assist 7 and the Ganging Up bonus 8) with +1 Damage to any results granting damage. The magic number here is 7. Being able to wrap around and combine the 4(5) and 1(2) damage together means it will stack up pretty well, even better if you can make it 4(6) and 1(3) for a total of 9 damage with another damage buff. I‘ll cover how to make the most of this later.

Legendary Play

A 6″ pulse that can do one of two things for your team. They either get +1ARM or 1 INF, obviously when you want to use it early in a turn to get the maximum benefit from it. As the ARM means the entire team is that much harder to get good playbook results from which is huge in a faction with a lot of ARM already. However the truly stunning possibility is the extra INF for everyone, this can equate to 6 extra INF in a turn assuming you have Bricked (haha) with the team.

The ARM can be incredibly useful blunting a big strike from your opponents but you could hit back with more with INF.

Playbook

I keep mentioning this fantastic Playbook, time to explain why. 1 Damage on 1, 1 Momentous Damage Double Dodge and 2 Momentous Damage on 2. Momentous Push Dodge on 3, all really fantastic low results. Sure at the higher levels you have 3 Damage, Double Push, 4 Damage of Even Knockdown but those are useful only in certain circumstances, the 1st 3 columns on any Playbook are the useful ones you’ll use all the time though, this is where she shines.

Having tackle on 1 hit, 1 hit! Not to mention it’s Momentous to boot. The Double Dodge is where the money is though, On only 2 hits you can bounce around slightly grouped enemy models to free up impressive lanes or angles. Boar in your way? Attack him, you’ll easily grab 2 his, get out of melee, charge into someone else and go to town.

Plays

Quick Time – I find myself using this all the time. For 2 Inf you can allow any friendly model within 4” a 2” dodge. This is not only a Threat Extender (allowing Honour an 11” charge range) but something which can allow you to get out of trouble. If you know that someone is planning on charging into a player to build easy momentum and you can just nudge them back out of threat range then why not? It makes perfect sense.

Superior Strategy – This is maybe the most situational Character Play I’m yet to come across. For 4 Inf you can allow a player a 2nd activation. It’s most basic use to allow someone an additional attack, if you’ve put the wrong amount of inf in the wrong place giving someone, that little bonus to take out an opponents key player can be game correcting, however it also has some other useful uses. Feel free to Sprint Flint his 8”, Dodge for 4” then Jog him for another 6” before Shooting 10”. Not a bad threat on goal is 28” is it?

Overall

Anyway if you’ve read this far you’ve got more time than sense. I’ll be trying to cover all the players over the coming week or so so stay tuned for our next edition where we look at Honours faithful companion, our very own king of the Guild Ball Jungle, Marbles.

Make sure you check out Leodis Games for all your Guild Ball Goodness