Building the Masons (S3) – Granite

When you need a polished stone you may as well have a hard one.. Its time for some Granite.

Stats

She is the slowest model in the game, on par with a Tortoise!!! Her TAC is pretty good. While her DEF is poor but she does have some decent ARM. Her KICK is OK but she isn’t scoring goals with that movement stat generally. Her INF is the usual average for the game.

Character Traits

Determination – When she is engaged by 2 or more models she gains a boost to her DEF. Still pretty easy to hit but it does help.

Foundation– At the start of the game she may make a free jog before INF is allocated. This means that if she spirits she can move the same distance as most models the first turn (average 8”)

Sturdy – Once per turn she ignores the first Knock down she suffers which helps when she is so easy to hit.

Between a Rock – A healthy aura around her, once a turn when another friendly model takes damage from a play or attack. She gets to make a free jog, so if placed right she is actually faster than she looks but it is dependent of the enemy helping you out.

Playbook

She doesn’t bring lots of Momentum (only half her columns) but it is all situated at the early side of the book. She has an early Knock down and does do some nice damage across the book. She does have access to pushes but no dodges which makes sense really.

Plays

Gut and String – Costs 1 Guild Ball (3/5 hits) – We have seen this Shark and Jaecar. Hands out a big MOV buff and also a DEF debuff as well. Which is always nasty..

Tar Pit – Costs 1 INF or 1 Guild Ball (3/5 hits) – Enemy models within the aura (reasonable size due to her base size) count as being in rough ground. Helps slow a lot of models down to her speed which is cool idea. Unfortunately this is perhaps a little situational as her placement is key to getting legs out of this.

Overall

A really slow player that can surprise the opponent if they start handing out damage to your players. As any free movement is great to have, she is a tarpit (literally in some cases) but as she is slow and also slows down the opposition she is probably not going to be good to use against fishermen. She brings the debuff of the likes of Casket and Fangtooth but she needs to activate early to get the most out of it (and spending of INF but makes sense as it only affects enemy models).

She does represent a good wall for the masons to use to stop the enemy going anywhere near the goal. You will need to really think about placement with her as your opponent will probably want to play around her than go through her use this to your advantage.

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Building the Masons (S2) – Hammer

The last of the season 2 captains is finally being covered, didn’t take me long at all did it? Well its now blunt instrument period of sun movement (Hammer Time)…..

Stats

He is average speed (and unusual as he is one of the few 1” melee Masons), his TAC is pretty good seen on a few other captains. His DEF is meh and he has ARM (again not as much as other masons).

He brings the average amount of INF for a captain but he isn’t greedy as can only have 1 more as a max. His KICK is good for distance but only meh dice pool. He does have some OK stats but he has ways of boosting himself and others as we shall see..

Character Traits

Tough Hide – He hangs around long than most against being beaten up.

Stoic – He ignores the first push against him every turn, this is very powerful with his average melee range as he charges into someone itmeans he isn’t swinging in the wind against the players who can move him about. Although be wary around Fishermen with their many many dodges.

Knockback – We have seen this on Brick, basically when he hits anything each of his playbook results also have an additional 1” push and dodge that you can’t see. This on top of his playbook means he can really mess with an opponents placement of models. It also means it is harder to lock him in combat than you expect as he basically has a 2” push on 1 hit.

Playbook

Lots and lots of pushes on his book, he does reasonable momentum generation (4/6 columns). He doesn’t dodge at all (outside of knockback), but he does bring some pushes also some larger ones at the top end but they are not momentum generating. He has reasonable chance of Knockdown (3 hits) and he is a pretty good tackler (2 hits) in fact all his tackle results will generate you momentum.

He has lots of chance for damage dealing as well, although only the low amounts will generate momentum (so those big swings will be held back for charges and potential wrap arounds). However with his plays he can bump that up to pretty scary levels, almost Butcher levels in most cases.

Heroic Play

Hammer Time – a massive aura that allows friendly guild models to use his plays as if their own. Very powerful as we shall see..

Plays

Quick note on all his plays the cost is misleading, as they all require you take an INF of a friendly model to activate the play (it is also short-range), which means it would cost 3 INF to activate all three. But it does mean there is no such thing as wasted INF in a Hammer crew. You over spend on one model who has done all they can, with these plays (with the Heroic play active) you can still make use of the left overs if you are in range.

Punishing March – Costs 0 INF – This allows him to gain a nice boost to his MOV, which takes him up to Fishermen levels of speed.

Iron Fist – Costs 0 INF – This makes him a scary combat beast as he gains +1 DMG to his playbook damage, which at the top end is nasty. Even the lower end is going to make a lot of players nervous to have him around.

Ball Hog – Costs 0 INF – This makes him a better goal scorer as that meh KICk dice pool gets a boost which makes him edge toward average Fishermen goal threat.

Overall

So we have a Swiss army knife of a captain. As long as there is still friendly INF on the table he can be exactly what you need him to be at that point in the turn. Fast and good goal threat? sure, bring the pain and hand out some very nice damage? easy!

Timing his activation is going to be key as it will depend how you have placed INF around your team as to what he is able to do. But also how important his heroic is going to be for the team due to his final placement..

Get the most of him with this in mind is going to be tricky but if he clicks he is going to be very hard to deal with. He can easily stand in the middle of the pitch letting his team do the health lifting. Ball Hog makes the goal scorers even scarier, everyone faster and the damage dealers almost butchers!!!

Although saying that he can just go super saiyan and smash the opposition..

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Building the Masons (S2) – vHarmony

Veteran players, which are variations on existing characters as they progress through the story arc. This means I have an actual comparison to make at the end between the type versions of a player.

Sibling rivalry is an ugly thing and well it affects the best of them, Harmony is no longer so harmonious with her sister at least….

Stats

She is fast (not Fishermen fast), her TAC and INF are average. While her DEF is pretty good (but no ARM). Her KICK is also decent although she is not a striker just a good passer (or the odd chance to get a shot on goal).

Character Traits

Team Player – This allows friendly models nearby to pass any damage they take onto Harmony, I see this as situational as she doesn’t have much health but if it stops your opponent scoring VP. Then it is probably worth it, but use with much caution as you may end up leaving Harmony in a bad spot and give up the VP anyway.

Breaking Play – When she has activated all friendly (guild only so union can’t take advantage) models get extra DEF against character plays. This at least makes it harder for the likes of Engineers and Hunters to score those hits against the generally lower than normal Masons.

Animosity (Honour) – This basically means, vHarmony cant get the double activation that is allowed with Honour, only her normal version gets to use it.

Playbook

Her playbook gives her an OK amount of momentum generation (3/5 columns) she has access to dodges as well as a column 1 momentous tackle and also some momentous damage as well. Which is always helpful, she is an effective getter of the ball as well as being able to get out of dodge when she needs to, helpfully all her momentum is on the low columns so at least she shouldn’t have a problem getting some for the team (she will need it Team Player).

Plays

Scything Blow – Costs 1 Guild Ball (5 hits) – the always nasty scything blow but with Honour you are only going to be getting this on Charge (plus she only has 1” melee zone). With it being non-momentous, it is perhaps not as popular choice as other players who have it, but it is still nasty.

Smelling salts – Costs 2 INF, great way of saving Momentum by spending INF instead helps heal and remove conditions. Depends on the team you are facing but has great potential to save condition damage and the like.  In a world with Smoke and Fillet and Brewers this will certainly have its uses.

Overall

She is now a support player (team player if you will), she has the potential to be great at going out and getting the ball for your team. But she also helps by sitting in the back field ensuring players are protected more from character plays and also controlling the strong condition game that has appeared in S2. All the while she can come in and do some smashing of faces if need be. With the scything blow on a 1” zone is a double edged sword, yes less of the enemy can be caught but you are also less likely to catch your own players in it. She actually works OK with either captain, as this version doesn’t need to worry about sticking close to Honour for the bonuses she grants and linked was situational when Honour was so good at controlling activations.

Comparison between Harmony –  Went from sister love to team love.

So both versions have the same MOV, DEF and INF the differences happen with the TAC and Kick dice pool which is both higher on vHarmony, this changes if nHarmony uses Honors stats but that is dependent on positioning.

The playbooks are almost identical with only some small changes, however the momentum generating picks are the same and in the same columns (as is place of  SB).

vHarmony also lost her ARM bonus she gets from being near Brick as well, which is a shame as is no more Acrobatic. However she gives more to the team with her traits and plays.

There is certainly a nice twist as we have nHarmony working best with her sister and wanting to be nearby to become better than she seems, while vHarmony actually it doesn’t matter which captain as she supports the team no individual. On the face of it vHarmony is going to be a strong choice of the 2 versions bu as always personal preference will decide.

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Building the Masons (S2) – Wrecker

ROLANDO….ROLANDO……ROLANDO Its everyone’s favourite moving ball.. Wrecker.

Stats

Reasonably fast and can keep up with most Mason models, TAC is average for a mascot as is its KICK, its DEF is poor but it comes with a lot of ARM as well and INF is standard for mascots but can  use a little more if you want.

Character Traits

Rollerball – A nice thematic trait, for the penalty of not making attacks for its activation, you gain the use of Ramming Speed for free and also +2 MOV. Which actually puts its speed into fishermen levels.

Follow Up – If a model leaves its melee zone it follows along, you do not get rid of this model, well unless you dodge.

That’s Not the Ball – Enemy models have to spend an extra INF to kick the ball. This can really annoy strikers but usually they have ways and means to not be engaged with models. But every so often this will stop the ball going anywhere when your opponent least wants it to.

Playbook

Short playbook as you would expect but it gets momentum on most columns. Access to momentous Tackles and Knockdowns is pretty nasty especially on the charge while momentous 1 damage is also welcoming.

Plays

Ramming Speed – Costs 1 INF, makes sense for an armoured ball. It is situational really but we have seen what a well-placed push can do sometimes; especially if they don’t have 2” melee. With its healthy speed it could very well become a pinball bouncing off models and messing with auras and the like (handily it doesn’t target anyone so will ignore things such as Gluttonous Mass)

Overall

An unsual Mascot he is going to struggle to take the spot of Marbles if you need the Tooled up, however you are probably going to have more fun with Wrecker. Just have him rolling around pushing stuff into less advantageous positions for them (more so for you). While also annoying ball carriers no end. All that armour means it can usually take a hit even with such low DEF, even the likes of Gutter are going to struggle to get through.

It is very much like Brick in a way it doesn’t need any INF to do what you sort of need it to do. But it can actually annoy if you decide to give it some INF to attack/charge.

EDIT: it’s worth pointing out (thanks to the community) that when he balls up he can’t counter attack or parting blow as well

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Building the Masons (S2) – Chisel

So the strange man know as Nobby on the forums has penned a post about the newest Mason the unhinged Chisel.

Masons, Masons, Masons, what a time to be a Masons player! With the recent errata, Brick has become a more viable choice (I didn’t use him as he was easy to take down as well as the momentum he gave away) but with tough hide he is now getting in. More on that later with what is coming. Chisel!

My god, this girl is as bad ass as they come! Let’s take a look at her stats first of all.

Stats

Movement is pretty standard for Masons so not too shabby. A Kick of 2 is nothing to write home about unless near mallet to be honest. Her TAC is rubbish, until you see the rest of what can happen. More on that in a moment!

DEF 3+ again pretty meh but standard for Masons with ARM 1, not that great for masons on par with marbles. While her INF 2/4 is again standard for masons (and most models in the game).

Character Traits

Crazy – Take 3 damage, gain 3 TAC. so basically she is at TAC 7 should you choose to take the damage, which you generally will.

Painful Rage – This is a new trait for season 2, basically if your HP goes below the number in brackets (in her case, 6) you gain +2 TAC and +1 DMG. Combine this with crazy and thats a massive TAC 9 without any other bonuses. Things will get pretty messy, pretty fast especially on a charge.

Playbook

OK, her playbook is brilliant. We are looking at a large 7 column book (due to crazy).

  • 1st row – 1 DMG or MP dodge
  • 2nd row – MP tackle or MP 1 DMG with dodge
  • 3rd row – 2 DMG or 1 MP damage and 1 GB result
  • 4th row – dodge/push or MP 2 damage and dodge
  • 5th row – 3 DMG or 2 DMG and 1 GB result
  • 6th row – 3 DMG and dodge
  • 7th row – 4 DMG or 3 DMG and 1 GB result

The important things to note here are that there is DMG results in all seven of the columns and 3 out of 5 momentous results cause damage and all of the momentous results occur in the first 4 columns. Oh, I forgot to mention it. Chisel is another 2″ melee mason. So with Brick and Mallet, believe me, you can really go to town.

Plays

Sadism – costs 1 INF and is a 4″ aura. Anytime an enemy model takes damage (from any source) she gains 1 HP. So your team can be belting away at your opponent which will heal her after she deliberately drops below 6 hp for her bonuses.

Feel My Pain – costs 1 Guild Ball, this is an interesting one;

If you get it off which you want to really, any time the model that it is on, attacks her, they take 2 damage. This is important as I have read it as even if they miss, they will take the 2 damage, which, if sadism is up (which it should be as it should be the very first thing you are doing) means you are being healed by them attempting to hit you. Very filthy!

Overall

She hits herself hard but then hits the enemy even harder and against anything but Butchers she will be healing almost as fast as the enemy can damage her!!!

Now onto some tactic thoughts..

Ok then, I am giving away a very powerful tactic that if people are not watching for it, will wreck a player in the first turn. Now it is possible with a bit of luck, to take out 2 players first turn…

For those that have regularly played this and fallen victim to it (generally, will get them the first time but not the second) it is possible to take out a player and score in the first turn with masons. Some say it leaves flint vulnerable but he is generally ok, especially if you have drawn knee slider in your plot cards.

Superior Strategy Mallet. Gives him a second activation which can get him in combat first turn. Oh and tool him up. Thats always good for a giggle on the charge 😉 Flint just bombs forward getting into football legend range and does his thing, etc, etc. Also use your legendary in the first turn to get enough INF to get it to all work, 6 INF mallet is a scary prospect.

Now Chisel has been thrown into the mix, it opens up a few more options.

This is a big opening play and you can get caught out by those movement gits that run around and there are a lot of them.

If you get the option. KICK. Kick with Mallet, he should then be nicely far enough forward to charge ASAP. Superior strategy Chisel, if you think you might not be far enough forward, sacrifice some influence on mallet and deck out Honour so she can quick time him. Hopefully you shouldnt have to though.

Step 1 – Charge with mallet, if fully loaded he can cause a ton of damage on the charge and if lucky enough to wrap around (which does happen rather a lot I found) take singled out! This is important. Very, very important. You should always be looking to single someone out here if not take them out If you think you can.

Step 2 – Move Chisel into position.

Step 3 – Activate Sadism. Go crazy and charrrrge! If Mallet has not taken someone out then charge his target or if you feel confident you will win next turn, hopefully mallet is engaging two players with his 2″ melee, engage another player, as long as they are singled out. You are unlikely by this time to be below 6 health, if you are, oh well, what a pity nevermind. With Mallets assist, singled out, crazy and the charge you are at 14 TAC. With painful rage it’s 16 and extra damage. without the charge, it’s still 10 or 12 TAC. Generate momentum and laugh at your opponent as 2 out of the 3 big hitters on masons are now amongst his team holding him up and hitting or buying time for flint to nab the ball and score next turn.

Want another cheeky little tactic? Oh go on then, Brick. Brick is rather good now.

This is a simple one but effective and very good at protecting Chisel and Mallet. Just advance him forward, he should be round about the right range to counter charge.
Oh, did we all forget about the dodges on her playbook? That’s right, after healing herself up with momentum and hitting things, she can dodge away and into Bricks protection.

Thats just a bit on my thoughts on her, but I play a very distinct style of Masons, being the greatest Guild there is, there are many many more options. (I personally don’t like the look of Tower and not too keen on him as a player, but there is potential there for taking Chisels damage on himself.)

Chisel, despite first appearances, is actually a tough nut to crack, she can make herself go bonkers by taking damage and then heal it all back up instantly.

The future is bright. The future is Masontastic!

Sorry he seems to be suggesting masons are the best how wrong he is

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Building the Masons – Tower

The final man out of the dugout for the Masons, the man known as Tower, who can actually be a better bodyguard than Brick for half the size.

Stats

Mov – At 5”/8” he is one of the quicker Masons and can easily keep up with everyone.

Tac – 5 is average for most players so nothing to exciting to say other than he does like a knocked down model as well..

Kick – At 3/6” is pretty good, he does make a decent kicker of the ball, obviously the bonuses with Masons makes this better still. So he does make an OK goal threat but perhaps that 6” isn’t as high as need be to be full blow goal scoring maniac.

Def – 3+ is once again the standard Masons Defensive Line. Nothing more to say really, he is pretty easy to hit so always remember Defensive Stance.

Arm – 2 Arm is standard for Masons it seems, does make it pretty easy for him to shrug off big hits even with his less than average DEF. As always remember there is plenty out there than laughs at ARM even at 2.

Inf – The very standard 2/4 for Masons is present again. Whether you max him out will very much depend on his position on the pitch and the terrain (see plays). But a couple of swings with his hammer can get the job done nicely.

Character Traits

Knockback – This is a really interesting ability as it more or less grants a push/dodge playbook result regardless of the actual results you get. Admittedly you can’t use it to redeploy Tower but if he hits 4 times that’s 4” he has pushed a model out-of-the-way which is a big way of removing a threat from the anywhere on the board.

Floored – This grants +2 TAC when swinging against knock downed targets. Puts his TAC into the captain level and with the access the likes of Brick has it should be easy to have ‘on’ a lot of the time.

Heroic Play

Protect Those Close – Friendly models that are within the aura gain Sturdy, so ignore the first Knock down result. Like his character play he is about boosting his mates DEF indirectly as this ensures they don’t suffer anymore from their naturally low DEF.

Playbook

A great playbook to have as he can easily generate momentum as it all occurs in the first 3 columns. Which means just 1 hit will be generating you momentum. Easy access to a momentous tackle as well (at 2) is very nice to have on any model that has reasonable KICK stat. His damage output isn’t huge (outside of Tooled up) but he also has access to Knockdown as well (so self-boosting himself). The reposition possibilities on top of the knockback trait means he is a better bulldozer than Brick in many cases with possible 3” push and 1” dodge for Tower can free him up easily for a kick at goal or another player.

Plays

Tooled Up – Costs 1 INF, seen before in most factions, letting a model gain +1 DMG to their hits is going to help so models more than others. The likes of Chisel, Mallet and the captains are all going to enjoy this to a certain extent.

Defend the Ground – Costs 1 INF, once the AoE is on the board any friendly model may use defensive stance for free. This means with a faction with a lot of 3+ DEF suddenly dealing with those charges are a little bit more favourable on top of the ARM as well. Great little ability but placement shows your hand a little unless you use it as a swerve..

Overall

He is a very effective Defender both for the team and the ball. He can hurt knocked down models while also being able to ensure the enemy have to really really work to take a model out. Is he a goal scorer? I am not sure knowing the range some players can threaten but he can certainly get the ball where you want it to be.

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