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Crowding Out: Guild Ball Guild Identities Blacksmiths
A Little Late
Hey all sorry this one was late. Not feeling super great. Plus side is I'll knock a bunch of these out today so I'll be ahead of the 8 ball.
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Blacksmiths: Passing the Mantle
Passing the Mantle
I am having a terrible time ranking these Identities -- which is great for Blacksmiths. No longer do you have to pick between your three options for a captain, you can just change it up in the middle of the game. Pop Ferrite for a first turn goal and the bonus movement to get your team further up the field and switch to defense with Anvil, or take a bigger swing with Furnace. Or save the speed for later, whatever you get to swap Captains mid game!
Popping 2 full power Legendary Plays is great but I think the part of this that is going to get overlooked is the ability to change up who gets that extra +0/+2 INF. If your opponent is seasoned they have to try and play the game knowing that you change who is getting the big stack before anyone moves, going first means you could use this to get Furnace to pretty reliably do 11-12 damage or Anvil to do about 8. With back to back activations those are both fairly threatening. I'm not saying Ferrite wouldn't be a good option to switch to mid game but I think when this card is in play she will be the starter and leave the rest of the game to Anvil and Furnace.
I'd play this into: Masons, Alchemists, Engineers, Corsair Fish, Blackheart Union, and Morticians. The card is great against teams that are able to switch up their path to victory between goals and takeouts since it lets you adjust and react when need be. You have Anvil around to tank for a turn and still have your pick between to also awesome choices.
I'd avoid this into: Brewers, Butchers, and Farmers. I really feel like the other two options are a greater boon against teams that want to knock you down and focus on take outs. That isn't to say this is a bad pick it just feels suboptimal in these match ups in my opinion.
Blacksmiths: Strike Right Here
Strike Right Here
Again the Blacksmiths seemingly have no bad pick. Strike right here lets you capitalize on what you are probably doing anyway. If everything went according to plan this could effectively make a Blacksmiths team a 4 takeout team. The downside is sledge charges are more than likely going to harder to pull of with your opponent being fully aware of how you want your points. Beater teams will also do their best to eat Apprentices for lunch since they are the real threat on the team.
Into a football team I think Furnace would get my pick to negate the little bit of armor they probably have. Into beaters I think Anvil gets the tap for the tough hide to tank long enough (hopefully) to get numbers on your side. Realistically I think I see this being more of a way to bring Blacksmiths to a 1 goal 3 takeout path to victory. Planning on getting all 4 of your takeouts this way will likely lead you to disappointment if your opponent isn't fairly inexperienced since staying out of 1 of 2 threat ranges isn't exactly rocket science. An inadvertent boost here is the possibility of forcing your opponent to prefer a do if their counter attack is weak if only to get you out of a Master's melee zone.
I would take this into: Farmers, Hunters, Rage Union, and Alchemists. Farmers and Hunters aren't super quick nor do they have a ton of movement shenanigans in the way of free dodges. Farmers are also probably bringing Spirit of Cooperation and assuming Windle gets his 4 point take out you are going to want something to help catch up. Rage Union is fairly one dimensional, 2" melee might be frustrating but they are playing your game by coming to you. Alchemists probably aren't bringing chemical resistance so the extra VPs will help offset their buffed range damage or VPs for putting out AOEs.
I'd avoid this into: Butchers, Corsair Fish, and probably Engineers. Butchers are still going to swing for the fences and there is good chance they are taking one of the required models for your set up off the board. Corsair Fish are likely to be packing Hag and you only have 1 Master with a 2" melee zone which isn't even safe if she pops a legendary. A mountain of defensive tech, a tooled up and deletion Pin Vice or controller, or the buffed Balista gun line is not a favorable matchup either.
Blacksmiths: Tough as Nails
Tough as Nails
The biggest advantage Tough as Nails brings tot the table is the HR4 it possesses. While the others up to this point have been HR3 going ahead of the curve with a team that is already not fun to swing at is powerful in its own right. The bonus armor you gain is effectively a lost die for the opponent. Against Anvil it is guaranteed to cancel out the extra die and on Ferrite and Furnace it is even more potent since you don't automatically surrender a die on knockdowns. Granted it is only until the end of the current activation but again the draw for this card is the Healing rate.
The safe pick, higher HR cards really don't leave as much room for discussion since they are so cut and dry. I think this is a great pick into smash teams but that is how you are supposed to feel.
I'd take this into: Butchers, Corsair Fish, and Brewers. These teams want to brawl and you should be pretty well suited to fight them. HR4 is something none of them want to see on a team that is keeping them from the top of their playbook or making their knock downs less effective. Corsair Fish don't have a ton of knockdowns but the few they do are fairly low.
I'd avoid this into: Engineers, Alchemists, Shark Fish, and Morticians. These teams have relatively few knockdowns or, in the case of Engineers, have them higher on playbooks. You don't really have to worry about their damage output as much as they have to worry about yours either which makes the healing less effective. Alchemist Identities are really centered around conditions so healing will be less attractive that clearing conditions.