Last Saturday, I played at the inaugural Carolina Regional Guildball tournament. It was a tough decision, but I decided to bring my Masons led by Hammer instead of Honour about two weeks before the event. I’ve started to feel like Superior Strategy was a crutch that was preventing me from learning and getting better at the game. Also, I think the sculpt for Hammer is amazing, and I’m not a big fan of the “stripper-pole” retail Honour sculpt.
Hammer is an all your eggs in one basket kind of guy. He regularly uses 7-9 of your influence every turn (sometimes 10 if you count tooled up). If he fails to produce, the rest of the team usually doesn’t have enough gas in the tank to get much done. I’ve found focusing on scoring goals to be far more effective than chasing people around and beating them up. Spending 7-8 influence on a single activation only to yield two points just doesn’t get you to twelve fast enough.
Hammer is the centerpiece activation of my team every turn. If I mess his activation up, the whole team falls apart. And since this was my first time playing on a clock, boy oh boy did I mess it up. Continue on faithful reader to learn how I failed on almost every single Hammer activation I took on Saturday.
Round 1 vs Gavin’s Hunters
I’ve never played with or against the Hunters before, and Gavin had maybe a handful of games with them, but he was really savvy overall player. I barely eked out the victory and it was mostly due to my hot dice. #SaluteShowDice!
Hammer casually killed Theron on turn 1 after Gavin moved him too close (this will likely never happen again), however his placement of Jaecar caused me to leave Mist too far back and Hammer ended up starting turn 2 more than four inches away from any of his teammates. Awkward. When I finally did get a battery (teammate) into range of Hammer, I completely flubbed the activation.
Hammer attacked Haerne, who had the ball. My intent was to tackle the ball and beat him back into range of the goal and score. But I wasn’t paying attention to the fact that he was going to counter attack, so I tackled the ball. Hearne knocked Hammer down, the ball scattered to Ygrit and I panicked and just did some chip damage to Hearne because time was counting down. All of the Hunters proceeded to come in on a snared, gut and strung, and knocked down Hammer with a QUADRA-wrap from the mascot finally killing him.
I ended up somehow still winning the game with a Mist goal, followed by a Flint goal, followed by a tooled up, iron-fisted Hammer taking Hearne down from full health with influence to spare. #JustHammerThings Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
Round 2 vs Brian’s Butchers
I received and scored a first turn goal with Mist, who was promptly murdered during turn 2. I tried to kill a tough-skinned Boiler with Hammer on my first activation of turn 2, but when Hammer left him on 3 life I knew I was in trouble. Even with Ox out of position for The Owner, Hammer went down on turn 3. I tried for a desperation Flint goal, but I missed and the ball ended up 1 inch from the edge of the board prompting my concession.
I could have had Marbles tool up Hammer before sending him into Boiler to greatly increase the odds of the take out. I had plenty of time to set it up because Brick was threatening a counter charge Also, charging into Boiler was a bad idea as defensive stance worked out really well for him. I could have stolen another influence for Punishing March and walked into melee instead.
Round 3 vs Dave’s Alchemists
I scored a first turn goal with Flint, which was immediately answered by Midas. I kicked the ball back out to Hammer, charged, and used knock back on Calculus to get into scoring range, opting for the goal over the final 3 points of damage to Calculus. My Mist missed a shot on goal, but Hammer ended the game by finishing off Calculus, then Vitriol next turn. #JustHammerThings
Round 4 vs Jason’s Alchemists
I started off strong with Hammer getting the take out on Mercury who went to pick up the ball. Midas scored a goal on his last activation, and I picked up the kickout with Flint on my last activation. I him ran up and passed the ball to Hammer, then dodged within 4 inches. Hammer started off turn 2 by taking out Flask and scoring a goal, and this is where I made my big mistake. I left Hammer engaged with Compound rather than spending the momentum from the goal to dodge away. Hammer ended up stuck on Compound until the game ended.
Jason played the Home Crowd plot card so I couldn’t safely attack Compound without getting knocked down. I failed to gain momentum from attacking Midas or Vitriol and couldn’t get Hammer disengaged. I ended up attacking Compound and getting countered, knocked down, and losing all of Hammer’s influence. Midas and Decimate scored while Hammer was busy taking a nap next to Compound.
I ended the day at 2-2, and overall I had a great time. Most of my opponent’s were super nice and made playing a joy. I learned a lot about Guild Ball, a lot about Hammer, and a lot about playing on the clock. After this experience, I’m definitely investing in a chess clock for my regular game night so I can get used to playing on the timer. The experience was a perfect 5/7. Would play again.