In the second in a series of articles about the early game (the first being Kick Off!, I’m now going to look at who may be a good choice to go and collect the ball and how to generate crucial early momentum.
The thought process behind collecting the ball in turn 1 is somewhat similar to that as to who kick’s off. You need to consider which area of the pitch the ball is in, what you are planning on doing with the ball once you have it and who you want to collect it. However, you are restricted to a degree in that some players may not be able to get to the ball, e.g. if someone us on the left wing and the ball has been kicked to the right one.
I’ll now go through some of my thoughts as to who is a good player to retrieve the ball in different situations, but once again I’m not experienced with some teams so any comments are gratefully received.
Midas is a possibility to collect the ball from the kick, he has enough movement to collect the ball and pass it back to a team mate to generate early momentum. It’s puts him in position to use True Replication early depending on the opponents deployment, especially if the kicker has something he wants. He also has enough defensive abilities with Unpredictable Movement and Clone to survive until backup arrives. He is probably more useful if the ball has been kicked centrally rather than to the wings.
Mercury and Calculus are also possibles as they can set up ‘defensive’ AOEs (Fire and Noxious Blast) to either force the opponent to go round or through and suffer the conditions. Again probably more use centrally and they wouldn’t normally be my first choice.
Vitriol is useful to get the ball back from wide areas. Her movement is high enough to either retrieve the ball and retreat back and pass to a central area (generating momentum) or to move forward and go defensive with Clone.
Friday is a good retriever as she has high Mov and Kick as well as Shadow Like. Get Over Here! is also useful to drag Scum forward to give her an additional target to pass to to gain early momentum, it also potentially puts her in position to use Dirty Knives.
Stave is also useful going early as he can get Lob Barrel off on the kicker, which is especially useful if they have decided to kick off from a wing, potentially knocking them off the board (don’t let this happen to you, it’s very embarrassing).
Mash is another possibility with his reasonable Mov, Kick and Super Shot to generate momentum or Long Bomb if you need to move the ball to another area of the pitch. It’s also useful to get him to trigger Unpredictable Movement early to get him closer to the enemy goal.
Boiler is a possibility as he is fast with a reasonable Kick as well as being able to add Marked Target to the Kicker allowing the rest of the team to swamp them for a potential early take-out.
Brisket is a great choice with her high Mov, high Kick, Unpredictable Movement, Charmed [Male], Super Shot and Dirty Knives.
Shank is another great choice with high Mov, reasonable Kick and Where’d They Go? to either retrieve the ball or move into a better position for next turn.
Ballista is a possibility with a good Mov, reasonable Kick as well as Deadbolt to knock the kicker down and push them back as well as Second Wind to manoeuvre at the end his activation.
Salvo is another option with good Mov, reasonable Kick as well as Kick Bolt and Floored Bolt to target the kicker with Swift Strikes to reposition.
Velocity has good Mov and Kick as well as enough defensive abilities with Close Control and Nimble to spoil anyone’s day. Particularly good collecting the ball from out wide.
Colossus is also someone else to consider, although he does divide opinion. He has a good Mov and reasonable Kick and is the bane of many an opponents Strikers with Smashed Shins.
Shark, the one man team, has enough movement tricks to get the all and put it where he wants, so is definitely someone to consider getting the ball early.
Angel is another great option with her high Mov and Kick as well as Super Shot to pass the ball to generate early momentum and Nimble to up her Def.
Greyscales is another good option with his good Mov, reasonable Kick and Where’d They Go! as well as Unpredicatble Movement, and Decoy to keep him safe.
Jac is also possible with his high Mov, reasonable Kick and Get Over Here to move Salt up for an early pass (See the otter does have a use!) to generate momentum.
Sakana is also another possibility with his High Mov (particularly with Smoke Bomb/ Cover of Darkness) and Kick, with Poised being a useful defensive or offensive ability.
As you can see the Fish have a lot of options.
Honour is a definitely a possibility (especially if Harmony is in the team too), with her high Mov and reasonable Kick coupled with Quick Time to move support up the pitch, Responsive play to give you offensive and defensive options as well as Linked to allow you two consecutive activations if harmony is on the pitch too.
Flint (as with anything else in life) is the first person you should look to, with his high Mov, high Kick, Super Shot and Where’d they go? he can pretty much go anywhere and do anything – a great retriever of the ball. charmed [Male] is also very effective.
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Brick is also a slightly unorthodox choice as he has reasonable Mov with a slightly underwhelming Kick, but it does put him in position for a Turn 1 Counter Charge or at least stops your opponent advancing as far as they may have wanted to.
Obulus may be a good choice for your first activation if he is in a position to get the opponents Kicker in range to Puppet Master them forward to allow him to get into melee range. He should then be able to generate a lot of momentum, and if you manage to get the KD your opponent won’t be able to clear the condition with Momentum (as they haven’t got any yet), so they either have to activate the kicker first and still stay in melee range of Obulus or risk to activating them and having another Mortician beat on them when they are KDed next activation.
Silence is a good choice to get the ball as he has good (for a Mortician) Mov and Kick stats as well as Tucked and Shutout to try and control your opponents activation order. Embalming fluid can be used to control the ground to prevent your opponent engaging Silence directly.
I’m a fan of activating Casket first (when he plays) as his Mov and Kick are fairly reasonable and he has enough defensive abilities (Tough Hide, Reanimate, Ghostly Visage and Heavy Burden) to cause your opponents problems, as well as Foul Odour to disrupt a fairly substantial area of the pitch.
Bonesaw also needs to be considered with his high Mov and Kick to retrieve the ball as well as Offensive Defence benefiting him more if he activates early.
Blackheart should be considered with his fairly good Mov and Kick stats (and Shadow Like) as well as allowing him to get Commanding Aura up early.
Decimate should be high on your list with her high Mov good kick and Second Wind, she’s a great retriever allowing you to move the ball to where you want it to be.
Gutter is another option with high Mov and good kick and Chain grab allows you to isolate the opponents kicker quickly too.
Mist is very much like Flint in that he can go where he likes and do what he wants with his high Mov, high kick, Cover of Darkness and Where’d They Go?
Snakeskin is another good choice with high Mov good Kick (and Shadow Like) as well as enough defensive abilities (Charmed, Nimble and Clone) to cause your opponents some real headaches.
Fangtooth also needs to be considered as he is great at controlling the centre of the field and Gluttonous Mass offers great protection until support arrives.
As you can see form the above all of the Guilds have a number of options for who to activate at the beginning of turn 1 to retrieve the ball, as well as generating crucial early momentum.
Once again, please let me know any thoughts you have as some of this is form watching opponents rather than my own experience.
Until next time sports fans!