The Masons are considered as one of the starting Guilds, being a part of the Kick-Off set. Steamforged has said that the Masons are able to go for any game plan, but master of none. Also that they’ll be able to adapt to any situation within the game itself; basically thé 2-2 team, that can swap to a 3-0 or 1-4 game plan on the fly.
Since the start of season 4, the Masons have been hanging around the absolute middle of the pack at 48.8% with a standard deviation of 2.4%. Again, 50% is within the interval, so it seems that they’re nicely balanced within the grand scheme of things. But what does the internal Guild balance look like?
First of all, let’s see what the 4.1 patch has done for them. Between the start of season 4 and the 4.1 patch, they were at a 47% win rate; Hammer at 48.6% and Honour at 44.0%. Since 4.1, and the arrival of Corbelli, they’ve jumped up towards 50.8%; mostly due to Corbelli at 59.3%, but Hammer has also seen some growth at 52.2%. Honour has sadly fallen to the absolute bottom at 27.1%! (I have actually never seen a captain drop below 30%…) Look at the GhostDeer index below to see the enormous gap in between the Mason captains.
So, while the Corbelli/Hammer duo has done great things for the team within the game itself, it seems that Honour would need a full rework to be able to compete with any of the other teams.
As expected, the Mason coaches have decided that they don’t have a fixed game plan. It depends on the opponent, on how the game progresses, on which captain and squaddies have been chosen, etc. The definition of the opportunistic team. The captain dependency comes from Hammer being more take-out focused, while Corbelli brings more scoring potential.
The goal-centric aspect seems to stem from Corbelli being the ‘main man’ at the moment, and maybe due to the fact that the Guild is more goal-focused than their fellow ‘starter Guild’, the Brewers.
We’ve not seen this type of chart since the Butchers edition of the Breakdown. It seems that Corbelli’s power level seems to be very much higher than either of the other options.
Corbelli is given almost 60% of the votes, which is understandable. He has been shredding up the ladder, almost at a 60% win rate, and has already won the Masons some tournaments without needing to flex to either Honour or Hammer. What needs to be said about this captain, what hasn’t already been said? 5/8″ KICK, momentous 2 on 2, 2” melee zone, 8” sprint with Acrobatics, Where’d They Go for friends for only 1 influence at 8”, Close Control, 3+/2 defensive stats, a legendary that auto-steals a ball without needing to roll at 6” distance. And of course the most important part of his card: whenever he’s on the field, passes can cause 4” dodges for any model (OPT per model). Corbelli passes to Flint for a snapshot, and at the same time Mallet dodges out of an unfavourable scrum. Or Flint is engaged and can first dodge himself out of engagement before the pass connects for the snapshot. The possibilities are limitless. The fact that (with Tower and vChisel) he can also just deal an easy 24 damage with 6 momentum at 8” is just bonkers…
Hammer gets just over 30% of the votes, and this is mostly attributed to the strength of the Hammer Prison game plan. Hammer can buff himself up to a 9” sprint and, with the Knockback trait, can taxi almost any model towards his own team for loads of crowd outs. Having an excellent counter-attack, Stoic and Tough Hide gives him the durability to be that frontline model. Also, because of this ‘prison’ style, the enemy team has to come to you to deal with it (or not, if they’re a goal based team). This is where his Legendary comes in, buffing all of his squad mates when they activate within 6” of him. If they come at you, you pick the +1 damage buff and just break their charge apart. If they try to go around you, you pick the +2”/+2” MOV buff and are most likely able to reach them and bash their brains in. Add to that his 3/8″ KICK, giving Hammer a native 17” goal threat, and there’s a very nice ‘defensive’ style captain to complement Corbelli’s more aggressive playstyle.
And then there’s Honour… Ouch… 27% win rate in 4.1. What happened to the First Lady of Guild Ball? Better call her Last Lady now… Looking at her card, I immediately see some traces from her season 1-2 days, which haven’t aged well. First of all, Quick Time being a 2” dodge for 2 influence on a 4” range is quite the insult when looking at Corbelli’s Dummy Pass, which is a 4” dodge for 1 influence on an 8” range. The only difference is that Quick Time can also be used on Honour herself, but Corbelli also has Acrobatics, so whereas Honour can give a 2” dodge to 1 person for 2 influence, Corbelli can give himself a 2” dodge ánd someone else a 4” dodge for the same cost. Also, she and her sister Harmony share the Linked trait, but Harmony has been considered as one of the weakest models in the Guild at the moment, so it feels like a ‘dead trait’. Getting Assist from Marbles is also quite nice, but due to Brick’s melee zone nerf and him thereafter falling out of favour, Marbles has not seen much play lately. So that’s another ‘dead trait’. The rest of her card is actually quite nice, and Superior Strategy or Topping Out! can be a definite game changer. I actually think Honour doesn’t need much, but her synergetic friends do. If Brick, Marbles and Harmony get reworked, Honour might definitely see some better win rates.
The chart shows a clear victory for Wrecker over Marbles.
As I stated in the above section about Honour, Marbles has fallen away quite a lot. Without Brick by his side, he basically is a Goad bot with Loved Creature. While this still is quite strong, it requires the Mason coach to invest influence into him, and most likely a momentum as well for Bonus Timing the Goad. In a Guild where there are quite a lot of influence hungry models, this might make allocation quite the problem. One thing I would change? I agree with Vincent Curkov on this one: make Go Ape based on proximity to Honour, not to Brick. This way you buff two models at the same time.
Wrecker on the other hand basically needs no influence. Jogging 8” with Battering Ram for free means free pushes on your or your opponent’s models. Pushing your lines up, breaking up an unfavourable scrum, being an absolute nightmare to opposing strikers. And this for 0 influence cost; amazing. Sure, Marbles’ Goad might have a far stronger impact on the game, but it needs to hit, and Wrecker’s toolkit gives him way more diversity.
Wow. This is awesome. 8 out of 10 squaddies have received votes for this position. Only Brick and Harmony are left out. The absolute winners of the team are Veteran Chisel, Granite and Flint.
Veteran Chisel brings quite a lot of utility to the team. Handing out an Assist for a damage buff via Squad Tactics, being able to move around influence from one model to another via her Adaptive Strategy trait, and being able to suffer a condition to protect another model via Take one for the Team; it’s obvious to see why she’s loved as much as she is. Add to that a 3+/2 defensive statline, a threat range of 10” through her 8” jog and 2” melee zone, a momentous tackle result on her first column and momentous 2 on 2, ánd she has a decent kickstat of 3/6”. A perfect all-rounder, playable with any of the Mason captains, mostly due to Adaptive Strategy. Masons are a team that wants to be able to switch gears on the fly, and Adaptive Strategy allows that playstyle as no other.
Next up is Granite. She is thé tar-pit model for the Masons. 2” melee zone on a 40mm base with an easily reachable KD, giving extra crowd outs via Close Ranks, movement hampering via Broken Earth, and out of activation mobility via Between a Rock… . Besides being an annoying model for the opposing team to play around, she also brings quite some setup for take-outs with her easy to reach KD and follow up with Gut & String, allowing for a -2 DEF debuff, which should result in massive damage. She likes to be played alongside Veteran Harmony, as BaR also triggers on Team Player. Example: Corbelli is attacked, Veteran Harmony (within 4” of Corbelli) takes the damage via Team Player, Granite (within 4” of Veteran Harmony) can now make a free jog via BaR, and can now crowd out the model that has been attacking Corbelli for -2 dice via Close Ranks.
Lastly, it’s Flint. His reason on the pitch might be linear, but that’s very deceiving. Obviously, he scores goals. Having a native non-linear 20” threat on goal with 4 dice is great, but this can be increased to 28” by Corbelli, which is AMAZING. Basically, if Flint is anywhere within 16” of the goal and Corbelli has the ball, Flint should be able to score a snapshot. A tap-in snapshot if within 12” of the goal! Also, due to him being Close Control and having a momentous tackle result on 1, he can also retrieve the ball quite nicely. Lastly, due to his massive speed, he might even be used to kill the ball. Let the opponent chase him, while you’re clobbering his other models. These last two uses also make him valuable to play with Hammer, as that team can then readily switch between a 2-2 or 1-4 game plan.
Looking at the previous answers, these results were to be expected. Honour, Brick and Harmony are the ‘easy drops’ from the roster. With the Masons not having access to a Minor Guild yet, it seems that Snakeskin and, to a lesser extent, Minx are also considered.
With a Guild roster of 15 players, 3 have to be dropped. It seems that Honour and Harmony are easy, but the third drop is flexed between Brick, Lucky and Snakeskin. This is nothing new.
I’m actually glad to see that Honour, although she has received some votes, has not been favorited as the least valuable model on the team. The ‘honours’ go towards Harmony, Brick and Lucky.
Harmony has been granted 50% of the votes, therefore chosen as absolute worst model in the team. Her dependence on the Family trait to do SOMETHING is absolutely backbreaking. TAC 3 with a 6-column long playbook, 2/6” kick; simply pushing her out of 8” of Honour makes her even less impactful than a mascot. I do like the Family trait though. I myself would totally overhaul her playbook; give her TAC 4 with a 4-column long playbook, and make it a TAC 6 if she plays alongside Honour. If Rivet can do it to her entire team with no limiting distance factor, why shouldn’t this be able for these sisters? I’d keep her first column as is, move the momentous Guild Ball token to the second column, keep the third column as is, and put a T<< and a 3 damage result on the fourth column. Make the fourth column non-momentous, and you’re done. Maybe even increase her base kick stat to 3/6” and no change when Honour’s around; make it fully dependent on just her TAC stat, which makes it easier to balance in the long run. The rest of the card is quite nice. Would you agree with my idea?
Brick has actually only seen one change from season 3 to season 4: his melee zone was nerfed from 2” to 1”. While this might not seem like that much of a nerf, the real problem lies in the huge increase in threat ranges in season 4. Nowadays, it’s quite easy to keep Brick occupied by engaging him with a 2” model, while you’re out doing your thing. With the absence of pushes on Brick’s playbook, he’ll never be able to disengage from a 2” model except for knocking them down. And his KD is positioned on the third column, which he needs help reaching as he only has 5 TAC dice. Also, being a 2+/2 with 1” melee zone and Tough Hide, he can be quite the momentum farm for the opponent when overextended. At this moment, I have no clear idea on how to fix Brick, but I have one idea: rework him into being a bruiser and take away Counter Charge. I’m thinking Sledge’s Powerful Charge, I’m thinking upping his influence cap to 4. He at least needs a playbook change, as it needs loads of pushes. Bring him up to 5”/7” MOV and add an ARM to his defensive stats, or keep the 2+/2 and 4”/6” but at least give him his 2” melee zone back. I’m just spitting ideas here. Do you guys have any?
I actually like Lucky for being another model with a momentous KD, but mostly having access to a momentous 3 damage result; to only one in the Masons. With Mallet and Granite in the team, Lucky should be able to deal at least 12 momentous damage, while also being influence efficient, bringing condition clearing, and having a cheeky 4” dodge for free using Raise the Stakes. Sure, the opponent can also dodge 4”, but it’ll give you a take-out, a goal, or even win you the game, who cares? 8” sprint, momentous 2 on 2, momentous tackle, 3/6” kick. Actually, the only thing I’d change is upping his health from 14 to 15 or 16. The Masons and Brewers are known to be ‘durable models’, so why are i.e. Salvo and Spade more durable than Lucky? The problem Lucky has, is that the Masons team is already stacked with decent-to-good allround models. I feel he’s receiving way more flak than he should be. Thoughts?
So there’s that. In my opinion, the in-Guild balance for the Masons is actually pretty good, if not for a small foursome of models. Honour, Marbles, Harmony, Brick, and I feel that Honour doesn’t need much. I’d say that reworks to the latter three might propel all four of them back into the lists, and that the Masons will find that they have quite the luxury problem. Certainly when the Minor Guild is rolled out as well!