I’ll just come out and say it; I have never liked Hammer. I always found his threats a bit too linear, and (certainly before the buff) his Heroic play lackluster. In addition I found he was often too easily over exposed, and I was too much in love with the Honour / Harmony Linked fun-times to choose anyone else.
But, I hear you ask….“So Andrew, why mention Hammer at all? Also, why blog post about it…..and why are you still writing in italics?”.
Well, all good questions, gentle reader, good questions all. The problem is, the way I feel about Honour, and the way I play her, is that her team selection is pretty much done for her. As such, there seems to be little in the way of pick and counter play and all that part of the game which is apparently worth a go.
So, my normal Honour 6 is…
1 flex pick (who am I kidding, it’s almost always Mallet)
So…..basically the box from the Kick Off boxed set. Nice to see how competitive it is, right? You could crack out the models, not even paint them, go to a tourney, and smash people with your lovely blue bits of plastic!
Thing is, I am finding it a little dull (and I don’t smash face as often as this new player mentioned above, damn his eyes). I fancy seeing other models, trying out new line ups, meet new opponents, and then smash their face in with a hammer.
Hammer then…..his team seems to have more flexibility. At least (gasp!) two flex picks! Who do I think is essential in a Hammer line up?
I can’t see ever leaving the double counter charge pair at home. If anything, goad on Marbles can be totally ball–breaking, and is a very hard counter to a lot of movement shenanigans that can be seen. Same goes for Brick, though I can see him not being taken in a lineup like Shark-led Fishermen where he often sees his counter charge negated and then danced around by a bunch of spear-waving football players.
It is worth noting at this point that this article really isn’t a tactics one per se, as I have nowhere near enough Hammer games to write one….and so I would really appreciate any comments about this article, and suggestions pointing me to where I am wrong
She seems pretty close to an auto-pick for me. Marked target can be a superb way to catch people out with threat ranges, assuming you have the momentum to Bonus Time it. It can also be used in some clutch plays too, like busting open Gluttonous Mass or Fear before the captain goes in to smash face. Also, Team Player seems utterly busted….giving Hammer (and the rest of the team nearby, I guess) 10 more HP means anyone coming in to one-shot him will have a darn tough time trying it….it also means you can effectively double heal Hammer, as you can heal both him and Harmony. Finally, Smelling Saltscan help shake any condition which is slowing you down or draining momentum.
So yeah…she seems very useful. I can see her being less useful in teams that really don’t care about hurting you, or ones whose damage output isn’t hugely high. Also, as she wants to be within 4″ of Hammer, it could lead to you all being tucked in the centre of the pitch.
Protect Those Close is pure money into teams with a lot of knockdown, obviously. Tooled Up seems good for teams with a lot of Tough Hide or HP….other than that, I don’t think Hammer needs a damage boost as Iron Fist can get a lot of work done, and the activation cost for a Tooled Up can be prohibitive.
So, to me, he seems like a super useful utility piece, but not an auto-include.
It is hard to leave the boy toy out of any 6 person lineup. Hammer has good goal threat, but is relatively linear, and Where did they go? can reach places nowhere else can. To me, at least, he has a lot more value when you receive as you can threaten two back-to-back goals at the bottom of turn 1 / top of turn 2, which can really affect their ball positioning.
One thing I have found about Flint is that, with Hammer, he has to be more careful about any turn 1 goal, as without the crutch of Superior Strategy he has to probably give and go after receiving the ball, which burns up some momentum and is more reliant on kick dice rolls being successful. He also hates some line ups that contain any fighty females…and one thing you realise when you play Flint is that there are a lot of them….Decimate, Gutter, Fillet, Scalpel, even Vet Brisket can rearrange the poor lad’s face.
So, almost an auto-include, though I would have second thoughts about taking him when I kick, especially when the players above are there. That said, good positioning can help with some of it.
Singled Out is a great set-up play, his 2″ reach and 3″ reach on his activation is golden. I even find Smashed Shins great on a counter attack if he is holding the ball as a way to deter a goal attempt. Also, a Singled Out followed by a knock down is relatively reliable a and a good way to crowd control.
Yeah, I love Mallet. I almost always take Mallet.
So, with these musings, recently I tried out the following line-up against Fillet.
I received, scored a quick Flint turn 1 goal, and then Flint darted away to get within the Veteran Harmony Team Player bubble and avoid the wrath of the butchers captain. To cut a long story short, after the goal was scored I didn’t see the ball for a long time. The team I took was good in the scrum, had great amounts of damage and resilience, but as it had to all operate close to each other once Flint scored a goal he had to get taken out to reposition to be near the ball again.
The scrum fight was one that I eventually won, but what if I didn’t? It might be a play-style thing, but I felt like I was completely missing someone else on the other wing.
So…..it’s time to kick away that crutch and not use Mallet. I love the guy, but with Hammer, Veteran Harmony, Brick and Marbles in the centre nearby, it feels a bit like a season 1 brewers death-ball. I need someone who can threaten the wing, get the ball, and do some fighting, and look pretty whilst doing it. I need…
She feels like the perfect fit for this lineup. Second Wind seems great to start a fight if everyone is being cagey, as Hammer can go in, make someone regret their life choices, and run away again. She can threaten the ball on the other side to Flint, and get momentum easily. I love Decimate.
Does this mean I am once again locked into a 6 person line-up? I am not sure. I can see Veteran Harmony being less useful into Fishermen, Midas alchemists, and other teams that don’t use so much condition damage. If I really feel like Flint will just die in a match-up, or I don’t think I will be able to counter-score easily after kicking I can see Decimate being a decent enough striker anyway.
Is this a load of rubbish? I am aware that I am new to this team, and I haven’t even mentioned a full Masons 10. Jump onto our facebook page and let me know what you think.