The Brewers are a pretty freaking fun guild to play. I started the game with Masons and have been having fun, but somehow it just didn’t click with me the same way that I’ve clicked with playing the Brewers. I’ve gotten a good amount of games in with the team so far using mostly the original 6: Tapper, Scum, Friday, Hooper, Spigot and Stave, and also trying a few different versions with Gutter. I’m sure whenever I get tired of playing those combo I’ll switch in some Stoker, Rage, Hemlocke and soon enough…Mash. Hopefully one of those will solidify my 8 man roster, but I’ll always keep tinkering with that. What makes it the hardest is the fact that the original 6 have a lot of great synergies together and it’s not easy justifying getting rid of any them. Sometimes it feels like the easiest to get pulled from the roster would be Spigot, other times it’s Friday, and then others it’s Stave. Tapper and Scum are the foundation of the list (right now until Esters tbd), and Hooper is just so good at doing what he does that it’s pretty hard to get rid of him (he’s really good at beating face). Anyway, what I’m here to talk about today is a bit about the Brewers, why they are awesome, what they do and a small homage to Tapper (the man, the myth, the legend).
When you look at these guys you can tell pretty quickly that the Brewers game plan revolves around smashing face with their 2″ reach and prevalent Knockdowns. What’s great is that they can also take a punch like a champ with the prevalence of Tough Hide on the team, Then they’ve got a great Striker (Friday) who can pretty much do all the goal scoring work on her own. So that leaves your other 5 to go wreck other people’s days. Any time you remove Friday from the lineup you’re definitely telegraphing to your opponent that it’s going to be a beat down game, which is still a very attainable goal for Brewers. Spigot does have the ability to score goals and help others score goals to create goal threats with Football Legend, but it’s not like Friday’s ability to snatch a goal from 20″ out. Their biggest downfall is that they are not incredibly manoeuverable with a lack of Dodging capability and generally lower MOV stats across the board so they can be manipulated and kited when matchup against some of the faster opponents. Best cure for that is to just kill some dudes and get ahead that way. Anyway, for most of this article I will just talk original 6, and we’ll go into the additional choices in future writing.
Starting early in the game I like to have Stave in a position where he is just threatening enough (with Barrel Lob) to keep people from being too aggressive. When kicking, I generally choose Stave so I can gain the additional 4″ of movement to get Stave in a semi-scary position that the other team has to respect. The biggest fear when kicking with Stave is allowing him to be an easy target for Momentum gain if the opponent has Gutter (keep an eye out for that 14″ drag threat). Once Stave has kicked and is loaded with 3 Influence he has a 13.5″ threat from the edge of his base to be able to hurl a barrel into someone’s face to keep them out of the game and a 11.99″ threat to be able to ‘feed” someone back to the rest of the team. People HAVE to respect the Stave presence, especially if he gets the chance to Kick off and be a fair bit up the field. He has the capability to remove the ball from the model that picks up the ball from the Kickoff with a solid Barrel. Opponents who know the matchup will not let you actually get off the crushing Barrels most of the time, but the threat of it as a possibility keeps people honest.
If Brewers get the win to receive, I personally like starting the chain of passes with Spigot or Friday, who can pass to Hooper/Tapper/Stave and get a Pass ‘n’ Move action to push them up the field a bit more. If it’s Stave I generally make sure he’s within the Spigot Football Legend Aura so *hopefully* he doesn’t miss when it’s his turn to pass. I would not suggest leaving a ball on Stave, as the old low DEF / 0 ARM statline will just open him up for having a ball stolen from him. Basically only choose Stave if there isn’t an easy line for someone like Flint, Vitriol or Shark to just go Tackle the ball away and score some Dodges then take the ball to the goal turn 1. It’s just important to be aware of the threats that exist like that, so you make the right choices all game, but being unaware on Turn 1 can be a pretty big difference in how the game starts to shape up. If you start with the ball though, just get that Momentum train started, but don’t be afraid to use it on plenty of Pass ‘n’ Move to get that extra movement out of a bunch of guys with lower than average MOV stats.
After the initial ball exchange, make sure you try to get a read on the way your opponent is playing towards, especially key models that are taking aggressive flanking spots or positioning synergies that might exist. Knowledge of +DEF or +ARM synergies can change an exchange greatly so pay plenty of attention. Brewers should be utilizing all of their positioning benefits early in the game so they don’t have any weak spots going into turn 2. Make sure Spigot and Friday are close or Friday is not at all in a direct threat lane, keep Scum within 4″ of Tapper by the end of the turn so Tapper goes into the next turn with full Influence capability. Pay attention to what has 2″+ melee on the other team so you can expect threats, and make the judgement call on whether you use Scum to body block (useful against 1″ melee attackers due to Unpredictable Movement). The turns that come next will start to show how the Momentum of the game is going to start swinging.
After the Kickoff and Turn 1, most of the time Turn 2 is the first contact into melee unless someone was able to get a very advantageous trap set (Stave Barrel, Gutter Pull, etc.) or one team is trying to flank and control the other team (looking at you Engineers). With Brewers this turn can actually be a really big decider on the rest of the game. If you were able to get Tapper and/or Hooper into a good place, anything but the absolute biggest dudes in their 9″ base charging threat has the potential to be killed this turn.
The more I’ve played alternating activation games, and especially Guild Ball, I find the biggest advantage is to compartmentalize and create a triage situation for how you will do the turn. Understand what threats someone like Tapper the same way he threatens them, also be aware of the situations where you can knock someone down at the end of a turn or at the beginning of a turn so your opponent doesn’t have the ability to do much with them until another model on their team gains some Momentum for them to stand up. Sometimes as well, using the abundance of Pushes to move models that have already activated into charge lanes of models yet to activate. Also be mindful you can use Stave’s Bomb to save your own dudes from threats if 4″ of push will get them safe, cause you also have to suck up the Knockdown that comes with it.
The main targets during the game are always going to be whatever has the most Influence on it and hasn’t activated yet, what can ruin your plans the most with the Influence they have and then any chance you can safely get Friday to the goal. Your main targets for damage are going to be Friday and Spigot as they have the least amount of defensive capabilities and can be killed by consistent damage. Your goal in a game with Brewers will commonly be 4 kills and a goal, with some games where you might be able to pull off the ole Double Double (2 KO / 2 GOAL).
Don’t underestimate your Character Plays. Putting 1 Influence on Spigot just to keep up the possibility of getting Tooled up on someone can be the the difference between an early Takeout or a guy who just got healed back up for half the damage you dealt. Commanding Aura is boss, it’s worth giving up the early Momentum gain to get your TAC and DMG pushed up, even if it’s only Tapper getting the benefit all turn.
If all goes well you’re cruising towards the last Takeout for victory or you’re about to score a goal, but if it’s not going well there’s a couple things to remember.
- Scum with the ball is really hard for the opponent to deal with if they don’t have 2″ melee. If you’re worried about the opponent scoring a Goal and you can overpower their damage, then just send Scum off with the ball Sprinting around.
- Friday can score goals from pretty much anywhere in the main pitch, so just pay attention to the fact you can score goals even though you’re playing the Brewers mostly just to smash face.
- It’s not easy for an opponent to hold on to the ball or move around much if they are knocked down. They are Momentous in Brewers for a reason, use them. Same with Pushes.
- Tapper, Hooper, Spigot and Friday can score goals. If you have to do it, do it.
Why Tapper is Awesome.
So, once we see what Esters does there’s a possibility that we see a little less Tapper in Brewers teams but for right now he’s the only choice. I’m going to be really hard-pressed to find a reason not to take him because he’s got amazing versatility and raw output that sometimes makes him feel like he is a one man team all by himself. He’s a strong buffer model with threat range extension, extra out-of-Maintenance Influence generation, and an aura that buffs TAC and DMG. Right now I’m really not sure what I would want different or what I would be willing to give up from that for something else. Unless there is something that is incredibly pressing on another area of the field or Tapper is knocked down and I need to generate Momentum to get him up, I generally lead each turn with Tapper to get Commanding Aura up and start the Momentum train going. Then depending on how things shape up, Old Jakes will give at least 1 Influence Tapper himself about 75% of the time, but there’s a decent amount of times I personally use Old Jakes to create a stronger secondary threat whether its pushing Stave into allocation so he can Sprint and throw or giving Scum a bit more Influence to lay some ferocious kitty noms into someone. Tapper is just no nonsense, he makes stuff happen. Love that guy.
Also be sure to check out the Brewers Momentum and You article Here for a better understanding of their Playbooks and further general tactics.
Thanks for reading