I’ll be honest, I dismissed Boiler before I started playing and for a short time after I started. I played my first tournament (St. Louis Open B) without playing him much, if at all. What really turned me around was Trent Denison’s article on him on Ozball (link). I then started playing him and he’s been my MVP. He always does well in games and I never leave home without him.
Trent did a pretty good job breaking down Boiler, but I ran his numbers against Boar’s and Ox’s to show the difference. I figured out maximum expected value of damage from both regular attacks and charges (and a bunch of different dice totals) for all three models, and Boiler with Princess, for comparison. Note: The only model I used the Ox’s owner aura for is Ox.
Here is the table (assuming defense 4, armor 0):
Boiler with Princess
|Boiler||Boiler with Princess||Boar||Ox|
A couple things stand out on this table. 1. Ox (with his aura) and Boar have approximately the same damage output per attack. 2. Having princess is melee with Boiler’s target adds approximately 1.5-2 damage (which surprised me a little).
But all that is less important than this: Without any help, Boiler is less than 1 damage behind Ox and Boar on a regular attack and about 1/2 a damage point behind them on a charge with less attack dice. Add in even Ox’s owner bonus and he’s right there with them. But what really shows why he is so good is when you can get Princess in melee with his target. At that point Boiler is almost a point of damage ahead on a regular attack and 1.5 damage ahead on charges. One of the reason’s I dismissed Boiler was I thought it would be hard to get the bonus from Princess. This is not the case in practice. I almost always get the bonus when attacking with Boiler.
Now all that is based on 4 defense and ZERO armor. Add in even a point of armor and it really skews the numbers in Boiler’s favor. His numbers don’t change but it lowers Ox’s and Boar’s.
On top of all of that, Boiler has 1 higher defense than Ox and way better defensive stats than Boar. My opponents often decide to go after other models instead of Boiler. I can see why he’s been so good to me.
Now, his crew.
I start every list like this now: Boiler, Princess, Ox. From there I usually play Brisket to score a goal. I usually play Tenderiser or Boar as well. Boar can do a lot with 1 influence if he’s not shut down by someone like Fangtooth, and Tenderiser can give away his influence on most turns and sit on none near the goal. Tenderiser also makes the opponent play different, which is nice. As the last spot I have been playing Shank. I really like Shank. He can reach forever away and put out a lot of damage (no math this time!), but I played Gutter today and really liked her. The reposition was very good and facilitated a lot of shenanigans. The models listed make for an 8 player roster for tournaments. I have options based on what I see.
The future (wha-wha-wha, *travel to the future noises*): Rumor has it (Mat Hart can’t keep his mouth shut 🙂 ) that Fillet has something to do with bleed so I don’t see him being taken out with a captain switch.
In conclusion, Boiler is very good and now an auto-include for me and Maths support that.