Month: January 2016

Chapter 4: Death by 1,000 Cuts (or Not?)

Sandwichdan on the forums wanted to know when he should use Shank’s character play Thousand Cuts. I am a big fan of Shank, using him more often than Gutter, but I never seem to want to do Thousand Cuts. Once again this was one of those problems I could figure out by crunching some numbers. I’ll get to Sandwichdan’s specific question by the end, but if I’m going to explore the issue I’m really going to explore it.

First lets look at Shank in much the same way as I did Ox. Assuming that the only one that can use this ability is Shank (and Shank is fast enough that this isn’t much of a stretch), lets see how much use it is for him. First of all he can trigger it in two ways: Off of a double guild ball result or for 3 influence. Let’s look at them in turn.

Double Guild Ball

To trigger the play off of a double guild ball Shank has to give up the damage from that attack to trigger it. Looking at his playbook you can see that he will always have the option to do 3 damage instead of Thousand Cuts and he tops out at 3 damage so this is a good comparison. Because Thousand Cuts does 1 point of damage Shank gives up 2 damage to cause -2 defense. Can he make up that damage loss because of the buff from Thousand Cuts? Let’s take a look:

Looking at the chart and my raw numbers (too boring to show you) we see that first: the higher the defense the more beneficial Thousand Cuts is, and second: that it nets Shank about 1 extra damage per hit on average*. So with that in mind, if Shank can make two more attacks after triggering it then it balances out, and if he can make 3 attacks after triggering it he is up a damage over not triggering it.

Paying 3 influence

Let’s start with the above conclusion: it takes at least 2 attacks from Shank to make up for the loss of damage from Thousand Cuts. If you use 3 out of the 4 influence you can put on Shank to pay for the play, then there is no way that Shank can make up for that loss in damage. But that doesn’t mean that this should never be done. There are other players on the pitch.

So what does Shank actually lose by making the play instead of attacking that the other players have to make up?

Chart Time:

Shank would be doing an average* of 4.8 damage with a charge and an attack and an average* of 5.7 with 3 attacks. (Aside: it keeps coming up that it is better to make extra attacks than to charge if doing damage is all we are concerned with. Might be worth exploring later.) Thousand cuts does 1 damage so we are losing out on 3.8 damage (best case scenario) by making the play. That is a lot of damage to make up for. Let’s look at how much it helps the various players that are going to be fighting (note: I did not take into account any possible bonuses from Ox, except for Ox, or Princess since that just pushes the numbers higher, but doesn’t change the difference between having Thousand cuts and not having it).

There’s a lot of info on that chart, but Ox and Boar are getting (on average*) 1 extra damage per hit and Boiler is getting about 0.7 damage per hit. And that is pretty accurate despite what defense you are looking at. So it looks like if you can get 4 attacks onto the Thousand Cuts target then you can make up for the damage lost from paying 3 influence for the character play. This seems like it would be hard to do based on the games I’ve player so far.


From what the Maths have shown me today, picking Thousand Cuts off the play book, especially if it’s the first attack from Shank or you can get another model in there, is a pretty good move. It’s not hard to turn it into a damage advantage. However, paying 3 influence to put Thousand Cuts on a player is a bad investment. It takes a lot to make up for the damage Shank loses from not spending those influence on attacks instead of the character play.

*In this article, and going forward, I have calculated a weighted average based on the 6 most common defense/armor profiles and how many of models have each profile.

Snowball Painting

With the requirement to have fully painted models Ive been scrambling to get my Engineers ready.  They turned out much better than I was hoping for but still need a few touch ups.  Hopefully some battle reports will be up in the next couple days showing them in action.


Chapter 3: The Ox Conundrum

If you have played Butchers you have been in this situation: Ox charges (or attacks) and gets 7 results and you have to make a decision, do you do the 4 damage (owner is so good), or 2 damage and trigger Butchery, getting +1 damage against that player forever more (or until the end of turn). I have been in that situation many times. I have consistently chose to do the extra damage now instead of triggering Butchery. I have done this because I have assumed my opponent was a pretty good player and that Ox would be the only one to really benefit from Butchery. Clearly, if you can attack with other players Butchery’s extra damage will add up to be worth it.

But what if I was right about the opponent being a good player and making sure Ox is the only one that gets to benefit from Butchery? What is the right move? I wanted to find out, so I used Math.

Often it is on the charge that the chance for Butchery comes up. Here is the table of expected damage value with and without choosing Butchery from the charge attack with the 5 most common defenses.

The graph above shows that picking the Butchery result on the charge nets 1 damage from the attacks in that activation than not choosing Butchery. This surprised me a little. I assumed to get anything out of Butchery it would take more than just Ox’s activation. This is why I run the numbers. Obviously it just gets better if you can get other models on that model to add damage. Butchery helps all those models.

It also shows that you have to pick the Butchery result on that initial charge attack and he doesn’t benefit if chosen on a later attack. Others still benefit, of course.

Here is a chart with 5 attacks instead of a charge.

Butchery adds about 2 extra damage if you can make the extra attack. This is an even bigger deal. If you can get Butchery on the first attack it goes a long way. It will also pretty much balance out if chosen for the second attack. After that it doesn’t help him any.

This has really changed my thoughts on Butchery. I think I had it in my head that the charge had to be a big hit from my experiences with other games and the damage being less on that hit if I put up Butchery seemed bad. Now I will be putting it on players more often.

Step 1.

Greetings all.

This blog will discuss Guild Ball from an Engineers player’s perspective. My name is Matt and as you may have guessed I play Engineers. I’ve been playing Guild Ball for about a month and Engineers since my first demo. The massed ranged knockdown and ignoring armor was an instant fit. In my other gaming experience (40k, Warmachine, MTG), I tend to choose a ranged control option and I’m hoping that experience will carry over to Guild Ball as well. My current plan is to use this blog to post strategies, battle reports, painting progress, and general thoughts on the game. This was just an intro so I will keep it brief. More content should be on the way soon!

After a nightcap

Hello all! FUSEWV your favorite Moonshiner here back with another short report and some distillations about what I’ve learned.

Played against a club local and his Engineers. A good game and my third against engineers.

I played a list I had never run before, bringing Tapper, Scum, Stave, Mash, Stoker and Hooper

While my opponent brought Ballista, Mainspring, Salvo, Ratchet, Velocity, and Compound.

I lost the roll to go first and didnt win a roll for initiative until the final turn. We also forgot our rulebooks (and the fact that the internet is a thing apparently) and played as though we could not charge through rough ground. This was obviously more detrimental to me than to my opponent.

Game started off like most games do against engineers. I try to close on him while he knocks me down and slows me down. He was kind enough to give me the 2 VP for mainspring very early, but in doing so killed scum by fire(2-2). I took a good bit of damage in nickel and dime form as the engineers are want to dish out, but absorbed a lot with my tough hide. I kept tapper, scum and hooper close together and let mash and stoker form another squad. Stave floated in the middle lending a barrel when needed. He fanned out and stayed back as best he could. I killed ballista early (4-2) when he got him about half an inch too far forward and forgot that stoker could brew back to his feet once a turn. Stoker, mash and Tapper made short work of him. Next I got ahold of Salvo with the Pain Train and put him down (6-2). I completely ignored velocity and gave in to conceding a goal, but fortunately it took him an extra turn because he was half an inch out on turn two, but turn three saw him score (6-6). When I goal kicked I got a huge scatter that shot the ball straight to Tapper on my opponents side of the pitch. Mash helped tapper break away from Compound (who was engaged after turn 3) and The Cap’n buried it in the back of the net (10-6). He kicked out and was poised to score early turn 5 (he is relatively new so we played with no clock) but I won the initiative and sent Ballista back to the sidelines for the win (12-6).

Distilling it down:

-Read the rules again. I just don’t have them fully committed to memory.

-Rough ground is a huge pain. Dealing with stuff that slows down my already sluggish team just plain sucks.

-Heal more. I don’t really need the first turn all that often and I rarely heal my players. I think i should spend a little more of my influence on keep my people alive. Especially against engineers who have to struggle to put a decent amount of damage on my Brewers.

Looking forward to Snowball in Philadelphia. My goal is a winning record over five rounds. We’ll see how it shakes out and you’ll be able to read about it right here! Throw one back for the ole moonshiner eh?