Month: May 2016

Chapter 9: Yes, I’m going to talk about Meathook

I plan on using Meathook starting with my next game. You may think I’m crazy, but I have good reason for my insanity. It all has to do with how Boiler has worked for me in my Fillet team. As I have learned, and I’ve heard others agree, all the team’s influence goes to Fillet and Shank in a Fillet lead team. That doesn’t leave much to give someone like Boiler or Brisket, and that is better used on Brisket to keep up a goal threat. Boiler gets nothing for most of the game. The time Boiler starts to get some is when Fillet or, more likely, Shank gets taken out. That puts them out of position and Boiler comes into play. By that point Princess could be dead, so he doesn’t get a buff, and a good player will prevent you from getting the buff even if Princess is still in the game. This is where Meathook comes in. With her heroic play she can do something even with no influence and, as we will see in this article, she can do similar amounts of damage as Boiler, without the use of another model. Now, that does reduce the amount of influence available by one. I do have an answer for that in my next article.

So, now that I feel like I’ve explained why she’s going to get played, let’s talk about what she can do.

First thing is what you should expect: Damage output. Here is the table:

Defense/Armor
Regular Attack
Extra Attack
Charge Attack
Defense/ArmorRegular AttackExtra AttackCharge Attack
2/02.733.734.41
2/1,3/02.273.273.85
2/2,3/1,4/01.752.733.00
2/3,3/2,4/1,5/01.252.152.22

Her damage values are almost the same as Boiler’s without the Princess bonus. Which is very favorable because she also gets a +1 damage bonus (like Boiler) for something that you are trying to do anyway: Bleed. Even more important, she causes bleed on damage so she buffs all her attacks after the first even if they do not have bleed on them already. She can also damage a lot of people and put out a lot of bleed on a (very) lucky scything blow.

So, similar damage. And she loses 1 influence, but what does she gain? Wrong! She gains better ball handling! The extra die she gets on kicks gives her a 10-25% better chance of succeeding, depending on the situation. She also has a momentous tackle on two hits, same as V. Brisket (with 1 extra TAC to boot over her). That makes it very likely to tackle. See:

Defense/Armor
Tackle on attack
Tackle on charge
Tackle on wrap from charge
Defense/ArmorTackle on attackTackle on chargeTackle on wrap from charge
2/099.93%100.00%93.03%
2/1,3/098.95%99.97%57.89%
2/2,3/1,4/089.97%99.14%21.67%
2/3,3/2,4/1,5/065.91%93.99%6.15%

She can get the ball and pass it off with a 75% chance of making that pass. That’s pretty nice for a Butcher’s team.

One influence is a lot to lose, but the addition of someone that can do something for nothing and can play late game like the player that I’m swapping out for, make Meathook actually temping in a Fillet team. I will admit that I initially dismissed Meathook with Fillet when others thought she might get played with her, but I’ve come around. I think I’ll get more out of her than Boiler at this point.

An Update (already) because I forgot to talk about it: If you give Meathook 1 influence on a turn, she can tool up another player. This is far more useful than what most players can do for one influence.

Chapter 8: You wouldn’t like him when he’s RAAAGE!!!!

I want to talk about one of the Union options for Butchers that has been very hit or miss with me. When he works, he is quite good, but when he doesn’t he’s worthless (mostly).

Let’s look at why he’s good. I’m going to include a table now. It is the expected damage values vs. the various defense and armor combinations. I include these tables for those that want to see it all, even though that makes some people stop reading when they get to one. Like Jason. But don’t worry Jason, I explain the relevant parts of the table afterwards.

Defense/Armor
Regular Attack
Charge Attack
2/03.275.85
2/1,3/02.735.08
2/2,3/1,4/02.243.77
2/3,3/2,4/1,5/01.662.76

What is important really to note here is that he performs better than Boiler when Boiler doesn’t have the dog (about on level with Boar and Ox against 4/0) but performs worse than Boiler when he has Princess around. This is true of pretty much every Butcher player. So per hit he is on average for Butchers. That is great news for everyone else that can take him. He also causes bleed, which Fillet appreciates. Let’s look at his overall output:

Defense/Armor
Charge + Buy
Charge
Buy
2/015.679.126.54
2/1,3/013.277.815.46
2/2,3/1,4/010.486.004.47
2/3,3/2,4/1,5/07.744.423.32

So there are three scenarios you can find yourself in with Rage, and they are represented on this table. First is if Rage is left alone to do what Rage does, with 1 influence on him. He gets a charge, a free attack, buys and attack, then gets a free attack doing a lot of damage in the process (10+ against a lot of players). The second column of values is how much he does given his free charge without the extra influence to get two more attacks. Still a lot of damage considering it took 0 resources. I feel like in my games this scenario doesn’t come up very often, at least not as often as the next scenario. The last column is how much damage he does when he can’t get off the free charge and can only buy an attack (and get a free attack). This is very common for me. Better players will tie Rage up immediately, and even if I can get off the free charge once, often that will be the only time for the rest of the game (forgoing shenanigans specifically to clear someone off him). This, I feel, is the actual expected output of Rage. The most likely thing he will do on any given turn. Which is still decent for 1 influence.

Rage has a pretty good Influence to Momentum conversion factor. He will often get the team 2-4 momentum off of 0-1 influence spent. For a lot of teams this is very good since they have trouble making influence. For Butchers it doesn’t seem like as big of a deal, but I cannot argue with how efficient he is.

Overall he seems pretty good on paper, then I play him and he’s good for a couple games, then I run into an opponent that completely shuts him down for a game and I’m off him again for a couple games. I still don’t actually know what to think of him.

Feel free to leave your comments about what you think of Rage.

Chapter 7: Brisket is a little young to have served in the armed forces.

I want to start this article by saying I’ve had no table time with Veteran Brisket. As such, I will stick strictly to the Maths (as they say over seas) and impressions and not to my person experiences. If I feel V. Brisket needs another article after she is released and I get her on the table, then I will write one.

First thing I want to do is compare her threat-on-goal distance versus regular Brisket. She has the same move stat 6/8, and the same base kick stat 3/8″. She loses supershot over regular Brisket. This means a loss of a die and a loss of 2″ of kick. Instead she gains Quick Time. This makes up for her kick going down 2″, but not the -1 die on kicks. There are two situations I find Brisket in a lot that the veteran is better at dealing with.

The first is when the opponent has the ball and Brisket wants to go steal it and score (or kick it away). Regular Brisket has to move in (or charge) and attack to steal the ball, then make an attack to get out of combat, supershot, then kick (or if charge then steal the ball, dodge, and kick). This is a cost of 4 influence and it relies on that second attack actually getting a big enough dodge. Something that has not proven to be reliable in my experiences. Veteran Brisket can move in (or charge) and make an attack, quick time out, and then kick (or charge for -1 influence and do the rest the same, if she has to pay 2 to charge it’s not going to work). If all goes well for both its the same distance and Vet has one less die. Brisket’s advantage is in the fact that Quick Time always works, where Brisket’s dodge may not get off, and often doesn’t.

Another is when Brisket has the ball and needs to get away from someone engaging so she can score. Once again regular Brisket has to rely on getting enough successes to dodge away when Veteran Brisket can just do Quick Time to get away. If regular Brisket can’t get away then she has the same number of dice as veteran Brisket.

While we are talking about Veteran Brisket’s ability to get the ball, let’s look at her ability to get the ball… She has two ways to get the ball. First is a straight up tackle, likely the one she will use more often, and Ball’s Gone. I have done the math to see how likely she is to pull off each. Let’s look at that:

First Tackles:

Defense/Armor
Tackle on attack
Tackle on charge
Tackle on wrap from charge
Defense/ArmorTackle on attackTackle on chargeTackle on wrap from charge
2/099.67%100.00%82.17%
2/1,3/096.26%99.91%39.22%
2/2,3/1,4/079.86%98.38%10.69%
2/3,3/2,4/1,5/050.34%90.80%1.74%

As you can see, she is very likely to get the ball on a regular attack (down to 50/50 against the ones that add to 5) and pretty much guaranteed to get a tackle on a charge, which she can do for cheaper some times. It was so likely that I went ahead and figure out how likely it was to wrap and get that tackle result.

Ball’s Gone:

Defense/Armor
Regular Attack
Charge Attack
Defense/ArmorRegular AttackCharge Attack
2/080.38%99.89%
2/1,3/041.37%98.44%
2/2,3/1,4/014.02%82.62%
3/2,4/1,5/03.08%48.76%

Sometimes you just need that ball gone. Hopefully in that situation you can get a charge, because that seems like they only time you’ll pull it off.

I have also used Brisket as support for Shank. Brisket can run up and Dirty Knives someone to do a damage (and reduce their defense by 1) so Shank can get +0/+2 speed when charging them. I have used this when people have put a player just out of Shank’s normal reach to get him there anyway. I have not gotten to use it that much though because it is often hard for Brisket to get to that player with dirty knives and do things like get the ball. Veteran Brisket can always just make Shank dodge 2″ before she runs off to do what she needs to do. Gives him the same threat range, but he has to deal with the opponent having 1 more defense. If I have to go get the ball it’s the same level of predictability (since both things happen first), but kicking off I have more options this way.

Now let’s talk about Above and Beyond. Getting a goal with Veteran Brisket nets you 2 influence the following turn. That is an increase of about 20% in resources for the next turn onwards. This is a big swing and really encourages you to score with her early. I have not tried to get early goals recently, deciding to hold on and control the ball, but this might be enough of a benefit to go ahead and score at the end of an early turn.

Finally, it wouldn’t be a Butcher’s article without me analyzing the expected damage value. Here is the table:

Defense/Armor
Regular Attack
Charge Attack
Defense/ArmorRegular AttackCharge Attack
2/02.404.49
2/1,3/01.993.90
2/2,3/1,4/01.772.97
3/2,4/1,5/01.332.21

She does similar amounts of damage as Boiler without any buffs. So no dog helping him out. So really not bad in terms of damage. Doing about 2 points of damage per hit seems like the normal amount players do in this game. It only seems on the low side in Butcher’s because of their ability to really crank out damage.

Well, that’s my round up of Veteran Brisket.

Snowball Tournament Report: Engineers

There was a slight delay in getting this posted but here is, the abridged notes from the Snowball Tournament.  This was my first tournament and I had only played three real games when I went.

My lineup was: Ballista, Mainspring, Salvo, Velocity, Colossus, Ratchet, Mainspring, and Compound

Round one vs Brewers:  Most of my games up to this point have been against Brewers and I went in feeling comfortable.  I can say that this is one of the closest games I’ve ever played.  We traded blows and the Brewers were in a good position to win.  Even being down by quite a bit I was able to make a very bloody game of it.  Ultimately my opponent clocked about 10 seconds before my own time ran out.  If I remember correctly this got me at least one if not two extra turns.  On my last activation I got two take outs with Ratchet to close it out.  We finished out at 12-10.

1-0

Round two vs Fisherman:  This was my first game against fish.  I had heard that there was a very real threat of turn one goals.  I kicked off with Velocity landing the ball just across the mid line and behind a forest.  The hope had been that whoever took the time to get the ball would either separate the team for put them all on one side of the table.  My opponent made a very crucial mistake by giving Shark one less influence than he needed for whatever play he was planning.  Shark was left holding the ball about six inches from Velocity without the focus to kick it away.  Velocity, who had 4 focus, charged tackled, dodged, away, and passed the ball to Compound.  At this point I turtled with the ball behind a gun line of Ballista, Salvo, and Ratchet.  The middle of the table became shooting range with Mainspring suiciding every turn.  A later game attempt to get momentum from a pass ended with the ball out in the open.  Angel was able to pick it up but spent the rest of the game engaged with compound.  Between unlucky rolls and gluttonous mass, she was never able to produce the momentum she needed to score.  Things ended with 6 take outs and a score of 12-2.

2-0

Round three vs Union:  This was my first time seeing an all Union team but definitely not my opponents first time against engineers.  My only change at any points vanished when Velocity missed a clear kick at the goal.  After this my team fell apart to a combination of speed and damage I couldn’t hand.  The incredible damage output I saw would eventually lead to my purchase of Rage.  I don’t believe I had seen much use of the healing mechanic before this game and it was powerful.  It was a crushing defeat at 0-12.

2-1

Round four vs Brewers:  This was the only match I felt truly comfortable in all day.  Playing against our own Moonshiner, I had a decent game plan going in.  We had a good but very slow paced game which is just what my Engineers like.  The game was fairly close and I will hopefully do a full battle report of this match-up someday.  Engineers finished it 12-8.

I finished 8th overall in a field of 21 and took home best Engineers.  I was thrilled with my performance overall.  I took away from that I need a lot more practice.  I also need to expand my model range and possibly playstyle.  Round three was particularly eye opening to how useful healing can be and I have tried to incorporate it into my games.  The tournament itself was extremely well run.  Despite a fourteen hour round trip I think the tournament was well worth attending.  That’s it for this article but I expect more in depth posts to follow.