Oh, Tenderiser. Someone once told me that Tenderiser is amazing. I believe he sited the +1 TN to goal shots as the reason to take him. I think that is a good place to start my article. That +1 TN to goal shots makes goals miss approximately 10% of the time. So 1 in 10 goals made with Tenderiser standing near the goal will miss when it would have otherwise hit. In a tournament it is conceivable that 10 goals are made on your team, and Tenderiser only makes one of those miss. I’m sorry, but that, alone, is not a good enough reason to take Tenderiser.
Let’s see what else he brings. First, it’s Butchers, so his damage output:
It’s… not so great. The low end for a Butcher (around what Boiler is without the dog). He also only brings 1 influence, so there are just better options if you want to do damage.
So what about Rush Keeper? There is good news there:
When Tenderiser gets off a Rush Keeper Charge he is very likely to knockdown or tackle the player he gets a charge on. That’s good, when he gets a Rush Keeper charge off. It has been my experience as a player that my opponents work to get around Rush Keeper to make sure it never goes off. I have gotten to charge from the ability very few times, and I’ve played him a lot historically. Now, that has its own benefits. If your opponent is playing around Rush Keeper then you are limiting their options and making them solve a puzzle that can sometimes be pretty hard to solve. So, finally, some worthwhile upside for this model! Combine the puzzle Tenderiser presents with the +1 TN and you have a decent goal defender. Together that makes it so people aren’t scoring with players that aren’t dedicated strikers (something a lot of people aren’t doing anyway), and makes it a little harder for the strikers to do what they do.
There are two more things on his card I want to talk about. First is Seismic Kick. Not a bad ability, if he wasn’t kicking with 1 die. It means that 50% of the time the ball scatters and may knock down some of your own models, or miss the models that you wanted to knockdown (25% of the time if you spend a momentum to get 2 dice). It’s a cool ability that he won’t get to use very often. Second is Ground Pounder. Also a cool play. It’s a good area control piece, that he won’t get to use very often. It’s not likely to get on a charge and paying 3 influence is tough. This will require some set up to get off and make use of, but is great if you can give him that set up.
All in all, Tenderiser is a decent player for sitting near the goal to make shooting tougher, and generates an influence he doesn’t need to give the team. I have traditionally taken him against teams like the fish that want to score, but that doesn’t seem to slow them down. It seems like he is better against teams that Butchers can out fight even with a man down, so will want to score, but doesn’t have more than one good striker. Someone like the Morticians. I don’t think there are very many teams that fit that description. He is currently in my 9, but I don’t see him staying there. There are just too many good options for Butchers right now, and he’s a little behind the curve in the areas I want to focus.