Month: September 2018

Chapter 29: Boiler gonna give it to you

In addition to Captain Ox being spoiled early, we also get Boiler. Before I get into specific changes I want to say that I like what they have done with him. He does more of what he is meant to do, and still brings stuff to both captains. He’s no longer essential for Fillet, though, so it’s possible to take someone else with her (but he still has a great trick for her). Let’s get to those changes.

The first thing you may notice, especially if you are a Fillet player, is the loss of swift stance. This is a pretty major changed for Fillet. Assuming she stays at 5 defense, the change from 5 to 6 with swift stance is a big deal. It should be ok, though, as long as she doesn’t drop defense. If she goes down to a 4/0 and also loses access to swift stance, I fear for the future of Butchers, even with the changes to Ox and now Boiler. We will see in time.

The rest of his changes are definitely positive. Instead of swift stance, Boiler now has a 6″ character play that does 3 damage if it hits for 2 influence. He still has Crucial Artery so this causes bleed, something Fillet likes to see (once again assuming that hasn’t changed). Also, with Ox this would do 4 damage from range as long as Boiler was in the Owner Aura.

Marked Target has changed to not be once per turn, and has range 10″ now. This will make it much easier for Boiler to get the play off giving him multiple chances and from further away. I’m particularly excited for the extra 2″ of range.

The last change is with his playbook. All of these changes are excellent. His KD is now one column lower, making it easier to reach. His momentous 3 damage is lowered a column as well and a momentous 4 is added to the end of the playbook, increasing his potential damage. Really, this is an increase of 1 damage overall against lower defense models. For one attack, that’s not a big boost, but over 4 attacks into low defense 4 extra damage can make a big difference.

The new play has obvious applications (doing damage not in melee), and the extra playbook damage isn’t that much of a change, so if I had written about boiler recently, updating KD would be the only thing I would have to do. However, Boiler was one of the first model’s I talked about and so hasn’t had as much math done for him as the others, so I present: ALL THE BOILER MATH!!!

First, let’s look at his damage output potential.

Attack Damage
Charge Damage
Weighted Average:2.033.77

Boiler does 2 damage on an attack consistently and is likely to do 3-4 damage on a charge, unless he charges a 5 defense, then only 2 damage. Not setting the world on fire, but what you’d expect from a Butcher. This is just base damage, though. Things get better once you start looking at his available buffs. Before we do that, let’s look at momentum generation on an attack.

Weighted Average:0.791.13

Against most targets (the 4/0 line, or even the weighted average) Boiler has about 80% chance of making momentum doing what he wants to do (damage). Not having a momentous result on column 1 makes him less likely to make momentum than a player that does have a momentous result on 1 (duh). However, no shown in this data (that the charge data hits at) is that with some tac bonuses, Boiler’s fairly short playbook can lead to him wrapping and potentially making more than 1 momentum a swing if he’s set up with assist, gang ups, and maybe even a singled out from the Game Plan (because it’s pretty unlikely that Butchers get Singled Out all of the sudden, I would be pretty happy if they did…). The key here is that Boiler is likely to get a momentum per influence as long as he’s not attacking 5/0s.

Butcher’s biggest weakness has been their susceptibility to counter attacks. Boiler has two results that help him avoid counter attacks, KD and a push dodge. KD is the result you’ll want to take since that will not only negate the counter, but also make it easier for Boiler to do damage to the model. Push dodge could be taken when a KD isn’t going to work, like they have sturdy and they’ll knock Boiler down and he’s already moved and rested (the new name for healing/clearing conditions on yourself). It’s really a pretty specific situation (it’s way more likely you try for it when Boiler is the one doing a counter attack). Even if they have sturdy and the other parts don’t apply they will either knock Boiler down, which he can then stand and keep attacking, or they escape melee, which would have happened with the push dodge any, and it’s better that Boiler just do as much damage as possible and either stand up or throw his axe. The team will be better in the long run. Either result I’m talking about here is on column 3, so I figured out how likely it is to hit that KD or push dodge.

Chance on Attack
Chance on Charge
Weighted Average:51.67%87.92%

For that 3rd column it’s a 50/50 against most players. Lower for defense 5, higher for lower than 4 defense (combined, counting anatomical, so a 4/1 is a 50/50). It becomes a lot more likely if you have TAC bonuses. And if those bonuses are from gang ups, it’s also less likely they can do anything with a counter, and you could consider taking damage instead. This is the Butchers after all, damage is the most desired result.

I ran the math for Boiler under legendary and with assist, but I’m only going to talk about the results instead of including them here since they were pretty much what you would expect. Assist adds 1.5 damage to Boiler’s attack results, on average, and 2 damage to his charge results. Those are true for anything but 5/0 defense. Really, the moral of the story on this math is that Boiler really shouldn’t be trying to fight 5/0 defenses (though they have low health, so he may pull through in a pinch). Ox’s legendary adds 1 damage to an attack, and about 1.5 damage to his charge. Tooled up (assuming the damage faction keeps the damage buff) would do the same. If he has legendary and assist (a likely scenario), then he gets 2.5 damage to his attack and 3 damage to his charge (you know, the bonuses from above added together…).

And that should wrap up our little article about Boiler. I think the changes are expected and he’ll definitely see play with Ox. It’s possible he falls out of favor with Fillet with the changes. He still brings a ranged way of applying bleed, but changes to other models might make them more desirable than him.

I can’t wait until Steamcon to see and play this new stuff.

Spring Fling Wrap Up

Hello All!

Things have been super busy and super weird for me for the past few months, and I apologize for the lack of content. Several cool things have happened for me in the world of guild ball lately. I was mentioned by name on Guild Ball Tonight (and Bill has apologized for saying I’m from the Carolinas). Also, I went to Spring Fling representing the Mountaineers Guild. Spring Fling was a great event and I had a blast. My goal was to go 3-3 with Blacksmiths and to use some super secret tech to try and pull some wins.

The core of every list I play is Ferrite (Cap), Iron Hearth and Alloy. I didn’t change that for the fling as I feel Ferrite gets the best utility out of the two extra influence and I can’t see leaving the other three models in the bag.

Round 1: Vs. Blacksmiths W 12-4

I think I understood the guild better than my opponent. I played core plus Farris and Cinder. There’s the super secret ball scoring tech. this list has every piece of anti ball killing, quick scoring tech the smith’s have available. In the mirror you don’t want to try and outfight, but instead to play a disengagement game and score. Scoring three goals went fairly quickly as my opponent had a really difficult time trying to tie my models down with his Captain Burnish led squad.

Round 2: Vs. Ratcatchers L 12-6

Driving five and a half hours to play against arabicjesus was certainly not what I wanted to do at Spring Fling. As such I made a major mistake in the draft trying to be crafty and show my most consistent opponent something new. My flex picks were Farris and Cast. As a result I fielded a team that wasn’t amazing in either portion of the game. That combined with the best ball killing he has ever done led to my loss.

Round 3: Vs. Engineers W 12-0

In this round I played Mike from Jersey. Unfortunately for him it was the first he had seen of blacksmiths. He took Ballista gun line and I put in three goals in 10 activations. He was expecting me to slog across the board and try to fight him.

Round 4: Vs. Hunters L 12-4

Went the way I knew it would. Couldn’t overcome the control element to win.

Round 5: Vs. Morts L 12-2

Don’t get to play against morts much. Got greedy with Alloy’s activation one goal. Should have waited an activation and put instruction on him. It didn’t lose me the game, but the game spiraled out of control for me at that point.

Round 6: Vs. Fish L 12-6

Missed my 75% with Iron at the end of turn 1. Changed the nature of the game, but didn’t lose it for me. I think I had a shot at winning this one if this doesn’t happen.

Take Aways:

1. I need to play more. My comfort level is not where it needs to be. I still have to rely on preconceived game plans as opposed to analyzing the situation and making the best decisions.

2. Much of this play needs to be on Vassal as the local meta does not represent what I’ll see at tournaments. I played two guilds that aren’t represented and my hunters and morts matchups were against players who see the guild very differently from our local players.

3. Sad I missed being 3-3. My goal is to be in a place to win 50% of the games I play, and I missed it this event.

Chapter 28: Another article about Captain Ox

Here we are again in the lead up to Season 4 of the game, and Captain Ox’s card has been spoiled at the WTC. Last time I wrote an (normal) article it was about the Captain Ox changes in the errata, more than a year ago. Since then I played some Ratcatchers (fun, but I’m not convinced they are even as good as Butchers, who haven’t been in a good place) and then found the Fillet/Decimate combo. I have managed to finally get my first tournament win during this time (and go to another shark tank of a tournament and do very well). I feel like Fillet and Decimate are needed to have a decent chance with Butchers in this end of Season 3 era, so I’m excited and nervous to see what Season 4 brings.

Which brings me to this, and future, articles. I’m going to put out articles pretty quickly as we learn information about the Butchers for Season 4. We have seen Ox, so this article is about him. If we get a preview of any other Butchers player before season 4 hits, then you can expect articles about those players pretty quickly after they release. The rest will come out, 1 a day, starting on the day that Season 4 drops (if all works out right). So let’s get started.

First thing is to let you know how Ox has changed. The biggest change is that the Owner aura has gone from 4″ to 6″. This is a lot of extra space the rest of the team will be getting +1 damage. It also matches his legendary aura now, so you don’t have to measure two different lengths during legendary turn. Ox trades in his Tough Skin play to gain a armor all the time. Since Ox would usually use Tough Skin on himself, this is a big buff. He now has the extra armor before he’s gone each turn, and has an extra influence he can use proactively instead of using it to survive. His last change is to the second column of his playbook. The tackle is no longer momentous, but the Guild Ball there has gained 1 damage. It was always kind of weird that he had a momentous tackle since he was the kill-y captain in the kill-y team, so I’m not surprised to lose the momentum. It’s not a result I pick very often, anyway. The other change is a lot bigger. Having that damage on the Guild Ball means that you don’t have to choose between damage and a debuff any more. You get to do both! This makes Ox and his team output more damage overall, but he’s giving -1 armor to models within 6″ of him while doing work himself. I took him for a test drive the other day and at the beginning of turn he finished off a model and put They ain’t tough on Farris of the blacksmiths. With legendary he was then able to one round Farris with the rest of his attacks. That would not have been possible with old Ox because Farris would have had that additional armor. (Remember, They ain’t tough doesn’t have to go on the model you attacked, it can go on anyone withing it’s 6″ range.) If this result was momentous, it would be too good. But as it stands, it’s a really good result that you’ll take despite it being non-momentous to help the team attack models better. Besides, butchers make enough momentum that taking this result a couple times shouldn’t hurt too much.

This is the part where I would go into the expected damage, expected momentum, and other math for the player, but none of that has really changed for Ox in this update. Yes, the -1 armor affects how much damage he does, but the way I structure the results means that you can look at a different row in the math I did before. For example, after hitting a 4/1 model with They ain’t tough, you can look at the 4/0 row to determine the expected damage, instead of the 4/1 row.

So that’s where I’m going to call it for this article about Captain Ox. Join me next time, and hopefully soon, to go over the changes for another butchers player.