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.
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.
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
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.