Another model that is getting a lot of talk on the internet when it comes to Butchers is Boar. He got a better playbook and Rage got less helpful to the team, so he is getting some attention. So let’s talk about Boar.
Let’s take a look at his expected damage:
That’s pretty good damage output. It’s in between the Meathook and Boiler high/low (First attack vs. additional with Meathook and without vs. with the dog for Boiler), but close to the high end of those players, which is pretty awesome. He is way more influence efficient, too. Getting at least 2 attacks with one influence. Four, including a charge, if he’s not engaged or you can free him. This is an improvement over pre-errata:
That’s not much of an improvement. An average of 1/4 extra damage on a regular attack and 1/2 damage on a charge. So why is he getting talked about so much? One reason is the change in Rage and union selection rules. Rage only got one change, but it’s a big one. He used to be able to do something else with his one influence if he couldn’t charge. Now he cannot (outside of a union team). So we have to look at what that one influence gets us for attacks. And in attacking, Boar is better:
Boar doesn’t do that much more than Rage on a charge, but on a regular hit he is doing an average of at least 1/2 point of damage more per hit. That’s on the models with the highest defenses, where that 1/2 point of damage will add up. Against lower defense models he does more. Plus, he can benefit from buffs the team hands out that Rage cannot. Now that Rage has lost his utility, Boar is an obvious choice over him in the team. The only thing Rage brings that could be beneficial is that he still causes bleed, which Fillet may like. But I don’t even like him there any more.
So all that is a good argument for not taking Rage, but not necessarily for taking Boar. It’s the other changes that bring him out of your bag in addition to his damage buff. He now has 3 defense (raising 1). It makes 1 in 6 additional dice miss him that didn’t before. Also, his healing has been made proactive. You now have better control when he heals. If you give him an influence he still heals 2, and can heal 4 if he gets to charge, when you need him to heal.
All that and I still probably won’t play him that much, for the same reason I stopped using Rage in Season 2: He’s just too easy to tie up and keep out of the game. I would rather have a player that does more in every situation than in just a few. And with players like Meathook, Boiler, Shank, Brisket(s) and Minx, how can I fit him in?
NowYouSeeMe on the forums replied to my posting of this article to wonder why everyone was down on Boar. as he pointed out, Boar has a pretty low Knockdown and can knockdown the player engaging him to free himself up for the charge. This is not something I’ve considered too much in the past. I think it is because not many of the Butchers have accessible knockdowns, so I’ve not been doing that much, and I would usually choose to do damage instead anyway. But! If Boar can make one attack and free himself up and still be able to charge that increases the amount of damage he would be doing overall. NowYouSeeMe said that he would KD on the first hit if they counter attack or choose damage if they didn’t and KD on the second hit if not the first. That is a solid strategy if he can easily knockdown a player. So let’s look at how likely it is:
Chance of a Knockdown
Ti is likely he will knockdown a lot of players. In fact, breaking it down even further I see that 5/0 has a 50% chance of being knocked down, a 4/1 has a 63% chance of being knocked down, a 3/2 has a 75% chance of being knocked down and everyone else has an 85% or better chance. That’s a lot of players that just get knocked down on the regular.
I’ll have to try this out soon. It does seem like a pretty solid plan.