In this article I’m going to examine the output of Ox and Boar teams. I have seen a lot of talk on the social medias about Boar being very powerful, and even ruining the game. Some of that opinion comes from Boar’s own output, and some is from his support of his team. It’s my opinion that while he is more efficient, Fillet (against bleeding targets) does more damage and Ox’s support is more consistent and will do more damage in most situations. Let’s take a look at a couple situations and see how it they two captains stack up.
For this article I’m going to use the team of Princess, Shank, Cinnamon, Roast, and Gutter. This is a team that can be played with both captains (since no veteran Ox) and will do at least ok with both captains. When putting this lineup together I made choices that favored Boar. For example, Cinnamon is better for Boar than Ox because of the free charge. Same for Gutter most of the time. The other two are pretty good with both.
I am going to use the expected damage values for my comparison. These “averages” are calculated with spikes (both high and low) calculated into the numbers and are as close to predicting what a model will do as you can get.
Here are the damage values I’m going to use:
Singled Out Damage
Get 'em Lads Damage
Singled Out Damage
Get 'em Lads Damage
Some notes on the values up there: Those are the expected damage values taking into account every model in the game and how often models with each defensive stat shows up. This creates a value based on playing into all models in the game instead of just a certain stat. The other option is assuming the most frequent (often considered the “average”) defensive stats of 4/1 and doing the math that way, but I don’t find that tells as much since all models don’t have 4/1 (3/1, for example, is a VERY popular defensive stat). Also, Gutter’s extra damage for a charge is already factored into the charge values above. Lastly, It’s just not likely that you will get a charge with Boar after he applies Stagger or Singled Out since he is applying them and even if you do the lose of damage from pushes is pretty close to the extra damage you get from that charge, so I’m just going to leave that option off for the purposes of this exercise.
I’m going to look at a couple scenarios here. Basically I’m going to look at a regular turn and legendary turn, each of which is either you get to do everything you want vs. the opponent being a pretty good player and shutting down about half your shenanigans. Then I will look at what I feel (and I’ve seen others mention) is the best way to make sure you get as much as you can from Boar’s legendary in a real game: to move into position with with and legendary without him doing any work and what that would look like for Ox to do the same thing (which is a fairly common Ox strategy). Because this scenario is supposed to be one that helps out on the table we are just going to look at the opponent shutting down stuff, a realistic expectation, and not the magical Christmas land version.
I’ve talked on social media a little about how I expect this to turn out, but in case you haven’t seen me on there: I expect Boar in magical Christmas land to come out on top, but that Ox in the real situation where the opponent is shutting down some of the power will come out on top. Same with the “stand back and legendary” scenario: I expect Ox to come out on top. Not having run these exact numbers (just talking about it in more general terms) I expect to learn something from this exercise as I hope others will too.
For spending influence I will be prioritizing who will get the influence based on the most output. For example, the best squaddie to do regular attacks in Roast and the best one to do a charge is Gutter (as the numbers above show). I am also never going to use gang ups or cover or any other modifier to dice since that complicates things and not every using it is at least fair to both captains.
Magical Christmas Land without Legendary:
In Magical Christmas Land your opponent never stops you from doing what you want. If you want a charge then you are free to charge, everyone is always in ranged for everything, and no one ever counters. It’s a nice place to think about.
Starting off with Veteran Captain Boar. Boar gets 2, Roast gets 4, Shank gets 4, Gutter gets 2, and the last goes to Cinnamon since she makes better attacks than Gutter. Cinnamon have to go without. Boar gets to charge and can choose to take the 4 damage GB result and put up Stagger. He then takes 5 additional attacks at the Stagger damage. That’s 23.5 damage. Because it’s Magical Christmas Land, the player has exactly 23 damage and this just barely kills that player. Yay! 23 damage so far. Roast gets to go and gets to buy berserk. He walks into melee range and makes 6 attacks because of berserk. That’s a total of 13.8, let’s call it 14, damage to that player and a total of 37 damage so far. Shank gets to go and make 4 attacks into a player doing 8 damage bringing our overall total to 45 damage. The last model with influence, Gutter, makes a charge (because it’s better than 2 attacks). That’s 5 (rounded up from 5.2) damage on her activation. Then Cinnamon makes an attack for 2 more damage (round up from 1.8). Over the turn the team does 52 damage, that’s quite a lot of damage. It’s also worth noting that this produces 16 momentum over the turn.
Now, Ox’s turn. Gutter gets 2 (charges with Gutter are SO good), Roast gets 4, Shank gets 4, and Cinnamon get 3. Since everyone gets to be in Owner, because of Magical Christmas Land, Ox’s attacks are some of the worst in the team. Gutter gets to charge someone while staying in Owner to do 6.4 damage which we will call 6. Roast makes 4 attacks at 3.3 damage for a total of 13 (rounded down from 13.2). So far the team has done 19 damage. Shank gets to make his 4 attacks for 12 damage and a total of 31 for the team. Finally, Cinnamon gets her 3 attacks and does 8 (rounded down from 8.4). The damage for the team ends up at 39 total. That’s 13 less damage than Boar. The team also makes 12 momentum, a couple less than what Boar made.
Boar is clearly the better captain in Magical Christmas Land. He does a lot more damage and makes 4 more momentum.
Magical Christmas Land with Legendaries
For Boar: Boar gets 2, Roast gets 4, Shank gets 4, and Cinnamon gets 3. We are still in Magical Christmas Land so Boar will get to do all his output and everyone else on the team will still get their free charges, even Gutter and Princess. Boar does the same activation as before, except he also legendaries, so he gets to do 23.5 damage. Once again we will call this taking out a 23 hp model. Roast buys berserk and gets a free charge. The free charge does 4.2 and then he gets to make 7 other attacks at 2.3 damage which totals 20.3 damage for Roast’s turn. We will call that 20 for a total of 43 damage after two activations. Gutter gets a free charge and so does Princess, that’s 8 damage between the two of them for 51 damage so far. Then Shank makes a free charge and 4 attacks, that’s 11 more damage for a total of 62 damage. Then Cinnamon gets to do her free charge and make 3 attacks. That’s about 9 more damage for 71 damage that turn and 24 momentum. That is a lot of damage and momentum.
Ox’s turn. Once again others have better attacks than Ox so he will legendary and then stand there as his team attacks. Roast gets 4, Shank gets 4, Gutter gets 2 and Cinnamon gets 3. Remember, everyone is in legendary range in Magical Christmas Land. Roast makes 4 attack doing 4.7 damage per attack for about 19 damage. Shank attacks his 4 times for 16 damage, bringing the total to 35 damage so far. Gutter gets to charge someone in the legendary range for 7.6 damage, we will call it 8 for 43 damage total. Finally, Cinnamon gets her 3 attacks, adding 11 damage (11.4, really but 11 is close enough) to get a total of 54 damage. That’s almost 20 damage less than Boar. Also, this team produces 12 momentum, the same as before because Ox’s efficiency is in more damage per attack, not more attacks. In case you didn’t notice, this is half as much as Boar.
Boar definitely wins Magical Christmas Time. Get does bonkers damage if your opponent doesn’t do anything to stop him from doing everything he wants. I think everyone already knew this. I was certainly ready to cede this point to anyone, I just don’t think it’s very useful info. These should only happen against pretty new players and if you do this to a new player I think it would be completely justifiable for that player to quit the game. It’s not fun to be on the receiving end of this.
Realistic Turn without Legendaries
For this lets at least say that you get to make attacks with your influence. That is not always the case because of placements and other effects, but it’s the case at least a lot of the time. Assuming a good player you probably don’t get to make your free charge with Boar, at least a lot of the time. It’s not that hard to engage him with one or more models. With one model engaging he could maybe get himself free and charge, but that doesn’t overly help Boar’s damage output (it does help some). If your opponent gets two models on Boar it’s really not worth making two pushes to then get a free charge. Plus, the chances of getting two pushes isn’t super likely and you should just take the regular damage. On the Ox team a good player is going to minimize the attacks you can do while within the Owner aura. So lets just say that half the models with influence will get to make their attacks within the aura. Since Shank can get pretty far we’ll take him out of the aura, and Gutter wants to charge, so let’s charger her out of the aura. We’ll let Cinnamon and Roast stay inside to make their attacks. That’s about half the influence in and half out and is a good mix of models that have good attacks and the ones that don’t get as good of attacks in each category.
Boar’s team: Boar gets 2, Roast 4, Shank 4, 2 to Gutter, and the last one to Cinnamon. Same layout as before. Boar gets to make 4 attacks. Our opponent, that is good at the game, decides to counter attack. He or She is probably doing that because they have a KD because respositions will allow a free charge (unless there’s another model tying Boar up, then it might be an option). To get back up from that counter you will need to take a momentous result, so let’s call that they base 2.8 damage. Then you can take the 1 damage GB result to put on Singled Out (because there’s not much difference for our numbers in this problem and singled out helps the other models more. The rest of the attacks make up for the lack of damage on that since they now do 3.8 damage each. Add up his turn and he does 11.4 damage and makes 2-3 momentum (depending of if he has to spend to stand up). That’s probably not enough to finish the model off, so let’s just use Gutter to finish that model with a charge. Gutter does 6.7 damage on a charge under stagger. That brings us up to 18 damage and 4 momentum(ish). Roast gets to buy berserk (if he’s in range, but let’s say he is). Roast gets to do 6 attacks at 2.3 damage for about 14 damage. Now we are up to 32 damage and 10 momentum. Shank makes his 4 attacks adding 8 damage and 4 momentum while Cinnamon gets 1 attack and for 2 damage (about) and a momentum. Our grand total at this point is 42 damage and 15 momentum.
Ox’s Team: Roast gets 4, Shank 4, Gutter 2, and Cinnamon 3. Roast and Cinnamon get to make attacks in the Owner aura so let’s go ahead and figure that out. 4 attacks at 3.3 damage is 13 damage and 4 momentum and Cinnamon makes 3 attacks to make 8 damage and 3 momentum. That’s 21 damage and 7 momentum. Gutter charges someone for 5.2 damage and 1 momentum (probably). Now we have 26 damage and 8 momentum. Shank attacks and gets 8 damage and 4 more momentum. That put us at 34 damage and 12 momentum.
Honestly, I expected this to be closer in damage based on some rough numbers I’ve been running through when I’ve talked to people about this, Boar has a bit of a lead in this scenario. Before I’ve always used Shank for the Berserk attacks (because he seemed like the best model to do so, but turns out that’s Roast). It’s a lot harder to stop Shank from making all his attacks than Roast (if you pop Resilience before Roast goes he’s pretty easy to turn off with a counter because of the 1″ melee, you just need 2″ disengage). So sometimes it will just be better to take it on him for that reason. That does cut a damage from that, but that isn’t enough. It’s because of Boar’s personal output that puts the damage up so far over an Ox team. The more you can reduce Boar’s output the closer those will be because Ox’s owner aura makes up for the damage the berserk attacks do most of the time (but does produce less momentum). The whole Boar plan and how good it will be will come down to how good your opponent is at stopping Boar and how good you are at making sure Boar gets to do things.
Even with this I’m not yet convinced that Boar is the better overall captain. I’m closer to that, but its just so hard to keep an Ox team from doing a bunch of damage and it’s easier to shut Boar down. If you use concussion to strip 2 influence from Boar then you lose most of the damage output for the team. Taking 2 influence from an Ox team isn’t a big difference. If you can push Boar out of 6″ of his team then he loses a lot of other things. If you stay away from a Boar team so that they can’t get to you, especially Boar himself, they don’t do as much. In an Ox list, especially with the players I normally play, even when I can’t get to the enemy with a charge I can throw character plays with conditions that still do a lot of damage. Ox can always do some work no matter what’s going on in the game or how much the team is controlled.
Remember: I built the team above to favor Boar, and we see a Boar advantage. If I built the team to advantage Ox it would either be much closer or give an advantage to Ox.
Realistic Turn with Legendaries
Like in the last one we are playing against a pretty good opponent. In this case for Ox we will have the same models attacking within and without the aura. For Boar we will have Shank get a free charge because it’s very hard to stop him from doing so, and we will give Princess a free charge because that can probably be easily arranged since she won’t be a priority. I want to give one model a free charge here and I think out of the options an opposing player would try to tie everyone else up over Cinnamon, so she gets the free charge. Gutter, Boar, and Roast are all too dangerous to get free charges and so the opponent will do their best to stop these and could very well succeed, so they won’t get free charges. Also, Shank will take Berserk since he’s the best model making a free charge to take it.
BOAR: Boar gets 2, Shank gets 4, Roast gets 4, Cinnamon gets 3. During planning we probably hope to get a free charge with Gutter, but of course we won’t. If Gutter doesn’t get that charge her attacks aren’t very good so that influence is better in Cinnamon. Boar gets his 4 attacks. He takes 2.8 damage to have momentum to make counters, then 1 GB to put up singled out, then 3.8 times 2 for a total of 3 momentum and 11 damage. Shank goes, buys Berserk and makes attacks, somewhere in there he dodges so he can make a free charge and berserk off that. So in his activation he makes 1 charge attack and 7 regular attacks. That’s 8 more momentum and 17 damage. We now have made 11 momentum and 28 damage. Cinnamon gets a free charge and 3 attacks for 4 momentum and 9 damage. We now have 20 momentum and 37 damage. Roast makes his 4 regular attacks to add 4 momentum and 9 more damage. Bringing us up to 24 momentum and 46 damage. Compared to Boar without legendary we made quite a bit more momentum, but didn’t do very much more damage.
OX: Shank gets 4, Gutter gets 2, Roast gets 4, and Cinnamon gets 3. Roast makes 4 attacks for 19 damage and 4 momentum. Yes, 19 damage. Cinnamon makes her 3 attacks for 11 more damage and 3 momentum. After the models who get to attack in the aura are done we have 30 damage and 7 momentum. Shank makes his 4 attacks doing 8 damage and 4 momentum while Gutter charges for an extra momentum and 5 damage. This brings our totals up to 43 damage and 12 momentum. This was much closer than the last comparison.
I still think it’s easier to get the Ox bonus than the Boar bonuses. In this example I had some in and some out on both, but I think it’s way more likely that you can make attacks while in the legendary bubble than get to make most of your free charges because you can more easily shut down charges than get people out of the Legendary bubble on Ox.
However, the math isn’t really going my way and is doing a pretty good job of disproving me. I’m not a fan of my own math arguing against me, to tell you the truth. Mostly what I have at this point is my experience as a Butchers player for the entirety of the game and my own feelings on how things will play out in my corner. I have to admit though, my resolve on this issue is dissolving. I do have one more scenario to run through, though.
Stand Back and Use Legendary
When I saw Boar’s legendary play the second thing I thought was: “That’s going to be hard to use.” (The first thought was “Wow.”) Boar is definitely a model that wants to get involved in the fight. As we saw above, a lot of the damage Boar does over Ox’s team is tied to Boar himself. If he charges up into the fight he might outpace his team and then others might not get free charges from the feat, especially if the other team has some pushes to move him so no one is in the furious bubble. To counteract this you can legendary and then stay in a place where your models will stay in the legendary play bubble. This has the best chance of making sure you get use of the the legendary. So we will do this with Boar and the same with Ox. Like before we will have the same models get free charges vs not getting free charges and attack in the legendary vs not attack in the legendary.
Boar legendaries and stands there so he gets nothing. Shank 4, Roast 4, Cinnamon 3, and Gutter 2. Gutter and Roast don’t get to charge so the just attack for a total of 12 damage and 6 momentum. Shank buys berserk and manages a free charge in his activation for 1 charge and 7 normal attacks. That makes 17 damage and 8 momentum bringing our total up to 29 damage and 14 momentum. Princess makes a free charge bringing our totals up to 32 damage and 15 momentum. Cinnamon gets a free charge and makes 3 attacks adding 4 momentum and 9 damage. We have 41 damage and 19 momentum over the turn.
Ox will also legendary and stand there. Shank gets 4, Roast 4, Cinnamon 3 and Gutter 2. Roast makes 4 attack in Legendary range and Cinnamon makes 3 inside the bubble. That’s 30 damage and 7 momentum. Shank gets 4 attacks outside and Gutter makes a charge outside. This is the same turn of events as the last set so we already know it totals 43 damage and 12 momentum. That’s barely better than Boar…
Huh. I… I could be wrong… before I shortcut the math a bit and compared what I thought things were adding to the damage and got very close numbers. With how much easier it was to shut down Boar’s extras than Ox’s I figured that the numbers were close enough that any kind of control puts the math in favor of Ox. However, it’s starting to look like if you can’t completely shut down Boar’s shenanigans then he can keep up with Ox and even surpass him on damage output. There are still things that this doesn’t show, like relative versatility of their actual chosen line ups and things like skewing for higher defense (which probably favors Ox more when fighting against) that need to be put on the table and tried, but this is enough that I will no longer be arguing against people on the social medias that Ox will be better than Boar without getting a lot of playtime with him.