Chapter 45: Time to Roast

With the release of the Cooks we get a couple more models to add to the Butchers, as well as a new Butchers-like team to play with. I’m a big fan of the Butchers, obviously, and I’m very excited to get these new models on the table.

First up is Roast, one of the players that also plays with Butchers. Roast brings a lot to a Butchers lineup. He is another source of momentous damage (not surprisingly), but the great thing about his momentous damage is that each result comes with a push to help reposition models. Let’s look at his damage output.

Attack Damage
Charge Damage
Weighted Average:2.324.17

Even against high defense models Roast does a consistent two damage with an attack. Intimidation makes his playbook really good. It’s even better on a charge, of course. Anything that gives more dice is very helpful to anyone that has Intimidate. Speaking of extra dice: Wellington has Singled Out! For the Cooks and Boar has it for Butchers. I will make sure I include data for singled out (or if they get a couple crowd outs, which still applies to Butchers).

Attack Damage
Charge Damage
Weighted Average:3.245.11

For Roast adding 2 tac will increase his damage by 1 on average. Keep this little tidbit in mind when you are trying to figure out damage during the game.

One of the big draws of Roast is his ability to let models charge for one less. This is going to be pretty big in both Butchers and Cooks. You should definitely look to put it on someone nearby so he can make use of it as well as others. Several of the models love this discount: Fillet, Shank, and Spice all do.

In addition to that, Roast’s knockdown is pretty appealing. There aren’t a lot of of KDs in Cooks and Roast’s is one of the best. And even looking at Butchers he remains one of the best KDs. (Tenderiser is close in competition, but Intimidate once again makes the difference.) It’s very likely to get the KD on anyone in the game. The Charge column is his chance to wrap into the KD when he charges since his normal KD is pretty much always going to happen on a charge.

Chance on Attack
Chance to Wrap to KD on Charge
Weighted Average:93.87%24.84%

On top of all that is the cherry on top: Resilience and Big Belly. This makes him a very good fist activation (not only because of Get It While It’s Hot). Counter attacks won’t do anything to him. He is also hard to attack into without having combined damage and dodge or push results (if the goal is to do damage). However, anyone that can get around his big belly will be able to take him out fairly quickly because of his low defense.

Overall, I am looking forward to Roast in Butchers, and Cooks in general. I think he will be good with Ox and Fillet (if I can figure out who to drop, I really like my lists). And I cannot even think about dropping him from Cooks, he’s a cornerstone.

Chapter 44: Who wore it best? Boar or Ox?

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:


Damage Value
Stagger Damage
Singled Out Damage
Owner Damage
Get 'em Lads Damage
Veteran Boar2.83.93.8


Damage Value
Stagger Damage
Singled Out Damage
Owner Damage
Get 'em Lads Damage
Veteran Boar4.8

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.

Chapter 43: Stagger or Singled Out? The answer may surprise you!

So with Veteran Captain Boar (VCB as the cool kids are calling him) comes the question: Which is better, Stagger or Singled Out? I looked at everyone that can play for VCB and did some math with singled out and stagger to see what’s what.

Note: I looked at average damage values to figure out which is better. I looked at damage for a couple reasons: 1. I have excel sheets set up to calculate damage already so it was easy to modify for this; 2. Damage is the bread and butter of the Butchers; and 3. Even though we are looking at damage an increase of damage indicates hitting higher in the playbook and thus is an indication of being able to pick more results that aren’t damage in the playbook. (As an example, I didn’t figure out how much more likely it would be for Shank to hit Thousand Cuts, but the character play that gets him more damage output is the character play that makes it easier to hit Thousand Cuts.)

I found that armor didn’t matter for which character play is better, only the defense and what model is doing the attacking. This is helpful for applying my results in a game because it’s one less variable to consider.

Veteran Captain Boar: The main man himself. As I mentioned in the first article I wrote, Boar wants to use Singled Out against 2 defense and Stagger against defense 4 or 5. Against defense 3 it doesn’t really matter which one the enemy has on them.

Princess: Everyone’s favorite dog. Princess benefits the most from Singled Out against any model that has 2, 3, or 4 defense. Against a model with 5 defense it was almost exactly the same, nothing anyone would notice a difference with.

Truffles: The little piggy who could. I just want to say that if Truffles even gets played it’s probably going to be with VCB. In his case it doesn’t matter what the enemy defense is, Truffles benefits more from Singled Out.

Roast: The big man likes singled out a lot. It’s the best against everything but 5 defense. And against 5 defense it’s so close that it doesn’t really matter which you pick.

Cinnamon: This lass is singled out all the way through. Doesn’t matter who she’s attacking those extra dice help her out the most. An easy to remember thing is that both Cooks can’t go wrong with Singled Out.

Boiler: The kid does best with Singled out against anyone that doesn’t have 5 defense. At 5 defense Stagger is better (but it’s not by much).

Brisket: Brisket has weird playbook since everything above column 1 is 2 damage, so the differences here (especially at 5 defense) are really just about how much she can get past column 1. Against 2 and 3 defense she wants Singled Out. Against 5 defense she wants Stagger . Against 4 defense it doesn’t matter which you pick.

Veteran Brisket: Defense 5 is stagger (but it’s close like with Boiler) and the rest is singled out.

Gutter: Just like with Vet Brisket she’s Singled Out against all but 5 defense, where she barely edges into Stagger being better.

Meathook: She had an interesting result. Against either of the 4 defense stats (4/0 or 4/1) she had absolutely no difference in damage if you added singled out or stagger. Everyone else was close when it didn’t matter (not enough difference to matter, but still a difference), but she came out exactly even. Against 2 or 3 defense it’s singled out and against 5 defense it’s stagger.

Veteran Ox: I expect to see this guy in a lot of Boar lists. Against 2 or 3 defense singled out is the go to. Against 4 defense the math slightly tilts toward stagger, but could be either. Stagger for 5 defense.

Shank: Another one I expect to see played with Boar a lot. He had the same results as Veteran Ox: Singled Out against 2 or 3 defense, Stagger by a hair against 4 defense (even closer than Veteran Ox), and stagger for sure against 5 defense.

Tenderiser: The last one. Singled Out against 2 and 3 defense. Every so slight tilt to Singled Out for 4 defense and stagger for 5 defense.

Now, you could use my data and base your choices on the models selected (and even more in depth, the model you are setting up) to figure out what to pick each time, but there’s a pretty general rule that has emerged:

Pick Singled Out against defenses 2, 3, and 4 and pick Stagger against defense 5 (or higher).

Singled out is clearly the best against defense 2 and 3. Stagger is (not quite as) clearly good against 5 defense with almost every model preferring it. 4 defense was a bit harder to call, but not by much. Only a couple prefer stagger against 4 defense and that’s usually barely.

That does bring use to an exception to the rule. Every good rule has to have an exception: If you are trying to kill a 4 defense model with Veteran Boar, pick Stagger instead of Singled Out. Important to know that exception because that WILL come up.

Thanks for reading today. I should have an article soon where I look at damage output of Boar teams vs. Ox teams. There’s a lot of people worried about Boar and I still think Ox is better and I aim to prove it.

Chapter 42: “Told You!” – Brisket about Boar, The Beast Unleashed

Fist of all: Veteran Boar’s Legendary Play, Chop Chop!, sounds more like a Cook’s Guild play than Butchers. Like, I get what they are going for there, but still. Anyway, on to the actual article.

Vet Boar has a lot going on. I’m going to start with what he does for himself and then on to the support for his team.

First, as is normal for my articles, and especially my articles about Butchers, we will look at his damage output.

Attack Damage
Charge Damage
Weighted Average:2.824.76

Boar does more damage, on average, that either Ox or Fillet when the target isn’t bleeding. And he does it more efficiently, usually getting two swings per influence. Plus a free charge some of the time. When you look at the captains already being engaged (no free charge for Boar), then the other captains put out more damage in an activation because they get to make more attacks. Boar only gets 4 attacks while Ox gets 5 and Fillet 6 attacks. If Boar gets a charge off he does more damage than even Fillet attacking a model 6 times that’s already bleeding. Remember, though, that I am talking about averages here, results will vary.

As for momentum generation, if you are taking damage from Boar you are probably getting momentum for it. There is a weird spot in his playbook, though. If you get exactly 5 net hits the highest damage result you can take, 4 damage, is not momentous. It comes with a GB but you will still have to make the choice between momentous 3 and 4 damage GB, but no momentum, at this point. On two net hits you run into a similar choice of either 1 damage and a GB or 2 momentous damage. Depending on what momentum you already have or whether the opponent takes a counter attack will inform this decision and will need to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Speaking of those GB results, let’s look at them. Veteran Boar has two Guild Ball character plays and they are both really good: Singled Out, which gives +2 TAC when attacking the Singled Out model, and Stagger, which reduces the model’s defense by 1. Both can only be put on models Boar is engaging. Both of these are really good in Butchers. Let’s take a look at how these two character plays affect Boar’s attacks. (Not included is how they affect his charges because it’s very unlikely he will get off one of these character plays, then un-engage himself, and then be able to charge. If you do, it’s good. Make sure you take pushes on the free attacks. You’ll want to make sure they are out on a single push result so you don’t lose two attacks worth of damage.)

Staggered Damage
Singled Out Damage
Weighted Average:3.923.77

Both of these results increase his damage for all other attacks by about 1 on average. On first blush it seems like Stagger is better to pick than Singled Out except against the lowest defense, but I want to be sure. For Boar I broke it down to every possible defense and armor combination in the game. The data came out well for Boar to an easy to remember rule: Defense 2 gets Singled Out, Defense 3 it doesn’t really matter, and Defense 4+ gets stagger. Now, in this case I’m not talking about what the defense and armor add up to, but the ACTUAL defenses. I am going to do this with everyone that works for Veteran Boar to see if this holds up for the others or if there are other variations of this rule. Plan to see that article fairly soon.

Before he can benefit from those Character Plays, he has to trigger them. For the 1 damage GB result on column 2, he’s very likely to get that, even against high defense models:

Chance on Attack
Chance on Charge
Weighted Average:90.37%98.29%

The better Guild Ball result, with 4 damage attached, is a lot harder to get. You will probably only trigger it against really low defense models or on the charge. Here are the chances:

Chance on Attack
Chance on Charge
Weighted Average:28.13%71.03%

Another relevant result on his playbook is the KD. Good for counter attacks and for preventing counter attacks. Here are the chances he has to hit that:

Chance on Attack
Chance on Charge
Weighted Average:74.17%93.83%

It’s worth mentioning that his 2 inch push is only 1 column more. With the percentage chance of getting the KD it is also very likely to get the 2 inch push against anyone but the 5 “defense” models. This makes the chance of getting the charge off on someone that has been Singled Out of Staggered more likely (but still kind of Magical Christmas Land, I don’t expect this to be the norm).

So, besides the Character Plays that obviously support the other players but I need to look at in more depth, Boar has his legendary and an aura that allows a player to buy berserk. We will start with the legendary that gives Furious. A free charge (on top of normal influence) is pretty good. Even if all the squaddies on your team get the free charge this is (on average) about 12 additional damage. Comparing that to the other captain’s legendaries it should be doing close to the same amount or more. Ox’s legendary will do the same amount of extra damage over 6-12 attacks and it would take Fillet getting 4 models with bleed to do 12 damage. However, that assumes that 4 squaddies get a charge and your opponent can easily make sure that does happen, especially since the models have to be in the legendary aura (6″) when they make their free charge, not when he legendaries. If Boar legendaries and then charges something your models might no longer be within 6 of Boar.

Berserk also seems like it’s really strong for a Butchers squaddie to gain, and it’s pretty good, but maybe not as good as it first seems. You have to spend 1 influence to gain the berserk leaving only 2-3 influence to make attacks if the model is fully loaded. It doesn’t seem worth doing on the models that only hold 3 influence (unless they are also charging for free) because they only get one additional attack out of it. That means Meathook, Vet Ox, and Cinnamon aren’t getting much benefit. The models that hold 4 end up with 2 extra attacks if it all works out, which is better. Even with those two extra attacks the squaddie only ends up doing 4 extra damage, usually. You should be getting at least 4 extra damage from Ox’s owner aura, probably more each turn.

Looks like the easiest comparison would be to Captain Ox. They have similar defenses, similar output, and similar support. Ox leans more to the support side, letting the team do more damage, and Boar leans more to the personal output side, doing more damage himself (more efficiently). Personally, I think I will still play Ox. I’m going to get games in with Boar and see if that changes my mind. Fillet still brings a lot of differences to match ups that I don’t think Boar really handles: she has high defense and good mobility. He sure does look fun, though.

Chapter 41: Celebrate This?

I don’t think this update to Tenderiser is really a celebration…

I finally (FINALLY!) figured out how to use Tenderiser as a control piece and they change him. I was, foolishly, playing Tenderiser into scoring teams instead of fighting teams. I saw the light and was using him well. Tenderiser mattered and was doing a lot in my games. He will not be used in the same way now.

A rundown of the changes: His KD has moved down one column. That column had two results already, a tackle and a double push, so they were combined into one result. He lost rush keeper completely and it’s replaced by Celebrate THIS!, which automatically does 4 damage to anyone that scores a goal while Tenderiser is within 6″ of the goal. His other trait (the one that raises the TN of making goals by 1) was extended to 6″ and renamed.

Tenderiser is vary firmly in the “Play against scoring teams” category when he gets played now. I’ll have to try him out against teams like Fish, Navigators, and Miners before I make a final decision on him for my teams.

I can see, at least, how Celebrate THIS! could come into play during a game. I find that it’s not uncommon for my Butchers to get an enemy striker down to low health without being able to quite finish them off because they usually have high defense. So this could put a striker in danger of dying when they score a goal. Now, that damage comes after they score a goal, so they are trading their striker for 4 points in that case, a trade they are probably willing to make. It does mean you take out their striker without any extra influence expended, though.

For the math portion of this article all I really only have the change to the KD to talk about. Everything else would be the same math as the last time I wrote about Tendersiser (here).

Chance on Attack
Chance on Charge
Weighted Average:76.39%96.01%

Against the 2 and 3 defense models the likelihood of getting a KD didn’t change too much, but against the 4 defense it became about 22% more likely and against 5 defense models it became about 33% more likely. Those are pretty good improvements.

Like I said, I am going to give him a go into goal scoring teams with the changes and see how I like him now. And I will morn the Tenderiser of the past and all the great things he did (mostly give my opponents headaches).

Chapter 40: And Finally… Ox

It’s pretty fitting that I bookend this series of articles with Ox. Ox was the first character for Season 4 that I wrote about (because he was the first Butchers model spoiled). And now I end my articles for season 4 Butchers (until Cooks come out) with veteran Ox.

First thing about VOx is that he lost his Get stuck in character play to just gain the new and improved Rowdy. So now he can gain gang ups, but no crowding out penalty. That gets rid of the guild ball on his playbook. Other changes to his playbook are that 1 damage on column 1 is now momentous, and his tackle is not momentous now (no surprise there). Already those are big improvements. Let’s talk about what he lost. He no longer heals himself and no longer has a discount on charging (the Cooks might have something to do with the last one). Instead of healing at the end of activation, and doing damage to those that attack him, Steamforged has kind of combined those two. VOx now does 3 (3!) damage to every model in his melee range at the end of his activation. He doesn’t even have to make attacks to use this, it just happens. His Owner aura has also gone up to 6″ to match the Captain version, but he still has to make a take out.

I don’t have a lot to say about him other than he’s better at what I think he was supposed to do before. His damage is the same as last time I wrote about him (here), but now he will make momentum each time he chooses damage (got to love momentous damage on 1). That extra 3 damage at the end of his activation is really good. I can see that finishing off a model or two and activating the Owner aura to benefit the rest of the team. Fillet loves the Owner aura. It’s time to try him out again, and see if he will make the team. And if not now, Cooks are on the horizon and it will be time to reevaluate each model again.

Chapter 39: Tenderiser? I barely know… there is no way I haven’t already used that joke

Tenderiser has undergone quite a few changes. First he’s gone to 6 TAC and had his playbook reworked to be 6 columns (including a momentous 5 damage on 6). He’s lost seismic kick, but his kick stat changed to 2/6″ (up a die, but down 2″). He now generates 2 influence (by itself this would probably mean he saw the table more for some players). Overall, he’s a lot better. Loses an character play I never used with him. Can be a beater when he needs to be. He lost the combo results on his playbook (no damage push, or damage KD), which I think I will miss, but I think he does what you want him to do better, stand near the goal to make things more difficult for the opposing team.

First, let’s look at his damage potential, if he decides to get into the fight.

Attack Damage
Charge Damage
Weighted Average:1.663.43

He does comparable damage to Gutter, a little less on the charge than she does, but pretty similar all around. This puts him in the class below what Boiler and Shank do without buffs. This is still not bad damage, most guilds would probably like someone that does this kind of damage, but not the cream of the crop for Butchers. All his damage is momentous, so he should convert any attack to momentum, unless you are going for a KD or something else.

Speaking of that KD, let’s take a look at it.

Chance on Attack
Chance on Charge
Weighted Average:49.01%87.40%

He’s got a decent KD on an attack, but the real magic happens with a charge. He’s very likely to get the KD on the charge, meaning that he can put a pretty hard stop to a goal run on a Rush Keeper charge, if your opponent lets you. One of the big problems with Tenderiser is that he never gets to do what he wants. People have figured out how to get around counter charge abilities and it doesn’t even take them that long to figure out, so it’s not even using much of their clock. Tenderiser may be better off coming out of the goal and being an active member of the team, especially late game. This feels weird to me since I have traditionally picked him as a model I don’t have to allocate anything to so I can give it all to other models. That might be where I land on him again, but at least he generates 2 influence now so it’s easier to pick him instead of someone else to stand there and do nothing.

Last thing I want to get to is his chance to ground pound on a charge. This is a pretty good result since it includes damage, a push, and KD to multiple models in range.

Chance on Attack
Chance on Charge
Weighted Average:49.01%87.40%

If this is your goal, you will want to target a model with 4 defense or lower to get it off, especially if he’s going to be crowded out. I don’t see this coming up all that often, but it’s there in case you need it.

I don’t think there is any denying that Tenderiser got better. It’s now definitely possible to play him as an active member of the team, but I think I’ll end up keeping him influence free and by the goal, at least with Fillet. I can see Ox hanging back and waiting for the enemy team (if he has the ball) and Tenderiser joining the fray once it arrives.

Chapter 38 – The one where Ross gets Shanked

Let’s dive right into new (old) Shank. Shank can now hold 4 influence again (and still generates 2), but his tackle moved up one column and became non-momentous. He’s probably better than he was before. A little worse at tackling, but that extra influence is exactly what the Butchers players have been asking for.

I haven’t done a real article on Shank, so here we go. First, damage output.

Attack Damage
Charge Damage
Weighted Average:1.922.90

If you’ve been playing Guild Ball long enough, the results here are not much of a surprise. Shank is likely to do 2 damage on an attack and 3 on a charge. He should get 1 momentum for each swing. Two damage a swing takes models out, though, and that’s before any buffs. In Ox’s aura, for example, Shank gets an extra expected damage on attacks and charges. Same for Tooled Up. Stacking buffs is a good thing. If Shank, or anyone else, attacks with tooled up, in Owner, against a model with Butchery, he gets +3 damage. Shank would likely take a model from 15 to 0 and still have an influence to Where did he go? away from the fight if he was fully loaded. Shank’s strength though, with his 2″ melee and dodges all around his playbook, is that he can put damage on several models, or get to models that are normally hard to get to (like Obulus). He’s a good finisher. I’ve played him a couple times at the time of this writing and in one game (with Fillet, so he didn’t really have buffs) he took Cosset out after she came back on the pitch and scored a goal in one activation. Cosset is one of the easiest models to take out, but it shows that with the right target Shank can take out those models that come back like he used to, speeding up the game.

Now, let’s talk about the change to his playbook. His tackle is now higher. Here’s the chance of getting that tackle.

Chance on Attack
Chance on Charge
Weighted Average:49.01%87.40%

Against the models that normally hold the ball, Shank will only be able to get a tackle with a charge. This is actually a pretty big change since before he had a decent chance of getting it off any player. Look for opportunities when the ball ends up on a lower defense model for Shank to get in there and take the ball. He’s one of the best models to take advantage of small breaks in the enemy defense on the team, for goal scoring or for trying to take out weak/squishy models.

The last thing I want to talk about in this article is Shank’s ability to make it easier for other models to get take outs. That ability is Thousand Cuts. Here’s the chance of getting it on a charge (and attack is very unlikely, but if you get it you should consider taking it if you are going to make any more attacks into that model).

Chance on Charge
Weighted Average:52.92%

The best use for this is to trigger it on someone with lower defense (it’s likely on 3 or 4 defense models) and put it on another, higher defensive model within 6″. Charging into a 2/1 to put thousand cuts on a 5/0 makes it really easy to kill that 5/0 with someone, possibly including Shank himself. I have found myself in the past no choosing this result because of it’s low damage, but I need to remember that I can target someone else, and that -2 defense is a pretty big deal that will lead to a lot more damage if I have other attacks I can get to the target.

Now that Shank can hold 4 influence again I’ll be putting him back on the table. I like the updated playstyle for Butchers, fast and dangerous, and Shank embodies that pretty well.

Chapter 37: The Gutter One

I never got around to writing a veteran Gutter article when she came out, so this will be a full on article with all the bells and whistles.

First, her changes. Gutter’s tackle goes from column 4 to column 2, which is a change in the opposite direction with other Butchers changes, but becomes non-momentous, a change similar to other Butchers. She picks up a double push on column 4. Grapple Hook changed to names to Route One. And, finally, Gutter trades in Resolute for Sweeping Charge.

The last is a pretty big change. It means that if you are going to use Gutter you are going to want her to charge, and it’s going to affect her charge damage a lot. So, let’s take a look at that damage output.

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Gutter does a momentous 1 to most models in the game. If they have 3 combined defense after anatomical it’s usually 2, but a lot of those models have tough hide. Her normal damage output isn’t that great. Her charge output is pretty good, though. She will usually do at least 5 damage to her target, and will do 3 damage to any other models in her melee range. Be careful since it doesn’t say enemy for that charge damage. Whatever the result, if it’s damage it’s going to be momentous.

Also, under Ox, or any other damage buff, you can add +1 damage to attacks and +2 damage to charges and be pretty close to what damage to expect from Gutter.

Her other playbook results are what you would expect. Don’t expect a KD, except on a charge. Same with double push, since it’s the same column. Route one has about a 50/50 chance to get off against the majority of models (the ones that have a 4 combined defense after anatomical). The single push is pretty likely, which helps some with counters. Route one is a decent way to get out of melee on a counter. Don’t do it if they only have 1 attack after, though, since they will get the equivalent of that attack, but at +2 TAC because it’s a parting blow.

Really, Gutter doesn’t do that much damage, except on a charge. Boiler, Shank, or anyone else with 2 damage on 2 will do more than her, even with anatomical precision. 2″ melee is nice to have for a lot of reasons, but I’m having a hard time wanting to fit her in to my lineups with the other options out there. It’s going to come down to how many 2″ melee models I need, because she’s almost last on the 2″ list.

Chapter 36: Meathook’s playing football in someone’s backyard

The ball is really squishy, made of foam, so the kids won’t get hurt. Meathook has a nerf, is what I’m saying.

Not that this comes as a surprise. She was considered an “auto-include” by most of the online community. And really, the changes that were made won’t keep her from getting played. Let’s go over them.

First, she lost smell blood (the +1 damage and +0/+2″ to charges against bleeding targets). With this change I think it’s more likely that Meathook doesn’t do follow up attacks on the same model. Her damage output isn’t very good without that extra +1 damage.

Another change is that her tackle has moved from 2 to 4 and became non-momentous. She also lost her other tackle that had 2 damage attached. Not a surprise since a bunch of other Butchers saw a similar treatment. This one hurt me a little since I’ve used her to steal the ball a lot more than I thought I would have.

Finally, hooked no longer applies a -1 defense that can never be cleared by the opponent, instead it applies snared (and the bleed was rolled in there as well). Being able to clear this certainly hurts the Butchers player, but it was the only way to lower defense that couldn’t be cleared, so not surprising that it changed. She still has the -4/-4 move as a heroic, so she can really lower speed a lot now.

There isn’t a lot of extra math to do with Meathook. My last article on her went over damage (just look at what she is base). Momentum is very likely with momentous damage on 1, even against high defense. She still has tooled up, causes bleed, and lowers defense (even if it may not last as long), so she’s still going to see play, especially with Fillet. I’m thinking she may not make every Ox lineup now, though. I will be experimenting to figure out what I’m going to play.