Tag: butchersguild

Chapter 16: Tenderiser? I barely know her!

Oh, Tenderiser. Someone once told me that Tenderiser is amazing. I believe he sited the +1 TN to goal shots as the reason to take him. I think that is a good place to start my article. That +1 TN to goal shots makes goals miss approximately 10% of the time. So 1 in 10 goals made with Tenderiser standing near the goal will miss when it would have otherwise hit. In a tournament it is conceivable that 10 goals are made on your team, and Tenderiser only makes one of those miss. I’m sorry, but that, alone, is not a good enough reason to take Tenderiser.

Let’s see what else he brings. First, it’s Butchers, so his damage output:

Regular Attack
Charge Attack

It’s… not so great. The low end for a Butcher (around what Boiler is without the dog). He also only brings 1 influence, so there are just better options if you want to do damage.

So what about Rush Keeper? There is good news there:

Tackle Chance
KD Chance

When Tenderiser gets off a Rush Keeper Charge he is very likely to knockdown or tackle the player he gets a charge on. That’s good, when he gets a Rush Keeper charge off. It has been my experience as a player that my opponents work to get around Rush Keeper to make sure it never goes off. I have gotten to charge from the ability very few times, and I’ve played him a lot historically. Now, that has its own benefits. If your opponent is playing around Rush Keeper then you are limiting their options and making them solve a puzzle that can sometimes be pretty hard to solve. So, finally, some worthwhile upside for this model! Combine the puzzle Tenderiser presents with the +1 TN and you have a decent goal defender. Together that makes it so people aren’t scoring with players that aren’t dedicated strikers (something a lot of people aren’t doing anyway), and makes it a little harder for the strikers to do what they do.

There are two more things on his card I want to talk about. First is Seismic Kick. Not a bad ability, if he wasn’t kicking with 1 die. It means that 50% of the time the ball scatters and may knock down some of your own models, or miss the models that you wanted to knockdown (25% of the time if you spend a momentum to get 2 dice). It’s a cool ability that he won’t get to use very often. Second is Ground Pounder. Also a cool play. It’s a good area control piece, that he won’t get to use very often. It’s not likely to get on a charge and paying 3 influence is tough. This will require some set up to get off and make use of, but is great if you can give him that set up.

All in all, Tenderiser is a decent player for sitting near the goal to make shooting tougher, and generates an influence he doesn’t need to give the team. I have traditionally taken him against teams like the fish that want to score, but that doesn’t seem to slow them down. It seems like he is better against teams that Butchers can out fight even with a man down, so will want to score, but doesn’t have more than one good striker. Someone like the Morticians. I don’t think there are very many teams that fit that description. He is currently in my 9, but I don’t see him staying there. There are just too many good options for Butchers right now, and he’s a little behind the curve in the areas I want to focus.

Chapter 15: Boiler is the man (well, boy)

This is the article I should have written a long time ago, but kept putting it off since I wrote the one article mostly about Boiler before. And then I talked about him again in the Mat Hart letter. I actually talk about him a lot. I compare the damage output to Boiler for every model. So, here we go, Boiler’s damage output:

Regular Attack
Charge Attack
Assist Attack
Assist Charge
Weighted Average:1.833.113.104.94

He hits pretty hard, as long as Princess is there. Without Princess he doesn’t hit particularly hard. And as long as he’s getting out of the first column he racks up the momentum. Outside of attacking (which is what you want to do with him) he has decent defensive stats and kicking stats, for the Butchers. With Ox he’s one of my main damage dealers. With Fillet it seems like I use his character plays more often than I attack with him. Marked Target can let my flankers come in on someone they don’t normally reach and swift stance if obviously good. He usually only ends up with 1 influence on the Fillet team to either make an attack or mark target in most turns. Ox gives him 4 every turn so he can do work.

He’s a player that you will want to walk into combat instead of charging if possible, and every single buff he gets is great, TAC or Damage or Defense. Any little bit he gets really pushes him over the edge.

Boiler is one of my favorite players in the game. He didn’t start that way, but after using him it was clear that he does a lot.

Chapter 14: I hope this one doesn’t Boar you

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:

Regular Attack
Charge Attack

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:

Boar Damage
Old Damage
Boar Charge
Old Charge

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 Damage
Rage Damage
Boar Charge
Rage Charge

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.

Chapter 9: Yes, I’m going to talk about Meathook

I plan on using Meathook starting with my next game. You may think I’m crazy, but I have good reason for my insanity. It all has to do with how Boiler has worked for me in my Fillet team. As I have learned, and I’ve heard others agree, all the team’s influence goes to Fillet and Shank in a Fillet lead team. That doesn’t leave much to give someone like Boiler or Brisket, and that is better used on Brisket to keep up a goal threat. Boiler gets nothing for most of the game. The time Boiler starts to get some is when Fillet or, more likely, Shank gets taken out. That puts them out of position and Boiler comes into play. By that point Princess could be dead, so he doesn’t get a buff, and a good player will prevent you from getting the buff even if Princess is still in the game. This is where Meathook comes in. With her heroic play she can do something even with no influence and, as we will see in this article, she can do similar amounts of damage as Boiler, without the use of another model. Now, that does reduce the amount of influence available by one. I do have an answer for that in my next article.

So, now that I feel like I’ve explained why she’s going to get played, let’s talk about what she can do.

First thing is what you should expect: Damage output. Here is the table:

Regular Attack
Extra Attack
Charge Attack
Defense/ArmorRegular AttackExtra AttackCharge Attack

Her damage values are almost the same as Boiler’s without the Princess bonus. Which is very favorable because she also gets a +1 damage bonus (like Boiler) for something that you are trying to do anyway: Bleed. Even more important, she causes bleed on damage so she buffs all her attacks after the first even if they do not have bleed on them already. She can also damage a lot of people and put out a lot of bleed on a (very) lucky scything blow.

So, similar damage. And she loses 1 influence, but what does she gain? Wrong! She gains better ball handling! The extra die she gets on kicks gives her a 10-25% better chance of succeeding, depending on the situation. She also has a momentous tackle on two hits, same as V. Brisket (with 1 extra TAC to boot over her). That makes it very likely to tackle. See:

Tackle on attack
Tackle on charge
Tackle on wrap from charge
Defense/ArmorTackle on attackTackle on chargeTackle on wrap from charge

She can get the ball and pass it off with a 75% chance of making that pass. That’s pretty nice for a Butcher’s team.

One influence is a lot to lose, but the addition of someone that can do something for nothing and can play late game like the player that I’m swapping out for, make Meathook actually temping in a Fillet team. I will admit that I initially dismissed Meathook with Fillet when others thought she might get played with her, but I’ve come around. I think I’ll get more out of her than Boiler at this point.

An Update (already) because I forgot to talk about it: If you give Meathook 1 influence on a turn, she can tool up another player. This is far more useful than what most players can do for one influence.

Chapter 8: You wouldn’t like him when he’s RAAAGE!!!!

I want to talk about one of the Union options for Butchers that has been very hit or miss with me. When he works, he is quite good, but when he doesn’t he’s worthless (mostly).

Let’s look at why he’s good. I’m going to include a table now. It is the expected damage values vs. the various defense and armor combinations. I include these tables for those that want to see it all, even though that makes some people stop reading when they get to one. Like Jason. But don’t worry Jason, I explain the relevant parts of the table afterwards.

Regular Attack
Charge Attack

What is important really to note here is that he performs better than Boiler when Boiler doesn’t have the dog (about on level with Boar and Ox against 4/0) but performs worse than Boiler when he has Princess around. This is true of pretty much every Butcher player. So per hit he is on average for Butchers. That is great news for everyone else that can take him. He also causes bleed, which Fillet appreciates. Let’s look at his overall output:

Charge + Buy

So there are three scenarios you can find yourself in with Rage, and they are represented on this table. First is if Rage is left alone to do what Rage does, with 1 influence on him. He gets a charge, a free attack, buys and attack, then gets a free attack doing a lot of damage in the process (10+ against a lot of players). The second column of values is how much he does given his free charge without the extra influence to get two more attacks. Still a lot of damage considering it took 0 resources. I feel like in my games this scenario doesn’t come up very often, at least not as often as the next scenario. The last column is how much damage he does when he can’t get off the free charge and can only buy an attack (and get a free attack). This is very common for me. Better players will tie Rage up immediately, and even if I can get off the free charge once, often that will be the only time for the rest of the game (forgoing shenanigans specifically to clear someone off him). This, I feel, is the actual expected output of Rage. The most likely thing he will do on any given turn. Which is still decent for 1 influence.

Rage has a pretty good Influence to Momentum conversion factor. He will often get the team 2-4 momentum off of 0-1 influence spent. For a lot of teams this is very good since they have trouble making influence. For Butchers it doesn’t seem like as big of a deal, but I cannot argue with how efficient he is.

Overall he seems pretty good on paper, then I play him and he’s good for a couple games, then I run into an opponent that completely shuts him down for a game and I’m off him again for a couple games. I still don’t actually know what to think of him.

Feel free to leave your comments about what you think of Rage.

Chapter 7: Brisket is a little young to have served in the armed forces.

I want to start this article by saying I’ve had no table time with Veteran Brisket. As such, I will stick strictly to the Maths (as they say over seas) and impressions and not to my person experiences. If I feel V. Brisket needs another article after she is released and I get her on the table, then I will write one.

First thing I want to do is compare her threat-on-goal distance versus regular Brisket. She has the same move stat 6/8, and the same base kick stat 3/8″. She loses supershot over regular Brisket. This means a loss of a die and a loss of 2″ of kick. Instead she gains Quick Time. This makes up for her kick going down 2″, but not the -1 die on kicks. There are two situations I find Brisket in a lot that the veteran is better at dealing with.

The first is when the opponent has the ball and Brisket wants to go steal it and score (or kick it away). Regular Brisket has to move in (or charge) and attack to steal the ball, then make an attack to get out of combat, supershot, then kick (or if charge then steal the ball, dodge, and kick). This is a cost of 4 influence and it relies on that second attack actually getting a big enough dodge. Something that has not proven to be reliable in my experiences. Veteran Brisket can move in (or charge) and make an attack, quick time out, and then kick (or charge for -1 influence and do the rest the same, if she has to pay 2 to charge it’s not going to work). If all goes well for both its the same distance and Vet has one less die. Brisket’s advantage is in the fact that Quick Time always works, where Brisket’s dodge may not get off, and often doesn’t.

Another is when Brisket has the ball and needs to get away from someone engaging so she can score. Once again regular Brisket has to rely on getting enough successes to dodge away when Veteran Brisket can just do Quick Time to get away. If regular Brisket can’t get away then she has the same number of dice as veteran Brisket.

While we are talking about Veteran Brisket’s ability to get the ball, let’s look at her ability to get the ball… She has two ways to get the ball. First is a straight up tackle, likely the one she will use more often, and Ball’s Gone. I have done the math to see how likely she is to pull off each. Let’s look at that:

First Tackles:

Tackle on attack
Tackle on charge
Tackle on wrap from charge
Defense/ArmorTackle on attackTackle on chargeTackle on wrap from charge

As you can see, she is very likely to get the ball on a regular attack (down to 50/50 against the ones that add to 5) and pretty much guaranteed to get a tackle on a charge, which she can do for cheaper some times. It was so likely that I went ahead and figure out how likely it was to wrap and get that tackle result.

Ball’s Gone:

Regular Attack
Charge Attack
Defense/ArmorRegular AttackCharge Attack

Sometimes you just need that ball gone. Hopefully in that situation you can get a charge, because that seems like they only time you’ll pull it off.

I have also used Brisket as support for Shank. Brisket can run up and Dirty Knives someone to do a damage (and reduce their defense by 1) so Shank can get +0/+2 speed when charging them. I have used this when people have put a player just out of Shank’s normal reach to get him there anyway. I have not gotten to use it that much though because it is often hard for Brisket to get to that player with dirty knives and do things like get the ball. Veteran Brisket can always just make Shank dodge 2″ before she runs off to do what she needs to do. Gives him the same threat range, but he has to deal with the opponent having 1 more defense. If I have to go get the ball it’s the same level of predictability (since both things happen first), but kicking off I have more options this way.

Now let’s talk about Above and Beyond. Getting a goal with Veteran Brisket nets you 2 influence the following turn. That is an increase of about 20% in resources for the next turn onwards. This is a big swing and really encourages you to score with her early. I have not tried to get early goals recently, deciding to hold on and control the ball, but this might be enough of a benefit to go ahead and score at the end of an early turn.

Finally, it wouldn’t be a Butcher’s article without me analyzing the expected damage value. Here is the table:

Regular Attack
Charge Attack
Defense/ArmorRegular AttackCharge Attack

She does similar amounts of damage as Boiler without any buffs. So no dog helping him out. So really not bad in terms of damage. Doing about 2 points of damage per hit seems like the normal amount players do in this game. It only seems on the low side in Butcher’s because of their ability to really crank out damage.

Well, that’s my round up of Veteran Brisket.

Chapter 5: I’d rather Fillet than empty it

I had the opportunity to get a Fillet early (by beating Rich Loxam and Mat Hart at the Bourbon Trail Open). I have since then played every game with her. She has been great. A lot different than playing Ox. She is more mobile and does more herself. As I heard someone else say, Fillet is the Shark of killing people.

Before we get to the numbers (and we will be looking at numbers, or this wouldn’t feel like a WWfyGP article), a little bit of my overall impressions. First, she really gets around the pitch. I have had no trouble getting her to a target. I even got her to Obulous in the last game I played (and I always have a hard time pinning him down). Between the increased speed she has over other models, added with the dodges she has (the playbook ones are nice, but the free one for damaging someone with bleed is even better). 2. Her legendary is amazing. I regularly get at least 9 damage out of it, often that inlcudes a takeout (or 2, or one game: 3).

Now comes the math. The big thing with the Butcher’s is damage, of course. I spent some time looking at the expected damage of different models here that is:

Boiler with Princess
BoilerBoiler with PrincessBoarOx
Regular Attack1.
Charge Attack2.

That was 4 defense and 0 armor (no extra bonuses except for the Ox’s Owner on himself).

I ran a much more extensive expected value on Fillet. I did every defense/armor combination in the game. Looking at these I saw that things like 3/2, 4/1, and 5/0 really were basically the same, so I grouped them in the final numbers for simplification. (I did weight the numbers based on how many of each combination actually showed up. For example, in the 3/2, 4/1, 5/0 group, there are a lot more models with 4/1 than the other two so it has more weight in the final number.)

Here is the table:

Regular Attack
Charge Attack
Defense/ArmorRegular AttackCharge Attack

Looking at the 4/0 line to compare it to the previous table shows a couple things. 1. Fillet is just short of Ox and Boar with a regular attack and just above them on damage with a charge. This is before you add the extra damage when the target has bleed. Add one to the values on the table above and she outshines either of those models in damage. 2. She is best compared to Boiler for damage. Both of her damage values aren’t far from Boiler’s values with the dog. This, again, is before the extra damage from bleed. This is what makes her so amazing in my eyes. Boiler was my biggest damage dealer. WAS. Fillet can do a damage more per hit (if the target is bleeding) and hold two more influence. She puts out so much damage. I haven’t run an expect damage value calculation on everyone in the game, but would be really surprised if she wasn’t the top damage dealer in the game.

This shows how much better she is if her target is bleeding. Good thing she has ways to make the enemies bleed. One way to make them bleed is Pain Circle. With her speed and 8 inch range she can get the circle wherever she wants. Where she wants to put it is anywhere she can get multiple enemies. Spread the bleed around! If she is close enough to put the Pain Circle on them then she is close enough to get to them on the next turn. Having said that, I only use Pain Circle in two situations: the first turn and when she has two more on here and gets pushed away from everyone she can attack (after she has already moved). Tough hid ignores it and it’s not very efficient for influence so it’s not a go to ability.

The second way she puts out bleed is Blood Rain. Blood Rain has been great so far. Putting so much bleed out in one attack is great. Then he damage gets turned up a notch. So lets look at how likely it is to get that Blood Rain (group in similar defense/armor groups as before).

Regular Attack
Charge Attack
Regular AttackCharge Attack

As you can see, on a charge the worst it gets is about 1 out of 4 times you fail to pull off the Blood Rain. Which is pretty likely. If you walk up and do it you probably want to target those models whose defense and armor add up to 4 or less, and really those that add up to 3 or less. At that point you are very likely to get Blood Rain off in one hit and can start doing real damage. Getting Blood Rain off on a lot of enemies is also a good time to apply the legendary.

Next thing I want to mention is a word that appears on her card: Striker. She’s actually a pretty good one. She kicks at 3 dice which is pretty good. That’s an 87.5% chance of getting the goal and even if she’s down a die she has a 75% chance. Those change to 70% and 55% if it’s TN 5. Her distance is the only real problem, being only 6 inches, but she has so much move and dodges she has not had trouble getting where she needs to go. She also has a momentous tackle on one hit, which helps with this. At this point Ox has made more goals than Fillet for me, but that’s only because of how many more games I’ve played with him.

Last, let’s talk lineup. Right now I’ve been using Princess, Boiler, Rage, Shank, and Brisket. Sometimes I’ll throw Tenderiser in there instead of Brisket or Shank. Everyone wants influence in that list (except Rage). The key I have found so far with this list is to just decide each turn who can get the most benefit from the influence and give it to those players (usually 2 of them, maybe spread it to 3). I really want to try Avarisse and Greede with her, though. Avarisse can use the influence he brings, if he gets any, and Greede doesn’t need his at all. I don’t know who to drop for him though, since I really like every single model in my list. I probably just need to break myself of playing Brisket all the time…

Summary: Fillet is the best damage dealer in Butcher’s, possibly the game. She’s pretty good at kicking and excellent at getting wherever she is needed. I like her.

Hobby Moment(um): Another Best Goal Victory

Best Goal, Bourbon Trail Open

Another victory for my dream inspired goal. It looked like Mat and Rich had a good time playing with my goal as they made their decision at the Bourbon Trail Open. It was a great tournament and I plan on writing an article (or series of articles) about my tournament experiences so far in the near future.

Special thanks (in this post) to Potbelly Gaming for the awesome widgets as part of my prize. You can find them at potbellygaming.com

Chapter 4: Death by 1,000 Cuts (or Not?)

Sandwichdan on the forums wanted to know when he should use Shank’s character play Thousand Cuts. I am a big fan of Shank, using him more often than Gutter, but I never seem to want to do Thousand Cuts. Once again this was one of those problems I could figure out by crunching some numbers. I’ll get to Sandwichdan’s specific question by the end, but if I’m going to explore the issue I’m really going to explore it.

First lets look at Shank in much the same way as I did Ox. Assuming that the only one that can use this ability is Shank (and Shank is fast enough that this isn’t much of a stretch), lets see how much use it is for him. First of all he can trigger it in two ways: Off of a double guild ball result or for 3 influence. Let’s look at them in turn.

Double Guild Ball

To trigger the play off of a double guild ball Shank has to give up the damage from that attack to trigger it. Looking at his playbook you can see that he will always have the option to do 3 damage instead of Thousand Cuts and he tops out at 3 damage so this is a good comparison. Because Thousand Cuts does 1 point of damage Shank gives up 2 damage to cause -2 defense. Can he make up that damage loss because of the buff from Thousand Cuts? Let’s take a look:

Looking at the chart and my raw numbers (too boring to show you) we see that first: the higher the defense the more beneficial Thousand Cuts is, and second: that it nets Shank about 1 extra damage per hit on average*. So with that in mind, if Shank can make two more attacks after triggering it then it balances out, and if he can make 3 attacks after triggering it he is up a damage over not triggering it.

Paying 3 influence

Let’s start with the above conclusion: it takes at least 2 attacks from Shank to make up for the loss of damage from Thousand Cuts. If you use 3 out of the 4 influence you can put on Shank to pay for the play, then there is no way that Shank can make up for that loss in damage. But that doesn’t mean that this should never be done. There are other players on the pitch.

So what does Shank actually lose by making the play instead of attacking that the other players have to make up?

Chart Time:

Shank would be doing an average* of 4.8 damage with a charge and an attack and an average* of 5.7 with 3 attacks. (Aside: it keeps coming up that it is better to make extra attacks than to charge if doing damage is all we are concerned with. Might be worth exploring later.) Thousand cuts does 1 damage so we are losing out on 3.8 damage (best case scenario) by making the play. That is a lot of damage to make up for. Let’s look at how much it helps the various players that are going to be fighting (note: I did not take into account any possible bonuses from Ox, except for Ox, or Princess since that just pushes the numbers higher, but doesn’t change the difference between having Thousand cuts and not having it).

There’s a lot of info on that chart, but Ox and Boar are getting (on average*) 1 extra damage per hit and Boiler is getting about 0.7 damage per hit. And that is pretty accurate despite what defense you are looking at. So it looks like if you can get 4 attacks onto the Thousand Cuts target then you can make up for the damage lost from paying 3 influence for the character play. This seems like it would be hard to do based on the games I’ve player so far.


From what the Maths have shown me today, picking Thousand Cuts off the play book, especially if it’s the first attack from Shank or you can get another model in there, is a pretty good move. It’s not hard to turn it into a damage advantage. However, paying 3 influence to put Thousand Cuts on a player is a bad investment. It takes a lot to make up for the damage Shank loses from not spending those influence on attacks instead of the character play.

*In this article, and going forward, I have calculated a weighted average based on the 6 most common defense/armor profiles and how many of models have each profile.