Tag: butchersguild

Chapter 3: The Ox Conundrum

If you have played Butchers you have been in this situation: Ox charges (or attacks) and gets 7 results and you have to make a decision, do you do the 4 damage (owner is so good), or 2 damage and trigger Butchery, getting +1 damage against that player forever more (or until the end of turn). I have been in that situation many times. I have consistently chose to do the extra damage now instead of triggering Butchery. I have done this because I have assumed my opponent was a pretty good player and that Ox would be the only one to really benefit from Butchery. Clearly, if you can attack with other players Butchery’s extra damage will add up to be worth it.

But what if I was right about the opponent being a good player and making sure Ox is the only one that gets to benefit from Butchery? What is the right move? I wanted to find out, so I used Math.

Often it is on the charge that the chance for Butchery comes up. Here is the table of expected damage value with and without choosing Butchery from the charge attack with the 5 most common defenses.

The graph above shows that picking the Butchery result on the charge nets 1 damage from the attacks in that activation than not choosing Butchery. This surprised me a little. I assumed to get anything out of Butchery it would take more than just Ox’s activation. This is why I run the numbers. Obviously it just gets better if you can get other models on that model to add damage. Butchery helps all those models.

It also shows that you have to pick the Butchery result on that initial charge attack and he doesn’t benefit if chosen on a later attack. Others still benefit, of course.

Here is a chart with 5 attacks instead of a charge.

Butchery adds about 2 extra damage if you can make the extra attack. This is an even bigger deal. If you can get Butchery on the first attack it goes a long way. It will also pretty much balance out if chosen for the second attack. After that it doesn’t help him any.

This has really changed my thoughts on Butchery. I think I had it in my head that the charge had to be a big hit from my experiences with other games and the damage being less on that hit if I put up Butchery seemed bad. Now I will be putting it on players more often.

Chapter 2: Boiler and the Gang

I’ll be honest, I dismissed Boiler before I started playing and for a short time after I started. I played my first tournament (St. Louis Open B) without playing him much, if at all. What really turned me around was Trent Denison’s article on him on Ozball (link). I then started playing him and he’s been my MVP. He always does well in games and I never leave home without him.

Trent did a pretty good job breaking down Boiler, but I ran his numbers against Boar’s and Ox’s to show the difference. I figured out maximum expected value of damage from both regular attacks and charges (and a bunch of different dice totals) for all three models, and Boiler with Princess, for comparison. Note: The only model I used the Ox’s owner aura for is Ox.

Here is the table (assuming defense 4, armor 0):

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

A couple things stand out on this table. 1. Ox (with his aura) and Boar have approximately the same damage output per attack. 2. Having princess is melee with Boiler’s target adds approximately 1.5-2 damage (which surprised me a little).

But all that is less important than this: Without any help, Boiler is less than 1 damage behind Ox and Boar on a regular attack and about 1/2 a damage point behind them on a charge with less attack dice. Add in even Ox’s owner bonus and he’s right there with them. But what really shows why he is so good is when you can get Princess in melee with his target. At that point Boiler is almost a point of damage ahead on a regular attack and 1.5 damage ahead on charges. One of the reason’s I dismissed Boiler was I thought it would be hard to get the bonus from Princess. This is not the case in practice. I almost always get the bonus when attacking with Boiler.

Now all that is based on 4 defense and ZERO armor. Add in even a point of armor and it really skews the numbers in Boiler’s favor. His numbers don’t change but it lowers Ox’s and Boar’s.

On top of all of that, Boiler has 1 higher defense than Ox and way better defensive stats than Boar. My opponents often decide to go after other models instead of Boiler. I can see why he’s been so good to me.

Now, his crew.

I start every list like this now: Boiler, Princess, Ox. From there I usually play Brisket to score a goal. I usually play Tenderiser or Boar as well. Boar can do a lot with 1 influence if he’s not shut down by someone like Fangtooth, and Tenderiser can give away his influence on most turns and sit on none near the goal. Tenderiser also makes the opponent play different, which is nice. As the last spot I have been playing Shank. I really like Shank. He can reach forever away and put out a lot of damage (no math this time!), but I played Gutter today and really liked her. The reposition was very good and facilitated a lot of shenanigans. The models listed make for an 8 player roster for tournaments. I have options based on what I see.

The future (wha-wha-wha, *travel to the future noises*): Rumor has it (Mat Hart can’t keep his mouth shut 🙂 ) that Fillet has something to do with bleed so I don’t see him being taken out with a captain switch.

In conclusion, Boiler is very good and now an auto-include for me and Maths support that.

Hobby Moment(um): Butcher’s Goal and Tracker

It took me a while to come up with a custom goal token for Butchers that wasn’t meat hanging from a pole. One day it just came to me. I’ve been working for a while on it, but got motivated over the break to finish it up so I have it ready for Snowball.

Butcher's goal for arabicjesus


I also had an idea for a momentum/vp tracker to go along with it. I wanted to continue the pig theme (especially with Truffles coming along sometime). I also knew I had to have it covered in something instead of a clear base like the goal. decided on a two layer momentum/vp tracker of pigs in mud. It’s like they are ready to be put up on the goal after the enemy scores each time.


Momentum/VP Tracer


Chapter 1: All you all are playing Butchers wrong

This is a topic that has been bugging me for a while. I have seen people talk about Butchers ignoring the ball and going for 6 takeouts for the win. It is the prevailing opinion that because Butchers are the best at making takeouts that they should concentrate on that. This is wrong.

From the first I learned how to play this game (with the victory points) I realized that if Butchers could make a goal, the game would be much easier. It is a lot easier for make 6 takeouts than 8. I don’t think Butchers should try to make two goals, but should prioritize making one goal.

Let me first talk about my personal experiences to illustrate the point. I have played in two tournaments so far. I played Butchers in both. I went 2-1 at the St. Louis Open B and 2-2 in the Capital Guild Ball event. Placed in the top half. Every game I won I scored a goal. Every game I lost I failed to make a goal or was prevented from making a goal. Going into both tournaments I had the idea to make a goal, if the situation presented itself. I did not make it a priority to make a goal, but to make it if I had the opportunity. I have changed my mind on the subject. It has become apparent to me that I need to make a goal. I now have a strategy: make a goal mid to late game.

Here’s what caused this change: There was a game against the another Butchers team where he got the ball and just held onto it all game. I’m pretty sure his plan was to hold onto the ball and fight me. I was ahead in that fight the whole time. At one point I needed 4 points to win. I saw him with the ball and decided that it would be easier to get two take outs. That was a mistake. He saw his opportunity to take that ball to the goal for the win. It was very effective for him to hold the ball as denial while beating me up.

This is now my plan: If I can get the ball early I will hold it for a couple turns. Protect the ball holder and fight. Get to the point where the goal will win me the game or get me within 1 takeout. In this strategy I need the ball holder to be close to (or on) the opponent’s side of the pitch with the other players around the ball holder fighting off anyone that comes for the ball. If the opponent has the ball wait for the opponent to score and then kick it towards one of your players and follow the plan from before. If the opponent holds onto the ball to keep it out of play look for the opportunity to take that ball and score. Even if the opponent immediately gets the ball back and bunkers up again you’ve scored the goal that makes winning easier.

Lets look at some stats, because I like math and people are mistaken about Butchers not being that good with the ball.

Ball stats by player:
Ox: 3/6″
Princess: 1/4″
Boar: 1/6″
Boiler: 2/6″
Brisket: 3/8″ (4/10″ with Super Shot)
Meathook: 3/6″
Shank: 2/6″
Tenderizer: 1/8″

Avarisse: 1/6″
Greede: 4/4″
Decimate: 3/6″
Gutter: 3/6″
The Hat: 2/6″
Minx: 2/6″
Rage: 2/6″

Anyone with at least two dice has a base 75% chance of hitting a 4 on two dice for a goal. Even if you are reduced to 1 die from modifiers it is possible to bonus time it for 2 and have a good chance. Also, even needing a 5+ for the goal is a 55% chance with 2 dice. Not the best results, but not the worst.

Now, lets look at two particular players: Brisket and Shank. Brisket is obviously good at handling balls (grow up). She can put that ball in there. She has a low tackle result. Everyone knows that. Now Shank. Shank has a tackle on 2 results. He has “Where’d they go” and (momentous) dodge results in almost every column. He starts at 2 dice and can get to 3 with bonus time (87.5% chance of making the goal at 4+ and 70% chance at 5+). Even if you don’t have Brisket in the list, Shank can get that ball where it needs to go. (I have also heard that Gutter and Decimate can do this, but I have managed to play only pure guild so far! 🙂 )

Summary: Getting 1 goal with the Butchers makes that game easier and more likely to win. It should be a priority to get that goal and the Butchers DO have the tools to do so.