Month: August 2019

Chapter 53: There’s something about Boar-y

Wherein we go over the changes to the Butchers team for guild ball and the author’s thoughts on those changes.

I’m going to start with the easy ones: Brisket loses charmed (male) and gains 1 hp in return. A so-so model gets pretty much a straight nerf… I fully understand removing charmed from the game, but she doesn’t really get anything in return.

The other small change was to Veteran Brisket. Quick Time went down in cost to 1 for the 2″ dodge. I’m not sure this is enough for her to see play since other Brisket and Layne both seem better. Maybe she fits into a Vet Boar list now?

And that brings us to Vet Boar himself. Boar got a pretty big nerf, hitting several areas. There have definitely been worse nerfs in the game’s history, but I think this one is pretty significant even if it doesn’t take him into the ground (like some have in the past). He loses a speed, an influence, her lost 2 hp, and damage on his GB results from his book. He’s going to be a lot harder to use at the highest level of play now. I would say that good players have figured out good ways around Boar after getting games against him, and these changes are going to make it very hard to play Boar into those players. He gets easier to manage for players who haven’t figured out how to get around him so some of those hard feelings should get a little softer. It’s even more important to take both Cinnamon and Boiler now, and in some cases you’re going to have to do something to set Boar up (go in on KD’d models, or if they have no momentum). Learn to pick your targets better, Boar players, and be patient and it won’t be too bad. If you play him on autopilot like I’ve seen some people do it’s going to go worse for you than it has (and I’ve seen it go pretty bad, even in my own games).

Not too bad of an adjustment for Butchers players. Might mean we see some other captains besides Boar in the near future.

Chapter 52: New Cook on Duty

Big changes to the Cooks for this errata. They got some much needed love. Everyone that wasn’t a crossover model with the Butchers got a buff. Today I’m going to go over the changes and give some thoughts. There are quite a few really good changes and I’m excited to play them.

Wellington

Probably the most important change to Wellington (and to another model) is the change to Chef’s Special. It now has a 4″ aura (HUGE improvement) and affects character plays (this is a big boon for Spice and her intensify). Shank and Tenderiser see some more use out of the character play part and Sugar is a little nutty with it (as we will see when I get to her). This should be a lot easier to use and will allow the Cooks to spread out a little more than they have in the past. I’m really excited for this change.

Wellington gained a health, which makes him a little tougher to take down, I guess. I have a hard time really evaluating a 1 hp change.

Scathing Rebuke not doing damage now is pretty awesome. I found before that the models I most wanted to use it on were ones I couldn’t afford to put damage on. Now I feel like if you don’t use it on each of his activations you are just not using all your tools. Some might see this as too easy of a choice (always use it), but Cooks needed the power buff this brings.

The last change to Wellington is replacing the 2 damage push-dodge with a 4 damage, increasing the damage available on his book. This change doesn’t feel very big and splashy, but is pretty solid. I always felt bad reaching the end of his book and then going, “I guess I’ll just take the three then.” Another option is good. It doesn’t increase his average damage much on a regular attack, but it’s noticeable on a charge or Singled Out attack. Here are his new damage tables:

Regular Attack:

Defense
Attack Damage
Charge Damage
2/04.006.40
2/1,3/03.135.65
2/2,3/1,4/02.264.83
2/3,3/2,4/1,5/01.563.80
Weighted Average:1.904.27

Singled Out Attack:

Defense
Regular Damage
Chef's Special Damage
2/05.066.93
2/1,3/04.536.18
2/2,3/1,4/03.745.01
2/3,3/2,4/1,5/02.683.72
Weighted Average:3.174.33

Pepper

Pepper gains a free attack every turn. This finally gives Cooks players something to do with the “rat.” Not much to say, make your free attacks.

Spice

So, Spice was already one of the better players in the Cooks, and now she’s been buffed. That might seem odd, at first, but keep in mind that Spice is a minor guild player that works only for the minor guild (not a crossover). With the inherent weakness of minors (they have less model choice) their exclusive models can be stronger than normal players and still be ok. They have to be strong to make up for not being able to take a silver bullet against some major teams.

I think the biggest change isn’t on her card. The changes to Chef’s Special are very, very good for her. She’s way more likely be benefit from the aura than before, and intensify can now do more damage. It wasn’t too uncommon to get 2-3 models in the intensify aura and wrap to it with each attack. Now that would be 24 damage to each model in the aura. Which is, well, a lot of damage. That kills most models in the game.

Her playbook rework is pretty good even without the changes making intensify great. On the damage side of things, her 2 and 3 have each moved down a column and a 4 was added to the end of the book. Huge improvements all around. Here is her new damage outputs (add 1 to the number if they are singled out and you’ll be pretty close to the real numbers):

Defense
Attack Damage
Charge Damage
2/04.016.56
2/1,3/03.175.93
2/2,3/1,4/02.425.14
2/3,3/2,4/1,5/01.903.96
Weighted Average:2.164.49

For non-damage changes, her tackle has gone down a column. I’ve had a lot of game where that would have made a pretty big difference in how things played out, so not insignificant.

Lastly, she gain Assist (Pepper) to up her damage output even more. This probably isn’t even needed, but is pretty crazy. She loses Get Over Here (Pepper) from her card in return. Would be really good to have both, but there is no way they would allow her to have both. It’s way too easy to get assist that way (although, Devana isn’t that far off having that combo).

Sugar

Sugar did not get the complete rework I was hoping for (I knew it wasn’t likely), but she did get changed a lot. I guess we can get the easy stuff out of the way first: She gained a health and her 3 damage became momentous. Both of these are good, straight up buffs.

Sugar gained 2″ of kick and lost those 2″ off her Icing trait. So she stayed the same for snap shots but got longer distance for regular kicks. I think this will make it more likely that she scores a goal in a game. It was very hard to get the snap shots before because your opponent just had to get in the way to make things tough on you. Now maybe she can score some regular goals and you won’t mind trying a snap shot if it comes up once she’s in position.

I’m going to miss the dodge she got from lighting people on fire (one of the things I liked most about her), but her new character plays are pretty great. Having a second source for the new and improved Chef’s Special is great. Two 4″ auras that add +1 damage to everything is awesome. That should help the team put out a lot of damage. Speaking of putting out a lot of damage, Chili Cook Out does 4! damage in an AOE. Despite its limited ranged I think this will be used a lot. I can see giving her 3 influence a turn to put out her character plays.

Sugar went from not being considered in my lineup (after trying to get some use out of her) to being a pretty solid piece that I am going to love giving another go to.

I’m super excited to give these new Cooks a trial by fire (pun absolutely intended). They seem to have got the season 4 minor guild sprucing up they deserve.

Chapter 51: A stroll down the Layne

Let’s get this out of the way: I was not thrilled that Butchers drafted Layne. I think the guild loses some of it’s identity every time they get a good striker. I was actually thrilled to see the tackles become non-momentous and get worse in a lot of cases with season 4. I really dislike that with the right person piloting them the Fishermen, a team built for goals, can out fight the Butchers. For both of those guilds their identity is based on the half of the game they are good at getting VP for and I think it really muddies the waters when they start bleeding (pun intended, only cowards don’t intend their puns) into each other’s piece of the pie. So I’m not thrilled about Layne even being here, even though he does look like a Butchers version of a striker. I will give him a go, though, and if you’ve read my stuff before I am open to changing my mind. Let’s get into it.

I delayed writing about Layne for a little bit so I could get some games in with him to bring some experience into this writing. As of the time of writing I’ve only got 1 game in with him, so I didn’t accomplish my goal… But I’ll still talk about him in the theoretical (as I do) and sprinkle in my experience.

This wouldn’t be a butchers article without looking at the damage output of the model:

Defense
Attack Damage
Charge Damage
2/02.404.76
2/1,3/02.063.98
2/2,3/1,4/01.773.08
2/3,3/2,4/1,5/01.332.24
Weighted Average:1.532.65

For a butcher, his damage is pretty low. On the attack it’s almost exactly what Brisket’s is. On a charge its a tiny bit more because he has a 3 on his book. The 1 damage on 1 is momentous, so he’s pretty much guaranteed to get a momentum per attack.

Doing damage is not his cup of tea, it’s scoring. Damage does make him better at that though. I was easily +3-4 kick dice when I played him with Boar and vet Ox before making a goal. It’s really nice that he doesn’t have to waste an attack tackling the ball if he doesn’t already have it. A momentous tackle, dodge, and 1 damage on 1 hit is a pretty amazing result. Which kind of brings me to one of the best things he has going for him as a striker: a double tackle to get around close control. I figured up the odds of him getting the double tackle (on column 3):

Defense/Armor
Chance on Attack
Chance on Charge
2/096.45%99.99%
2/1,3/079.32%99.35%
2/2,3/1,4/046.96%94.40%
2/3,3/2,4/1,5/017.89%73.07%
Weighted Average:31.97%82.17%

It’s not something you can really bank on when you’re making regular attacks into models that they would traditionally put the ball on, but is decent chances on a charge on those models.

In the one game I played him he got two pretty easy goals, finished off a player, and generally sped the game up. Winning faster is good, but still felt weird getting a couple goals. I have rarely been opposed to scoring a goal opportunistically or to end a game with butchers, but it does feel like butchers are leaning too far into goal scoring with three decent strikers available to play in the same list (Brisket, Layne, and Cinnamon).

Last thing before I leave you. A regular feature for Butchers models (now) is to see what they want more, Singled Out or Stagger. I ran the numbers, and with Layne’s playbook and TAC he benefits most from Singled Out. In the one case where he technically does more damage with stagger (5/0) its such a small difference (0.07 damage on average per attack) that you won’t really go wrong putting singled out up instead. Worth noting that if the opposing model has 4 defense you can go the other way and put Stagger up with very little damage fall off (around the the same as putting SO on a 5/0).

That wraps up my write up of Layne for today. Not a fan of him being here, but he seems ok with what he can do. I think it’s likely I’ll be back next week to talk about changes to Butchers (Boar) and/or Cooks after the errata comes out. See you.