It seems I’ve taken quite a long time off from the blog (but not Guild Ball). More than I ever expect. I’ve had the math done for the errata’d captain Ox finished since right after he came out, with every intention of writing this blog between now and then (closer to then), but just haven’t found the time and motivation, at the same time at least. That has given me plenty of time to play captain Ox in the meantime. And play him I did. I may not have played Fillet since Ox was changed. Full disclosure: Fillet is still probably a better captain if you want to win, but Ox does have game. I feel, even after playing him, that he was buffed in the wrong areas. Ox’s strength, for me, has always been in how good he was at supporting his team. Instead of making that part of him stronger, we got an Ox that can do more damage himself.
I’ve had fun with Ox. I think it is primarily just a willingness to give him a try again (because they changed him) than the change itself. I got to do a lot of things I used to do with him again, but I didn’t feel like the changes made caused me to play any different. The problems I have had with Ox before, I still had. Mainly, this is a susceptibility to counter attacks. This is a team-wide problem for the Butchers, not just an Ox issue. I hoped while testing the GICs that they would help with this problem, and they did (to a lesser and lesser extent as we went through updates), but with what I’ve heard about the new Game Plans deck I feel like it’s less likely that the GICs will become a normal part of the game, like I thought they would originally.
In the time since I last wrote there has also been a playtest of Alternate Pitch Formations. I liked those for the Butchers since it put players in place to get into the fight immediately. From my experience with them overall I would like to see them made the normal part of the game. It feels more like soccer set up, it puts players in a position to start the game immediately instead of jockeying for position the first turn, something I’ve never really enjoyed. I think the people who say that some of the distances for models would need to change to make this work are probably right. Mist can score from the starting line already, if he starts at the halfway line he will have no trouble. So I think it will be season 4 before we see these changes added to the game if they are going to become the norm. If not the normal way of playing, they will at least be an alternative.
Math Note: I have now factored into my calculations the fully spoiled teams that have come out since the last time I wrote and article, namely the rest of the farmers and the blacksmiths. So now the weighted averages take that into account.
Now, let’s get on with some math for Ox. First, the thing most changed, he damage output:
When I wrote the original Ox article I wasn’t doing as much math as I am now, so its not easy to directly compare the numbers from before and after, but Ox basically gained an additional .5 damage per swing to the models with 4 or 5 defense. Over 6 attacks this is an extra 3 damage. This is an increase from 12 damage on 6 influence to 15 damage on the 6 influence. That’s not an insignificant change. Remember: this is expected, but you won’t get it every time. Dice happen. Also a problem I normally have is a counter attack negating the rest of the stack after making one attack. But, as I said before, that’s a problem in general with the team, not just an Ox problem.
Under legendary Ox does even more damage:
This used to be about the only time I made attacks with Ox. Go first, legendary and then make some attacks into a model, hopefully one Ox could just take out. This stopped working as well when the player to go second got a momentum to counter attack his first attack. I still usually do this, but I plan to use the rest of the influence for character plays if it doesn’t go well.
A good way to stop that counter attack is with a KD on the model you are attack, so lets look at Ox’s chance to get that counter attack:
Chance on Attack
Chance on Charge
Sadly, a lot of the models that have health levels in the range that Ox can take them out in one go, which is the kind of thing he wants to do, have high enough defensive stats that he’s not likely to knock them down when they declare a counter attack. He is more likely on a charge to knock them down, but that severely limits the amount of damage he can do, putting him just short of the takeout. (This is where the GIC to give extra TAC if they declare a counter would be very helpful. If those become a regular part of the game, expect me to revisit this math to include that.)
Something I am doing now that I didn’t before is figuring out momentum gains by taking results you want. In the case of Ox (and butchers) that is usually damage. Ox is fortunate to have a momentous damage result on 1, which makes it likely he will always get at least 1 momentum.
On a charge against a low defense model he is likely to wrap and actually be able to earn two momentum (or one momentum and do a non-momentous result).
Really, Ox only got a slight buff to his damage output. His support suite is the same it has always been, which I would like to have seen get better. Something like a lower KD so he can go in, legendary and knock down a few models to set up the team would be more interesting to me. He played (or plays) so different than the other captains it’s a shame they made him more of a super-solo captain than more of a buff your team with the latest change.
As anyone that knows me personally could tell you: I am super excited for ratcatchers. I have always enjoyed rats being used in fantasy settings and have played rat armies in other games. I plan on doing write ups of each of those players, and probably end up with new articles on Bonesaw and Vet Graves on how they work within the guild. I’ve been playing Morticians with Bonesaw and Skulk lately (I cannot bring myself to play Vet Graves and Vileswarm, even with a love of rats) and having a good time with them. Pelage will be fun to play, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of the players soon.