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:
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):
Chance on Attack
Chance on Charge
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.