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What is SteamCon?

So for the unenlightened SteamCon is Steamforged Games’ annual convention, this year it was held on the 17th – 19th November at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester.  Last year, the inaugural one was held roughly the same time, can’t remember the exact date, but was in November again and was at the Headingley Experience in Leeds.  This is the 3rd weekend long games convention that I’ve been too, I did SmogCon (now BonesCon) a Warmachine one a few years back that was down in London Heathrow area.  Effectively its a gathering of the gaming community for Guild Ball (and soon to be GodTear) along with other IP board games that Steamforged produce, such as Dark Souls, and their new Resident Evil board game.  If you’ve never done a gaming convention before I would imagine it could be a bit of an eye opener.  What it does is really show what an amazing community there is around Guild Ball at the moment.  Steamforged have done an amazing job creating a game, which for me is very easy to get to grips with but takes time and practice to master.  Really though, it’s all the Pundits out there who make the Guild Ball community what it is, these players have taken it upon themselves to go out there, and grow a community of like minded gamer’s who want to play Guild Ball.  I’ve had the pleasure of working with some amazing Pundits during my stint in the Pundit programme, people like Myk Myers & Peter O’Sullivan give so much of there own time to the game, whether its just answering questions from newbies on Facebook or moderating the groups.  Equally, I feel there are some Pundits who probably don’t pull their weight in the programme but that’s a different story.  Some communities are more casual, where they play for fun and don’t much care about the competitive side of the game and some communities develop a competitive scene.  I’m quite happy to say that the community that I’ve grown along with Andy T has developed into the latter (there’s nothing wrong with the former by the way).  As you may be aware as The Heroic Play we run quite a lot of tournaments in the Midlands, I think this has helped to develop our community into quite a competitive scene, we have some players who regularly place podium at events, whether that be a 16 or 32 player event.

So back to SteamCon, this is a melting pot of all these communities coming together to play games and compete in the events run over the weekend of SteamCon.  Steamforged make it super rewarding to play in the competitive events as well, for example if you win British Championships or the LCQ (Last Chance Qualifier) they will fly you out to the World Championships at SteamCon USA this year, pretty cool prize right?  Last year the World Championships was in the UK, so they flew people over from the USA, Australia and Europe for the event, not bad for a relatively new company to be offering perks similar to Magic: The Gathering tournaments which has been established much, much longer.  It’s not all about playing in the competitive events though, there was a reward system for playing casual games as well at SteamCon; if you won a game you got 2 tokens, if you lost you got 1.  These tokens could be cashed in against 6-player team boxes (usually £50), ltd edition SteamCon cards, or to buy raffle tickets to win a copy of the Dark Souls board game, or a Resident Evil board game pledge.

Along side of the gaming area’s for tournament play, casual play and board game run through’s, Steamforged also ran seminars on game design, sculpting and background.  So if the concept of playing games for 3 days is a bit much there are other things to do amongst that.  On the subject of playing games for 3 days, I know people who were happy to stay up till 4 in the morning pulling in as many as they can, and end up finishing the weekend on something like 20+ games played; personally that’s not for me.  I don’t mind having late nights by any stretch of the imagination, but for me part of the attraction of SteamCon is getting to catch up with people, sit down and talk.  As I mentioned earlier, as The Heroic Play we run a lot of tournaments, and lots of different people from all over the country turn up to those events, we get people like Greg Day who drives up from way down South and Pash Korniyenko who got a train all the way down from Edinburgh to play in one of our 32 player events.  What I’m getting at is that you spend 8-10 hours with these people on a day where you’re running an event, and you get to have brief conversations between rounds, or over lunch, but its never more that say 30 mins in total over the course of the day.  So on the Saturday night of SteamCon I got to sit and chat about life, games, and other less savoury things with Martin Thirlwell and Parker from the Battlehammer, yeah Mart and I chat over Whatsapp but it’s generally only quick and in response to something that’s happened online probably.  Being given that chance to chat with people is amazing, for the most part we’re social creatures and being able to indulge in conversations that aren’t ‘momentous 2 damage’ or ‘I sprint, where’d they go and then take a 4-dice shot on goal’.

On seminars – so I worked SteamCon last year as a Pundit and didn’t really get chance to go to any of the seminars as my shifts all fell during the day when they were happening and that was something I wanted avoid this year.  This year I went and pulled in 2 seminars – I went to the ‘Design a Veteran Model’ seminar and the ‘Super Secret Squirrel’ one.  The design seminar was amazing, if you check out our Facebook page here you can check out the photos I took while we were going through the process.  I think bits like this really improve the experience you have while at SteamCon, knowing that last year people who went to the seminar designed Skulk, who will now be part of a brand new minor Guild called the Ratcatchers, and this year we designed Veteran Honour who will play for the Farmers!  The ‘super secret squirrel’ seminar was where we got to see a bit more of GodTear so the models and the gameplay happening as it stands currently, frankly this looks amazing, super streamlined and easy to grasp.  We also saw some other bits which were ‘in the pipeline’ from Steamforged.  We weren’t allowed our phones in the seminar so I’m not going to say anymore – but damn it looked cool and they’ve got some interesting stuff still to come.

All in all, I think SteamCon can be whatever you want to make of it.  It can be a weekend away where you play games constantly and come away with a load of swag or a paid holiday to the states, it can be a time to catch up with people who you don’t see enough or it can be a boozy weekend away with games and conversation thrown in when your conscious enough.  Either way, I’ll be planning on going back next year, and probably the one after that, and maybe the one after that, who knows.  If you didn’t make it this year, you did miss out and that’s a shame, make sure you come next year though, no doubt it’ll be bigger and better!

 

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SeaBrisket goes back to School

Fourth tournament with Union and after 1 win-3 losses at the 13th Best in Nottingham, a 3 win – 1 loss at Wyldhammer and then a 3 win – 1 loss result at the Heroic Hoe Down; I felt pretty sure that I was starting to get the hang of SeaBrisket and although I was still of the mindset that she needs TAC: 6 and can lose that ‘With Aplomb!’ nonsense. I needed to have one last hurrah with her before making the decision to either stick with Union or go back and get reacquainted my beloved Butchers.

So, with no thought at all and setting my usual target of at least win something; I assembled some toy soldiers and headed to The Chase Hotel for another 4 rounds of hilarity.

My chosen tournament 10 and why:

SeaBrisket   

Kind of the point!

Strongbox

Shelling Out! KD on 1, MOAR DICE!

Snakeskin                           

Super awesome ball carrier with the ability to pain out if required with 2dmg on 2.

Gutter                                 

Anatomical, 2″ Melee, A hard counter to Original Brisket. Also, re-position tech is strong.

Benediction                       

He stands in the middle of the field and makes awesome happen.

Minx                                   

Snared, huuuuge threat range, rawr! 2 iinf to give someone else!

Avarisse and Greede      

+1 damage and a KD…. Nuff said!

Hemlock                             

Lesser played character but I like Def 5 models with slippery that can heal and blind

ORage                                  

For buffing the A&G train and mirking fools.

Decimate                            

BECAUSE DECIMATE!

 

Game 1: Vs. Thomas Simms  

SeaBrisket (10)                  vs.                          Scalpel (12)

Strongbox                                                           Dirge

A&G                                                                      Ghast

Gutter                                                                  Mist

Snakeskin                                                            Silence

Benediction                                                        Brainpan and Memory

 

This was a cracking game and Thomas is a great guy and a true gent. It’s fair to say that this was one of those games where you never feel like either one of you is running away with it and it was VP swinging fun everywhere.

I opened with a Brisket legendary jank to set up a turn 1 3 dice shot on goal needing 3 and rolled 2,2,2. As my heart broke, Brisket got the shoeing she deserved but I managed to get straight back in the game with a monstrous use of  Avarisse and Greede  to secure 3 take outs. When Brisket got back on the pitch, she grabbed the ball and made good on her earlier fo-pah.

Honestly, this was probably my favourite game (that I lost) in absolutely ages. I thoroughly enjoyed playing Thomas and I had to work my bum off to keep myself in it.

 

MVP: A&G. This little combo will never get old….

1) Swag in with Avarisse

2) Drop Greede

3) Greede buys attack for the Singled Out

4) Avarisse has 3 attacks

5) If needed and is safe to do so, Greede finishes the player off. Otherwise, he crawls back up in to Avarisse.

 

Never get boring…

Ever…

 

Game 2: Vs. Charles Nurser

SeaBrisket (8)                    vs.                          Blackheart (12)

Strongbox                                                           Strongbox

A&G                                                                      Mist

Hemlock                                                              Gutter

Snakeskin                                                            Decimate

Benediction                                                        Benediction

 

Charles is a gentleman, a scholar and an acrobat. I had another great game and he locked SeaBrisket down with 2” melee characters so effectively took her out of the game. Charles used Benediction brilliantly by putting him in cover with the ball and that made him hard to get the ball off. That said, Snakeskin came to the rescue, getting me 2 goals. The second of which went down like this;

Snakeskin is at the enemy goal with 4 influence. Benediction has the ball 6” in front of her.

1) Shadow Like and put up ‘Clone’

2) Buy an attack, Charles declares Poised and realises, I tell him he can take it back but like a boss, says no.

3) I take the tackle and he counters

4) Clone pops and I dodge back towards goal, getting 4” away.

5) She shoots and scores!

 

However you look at it, I really enjoyed playing Charles and I hope we can do it again.

MVP: Snakeskin for 2 goals and use of Clone to get goal.

 

Game 3: Vs. Dave Wildey

SeaBrisket (6)                    vs.                          Honour (12)

Strongbox                                                           Marbles

A&G                                                                      Brick

Decimate                                                             Harmony

Snakeskin                                                            Flint

Gutter                                                                  Mallet

 

I always enjoy having David at Heroic Play events as he always smiles and is always cheery. He genuinely cheers me up when I watch him play. We have played before and have always had great games.

Now, I have an appalling record against Masons and he was playing the line-up I dread seeing! And that was where it went wrong for me; I let my anxiety get the better of me and before the game even started I could feel the flight reaction and the nervousness. Nevertheless, I tried to calm myself and get on with the job at hand.

David thoroughly deserved the win, he out played me and I can say that I was not on top form or whatever, but the truth is that I wasn’t coherent enough and he made me pay for it like any good opponent should. I managed a take-out and a goal, which I was happy with in the end.

Although, in this game; something clicked about SeaBrisket vs. other captains like Vet rage, Blackheart and Honour and that got me thinking about what she needed to get her on par with Blackheart and Vet rage.  See my conclusion for the results of that!

MVP: Honour. David played her really well and I folded like a bad poker hand.

 

Game 4: Vs. Michael Rees

SeaBrisket (8)                    vs.                          Scalpel (12)

Strongbox                                                           Dirge

A&G                                                                      Ghast

ORage                                                                   Bonesaw

Benediction                                                        Mist

Gutter                                                                  OGraves

 

Michael is a great opponent and part of the Birmingham/Black country meta so we knew each other well. I had never played him though so I was looking forward to putting it all on the line to try to not to go 0-4 for the first time ever.

I started really well. Used Briskets legendary to get momentum to set up the goal alongside some good take out action on Scalpel and Graves between Rage and Brisket. But I over-extended and the turning point came when I foolishly moved before hitting Ghast and that was all she wrote. A counter attack later and Scalpel got set up for an epic 2 take-outs in 1 activation and at 8 all Michael was on the front foot. I had the option to get the ball off Dirge and go for the goal but in a moment of madness, activated someone else and did very little with it. This was all he needed to put the game away. I enjoyed the game, but felt a bit sad that I hadn’t played well in the last 2 games. Nevertheless, the thought about SeaBrisket that had cropped up in the previous game was kind of validated.

MVP: Scalpel. She is crazy bonkers awesome when she gets her murder on!

 

The tournaments write up:

So, I poo’d in my swimsuit today going 0-4 for the first time but you know what… I’m ok with that. I have some things to work on and I got some great advice from Rich Green (who (B)Rick Rolled me at Hoe Down) about playing against Masons. Also, I got to chat to Charles, Thomas and all the cool kids about SeaBrisket and it was nice to know that I’m not alone in my thoughts around her being TAC: 6 and are shared by others.

Will it stop me from playing more SeaBrisket? Probably not in all honesty as you only get competent with something through practice right?

 

Conclusion:

The usual disclaimer: this conclusion contains opinions.

This little journey is about SeaBrisket and the question; “Is she a competitive choice vs. VRage and Blackheart?” Honestly, not quite. She has great tech to go and score. But that’s her 1 move and it sits on 2 successes as a T< and at TAC: 5 you can’t guarantee it. Also, she lacks the offensive ability that the other captains have.  Rage has Quick Time so he also can get away if needs be while Blackheart can almost guarantee you 6vp activation at the start of round 2 and with Shadow Like and his Legendary Dodge tech he is never stuck anywhere whereas poor old SeaBrisket gets trolled by 2” melee zones.

I stand by the need for her to go to TAC: 6 and changing her ‘With Aplomb!” for something that would make her an on par choice vs. Blackheart. The game vs. David gave me a solution but I’m not the kind of person to say; ‘that’s an issue’ and not give a proposed solution.

Here goes nothing!

The thing to stop her being shut down and it’s the character play that sits on her veteran incarnation and on VRage!

Yep, this!

Swap ‘With Aplomb!’ for ‘Quick Time’ and let her go to TAC: 6. I mean, let’s look at the fluff for a second. Sweet little Brisket at TAC: 4 turns in to Veteran Brisket after being stabbed up by Snakeskin. This leaves her meaner and TAC: 5. Her master in imprisoned and she sells her soul, betrays her guild to get him released and gets the better of ‘The Flashing Blade’ in a pit fight in the process! Pweez mummy… SeaBrisket needs TAC: 6.

But where does that leave her card wise?

Here’s what she now is versus what I think she should look like. Doing this would make most Union Players have a hard time choosing which captains to take.

The card as it is now.        

       

The card as I think it should be.

Summary of changes.

The addition of 3< damage at 5 is on par with her Veteran card which has 3 and Balls Gone on 5. The T<< makes sense for a striker of her calibre and it matches where Decimate has it and the Momentous 3<< is a huge payoff for hitting that 6 successes but no different to Blackheart having 3KD on 6.

TAC: 6 gives her a more reliable T< on 2 but still leaves her 50/50 against a Def: 4/Arm: 1 model as the average is 2 successes.  The Quick Time makes her more mobile and harder to pin down. She can still be based by a 2” melee model but at least she can get away to a degree by using her T< + Quick Time.

The reverse of the card stays the same.

Anyways, I have no idea when I am next going to go to a tournament but I know I’ll be taking SeaBrisket again. I learned a lot playing in this tournament and especially against Charles’ Union; he showed me that Benediction is an awesome ball carrier!

Big love!

Andy

 

 

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Sea Brisket goes to The Hoe Down!

Sup!

Been a while since I wrote anything but here’s my write up for my jaunt to The Heroic Hoe Down!

So, it’s my third tournament with Union and after a 1-3 record at the 13th Best in Notts, a 3-1 at Wyldhammer with Blackheart, a lot of people had talked about SeaBrisket and the general feeling I got was that she was O.K. but not as competitive as VRage or Beardy McBeardface.

So obviously, in my capacity as a distinctly average player with no dreams of grandeur, passable wit and an intelligence that sits somewhere between sleep deprived parent and medically unstable, I decided that this tournament would see me take her as my sole captain and see what I could do. I set myself the usual ‘Win 1 game’ objective and got to it!

My chosen tournament 10 and why

SeaBrisket        

Kind of the point!

Strongbox 

Shelling Out! KD on 1, MOAR DICE!

Snakeskin    

Super awesome ball carrier with the ability to pain out if required with 2dmg on 2.

Gutter        

If I ran into Butchers and have to face another OBrisket in cover I was going to cry! So I took Gutter to get around her unpredictable, armour and charmed male. Also, re-position tech is strong.

Benediction 

He stands in the middle of the field and trolls people. He’s the new Harry.

Grace      

MOAR MOVEMENT! THINGS! 8″ KICKZ!

Avarisse and Greede  

BECAUSE THEY ARE BENT!

Hemlock    

Lesser played character but I like Def 5 models with slippery that can heal and blind.

ORage      

For buffing the A&G train and mirking fools.

Mist

BECAUSE MIST!

 

So, lets get to it then. How did I do?

 

Game 1: Me vs. Myk

SeaBrisket (12)                  vs.                       Esters (10)

Strongbox                                                           Quaff

A&G                                                                      PintPot

Gutter                                                                  Spigot

Snakeskin                                                            OSpigot

Benediction                                                        Mash

At the end of this game, Myk and I were exhausted! It was super close all the way through, swinging this way and that but I managed to get the VP to close out the game.  Myk is a fantastic guy and we had a brilliant game.

SeaBrisket did loads and against the low def of his team, her Momentous 2 on 3 really helped whittle down his players but Snakeskin was a total workhorse and her 2 damage on 2 closed the game out for me.

MVP: Snakeskin. My goodness she is amazing at closing out a turn.

Game 2: Me vs. Jimmy

SeaBrisket (12)                  vs.                       Skatha (10)

Strongbox                                                           Snow

A&G                                                                      Jaecar

Gutter                                                                  VHearne

Snakeskin                                                            Seenah

Benediction                                                        Minx

Firstly, let me say that Jimmy is an amazing opponent to play and is always super fun but my goodness, his painting and winter themed goal for his Hunters are just brilliant!

Like my 1st game against Myk, the game was super close all the way through, at 8-12 I had a situation where I had 1st turn and Brisket was 5” from the goal, KD and the ball was on Snow about 3” away. Brisket had Seenah crowding out on one side and (iirc) Skatha on the other, not quite crowning her out at this stage.

I had to manufacture a goal to win and this is what happened.

  1. Brisket stands up with 6 inf, foregoing her standard advance.
  2. Throws a 1 dice route one at Snow…. A 4!
  3. Brisket swags up to Snow, 1” away and being crowded out by Seenah and Skatha, buys a 3 dice attack wanting 2 successes for the T<
  4. Snow declares counter
  5. … 1 success… shit..
  6. Take non-mom dodge into Seenah and out of Snows melee range
  7. 5 dice attack on Seenah, some successes! Take the T< because I can still do the didge part and it’s momentous!
  8. Dodge back into Snow, 1” away…
  9. Bonus time another attack at Snow to get to 4 dice… 2 successes! Take the momentous T<
  10. Dodge away from Skatha and Snow and take that shot crowded out by Seenah.
  11. 2 dice needing a 3….
  12. A 1 and SOMETHING THAT SCORES!
  13. Curl up in to foetal position…..

 

I was really lucky to have got the win but that was probably the most ‘pants in crack’ moments I have ever had at a tournament, which was great!

MVP: Sea Brisket for janky goal fun.

Game 3: Me vs. Craig

SeaBrisket (12)                  vs.                       Blackheart (8)

Strongbox                                                           Strongbox

A&G                                                                      A&G

Hemlock                                                              Minx

Snakeskin                                                            Mist

Benediction                                                        Benediction

Another crazy game where the game could have gone either way. Ultimately, Craig clocked out and those 2vp put me on 10vp and that gave a 4 influence stacked Snakeskin the chance to close out the game by pummeling an 8 health, knocked down Mist with her super reliable 2dmg on 2.

Seriously though, a lot gets said about holding the ball for Brisket with her defensive tech but not a lot gets said about her 2 damage on 2 because it’s not momentous. But…. as a last activation with 4 influence on a model that’s knocked down, she can put out 8-12 damage reliably + a poison that can’t be cleared. So, I used her to snipe any model that was around the 10-12 HP mark at the end of a turn to give easy VP. She won me 2 of my games doing this so I feel validated that she is a great killer to close out games with.

 

MVP: Snakeskin, non-mom 2 on 2 is more of a thing than you think it is.

Game 4 vs. Rich

SeaBrisket (6)                    vs.                       Honour (12)

Strongbox                                                           Marbles

A&G                                                                      Prick Brick

Gutter                                                                  Harmony

Snakeskin                                                           Flint

Benediction                                                        Mallet

This game was like getting sent an e-mail from your mate saying; ‘check out this vid bro!’ and being (B)Rick Rolled…

Rich has been playing his Masons for ever and he is super competitive in every game he plays. He regularly ends up top 2 and is an extremely difficult opponent to break down. I knew I was the underdog but held hope that few goals would keep me in it.

I couldn’t stop the onslaught… Brick and Marbles protecting Mallet throwing out singled out and knock downs for Honour and Harmony linked brutality. I was pleased to squeeze 6vp out, but honestly, I was never in this one from turn 2 onwards. Rich out classed me and fair play to him, he is a top mason’s player. I toyed with the idea of Hemlock instead of Gutter and I wish I had because Blind would have helped slow him down a bit, maybe enough to launch a counter offensive.  And I think Grace would have given me some speed buffs to get A&G up in Marbles and Brick’s grizzle.

MVP: Rich’s masons.

Conclusion

Overall, I set about to prove to myself that Sea Brisket is as good a choice for Union captain in tournament play and that Snakeskin wasn’t just an afterthought. I think I proved that to myself at the tournament by taking the 2nd place and when you stop and look at who generated VP’s for me; the player who gets the MVP trophy would be Snakeskin. I’m going to find it hard not to take her in a game with SeaBrisket now.

Final thoughts on SeaBrisket and her as a ‘viable‘ captain

Sea Brisket will suffer as a captain pick vs. Blackheart and VRage because (WARNING: opinion incoming) the others have no wasted character plays whereas Brisket could happily lose ‘With Aplomb’ and replace it with something that makes a difference. I believe that a subtle change would see her played more and I think that giving her Acrobatic or even raising her kick or tac stat by 1 would do that.

Anyways, I haven’t written anything for ages Guild Ball related so the fact I have probably tells you how excited I am about continuing the Sea Brisket journey and seeing what else I can get away with!

See you all at the 32-player blitz in October or at SteamCon!

Andy

 

 

 

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Sins of the Flesh: Part III

Welcome back readers!

Since my last article I’ve managed to pull in a few more games with the Butchers.  I’m thoroughly enjoying playing the Butchers at the moment, I’ve played my last three games with Ox. The first game I played was against Luke, we tried out the alternate formation rules currently being being rolled out by Steamforged.  Luke took a Smoke led Alchemists team made up of Smoke, Naja, Mercury, Calculus, Venin and Veteran Katalyst.  I rolled out with Ox, Princess, Boar, vBrisket, Boiler and Meathook. It was an odd game, we aren’t fans of the alternate formation rules.  The only good things we can really say about it are that we like how it skips the first turn, which can sometimes be a bit dull for one player.

Luke played a strong condition game as I expected from Smoke led alchemists and shut down Boar and put a load of conditions out, at the start of turn 2 both vBrisket and Boar were looking quite fragile.  Luke won initiative I think and vKat went into Boar and got the Witness Me! off and took him out pulling it up to 4-0.  I think I preceded to kill Venin and Mercury.  Meathook got killed quite quickly bringing it up to 6-4 and I managed to get my hands on Smoke, equalling the score out.  vBrisket is such a strong ball carrier, with Quick Time and Unpredictable Movement, so she kept the ball at arms length from Luke’s team.

Smoke went down around the start of turn, both Boar and vKat had come back on by this point and I managed to get a charge using Fast Ground with Boar into vKat.  Luke had made a pretty big error by leaving vKat too close to the edge of the pitch so Boar shoved him straight back off into the crowd bringing it up to 8-6 to me.  From this point Luke was pretty out of position and I managed to get vBrisket into threat of the goal and close the game out for a 12-6 win.

As I’ve said we’ve done a podcast about our thoughts on the alternate pitch formation rules.  Overall we don’t rate them.

The second game I pulled in was against David Kenchington, the Pundit based at the Leicester Phat Cats club.  David has run a couple of events and has one coming up soon, check the details out on TieBreak here.  David is normally a Butchers player himself so I was expecting a pretty tough game, with him knowing all of my tricks.  Again this game was against Smoke Alchemists, David rolled out with Smoke, Flask, Mercury, Calculus, Veteran Katalyst and Decimate. I went with Ox, Princess, Harry, vBrisket, Boiler and Meathook.  David played a pretty cautious game, layering conditions on and keeping my Butchers out of the fight as much as possible.  I managed to get my hands on Smoke and Mercury early game and bring them down.  Dave got a goal early doors and I then kept the ball away from him on vBrisket.  Harry and Boiler got put in the dirt after being whittled down by conditions.  I managed to get a goal with vBrisket, then David kicked the ball out to my left where most of his team were and started passing the ball up to Smoke who wasn’t too far from the goal. Ox came back on and chewed Decimate up, bringing the score to 10-8 to me, then David closed out with fairly safe Smoke tap in.  The game ended 12-10 win to the Alchemists.

So Butchers really aren’t designed for attrition play.  Not being able to get into range of the alchemists due to conditions and the threat of vKatalyst absolutely chewing up people with a condition on really, makes you have to play cagey about how many people you try and push forward into the scrum.  When everybody is either on fire or poisoned and you’re being starved of momentum by not being able to get into a fight.  I find the threat of those Intensify’s going off a bit of a turn off, I might be wrong and you might just have to weather a round of it, to be able to get the team into position, then if only one person goes down when you get to pile a couple of people in.

My final game was this evening against Andy one of my regular opponents, we’ve played against each other more times than I can remember, but we both jump around teams a bit, myself more than Andy anyway.  Andy played Union, taking Captain Brisket, Strongbox, Grace, Benediction, Avarisse & Greede and Mist.  I played the same line up as I did against David, so Ox, Princess, Harry, vBrisket, Boiler and Meathook.  Andy elected to kick off, I retrieved it with Boiler and held onto while near some cover. Mist came in managed to grab the ball then passed it back to his lines.  I basically dog piled Mist and made a mess of him.  In the next turn Brisket came in and scored for Andy, then used Knee Slider to get back to safety.  I put Grace in the dirt with Boiler and then started on Beneditction with Ox.  It’s worth noting that this game went very well for and Andy had some really atrocious dice.  My Brisket was holding the ball and playing keep away from Andy’s team.  As we go into the next turn I went with Ox early and put some more damage onto Benediction then Andy came in with Avarisse and Greede onto Ox, they made a mess.  At this stage I was quite worried, I had used Ox’s legendary this turn. Fortunately for me, Avarisse and Greede left Ox alive on 1 HP. Meathook piled into Avarisse and put a pile of damage into him. I used some of the momentum to heal Ox up to take him out of being poked and falling over dead.  Mist had come back on and was able to get to engage Brisket and retrieve the ball and drop it behind him.  Boiler went and had a brilliant activation, managing to pile a ton of damage onto Avarisse on the first hit, standing Ox up for the extra crowd out, then hitting him again and killing him getting a push/dodge off to engage Greede, then made his last couple of attacks to put Greede down as well, bringing the score to 8-4 to the Butchers.  The turn rolls round and Andy goes for a goal with Mist, just being outside of tap in range and missing the shot.  Boiler kills Benediction, then everyone dog piles Mist again to take him down and win the game.

After this game I’m definitely going to be more careful around Avarisse and Greede, they hit like a freight train.

That’s it for this instalment, take care and enjoy the game!

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Sins of the Flesh: Part II

Welcome back sports fans!

So in my previous article, I discussed some thoughts about the Butchers I was planning to get ready to take to our tournament that happened today.  On Friday the event got renamed to the Midas Memorial Summer Smackdown, by Luke our resident Alchemist player and the Pundit running the event (yes, I’ve played 2 tournaments in as many weeks – who’d have thought it).  I originally planned to go with the line up 10-player roster of: Ox, Fillet, Princess, vOx, Brisket, vBrisket, Boiler, Meathook, Shank, Harry ‘the Hat’.  I ended up going with everyone from that list, bar Shank who got replaced by Boar.

I started painting the Butchers on Tuesday night, I was pretty adamant I wanted to get them all done.  I accepted that they weren’t going to be the best models I’d ever painted and just got on with it basically.  I’m really happy with how they turned out, for what ended up being maybe 15 hours of painting over 3 days.

So that’s the 10 players I took to today’s event.  I’d already got a goal marker knocked up for my Brewers which roughly fitted with the colour scheme, yeah it’s nothing amazing but it did the job.  I like having goal markers rather than just using a 50mm token, or not having anything at all.

So we got to Young’s Hobbies in Coventry for about 08:30 this morning and got set up, we took our podcasting gear with us; so we could record some short interviews with players as they finished their games and get their initial thoughts on how the game went. Cunningly we also asked people about their thoughts on the latest errata, which on the whole was positive and mostly tongue in cheek about the Midas and Vitriol changes.  We didn’t encounter anyone who was realistically very negative about it, so good work Steamforged really.

Round One

The first round went live and I got drawn against Henry Clark with his Corsair led Fishermen.  Spoiler: Henry went on to win the event. Henry only had Corsair and Tentacles I think, or he pretty quickly dropped those anyway.  I dropped Fillet and Princess.  Henry won the roll and decided to kick.  Then we drafted players – I went with Fillet, Princess, vBrisket, vOx, Meathook and Harry.  Henry went with Corsair, Tentacles, Hag, vSiren, Gutter and Greyscales. I’ve played Henry before a while ago at Clash of the Guilds 2 in Bristol, he played Corsair Fish then as well and I was playing Ester Brewers then.  We had a really good game I was looking forward to a good match with him today.

Henry kicked off with Corsair, and I recovered the ball with vOx, moving him up next to an Obstruction and kicking the ball back into my lines.  Off to a good start, until Corsair waddled forward, hit vOx with a Drag and proceeded to beat on him.  I managed to get a turn 1 goal with vBrisket, and was able to get the benefit of Above and Beyond for the rest of the game, which helped massively.  Going into turn 2, Henry finished off vOx at the start of turn 2 I think, he used Gutter first and managed to get a Chain Grab off, pulling vBrisket into the murder ball.

The game descended into a scrum around the halfway line, near another obstruction.  Henry methodically pulled in players and murdered them one at a time. I got a takeout on Gutter with Fillet, and I think Henry scored his first goal with Greyscales.  The game carried on, with Henry killing vBrisket then Harry.  I think I won an initiative roll, and was faced with a choice of trying to get the ball away to safety from Greyscales or risk loosing Meathook to Corsair.  I ended up deciding to go with trying to earn a takeout, and maybe push for another on vSiren, but it wasn’t to be.  I took down Hag, and then Greyscales scooped up the ball and then closed it out.

Final result – 12:8 to Henry.  Overall a really good game, between Dread Gaze from vSiren, a convenient obstruction and crowding out I found it difficult to get traction in the fights, but managed to catch some of the stragglers on the edges and pick them them off.

Round 2

I got drawn against David Albiston, one of the newer local players from Bravo One in Birmingham.  I’ve played against David a couple of times with my Morticians and felt comfortable playing into his Brewers.  Dave dropped Tapper and Quaff, I dropped Ox and Princess.  Dave won the roll off and opted to receive.

We drafted players and I used: Ox, Princess, vBrisket, Harry, Boiler and Meathook, Dave used Tapper, Quaff, Pintpot, Harry, Hooper and Mash. I elected to kick of with Ox and kicked the ball over the halfway line.  I think Dave came forward and collected with Mash, and fluffed the pass back to his team.

A bunch of players moved forward and I ended up sending a Tooled Up Ox into his Harry towards the end of the turn, getting a few good hits on him and earning some momentum.  Tapper got into Ox and really laid the hurt on him.  Priority went to Dave and he killed Ox before he could activate.

I set up a pretty good scrum on the halfway line with Boiler, Princess, Harry and vBrisket.  Meathook was slightly off to my left on her own having a fight with Pintpot.  It all becomes a bit blurry on what happened on what turns here, so I apologise for that but the game devolved into a massive brawl in the middle of the pitch.  I took out Harry and Tapper, whilst Meathook held her own against Hooper and Pintpot.

Dave got the ball back to Mash and moved forward, ending up short of a goal attempt. Meathook took out Pintpot, and I moved Princess into engage Mash and proc’d his Unpredictable Movement, which allowed me to get vBrisket into engage him and steal the ball away, I made an error and took vBrisket’s 2<< out of engagement with Mash, which I probably shouldn’t have done as it left vBrisket without a way of generating momentum and the start of the next turn to go for the goal.  I remember the turn starting with vBrisket using Quick Time to get back into melee with Mash, without risking UM, generating some momentum, then dodging back out of Mash’s melee and just advancing off out of threat with ball.

Pintpot came hurtling back on to the pitch using some fast ground to get back into the fight pretty quickly.  The scrum continues, at this point we are both getting pretty low on our clocks, and everyone is in the centre punching each other, at some point Quaff gets taken out.  Ox is back in the fight in this turn, and uses his Get ‘Em Lads and puts so hurt on Hooper as well as knocking him down.  Meathook becomes the star of the show at this point, making an attack against Hooper and hitting him for some damage and getting Hooked out him, its important to mention that Hooper is looking pretty ropey by now.  Meathook manages to get a Scything Blow off which kills both Pintpot and Hooper.  Taking me up to 11 and Dave is on 2.  Meathook, moves to engage Tapper and hits him for a couple of points, but puts Bleeding onto him, and uses her Heroic Play to drop his movement right down, to protect Brisket with the ball.  Dave kills Meathook bringing it to 11-4, and then vBrisket closes the game out with a Bonus Time shot, only just scoring though rolling 1,1,2, and a 5.

Final result: 12-4 to me, go Ox!  We break for Lunch at this point and then go into Round 3 after lunch.

Round Three

I get Paul Horton, one of the nicest guys I’ve met through Guild Ball, and has played Brewers pretty much solidly as long as I’ve known him. I was expecting this to be a tough game, but with my last round success with Ox into Brewers I decided to use Ox again.  I dropped Ox and Princess, Paul dropped Tapper and Scum.  My 6 ended up being: Ox, Princess, vBrisket, Boiler, Meathook and Harry again.  Paul used Tapper, Scum, Hooper, Friday, OG Spigot and Harry.

Paul kicked off with with Friday and smashed the ball wide out to my left, I wasn’t expecting it and it didn’t go well.  Meathook managed to recover the ball and kick it back towards the team.  Friday and Scum followed up and picked on Meathook, with Scum managing to get some pushes to manoeuvre Meathook into Tapper’s threat range.  Tapper nearly killed Meathook and left her knocked down. Paul won priority into the next turn, Tapper charged off into Ox, leaving Scum to and Friday to deal with Meathook.  I got a goal with vBrisket, then the ball went out towards Spigot and I put some damage onto Tapper.

Ox got finished off and was quite far forward into my lines, so when Ox and Meathook came back on they were able to get back into the fight. After scoring her goal, vBrisket spent the rest of the game getting shown the shitty end of a stick by Hooper and Harry.  My Harry knocked down Tapper and moved him about a bit.  It might have been a turn later that Ox gets to charge into the knocked down Tapper and put some damage on him and uses Get ‘Em Lads.  Meathook swags up to Tapper at this point and hits him putting 2 damage after Tough Hide onto him, along with Bleeding and Hooked.  Then buys another attack rolling about 8 dice and does a momentous 6, followed by a momentous 4 on a wrap, so 8 damage after Tough Hide again, then proceeds to do the same again, killing Tapper.

Final Result: 12-6 to Paul. Another really grindy game, Paul got 4 takeouts and 1 goal to my 1 takeout and 1 goal.  I can’t remember who else Paul took out, I have a feeling it was Harry though.

Round Four

Final round of the day and I’m currently 1-2.  I get drawn against Matt Cook, playing Fishermen and I’m pretty certain he’s going to be playing Shark, which he does.  I opt to drop Fillet, Princess, Meathook, vBrisket, vOx and Boiler.  Matt plays Shark, Salt, Jac, Sakana, Greyscales and Angel.  Matt won the role and elected to receive. I kick off with vOx and the ball lands by a Barrier.

It’s the end of the day and this is a very quick game.  Matt knows his Fish really well and Shark comes screaming forward grabbing the ball on the way, bounces off vOx and scores.  Matt takes a Run the Length into some cover, and proceed to dog-pile the Fishermen Captain and take him out.  The ball ends up with Fillet, I end up taking out Sakana, Jac gets up to Fillet and manages to tackle where Greyscales failed and kicks the ball into space near Angel; who proceeds to go and score.  I’m 8-4 down at this point.  I end up getting a takeout on Jac, their is a scrabble for the ball, which is on vBrisket now.  Greyscales manages to retrieve the ball, disengage from the fight and kick it back to space near Shark.  Meathook doesn’t quite manage to kill Angel, leaving her in pretty bad shape on 1 or 2 health though.  Shark comes tearing up the pitch again and bounces off Boiler or vOx on a charge and gets a Tidal Surge off, sails to within threat of the goal and closes the game out with a screamer.

Final result: 12-6 to Matt.

I finish the day on a disappointing 1-3, which is how I finished the weekend before with my Morticians.  I’m going to blame the fact that 8th edition 40k has just landed and we’ve all been really into that lately.

So some learning points and thoughts:

  • Ox is actually pretty squishy
  • Meathook is amazing
  • Ox’s Legendary is amazing if you get it just right
  • vBrisket goals are the best kind of goals
  • Whatever you do, try not to get strung out. Stick together and bully people to death
  • Fillet isn’t that much fun
  • vOx is good and requires more play to get a better feel for him
  • I’m still going to play with Harry post-errata, love the pushes and KD that he brings to the team as a lot of the Butchers don’t like counter attacks and his KD and re-positioning people really helps.
  • I only played against 2 teams today, Fish and Brewers so there are plenty more teams to play against and get used to how the games go
  • I enjoyed playing the Butchers A LOT.
  • I should probably have made more use of Goad on Harry
  • Post-errata Ox is going to be really good, on a number of attacks today I got 3 successes and was like that would be momentous 2/3 now, but because we made the decision to not bring the errata into effect it only meant I got the momentous 1/2.

There are probably some bits I’ll think of at a later date, but I’ll put them in another article.  I’m looking forward to playing more Guild Ball – it’s still my absolute favourite game. This article is probably pretty long so I’ll call it there for now.

Take care and have fun!

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Sins of the Flesh: Part I

It’s been a long time since I’ve written an article, we currently try and get Podcasts out semi-regularly and are working our way through a Guide to the Guilds series at the moment.  Probably worth a look at our Podcasts section if you haven’t listened to them already.  We covered off Butchers quite recently, and I think since then I’ve been debating dabbling with the Butchers.  I had a bit of a flirt with Fillet in Season 2, and helped to perfect Dave’s ‘Fillet Face’, however since Season 3 I’ve been playing my beautifully painted Morticians that Max did for me.  I’m still loving playing the Morticians, so I’m not putting them down any time soon.

I think while I dabble with the Butchers I might try and write an article or two about how I’ve done, things I’ve learned and what I want to change moving forward with them.  I’ve played against Butchers a huge amount over my time playing Guild Ball, predominantly in Season 1 & 2 when Andy and I were first getting into the game. Andy played a lot of Ox and I always found that match up quite hard, a well positioned Ox Legendary turn taking 2 maybe 3 players off was never good.  Arguably I probably shouldn’t have let that happen to myself, but it inevitably did.  Coming up this weekend is our newest Pundit recruit Luke’s first tournament at Young’s Hobbies in Coventry, Luke and I were driving back from the Singled Out tournament on Saturday just gone and I was saying how I might play Butchers for it.   I’ve got a bit of a challenge on my hands, as 1) I haven’t played Butchers in easily 6 months or more and 2) they aren’t painted yet.  All of the models are undercoated and I’d done some work on the basing previously, but I’ve got my work cut out this week to get them tournament ready for Saturday.

So the 10-man roster I intend to take at the weekend are:

Nothing controversial really here I don’t think.  Matches up with what I said are the 10 I would take on the Podcast from memory.  I’m not planning to go into too much detail about each player as that’s been discussed plenty of times, in numerous places on the internet and on podcasts.

Fillet – really strong Captain choice, brings a huge amount of offensive power to the team, whether that’s by increasing other players speed, dealing damage herself, or throwing out Bleed for extra damage that gets around Tough Hide.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing Fillet in the past.

Ox – why not both? Ox brings some really cool things to the Butchers team, ‘Tough Skin’ or oBrisket, making her Def 5 Arm 2, vs male players is pretty reliable.  Putting Boilers damage into overdrive with ‘The Owner’ and ‘Get ‘Em Lads’, Ox has access to a double Push >> result on 3 successes, which should be useful for moving people about and can use it as a good Counter Attack choice.

Princess – in my opinion, just better than Truffles.  Def 4 Arm 1, can put out Bleed or Poison if needed, has a Momentous Tackle on 1 hit, and Momentous 2 DMG on 2 hits.  Also ‘Loved Creature’, who doesn’t want more TAC with Butchers right?

oBrisket & vBrisket – both are really efficient players in my eyes.  oBrisket, can be given her 2 inf the can Jog, ‘Super Shot’, and Shoot if needed, or Jog and ‘Dirty Knives’ somebody, or just throw out some damage with her Momentous 2 DMG on 2 hits.  With vBrisket, keep her on the wings for cheaper charges, use her to disengage other people with ‘Quick Time’ and you know who can ignore that extra +1 INF when you score a goal with her.

Meathook – got dialled up to 11 in Season 3.  ‘Hooked’ is amazing, with your opponent not being able to clear it.  Makes them consider whether they want to leave players exposed at -1 Def. ‘Tooled Up’ works well on herself, and just about anybody else. Crucial Artery’ brings good synergy with Fillet, for a speed buff, and helps in the fight against ‘Tough Hide’ teams like Brewers, Fish, and Engineers.

vOx – a really interesting new piece for the Butchers.  So brings ‘The Owner’ when he kills a model, look for those early turn takeouts to get the most mileage out of this.  Does some good crowd control by acting as a Tarpit and dragging people in.  Charges male players for 1 less INF, brings a good playbook with Pushes, KD and Momentous DMG.  Also 2″ Melee, which the team needs against certain teams.

Shank – took a bit of a beating in Season 3 in my eyes.  Still really useful though with 2″ Melee, ‘Where’d They Go?’ and ‘Thousand Cuts’.  Still a glass cannon, keep an eye out for the Wingback plot card to make him shine.  Good for chasing down weak players, or fetching a stray ball.

Boiler – stone cold killer that he is.  Amazing Damage output, great character plays and playbook.  Can’t see a reason why not to take him basically.

Harry ‘the Hat’ – just a bit good… My union choice.  Adds good movement options, whether that’s pushing people around or free teamwork dodges.  Can dish out reliable damage and another good source of 2″ Melee.

That covers it folks.  I’m hoping I’ll be able to get the team painted in time for Saturday, then following that I’ll try and get some post tournament thoughts and details of the matches up.

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Max’s Guide to Painting a Model: Shank

Hey sports fan’s!

Mark here; one of Andy’s friends Max is a pretty good painter and he offered to write us a step by step guide of how he painted Shank from the Butchers Guild, so we snapped his hand off (not literally) so here it is, enjoy!

 

Let me start with a couple of health warnings:

  1. This post is not a painting tutorial, it is simply me sharing the method that I used to paint Shank. I have had some good feedback on my painting recently, so I thought that someone might get something from me sharing my method.
  2. I am not claiming to be an amazing, Golden Demon standard painter. However, I would think my skill and patience put me at a good tabletop standard and there might be a few tips and tricks I have picked up that could help others.
  3. The photos are taken on my phone and the light is a white LED bulb I paint by. This gives quite a harsh finish. The real model looks smoother than the pictures (honest Guv’).

So let’s start with what tools I used. I use mainly GW paints. This is not because I think they are the best however, a few years ago I was bought the mega paint set as a gift and the convenience of this set makes them a winner.

 

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Over the years I have picked up a few paints from Vallejo when the GW paint hasn’t quite been the colour I’m looking for. Given an unlimited budget I would buy the Vallejo full paint set and only used the GW base colours. I mainly use Army Painter sable brushes as these seem to be a good compromise between quality and cost. I recently switched to a homemade wet palette and I will now never go back! When painting my models I Blu-Tack them to an old plastic bottle lid. This gives me something to hold onto that’s not the models base. This again is a relatively recent discovery and I would never go back now.

This guide is for Shank. As a character, Shank gives me the impression he is a bit flashy and overly confident. With this in mind I have decided I am going to aim for the colours to be quite bright and bold. This is unusual for me. I tend to end up creating more muted tones but I want Shank to stand out from the crowd. I have already painted the Butcher’s starter set, Truffles and Tenderiser in a pretty traditional red colour scheme so I am confined by that somewhat.

Shank was a bit of a pain to put together as the contact patches between the hands and arms are small and fiddly. There is quite a lot of weight transferred through these joints due to the long chains coming from his weapons. A bit of green stuff and sitting very still while the superglue set and I think we are there. To be honest I never want to transport this model anywhere as I just can’t see the arms making the journey in one piece!

First stage was to prime the model. I do this with GW black primer. I have found many Guild Ball models have deep recesses and that it’s hard to get the spray to reach. Rather than spoil the detail by repeatedly trying to get the spray into those nooks, I tend to give the model a once over with a pot of black primer and a brush after spraying, to cover up any shiny bits.

Step 1 – All the cloth areas (other than the apron) were given 2-3 coats of watered down Khorne Red. At this point I’m just looking for an even base colour. To be 100% honest, going for a bright red I would usually have chosen to do the base with Mephiston Red but apparently last time I used it I left the lid slightly open and it has dried out. Ah the joys of paint pots over dropper bottles!

 

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Step 2 – Next I painted over all the red areas with watered down Wazdakka Red. With these layers I start with the higher points of the model and paint down towards the recesses. This starts to build some lighter and darker areas, as the paint is more concentrated on the ridges in the cloth. However, if you leave any areas still pure Khorne Red these will look very dark when you are done, so these should only be areas that would get no light (less of a problem if you haven’t left the proper base colour to dry out in its pot!). For example, I can see no way that light is getting to the underneath of his bum. The flappy bit of cloth behind him and his posture would leave this area in complete shadow. I applied layers of this paint until I had a decent cover on most of the model and had a smooth finish.

 

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Step 3 – A thinned 50:50 mix of Wazdakka Red and Wild Rider Red. Again I start painting at the highest points and edges, working the brush towards the areas less exposed to the light. This was built up over 2 coats.

 

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Step 4 – A thinned layer of Wild Rider red. This is applied in exactly the same way as before but concentrating more on the raised areas and spreading it less into the shaded areas.

 

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Step 5 – I watered down Evil Sunz Scarlet to a very thin consistency and picked out high spots and edges with minimal blending.

 

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Step 6 – The cloth had started to look a bit orange in places so I washed it all over with a highly thinned Wazdakka Red. At this point I added a little glaze medium, I use some stuff from an art shop but you can use GW Lahmian Medium which is the same stuff. This will prevent the paint going ‘chalky’ and get it to run smoothly. I kept working this while the paint started to dry to prevent any pools and ensure it helped to create a smooth blend.

 

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Step 7 – Time to do the skin on his face. I debated this for a while. My preference is for darker skin tones and it occurred to me that all my Butchers are very white. However, I don’t think Shank is the right model to break the trend. He has very slender features which to me suggest a paler complexion. I started with 3 layers of watered down Ratskin Flesh. It’s vital this gets in all the corners and edges as dark patches will really stand out later on. I’m going to go for light brown hair so I wasn’t too worried about getting this in the hair at this stage.

 

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Step 8 – I then washed the face in a mix of Reikland Fleshshade, a little Ratskin Flesh to tone it down and plenty of water. I applied this quite sparingly into the recesses and then let it dry. I then added another layer of the wash over the whole face. This is where the wet palette comes into its own. As the wash on the model dries,  the stuff left on the palette is still ready to use.

 

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Step 9 – Once the wash was dry I went back over the raised areas of the face with Ratskin Flesh.

 

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Step 10 – I created a very thin pool of Cadian Fleshtone and applied this over lots of the face. Again, like the red cloth, I start with raised areas and then work the brush towards the more shaded parts. I did this over 2 layers but more like 3 or 4 on the raised parts.

Step 11 – I added the final highlights to the face using Kislev Flesh. I didn’t thin this paint as much as usual, as I like to use this to create a bit of texture to the skin. I do a sort of ‘dry brushing’ with it but with a wet brush! Basically, I stroke the brush over edges I want to highlight at 90 degrees to the direction of the edge. I think this gives a sort of wrinkled appearance to the skin.

 

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Step 12 – Time to blend it all back together a bit. I made a wash of Cadian Flesh add a bit of glaze medium and applied this to the whole face.

 

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Step 13 – On to the leather bits. I usually prefer a red/brown leather look but because the red was so bright I was concerned this would get a lost. I therefore decided to go for a dark black/brown. This did mean it was a bit of a voyage of discovery and there was a certain amount of trial and error. I realised I had included the top of the boots when painting the trousers, so these were first given a coat of black to create a consistent finish.  After this, all the leather areas were given a layer of Rhinox Hide. I covered pretty much all the black only leaving areas of real shadow. I did two thin coats of the Rhinox Hide with the first covering a slightly greater area. This already started to give some blending.

 

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Step 14 – I used thinned Doombull Brown to pick out the raised areas and edges of all the leather. This came out a bit brighter than I hoped it would and looked a bit odd. So to dull it down a bit I gave all the leather areas a wash of Abadon Black. I considered using Nuln Oil but decided I wanted a darker finish. I also made the unusual choice of not adding any Glaze medium to the wash, as the slightly “chalky” effect you get from watering down the black seems to help the blending somewhat. The black was super thin. Here is a picture of what it looks like when I spread it in the bottle I use to hold the miniatures.

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Step 15 – While the black was still a bit damp, I reapplied some Doombull Brown. Having the black wash still wet on the model allowed me to do some blending as I painted.

 

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Step 16 – To give the leather a shiny appearance I picked out the edges in a mix of Doombull Brown and Tuskgor Fur. I then gave everything one more wash of black which seems to have left a nice “warm” finish to the leather. A word of caution: the black wash is a pain and will want to run onto all the bits of the model you have already painted. This can be bad news or can be a happy accident as sometimes it can give some deep shadow around the edges. On this model most of the leather overlaps the bright red I have painted, so black shadows aren’t really the thing!


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Step 17 – Time for the apron. Wow there is a lot of detail: creases, gauges, folds, tears and little metal edge bits. When I started I wasn’t completely sure what sort of finish I was going to aim for. The tatty, weathered appearance of the apron seemed to suggest it should be pretty worn and dirty but this didn’t really work with my idea of this being a bright model. I set out aiming to achieve an apron that was really light in colour but had got dirty and damaged through use. I started off with a flat base colour of XV-88 all over, this paint has a bit more green in it than I would like but it’s the closest thing GW do to the colour I would ideally want. It took three thin layers to get a really decent smooth finish. I anticipated this apron to end up a cream colour, so a smooth finish was really important. If you want a large area like this to be a light colour it is vital you start from a really smooth, single colour base coat. Unlike darker colours it’s much harder to hide any variation in the base.

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Step 18 – This is the moment where I was trying to decide what the darker shaded bits of the apron where going to look like. I decided Skrag Brown is where I’m going to start. There are various ways of working up to a cream colour but this is my chosen method. You can get there quicker using other techniques but I don’t think you get the same depth of colour. So the whole apron area was layered with 2 thin coats of Skrag Brown.

 

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Step 19 – The next layer applied was Deathclaw Brown. There is a big step between these two colours so to combat this I water down the Deathclaw a little more than usual and use the technique I talked about earlier. I started with the raised areas and worked down towards shade. Other than the deepest recesses, pretty much the entire apron had at least one layer of Deathclaw with the more raised sections getting 3 or 4.

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Step 20 – This is where the wet palette comes into its own again. I made three pools of wet paint: Deathclaw Brown, Tau light ochre and Ushabti Bone. This allowed me to blend the three colours on the fly. I worked my way from a Deathclaw, Tau light Ochre mix all the way through to pure Ushabti Bone. The number of layers this took varies across the apron. Any time I thought the blend looked a bit harsh or I had gone too light, I would create a little Deathclaw Brown wash and apply that.

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Step 21 – The final part of the apron was to add some edge highlights. This was done by mixing a very small amount of white with the Ushabti Bone. I chose to use Vallejo white as I think it’s a better paint than the GW stuff. White paint has to have lots of pigment in it and I found the GW white was either too gloopy, went chalky when I thinned it or dried out too quickly. So this is now the basic apron done. At this point I was being a chicken and I decided to come back and add the weathering later.

 

shank-25

 

Step 22 – Time for a bit of a tidy up all over the model. I started by tidying the edges of the apron and picking out the metal details on the apron with black. However this then lead to a few other little touch ups on some of the leather parts and around the red. If you are a good painter you won’t need to do this, however I think sometimes you see stuff on the second or third review which you will have missed the first time.


shank-26

 

Step 23 – Shank has a very impressive hair do. Trying to get a vaguely realistic finish on hair is a pain. My basic technique is to always try and paint in the direction the hair should be going. That way if you leave some brush strokes it will make the hair look more ‘real’. I toyed with various colour options. Black and grey is my favourite because it’s the easiest but in this case I went for a mousey blonde brown. I started with a base of Mournfang Brown. I did two layers of this as the hair had got a bit multi coloured by this point. I then went over almost all the hair with Skrag Brown.

 

shank-27

 

Step 24 – I put some Deathclaw Brown and Yreil Yellow on to my palette and thinned them a bit. I mixed the colours as I went. This allowed me to gradually build the highlights by adding more yellow but also preventing a uniform finish (hair is never just one colour). In some places I used lots of the yellow in the mix and others less so. I then gave the areas that were most raised and would catch the light some neat Yreil Yellow to give it a bit of a shiny finish.

 

shank-28

 

Step 25 – Once all the paint was properly dry, I applied a fairly heavy wash of Agrax Earthshade. It’s unusual for me to get this far into painting a model and be getting out Agrax for the first time. This tones everything down a bit and adds some deeper shadows.

 

shank-29

 

Step 26 – On to the metal work. It’s harder to break this down into individual steps as the metal sort of evolved. I didn’t want a consistent appearance to the metal all over the model. The basic method is something like- Paint all the metal bits with Leadbelcher, apply a Nuln oil wash all over, dry brush of Ironbreaker and then add an edge highlight of Runefang Steel. The variation comes by doing things like applying a few Nuln oil washes to areas in shadow. I also washed all the blades in Drakenhof Nightshade hoping the blue might give a sort of stainless steel look. I also added some pool of Argrax Earthshade on some parts to give the impression of patches of dirt/rust.

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Step 27 – Once the metal areas were done I focused on the handle of the weapon in shanks right hand and the binding around the blades at the end of the chains. I used the same technique for all of these. First it was a base layer of Steel Legion Drab, then a wash of Agrax Earthshade. Once this had all dried, I applied  Karak Stone to all the raised areas. I did this by getting a very small amount of paint on the brush and then gently running the brush lightly over the surface details. I guess this is a little like dry brushing but with a wet brush! It gives a similar effect to dry brushing but a much smoother finish. I did two layers of this on all three areas building up the highlights. I thought this was looking a touch too sharp so I applied a slightly watered down wash of Agrax Earthshade to blend everything together again.

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Step 28 – So this step actually overlapped the previous one a bit. Sorry if the photos are a bit confusing! The handle of the cleaver in Shanks left hand was a bit of a puzzle to me. I couldn’t decide what sort of finish I wanted on this. I decided a wooden handle was the way to go. To achieve this, the handle was given two layers of Skrag Brown and then a wash of Agrax Earthshade.

Step 29 – I wanted to try and add a bit of a wood effect. To do this I got out my smallest brush and mixed up some water and Baneblade Brown. I made this not quite as thin as a wash but a thinner consistency than I would usually use. I then painted this on to the handle in thin stripes running in the direction of the handle. I did this about 3 times to gradually build up the effect.

Step 30 – I thought this looked pretty good but to add a little more definition I added a little Agrax Earthshade. Because the base colour had already been washed with this, it tends to blend things together. Not sure the wood grain effect really showed as it’s such a small area but it looks ok.

 

shank-36

 

Step 31 – Shank has some nice stitching on his uniform and armour. I love stitching and I’m always pleased when I see it on a model. It’s easy to paint and it adds a really nice detail that helps to make the model pop. My stitching is the same every time. First paint the stitch with Skrag Brown, try and get as much of the stitch as you can without going over the area you have already painted. I then paint the top edge of the stitch with Tau Light Ochre. I try and work out where the light would be catching the stitch and catch these edges with Karak Stone. If the stitch is somewhere that would catch the light (like Shank’s shoulder pad) I might then add a tiny patch of Ushabti Bone for a bright highlight. Once this has all dried I wash the stitches in Agrax Earthsade. This will settle around the base of the stitch which is ok as it helps to make it stand out.

 

shank-37

 

Step 32 – Oh eyes…. In my years of painting this is everything I have learnt about painting eyes:

  1. Avoid it if you can.
  2. Don’t paint eyeballs pure white – your model will look bonkers!
  3. Avoid it.
  4. Do it at the start of your painting session. If you are like me this will be when you are at your best.
  5. Don’t forget to thin your paints. It can be tempting to do small details with pure paint to try and do it in a single layer. This will look odd!
  6. Only do them if they are really obvious.
  7. The Iris should not be a ‘dot’ or blob, paint a horizontal line down the eye.
  8. Avoid doing them if there is any way to get around it.
  9. Be prepared to repaint the face around the eyes.

Shank has really obvious eyes and I have to say for a Guild Ball miniature they are actually pretty well sculpted. I decided there was no way to avoid doing them, they are just too prominent.  I started by painting the eye ball with two thinned layers of Ushabti Bone. I then applied a tiny stripe of white across the eye. Next I paint vertically down each eye with a thin line of Altdorf Guard Blue. If you are better at painting than me you might be able to contain this line within the eye but I just don’t have that level of skill. So I accept I’m going to start on the upper lid and get some point on the lower lid too. It’s vital you get these lines so it appears both eye are pointing in the same direction.

 

shank-38

 

Step 33 – To tidy up I went around the eyes with some Ratskin Flesh followed by Cadian Fleshtone.

 

shank-39

 

Step 34 – Time to start on the final touches! I added some Carroburg Crimson to the blades in patches and ran a little of this into the scar on his face. On the blades I let this build up over 3 layers and I also added bit of this to the chains where I had previously put some spots of Agrax Earthshade. On the blades this is going to be the base for some blood splatters but on the chain combined with the brown it gives a nice sort of grubby look.

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Step 35 – Time for a deep breath. I was really pleased with the way the apron came out so the thought of adding splats to it filled me with dread. Any slip up’s here could have ruined all that work but I couldn’t just leave it clean! I decided to use some Blood for the blood god technical paint. I added this neat and built it up over 3 layers. I basically pick up a small blob of the paint on the very tip of the brush, place this on the model and then spread it a little with the brush. This allowed me to create some dribbles and splashes. I was sparing with splats as it’s easy to go over the top with this sort of thing. Time to confess I had intended to do some mud splats too but I chickened out! I really liked the way the apron looked and decided not to risk adding anything else to it!

Step 36 – Using the patches of red wash I had previously applied to the blades as a guide, I then added some blood to the blades. I started with the edges and worked away from them building up some patches and pools on the gauges of the blades. Again I think it’s easy to overdo this and there is no going back once you’ve added it. So I build this up slowly over 2 or 3 coats. Layers are good with this paint as it can give a sort of “blobby” effect where the paint builds up that looks like real blood.

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Somewhere in amongst all of this I also added some silver buckles on the leather straps on the apron, the studs on his shoulder pad and the studs on his body armour. This was just small amounts of Leadbelcher Silver with a very thin wash of Nuln Oil to add a little depth.

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So there we are. Add some basing material, paint the rim of the base and you are done! To complete all of this took somewhere in the region of 6-7 hours spread over 3 sessions. However, I don’t ever just sit and paint. I’m always watching TV or fiddling with other stuff. I’m sure this could have been achieved a lot quicker but rushing just means I have to buy more models to paint! Tater is next….

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Obulus: Sinking the Ferryman’s ferry!

O.K. So recently we have heard nothing except Obulus this, Obulus that, Obulus USA Meta, stick 8 influence on him etc etc etc etc

Well, here’s what I think:

  1. Obulus is a dick, shadow like, unpredictable, 2” Melee, Puppet Master, Confidence, the list goes on and makes him a challenge greater then Midas IMHO.
  2. He is not unbeatable….

In the following article I’m going to share my thoughts about how to take out Obulus with the Butchers.

Obulus’s vital stats:

1

Obulus is difficult for the Butchers because as a team we don’t have a lot of 2” melee to get around his unpredictable movement and with Shadow Like it’s almost impossible to pin him down to give him the shoeing he so deserves. Also Def 4 Arm: 1 is pretty standard and with a 1” dodge on 1 success and 2” dodge on 2 successes, he can also counter attack away from 2” melee toons that charge base to base.

Like I said, a nightmare to deal with… But not impossible….

HERE WE GO!

Ox

Ox’s roll in all of this is to debuff him and try to get in an area where his owner aura may give a vital buff.

2

So, 6” debuff ‘They Ain’t Tough’ and ‘Butchery’ will significantly boost the chances of taking him out with Shank or Boar. With ‘Gutter’ the ARM debuff is unnecessary as she has anatomical precision so already ignores his 1 ARM.

Rage

So now let’s get Rage into the mix.

His only job is to ‘Tool up’ Shank or Boar, after that he can go charge someone else. I have in the past charged Obulus with the intention of making him use his unpredictable. If he doesn’t choose to dodge away, then Rage is almost guaranteed to put 4 or more damage on him + bleed. Also, if Rage can get to the top of his playbook, he can start to remove Obulus’s influence.

Brisket

DIRTY KNIVES! Get that guy to DEF: 3 if you can.

shank 7

Shank

The man for the job in my opinion. Let just remind ourselves of how pant crappingly awesome he is.

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So, 1st thing. The wording on Unpredictable movement is ‘ ends an advance’ not dodge J This means that Shank can generate dodges to get himself in to melee range or can ‘Where’d They Go’ in and unpredictable won’t proc. If your move someone in to force the 2” dodge has procc’d then ideally this is where Shank should go ballistic.

If everyone has done their job as mentioned above, this is what a 4 Influence Shank should go punch Obulus with.

  1. Ox – ‘They Ain’t Tough and Butchery
  2. Rage – Tooled Up Shank and fake charge to proc unpredictable movement
  3. Brisket – Dirty Knives
  4. Boiler – Swift Stance Shank (optional)

For this exercise I’m going to borrow Ozballs Tac vs Def reference sheet.

4

CHAAAAARGE!! (Base to Base)

TAC        vs            DEF        ARM      Successes           

10                                3               0                   7

Playbook result = Momentous 3<< up to 6<< (Butchery + Tooled up + Owners Aura) and wrap around for 1< momentous damage up to 4<.

Obulus had 16 health, now he has 6….

Shank uses his dodges to go base to base in case he tries to counter attack dodge away.

Shank laughs at Obulus and his 2 successes from his 6 dice vs. his buffed DEF of 5 and punches him again

TAC        vs            DEF        ARM      Successes                        

6                                3                0                    4

Playbook Result = 3< up to 6< (Butchery + Tooled up + Owners Aura)

Bye Obulus……

He’s coming back on the pitch with 5 Health and we all know how much Shank loves hunting players that have just come back on!

Gutter

Of course you can go this route with Gutter by also having Shank perform 1000 cuts at 6” range or by charging in and hoping to proc it from his playbook on 5 successes.

Then Gutter needs 2’s to go after him and a tooled up + owners aura is 5 damage Scything blows and if it’s the legendary turn then that 6 momentous damage per swing. Even if she gets 3 successes she is still rocking 4 or 5 damage.

 

Boar

Oh, and let’s not forget my least favourite Butcher, Boar.

Boar-Front

Let’s just run the Shank scenario again but this time with fatty fat pants.

FURIOUS FREEEEEEE CHAAAAARGE!! (Base to Base)

TAC        vs            DEF        ARM      Successes        

12                               3                0                   8

Playbook result =  Momentous 4 up to 7 (Butchery + Tooled up + Owners Aura)

Obulus had 16 health, now he has 9….

Obulus probably counter attacks and with Boars buffed defence of 3… Obulus dodges away using his counter attack.

Obulus reminds Boar he’s not as cool as you thought he was when you started playing.

What? Oh, sorry… I’ll get back on track and assume he’s already procc’ed his unpredictable movement.

Boar gets his free berserk attack!

TAC        vs            DEF        ARM      Successes           

8                                3               0                     5

Playbook result = Take the KD

Obulus is still on 9 but is now on DEF: 2

Boar buys an attack

TAC        vs            DEF        ARM      Successes           

8                                2                0                   6

Playbook result = Momentous 3 up to 6 (Butchery + Tooled up + Owners Aura)

Obulus was on 9 but is now on 3.

Boar gets another free beserk attack!

TAC        vs            DEF        ARM      Successes           

8                              2              0              6

Playbook result = Momentous 3 up to 6 (Butchery + Tooled up + Owners Aura)

Bye Obulus……

The only bonus of using Boar over Shank is that Boar can do all that for 1 Influence whereas Shank or Gutter will need 4.

Fillet

6 7

So, how does Fillet deal with Obulus? Let assume she has 6 influence and has a ‘Tooled up’ from Rage or Meathook shall we?

1 INF – Sprint

Sprint base to base – Obulus unpredictable moves away.

2 INF – Pain Circle

Fillet goes for Pain Circle and chooses to put Bleed on 1st then the damage to gain her Blood Dance 1” dodge. BONUS TIME THIS IF YOU CAN!!!!

Obulus on 15 Health

1 INF – Buys an attack

TAC        vs            DEF        ARM      Successes           

8                               4                 1                   3

Playbook result = Momentous 2 up to 4 (Smell Blood + Tooled up)

Obulus down to 11 Health

1 INF – Buys an attack

TAC        vs            DEF        ARM      Successes           

8                              4              1                  3

Playbook result = Momentous 2 up to 4 (Smell Blood + Tooled up)

Obulus down to 7 Health

1 INF – Buys an attack

TAC        vs            DEF        ARM      Successes        

8                                4               1                 3

Playbook result = Momentous 2 up to 4 (Smell Blood + Tooled up)

Obulus down to 3 Health

LEGENDARY!

Exsanguinate for 3 damage

Bye Obulus…

 

Fillet will always do better if she attacks Obulus after his Unpredictable has proc’d. That way if he tries to dodge away using counter attacks, her DEF of 5 (or 6 if buffed by Boiler) is enough to keep him in situ for the beat down. She can open with a charge looks something like this:

TAC        vs            DEF        ARM      Successes          

12                               4                1                    5

Playbook result = Blood Rain for 2 damage up to 3 damage (Tooled Up) and Bleed to Obulus and all enemies within 2″. Use blood dance to go base to base.

Then go nuts on attacks using your blood dance to chase him if he counters.

 

So conclusion time then:

  • Obulus can be beaten like a government mule, but it takes planning.
  • Look out for counter attacks and him dodging away, always try to push him in to base to base or dodge to his base to stop him getting away.
  • Focus him down and then mop up the rest
  • Use your character plays wisely
  • Use Rage or Princess or any of your toons with a 1” melee to get him to use his unpredictable movement early, then murder him.

So that’s my thoughts on taking Obulus out of the game via Take Outs. My only other thought is that Fillet, Ox, Shank, Boiler, Decimate and Brisket are all amazing strikers or at the very least goal threats. Tie up Obulus while going for Goal because even a shot from Brisket that’s got a -1 dice modifier could be 4 Dice once she’s got Super Shot up! That’s worth a go and scoring 4 points is always better than 2 in my opinion.

 

Anyway, there’s some crazy brain dumping from me.

Big Love

T

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Player Focus: Shank

Shank You Very Much!

Right, before I get started, let’s get something straight. There are some players in Guild Ball that are exceptional and then there are superstars. In this list I would say that Mist, Silence & Vitriol all fit into that category of players that nearly always make the team.

Then there is Shank. Could he be the most incredible non-captain player in Guild Ball? When you look at his vitals there’s lots to love:

SYVM1

Analysis Time!

SYVM2

He is a superstar and this means he is a really influence hungry player for your team and is why I find him out of sorts in a Fillet team but comfortable in Ox led teams. The reason?

Fillet herself is a superstar, every turn she needs her own influence plus more to really smash the game open. This leaves Shank fending for himself and if Shank needs 3-4 influence and Fillet needs 6, you can see where the issue arises. Most of the influence goes on them and you end up low on influence to give to other players. That’s not to say he can’t play a part in Fillet team, he can, and does it very well. It’s just he sits more at home with Ox than Fillet (in my opinion)

One of the things that got me started on this train of thinking was the similarities between Fillet and Shank. Both need a lot of influence and both benefit massively from the players in their teams. Below are some of the things that I have learned while playing Shank and some of the tech I employ with different players to help him fulfil his superstar status.

I thought I would try to choose the top players that buff Shank and make him my favourite player in the Butchers.

Ox

This is obvious, that delicious ‘The Owner’ and the legendary ‘Get ‘Em Lads!’

Shank 3

3 momentous DMG on 2 success with a 1” dodge? Ludicrous! 4 momentous DMG on 4 successes and a 1” dodge? RUDE!

Also, as we can see below, Ox has some other plays that will also make Shank even better. ‘Tough Skin’ adds a level of defence tech to Shank that he needs. 4 DEF is reasonable but with ARM 0 he can get taken out quickly by someone who knows what they are doing.

Shank 4

‘Butchery’ and ‘They ‘Ain’t Tough!’ are awesome against ARM: 2 players as once Ox kicks of ‘Get ‘Em Lads!’ as well as both these, that ARM: 0 and Shank is on +3 DMG!

Now watch the damage skyrocket.

5 momentous DMG on 2 success, 6 momentous DMG on 4 success….

Crazy.

And afterwards he still has an extra point of ARM to keep him alive if Ox has buffed him.

Conclusion: Shank loves Ox! Ox has vital defence tech in ‘Tough Skin’ and can ramp his damage to crazy levels with ‘Butchery’, ‘They Ain’t Tough!’, ‘The Owner’ and ‘Get ‘Em Lads!’

 

Boiler

Boiler has 2 plays that Shank loves him for:

Shank 5

‘Swift Stance’ makes a DEF 5 Shank (with a point of ARM if Ox has buffed him) and DEF: 5 1ARM is awesome. For a round where Shank is going in to score, this can mean he gets away afterward and resists a lot of easy damage.

‘Marked Target’ against a damaged opponent can give Shank +4 MOV on his charge in conjunction with ‘Damaged Target’. This means he can effectively get back into the fight from almost anywhere.

‘Where’d They Go?’ (4”) + Charge (8”) + ‘Damaged Target’ (2”) + Marked Target’ (2”) + 2” melee = 18”…

Well then… nuff said!

Shank can help out Boiler too. Boilers ability to put out damage is insane and if Shank can land a ‘Thousand Cuts on someone, Boiler will go nuts. DEF: 4 characters are suddenly DEF: 2…..

If anyone isn’t aware of the ‘Murder turn’ for Boiler, it looks like this if you get everything going, if not, Boiler + Princess and Ox can ruin someone’s day without all the other craziness.

  • Ox kicks off ‘Get ‘Em Lads!’ and puts ‘Butchery’ on a player that has activated already.
  • Avarisse knocks them down and hits with ‘Singled Out’.
  • Princess moves into melee range
  • Rage puts ‘Tooled Up’ on Boiler
  • Boiler has 4 influence and unloads with TAC: 10 (TAC: 5 + ‘Singled Out’ +2, Ganging up (Avarisse) +1, ‘Assist [Princess]’ +2) , Anatomical Precision’ and has +5 to DMG! (Ox’s Auras (+2), ‘Assist [Princess]’ +1, ‘Tooled Up’ (+1) and finally, ‘Butchery’ (+1))

5 successes is 8 momentous damage and he has ‘Crucial Artery’ so leaves makes them suffer the Bleed condition. Even a wrap on 6 successes is 8 momentous + 6 non-momentous… and he could do this 4 times…. That’s just sickening.  But anyway, let’s get back to Shank and my conclusions.

Conclusion: Boiler gives much needed defence tech to Shank through ‘Swift Stance’ and if Boiler chooses to ‘Marked Target’ someone who is injured already, can bring Shank back in to the game after hunting players that have just come back on. Shank thinks Boiler is awesome!

Quick side note: Minx is a good choice in a Shank and Fillet team as you can give her 2 influence to Shank and she can still operate with her ‘Furious’. She can also use 1 influence to give ‘Marked Target’ and like Shank, has ‘Damaged Target’. (But is not nearly as good as Boiler…in my opinion) 

 

Rage/Meathook

The reason I mention these two is because of that wonderous character play; ‘Tooled Up’.

Shank 6

If Ox has debuffed someone with Butchery and kicked of his legendary, then ‘Tooled Up’ turns 1 success in to 5 momentous damage…. 5 momentous for 1 success… 6 mom damage for 2, 7 mom damage for 4.

Wow…

And this from a player that can threaten an uninjured player from 14” away.

Conclusion: Everyone loves ‘Tooled Up’ but Shanks 2 momentous on 2 successes becomes 3 damage on 4 success becomes 4 and that’s a really good, really really good. Shank likes anyone with ‘Tooled Up’ because he likes pouring pain on people.

 

Brisket

There’s no doubt that when played well, Brisket is an awesome player for the Butchers and gives a solid 18” threat on goal but why have I included her in here?

shank 7

Two reasons really, one is ‘Dirty Knives’ that can reduce DEF against Shanks opponents so he can beat them on them easier and then the thing I thought about that I should do more of….

Shank 8

Snap shots! So we have talked about Shanks range and how he can go hunting for the ball but rather than going for goal himself, he could go for assists because Brisket with ‘Super Shot’ and ‘Swift Stance’ from Boiler standing 8-10” from goal is a Brisket that’s DEF 5 ARM 1 (vs Female toons) and DEF 6 ARM 1 (vs Male toons) with ‘Unpredictable Movement’ and a kick of 4.

That’s a thing to consider because people won’t expect snap shots from the Butchers and Shank is almost perfect to supply the pass for it.

Conclusion: ‘Dirty Knives’ is nice but when Shank and Brisket work as a scoring pair off the wings, they can get quick goals. Shank likes Brisket, she and him score goals!

 

Fillet

Fillet is a hungry solo player all of her own but she still has some love for Shank. Shank can go a long way in a turn; he can ‘Where’d They Go?’ and then charge so can engage an uninjured player at 14” (4” WTG + 8” Sprint + 2” Melee) and if they are injured he gains an extra 2” from ‘Damaged Target’ making that 16”

But wait… Fillet has something to add to that and that’s ‘Quick Foot’

Shank 9

Now, I love hunting weak characters that have just come back on and Shank having a threat range of 18” makes him the perfect person to go after them. A good damage track, TAC: 6 gives him a charge and a second attack that could be 5 or 6 damage. Enough to take out most players coming back on.

Also, 18” is a long threat range and Shanks 2/6” kick stat once bonus timed becomes 3/6”. That’s enough to throw him at the goal in a Shark style and with his dodges all over his playbook that’s a thing that can give you goals.

Conclusion: Shank likes Fillet because she turns him into a rocket

 

Decimate

Right, I think Decimate is massively under rated because she’s fast, has anatomical precision, 3/6″ KICK and has what I would say is the holy grail of guild ball with a Tackle and 2” dodge on 4 successes. Now I have that little rant off my chest, I’ll get back on topic.

‘Second Wind’

Shank 10

 

Let’s play out a weaker, not so beardy, don’t get a second activation for peanuts version of the Masons “Chissile” exercise with Shank. (Not bitter….much)

Team set up:

SYVM3

Princess does nothing accept pine at Boiler, maybe swags up field a bit to pee on an obstruction

Ox buffs Shank with ‘Tough Skin’ and sprints to mid field

Decimate buffs Shank with ‘Second Wind’ and sprints to mid field

Boiler buffs Shank with ‘Swift Stance’ and goes 6” and if possible, lands a ‘Marked Target’

Rage puts ‘Tooled Up’ on Shank and takes his free charge forward

Shank uses ‘Where’d They Go?’ and charges the ‘Marked Target’ for a threat range of 16” or 12” without ‘Where’d They Go?’. In either case is DEF: 5, 1 ARM for counter attacks and has a minimum of +1 DMG if the other player hasn’t left someone where Shank can take advantage of ‘The Owner’

Then after laying the smack down, Shank gets to swag away thanks to second wind back to safety having generated reliable momentum.

LUSH!

Or… attack the ball carrier, use that Momentous Tackle on 2, buy another attack, dodge and go for GOAL!!! When I did this against my mate, he was stunned. Shank can play like a Fisherman, he’s versatile like that! (Needs 4 influence most of the time but what he can do with it is mind blowing) And then he can ‘Second Wind’ and ‘Run the Length’, that’s 9” back to safety!!!

Conclusion: Decimate’s ‘Second Wind’ gives Shank the ability to strike at a target then retreat to relative safety, especially if that target has a 1” melee and he can avoid parting blows 😉 It also makes him a striker that can get in, score and then get away before getting creamed.

 

Avarisse and Greede

Now, I love A&G and I’m love them as part of a serious hard hitting Ox team. What I love is Avarisse for his momentous ‘Singled Out’ on 1 success and Knockdown on 2 and Greede because if you activate him early you can activate Shank last and against most opponents you will be an activation up as you have 7 models on the pitch, not 6.  This means Shank can just tear them a new one!

Shank 12

Love it!

Also though, don’t forget that Avarisse can move people about with his momentous 2” push on 2 successes so Avarisse with 2 INF can give Shank +2 TAC and this is the ball carrier then he can set them up for a tackle, dodge and shot combo!

Conclusion: ‘Singled Out’ and KD make Shank happy. Getting someone moved into a better position for a whuppin’ or goal opportunity also makes Avarisse a firm favourite.

 

Some Final Thoughts

These synergies are directed at Shank but imagine that + damage scenario on Boiler when he’s with Princess, craziness. Truth is, a lot of what I’ve talked about can be utilised throughout the Butchers and beyond. But, that’s not the point, me fanboying Shank is!

In my humble opinion, Shank is the best all round player that the Butchers have. Here’s some bullet points:

  • Go hunting, players with 5 or less HP coming back on are easy pickings for Shank.
  • He has a massive movement and lots of dodges, use these to go for goal. 2/6 is not that bad and bonus timed its 3 dice. I’m sure it feels like I miss more with Shark on 4 dice than I do with Shank on 2, lol
  • Buff and Debuff. You will get more damage from Shank if Ox is about. If not, get a ‘Tooled Up’ going.
  • Make Shank a mid to late activation so you can see where to utilise him best.
  • Make Shank a first activation if you want to take out a player coming back on so they don’t have momentum to counter. Also, if the other team have the ball 6-7” from the goal and you can get too them with ‘Where’d They Go?’ and a charge. With 4 influence that still gives you 1 mom and 1 inf left for the shot.

Keeping him in the game

  • 14 Health and DEF: 4 are not as good as you think they are. Use defence tech like ‘Tough Skin’ and ‘Swift Stance’ to give him survivability.
  • Use momentum to heal him and don’t be afraid to chuck a second wind on him for a crazy bit of guerrilla tactic shenanigans.

Conclusion

If you don’t take Shank in an Ox led Butchers team I think it’s a mistake. The line-up I enjoy the most is Ox, Princess, shank, Boiler, Avarisse and Greede and Rage as the potential for slaughter is strong! That said, in a more balanced team I tend to enjoy Ox, Princess, Shank, Boiler, Brisket and Gutter.

I believe Shank should be an automatic include in Ox teams and in Fillet teams should be a strong contender. He plays like a butcher with the footwork of a Fisherman. When you wrap your head around how versatile he is and how much of a threat he for scoring as well as take outs, I think you will fanboy him too.

I love him, and I hope this article gives you some ideas on how to use him to put some goals on people and put down some extra pain!

I have fanboyed enough for now

Laters

Von Tizzle

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Learning to Play Dead III: That Bloody Crow

That Bloody Crow

Me again and this time I’ve decided to focus on the mascot that my mate John used to think was the 2nd worst in the game. (He thought it was the worst, then I showed him Salt)

I thought he was wrong then and this is why!

I think Dirge is a fantastic mascot that fits with the Morticians game plan of disruption and control and although I’m totally fanboying the idea of Vile Swarm now we know its stats, I still think that Dirge has the edge. I’ll cover Vileswarm once I’ve had a few games with it as I think that he and Veteran Graves will make an interesting pairing. Without research though, I’m going to focus on Dirge.

WARNING: INCOMING OPINION! Dirge should always be your choice if Cosset or Silence is on the pitch. (As a side note, if Silence isn’t on the pitch…WTF!) The synergies between these three are so good that playing them without each other is like going to see a film and not getting ice cream.

Ok, but lacking something…

Dirge’s card

1

Breaking that down, here’s what stands out to me.

Flying and 8/10 MOV. That makes Dirge the most manoeuvrable thing in Guild Ball. The ability to ignoring all terrain and ground means it can go get a scattered ball 11” away and not give a flying frog about barriers, obstacles, forests or even chubby fishermen captains getting their legs hacked off.

Dark Doubts! Get that bird up in your opponents grill! Taking it out immediately costs them 4 momentum and forces them to use up there momentum because of the combined threat of Obulus and his Legendary and the bird being another -4 momentum if they go get it!

Momentous Singled Out or 1 Non-momentous damage on 1. Momentous 1” dodge or Non-Mom tackle on two.  I’ll get to that in a minute 😉

Tac 2 seems a bit weak sauce, well…. it does

Can have 2 Influence, that’s enough for a charge! I recon there’s a thing there and I’ll explore that later as well.

Dirge the Destroyer!

Dirges playbook

2

As we can see by this, Dirge as a damage dealer is a ridiculous idea, but Dirge as an early activation (1 or 2 usually) to get stuff rolling is an amazing idea.

Tac 2 seems crap, but 2 Influence can give it a charge and that’s Tac: 6. Which I know still seems rubbish but Dirge’s playbook is only 2 long so actually it’s on par with a lot of other players when looking for a wrap.

Take Ghast for example:

3

He also has a playbook that’s the same as his TAC. So rather than focusing on ‘it’s only TAC: 2’ let instead focus on what we can get for that TAC: 2!

Let’s choose an average DEF ARM combo, DEF: 4 with ARM 1 sounds about right. I recon Boiler needs a spanking from Cosset so let’s go!

Example 1: Dirge goes first!

Dirge charges him!

6 Dice against Def 4/1 according to the TAC vs. DEF sheet on Ozball means we are likely to score 2 Successes! That’s a Momentous Singled Out!

So what?

Boiler now has to deal with the bird, if he just takes the parting blow then TAC:4 (2+2 for parting blow) gives success so that 1 point of damage and then the bird follows him! To crowd him out and be a pain. Or he can just thump the bird but has TAC: 5 vs DEF: 5 averages 2 success, which fair play is 2 momentous (3 if Ox is within 4”) but that’s still 2 or 3 attacks he has to waste on the bird to kill it and at the end of that he loses all that lovely momentum he gained and is still Singled Out!

Which now gives Ghast a 12 Dice charge without Dirge being there or 13 dice charge if it is, bonus time that bad boy (remember that momentous Singled Out?) and it is a mighty 14 dice! 13/14 dice Dice is an awe inspiring 6-7 successes according to the table (if my maths holds up) in either case The Unmasking is coming for you Boiler and the Butchers are starting to be pushed around a bit. Ghast with 3 Inf can get another attack providing you don’t push Boiler out of melee with The Unmasking and is TAC: 8 due to Singled Out. 3 successes would be Momentous KD.

So far (assuming he just ran away from Dirge and took the 1pt of damage and got followed. Boiler has taken 4 damage and is now on DEF: 3 ARM: 1

Cosset on 1 inf can easily charge in and do him in on an awe inspiring TAC: 15 charge! (4 + Crazy (3) + Singled Out (2) + 2 mates (2), +charge (4)) vs DEF: 3 and ARM: 1

9 Successes (again, if my maths holds up) as an average gives Cosset 4 damage up to 5 due to Dirge (see how much he’s doing here? Ganging up, Singled Out… Lush!) And a wrap for 2 momentous damage up to 3 from Dirge. That’s 8 Damage! Boiler is on 2 health…

4

Second attack from Cosset is on a jaw dropping TAC: 11 (4 + Crazy (3) + Singled Out (2) + 2 mates (2))

That’s an average of 4 successes, Momentous 3 (up to 4, thanks Dirge!) and that’s Boiler taking a trip to the dugout for medical attention!

The difference of Singled Out and Ganging Up from Dirge adds 3 dice to all the subsequent TAC rolls, which is significant in my opinion.

It’s the Cosset charge that needs that 3 to get Boiler, without the +3 TAC from Singled Out and Ganging Up she doesn’t wrap, and although she still hits for 4 Damage (or 5 if Dirge is within 4”), it’s going to take her to have 2 influence to make the kill rather than 1.

That’s an influence I would rather have on Silence for Shutout.

Example 2: Dirge bought a ticket on the pain train!

It’s later in the game and Boiler is looking beaten up on 2 Health and is KD and is currently being crowded out by 2 mates. Probably Obulus and Ghast.

TAC 8 charge by Dirge (2 + Charge (4) + 2 mates (2)) against DEF 3 ARM 1 gives an average of 4 successes. Correct me if I’m wrong but hasn’t Dirge just taken out Boiler?

4.1

Yup, wrap for 2 damage. Now why wouldn’t you just send in Cosset or Silence?

Maybe because you need those guys to perform their roles elsewhere and it gets Dirge up in the face of the enemy. Where it can threaten their momentum.

It’s almost daring them almost to come and get Dirge, but instead…BOOM! The Cosset trap gets sprung and the pain train is unleashed or the Obulus show goes off and who knows what happens next!

In a recent game against my mate who was playing his ‘Furious’ line up of Obulus, Dirge, Silence, Rage, Cosset and Minx he knocked down my Rage and them charged a ‘confidence’ and ‘tooled up’ infused Dirge in to me and did a Singled Out and 4 damage! I thought, why on earth would you do that? But actually, it left Cosset to finish the job while Minx and Silence beat on a shut out Shank…

Douche…

Example 3: Dirge plays catch.

After mortician goal, the ball is scattered out and Dirge can threaten on 11” (10” MOV and 1” melee) so off he goes flying over the imaginary barrier that’s in the way!

CHAAAARGE! TAC: 6 vs. Boilers DEF: 4 ARM: 1 (I know, I’m picking on him a lot today aren’t I!)

An average of 2 successes is a TACKLE to be a pain in the ass or momentous Singled Out to start Example 1! If Dirge takes the tackle, hold on to it. Because the opponent has to make the choice of taking you out or going for the tackle and DEF: 5 is pretty cool. If you have momentum, Defensive Stance on a charge would make it DEF: 6! If Silence has brought the bird back on the pitch, then taking it out nets 0vps for the kill but still loses them all there hard earned momentum!

Also, holding on to the ball means they have to do something about it so it draws them over to where you know they will be and then Silence, Obulus, Cosset and Ghast can get real busy screwing them over!

Example 4: Dirge plays football

Def 5 with 5 health is rubbish, but at least it’s not as bad as Greede.

But Dirge can still threaten the goal from 14” away and if Obulus Puppet Masters it beforehand then that’s a threat range of 22”.

O.K. Let’s get this out of the way now. Dirge has a 1D6 4” kick which is as bad as it gets. But…

1 dice is 50% probability

2 dice (if bonus timed) is 75% probability

That’s not rubbish….

Suddenly, Dirge with 2 Inf could have a 75% probability of scoring for you.

That’s definitely not rubbish!

Or

Silence is 7” from goal and you have 2 or more momentum, Dirge can go 10 inches, bonus time a pass to Silence (75% probability) who can now snap shot on 4 dice! (5 if he can bonus time it)

THAT IS DEFINATLY NOT RUBBISH!

Oh, in case you haven’t noticed, here’s Silences kick stats and other groovy thing to be aware of. Also, If you haven’t read Dan’s Silence article on Ozball. Go do that after finishing this.

In Conclusion

I go in to games imagining that I am 2 VPs down as Dirge is easy enough to take out and then I don’t care about getting it involved. But the threat of -4vps more often than not a thinking point for teams you are playing against. Especially if it’s near the end of the turn and Dirge is worth 0vps.

Dirge is more versatile than you think, but comes under the heading of ‘hungry’ as you need to put 2 inf on it to do anything above the ordinary.

Dirge is extremely manoeuvrable and don’t be afraid to get it up in the faces of your opponent. You ignore all terrain and ground, fly over it!

Dirge can play football if you have momentum! 75% Probability on a 14” threat isn’t as bad as you think.

Dirge can support almost any player on your team with Singled Out. Need that Tackle? Need that extra 2 TAC?

Be aware of being in a position where Silence’s kick is buffed or Cosset gets the extra Dmg buff.

Don’t leave Graves alone with it….. (Don’t ask)

Anyway, I hope that’s an interesting article on the Mascot and I hope it inspired you to get a bit braver with Dirge and get it in to the game a bit more. I find it great fun to play with when you start putting 2 influence on it at crucial moments in the game.

Till next time

Von Tizzle