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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.

SYVM1

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

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The Midlands Challenge Series

What is it?

So you may have heard us pushing this over social media, via our twitter and facebook accounts.  The Midlands Challenge Series is a group of four linked Guild Ball Regional Cup style tournaments.  With the intent being to grow the Guild Ball community across the Midlands, and hopefully create something that features is people gaming calendars each year.

In effect it’s four individual events, you don’t have to play in all of them; but you can if you want to!  The winner from each of the four events will receive an invite to the final in December and a free ticket to that event as well.  The player’s who finish 2nd through 4th at each event will be guaranteed a place at the final, with the ability to buy a ticket should they want to.  Obviously the plan is that the top 4 from each event create the player list for the final, but if people can’t make it then we’ll open the event to the public so others can join if they wish.

Anything special?

All of the events will run under the Regional Cup Guidelines from the most recent Organised Play document available at the time found here. Currently that format looks like this:

Tournament length

– A) ‘A Champion is crowned’

Match Win Conditions

– B) ‘Play to the final whistle’.

Round Length

– B) ‘Team Tactics’.

Team Roster Selection

– B) ‘Strength in Depth’ (8 model roster).

Match Roster Selection

– A) ‘Hide the team sheet!’.

 

All of the events are for 16 players, so should we get enough players booked in time to apply for Sanctioning from Steamforged we can do; ideally some of the heats are looking a bit sparse at the moment.  If you haven’t booked for one of them so far, then please do!

Even if sanctioned status from Steamforged doesn’t materialise if all of the events get over the minimum number of players for us to run, realistically 10.  Then there will still be decent prize pool for each event, which will look like:

1st Place: £20 Store Credit

2nd Place: £15 Store Credit

3rd Place: £10 Store Credit

Best Goal: £10 Store Credit

Best Painted: £10 Store Credit

Wooden Spoon: An actual ‘The Heroic Play’ wooden spoon! Woo hoo!

Also dependant on how full the events get, we’ll try and do some spot prizes for each event as well!

I’m sold sign me up!

If these events sound like something that you’re interested in and you want to come along, you can find tickets to all four of the Midlands Challenge Series events on TieBreak by following the links below:

Round One: Asgard Games UK, Walsall, 13th August

Round Two: Shadow Games, Rugby, 3rd September

Round Three: Black Dragon Miniatures, Hinckley, 15th October

Round Four: Young’s Hobbies, Coventry, 19th November

I’m not sure, got some more info?

Yes, all of the player packs are available either via the feed on TieBreak, the Steamforged forum in the UK events section or handily the links for each player pack are below.  The player packs have the address of each store in so you can see where they are, also what facilities are available in the store.  It also goes into detail about the round timings, when to arrive and what to bring. How good are we?

Round One Player Pack

Round Two Player Pack

Round Three Player Pack

Round Four Player Pack

Hopefully that’s enough to wet your whistle and you’ll be joining us at one of the heats later in the year!

Till next time!

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Player Focus: Scalpel

Scalpel, Spirit Weaver

Welcome back sports fans!

It’s been a while since the last article came out of The Heroic Play, fear not though we are back!  Real life (getting married, going on my honeymoon and starting a new job) has kept me very busy for the last month or two.  Life is returning to it’s normal sort of pace now though so I will aim to be getting back to producing an article once every week or two.  I’m still playing Brewers at the moment, but now that Season 2 has landed and is in full swing, I’ve been reading through the new rulebook (don’t worry no spoilers if you haven’t read the fiction yet) and Scalpel is a player that I’ve been looking at and thinking ‘damn she’s good’.  It’s obviously quite hard when the Mortician’s Guild original captain is Obulus, because he is so powerful; but Scalpel has got some seriously interesting options, which makes me want to take a bit of time to talk about her.

When looking at Scalpel, Steamforged have done a great job of making keeping the Morticians feel to her; through both her playbook, and character plays and traits.  In my opinion she wants to toy with her opponent like a cat playing with it’s food.  Scalpel has a very disruptive playstyle;  she has the ability to upset the opponents plans and force your opponent to re-write their plans on the fly.  To get a bit more of a feel for what I am talking about I’ll discuss her stats briefly.  The first thing that strikes you is that she is Fisherman’s Guild fast, with a MOV of 7″/9″ she can cover a lot of ground; her playbook also ties into her speed with her having easy access to a Momentous 1″ Dodge on 1 success in melee, or a Momentous 1″ Push/Dodge with 1 DMG for 3 successes.

scalpel 1

Next up is her impressive TAC score of 7, coupled with Anatomical Precision meaning that for the majority of targets that she will attack, she gets all of her successes and doesn’t have to drop any for armour.  To me what this means is against the typical players that you will see so 4+/1, 3+/1 & 3+/2 DEF/ARM combination players you will expect to see around 4 successes after armour if they get any against her. That puts you in what I would describe as her ‘sweet spot’ for attack results.  It gives Scalpel the ability to head up to a player a then make a number of attacks to pull them away from support by using her Push/Dodge option to back pedal them back towards your lines ready for a more heavy hitter to come in and finish them off.  Doing that will also generate you a decent sized pile of momentum as well. Allowing you to take further control over the ebb and flow of the game.  With her Momentous 1″ Dodge on 1 success and non momentous Tackle on 2 successes, she is also a credible goal threat that your opponent needs to be wary of.

An example of a Scalpel goal run could be a turn where she is allocated 6 influence, she charges her target with the ball for example taking a Tackle and if you’re lucky enough to wrap, which you may well do, she can take a 1″ dodge, then making 3 more attacks she should be able to dodge around her target to get within shooting range of the goal.  If all goes well you’re looking at having generated around 3 or 4 momentum, this allows you to throw her Heroic Play Unnatural Stamina up and put Second Wind on herself for free, then take a shot, Bonus Time it up from a 3/6″ KICK to a  4/6″  shot and scoring, using momentum to Run the Length and Second Wind, to head 11″ away from where you were to relative safety from retaliation.

Glancing over the remainder of her stats are the average DEF & ARM stats of 4+/1 and having 17 boxes making her fairly durable, combined with the standard Captain influence amounts of 4/6.  These make her reliable and capable of having a turn where she can get a lot of work done on her own if you need to.  Scalpel has also got some pretty reliable Counter Attack options in the form of her 1″ dodge or her Push/Dodge with 1 DMG, both of these are probably what you want to be looking for if you are making the Counter Attack.  If they haven’t landed in base-to-base with you then the 1″ dodge makes you safe against other 1″ melee players, and if you can Counter Attack vs a 2″ melee player then the Push/Dodge is probably the best result as long they aren’t in base-to-base with you.

scalpel 2

So moving onto look at Scalpel’s Character Plays, first up is Tormented Agony this can only be triggered through attacking a player in melee, the first use of this is in what I described as Scalpel’s ‘sweet spot’ on 4 successes and also does 2 DMG and earns you Momentum as well.  The next time it appears in at the top of her playbook on 7 successes, which is till Momentous but comes with 3 DMG on top as well NICE! This play causes the target to lose an Influence and move it onto another model in the enemy team within 10″ who hasn’t yet activated, bear in mind that it is an allocation so it can’t take that player above their inflence cap, so if they already have their max influence you can’t place it on them.

In a similar way to pulling off Casket Time I kind of feel there is a bit of ‘living the dream’ sort of tactic that can come out of this play with Scalpel.  The example of this would be that Silence uses Shutout to make a player go last; then Scalpel uses Tormented Agony to pass the influence onto the player who will be going last and the rest of her team then kills the player the influence has been passed to before it gets to activate.  While it seems like a very cool tactic I feel that it could be a bit of a trap trying to live the dream and acheive it.  A more realistic use of it is to probably move the influence on to a slower player who won’t be able to make use of it this turn causing it to be wasted.

Next up is Second Wind, which is very welcome in Morticians; early game Scalpel probably wants to use it on someone like Ghast or Fangtooth if you are playing them to get them up the field. Mid to late game I can see Scalpel wanting to use it on herself so that she reposition and keep herself safe, or maybe put it onto someone like Mist if he’s got a reliable goal threat, allowing him to retreat to relative safety after scoring.  Something that also factors into Scalpel’s use of Second Wind is her Heroic Play Unnatural Stamina, which allows her to use it without spending Influence but by spending Momentum instead. I think this is really worth bearing in mind as it can be a little trick to keep up your sleeve if all Scalpel is doing for a turn is repositioning, you allocate her an Influence to sprint into position then use some Momentum to throw it out, and all of sudden Scalpel is acting as a battery for a turn if you need it to power some other members of the team.

scalpel 4

Last but by no means least is Wake the Dead this character play allows Scalpel to grant one of her team Reanimate for a turn. Using this play when you have a player who is on the borderline in terms of whether they will survive the attacks the enemey is likely to put into them.  If the resources of one enemy player are just enough to take the player down and then Reanimate brings the player back before they earn any VP you then pose a question to you’re enemy, do they assign more resources to finishing that player off again, and possibly not acheiving what they wanted out of that player originally, or do they leave them alive and give you the opportunity to heal your player back up and bring them back into the fray.

scalpel 3

Moving on to her Character Traits, I’ve already covered Anatomical Precision when discussing her playbook; her last character trait is Slippery.  This combined with Second Wind mean that Scalpel can quite happily use her end of activation Jog to leave melee with most players providing they haven’t got super easy access to a Knockdown, like on 1 or 2 successes.  As I said at the start of the article Scalpel plays more into a Cat & Mouse kind of playstyle, being able to reposition freely and pose numerous questions for you’re opponent to have to work around.

scalpel 5

Last but not least we come to her Legendary Play Voodoo Strings; initially with this I felt it was a bit lack lustre, not really thinking about how to use it to great effect.  Following some deliberation on it though I think it can be a really powerful tool when used to catch your opponent off guard.  One of the most obvious uses if to use it as a threat range increase for your team.  Scalpel goes and pulls a bunch of the enemy team closer to your team so that you can get some extra attacks or charges off in the turn that you wouldn’t have done previously.  The next application that comes to mind is to use it to pull the enemy team close together and clump them up ready for Ghast to charge in and pop off The Unmasking and catch a bunch of people in the pulse.  In a similar vein, is using it late turn and setting Graves up to charge in get a Scything Blow off and making everyone hurt by it take Bleeding thanks to Crucial Artery.  If you manage it as the final activation of a turn then you’re guaranteed 6 damage on those players, which is pretty big really.  The last one that springs to mind at the moment is if your going for goal and the oppoent has Goalkeeper model such as Tenderiser, Compound or Veteran Velocity making you’re goal shot more difficult.  Using Voodoo Strings to pull them out of the 4″ of the goal marker so abilities like Goal Defence & Rush Keeper are no longer an option for you’re opponent.  Plenty to think about there really!

Last thoughts on Scalpel are around what sort of line up you want to take in her tournament 8.  My thoughts currently are:  Scalpel, Dirge, Silence, Mist, Rage, Ghast, Graves then Avarisse & Greede. This gives you all of the options to do some of the bits I’ve spoken about throughout the article. If you go with Mist, Graves & Silence, you’ve got access to 4 players (including Scalpel) who can score goals quite happily if required or if the opportunity presents itself.  My default aim is to play for 2 goals and 2 takeouts and I feel that is what Scalpel’s team will play into.  I put Rage in my tournament 8 because I think going into softer teams like Fishermen, Alchemists and some other teams that having access to Tooled Up can be really beneficial.  Scalpel becomes a bit of monster with it having 2 DMG on 3 successes becoming 3 DMG with Tooled Up or increasing the damage on her 2 Momentous option on 3 and 4 successes so it would be 2 DMG and a Push/Dodge or 3 DMG and Tormented Agony.  Alternatively someone like Silence becomes quite scary having 2 Momentous DMG on 2 successes which would become 3 DMG… Ouch! While the Morticians already have access to Singled Out through Dirge, Avarisse is a really good option for dishing it out Momentously on 1 success.  I think the 7th activation can be good early game and less so mid-to-late game unless you use it to set up the afore mentioned The Unmasking or Scything Blow as an unanswerable activation at the end of the turn.

Well that brings me to the end of my thoughts on Scalpel.  Hopefully you’ll find them insightful.

Till next time!

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Learning to Play Dead: Part II

Not Just a Crazy Goth!

Me again, with another sideways view on one of my favourite Guild Ball models; Cosset!

If you have read my 1st article, then you know I tend to take a lot of risks and I definitely see the Morticians as a guild that has hidden scoring power. When I play, I enjoy the ability to put out a decent amount of damage with Spookhampton F.C. but also how an unexpected model can get in for a cheeky goal if required.

I think it’s fair to say that every Morticians player I have gone up against uses Cosset to pile damage on in the first instance or to drag people around with Lure. I see her having a third function and it’s very much situational but extremely effective if it comes off. Also, because most people see Cosset as a damage dealing crazy goth, they don’t expect her to swoop in and go striker.

Vital Statistics

 photo cosset front.png photo cosset back.png

The Obvious Things First

2 INF and a free charge (see Furious), that’s three attacks!

7”/9” MOV means that she threatens on 10” with her free charge and 1″ melee

Going crazy gives TAC 7, which translates to 11 on a charge!

Momentous 2 damage on 2 successes and 3 Momentous damage on 4 is Butcher levels of damage! In fact, lets compare that to my beloved Butchers guild.

Lets remind ourselves of Cossets playbook;

cosset 1

Ox has 2 Momentous damage on 4 successes and 3 Momentous on 6 and Brisket has momentus 2 on 2 successes but no 3!

 photo oxbrisket.png

Boiler has a Momentous 2 on 2 and has 3 Momentous damage on 5 and Meathook has momentus 2 on 3 successes and momentus 3 on 6!

 photo boilermeathook.png

Boar and Shank have exactly the same as Cosset!

 photo shankboar.png

All the damage that Cosset can do is [+1] DMG when within 4” of Dirge. 3 Momentous for 2 successes? Play Rage alongside her and then throw Tooled Up on her for 4 Momentous damage for 2 successees and 5 Momentous for 4? Beautiful!!

The Not So Obvious Things

Tackle on 3 successes

Momentous 1” dodge on 2 successes

2/6” kick. (50% odds or 75% probability of getting at least 1 4+ on 2D6)

So why have I highlighted her Tackle, Dodge & Kick?

I used to get blinkered by go take out that player! But the truth is that 2vp’s are ace are 4 vp’s better. And in the latter stages of the game and around 8 vp’s it’s a win or having to manufacture another score. So its in this final part of the game between 8-10vps where Cosset switches roles for me into a proper winger. I use her to lurk and try to get the ball for a pass or even a shot on goal.

Before I really get into this, heres the fantastic Ozball Tac vs Def reference sheet. This will become relevant in a minute 😉

So, lets get in to this!

Lets say that I’m playing against a Butchers player who has the ball on Princess somewhere near the goal. Lets say 6.5” inches away. He has turtled up but I can charge Princess because Obulus used Puppet Master to move her nearer to the goal for me to get the charge.

Lets also assume that Obulus has stolen Momentum in his turn from the Butchers and Cosset has 3 momentum to play with.

Going For Goal!

Cosset goes Crazy and charges Princess to be the goal side of her.

Tac 11 charge against Princess with Def 4/1 nets an average of 5 successes. (Even if Princess ‘Defensive Stance’, you are still likely to get an average of 3 successes, which is enough. ‘Bonus Time’ the charge to make sure.)

I’ll take the Tackle

Buy an attack.

Tac 7 vs. Def 4/1 gives an average of 3 successes

I’ll take the 1” dodge toward goal

I’m now out of Princess’s 1” melee, with the ball and can take a shot with ‘Bonus Time’  with my remaining influence. My 3 Dice shot is a 87.5% probability of success.

Boom! GOAL! Play ‘Temple of Love’ by The Sisters of Mercy loudly and celebrate!

Squishly Little Goth?

Theres no denying that Cosset is the very definition of a glass hammer and you should prepare yourself for losing her in several of your matches. Her Def: 4 and 12 health isn’t great and once she gets knocked down or has her Def reduced any other way she goes down faster than <insert mum joke here.>

However, heres some ideas to keep her alive.

ALWAYS USE MOMENTUM TO HEAL YOURSELF AFTER USING ‘CRAZY’

She has a reasonable kick so if she passes, use momentum to ‘Give ‘n Go’ get her away from the main fight until shes ready to engage.

Don’t go for take outs on players with full health unless you have managed that situation where you are sure its going to work. Use her to finish off injured ones as a preference. Chances are that 1 or more players are there already so that might give crowding out penalties that may save her.

Don’t be afraid to use ‘C’mon mate!’ with other characters to get her health back up if required.

She has a fantastic range to charge at 10″ melee so she can afford to hold back a bit and let Fangtooth, Casket or Ghast take the brunt of it and then come swooping in to finish the job.

The key I think is to stop thinking of her as the player that starts the damage but rather as the player that finishes them off. Last thing any Furious player (Morticians have Cosset, Rage or Minx) wants is to charge in and then get stuck engaged as this means that free charge is wasted next activation and you have to manufacture it with dodges or pushes.

Rather let Ghast start the ball rolling, then swoop in to finish the job.

The Conclusiony Bit!

Cosset should be a mid to late activation throughout the game

In the early game, (0-4VP’s) she should focus on finishing people off or going for a straight take out on low HP player or a low Def one if Tooled Up and within 4” of Dirge.

In the mid game (4-8VP’s) her role should remain the same but if the opportunity to pass the ball up field or go for goal, she should consider it.

In the late game (8-10VP’s), she should be looking for either the last take out or the chance to go for goal.

Cosset is an extremely versatile player and if played with care, can generate you 6+ vps in a game. She is an auto-include in my team as a result.

Hope this gets you thinking about everyones favourite Goth and how she can close a game out in other ways than that last 2VP take out.

Much love

Von Tizzle

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Barreling the Brewers: Part III

The Mother of Drunks

Welcome back sports fans!

In this the 3rd article on the Brewers Guild, I am going to be covering our new Captain for the guild, none other than Esters. I started playing the Brewers after the release of Esters and Mash, so currently as a Brewers player I’m in quite happy having my new player and captain available to play already.  Recently we’ve seen the cards for the remaining four captains that haven’t been released yet.  I’d recommend listening to the inaugural episode of Singled Out Radio, available via iTunes and other podcatcher apps.  Andrew from Singled Out got an interview with Jamie Perkins about Hammer before the cards were released and it’s definitely a good listen.

Anyway let’s get back on topic regarding Esters, I have been playing Esters pretty solidly since picking up the Brewers, while I see the merits of playing Tapper, I find his playstyle telegraphs what you’re going to do a bit too much for me. Whereas with Esters she is comfortable activating in either the beginning, middle or late in a turn and still get some good work done. So without further rambling on my behalf, let’s start to look at her abilities.

esters 1

Starting with her MOV value, it’s nothing to rave about she’s fairly slow being 4”/6” MOV, while this is quite typical for bigger, slower players.  In a pinch if needed though, she can use her Empowered Voice ability to boost herself up to a more respectable 6”/8”, I will say though that it’s very rare that I put the movement buff on herself.

Moving onto Esters’ TAC, she’s got the average TAC of 5 with the glorious Brewers short playbook of four columns.  With the potential of any result she takes generating momentum if she needs it, which is pretty solid, especially when you consider how useful her Heroic Play is.

What’s nice to do with Esters is to use her to reposition an enemy model quite effectively, when you look at her playbook 2 net successes bag’s you a Momentous 1 DMG & 1″ Push. If Esters is in a position where she can move to the other side of a model then buy 3 or 4 attacks on them to push them closer to Stoker or Hooper for example, she can set them up for some stunning work.  The benefit of doing that is the sheer volume of Momentum it generates as well.  It puts you in to a strong position for activating Soothing Voice, if it’s needed, or if Hooper is about to go next then it allows him to put True Grit up before he goes in, so he can be on 8 dice (5 base, 2 for True Grit, 1 for Ganging Up) or a whopping 12 dice if he charges the target.

KICK, DEF & ARM are all average or the Brewers standard.  I’ve had Esters score a goal in the late game before, so it’s worth thinking about.  As with her movement buff, I don’t tend to find Esters is the target of her own defence buff from Empowered Voice either, when I do use it on herself, it tends to be the [+1] DMG.  I find that allows her to finish someone off if needed, or soften someone up ready for another team member to finish them off dependant on when she activates in the turn.

In terms of INF Esters bring 4 to the table and can have a maximum of 5.  Esters can be quite greedy early in the game for me, with her access to Fire Blast & Blast Earth character plays.  I sometimes find if you win priority against faster teams like the Fishermen, or to some degree the teams that want to get into melee like the Butchers it is worth her having 5 on the first turn so she can sprint forward and throw to AOE’s into the enemy team to slow them down.

esters 2

That isn’t the only use for these plays though, I’ve used an Esters and Stoker combo before to blow freshly returned players off the pitch with a combination of Fire Blast and Flame Jet from Stoker, 5 damage at range can catch an opponent off guard if they though that player was safe lurking on a flank.

Outside of the first turn activation I mentioned earlier Esters tends to be pretty neutral, she brings 4 to the party, and in most turns will probably have 3 – 4 influence allocated to her.  If she’s got wildly out of position then it might mean she only gets 1 or 2 but on the whole, 3 – 4 is a safe bet and she generally provides a good return on that investment.

esters 3

esters 4

Esters isn’t particularly fragile, having 22 boxes and Gluttonous Mass means that an opponent has got to sink a fair amount of resources into her to put her in the dirt.  Also on her playbook she has quite easy access to either a 1” Push or a Knockdown, I’m pointing this out because it makes her a good player to Counter Attack with.  If you’re opponent comes in on a charge, and Gluttonous Mass hasn’t been used up yet, she’s safe from the Charge result so swing away with the Counter Attack, 3 success get you a Knockdown, while you only need 1 net success to get a 1” Push, which if you’re opponent hasn’t planned properly could scupper their plans.

esters 5

This ability is what makes Esters such a great toolbox Captain, it doesn’t cost you any influence and she can buff one player or herself each turn.  Hooper loves getting any of these abilities thrown out on him. Want him to go further? Easy.  Hit harder? Got it covered.  Frustrate your opponent with their inability to harm him? Got that covered too. With Hooper having Tough Skin available to him he can go to an unpleasant DEF 4+ and ARM 2.  Obviously most players like any of the 3 buffs that Esters can give out, so the decision is generally led by what’s happening in the turn. In some respects, Esters is the enabler of the team, she can make a lot happen, in conjunction with Spigot the Brewers can get a whole lot faster.

esters 7

It makes sense to cover off Esters’ Legendary play while we are discussing Empowered Voice as it allows Esters to use it three, yes THREE times.  Stunning really, it can cause all sorts of trouble for your opponent when Esters goes first and pops her legendary at the start of the turn.  A common use of it for me is to move Esters into position and throw out [+1] DMG on Hooper, Stoker & Spiggot and then really bringing the pain train in to the station of the opposing team.  It can be useful to throw out different ‘songs’ at the same time, for example I’ve thrown, damage out on Hooper, defence on Stoker because he was looking a bit sorry for himself, and a speed buff on Friday so she could get to the ball.

esters 6

Finally, we move on to Esters’ heroic play, Soothing Voice, this a really nice ability.  I find that Esters for the majority of the game Esters holds a very mid-field position, which can make this ability save you a lot of Momentum during the turn if Esters activates mid-late in the turn.  I played a game in a local tournament recently where I had Esters, Friday, Hooper and Spigot all suffering from a mix of conditions (playing against Alchemists, go figure…) and with a cost of only one Momentum, Esters was able to move into a good spot, make an attack on Katalyst, take a momentous result, I think I got 1 or 2 successes so it was either a 1” Push or 1 DMG & 1” Push, so was then able to use Soothing Voice and clear all of the Conditions from my team and get some healing in to boot. Nice!!  Outside of similar situations to this Soothing Voice doesn’t get used every turn but it is well worth remembering as part of your toolbox though.

Overall Esters is probably one of the most fun Captain’s to play in my opinion, by having some good ranged options and a really solid playbook she can almost always contribute something to the turn.  I think positioning her properly is a big part of playing her successfully. There were a few occassions when I started using her that I forgot to throw out Empowered Voice before moving off so the target I wanted to get the buff wasn’t in range.  Also who doesn’t like big bosomed girls eh?

Till next time!

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Learning to Play Dead: Part I

A Quick Intro

I’ve been playing Butchers solidly since Rich Loxam sold them to me as ‘The Orcs from Blood Bowl’ at the UK Games expo last year (2015). Since then I’ve won a local league with them and placed 3rd in the Heroic Play Open tournament so I’ve been enjoying some success at a local level. But ever since starting I’ve had an urge to try out the Morticians and recently, I bought the team and started to try to figure them out.

After losing 3 times, I entered a local tournament and somehow placed 2nd!

This set of articles is hopefully a bit of a sideways view of my Morticians team (Spookhampton F.C.) including some of the crazy shit I try to pull off and how some of the traditional player picks can maybe be used in a slightly different way to equally good effect.

It’s a ‘food for thought’ set of articles and I hope you enjoy.

Lets talk about Spookhampton F.C!

So, I have a list of players I goto regularly and they are these currently;
Obulus, Dirge, Silence, Ghast, Cosset, Rage and Fangtooth, I struggle with the last position as I can see a lot of good stuff in Bonesaw, Mist is Mist, and Minx is also a thing as part of the furious line up that my mate John plays. (I’ll get him to cover that bad boy.)

Mostly, My Butcher instincts take over and my line up is Obulus, Dirge, Silence, Cosset, Ghast and Rage. This gives me a pretty solid 13 influence and the ability to mess with my opponants turn order early through Silence and also have the ability to stack up Obulus if needed. Also, the addition of ‘tooled up’ to Cosset on her charge round is definately thing!

But more than all that, the line up also has hidden scoring power in Obulus, Silence, Cosset and Rage. In fact, I see anyone at 2/6 as a viable threat to score with. I don’t need Mist, (but he is helpful) because my team is full of goal threats. In fact, I would rather take Fangtooth and Bonesaw for my tournament 8 than Mist because Bonesaw has some wonderful plays and he’s incredible in the midfield to set up snap shots or to allow Cosset to threaten the goal at 15”.

Are you mental! Cosset as a goal threat!! I hear you cry…

The maths on rolling a single 4 on 2D6 is that you should net at least 1 success. (based on Ozballs Tac vs Def sheet) Bonus timed to 3D6 and that’s an average of 2 successes. Thank you, I’ll play those odds. Also, your opponent is likely to see Cosset as a damage dealer only, forgetting that she charges 9” and has a tackle on 3 successes and a momentus dodge on 2. Suddenly with 2 influence, she can charge someone down, tackle and dodge away and have a shot; OK she will be crowded out but bonus timed back up that’s playing the odds. On average you are going to get at least 1 success. Heaven forbid she passes after her tackle and gets it to Silence for a shap shot 😉

Heres the team I use more often than not in more detail and the common turn activations and an attempt to explain where I see them in turn order. (most of the time)

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To repeat myself again, that’s a mighty 13 Influence and if Obulus puppet masters it cound be 14 as he gets one back. Score a goal and 14… score two and 15 influence is a thing going into the last phases of the game. Also, In this line up you have two players who can still do things without influence in Cosset and Rage. With there Furious trait, they can have a free charge so they can either put some hurt on or just use the charge to move up the field. This means that with Dirge, you can move Dirges inf to Obulus, Silence lends him one and Cosset lends him one… that’s the boss on 8.

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That’s still a line up where Cosset has 2 attacks on a charge or a charge and shot. Silence can still Tuck and Shutout or Embalming Fluid or straight up punch people in the face. Ghast can still affect the game and Rage can tool up someone and still have 2 attacks!

So Obulus is on 8 Influence and I used to see 2 Momentus damage and think, confidence + 7 attacks if tooled up is an incredible 21 damage and that’s awesome! But that was the Butcher in me getting out, I needed to start thinking like a Mortician. Not to say that beating someones brains out isn’t big or clever, it is. It’s just worth 2VP’s, not 4. In the early stages of the game, I feel its important to get the scoring started so that when the mid game starts, you are in strong position to turn the screw on your opponant with access to some of the most infuriating control plays in the game.

The longer the game drags on, the more I am being forced to use ‘Rigor Mortis’ and the threat that is keeping my opponents momentum down is going. Also, 6 take outs at 2VP’s a time is slow, 2 Goals + 2 take outs could be the difference between winning a 4-6 VP difference or a 2-4 VP difference. Especially when playing Butchers, Brewers or Masons who have the ability to punch you so hard you can see the future.

The Myth of Mist!

I was taking to my good friend Mark (@theheroicplay) after the tournament and we were discussing how it was shame that Mist was almost an auto pick due to the lack of scoring power in the Morticians. I started to think about a situation that had cropped up in a previous game where Obulus cloned Shark and went on a 15’ inch scoring frenzy dodging through everyone. I started to think about how I had been reliant on Mist for my 1st game of the tournament and had lost. Then how I ditched him in favour of Rage… And won my last three games.

I started asking myself if the Morticians need Mist to be a goal threat?

Let’s see…

This is a scene from a game that got me thinking (as best I can re-create it on Vassal)

Morticians vs. Masons

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The start of turn 2, no one has any momentum and I have got the 1st activation. Obulus has 8 influence and is ready to go first for a change! (not my normal style but I do love the crazy stuff)

15 and a half inches away! No way Obulus can score from there right? I mean Bricks got that counter charge thing, Honour has that punch people in the face thing and she’s got the fricken ball… he’s only got a 6 inch sprint and what the fudge can he do with that?

HERE WE GO!

Shadow like for 2 inches towards Honour and OH LOOK! 6 inches away! That sounds like pass range from Honour I recon! Time to get Puppet Master out!

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So now Puppet master comes into play…

Honour is Def 3 and that’s 4 Influence from Obulus.

Here’s the roll I made on Vassal:

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OK Honour, time to pass to me please and by the way, I’ll have 1 influence back putting Obulus back up to 5 Inf.

Honour passes to Obulus with her 4/6 kick.

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Success!
Now to spend that momentum immediately to make a 4” dodge towards her!

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Now to hit Brick. Obulus has 6 TAC and is outside of Honours 1” melee. Brick has Def: 2 and 2 Arm.

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Boom! 4 Success – 2 arm = 2 successes. lets look the playbook.

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I’ll take that 2” dodge please. That takes me to 4 Inf left and the board looks like this:

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Honour is crowding out Obulus for his second attack on Brick but here’s goes nothing!
5 Dice attack on Brick and another 2 successes!

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This time I’m taking the momentous 1” dodge as I’ll need that in a bit. 3 inf left….

Here’s what the board looks like now and it’s time for a rinse and repeat thanks to Obulus’s crazy 2” melee.

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So, 5 dice because I’m still crowded out.

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3 Successes this time but I’ll take the 2” dodge again. Down to 2 Inf!

So now I’m out of everyone melee, with a momentum and 2 Inf. Time for a sprint for 6 inches, making sure I stay outside of 6 inches of Prick Brick and within my kick of 6 inches from the goal.

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Spend that momentum + remaining 1Inf giving me 2 dice to have a shot. The odds of getting a 4+ on 2 dice are that rolling 2 dice, a 4+ should come up should come up so here goes nothing!

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GOAL! 4-0 Morticians and I spend that Momentum to ‘Run the Length’ to get away from Mallet.

NOTE: In the actual game… I missed… but you get the point!
In conclusion, Obulus is well capable of going 15 inches or more through the enemy ranks and scoring the team now has Bonesaw and we have another hidden goal scoring gem lurking in the wings… COSSET!

I’ll be covering using Cosset as a goal threat in another article but I spoke a bit about her in the early parts of this one, but hopefully this article has given you thought as to what Obulus can achieve with 8 influence apart from Confidence and 7 attacks. The Morticians have some incredible footballing skills and if I can score with Fangtooth, you can score with anyone! (Actually happened, ask Mark 😉 )

Catch you on the flip side.

Von Tizz

Posted on

Barreling the Brewers: Part II

The Ignominious Drunk

Welcome to this week’s article on everyone’s favourite Ignominious Drunk, Spigot.  The bottle wielding, football hooligan that no Brewer’s team should leave the dugout without (in my humble opinion anyway). Spigot is one of the players that always make my first team.  While Scum is actually the Mascot for the Brewers, Spigot is such a force multiplier for the team that I am just as likely to take him.  So let’s start by taking a look at his core stats.

Spiggot 1

So unlike some of his team Spigot is relatively quick with a decent MOV value at 5″/8″ with the potential of getting quicker through Esters or with his Heroic Play, which I’ll cover later. Next is his TAC of 5, which is average but he can bump it up to 7 if the target is knocked down via Floored. Also he benefits from the Brewer playbook of 4 columns long so can wrap easier.

Spiggot 6

Spigot has a really reliable KICK score for a Brewer being 3/6″ but always actually being 4/7″ as he benefits from his own Football Legend ability, which is a 4″ aura that grants +1/+1″ KICK to friendly players. This is one of the abilities that in my opinion makes Spigot really stand out. It allows him to support other players or be a really credible goal threat in his own right.

Spiggot 5
This ability allows a receiving Brewers team to grab the ball, move up the field ready to strike next turn and reliably generate enough momentum to win priority by passing the ball between themselves. If I’m receiving the ball I tend to have Spigot go and fetch it, then start with him passing the ball to another player, from this point you should be able to get the whole team to at some point be within 4″ of him so they benefit from the aura.  Football Legend is such a boon for players like Mash & Friday making them incredible and shooting for the goal, Mash can get up to 6/9″ KICK if needed and Friday can get up to 6/11″. Getting to that level with Friday needs more momentum though. I’ve used is a late game closer before though.

Spiggot 4

His DEF and ARM are the Brewer’s standard of 3+/1, with 16 boxes, slightly higher than the average player. Moving on he is pretty typical in terms of Influence with a respectble 2/4 stat, this does allow you to load him up with 4 influence and send him into some poor sap on the floor and really ruin their day.  So to see how he ruins people’s day we should really look at his playbook.  As I mentioned before Spigot’s playbook is only 4 columns long, but it has tons of great choices.

Spiggot 2

What’s not to like eh? Over half of his choices are momentous, and all of them are good in my mind.  If you need him to play football he’s got a momentous tackle on one success, or easy access to damage.  It’s worth noting he’s got the play Ball’s Gone! on two successes.  While this is useful, I don’t tend to use it and generally take momentous tackle, then attempt to pass the ball to somebody.  It’s worth remembering though because at some point it’ll be more useful than a tackle and a pass.

Spiggot 3

Like most Brewers Spigot can kick out plenty of damage, with 2 damage on 2 successes, an access to Tooled Up he can crank out the damage himself or help to buff those around him further.  In my experience if Spigot is going into melee he is joining it later so benefits from some ganging up normally which means he can get potential charge pools of 11+ dice if the opponent is on the floor.  With a playbook only 4 long it can mean you can wrap more than once, scary!

Spiggot 7

So earlier on I spoke briefly about Spigot’s ability to buff his movement, well it’s not only his movement but all those of the team around him.  Well worth using, it’s a nice straight forward Heroic Play, that brings some extra speed to what can be a slower than average team in some cases.  If your opponent is unfamiliar with this Heroic it might enable you to catch them out get a charge off that they weren’t expecting.

That pretty much wraps it up really, all in all Spigot is a great player; more than capable of filling a gap where you need it.

Till next time!