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THP Podcast – The Heroic Road Trip

Welcome to this episode of The Heroic Play Podcast.  Luke, Andy and John all headed to Peter O’Sullivan’s Gentlemen’s Guild Ball Club tournament in Cambridge.

I packed them off with a mic, some dice and this is what they created; from all accounts they had a great day at a really smoothly ran event so full credit to Peter there.

Thresher is still a boogey man, I’m sure that we’ll unlock the puzzle before too long.

Hope you enjoy the podcast!

As always, we welcome feedback.

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THP Podcast – Guild Identity Cards

The latest episode from The Heroic Play where Mark, Luke, Rich and Andy talk about the newly released Guild Identity Cards from Steamforged.

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THP Podcast – Life after the Errata

Welcome back sports fans!

In the latest episode of The Heroic Play podcast, Mark, Rich & Luke discuss players that we think probably deserve some changes in a future errata. We talk about mystery boxes and our upcoming tournament.

As always we welcome your feedback!

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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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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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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

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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!

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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!

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Boar and Shank have exactly the same as Cosset!

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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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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