State of the Union (S3) – sBrisket

The first Seasoned player of the game and they chose Brisket! They are stealing my bad puns dammit!!

Stats

She is pretty fast not fish fast but she is not bad. Her TAC is average as is her DEF (with some ARM) and average captain INF generation. She has a decent KICK as well. So overall pretty average for a captain but it’s her abilities that make her tasty.

Legendary Play

Worthy Sacrifice – Interesting legendary, you can place (which is incredibly powerful before anything else) Brisket into base contact with a friendly model. The model then gets to make a large dodge, this has many possibilities that we couldn’t flag them up here but some obvious ones is allowing her to get a friendly model into a nice snap shot position but you could just as easy move a model that is in a spot of bother from being taken out, to just increasing a friendly model threat range. Imagine Fangtooth being 6” up the board in a position you opponent is not going to like.

Traits

Unpredictable Movement – Great defensive tech available to any model but be wary she only has 1” melee so anything with 2” will eat her up and spit her out!

Scores for Fun – Reduces her target number for goals during her activation. Which means if she gets near the goal for a tap-in she is laughing.

Goal of the Month – Allows her to get a Screamer if she gets any 2 successful dice rather than just 6s. Which makes going for bonus time shots MP neutral for her which is pretty powerful.

Playbook

Decent playbook for her with good MP generation (4/5 columns although that 1 is in at the 1 position which is frustration when the dice fail). She does bring a little bit of damage from her butcher days but as a goal scorer she needs those dodges and she gets plenty of them. While a low momentous tackle (with dodge) is going to be very strong for her.

Plays

I’m Open – Costs 2 INF, She can make a friendly model pass her the ball for no INF cost. This is pretty strong as someone can collect the ball and not have enough INF to do anything with it. Along comes Brisket to get the ball from them and is it is a pass she can use teamwork plays from the generated momentum helping increase her threat range.

Route One – Costs 2 INF, This can make her incredibly fast as it grants a free jog towards and enemy with the ball. Can give her a huge threat range (which is non-linear), people wont want to hold the ball anywhere near her to slow her down. Which is going to be tricky with a 12” bubble around her.

With Aplomb – Costs 2 Guild Balls (4 hits), the next time she scores a goal you gain an additional VP. This is huge and very powerful, although the dream is to get this in her activation for the easier chance of a goal. Although as it isn’t activation only she can become pretty powerful for snap shots as well. 5 VP goals are something that are going to terrify your opponent use this to your advantage as they try to play around when this is up.

Overall

A goal-scoring machine, that doesn’t grant much for her team outside a legendary push and access to some team work pushes if they pass the ball to her. Her goal threat is scary and allows potential turn 1 goals, she is as scary as Shark. She allows for a pretty balanced Union team in that herself and one or two models can deal with the ball with the others smash face or just slow the opposition down.

A selfish captain but one that can more or less win the game single-handed. A scary prospect to deal with.

Make sure you check out Leodis Games for all your Guild Ball Goodness.

State of the Union (S2) – Strongbox

Its time to continue the look into S2 models, I figured start with the mascots as had to starter somewhere 🙂 so with that its time to look at the slowest mascot around….Its Strongbox time.

Stats

So slow so very very slow as you would expect from a Giant Tortoise, his TAC is rubbish but then most mascots are. His KICK is actually not too bad although the range is poor. His DEF is rubbish but he has very good ARM (makes sense) and his INF is standard for mascots.

Character Traits

Tough Hide – He takes less damage which means with the damage boxes he has, he is actually pretty resilient.

Shelling Out – This is actually a really nice trait as it gives your team +1 TAC while near him but you also gain some extra MP when taking a model out which is very healthy thing to have around.

Playbook

Short playbook as you would expect but he gets momentum on both columns which is great. He has access to Knockdown and Tackle (momentous), which is pretty good really.

Plays

Confidence – Costs 1 INF, same range as Shelling Out, this allows you to reroll dice during a character play/attack. With the likes of Gutter and Rage (either one) about this is very helpful and worth considering..

Overall

He is generally going to have to have 1 INF on him every turn as he either needs to be somewhere OR you want a player to have confidence. There is going to be the danger that he gets left behind due to the speed, but he does hand out some nice bonuses that it is worth getting him up there.

Shelling Out is wear he will earn his money (as both captains also boost TAC) he can really help the whole team get some of the those juicy higher total plays off. Or even get some wrap-arounds, however he is competing against the snake and it is going to be a tough call which mascot to take. I do think both offer options an extra INF and bonus time for free is great but handing out extra TAC (and MP) to more player without needing to activate also is very strong.

It will come down to preference and also if you can stomach that speed difference, this may end up being the call you make between the two reptiles. It is worth noting vRage can help the speed issue but it becomes INF intensive so maybe only worth first turn..

Make sure you check out Leodis Games for all your Guild Ball Goodness

State of the Union (S2) – Rage

The Emperor has new clothes (coat), Rage has himself a nice pay rise and is here to take names…

Stats

He is average for his MOV and for his DEF and ARM as well really. His KICK is on the low side but average for a non-striker really. He doesn’t bring much INF to the board but is countered by Furious however he doesn’t take much more out of the pot anyway. His TAC is nice and healthy on bar with Ox.

Character Traits

Furious – Like his normal version he can charge around for free which is pretty nice on a captain (and like 2 extra INF).

Usurper – When he attacks a Union model he gets extra TAC which means he can bring more pain to those not playing with him.

Rising Anger – We see this on Ghast, allows to generate more MP usually when you need it early turn. Will make your opponent be cautious when they come in swinging.

Heroic Play

Bloody Coin – A great force multiplier as it gives him or another friendly model extra TAC and DMG if you are ganging up on an enemy model with your models. When really it is +2 TAC due to gang out bonuses which makes him a machine of damage.

Legendary Play

My Gang – Simple Legendary this one, he grants the same bonus as Bloody Coin but as a bubble rather than an individual model. It doesn’t stack with Bloody Coin but if you can catch a few friends at once this is nasty.. VERY nasty.

Playbook

As expected from where he started as normal Rage, he has loads of damage output nearly all of it momentous generating and he also has a very easy access to Tackle (on one) and also Knockdown (on three) which is worth considering. But for all things he is a damage machine..

Plays

Red Fury – Costs 1 INF – This allows a friendly model nearby to make an attack without spending their own INF. Very powerful ability that allows you to set up some nasty damage especially with Bloody Coin around.

Quick Time – Costs 2 INF – and allows a friendly model to make a 2” dodge which helps free up a model or locks down another. A very powerful ability to have around.

Concussion – Costs 2 Guild Balls (6 or 7 hits) – Seen on the original form he gets to remove INF of the hit model. This becomes nastier with Bloody Coin up as it is that much easier to get to.

Overall

A thug of a captain, which is sort of perfect for him…

He brings the pain in every sense of the world and with Bloody Coin can easily put a model into the ground on his own. However he still suffers from losing some mobility due to free charges and being locked in melee by a 2” melee zone model that ordinary Rage suffered from. Although Quick Time will help with this it is not very INF efficient when that is probably DMG and MP you are giving up to free him (which is when Red Fury becomes the better option).

He supports your team by bringing Bloody Coin to everyone via legendary which is nice, however he can suffer from AoEs because of this bonus only works when he at least tag teams with other a member of his team. Red Fury is a very nasty ability but a good opponent should be able to make this a play of opportunity rather than a tactic to build around so be conscious of that.

Make sure you check out Leodis Games for all your Guild Ball Goodness

State of the Union (S2) – Harry the Hat

A stealthy incoming player who slipped himself into Season 2 on the quite. Typical Union player then? Lets find out, time for some Hat Time…

Stats

The man with the hat can move as well as most players in the game and he has 2” melee range which helps a little more as well. His TAC is woeful, absolutely rubbish…But he does have ways round that. His KICK again is on the average spot for a non-striker while his DEF is a little below average on par with big guys. He does come with some ARM and his INF is standard as well.

Character Traits

Crazy– As mentioned he doesn’t have a lot of standard TAC but this nicely pushes him into the captains level of TAC for just a little damage, although he can take it better than Cossett can.

Rising Anger– The first time every turn that he gets damaged (by an enemy, no using Crazy for bonus MP) he will generate 2 free MP for your team, all the teams he plays for will love this. It also means people are going to weary of hitting him if there is a strong chance they will damage him. Teams with lots of push columns have less to worry about but butchers may need to time those hits a bit.

Inspiring Hat –  While within his small aura, friendly models spend one less MP for teamwork actions. This is pretty epic as it keeps your momentum for other things while still getting the bonus from the actions.

Playbook

Unusual playbook, lots of pushes across the board. He does have some damage output but he isn’t amazing to butcher levels. He has access to knockdown which is momentous at 3 and 7 columns. He also has a low Tackle as well should you need it as well.

Plays

Goad – Costs 1 INF, an interesting ability as he can force an enemy model to only move towards him rather than in any other direction. It is certainly a fun way to keep models off your striker or whoever has the ball. Effective way of messing with big hitters as they can only move towards and if he moves out of their threat range they are somewhat neutered..Molotov – Costs 1 INF, hands out the burning condition which like Goad can mess with an opponents plans as the debuff to MOV it grants can hurt and at the very least will mean some MP spending to remove it..

Overall

He might look like a beater in his artwork and render, but simply he is a denile piece that messes with your opponent positional play over other things. Activate late turn throw a Molotov and then activate early next turn to do it again and Goad. You will have 2 models that move slower (with not much chance to remove conditions) and another play who has to move towards Harry! That is half a team effected by one of your players!! Yes it would be nice if he brought a little more INF to the table so he will require some careful consideration about when to give him what he needs.

He does make an interesting choice for a winger as if he can get on the right side of an opponent with all his pushes there is a chance of just pushing someone into the crowd.

Make sure you check out Leodis Games for all your Guild Ball Goodness

State of the Union – Rage

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rage

Stats

Pretty standard MOV, DEF and KICK stats. Slightly better TAC than most but 0 ARM and a measly 1/1 INF. WTF???? Something dodgy going on here that must be a miss-print. He has no ARM you’ve got to be a little careful with him. Looks like a bit of a glass cannon but with only able to allocate him 1 INF he better hit like a freaking train.

Character Traits

Maverick – This model cannot be affected by other friendly plays or character traits. Both a blessing and a curse. So he cannot benefit from Blackheart or Coins buffs but also means isn’t affected by things such as Gutters Scything Blow (he is just really good at skipping) or Fangtooth’s foul odour (he loves a good Camembert so Fangtooth smells like clean laundry compared to his favourite snacks). This means you can happily sit him next to both without worrying about the negative consequences.

Berzerk – If Rage damages a model, he get’s another attack for free! Lovely jubbly. This has been clarified by the Steamforged rules team that the extra free attack doesn’t have to be against the original target or even straight away. For example he can damage someone, then move and attack someone else with his free attack.

Furious – He can charge for free! For free!!! This does however explain why his INF is 1/1. But you could potentially say he gets 2 free INF when able to charge. And then another 1 free INF for doing damage. I could go on!

Crucial Artery – When damaged by Rage he also makes you BLEED. Just because potentially 4 attacks isn’t enough. It’s a shame bleed doesn’t stack!

Playbook

Access to T and KD on 3 hits and the Concussion character play on 5 and 6. But this guy is all about the DMG. Nearly every damage result selected gives you a momentum so don’t often look much further than that.

Plays

Tooled Up – Friendly model gets +1 DMG but can only be used once per turn. The odd occasion where Rage isn’t hitting stuff he can make someone else better. Or more than likely just sit there cleaning blood off his knife and puffing on his cigar. Is there anything more satisfying in life? If there is I haven’t found it yet…..

Concussion – Target enemy model loses 1 INF. Situational but could perhaps come in handy when targeting someone who has not activated yet and you are worried about them putting the beat down back on Rage. Completely useless if you are hitting someone who has already activated. But honestly. With Rage. JUST DO DAMAGE. Free attack….

Overall

He gives out pain. Full stop. Leave him alone at your peril. Your opponent has to deal with him otherwise he most certainly will deal with them. Shame he only has a 1″ melee letting the side down. Someone needs to buy this guy a bigger knife! You call that a knife…..THIS is a knife! Season 2 spoiler perhaps 😛 Finally he is INF efficient and although maybe a bit one dimensional that frees your mind up to think about your other players. Rage does what Rage does best, just point him in the right direction and remove the muzzle.

Make sure you check out Leodis Games for all your Guild Ball Goodness

State of the Union – Hemlocke

Next up for dissection is the Queen of Annoyance, The Priestess of the Ancient Gods, Ms Hemlocke herself. An ever present in my Union teams to date.
Stats
So from looking at her stats she is on the speedier side of things with a good MOV to get her where she needs to be. She has a poor TAC so not going to be too effective in close combat it seems. An average KICK meaning she is able to play the ball around if needed and with a 5+ DEF almost impossible to hit with any reliability. With being so hard to hit no surprise she has no ARM and a limited number of wounds / hit points.
Character Traits
Magical Brew – This is a great ability allowing Hemlocke to remove any conditions on herself when she activates meaning she can clear KD without giving up her advance or using momentum. Also great against teams who use a lot of conditions, like the Alchemists, as very difficult to keep conditions on her.
Slippery – Grants her +1 DEF when on the end of a parting blow which means she is very good at running away (added from errata).
Playbook
 

With only 4 TAC it means a pretty limited playbook of only 4 columns but each column allows for a momentous result with access to dodges and T. With a momentous T on 1 hit she is very effective at winning back the ball and scoring if your opponent has left the ball with one of their models within 6″ of their own goal. She does next to no damage from normal playbook attacks so relies on other abilities to have an effect on the game. Really if she is being used in close combat trying to do dmg then something has gone seriously wrong. Unusually no Guild Ball icons generated from attacks so no accessing her character plays through normal attacks.

Plays
 
So as mentioned above no access to these through her playbook so the only way to access them is through spending the INF directly. But from looking down the list it starts to become clear why Hemlocke is in the team.
 

Blind – 1 INF, RNG 8″. Enemy models hit suffer -2 TAC, -2/-2 KICK AND -2/-2 MOV to the end of the turn. Can only be used once per turn. This is a great ability that works just as well against quick mobile teams as killy damage teams. The movement reduction really hampers those teams that like to run around whereas the minus TAC really limits hits for those hitty teams. While the KICK hurts the shooty teams., picking the right model every turn for this is a skill.

Smelling Salts – 2 INF, RNG 4″, AOE 3″. Friendly models recover 2 HP and can also only be used once per turn. Need that key model to heal a little or prevent that impending death from a condition? Hemlocke’s got the tools for the job. Also as it is an AOE you can heal up multiple models at once if positioned well. I believe currently the only model in the game that has access to a healing character play, that also allows healing of other models (I know Gutter can self-heal when damaging and Boar regens but not the same breadth of use) to help the team heal if momentum is at a minimum.
Noxious Blast – 2 INF, RNG 8″, AOE 3″. All models hit suffer 2 DMG and poison. So remember ALL models, including your own. Also models entering this AOE during the turn gain poison. As with the other two can only be used once per turn. Great for finishing off models or getting poison on enemy models early to burn some of their momentum. I find that each turn it tends to be one or the other of smelling salts and noxious blast. Do I want to heal my team or put out more hurt?
Overall
 
So the key points. She is one of the only models that has DEF 5+ and even rarer boost to parting blows, as well as only model with access to a heal outside of using momentum. Very good ranged play for dealing small amounts of damage and poison as well as being able to shut models down by blinding them. Good ball carrier as so hard to generate hits against and very good at relieving opponents of the ball. With her speed and ranged plays she has a very large threat range (max 16″ with a sprint and Noxious blast). Good as either a defensive anchor or an attacking ball winner making other teams think twice about bringing the ball near her. That is 3 from 3 so far.
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