Welcome back for another Batrep. I hope you enjoyed the holidays. We have, but we're excited to get back into the games. Adam's Butchers showed up, as did my Morticians. Between borrowing a friend's and getting my own, I'd snuck a handful of Mortician games in while this is Adam's first round with the Butchers. In light of that, we probably owe this matchup a second round as there's several things we could have done better.
I have been looking at Morticians for awhile now, especially with the low-def Blacksmiths and Farmers on the rise and I really feel that Morticians are only a good buff or two away from being where they need to be. I don't think the end of Season 2 nerf to Obulus was uncalled for, but I think it showcased how the rest of the Guild really just supported Super Solo Obulus. They're not in a horrible spot in the meta currently, but they're not one of the top dogs anymore, and generally show up in the bottom area of a lot of tournaments currently. As tight as Guildball is though, I don't think they're unplayable by any stretch. They do need a player that knows the other team as well as his own though because, as with any control team (Hunters), you have to know what to control in order to know how to wreck it.
I also feel that Mist is a key member of the Morticians right now, as easily their best striker, and it's going to be difficult to fill his place when he's gone. Hemlock2 is hopefully good.
That said, Scalpel didn't interest me at all, so she's not in the lineup. I have since changed my mind because in those games I played, while Obulus was fine into the Butchers, against Engineers I felt like I struggled to kill Engineers faster than they scored. So I could see a Scalpel lineup being somewhat tempting. It's worth trying and I wish I had ordered her.
I have Obulus, Dirge, Silence, Ghast, Casket, Bonesaw, Cosset, Graves1 and Mist in my roster currently. My 10th option would be Brainpan and Memory but they're not here yet. When Mist leaves, I'll have Scalpel by then for my 10, but I don't know how I feel about it.
So, I've really come to understand that as a Hammer player, I love punching things. It's very satisfying to make models disappear from the board for me so I ended up looking into the Butchers. Since JD got the Morticians, I ended up picking these guys up myself. I think they do pretty well against a blacksmiths guild, when they catch apprentices, and ignore armor. Models like Shank, and Meathook, seem to really hurt some of the low defense models. It seems to me that they're better at opportunistic scoring and I think both captains are pretty solid.
Brisket 2 is a model I really like in this guild, especially with her ability to give an extra 2 influence to the pool on a score, which makes the Butchers do more Butcher things. I also feel like I'd bring Rage as of right now, for Filet since he does the same basic thing Boar does, but can also apply bleed.
Picking my ten was kind of difficult, because I still don't know the Guild that well. I end up taking Filet, Ox, Princess, Boiler, Boar, Vet Brisket, Shank, Meathook, Vet Ox, and Tenderizer. I end up leaving Truffles and Brisket 1 off. However, I probably would change this going forward, since the Butchers really seem to lack knockdown. I like Truffles for this, and I definitely feel like Brisket 1 is a good model on a Kick off.
Rolloff and Plotcards.
I lose the rolloff to Adam. I kept Wingback, Good Marker and Composure for plot cards. I didn't feel like I had great options, but Wingback is solid for returning strikers and Good Marker is actually great for Morticians.
Adam: I win my first roll off in what's been like 4 games, so I'm excited to have the chance to choose what I want to do here haha. My plot cards were, Heroic Landing, Knee Slider and Brace for Impact.
The Draft: Adam takes Fillet and Princess, and I take my only two options, Obulus and Dirge. His lineup, from left to right in the below picture, is Meathook, Brisket2, Princess, Fillet, Ox2 and Board. We'll have to get some paint on these guys next time since they're hard to distinguish in that flat black, but once the lines get drawn on the game, they really stay in the same spot so I think we're ok this game.
Left to right on the bottom is Dirge, Obulus, Bonesaw, Silence, Mist and Ghast.
JD: Against Butchers, I have to play ball and I feel really comfortable into it with Mist and Bonesaw both. I also feel like Butchers will really struggle to catch Obulus, and between him and Silence, I can dictate their flow a bit. I also picked Ghast because I felt like his Fear ability would be very good into Butchers. My GIC is Ghost Shot for this game as well, though I feel that overall the Morticians got gypped on the GIC thing.Adam: Going into Obulus, I know this man will be hard to Catch, so I take Filet, and Princess as my mascot. I figure Filet should be able to track most morticians down better than Ox. However, I forgot that while she gives an extra 2 inches of movement, it's not actually a dodge, just a flat 2/2 MOV buff. I took Boar, and Vet Ox for the 2 inch melee, and Meathook to support with bleed conditions, and Brisket 2 since I'm going to be receiving the ball, to hopefully get a first turn goal.
JD: I line up somewhat left, shooting through the opening in terrain and give Mist the ball. Adam deploys across from me, but only leaves Brisket2 across from Mist to retrieve the ball. Mist jogs up to be near cover for the 2/2 MOV buff and kicks across the field into the enemy cover. The ball scatters six inches to the right, perfectly, and out of reach from Brisket2 unless Fillet can buff her MOV. Fillet is on the wrong side of the table, and Mist will get the ball before Brisket2 will be able to reach it. Mist will be out of range to kick it directly to one of my own players, but we'll get there. I also have no idea why that token is laying out there next to the ball.
INF is allocated. 3 to Brisket2, 2 to Meathook, 1 to Boar, 2 to Ox2 and the rest to Fillet. I give Mist 2, Obulus 5, Bonesaw 4 and Silence 2.
Adam immediately realizes he over allocated on Brisket2, knowing he couldn't reach the ball. She gets as close as she can but stays in cover. I originally had slotted Mist 4 INF as a first turn scorer, but there wasn't any way to make that happen, so with his 2 INF, he acrobats up 2'' staying in cover, and sprints to the ball and back two and a half inches.
Princess shuffles up the board.
Obulus move up to within 8'' of Mist. He puppet masters Mist or a kick which is successful, and Obulus punts it to Ghast, also successfully. So far so good.
Meathook runs up the board. Ghast drops the ball in front of Bonesaw and jogs forward. Boar sprints up, staying out of the rough ground.
Then I get excited and skip pictures because I'm a loser. It's pretty simple though. Dirge moves into cover, staying in range of Silence. Ox2 moves up, staying out of rough ground. Silence picks up the ball, sprints up and kicks to Bonesaw who dodges up 4''. Fillet sprints forward and puts down Pain Circle on Bonesaw and Silence. She misses Bonesaw but pegs Silence.
Bonesaw charges into Boar and Princess and lands the Unexpected Arrival. This shoves Boar back 4'' into Fillet and into the rough ground, but he leaves Princess where she's at. He's under an inch away from goal, so he swings at Princess, needing a single net hit (so two, after armor) to get the momentous dodge on one to move up and shoot but misses. With his last INF, and kissing goodbye to first turn goal and therefore extra INF turn two, he buys another attack into the dog and gets the momentous dodge then. The turn ends and I have 3 or 4 momentum, and win to go first next turn.
This is mildly disappointing since I expected to go first next turn anyways, but I would have had the chance to recover the ball on the first activation with Bonesaw or Mist, score again and still have a Striker and Obulus both to go for the third goal later.
I allocate 3 to Bonesaw, 4 to Mist, 5 to Obulus and 2 to Silence again. Brisket2 gets two, Meathook 3, Board 1, Fillet 5 or 6 I think and Ox2 gets 2.
Bonesaw open the ball with a swing on Princess, who counter attack. Bonesaw gets the momentous dodge and dodges back, wasting the Counter attack. He then moves around to the back of Princess, abusing his 50mm base to be in melee range of her and tap in range of the goal. He buys another attack into her for another momentum and fires into the goal, and I land a screamer for two momentum too. Bonesaw then dodges off to the right trying to stay away from the murderball on the left. Score is 4-0 Morticians.
The ball scatters and lands on Brisket2, where Adam is attempting to score with her. Meathook activates and charges Mist. Mist Defensive Stances and Meathook whiffs the dice, missing everything. With his last attack, he hits and does a little damage, applying bleed. She heroics, which gives a -4/4 MOV debuff to everything bleeding in 3'' of her. This was something I was not aware of, and I think an excellent play. It hamstrings me considerably for the rest of the game and I spend most of my time trying to avoid that nonsense.
I originally intended to activate Mist next and immediately score with him, but everything I need him to do is kind of chancy without some help. I have some momentum, but not enough, so Obulus activates. He moves up, stays in cover and beats up Meathook a bit. I don't do more than 4 or 6 damage, but I dodge two or three inches. Either way, I pick up a momentum for every single INF Obulus had, and I think I Legendary at this point too, to get two more.
Fillet charges Silence and does a number on him. I, again, Defensive Stance and that mitigates it considerably but she still kills him, removing his INF from the board as well. She dodges back to the safety of the wall. 4-2 Morticians.
Mist activates. He acrobats out of Meathook's range, and then hits Fillet. He gets the tackle on the first one, then cranks the dice on the next one for a double dodge. He hits her again for another momentum and bonus times a kick to Bonesaw. I spend the momentum to snapshot, and bonus time that as well. It works, and the score goes to 8-2, Morticians.
Adam puts the ball way out in left field, literally. He then activates Ox2. Between a cheaper charge from "Vindictive: Male" and his GIC, Ox2 charges Ghast for free and does whirling chains to suck him in. I counter attack and shove him back two inches but whirling chains caught me and Ox2 is able to buy another attack. However, while he ignored fear on the charge, he pays it for the second attack. He does only a few damage. I shoved Ox2 back in a way though that means Boar can't get into Ghast, which I think is neat.
Feel free to correct us internet if we did that wrong. We're ok with the outcome unless it means Ox2 could have gotten a charge and two more attacks instead of just one. That would be good to know.
Dirge activates, and I seriously consider using him to get the ball, but I feel like he auto dies to Boar, so I run him towards center. Princess moves into contact with Bonesaw. Ghast just hangs out really since I don't want him to give up center. This leaves Boar to charge Bonesaw. This is problematic, and I wish I had left the option of Ghast available because I would much rather him charge Ghast than Bonesaw. Bonesaw defensive stances but it still hurts.
Brisket2 then moves in and finishes him off pretty handily, taking the score to 8-4 Morticians still. Adam is way up on momentum, so he wins the initiative roll and goes first. Fillet gets fully loaded, Boar gets 1, Ox2 2, Brisket2 just one and I think Meathook gets setup ok.
I bring Bonesaw and Silence both back on the left side. Fillet is right there and can kill one of them at least, so I try to put Silence in the way but I really can't since Bonesaw is faster, and I need him as far up as I can get. I just have to hope for the best. I give him 4, Obulus 5, Mist just one or two, Ghast two, Dirge 1 and Silence 2. The 2 goal INF are really helping. I'm still only a goal away from the win and I feel like Adam has some serious catching up to do, but Mist is in a bad spot. Bonesaw and Silence are both half dead near Fillet and I really don't know if I can get the ball this round. If I can't, I'm pretty sure that's game because I wasted Obulus's Legendary early. It got me the second goal but I don't think I needed the measly 2 momentum I got for it.
Fillet immediately walks into Bonesaw, which I expected. I declare a counter attack. She easily cranks damage on the first hit, and Bonesaw dodges back and inch with the counter attack. However, being base to base on the initial attack, Fillet is still in melee with him and I really feel like this is it. She hits again and does Blood Rain. Then she misses. Then she does bad and only gets one damage. Then she misses again and Bonesaw is alive on one.
So you're saying there's a chance.
At this point, we are low on clock. I have about 10-15 minutes on Adam, and I'm feeling pretty good after that turn. Even if I can't retrieve the ball, he was in the tank long enough on the last four activations of his that if I just keep my time tight, I don't think he can beat me. We would probably still play the game out though since he's new to Butchers and clocking out on an early game kind of sucks. So I want to go strong here.
I need the ball though. Silence activates. Fillet never engaged him, so I'm planning to sprint to the ball and then here I go into the tank for a few minutes, immediately breaking my clock agreement to keep my time tight. I originally was going to retrieve the ball and kick to Bonesaw. Silence gets an extra dice because he's near the bird, but I need 5s to succeed on a kick to Bonesaw because Fillet is in the way. So rather than picking up the ball, Silence throws a Shut Out at Ox2 because Ox2 is the only player on that side of the table that can finish Bonesaw off. If he's shut out, I have time to build momentum and be able to heal Bonesaw before he makes the goal run. If Silence misses, he can snap the ball, and hopefully Obulus can puppet master it off of him later in the turn. None of these options are great though. Silence throws the shut out and gets it, locking Ox2 down. I put him near the ball and it goes to Adam.
Adam now is on a timer, both because of his clock, and because Bonesaw is just a matter of time. Boar charge Mist and struggles against the 5/0 but does decent damage. Dirge flies over Ox2 and hits him once for Singled Out. Fillet goes to town on Mist. He's already bleeding so she annihilates him and uses the dodge to get into Obulus without triggering Unpredictable Movement. This takes Adam to 8-6, still in favor of Morticians. Meathook uses her last INF to damage him and then heroics onto him again for that -4/4 MOV nonsense.
Ghast moves into cover and then hits Ox2 twice. He KDs him and then does some damage. I don't care what at this point, I just want Momentum. Hilariously, the damage from Ghast triggers "Lash Out" on Ox2, doing one damage to Ghast. This in turn triggers Rising Anger as best we can tell since it doesn't specify Attack, Character Play or anything like that, just enemy model.
Brisket2 sprints up near Obulus, but that's bout it. I have enough Momentum at this point to do what I want to do, so rather than activating Obulus to farm some more and let Adam run Princess up to block the goal from Bonesaw, I activate Bonesaw.
He spends one momentum to heal immediately. Then he swings at Fillet, who counter attacks. Bonesaw gets the 1'' dodge though and misses the counter attack. He sprints for the ball and picks it up. Then he bonus times a kick to Silence successfully. Silence bonus times the kick back. With 5 dice on the kick thanks to Dirge and bonus time, it's also successful and Bonesaw dodges up four more inches, putting him range of goal. He bonus times the shot and scores, taking me to 12-6, Morticians.
Thoughts on the Game
JD: I think that game was much tighter than the score lets on. If Fillet's rolls had gone differently on Bonesaw, he'd of gone to 8-8 pretty easily, and then Silence is really struggling to get away without dieing and I don't know if Obulus can get the ball and score too. It's tight. With only 5 INF, probably not since he'd likely need to sprint to be in range. He'd be able to pick it up but that's it and I doubt I would go first.
I also might should have retrieved the ball with Dirge, but looking back, I'm still sure he would have died and the ball would still be up in the corner. The gamble with Bonesaw and Silence was still probably my best plan. I wish I had backed up a bit more though. If Fillet couldn't charge them, it's possible I could have still gotten the ball back to Bonesaw with Silence. I don't know. I knew I was going to have to survive Fillet regardless, and I think I planned for it poorly. At the very least, just bring Bonesaw and Silence in and let Obulus, Ghast and Dirge go for momentum all day and try to go first. I'm lucky Bonesaw survived that.
I also thing I benefitted from a really solid kick scatter at the beginning. Not allowing Adam to use the ball at all for movement or momentum was really the worst of both worlds when going first or second. I was still pretty sure I could recover with Mist and score first turn, and I'm a little miffed that Bonesaw didn't. Scoring first turn, then going first and scoring again could easily end the game by the middle of round 2 and against Butchers, I have to end it fast. Bleed and just the massive amount of damage combined with Mortician's crappy GIC heal rate means I just lose the attrition fight.
Adam also deployed horribly. Fillet, who has very strong threat range, was out of the fight for a good chunk of the early game. I'm pretty ok with Boar, and was happy to see him rather than Shank. Meathook was surprisingly annoying and that's one cat I'll have to watch out for in the future.
After it was all said and done, I really enjoyed the Butchers, I definitely see myself playing them more in the Future. I actually didn't find losing too frustrating with them, just because I would get excited every time something would just get eviscerated, when I was on the war path.
JD: We followed this up with another Butcher game, this time into me playing Blacksmiths and it was another tight game. Adam tightened up his positioning but a couple of turns in the tank put him over on the clock again. I've played against Butchers many times, and it continually surprises me how fast they kill. This Mortician vs. Butcher game was a lot of fun, and I enjoy Morticians, but I don't know that they're a playstyle I want to play every game, unlike Union or Farmers. Or even Blacksmiths. Great game though, and I'm looking forward to pushing new Guilds.
We have a tournament coming up at the end of this month, so the next few Batreps may have us on our home turf. Adam will probably swing back to his beloved Masons, which we haven't had on the batrep yet, and I'll go back to my Farmers. I may sneak a Union game in there but we'll see.
Enjoy the batrep, feel free to leave comments, critiques and rules corrections. Enjoy your weekend!