I'm really spamming this formula, aren't I? There's one more too, the Hunters. That's only 4 new players and they don't change the statlines that much, although their playbooks contain more momentous options. Nobody cares about those guys though.
The Blacksmiths and Farmers are upon us. While most of the Farmers were in the book, the Blacksmiths were something of a surprise and have been unleashed pretty dramatically. We've gotten a decent in-depth view of both Guilds, but lets see how they stack up against the others. For reference;
Then we have the real sheet, what we're talking about today.
With high speed and a high melee average (spoilers), Fish obviously dominate the scale while Brewers with their low speed and only a few in-house 2'' melee models are at the bottom. Farmers, technically slower than the Brewers, come in at 5th because of melee while Engineers who were tied for second with Butchers and Fish are back to 4th. 1st and 2nd swapped too, Alchemists dropping behind the Fish significantly.
Kicking, KICK1 being Dice, KICK2 is distance.
Engineers dominate the kick accuracy department. Everyone else just kind of wallows in 2-3 range, fish coming in at second with most of their kickers having 3. Distance is a bit tighter, and Engineers actually lose to the Fish Butchers and Farmers here. The losers are the Hunters. With not great MOV stats and some of the worst KICK stats, Hunters are the ones that struggle for goal range. Keep in mind, there's 3 different kicking auras out there that singlehandedly change the stat. Spigot1 and Mallet both have "Football Legend" for a 1/1 bonus and Grange has a 1/2 bonus for passing only. Corsair has a 1/2 legendary, but that's just one turn. Mallet and Spigot both are staples for their respective teams, so while it looks right at average or slightly below now, they can jump up a few notches pretty easy. This is before any heroics or character plays like Friday has. Defensive stats are up next.
There's a few where you can see an obvious schtick, like Masons and Blacksmiths both having very high ARM. Morts and Union have higher DEF than I expected, but nearly everyone in Union is a DEF 4 so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Alchs winning the DEF game isn't any surprise. Farmers are, again, a little deceptive here. They're tied for 7th in DEF, and lose the ARM race like a quarter mile sprint where Honor represents them. However, this does not take into account their health boxes, of which there are many, nor their other defensive tech like strong anti-conditions. The individual sheets break this down a bit more and show you the traits available to buff these areas. That said, you're pretty much guaranteed to hit the dice numbers you want on Farmers, Blacksmiths and Masons. The kicker on the Blacksmiths specifically, and sometimes the Masons, is that you have to begin factoring in whether or not you have enough dice to get past the arm. The Blacksmiths, for example, have Iron. At DEF2, Flint can get the ball from him pretty easy, except for three things. First, we haven't mentioned ARM. It's base 2, so poor TAC4 Flint already needs 75% hits to get the Momentous Tackle he has on 1. Second, Iron has Close Control, so Flint is going to need to hit him twice at 75% success to get what he needs. Third, Iron has a double push on Column one. At TAC6, it's rare he won't get it. This is before a possible fourth problem, where Iron is within Sentinel range of Anvil or Furnace and has an extra ARM, taking him to 2/3. Now Flint needs 100% hits twice in a row to get a ball off of a model he can only attack when the opponent doesn't have momentum because the counterattack is brutally successful. Flint could WTG in, sure, but we're 3 INF into this problem now. I'm glad my Farmers have a bunch of 2'' melee, or my good ol' striker Mist, until Hearth gives Iron 2'' melee too.
When these stats spike one way or the other, look at the reason why and what the trap or the buff is to correct it. With the exception of the Hunters, it isn't because they just straight up suck at the game, there's some gameplan options to be had.
Alright, enough rambling. INF stats.
No surprise, Blacksmiths are in the gutter with this stat. This is including a +2 inf on one master since one of them will always be Captain. As far as generation goes, Engineers and Alchemists are the winners. Actual allocation matters somewhat less since it's worthless if you don't generate any. Obviously though, Obulus with a crazy 7 that he can take is carrying them pretty far on that end.
Farmers are second from last in both cases, but we all know that, again, the Farmer stats are lying since Harvest Markers are a thing. You can add 1-2 INF to nearly every turn for them. What is interesting to me is that the teams with highest INF generation are also the most likely to score as well. This is kind of a win more situation but it's interesting.
One more for statline. Melee ranges.
Again, this is not covering mascots. In most cases, they'd drop the stat. The exceptions are Naja in the Alchemists, and Tentacles in the Fishermen. I think all the rest are 1''. Fishermen and Farmers are way out ahead at 1.80. Third place isn't even close, but surprisingly it's the Butchers. The Butchers have long been lamented as not having great access to 2'' melee but statistically this is untrue. The problem is that their 2'' melee is Boar, Tenderizer, Shank and recently, Ox2. Shank was the only player to consistently make lineups, and many times people used Union players to shore up the 2'' deficit.
Alchemists are still in the middle of the pack, even with their S3 model having 2'' melee (Vet Katalyst). Union is low, but they have such a deep pool of players that building a 6 man list with ample 2'' melee isn't a problem. They have 5 2'' melee models, which is 2 less than the Farmers at 1.80, but they also have 16 non-mascot models to choose from as well.
Incidentally, these numbers also reflect Mallet and Thresher's 3'' melee, but not the legendary that Hearth has since it's a one time deal. Mallet and Threshers are only during their activation, I know, but that's when you're going to use it.
Now we're bringing the Mascots into the game. While their TAC isn't really fair to include with the rest of the team, they do have some abilities that mean their playbook does get used occasionally. Dirge's Singled Out, for example, is pretty key in enabling the Morticians to kill sometimes. They also do have KDs, Tackles, and Pushes that are worth considering. Hilariously, some of the best damage dealers out there, thanks to the "Sic'em" card, are the mascots. Scum (Brewers), Strongbox (Union) and even Peck (Farmers) can do surprising amounts of momentous damage. That chicken will mess you up.
Let's look at these. Pushes are first. Unlike some of the other options later, pushes are not evenly distributed. Pushes, at a basic level, are the beginning of Control in Guildball. Some teams are considered Control teams like the Morticians and the Hunters, but a few other teams have some minor abilities when it comes to positioning models around the board. At 21 pushes on the Brewers, it's no surprise they love a good scrum. Oddly enough though, 1st place is taken by the Engineers. It's important to note here that a single "Push Dodge" result will show up on both the Push charts, and the Dodge charts, and Push Dodge is something Engineers do have.
Momentous Pushes is even better. It's an easy way to score Momentum on models you don't necessarily want to hurt, or can hurt. Models with Rising Anger, or other detriments are good examples. More often though, it's a way to generate momentum without committing to the kill. The Brewers can push a player all over the map reliably and generate momentum while setting up a good scrum, whereas other teams really need to position models well as they move in to get the crowd outs they need. Perfect contrast here is, again, the Brewers, the pushing positioning masters, and the Farmers who have only 2 momentous pushes in the game. Both feel like they play something of a similar combined arms scrumming game, but Brewers have the pushes to set it up while the Farmers have to position themselves.
Dodges, on the other hand, are the bread and butter of strikers. What's a striker without a dodge to get the ball and bail? Brewers have very few, same as the Farmers. Butchers and Blacksmiths aren't much for evasion either, and oddly enough, neither are the Alchemists. Alchemists and Fishermen often seem to sit at the same table, but we're seeing a strong difference in their playbooks.
Tackles. This one isn't super surprising since nearly every model in the game has a Tackle somewhere. Engineers and Blacksmiths have a pretty high amount though, indicating multiple tackles in playbooks.
Momentous tackles, on the other hand, is a whole different story. Morticians and Farmers have next to none while Masons and Engineers dominate the stat with a surprise 3rd place Butchers.
Damage is next. Not quite as evenly distributed as Tackle was, but copious amounts everywhere except in the Fisherman's Guild. Brewers also seem kind of low, but that's a reference to their low playbooks rather than the percentage of damage in them. That particular stat is located on their sheet.
Momentous Damage tells some more stories. Almost none for the Engineers and Fish. Alchemists have a moderate amount, giving them something of a mixed playstyle similar to the Masons who are strong in both Momentous tackles and Damage. Unsurprisingly dominating this particular piechart is the Butchers with 36 momentous damage results.
Knockdowns. Another form of control, with a condition option too. Brewers, Union and Masons have plenty, but it's Farmers that really carry it. Fish and Alchemists have only a few, and the Butchers aren't much better, adding to their issues in getting through counterattacks.
Everyone act surprised that Brewers have 100% momentous KD. Farmers aren't far behind, and then it's kind of scattered after that. It's interesting to note that the Blacksmiths only have 10 KD options, and 7 of them are momentous. If you look those up, you'll notice that every momentous one is on a master, and there's only a couple of KDs on the apprentices. Momentous KDs are the cherry on top for a charge. You need the debuff and to prevent a counter attack, but it sucks not to get that momentum for it, which is a problem that we can see the Alchemists, Morticians and Fish all have.
Last, maybe least, we have Guildballs. These are the character plays. Butchers and Fish lead the way, followed by Morticians. Engineers and Blacksmiths anchor the chart while the Brewers are just glad it isn't them.
Just a few more charts. Character plays are offensive if they cause damage or debuffs, and generally you need to roll to hit. Defensive plays are generally buffs. It's not that they make the team more defensive perse, they're just not offensive. The offensive stuff is things like Dirty Knives, or Blast Earth.
Then for the guys trying to play a gunline in Guildball, we have the ranged offensive character plays. Alchemists, we expected. Brewers are a little bit of a surprise, but Esters and Stoker both have 2 ranged plays each, you just don't see them super often. I've also included things like Goad and Lure in the ranged section as well.
That's kind of the party folks. I don't think there's any major upsets, just more or less seeing how the new teams slot into the party. There's some stark contrasts and certainly their own playstyle is evident as Steamforged tries to find gaps in the playstyles to slot new guilds. I'll be curious to see what the new Minor Guilds bring to the table and what I'm going to do for colors when that happens.
I hope this has been an informative article. It's not going to change any great strategies, introduce new tactics or break the code on a certain Guild. It's interesting to see the inherent strengths and weaknesses in the numbers though, and what each Guild excels at somewhat.