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malladin.ben

A few years down the line...

Just been rediscovering my love for Boiler and Princess - they were my favourite players when I started playing in S1, but poor old Boiler got largely pushed into a turn 1 support role in S2 under Fillet. However, in Season 3 I'm finding he's more generally useful - support player early doors, brutal finisher in the end game. Plus his story in the Butchers' Civil War was my favourite instalment.

So I've been having a think about what Boiler's future might be. As a star player at such a young age, surely he's got to be a consideration for a captain at some point down the line. So I got to thinking about what veteran captain Boiler might look like, and how might Princess have changed over the years, and came up with this:

CaptBoiler.jpg

I wanted him to be something of a half-way house between Ox and Fillet - primarily a support captain, but with the ability to deal a fair chunk of damage if he needs to. He's better than Ox, but without easy access to a damage buffs he's not doing the same sort of damage as reliably as Fillet. I also wanted his support to be more about mobility and accuracy than brute damage. He's got a special new character play that rolls dirty knives (which he had at one point in playtest, apparently) and market target into one ability, and rather than Anatomical Precision he's got weak point, so he can usually ignore armour, but also helps his team ignore armour, too. He's still got Crucial Artery, and when tied with a flurry-like ranged area play and his legendary play it can really help him set things up for his team to go to town. Add Slick with Blood into the mix and his team could potentially be stacking up 6" of movement buffs on a charge!

His relationship with Princess has matured, and now they work like a well-tuned machine. With linked he can really help Princess make the most of all the set up he can muster in his activation before the opponent gets chance to respond. But by the time Boiler gets to be captain, Princess must surely be knocking on a bit? And in under captain Boiler, surely she'd deserve to be more than just a mascot...

VetPrincess.jpg

This version of Princess does little more than the original Princess on her own. She has more TAC and KICK, and INF in line with a player rather than a mascot, but has slowed with age. She's also still got Rabid Animal, which I have to admit I never use as it's costing me damage and momentum, so I added it to a playbook damage result to see it get a bit more play. I was considering giving her Tough Hide and/or Assist [Boiler], but after I hit upon the idea of her as a mother with a litter of pups it seemed like a really interesting and new idea, and that maximising gang-up bonuses was something Butchers didn't really do a lot of, and would play into captain Boiler's support role. Finally Pop! was inspired by my mate's dog who gave us all a heart attack at our last RPG night when he popped a football he was playing with and thought it might make a fun GB ability.

Cheerio,

Ben

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In the early days, Boiler was the character Mat and Rich used to discuss how they saw the story/characters progressing from season to season, with him rising from rookie, to journeyman to captain. After reading the season 1 book, I was very surprised he wasn't the chosen veteran for Butchers, as he was very much the new blood/rookie in that first set of tales. He was our Point of View character on how the Butchers and Guild Ball operated, and I'd love to see him progress and tell his story across the seasons as he develops into a kind of future Greyscales/Mallet - old vet who's been everywhere, seen everything, done everything.

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4 hours ago, JacctheInsomniac said:

Really like the theme behind Slick with Blood.

How did you put this together? Did you use a template or put it together on your own?

I made a template word document a while ago. I'll see if I can dig it out and link to it.

Slick with blood is a blatant rip off of the big league plot card. Looking at Skatha I saw how the ability to throw down a fast ground AOE was really useful in buffing a team's mobility. As my concept for captain Boiler is to be a more general support captain that Ox, I thought that reusing the plot card ability would do the same thing for Butchers as Skatha does for Hunters, but in a more thematic way.

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At a glance, my worry is there's too many auxiliary things going on the design for it to be healthy.

Boiler has enough weaknesses inherently being 1" melee with no way to reengage an enemy if he gets pushed or dodged away from. But with that said, I'm still a bit worried about the strength of his playbook. Hatchet Job is essentially providing Snare and Bleed in an AOE, and that gets pretty insane quick in the same guild as Hooked. Not to mention how exponentially high the damage gets when he drops his Legendary. Barring Hatchet Job, none of his abilities put him strictly above Ox or Fillet and he actually seems perfectly fine, Linked however is a HUGE addition to a single model's (actually an entire team's) power budget.

I really like the idea behind Princess but she is way too powerful for a mascot, as a player the power level is a bit more acceptable but still over and above. Altogether there is no downside to allocating her a full 3 Influence as her playbook is pretty incredible. Momentous tackle on 1, momentous 3 damage on 4, an on-demand +3 Tac, as well as punishing your opponents for removing the marker by gaining Berserk for a potential 6 Attacks per turn. Windle is the only other non captain I can think of who can attack more than 4 times, VetRage teams get some seriously insane interactions by allowing single models to surpass the typical 4 Attacks per turn max limit. The big problem is that it doesn't seem like removing pup-markers would be optional, and it's controlling your opponent's usage of Influence. (Fear and Berserk are both ways of increasing influence efficiency and models that have these types of traits typically pay for it by the actual influence they provide.)

Altogether, I really like the core concept a lot, but you've focused too much on the unique strengths and now comes the hard part of toning things down and building in tradeoffs. vBoiler-vPrincess seem like a 1-2 punch that no team in the game will survive. (However, I will concede I have little experience with or against the Butchers so I don't have the full picture of their weaknesses.) But being on the receiving end of some devastating chain activations from the Masons I would be careful around Linked.

Places to start
They both seem pretty Influence Hungry, so perhaps making them both bring an influence less will let you get away with some of your more powerful plays.
Break up the Playbook a little bit more so that there are some results you'd have a hard time choosing between, every column shouldn't just invalidate the column before it.
You could play around with Heroic and Legendary Plays to create the moments for your models you want to reinforce. I.E. Princess can Heroic to charge a model that's engaging one of her pups, or Legendary to dodge them all at once.

When you get to playtesting, try to pit yourself on the receiving end of these guys.

16 minutes ago, malladin.ben said:

Thanks, this'll be really cool to work with.

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I can see some of your criticisms, and yes, I haven't playtested them. They're more done as a bit of fun. However, I would say some of the criticisms are looking at these things in isolation and assuming that you can get everything off, but many of the things they can do run counter to each other. Yes, linked is powerful, but if you're doing the double early activation that can be so powerful with linked you will not get the benefits of Berserk if someone just later that turn decides to clear out your pup-markers. If you want to move your pup markers into position, you're giving up INF for yourself. Princess is player level, and as a player she's pretty light at 12hp, standard 4/1 DEF and no significant defensive tech beyond crowd outs from her pups. She's pretty bad at counter attacks, too. Hatchet Job isn't snared, so it doesn't penalise the enemy's MOV. There's similar counter-acting interactions with Meathook - yes you get to potentially synergise Hooked and Hatchet Job, but Meathook gets no benefit from the legendary play. If you activate Meathook first, she can't benefit from him setting her up with Crucial Artery, if you activate Boiler first he can't benefit from Hooked, and if you're using linked, neither can Princess. I suppose the counter argument is that it's flexible, but the flexibility comes at the cost that not everything can benefit from every synergy.

That said, after a night to sleep on it, there's a few things that strike me as possible changes:

1) Berserk is strong, perhaps Furious, or a free charge but only against the model that removed the pup marker.

2) Hatchet Job being 8" range, able to be used multiple times, triggered off the playbook, and Flurry-style pulse, with Bleed and Marked Target and -1 DEF is probably a bit too much for one ability, even a captain's signature ability. I think the easiest drop to reduce its power is the pulse, as this fits the least with how you can picture the ability (someone with one of boiler's hatchets stuck in them). The fact that he can use it more than once makes up for the loss of the flurry effect, I guess. If I make this change I wonder about dropping it to 2INF or putting it up to 3DMG, but I could be persuaded not to. I think it should also possibly be removed from the playbook, I'd probably replace it with a non-momentous 4DMG result

3) I think Princess should have a 6 column playbook. Mechanically given that she's got potential +3 TAC from the pups, I think this makes sense and makes her a bit more of a pint-pot style good-early-game model. Not sure between giving her 4DMG or a 3GBGB for this slot.

4) I could be persuaded to removing some of the momentum from some of Princess's better playbook results (2>, 2GBGB, 3><), but probably not all. Maybe just keep the 2GBGB as momentous, as after you've triggered it on one model you don't want to use it again, so it keeps the options open.

Cheerio,

Ben

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This is funny, I was just working on a VetBoiler captain in my spare time, though we ended up with different ideas altogether. I REALLY like your Slick with Blood play, btw. That's a super neat and flavorful (and gross, lol) idea.

We both zeroed in on him being a guy that makes his team fast, but I imagined a grown-up Boiler as effectively a ruthless assassin who, once he got an advantage, rarely let go of it. My version uses two new tokens, which I admit might be design bloat, but I think they create a cool effect on the butcher team's tempo. I also took a chance on having him be INF-efficiency based rather than damage-bonus based. I thought that would differentiate him from his fellow captains a bit. He's about just totally brutalizing low-HP teams, flighty teams, and would suffer versus teams of big beefy Tough Hide guys that Ox1 just loves killing. 

MOV 6/8, TAC 6, KICK 3/6", DEF 4+, ARM 1, 4/6 INF, 16 boxes

Playbook (edited woops):
         [T]    [1 T] [KD]        [2>><<]
[1] [1><]   [2]    [3] [2><] [3<<]

 

Character Plays:
Swift Stance

Tally Ho!: 1 INF cost, 4" range, Sustain, OPT. Target friendly [Mascot] model gains Furious

Traits:
Anatomical Precision

Make 'Em Remember [6" aura]: When an enemy model within this aura suffers the Taken-Out condition as the result of a friendly attack, play, or condition, the enemy model gains a Wounded Token. When an enemy model returns to the pitch with a Wounded Token, remove the Wounded Token. That model suffers the Bleeding condition.

Like Lambs: This model begins the game with 1 Rush Token. A model may have 1 Rush Token at a time. When this model inflicts the Taken-Out condition on an enemy model, this model gains a Rush Token. A model may spend a Rush Token during its activation to immediately make a 2" Dodge and be allocated [1] INF.

Finisher [4]: When this model makes an attack against an enemy model below the specified HP, this model gains [+2] DMG to Playbook damage results. 

Legendary Play:
Good, Clean Fun [6" pulse]: Friendly [Human] Guild models in this pulse immediately gain 1 Rush Token and Finisher [4].

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I really like the idea of Boiler growing into the roll of Captain. @malladin.ben I like your design, but @Slothrop I really like the play make em remember. I would replace the linked ability on the 1st Boiler with Make 'em Remember and we've got a fun new captain to playtest... Now someone needs to sculpt a cap boiler model...

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The more I think about it the more I think his Legendary should be a heroic and target a single model.

Boiler's Marked Target added charge distance, it makes enough sense that Smell Blood does as well, but making it a heroic allows him to access it more times per game, rather than just having one turn of murdering, which is far too similar to Ox. It also allows him to be versatile with it, using it on one model this turn for the charge range, and then another for the damage. You could have the target range be something super nonrestrictive like 8" or 10" even, so he always has a target.

Depending on how powerful Linked is, if it gets removed and you don't want to add Assist or something, Protected or Defensive support could be nice thematic synergies.

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On 20/04/2017 at 5:23 PM, Slothrop said:

This is funny, I was just working on a VetBoiler captain in my spare time, though we ended up with different ideas altogether. I REALLY like your Slick with Blood play, btw. That's a super neat and flavorful (and gross, lol) idea.

We both zeroed in on him being a guy that makes his team fast, but I imagined a grown-up Boiler as effectively a ruthless assassin who, once he got an advantage, rarely let go of it. My version uses two new tokens, which I admit might be design bloat, but I think they create a cool effect on the butcher team's tempo. I also took a chance on having him be INF-efficiency based rather than damage-bonus based. I thought that would differentiate him from his fellow captains a bit. He's about just totally brutalizing low-HP teams, flighty teams, and would suffer versus teams of big beefy Tough Hide guys that Ox1 just loves killing. 

MOV 6/8, TAC 6, KICK 3/6", DEF 4+, ARM 1, 4/6 INF, 16 boxes

Playbook (edited woops):
         [T]    [1 T] [KD]        [2>><<]
[1] [1><]   [2]    [3] [2><] [3<<]

 

Character Plays:
Swift Stance

Tally Ho!: 1 INF cost, 4" range, Sustain, OPT. Target friendly [Mascot] model gains Furious

Traits:
Anatomical Precision

Make 'Em Remember [6" aura]: When an enemy model within this aura suffers the Taken-Out condition as the result of a friendly attack, play, or condition, the enemy model gains a Wounded Token. When an enemy model returns to the pitch with a Wounded Token, remove the Wounded Token. That model suffers the Bleeding condition.

Like Lambs: This model begins the game with 1 Rush Token. A model may have 1 Rush Token at a time. When this model inflicts the Taken-Out condition on an enemy model, this model gains a Rush Token. A model may spend a Rush Token during its activation to immediately make a 2" Dodge and be allocated [1] INF.

Finisher [4]: When this model makes an attack against an enemy model below the specified HP, this model gains [+2] DMG to Playbook damage results. 

Legendary Play:
Good, Clean Fun [6" pulse]: Friendly [Human] Guild models in this pulse immediately gain 1 Rush Token and Finisher [4].

To get around two new tokens?
Heroic play:

Like Lambs: When this model inflicts the Taken-Out condition on an enemy model, this model may immediately make a 2" Dodge and be allocated [1] INF.

Keep "Good, Clean Fun" as a Legendary but change to:

Good, Clean Fun [6" pulse]: Friendly [Human] Guild models in this pulse may immediately make a 2" Dodge and gains Finisher [4].

This way you get around at least 1 new token.

 

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