My thoughts on xxxXXMurderGrandmaXXxxx
EVERYTHING important about this model is on the back of her card! But I will at least try to consider the front first.
Stat line –
She’s surprisingly spry with a 5”/8” movement and a perfectly respectable 3/6” kick. She can get where she needs to be and play ball in a pinch. Table the TAC 3* because that is one hell of an asterisk. DEF 4+ / ARM 0 / 19 HP is perhaps slightly above average defensive stats for farmers. That 0/5 influence – Yowzas!
Her first and third columns are where she makes her money. During her activation she is going to be looking for that momentous 2 damage on the 3rd column, but will settle for the momentous 1 on 1. With up to 5 attacks she heavily benefits from Tooled Up and Honest Labor, so even the 1 damage on 1 can be extremely dangerous. Her top line is extremely utilitarian with a single push, KD, and double push. The low KD is great for making sure she stays engaged when a counter attack is declared against her. The pushes are a wonderful tool for her own counterattacks. This will pair extremely nicely with her traits. The latter half of her playbook is cherry on top extra damage.
Character Play –
Get stuck in is probably the only slightly disappointing thing here. Honestly with so much 2” Reach in farmers you probably don’t even want to trigger this lot of the time. Thankfully, even if you hit that juicy 3 damage Guild Ball, I believe you can opt to select the damage only. There may be corner cases where you will want it, such as her counter-attacking against a scrum, or if she is all by her lonesome (she shouldn’t be) but most of the time I don’t see the play being extremely useful.
TRAITS! This is where the ol gal really comes alive!
Making Hay –
This is such a cool and great ability. It really affords you a lot of flexibility when it comes to Fallow. Most of the time I see you allocating her a single influence, or even zero, then letting the turn dictate how many markers you need to pull. 2 for 1 is a great return on investment, but players will need to be careful to ensure there are enough harvest markers left on the board to keep other skill active. I can see situations where a player struggles with the choice between turning off taters counter charge for 2 influence. That said, Grange probably supports her reasonably well by himself with a little help from one extra planter. On Grange’s legendary turn you can expect her to go full clip and lay in to a fool pretty quickly.
I will say I think Making Hay probably excludes her from a Thresher team, or at least makes you choose between Fallow and Tater. I don’t think it is reasonable to expect to be able to run Thresher, Fallow, and Tater in the same list, even if you take peck, because there is not enough planter support for all of them. Jackstraw is going to be setting up Thresher most of the time, and Harrow isn’t looking busy a lot when Thresher is up field. That really only leaves Millstone to feed the competing Fallow and Tater. Probably not a great team set up. I think it is reasonably safe to say Fallow is probably Grange Exclusive.
With Age Comes Wisdom –
Variable attack. Heck yes. She gets bonkers strong towards the end of the round. Honestly though, I think this is going to trip people up. I think a lot of farmer players are going to wait too long to activate her. If I am being real I am perfectly fine with her activating as early as 2nd behind Grange. It’s not hard to imagine a turn where Grange activates first, Throws up his legendary as well as Honest labor, and engages a model or two. Under these circumstances Fallow is throwing 6 dice swings which is going to be around 12 damage against a 4+/1. Is that the best she can do? Absolutely not. But if you wait too long on her I have a feeling she’s gonna get locked down.
Protective Instinct / Between a Rock –
Let’s talk about these together. I think this might be the first “Hard Taunt” in Guild Ball. One of the unexpected and most amazing things about this ability is it’s the enemy melee zone that matters, NOT fallow’s. So this will impact 2” reach players even if she can’t hit them back. This ability is very tricky and doesn’t necessarily have to be used on the first attack. In fact I think it might be wiser to allow the friendly model to take a couple hits first. For me, Harrow tends to be the one who dies a lot. With this ability I can see times when Harrow takes an attack or two, then we spring Fallow on the opponent later than they expected. This way both models take a couple hits each, rather than one or the other taking the brunt of the damage.
A really fun thing to do is going to be to use the combination of these two abilities to counter attack. Say you have your Hammer/Ox/Rage/whatever come in to try and smack a friend around. Fallow rushes to their aid. Now the enemy attacks fallow who declares a counter attack. If she can avoid being knocked down she has a pretty good shot of hitting her double push to nullify a decent amount of influence. I kind of think of this like what marbles can do: Counter-Charge for a key push.
Another thing to take note of is Between a Rock is not “towards” she could feasibly use this to reposition in other ways aside from just helping folks. You might can get a cheeky goal threat out of this, or move her a bit to eat a harvest market that was just out of range.
I am in love with murder grandma. I already have plans for “Soup tokens” to measure how “Souped up” she is each turn. I think folks underestimate how early she can feasibly activate, especially with Grange support. I do think there are those who are overvaluing her though. At the end of the day, despite all her tricks, she is a 4+/0 model with 1” reach. I think you will find folks engaging her first when possible. This turns her off to an extent and prevents her ability to have a strong counter attack. I think you are going to have to keep her protected as much as she protects others. I feel when she hits the pitch she is going to operate in a very similar manner as Tater. Staying just a little bit behind to provide screens, then come in for some big damage. The difference is her turn is a lot more flexible.
Anywho, happy farmin! Get out there and make granny proud!