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Butchers overpowered?

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I heard it a few times at Britcon. Mostly in tongue cheek but not always.

What are your thoughts, I think all the teams are pretty well balanced, some players are better but others are worse within teams.

I am also a firm believer that the more direct fighting teams are easier to play and we haven't therefore seen the best of the complex teams like mortitions and masons as the player base get to grips with them.

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I am a Butcher player and I firmly believe that they out front at moment as their initial players are easier to get to grips with.

 

Once other teams bed in more and then the tatics for dealing with straight hitters becomes more prevelant we will see Butchers drop from this feeling of being very strong to just strong (like all teams).

 

Although having seen what Engineers can do to Butchers they are already simple ways to deal with them

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I agree with you that they are the easiest to play. They hand out a solid pummelling quickly and generate a heap of momentum doing it. Allowing them to keep conditions off and healing up.

Brisket is a solid striker with super shot so they don't give up much in the scoring game either.

I don't think they are OP but that the game is more likely to devolve into a scrum in the middle of the field, especially with new players.

I am learning new tricks all the time with my Alchemists and I have a solid grasp of the team. The teams I struggle to beat are Butchers (that don't bring Meathook), Brewers and aggressive damage Union.

It seems getting in to melee with a team of killers is not optimal however I can't get Momentum throwing AOE's at them.

I played against Butchers on the final Table at The Kick Off in Australia over the weekend, and even though I lost (thanks for missing that open goal Vitriol)...., I did learn some nice tricks for shutting down the offence. Blind drops Ox to a normal Tac but engaged with Flask who drops his smoke cloud for cover makes him 3 dice against 2 Arm.

That was longer winded than I had anticipated...

TL/DR, I think they are fine and will be harder to use as time goes on and players learn how to avoid them.

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I grumble with the best of them, but I'm not sure they are overpowered. They hit hard (as they should) and their direct play might be easier to grasp after 4 games of mind frying :)

 

However I do have a few areas of concern:

1. They seem a little too good at football for a punching team - Shank is too fast (yes he has kick 2, but they have near infinite momentum if hitting things so basically kick 3) so can score from far away, Brisket is very good, and everyone else is average (well except poor Boar...but he probably tries to eat the ball).

2. The Owner being always on makes it extremely good - most other powerful auras are paid for.

3. Ox's Legendary being 6" means he can cover a huge area and it's one of the best LPs in the game - it literally wins games. Hard to avoid.

4. Gutter takes the Butchers to 11 - being able to drag enemies into Ox's charming embrace for a hug is...very good. Scything blow getting boosted by Ox's LP takes it to insane levels of damage (5 DMG on a 2" melee zone! WTF).

5. Decimate with Butchers is equally bananas - 11" threat, easy access to 2 DMG (column 2) and can get up to 4 DMG per hit with Ox's LP - 12-16 DMG for 4 INF is a takeout pretty guaranteed.

 

I'm sure there are counters to them (Hemlocke is not really ideal as 1 dice is prone to failure - as I found - and if you wait to get momentum, the Butchers can start doing their thing) and the game is still in its infancy so I don't think we can call this or that overpowered. They have weaknesses like everyone else - Shank is a glass cannon (although I wish he didn't have 2" melee with a dodge playbook), Boar is slow, they are vulnerable to control plays and CPs (pinning Ox in place with Heavy Burden or Blind can really diminish what the team can do). But damn, if they are played well they are a hard team to stop.

 

At the moment I don't have a good solution for Butchers, especially with Union support (which reflects on me as a player not the team's power - I need to get better). I just wish Get 'Em Lads was 4" not 6" - 6" is just such a huge sphere. I think the only option is to just run away for a turn and hope they don't score and minimise casualties. 

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I'm of the opinion that they aren't overpowered and are pretty balanced.

I think the key issue is that they are simple to play and stick to one game plan.

In tournaments this gets made more obvious as teams which require more finesse or flexibility become mentally drained whereas butchers can continue their game plan relatively stress free.

I'm sure that as players become more confident in using the other teams and get into a tournament mindset I think things will get a bit more balanced.

Plus, butchers haven't had it all their way in the tournament scene. Think this is only their second official win (if it's more then my bad!)

Just my 2 cents.

Jim

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Happy with the general feeling here. My first team was Butchers and with them I seem to do well in our group. As said before, I believe it to be a focus of style. I need to kill stuff to win, so that's what I do. My second team is the Alchemists and they seem much harder to use. Not because they're "worse" just because I'm still not sure what game I should be playing with them. They're not as good at football as the Fish and not as good at ranged as the Cogs.

 

Other teams that do well in my group are the Engineers and the Fishermen. This seems to be due to style focus too. Engineers: ranged attacks that knock down (and generate momentum while forcing you to spend it getting up), keeping the other team away, scoring with Velocity and taking people out. Fishermen: ignore damage and score, score, score.

 

One of the things I love about this game is that all the teams are overpowered until you get a handle on them. Obulous forcing Boar to run away from combat or making you pass the ball to his team. Brick's freaking awesome counter-charge. Midas stealing your best plays. Stave's barrel lob. These are all game winners in their own right. My mate plays Morticians and he's got so much better over time. That's not the team getting better, that's his understanding of the team.

 

TL;DR: It's the player not the team and it's early days yet. Season 2's just around the corner. Oh what fun we'll have!

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I think it's a combination of them being one of the easier teams to grasp, and a meta where a lot of players are still playing this like a Wargames and not a football match - running straight at the Butchers and trying to punch them is exactly what they want - getting knocked down and pushed away while making them spread out over the board is exactly what they don't want.

With my Fishermen, Shark has been a pretty strong counter - locking down their movement really helps.

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I think some teams have it easier than others for sure - I mean Gut & String is unbelievably good (some might say...too good?) at stopping Butchers retaliating. But some teams don't have such a wonderful option.

 

I don't think they are OP themselves and in fact a pure Butcher team is fine. But when you add Gutter they start to become quite evil - you can't escape and they can neuter your control elements. The best strategy is to space your guys out to minimise the players Ox can reach. But Gutter messes that plan up by drawing them back together. 

 

Are they unbeatable - NO! They definitely can be beaten (Fishermen have some of the best tools against them) but at the moment, many are finding it much harder to beat Butchers than other teams. Will it always be so? Unlikely and S2 will shake things up. But at the moment they are dangerous and in many ways it's Gutter that is part of the problem. 

 

Perhaps the better tweak would be to prevent Gutter playing for Butchers.

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I think it's highly unlikely that we'll see players change the teams they'll work for, as this would be extremely annoying to the people who bought / painted that player for a particular team...

I think all teams have got options - if you take Ox out, the Butchers lose a lot of their bite. Also while they aren't terrible with the ball, they are definitely one of the worst teams at ball handling.

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I don't think they are op, and I don't think gutter breaks them, she's good but every team is good with or without a key Union addition. I find it interesting that there seems to be a perception that playing butchers is less mentally taxing than other more finesse teams. I'm not sure I concur.

If it was simply a case of winning by 6 take outs then it might be, but at the point your oponent knows what they are doing it isn't. The game involves defense as well as attack and it's easier than it seems to become overextended with them.

I think currently they are a three turn team. You have the turn that you build momentum, hopefully doing a little damage. The big turn where you have initiative and ox goes in first stacked up and under his legendary followed by the rest of the team. Then the turn after they mop up. It's easy to read and I think can be easy to prevent. Obviously the benefit of having played them a lot helps of course. i feel a section on a podcast coming up.

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It's an interesting discussion I think - some people think playing ball is harder than punching, and others vice versa. Background might be the factor - wargamers (say Warmachine) might be looking at hitting people as the easier option, where as Blood Bowl players might be looking at scoring goals as easier. And some might think they are the same.

 

Everyone's perception is relative and it's probably good for the game as it implies no one thing is 'harder'.

 

Butchers' reputation suffers because whilst conceding goals is annoying, removing your players is soul-crushing and Butchers are naturally geared towards that. 

 

Oh and want to make it quite clear I don't consider that it takes less skill or ability to win with Butchers, nor that any such victory is 'easier'. You won and you deserved to win - you played best and made those opportunities work. Any grumbling is purely good-natured speculation on whether your grass is greener.

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Yeh please don't misunderstand my earlier post as saying butchers are the easy team.

Playing butchers well and to the point you can win a tournament requires equally as much skill as any other team.

I just think the general mind set behind a butchers team is clear.

I think in a tournament setting when players are getting stressed and running on a time limit their play style is potentially more rewarding.

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I don't think they are OP, as people have said once people get used to their teams they will counter Butchers more easily.

 

I couldn't agree more that you can't change who the Union play for, they have been playtested a lot and for people who already brought Union players and painted them.

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i think the game has incredible balance across the board, especially given its a first edition of the rules and profiles and its better than some current edition, long running games.  Yeah the first time i played butchers when learning the game i was thinking 's**t they're amazing! but with practise i'm learning each teams strengths and weaknesses and now im quite confident when playing Vs butchers! i think if you look across the board at the teams that have won tournaments....5 different teams at last count. that says enough as to balance and the fact that no team is really 'OP' in my book. 

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@epic Chris, no offence taken. I thought it was an interesting point worth discussing.

I think there will be some milage in this discussion that might get some air time. Might touch on the comment you made about blood bowl vs warmachine as well. I have some thoughts on that.

@guildball informer, I think your dead right, it can be about perception, seeing the smack go down and players leave the pitch as a direct consequence can make less experienced players think wow, they are good.

However once you get to grips with playing against them the advantage that easy a fairly straightforward plan, ie thump people, is countered by the fact it's a straight forward plan that opponents can quickly read. At that point the skill with playing them is making the oponent make tough decisions.

I think this is similar accords the board, the immediate consequences of a decision, ie you concede a goal or lose a player, might be different depending on the team but the longer ones, ie resulting in a loss, might be the same. It's almost like that's how they intended it to work!

That's why I love this game.

Sorry tying on phone and couldn't work out how to quote

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Butchers are just extremely, laser-focused, without the weaknesses you'd expect them to have.

 

Traditionally, this extremely beaty a team would be slow and awful at anything that's not beating. Which is not true of the Butchers. They're competent with the ball. Though, in fairness, everyone (except the Morticians) is.

 

Weirdly, butchers weakness is that they're fairly soft. I imagine butchers versus butchers would be ... quick.

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I don't think they are OP. You deal with them by playing football rather than the smash 'em up in the middle. I think it's incredibly easy to pick the wrong playbook result against them. People will pick 3 momentous damage and a push rather than the double dodge that comes earlier in the playbook that could potentially help your team get into better positions and score more goals. 

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I have been playing my friend with Butchers vs his Union been winning most of my games until today when he has learn to to only get to get Into combat to gain MP and dodge around them.

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I finding peoples responses quite interesting here. 

 

With a few of the guys struggling to deal with various teams, regardless of what they are using i find this is the easiest solution for it.

 

The trick with nearly any skirmish game including GB is not to play to your opponents strengths and strategies, but rather make them play to your strategies and strengths.

 

In some cases this is a bit easier for some teams. But my biggest challenge has been controlling the pace of the game, against a Fisherman's team. I like leaving the ball on the ground surrounded by my guys, which forces them to have to wade through to get to it. 

 

But as people have said above, the Butchers base team, kit and players are so well entwined to work together that it make them seem extremely strong. Compared to other teams, Butchers are just the hammer that will smash against the opposition repeatedly, and in most cases will win the attrition.

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We have a couple of Butcher players in our local group...now granted we are only a couple of weeks into the game but I think there are quite a few counters in the game to Ox and the rest of the butchers...the only two teams I have experience playing with so far are Brewers and Alchemists and here is what I can say about them...

 

Brewers - Even on legendary play turn Ox charges in and then I spend 1 MP to counter attack and knock him down... at most he gets 1 hit on me

 

Alchemists - Blind from Calculus is the most annoying thing in the world...and a blind set on fire poisoned Ox is in a bit of trouble. Even Ox gets blunted when he is -4TAC 

 

And I imagine that there are other similar things in other teams...I think someone mentioned Gut and String from the Fishermen...

 

I think perhaps people just aren't thinking creatively enough about board control as they could be?

 

 

Am I way off?

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Countering Ox with KD is great if he didn't generate a momentum on his first attack and didn't activate first in the turn (when he will get the most out his play) and you have a momentum to spend.  Even when KD Ox still gives everyone else the damage boost. If he generated a momentum on his attack he can spend it to Take a Breather Lad!, stand back up and hit you again.

Brewers are a melee team as well so it doesn't bother them being amongst it and with Tough hide taking the edge off the damage they can absorb it a bit better.

I have only played as Alchemists so far and will back up that blind is amazing if you get it off. You need to score quick and possibly take one or two low HP players out with Midas or they will catch up with you. Staying away is not easy with Shank on the field though. If the Butchers take Meathook though, just smile as you steal Scything Blow with Midas and hand out a whooping.

If you have Momentum it is well worth spending if you have access to a dodge or KD that will end the attack. Note: Unless you are sure you are going to get away from Boar, do not Counter attack him. He can counter attack your counter attack and get two more attacks on you.

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If you have Momentum it is well worth spending if you have access to a dodge or KD that will end the attack. Note: Unless you are sure you are going to get away from Boar, do not Counter attack him. He can counter attack your counter attack and get two more attacks on you.

 

Yo dawg...I heard you like counter attacks...

 

yo_dawg.jpg

 

 

Seriously though...that may be the case but I think that, while powerful, there are a lot of ways to mitigate against it or blunt it that people may just not have been considering.

 

I'd be interested in hearing how other people look at mitigating the Butchers 'legendary turn' blood bath

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An engineers, I just activate my "legendary turn bloodbath" first. That plus a liberal application of fire and KDs will force them to spread out, which massively neuters the butchers ability to do terminal damage fast.

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As discussed - some teams fare better than others against Butchers. Engineers and Fishermen are great, Alchemists and Masons...not so good. 

 

Also, when you throw that Blind (range 6") and miss (only a 2/3 success rate)...you're going to learn that Ox is very good. As he annihilates Calculus.

 

The main reason Ox is scarier than Boar is not the damage - it's that always on aura. It means in a 8/12" bubble around him is a murder zone. And you won't be able to avoid it.

 

I think that's fair though for Butchers. It's actually their ability to score that annoys me more - the whole team is pretty damn good at scoring which I think is a little naughty given they are the best at punching.

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