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Butcher GIC Theory Thread 

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I know it is a point that gets made alot but target selection is so important. Echoing @EpicChris on his point about Jaecar, I have the same issue with Decimate. However the game isn't littered with >>/<< playbook results on every model. Obviously it's frustrating when it happens but I also don't think giving Butcher's a GIC that hands out Stoic is the way either. It really hurts guilds like Brewers, Blacksmiths and also Butchers as all these guilds are very reliant on Push results. To be honest without more playtest or feedback it's hard to come up with a solution. Even making it so that the effect was only for the first attack each round still seems pretty NPE. Perhaps it should switch to being 2mp to make a defensive stance which I think has been alluded to already.

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I think I could live with the Def Stance. It's powerful but only affecting charges.

I guess I understand what you're saying about the frustration of being pushed off - but that's kind of the game isn't it? Pushes exist for a reason. You have to plan for them, or suffer them. Every guild has this issue - and yes some guilds have ranged options, but not all. I mean Brewers would quite like it if people would stop disengaging them as would Blacksmiths and Farmers etc.

Also I'm not sold on the 'no pushes or KDs'. The entire guild has them everywhere. Ox, Boar, Truffles, Boiler, Brisket2, Meathook, Ox2, Tenderiser all have pushes. And Fillet (although high), Ox,  Truffles, Boar, Boiler, Ox2, Tenderiser all have KDs. 

Everyone in the game is scared of >> counters - you just have to work around them. 

 

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How about:

All You Can Bleed Buffet

HR2 All friendly Non Captain models gain Acrobatic.

This give you offensive tech, defensive tech, goal tech, and buffs the whole team except for Fillet who doesn't need it. (I could see a case for HR3 but would need to play it first. It is sooo versatile I don't think it needs it. Kinda like Slippery Fish where versatility outweighs need for healing)

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Yeah that would be interesting. But I wonder if it doesn't fall too far outside their 'colour pie' of what they do. Boar jumping forward to threat 10"? Brisket1 being bonkers good? It allows too much play for a team designed to punch face. Hmmm. I don't know. It's not as obviously broken but I think a whole team with Acrobatic is a bit much. To say nothing to how on earth is Tenderiser acrobatic??

I'm just not sure about this being a Butcher problem. I think Butchers think they should be able to beat people up whether they like it or not. And I don't think that's legit. What I could see instead is this as more Butchery:

No, seriously, Get 'em lads!! (look I not the name guy!)

All friendly faction models gain Forceful Blow. HR3.

That's Butchery - doing more DMG when you get to people. 

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It appears the biggest issue around "Crushing Force" is that it is very powerful first activation of Turn 2 and beyond because it elimates responses from the opposing team.

What if the wording was changed to the following:

"Crushing Force"

During their activation, friendly guild models may spend (1) MP to force enemy models to spend (+1) MP to make a Counter Attack against them.

The GIC still addresses the Counter Attack problem for Butchers, but keeps the MP race more even and doesn't invalidate the Home Crowd rule - thoughts?

 

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Crushing Force - Heal Rate 2

When declaring a counter attack, enemy models must spend an additional [1] MP OR an additional [1] INF.

 

Alternatively

Whenever an enemy model declares a counter attack, the enemy model suffers the Bleed condition. If they are already suffering the Bleed condition, they instead suffer [2] Condition-damage.

 

To be honest I find myself counterattacking Butchers relatively rarely, just because they don't usually go in and attack models which have good counters, instead picking their fights and aiming for the more vulnerable models. Crushing Force might make things worse in the sense that it increases the number of viable targets for the Butchers by a lot. At the same time I'm not sure if punishing counter attacks is a good thing for the butchers to be doing - IMO they mostly want to be hunting down those models that can't counter effectively, or setting up those than can with a KD or something similar. Either way counters only come up if they are 1) in a poor position and their best bet is to hope the opponent fluffs their counter or 2) I'm just trying to force them to choose a KD rather than damage. Neither scenario comes up particularly often, and I;d say that punishing counters is either relatively underwhelming for a GIC effect (if it doesn't increase target selection options) or very very strong (if it does increase target selection options). If it punishes a counter heavily in some way (but it's still an option), it just promotes poor / unreliable play with high risk (if the counter is successful, you're still probably worse off) and high reward (if they flub their counter, they are in even more trouble than before).

Maybe something like these?

Culling the Weak - Heal 3 - while the enemy team has [0] MP, friendly Guild models gain [+1] DMG to playbook damage results.

Strike to Maim - Heal 3 - enemy models returning to the pitch after being taken out suffer the Bleed condition.

Relentless Assault - Heal 2 - The enemy team must spend an additional [1] MP to use Take a Breather! or Come On Mate! to heal.

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I agree with a lot of what you say. You have articulated my issue with 'Butchers have a CA problem' better than I - in that in reality they don't (or more than others) they just might be trying it on the wrong targets or unlucky. I don't think any GIC should punish fundamental game rules - that seems bad game design 101. We want players to play with their full toolkit - not a restricted one. How would that be fair?

I am in 2 minds whether Butcher should make healing harder for other guilds - they may already be suffering from a reduced rate from a GIC so that seems like it makes it even worse. I think Butchers need offensive boosts not nerfs to opponents.

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Possible changes that I'd like to see on Crushing Force:
1) It only applies to charge attacks; This would force the Butcher player to spend more influence and be affected by positioning.

or the opponent get +1 TN on Counter Attacks; That would not affect the amount of momentum the opponent need to spend but still tie in to the theme of the ferocious Butchers.

2) It only benefits Friendly guild models.

Don't see why it would benefit Union pics for the Butchers.

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In my experience Butchers are very dice-sensitive. In many cases, any usefulness of your playbook begins at (or slightly above) the expected values. Of course bad dice are bad for everyone, but it's a big difference if you have e.g. TAC4 vs 4/1 defensive stats and you're okay with the first column, or you have TAC5 and you need the second one. In the first case, you have to roll clearly below the average to fail; in the second case, the average itself is a non-existent fraction.

In this regard, the problem with counter attacks is not the very fact that you probably will get counter attacked, or the lack of effective brawlers with 2" melee. It's that the first hit, more often than not, is a feast or famine thing, then counter attacks hurt much more. All this in a faction that does little more than fighting. It's not that other factions don't have to deal with CA; it's that they have other vectors in their game, so they can use their playbooks in a more creative way. Butchers often stand fingers crossed and hoping for that crucial KD or Blood Rain to succeed, without anything else to consider.

Tldr: nerfing opponents with GICs is a very bad idea in my opinion, and giving Butchers straightforward abilities to overcome their weaknesses isn't much better. I'd gladly pay an extra to balance my odds in little ways. E.g. Crushing Force: once per turn, a friendly model can spend up to 3 momentum for Bonus Timing an attack to gain up to 3 extra dice. Or something like that.

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Why not make it like the Blacksmith ability but once per turn then so that you can spend 1 mom to get +3 hits. 

What I object to is:

1. First activation rolling over opponent who just sits there with no option to mitigate. Many Butchers can put out a lot of DMG and losing your captain, then losing initiative then losing your captain again is not fun. 

2. An ability that hurts the opponent rather than buffing your side. GICs shouldn't be an FU to other guilds, they should boost your own. Otherwise it's an NPE. 

3. An ability that works for the entire turn and affects almost everything the opponent does - Butchers fight, so counter attacks happen. This card is ridiculous as it affects all counters! Worse it feeds into itself because as the opponent is drained if MOM, the Butcher player gets that bonkers first activation.

4. It fixes something Butcher players should mitigate with target selection and model choice. If the opponent is << away, get KD models or pick other targets.

It feels like this card encourages poor play - load up captain, crush enemy captain or high INF model, repeat until victorious. 

Why not offer a card that boosts the Butcher Football options in what is supposed to be a football game. 

God I hate this card so much. 

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@EpicChris you make some good points about nimble

We are all spitballing here how about something way off the wall? How about:

I'm Not Done With You

Once per turn when an enemy model leaves a friendly model's melee zone, you may remove up to 4 influence from that friendly model. For each influence removed in this way you may add +1  influence to your team's influence pool during the next maintenance phase. HR...2?

I really have no idea how to balance HR for Butchers. Apparently no one does if you read the forum :P. My thinking is it may let your opponent escape punishment right now but it just fuels a bashy team to swing that much harder next round. Up to 4 INF means you can't have someone push a model out of FIllet's melee who is sitting at 2HP in order to hold them hostage and have 17 INF the following round. Let you get more swings in with more models. Very versatile in wording but that is the intent.

This isn't really all that out of the realm of possibility either. Farmers get to set up extra INF for an upcoming turn and other GICs allow you to reallocate influence.

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Many people say that Butchers have to choose their targets very carefully, which is okay, only I feel most of the time that smart targeting is a prerequisite for staying in game, not a path to victory. So I'd gladly take a GIC that increases my chances of success if I make the right decisions. Like more dice on a critical roll. But apart from the butchery business, yes, any GIC that gives options (ball playing, for one) would be welcome.

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Mh, fighting is what they do. Not that I'm an expert on them, I just play them casually, but how about something that allows them to generate Momentum via Counterattacks? I know we shouldn't change the fundamentals, leave them untouched and everything, but that could be interesting.

Another idea I had was
Leading the attack HR 3

If the friendly Captain model charges an enemy model friendly models within 6" of the friendly captain may dodge 1" towards the friendly captain.


Or this
Into the thick of it HR 3

When a friendly model charges, it gains +2 TAC for the duration of the charge.

Maybe HR 2 in these? I don't know. Just spilling some brain garbage. :D 

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So I have to say the "select better targets" part of this conversation is fairly frustrating.  If for no other reason than the same logic can be applied to the original complaint.  If you are worried about a player with a stack of influence being taken out before you get to activate them then be careful with your allocation so that that player is not in some ones threat range.  As you can see that might be a valid argument, but a good player is going make sure you can't do that.  Its the same thing with choosing targets to attack a good opponent is going to try and force you into hitting some one with a good counter attack.

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Honestly I dont know why they even bothered with this one, because people were gonna just complain until they re do the traits again.

Solutions for better traits to replace crushing force:

...There's Blood in the air: Enemy models suffering the Bleeding condition can not perform Counter attacks. HR 2

Hounds of Hell: Enemy models that have the ball marker can not perform dodges. HR 3

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6 hours ago, EpicChris said:

God I hate this card so much. 

I made an account to say this, it seems like your taking this whole community a little too seriously. I ask this if you, do you even have a regular butchers opponent, or have you even played them, or does it just seem broken. I entirely agree with the poster above me, if you do not want one of your players to get deleted, the onus is on you to leave them out of fillets charge range. Regarding what you said about picking targets with bad counterattacts, I would have you consider this. The weight in a takeout is not the two points, but rather in the targeted removían of key threats to butchers long term game strategy, which is to extend the length of the game. For example, if you set up a scarecrow in the middle of the pitch with 15 health and +4/1 that every time you reduced its health to 0 you got two points and it was put down in the center again next turn, we would still loose to a 3:0 fish, engineer, alchemist or even hunter/mason team if they took soccer players. The speed at which the game is ended through takeouts is much slower than that of scoring, so takeouts need to carry more than just the weight of their points regarding the game state.

I am of the opinion that this card, or something similar to this (even if it Is only the first combat each turn), is not unfair or out of cannon for the butchers. Having played butchers since the fillet "madness" of season two I can assure you that players got around it by just staying out of her threat range and playing football around her perimeter. Having played them non stop through this season, I can tell you that counter attacks single handily invalidate this guild. Having to dirty knives a model so fillet can statistically maybe get the knockdown on the charge to negate a <<, >> or kd really isn't as fun and "sum of greater parts" as you might think. Like how a single model being by taken out with full influence can be impactful, and equal or greater amount of influence must be spent on said takedown. 

I played this card twice against my roommates engis this week, and it's really not as broken as it seems. Granted, there were times that I was able to first activation activate fillet and takeout a model that had some damage on it, but this didn't work to take out a model from full health as it requires the setup from boiler or meat hook, thus broadcasting my intentions. And when fillet activates first, we found the opponent gets an entire round to vacate her threat bubble if they believe that they are a possible target to be taken out on a first turn activation the following round. At times did this card feel strong, yes. Did it ever feel broken, no.

sorry for the long winded answer, but it seems like you have been taking this card almost personally and dictating the discourse on this post for the past 24 hours or so, and honestly having played this card, it feels like you haven't. I would ask that you play against this card and don't just theory craft, in which case I would love to have a dialogue about this card, the butchers role as a team that exists on the peripherals of the traditional rules that I truly believe creates a healthier and more diverse metagame and player experience. And if this card truly bugs you that much, you can literally always ask an opponent to not use it. When it comes down to it, this is not a rigid tournament game like Starcraft or magic, it's a tabletop game. all of the advantages this card offers the butchers could be entirely mitigated by an opponent being out of charge range by .5" and fudging the measurement and completing it. If it's the health of tournament play that your actively worried about, then think of it like esports. It is impossible to balance a game for casual/semi regular players and "professionals". It's just not going to happen. The difference is that professionals can adapt to metagames in the way that regulars cannot. There is a reason that last season 50% of tournament players brought masons or morticians, and that earlier this year it seemed that everyone was playing alchemists. I apologize that it was not hunters time to be the flavor of the season but regarding casual play, this card does little to "ruin the game".

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Frustrating. 

I'm not interested in what the next round of GID should be. I'm much more interested in how we leverage the cards we have, and your results and thoughts on using them.

I strongly agree that the initial set of cards weren't all that great. Extra VPs are boring compared to all cool effects present in the game.

Sure, I wanted team wide Anatomical Precision, but we got something else. Based on my recent games played I have some thoughts. 

Blood Thirst 

It is very strong in the first two turns. It's an easy choice to deal damage over other results early in a match, and the often light return damage suffered is easily offset by life drinker. This frees MP to be used to clear conditions or for crucial bonus time rolls.

I've only used it in the previous iteration, and I definitely felt the pressure late game with the low heal rate. At HR3 i feel it’s one of the safest choices, but a bit boring. I actually think it works better for the game at HR2.

Take it to 'Em

At HR3 it’s a pretty safe choice and it does something magical. It makes Shank viable!

A 1 INF charge means he can engage any target at max melee, draw a counter attack, momentously deal damage, and dodge out of engagement. He can buy a dodge to get back into engagement and attack again! I think that is pretty great, and brings back the very real threat that Shank could take out a player just returning to the pitch like in season 2.

Sure, there's Wingback... but you can't count on having it every game. 

I'm most excited to use this one. 4 attacks from Vet Ox is pretty exciting.

Crushing Force 

Probably the best GID for competitive play. I find it fairly easy to win initiative turn after turn with the Butchers, and with the threat of unanswered attacks from Fillet it's clear that this one is very powerful. 

The complexity this card implies is amazing. Your opponent will have to consider much more than just avoiding a single player now. If they counter attack Boiler and disengage, what risk are they putting themselves in against other un-activated players? How will they recoup the spent MP? Will the expenditure cost them the initiative? Healing? Clearing conditions? The HR2 is pretty rough, but this is a very powerful card. I think you should enjoy it while you can, lol.

I think the bigger questions aren't what's next, but which GID against which Guild?

I want to know how you've done with this set and what you think about them. Let's wish a little closer to the close of this round of testing. 

 

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Could also change Crushing Force to:
 

Carnage

Counter Attacks taken during this game cost +1 MP.

Applies to both teams.

 

The brutality of the Butchers makes the counters harder to perform and they must themselves restrain themselves enough to care :P

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My point about the frustration with this card is not to do with penalising Butchers. It's basically taking something that was introduced into S3 off the table. That is backward design. I think Butchers should have powerful stuff. I'm saying you shouldn't mess up the core rules to do so. Counter attacks for the first activation are there for a reason now - this very reason. To offer the option to stop a Butcher freight train so they have to pick the target or 'risk' (it's not automatic) the counter. Making counter attacks automatically unavailable is not a Butcher thing - it's just bad.

During the turn, being forced to pay extra MOM on a fundamental rule with no range limit seems a little overpowered - I mean Crucible makes you do it but within a restricted range you can control. There is no counter play to this card - Butcher hit you, you can hemorrhage momentum to stop it and give them both next initiative and the option to heal or spend it on bonus time etc because they will rush ahead in the race. Seems  a little too good and also a little one sided.

I feel GIC should boost teams sure and HR2 is a penalty. But this is telling your opponent 'no, you can't do that' - which is against the fundamental design philosophy of what SFG have said their game is about.

If it didn't work on the first activation (say you have spend MOM) it would still I think be too good but that might be testable. This isn't. There has to be some risk in the game for both sides for it to be interesting and fun.

[EDIT] To be clear my passion here is for the game not to punish Butchers. They should be in the game kicking faces. Just not like this. 

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Although Crushing Force does seem too good, I am wary of  the effects of a card being magnified and potentially blown out of proportion. In this case, I think the idea that 'You will automatically lose the next initiative roll because you've been forced to haemorrhage momentum' is a bit misleading, it only costs 2 momentum and this can potentially rob the butchers of 4+ momentum, so you could still be winning the trade off. Of course the first activation alpha strike is still a bit worrying though.

 

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49 minutes ago, EpicChris said:

My point about the frustration with this card is not to do with penalising Butchers. It's basically taking something that was introduced into S3 off the table. That is backward design. I think Butchers should have powerful stuff. I'm saying you shouldn't mess up the core rules to do so. Counter attacks for the first activation are there for a reason now - this very reason. To offer the option to stop a Butcher freight train so they have to pick the target or 'risk' (it's not automatic) the counter. Making counter attacks automatically unavailable is not a Butcher thing - it's just bad.

During the turn, being forced to pay extra MOM on a fundamental rule with no range limit seems a little overpowered - I mean Crucible makes you do it but within a restricted range you can control. There is no counter play to this card - Butcher hit you, you can hemorrhage momentum to stop it and give them both next initiative and the option to heal or spend it on bonus time etc because they will rush ahead in the race. Seems  a little too good and also a little one sided.

I feel GIC should boost teams sure and HR2 is a penalty. But this is telling your opponent 'no, you can't do that' - which is against the fundamental design philosophy of what SFG have said their game is about.

If it didn't work on the first activation (say you have spend MOM) it would still I think be too good but that might be testable. This isn't. There has to be some risk in the game for both sides for it to be interesting and fun.

[EDIT] To be clear my passion here is for the game not to punish Butchers. They should be in the game kicking faces. Just not like this. 

So lets keep with the theme but take a step to the side:

 

Crushing Force - HR 2

When a Friendly Guild model makes a Charge attack, they receive a -1 TN on the Attack roll.

It then does not affect the Defenders ability to make a Counter, but instead goes after the Defensive Stance of the Defender.

It does require the Butcher model to Charge, so force the Butcher player to spend Influence and be in a position to be able to charge.

It does boost the ability of the charging model to reach results that can help them keep in melee range.

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That's interesting for sure. I genuinely want nice things for Butchers. So that could be interesting. There are plenty of really interesting ideas in this thread. Any that don't outright deny opponent's doing things might be very interesting to explore.

So many good thoughts here! :)

 

[EDIT] Maybe I could use the word interesting a bit more...#idiot

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I think counter attacks probably should be the primary answer to Butchers killing your team. I don't think punishing them is a good way to go - instead I would rather give butchers more reward for picking targets that can't counter them effectively. Maybe give some benefit when hitting models that don't counterattack, or that can't? 

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