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malladin.ben

Butchers in the current meta? (note the question mark!)

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So I played a game last night vs @Gauntlet's vRage team and, as usual lost. Quite badly really (12-4, and 2 of those were because he took out his own Hemlocke because he couldn't get her out of scything blow range). Now Henry is arguably up there as one of the best players in the world and IMO could have mixed things up quite a bit if he'd been able to go to worlds last year, so a casual scummer like me shouldn't expect to win against him, so I don't want to let that colour my overall judgement too much, but I couldn't help but feeling that vRage's union team just does the beatdown/takeout game better than butchers.

There was also the general anticlimax that was the vet Gutter reveal yesterday (personal opinion=solid but dull). Watching the video (no spoilers as to the result) it was stated that Bryce who was championing butchers on the stream wasn't that familiar with them. Is this at the core of the problem that the design team doesn't really have a butchers player championing them and pushing for their design - Ratcatchers, Hunters and Morts seem to be Jamie's favourites, Fish, Masons and Farmers have Bryce, Alex seems to like Blacksmiths and Alchemists (and maybe union), and Steve (who I don't know) seems to play engineers, morts and brewers... no one seems to have the butcher's back (I'm probably reading more into this, and I suspect Alex is much more tied up with Godtear, anyway).

Then in counter to all that, @Slothrop won a 4-rounder at adepticon with Butchers yesterday.

So I just don't know what I should think about butchers currently.

One thought that has occurred to me yesterday is that the butchers main design space of "explosive damage output" naturally pushes up against things that can lead to NPEs, and things have to be careful not to be over-tuned or butchers just ruin everyone's day. Specifically, I mean that the ability to pick any model and just take it out before it can spend it's big stack of INF, means that the opponent has suddenly lost a massive chunk what they can do in the turn and will naturally have a negative experience as a result. This thought was spawned by discussion around the loss of scything blow - in my game last night, Henry managed to take out 3 players in 1 turn through a nice scything blow set up on Boar. Scything Blow in butchers has been something that has been specifically stated as something that shouldn't exist, and I would suggest that this is evidence of the fear of over-tuning the butchers. 

So, what I really want to ask is:

1. Are Butchers sub-par as a fighting team now? And if so does that mean we should play them differently?

2. Are butchers generally sub-par in the meta? If so what do they need to compete? If not, what are the tricks to playing them successfully, competitively?

3. Is there an inherent problem in the design of butchers, and/or are the design team over-reacting to this in their solid-but-dull design of vet Gutter?

Anyway, I'm not trying to be salty or negative here - I genuinely don't know what to think about them at the moment, so I thought I'd canvas some opinions.

Ben

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I've always gotten thoroughly hammered by Butchers teams, to the point I'll flat out refuse to play against them. Seems they can do everything - score goals, defend against goals, beat people up, throw out conditions, farm mom for fun. Now that's my back story out of the way, to the actual comment... 

Vet Gutter has actually made me want to start playing them. Perhaps it's just the fantastic model, or maybe it's in a contrary way because everyone has said she's just OK, same as most people feel about my leading scorer across all Guilds, Bonesaw!

Most likely it's a If You Can't Beat Them Join Them frame of mind ha haa

 

 

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I think they are a well balanced solid middle of the pack team. I myself have been winning some tournaments with them lately too and having a lot of fun. And there are some more good players having good results with them including Alex. But a good player can have good results with any team in guild ball. 

I think there is a bit of a misconception of butchers and their game plan. They are a seen as a straight forward and no nonsense beater team - A basic gameplan of "kill your dudes". However, fighting in guild ball is not basic. There are a lot that goes in to fighting, such as choosing the right target, choosing the right time, doing enough set up, allocating correctly and handling counter attacks on top of handling the ball/victory points tempo/momentum tempo/healing. 

A lot of these things can be mitigated by having different kinds of rules, like glut mass, counter charges, tough hide, 2" melee (or 3"), low kds, good <</>> counter attacks, ranged plays, control effects and so on, which butchers does not have a lot of. They are also quite weak health wise. 

What I mean to say is that Basic/Straightforward does not equate to Easy, but I see that sentiment a lot (more so with new players ofc, "They are so basic, just kills all my stuff, unfair"). 

As for the meta I think they are pretty decent overall really, after the Thresher nerf anyway, but I don't really feel they have any "auto" wins or "auto" losses  (which is of course like it should be)

Edit: Also, I really like vGutter. She is just a heap of good stats, while not flashy, is something that butchers wants..

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I'm at the con right now so can't type too much on my phone, but I appreciate the shout-out. FWIW I agree with everything that Niclas @Warpstoned said. I still don't think Butchers are top of the pile by any means, but they're not nearly so bad that you can't win with them. I think they reward good understanding of fighting in GB, particularly the knowledge of what specific kills will stop you from getting killed immediately afterwards. 

About the idea of Butchers as the prime fighting team, I think most of my Fillet wins have 2 goals and all of them have at least 1. It's not so much because Fillet or her team are god-tier strikers (they're good but not great) so much as I think a good Fillet gameplan involves splitting opponents' models across the map and forcing them to chase Fillet into the back field, where she and her team often end up getting opportunistic goals. Fillet's 5+/0 defenses with Swift Stance available is also a huge deal for the team and players often misallocate attacks trying to kill Fillet inefficiently.

I think Butchers' biggest weakness is kicking off versus control-y teams like Alchemists or Engineers. Not unwinnable but damnably hard for sure. I'm still learning with the team so I don't have a great answer atm.

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1. They are not exactly sub-par as a fighting team, but they sort of lack reliable mechanics. Too much critical rolls with modest, more-likely-than-not odds, which  make butchers extremely vulnerable to above average rolls. And most opponents have the tools to punish those mishaps immediately.

2. I feel them sub-par in the actual meta, only because they don't have the reliable and effective "signature techs" that most factions have. I'm not talking about scorched earth abilities, just techs like securing an alpha strike, grab the ball and score whenever your opponent fails a greedy pass etc.

3. My theory is that the owner aura + the legendary of Ox are the main reason of this restrictive design. (And ironically Fillet also have to field the same team that is purposefully restricted because of Ox. Hell, even Ox himself is restrained because Ox.)

That said, I like playing butchers, but sometimes I get a little upset when I see how smoothly others run their own thing. The good news is that GB is a very good system, so being sub-par here means that you still have some room. The best players will make your butchers eat dirt, because they are the best players, and the faction-defined 45-55 chance in their favour is an enormous handicap vs them. However, 45-55 also means that you always have game vs opponents in your own league, and reliably can beat weaker players.

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On 3/23/2018 at 4:23 PM, angyi said:

1. They are not exactly sub-par as a fighting team, but they sort of lack reliable mechanics. Too much critical rolls with modest, more-likely-than-not odds, which  make butchers extremely vulnerable to above average rolls. And most opponents have the tools to punish those mishaps immediately.

 

Your whole post is well thought out and I agree, but I want to highlight this point. Butcher have a pretty simple game, "fight well and roll well." They don't have tricks or built in tactics. I didn't really see this until I started playing Engineers. I feel like the Butcher's could use an extra pass design wise. If it means "The Owner" has to become a heroic or something, so be it. 

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On 3/27/2018 at 3:11 AM, foolwiththefez said:

Your whole post is well thought out and I agree, but I want to highlight this point. Butcher have a pretty simple game, "fight well and roll well." They don't have tricks or built in tactics. I didn't really see this until I started playing Engineers. I feel like the Butcher's could use an extra pass design wise. If it means "The Owner" has to become a heroic or something, so be it. 

I actually think the Owner should be changed. In a way I think it is holding the guild and design opportunities, within the guild back.

All models have to be designed with the damage buff taken from Ox into account, as well as being able to be used with Fillet.

My suggestion, in case of cap Ox, is to change the owner to give out +1 Tac instead.

Also, to change his playbbok around and make Butchery momentus (and even make that playbook pick mom 1 dam+butchery), and earlier in the playbook.
I would also remove Tough skin and add a new charcter play. Gave a suggestion on Twitter:

--------------
"Show them how it's done"

Cost: :momGB: / Range: P / Zone: 3" Aura / Sust: Yes / OPT: Yes

Target models suffers 1 damage.

A friendly non-Captain model performing an attack while being in the Aura, gains +1 Tac for the remainder of the attack.

-------------

 

 

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@Balefirestorm what you are suggesting would only make Ox unplayable. Right now i am on the fence who is the best cap in Butchers (i play them exclusively), but both are designed with different pros and cons in mind. They are the opposite poles of the Butcher indentity for me. Fillet is fast and precise, Ox is the brawler.

If you take Ox's aura away and give additional +1 TAC then he is garbage and I leave him out of 10 Tourney always. Problem with Butcher output isn't TAC, we have plenty (apart from Gutter :P) but if i go charge a +4/1 model or a +5/0 model and get defensive stanced (as i should) +1 tac does nothing, while +1 DMG does everything, literally.

I'd just switch The Owner to be a Heroic or Character Play if it has to be changed at all and I don't think it needs to be. 

In my mind SFG are somewhat afraid to do Butchers good with memories from S2 when we were unpleasant to play against (or with for that matter). I also think that S4 will se that mindset changed seeing as we are nowhere near top guild now. 

Also damn You @Slothrop for playing Butchers good, You are destroying the buff we all were working for this season :P

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