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S4 Chisel (oChisel) lacking flavour and value?

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Hi, guys.

Something that's been bothering me when I'm looking at my team composition for the Masons is Chisel. You know when you first lay eyes on a model or piece of character art, and fall in love with it? Well, Chisel's on that list for me. When I first came across the model, with its weird, relaxed, somewhat menacing pose, I like it. When I checked the artwork and character card out on the Wiki, I loved it. The weird, quirky, violent, angsty, sadistic, adult-themed traits and plays were refreshingly interesting for a more mundane person (not a vampire, not a wild orc, not some demon cultist - just a slightly psycho young lady).

But flash forward to Season 4, and she's a bit like an old piece of chewing gum that's lost its flavour. It looks the same, but has no flavour. No more Crazy, Sadism, or Painful Rage to make for tough decisions (both using her, and playing against her). Now her traits and plays are: You get a bit of damage as a freebie, you can make your opponent lose a bit of influence, and if you manage to Take Out an opponent you get a bit of armour. Now she's old chewing gum, if you ask me.

Three issues I have with this:

1. Unless I'm missing something, Intensity is really just 'Use Iron Fist for free each turn' and is a complete no-brainer to be used every activation. Maybe there is some punishment ability I can't think of or find that can trigger when Chisel uses her Iron Fist play for free, but if not then her (1) (2) (><) (3) (4) bottom row could just be switched for (2) (3) (><) (4) (5), and Intensity and Iron Fist could be purged entirely to achieve the exact same purpose. (If I'm missing something here, please let me know, as I haven't digested the game's nuances entirely yet).

2. Poor old Chisel has lost all her flavour. She went from being a modest Attack damage-dealer with significant conditional extra damage potential from traits and plays, to more of pure Attack damage dealer with her +2 TAC and Iron Fist.

3. Poor old Chisel has also lost most of her depth and nuance. She was one of the few Masons characters with some atypical, Morticians-esque punishment abilities, and now she's probably equally good, but less Black Widow with angst and depth, and more 'Hulk SMASH!'

 

With the following in mind, please bring on any discussion, and feel free to tell me where and how you disagree or think I'm wrong.

I've got my own perspective on this. From the get-go I liked the fact that Guild Ball is a bit of a  politically incorrect, adult game, in stark contrast to most tabletop miniature games (and they use proper English spelling, to boot!), and that it was a deliberately more complex, deep, nuanced game than, say, that BBoldemort game. So, despite the fact that watering some of that down to appeal to a wider market may ultimately broaden its appeal, I'm personally quite resistant to losing the essence that made it what it was in the first place, so I'm resistant to things like Chisel being de-flavoured in the process. A significant change like Seenah's playbook/traits changes to S4 are clearly a tweaking and re-balancing effort, with no loss of flavour (just a small change of flavour). So it's not change, per se, that I grumble about, but changes where something is lost without being replaced with something as good.

 

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Listen to the Singled Out podcast where Bryce discusses the Season 4 Masons. There are reasons for those changes that ultimately are for the best.

In my opinion they made the right choices based on what Bryce said and I prefer this version of Chisel. 

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I get the complaint partially. Right now, oChisel is just another beater. It would have been nice to show off her recklessness, if they did not want Crazyness to be associated with hurting yourself (which is understandable imo).

Like, if she had an ability that gave her +1 to dmg results and + Tac, but also inflicted +1 to dmg results against her, or reduced her armor, something like this would have kept the flavour of that aggressive girl that goes in without concern for herself. 

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On 11/19/2018 at 2:55 AM, Redtiger7 said:

Intensity costs momentum.

Please allow me to quote myself: "Unless I'm missing something." That would be a big yep! I guess since I was used to Chisel not having a Heroic Play, and since the Masons are very light on Heroic Plays (Chisel and Tower are the only two Masons with one), I had a 'moment' and just didn't think about it. My bad.

21 hours ago, Mergar said:

I get the complaint partially.

It sounds like you get the complaint completely. Right now she is "just another beater" and there's no reason to strip her pretty much entirely of her flavour. Strip some of it, sure, but I think they went way too far. Out of Sadism, Feel My Pain, Crazy, and Painful Rage, only one ability had anything reasonably objectionable about it, and that was Crazy. An alternative, off the top of my head, that could capture a similar concept could be:

Reckless Rage

Once per turn during its activation, this model may suffer -1 DEF to gain +3 TAC for the remainder of the turn.

Though losing some flavour just to streamline her a bit seems fine, so dumping Crazy altogether isn't the end of the world. But keeping the trade-off abilities like Sadism and Feel My Pain, or at least some iteration or variant, would have been much nicer than turning her into 'Hulk SMASH!'

On 11/18/2018 at 7:54 PM, Scapegoat_Stephen said:

There are reasons for those changes that ultimately are for the best.

In your opinion. :) I did listen to most of it (I skipped about a bit to bypass characters of less interest or concern). I think I get it, but I also still don't really agree with the reasoning entirely, or like it. When Bryce says, ""I think now what Chisel wants to do is very, very simple, and that is kill things...There's very little text on this card, right? Like, she's really cool in regards to how little text there is on the card, and how big an impact she can have on the game," I think that sums it up. She's now a more one-dimensional killing machine that has a big impact, but at a cost I don't want to pay, but clearly you are happy to pay.

Simplifying chess down to draughts (a.k.a., checkers) is understandable. But to me if feels like they took it closer to noughts and crosses (a.k.a., tic-tac-toe). :)

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For me she's got plenty of value now. 
She does ball retrieval and damage better than she did before, and the +2 ARM after a takeout is gold.

And as I'm not that interested in the fluff and stuff like that I'm very happy with S4 oChisel.

 

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While I do miss some of the flavor of the old oChisel, the changes for S4 are for the better for game design and rules clarity, so in my opinion it's a good change.

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She is simpler, but SFG themselves admitted they messed up with the original release of Chisel - her rules got designed before the designers had seen her story, which was completely different from the S&M monster she was. The original intent was more innocent and footbally. S3 the story got tweaked a little to make the rules fit, then S4 it looks like they went for an in-the-middle redo. I want to play her, but I think vChisel works better with Hammer, and I love Hammer...

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Chisel is my favorite model, and I felt the same when I saw her changes. 'She lost everything that made her unique and interesting to play,' I thought to myself. Remembering the good ol' times though, I decided to put her on the pitch and give her another go. She did great. After the game(I won on my last activation, last swing with Mallet, score 11-10 with 2 of my players on fire and poisoned with 1 health and vKatalyst on 5 health. Barely made it.) I completely understand the changes, she's still great, but admittely a lot more bland and her strategy lacks a bit of depth it used to have. I guess in conclusion, I will always have a place in my heart for the original oChisel, but the new oChisel isn't so bad. 

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So there are three odd points here.

1. Rules wise/power level, I agree with above that Ochisel tends to be played with Honour as the superior strategy target, but Vet chisel works super well with the Hammer Prison. I think this is an amazing place to be, and I think a great thing that we are using both versions of a character competitively. I never saw the old chisel played ever and the new one is, so I think that's a net improvement. The fact it's done without killing off her vet version is a bonus.

2. At the playtest event and the release podcast they made the point that they disliked how they were depicting mental health, specifically taking into account the fact that the only 'crazy' characters were women. Whilst, I wouldn't have boycotted steamforge because of it, I applaud them for actively saying its something they want to take into account. As someone who spends their day job working with people suffering from mental health, I don't think glamortising self harm is necessarily the best thing in the world. Also, considering the gaming population is predominantly male, having a bunch of men get together and collectively create a stereo-type of crazy women isn't hugely great either.

3. I also disagree that she lacks flavor, and this is purely because her 'iron fist' play has the same name as Hammer's. It sounds like such a small thing, but when I playtested her and then subsequently played her, she feels like the protege of Hammer which she is. Also considering that OChisel is a 3/1 like Hammer and Vchisel is a 3/2 like Honour, who Vchisel emulates after she became disillusioned with Hammer. Some of her flavor comes from her being a rookie and it definately comes across as such. Atleast to me. 

No points above are meant to be aggresive or targetting anyone's perspective. I have strong views on some of them, no offence meant. 

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4 hours ago, Pentagon said:

So there are three odd points here.

...

No points above are meant to be aggresive or targetting anyone's perspective. I have strong views on some of them, no offence meant. 

I just have to call out that this was a great post.  Very well thought out and respectful.  Kudos!

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