As a Mortician player, I am continuously searching for combinations and trick plays that can score me early and aggressive kills, damage and/or Momentum points without sacrificing board position or players. Realistically you have to acknowledge the weaknesses of your Guild and not try to simply avoid them but rather seek to prepare for opponents trying to exploit them.
This is where Ghast comes in…
MOV: Ghast has a notably slow jog stat that is consistent with ‘big guy’ players, however his sprinting stat combined with his 2” melee zone, places him as a decent threat range player.
DEF:: an outstanding stat for a big guy that has lost a touch of its impressiveness with the new errata bringing other big players onto this level.
INF: Low influence contribution and mid-level influence cap makes Ghast a player who demands efficiency.
From my early experience and discussions – when coaches first look at Ghast they often place strong misconceptions upon him.
The most common misconception is that Ghast is a brutal damage dealer. While it is true that Ghast can put some solid damage out of his playbook, he is not a damage dealer in the way that Ox, Boar, Tapper or even Cossett can be. Influence 1/3 dictates that a damage dealing Ghast is not self-sufficient and MUST roll effectively to access the higher damage playbook results. When charging, Ghast is only attacking twice at TAC 10 and TAC 6 (without modifiers). Against DEF 4+ players, there is a good chance that Ghast will not be able to access his Unmasking character play and will likely be using the 2KD play option in column 3.
Playbook and Damage
Here is a closer look at the likely damage results against targets (without modifiers) using Ghasts playbook:
Expected results with 3 influence attacks:
Expected results of a charge:
So looking at these tables we can see that the expected damage of Ghast is not as bruising as often initially thought and can be a heavy influence investment that is not always necessary.
Efficiency is exactly where Ghast’s strengths lie and what makes him my favourite player in the team.
Playing with Ghast
Early Activation: Ghast is a perfect character to activate early in your turn. If it is turn one and you are the kicking team – Ghast is a fantastic option to get him 4” further up the board and prepare for an early activation. Ghast can be thrown upfield and hold the line with his fantastic Def 3+ Arm1 stat line.
Once lines have collided, Ghast is a fantastic first activation option due to his fantastic playbook and easy access to knockdown. One of my favourite plans with Ghast is to allocate him 2 influence and move within MAX melee range and knock 2 players down before the opponent has momentum. This leaves the opponent with a conundrum if they do not have 2” melee zone of their own and can dictate how your opponent plays out their turn. Combined with Silence, Morticians can be a nightmare for opponent’s plans. This also generates early momentum for the Mortician player.
Counterattacking: With this early momentum generated and Ghasts position on the field, he is often a primary target for attacks allowing you to spend that momentum to counter attack and threaten a KD
Deflating Resources: This is my favourite asset that Ghast brings and is presented in his Character Traits that are always active!
Rising Anger is amazing at providing Mortician players with an early advantage on MP and allow access for early heals and condition removal which Morticians particularly dislike.
Fear essentially strips an influence away from the opponent and combined with the Mortician’s excellent INF pools can bring a strong advantage.
This is a typical deployment for me when kicking off with Ghast. The range displayed is the potential threat range of Ghast after the kick. This allows him to have an aggressive opening and get Ghast into a position where the opponent simply can not ignore him.
A similar play can be adapted when receiving a kick off but still wanting Ghast to be leading the aggression and something I have been exploring recently. Obulus’ puppet mastering Ghast can seem like a waste to some players who have seen puppet master achieve extra ordinary things and typically want Obulus to activate mid-late in the turn to threaten legendary and puppet master plays. While these are all true, having Ghast out of position can often be more game changing and something detrimental to Mortician players. So a puppet master on Ghast to give him a 4’ jog can be very effective early in the game and can open up options for a player going second.
In this image I have outlined an ideal situation for Ghast to maximise his impact on the other team with minimal influence and early in the turn. Utilising reach Ghast is engaging 2 players and has attacked them both spending 2 influence. On 2 playbook results he knocks them down, on 3 he does 2 damage and knocks them down.
The situation here presents a real problem for opposition teams early in a turn and dictates how they can activate. This is especially effective when the opposition models do not have 2” melee and require MP to stand and retaliate against Ghast – which is typically scare early in the turn. From here Ghast is in a position shielded from some charges by the knocked down players and presenting a huge conundrum for the opposition who risk losing an influence and giving the Mortician player 2 MP by attacking and damaging Ghast.
I have also included another potential play that can follow up Ghast and help his cause even further and that is by utilising Caskets ‘Ghostly Visage’ play to make charging Ghast an even more difficult prospect and costs only 1 influence on a Casket who may not be utilising Casket Time this turn (an up coming depth article on Casket will explore this further).
Ultimately, Ghast brings a plethora of headaches for opposition coaches fearful to attack him for the loss of resources whilst providing easy options for Mortician coaches as an early activation with excellent access to knockdown options and maintaining strong field real estate to allow Obulus and the team to pick and choose fights and manipulate the board! For all of these reasons – Ghast is my favourite player in the game.