Apparently it has been four months since the other part of this article… SORRY. I got sidetracked by playing games with Avarisse and Greede, punching dudes with Fishermen legends, and painting up a Morticians team. I plan to start a new series of articles about learning Morticians, at some point.
But onto the second half of choosing a roster for Butchers!
Engineers are widely considered on of the hardest Butchers matchups, and for good reason. The main reason is their ability to KD and push from ranged, and if you do not have possession of the ball it can be extremely difficult to get to grips with them. Without momentum, you wont be able to generate any attacks, and have the ability to heal. Once you get into melee they are not overly tough to take out, but Compound can cause more problems on this front with Counter Charge. The key to beating them is being able to get to grips with them, so models that can potentially survive the KD shots, or advance after being KD.
Ideal Team: Ox, Princess, Brisket, Shank, Decimate, Gutter. Brisket with Charmed Male can sometimes avoid being Knocked Down, and is also a decently fast player. Her Dirty Knives play is crucial, because it will land some damage on an enemy model, and if a model is damaged then Shank can come in from way downtown, giving you those few crucial points of momentum you need to clear conditions and run hell for leather towards the Engineers. Decimate and Shank both have the ability to advance even if KD, with Where’d They Go and Second Wind, and even something as simple as engaging a model like Ballista can be enough, as losing a dice on Character Plays can be enough to force him to spend momentum to Bonus Time. Gutter is another way to create repositions and give your models an artificial speed increase.
Fish are potentially one of the hardest games for Butchers. A well played Fish team will take the ball and score in the first turn, probably win initiative and then score again on the second turn, and stop your entire force in its tracks. There is two things that you have in your favour – the ball is the first. You will always have possession after they score a goal, and that means you can use it to Pass and Move and bypass the Legendary/ Gut and String. The second is how fragile they are. Once you get to grips with them, they go down quickly. Taking a low DEF model into this game is asking for trouble, as it is on their high Playbook results they get their best plays and momentum generation. Greyscales with Unpredictable is incredibly hard to pin down, Siren and Kraken can Lure/ Harpoon players towards the team, and although this sounds innocuous, Jac has a very legitimate takeout strategy with Pushing off the board. High speed models are exceptionally handy, who can still get some value even under Caught in a Net.
Ideal Team: Ox, Princess, Brisket, Shank, Gutter, Avarisse and Greede. The majority of the Fishermen team is male, making Brisket a very tough prospect to get a tackle off, particularly if she is in cover. She generally does not want to go for shots unless it is to win the game, but potentially slotting an early goal to give you an extra influence, especially if it is before the fish have managed to score is handy. Shank and Gutter with their 2″ melee zones are crucial, as the majority of Fish players have that same 2″ zone, making Counter Attacks a very tough prospect to deal with. Finally, Avarisse and Greede are a great piece to allow you to go for a goal, and then potentially have an activation after that to try and retrieve the ball. They are a very good all round choice.
The Union can be an interesting team to try and build a strategy against, because they have a lot of different styles. You can face a strong melee team with Gutter, Decimate, Rage and Fangtooth, or you can play a scoring team with Mist, Minx, Gutter and Decimate. Blackheart is a cheeky fellow, trying to pin him down can be difficult, with Shadow Like and his proliferation of dodges, but on the whole, the defensive qualities of the team are not as high as elsewhere. Gutter in Union will outthreat any player, thanks to Blackheart’s Legendary, but it usually has a bigger impact if you use it for DEF. Blackheart himself is a great scorer, and can maneuver around the board with impunity, but Mist is the bigger goal threat, and keeping the ball away from both of them can be challenging. If Commanding Aura is up, Blackheart can do a decent amount of damage, but he really needs to be hitting a Crowded Out or KD model to be able to get a takeout, his best damage results being very high up. They are a very combined arms force that requires a lot of different considerations.
Ideal Team: Ox, Princess, Brisket, Gutter, Shank, Rage. With most players in the Union being Male, Brisket’s defensive capabilities cannot be understated, as well as her ability to score a quick goal on a counter. Rage is always a good damage dealing option and making Momentum generation easy, and the ubiquitous Shank and Gutter to get around the dodges, and drag players closer.
A Butcher off can be a difficult game, but often times it will come down to who has the ball, and who gets the jump first. A Butcher team on a momentum roll will be able to take out Ox, and reduce his efficacy, and without Ox the opposition will genuinely struggle to keep up with you in a momentum and damage game. I really feel like this game comes down to player skill, and control of the momentum race. O
Ideal Team: Ox, Princess, Brisket, Shank, Gutter, Avarisse and Greede. The biggest things here are: Unpredictable Movement on Brisket making her untouchable to Ox, and A&G netting you the 7th activation to potentially win Momentum.
Ideal Team List
Auto Include: Shank, Gutter, Brisket.
Strong Include: Decimate, Boiler, Rage, Avarisse and Greede.
Absolute Jokes of a Player: Tenderiser, Boar
My current 8 man team is Ox, Princess, Gutter, Shank, Rage, Brisket, Avarisse and Greede and Boiler. Decimate has dropped out of my top 8 for the simple reason that I dislike her model. 🙂 I rarely use Boiler these days, I prefer Brisket in that slot, Princess following her around and allowing her to be TAC6 will actually let her do a lot of damage without requiring as much setup as Boiler does. As an example vs a 3+/1 target, Brisket charging with Princess nearby with do a Momentous 2 damage twice and a double dodge. Boiler on a charge vs the same target will, with the dog engaging will do 7 damage, but that drops down to 4 if the dog is not engaging. Whilst Boiler also causes Bleed, it is Brisket’s defensive qualities that put her in the team over him, as well as her strong goal threat. As I have continued to play and develop my strategies and evolved my game, I have become more and more obsessed with Avarisse and Greede. That activation potential is incredible, and giving the final activation to Butcher’s, to allow them to generate more momentum or make the call to heal is exceptionally strong.
Since the first article has been written, a whole slew of new characters have become available for all the Guilds, including new captains! This has basically made the majority of this advice redundant, because a lot of the suggestions are regarding countering specific traits or plays. The way I have begun to approach the game is to really try and pick a team based on what strengths I want to focus on, and try to develop in game strategies to deal with problem situations. So currently my favourite team is Ox, Princess, Gutter, Shank, Brisket, Avarisse & Greede. Its a mix of good goal scoring, great damage potential and activation advantage. I change it up slightly vs a few different Guilds but I have used and had success with this team against pretty much everyone.
My next article will be a dissection of Fillet, before I began to discuss Morticians and the journey towards becoming a quality player of that guild.