Explosive Brew….. Season 4 Brewers: What else could go wrong for Stave?

    

Just like that Season 3 has come to an end, a season which felt much longer then the rest but oddly now that’s it over seems like just yesterday it started. During that time Brewers saw quite a ride from a bottom tier “funsy” guild to a top tier hyper competitive one. We saw the Cat Missle, the why play Esters to why would you play anyone but Esters, and the introduction of Nerficimate which brought the rise of dog and fall of cat. Through it all we cried, we laughed, and we drank! Enough reminiscing, time to look at what is new for Brewers and take the knee jerk good, bad and meh reactions. Steamforge is doubling down on its goal of simplifying cards and making guilds have specific playstyles that strengthen one role but weakens another. For example, Brewers have now become more so the rough and tumble brawlers you expected them to be with 5 models receiving extra defensive capabilities in some form and easier access to pushes and knockdowns.


So, lets start from the top with captains we all saw the new Esters change, and have had time to digest her, so I wont be touching much on her. My basic thoughts are she lost some value into control matchups and personal output but gained some more soccer play and four momentum a turn, more a side grade then a true buff or nerf. Tapper has gone full circle from Hero to Zero and now Zero to Hero just like that. A quick look on the front Tapper has his base MOV increase to 5 from 4, his generated INF lowered to 3 from 4, his allocation influence now a static 6, a revamped playbook, and finally the loss of Marked Target for Stand Firm. On his playbook the momentous KD results is now on ONE, a momentous double push on 3, and finally a new fresh result for season 4; a Triple push on 5 net hits. At the time of writing its unclear how this new result will be impacted rules wise. Is it just a straight 3 inch push, is it two separate pushes that can be multidirectional, does this result get around stoic? By the time this article is posted hopefully that question will be answered and we will know. Stand firm looks great on a model that wants to get in put down a hurting and stick around so the rest of the guild can benefit from Commanding Aura. Stand Firm is a fair trade for the loss of the new buffed marked target and while both have pros and cons I like the synergy of Stand Firm on a resilience model more then the extra threat. Let’s talk playbook, Steamforged took his already ok playbook kicked all the awkwardness aside and fine tuned him into a no result is a disappointment monster. While his INF generated has gone down one, factoring for Old Jakes, his momentum per influence has gone up significantly as there is no more awkward wrap to the second column on an already knocked down model. I think Tapper will be a force in Season 4, and models like PintPot will almost be an auto include with him, that have low influence investments for high output.

 

 

Mascots see a general overhaul in Season 4 with a lot losing character plays for some kind of passive ability. Scum sees this in trading hamstring for the passive ability feral. I like the Vanvalue of 1 momentum for 0 influence but I’m not sure it is more value then a free +1 TAC, in a guild of short playbooks. Lets talk about the rising star towards the end of Season 3, Quaff. His role in the guild got cemented with the addition of Vet Decimate and the power of stacking buffs onto this one model. He hasn’t “really” changed in Season 4 though. Sure we get a new name for Bag of Quaffers, Pick me Up, assumedly for confusion reasons but yet makes me think he gained Tag along and am now more confused, and Second Wind has been changed to a 4” dodge. I like the trade of losing an 8 inch walk for a 4″ dodge and gain one momentum. We will see if our new rookie bumps the value of Scum but this guild is still a dog only club for me.

 

 Whether you were a Brewer player or not, you most likely wanted to see how this former exile turned out. Decimate got tuned down in several ways, she lost an inch of threat whether walking or charging, decreased to 5 TAC, no longer knocks down on three hits but instead staggers, and finally sees an indirect nerf in no longer being able to receive double damage buff. While all aspects of her were nerfed she is still a very powerful squaddie. Anatomical precision is a very good ability in brewers and while she lost that brewer playbook Quaff still has her back. Players will just have to adjust their send Decimate into model delete model strategy a little bit. A 10 dice charge still hits that sweet kd/stagger 6/10 times against a 4/1 statline or coinflips without the extra TC. Don’t expect to see any less of Decimate in Season 4.

Mash joins the ranks of an attacking midfielder now, and receives a big overhaul. Like his rookie model we see his playbook slimmed down for some straightforward results. He gains a very  nice tackle push result on two hits, a parting blow KD result on three hits, and momentous 3 damage on 4 when things get spicy. While Season 4 has given Brewers more access to pushes this model actually loses some of his push value from not having a momentous push on one and a non momentous double push on two anymore. The KD on three is a godsend for preventing players from just walking away from Mash and Howzat is still as great as ever. The back of his card is where you really see the changes. Gone are his twinkle toes and dodge away days, Mash is now Mosh because he just wants to get into that scrum and try to love someone. Another Guild Ball first we see a model with BOTH resilience and tough hide! All for the bargain trade of two hitboxes, no longer do we have to send Mash home with the ball he too can join in on the fun. The heroic is a thematic one, while I wish it gained the no interception part also, and really fits with his tackle push result into heroic pass ball. This guy is another one Steamforged just nailed and can’t wait to actually play him as he was often my 11th Brewer in Season 3. Following the theme of buffs Hooper receives quite a bit of love also. His walk threat increases an inch, but more importantly his column 4 is now momentous 3 damage!

Hooper not wanting to be outdone by Mash.

That’s right Hooper gets a momentous 4 damage on column 5 now and if you ever doubted him shoving the boot in, he’d like to talk to you about a casual 7 to 9 damage an influence. Steamforged had to give somewhere though so they trimmed off one hitbox for all the goodies he received, someone hire this negotiator for Brewer buffs because he/she is on fire!

Speaking of fire lets move onto the defensive midfielders for the guild, and kick things off with Stoker. He joins the 5″ club into average walking threat and gets his momentous KD shifted down to column 2. If this guy already wasn’t a monster threat in counter attacking he sure is now. Burning Passion no longer buffs his character plays, which is a pretty meh nerf, but Ester’s losing Fire Blast is a more direct downgrade of this ability as of now Stoker is the only enabler of his Burning Passion. Also he finally figured out how to light himself on fire without taking damage, which is a nice quality of life change as I have more times then not forgotten to mark the damage after using his heroic. If one model has been a steadfast into Brewer lineups it has to be OG Spigot, a true football legend  he has withstood that test of time and proven to be invaluable with the plethora of options he presents. Like Mash he received changes to reflect how his model looks. It was quite confusing how a guy holding a broken bottle tried to stay out of the fight for the majority of the game. Teaching Tapper everything he knows Spigot swaps his previous momentous tackle on one for KD, because you don’t need to tackle the ball if your opponent can’t hold it either. Steamforged answers the question which came first the chicken or the egg and swaps football legend for Tough hide. Surprisingly enough he keeps Time called, which in a guild capable of free heroics is insane value. The kick off threat that an Esters lead team can project now is pretty scary. I love the durability added to Spigot so he can add to gang ups without total fear of being deleted and the explosiveness he can create especially if you get Shove the Boot in.

With Mash leaving the ranks of striker we are now left with two in the guild. You don’t see Friday up here because well she hasn’t changed at all, which is fine because she is pretty damn good. Vet Spigot shows what he is about and that’s tackling the ball with a momentous tackle result on every column but 2. Tackle plus other result options were very strong in Season 3, and this guy is packing two on his book. He is a natural 4 defense now, and while down a dice on his kick stat he net gains an inch with aura for a redonkulous kick stat of 4/9″. Combine him with Aria and we are talking 3/4 of a Balista legendary every turn here. Brewer’s have always had issues with getting the ball back and this guy just provides a new tool in the belt with the potential to threaten 13″ to tackle the ball away. For the first time you are going to have to decide which Spigot to play, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

PintPot and Lucky round up the center fielders. The former has been one of if not my favorite Brewer for Season 3. He is the swiss army knife in my line up, being able to concussion low defense models or smash face into 10-12 hit box models to take out next round. Not a huge change in playbook we see his damage dodge results removed and his KD result slide down to three hits. The big money change is Rowdy, now removing the draw back of not receiving gang ups makes his concussion plan a lot more viable into the 4 defense territory. Being able to generate a potential 6 extra momentum over the course of two turns is huge for fighting teams and cementing initiative for the next turn. This plays right into a tempo Tapper lineup. If you skipped out on PintPot during Season 3 you do not want to make that mistake in Season 4. Lucky received a lot of quality of life changes for season 4. They tidied up the front changing raise the stakes to an active trait and making his passive condition clear a 1 influence play that now removes ALL conditions on a single model. This is a big change and nullifies half the reason you brought union Hemlocke in your line up for non momentum condition clearing. A Vet Spigot kickoff with Esters and Lucky in the line up puts immense pressure on your opponent to not have the ball stolen and give up an easy 4 points. The last small change is influence can no longer go over your stat line so he got bumped to a 4 influence allocation model. Lucky has always been a solid Brewer and the increase to 12 man rosters definitely helped him cement a spot on that roster.

Finally we come to the one and only Stave. For many Stave has been that model you play once or twice from Kick Off before he gets sent to his forever home, the bench. The King of Casuals, my brother has fallen victim a few times to the old Stave kick off into lob barrel your guy off the pitch, but once any coach gets a few games under his belt Stave becomes a giant liability. Season 4 gave a plethora of buffs to Stave, he got a better playbook, he gained battering ram to help speed his team up or play that positioning game, under Esters he can Lob Barrels with 0 influence invested, and gained 1 armor for a respectable 2/1 stat line. The downside is his Lob Barrels only push 2″ now. The problem with this is that puts models who got gifted a keg only 9″ away from 11.5 inches. At 9″ most 2″ models threat this and even most guilds’ 1″ models can threat 9″. I would gladly trade the one armor back for the extra 2 inches of push from the barrel. Battering ram looks good and combined with Time’s Called can create some extra threat Brewers didn’t utilize before.  Though the harsh reality is even with all the buffs received compared to the rest of the guild Stave has gone from 14th best Brewer to 13th and maybe at times 12th best. Where as you see a model like Vet Spigot go from that 12th/13th best Brewer to 7th- 9th best. So regardless of all the buffs given to Stave he is still going be hanging out on the bench, although admittedly this time a little more shiny doing it.

Whether you are an old Brewer or a new one, these Season 4 changes should get you excited about what is in store for them.

 

 

Mike White

Hello, I'm currently the other half of Counter Charge where I primarily play Cryx. I've recently been diving more into Guildball with Brewers and been writing about them on Explosive Brew. I've also just dipped my toes into 40k with Astra Militarium.

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