Guildball Season 3’s new guys

The new book is out and with it came only a few surprises at this point.  The Farmers, and the new Union pair.  For the most part, the other releases have been out, and tested, and opinions are already out there.  I’m a long ways from being qualified to tell you how good they are, and aren’t.  I can give you some impressions if you haven’t seen them, but consider this more of a news outlet than the actual no-kidding way to play the game.  There’s some great podcasts out there for that.  Strictly the Worst is helmed by two highly competitive players and Pat, who’s there for the human connection.  Singled Out and Double Dodged are both Australians with good, confusing hearts and are halfway decent at the game, but both really just play second and third fiddle to Trent Denison, the real skill on the continent.  Those are the guys you want to tell you how to play the game.

There’s two things I’m not going to cover here.  A) The new Farmers.  Those guys need an article of their own.  B) The new Hunters.  Also need an article of their own, but it won’t be as exciting as any other article ever.

So, Alchemists.  Alchemists got Crucible.

  She’s got all the same condition damage we’re used to seeing with the Alchemists, except she can do both burning and poison.  The difference is that she wants to do it in melee, and not at range, and she doesn’t put down AOEs like Calculus and Mercury want to.  That makes her a questionable choice for Smoke, but the real kicker is just figuring out how to play her in melee.

Brewers got Pintpot.

  I’ve gotten to play Pintpot, and he’s fantastic.  He fires away into any group he wants to, and he acts like has 5 INF to do it. He likes Tooled Up, he likes Commanding Aura, he likes all those things and he excels with them.  Pintpot isn’t afraid of a scrum, at all, and is nice to kind of have around to fire into the enemy’s group of dudes while the rest of your Brewers try to build their own proper scrum.  Pintpot’s just a heat seeking missile out there somewhere.  It’s great if he can get Commanding Aura, or maybe an extra TAC from Quaff.  He’s good with, without it.  2” melee on him would be broken, but it’s the only thing missing.

  In comparison, we have Veteran Ox, or Ox2.  Ox2 wants to be like Pintpot, he wants to do the same things, but with the 2” melee we all crave.  The problem is that he doesn’t have a psuedo 5INF pool like Pintpot can, and in fact, he caps at 3.  This is supposed to be covered by the cheaper charge, but if he’s already stuck in, it’s not a lot of consolation.  He also thinks that he can fight the world simultaneously like Pintpot can, but he has to “Get Stuck In” to do it, which probably wastes one of his three precious INF to do, and if he’s in the scrum he wants to be in, he’s crowded out so it’s a good thing “Get Stuck In” is on column 1.  He has good damage, good momentum, and great DEF for a 2” melee guy on a 40mm base, but it’s almost like the “Get Stuck In” aspect should be ignored.  Just let him kill things normally.  I have played against him, but not played him personally, and between playing against him, and the reviews I’m getting from the players that have him, they’d rather have Pintpot.  Every time.

  Locus is one of those players that’s going to get played no matter what, simply because his sculpt is amazing.  Play wise, I haven’t seen him yet, or played him.  DEF3/2 w/ reanimate and stoic is great, and a 4/6” kick is always fantastic.  His playbook is solid as momentum and pushing goes, but he isn’t killing anyone.  He has some interesting character plays, but overall seems like a tank that can kick a ball.  He’s a tougher statline than Colossus but Colossus has more boxes.  Overall though, I’d personally rather see this guy than Hoist, but that’s about all I have to say about him.

  The Hag, I have seen.  She became an auto include in several lists.  She’s a 2INF farm that can change the state of the game with no INF investment whatsoever.  She usually does little more than dodge models around the board, but 2” extra on already fast Fishermen is nuts.  She’s got 2” Melee and fear, so she takes commitment to kill, but once engaged and going, she goes down pretty easy.  However, the legendary and the talisman mean that whoever you fear the most is going places, or dodging out of melee with you.  She’s hell on Brewers when she can casually Legendary and shove them all apart.  Very much a player to free up the board for her team, but a stiff wind will take her down.  A nice note, Red Fury on Rage2 ignores Fear since the enemy model isn’t spending an influence to attack, but rather Rage is.  Use Red Fury to pop Fear on her and Ghast and then go to town.

   Granite is another one I haven’t seen yet.  Our Mason players kind of dropped off into Season 2 when Hammer wasn’t everything he was cracked up to be.  Granite reinvents them a little bit, carrying the Brick playstyle a little bit further.  Brick already gave them this ability to dare you to attack them and pay the consequences with his 2” melee counter charge, and Granite is no different.  She’s slower than most mascots but her “Between a Rock…” ability is dangerous and really makes you think twice about going in on a model.  On the same token, you can use it to lure her in, but at DEF2/2, is that what you really want? Especially if she’s got Tar Pit up.  She interesting, but that’s about all I have on her since I haven’t faced her yet.  She’s popular with Masons.

 Brainpan and Memory, the really weird guys here.  I’ve played against these guys exactly once.  The hordes of Mortician players evaporated in the wake of the Obulus nerf but they’re still out there.  Memory is odd in that Memory does not actually do anything.  No MOV, no ARM, no INF, and it doesn’t generate VP when it dies.  It dies to a fart, but that accomplishes

almost nothing for you.  He’s got a 2” dodge at the beginning and that’s about it.  However, he’s TAC5 on a 4 long column that tops out at 4 damage and has a 3//4” kick.  So Brainpan runs the Puppet Show (which may also bypass Fear, now that I think about it), which allows Memory to dodge around or Attack, and “Pulling the Strings” lets him kick.  This means you can’t button Memory down.  He’ll dodge out consistently, no problem, it’s just a matter of how much trouble you can make it be.  They’re an interesting pair, and it’ll be INF intensive to get Memory up the field unless you just 4” dodge him momentously the whole way.  He’s a hell of a damage dealer though.  Very strange models and I’m not sure what to think of them yet.

Then there’s my new favorite Captain, Brisket3.

  Brisket3, hot on the heels of the Fillet vs. Brisket vote where the Butchers fought hard to show their love for Brisket, who promptly left them for another team.  Brisket is an interesting striker, and I’ve played her several times now.  Making me still not an expert. But, she’s fun.  The weird thing is how much interaction she has with her team.  For starters, she’s Solthecian, so she gives Mist a free 2” Shadowlike dodge, which is stupid.  If he’s in cover like he should be, between that and the dodge, that’s a free 4” move that largely disengages him, and allows him to threaten 14”.  Before any boosts like Quicktime from anyone in the Union.  Brisket also likes to be near Harry so she can dodge about for free after receiving passes from any of her 3/6” ot 3/8” kickers using “I’m Open”.  I haven’t even used Route One yet.  So far, my opponents have kept the ball farther than 6” away.  I haven’t used Aplomb yet either.  I want to, but it just hasn’t come up.  It’s been “I’m Open” and her text on the back of the card.  Her Legendary is good for an easy turn one score, or turn two, or to disengage a dieing model or whatever you need.  It’s a great tool to be abused.  She scores reliably, can easily get screamers, and is just great.  She struggles to retrieve a really bunkered ball, but as great as she turns Mist on, he can retrieve the ball a lot easier than she can, and kick it to her as well with “I’m Open”.  She’s also got Momentous 2 damage on Column 3 which is at least useable with access to Tooled Up, Shelling Out, Singled Out, etc.  There’s plenty of things she access to in Union that can maker her do some work.  Her inherent strength isn’t necessarily herself though, as much as it is that Blackheart or VetRage exist.  Brisket3 probably can’t carry a team on her own as the only Captain in a 9 man lineup, but when coupled with Rage, she can play ball into killers, and Rage and kill ballers.  They cover eachothers weaknesses fairly well.

The last two players to be mentioned here are Benediction and Grace.  These two are extremely new, only coming out with the Book spoilers.  There’s no models in stores yet, but we’ve got the rules to at least start proxying.

   Benediction is a tank.  He’s DEF3 ARM2, so he’s going to get hit, but the 2 ARM help.  However, his two character plays give him Sturdy to ignore the first KD, and the other gives him another 2 ARM against the next attack.  This means that against most models, they’re not going to get much more than a column or two against him in an attack, even on the charge, and because he’s not KD, and has 2” melee, he can counter attack back (for free once, with poised) and get a 1” push minimum, maybe 2” push.  I wish the KD was a little lower, but oh well.  Where I think this guy excels is hanging on to a ball.  In almost all other regards, Harry the Hat is better.  Harry has better TAC, better plays for control (Molotov and Goad), he has better access to pushes and damage, he does more for the team with his hat aura, and he has 2” melee as well.  Where I want to consider Benediction is just to hang onto the ball, little more.  2INF a turn maybe for his two plays, and he hangs out.  I hope he works for the Brewers.  He’ll be a good option for Rage2 I think since Rage wants to kill the ball, and then kill people.  With this guy, that gets easier.  In most cases though, Harry covers more bases and is the better player.

  Then we have Grace.  I’m not sure what to do with her.  Healing Light is immediately useful since as of Season 3, 90% of healing abilities went out the door, which is why Hemlock became a bookend, and why Esters lost of a lot of her appeal.  Quickfoot is the immediate benefit, and with 2 free INF every turn while still contributing one to the pool, that’s probably her best thing.  She feels like a striker, but with a 2/8” KICK, she’s just going to break your heart unless you can get within 4” of the post and spend the extra momentum for the bonus time.  The back of her card is largely useless and cute.  It’s nice that her quickfoot range is essentially 10” because of Impart Faith, and Purity will see some use but none of it is particularly game changing.  A free Quickfoot every turn is the deal here.  Give her 2INF and she can throw it out there twice.  It’s also been mentioned that she just gains INF at the beginning of her turn, so if you give her 3, she comes out with 5 INF.  5 INF would  be a lot nicer if her playbook was anything but tackles and dodges and non-momentous damage.  Under the right condition, she’ll kill people, but that’s 5 INF you’re converting into just one momentum.  Of all the characters allowed to have 5 INF, Grace is not who I would have voted for.

So where does she fit in?  I don’t know.  The thing about both of these players is that they’re both Solthecians, so they’ll give Mist a 2” shadowlike dodge.  That’s worth something at least.  Grace gives Mist 4” extra movement, plus his 2” extra from being in cover, which he should almost always be.  Now Mist, who threats 10” base (8” sprint, 2” melee) goes two 12” with his cover bonus, and 16” with quickfoot and shadowlike, both from Grace.  In a Brisket3 list where Mist is the primary ball recovery guy, 16” before dodges is nuts.  However, that’s really all Grace does, plus her healing which is nice, but everyone’s been dealing without it for awhile.  It’s useful, but in a game with such high opportunity cost, it’s expensive.  Who do you take out? Gutter? Decimate?  Not Mist, not Harry.  Probably not Avarisse and Greede.  So Gutter or Decimate, but Grace can’t really kill people.  She can, but it’s pretty inefficiently.  Grace only makes sense in pure striker games where she makes Mist absolutely ridiculous, or games where it’s imperative that whoever is going gets there.  Is your meta killing Rage2 and controlling him with AOEs and staying out of his threat range? Grace helps with that.  She gives respectable threat to any beater in the Union, and she does it for basically the 1 INF she isn’t donating into the pool like your other character would be.  But then, that’s all she does.  She doesn’t fight, and she doesn’t strike, which in a Brisket3 list who at least wants 3/6” for “I’m Open”, it’s something of an issue.  She’s better than Hemlock, but Hemlock doesn’t play, so I don’t know what that’s worth.  I’ll buy her eventually, but I’m not going to stand in line for it.  It’s going to be one of those “I played at the game store, so I should support it with a 10$ purchase of some sort” things.  That’s why I have Crucible, Venin and Spigot2.

That’s the overview.  I’m not a tournament winning player, I just like to talk a lot.  Strictly the Worst and Double Dodge both cover them if you want some tried and true experience talking.  I think everything here is playable, and I’ll probably play some Benediction IF he works for the Brewers since the Fish are raking them over the coals right now.  We’ll see.

Feel free to destroy my opinions with rational thought and logic.  Hopefully it’s an ok, all in one place overview.  I may look at the Farmers, probably the Hunters as well (I own Hunters, maybe will own Farmers) and if I’m not absolutely destroyed for this article, I might let my ego type up a few more.

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