So the new Guild Ball errata has just been released and wanted to just quickly share my thoughts. This is one of my ‘main’ games and something I have played since the Kickstarter days usually with my trusty Butchers! If you haven’t seen the errata summary it looks like this:
So on initial overview it looks like a nerf to Fishermen, Alchemists and Union whilst Hunters, Ox and Hammer get small buffs. This is the first errata within Season 3 but with over 12 months until season 4 we don’t know if it will be the last.
Ox – Has been improved and now has the ability to deal 3 momentous damage with just 3 hits (instead of the previous 4 hits) and has a momentous 5 damage in the 7th playbook (note: with his Owner trait he always has +1 damage). However for me it doesn’t fix the issues with Ox enough to consider taking him over Fillet as her damage output and movement is still a much greater threat and I won’t be dropping her anytime soon.
Hammer – Has had 3 major changes to make him be seen more on the pitch (I think I have faced him once playing against Masons for every 6 or 7 times I have faced Honour on the pitch). Has a changed playbook which is a bit confusing as good news he has 1 momentous damage on 1 hit but2 hits is just a knockdown (down from 3 hits) but has lost some of his damage and pushes results which seems strange? Hi character plays have been increased to 6 inches now so that gives him a 12 inch bubble (instead of the old 4 inch reach) which is nice but his biggest improvement is the Legendary. This is now a real Legendary and boots other players within a 6 inch aura instead of the old one which was still an influence drain on the team. Overall great news for the legendary and increased range on the character plays but not sure about the playbook result differences.
Midas – Quite a nerf to a player who maybe needed a little bit but initial thoughts is this might be too much. His playbook remains the same but he has lost Super Shot (impacting his guaranteed goal scoring down to very likely to score!) and Light Footed which both impact his movement and goal-scoring. Not sure why Light Footed has been removed as it is one of those situational traits that are maybe powerful for 1 turn in every 10 games. His Lure of Gold has become ‘once per turn’ which does impact the movement tricks of the alchemists (or even dragging Veteran Kat into charge range) which is a hit but at 2 influence it was always an expensive trick to do more than once anyway. Finally his Heroic has lost the +1 armour which was always nice to use when scoring a goal (gave him 20 inch goal threat with super shot) and was used to protect him after scoring but just makes him a bit more vulnerable now. Overall a few nerfs have toned down his movement, made it slightly harder to score but reduced his survivability after scoring a goal. He is still a brilliant captain and not sure most people will swap him out for Smoke based on just these changes.
Vitriol – The surprising beat stick of the Alchemists has also been toned down. Her ‘2’ damage has been increased to the 3rd column and she has lost momentous 3 damage, not fun when hitting someone in cover as now it is a choice between momentum and damage. She also loses both Cover of Darkness and Hidden Damage so again her damage output has been reduced but also she doesn’t love cover as much as she did. She does have a new version called I’ve been Burnt Before which allows her a 2 inch dodge (better than extra movement as ignores parting blows) but only when away from a model suffering Poison or Burning (which isn’t bad in an Alchemist team especially with Smoke as captain). Overall she has been turned from a green missile into a more goal-scoring focused player who can do less damage and now chooses between momentum generation or damage output and can no longer do both as easy. Depending how you play Alchemists she may no longer be the automatic choice she once was.
Theron – quite a lot of changes here and all seemingly for the better! Hunters do need the help and many aren’t using Theron anymore so this is a nice boost to keep him on the pitch. His playbook is improved with momentous damage on 1 hit and a potential of 4 damage whilst his Knock Down has been made easier to obtain. For character plays Pinned has been made cheaper (yay), Arrow to the Knee can be used multiple times (changed names to Snipe but is the same) but the best change is Sun Strike which is now 6 inches but once used on a player than every single character play they use (including Theron himself) now generates momentum, it isn’t a one use only benefit! He also gains Light Footed for extra movement and his Heroic Play has been reworded so it can be used on himself now. Overall really nice improvements and can definitely see the boost to Theron and Hunters in general here.
Hearne – big guy of the team just got a little bigger! His playbook has been improved so he now has a momentous result in every column which is brilliant but otherwise is unchanged in terms of results. Otherwise his only other change is to his heroic which can now be used on himself if desired which is a nice improvement. Not massive changes but the momentous singled out on 1 hit is a great change and nice boost to Hunters.
Shark – One of the most complained about players in Season 3 with the ability to score and then shut down the entire opposition team (which does not make a ‘fun’ game) has seen the nerf bat. He is still the goal-scoring machine he should be and needs to be but has lost Gut & String now and gained Stagger which gives -1 Def to the enemy player. However you used him previous just carry on doing so and he will score the goals, and in fact Stagger makes it easier to gain additional momentum as he dodges his way through the enemy team. However without Gut & String (and the reduced range of his legendary down to 6 inches) be prepared for Shark to score before the enemy team can gang up and take him out. For me this just means when he scores you can go 4-2 up instead of previously 4-0 and being in a safe position despite being deep in enemy territory. I really like this change as it keep Shark doing what he does without ruining the ability to actually play the game (it was a negative play experience) for the opponent.
Siren – Not much here other than a reduced influence pool to 2/3 (down from 2/4). On first look this seems to stop Seduced being used and then Siren passing the ball on or sprinting away to safety shutting down another Fishermen movement trick.
Vet Siren – Some playbook changes which reduced her damage output and makes it harder for a wraparound but nothing else has changed. Just a slight impact to her ability to hand out Dread Gaze but not much else.
Harry The Hat – Wow quite a change to a player who for some players (including myself) was an automatic selection even outside of Union teams. First he has lost Crazy which means he loses the potential 7 TAC, although he moves up to 5 TAC standard to compensate. This is a big impact on him as I know his TAC 7 has often put opponents off engaging him as it seems such a big number (hint: don’t be scared as Harry will die pretty easy and just take him out!). This also means his playbook has been reduced to 5 columns which keeps his damage but makes the Tackle result harder to hit. If you only ever used him to gain momentum whilst pushing people around then you are fine, if you wanted damage then you might not like him much anymore. His other changes seem a bit strange (health recovery level at 10 not 12?) that they don’t seem to have any point. Overall it reduces his damage output, reduces his effectives to your opponent in the ‘mind games’ but keeps all of his ability to push people around.
Avarisse – Need to consider him together with Greede to see the total change but I will try to look at them separate as there are a LOT of changes to get through. A&G were probably the most ‘broken’ models in Season 3 in terms of how some players were using them (rules as written v rules as intended issue I think). So Avarisse loses momentous Singled Out from his playbook completely but his other damage results gain momentous results. He gains an influence (up to 2/3) to compensate for Greede losing his. He gains a new character play called Drop Me Off! which now places Greede onto the pitch but is once per turn only. He loses Detach and Many Hands traits but gains Hit That One which means Avarisse gains +2 TAC if Greede isn’t on the pitch which takes him up to TAC 7! He also gains Thuggery (but only if Greede isn’t on the pitch so you don’t get +2 TAC in addition) which grants +1 damage to playbook results and applies a knock down with every playbook result! Suddenly Avarisse becomes a TAC 7 ‘basic’ damage machine or he can have a more focused damage output with knock downs everywhere so 3 hits (out of 6 as Greede will give you Ganging Up bonus) now gives 3 momentous damage and a knock down…are we sure he isn’t a new Butcher captain!?
Greede – So many changes there are too many to list but have a look at the earlier summary pictures and his card. It has really changed how he works as he can longer spend Avarisses influence (which stops Greede getting more than 2 now down from a potential 4 influence previously). He also has to pay 1 influence to be picked up by Avarisse and he no longer brings any influence to the team. He does gain Singled Out whilst listing his other character plays and his damage output is vastly reduced with only 4 TAC and no momentous damage.
Avarisse & Greede – They have really hit these models and it now seems as though Avarisse becomes the big best stick he should be (Veteran Rage players will be happy) but dropping Greede onto the pitch will now only be situational (maybe to gain Ganging Up bonus for example or to finish someone off or when activating late in the turn as it costs 1 influence to protect Greede so may not want to spend it this turn) and if you want the Thuggery benefit. If you are activating late in the turn then you can save the 1 influence needed to pick Greede back up knowing you are going first next turn as Avarisse can get a lot of damage and knock downs with this trait if Greede is on the pitch. They are no longer the momentum generating and goal-scoring machines of previous. For those players who use A&G as a crutch then this is a big impact to your game plans.
Overall I think these are good changes and don’t massively change the game. For me personally I use Harry in my Butcher teams and I am now thinking I will swap him out for the damage potential of Avarisse and never drop Greede onto the pitch.
My biggest request is that these cards are made available from Steamforged for purchase ASAP! There is nothing worse than not having the cards to use for a game like Guild Ball and if they sell them for a couple of pound they will be an essential purchase for everyone.