Monday, February 1, 2016

Guild Ball - Damage Dealing Captains

A little while ago I read an article on another Guild Ball blog, Parting Blow, that was handing out "awards" for different models performance in Season 1. One of those awards was specific to Captains and damage dealing. I responded (you can see my response by following the link above) and that started a big of a discussion. I decided to take some of the analysis I did in that discussion and expand it out into a complete article here on DTP. This article is going to look closely at how much of a beat down each of the Season 1 Captains can dish out in a single turn. I'm going to go through each of the captains to describe how I'm performing the analysis and the data I'm using. I'll then rank each captain by the "total expected damage" at the end of the article. Please comment with your thoughts at the end.

The Basic Assumptions 

We need to start out making a few basic assumptions for our analysis to follow. First off, let's constrain ourselves to only the Season 1 Captains in Guild Ball. This makes sense since we only know what 2 of the Season 2 captains look like at this point. We can also safely assume that each captain is joined by their mascot. Mascots are a mandatory player in the full size game and there is only information on the single Season 1 mascot for each guild.

Beyond that we should also make some assumptions on ability to hit. The overall average model in Guild Ball has a defense of 4 and an armor value of 1. If we take a jaunt over to the lovely OzBall resource site we'll find the following chart:

This chart will help us determine expected successes for each captains playbook, thus determining the expected damage each captain can dish out.

The Captains

Butchers - Ox

 I think starting with Ox makes sense to start with since the Butchers are considered the "beat down" guild. It would be reasonable to expect that Ox has the ability to deliver the worst beat down of all the captains, bringing in the highest damage totals. Let's take a look at what he can do.

Let's start looking at Ox without his Legendary play in effect. Ox brings a TAC of 7 and 5 influence with him along with The Owner adding +1 to his damage. His damage maxes out by assuming he starts in combat, and he'll have Princess nearby also engaging the target. This has him rolling 8 dice (TAC 7, +1 ganging up) on the target, averaging 3 successes. We need 4 average successes to reach the next damage threshold, so it's worthwhile to use They Ain't Tough on the first swing to remove a point of armor. This means no momentum on the first swing, so we need to swing again with 8 dice to deal 3 damage to the target (playbook 2 + Owner 1). After this we can bonus time for an extra dice, looking at an average 5 successes but that's the same damage amount plus a dodge. It will help us spike higher on occasion though, so it's worthwhile to do most time. That ends up giving us:
  • 1 swing @ no damage
  • 4 swings @ 3 damage
Total w/o Legendary = 12 damage

Ox using his Legendary play adds an extra damage and removes an armor from out target. This means we can reliably reach 4 success from the first swing. That gives us:
  • 5 swings @ 4 damage 
Total w/ Legendary = 20 damage

Fishermen - Shark

Since we started with Ox we should swing over to Shark on the Fishermen next. They work together so nicely as a pair and I'm sure we're all expecting Shark to come in lowest on damage dealing. Shark doesn't have any traits or Legendary plays which bump up damage, nor does Salt bump up damage. Shark brings a TAC of 6 and 6 influence. Since being knocked down will not really make a difference on Shark's damage, we'll assume he is starting in combat to get an extra attack. Additionally, Shark's damage is non-momentous so no bonus time in the attacks. This leaves Shark swinging with 7 on his attacks, netting 3 expected success for 2 damage a swing.
  • 6 swings @ 2 damage
Total = 12 damage

Brewers - Tapper

Brewers Captain Tapper is the player who received the award which started my whole thought process leading to this article.  Tapper and Scum together have a fair bit of variation we need to look at so let's dive right in. First we have the basics, Tapper has a TAC of 6 and 4 influence, plus 2 more influence from his Heroic play, plus 1 more dice to Scum ganging up and 1 more influence from Scum's tactical advice. This puts us at TAC 6 + 1 dice and 7 influence but we must spend our first momentum. Next we need to look at Tapper's Commanding Aura play. This is important to have but the question is how to activate it. Tapper can expect 3 success on a standing attack, 5 success on a charge attack, or spend 2 influence to just activate the play. 3 successes is not enough to activate CA, and although 5 successes is the cost of a charge is the same as just using the play. If Tapper can walk to range on a target that means it's more reliable to just spend the 2 influence to activate CA.

So, Tapper has 7 influence and is activating Commanding Aura before attacking. This means he's entering the fray with 5 influence, 8 dice on the attack, and +1 damage to playbook results. There is a full additional success difference of Df3/Arm1 and Df4/1Arm so Tapper should use his knockdown play on his first swing, earning a momentum for his Heroic. He should also bonus time for the potential wrap on a spike in rolling when he can.  With this Tapper can expect:
  • 1 swing @ knockdown
  • 4 swings @ 4 damage
Total  = 16 damage 

Engineers - Ballista

Good ol' Engineers are not really known as a damaging team when it comes to putting a pure beatdown on someone. Ballista is fully in the engineers camp on this, not really beating people to deal damage. There are lots of ways for his to dish out some damage, using two of his character plays and/or his legendary play. If he hits the same model with both damage dealing legendary plays he'll deal 5 points of damage to them. He also has easy access to pushes in his playbook, letting his dish out 6 points of damage by pushing the target around while his legendary play is up. In lieu of those two methods and looking at a straight beat-down, Ballista is much sadder overall. Ballista will have a TAC of 6 plus the 1 dice from crowding out and 6 influence to attack with. He should choose knockdown on his first attack to increase his expected successes to 4 for each of the others. In the event he does not do that he cannot expect any damage at all. The knockdown first leaves him as follows:
  • 1 swing @ knockdown
  • 5 swings @ 1 damage
Total  = 5 damage  

Alchemists - Midas

Midas is one of those captains who has a wide swing in what they can do. This is almost entirely due to his True Replication ability and heavily dependent on what the opponent brings to the table. We'll look at Midas two ways, without True Replicating a combat ability and True Replicating Scything Blow. I pick Scything Blow because it's the nightmare situation most discussed in relation to Midas.

Midas has some basics which we'll jump right into. Midas brings a TAC of 6 + 1 dice for Flask and 7 influence. We will assume he is not starting with a momentum as we have for the other captains, so he'll have to earn a momentum to trigger his heroic play for +1 damage to playbook damage. Midas can only expect 3 successes on a normal attack meaning he only triggers the 1 damage and will need to burn an attack on a dodge for 1 momentum. On a charge he is only expecting 5 successes, which still missing his knockdown result. We'll parse his damage an additional way without True Replication. We also assume as soon as he gets momentum he'll trigger his heroic play for +1 damage.

Midas w/o knockdown
  • 1 swing @ momentum
  • 6 swings @ 2 damage
Total  w/o knockdown = 12 damage

Midas w/ Knockdown
  • 1 charge @ knockdown
  • 1 swing @ momentum
  • 4 swings @ 3 damage
Total w/ Knockdown = 12 damage  

Interesting to see Midas does just as much damage knocking someone down as not. The alternative we will look at is the nightmare situation where Midas is attacking after grabbing Scything Blow from the opponent. We'll look at the straight damage, but keep in mind this damage is dealt to every model within an inch of Midas during the attack round. Midas only needs a single success to trigger Scything Blow, and it earns momentum. Scything blow does not benefit from his Heroic play damage boost, so it's not really necessary.

Midas w/ Scything Blow
  • 7 swings @ Scything blow (3 damage)
Total w/ scything blow = 21 damage 

Masons - Honour

I suspect Honour will be one of the two surprises for readers of this article. Honour is surprisingly punchy when she puts her mind to things, which is only exacerbated by that damn Monkey. Honour starts our with a TAC 6 and 6 influence. She adds 1 dice to her TAC for Marbles ganging up, an additional 1 dice to her TAC and +1 to her playbook damage results when Marbles engages the same model she's attacking. She has a legendary play which can add an influence on a single turn, but we'll not consider that at this point. Marbles can also tool her up, which we'll consider in a second chart. Honour is now rolling in with 8 dice, 6 influence, and +1 damage (+2 with Tooled Up) on her attack.  Based on her results every other hit can generate momentum, which she'll use to reach 4 successes on Odd attacks. Let's look:

Honour w/o Tooled up
  • 3 swings (1, 3, 5) @ 3 damage
  • 3 swings (2, 4, 6) @ 4 damage
Total  = 21 damage  

Honour w/ Tooled Up
  • 3 swings (1, 3, 5) @ 4 damage
  • 3 swings (2, 4, 6) @ 5 damage
 Total  = 27 damage 

Union - Blackheart

Blackheart is considered a punchy player who can deal out a fair bit of damage. His mascot, Coin, cannot use the Bag of Coffers ability on Blackheart, so will only be contributing ganging up bonuses in this analysis. Blackheart brings a TAC of 6 + 1 dice for ganging up and 6 influence. He can reliable raise Commanding Aura on a charge, which earns him a momentum as well so that's what we'll do. After that it makes sense for Blackheart to bonus time his attacks, especially if he get's the knockdown on the charge. We'll look at Blackheart not getting the Knockdown on charge, and getting the knockdown on charge.

Blackheart w/o knockdown
  • 1 swing (charge) @ commanding aura
  • 4 swings @ 3 damage
 Total w/o knockdown = 12 damage 

Blackheart w/ Knockdown on charge
  •  1 swing (charge) @ 3 damage + Knockdown
  • 1 swing @ commanding aura
  • 3 swings @ 4 damage
Total  w/ Knockdown = 15 damage  

Morticians - Obulus 

Obulus is a captain where half the readers will be surprised he even does damage, and the other half will be surprised he is used for anything else. Obulus brings so much influence to the table that he can deal small amounts of damage on a single hit and it adds up over time. Obulus is showing up with a TAC 6 + 1 dice ganging up and 8 influence. If Dirge get's singled out onto the target this makes a fair difference because Obulus has so much influence, so we'll calculate that in as well. Obulus with singled out is swinging with 9 dice per attack.

Obulus w/o Singled out
  • 8 swings @ 2 damage
Total w/o Singled Out  = 16 damage   

Obulus w/ Singled Out
  • 1 swing @ knockdown
  • 7 swings @ 3 damage
Total w/ Singled Out = 21 damage  

Final Results

Thats a long read but let's sum everything up and put them in order:
  1. Honour w/ Tooled Up = 27 damage
  2. Obulus w/ Singled out = 21 damage
  3. Honour = 21 damage
  4. Midas w/ Scything Blow = 21 damage
  5. Ox w/ Legendary = 20
  6. Tapper = 16 damage
  7. Obulus = 16 damage
  8. Blackheart w/ Knockdown = 15 damage
  9. Blackheart = 12 damage
  10. Midas = 12 damage
  11. Shark = 12 damage
  12. Ox = 12 damage
  13. Ballista = 5 damage
That's a fairly interested spread of damage, with the bulk of the unmodified Captains coming in at 12 damage. Considering that Morticians also have access to Tooled Up via Rage, a morticians team dedicated to Obulus killing someone can be pretty scary. (Obulus w/ Singled out w/ Tooled up = 28 damage on a target.
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