Monday, June 20, 2016

Guild Ball - Graves, Scalpel, the fun list

My locals have observed that I suffer from fairly severe Guild Attention Deficit Disorder. My brand of GADD presents itself with a fairly constant swap of guilds and teams, even from game to game. Apparently the only time I play the same Guild back to back in casual play is during tournaments or when required due to a campaign (such as the Figo League).

I enjoy switching up guilds and playing teams I have not played recently. I prefer to swap guilds rather than face a same-guild match-up, especially when playing casually. I also enjoy trying out new builds and new model combinations to see how things work. After a recent tournament we had a discussion about a potential Scalpel led morticians team fielded to specifically support Graves as a player. I recently finished painting my graves and had not seen a good opportunity to put him on the table. The discussed team and a recent casual game provided the perfect opportunity to try out some wackiness.

The Team

The general idea behind this team is to generate a lot of influence to off-set Graves' greedy nature. It also includes the idea of looking for teams which suit Scalpel's leadership over Obulus. To both of those ends we ended up with the following:
  • Scalpel
  • Dirge
  • Silence
  • Cosset
  • Minx
  • Graves
This provides a total of 13 influence and 2 models who charge for free, thus not needing influence every turn to contribute to the team. As an added benefit, both models who can charge for free contribute 2 influence to the team for reassignment elsewhere.

There is an often overlooked benefit to this team in terms of charge ranges. This is an incredibly fast team, the average movement at 7"/9" and Graves slipping in slightly behind at 5"/7". As an additional bonus, Minx can use Marked Target to add 2 inches to players charges and Graves adds an additional 2 inches to his charge if the target is wounded. This gives Graves a 13 inch threat on a wounded model for 2 influence, and Cosset a 12 inch threat on a model for a free charge. Those are some really long "reach out and touch someone" ranges.

 Graves on the Team

Graves is a touch player to make work in Morticians, although I do like him overall. He has Scything blow and wants to charge to use it but it's located on 5 successes in his playbook as a non-momentous selection. This detracts from the overall desire to trigger that play. On a more positive note, Scything Blow hitting multiple targets will cause them all to Bleed, which is a nice benefit to land for extra damage. Back on the negative side, nothing else in the team truly benefits from a target having the bleed condition on them.

Graves bringing a 2 inch reach to the team can be a huge benefit, as he is the only model in this line-up with that advantage. In games where this comes into play the reach will be a big help and greatly appreciated. Unfortunately I believe that is not common enough an occurrence to keep him on the list in lieu of a choice such as Rage.

Play Experience

Wow, is this a fun team to play. They really want to win by Take-outs, but can take the ball away from the opposing team fairly easily. All of the free charging is really cool, keeping the majority of the players as a threat even without influence assigned. The team works like a pack of wolves, working to pick a target then gang up and tear them apart. Typically the Bird will lead the way, followed by Cosset then Graves Comes in to lend some damage. Minx can then fly across the board to try to close down the opponent, with Scalpel following up if necessary to complete the take-out.

The team likes to gang up on a target, leaving them vulnerable to anything targeting a group such as AOE's. This also means that careful positioning for Graves is necessary, especially if he's planning to use Scything Blow during the turn. One recommendation is to lead the charge with Graves, who only gets 2 influence to charge and specifically aims to scything blow multiple targets to spread out Bleed.  This is a good idea considering how easy it is to follow-up with the remaining free charge models.

As an added benefit, Silence brings 3 influence to the team plus the ability to shutout key targets. Forcing the target model to go last often leaves it isolated and prime for the pack to jump on it. It also alleviates the vulnerability to a double heal on the target.

Overall the list is a load of fun to play around with. I would likely make one change for future games, swapping Rage in for Graves. I'm not fully convinced Graves brings the best benefit in the slot he's filling, and Rage charges for free, hands out Bleed, and deals more damage overall. This drops the team to 12 influence but frees up 3 potential influence on Graves netting an overall positive swing for allocation.
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