Yesterday, after learning about the changes to the initiative roll for Season 3, in our previous article we teased that today would look at model Playbooks. Let's start by considering what Playbooks do in Guild Ball. Overall, they give a coach the tools they need to bring strategies into action. For all Guild Ball models, their unique Playbook is tailored to their team role and playstyle by defining their strengths and weaknesses: Do they excel at making Tackles? Causing injuries? Dodging nimbly around the opposition? Or just shouldering opponents out of the way? Their Playbook will let you know. More than that, Playbooks are how coaches will generate most of their Momentum, which makes it a massive strategic element for each model.
Keeping these points in mind, let’s take a look at two examples of models who have changed going into Season 3.
Cosset is a blade aimed at the opposition’s throat—she's fast, lethal, and fragile. She's had several changes in Season 3, but one of the biggest came about when we took a new look at the Crazy Trait. Crazy is a fun and flavourful rule, but in the past, it was one of those rules that we knew didn’t feel like much of a choice. It almost felt like you had to trigger Crazy each turn to make the most out of models with the rule. Instead, we wanted this to be a key decision for the coach to make from turn to turn. Do you roll fewer dice on the Attack, or do you take the risk and damage Cosset to roll more dice? To implement this shift, we've shortened Cosset's Playbook dramatically. Even without Crazy, she can have a very effective Furious Charge, but when you want her to Attack repeatedly, Crazy is the way to go. As a side point, eagle-eyed coaches will have spotted that she has a higher than normal Recovery Level to take her use of Crazy into account. In addition, Cosset's Damage Support [Dirge] Trait has become Assist [Dirge], further emphasising a coach's choices. Getting Dirge into the action risks the Mascot suffering a take-out, but gives Cosset a decided advantage against an engaged enemy.
On the columns that remain, we've increased her potential damage and Momentum generation. With a whopping thirteen possible dice on a Charge against a model engaged by Dirge (4 TAC, 4 Charge, 3 Crazy, 1 Assist [Dirge], and 1 from Ganging Up), Cosset offers her coach plenty of possibilities when choosing Playbook results. Dishing out a bit of extra damage is the most obvious choice, but that's not the only possibility. The ability to wrap more easily means more Momentum and can even mean more dynamic movement. Against a low-DEF enemy model, the super-charged thirteen-die Charge can yield a pair of Momentous >< results, giving Cosset an impressive goal threat range and generating enough Momentum to Kick on goal with Bonus Time! for a nearly 90% accurate Shot.
For Meathook, the focus of the Season 3 changes was to emphasise her unique fighting style. First, we added a new, powerful rule to her card—Hooked! Hooked adds a DEF debuff to each of her Playbook damage results, giving Meathook more flavour. Now, you can really imagine her digging those lethal barbs into her opponents to pin them down for her teammates! Coupled with Crucial Artery and Smell Blood, Meathook has quite a slaughterhouse feel to her, a terrifying proposition for any opponent. We also moved the Playbook trigger for Scything Blow down by one column to give Meathook easier access to the Character Play. (Note, however, that Scything Blow will not trigger Hooked since it is not a Playbook damage result.) Lastly, we added more Push results to her Playbook to represent the way she'll be dragging her opponents all over the Pitch with those grisly hooks.
Of course, this opens up a wealth of tactical options for coaches. They can choose to focus on inflicting maximum damage, disrupting enemy models by dragging them around the Pitch, inflicting the bleed condition, lowering opposing models' DEF with Hooked, or some combination of the above. A single model can never do it all, however, and she does need some help from her team. In Meathook's case, we've changed her INF to 2/3. She's still highly effective at enabling the team through Tooled Up and now Hooked, but you'll frequently want to rely on other members of the Butchers roster for the take-downs. Still, even with a maximum of 3 Influence, Meathook is a powerful offensive threat who opponents would be wise to remember due to the combination of Crucial Artery, Hooked, Smell Blood, and Scything Blow!
With Cosset and Meathook, you can get a better idea for how thematic changes can really make the game more fun, and throw in new strategies for Mortician and Butcher coaches alike. With the change to Season 3 fast approaching, let us know what changes you can't wait to see on our forums or social media! Check back Friday, where we'll take a look at one of the new formats for Organised Play.