In our last Ratcatchers blog we took a closer look at Skulk and Pelage. Today though, we’re going to take a look at the player character card for Scourge, the Pestilent Abomination.
Scourge was one of the last Ratcatcher concepts to be created. There was a gap in the team for a ‘big guy’ and we really wanted to make him something special. The original pitch for Scourge was effectively that he was the one person who didn’t look at Veteran Katalyst and turn away in disgust, oh no, not Scourge. Scourge was the one person crazy enough to be in complete awe of what Katalyst had turned himself into. As such, he came to the conclusion that he wanted to be like his idol. Scourge only had two problems with this plan. 1. Scourge was nowhere near as clever as Katalyst once was, and 2. Scourge was a sewerperson with no money. So Scourge decided to do the only thing he knew how to do, catch as many rats as he possibly could and eat them all to try to become as big and strong as his role model… it didn’t quite turn out like he’d hoped…
Are You Going to Eat That?
Scourge takes the role of part tank, part damage dealer within the Ratcatcher’s Guild. He’s quite resistant to damage and can inflict enormous punishment on the enemy with each hit. In that vein, some of the first things you may notice about him are that he has a very impressive TAC , a [2”] melee zone, and a six column Playbook with a monstrous Momentous  damage bolted onto the end. At the other end of his Playbook, TAC  makes a Momentous  damage on the second column, and a Momentous  damage on the fourth column, both quite easily achievable results in a lot of situations.
Scourge’s Playbook also gives him good access to Knockdown and Push results, as befits a roaring, bestial giant of a…let’s go with ‘man’. His final Playbook result worth mentioning is the momentous GB result on the first column, which allows him to trigger his sole Character Play Snack Break. We’ve seen this Character Play on a model before; on Windle of the Farmer’s Guild, and it really feeds (ha!) into how the Ratcatchers play. As befits the denizens of the undercity, these monstrous Guild Ball players bring the disease condition scuttling into the light of day, but they are just as likely to fall prey to it as their opponents. If you’ve forgotten what the disease condition does, here is the rule again:
Several Ratcatcher models, however, have ways of mitigating the negative effects of the disease condition. Snack Break is the first ability we’ve really shown off which highlights this. Scourge can handily take a second midgame to chug down some lovely, healthsome rat kebabs, and replenish some of his health without having to spend MP, thus getting around the negative aspect of the disease condition. As an added bonus, he will also gain [+1] VP if he achieves a take-out this turn, which is always handy! Scourge also has the option of either spending  Influence to do this, or of simply punching an enemy model so hard he triggers Snack Break from the Playbook Momentously. As this is on his first column, this is a *joy* of a result if he gets a wrap on a particularly successful Attack, allowing him to take this result AND the Momentous  damage result on his final column. He would end up generating  Momentum, healing  HP, inflicting  Damage to the enemy model AND gaining an extra VP if he takes the enemy model out this turn. Oooft. What a beast! (Oh and remember Pelage from last week has the Singled Out Character Play to help him achieve his dreams of magical Christmasland!)
Down with The Sickness
We said that Scourge’s role was part damage dealer, part tank, and oh boy, do both of those roles come across on the back of his card. Let’s get the old standby out of the way first; Tough Hide is a reasonably common rule in Guild Ball. Scourge is so used to pain that he literally doesn’t even notice people hitting him with a wide variety of sharp implements on the Pitch. It’s a great rule for making a model much more durable; coupled with 17 health points and inbuilt healing with Snack Break, Scourge is a monster who’ll need significant focus from the enemy team to bring down.
Now let’s get into the brand new rules on the back of Scourge’s card. Carrier is the first of these. Scourge is so infused with disease, so riddled with sickness, so soaked in the pestilence he lives in, that he begins the game suffering the disease condition, and suffers it at the end of each turn if he isn’t suffering it already (if, for instance, you’ve had to use Take a Breather! to clear other conditions). Now obviously, this means that any time he ends his activation, all models within [2”] of him will suffer the disease condition. Now it’s important to note that this affects both friendly and enemy models, meaning that your positioning with Scourge has to be careful lest he send disease running rampant throughout your team instead of the enemy! However, given his role of part tank, part damage dealer, he wants to run headlong down the enemy team’s throat and get stuck in the midst of them. Now you can see that while he’s right in the middle of the enemy team, smashing them up and ignoring their feeble return blows, he’s also infecting them all with the disease condition! Which will make it all the harder for them to heal and recover from his devastating blows.
And oh, how devastating they are. We talked earlier about how good Scourge’s Playbook is, particularly how he’s TAC  with Momentous  damage on the second column of his Playbook. Wouldn’t it just be silly good fun if that result were actually a Momentous THREE damage? Well, oh boy, have we got some good news for you…
Scourge’s final Character Trait is Called Plague Ridden. The effect is simple and powerful; while he’s suffering the disease condition (which is almost all of the time!) he gains [+1] DMG to Playbook damage results. Yep. Go look at that TAC 7 again. Then look at his Playbook. Then think about how hard this man can punch. We’ll wait.
Scourge is a brutal brawler, a sickening scrapper, and a man with a face only a melted welly could love. He’s both the toughest model on the Ratcatcher’s team, and the one with the highest damage output AND constantly infects the enemy team with a debilitating disease. He’s truly living up to his hero’s image.
Well, that’s all for today folks, we hope you’ve enjoyed this exploration of this vicious, stinking bruiser. Let us know what you think on social media and our forums! Join us again for the next Ratcatcher blog where we’ll be exploring the mysteries of Piper, Devil of the Undercity, the Captain of the Ratcatcher’s Guild!
TALES OF THE FREE CITIES
The next instalment of Tales of the Free Cities is now available. These will be released monthly and will not cost you anything! The stories will start with the Union in Chains, but who knows where they will end up: