Last week we saw the last of the Navigator’s Guild reveals, Ebb. If you missed that reveal you can find it HERE. Today is the first in a new series of articles which will each reveal one of the models that has changed for Season 4 from each of the major Guilds. Today we will be taking a look at one of the original models for the Union who’s been around since the earliest days of Guild Ball, Snakeskin.
If you feel like picking up the Union just in time for Guild Ball Season 4, you can find them on our webstore.
One of the first things we did when we started the development of Season 4 was take a look at the intended playstyle for every Guild as a whole, and then each model individually. This process helped us to identify not only which models needed to change, but also by how much and with what purpose in mind. These objectives were in addition to overall aims such as reducing complexity and tweaking game balance.
For the Union, we were already happy with their overall intended playstyle. They have a preference for inflicting take outs, especially since Seasoned Brisket has now signed onto the Order of Solthecius, and that’s as it should be. However, they also have some unorthodox methods of playing with the ball in the form of On My Mark on Blackheart, and of course Harry the Hat & Mist who both still play for the Union as well as the Order. The Union as a whole have not received as many changes in Season 4 as some of our other Guilds because when we performed our analysis, the Union was already functioning very closely to how we wanted them to.
When it came specifically to Snakeskin, she was intended to be someone that could hold onto the ball with powerful defensive abilities like Clone, but also have the speed to act as a backup goal scorer from time to time. What we found was that Snakeskin could indeed hold onto the ball, but outside that she wasn’t really doing much for the Union’s game plan. She was stuck in a weird middle ground where she wasn’t useful enough as a damage dealer in comparison to Decimate or Gutter, but also not a useful enough goal scorer in comparison to Mist.
You Go Girl!
What we’ve done is to slightly refocus Snakeskin’s intended playstyle. Snakeskin is still proficient at retaining the ball with some different abilities to the ones she had before, but she can now move faster than she did previously. She also now has a little bit of momentous damage to help contribute to the more take out orientated style of the Union.
Starting off with her playbook, Snakeskin has gained a double dodge result on her second column, which is always incredibly useful for any model that wants to be considered as a goal scorer. Additionally, Snakeskin now has two momentous damage results, a 2 damage result on her third column and a 3 damage on her fifth column. At TAC 5, these momentous damage results are not easy for Snakeskin to trigger on her own, but if she has some help, like a ganging up bonus, or if she is attacking a knocked down model, then Snakeskin can put out a useful amount of momentous damage to help finish off wounded enemies.
Moving onto her character plays, Snakeskin has swapped Clone for Where’d They Go?. It’s worth noting at this point that Snakeskin also no longer has Shadow Like, so she has effectively swapped a free 2” dodge that she had at the start of her activation, for a 4” dodge that she spends influence for at any point during her activation. Combined with her new double dodge playbook result, this means that Snakeskin has much greater potential to sprint across the pitch and blast home a goal for her team. Snakeskin’s improved speed can also be used to chase down a wounded enemy model that’s trying to flee from a melee.
Snakeskin’s stats, health bar, and melee zone are all unchanged, these elements of Snakeskin have always worked as intended.
You’re Beautiful, It’s True
Moving onto the back of Snakeskin’s card, the first thing we see is the ability that has replaced Clone to help Snakeskin hold onto the ball, Beautiful. Beautiful was previously only on the Fishermen’s Guild squaddie Siren. Over the last few years there has been a slight increase in the number of character plays intended to target models in possession of the ball. A lot of these abilities are meant to retrieve the ball, such as Seduced and Fancy Footwork. But there are also more abilities out there which generally impede goalscoring models, such as Arrow to the Knee, Pinned, and Blind. While Clone was a good form of protection against these abilities, it required Snakeskin to activate and spend influence in order to gain that protection. Beautiful is a more passive form of protection against these types of abilities which Snakeskin does not need to activate or spend influence on to use, and so it is both more efficient and consistent.
Snakeskin has retained both Charmed [Male] and Venomous Strike, since both of these character traits were already contributing towards Snakeskin’s intended playstyle in a positive way. Charmed stacks very well with Snakeskin’s character play Nimble, these two combined will give Snakeskin a DEF of 6+ against enemy models that are male. So even though she no longer has Clone to protect her against melee attacks, having DEF 5+ or 6+ will certainly make her quite hard to hit! Additionally, Venomous Strike combines very nicely with Snakeskin’s new playbook. Having momentous damage options gives her a more realistic reason to want to attack enemy models in order to damage them, and when she does she also inflicts the poison condition too, neat!
So there we are, the very first Season 4 player card reveal. We feel that Snakeskin sets the tone quite nicely for the majority of the changes that are coming in Season 4. We didn’t completely rewrite Snakeskin, we just analysed the elements of her that we didn’t feel were working as well as they could. We looked at the context of what her team needs from her, and then made targeted changes to improve those areas. Join us next time to see the reveal of the new and improved player card for Salvo, the marksman of the Engineer’s Guild.