Introduction and Apology
Well, that took longer than we thought it would. Apologies on our part for the delay in releasing the errata which we had originally scheduled for June. Covid, pneumonia and various summer holidays meant this is going out a month later than planned. Our sincere apologies. Hopefully, you’ll find it worth the wait.
It seems like only yesterday we were publishing the first GBCP errata. The big thing the eagle-eyed amongst you will notice is that there are no nerfs this time! That’s right! GB is now perfect and nothing is too strong… Well, not quite. When we came to pulling our errata list together for this year, we noticed that there weren’t any individual models really skewing the meta around them to an egregious degree. There were no Vet. Boars, no release edition Miners, etc. But there are a number of models who just never see play. So we thought, why not try to make as many of those models as possible usable.
We also realised last time round that some Guilds might need multiple models changed. Not nerfed or buffed, but just changed to better deliver on their faction’s intended playstyle. We wanted to trial this ‘facelift’ approach with Butchers, who as a group we felt could make more of the bleed condition. We hoped this would have the knock-on effect of improving their bleed loving captain Fillet’s teams. So this errata contains 3 butchers models who would not necessarily be in our top 10 models to fix, but we hope rebalance Butchers’ playstyle wise and in particular mean Fillet sees a bit more table time.
A bit about the process: the rules committee all vote for the models they’d most like to see changed. So selection for the errata is a democratic process (or Peck would be nerfed into the floor, eh Steve?). As previously, we’ve tried to use simple fixes with existing rules as much as possible. One point of note with models in this errata that we spotted after drawing up the list is that they’re almost all fairly rules heavy or complex. So we’ve tried, as much as possible, not to add to that. Instead looking to adapt or replace rules.
As always, a huge thank you to our playtesting team and lawyers guild without whom none of this work would be possible.
Lastly, a couple of reminders;
- From the start, it was decided – mostly by yourselves through the huge questionnaire we ran in 2020 – that GBCP errata would be small (no more than 10 models) and that the longer term aim in terms of power balance is for guilds to be roughly at the level of Fish and Masons – the Guilds the survey respondents said were the most balanced.
- We are not professional game designers. We like to think that we’re getting better at this rules business as we go along, but this isn’t our day-job. As such, all our errata are unofficial and are not blessed by Steamforged Games. This means that people can obviously decide for themselves if they want to organize tournaments staying on the official 4.3 patch from Steamforged, or this 4.5 patch from the GBCP.
Without any further waffle, let’s get into the changes. Each model in this errata had an assigned lead designer(s) who will provide a bit of insight into what we hoped to achieve.
Angel – Dan
Angel never had much time in the spotlight, commonly played in the past due to the synergy with Shark when she had Tactical Advice. She suffered from being the most striker-y striker in a Guild full of flexible goal threats. No buyable dodge and no easy defensive tech didn’t help her.
Well, we’ve not fixed those issues… We’ve instead doubled down on her being a striker and given her a couple of ways to get round pesky Close Control models, predominantly the Thief character play. Her low TAC can see her struggling to play the game against high armour powerhouses like Smith and Masons, so Thief should give her a role to play in even these matchups. To that end, Angel has received a couple of ways to get round this. No longer will you need to pay for Super Shot, she’s just always Super Shooting.
In addition, she’s picked up the brand new trait Natural Baller; a simple to understand rule with a few interesting applications. Going for a goal run and worried about the tackling counter attack? It’s going to give you a free influence to make the maths a little kinder.
Did you not load up Angel because honestly at the moment that’s just a habit you have? Doesn’t matter. When you pass to her, she knows she should probably do something with the ball. Passes? Shots? Whatever floats your boat. It also opens up some interesting possibilities with dropping the ball on Get Over Here and on certain Linked activations…
Blackheart – Henry & Harald
Blackheart has been very underplayed and doesn’t do much that the other two captains can’t replicate. We considered mitigating his weaknesses – his early playbook/unsupported attacks, and his durability – but instead opted to further highlight his strengths. His movement stat increase makes him a more reasonable kickoff choice and makes getting taken out less punishing. His top playbook column has been upped in damage to make his payoff more impactful when he has all his setup in place, and Dread Captain lets him access his excellent upper columns a little more frequently in a way that calls back to his background links to the Navigators.
Brisket – Niels
From what we’ve gathered in the last year, Brisket has continually been left behind, or taken in the 12 but never played. Curiously, this seems to coalesce with the 1 HP she lost a while back, which is why we’re reverting that change. Alongside this change, we’ve added Crucial Artery to her kit, making it possible for her to throw 6 damage Dirty Knives (if the conditions aren’t cleared). This obviously is also an indirect Fillet buff, giving her another model that can provide some bleed pressure. Obviously, we know that her veteran version is regarded as even less useful, but those changes will need further playtesting…
Flea – Edek
Flea always had a cool model and an adorable backstory, but that didn’t translate into the most engaging and competitively viable rules. He had a bit of anti-synergy where he was getting more TAC and DMG from mascot assists, but his playbook didn’t work well with that, and he also gave mascot buffs… It was a bit of a mess, to be honest. In this errata we decided to focus more on his mascot-support tech to give him a unique role. He’s got new tools to bring the most out of those ‘best bois’ and now also can manipulate enemy animals. He might not be in every 6, but against certain teams he’s a terrifying tech pick: Seenah and the doggos of the world better watch out!
Gaffer – Mike
Hello handy listeners, such as you are. Gaffer has been a strange model since his release. One of the original “coach” models, Gaffer was meant to provide buffs and support for his team without necessarily actively getting into the scrum and busting heads himself. And then, he became a Mortician. Oh and also he had a whole thematic tie into a certain wooly-faced podcaster. All of this resulted in a model that had a lot of potentially strong abilities, and a whole unique mechanic, that ultimately was never that good or interesting (because if it was it would have been busted). So where to go? This one is definitely one of the more substantial reworks.
To start, Gaffer is done whispering so carelessly. We’ve nixed his Careless Whisper character play as well as his legendary. Instead, we decided to give him Persuasion, a character play that feels very Mortician-y, gives him a thematic tie-in to Mortician captains, and can synergize with Red Fury, which he keeps. Next, while we appreciated The Knowledge Gaffer was giving to his squad previously, he has been reading some much bloodier books of late. One of the common issues with the Morticians is that their squaddies just don’t provide enough output, meaning they often have to crutch heavily on Scalpel. Now, The Knowledge is a passive buff that gives damage to squaddie models. Can you say 4 (or 5) damage Scything Blows? Unmaskings? Now, we will be monitoring this trait very closely. Hopefully it synergises well with Mourn and Obulus, letting them see more table time, but if it turns out too strong or strengthens Scalpel, you can expect additional changes.
Lastly, Gaffer has a new legendary play, one that may seem familiar to fans of a certain Maldic piper. Hopefully, this change not only gives Gaffer some additional momentum manipulation, it continues Gaffer’s tie-in and theme as a grizzled player who has been around and learned quite a few tricks from the best.
Vet. Gutter – Niels
Alongside Brisket, Gutter has also regularly been coined as one of the benchwarmers of the Guild. Due to Route One, which often comes up in conversations regarding the worst character plays, she is basically considered a charge bot with Sweeping Strike. We’ve removed this character play, and added something way more fitting to her fluff – Pig Stickin’. The idea is that her chain, with which she used to pull people towards her, has been sharpened, tearing open skin. It still provides a small push effect, but adds damage (and Bleeding through the also added Crucial Artery, which takes the spot of the previously present Fan Favourite) – another indirect Fillet buff. Gutter’s new nickname? The Red Queen, Blodreina.
Locus – Steve
Locus has always been something of a meme. Basically, a model with a good playbook, great defensive tech, and decent character plays, but just too damn slow. So why haven’t we just upped his move stats? Well, partly because Cogs already have a fast, durable, thumpy model in Colossus. And partly because we didn’t want him to become Mule 2.0 and just be a tarpit missile. We have upped Locus’s sprint a little, but instead of going full move buff, we thought it was more interesting and flavourful to give him Far Strike. Now he can use that low KD at range, potentially scattering the ball which synergizes with Remote Control. The intent is that Locus’s improved threat from distance forces the opposition towards him, where his tarpit abilities are so effective.
Salt – Dan
Everyone’s favourite otterly adorable mascot. Unfortunately, she was hit by a collateral nerf when the Tap In changes hit way back when. This, and the all round powerhouse that is Tentacles, really meant that she never really saw her way back into the roster. Until now…maybe? We hope.
We really wanted to push Salt towards the goal scoring-free roaming-ball collection mascot we all loved to hate. Giving her Scores for Fun, both a thematic flavour hit and un-nerfing the tap in change, meant that the monster has an easier time scoring from awkward situations that only they could get into. And the sweet spot at 2” where you’re scoring on 2+? Corbelli, eat your heart out.
Added to this, we gave her a Navs-style playbook reshuffle to bring them up to date, and an increased KICK to make her a more reliable kicker than the Squid. I personally hope this pushes and promotes some Shark and Yukai strength over Corsair.
Truffles – Niels
Truffles actually didn’t need much to provide any competitiveness. Princess is usually seen as the ‘passive’ mascot, as she’ll just engage someone and annoy them through her Vicious, or scare them through the Assist she gives Boiler. We wanted Truffles to have a more active role on the squad. We’ve decided to give it Tapper’s Barroom Brawl, providing the Butchers with another way to influence efficiency based around charging into battle. You can’t just ignore the pig anymore…
Ulfr – Steve
The lesser spotted dogman is one of the most rarely seen of all Guild Ball players, which is kind of weird as the one thing Skatha needs is a squaddie with a buyable dodge… Sadly, Ulfr’s lack of reach, erratic melee, and inability to contribute more widely to the team means he doesn’t make the table. As he’s so rarely seen, we’ve made quite a few changes. Firstly, he’s gained a point of TAC and his playbook has shifted to focus more on ball retrieval and dodges than damage. In order to provide a bit of wider support, he has gained Feral Instincts and we’ve reworked Lone Hunter to make him more influence efficient. The new ability to give himself Anatomical Precision and charge for 1 INF, combined with Ambush, means that T<< on the fourth column is very achievable. Lastly, we gave him a new rule – Bait and Switch – to help him contribute to Hunters condition game when he scores.
Midas – All + The Large Hadron Collider, the entire membership of MENSA, and Divine Inspiration
Midas has been transformed as part of this errata. How did we do this? The entire team spent six silent months in a Tibetan monastery thinking of nothing but Midas. Then we walked barefoot from the Himalayas to the Chauvet Cave to understand the origins of human creativity. We think you’ll agree it was worth it. We’ve entered these radical and innovative changes to the Game Designer of the Year Awards. Apparently, the judges wept at the beauty of them upon receipt. They’ve since all left the industry saying that game design has peaked at that it’s all downhill from here. Prepare yourself.
Just because this was the all-buffs errata doesn’t mean we’ve abandoned the watchlist. We’re still keeping an eye on a number of models. There’s also a number of other models which still don’t see as much play as we’d like.
Rocky Training Montage Needed
- Vet. Calculus
- Vet. Brisket