Next up for dissection is the Queen of Annoyance, The Priestess of the Ancient Gods, Ms Hemlocke herself. An ever present in my Union teams to date.
So from looking at her stats she is on the speedier side of things with a good MOV to get her where she needs to be. She has a poor TAC so not going to be too effective in close combat it seems. An average KICK meaning she is able to play the ball around if needed and with a 5+ DEF almost impossible to hit with any reliability. With being so hard to hit no surprise she has no ARM and a limited number of wounds / hit points.
Magical Brew – This is a great ability allowing Hemlocke to remove any conditions on herself when she activates meaning she can clear KD without giving up her advance or using momentum. Also great against teams who use a lot of conditions, like the Alchemists, as very difficult to keep conditions on her.
Slippery – Grants her +1 DEF when on the end of a parting blow which means she is very good at running away (added from errata).
With only 4 TAC it means a pretty limited playbook of only 4 columns but each column allows for a momentous result with access to dodges and T. With a momentous T on 1 hit she is very effective at winning back the ball and scoring if your opponent has left the ball with one of their models within 6″ of their own goal. She does next to no damage from normal playbook attacks so relies on other abilities to have an effect on the game. Really if she is being used in close combat trying to do dmg then something has gone seriously wrong. Unusually no Guild Ball icons generated from attacks so no accessing her character plays through normal attacks.
So as mentioned above no access to these through her playbook so the only way to access them is through spending the INF directly. But from looking down the list it starts to become clear why Hemlocke is in the team.
Blind – 1 INF, RNG 8″. Enemy models hit suffer -2 TAC, -2/-2 KICK AND -2/-2 MOV to the end of the turn. Can only be used once per turn. This is a great ability that works just as well against quick mobile teams as killy damage teams. The movement reduction really hampers those teams that like to run around whereas the minus TAC really limits hits for those hitty teams. While the KICK hurts the shooty teams., picking the right model every turn for this is a skill.
Smelling Salts – 2 INF, RNG 4″, AOE 3″. Friendly models recover 2 HP and can also only be used once per turn. Need that key model to heal a little or prevent that impending death from a condition? Hemlocke’s got the tools for the job. Also as it is an AOE you can heal up multiple models at once if positioned well. I believe currently the only model in the game that has access to a healing character play, that also allows healing of other models (I know Gutter can self-heal when damaging and Boar regens but not the same breadth of use) to help the team heal if momentum is at a minimum.
Noxious Blast – 2 INF, RNG 8″, AOE 3″. All models hit suffer 2 DMG and poison. So remember ALL models, including your own. Also models entering this AOE during the turn gain poison. As with the other two can only be used once per turn. Great for finishing off models or getting poison on enemy models early to burn some of their momentum. I find that each turn it tends to be one or the other of smelling salts and noxious blast. Do I want to heal my team or put out more hurt?
So the key points. She is one of the only models that has DEF 5+ and even rarer boost to parting blows, as well as only model with access to a heal outside of using momentum. Very good ranged play for dealing small amounts of damage and poison as well as being able to shut models down by blinding them. Good ball carrier as so hard to generate hits against and very good at relieving opponents of the ball. With her speed and ranged plays she has a very large threat range (max 16″ with a sprint and Noxious blast). Good as either a defensive anchor or an attacking ball winner making other teams think twice about bringing the ball near her. That is 3 from 3 so far.
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