With the Guild Rabble Rousers box coming out this week it’s time for a Tactical Look at the Guild as a faction.
The Guild are a fascinating faction since in many ways they are the ‘every men’ of Venice. The Citizens, Barbers, Butchers and other trades, all trying to survive in the chaos of Venice under the rent. The are lead by acrobatic leaders who use stealth and subtlety to survive against the magical, the monstrous and the clearly insane.
The Guild have the strongest rooftop game in Carnevale, can be fielded in large numbers at street level to control the board but have little water game and pretty much no magical abilities. This alone tells you how you should be constructing your lists. Get on the rooftops and overwhelm your opponent in the street by weight of numbers.
Since The Guild has very, very limited magic abilities, just Baba Yaga, a character not yet released and was only available during the Kick-starter. Black Lamp who exists to nullify magic, it is simply a part of the game you only have to worry about facing, rather than planning yourself. Interestingly though due to a liberal use of Pickpocket in the faction, you can replenish Will Points pretty well, allowing you to add dice to key rolls, which helps overcome unspectacular stat lines.
You’ll also want to avoid the water, at least the majority of your characters, the Gondolier gives you options to use Gondolas to aid in moving around the water, and the Fisherman is capable. Otherwise your characters are sitting ducks in the water.
Your characters have a good mix of Ranged attacks though so there are various tactical options available to you. And thanks to Union and Mob Rule, two of your henchmen choices gain bonuses for swarming opposing characters.
With 3 quite varied Leaders, and 1 to still be released, The Guild has some key choices to make when picking their leader.
Prince of Thieves:
The Prince of Thieves is an important character in the backstory for The Guild, and his stats show it, as does his 23 Ducat price.
Don’t let that Dexterity of 4 fool you, with Acrobatic (2) and Slippery (2) and 5 Move the Prince can get around the board very easily. With Infiltrate he can start on the rooftops and Pickpocket means he can steal Will Points to add dice to key rolls. Add in Expert Marksman (2) with his Concealed Pistol he can cause damage very easily from the rooftops, or he can use his Gilded Sword for more personal encounters.
His Command Ability allows him to give all friendly characters within 3″ Pickpocket too, meaning you can send a character off to steal Will Points for a character in need of help.
The Capodecina is the ‘standard’ Leader choice for the Guild, however don’t let that fool you. The Capodecina is a very solid choice as a Leader.
20 Ducats, so 3 less than the Prince get’s you an extra 2 Dexterity while keeping Acrobatic (2), 1 less Mind and 2 less Protection. The Capodecina also loses Slippery but gains Expert Offence for his Twin Blades. No Ranged attack however the Capo is spectacular at climbing and moving around the rooftops, diving down to deliver death to his enemies. With an extra Command Points for his Command ability, which gives his allies Slippery (3) The Capo exemplifies the Guilds fast strike and fade away tactics.
I’m not going to go into detail with the Pulcinella sub-faction since we already have done with another guide. So take a a look at that if you want to make a list of Pulcinellas, though they are part of the guild they are quite different as a sub-faction and not often used with a classical Guild list.
The Black Lamp is the Guilds counter to the magical powers prevalent in Venice.
The Black Lamp is a very defensive character to protect your weaker characters from the powerful magical monsters of Venice. For 21 points you expect results and you certainly get them with the Black Lamp if the enemy has magical abilities. Not so effective if playing against another non-magic gang.
Use him to dispel magic and his Command Ability to lead his good Mind characteristic to fellow gang members. The Black Lamp is hard to kill with 14 life points, Universal Shielding (3), and Parry (2) so he can also be used as an excellent objective holder.
The Rialto Assassin does as advertised in the name, used to assassinate enemy characters from range.
The Rialto Assassin should never be getting onto the ground and up close and personal with his enemy. With 5 Dexterity and Infiltration, get him to stalk the lower balconies and find his prey. Ideally enemy Leaders and Heroes, once within 6″ strike. Use his Balanced Throwing Knives with his Expert Marksman (3) to cut straight through the enemies armour. They do have -1 damage on those Knives though so try to use both actions as attack actions so you can cause some significant damage to your opponent. Since the Knives do have -4 Penetration they will cut through even well armoured characters well.
Start the game at roof or balcony level, move to the objective and wait near it, preventing enemies from grabbing it while you prepare to grab and run. Or stalk an enemy character you really want removed. If an enemy character starts to attack him, use Smoke Bombs and Slippery (2) to escape and get back up high.
The Butcher is the muscle for The Guild.
At 14 Ducats the Butcher offers good value Muscle. He may not be as big and powerful as some of the more monstrous characters around Venice, but he can deal some decent damage and with Brawler (1) is even better if getting crowed by enemies.
The Barber is the more delicate damage dealer to the Butchers muscle.
For 15 Ducats you get a more precise damage dealer than the Butcher which penetrates armour, has First Strike and can re-roll up to 2 of it’s attacks. It’s not as survivable as the Butcher however.
The Fisherman can get around in the water and is The Guilds Monster hunter.
For myself the Fisherman is great value at 14 Ducats. Both weapons are good choices, the Pole Spear allows the Fisherman to be a force in the water, and the Harpoon Gun gives decent range and damage on the land. Choose wisely. With the Hunter rule, which he can share with an ally due to his Command Ability, he can bring down some of the biggest and scariest monsters in the game. Expert Offence (1) and 4 attacks round off the Fisherman into a very strong Hero choice, and a must take against Rashaar for me.
The Baroni is another Ranged Damage Dealer for The Guild, lacking the mobility of the Rialto Assassin, but with slightly more range and Pistols rather than Knives.
The Baroni gives decent ranged damage, with two attacks before needing to reload, he can spend one turn getting into position, use both attacks the next turn to hurt an enemy character and then next turn reload and move, using his command ability to get allies to cover his escape.
The Recruiter gives basic Ranged damage out while boosting the basic Henchmen of the Guild.
Place the Recruiter with some Citizens to boost their Union ability. He’s 15″ Range and Expert Marksman (1) gives him decent ranged damage if not spectacular.
The Citizen is the ‘basic’ Henchman choice for The Guild, a standard person protecting his home or helping The Guild on a mission for the benefit of their protection.
A Citizen is 10 Ducats, and by themselves don’t really do much. Easily killed, not very strong. They aren’t Mindless which means they can claim objectives, but overall ,certainly nothing that’s going to change a game for you. However, their Union rule allows them to gang up on opponents with other Guild members, making them effective as a boost for stronger characters, or just boosting each other.
The Pilferer is a very effective Pickpocket. Hard to pin down to kill, capable of getting away and hiding and stealing Will Points and Objectives while doing so.
Same Ducats as a Citizen, for me the Pilferer is a fantastic Henchman choice, especially when using Mobile Objectives. They lose the Union rule, however they are fantastic Pickpockets and can prevent your opponent from ever claiming objectives. With 6 Dexterity they aren’t easy to hit though only 9 life points, avoid them getting caught by the enemy. Use one action to move in, get an attack of Opportunity, Disengage with their second action to steal Will Points and any Mobile Objectives.
The Gondolier is perfect for moving characters through the canals of Venice on a Gondola.
The Gondolier is best used with a Gondola, start him in the water in one, and use him to get Characters to escape or to a new part of the board to deal damage. With his Bladed Oar he isn’t a slouch in combat either.
Combos and Tricks:
The great thing about the Guild is how everyone works together so well. Each Character works well on it’s own within it’s own role and there are usually more than enough bodies to control the board and claim objectives. Unlike the Doctors or Strigoi your Gang doesn’t need perfect synergy to work, mistakes are easily forgiven.
Of course there are some combos and tricks you can pull off that can really boost your gang and it’s objectives in Venice.
Fisherman and Gondolier:
Use both together on a Gondola and go fishing. Of course in the canals of Venice you are more likely to catch a monster than some carp, however with these two together that monster is easily subdued. Not sure how tasty Rashaar meat is, but it’s a catch at least.
Recruiter, Citizens and the Arbalist:
Coming Friday is the Arbalist, I’m not allowed to divulge full stats now, however with the coming change to Union (top secret!), this ranged Damage Dealer, when combined with other Citizens and a Recruiter can be a powerful combo.
Baroni and Capodecina:
Simple but effective, use the Baroni’s Command Ability on a Capodecina to give them First Strike on an Attack of opportunity. With 3 actions, a Capo can climb to a balcony and jump down onto an opponent for First Strike, with 6 Attacks, -5 Penetration and +1 Damage. With his two re-rolls that’s one quite badly messed up character, especially if the Baroni caused some damage beforehand or activates after to finish them off.
There are plenty of other Combos and tricks throughout The Guild, hopefully this gives you some good ideas.
I’ve created 3 Gangs for this. These are the Gangs I would personally make with what’s currently released, not including Fridays release.
This list is my answer to those that say at 75 Ducats the Guild can’t make an elite list. The Capo. Rialto and Baroni gives fantastic damage dealing ability while the Citizens can work together to help the stronger characters and carry objectives. The Citizens could easily be swapped for Pilferers too for Pick-pocketing fun.
This list makes use of the Gondolier and Fisherman combo. With the Barber and Butcher it has muscle and damage dealing, though the Capo will be carrying much of the heavy lifting damage wise on land. The Pilferers can steal Objectives and Will points to aid the whole gang.
Prince of Thieves
This list makes use of the Gondolier and Fisherman combo again. However this time we cover the board with models and with the Black Lamp we nullify any opposing magic users.
The Guild are an easy faction to start with in the game of Carnevale. Each character is well balanced for it’s role and there are no tricky rules that you need to be consistently mindful of.
With some very cool looking models like the Capodecina and the Black Lamp you can make a striking and effective gang. Overall it’s hard to make a bad Guild gang since everything does work. The Leaders are very strong, the Heroes are good or very good value. The Henchmen are cheap and when in groups effective.
Stay out of the water, use the rooftops and victory will be within your grasp.
If you want to start a new Guild gang, then take a look on our store for all the Carnevale Guild products.