Butcher vs Jolly Tavern Keeper


This has been bugging me for a while.

Both are Orc cards.

The Butcher costs 250 gold and provides 240 Strength, plus gives +2 Strength to all units in the army.

The Jolly Tavern Keeper costs 250 gold as well, only provides 60 Strength, but provides a whopping +4 Strength to all units in the army.

80% of the time, I would take a Jolly Tavern Keeper over a Butcher. The 180 Strength difference means the Jolly Tavern Keeper is better for any army with over 90 units. (+2 Str * 90 = 180) The only exception is against AoE hordes like the Blighted Dragon, where the Butcher has a better chance of survival.

Is this working-as-intended? Or do you plan on reworking the Butcher sometime?


The Butcher is common and the Jolly Tavern Keeper is uncommon, so it makes sense that the latter is somewhat better. The same-but-slightly-better is not very interesting unit design though.


I think this is as-intended, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see the cost come down to ~200 on the Butcher sometime in the future.

The Orcs are unique in their lack of crowd-control options and resulting reliance on their sheer quantity of General-type units to buff melee armies to insane proportions. Whereas the deckbuilding process for most other races requires selecting the right buff for the scenario (if any), building an Orc army is more about making sure you get every available buff into every army.

So of course, given a large force I’ll usually deploy a Tavern Keeper before a Butcher. But you can bet that army’s going to wind up with both if I have the opportunity. And as you pointed out yourself, the Butcher is actually superior if you need to add strength to a smaller army, whether that be the 50 Orcish Swords in a newly-captured Fortress or an off-race army of Elves, Goblins, or Trolls.


Indeed. I think this is the key point. While both provide bonuses to all troops, obviously 2 JTK bonuses don’t stack, so to maximize your army you all the bacon and ale you can get. :slight_smile:

I think your spot on though that about 80% of the time you’de rather have a tavern keeper in hand than a butcher… because with orcs I’m almost always training warriors when I can so getting over 90 units in a stack is pretty easy.

Which to me indicates that @DrBwaa is correct. If the cards are going to be balanced, maybe the Butcher could come down in cost just a smidge… if only to promote his early game use, while still making him worth dropping later in the game because he’s big enough on his own to have a decent gold/str ratio.


Eh, I would personally rework him so he grants a bonus when you’re in a populated settlement, almost like a mobile fortification. (Reasoning being he has livestock to properly slaughter in a settlement.) Them both providing the same basic buff is rather… boring.


Boring maybe… but it’s stackable! That’s what makes it some useful! No other races have general buffs that stack like Tavern Keeper and Butcher. Getting to apply a general boost to all units is kinda a big deal.


I set these two up as a choice between a larger strength on its own versus a larger army bonus. When I’m playing Orcs, they will ideally both be in my armies, as I like to get as many bonuses as possible. They are also both good because they will buff other races, which is nice for Goblins in your Orc army.

At the start of the game, or in a small army, I would choose the Butcher, versus the Tavern Keeper for a larger army. I’ll have a look at their costs and consider. I did drop both their costs a while back.

Maybe the Tavern Keeper should only be +3 to be more even.


I look at the butcher as a good early game defense hero to drop into a town that needs some immediate strength, where as the JTK is mid game before he starts to shine. Then they both group into an army. 1 butcher in a newly acquired fortress adds 346 str for 250 gold. Add that to the 800 str from the 50 swords and you can hold against that blighted dragon that is rushing in to ruin the day.

The JTC adds 266 str to the newly acquired fortress when first dropped. I guess both will kill that dragon, but the odds of having anyone left is more favorable to the butcher. Even without any immediate threat, the small army gain is still more than the JTK.