Sunday, March 26, 2017

Feeling a bit Rusty: The Rusty Cup

The Rusty Cup 2017.

 Well here we are again, another a Guild Ball article! If you haven't heard from me in a while it's because I haven't played a game of Guild Ball since the last tourney report in January. The aptly named "Rusty cup" was my first two day, 64 player (42 with dropouts) GB event, run by the guys from the Who Care Who Wins podcast.


Along with my lack of recent experience I thought it'd be fun to try out the new - and not at all complex to use - 'Brainpan and Memory'. What could go wrong? Other than that it was the same loadout as I usually use, but dropping Cosset (who I often find to be quite fragile).






Round 1 - Fishermen

My first round draw was against a lovely guy called Geoff and his Fishermen. Geoff and I played in the first round of the last tournament and that time he won 12-10 in a very close game.


He won 12-10 in a very close game.

A blow by blow analysis is pretty redundant but I will say that I underestimated the Hag for the Fishermen. She's all about the dodges, with a Legendary play that makes all models (friend and foe) within 4" move 2". This allowed him to box in Obulus for a takeout. That, combined with two goals, a dead Dirge and a point from me clocking out made a rather unique way of reaching 12. 

Of note was the fact that until both clocks were down to 2 minutes, the score was locked at 2-3 thanks to the most tentative and wary Guild Ball I've ever played. Managing to hold Fish off from scoring for that long was a treat, I must say. 


Spot prize for losing in the first round. Superhero landing, he's doing a superhero landing!

Round 2 - Fishermen

Joy unbound. More Fishermen. No Hag this time and the curious choice of Fangtooth instead the exceedingly popular Avarisse and Greede.


I soon found that his philosophy was that of punchyfish. Even though he took Shark over Corsair he made clever use of Tidal Surge to pull players away from cover and support to try to crowd them out and beat them to death with Fangtooth. 


I was also a fan of his plot card holder ;)

Unfortunately that plan wasn't too efficient and by the time he'd smashed through two players I'd managed to score three goals for a 12-4 win. 

Lesson? Fish can punch but you probably need the right team loadout for it.

Round 3 - Brewers


My third opponent was the rather diversely named Bjorn Lefevre, a Belgian with a Scandinavian name playing in Britain. How very unBrexit. Bjorn brought Brewers and was happily supping a pint while we played. What a man.

As much as I was enjoying Brainpan & Memory I felt that I couldn't take them against Brewers. As far as I remembered Brewers loved KD, a weak spot for the little puppet. I also know that they like charging. And hitting. And so I rather reluctantly took Casket as well as Ghast, planning to use those two to blunt the charge while I tried to score. 


My scheme worked, though he carved through them quicker than I'd hoped, took down Dirge and was close to getting Graves too. As it was I managed to sink three and take out Harry the Hat before he had the chance to overwhelm me. A 12-5 victory. 

Round 4 - Alchemists


At least, I assumed that this guy was playing Alchemists. No smoke. No veteran Katalyst. No Calculus. No Mercury. My experience against alchemists all for naught to prepare me!


No question that Brainpan and Memory were man/puppet of the match this game. Obulus sneaked an early goal then B&M came out of nowhere to dodge into range and tap in a second. It wasn't too difficult for Obulus to clinch a third from there. Puppetmaster really is a bitch. 12-4 to the Morticians.


Spot prize this round was for the first player to make two shots on goal in one turn. They personalised it too. How sweet.

Lesson: Read your opponent's cards, especially if they bring new sneaky models like Brainpan & Memory.

Round 5 - Morticians/Union

In a slight anticlimax my opponent didn't show up in time for the first round the following day. He was a little the worse for wear after a rather enjoyable night painting York red. As it was I was offered a game against Steve Newton, ex world number one and co-host of WCWW. Bugger.



In a touching display of sportsmanship he jokingly declined my request to use a GB app. I had to use cards (for the attention of Chris Baker there).


 I clinched two early goals using Mist and Obulus (requiring the use of Rigor Mortis to secure a first activation with the big man. Possibly a waste according to Steve's own Obulus playbook). In return he tagged Ghast and scored twice with Blackheart taking it to 8-10, and with me about to clock out. It should have been trivial for his Mist to collect the ball and boot it away to stop me scoring a last minute goal but in a rookie error (or cunning piece of niceguymanship) he failed to allocate enough influence to Mist. This meant Obulus could activate, retrieve the ball and score for a very, very fishy 12-10 victory.


Lesson learned? Spike your opponent's drinks the night before an important match.

Round 6 - There wasn't one 

As it turned out there was only one undefeated player after round 5 it was called there. Despite my protests I was granted a bye/victory for round 5, giving me a rather suspicious second place overall. To ease my guilt I passed on my prize money to the third place but took the trophy. Sorry douchebags, no voucher code to steal ;)


So a bit of a haul! 2nd/Best Morticians trophies, measuring sticks, case, widgets, Midas, certificate, patch and more second place dice. Second again; I'm rather worried that I'm becoming the Trent Denison of English Guild Ball.

Until next time, peace y'all!


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Choosing a Team: Season 3 update

One of the first articles on this blog was about Choosing a Team. A lot of that information has now been outdated following the Season 3 update, so I have cleaned up the information a little bit below.


Melee damage - 3
Ranged damage - 1
Ball control - 8
Speed - 8
Toughness - 5
Special - 5
Fishermen are unapologetically aggressive football players and excel at moving around the field, passing the ball, and scoring goals with their good to great KICK stats. They want to get the ball quick and are able to take it from you and keep it away. On the flipside, they are weak in the damage department, and try to play around this by being quite hard to pin down and controlling their opponents in other ways while they chase the ball.
Season 2 and 3 gave Fishermen an alternate gameplan with their second captain Corsair, namely that of attrition and getting a few takeouts along the way. The "Attritiermen" is a popular tournament roster based around Corsair, Kraken and 1-2 other tanky models (usually Fangtooth, Avarisse or Jac) backed by good scoring players.
Most of their players have a momentous dodge in the first or second column of their playbooks (which are quite low on damage results). Character plays usually involve movement or ball control.
Fishermen might suit you if you:
  • prefer to be the aggressive actor rather the reactor
  • prefer to win primarily through goals and thus don't mind having relatively poor damage output
  • like pirates, scullywags and norwegians


Melee Damage - 4
Ranged Damage - 5
Ball Control - 7
Speed - 4
Toughness - 6
Special - 4
Engineers are the “ranged” guild of the game, but are also strong football players, in a very different way to Alchemists and Fishermen. Tackle and push/dodge results are dominant in their playbooks, while character plays are usually focused on ranged damage and control. Their increasing number of Mekanika models also lends resilience to the guild's roster.
Season 3 gave them an almost total overhaul which reinforces the numerical values above. Their playbooks have been improved (more momentous results, especially damage results, which means they are more capable of adjusting to a fight than Fishermen, although they still remain relatively weak in the melee damage department). Their strength is definitely around ranged character plays, high KICK stats and the ability to move the ball around a small area quickly and accurately - one of their key features in Season 3 is the ability to pick up loose balls at a distance to make up for lower MOV values. 

Engineers might suit you if you:
  • like the idea of a tough ranged team with "jank" football elements and good football skills
  • want to generally avoid scrapping it out in melee
  • like the steampunk aesthetic and don't mind the Colossus model :)


Melee Damage - 5
Ranged Damage - 3
Ball Control - 6
Speed - 6
Toughness - 3
Special - 7
Alchemists at their core are the 'conditions' guild - they have multiple ways to inflict a variety of conditions on enemy models and force the enemy to burn through momentum in order to stay on top of things. Their primary method of getting takeouts is as a result of conditions - either via a slow grind, or via using conditions to gain damage bonuses on a number of models. Their two captains offer two distinct playstyles, Midas leaning more to the flashy football aspect, Smoke leaning more towards the conditions and board control elements.
Their playbooks feature a good mix of skills, with a good spread of damage, while character plays are usually condition-inflicting.
They also have access to the unarguably best named Heroic Play in the game - WITNESS ME! (it does what you think).

Alchemists might suit you if you:
  • like the idea of condition-based, football-oriented gameplay
  • can live with the idea of having a relatively fast but potentially fragile team
  • love victorian-era high fashion and the periodic table


Melee Damage - 6
Ranged Damage - 1
Ball Control - 6
Speed - 5
Toughness - 6
Special – 6
Masons are the jack-of-all-trades toolbox team, being good but not great at almost everything (bar a non-existing ranged game). They are flexible in play and built a bit like a swiss army knife, relying on highly specialized players for specific roles and specific synergies. If you can sufficiently support the right player at the right time, they can get the job done for you.  The one thing most of their players have in common is low DEF but high ARM scores, including the only ARM 3 model in the game at present (Wrecker).

Their playbooks are also quite diverse, with a good spread of abilities, and momentous results low on the playbook (emphasizing reliability). Their character plays are as varied as you would expect from these jack of all trades.

Masons might suit you if you:
  • prefer tactical flexibility and a team of specialists
  • are willing to sacrifice strategic determination  (ie. being excellent at any given aspect of the game)
  • think that steel plate armour and swoon-worthy men go hand-in-hand


Melee Damage - 6
Ranged Damage - 2
Ball Control - 4
Speed - 4
Toughness - 6
Special - 8
Morticians are the control team par excellence. They aren’t particularly great at damage or playing football on the whole, but they can screw with you enough to throw you off your game enough to bring you below them and beat you where you are weak, whether that be football or damage. Examples of their tricks include moving your models, stealing your resources, out of activation movement or reducing your stats. 
If you love playing tempo control or messing with your opponent in a calculated fashion, Morticians are your team. In Season 3 they have also developed a "janky football" aspect, with a handful of models (Brainpan & Memory, Bonesaw)  having potentially ridiculous goal threats, tempered by the Morticians' mediocre KICK stats and your own ability to weave the masterplan together.

Their playbooks are generally weaker and less focused than other teams (relatively less momentous and joint results), and their character plays are mostly about screwing with the other team.

Morticians might suit you if you:
  • derive pleasure from the suffering of others, or elaborate schemes
  • love tricks and sneaky tactics more than raw ability
  • are the person that always picks the 'undead army' in any game


Melee Damage - 7
Ranged Damage - 2
Ball Control - 5
Speed - 3
Toughness - 8
Special - 5
Brewers are the grinders and tanks of the game. Most of their models have large health pools and good resistance to damage, while being able to deal very solid damage given a little set up. The downside to this of course is that they are not particularly great at scoring fast goals outside their dedicated strikers. One thing that does stand out with Brewers is that almost all their Season 1 players have heroic plays (which cost momentum rather than influence) - as a result, once they get going in a turn and racking up momentum, they can really get some work done and pull out surprising tactics.
Their playbooks are generally straight forward and shorter than other teams (much potential for wraparounds, thus an emphasis in ganging up and TAC buffs) and have a lot of momentous KD and push results, while the character plays are mostly subtle buff/debuff abilities.

Brewers might suit you if you:
  • love a good scrap and want a team that can take a beating
  • prefer to focus on takeouts and grind rather than scoring and speed
  • like alcohol, douchy cats, and copious amounts of facial hair


Melee Damage - 8
Ranged Damage - 3
Ball Control - 4
Speed - 6
Toughness - 5
Special – 4
Butchers are the archetypal fighting team, with the highest average TAC scores. They can deal damage like nobody else and roll up huge momentum in combat, and are one of the few teams that can reliably take out almost any player in 1-2 activations. The downside is that while they can deal out a lot of damage, they are not especially great at taking it back or maintaining control of the ball.

Their playbooks are chock full of momentous damage results, and most of their character plays revolve around this as well.

Butchers might suit you if you:
  • are all about that damage, bleeds and stacking buffs
  • are willing to have a weak football game and give up sneaky tricks for that damage
  • Think that Jack the Ripper films, games and literature is awesome

Union numbers vary due to the flexibility of the models

Melee Damage - 4-7
Ranged Damage - 1-3
Ball Control - 3-7
Speed - 3-6
Toughness - 3-6
Special - 3-6
Union is a team made up of fighters who happen to be pretty decent at football. The strength of the Union roster is in the individual strength of the players - while each non-Union guild can only take 1 Union player in their roster, the Union can take as many as they want!.  As such, you end up with a guild that has a great amount of flexibility and player depth, at the cost of specialization or specific synergies. You can have solid fighters, and ok footballers but nobody truly excels at any specific role.

Their strength lies in their captains, which can tailor a team around their intended playstyle and push their lineup towards excellence.

Union might suit you if you:
  • prefer individual greatness over team strategy and have access to a wide range of playstyles
  • can't get no satisfaction
  • are inclined to like suave characters in nice outfits.


Melee Damage - 6
Ranged Damage - 4
Ball Control - 3
Speed - 5
Toughness - 5
Special - 7

Hunters are arguably the second best control guild in the game after Morticians, due to their traps and widespread access to the Snared condition (-1 DEF & -2/-2 MOV). They also excel at moving through rough ground, and their captain Theron has the unique ability in the game to create terrain. On the whole the guild has pretty average stats, however they also have 2 of the best melee damage dealers in the game in Jaecar and Seenah (the latter is literally a bear) which gives them a slight edge in that department.
One department where they are definitely weak is the football game, with the worst KICK stats on average. They attempt to make up for this by having some very mobile players who can slip away for a goal in the right situation. The other difficult aspect of the Hunters is that usually require multiple activations to set up that 'perfect trap' due to many interconnections.

Hunters might suit you if:

  • You like a patient control style, combined with savage damage dealing
  • Are willing to 'work harder' for your VPs and 'setting up the trap'
  • Like the rugged northern woodsman aesthetic - and bears