Month: October 2015
So, a few days ago steamforged games released the rules errata for Guild Ball. It’s a wonderful thing when a company not only makes changes to fix game balance; not only when a company listens to its community ahead of making changes; not only presents changes in a timely consistent manner but also records and releases a video detailing all the changes and the reasoning behind them. Genuinely it is a huge thing to do and definitely helps ease the potential for ‘the sky is falling’ complaining.
Now, I should point out that my two teams were probably hardest hit, the Alchemists and specifically the Union. I could rant and rave about how up my Union team is now far inferior to what it was last week but I won’t. For two reasons, one it’s pointless. Two, inferior is not the same as crap. And actually also because the changes were well explained and I feel OK for the most part. I’m also not going to go over the changes one by one, or character by character. Instead what I decided to do was play a game.
My previous favourite six Union players were
Blackheart and coin are of course (for now) compulsory, but the other four has gradually eased their way into my starting six after many games: they also were the four hardest hit by errata changes. So I opted for a different line up tonight. I was up against butchers in a game against a new player who hadn’t had a game (but being advised by a regular opponent). I opted for
This wasn’t a knee jerk reaction to the errata, just a good opportunity to look at the fringe players (Fangtooth didn’t quite make the cut this time). I’ll be honest I don’t remember most of the game. After a cagey first two turns as my opponent worked out his players and the rules thing started to happen. I charged the dog with snakeskin and missed with everything- the plan had been to at least get a momentum to take a defensive stance when boar charged. Unfortunately boar did charge and pushed snakeskin down to 5 health. Blackheart responded and beat On boar a little as the rest of the team eased themselves away from a cluster of butchers looking to stack damage on,
The next turn Blackheart took out the dog before unloading on boar, who took out Snakeskin. Minx charged and took out boar before rage tore chunks out of Shank and Meathook. Mist then came charging up the field, robbed Tenderiser of a ball he hadn’t expected to get before bouncing away and kickoff the ball into the goal. The ball was blasted up the field into Shanks possession and minx was taken out. Rage responded by taking out Meathook before Mist took the ball from Shank, bounced away again and buried the shot for the win. A final 12-4 victory, having lost snakeskin and Minx.
Now, this was a game against a beginner, so I can’t be certain of the effectiveness of this group of players but here’s a rundown of my thoughts
Blackheart as ever was a powerful and deadly force in the centre of the field, he held the ball when needed and did some serious damage with his playbook. Not for the first time seemed capable of some poor rolling but excellent overall.
Coin probably had its least effective game for me yet as my opponent sensed easy points. Coin then spent most of the game skulking, however bag of coffers helped ensure Mist tackled tenderiser when it mattered.
Mist has suffered in no was at all from the loss of momentous tackle. On the charge I was twice able to get the tackle and a momentous where’d they go before scoring.
Rage was a wonderfully efficient player, causing damage all over the table. I also used tooled up for the first time on Blackheart and it is lovely.
Minx was interesting,she’s efficient with influence and gives out a lot of damage if you set up a decent charge but she is fragile. I didn’t get to play with her character plays but she’s definitely getting more game time.
Snakeskin has always been player seven on my team sheet, she was used as bait here so didn’t get much chance to play but she did poison the dog.
Overall really happy with the team. I want to work Decimate and Fangtooth in there to have around but I haven’t decided who to drop to do so just yet.
So, today I was in Bristol (Bristol Independent Gaming to be precise) for their Clash of Guilds Guild Ball tournament. My Union have undergone some changes in recent weeks but it’s meant Iv managed to paint a full team and extras in about a month, so some real progress on my usual painting speed.
After an enjoyable drive up with some guys from my local club it was a nutritious McDonald’s breakfast and then straight into it.
Game one was against Carl from the Smashed Shins podcast. My hopes of getting a win dropped as he pulled his fishermen out of his case (my last game against the fish was over by turn three as I conceded three goals to nothing). What was especially interesting was the inclusion of Fangtooth from the Union- him being a model I love but not matching that with ability- though I had theorised he’d be an excellent addition to a team of fishers.
The game turned out to be far closer than my previous as I focused on Shark and took him out twice, preventing him from bouncing around scoring goals. With him out of the way I had more opportunity to play my game, instead of chasing the ball all the time. I did concede- and I’m not convinced my team/ play style is capable of a complete shutout against them- but with the score looking close at 10-8 in my favour, the death clock ticking down and the fish in possession of the ball I made the honourable move of stabbing Salt in the eye with snakeskin, pulling off the victory with 46 seconds remaining to me.
I should point out that Salt is the otter mascot of the fisherman guild and any honour I claim for taking him out is entirely fictional.
The game was really intense all the way through and aside from needing a breather I had a really good time (not just because I won). Carl was a really good opponent to play against- you always risk coming up against someone who takes toy soldiers too seriously at a tournament but he was in no way that guy. It was a challenging, enjoyable game which could have gone either way at any point. The highlight of the game was Fangtooth ending up with the ball in an advanced position and attempting to shoot on a single dice, this would have won the game so it was a relief, but would also have been a worthy and unlikely moment to make defeat worthwhile
After a brief break the match ups for game two came up- a player from my club, who Iv played more than anyone. Iv had a few wins against him recently as he’d been alternating between guilds to find his preferred option for the day, but now I was up against his engineers and all their shooting attacks- not to mention the legendary mine field play.
I kicked off and he immediately raced his mascot up the field to pass back to his players, when I took inspiration from my winning move of the last game and charged the mascot with Snakeskin, knocking some health off and poisoning it. The next turn I finished the job to open the scoring before Mist claimed the ball and broke away to score- this happens a lot with Mist.
We both then took out a player apiece (can’t remember who though he hates hemlocke so it may well have been her) before he got into a scoring position with Colossus. He took the shot but blasted it past the goal (never seen him miss). The ball ended up scattering off the pitch to be placed back in the centre (prime position for Blackheart to grab it) before scattering back to Colossus, who still had the influence and momentum available to retrieve the ball and blast it at the goal a second time, this time not missing and providing possibly the most amazing moment Iv known in a game of Guild Ball (if not any game).
I managed another take out (Salvo I think) before Blackheart came striding forward from midfield, battered the engineer with the ball and coolly blasted the ball into the goal for a 14-6 victory (capped at 12 I believe). This gave me my second win of the day after another close game.
A short lunch (back to McDonalds of course) and game three was posted. At this point I was pretty nervous as I’d won two games, putting me on a par with the better players- if I’d been overachieving I was in real trouble. The match up came in and I was up agains the Masons guild- not one I’ve faced before.
I knew the masons were well armoured, but the only other insight is had was a member of my club telling me he felt they were a little dull. As it turns out my opponent knew his team really well and I just couldn’t get a break against him. Blackheart struggled to reach the better end of his playbook due to the armour and the lighter armoured members of my team took beating after beating, hemlocke really suffering after a knockdown (taken out twice). My last move of the game saw me sat at 10-6 down before Coin (yes really) passed the ball from the opponents deployment zone to Mist, stood infront of the goal. My senses left me for a moment and I didn’t declare a snapshot and my opponent swiftly took out Hemlocke to claim the win. I knew the defeat was imminent but a 12-10 defeat (especially with a goal) would have been so preferable to 12-6
My winning run over- and feeling well and truly outplayed in that one- I was drawn against another player from my club, a fisherman player. In fact the exact same fisherman player who beat be 12-0 in the game I mentioned previously. Determined to do better than last time I set out on a mission to smash some fish into the floor. Unfortunately Blackheart decided he’d had enough killing and spent at least five turns doing very little- I thought it was going to start well as he got a turn one charge on Salt but failed to kill, before spending five influence the next turn to finally knock it out. Three further turns he ineffectually beat on fish, consistently rolling 2’s when I needed 3’s and 3’s when I needed fours.
In the end I took out two players and conceded three goals, so a slight improvement on my previous match against him but still painful. I do feel had blackheart not decided he needed a break then the score could have been far different (at least 2 points for killing salt).
When the results came in I placed 9th out of 16, which was well above where I expected to finish. I was also pleased to see the snapshot I ignored didn’t affect my position.
The tournament experience overall was excellent, I had a really good day with some excellent games of guildball. The games were all fun, even the defeats and I learnt a lot in every game I played. I’m already looking at future events to get along to…