ALL IN ON GUILD BALL!

ALL IN ON GUILD BALL!

GB

Today we are talking to the core members of The Nerd Wars’ gaming group to gain some insight into their new love of Guild Ball and why all of them have switched gears from Warmachine and Hordes to go all in on GB Season 3.

Logan

Billy

Rob

First off, the obvious one. Why Guild Ball? What is it about this game that drew you in?

Billy: A combo of things to be honest. I’ve always been a fan of smaller scale miniature games. When I heard about it originally I tried playing a game on vassal and I enjoyed it but it sort of got pushed to the back burner at the time. It also didn’t help that the rules for season 1-2 weren’t great. After I heard about the Kick off box I kept pushing for Logan to go halves on it and after buying and playing another game with season 3 rules I really enjoyed the hell out of it. It’s the perfect mix of strategy, objective based competition and fighting, all wrapped in a nice steampunk themed version of mutant league sports.

Logan: For me, a big part of that was Billy. I was interested in the game when we played Warmachine, but not enough to really settle down and start buying models. Billy and I played a couple Vassal games and really enjoyed it, but I mostly forgot about it as time went on. Billy got with me after our Warmachine hype had died down and had found the Kickoff Box so I started looking into it further and found that I really loved how it had evolved over the last couple years since he and I played. The low model count is huge for me, and they seem to be an excellent company focused on the players and not nickel-and-dime-ing the player-base to death.That was a big part of what drew me to the game, but as a hobbiest – it’s the models that will always seal the deal for me. The models are gorgeous and Steamforged really gives the players a ton of leeway on customization and even ENCOURAGES it with the custom goal posts. I adore that attitude and it’s a huge draw for me.

Rob: I loved it from the moment I saw the Kickstarter. I’ve played a lot of miniatures games, (a LOT of miniature games) and this one’s emphasis on sport in addition to the standard combat I am so used to. It’s the perfect balance of fresh and comfortable. I’ve also been moving away from larger scale games like 40k and focusing in on lower model count (and price) games like Wild West Exodus and Arena Rex, which this game also fulfils. I’m so glad the group has finally come around, and early in season 3 seems to be a great time to be diving in.

 

What faction are you starting with and why?

Billy: Alchemists are my starting faction. I played with the Brewers in the kick off box and they were fine, but as I learned about the different play styles I loved the way that alchemists can toss out conditions and AOEs while still footballing well and are able to get takeouts. Plus I really like setting shit on fire.

Logan: This is a difficult question. Anyone who knows me knows that I compulsively buy models – just look at my extensive Warmachine collection. I couldn’t name what I have if you put a gun to my head.Billy and I split the Kick-Off box first to get into the game, I took the Masons. I really liked those because their description was similar to my Trollbloods from Warmachine – great armor and layering buffs to synergize. I liked them quite a bit but felt like I was missing something.That said, the guild I was really drawn toward was the Butchers. I loved the idea of a team that doesn’t even worry about the ball and is set on murder. But then I saw the Engineers and the way they just torment the other player by playing hot potato with the ball…AND THOSE MODELS! I fell in love with the Engineers very quickly. But the Butcher models are great too – so which to buy? Well both, obviously! So I got both factions – and then also the Fisherman, because why the hell not? They are dramatically different than the other two and have some interesting gameplay. So my first faction was Mase-engin-utcher-men.

Rob: Since the beginning I’ve been going back and forth between Fisherman and Morticians. I love the idea of the Fish being straight forward footballers and their nautical theme appeals to this captain. In the end, however, I had to go with the spooks, like the good goth kid that I am. They are also control based, which is totally my go-to play style.

 

What faction(s) could you see yourself getting into in the future?

Billy: The more I learn I’m thinking Ballista Engineers may become my next team. It depends on when farmers are released, I suppose. I like the idea of their play style as well. The new blacksmiths sound great too but that’s down the road and I’ll need more than two models to really have an opinion on them.

Logan: Not many left for me to get into then, is there? That said, I have virtually no interest in playing the Union or the Hunters – though the Hunters have some gorgeous models, so they have a chance. The rest are all definite possibilities but the guild I’m the most excited about (even including my current ones) is the Blacksmith’s guild. After the preview we saw earlier this week, I fell in love in a way that I haven’t with any faction. They are exactly the aesthetic and play-style that I’ve been looking for – I didn’t realize it until I saw it. I intend to buy every model that is released for that faction as soon as preorders are available. That said, the Farmer’s guild is interesting as well. I’m not as excited as I am for the Blacksmiths, but they are very cool in their own right.

Rob: The fisher still appeal to me, but seeing the Solthecian church members in the Union’s ranks seems to be my obvious next team. If there’s a faction aesthetic I play more than “dark and spooky” it is “holy orders”, as ironic as that may be. The hunters have also grown on me pretty quickly. At first I didn’t really like their generic Dungeons & Dragons ranger theme, but the Heralds of the Winter’s Moon Expansion looks really intriguing. And I can’t help but like the bear. If Hunters get more non-mascot animals for their team they might just jump up to must-have status.

 

What player interests you the most from a game-play aspect?

Billy: Smoke the alchemists captain is up there I still haven’t gotten to play a game with her yet, but her mobility and AOE manipulation really sound cool.

Logan: Locus from the Engineer’s guild. He is a gorgeous sculpt but also one of the coolest standalone players there is. He’s an enormous wooden robot and all of his momentous abilities are about driving the enemy back, his playbook allows him to damage and push the enemy away and (my favorite) remote control the ball. How awesome is it to have a soccer player that can use some sort of gravity field to manipulate the ball from a distance as if he was controlling it with his own two feet? You think you’re going to run past him to hit his team mates? Fat chance – Gravity Well sucks you in makes you deal with him first. Think you’ll push him around? He ignores it. Oh well, maybe you killed him, what’s he going to do now? Reanimate and come back to life instantly.He’s a force of nature and seems like one of the coolest single models there is.

Rob: It is definitely Brainpan & Memory for me. Seeing them is probably what sealed the deal on me starting with Morticians. Beyond the awesome look of them, the infinitely cool relationship between them in game made me certain that my first personal goal for this game would be to learn how to best use them as the focus of my team. My second favorite would be Avarice & Greede, who seem very versatile and will hopefully work well with BP&M in my first list.

 

Which model has your favorite sculpt?

Billy: Hands down Jack Straw from the farmers guild. I love that he’s a sickle wielding scarecrow.

Rob: I’d have an easier time pointing out the rare boring models than narrow down the plethora of great ones, but I’ll let my bias show and say that Ghast and Bonesaw are great. They have fantastic poses and styles that instantly tell you what you need to know about them. Avarice and Greede were not only one of the coolest to me, but came with the magnets needed for magnetizing and had holes ready for them to be glued in! My favorite however I already alluded to in Brainpan & Memory. They are simplistic, but they are well and I can’t help but love them.

Logan: “Which one of your kids is your favorite?” That’s the territory we’re in now. This is a very tough question for me, as I really really adore the sculpts on a large portion of the Butcher models. The dynamic poses they have convey motion so well that it’s almost breathtaking. The way the chains swirl around Shank, Boar’s overwhelming forward momentum with that clever raised high, Boiler in a three-point-stance, ready to charge and take on the world, Brisket pointing with her blade at the goal post, ready to slice and dice, and Ox standing menacing in the center, the unflinching leader of the pack. Holy shit I love them so much. The Engineers are gorgeous as well. Not so much dynamic, but intricate and beautiful. Cogs, gears, and wood grain everywhere, with the most beautiful gear-laden capes, crossbows, and freaking ROBOTS! There is no way on earth you can force me to give you a single favorite sculpt, but I’ll narrow it down to two – it’s either Boar or Salvo. That’s the best I can do, but for some reason I still feel like I’m lying to you.

 

On the hobby side, what do you most look forward to painting? Are there any you are NOT looking forward too?

Billy: I’m not a big painter, so I haven’t really considered much about that side of things. I feel like smoke may be a bit of a challenge though with the pose.

Logan: I’m currently painting my Butchers, so that’s a lot of my “looking forward to” list going. I’m really excited to paint some of my Engineers – specifically Ballista and Salvo. The intricacy of some of their weapons is stunningly beautiful. I’m really not looking forward to painting the Fishermen. They’re just….bland. The poses aren’t really dynamic and the models just kind of bore me. I do love the netting on some of them and, with the blue as their primary color, could look really pretty alongside the tans. Dammit I really love models. Even the ones I don’t like I still like and can’t wait to paint.

Rob: I’m probably most looking forward to painting Ghast if I go through with painting him like the pro wrestler Kane. The one I look forward to the least is probably Obulus. He has a beautiful feather cape and I already know I will not be able to execute properly the greatness I feel it deserves.

 

What do you think about the game’s setting and story? How does it stack up to games you have played in the past?

Billy: The setting is pretty fantastic in general. I haven’t had a chance to really get into the fluff except that the teams are based on guilds in a steampunk fantasy world. Hell it sounds like a video game or tabletop RPG.

Rob: from what I’ve read I really enjoy. What Logan has told me, I enjoy even more, My problem with game fluff is that I sometimes get too ADD about it and fall into the mindset of “yeah, yeah, but what about MY faction?” My favorite game fluff is probably Legend of the Five Rings and Warhammer 40k. While I don’t think what I have seen of Guild Ball’s story reaches the heights of those, I could see them achieving that level if given the time the aforementioned games have had.

Logan: I’ve read a lot of fluff for a lot of games, and this one is pretty good. Warmachine still has probably the best fluff I’ve read – that universe genuinely feels alive and is internally consistent. Guild Ball has a lot of great stuff too, but there’s a lot of suspension of disbelief. It’s really hard to wrap your mind around the concept that the whole world stopped being at war with one another over a few soccer teams – but once you get past that, the characters and their relationships are really good. I really love character driven stories and since every model has a name and a purpose in this game, you can really follow your favorite character and believe that they are fully developed characters in their own right. I also really adore any fluff that works its way into the cards. For example, in Season One – the Butcher’s team captain, Ox, is the owner of the team and has an ability called “The Owner” where he buffs the players around him. He gets thrown into jail at the end of Season One and comes back in Season Two as just a regular player under a new team captain/owner. His Season Two/Veteran card has an ability called “The Old Ways” that says when he takes out an enemy, he gets “The Owner” ability again for a turn. I love how cinematic that is and find myself thinking about it constantly during games. Ox runs up and swings his manacles at the opposing player, maybe breaks his neck and kills him, all the other players see this and remember the good old days when Ox was the captain. They are drawn to him and for a little while, they fall into The Old Ways again.

 

Anything you want to say in closing?

Rob: I really hope that I continue to enjoy this game as much as I have so far. I’ve really cut back on how many games I play, and right now this one is definately at the top. Can’t wait to hit the tournament scene and see what more this game has to offer.

Logan: This is a game I can really see myself playing for a long time. I don’t have to listen to a thousand hours of podcasts and watch endless bat-reps on youtube to stay on top of the nuances of a million individual models to feel like I can be competitive. I don’t have to put $3k into the game just to complete a faction. I don’t have to read every forum and stay on top of every post to make sure I don’t miss a subtle rule change or clarification. I don’t have to feel like every match is a game of rock, paper, scissors and that I’ve been predetermined to lose this match because my Warcaster just can’t stack up against that Warlock. I can sit down against any team and have a fair shot at winning just about every game. I adore that, and it’s likely what will keep me here for a long time. As long as the gorgeous models keep on coming, that is.

Billy: Titty sprinkles

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Skip to toolbar