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Guild Ball is the game of medieval fantasy football from Steamforged Games. The Century War has wracked the land, and all that forges the fractious nations of the new Empire together is the blood-sport of Guild Ball, brought together by the scheming Guilds. Will you play the slippery Fishermen, the arcane Alchemists, or the suspicious Union? Read some articles, listen to some podcasts, watch some videos, and maybe you’ll find out which is best for you!

Thursdays with Thanan: Skorne Battle Box

Posted by on 2:52 am

Welcome to another titillating episode, dear readers! So far we’ve examined Circle Orboros, Cygnar, Legion of Everblight, and Khador (in that order, no less). Today, we delve into the Skorne empire. The Skorne army is one that lives and breathes by a warrior code, similar to the Japanese empire of old. The Skorne have turned that idea into a way of life – and death. The Skorne emphasize a heavy melee approach, having some of the toughest warbeasts, with high armor and lots of hit points, as well as having some of the highest base P+S attacks. No glass cannon, this army. It strives to provide as many haymakers as possible to the opponent’s jawline, even if that means taking a few themselves. Feel free to comment or question at the bottom! The Skorne battle box is comprised of Morghoul 1 (aka pMorghoul), a Titan Gladiator, and two Cyclops savages. Morghoul 1 – Morghoul is a speedy melee assassin style character. He has a very good MAT, super high defense, and goes squish if you look at him. He has quite a few nifty abilities. Of course, he comes with pathfinder, as well as anatomical precision – which means that any time he hits a living model, that model auto takes one point. He still rolls for damage, but if he fails to beat the armor the enemy still takes one pip. Great for clearing out high armor, single wound swarms, or for putting damage on a caster camping focus. He also has maltreatment, so he can do d3 damage to a warbeast and reave one extra fury. This is a safe way to get a bit more mileage out of Morghoul for minimal damage to a beast. He has overtake, so after killing one guy, he can advance, make his second attack, advance again, then he ALSO has sprint! So he can charge 10″, overtake 1″, overtake 1″, sprint 7″. “Dang,” you think to yourself, “that could be useful if they had infantry.” I agree. Unfortunately, he can potentially do that, just not in the battle box format. He has the nifty perfect balance skill, which means that he can’t be combined attacked, targeted by free strikes, AND models do not get back strike bonuses, AS WELL AS standing up for free the next round. His magical weapons have inflict pain, it can place or remove 1 fury from a warbeast. You could potentially block transfer targets, force frenzies, or remove all the fury that an opponent was planning on using. It also has double strike, so he can spend one fury and attack twice. Let’s think through a combat with Morghoul, in the battle box. Let’s assume that you’re facing a Circle army. You charge an argus sitting right next to Kaya, and it has 3 fury, 2 hit points. You tick it twice with both your initials. It dies, but you’ve taken off two fury, so Kaya only takes 1. Your opponent was silly and spent all that she had spirit dooring, so now she has 1 fury for a transfer. You overtake with 6 fury remaining. You spend 6 fury for 12 additional attacks, a minimum 12 damage, assuming you hit. Let’s assume you hit. And assume that you rolled more than 4 at least...

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Riding a Dark Horse: Spitfire

Posted by on 3:23 am

by Chuck Elswick Fulfilling another request for one of those zany models, I now turn my attention to Kara Sloan.  I played this caster against a good buddy of mine in the 3rd round of the Warmachine Weekend Invitational and got the win against strong odds.  (The odds being that he is a good player, and the situation was not favorable to me.)   The first part of the list will be what I would run at 35 points and the last part is what I ran at the Invitational.   Sloan +6 Defender (6) 3 Hunter 6 Squire 2 Gun Mage Unit with Officer 8 Cyclone (Jack Marshaled by Gun Mage Officer) 9 Black 13th 4 Gun Mage Adept 2 Reinholdt 1 Total 35/41   Gun Mage Adept 2 Rangers 5 Strangeways 2 Epic Eiryss 3 3 Stormsmiths (1) 3 Total 50/56   “Why did you run Sloan at the Invitational?”   Because I am crazy, thats why.  A couple of my friends, Josh Russell and Matt “Daredevil” O’ Reily, were even betting on the fact that I would run her as most people don’t like her.   Kara Sloan’s life expectancy isn’t great with below average life and below average ARM.  Thankfully she has above average DEF.  She has average FOC, though once you take a look at her spells and abilities you usually will not have that much focus left on her.   She has the ability to ignore stealth if she gets the aiming bonus, but as many people forget, this ability does transfer over to spells (thanks tactical tips).   She has way above average RAT as she is able to keep up with Caine on the ability to hit something with a range attack.  The gun itself, Spitfire, has the range of a long gunner’s rifle and the POW of a hand cannon.  But that’s not all; she also has weapon master on her rifle.   She has Arcane Blast (decent range and POW with a 3′ AOE, though costs a lot to cast), Deadeye (basic Cygnar spell that boosts the accuracy of a model/unit’s 1st ranged attack), Dust to Dust (decent range and POW that turns the boxed living or undead model into a cloud and removes it from play, great for dealing with those models that like to come back), Return Fire (for the cost of one of her focus when the model is shot at, after resolving the attack, it gets to make one ranged or melee attack), Refuge (great hit and run spell as after you hit something with your combat action you get to move your SPD ignoring free strikes, a great upkeep spell), and lastly her signature Fire Group spell (while her battlegroup is in her control area they get a bonus to their RNG).   Her feat boosts all of the range attacks of friendly faction models while in her control area.  The next part of her feat is a little weird but here is the break down.  Whenever a model in her battlegroup hits an enemy model with a ranged attack, another model in her battlegroup can immediately make a ranged attack, though a model can not make more than one attack due to this feat.  Keep in mind, this is an out of activation attack,...

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The Intersection of Meta and ‘Winning’

Posted by on 3:23 am

  The Warmachine and Hordes meta-game is a living breathing entity.  Players try to out-think, out-plan and out-bamboozle one another by creating lists designed to fair best in their current Meta.  This article is going to give you a description of one piece, its probability of effect and how that probability interacts with your view on the current local Meta. The piece in question is Anastasia Di Bray and the power is Intelligence.  Intelligence gives you +1 to your starting roll to determine the order of deployment and play.  There are a few other ways to increase your starting roll including multiple theme forces.  For brevity’s sake, I’m talking about those too.  In a game where jam lists are rushing to occupy zones the term “roll to win” has been coined more often then I can count.  Let’s take a look at what the actual probability of “winning” initiative (a la Charlie Sheen) is. Player 1 (w/ Anastasia Di Bray) rolls one die with outcomes 2-7.  Player 2 (w/o Anastasia Di Bray) rolls a die with outcomes 1-6.  There are 36 combinations of rolls between the two players with the following results.  Player 1 will win 58.3%, Tie 13.9% and Lose 27.8% of the time.  The tie will lead to a re-roll with the same statistics.  If you chase this pattern to its end, the net result of having the benefit of Anastasia over your opponent means that you’ll win the initiative roll 67.7% of the time.  For players that REALLY want the edge, the additional 17.7% can make a difference. Now, don’t go putting Anastasia into all of your lists at once.  As a reminder, if your opponent ALSO has Anastasia in their list the odds of winning the initiative roll are back to 50/50.  Fortunately, there are a few factors mitigating this effect.  First off, she’s a character and can be restricted.  Secondly, she only works for Cygnar and Protectorate.  Those two factors alone will reduce your chance of seeing her pretty significantly.  Neither of these comments hold true when you’re talking about theme lists, but their appearance in competitive play is touch and go as well. I’m not one to leave you hanging with half of an answer so I’ll show you how to balance what you know about Anastasia (17.7% incremental benefit) with your perception on the Meta.  You’re going to have to calculate a few intersection probabilities.  Let’s take a look at this nice little probability tree.   Figuring out your total win rate lies in calculating what happens in each of the states of the world and then totaling the ones in which you win.  Here there are four potential outcomes.  One in which your opponent ALSO has Anastasia in which you win (#1) or lose (#2) and one in which your opponent DOES NOT have Anastasia in which you win (#3) or lose (#4).  The total win rate is the added percentages of #1 and #3.   Now let’s run the numbers.  Let’s say you live with a Meta that values this +1 to start roll INTENSELY.  You think that roughly 30% of the lists you’ll face have her in it.  The probability of you winning the initiative roll with Anastasia is STILL 62%!  Even while encountering her (or something like her)...

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The Focus Camper’s Bible 3: Camping with Cygnar

Posted by on 12:15 am

by Walter Langendorf   The time has come to abandon generalities and get specific.  For no particular reason I’ve decided to start off the camping roll call with everyone’s favorite Swans.   Overall:  Cygnar may be the very best faction to be a camper in, solely in terms of how much the army can contribute to your camp.  It’s frankly staggering.  That said, however, they are one of the least likely factions to see camping attempted with, as their army positively screams for the caster’s direct attention.  That said, they have a couple of impressive campers, including one of the game’s all time camping greats.   Army Contribution to Camp:   The Journeyman can fill the caster’s upkeep slot with Cygnar’s trademark defensive buff…Arcane Shield.  Not only is this the highest armor buff in the game, it is upkept by a solo, so it doesn’t even reduce the caster’s armor by 1 to upkeep it.  The Journeyman adds 3 to any Cygnaran caster’s camp.   Squire:  The squire can, for 3 turns, add another point to the caster’s camp. 3 turns is essentially the whole game, it’s very rare to see a Squire run dry.   Shield Guards:  Cygnar has access to both the Bokur and their very own shield guard, the Sentinel.  Bokurs aren’t the world’s best shield guards (they can be killed by shooting), but the sentinel is both cheap (4 points), and impressively capable of dealing damage while remaining near the caster. (Strafing infantry gives it something to do).   The 3 Gate System:   This was actually supposed to go into the last post, but  I have 3 gates that I consider when I think about camping casters.  The best casters make it through all 3.  If a caster doesn’t make it through 2 you should consider whether your camping strategy would be better executed with another caster.  The gates are:   #1: Threat that is position based and almost impossible to ignore.  That is, when the caster goes up and camps in the enemy’s face, is there a reason they can’t just disregard him.   #2: Can the caster impact the game while camping.  On the way forward, while you are in danger of assassination pieces but not the whole world, can you continue to help out your army?   #3: Can the caster camp?  This is a function of stats.  The Basic Bob example I keep bringing up shows how easy this is to satisfy.  The only ones who really fail at this are folks whose def/arm balance is hugely weighted towards def who can’t get steady somehow, and aren’t in a faction that supports camping very well.   0 gate casters:  Cygnar supports casters so hard that they don’t have any zero gate casters.  Everyone can pass the first gate.  Even the frail old Nemos have arms of 25 when you put all the pieces together.  If we took Basic Bob (def 15, arm 16, 6 focus 15 hp) and put him in Cygnar we might have to start calling him Bobathrax, as he soared to 15/26 with the Journey upkeeping Arcane Shield and him taking a focus off a squire.   1 gate casters:  The vast majority of Cygnar is composed of 1 gate casters.  They have the stats to camp...

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Riding a Dark Horse:The Lord of Dawn

Posted by on 2:45 am

by Chuck Elswick   Bulldog here, continuing my Dark Horse series with the Dawnlord Vyros.  If someone was to ask what my favorite faction is I would have to say Retribution, not so much for their story but because I have always enjoyed elves in fantasy fiction.  Though if I ever had to pick a character to call my favorite, when it comes to story I would have to say Goreshade. He is the bad guy you love to hate. Vyros is the Retribution caster with the most ties to the Goreshade story, making him one of my favorite favorites.  The list below is just a basic list for what I would use with him and after giving the list I will provide what I like to do with it.   Dawnlord +6 Griffon 4 Manticore (6) 2 Phoenix 10 Arcanist 1 Arcanist 1 Dawnguard Scyir 2 Dawnguard Scyir 2 10 Dawnguard Sentinels with UA and 3 Soulless 14 Fane Knight 5 Madelyn Corbeau 2 Mage Hunter Assassin 2 Mage Hunter Assassin 2 Narn 3 Total:  50/50   The Dawnlord has way above average MAT, almost on par with the likes of Butcher.  His best stats however, are the defensive ones, average DEF combined with above average ARM and life. His weapon only has reach with a POW just below the Butcher’s, when he flanks with a warjack. He has a great command, as the leader of the Dawnguard this is unsurprising, and in Retribution often unnecessary.  He is, however, lacking in other abilities. He really only has the one, Birds Eye View. This is a great ability as it allows his battlegroup to ignore clouds, forests and models when determining LOS, as well as extending their front arcs 360 degrees. Make sure to keep his battlegroup in his control area for this.   His spell selection is good with Eliminator (average range, above average POW and 3″ AOE and for every model destroyed by the spell he gets to move 2″), Hallowed Avenger (upkeep for a warjack that allows it to charge something when a friendly model is destroyed by an enemy attack), Stranglehold (decent range, ok POW, but great effect, if you damage the model then it must forfeit either its next movement or action), Inviolable Resolve (upkeep that gives model/unit gets a bonus to ARM and becomes fearless; as a side note one good thing to do with this spell is if a model/unit is fleeing and you need them that turn you can cast this spell on the model/unit and it will immediately rally and can activate normally that turn, which has helped me in many games), and lastly Mobility (models in his battlegroup gain a bonus to SPD and pathfinder).   So what I like to do with the list is have the Dawnguard unit stay base to base with each other (as they get a bonus to ARM while they are base to base) and cast Inviolable Resolve on them (makes them ARM 17/19 if in base to base with each other).  The Fane Knight stays close to them and Madelyn stays in base to base contact with him (she has an ability to give a bonus to CMD to solos in base contact with her), this allows for one of his abilities to have a better...

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Carnage4u’s Terrain Blog #4 (Progress on Ruined City Project)

Posted by on 8:07 am

by Brian Giese. Welcome to another article discussing my current terrain project.  I continue to work on my “Modular Ruined City Project”  The project was started  in Oct 2011.   In previous articles I wrote about the planning phase of the project and the part one of the building phase. This article will continue discussing and showing pictures of the of the building phase.  I am building 16 1ft by 1ft modular terrain pieces. Each piece contains part of a ruined city. The pieces are being put together in such a way I can set up tables differently every game.     In the last article I had shown images of my first 8 pieces. thisarticle will show pictures of the final 8 pieces.  (In the future I plan on creating another 8 to 16 pieces) I have created modular pieces instead of one 4ft x ft table fo the following reasons. #1)  – As nice as a 4ft by 4ft complete board looks when its one piece, the disadvantage is often the board never really changes, and if players use it often, its easy to “premeasure” and have strategies for the game board before the game even starts.   With having multiple 1ft by 1ft sections. I can always turn or face the pieces in different directions to create a larger variety of tables. #2) Storage issues. While it is challenging to store 16 1ft by 1ft sections. it is nearly impossible for me to simply store a full 4ft by 4ft table.  In addition the weight of a full table with these many buildings would be very hard to transport anywhere.   While a lot of the pieces will have a similar look and feel to them, there are some core pieces that I want to stick out in this project.  In my last update, the Crypt piece was an example of one of the core pieces. One of the next pieces I want to focus on will be a bell tower on a small hill. This was a very challenging piece to make as it involved creating multiple parts that needed to align up exactly when complete. I also need to keep this piece in parts during the painting proces.   Here is an in progress picture of the design of the bell tower.   Here is what the bell tower will look like when it’s on the hill. The belltower itself is still in 2 pieces.       Finally here is the bell tower next to another new piece i created as well.  The bell tower is going to have a lot of additional work done to it once I paint it. I have a few ideas I want to do for the windows, but those are still currently all in-progress ideas. (if i get my way it will involve a stained glass look)     Another stand out piece I want to include is a “pool” piece. I really wanted to add some water and I decided to create a large pool that I image would fit inside of the city.   The pool piece starts off simply enough.         Finally with a bit more work. ( I am very excited to show off how this piece finally looks when complete)  I have used some cauk inside the inner edge, so when I add the...

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MoM’s Podcast #3

Posted by on 3:48 pm

  Episode 3   Topics: WMW Invitational Qualifiers preview. Overview of SR2012 and Center Scenarios (Gauntlet, Overrun, and Close Quarters) Staples for good list building flexibility. We cover Trollbloods, Circle, Cryx and Menoth. Special section covering the music written for Muse on Minis. Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 3:15:16 — 178.8MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android |...

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MoM's Podcast #3

Posted by on 3:48 pm

  Episode 3   Topics: WMW Invitational Qualifiers preview. Overview of SR2012 and Center Scenarios (Gauntlet, Overrun, and Close Quarters) Staples for good list building flexibility. We cover Trollbloods, Circle, Cryx and Menoth. Special section covering the music written for Muse on Minis. Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 3:15:16 — 178.8MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android |...

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The Modern Major-Mercenary – Ash

Posted by on 3:24 am

“We lived in the shadows as soldiers of the night, but our lives were not dark and martial…” – Jean-Pierre Levy Picking up from my last rambling cogitation, we’re looking at the effects of Wrath on the stable of older mercenary warcasters. Specifically: how our pre-Wrath ‘casters have changed now that we’re getting the actual Wrath models to play with and theorymachine is beginning to give way to actual tabletop experience, and what new ways of playing have opened up as a result. Today, we’re looking at Ashlynn D’Elyse, the flower of the Llaelese Resistance. As before, for those unfamiliar with Ashlynn, I point you in the direction of her Battle College entry, with the caution that Battle College’s commentary beyond their summary of model abilities is generally best taken with a rather substantial grain of salt. At this point, though, the article warrants a disclaimer: I’m not yet as familiar with Ashlynn (who, for brevity, will henceforth be referred to as Ash) as I’d like to be. I certainly have some games with her under my belt, but there’ll still be a bit of theorymachine here that’s not yet fully backed by play experience – which I will try and make note of, when it’s particularly egregious. Fairly warned, be ye, says I! So with that in mind, let’s start by discussing why I never found myself really wanting to play Ash before the release of Wrath.   Pre-Wrath Ash; a Surfeit of Shortcomings (…Sort of) In the days and months following the release of MKII and then the Mercenary forces book, I often found myself looking in Ash’s direction, hoping to maybe glean some insight that would convince me to start playing her. Every time, though, I came away with the same thing; a cavalcade of “well, that’s pretty good, but…” impressions. She has always seemed to have a great deal of potential, most of which is just slightly too curtailed by some inherent limitation. Let’s start with her spell list. Make no mistake; there’s gold in them thar spells. But before the arrival of Wrath, really digging your way down to it was easier said than done; Quicken, for example, is an excellent spell with a myriad of uses in almost any game, from defending Ash personally to extending the threat range and longevity of just about any unit in your list… but, as good as it is, it’s also a COST 3 spell that you will frequently want to hot-swap once you’ve delivered your initial unit into melee. Admonition is a great defensive spell that will have your opponents tearing their hair out under the right circumstances… but it’s another drain on Ashlynn’s sharply limited focus that keeps her from using her other spells as effectively as she wants to. Distract is outright amazing, arguably one of the best debuffs in the game, synergising perfectly with her feat in particular by making it even harder for opponents to hit you in melee, and stripping all offensive ability from ranged units that might have been able to back up outside Ash’s CTRL to shoot… but Ash’s FOC 6 means your accuracy outside of the feat turn is less than reliable and, more importantly, it has a cripplingly short RNG of only 8”, with no access to...

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Thursdays with Thanan: Khador Battle Box

Posted by on 1:00 am

Why hello there dear readers, welcome to the 4th installment of Thursdays with Thanan! Today’s topic is the Khador battle box. The Khador battle box is tough as nails and offers a strong assassination vector in it’s leader Sorscha 1 (aka pSorscha). It also contains two heavies, the destroyer and the juggernaut, which is a wee bit different than the other battle boxes we’ve covered so far. But there’s a good reason that it has two heavies – Khador doesn’t have any light warjacks. They do, however, have man-of-war units, heavy infantry that are really tough. Regardless, back to the battle box. Sorscha 1 – Sorscha is a strong warcaster with a very viable assassination run. She has fairly standard stats, with just above average defense and just under average armor for warcasters. She is slightly better at hitting in melee than she is at range, and does just a smidge more damage as well, but her hand cannon is fairly decent. If you happen to find yourself 12 inches away from a foe with nothing much to threaten you, it might be worth using. Sorscha’s imposing weapon, Frostfang, has reach, giving her an additional 2″ of threat, is a magical weapon, and comes with critical freeze. As any veteran player will tell you however, relying on crits for an assassination run is not a good idea, so please don’t bank on getting the crits when it matters!  Let’s go through the spells real quick, before we look into her assassination potential. Boundless Charge – this spell grants one friendly model + 2″ movement, free charge (no focus required), and the handy pathfinder ability. Feel free to cast this on one of your heavies if you need that extra umph to get them into the thick of things. Fog of War – this spell gives every model, friendly and enemy alike, concealment in her control area. Remember this, friendly and ENEMY alike. So if you cast this to help defend against shooting, and your opponent has a model with prowl (two that come to mind and are common, the Warpwolf Stalker, the Black 13th), they can gain stealth from this. It also protects them from your shooting. Use this if you’re afraid of getting gunned down. Freezing Grip – the target model / unit becomes stationary. This spell sucks up so much focus, it might not be worth it very often, especially since you’ll probably have to boost to hit the models you’re casting it on. Unless, of course, you’re casting it on an enemy heavy or some such, then it might be ok. However, what happens if your opponent shakes stationary? Suddenly you’re only 8″ away from a big bad axe, and that is not a place most warcasters would like to find themselves in. Razor Wind –a magical damage spell. Occasionally useful for removing a solo or a model blocking a charge lane. You won’t get much use out of it in Battle Box games. Tempest – models hit by the moderate sized aoe suffer a knockdown and a POW 12. The POW is great enough to threaten most any single wound troopers, and the knockdown can help make sure that your axe to face makes contact. Good to cast and let your heavies do the rest....

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