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!

Running the Gauntlet Volume 2

Posted by on 4:20 am

Running the Gauntlet Volume 2: The Official Breakdown Hello everyone and welcome back to another installation of Running the Gauntlet. After a bit of a delay I have finally gotten volume 2 ready. In this volume we will look at the official Iron Gauntlet rules and scenarios, talk about how it compares to some other prestigious events in Warmachine and Hordes, and then spend a little time preparing some dojo. The Official Rules First up the actual Iron Gauntlet rules were released about two weeks ago and look pretty cool. I went over a lot of the rules (which were revealed in the keynote from Templecon) in the last article but we will rehash them here a bit. Here are the major points for the Iron Gauntlet rules: A Regional ranking system divided into four regions which are currently: North America East, North America West, Europe, and Australia/Asia A point system that scores the top 16 finishers in qualifying events 2 50 point lists with character restrictions, 10 point specialists, and no faction limitations between lists Death Clock with deployment on the clocks Masters Style Scenarios including: Destruction, Close Quarters, Incursion, Outflank, Into the Breach, and Process of Elimination Iron Gauntlet is run as a season with multiple qualifiers throughout the world at different times during the season. At the end of the season 16 players will be invited to the Iron Gauntlet Finals at Lock and Load 2014. These 16 are chosen in two ways and are seeded #1 through #16. The top 8 seeds will be the top two scoring players from each region and will use event wins and then head to head wins as tie breaks to determine qualifying. The lower 8 seeds will be chosen among the next highest scoring players regardless of region and use the same tie breakers as the first 8 seeds. Alternates will be invited if the current seeds are unable to make the Final event. The Finals will be a tournament style event with the players being ranked 1-16 and then broken in to 4 regions where they again will be ranked 1-4. Another nice benefit is based on your rankings in the Finals you get points towards the next Iron Gauntlet season. Overall I think this is a very solid format and just sounds like a lot of fun especially having a ranking system that you can compare yourself to some of the best players with. Comparing Apples and Oranges and Bananas too! I know one of the things that a lot of people are asking is “How does Iron Gauntlet compare to the Warmachine Weekend Invitational and the WTC (World Team Championship)?” Honestly the way I look at it they are all different events and are all very prestigious. All three events have finals at different times so it isn’t impossible to make it to all of the events (might be some what difficult with WMW and IG qualifiers so far being run at the same time but there are more WMW qualifying events than for the IG so far). The difference in these three events is the type of warmachine and hordes you play in them. The WMW Invitational is the long standing King of warmahordes tournaments and is the most classic of all three tournaments....

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Crippled System: Episode 19 – Conforming to society

Posted by on 8:15 am

Hosts: Jeremy S, Katie S, Brian G, Nathan H, Andy W In this episode, warmachine talk. yay. 00:00 – Introductions and Adepticon discussion 11:54 – Contest announcements and discussions 20:38 – Terminology for new players 39:05 – Privateer Press novellas discussion 41:16 – Casters/lists we would play in other factions if we could 49:54 – Katie’s Korner: Make sure you kill things for a reason 61:43 – Recommendations 69:40 – Nathan insults the Japanese 70:10 – Recommendations part 2   Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:29:16 — 61.3MB)Subscribe: Android |...

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PwMJ – Programming Note

Posted by on 7:07 am

Just a quick note…there will be no Painting with MenothJohn this week.  My youngest, Lich Lord Charlie turns 7.  I will be partying like is 2013 with him. Feel free to drink in his honor.  Judicator!

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Epic FM Episode 7

Posted by on 5:12 pm

Epic FM Episode 7 – WTC Warm-up report and discussion In this cast the Flail crew (Brett, Paul, Tom, Adam and Phil) report on day 1 of the WTC warm-up event and provide insight into list choices and tactics. Episode 8 will include the second part of this event so stay tuned…. Time stamps; 2:00 Intro and list discussions 22:00 start of battle reports 1:48.00 Rampager Enjoy and please send any feedback, lists for us to discuss on the list doctor segment or questions you want us to answer to; Follow us EpicFM_Podcast Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 2:06:58 — 116.2MB)Subscribe: Android |...

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MoM’s Podcast #50 – A Warmachine and Hordes Podcast

Posted by on 1:18 am

  MoM’s Podcast #50 — A Warmachine and Hordes Podcast Topics:   Time Stamps: This week we talk about Recruits con, Playing the mirror match, and acting like a pirate.  Time stamps coming eventually. Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 2:31:53 — 69.5MB)Subscribe: Android |...

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Road to War Episode 27- A Warmachine & Hordes podcast

Posted by on 8:09 pm

Road to War This week we talk about Kreoss 3 and our thoughts on enforcing the rules vs. having a relaxed game. Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:37:59 — 44.9MB)Subscribe: Android |...

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Hacking the Cortex: Thousands of Steps, Dozens of Falls.

Posted by on 10:07 am

A lot of the accepted wisdom with regard to learning holds that certain skills, such as language and walking, are learned because a “module” in the brain activates and allows us to learn that skill quickly and effectively. The assumption made in these models is that the brain has evolved to contain a set of rules which constrain that learning and accelerate the process. For example,  with language, we’re thought to have a Language Acquisition Device in the brain that contains a master set of rules for a universal grammar. How else, they argue, could we learn something as complex as language so quickly? How else, they argue, can we explain how the overwhelming majority of children learn to form grammatically correct sentences without explicit instruction in grammar? Those theorists are flat out wrong. Learning occurs in tiny increments, with many, many errors along the way. Much of it happens unconsciously, so it seems “innate” to observers and to our own subjective experience. Because we don’t see explicit lessons, we believe that there are no lessons. Children between the ages of 12 and 19 months average a total of 2,368 steps per hour. The physical design of human legs limits their range of motion to the point where learning to walk is relatively easy, as there are only so many ways you can move your legs. But even with that advantage, it takes millions of learning experiences to become proficient at toddling, let alone running, jumping, climbing, sprinting, and navigating obstacles. The important statistic I want to get at for this article is that within those 2,368 steps, a child also averages 17 falls per hour. That’s a lot of falling. Anyone who has played Warmachine for any length of time knows how many falls are involved in learning this game. It is the single most complex and nuanced wargame I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing, but the learning curve is steep. The first few games you play are training wheels games, in which the demoing player goes easy on their opponent and allows them to learn what their army actually does. We slowly introduce the basic mechanics of the game. But once the training wheels come off, we warn them – “You’re going to lose a lot of games”. And they do. You have to learn about Molik missiles and Snipe-Feat-Go, about Overrun and Goad angles. You need to learn about the true brutality of Cryxian debuffs and overwhelming hordes of infantry. And there’s always more, always another combo. And that’s just learning what other armies do. You need to learn the nuances and subtleties of how your own army plays, about how a tiny rules interaction can be exploited to turn your troops up to 11 or to really ruin your day. You have to get blasted apart by Dire Troll Bombers before you learn to spread your troops out, then someone shows you how spray angles can surprise you even then. There is so very much to learn. And as we established in the previous article, you learn via practice. But there’s more to it than that. The core process which governs all of human learning is Operant Conditioning. If you ask about 80% of Psychologists (totally made up number, but a large majority) they will tell...

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Bringing the Retribution: Surprise vs. Tactics

Posted by on 1:00 am

One of the factors of playing the Retribution is dealing with the general scarcity of other Retribution players. Of course this is relative to everyone’s meta (mine for instance, has about three regular and another two non-regular Retribution players) but for the most part you as a Retribution player are going to be an unknown factor. Even with the ability to read up on factions via the Internet (which I assume some of you are doing right now), reading and actually playing are to very, very different things. I have run into countless players who tell me “I have never played Retribution” before we sit down to the game. For any player beyond the beginner level this is usually not a problem. However, I think Retribution has a certain level of SURPRISE factor that can throw even the best player of guard. This usually comes in the form of ignoring rules. Probably the most obvious case is the Mage Hunter Strike Force because they ignore so many rules, LOS being the biggest. Players who are playing against Retribution for the first time will often make the mistake of putting their caster too close to the MHSF. This usually leads to a terrible and untimely death. The opponent is mad, frustrated, and the like but they learn. They know better next time. This article is not about what the opponent learns. It’s about what the Retribution player learns.   There is a majorly crippling effect to Retribution players, especially those new to Warmachine in general. To be blunt: Retribution has a harder time learning to play tactics over surprise.  Let me show you an example. There is a current tactical doctrine on the boards right now called Snipe, Feat, Go! The idea is to use Ravyn to cast snipe on the MHSF, up their threat range to 22”, and then pop her feat, which gives boosted attack rolls on all range attacks (along with Swift Hunter). You then move the MHSF into range of the enemy caster and proceed to gun…er crossbow them down. Since the SF ignore everything and most casters have paper-thin armor, the only thing that stops this from working is hitting a casters base Def, which is not hard on 3D6.   This can be a great tactic. The problem is that after you do it against an opponent once, they learn. The Retribution player, however, does not necessarily learn anything. They think that this is what we do, that this god like power should be used in every situation. It takes longer for a Retribution player to learn better because the faction has several units that are incredibly good. They allow us to win games by doing things like assassinating the caster turn two. However, a lot of those tactics only work because the opponent doesn’t know it is coming. It’s a surprise the first time it happens. Every faction has a surprise factor when you are first starting out. “I didn’t know Molik Karn could go that far!” or “that guy has counter charge!?” are often heard phrases coming from beginning players. But Retribution surprise factors seem so powerful, so integral to the faction that its hard for any player to see past doing certain things a certain way in every game.   The...

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Making something out of nothing: Part 4

Posted by on 3:42 pm

This time we are going to look at adding another “type” of member to our group.  This is one of the most difficult, yet rewarding and important members: the doubting Thomas. Doubting Thomas My daughter is 2 years old, and she is awesome[1]. Just because my daughter is awesome though, doesn’t mean that she doesn’t frustrate me sometimes. My wife and I work really hard to make sure she has really good eating habits[2].  So we give her veggies every night, don’t give her juice or pop, rarely give her sugar snacks, and generally try to foster well-rounded, healthy choices for her.  So far, it has worked out really well.  I, on the other hand, am not the healthiest eater and I enjoy a fair share of garbage food.  Being her dad, once in a while I like to give her a little taste of something unhealthy and delicious.  Every time I offer her something, she doesn’t want it at first.  I offer her a bite of chocolate chip cookie knowing full well this will be the most delicious thing she eats all week and yet, I have to battle her to try it.  Once she does, I ask her if she liked it, which of course she did, and she enthusiastically asks for more.  What frustrates me is that we go through this every  single time.  She loves everything I’ve ever asked her to try outside of the dinner table.  Yet, every single time I offer her something new she fights me.   At what point is she going to figure it out?  Let’s be honest,  I’m not in the habit of browbeating people to eat part of my amazing Scotcharoo[3] bar.  I would think my track record would speak for itself with her.  Apparently, Dad still does not have her convinced. I suppose we can all be like my daughter.  So stubborn we find ways to get in the way of our own enjoyment. One of my best friends was the ultimate Doubting Thomas.  I’ve known him for the last 10 years, and in that time I’ve gone from disliking him (the first 3 months) to tolerating him (the next 6) to having him be in my wedding.  He’s a great guy, and while he comes on a little strong, once you figure out that’s just who he is, everyone seems to love him.  Once he caught wind of my “minis[4]” he would mock me at every chance.  He often would ask me how my “red dragon” was doing against the elves, and then laugh to himself as if he were quite hilarious.   Here’s the thing though, this guy is a huge nerd.  He loves Top Gun, Star Wars, and Superhero movies.  He hung his “coolness” in high school on buying a Jeep and driving with the top down.  He’s admittedly unsmooth with the ladies back in the day, and due to colorblindness can’t dress himself properly without his wife’s help.  He loves video games and texting me messages in military speak.  Basically, he’s the poster child for a guy who would love playing a miniature’s war game.  However, no matter how many times I talked to him about it, he was completely against it. So the situation as it stood was one of my best friends was...

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Nemesis: The Lich. 4 – Instruments of Dark Dominion

Posted by on 3:38 am

“I activate my titan gladiator and move him forward. Okay, that’s fine then I… Why are you smirking?” “Oh nothing.” “What is it now? You can’t purge me yet… yet.” “Titans. Heh.” “I hate you.” The usual front matter, check out the first two articles for background on Lich. Also, at Overload Online we’ve changed our schedule, so that Nemesis will be posting on Wednesdays in future, both on Overload and here on Muse. Thanks for all the continued support! And as always, all feedback is welcome! Cryx tends to be good against Hordes. Trivially removing heavies is a hard counter that’s tough to deal with, and Hordes armies tend to have low numbers of attacks. Circle and Legion were and are better placed to deal with it, by virtue of various trickeries and movement shenanigans. The typical Trolls and Skorne plan of taking one on the chin really doesn’t work against Cryx, especially not with Arm-reliant heavies. Trolls have some tools in the Grims and Calandra, but I feel that Skorne’s lack of denial and the fact that our infantry clearing master, Hexeris2, prefers taking lots of beasts against living troops makes for a situation with no easy answer. Combine this with a lack of reliable shooting that efficiently kills banes and we have a tough challenge. It is probably the hardest faction matchup of all for Skorne, even harder than purification Menoth. There are tools there though. Lots of people do like Hexeris2 in that matchup for example. I’ve been floating ideas for Rasheth, admittedly with middling success even in the dojo. Zaal is regularly touted as a good counter to Cryx (Especially Terminus, whom he spanks). I’ve decided to focus on two options that see little game instead. We’ll get on to ‘locks in a moment. First I want to discuss Skorne options that I think are great against Cryx. The cyclops shaman is a no brainer, with an upkeep removal animus. Moreover I find his gun combined with an extoller soulward makes him a solo hunter extraordinaire. I adore the shaman’s gun. In general, I like cyclopes in the Cryx matchup with any caster who can turn them on (make them kill above their weight class). They are far less points in one place than titans. Zaal does this very well, letting cyclopes kill other people’s heavies, and maintaining target variety. K-K-K-Kovaas! Venator slingers deserve an honourable mention. They get the bonus dice to damage undead troops, who are typified by low Def, and tend to be good against mechanithralls and biles that came too far forward. Nihilators can be very effective, maximising the numbers who survive purges and bane charges by killing a model or three in return. Void spirits, if you can justify them in general, are really sweet against Cryx. Satyxis hate making regular abomination checks, and the impassable clouds are great denial vs. Cryx. The lack of boosted damage often isn’t a big deal. Gatorman witch doctors let you excarnate proof your troops, though its buffs tend to have overlap with lots of Skorne troops inherent abilities. My first Dark Horse is Mordikaar. With the Despoiler on the way, you can mint some free points. Those points are in void spirits which I do really like against Cryx. Banishing ward is...

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