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!

Nemesis: The Lich. 5 – Inertia Dampened, Reverse Polarity!

Posted by on 7:22 am

“I’m going to activate this guy and run.” “He’s inside temporal barrier, just about.” “I thought that. And Haley’s right behind stormwall… So. Yup I have the space.” “Wait… what? You’re not able to feat against Haley tha-“ “SPECTRAL LEGION! ASSEMBLE!” True story. Not my true story, but MoM fans will know what I’m talking about. Jokes aside, though, if any faction can be considered a hard matchup for Cryx, it’s Cygnar. Cygnar is filled with stealth ignoring accurate guns, a plethora of infantry hating special rules, and denial out the wazoo. The stormwall in particular elicited many cries from Cryx players. Not Lich players. Lich, like plenty of other Cryx lists, can ‘gotcha’ a stormwall. No-one does it with the panache Lich does. It’s the one game you can be sure he’ll feat in. Check out the first two articles for background on Lich. Cygnar also have a rarer, but very effective, tool in this matchup, charge denial. Not line of sight blocking, no position games, just straight up ‘you cannot charge me’ kind of denial. It’s a very potent tool. It’s on Haley1, who is considered the game’s best hard counter to Lich, and most Cryx lists. She is also often thought to be un-fun. I, however, think she’s going to get a revival with ponies, probably of both types. Armoured ponies, which is to say storm lances, are also pretty bile thrall resistant. I have long been on the opinion that medium infantry are what Haley1 wants to run. She increases attack numbers, impedes swarms and weapon masters, and has arcane shield. Cavalry are kind of like 5 box medium infantry (a lament for another day), and get all of those benefits. And more taking ride-by into account. Arm 20 and un-chargeable is a pretty tough nut to crack. Like many young women, Vicky always secretly loved ponies. I’m going to suggest not running her with a stormwall. That big robot is a hungry sort of fellow, and she doesn’t like spending focus. Instead, accept your fate as a boring warcaster, cast TB every turn, then upkeep arcane shield on Haley. Protect her from stray reaper and pistol wraith shots with a sentinel. Sentinels really like the -2 Def from TB. The fun can come from your army and models. I’m going to suggest lots of ponies again. Is it expensive? Hells yes. But suggesting Haley with a stormwall and a few gunmages is awfully blasé. The new tempest blazers are incredible with her. In a straight forward way, and they adore being rat 9. They can actually be the raptors everyone compares them too. Storm lances, perhaps, warrant some more discussion. They have the usual dilemma of cavalry units- you get one good charge turn, then your unit dies. It’s not even a good charge turn if you charged into a tarpit. Instead, play to Cygnar’s strengths and use them as a combined arms unit. You can always position them just at the edge of threat range with a run first turn, then they get to ride-by, strolling forward, making some effective rat 7 electro-leap shots before backing up a bit. And your opponent can neither run to engage them or charge them. A turn or two of this will do a number on almost...

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Baffo’s sculpting table 07 – More urban bases

Posted by on 6:34 am

  This week we will be experimenting with sculpting more ‘urban themed’ bases. As I mentioned in the past, I don’t generally spend too much time on my bases (just use snow for my Khador), but since some of my local players picked up Malifaux and some Wyrd miniature base inserts, they asked me if I could sculpt more base inserts, that they could eventually try casting in resin and possibly use for smaller Warmachine armies as well (we will see how that goes). Anyway, before choosing a specific look and sculpting 20 or more base variants with it, I decided to try making as many different floor patterns as I could, to see how they looked on small bases (basically make a catalog of usable patterns) and work out their quirks and tricks, so it is easier to pick and mix textures for the base inserts my friends will cast. Since I am starting a new faction, I will try giving all the models scenic bases, for a change from my usual plain snow theme. I hope the resin casting experiments go well, since sculpting every base individually is labor intensive (though bearable for small skirmish games like Malifaux and Infinity), but should that fail, I will be researching other tricks to cut corners and mass produce such bases and report back on my findings in future articles…   General sculpting tips For starters, here are some general tips on the ‘sculpting tools’ I use and how to get the best effect with them (especially for those that haven’t read my past articles): Going from left to right: – Metal sculpting tools (the first is the old school GW sculpting tool, the other 2 are from a larger Gale force 9 sculpting tool kit). As I mentioned in the past the GW tool is the one I use the most for ‘rough work’, and I just occasionally use my other metal tools; these 2 are mainly useful to press long lines and flatten larger areas specifically on bases, but you can get the same effect with plastic card (the only advantage of metal tools is that they won’t loose their edge with use), so unless you plan on sculpting a lot, there is no need to go out of your way and buy a full tool set. – Silicon tipped color/clay shapers. These are most useful to sculpt muscles, organic shapes and softly flattening bulges around you impressions (more on that later). Their main quality is that these are soft and don’t have sharp edges, so they don’t leave ‘scratch marks’ on fresh putty like metal tools do. You should be able to get them in art shops for 5-10 dollars depending on brand name and size. If you can’t find any, you can make your own ghetto version, by getting a pencil eraser and using a sharp hobby knife to cut the tip shape you want (it will lose its shape with use, but you can always re-cut the desired form). – Custom plastic tools. You can make these out of leftover plastic (the frames of GW plastic kits are ideal) by ‘carving the desired shape with a sharp hobby knife). I use these for all of my detail work. – *Hexagonal screw/bolt heads. Look around your...

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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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