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!

The Modern Major-Mercenary – Durgen

Posted by on 1:51 am

“As the size of the explosion increases, the number of social situations it is incapable of solving approaches zero.” – Vaarsuvius. Some of you may remember me doing a couple of these articles a while back, talking about mercenary warcasters (and how they handled in a post-Wrath meta). Time and work pressures kept me from contributing much more than that, but as it happens, I’ve got some spare time today and an itch to talk about one of the Mercenaries’ most unique (and arguably, most powerful) warcasters: Durgen Madhammer. Unlike my previous articles, I’m not going to direct you to Battle College for this one. This is going to be a full-blown tactica, running through an analysis of Durgen’s stats and abilities, and talking about a specific playstyle I find most effective with Durgen. So without further ado, I present: Durgen, and why he is awesome.   Durgen’s Stats & Special Rules: All the Least Interesting Stuff Crammed into Four Paragraphs Stat-wise, Durgen is pretty much average across the board – just about every one of his attributes can be described as ‘good enough’. SPD5, RAT6, DEF14, ARM17, FOC6, nothing outstanding, but no deal-breakers either. It all gets the job done. In terms of survivability, Durgen does reasonably well. DEF14 ARM17 isn’t stellar, and on any other midfield ‘caster I’d be very wary of trusting in it, but Durgen is on a small base and his spell list and weaponry means that he virtually never needs to be in line of sight to the enemy to be operating at full effectiveness – so even if he’s playing aggressively, he doesn’t have to come out from behind his ambulatory bullet sponges. Blast Armour is a nifty ability that you can wrangle some mileage out of every now and then. Sometimes you really, really need that extra 1 FOC and it’s worth having Dougal throw a grenade at a model in B2B with Durgen, and sometimes a Basher will be able to durdle around using Flak Field to act like an oversized Squire for the first couple of turns, but unless we get a very cheap way of producing lots of accurate blast damage (hint: Ogrun Assault corps do not count), this ability is going to stay mostly just a fun thematic one that doesn’t see too much actual play. Finally, Durgen is a Rhulic warcaster, which means he can only take Rhulic warjacks. This is more an advantage than anything else, because Rhulic warjacks are some of the best that mercenaries have access to. Except the Avalancher, who is far less awesome with Durgen than you may have been led to believe. But more on that particular issue later. Nothing much else to see here, so let’s move along.   The Gun, ‘Buster’; an Explosion of Flavour! (But Also the Regular Kind) Ok, so I’m not going to beat around the bush here: this is probably the best gun on any warcaster or warlock in the game. It’s better than Brisbane’s rocket launcher, it’s better than Caine’s spellstorm pistols on four turns out of five, it’s usually going to be better than any of Nemo’s various lightning sticks, and it’s probably better than Kara Sloan’s rifle (although that’s up for debate, and really they’re two sides of the same coin;...

read more

The Dreadbound

Posted by on 11:06 pm

So here I am again answering another request, this time from a good friend of mine, and great player who has greatly earned my respect in the game, Ohio Bob.  Well with that mouthful out of the way I guess you have all figured out what the next piece of the puzzle is going to be now on this episode of “The Dark Horse Chronicles.”  This week I will be focusing up Maelok, The Dreadbound.  Though you will have to keep on thing in mind when looking over this list, other than the fact that I always build lists based on what I own and am able to play with, is that one key model is not out yet for this warlock so the list is built as you can currently play it as.  I will however at the end of the article tell what changes I would make as to allow for the ever important model be fielded.  I am doing this as I know it has already been mentioned that the list should show the important model included.  Well lets take a look at the list:   Blindwater Congregation Pack:  Place 2, 3″ AOE water terrain pieces before deployment Maelok +6 Swamp Horror 8 Ironback Spitter 8 Bull Snapper 3 10 Bog Trog Ambushers 8 Croak Hunter 2 Croak Hunter 2 Croak Hunter 2 5 Gatorman Posse 9 Totem Hunter 3 Viktor Pendrake 2 Wrong Eye and Snapjaw 9 Total:  50/56pts   So lets first take a look at our warlock.  His basic stats are what you would expect out of a gator warlock.  His SPD is the same as all gators, his MAT is average, his DEF is tied for the highest in gators, his ARM just 1 above basic gators, and lastly his damage is the highest of all the gators.  Though is fury stat is average one might say that this is to be expected, however with his spell list we will look at later one will see that you will be at times starved for fury.  He is undead and causes terror, more so because he probably smells bad and has skin falling off of him, which goes to say why he has a poor CMD as troops don’t usually find themselves close enough to him to listen.  He does have 3 magical melee attacks, one bite and 2 claws.  Though the bite is the only one with a special ability that allows you to reave fury from a warbeast destroyed by the bite.  Lastly he has the ever famous Cryx ability to claim souls from enemy models destroyed close to him and turn them into fury the next turn. Now for his spell list and feat.  His first upkeep spell that is great is Death Pact, this affects a friendly faction model/unit and gives them a bonus to ARM and makes them undead, very important for his feat by the way.  He as a deadly upkeep spell for himself called Malediction, this spell gives a penalty to DEF and ARM for enemy models within reach range of Maelok.  He also has revive, this is a spell that costs about have his fury that returns to play one destroyed friendly faction grunt with one wound and it has to be placed in Maelok’s...

read more

Non-Dojo Game Theory 1

Posted by on 7:37 pm

    There’s a branch of quantitative analysis (nerd math) called Game Theory.  While the word “theory” is in there, I’m not going to pontificate about Hunters under Ossyan’s feat or anything like that.  What I am going to show you is a pretty deep frame work for looking at interactions between two intelligent players.  Oh… and I’ll tie it into Warmachine and Hordes for good measure. Math needs pictures so let’s get into the examples right away.  One of the most popular Game Theory interactions is called “The Prisoner’s Dilemma”.  You’ve got two guys (A and B) involved in a crime together.  Criminal A is sitting there talking to the cops.  He’s got two choices (snitch, hold out).  Criminal B is facing the mirror scenario.  If they both hold out, they each face minor time in jail (1 year) and beat the system.  If one snitches while the other holds out, the cops we’ll give him a break (zero time for snitch, 10 years to the hold out).  If both snitch on one another they each get five years.  On the surface it seems like the two would hold out, beat the system and get off. At right is a diagram and the numbers are “years”. As an example, negative ten means ten years in jail. Criminal A can choose to snitch or hold out on the left side.  B can choose to snitch or hold out on the top.  Let’s look at A’s choices.  No matter what B does, A is better off snitching.  That’s called a dominant strategy.  If you can do one thing that’s ALWAYS better no matter what your opponent does, then you have a pretty easy choice on your hands.  Do that better thing!  It’s rational for A to snitch.  But wait, let’s not ignore B.  B can hope against hope that A’s dumb or hasn’t read this article.  Looking at A’s actions, B will also deduces that he’s better off snitching.  B has the same dominant strategy; snitch. These poor saps will always snitch on one another. That’s the rub.  You can play this game in isolated rooms.  You can play it face to face.  It doesn’t matter.  Rational players will always rat one another out.  I probably should have said [Spoiler Alert] for the Law and Order fans out there.  My bad. If you’re still with me you’ve just digested some heavy stuff.  So how does this relate to Warmachine?  There are three ways to find yourself in a Prisoner’s Dilemma in Warmachine. 1.      List Selection in a Steam Roller Tournament I reached out to a few high level tourney studs for help on this one.  List Selection and interaction holds a lot of subtly.  So here are two examples of Prisoner’s Dilemma in the Steam Roller environment. Courtesy of Keith Christianson; Player A:  Ashphyxious2 (hold out) and Terminus (snitch) Player B:  Caine2 (hold out) and Haley1 Lich2 doesn’t like Haley1 because Temporal Barrier negates his feat.  Caine2 can’t play against Terminus well because Sacrificial Pawn is a ball buster.  The two players end up playing the miserable grind fest of Terminus vs. Haley1 despite likely preferring the Lich2 vs. Caine2 game. Courtesy of Michael Chilly Winters (adding a familiar opponent layer); Winters:  Skarre1 (hold out) and Terminus (snitch) Pagani:  Kromac (hold out) and...

read more

MoM’s Podcast #15

Posted by on 8:09 pm

MoM’s Podcast #15 Topics: 0:01:20 = Newb Section (Ability Liability and Situational Awareness) 0:21:35 = News & Announcements 0;32:30 = Gargantuan Spoilers 0:43:10 = Diecon Coverage 3:12:20 – Muse on Mail 3:29:35 = Crutch Free Update 3:38:20 = In the Dojo Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 4:02:04 — 221.6MB)Subscribe: Android |...

read more

Player Habits – Don’t be an Excuse Player

Posted by on 11:00 am

All players have different habits or personality traits that define what kind of player they will are.  One type of player I see too often is the “excuse player”. The moment the game is over, and they have lost, they have the excuse ready as to why they lost. (“I only lost because you rolled a 9 on that attack” or “I only lost because I didn’t know that model had Beat Back”.) Their first instinct is not to congratulate their opponent or think about mistakes they made and how to improve in the future, or even think about how the entire 70 minutes of the game played out and how every move/placement/dice roll by each player all factored into the game results, it is to make an excuse.  I believe many of us all have that moment after a loss, where we think “I can’t believe I forgot ability X on my opponent’s model”.  With 115+ casters and model combinations, this happens to everyone.  I believe there is a big difference from a player realizing they made a mistake and a player that needs to justify that loss with an excuse.  It is ok to lose a game. You don’t need to justify it immediately with an excuse.  Vast majority of game losses occur due to one player making more mistakes then their opponent or one large bad timed mistake.  (The various types of mistakes could be an entire topic of many articles.)         I find players that accept that a loss that was made by a mistake (in combination, with their opponent being good enough to take advantage of the mistake to win the game) tend to learn more from the games, where the player that loses and cares more about making an excuse often manages to lose more games and cling to their excuses and improve slower.  I believe most of us have played those games where we had complete control of the game but your opponent goes for a bad odds assassination attempt because they had no other hope and they successfully kill your caster. They needed some crazy roll, like an 11 to hit on 2 dice followed by a 15+ on 3 dice to succeed, and they somehow manage it.  Both of you realize they just pulled that win out of thin air.   Two thoughts on this; first, if you let your opponent roll dice to win the game, and they succeed, realize that is going to happen now and then.  Bad odds don’t mean impossible to succeed.  Think about where your caster was on the field. Did he need to be where he was? Did you move him forward because you were overconfident in your win?   Maybe you could have protected him even better.  Second, congratulate your opponent on realizing their only chance was to go for that long odds caster kill attempt, and not just sit back and die horribly. They were smart enough to realize how screwed they were and took appropriate action. Your mission should you choose to accept it – When you lose your next game, think about what your first thought after the game is.  Try to keep too many negative thought at bay. Think about the entire game overall, and how you can improve u/pon your...

read more

The Oathkeeper

Posted by on 9:42 pm

Well welcome to another exciting article of the Dark Horse nature.  This time taking a look at the one our own Muse team member, the mighty Mr. Crump, has used to beat the great Legion of Jake.  Though this article will focus more upon what I have played with in the past and have had some success with.  Well lets first take a look the list shall we:   Cassius and the Wurmwood +6 Megalith 11 Woldwarden 9 Gallows Grove 1 Gallows Grove 1 Shifting Stones 2 Tharn Ravager White Mane 3 Tharn Ravager White Mane 3 6 Tharn Ravagers with Chieftain and Shaman 13 Wolf Lord Morraig 5 10 Wolves of Orboros with Officer and Standard 8 Total:  50/56   Now lets take a look at our warlock shall we.  There are a couple of things about this warlock that are kind of contradictory to what he is trying to do/get out of his abilities, though I will cross this bridge when I look at the Wurmwood.  For a Circle warlock he of course comes with the oh so ability of pathfinder that is always common amongst their kind.  His Fury stat is a little low for a spellcasting type of warlock, though this is due to one of his abilities with the Wurmwood, again will be covered when we look at the Wurmwood.  His DEF is a little below the average though his ARM is above average for a spellcasting warlock, thankfully you get to combine this with his awesome life span that matches power houses like the Butcher and Terminus.  His MAT is average as well as the POW of his only melee weapon with reach when comparing him to other heavy spellcasting warlocks, though that same ability that holds him back due to Wurmwood helps to off set these things.  On top of that when he boxes a living or undead model he turns that model into a small AOE forest and then removes the model from play.  This is great for keeping models from returning to play and helps him get use out of his Treewalker ability.  He does get to ignore the firing into melee penalty when making magic attacks against models in Wurmwood’s command range, which is way above average.  He does have the ability that the Tharn Ravagers where he gets a bonus to DEF against melee attacks, as well as ignoring forests for LOS and able to move through other models and obstructions, though remember this moving through models does not allow you to ignore them for LOS or ignore free strikes.   His spell list is a little limited as he has 3 attack spells and 1 movement spell for him and his tree.  His first spell is an offensive upkeep spell called Curse of Shadows, this moderate cost spell with below average range targets a model/unit and puts a penalty to the ARM stat, as well as makes it so that they can not make free strikes and allows models to advance through affected models as long as they can move completely past them.  His next spell is a high cost spell with below average range is called Hellmouth, this average POW spell does nothing if you miss but if you hit, whether it is an enemy model...

read more

Road to War Episode 9

Posted by on 9:46 pm

Road to War In this episode, we cover Skorne. 00:00 Intro and Faction Overview 05:17 pHexeris 09:40 eHexeris 22:36 pMakeda 30:54 eMakeda 37:35 Mordikar 42:29 pMorghoul 49:24 eMorghoul 52:25 Rasheth 55:52 Xerxis 1:00:53 Zaal 01:08:55 Naaresh 01:12:18 Tiberion 01:14:17 Questions 01:28:21 Announcements Send us an e-mail at with any questions!   Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:29:51 — 82.3MB)Subscribe: Android |...

read more

It’s the Humidity – Part 2: Heat Index

Posted by on 11:39 am

As promised in my previous article, (which can be dredged up from the depths of MOM here.) in this installation of It’s the Humidity, I will be discussing traits a meta should posses that make that playgroup a competitive force to be reckoned with. Also in this article, I will be outlining some methods we are using locally to acquire those traits among our own group.  So, let’s get started. In order to aspire to become something, you must define what it is. A “competitive meta” is a playgroup whose players typically perform very well over the course of a convention, or tournament. Their players are well known; their meta is well recognized and revered on the merit of the talent of their players, as well as those players’ sportsmanship. They win Mayhem Cups (a Midwestern travelling tournament), they win team tournaments, they populate the top 16s at Masters events, and they are the homes of the nationally recognized, powerhouse players. So what do “Competitive Metas” have?  Strong players This should go without saying, but I will enumerate some points here. There is an interesting relationship between a strong meta and a strong player. A strong player can exist without a strong meta, but the inverse cannot. Without this turning into an article on “what makes a strong player,” let it suffice to say that strong players have a good working knowledge of all the rules, are capable of evaluating an analyzing the game at a high level, and possess high levels of sportsmanship. More to the point, strong players can support and uplift a weak meta, but it is unlikely that a group of weak players will create a strong meta, without becoming strong players in the process. In a similar fashion, a group of strong players does not a strong meta make. There must be much more than personal skill at the game, which brings me to my next point.   Strong community A group of strong players must have a strong community. This is a social game and community is the single most important aspect of it, as such, I will be spending the majority of this article on this topic, so buckle in. Without community, this game simply does not exist and it is the challenge of every miniatures game to build a community around themselves, to help propagate the spread of their product. This mindset applies perfectly to the existence of a spirit of competition within a playgroup. Players talk to each other openly about their own faction, their own lists, their own weaknesses and strengths; as well as talk to each other about their opponents’ (friends’) factions, their lists, etc. What this open line of communication accomplishes in a playgroup is many-fold. Firstly, it builds camaraderie among the members of the meta as a group of players that can talk to each other about their games and receive open and honest criticism, advice, or praise, quickly becomes a group of friends. Secondly, it allows individual players to have a library of knowledge available to them, which ultimately strengthens them as a player, thereby enabling that player to, in turn, strengthen the meta he belongs to. So ultimately, building a “competitive meta” is more about building a strong community, which promotes the growth of...

read more

MoM’s Podcast #14

Posted by on 11:03 am

MoM’s Podcast #14 Topics: 3:45 New Player/Hobby Tips 19:50 News & Announcements 29:30 Colossals Caster Review 139:20 Muse on Mail Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 2:58:21 — 163.3MB)Subscribe: Android |...

read more