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!

Circle Minion Warlock Tech

Posted by on 12:30 am

There was a time when I thought that the Minion Warlocks were terrible, fragile solos attached to overpriced warbeasts.  Some time later I conceded that maybe they might be decent, in a Warmachine army.  They could function as a replacement heavy that didn’t require the warcaster’s focus.  My Cryx lists, and 4 Star lists, from time to time, saw fit to employ Wrong Eye. Time went by, and I became a Circle player.  I never looked back at the minion locks, after all I now had the awesome beasts of the Circle at my command.  Warpwolves and Wolds and what have you.  What could I need from some crummy non faction beats?  I’d just be depriving myself of transfer targets.   Eventually I wised up. (Bout the time I noticed Primal wasn’t faction)  Nowadays about a third of my 50 point lists have a Minion Lock.  This isn’t some sort of affirmative action for warbeasts, I genuinely believe that in certain circumstances they are better than the equivalent Circle beast.  I thought I’d share my thoughts on each Minion lock with the wider community.   I’ll go worst to best: Brun and Lug: Never take Closest Circle equivalent: Wold Guardian These guys are just a mess.  Theirs so much potential here, but they persistently disappoint me.  Looking at what they do, it isn’t clear why this should be so.  Brun isn’t getting killed on the way in, between transfers, stonehold and Lug Guard Dogging him.  The double flank gimmick is straightforward.  Brun upkeeps Stonehold runs, Lug charges, GG for whatever. If you need the KD either of them can provide it. The problem arrives in terms of how they want to work.  Lug has a terrible (8.5) inch threat range, and Brun needs to be able to run there before hand for him to be anything impressive on the arrival.  So you aren’t getting the alpha on the enemy beast.  You really want to counterattack.  They are awe inspiring counter-attackers.  If the enemy fails to kill one of them the other walks up and flanks, then the one they failed to kill finishes off even the hardest target (hyperbole here, but its a strong beast/weapon master combo when they flank). The problem is that there isn’t really any reason that the enemy would fail to kill Lug.  It’s 12/18 with 27 boxes.  Basically a gnarlhorn.  I can’t recall the last time the enemy failed to kill a Gnarlhorn they wanted dead.  So you want them to charge and fail to kill Brun, but he’s just a guy with effective def 15 and arm 18.5, with 2 transfers.  A hard target, but whatever was going to kill his bear will certainly kill him.  They can’t pull off the counter-attack unbuffed. And Circle has the wrong buff.  We can toss Primal on Lug and call it a day, but that just makes them wreck face even harder.  That’s not what they want.  They struggle with threat range, and Bounding doesn’t work on them.  Hunter’s mark is hard to rely on, and even if it works, it doesn’t help out Brun’s run. Ironically they’d be wonderful in the Congregation.  Spiny Growth is exactly what they want, and the Swamp Horror makes the flank work by giving either of them reach, which also...

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Weighted Outcomes are Heavy Stuff

Posted by on 6:06 am

This is foundation article and I’m going to start it off on a bit of a tangent. I love to talk trash. I try to keep my abuse restricted to friends and those who can handle it, but in general, boy-oh-boy do I love smack talk.  I don’t know why.  Does it heighten the intensity of the game?  Is it an outlet for my superhero/supervillian witticisms?  Who knows? Thankfully I play with a good group of guys that like to reciprocate.  The newest arrow in their quiver is “I’m not sure if that’s technically the most sound mathematical decision.  If you read the article on MoM by Tmage, you’d know better.” Yea.  Thanks buddy.  I know Tmage.  I know the math.  I’m just not Rain Man.:) No one in their right mind does THIS much math in their head during a game.  Maybe someone does.  I don’t.  I can tell you ALOTof the top players do not.  They know their fundamentals and use their cognitive power on positioning and competitive interaction. (or flirting in PhatAsian’s case) You can’t keep it all in your mind but I want to reinforce the three magical facts highlighted in Episode 10.  These are great shortcuts to guide your reasoning. 1. The average on 1d6 is 3.5. This is an easy calculation and a powerful fact.  You add up the faces of the die (21) and divide by the number of faces.(6)  Now you can set a personal expectation for the variability of the game and if the dice are REALLY boning you or if you’re just a whiney Nancy. 2. The odds of rolling a 7 is 58%. Now we’re digging a bit deeper.  There are 36 potential rolls on 2d6.  They range from snake eyes (1,1) to box cars (6,6).  If you sit and write out all the combinations and you’ll find 21 of the 36 are 7 or higher.  As a result, 21/36 = 58% is your probability of rolling a 7 or better. The last point is counter-intuitive but absolutely true. 3. Average damage on 2d6 at dice -7 is one. The first time I heard this I thought it was crazy garbage, but it’s true.  There are two ways to calculate an average.  One assumes equal probability distribution (the method I used for proving #1) the other does not.  That other method is called a weighted average. A weighted average takes into account the magnitude of the outcome (how much damage) with the likelihood that it will happen.  So take a look at this; WHAT!?!  The weighted average of a 2d6 roll at dice minus 7 is just about one.  Fancy that.  I usually run all my assassination calculations without this component.  I think of it as a little fuzzy mathematical factor in my favor so my estimates are conservative.  It’s definitely food for thought though. I hope this hasn’t been too boring/painful for you.  This is a small step in the right direction about knowing the core mechanics of the game.  While these types of rules don’t exist in Prime or Primal, they’re certainly helpful to have in the back of your mind. The more you know… (hum the little diddy in your head when you read this last...

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And Now For Something Completely Different – Pike and Shotte

Posted by on 6:00 am

        The Blue Baron back again with another installment of And Now for Something Completely Different. This time its Pike and Shotte, by Warlord Games.  Pike and Shotte covers the 17th century, focusing on Europe. Pike and Shotte follows a lot of the same rules as Warlord Games’ Black powder, but switches up enough to get a real feel for the period.          This era is defined by Blocks of pikes and the introduction of larger numbers of matchlocks (shotte), hence the name. Easy right? Tactics in the era followed the Rock-Paper-Scissors mentality. Cavalry would be decimated if they charged a pike block, but could wreak havoc on shot. Shot could pepper the pike blocks at range without fear of reprisal.  In the English Civil war A block of pike would be accompanied by two “sleeves” of shotte, one on each side. This eventually gave rise to the hedgehog. When threatened by cavalry the shot would retreat into the block of pike and make a formation similar to a Napoleonic square, with pikes facing outward. This would repulse the cavalry.        Onto an overview of the rules themselves! An army consists of an Army General and a number or batalia. A batalia contains a batalia commander and a number of units. In our game we had a batalia consisting of a commander and three units of cavalry. Another batalia had a commander, three units of pike and 6 units of shot.  The rule book contains point costs for different types of units and a table to make your own units as needed with all the special rules available at a cost. Our game started out as roughly equal in points, but looking at the table Montrose’s position seemed a bit undermanned. So we threw a unit of Highlanders to give us more troops to push around. During the game of course, we found that Montrose’s Irish, being veterans of the 30 Years War, were tough buggers.     The game is divided into the usual 3 phases, move, shot assault.  The usually movement phase involves giving orders to your units. This is similar to Warmaster if you’ve ever played that. you start with a commander, declare who is doing what and roll to see how well they carry out the order. Here’s an example! Lord Bailey wants a unit of pike to advance to the top of a hill 14″ away. His command is an 8. So the player then rolls 2D6. for every number lower than his command the unit gets a move, up to 3 moves. If he ties the number he gets a move as well. So on a 7 or 8 the infantry gets one 6″ move towards the hill. on a 6, they move 12″, on a 5 or less they move 14″ and stop. They could go farther but the order issued told them to stop at the top of the hill. If the roll was a 9 or above the order is failed. They do nothing, and Lord Bailey cannot give any more orders. There is an option to give a batalia order so you can tell a whole line of troops to advance rather than have to issue five different orders.          The shooting phase is pretty standard. All units have a...

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Lock and Load 2012 Masters Coverage

Posted by on 11:29 am

I’ll be running live coverage of the Lock and Load 2012 Masters tournament all day.  Check back here for updates as the round results come in.  Starting out, I have the player list with the factions and casters they are running today. Top 16 Players Player Faction Casters Michael Davies Retribution Vyros (4), Ossyan (2,3), Garryth (1) Will Pagani Circle Kromac, pBaldur, eKreuger (1,2) Eric Nelson Cryx pDeneghra, eGaspy, Terminus (1,2) Jason Watt Skorne  Xerxis (1). eHexeris (3), pMakeda(2) Jason Flanzer Trollbloods  Borka (2), pHoarluk (1), eGrissel (3) Ryan Tomlinson Cryx  eGaspy (1), eDeneghra (2) ,pSkarre (3) Stephan Kemper Khador eSorscha (3), pIrusk (1), Old Witch (2) Marc Gramatges Cygnar  eNemo, eHayley (1,2), eStryker (3) John Demaris Protectorate eFeora (2), pKreoss (1), Harbinger (3) James Sligar Khador pIrusk (2), pSorscha (3), eSorscha (1) Billy Robin Legion Bethayne (1,2), Saeryn, eLylth Gord Weppler Circle  pKreuger (1,2), eKreuger (2), eBaldur Thomas Hoffman Khador Strakhov, eButcher (1, 2), eSorscha (3) Tyler Webb Skorne  pMorghul (2), eHexeris (1), Xerxis Jacob VanMeter Legion Bethayne (3), pThagrosh (2), eVayl (1) Keith Christianson Cygnar eHayley, pHayley (2), pCaine (1,3) Round 1 1.  Jason Flanzer, 1-0 (pDoomshaper) defeats Eric Nelson, 0-1 (Terminus) 2.  Jake VanMeter (eVayl), 1-0 defeats James Sligar, 0-1 (eSorscha) 3.  Thomas Hoffman, 1-0 (eButcher) defeats Tyler Webb, 0-1 (eHexeris) 4.  Will Pagani, 1-0 (eKreuger) defeats Billy Robin, 0-1 (Bethayne) 5.   Keith Christianson, 1-0 (pCaine) defeats Jason Watt, 0-1 (Xerxis) 6.  Ryan Tomlinson, 1-0 (eGaspy) defeats John Demaris, 0-1 (pKreoss) 7.  Gord Weppler (pKreuger), 1-0 defeats Michael Davies, 0-1 (Garyth) 8.  Mark Gramtages, 1-0 (eHayley) defeats Stephan Kemper, 0-1 (pIrusk) Round 2 – Incursion Winner’s Bracket 1.  Thomas Hoffman, 2-0 (eButcher) defeatsGord Wepler, 1-1 (eKreuger) 2.  Ryan Tomlinson, 2-0 (eDeneghra) defeats Keith Christianson, 1-1 (pHaley) 3.  Jake Van Meter, 2-0 (pThagrosh) defeats Marc Gramatges, 1-1 (eHaley). 4.  Jason Flanzer, 2-0 (Borka) defeats Will Pagani, 1-1 (eKreuger) Loser’s Bracket 5.  Billy Robin, 1-1 (Bethayne) defeats Jason Watt, 0-2 (pMakeda) 6.  Stephan Kemper, 1-1 (Old Witch) defeats James Sligar, 1-1 (pIrusk) 7.  Erik Nelson, 1-1 (Terminus) defeats Michael Davies, 0-2 (Ossyan) 8.  Tyler Webb, 1-1 (pMorghul) defeats John Demaris, 0-2 (eFeora)   Will Pagani, Billy Robin, Eric Nelson, Thomas Hoffman, and Marc Gramatges repeated their round 1 list choice.  They must play one of their remaining two lists in round 3, and their final unplayed list in the finals. Round 3 – Bunkers Winner’s Bracket 1.  Jake Van Meter, 3-0 (Bethayne) defeats Ryan Tomlinson, 2-1 (pSkarre) 2.  Jason Flanzer, 3-0 (eGrissel) defeats Thomas Hoffman, 2-1 (eSorscha) Loser’s Bracket 3.  Jason Watt, 1-2 (eHexeris) defeats John Demaris, 0-3 (Harbinger) 4.  James Sligar, 1-2 (pSorscha) defeats Michael Davies, 0-3 (Ossyan 5.  Gord Weppler,  2-1 (pKreuger) defeats Stephan Kemper, 1-2 (eSorscha) 6.  Keith Christianson, 2-1 (pCaine) defeats Marc Gramatges, 1-2 (eStryker) 7.  Tyler Webb – BYE Eric, Billy and Will all dropped. Of the top 4, everyone except Thomas Hoffman will have a choice of lists should they make it to the finals. Round 4 Finals – Supply and Demand 1.  Jason Flanzer (pHoaruk) defeats Jake Van Meter (eVayl) Loser’s Bracket 2.  Michael Davies (Vyros) defeats Stephan Kemper (pIrusk) 3.  James Sligar (pSorscha)defeats Marc Gramatges (eNemo) 4.  Ryan Tomlinson (eGaspy) defeats Thomas Hoffman (Strakhov) 5.  Gord Weppler (eBaldur) defeats Tyler Webb (eHexeris) Watt, Keith, and John dropped....

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Circle Solo Review

Posted by on 1:00 am

Hello and welcome back, dear readers, to yet another look into the enigmatic Circle Orboros faction. Today, I examine each Circle solo available, and the battle engine. I’ll go through each of the various uses of the solos, and good times to include each. As always, I encourage feedback, criticism, and condescension. Blackclad Wayfarer – The blackclad is one of my favorite models, in every sense of the word. He looks sweet, and has sweet rules. This guy is an awesome toolbox of utility for a mere 2 points. First, he has a decent enough speed to get places, has good MAT if he wanted to punch someone in the face, and solid defensive stats, especially considering he’s immune to fire, lightning and frost. He has a magical reach weapon for making people think twice about free strikes and threatening the odd incorporeal model/unit. The real reasons to bring him, though, are his abilities. First, his magic ability is the same as his MAT, so he’s pretty decent at using it. He has hunter’s mark, which has an average range and gives the amazing +2″ to charges and slams, and allows beasts to do so for free. This can phenomenally extend the threat range of your beasts, and really improves their fury efficiency as well. One risk, however, is that they may then charge straight out of your control area. Be sure to keep your caster or druid wilder in range of the target so your beast can eat its’ face. Also, this ability stacks with other modifiers, like bounding from the gnarlhorn, and dog pile from Kaya 2. That, dear readers, is very nice. He also has phase jump, so you can quickly redeploy to the other side of the table. Essentially, it allows the blackclad that is very close to the stone a free place completely within 12″ or to be placed within 2″ of a shifting stone. Note that after you do this your activation does end, so no attacking after. Finally, he has a medium range spray, with crit knockdown, and a high enough power that any infantry will most likely be killed. This guy is phenomenal if you’re planning on running our slower constructs, especially outside of the Baldurs. I already mentioned the synergy with Kaya 2 and the gnarlhorn. He also works great for just infantry clearing. I take 2 in the vast majority of my lists, and I can honestly say I’ve never regretted having either. Recommendation: 9/10. Celestial Fulcrum – That’s not a moon! The fulcrum actually represents 3 moons, if I remember correctly. It is huge based, and comes with a hefty price tag. It has fairly average stats for a model of its size, and is pretty easy to kill from non-elemental damage (being immune to the elements). It does have the nifty ability to boost to hit or damage any of its 3 shots. The first is a powerful, short ranged firey attack with a medium sized AOE, which leaves a cloud effect in its location. The second is a moderately powerful, moderate ranged electric attack with electro-leap. And lastly, it has a spray that has crit freeze. It has the nifty ability to fire anywhere in its front arc of 360 degrees, and while in melee too....

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Mayhem Cup by the numbers

Posted by on 10:23 am

Straight on to a look at the Mayhem Cup, another of the qualifiers for Warmachine Weekend Masters. These numbers include the main Mayhem Cup 50 point tournament, as well as the 35 point tournament. Attendance A total of 59 players participated in the event. 166 games were played across both tournaments. ELO Ranking All games were entered into a ranking, which can be found at the address below: Faction Popularity At this point it becomes interesting to see how the distribution of factions differs from the 2012 season baseline. That’s a little presumptuous at this point, as the 2012 baseline I can compare it to consists only of the tournaments at Templecon, but it’s fun to compare anyway. The armies were distributes across the factions as follows, baseline in red, current event in blue. Faction # armies % armies Circle Orboros 5 8% Cryx 7 12% Cygnar 7 12% Khador 7 12% Legion of Everblight 7 12% Mercenaries 4 7% Minions 2 3% Protectorate of Menoth 6 10% Retribution of Scyrah 5 8% Skorne 5 8% Trollbloods 4 7% A remarkably similar turnout, with slightly fewer Cryx and Circle players, in favor of Protectorate and Retribution. Faction Performance A look at the performance per faction, once again compared to the baseline in red. Faction # armies ± interval Circle Orboros 54,2% 19,9% Cryx 58,5% 15,1% Cygnar 57,1% 18,3% Khador 44,1% 16,7% Legion of Everblight 42,1% 15,7% Mercenaries 38,9% 22,5% Minions 38,5% 26,4% Protectorate of Menoth 43,3% 17,7% Retribution of Scyrah 43,3% 17,7% Skorne 55,6% 18,7% Trollbloods 69,6% 18,8% The confidence intervals are a little wider here, but we can make an well-educated guess that the 4 Trollblood players knew what they were doing. Circle and particularly Cygnar also performed above the norm, with Mercs and Minions disappointing a little. Cryx performed as it did at Templecon, which is still excellent. Top Bracket Let’s again look at the Top 25% of players. A nice and even spread across the factions, no spikes. How did those players perform? Some interesting things to look at, here. Only the top (2) Circle players seemed to fare well. The others either dropped out early or took a beating. Combined with the Templecon data, where the win rate doubled from 40% to 80% when looking at the top quartile, it can be hypothesised that Circle is indeed a skill-intensive faction. Only one Cygnar player made it to the top 25%, but he went undefeated. The other Cygnar players did pretty well too, though. These numbers also seems to corroborate the notion that Cryx can give a leg-up, but provides no significant advantage at the top level of play. All the trollblood players got very good results, but didn’t make it to the very top. Perhaps unnecessary to point it out, but I personally like seeing how much the win percentages really shoot upwards when you examine the top players. It shows it really all comes down to skill. Faction Matchups FInally, just for the sake of completeness, the faction matchups. I’ve included the table showing the number of games played. Obviously, for such a low number of games per matchup, it doesn’t say much of anything about the odds, rather just about the individual games played. Meta Positioning Because 4 players who participated in...

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Toruk to Tyrant – May Recap and thoughts on the first 5 months playing skorne.

Posted by on 9:37 pm

Another Month has come and gone.  May was a great month for me.  I had a lot of good games with skorne, and I recently moved to a nice new apartment (but you probably dont care about that as much as I do) I did play a few less games this month because of my move, but I did manage to make 2 different events. I did already cover my Mayhem Cup results early this month. This time I wish to cover the following topics Summary of May games (brief discussion of 2nd event I went to) Overview of my first 5 months so far with skorne (and compared to first 5 months with cryx last year) Revisiting Zaal Finding that second warlock for SR events. Bonus – Modified Bronzeback (It can go base to base with another model)         Summary of May games (brief discussion of 2nd event I went to) I manged to play 23 games in the month of May. I played in 2 events, and I won 71% of my games in May. Lord Assassin Morghoul 1 games Dominar Rasheth  2 games (both in tournaments) Lord Arbiter Hexeris 5 games (3 in tournaments) Supreme Aptimus Zaal 13  games (10 in tournaments)   The 2nd event I went to this month was a local event, and I decided to have some fun and I played a Zaal theme force along with finally forcing myself to play a little with Epic Hexeris.   I discovered that both casters play very similarly.  I did mange to lose a game with each caster.  The are so similar that I may not play very much more with Epic Hexeris for a while.  I believe he is good, but he does not fit my style of play as much as Zaal does. I really hate rolling 1d6 for spell effects, and ashes to ashes will drive me crazy.  This event did reinforce my thoughts on why I don’t take the Zaal theme force to competitive events.  It is a good theme force (and fun to play), but it limits me too much from the models I want on the table. I still managed to get best of hordes and Skorne coin even with 2 losses.               Overview of my first 5 months so far with skorne     In the first 5  months of 2011 I attended 9 Events with cryx.  (13 total tournaments, since I played in 4 events at AdeptiCon).  I managed to win 3 of the events (including the Team event at AdeptiCon) I also nabbed one 3rd place.   I made it into the finals at AdeptiCon but did not place. By this time in 2011 I had played around 55 games with Cryx. In the first 5 months of 2012 I attended 8 events with my skorne. (2 were mayhem cups, and one was AdeptiCon, for a total of 13 events)  I managed to win 2 of the events, I also nabbed one 3rd place, and at the latest Mayhem Cup I went 5-1 to get 5th place (out of 59 people)  I am still sad I was so sick during all of AdeptiCon, as its such a fun con.  I also managed a Best of hordes and Skorne coin in one event I went 3-2. It was a bad...

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Win a Kraken !!!

Posted by on 7:00 pm

Go to our new forums.   Register for an account.     Win Prizes !!   Here are the details !!  ...

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