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!

And Now For Something Completely Different – Malifaux

Posted by on 9:33 pm

The Blue Baron Back with another installment of And Now For Something Completely Different. Up today is Malifaux. I’ve wanted to take some time and get a few games in before posting. I received the mini rule book at Adepticon and read through it. A few friends play and I’ve been borrowing their models to get some games in. One the first things that jumped out at me was how similar the rule system is to Warmahordes. You’ll find a lot of the same verbage eg. within vs completely within and pulses vs auras. there are melee attack values, ranged attack values, casting values, melee ranges and so on. The game works off of an alternating activation system, the old you go, I go, you go. Each model gets 2 actions. Move and shoot, or move twice. There are also some zero actions which can be done in addition to the 2 normal actions. One of the main draws of this system is the lack of dice. I really can not stress enough how excited this made me. Dice don’t like me, FACT! Instead the system uses a deck of cards called the fate deck. These are numbered 1-13 have four unique suits. There are also two jokers, a black joker (the bad one) and a red joker (the good one). Every turn you draw a hand of cards to be used to cheat fate (see below) or for other types of actions. Most conflicts are resolved through duels. This is where the attacker flips a card and add the total to a give stat while the defender does likewise. This can be modified by either cheating fate (playing a card from your hand to replace the card flipped) or using a soul stone to flip an additional card. This is added to the total of your other card, where cheating fate replaces a card. There are modifiers which can make you flip additional cards and take the highest / lowest (analogous to Ashlynn’s Roulette feat or the hand of fate spell). Depending on how well you beat your opponent on the duel you will take a positive or negative modifier on to the damage flip. Weapons have three levels or damage: weak, moderate, or severe. The card flipped determines the amount. As I said above playing Warmachine helped me digest the rules faster. While I’m still not great I can get through a game. I’ve been playing with the Viktorias recently. They are part of the outcast faction which is basically mercenaries. The other factions are the guild (basically Johnny law), the archanists (magic people), the Neverborn (demon monster types), and the resurrectionists (necromancer types). They are different from most leaders as there are 2 of them. They work by playing off each other. Any spells one casts can benefit the other. They can also switch locations or ever pull them to each other. This allows some slingshot type maneuvers.  With them I was running ronin. These are basically female samurai types with a sword and a pistol. The Viktorias have a very expensive spell that can turn a ronin into a Viktoria if one of them should die. I was playing for that one game but didn’t get the cards I needed so it ended up blowing...

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The Great Divide

Posted by on 10:39 am

What is it that separates certain tiers of players? We’ve all seen it before where a group of players just dominates a scene.  In your head, no matter how hard you may try, the end result seems the same: you lose. So what can you do to counter that? Moreover what is it that they have that you don’t? The answer is really quite simple; it’s knowledge. Once you have it, it seems obvious, but when you don’t, it seems impossible, which is what I imagine life was like before the wheel or fire. From our perspective it seems obvious, if not entirely natural, to have these things. Back then it was a huge obstacle to overcome. I ‘ve observed a lot of games as well as played them; and the one thing that is consistent among upper level players is that they saw something that the opponent did not. Take for example my game against Will Pagni; from my perspective I was camping 5 Focus, on a Hill, in a Cloud with some models in front of me. In most regards, that is nigh impenetrable. The problem was that I did not see the game from his perspective. I was missing the full depth knowledge of what he could accomplish. I mean, everyone roughly knows what Shifting Stones do, at the very least would have seen the opponent’s caster card to see what Warpath did, and they probably have seen some variation of Wild Aggression. On the other hand, not everyone would see the non-linear movements and figure out that I was just in range. So what does this mean to the average player? Well, the take away from this is what I mentioned in my earlier article; post game analysis. There are quite a few players who play their game win or lose then just pack it up and are done. What I do, on the other hand, is after the match, go over it with my opponent and see what things we both could have done differently. Not necessarily always best, mind you. What we do here is break down the interactions that lead to the end of the game and how they could have been different. To cycle back to my earlier example, Will himself told me that his entire plan would have fallen apart had I used Rhoven to give Menoth’s Sight to my Reckoner and had just Assaulted / walked and shot the closest Shifting Stone. I clearly had the Focus. So why didn’t I? Simple, I didn’t think I needed to. I instead wanted to run my Reckoner to give him a better position the following turn.  I could have instead just kept Thyra back a few more inches and been fine as well. Again I didn’t think I’d need to as the Hill gave me a better defensive position against other elements in his army. In this instance, making that decision would have wildly affected the rest of the game. Another match that comes to mind is when playing Retribution, using Rahn to Telekinesis pButcher around and away from a wall so that 2 Mage Hutner Assassin’s could Charge him. What I didn’t know was that the Wardog gave pButcher immunity to Backstrikes. I ended up losing the match to that...

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The Commander of Cygnar

Posted by on 1:48 pm

Well here we are on another exciting episode of “The Dark Horse.”  This time we take a look at one of my favorite cygnar warcasters.  Granted this is also one of the warcasters if we could ever get the great Legion of Jake to play warmachine he has said this would be the guy, so this article even has Jake’s stamp of approval.  To me I think he is just a great toolbox of abilities and have even seen the request for a list on the forums on how to make him rock.  I think the key is found in the list below as a majority of things will have high ARM of DEF throughout the game, even on a non-feat turn.  So here he is, the Commander Coleman Stryker:   Prime Stryker +6 Centurion (6) 3 Ol’Rowdy 9 Squire 2 Journeyman Warcaster 3 Hunter (controlled by Journeyman) 6 Arlan Strangeways 2 Stormblades with Officer and Bearer with 3 Gunners 11 Stormclad (Jack marshaled by Stormblade Officier) 10 Rhupert 2 Gorman 2 Total:  50/56   So lets take a look at Stryker’s stats shall we.  Though a majority of people like to say that he is an average caster I can agree with this.  His SPD is the basic you could expect, his MAT and RAT though are both above average with his MAT being on par with heavy hitting infantry, his DEF is above average while his ARM is a little below average.  Combine this with his low range attack, low in regards to RNG and POW, and his melee weapon just barely higher than a hand cannon.  Also having an average FOC stat, though his CMD is high.  This all makes someone look at just an individual stat and think it might be average, or at least from what I have heard people say.  I think though when you combine them it makes for a great warcaster.  His MAT/RAT allow him to hit the average DEF warjack, though won’t do much damage both attacks have disruption.  His high DEF means it will be hard to hit him, especially if it is a warjack that is disrupted.  His life grid is average, and though his ARM is average combine with the fact I have put some warjacks with him that don’t need a lot of focus means he has decent survivability.   As for his spells and feat now.  He has an attack spell called Arcane Blast that costs about half his FOC to cast with average range and POW with a small AOE.  He has a low cost attack spell called Arcane Bolt,that has the range of a handcannon and a POW just a little lower than the handcannon.  His great attack spell is called Earthquake, cost half of his FOC but has average range a the biggest AOE possible, though does no damage but all models that are in the AOE are knocked down.  He also has 3 upkeep spells that are all usually good to upkeep and affect friendly model/unit.  The first is Blur, this is where the targer gets a good bonus to its DEF vs range and magic attacks.  The second is Snipe and it gives the target a great bonus to the range attacks’ RNG.  The last spell is Arcane Shield, this...

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Warmachine Hobby Showcase: Week 1

Posted by on 9:01 am

Hey everyone, I an Brian B, aka “PaintVagrant” from the forums. I’m excited about posting to the MoM mainpage, although this article series is not about me. Its about you! If you think you have some awesome looking models, then show me. Via the forums, I have started collecting images of your warmachine models and armies. Ill pick my favorite images each week, based on this criteria: 1) Favorite Army (fully painted and based, must be at least 40 points of models (casters count as 5) 2) Favorite Single Model (any PP model) 3) Favorite Conversion If your model doesnt get picked for the week you post it, dont fret, it may be picked for a later week. See all the rules for entry and post images here. With all that out of the way, lets look at some rad pictures!   [divider scroll_text=””] Favorite Army: I like Adam’s Legion quite a bit. I think its a good example of how effective fast army painting can be. The scheme is simple but it works, and there is some decent color interaction between the cool main color and warm secondary color on the beasts. I really like the stenciled pattern on Vayl2’s cloak. That’s really cool. I think the infantry are lacking something, they don’t have the color contrast that the beasts have and their main color sort of blends into the base. The exception to this is the pot/stirrers, who really pop out at you thanks to that bold red. Cool army overall. Name: Adam B Forums Name: dexefiend (pp: downtown_adam) Country: USA Inspiration for Model/Army: Studio Scheme Parts used/other hobby info: Dragonforge Resin Bases – Forgotten Empires Pics:   [divider scroll_text=””] Favorite Single Miniature: Tom’s Skarre2 is clean and has good color choices. The base has muted colors so it doesn’t take over visually and distract from the model itself, which can be a problem with epic caster models. The gold and purple have a pretty good color contrast, and the cream-colored trim helps too. I feel like there could be maybe one more contrasty color somewhere on this model, but ultimately it’s very well done! Plus, it was for charity, which makes it all the sweeter. Name: Tom Hoffmann Forums Name: trolldrengi Country: USA Inspiration for Model/Army: Breast Cancer Brawl Charity Auction Parts used/other hobby info: Straight up Epic Skarre     [divider scroll_text=””] Favorite Conversion: Bill made lemonade out of lemons: he got a miscast Madrak2, but instead of just chucking the torso into his bitz box never to be seen again, he kitbashed a really cool looking Troll Hero out of it. The conversion works really well, looking different enough from Madrak that you cant confuse them on the table, and not looking exactly like the standard troll hero either. Bill also did a bit of sculpting work, adding the chainmail over the torso area. Solid model and great conversion idea. Name: Bill Forums Name: geneguard Country: Flint, MI, USA Inspiration for Model/Army: Bought eMadrak and the head was janky and miscast. Got a replacement, but the the original was screaming conversion. Parts used/other hobby info: eMadrak torso, leftover Champion head, Fennblade UA sword. I used greenstuff to model chainmail, to represent the Hero’s higher armor. Thats it for this week, thanks for reading! See...

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Sweet Venethrax Tech (not included)

Posted by on 11:17 pm

I feel like Venny occasionally gets a bad rap.  I’ve played him a lot, he’s my main guy in Cryx, so I wanted to share what I’ve learned about him.  He may not be the best caster in Cryx, but, if you use him properly, he’s alright.   Profile:  Venethrax’s stats are fairly main line for a cryxian medium based caster, he shares them with pGaspy.  The only one that’s out of line is his Mat, which is a totally sweet 8. Caustic Presence [Corrosion]:  This rarely comes up. Dismember: This and Dragon slayer allows the notorious fury gobbling that is all folks remember about Venny. Cull Soul:  Uses this to turn souls to focus. Spells: Blood Rain is basically breath of corruption, but much worse  It still kills all single wounds under it, because of his caustic presence, but it isn’t nearly as good for running an arc node within 4″ and killing casters. Dragon Slayer: Signature spell here.  Venethrax should have this upkept unless the enemy just purify/eiryss’d it off. Worth pointing out that it allows harvesting fury from any enemy model that has it, not just beasts.  Go ahead and take fury from the Celestial Fulcrum. Hellfire:  Venethrax gets enough fury to try hellfire assassinations surprisingly often.  This is a very important spell for him. [Note that Dragon Slayer works with this spell.  You can use it to off a beast or forsaken and take their fury load] Lamentation:  This is one of those spells that 90% of the time goes uncast, but every once in a while is a massive deal.  There are a number of casters who have a big deal spell that they desperately want to cast, and also important upkeeps.  If you can catch them in it, and not die, you can totally hose their game. Soul harvester:  Venny’s other signature spell here.  This is key to his game plan.  This spell is his rit sac, his dark guidance.  It pretty much defines the caster. Charnel Flames: This is a fine defensive feat.  Kill enemy models, they can’t kill you back because you are behind clouds that auto-point them.  It’s like being eGaspy for a turn.  The easiest way to screw this up is to block in Venethrax with the models that need to do the killing.  The order of the feat turn is Venny first, feat and move into 14″ of their front line, your models kill their models. His feat is actually a really big deal, between LOS blocking and keeping them from just advancing to engage with infantry…and then the fact that if they do get past then they kill your models and that still makes clouds. The Game Plan:   Ok, so here’s how all the pieces work together.  The theme of Venethrax’s army list is that he collects all the souls from enemy’s that die.  Between upkeeping, a scarlock and Venny himself you can have Soul Harvester in 3 places during a turn.  Everything you kill should be giving Venethrax souls.  If possible, he uses these souls for a hellfire assassination.  If not, he can charge up and kill a bunch of guys and still keep his camp up at safe levels. On the critical turn he pops his feat to stop enemy retaliation.  His camp is...

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Road to War Episode 10

Posted by on 8:08 pm

Road to War This week we talk about Legion! 0:00: Legion and Colossals 7:17: General Discussion 10:56: eLylth 18:30: Saeryn 28:56: Bethayne & Belphagor 38:40: pVayl 45:39: eVayl 51:39: pThagrosh 56:19: eThag 59:09: Abysolonia 1:03:55: Kallus 1:07:28: pLylth 1:09:00: Closing thoughts on Legion 1:11:05 WAR GamesCon Recap   Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:25:59 — 78.7MB)Subscribe: Android |...

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What is a National Player?

Posted by on 3:01 pm

Unlike a lot of the other contributors I’m relatively new and not a big national contender. People like to see what things are like from the big dog’s point of view so that they can glean some insight. That special something they feel like they are missing. Truth be told there is no secret. I’ve been playing for about 3.5 years now I started in early ’09 right around the Legends release. I played pretty regularly about 2 days a week, and say 5-6 games total per week. I started hearing about the national scene at the time; and thought that it just wasn’t for me. Simply that I would never be able to aspire to that level and compete with the best of the best. Then something changed, I started to read the battle reports and the competitiveness wasn’t that far removed from my local group. I resolved to try harder until I could make that national scene and from that point on started playing more and more competitively. When I say that I mean I would spend more time on list construction and lay out my list goals. I cut out extraneous models that weren’t proving worth it over time or really elaborate gimmicks that only worked some, if any of the time. I also started playing timed turns in casual gaming. I wouldn’t force it on my opponent but I would for myself. If I ran out of time my turn was over. This forced me to stop having analysis paralysis. All of this helped shaped me into a better player not even really stepping up the amount of gaming I was playing but analyzing them more and seeing what I did wrong; what I could do better or differently. Then internalizing all of that information and building from there. Lock and Load last year was my first attempt at a national level convention. I ended up in finals against Will Pagini; and lost due to excellent play on his part. While I do not wish to detract from Will’s victory, but I enabled him to win. I’ve gone over that scenario in my head easily over a dozen times on what I could have done differently. They all boil down to me not piecing the puzzle together. The point I’m trying to make is that no plan is fool proof, and that everyone makes mistakes; even at high levels of play. In the end I hope that this article encourages some of you to get out there and try harder; as you don’t have to be a national player to be able to play at a national level....

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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;...

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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...

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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...

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