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!

Crippled System episode 24: The following takes place between 6PM and 8PM

Posted by on 9:03 am

L&L is over and it was a glorious event. Special thank you to Privateer Press and all the awesome folks that I ran into over there. Hosts: Andy W, Nathan H, Jeremy S, Katie S, Brian G 00:00 Introductions 01:50 Auto losses, are they real? 16:10 Lock and Load discussion 33:48 Game of Thrones and Dr. Who discussion 40:18 Things to never look up on Google 49:15 Lightning round, ZAPPY! 60:24 Katie’s Korner: Not limiting yourself 71:49 Recommendations Our YouTube channel email us at Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow @CrippledSystem Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:31:53 — 63.1MB)Subscribe: Android |...

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Secrets of the True Law – Vindictus the Fixer

Posted by on 12:24 pm

  In a faction that prefers good fashion to good defensive stats and off-roading, dangers abound. Many a prospective Protectorate warcasters’ life has been cut tragically short by the deadly stink of Ravagore breath and the unfortunate and ironic flammability of priestly robes. Still more have been found riddled with crossbow bolts fired by nefarious Arcane Assassins from unreasonable distances. Others have been beaten before the battle even began, cursing the gods that decided a 12″ forest in the dead center of the table was a good idea. Being forced to retreat and clean sticks and briars out of your finely-woven cloth raiments is an experience best avoided. Fortunately, some warcasters in the Protectorate care nothing for fashion. The “Vice” in Vice Scrutator Vindictus couldn’t be more apt. Vicey Vindy is the man you call on when it absolutely, positively has to get there overnight without being shot to death by the heathen across the table. Staring down eLylyth with triple Ravagores? Vindictus is your man. Coming up on a battle with the evil elves of Ios? Vindictus laughs off their pathetic crossbow bolts – or simply laughs when the pile of zealots in the way starts blocking the shots. Vindictus is the perfect man to send in when Harbinger, pKreoss, pSeverius, High Reclaimer, or Reznik would be forced out of usefulness by the threat of ranged assassination. He might not be your “drop against anything” warcaster, but he’ll definitely bail you out of a rough situation with his manly confidence and utter distain for appropriate warcasting attire. His casual disregard for the lives of Zealots is your boon. Vindictus is also the guy you pair up with your favorite warcaster to fix the relative lack of Pathfinding models in Menoth’s armies. We’ve all sat down at a table that looks something like this: Or this… Or this… And we were all probably cursing the Lawgiver and/or the local TO for forgetting that some factions have to get by without all-terrain mods for their Warjacks. Vindictus may not be your best choice for your opponent’s army, but sometimes the terrain skews the matchup so far in one direction that any other choice is suicide. Heck, there are even warcasters who will rudely turn a huge amount of the table into Rough Terrain, which can spell the end of your melee-focused list. When the terrain on the table is about to ruin your chances, bust out Vindictus, and introduce your unrepentant opponent to the pain that is True Path Weaponmaster infantry. I guarantee that your enemies will soon be clamoring for less terrain so that you don’t feel the need to unleash Vindictus on their paltry forces. Finally, there’s an area that Vindictus shines that nary any other warcaster in the Protectorate dares even attempt… Steamroller 2013 is Vindictus’s calling. Look no further than the best Dominator in the Protectorate, and among the best in the Iron Kingdoms. In fact, I propose we simply change his title to Chief Dominator Vindictus to avoid confusion. Though he may not have bound his soul to hell and he’s not in the business of drinking heavily, it takes more than a small effort to crack a warcaster who can sit on a 17/23 statline with no outside assistance. Defender’s Ward may seem like a waste on a single model,...

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How to Train your Warjack: Voice of the Voiceless

Posted by on 11:15 am

Writing last weeks article, I started thinking more about the idea of an NPC’s “voice” and the limitations on that when trying to characterize a warjack in your game. Making NPCs memorable and instantly distinguishable from others is a challenge at the best of times, but with ‘jacks, you’re going to rely on very simple sounds, and a lot of body language. My IK game is going to have a lot of warjacks in it, and at least 3 in and around the players at all time. And ideally, I would like players to come away with a sense of their “voice”, even if I don’t use “warjack speech” much (more on that below). I want to try and use a lot of body language, standing up whenever I’m playing a ‘jack (all the better to loom at you) and using gesture. One good thing about all of that is that your players are wired to pick up on subtleties in body language anyway. A lot of human communication is done with posture and vocal intonation (Or, perhaps more accurately, a lot of information is conveyed about the speaker that way). If you take the time to think about ‘jack body language, you’ll players will notice, and respond. And isn’t that what all GMs want? (That, and free con entry, and pints. And power. The delicious power). So what are the basics that you can use? On an animal level, we communicate confidence to others by making ourselves vulnerable – shoulders back, chest out, head held high. Exposing the chest and neck and having your hands held loosely at your side or clasped behind your back projects that no-one around you is a threat.  The inverse of this is also true, in that closed body language, with arm(s) across the chest and slumped shoulders communicate fear and lack of confidence. In my head, warjacks always walk around with as much swagger as their shoulder joints allow. Labourjacks look like they’re built to be more hunched and closed, so their very posture will communicate subservience. You also communicate a lot (relatedly to the above) with the amount of tension in your body. An increase in muscle tension is incredibly communicative of a readiness for action. That can communicate either fear or imminent aggression, and the situations in which you tense up say a lot about your personality. If you are slack and inward when faced with aggression, that indicates submissiveness and acceptance of that. Tension indicates fight or flight, which suggests non-acceptance and action towards a solution. Next up, personal space. Most people have a personal space bubble about the length of their arm. My thought is that warjack’s don’t like people inside that bubble unless it’s their warcaster or a “friend” (Their brother in arms in the jack wall, for instance). When thinking about steamjack body language, I think that the above few points are the most important to focus on – these are the ways we physically communicate our perception of situations/others as threats, friends, irrelevant, or scary. That covers most of a warjack’s range of relationships – we don’t really need to go into the body language involved in interpersonal attraction or group behaviour. Instead of meandering on and on with multiple examples, I’m going to suggest...

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Warma-Teach Special Ed. #1

Posted by on 3:28 pm

Warma-Teach Special Ed. #1- Xerxis A reader  sent me a message asking for a review of Xerxis in light of me mentioning him in the last Warma-Teach. Since he told me that he had already read a lot about him (and I had an inordinate amount of time on my hands) I decided to go into a great deal of depth with it. By the time I was done, it felt like a Warma-Teach all on its own. I decided to christen it “Warma-Teach Special Ed.” (as in Edition, oh the puns) and post it up on Facebook, and as usual, on Muse. I don’t think I’ll expect to be able to do this for every question, but I thought this topic was two appropriate given my last article and the articles I have planned for the near future. Enjoy! Xerxis is a caster that I loved from the moment I saw him, and I love when people drop him on the board in front of me. I dabbled in Skorne for a while, and was able to try him out for myself for a time, so I feel like this review of him is pretty spot-on. Bear in mind that I’m going to be focusing on his playability in competitive arenas, and anyone, of course, is playable for fun.   That being said, Xerxis is a perfect example of the Brother-in-Arms caster I described in Warma-Teach #2. He’s tough-as-nails and has fantastic ways to support his army around him while sacrificing none of his own spectacular prowess. His feat is nearly two feats from similar casters, and his spell list stacks both effects to make them off-the-charts effective. His personal speed can be deceptive and his power undeniable, so why, oh why, does he lose sooooooooooo consistently in the average competitive meta? ; ( The truth is Xerxis suffers from two MASSIVE problems that MUST be addressed in order to take him seriously. The first is his scripted decision when army building, and the second is the pervasive weakness of the brick in the current meta. Curiously enough, these are both huge problems with many casters, which is why both topics ARE going to be featured articles in upcoming Warma-Teaches. For now, I’m going to do my best to give you the nutshell version and then talk about how it applies directly to Xerxis. Xerxis’ Choice Xerxis is a caster that appears to have choices, but really has very few. He HAS to have Cetrati (perhaps 2 units in larger games) because they are obviously the best unit for his abilities. 12 def on a 8 box unit with ARM 20 shield wall simply doesn’t exist in other factions, and defender’s ward makes them to amazing for words. Furthermore, Weapon master+charge+feat+fury= anything in the game is dead. There are others that could benefit similarly, but they can’t protect Xerxis’ medium base while he’s in the thick of it. He HAS to have a Bronzeback (again perhaps two in bigger games) to make use of Fury, countercharge, and beatback on feat turn. He HAS to have a Krea Animus to make sure his brick can shrug off enemy ranged attacks and it can paralyze something so that Xerxis or his Bronzeback doesn’t have to boost against high DEF targets....

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Warma-Teach #2: Combat Casters

Posted by on 10:09 pm

  Warma-Teach #2: Combat Casters In The Mix When players crack open a faction book for the first time, they are greeted first by tales of amazing individuals called warcasters and warlocks hacking, slashing, shooting, or perhaps all of the above through masses of enemies before finally going toe-to-toe with opposing magical juggernauts. Then, they get to see these exceptional individual’s rules and biography painting the picture of how they will interact with Western Immoren and your tabletop in a dynamic and tactile way. It is no wonder then, that the first warcasters/locks many players pick up to try first are those that have the greatest battlefield presence. These are the beat sticks, capable of taking it straight to the heart of the enemy all by themselves in the style of Achilles, Sergeant Yorke, or William Wallace. They are the Combat Casters, and while they may seem simple enough, many novice players are crushed at the inefficacy of their warlord’s rampage, or the brutal way in which opponent’s punish their brazen attempt at fighting in the mix. This Warma-Teach will focus on how to best to identify if your favorite caster falls into this category, and how to best utilize your combat casters to their maximum potential while simultaneously denying your opponent reprisal.   So You Think You’re a Combat Caster The first thing we have set down is how to determine if your warcaster/ lock can be classified as a combat caster because misdiagnosing your favorite model can lead to incredible frustration during army building and gameplay. Let me start by stating that when I say combat, I mean the literal definitions of combat (close and ranged.) Almost all casters utilize their spells to directly or indirectly affect models on the board. Combat casters are any warcaster/warlock that SHOULD engage models with close or ranged combat at some point in a game. This emphasis is obviously on should, because any caster/lock can engage appropriate enemy models with a certain guarantee of victory. This is due to the simple fact that casters and locks hold the largest battery of focus or fury on the board, and this translates directly into their model being worth several times their own size in terms of destructive potential. Furthermore, casters/locks generally have stats that are higher than their other small-based brethren to reflect their greater training, experience, resources, etc. Combat casters separate themselves from the flock by having truly exemplary combat stats (Butcher’s MAT, eCaine’s RAT), exceptional special rules or self-buff spells (Weapon Master, Side Step, Engine of Destruction), or weapons (Lylyth’s Bow, eMorghul’s Fan of Shadows.) Their effects are varied and combinations often multiplicative, but all of these casters share a common trait: they NEED to be attacking at some point. They are given rules and abilities that unbalance the game in your favor as long as they are utilizing their entire offensive potential. Special Note: There are casters that have combat abilities, but are definitely NOT combat casters. Good examples are models with a single combat buff (Powerful Attack on Doomshaper and eNemo, critical effect weapons on Kaya and Sorscha) or specialized ranged weapons (Kaelyssa’s Runebolt Cannon, Zaal’s Spirit Eye.) THESE CAN BE TRICKS!! All these do is maybe facilitate removal of a single model. These things can make the difference...

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Command Check episode 1 an explicit warmachine/hordes podcast

Posted by on 3:04 pm

hello all we decided to get drunk and discuss warmachine and such, this is episode 1 , hosted by Kenneth MacPherson, Coleman Spray, Danny “CLASSY” Modesto , and James Sligar, we will time stamp them in the future but there was no time on this episode, we discuss beginning as a player and the meta you are a part of, and lots o drinkin!!!! we hope you enjoy Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:32:50 — 83.5MB)Subscribe: Android |...

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Nemesis: The Lich. 10 – Inciting Blighted Breath

Posted by on 11:52 am

“My angelius overtakes to here, and that will do him.” “Okay, not so bad.” “I activate Saeryn, move up, I’m going to blight bringer, then cast tenacity on her, then feat.” “And so we play the waiting game… I hate the waiting game…” This week we’re going to talk about how to deal with Epic Asphyxious, the Lich Lord, when playing Legion of Everblight. First we will discuss legion models and tactics that are useful in this matchup, and then I will go into the warlocks that deal well with it, both unusual and the more expected choices. Check out the first two articles for background on Lich. The Toolbox Legion is THE premier beast faction. No-one runs them as well in such numbers with so many warlocks. So surely that makes them the worst against Cryx who love to see warbeasts/jacks? Not at all! The faction is bedecked with ranged attacks and infantry clearing options and they don’t rely on the poor defensive stats of their beasts against almost anything, so Cryx debuffs aren’t as devastating as you’d expect. The ravagore is incredible in this matchup. It can kill both the hag and Tartarus from relative safety, it ignores Lich’s defensive clouds, and it can keep him honest if he’s not camping. Just in general it hunts the lynchpins of your opponents plan. When dealing with Cryx, you should almost always have a ravagore in your list. Don’t be afraid to shoot other models in the butt to place scathers on them against non-reach infantry. I can leave scather? I always imagine dragonspawn as internet cats. I have problems. A lot of people are liking the afflictor at the moment, but the living requirement of his incubi creation is a bit mopey in this matchup. He has a whole turn where he can’t kill the one unit he’d be able to kill which is not great. The naga isn’t neccesarily a bad idea to let your beasts get into the incorporeal units, but I much prefer using hex hunters. They are a great little unit, very good at killing blackbane’s raiders or blood witches with startling speed, but they are unfortunately excarnate fodder. If you can keep them alive, or at least turn them into food for your pot after they do some damage they will be worth their cost, but you need to get work from them. The sycthean and angelius are both good, shockingly I’m sure. The scytheans animus removes from play, which is excellent though hard to apply enough to actually counter the feat. Angels have overtake, so if you can boost their accuracy then you can eat your way through many models a turn. Many of the best tools are obvious models. Though I think triple spray Typhon should get an honourable mention for chewing through units at startlingly speed if played well. That’s the key to Legion though, isn’t it? Play your beasts carefully and well and you will decimate your foe. The Garden Shed Now I’ll discuss two warlocks. One who is lesser used but very good, and a personal favourite of mine. One who I see mentioned, but think has less of a good matchup than people think. Bethayne is phenomenally fun. She has the longest single quality of any caster,...

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Crippled System Videocast 1: Jeremy vs Nathan Battle

Posted by on 2:51 pm

very busy in the next week preparing for L&L. We unveil our first videocast, Jeremy vs Nathan in a battle report. Special commentary by them and andy. We unveil our brand new youtube channel email us at Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow...

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Secrets of the True Law – “Fixing” Vindictus

Posted by on 12:30 pm

Ahh, Vindictus. Few warcasters are subject to such intensely divided opinions as the man in the (egg) suit. When I first looked at Vindictus, I was puzzled how anyone could hate a caster that can turn a Throne of Everblight into a Zealot. Yes, his feat is heavily matchup-dependent. Yes, he’s not exactly the best “closer” in with his wimpy non-reach P+S12 weapons. But seriously, Vindictus is so bad-ass he can convince a 50-foot tall tentacle horror to bow down and throw bombs in the name of the Lawgiver. Oh, and he’s got possibly the best defensive buff in the game, Defender’s Ward, and possibly the best infantry mobility buff in the game, True Path. He’s also got two feats, though the second one is a little subtle but highly relevant (more on that later). What else could you possibly need? Well, if we’re being honest and truthful (and anything else is punishable by wracking, immolation, or both), Vindictus lacks any accuracy buffs or damage buffs. He also doesn’t do very much for non-warrior models, namely Warjacks. Fortunately, we have ample opportunities to fix that. What follows is a list of things that I find indispensable in virtually every Vindictus list I construct. They are the core of the engine that makes him work as a competitive warcaster. Monolith Bearer You’re taking a unit of Zealots with a Monolith Bearer. No, I don’t care if the event is Mangled Metal/Tooth and Claw, just promise your TO that Monolith Bearers are actually Light Warjacks (don’t actually do this – see my earlier note on truthfulness and wracking). Got a unit in your list? Good, now let’s talk about why that was a fantastic decision. You see, the second feat I alluded to earlier directly involves these guys. The feat may as well read, “For one round, Vindictus cannot be damaged by ranged attacks.” You can accomplish this feat fairly simply by leaving one or two Zealots within 3″ of Vindictus with Greater Destiny active. I usually use the Monolith Bearer just because he’s usually lagging behind the others, but any member will do. Anytime your enemy is foolish enough to directly hit Vindictus with a ranged attack, Sacrifical Pawn the attack off to the Zealot, who will take no damage. Then chuckle to yourself heartily and say four prayers to Menoth as thanks for His protection. That’s basically the sum of what Zealots do for Vindictus, but don’t worry, he also does a lot for them. You see, in the Protectorate there is one and only one buff to the effective range of Zealot bombs – True Path. Zealots directly threaten models 13″ away under True Path, and can threaten further with fortunate scatters. They can also mini-feat and run an impressive 14″ in order to screw with your opponents’ plans. They can also advance straight through Forests, Rough Terrain, Shallow Water, and anything else that might give them trouble – allowing them to get the jump on otherwise faster units. They’re also dangerous to just about anything, especially if buffed in any manner (see below). High Defense infantry generally do not like POW8 blasts that cannot deviate far enough to miss. High Armor infantry generally do not like being directly hit by POW14 bombs with crit fire. Finally, nobody but nobody likes...

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PwMJ Memorial Day Extravaganza!

Posted by on 7:00 am

Well…to be completely honest this episode has little to do with Memorial Day.  My intrepid co-host Adam and I discuss all manner of things at least tangentially associated with painting, boardgames, CoC, and who knows what else.   I think my show needs a format…at least some sort of a format.   If you like it…like the show on Facebook HERE or subscribe to the YouTube Channel HERE...

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