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!

Welcome to the Statistician’s Guild!

Posted by on 5:06 pm

It’s been a long time since I’ve written for Muse on Minis.  I could give the ‘I’ve been busy’ excuse.  The truth is, when you’re passionate about something, you make time.  I haven’t been THIS passionate about a miniature game for close to two years now.  That said, the thrill is back, and with it another article on applied statistics.  This article is a light intro to a different style of dice mechanics vs. my previous articles.  I’m going to go over statistics implied by that new system and give a few support pieces to help gamers make smarter in-game decisions. So.  What’s got me falling in love with miniature gaming again?  If you haven’t guessed already by the title, it’s Guild Ball!   I love the game.  It’s as simple as that.  However, their dice system is slightly different than previous games I’ve played.  Here’s the scoop so we can get into the numbers.  Most actions a model may make in Guild Ball are resolved using a dice-pool and a Target Number (TN) test. For attacks, the dice-pool equals the attacking model’s Tactical Ability (TAC) and the Target Number is based on the defending model’s Defensive Ability (DEF).  Each die rolled that equals or exceeds the target number generates a successful hit. Let’s see how this works in action. For the balance of this article, I’m going to use Tapper attacking Calculus as an example.  Tapper is a Brewer. I play Brewers.  Calculus is an Alchemist.  My best friend and nemesis plays Alchemists.  BONUS: I get additional points for cleverly mentioning Calculus in a math article.  Feels like a good choice all around. Tapper is a TAC of 6.  Calculus is a DEF of 4+. Here’s how I interpret these numbers.  Each die has a 50% probability of being a 4 or greater, yielding me a successful hit.  I’ve got 6d6 in my dice-pool, so my expected net-hit is 3. (6 dice * 50% probability for each die) That’s the basic stuff.  Now let’s get into the interesting part.  After you successfully hit a target model with an attack, the attacking player applies the net-hits to the attacking model’s Playbook to determine the result of the attack.  Beyond being the Playbook being a fun mechanic for the game (allowing you to choose from damage, spells, or in-game effects) this choice is strategically interesting. Let’s go back to Tapper and that derivative Alchemist Jezebel. Tapper is close enough to either charge Calculus, or walk up and start swinging.  So there’s a decision there.  Additionally, Tapper has Knock-Down (KD) on his playbook.  I could choose to knock down Calculus to reduce her to DEF 3+ for subsequent bashing.  That’s another decision we’ll assess.   Example 1:  Tapper has four influence (4 INF).  He uses it to charge and attack twice.  Since I called the Calculus player my best friend AND nemesis, I’m going to assume he annoyingly and appropriately uses Defensive Stance.  Defensive Stance makes Calculus DEF 5+ for resolving the charge attack.   Charge: Dice-pool = 10.  TAC 6 plus 4d6 for the charge. TN = 5+.  DEF4+ plus Defensive Stance. Probability of Knock-down: 61.0% (I’ll give you a graph for these shortly) Attack x2 (if knocked down): Dice-pool = 6.  TAC 6. TN = 3+.  DEF4+ plus Knock Down. Probability...

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Tinkering the Engineers – Salvo

Posted by on 7:49 am

Duck!!! Its Salvo’s turn for this Tinkering the Engineers post. Stats Fast moving and with a decent KICK, Salvo has an OK threat range as a goal scorer. While his INF is average, with a below average maximum, and sporting an average DEF, he does get some ARM. His TAC is pretty low, but like Ratchet this isn’t a bad thing, as he is doubling his dice on the charge (making it easier to wrap around results). Character Traits Pumped – When using Bonus Time, once a turn Salvo doesn’t need to spend an MP to actually do it. Makes him pretty efficient, as one of his 2 plays are more likely to come off. Swift Strikes – Whenever he causes damage to an enemy model he can make a 1” dodge. This really adds to his speed and also means that after 2 hits he could be unengaged from some models. Playbook Salvo has lots of pushes in his playbook, as well as a two momentous tackles, which is unusual (one has a push). On the other hand, he has very little damage output. This means that he can do as much damage through effects (push/knockdown) from his plays than what he can do by simply engaging with the enemy. Plays Kick Bolt – Costs 1 INF. Pushes target model 3”, which is a healthy distance, and does 2 damage. Helpful for clearing a path if you get the angle right, and on top of other boosts is helpful for the team. Floored Bolt – Costs 1 INF. Allows him to knock down a model and do 1 damage. This is powerful when you consider the dodge he will get from Swift Strikes and the MP generated if he is near Ballista. Overall Salvo certainly does not want to get into the middle of things. He’d rather just sit back and use his various bolts, both of which allow him to get a move on (at no cost even!). This makes him surprisingly fast, which means he can be a goal threat. With those tackles in his book he is not bad at retrieving the ball for you when you need it either. Original posts can be found here...

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OzMachine (OzGuildBalls) – Episode 51

Posted by on 7:20 am

WARNING: The Warmachine content in this episode is very light on. We do discuss Moops and Leeps run at the Masters, but after that its predominantly Guild Ball!  Also, the audio levels may be slightly up and down due to the microphone setup we had to use. Welcome back listeners!  We had our first reunion at Cancon 2016 since putting the show on hiatus, and the urge to podcast was strong for many reasons.  In the end we bit the bullet, and on Monday night we sat down in front a microphone, with a live audience and a huge special guest, and recorded this episode!  We discuss the Guild Ball event at Cancon, interview the creator of the game, Mat Hart, and design a new Guild live on the show. We manage to elicit some HUGE spoilers from Mat as well.  As usual, we appreciate any feedback and support. We do not foresee the podcast returning on a regular basis at this stage. Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 2:03:01 — 112.6MB)Subscribe: Android |...

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Tinkering the Engineers – Ballista

Posted by on 12:15 pm

Welcome to a new batch of Team Talk posts! This time we are tinkering with the Engineers. As always, first up is the captain – Ballista. Stats Ballista moves at an average rate and his TAC is also average for a captain. His DEF is pretty low, but he does have some ARM. His INF is average for a captain and he can only have a max of 6, but this is enough to use all three of his plays, which you could be tempted to do. His standout stat is his KICK; he is incredibly accurate with the boot with reasonable distance. He is a good holder of the ball, ready to pass to the strikers. Character Traits Tough Hide – This trait means that anything outside of a Butcher is going to struggle to put lots of damage onto him. -1 damage from plays and playbook means he is pretty survivable, even with mediocre DEF. Momentous Inspiration – An impressive aura that generates an additional Momentum point from any character play that results in damage. This means that anything done at range can really bump up the team’s MP’s for a turn, which is scary with all the shooting they have. Legendary Play Mine Field – Enemy models making a reposition (dodge) take a point of damage, while an advance will mean 4 points of damage. This play has a big bubble, making it brutal if you can catch a few players in it. Opponents will certainly think twice about coming anywhere near Ballista. Playbook Ballista easily generates MP with his book (all but 1 column); he has a lot of access to pushes as well. He has little damage output but has 2 knockdown columns, which is very nice as he brings a lot of that to table anyway. The column 1 Momentous Tackle is also very great. Plays Second Wind – Costs 2 INF, allows a friendly model to make a jog at the end of their activation. This helps the slower members of the team move really fast, but it also helps with repositioning a model who could be in trouble. Deadbolt – Costs 2 INF, target enemy model is knocked down, suffers 2 damage, and gets pushed away as well. Such a shame this is only once a turn as otherwise you could really dominate a field with this play. Not much the enemy can do when you knock them down at range (and a good range at that). Don’t forget the MP this will generate as well! Flurry – Costs 2 INF, target enemy model takes 2 damage and all models within 2” of him/her also take damage. Another one he can only do once but it hands out a fair amount of damage if your opponent bunches up models. Overall Ballista is an interesting captain; he is a Momentum creator for the team. He can do a lot from range with Momentous Inspiration and then his 2 damage-dealing plays. In fact, if you have the INF you could jog forward then use all 3 of his plays. This will generate 2 MP and then let him reposition away from reprisal afterwards. This, on top of his decent defensive stats, means that Ballista is going to be hard to take out. Plus...

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Building the Masons – Marbles

Posted by on 4:18 pm

The team mascots are something of a unique proposition in the game. These animal companions follow their team captains and all bring something different to the team they play for. Luckily for the Masons, Marbles is one of the best little mascots out there. As I mentioned with Honour, it’s the flexibility of the team that is their key to victory, and Marbles may show this more than any other player on the team. Marbles is firmly in the middle of the pack when it comes to mascot statistics, with nothing special in any section, but that doesn’t make him weak by any means. Stats MOV – Marbles’ decent move of 6”/8” will keep him out of trouble vs most of the game’s heavy hitters, but he can get bogged down by the quicker teams. Keep him out of trouble until you need him and use his half decent speed to get him where you need, when you need. With 1 INF he can engage from 9” away, which will give you far more than any other mascot for a single INF due to him providing both +1Tac (+2Tac with Ganging Up) and +1 Damage to Honour with his assist ability. TAC – His TAC of 3 isn’t brilliant, but in tandem with his playbook it is all you need at times. On the charge Marbles picks up a pretty decent 7 TAC attack, enough to tackle Hemlock under Defensive Stance on average rolls. KICK – This is little Marbles’ weakest statistic. 1/4” isn’t much to write home about, but it’s workable with abilities such as Bonus Time or Mallet’s Football Legend to bolster it. DEF – Marbles isn’t as nimble as the Cat; while not fantastic, a solid DEF of 4+ is still one of the better numbers in the standard Masons lineup. It means that some of the dangerous single dice plays only have a 50% chance to hit, while even some of the two dice plays only hit 75% of the time. This’ll get you out of more than one sticky situation. ARM – While the Cat is more nimble, Marbles is definitely more protected once he gets hit. 1 ARM isn’t the best value on a mascot, however it’s by no means the worst. 1 ARM won’t protect him against someone like Boar or Ox, but against those nifty little strikers looking to get a quick bounce after a normal advance into melee, it might just tip the odds in your favor. INF – Pretty average for a mascot here. Marbles adds one to your pool, which is always good, and in most turns you’ll feed it back to him to keep up with your team, run into assist range, or use one of his Character Plays. There are occasions when you’ll want to give him two though; I’ll let you work out the best time for that on your own. Character Traits Loved Creature – This little trick will either win you games or never come up. When Marbles suffers the Taken Out condition you get a small bonus of +2 TAC and +2”/2” on your MOV for the rest of the turn, as well as 2 MP. There are times when you’ll want to sacrifice Marbles for the good of the team; a...

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Building the Masons – Mallet

Posted by on 8:42 am

Mallet is the “old man” of the Masons; if it’s happened in Guild Ball then he’s heard about it, seen it, or most likely been involved in it. Mallet is a different proposition from the other members of the team; he’s slower than most of the other players but has one of the best footballing buffs in the game. That alone is often enough to grant him a place in your starting 6. Stats MOV – At 4”/6” Mallet is on the lower end of the continuum in terms of movement, however his 2” melee range (3” during his activation) increases this. As a result, with 2” less MOV than Harmony or Honour, his actual threat range on the charge is the same. You’ll need to keep him where you need him because he won’t get from A to B as quickly as other members of the team, but you can bring his might to where it is needed if required. TAC – 5 is not bad by any means. He’ll usually be trying to charge so it’ll be 9+ most of the time you’re attacking, especially as you usually don’t have to suffer the crowding out penalties, only the ganging up ones. Even if you don’t get to charge but settle for jogging or sprinting, 5 is still slightly above average. KICK – At first glance, 2/6” isn’t that good. In fact, I lamented the same stat line with Harmony. In my defense, the stat doesn’t tell the whole story, as he benefits from his own Football Legend Aura so he’ll always be at least 3/7”, which is certainly better than a few strikers out there. DEF – 3+ is once again the standard Mason defensive line. Being quick on his feat was never Mallet’s strong point anyway, that’s why he has his mallet. Defensive Stance will take him up to 4+, meaning half of all attacks miss, at which point the next statistic is really useful. ARM – 2 ARM is far and beyond what most teams can dream of, and yet we have another player clad in finely crafted steel. Boars is the most feared warrior out there, but let’s look at the maths. He gets 12 dice on the charge, if you Defensive Stance that’s only 6 hits, a third of those are disregarded leaving only 4 hits. Only 4 hits from the mighty Boar! What’s 3 damage from 16? Boars 2nd attack, that’s 5/6 hits, again, another 2 blocked by the Arm and another 3-ish damage. You’ll pull most of that back in Momentum beating on Boar in return. How many characters can easily stand up to Boar 1-on-1 and come out ahead? INF – The very standard 2/4 for Masons is present again. Mallet can be somewhat greedy due to either needing to Sprint to keep up with the Sisters/Flint or Charge to get the most from his tools. I tend to find myself usually pumping 2 into him most turns, but don’t be shy from fully loading him when you need to. He’ll get the job done. Character Traits Football Legend [4” Aura] – There aren’t many buffs that effect more than one team member, but this is one of the very few. The extra 1” on kicks is nice but isn’t...

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Building the Masons – Tower

Posted by on 8:03 am

The next man out of the dugout for the Masons is Tower, who can actually be a better bodyguard than Brick, for half the size. Stats MOV – At 5”/8” Tower is one of the quicker Masons and can easily keep up with everyone else on the team. TAC – 5 is average for most players, so nothing exciting to say other than he does like knocked down models a lot. KICK – A 3/6” is pretty good. He makes a decent kicker of the ball; the bonuses from other Masons make this better still. Tower is an OK goal threat, but that 6” probably isn’t as high as needed be to be full-blown goal scoring maniac. DEF – 3+ is once again the standard Masons defensive line. Nothing more to say really, he is pretty easy to hit so always remember Defensive Stance. ARM – 2 Arm is standard for Masons it seems, which makes it pretty easy for him to shrug off big hits, even with his less than average DEF. As always, remember there are plenty of players out there that laugh at ARM, even at 2. INF – The very standard 2/4 for Masons is present yet again. Deciding to max him out will very much depend on his position on the pitch and the terrain (see Plays). A few swings with his hammer can often get the job done nicely. Character Traits Knockback – This is a really interesting ability, as it essentially grants a push/dodge playbook result regardless of the actual results you get. Admittedly you can’t use it to redeploy Tower, but if he hits 4 times he’s pushed a model 4” out of the way, which is a big way of removing a threat from the anywhere on the board. Floored – This trait grants +2 TAC when swinging against knocked down targets, putting his TAC into the captain level. With access to the likes of Brick, this condition should be easy to have in play a lot of the time. Heroic Play Protect Those Close – Friendly models that are within 2” of Tower can pass all damage on to him. Note this only affects damage, not effects/conditions, so he can’t be knocked down for them. It does mean the squishier team members are not going to be taken out, especially if Tower is at full health. A great use of this play is not only protecting models that have not activated yet, but also protects VP if someone is badly beat up and very close to going down. It also allows you more time to heal a model up during the turn, possibly saving the game for you. A desperate play but well worth remembering. Playbook Tower has a great playbook, as he can easily generate Momentum because it all occurs in the first 3 columns. Just 1 hit will generate you Momentum! Easy access to a Momentous Tackle (at 2) is very nice to have on any model that has a reasonable KICK stat. His damage output isn’t huge, but he also has access to Knockdown (self-boosting himself). The repositioning possibilities on top of the Knockback trait means he is a better bulldozer than Brick in many cases, with possible 3” push and 1” dodge. Tower can easily...

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Building the Masons – Flint

Posted by on 8:27 am

What can I say about Flint? Our charming out-and-out striker needs no introduction. He appears to be one of the few “ever presents” in my line-ups, and you’ll soon see why. As one of the game’s pure strikers he possesses all the key aspects to make him one of the best out there, if not the best. Stats MOV – With values just shy of Honour, at 5/8” Flint is still very mobile. He can outpace most of the players on the Butchers or Brewers teams, but will be caught by the Fishermen. His normal move of 5” isn’t fantastic, however the 8” Sprint is what you can expect to use most of the time, either in pure movement distance or charging. TAC – A 4 isn’t fantastic, a certain angry cat shares this value, but it’s enough for what you need. Flint’s most important Playbook results are all really low scores, so on a Charge he’ll usually be able to pick up what he’s required to. While not his most important stat, TAC is the one he’ll use a fair amount in-game. KICK – His dice pool of 3 isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s the distance of 8” that is the major value. A pool of 3 is normally enough to get the job done (especially if you use his Character Plays or Bonus Time it) and 8” is a good 2” more than most players in the game. This gives him a natural 16” goal threat without bonuses (he has those as well), which is fantastic no matter how you look at it. DEF – A Striker who’s hit on a 3+? What’s the point of this, I hear you ask. Don’t worry though, against a vast majority of the players in the game he’ll only be hit on a 4+, and he has ARM that most others strikers do not. ARM –1 ARM is more than most strikers have, which will protect him from some attack rolls. If Boar gets into him he’s going down though, he’s not that tanky. INF – The rather standard 2/4 for Masons is ever-present again. Flint fills that nice role in early turns where he just needs to position well and he’ll be a net gain for the team, only requiring 1 to run or advance and Where’d They Go? into position. However, on the turns where he needs to turn it on in a similar fashion to Ronaldo, he’ll pull in all 4 he’s allowed and make damn good use of them. Character Traits Close Control – The skill all strikers want but only a few have. Close Control allows you to ignore the first tackle playbook result (just the playbook, if you are tackled as the result of a Character Play you’ll still lose the ball) suffered each turn. This means that for most opponents (even charging ones) they’ll need to spend an additional INF for yet an additional attack to strip the ball off of Flint. Any time you force your opponent to roll dice there is a chance they’ll fail the required roll, anytime they fail it’s for your benefit! Charmed [Male] – Due to Flint’s … nature … with other male figures in this game he’s at +1Def against any attack made...

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Building the Masons – Brick

Posted by on 1:56 pm

The big man of the Masons, Brick certainly hits like his namesake. Stats MOV – At 4”/6” Brick is slow, but he does come with a 2” Melee to make his threat larger. He needs to sit pretty central to the crew, keeping charge lanes open as we will see. TAC – 5 is average for most players in Guild Ball, and he is no different. KICK – At 1/6” he is rubbish with the ball, so you probably don’t want him doing too much with it (although Mallet’s Football Legend aura is always worth remembering). DEF – 2+ is terrible, but also average for most big guys in the game. It is a liability, but you will just need to deal with. Always remember Defensive Stance to make him marginally harder to hit. ARM – 2 Arm is very good, however you need to remember there are plenty of ways around it, so be careful who you pit Brick against. Certain Butcher builds will just ignore all that ARM, so his DEF becomes even worse when considering that. INF – An unusual 2/3 means he is going to be average for generating INF, however he won’t get as much done as other team mates due to having one less max INF than most. Character Traits Knockback – This is a really interesting ability as it essentially grants a push/dodge playbook result, regardless of the actual result you get. Admittedly, you can’t use it to redeploy Brick, but if he hits 3 times that’s 3” he has pushed a model out of the way (another 1” if he got to Counter Charge as well). Counter Charge – This trait is why you want him pretty central with clear charge lanes. Being able to counter charge an enemy that moves within his bubble makes Brick incredibly dangerous, especially as he has easy access to Knockdown! This can really mess up an opponent’s plans. Watch out for repositions (push/dodge) as he will just ignore this movement. Playbook Brick only comes with 3 possible Momentous results, although these are all in the early columns of the playbook. He does a decent amount of damage at the higher end of the book as well, or you can swap some damage output for using his character play or Knockdown as well. This is pretty handy, as Brick can really smash home some big damage. Alternatively, if he has Counter Charged, then taking some INF off the enemy could be miles better than more damage. The Knockdown can’t be ignored either, as it can mess with the opponents just as well as Concussion. Always remember he has Knockback built-in as well (pushing a charging model out of engagement with the target wastes lots of INF). Plays Concussion – For the Cost of 5 hits he can take an INF off the opponent’s model. This can be incredibly effective if done on a charge, as he has a strong possibly of getting it off. In a game where resource management is very important, being able to remove that resource is very powerful. Overall Brick makes a great bodyguard for the Masons. As long as he can reach the entire team with Counter Charge, he will disrupt the enemy; just the threat of it could be enough....

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Building the Masons – Harmony

Posted by on 9:18 am

Harmony, younger sister of the team captain, has a lot to live up to. Her sister Honour was highly sought after for her leadership skills after the War, and it’s only so long you can stay in someone else’s shadow before it’ll start to swallow you up. Harmony doesn’t need the excitement and thrill of the Game like her sister; she sees it as a means to an end. With rich dignitaries, princes and guild masters being so involved in the game, she’s hoping to pick up a husband before she suffers the same fate so many others have. All of that doesn’t mean Harmony doesn’t belong on the pitch. She has some skills and abilities that aren’t common in the game, let alone in the Guild. One of her abilities means that her statistics aren’t really her statistics! Stats MOV – The normal 6”/8” (noticing a pattern here yet?) as with Honour & Marbles. Not the slowest, but by no means the quickest. Harmony has a nice steady number here. TAC – 3 is a little low, in fact it’s horribly low outside of Mascots. However, don’t worry; Harmony usually has that covered through other means. Harmony’s Playbook is also fairly well-balanced around the Family skill, however she like her sister has some pretty decent low Momentous results, including Tackle on 1, Dodge on 2 and 2 Momentous Damage on 3. KICK – For someone who’s not that fighty or super quick you’d expect her to shine somewhere; however it’s not her KICK. At 2/6” it’s at least got 6” on it, but with only 2 dice you’re only at 75% chance to make an easy pass. She needs to get in some kicking practice! DEF – Something unique to the Mason human players outside of Union representation, a DEF better of a 3+! At 5+ Harmony presents a different aspect to the defensive skillset of the Masons. Defensive Stance against charges combined with a Counter Attack against 2” melee range opponents will mean they’ll only hit you once, maybe twice at best (which isn’t an issue if Brick is close to protect her). After that she can Counter, pick up a couple of hits herself and Dodge out of melee without taking any damage. ARM – The reason Harmony is far more nimble than the rest of the Masons Team is that she’s forgotten to wear the armour they normally provide. In her defense, how would she be able to show off her assets to suitors if she covered herself up like the rest of the squad? INF – at 2/4 we’re back to the standard outfield player statistic you’d expect from most players. The 2 INF Harmony brings to a team will be farmed out in most turns; however, when she’s fully buffed her 4 Maximum INF will turn her into a little wrecking ball. Character Traits Family [Honour] – Always in her sister’s shadow, that Harmony; it actually seems that suits her perfectly. When activating within 4” of her older sibling, she replaces her TAC (3=6) and KICK (2/6=4/6) with her sister’s. That TAC of 3 is now a 6, 4 Dice KICK, who cares if I’m engaged, this is easy! This means you’ll have two players (three, as Marbles is normally near Honour) grouped...

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