Thursday, 16 June 2016

Guest Match Report: Fishermen vs Engineering Hotspur

"Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Earth Sports, the channel with the real dirt on your favourite players. The season is well under way, and as things stand the crown for first place is still anyone's to win! Normally I do love to be beside the sea side, but on a drizzly day like today I'm happy that Mike, our pitch side correspondent, has set up camp in The Bulging Net Stadium, home of the Fishermen. 

Our line ups for today are;

Corsair (c) Salt (m) Angel, Kraken, Sakana, Greyscales

Engineering Hotspur:
Pin Vice (c) Mainspring (m) Hoist, Compund, Colossus, Decimate

Will Engineering Hotspur grind out another win after the difficult game against the Hunters, or will the Fishermen score their way to glory? Ah, the teams are emerging from the Carp-All Tunnel, but before I leave remember to visit Carp-All for all your fishing needs. Carp-All, Carp, for all!

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Guest Match Report: Engineering Hotspur vs Hunters

Engineering Hotspur
"Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Tonight you join me on a particularly dreary night in Ethraynne, where we are about to kick off the first week in this years league. The excitement in the stadium tonight is positively palpable, as the crowd eagerly await for the opportunity to not only see their new team captain in action, but also the mysterious and unknown quantity of the 'Hunters' guild from the wilds of the north. 

Gracing the soggy pitch tonight will be;

Engineering Hotspur:
Pin Vice (c), Mainspring (m), Hoist, Velocity, Colossus, Gutter

Theron (c), Fahad (m), Hearne, Egret, Jaecar, Zarola

Rumour has is that one of the Hunter's number has sidelined Honour, the Mason's captain, and- Ah, judging by the crowd's reaction here come the teams! Before I leave you in the safe hands of my pitch side reporter Mike, remember to always wear Kick-Boots - the boots, that kick!"

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

First Founding League; Week 1 - Fighting With Honour

The Ghastsile, poised and ready for action
The player base for Guild Ball has quite literally exploded down our club- well, perhaps not literally, that'd be messy and alarming, but you gather my meaning I'm sure. From starting as a humble handful 4-5 weeks ago, we now number more than sixteen which is crazy!

In response to this burst of interest and new players, our dashing young pundit Matty has set up a league in the aim of helping all our rookies grow into the game by having a reason to play matches, and also to throw out the lasso and drag more people into the sport. The initial idea was to have two leagues running simultaneously, to split the field between veterans and rookies and balance out the guilds being played between them. This great idea unfortunately went out the window when not everyone turned up for the league draft, and the league tables ended up a little lop sided. With the leagues balanced like a fat kid on a see-saw, they have instead been merged into a one beefy league!

We are using the standard Figo league rules, rather than the Big League, which I think is a bit of shame. I know it's been selected to ease in newbies, but none of us are stupid or fresh to wargames so I think the intricacies of the Big League would have been fine. Oh well, maybe we'll tackle that later in the year.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Fun Tooth

Whole lot of fun, knock downs to be won
The plan at first was to go full Morts, even though every man and his dog raged for Mist over Bonesaw, and my first purchases inclined that way. It became apparent fairly quickly that the Dustmen need Union players to work to their most efficient. I tried running Ghast, Casket and Bonesaw, but quickly saw that it wasn't the way forward. So Bonesaw the 'crypt'ic monk hit the bench and in came Mist, and shortly after that out came Casket and in went Rage.

Within my group of new starters Rage was good, possibly great, but I always felt like their was more that could be offered from my 'Beater' slot. The top hatted psychopath felt so one dimensional. The more I played with Rage the more I realised that he was fine. Not bad, but not really that good. On a charge he half-way chops down even the hardest opponent, but against any player worth their Salt (the mineral, not the otter) he'll never get to charge twice.

Enter Fangtooth, or as I prefer to call him, Fun Tooth. I like to picture him with a full on Pat Sharp Fun House mullet, with the twins cheering him on from the side lines. Ol' Fangy was actually the result of an accidental purchase, after telling a friend to pick him up instead of Rage. Best mistake I could have made.

So why is Fang Tooth a better beater than Rage, and a stable part of my line at the moment? Let's take a look!

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Getting The Ball Rolling

Every great, mediocre and poor story has to start somewhere, and mine (whichever of the three it turns out to be) was with my Morts facing off against my buddy Mike's Engineers, in a 3v3 demo game using the starter boxes. Join me for an 80's montage of  my first couple of months of play, complete with a theme tune which is required to be played on repeat whilst you read this article!

For my first outing I expected a quick 30 min intro, followed by a slightly more tactical follow up game in the same evening. Our match ending up taking a whopping two and a half hours, and ended 8-12 to the Cogs! On reflection we probably would have gotten more out of the game by playing to only six, hindsight and that. I was also thoroughly enjoying kicking Salvo around the pitch, like a kid on the street with a discarded can.

The next chapter in my emerging saga took place the following week against my same mechanical opponent, but this time it was 6 v 6, and I was ready! Well, I say that, I'm going to presume I was ready; I don't remember this match at all, and have no idea who won or what happened. The only thing I do remember is that like the 3v3 it took a long while, and the finesse required to play this game well was starting to become apparent.

For me, reflecting back now, these two games highlighted just how difficult Guild Ball can be to learn without a guiding hand, and only your knowledge of the rulebook and a few You Tube videos to watch. They were still fun, don't get me wrong, but for a game with only two objectives (score or stomp) it has a whole lot of book keeping and moving pieces! I'll be coming back to this in the future, and giving my opinion on how best to begin your foray into Guild Ball when I am little more experienced in the game.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Kicking Off

Kraken, displaying my burning desire
for Guild Ball
For a long time I've been looking for a second game, for a little minx of a mistress with which to spend every other weekend cheating on the game I'm married too, for a game and system which is different enough to my number one, and cheeky enough to keep my interest keen. The 'ball and chain' game in question is Dropzone Commander, a 10mm hard sci-fi and incredibly tactical wargame (for those interested, check out my other blog Orbital Bombardment), and sometimes I feel like I truly am in a relationship with it. Over the last two years I have played the game pretty much every week, as well as attending and hosting tournaments and helping play test with Hawk Wargames.

But all I've had over this period is Dropzone, and after a while every move and play becomes a little similar. Any game replayed over and over again, much like a delicious cake which has been left out over night, becomes stale, no matter how good it was at first. Imagine hanging out with your friends every night. That's right, those mouthy scroungers. Every. Single. Night. You get the idea.

My group have flirted with alternative games, perhaps even dated a few, but nothing ever got too serious. I went on a few dates with Infinity, but found I didn't have the time to invest to get to know it seriously enough. A serious contender for my heart was Bushido, but this game has a serious gambling addiction (the combat mechanics), and that just isn't for me.

There was a system which had caught my eye though, and every time I found myself wanting to flip a table at Dad-wing, or partake in a massive strop as I lose a model to a roll of two dice in Bushido, the thought of it was lingering in the back of my mind; Guildball.