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.

The first official away game for my Morts was against the Fishermen, and against another new starter in my friend Alex. During this encounter I really felt like I was beginning to get to know my roster. Casket was used as a tar pit, whilst Ghast made a nuisance of himself, and as for grandpappy Obulus... Well, we all know what he's like. A dick.

Following the Fish I received a couple of total drubbings by a veteran player using Masons (seriously, I know I'm using Obulus, but the Chisel Bomb, really?!) and an Esters Brewers line up, and dished a couple out to a shiny new and unsuspecting Alchemists player.

These three opponents were a total contrast to each other; Alex and his Fish at the same stage in their journey as me, JJ and his Masons/Brewers with his experience, and Joe using The Midas Corp, and each told their own story as to how I was beginning to develop as a coach. I enjoyed each one for different reasons, and as a new player in an unfamiliar system I think it's really important to get as many games from opponents of differing skills levels as possible. The matches against Joe had shown me that only five games in to my tenure, my level was already noticeably different to a total rookie.

This brings me to the final game in this chapter, and the same opponent as I had begun my training with; Mike and his engineers. This time though I was facing a very different line up, with Pin Vice and a very kicky roster to compete against instead of Balista and his awkward knockdown game. It was also the first game which we had both played on the clock, and I'd be lying if I said it hadn't made a difference. With the game 10 a piece (2 goals and take down for PV, 1 goal and 3 takes downs for me) and the slippery snake that is Obulus holding the ball, Mike had had run out of time and clocked out before he could get the ball or a kill on me.

We made some mistakes that game for sure. Every now and then the clock was missed, or a trait overlooked (Fear and Rising Anger for example), and even sometimes bare faced cheating (turns out you can't puppet master people off the pitch), but these are exactly the type of games that help you learn and not forget the important things (like Fear and Rising Anger...).

This brings us to the end of my montage, and although I'm not quite 'running up some stairs and jumping about madly' I am more in a state of 'running through the snow with a log strapped to my waist'. I'm feeling much more competent with my Morts and understand the intricacies of the game a little better, but have a way to go yet. I lately had a game against my local pundit's Butchers which went to the wire, but that is another chapter in the story that will have to wait for now.

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