Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Dave Fraser
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Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Dave Fraser » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:21 am

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What is Guild ball?
Per their site:
Guild Ball: Tabletop Fantasy Medieval Football Game
minutes to learn - incredibly deep gameplay - modern-design game mechanics - fully realised world - amazing miniatures.


So medieval football was actually entire villages of people pushing against each other, this is a bit more stripped down, 6 players per team and two goals rather than the aim being to get the 'ball' to the other villages church! But broadly the theme works. Also it features guilds to represent the teams rather than a village so it gives them a distinct theme to each team.

'is it just another bloodbowl rip off?'
In short my answer would be no, in practice this game appears to have more in common with the likes of Malifaux or Warmachine than Bloodbowl other than the fact it terms itself a football game. It plays on a 3x3' board, the movement is freeform rather than a grid and the objective of the game is to score more points than your opponent (points are scored by goals and by what is effectively killing people).

Fishermen Guild
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Why should I be interested?
The game is completely free, ok you'll want 6 model but they give you the rules, all the player stats and everything you need to play free to download off their website. Personally I think the models they are producing for the game look incredibly cool so I'll be using them, but you could use any old 6 models (preferably not all identical!) and be able to play.

Rules & player cards are linked here:
http://guildball.com/#downloads

Yeah but so what?
Um ok, you're right being free isn't enough these days in a competitive gaming market. The game designers are Warmachine players of some repute (and also great painters which feeds into the figure design) these guys have tried to design a complex and engaging game system but one which has at its heart very simple rules and mechanics. In short it looks like a really fun game with a good tactical depth to it. Personally I love small scale tactical games as they let me not need to paint countless hordes of models but have a fun evenings gaming with a high replay value.

So why are you pushing this?
Obviously I have an agenda here. I bought into their Kickstarter and I would really like to have a bunch of opponents to play against. I think there are a few of us locally who all took part and picked up some teams, but more players is what makes a game system really fun to play as everyone has their own take on the gameplay and it also just makes it a better chance of getting regular games!

Fishermen Sculpts
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What's the games future?
Always a worry with Kickstarter games, but I think this should have some legs. The developers have released the teams for 'season 1' and plan to develop more teams and story/plot developments which will feed into future seasons and there is evidence of this work already out there. Plus they have committed to a delivery vehicle in order to get product out there through a partnership with Element Games so it feels like they've geared up for this to be a long term project not just a one time splash.

You mentioned Plot/Story?
That's right, this isn't just a set of mechanics. A lot of time has been put into setting up an entire backstory/world in which the game is set. It's not something utterly revolutionary that will blow your socks off but if you think a combination of the guilds from the Discworld novels combined with something like the aesthetic of the medieval Assassins Creed video game you'll not be far off. Personally I'm a massive fan of the Renaissance period of history and this fits quite nicely into that feel. The power struggle between the guilds is akin to the main Renaissance families of Italy as they vie for overall power/control of the world, but the battlefield is played out on the field of a Guild Ball game.

Butchers Guild
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How does player development work?
This question is one which usually comes from other sportsball gamers. In short it doesn't. The designers have got round the issue of imbalance that comes into sports games by simply not having team development in the game. Instead they will control this through the changes made to teams in line with the wider story as each season progresses, so overall game balance can be maintained. But the players all start with a good number of special abilities and different attacks which gives the game the real depth of how they interact, so it's not that you'll just have the equivalent of 6 linemen, 2 catchers, 2 blitzers and a passer with the handful of skills that entails in Bloodbowl (I'll restate I don't really think comparing to Bloodbowl is actually relevant, think more like the stat cards of other modern skirmish games).

But doesn't that mean my Season 1 players get invalidated?
In short no, you can continue to play your season 1 team players for as long as you like. I believe you'll be able to mix and match players from different seasons once they're released, the only restriction being you cant take the season 1 and season 2 versions of the same player in the same team. So you won't suddenly lose a player just because the story has moved on, you can keep your favourite version of player x in all your teams.

Ok I'm sold where do I sign up
At present (Mar 2015) the Kickstarter is due to deliver this month and after it has shipped the models will become available for general release. The designers aren't really wanting to be retailers so in addition to the deal with Element Games they are also ensuring many game stores are dedicated stockists. Currently the closest (to Bristol) I'm aware of is Firestorm Games, but if it catches on I'd expect to see its models in all good gaming stores near you. But remember the rules & cards are completely free to download (link above) so if you don't like the models they are making you can still play without giving them a penny.

So really, why are you pushing this?
Ok we asked this already and you fobbed us off with an answer of 'you want some opponents to play', really what's the answer? Well it is exactly that, but the driver would be that I backed the Kickstarter to the tune of 5 teams. I've put my money down on this one as I genuinely think it looks like a great game to play and I'd love to see it succeed so that I can use the cool models I've bought. For anyone that hasn't checked them out yet go have a look at the Guild ball website and other various social media outlets which host photos, I think these are some of the best looking models for games around.
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Vargas » Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:55 pm

I'd be interested in a learning game. Dread ball was a disappointment and this game may well scratch what I was trying to itch.
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Dave Fraser » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:31 pm

Varg, that's cool, there are another couple of people (Liam & Ian) that I know backed the KS, so we'll have a few people wanting to play/learn together. I'll be posting up to get down for some games as soon as I have my figs through. Until then I'm just reading the rulebook & stat cards as it's a free download. Could play with the paper cut-outs but as it seems so close now I'm thinking I'll just hold out for my models.

Renders of all of the sculpts are now available at their online store.
http://store.guildball.com/
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Monk » Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:13 am

Have you got your stuff yet Dave? Really excited for this coming through the door. Just gutted I didn't back for extra teams.
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Dave Fraser » Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:46 pm

No. Morticians were the final of the delayed teams, which I'm getting, so still not come.
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Monk » Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:39 am

What other teams did you get?
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Vargas » Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:17 am

I'm stuck between the Alchemists and Morticians. Their playstyle descriptions sounds most like my kind of thing, plus I like the look of both sets of models. Probably Alchemists at this point. If I like the game I'll pick up some models when I'm at the X-wing regional on May 2nd @ Firestorm.
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Monk » Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:26 am

The alchemists look nice. I've gone for them and engineers
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Dave Fraser » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:36 am

Monk wrote:What other teams did you get?

Alchemists, Butchers, Fishermen, Morticians and Union.
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Monk » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:02 am

Nice. I'm going to add either the butchers or brewers on top of my others
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Monk » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:58 am

I got my stuff :-)
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Vargas » Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:20 pm

Cool, are you going to be free next week during the day? I'm up for some learning.
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Monk » Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:13 am

Seeing as I have the week off, yeah :-) it will be good for me to learn as well. I should have my mat being delivered Monday as well.
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Vargas » Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:31 am

Cool, I'm in on that. We could get our x-wing league game in on the same day too.

Still stuck between alchemists and morticians - leaning slightly to alchemists.
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Monk » Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:29 am

I'm assembling the alchemists at the moment, so you can use them :-) This will be as much of a learning game for me as well which should be good
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Vargas » Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:46 am

Nice one. It is likely to come down to which models I prefer the look of.

The pitch looks great!
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Devilshot » Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:53 am

We are stocking this at B-I-G it should be on sale from 27th of this month. We have full stock list turning up and a promise of a demo day on Saturday 25th of July with the possibility of a small tournament on the Friday evening before hand.
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Hung » Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:53 am

I was on the verge of backing the kickstarter but didn't bother in the end and I'm regretting that now . After reading the through the rulebook this morning I'm definatly going to get a team when they are on general release .
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby skindog » Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:07 pm

After regionals in 2 weeks I'm up for a demo game
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Monk » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:35 pm

Well my mat came through the post :D

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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Azzabat » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:56 pm

I'd be up for seeing how this plays put if folk don't mind me watching.

CJ = )
I know the voices aren't real ... but they have such FASCINATING ideas!

C J = )
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby skindog » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:03 pm

Fancy showin me a game sometime? its in store soon isn't it?
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Monk » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:30 am

I'll be bringing it with me on Tuesday when I play saga with hung
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby skindog » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:01 pm

I've gone and done it and ordered the rule book and fishermens guild team. Picking them up Monday. =D
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Vargas » Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:04 pm

Thoughts so far Liam?
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Monk » Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:18 pm

It's a fantastic game. Very easy on the face of things, but so many intricacies that will need mastering
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby skindog » Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:33 pm

Can't wait for tomorrow! I'm gonna run a simple league at BIG once nationals is out of the way and we have all got he basics down
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Monk » Sun Apr 26, 2015 6:17 pm

I'm in Sam. I'very penciled in a September tournament :-)
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby skindog » Sun Apr 26, 2015 6:40 pm

Awesome! I'll try my best to be around for the tournament! League will be real simple 3/2/1 pts style league with no progression of anything g
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Re: Guild Ball - A new tabletop combat/football game

Postby Dave Fraser » Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:28 am

I'll be in for the league too.

Liam, as I said on twitter, stop booking events on weekends where I have to beg to come along! Will try and get free as definitely want to play a lot of games.

Since Skindog is going Fishers, I'll go butchers for now.

From what I've seen so far
Skindog - Fishermen
Monk - Alchemists & Engineers
Ian - Morticians (& Fishermen)
Me - Butchers (& Fishermen, Morticians, Alchemists, Union)
Others?

Looks like we're starting to cover most of the teams between us, Brewers & Masons absent so far.

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