The story so far…Alchemist’s Guild

gb-teams-alchemistsSo apparently I started writing this blog a year ago (who knew?!), so as a sort of celebration I thought I’d summarise the Guild Ball story so far. First up,


Alchemist’s Guild – Season 1

Introduced in Season 1 as one of the newer Guilds within the Empire of the Free Cities, it’s ruling house is based in Ethraynne – known for it’s great inventions and scientific innovations.

Due to it’s forward thinking ideology it is met with suspicion by a lot of the general population of the Free Cities. The Guild’s Guild Ball team is seen as a way of ingratiating themselves with the people and making their science more acceptable.


In season 1 the team is lead by Midas, an arrogant figure who is seen as one of the greatest minds known in the Empire of the Free Cities. The son of a noble Valentian family, he grew disenchanted with life as a noble and fled to Ethraynne on his 16th name day. There he found a community of like-minded individuals, but as brilliant as they were they lived as squalid life. This was not the life Midas wanted so he started to conduct his own experiments and created the Crucible, which gives him the ability to turn base materials into precious metals. This attracted the attention of the Alchemist’s Guild, where he has steadily been rising up the ranks.


Flask was a gift from the Engineer’s Guild to the Alchemist’s Guild as a token of the long-standing relationship between the two Guilds. A relationship that seems to be becoming increasingly strained.


Calculus is the vice-captain of the Alchemist’s team and is seen as a level-headed and straight-laced individual and she’s annoyed by those not following protocol. She was seen as the future captain of the team until Midas’ arrival, but she is more interested in science than Guild politics.


Mercury is seen as a roguish, attention-seeking womaniser, a reputation he does nothing to dismiss.


Whilst many of the Alchemist’s Guild are interested in chemistry and inorganic materials, Katalyst’s interest are in the organic. He was one of a number of scientist’s looking to do battle with time and extend the life of man. The compound that Katalyst developed, and apparently tested on himself, has resulted in his growth into a mass of muscle and brutality but also is slowly killing him. Katalyst was never known for his patience and strives to achieve greatness whatever the cost.


Vitriol was once known as Meredith Tieger, a gifted child who grew alienated form her community in Skald and fled to the sanctity of the Alchemist’s Guild. Her abilities grew here and she soon outshone her peers. Meredith was working late one night in one of the guild’s laboratories when tragedy struck. The exact details aren’t known, but an inferno engulfed a wing of the guild house and woman that emerged was changed forever.  Although not personable before the accident she became a dangerously introverted and isolated woman. Vitriol now confines her experimentation to corrosive acids and sulphuric materials alone and is the only drive left to the broken woman and for her guild, leaves them only one suitable home for her, where her destructive capabilities can be fully appreciated.

Alchemist’s Guild – Season 2

The story in Season 2 starts with the Alchemist’s team travelling by boat to the Frontier’s Cup in northern Eisnor. The tournament itself is a regular fixture and has made or broken a lot of team’s seasons.

The Alchemist’s have high hopes for this season and head up early to get ahead of the game. The Alchemist’s Guild had decided to invest far more heavily than their rivals in a bid to gain an early foothold as an established team. The tournament had started well with wins against the Farmer’s and Fishermen’s Guilds but it had all gone wrong in a game against the Engineer’s Guild. There had been an ‘agreement’ that the Engineer’s would throw the game but this didn’t materialise and the Alchemist’s lost.

Midas was still Captain at the beginning of the Frontier’s Cup but was replaced by Smoke as the season progressed. Whether this was because of an injury sustained against the Engineer’s, the Guild’s unhappiness at losing or because Midas had lost favour for some other reason is unclear.

During the Frontier’s Cup match, Calculus is shot in the back by Salvo of the Engineer’s Guild for killing his ‘sister’ and almost drowned in a puddle and is only saved by Katalyst’s intervention.


Midas is replaced as captain of the team by Smoke. A woman described by her lover, Calculus, as ‘as brilliant as Midas, although as compliant, obedient, and efficient as Midas is wilful, cantankerous, and wasteful’.


Venin is introduced as a rookie for this season and has little time for either Midas or Smoke.  He is a rebellious character who is only looking out for himself. He is low-born orphan growing up in the slums and dislikes the nobility. He has an affinity with poisons and the new mascot, Naja, is his pet. He uses her poisons as the base for his alchemical projects. Venin has an ulterior motive for travelling to the Frontier’s Cup with the team, to complete a contract with his nameless benefactor (presumably Obulus given his description of Venin, “If he was not so useful in his current place, I would take him for my own team. I predict he will be a useful asset in the years to come”).


The contract is to administer a poison to Katalyst, a man Venin sees as an imbecile, who being on the cusp of creating an elixir that could cure any illness, enhance the body permanently to near superhuman levels, but squandered the opportunity to sate his need for recognition and his lust for fame by damaging his own body by consuming the imperfect mixture in large doses, thereby stalling any further development of his research. The intent of the poison isn’t to kill Katalyst but to accelerate the effects of his elixir, leading to widespread mutations and driving him insane, which it does with spectacular effects.


The other Alchemist player introduced in season 2 is Compound. He had darkened the name of the Alchemist’s Guild during the Century War when he was know as the Rat Catcher because he used canisters of lethal gas to break castle sieges; to drive the defenders out onto the swords and arrows of the enemy. He had earned his name by herding men, women, and children to their death like cattle to the slaughter.
The man was finally caught by some of the vast number of enemies he had made amongst the grieving survivors. He was horribly disfigured by them; forced to watch both his arms
melted down to the bone by the very chemicals that were the tools of his trade. Then they used those chemicals to burn out his eyes, ensuring his last sight was his own disfigurement. He was presumed dead but found by the Engineer’s Guild and given new limbs and sight by Pin Vice of the Engineer’s Guild.

Alchemist’s Guild – Season 3

We don’t know much about season 3 other than that the story is more a continuation of that from season 1, rather than season 2. There are some questions that need answers, particularly around Midas and his role in the Guild going forward.

Until next time sports fans!


We have ways of making Matt talk (Guild Ball)

Flock & Awe Podcast

We catch up with Matt from Steamforge Games and get him to reveal many new secrets about Season 3 and beyond! Android Butchers for the win.

It’s a long one as Matt and Kev can both talk😉

Enjoy what we have…..

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Any reviews/comments are welcome as we strive to be the best wargaming podcast for you the listeners.

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Guild Ball GenCon 2016 Roundup

GB-Teams-MorticiansSo GenCon 2016 is over and the first US Guild Ball Championships where held.  The event was won by  Jordan Nach with the Mortician’s Guild.

In second was Brian White (Morticians), third Alex Botts (Morticians) and fourth Patrick Van Valzah (Morticians)…

The final was between Jordan and Brian and was a complete mirror match with both taking Obulus, Dirge, Silence, Ghast, Rage and Avarisse & Greede.  There tournament added Cosset, Casket and Mist (I’m surprised Mist wasn’t in the final).

The ‘meta’ game in the US certainly seems different from what I’ve experienced in the UK, but I don’t know whether it’s a case of Mortician’s being better or better players using Mortician’s.  Control archetypes are always difficult to play against and in the hands of a good player that’s just exacerbated.

There were some interesting spoilers and titbits that came out of GenCon:

Starter Set

A Guild Ball Starter Set will be released in November with two full 6- player teams. The figures will be one piece plastic to make initial set up easy.  Nothing confirmed as to who the two Guild would be but some possibilities:

  • Butcher’s and Fishermen
    • Seen as the two archetypal guilds (Beating vs Footballing) and the basis of the current demo set
  • Mason’s
    • It’ s been said before that some of the models  are in need of a resculpt as they are on the small side of the scale compared ot teh Season 2 models and the show exclusive Flint. Would seem like a good time to do this
  • The Union
    • A flexible team that could go a number of ways. Would also be attractive for existing players.
  • Brewer’s
    • A fairly straightforward play style that would lend themselves to an introduction. they haven’t really been touched on that much in the fluff yet either.

I would say that the Mortician’s, Alchemist’s, Engineers and Hunter’s are unlikely due to there playstyles as are the Farmer’s and the as yet unnamed team for Season 3 as the starter set seem due around SteamCon in November but Season 3 isn’t due until April 2017.

We also don’t know if they will be pure guild or include Union choices (assuming that Union aren’t one of them).


A new player type will be added, the Rookies.  These will be a seventh player on the pitch with a powerlevel similar to Mascots. The suggestion was they attach to a ‘mentor’ and give them a specific buff (presumably if in close proximity as he mentioned following them around).

New Guilds

There will be two new Guilds in Season 3 (available at Salute 2017). One we know (The Farmer’s Guild), the other we don’t.

Tater was released at GenCon and we have also seen the first sight of another Farmer. He appears to be some sort of scarecrow with a a skeletal face.



New players

An existing Guild will be getting a new Captain in Season 3, which I woudl assume would be the Hunter’s to add parity.

We have seem the first images of Veteran Katalyst and he looks huge!



Russ Charles (Steamforged’s go-to sculptor) was also at GenCon doing what he does and this was one thing on show?


Looks a lot like Brick to me so whether he is getting the Veteran treatment or whether it’s an indication that Mason’s are in the Starter Set is unknown.

An interview with Mat and Rich from Beasts of War:

Farmer’s Guild – Tater, Handsome Guardian


So GenCon is upon us and with it is a special pre-release version of a player for one of the Season 3 Guilds, Tater from the Farmer’s Guild.

There is little information available about the Farmer’s other than their mechanic being based around the planting and reaping of Harvest tokens.

Tater’s pre-release cards is below:

It’s been noted that this version will change come Season 3 and as he is listed as a ‘Reaper’ I feel it’s likely he’ll lose the ability to plant the harvest tokens.

However, he looks immensely fun to play and I like the feel of the harvest mechanic already.

Steamforged Games also released a bit of backstory for the Farmer’s Guild too:

On the other side of the muddy, patchy earth of the practice grounds, golden wheat swayed invitingly like a stand of waving spectators in the gentle springtime winds. This far in from the coast the weather was always more temperate, and only the sun bathed noble Piervo, her rich fields and tall white walls glowing as though divine as the Holy City itself. It was much like any other blessed day that Tater had known in his life, but for one exception.

‘Move it, move it!’ The First Lady was not shy in expressing her displeasure with any member of the team. ‘I’ve seen rookies playing Cage Ball that are more match fit than any of you backwards hicks! I didn’t sign up to coach you just for my health!’

Exhausted from a morning spent running drills and formations that were probably more stringent and punishing than those of the City Guard, a weary Tater was the first to raise his hand.

‘With all due respect, we’re not used to this. We’ve never practiced every day, and for games against famous players and the influential guilds before. We only have the way we’ve always played. You can’t expect any of us to simply change overnight.’ His voice was shaky and breathless, only the last words regaining a hint of his typically strong accent and tone.

His tormentor’s attention swung instantly to him. ‘Has it been, indeed?’ She limped towards Tater, still leaning heavily on a pristine wooden crutch and swatting away a concerned looking apothecary as she moved, in the same way a horse did a fly.

‘Well then, pretty boy, why don’t you tell me more of your amateur tactics, and how they’ll stand up against the pros in the big leagues, huh? I’ll be very interested to hear them.’ Her jaw was set in a determined line, and her icy blue eyes defiantly challenged him. Not for the first time, Tater noticed how her rich, fiery red hair shone in the sunlight. The First Lady was a remarkable woman.

‘I… well, you have me there,’ he conceded. ‘But I am concerned for some of the others, those of weaker constitution. This is too much, too soon for them.’ As if to illustrate his point, somewhere behind him, he could hear loud retching noises as someone emptied their stomach at the side of the pitch.

Her jawline softened a fraction, for a moment. Tater would fancy later that he might even have detected a hint of a sympathetic smile cross her lips. It passed as she turned away and addressed the team.

‘Fine! Break for the afternoon. I’ll be drawing up new plays for us to go over later this evening. I expect all of you back here at dusk, unless Solthecius forbid, someone can find a suitable courtyard inside the city walls like a real team would use…’

Question is who is the Farmer’s Coach? – Referred to as First Lady, red hair, injured leg…got to be Honour surely?


What’s in a name? – Season 2 Mascots

It’s been a while and as the Season 2 Mascot models are due to be released shortly, I thought I would round off the ‘What’s in a name?’ for Season 2. Some of these are fairly obvious, but others have more depth to them.

Alchemist’s Guild

Naja, Venomous Viper


So Naja is Venin’s ‘pet’ snake and ties in well with his poison theme.

Naja is the taxonomic game for the genus of snakes more commonly known as cobras and derives from the Sanskrit for snake, Naga.


Brewer’s Guild

Quaff, Faithful


Quaff is modelled on a St Bernard, a breed of working dog common to the Alps and bred for mountain rescue. They are famous for carrying a barrel of brandy around their necks.

The verb quaff means to drink ( a usually an alcholic drink) heartily.


Butcher’s Guild

Truffles, Cantankerous Swine


Truffles is a pig and the name is likely to arise from the domestic pigs (also known as truffle hogs) used for locating and extracting truffles from forests in Europe.


Engineer’s Guild

Mother, Arachnid Queen


A mechanica created by the Engineer’s Guild that resembles a spider (although the art work has 9 legs) and it’s brood. The name is a possible reference to Broodmother from DOTA 2. She is possibly modelled after Wolf Spiders which carry their spiderlings on their backs.


Fisherman’s Guild

Tentacles, Eastern Mystery


Modelled on an octopus and named after the flexible, mobile, elongated organs the species is famous for.


Mason’s Guild

Wrecker, Giant Shrew


Although described as a shrew, it doesn’t really resemble one and is modelled after an armadillo, a small armoured mammal. The name probably follows the Mason convention of names deriving form tools and is a possible reference to a wrecking ball.  There is also a link to Rammus from League of Legends due to the game being a favourite of many at Steamforged games.

The Rolando is in homage to the Guild Ball Tonight desire to have a baby elephant Mascot.


Mortician’s Guild

Vileswarm, Fearful Tide


Vileswarm is a swarm of rats, which are often reviled. Not much more to say…


The Union

Strongbox, Tribute to the Pirate-King


Strongbox is a tortoise carrying a chest on it’s back. A strongbox is a small lockable box, typically made of metal, in which valuables may be kept.

Strongbox is ‘Rage’s idea of a tribute to the Pirate King apparently, one last piss-take. Strap a treasure chest to the top of it, fill it with Blackheart’s gold, and parade it around’