The story so far…Butcher’s Guild

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After a bit of a break we have the Meatheads…(it’s a bit of a long one).

Butchers

Season 1 – Butcher’s Guild

The Butcher’s Guild are known for their hard-hitting, attacking playstyle and aren’t averse to ‘forgetting’ the rules when it suits them. They are also one of the oldest and most prolific teams.

The Butcher’s Guild ruling house is in Piervo, seat of the Solthecian faith. The Piervo Butchers are the purveyors of sacred meat to the Baccus (Head of the Solthecian Church) and have been for generations. They also have a significant presence in Figo.

Ox

The team is lead by Ox, previously a mercenary who has drilled the Butcher’s into a dependable, unified team.

Princess

The Season 1 Mascot is Princess, who was owned by a previous player and although they have since gone she has remained.

Boar

Boar is a towering, deranged man who is only out for himself. He isn’t really interested in Guild Ball, merely using it as a legitimate way to kill and maim.Shank

Shank is a man with a dark past. Coming from a life as an inner city gang member, he traded that life in for a better paid one on the Butcher’s team.

Brisket

Brisket is a second generation Butcher, her mother was a low ranking guild official and her father a highly regarded Guild Ball player. She is touted as one of the most desirable players in Guild Ball history and is however stubborn, hard, cantankerous and spiteful. She is also the Guild’s highest goal scorer in decades.

Meathook

Meathook is from Erskirad and has a vicious, vindictive streak as cold as the land she hails from.

Boiler

Boiler is the rookie of the team, still finding his feet. He is already making a name for himself as a vicious killer, as cold as a Mortician. Although there is a question over whether some of his actions are accidental rather than intentional.

The Season 1 story begins with a Butcher’s team (Ox, Brisket, Boar, Boiler, Shank, (presumably) Princess) facing off against the Fisherman’s Guild (Corsair, Siren, Kraken, Shark, Greyscales, (presumably) Salt).  The game culminates with Ox cutting Corsair’s foot off.

The story continues at the Butcher’s Guild House in Albrecht with hopeful apprentices training in front of Ox, giving an insight into the hard life of a rookie.

Magister Lundt of the Butcher’s Guild then visits Magister Abendroth of the Mortician’s where it become apparent that the attack on Corsair was in payment of a debt between the Butcher’s and Mortician’s.

Ox then attends a game between the Brewer’s and Mason’s (in the Brewer’s end). As he leaves he walks upon a youth being assaulted by four thugs, where he reminisces about his lost brother, Jacques.

The story then moves on to the team getting ready for their next match in Erskirad, again against the Fisherman’s Guild. Prior to the match Ox and Boar are talking to the mysterious Longshanks (of the Union) who warns them the Fishermen are after revenge for Ox’s attack on Corsair.

The game sees Ox, Boiler, Meathook, Brisket and Boar facing off against Shark, Kraken, Greyscales, Jac and Snakeskin (of the Union disguised as a rookie Fisherman). The game is going well for the Butcher’s until Snakeskin fulfils her contract and guts Brisket, leaving her for dead. Ox vows revenge on the ‘unknown’ perpetrator.

The season 1 storyline concludes with Ox and Boar in Valentia, going to enact revenge against Fisherman’s Guild along with two guild thugs (one of which is actually Snakeskin in disguise).

They are lead down an alley and into the city’s sewer network. The group travels through the sewers and up into the courtyard of the Fisherman’s Guild house. It becomes apparent that Ox has taken Boar rather than Shank with him to kill Lord Chamberlain Laurentis as he doesn’t trust Shank yet and does Boar from prior experience.

The group make there way through the Guild house to the room previously indicated by their guide, they take down the guard waiting outside and Ox burst into the room to confront Laurentis. He grabs him by the throat and takes out a dirk that he claimed from a Raed officer during the Century War, before plunging it repeatedly into the Lord Chamberlain’s stomach.

Ox, Boar and the Butcher’s thug (Snakeskin has since departed for her own purposes) then run through the house grounds, trying to escape. Boar then breaks down an old wooden door, but not before the thug is killed with a crossbow. Ox and Boar then flee through the doorway into the city.

The pair walk past a church (presumed to be a Solthecian one given it’s size and location) and as they turn the corner to their final destination they are confronted by a man in clerical robes and ornate, lacquered armour who introduces himself as Michele Cesare de Corella, Knight Paladin of Divine Solthecius, First High Priest and august Lord of the Valentian Church of the Solthecian Cult. They are then surrounded by heavily armed guards. The Paladin then turns to Boar and gives him the chance to leave as his agenda is with Ox. Boar then leaves Ox to his fate and plots to take over the Butcher’s team.

The story ends with the Paladin drawing a claymore and Ox walking forward to accept his fate.

Season 2 – Butcher’s Guild

Ox is presumed dead and the once unified team is fractured and the killing of a Lord Chamberlain is having repercussions amongst all of the Guilds.

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The team in Season 2 is lead by Fillet, who is seen as fairly level-headed for a Butcher. The team itself has split into two main factions, with Ox’s old guard (Boar, Brisket and Boiler) facing off against the other’s behind Fillet who she has got on side by a variety of methods including taking Meathook to bed.

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The season 2 mascot is Truffles, Tenderiser’s pet pig who bites anyone that goes near other than him

.Tenderiser

Tenderiser joined the team in season 2 and is a towering giant of a man loyal to Fillet, who has an intense dislike of Boar.

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Brisket survived the attack by Snakeskin but has returned a changed woman. Leaner, harder and more vicious than before. Where before she was content to manipulate others into fighting her battles for her, now she embraces conflict with a savage, spiteful mean streak. The only time her mood eases is when she is with Boiler. Brisket only has one true loyalty now, to the memory of the Master Butcher, Ox. She has also allied herself with Boar, whom she believes Ox chose to take over the captaincy in his last moments.

Unlike in season 1 there is relatively little direct storyline concerning the Butcher’s. Obulus is seen attending a Butcher’s vs Brewer’s game and discussing the possibility of the Butcher’s throwing the game with Magister Lundt. Lundt agrees, not least because the division in the Butcher’s team will prevent them proceeding without any external interference.

Butcher’s Civil War

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The tension in the Butcher’s team becomes too much and the fractured team finally breaks into the competing factions.

The Civil War story begins with an unknown prisoner (although presumably Ox) languishing in a jail. The prisoner has been beaten and tortured but had fought back against his captors and had broken at least one set of chains. The prisoner then ponders on the outside world and particularly the state of the Butcher’s Guild. He believes the ‘murder’ of the Master Butcher woudl have lead to infighting amongst the team and left the Guild in turmoil. Without Ox’s firm hand a bloody transition of power would be inevitable. The prisoner believes that the only logical choice for a successor would be Fillet, however had he been able to make on the Master Butcher’s choice for a successor would have been Brisket.

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The story continues with Brisket convening a meeting with a number of the major, currently active Guild Ball teams (possibly the first since the end of the Century Wars) in a bid to secure support. In attendance are Silence of the Mortician’s, Stoker of the Brewer’s, Harmony of the Mason’s, Decimate of the Union and Jaecar of the Hunter’s Guild, Pin Vice of the Engineer’s and Corsair of the Fisherman’s Guild. Brisket sets out her position that the Butcher’s Guild is fractured and she is seeking support and help when the time comes. Stoker, on behalf of Esters, agrees to support as long as it were reciprocated (after all the Brewer’s are not unused to in-Guild conflict). Pin Vice also agrees to support Brisket, but only for as long as it suits her. Decimate agrees to take the proposal to Rage, Brisket responds with an offer of coin for their support.

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Next Fillet meets with Rage in the undercity, he asks her what she seeks in the undercity to which she responds that she is after the truth about who killed Ox and asks whether it was the Union.  Rage offers to tell Fillet this largely unknown secret for a price – seemingly knowing more than he is letting on. The resulting exchange leads Fillet to believe that it wasn’t the Union that killed Ox and leaves.

Boiler then reminisces about how Brisket was before Snakeskin’s attack and how her attitude has changed since her recovery – her friendly, flirtatious nature replaced with aloofness and uncompromising hostility. The apparent death of Ox has hit Boiler hard and his loyalty to Ox is born out of him seeing Ox as the father he never had and Brisket as a sister. The story continues at the Butcher’s Guild proving grounds with Boiler discussing with Shank how things had got to where they had before Tenderiser’s appearance and threats cause Boiler to leave.

The story concludes with a meeting inside the Butcher’s Guild house between the two sides. The civil war had drawn in other Guilds, with different teams and individuals throwing their support behind one side or the other. this disgusted Fillet who believed that it should have been dealt with behind closed doors. Following a dialogue between Brisket and Fillet it is agreed that the two will undertake the trial, the pact sealed in blood. The trial is an old Butcher’s tradition  where disputes are dealt with in a gladiatorial fighting pit, where only one person is expected to come out alive (if any).  It becomes apparent that neither are strangers to the pit and it is the third time that Fillet has stood in the centre, principally due to her quick ascension through the ranks. Before the fight begins, Brisket tries to come to a final resolution with Fillet but to no avail. The duel begins using long curved ritual knives called khukuri (which gives Fillet and advantage as they are more similar to her usual weapon of choice than Brisket’s). The fight continues back and forward until Fillet manages to throw Brisket to the ground, mounts her and begins to pound her into unconsciousness (the knives lost previously).  Brisket desperately manages to throw Fillet off before smashing her head into the floor repeatedly, recovering Fillet’s knife and holding it to her throat. Against the odds, Brisket had managed to win. However, Brisket never delivered the final blow and allowed Fillet to live (but not before Fillet tried to impale herself of the knife). In allowing Fillet to live she had sealed her own fate and had betrayed the trial. The Butcher’s surrounding the pit turned their backs on Brisket exiling her from the Guild. Although Brisket had one, Fillet still retained control over the team. The story ends with the revelation that going into the trial she had planned this outcome and that her shame was the price she paid for the good of the Guild and to pave the way for the future.

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Until next time sports fans!

 

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).

Rookies

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.

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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!

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

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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:

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

Naja

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

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

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

Mother

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

Tentacles

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

 

Mason’s Guild

Wrecker, Giant Shrew

Wrecker

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

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

 

The Union

Strongbox, Tribute to the Pirate-King

Strongbox

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’

 

Game on!

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In the second in a series of articles about the early game (the first being Kick Off!, I’m now going to look at who may be a good choice to go and collect the ball and how to generate crucial early momentum.

The thought process behind collecting the ball in turn 1 is somewhat similar to that as to who kick’s off.  You need to consider which area of the pitch the ball is in, what you are planning on doing with the ball once you have it and who you want to collect it. However, you are restricted to a degree in that some players may not be able to get to the ball, e.g. if someone us on the left wing and the ball has been kicked to the right one.

I’ll now go through some of my thoughts as to who is a good player to retrieve the ball in different situations, but once again I’m not experienced with some teams so any comments are gratefully received.

Alchemist’s Guild

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Midas is a possibility to collect the ball from the kick, he has enough movement to collect the ball and pass it back to a team mate to generate early momentum. It’s puts him in position to use True Replication early depending on the opponents deployment, especially if the kicker has something he wants.  He also has enough defensive abilities with Unpredictable Movement and Clone to survive until backup arrives. He is probably more useful if the ball has been kicked centrally rather than to the wings.

Mercury and Calculus are also possibles as they can set up ‘defensive’ AOEs (Fire and Noxious Blast)  to either force the opponent to go round or through and suffer the conditions. Again probably more use centrally and they wouldn’t normally be my first choice.

Vitriol is useful to get the ball back from wide areas. Her movement is high enough to either retrieve the ball and retreat back and pass to a central area (generating momentum) or to move forward and go defensive with Clone.

Brewer’s Guild

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Friday is a good retriever as she has high Mov and Kick as well as Shadow Like. Get Over Here! is also useful to drag Scum forward to give her an additional target to pass to to gain early momentum, it also potentially puts her in position to use Dirty Knives.

Stave is also useful going early as he can get Lob Barrel off on the kicker, which is especially useful if they have decided to kick off from a wing, potentially knocking them off the board (don’t let this happen to you, it’s very embarrassing).

Mash is another possibility with his reasonable Mov, Kick and Super Shot to generate momentum or Long Bomb if you need to move the ball to another area of the pitch. It’s also useful to get him to trigger Unpredictable Movement early to get him closer to the enemy goal.

Butcher’s Guild

Butchers

Boiler is a possibility as he is fast with a reasonable Kick as well as being able to add Marked Target to the Kicker allowing the rest of the team to swamp them for a potential early take-out.

Brisket is a great choice with her high Mov, high Kick, Unpredictable Movement, Charmed [Male], Super Shot and Dirty Knives.

Shank is another great choice with high Mov, reasonable Kick and Where’d They Go? to either retrieve the ball or move into a better position for next turn.

Engineer’s Guild

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Ballista is a possibility with a good Mov, reasonable Kick as well as Deadbolt to knock the kicker down and push them back as well as Second Wind to manoeuvre at the end his activation.

Salvo is another option with good Mov, reasonable Kick as well as Kick Bolt and Floored Bolt to target the kicker with Swift Strikes to reposition.

Velocity has good Mov and Kick as well as enough defensive abilities with Close Control and Nimble to spoil anyone’s day.  Particularly good collecting the ball from out wide.

Colossus is also someone else to consider, although he does divide opinion. He has a good Mov and reasonable Kick and is the bane of many an opponents Strikers with Smashed Shins.

Fisherman’s Guild

Fish

Shark, the one man team, has enough movement tricks to get the all and put it where he wants, so is definitely someone to consider getting the ball early.

Angel is another great option with her high Mov and Kick as well as Super Shot to pass the ball to generate early momentum and Nimble to up her Def.

Greyscales is another good option with his good Mov, reasonable Kick and Where’d They Go! as well as Unpredicatble Movement, and Decoy to keep him safe.

Jac is also possible with his high Mov, reasonable Kick and Get Over Here to move Salt up for an early pass (See the otter does have  a use!) to generate momentum.

Sakana is also another possibility with his High Mov (particularly with Smoke Bomb/ Cover of Darkness) and Kick, with Poised being a useful defensive or offensive ability.

As you can see the Fish have a lot of options.

Mason’s Guild

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Honour is a definitely a possibility (especially if Harmony is in the team too), with her high Mov and reasonable Kick coupled with Quick Time to move support up the pitch, Responsive play to give you offensive and defensive options as well as Linked to allow you two consecutive activations if harmony is on the pitch too.

Flint (as with anything else in life) is the first person you should look to, with his high Mov, high Kick, Super Shot and Where’d they go? he can pretty much go anywhere and do anything – a great retriever of the ball. charmed [Male] is also very effective.

I’m contractually obliged to include this:

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Brick is also a slightly unorthodox choice as he has reasonable Mov with a slightly underwhelming Kick, but it does put him in position for a Turn 1 Counter Charge or at least stops your opponent advancing as far as they may have wanted to.

Mortician’s Guild

Morts

Obulus may be a good choice for your first activation if he is in a position to get the opponents Kicker in range to Puppet Master them forward to allow him to get into melee range. He should then be able to generate a lot of momentum, and if you manage to get the KD your opponent won’t be able to clear the condition with Momentum (as they haven’t got any yet), so they either have to activate the kicker first and still stay in melee range of Obulus or risk to activating them and having another Mortician beat on them when they are KDed next activation.

Silence is a good choice to get the ball as he has good (for a Mortician) Mov and Kick stats as well as Tucked and Shutout to try and control your opponents activation order.  Embalming fluid can be used to control the ground to prevent your opponent engaging Silence directly.

I’m a fan of activating Casket first (when he plays) as his Mov and Kick are fairly reasonable and he has enough defensive abilities (Tough Hide, Reanimate, Ghostly Visage and Heavy Burden) to cause your opponents problems, as well as Foul Odour to disrupt a fairly substantial area of the pitch.

Bonesaw also needs to be considered with his high Mov and Kick to retrieve the ball as well as Offensive Defence benefiting him more if he activates early.

The Union

Union

Blackheart should be considered with his fairly good Mov and Kick stats (and Shadow Like) as well as allowing him to get Commanding Aura up early.

Decimate should be high on your list with her high Mov good kick and Second Wind, she’s a great retriever allowing you to move the ball to where you want it to be.

Gutter is another option with high Mov and good kick and Chain grab allows you to isolate the opponents kicker quickly too.

Mist is very much like Flint in that he can go where he likes and do what he wants with his high Mov, high kick, Cover of Darkness and Where’d They Go?

Snakeskin is another good choice with high Mov good Kick (and Shadow Like) as well as enough defensive abilities (Charmed, Nimble and Clone) to cause your opponents some real headaches.

Fangtooth also needs to be considered as he is great at controlling the centre of the field and Gluttonous Mass offers great protection until support arrives.

As you can see form the above all of the Guilds have a number of options for who to activate at the beginning of turn 1 to retrieve the ball, as well as generating crucial early momentum.

Once again, please let me know any thoughts you have as some of this is form watching opponents rather than my own experience.

Until next time sports fans!

Kick-off!

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This is the first in a series of articles where I am going to look at a few situations that look simple enough at face value but caused me a few headaches when I started playing, which seems to be a feeling shared by other members of the community. Those situations being, tactics to use at the kick off,  how to generate momentum in the early game (particularly turn 1) and how to deal with going first vs second.

The Mortician’s Guild is my usual team, but I have some experience of most of the current teams.  I will aim to look at general tactics as well as some in depth discussion of each of the Guild’s, giving suggestions, but please feel free to comment below.

Kick-off

At face value the kick off seems a fairly straight forward occurrence (you kick the ball forward), but as with much with this game there is a lot more to it. You need to consider; who is going to kick-off, which area of the pitch will they kick too and how far you want the kick to go.

As a reminder the rules for Kick-off are:

p.21 “After both players have deployed their teams, the kicking player activates the kicker. The kicker may move up to their base-move followed by a kick-off action.

The kick-off action does not require Influence but otherwise uses the normal rules for kicking the ball.

After resolving the kick-off, if the ball-token went out of play, or finished within the kicking player’s half of the pitch, then the receiving player may give possession of the balltoken to any model of his choosing on his team.

After the kick-off has been resolved, the receiving player automatically wins the initiative roll for the first turn.”

Who?

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Initially, you need to think who your kicker is going to be. Will you give it to a striker? They tend to be faster, have longer kick distances but fairly average defence stats.

Will you give it to someone who wants to boss the mid-field? They tend to be slightly slower, have shorter kick distances than the strikers but are slightly more resilient and have plays that will affect the opposition more than themselves.

Will you give it to a defender? They tend to be slower, with shorter kick distances but are more resilient but have some sort of area control, which they would be able to use sooner than if they hang back.

You do need to consider that the player that goes forward may be isolated from their team mates and that does play into the hands of some teams who like to pick off isolated models quickly.

If I am playing with a team I want to brawl against, I would typically give the kick-off to a defender/ defensive midfielder to get them into the action quicker so they can control the board. If I am looking to score more than take out, I’d be looking at strikers or more attacking midfielders to get into positions where they can do the most damage quickly.

I would typically not give the kick-off to a captain as the risk of them being isolated early is too great, but I would be happy to hear others thoughts on this.

Guild                       Brawling                               Balling
Alchemist’s          Calculus/Mercury              Vitriol
Brewer’s                Stave/Stoker                       Mash/Friday
Butcher’s              Boar/Meathook                  Brisket
Engineer’s            Colossus                              Velocity/Hoist
Fisherman’s         Jac / Kraken                        Sakana / Greyscales*
Mason’s                 Mallet / Brick                     Flint
Mortician’s           Casket / Ghast                   Bonesaw
Union                     Fangtooth/ Hemlocke     Mist

*I think there is a possible argument to allow Shark to kick-off for the Fisherman’s Guild, but they are one of the team I’ve used the least.

Where?

Once you have chosen who is going to kick-off you need to think where on the pitch will they kick off from.

When you think of a Guild Ball (or Football – not Gridiron) pitch you can split the area into 5 (shown below). These are the left and right wings, left and right channels and the centre of the pitch.

Pitch**

Different player want to act in different areas of the pitch. You don’t want Hemlocke out wide, wasting a lot of her potential. Similarly, Mist is going to act more effectively out on the wing rather than the more congested midfield.

As a general rule, the combat will mainly occur in the centre of the pitch with bits spilling out into the channels. With this in mind, you will want players of the ‘brawling’ type to mainly kick off from the centre section, particularly if you want them to control wide areas of the pitch that your opponent also wants to control.

Conversely, your ‘balling’ players will want to make more use of the wings and channels so this is where they will kick off from. Players like Mist really want to stay wide as much as possible, whereas players like Greyscales and Bonesaw will act more out of the channels. Mash may even want to act more centrally to mitigate his slower movement.

That isn’t to say that you’ll use these players to kick-off into the same area of the pitch they are based. You may want one of your central players to kick the ball out towards a wing to either force your opponent to activate one of their wider players early than they would have wanted (preventing them gaining an upper hand in the centre of the pitch) or risk ignoring the ball and activating a central player for one of your wide players to pick it up in the next activation.

Similarly, a wide player may want the ball to be played into the centre to allow them more space to run into unopposed with a more direct route on goal in subsequent activations (Flint and Mist I am looking at you).

Obligatory Flint picture:

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How far?

Once you have decided who is going to kick-off and where they are going to kick from and to you need to decide how far the ball will travel. As a kick-off follows the normal rules for a kick, you can re-roll the kick-scatter (both distance and direction) on a success.

There seems to be two schools of thought on kick-off distance. Those that want the ball as far away from their goal as possible, who move the maximum possible, followed by their max kick or those that will look to regain possession early who move but only kick so the ball just crosses into the opponents half, meaning an opponent has further to collect the ball and it’s as close to your lines as possible to regain.

These tactics largely tie in with whether you are aiming for a predominantly take out  based win or goal based win respectively.

I have also seen a few players who will give the ball to a mascot or slow player, to get them further up the pitch, but kick the ball into their own half or off the pitch so opponent is given the ball so that it is as far away from their goal as possible.

Comparison of maximum kick-off distances (before scatter):

Guild Max kick-off (“; before scatter)
Alchemist’s
Calculus 11
Compound 11
Flask 9
Katalyst 11
Mercury 11
Midas 13
Vitriol 14
Brewer’s
Friday 14
Hooper 10
Mash 10
Scum 10
Spigot 11
Stave 10
Stoker 10
Tapper 10
Butcher’s
Boar 10
Boiler 12
Brisket 14
Meathook 12
Ox 11
Princess 10
Shank 11
Tenderiser 12
Engineer’s
Ballista 11
Colossus 12
Compound 11
Mainspring 10
Ratchet 11
Salvo 12
Velocity 14
Fisherman’s
Angel 14
Greyscales 11
Jac 11
Kraken 10
Sakana 14
Salt 11
Shark 15
Siren 13
Mason’s
Brick 10
Chisel 12
Flint 13
Harmony 12
Honour 12
Mallet 10
Marbles 10
Tower 11
Mortician’s
Bonesaw 14
Casket 11
Cosset 13
Dirge 12
Ghast 10
Graves 11
Obulus 10
Silence 11
Union
Avarisse 10
Blackheart 11
Coin 9
Decimate 12
Fangtooth 10
Gutter 12
Harry the Hat  11
Hemlocke 12
Minx 13
Mist 14
Rage 11
Snakeskin 12

 

My view

Casket

I will typically look to kick off with either Casket, Ghast or Fangtooth from the centre of the pitch, moving them as far as possible and kick the ball so it just crosses into the opponents half, forcing them towards me whilst controlling the space with their various plays and traits – Foul Odour is great for restricting enemy movement in a fairly wide area. However, if I am facing the Butcher’s or a beat down Union team, I would probably kick to wider areas to avoid getting bogged down in a ruck that would be difficult to win.

I have also started experimenting with kicking off with Bonesaw straight down a channel for him to get him closer to where he needs to be.

I hope the above has been useful and I’ll continue next time with looking at how to generate momentum early in the game, particularly in turn 1.

If you have any comments or suggestions please leave them below.

Until next time sports fans!

**Plug for the pitch image used:  https://thepaintingmonkey.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/custom-guild-ball-mat/

What’s in a name? – Butcher’s Guild

Next in line, the Butcher’s Guild.

Butchers

Butcher’s Guild

Ox

Ox

A team of bloodthirsty madmen require a strong, iron fisted captain to ensure all orders are followed and discipline maintained. Ox is the ideal man for the job, always willing to dirty his hands if it furthers the interest of the guild.

An Ox is a domesticated bovine animal kept for milk or meat. They are also castrated bulls used as draught animals (don’t tell Ox).

Princess

Princess

Princess is the unloved mutt the Butcher’s call their mascot. Abandoned with the team by a player who didn’t make the cut, she earns her place on the team by savaging anybody who comes near her.

A popular name for female dogs. Possibly linked to the Flash series, Princess, produced by the creators of South Park.

Boar

Boar

Boar lives for the thrill of spilling blood, and finds ample opportunity to practice this with the Butcher’s Guild. He will not stop until the opposing team have been violently maimed, or worse…

Either an adult male domesticated pig or a reference to wild boar, known for their aggression and strength.

Boiler

Boiler

Beginning his career as a lowly apprentice, Boiler has quickly proven himself a worthy addition to the Butcher’s squad. Whilst only a young lad, his capacity for bloodshed is only exceeded by the most prolific of murderers.

Not entirely sure about the link, but a boiler is a fuel-burning apparatus or container for heating water.

Brisket

Brisket

Brisket is considered one of the most desirable players in the sport due to her exceptional talent and good looks. Many a rookie player has come to regret thinking her an easy target for this, as she is well protected by the rest of the team, and more than capable of looking after herself.

Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of a cow. A popular cut of meat that requires slow cooking.

Meathook

Meathook

A mysterious women from the far north of the Empire of the Free Cities, Meathook is well suited to playing for the Butcher’s Guild. She is fast as the north wind, and can catch anybody who tries to escape their bloody fate on the butcher’s hooks she wields.

A meat hook is any hook normally used in butcheries to hang meat. Expertly wielded by Meathook.

Shank

Shank

Shank is a man with a dark past. You could call him a common thug, a thief, a murder and more and still yet fall short. To Shank, a Guild Ball team is essentially a gang that pays better, where he practices his many violent talents on the opposition.

A meat shank or shin is the portion of meat around the tibia of the animal, the leg bone beneath the knee. Shank is also slang for any (usually improvised) knife like object or to stab someone or something.

Tenderiser

Tenderiser

A tenderiser is a hand-powered tool (usually like a mallet or hammer) used to tenderise slabs of meat in preparation for cooking.