Category: Ball’s in your Pitch

Guild Ball and the Blind Consent

We are back for the next episode of “Ball is in Your Pitch.” Glad to have readers again. The title of this article says it all. If you take time to study the Guild Ball, there is something that you will see a lot of players do, and new players will adopt without thought because that is how you feel the game should be played. I know I am going to catch a lot of heat from this, and there will be a lot of players that will tell me that I am wrong but hear me out. That thing is having a list for your team based solely on if you are kicking or receiving the ball in your game.

Reading other articles and listening to podcasts I always hear players talk about if they are receiving, they will play “Captain 1” if they are kicking the play “Captain 2” or some list that is specially prepared just for those conditions. I, just like a lot of players, don’t want the game to go to clock every single time I play. I would like to get the game over with, in a timely fashion, but I have learned to be patient as well. So many players are so eager to get the first turn goal or so worried about stopping it that that’s how their teams are built. Why else would you build a team just based off of if you kick or receive? The reason it doesn’t make sense to me, again someone will try to explain it and it still won’t make sense, is that if you receive the ball, you score, now your opponent does their goal kick, and now it is as if you kicked the ball. By that logic your receiving captain isn’t who you want to have played.

            I, and some other that I game with don’t build teams based off of if we are kicking or receiving. We build based off of the teams that we will be facing. It feels like a smarter choice. In a perfect world you will win all of your games 12-0, but this isn’t a perfect world, and it is safe to assume that the ball will change hands during the game. You should be prepared for the game in the long run and not totally focus on the first turn goal regardless of which side of the pitch you are on.

With everything there are exception to rules, and this one I feel Farmers really are the team that you should pick captains based off whether you kick or receive, due to their playstyle they want to dictate where engagement happens.

Like I said earlier, people will tell me that I am wrong, or that the “top players” play that way so it has to be right. I do everything I can to think outside of the box, and I prefer to keep it that way. I try to see the game as a whole, and see what I could be facing in turns three and four, rather than worry about that first turn and playing after that. There have been many games I have been behind in the beginning and just staying calm because I didn’t get the first turn goal. Playing my game in the end lead me to a win. Those four point on the first turn is no reason to panic so just pace yourself and play the game that you prepared for the long run. The first turn isn’t the only turn where things can happen.

Drinking, Good Times, and the Same Six Models

    Like so many others, I came from playing other tabletop games like: 40k, Warmachine, etc. I was actually turned onto Guild Ball by gaming over a friend of mine’s house while I had to sleep on his couch. I didn’t think too much of the game to start with, other than a way to pass time. Later in life I finally picked it up, and fell in love with the game. Not only the low model count, which is amazing for anyone with financial restrictions, but playing casually and competitively the environment is virtually the same. All of my friends in our meta were competitive players, so it was just a matter of time until I made the jump as well.

            My first tournament I had a blast. It was just like playing at home with all of the goofing off and talking smack to each other. Even going to Steamcon for the first time, it was three days of gaming and drinking non-stop. You show up to a table, you and your opponent shake hands, do your draft, and both players put a bottle on the table. That is now your drinking buddy for the next two hours. Out of all the games I have played in my lifetime no other game has an environment to play in that even remotely compares to that of Guild Ball. Everyone is your best friend for the event. Even at Steamcon the game’s developers were walking around showing new things and strategies, and even having a drink or two. It was really great to see a game full of down to earth people that don’t feel like they are hovering above the rest of the players. They carry themselves like they were just a group of guys that took their shot and made it, so they are always showing how appreciative they are for that.

          Out of all the love I have for the game, the one think I feel that hurts it, is when I listen to podcasts or watch battle reports they have the top players of Guild Ball to talk about new models and strategies for playing. That is literally the reason I watch them and I support it 100%, but when they talk about certain teams all you will ever hear about is the same lineup, with no deviation. I am not saying those teams are bad, or that the lists don’t work, but I would like to see more variety in lists in my research. Like if I were researching Masons (I love Masons) and would like to see how the top players are playing. I would listen to podcasts to see the game from the top and every single player plays the “Hammer Prison.” This is a perfectly viable list, but Masons are the most versatile and adaptable team in Guild Ball, but if someone just starting was wanting to learn this team they would only think there is one way to play them. I would like to see more of players thinking outside of the box.

          The Developers of the game have been working hard with the Season 4 rules, the errata that recently, and now with the new captains coming out for teams it is really changing the dynamics of playstyles for teams so that we can start to see more diverse lists of teams in the tournament settings. I will say that much. The developers of Guild Ball listen to their players, and do everything in their power to make the game as balanced as possible. I started playing around the beginning to middle of Season 3, and players are always trying to find out what the top tier teams were and what players were on said teams. Every time there is a rules change the tier lists just get larger and the number of tiers get smaller. That is always a great thing, and I love the fact that they take the time to balance things out as they are needed.

          I hope things change enough with the new captains coming out that there will be more than one, or two lists per team, and only playing the same six models in the game. I would love to see the competitive game get more diverse, and not to hear that I am playing a certain team and already know what models are going to be on the table. Only the future can tell.