Saturday, 20 May 2017

Guild Ball Report: The Union Verses The Engineers

THE UNION VERSES THE ENGINEERS GUILD
This game was played using the Quick Start rules of “Guild Ball” by “Steamforged Games Ltd”, and is the first in a series of 'friendlies' between the Union and the Engineers Guild, which should hopefully allow us to slowly build up our Season Three teams. For the opening match, both clubs will field the minimal number of players (the captain and two team members) on a 2' x 2' pitch, with the winner being the side to attain six victory points. In addition, apart from two small trees representing the teams' goals, there will be no extra scenery or terrain in place to affect either "how the ball reacts" or "how models traverse the pitch."

"Greetings sports fans, and welcome to today's so-called 'friendly' between the mismatched bunch o’ mercenaries, scum and criminals known as the Union, and the clockwork machines of the Engineers Guild. Both sides have everything to play for, with the losing side vowing to finance their opponents for an entire nights worth of ale at landlord Stone's Whisky & Beer Workshop. Leading out the home favourites is the ruthless pirate king of the sea, Union club captain, Blackheart, followed by the deadly Rage and formidably-sized Centre Back, Fangtooth. Whilst only now emerging to the boos of the crowd are their opposition, Ballista and the Mechanica, Velocity and Hoist..."
THE TABLETOP - THE UNION'S HOME FIELD
Having won the coin toss and elected to kick-off, Fangtooth ponderously jogged forwards towards the pitch's centre circle and attempted to punt the ball across the half-way line into the Engineer's side of the field. The excited crowd roared as the massive brute's bare foot successfully connected with the inflated pig-skin and heaved it into 'enemy territory'.

Utilising one of her two influence, Velocity sped northwest towards to take possession of the ball, and then used another influence to re-position herself (using "Dodge") further south, deeper inside her team's half of the field. Blackheart, spotting that his centre-back had clearly kicked the ball far too close to the Engineer's best goal-scorer activated his character trait "Shadow Like", and moved 2" towards the Mechanica striker for free. With a swirl of his cutlass he then sprinted a further 6" towards his target.
FANGTOOTH KICKS OFF FOR THE UNION
Sensing his team-mate was already in some danger, Ballista moved east towards Velocity and with a 'thunk' hit Blackheart square in the chest with a crossbow bolt. The Figeon's "Deadbolt" character play caused the sea pirate to suffer a 2" push backwards, knocked him down and caused him three damage. It was first blood to the Engineers, and the already hostile crowd started to murmur about invading the pitch and stringing the portly defensive midfielder up by his ankles. Realising he might be in imminent danger from attack, and not just from the players on the opposing team, Ballista spent his final two influence activating his "Minefield" ability, and surrounded himself with a 4" wide aura of mines...

Skirting Fangtooth's "Foul Odour" (a character trait which automatically forces any model within 3" of the Ethraynnian to treat open-ground as rough-ground), Rage spent his only influence to sprint 7" towards the centre of the pitch, and then watched as Hoist moved northeast to intercept him. However, before the Mechanica could reach the "Maverick", Fangtooth was upon him, charging into the clockwork player with a frightening bellow, and subsequently adding four dice to his attack pool. Nine dice rolls and four hits later, the battered Engineer automaton had just eight health points left, and would have had less if not for his "Tough Hide".
VELOCITY TAKES POSSESSION OF THE BALL, FLANKED BY BALLISTA
Snatching the initiative, the Union pressed home their attack on the Engineers' attacking midfielder, and quickly had the crowd roaring in pleasure as Fangtooth seemingly floored Hoist. Unfortunately though, the Mechanica used his "Sturdy" character trait to "ignore the first knocked-down condition placed upon it". But didn't manage to stay on its wooden feet for much longer as the foul-smelling behemoth battered it down into the mud, and gained the Union some valuable momentum in the process.

Meanwhile, somewhat east to the centre of the pitch, Ballista charged into the prone Blackheart, and rolled ten attack dice as a result. Despite suffering -1 to his Defence due to being "Knocked-down", the pirate king's armour deflected two of the Engineer's seven successes. But that was not enough to prevent him from suffering two damage and being pushed 2" back. In addition, the unsportsmanlike assault gained Ballista's side a valuable point of momentum, something which would prove invaluable in the near future...
THE TWO CAPTAINS BATTLE ONE ANOTHER IN THE CENTRE OF THE PITCH
Suspiciously smirking at Blackheart's fate, the butcher-like Castellyian clearly has his eye on the Union captain's armband for himself, Rage charged Hoist and, thanks to Fangtooth's 'Ganging-Up' bonus, attained an impressive eight hits. Sparks started to fly from the internal workings of the Mechanica, as he was reduced to five health points and suffered a "Concussion"; one of Rage's character plays which robs its target of one influence.

With a blood-thirsty roar, and entering an absolute "Frenzy", the meat carver-carrying psychopath attacked Hoist again, and then again. Pieces of wood flew from the attacking midfielder's limbs, as Rage literally began chopping him to bits, and by the time the maniacal Union player had finished, the automaton had but a couple of health points left.
FANGTOOTH AND RAGE BATTER HOIST INTO MATCHWOOD
Unwisely though, all eyes had strayed away from Velocity, and suddenly the Engineer's striker sprang into action with an 8" sprint straight up the centre of the pitch towards the Union's goal. With a series of clicks, and using its side's momentum, the Mechanica kicked the ball directly towards the tree in front of her. The Ethraynnian rolled four dice, needing just one to succeed, and watched as they landed on a one, two, three... and finally, a four. The automaton had scored, and the Engineer's Guild were 0-4 victory points up over their opponents...    

Despite a crescendo of boos and yells the ball somehow found its way back onto the pitch, in the northwest corner, behind Rage and Fangtooth. Blackheart, sensing his team needed his leadership now more than ever, used a momentum to "Take A Breather" (and remove his Knocked-Down" condition), and then charged into the goal-scorer velocity. The Union captain rolled ten dice, but as a result of requiring 5+ to hit (due to the Mechanica's high Defence), the pirate king only caused two damage and created a single point of momentum.
BLACKHEART CUTS UP VELOCITY, BUT ONLY AFTER THE STRIKER HAS SCORED A GOAL
Hoist, likewise, similarly used a momentum to "Take A Breather" and then flung himself at Rage. The wooden attacking midfielder managed to cause one damage, push the Union player back 1" and generate a momentum point. But was less successful in his assault upon Fangtooth, as the Human centre back simply relied upon his "Gluttonous Mass" to ignore "the first time each turn" that he is "hit by an enemy attack or character play".

With the match already entering its final phase, Fangtooth finally silenced the annoying clockwork machine desperately trying to pummel his huge frame with brass-knuckled fists, by knocking Hoist's head clean off. The Engineers' bench would need some time to properly re-assemble the mechanical construct and in the meantime the Union were awarded two victory points for the Take-Out; bringing the team of cut-throats back into the game with a score of 2-4. Incredibly however, the smelly behemoth was far from finished, and spending two influence subsequently lumbered into Velocity and started battering the Engineer's star striker for three points of damage. 
FANGTOOTH GOES ON A RAMPAGE, AS THE UNION SEEMS TO GAIN THE UPPER HAND
Realising that he must act quickly or lose his second Mechanica to the Union's attacks, Ballista fired his crossbow at Blackheart, but cursed as he saw the bullet ineffectively fly wide of its target. With a shout of fury, the portly captain charged into his cutlass-wielding foe, and sensationally caused five points of damage with a successful 'wraparound' attack.

Staggering, the pirate king lashed out at both Ballista and Velocity, and managed to inflict a single wound upon both with a swish of his formidable blade. In return, the clockwork striker caught Blackheart a solid blow to the side of the head, causing the Union Captain one point of damage. But the Sultarish wasn't too phased, as to his west Rage collected the ball, and looked towards an unprotected Engineers goal.

To the south, a large amount of booing indicated that somehow the Engineers' "Icy Sponge" had miraculously managed to get Hoist back upon his wooden feet, and despite sparks flying all over the place, the attacking midfielder was once again in the game. With smoke pouring out from inside the Mechanica's central workings, the automaton sprinted towards Rage, but was soon wallowing in the mud on account of his intended target anticipating his intention and charging into him first.
RAGE'S MOMENT OF GLORY IS RUINED BY AN ICY SPONGE AND HOIST
The Union player's meat cleaver viciously hacked into Hoist's wooden torso, and momentarily left the Mechanica bleeding black oil all over the place as a result of 'nicking' a "Crucial Artery". The sight incensed Rage, and going "Bezerk" the attacking midfielder tore into the automaton for a second time, causing two more damage and generating another momentum point for his club.

Sadly though, a gasp of despair from the blood-mad baying fans, alerted the homicidal Castellyian to the fact that Ballista had finally brought Blackheart down onto his knees, with a blow from the butt of his enormous crossbow. The pirate king had fallen, the rotund captain had been awarded two victory points and the Engineers Guild had won the match 2-6. The game was over...

53 comments:

  1. What a fun game! Nice report dude and thanks for doing the wider shots much appreciated :-)

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    1. Thanks Andy. Glad you enjoyed it, as I wasn't sure a sports game would work with the way I usually post my BatReps. I'll try and keep doing the wider shots in future too :-)

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    2. definitely would be appreciated mate, I could see where the other players were in relationship to the ball or the action

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    3. No worries. Always happy to oblige the "Baron of Bushido" ;-)

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  2. What an absolutely fantastic idea. I utterly adored this from start to finish. I will read it through again from start to finis later on, as there`s just so much cool stuff to take in here. I mean it Simon, I REALLY like this.

    And yes, wide angle shots are always a nice bonus.

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    1. Cheers Hils. Its always encouraging to know what people think about a new rule-set I've posted about - and "Guild Ball" has been a long time coming. The rules are quite complex too (with influence and momentum being key) but hopefully the mix in the narrative is palatable.

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    2. its really excellent Simon.

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    3. Thanks Tarot. I know sports-themed wargaming is somewhat different from my norm, so was a bit curious as to whether my usual commentators would like this.

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  3. Great fun! Agree with Mr Grotto...good to have the occasional wide shot to put the narrative in perspective re the bigger picture!

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    1. Thanks Gordon. I did hope the wider shots would help show where the players were to one another. I'll try and incorporate more in future postings.

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  4. What an absolutely brilliant game report. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and what made it so good was the way you wove elements from the character's background into the commentary narrative which shows you have been reading the fluff too. You captured the essence of the game while making it highly entertaining and I would love to see more of these, perhaps with mascots and full teams - hint hint. You know I adore this game and think the models are terrific so I am biased, but even so this was excellent.

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    1. Cheers Undercoat. Glad you enjoyed this as it took an evening to type out!! A bit of fluff always helps to bind the rules with the narrative too I find. I do have another game post planned using the mascots, if this one proves popular enough, and a couple of extra players ready for the painting queue ;-)

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  5. Another top notch report Simon, you do make it all very tempting.

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    1. Thanks Michael. I'm desperately trying to trim down the number of different rule-sets I use these days, but "Guild Ball" forced its way onto the list!!

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  6. I think you may have hit upon a whole new game genre here (Simon is it, if I may)? This is freakishly entertaining material, and diversely unusual. More please.

    How do you find the rules for solitaire play?

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    1. Cheers Dave - no probs being called Simon. As a solitaire game I think "Guild Ball" has plenty of randomness about it; especially dice scatter and attack choices, and therefore makes for great solo play. Some of the better players, such as Velocity, are pretty reliable to hit their target with the ball. But as this game showed Ballista missed with his "Deadbolt" on one occasion, and that's his famed weapon of choice. There's also a load of plot cards to add randomness to the proceedings, and everything is free on the "Steamforged Games Ltd" website. Does that help?

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    2. Ah that's just what I wanted to hear and hoped you`d say. Thanks mate.

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    3. No worries, Dave. I believe "Steamforged Games Ltd" even do paper dolls for "Guild Ball"; so you don't even have to buy their minis; and indeed there's a few blogs dedicated to proxies as memory serves :-)

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  7. What ever you do Simon, if you never write anything else in your gaming life, KEEP WRITING MORE OF THIS.

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    1. Thanks Tarot. There's at least one more game coming, as the club mascots are already painted and based, and I want to add at least one piece of troublesome terrain in the next match. Then I need to paint up some additional players...

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  8. wow I see a whole project in the making here. Stadium, Cheering seated masses, ice cream sellers, full 3 D game pitch, banners and flags and mascots and... oh yessss dancing girls "Ballista, Ballista, he`s our man, if he can`t do it NO-one can"

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    1. "whole project in the making here" - Oh lord I hope not, Steve. There's plenty of that stuff out there but I really need to be strong... gibber :-/

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  9. noo nooo nooooo, let go, you know you want to.

    **wicked grin**

    There`s plenty of that stuff out there, you say. Hmmmmmm. And yet, there is only one you. YOUR style is unique, I don't know about all the rest of the stuff out there, its YOUR stuff I want to see more of.

    Honestly Simon, this post was incredible. I`ve never seen anything quite like it (not in years anyway) not on websites or in blogs. Many years ago there was a wave of Snotball, and Elfball, and various other incantations of the same (Tom Anders from Impact actually wrote the rules for the original GW version), and some of this stuff was very good, admittedly. But this, what you are doing here, trust me...is unique.

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    1. Many thanks indeed, Steve. very much appreciated. I could be tempted into "Dreadball", but using the minis for a street football match like "Mean Arena" (from "2000 A.D.), and paint some humans into Slater's Slayers... Hmmmm... ;-)

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    2. check out the ball players on this link.

      http://impactminiatures.com/

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    3. Love those conversion packs!! Numbered shoulder pads, and a great selection of fan benches etc. Wonderful stuff, and none of which is helping me stay strong btw Steve!! ;-)

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  10. Interesting stuff Simon, and well written, don't think this game is for me (far too complicated), but a good read.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Cheers Roger. "Guild Ball" is very complicated imho, and not for everyone, which is why I'm taking baby steps into its rule mechanics :-)

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  11. just as an aside, not quite on topic, but related. A while ago, I so nearly took up a similar project. Medieval Jousting. The Sally 4th terrain is what got me enthusiastic (they also do the figures and the rules for it and everything, full rules for complete tournaments etc. They eve do a starter set I seem to recall). The idea of making a 3D jousting arena, with tents and squires, and musicians and loads of seated audience and the king and queen and.... oh so much pageantry. The idea really appealed to me. So you can see why I am so take by what you`re doing here. Its kinda similar, but totally different if you follow my meaning lol.

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    1. Yep. That's the joy of this wargaming hobbying thing. One moment its "Star Wars", then "Judge Dredd" and then Medieval Jousting. I totally get what you're saying, Steve. I guess that's why I'm trying to desperately cut down on projects. It really is the golden age of gaming currently, and there is far much to choose from :-)

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    2. certainly, very true words there Simon.

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    3. Oh and almost forgot. Your quest to cut down on projects is one I share with you completely. Its almost gotten to a desperate need in my by this stage. Collecting can be like eating: you eat and eat and eat until you are so large, the prospect of getting thin again looks almost too daunting ever to bother trying, let alone succeed in. The hobby can be like that, with so many choices available, saying no becomes harder and harder.

      My second major quest is to unify the rules I use to a small manageable number. That's why I look so favourably at things like M&DRG, and generic systems like D20 (because they can serve for Fantasy, Gothic Horror, Caribbean Pirates, Weird WWII, Modern Day, Sci fi and Dredd... all rolled into one).

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    4. Encouraging words, Steve, and its good to know I'm not the only one who is looking at scaling back. My current goal is not to buy any more models (not necessarily terrain) until September and "Colours" (Newbury). Whether I can attain such a task remains to be seen, as I've already got the shakes before the first month is over ;-)

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    5. Its not easy Simon. The trick seems to be to fall back IN love with things we already own (that lie forgotten and uncared for) in the existing collection. Its just what we both did with the Clix, and what Stevie has done with his (old) passion for Middle Earth: rediscovering it, as it were, and thus reinventing his love for the subject.

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    6. Spookily, I've dug out a load of "GW" "LOTR" minis myself, as having recovered from "The Hobbit" film, I'm finally starting to watch "LOTR" trilogy again :-)

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  12. Good report mate, how are finding GB? Worth learning and getting into?

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    1. Thanks Chico. There are undoubtedly a lot of rules to learn, so it certainly pays to play the starter game first, and then slowly add more players/scenery to it imho. Bearing in mind its all on the web for free though, I think its a bargain, and definitely provides a try before you buy feeling.

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  13. Excellent report mate. :)

    I really need to crack on with the GB stuff I have, but I keep saying that...

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    1. Cheers Leon. I say exactly the same thing about "BMG" and "Pulp City" ;-)

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  14. Nice match report mate. Looks excellent.

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  15. Interesting batrep, Simon. I'll bet you're glad to actually be able to play with these figures, as I recall they did prove a bit of a bit of trial to paint up. I too would like to see a few more 'sportscasts', as I always like seeing different games played by people who are enthusiastic about the subject.

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    1. Cheers Jez. I've got at least another game ready, as the mascots are done and ready to take the field, but further games will be a while in the making, as I have to paint a couple more players - and have no holes in the painting queue currently until next decade ;-)

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  16. Fascinating. I've left a longer comment on the LAF.

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    1. Thanks Bryan, and for spotting the thread on LAF :-)

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  17. Very interesting batrep Simon, having never played guildball it provided a great insight into the gameplay

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    1. Cheers Dave. I was hoping the mix of rules and narrative was informative. There's loads of fluff out there and the rules are rather complex imho.

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  18. Love the idea of using these rules to play Mean Arena, Southampton Shark's for the win !

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    1. Cheers Dave, I reckon quite a few teams could be created using the basic Dreadball body. Bit of a Jaws Jensen fan, eh?

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    2. maybe ! Really liked the helms and goals with the sharks, not that I'm dismissing any of the other teams look but always liked sharks.

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    3. Yep. They'd certainly be fun to convert I reckon. Bit of a Edinburgh Executioners fan myself. Loved the helmets' tall blade slicing through objects... 'but use it on a player - banned for life!'

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  19. I didn't really follow what was going on, but you give it a real sense of enthusiasm :-) .

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    1. Thanks Hugh. I didn't really follow what was going on either as the rules are a little complex imho :-)

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