Saturday, December 3, 2016

Strike while the hypetrain is running

The hype is real (excluding Hunters and Masons - and possibly Brewers). It's like 98% of all Team Discussion posts have happened within the last month, so I'd best post something while people care about Guild Ball and aren't distracted by Infinity/WMH/Magic/Dust/whatever derpy kickstarter comes out next. Sad really because the GB forums have been a fun and entertaining (or is that fun and engaging?) place to hang out in the lead up to Season 3 - rumours, gradual teaser releases (I liked the way SF did this although some of it hilariously blew up in the wrong way, cf. Marbles) and I'll be sad to see the return of posts in team sub-forums where the last one wasn't "just now" or "5 minutes ago" but weeks and weeks in the past. Such is life I guess. Also some guy at some point said that you can't really talk about Guild Ball that much, or that theoryball is a limited prospect, so I'd best get in quick before someone writes down all the obvious stuff before me and takes the credit.

Anyway, the real business is talking about everyone's favourite team - Engineers!

j/k (even though they're going to get bandwagonned harder than St Louis on the Royals).

I don't know what this means #lazymemes

All jokes about Seige's Ballista's Feat Legendary aside, I reckon Steamforged have done a bang up job of the vast majority of the Season 3 release (probs 1000% better than the release of the Season 2 token set at least!) but what I really should be talking about is rules and changes... so less cider for me, and more pointless conjecture for you! Onwards!


Here's what JS said in the post I've just obnoxiously bumped down the page:

To give a broad overview of the core changes and trends, without digging into too much detail (read the cards!)
·                Tap In is now baseline - -1TN to goal kicks within 4"
·                Home Crowd is now baseline - 1MP if you do not go first each turn after the first.
·                Mascots now have icy sponges, and give up only 1VP when taken out. As a result, most mascots have had small (1-3 boxes) health reductions.
·                All players now only have 1 Icy Sponge marker about halfway up the playbook. Many players have had slight health reductions.
·                Many healing effects outside momentum use have been reduced or removed.
·                A lot of players changed nationality (for the purpose of the 'Homelands Cup' format)
·                Most (but not all) buffs are 'friendly Guild' so no longer affect Union models.

What does all this noise actually mean?

Tap In

Actual Tap In rule is much less confusing

- fast models are even better (be that base move/jog, sprint/charge, dodges or preferably some rad combination therein) because if they get within cooey of the goal they score on a 3+ (assuming no other modifiers).
- kick 2/x models are automatically less bad Bonus Timing to 3/x hitting on 3+.
- high kick range models (x/7"+) are still good but you're encouraged to close the distance to save MP (i.e. being Kick 4/8" and not Bonus Timing your shot), ergo position better, ergo play better.
- pretty much anything that can get into 4" range of a shot at goal is a legit threat which means Mascots can actually play a part in the footballing game. I saw a crazy great play in a batrep yesterday where (spoiler alert!) a free charging Mother (Sic 'Em Plot Card) double dodged from the charge result, burrowed, reappeared, and shot for goal successfully. It. Was. Awesome! I'm probably going to die trying for a Dirge goal every game but Flying + sprint 10" means a Bonus Timed shot scoring on a 3+ could work!

I think this is a good/great change but I suspect it's going to result in a lot of very quick games. Honestly wonder if they shouldn't have made the range within goal 2" instead of within 4" so you have to be practically on top of it to earn the bonus. Time will tell!

Home Crowd

Nice to have the home crowd on your side. Football's such a classy game.

The other really big change to the core rules in my opinion. Getting the first activation of the turn was such a massive advantage in the first two seasons, but now having a free MP to Defensive Stance or Counter Attack the clutch early charge is going to have a huge impact on the game. There's a huge loss of certainty and the sense that you're invulnerable for the player who won the initiative roll. It puts the relevance back on early playbook results, having your toys positioned to account for the possibilities either way.

I'm still trying to figure out who gets to break the game the most or gets the most advantage out of this one. I thought it was Fish because of all the 2" and because I hate them but now I'm not so sure. Or is it Brewers with all their Knockdowns and Pushes? No... Internet wisdom tells me Brewers are only beaten to the bottom of the barrel by tree-huggers and the boys in blue.

Icy Sponges

Another good reason to buy tokens, right?

Mascots get these thereby causing no end of grief/whinging/psychological imbalance to those who overly treasured/abused the [Creation] rule (when everyone is special... then nobody is!). Everyone has one now instead of multiple levels - I assume Steamforged just eventually realised that no one was stupid enough to keep players off the pitch for more than one turn - so that's nice. "Best Icy Sponge Change Award" of course goes to Chisel (or it is Chiselle? Chisselle?) who must get sponged up to the indicated level (cheers Peter for checking that - made me laugh) and therefore can't make use of her sweet rules when she comes back on. Need to find an GB equivalent term for Skornergy...

This is a good change combined with Mascots only giving up 1VP. It sucked a bit to lose a Mascot and not only give up 2VP but also permanently lose not only their cutesy rules but also the INF they were contributing to the team. Everyone else having one Icy Sponge is there or thereabouts common sense.

Healing Effects nerfs

Obviously totally OP players such as Hemlocke and Esters (the last one - zero sarcasm) and probably others took a hit. Fine. If your biggest concern was Esters healing 2HP on her burning dudes then you haven't experienced real trauma.

(Most) Buffs not affecting Union dudes.

Good. In fact, bloody great. Why should a model that isn't from your Guild get the advantages of naturalised players anyway? Creates more decision points in the inclusion of Union models. Wondering if we'll start to see all in-Guild teams.

That's a descending list of the stuff I care about. Players changing nationality is a non-issue.

Tied somewhat into this is the tournament support material, specifically the bit where you can only take one Union model in your roster. While this obviously only applies to competitive/tournament games (we've yet to have an SF-sanctioned event in NZ so I'm not holding my breath) it's likely to something that winds it's way into casual play too.  I LOVE this change (surprise surprise)! Hopefully it yields more varied rosters and with the changes made to Union players those choices are already less obvious that they once were (wishful thinking? Maybe).


Definitely a positive start to Season 3. If I sound overly cynical at times it's only due to my driving need to balance out the saccharine boot-licking of our favourite (and occasionally Guild Ball-playing) Pundit :) I don't believe SF have got it all right but you have to dig a bit deeper than surface level in most cases to justify truly egregious hatred and loathing of their practices. And I'm far from that at this point.

Season 3 really does represent a big step forward and up for the game. If you don't play Hunters.


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