Monday, December 14, 2015

First game of Guild Ball

My buddy, Chris, and I played our first game of Guild Ball this past weekend.  We are both happily impressed with the game!

An action-packed pitch.  Fishermen versus Masons.

We played the introductory version of the game, played on a 2'x2' pitch with 3 characters per side.  I played Fishermen's Guild, and Chris played the Mason's Guild.  The estimated play-duration for the introductory format is 30 minutes.  The first team to score 6 Victory Points wins the game.  Our game consumed an entire afternoon.  Even accounting for lots of rules lookups, we scoffed at the idea of the game requiring only 30 minutes.  Until we found the rule the next day that said each Goal was worth 4 Victory Points, and each Takedown was worth 2 Victory Points.  The way we had played, each Goal was worth 1 Victory Point, and each Takedown was just a punchy, satisfying means to an end!

"Hey, you!  Come pick on someone your own size!"
Despite our oversight, the rules are very well written.  They pretty much answered every question we had, minus a few ambiguities, which turned out to match our interpretation, once we found clarifications in the FAQs and Errata.

We both liked the pace of the game.  It flows very naturally, and the mechanics promise to fade to the background, directing our focus and attention on deciding on best field position and setting up synergistic plays.  The card profiles strike just the right balance, offering depth and personality without overburdening the character with a tome of special abilities (I'm looking at you, Malifaux!).  I can actually learn my characters within the first few goals and learn the key attributes of the opponent characters.

OK, I love the dynamic poses, but is this Guild Ball or a dance party?

We're looking forward to our next game!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Green squad takes the field

I've been off the grid for a month, for which I totally blame work.  But, hey, I have to pay for this hobby somehow!

Finally, I have color on my second unit of Tau Warriors.  One less squad that I need to proxy using AT-43 models.  That said, the AT-43models serve wonderfully as proxies.  Don't have to worry about storage and transport -- just throw them loose in a container and bust on out the door.  And they look just fine on the table.

But there's definitely something very satisfying about having the actual Tau models strutting on the tabletop.  After all, it was the original and believable look of those models that struck a chord with me enough to convince me to dig into Warhammer 40K.  Well, them and Kroot.  How pleasantly convenient it was to discover that they actually fought together in the same army...  Space Marines?  Meh.  Crisis Suits?  Bleah.  Fire Warriors and Kroot.  Those are the sci-fi toy soldiers that make me happy.

Anyway, I tried a few new things with this squad, and I'm only partially satisfied with the outcome.  I like the color scheme and general look.  But I attempted an earth-sky effect on the bolt at the end of the plasma rifle, and it's pretty much a failure.

Here, I show one of the new guys alongside one of the dudes from the first unit of Fire Warriors that I painted, oh, I don't know, sometime around 2007?  I also show a primed and oil-washed figure from unit #3, where I used a metallic paint on the bolt, for comparison.  For the best effect, for time invested, the metallic is definitely the way to go.

The earth-sky fails for a few reasons, I think.  One is color-choice.  I needed to get more orange-yellow in the top and less brown and more orange on the bottom.  Another thing I needed to do was bow the horizon line, instead of painting it straight.  That just makes it look like it's painted in two halves.  I need to exaggerate the contour of the round bolt-head.  And finally, I think there just might be too much going on, in too small a space, what, with the slot and the horizon-line making two different bisections.  It's just too much for the eye to resolve, perhaps.  Lessons learned.