Monday, 28 March 2016

Guildball - First Impressions

The Orbital Bombardment crew obviously live and breath DZC, but we are known to occasionally diversify; Bushido is a prime example. But recently we have also been bitten by the Guild Ball bug.

Above: My Fisherman team.

Guildball, on first impressions, appears to be a marriage between Blood Bowl (there is a ball), Drop Zone Commander (the game turns feature alternate activations) and Warmahordes (there are cards with special abilities and one-off feats).

There are a number of different teams, each with a particular playing style. For instance, my team, the Fishermen, are fast, very manoeuvrable, but not very destructive. 

Above: Fishermen - Season 1 players

With my limited experience playing the game, it is clear that the Fishermen are not resilient enough to go toe to toe with the tougher factions and take players out to win the game (which scores you 2 points). Your path to victory is through getting the ball and avoiding confrontation. To put it another way, dodge, hop, skip and jump around, jump around, jump, jump, jump around (arrange to have the House of Pain track in your head when you play the game and you won't go far wrong).

Shark, the season one captain, is greatly feared by other teams for his mobility and there is a great amount of synergy between players of the Fishermen team, with some of them getting buffs for the proximity of others during the game. For instance:

- Siren gets +1 DEF within 4" of Kraken.
- Angel gets +1 DEF within 4" of the mascot Salt, and during the maintenance phase gets a boost to her Influence stats when she is within 4" of Shark.

Above: The new Season 2 Fishermen players, from left to right, Corsair and Sakana.

I will not go in details on the game mechanics, but the important aspects relate to using influence and momentum correctly. In each turn individual players donate influence tokens to the team's pool, which you then allocate around your team to carry out actions. Your team can also gain momentum points during the game turn to allow you to carry out other actions, including scoring goals. A goal scores 4 points, and 12 points will win you the game.

The rules can be downloaded from the Steamforged site: 

Above: The Captain, Shark, uses his Legendary Play, Caught in the Net, to good effect, and reduces the movement of all the opposition players for one turn.

Happy wargaming to you all.


  1. I am tempted to dip my toe into Guildball. But, what with DzC (and soon DfC) and boardgames I don't know if my brain can absorb another rule set. It seems like you need to understand the various ways your team members combo and also knowing how the other teams play. So not sure if it would make a good secondary/tertiary game which gets played occasionally.

    1. There definitely appears to be some interest down the club. The other OB boys talk of nothing else currently and there appears to be a lot of it on the web in the form of You Tube game reports. Some are better than others but perhaps you could have a chat with the guys and see whether they can give you some ideas before you take the plunge. Personally I have really enjoyed painting my team, even if it is taking me some time to master the complexities of the rules. I should be playing Joe tomorrow at the club.