Mike, Joe, Nathan and myself went down to Dark Sphere for a Guild Ball tournament run by our club's own Guild Ball rep, Matt.
Five games, limited to 35 minutes per player with an additional ten one minute activations, made for a very challenging day. I had never played GB 'under the clock before', so Mike and I took the opportunity on a day off from work, to give it a go. It really makes a great leveller. The analogy I used was a premier league football team playing a FA Cup tie at a non league ground on a wet and windy Tuesday night.
Neither of us clocked out in our first game. But then both of us kids then got cocky, and both overran in game two. By game four it seemed entirely natural to be playing with a time limit. And weirdly, after the tournament, I now want the clock in every game I play.
Above: Dark Sphere ready for the kick-off.
Game One - Dave Payne - Brewers
Dave received the ball. He was an experienced GB player and my experience against Brewers is zilch. The game can be summed up as follows; three mistakes by me (getting to close to Dave's team) lead to the taking out of Shark, Siren and Fangtooth. With so few players on the table I was powerless to stop him from scoring a screamer. And in the next turn he ganged up on Salt. I had gone down twelve to nil.
Above: 'Fangtooth not like'.
Certainly I could not blame the time pressure for my loss, Dave had 12 minutes left, I had 26.
However, after round one, this had been a hard lesson for all of us. Joe also lost 12-0, and Nathan and Mike both lost 12-4.
Game Two - Marcus Rose - Fishermen
Hooray. An opposition I know something about. Not surprisingly, there was a lot of movement and no so much fisticuffs. We both scored two goals, but I was seven minutes ahead on the clock. Marcus called it because he felt that he could not score four points in four one minute turns.
Some better results for us as a group also, Mike, Nathan and Joe all won.
Game Three - Shane Harper - Butchers
I had previously played one game against the Butchers. Afraid to say that my learning curve is still very steep against teams I rarely play such as the Butchers. My approach should be the one taken with the Terrible Blugbatter Beast of Trall; run away very fast, very, very fast. I didn't, and Siren, Shark, Sakana and Salt got taken out very, very fast. And with the addition of a goal a twelve to nil lost had been obtained. On this game I did get the ball first, unfortunately, I learnt that Tenderiser had the Rush Goalkeeper rule, so Shark had to go and hide instead of attempt a first turn score.
Above: 'Do we have enough sponges?'
Game Four - James Reeves - Brewers
This game was annoying because I played stupidly. Brewers again, but this time with Esther as their Captain. We had both scored a goal. Both goal scorers were then taken out, Shark for me and Friday for James. (Yes folks, the Fishermen took someone out - front page news!). Next turn, and Siren had an option to steal the ball from Mash, but, like an idiot, I delayed her activation. She was then taken out making it 8 points to six in James' favour. Mash then immediately scored the winning goal. Another quick game, but I should have thought more before activating.
Above: James' very nice army on display for the painting judging.
Above: Shark returns to the field, to late to remind the team not to bunch up.
This is the four game where I have not used Shark's Legendary Play. In such short games, you do not want to just hope that there will be a better moment because you will find that the game is over.
Game Five - Our very own Joe - Alchemists
This game was frustrating, not because of my poor play, but because a missed goal cost me a possible win. At the start of the game I received, and got the ball back to Shark. But then Joe pulled a really smart move with Mist who stole the ball a scored. And then, she was able to dart away before I could seek my revenge. Not down hearted, I moved the ball down field so that Sakana could score. And my plan would have worked perfectly, but, even with an extra dice for bonus time, I could not roll a four or better better with four dice.
Above: Just before the game five kick off, the world shortage of 3 inch area of effect markers has been explained.
As I try to remember what happened next, it is at this point that the days games begin to merge into one. I recall that Joe removed Siren from play, making it six to nil. He then retrieved the ball, but I nicked it back with Greyscales, and with Shark using two momentum He scored with a snap shot.
I took down Flask, and although Joe had by this point exceeded his 35 minutes, he was able to secure the winning goal to take the game 12 to 9. And that ended the days entertainment.
We had all enjoyed our first Guild Ball tournament. However, the day had been a long one, with the five games, and an unfortunate technical issue with the Excel spreadsheet, it had lasted from 10.30am until 8.00pm. For work's sake I was grateful we played on a Saturday and not a Sunday.
Mike, Joe and Nathan all won three of their games. Despite only one win for me, having purchases so close to hand, helped me get over the losses.
Happy wargaming to you all.