Guild Ball: Season Three Rule Changes
by Alex Vian · Published · Updated
Guild Ball Season Three is here, with new nerfs, new rules, new guild plots, but not yet any new models. Over the next few days, Midwest Wargaming will cover the changes in their entirety – and when new models come, you better believe they’ll be covered.
First up, of course, are the new rules.
The ‘biggest’ change is the change which was made to mascots. Mascots now may (all) return to the game after being taken out, and are now worth only 1 VP each time they are taken out. Steamforged did a three part write up on their thinking in this arena, so clearly this is a big change to what Mascots bring to the table.
The biggest development to arise out of this change, however, are changes to things like Beloved Creature and other ‘upon removal’ effects and revive effects for the various mascots. Be sure to check out Dirge, Princess, and Salt before you play with them in Season Three!
The most significant new rule is, of course, part of the initiative phase, and a minor rule change with a monumental effect on the game. After rolling for initiative, and after resetting momentum to 0, the team which does not have initiative gains 1 Momentum! In Season 3 of Guild Ball, you either start your turns (after the first, as we’ll cover later) with initiative or with precious momentum to use to defend yourself against a charge, score a quick goal, or open up with a teamwork play.
This little change will completely change every single game of Guild Ball. Most importantly, a player may now actually choose to go last in a round, in order to automatically gain an all-important momentum point.
It’s important to note, however, that the kicking team at the start of the game does NOT gain this Momentum point – there is no ‘Initiative phase’ during the first turn of the game:
There has been a more subtle change to the Icy Sponge rule, in that not only do mascots have a ‘recovery level’ on their health bar, but the vast majority of models have only one recovery level, rather than two. Players will get back in the game more quickly, and only rarely will Season Three see players wait an extra turn before returning their player to the game, as there will be no benefit. As an example, let’s look at the Brewers’ Tapper:
In Season Two, Tapper has two recovery levels, allowing him to come back in at either 6 wounds immediately on the next turn, or 12 wounds if he waits one turn before.
In Season Three, Tapper’s wound bar looks just a bit different, because he comes back at 9 wounds, with no option to wait an extra round:
Completely gone is the option to heal up a bit more after waiting for another round for one of your folks to heal – probably because nobody took this option, with its corresponding loss of both an activation and generated influence.
The book’s section on the Maintenance Phase is also reworded to reflect this change.
While the wording for the Kick-offs section has changed by adding one clause, the actual way kick offs work has not changed. The Kick-off is now a pass, albeit one that cannot target a friendly model.
The wording, but not the function, has also been changed for Goal Kicks. The goal kick is drawn back towards the goal until it can rest on the ground if it lands on top of an obstacle after scattering.
Related to Goal Kicks, but definitely deserving of its own section is the change to Tap-In. Tap-In is no longer a plot card but is now a core rule. Basically, if you are within [4″] of the enemy goal-post the model making the shot gets a [-1] TN check. Now you actually have a reason to get closer to the goal than to constantly stay at maximum kick distance.
The last changes aren’t particularly significant. Cards have a new layout in the Character Play and Model Type Sections. Both are on display on the new Veteran Siren card:
Rather than writing out ‘This character play may be used once per turn’ over and over on every single one of the majority of the character plays in the game, Steamforged now represents this trait of a character play in a column marked ‘OPT.’ A check mark in this column indicates the character play may only be used once per turn.
Meanwhile, on the back of the card, you can see another change which is foreshadowed by the front of Vet Siren’s card:
A model’s ‘Position on the Team,’ Veteran, Mascot, or Captain, is now a separate row on the bottom of the ‘Model Type’ section, in addition to the model’s gender, race, nationality, and position on the field. The team position ‘Veteran’ is not specifically mentioned in the Season 3 Rulebook, but it’s more clear now that both (Veteran) Siren and Siren have the same name and cannot both be used in the same team at the same time.
Sike! The Interception Rules are the same, meaning that the target of a failed pass can somehow still intercept a pass intended for that model. This is apparently a personal pet peeve of mine and not a problem to anybody else, but it’s incredibly stupid, and still a rule in Season Three. Is it so much to ask for just one thing to make sense? You can’t intercept a pass intended for yourself!
Stay tuned over the next week as Midwest Wargaming breaks down the new Season Three Guild Plots and the changes to each Guild’s roster, including the gutting of Gutter and radical changes to Avarisse & Greede,
A change up that is in the Organized Play rules, which will be applicable in tournament play and the like: Players that did not choose the Union as their Guild may only select a single eligible Union model for their roster. This is really going to shake up the rosters that you see across the table.
A reformed Warhammer Fantasy player based in the Twin Cities, Alex plays Malifaux, Guild Ball, X-Wing, and Armada. He also is the host of the Malifaux Tactics podcast here at Midwest Wargaming: Lecture Notes from the Breach
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