Guildball from a Warmachine Perspective
by Mike White · Published · Updated
If you ever have someone explain Guildball to you, I’m willing to bet they will say ” It’s like Warmachine and Bloodbowl.” Now I can’t really comment from the Bloodbowl perspective, but I wanted to share how I feel it relates to Warmachine. So here are some things I feel are similar.
Both use round lip based models ranging from 30mm-50mm ( no huge bases in guild ball). Both use similar line of sight rules between models and terrain ( minus elevation), though Guildball simplifies this process by having 360 vision for all of their models. Both games have some very well sculpted models that are a blast to paint. Both are an army building style of game, Guildball only requires six models for a full game where Warmachine can be anywhere from a low double-digit to high fifty model count army.
Both games take place on a set sized board, 4×4 for Warmachine and 3×3 for Guildball. Both feature terrain that can impact gameplay and adds to tactical decision-making. Both games offer a fast style of play where you need to be able to adapt during the game. Guildball games will tend to be a little faster overall between lower round time and less model count. Both roll dice, Guildball can roll a lot of dice, to determine if certain actions take place from attacking, casting spells, or using character plays. Both are a blast to play, though Guildball can be more snowball then Warmachine. Finally both games are played with open information and premeasuring.
So we see that Guildball does have a large number of similarities to Warmachine, but what’s different?
While both use dice to achieve results, Guildball does it in a more simplified way. Guildball will roll multiple dice using single die results to determine a successful hit. Although this feels weird at first you can break it down to a mathematical probability for the chance of success or failure. Guildball is played as chess style of game of alternating one model activations versus whole armies. This style requires you to play more adapting to your opponent’s choices and plan farther ahead. Guildball plays to a victory point total, where you score points on killing models or scoring goals, while Warmachine is looking to kill your army leader or win on scenario . Guildball uses a multiple resource system of influence ( like focus), and momentum. Momentum allows for some extra actions but mainly gives an edge in deciding who activates first each round. Imagine winning initiative, choosing to go first in warmachine then after your opponent goes they also start the top of two……that’s a huge advantage.
From my personal experiences and talking with a few Warmachine players who have tried Guildball, there seems to be some common make or break to get into Guildball.
Make or Break:
Attrition….. or lack of. Warmachine players are used to eliminating models left and right, in Guildball most teams may look to take out two models while some won’t even bother to take out any. Guildball attacks are generally set to build momentum, control your opponents models by moving them or yourself, or knocking them down. While some models can take others out in one activation, take outs tend to be over the course of two turns.
Kicking goals…… some people just don’t like the actual idea of playing soccer ( this is probably where playing Bloodbowl is more relatable). Now I relate scoring goals similar to scenario points as both tend to be the quickest way to win a game, and also tend to be the least amount of effort/resources used.
You go: I go……Your opponent gets more of a chance to react to what you are doing. This can create a frustrating learning curve for new players that are used to stacking buffs and debuffs then sending the model in to do work, to only have your opponent just back a model out of its threat range or knock the model down.
I rolled ten dice got two hits….. This may seem like subpar dice, but depending on what number you are trying to hit end up being more like average dice. For the example above rolling 10 dice looking for two 6’s is just better than a coin flip. Not understanding these dice probabilities tends to leave wrong impressions for Warmachine players.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:
Guildball tends to be a faster paced game requiring you to constantly adapt to your opponent. The lower model count and streamlined rules make playing the game cleaner as you have more room to fit in precision measuring tools. While playing a chess style game, guildball lacks the kill the “king” win the game that Warmachine offers. What this usually means is guildball can lead itself to snowball more between no instant win options and the varying who goes first/second each round. Personally I quite enjoy both games, and feel playing Guildball has helped improve my Warmachine game…..unless it’s Cygnar…ugh.
Hello, I'm currently the other half of Counter Charge where I primarily play Cryx. I've recently been diving more into Guildball with Brewers and been writing about them on Explosive Brew. I've also just dipped my toes into 40k with Astra Militarium.
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