Great Balls of Fire


<Flails excitedly>

Ahem, yes, indeed. So, a few months back I came across a game called Guild Ball, essentially medieval mob football (Soccer for the colonists) played on an open form pitch with some cool mechanics and GORGEOUS minis. I can’t remember how, but it was most likely down one of those Google rabbit holes I occasionally explore of an evening, whilst Nin is putting Arran to bed.

Either way, recently I got a new car. Why is this important? Well, it means that I drive myself to work, which in turn means I get to listen to podcasts again. The D6Generation was a staple listen of mine way back when and so I scanned their recent history for topics of interest before starting with the newest episodes. I chanced across a couple of episodes, one of which was an interview with Guild Ball’s designers and the other was one of the team’s legendary in-depth reviews (2 hour long discussions of the game and its mechanics)

SIDE NOTE: Seriously, if you want to decide if should buy a new game, check the pictures out, and then find out if the D6Generation podcast did a review. It’s as good as watching someone play a game of it. (They also have a not-too-horrible rating system).

Soooo, listened the developer interview and was completely fired up. Both because I loved the sound of the game mechanics, and because the guys were pretty open and honest about the product management and development planning behind the game.

So, usual style, I picked a faction and ordered ALL OF THE THINGS. And then, and only then, did I consider the following: Who am I going to play against????

More google-fu later and I discover that the Cog Collective guys (PDX Area Warmahordes group) have dabbled in it, and there is this one guy, James, who is running demos at Guardian Games on a Monday. So, last night I headed down to see if he was there and to see if I could get a demo / intro thang.

Turns out he was, and he did a great job of running an intro game with me before another guy who showed up also wanted a game and we had a newb off. I’ll post more about the game in future but off the bat my gut reaction is that I am going to be spending a lot of time playing it.

It feel very fresh, very clean. It clearly shares some stuff with Warmachine (The influence resource is akin to Focus / Rage), but it also captures beautifully the football parts.

The momentum concept is a great metaphor for the crowd lifting a team as it does cool stuff, and I love the free-form movement and alternating activation compared to the squares and full turns of Blood Bowl.

It also gives me a nice bit of UK nostalgia – their press gangers are called Pundits, you get bonus momentum for scoring a “Screamer”. There’s special play called Give and Go, and another called Pass and Move. It’s like Match of the Day smashed together with miniature games and fantasy violence between Medieval guild gangs.

Oh, did I mention the models are gorgeous?


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