Thursday, June 30, 2016

Guildball Terrain -or- A Hirst Arts Commercial

  Guildball terrain, when I have painting articles to finish, is probably multiple counts of treason.  However, there's tournaments coming up for Guildball that I want to play in.  The nice thing about guildball terrain is that you need a lot less than you need for Warmachine, and it's considerably smaller pieces.

  And it's not stupid crap like acidic clouds or burning forests.  I'm not even going to create terrain like that because it'll never make competitive play.  It's going to occupy a special niche in the trashcan next to MK2 deep water.

  Anyways.  Guildball.  My wife and I have been playing a lot of it.  In my last picture, I had Mash, Stoker and Hemlock unpainted.  That's since been rectified and their pictures will be at the end of this article.  I've also added Gutter to my log.

  My wife picked up Decimate, and subsequently we grabbed Blackheart too since it didn't make sense to grab Decimate and Gutter separately for 24$ when we could grab the 32$ starter box and get another ball and a Captain.  So we're a Mascot and a player away from a 6 man union team now too.  This game is growing on us pretty fast it seems.

  The other thing I grabbed was a playmat, and then realized that the nice 2d terrain I have for Warmachine isn't really the right stuff for Guildball.  A couple of the templates work.  Forests, rough terrain and the walls are all functional, but Guildball has obstructions and such that can block los or be stood on.  So I started building some in my copious amounts of spare time.

  It's going to seem like cheating.  There's a lot of ways to build terrain.  What it boils down to is a backer to put it on, and the actual terrain.

  The backer was actually the hard part to figure out.  I originally thought that MDF would be fine, but it's really too thick and does not like to get wet.  At all.  So I was thinking hard about some different plastics but it dawned on me that I have all kinds of spare kydex scraps laying around as leftovers from other hobbies.

  Kydex doesn't show up very often in the wargaming world.  It's a PVC thermoplastic that's often heated up and formed over different things as a mold.  It gets to cosplay a little bit because it's very easy to work with.  Where you'll find it the most though, is holsters.  I generally get mine for a couple of bucks per sq foot at, but some local craft stores may carry it too.  You can get it in varying thicknesses.  Mine is all either .06" or .08" thick.  It's cuttable, sandable, formable, you name it.

  I simply cut mine with a bandsaw to some manageable sizes.  My rough terrain patches are about 4'' long, 2.5 to 3'' wide.  My obstructions are about 2.5 x 2.5", and my linear or, other obstructions, are 1.5 x 2.5'' or so.  Very loose measurements, but just an idea.  I then dremeled the edges to get a light bevel and take out any harsh edges.

  Then I glued a plethora of Hirst Arts to the Kydex.  Really simple.  Drained most of the Hirst Arts blocks I had left.  I need to order some more plaster.  However, you can use regular rocks, or sticks, or tree bark or craft sticks, whatever, to form whatever your scenery is.  The difference in Guildball is that if there's room to put a model on it, you can.  If this is a goal of yours, then you should allow for a model to stand on it.  If the guy is worried about his miniature falling off and chipping, he's not going to use the terrain correctly, or the terrain just won't ever make the table.  So keep those things in mind.  In my terrain, the pieces that you can stand on are obvious, while so are the others that you're not supposed to stand on.  I just did 2x Rough terrain, 2x linear/LOS blocking obstruction and 2x regular obstruction.  I'll probably keep my WMH forest templates, and I have some regular walls from WMH that are perfect, and also made of Hirst Arts.  They'll slot right in.

  I then spread out elmers glue and dipped them in various mixed ballast to get the rocks.  Painted the base brown, washed it with a very dark brown, drybrushed a light brown on dirt, painted dark grey and drybrushed to white.  Very simple.  Add some grass tufts and we're talking.

  Boom.  Guildball terrain.

  So that's that.  Simple stuff.  But I really like using the Kydex.  That's probably going to stay.

  As far as my new Brewers, here's Mash, Stoker and Hemlock.

  That's all I've got today.  Probably won't see anything from me til after the 4th.  Enjoy your holiday!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Staying alive into MK3... and then Guildball

  The leaked cards were right.  Old news by now, but still.

  I've played some, and built a ton of lists, and I think I'm done with Trolls for awhile.  In fact, with the exception of some release events and things I'm already volunteered for, and happily, mind you, I'll probably be stepping back from Warmchine for a bit until the meta settles out.  For a ruleset that desperately wanted to get rid of spams, that's all I've seen.  PP has faith it will settle out, and when it does, I'll come back to Warmachine.  Might be two weeks, might be eight.  Might be early next year.  I don't know.

  The TL:DR version of where I think trolls are at right now can be summoned up in a few hotly debated bullet points that get thrown out if you step into the "Trolls can power through this" club comprised of the special snowflakes of the Facebook page.  Madrak2 is literally carrying the faction right now.

  1.  We're an infantry faction that's being forced to take twice to three times as much battlegroup as normal.  My Grim2 battlegroup stays almost the same size.  However, casters like Madrak2 and the Grissels that want as much infantry and support as they can get are forced to take 30pts of beasts instead of maybe 10 to 14 (in MK2 pts).  This hurts our ability to take Fell Callers, Stone Scribes, the KSB, the new Shaman, and our very improved Sorcerer.  Madrak2 straight up just spams infantry and does the work himself.  It's dumb.

 2.  We struggle to crank damage out on our infantry now with the Elemental buffs basically gone.  Again, important on the infantry casters.

 3.  Our fury management has not scaled with our forced battlegroup size.

 4.  Our beasts do not trade with Warjacks very well.  Rok can kill a Juggy, maaaybe hurt a second.  One kills him, and there goes my premium heavy because my other one is just a sad reach troll now.

5.  We can't take enough support for our infantry to trade up either.

6.  Borka2 is still trash.

7.  Doomshaper3 is essentially unplayable, and the Mountain King is equally concerned, when ranged Grevious Wounds got handed out like candy.

  Every game I played was very frustrating, and by the end of a couple of weeks of playing things, I put them on the shelf and took a break til this settles out.  If you're enjoying trolls, good on you.

  My meta's had the Guildball epidemic for awhile though, and nearly half to two thirds of the players own at least one guild, if not four.  I was enjoying MK2, but with MK3 kind of chasing the matador through the china shop, I finally gave in and demoed Guildball.

  Right off the bat, the access to the game is pretty amazing.  Everything you want is free online.  Printable widgets, full ruleset, cards, even paper cutouts to try playing the game.  So I printed them and my wife and I played a few games and we're pretty much hooked.

  Transitioning from Trollbloods, I naturally went with the Brewers and they are some hella beautiful models.  Steamforged is knocking them out of the park.  My wife tried Fishermen, but didn't like the playstyle that much, and switched to the Masons.  She's still playing paper cut outs but I expect her models soon.  She's thoroughly enjoying the game, possibly more than I am, so I think Guildball is here to stay.

  So, Guildball models.  I love these sculpts for the most part.  The Brewers have all been largely dynamic and exciting with the exception of the Cat and Friday.  The rest of them are mid sprint or doing the action they're known for.

  I personally started with the Brewer's Starter Kit, and really enjoyed the Tapper/Hooper combo, so I stuck with it.  I filled it out to six with Scum, Stave, and Spigot and painted all seven of them.

  Red is new for me.  I've done a lot of black, a lot of blue and a lot of tan, so I went red on this one as my primary color.  The Tartan is actually my family's, it's the Rose clan's parade tartan so I was pretty excited to use it.

  Tapper's my Captain right now.  I literally have no idea about the game, so I couldn't tell you if I prefer him in a tournament to Ester or not.  I love his sculpt though, and I've straight up one-rounded more than one player with him.

  My biggest problem with Tapper is that he pretty much requires the cat.  Scum is ok, but I'd love to have Second Wind from Quaff or that extra TAC on Hooper or Spigot.  I can't pass up a free 1/1 INF though.  It's pretty hard to pin this mascot down though.  He's ok towards the end of a round for getting a free extra TAC by engaging another model, but Quaff still seems like a lot more utility.  1/1 INF is so nice though.

    Spigot's a fun model.  I've looked at the Spigot2 rules quite a bit, and I keep coming back to him.  Again, I'm 6 games in, so things will probably change, but Spigot1 does so much for the team around him that it's hard to pass it up.  Even Scum passes a ball decently around him.  So far, most of my goals have been with him, not Friday.  I've played the two of them together in every list though, and Friday's very good paired with him, but if I had to drop a striker, it wouldn't be Spigot.  I bought Hemlock the other day, and she'd probably trade in for Friday or Stave depending on the matchup, and Spigot makes even her a decent kicker.

  The ball.  Woo.

  Friday's been nice.  She's hard to hang onto with her immediate dodge, and she's an amazing striker.  I usually try to push her towards the goal and snapshot her, but people generally focus on tieing her up or knocking her down and she ends up kicking the Spigot instead who snapshots.  Which also works fine.

  Hooper.  He either kills everything or I can't keep him alive because he gets tag teamed.  I really enjoy just running him around with Tapper though and ganking things.  If it gets really bad, Spigot usually sprints over to help after they've KDed the guy, and really polishes him off.  

  Stave, my personal favorite model in the collection.  He gets a bit of a bad rep and Mash usually slides in to replace him but I've had decent beginner's luck with him for board control.  He's really bad about feeding momentum to the other team, but he's amazing for really bringing in the model I want to kill.  I've straight up blown the Hunter Captain and Shark into my lines where Tapper, followed by Hooper, followed by Spigot have round-one killed the guy.  Heck, I even did it to another Stave in a mirror match.  

  So, I got into this game, and my first game was a proxy game with my wife who tried the Fishermen Guild.  She got wiped off the board by Tapper/Hooper stabbing things repeatedly and Friday running circles around the muggings, scoring points.  So she traded them out for Mason proxies and liked those much, much more.  Hammer's a legit threat.  

  So, as of today, she has 7 Masons, the only released models she doesn't own is Hammer and Tower. She's not sure if she likes Brick, but she loves everyone else, and is looking at Union players now too.  I went ahead and grabbed Mash because he's popular and I want to try him, and Stoker because he looks hella fun.  I also grabbed Hemlock for that great smelling salts ability.  

  So yeah.  I'm a Guildball player.  A lot moreso than I'm a Warmachine player.  Temporary change for now.  We'll see where that goes from here.  I'm thoroughly enjoying Guildball right now though, and my wife is too.  Even if certain things are addressed in MK3, I think Guildball will be pretty big for us for awhile, and I currently doubt that Warmachine will be able to take that 1st place against for a bit.