Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Snow Ball 2016 - Guild Ball AAR

This past weekend I drove down to Enter the Realm to participate in the Philadelphia area's first Guild Ball tournament.

As I was more focused on playing the games, I didn't take any pictures, but I will be grabbing a few from the Facebook page of the event.

First off, Alex, the TO, did a fantastic job of running the event, and everything went smoothly. And big thanks to Chris, the store owner, for not only hosting the event and providing catering, but for offering really awesome prize support!

The event had 21 players (it did get a little crowded), and was played over four rounds. Chess clocks were also in use, with 45 minutes for each player. You can check out the official tournament rules pack for more information.

The totals for Guild representation were:
Alchemists - 2
Brewers - 3
Butchers - 3
Engineers - 2
Fishermen - 3
Masons - 4
Morticians - 2
Union - 2

So there was a good spread, though Masons were a little over-represented.

(In a twist of fate, poor Tom - one of the local guys running Morticians - ended up playing against all three of the Butchers team in the first three rounds. Ouch!)

Teams were mostly good on painting, with most being painted, while some were partially finished and only a few were bare metal. But some of the paint jobs were incredible! And Mike, a local Brewers player, won Best Painted with his team. He certainly deserved it.

I was running pure Masons, and used the same six players in all four games:


Which I felt could either do a scoring or bashing game depending on what teams I was facing across the table.

I played against The Union (12-2), Fishermen (4-12), Morticians (12-4), and Masons (6-12). The Fishermen were the biggest surprise, as I had never played them before. They took my Masons apart and ran circles around me. It's a paint to realize that what should have been a power-turn is wasted because half your team can't move!

Funny enough, my last match against the Masons was a mirror match, with my opponent taking the same players. So at least we knew what the other player's abilities were.

Apart from one other game, these were my only games played on the clock, and it adds a whole new dimension to the game. I've had some games of Guild Ball go 2-2.5 hours due to unfamiliarity with the rules and analysis paralysis. The clocks add a sense of urgency to the game, and make sure that the time doesn't run on forever. I actually think it's much more fun to play on the clock, especially since both players only have 6 models to worry about, while still needing to think about positioning and activation order.

I ended up 2-2 and in 10th place, which I'll take for a first tournament and still being relatively new at the game. I also got a goal token for being the best Mason player that didn't place in the top four (my last opponent got 2nd place). I also decided to pick up Mist while I was there, for potential use in the future, seeing as how Harmony and Tower sat on the bench for the whole event.

Overall, I had a great time, and I'm looking forward to getting out to more events. It looks like there some going on either further north or south of the Philadelphia area, so I guess it all depends on how long I want to spend in the car. 

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