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PITCH FORMATIONS FEEDBACK THREAD

38 posts in this topic

Hello All,

We recently published a blog post [LINK] that gives rules for Pitch Formations. Please leave your feedback on the rules here so our development team can take them into consideration.

We were thrilled to see the previous feedback thread generated so much discussion, however it was difficult to discern wether the feedback was theory or from actual play.

PLEASE ONLY POST HERE IF YOU HAVE PLAYED GAMES USING THE PITCH FORMATION RULES AND HAVE FEEDBACK. If you want to theory hammer it out then you can do so in the other thread. 

 

Much love. SFG 

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Played or watched five games this weekend in this style, doing more tonight I think. Initial thoughts—

  1. It doesn't change a lot about the rest of the game. The first turn is definitely more interactive, and with so many models within threat ranges of each other there is pretty strong pressure to start fighting immediately. That said, in most of the games we played turns 2 and onward, and especially turns 3 and onward, looked very much like those matchups tend to look for us with normal deployment rules. Teams playing against Fish are still heavily incentivized to disengage and kill the ball, for example, and that happened approximately at the same time it would in a game with standard deployment in our experience. I didn't even feel like the scores at the end of turn one were dramatically different than they would be in the old system—scores like 4-0 and 4-2 are fairly likely to happen by the start of turn 2 in either format, though outliers of 6-4 or 8-4 do seem more likely in the new format. 
  2. It's extremely punishing for new players, both players new to Guild Ball and players new to this deployment style. You already got a few horror stories about people being up 10 points at the end of turn one, or people expecting to get three goals turn one. I don't really think that's a thing that will keep happening as people learn the format better, but anybody introduced to this format seems pretty likely to have a very one-sided first impression if they're playing against an experienced player. Deployment mistakes will be very very punishing in some cases, and if people don't like killing the ball then they will suffer the predicted 10-x game starts, which probably is too much. So ball interactivity is likely to not increase over where it was before—not sure if that was an intent of the design. 
  3. In part because deployment is so punishing, the deployment draft is a really interesting addition to the game. It's certainly still early days but we learned some interesting ideas about how to deploy well in this format and if this system became standard I think that strategic level would be a welcome addition to the game. That said, it probably would need to be on the clock for tournament games. 
  4. We played without Jamie's suggested test of the kicker starting with a Momentum on turn one, so the receiving team's first activation in all five games was brutal. A receiving team that has a model that can lock down another model nearby (Harry is the obvious example, but anybody with a combination of pushes and KDs can do this; the Goad is probably extra good though) can really screw up the kicking team's forward players. Perhaps just as important as it being strong, this first interaction is effectively non-interactive, which I know is against what Guild Ball has been going for in its design and balance decisions over the last year or so. I'm going to test the Momentum addition tonight; I'd also suggested elsewhere that, if this becomes standard, the kicking player could receive a special plot card that says something like "This card may be used in place of 1 Momentum for any use except a Goal Shot or Snap Shot" since I know there are concerns about non-interactive goals as well. The main purpose would be for the kicking team to be able to heal or clear conditions at the beginning of their first activation, basically, or to CA/DS in the game's first activation. 

Overall I like it so far, I do think it will need some tweaking and if it gets adopted as standard in the future it may need some balance adjustments across the board (but I already think the game needs some balance adjustments anyway so hopefully that's happening). At the very least it's exciting to have something actually new to fiddle with in GB, and something that adds strategical considerations. If this did not become standard, I'd still happily play events using it every so often. 

EDIT: Also quickly wanted to mention that this deployment looks more like how I picture a soccer/football pitch would be arrayed during a game. A minor concern compared to the health and interest of the actual game, but I like it anyway. 

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So I can't believe this but...I was wrong. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4yz4zKmIrg

 

So I've played a few games of this and...oh my god *sigh* I LOVE IT. Unbelievable. Now I will say I am playing Mark 2 here (my points for Mark 1 stand). Mark 2 - Mom for kicker, full receiver deployment.

So one game I played was Morts vs Masons as I wanted to test control vs un-used models. Ended up being 12-10. Some thoughts (because I think it sums up the new format for me - played others but not like this).

  1. Under used players get a massive boost from this - I wanted to take Granite and I can see Fangtooth coming off the bench (but seriously Jamie, fix his goddamn Heroic it is literally the worst in the game) as the speed boost of being on the half-way line unlocks models that previously just weren't worth it. We played that Granite can move the 3" and cross the half-way line (not sure if any errata exist for this play format - couldn't find any). She was a star.
  2. Kicker getting momentum is huge. I think this is key (partly because you are simulating Turn 2) as I have forever been annoyed that on T1 the kicker team had no way to stop janky knockdowns and such that could totally wreck them. Now it's like any other turn - good.
  3. Kicker seeing the entire deployment & ROSTER of the receiver is huge - you can pick your entire squad to counter, you can kick to areas they don't cover (forcing a sort of diamond shape from the receiver in general case), you can deploy defensively or offensively (e.g. if Fillet is sitting on the main line, you can deploy wide to wings and potentially take away her targets, or deploy around her to threaten her immediately).
  4. 1st receiver activation are powerful (but not in the normal way). Because the ball will likely be loose (bar interception - see below) it puts the receiver in an odd position - grab the ball and maybe score or go for beatdown. I haven't had (with Mark 2 rules) a 8 point activation 1st activation, or even 6 point. It's really hard to do that without setup (Fillet wants Meathook or bleed or both, Hammer wants tooled up etc). So you end up jockeying that setup and you can see it coming. Because the receiver can't control deployment (they can control the mid-line but the kicker can compensate) it leads to a 'normal' turn that is much more exciting. It's almost like a rugby throw in.
  5. Having 2 models on the midline is stopping some of the janky turn 1 bullshit I hate about GB at the moment - Ballista range keep away which is literally anti-fun, Obulus tractor-doom, etc. I haven't played enough of the match ups but I suspect Corsair is also affected here.
  6. Makes first turn much more interesting (every comment from players I've played has been 'makes turn 1 much more interesting'!).
  7. Control still works. Obulus was able to do his thing, he just couldn't suck a player across the pitch unescorted and wipe them out. 

I'm not saying it's perfect though:

  1. Definitely going to need a rules pass on everything again (although it's not as bad as I thought). Items like Granite, Averisse+Greede, Brainpan etc need to checked, along with general player abilties - haven't played it yet but Shark's legendary when receiving might be back-breaking - it needed to be tweaked before but definitely now - it's can't be 8" anymore from the half-way line. However in the main most model seem fine, even ones I thought would be pure insanity (Fillet).
  2. I'm not sure on the scoring/beatdown balance. I've played a lot of beaty teams so far. I haven't played Fish so I can't comment on that (ignoring Shark, just the wider scoring).
  3. Bad deployment will feck up your game (not an auto-lose but really, really bad). This might be solved with experience (and that is a good thing - good players beating weaker ones is ok IF the weaker player enjoyed themselves). Bad deployment might reduce the enjoyment of the weaker player though - not sure about this - might just be a skill check thing we live with.
  4. I still want plots looked at - Knee Slider in one game was extremely annoying even with the new setup! Lord knows what Super Shot Knee Sliding Midas on the half-way line will be like.

So in conclusion...I would support this becoming the standard play format going forward. I thought I liked the T1 setup but actually I realised there is so much that can be abusive (that you learn to deal with/mitigate) on T1 that this is a breath of fresh air. It was just FUN.

It has made GB young again and might be just what the Dr ordered to re-invigorate the game. So I say - make it standard play format. With some tweaks.

*sigh* I can't believe you got me again Perkins...

[EDIT] I cannot recommend highly enough that you play games of this. It really is amazing. Caveat - you must play more than 1 game. Your first game is going to be nonsense as you will both deploy WRONG. :)

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Played a Union vs. Morticians game yesterday. Union kicked off. Lineups:

Mortician centre line: Obulus, Ghast, (Memory)

Mortician deployment line: Brainpan, Dirge

Mortician goal line: Graves1, Cosset

Union centre line: Benediction, Strongbox

Union deployment line: Gutter, Rage (kicking)

Union goal line: Minx, Mist

 

 

Morticians went to get the ball first activation, which put them behind in the midfield brawl. Obulus was able to score and could probably have got another with a good scatter / initiative roll / dice. Getting straight into a midfield brawl naturally helped the Union, but they were really hurt by their lack of ball-killing options. This format is one where I would actually legitimately consider running Snakeskin against football heavy teams.

 

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Played Corsair into Tapper.

Whilst Tapper was able to get into the action at the end of turn 1 he was isolated because the rest of the Brewers were still running up the board. Which led to Tapper being Blinded, Dread gazed and crowded out whilst the rest of his team was getting beat up. I echo the rest of the posts here, the first turn is turbocharged but the next turns are pretty standard GB stuff.  

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Played Masons vs Fishermen. Fish kicked off. 

First thing I thought was if it's possible for the kicking to team to start with the ball. I purposly kicked it up the  middle between Shark and Greyscales who were on the  center line placing it slightly over the line (part of teh base was still on the line. It ended up landing within 1 inch of Greyscales which meant it snapped to him. The Masons had Granite on the  center line, and she was able to make her free jog over to Greyscales to start off with an attack to get the ball away from him. To me I feel that having two models on the center line means you have two models to threaten the ball carrier with, so whoever's got it has to use their activation to fall back. That's my thought process right now. In this game, the ball changed hands a few times during he first turn. 

The action did get strated from the get go, which I liked. I personlay don't like the first turn as I find it's a bit slow, both sides waiting to see what the other will do. There were no first turn goals, but it was a fast and high scoring game. (3 goals to 2 in 5 rounds) 

If you're going forward with this format you will need to shore up the rules on ball possession once the kick off lands. Should the kicking team be able to snap it? 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, LunarSol said:

If the ball snaps to a player on the kicking team, wouldn't it by definition not be across the center line?

I think this is worth asking the lawyers guild.

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The ball may not be snapped after the kick-off. See the Kick Off! / PDF rulebook page 10, or the S3 hardcover page 7.

EDIT: That's not /quite/ right, as it says it may not snap to the kicker. I'm gonna do some more digging on the rules forums.

EDIT EDIT: 

This confirms that a non-kicker possessing the ball on the kicker's side of the pitch counts as a failed kick-off. I suppose that if Greyscales could get wholly ahead of the halfway line prior to the end of the kick-off this'd work, but I don't think there's any way to do that and I'd expect that to get a ruling pretty quick.

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23 minutes ago, Siberys said:

The ball may not be snapped after the kick-off. See the Kick Off! / PDF rulebook page 10, or the S3 hardcover page 7.

EDIT: That's not /quite/ right, as it says it may not snap to the kicker. I'm gonna do some more digging on the rules forums.

I just asked the question since it really hasn't had any reason to come up before.  I have to admit I didn't dig for an answer first. 

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Got my first game of this in vs @Cincinnati GBC today. It was a really fun format! We used the momentum for the kicker rule.

Shark vs Theron. As I suspected Theron receives a much deserved power boost in this format by being Able to pin and walk into the opposite side, it almost would have prevented my Shark from getting the first turn goal on kickoff had he not moved vHearne to Jac. Jac then pushed him and picked up the kickoff passing to Shark, repositioning him to Hearne. The bear and minx moved in on Jac to kill him. Shark who now starts B2 with Hearne was able to dodge his way up field for a goal. Ending turn 1 fish 4-hunters 2

The rest of the game played out fairly normally but, due to the first turn positioning and my failed 3 up initiative roll, Shark never even got a decent opportunity to use caught in a net. Also the positions we ended up in were pretty different than normal. After Shark missed a 3 die goal for the win, it came down to if Theron could kill Shark again, which was about an 80% chance after shark failed the counter, if Theron had failed I would have pushed Minx out for the win. In the end it was Hunters 12 Fish 10.

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The rule book says that the ball has to be on the receiver's side after the kick off is resolved. My argument was that once the scatter is determined, and the ball touches the pitch, kick off is resolved. 

Theoretically, if the masons had kicked off and done the same thing, Granite could have made her free jog and grabbed the ball if it was close enough, also ending with the kicking team having the ball

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I was able to get two games in today with the alternative deployment. Both games used the alternating placement version but had the kicker start with a momentum. 

I felt the alternating deployment and drafting as you deployed added a bit of strategy that was really nice for the deployment phase. It was nice to have some decisions to make during that step of the game. 

After that, beyond the first turn of the game, and really after the first 3 or 4 activations, the game played like a normal game of Guild Ball. I do think having the kicker start with a momentum is pretty important though because without that there could be some pretty rough first turn activations. 

I was nervous about the Hunters in this format at first since I felt they didn't have great frontline options, but feel much better after today. I used Jaecar and Theron up front in game 1 when I kicked, and Hearne and Theron in game 2 when I received. Having Theron that far up the pitch at the start allows him to threaten Pinned on nearly the entire team and can force them to advance away from your goal depending on who you target. Shark still scored despite that but there aren't any other models in the game I'd really expect that from. Having Seenah threatening models from the start was also a huge boost for the team. I still needed the Fish to miss a goal to pull off the wins though. 

Overall I loved the format. I'd like to get some more games in against other guilds, but I'd definitely be willing to play this at events. 

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Played Fillet Butchers vs Obulus Morticians. 

The first turn action got started really fast. Fillet and Meathook got the first take out half way through the first turn. The game was very high scoring, ending 12-8. Morticians were good at scoring and probably could have pulled it off if they could've kept their line intact. 

only problem we really noticed was during set up. Morticians kicked which meant Butchers got to set up first. Fillet and Vet Ox were put on the middle of the center line, a few inches apart. This resulted in the morticians forced to put their forward players closer to the wings, not being allowed to get within 3 inches of an opposing player. SHut out of center as another poster put it. 

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1 hour ago, Redtiger7 said:

Played Fillet Butchers vs Obulus Morticians. 

The first turn action got started really fast. Fillet and Meathook got the first take out half way through the first turn. The game was very high scoring, ending 12-8. Morticians were good at scoring and probably could have pulled it off if they could've kept their line intact. 

only problem we really noticed was during set up. Morticians kicked which meant Butchers got to set up first. Fillet and Vet Ox were put on the middle of the center line, a few inches apart. This resulted in the morticians forced to put their forward players closer to the wings, not being allowed to get within 3 inches of an opposing player. SHut out of center as another poster put it. 

Deployment alternates, so Morticians should have had an opportunity to put a player between Fillet and Ox if they wished.

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Just now, LunarSol said:

Deployment alternates, so Morticians should have had an opportunity to put a player between Fillet and Ox if they wished.

I thought the latest rules were receiver deploys fully, kicker deploys fully, then kicker gets 1MP and kicks off?

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1 minute ago, Mako said:

I thought the latest rules were receiver deploys fully, kicker deploys fully, then kicker gets 1MP and kicks off?

They asked us to test either 1MP or all-model deployment, not necessarily both.

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4 minutes ago, LunarSol said:

Deployment alternates, so Morticians should have had an opportunity to put a player between Fillet and Ox if they wished.

 

2 minutes ago, Mako said:

I thought the latest rules were receiver deploys fully, kicker deploys fully, then kicker gets 1MP and kicks off?

I'm completely lost by now to what SF suggested and especially what people regard as "version1, 2 etc." deployment.

 

Maybe it's time for a summarizing update and a more consistent way to report the deployment rules that were used?

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There will be another blog article out this week with an update on Pitch Formations which takes into account the feedback we've had so far. :)

 

Spoilers, we think it's going pretty well :)

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Got in 2 more games with kicker momentum. One as the starting 6 Farmers vs smoke, and one as Corsair vs Midas. 

I played these vs my brother to highlight how it played with a relatively large skill disparity. In both games it seemed he had decent options even when he made what I considered to be deployment mistakes (such as vKat on the center line vs Farmers.) Overall I don't think it created any mistakes that wouldn't have occurred on turn 2 of a regular game anyway.

On the off topic though that starter 6 of Farmers is super rough, I would've been much happier with Buckwheat or millstone instead of Jackstraw or Peck. Ideally both, but that's neither here nor there.

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Feedback: Shark vs Fillet.

Tried the "alternate-alternate" deployment. Kicker placed, whole receiving team placed, remaining kicking team placed. Turns out this is really abusable because the receiving team can screen off about 12" of the center of the field due to the "cannot be within 3" of an enemy model" rule.

I still need to try the kicker starts with momentum rule. I feel like that would solve a lot of the issues I felt on turn 1 of the game when I couldn't respond to a fully loaded captain. In this format, nailing a proper kickoff is probably the most important thing that is going to happen all game.That and deployment are half the battle it seems. I enjoyed it, but I do feel like the receiver is highly advantaged. In a normal game the trade off for kicking is last activation. In this format it is hard to keep that last activation when a captain one rounds your guys before you've even picked up your measuring tape.

A couple things that could be played with:

1) Asymmetrical deployment - Perhaps the kicking team has minimum 1 model per line, but gets a flex placement at the end. "An Audible" if you will.

2) "Touching" the line - I think a lot of teams/lists would prefer the option of being deployed slightly behind the lines. So rather than "touching" it could read "entirely within the 18"/10"/6" ". I think this would not only benefit some of the speedier/more fragile teams, but also could help some of the slower synergy based teams.

 

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31 minutes ago, tehlon said:

Tried the "alternate-alternate" deployment. Kicker placed, whole receiving team placed, remaining kicking team placed. Turns out this is really abusable because the receiving team can screen off about 12" of the center of the field due to the "cannot be within 3" of an enemy model" rule.

Yeah I don't totally understand the allure of this thing, it seems like it takes away a ton of what I like about the alternate deployment, that is the deployment countering and draft. That's a big strategy addition I don't think should be taken away.

Got another couple games in over the past week, really feeling the momentum is needed. With momentum and without alternate-alternate is how I would want it to stand. 

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