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Guild Identities

A few weeks ago, we experimented with something brand new in Steamforged Games’ community engagement, the Pitch Formations preview. In the weeks that followed we saw an enormous reaction as hundreds of feedback posts were left on our forums, we saw a lot of Twitter and Facebook conversations happening and even some podcast discussions. As Developers, it was a joy to watch and the process has ensured that Pitch Formations will appear in a future Organised Play update.

Here at Steamforged we see the Pitch Formations preview as a huge success… so we’re back to do it all again with something completely different! 

How to use Guild Identity Cards

For those wishing to play a casual match using Guild Identities, simply choose a Guild Identity to use at the same time as selecting your six-player team. 

For those wishing to try an event using Guild Identities, each coach will select their Guild Identity at the same time as selecting their Captain & Mascot (Step D of the Pre-Match Sequence). A different Guild Identity can be used in each match.

Once chosen, a Guild Identity is fixed for the duration of the match. There is no way to change your Guild Identity during a match, there’s no halftime talk in Guild Ball!

Through running the Pitch Formations preview, we were able to review the process we used in order to improve its impact and efficiency for use this time around. So that we can move onto talking about the new and exciting stuff, here is a brief explanation of how this preview will work:

Start Date – (Friday 1st of September) We are revealing a single Guild Identity for each Guild to give you all a chance to try the system out before worrying about choosing from a set of Guild Identities.

1st Preview Rules Update – Friday 8th of September
The reveal of two additional Guild Identities for each Guild.

2nd Preview Rules Update – Expected Friday 22nd of September
A blog post will be published detailing the progress of the preview and any updated rules.

3rd Preview Rules Update – Expected Friday 6th of October
A blog post will be published detailing the progress of the preview and any updated rules.

Final Preview Rules Update – Expected Friday 20th of October
A blog post will be published detailing the progress of the preview and any updated rules.

Preview Ends – Friday 27th of October

There you have it! The Guild Identities Preview has begun! Make sure you join in the discussion on our forums and give these rules a try!

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Kind of an iteration of Big League cards in terms of how balanced they are: some cards give effect to all the models, while the others are limited to only 1; some have multiple uses during the turn, others are one time.

It's hard to make conclusions based on a single card for each guild (as I assume there will be more), but the first look gives an impression that once again these cards will be focusing and enhancing the Guilds' strengths, not mitigating their weaknesses.  

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Well, speaking as a Brewers player I think Another Round helps out Brewers a lot. You need a momentum to start the heroics and the whole synergy fun and with the GIC you can simply start the turn with Spigot make everyone around +2"/+2", give tooled up to someone and you're good to go

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Allthough I like the overall idea, current balance is non existant.

Tier OP: Brewers, Engineers

Tier Good: Fish, Farmers, Masons, Blacksmiths, Blacksmiths

Tier Situational: Hunters, Union, Alchemist

Tier Never-use: Morticians, Butchers

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44 minutes ago, Sid said:

Kind of an iteration of Big League cards in terms of how balanced they are: some cards give effect to all the models, while the others are limited to only 1; some have multiple uses during the turn, others are one time.

It's hard to make conclusions based on a single card for each guild (as I assume there will be more), but the first look gives an impression that once again these cards will be focusing and enhancing the Guilds' strengths, not mitigating their weaknesses.  

You kind of want a guild to always have weaknesses, otherwise everybody picks that one. I think they should either enhance their strength, or give them a secondary strength, such as making Friday/Spigot/Scum a better scoring team instead of the normal knockdown a lot of brewers focus on(Just random things i'm not a brewer player, just trying to make an example)

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Some initial thoughts:

-The Alchemists one seems quite strong with Smoke.  Looking forward to it.

-The Blacksmiths one seems rather average, but you can't argue with "free".  

-As said above the Butchers one seems quite weak.

-Brewers seems quite strong for getting the Spigot train going.  Very strong for one where the HR stays at 4.

-I'm a fan of the Engineers one.  Will probably mean 2 Bonus Times a turn for free.  Remains to be seen if this is worth the lower survivability.

-This one seems a bit too good.  Farmers are already very difficult to kill and for some reason this one isn't limited to friendly Guild. The Heal rate buff is especially good on someone like Benediction.

-The Fish one seems ok for a Shark team.  I'm unsure if a Corsair team will want to give up the healing.

-Hard to say for the Hunters one.  Overall I don't think it is very good.

-Masons one Looks great with Tower.  I am unsure if this meant to not say "friendly" - would that give the bonus to an opposing Masons team as well?

-The Morticians one seems considerably underpowered for losing the health point, especially as it uses the word "allocate".

-The union one seems quite situational, and again, not particularly worth the trade off.  This is one Id consider bringing up to 4.

 

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Can you choose NOT to use a Guild Identity, in order to keep the 4 health healing? I.E will there be a "Vanilla" one that confers no benefits or penalties.

 

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Just now, angelforge said:

Can you choose NOT to use a Guild Identity, in order to keep the 4 health healing?

This is not an option when playing with GICs as it disrupts the level playing field that they create. 

What some people seem to be struggling with is that the average heal rate of GICs is 3, not 4. Taking some time to let that digest will help a lot when considering these cards.

 

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@Jamie P as a general guide, are you expecting any significant changes in power level with the cards in use or are they meant to provide subtle shifts in play and not particularly a power boost? Or even a stronger shift in playstyle but no overall power change?

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25 minutes ago, Jamie P said:

This is not an option when playing with GICs as it disrupts the level playing field that they create. 

What some people seem to be struggling with is that the average heal rate of GICs is 3, not 4. Taking some time to let that digest will help a lot when considering these cards.

 

 

Thanks!  I like that change to healing.

WIll the Morticians card get its own art?  It looks like a shifted version of the Union one.

 

Any chance we could get that Farmer picture in the wallpapers section of the website?

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The avarage heal rate being 3 does make a difference. Will this help take out teams? Will this hinder condition teams (since spending momentum on healing is now less efficient, so making it more likely to be used on condition removal)? Who can say? Well, probably us after playtest...

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General thoughts;

1) I personally think not allowing a "no card" option is a mistake, or at least some guilds probably need what is effectively "no card" or better as an option, kinda like Eat Hearty for the farmers.

2) Blood Thirst does look real bad. It should probably be a 3.

3) I hope we get an updated set of Big League cards soon, and if so including the final or final-ish version of these would be nice.

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6 minutes ago, Siberys said:

General thoughts;

2) Blood Thirst does look real bad. It should probably be a 3.

 

I'm not sure it does. If the average heal becomes 3 across all Guilds, most Butcher activations would generate at least that much healing, they could bank the Momentum rather than spending it or use the momentum gained to clear conditions as well as healing.

Think it needs some play before writing it off. Being able to heal as well as others, have an inbuilt heal and be able to clear conditions seems very (too?) good.

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I'd buy that about Butchers if they weren't all 2/3, but having the health average be 3 now means it's not as bad as first blush. That being said I'd be ok with the Butchers card being slightly more powerful since Butchers could use the help.

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8 minutes ago, LeadDiceandBeers said:

I'm not sure it does. If the average heal becomes 3 across all Guilds, most Butcher activations would generate at least that much healing, they could bank the Momentum rather than spending it or use the momentum gained to clear conditions as well as healing.

Think it needs some play before writing it off. Being able to heal as well as others, have an inbuilt heal and be able to clear conditions seems very (too?) good.

I'd be inclined to agree, but for the fact that Butchers are already glass cannons and it means that unallocated models can't heal anywhere near as effectively.

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4 minutes ago, LeadDiceandBeers said:

If the average heal becomes 3 across all Guilds, most Butcher activations would generate at least that much healing

This is the part I think that tips it away from being good, this isn't actually true. VetOx, Shank, Meathook, both Mascots of course, and any Union pick cannot generate more than 3 and will generate less if they charge. Of the models that can literally generate >3 (both captains, Boar, Boiler, Tenderiser, both Brisket's), Boar doesn't actually benefit from this card since he already has Life Drinker, Ox1 lost his only damage+push result so he can't push and heal, and Fillet cannot Blood Rain and heal. 

Given all the restrictions above (especially Meathook, who is the only model in /every/ WTC Butchers list for what it's worth), I think Butchers will be healing a very small amount with this card. All of them also lose out on potential HP from KDing or doing character plays too, of course. If there is a benefit to the card, it's definitely being able to heal a tiny amount and still clear conditions in the same activation. But whether that's worth the weakness in the face of a lot of other cards is dubious at best.

All that about Butchers said, I LOVE the GIC in general and really hope we see expanded and balance-patched cards soon. Would love to see this get a bunch of testing and become standard, having an extra pre-game decision point can only help the game in my opinion (especially if coupled with an OPD change to make this and captain selection after initiative roll, just sayin')

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3 hours ago, malladin.ben said:

I have to say the butcher's one is terrible - It pretty much just makes them worse.

I don't play Butchers, but as the stated intent of the cards seems to be that they enhance a strength rather than fix a weakness, and Butchers are glass cannons, I like their card as instead of encouraging you to send in a fully stacked super captain to farm momentum, it pushes you toward being aggressive with the whole team. If I had a complaint, it would be giving them life drinker at all, as they should be glass cannons so any healing counteracts that.

1 hour ago, Adran said:

The average heal rate being 3 does make a difference. Will this help take out teams? Will this hinder condition teams (since spending momentum on healing is now less efficient, so making it more likely to be used on condition removal)? Who can say? Well, probably us after playtest...

How is it going to affect scoring teams? I've said it before, a large part of the apply of Guild Ball for me originally was not being solely focused on kills and fighting - if I wanted that I'd just carry on playing Blood Bowl & 40K and save a load of cash. Having watched the British Nationals streams, the commentators repeatedly pointed out the huge lack of goal scoring going on in the games - they averaged 2 or less goals per game. I really don't want to see Guild Ball become just another skirmish game, as that loses one of its USP and reduce the appeal. Goals should be #1 choice, take outs 2nd. Nerfing Midas and Shark had better not be the start of a slippery slope...

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I love the idea and the new dynamic this brings to the game. Some balancing needed for sure, but I love the idea.

 

It feels like this is what plot cards should have been, just my opinion. 

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2 hours ago, Jamie P said:

This is not an option when playing with GICs as it disrupts the level playing field that they create.

What some people seem to be struggling with is that the average heal rate of GICs is 3, not 4. Taking some time to let that digest will help a lot when considering these cards.

The current average is 3.36, so does this mean there are more "heal 2" cards coming?

 

I agree with the general consensus that this is a good and interesting idea but that some of the implementation could use some work.

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15 minutes ago, RedSam said:

The current average is 3.36, so does this mean there are more "heal 2" cards coming?

 

I agree with the general consensus that this is a good and interesting idea but that some of the implementation could use some work.

There are two more GICs for each Guild, which will be shown at a later date. I think it's reasonably safe to assume that some of those will be Heal Rate 2. :)

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I love the idea of this but I think the big problem is that these are options to help your team in certain match ups and we have only one option. If there were two or even three I think this would be better. I'm aware that they will be releasing more in the coming weeks, but for initial testing, I think we should have multiple cards to let us explore the flexibility that this system should have.

Take the butchers card for example. A lot of people are pretty down on it, albeit for justifiable reasons, but if it was one option out multiple ones I don't think it would be that bad. To me it seems like this would be alright into a pure striker team. The life drinker let's them heal up form incidental damage while saving their mp for clearing kd and what not. However now being forced to take it into any match up seems a bit poor.

Steamforge probably want us to try these out incrementally but I think we really need at least another option in order to actually test out this system.

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