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Union GIC Theory Thread

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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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I think the lack of comments on this one generally sum it up really well. 

Its very meh. 

it's not bad, it's not good, it's just something that will be nice if you happen to lose initiative. 

i think this is ok as a standard card if it's the middle ground, but I would like to see the heal stay at 4.

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3 minutes ago, Saje said:

i think this is ok as a standard card if it's the middle ground, but I would like to see the heal stay at 4.

But it is the middle ground, cause the intention is to make heal 3 a standard with GICs, not 4 as it currently is.

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Yeah this card feels dead to me. I both think it's weaker than almost all the other cards revealed (which is fine in principal, cause I expect different guilds will lean on their GICs more heavily than others and Union is in a good spot strength-wise) and also feels weaker than not taking a card (which is not fine, cause even though taking a card is mandatory people should at least be excited to try the system!).

It's also pretty boring as said above. The Brewers one opens up new strategies, the Hunters one /literally changes the board,/ the Blacksmiths further emphasizes the quirks of their guild's defensive tech. Ours is just a kind of boring resource thing for some turns, and literally nonexistent for others. Even though the Union theme is "Cash Money" and "Hard Out There for a Pimp" I think there's probably cooler ways a resource-themed card could go.

I ain't mad at it, but would much prefer something cooler and/or better. 

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I understand, but I'm saying that for this card because the ability will only come into play now and again, not every turn, I would prefer the heal to be 4 not 3. 

The Brewers card can be used every turn without fail and keeps its heal at 4. 

 

I think the level of healing needs to balanced alongside the actual mileage you will get from the ability. If it's something you will use every turn, low healing rate (2). If it's something that will come up averagely, average healing rate (3). And if it's something that comes up rarely, high healing rate (4)

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Yeah, I'm excited for the GIC system as a whole, but this one is really underwhelming. It's a small downside for a small upside that I'll only get if I'm losing, or if I'm in a stalemate, which isn't a particularly fun game stat. While I expect the power level to vary a good amount, both because of the inherent difficulty in balancing things and because the identities can and should be used as small balancing levers for individual guild strengths, the comparison to the Brewers identity is quite telling on the strength of this identity. 

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I'd rather have something that helps when I'm losing than helps when I'm winning, you know? Not that this card isn't rather workhorsey, but it's not actually bad so much as it's uninspiring. The Fisherman's Guild card has a similar problem.

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I'd just opt out of having a guild identity card if this one is all I have to choose. No way is 2 mp worth the reduction to the heals since most games go turn 3. If you kept healing at 4 and left the card the same it'd be fine as a card you take just to fill the spot. 

But I'm Union and if I do it right I'm drowning in MP by the end of the turn which I'd use for heals or condition removal. So if i had 9 momentum and healed 4 others and my active model I'd heal a total of 15 health instead of 20. And since I spent all my momentum I'd go second for turn 2 and I'd get 2 momentum. Can't use it on heroics unless I have v rage or Fangtooth so I can defensive stance and counter attack or if I somehow keep the ball I can make a bonus timed shot on goal... 

Maybe give 4 healing on this card and it'd be a great card to pick just to have your mandatory guild identity card. Or have it give furious to one friendly guild model this turn and keep the healing down to 3. The reason I suggest furious is to turn the tide of the game by having a model charge back into the game so we get back the momentum it works thematically atleast in my brain. If that was the case going second might be worth it if you get a furious charge but often times it's a choice for us Union to go second. 

Dont get me wrong I love the idea of these cards and know these are just the first ones to be released and have been thinking this would be awesome. 

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23 hours ago, Melos said:

I'd just opt out of having a guild identity card if this one is all I have to choose. No way is 2 mp worth the reduction to the heals since most games go turn 3. If you kept healing at 4 and left the card the same it'd be fine as a card you take just to fill the spot. 

But I'm Union and if I do it right I'm drowning in MP by the end of the turn which I'd use for heals or condition removal. So if i had 9 momentum and healed 4 others and my active model I'd heal a total of 15 health instead of 20. And since I spent all my momentum I'd go second for turn 2 and I'd get 2 momentum. Can't use it on heroics unless I have v rage or Fangtooth so I can defensive stance and counter attack or if I somehow keep the ball I can make a bonus timed shot on goal... 

Maybe give 4 healing on this card and it'd be a great card to pick just to have your mandatory guild identity card. Or have it give furious to one friendly guild model this turn and keep the healing down to 3. The reason I suggest furious is to turn the tide of the game by having a model charge back into the game so we get back the momentum it works thematically atleast in my brain. If that was the case going second might be worth it if you get a furious charge but often times it's a choice for us Union to go second. 

Dont get me wrong I love the idea of these cards and know these are just the first ones to be released and have been thinking this would be awesome. 

If a game/event uses GICs you have to use them, you can't opt out.

Part of the rationale seems to be as a means of adding another way of balancing teams. If so, I'm not surprised Union got a less inspiring card than some other teams.

Need to also consider that the new norm for healing will be 3 rather than 4. 

If the intention is to have the cards be a legitimate choice, the other Union cards will be similar in power to this one.

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1 hour ago, LeadDiceandBeers said:

If a game/event uses GICs you have to use them, you can't opt out.

Part of the rationale seems to be as a means of adding another way of balancing teams. If so, I'm not surprised Union got a less inspiring card than some other teams.

Need to also consider that the new norm for healing will be 3 rather than 4. 

If the intention is to have the cards be a legitimate choice, the other Union cards will be similar in power to this one.

Yea I've been reading that their trying to balance out healing with these cards but Masons, Blacksmiths, Brewers, farmers kept the 4/5 healing. Which is fine and dandy if that's how they want things to go. I don't play enough against those teams to know how much momentum/healing they generate. 

I also hope that the other Union cards aren't equivalent to this card I'd take a 1 healing,  bloody coin heroic within 8 inches of the captain or something ridiculous. 

I think I read that their going to have 2 more cards for a total of three so hopefully the other two are more scoring and beating oriented or are just more interesting in general. 

Just a question I think you can clarify this card only applies for turn 2+ right as their is no initiative phase after the kickoff? 

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Definitely uninspiring, but power-wise, they did say that GICs are supposed to be used to help balance teams easier/quicker in the future without having to re-tool model rules via errata all the time.  Since Union is currently one of the top tier teams, maybe that's why you see Masons, Brewers, Blacksmiths, Farmers (the latter 2 I'm not sure where they land in terms of guild tiers yet) with 4 HR, while Union drops to the new "average" of 3 HR with a tiny benefit?

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People seem to be looking at this from the perspective of vRage and possibly Blackheart.

How about sBrisket? I like making a first activation goal run sometimes (from a nice safe position). Surrender the initiative and this gives you 1 for the shot and 1 for Bonus Time

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8 minutes ago, Wynter said:

People seem to be looking at this from the perspective of vRage and possibly Blackheart.

How about sBrisket? I like making a first activation goal run sometimes (from a nice safe position). Surrender the initiative and this gives you 1 for the shot and 1 for Bonus Time

Very good point!

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The two additional cards revealed:

Most Wanted
Once per turn when a friendly Guild model inflicts the taken-out condition on an enemy model, after any VP is gained, the friendly model can spend [3] MP to gain [+1] additional VP.
Heal Rate 2

The ceiling on this card is quite high - VetRage teams certainly generate boat loads of momentum, and cashing those in for extra VP when you have more momentum than you know what to do with seems powerful. However, I think that the most this will do is make a mascot kill more valuable, and otherwise screams win-more to me. A lot of games where you'll be able to get this off twice safely against normal players are games that you're probably so ahead that you're going to win anyway. I think this is a solid pick against soccer teams where the low heal rate isn't a concern, and the upside is high, but I would stay very far away from this card in any game where you expect to brawl.

Raise the Stakes
The friendly team gains [+1] to Initiative rolls.
Heal Rate 2

This card seems pretty useless to me. Again, because of heal rate 2, I don't like this card against fighting teams where you expect to heal often, and most Union teams will out-momentum any soccer opponent and win initiative pretty handily anyway. Minor assistance for the early turns before anyone but the receiving player is making momentum, but winning initiative on the early turns isn't as critical anyway.

Having two heal rate 2 cards supports the idea that the heal rate of cards isn't necessarily tied to what the card does and is a balancing tool. In this case, perhaps rightfully so since Union is quite strong. But a heal rate of 2 seems very low to be on any card that doesn't provide some other form of assistance. Raise the Stakes does so slightly, in that you can spend an extra 1 MOM on healing and still guarantee the initiative for next turn, but that's not going to come close to making up for the lower heal rate.

Overall, I'm pretty pessimistic about Union's GICs. Heal Rate 2 is so low, and under the current OPD, I think it's quite risky to take anything but Pirate's Ransom since most teams can field a lineup where that low healing is going to matter. It's really unfortunate that neither of the effects on these new cards is particularly strong, and both come with such a risky downside, that the one with a boring effect but a lesser downside feels like the one you have to pick most of the time.

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Union basically have to pick Most Wanted. But since Vrage is main choice for Union and this turns him to...12? Not really an issue. Just sad that the other two cards are so bad. Raise the Stakes is hilariously awful.

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I love most wanted but then again I'm a sucker for extra VP's. 2 with aplomb goals and a mascot kill to win with Trisket. I'll mainly be using most wanted for 70 percent of my games. 

Raise the stakes with the +1 initiative for heal 2. This one I'll prolly be using during Trisket's time to shine. I can see it's benefit but honestly it's not that great with the 2 heal. I can see this one working with a Trisket list just for that extra help with initiative. 

Pirates ransom with its 2 momentum if you lose initiative seems really good now with its 3 hp heal. Keeps you alive and helps you get back in the game. If this procs you get your momentum for making a kick and bonus time to make a shot on goal if your opponent doesn't kill the ball more. 

If pirates ransom procs once and you keep one of the momentum it's the same as raise the stakes. These two gic's I'm not sure about I reckon their about 50/50 with pirates ransom being selected more consistently because of the 3hp. 

It's a shame how I went from its useless to its the better one. Maybe I don't place enough value on winning initiative. 

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I don't play much Union but I think that +1 to initiative-roll is huge. You can spend more momentum, stay at +3 and still know you win the roll-off. But the HR hurts and HR3 seems like a good idea. Making it HR4 would make it just as good as Another Round as far as momentum math goes.

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23 minutes ago, TheLieutenant said:

So what would you guys like to see for Raise the Stakes? 

Do you think you'd be more likely to take it with a [3] or [4] HR, or is Most Wanted just too good even at that? 

I think what matters more is these cards say

"hey vet rage would you rather win in 4 take outs or..." but you never finish because he has already stabbed you. On the way out of the hospital the staff recommend you to a psyche ward for ranting about this weird guild ball character wounding you but you walk it off. You call an uber and get in, a weird quirk about the driver putting you off. You attribute it to the tiredness of your ordeal and tell him your address.

About five minutes into the drive he pulls into an alleyway and gets out. You begin to freak out as he opens the door and starts stabbing you, finally recognizing the crazed eyes of rage.

This happens two more times before you are forced to go to a mental institute for self harm. Days pass before a nurse you've never seen before brings your food. A letter is handed to you then he leaves you to your misery.

The letter reads, "hey, vetrage here. I'm sorry for stabbing you 4 times. On the plus side I sold off all my momentum stocks after your momentum business failed. Your business tanked hardcore and just before it went bankrupt I refinanced and used your plan to make it the best in the world. I paid for all your medical needs as an apology."

You fail to find any consolation in the fact your stolen business is more succesful without you before you notice more writing on the back of the letter.

"By the way, I win."

 

All joking aside, I doubt I would ever bring the other 2 captains with this ability available. Vetrage wins just as fast if not faster than other teams now and even if he has to spend every mom he has to get the extra VP's, who's gonna stop him? I don't think anyone can score "faster" with these gics, and now vetrage needs two less kills to win. The only real comparison is Windle getting 4 vp per takeout but thats just one model and it's still super viable.

I'm not sure making the others more useful is the right answer in so much that 1vp per 3 mom is just way too good to pass up in a team that never runs out of it.

Sidenote: I'm not a huge fan of +1 vp gics. They appear to be either oppressive or inconsequential as a bandaid. More thought needs to be put in to make them more unique or at least not directly coorelate to winning.

 

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1 hour ago, TheLieutenant said:

So what would you guys like to see for Raise the Stakes? 

Do you think you'd be more likely to take it with a [3] or [4] HR, or is Most Wanted just too good even at that? 

It's a really interesting question mate. I am yet to try them, however I will give them a go tomorrow night. It did come up in a discussion with JP on Thursday that for me the +1 initiative either needs to be at heal rate of 3 or it stays at HR 2 and goes to a +2 initiative. Again this is with no playtest and purely theory. But I'd rather have Pirates Ransom as it guarantee's me a perk for going second whilst maintaining the new average heal rate. However if I go first I get no perk but then I probably can do exactly what I want anyway. 

So to conclude my pre testing theory Pirates ransom and Most Wanted both appear fine as they are. But Raise the Stakes is behind them and possibly going the way of Fangtooth. 

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10 hours ago, TheLieutenant said:

So what would you guys like to see for Raise the Stakes? 

Do you think you'd be more likely to take it with a [3] or [4] HR, or is Most Wanted just too good even at that? 

If Raise the Stakes were HR4, I think it'd be a pretty solid option. At HR3, it's not as bad, but I still think it's pretty much just worse than Pirate's Ransom. These are rough estimates with no data, but with the cards as they are now, I'd expect to take Most Wanted 60-70% of the time, Pirate's Ransom the rest of the time, and Raise the Stakes never. If Raise the Stakes were HR4, I'd suspect Most Wanted 60-70%, Raise the Stakes 20-30%, and Pirate's Ransom 10%.

This is a lot of Theory Ball as I haven't had time to play a game with GICs yet, but personally, I think the rules text on Raise the Stakes needs to change before the Heal Rate. +1 to initiative rolls is a boring line of text regardless of how effective it may be, and it is particularly ineffective on Union, as they tend to excel in momentum races anyway.

I think I get what you guys were going with when designing Raise the Stakes - make your momentum less effective, but you don't need to keep as much of it around - but I just don't think it lines up favorably against any team. If you're playing against a striker-y team, you'll beat them in momentum quite often anyway and need more ways to spend it, if anything. The momentum race in fighty mirrors tend to go heavily in one direction or the other - you're either winning it handily or losing it by a mile. In one situation, the rules text doesn't matter, and in the other, the low HR is a huge liability. HR2 is also a liability against cagey teams like Ballista or Smoke as you can't keep up with their ranged plays.

Fundamentally, it operates in a very similar space to Pirate's Ransom. The rules text matters most when you aren't guaranteed to win initiative. However, Raise the Stakes only matters when you're still able to fight for initiative, is really bad when you're behind, and sometimes you can still roll a 1 and lose a likely initiative roll and the trait essentially didn't do anything, while Pirate's Ransom at least gives you a consolation prize when the dice aren't in your favor, and you don't have to be anywhere close to winning initiative to get something out of the rules text.

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As a union player who doesn't use Vet Rage I don't see the value in most wanted. The heal rate reduction doesn't offset the situational nature of getting extra vp for a take out. 

If raise the stakes was an HR4 card it would be an option against pirates ransom. In certain turns it wouldn't matter due to momentum generation but that is offset by getting the old normal heal rate.

As it stands none of the cards excite me or make me want to play with guild identities and I wouldn't attend an event that was using them as I would feel penalised for my guild choice.

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On 12/09/2017 at 5:45 PM, Wiseoldbuddha said:

As a union player who doesn't use Vet Rage I don't see the value in most wanted. The heal rate reduction doesn't offset the situational nature of getting extra vp for a take out. 

If raise the stakes was an HR4 card it would be an option against pirates ransom. In certain turns it wouldn't matter due to momentum generation but that is offset by getting the old normal heal rate.

As it stands none of the cards excite me or make me want to play with guild identities and I wouldn't attend an event that was using them as I would feel penalised for my guild choice.

Yknow we don't really have a goal scoring gic. We got the pirates ransom for 2 momentum if we go 2nd to get a bonus timed kick if we managed to hold the ball after the opponents first activation. 

And raise the stakes as good as it is. It's really just pirates ransom without the higher healing rate. Raise the Stakes is a 16.6% increase in winning initiate if momentum is the same. Which seems good but if we just held onto the momentum from pirates ransom we have a 33.3% of going first for a better healing rate as well. 

Honestly the +1 initiative is boring and in most games your either winning initiative or your spending momentum healing.

Maybe a payable or once per turn buff. Friendly guild model gains (+0/+2 movement) or (+1/2" to pass/kicks) heal rate 3. 

Or "collecting Union dues" when friendly guild model is within 6 inches of the friendly goal post all shots require +1 momentum. Heal rate 3

Or "paying your dues" 

Immediately take out friendly guild model (non-mascot) gain an extra use of any friendly guild legendary plays. Heal rate 2. (edited in fact if you just change this to the same wording as casket time instead of applying a take out that would work too) 

Essentially my point is pirates ransom and raise the stakes are essentially the same thing one with a worse heal rate

Edited by Melos
Added an idea

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Personally I would never play Raise the Stakes (full disclosure, I haven't had a chance to try out the GICs yet).  Most Wanted will be my go-to since I'm a vRage player, and probably would do Pirate's Ransom for the heal rate. 

I think if Raise the Stakes does something that helps sBrisket/Blackheart more and is NOT related to initiative (why have 2 cards that almost do the same thing?), like help with movement (since both Blackheart and sBrisket are more "dodgy" players), passing the ball, or even getting the ball, that would be a lot more interesting.

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