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The concept behind a Guild Ball lineup

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With SteamCon US coming up a lot of green coaches will be competing for the first time in a large tournament. One aspect where some of my locals are struggling with is developing a 10-man roster. For some, the problem is how to limit their roster to just 10 models whereas for others the difficulty is deciding when to replace one of their favorite six starters with someone who they don't normally bring.

JD Haigler wrote up a visual walkthrough of how he decides his 10-man Union roster and this can help people who are new to the game or just looking for ways to improve.

 

http://midwestwargaming.com/concept-behind-guildball-lineup/

 

 

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I saw this this morning on a link from a facebook page. Interesting reading for sure...especially for those of us who have had no background of any game of this type previously. I have a feeling that inexperience with some of the nuances of the starting 6, or team of 10, is the root cause of some of my struggles to move past my current performance plateau.

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Good write up. Good for folks new to tournaments. He addresses it well that folks with experience might not get much but if you have never been to a large scale tabletop tournament, guild ball or not, this is worth your time to read. I was a little skeptical as I was not a fan of his previous article on the Honest Land box (people have different opinions though) but this really is a high quality resource. Good post.

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Yep excellent post and one I've forwarded to our group. I went through a similar process and, whilst ultimately ended up with more of a 'gut feel' list, going through these logical steps can help you identify flaws in your own thinking or identify where you might have a weakness/strength. One of the best made points is that your list is not a case of 'I like these 6 and you have those 6 and may the best player win'.

I think doing this with Union is particularly helpful where models often have a very specific job, and so it can be clearer when to take a pick (I expect a lot of Smoke, I will take Grace and/or Hemlocke).

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I have attended tournaments, but still found this a good article. I like the game but I don't know the game.  

"It’s important to note that your ability to read your own list and knowing it well enough to modify it correctly into an opponent’s list is pretty much useless if you don’t know what their models do."

This particularly stands out to me. My first few games, I wasn't even picking my cards up to see what my guys could do, I was just looking at the stats and kicking the ball, and punching people. Knowing what my opponents could do? Pffft. Who has time for that?!  

I seem to have improved recently. First by scoring, then by scoring twice, scoring and taking people out (I play Fish and Hunters – three games with each ha ha) now I just seem to be an activation/initiative roll away from a WIN.

I’m getting to know my teams very well, but still lack knowledge of other guilds. Could this be the missing piece keeping me from a  a win? I have the S3 card packs so I might spend some time getting to know them a bit.  

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19 hours ago, Malritch said:

I saw this this morning on a link from a facebook page. Interesting reading for sure...especially for those of us who have had no background of any game of this type previously. I have a feeling that inexperience with some of the nuances of the starting 6, or team of 10, is the root cause of some of my struggles to move past my current performance plateau.

  You'd be the target audience for sure.  My meta is loaded with players that love the game, but they're getting annihilated by the 3 or 4 guys that have more than six models.  I kind of had the list building inexperience beat out of me in Warmachine, where it's much, much more punishing.  In Warmachine's two list format, you drop it simultaneously with the other guy's list, and in a scenario where one of his beats one of yours, but one of yours beats one of his (on paper), you're really just flipping a coin to see who gambled badly.  Many of my Warmachine games were lost at the list drop step, so I was considerably more wary coming into Guildball.  Happily, in Guildball, the punishment isn't quite as steep as Warmachine, but you can still feel like you're barking up a hopeless tree.  

  Just read in your facebook groups, or the forum, or in your own meta and see what people are playing.  Look at other guy's list lineups and even ask why they do what they do.  That will give you a leg up while you try to understand it all.  There's really awesome players in every Guild, and they build their lineups based on countless games of experience.  Or go look at some tournaments where your guild won or placed high, and see what their list was. The facebook groups are pretty good discussion for the most part though.

5 hours ago, kaladorm said:

Yep excellent post and one I've forwarded to our group. I went through a similar process and, whilst ultimately ended up with more of a 'gut feel' list, going through these logical steps can help you identify flaws in your own thinking or identify where you might have a weakness/strength. One of the best made points is that your list is not a case of 'I like these 6 and you have those 6 and may the best player win'.

I think doing this with Union is particularly helpful where models often have a very specific job, and so it can be clearer when to take a pick (I expect a lot of Smoke, I will take Grace and/or Hemlocke).

  Thanks.  I think that's one of the harder things for new people to understand about miniature games, that just because we have the same number of points or models, things are not necessarily balanced.  And I too do things on a gut feel, but that gut feel is based on experience and what goes into what, so one of the processes of this article was translating gut feelings into actual reasons why I bring specific models.   Sometimes though, I think that gut feelings are based off of old conceptions too, like an affinity for Hooper.  Hooper in S1-S2 was really required in a Brewer list, but now I really don't think he is, there's other options.  So the gut feelings need to be analyzed occasionally.

3 hours ago, Lee said:

I have attended tournaments, but still found this a good article. I like the game but I don't know the game.  

"It’s important to note that your ability to read your own list and knowing it well enough to modify it correctly into an opponent’s list is pretty much useless if you don’t know what their models do."

This particularly stands out to me. My first few games, I wasn't even picking my cards up to see what my guys could do, I was just looking at the stats and kicking the ball, and punching people. Knowing what my opponents could do? Pffft. Who has time for that?!  

I seem to have improved recently. First by scoring, then by scoring twice, scoring and taking people out (I play Fish and Hunters – three games with each ha ha) now I just seem to be an activation/initiative roll away from a WIN.

I’m getting to know my teams very well, but still lack knowledge of other guilds. Could this be the missing piece keeping me from a  a win? I have the S3 card packs so I might spend some time getting to know them a bit.  

  Download one of the apps.  I have Tooled Up, Guildball Scrum and GB Manager.  However, Guildball Scrum is the only one keeping up with all the card releases.  Last I checked, it was the only one with Lucky, Blacksmiths and Farmers so it's pretty much replaced the other options for me.  If I'm bored, or looking for reading material for the next 10-15 minutes depending on my last meal, or I just thought of something, I can pull the app up and roll through it.  Probably twice I week I read through a complete Guild.  I have also found that writing helps me retain things much, much better, so I may take notes as I roll through.  What I'm looking for is "gotchas", stuff that's going to piss me off when I blunder into it.  It's somewhat difficult to pick up synergies in models you're not familiar with, so don't worry a lot about that.  If you can spot it, great, but focus on the tech that's going to prevent you from completing a key activation.  Unpredictable Movement, Sturdy, Counter Charge, Close Control, things like that.  Then, roll back through and look at Counter Attack tech, which I feel is the next level up in understanding what can stop you from doing your job.  Like, Thresher, the big bad reaper everyone's afraid of currently. His counter attack actually sucks.  He's got a KD and a dodge, but a 1'' model can get to him if they base to base him, and have a momentum to stand up.  Then he goes down.  The gotcha to that is that Tater has countercharge and will probably come to see you.  Understand those.  Not necessarily everyone's heroics or character plays.  Just survive your own activations.

  On that counter attack note, you're looking for stuff like low double pushes, low knockdowns, low double dodges.  Single pushes and dodges are great against new players because they don't know that they need to base-to-base their model but once you get past that threshold of experience, double pushes and dodges are really where great counter attacks come from.  Iron, Stoker (Both have Column 1 double pushes, and Iron has Close Control too), Hammer (Not on the front, but he gets an 1'' beatback on the back of his card, which means his column 1 single push is actually a double and he can make a dodge if he wants to, which he won't.), Honor (double dodge and 1 damage on c2), Shark and Greyscales (double dodge on 2), so on so forth.  I see a lot of new players put a fully loaded model 1'' melee model into Shark, not knock him down, and he dodges away leaving them with 3-5 INF they can't use, which is backbreaking.

  This maybe should be my next article lol.

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@Jedianakinsolo I've been thinking about how to do an article on the different stages of experience in Guild Ball, and I think you have already identified some of those key steps. I've been thinking of something like:

1. I know the basic rules of the game (kick, attack, abilities)

2. I know my team well

3. I know my opponents team well

4. I know and can execute my plan

5. I know my opponents plan and can disrupt it

6. I know advanced tactics to control the flow game, e.g. positioning, momentum control, key model isolation

 

I also feel there are some different types of experience to work on, though what those are exactly are open to debate but would have a player say something like the following:

1. Knowledge (I know the rules well, I know the gotchas, I know all the players in the teams well)

2. Wargaming skills (I can judge distances well, move models around easily, and understand distances)

3. Repetition (I can execute my plan easily and have a 'routine', I rarely forget my or opponents abilities or rules, I rarely lose on clock)

4. Human Interaction (I can read my opponent, I know when I can trap them or force a mistake)

5. Foresight (This one is quite meta, and easy to see what went right/wrong post game. The goal is to actively make those situations happen 1-2 turns in advance)

 

For example, I did quite well in my meta to start with as my Knowledge was very good. As other players have improved that Knowledge gives me less of an advantage, and I need to work more on repetition (I play too many different teams) so have an area to focus on

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@kaladorm I am literally writing an article about Step 3.  I largely agree with you.  I might switch steps 3 and 4 since I think you should know what your team wants to do and then figure out how your opponent should try to stop it, but that's a negligible difference.  Overall I agree.  The title of the next one is something along the lines of Getting through an Activation.  I see a lot of new players activate a model and charge it in with no thought to what the defensive tech looks like outside of DEF/ARM, and then wasting the activation.  So we're going to look at learning the opponent's cards, very much like I was talking about with @Lee.  We can focus on having a quality activation by knowing what to expect during said activation.  Once that's happening, we can worry about what the next activation looks like and start planning ahead a little bit.

  Jordan Nach likened Guildball to Chess in a few ways (not many), mainly in that there is the alternating activation and to be decent at the game, you need to mentally be several activations ahead of where you're at.  All of that requires knowing the other team, and that's a learning process.

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