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Steamcon Keynote Discussion

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So, I just watched the Keynote, and I wanted to get some of my thoughts down. Feel free to get in your thoughts too.

Minor Guilds

  • This was the surprise of the keynote for me.
  • Will the size of a comp team be reduced? This was completely dodged in the last Q&A question. I hope rosters aren't drawn from the full guild during play - I don't want to lug around upwards of 20 models for some guilds at events. Given what we've seen I'm personally hoping for 8-model teams. Not sure how else Minor Guilds would be "competetively viable" like they were saying.
  • Was that Vet Graves as one of the dual-guilds? Does that mean he's getting a redesign? A bunch of his card's tied to Vileswarm after all.
  • I hope Astronomer's and Messenger's are not minor guilds. I've also seen speculation about a Navigator's minor guild (though it wasn't mentioned in the keynote I don't think). If such a minor guild exists, I'd hope it'd be the minor for Astronomer's.
  • One con of these, for me personally anyways - I'm a completionist, so for each minor guild I get I'll also want matching dice and AoW Influence tokens. Dang.
  • I'd sure like the two crossover models to be separately available in their own blister - that'd cut out all my personal hangups with 'em - but I can understand why that might be less than ideal from a production standpoint.

New Plot Cards

  • I like the sound of these, looking forward to seeing them. Adepticon 2018 can't get here soon enough.
  • Here's hoping for captain after roll-off, amirite?

Union

  • Boy, am I glad I already expanded my Union out. If I only had a few models for them for use with another guild I'd be a little upset right now. The game design reasons for the switch make perfect sense though. They always felt like a roster-size patch, and they aren't needed for that any longer

PVC Teams

  • I really like some of the new sculpts! However, I'm not sure I'd wanna re-buy teams I already have the full range for; the price would have to be really good for me to do that - better than the ~£70 GBP / $100 USD I'd be expecting for a 12 model + extras set. I would like to be able to get the themed terrain, ball, and goal post, though. If those were sold as a pack I'd snap 'em up.
  • I'm concerned that what with the older guilds already being in the wild, old-guild boxes might not sell great unless the game is growing real fast.

Licensors

  • I wish Art of War were getting a license. I'd rather like to see his tokens with the actual logos on them. I'm committed to buying @Grantt's stuff at this point, and he deserves all the business he can get.

POD Cards

  • Good lord yes, looking forward to this.

Release Schedule

  • How are SFG planning on releasing individual models - will the UIC, for example, be metals like they've done with LEs, or are they thinking about doing PVC blisters?

Merch

  • I sure hope the chibi pins are available online come this summer. I'm waiting on Corsair, Pin Vice, SBrisket, VRage, Grange, and Thresher. 'Course, come then I'll probably also be waiting on three minor guild's captain pins too. Gawd, and if they release minor guild patches? How will I fit them on my case?

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Parker asked about roster size, and it was said that whilst minor guilds will have 8 players available on release, it doesn't mean that roster size will be 8. We speculated that the new plot cards might be a balancing factor - if your roster size is < X you get dealt Y bonus plot cards.

In the fluff, IIRC, messengers have been mentioned as being a major guild, whilst I think Sherwin mentioned on a podcast when talking about the release of farmers that Astronomers were a minor guild.

I was right at the back and couldn't quite hear everything, But when Jamie P was talking about the cards you'd get In a minor guild box, I think he used Bonesaw as an example of a major guild player that would be in the Ratcatchers box.

One little point I picked up on: Lox (IIRC) said there would be minor guild for the 9 current major guilds (obviously not union, presumably not farmers). Later Mat said they were designing 10 new guilds... maybe there's another Major guild coming, too..? Or maybe I'm misremembering or reading more into a genuine mistaken comment (although the 10 number was later confirmed, so presumably farmers get a minor as well, at the very least).

There was a point in the guild insider seminar earlier where Sherwin was asked about the southern desert hunters and he was evasive about whether we'd see more about them. Could this be the hunters minor guild? They don't really fit with the traditional guild structure of the other guild's.

I'm pretty sure captain after roll off will be a thing. The plot cards do indeed sound intsresting. I'm not sure whether they will outright replace momentum or a dice roll, or just add a third factor into the mix. I think I'd like them to replace the dice roll and make it more if a bidding system with better plot cards having lower scores. That way of you're winning the MP race you can play you your better plot cards, it incentiveses the opponent to hold on to MP when they go behind, as it stops you getting to play that big plot card (Or makes it more of a risk, or allows you to steal the initiative off them, etc).

I have been convinced in recent months by others arguing that the game would be better off without a mercenary faction, so the minor guild replacing union is just great as far as I am concerned. I just hope I get another Furious/berserk model amongst the butchers minor guild. It might persuade me to paint up Strongbox, finally, too.

As a faction-loyalist, and a hater of metal minis, the idea of rebuying the butchers in PVC is not an issue. Nor is buying an entire minor guild box just to get my hands on the 2 players who will play for butchers.

I think I'd like a bit more transparency over release schedule. I know they can't always pin things down precisely, but the fact that We often don't hear anything until a month or two before release can be frustrating. As someone who buys on a moderate fixed monthly budget across a few games, it helps me plan out my purchases if I know better what's coming. I can cope with the irritation of a product being delayed much better than a product I really want being dropped in surprise when I'd already planned that month's spending. That just might be me and my weird situation, though.

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Most of this isn't a huge surprise to me.  Cool stuff most of it.  The Initiative changes are what scare me.  Major rule changes early 2018? If initiative is losing the link to Momentum or something crazy, that's almost a different game entirely.  These kinds of major changes are why I'll probably stay out of the Fantasy game for awhile.  That and this PVC plastic thing.  I'm already bought into Guildball and it's hard to step back when I enjoy the game too.  But I won't be getting into the other one.

 

EDIT:  There's also a point to be made about the levels of gameplay and the difficulty of teaching them to a new player.  Warmachine, for all of it's problems, was pretty simple.  Here's the gameplay, and in a few weeks we'll talk about Scenario, and then tournaments, maybe.  Tada.  Guildball already has gameplay, plus the momentum system that couples into the initiative system, plus a roster system, a plot card system, now a GIC system, and now we're changing the initiative system too?  This is before we get into tournament play even.  Teaching a player how to play Guildball has always had a very steep learning curve but it's getting worse.

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2 hours ago, still-young said:

Where can I watch the keynote?

Twitch

I note that they said they were only giving new models to the Guilds that won the Union in Chains campaign and that the loosing guilds get nowt unless somewhere further into season 4 it looks like the guilds without the veterans are falling behind the curve power wise.

That seems ok-ish from a game point of view but as a hobby it does not fill me with confidence as it sound like there will be little to nothing to buy for my Fish for who knows how long (I have no interest in getting a plastic version of a team I already have).

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4 minutes ago, Banjulhu said:

I note that they said they were only giving new models to the Guilds that won the Union in Chains campaign and that the loosing guilds get nowt unless somewhere further into season 4 it looks like the guilds without the veterans are falling behind the curve power wise.

There's a bunch of stuff they haven't released/teased yet. I refuse to believe they would ruin an otherwise fun event by giving certain guilds a competitive advantage as a result. So I would guess you'll see a new Union in Chains related model for the other three losing factions announced over the next few weeks.

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9 minutes ago, Penguin Warrior said:

There's a bunch of stuff they haven't released/teased yet. I refuse to believe they would ruin an otherwise fun event by giving certain guilds a competitive advantage as a result.

On the other hand, the competition would lose a little of its flavour if everyone ended up winning in the end anyway. There are already several guilds in the game that have access to more or less models than others - Brewers and Masons have Lucky, the Union have three captains and a larger pool of regular players than the other guilds, Farmers have a smaller roster since they only have access to two Union models. So there is definitely precedent for an uneven amount of players between guilds and I think you are setting yourself up for disappointment if you expect all the guilds that lost UiC to also receive models.

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What I understood from the keynote:

The UiC losers aren’t going to automatically get consolation models released. If they fall behind competitively once all the UiC models have been out a while, then they’ll potentially get a model.

SFG have said all along that guilds will max out eventually. DC said in the keynote that so far it’s not hit a “none ever” point, but that the major guilds will get much slower releases now to avoid bloat. The minor guilds are what will be expanding rosters in the upcoming months, with each guild gaining two models from their associated other (and losing their one Union slot at that point).

 

That’s my read on it, anyway. There won’t be new 6 man boxes for each guild regularly arriving.

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I mean, Union were a merc guild, so they had more models to support other guilds. Farmers and Blacksmiths are both going to have 12 models after the second boxes are released, which puts them in line with the other non-Union guilds. That means that almost all of those guilds have the same number of models at the moment (Lucky will likely be balanced out with additional releases for other guilds in Season 4). So no, there isn't much of a precedent for having different numbers of models in each guild. The differences aren't in the number of players but in the kind of players they are. Not every guild has the same number of Strikers or have access to Goalkeepers, but all non-Union guilds have 12 players. In the future I won't be surprised to see some teams have more or less captains than others, but there's nothing to suggest that Steamforged is going to change things up and actually give certain guilds more options, since that would lead to a competitive advantage and reduce excitement for players whose guilds fall behind.

Plus, this wasn't exactly a competitive event. It was effectively just asking the community to vote on which sculpt they'd like to see rather than being influenced by the result of the games like events in other games like Malifaux have been. So in essence this was just a fun event to determine the fate of established characters.

Maybe I will be disappointed by Steamforged making a dumb move, but it won't be a decision that has any basis in their decisions and actions to this point.

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4 hours ago, Jedianakinsolo said:

 Warmachine, for all of it's problems, was pretty simple.  Here's the gameplay, and in a few weeks we'll talk about Scenario, and then tournaments, maybe.  Tada.  Guildball already has gameplay, plus the momentum system that couples into the initiative system, plus a roster system, a plot card system, now a GIC system, and now we're changing the initiative system too?  This is before we get into tournament play even.  Teaching a player how to play Guildball has always had a very steep learning curve but it's getting worse.

I think you are way over simplifying Warmachine and slightly exaggerating Guild Balls complexity in this post. You bring up roster creation for Guilb Ball as something you need to teach but don’t mention list creation in Warmachine? In my experience scenarios in Warmachine aren’t something you pick up completely in an afternoon, not to mention the huge number of models you need to memorize or be aware of to avoid an auto loss. The GIC system, plot cards, and initiative are different and something new players have to learn, but I don’t think they are as confusing or game changing as things in Warmachine are for new players. 

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5 hours ago, malladin.ben said:

I think I'd like a bit more transparency over release schedule. I know they can't always pin things down precisely, but the fact that We often don't hear anything until a month or two before release can be frustrating. As someone who buys on a moderate fixed monthly budget across a few games, it helps me plan out my purchases if I know better what's coming. I can cope with the irritation of a product being delayed much better than a product I really want being dropped in surprise when I'd already planned that month's spending. That just might be me and my weird situation, though.

Not just you. Not all of us have unlimited extra funds.

I didn't quite catch it, but didn't someone say that you wouldn't get a 6 man box of new (Fishermen) characters? Did he mean that new characters coming out would be sold in smaller packages?

 

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28 minutes ago, Redtiger7 said:

I didn't quite catch it, but didn't someone say that you wouldn't get a 6 man box of new (Fishermen) characters? Did he mean that new characters coming out would be sold in smaller packages?

 

The next new models for Fishermen (and Butchers, Morticians etc) will come in the form of the minor guild players that play for the major guild they're associated with. So you will most likely have to buy the minor guild 6-man box to get your new players.

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I'm not overly keen on having to buy 6 models to get two more for my team. The new minor guild thing feels a little like a game mechanic designed to make people buy more models than they actually need primarily and an interesting mechanic as a secondary concern.

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48 minutes ago, Redtiger7 said:

I didn't quite catch it, but didn't someone say that you wouldn't get a 6 man box of new (Fishermen) characters? Did he mean that new characters coming out would be sold in smaller packages?

 

It was meant in the context of “you won’t be getting 6 new people a year for your guild” rather than as any statement about retail packs, I believe.

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I'm wondering about Lucky, Skulk or the ex-Union vets. How will they be sold? If the  new guild people aren't going to have 6 new ones in a year...?

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38 minutes ago, Redtiger7 said:

I'm wondering about Lucky, Skulk or the ex-Union vets. How will they be sold? If the  new guild people aren't going to have 6 new ones in a year...?

Skulk will probably be included in the Ratcatchers box. I could see Lucky remaining a league and con-exclusive model.

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47 minutes ago, Redtiger7 said:

I'm wondering about Lucky, Skulk or the ex-Union vets. How will they be sold? If the  new guild people aren't going to have 6 new ones in a year...?

Lucky is their prize-support guy. He won't be sold. Skulk looks to be in a similar position to Tater - overridden by a new stat-card on official release.The UIC models are an open question currently.

7 hours ago, malladin.ben said:

Parker asked about roster size, and it was said that whilst minor guilds will have 8 players available on release, it doesn't mean that roster size will be 8. We speculated that the new plot cards might be a balancing factor - if your roster size is < X you get dealt Y bonus plot cards.

Hrm. I guess I'll have to wait and see, then. I still would prefer rosters no larger than 12, personally.

I wonder if Minor Guilds are going to be a one-and-done thing or if they'll expand past the 6. I rather hope they're treated largely as supplements for the major guild they're associated with instead of guilds in their own right, though. Thankfully it sounds like that's the case.

7 hours ago, malladin.ben said:

Sherwin mentioned on a podcast when talking about the release of farmers that Astronomers were a minor guild.

Boo! Hiss! Unless they're the Engineer's minor guild, in which case okay, I guess.:P

7 hours ago, malladin.ben said:

One little point I picked up on: Lox (IIRC) said there would be minor guild for the 9 current major guilds (obviously not union, presumably not farmers). Later Mat said they were designing 10 new guilds... maybe there's another Major guild coming, too..? Or maybe I'm misremembering or reading more into a genuine mistaken comment (although the 10 number was later confirmed, so presumably farmers get a minor as well, at the very least).

47 minutes ago, Redtiger7 said:

I'm guessing that the remains of the  Union will turn into a Solethcian guild, to make it 10 Majors. 

They did say they're designing 10 minor guilds, I thought, which happens to be exactly enough for all non-Union guilds. I think Solthecian will eventually make its way into the game, but I'm sure it won't be as a minor guild.

As an aside, I think the only model Union could really use for the time-being is a new mascot, and that was based entirely on speculation that they'd be releasing the PVC old teams in 6-packs, so I think it's unlikely they'll see that.

7 hours ago, malladin.ben said:

I have been convinced in recent months by others arguing that the game would be better off without a mercenary faction, so the minor guild replacing union is just great as far as I am concerned. I just hope I get another Furious/berserk model amongst the butchers minor guild. It might persuade me to paint up Strongbox, finally, too.

Oh, yeah. I was just observing that someone that had, say, a guild or two and therefore only a few Union models might be a little put-off. My SO has A&G, Minx, Hemlocke, and Mist for her Hunters and Alchemists teams, for example. Nowhere near enough to make filling out Union worthwhile, but also not an insignificant amount of money sunk into them.

I agree that from a game design perspective it was necessary though. Like I said, I'm just glad I'd already committed to filling my Union collection out.

7 hours ago, malladin.ben said:

As a faction-loyalist, and a hater of metal minis, the idea of rebuying the butchers in PVC is not an issue. Nor is buying an entire minor guild box just to get my hands on the 2 players who will play for butchers.

The minor guild thing just bugs me because I'm a completionist, so I'll want to have all the minor guild doodads to go with it. Personal hangup and all, and they certainly could have come up with a worse way to fill that niche.

As for the Major guilds in PVC... If I had just one team, it wouldn't be too much of a jump and I'd go for it. But I have complete Fish, Engineers and Union teams and my SO has Hunters - all of them assembled and primed and two and a half of 'em painted. That's four boxes that are probably at £70 GBP / $100 USD each, plus painting time. Even if I love the sculpts - and I do really like them - I'm not really inclined to re-start my collection from the bottom. And I fear that you'll get the same from a lot of people that already play. Again, if growth is good it may still be worth it, but I imagine there's more than a few people with full teams that wouldn't go for those. Does that tip the production math they were talking about in the keynote?

Then there's the terrain. Please, SFG, for the love of God, I want that terrain! Release them separately! Let me give you my money!

7 hours ago, malladin.ben said:

I think I'd like a bit more transparency over release schedule. I know they can't always pin things down precisely, but the fact that We often don't hear anything until a month or two before release can be frustrating. As someone who buys on a moderate fixed monthly budget across a few games, it helps me plan out my purchases if I know better what's coming. I can cope with the irritation of a product being delayed much better than a product I really want being dropped in surprise when I'd already planned that month's spending. That just might be me and my weird situation, though.

Absolutely, 100%. The only thing worse than waiting for release is waiting for the announcement of release - I'm looking at you, Farmers Box 2.

I'm used to RPG companies, where you'll often know something's in the pipe many months ahead of time. Different business models, I'm sure, but still.

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11 minutes ago, Siberys said:

As for the Major guilds in PVC... If I had just one team, it wouldn't be too much of a jump and I'd go for it. But I have complete Fish, Engineers and Union teams and my SO has Hunters - all of them assembled and primed and two and a half of 'em painted. That's four boxes that are probably at £70 GBP / $100 USD each, plus painting time. Even if I love the sculpts - and I do really like them - I'm not really inclined to re-start my collection from the bottom. And I fear that you'll get the same from a lot of people that already play. Again, if growth is good it may still be worth it, but I imagine there's more than a few people with full teams that wouldn't go for those. Does that tip the production math they were talking about in the keynote?

I totally get what you are saying here. I have a complete fish team and the thought of buying them again gives me an icky feeling. However I am interested in Alchemists as well. So a "one and done" box of plastic or even a farmers-esque two box of 6 for Alchemists would be great!

So I think it is a little more complicated than "Good for new players, bad for existing players". I am fairly certain I will end up with all of the Guilds over time and making them in plastic would make it more affordable and also a little faster for getting them ready for the table.

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2 minutes ago, teage_like_league said:

So I think it is a little more complicated than "Good for new players, bad for existing players". I am fairly certain I will end up with all of the Guilds over time and making them in plastic would make it more affordable and also a little faster for getting them ready for the table.

Yeah, I hadn't really considered expanding into other guilds, and in that situation I'd personally prefer PVC. Just as long as the themed terrain sees a separate release, I personally wouldn't have anything to complain about.

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Just now, teage_like_league said:

As an aside, I remember hearing a mention of the new Broken Toad bust being shown off, but have not been able to find an image of it. Did anyone happen to get a picture or know where a sneak peek would be available online?

It was in the Facebook group. Angel holding a rather displeased-looking Salt.

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As someone who has every model for Masons, Butchers, Engineers and Union. (minus a couple SE/LE ones) Plus a Hunter/Brewer Mystery box.  I think the move to PVC is very good for the future of the game.  I would make moving into the other guilds cheaper for me as well as faster to the table.   I do think they should be in the 6 man boxes, it follows the format that already exists for Farmers and Blacksmiths.  Plus it gives them a chance to do multiple guild conversions at once which releases more guilds faster even if each guild wouldn't be completely PVC. 

I think the minor guilds idea is super fun.  Gives more guilds to choose from while enticing existing Guild Loyalists to try something new.  

I don't really ever get to do OP events / Tournaments.  So the format there bothers me less, or I just don't have the experience to feel foul about.  

Finally let me add to the release schedule requests.  It doesn't have to be exact release date, but maybe which quarter it will be in.  I get the manufacturing cycle having delays, ship voyages, design choices, sculpting work and distribution is hard to nail down dates, but give us our breadcrumbs!

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New rookie leagues on the way, with new models of young versions of players and a campaign-progression system. This looks like young Mash:

L2n5Q8E.jpg?1

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