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Lemminkäinen

Will GB die because of the Minor Guilds

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Just in regards to the comments earlier in the thread about availability of the two dual guild players ... what about waiting six months or so after the launch packs have been made available, then putting the alt sculpts of Bonesaw and Graves into a two-player blister pack available direct from Steamforged in a Black Friday or Christmas sale.

Still lots of room for excitement about the launch packs, still reason to buy morticians boxes (to get the other players), no bloat to the stock list for retailers and ratcatchers-only players can build up their team more slowly?

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I think the dual guild models are an interesting topic because the Morticians in ratcatchers are both available in the same box, while the two Hunters are only available in separate boxes. This suggests that thought has gone into which players are most appropriate for the minors without worrying too much about how the people who play just the minor guilds will get their two other players. 

 

I wonder if they're planning some way for people who just play the minors to purchase their major guild players separately, perhaps through alternate sculpts at cons or holidays or what have you?

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2 hours ago, Zerachial said:

I think the dual guild models are an interesting topic because the Morticians in ratcatchers are both available in the same box, while the two Hunters are only available in separate boxes. This suggests that thought has gone into which players are most appropriate for the minors without worrying too much about how the people who play just the minor guilds will get their two other players. 

 

I wonder if they're planning some way for people who just play the minors to purchase their major guild players separately, perhaps through alternate sculpts at cons or holidays or what have you?

It's worth pointing out that the banner for the last blog on Vet Graves and Bonesaw did seem to have different posing then normal.vgravesblog.jpg?format=500w

I don't keep very close track of many guilds, but these poses aren't "the standard".  Hopefully they will pop up as online specials or something.

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@Clement those are the limited edition sculpts that SFG did for the ratcatcher launch event kits. I'm not saying you're not right that they could also be released later through their store but I figured you'd like to know where those sculpts are currently going :)

 

If you can get to a launch event you have the possibility of winning one of those models! I'm totally trying to win the bonesaw one when my lgs has it's launch event!

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3 hours ago, Lemminkäinen said:

I think that's a very bad analogy and not at all applicable here due to a crazy number of extremely fundamental differences between learning an instrument and taking up Guild Ball. Sorry.

Of course the two things are fundamentally different, but you're not talking about the skill set needed or the actual activity involved. You're talking about (at least initially) is Barrier to entry. I'm replying I don't think increased variety in the form of minor guild's creates a barrier. If anything quite the opposite due to more pre-assembled plastic boxes. The main barriers to Guild Ball, or any game really, are rule set, community, and frankly cost. It's actually quite identical to music in that way. The complexity, availability of instructors, and cost of the instrument are probably the main drivers your decision.

Maybe next time, rather than simply being dismissive, take the moment to elaborate or provide an alternative. But here. I'll mix it up. Perhaps this will be more to your liking.

If I walk into a game store and want to buy a new card game here's what I want to know

  • What's the cost of getting started?
  • How's activity in the local scene? are there other new players?
  • Is the game balanced / competitive?
  • How hard are the rules?
  • Does it have a lot of replay value?

What I don't particularly care about is

  • What are the best decks and why?
  • How many expansions have been released?
  • Do I need to memorize cards?

How's that?

 

Pivoting real quick.

What I suspect you actually intend to talk about, based on your responses, is not new player buy in at all. What you intend to talk about is new player retention. It seems as if you are concerned with the fact newish players could be easily frustrated due to an abundance of losses, and may feel a lack of knowledge is what creates those losses. You're seem to be worried increasing the amount of content in the game will somehow be tied to that feeling of hopelessness. "Oh man. I lost to Rat Catchers because I've never played Rat Catchers before. That's no fun". It seems you believe the increased instances of this will hurt the rookie player base. Does that sound about right?

If so I'm sure there's a subset of people which will, in fact, find this to be a negative. However, I would challenge those individual's expectations and possibly even their attitude. Any competitive undertaking will have a learning curve. I'd also challenge you, as someone who obviously cares about the game, to step up and help those individuals understand why they're experiencing frustration. Are they mad they are losing? If so do they need to find another newer player to practice with? Do they not like their Guild's play style? Maybe match them up with a more experienced individual who can walk them through their decision making?

I really don't think you'll find a new player who says "I'm frustrated because I can't keep up with all this!".  I think  you'll find it much more common a player will be upset about a troublesome matchup or something specific they perceive as "broken". Folks are generally stoked about new things, and even when something doesn't go their way, still enjoy the new experience.

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5 hours ago, Lemminkäinen said:

40k isn't very skill-intense and often a simple switch of forces will let you defeat very seasoned players since army choice plays such a gigantic role. And even though there's a ton of rules, the combos and synergies and clever interplay doesn't play such a big part. 90% of the models all you need to know is how tough they are on a very rough scale and how they shoot/melee. Often the mere outward appearance of the models gives you enough of a clue so that you can play against them competitively if you know what your own models are capable of.

Oh I totally agree. I've become very disillusioned with it and view it as a very expensive game of top trumps at the moment. I disagree that knowing toughness/shoot/melee on a rough scale is enough though. It's now full of "gotcha" stratagems that will cost you a game if you haven't done your homework (or don't want to buy (or illegally download) and study a bazillion codeces). GB has a much steeper learning curve but the free resources and the fact that you only need to consult 6 cards to see all your opponent's rules IMO makes GB far more accessible (for me it was a breath of fresh air). The learning curve barrier exists whether or not there are minor guilds, and I don't think their addition changes that very much . The fact that you win at GB with skill rather than minis (money) is awesome - changing your strategy in GB is sourcing a couple of minis and having a think, in 40k it's a very significant financial investment + 50 hours painting time.

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Nah. Here's why it won't have a noticeable difference.

1. There are only 6 models per side at a given time. A player may have let's say an average of 5 card effects outside of base stats and playbooks, many of which are common traits and abilities such as acrobatics or anatomical precision. This means your casual players who don't memorize everything won't have a ton to read before a game to get the jist of what they do, unlike warmachine where you have several units and solos. Before scratching the surface.

2. The people who will complain are generally the type to want to be competitive but unwilling to put in the effort to be. They'll jump to another game and continue the cycle until they get in one young enough that they can use cruise control for a while. I was sort of guilty of this in WMH. Too much stuff to learn to catch up, but undertaking to try. Eventually quit for GB where I'd at least only have to read 6 cards... But then I actually got competitive and read all the cards many times over.

3. The cards are free to get. Other games you either have to illegal download it pay up for full laces of learning everything. 

4. New stuff is great for retaining players and bringing back people who quit. It's easiest to get new players when you have a good number already. Also new players tend to lean towards playing stuff no one else is. More guilds are great for this, either freeing up old guilds or being conveniently timed.

I'm sure there's more, but those are the main bits imo

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My ¢2:

I quit Warmahordes because there was simply too much to memorize. I don't get that much time to spend on the hobby and I prefer to paint or play rather than memorize cards. I think that GB's 6-model at a time basically solves this. And, as mentioned by many above, many abilities are generic. And also, sometimes you can just play your own game and not worry that much about the abilities of the opponent's models. (Just remember who has Countercharge and Unpredictable movement!)

On the other hand, there's enough info to satisfy those who spend all their commuting time looking at cards and abilities, dreaming up cool combos.

What I think is extremely important is to convey this to new players: Yes, at first glance there's an overwhelming amount of info in the game as a whole, but never mind – look at the 12 cards in front of you, of which you will very soon know 6, and take it from there.

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@tehlon I totally subscribe to your theory.  I kinda know what a model does but not the whole detail.

 

so memorising isn’t too much of a pain as really I just need to know what those key skills and abilities are

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I've not read all the replies so apologies if this has already been mentioned, but with the plastic resculpts being on hold for the foreseeable future I think Minor guilds (if their rulings aren't overly complicated)  are going to be a good gateway drug for new players..

By that I mean being designed from the ground up to be a cohesive unit, unlike some of the metal boxes which are a bit of a trap.. While I don't think they will replace the kickoff box, a new player can pick up a plastic box which includes all the cards and tokens they need to get started..

Hopefully they will like their chosen Guild and once they have the grasp of things they can get the 6 man metal box which contains the cross guild players and have two 8 player teams to mess around with..

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21 hours ago, tehlon said:

Of course the two things are fundamentally different, but you're not talking about the skill set needed or the actual activity involved. You're talking about (at least initially) is Barrier to entry. I'm replying I don't think increased variety in the form of minor guild's creates a barrier. If anything quite the opposite due to more pre-assembled plastic boxes. The main barriers to Guild Ball, or any game really, are rule set, community, and frankly cost. It's actually quite identical to music in that way. The complexity, availability of instructors, and cost of the instrument are probably the main drivers your decision.

Maybe next time, rather than simply being dismissive, take the moment to elaborate or provide an alternative. But here. I'll mix it up. Perhaps this will be more to your liking.

My apologies for being dismissive. You are correct, I should've addressed it better.

I don't consider a musical instrument to be a competitive thing. You don't duel better musicians and lose a hundred times to various gotchas. You also basically never "win" with an instrument. 

Quote

What I suspect you actually intend to talk about, based on your responses, is not new player buy in at all. What you intend to talk about is new player retention. It seems as if you are concerned with the fact newish players could be easily frustrated due to an abundance of losses, and may feel a lack of knowledge is what creates those losses. You're seem to be worried increasing the amount of content in the game will somehow be tied to that feeling of hopelessness. "Oh man. I lost to Rat Catchers because I've never played Rat Catchers before. That's no fun". It seems you believe the increased instances of this will hurt the rookie player base. Does that sound about right?

I consider those new players but yes, that's what I'm mostly talking about.

We had a thriving Malifaux community which just sort of died. We had lots of people playing a dozen games or so then just fade away. And we veterans weren't playing tough lists - in fact, my lists tended to turn basically absurd but I still won handily because the skill gap is so gigantic and there's so much to grasp (and GB is even more daunting than Malifaux in this regard, IMO). And it wasn't just me. @Furnacehas played a ton of games against the noobs and I don't think he ever lost even a single one and he never brought abusive lists. And there were others as well.

And now the veterans quit as well because keeping up with the rules bloat was too much work for people with families and house renovations and business trips and other games and whatnot. We are down from like twenty active players to three or so.

I've now played a dozen or so games of Guild Ball. I'm something of a "super veteran" skirmish gamer and have experience with something like twenty or so systems. And Guild Ball is the only one where I don't even consider attending a tournament after a dozen games since I know that it would be just me getting my ass handed to me.

But it seems that most people here are convinced that rules bloat won't become an issue. And I hope you are right. It's just that I've just witnessed a game die to it and doubling the number of factions is kinda the most radical move I've ever seen a minis game do at one go...

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1 hour ago, Lemminkäinen said:

My apologies for being dismissive. You are correct, I should've addressed it better.

I don't consider a musical instrument to be a competitive thing. You don't duel better musicians and lose a hundred times to various gotchas. You also basically never "win" with an instrument. 

No sweat. That is generally true at least at during the hobby stage.

2 hours ago, Lemminkäinen said:

I consider those new players but yes, that's what I'm mostly talking about.

....

But it seems that most people here are convinced that rules bloat won't become an issue. And I hope you are right. It's just that I've just witnessed a game die to it and doubling the number of factions is kinda the most radical move I've ever seen a minis game do at one go...

Now we're cooking with Gas. So for you, it's not so much about people getting into the game but staying into the game. Got it. That is a bit of a different discussion than what I think most people here thought. I think I would personally define this as more of an issue for intermediate players, the ones like yourself who have a healthy grasp of the core rules, but may still struggle second level concepts as they apply to guild ball (tempo, board state, positioning). We're talking about the players who want to show up to a tournament and approach a 500 day. Now we can hopefully agree on audience? It sounds like these are the people you are concerned with rather than the guy who has 2 games under his belt.

I do think it may be important to further define what you consider "rules bloat". Are we talking core rules or every drop of ink? I think you'll find the core rules of Guild Ball have changed surprisingly little since it's inception. Sure you have things like plot cards, the OPD, card erratas.  In fact, the core rules have changed so little I can specifically tell you the 4 things which changed from season 2 to season 3 in a short sentence. They changed Mascot VPs, added Tap-in, added home-crowd, and altered Icy-Sponge levels. It's now been almost a year and a half since those changes, so I think it is safe to say Guild Ball has a very established and static set of Core rules. It does sound like we will see a reasonable revision in season 4, but I'd venture to guess they make updates on the fringes again.

This leads me to consider you define every additional card to contribute to "rules bloat". I do think it is worth repeating open source / freedom of information cards really help with this. I know I'll see a rare model sometimes and be like "Hey, how exactly does Locus's pull in thing work again?". I don't think there is anything wrong with that, and it's certainly a plus that SF really seems to love and promote 3rd party card apps. I think that is a big plus for the game over a codex and hopefully trims down the feeling of "bloat". If a new model comes out, welp, update your GB app of choice. You don't need to torrent a PDF or buy a text book. Another item I mentioned earlier, which I think is worth repeating is players in this game tend to follow some sort of template. I doubt anyone with 6-12 games under their belt is going to see a new card and just have literally no idea what the model accomplishes on the pitch.

Actually, you know what? We can do this exercise and get a feel for this right now. This is the third week in a row we've had a brand new exile spoiled. That's going to be a 6 model box just like minor guilds. How have you felt for the last few Thursdays? Worried? Excited? Dreading learning a new card? I for one have been theory craft land. Spoiler season is fun for me. Do you think when that box releases your player base will be upset?

 

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12 hours ago, Lemminkäinen said:

.

We had a thriving Malifaux community which just sort of died. We had lots of people playing a dozen games or so then just fade away. And we veterans weren't playing tough lists - in fact, my lists tended to turn basically absurd but I still won handily because the skill gap is so gigantic and there's so much to grasp (and GB is even more daunting than Malifaux in this regard, IMO). And it wasn't just me. @Furnacehas played a ton of games against the noobs and I don't think he ever lost even a single one and he never brought abusive lists. And there were others as well.

 

One redeeming quality it that GB allows people to score points even if they loose. There is no "I placed this miniature 1 inch to far forward and now I lose instantly.". You can easily allow your opponent to score a few take outs or even goals.   Also just understanding concepts like threat ranges and statistical odds will get you pretty far in GB.

 

12 hours ago, Lemminkäinen said:

 

I've now played a dozen or so games of Guild Ball. I'm something of a "super veteran" skirmish gamer and have experience with something like twenty or so systems. And Guild Ball is the only one where I don't even consider attending a tournament after a dozen games since I know that it would be just me getting my ass handed to me.

 I had a dozen of games under my belt when I played my first tournament and I did just fine. And I sucked at my previous wargame (Warmachine). And I have seen plenty of players do pretty decent at tournaments without extensive play experience. All in all I can highly recommend going to a tournament, even if you get your ass handed you'll learn a ton. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, HuggyTheBear said:

One redeeming quality it that GB allows people to score points even if they loose. There is no "I placed this miniature 1 inch to far forward and now I lose instantly.". You can easily allow your opponent to score a few take outs or even goals.   Also just understanding concepts like threat ranges and statistical odds will get you pretty far in GB.

 Well actually you can score points in any game even if you're losing and I highly disagree about there not being a "I placed this miniature 1" too far and lost". I'd argue it's more likely in Guild Ball than in many (or even any) of the other games we've played in my group. Guild Ball punishes you super hard for any movement error be it in the form of you get pushed out where you don't wish to be, counter charged, controlled, many various things in a game where friendly mpvement or extra movement out of activation is very rare. 

Also in any game you can allow your opponent to just score some points without fear of backfire. That is in now way a redeeming factor for Guild Ball. :D actually allowing them to do so might turn the snowball on you as you lose models, they get points, more influence / momentum where as in many other games you can actually allow points as you are aware they're capped to a certain amount of points and can't gain more from said allowance. Which doesn't hold true for Guild Ball. 

Understanding ranges is indeed good, but so is in any game. Understanding statistical odds, again sure but if you play those odds and something happens that shouldn't quite happen it's nigh game breaking in Guild Ball. :)

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18 minutes ago, Redtiger7 said:

Home crowd?

Home Crowd was the S2 plot card which gave you a momentum if you lost the initiative roll. It was baked into the core rules along with the Tap-in rule, which similarly started on a S2 plot. 

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19 minutes ago, Redtiger7 said:

Home crowd?

Player going 2nd starts the turn with 1 momentum. In season 2 this was a plot card called home crowd. Tap-In was also a plot card in season 2.

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On 4/3/2018 at 11:24 PM, Mako said:

I don't know that that would be any better - some people would then be unhappy because the box cost £55 and included two models they already have. 

The only way to not upset any customers would be to have each of the dual guild pairs available separately, but then that makes them more expensive because of the extra packaging and different casting quantities needed, and instantly bloats the SKUs which annoys retailers. It's impossible for them to not have someone complain at how things are packaged, because people want different things.

It's not a perfect system, but it makes the least mess this way (I had this conversation with folks at steamcon, and that was the conclusion then).

I agree somewhat, but take Falconeers instead .

To complete their lineup, you need to buy both Sun Father's box and Winter herald's box. So instead of paying more for two extra models (plus their tokens and health dials) and knowing that you don't need to buy anything else for that specific guild, you need two extra boxes for a guild you might not even want to play.

So if you don't want to play Hunters, that is a lot of extra money and models. In addition, you might have problems selling the remaining models, since the buyer can't buy the missing models separately. 

So from a customer perspective, I'd unfortunately say it's far from a perfect system, and might be worth looking over.

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While I support new guild for the game, I dislike the minor guilds for a lot of reasons listed before. But it really boils down to one thing for me: Depth vs Width. 

I like SF's plan to introduce more width to the game by adding more guilds than just keep adding to existing ones, but I feel the Minor guilds are the wrong way to do it. 

The major guilds could stand for just a little more depth, in the form of a third captain and mascot for each of them. Those key models open up a lot more replayability in each guild, rather than the current binary available. Adding a third Captain refreshes the potential of playability for existing models, instead of just adding more "Squaddies" to the roster to fight for the same 4 spots. 

Minor guilds offer some new options, but as stand alone guilds, they have less overall depth than the core Guilds, so while they add some temporary interest, they have less long term interest potential, so people will likely be quick to discard them in favor of something that can keep them coming back for more. 

Of course, the minor guilds does encourage people to get the corresponding major guild as well, which is likely part of SF's overall plan to "sell more stuff". 

 

So while I don't think Minor Guilds will kill off Guild Ball, I don't think they'll do the game any favors in the long run. 

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What makes you think there won't be new captains in Season 5/6? I'm not against the idea but captains are hard to design without encroaching existing designs. I don't see what downer there is to buying a box of toy soldiers for £45 if you get even 6 months (which you should at least) fun out of them isn't that perfect value for money? 

I will grant you the Major Guild Player availability issue is bad. The over lapping players should be available from SFG directly as blister packs. But other than that complaint, the minors seem fine. They mix up the 'meta' for the major guilds by providing a new challenge, without going overboard on the design required for 12 players and two captains. 

How is this topic still running?!?

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The problem (from SFG standpoint) with providing the overlapping players as singles or a separate pack is that it makes it less likely for these players to branch into the corresponding major guild. Not only because they don't have to buy the main guild box(es), but also if they buy them as singles, they will be reluctant to buy the major boxes as they "already paid for some of the content".

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