Following on the heels of my last article about all star games I wanted to take a bit of time and discuss Fun Formats in Guild Ball.
If you come from a Warmachine background you know that conventions are usually full of fun, casual play formats for those who want a less competitive edge their playing experience for the weekend. In general these revolve around 1 of 2 things; alternate scenario rules or alternate army/team composition rules.
I would like to qualify this entire article b stating that all of this is in pure dojo mode right now. If anyone wishes to play test these formats and leave feedback or opinions please feel free. Unfortunately, the only thing Jason is usually down for that is “fun” or “weird” is Naked Nun Wrestling and the rest of our immediate meta is still pretty fresh in the foot to try out odd games. But a few of the guys are coming along nicely and may be up for experimenting in my alternative lifestyle choices soon.
So please try these out and hit me up here, on Facebook, or the Forums with feedback or ideas.
The interesting thing about Guild Ball is that it is balanced around one scenario, the ball, two goals, and lots of fists. So changing things up could prove to be difficult as it may really shift the balance of the game between teams. If you take away goals or takeouts as a victory condition you need to be careful to consider how this may unbalance things.
Capture the Flag- This is an idea that we have tossed around a bit based on the popular scenario that you see throughout a variety of games. The objective retrieve the Flag (ball) from your opponents territory and get it to your own goal. In this scenario it would be a one score victory with the only way to win being to capture the flag. Takeouts could still give the edge in the game but do not result in VPs. The biggest issue I see is how do you deal with the issues of the Flag fairly.
Obviously the Flag functions just like a ball in regular gameplay and there are 2 on the pitch. Each team starts in possession of their own Flag which must remain between the goal line and the center line while in their possession.
-Potential issues- To avoid “dropping it in the corner” maybe there could be a rule that state that at the beginning of the Round any ball not in possession of a model will scatter d6 inches using standard scatter.
If the takeout game is nerfed to hard maybe have take-outs earn extra influence like goals.
If certain teams can score to quickly, maybe up the difficulty to score from distance by requiring more hits or higher TNs for every 4″ out.
One model cannot possess 2 balls. If passed/snap one they automatically drop the other. If the pass misses, both balls standard scatter.
One Goal- Placing one goal for both teams to share in the center of the field. It would be a fast game at least.
Multiple Balls- Play a standard game but increase the balls on the pitch. Follow possession rues above.
4-Way Game- This is more complex than I have really thought about but you would probably need to do something like corner deployment and repositioned goal with maybe reduced team sizes. I would advise to having each team only be able to score on a specific goal.
These actually interest me a lot more because you get to live out crazy combos that you don’t always get.
Who’s the Boss- Ripped straight out of a Warmachine favorite. Each player Builds a normal team without a captain. One could allow benched models, but I may suggest not. Between each game players are randomly generated a captain (not one that would already work for them) who is considered friendly guild.
Guild Draft- I have been waiting on the new Mascots for this one. In a Guild Draft both teams are playing the same team but only one of each player may be used. Shuffle the cards and deal them out evenly. Each player then selects a player and then swaps hands until the teams are full. This would be an interesting way to see how models may be valued within a guild. Picking captains first may not always be the right move.
This works great for one off games, but if you wanted to run an event you would just designate each table a guild. The hardest part would be getting all the models, especially Union.
League Draft- In this format you get one of each model in the game and deal them out to everyone playing. Hands circle the group until everyone has a team (this would probably work best as an 8 man scramble-type event). Players may only build a 6 man team, but may swap card on the extra rotations. If a player is missing a Mascot/Captain at the end of the draft the get one randomly replacing a random player on their team
As an added bonus, the winner of each round may force a player swap. Trading one of their models for an opponents.
Big Guy Draft- This is a fun one off game I have been dreaming about where you draft all the 4omm based models with an opponent. It just sounds like fun. 🙂
Like I said at the beginning, try these out and give some feedback. Maybe as a community we can develop out these and other ideas to become regular formats at larger events for those looking for the sort of game that allows an open bar.