Gaming on a budget – The Challenge (Month 5 – Part 10)

So Mancavers, this months update sees me give you some very quick and dirty match reports for two games this week.

On Monday evening my Fishermen Team of Shark, Salt, Jac, Greyscales, Sakana and Siren took on Mark Southerd’s Alchemists which consisted of Calculus, Compound, Midas, Katalyst, Vitriol and Flask.

Calculus Compound Flask Katalyst Midas Vitriol

I forgot so much in this game. Once Salt was removed I completely forgot the +2 Bonus MOM, +2 TAC and +2″/+2″ MOV per player which might have helped.

Glad I swapped Kraken for Greyscales, I do like him. Should probably drop Siren if no Kraken so will go with Angel next time around. I remain to be convinced about Sakana but I’d need a bigger threat than him as an option. Maybe Fangtooth? Maybe Gutter?

Mark was patient as ever and deserved his win if for no other reason than putting up with my stupid questions and changing the damage I apply when I read things properly.

6-4 to Marks Alchemists. His team took out Shark, Siren and Salt. I scored with Greyscales following a Shark knockdown on Midas and Salt stealing the ball before passing to Greyscales using a snap shot.

Tonight saw my nemesis Andy T come over for a game with his new Engineers team.

The newly rejigged lineup for my Fishermen took to the field against Andy’s Engineers tonight.

The lineup was Shark, Salt, Jac, Sakana, Angel and Greyscales. Sakana and Greyscales on the wings with Angel and Shark up front with Jac and Salt sat in behind sweeping up.

I think Andy had Ballista, Mainspring, Colossus, Velocity, Ratchet and Salvo.

BallistaColossusMainspringRatchetSalvoVelocity

We didn’t grab any pics as we got straight into it tonight.

Back to winning ways! 12-10 to my Fishermen. I think I’m finally getting to grips with my preferred team and tactics. My first turn was shaky as having kicked off with Salt I dragged him back with Jac’s activation and waited for the smoke to settle to strike. Shark quickly engaged and stole the ball from Ballista before scoring early in turn two. 4-0 Fishermen.

Andy was unlucky and was whiffing rolls allowing me a chance to not take damage and keep mobile. Sakana was keeping Velocity at bay and under threat from his range 2 melee on the left. Immediately after kick off the ball scattered into range of Velocity who activated next. Despite an attack of opportunity on Velocity an unopposed run and an open goal meant Velocity struck back immediately. 4-4

I kicked off hoping to gather with Angel and score again but the scatter from the goal was unfriendly and snapped to Ballista as soon as he activated.

Shark activated his legendary and really slowed the Engineers who were all caught with it. Jac and Greyscales did some great work on the right flank to rob the ball from the Engineer captain and did enough to tackle and dodge away. Using Greyscales remaining influence to run and shoot plus the momentum I was generating he scored again with a screamer to take extra momentum which he used to run the length and get away from the Engineer defence and back into the wing. 8-4 Fishermen.

Yet again the kick off placement and scatter favoured the Engineers and yet again the ball was close to Colossus. Jac stripped him of it and Salt gathered before advancing down the right flank hiding behind Jac and Greyscales.

Now not shackled by Sharks legendary play Balliata threw some nastiness at Salt killing him. 8-6 Fishermen.

Theball was dropped and scattered off the pitch. Restarting from the centre spot the ball conveniently fell within a few inches of Velocity who again activated next, ran, collected the ball and had another easy unopposed shot at my goal to take the lead. 8-10 to Engineers.

This time the ball scatter was kind of in my favour as it landed between Colossus, Angel and Jac. Colossus and Ballista had been busy doing what they do best knocking my players over making it hard to keep mobile and leaving both Jac and Angel knocked down.

It would be hard to score without using my bonus momentum from Salt and then somehow generating more for a shot. Now buffed by extra MP and +2″/+2″ from Salt being taken out by Ballista it wad left to Jac get up and clear Colossus out for Angel. He spent a momentum to get up, activated Ramming Speed and jogged 7″ at Colossus pushing him away before attacking him to get a momentous 1″ dodge. Using his Heroic play, Trident Tested he shoved Collosus even further away from Angel. Now she was out of strike range of any unactivated Engineer so whoever Andy activated couldn’t do anything to her or the ball. Angel could activate next. I had 2 momentum thanks to Jac’s earlier momentous dodge.

Angel spent a momentum to stand up leaving me 1 for the shot. Thanks to her 3 influence and Salts demise she could sprint 10″ grabbing the ball on the way before using her play Super Shot to shoot with 5 dice from 10″ out. Threat range of 20″…..19″ away. Goal fishermen for a 12-10 victory and game!

I think I’m finally getting to grips with the playstyle I want to use with the Fishermen. Every game I learn something new and until my Union Ringers arrive have a settled team line up.

Again muchos gracias to the very patient Andy T who puts up with silly questions and me taking too long over who to activate next. Cheers buddy! Great game!

Next up are my purchases for this month.  It was my intention to start buying the members of the Union team that can play for the Fishermen this month.  They are as follows:-

Avarice and Greed

Avarice and Greed

Hemlocke

Hemlocke

Gutter

Gutter

Snakeskin

Snakeskin

Fangtooth

Fangtooth

I reckoned for my £30 I could grab 2-3 of these guys and boost my options for my Fishermen but something came up that made me change my mind.  Whilst looking around eBay I stumbled upon a full Masons Team for sale.  The Masons are another of the Guilds that occupy the world of Guildball.  This seemed a good idea to me as it meant I would have two teams so could play at home with people who didn’t have a team, could teach others and generate local interest and most importantly practice and refine my Fishermens tactics.  They were a completely different style to the Fishermen.  Where the Fishermen are the Guildball equivilent of Blood Bowl’s Elves or Skaven the Masons are the equivilent of the Humans.  They don’t excel in any particular area and are good all rounders.

masons

The Masons’ play style is all about balance and subtle flexibility. They have strong but not outstanding offensive and defensive options available to them. With a good mix of buffs and debuffs forming the foundation of their combo play, they need each other to excel.

They are equipped to play well during all phases of the game without a definitive focus on any key area, which is why they are the most flexible of teams to play. They have the tools and the play style to adapt to every situation, as long as you can piece them together properly.

Mason rewards players who can see and build play to effect combos, and then take advantage of any situation.

I was very lucky because the auction I was watching included all players in the team and wasn’t being watched by many people.  I silently watched and waited and at the last second put in my bid of £33.  With so little time left no-one could counter bid and it was accepted.  I had won!  So within a few days my full team would arrive courtesy of eBay.  I now had:

Honour

Honour

Harmony

Harmony

Brick

Brick

Mallet

Mallet

Marbles

Marbles

Tower

Tower

Flint

Flint

Now this wasn;t in fact the FULL team as during October a Season 2 player was added to the Masons line up.  I had previously bought Sakana the Season 2 Fishermen and had a full and complete line-up.  It didnt feel right to now have a complete team so rather than be missing one I decided to push the boat out and really overspend this month by purchasing the metal miniature Chisel from Element Wargames for £8.95.  I felt justified in doing this becasue I had saved so much on my Masons team.  Rather than pay the £60 odd for a full Season 1 Masons line up I had in fact only paid £33 including shipping.  Happy days!

So total spend this month was as follows:-

Masons Season 1 Team – £33.00 (including shipping)

Chisel – Season 2 Mason – £8.95 + £2.95 shipping

Total spend – £44.90

Ok so I overspent but I can recoup it next month or simply write it off as a one of occasion like a birthday or bonus from work.  Im happy with my purchases and feel I can now make some strides forward in Guildball.

Happy Mancaving!

Gaming on a budget – The Challenge (Month 4 – Part 8)

Evening Mancavers!

So a few days into October and I can update the progress with my “gaming on a budget” article.  As followers of this blog will know I pledged to spend no more than £30 each month on a new game that I hadn’t ever played before.  I chose to invest in Guildball by Steamforged Games, a low fantasy medieval football game where each team is built up from Guild members.  The Guilds included the Alchemists, the Butchers, the Brewers, the Masons, the Morticians, the Engineers, the Union and the Fishermen.  I opted for the Fishermen a team all about movement and speed.

Last month saw Steamforged Games update their Season 2 information for Guildball and release information on some of the new players for each team.  My team, the Fishermen, will be getting Sakana.  Firstly he is a stunning looking render and with any luck when my Sakana arrives the miniature will be equally as impressive.

Sakana

Sakana

Sakana Card Front

Sakana Card Front

Sakana Card Back

Sakana Card Back

Looking at Sakana in detail;-  Pros:

– Fast, even without influence

– Relatively durable (similar to Shark, just good DEF/ARM/HP).

– Actual momentous damage (hurray!)

– That push/dodge in column 5 could be very strong- if you can get Gut And String or a Knockdown on a 2+ defense player (even one with armor) you could get 8 inches of push on them for 4 influence. Pity it isn’t momentous.

Cons:

– Doesn’t really bring any control ability (knockdown, movement, debuffs)

– Poised means he’s gonna get knocked down a lot, which will probably get him killed

– Solves a problem that the Fish don’t really have in my opinion- I guess he can set up for a playbook result chain pretty well with Weak Point, but the best damage dealer the Fishermen can play at the moment is Gutter (Union) who already has Anatomical Precision and Fangtooth (also Union) could be pretty effective with it.

With all this in mind I was pretty much sold so Sakana was my first purchase this month.  He was £10-95 (in resin) and £8-95 (metal) directly from the Steamforged webstore but £8-05 from Element Wargames.  Both would incur me shipping of £2-95 so Element won out here.  Sure I’d love a resin version but as this is gaming on a budget I’d take the cheaper option.

Last month Andy Thomas and Mark Southerd put me onto a webstore called Blotz http://blotz.co.uk/ this website sold MDF scenery and had a rather good deal on some Guildball Goals in the form of some gibbets with a target hanging from them.  They looked fairly sturdy and nice little extras to add to my cheap pitch from a few months ago.  Looking at them I knew Id want at least 2 to paint up as basic goals and I;d also like to use one as the basis for a Fishermen specific goal to use with my team.

Blotz Gibbet with Target Guildball Goal.

Blotz Gibbet with Target Guildball Goal.

Blotz Gibbet with Target Guildball Goal with miniature for scale.

Blotz Gibbet with Target Guildball Goal with miniature for scale.

You too can grab yourself a couple of these by going to the Blotz webpage on the link below.  At a very reasonable £3 each I thought I’d jump in and grab 3 for the reasons set out above.  I have plans to make Fishermen specific goals to compliment my team.

http://blotz.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=24_124_123&products_id=613

Lastly, having bought the bare bones of a Fishermens goal for a team specific project I needed to start gathering some fishy accompaniments to build it up.  I’d seen various goals by other Guildball players and thought I;d try some similar sort of styles.  Using the Blotz goal I wanted to hang some kind of trophy from the gibbet.  I hunted around and found a source of 28mm sharks from the Reaper Dark Heaven range sold by Noble Knight Games in the US.

Reaper Dark Heaven 28mm Sharks

Reaper Dark Heaven 28mm Sharks

The shipping was a little steep though.  I looked locally and on EBay for a similar deal but couldn’t find one so eventually after some umming and oooing and aaahing I went for them.  They were $11-95 with $9-10 shipping which totalled to £13-87 after conversion.  I’d love some cheaper source of them so anyone who finds them please do let me know.

Thinking I was nearly at my budget I stopped there.  This months spend came to a total of:-

Sakana – £8-05 + £1-00 (Shipping*) = £9-05

Blotz Gibbet with Target x 3 – £9-00 + £2-80 = £11-80

Reaper Dark Heaven 28mm Sharks – £7-87 + £6-00 = £13-87

Total – £34-72

Yet again this month shipping has killed my attempts to stay on budget and mainly that shipping from the States for the Sharks.  Hopefully next month things will improve in that regard.  This month I will be scouring EBay looking for Guildball deals especially on the five Union Team members I am able to ally with my Fishermens team.  If a good deal comes up on a whole team then I might invest in that so I have two teams to play with at home.  Who knows eh….the world is my oyster (fishermens joke!)!

Im hoping to have my team ready for use in time for Mark Southerd’s upcoming tournament in January 2016 “The Heroic Play Open”.  A link to this to buy tickets can be found here:-

https://www.tiebreak.co.uk/the-heroic-play-open-2016/feed

Happy gaming Mancavers!

Jase

Gaming on a budget – The Challenge (Part 1)

Some time ago I reviewed Tabletop Gaming’s first issue of its magazine and whilst discussing this review with Hairy Gamer Tris we decided that an article about gaming on a budget would be a great idea.  Tabletop Gaming hadn’t done it so we resolved to set a budget and start a new project.

I had also spoken to some old LARPer friends of mine Andy Bridgwater and Andy Thomas who had just invested in Guildball from Steamforged Games.  This game appealed to me because it was a low fantasy american football style game.  It was to Fantasy Football as Game of Thrones is to Fantasy Fiction….no Elves, no Dwarves, no Orcs or Goblins.  It also fit quite nicely with my project to game on a budget as it wouldnt take a huge investment to get involved.  With all this in mind I asked around on the Guild Ball Supporters (Gu.B.S) page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/669287583117414/) and spoke to the Andy’s and took advice from Alex Cairns who all affirmed my belief that it might be the project I was looking for.

Andy Thomas was kind enough to write a review to give me some idea what it was all about:-

So it’s Sunday, I’m sitting at a table and looking back is my best mate and we are about to kick the living bejesus out of each other!

I’ll explain… At the UK Expo we met up with the creators of a fantasy football game called Guildball and we liked what we saw. I really wanted Dreadball but when we asked for a demo… Mantis weren’t keen so we decided to go back and chat a little further… £60 each later and 4 of us now have full teams and a rule book.

Forward wind to our first game, a 3 on 3 between the Brewers guild and my Butchers! I’m having a strange feeling like I’ve been here before and it’s awesome, but ask me what the something is… I have no idea. I’ve read the rules to death and been mostly confused, tried to learn what my players can do and chosen the three that I’m sure can get me to the 6 victories points I need for a win! At this point I’m still confused how stuff works but armed with my rule book and cheat sheets… I’m ready as I will ever be! 6 points later, I’ve put his leader off the board and his quick player off twice and it’s taken around 30 minutes of non stop action where neither of us had to watch the other move 11 players, resolve 11 actions…fall asleep.

The rules I thought were complicated are actually streamlined and easy to follow, allowing the game to flow like a game should. Because of the turn system where 1 player activates a model then it switches to player 2, you never feel like you are in downtime and for someone with the attention span of a gnat, this rocks!

The players I chose had abilities that complimented each other and by knowing what each could do and how that can buff my other guys or rebuff the opposition I had a range of interesting plays I could bring to the table. Again, my non existent attention span is pleased that it has lots to do but at the same time not get overwhelmed. Then it hit me… That feeling I had been here before, I recognise it as the first time I played Bloodbowl. That little child inside me who loves the idea of fantasy football but doesn’t have 2 hours to play a game just got the cake and ate it.

That cake is called Guildball and if you love Bloodbowl or Dungeonbowl, there’s a new cake you should buy and eat…. It’s called Guildball”

images  download

Well anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE Blood Bowl and have done since it was first released by Games Workshop many many years ago.  I have complete and untouched copies of 1st Ed, 2nd and 3rd ed plus multiple teams.  I also all love all things contact sports.  This sounded just like the game for me.  Having spent many years playing Blood Bowl and primarily the Humans, Skaven and Elf teams I knew I’d favour a team that were fast and agile and quick to score.  I’m not so much of a bash’em’up sort and like flair and speed.  Reading some reviews online and the article in Tabletop Gaming it sounded like the Fishermens Guild would be the guys for me.  So it would be my “gaming on a budget” project.

Fishermen Guild

Fishermen Guild

Having made the decision I went to my FLGS in Coventry to grab a Starter set.  When I enquired the store volunteer hadn’t ever heard of the game and had no idea what I was talking about, which left me rather at a loss.  I would have to go online to try and find what I was looking for.  I try to support my FLGS whenever I can but on this occasion the Internet would need to come to my rescue.  I asked the members of the Gu.B.S. group on Facebook about where was best to buy from and the general concensus seemed to be Element Games, based in Stockport and the same building as Steamforged Games:-

http://elementgames.co.uk/wargames-and-miniatures/cult-steampunk-other-miniatures-games/guild-ball

Looking at the website I had a budget of £30 a month which I would need to buy at least a Starter set.  So I picked up:-

Fishermens Starter Set Season 1 (Shark, Siren & Angel) – £19.76

Fishermans Guild Starter Set.

Fishermans Guild Starter Set.

Shark, Angel & Siren.

Shark, Angel & Siren.

Kraken – £12.10

Kraken

Kraken

Total – £31.86

I was a little over my original intended budget but I figured I could recoup this next month by spending less.  Once shipping of £2.95 was factored in then I was at a total of £34.81.

For a similar price I could invest in many similar skirmish level games that I had considered in the past such as Judge Dredd by Warlord Games, Batman by Knight Models, a new Corporation for Warzone Resurrection (I already have Cybertronic, Imperial and Mishima) by PRODOS Games Ltd.  I was happy with my final choice.  Now all that remains is for the postie to drop a box of goodies from Element Games through my letter box and for me to get them assembled and painted ready to bring some fishy hurt to the Andys (Thomas and Bridgwater), Pam aka Mrs Andy B and Jason W who had all invested at UK Games Expo.

I should only ever need 7 models to play the Fishermens Guild and once my package arrives I will have 4 of those so I’m a happy, little, lazy painting, budget gamer!

Im now off to download the free Rules PDF so I can read up before my team arrives.  That was another selling point.  Whilst I like a glossy shiny looking rulebook on the shelf in the Mancave the fact that I can get free rules and put off that purchase for another month was a huge advantage for me.

http://guildball.com/Guildball_QPR_Public1.0.pdf

I can also go onto the Guildball Forums to pick up tactics and general Guildball advice.  Here is a link:-

http://guildball.com/forums/index.php?/index

Thats about all for now.  Thanks to the Gu.B.S guys on Facebook, Alex Cairns, Andy B & Andy T for the inspiration and ideas.

Jase