The Road To CaptainCon 1 of 4: Guild Ball – Turning Pigskin to Gold

Every year in the leadup to Gaming New Year in early February, I find myself using the impending convention – previously Templecon, this year CaptainCon – to provide me with motivation to get stuff done. Deadlines can often provide that little push I need to complete a small project, be it a painted list for Warmachine or something else. Over the past several years an awful lot of my Warmachine and Hordes models have found themselves to be painted already, so this year I’m taking on something new. Granted, I would have liked to have started it over the Christmas holidays, but it is what it is. It’s time dabble in what’s become a very popular change of pace from our usual WarmaHordes, Guild Ball.

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While I was extremely tempted by the Mortician’s Guild (I mean, c’mon, Silence is basically Starscream, I love it), I opted for the Alchemists as my starting team. Let’s pop open the things….

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Let’s start with the plastic accessories. One thing that struck me as odd was the choice of packaging. On the left, the ziploc bag the team-specific tokens came in. On the right, the game templates. These two could have easily been switched. It’s no big deal, but I will say that my templates are currently in the larger bag with my team tokens.

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The templates are beautifully cut in clear acrylic. The templates are highly decorative, and more than serviceable. I love when a round scatter template has the centre clearly marked, making it that much easier to feel confident about its positioning. The L-template measures 1″, 2″ and 3″.

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I’ll confess I still haven’t read through all the rules to fully appreciate all of the in-game effects, but apparently I’m going to blind three different opponents at once. I’m totally on board with channeling my inner Gorman di Wulfe here.

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Inside the box each of the three starter miniatures comes in its own plastic baggie. The three cards, and the ball and its base, are snuggly surrounded by packing peanuts. I have no concerns about model components being unbroken, though do be mindful of the ball when removing the styrofoam – you don’t want to accidentally throw it out. I’ll note that the entire contents of the starter could have comfortably fit in a box half the size, but the presentation is pretty darn sweet. I love that the text on the back of each box is so heavily individualized for each team. Even the “This box contains…” text is flavoured.

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The pigskin in question! Clip off the strut and you’re good to go. I’ll be mounting mine on Dragon Forge bases, because I heart their resin. I think maybe the Wastelands II series.

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Mercury, the Flare of Passion. From all reports a glory hound, showboat, and a hit with the ladies. Also, he likes to set things on fire, which really appeals to my inner Menite.

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Aside from a couple of minor points of flash, Mercury is a  beautifully cast model. The character design is neat, and the stream of flame would allow for some great OSL opportunities, for those looking for some.

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Calculus, Maiden of Science. To the team’s Vice-Captain, the formation of the Guild Ball team seems little more than another experiment, dabbling in the combination of volatile components and observing the results.

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Another two-piece model, I’m loving the detail in the simple things. Her braid is neat, as are the decorative lines on her apron. It seems she’s channeling Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman for her pants, but to each their own.

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And then there’s Midas, The Chosen One. A revolutionary mind in a stagnant age, Midas seeks power and knowledge,and apparently some new gloves, because he’s turned one arm to metal.

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A three component model – both arms are separate – his cleats may be my favourite thing about the model. His pose does mean I’m going to have to leave his lower arm off while I paint the torso and legs, but this seems to be my lot.

With the creators of Guild Ball (or at least, their representatives) making the trip from the UK to CaptainCon, my goal is to have a team painted up and ready so that they can actually teach me how to play the game. I mean, I *have* the rulebook – it’s a free download, after all – but I learn much better with someone actually walking me through things. I have seven Alchemists models to assemble and paint, betwixt my usual pile of painting and blogging chores and other shenaniganry (I haven’t forgotten you, Reddit paint exchange!).

Stay tuned; with any luck I’ll have something to show you next week 🙂