Today I have started to look in depth at Guild Ball Season One Rule book. The game Guild Ball, its a sports game set in the fantasy setting Empire of the Free Cities.
First thing that jumps out at you is that unlike everyother rulebook in existance is that it is in Landscape not portrait. Now while I looked at it and thought thats odd while speaking to Matt one of the designers at Salute he told me the very obvious reason, when you have the mat laid out in front of you and are learning to play this rulebook will fit on the table in front of you much easier than the traditional portrait style book. For me the jury is still out on whether it is anything more than an insignificant difference, for others I have spoke to the view seems to be split almost evenly some think its awkward as the pages are wider so take up more space whist others love he landscape artwork, which is good.
With three ‘sized’ games Guild Ball there should be enough scope for the pick up and play to the seasoned gamer, ranging in times from 30 minutes to two hours. For the majorit of the tiem each team will consist of five players, including one captain and a mascot, the rest are picked from a selection of named players, at the moment there are only four or five players to choose from, with one team having a massive choice off nine. nothing to despair off though as I have been reliably informed that Season 2 will contain new teams as well as new players and this will continue through out the seasons expansions, one new feature is that they have the choice to ‘kill’ charactors off. This would be for specific tournaments, and wouldnt affect play as much as it sounds.
The main game phases should sound familiar to many if not all, each turn is broken down into four phases, Initiative, Maintenance, Activation and the End phase. All off these bring either hope that the game will be easy to pick up or despair that its a run off the mill game, luckily it is easy to pick up and its not run off the mill.
In the next update I will look at some off the unique features including what happens when a player goes off the pitch through injury.