Last week we dropped a huge digital update for the Big League campaign system, if you missed that blog you can find it HERE. Today we get to talk about something awesome that our community has done for Guild Ball, fan made smartphone apps! Since the earliest days of Guild Ball, we’ve always hosted the rules for Guild Ball and all of its playable characters online, free to access, at steamforged.com. We never dreamt that people would love Guild Ball so much that they would create their own smartphone apps, let alone several!
Apps Apps Baby
Over the years there have been several smartphone apps created by Guild Ball fans that have helped our community flourish. Before going any further, we would like to take a moment to thank everyone that has devoted any time to such an app. They have all played their part in making our community as great as it is. Many of these gaming apps you can still find, including GB Keeper for iOS, as well as GB Scrum, and Tooled Up for Android. Back in the day there was even a dedicated Guild Ball chess clock app called GBTimer created by Guild Ball Tonight’s own Phil Bowen.
First let’s begin with apps and their place within Guild Ball. Previously in the Regional Cup document, damage tracking applications have been allowed assuming you had permission from your opponent. We love the idea of people using apps and it seems that people want to leverage the small mega computer they carry around with them for their games. However, we want to ensure that when using an app you can present information clearly and quickly to your opponent when asked. This is particularly important during tournaments when information like the remaining health on a model can be critical. After all, it’s important for both players to have a good experience at the table.
We know some players prefer apps over physical cards, so we decided to look at the various options for Guild Ball damage tracking apps. We wanted to see if there was one we could recommend to our players and work with for inclusion within the Regional Cup document.
Enter Guild Ball Manager!
After a lot of consideration, we decided to work with the creator of the Guild Ball Manager app and long-time Pundit, Ben Lang. Guild Ball Manager (or GB Manager) is a fantastic cross platform app that allows players to reference cards and mark damage on their models. It’s as simple as; choosing your Guild, choosing your models, and then you’re ready to play a game. No longer will you have to borrow, beg, and scrounge if you forget your cards (or dry erase markers). On top of this you have access to EVERY single Guild Ball card in our range in the palm of your hand!
GB Manager’s swiss army knife of features doesn’t stop there! They extend FAR beyond the needs of a single player. If both players are using the app, they can ‘link’ their devices allowing them to reference each other’s cards and health values. While their devices are linked, both players can see any changes in health values on their own screen in real time. This creates a seamless experience that allows both players easy access to all the information they could need throughout the game. Connecting to games is easy as a player tapping ‘New Game’ and passing their Game ID to their opponent. Their opponent taps ‘Join Game’, enters the code and then the other player presses ‘Start Game’. If either device loses connection, it’s simple to reconnect and data will be retained while the device tries to reconnect. This should avoid those horrible situations of data being lost.
To this end, we’ve also released an updated Regional Cup document today that allows players to use the GB Manager app in Guild Ball events. We would also encourage using GB Manager because it’s pretty awesome! As a side point, our streaming team love it too because they can use its ‘spectate’ mode to join an ongoing game and keep closer tabs on the current health of each player’s models.
But Wait! There’s Even More!
Even beyond the already extensive feature list, there is also a built-in chess clock which will handle one minute timeouts. There’s an odds calculator that allows you to see what chance you have of hitting that four-die goal shot (94%). Last of all is a map function that allows you to see other players in your area and contact them or add yourself to the map. Ben has gone above and beyond to create something great for the community, and we’re glad that we can highlight and promote his hard work.
Regional Cup? Would You Like To Know More?
In addition to updating the Regional Cup document for using Guild Ball Manager, we decided to take the opportunity to reflect on the community’s feedback on the Game Plan deck which was released earlier this year.
Since their release the feedback to Game Plans has been almost universally positive, players enjoy their mechanics, options, and strategy the cards provide over the previous die roll for initiative. This new layer of depth has promoted a lot of positive discussion surrounding card choice and use within games.
Amongst all this discussion there has been a repeated talking point regarding the cards and their interaction with the clock. Currently both players choosing and resolving their cards is done completely ‘off the clock’ and there have been concerns within the community of this leading to more games going to full time or ‘dice down’. While we have not seen a significant increase in the number of games going to dice down, there is a fairly simple fix we can make to prevent this potentially becoming more of a problem in the future.
Keep the Ball Moving
The resolution of Game Plan card effects is now a timed feature of games. Meaning that Game Plan card effect are now resolved ‘on the clock’. However, the choice of cards between turns will remain untimed.
After both players have played their cards and the decision of whom will go first has been determined, the clock will go back on and they will resolve any effects required by the cards. This ensures that resolution of card effects does not take too long but players still get the time they need to make the correct card choice between turns. This change also means that resolution of conditions will also be done on clock. This is to avoid unnecessary pausing of clocks at the start and restarting of clocks during the Maintenance Phase.