Today is a big day for us, as we begin the run up to the Free Cities Draft, the 2018 Guild Ball narrative campaign. Some of you are already veterans of last year’s Union in Chains, and you may even recall the Butcher’s Civil War before that – but believe us when we say this year’s event is bigger than ever before!
The Free Cities Draft pits coaches from all around the world against each other as they try to secure fresh blood for their team. There are ten new players available, meaning each Major Guild will be able to recruit a player – but who their most popular choices are and the order in which the Guilds will make their selections is down to you. Do you want a new striker? Perhaps a goalkeeper, then? Or maybe the most important factor is a player who will fit in with the rest of your squad?
You’re the coaches. You play the games. You have the power to make the best choice for your team.
Over the next two weeks you’ll be learning more about the players you’ll be competing for in a series of scouting reports, all penned by the enigmatic Guild Ball Scout as he watches the action. Then, on the 24th of September the narrative campaign will begin! Expect guile and trickery, secret discussions and arrangements, and even pacts between enemies…
And, of course, a whole lot of exciting Guild Ball action!
How Does It Work?
For this event we’re tracking two different statistics.
Firstly, how many games are reported for each Guild. This is the most important of the two, as it determines the order in which the Guilds will make their selections at the end of the event. The Guild with the highest amount of reported games overall make their draft before any of their rivals, followed by the second highest, then third, and so on.
Secondly, we’re tracking the level of popularity of each new player for each Guild. At the end of the event player popularity will decide who each Guild recruits, when their turn at the draft comes. For example, if Knuckles is the most popular player at the Butcher’s Guild, and he’s still available when they make their draft, they’ll recruit him.
Now, doubtless the eagle-eyed amongst you spotted an interesting phrase there – if he’s still available. The lower down the draft your Guild is, the more likely it will be your most popular choice has already been taken. If that happens, your Guild will draft their next most popular choice, dropping down in popularity order until a player is available.
For example, let’s assume the Butcher’s Guild have reported the most games overall, and therefore have the first pick in the draft. Their most popular player is Knuckles, who now joins their team. The Guild with the next highest amount of reported games is the Fisherman’s Guild. Their most popular player is also Knuckles – but unfortunately enough, Knuckles has already been drafted. The Fisherman’s Guild will have to settle for their second most popular player instead.
We’re sure you guys are already thinking on the best tactic to get your number one choice – so, we’ll give you a couple of little hints.
First up, talk with the other coaches in your Guild. If you guys report games for every new player then you’ll quickly find yourself disappointed when someone unexpected turns out to be the most popular.
Secondly, try to find out which players your rivals are pursuing. If you really want a player but rival Guilds are putting up stiff competition, it might be best to change to an alternative… or, make sure that everyone who reports games for your Guild is united behind the choice.
Third, have a back-up choice, and report some games for them. If you don’t get your most popular player, you’ll need to make sure the alternative is the right one for your team, and isn’t left in fate’s fickle hands
Lastly, engage the Minor Guild and Union coaches in your area to vote for your choice. The Union won’t be able to recruit a new player in this event, but they can still report games like everyone else. We’re sure they’ll be more than happy to support you… for a price.
When you’ve played your game, you’ll need to head over to The Free Cities website. There, you’ll be able to choose which Guild you’re supporting and enter into that Guild’s inner sanctum.
There you’ll be able to report your game by adding a title, pictures, and a description of what happened, along with which new player you’re interested in recruiting.
We’ll be posting the games which most capture our attention, and who knows? It might be that your reports will have a direct influence on the story, with star players making cameo appearances. Narrative events give our awesome community the ability to influence the world of Guild Ball, and we’re extremely keen to embrace that with the Free Cities Draft campaign. Make this event your own and write the games which swayed each player to join your team!
Minor Guilds and the Union
If you’re a Minor Guild coach, don’t worry, you can still take part in the event. Minor Guilds should probably side with their associated Major Guild – unless, of course, you’re feeling particularly treacherous. Much like the Minor Guilds in the Empire of the Free Cities, you’re in a unique position to influence events and exploit or support your patrons as suits you.
Union coaches have even more power, with no master holding their loyalty. Indulge your blackened heart with the sneaky and underhand tactics your team was infamous for. Make the opposition work for your vote, then double cross them if you’d prefer to stick a knife in their back. Play as dastardly as you can… and we might have a surprise waiting for you by the end of the campaign, as a reward.
The Free Cities Draft runs until mid-afternoon Saturday 10th November, with the actual draft happening during the Steamcon UK Keynote, so you don’t have long!
Now, as promised, here is your first Scouting Report. It’s for a character we first met in Season Three, and one we’ve been asked about plenty of times. Anyone remember Amber, our exiled Brewer?