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THP Podcast – The Heroic Road Trip

Welcome to this episode of The Heroic Play Podcast.  Luke, Andy and John all headed to Peter O’Sullivan’s Gentlemen’s Guild Ball Club tournament in Cambridge.

I packed them off with a mic, some dice and this is what they created; from all accounts they had a great day at a really smoothly ran event so full credit to Peter there.

Thresher is still a boogey man, I’m sure that we’ll unlock the puzzle before too long.

Hope you enjoy the podcast!

As always, we welcome feedback.

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THP Podcast – Post SteamCon and Blacksmiths

Mark, Rich and Luke talk about the 2nd box of the Blacksmiths, what a Blacksmiths 10 look like in our eyes.  As well as Post SteamCon thoughts and some other chat in general.

Enjoy and as always we welcome feedback.

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THP Podcast – Is the sky really falling?

Welcome to the first episode of The Heroic Play Podcast post SteamCon 2017!

Mark & Luke are joined by Daniel Harwood and discuss Thresher, whether the sky is falling and some other bits Guild Ball related.

Hope you enjoy the episode and feel free to send us some feedback.

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What is SteamCon?

So for the unenlightened SteamCon is Steamforged Games’ annual convention, this year it was held on the 17th – 19th November at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester.  Last year, the inaugural one was held roughly the same time, can’t remember the exact date, but was in November again and was at the Headingley Experience in Leeds.  This is the 3rd weekend long games convention that I’ve been too, I did SmogCon (now BonesCon) a Warmachine one a few years back that was down in London Heathrow area.  Effectively its a gathering of the gaming community for Guild Ball (and soon to be GodTear) along with other IP board games that Steamforged produce, such as Dark Souls, and their new Resident Evil board game.  If you’ve never done a gaming convention before I would imagine it could be a bit of an eye opener.  What it does is really show what an amazing community there is around Guild Ball at the moment.  Steamforged have done an amazing job creating a game, which for me is very easy to get to grips with but takes time and practice to master.  Really though, it’s all the Pundits out there who make the Guild Ball community what it is, these players have taken it upon themselves to go out there, and grow a community of like minded gamer’s who want to play Guild Ball.  I’ve had the pleasure of working with some amazing Pundits during my stint in the Pundit programme, people like Myk Myers & Peter O’Sullivan give so much of there own time to the game, whether its just answering questions from newbies on Facebook or moderating the groups.  Equally, I feel there are some Pundits who probably don’t pull their weight in the programme but that’s a different story.  Some communities are more casual, where they play for fun and don’t much care about the competitive side of the game and some communities develop a competitive scene.  I’m quite happy to say that the community that I’ve grown along with Andy T has developed into the latter (there’s nothing wrong with the former by the way).  As you may be aware as The Heroic Play we run quite a lot of tournaments in the Midlands, I think this has helped to develop our community into quite a competitive scene, we have some players who regularly place podium at events, whether that be a 16 or 32 player event.

So back to SteamCon, this is a melting pot of all these communities coming together to play games and compete in the events run over the weekend of SteamCon.  Steamforged make it super rewarding to play in the competitive events as well, for example if you win British Championships or the LCQ (Last Chance Qualifier) they will fly you out to the World Championships at SteamCon USA this year, pretty cool prize right?  Last year the World Championships was in the UK, so they flew people over from the USA, Australia and Europe for the event, not bad for a relatively new company to be offering perks similar to Magic: The Gathering tournaments which has been established much, much longer.  It’s not all about playing in the competitive events though, there was a reward system for playing casual games as well at SteamCon; if you won a game you got 2 tokens, if you lost you got 1.  These tokens could be cashed in against 6-player team boxes (usually £50), ltd edition SteamCon cards, or to buy raffle tickets to win a copy of the Dark Souls board game, or a Resident Evil board game pledge.

Along side of the gaming area’s for tournament play, casual play and board game run through’s, Steamforged also ran seminars on game design, sculpting and background.  So if the concept of playing games for 3 days is a bit much there are other things to do amongst that.  On the subject of playing games for 3 days, I know people who were happy to stay up till 4 in the morning pulling in as many as they can, and end up finishing the weekend on something like 20+ games played; personally that’s not for me.  I don’t mind having late nights by any stretch of the imagination, but for me part of the attraction of SteamCon is getting to catch up with people, sit down and talk.  As I mentioned earlier, as The Heroic Play we run a lot of tournaments, and lots of different people from all over the country turn up to those events, we get people like Greg Day who drives up from way down South and Pash Korniyenko who got a train all the way down from Edinburgh to play in one of our 32 player events.  What I’m getting at is that you spend 8-10 hours with these people on a day where you’re running an event, and you get to have brief conversations between rounds, or over lunch, but its never more that say 30 mins in total over the course of the day.  So on the Saturday night of SteamCon I got to sit and chat about life, games, and other less savoury things with Martin Thirlwell and Parker from the Battlehammer, yeah Mart and I chat over Whatsapp but it’s generally only quick and in response to something that’s happened online probably.  Being given that chance to chat with people is amazing, for the most part we’re social creatures and being able to indulge in conversations that aren’t ‘momentous 2 damage’ or ‘I sprint, where’d they go and then take a 4-dice shot on goal’.

On seminars – so I worked SteamCon last year as a Pundit and didn’t really get chance to go to any of the seminars as my shifts all fell during the day when they were happening and that was something I wanted avoid this year.  This year I went and pulled in 2 seminars – I went to the ‘Design a Veteran Model’ seminar and the ‘Super Secret Squirrel’ one.  The design seminar was amazing, if you check out our Facebook page here you can check out the photos I took while we were going through the process.  I think bits like this really improve the experience you have while at SteamCon, knowing that last year people who went to the seminar designed Skulk, who will now be part of a brand new minor Guild called the Ratcatchers, and this year we designed Veteran Honour who will play for the Farmers!  The ‘super secret squirrel’ seminar was where we got to see a bit more of GodTear so the models and the gameplay happening as it stands currently, frankly this looks amazing, super streamlined and easy to grasp.  We also saw some other bits which were ‘in the pipeline’ from Steamforged.  We weren’t allowed our phones in the seminar so I’m not going to say anymore – but damn it looked cool and they’ve got some interesting stuff still to come.

All in all, I think SteamCon can be whatever you want to make of it.  It can be a weekend away where you play games constantly and come away with a load of swag or a paid holiday to the states, it can be a time to catch up with people who you don’t see enough or it can be a boozy weekend away with games and conversation thrown in when your conscious enough.  Either way, I’ll be planning on going back next year, and probably the one after that, and maybe the one after that, who knows.  If you didn’t make it this year, you did miss out and that’s a shame, make sure you come next year though, no doubt it’ll be bigger and better!


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SteamCon Episode Four – Post Keynote

We recorded this episode in a slightly inebriated, very exuberant state following the SteamCon Key Note presentation last night.

Special Guests:  Rich Loxam, David ‘DC’ Carl, Jay Finnegan, Russ Charles, Jamie Giblin, Alex Hall, Ronan, Myk Myers & Zi Baxter.

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THP Podcast – Guide to the Guilds (Engineers)

In this episode of The Heroic Play Podcast Mark, Rich & Luke discuss the Big League we are currently playing in.  We talk a bit about the new community event, Union in Chains. Then we carry on with our Guide to the Guilds, focusing on Engineers.  As an added bonus, there are some interviews from our event The Heroic Hoe Down at Young’s Hobbies in Coventy.

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SeaBrisket goes back to School

Fourth tournament with Union and after 1 win-3 losses at the 13th Best in Nottingham, a 3 win – 1 loss at Wyldhammer and then a 3 win – 1 loss result at the Heroic Hoe Down; I felt pretty sure that I was starting to get the hang of SeaBrisket and although I was still of the mindset that she needs TAC: 6 and can lose that ‘With Aplomb!’ nonsense. I needed to have one last hurrah with her before making the decision to either stick with Union or go back and get reacquainted my beloved Butchers.

So, with no thought at all and setting my usual target of at least win something; I assembled some toy soldiers and headed to The Chase Hotel for another 4 rounds of hilarity.

My chosen tournament 10 and why:


Kind of the point!


Shelling Out! KD on 1, MOAR DICE!


Super awesome ball carrier with the ability to pain out if required with 2dmg on 2.


Anatomical, 2″ Melee, A hard counter to Original Brisket. Also, re-position tech is strong.


He stands in the middle of the field and makes awesome happen.


Snared, huuuuge threat range, rawr! 2 iinf to give someone else!

Avarisse and Greede      

+1 damage and a KD…. Nuff said!


Lesser played character but I like Def 5 models with slippery that can heal and blind


For buffing the A&G train and mirking fools.




Game 1: Vs. Thomas Simms  

SeaBrisket (10)                  vs.                          Scalpel (12)

Strongbox                                                           Dirge

A&G                                                                      Ghast

Gutter                                                                  Mist

Snakeskin                                                            Silence

Benediction                                                        Brainpan and Memory


This was a cracking game and Thomas is a great guy and a true gent. It’s fair to say that this was one of those games where you never feel like either one of you is running away with it and it was VP swinging fun everywhere.

I opened with a Brisket legendary jank to set up a turn 1 3 dice shot on goal needing 3 and rolled 2,2,2. As my heart broke, Brisket got the shoeing she deserved but I managed to get straight back in the game with a monstrous use of  Avarisse and Greede  to secure 3 take outs. When Brisket got back on the pitch, she grabbed the ball and made good on her earlier fo-pah.

Honestly, this was probably my favourite game (that I lost) in absolutely ages. I thoroughly enjoyed playing Thomas and I had to work my bum off to keep myself in it.


MVP: A&G. This little combo will never get old….

1) Swag in with Avarisse

2) Drop Greede

3) Greede buys attack for the Singled Out

4) Avarisse has 3 attacks

5) If needed and is safe to do so, Greede finishes the player off. Otherwise, he crawls back up in to Avarisse.


Never get boring…



Game 2: Vs. Charles Nurser

SeaBrisket (8)                    vs.                          Blackheart (12)

Strongbox                                                           Strongbox

A&G                                                                      Mist

Hemlock                                                              Gutter

Snakeskin                                                            Decimate

Benediction                                                        Benediction


Charles is a gentleman, a scholar and an acrobat. I had another great game and he locked SeaBrisket down with 2” melee characters so effectively took her out of the game. Charles used Benediction brilliantly by putting him in cover with the ball and that made him hard to get the ball off. That said, Snakeskin came to the rescue, getting me 2 goals. The second of which went down like this;

Snakeskin is at the enemy goal with 4 influence. Benediction has the ball 6” in front of her.

1) Shadow Like and put up ‘Clone’

2) Buy an attack, Charles declares Poised and realises, I tell him he can take it back but like a boss, says no.

3) I take the tackle and he counters

4) Clone pops and I dodge back towards goal, getting 4” away.

5) She shoots and scores!


However you look at it, I really enjoyed playing Charles and I hope we can do it again.

MVP: Snakeskin for 2 goals and use of Clone to get goal.


Game 3: Vs. Dave Wildey

SeaBrisket (6)                    vs.                          Honour (12)

Strongbox                                                           Marbles

A&G                                                                      Brick

Decimate                                                             Harmony

Snakeskin                                                            Flint

Gutter                                                                  Mallet


I always enjoy having David at Heroic Play events as he always smiles and is always cheery. He genuinely cheers me up when I watch him play. We have played before and have always had great games.

Now, I have an appalling record against Masons and he was playing the line-up I dread seeing! And that was where it went wrong for me; I let my anxiety get the better of me and before the game even started I could feel the flight reaction and the nervousness. Nevertheless, I tried to calm myself and get on with the job at hand.

David thoroughly deserved the win, he out played me and I can say that I was not on top form or whatever, but the truth is that I wasn’t coherent enough and he made me pay for it like any good opponent should. I managed a take-out and a goal, which I was happy with in the end.

Although, in this game; something clicked about SeaBrisket vs. other captains like Vet rage, Blackheart and Honour and that got me thinking about what she needed to get her on par with Blackheart and Vet rage.  See my conclusion for the results of that!

MVP: Honour. David played her really well and I folded like a bad poker hand.


Game 4: Vs. Michael Rees

SeaBrisket (8)                    vs.                          Scalpel (12)

Strongbox                                                           Dirge

A&G                                                                      Ghast

ORage                                                                   Bonesaw

Benediction                                                        Mist

Gutter                                                                  OGraves


Michael is a great opponent and part of the Birmingham/Black country meta so we knew each other well. I had never played him though so I was looking forward to putting it all on the line to try to not to go 0-4 for the first time ever.

I started really well. Used Briskets legendary to get momentum to set up the goal alongside some good take out action on Scalpel and Graves between Rage and Brisket. But I over-extended and the turning point came when I foolishly moved before hitting Ghast and that was all she wrote. A counter attack later and Scalpel got set up for an epic 2 take-outs in 1 activation and at 8 all Michael was on the front foot. I had the option to get the ball off Dirge and go for the goal but in a moment of madness, activated someone else and did very little with it. This was all he needed to put the game away. I enjoyed the game, but felt a bit sad that I hadn’t played well in the last 2 games. Nevertheless, the thought about SeaBrisket that had cropped up in the previous game was kind of validated.

MVP: Scalpel. She is crazy bonkers awesome when she gets her murder on!


The tournaments write up:

So, I poo’d in my swimsuit today going 0-4 for the first time but you know what… I’m ok with that. I have some things to work on and I got some great advice from Rich Green (who (B)Rick Rolled me at Hoe Down) about playing against Masons. Also, I got to chat to Charles, Thomas and all the cool kids about SeaBrisket and it was nice to know that I’m not alone in my thoughts around her being TAC: 6 and are shared by others.

Will it stop me from playing more SeaBrisket? Probably not in all honesty as you only get competent with something through practice right?



The usual disclaimer: this conclusion contains opinions.

This little journey is about SeaBrisket and the question; “Is she a competitive choice vs. VRage and Blackheart?” Honestly, not quite. She has great tech to go and score. But that’s her 1 move and it sits on 2 successes as a T< and at TAC: 5 you can’t guarantee it. Also, she lacks the offensive ability that the other captains have.  Rage has Quick Time so he also can get away if needs be while Blackheart can almost guarantee you 6vp activation at the start of round 2 and with Shadow Like and his Legendary Dodge tech he is never stuck anywhere whereas poor old SeaBrisket gets trolled by 2” melee zones.

I stand by the need for her to go to TAC: 6 and changing her ‘With Aplomb!” for something that would make her an on par choice vs. Blackheart. The game vs. David gave me a solution but I’m not the kind of person to say; ‘that’s an issue’ and not give a proposed solution.

Here goes nothing!

The thing to stop her being shut down and it’s the character play that sits on her veteran incarnation and on VRage!

Yep, this!

Swap ‘With Aplomb!’ for ‘Quick Time’ and let her go to TAC: 6. I mean, let’s look at the fluff for a second. Sweet little Brisket at TAC: 4 turns in to Veteran Brisket after being stabbed up by Snakeskin. This leaves her meaner and TAC: 5. Her master in imprisoned and she sells her soul, betrays her guild to get him released and gets the better of ‘The Flashing Blade’ in a pit fight in the process! Pweez mummy… SeaBrisket needs TAC: 6.

But where does that leave her card wise?

Here’s what she now is versus what I think she should look like. Doing this would make most Union Players have a hard time choosing which captains to take.

The card as it is now.        


The card as I think it should be.

Summary of changes.

The addition of 3< damage at 5 is on par with her Veteran card which has 3 and Balls Gone on 5. The T<< makes sense for a striker of her calibre and it matches where Decimate has it and the Momentous 3<< is a huge payoff for hitting that 6 successes but no different to Blackheart having 3KD on 6.

TAC: 6 gives her a more reliable T< on 2 but still leaves her 50/50 against a Def: 4/Arm: 1 model as the average is 2 successes.  The Quick Time makes her more mobile and harder to pin down. She can still be based by a 2” melee model but at least she can get away to a degree by using her T< + Quick Time.

The reverse of the card stays the same.

Anyways, I have no idea when I am next going to go to a tournament but I know I’ll be taking SeaBrisket again. I learned a lot playing in this tournament and especially against Charles’ Union; he showed me that Benediction is an awesome ball carrier!

Big love!