Today we get to talk to you about one of the truly awesome new Guild Ball developments at Steamforged Games, the Rookie League. Over the last few years SFG have looked into a few different ways of playing the beautiful game. We have Campaigns and Leagues and now the Rookie League. The Rookie League brings a new way to explore the journey that some of the more iconic characters have taken. What’s more, anyone going to SteamCon UK will get to try out the Rookie League for the first time! Do you want to know how Mash or Jac started out? Perhaps you want to see what Fangtooth likes to get up to when he’s unsupervised? Would you like to know more? Let’s dive right in then!
Big Things Have Small Beginnings
When your group plays a Rookie League, each coach can track the progress of one player in their chosen Guild. Starting from newbie all the way up to team superstar. The Butcher’s Guild will be able to follow the story of Boiler from the first day he joined the Guild. Over the course of the League, Boiler will gain experience, unlocking powerful new abilities and improved attributes. Eventually Boiler’s abilities will make him into a truly terrifying opponent!
But How Does the Rookie League Work?
At the beginning of a new Rookie League, and each time a new coach joins a League in progress, each coach selects a single Guild to use throughout the duration of the League. Each Guild has one pre-set player that has a number of different progression paths that they can choose to follow during the course of the League. However, the path that the player progresses through must be chosen at the start of the League. If a coach wishes to change their player’s progression path, they must start right back at the beginning with a Rookie-level player! The players for the inaugural Rookie League are:
Alchemist’s Guild – Venin
Blacksmith’s Guild – Ferrite
Brewer’s Guild – Mash
Butcher’s Guild – Boiler
Engineer’s Guild – Salvo
Farmer’s Guild – Windle
Fishermen’s Guild – Jac
Hunter’s Guild – Zarola
Mason’s Guild – Chisel
Mortician’s Guild – Ghast
The Union – Fangtooth
Each coach will have two different card front paths and two card back paths to choose from for their Rookie. Each coach must select one card front and one card back before playing any games. Let’s take a look at some examples for Boiler of the Butcher’s Guild:
Here we can see starting card fronts for the two different progression paths that Boiler can choose from, named Aggressive and Slippery. Before playing any games a Butcher coach must choose one of these to use, from that point on Boiler will be either ‘Aggressive’ or ‘Slippery’ Boiler and will follow that path for the rest of the League. In addition to choosing a card front, the Butcher coach must also choose a card back for Boiler to use, either ‘Puppy Pal’ or ‘Cutter’:
This means that once the paths have been chosen the Butcher coach could end up with ‘Aggressive Cutter Boiler’ or ‘Slippery Cutter Boiler’ or ‘Slippery Puppy Pal Boiler’ or perhaps even ‘Aggressive Puppy Pal Boiler’. There are four different combinations for each Rookie.
When each coach has selected their Rookie’s card front and back, just start playing games of Guild Ball like you normally would! After each game, everyone’s League player will be able to progress to its next stage, and they won’t stay rookies for long!
After each game in the Rookie League, each coach will get to upgrade their player by choosing to level up their selected card front OR their card back. For example, let’s say that we chose to play with ‘Aggressive Puppy Pal Boiler’. After one game, we decide to upgrade the front of Boiler’s card. At this point we swap out Boiler’s Aggressive Rookie card front for the Aggressive Upgrade 1, which looks like this:
As you can see, elements of Boiler’s card front have been improved. The  damage Playbook result has become Momentous, Boiler’s MOV & INF attributes have both increased, and Boiler has gained  HP. Card upgrades aren’t limited to statistical improvements however, they regularly include whole new Plays and Traits to play with as well as melee zone upgrades and more. Each card front and card back path has five different upgrade levels to explore!
But Wait, There’s More!
If you guys love the Rookie League and want to see more of it, future seasons of the Rookie League will feature cards for new players so that you can track the story of even more of your favourite characters as they progress from Rookie to Superstar!
Don’t Forget About the Big League!
Don’t worry, we haven’t! For those who love to play with the Big League and all of its backstabbery and scheming, SFG will release a digital update for the Big League. This will include all new Guild specific Plot cards for the Blacksmiths and Farmers as well as bringing any obsolete common and rare Guild Plots up to date with our current rules.
That’s it for now folks! We hope you’re as excited to try out the Rookie League as we are. See you at SteamCon for your first chance to try out all these new cards!