For the Love of Godtear by Dave Martin
Dave won a big Godtear tournament. He was kind enough to write about it for us.
I recently messaged Grumpysarn to express my thanks for his articles, and he suggested I could write about my experience of the recent tournament in England (albeit less recent by the time I’ve gotten round to writing about it).
The tournament, For The Love of Godtear, was hosted at Element Games in Stockport in England, organised by Jamie Perkins and Dave Millington at SFG. It consisted of 4 rounds, each of a randomly selected scenario, with about 20 players, whom each brought a warband of 4 champions and their followers. The night before Mike (Myklock) organised for some of us from the Discord to meet at the Premier Inn for some beer and drinks. Was great getting to chat with other players, and Martyboy and I somehow managed to get into some pretty deep conversations.
I wanted a warband of champions that I enjoy (and own) but would remain competitive. Mourneblade is my absolute favourite champion, with his ability to frustrate and his unique playstyle, so he was in. Raith’Marid is for me the second most fun, with his mobility, and he brings some banner crushing skills to balance Mourneblade’s guardianship.
I went for Rangosh as my third, to bring another champion that can crush banners and otherwise bring the damage my team was lacking. Keera is the other slayer I own (and Morrigan…) but she just can’t get to banners like Rangosh. I was originally planning to bring Finvarr as I like him a lot, but my fiancé rightfully convinced me to bring Titus instead.
So ultimately, I ended up with a nice rainbow comp. Mourneblade, Raith and Rangosh would hopefully give me game into more banner and movement-orientated scenarios such as Quest; whilst Titus, Raith and Rangosh would excel where Mourneblade doesn’t, in fighty scenarios such as Life and Death.
Game 1 – Life, vs James Coleman
James – Luella, Helena, Raith’Marid, Keera Me – Rangosh, Raith’Marid, Titus, Mourneblade
As it’s Life, I left Mourneblade behind as Titus is a better fighter and can slog it out in the brawl that develops in the middle.
I was intending to let James win the first turn anyway, but his Luella one-shot my Titus in the first turn, which secured it for him. It he then won the second turn with a Raith Tsunami and my Rangosh being chopped down by the peasants, whilst Titus never really recovered from his encounter with Luella. However, I managed to secure turns 3 and 4, as my Raith slew his and Rangosh finished off Luella. Raith and Rangosh were great at keeping his Helena off hexes and secured me the victory 5-3. It was a very tight game throughout that was ultimately decided by a single point on the battle ladder!
Turn 2 with his Raith after Tsunami and my dead Rangosh (which he couldn't reposition)
What I Learned. I was keen to take things away from each game, and game one I was over-cautious with my ultimate’s. The game ended up being really close, but I still never used my Tsunami.
Game 2 – Chaos, vs Elliot Coulbeck
Elliot – Styx, Mourneblade, Rangosh, Helena Me – Raith’Marid, Mourneblade, Rangosh, Titus
I like Mourneblade into any of his champions and I love him on Chaos, so he was in for this game, subbing out the slow Titus. Elliot had a distractingly gorgeous army, took ‘best painted’ at the tournament, and has since started a Godtear podcast too.
The board after turn 1. The X marks where I put the hex for Mourneblade in turn 2.
Again, I was happy for Elliot to win turn one, allowing me to put a hex at the back for Mourneblade to claim on. I used a turn one Mourneblade ultimate on Styx, which kept Styx pinned down by the Knightshades almost the entire game. Turn 2 was mine as I killed a hound to stop them getting any banners, whilst my Rangosh had a huge swing on the dice and one-shot his Rangosh with a single Whiplash!
Turn 3, my Rangosh was dropped down to 1 wound and I ran him back to my deployment zone, whilst Raith and Mourneblade claimed banners and stomped banners. Elliot got some unlucky rolls and couldn’t finish off my Rangosh, giving me the game 5-1 through my having a banner advantage thanks to Raith.
What I Learned: not to run away. Although my Rangosh running away won me the game, Elliot was unlucky to not finish him off and it meant had he gone down he would have been super out of position for turn 4.
Game 3 – Death, vs Dave Millington
Dave – Maxen, Helena, Raith’Marid, Luella Me – Raith’Marid, Titus, Rangosh, Mourneblade
The first Dave-off! I didn’t realise at the time, but Dave also worked at SFG and had coordinated the event – I would have talked his ear off had I realised, but next time! For my line-up, I had no interest in taking Mourneblade against his biggest counter, Maxen, and in a more fighty-scenario, like Death, so I left him on the bench.
Turn 1, I was again happy for Dave to win as it meant I could limit hexes in the middle for Helena. Our Raith’s spent most of the game paired off against one-another on the flank, whilst our other champions brawled in the middle.
Turn 2, he used his Maxen ult on Titus but only scored 3 wounds. I believe he either killed my Rangosh, but Titus used his own ult and ultimately netted me turn 2. Turn 3 was all about Rangosh and crew. Rangosh planted his banner out of reach, then the red bandits ambushed Helena down to 2 wounds. Rangosh ultimate then knocked her out, and then he knocked out Maxen too. Rangosh secured me the game 5-1.
This is after my plot on turn 3, Rangosh is about to score 15 points!
What I learned: Turn order vs Helena matters. Being able to go second and act last with a Tsunami, Tide or Jawbreaker to keep her off hexes was really important.
Game 4 – Change, vs Dave Margetson
Dave – Rangosh, Shayle, Raith’Marid, Keera Me – Raith’Marid, Titus, Rangosh, Mourneblade
The second Dave-off! If you get to play against him, ask him about how he eats pizza. I was frightened of Dave’s list coming into this game and we were both 3-0 and fighting to win the whole event. Mourneblade was dropped as both Shayle and Raith destroy him.
Turn 1, again our Raith’s and Rangosh’s squared off against one-another. I took the advice that Titus counters Shayle and so Titus just aimed to run him down. I won the first turn as my Rangosh killed Landslide with a whiplash. Turn 2 and 3, what to say other than ‘dice happens’? My dice spiked this game, hard. On the second turn, he had a huge lead after taking out my Rangosh, but the Glory Seekers then killed Landslide, Titus killed Shayle, and then my Rangosh killed his freshly-rallied Shayle for the second time in a turn. Turn 3 my Rangosh killed his, and he couldn’t finish off my Raith with both his Rangosh and Raith.
The game-state at the beginning of turn 2
Ultimately, this game was all about the dice and I was very lucky with mine. I felt bad for Dave and he didn’t show any frustration considering it was the tournament-deciding game, but the dice was really the story of this one. I won the game 6-0, and with that the tournament.
What I Learned: Play aggressive. I was hesitant to face Dave and his list, and although my dice were outrageous, I believe my aggressiveness kept him on the back foot and allowed my team to capitalise upon the dice.
Reviewing my warband
I’m not sure my decision to give away the first turn where I could was the right one, but it certainly helped me where I did. Whilst people talk lots about different champions, I think discussing the scenario is often overlooked and also plays a pivotal role.
It was a shame I didn’t play Mourneblade much, but in the one game I did he was great fun and did work. He just has so many tricky counters and scenarios. Titus was solid throughout, he never did anything flashy, but he was reliable. Raith was obviously very strong, even though I had only really played him once beforehand. He just does so much across his entire kit, it’s hard to argue that he’s the strongest out there. But Rangosh… Raith has a reputation, but Rangosh (and the bandits) did most of my heavy lifting across all the games. He does everything a list needs and it’s hard to not think of a list he doesn’t work in.
Reviewing the Tournament
It was the first time I had played in an event for any game and I had an absolute blast, and obviously was really happy to win too. Every opponent was fun to play against, and Jamie and Dave did a great job organising it.
I’ve never played Guildball, and it felt kind of surreal to be part of a community where people fear the game being discontinued, despite no one there having a bad word to say about Godtear. I hope the game continues to pick up steam and there’s more events in the future. Godtear is accessible enough that it’s easy to pick up, yet every game feels very different and creates lots of tactical decisions or opportunities for spicy dice rolls. Every game was varied and a lot of fun, and it was great getting to chat with lots of like-minded people, such as over a beer the night before. I hope it’s been helpful to share my experience of the event and has motivated others to attend any future ones.