Beginners Guild Ball Tactics (Part 2)

Hello gentle readers, next in this sporadic tactical mastery of Guild Ball we have Activations. It’s simple. In this glorious game, you don’t have to wait for the whole of the opponents team to go while you sit there cleaning your nails with a dagger (just me?). They have a player activate, then you, then them again till all the players have gone. This introduces a great deal of decision making into your turn. Who will you move first? Will your opponent be where you want them by the time you get to your player? Can you move an uninvolved player to force the other guy to give away their plan? (I dunno. I dunno. Yes, good thinking but don’t get ahead of youself.) Hereby lies the complexities of the single-model-alternate-activation-system (sounds good right?) that GB uses.
Doesn't matter when he goes. He's freaking awesome. All hail king Midas!
Doesn’t matter when he goes. He’s freaking awesome. All hail king Midas!
To begin at the beginning, who’s going first? You or your opponent? This has the potential to be a key moment in the turn. If you go first you can load up a player knowing that they will be able to act without your opponent having the chance to stop them. This could be getting a meaty charge off, an attempt to score or a KD on a scary threat. Sure, you’re opponent can see what you’re doing, but there’s little they can do about it. Midas can have up to seven influence on him. That’s a big-badda-boom at the start of the turn. On the flip side, if you’re not going first, you should be going last (barring takeouts and other shenanigans). This gives you the chance to set something up that your opponent won’t be able to react to till the next turn. Making sure they have conditions, a final shiv in the kidneys or a boost in momentum to give you first activation next turn. These are all handy options for the coach going last.
Just because you activate last, that's no excuse for a nap. CHRIS!
Just because you activate last, that’s no excuse for a nap. CHRIS!
So what about the middle, doesn’t matter right? Wrong. Here’s where the tricky part comes in. I’m not going to tell you exactly what to do because it’ll be different every time but here’s some pointers. Think about which players you and your opponent have left. If you’re waiting to see what one of his key players is going to do, think about using your mascot, or someone out of the way, to use up an activation so he could be forced to do something. Perhaps he’s lining up an important play and you can counter it by getting a play of your own off or just getting in the way. Can you figure out what he might do later in the turn and deal with that threat early or make sure you leave someone late to counter it?
A good example: wait for Mist to activate, then GANG FUCK!
A good example: wait for Mist to activate, then GANG FUCK!
I know that might seem a bit fluffy and nebulous for a newcomer but I guess that’s the point. It’s no use telling you to use player A on your N’th activation as it depends on your team, playstyle and whatever else is going on. Hopefully I’ve given you an idea what to expect and consider during a game regarding activations. What do you think? Are there hard and fast rules in this aspect of the game? Do you have any suggestions? Am I talking complete wank? Let us know in the comments below and you could win the chance to go first in turn two.
Until next time gentle readers.

6 thoughts on “Beginners Guild Ball Tactics (Part 2)

  1. A good starting point, order of activation is a really good part of the game. What you need to do first or want to do last varies throughout the game and putting pressure on your oponents decision making is key.

    Kick it in the goal…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, this and the previous are the aort of thing I’ve not seen elsewhere. As a noob this was the sort of thing I needed to grasp, not that Boar was a killing machine. That I figured out on my own, just not how to make the very best of him in any given situation. Hence the chat about Influence and Activations. Next time: Momentum.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done Parker, nice little article. I thought at first when we started that the influence was like dishing out orders in other games, something I am not a fan of.Oh but how wrong I was! So many little things your players can do with the right points, and getting them to work together is part of the fun! That and winning, which I do not do!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A bit of bait and switch can really help too…. Doing a similar order of activation over a couple of turns / games and then changing tact can really catch people out. Obulus early activation then switching to later on to steal MoM they got used to hoarding is good.
    The opposite is telegraphing your moves – placing Dirge so it looks like Cosset is going in for kill can pull players in to support, and then you go off somewhere else now you’ve influenced their activation order / positioning.

    I’m a fan of activating first to be honest – but that’s only since I got Mist! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good call. I nearly always make sure I charge Boiler after Princess for the extra damage. Hadn’t thought to use it to confuse my opponent. Bonza. Not sure if some of our regular players will fall for it though. Kind of like playing Street Fighter against a button-masher. You might have plans but if they don’t you can’t try to fool them. They don’t know what they’re doing either. Not mentioning any names…Chris. 😉

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  4. Mist does really make a difference to the spooks, but cosset I find very hit and miss which is a shame as I think she is one of my fav figures, so it is normally Mist for cosset and fangtooth for graves. But now thinking of trying rage instead of Fangtooth?

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