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.
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.
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?
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.