In any game of Guild Ball, there will eventually come a point where the game has potential to end in the near future. This is often when a player reaches eight points, but it varies depending on the teams being played and the board state. As soon as this point is reached, both players’ priorities change dramatically. For any player with the potential to win, influence efficiency and trading up in resources fall in priority heavily, while sheer VP scoring potential becomes the most powerful tool available. Similarly for their opponent, if it prevents the end of the game then any investment of resources is worth giving up. If both players are at this point, the game becomes a frantic back and forth as players try to claw the last few VPs together from wherever they can be found.
In a lot of games of Guild Ball, the mid game is about whoever has the advantage already trying to press it further, and whoever is behind trying to sneak their way back into the game. Unlike the parts of the game I’ve discussed in previous articles, the mid game doesn’t start out from an uninteractive position. If teams haven’t yet connected with each other and disrupted each other’s plans, you are still in the early game. Once any single activation from the enemy team is likely to have impact on your own lines, ‘set piece’ plans become a lot less usable, compared to on the first turn. Some team aim to stay out of engagement for as long as possible, while others want to accelerate through the early game as fast as they can because they’re better in a fight than in a standoff, but whether or not spending a lot of time in the midgame is your plan, it’s a good idea to know what you’re doing once you get there.