Tactical Toolbox – End Game

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.

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Tactical Toolbox – Turn Two

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.

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Tactical Toolbox – Turn One

Turn one is probably the most important part of a game of Guild Ball. It’s where the choices that were made in the pregame sequence start to actually manifest into advantages or disadvantages, and it often determines the pace of the rest of the game. In previous seasons and for slower teams, it’s tempting to think of the turn primarily as a time to move up and position for the action to properly start on turn two. However a lot of teams can do a lot of work on the first turn, and taking that into account is important for avoiding falling behind. Turn one is also the last point in a game of Guild Ball where you can really have an actual plan – since it’s the first point where your opponent gets to properly interact with you and your options stop being fully under your control.

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Tactical Toolbox – Pregame Sequence

The pregame sequence has a lot of decisions to be made in it, but often gets moved through on ‘autopilot’ since there is usually a default choice for each decision which gets taken. It’s important to consider each of these choices being made, not just because the correct option may not be the usual one, but also because thinking about the decisions you’re making and the factors which influence it can make it easier to make the correct decisions in other areas later in the game. The pregame sequence has a series of clearly separated decision points, each of which influences the way the following choices play out.

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