Special Guest Feature – The Chicago Guild Ball Laboratory!

Hey folks! Alex Botts here, one of the hosts of Strictly the Worst Guild Ball Podcast. Since Season Four began I’ve been pretty candid in declaring The Order the least competitive guild in Guild Ball as it currently stands. Strictly the Worst has occasionally received criticism for heavily focusing our attention on guilds we believe to be the strongest contenders for tournament wins, so I’d like to change that today by writing up a little blog post about The Order and how Order coaches might be able to sneak in some wins against stronger guilds.

It should be clear to anyone who reads the Order’s cards that the guild will need to score at least one goal in pretty much any matchup to make a convincing run for 12 VPs. With that in mind, this blog post will walk you through the process of turning a very common early-game situation into a quick, practical goal for the Order, establishing a tempo advantage and setting the team up for success moving forward into the mid-game. Let’s get to it!

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OK, here’s our typical early-game scenario in the Hunters matchup. Skatha has activated on Turn Two after being Singled Out by Harry, and is engaged by five models. Skatha hit herself with Cold Snap last turn, so she’s suffering the Snared condition. With her first INF Skatha used Snowball, but then realized she was out of 6” from Hearne. So now she uses Blessing of the Moon Goddess on herself, and declares an attack on Spigot.

Here’s where The Order player can do some work. Spigot declares a counter-attack. Skatha makes her attack, but because she’s at a total of -4 dice from crowd-outs, her attack misses.

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Now Spigot makes his counter. Order coaches, take note: make sure to Bonus Time this counter-attack. It’s crucial!

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Naturally, Spigot rolls all hits, for a total of 12 successes. So far, the plan is going perfectly. To resolve this counter-attack, Spigot chooses the “trophy” icon three times, for three uses of the Ball’s Gone character play.

On the first resolution of Ball’s Gone, neither Spigot’s coach nor Skatha’s coach can remember who gets to choose which ball-marker is Tackled first, so they both agree to have Spigot take the Snowball. Spigot passes the Snowball to Harry, needing a single 4 on 3 dice.

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Perfect! Spigot chooses to use Pass & Move to dodge 4” away from Skatha. Simple enough so far. Now it’s time for Spigot’s second resolution of Ball’s Gone. From 5” away, Spigot Tackles the real ball marker, and chooses to pass it to Veteran Fangtooth. Time to roll some more dice…

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Another narrow success! Spigot will again use Pass & Move here to dodge a further 4” away from Skatha. Meanwhile, Fangtooth will choose to resolve Potbellied Pass to pass the ball to Brisket3, our premier striker.

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Fangtooth of course misses his pass, and the ball scatters. You (and our opponent) might think our grand plan has gone awry, but the fun hasn’t stopped quite yet. We’ll resolve the scatter now, with the green die being direction.

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The ball scatters to within range of Skatha, who of course will pick it up after we decline to contest the ball with Brisket. Who wouldn’t spring at the opportunity to regain control of the ball?

But it is at this exact moment that our trap is sprung! The Hunters player has forgotten our third and final Ball’s Gone resolution, and has failed to realize that Spigot is now within 8” of Pride, which had been cleverly positioned within 2” of the Hunters’ goal post during Turn One!

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From 9” away, Spigot uses the third and final Ball’s Gone to Tackle the ball from Skatha once again, and declares a Pass to Pride. With Pride engaged by two models and the ball path crowded by Chaska and Fahad, Spigot will be rolling a base of 2 dice and looking for a single 6. Easy enough, and we’re on our last two Momentum, so we won’t be Bonus Timing this pass.

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Made it with luck to spare! With three momentum comfortably in the bank, Pride declares a Snap Shot and bonus times the attempt, looking for 3s and needing 2 successes for the Shot to land.

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Bam! With Spigot’s counter-attack complete we have 4 VPs in the bag. We didn’t even need the tap-in bonus from Pride’s positioning, but planning ahead and taking higher-odds plays when you have the option will always be the right call. Better safe than sorry!

So there you have it. This is just one example of the type of heads-up plays that The Order can utilize to make deep tournament runs and take games off of the best players in your local scene. Test this one out, and let me know what else you come up with to advance the guild’s gameplay.
Oh, and for those curious about the rest of the game: Unfortunately, you can’t win them all. Though that early 4 points did keep The Order competitive, Seenah and Chaska took over in the remainder of the game, and Hunters ultimately won 15-4. After getting to 11 points, Skatha made a 24” goal run that only cost 5 INF, was Momentum-neutral, had a >99%-chance to completely avoid counter-attack and any other interaction from the opponent, and had a total success rate of about 93%. But hey, results-oriented thinking will always be a trap, and it’s important to focus on what went right, not where you got unlucky. Until next time!

 

 

Big thank-you to Sam Bredeson and Pat Van Valzah for the original idea, Keith Golimowski and Zach Gray for letting me use their models, and Lon Sims for hosting this post.

 

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