For something completely different, today we’re going to show you an alternative set of deployment rules that are still in development. That’s right, you’re going to help us beta-test Pitch Formations, oooh exciting! We’re going to walk you through the inspirations for this alternative format and explain how it works before finally showing you the rules document itself.
*Development Team Note* Please remember that this is a set of test rules and not a finalised document. We expect there to be some teething issues with grammatical rules construction and game balance.
Well, That Escalated Quickly
Here in the development team, one of the things we’d love to be able to give you is a way of enjoying all the different aspects of Guild Ball but in a shorter space of time. One of the most important things in the life of the modern-day gamer is time. A gamer must be careful how they choose to spend their time when also considering a day job, family commitments and so on. Being people with commitments of our own, we understand this just as well as the next gaming fan. The thing is, just playing Guild Ball in a shorter space of time doesn’t really achieve what we want. Cutting the time of a match down can often just lead to unfinished games, and no one wants that!
Pitch Formations are effectively an experiment in ‘skipping turn 1’. Although exciting things do generally happen during Turn 1 of a match, it is also often the case that coaches spend their time jockeying for position and generally preparing to engage with their opponent properly on turn 2. In theory, if we could cut out this ‘turn of positioning’, we could jump straight into the action from the starting whistle! In this way, we would be shortening the overall time spent playing a Guild Ball match allowing for a gamer to spend more time on other things, like more Guild Ball matches!
We Will Be Playing ‘4-4-2’
So, how do we set this up? Well, in order to allow this set of deployment rules to be used in an alternate event format we have used the Regional Cup Pre-match Sequence as a framework. This means that if any of you fancy trying this out in an event, you should be able to do so reasonable easily. What more, we encourage you to do so! A full Pre-Match Sequence can be found in the documents linked below, but for those of you just wishing to try this out in a more casual game, a match using Pitch Formations is set up as follows:
· Both coaches select their Guild and choose the six-player team that they wish to use for the match (including a Captain and a Mascot)
- Deal and select Guild Plots from a shared Guild Plot deck as per the rulebook
- Determine the Receiving and Kicking Coach. The Kicking Coach selects a player from their team to be the kicker. The kicker must be deployed touching the ‘deployment line’ (the line across the Pitch that is 10” up from that Coach’s edge)
- Starting with the Receiving Coach, both Coaches take turns selecting a player and deploying them on the Pitch, however, both teams must meet all of the ‘Formation Criteria’ outlined below
- The kicking player performs a kick-off action
The Receiving Coach allocates their Influence, followed by the Kicking Coach allocating their team’s Influence
The Receiving Coach takes their first activation and from here the game proceeds as normal
During the course of setting up the match, both players’ teams must fulfil the following:
-  players must be deployed completely within [18”] of their chosen table edge in base contact with the halfway line. A player cannot be deployed within [3”] of an enemy player
-  players must be deployed completely within [10”] of their chosen table edge in base contact with the deployment line
-  players must be deployed completely within [6”] of their chosen table edge in base contact with the Goal line
Let’s look at a few ways that this could make the match look. In our first example below, we have a Midas-led Alchemist team set to kick-off against a Fillet-led Butchers team. Midas has chosen to kick-off himself, since he would like the freedom to adjust his position for the start of the game, and he has quite a long kicking range which gives him a lot of options for where to kick the ball. Midas is leading quite a goal-scoring focussed team here so he has deployed Vitriol and Mist on the half way line with a view to looking for early goal scoring options. Additionally, Midas has ordered Compound to start on the goal-line since he will probably just be staying quite close to the Alchemist goal in his role as a goalkeeper anyway.
However, Fillet has countered this by placing herself and the mighty Boar on the half way line to try to take out as many Alchemists as she can, as fast as possible. She has chosen to support her aggressive start by placing Meathook on the deployment line. If Fillet is able to inflict the Bleed condition on a few of the Alchemists then Meathook will be able to Charge a huge distance to engage them thanks to Smell Blood. Additionally, Truffles has deployed on deployment line to try to help lower the high defensive stats of Vitriol and Mist by using his easy access to a knockdown Playbook result.
In our next example, we have an Honour-led Mason team kicking-off against a Shark-led Fishermen team. Honour has selected Marbles to kick-off for the Masons because she has opted to place Brick on the half way line to threaten the Fishermen team with his very dangerous Counter Charge. By making Marbles perform the kick-off, Marbles will be able to Jog up the Pitch to get closer to Brick. Having Marbles close to Brick allows Marbles to gain Counter Charge too thanks to Go Ape. This type of kick-off could allow the Masons to protect the ball from Shark’s team for a little while and allow them to bring the Masons to bring the pain to the Fishermen.
Shark has elected to counter this by placing his tough defender Kraken on the half way line, Shark hopes to get Kraken into Brick early by using Drag to pull Brick away from the rest of his team and hopefully shut down Counter Charge by engaging him. Sakana is a very fast player with a long kicking range, deploying him on the half way line means that he can threaten the ball as soon as the match starts. However, Shark recognises that he needs to protect himself and so should start on the deployment line. Shark doesn’t want to risk his own neck being taken out by the Masons, but thanks to his incredible speed, Shark should still be able to threaten the ball very early in this match.