Learnin’ Guild Ball: Part 2 Actions, Kicks and Attacks

Bonjour fellow voracious gamers, welcome back! So we covered a lot with our last post (Part 1 of the series) getting up to speed with the stat cards and the influence resource mechanic as well as the different conditions and Victory points! Today we’ll try to round out the main rules starting with Actions, attacking, kicking the ball and momentum too depending on the length/complexity of the mechanics we uncover. I’ve seen all ages playing the game so I don’t think we’ll find anything too severe or complex. Which isn’t bad by any means!

Actions, beginning with Movement. You can  change directions freely and cannot move your base over bases or off the table. When declaring an advance you choose if you’ll be jogging, sprinting or charging. Jog is 0 INF and allows you to move up to your base Move. Sprint is 1 INF and gives you a range up to your max move. Charging costs 2 INF. You basically get one move action per activation but additional move actions can be granted by traits and plays.

To charge you’ll select a model in LoS and pay INF 2 before moving up to its max move to attempt to engage the enemy. If you charge poorly here you’re left out in the open because I haven’t seen a pre measure rule yet. Knock on wood. The charging model would then get to make a free attack against the target at +4 TAC. No idea what that means for us but Compound charging would bring 9 TAC and have a 7″ threat range or 9″ since he has a melee zone of 2″.  A reposition is a move like a Push or a where models may be moved up to the distance and cannot change facing or dodge where models may move up to the distance shown in any direction. These are immune to difficult terrain penalties too. (push and dodge)


Target number tests sound familiar let’s see how they’re flavored in Guild Ball. In a [3+] TN test one would need to roll their dice pool (stat plus mods) Compound on a charge would roll 9 TAC die against his opponents def let’s say it’s 3+ so a [3+] target number it is. Compound gets 1,1,2,4,4,5,5,6,6 on his roll generating 6 hits and 3 misses. There are TN modifiers but a TN can’t be less than 2+ or greater than 6+ to get around this and still allow TN tests like this you add a dice to the pool for each mod that would take it below +2 and subtract a die from the pool for each mod that would take the TN over 6+. *note the total dice pool cannot go below 1d6.

Next is ball possession and kicking. The 30mm ball marker must be in BtB if the model suffers the knocked down condition scatter the ball. If not any time it moves move the marker into BtB with it. During an activation of possessing the ball a model may drop it or release it by placing the marker within 1 inch. A model that starts within an inch or moves within an inch may snap the ball marker into BtB. Also if the ball is placed within an inch of a model they can claim it up and take possession. Roll a d6 + kick to determine who claims the ball if it’s placed within 1 inch of multiple models. (re-roll ties and scatter must be resolved before models can start claiming the ball via this snap to rule.)

Kicking, now we’re talking. Its considered a pass or a shot you must declare a target spot, friendly model or enemy goal post, LoS isn’t needed. The ball must move in a straight line towards that spot. A Pass is when you kick to another friendly model or to a target spot on the field. When targeting an enemy goal post with a kick action its called a ‘shot’ in addition to the influence cost for the kick a model must pay 1 MP as well. If the ball scatters into the goal no points are scored. Let’s say Compound is going to kick the ball. He’d start with a dice pool of 2 for his base kick stat. each enemy model engaging him would subtract -1 from the pool and each unengaged enemy with it’s base or any part of it on the planned ball path takes (-1) one from the dice pool as well. So for our example let’s say that there are no enemies nearby. Ol’ compound just showed up early for practice. He’s got a KICK value of 2. So our dice pool is 2, the basic kick test is resolved as a [+4]TN, if the target is not in LoS then the TN suffers a +1, if the target is a friendly model then each enemy engaging the friendly adds +1 to the TN. Compound is alone shooting at goal he rolls 2D6 and gets a 5 and a 2. We didn’t specify if he was kicking a goal or a pass but both are successes on a 4+ if he passed then his buddy would have the ball now. If he kicked the ball to a target spot then use scatter rules. Players can choose once to re-roll scatters but must use the re-roll. If your test is unsuccessful you’ll scatter from the goal post shot at or the friendly passed to or from the target spot. (note no re-rolls allowed on these scatters).

Before we cover scatter let’s say compound does score a goal. Probably unlikely because he’s a goalkeeper himself but what do we know? (yet) After scoring a ‘goal kick’ is performed where the player scored on places the ball 10″ from the goal post and scatters it. (note this kick can go through barriers, it’s like the cherry bomb drop kick soccer goalies do) There is a standard scatter and a kick scatter both use templates. The standard is used in instances where you’ve got possession of the ball but you get knocked down. It’s a circle template that you hold over the model that lost the ball or the spot you’re scattering from. You point the ‘1’ line towards the active models goal post. Then roll 1D6 for direction and 1D6 for distance of the scatter and move it there through any terrain and such. The other scatter, the ‘kick scatter’ is a half circle template that is used to scatter the ball after a kick. Old the template over the model or targe5 spot with the centerline pointed the direction the ball marker was traveling. Then roll 1D6 for distance and 1D6 for template direction to determine the ball’s final landing spot.

Interceptions! Cool bit of game mechanics here considering today was week one of the NFL (american football for my cross the pond readers!) and my local team the Vikings had one of these during their game. Imagine a kick from compound in our scenario above, if models are close enough to take possession via ‘snap to’ which requires them to be an inch or less from the ball. If there are multiple models along the path each has a chance to take possession as the ball passes by them if they’d like to. If the ball happens to leave the pitch it’s thrown back in by the ravenous fans. Place the ball on the center spot and resolve a standard scatter, no interceptions allowed here.

We come to attacking next. When models are in you melee zone and LoS their engaged, one can be engaged by multiple models. To make an attack against an engaged enemy spend 1 INF. You generate your dice pool using the attackers TAC, applying bonus\penalties. You roll this pool against your targets defense stat. It’ll be something like 3+ for example, any die that equals or exceeds a three is a successful hit. All it takes is one to apply the number of hits to the active models playbook. (right, I’m asking what the playbook is at this point too.) Before that mystery is unraveled we’ve got four basic mods to cover that could affect an attack. Charging: active model gains +4 TAC for the dice pool! Ganging Up: +1 to dice pool for each other friendly also engaging the target. Crowding out: dice pool suffers -1 for each additional enemy model engaging you beyond the target. Cover: the dice pool suffers -1 if the target is in cover. Now, Playbooks, what are they? Turns out its those little symbolic spheres we scratched our heads over last time.
Each column represents potential results and the playbook is read from left to right. A single hit on the TAC roll allows access to the first column and additional hits allow access to the columns beyond it. Select one effect or result from all of the available columns. So let’s say Compound has two successes on an attack roll. He can choose one result from the first two columns. The color-filled effects grant your team a single momentum point or MP that we’ll cover in the next post.

Occasionally an attack really hits home and generates more net hits than there are columns. So if compound struck out on the charge and rolled 7 successes. We’d first select a result from the first 5 columns then ‘wrap’ to the front and keep counting our successes. So two more would mean Compound could select a second result from the first two columns to add to the result he chose first from all 7. Seems like a sweet mechanic allowing you to throw big numbers and make stuff happen. Let’s try to figure out what these little circles mean next shall we?

The numbers in the spheres are damage, they reduce HP on the enemies card. (note damage is added together and applied all at once) The ‘greater than’ (>) sign is called an arrow and if we chose a sphere with arrows the target is pushed one inch per arrow. KD is knocked-down, granting the condition to your unfortunate foe. Let’s look at Compounds 5th column effect. It can do two damage and knock down. If he selects that against a target that is already knocked down the KD part is invalid so only the damage will be applied. I guess his team would also get a momentum point (used for scoring and ‘things’?) since the sphere we’re discussing is color-filled. The T sign stands for tackle. If the target has possession of the ball and the T effect is chosen then the attacker now posses the ball. Again, one can’t chose a sphere effect that only has a T if their target doesn’t currently have the ball. (unless that T is in a sphere like Compound’s column 2 with additional effects that are valid even when the target is missing the ball.) The last common symbol for playbooks is what looks like tiny-super-tiny Guild Ball logos. You could have one or two in the effect circle. These are character plays, the character play descriptions on the card will include the cost if they can be played from the playbook specifying one tiny-super-tiny Guild Ball logo or two. The picture below is from another Engineer player named Colossus his first column of the playbook has the character play symbol. We can look down at his character plays and see that ‘Smashed Shins’ has a cost of the same symbol. Applies a nasty -4/-4″ KICK penalty to your target. He just scuttles up and smashes shins.. #GuildBall woo! Ha I am excited to get this team rolling. I don’t own Colossus yet but he’s on the list.


Let’s talk disengaging strikes or ‘Parting Blows’ as they’re called in these rules. If a model performs an advance and leaves the melee zone or LOS of an engaged enemy. The enemy may make a parting blow against them. Each enemy can make one of these if there are several involved. The parting blow is a 0 INF attack that gains [+2]TAC. Models don’t get the ganging up or crowding out mods here, nor can they generate MP from their playbook results. They can’t cause repositions or trigger character plays either. After damage is applied the model may continue leaving the melee range or LoS if they still can. Seems like just a way to warn against running out of combat getting some free strikes at less than full strength is still a bad idea.
The last bit we’ll go over for Part 2 of the series is ‘Plays’. There are character, heroic and legendary plays. We’ve got over them a bit but let’s use Colossus’ ‘Ramming Speed’ play as an example. We’ve got a play name and then description text below that. Next is the cost, remember it could be a cost that means the play has to be a result of the playbook rather than freely used with INF. The next column after cost is Range or RNG this could be in inches or it’ll have an S if the ability can only be used on the model with the play like ‘Ramming Speed’ or a P which means it can only be used out of the playbook! Zone shows you if an area of the pitch is affected by the play and how much in inches. Sustain – YES, means that the ability has effects that last until the end of the current turn. The resource used to cast these non-playbook plays is INF (influence). A character play targeting a model is resolved as a [targets def] TN test. Character plays like ‘smashed shins’ above would have no TN and auto hit if we chose them as our damage effect. One more piece on playbook results, let’s say smashed shins above had a range of 4 inches. Colossus could attack one enemy and trigger the play against a ‘different’ enemy within range and LoS! That seems like it’ll add some depth as you’ll be able to strike out at some range if you had a playbook result like that. We’ll see what’s prevalent in the game as we get deeper.

If the character play has a target number (TN) then it could suffer from penalties like Crowding out if enough enemy models are engaged. AOE character plays triggered from the playbook are auto successes with no TN. (hell yea Ratchet! A different Engineers model who has a difficult ground AOE) One would center the AOE template over it’s target point which just needs to be within RNG of the play. The attacking model performing the AOE would need to create a dice pool to attack each model under the template separately. (rolling against their DF) On success they suffer the effects of the AOE on a failed attack roll they dodge the abilities effects. Some AOE will have ongoing effects that need to be marked after firing them off, like rough ground for example. Heroic Plays cost 1 MP to use and may only be used once per turn, all of their effects last until the end of the turn unless specified. Legendary plays have no INF or MP cost. They last until the end of the turn unless specified. These are limited use actions that can only happen once per game (not recharged with icy sponges those only do HP).

That brings part 2 of our Learnin’ Guild Ball series to a close and really covers 85% of the game. During the 3rd and final installment we’ll discuss Momentum, terrain and league play. Please let me know if you have any questions or insight and we’ll keep plugging away at the rules here and maybe even get a game in next week! Cheers.

Follow my antics and rants (relative) @Vorgames


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