Guard: When an opposing player successfully tackles one of your players, you may apply the dice result to this player instead. (This ability occurs after rolling the dice but before applying the result.)
It's a useful skill with how it affects gameplay.. but it's pretty rare that you actually *use* it.
Take the following situation - at a match up my opponent has: A 3 star player with no pertinent skills and a 1 star with Guard. If I play a 3 star with Tackle and hit the 3 star, I roll a single die and if I succeed, the result will just get applied to the guard so I'm better off directly hitting the 1 star Guard and rolling 2 dice.
The *only* time Guard directly 'activates' is when the situation is reversed and the Guard is stronger than the guarded. Then you hit the guarded to get 2 dice knowing the result may be applied to the guard (who if you hit directly you'd only roll 1 die against).
Question 1: can a Guard, guard himself?
I don't have the game in front of me - left it at my buddy's last night - but there's a Dwarf team upgrade that lets them draw/discard a player whenever one of their guards activate. In a 2 player game, I drew it first turn and never used it in the game. In a 3 player game, my buddy got it early and used it twice the entire game... because guard so rarely activates. On BGG someone asked the following
Can a Guard, guard himself? If so, the dwarven team card would be useful. Maybe too much so.. you'd likely be looking at a 'sprint effect' 1-2 times per
Question 2: Guard/Fend - are they meant to synergize?
Fend: If an opposing player successfully tackles this player, you may stand one of your other downed players at this matchup.
The OWA freebooter Slab has this combo - except with the current verbiage, it's not a combo. And Fend will never be used. Take the following situation - at a match up my opp has: a downed thrower (currently 1 star) and Slab (3 stars with guard/fend) I hit the downed thrower with 2 dice and tackle him. Slab uses guard to take the hit and goes down. Currently, his Fend doesn't activate because the 'succssful tackle' wasn't against him. As per Guard, the 'successful tackle' was directed at another player and the die result was appleid to Slab.
In fact, I can't think of ANY circumstance where it would be beneficial to hit Slab directly when there's a downed player for him to Fend. Hitting the downed player will get you more tackle dice AND stop Fend from activating. Fend becomes another action limiter, but it'll never activate. You could make Slab just a 3 star guard without Fend and he'd play exactly the same.
I think there's some verbiage issues with Guard - I'm hoping so anyways. And in our play group we're allowing Guard/Fend to synergize... at least until the official FAQ comes out.