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The Finn2

Guard - a useless useful skill. Comments and 2 questions.

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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.

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 I agree, Fend seems to be an odd skill that won't get used much, but I suppose it is intended for use if the Fending player is the most powerful one left and the opposing player just wants to knock down your points. But a guard/fend combo would be nice.

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Fenders (at least the WE Treeman) seem to have Block, so Offensive Coordinator combos nicely. Knock down the opposing ballcarrier to get the ball to midfield, then use OC to get the ball to the Fender. Now if your opponent brings down your Fending ballcarrier, you get someone else up.

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Dam said:

Fenders (at least the WE Treeman) seem to have Block, so Offensive Coordinator combos nicely. Knock down the opposing ballcarrier to get the ball to midfield, then use OC to get the ball to the Fender. Now if your opponent brings down your Fending ballcarrier, you get someone else up.

 

I agree, but being the ballcarrier is one of the rare times that Fend will come into play.

 

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In reference to the first question:

If your opponent is choosing to tackle your guard instead of your three star then the guard STILL did it's job in that it detracted the opponent from tackeling your 3 star so I really don't see the problem. Sure you didn't really "use" the guard, but the end result was the same. In fact guard can be used from a different highlight meaning that you might even be forcing your opponent to match up on a highlight he might not otherwise have if he chooses to attack your weaker guard player for the extra tackle die.

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Dark Bunny Lord said:

....so I really don't see the problem. Sure you didn't really "use" the guard, but the end result was the same.

I think the problem is the dwarves have a "team card" which is virtually unusable. If might as well be a blank card.

The end result would only be the same if that team skill ability could not be activated, when the guard is the target of the tackle.

 

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XAos said:

Dark Bunny Lord said:

 

....so I really don't see the problem. Sure you didn't really "use" the guard, but the end result was the same.

 

 

I think the problem is the dwarves have a "team card" which is virtually unusable. If might as well be a blank card.

The end result would only be the same if that team skill ability could not be activated, when the guard is the target of the tackle.

 

 

That is a tough one.  You need two guards at the same matchup to pull it off, but then you only have to do it once since you can replace that Team card when it works.

 

Generally though, Guard IS a useful skill in that it forces your opponent to try to tackle someone who's not the ball carrier.

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Trump said:

That is a tough one.  You need two guards at the same matchup to pull it off, but then you only have to do it once since you can replace that Team card when it works.

 

So the best thing you can say about the card is you can replace it with a different one after one use. (which is really hard to manage)

Trump said:

Generally though, Guard IS a useful skill in that it forces your opponent to try to tackle someone who's not the ball carrier.

"Generally", Yes, If by "generally" you mean for every team except the dwarves.

The dwarves have ball carriers who cannot be tackled at all if they have the ball. So the dwarves have no use for guards to protect the ball carier.

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Dark Bunny Lord said:

In fact guard can be used from a different highlight meaning that you might even be forcing your opponent to match up on a highlight he might not otherwise have if he chooses to attack your weaker guard player for the extra tackle die.

Actually, it can't be used from a different highlight. From pg 16 Player Abilities: "Unless explicitly stated on the card, all abilities only interact with players at
the same matchup."

It's not Guard that is useless.  It's that Guard activated abilities are useless.

Hence my "useless, useful skill".

 

 

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The Finn said:

Dark Bunny Lord said:

 

In fact guard can be used from a different highlight meaning that you might even be forcing your opponent to match up on a highlight he might not otherwise have if he chooses to attack your weaker guard player for the extra tackle die.

 

 

Actually, it can't be used from a different highlight. From pg 16 Player Abilities: "Unless explicitly stated on the card, all abilities only interact with players at
the same matchup."

It's not Guard that is useless.  It's that Guard activated abilities are useless.

Hence my "useless, useful skill".

 

 

Yeah you'll have to pardon my original mistake however that aside you're still very wrong.

 

Now yes, guard on your linemen is essentially useless as any player, unless they'r stupid or just not paying attention, will always tackle them first and thus that would make the dwarf "rigorous training" pointless. That said they're not the only thing in the dwarf deck with guard. Dwarf Blockers also have guard and are a 3 star card, so let's say you have another card out that has the ball (likely a Dwarf runner with only 2 stars). So you're opponent say has a 3 star tackler and can roll 1 tackle dice and can try to tackle your blocker (50% of not tackling and 33% chance of downing themself) or the runner (2 rolls with same chances per roll = overall much better chance of tackling and lower of downing themself). They could even justify going for it because even if you used your guard they just downed a 3 star from your line and thus don't have to worry about it for future tacklers.

 

Now as for other teams they don't have tactics that require "guard" be pulled off so for them I simply revert to my earlier reasoning that if you have the guard player out it's just one more thing they must get through before they can get to your ball carrier. The only legite complaint I could have seen would be against "rigorus training" but as just shown it's not relevant, especially if you use the same reasoning I just showed with start players that are higher star guards.

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Dwarf Runners cannot be tackled when they have the ball (Stand Firm skill)

 

So while it is true that the Blocker also has Guard, the scenario quoted above would not actually occur. In fact it is very difficult for the Dwarves to activate the Rigorous Training card, as they would only be either tackling a runner without the ball, or they are tackling star power 3 players, and therefore why not target the Guard. But as pointed out, that is a problem with that card, not the Guard Skill.

 

The liklely scenarios for Guard to actually be activated, and therefore you gaining a use of Rigorous Training are:

1) Runner without the ball is targeted because the opponent just wants to remove 2 Star Power from the highlight

2) Longbeard and Blocker at the same highlight and you elect to use the guard on the blocker to protect the longbeard (some question as to whether this is the correct play... but that is not the issue being discussed)

3) 2 Star Power star player with the ball that needs protecting

4) Protecting any downed player who may be picked on to remove them from match-up (Very situational, as attacking a down player when there is an active one in play is rarely the right play in terms of Star Power, but could be good for other reasons e,g, Dirty Player skill or target is high star power when downed)

 

Ultimately though, the card is not easy to reliably trigger and therefore would generally be a low priority pick out of the Team Upgrades (especially given the sheer awesome of some of the others). But the flaw is not with Guard... it does exactly what it needs to do.

The other issue; interaction between Guard and Fend, just needs to be clarified by FAQ.

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I agree that guard is mostly useless.  The game is good but not completely thought out.  I can see some faq on the way or a second edition coming to fix some of these little issue to make athe game better.  A good game that maybe needed some more play testing done to see some of these issues.

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People have brought up some good points.

To clarify, I don't think there's anything wrong with Guard.. it affects the game by affecting your opponent's strategy.

I DO think that because of the way Guard works, the Dwarven Team Card (Rigorous Training was it??) is pretty much useless.

For now, we've implemented a house rule for it - if a standing player with Guard is successfully tackled AND there's another player at the matchup who could have been tackled then we consider that Guard 'activated" (regardless of whether the opponent targetted the guard or the other player for the tackle). 

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Flagrin said:

We just make the Guard ability work across highlights.

I can't say I like that house rule...

From player card abilities on Page 16 - Unless explicitly stated on the card, all abilities only interact with players at the same matchup. So allowing Guard across highlights is a major adjustment to the rules (and a major adjustment to the strategy of the game).

If you allow Guard to work across highlights then it works across 'pairings'?
example:
I'm Player A. Player B tackles one of my players and I apply it to a Guard at a different highlight... where Player C or D is an opponent?

My intent isn't to make Guard more powerful because it *does* affect the game as it currently stands. My intent is to make 'use on Guard activation' abilities meaningful.

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 When you collect "Star players" Take the ones with "low strenght" and a lot of abilities.

Then, in a matchup: GUARD them and change cards with your team improvement if you need.

Is a matter of "knowing" your team 

 

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Flagrin said:

We just make the Guard ability work across highlights.

 

That... just doesn't make any sense at all.

 

I think the simple solution is to simply allow a player to use Guard even if they're the target of the tackle..

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The Finn said:

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).

I like the Guard skill, it can win you matchups if used correctly. I tend to use Guard to protect the ball carrier. If I have a ball carrier in play and I'm worried they will drop the ball if tackled, I'll try my best to stick a player or two with guard skill in the same matchup. I think its important to do this in Tournament Spike Card matchups, to keep the ball to from being dropped if tackled, so that you have the edge in ties. The guard player either takes the damage himself using his skill or it just forces the opposing player to use his tackle skill on the Guard player instead of ball carrier. For me Guard is just tackle fodder!!

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Most of the time guard is on a cheap throwdown card you want to lose, but in a few cases where the card actually gains better stats or abilities it makes sense to use as soon as possible, rather than just a defense for MVP players and ball carriers.

Honestly I feel that guard is has more potential later on, like with an undead team being tackled with an effect that causes the blocking player to be injured or at least pulled down with the guarding.

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