So what are fishermen supposed to do? Any guild can be a goal scoring team, a KO team, a denial team, or any combination of the three, but guilds tend to gravitate towards a certain point on that spectrum. Fishermen tend to be on the goal scoring side of this triangle (see triangle below).
(Note: in an interview with Ozball.club, Guild Ball co-creator Mat Hart said that the Engineers faction was designed to be a step in from the Fishermen; high goal scoring with a little more resilience. You can find that interview here.
To get more insight on why Fishermen tend to be towards the goal scoring team, let’s look at the playbooks for the Fishermen players.
The fine folks over at Ozball.club have broken down the playbook for us, so let’s not recreate the wheel. That post is found here.
In that post we see that the momentous plays in the Fishermen playbooks mainly consists of dodges, characters plays, and pushes. 42.31% are dodges, while 38.46% and 23.08% are character plays and pushes, respectively. The character plays consist of more movement shenanigans (ie: Greyscales or Salt’s Where’d They Go?), plays that cripple your opponents’ movement (Shark’s Gut & String or his legendary play), and movement manipulation (ie: Kraken’s Harpoon or Release the Kraken character plays).
A Step Further
Let’s take this a step further and look at tackles, which represent ball control. Out of the nine Fishermen players released so far to this date, seven of them have a tackle in one of their first two columns. The other two both have a tackle in their third column. Kraken, which also has a momentous knockdown in his first column and Siren which can just take the ball away from you via character play.
How Many Dice to Kick?
Fishermen have five players that roll three dice for a kick, while two players roll four dice (one of which has a self-target character play that boosts that to five; with Corsair’s legendary play, this player rolls six dice at a distance of twelve inches!! Yes, this player can kick a goal from midfield with 98.4% accuracy, assuming no players are in the ball path or tenderizer is within four inches of the goal). The other two players roll one dice on a kick, but one is a big guy and the other is Salt, which is notorious for being one of the worse mascots in the game (more on that later; I don’t feel the same way most people do).
How can we use this information to our advantage?
Push goals early. I had just ended the third round of the Bourbon Trail Open in Lexington, Kentucky. My first round opponent Bill Anderson(and eventual winner of the tournament) and I were sitting around. He asked how it was going and I told him I was 0-3. He asked about the scores. I told him that besides the game that we had, the scores were 8-12 both times, with late game scores on my part that really didn’t matter. Bill responded, “You gotta push those goals early with fish.” Since he was the eventual winner and a host of the podcast Guild Ball tonight (seen here), I would say he is pretty knowledgeable on the subject.
Build Momentum Early. If you are receiving the ball at the beginning of the game, it is a good idea to pass the ball around to gain a good amount of momentum. I recommend passing the ball 2-4 times to build momentum. Hopefully with this amount of momentum going into the second turn, you will win initiative. Also, during the first turn, depending on your lineup, you can get a first turn goal if the board situation is desirable.
If all else fails, control the ball and move players around. If you don’t start the game with the ball, try to get it back ASAP. I usually use Siren to kick off because does a really good job of this from an extended range. One of the Fishermens’ main drawing points is their ball control. They probably do it better than any other guild, so you have to take advantage of that. Use those tackles!
If you are having trouble getting to where the ball is, use the available playbook and character plays to move players around. Fishermen have loads of dodges, and their character plays manipulate the opposing players movement (decreasing movement, reposition them, or both). Use them to your advantage.
Shark vs. Corsair. With Shark as captain, you tend to be a three goal scoring team; although sometimes you will be a 2+2 (two goals, two takeouts) team. With Corsair at the helm, you could be a 2+2 team or even up to a 1+4 (1 goal, four KO’s) team. On rare occasions, you might be a 6 KO team, but you still need to control the ball and keep it away from the other team.
Fishermen are very fast, have great ball control, and can move your opponent around quite a bit. Players should use this to their advantage, regardless if you bring Shark or Corsair to captain your players on the pitch.
Next time, we will dive into individual players. We start with the original Fishermen captain, Shark!
Until next time, whatever you do, do all to the Glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31