Here's a few things you may or may not know about Guild Battles.
1) What are Guild Battles? Guild battles are 3v3 player-versus-player games in CPO. They take place twice a day, for one half hour. The time is 2:00 Eastern // 11:00 Pacific and 8:00 Eastern // 5:00 Pacific. To fight in guild battles, you need to need to be a member of an active guild (i.e. not NPCGuild) with at least 5 to 6 members. Every week, the top 10 guilds get a prize of at least 200 gems, but more for first and second place.
2) How do I get there? Anytime during the guild battle timeset, you can click on the "Megacorp Battle" button on the home page -- or on the "Guild" button on the lower bar, then "Board Room" -- to reach the Guild battle page. This guild battle page shows your ranking, your current score for the week, your five representatives, your current rivals (sometimes you have to refresh the app to show these properly), the "autobattle" timer, and any current battles happening, along with who is playing.
3) What are my guild's representatives? Every guild has five designated representatives, chosen randomly from your guild. (As of right now, these members are set semi-permanently, but an upcoming fix should soon randomize them every day.) The relative strengths of these designated representatives will affect a fair amount of power between guilds -- some guilds have few players but all have strong decks; some guilds have lots of players in a wide range of strengths. These representatives will be a random slice of your guild's deck strength, for better and for worse. Representatives make up your team in autobattles, and they fill in any empty spots in manual battles. (See below.)
4) What are guild battles like? Guild battles are like your event and story battles, with three big differences.
a) You're playing against other players (who might be stronger than you, or faster, or smarter, etc.) rather than against a computer who only damages you when their bombs go off. Speed is crucial to winning guild battles, where it is slightly less important in story/event battles.
b) Instead of 3 moves before you switch a board, you only get one move. (Unless you match a 5-tile match, where you always get another turn.) This makes the battle more hectic; ask yourself if you can grab a "great match" as soon as possible, speaking of which...
c) You are not just matching tiles and your character charms but also seeking KEYS. (Charms -- your character tiles -- count as keys, too.) If your team gets 10 keys before the other team, you "break the vault" and go into a (30 second?) turbo mode where you can match unlimited tiles. Many guild battles are over if one team breaks the vault and then just lets loose a barrage of damage against the other team.
5) How does the game assign matchmaking? There are two kinds of matchmaking: auto and manual.
a) Autobattles happen constantly (approximately every 6 minutes) during the battle time. There's a timer that says: "Next battle in XX:XX." These will always spawn, pitching three of your designated reps against three reps from another guild, even if no one from that guild is playing that hour. More likely than not, your autobattles will be against your guild's "rivals." These tend to be guilds with Guild rankings similar to yours; also, you are more likely to be rivals against guilds you've fought in the past.
In autobattles, you take over one of your rep's decks. This is important: you do not get to use your own deck. If you take over a weak member's deck, your attacks will be weak; if you take over a member's deck that is lopsided to purple and green tiles, you might be thrown for a loop when your own personal deck favors red and yellow. Use the pie chart and the deck under the board to see what kind of deck you're dealing with.
If no one from either guild has joined the autobattle, then it will wait until someone does. But once someone enters, the battle begins, with all characters played either by a human or by a supporting AI. (Usually the AI-heavy team will get beat, unless their deck strength is just that strong.) Sometimes your autobattles will be against a guild that is super active and you'll find that the battle has begun (or even ended) without you!
b) In manual battles, you create your own team. At the next page, you can see what team is going into battle: your guildmates can join your team and be ready for battle. Once you hit "Start," you may be get matched with any other guild who is queued up to start a manual battle.
If you hit "Start" the moment you create a team, you may go in alone; your non-human players will be drawn from your "designated defenders" who may be wimpy or may be strong. Anyone who joins the battle "late" will take over a defender deck, just like in autobattles.
Usually, if you know you have guildmates as backup, you should wait for them to file into your team before you hit "Start." (One exception: if one of your mates has a low-level deck but your guild has high-level defenders, you might start the battle without the newbie, then have them take over a high-powered deck by joining "late.")
6) How are our scores calculated? You get points for winning battles: 50 points per manual battle and 100 points per autobattle. (The logic is that autobattles are limited to about 10 per half hour, but a really active guild could ostensibly play unlimited manual battles if they had enough opponents.)
Important: you get these points PER HUMAN PLAYER. So if you have two autobattles in the queue, even against a weak guild you think you can solo, you shouldn't multi-task. It's best for three players to join one battle all at once, get the 300 points for victory, then do the second battle together as a team for another 300 points.
I might tweak this guide as questions come up and/or as battle mechanics shift around. But this is a nice list of things that I wish I'd known as a new player -- and a list of things that might help you join into the guild wars. Let me know if anyone has questions. Have fun!
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