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Blood Bowl 101

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Blood Bowl 101

Post  Johnny KTOU on 2012-01-20, 08:19

I’m going to start a series of articles regarding the basics of Blood Bowl, the first one was going to be about blocking, but the GW webstite already has a very good article about it,so I'm just gonna let you read this one first, and I'll go straight to the basic strategies in Blood Bowl on Offense and Defence.
http://www.games-workshop.com/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m1310006_BB_Art_of_Blocking.pdf
It's going to take some time to write all articles, so I'm just gonna post them slowly, one at a time.

I. Offense 101

Introduction

Attacking seems the easiest part. It can’t be hard, I have the initiative, I have the ball, I will knock down a few players, and surely it’s only a matter of time before I get to the end zone. Well it seems the easiest part, but I’ve discovered that it isn’t. I’ve always been a lot better defending as I can see the opponent’s moves and I just need to react to it, anticipate a bit and at the end of the day, the attacker has to go through me...

Attacking is not simple, it requires to have an overall plan and a fall back plan, follow a path but have options open; it needs experience in placements, being able to move the ball at the same time as protecting the carrier, absorb any attack the defender will throw and keep moving the ball towards the end zone.

The team you’re playing will usually dictates what the overall plan will roughly look like: you can try to play Long Passes with Orcs, but that just won’t work, you’ll fail eventually at handling the ball; you can play a grinding game with Elves, but I’m ready to bet half of your team will be in your Dugout in a couple of turns.

Let’s have a look at different ways to run the ball.


The Cage and the grinding game

Everyone knows what a cage looks like, or at least the most basic tight cage.


It’s safe and tough; the carrier can’t be attacked straight away by a plain Blitz as it would require high risk Dodge followed by a two or three dice against Block... It has it’s inconvenient as it’s very easily slowed down and encircled but if you’re playing a strong team like Orcs or Dwarves, it’s okay, they’ll just fight their way square by square until the end zone.

The first thing to do when receiving then, is securing the ball. Assess where the ball is and where it possibly can go so that you finish your first turn as close to the line of scrimmage as you can: you’ll have less terrain to cover for the touchdown. Cover the ball in case a faster team can reach it if things go south, and start digging and weakening the opposition.

You’re going to do that every turn: assess where you cage will go, give a few punches to have more space for the cage and move it. Make sure you have enough space for the cage: the corners shouldn’t touch the opponent otherwise he’ll just block the first guy and blitz the ball carrier.
If you are stronger or against a fast team, don’t hesitate to leave your strong players in tackle zones (not your cage though!), forcing him to dodge out, as hopefully he won’t have the strength to push you back. It will be a slow game, but you need to be patient and everything should be ok: one or two square at a time should take nearly a whole half but with a last dash through the defence at the end, it should take you less than 6 or 7 turns.

Be careful though, one of the dangers by being a stronger team is just to ignore the ball completely and just slap people. Don’t do it... The ball is still your objective and you need to keep an eye on it; you’ll need to punch players a lot more and hopefully do some casualties, but it is in order to create some space to move your cage, so make sure the ball is secure first every time, you then won’t have to worry about making risky ball plays and you’ll be able to knock a few opponents down. But keep an eye on the prize!
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Re: Blood Bowl 101

Post  syxx on 2012-01-20, 08:26

Gd work as always
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Re: Blood Bowl 101

Post  gonetoground on 2012-01-20, 18:27

Great artricle Stephane, looking forward ro more
cheers

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Re: Blood Bowl 101

Post  Johnny KTOU on 2012-01-20, 21:41

A tight cage is awfully hard to break and while 5 players are protecting the ball, the rest of the team should be good and tough enough to keep blocking and giving a hard time to the defence. However the offence needs to be very tough for this, having high strength, an access to Guard skills and/or be able to do reliable 1-die Blocks: most team will just get slapped player by player and won’t be able to sustain casualties and last enough turns...

The Loose Cage and the running game

The purposes of a loose cage are twofold: freeing some players from the cage itself, allowing to cover more terrain; and keeping a bigger distance between the opponent and the ball carrier. This allow a relatively fast team to redeploy more easily against stronger but slower teams as well as being able to move the ball quicker downfield.

Whereas a tight cage is about moving only a small amount of surface (an area of 9 squares), the loose cage requires moving an area a lot bigger, but much more flexible:

It is ok to have your own forces divided as long as you know you can “reconnect” them with a simple Block or Blitz and your force spread out allows having some catchers ready for a potential pass. It’s more a threat than an action you’re planning, but the opponent can’t ignore it and will have to act accordingly and spread his forces himself.

In case of a wall, or when you feel cornered, if the opponent is tougher and you think you can’t go through, try to redeploy on the other side, which is another reason for you to keep some opened options rather than just trying to bully your way through.

As said, a loose cage is much less safe: as you’re not covering all the corners, an opposing player could dodge in, leap in or even go round and if he manages to break through, it’s quite possible he Blocks with one die...

It’s important then when moving the cage to take into account your opponent’s next movement phase and what are his possibilities: has he got enough movement to just go around, how hard is it do dodge in, can he just leap, which player is your bigger threat, if one of the linemen goes down, how many tackle zones can he put on the ball carrier...
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Re: Blood Bowl 101

Post  Johnny KTOU on 2012-04-25, 23:21

The Passing Game, the running game for fast teams and the two turn TD

I’ll start by saying is straight: passing is generally a bad idea. Please don’t... It’s probably the most fun and enjoying play ever, seeing the ball flying from your end zone to your opponent’s, but these high risks/high rewards types of play are usually not worth it in a already dice heavy game.

Well it’s not that bad for some teams. It allows to go for a two turn TD (three sometimes depending on placements or how you want the game to be paced), which is obviously always useful when receiving on turn 6-7, but also allows to get rid of the ball ASAP when your team is relatively fragile: most team will just hurt you until you give the ball up, whereas if they’re attacking they have to protect the ball as well, making the hard hitting team less dangerous when they’re on the offence.

Anyway, a long bomb being not that reliable though, quick pass is what any team needs to aim for: Elves move the ball quickly with some mix between running, quick passing, running further, handing off, and running again. Yep, the secret is running. What you need when planning a play like this, you need to know the turn before who will (or can potentially) be your thrower, who will be protecting him, who will be the intermediate runner, who will be protecting him, who will be your last catcher and where can he end up safe.

There are several ways to approach and plan your next turns when receiving a kick off and you’re a fast agile team. Here are two of them:

- holding on to the ball for a turn, protecting the thrower, fan out the catchers and as the opponent only has one blitz, hope to get at least a catcher relatively free for a pass. This leaves the defender with two options: covering the catchers to make the pass impossible (you then run with the thrower) or attack the ball carrier (it leaves your catchers free)


- pick the ball up, and handing off to the catcher that will work his way through the defense with the help of the blitzers. It’s a dangerous play as your opponent when the ball is and where it will obviously go. So you’ll have to make your way out, which is doable against slow teams, and very doable if you play Slanns...


A fast team is all about forcing the hand of your opponent one way or the other and using your flexibility and speed to change the pace of the game.


Planning the game overall – stalling or not stalling, that is the question

Oh dear, I’m gonna get some hate for this: stalling is part of the game. I know, games are not as enjoyable when you’re losing and your opponent is stalling, but it is part of the game, and part of the overall strategy.

We’re not all playing Elves that score in two turns, and slow teams for example need to plan their turns: I receive, I make sure the opponent scores in 3 turns max, I then score on turn 8; second half, I receive and score in 8 turns... I know, it’s not nice, but what if you’re playing Orcs against Elves and you have the choice to hold onto the ball or score on turn 7 for a draw? If you score 2-2, the Elf receives on turn 7 and scores turn 8...

Stalling is a weapon as good as any and should be used when necessary (if you’re winning 4-0, be sport, don’t stall really, there is no point making your opponent’s life worse...) and it can become especially important for the slow teams.

But it’s not just about stalling itself; it’s about planning your whole game. It’s about forcing your opponent NOT to stall by putting pressure on the ball carrier, creating threats. How will the game unfold, am I receiving, or do I prefer to kick first, what will happen from then on? Do I let the opponent score quickly (and leave yourself enough time to score back)? Should I keep trying to stop him because I think I can or should I let this one go to allow some time and equalise...

Look at your team, how will you attack/defend? Plan it mentally and try and stick to it.
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Re: Blood Bowl 101

Post  syxx on 2012-04-25, 23:48

And again gd work Smile rly gd read u left out the bit where u roll a 5,4,5,4,3 2 fail the 2 reroll and fail again part but all gd
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