Draws for Dummies
There are three kind of draws: the good, the bad and the boring. A good draw is when you coached your team out of the jaws of defeat. A bad draw is when a victory slipped from between your claws. A boring draw is when a game leaves you with nothing to write home about.
If most of your draws are good, no problems, you have earned the right to brag about it. If you get loads of bad draws, it is obvious there is a flaw somewhere in your coaching. If your draws induce yawns of boredom, read on!
The typical boring draw ends on a 1-1 score in a game where no one stopped the other’s offensive. If this is a common result of yours, you need to work on your defence. The other typical draw ends on a 0-0 score where no coach won his ball possession half. If this is common to your Blood Bowl experience, you need to amp your offense. Finally, if you get a lot of high-scoring draws (2-2 or worse), your defence is butt-ugly and your offense is all over the place. You and your opponent are probably still relatively inexperienced coaches playing light-heartedly. It is fine but, if you aspire to master the Blood Bowl game, you’d better seriously work on your basics!
What leads to a boring draw
Unless there is a kickoff disaster, the team that starts the half with the ball controls the tempo. Logically, to keep the initiative and to prevent a counter-touchdown, everyone wants to keep the holy blood bowl ball for as long as possible. That each coach thus benefits from only one long offensive drive during a whole game naturally results in a boring draw.
A coach who has been pitilessly steamrolled or bullshitted 0-1 during his opponent’s half must decide his own half’s offensive strategy. Obviously, his first reasonable option would be to control the tempo as long as possible and bag a 1-1 draw. His second more exciting option would be to score relatively quickly and benefit from a chance to steal the ball and win. Dangerously, this option would also grant his opponent the same chance to win the game.
The law of reciprocity states that gifting an opening can give you one in return. Or, in other words, you may need to risk a glorious defeat to win a glorious game.
It is a very precarious exercise. If you leave too few game turns, the opposition will attempt a chain push or a pass, leaving you no way to steal the ball and score. At the opposite, too many turns left and they will securely run the ball in. The sweet spot depends a lot on what you are up against, but you should aim at leaving a number of game turns that feels too much for a pass (especially if you can easily retaliate), but that also feels a bit short for a very secure run.
The idea behind this approach is that with few game turns left, the offensive may drop the “slow and safe” method and attempt a risky run to score the winning touchdown. Then, dices could be dangerously rolled against your skillful defence and a fight for the ball could break loose. When no team controls the ball and the tempo, events tend to flow very quickly. Whatever happens, it will certainly be exciting!
It is obvious that a coach must have acquired some gaming experience to successfully gauge when to safely opt for a draw and when to give it all for a win. The ability to correctly evaluate if a win is probable, the guts to risk defeat and a knack for improvisation under pressure are certainly a part of what separates legendary coaches from the conservative pack.
In short, a boring draw mostly happens because no coach dared to invest all he had in a game. Sure, it is true that if you don’t speed, you won’t risk many tickets… but it is also true that you won’t win many races. Now, get back on the pitch and dare to win !