This question comes back regularly among Blood Bowl coaches: “How important is creativity for a good coach? The more games I play, the more the situations feel similar and the more the solutions seem the same to me. Is creativity necessary or does repetition always prevail? “
When a coach reaches the champion coaching level, he starts to spend a lot less energy organizing his turns and his positioning. These game aspects become more or less repetitive even if the best coaches will always find ways to improve them. However, he uses more energy to anticipate his opponent’s next move, to fine-tune his pitch control, to plan his remaining game turns, to understand what his opponent expects of him and especially to find ways to influence what his counterpart will play next. That is the real game and once a coach realizes that, a door opens in his mind. This is the level from which a coach develops his own play style. This is where creativity makes a difference.
Creativity leverages knowledge
Solving very complex problems requires, by its very nature, creativity. Of course, any champion coach knows all the game’s theories and tactics, but those who reach the legendary level use this knowledge creatively. Or, in short, stagnating coaches fail to solve game situations by creatively leveraging their knowledge.
I had a mentor who gave me game puzzles to solve. He usually said something along the lines: “Look for solutions to this problem then come back to me when you think you’ve found them all.” Is there any creativity at Blood Bowl? If you think there are none, do this exercise with a better coach than you. Chances are you will be amazed at all the different ways he can solve problems using exactly the same knowledge as you!
To be honest, I do not play this game to win without stories. I play it for those games when nothing works and everything goes straight to hell. At these moments, I must creatively fix a broken game situation just as MacGyver would, in order to salvage a hard-won victory.