Blood Bowl Art - Security and surprise

Security and Surprise

At Blood Bowl, a coach must always combine security and surprise. Security is imperviousness to surprises, but if a coach only plays securely, he will have difficulties achieving a surprise to unbalance his opponent.

Blood Bowl can only be played securely and a coach can become very good this way. Blood Bowl can also be played by continually seeking surprises and success then becomes heavily influenced by the dice. Some coaches’ lucky reputation often stems from their ability to safely combine security and surprise to destabilize their opponent while staying in control.


Even though most blood bowl dice rolls have an acceptable risk level as shown on the probabilities table, the reality is that just about each of them can cause a turnover. Since almost every dice roll is critical, a coach must necessarily play securely to stabilize his success over many games.

Security is imperviousness to risk. It is essential to support a team’s combativeness throughout a game (and even throughout its existence) and it results from measures taken by a coach to protect himself from his dices.

Security = calculated risks

Risk is the potential to lose something valuable. For example, when taking a risk, you can lose a player, an advantageous deployment and even your team’s financial health. Risk is also defined by an intentional action with an uncertain outcome. When a coach wisely chooses which risky actions to play, he is taking calculated risks.

Three fundamental security principles
  1. Security improves survival and preserves combativeness.
  2. Every failed risky action compromises security and therefore combativeness.
  3. A preventive action can secure a risky action.


Since risk is present in all Blood Bowl game facets, the security principle does not seek to abolish risks. On the contrary, security is often improved by a calculated risk aimed at destabilizing the opponent. This kind of surprise can change a game decisively – especially against an opponent playing little or no secure preventive actions. A team can often harm his opponent’s security using only a few players and that is why agile teams with higher tactical potential remain dangerous even when shorthanded.

Surprise describes tactics conducted by a concentration of players cleverly supported. It is a quick and incisive attack that seeks to dislocate a defense by capitalizing on its weakest spot and, often, also on its inability to follow the tempo. The continuous use of surprises unbalances the opposing coach by presenting him with a series of continually changing situations that he finds difficult to adapt to.

Surprise provides a solution to frontal confrontations as it is often performed at the point of least resistance (it is sometimes the longest distance that is the shortest way). If frontal confrontations increase the resistance “by compression”, surprises relaxes the resistance by destabilizing its balance, which sometimes manages to open the door to the main offensive.

Three fundamental surprise principles
  1. A frontal confrontation on a firm defense almost never works.
  2. A surprised and destabilized defense can secure an offense.
  3. Surprise is rarely the main offensive but is more what precedes it.

In short…

Sometimes misunderstood, security and surprise do not seek to abolish frontal confrontations – which are still very useful against fragile defenses. Instead, they urge to coach players with measure and intelligence to avoid many nose bleeds for little real benefits. Now, all you have to do is jump on the pitch and find your team‘s perfect balance of security and surprise!

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