Here is a typical scenario
“Help, a gang of lumberjacks trashed my team! They had the Guard skill everywhere and Mighty Blow on almost all their players … Oh! And they two-dice blocked me throughout the game.
I won the coin toss and elected to receive the ball. I scored in three game turns because I didn’t want to delay as my players were leaving the pitch at an alarming speed. When my turn came to defend, there was nothing I could do and a big part of my team went to the KO and casualties boxes. His cage was impenetrable and there was no way to break it. He scored on turn eight.
The second half was similar but twice as nightmarish. Now outnumbered, I was even less able to defend my half of the pitch. He swept my players clean off the pitch on turn fourteen …
How can I defend against a stronger team than mine? Is the primary strategy to pray for a deep kick (ideally in the opponent’s rear end)? It seems to me that from the moment a cage is formed, I have no chances at all.”
coach to Your Team’s Strengths
At blood bowl, the winner is usually the coach who best managed to leverage his team’s strengths and in the scenario above, it was the opponent. We cannot win them all, there is no shame in that.
When facing a stronger team than our own, it is often better to stay at a distance – well, not that far as a single square space is enough, and use your agility and speed advantage to move your players into skirmishing positions two squares apart. Your opponent’s strength advantage will be greatly reduced if you force him to scatter to man-mark you. It is also a great way to counter the Guard skill.
If you pressure your stronger opponent into playing a game of finesse, you will win more than you will lose. If your beefier opponent invites you to a general scrum and you bite the hook, you will lose more than you will win.
Coaching skirmished and mobile players is risky business. To avoid attempting series after series of dodges, first look for all the possible ways to two-dice block. For example, use your blitz to free a player who will move to assist another two-dice block, who will then free a player to assist another two-dice block, and so on. It is a bit like falling dominoes.
Carefully weigh the consequences before following up a pushed opponent as you don’t want to gift an easy free block in return or lose an assist on another block. While blocking, be also wary of bunching up your players in the process. As a rule of thumb, it is mostly better to stay scattered to reduce your opponent’s strength advantage.
Once you have done all your two-dice blocks and dodged all the Dodge skilled players to assist some other two-dice blocks, you will have to make heart-breaking decisions that should mostly rely on the game’s probabilities. For example, one-die blocks with the Block skill are less risky than dodging 3+ agility players without the Dodge skill.
Once all that was likely to succeed is done, players without Block, Wrestle, or Dodge who do not control crucial tackle zones whose loss would be catastrophic should probably attempt dodges to escape upcoming blocks and reposition. This is especially true if they have an 8+ armor and are man-marking a Block and Mighty Blow player. If the dodge fails, at least, the grass does not have Mighty Blow.
The Killing truth
Great coaches‘ offensives score most of the time.
That is why scoring in three turns or less against a great coach is extremely risky because he then has enough time to comfortably score back – which he will succeed most of the time. He will then only have to grind the whole second half and score the winning touchdown on turn 16. This scenario is the most typical springboard to a 1 – 2 defeat.
Here are some other tips to poison a stronger team’s life.
- Develop your own Claws and Mighty Blow players
- Use your movement and agility to reform your defense each turn and drive your opponent crazy
- Use columns defenses to lock down parts of the pitch
- Waste time with the ball near the endzone. Obviously not yours … but theirs
- Develop a player able to score in a single game turn. Then learn and master the tactic
- Develop an agile player with the Wrestle, Strip Ball, and Leap skills combo (+ Dauntless). Then, stack up on team rerolls and sack their ball carrier
- Use the Frenzy skill and crowd surf with the pedal to the metal
- Foul (wisely !!!) with Dirty Player and Sneaky Git
- Use the Kick skill to kick deep where it hurts. Then go contest the ball before the cage forms.
- Counter their team with the Guard skill on as many players as you can
- Hire a Wizard as an inducement
- Consider enforcing an error or failing, granting a touchdown, especially if you can easily score back in two game turns