What to do Against a Team of Lumberjacks

Here is a typical scenario

“Help, I got trashed against a stronger team than mine! He had the Guard skill everywhere and Mighty Blow on almost all his players … Oh! And he two dices blocked me throughout the game.

I won the coin toss and elected to receive the ball. I scored in three game turns because I did not want to delay the game 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 knocked out 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. With some injuries, I was even less able to defend my pitch’s half. He swept me clean on turn fourteen …

How can I defend against a stronger team than mine? Is the main strategy to pray for a deep kick (ideally in the opponent’s rear end)? It seems to me that from the moment the cage is formed, I have no chances at all.”

Play Your Team’s Strength(s)

At blood bowl, the winner is usually the coach who best manages to play his team’s strength(s) and in the scenario above, it was the opponent. We can not win them all, there is no shame in that.

Faced against a team stronger than your own, it is often better to stay at a distance (well, not too far, a small square space is often enough) and use your agility and/or speed advantage to scatter on the pitch. Your opponent’s strength advantage will be greatly reduced if you force him to scatter to cover you mano-to-mano (this is also a great way to counter the Guard skill). Then use your speed and agility advantage to reach your game goals.

If you pressure your stronger opponent to play in finesse, you will often win. If your beefier opponent invites you to a general scrum and you bite the hook, you will often lose.

Playing scattered and mobile has its share of risks (if not, where would be the pleasure?). To avoid attempting serial risky dodges, look for all the ways possible to block with two dice in your favor. For example, use your blitz to free a player who will move to assist another two dice block, and so on (think dominoes effect). Weight the consequences before following up (you don’t want to give an easy free block) and stay scattered to reduce your opponent’s strength advantage.

Once you have completed all two dice blocks (and dodged all the Dodge skilled players to assist other two dice blocks), you will have to make heart-breaking decisions. One die blocking with the Block skill is less risky than dodging with a three agility player without the Dodge skill. Also, players without Block, Wrestle or Dodge who do not control crucial tackle zones (whose loss of control would be catastrophic) may attempt dodges to save themselves from nasty blocks … especially if they have a seven armor against a bully endowed with the Block and Mighty Blow skills combo (if you fail the dodge, at least, the grass does not have Mighty Blow).

A wise coach is familiar with the game’s probabilities and constantly plays the odds that are in his favour.

The Reality That Kills

A better coach than you receiving the kickoff with enough game turns at his disposal will score a touchdown most of the time.

That is why scoring in three turns (or less) against a good coach is extremely risky because he then has enough time to fight back comfortably – which he will succeed most of the time. He will then only have to take his time to score the second half’s winning touchdown. This scenario is the most typical springboard to a 1 – 2 defeat. That does not mean that it is going to happen every time, but that is what will happen very often.

Here are some other tips to poison a stronger team’s life.

  • Develop your own Claw and Mighty Blow skills combo player
  • Use your movement and/or superior agility to drive him crazy
  • Waste time in the ball’s company along the touchdown line
  • Develop a player able to score in a single game turn
  • Develop an agile player with the Wrestle, Dauntless and Leap combo (+ Strip Ball)
  • Use the Frenzy skill and crowd surf with your pedal to the metal
  • Foul (wisely !!!) with Dirty Player
  • Use the Kick skill to kick deep where it hurts
  • Counter with the Guard skill on as many players as you can
  • Hire a Wizard as an inducement
  • Consider granting a touchdown (especially if you can easily score back in two game turns)
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