Style of Play: Defence

Entry 4
Transcribed by his goblin scribe, Ian H. McKinley

Right, so you’ve got a team, you’ve got a game plan for when you’re team’s on offence, now you need one for when your team’s on defence.

So, last time out I talked about how your Boyz’ll need to have your way of playing beaten into their thick noggins and how the challenge will be getting a pack of lazy brutes to do the hard work on the training pitch. Same thing applies on defence and brutality’s still what you’re aiming for. You’ve gotta please the Ultras and pleasing them’s gonna bring you success.

Now, Gobbos is next to useless on defence.

Hey Boss! That’s Slander!

Shuddup you wee maggot! No one wants to hear about Slann deer, not unless you plans on servin’em for lunch, got it? Now shut yer gob!

Sorry, just reminding my Goblin scribe about the virtue of silence. Now, what was I talking about? Oh, yeah, the challenges you’ve gotta overcome if you’re gonna please the Ultras. Your Gobbos is useless and your Boyz is slow. What this should tell you is that positioning’s important. Put the minimum amount of Boyz on the line of scrimmage and spread ’em out. Yeah, they’ve got a decent chance of going down, but they’re ’ard as nails and they’ll get back up, clogging the centre of the pitch.

In the backfield, you’ve got the first problem I highlighted. Don’t count on the Goblins for slowing down your opponents enough that your Boyz can catch up to the play and do some bone-breaking. Or at least, slowing the agile ones down. They’re good at slowing down Sauruses …

No I don’t have a sore eye! Now shut up!

Sorry. I swear I’m gonna throttle that accursed scribe.

OK, so if you coach your Goblins so’s they’re willing to mark a Saurus or a Big Guy, or even a Chaos team’s Chosen Blocker, you’ve got a chance at slowing your opponents down. Yeah, I know, Chosen Blockers is pretty agile but they can never resist the temptation to flatten a Gobbo. But you might as well forget it when it comes to the dodgers. That said, what Gobbos can do is plug the lanes so that if a frickin’ Woody Wardancer – I swear on Gork’s Holy Drool, I hate frickin’ Woody Wardancers! – anyways, if a frickin’ Wardancer dodges clear of my Gobbo Greenok Hork, I’ve always got Greenok’s pal, Konvisse Yeux, in his way, My Boyz’ll have a chance at catching up. Also, always keep at least one of your Boyz out on each flank. There’s no point in the Gobbo’s pluggin’ up lanes if you ain’t got a Boy nearby to take advantage of the situation. And by this time you should know what’s gonna give you the most success on defence. Foul, foul, foul.

But Boss! You said that about offence!

C’mere you little shit! I said, “come here.” No, I promise I won’t use my chopsticks to pull your guts out through your neck. That’s it. Come here little Gobbo scribe. There. Was that so bad? A pat on the head to show all the readers that even a Gobbo can figure it out! What’s that? No, you can’t go see the apothecary! Put a rag on it and the bleeding’ll stop soon enough. Now get scribing!

Sorry, just doin’ what top coaches do. Show your approval right when a minion does something good. Don’t wait until they’ve either built up a grudge for not getting enough love taps or until they forget what they did right.

So how’s this for how the whole defence thing can work … I already talked about Chosen Blockers not bein’ able to resist flattening a Gobbo. Now imagine Gobbo Greenok actually dodges the creepy bugger’s fist and they’re still marking each other but you’ve positioned well and you’ve got a Boy nearby. Your Boy blitzes in, he’s got Greenok helpin’, and you’ve got a decent chance of putting that Chosen Blocker down, see. Then the Gobbos in your backfield can swarm in and, if I know Konvisse, that little shit’s gonna be the one wiping Chaos gore off his boot, if you take my meaning.

Now’s a perfect time to refer to that great Blood Bowl sage, Taureau Amiral, who said in his Art of Coaching:

5.6. The number of tactics making use of Agility is as inexhaustible as the fuel supply of a chainsaw.

Imagine the above scenario but let’s say you’ve shelled out to get Helmut Wulf and his chainsaw. Sliced and diced adversary with the Ultras goin’ wild!

Hey scribe, you know, I didn’t even mind having to quote the accursed Minotaur this time! I stuck to the contract without even you needin’ to nag me about it!

As for the rest of your Boyz, it goes without sayin’ that if someone’s tagged ’em, you thump ’em. That’s what the Ultras want; that’s what you’ll give ’em.

Anyway, like I said last time out, your game plan’ll never survive the heat of a match. You’ve gotta plan on the ref gettin’ involved, so … my scribe’s telling me the word to use here is “perforce” : he’s a lying little bastard but I’ll let him write it … don’t be surprised if your swarming tactic perforce thins out the Gobbos. When you’re on Defence, think about having a marked player do the fouling; if he gets sent off, you’ve got one less block on a Gobbo to worry about. But use what’s in your thick skull. You don’t do that if you’re leaving a Human Catcher unmarked!

Also, just like on offence, your opponents’re gonna react to what you’re doin’. They’re still gonna be goin’ after your Gobs ‘cause they know Gobbos break easy. Also, they’ll be positioning their muscle to screen one flank or the other, trying to take advantage of your Boyz’ lack of mobility. You’re supposed to have one Black Orc per flank already, so get your other lads shifted as quick as you can. One thing to think about is, right after the first opposing turn after the kick-off, there’s likely some space behind the Boyz you placed on the line. As your last action in your turn, think about having one stand up and dodge clear. It’ll work half the time and it might just allow you to get your muscle stuck into the thick of the action quicker. If, after that same opposition first turn, they didn’t get one of your Boyz on the line down, all the better. That’s the one to try the dodge with because he can make up more lost ground.

So, those are the basics. The season’s ready to start, so I’ll sit down again with this stinking little git scribe and let you know how it goes after two or three games.

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