Style of Play: Offence

Entry 3
Transcribed by his goblin scribe, Ian H. McKinley

OK, once you’ve built your team of Black Orcs, you’re gonna want to beat your way of playing into their thick noggins. This means you’ve gotta do the hard work on the training pitch. Yeah, I know, the Boyz is lazy and the Gobbos even worse.

Aw! That ain’t fair, Boss!

Listen to me you scrawny-necked puss-sucker, you keep interrupting me and I’ll stick my chopsticks down your neck and pull your guts out through your big gob, got it?

Sorry, just putting into action my renowned interpersonal skills with that accursed Goblin scribe. It’s sorted now. Where was I? Oh, yeah, your style of play. Let’s start on offence.

Now, obviously brutality is what you’re aiming for. It’s what the Ultras crave. They’re not gonna stand and chant for a team getting its collective ass kicked and throat stepped on. In my first entry in these chronicles, I noted how I recruited Black Orcs who already knew how to throttle their adversaires, heaving their victims off the ground, and then dropping them behind the line. “Why’d you get ’em to do that?” you might ask. It’s all about hurtin’. You see, even if Mik Mangenain can’t put his victim down, he can hand the poor sod off to another Boy, right? Then Killie Jefferz’n can thump ’em. They’re eventually gonna put people down, and when they do, they can put ’em where you want ’em.

And that’s where Konvisse Yeux and his mates come in. Say you’ve pulled an adversary behind the line of scrimmage and put them on the turf. If they ain’t already got health problems, send in the Gobbos! A decent Gobbo swarm’s gonna include a few boots what go astray, see, so the likelihood of that adversary getting back up again ain’t good. So, that’s what’s gonna give you the most success on offence. Foul, foul, foul.

You don’t usually get as many chances to do it on defence because you need to react more to the opposition, so do it on offence. But don’t be stupid about it. Havin’ the ref red-card one of your Gobbos in exchange for you stunning a ’Fling is just about the daftest thing you can do. Yeah, sure, there might be a good reason … but make sure it’s a damned good reason. Now, risking the red card for a chance to put out a Chaos team’s Chosen Blocker? … now there’s a good exchange.

I’m guessing that me telling you fouling is a key strategy ain’t exactly blowing your tunic up around your balls (lady balls included; I don’t judge). What you might not appreciate is that against teams that don’t dodge too well, you’ve got a big advantage to exploit:

Positioning.

Let’s say you got a ball-carryin’ Gobbo tucked in behind your line of Boyz. You’ve likely got a lotta defenders in front of you. Don’t go and get all excited, blitzing and trying to thrust down a side, like a good team of regular Orcs might do. Instead, be patient. Hit who you can on the kick-off and keep on hitting. Go tag all the defenders you can with your Boyz but keep one or two free to move in behind to protect your Gobbos.

Now, one of two things is gonna happen. Either the opponents’ll boost up the line to try to take your Boyz down, likely needing a big chunk of their team to do so, or they’ll try and dodge clear. If they dodge, unless they be Elves, one of ’em’s gonna flub it up or they’re gonna burn through their team training (editor’s note: re-rolls). Either way, you’ll be ready for the next phase. If they go with loading the line, don’t worry. Your Boyz is built tough. Stand up your lads, maybe getting the last one to stand up to blitz, penetrating a bit further. Move in your spare Boyz and suddenly your opponents are trapped in a fight.

The next phase is predictable. Grab the opponents out of the line and pull ’em into your ruck. Always stick ’em between your Boyz, making dodging away even trickier. If anyone survives being put on the floor, stick your Gobbos on ’em. I don’t hold with payin’ much attention to the ball, but I realize you can use it to attract the opponent’s best players into your clutches.

When you’ve worn your opponents down, that’s when you kick the positioning advantage into life. Now when your lads hit, get ’em to step where their victims had been defending. Get two or three of your Boyz to do that and suddenly you’ve created a pocket in the heart of the defence into which your ball-carrier can nestle hisself all comfortable-like. This is where you need a Boy or two free so’s they can storm forward and anchor the forward part of the cage.

Your opponents’re gonna find themselves outta position and with a Black Orc in the way. Keep doin’ it, pulling players out of the places where they’re stopping you from going where you really wanna go, and putting them where they really don’t wanna be! Use your Boyz to hit opponents tagging other Boyz, freeing ’em up to move the cage forward. Now, for some reason, Gobbos like to mimic those prissy Orc Blitzers who wag their asses in front of the crowd at the end of the pitch. Therefore, throwin’em a bone and lettin’em do their thing from time to time don’t hurt. It’ll only take a last Gobbo dash to get into the end zone and they can wag their ass all they like.

Stop dancing and get back to scribing you little shit! You think I wanna see your … whaddya call that? … yeah your belly butt!

Sorry, the Goblin scribe got excited just there. Anyway, the Ultras mightn’t go in for that crap about ass-wagging, but it’s important to the wider Blood Bowl audience you do it every once’n a while. And currying favour with them’ll help your earnings. I’ll touch on earnings later in my chronicle.

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

1.26. Some games are won or lost before the first trill of the refs whistle. Even though a game plan rarely survives the heat of a match, preparing one readies a coach for what may come his way.

There, I did it, so you can stop naggin’ me about not respecting the contract! 

By the Cruelty of Mork, these Goblin scribes are worse than a worrywart granny-orc soused with Bugman’s XXXXXX. So, yeah, my contract for this series of chronicles stipulates I gotta refer to Taureau Amiral’s brilliance and what not. Anyway, your game plan’ll never survive the heat of a match. So, while a reff’ll not usually see your Gobbo doin’ what a Gobbo does best, you’d better plan for a player or two gettin’ sent off. Foul from the back end of your formation so that you don’t put your team shape in jeopardy.

Also, your opponents’re gonna react to what you’re doin’. They know better than you that your Gobbos break easy. If they’ve got a tackler, they’re gonna be blitzing your little shits as much as they can. That’ll have an impact on your fouling and ass-wagging, so you gotta protect ’em. Make sure they stay behind your Black Orcs, and have your Boyz spread out just enough to make it a long way round for those guys blitzing your Gobs.

There. Next time I’ll talk about how to run a defence.

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