This strategy, often named The Grind, aims to win the game by a score of 2 to 1. Yes, you are reading correctly; we are not talking about a shutout. Even more convolutedly, we are not even seeking to score the game’s first touchdown! In fact, we do not care if our opponent scores first, as long as he does so quickly.
Actively chasing the ball carrier is rarely the best defensive approach for Blood Bowl’s slowest teams. Their tactical unidimensionality complicates ball thefts and, when successful, their low movement is rarely enough to move the ball to safety… And even less to score a defensive touchdown. In fact, by doing so, they have better chances to waste the game turns and the rerolls they will need to score back a touchdown of their own.
“A lumberjack team triggering a heavy scrum for a stupid ball is a lumberjack team that will not have time to even the score before the end of the half.”
What is a Grind?
A Grind is a strategy assuming that a talented coach disposing of enough time will rarely fail his offensive. Therefore, since he will score anyway, it better be quick. The logic is that when you are scored very early in the game, you get two long drives in return. Ideally, one of 7 game turns in the first half followed by one of 8 game turns in the second half.
From this moment, you keep the ball safe and score on turn 8 of each half. Touchdowns ground this way only leaves one game turn for the opposite team to counter score. Often, it is not enough. Final score: 2 – 1. Obviously, no one will applaud your flamboyant genius, but you still won the game.
The decision to attempt a Grind is taken when you win the coin toss. At this moment, most inexperienced coaches will elect to receive the game’s first kick and, against a bunch of Claws and Mighty Blows, you should probably too. But, the big advantage of kicking instead of receiving is that the KOs you will deal out will only have one opportunity to be brought back in the game.
“When you kick first and get scored quickly, statistically, half of your opponent’s upcoming KOs will not come back of the whole game.”
If you instead receive the game’s first ball, your opponent will benefit from two attempts to bring back his KOs. The first is after you score. The second is at the end of the first half. There may even be a third attempt if your opponent manages to equalize the score during the first half. Thus, receiving the first kick is possibly detrimental when you are coaching a team that vitally needs to free up some space on the pitch.
The Grind on defense
So, your opponent must score quickly on his only offensive drive of the game. The trouble is that if he is the least bit experienced, he knows that it is what you want and will delay this fatal moment by grinding the sh*t out of eternity. As a result, you must apply a lot of pressure to enforce a quick touchdown or, failing, a mistake. Here, an entire article is dedicated to this subject.
As additional tips to the article above, do not siphon more players than necessary to cover feints suggesting a quick touchdown. Chances are slim that your opponent will use them because if he does, he plays your Grind for you. Each player distracted on a feint is one less player applying pressure convincing him to score quickly.
If the opposite team has players on the pitch who can one-turn score, you must attempt to eliminate them whenever it is reasonable to do so. Your Grind will shatter to pieces if you suffer a one-turn score. Players with the Kick skill are also high on your Hit List because deep kicks are harmful to your strategy.
The Grind on Offense
Once the game’s first touchdown is quickly scored, it is your turn to go on the offensive. Your plan is obvious: score on the 8th game turn. To succeed, you need to move the ball forward safely while grinding time whenever it is reasonable to do so. Unless you are short on time, there is no need to hurry. On the contrary, take all your time and roll as many block dice and armors as possible. Avoid hurrying because you could then fail something and suffer a second touchdown. Needless to say, it would irremediably lose you the game.
If your opponent is awake to what is happening on the pitch, he will not pay attention to your own feints. Obviously, do not waste time and energy scheming. Superbly concentrate on what you do best: covering the ball and hitting. To succeed, a Grind must be ruthless. Assume it.
Keep your focus on the ball and roll almost exclusively two-dice blocks with the Block skill. Keep your cages and runs clean. Tightly screen your ball carrier on your 7th game turn to avoid a risky 3+ or 4+ dodge. In an ideal world, score on your 8th game turn without even touching your dice.
Of course, in some situations, it is best to abandon a Grind. For example, if you are under unmanageable pressure or if you are playing bottoms up (without rerolls). Remember that, as long as you are not two touchdowns behind, it is not dramatic to fail to even the score at the end of the first half. After all, you are receiving the second half’s kick and the draw is still within reach!