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Hopping on the bandwagon


Arlen Tektolnes
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I'm a serial restarter of teams, and this seems like a good enough excuse to try and change that.  Gonna start with Skaven, they're far from being my best performing team, but they'll always be my one true love.  Alas, they began as a throwaway team the names are default.  There isn't going to be any specific order to this; teams will be made as and when my fancy dictates, but I will try to keep this within OCB and hope it takes off properly.  I'm open to reasonable challenges if anyone wants a shot at crushing these teams.  Any feedback on silly mistakes and the like is both welcome and appreciated, I've been playing Blood Bowl for a while now but still have a lot to learn.  

 

Start date: September 23rd, 2017.

Total progress: 7/1200 matches, (0.58%)

 

Pests of Clan Pestilens

Race: Skaven

Record: 2-2-1

Predictions: I'm decent with Skaven and they've an overall solid team.  I expect to be winning the majority of my matches, at least at low TV.  Things tend to fall apart for me around 1600 or so, when the bashers start packing mighty blow en masse and tackle becomes more prevalent.  Dealing with attrition over 50 matches will be a challenge.  I often struggle the most against Dwarves/Chorfs and Norse (presumably this will extend to Amazons, it's a bit early to say).  Undead and Chaos are dream opponents, it's usually pretty easy to run rings around the slow and unskilled folk.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

  • My Storm Vermin Kweii was pronounced MVP for the first three matches, resulting in a very early pomber.  Let us pray for doubles.
  • Two headed Gutter Runner as of match 4!  Hopefully he lives a bit longer than the wrestle guy...

 

Bumblebee Cummerbachs

Race: Ogre

Record: 2-0-0

Predictions: Not a team I'd have picked this early into the challenge, but dice were rolled to decide the next race and going against them would be an affront to Nuffle.  I've never played as Ogres before and IIRC only played against them once, so this is completely uncharted territory for me.  I'm expecting them to play as a sort of mix between Khemri and Goblins, but worse than either.  They're widely considered the worst team in the game, and combining that with my lack of relevant experience (played minimal Khemri and Goblins, no Halflings) I'm predicting a LOT of losses.  22% won and 20% tied seems to be the average performance, so - giving one point for a tie, and two for win -  32 points over 50 matches would be par.  I'm aiming for 40 points (shoot for the moon smallish hill, right?), but will be happy with anything over 25.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

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I've never really done an AAR for Blood Bowl before, but writing this up was actually pretty fun (if a little humbling).  No idea how long I'll keep it up for, but I'm going to try and do this for each match from now on.  If any of my opponents (or anyone who feels like watching the replays for that matter) disagree with what I've written and want to chime in then feel free, I'm treating this whole thing as a learning experience.

 

Skaven Match 1 Vs Andraktones Angels (Amazon)

 

Man, it feels nice to play something that isn't a stunty team :D

A pretty nice match for the rats, all things considered.  I lost the toss and had to defend first.  My defence was set up intentionally weak, loading up excessively on one side and leaving an easily opened spot for the opposition to rush into.  Yeah, @Rymdkejsaren didn't fall for it, and I shouldn't have expected him to, gonna leave that sort of play in the open leagues where it belongs.  I opt for a messy variation of the  pillar defence and throw a Gutter Runner to the wolves (I'm typically a lot less protective of low level GRs than most coaches, finding that losing one of four doesn't really hurt me too much and many opponents will obsess over taking them out, wasting blitzes and risking fouls), hoping for either a breakthrough attempt or that the temptation of taking out a GR will waste a few turns.  This did prove to be the case here, blitz and a foul on the GR to no effect, and the turn ended with him floored next to the ball carrier.  It was probably the right play for my opponent, but ended pretty ideally for me really.  I opt against going for a -2d sack, resume the pillar defence, and dodge out the GR to act as combined bait/scoring threat.  Their catcher is on the wrong side of my line, but he's floored and marked so I'm not overly concerned.

 

Turn 4 and my opponent is presumably getting a bit antsy about scoring, they knock the aggression up a gear, hitting the centre of my defence,  marking several players and dodging out their catcher as a scoring threat.  I take the free blocks, encircle them as best as possible, mark the catcher, and leave them the possibility to blitz an opening and rush down the side.  Risky play is seeming more and more likely, and I'd count either a good sacking opportunity or an early score as a win right now.  SV gets KOd, and my opponent is (rightly) reluctant to go for anything actively risky, but they're definitely trying to exert pressure at this point, forming a cage with several marked corners.  Nothing too awful with all that blodge though.

 

I push aside a corner, roll a lucky pow vs the carrier on a one die blitz and then do a little lowish risk rat bullshit to retrieve the ball and get it behind the most feeble screen I've ever seen (two GRs).  They snakeyes a GFI because apparently Nuffle loves me.  I run my positionals as close to safety as possible and abandon the linos to their fate while waiting out the rest of the half for a turn 8 TD.

 

Dice seem to have been fairly even so far in everything except armour/injury rolls, which have been incredibly kind to me.  I end the half with one SV KOd, and he comes back.  They have a Blitzer and a Thrower KOd, neither of which returns to the field.  A LoS monkey joins them on turn 9, so I'm feeling pretty confident at this point.  So confident I fuck up and risk a 4+ dodge instead of a GFI when forming my screen, leaving them a shot at the ball, which they promptly roll 1+2 on the dodge for because Nuffle truly loves me.  A successful sack here wouldn't have been too painful unless it was followed by quite a few successful dodges, but I'm still an idiot for giving them the chance and deserved to have it go badly really.  Four of their players are KOd so I go for the early score on turn 12, aiming to make it 3-0.  In hindsight this was a dumb call, I should have spent the remaining turns going for injuries instead.

 

Two Amazon players wake up, they set up aggressively, I roll perfect defence on the kickoff and set up to bully one side of the line and force 1dbs/dodges, they get a touchback.  I'm somewhat surprised that they go for the side of the field I'd stacked forward.  This put me on the back foot and cemented that I really need to stop counting on people doing what I want them to, particularly when they're more experienced than me.  My defence is just a total shambles here.  I'm playing reactively, switching sides of the pitch as dictated by my opponent, somehow feel outnumbered while two players up,  and get massive tunnel vision on turn 16, focusing solely on the ball carrier to the extent that I dodge away two separate players from their catcher, who of course proceeds to score.  I was kicking myself through the entire drive when watching the replay.

 

Final Score: 2-1 victory

 

Summary: This felt like a deserved victory at the time, but I'm a little less sure about that now.  The armour dice favoured me massively (whole lot of 7s in the logs), and my opponent rolled poorly at two crucial junctures, while I got a pow the one time I really needed it.  A 1-1 tie might have been more fitting.  I think I did pretty well on defence in the first half (it definitely felt like I was in control), then got cocky and made a few crucial mistakes in the second.  I'll have to watch myself for that in future.  Also I need to start fouling more again.

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Skaven Match 2 Vs Totally Real Vampires (Dark Elves)

 

Three loners on the opposition is always nice!

 

Surprisingly, a less bashy yet bloodier match than the last.  I lose the toss and defend first again, going for a bog standard chevron setup.  The ball lands right next to the LoS and @bob152 instantly cages it with the loners before getting their punches in and grabbing the ball with the witch.  My defence this drive is generally, well, not good.  I recently watched a match on Twitch where a coach played a very fluid, loose defence with Skaven to great effect and basically gave his opponent just enough room to hang themselves, and tried to emulate the style here.  I've since concluded that his opponent was just really bad, he's a much better coach then me, or I was seeing strategy where there was only coincidence and am chalking it up as a failed experiment :clown:.  Regardless, the plan was to gently encourage my opponent to make a push down the sideline, then swarm them.  

 

It didn't work at all.  My opponent played conservatively,  hanging back and protecting the ball carrier at all times, while keeping my downed linerats marked at all times.  I still think I was right to leave them lying down (feel free to correct me), as all it would have accomplished is giving my opponent free blocks, but being essentially down two linos (and soon the KOd thrower too) really hurt.  I realise I'm being an idiot and abandon the original plan, forming a pillar defence with the sidelines open, basically just hoping for an early TD that never came.  They Blitz a lino, place three players next to the GR behind him, and build a cage behind that.  I haven't really left myself enough space to do the whole 'give up two squares a turn' thing so throw caution to the winds.  I isolate one of their players to surf and/or stamp on next turn and for the long shot cage dive with a GR.  Pow/push rerolls into push/push and I dodge back out of the cage.  My opponent can pretty much score or stall at will now, so the plan becomes an old Skaven favourite: Isolate someone and stamp on their head, repeat.  They injure a lino before I get the chance, and dodge their trapped player into a slightly less precarious position.  He doesn't get fouled or surfed, but he does get injured next turn.  He takes some juicy GR bait and leaves a Blitzer all alone, but Nuffle don't love me no more so it's only a stun.  They score turn 8 and set up in a formation  I haven't seen before (we spoke after the match and it was a sort of compromise between 1TTD defence and 'don't let him stamp on any heads', which does actually make quite a lot of sense for a coach already a player down).  Nuffle's warming up to me again, and the one turner is a success. 

 

As an aside, would anyone mind having a look at turn 8 and telling me if there was a better way to attempt it against that formation?

 

So yeah, 1-1 and Skaven receiving at half time with a full team against 10 players, three of whom are loners.  Pretty much living the dream, right?  I just have to take it nice and easy, cause damage where I can, and score late.  Last half was a nightmare, but the one turner erased all that.  I take my free blocks, screen the ball, KO a lino on the blitz, send a decoy GR running down field and grab the ball with my thrower, doing my best to signal a run up the sideline next turn.  Two GRs in scoring range, and no intention of using them.  Bob screens one of them off at the sideline and blitzes the other.  I beat on the loners a bit more, move my thrower behind a screen in my half of the pitch and make a single row screen between the left and right sides of his half.  I'm just killing time with this, it's easy enough to score with Skaven, putting off the score is the bit I've historically struggled with so anything that looks like an attempt to set up a quick touchdown is usually pretty effective.  I get a linerat KOd next turn and use my apo, just to keep up the numbers advantage.  Then another gets MNG from a BD one die.  Ah well, play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

 

I'm taking the worst of it the battle of attrition, but the bait GRs are taking a lot of the pressure off and letting me maintain the numbers advantage where it matters.  One of them is going to be surfed next turn though, so I run a few players up there (inc the ball carrier) to turn the tables and get rid of her instead.  I build a funky little side cage for a gutter runner and push to him, but disaster strikes and I have to waste a reroll on the catch.  This makes  my next move (a one die block to surf the witch) way riskier, and it's predictably a skull > KO for that particular GR, leaving the funky little cage looking decidedly less funky.  The next turn leaves me with a -AV lino (sacked) and a MNG gutter runner (not sacked, but he got shouted at a bit) who previously held the ball.  There's a nasty scatter, and my opponent manages to grab the ball.  I knock him down next turn and make a mad scramble to retrieve the ball.  He attempts a one die on my thrower with a loner to avoid GFIs with the other players: skull, 6 for loner, both down.  That's pretty much what won me the match, any player who wasn''t a loner would have popped the ball even with the GFIs.  I grab the ball with a GR, hand off to another and run in to score.  A little earlier than I'd have liked, but attrition was not in my favour.

 

Turn 14, I have seven players, they have nine, and they're receiving.  I set up on a wide formation to encourage to them to spread their team out a bit.  They go for the pickup immediately.  Snakes.  I dodge the los fodder out to form a loose screen, first two make it, the last one's gonna sit out the next game.  He runs a few guys into scoring range and uses the rest to mark players before blitzing a GR and rolling one for the pickup again.  I blitz one of the guys in scoring range and make a few dodges to try and mark the others, resulting in a turnover.  They pick up the ball, which is quite frankly cheating IMO, roll a six for a 4+ pass then fail the catch.

 

Final Score: 2-1 victory

 

Summary: A far scrappier game than the last with lots more back and forth, although significantly fewer blocks.  I learned not to base my defence around 'this thing I saw a guy do this one time' and almost lost the match due to basically taking my own bait :wacko:.  I apparently used up all my armour points last match, but got saved by a one turner and some well/poorly timed 1s.  Eyeballing the dice they seem more or less even, although mine were fairly average and my opponent's tended more towards the extremes, with pickup dice being the most decisive anomaly.  Apparently I attempted 36 DODGES which is quite frankly mental.  Also Bob got an extra reroll on all four kickoffs.  Overall, not a win I can feel particularly proud of.  Also I need to start fouling more again.

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Skaven Match 3 Vs Get the Admin!!! (Underworld)

 

Hahaha, Underworld amirite?  I'd never have expected that this would be the team's first defeat.  I'm down a Gutter Runner (luckily just MNG) and fielding two loners, which isn't ideal, but the smart money was obviously on the Pests here.  In my defence, I'd been hitting the bong a bit before the match.  To invalidate my defence, I shouldn't really have played if high :D

 

I lose the toss and defend first, as is tradition.  Chevron formation, on the offchance @Orielensis will be greedy and risk going for a GR right off the bat (he doesn't, OCC people are smarter than the average bear).  His first turn goes as expected, bash the los, blitz the thrower, cage and retrieve the ball.  My turn!  Right off the bat, first block of the match I kill a goblin.  Good start.  I go to form a pillar defence, but do it in an idiotic order, leaving the centre requiring a loner dodge, which predictably fails, leaving my MB SV exposed.  A quick troll Blitz leaves him MNG, and the apothecary agrees that he needs some time to chill.  So, bad start!  He moves the cage forward a little more, screening off the sides too.  I'm a little flustered and opt for an early cage dive to steal momentum, I've got wrestle so it's not hopeless, but it's high risk at only 24% chance of success.  GR flunks the dodge and gets a boot to the face (stunned) next turn, as he/I deserved.

 

Honestly, there's not a whole lot I can say about this drive.  I played really bad at the start, which left me in a position where I had to roll a lot of dice, many of which failed.  Failed dodges, pushes galore.  But I can't blame dice whatsoever, my idiocy earlier is the reason these rolls were necessary, and why them failing mattered.  I also do some really questionable stuff like setting up a two die block on the troll instead of focusing purely on defence.  I genuinely can't figure out why I did that now.  Anyway, my opponent takes it nice and slow, playing it safe and scoring on turn 8.  He uses a neat anti 1ttd setup that I've never seen before.  I figure out a way that it's possible (albeit unlikely) to still score one, but the dice say no.  My only solace here is that he had to field his induced bomber turn 8 and never got to actually use him.

 

Turn nine, we have ten players each.  Not ideal by many means, but it's workable.  Two KOd goblins and a stunned troll later, and things are looking up.  Another KOd gobbo int he next turn, and I've got a reasonably decent sideline screen going.  Then it's turn 11, he's got 7 players on field to my ten, 4 KOd and 2 injured.  I declare that ties are boring and run in an early touchdown.  Two of his players wake up.  I'm having a third 'why the hell did I do this?' moment while watching this replay.  Despite inflicting another injury and being two players up again, I decided to mark a load of his guys and risk dodges + GFIs to make a really awful two GR screen in front his ball carrier instead of focusing on defence and making him take a risk.  The carrier casually walks around it into a mostly ready made cage and blocks my guys away.  I go for a second cage dive attempt and it succeeds (on a reroll)!  The scatter isn't great, and for some reason I mark a few players near the ball, basically just giving up free blocks.  I get a niggled GR for my trouble (fired!) and, well, that's how the drive continues really.  He casually strolls down the pitch, I fumble ineffectually in his general direction.  I get my shit ever so slightly together for a last ditch defence, but Ori manages a 4+,3+,2+,2+( ~60% with a reroll) sequence to grab the t16 touchdown,

 

Final Score: 1-2 defeat

 

Summary: So, uh, I actually thought this was a pretty close match at the time.  It really wasn't, I basically played like the AI and didn't even realise half the fuckups I made were actually fuckups.  As silly as this sounds, it was seriously quite painful to watch the replay.  Just vague bumbling around with no real planning or forethought.  I think this might actually be a bit of a wakeup call, if my smoking has this pronounced of an effect on my performance in a slow paced strategy game then it's probably hindering me IRL too.  I kinda need to reevaluate a few things.  Sorry for what was probably a boring match @Orielensis, you didn't really need to play well to beat me, but nevertheless did :)

 

 Uh, bit heavy there.  If this isn't the place then I won't be offended if an admin/mod removes some of this.  I'm just sort of mentally splurging right now.

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I've had my "autopilot" take over a number of times in BB matches, and it never ends well. It can happen when you're tired, otherwise preoccupied, and also when drunk or otherwise intoxicated, I suppose. But the thing to take away is: Being focused and awake definitely helps improve your game!

 

And I would say that both playing Skaven, and playing against Underworld, require more flexibility and alertness than average. Both teams are capable of incredible bullshit plays, and if you let your "autopilot" guide you towards good old pillar defense, you are definitely not making use of the full Skaven toolbox.

 

In any case, Orielensis was probably also lucky. I've played Underworld at low TV myself several times - they don't usually succeed, and that lucky Troll hit was probably extremely valuable over the course of the match.

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Thanks for the comments/advice folk.  Reading that last post back it does sound very down, but it's a good thing really.  I've convinced myself to make a few positive life changes, it's just a little bit silly that a videogame was the catalyst lol

 

Skaven Match 4 Vs Bloody Society[Brawl] (Dark Elves)

 

It's a fresh team, but I'm down a few positionals (GR and a SV) so the TV on field was pretty even.  Skaven and Delves are both pretty solid teams, so I start the match with no real expectations either way.  I win the toss and choose the receive first, mostly for the novelty value at this point.  I protect the ball, get my bashing out of the way, make a diagonal chevron screen across half the pitch (leaving one side open), and retrieve the ball.  A lino gets KOd, which is always nice this early on.  So far, so standard really.  I've intentionally left three possibilities open to my opponent, all of which have decent chances of benefiting me.  Either they commit a few players to blitz their way into marking my carrier (fine, I have three GRs close to him and enough players free to blitz someone off), they circle a few players behind my line (brilliant, that's fewer elves I need to bash through), or they prioritise the side of the pitch I'm strongest on (meaning I get to encircle and try to set up some chain surfs).  @Valentin doesn't take the bait on any of them, KOing a linerat via blitz and falling back to form a screen (strongest on the same side as me).  I switch sides next turn, screening off some space to progress into later and, as is my wont, leaving the possibility of commuting 3-4 players to mark my BC.  He forms a pillar defence and blitzes my loner.

 

It's only turn 3, but this is shaping into one of those long, drawn out drives where neither side wants to commit and just trades potshots.  Skaven don't exactly come out on top in that scenario, so I run my blodge GR to the opposite side of the pitch to act as bait, fall back slightly with my 'main force' and create a decent screen (but still one that allows the carrier to be marked with a couple of gfis and a dodge), and use my blitz to set up a decentish foul.  It''s only a stun, but the aim here is to create a sense of pressure.  There's a scoring threat/exposed positional, I've shown that I'm happy to go for attrition, and there's an obvious way for them to avoid five more turns of gang fouls.  If they responding to any of these concerns is likely to harm their defence.  He's still playing sensibly and conservatively.  Leaves the screen in place, spends a blitz and two blocks failing to knock down my GR, and the angels sing.  I run the GR to the back of their half, consolidate my screen, pot shot on a lino with my MB guys, and another gang foul into a stun.  My opponent concedes a square, moving back their screen, then FINALLY blitzes one of the exposed GRs and fails a dodge (I'm really not sure why it wasn't rerolled), leaving a gap where the defence was only one man thick.  On top of this, there's two elves lying down and one out of position.  The drive is basically mine at this point.  I knock the lonely delf down scoring the first injury, set up a cage where he once was, and screen off the path to the endzone before failing to break armour with a foul.  He opts for a longshot and moves a few players down field before dodging into my cage for a one die and rerolling a push into a skull.  I screen off a corner, foul into a stun, and settle in the spend the remainder of the half taking potshots (and a cheeky pass turn seven for SPP farming purposes) before scoring on turn 8.  I set up in coward formation right at my endzone to protect positionals and hamper any one turn attempts, get a Blitz event and risk two gfis to stand next to the ball.

 

Second half!  Chevron defence, with the plan being to play conservatively, force him to take all the risks, and stamp on some more elf face.  The plan was immediately spoiled by a second Blitz event.  Unfortunately the ball would land too far up field for me to take full advantage, but I used my blitz to set up a surf next turn and run all three GRs deep into their side of the pitch.  I lose a lino and a GR to KOs in his next turn, but he proceeds to roll double 1s on the pickup attempt.  I surf the guy from earlier, fail to knock down their would-be-ball-carrier (in hidsight, should have risked the second gfi to push him away from the ball, it would have won me the match) and then roll 2-1 trying to pick up the ball in his tackle zone.  The scatter is less than great for me.  He blitzes my SVV covering the ball, grabs it, rerolls a failed gfi, complete a quick pass to the Runner and, well,  Runs.  I free up and move the few players I can back towards him, before succeeding some risky (but necessary) AG3 dodges and throwing a 1db on the runner, who dumps off over my head.  I fail the interception, the pass succeeds, and I reroll a skull into a push.  Statistically, I still think this was the most likely play to succeed here.  So it's kinda ironic that rerolling the interception would have resulted in a catch and a pow :gutted:.

Anyway, the guy rounds off his suckiness with a failed gfi into a stun.  Serves the bugger right.  There are no rerolls left on either side, and my opponent does a little bashing then fails the pickup.  My remaining players are still well out of position from the blitz event, I move who I can closer to the ball and blitz an elf into it.  The ball scatters into the worst position possible, I've lost the drive unless my opponent does something idiotic (spoiler: they don't) so I just mark a few players and hope for shit dice.  The rest of the drive is basically me failing to knock down a ball carrier, punctuated with the odd pass.  @Valentin did make a fairly major error at the end, leaving the ball carrier in a position where he could be surfed on a hail mary blitz (only 22% chance so not awful, but it was a chance I didn't need to be granted), but I've made my fair share in this match too, so can't really criticise.  He scores turn 16, I set up for a one turner, he gets a blitz event (3 in one match is kinda crazy) and pows my blodge GR.

 

 

 

Final Score: 1-1 tie

 

Summary: The first half was about as close to the perfect drive as I get.  I didn't take any major risks and everything that I needed to work, did work.  It kinda fell apart on defence though.  I over committed to the opportunity presented by that blitz, didn't leave enough players in reserve for if it didn't play out, and made a crucial error by not risking a pretty essential GFI.  Mistakes were made on both sides, and we each failed some important dice rolls.  I'm pretty happy with this match; a tie feels deserved.  My opponent was probably right to stall instead of going for the win, and that's a call I'd likely have messed up if the positions were reversed.

 

 

 

I'm going into the next match with a full strength team, all four GRs, a MB SV and a POMBer, so things are looking up for the Pests.  Also, I'm fouling more again, which is nice.


A decent offence and weak defence seems to be something of a pattern here though, maybe I should watch a few matches to see how the Skaven pros do it.

 

An Ogre team has been started today too.  AARs will be written tomorrow though, I need to leave a little time to distance myself from the match if I'm going to maintain a flimsy pretext of objectivity.

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Blood Bowl has helped teach me to temper myself and look to the things I can affect. I can't alter my opponent's behaviour or the dice. But I can work on how I react to those, and how I adapt as the situation changes.

 

When you're angry, you play worse. This is a fact. When the fight and flight response activates, blood is diverted to the muscle tissue and the brain suffers. So staying calm is vital.

 

I try to Zen it, i.e. take it moment by moment: regardless of what just happened, how do I deal with the situation I'm in now to get the best possible result?

 

Not that I always succeed, mind you.

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Ogre Match 1 Vs Rootin Tootin, & Scootin (Halfling)

 

I quite fancied a challenge, so let the dice decide what my second team would be.  So, uh, ogres it is, and the Bumblebee Cummerbachs are born!  Slightly more of a challenge than I actually wanted, but I made my bed and now I'm gonna lie in it.  At least their debut match is only against halflings.  I was still expecting to lose, just not to a horrible degree.  Not knowing what rosters are generally recommended, I simply nicked one from bbtactics: 4 ogres, 4 rerolls.

 

I spend a little time actually looking at these gnoblar chaps before setting up my offence.  Titchy makes my heart sink a little.  AV5 is also less then stellar (72% chance of an armour break?!).  ST1 just is taking the piss a bit really, it takes three of these guys to safely* punch a halfling!

 

No deeproot, so I can likely (?) win the bashing war if the titchy dudes don't crumble immediately, but @Larkstar does induce a chef (who nicks two rerolls) and Zara.  I set up the ogres on the los and make a sort-of-screen with the gnoblars.  A rock hits an ogre, but luckily it's only a stun.  I cage the ball, let the ogres do their thing (two KOs on turn one is pretty sweet) and finally pick up the ball.  My opponent marks the ogres with his trees, blitzes zara over to stab a little dude, which fails and marks a gnoblar with a halfling.  I'm not really sure what the best plan of action is with this team, so decide that I want to put the MB to use and spend a few turns just causing damage to start with.  I move in assists and block the halfling (DS), zara with an ogre (push), run the ball carrier to relative safety behind the ogres, and throw two one dies at a tree.  Both down is a win here as far as I'm concerned, but sadly I got two pushes.  

 

Turn two begins with a gnoblar being stunned by zara and an ogre powed by a tree, which takes root.  Things just got a bit easier!  The second tree knocks down another ogre, and a fling blitzes my ball carrier, accepting a both down which KOs the two of them.  I run a bair Gnoblar (lmao) up field and blitz a fling with an ogre primarily to get away from the rooted tree, and move in assists to 2db and successfully knock down the second tree.  The pickup attempt fails, but I'mm happy enough to save the reroll as most possible scatters would be better for me than my opponent.  The tree manages to stand up, Zara blitzes a little dude (DS) and marks an ogre, and the rooted tree throws a halfling who lands in a tackle zone and fails his dodge.  The ogres knock the tree right back down, KO another fling, I grab the ball and make two GFIs up field into a (bad) ready made cage.  Zara's a blodger and following up would leave my ogre by the rooted tree, so I just leave him behind to mark her for now.

 

Zara dodges out, blitzes a gnoblar (push), and marks a different ogre, before Larkstar forms a one fling screen between me and the endzone.  My ogres KO their fifth fling of the match but fail to knock down Zara, so I screen off the left side of the pitch and run my ball carrier behind it.  The second tree takes root on turn five.  Zara succeeds another dodge to blitz an ogre, but fails dauntless rolls a push.  The drive is pretty much mine, so I decide to refocus on the attrition war.  Basically Zara has to go, and any addition halflings are a bonus.  First Ogre I try to move boneheads, second pows Zara into an injury.  This is most excellent.  A fling makes a dodge and two GFIs to blitz my ball carrier, rerolling it into a pow and knocking the poor little guy out :(  A second makes four dodges, a GFI, and a pick up before throwing an inaccurate pass into the crowd.  The scatter is decent for me, but not great.  I grab the ball, set up a chain surf on the two dodgey gits, and then roll snakes on bonehead for the blitz, dashing my hopes and dreams.  It doesn't matter too much, he fails the dodge out anyway.  I make a hand off, surf a fling, and run in for the turn 8 touchdown.

 

Three of five halflings wake up, my two KOs stay asleep.  I assume coward formation at my endzone and leave three ogres on the los.  Request for advice: Is this the right call?  I'm down to ten players and just working under the assumption that any AV5 stuntys on the los are as good as gone.  He sets up for a throw, and both teams gain a turn.  The pickup fails, and he doesn't reroll it.  I KO a fling, mark one tree, and bonehead when trying to punch the other.  My opponent surrounds an ogre, blitzing it away from the tree with a fling, then picks up and hands off the ball.  It's a good throw, bbut the landing fails even with a reroll and and halfling joins his knocked out brethren.

 

Second half!  I get both gnoblars back, he gets 2/4 flings.  I stick titchy dudes on the los this time, with the aim of hopefully tying his trees up for a few turns while my ogres roam wild and free.  Rock stuns a fling this time, but I lose two Gnoblars to injuries, one from a tree, one from a fling blitz.  He retrieves the ball.  I blitz a tree, hoping it'll spend a few turns on the ground.  Next turn, it roots and fails to stand up.  He cages up by the other tree and dodges out of tackle zones.  i screen up, fail to knock down a fling with my ogre, but KO one through a Gnoblar rolling both down.  A horde of flings knock down an ogre and the cage advances before the ogre get The Boot.  Modified to AV7, but it holds.  The screen is repaired, I mark the horde with two ogres, and injure my first halfling.  He blitzes an ogre with the tree (just a push) and reforms the cage.  I blitz the tree, reroll a  double push into a DS, and inflict MNG :D before killing a fling.  It's a good turn to be an ogre.  

 

My opponent runs the ball carrier to the rooted tree, marks a couple of ogres, and goes for a one die blitz on a gnoblar (push) before failing the third dodge (+ a gfi).  He obviously wants to throw the carrier, so I mark the tree with a couple of ogres and move some gnoblars deep into my end of the pitch.  He dodges the ball carrier away and runs him down field unsupported before making a few dodges until one failed and inflicted another KO.  I make a two die blitz on the ball carrier with my gnoblars, but can't get anything better than a push even with burning a reroll.  The ball carrier is basically in my cage at this point.  He dodges a guy over and blitzes one corner, rolling a DS that sidestep stop from really mattering, then fails to dodge out with the ball carrier and takes an injury from the fall (would have needed to pass four of them to escape).  I go to surf a halfling, but knock him out instead, set up for a throw next turn, and knock down the tree before retrieving the ball.  He makes three dodges and a gfi right through my screen and block the ball carrier.   Rolls push + skull, rerolls it into the same and chooses the skull (not sure if misclick or frustration).  I knock down the tree, make the throw, but fail the landing.

 

 

Final Score: 1-0 victory

 

Summary: This is not what I was expecting at all.  I pretty much dominated the match from start to finish, throwing the most blocks by far (almost double the block dice rolled) and inflicting lots of attrition early in both halves.  It'd probably have been 2-0 if a few of the early KOs swapped places with the later injuries.  I noticed one majorish mistake on my part on turn eight, where I should have blitzed one tree (2db this way) before marking the other, but other than that I think my play was pretty decent, particularly considering my complete inexperience with this team.

 

Larkstar grew increasingly more frustrated throughout the match, solid initial play started to become far riskier as time went on and I just muted the chat when it started fill with complaints about dice.  All three of our matches have been like that though, so I should have expected it really.  The first half was pretty enjoyable though.

Edited by Arlen Tektolnes
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Ogre Match 2 Vs Bloody Boys (Vampires)

 

Another reasonably decent matchup.  The actual vampires are scary (particularly with titchy) but @Cowboy Jack only has three of them.  My priority is to remove a vampire if at all possible, then whittle down the thralls and hope for an implosion.  I'm up to two spares and he's only playing with 11, so winning the numbers game is viable if I can avoid a scrum.

 

I receive first, and my opponent uses a spread out los formation, so I set up for 3dbs right off the bat.  The first ogre stuns a thrall.  The second rolls a one for bonehead.  As does the third.  The fourth tries to do it too, but I reroll mostly out of spite and up with a push for my trouble.  Screen off the ball, move in assists, forget gnoblars are ST 1 instead of 2, roll a skull, get injured.  So you could probably call this an underwhelming start.  Jack successfully gazes an ogre and runs his block vamp through the gap in my line to blitz one of the gnobs guarding the ball.  He rolls snakes for the gfi, so at least Nuffle hates us both.  I throw a few blocks (mostly pushes) then blitz a thrall and knock him out.  Grab the ball, hide behind the screen, foul the vampire (only block piece) into a KO.  I don't think it's an understatement to suggest this foul decided the match.  He blitzes a gnob, burns a reroll, and gets nothing better than a DS, then knocks down one ogre with a 2db and a second with red dice.  I blitz a vamp (push), move my ogres to mark as many thralls as possible, and create a diagonal screen to advance the carrier behind.

 

My opponent fails a gaze, KOs a gnoblar with the blitz, and snacks on a thrall (stun) burning knocking down an ogre on a one die and stunning him with a foul.  IMO he committed too many players for the foul, but I can see why he'd take any chance to remove an ogre at this point.  I do a little bashing, surround the vampires (one on the ground) with three ogres, and move up the field a bit.  Not too happy with my positioning here, a successful -1 gaze leaves a vamp with a shot at the carrier.  He goes right for the 3+ dodge instead, rerolls the blitz on the carrier, and takes a both down over a push/DS (a reasonable choice vs AV5).  Both players are stunned.  I spend three blocks failing to knock down a dodge vamp, and blitz the third ogre out to  bully the thralls who fouled his mate before using a reroll to pick up the ball, run up field, and screen him off.  2db pushes an ogre, a blitz kills a gnoblar (rip in peace), and 1db pows an ogre.  I run a gnoblar into the corner, burn a reroll trying to knock down a vamp, and foul the other into a stun.  He blitzes a gnob   and picks BD, stunning himself and injuring my guy.  I finally manage to pow the blodge vamp, he gets injured but regen is good.  Nobody can reach my ball carrier so I gang foul a thrall to no effect.  It's repaid in kind with an ineffectual foul to an ogre.  A vamp with nothing to do stands up and KOs a thrall.  I get greedy and make two 2+ dodges plus a 2db to  chain surf a thrall, it's successful but everyone's unharmed.  It's turn 8, so time to score.  My KO wakes up, as does one of his 3 (luckily not the vamp).  I abandon three ogres to their fate on the los (still not sure if this is a bad idea).  Two of them go down, one gets fouled, none stay down.

 

Second half!  I get a great kick, and it scatter right onto their endzone.  A gnoblar gets blitzed, and I sidestep to keep him in contact with the player.  Ideally, I want to tie up as many thralls as possible and take down the ball carrier before he can cage.  A thrall protects the ball, an ogre gets knocked down, and a vamp grabs the ball.  I knock a thrall down with an assisted 3db, base a load of thralls with ogres, and risk a 1db with some gnobs (DS) before fouling a thrall into a stun and getting ejected (turns out we do have a ref after all). My opponent has two thralls free, and uses them to screen the advance of his ball carrier before failing a 3+ dodge with the other vamp.  I beat on a few thralls, knocking one out with an ogre, and a second via huge gang foul.  Vamp blitzes a gnoblar, opening a path to dodge out and the ball carrier is screen against the sideline, but it's only one man deep and gnob's stood next to one of them.  I mark them all and try to dodge my break tackle guy in for a blitz (needed a 3), but roll snakes.  He throws a few blocks and runs the ball carrier into the open (honestly, it's the best option here).  I throw a few, blitz an ogre free to mark the carrier, and roll snakes on a dodge.  The carrier dodges out, I block an ogre free, open a path with a cheeky 1db and blitz him, getting a DS on the reroll.  Knock down the other vamp, roll snakes on another dodge, the usual lol.  Gnoblar gets KOd, as he deserves.

 

My opponent pushes an ogre on a 1db, then fails a 3+ dodge with the vamp.  I knock down everyone still standing up, injuring a thrall in the process.  He KOs a gnob and runs one vamp to relative safety, passes a 4+ dodge with the other (using a reroll), but rolls a 1 to pick up a ball in two tackle zones.  He can't score at this point, so I make a few blocks, grab the ball and run it up pitch for a throw attempt next turn.  I foolishly risk a 1db, getting a skull and opening up a path to the carrier, who promptly gets powed.  Turn 16 features ineffectual bashing, a bonehead, and a failed gfi.

 

Final Score: 1-0 victory

 

Summary: A pretty fun match, from my side at least.  We each had some very poorly timed snakes, and a couple of minor errors were made by both of us, but his were punished far more than mine.  Losing the block vamp so early (and in all honestly, I'd have gone for the blitz that sealed his fate too) was pretty decisive IMO, I think it'd have played out differently if he was picking off my little guys all match.  Both ogres and vamps seemed a bit better behaved than I'd have expected, there was relatively little negatrait craziness.  I look forward to / dread a rematch when the team has more block and a sprinkling of tackle.

 

It doesn't really seem like I'm getting the Ogre Experience™ yet, so it's fully possible these early matches are anomalies and the world will come crashing down on them soon.

 

Thoughts on development: I now have two break tackle ogres, and am thinking grab for the other two?  Then maybe a sprinkling of stand firm.  Guard seems sort of redundant when most of the team is ST1 and the others can easily 2db alone.  PO is another consideration, but it seems like a good idea to try and keep the bigguns on their feet as much as possible.  I'm currently running a full roster of 16, at 20k a pop it seems like the obvious call.  Let me know if I'm going against conventional wisdom here!  Also, would it be a terrible idea to save up for a fifth ogre, and try to build one as a ball barrier if I get doubles for sure hands?

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On 28/09/2017 at 1:17 PM, Rama Set said:

You might want to keep a roster spot open for a star player inducement? I'm not sure how lean TV you can run with ogres. 

 

I hadn't even considered that, good call.  Having sacked a Gnoblar, I'm now sitting at 1120 TV.  Four rerolls is bringing the total up a LOT (280), but I'm reluctant to drop below that until I can buy an extra ogre.  As it stands, quite a few of my rerolls are going towards negating bonehead on important moves and although a fifth ogre means more boneheads, it also means I can theoretically roll a bonehead and still advance an ogre cage.

 

Leader would allow me to drop 40 TV, but given that I want at least one sacker and a dirty player before then, it's probably unrealistic to expect that many players with AV5 and doubles to live long enough.

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