Welcome to the First installation of Good turns Bad turns. Today, we are going to be looking at some of the gameplay in 2 of my previous ReBBl games, hopefully inciting some discussion on how better to play these turns, and good blood bowl play in general. So lets get right to it.
Week 6 Division 5a, Liam vs Rocky
This turn was a bit of a mess on my part. When I played it, I believed I was getting a shot on the ball with the actions I was taking. There was a shot on the ball this turn, and I missed it completely, instead being forced to apply lots of pressure. Let's look at how I played it first, courtesy of Tommo.
(play starts at 2:45:33)
Now when we approach a turn, really good players can picture how they are going to end it, imagining effects after each block. Here, I look like I'm just throwing blocks trying to potentially see an opening. If we look at the first screenshot of the turn
We can see that there is a potential two dice on the ball, should I roll well on my 2 dice blocks. By moving the loner lineman as shown below, we can set this potential chain of events into action. First block needs a knockdown, which it has a 58% chance of producing, while the second needs the same result, but since the peasant does not have block, there is a 75% chance of success. Together there is a 44% chance these players go down, a x chance if I were to decide to commit a team reroll. While it may not be great odds, this method of play maximises blocks better than how I did it in game, while also using less players for assists. It even sets up a nice screen, and from here, I can continue pushing my luck towards the ball, still without great risk of turnover, something I couldn't do in my first line of movement.
As seen above, next I would have had to throw a block with the loner lineman against his guard piece. While not detailed in the image, it would be wise to move players into positions which they could defend if I rolled a 1/9, leaving 2 players; one to sack the ball, the other to recover.
I wasn't particularly happy with many turns against Rocky, and I don't want to sound too up myself, so I won't be doing a good turn this week. The game was mostly decided by a 5 CAS effort by my Mighty blow blitzer. However, as said in the introduction, usually I'll highlight something a coach did really well. Instead I'm going to look for ways to improve my play again in my match against Warhammerfrog's dorfs.
There were some interesting quandaries in the game against Frog. My defensive drive was mostly a wash after a T2 quad skull, but I did manage to force a T7 score and get the 2 turn in before half time. At 1-1, it was anyone's game, and warhammerfrog setup as follows
As has been discussed, a good turn, and hence defensive set up, minimises blocks. However, I think this was a good move from Frog, as uncultured I find LOS set ups with >3 players to be. While it did have the risk of allowing me to remove his players, it would force the dark elves to set up with a lot of players on the LOS. Should I have gone for the blocks at all? Or just dodged away and started my offence?
A digression:blocking on the LOS
LOS blocks can be an underrated aspect of blood bowl, with hidden subtleties to them, particularly if playing a bash team. There are multiple reasons for this.
Player removal- removing players from the pitch helps gain numerical superiority, making LOS blocks often particularly important when playing more agile races, as good coaches will not leave their players in base contact very often.
If you have ever read “The Art of Blocking” (if you haven’t go do so now) there is a very important section in there about basing up. Effectively, it explains that if you manage to follow an opponent up after they go prone, they often have no choice but to stand back up and take punishment. Trapping players on the LOS until you can remove them is a very good strategy, and can severely neuter teams which are forced to put positional types on the line, particularly chorfs (some of the best advice for playing against them)
Offenses are effectively played one man down (the ball carrier) so getting these removals is vital to restoring the balance in numbers
In order to gain these handy benefits, LOS blocking usually needs to be
Maxismised (hit everything you can)
If done really well, can trap opposing prone players
Leaves your players in good positions for the next turn
However with Frogs setup here, I can only maximise blocks, with diagonal blocking being made impossible, and the players in the wings mean I cannot follow up and pin them down either. Most importantly, blocking all these players will leave my players close together and in a line, making the guard of the dorfs very effective.
Green highlights good parts of my screen, Red highlights the not so good bits
While leaving the LOS would effectively push my offence 2 squares back, it may have been a better alternative
Still, with that being said, a bit of better forethought could have left me in better positions than I did in the game. Let me know in discord what you think was the better idea, I am still undecided. Nonetheless, the course of action I took in game allowed frog to base me up effectively and make me throw a couple one dies the next turn, and the rest of the drive was a real uphill battle. It can be the first turn which is most decisive, and had a little luck not gone my way, this game could have easily swung in Frog’s favour.
A better screen. This limits the dwarven ability to "go to war" without spreading themselves thin
So that’s all for this week. Let me know if you’d like me to take a look at one of your games. Any feedback on the articles is helpful, it is hard to judge how entertaining these are and if you think you can see a good direction I could take this series let me know. I am still toying with a few ideas myself.