So you want to be a Clan Leader? Strike that - you were FORCED to be a Clan Leader because no one else wanted the job! We’ve got you covered with this all-inclusive handy-dandy fool-proof guide!
The first thing you should understand about being a Clan Leader is that YOU are in control. YOU get to make all the calls, big decisions, easy decisions, strategic decisions. The second thing is that you are completely free from blame! I’m serious, absolutely nothing will be your fault. Who cares if your weak and battered Skaven team was suckered into playing Chaos Dwarves. They don’t get to blame someone else when their league team gets crushed, why should they get to blame you? All the power, none of the guilt!
One last fact to put your worries to rest, Clan Leaders have their own special Discord Channel where we help each other, trash our Clan members, and get to discuss ways to improve the league. Not only will you help shape Clan, you’ll get to learn and seek feedback in a friendly… somewhat friendly… ok, typically hostile environment! You are never alone, except when you're alone, and I’m afraid I can’t help you with that. But as far as being a Leader is concerned, we’ve got your back!
#1 Know the Rulebook - It’s 11 pages, eek! It’s really not that bad. Give it a couple of careful read throughs and make sure it’s pinned in your private Clan Discord Server. Wait… you don’t have one?
#2 Create a private Clan Discord Server - In Discord, there’s an icon of a Plus Symbol “+” surrounded by a dashed circle towards the lower left hand side. Click this button and create your own Server. Your private server lets you get the most out of Clan league by building your team atmosphere. You and your coaches get to plan, strategize, and lean on one another! Now that we’ve got this sorted…
#3 Get your Clan Members to read the Rulebook you’ve Pinned in your Server - Ok, straight talk here, your Clan members will probably suck at this. No worries, it’s not the end of the world. MOST of the rules center on Clan/team management and Clan Powers, which you get to control anyway. Here are the important things your Clan members need to know/do:
- Overtime format and Concede Rules - Pretty simple. We use an Overtime format, so make sure you are familiar with how OT works so you can explain to your Clan. Concede rules are also straightforward.
- Accept their tickets EARLY - Every Clan match requires a new competition, so your coaches need to accept a new ticket prior to each of their matches. The absolutely best thing they can do is accept their tickets early! I’m talking the day or day after your draft. Try your best to get your coaches on board with this.
- The Discord Ping to Rule all Discord Pings - This is important. Your coaches should almost ALWAYS Ping “@Clan Leaders” for any match issues/needs, which almost ALWAYS and SOLELY revolve around getting their match “scheduled”. In you aren’t aware, after a coach accepts their Ticket the match still has to be “Scheduled” or Started in order to be played. This is done by the Clan Leaders (who ALL have admin privileges for all the individual matches). This means ANY Clan Leader can “Start” ANY match. The “@Clan Admins” Ping should ONLY be used if there is something Clan Leaders can’t resolve. Get in the habit of promoting @Clan Leaders all the damn time. Drill it into their tiny and impressionable brains! @Clan Leaders GOOOOOOOD - @Clan Admins BAAAAAAAD!
#4 Building your Clan - It’s really no different than building teams for tournaments. The biggest challenge is juggling the 5 teams to stay under your TV Cap. Again, make sure you understand the rules for building teams, and ask other Clan Leaders/Admins for clarification and advice (if you need it). Many Leaders like to run a balanced set of teams with a few bash, maybe a hybrid/flexibile team, maybe an elf team. But this is Blood Bowl, and virtually any combination of races make a viable Clan. Sure, a team centered around Stunty teams are going to have their work cut out for them. But that’s no different from league play. If you’ve got a fun theme, go for it. If your Clan likes the idea of trying to counter other Clans with your own set of flexible races, also fine.
#5 Clan Draft - You and your coaches battle each Clan one time, with each of your teams facing one or theirs. That’s 5 total matches across 2 weeks. To win the week your Clan needs to win 3 out of 5 matches. Winning more is great, as total team wins matter for tie breakers. But your 1st goal should be to win the week, and your Draft plays a crucial role in your success! You and the Leader of the opposing Clan take turns using Powers (read the rules!) and creating the matchups that will determine the schedule of games. There is definitely a strategy to drafting, and I encourage you to seek out other Leaders for helpful hints. Briefly, you want to get as many “good” matchups for YOUR Clan as you can. Countering your opponent’s Amazon team with your Dwarves is often considered a “good” match for you and a “bad” match for your opponent. However, “sacrificing” your own Amazon team to opposing Dwarves in order to get better matchups elsewhere might also be considered a “good” play. Perhaps your Amazons are beat up and would have it rough against ANY team. Taking that loss (remembering it’s still a dice game and ANYTHING can happen) may very well help the rest of your Clan. The only hard and fast rule is that you try to get as many “good” matchups as YOU and your Clan FEEL good about.
Here’s an example for you: our Clan had a Pro Elf team whose coach absolutely LOVED playing Nurgle. Their style allowed them to mitigate Disturbing Presence and they had great confidence, so we matched them with Nurgle whenever we could. I guarantee you the other Clan’s Nurgle coach also loved that match up. At the end of the day, it was settled on the pitch!
#6 Clan Powers - Powers are tools available to coaches to use before, during, or after a Draft. Powers fall into 3 categories; (1) Powers to manipulate the Draft, (2) Powers to “HELP” your Clan, and (3) Powers to “HINDER” the opposing Clan. You can diversify your portfolio of Powers and have some from each category, or you can go all in on a specific strategy to manipulate as many Drafts as possible (for example). And while it’s true some powers are considered “more powerful/useful” than others, no one forces you to subscribe to any Power-Ideology. One of Season 4’s most successful Clans completely ignored “Emergency Intensive Care”, which was by far the most popular Power choice among other Clans.
You will be required to spend a minimum of your TV Cap on Powers, but there is no maximum. Many Clans will budget for the minimum, valuing the on-pitch TV in the form of Skills, more Players, or perhaps Rerolls. It’s a perfectly valid and often correct assessment. But Powers don’t die. They won’t take a Rock from the crowd on turn 1 and miss the rest of the game! They won’t get fouled out by a nasty boot to the pelvis! As you will discover in our Clan Discord channel, numerous, and I mean NUMEROUS Leaders have stated multiple examples of how a certain Power had “won them the week”! You will seldom find a Leader who claims the same about the 40k spent on two Lineman to give them the Wrestle Skill during Clan/Team creation. I’m not telling you to spend 1200k of your TV on Powers. I’m not even telling you to spend more than the Minimum. Just remember that Powers provide a unique and impactful aspect to this setting. Don’t be afraid to explore your options.
Also don’t be afraid to USE your powers! As a wise man once told me, “this isn’t an RPG, you don’t get any credit for saving powers and there’s no secret boss after the 9 rounds!” Your powers disappear the end of the season and cannot be saved for future seasons. Use them!
#7 Set your Tone, choose a “Co-Leader” - How you manage your Clan is up to you. But the best thing you should do is explain to your Clan HOW you plan to manage. If you are a hands-on Leader and feel you operate best with complete control, make sure your Clan members know it. If you prefer a democratic setting where decisions are made jointly and you’ll intercede to break ties, make sure your coaches get involved. Or perhaps you’d like to do a little of both? Set the tone by sharing how you’d like to Lead. This doesn’t prevent you from altering your style as you learn the ropes. If you need to change your style, simply re-set the tone by explaining how you’d like to change. Regardless, you are the Leader. YOU are one required to do the extra work, and the VERY LEAST your Clan members can do is to respect your position.
Your “Co-Leader” is allowed to step in and handle Leader duties if you are unable (for whatever reason). It’s handy to have a backup should something unexpected pop up, or a vacation/life event limits your time. Additionally, sometimes even 4 distinct voices (your Clan) can become overwhelming. Having someone you can bounce ideas off, ask for advice, and rely on WITHIN your Clan can greatly relieve any stressors that might arise. You’ll have access to other Leaders when you need us, absolutely. But having a Robin to your Batman for your specific Clan decisions will, I promise you, help greatly.
That’s it! Go forth and LEAD!!!