45 votes, rating 5.4
So, you want to create an awesome team? Tired of being beaten by claw? Wondering why every team you face seems to have far better skills than you?
Don't ask in the forums...you are in the right place here!
Now, if you don't play the Blackbox, and if you think that sacking a healthy player is tantamount to heresy, you may want to navigate off this blog. This isn't aimed at you, my friend. Your playstyle is perfectly valid, and let nobody tell you different!
The first step is to have a plan. What is your plan A? What TV do you want to idle at? You should already have these questions answered from your normal bloodbowl teams.
Let's give you a hand. The most boring of the min-max rosters; the infamous 1500 CD roster. This has a very simple plan A: Remove all the opposing players. Usually found with 0-1 Bull Centaur, 6 Chaos Dwarves and a few Hobgoblins, they are then skilled up so that the Bull (if you have one) is the carrier, and all the dwarves are clawbomb killers. Your hobs should be rookie, and your plan A is to take as many blocks as you can, while taking opportunistic fouls with the hobs.
Maybe you want the newbhunter build? Chaos Pact with 10 Marauder and 1 Dark Elf. With some clawbomb, weighs in at 1k TV! Perfect for picking off those beginner teams!
You see, a min-max team is a very simple thing. You isolate your plan A, and you choose the minimum number of skills/player/rerolls that is necessary to achieve it reliably. At the heart of it, that's all a min-max team really is. It's kinda in the name; Maximising your effectiveness at the Minimum TV you can get.
Off you go!
You may have noticed by the lack of a comment box, that I'm not done yet.
The thing is, as the more tactically astute of you might have noticed, there's a bit of a problem here. Namely, that you've built a build that is all about the plan A. So, erm, what happens when, y'know, you roll a 1 and plan A fails?
Now that's when things get interesting. You see, by making a min-max team, you've carefully pruned out all those skills that might give you a chance at winning when you roll that double skull on turn 1. You've made yourself a team that is nigh on unstoppable when it rolls well, but if it rolls poorly, you are even more up against it than normal.
It's what I like to call a "luck enhancer" build. When things are rolling, oh boy, they are rolling for you. You will crush your foes before you and rejoice in the lamentation of their women! When things aren't going so well, that's when you need the support.
You see, all those skills that all the top coaches have on their teams? They aren't for show. There's a reason that the truly crazy win records aren't done by pure min-max. Don't get me wrong, you can get a good record in them, but to really have an effective team, you want to aim for that 10 win streak. Those, those are hard, because, in 10 games, you are going to have a bad game.
As we all learnt early in our bloodbowling careers, the secret to good coaching is managing luck, which most players advise you do by minimising it. Unless your coachname is Tarabaralla, you are probably best off following that advice.
Now, it's still useful to think as you did above. What are your core skills, and what is your plan B? If you roll a double skull turn 1, what's the plan? If you fail a 3+ pickup, are you going to be horribly exposed?
The main important point to remember here, is your Plan A does not change (unless it sucked). You really don't want more Plan B skills than Plan A skills. I think of it as "support" and "core". To put it in context of my favourite team, Lizardmen, your "core" skills are your saurii skills. Block, Guard, Mighty Blow, Tackle, Piling On, all good solid bread and butter skills that drive your team onwards.
Now, what are the support? Guard/Standfirm on a Kroxigor, that sounds like a good support. When things aren't quite going to plan, he can retrieve a bad situation by retreating into the backfield and tying up those 2 beastmen who are charging down your skinks, making it very difficult for them to get away.
Maybe it's sidestep on the skinks? It allows you to sideline halfcage reasonably reliably with 3 sidesteppers, which if you are playing 5 on 11 is pretty much the only way to keep that ball carrier safe. Diving Tackle? The ability for two sidestep diving tackle skinks to hold a cage up for a vital 2-3 turns when most of your team is dead shouldn't be underestimated.
Those are all good tricks...but if you don't have your Core, you are going to find it difficult to control the position, and hence to win. The main body of your TV should be in that saurus squad. Those Core skills are the reliable ones, the ones that will win you a game. You can build your strategy around them and really push forward.
That's all team management really is. You might need to sack healthy players to keep the balance right. A Legendary support player is amazing in the right team, but when the core of the team dies off around him, suddenly, he's costing you games. A Lizardman team that's skilled all their skinks to Sidestep/Diving tackle, and has 1 block on their saurii? That's a distinct issue. Do try and avoid wasting money by sacking healthy players, you can always use it for the rainy day where you draw that clawbomb team. If you have to do it though, you have to do it.
Finally, Christer has a much more awesome blog than mine. If you got this far in, you obviously care far too much about Bloodbowl, and you get far too much value off this wonderful, amazing, free site. Donate already!