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Joined: May 18, 2013

Post   Posted: Sep 25, 2020 - 12:56 Reply with quote Back to top

It's been a couple of years since I played... the itch got the better of me again recently and I've jumped back into SWL. After a season running my old favourite High Elves, I wanted to give Chaos Dwarves a shot. I've never played them before, and it felt like the BB16 rebuy rules that are currently implemented in SWL meant that they were definitely in a bit of a sweet spot.

Blood Bowl certainly has its high and lows, not in the least due to the impact of a single block, push, armour roll and so on. But here's the rub, whilst I can improve my odds, I still have to live with the RNG. In the past I have definitely focused way too much on those moments and not on all the stuff that leads up to it, or the different directions the game could have gone. I'm not denying that sometimes a roll will just make or break a game but I need to control what I can control.

So these posts aren't going to talk about bad rolls. I'm going to attempt to just pick a single thing I think I can improve on each game. Don't worry, there will be lots!

There are two "pre-season" games for new teams. This allows you to get a little kickstart so you aren't running the gauntlet. It used to be a little more generous prior to Blackwater Gate. My first game was against Amazons. In theory it should be a pretty good match up for me.

vs. Murder Maidens - pielover101

Turn 2, 1st half. My opponent has gone sideline early which I usually see as a good thing. The sideline is your best and only flawless defender, so getting the ball over there should help in theory.


So from here there are four(ish) options I saw.

1. Remain top-side in case my opponent switches up and runs high. Amazons aren't that quick, so I'm not worried about that. Not ideal.

2. Pull back as a safety given the second bull is already committed down low.

3. Sweep right around the back and put a TZ on the ball carrier

4. My choice. I decide to half-arse a play. I play the bull behind my opponents line, and tie myself up against an expendable linezon.


Which leads to a score.

Thanks to ramchop for teaching me the way of the gif... and also for teaching me where the gallery is.


So in hindsight there was enough happening already around the play. Having the safety (option 2) was a much better play. Whilst putting a TZ on the ball carrier isn't bad & forces dice, between me not having BT/Block & with inbuilt dodge, at that stage (turn 2) it wasn't the right option.

These posts were intended both as a little bit of an introspective & to try and do something a bit different for a team blog. I didn't want to do a full game analysis as it's pretty tiring and I thought improving one thing at a time is a far more surmountable goal.

Having said that, I'm definitely interested in what you think - have I got my recap right? What would you have done in a similar situation?

Last edited by Semitence on Sep 26, 2020 - 08:14; edited 1 time in total

Joined: Nov 14, 2019

Post   Posted: Sep 25, 2020 - 14:51 Reply with quote Back to top

Interesting read, clearly written.

Did the Amazon GFI in for the score?

It does looks like you can force a quick score from this position; giving you a shot to equalise in the half. So 'letting them through' is not perhaps so bad.

Joined: May 29, 2011

Post   Posted: Sep 25, 2020 - 15:24 Reply with quote Back to top

3b. 4+ 2+ 2+ 2+ to hit the ball carrier. Not great odds, but can be unnerving. Probs don't RR the dodge.

However, for me, the animated turn, your two standing top chorfs are the play to improve.

The one top left stops as a blocking assist, the hobgoblin can do that just fine. Dragging him back and down to support the bottom next turn if they do make the play, or pop in as support wherever else they push forward, he's your sweeper, encourages a switch back and can help out fine if they do.

The one top right, can mark both rear zon blitzers and cancel the lower's assist for a block and stop her easily supporting the sideline play, if you get the prone one to GFI in to cover him at the end. There's also space to put the lower hobgoblin to stop an assist down low.

Not that Zons won't just throw some 1d blocks to start things off, it's that doing so leaves them stalled where they are and unable to stop your own players repositioning stronger next turn.

Like, yes, the forward bull gets out of position, but if you'd made that turn harder for them to block out of, harder to free players up, his position is stronger and more able to contribute by pushing in an cancelling assists next turn.

And if you based the ball down there, I'd be looking at a plan to surf him a couple turns later, just because he'd not be easy to get support to, and it might waste your blitz down there and then he falls down all on his own to avoid it, or you all go too low to save him and they switch mid-half and you never catch them.

Cancelling assists is sort of a young bull's best job vs Zons. It's the chorfs you want to free up and keep mobile, they're the threat.


I recall as you are, they mostly stalled you out because you just couldn't get blocking dominance to get a chorf involved and your bottom two players are no-block no-tackle and just easy meat for Zons.


Joined: Feb 26, 2009

Post   Posted: Sep 25, 2020 - 17:30 Reply with quote Back to top

I would have set up a big chainpush. This also puts zones on most players, forcing dodges vs tackle or a few blocks which allows you to hit back next round and puzzle block a few to free up players.

Finish the turn looking like this.

Also has the benefit of all your players goal side

si non modo numquam pragmaticam


Joined: Feb 27, 2012

Post   Posted: Sep 25, 2020 - 23:50 Reply with quote Back to top

I like the safety idea but I think even just somewhere near the center of the pitch. You still want the Zon coach to push the wing.

What was the final score?

Joined: May 18, 2013

Post   Posted: Sep 26, 2020 - 08:23 Reply with quote Back to top


They stalled it out for a turn then left me 3 turns to score. There were a couple of extra moves/blocks he made after the screengrab. On my next turn one of the blockers tried for blitz next turn but had to dodge out and faceplanted instead.


Cheers for the well thought out response. I didn't think about the blitz. I reckon that's your inner High Elf speaking. Too hairy for me without break tackle.

I made a LOT of misplays this game. I guess I was trying to pick one I could highlight and learn from. Agree there were definitely a few mis-moves from the blockers that turn (and the turn after). Hopefully I'm getting better now.


Ah... yep. That's significantly better than what I did. Even if they do get around me I'm at least all goal side for the recovery. Nice.


We ended 2:1 - I managed to get the double score in H2.

Last edited by Semitence on Sep 26, 2020 - 09:12; edited 1 time in total

Joined: May 18, 2013

Post   Posted: Sep 26, 2020 - 09:10 Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for the responses. Definitely helps with motivation.

vs. Legends of Azeroth - Boriz
Old World Alliance

My second trial game was against the other draftee for the season, running the newest team on the block. They look really strong on paper, but have a couple of pretty big negatraits in animosity and loner scattered throughout.

So I've been concerned that my set-ups are, uh, "less than optimal". It was highlighted pretty hard here. On the surface, I guess it seem ok. Dudes on the line, couple of people back to get the ball, central hobgoblin in position to foul or rotate as needed.


But then every Blood Bowlers favourite words popped up.


So I ended up starting T1 from here instead.


So how should I set up?

1. Bull shouldn't have been on the LOS. Low value play. I don't know why I put him there.

2. I probably don't need 3 players that deep. 2 at most. In hindsight, I was probably a little worried that I might fumble around with the ball for a bunch of turns. In that case, at least rely on the hobgoblins to pick it up early, and use the Bull more actively.

3. A good spot for the bulls might have been 1 space to the right of the longbeards. Could have also had the bulls back for the ball, and the hobgoblins up close. Either works.

I was down to 10 players after the above drive (and down 1-0). This was the next set up. Better, but probably still to be improved.


So reference to above...

1. Bull still on LOS. Slow learner.

2. 1 deep. Down a player so didn't have the luxury of 2.

3. Hobgoblins are in much better position. Giving a pretty wide scope for their TZs.

Joined: May 18, 2013

Post   Posted: Sep 29, 2020 - 12:04 Reply with quote Back to top

**If you can't see the pictures below, apologies, they are awaiting approval...

First season, in my group we had the following other teams:

Old World Alliance
Chaos Renegades

To kick the season off I had some loose goals in mind.

1. Develop or find a natural ball carrier.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to develop one of the Bulls, or have a dedicated hobgoblin for ball duties. It feels like the Bulls are in such demand everywhere on the pitch, having one of them hiding with the ball all the time would make it a struggle on offence. Flip side, is that a hobgoblin is one hit away from me not having a ball carrier, whereas the Bull is faster, stronger, tougher etc.

I decided to leave it to fate, if I rolled a MA/AG/ST i'd use them as the carrier regardless of position.

2. Win Regionals

SWL is in 3 tiers. Prem, where the top 8 teams fight it out for the title. 3-4 conferences, where the main action is, and regionals, a place for the demoted conferencees, and new teams. Coming out of the gate with inbuilt skills I thought it was a good target.

3. Keep a clean sheet all season

This was a real tough one. I wanted to lock it up. Aim high right?

4. Guard up all the Dwarves

With 6 guys doing the main work, I needed them pretty much ready to go by next season for conferences

5. Take it all in stride, regardless of results

Whatever happens, happens. Enjoy the game and take some pleasure out of the craziness that BB brings. Enjoy the opponents good moments as well as mine.

Game 1

vs. Legends of Azeroth - Boriz
Old World Alliance

Didn't we just do this one? Well, as chance would have it, we had an instant replay for round 1.

This time I really did it to myself. After holding the OWA scoreless in H1, I found myself here at the start of the 4th turn. A pretty solid forward position.


There weren't many skills of note here, except that the two OWA longbeards, and my topmost blocker all had guard, and the Bull on the right had block.

It took a couple of blocks to get the blitzer down, and then it all went pear-shaped when I did this after rolling a BD/POW result:


Seem innocuous enough? Except now, because I took the BD result, my Bull was blocked behind a wall of my own making.

So from here I've got some options.

1. Bottom right hobgoblin into position somewhere. Mark the catcher, assist the Bull in the scrum, or fall back to free up the bottom left blocker.

2. Stay put.

3. Move the ball and left Bull up a few square in the pocket.

4. My move:


Deservedly, snakes on the second GFI. A GFI that I created myself because I sealed up the lane.

So what could I have done better?

1. Firstly, the hobgoblin that moved in for the assist could have just walked up to the troll slayer.

2. Mark up the bottom lineman with the hobgoblin. Bull blocks the Longbeard up and left to bring the blocker into play & tie down the scrum.

3. Bull and ball carrier move up a few spaces, Bull gives the blocker an assist.

4. Use the last hobgoblin as the blitzer to hit the Troll Slayer.

As it was, he was able to recover the centre, I had to pull back a touch, and then never managed to break though for a score. 0-0.

Joined: Jan 05, 2009

Post   Posted: Sep 29, 2020 - 23:46 Reply with quote Back to top

I'm enjoying these reflective pieces. Keep up the good work

Joined: May 18, 2013

Post   Posted: Sep 30, 2020 - 07:16 Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks mate, appreciated!

Joined: Sep 14, 2015

Post   Posted: Sep 30, 2020 - 09:24 Reply with quote Back to top

Bobs wrote:
I would have set up a big chainpush. This also puts zones on most players, forcing dodges vs tackle or a few blocks which allows you to hit back next round and puzzle block a few to free up players.

Finish the turn looking like this.

Also has the benefit of all your players goal side

This could quite easily end up in a surfed bull.

As to the OWA alliance game, I don't bull carry, so I would never setup like that, but your major issue is that you are setting up to max blocks and thus find it difficult to cover your wings vs a wide LOS. Both setups are very poor vs blitz! (yes, the second one too). If you're going to attempt a 4+ pickup (and even a naked 3+) as turn 1, your first thoughts should be "how do I stabilise my drive" (which should be the priority anyway as bash). I actually also am somewhat puzzled as to how you ended up 1-0 down so quickly as the position is very much able to be resuscitated (I wouldn't have moved everyone bar one before the sack and the hobgoblin you move in top to grab a block with is better deployed as a central sweeper).

Second game vs OWA: just move the hobgoblin you assisted with a few sq forwards and then sit behind him offering the surf on the hob - he can't afford to take it without losing the game on it. You can then either take the flank or re-centralise in the following turn depending on his decision. I probably wouldn't have pushed north and marked with the PI though - you split your team in an attempt to create inconsequential blocks, or to mark players who end up doing something (marking your players) rather than being out of the game for a turn.

I watched the replays quickly and you are creating situations where you eat needless block and expose hobgoblins, this isn't a good thing!


Joined: May 18, 2013

Post   Posted: Oct 28, 2020 - 04:11 Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Three things:

Your comments aren't congruent, "I am puzzled how you ended up..." does not seem to correlate with "I watched the replays".

Secondly, whilst I'm more that happy for you to watch the replays this isn't the place for a game by game break down. I was pretty clear that my intent for this thread was to look at a position/situation I was in, and what I could do differently from there. Not a game analysis. Frankly that would be exhausting and extraordinarily time consuming.

Lastly offering a critique is great, but if you are going to do so, tone is important. You might not have meant to come off as being condescending, but you have, and it's a turn off for me (and for others) that may want to put themselves out there. There are often complaints and cries for more content beyond polls and such, well, this doesn't encourage it.

I don't want to discourage you from putting out your thoughts but the post just rubbed me the wrong way a bit.


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