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Joined: Apr 01, 2011

Post   Posted: Sep 21, 2019 - 19:10 Reply with quote Back to top

In the [SL]UMBBL CUP V thread, there was a comment about bringing 'regular' teams to the SL league. Someone else suggested that it should be completely acceptable to bring regular teams to the SL league, as the SL teams hadn't really been designed to be worse.

I'd like to actually look at this, because when I was looking through the SL teams, that was the impression that the introduction gave - these teams should be competitive with regular teams without being overpowering. However, that led to me dismissing a LOT of SL teams because the closest comparison with regular teams made it seem obvious the SL team was worse.

By the time I was done looking through them all though, I had decided to agree with the first comment mentioned here - SL teams DO seem balanced.. against each other. However, with a few very noticeable exceptions, I think regular teams would definitely dominate SL teams.

Since this doesn't seem to be the GOAL of the SL teams, I'm going to go ahead and give my side by side comparisons, and why I think regular teams shouldn't be with SL teams AND why those few exceptions are therefore probably problematic to SL.

I'll start with the comparison of regular teams to each other, so that people can get an idea of what I'm talking about, and get that 'sorted out' (ha) before we then tackle the SL teams.

Human - 'baseline' team
Orc (compare to human) - av9 for mv 5; str 4 and agi 2 and possible ttm instead of mv8
Chaos (compare to orc) - give up skills or av9 for horns and mutation access
Nurgle (compare to chaos) - give up speed and agi for regen and foul appearence and disturbing presence
Chaos Renegades (compare to chaos) - give up 4 str 4 for 2 more big guys and an agi 4, give up horns for passing access
Norse (compare to human) - block for av7, 2 str 4 + frenzy instead of mv 8
Dwarf (compare to norse) - tackle and av9 for mv 4 and agi 2 and secret weapon big guy; no high speed or str 4
Chaos Dwarf (compare to Dwarf) - give up specialist positionals and get hobgoblin linos to get bulls and limited mutation access and no secret weapon on big guy
Skaven (compare to humans) - mv 7 for av7, give up 2 blitzers to get mv9 agi 4 gutters and limited mutation access
Lizardmen (compare to humans) - 6 str 4 av9 for stunty mv 8 linos and no positionals
Dark Elf (compare to humans) - get agi 4 for loss of strength access and no big guy; get 2 str 3 witch elves instead of 4 catchers This stands out as the first time there is a very noticeable power increase in the comparisons. Dark Elves are simply better than humans. Which means the other elves (all of which end up being compared to dark elves as the nearest) are also better. Note that I'm not saying that no other comparisons have no power increase, but they aren't as obvious as Dark Elves compared to Humans)
High Elf (compare to dark elf) - 4 mv 8 av 7 catchers for only 2 blitzers
Pro Elf (compare to high elf) - better positionals for av7 linos and worse throwers
Wood Elf (compare to pro elf) - mv 7 linos and better blitzers and a big guy for str 2 catchers
Amazon (compare to humans) - dodge everywhere for av7, str 3 catchers but only 2 catchers and they're mv 6 and no big guy
Khemri (compare to humans) - thick skull and regen for av7 and mv 5 and agi 2 and only 2 blitzers; 4 str 5 agi 1 instead of catchers and big guy and positionals only get agi 2
Undead (compare to humans) - thick skull and regen for av7 and mv 5 and agi 2 OR regen for mv 4 and agi 2 and only 2 blitzers; 2 str 5 with mighty blow and str 3 ghouls with no catch instead of catchers and big guy
Necromantic (compare to undead) - no skeleton option. 2 werewolves for only 2 ghouls and str 4 stand firm instead of str 5 mighty blow
Slann (compare to human) - leap and very long legs and agi 4 catchers but overpriced and no block or dodge to start (other skills instead)
Vampire (compare to human) - 6 str 4 agi 4 hypno gaze players for av7 linos, no positionals, no big guy, and blood lust
Underworld (compare to skaven) - full mutation access and possible ttm for no gutters and stunty linos This is the first comparison which is a noticeable power decrease. Again, not saying no other comparison is a power decrease, but they aren't as obvious about it. However, note that all of the teams listed after this are also somewhat obvious power decreases as well.
Ogre (compare to lizardmen) - 6 big guys and no positionals for str 1 stunty linos
Goblin (compare to underworld) - 2 big guys and secret weapons and decent ttm for no str 3 at all and no mutations
Halfling (compare to goblin) - 2 better big guys and better ttm for no secret weapons and even worse stunties

I'll leave this up for discussion for a bit before moving on to the SL comparisons. Want to make sure the 'baseline' of the conversation exists.

Joined: Apr 01, 2011

Post   Posted: Sep 28, 2019 - 00:17 Reply with quote Back to top

Ok,moving on to SL teams. There are a lot of teams, so this post will get editted.. numerous times over the coming days or weeks.

Daemons of Nurgle:
Compare to Lizardmen.
The little guys get guard, but only agi 2.
The str 4 guys are slower but agi 2.
The big guy is str 6 and has more skills, the str 4 guys have several skills, the little guys have several skills, all in return for the big guy being slower and the little guys being str 1 and much slower.

Daemons of Tzeentch
Compare to Underworld
Flamers instead of throwers: agi 4 instead of pass, bombardier and av 8 but no hands (lose sure hands) and secret weapon.
4 STR 4 GSM access instead of 2 STR 3 block GSM access and 2 STR 3 av 7 GM access. Get extra hands and TTM and Regen, but lose MA.
Lord of change instead of a troll (different skills and more expensive).
The little guys are exactly the same except with free big hand.
Overall, Tzeentch Daemons are shockingly better than Underworld, but at least Underworld is a difficult team. (However, Tzeentch still has so many stunties on the pitch it's hard to say they're even tier 1, so this really just shows how bad Underworld really is. But with 6 pinks, Tzeentch is just monstrously good).

Daemons of Slaanesh
Compare to Vampires
Lose STR and AV and S access. Gain MA and claw, and linos gain AV and M access, and get a big guy, AND no bloodlust.

Definitely much better than Vampires, which is a difficult team.

Compared to Avelorn:
Linos lose A access but gain M access.
Blitzers lose 2 skills, MA, and AV, but gain hypno gaze, claw, Regen.
Catchers lose pass and catch, and P access, but gain claw, Regen, and hypno gaze.
Gain big guy but linos are ago 3.
I'd argue that Daemons of Slaanesh are noticeably better than Avelorn, which is a tier 1 team.

Should be compared to Humans as well.

Compare to High Elves
Catchers gain Pass and P access, but lose MA and lose throwers.
Blitzers get stand firm and MA but are more expensive.

Last edited by Nelphine on Sep 28, 2019 - 12:43; edited 2 times in total

Joined: Aug 01, 2015

Post   Posted: Sep 28, 2019 - 08:26 Reply with quote Back to top

You're forgetting Team Value and player cost in your comparison of humans and dark elves. The dark elf player is stronger, but costs more to field, which has impact on TV and ability to keep a bench. Rerolls also affected here i believe.

This trend carries through to other comparisons.

Joined: Apr 01, 2011

Post   Posted: Sep 28, 2019 - 12:39 Reply with quote Back to top

I disagree. I don't believe TV by itself has a significant impact on winning. Skills on a given team affect winning, and if there is a TV mismatch, that is more likely to mean a skillset mismatch, but it isn't guaranteed. (For extremes, 1900 tv ogres aren't particularly better at beating 1400 elves than 1400 ogres are. Similarly, a given team of amazons are likely to have difficulty against both 1300 tv dwarves and 1600 tv dwarves.) Now, you're right, at certain TVs certain races become stronger or weaker. However, that's still based around the initial base team, and its why skill access is mentioned in the team comparisons.

Now if we take dark elves vs humans for instance, and we look at the base 11 players (ogre, 4 blitzers, 2 throwers, 2 catchers, 3 linemen vs 4 blitzers, 2 witch elves, 5 linemen) we see that the humans cost 1010 TV. The 11 dark elves cost 1070 TV.

That means the humans can induce a babe or a card. Note, that doesn't mean the humans have an extra player - teams don't play each other magically set to the same TV, they play each other at whatever TV they happen to have. A babe or a card isn't going to make up for the difference in agility. And as both teams grow, the extra skill access of the dark elf linemen is going to make them better by comparison.

In terms of maintaining a bench, yes the dark elf linemen costs 20k more than the human linemen; but even if both teams lose every game and never have better Fame than their opponent, that still means the dark elves can replace a linemen every 2 games, and on average, death and retirement doesn't happen as often as every 2 games, particularly for an av8 team. That means over time (assuming always losing and never winning Fame), the dark elf treasury still grows, so they can still build and maintain a bench, even if it's difficult.

IF teams were always played against each other at the same TV, then the human team could have an extra player (until 3 of their non catchers get dodge, at which point they would only be 40k less expensive than the dark elves OR if they were forced to field 4 catchers as being part of their baseline roster, they would only need 1 player with dodge to push them within 40k of the dark elves) OR they could have 3 extra skills. An extra player or 3 extra skills are not likely to make up for blanket agi 4 on the dark elves.

What about dark elf runners and assassins? Shouldn't they need to buy those players as well if we talk about humans buying 4 catchers? They aren't part of my comparison specifically because they are special players that don't compare well, particularly for their price value. Since they aren't mandatory and they don't compare well, they aren't included. Someone is free to use them, and may make a stronger team for doing so, but that's too coach dependent to be used in this comparison.

'But my humans have consistently beaten dark elves!' Of course. Blood bowl is a game of dice AND coaching skill. Halflings can beat everyone consistently, given the right coach. This is only a baseline comparison.

I'm inclined to say re-rolls aren't well balanced, so I've specifically not included them in the comparisons.

Joined: Oct 09, 2007

Post   Posted: Sep 28, 2019 - 14:50 Reply with quote Back to top

What are the regular teams taking part to the cup?
Knowing that would narrow down the number of comparisons between the SL teams and the regular ones.
Comparing them to all the SL ones really requires lot of time and data (and don't forget they were built in a open challenge environment).
Also, a little suggestion: if you read the details of every SL team here: https://fumbbl.com/help:SecretLeague
you will find out that each of them has a specific tier, that helps to compare them to regular teams.
Not super accurate, but it's a fairly decent way to summarize their supposed performance.

Last edited by MattDakka on Sep 28, 2019 - 15:11; edited 1 time in total

Joined: Apr 01, 2011

Post   Posted: Sep 28, 2019 - 15:05 Reply with quote Back to top

Right, but I'm not looking at the tier based on what their win rate is, I'm looking at them by comparing the actual team lineups.

So for instance, with Daemons of Slaanesh, I can compare them to Avelorn. They come out as firmly ahead. I then compare Avelorn to High Elf, and they come out kind of as a wash. High Elf are tier 1, so Avelorn is tier 1, so Daemons of Slaanesh are firmly ahead of tier 1 in terms of team lineup.

This is about potential based on the team, based on the results we have already compiled for regular teams.

On the other hand Daemons of Tzeentch (with only 4 pinks), are way better than Underworld, but Underworld are difficult at best. Daemons of Tzeentch are still probably worse than a tier 1 team due to the number of stunties that need to be fielded, but this is one where it would require more results against a control group to actually tell if they were tier 1 or 1.5. But, without accurate results from a control group, I can at least say that Daemons of Tzeentch are much better than a tier 2 team.

Note that the SL rosters shows that Daemons of Tzeentch are 'definitely a tier 2 team'. That's simply not true, based on the team roster compared to the team roster of a team we KNOW is tier 2 and the stats of that same tier 2 team based on a huge number of games played with the regular rosters. In this case, the % used to determine that Daemons of Tzeentch are 'definitely a tier 2 team', is therefore based on too small a sample - and more probably a very specific demographic of coaches that skew the results. It would be better to say that 'given the nature of the types of coaches who are likely to play SL, its a tier 2 team'.

Joined: Oct 09, 2007

Post   Posted: Sep 28, 2019 - 15:18 Reply with quote Back to top

Well to accurately assess the win rate you need lot of data and MM, about the SL teams tiers: take them with a pinch of salt.
The small (statistically speaking) sample of games + the possibility of choosing the opponent team and coach is prone not to provide very reliable data.
For example, if Sea Elves never face Claw teams their win rate is higher than expected.
If regular Orcs face an SL team with Claw (Claw is quite common in SL, even at low TV) they will lose more.
Tackle is not common in SL teams (no Dwarf/Chaos Dwarfs) so agile SL teams who always played vs SL teams only might have a better win rate.

Joined: Apr 01, 2011

Post   Posted: Sep 28, 2019 - 17:12 Reply with quote Back to top

That still misses the point.

If I compare two teams: Orcs and a team called 'Almost Orcs' which are exactly the same except they have no black orc blockers, I can say that Orcs are flat out better than Almost Orcs.

That's what I'm doing here. I'm just comparing the teams, because the assertion is that regular teams (all 24 of them) could play with SL teams, and the SL teams would end up roughly in the same set of tiers as the SL teams.

What I'm trying to do is predict, if we had 100,000 games of each race played, where the SL teams would end compared to the closest regular team (or other similar SL teams where appropriate). I'm NOT actually trying to predict what new tiers would come out of it.

So again with my Daemons of Tzeentch, they would end up 'much better' than Underworld.
Daemons of Slaanesh would end up 'distinctly better' than High Elf.

I'm NOT saying that the same tiers (1, 1.5, 2, and 3) would end up still existing. I don't really care about that. I care about the comparison of the teams.

Joined: Mar 30, 2005

Post   Posted: Sep 28, 2019 - 17:15 Reply with quote Back to top

Agreed that there is very little data. The higher the TV, the more sparse it gets.

MM also skews data, if only by the choices coaches make to suit that environment. You need data for the environment that you are playing in.

It's the old "we don't need tackle because no one plays elves" argument. If anyone does play elves they have a field day vs a load of tackleless teams.

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Joined: Mar 30, 2005

Post   Posted: Sep 28, 2019 - 17:38 Reply with quote Back to top

For a short time I have chucked in the other races.

I won't leave them in for long as they create too much noise.

Unfortunately, you cannot see the matches that they played.

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Joined: Mar 30, 2005

Post   Posted: Sep 28, 2019 - 17:56 Reply with quote Back to top

Heh heh. Orcs are 46.43% in [SL] vs 49.46% in ranked and 49.66% in Box.

I can bring my orcs with a clear conscience I think. Mr. Green

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Joined: Apr 01, 2011

Post   Posted: Sep 28, 2019 - 18:28 Reply with quote Back to top

Very reliable info that. Tzeentch at 84%. Razz

Joined: Jan 14, 2009

Post   Posted: Sep 28, 2019 - 18:33 Reply with quote Back to top

If you are willing to peruse some match reports, there have been a few CRP teams in CIBBL that have played a fair amount of matches against the SL teams. Most notably Humans(56 matches), Wood Elves(54 matches) and Dark Elf (48 matches). There are some others that have played less matches too.

Might not suit your purposes though as the teams will play each spring in their home division, and Summer/Fall in tournaments - so not open play, but might help to see examples.

Joined: Apr 01, 2011

Post   Posted: Sep 28, 2019 - 18:42 Reply with quote Back to top

I'm not overly concerned with match results. I want comparisons without coach skill clouding it. So either thousands of coaches involved, or just comparisons of basic team rosters.

Joined: Jan 14, 2009

Post   Posted: Sep 28, 2019 - 18:53 Reply with quote Back to top

Well, I'd say coach skill always clouds it whether it's skill in picking favourable matchups or otherwise, but just wanted to put the info out there if it's of use. Smile
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