Keeping Counter Skills Away:
This situation is usually for keeping the opposing blitzing players with counter skills to your ball carrier. For example if your ball carrier doesn’t have Sure Hands, then you will want to try and make sure that the opposing team’s player with Strip Ball is going to have a hard time getting a hit on your ball carrier. Unfortunately these types of players will usually be the most agile and faster players on the opposing team. That means marking them is going to be tougher that against slow, low agility players. When marking these player types just putting a player on them can sometimes be enough but don’t count on it, if you have a player spare to mark them with, then assuming there isn’t a better spot for them, then go ahead and do it. At the very least you can force them to roll an extra die, perhaps forcing them to use a reroll, or their Dodge skill if they have it and if you get really lucky they can fail this dodge.
Marking the opposition receivers is perhaps the most obvious time you are looking to mark players. This will make getting the ball to them harder as the catch becomes more difficult and it will also mean they have to either dodge away, or get blitzed free. If they can get blitzed free though, you should expect this to happen before the pass comes in. Marking receivers will make it harder for the opposition to complete a pass to them, depending on where you position your player, they may also not be able to prevent you from having an interception attempt as well.
This isn’t just used against high agility passing type teams, any team can and will run a player towards your end zone in preparation of receiving the ball if they are running out of turns to score in. Obviously though it is much easier to mark a Black Orc with one of your players than it is an Elf Catcher if they are needed as a last ditch receiver.
Marking the Ball Carrier:
Marking the ball carrier is obviously something that is of great benefit to your team if you can manage it, though usually the other team will be doing their utmost to prevent you from being able to do this. Marking the ball carrier will usually dictate the certain actions of a couple of their players during their next turn. A lot of the time if you do manage to mark their ball carrier, they will usually have a team mate next to you and them who can block your player. If not then they will almost always have someone who they can use to blitz them free. This does force them to use that player in a way you can predict though and if they had to blitz then that is their blitz action gone for the turn and they can’t use it somewhere it may have been more helpful to them with regards to advancing the ball.
Should you manage to get more than one of your players marking their ball carrier, or have skills that means they failed in freeing their ball carrier up, then you will force them to have to roll dice with the ball carrier. Usually they will either try and dodge the ball carrier away, or hand the ball off to a team mate. Sometimes they will use their blitz action with the ball carrier to get a push free. This can still work out really well for you though, as if they fail this blitz the ball carrier will go down, whereas if they tried to blitz him free with a team mate who fails, then you still have to try and knock the ball carrier over yourself.
Another obvious ploy when it comes to marking players is to cancel out assists for the blocking game. If you want to hit one of their players, a good example being their ball carrier. Then the other team are usually going to have supporting players around to make hitting the target harder. These players not only make it harder to get to the target player but they will often be able to assist the target player if you do manage to get a hit on them. This means that you will want to mark those players with some of yours so that the hit on the target player it at least an even block, or hopefully in your favour.
Prevent Catching Bouncing Balls:
When attempting to knock the ball free if there are other opposing players around, there is a chance the ball scatters to them and they can catch it. This can be frustrating if you get the ball free only for them to retain possession with another player. To try and prevent this from happening, before you try and hit the ball free use some of your other players to put tackle zones on the surrounding players. The more you can get on them the harder it will be for them to catch the ball if it does scatter to them. This may also have the added advantage of the ball scattering even further away and into a better position for you to pick it up, rather than it just scattering one square and landing in opposing tackle zones.
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