Lets start off with the more obvious points about whats bad about one die blocks. I often see newcomers to the game making way too many one die blocks. I think its some primal instinct deep down coming out. I can’t be sure how their minds work but I am guessing its along the lines of, “If I hit them and knock them over they might well get injured, that means they can’t hit me back and I also may get some skill points too!” Of course that’s me just guessing, they might not even be thinking that far ahead and just like the thought of hitting someone. That would also go onto explain why some new coaches even get their players to make blocks with two dice in the opposing teams favour when there is little or no strategical advantage.
So what makes one die blocks so bad then? Basically its the risk involved in that you may get knocked down yourself. This in turn means you take the armour roll and possible injury and may give the other team easy skill points. Now on the standard unskilled player there is a 1/3 chance of knocking yourself over. So on average ever 3 one die blocks you make, your player will go down and cause a turnover (or cost you a reroll). Its also the turnover part that is important as well, especially if it happens early in your turn. If a turnover occurs then you have given up the actions on the rest of your team and if its the very first thing you did, then you practically skipped your whole turn. Not to mention that your player is then on the floor, they can no longer assist, deny assist, have a tackle zone to create negative modifiers for ball handling, or create a dodge for the opposing team.
Things improve somewhat when you get the block skill though. Now only 1/6 will get yourself knocked down. When you are hitting an opposing unskilled player, you also increase your chance of getting them down safely from 1/3 to 1/2, before you still had 1/2 to knock them over but you were also knocking yourself down 1/3 of the time you got them down. This still however does not make one die blocks a good practice if you ignore the strategical benefits of staying on your feet instead.
Avoiding One Die Blocks:
Well whats wrong with one die blocks if you have block and only go down 1/6 of the time? The reason why this is bad, is usually because you can get two dice blocks in your favour instead. It’s bascially that simple. You have to use your stronger players, or make better use of assists. The odds of going down on a two dice block if you have block are 1/36, which is as you can see a big swing in your favour over the one die block. Even if you don’t have block its 1/9 to get yourself knocked over and even then 3/4 of those times you will take your opponent down with you (if they don’t have block).
When making your plays you should be thinking a few steps ahead. You want to work out where you want to get too and then also what you think your opponent will do to try and counter that. Very often you will find the start of your turn there might not be any two dice blocks on. If this is the case you should have someone free where you can move them into assist. Now this forward thinking should help you decide where to assist to get the two dice blocks in. Your planning should also account for what happens after the block and if you should follow up or not depending on the result. Planning will also mean you should have noticed where one two dice block frees someone up to assist another team mate into making another two dice block. This could either be the player who just blocked and can now assist, or it may have freed another team mate up who needed a dodge but can now freely move elsewhere to assist.
Good One Die Blocks:
The best time this is useful is against hitting the ball carrier, either in a cage or if they have broken to the open and able to score next turn. The reason why its good in these cases is cause you may well get the player down, or even just push them in a better position, either away from your players, or into more tacklezones or out of scoring range. Knocking a player over isn’t always the main objective of a block, sometimes a push is good enough for your game plan. As the game revolves around the ball, if you can get the ball loose, you can either recover it, make it hard for them to retrieve it, or at the very least make them roll to pick it up again. The risk reward ratio for hitting the ball carrier with one block die is much higher than other times you can attempt it.
When the ball carrier is in a scoring position you do have to weigh up the one die block/blitz and compare with the chance of them failing the dodge away, or blitzing your player away eliminating the need to dodge. Most of the time they will probably have a pretty good chance to score if you just mark them, compared to if you get to knock them over. Usually they will be able to dodge away, or blitz your player and run off, or get a team mate to come in and either assist or do the blitz with them. The skills on the players involved, which teams have rerolls left and the positions of the rest of the team mates are the things to consider in these situations, most of the time though, the block is probably worth doing.
If you have Block or Wrestle and they don’t (or sometimes still even if they do), it’s the end of your turn and the important stuff is out of the way. Again only do it if it doesn’t hurt your position too much if you do roll the skull and go down yourself. You might well get lucky and take them out of action instead. It is important though that this kind of thing is done after everything else has been done that was needed to on your turn.
For the average blockless AG3 player, a dodge is the same odds as the one die block, except the block may injure the opponent. So this means the dodge isn’t as favourable (ignoring strategical placement that may come about from succeeding the dodge), if it’s impossible to get a two dice block instead. The safest thing would be to end your turn here, though if that player doesn’t vitally need to be left standing, you may attempt a cheeky one die block.
Exceptions may be made if you are gearing up for a last ditch long shot play, but then you are usually tempting fate to fail the one die block. Again the same applies if its the last turn of the half and you have to just walk in a score, you may fancy a one die block, or even a two dice block but don’t cry when you fail it and end up losing or drawing the match becuase of it. You can’t fail anything that doesn’t require a dice roll!