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Sprint

Sprint (Agility)

The player may attempt to move up to three extra squares rather than the normal two when Going For It (see page 20). His coach must still roll to see if the player is Knocked Down in each extra square he enters.

Sprint Overview

To many new coaches Sprint appears to be a great skill to get extra movement allowing you to score from further away, or to be able to defend better by having more range. In reality all it does is give your player an extra opportunity to fall over. If you pay attention during a game most moves by your players don’t even need to be able to do a third Go For It. Most coaches also realise that doing lots of Go For Its is a great way to either waste rerolls, make their players fall over leaving holes in your positioning and maybe even injuring your players. You generally want to avoid causing your own players to fall over, it makes life far harder for you. While a 2+ roll seems easy, doing a lot of them every turn is a recipe for disaster.

Learning good positioning of your players is a skill that will increase your win rate, combined that with rolling less dice and you are giving yourself a greater edge every match. A Go For It is probably the greatest cause of loss of Block and Dodge players too. These players are really hard to knock over compared to most, don’t make it easy for the other team by falling over. Leave doing Go For It rolls for when absolutely necessary. Good positioning of your players eliminates the need to ever require a third Go For It roll (or even any). Look for spots where you can chain push your own or the opposing players either closer or further away as desired. Combine chain pushes with Side Step can also negate the need for more movement and it is also a skill that has benefits far more often throughout a match as well.

That being said Sprint isn’t terrible and the extra movement can be useful to have, I would at least make sure you have the Sure Feet skill first though. You want to avoid burning through rerolls whenever possible and being able to do two Go For It rolls reliably is more beneficial most the time over the ability to perform a third. For the players that start with Sprint the use of it is fairly self explanatory. Bull Centaurs are the best example of players that can make good use of it. They are fairly average speed on an overall slow team, but having Sprint and Sure Feet gives the teams strongest standard player extra range. As the teams primary blitzer most often (and the most mobile if they gain Break Tackle) being able to catch up or get to the blitz target is essential.

All that being said though Sprint is one of those skills that I never will usually take, even as a late skill choice on most teams.

Sprint Benefits:

  • Possible Extra Square of Movement

Players to take Sprint on:

As I’ve already mentioned I pretty much never take Sprint. I especially recommend not taking it on Skaven Gutter Runners. With their already game highest movement allowance they don’t need it and so it will often be a wasted skill every turn. When you can take so many other skills which will be helpful multiple times a match you are helping your opponent out more than you are yourself. If you want to score in one turn with them, learn how to do it with chain pushes and get Side Step to make it easier.

So who would I take Sprint on? The only candidates that spring to mind would be either Halflings and Goblins. These two players only have normal access to Agility skills anyway so have a much smaller pool of skills to choose from. Neither are particularly fast (though they can move through tackle zones easier than most player) so the extra movement can help on a couple of players. I wouldn’t take it first skill though, you need Sure Feet before it as I’ve said. I also wouldn’t take it on that many (at least for the first few skills). Throw Team Mate attempts can be made a bit more effective with a few Sprint players. On one who collects the ball and then goes to hand it off to the flyer and then on the thrown player as well so they can score from further out if the scatter isn’t favourable. On the whole though there are other agility skills that are more useful for most the team.

Underworld Goblins may take it on one who is designed for being thrown as well for the same reasons, though they have Skaven team mates who can get the ball to them. Skinks are the other player type who can only get agility skills. Like Halflings and Goblins though I would suggest for the first three or four skills there are more useful options. They are also fast players to start with so are going to be less likely to require Sprint.

If you are taking Sprint on any other player then it is my opinion that you are wasting a chance to get a more useful skill. Use it wisely on those players that come with it, learn and practice better positioning and you should find you never need it. I’m sure there are many out there who disagree and will try and justify it but you are never going to convince me and if I’m facing you on the field I’ll be glad you’ve chosen it. If that isn’t reason enough not to take it then I don’t know what is!

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10 Responses to Sprint

  1. Skip Tasteless March 7, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    Great article, Coach! For those interested in seeing side step in action by giving you “extra movement” refer to http://bbtactics.com/blood-bowl-challenge-003/

  2. Juriel March 8, 2013 at 7:23 am #

    Yes, a cautionary article!

    Totally agreed. Been bitching about Gutter Runners with Sprint for ages…

  3. Tad30s March 8, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    Having failed 11 go for it’s in a single game, WITHOUT sprint, I say ’tis good that the article has finally been made. Taking it is just asking for trouble. If someone wants to try to mess around with this, get Sure Feet AND Pro, or suffer the same burning hatred that i felt!

  4. Andy P March 8, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    I agree with 95% of this, but not giving it to Gutter Runners? Come on. Those one-turn TDs involving chain pushes are not new any more, everyone knows they need to defend against them and it’s easy for them to do. But give your GR+Sprint the ball (…which you’ll have to do anyway with chain pushing) and you’ll need just three 2+ rolls, plus one chain push, if he hasn’t already got +1 MA or Long Legs. Show me a two-or-more chain push move for a GR without Sprint that takes fewer dice rolls, of equal or less risk, which the opponent can’t prevent by careful positioning to prevent chain pushes. (I don’t think you can, every additional square over MA is at least one dice roll of some kind, and a 2+ is pretty much as good as it gets).

    Has it got much use otherwise? Of course not! I wouldn’t take it on any other player, I don’t think, and even on a GR I’d use it once, maybe twice, in an entire game. But it’s the single easiest way to score a one-turn TD there is. You’d have to have a very good reason to pass that up.

    • Skip Tasteless March 8, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

      I can see your argument, especially if the 1 turn TD is definitely part of your game plan. Plus there are opponents who will stack the line with 3 Stand Firm players… though that is rare and it could be negated by a Juggernaut Rat Ogre…

      For defense, sidestep is just a more useful skill than sprint. But I agree, it’s always nice to have a backup plan and not rely on the blocks…. but I would be looking to take sprint after all other defensive skills (sidestep, fend, block, wrestle, sure feet) anyways.

  5. Mac March 9, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    I mostly agree with your “(…) give your player an extra opportunity to fall over (…)” view over this skill, as like you mention, most of the times that extra square wont really make a difference if your positioning was careful the turn before.

    However, when it comes to skaven (and more specifically GR’s), I’ve learned otherwise (usually in the wrong side of the pitch)…
    One turn scorers (GR with +1MA, and others alike), when given ‘sprint’ become amazing game winners and unlike Goblins or Halflings, because of their high movement rate there’s no ‘kick’ positioning that can keep them to either ‘pass’ or ‘hand-off’ the ball to those buggers. And then it’s (almost) just a walk in the park.
    Once again, because of GR high movement (and AG), they can easily evolve to get “Sure Feet”, or whatever extra skills any coach favours to help out on that ‘One-Turn’ job.

    But yes, most of the times it end up as another re-roll burner!

    • Coach March 9, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

      I’ve already covered the other side of this in the Gutter Runner article. You don’t need those skills to score in one turn with them and the alternatives are more useful throughout a game so you shouldn’t need to score in one turn that often to win anyway.

      Always a controversial topic though and I expected to hear some people who believe otherwise.

  6. Dibullba March 20, 2013 at 6:17 am #

    I have found that sprint and sure feet work amazingly well with skinks on the lizardman team especially since they are stuck to agility skills without doubles. It requires a specific set up with 2-3 skinks to be the most effective. On the team I had: one skink had +1 movement, sprint, sure feet, and jump up; second with catch, sprint, sure feet; and the other with +1 agility and pass (thanks to a double roll). Essentially what this does though with risk involved makes it possible to get a two turn TD in desperate situations. With good initial positioning, the passing skink should be able to pick up the ball> pass it to the catch skink> and hand off to the movement skink. Since the movement skink also had jump up, even if it gets knocked down it can still get back up to dodge and pick up since stunty players ignore the first tackle zone. I never attempt this without rerolls though as it as said is very risky, but with great payoff.

  7. Voltorocks April 23, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

    kind of an edge case, but a guy in my league has a +2 MA skink with sprint. A strong stunty 1TS player can *destroy* teams like elves or skaven, who often rely on their ability to score quickly then pick out and abuse skinks to control the clock against a team they can’t really out-hit.

  8. Freeks December 13, 2013 at 9:53 am #

    I took sprint to my Gutter Runner. After sprint he got +1MV. I have done quite a few one turn TD’s after that. (Did quite a few before that with chain pushes) It’s not only good for that. It’s the fear that opponent has when he sees that one rat can run straight from LOS to end zone.

    Sure you need that extra Gfi roll, but to do chain pushes you need even more rolls.

    Ability to score on the last turn is valuable, at least for my play style. If i get stuck with basher team to 2-1 Grind and then tie the game on the last turn. The sprint really pays off.

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