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Sure Hands

Sure Hands (General)

A player with the Sure Hands skill is allowed to re-roll the D6 if he fails to pick up the ball. In addition, the Strip Ball skill will not work against a player with this skill.

Overview:

Sure Hands is one of the skills that you will usually end up seeing on every team, of course it helps that quite a lot of teams have players that start with it as well. Clearly its application is rather obvious in helping with picking up the ball and also saving you from using a team reroll from doing so. It will also make the ball harder to remove from a Sure Hands equipped player, by negating the Strip Ball skill.

The first two points usually mean any team that has access to a Sure Hands player to start with (usually a Thrower) will get one on their initial starting line up. The teams that don’t have players with Sure Hands will often take it as first or second skill on any player they want to build up into a ball carrier (usually in running plays to sit in  a cage or behind a screen). The harder the ball is to get off a player and the easier it is for that player to pick the ball up, the more problems this will cause of the other team.

With a greater success rate in picking up the ball, the other team will have less opportunities to pin the ball deep in your own half. Usually if you fail to pick the ball up, not only can you not move it closer to the safety of your team mates around the middle of the pitch, but you will usually also find that the other team has got players either between the ball and the majority of your team. Perhaps against some of the faster teams you may find that they have got players towards the ball and maybe even picked it up themselves.

When you do get the ball in a cage or screened off and your ball carrier has Sure Hands (usually then combined with Block as the next skill or previous skill), then the other team will have a hard time either knocking them over or just stripping the ball loose (Dodge protects them even more). Obviously it is easier to move the ball around the pitch if you start the turn already holding it and not have to try and pick it up first.

Against teams that do have Strip Ball though it will really point to using your Sure Hands player as the ball carrier. This may have gone against your plans to try and use another player (who perhaps just has Block) to carry the ball, as you wanted to try and score with them to get them some more SPP. It can also dictate other plays that happen during the game. If they tie up your ball carrier, you may want to look at freeing them up to move, or perhaps risking a dodge, rather than handing the ball off to a team mate to run with it. That may give the chance to the other team to strip the ball loose, especially against elves who have Leap and Strip Ball.

Benefits:
  • Greater success with picking the ball up
  • Less turnovers from failed pick ups
  • Saves team rerolls
  • Negates Strip Ball
Useful to:

The main players that would be taking it as a priority are running based teams that usually have someone pick the ball up, sit in a cage and then run it in for a touchdown. Some players as mentioned already start with it, Human Throwers are a good example. So Ghouls, Hobgoblins, Beastmen, Pestigors are the kind of player who may take it as their first skill. These teams also have expensive rerolls so the bonus of not using up a reroll is also great for those teams.

As an AG3 player picking the ball up with a reroll (either a team one or from Sure Hands) has a greater chance of success than an AG4 player without a reroll. Typically this will be Elven players but some other AG4 players may be picking the ball up, like Gutter Runners or one of your players who has gained an agility increase. It is debatable about giving these players Sure Hands, as Elves have a whole team of players who can handle the ball, often you may be picking the ball up with one player who passes it to another for a completion. Due to this perhaps you don’t want to give one specific player Sure Hands and look to giving them skills that aid them in other ways, for example Throwers will probably prefer Accurate. Also if you are doing passing players, the player set up to do the pass will often be kept well out of harms way and not have to worry about being blitzed by someone with Strip Ball.

However if you do use a higher agility player as someone to go and pick the ball up if it has been knocked loose around an area with players from both teams, then Sure Hands could be useful. If you can’t get all the opposing tackle zones off the square containing the ball, then getting in there with your higher agility and Sure Hands you still have a fair chance of picking the ball up. This will also save a reroll for perhaps dodging out, or off loading the ball to a team mate to move to safety, or perhaps even scoring.

Summary:

Sure Hands is a really useful skill to have somewhere on your team, its value also goes up if you end up playing in the rain which makes picking the ball up even harder. Unless a player has started with it though, there may be a trade off between selecting Sure Hands, or taking a skill that offers them more protection (usually Block). I would suggest that two players with the skill is more than enough for pretty much every team, Skaven might be the exception, with two Throwers coming with it and perhaps opting to give it as a later skill to a Gutter Runner. This kind of thing is very coach dependant though. It will also change the impact of how useful Strip Ball is in your league. If there are lots of teams who don’t start with Sure Hands then the value of Strip Ball will go up. On the flip side if loads of teams start with Sure Hands then you perhaps won’t see many players selecting Strip Ball. This fact may dictate if you decide to take it early on or not on your own team if you don’t start with Sure Hands on anyone.

17 Responses to Sure Hands

  1. Thanatos September 10, 2009 at 10:02 am #

    The number of times that my WE Thrower has failed to pick up the ball at a crucial moment has led me to believe that Sure Hands is still a good skill to get on an AG4 player.
    It also means you can pick up in a Tacle Zone with a high degree of success so it ain’t a wasted skill.

  2. Dalryk September 13, 2009 at 4:22 am #

    I concur with Thanatos – Sure Hands is usually my first choice for at least one Wood Elf thrower.  1 in 6 chance of failure is just too much to risk, particularly if the ball is within reach of the opposition, and team rerolls are sure to be needed for other things.

  3. Coach September 13, 2009 at 12:22 pm #

    It is certainly a risk reward situation. Personally I will cover the ball the ball with other players to ensure that if I do fail the pick up then the opposition will have a hard time getting to it. Then depending on the opposition race and where the ball lands I will decide whether or not I will burn a reroll on it. If it is unlikely they will be able to get at it, either cause of lack of movement or I screened that part of the pitch off well, then I will just try again next turn. If against Gutter Runners who can get the ball if I don’t pick it up then I will probably use a reroll.

    Also as I mentioned with elves I will often position a couple of players who could do with the 1 SPP for a completion in my backfield, so they can pick the ball up and pass it to my Thrower/Runner. This means the Thrower won’t be picking the ball up most the time anyway. AG4 players can pick the ball up a lot of the time anyway without it, so I would prefer to take a skill that lets them throw the ball further, or perhaps Sure Feet so they can move further, making throwing ranges shorter.

    My team Rerolls are for the situations like picking it up in a tackle zone, or having to reroll the pickup if failing would leave it in a precarious area. Times when the ball lands in a tackle zone that you want to pick it up, your Sure Hands player may not even be nearby or available to do that job anyway. It is certainly one of those times that coaches will differ on opinion and it is by no means a bad choice on AG4 Throwers either.

  4. VoidSeer September 15, 2009 at 2:17 pm #

    Well, sorry Coach but I’ll team up with Thanatos as well. Sure hands is a must on my 1st wood elf thrower.
    With the high movement of the thrower (7), making quick passes is not really hard. Accurate is good, but not as game changing as sure hands.
    Delaying the ball pickup can really lead up to a mess, even with well positionned players. I guess, my preference for sure hands is also due to my way of playing the wood elves. When I play offence, my goal is really to ball control as much as I can and delay scoring while trying not to get hurt.
    Nothing like failing to recover a short kickoff to startup a brawl you won’t win.

    • Coach September 15, 2009 at 3:17 pm #

      Of course using Wood Elves is technically cheating in the first place!

  5. Camouflage6 September 15, 2009 at 5:55 pm #

    Coach , could you help me decide between extra arm or sure hand which one to be pick up for my beastmen who get +1AG in his first level up?
     
    I want to raise him as my best runner.

  6. Wanderer September 15, 2009 at 7:44 pm #

    Sure hands.  It prevents strip ball, and with AG4, you already have a 2+ to pick up/catch when not in TZs.  Extra arms would only help you if you were trying to pick up the ball in TZs, and in that case, you’re better off with big hand.
    If you took extra arms could also make him into a specialized pass-defender: maybe not as overall effective for winning you games, but I’d give you style points.  Taking extra arms and very long legs would give you a 3+ to intercept.

  7. VoidSeer September 16, 2009 at 8:05 am #

    Sure hands and two arms are both poor choices for a runner, I’d say.
    If you’re looking for something fancy, give him two heads and dodge on a double.

  8. Thanatos September 16, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    I’d disagree.

    They are good skills for picking up a spilt ball from a Cage. Dodge and Two Heads would then help get out of trouble, but if you don’t have Sure Hands or Extra Arms, you won’t be in a position to need to get out of Trouble.

    Sure Hands also ensures the Ball isn’t spilt in the first place, and while Dodge can also help there (vs Defender Stumbles); there are enough Tacklers to negate that advantage.

  9. Wanderer September 16, 2009 at 3:55 pm #

    If  your guy is already AG4 though, extra arms would only help if the ball is in TZs (or if you happen to play in the rain).   Big Hand wound ensure a 2+ pickup no matter how many TZs you’re in.
    Void, what’s wrong with sure hands for a designated runner?  I’d argue that’s the most important skill for them, given you want them to pick the ball up and prevent strip ball.  Note that he has a normal skill roll pending, not a double.

  10. VoidSeer September 16, 2009 at 5:02 pm #

    It’s a problem of terms I guess. For me a runner runs with the ball, sometimes unprotected.
    I don’t run the ball with my Chaos teams. I hide it safely while I attend to more important matters.
    A AG 4 beastman is a godsend. I’d definitely get sure hands with it. Chaos teams suck at ball handling, that no news. Making sure you can pickup the ball on offence is plain good.
    I just would not make my only AG4 guy my “best runner” as the OP wishes. I’ll make it my best ball picker with Sure hands + Big hands. Hell, I’d even consider Pass on a double.

  11. Wanderer September 16, 2009 at 5:09 pm #

    Ok, that makes sense.  Yeah, to me “runner” is the guy in the middle of the cage.  We were talking about two different things.

  12. Thanatos September 17, 2009 at 4:02 pm #

    Oh yes, for some reason I had Big Hand in mind when I was talking about Extra Arms.

    Its funny the terms we could use for players we want to score, you can have Catchers (waits for the ball within running distance of the endzone), Runners (carrys the ball unprotected) and Ball Handlers (carrys the ball in a cage); each with significant differences in how they are used.

  13. VoidSeer September 17, 2009 at 5:47 pm #

    Well, we could use  “Quarter back” “running back” and “wide receiver” and some others… 😀
    But that would not really be fit for a chaos team, would it? I guess Chaos standard setup is 1 guy hiding the ball and 10 guys cleaning the pitch.
    As a side note, I had a AG4-sure hands-dump off beastman once. It actually was pretty fun. Any skill setup that makes your opponent play differently is good IMO.

  14. Magus September 22, 2009 at 3:04 pm #

    “As an AG3 player picking the ball up with a reroll (either a team one or from Sure Hands) has a greater chance of success than an AG2 player without a reroll.”
    Thank you Mr. Obvious 😉
    Now more seriously I think you meant : “than an AG4 player without a reroll”.

    Now back on topic I agree that Sure Hands is a must have on a lot of teams. Chaos before getting +1AG, Elves to save rerolls on throwers, same thing on stunties.

    • Coach September 22, 2009 at 4:03 pm #

      Good spot, fixed, how did everyone else miss it!

  15. BoBliness October 6, 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    “As a side note, I had a AG4-sure hands-dump off beastman once. It actually was pretty fun. Any skill setup that makes your opponent play differently is good IMO.”

    I agree whole-heartedly.
    Any way you can make your opponent change the way they play is worth the skill roll.

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