The 2-1 Grind

If the Bashing Team Receives:

So this time you are the bashing team and you elected to receive to get the first hits in on the agility team, or they won the toss and decided they wanted to defend with their full team from the start. Your game plan is pretty straight forward and doesn’t change much if you do kick or receive. Look to score in your turn 8 whilst doing as much damage to the agility team as you can. You can’t do anything about the fact they will get two chances to recover KOs, so your best bet is to make sure they have a lot of them to roll for! One thing to be aware of though is losing the ball and not scoring, if it looks like you are going to leave the ball carrier exposed it may be best to just score and look to your defence to stop the agility team from equalising in the remaining turns of the half. The agility team will be looking to pressure you into scoring before turn 8 as well. If you do score even a turn early in turn 7, then they are going to have two turns to equalise, hopefully you have hurt enough of their team to make this fail, but it is obviously better to just leave the one turn by scoring in your turn 8.

In the second half you are then kicking the ball to the agility team, they will be looking to scoring to equalise and you will usually have two scenarios at this point. The first and best one is that you did a lot of damage in the first half and they don’t have many substitutes. They will then have to set up with a weakened team which you can stop from scoring and perhaps running the ball in for 2-0. If you do this perhaps score as quick as possible to give yourself another try at doing the same thing again for a 3-0 win.

The second scenario would be that they get their KOs back or have enough substitutes to have 10 or 11 players again. They will likely go to equalise but by using up as much time as possible, this will be bad for you as you don’t want to be rushed trying to score again for the win afterwards. Apply pressure on them to score quickly or even better getting the ball off them. If they manage to waste a lot of time before they equalise you will be left with a choice after that. Try and score quickly for the win in the remaining turns but at the risk of turning the ball over and losing the match. Or just holding onto the ball and accepting the draw.


Painting the picture like that you can see why both teams would prefer to kick in the opening kick off, os if the original kicking or receiving article didn’t make you rethink automatically choosing to receive, then perhaps this scenario will.

23 thoughts on “The 2-1 Grind”

  1. For interesting.  Definitely something to chew over for when I’m playing my Skaven.  In fact, I find that when I elect to receive that I do usually score in 2-turns.  I then spend the rest of the first half trying to stop them for scoring.  With Skaven, this often results in me having no players left for the second half.
    On that note, I seriously think that Skaven can be the most expensive team to manage.  Maybe it’s my luck, but it usually costs me 50,000 gold after each game……

  2. Good article,

    The one problem I find when playing elves and receiving first is how to manage a slow TD, so to avoid a quick 2 -3 turn one giving the chance to the bashy team to grind in the first half.

    when I try to stall my attack, I typically tend to move back in an orderly fashion protecting the ball with linemen while having WD leap over and catchers dodging around to get to the backyard of my opponent.

    Thisng is, a good bashy opponent will simply move his/her starting formation forward little by little enough so dodgers or leapers wont have a great many number of squares left to move after clearing through, and therefore vulnerable to being surrounded etc. Additionally, a good bashy opponent will move the line up in a way such that tehre are no really easy spots for dodgers to go around, so leaving the only viable option to WD leaping… which is a 3+ hence risky anyways.

    I guess what I am trying to ask for here is, is there any advice or recommendations on how to perform slow TD with agile teams? typically the best chances to punch holes and or clear a significant number of rows behind your opponent is right after reciving the ball in an own drive, and that is why agile teams tend to score in 2-3 turns tops. Beyond that, and if the agile team wants to do a slow TD to avoid the 2-1 grind, then the options get reduced and life is made much more difficult to score safely.

    Any advice?


    • Sounds like the basis for another article, will probably involve diagrams, any suggestions for specific opponents race you want to see me use for a demonstration for the bashing team?

      Regarding the editing of comments, didn’t realise that wasn’t possible for everyone else (obviously I can), I’ll see about setting up a short grace period of perhaps 5~10 mins to let you edit your comment after posting.

  3. Playing as an agile team against bashers, I understand the theory of stalling whne you receive to give the opposition less time, but more often than not I prefer to go for the score anyway.  This probably isn’t the best idea against more developed teams, but at least early on (when many bashy teams lack ball handling skills), there’s a good chance you can bust through on defence, take the ball and score again.  And again.  2 or 3 nil up at half time and the game is over!  and SPPs for all!!

    • I still advocate scoring with the agility team and then trying to turn over the bashing team to go in 2-0. Just not in 2 turns, if you do it in 5 turns (stalling for the whole half is really really hard for agility teams), then the bashing team has to take more risks to equalise before half time. This makes the turning them over and scoring again for a 2-0 lead easier for the agility team and also means less turns of the bashing team grinding them down if you can’t turn them over.

  4. Not sure if it is down to my luck but… I have tried stalling in most of my latest games to see how it goes, but poor results so far.

    Difficult to discipline oneself to stall when your opponent leaves a hole in their initial formation through which I do not even need to blitz… but hey let’s test the idea, I told myself.

    Since the combos required to get to TD after a few turns are more complex I ve experienced negative results in dices, some double 1’s on my part and interception 6’s on my opponents, that prevent me from seeing this as a practical way so far. Need to wait and see if lucks evens out in the medium term to conclude anything.

    On the otehr hand, I think stalling requires a more hardened kind of player, one that can keep its cool under a relentless advance from the bashy opponent closing in into your thrower or carrier little by little.

    In theory that may boode well for the agile player since this means the bashy team is spreading thin across the whole field, but still, nerves of steel are required to keep ones cool and line up the winning combo, most likely than not one that can cover most of the field in 1 turn.

    I think one of the keys is to think through the whole team positioning to get there from your back yard, taking into account that some of the players in the mid field or beyond may be down and teh chain may break. Keeping a viable chain with some alternative paths all the way up are key and seem to be the toughest part of the strategy.

    As such I’d say this stalling way is not for the feint harted or the inexperienced player indeed.

  5. I mostly play woodelves, and I’m a big fan of ball control.
    If  I’m receiving, I’ll definitely try to stall and score on turn 8. Leading 1-0 at the start of the second half will put some pressure on a bashy team.
    If you form up on two ranks and keep out of tackle zones, you give only one blitz per turn to your opponent. And since you’re a lot more mobile, you should only concede 1 square per turn.
    Your opponent will have, then, to take risks to score and play the ball. This is where agi team shine, you’ll be ready to exploit any fumble.

  6. I’ve played around with hail mary pass as a method of stalling.
    I know most people have probably thought about it and ditched it but bear with me.
    It only works once per game generally and quite often its tricky to ever land it on an opponent that has ever seen it before however:

    You recieve (Wood elves commonly in my case) and you back your ball carrier back to the rear of your zone (My thrower doesnt have HMP generally, its often a linesman that doubled early in the league) with your Hail Mary player.

    You break your hole in their line and rush all your catchers through their lines, however you hold them four squares or less squares on the opponents side of the line of scrimmage. In my case I prefer to hold them three squares in, though whatever you need to do to keep them as a credible two turn scoring threat (which in wood elf case is 3 squares in, 4-5 for linesmen).

    The opponent then, the first time they see it, will move to cover the recievers and move some down towards your carrier. IF they have not seen the play or are careless, they will not leave anyone within about 8 squares of their touchdown zone. Since there is little percieved point if they could instead be directly marking a reciever.

    As a result you now spend as many turns as you can keeping your thrower clear and simply breaking one square with the recievers. If you can, you keep your opponent believing that he is denying you the pass/score.

    Either way, the gain from this move is effectively one extra turn of stall, at the cost of additional risk (though the risk is VERY low if the opponent is a low movement team)

    The reason you gain a turn is simple. You are not tied into scoring the turn you make the pass as you usually would be with any other stall. Generally if you have stalled as long as you can (and next turn your thrower/carrier is going to be hammered), then you have no choice but to make the pass and score since once the ball is on your reciever its unlikely you’ll get to stall much more without increased risk (depending on your opponent). Additionally your actual scorer options are limited to those within reasonable pass or pass/handoff chains.

    With a properly executed hail mary pass the throw is the last action of your turn and you dont have any recievers in position to catch it. They are all still 3-5 squares from the line of scrimmage, screening any opponent players that are actually close enough to potentially get to the ball after the pass, and still well within range to run, pick up and score.

    Generally it pushes your delay out by one turn at very low risk. As I stated earlier however, it generally only works once before an opponent keeps a player back (though this doesnt stop it necessarily).

    It mostly relies on the fact that very few people use hail mary pass and therefore few people have set ways of dealing with it.

  7. Its still quite risky, particularly as noted if you’re playing someone who’s seen it before.
    I’m interested in the deliberate anti-cage suggested, with the two lines and falling back. 
    I normally find if you’re trying to delay, and they have a couple of nasty tackle/mightyblow/piling on  players…you dont have many recievers on the pitch by turn 4-5. 

    I’m thinking maybe I should be delaying with my entire team in my half for the first four turns and then breaking as if I’d just recieved a kick on about turn 4 and seeing if I can get them to bring almost all of their team forward before I do the break, maybe get to burn an extra turn with my catcher holding the ball up in their end zone. 

    In general I’m finding at high team ratings (2100+) elves are suffering heavily due to the prevalence of tackle online. 

    The open league gives people the oppurtunity to set up teams for one particular type of opponent and then only challenge that opponent type. 

    I ran up against a human team with 9 players with tackle, all four blitzers running mighty blow, guard, tackle, piling on. 
    Thats NOT pretty for a wood elf team, no matter your skill choices. 

  8. On the forums you’ll find a thread on delay tactics if anyones interested.

    I’ve been experimenting with dump-off pass. I think its got a few benefits that HMP doesnt offer (like it earns SPPs for starters!)  and it is FAR more frustrating for the opposing coach to deal with.

    its also very little-used on the online game (and I suspect on board game also, I rarely see it used)  so its got a surprise factor to it.

  9. With strong teams I almost always choose to kick for this reason. I’ll happily be a bit gung-ho in the hope of either swiftly getting the ball or if the opposition break through be sure to pressure them so they have to score quickly. I then do everything in my power to have the ball (or at least control it and make sure the other team can’t take it far) for the best part of 11 or 12 turns.
    Of course it can backfire if you get stalled too much and end up failing to score on one of your drives but so long as you’re prepared to make a break when you need to or take a gamble when you realise the opponent is doing a better job of holding you up than you’d banked on it can work a treat.

  10. As a high agility team i recommend just scoring as fast as you can and breaking the cage even with -2 dice as long as you have wrestle, its a 25% chance of a ball drop after all. add in strip ball and no sure hands and you’ve just pushed it to 50%.

  11. I understand the strategy behind this but, isn’t it lack of sportsmanship to just grind away for a 2-1?
    Perhaps I’m naive but I usually try my best to score as much as I can even if it means scoring in my second turn with a bashing team. I think the game is more fun that way. (4×0 and 4×3 are not uncommon results in my games)
    I’m fairly new to the game (played a hundred hours perhaps) so, this is a “must” in Player vs Player matches?

  12. Well that is the eternal debate, by not doing it certain teams are going to struggle to win at all. So is it sporting of your opponent to expect you to play in a way that gives them a really big advantage?

    What is sporting is more a subject for the forum rather than here which is about how to execute this tactic.

  13. I have a question.
    While delaying on your side of the pitch, how do you feel about passing the ball around to generate some SPP? Too risky, or no?

    • Depends on the agility and skill of your team, as well as the current situation of the game, (winning, losing, the current turn, and if your opponent is threatening you etc)

  14. This article is genuinely baffling me.

    I understand the logic of trying to stop agile teams stalling, and of using Kick etc.

    But the rest of the article feels like little more than saying it’s ‘good to get the worst bit over and done with’ by letting the agile team receive and perhaps score. I don’t see much advantage in that.

    I prefer to receive as a bashing team because I have a decent chance to down/hurt some of the agile team’s lineman before they get a chance to act. Which is a good advantage to start a drive (and can snowball). Getting to 1-0 from there is great because it pressures the agile to team to get back to 1-1 quickly without stalling (or to die trying), giving you the lion’s share of the second half to grind your cage up the field for 2-1.

  15. I feel like I’m missing something here. What are the actual reasons for it being good to kick first (not receive) in a 2-1 grind?

    I instead see good benefits from receiving first. For example:
    1) If you steadily score in the first half, you automatically pressure your opponent to score quickly in the second half .. which is what you want in order to get the ball quickly back to you as receiver for a hoped-for 2-1 win.
    2) By receiving first, you get a chance to ace first and batter their three players on the front line. Which can snowball into game control if you get KOs etc.

    What am I missing? I feel like the advantages of kicking first amount to little more than getting the bad bit (them scoring) over and done with. Doesn’t seem logical.

    • If you kick first then you are defending with a full team of 11 players. If you turn them over and score in the last turn of the first half, then when you receive in the second half and score you are 2-0 up. With a margin of 2 touchdowns you don’t have the pressure to stall out in the second half when you are likely to have less players.

      Also if you receive and score in turn 8, your opponent will have one turn left in the half. This means they will get two chances to recover from knock outs, once after you score and once at half time. If you kicked and then score in the last turn of the first half, there is just the half time knock out recovery roll. If your team has a lot of knock outs then you’ve the option to score in turn 7 to get two recovery chances yourself.

      The idea is to try and stop them scoring at all, not to get the bad bit over and done with, or if they do score it’s ideally after you are already winning 2-0. Another factor if you receive and then stall out the fist half to go in winning 1-0 you’ve given the other team the decision if they are going to try and score early to leave enough time to go for the win, or if they are going to stall out for a draw. If you kicked and are going into the second half losing 1-0, then it’s your choice if you want to go for the win or draw.

      Against some really hard hitting teams then you may want to receive in order to try and preserve from players from the line of scrimmage on the opening turn. As usual there is typically some ambiguity as to which method works best. In my experience, kicking first gives you more control over the meta decisions than receiving does.


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