Test #009: POMBer Snipe!


Hello!  Welcome to Elf Take, the show that puts you in the shoes of past coaches.  I’m your host Skip Bayless, and the name of this episode is “Big Game Hunting”.  Agility teams fear the dreaded Mighty Blow and Piling On combo otherwise known as POMB.  Tonight, it’s time for sweet revenge….  removing a POMBer from the pitch. 🙂

This challenge is inspired from an actual MM match between High Elves and Orcs.  Mardaed, on a blood-lusted whim, was able to snipe at an orc POMBer using a portion of this solution.  Unfortunately, it was at the cost of one of his key players (he was KO’d).   We’re now back at the practice field to recreate the play and to find a solution so his high value pieces are protected.

High Elves vs. Orc Scrimmage

Here’s the situation.  The game is tied at 1 and you have plenty of time left (4 moves) as well as rerolls (3).  On the previous drive, the orcs scored on an unbelievably long TD pass to an orc lineman who snuck around the back while your high elves were scrambling for the ball.  Don’t ask me how an orc lineman can sneak around elves, but it happened…  You’re disgusted with the touchdown and now want blood!  You were already successful in injuring the Orc’s Mighty Blow, Frenzy, Piling On, Pro Blitzer, and now you’re setting your sights on his other killer.  As the Orc coach sets up for a kickoff, your eyes maniacally light up.  Licking your chomps you setup your offense and attack!  What did you see?  How do you do it?  And how do you protect your key player(s)?  What is the minimum number of 2+ rolls that you need?


Remove Orc Blitzer #5 (Block, Mighty Blow, Tackle, Piling On) from the pitch.  Protect all of your skilled players so they cannot be removed from the pitch on the Orc Team’s next turn.

  • You must do this in one turn and it’s the beginning of your turn.
  • Assume that all 2d (your favor) blocks will result in pushes. All 1d blocks and 2d blocks in opponent’s favor will result as skulls.
  • Assume that all of your opponents blocks regardless of dice will end in pushes.
  • Assume that your opponent will pass all 2+ and 3+ rolls but not 4+ rolls and higher.
  • Ensure every 1d non-block action attempt is a 2+ (i.e. passes, catches, hand-offs, dodges, etc. all should be 2+ for success). Assume successful rolls.


Eliminate the killer on the Orc's Team.... Blitzer #5.
Eliminate the killer on the Orc’s Team…. Blitzer #5.

High Elf Practice Squad

1Thrower6348Pass, Safe Throw, Accurate
2Blitzer7348Block, Frenzy
3Blitzer7358Block, AGI+, Leap
4Catcher8347Catch, Dodge

Orc Practice Squad

1Thrower5348Pass, Sure Hands, AGI+, Block
2Blitzer6339Block, Tackle, Dodge
3Blitzer6339Block, Dodge, Sidestep
5Blitzer6339Block, Mighty Blow, Tackle, Piling On
6Black Orc4429Block
7Black Orc4429
8Black Orc4429
9Black Orc4429Block

[toggle title_open=”Hide Skip’s Hint” title_closed=”View Skip’s Hint” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”]The lowest number of 2+ dice needed is 2, but one player has to take a hit for the team and will likely be pushed off the pitch. This should be a good trade considering who you just removed.[/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”Hide thebursar’s Modified Solution” title_closed=”View thebursar’s Modified Solution” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”]

Thanks to thebursar for his solution.  I modified it a bit to make it more difficult to push the AGI+ blitzer out.  Notice, however, that the thrower is  vulnerable to a tight screen by Orc Blitzer #3 and Orc Lineman #4, but to be really effective both players have to roll 2 GFI’s each and your Orc coach has to get a bit lucky with blocks to clear the way.  Notice how the thrower is far enough away so he can’t be marked.  Orc #3 has sidestep, so you don’t want to be marked by him.

This position will cause the Orc Coach to have a bit of a headache.  If the Orc Coach blitzes the catcher (Elf #4) or your blitzer (Elf #2), Elf #15 and Elf #3 are safe from a crowd surf.  If the Orc Coach “takes” the bait and blitzes Elf #15, he’l leave his backfield wide open for a TD or a stall for a TD.  Since your thrower has Accurate, you can pass 6 spaces down a column with a 2+ roll.  Feel free to study the Orc perspective and debate the formation.

One final note.  Notice the marking positions of Elves #11, #12, and #13.  They have to be in this position so the Orcs can’t block a player free.  If you mark the Black Orcs diagonally, either one could then block Elf #13 so Orc lineman #10 is free to move.

Modified Solution

Modified Solution


17 thoughts on “Test #009: POMBer Snipe!”

  1. elf 15 marks orc 9
    elf 4 goes to O2
    elf 3 leaps and goes to O5
    elf 2 blitzes from N2 on Orc 5, push to O4, frenzy, 2nd push is OOB, POMBer gone.

  2. Close…. But what’s going to prevent your Baller AGI+ Leap Blitzer from getting pushed off the pitch as well? The Orc Thrower and Blitzer can just waltz up and blitz him off when it’s the Orc Team’s turn. An AGI+ Leap Blitzer should be considered a very high value piece. I do not want ANY injury rolls on that guy if I can help it!

    Also… in your solution you mark the lineman with your MV8 AV7 – and I emphasize AV7 catcher O_o.

    I’m going to pretend I didn’t see that. 🙂

    Marking with an AV7 catcher can be justified, but not so much when you have a choice 🙂

  3. This exercise is for the user to plan out this turn and the opponent’s possible counters. Note… I made an error with the roster as well. I fixed this by switching the Guard from High Elf #15 to High Elf #14.

    For those who don’t know, Guard can only be obtained with elves on a skill roll of doubles. Therefore, the Guard player can be considered a higher value piece in comparison to other Level 2 players.

  4. I would say:

    use elf #16 to mark orc #9 in M1
    use elf #12 to mark orc #11
    use elf #15 to assist on orc #5 from M2
    leap elf #3 to o5
    Blitz with elf #2 on orc #5, push to 04, push off pitch, follow up blitz to L4
    Move elf #4 to M5

    • This is why I write these…. What an elegant solution! I like! It’s not what I would have done, but I think this is better. Though I think you meant elf #14 to mark orc #11, elf #12 would require a GFI to get there. You could use him to mark orc #8, though.

      Let me explain why I like this solution. My solution was to use a half cage to take care of the blitzer, but the downside of this is that the orc coach can still pin my players to the side line. This solution, however, creates some room for the high elves and with everyone marked up, the orcs will have to struggle to get people in position on that side. Not only that, but Catcher #4 is already positioned to score making the orc coach choose between going for the easy crowd push on Elf #15 or coming up to help Orc#1 for help against the TD.

      On top of that, orc #11 has to make 2 4+ dodges and 1 3+ dodge to even attempt to crowd push your high value target.

      This positioning is awesome. Orc #2 and #6 are out of play. Orc#4 has to run his slow butt over for support, but he can’t really mark anyone in play without using a GFI. Marking Orc #7, #10, #8 ensures that they are stuck there. If they want to join the fray that will require a 3+ or 4+ dodge.

      If the orc blitzer #3 chooses to crowd push your Elf #15, he’s left his orc thrower all by himself! At this point just blitz the orc thrower and go for a TD pass or a stall with the catcher.

      If the orc blitzer #3 blitzes your catcher, your Elf #15 is safe and can move up to help with setting up a screen on the right side for your drive to a TD.

      All of this positioning collapses, however, if orc blitzer #3 attacks your frenzy blitzer, but at least your Leap Blizer and Elf #15 are safe. If the thrower covers the catcher, then the orc coach needs to get support from another piece. This will require a 3+ dodge or an extra GFI. All good 🙂 Roll those dice, baby!

      Very elegant solution… you knock out a POMBer AND you’re still in a good position to cause the orc coach some headaches and maybe a reroll 🙂

    • What a great solution….

      For you beginners, I just want to say that this is what seperates the good from the great. The coaches with 80% win records are the ones that have fully optimized their thinking like this. When you go up against these guys…. everything is hard. They always seem to be in the right spot… break aways are nil. Nothing seems to be easy.

      if I had a beer…. here’s to the ballers… hoping one day to get there…. optimized thinking and multi-faceted positioning… all in 4-min thinking.

  5. Tough spot for the orcs. I definitely try and take out the catcher. Orc #1 to M7, Orc #3 blitzes the catcher, ends in N7 (Never mind tackle zones on Elf #3, he’s got AG5). Lineorc #4 goes to J7. #7 blocks #13 and #10 blocks #12. If both go down, Orc#8 could make a mad dash to put a tackle zone on the thrower, but I’d rather go to L5 and box in the skill players further. #9 hits but doesn’t follow up. #2 runs downfield to chase the ball carrier and be a scoring threat, #6 runs to G4, myabe a GFI or to to get further across field.

    Assuming the thrower hits HE#3, he can catch, leap, dodge and GFI for the TD. He wont have an easy blitz, as it’s the sidestep guy on the outside which can clutter up the running lane, even (especially) with frenzy.

    • That’s some nice D. Do you follow up with Orc #7 and Orc #10? High Elf Lineman #12 and #13 both have dodge so they probably won’t be down. If they are, that changes things a bit. Depending on their up / down status, I would either use them to cage up on the right side with my thrower advancing (and kicker going to (B, 5) or (B, 6) to spread your defense) or I would attempt a breakaway pass and run to B5… with my dodgers marking your Black Orcs in the middle of the field and my thrower marking your blitzer while going for a short 2+ pass. Of course this is all hypothetical because I would have to see all of the starting positions as well as I would be watching my reroll usage to determine what course of action I would take.

      And I just realized my modified solution wastes #14’s guard. Should have put him on the line.

      A better way to hem in the elves is to do something similar to what you did, but instead move Orc #6 to (C,-1). Yikes, I’m definitely hemmed in, and would be more likely to pull the trigger on the blitzer scoring (Requires 5 2+ rolls… pass, catch, leap, dodge, gfi) but it’s still looks undesirable. This is where I’m wishing I picked Dodge over Leap! In this case, I would most likely keep my Thrower near to where he’s at and just mark your threatening blitzer. Then I would work on breaking a hole in your line to advance players through. I would also try to break someone to the left side….

  6. Yeah, I’d bet on the high elves ending with the win here. I play them in the OCC and know how god at scoring they are. Boxing them in to the right? Just shift focus to the left.

    • yea, well it would be difficult. The High Elves are the slowest team. So “breakaway” runs are difficult to come by. Your defense is pretty tough to go up against. I’m thinking that’s why TheBursar chose to move Elf #2 to M5 instead of my M4. With him marking Catcher #4, an orc cannot reach N7 without using a GFI. What would you do if Elf#2 was initially located at L5.

  7. Mostly the same, and hope AG3 and Dodge is enough for #3 to get to the same place (better chance than the GFI if I don’t have rerolls or want them for harder stuff). It does put more pressure on the other side of the field, and might force me to bring back #2 for coverage instead of chasing the thrower. But that would all but eliminate the orcs from winning the match. Maybe I’d then send #8 on his mad scramble for the thrower (though without the GFI’s), but both elves have dodge, so the lane probably wont get open.

    • I struggle with this part of the rules, I always forget that you can crowd a player with a diagonal block so long as the square along the sideline is occupied.

  8. @Skip was surprised to see what I thought reluctance on your behalf to make use of HE#14’s guard in your initial modified solution until you mentioned the oversight..

    These solutions demonstrate the kind of elfball I aspire to; well considered, resourceful, ambitious, eloquent. All achieved with a minimum of skills and positionals.

    Case in point, I’d have prioritised sidestep and/or dodge over frenzy and leap as dev choices at this stage in a HE blitzer’s build.

    Your BB challenges are essential reading. Cheers!


Leave a comment