Marking the Corners:
This method is more about slowing their cage down and causing them problems either moving and reforming, or just staying where they are and clearing the cage. This is a variation of blitzing one of the cage corners out of the way and marking their ball carrier. If you want to use your blitz elsewhere, for picking on an open target or going for a crowd push, then this method is a nice alternative.
You mark up their cage corners, or even just one of them, with your players in a bid to force them to block next turn. If they are blocking then they can’t move which obviously isn’t going to help them progress their cage further. If they are looking to move the cage in a certain direction then you could perhaps just mark up that side of the cage as if they don’t knock your players down moving that way becomes a lot harder. There is clearly some inherent danger in doing this in that your players are likely to get hit, so please bear that in mind. Prolonged attempts of doing this will damage your team if you are not careful but it can make the difference between the opposing team scoring or not.
I would only really suggest doing this with players who have good defensive skills and that the opponents they are marking don’t have the counter skills to them. Block (or Wrestle) and Dodge are the critical combo for doing this, though try and avoid marking players who have Tackle for obvious reasons. If you have players with Side Step as well then you really can cause problems for the other team. They now have to consider the fact that if they block your player and don’t knock them over, you can just Side Step next to their ball carrier.
That would be bad news for them even if they can try and block you with another of their cage corners. You may end up doing the same again and using Side Step to move to another vacant square. If they move players into the empty square to stop you doing that, then you end up bunching their team up which hinders advancing a cage. Worse yet if their cage is all bunched up you may be able to chain push their ball carrier to a square where you can blitz them.
If they still go ahead and block your Side Step player then move next to one of their cage corners you have marked with a team mate. If they block your Side Step player with that cage corner, then you have a free block in return with your other marking player. They could perhaps blitz this guy away but I think you can see the trouble this is causing to the other team.
You can leave them a route to move the ball carrier away to reform the cage elsewhere as well, though if you place the rest of your team well this may mean they have to go backwards. They may opt to do that rather than risk hitting your players and bogging down their ball carrier. Stand Firm can also be used in a similar manner that if they don’t knock your players down you can block the corners of their cage out of the way next turn.
If your team has plenty of Guard and/or stronger players than the opposition, then you can really swamp their cage to force them to move the ball as blocking their way out is going to be tough. Again if doing this be careful to not leave them an easy escape route and finding out you over committed and then end up out of position and in trouble in your following turn. For the same reasons as when looking to mark the ball carrier directly it might not always be wise to try this turn after turn. If they have enough turns to just keep hitting you and aren’t in any urgency to advance their cage then they may be happy enough to sit there and do just that.
More on page 6…