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Elves in the Open League

Discussion in 'Team Blogs' started by Gallows Bait, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. Gallows Bait

    Gallows Bait Super Moderator Moderator

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    Well, managed to squeeze another game in and for the first time I came up against a Nurgle team - a mixture of pestigors and rotters with 4 chaos warriors, but no beast.

    The game started with a kick of that went off field (again, I need kick as soon as possible) and was handed down to a beastman on the flank whilst the warriors on the line of scrimmage started to block down my linemen. A failed block however left the ball carrier uncaged behind the line of the flank and one of the scrimmage warriors down on the ground.

    At this point I probably got over ambitious - I wondered if I could blitz through to the ball carrier, I just needed to open the line of scrimmage a little more to get through. I moved two linemen up to give me a two dice block on the second warrior and was fortunate enough to knock him down. I ran both catchers through the hole and blitzed the ball carrier who was standing alone and clear enough to give me the two die block. The ball bounced close to the sideline and I started to form up my line into columns, in case of the nurgle team managing a recovery and forming their cage.

    At the end of the turn I tried to run a blitzer into the hole to gather the ball, which he managed, but he failed his dodge and fell stunned to the ground trying to get clear and shelter with the catchers. The second turn saw the nurgle team fail to push my catchers off the ball fully, only pushing back one. My blitzer stood back up again and moved to pick up the ball, which he fumbled, but it was caught by one of my catchers instead. The nurgle team then blitzed the catcher and managed to recover the ball as it bounced clear. The cage formed up near the centre with my catchers right beside it, but outnumbered.

    The cage stayed for a turn whilst the nurgle scrimmage line remained spread across the width of the field. Unfortunately I had moved my flank too close at this point, due to the downed blitzer and stranded catchers. The nurgle team took advantage and outflanked me, forming a new cage on the right a few squares into my half after blitzing my closest lineman.

    I reformed my columns, dodging away from the cage and remaining scrimmage line, but my catchers and blitzer remained caught up on the left side. My cage held until turn 6, gradually being reinforced as I freed up my left side, though my attempt to break one corner failed. My right flank was weakened by one of the nurgle blitz moves, which was a lineman removed badly hurt, and rushing the ball carrier forward, midway down the pitch, the rest of the cage rushing through to protect him. I was unable to break in on my turn and my flank was weak due to the lack of players able to reach that distance. On turn 7 they blitzed once more, knocking out the final flank lineman and rushing their cage into the corner ofthe pitch to stall until the final turn. The nurgle ball carrier scored on turn 8. An uneventful kick off ended the half with me 0-1 down, but still 8 of the 11 on the pitch - not as bad as it could have been, but I was kicking myself for tying up too many players trying to reach the ball on turn 1, leaving me outflanked later and the cage that much further downfield.

    Looking at the replay I also see that the column on the left I held to avoid another flanking move was too far forward, and was unable to move back to help due to interference from the chaos scrimmage warriors.

    The second half, however, was even more painful in terms of lessons and, unfortunately, mistakes on my part.

    I set up ready to open a hole in the nurgle line, heavily angled to the right flank. I had 9 players now, with one of the knock outs waking up. I blocked down the right hand scrimmage warrior and blitzed one of the pestigors on the right widezone. Two catchers and my blitzer rushed through the gap and spread, as best they could, over the right hand side of the backfield. The ball had landed on the centre line of scrimmage lineman at kick off and I dodged him back to pass to the thrower, who was safely distanced from the chaos team. The lineman added to his protection.

    The chaos team surrounded my blitzer and one catcher. The second catcher was blitzed and knocked out. I held back, waiting for a free player to pass to, of at least one that would be needing too many dodges.

    The next two turns saw my four lineman near the centre unable to break free of the warriors to help and my blitzer and catcher constantly floored or surrounded. One chaos warrior blitzed one of my linemen, injuring him.

    The roll came up reducing movement and foolishly (with hindsight especially so) I used up my apothecary - clicking before I had been able to see that the injured lineman was in fact the journeyman I had hired for the game - a complete waste of the apothecary.

    Eventually I was able to knock down a warrior, breaking his jaw and freeing one lineman to rush forward as another reciever candidate. unfortunately at this point my catcher who had been surrounded was hurt - and roll up dead, my apothecary gone, I could do nothing but growl and swear at my screen!

    With the catcher dead I was down to 5 on the pitch and my free linemen were easily surrounded and the thrower was blitzed before I could get the ball upfield. It wasn't picked up, however, and by this time my thrower had advanced up the left flank, hoping he would get a throw to the linemen, so the ball bounced to the sideline. A failed pick up saw the ball off pitch and the throw in left me able to retrieve it with my remaining, battered and bruised blitzer. He tried to run out of range of the nurgle rear defence but his go-for-it roll to safety left him stumbling and dropping the ball. The nurgle team closed in for a turn, my blitzer standing to try and make the pick up harder, but he was blocked down and the ball carrying pestigor claimed it. Three turns left and the nurgle side had all the time and numbers in the world to cage the ball easily down and score on turn 16. 0-2 and one dead catcher - a pretty bad result, especially knowing the mistakes I had made.

    The post match gained me almost no gold and only one lineman skilled up to level 2 - and I gave him kick.

    Looking over the game, I can identify a few mistakes that hurt me, some more than others.

    1. I failed to get enough players around the ball in my initial snatch in turn 1, I would have been better to form a full cage defence.

    2. I moved my flank defence in too far and with the issues of point 1, I couldn't stop a flanking move deeper inot my half.

    3. When I did defend against an outflanking maneuver they were too far up and easily isolated by the powerful chaos warriors.

    4. I completely messed up by wasting the apothecary.

    On the plus side though.

    1. My cage still worked for a good while.

    2. I was able to make a hole in the nurgle line and push receivers in (just not enough of them).

    3. I made a lot fewer risky dodges and 1 die blocks.
     
  2. Coach

    Coach Administrator Head Coach

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    An Elf Lineman would have to have some special skills for me to ever use my Apothecary on a -MV injury roll. Maybe if he had Guard or a +ST / +AG, otherwise I would just swallow the result.

    Also if I read it right, when you knocked the ball loose, if you can get some tackle zones on it, you don't need to build a cage defence with the rest of your team in case he recovers. You should make it hard for him to recover it safely at this point.

    If you mark up his players with yours they can't really dodge very well and even if one does manage to get the ball it will be hard for him to protect him. That will give you a shot at knocking him over again next turn. There is a chance that he may recover it and reform a cage by pushing your players off his, but the cage isn't likely to have gone anywhere and you can go to cage defence from that point.
     
  3. altf4

    altf4 New Member

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    Some considerations about my own Open League experience with Pro Elves (some are quite generic) :

    Be prepared to get outnumbered
    • - Whatever happens, you'll be outnumbered most of the time, and will often rely upon journeymen to start a match with 11 players.
    • - The positioning of every player is therefore an important factor for the whole team (attacking or defending).

    Protect your positionals
    • - These (especially Blitzers and Catchers) are essential to keep competitive on the field.
    • - Linemen are there to support and should not (except, in some cases, if already skilled-up) be cared by the Apothecary, even in cause of death.
    • - Blitzers and Catchers usually take many risks (harassing, opening cages, threatening the opponent while being isolated into his side of the pitch, ...). Linemen must therefore screen them, or mark other opponents, even if it gives them a chance to block instead of moving.

    Experience
    • - Due to what's above, give your positional "Dodge" at level 2. This is the best way to protect them. Later on, "Fend" may also save their lives.
    • - Further on, Blitzers may evolve as markers (Tackle, Diving Tackle, Shadowing, Jump Up, ...) and Catchers in several profiles, my favourite being, at least for half of them, the blitzing one (Block and Dodge, then using them as Blitzers).
    • - Kick is definitely a great asset. Wrestle on Linemen, Dodge too, or Jump Up to allow them to move to an interesting position (screening) after stand up.
    • - On doubles, "Guard" is always a good choice to protect other players, and avoid the gap with teams focused upon bashing.

    Open League and Match Making
    • - Don't hurry up buying additional linemen. You'll eventually be outnumbered. Keep money to buy (or rebuy) positionals, or RR.
    • - Start without Apothecary, buying RR instead (I usually start with minimum 3). If your team gets awfully bashed at first game, then ... think about making up a new one and take a good start. There's nothing more frustrating, in Open League, than running to recover a basic TV due to a bad first match.
    • - 1 die blocks, or even 2 dice against ones, are an option to consider when a RR is still available and the situation requires it to score or making the opponent lose one or two turns in moving up the pitch.
    • - Impose your style and play for the 2-0. Then, recover and save the few players you still have until the opponent manages (if ever) to score the 2-1 and control the end of the match. It's a kind of mirror to the "2-1 grind", but I noticed that it may spare elven lives due to frequent abandons of the opponent when he realizes that he cannot win and you're fleeing bash.

    Play style
    • - Pro Elves may develop an interesting running game and screening. 2 dice blocks without pursuing also keep your opponent one square ahead. This may often be more effective than dodging out of all opponents'tackle zones.
    • - When things go worse, they may instantly switch to their classic passing play.
    • - I usually choose to receive when I have the choice. Then, I score the 1-0, but not before my 3rd turn (4th or 5th being the ideal moment, according to me). After kicking, I try and press high onto the pitch with Blitzers and Catchers, before or during the cage forming, harassing to pick up the ball and score again before half-time. If that works, I defend as better as possible, but without risking not-useful blocks against my players and, if I receive the ball after 2-1, I keep it (of course, if any opportunity happens during this second half, I try and score a 3rd TD).
     
  4. Gallows Bait

    Gallows Bait Super Moderator Moderator

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    Okay, I took a few days to see if I could set up a second Elf team and take advantage of some of the lessons I'd learned with the first one from day one and to see if I could work out a few new plays rather than keep falling back on my one flank blitz.

    I found you could select a team with 1 x Thrower, 2 x Blitzer, 2 x Catcher and 6 x Lineman, plus 3 x Re-rolls for 1000 TV, so that was a good start.

    What followed was a very painful experience, which involved losing 4 games in a row (the first 3 matchmaking games all ended up against High Elves, oddly, and the 4th was against a necromantic team).

    After learning a few lessons around the dangers of the more mobile teams (I'd only played majoritively bashy teams before) I ended up having to trash the battered team - adding an apothecary and an extra re-roll, plus one or two skills leaves the team with a comparatively high team value and ends up with tougher skilled opponants. The high elves proved the value of their armour and equal agility to stop me pushing any recievers into the back field, and the necromantic team showed me just how much ground a pair of ghouls can cover in a turn.

    So, much frustrated, I turned back to my original team, and, I hoped, original tactics. I bought a replacement catcher to bring me back up to 2 (better than a journeyman lineman I felt).

    I ended up matched against a Wood Elf team, albeit an oddly set up one - 2 wardancers, 1 thrower, 1 catcher, 6 lineman and 1 treeman - and no re-rolls at all!

    I started receiving for once and the first turn went reasonably well, I gather the ball, broke one flank near the centre and advanced my thrower to the centre line with a strong group around him.

    But this was where I made a fairly big mistake - I was used to slower opponants, and due to the scrimmage line around me, I had avoided pulling linemen back to the rear. My opponant showed me the error of my ways by skirting a wardancer around to blitz my thrower, assisted by the nimble catcher.

    The blitz left the woodelves with the ball and I was unable to regain it until turn 4 when I successfully beat down the wardancer ball carrier, injuring him, at which point the wood elf coach used an apothecary to reduce the badly hurt to a stunned roll, leaving the wardancer ready to return to the pitch after the next kick off.

    One of the few things I had been lucky with early on, was a failed block by the treeman that left a both down result - the treeman not having block and the wood elf coach having no re-rolls, the treeman was floored, and with the need to roll for him to stand, he wouldn't get up again until the next kick off, it turned out.

    With the ball regained I was able to advance a partial cage into the wood elf half, feeling fairly confident of scoring. The wood elves closed in on my ball carrier before I could fully form the cage but I felt confident on using my numbers to give me 2-die blocks to clear them from contact and have my ball carrier dash off.

    My block failed, double skulls, as did my re-roll. Turnover and I was cursing.

    Looking back at this point, it almost feels like the chances of dodging out (2+ with a re-roll) would have been better than the block, but unless I'm mistaken the maths does favour the block (If my maths is right the chances of all the rolls coming up skull or both down and causing turn over is 1/81, but the chances of failing the dodge 1/36).

    In any case, what ruined my chances was not capitalising on my cage before I blocked - and that left me open to a blitz by the wardancer, who was able to use the strip ball skill to his advantage and the ball bounced free. The wood elf catcher then managed a difficult scoop of the ball from under the noses of my cage and rushed off to throw it down field to a waiting lineman - who promptly scored. 0-1.

    The kick off saw me take advantage of his set up, his treeman alone in the centre and linemen on the extreme ends of the scrimmage line, also alone. I set up to block both with 4 linemen on the scrimmage line and set up blitzers and catchers to one side ready to rush forward. My thrower and a lineman hung back to gather the ball and the final lineman loosely covered the weaker flank.

    I was able to gather the ball and my blocks weren't as successfully as I had hoped and again I made a mistake. Instead of being happy with pushing the lineman to one side for my blitzers to rush through and take out the lineman to the rear - which would have left room for a cage - I used a second lineman to block once more. Crucially when I was able to blitz in to the rear, this left me with only the 2 blitzers and 2 catchers formed up together, not a complete cage. I made the throw and hoped for the best.

    A wardancer blitzed, risking a 1 die block to get the ball, but was left injured with a smashed knee when it came up with a skull. I tried to capitalise - again needing a 2 die block to clear a marking lineman, but once more it and my re-roll failed - extremely frustrating.

    The turnover gave the woodelves a chance to blitz once more, and this time the 1 die block from a lineman caused me to lose the ball and stall my drive. Half time and still 0-1 and now I was kicking off. Not so good.

    So at this point I'd had my drive stalled twice my daring moves, but I'm more frustrated in knowing that I could probably have prevented both - I really have to have a cage formed properly and work to achieve that with the careful use of my blocks and not waste them. I should have made the ball carrier safe in event of turnover before trying to get him scoring.

    The second half started reasonably well - I set up a defensive formation and kicked the ball short, to the weaker flank (there was afterall an injured wardancer now). Unfortunately the treeman had more luck at this point and bashed down a helpless lineman, badly hurting him and leaving him with a niggling injury (at least I've learned not to waste the apothercary on a lineman).

    The woodelves were able to reach the ball and get it to a wardancer stood behind the treeman. The catcher had run through the gap in my line the treeman had made, but a lineman following tripped and caused a turnover.

    My turn came and I knew the catcher was the biggest threat, so I blitzed him, knocking him down - the first time I've had a strength advantage over anyone in a game I've played so far!

    I closed in on the wood elf cage, screening as best I could whilst threatening one flank as I brought up my blitzer. I waited and hoped I would be able to hold back the tide.

    What followed was, from my view, a pretty good defence, and one where I had, for sometime, the upper hand, until the treeman was able to use his guard skill and a judicious blitz to weaken my defence - though I had managed to blitz the ball carrying wardancer twice, unfortunately only pushing him back. Eventually the woodelfs made a hole on one side that the wardancer was able to get through and throw down to a lineman, who rushed down clear of my defence. I gave chase enough to force the woodelves to score quickly, so there were still 5 turns left. 0-2 and the treeman was starting to hurt me, with 3 off the pitch injured now.

    The final kick off saw me attempt a similar play, opening up a gap near the middle and pushing 4 players through before throwing the ball forward. It was risky, but I knew if I was even going to play for a draw I had to take the risk and try and score quickly - I had no turns to spare.

    Again in hindsight this was an error - I could still have thrown on the next turn since I could not score until the next turn anyway and even if the wood elves had closed in I was likely to have made the catch and the only problem would have been making a hole to get through.

    Once more an excellent 1 die blitz saw the ball taken from me and a general scuffle ensued - by the final turns the ball was deep in my half and for two turns linemen fell victim to failed go-for-it rolls trying to blitz the ball carrier (desperation from me at that point due to the numbers surrounding my main group. The wood elves failed to capitilise due to excessive blocking, which led to turnovers and left the final score 0-2.

    I was left with a lineman with a niggling injury and a catcher who missed the next game, but I suppose at least I learned some more lessons.

    My remaining catcher skilled up to level 3 and up came double sixes. I toyed with a strength gain, but decided that for the team as a whole guard would be more use, he could use his movement to get guard in to a lot of places to help more blocks than he could manage with only a strength increase - a good guard can help 2 or 3 blocks a turn after all.

    Overall then, lessons learned:

    1. Don't expose the rear to a fast agile opponant.
    2. Don't waste time blocking if you can't complete your cage, a pushback will open the gap as easily.

    Lessons repeated (clearly I'm not learning them well enough!)

    3. Don't rush the throw.
    4. Don't throw into an incomplete cage.
     
  5. altf4

    altf4 New Member

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    That's my favourite, actually.

    Usually, there's no need to throw if it puts the ball into less secure position, except when running for the TD in the same turn. But it depends on the ball carrier security ...

    Maybe it's better for the team on a long term ... but a ST4 Catcher, what a dream !

    Did you cage because you were facing another agility team or do you always cage ?

    Peronnally, I rarely cage (and do so only if I have no other option at hand). I wouldn't tell it's bad to cage with Elves, but it doesn't suit the way I like to play them.

    Screening seems more convenient for Elves to me ...
     
  6. Gallows Bait

    Gallows Bait Super Moderator Moderator

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    Late evening last night saw me take on one more match, hoping to turn my fortunes around. This time I was matched against an Orc team.

    Nervously I saw 1 Troll, 4 Black Orcs, 4 Blitzers, 1 Thrower and 1 Goblin take to the pitch. The Black Orcs and Troll made up the line of scrimmage. My kick went into the midfield and the Orcs began their play.

    The troll knocked out the first lineman and the other two were knocked down or stunned by black orcs. A blitzing black orc also downed another lineman as the rest of the Orc team rushed forward across the width of the pitch to put almost all of my team in base contact and the goblin pushing to break through the line, whilst the orc thrower safely gathered the ball.

    In response I blocked and knocked down two orcs, using my catcher's guard skill in both cases to take a strength advantage against the orc blitzers. With the thrower alone near the rear, I pushed my thrower through the line to threaten the orc thrower, but without risking a block. My blitz I saved for the goblin and promptly knocked him out. Doding back from the rest of the orcs proved more difficult and I was hampered with a failed dodge and a turnover, leaving more elves in contact than I wanted.

    The orcs clearly saw the thrower as more of a threat than I intended and promptly turned a black orc around to blitz him - injuring him and coming up a smashed hip. I decided my positional player deserved the apothecary but was only able to mitigate it down to a groin strain "miss next game" result. The orcs that had remained in contact with my un-dodged elves blocked and a lineman was removed with another injury also - luckily one of the journeymen.

    With threatening orcs across the pitch and the ball safely in the rear, I was unsure where to act, but decided to gradually do my best to even up the exchanges and took on the blitzers on one flank. I moved a lineman in to mark the black orc and give me a 2 die block on one blitzer, knocking him down. A second was pushed back to the sideline, before a blitz from my catcher crowd surfed him off the pitch, unfortunately without injury. The catcher then ran to midfield to use his guard skill elsewhere.

    I was able to push back an orc of the opposite flank, but not able to get both of them free from base contact, leaving one lineman threatened. My centre was weak now, with the injuries I'd taken and the numbers needed to gain the upper hand blocking the orcs.

    A blitz down the centre saw the orcs deep in my half and the orc thrower advanced close two a black orc, whilst others blocked or blitzed my flanks as best they could, but suffered a turn over before the thrower could be any more protected.

    My catcher came to the fore, adding his guard skill as he marked the black orc - a risky move, but one that allowed me a 2 die blitz on the thrower, knocking the ball free. It bounced right behind the troll, but luckily he had failed really stupid rolls for 2 turns now and wasn't paying any attention. I sent a lineman to fetch the ball, but wasn't able to run far, having had to go around the lumbering black orcs before gathering it up.

    The orc turn was another black orc blitz, knocking down my ball carrier and seeing the ball recovered by an orc blitzer. The rest of the orc team blocked or marked my remaining players, now spread somehwat awkwardly on the flanks of the pitch.

    My lineman former ball carrier was able to stand and assist in a blitz from one of my blitzers, which knocked the ball free once more. I sent a lineman down the flank to act as a ball carrier and rushed forward to pick up and throw the ball, again under the nose of the troll, who was stupid for the 3rd turn in a row now. The throw was a success, but again I was under threat of a blitz.

    At this point I was playing to keep the half 0-0 and wanted to get the ball as far into the orc half as I could, to relieve the pressure on my defence. I marked as many orcs and downed orcs as I could to reduce the threat, but one black orc was free to blitz on the next turn, but only just - and so the ball was left to bounce free on the ground.

    Turn 6 came and my lineman stood up once more, before my blitzer smashed into the black orc with a somewhat risky one die block that successfully knocked him down and left me able to grab the ball and run yet further forward.

    The orcs were able to free up a blitzer to charge my ball carrier, but failed to do more than push him, which I used to sidestep further from the sideline - I knew one of those blitzers had frenzy and I didn't want to risk any more than I had to. The orc thrower rushed to mark the ball also, but stunned himself down on a go-for-it roll.

    Turn 7 and my second blitzer came in to blitz the marking orc blitzer, knocking him out, before rushing close to the end zone to act as a guard for my ball carrier. I moved my ball carrier down, one square short of the end zone - I wanted to score in turn 8 to reduce the number of turns my elves would take on the line of scrimmage.

    Turn 8 sees me score - 1-0 to me and it was on their drive too. My knocked out lineman wakes up, but with my thrower and another lineman injuries I'm down to 9 compared to the orc 11.

    The kick off sees the orcs spread once more across the line up front, the black orcs and troll in the centre again. I set up heavily to the right flank, both blitzers one the wide zone and the catcher and line of scrimmage weighter to the right also. The line of scrimmage blocking and a blitz sees me open up a hole and push both blitzers and my catcher through to act as receivers. The blitzed orc even ends up badly hurt, a success indeed.

    My lineman thrower proxy rushes forward, guarded by a second lineman, but I get greedy and use a go-for-it roll to push further up, eager to tuck in behind my scrimmage line for protection. Instead the roll and re-roll fail and the ball is dropped. It bounced to the guarding lineman, but its enough, turnover.

    The orcs waste no time, blocking and badly hurting one of the line of scrimmage linemen and blitzing the ball carrier, knockng him out. Instead of 10 against 9, its now 10 against 7 and I don't have the ball. To make matters worse, the ball bounces off of the other elf lineman lying on the ground, right into the hands of a rather stunned looking black orc, who is stood next to the one remaining scrimmage linemen I have standing.

    The next three turns see me marking the semi-formed orc cage and trying to block, blitz or otherwise break into the ball carrier, whom I only ever seem able to pushback. My cage attacking is assisted by the uselessness of the troll, who spends 2 more turns stupidly picking his nose and scratching himself.

    I'm even able move in my catcher with his guard to make for a 2 die blitz on the ball carrier. Unfortunately a mis-click sees me click on the black orc beside him - knocking him down, but wasting the blitz on the wrong orc - nightmare!

    Turn 11 saw the orcs capitalise on my mistake and blitz free of the defence - badly hurting another lineman and leaving the black orc ball carrier edging into my half, with very little left to stop him. I make a desperate blitz to reach, but my catcher fails a go-for-it roll and falls as he reaches the orc and me with a turnover before I'd managed to dodge the other elves out from the fight - a mistake in that respect, but I still think the blitz was less risky dice rolls than all the dodges would have been,so I don't think I'd change the order I acted in.

    The troll finally woke up and blocked another lineman, badly hurting him. That was 4 injured now, my team were dropping fast. A knocked out lineman also added to the problem.

    Again I tried a blitz with my catcher, but my dodge around the marking orc blitzer failed, and to make matters worse my catcher was injured - a smashed hip reducing his movement permanently, with no apothecary left to save him. The orcs rush in to score - 1-1.

    Unfortunately now, it was turn 14 and I had only 5 players left to take the field. The three linemen too the scrimmage line while my blitzers stood in the back field ready to hang back with the ball and wait and see if my linemen could get free. The kick off fell short and so I was able to give the ball to one of the blitzers.

    I ran one lineman around the orc flank, a potential receiver and hopefully a distraction. The second moved back and off to the other flank, a potential receiver and hopefully again a distraction. My final lineman ran back to join the blitzers. I decided with enough space to avoid the orcs for at least a turn that I would toss the ball between blitzers to get a star player point, but the catch failed.

    The orc team blitzed my lineman on the flank and I fell prey to the one with frenzy and was quickly crowd surfed - only 4 elves left on the pitch now. The orcs pushed forward but with their blitz used were only able to mark one lineman and close in on the back field. Some of the orcs remained close to the scrimmage line, clearly the orc coach was wary of me getting any receivers through.

    My lineman was able to dodge free and rushed forward. Eager to preserve the 1-1 draw my blitzer picked up the ball and ran forward for a throw. Unfortunately it fumbled badly, dropped to the floor beside him.

    The blitzer was rushed, but sidestep saved him, but I couldn't prevent the orc thrower from picking up the ball, even in my blitzer's tacklezone and hand it off to a waiting blitzer.

    I was able to blitz the ball free with a risky 1 die blitz, but my second blitzer completely fumbled the pick up, ending my hopes of clearing the ball upfield with another throw. In the final turn now, the goblin ran for the ball, picking it up and rushing it over the line.
     
  7. Gallows Bait

    Gallows Bait Super Moderator Moderator

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    1-2 and a very badly injured team - not a good result, especially considering the relative strength of my 1st half performance. The numbers became an issue though, and retrospectively the thrower wouldn't have been the most valuable player to save.

    So I'm left with the thrower and a lineman missing a game and my only skilled catcher reduced in movement to 7.

    I'm not overly unhappy with how my first half went - I was playing against a strong, wide line, with the black orcs and troll able to stand alone, the rest of the orcs held the flanks and there were no gaps. All the same I gained the ball and was able to get it clear for a touchdown, even controlling the number of turns it took at the end.

    My only major mistake was rushing my thrower through as a threat - it got him injured and wasted my apothecary.

    The second half was againt not too bad in turns of beating down the orc cage, but I gave in to my need to fetch the ball rather than slow the cage and it got my players hurt - something I seem to be prone to doing in the heat of the moment. I need to be much more patient in my game play.

    Ultimately though, that wouldn't have happened if I hadn't dropped the ball and that was another flaw in my game - I do rely too much on the go-for-it rolls, and I should weigh them up against the protection gained by that movement - for my lineman thrower it woudn't have made much difference and it was therefore a big mistake that led to the fighting over the ball with the orc cage, which in turn left me weaker for the 2nd kick off.

    Sure I could blame the failed throws and such, but I wouldn't have been making them if I had more elves on the pitch in the last 4 turns.

    The post-match sees me with a skill up for one of my blitzers - he already gained dodge, so I'm a little unsure what to go for next, so I'm off to look at the elf blitzer article!
     
  8. Gallows Bait

    Gallows Bait Super Moderator Moderator

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    Sigh, another game, another drubbing, but a shorter report from me (mostly frustration at this point).

    Tonight I faced off against another Elf team, comparative points, but crucially skilled with less re-rolls. The team I was facing had 2 throwers, 1 blitzer, 2 catchers and 6 lineman, including a journeyman.

    Against them I had 1 catcher (1 missing), 2 blitzers and 6 linemen, plus 2 more journeymen, my thrower also missing.

    The first half began with the opponant receiving, his throwers both holding back while he pushed his team forward.

    My line held well, but I was forced to free up several of the back markers because both a catcher and the blitzer had leap and were able (albeit after some falling) to leap past me, forcing me to use crucial blitzes to keep them down. Unfortunately for me the blitzer was also agility 5, so he was a great pain to deal with. On turn 4 the second catcher pushed far enough into the half to act as receiver and the elf throwers rushed forward and the touchdown was scored, which was frustrating.

    Primarily though the problem was the blitzer deep in my half, I had ended up tying up too many of my players in knocking him down and I was unable to crowd surf him due to side step, so I couldn't risk him being on his feet with the leap and agility. That left my front line weaker than I wanted and so the opponant exploited a weakness in my arrangement to score.

    The return kick off saw me blitz quickly, much as I have done before, using my catcher in the rear to rush forward with a hand off to a lineman, who was able to throw to my blitzer who made it through to score in 2 turns.

    This left us at 1-1 but unfortunately for me there were 2 turns left to go in the half. Again the blitzer proved a thorn in my side. He received the ball from kick off and leapt over my line into my half. Unluckily both my blitz and re-roll 2 dice blocks failed, only pushing him, and I was unable. Even bringing 5 of my players down to both cover him and the tacklezones nearby, I was unable to stop him leaping and then dodging clear to score. 1-2 at half time.

    The second half saw me blitz through, forming a decent cage and planting the ball carrier inside it. Another turn saw me advance the cage flanking, but my catcher who was roving in the backfield was blitzed into unconsciousness. The cage held but struggled to advance before becoming surrounded (reducing assists).

    The leaping blitzer then came in to blitz by jumping into the one gap near the ball carrier, knocking him down and the ball clear of the cage. It was quickly scooped up and run clear of my team - with my catcher out I didn't have the speed to chase down the ball.

    Instead I turned to blocking down the opposing players, whilst the ball carrier lurked deep in my half, ready to score if I came close, but content to wait. In response I gang-fouled an opposing lineman, but was unable to stun him. The opposing coach responded, gang-fouling one of mine, injuring him and leaving him with an armour reduction (cancelling out the +1 he had gained and making him too bloated on points in my roster to keep).

    I finally gave chase to the ball, but my desperate go-for-it 1 die block attempts failed twice due to rolling skulls, before finally the ball was walked in, 1-3 final score.

    Looking at this game, I struggled to hold back the leaping elves, but aside from my blitzes being unlucky on them, I haven't really worked out how I couldhave acted differently - any advice on that would be appreciated, but without the skills to stop the side step and with my blocks failing to knock him over, the agility 5 leap combination left him easily able to score, or as it later turned out, break the cage.

    My cage stalling was a mistake, I got surrounded, but again I have not really worked out how I could have pushed forward without a little luck on my blocks, even my 2 die blocks didn't really carve a hole I could get out of - I did get a blitzer out at one point but throwing the ball out failed, leaving me back in the same position. The opponant was able to surround me very effectively, using tacklezones and spacing to ensure few chances to 2 dice block and as my luck began to turn bad on those I became more reluctant to try any less.
     
  9. Barninho

    Barninho Well-Known Member

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    I'm not the elf expert, but a big lesson for me was when I played high elves v dark elves a few months ago. I received and my opponent left his whole team in position in his half, three on the line of scrimmage and then four columns, a pretty classic defence, but it was a nightmare. Every one of those columns had a blitzer in front of it and a spare man behind, so I got my thrower deep and waited for him to close and open up some gaps and he just never. His formation was good, he waited, he was patient.

    I had no clue what to do. He had an assassin well protected just waiting to pick on anyone I got forward to receive. His half was full of players, mine was empty and it was so hard to make the running. I could cage, but wherever I took the cage he could adjust his defence to accomodate it.

    In the end of course I became impatient, because elves are meant to score easy. I made mistakes, and I got destroyed 3-0.

    I now follow that lead, I defend deep, I try and make sure I can slow the advance of a cage, and I use my blitzes to gang up on receivers. I haven't perfected the art yet, but it limits the score.

    So I'd say against teams that are quick and good at ball playing don't try and close the ball carrier unless you're confident it's a situation you can win the ball. You can do more damage taking out isolated receivers and other players with your blitzers (they have low armor too), and once you have a numbers advantage there's a good chance you can win the game.

    This approach works better for me and I'm enjoying elves more at the moment, but online in the open league there are coaches who've been playing twenty years and you should go easy on yourself. Sometimes going all out to win early can be the worst thing you can do.

    And when someone really beats me, which still happens too often for my liking, I find it helps to watch the replay. Not to see where I went wrong, but to see what I can nick from them to use the net time I play. That defeat I mentioned wasn't fun, but that was the game I felt helped me start to 'get' elves.

    As far as dealing with a 5 ag blitzer goes, there's not a great deal you can do except target him with tackle and foul him with expendable players. Star players die too. Get him off the pitch. With a +AG elf the temptation is there to get him into dangerous areas. When your opponent does that make him pay.
     
  10. Gallows Bait

    Gallows Bait Super Moderator Moderator

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    Thanks for the feedback its much appreciated both. In answer to a few points from altf4:

    So I'm learning, but I'm a bit slow on the uptake it seems!

    It was so very tempting, but I thought he would do more long term good with guard, which is rare to get also. I doubt it'll happen again though, so maybe I will miss it.

    I've tended to cage because I've had bad experiences trying to spread a bunch of potential receivers - with originally no catchers, then one then two, there's not much in the way of skills on the receivers and agility 4 alone won't overcome catching and dodging against multiple markers. I've tended to find it difficult to get any players free enough to spread out also, as opening a hole isn't the same as the backfield being empty, so I thought a cage stood a chance.

    In response to Barninho:

    I'm beginning to wonder if my more spread formations are causing me issues so the columns is something that tempts me, but I guess I tended to view it only as something to use in defence against a cage that's formed, rather than a good formation to prevent penetration into the half.

    Overall I do struggle with how to keep the opponants from piling in against my line and having to then fight to keep them from getting through, I think a part of that is the general approach that the 3 linemen on weaker teams are fairly sacrificial and form less of a part of my defence line than they might in a stronger team.

    I do agree on blitzing the receivers, but I've been struggling when needing the strength also, as it drains players from my line to do so, when as was the case tonight, 2 leaping receivers got through. It tied up 4 of my defence, leaving only 7 against the offensive line. I was lucky the throwers hung back, but once too many were down or left too far forward I struggled.
     
  11. Viajero

    Viajero Active Member

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    Hi Gallows!

    I am avidly following the progress of your team cause I love elves and pro in particular.

    Could you please post your current roster and skills/injuries so we can comment further.

    I must admit I have not been as unfortunate as you seem to have been so far and having a lot of fun with my (now) over 2000 TV elf team. And I d love to contribute so to encourage your team! Let us know how your team looks like now so can give you some (hopefully) usefull ideas or tips.

    I think without the slighest doubt that Nuffle is making you pay for the sin of having let a +ST go... a catcher with +ST, I will gladly play only as dwarves for the next 2 months solid (quite a torture for me believe you me) as a promise if I cold get +ST in one of my catchers! Specially if it is in one the two I have specialized as blitzers (as wisely recommended by Coach in his elf catcher guide!)

    Also, from your posts I see you do not tend to use the classic 2 abreast stalling line tactic on defense against bashy teams, this is something you may need to practice a bit probably.

    Also, in offense elves should be able to score in 2 turns when necessary (NoS is gold for 2 turns TD's) without too much trouble asuming you have a decent number of players in the field when compared to your opponent and you do not get Blitz! or Perfect Defense or similar stuff at kick off. We may need to post a few diagrams to explain further etc.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  12. Gallows Bait

    Gallows Bait Super Moderator Moderator

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    Thanks for the feedback, its much appreciated. I'm working right now but I'll post my roster on as soon as I can tonight.

    I do think the defence formation is something I need to work on, mine seems to be struggling, but I'll look into posting it on here and see what everyone thinks of it.
     
  13. Gallows Bait

    Gallows Bait Super Moderator Moderator

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    Okay, right now the current roster is as follows.

    Blitzer: (Block, Sidestep) Dodge - Damaged Back (Niggling Inury)
    Blitzer: (Block, Sidestep) Dodge, Tackle
    Thrower: (Pass) Accurate, Strong Arm
    Lineman: +1AV - Fractured Skull (-1AV)
    Lineman: Kick - Broken Neck (-1AG)
    Lineman:
    Lineman: Kick
    Lineman: Wrestle - Smashed Knee (Niggling Injury)
    Lineman: Wrestle
    Catcher: (Catch, Nerves of Steel) Block, Guard - Smashed Hip (-1 MV)
    Catcher: (Catch, Nerves of Steel)

    My current thoughts are that despite the injury the first blitzer is still workable, and the other is going well. The thrower is doing very well but could probably do with nerves of steel or some defensive skills like block and dodge.

    For the first lineman the +1 AV and the injury cancel each other out, leaving me with a too expensive lineman, so I'm going to drop him from the roster. The next, with the -1 AG I'm thinking is worth dropping also - hence why a second one has taken kick. With a lower agility there's little value in the lineman as its the one natural advantage an elf has. The wrestle skills are useful on defence but I need more - tackle and dodge would be most use I think.

    The catcher is reduced with the -1 MV but he is still valuable with block and guard, so I'm keen to keep in him in the team as a roving support to my defence, guard is too hard to get otherwise.

    Other than that I have 4 re-rolls and 1 apothecary - a fact that seems to leave me matched against higher skilled teams more often than not, so I wonder if I've made an error in pushing to 4 re-rolls.

    I'm trying to set up an account in play creator, but struggling, so I won't be able to put up my formation just yet.

    Broadly though it is as follows:

    X X X

    X C T X C X

    B B

    Linemen make up the line of scrimmage and part of the two sidelines, the blitzers take the flanks due to their sidestep protection from frenzy. Catchers, being still strength 3 aren't too vulnerable and are on the edges in the main centre line, ready to use their speed, and the thower and kicking lineman hold the centre.

    I'm finding it holds okay against the slower, tougher teams, though to avoid blocks some dodging back of the line is needed. Against the elves though the flanks were easily leapt over. I was able to pull linemen and blitzers back to blitz them, but it was harder then.

    It does rather feel for elves and other low armour teams that the scrimmage line are simply a sacrifice, which is a shame and it does seem to move my line further back as a result, since I'm keen not to get pushed into.

    Edit: Meh, spacing on my line up is lost on posting, they're rows 1, 3 and 5 on the pitch, left to right respectively.

    Edit 2: There we go:

    [PLAY-CREATOR]7559[/PLAY-CREATOR]
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  14. Barninho

    Barninho Well-Known Member

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    Some thoughts: -

    I would replace some of your stat decreased players. First the blitzer, once you can afford to. The reason is that he's a very important player and is liable to get targetted now.

    I might have kept the kicker for now, as I normally keep mine deep and there's not a lot of call for him to go dodging. I certainly wouldn't have replaced him before the blitzer.

    Then I'd get rid of the AV guy. With the injury cancelling out the stat increase he's expensive.

    I would keep the wrestler til he dies. Same with your catcher. I could see Pass Block being a good skill for him and would use him as a safety, although this means you wouldn't necessarily get as much use out of guard, and I don't think there's anything wrong with your plan. It's just I've used Eldril as a star player and I find he has a habit of getting interceptions that are crucial with nos, pass block and catch.

    As for the formation, I used to set out with something similar, but that seems like a formation that leaves too much space in the backfield for the agile teams and is easy to break through for the bashing teams. Its a formation that seems focussed on trying to win the line of scrimmage battle, and too often that's going to leave you tied up in a ruck, and that is what elves are worst at.

    My formation (with high elves) when kicking is a 3-4-4. I have the three on the LOS identical to you.

    Then two spaces back I have a line of four two spaces apart, with my blitzers out wide.

    Then two spaces back again I have a line of four directly behind this. My catcher behind one of the blitzers, and when I get another he will also be behind one of the blitzers. Also my thrower and another lino behind the two in the middle.

    When someone blitzes one of the first row, this leaves a defender still in the way behind them. It also has the effect of protecting my Catchers and Thrower for a couple of turns at least.

    I leave the backline in position until I can tell where the opposition is going to go and how the ball has broken. Even if the dice go against me dramatically, I still have a workable defence in position and ready to react to what the opposition is going to do. Receivers have a hard time breaking through, and I can reduce the space a cage has to operate in if a bash team decides to bash a cage down the flanks.

    When the opposition do break through, I normally have at least two players deep who can then catch up to the ball carrier and at least slow him down so other players can make up the lost ground. This has been working for me really well.

    I use more of a 3-5-3 when receiving, again making sure to protect the thrower and catcher. Obviously you want more options for busting through the line when you get the ball without allowing them through if they roll a blitz play on kickoff.
     
  15. Gallows Bait

    Gallows Bait Super Moderator Moderator

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    Thanks for the feedback. I don't think my formation is consciously aimed at a line of scrimmage, so much as I'm nervous that if I don't start forward the opposing ball carrier will have an easy time advancing down field before caging up deeper.

    I'll keep an eye on my blitzer and see how he goes, if he take any more hits I might look at dropping him, but for now the budget is tighter than I'd like for replacement.

    I tried again this evening, matching up against a Norse team, and things were going well - a first half kick that saw me break the ball free on turn 5, collect it on turn 7 and score on turn 8, taking the lead as well as the numbers advantage when I badly hurt one of the linemen.

    Unfortunately my pc then chose to crash and so the game treated it as a disconnect on my part - automatic loss, no mvp, no winnings. :(
     
  16. Netsmurf

    Netsmurf Well-Known Member

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    -AG line elf is perfect for LOS duty, you do not mind if he dies and he would be great to use to tie up big guys. So keep him until he catches a sudden dose of dead, or other bad stuff.

    Sacking the AV+- dude is the right choise. I would never go for + AV but always take the +MA if I do not need the normal skill more and on 5+5 I would take a handy double skill (90 % Guard).

    Just saw your norse match hickup. Damit to hell, hope it will get more stable.

    Well back to buisness, keep the blitzer until you have funds and time to replace him.

    4 rerolls is what I think is best. Normaly I do not run dry, giving me nice options late in the halfs. If I have a match where they are gone after 4 turns, I start praying and play very lowrisk - sometimes it works.
     
  17. altf4

    altf4 New Member

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    I start to think that your Blood Bowl license number is cursed ! You should ask Cyanide to replace it :D

    Seriously speaking, I would personnally get rid of the Fractured Skull and Broken Neck Linemen (as you've got another one with Kick).

    I would keep the Blitzer, knowing that he probably won't last for long, and gather money to buy a new one for the time when replacement becomes necessary.

    The Catcher's case is more sensible, but Block and Guard may compensate a -1 MV.
     
  18. Viajero

    Viajero Active Member

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    Man, that is some serious pain threshold you have for injuries. That is very good because that is usually the way with pro's and woodies. If you like elves you need to have a high pain threshold to injuries :D

    Having said that the lineman with -AV is a drag that is clear so I would probably drop it altogether and stay with a JM untill enough gold to buy the next catcher.

    I would advise go for all 4, and for that the way to do it is replace LM as they retire due to injuries or die. Next at the chop is the -AG one although not that urgent as it does not bloats your TV as much as the +AV one.

    In tyerms of defensive set ups, your is as good as any,a lthough I do not see why you have your blitzers that far behind. You can probably move them up at least one more row.

    Here linked a page over at the Cyanide forums with a player creator screen for woodies defensive formations, which can be also applied to Pro's (I actually used them, teh one on the right against agaile temas, the one on the left against more bashy, or slight variations). I tend to place blitzers wide due to their SS sideline control with no fear of frenzy players etc.

    The one on the right may seem a bit risky because it allows for unhindered incursion through the middle if the LOS is lost, but asuming your agile opponent is going to punch a hole anyways that is where you want him to be... as exposed as possible. A woodie would have the Tree at the LOS. Watch out for oppponents building their cages right in that gap if the LOS is fully wiped out though.

    http://www.cyanide-studio.com/forumBB/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=382&start=350

    [play-creator]6287[/play-creator]
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  19. Gallows Bait

    Gallows Bait Super Moderator Moderator

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    Well the campaign continues, interrupted briefly by a short spelling running a "fresh out of the box" test Elf team twice more - I'm determined to set one up that gets off to a better start sometime, but again results were less than sterling. My first new team was trashed immediately after matching up against a lizardman team (1 krox and all 6 saurus) that left several players with a dose of dead. The second started slightly better with a 1-1 draw against undead and a game against necromantic that ended after 2 turns when my opponant abandoned the match (I only injured one ghoul, knocked out a wight and stole the ball in the first turn.. what's so bad about that?). But then I wound up against a dark elf team that I defended well against, but each blitz got progressively worse until that team also caught a dose of the multiple dead.

    So, I returned to my slightly battered and bruised original team. Again I was paired up with a dark elf team, which included 4 blitzers, 1 runner and 7 linemen, but no witchelves.

    I took to the field kicking in the first half and I used the suggested columns defence. It held out until turn 7 when the blitzers finally got through my weakened line. Frustratingly I can't really see anywhere I particularly went wrong - I minimised contact and I held the cage at the centre line for the first 5 turns, even when it tried to flank me.

    Unfortunately each blitz again took a toll on me, I held off my apothecary as long as I could - two linemen badly hurt and one unconscious, but then the lack of numbers left my flank weaker and due to marking a couple of potential receivers, I couldn't close down the gaps any stronger. So the blitz play got them to touchdown on their 7th turn.

    The restart for my turn 7 saw me try a hard punching blitz play, pushing through the left of centre field, avoiding the stronger guarded extreme widezones. I was able to push 3 receivers (2 blitzers, 1 catcher) into position whilst my thrower held back.

    Turn 8 saw them marked up heavily and one blitzed. I tried to blitz the catcher free a little, to reduce the tackle zones on the player I knew would have best chance of catching and running for the line. It helped, but unfortunately even with a 2+ catch due to nerves of steel, the ball bounced out of his hands and ended the half.

    The second half saw me push a similar blitz forward, but again with a weakened team I was heavily marked, whilst 2 dark elf blitzers closed in on my thrower. I held my nerve and tried again to free up receivers, but nothing was working in this half. The dark elf blitzers closed in but did not block - using their blitz elsewhere that turn.

    Turn 10 saw my thrower and his guarding lineman make a break for the left flank, again waiting for receivers to come free, but dodges and blitzes were faily unsuccessful and with the dark elf blitzes seemingly achieving the impossible almost turnly, I was losing more players, with another lineman taken out to miss the next game.

    The closing dark elves blitzed one of my blitzer receivers and he was taken down with a -1AV, being late in the game and the blitzer being my most skilled player I used my apothecary, but the alternative only came up dead, so he was left injured and weakened.

    The game began to decend into farce at that point, I was blitzed off the ball but spent the next few turns chasing the dark elves and occassionally blitzing the ball free with my irrepressible catchers, the dark elves were in no rush to score, wanting to reduce my chances of another blitz play.

    In a final twist the dark elves killed one of my linemen, but a second block caused a turnover and took away their chance to score a second touchdown.

    Overall I'd only lost 0-1, but the cost had been high, with my team now down to only 8 players and several now with painful longterm stats affecting injuries.

    My league record is now 4-2-8 and I'm running out of funds, the game yielding me only 10,000 coins and a reduction in my fan factor.

    On the face of it, I don't see where I played particularly badly - my cage held as long as I could manage given the casualties I was taking, and I did minimise the blocks I took, but as the game turned worse and worse there was less and less I could do - marked or prone players became multiple marked, if I tried to dodge out, I failed, it I stood I was blocked down easily. When I blitzed I was getting desperate to retreive the ball - one die rolls at best, and even then I couldn't gain the ball, only hope they would fumble.

    Overall it just seems par for the course for my elves, but I'm beginning to get frustrated at the constant losses - I've suffered around 4-5 dead so far and most of my surviving players have yet to gain more than 1 skill in the 14 matches I've played.

    My thrower is okay, my skilled up blitzer and catcher are crippled by injuries and my linemen are a rotating list of novices and journeymen with only a kick and a couple of wrestle skills to show for it.
     
  20. Viajero

    Viajero Active Member

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    Well, that is really unfortunate, cause the one thing pro´s are good at is catching right and left. The double ones are always a possibility but more often than not you would have scored in that play. To all accounts you set it up well.

    Yes, I hear you. Although you seem to bear injuries well, maybe trying an AV8 elf race may give you a bit of fresh air.

    Alternatively trying woodies, still with AV7 may also give you a diffrent angle as the play possibilities with WD are much more spectacular than with the pro´s.

    Ultimately if you are not having fun with a race, just try another!