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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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    Tried again with a fresh team and ended up matched to a similarly new goblin team.

    Either the game is rigged or there's a cheat out there or something, every game I play in the last few days seems to involve opponants getting the blitz result on the kick off when I'm weak, allowing them to snatch the ball and beat up my team out of formation. It happened at both kick offs this game and 3 times in my last game (resulting in a 4-1 drubbing), I'm utterly sick of it. Only seems to happen when they kick close enough to the centre line to reach the ball on the blitz.

    The kick off hurt, with 2 of my players taken off the pitch immediately, it never improved for the whole game.

    By the end of the game I had 6 badly hurt, 1 with a smashed collar bone and a dead catcher. The highlight had to be the thrower badly hurting himself on a go for it roll to pick up the ball. With all the knock outs suffered as well, at one point I didn't even get a turn because I only had one player on the pitch and he was stunned. Only one knock out woke up in the whole match, to leave me with 2 players in the final drive.

    If anyone wants a giggle, see the replay attached, I guess.

    As for me, with my main team decimated by injuries and the last 5 (yes 5!) teams I've created killed off within 2-3 matches due to injuries, I'm thinking I'll go pick another race. I'm lost when it comes to seeing my errors anymore, I can't see the mistakes or the learning points, only the fact I've had 6 losses in a row on my main team and I'm down to a team with only 8 players on it and 4 of those are cripples.
    :mad:
     

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  2. Barninho

    Barninho Well-Known Member

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    I think Elves are at a serious disadvantage in the Open League. I've played against them quite a bit recently and the only match where I didn't end up outnumbering them was in the match that mattered in the UKBBL. My halflings took on the third ranked player in the UKBBL ladder and lost 3-2, at the end he had two dead and five left on the pitch. I have played them three times today with undead, beaten them twice, and had a draw and every time I hit them someone seemed to go off the pitch.

    With halflings I've gone the last five games without having to replace a player... Go figure. But the lack of protection skills with elfs really hurt and personally I burn rerolls on blocking/blitzing them for that reason with my MB players especially.

    Reading Viajero's post on his high TV team, even when you get up to that level it seems like it's only a matter of time before they get knocked down again. Maybe they are a team for shorter competitions, but in any case I think you gave yourself a real challenge with that particular race and did well.
     
  3. Viajero

    Viajero Active Member

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    Losing players in general and, more often than not, the good ones in particular is a fact of life about woodies and pro´s. If you like these 2 elf races one needs to come to terms with that simple issue.

    When that happens, one just buys replacements if possible, starts developping them, life goes on. The key aspect is to try and win with whatever you have at the moment.

    Rare is the team in the Open League that is so crippled I decide to start over. If I do it is simply because I decide I want to steer the team development in another direction and need to do it from scratch, or because a significant part of the team was completely wiped out or injured seriously, but rarely I decide to start over because of losing a few key players.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  4. Barninho

    Barninho Well-Known Member

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    That's all I mean. An elf team is always one game away from getting pummeled and guys like you who persevere and still do well have nothing but my admiration. The game where you lost your MB catcher and AG thrower just seemed like a perfect example of how cruel playing the team can be sometimes... I was referring to you being knocked down a long way in terms of TV, not knocked down in terms of being finished.
     
  5. Viajero

    Viajero Active Member

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    Yes, you had several bad armor/injury rolls but those are due to the Trolls in a significant number so Mighty Blow involved... nasty on AV7. A couple of tips just in case. I´m no expert but I saw a few things I would have done differently.

    - Do not start on LOS with all 3 packed together against gobbos, ball and chain is nasty there.
    - Do not mark gobos with AV7 unless you can secure a Troll left alone that way or screen one of your players who is about to score... You were left exposed a few times to retaliation. Also, feel free to mark gobbos in case you see your opponent will most likely not bring assists to block you for whatever reason. If the gobbo player marks you, put all those free 2D hits to good use instead of dodging, just be mindfull of not letting the ball carrier slip through a too thin defense line, try and ensure the gobbo carrier will have to dodge at least twice before reaching TD.
    - Blitz the cage corners and mark the carrier with a blitzer then place a stall screen ahead. In case of doubt depending on number of dodges required place the screen first then blitz the cage corner. Rinse and repeat until opponent fails or leaves the carrier exposed. I saw you blitzing the looney (fair enough) but also ganging up on the Blal and Chain(??). Ball and chain is to be ignored, lure it to where there are plenty of goblins, i.e their eventual cage. By marking the carrier you force the opponent to act on the marker (as opposed to progressing) or dodge, this is the strength of elves, force other people to eat rerolls.
    - Blitz! yes, that was bad luck indeed, but I think you should have tried to pick up with the LOS lino and not with the catcher. Bring the ball back and take your time.
    - Move order. Priority is to avoid the Trolls, either by simply dodging away or hiting goblins nearby so to create Really Stupid rolls on 4+ etc. I saw you... marking Trolls! lol, wtf? Screen them if you want to protect a key player but do not mark Trolls I reckon...
    - 2nd half Blitz! again. Yes, very bad... but you tried to pick up the ball on -3 !!! rain and 2 TZ as your opening move. You had rerolls but you should have used them maybe to move back your LOS first (packed with Trolls) to cover the ball or even blitz one of the goblins near it.

    As I said, I'm no expert and hindsight and replays are a great thing but... :D

    Ive looked into my replays so to find one where you can see good examples of what I meant about harrasing the cage and stalling defense. TV is around 1500 here (things are not always as easy as in this replay! But it is a good one to actually see it in action). See first half in particular, where I manage to drive my opponent ... back! and make him nervous enough to attempt a hand off that fails. Also note the 2 turn TD at the start... elves have the best catchers... laugh at TZ and just create a clean dodge opportunity for them with a blitzer. Also note a few 1D blocks I threw where I thought critical in order to allow me to continue harassing the cage or maintaining the stalling defense etc. Turn 14 is good fun, as luck does not seem to smile my opponent and a critical doluble skull makes for 3-0...

    In general, and in particular against bashy teams, Elves seem to me the "Nurgle" of agile teams. Get under your oponent's skin, frustrate and slow his advance, harass the cage, be patient and make HIM take the risks. Be confident in the know that you have a great shot at scoring in 2 Turns. You can practice 2 turn TD with the AI... for low value teams you will need a hand off-pass chain typically... so the best is to go deep with one of the catchers (usually the scorer, although you may need to improvise), escorted by a blitzer and a lino or so and leave the other catcher screened at the center as the pivot of the chain for example.

    On defense in general also do not take unnecessary risks or leave players exposed in tackle zones, especially if you think you will have those additional 2 turns to equalize or win. This is specially true at low TV levels with elves, be risk averse at low TV levels, move in a way that forces your opponent to take more actions than you (Go for it's or dodges to get around you, hand off's or passes, etc) keep the rerolls for dodging out of the way first (but consider not to use them if it is your last move of the turn and the defense has been reasonably set up already), be patient.

    Playing against other elves is a different story altogether and probably worth a whole new discussion in the forum! It is a lot about positioning and tackle zone networking to increase your opponent elf chances of having to dodge on -1´s or worst. There are very good players at it out there that surely can give tips. This tactic is also used by good bashy team coaches to disrupt elf mobility. Also against brother elves often the key is trying to disprupt the "pivot" of the pass-hand off chain at the center (by blitzing, marking or screening those middle of the field key players) and forcing your opponent to waste one turn rearranging or having to to take a longer pass. And also... fouling! at 60K, you have the cheapest AG4 pieces. Plan to have at least one dedicated fouling player with either SG or DP, or maybe both and aim for those pesky 160+ value WD or catchers...
     

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    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  6. Gallows Bait

    Gallows Bait Super Moderator Moderator

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    Thanks hugely for the feedback, I think that last game probably wasn't my finest hour and in a lot of plays my impatience shone through - I was desperate to level the score in the first half and after that numbers took a toll.

    Marking the trolls, not ideal, but I had in my mind an idea of reducing the assists to the goblins and was trying, probably not always correctly, to use my strength advantage on them to block even the ones next to the trolls. That said looking back I should pick better targets I guess.

    The fanatic always seems to leave me stumped how to deal with him, I find him a huge road block on the pitch, so I end up trying to take him out - even though logically I know he can be dodged around, psychologically I've been traumitised by enough around those little guys and can't seem to help but look for ways to get him out of the way so I can get on with things.

    I think with the second blitz I saw that if I brought my line back I wouldn't get them forward to receive, so I tried for the ball, but to be honest, didn't realise how bad my odds were..

    There's a lot more finese in the placement of my players than I'm good at right now, but overall the team has been great for learning.

    Right now I'm trying out an orc team, and using the lessons I've learned here has secured them two draws (should both have been wins but I'll admit to a couple of crucial mistakes). So I guess learning the precision of elves is useful for anyone.

    I'm still tempted to start over though, my roster is just painfully battered right now.
     
  7. Etheric

    Etheric Well-Known Member

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    Man you had the mother of all nufflings there. Been wondering how you had managed to avoid a game like that for a while, its what seems to happen to my elf teams, one reason I started playing dwarves :D.

    Had one game as orcs where I finished each half with 2 players though lol.

    In one of the other leagues I play the game before last I lost 3:1 to skaven. He had 2 blitzes in the game, got 2 of my players off in the first 2 turns... One of the flaws in the game is the way the first few turns can really skew the game with some rolls, witha starting team once oyu start losing players, you normally have no reserves, so have more 2D against blocks which gives more casualties etc.

    My last game in the other league, vs halflings, and he had enough cash for a halfling chef, which was nasty. So turn 1, I kick off. Throw a rock, one player badly injured. I used my kick player to try to kick short, got a 6 on the kick roll, and an unlucky bounce, so it was a touchback. Lost my 2 rerolls to the chef (pretty average from 3 rolls, think he got all 3 though, so had 6 rerolls). Then pretty much my first block against the cage was double skulls (no rerolls due to the chef). Think his treemen rooted once whole game. Losing 2:1 to a halfling team as wood elves :(. The halflings had their troll juice as well. When you can't get av6 and stunty players off the pitch :(.

    Right now need a bit of a break :D, if the nuffling gets to you then you should find a different game, which is what I am feeling right now :(.
     
  8. Netsmurf

    Netsmurf Well-Known Member

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    Etheric just wait it out a little, remember it will also be the other way around and by then you will be a far better player be cause you were forced to do a lot of alternative thinking. This is not bad.
     
  9. maxcarrion

    maxcarrion Active Member

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    Haven’t chipped in in a while, finally caught up on this thread. So where to start, I cannot believe you took guard over strength, a S4 catcher is a gift from Nuffle, I had a S4 DE blitzer once and he just generates problems for the opposition. Get block and dodge after that and he’s getting close to unstoppable. Opens up all sorts of plays like the 10 man defence while a S4 A4 M8 psycho chases down their ball carrier like the frickin terminator. Or laughing as you catch the ball while marked by a Saurus and 2 Skinks thanks to NOS before 1 die blitzing a skink, then 2+ dodge to freedom and scoring without any help (apart from the thrower). Blitzing down your receivers becomes a whole new challenge when one is stronger than your defenders. A fast S4 A4 player is one of those magical players like the tentacle + block + grab mino or the claw + MB + block chaos warrior, or the +1 MA + sprint gutter runner or the AG 5 + leap elf. These players single handedly create problems for the opposing team and if not dealt with can turn matches.

    Speaking of which, when you faced the leaper I don’t think blitzing him down is the best solution, he’s a reroll eater and unless his armour breaks knocking him flat barely diminishes him at all. Instead mark him in a line formation (2 markers; one each on opposite sides) This forces either a leap or multiple dodges to get loose – eating rerolls. If he moves, mark him up next turn, if he doesn’t just block him down, if he scores early then it gives you time to equalize otherwise just force him to roll dice every single turn but don’t let him eat your blitzes. This allows you to use your blitzes elsewhere, like pressuring the thrower, forcing him back, rushing the throw or even popping the ball loose and scoring.

    I’ve had better luck with a 3-4-4 formation then the 3-6-2 formation you run, a 3-4-4 can completely close the widezones and leave a fairly narrow corridor to run down the centre, if an opponent runs into this corridor your team has the speed to simply close in from all sides, by setting back a few squares from the LOS you can get in front of the forming cage and quickly bring it to a halt. Your 3-6-2 formation on the other hand an opponent can blitz through on a flank leaving half your team badly out of position and just a couple of screeners will leave you unable to get in front of the ball. (Take the formation Viajero posted, push the middle row of players out 1 square, ensuring the wide zone players are side steppers, then push the back row of players back one square and I’d tend to separate the LOS players a square too to make the centre corridor a little less accessible.

    You still don’t seem to be doing very well on offense so here is a little tidbit for you. A standing pro elf catcher is almost impossible to prevent from scoring. If you put 2 catchers at least half way into the opponents half they can’t blitz them both so they have few options.

    There is no formation I know of with 3 or fewer players that can make a TD harder for a standing pro elf catcher than 2+ w/ skill reroll pass (your thrower can do a long pass at that roll so that’s the roll you’ll need), 2+ with skill reroll catch (NOS), 3+ dodge into 1 tz, 2+ dodge out (if you have dodge then with a skill reroll, otherwise these are the rolls TRR were invented for), score, profit. Only exceptions to this are diving tackle and disturbing presence which are a nightmare against the passing game :p If you have a catcher that can get away without the 3+ dodge then that’s the one that gets passed to. Even better if you can blitz one free with assists their odds improve even further. This is a great reason to get guard on the catcher (although Strength would work better) as you can blitz off one of the markers with an easy assist allowing you to catch and then dodge free on a 2+

    If they keep blitzing one or other catcher you can happily delay indefinitely as they simply cannot blitz your screen to get to your thrower (your linemen are making a screen that they can’t run round or block through right?) You should have the option of scoring literally any time you like as only a poorly timed turnover or an armour break will ever give them the opportunity to get both catchers down together. .

    Against all teams, it’s very rarely a good idea to mark anyone with MB or PO that’s almost giving away a player so be very very wary of doing it, never say never but 95% of turns just don’t. ball and chain guys and treemen especially can simply be played around and will rarely be able to even catch you.

    Sometimes the dice just go against you, sometimes you’ll get double skulls, reroll, double both down (yes it’s 1 in 81 but you’re making dozens of blocks a game, it will happen and Murphy says it’ll be at the worst possible moment), minimize your rolls maximise their rolls, especially ones that cause turn overs is possibly the best bit of advice in this whole thread (shame it wasn’t originally mine :p)
     
  10. Gallows Bait

    Gallows Bait Super Moderator Moderator

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    Thanks again for the advice all, I think I'll try another fresh team sometime soon once I'm done with my Orc diversion.

    In response though max:

    The problem I'm having is having enough players on the pitch by the time I make my drive - if it takes all I have to open a hole for my catchers to push forward I have no defence for my thrower as they are either marked or will easily be so after using them to push a hole in the defence. Lately its a rare second half I start with more than 6 or 7 on the pitch, and with that happening it takes 3 or 4 to open even a small hole for my receivers, I've nothing left to keep them from rushing around my line of scrimmage on the flank.

    I guess in that respect improving my defence to the column formation should make a difference, but I'm struggling to manage it without getting hurt and conceding a touchdown as well to boot.
     
  11. Coach

    Coach Administrator Head Coach

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    If your Thrower is so far back that they can't physically reach him then he will be safe (for one turn at least).

    A ST4 Catcher would have made breaking through their lines much easier as well!

    Also waiting a turn for them to take a turn usually messes up their defensive formation which makes getting receivers forward much easier. If you can get a lot of players forward (such as in a position where they can't easily run back to block your way forward) then move the ball forward that turn if you can't keep the Thrower safe.
     
  12. Gallows Bait

    Gallows Bait Super Moderator Moderator

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    Cool, thanks for the advice there.

    So basically, unless I'm needing a 2 turn touch down, it would be okay to break a hole in the line and hold back my receivers if it would leave me in a weak defensive position, and see if I can take advantage when they move up instead?

    Kind of sacrificial on the line breaking guys, but that's not dissimilar to the approach of the scrimmage line on defense - guess I should be using linemen more and hold back my blitzers.

    But first, to keep more players alive through the first half. :D
     
  13. Netzilla

    Netzilla New Member

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    Actually, by keeping a few guys near the LoS, you can do a 2 turn TD from pretty deep in your own zone. The thrower runs forward and passes to a target near the LoS. That player then runs to a player waiting in the opposing zone and hands off. The final player runs in the touchdown. You can cover a lot of yardage that way. Even if you're playing a team with only 6 MA and moderate throwing range, you can run the thrower 6, throw for 4 (10), run 6 to handoff (16) and run 6 to score (22). Since I've managed that with my Norse and Human teams, I imagine the elves can go even further.

    It does require that you succeed in a Pass, Catch and Catch (handoff). If there's enough holes in the other team's defense, you won't even have to make any/many dodges.
     
  14. Netsmurf

    Netsmurf Well-Known Member

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    If you throw for 4 you might as well throw for 6 as it is the same range modifier if you throw in a straight line forward.
     
  15. Viajero

    Viajero Active Member

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    Hmm, I think that was a bit unclear. If you manage to punch a hole on your opponent line, you should usually send 1 or more pieces through it irrespective of if you need to score fast or not.

    Pro's, much like woodies, benefit from your opponent being stretched out, so the more area your pieces cover usually the better for you. Stretching an opponent thin is particularly of good use against bashy teams as they may lose all that Guard benefit and some key assists. It is usually good to have a couple pieces threatening TD as your opponent will always have to use some resources to deal with them instead of using those to get to the ball.

    The key thing to keep in mind when going deep is to keep a viable "supply chain" in place that allows you to get the ball to your forward pieces if necessary. Yesterday I played a game against Norse where I received first and decided to stall my score until turn 5 or 6 at least. I ll post the replay this evening so you can see how streched my Norse opponent was when I decided to move to score. Since my best thrower ever (+AG, accurate and Safe Throw) had died a few games ago, I now have to get by with pass/hand off combos so I need to keep that supply chain very much intact to always have a real threat.

    Now, what Coach is probably referring to is that if you manage NOT to punch the hole, then you have to be patient and bid your time. Make sure you get the carrier back enough or screened enough so your opponent can not get to mark it in his turn. The thing is that more often than not after your opponent moves his pieces that first turn, a few opportunities will arise for you to create a hole again.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  16. Viajero

    Viajero Active Member

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    Here the replay in case anyone interested. Note how the Norse had up to 4 of their players in my own half when I decide to move the ball forward, trying to have the ball in an area where I have local numbers advantage if possible.

    The TD was possible as "early" as turn 4 but I decide to stall until turn 6 I think so to limit the risk of the Norse scoring back.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010