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Tactics Help me understand formations, receiving and caging

Discussion in 'League and Team Development Tactics' started by Wendek, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. Borke

    Borke Well-Known Member

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    Man, you are SO not playing the right team for your style :p

    But kidding aside, I think you nailed it, because you basically said the same thing already: You need to play a team that naturally does what you want to do, which is steal the ball and score on the opponent's drive. The absolute best team for that, I believe, is Skaven, and they come with the added benefit of having access to mutations as well (albeit on doubles only).

    There are some other teams who are good at stealing the ball, mostly all the elves (and the Wood Elves are probably the most adept at it), and of the hybrid teams I'd say Necro and Humans are pretty good at it, due to speed.

    But of course none of these is very bashy, a lot of them are fragile, and that's just what it comes down to: You can't have both the explosive playstyle you want, and be durable at the same time.

    Chaos is perhaps not a bad choice, because they have access to ball handling skills through mutations, which will allow you to "disengage" from the opponent and go for a "pass and run" play, should you see an opportunity. However, there is one major factor that limits Chaos' potential for these types of plays, and it is a factor you cannot overcome with skills: lack of speed. Most teams you face will have the same or even better speed than you, and that means if you just run away with a lone Beastman, all the opponent needs is two unmarked players to get a 2d blitz, or even worse if you're playing elves, all the opponent needs is to not fail a couple of dodges, no matter how much you mark him, and suddenly your ball carrier is in trouble and the break-away play is over. It might work occasionally, but it's not a good general game plan.

    Therefore I'm afraid with Chaos you need to learn how to "advance the cage". And try to hurt the opponent, you should at least get one nice blitz in every turn, with the objective of removing players to make moving the cage easier long term.
     
  2. Wendek

    Wendek New Member

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    Yeah actually Skaven are honestly my favorite team, but I will never dare to play them online because well, so many injuries would really make me mad (especially when you consider that even with AV8-9 players I seem to get a smashed collar bone once every two games...). Well there's the No Bash league but then I'd face mirror matches all the time I guess, plus agile teams can still bash you in the end (unless the league also forbids skills like MBlow, I don't know, didn't check more than that).

    I had some half-decent results with Necromantic actually. I played them without Ghouls so far, because AV7 with no apothecary screams walking injury bag to me, though. They work very well with the agressive part of my playstyle, with Werewolves definitely being in the top 5 of my favorite units from the whole game. However there's no one there who will be able to pass, so it has to be much more heavy on the running game. I could see it kind of work though, it has four players (more if I ever dare to bring a Ghoul) that can handle a ball decently, although it could easily become three because one of the wolfies would likely become a killer (not that it completely prevents him from ball carrying though)

    Honestly, do you think I could make Underworld work ? Okay the gobbos are definitely going to die a bit much for my liking, but a Stormvermin with normal access to mutations is scary, and the linemen can become pretty good at annoying a ball carrier with Wrestle + Horns (+ Tackle if they survive long enough to reach level 4). A goblin basically only needs level 3 to be the ultimate ball retriever with Two Heads + Big Hand (or +1 AG and Big Hand) since he literally does not give a single fuck about tackle zones at that point, and when they roll a double they can take Guard and make pretty mobile assists. I dislike Really Stupid (it's the weakest negative trait, isn't it ?) units, but once the Troll has his level 2 and Tentacles I can actually let him stand without moving as long as he ties up 2-3 players, and only move him either if I have no choice (ie only one with a decent chance at stopping the carrier) or if he's not marking anyone.

    I ask because I've been testing that team in Single-Player for the past few days and I'm actually liking it so far. Of course, again once online it'd obviously be harder but it seems to have everything I want for my style : runners, enough blitzing power to bash some heads in, and two decent throwers that can pass the ball to each other or the other rats (or gobs if it's desperate). Y'know what I've said about bypassing the enemy lines ? With two Throwers I feel like I'd have a decent chance at creating an opening and then pass one of the throwers through, then give it the ball. If he gets cornered but not blitzed next turn, he can then pass it back. Make the opponent turn in circles whenever I have the ball.

    Why are they even considered one of the worst teams ?


    I have also toyed with the idea of Vampires, because ST4 AG4 seems good for someone who wants to "do everything" like me. Of course there's Bloodlust...
     
  3. Limdood

    Limdood Well-Known Member

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    I think you should put a wide variety of teams into the BBtactics open league "Crunch Them All" and play some of the good coaches, and ask them to explain what they're doing and why as they play. Quite often, a hyper-aggressive defense can lead to an easy score FOR THE OFFENSE if the receiving team plays it right, although the same is true of a highly conservative defense.

    one thing that might help is watching what the opponent does when they have the ball. The computer is pure shit at protecting the ball. I play single player sometimes to unwind, and i'll take 'flings thru cup after cup and give up maybe 1 TD every 8 games....the computer is just THAT BAD at covering the ball. Play some real opponents - you'll get some decent to VERY high quality coaches in the Crunch Them All league, playing all sorts of teams, with all sorts of playstyles (even within the same game!) and will be able to see how sometimes you just can't seem to smash that offense, and even with a tough team, throwing players at the opponent's cage to try to trigger a mistake will just get your team beat to hell....and they'll still score on you.

    A good first step to learning how to play offense, is to experience what happens when your hyper aggressive defense fails. You analyze what the opponent did, and when someone uses a hyper aggressive defense on YOU, you use the strategy that beat it when you were on D. Similarly, step two comes when you realize that a hyper aggressive defense is not the answer to every situation, and start playing a more conservative defense. You then analyze what the (good....the key point here is playing people better than you, so you learn) opponent does....what worked, if they scored; or what didn't work, if you stopped the score; or even what catastrophically failed, if you stole the ball and scored on them!

    but take every great strategy you know for playing the computer and throw it out for online play...if you're going to practice on your own, play hotseat games against yourself and analyze different ideas. Its pretty much a fact here that any of the BBtactics "regulars" can beat the computer on any difficulty, near 100% of the time, with any team, against any team, because the computer AI is just dumb as hell. Playing against someone dumb as hell will only let you develop strategies that work on dumb as hell plays.

    You seem to already have a bit of a mentor group here. By all means, put some teams into the Crunch Them All (abbreviated CTA) league (they will need approval, so get them in ahead of time) and you can use this thread to try to schedule some learning games in CTA. You needn't worry about what happens to your team or anything. I know I'd be happy to play and help you, and i imagine most of the other posters in this thread feel likewise.
     
  4. Borke

    Borke Well-Known Member

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    Wendek, I can't really tell you why Underworld are considered one of the worst teams. Or even if they are considered that. I've heard people placing them above the other "stunty" teams, which I would agree to, just based on anecdotal evidence. But I have no statistical data regarding team performance long term, or anything like that.

    Underworld are certainly fun, I love playing them, and they do offer the possibility of more explosive play. But if you don't like Skaven because they die a lot, remember that it's worse for Underworld, because half of their team is Stunty. And they still only have 3 players with higher than AV7.

    Maybe you need to find a team with which you don't mind if your players die. If Underworld is that team for you, then they could work very well with your playstyle, I guess.
     
  5. Wendek

    Wendek New Member

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    I don't understand this point. Why wouldn't I worry about it ? Is it that absurd that I actually want to develop a team and not have it go backwards all the time by getting smashed into pieces ? I mean yeah I also want to get better as a player but not at the expense of the fun of developing my team. I won't get any better if I end up completely disgusted, will I ? I'm sorry maybe I just don't have the "Blood Bowl spirit" but where is the point when my Flesh Golem (AV9 + Regeneration) gets a smashed collar bone after his very first block ? Where's the point in playing a team that's literally worse than a new one ? And that'll only get worse because it lost one of its most important players before it could develop anyone ? What fun is there when you get no more than 5 SPP in a game (from the MVP and nothing else since you won't score, won't injure and won't have the ball enough to pass) but two lasting injuries or more ?

    I mean you've spent dozens, maybe hundreds of time more than me on this game (~90h currently with about 10 online against humans in Naggaroth and Auld World), perhaps on the tabletop one as well. All of this is likely a distant past to you. Maybe I'm just an alien, or maybe I'm just stupid I don't know. But for now I don't see what I'll get out of challenging people ten times better with strong teams, except frustration and deleted teams.

    Y'know, in some other games (mainly League of Legends) I was the good player, trying to help my friends get better. They almost all stopped playing after some point because the gap was too big between us and they couldn't enjoy the game with me, due to the matchmaking trying to balance my level with theirs (thus giving us enemies that were too weak for me but too strong for my friends). I literally ruined their enjoyment of a game they might have enjoyed otherwise, because I tried too hard to make them good at it and in that process, they never experienced what made the game fun and what I had liked about it when I began playing it. Because I immediately tried to teach them the higher-level strategies and tricks, and they never experienced the linear progression that I had enjoyed. (not to mention they had way less time than me and that game requires a huge time investment if you want to progress)

    Anyway my point is, exactly what will it achieve if I go on this challenge-only league without really knowing anyone ? I'll challenge someone, he'll beat my team to the ground with fouls, crowdsurfs and CPOMBers and maybe give a few tips while scoring his fourth TD. But we both know that tips aren't as good as playing the game, except I can't play the game because right now I'm locked at a TV of 950 (okay I'm lying I think one of my teams briefly reached 1200 before getting smashed back to 980 and never getting up). I mean obviously it is possible to make teams progress since all of you can do it, apparently without effort and even when purposefully playing sub-optimally (cf your "Dodgy Passing Chaos").

    Right now what I want is to get just good enough that I can actually experience more than the first 5% of the game. I want to build my team, skill up my players, see how my tactics are affected when they acquire rare skills. I'm tired of only having to play with unskilled Level 1 players. Is it that absurd ?! Will admitting that I actually want to see what the game is like when you have anything else than rookies get me banned or something ? Sometimes I get the feeling from your posts that it's entirely frowned upon to wish to keep a team and I should be happy with a team that has to use 2-4 mercenaries every.single.game.

    I don't understand. Sorry, I went entirely off in tangeant there but since you guys keep telling me to play against you, I figure the main thread has been talked about enough already. Just to be clear, I fully agree that you get better by playing against stronger players, but slightly stronger ones, not masters who wreck you. You don't learn anything while getting stomped. You learn that you suck, and that's it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014
  6. Borke

    Borke Well-Known Member

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    The good thing about CTA is that you can always put new teams in, and that's what even the long time members of the forum (of which I am not one) often do. So you'll find that an individual player might have anywhere from 1 to 20 teams in CTA, at various different TV levels, from completely rookie to the 1800s.

    I understand from your post above that you want to learn in small steps, and that you don't want to learn by "being thrown in with the wolves", which I can sympathize with. There have been coaches who joined the BBT forums and went straight into a league like BC (Big Crunch), where they were maybe outplayed, or had a lot of bad luck, and lost interest in long term leagues (at least for the time being). That's certainly not a good situation and outcome, so I understand wanting to take it slow. Which is what CTA is exactly good for: You choose who to play against, you pre-arrange matches and hopefully do so with coaches who agree to have a friendly game that maybe you can come away from having learned a few tricks.

    I think what Limdood wanted to say with the sentence you quoted and his whole post in general is two things:

    1) CTA is a good testing ground because you can bring in new teams over and over again, which you can use to test, experiment and then throw away. Or maybe even keep, there might be teams that develop nicely.
    2) As soon as you go into games with human opponents of equal or even higher skill, you lose some control over the match and bad things can and will happen as a result of your players being hit. All of us have learned the hard way not to get too attached to individual players and teams, because eventually the time will come when they bite the dust. I am still learning this ;)
     
  7. tys123

    tys123 Courier Staff

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    Skaven are actually quite a good team for skilling up players.

    The linemen die a lot so rarely get above level2 but that is not what skaven are about.
    You have 2 vermin that you can skill as killers and the 4 gutter runners which are really the only 4 players that matter.

    A replacement gutter runner will have block or dodge after a match or 2 which gives them some protection. Also they are AG4 and dodge so rarely start the opponents turn in contact. Nearly all the TD's you score will be with a gutter so they level quickly. That means you can experiment with the rarer skills.

    They also suit the style of play you are talking about.

    I agree with others about playing in CTA.
    Playing against a coach a lot better than you in a training match won't get your team destroyed and if you ask the opponent will explain why he is making certain plays.

    Every player dies eventually and regardless of their AV the more they are knocked down the more injuries they suffer. To reduce your injuries you need to ensure you roll more block dice than your opponent. If you knock down , push away or dodge away from everyone only 1 of your players will be hit next turn. Moving all you players into contact reduces the opponents options next turn and if done right can give you a shot at the ballcarrier. However it also results in injured players. Learning the right time to go for option 2 is a hard skill to learn and watching when an experience coach takes the risk can only help.
     
  8. Barristan

    Barristan Member

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    Agreed with what has been said above. A good coach might throw some more blocks at you than a mediocre one but he has no better chance of killing your players. And in CTA you won't play guys hellbent on ruining your team/fun (unless you want to!). Plus you normally get to say 'no I don't want to play your Chorfs, I'd rather play vs your Elves.'

    Think of BB as a game similar to chess. There's a steep learning curve and against decent opponents you will lose a lot of games before you start to win regularly. But you will also learn much more against good players than other beginners for example.

    I started playing in MM and that's how I learnt the game. Then I discovered league play and never went back to MM but in hindsight, CTA would have been the perfect place to learn in a friendly environment (granted, I obv won a lot more in MM than I would have in CTA, but I also struggled when I started in leagues filled with good players only).
     
  9. Limdood

    Limdood Well-Known Member

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    i think i micommunicated or you mistook the intent.

    1) you don't worry about what happens to the team you throw into CTA to learn with, because its a learning team. You're building it specifically to showcase your playstyles and test against other (at this point probably better) people's teams. Its a castoff team. You're playing to see how your play rates against others, and get pointers. Odds are it won't develop as well as a team you make after playing 5 or 10 games in this league, simply because your knowledge will increase HUGELY in this league.

    So you mock up a team, throw it in, play a few games, and if its a great team at that point, keep it. If not, delete it and make a new one, played even more intelligently. I learn from every game i play. I came to the online community after dozens and dozens of games against the computer. I could smash it into the ground, and i knew a fair few strategies that a human would use too. In my first game here, i played another coach who just left me flabbergasted at what he did....i'd never seen the computer take 2 dodges to get a different block angle just so they could surf me, or see them making GFIs to hit a ballcarrier or stall out near the endzone to score at the end of the half. To my benefit, he made sure to tell me exactly what he was doing the whole game, and after that SINGLE game, i was a heck of a lot better.

    2) the people that play you will make a BIG effort to play you with same-TV teams. your brand new team will likely not even recieve enough inducements for a bribe. There's a chance you'll play someone with a levelup or two on their team, or maybe an apothecary, but in general, the goal is for competitive play. Similarly, you'll not likely get people who are always trying to line up matchups like dwarves vs. goblins or anything else so 1-sided. The people you play will likely have pure rookie teams as well, or maybe 1 or 2 games at the most played with that team.

    Will you get fouled anyways? well, if you play me, then probably. I make fouling a part of my overall strategy, and it works (sometimes, but isn't that the way of this game?). Other people avoid it. The point is, you'll play a team that, ON PAPER, will be a reasonably fair match for yours. The player will probably, hopefully, have a lot to teach you - just be clear that the purpose of the game is learning (people also use CTA as a "levelling up ground" to get teams ready for certain tournaments) and your opponent will be sure to smash you as kindly and informatively as possible (or the dice will betray them and you'll win your first game here, which would be cool!).

    3) unlike league of legends, the gap here does close. As you get better, it gets a LOT harder to make big jumps. Much of the game is risk management, and you learn it as you play more vs. people who ALSO understand risk management. The person i mentioned in #1 is still here, still playing this game and has played many of the same tournaments i play in. I'm not going to say we're equal, but i'd go into a game against him nervous and hopeful, not bemoaning the imminent death of my team and inevitable loss. Playing far superior players can be a huge frustration - if you do it in a tourney or ladder league, because those players are out to win. Playing a far superior player in a "just for fun" challenge league is among the best learning opportunities you can get.

    4) your teams die, it happens. I'm wondering, if you're having so little luck improving and levelling your teams, if you're not vastly speeding up your team death. You generally don't want to "mark up all the other teams' players" no matter WHAT you're playing. You want to carefully consider your moves and make sure that anytime you will end a turn next to another player, that it is helping your team....maybe your 2 chaos warriors are sandwiching a human blitzer, leaving him a really hard time to get free....maybe your rookie beastman is a sacrificial lamb, standing next to the CLAWPOMBing bloodthirster (even better if its a journeyman beastman!)....maybe you managed to push a player up to the sidelines and are choosing to take a risk that the player won't be able to get himself free before you surf him.

    I hear you talk about "aggressive defense" and even for bashy teams, that often leads to injured players. Since the other team will either be bashy (and able to hit back), be weak and agile (and able to dodge away), or be a hybrid (and be able to dodge some players, push back with others, and concentrate their best hitters at a few places) and all have their own strategies for dealing with mass contact.

    If survival is a priority, you might want to choose a race/roster that starts with an apothecary, and make a real effort to NEVER apothecary a badly hurt or MNG result, and even let other, minor injuries (-MV, -AG) on linemen stick around...after all, they can just sit on the LOS until they die.
     
  10. TravelScrabble

    TravelScrabble Well-Known Member

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    Blood bowl is a lot of risk management and dice. You can improve fast, it took me a couple of months but eventually I could play evenish games with the better BBT coaches and after half a year or so I was getting wins reasonably regularly. I still wasn't as good as those guys but the nature of the game levels the playing field a bit.
     
  11. TheSpydyr

    TheSpydyr Member

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    and one thing to keep prominantly in the front of your mind is that no player is safe...death and maiming can and most importantly WILL happen. DO NOT GET ATTACHED TO ANY PLAYER! They will die, someone will surf them, or foul them, or better yet a fan will throw a rock and hit them in the head and THEY WILL DIE!.

    It's the nature of the game...and while it is unfortunate that you had a golem get a smashed CB in the first game and that usually doesn't happen...it can happen, as you can attest. One of the hardest things for new coaches to get used to in BB (hell even some long-time coaches still have problems with this) is to just have fun with it and not let a bad diced match ruin the fun of the game. It is hard to keep that in mind, but if you can do that, then your enjoyment of the game will be tenfold.

    I was in a FUMMBL tournament match last night and the first 3 turns were absolutely horrible for me and my opponent was trying to be sympathetic and I typed back..."oh well, you just have to laugh at these dice and have fun with it." He was shocked by my response. A couple of turns later...the dice turned completely around and I ended up hurting his team pretty badly and winning the game 2-0 with my KHE over his Chaos (which had 4 CPOMB'ers).

    Point is bad turns/games/runs will always happen...just weather the storm and enjoy the ones that are good!
     
  12. Wendek

    Wendek New Member

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    Welp... you guys have convinced me, I'll send three teams to CTA (Chaos, Necromantic, Underworld), though I'll still play open leagues as well. Although it apparently refuses them if their value is under 1000... so that means I can't start storing up some cash for my next buy ? They got 10/20/30k respectively, do I have to buy like Fan Factor and Cheelearders ? That's a bit of a waste, I could have saved up for my 12th player or a reroll or something. Especially for the UW one, with 30k money I'm barely 10k short of another Gob'.

    Also, seems like most of you guys are in 'Murica so I'm unsure of how likely it is we'll face each other anyway. :/
     
  13. danton

    danton Well-Known Member

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    You can always buy cheerleaders / assistant coaches to take your tv up to 1000. Once the teams are accepted then just fire those before you play your first match and you will get your money back.

    There are actually more European based coaches here then US based I think, with some Australians thrown in for good measure! Generally people manage to find compatible times to play and most matches are probably played during European evenings.

    I also wanted to give a +1 to TheSpydyr's post. This game teaches you to develop a thick skin. You just have to accept that your best players will die, or get horrible injuries. You can of course lower the probability of that happening by improving your play-style and not exposing your best players needlessly, but even that is no guarantee in this game. ;)
     
  14. Wendek

    Wendek New Member

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    Oh, I thought I would not be able to fire them after applying.
    Also for the US remark it was more about the people who have answered on this thread, obviously without having played in the league yet I can't speak about it in its entirety. :p Though at least there's no real ping issue, just the timezones.
     
  15. Nikolai II

    Nikolai II Super Moderator Moderator

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    In Cyanide you can always fire players that haven't played a game and get the money back (and at least in new teams you can sell apos and things and get the money back as well)

    We used to admit TV 100 teams, but in the server move Cyanide broke our public league and the minimum is now higher. :(
    (At least for new teams)

    But TV 1000 still works, so fill up, join, and then sack away. :)