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Dark Elf Help on attack with DE

Discussion in 'League and Team Development Tactics' started by The Charlatan, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. The Charlatan

    The Charlatan New Member

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    Hi there everybody!

    I've recently started playing BB on the Cyanide game, and after learning the ropes against the CPU and with a Orc team (which had a nice success) on MP, i went straight for a DE team.

    I know they are hard to play, but I want to become better with them!

    While i've been able to make them work quiet well with less experienced coaches, now that i have a TV of about 1500 i'm starting to get pounded.

    My team (The Monologuers) is:
    5 lineman: 1 with kick, 1 with guard, 1 with guard+dodge, 2 without anything
    2 witches: 1 with wrestle+strip ball, 1 without anything (she's a newbie)
    4 blitzers: 3 with dodge, 1 with dodge+tackle
    1 runner: with nerves of steel

    I had an assassin, but i took him out after he wasn't able to do anything for four whole games (failed all stab rolls against armor 7, failed shadowing, failed dodge rolls, got KO'd everytime he got looked at for more than a second, and skinks laugh at him and his toy butter knife all the time).

    On defence, i seem to do well: i can screen well and easily jump on the opposition if they make a mistake. against less bashy teams, i risk a bit more, and can often at least not let them score.

    But on offence, i am having a lot of trouble.

    I've tried three different tactics:

    1: caging. i form a cage and move up the field, tring to move around any roadblocks, while using my lineelves to screen and buy some space to move.
    This seems to works well most of the time, but as soon as i fail a doge roll with one of the cage members (snake-eyes!) or i get too many casualties i often find myself surrounded and slaughtered.
    If i manage to score, i'm at least making 2-3 risky dodge rolls or lots of 1 dice blocks.
    Also stuff like prehensile tail or even worse tentacles can completely destroy this tactic.

    2: the passing game: i break a hole in the defence and pile in 2-3 players. However, without dedicated catchers and with low movement, i need some pretty good rolls to get a touchdown. And we all know how dice like to roll.

    3: feinting: i feint a passing game, making the opponent move a lot of players to a flank to get my "catchers", while leaving the ball with little protection.
    When the opponent gets too close, i quickly move my free players to the other flank and pass the ball to them.
    This has worked too, but leaves me open to interceptions. Which are horrible, as my team is completely out of position to recover.
    Also, my "false catchers" can easily get wounded, as they have little support.

    I was thinking about creating a cage and then pass, but i always feel like that's not going to work, as i can't seem to free any players long enough to get a worthy pass.

    Since my team can't seem to score reliably, i'm really struggling to win games. I can draw, but only if i'm lucky.

    Please help me! What am i doing wrong?

    Thanks for any tips!
     
  2. Etheric

    Etheric Well-Known Member

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    Dark elf offence is a bit tricky. You think as elves they should score easily but can be difficult sometimes. The agi 4 is nice, but dark elves are the slowest of the elves and it can be hard to make an opening.

    You can pass as dark elves, but not with your team. The runner has passing access so with pass and accurate can be a decent passer of teh ball. Keep it to short passes though (7 squares).

    My prefered starting roster is 4 blitzers and a runner with 2 RR for some extra speed. Then I normally build the runner dodge,accurate,pass. Generally on offence you want to cage up and move forward. The dodge on the runner helps al ot if they try to bust your cage you can just dodge away pretty reliably. Then you try to break through going from flank to flank. You can also try to get a player free and pass/handoff to that player who then scores.

    You have a decent amount of guard so should be able to go through.

    In general you need to be patient and work an opening. IT is hard to score realyl fast with dark elves, just keep the ball safe and try to work a position where you can score. Normally you want to keep the rolls to 2+

    Probably it would be good to watch some replays or post some of your replays so we can see a bit better what is going on.
     
  3. Rama Set

    Rama Set Member

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    Check out coach Danton's replays from the OCC. He is the most recent champion and won it with dark elves.

    For my dark elf play I tend not to cage so much as screen. Layering tackle zones between the defense and my ball-carrier. Then, as Etheric suggested, I work them side to side until I can get a hole to exploit.

    My two cents :)
     
  4. Lebe666

    Lebe666 Well-Known Member

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    Most Darkies I've seen run the ball with a light screen... when the runner gets taken down he passes to one of two that are near him. Which makes marking the ball a real pain...

    As Darkies have good armor... might be your not using your moves well in order to get those 2 die blocks... a foe on the floor has -3 move and can't block back.

    Still from what u wrote... ur on the right track. Just needs more patience than other elves.
     
  5. John McGuirk

    John McGuirk Well-Known Member

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    There are some things to remember about it Dump-Off.

    The first is that a Runner is one of your most fragile players, and letting a fragile player who is also the ball carrier get hit is a double-whammy of un-brilliance. You never want it to be part of your default strategy, but it is nice to have as a last resort.

    The second is that it'll never be a 2+ pass, at least on a rookie. The tackle zone of the guy blitzing you will make it a 3+, and if he's got an assist on you that's a 4+. To combat this you can take Nerves of Steel to make it an auto 2+. Pass lets you re-roll a Dump-Off (in the opponent's turn!), so combined with Dump-Off only a snake eyes (or missed catch, or interception) will screw you over. Despite this many coaches prefer to take the Accurate/Pass combination, because that gives you player who is almost as good at Dumping-Off but can also be used as a conventional Thrower on offence.

    The third is that yes, Dump-Off provides a chance for an interception just like any other pass. It's usually a 6+ to succeed, but it's a risk-free roll so why let them have it? Try to throw the ball to a guy diametrically opposite from where you're being blitzed to snuff out this chance.
     
  6. Voltorocks

    Voltorocks Member

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    been having some great success with darkelves on offense recently; I find that their greatest strength is human-like versatility (only via AG 4 instead of being skill heavy and fast).
    • Caging is the right choice *sometimes,* but don't forget a screen, especially against slower, bashier teams.
    • as others say above, don't rely on dump off, but do build your runner to take advantage of it. I like nerves of steel, dodge, pass, but find your own flavor.
    • Never forget: AG 4 AG 4 AG 4. Even 6 move can be surprisingly mobile when you dodge on a 2+.
    • Last but most important: unless you cannot, give yourself an extra turn to score. Most elf teams run a leisurely 2-turn score, while DE have to push their luck (though it can be done) to accomplish this. the trade off is, played right, DE can hold their ground much better for the extra turn it takes them to score, and be less likely to need a tough leap or long pass to score.
     
  7. Viajero

    Viajero Active Member

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    As you have remarked defense with Dark Elves is one of the best in the game due to their AG4, durability and agressive starting skills. 6 of their posiitonals can be blodged or wrodged with just 6 spp each. Add sidestep to that and thats one heck of an OP team in defense right there.

    Offense is a different story due to their low speed and lack of dedicated passers/catchers. Dark Elves should not be relying in a passing game unless it is a desperate move to score before the drive ends or a runner has been developped with Pass/Accurate at the very least.

    Instead Dark Elves (much like rookie High Elves) must rely on a running game which means caging and screening. DE is an elf team that has to use the classic double column defense also in offense! (to screen the ball carrier).

    DE offense has to be above all patient and move relatively slowly, favouring a safe position instead of a forward position and always looking for the opponent positional mistake or weakness. Make sure the ball is safely secured behind a screen or cage first, and then try to create some openings. Not the other way around.

    Dark elves are slow but they can relatively easily create openings in the wings, thanks to the Frenzy threat. These openings should be used typically by either a couple linos or blitzers to act as receiver threats. These threats will typically make your opponent stretch to ensure they are covered. Sometimes it requires 3 or even 4 turns to create such an opening, the key is not to be in a hurry and breath deeply. In ocassions your opponent may be able to shut down a wing opening by repositioning his pieces there. Dont panic. If he has managed to shut down solidly your wing attack it probably means he has left the center or the opposite wing very very weekly defended. So, Feint! In order to do a proper feint with a team as "slow" as DE you have to make sure in the first place that you dont overcommit to oyur initial attack avenue and that you have players more or less spread along the line. For that purpose is often wise not to actually move in the runner through the wing but to leave it screened and slightly off center in that side of the pitch. DE are a bit like dwarves in that regard in that you need to think a few turns ahead in terms of positioning to make sure you wont be forced to roll too many gfi or skilless passes/catches (the bane of DE) when you feint.

    But other than that this is where DE excell at. Once an opening is created or your opponent is stretched you should move in with the cage/screen and place the ball behind it again.

    Look for local superiority:

    The main goal would be not to just move in with a cage or screen willy nilly but to do so only when you have a piece number superiority in that part of the pitch. Elves can not remove opponent pieces easily but they can outposition them LOCALLY, at least for 1 turn or 2, enough time to hopefully secure a TD.

    Conclusion:

    Feinting with DE is pretty much a given. Unless your opponent does not want to cover the whole line you will need to poke/probe here or there a couple of times before you manage to get that numberĀ“s superiority in a specific region of the pitch.

    As mentioned, DE need to be patient, cage and screen safely first and then poke and probe for weaknesses your opponent line with your witches and blitzers. DE can not play a shootout game. low to mid TV DE need to play a 1-0 or 2-1 elf grind game. You have plenty of dodge that should allow you to reposition fairly easily, and you have the Guard required to support witches Frenzy. If you play against Tentacles or Prehensile tail consider marking it with a sacrificial lino (get to a 13 piece roster maybe) or placing one 1 tile away from it so the big guy has a hard time approaching your screen or cage.

    Look for DantonĀ“s replays at the OCC league to see examples of great screening offense.

    Last but not least, a word about Frenzy:

    One of the main common themes for all elf teams against bash is that for any given fixed and equal number of players in each team in a game, the lower that number is the better for elves. I.e. 7v7 is much better for elves than 11v11 (asuming your lost players are not all of your superstars obviously!). The less players in the field the better for elves to move and pass more easily. So for example, if you need to expose a skilless lino of yours in the sideline at risk of being surfed next turn in order to achieve that an equal or hopefully more important piece in your opponent roster also gets surfed, it may generally be worth it.

    Elves usually dont have many means to remove enemy pieces from the field (Wrestle and Dirty Player being probably the easiest access to a "removing" technique). But DE are special in that regard thanks to Frenzy. Frenzy is magical in that it will help you tremendously to achieve the above "numbers reduction" game via crowd surfs. Always always look for ways to remove opponent pieces from the field, no matter how convoluted and as long as your ball carrier remains safe behind a screen. For example, any piece 3 tiles away from the sideline and in contact with one of oyur pieces is already at risk of crowdsurf: 1 tile push from your marking piece and 2 more by the witch = opponent piece out. In these cases you may want to consider selecting :pushback: instead of :pow: so to be able to get rid of the player for the whole drive instead of a simple knock down. Also, look for blitzes that make one of your opponent pieces be pushed at 2 tiles from the sideline and marked by a wicth for example. Or viceversa: a witch blitz pushing an opponent piece to the sideline ready for a final push from another of your pieces marking it there. etc.

    This is easier said than done, and it requires lots of practice. There are a few excellent coaches out there to get replays from, but with regards to how best exploit Frenzy I believe OCC and ukbbl coach Andy Davo is one of the best.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  8. The Charlatan

    The Charlatan New Member

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    Thanks a lot everyone!

    This was really helpful. :)

    Just one more thing: should the first line of the screen be made up of sacrificable linos or of blitzers, to make full use of blodge (of course not against dwarfs or other tackle rich teams)?
     
  9. jrpeart

    jrpeart Well-Known Member

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    The first line of the screen should be made up of whoever can get to the right position, but less valuable pieces are of course to be preferred over positionals
     
  10. Viajero

    Viajero Active Member

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    Yeh, typically the least valuable pieces should be the ones who have to bear the brunt of your opponent blitzes. But sometimes it is situational. I.e. if your opponent has no tackle nearby and you have no other pieces handy then maybe you can afford to have a blodge blitzer there etc.
     
  11. danton

    danton Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I can add a lot to the advice already given here. Generally the most important thing is to take your time when possible! Rushing for a two turn score is normally a mistake with Dark elves, as it will either leave your opponent with lots of time to grind you down on their offensive drive, or will fail and leave your team exposed!

    So if you have lots of turns left, then try to use as many of them as possible. Clearly there are exceptions though, so be aware of that. Sometimes stalling for an extra turn or two in a precarious position is not worth it and sometimes you will lose players early and find it hard to delay your scoring attempt.

    I generally like to have a runner with Pass and Accurate in order to have some passing options available during my drive too. It means that your opponent always has to take your receiving threats seriously and gives you another means to get around your opponent if their defense is stubborn.
     
  12. LloydsGamble

    LloydsGamble Active Member

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    Bit of a res of an old thread here, but I think it's worth it for Viajero's post alone. I am currently trying to improve my DE play and also was having issues on offense. I am mostly a bash player so I thought DE would be the best option to begin with agility team wise, but their style is quite different and is taking me time to adjust to.

    I think I have the theory down but I would like to find some good replays of low TV DE to see how other coaches approach things. I know that Danton and Andy Davo are accomplished DE players, anyone else worth looking at? The OCC season in which either of these players started their teams would be great too, it's quite difficult to search through BB manager.
     
  13. sbr32

    sbr32 Well-Known Member

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    I have not played in the OCC, but Andy Davo had a rookie DE team in Averland in Big Crunch S9. I was also impressed in the one game I played against Mikko. He started his DE team in Averland in BC S8, and was also in Averland in S9.
     
  14. LloydsGamble

    LloydsGamble Active Member

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    Great, thanks sbr, will check out both those teams
     
  15. sbr32

    sbr32 Well-Known Member

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    What are thoughts about paying dark elves without a runner?

    I haven't played delfs at all previously but have started screwing around with then in bb2. I don't remember the exact builds I stated with but I know it had only 3 Blitzers abd I dint think I had a witch either, unless she died and I forgot about it.

    I figured I could grab a runner later, after Blitzer and witch are blodged, but now I am wondering about taking one at all.

    I assume I will really miss the pass access later if I start playing serious games?
     
  16. Nikolai II

    Nikolai II Super Moderator Moderator

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    Some people max their AV 8 by using only Blitzers and Linemen, and then add either one runner or one witch for ballcarrying. (Runner is cheaper, witch is better on defence)
     
  17. Limdood

    Limdood Well-Known Member

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    I like your 3 ideas in your opening post and my choice is:

    all of them. at once.

    Make your LOS blocks or don't (for dodging off later), retrieve the ball, get it into a cage or half-cage with a screen. Caging the ball up right on the wide-zone line is nice. you're telegraphing a sideline run, but have PLENTY of space to doge into the middle, and if the opponent tries to guard the sideline, you might get a free crowdsurf. Once the ball is caged, or half-caged+screened, set up a screen on the side of the cage, so when the cage is hit and marked, you have a safe-ish running lane to the side. don't wait to secure the lane until AFTER your cage is marked! get the players in place early to prevent the opponent marking both sides of the cage.

    Then run 1 or 2 remaining players into their backfield. make a dodge or two if you need....this is just the final threat.

    Now you have a cage/screen of 5 players, a sidescreen of 2 players securing a running lane, and up to 2 receivers all working to give your opponent too many things to deal with. Simply make your next move based on where the opponent has committed the LEAST number of players. Its confusing because its the OPPOSITE of teams like orcs, dwarves, and pure passing elves, who will hammer their chosen strategy in (either pounding thru the thickest part of the defense or forcing the pass with 4+ receivers and prep for a long pass). Instead, dark elves move like water...they take the path of least resistance. By giving yourself only 1 path, you allow a stronger team to USE that strength to force you into their game. Setting up for 3 different eventualities means forcing your opponent to split his team in 3, and choose which path he'd PREFER you to score with (surprisingly, even though its in most bash team's best interest to force you to make that short pass and early score, they almost always send a larger-than-needed number of players back to cover the receivers). This often lets you score early, and get back to the defense that you do so well.
     
  18. LloydsGamble

    LloydsGamble Active Member

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    You still want both Witches eventually right, or is it best to just have the one who can cover both sides of the pitch?

    I would assume a second Runner isn't really worth it, but could be wrong.
     
  19. Limdood

    Limdood Well-Known Member

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    I never bother with the second runner. I've experimented with the assassins, they can really mess with coaches' heads, almost everyone gets both witches, but also, by the time you have both, you're not usually "low TV" any more...
     
  20. Nikolai II

    Nikolai II Super Moderator Moderator

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    When I played them longer term, I got one runner that got NOS Dodge Block with catch in the plan, then got a second taking pass and accurate, and suddenly you got a somewhat slow pro elf catcher as your dumpoff or pass receiver, meaning protection against leaping stripballers and against seven turn stalls alike.