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Tactics Limdood's Nuggets of Wisdom

Discussion in 'League and Team Development Tactics' started by Limdood, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. Limdood

    Limdood Well-Known Member

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    I did get leap.

    I'm not totally sure i agree with Disturbing presence and pass block, but i can see how they COULD be considered positioning skills, so i don't mind including them.

    Tackle counts, but it doesn't always feel like it does (kinda in the same boat as DP and Pass Block in that sometimes it does nothing at all, but comes up more than those as well).

    Shadowing was just a brain fart....i mentally covered the basic defense and offense general skills and then mentally skipped straight to STR and AGI skills, completely forgetting shadowing.

    And I figured that Khemri and lizard coaches (in particular) would look at this installment and just consider it common sense, since it IS the core of those races, which require very careful placement, and consideration of all of those ideas.
     
  2. Phunbaba

    Phunbaba Active Member

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    I read the bit about figuring out what your opponent is going to do on their turn and thought, That isn't right. Your supposed to figure out how to get them to do what you want them to on their turn. Like if your defending vs elves in the first half and want them to score quickly. You put some pressure on the receivers and the BC. If they fail a roll you try to capitalize on it and if they don't they score and it's time to grind. Try not to react to them but make them react to you.
     
  3. crimsonsun

    crimsonsun Well-Known Member

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    I guess it comes to whether your thinking about positioning skills or Pitch Control Skills. Disturbing Presence, Pass Block and Leap are pitch control skills. but with the exception of pass block not really for positioning (though u could argue leap). I am assuming you have included fend in the mix as that can be a great tool in the battle, I do think its important to get the balance of skills that hinder your opponent with skills that help you gain positional advantage, I tend to alternate but I always create players for pitch control/positioning in pairs.
     
  4. Limdood

    Limdood Well-Known Member

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    thats it exactly though Phunbaba....i guess more accurately i could have written "figure out what your opponent WANTS to do and how he's most likely to go about doing so if you let him"
     
  5. Nikolai II

    Nikolai II Super Moderator Moderator

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    Technically wrestle is also an offensive control skill since you can more easily remove a blockers TZ with it. And it might be a bad defensive skill at times since you relinquish a TZ which is occasionally bad. Dunno where it should be put though..
     
  6. Limdood

    Limdood Well-Known Member

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    A move order for all occasions

    By "move order" I mean that of all the multitudes of moves, blocks, fouls, passes, and other actions you want to do this turn, which one are you going to do first? Second? Third? Last? Most importantly, why are you making actions in that order and what are the benefits and drawbacks of that particular order.

    "Plan for Failure" Move Order

    "Plan for Failure" is a commonly tossed around term in blood bowl. It refers to the fact that your first block of the turn may well be :skull::skull: rerolled into :skull::skull:, or you'll roll a 1 on that dodge and then another 1. In other words, ANY action you take that can cause a turnover may well end your turn, and you should plan your moves to be in the BEST position when something DOES fail. This is the fundamental idea of the "Plan for Failure" move order.

    Quite simply, plan out your entire set of actions, thinking of each one as likely to fail if it can. Once you know where you want to be, start moving. Make the risk free moves first, such as moving without dodging and without making GFIs, or standing up players who just need to be on their feet, but aren't planning on going anywhere yet. After that, make the SAFEST moves next....3d/2d blocks with the block/wrestle skill, 2d unskilled blocks with reroll in hand, 2+ rolls with reroll in hand (or 1d skilled blocks with reroll), 2d blocks without reroll, or 3+ rolls with reroll, then 2+ rolls with no reroll or 1d blocks with no reroll, then 3+ or 1d-unskilled blocks with no reroll....

    You get the idea right?

    Now, this risk-averse plan of action has some huge benefits, but also some important, and often hard-to-spot drawbacks.

    The benefits are obvious, when something fails (and if you've played this game ANY real amount, you'll know things ALWAYS fail sooner or later) you're in the position that gives your opponent the hardest time capitalizing on the turnover. In other words, it will look to your opponent that despite the fact that something clearly failed, that you're SO GOOD that it didn't matter that you failed, since it will look to your opponent like you made all the critical moves that needed to be made....caging your ballcarrier or blocking theirs, marking up opposing recievers or freeing your own, etc.

    The drawbacks here are harder to spot at first glance. One of the most notable ones is that you're not always in a position to take advantage of the situation if you DO succeed, or succeed more than you expected. Maybe you were planning for failure, so that if a block came up :bothdown: or :pushback: you'd still be in a good position, but in fact that block actually came up :pow: and KO'd the target! Now you have a wide open running lane......but you already moved all your free players and won't be able to cage up your newly free ballcarrier, or you can't move enough players through the gap to cause any problems. This means that expecting failure and planning for it so strongly means that it can be hard to make the best of successes, you'll tend towards very low risk games on your own end, making things hard for your opponent, and given average dice all game long, should come out rewarded for your lack of risk.

    ...but we all know the dice don't stay completely average the whole game. The last drawback is that you can often only make things so hard for your opponent. Sometimes the hardest you can make things is a 3+ dodge out of tackle, or only giving 1d blocks away. Its great practice, but it isn't foolproof. This technique also tends to favor weaker teams. I don't mean halflings, goblins and underworld or anything...instead i mean any team that is on the short end of the bash department. low TV chaos vs. low TV orcs, the chaos would likely gain more from a risk averse strategy....similarly if the chaos get lucky with a few CAS, the orcs, being suddenly outnumbered, might want to back off the aggression and play a stalling, delaying game.

    The "Don't Kill Me!" Move Order

    Sometimes the game is a bust. Sometimes you happen to be playing amazons or goblins against full MB/Guard dwarves.

    When keeping your team alive is the number 1 priority, your moves should be planned and executed in an order that keeps the most of them "safe." This is generally NOT a move order you'll use often, usually only when things are going very poorly, you're outnumbered, or when you face a particularly deadly matchup and you just want the team to survive.

    Simply move players based on their relative value and level of danger....consequences of moving be damned. If your +ST, +AG wardancer is in 4 tacklezones near tacklePOMBing killers, then you leap/dodge her out of there, even if you're stuck making some dodges out of diving tackle or something. You'll want to still try to follow the risk averse strategy where you can, and move people who are out of contact first, but in this case you might actually want to move some of those free players INTO contact with an enemy so that other, more valuable players might be able to block or blitz their way free. Prioritize hard to skill players, stat ups, and easy-to-injure players, and then prioritize by proximity to MB/Claw/PO players on the opposing team.

    This is a useful (if rather common-sense) move order for anyone to keep in mind, and can be used liberally in games where a defense may have just fallen apart...maybe there's no hope of rushing or stopping the score, and you just want your players alive for the next drive/game.

    "So Many Block Dice, So Few Rerolls"

    Or, more simply, "Bash Priority" move order. When you're the stronger team, whether in the matchup, or just in your current field position, and the ball isn't an issue (maybe you've got it safely caged out of reach, or your opponent is too far away or has too imposing of a screen/cage) and you just want to cause some damage, this is the common practice.

    Prioritize your blocks from most important/likely to succeed down to least important/least likely to succeed. Then move over any assists you need from the unengaged players. make the blocks in order of benefit...hit with your killers early, using the MB to good advantage. As you get down to potential 1d or skillless blocks, they should be made later in the turn, or, if the reroll is already used, consider just not making them, if the contact is more valuable, or the block too risky.

    The purpose of this is to make sure that the blocks that most need to be made, or are most rewarding (removing a key piece) are the ones most likely to succeed by virtue of still having the reroll available. Sometimes this will even mean making an early unskilled 1d block if it would surf an opposing player over making other, skilled 2d blocks, because that surf would just be THAT beneficial to your team.

    Keep in mind that this can easily be adapted to dodges or pass/handoffs as well, where you make, maybe not the EASIEST dodge first, but the one that needs to succeed the MOST.

    Continued in Next Post
     
  7. Limdood

    Limdood Well-Known Member

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    Continued from Previous Post

    Action Group Priority

    This is the move order that I currently use the most when i play teams that are not completely bash inclined. It can make your opponent pull their hair out as you appear to have superhuman luck turn after turn.

    In short, it works off the concept that even if you flipped 19 coins that all came up heads, the 20th coin still has a 50/50 shot of being heads or tails. In other words, EACH roll is taken into account separately in order to pull off occasionally ridiculous strings of plays.

    An example can be made using low TV elves as an example. You decide one big play you want to make this turn....maybe its popping the ball free, maybe its getting a particularly good hit on a key opposing player, maybe its moving your ballcarrier far downfield safely. Once you pick an attainable goal, check and see what you need to do to attain the goal....step by step backwards towards your current position.

    Step 1: Move the "Last Ditch" players. Sounds wierd to do something called this FIRST, but its actually a throwback to the old "plan for failure" idea....these are the last line of defense if EVERYTHING goes poorly. They should also be players that won't necessarily be in a position to aid the play in other more substantial ways.

    Step 2: Make the enabling moves leading up to the ""big play." Make the blocks, move in the assists, handoff the ball, or whatever you need to do to get ready for the "hero" to move in and make the big play. This is the crucial step....you DON'T want to have to use a reroll here...take a hard look at each action result. Maybe you were banking on a :pushback: or better and got a :bothdown:....will it suffice? Can you still make the play? Can someone else come in and make the block? If you are forced to use a reroll, this is the time to decide if the plan is still worth executing. Is it worth the additional risk caused by using a reroll or not succeeding on a roll as well as you wanted?

    Step 3: The "Big Play." Make the hit, launch the ball, dodge through all those tacklezones to mark the ball, switch sides of the field with 3 dodges....whatever you need to do, do it.....BUT, do it step by step, roll by roll...you don't want to try to make a 2+ and 4+ roll all in 1 click only to use the reroll on the 2+ roll and not be able to cancel the 4+ roll because you already told the player to move the whole distance!

    Step 4: The Payoff. This is the big deviation from the "plan for failure" option. You didn't plan for failure. You still have players who haven't moved....maybe players who haven't even stood up yet! Now is the time to move those players....go and pounce on or mark up that loose ball, go screen your ballcarrier after the wild breakaway, go flood your players through that gap. You can even make dodges or more blocks here to make the big play payoff even better. Just keep a close eye on your resources (team rerolls, or maybe even skill rerolls like dodge if you're making several).

    Step 5: Cleanup. Move the remaining players. Dodge free from unwanted contact, reinforce your position, make late-turn risky blocks where the risk of turnover is high, but the block (or maybe dodge) is still worth making. Take a page out of the "Don't Hurt Me" section here....move the most valuable players first...this way if you still do have a reroll available, you can use it on the most valuable members of the team. As you get down to low skilled, rookie, or loner players, you'll probably even lean towards not even using rerolls and just letting the turnover happen to conserve the rerolls for later.

    This is a High-risk, High-reward style of play....a snake eyes or enough skulls in a row will still end your turn right quick and leave you slightly worse off than if you'd used the "plan for failure" approach, but success will often leave your opponent way behind, because you use this approach's versatility to build off each success. Each successful roll makes your final result better and better, and if you fail a roll but don't turnover (such as using a reroll, or not passing a shadowing or tentacles roll) you can modify your final plan, or abandon the big play in favor of making it later.

    The drawbacks to this method are that it is less safe to your players (who may end up making more rolls, or riskier rolls overall than they otherwise would have) and if failure happens dramatically or early enough, could easily leave you worse off than the "plan for failure" method. It also takes a lot of time to plan out, and you need to have SPARE time in case your plan fails.

    "Balls out - Get it done" move order

    Sometimes the game or season is hanging in the balance, and you need a play to succeed....nothing else matters but covering that loose ball, or making that long bomb, or sacking that ballcarrier.

    If that is the position you're in, then FOR GOD'S SAKE DON'T MAKE UNNECESSARY ROLLS! Even if you need to make two 6+ rolls in a row and then a 2d-against block, this move order (or more appropriately, "action order") is contingent on making the move that MUST succeed FIRST. don't make that 3d block over on the sidelines to surf that player. For all you know you're gonna get a triple :bothdown: and turnover, or end up using your last reroll on something you didn't need to roll in the first place.

    In short, when the only thing that matters is getting a certain play done, you don't goof around doing other stuff first, unless that other stuff directly helps your primary goal (for example, if you're tied and NEED a win and need to make a 2 GFI 1d blitz with no reroll deep in your own half, it doesn't hurt to get a reciever in position to capitalize....again, assuming that you need to WIN, and not just prevent the score).

    The benefits of this are obvious, as a reduced chance of failure for the most critical play speaks for itself. The drawback is that if that critical play failed, and you didn't take those near-sure-thing blocks/dodges, your defeat/humiliation is likely to be more abject and total :p




    In summary, none of these overarching movement/action orders are meant to be used 100% of the time, and the key is knowing which one to use on any given turn, or sometimes even on any given part of a turn! You can (and probably will) pick wrong occasionally, but its a dice game at heart, no one ever knows exactly how the dice will fall - all you can do is pick the playstyle that suits you and your team the best and run with it.
     
  8. Everblue

    Everblue Active Member

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    When making a big play, a key decision I find is whether to do it at the start or the end of the turn.

    If you do it at the start of the turn that is a high-risk, high-reward strategy - if it fails then half your team are in contact or lying down, but you are best placed to take advantage of your play if it works.

    If you do it at the end of the turn then you are in less of a good spot to take advantage - you may crack the cage and pop the ball loose, but because you leaped into the cage as last action you have no players left to move and cover/pick up the loose ball. In which case - what was the point of making all those rolls if you are not going to take advantage of the play?

    That's always a tough decision for me.
     
  9. TravelScrabble

    TravelScrabble Well-Known Member

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    As Limdood suggests, somewhere in between is usually the way to go, so you have a couple of fast players who can take advantage (which may mean risking leaving them in contact) but you've also moved some players to hold the line if the play fails.
     
  10. Limdood

    Limdood Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, actually Everblue basically summed up my ridiculously long post in like 2 sentences...

    Also, often on defence when putting in those "last line of defense" players, you are often not even trying to completely hold the opposing team away from scoring. If you've commetted to a big, game-changing play, you probably don't have enough "spare" players to form up tough defensive line anyways. In that case, it can often be enough to simply have a few players well positioned so that if your play does fail, the opponent at least won't be able to stall, and you can pressure him to score that turn or the next (or risk you having another shot at a play on the ball).

    On Offense, you don't necessarily need to keep your ballcarrier unblitzable (though that would obviously be best)....again, if you've committed to a daring play, such as busting through or around a formidable defense, then it can be enough to make your opponent have a really hard approach to your ballcarrier (dodges and GFIs) and a less-than-ideal blitz hit (something like a 1d on a blocker or dodger or blodger - even 2d against if you have the free players to spare). Alternatively, even leaving a few rookies back scattered around your ballcarrier before he moves can be effective, as it can make a loose ball harder to recover even if your opponent gets lucky with you failing your big play and getting a good blitz on your ballcarrier.

    It is very much a balancing act, and you need to balance your resources before a big play, against the resources after a big play, all the while keeping in mind that you want to be in as good a position as possible NO MATTER WHAT THE DICE GIVE. Don't forget, choosing to abandon a big play when your critical reroll was used up on a 2d block or 2+ roll earlier in the move/turn can save you from an embarrassing and game-changing turnover. If you do abandon a big play, stop a minute and figure out what NEW plan you can make with your remaining players to keep the best position possible (and if you stop RIGHT AWAY, you can even decide to carry on with the plan if it looks like the situation is hopeless otherwise).
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
  11. Limdood

    Limdood Well-Known Member

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    How to use the Dark Elf Assassin


    So, while a bit more specific than my usual Nuggets posts, I've had a hankering to write this article.

    What is the Assassin?

    The assassin is a 0/2 positional available only to the dark elf race. They have a fragile stat-line, with 6 3 4 7 and start with the stab and shadowing skills. They cost 90k gold to hire and have access to normal and agility skills, like most elves. They are often a controversial pick on dark elf teams due to the abundance of other really good dark elf positionals, and the desire to avoid AV7 players.

    Rosters with an/both assassin(s)

    My experimental dark elf starting roster started with a fairly unique roster, that nevertheless feels strong, and uses all the gold: 3 blitzers, 2 assassins, 6 linos, 2 RRs. This gave me both assassins at the start, with good chances to get MVPs on them, and my next purchase on the team was blitzer #4. I personally like the roster, and feel that the assassins are a significant threat to rookie teams, who might lack the skills or rerolls to easily and consistently block the assassins. Choosing a different roster and getting the assassin later is fine, but bear in mind that they will be rookies and don't expect miracles immediately!

    Why are assassins good and how do I keep them alive?

    OK, here goes, the benefits of assassins:

    Assassins are the support role and man markers for the dark elf team, similar to their blitzers if you use the witches as your main blitzer each turn. They're not as sturdy as those blitzers, but can be much, much more annoying. Their stab cannot cause a turnover, and they are hard to escape from due to shadowing. They have a fragile AV7 and no starting defensive skills, so they can't take hits all that well.

    Their ideal job is prone man markers. They are risk CAUSERS. When you stand an assassin over a prone opposing player, they have 4 real options. Leave the player prone, blitz your assassin away, stand up the player and stay there, or stand up the player and dodge away. The first two options deny a player or an action to your opponent. They either need to spend their blitz action on your assassin or play that next turn without using that player. The last two options play into the strengths of the assassin. A player who stands up is giving you a turnover free shot at his armor. Even an AV9 player will go down 1 in 6 times to a stab, with about a 45% chance after that of leaving the field (remember, if you break armor, that player is useless for AT LEAST the next turn!). A player who dodges away risks shadowing working, at which point they need to again decide to dodge again or stay next to the assassin again!

    Again, the assassin is a support player. Your job as a dark elf coach using an assassin is to avoid a situation where the BEST play your opponent can make is to blitz your assassin. You want to constantly irritate your opponent with the assassin tying up and threatening his best players, BUT you want to make it so that if your opponent does blitz the assassin, that he's making a suboptimal play that you might be able to take advantage of.

    Assassins serve other purposes too. You can use them on the edges of a LOS formation when receiving. This gives you two stabs for free, and if those stabs fail, the assassins still provide assists for your other players on the LOS. If you can mark an isolated player with the assassin, and possibly one other player, you force your opponent to again, leave the player tied up, dodge away, or risk a 1d or 2d-against block against the assassin. If you run assassins downfield as receivers, whether fake or real, your opponent has to decide to leave them alone (easy pass and possible TD!), mark them up (free stabz!) or blitz them, which leaves fewer players in front of your main body of elves, which might be enough to let you squeak through elsewhere. Assassins can mark opposing players in the diagonal, if their sides are covered. In other words, if your elves are set up in such a way that your opponent can't get an assist against that assassin, it might be safe to mark a standing player.

    Skilled assassins make decent ballcarrier markers, due to the potential to repeatedly force dodges. Again, be careful not to grant your opponent the double-incentive of making your lowest AV player available to blitz, AND the best target to blitz! In general, your assassin should be free to move about the field, marking up prone players and keeping them out of the action (or providing significant risks or costs to get back into the action) except in one situation....when kicking off to your opponent, protect those assassins behind other players. Your opponent will generally make his LOS hits, move some players and secure the ball, and blitz the player he thinks is most likely to leave the pitch...its another case of not providing your opponent with the means to make his best play!

    Assassin obvious skill choices

    When they do level (which can be a low process!), it is hard to go wrong with block, dodge, sidestep, or diving tackle. Block and Dodge are parts of the combo that will make the assassin very hard to knock over. Dodge first will make it harder for non-tacklers to get takedowns, and make moving around easier. Block first will mean that on :bothdown:s, your opponent will be stuck next to you, offering a free stab. There is also no counter for block that will give your opponent an armor roll on the assassin on a :bothdown:. Sidestep helps make the assassin "sticky" and should probably be taken after block and dodge, as a failed knockdown will often leave the assassin still next to his desired target, or maybe even closer to a more valuable target! Diving tackle has some wonderful synergy with shadowing, and I'd suggest reading the comments in coach's assassin article for some fine examples of that combination.

    Controversial skill picks

    There are 2 skill picks that are somewhat controversial, often considered great partially because it is hard to see their drawbacks.

    Multiple block is often touted as the be-all, end-all of assassin doubles rolls. It allows you to make a BLOCK (but not a blitz) action against 2 different targets by giving them higher strength....except assassins don't care about your strength when making a stab! 2 stabs with no turnover, how could this skill be bad?!? Well...Its really really hard, except for when receiving the ball, to get a situation where your assassin is next to 2 players, both standing, at the start of his turn. If you DO position him next to two prone players, your opponent is further encouraged to blitz you free, leave his players prone, or stand one up, then stand the other and dodge free....in any of those cases, your assassin is no longer next to 2 standing targets anymore. Don't get me wrong, it is a good skill and a good pick for assassins, its just very hard to make use of.


    Leap is often touted as amazing for assassins, but has some glaring weaknesses. Your assassin is a vulnerable player, and making a skill-less 3+ leap into a cage can kill him fast....as can the revenge blocks if his stab fails (even against AV7, stab has only about a 45% of breaking armor!) Furthermore, since stab again doesn't move the target, even on a success, the ball will spill from the centerpoint of the cage, rather than the edge, making it likely that the ball will be hard or impossible to recover. It is probably nice to have for those pure desperation moments, when you really have no other way of stopping the score, but as a regular tactic, it will likely lead to your assassin's early retirement and still not make that ball easy to steal.


    In summary

    Assassins can be valuable members of the dark elf team when used properly. Their "fear factor" is generally greater than their actual threat, and that should be used accordingly by the savvy dark elf coach. Relying on them to break armor on stab blitzes will often leave the dark elf coach with a very poor view of the assassins, as they have a low chance at actually taking out their target, and stabs end blitz-movement. Instead, using assassins as an irritating thorn in the side that allows your other players to shine will prolong their lifespan and leave your opponent with hard choices. Their stab ability generally has under a 50% chance of working, but it can't cause turnovers, and when it does work, the player is stunned or worse, so it is a lasting benefit. The shadowing should also not be overlooked. Risking your rookie assassin vs. a Mighty Blow, Piling on monstrosity just might be worth it if it keeps that monstrosity from blitzing down your nearby exposed ballcarrier. He might be able to make the 4+ dodge with his AG2 killer to get there, but how many times can he make that dodge if you keep following him every square of the way!

    Assassins are versatile players, they can threaten slow, highly armored targets with shadowing, locking those targets down. They can threaten fast, lightly armor targets with stab (and even fast players can fail shadowing rolls!), and they can threaten on offense with their ability to provide an assist (position them so you can knock the opposing player on the floor next to the assassin, OR knock them away into the clear if the knockdown fails!) and high agility making them a viable ballhandler, for a catch, pass, or intermediate handoff.
     
  12. Everblue

    Everblue Active Member

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    Jump up is good on assassins too.
     
  13. danton

    danton Well-Known Member

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    Yeah stat increases are golden too. Str and Ag are no-brainers really (well Str is anyway). On a 6+4 I like taking the Ma as it improves Shadowing and makes him much more mobile, but others prefer to take the Av to make him less fragile. Both are nice improvements that eliminate the assassins' biggest weaknesses.
     
  14. TravelScrabble

    TravelScrabble Well-Known Member

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    My issue is how often stab fails leaving an av 7 90k piece in contact waiting to be blocked down.
     
  15. Limdood

    Limdood Well-Known Member

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    yeah, i had to cut a bit to make it fit into one post....It really felt odd to have an assassin article be 2 posts long.

    I had a bit on Jump up, in the controversial section. I mentioned that Jump up feels limited on an AV7 piece...you'll get to use the "pop up and block" aspect of it a bit under 50% of the time you're hit...the rest of the time you've either been stunned, KO'd, CAS'd or failed the JU roll. Further, using JU to make an immediate block runs the extra risk of failing to break armor, leaving you in contact AGAIN. Admittedly its no more risky than making a regular stab on a standing player, but if my opponent saw fit to blitz or block my assassin, it was probably with a player i don't want making regular hits on the assassin! That being said, JU is fantastic for getting a stunned or prone assassin back into the fray in a timely manner, with full MA from prone.

    Stats on the assassin are a mixed bag i think. +ST is probably the biggest toss up. On one hand, the benefits are huge...it makes your assassin much more imposing and harder to knock over after a failed stab or a risky mark-up. On the other hand, its really expensive, more than half again the cost of the player, tossed onto a player that tends not to use his strength half the time (like block, the assassin would use a strength up defensively, but would often not use it for blocking....it happens, but not often) and it is a player who has trouble levelling up, even more so when he's used to mark more often with the higher strength, so it might be hard to get the further defensive skills like block/dodge.

    +AG is also a mixed bag....it is expensive, but it DOES improve their versatility. Since opponents prefer not to stay by assassins, an AG5 assassin makes a decent ball retreiver and can really get around the pitch, as well as being able to pass and catch significant distances or while marked, when an opponent might not expect it (long pass on a 3+? surprise!). Of note is the fact that AG5 really lends itself well to leap. While not as impressive as, say, an AG5 wardancer at popping the ball free, an AG5 leaping assassin makes an impressive hanging threat. He likely won't live long, but while he exists he has the POTENTIAL to make those true desperation plays into a cage on a 2+ with a straight armor roll...regardless of the amount of surrounding guard.

    Finally, as danton mentions, +MA really is the holy grail of assassins. It makes them a much more viable receiving threat, since they can now make the 2-turn TD with no GFI or pushes. It makes it easier to get around, even from prone, getting to their targets and in the way more easily, and finally it makes their shadowing go from "a threatening skill that sometimes works" to "a dangerous skill that your opponent really better watch out for."

    TS, one thing i failed to fit into the article is that if you're marking a valuable enough prone piece, you can also stick a lino or something next to the assassin, meaning if the stab fails, you can make a (possibly risky) block to push the target away....if the lino marks from a diagonal and the assassin marks from a cardinal direction adjacent to the lino, then the lino can even choose to keep the target adjacent or push it away, depending on knockdown or push. Also keep in mind that while assassins do fail a lot (blocks generally have a 30%, 55%, or 75% chance to knockdown with 2d, depending on the number of die faces that will succeed, while assassins stab on 45-ish%, 27-ish% and 16-ish% against AV7, 8, and 9 respectively) a successful assassin stab will always take the target out stunned or worse, which can really help for planning your next TWO turns, and you generally stab first thing in a turn too, since its the action that can't turn over.

    Really, i'll reiterate, i've found the key to using assassins really lies in a similar vein to playing undead or lizards successfully....you protect those fragile players (skinks, zombies)....not to the degree that they're SO protected that they are never useful, but to the degree that your opponent has to make hard choices and generally sacrifice something by taking hits against the assassin. I'll be the first to admit that their stab success often feels terribly low (i had a recent game against wood elves with 4 successful stabs out of 21, for 2 stuns, a KO, and a CAS (which was turn 16) and every one of the stabs was against an AV7 piece - no tree) but its the combination skills, and the threat that stab provides, that makes them useful.
     
  16. danton

    danton Well-Known Member

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    I think you mean ghouls rather than zombies...

    Regarding +Str I think it depends a lot when it is rolled. If it's at 6 spp then it's more debatable, but later on it's a no-brainer to me. The best assassin I ever faced in the OCC was Isha's with Str 4, Blodge, SS and DT.
     
  17. Limdood

    Limdood Well-Known Member

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    you are correct, zombies need very little protection :p

    ghouls is what i meant
     
  18. Fallowheart

    Fallowheart Active Member

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    Thats horrifying....ly awesome!
     
  19. LloydsGamble

    LloydsGamble Active Member

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    Great info here Limdood, thanks.

    I have just recently returned so I am feeling quite rusty. (Not that I was a pro before by any means)
     
  20. makinde

    makinde Member

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    The problem with assassins, is that there's just not room in the DE roster for a player who may be useful, when you have so many players who are guaranteed to be. TV (and casualties) means that you'll rarely have more than 12 players on a team, and I'd never take an assassin over a witcher or blitzer, which means you already have 6 important positionals, and the witches need protection. To me, that means you really only have one open slot left to be filled by low AV positional, and if I were to pick a positional for that spot (rather than a cheaper lineman), I would pick a Runner every time, simply because the Runner is always useful - immediately (as carrier and ballhawk) - only gets better as he gains skills in a way that complements the overall Dark Elf playstyle. Or to put it another way: none of the other Dark Elf positionals feel like you have to compromise on the team's playstyle to fit them in.