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Passing Not enough passing skills? or under powered skills?

Discussion in 'General Blood Bowl News and Discussion' started by Vineeldrake, Apr 7, 2016.

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What are your thoughts about the Passing skills?

  1. They are fine

    30.0%
  2. More should be added

    45.0%
  3. Its the weakest set in bloodbowl

    50.0%
  4. Some skills should get buffed

    10.0%
  5. Interception skills should be added to the passing skills

    20.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. notafunhater

    notafunhater Well-Known Member

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    I've argued this in other places as well. Sure, getting a snake eyes gives you a turnover. But the odds of a snake eye are pretty low. The odds of surviving an 8 turn grind without turnovers are higher, I'd wager, especially when you have to reposition the cage every turn. I often see players make several risky dodges and/or GFIs to score on their "safe" running drive where a simple throw/catch with pass+catch would have been far safer.

    I assume that's what's being referred to. If at any point you're rolling more than one d6 that have to succeed (dodge, gfi, 1d blocks, etc.) in order to score your TD (especially if you're out of rerolls!), you're equaling your pass/catch risk.
     
  2. Veggente85

    Veggente85 Well-Known Member

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    Sure, but if you have to roll a lot of d6 to score in your last turn you are running wrong (and I'm not saying that it never happen to me :oops:).
     
  3. notafunhater

    notafunhater Well-Known Member

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    I suppose my point is that if you have requisite skills (pass/accurate), a throw is no more dangerous than a handoff and dodge. Both 2+ d6 rolls with built-in reroll. And on either if you fail it can put you in a bad spot, or not. It's totally subjective.
     
  4. Veggente85

    Veggente85 Well-Known Member

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    It is possible. But my salt level strongly decreased since I stopped to play passing high elves :D
     
  5. Vineeldrake

    Vineeldrake Member

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    Well that has to fail sometimes, and dont worry there are better ways to score epic touch downs! throwing an hafling carying the ball into the endzone is Just so mind breaking to most opponents that they simply can't take it and play REALLY badly for the rest of the game, hafling teams tends not to be trifled with most of the time they are the source of some really epic tds maybe even the best! Welp at least I'd like a passing skilled aimed to the throw team mate shinanigans. make it a bit less.. how can you say... doomed to fail?
     
  6. tys123

    tys123 Courier Staff

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    The only way you could improve throwing a player would be a skill that allows the pass to be accurate.
    However that would make lobbing a fling at the ballcarrier a bit too good.
    It is already a 2+ pass for a tree.
    Landing skills would be useful but that would be better as an Agility skill as very few flings will pass up a double just to be able to land better.

    The greatest TD I ever scored was a 0 turner with flings. Blitz kick off with the ball landing in the endzone. Unmarked tree threw a fling who got under the ball and caught it for the TD.
     
  7. Valcurdra

    Valcurdra Active Member

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    Yes the other classic follow up fallacy.

    The reason why you are wrong is that you are comparing the known risk of a passing play with the unknown risk of a running play.

    Sure technically a running play might require no rolls since your opponent could not move any pieces and just let you walk it in, but given that situation never occurs it's an irrelevant comparison.

    What actually will happen is that your opponent will block up the front of your cage forcing you to blitz a way through or mark players in the hopes of blocking them next turn. Eventually and impossibly unpredictable chain of rolls will lead to an inevitable hit on your ball carrier, sure if your opponent is rubbish or unlucky they might not be able to set this up, but in my experience most equally matched opponents generate at least 2-3 dice worth of hits on the ball carrier each half. It is exceedingly rare for the carrier to not be hit on a drive at least once.

    Also a passing team has the option to score quickly fairly reliably which is a huge tactical advantage.
     
  8. Veggente85

    Veggente85 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not convinced. Here's why.

    First, what happens to your player between the start of your drive and the moment you do the TD pass? He stays back with no pressure from your opponent? Seems unlikely. He stays in a cage? Then the cage will be under attack by your opponent and you may end out summing up the risks of the pass with the risks of a cage play. I see a fallacy in comparing the risks of a pass action (the end of your whole passing tactic) to the risks of the whole running tactic. No?

    Second, the option to score quickly is not a prerogative of the coach playing a pure passing tactic. For example, when I play skavens, I do a running game but I keep a player at range of TD. If everything goes well, I have my carrier perfectly safe behind a screen of players and able to score a TD without rolls in the last turn of my drive. If something goes wrong I will be forced to do some rolls (often 1 dodge with...dodge skill, or a gfi with reroll). If something goes REALLY wrong I can use the pass way if less risky than the run way. In addition, nothing forbid me to run back and play the passing game in the last turns if my caged breaking through fails miserably. Finally, the passing option is also there if I need to score fast because of some sort of catastrophe (or when KO's start summing up).
    Contrariwise, if you play a pure passing game, your are not moving a cage in safe position. Then you renounce from the start to the opportunity (in some circumstances and with the necessary luck) to have a safe TD. You go directly to what I consider plan B, i.e. a TD with some (small) risk involved. In sum, if everything goes very well while playing the run, you score without d6 dices in your last turn. If everything goes very well while playing passing game, you still have a small % to fail your TD in the last turn. This is not indifferent for me.

    Third (but maybe I was a bad passing coach), I have the feeling that by playing a passing game, your are not only able to do a quick TD, but you also put yourself more easily in the situation to HAVE TO score a quick TD because of excessive pressure on your thrower or a diminishing number of potential receivers. Contrariwise, I feel that a cage play allows to be more in control. Maybe I will fail my TD in the last turn if my opponent defends well and nuffle hate me, but I will rarely give to my opponent the opportunity to score back easily. In addition, if something goes horribly wrong when your thrower is in the backfield (the classic snake eye) you risk more the opponent's TD on your drive than if something goes horribly wrong in your cage not fair from opponent TD line (in this case you end out more often than not simply with a 0-0 after 8 turns).
     
  9. Valcurdra

    Valcurdra Active Member

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    The amount of times you used the word "if" in that post pretty much sums it up.

    What you actually described is your preference for the running game, that's fine. Doesn't make the running game better.

    The running game will reduce volatility within the game, you will go from a strong position to a weak position more slowly. Of course the reverse is also true meaning you will struggle to go from a weak position to a strong one.

    With a strong passing offence you will see more rolls going against you, but also be able to remain a genuine chance of scoring I far more situations.

    It's really just a personal tolerance for variance that will determine what any player prefers.
     
  10. twitch.tv/the_Sage_BB

    twitch.tv/the_Sage_BB Active Member

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    P access is pretty meh, yes. It's quite decent to have 1 P access player, but there's very little point in having multiple. This is one of the many reasons why Brets suck. You may be interested in this post on important skills and synergies.
     
  11. Veggente85

    Veggente85 Well-Known Member

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    "If" is pretty much mandatory when someone start to argue in favor of one solution or the other. Surely it is easier to say "what you is say is a fallacy!" or "X give better outcomes than Y" without further development.

    Example. You say With a strong passing offence you will see more rolls going against you, but also be able to remain a genuine chance of scoring in far more situations. What I want to know: When and why (and answer this will require some if's)? How often? And this opportunity worths more than the opportunities offered by a runnning game?

    More generally have you some link for me with a more thorough analysis of the rolls (and probabilities of failure) involved in both way to play?

    Finally, I insist that more or less variance is not a simple matter of preferences. This is linked with the skill level. When you choose a high variance style of game, you are trying to OVERperform your skill level. Passing allows you to have a good chance to steal a TD even if your opponent plays better than you. The flip side is that you have an higher chance (than with a running game) to lose against an opponent that plays worse than you. In this latter matchup, in order to win you just neeed to do not UNDERperform. So, playing a high variance style of game goes against you. For me, the choice between more or less variance is one between more skill and more luck based outcomes. Thus, I can agree that, while passing is quite everytime a bad tactic in COL (where your opponent is likely to be worse than you), a passing game can make sense in more serious tournaments when you think that you are the underdog. However, it also means that with passing game you are not playing better, just smarter in some situations.
     
  12. Vineeldrake

    Vineeldrake Member

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    We allready know this, having 4 sub par multi tasks players is not as good as 2 good players with one task. Brets hasn't much going for them, they are: sub par runner, sub par blitzers and sub par passers, they have the "blockers" to do their blitzing work most of the time so that lives them for: blocker job, runner job, thrower job.
    they rely just like ogre teams and hafling teams on double to be insane, trust me I'm playing brets and I DESTROYED dwarvish teams at a somewhat High TV. its possible but it requires you to be even more craftyer than if you were playing Gobos, they have the ability of getting your opponents of gard becose you have 3 potential way to TD: Bashing the way in, Running with a fair movespeed, and passing, more often short passes and handofs. The fact they have a human blitzer statline doesn't help them at all... But I had the chance to get a vampire like player on one of my team, a 4st 4ag blitzer and he is CLEARLY insane. they really need doubles AND/OR stat increase to be viable. Becose everything that's not Passing skill Nor general skill helps them, but they can be really frustrating at keeping the ball... try to build 4 dump of blitzers you will almost never loose the ball, build one long passer and one runner, it will somewhat work... The problem is that with their poor linemens and fairly average blockers it doesn't support the team like you would want to...

    The only thing the linemens are great at is fouling... That helps with the lack of punching strenght.
     
  13. Valcurdra

    Valcurdra Active Member

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    Your missing the point on dice rolls involved. It is impossible to predict exactly what rolls are involved in a running game, it will vary wildly. Some games you will play well/be lucky and have 0 rolls that risk dropping the ball, other games you will play bad/be unlucky and have you ball carrier blitzed 2 times or have to make a dodge and 2 gfi to score.

    Also a failed roll or dropped ball doesn't automatically equal a busted drive, you may end up scoring anyway.

    Basically both styles involve skill that will dramatically effect the difficulty of dice rolls involved.

    Your also looking at variance the wrong way, I am talking about variance within the game not variance in results. Passing will create larger swings in your in position within a game, for example a passing team giving up a touchdown on offense is more likely, but also less disadvantageous than it would be for a running team.

    Often times the best strategy is determined by the match-up or in game situations. There is nothing stopping you from being good at both sides of the game. The object of the game is to outscore your opponent, trying to run the ball on a 2 turn drive is extremely unlikely to work, (actually it may be impossible depending on the kick), therefore passing is better, by the same token throwing a touchdown on turn 2 will likely work but may increase the chance of conceding a touchdown on the return drive.
     
  14. TravelScrabble

    TravelScrabble Well-Known Member

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    I think you're arguing at cross purposes a little bit. I don't interpret Veggente as suggesting that its not good to have passing skills on a team as a backup plan - something I know a lot of running and TV efficiency zealots do argue which is why the passing vs running debate tends to be so inflamed. I don't want to speak for him but I certainly agree with Val that having a good passing option (which requires skills like pass and catch and probably accurate at a minimum) makes your offense much more flexible and therefore difficult to stop. Its something all teams can benefit from though teams like dwarfs ans lizards are so bad at it that its probablt not worthwhile.

    Here's my take on running vs passing and its going to be kind of a long post. First, cards on the table I am a running coach primarily. My favourite and most successful teams have been high agility running teams like Skaven and Slann which I have built without a passing option. I'm just now getting into passing teams and my next times to try are Pros and High Elves, focused on passing. So that's where I'm coming from and I am biased.

    Now let me be clear on my terms. I'm going to be talking about good offense. To my mind, a good offense is one that can score in as many or as few turns as is strategically desirable with as little risk as possible. In practice I generally want to score on turn 6-8 on my first drive and in anywhere from 1-6 turns on my second drive. The scoring play should ideally be made with only 1/36 chance of failure and leading up to that play I ideally want to be able to secure the ball with only a 2d block (with rr). That's the ideal, it rarely goes that well.

    A running offense to my mind is one where you advance the ball in a cage until you are in range of the end zone with your ball carrier and can reach it without having to dodge through a screen or until you can get the ball to the end zone with only a handoff to an unmarked (or NoS) receiver who is in range without having to dodge through a screen. A passing offense is one where your ball carrier stays back in your half out of range of blitzers while your receivers get themselves into range of the end zone, ideally behind a screen until such time as your thrower wants to score and you can ideally do so with a 2+ pass 2+ catch and no doges into the ez.

    In practice the running offense cage gets swarmed and the ball carrier is marked so they have to dodge/be blitzed free and the cage has to relocate often requiring more dodges. This tends to leave the running offense more compact. Running offense needs speed and maneuverability to get round the defense until there is a clear path to the ez. The throwing offense instead has the receivers marked and blitzed to make the scoring play more risky and one or two players sent to pressure the thrower so that they are forced to make a play, either throwing the ball, running out of range or running into a cage (at which point you basically have a running offense).

    These two approaches have different strengths and weaknesses. In terms of controlling when the score happens throwing offenses find it easier to score more quickly. ONly the fastest teams like skaven and wood elves can feasibly score in 2 turns without having to make a pass and practically all teams will typically need a pass to make a one turner work. So right there is an advantage for passing teams. However, passing teams in my experience find it more difficult to score slowly. This is because running teams have more options for movement. They can switch sides, move forward, score, retreat or simply stay put. Passing teams cannot retreat or stay put effectively once the thrower is under pressure. They can only go forward either passing or running the ball into a cage (switching to running offense) or scoring. This is an advantage for running teams.

    In terms of scoring safely, running offense ideally score without rolling any dice but typically need at least a blitz and maybe a dodge. Passing teams at mimum need a 2+ pass and 2+ catch. Typically they will also need a dodge. However, in practice there are a lot of factors that come into play and in my experience the difference in probability between the running offense and passing is not very big, I think the scoring play in running is usually slightly safe but its marginal and certainly not as big a deal as most people believe.

    What about leading up to the scoring play? Here stylistic preferences become important. Passing offense spreads the opposition out meaning there's usually a wide range of movement options available - though the cost is your receivers are vulnerable to being blitzed and fouled (which is not such a big deal when you have a team full of agi 4 but is a problem for teams with only a few good catchers like skaven and Slann imo). Still the flexibility is hugely valuable and means you will almost always have the option to score, even if its risky, at leat until you;re down 4-5 players (and even then sometimes). Running offenses tend to be more compact. The greatest threat facing them is that they get boxed in and have a very limited range of movement and no possibility to score. This threat can be mitigated by using screens more than cages and by having players available on the other side of the pitch to let you reform the cage or act as receivers and allow you to switch to a passing offense. The fastest teams, like skaven can often go round the defense and the most maneuverable like Slann can go over it (which is awesome and every passing fan should try running Slann) so they almost never get boxed in, but to do so they end up having to roll a lot of dice and at that point the offense is certainly no safer than passing.

    For me, my preference for running stems from what happens if things go wrong. On a running offense, if things go wrong you typically allow a blitz on the ball carrier who still still be surrounded by team mates. This mean that even if you fail a dodge, the opposition has to blitz down the carrier and recover the ball, you get a lot more second chances. On a throwing offense if you fail a dodge, your thrower may be very exposed and if you fail a pass the ball is already on the floor. I think this does make the risk of a defensive td against you greater on a throwing offense. A running offense can often allow blitzes on the ball carrier and still score. A throwing offense that loses the ball is on the defensive immediately. On the other hand, because throwing offenses are better at scoring quickly, giving up a defensive td is less of a disaster.

    What that means imo is that a throwing offense have to have a very attacking defense. These teams have to be great at getting the ball and scoring in order to maximize their strengths. Being good at this mitigates the fact that they may have to score quicker and the greater risk of defensive td's against. Running offenses can rely more easily on the 2-1 grind which means they don't necessarily have to be able to get the ball from the other team at all, just force them to score quickly.

    Overall my take is that running offense is more conservative and attempts to control risk more, at the cost of possibly stalling and failing to score. Throwing offense relies on more dice rolling, but that's a strength too because if you roll enough dice the odds can begin to even out and you might go behind to an early defensive td and still win 3-2.

    However, I do think that very few teams have the attribute necessary for the passing style. Skaven and Slann shouldn't do it because they don't have agi 4 with passing access or receivers with catch - its a big investment for them to make a safe passing offense (but a relatively small one to have passing as a solid backup plan). Woodies can certainly pass, but they can run too, and darkies again lack starting passing offense skills. Pros should pass and High Elves as well but as a frequently used plan b (partly because they'r a bit slower which makes it more likely they have to switch from running to passing mid way through their drive). Vamp are so good on defense that they may want to score quickyl to spend as little time on offense as possible making throwing attractive to them (plus they;re a bit slow for good running).

    All other teams basically should use a running offense with more or less emphasis on grinding the oppoition into dust vs maneuverability. But teams with throwers are silly to neglect the passing flexibility they gain, at least in league settings, because in TV MM it can be legitimate to avoid throwers to keep TV low, which is a bit why TV MM sucks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
    Veggente85 likes this.
  15. Veggente85

    Veggente85 Well-Known Member

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    As I said, with fast teams I keep everytime the pass option open for plan B. And when playing skavens, accurate is often the first skill of my thrower, this to have a 2+ pass option. I agree on all the rest.
     
  16. Valcurdra

    Valcurdra Active Member

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    TravelScrabble sums it up pretty well, I would add a few things.

    When you miss a throw, you are not always immediately on the defensive depending on which particular roll you fail, ball scatter, and your setup, the latter being where the skill comes in. You opponent may only have equal or lesser numbers around the drop of the ball and may not actually be a favorite to recover it.

    Another thing you need to keep in mind is team composition and match-ups. Yeah skaven may be able to play run and switch to pass where needed, however they will take a pile more injuries than humans who can do the same but less effectively. The game is well designed in that way.
     
  17. Mephiston

    Mephiston Member

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    A +1 for people catching the ball, if it was thrown by someone with the Pass skill, is unnecessary really.

    Because first off, the game already provides us with a +1 to catching the ball in a pass... you get this when the pass succeded, when the pass was accurate. So if you had a "Players with the Pass skill will give the intended target of the pass a +1 on their receiving roll"-rule... would mean that you would essentually double up the bonus of catching an accurate pass. Which is both to strong, and compleatly unneccessary in many ways.

    Because most people who do not play a passing game... the majority of the people who prefer the running game... would still feel that a 2+ pass, followed by a 2+ catch, to be to much of a risk anyway... so they would stick with the running game. Which means that the chances that they would give someone pass to get this is still not that likely. And the people who normally do prefer the passing game will already have players built to be able to pass the best way they can, and have players built to be able to catch a pass in the best way they can. And since most of these players who prefer the passing game (me being one of them) tend to play the teams which already includes a player that start with the Passing skill, we would not have to "sacrifice" any skill-picks to get this bonus to the passing game.

    I am a Human Team player, it is my favorit team and has been for 20 years now. The passing game has also been my favorit style of play, and has been for the same amount of time that the Human Team has been my favorit.

    So if your telling me (or almost any other person who mainly play a passing game with teams that has less then 4 in AG) that I don't have to do anything differently... with how I play, or how I build my teams, etc... basicly NOT having to do ANYTHING at all differently... and since that most running coaches will probably not change their way of doing things anyway (since most of them will still think a 2+ pass followed by a +2 catch is to risky)... that I can get a compleatly free bonus, with no real bad consequences at all... what so ever... where my Human team can for compleatly free become as good at passing the ball as an elven team by building my team and players the EXACT same way as I always do anyway? Sure! Sign me up!

    Which is why it is a bad idea...for all the reasons I just said. Because the people you think would use it more now (the Running centric coaches), would most likely not... and the people it would benefit the most are the Passing centric coaches that do not play for example Elves much or at all (aka me for example). The amount of running coaches who would make it a big part of their team/games, would probably be pretty negligible.
     
  18. Veggente85

    Veggente85 Well-Known Member

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    All right, but I was proposing a skill, other than "pass" (so a new skill) that would give +1 to the catch roll if the thrower has it. Something like "softy pass". You can even tweak it by making the intercept of softy passes more easy.
     
  19. Vineeldrake

    Vineeldrake Member

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    Passing game is allways risky, and its intended to be that way... More or less the only "safe" way to move the ball around are contact pass and that's most of the time for the running game Or... well... when you have a player that's NOT supposed to have the ball at all in the first place! or even when you Know the ball carrier won't be able to move at all... (thanks Nurgle beasts).
    It would be better for it to stay that way, but in fact there is some things I actually like about a LOT of teams is that: most of them actually has its skill access, and never or almost never pick any up... D elves runners that will more often focus on the running game, Orc thrower they have no receiver at all except MAYBE a gobo, The Kemry thrower...? (I absolutely Can't remember their Name at all) becose you ABSOLUTELY want to throw the ball with a 2ag team! ... and even the Dwarvish runner... that will more often be focused on some general somewhat bashy skills.

    More skill for THOSE guys would make sense... The +1 reception on a contact pass, seems FINE on one of these characters, and will basically (almost) never change anything for other teams. A +1 reception pass when you throw the ball might actually become gamebreaky with a LOT of teams... Skaven is the FIRST that comes to your mind... Every one has 7 mv Or more, that's an elvish speed on regular players... It would act as a basically better woodie team thanks to the St access. Same goes for the orcs, they are anything but agile you do NOT want to have a 83% reception on them except if that said player is special (Double diceroll/ Stat Increase)

    You see something like: +1 to Fast Passes Seems ... allright! Lots of teams could use this without it being game breaky! (Ogre, kemri, undead...) Its useless for elves so they will not abuse it!... Passing game for elves is allready a pain in the arse xD so If there is no interception skill it will NOT help to had powerfull skills for all.
    There Skill that should be allright but still strong: If your first action is a fast pass give it +1 and you can still move. that would alow some Dump of plays for Humans, brets, Amazons and even dwarves! allowing to get the thrower to both hand of the ball and still position himself!
     
  20. Veggente85

    Veggente85 Well-Known Member

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    Effectively it is totally broken on skaven. I bring back my proposition :oops: