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Passing in 2020 worse or not?!?

Discussion in 'General Blood Bowl News and Discussion' started by Jorgen_CAB, Sep 23, 2020.

  1. Jorgen_CAB

    Jorgen_CAB New Member

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    From the information that I think I have understood the new passing rules seem to make passing way riskier than it ever was. Not sure that was needed as passing already was a sub optimal way to play Blood Bowl.

    I might just not understand the new rules but this is how I interpret it and please correct me if I'm wrong.

    The passing skill of a player basically only decide if a pass is accurate or inaccurate. A player with a passing skill of 2+ will NEVER make an inaccurate pass as there are no modifier to the skill just for the dice.

    Let's take a human thrower for example.... in the current rules they will naturally make a short pass as accurate on a 4-6, inaccurate on a 2-3 and fumble on a "1".
    In BB2020 rules the same human thrower will make an accurate throw on 3-6, wildly inaccurate on a "2" and Fumble on a "1".

    In my opinion the BB2020 rules made passing way riskier than it ever was as the risk of a catastrophic failure is much greater and Blood Bowl is all about risk management. I would rather have a greater chance for an inaccurate throw than risk a "wildly inaccurate" throw any time of the day, the "wildly inaccurate" result is really bad.

    This seem to hit skills such as dump-off really hard as it becomes way riskier to make that roll now with risk to throw the ball way off in a random direction.

    If they made it so "wildly inaccurate" was at two lower than the skill of the player or the passing table shifted the skill of the player then passing would be more viable in my opinion.

    I can just be wildly wrong with how it is suppose to work or perhaps passing was that overpowered before?!?

    For example the "Diving Catch" skill in a human catcher lost allot of appeal at least... since the human thrower never will make inaccurate throws.

    Am I wrong, please correct me... I hope I'm wrong...
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  2. Gallows Bait

    Gallows Bait Super Moderator Moderator

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    I think there is a distinct change but the question of whether it has a worse impact is a very subjective one.

    If you're passing from a protected thrower to a lone receiver an inaccurate pass will be significantly risky whilst a widely inaccurate pass is more likely to be safe.

    On the other hand if you have left your thrower alone in the backfield and screened your receiver then a wildly inaccurate pass will be the bigger problem.

    But in either case the likelihood of a successful pass has increased in this case from 4+ to 3+ due to the human thrower stat improvement, so personally it's a trade off if be happy to make.

    As for diving catch, yes on paper it will be less useful if some inaccurate passes are now wildly inaccurate, but realistically the scatter moves the ball over a wide area as it moves 3 times so the likelihood of it being caught in the first place is minimal. But I would still value the +1 modifier to catching accurate passes just as highly under the new rules.
     
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  3. tys123

    tys123 Courier Staff

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    Yes passing has been made harder.
    You haven't even mentioned that you can't combine strong arm and accurate.
    So now a 2+ thrower will throw a long pass on 3+ and long bomb on 4+ while before they could have made it 2+ and 3+.
    And since 3+ with reroll is too risky for a plan A noone is ever going to plan for a long pass or long bomb.
    The pro elf standard of running the catchers deep while the SA accurate thrower sits deep is now gone.
    Instead you will pass/fumbleooski to the guy at half way and then run and hand off.

    You will still take accurate to make short passes 2+ but unless you save SPP to make passing 1+ taking the skill to give +1 to long pass or bomb is a bad idea.
    That means it will be 2+ short pass or 4+ long pass and you will always be making sure you are in short pass range.
    The days of bombing the ball down the field will be over.
     
  4. cjblackburn

    cjblackburn Well-Known Member

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    Whilst passing has probably been made a bit harder the game will probably be more mobile which could bring more passing in. Break Tackle becoming a +1 to dodge for ST3 could really help Blitzers move around. The main reason passing isn’t big right now is it’s hard to protect the receiver once u have completed the pass. So passing for space before turn 6 of a half In most cases probably means an early TD or the ball going loose. In 2020 once u get the ball safe you can bring more of your team with the receiver and hence stall for longer.

    Combo this with kill stack nerf and u could see a more mobile BB as most teams will have more players on the pitch who will need to move past people. I’m not sure how great that is but I wouldn’t be ruling out passing yet.
     
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  5. Jorgen_CAB

    Jorgen_CAB New Member

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    I don't imply to say that making passes in general more risky necessarily need to be a bad thing... I just wonder if passing was a good strategy to begin with in Blood Bowl as it was. In my opinion passing play is almost allways allot more risky than running the ball in general, in most situations at least. I usually used passing when I was under pressure and could not run the ball, not as a main strategy, that always seemed risky.

    There obviously are some incentive to try and score more, so it might make risky play pay off more as you can potentially do more TD and thereby get more coins... ;)

    But if my goal is to win the game the new rules probably will give me less incentive to pass the ball in general, even with a human team.

    For a thrower that start with 2+ passing you could potentially save SPP for a stat increase and try to get passing down to 1+ and then use the Cannoneer skill... that is +40k value to the player so not too bad. You now can throw quick, short and long pass at 2+ and long bomb at 3+. Might not be the most efficient use of SPP, but not too bad either.

    But the main thing is that the skill of the player don't impact how likely a wildly inaccurate pass you make... in my opinion it is almost always worse to scatter from the thrower than scatter from the target.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  6. Jorgen_CAB

    Jorgen_CAB New Member

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    My main contention is that it now is more likely that the ball don't end up someplace around the receiver but around the thrower trying to get the ball there as there is a higher chance for Fumble or a Wildly Inaccurate pass.

    Otherwise I might agree that the game might become more mobile in general and it might be too soon to say either way.

    Dump Off certainly got way riskier and I don't think dump off was that great to begin with either in general.
     
  7. Gallows Bait

    Gallows Bait Super Moderator Moderator

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    Actually, I would clarify this somewhat. Effectively PA2+ is roughly balanced against old AG3 Throwing teams at long range and AG4 teams at short range, so some teams will see an improvement and others a decline.

    Below you can see the comparison for PA2+ against AG3 and AG4. As noted, the long range for AG4 is visibily worse exactly as Tys states, but for AG3 the short range has effectively improved.


    upload_2020-9-23_21-48-21.png
     
  8. Jorgen_CAB

    Jorgen_CAB New Member

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    My grief was not really about human throwers being better at delivering accurate throws, that clearly is true.

    It is about passing in general have become more dangerous due to the passing table having more negative modifiers which means more balls will fall close to the thrower which generally is worse than if they fall close to the target. The reason being that the ball is loose closer to your TD line rather than the opponents TD line and that is almost always worse.

    My question is... was passing really that problematic or will the other changes to the game change this so much that it has to be this way... I don't think it will. In the Leagues that I play then killer teams are pretty much a non issue as we don't play enough games with the same team or drafting rules make sure they never appear and I still think that relying on passing is a strategy that you can't rely on other than when forced to as the rules are right now.
     
  9. TravelScrabble

    TravelScrabble Well-Known Member

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    Passing in LRB and BB 2016 was absolutely viable for a few teams - mostly elves with catchers. Yes it was slightly riskier than running it in terms of the isolated play, but over the course of a whole drive the running player has to make just as many critical 2+ rolls if not more so as you need to do a lot of dodges to keep the cage moving forward when you can't punch your way through. In 2020 Passing still has a role and some teams are going to be able to utilize it better, but like TYS I agree that the long passing game is basically out of the game now. As for the scatter from the thrower always being worse than from the receiver I don't agree, it just depends which of the two is better screened and further from the opposition, currently that's usually the catcher but could just as well be the thrower.
     
  10. Jorgen_CAB

    Jorgen_CAB New Member

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    It is not that difficult to get your throwers down to 1+ passing as there is a 50% chance to do so every time you roll for a stat increase. If you don't get it you can either pick movement or another skill instead. You will have a slow progression of the thrower though which might not be ideal.

    So throwing the ball should be almost as viable for elves utilizing the thrower as it was before, more or less.

    In my opinion it was pretty rare for elves needing to throw the ball more than quick or maybe short passes once in a while, mostly it was a hand over that was necessary. Throwing almost always is the riskier thing to do no matter what. This play will require a thrower now and that is fine by me as elves have always been a bit of a ridiculous team anyway. I think this part of the change is a good one. In general High Elves tended to play allot like Dark Elves in my experience even if they had dedicated throwers and catchers. Coaches that relied on throwing the ball usually made for riskier plays than running in the ball with some handovers, I don't think this will change that much in BB2020.

    I still don't agree that scattering the ball three times by the thrower will be a good thing, this never really happened before as when you fumble you drop the ball close to the player. It will be really hard to control a widely inaccurate throw through screening which make matters allot more worse. You also could protect from fumbles completely before, you can't from a wildly inaccurate throw.

    In general I think the passing changes seem like rather good ones other than this. They could have designed it so that an inaccurate throw is always possible no matter the skill of the thrower, but they did not. I think that is a pity as they changed how things work.
     
  11. tys123

    tys123 Courier Staff

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    If you are skilling up your throwers and only passing when it is a 2+ then there is no difference.
    So 2+ thrower with accurate doing short passes or 1+ thrower with Cannoneer doing long passes.
    A natural 1 is still a fumble rather than wildly inaccurate.

    Also Wildly inaccurate could be better than inaccurate for elves throwing a long bomb from deep in their own half.
    You can stand out of range of a blitz and if it fails they probably won't be able to reach the ball so you can pick up and try again next turn.
    I do agree however that it is crazy that the teams that are going to be throwing the ball can't throw an inaccurate pass.

    Dark elves dumping off without Nerves of steel is now really bad however.
    Assuming there is an assist for the block so 2 TZ's on the runner it is
    1 = fumble
    2-3 = wildly inaccurate
    4 = inaccurate
    5-6 = accurate.

    Currently it is
    1-2 fumble
    3 inaccurate
    4-6 accurate.
     
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  12. Coach

    Coach Administrator Head Coach

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    My take on this is that passing in BB2020 will be... pretty much the same. It's the turn structure of the game that dictates how much passing there is and how risky it is to lose the ball. The best strategy to win for nearly every team is to use up as much as the half you receive the ball in as possible. When you are trying to use up 8 turns to score there is no rush to move the ball forward quickly and even the slowest teams can run the ball down the pitch in that amount of time. Passing just helps you score quickly and this really tends to only happen when the other team has left you little time to score. None of this has changed and so I don't really see there being much effect on passing.

    I will also point out that interceptions are harder to get now and Diving Catch will grant you a +1 to catch an accurate pass which will help when being marked or if you have lower agility. That +1 to catch is far more useful than being able to try and catch a ball that's been inaccurately thrown.

    TLDR; Passing will be about the same.
     
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  13. Jorgen_CAB

    Jorgen_CAB New Member

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    In league play though... there is a much greater incentive to score now as you gain more gold for TD... you gain 10k for each TD in addition to more SPP. In leagues teams that can score quickly also tend to be teams that are better at stealing the ball... not stalling. So I don't agree that every team wants to do the 2-1 grind... only some teams will be forced to use that tactic.

    This is why if I play against stallers I usually take some bribes and start fouling them to pick up the pace, works nice for humans and similar teams.

    All in all I still think you want to score in league play as teams that get cash and level up players fast will have an advantage over those that don't. If you play in a perpetual league online (which BB is not designed for mind you) things might be different.

    As far as I know the board game is designed for leagues where teams play 8-12 games per seasons and then redraft players between seasons. TD, SPP and cash will matter so stalling only works for some teams. It is fine for a Dwarf team to score few goals as they don't need as much cash as some other teams as one example.
     
  14. Coach

    Coach Administrator Head Coach

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    Then you've answered your own question, the new passing rules are making you want to pass more to get more gold. Personally I prefer to win over getting more gold and I'll still play that way. Fouling my players won't make me speed up!

    If you are 1-0 up at half time and receiving the ball in the second half then you can speed up as you'll be getting a 2 touchdown lead. With that risk of losing the win gone, turning over the ball is less of a problem and you can take the greater risk involved in passing the ball.

    With so many different formats, the players in each league etc I'm still going with my stance that passing will remain about the same. I think individual player preferences to play style will dictate things far more than the leaked rule changes will.
     
  15. Jorgen_CAB

    Jorgen_CAB New Member

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    The problem is that not all games with other coaches will go like that... and you might not be able to either... also fouling in league play is more devastating in general as if you only play 8-10 games then having players missing a game is a big deal, you can also lose the game that way... I have seen that happen to many dwarves that stalls too much... ;)
    Using the special play cards also effect the viability of stalling play... ;)

    If you grunt forward for slow play you generally get less SPP perhaps one blitz per turn and some blocks here and there... while other teams goes up in TV faster and leaves the slower trudging teams in the dust... I have seen that many times. The most success I have had with dwarves was to actually play with the ball and score in league play, not do the 2-1 grind unless I felt it was tactically necessary.

    Money will also be important for drafting players for the next season too. This, of course, will encourage passing and that is a good thing... I might be totally wrong about passing being actually worse for the game... it actually might loosen up the game and make the 2-1 grind less of a thing. Although I rarely see the 2-1 grind being very successful in League play though, those teams tend to end up with less experienced teams.

    The only games where I are more cautious and would rely on less risky plays are playoffs where you MUST win the game to advance. For general league play if you are five to eight people you don't have to win every game to reach the playoffs. Such leagues are probably the most common size for the board game as designed. Gaining skills and money will be more important than go for the win rather than risk a draw or even some loss at times.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
  16. BitsHammer

    BitsHammer New Member

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    The biggest change I see is less vanity passing since unless both players are throwers they won't be hucking the ball back and forth a square to gain SPP for several turns.
     
  17. danton

    danton Well-Known Member

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    Vanity passing will happen less for sure, but another big change will be that elf and skaven teams that pop the ball loose from their opponent will now not be able to scoop up the ball and pass it away to safety anywhere nearly as easily as they can do now.
     
  18. Gallows Bait

    Gallows Bait Super Moderator Moderator

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    Not as easily unless they take more Throwers. I could easily see a lot more teams benefiting from a 2 Thrower roster now, with a defensively skilled specialist being more important now.
     
  19. patbou73

    patbou73 Active Member

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    I was just about to say the same. I got wrecked the other day by Gutter Runners that passed the ball to get it out reach. It happened too many times. I guess elves do the same, too, but I'm not used to not have the fastest players on the pitch. :)

    Now, only the dedicated Throwers will be able to do these plays with some reliability. Regular AG4 players just can't anymore with an attribute of PA 4+. As such, vanity passes are over (unless out of reach, with a reroll left, and only when you lead the score by a margin and can afford to screw up ; or on turn 8 or 16). TBH, this pisses me off a lot. Those SPPs were required to level up. Now, even the MVP got nerfed down to 4 SPPs.

    This circles back to the random skills. With less to gain from completions and MVPs, there's a certain incentive to roll dice and pay less for a skill. Isn't there less to gain also from CAS? Piling On and Claws got nerfed. What else?
     
  20. Coach

    Coach Administrator Head Coach

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    Passes for SPP farming has got harder for most AG4 players but it's bringing them in line with a lot of other teams. Don't forget that you will need less SPP for skills after the first one if choosing them. As already mentioned you can always go for a random skill even quicker too which is a nice addition imo.

    Current rules: 6 / 16 / 31 / 51 / 76 / 176
    Leaked rules: 6 / 14 / 26 / 42 / 62 / 92

    I suspect we will still see SPP farming, especially in dead turns at the end of halves, it will just be less common. It was always a silly thing and more of a rules loophole in the first place than something added by design.
     
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