The only real issue I have with Blood Bowl...

Jorgen_CAB

Veteran
Messages
84
Country Flag
In general I think that playing in a League using the League rules as presented in the new Blood Bowl rules have managed to reduce the 2-1 grind to some extent. It is important to gain TD and prevent TD to gain more league points and scoring to get money.

Now... I know that some players are of the opinion it is part of blood bowl to stall, it is a viable tactic. I do agree it is a viable tactic and you should do it.

My problem is that it can very often be extremely boring and it also can make having a bench a times less useful.

The reason for writing this is we just had a game... me and my son.. where he had four people knocked out or casualties in the first two or three turns... normal 9+ armour player and no MB or anything... just pure luck on my part. The point is fun and frustration... obviously I just scored so he could get his replacement in as he had a bench... but I could easily have stalled this out until turn 8. But I would not get him to play again anytime soon as it would be a boring experience.

You can say it is part of the game... but... in my opinion it is more about having fun than winning in the end. I actually know more than one person who quit playing the game after a few such experiences. Nit because they lost... that was not the issue... but that it is not a fun mechanic in the game.

I figured there have to be some solution and I figured that being able to "concede" a game exist in the rules which is a bit extreme... there should be a middle ground and make the game more fair to someone with some bad luck. As loosing a couple a players in a short time can swing the game so much that there is no chance you can stop the opponent stalling.

The idea would be the ability to concede a TD when you feel that there is nothing you can do to stop it. But there need to be some condition for when you can do it or else you could end up in a situation where two players agree to concede consecutively and gain allot of TD and SPP.

So you can only concede a TD at the start of your turn before you have done anything. The opponent must either be Stalling according to the rule book or your team have fewer players on the pitch than they have.

A team can only concede a maximum of two times during a game, a third time they have to concede the game according to the rules.

When a TD is conceded the opposing player who are in possession of the ball is awarded the TD. If no player in the opposing team hold the ball then a random player in the scoring team on the pitch are rewarded the TD. Opposing team move their turn marker forward one space and a new kick-off is started as normal.

It might be a somewhat benefit to elven and hybrid teams over bashing teams... but I'm not as concerned about that as I am having fun playing and more importantly that others have fun playing with me. We will still kill and maim players and very rarely will people concede for having being one player down over the opponent, but the option is there, but you can only do it twice, then you have to forfeit the game.

It would also make the bench more important and the effect of loosing players in a specific drive less decisive on the entire game. The strategy will be more on stopping the opponent or turning them over... if you don't thin you can... then concede and you will have a go at it in return.
In my opinion I think it would make the game better overall, at least in league play. I'm not concerned over tournament play at all and this rule should not apply there, it should strictly be a league rule.

Just some thought...
 
Last edited:

dissatisfiedcow

Veteran
Messages
93
Country Flag
Have you read Coaches BB54 idea?
Seems like a better idea that allowing the concede.
BB54: Solving Blood Bowl’s Turn Structure Problems? – Blood Bowl Tactics (bbtactics.com)

Thanks for suggesting that link; great thread to read!

I was reading through the BB54 post and comments. I immediately though, hmm I have some comments as well, but the original post is from 2020 and I don't want to revive a dead thread. But then it turns out that comments have been periodically comming in until recently :)


As for your first question: Jorgen commented on that post in 2020; I expect he read it before commenting :D
 

dissatisfiedcow

Veteran
Messages
93
Country Flag
Oh, and after heaving (finally) read the BB5/4 thread, I actually have a semi-decent response to the OP:

I wouldn't apply this in a general setting.
In tournaments, semi-competitive leagues, etc I think you don't have to introduce these kind of rules to make the game less boring. Both opponents are more likely to accept stalling and knock-on effects of stalling. They may even (greatly) enjoy this part of the competitive game.


But for friendly games, especially with newer players or just casual players, I have an easier alternative:
If both players agree, the player holding the ball may immediately score a TD and the turn timer is moved to the last turn of the half. Depending on player order, the other player may then get their own T8 or T16 turn.


Because both coaches are playing for fun, they should be able to decide amongst themselves when it is not worth playing out the stall.
If the coach in possession of the ball wants the SPP for the TD on another player, they should at least play out the part of their turn that results in the right elf holding the ball.

And yeah, this may result in you skipping 4 turns in of a hopeless half. So a lot less tactical decisions and challenging gameplay. And then you set up for a second game of the evening ;-)
 

Jorgen_CAB

Veteran
Messages
84
Country Flag
Yes... to be honest I like the BB 5/4 format as well... my suggestion would be one that might be less of a change to how the game is played without changing the actual rules of the game. Just remove the part that can frustrate people.
 

tys123

Courier Staff
Messages
3,760
Country Flag
It makes it far too easy for elves to win.
To stop pro elves from scoring in 2 or 3 turns needs them to roll double 1.
So they score on turn 2 , concede on turn 5 and then score again on turn 7 or 8 for a 2-1 halftime lead.
Then concede again on turn 13 and win 3-2.
It also means they can leave their best players on the bench when kicking as they don't need to try and stop the score.
They just dodge away each turn and save the rerolls for when they have the ball.
You don't even want to blitz anyone as you want less players on the pitch and want to keep you good players safe.

If you can win without even trying to stop the opponent scoring then what is the point.
Instead of a team trying to stall and you having a chance to get the ball back you can just concede a TD with the right amount of time left for you to win the game.

And in an elf vs elf games normally the key is scoring at the right time so either you can both score 1 more or they don't have time to score.
Can you stall for a turn against the Strip Ball dancer so you can score at the right time. Or can you force the opponent to score giving you time to get a TD back
 

Jorgen_CAB

Veteran
Messages
84
Country Flag
It makes it far too easy for elves to win.
To stop pro elves from scoring in 2 or 3 turns needs them to roll double 1.
So they score on turn 2 , concede on turn 5 and then score again on turn 7 or 8 for a 2-1 halftime lead.
Then concede again on turn 13 and win 3-2.
It also means they can leave their best players on the bench when kicking as they don't need to try and stop the score.
They just dodge away each turn and save the rerolls for when they have the ball.
You don't even want to blitz anyone as you want less players on the pitch and want to keep you good players safe.

If you can win without even trying to stop the opponent scoring then what is the point.
Instead of a team trying to stall and you having a chance to get the ball back you can just concede a TD with the right amount of time left for you to win the game.

And in an elf vs elf games normally the key is scoring at the right time so either you can both score 1 more or they don't have time to score.
Can you stall for a turn against the Strip Ball dancer so you can score at the right time. Or can you force the opponent to score giving you time to get a TD back

Yes.. I agree that to some extent it might help elves and hybrid teams a bit more. But you can't concede if you are not down in players, so it can not happen at any time. So, there would be some conditions... you could also give it a bit more severe condition such as being down at least two or three players before you are allowed to concede the score... you will need to risk you players being injured before you can concede so you will have to try and stop the TD.
In general you probably should not be able to concede unless you are down at least three players from the opponent. That often is the break point when it can become impossible to stop stalling.

Elves are not really guaranteed to score in two turns either, not in leagues where you maybe play 6-8 games per season, you will not have that many skills.

But this is more about allowing everyone having fun than it is to have perfect balance, Blood Bowl is not about perfect balance.

The other thing is... that even slow strong teams have incentive to create players and plays so they can score fast, instead of building their team around stalling... so until it has been tried and tested it is hard to say what effect it would have on overall balance.
 
Last edited:

tys123

Courier Staff
Messages
3,760
Country Flag
IMO stopping elven union scoring in 2 or 3 turns needs them to roll 1's. The only thing you can do as an opposing coach is make them roll an extra dice.
Best you can hope for is 2+ , 2+ , 2+ with inbuilt rerolls , a blitz needing a push and if you are really lucky an extra 3+ in there.
Stopping a grind by a bash team however is possible and there are different strategies you can employ to try it.

So I would prefer a game where you have to stop the grind than one where you can just hand them a touchdown.
Playing as the elves will be too easy and as the bash team too frustrating as you can't do anything to stop it.

It is better to try and win the game by rolling dice than hoping your opponent has bad dice.
 

Jorgen_CAB

Veteran
Messages
84
Country Flag
Sure.. they are good... wood elves as well... but certainly not impossible. You also can't just concede... and if you set up 8 players on the line due to attrition there definitely is possibilities to stop them. It depends on how people construct their teams and what skills they choose. Normal grind teams also need to get skills that is not purely about stalling in order to succeed

I usually find my current Imperial Nobility to be very good on defence with allot of SF, Fend and Side Step... even elves struggle to play around them and some modestly bad dice roll generally put large issues with moving the ball forward.

You have too see that it is applied to regular leagues where you don't have tones of skills, so it is important to choose skills to stop teams scoring. There are skills like On the Ball to interfere with passing etc. Good positioning can also prevent a fast TD etc... I don't seem to have huge problem stopping elves score in 2-3 turns with just some luck on my side. It also depends on how many RR they have and so on.

To be honest it is hard to know until you tried it for a season or two. If the concede TD condition is three less players than opponent it is a big risk involved as well, it's not like you want to be down three players at any time if you can help it... if you also don't have a bench to replace them you will struggle anyway, elves don't have big bench most of the time since their players are so expensive and in leagues where you play 6-8 games then money IS an issue allot of the time.

The balance of BB is not that great to start with so I don't think it is horrible if it would be a bit more beneficial to some teams than other. In our league people don't pick teams on how easy they are to win with but what models you like or what teams you like to play with. Otherwise no one would play halflings or goblins in leagues... Blood Bowl for me is more about having fun, kill players, make TD and struggle... and winning. Winning is just part of it.
 
Last edited:

Jorgen_CAB

Veteran
Messages
84
Country Flag
Oh, and after heaving (finally) read the BB5/4 thread, I actually have a semi-decent response to the OP:

I wouldn't apply this in a general setting.
In tournaments, semi-competitive leagues, etc I think you don't have to introduce these kind of rules to make the game less boring. Both opponents are more likely to accept stalling and knock-on effects of stalling. They may even (greatly) enjoy this part of the competitive game.


But for friendly games, especially with newer players or just casual players, I have an easier alternative:
If both players agree, the player holding the ball may immediately score a TD and the turn timer is moved to the last turn of the half. Depending on player order, the other player may then get their own T8 or T16 turn.


Because both coaches are playing for fun, they should be able to decide amongst themselves when it is not worth playing out the stall.
If the coach in possession of the ball wants the SPP for the TD on another player, they should at least play out the part of their turn that results in the right elf holding the ball.

And yeah, this may result in you skipping 4 turns in of a hopeless half. So a lot less tactical decisions and challenging gameplay. And then you set up for a second game of the evening ;-)

In that case I would just skip to next half altogether might be a good option and even speed the game up. We usually sort of ban one turn touchdowns anyway unless you do it with TTM as that is "fun"... but if you concede you also concede the right to make that final turn in the half, that is the penalty for doing it.

This might even be the more fair thing... if you concede the TD the half end, just plain and simple. Harder to game it that way, the opponent is up 1-0... most likely. But in general playing the game is why we are here, not to skip the turns... so I'm not sure.

In general I'm more in favour of the 5/4 model, which also is a bit in favour of elves of course, but still enjoyable way to play. It just is more problematic to get people to agree using it than a more simple rule.
 

dissatisfiedcow

Veteran
Messages
93
Country Flag
In that case I would just skip to next half altogether might be a good option and even speed the game up. We usually sort of ban one turn touchdowns anyway unless you do it with TTM as that is "fun"... but if you concede you also concede the right to make that final turn in the half, that is the penalty for doing it.

This might even be the more fair thing... if you concede the TD the half end, just plain and simple. Harder to game it that way, the opponent is up 1-0... most likely. But in general playing the game is why we are here, not to skip the turns... so I'm not sure.

In general I'm more in favour of the 5/4 model, which also is a bit in favour of elves of course, but still enjoyable way to play. It just is more problematic to get people to agree using it than a more simple rule.

I think that (almost) all 'simple solutions' will be easily gameable, as Tys demonstrated. That is why I would limit this to friendly games and only any time both coaches agree. This way, you also don't have to build in conditions that may need a lot of tweaking.

This mutual consent case makes it 'completely impossible to game (tm)'. If one player wanted to use it to gain unfair advantage, either the other wouldn't allow it, or they wouldn't allow it next time (and be less friendly or maybe not even want to play them anymore).

And because we're in a friendly match, my assumption is that your reasons for wanting to reduce stalling, is because this makes the game less exciting, maybe because it tries to take agency away from the opponent. The solution follows the mindset "let's just assume the stall was successful." So you move straight to the logical conclusion of a successful stall: a TD at the end of the half.

It's fine if you don't want to grant the opponent their T8/16. Maybe as a consequence for conceding the TD, or because neither of you values that single turn. It's your house-rule.

Personally, I like trying for one turners, even if they have poor odds. I think they are an important aspect to a low AV high MV team gameplan. But I also think that the extra T8 LoS blocks can get a bash team out of a bad spot (maybe after some unlucky removals on the bash team).
 

Jorgen_CAB

Veteran
Messages
84
Country Flag
I think that (almost) all 'simple solutions' will be easily gameable, as Tys demonstrated. That is why I would limit this to friendly games and only any time both coaches agree. This way, you also don't have to build in conditions that may need a lot of tweaking.

This mutual consent case makes it 'completely impossible to game (tm)'. If one player wanted to use it to gain unfair advantage, either the other wouldn't allow it, or they wouldn't allow it next time (and be less friendly or maybe not even want to play them anymore).

And because we're in a friendly match, my assumption is that your reasons for wanting to reduce stalling, is because this makes the game less exciting, maybe because it tries to take agency away from the opponent. The solution follows the mindset "let's just assume the stall was successful." So you move straight to the logical conclusion of a successful stall: a TD at the end of the half.

It's fine if you don't want to grant the opponent their T8/16. Maybe as a consequence for conceding the TD, or because neither of you values that single turn. It's your house-rule.

Personally, I like trying for one turners, even if they have poor odds. I think they are an important aspect to a low AV high MV team gameplan. But I also think that the extra T8 LoS blocks can get a bash team out of a bad spot (maybe after some unlucky removals on the bash team).

I think you are correct... in order for conceding a TD both people have to agree when it is appropriate... which basically mean you don't need it as that is the same thing as just agree not to stall. It would be appropriate to stall in the last few turns of a half anyway. You just agree that stalling out for six turns is not fun and there are actually chance you can steal the ball anyway in six turns or score a second goal if the opponent is forced to score quickly. In a league the more you score the better, even if you occasionally will loose instead of winning. Scoring is money, SPP and extra league points.

When it comes to one turn touchdowns it is more about agency and some teams simply have a rather easy time to do it. Against my Imperial Nobility... good luck doing it though, they almost make it impossible. So, it becomes more of a luck thing than a skill thing... I think that is the issue, something the opposing coach have little to no impact on aside the skills on their team.

What I have noticed in our League is that the teams that take a few more risks get more league points, money and SPP. Being cautious often lead to draws and less TD, thus less points, money and SPP. I'm not against stalling as a general tactics, especially not at the end of a half... you don't want to give those elves two turns to counter score... but if you have four or five turns you can either get a new opportunity to score or turn them over. In a league this is way more tactically viable due to the importance of what you can get for it.

So... in essence... you probably should just agree that if you have the opportunity to score and it is not the end of a half... you probably should do it and not stall it out when the opponent can't do anything. Mainly because it is not fun for the opponent to just sit there and do nothing for six to seven turns.
 

Jorgen_CAB

Veteran
Messages
84
Country Flag
A more major change would be some mechanic to have bench players jump in to an ongoing drive... like some dice roll each turn to have them enter the field... but that would be a major break from how Blood Bowl is perceived and played. But it would make stalling an entire half allot harder to accomplish and certainly more dangerous. I have had a few ideas of that in the past too...

The idea behind this would be a simple roll at the end of each of your turns if you have less players on the pitch than the opponent. On a roll of 4+ you get to take one player on the bench and place it on the line of skirmish (on your half) not marking an opponent player. If there are no squares available you place it as close as possible but never on any of the side lines.

It would make having a deep bench much more important.

Didn't Blood Bowl at one time have a rule where you could bring players from the bench into the game... I'm sure I might remember that from the past?!?
 
Last edited:

TravelScrabble

Mega Star Player
Messages
7,781
Location
Montreal, Canada (UTC -4)
Steam Username
travelscrabble
Cyanide Username
travelscrabble
Country Flag
I instinctively like the idea of having players from the bench have a chance to join the drive, as it would seem to lead to more dynamic gameplay. The problem you identify is certainly a real issue. With online bloodbowl, you can sort of just shrug when you have one of THOSE games, as it won't happen more than say once a season and you have plenty more games on the schedule, but for short in person leagues its seriously frustrating to invest all the time and energy and then have a game that feels completely futile AND has a huge impact on the final standings. Its hard to balance the needs of both groups, but I did like Coach's proposal.
 

Jorgen_CAB

Veteran
Messages
84
Country Flag
If you play 100 games a year and each one take 45 minutes tops, then obviously it does not matter... but playing a real game in real life is what.. one game in two weeks to a month perhaps and it usually take two to three hours to play. You also have to sit there watching the other person play and have fun. Having fun should be priority one... and most of the time it is fun. I have played BB since basically first edition but not everyone has. I rarely play online as for me BB is personal and best played in a League with real people, that is what BB is to me.

I just have bad experiences playing things like BB2 online, I have no time for organized play online or be serious about it... so just the random casual play. Half the games end up in the opponent quitting... blaming I'm just lucky or the dice is bad... or something. So... no fun there either.

While playing table top, since I have played for so long, I usually end up helping my opponent to strategize rather than doing everything to win. I don't tell them what to do, but will explain some options they might have or how to best place players to do different things, helping them not to forget things etc... I even tend to do that with players that do know how to play to my own detriment. But winning is not why I play, even though obviously I will try to win.

Last game I played against my son I reminded him in the last turn he perhaps should foul my Ogre laying on the floor, he had been a real pain all game... he did and he died!!!

For me it is as much about the story as it is about tactical moves... I love both.
 
Last edited:

Jorgen_CAB

Veteran
Messages
84
Country Flag
Yeah... sure... in a League that is perfectly legit... in random games just pointless though. ;)
Personally I rarely foul at the end of game unless I can decapitate some important player in a team that is at the top of the League.

My team are doing well in the League, so more than legit to be honest. That Ogre was just about to get a skill too. If you are up against a bottom of the league team it might not be good, but hurting your competition is not bad.

I had my worst game of many years a few month ago where I had six players die in a single game against a Black Orc team that fouled me every turn of the game... that was fun... had to restart that team after that. ;)
 
Last edited:

Jorgen_CAB

Veteran
Messages
84
Country Flag
Additionally, I don't know how other leagues do it... but we have always allowed contract on hurting specific players in other peoples teams. A contract is set up and people can pay money into the contract... whoever makes the player MNG may get a minor sum and whoever removes it permanently get it all. I'm sure other leagues have similar things in them, that certainly is part of BB for me at least.
 
Top