Hypnotic Gaze (Extraordinary)
The player has a powerful telepathic ability that he can use to stun an opponent into immobility. The player may use hypnotic gaze at the end of his Move Action on one opposing player who is in an adjacent square. Make an Agility roll for the player with hypnotic gaze, with a -1 modifier for each opposing tackle zone on the player with hypnotic gaze other than the victim’s. If the Agility roll is successful, then the opposing player loses his tackle zones and may not catch, intercept or pass the ball, assist another player on a block or foul, or move voluntarily until the start of his next Action or the drive ends. If the roll fails, then the hypnotic gaze has no effect.
Hypnotic Gaze Overview:
Hypnotic Gaze is a very powerful skill to have as it gives your team a lot of options not ordinarily available by other means. At face value it may appear that all it does is remove the tackle zone of an opposing player. While essentially that is what Hypnotic Gaze does, it has a lot of ramifications, both for you can do in your turn, but also how it can affect the opponents turn.
Removing Opponents Tackle Zones
The best place to start would be explaining why you would want to remove an opponents tackle zone. There are three main reasons you would want to do this, to avoid dodging (either away from an opponent or if running past), ball handling (picking up, passing, catching, intercepting) and to gain or negate assists (often both achieved at the same time). You may be able to think of other circumstances though these would be the most often reasons.
Any time you want to remove a players tackle zone normally, you would do this by hitting the player. If your main aim it to remove their tackle zone from a certain square (to perhaps free up your ball carrier from dodging), then just pushing a player out of the way can be enough. That is fine if you already have a player next to the opposing player with the offending tackle zone, but if you don’t then your only option is to blitz them. Where you can sometimes come unstuck though is when you need to do that to more than one opponent in a turn as you can only blitz once. If you have played many games of Blood Bowl already, you can probably recall some turns where you wished you could blitz twice. If you have a player with Hypnotic Gaze on your team, you can use them to perform a cut down tackle zone removing “blitz”. (Please don’t get confused by that, you can’t actually blitz, it just has the same properties of being able to remove a tackle zone from where it is.)
I already mentioned removing the tackle zone on your ball carrier to save them having to dodge. If you have already used your blitz action for the turn, or need to use it elsewhere, then to save risking the dodge with the ball carrier, Hypnotic Gaze can work wonders. This doesn’t just apply to the ball carrier though, if one opposing player is tying up more than one of yours it can free up multiple players in one go. Typical uses of this would be against very strong players who are hard to blitz, they may also have Stand Firm (making it even harder) and skills to make dodging away tricky (Tackle, Diving Tackle, Prehensile Tail or Tentacles). If you eliminate their tackle zone, then all the players that were being tied up are now free to move without rolling for a dodge.
Another situation where you want to avoid dodges is if you need to run past a player on the other team. For example right after kick off and you want to move some receivers behind their defence, you usually have to block and blitz a path free to avoid doing any dodges. Alternative you can use Hypnotic Gaze to clear a path. This gives you the option to use the blitz to reinforce your position, perhaps target one of their better players to get them off the pitch, make a path through elsewhere to get even more of your team past them.
The last real situation is when you are trying to target someone specific on their team for a blitz, that would require a dodge or leap to get to them. Typically this would be a ball carrier sat safely in a cage. As you know you can’t blitz twice, but if you have Hypnotic Gaze, take out one of their corners and you have free run at their ball carrier. This makes cage play very tricky against Hypnotic Gaze players.
Hypnotic Gaze can also help greatly for various aspects of ball handling, both for offence and defence. If you have a receiver in position to score but they got marked, you can remove that tackle zone marking them. This makes catching the ball for that player much easier and they also then don’t have to dodge away from them either.
There are also numerous times during tough games that you may be in a situation where the ball is loose but marked by opposing players. Using Hypnotic Gaze you can get rid of a tackle zone on the ball and perhaps blitz another if marked by more (you should also look out for chain pushes to get rid of multiple ones if possible). Anything you can do to clear the ball in order to help you pick it up is very helpful.
Hypnotised players also can’t catch bouncing balls or attempt to intercept. If you hypnotised players next to his ball carrier then you knocked the ball loose, it would scatter but the players that are hypnotised don’t get an attempt to catch it. This increases the likelihood that if you have players nearby they may get a chance to catch it, or it ends up on the floor and you may be able to pick it up. A similar situation happens if there are opposing players nearby a ball you are trying to pick up. If you fail the pick up they could possibly catch it, so as well as hypnotising them to make the pick up easier, it also prevents them from catching it if you do fail the pick up.
The same also applies to interception attempts, if passing over an opponent makes a pass much easier, then you could try and hypnotise that opposing player first. If you succeed then they won’t be able to intercept and you can attempt the easier pass rather than a harder one that avoids passing over them.
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