Jump Up (Agility)
If a player declares any Action other than a Block Action while he is down, he may stand up for free without paying the three squares of movement. The player may also declare a Block Action while Prone which requires an Agility roll with a +2 modifier to see if he can complete the Action. A successful roll means the player can stand up for free and block an adjacent opponent. A failed roll means the Block Action is wasted and the player may not stand up.
Blood Bowl is a game of core skills. Skills like Block, Dodge, Guard, Tackle, and Sidestep are extremely important. However, when battling a veteran coach, one looks for every edge possible to be victorious. Jump Up is valuable because it offers both a meta-game advantage as well as offering maximum movement when prone. It also offers a free block from the prone position, saving your blitz for another player.
When it comes to mistakes, Blood Bowl can be unforgiving. Jump Up offers a meta-game advantage because it is not a popular skill choice. Because of the scarcity of Jump Up, whenever a coach looks at a prone player, there is the chance that they will assume the 3 movement penalty in their planning. It takes a disciplined coach to continually scan every player to make sure their skills are accounted for. That being said, I can’t tell you how many times Jump Up has saved the day (for myself and my opponents) because a coach forgot to take the extra 3 movement into consideration. (For example, imagine concentrating the entire defense to one flank leaving a prone witch elf man-to-man on the other side… only to have the opponent coach provide an assist, blitzing the marker away, and then running the witch elf out of reach of the defense, ready to catch the ball for a guaranteed TD.)
You shouldn’t pick Jump Up for specifically this reason, however. Taking advantage of this mistake should just be a reward for your solid game-play. See, there’s a problem with Jump Up. It can only be used when your player is on the ground! If your players are repeatedly on the ground because they’re being knocked down, then you have to take a good hard look at your blocking game. That being said, Jump Up has great synergy with other skills in that it negates their movement penalties associated with them. These skills are Wrestle, Diving Tackle, and Piling On. If you want to increase the efficiency of players that have these skills, then Jump Up is right up your alley!
Synergy with Wrestle
I’m making the assumption that if you’re taking wrestle then your player is either a ball-hawk or a lineman that’s part of a fast agility team. Wrestle is a very effective skill against bash teams. It can potentially make an opponent blocker prone thus eliminating 3 movement. Since most bash players are slow, this loss of 3 movement provides a detriment to positioning. Wrestle also plays an important role for ball hawks. Wrestle negates Block and therefore increase the chances of successfully blitzing a Block / Dodge ball-carrier. By itself, wrestle is valuable. The loss of movement, however, reduces your own positioning capability. For example, let’s say two players of equal strength away from a scrum have wrestled each other to the ground. Even if you run your own prone player up for a pass, he must still roll Go-For-Its to potentially get out of range of the opposing player. With Jump Up, however, a Wrestle player can get back up to outrun his opposition. There is nothing better than catching the ball outside the range of a prone blitzer who can’t even GFI to mark your ball carrier.
Unlike Block, Wrestle has the downfall of making a player prone. This negates any opportunity for a counter-block that would have been afforded if the player had the Block skill instead. Jump Up comes to the rescue! With Jump Up, even if prone, a player can provide further support to the line by providing a free block without using the Blitz action (look at table below for probabilities to block from a prone position). In either case, these actions could pay dividends for your game.
Synergy with Diving Tackle
Diving Tackle is a pin-point skill taken by a player who either acts as a safety, or as a ball carrier marker. Diving Tackle can provide frustration to a ball carrier who is trying to get away. In the case of failure, Jump Up gives the diving tackler the opportunity to catch up to the ball carrier to provide another frustrating encounter. Combined with Stand Firm / Side Step, Block (and Dodge if Tackle is not abundant), the Diving Tackle player is given maximum movement and thereby maximum proficiency when given Jump Up.
Synergy with Piling On
The most popular skill that Jump Up has synergy with is Piling On. A player built to kill or maim faces a movement penalty every time that player decides to use Piling On. With Jump Up, not only do you maximize the range of your player (AGI teams simply can’t move outside the range of your killer), but if any opposing player is unfortunate enough to be adjacent to the prone player, he can be the next target. This is especially important when it comes to fouling. Piling On players are usually targeted, especially if they’ve used the skill and are lying prone on the floor. If an opponent foul fails to break armor on your prone Piling On player , a Jump Up Piling On player will have a few targets to choose from on his next turn. With a well timed blitz, the Piling On player will have an appropriate 2D block on his next victim. This is beneficial as it not only gives you an extra block, but it also makes your opponent coach think twice about fouling your star killer (because if it fails to break armor, your killer will have plenty of opportunity to strike back). On top of that, Jump Up helps against opposing Wrestle. If a player uses Wrestle to bring your player down he will most likely need an assist. If your killer is wrestled to the ground from an assist, on your next turn you can throw a block on that assisting player!
Jump Up helps a Piling On player even more in the meta game, though. If an opponent coach knows you’re going to blitz with a Piling On player, they might isolate your killer by marking your prone Piling On player with a loner or a rookie player. Usually this occurs as a gambit by the agility coach so you can “waste” your blitz on a low level player. This is done so that the agility coach can strengthen or secure a position around your ball carrier. With Jump Up, this is no longer a valid option. Jump Up will give your Piling On player a free block giving you the luxury of a hit on the rookie while retaining the blitz you need to better your position.
Based on this, you can see how much riskier it is to target your killer player. Jump Up not only helps with the maximum range of your player, but it also affects the meta game and the decisions that your opponent makes.
Synergy with Ball Hawks (ex. players with some combination of: Strip Ball, AGI+, Leap, Dodge, Wrestle)
Alright, you have an agility team. You just leaped into a cage and wrestled your opponent’s ball carrier to the ground. You couldn’t get the ball, but your opponent was able to pick up the ball and advance the cage. You’re now out of position… What next?
Well if your Ball Hawk has Jump Up, he can just get up and leap back into the cage without having to roll for GFI’s! Jump Up on Ball Hawks is extremely lucrative. It provides 2 additional benefits for you. It can on occasion provide protection and it maximizes mobility. How does it provide protection? It’s riskier for a ball carrier to assist in a foul. If your Jump Up player is fouled with the ball carrier as an assist, then your opponent better hope armor is broken! If not, your Ball Hawk has a free shot on his ball carrier the next turn! This means that the ball carrier will most likely vacate the area taking other players (other players that would assist on a foul) to form a cage. Thus this will provide some meta-game protection for your player. The second benefit, however, is mobility. Bash teams are slow. With Jump Up it will be very difficult to outrun your Ball Hawk. You have the option of continuing your attack! This is where agility is important. The bash team will usually surround your Jump Up player. That’s where Leap, Dodge, AGI+ skills come in handy. With these type of skills you increase your chances of breaking through any marking players to attack the ball carrier. With Jump Up you maximize the efficiency of your Ball Hawk because unless he’s stunned, he should always be a threat! If your opponent has to invest resources to negate his mobility, then he’s committing resources that would better protect his cage from the rest of your team. Attack!
- Could provide a meta-game advantage in that opponent coaches might forget that your player doesn’t have a movement penalty.
- Could provide a meta-game advantage in that opponent coaches might forget that your player can throw a block from a prone position.
- A player has potential for maximum movement even when prone. This increases potency and maintains range for players with “killer” or “ball hawk” skill stacks.
- Has potential for a “free blitz” in that a prone player on a successful 1d6 roll can throw a block to an adjacent player.
- Has great synergy and negates the movement penalty that comes with the successful use of Wrestle, Diving Tackle, and Piling On.
- Circumstantial. It’s only useful when your players are on the ground… which shouldn’t be the case without good reason!
- Increases chances of opponent fouling player.
- Agility players with wrestle. Wrestle negates bash players’ movement, but Jump Up maintains the agility player’s range…. thus reinforcing their core strength… mobility.
- Diving Tackle players. Diving Tackle only works if you can mark players. Which means you need the movement to mark them!
- Killer (especially with Piling On) players. Jump Up affects the meta-game in that opponents will hesitate to target your player with a foul…. and if they do, they’re leaving themselves open to a block by your killer.
- Ball Hawks. Ball Hawks are usually AGI+, Leap, Dodge freaks who can access the entire field. Jump Up increases the efficiency of their enhanced mobility.
- Treemen. Treemen only have 2 movement. When prone, treemen must roll to stand up. Jump Up negates this roll. (Jump Up requires double roll for Treemen, so a case has to be made not to take Block or Pro instead).
Jump Up is a great late-development skill if used properly. It negates the movement penalties associated with Wrestle, Diving Tackle, and Piling On and it provides a “free” block from the prone position to an adjacent opponent player. Jump Up is best used to maximize the range of your best players, particularly those with “agile” (AGI+, Leap, Dodge) and “kill” (Mighty Blow, Piling On, Claw) skill stacks.