For years when I first started playing Blood Bowl my friends and I would always choose to recieve the ball if we won the coin toss. As more games got played and more experience gained having to play after losing the coin toss, there are benefits to both kicking or receiving first.
Advantages to Receiving
To the beginner coach it seems obvious that you should receive the opening kick off if you are given the choice. Even against more experienced coaches I get quizical looks if I choose to kick against them. The most apparant reason is probably because you get the first turn of the match. During any kick off both teams have to set up at least three players on the Line Of Scrimmage. If you then get the first turn, that is usually three “free” blocks on the opposing team. They have no way of avoiding it (unless perfect defence is rolled on the kick off table) so you can perhaps get a numbers advantage straight away. Even knocking all 3 of them over means those players are more limited in what action they can take. The flip side of course is that you perhaps only get pushback, or on the rare occasion a turnover and your own guy dies! Though that is so unlikely you can pretty much discount that from any decision.
Following on from this, you can put the other team on the back foot for the whole game, get the numbers advantage early and you can really get a snowball effect going and KO or injure quite a lot of their players. This may result in them not having many players to set up for the next drive, allowing you to turn them over and score again, perhaps injuring even more of their team.
This perhaps is the way to go against teams that are short on players. If they only have 11 players at the start of the match any player you injure will leave them one less for the entire match. If they have some substitutes then this isn’t so bad for subsequent drives and you just get the benefit for the current drive. Obviously the lower armoured and more fragile the opponent the higher the likelyhood this will work, though watch out becuase they may be loaded up on lots of defencive skills like Dodge, Frend and Wrestle to counter their fragility.
Secret Weapon players are another reason to receive, either on your own team or the opponents. For when you have them on your team, you are holding the ball and are in control of how long you take to score. This means you get more control over how many turns you get to have your Secret Weapon player(s) on the field for. If your opponent has Secret Weapon players on the pitch than you may choose to score earlier to get them sent off. Again this is even better if they don’t have many players on their roster for the game, you can make them lose a player without even hitting them.
Read Page 2 for the advantage of Kicking…