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 Post subject: Skill justification
 Post Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:45 am 
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Hi all, I'm about 10-15 games into (re)learning Blood Bowl, so figured I'd brain dump a few wonderingments here and people could pick over them as they see fit. I've tried my best to see if they're already explored in other posts, but please feel free to re-direct me if I've missed threads (or parts of the rulebook) that look at these things.

If it has any relevance to your answers, I play humans, and am determined to stick with them until I have a decent grasp of what's going on. I'm trying not to get lured into 'blodge and guard on everything', but some of the skills in the rulebook I haven't seen or played against... yet.


Kick - why is everyone so horny about it? I've seen a number of articles advocating it as the first skill to take on a lino, but can't see why it's such a boon. :|
Disclaimer: I understand there almost certainly is a benefit, I'm just not sure what it is yet.

Diving Catch - is this just the 'Accurate' of catching? +1 to any catch seems a no-brainer, but I don't see many catchers with it as an early skill choice.

Dauntless and Frenzy - Do I have to roll for Dauntless with each Frenzy block, or just once? Also, Juggernaut seems to be a decent partner for Frenzy, is that a thing?

Safe Throw - Only fumbling on a natural one? Why isn't this on every thrower out there?

Side Step - Can this work with a chain push against me?

Diving Tackle vs. Shadowing - Haven't played with or against either of these yet. For pestering ball carriers in my back field that have broken my line, Diving Tackle seems a bit more optimal, but I'm not sure?

Cheers for any input.

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 Post subject: Re: Skill justification
 Post Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:58 am 
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Kick - just having on your team means your receiving opponent has to keep an extra player or two in the back field to get to the ball. The usual lone ranger in the centre might not be able to reach an accurate deep kick and a fast team can threaten that early.

Diving Catch - is not a number one choice as Catch is usually better for Catchers to take first. However beyond the benefit of +1 to catching the extra squares you threaten for a catch can set the opponent to thinking more about defending against the throw. Combined with Nerves of Steel and 2 Diving Catchers standing a couple of squares apart, you can threaten a very wide receiving area that your opponent needs to defend against.

Dauntless and Frenzy - yes you do have to roll for each Frenzy block. Jugs is a good pairing :)

Safe Throw - it is great and has the additional benefit of possibly cancelling interceptions. However it is not widely used as Passing is not considered to be optimal. Passing is high risk for potentially scoring a turn or two earlier. And when you do pass it better to avoid interception chances completely rather than rely on an AG roll to cancel it. Most of the time if you are forced to pass to score it will be a last attempt before the half ends so a fumble wont be an issue. Plus there are other Passing Skills that throwers should aim for first - Pass, Sure Hands, Accurate, Strong Arm, Nerves of Steel.

Side Step - yes it works from chain pushes.


Diving Tackle vs Shadowing. Shadowing works best on fast players, the higher MA allows for more chances to Shadow, forcing more Dodge rolls. Diving Tackle works on everyone, but only once. If you get both on fast player it can create an awesome interference player, that will get blocked instead. Again they are good, fun, skills, but others are considered better "all-rounder" skills.

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Last edited by lunchmoney on Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Skill justification
 Post Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:38 am 
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Kick - For teams with good core skills and high pace (Skaven and WE) kick is an excellent early choice. It is one of those skills that let you dictate play. Kick deep and create a wall between the ball carrier and his LOS-mates, or kick high to get some early pressure on the ball (and a blitz event might just win you the match). The puny Orc only has 3 turns to score? Kick deep and watch him cry.

Safe throw - It is an excellent skills, for sure. However, many throwers operate more as running backs and thus sure hands, block, dodge are more crucial. If you want to pass a bit also accurate typically is chosen earlier. So yes to safe throw, but usually late in development.

Diving Tackle/Shadowing - Diving tackle has the benefit of seeing your opponents dice before using it and makes a 2+ to a 4+ dodge (assuming ag4). Really a gamewinning skill. Shadowing forces more 2+ dodges and is real nuicanse, but diving tackle is imo simply better.


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 Post subject: Re: Skill justification
 Post Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:30 am 
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A lot of this depends where you're looking when you say you don't see many of player x with skill y. But one thing that's important to understand is that the optimal play style to guarantee a win is widely considered to be the 2-1 grind. In this style it is rarely if ever necessary to pass and catch since touch downs are almost all scored by running - even with a team that is way better at passing than humans like Elves.

When passing and catching is relegated to a desperate plan B only, passing and catching skills become much less important compared to basic skills like block. In fact, (and again depending where you're looking) the throwers and catchers may not even be taken at all, or if they are it may not be because of their throwing and catching ability. Rather, the player may be valuing them for skills like sure hands to improve the reliability of picking up the ball without using a reroll, or in the case of catchers for their mobility and dodge skill to provide mobile assists. "Catchers" on many "competitively built" teams often end up being developed as mobile guards, sackers or retrievers.

That would be my guess why when reading online you aren't seeing certain skills very often. That doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't, especially if you're not set on the "optimal" 2-1 grind as your style.


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 Post subject: Re: Skill justification
 Post Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:20 pm 
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In addition to all said above, Diving Catch is useful on teams with Animosity Underworld and Pact) as it allows you to pass without making an Animosity roll.

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 Post subject: Re: Skill justification
 Post Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:44 pm 
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Darkson wrote:
In addition to all said above, Diving Catch is useful on teams with Animosity Underworld and Pact) as it allows you to pass without making an Animosity roll.

For clarity that works by declaring your pass to the empty square next to the target player. Perfectly allowed in the rules and bypasses the Animosity with the downside of a slightly harder catch (no extra +1 added).
This tactic can also be used to effectively extend the throw range by one.

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 Post subject: Re: Skill justification
 Post Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:02 pm 
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Why no blodge and guard? Block and dodge, catch and sure hands. All good on a human team. Anything with a built in re-roll due to their average stats.

Catchers with block, side step or sprint maybe fend (diving catch + thrower with Hail Mary pass)

Blitzers with mighty blow or guard then dodge on double

Thrower cause they got sure hands built in, block, leader,

Lineman rarely have skills so kick or dirty player

Ogre, guard or block on double

Hardly ever see human teams at tournaments. Are you playing in a league or planing on going to tournaments?

I should have added: BloodBowl is an old game, so most of the optimal builds have already been worked out. You got to decide why your playing. Genrally there are three type of players that iv come across. The ones that build optimum teams because they want the best chance to win this time, the ones who want a bit of fluff challenge so they will take something less optimum but build a team around a few unusal skills and try and use that combo in the game and then ther are the wacky guys who just bring crazy stuff to have fun and throw down with everyone.
If you want to win with humans you should properly be taking blodge and all the other known optimum skills as humans need help to compete against the best teams

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 Post subject: Re: Skill justification
 Post Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:33 pm 
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I agree with pretty much all of the above.

frogboy's suggestions are pretty good, especially while you are still learning the game. Consider the 2-1 grind approach as a basic building block of the game and expand from there. The three types of players frogboy outlines seem to progress in that order, too: learn to win by optimizing; once winning the same old way gets boring, learn to win with unusual or team specific strategies; once winning with creativity gets boring, go all out crazy! Even if you value "having fun" over winning, if you can NEVER win, then you probably won't be having fun. Too many new players try out a cool concept before learning the basics, get discouraged because they get repeatedly crushed, and quit the game altogether.

Once you're comfortable you've grasped the basic mechanics of the game and have won a couple, then if you want to try some "interesting" choices, by all means have a blast. We only got to optimal builds by people trying out new approaches and seeing what worked!

straume wrote:
kick high
-- I think you mean kick it short?

lunchmoney wrote:
Passing is not considered to be optimistic
-- I believe you meant passing is not "optimal." So, I suppose attempting a pass may actually be very optimistic... :P


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 Post subject: Re: Skill justification
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:07 am 
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JPS wrote:
lunchmoney wrote:
Passing is not considered to be optimistic
-- I believe you meant passing is not "optimal." So, I suppose attempting a pass may actually be very optimistic... :P

I wrote all that on my phone; if that's the only error I'm impressed :)

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 Post subject: Re: Skill justification
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 2:39 pm 
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frogboy wrote:
Hardly ever see human teams at tournaments. Are you playing in a league or planing on going to tournaments?


Looking to play in the next Cakebowl league when it starts, 'til then it's just the occasional tournament (Gertbowl will be my second, Cakebowl last month was my first).

Going with humans because that's the only team I kept when I (foolishly!) got rid of all my Blood Bowl stuff last year.

My thinking is that, whilst I'm learning, I don't mind losing. That seems a good time to get it horribly wrong, as I probably won't want to take those risks when I get a bit better.

Currently trying to pick skills for Gertbowl and it seems 5 or 6 'weird' ones make more sense (!) than paying out for 2 or 3 tier one skills.

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 Post subject: Re: Skill justification
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 2:44 pm 
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Jip wrote:
Cakebowl last month was my first).

And what a baptism of fire that was :)

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 Post subject: Re: Skill justification
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:15 pm 
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lunchmoney wrote:
And what a baptism of fire that was :)


Definitely!

Finished up 1/1/4, I learnt a lot though. Also, played against patient coaches, so didn't dent my confidence too badly.

The lowest point was getting beat by a T16 touchdown and having my beer kicked over in the same game! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Skill justification
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:09 pm 
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Cakebowl league? Never heard of them :lol:

Cakebowl and Gert Bowl, that's a great way to start out with vastly different skill sets. With any luck soon you'll be ready to cross the border into the Land of the Dragon and really test your skill :orc:

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 Post subject: Re: Skill justification
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:08 pm 
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frogboy wrote:
Cakebowl league? Never heard of them :lol:


That's because we don't hang around Cardiff docks on Friday night in drag waiting for sailors....... ( well, most of us don't)


frogboy wrote:
Cakebowl and Gert Bowl, that's a great way to start out with vastly different skill sets. With any luck soon you'll be ready to cross the border into the Land of the Dragon and really test your skill :orc:


here's an idea big balls, get a group of friends (or as you refer to them "Known associates") and come over the bridge for an Inter league day, ill book the Noodles guys and we can discuss the shortcomings of Welsh Bloodbowl, Ill throw that invite to the Bristol crew (or as they are known " Welsh swimmers") as well......

inter league: the way forward

(Lunchmoney: you and your delightful friends would be most welcome as well)
(Darkson: Oh go on then, you as well)

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 Post subject: Re: Skill justification
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:09 pm 
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glowworm wrote:
inter league: the way forward


Been meaning to do something like this for ages (and the Southampton lot...).

@Jip - get a couple of mates and come to the Pick'n'Mix - then you've got the perfect excuse to play a sensible team on one day and a mad one the next. ;)

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