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 Post subject: Re: Vampire rookie coach, Starting Roster NTTB
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:19 am 
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There are a lot of good coaches that believe Block -> Dodge -> other stuff -> Pro. Personal experience can only prove so much. My best argument is that vampires make more rolls that a failure is not a turnover than any other team.

You did give the stats for Accurate vs Pass, but you didn't include TRR. If every roll is 2+, most of the time you do have the TRR when you need it. But Accurate has no affect on Quick passes. I admit Accurate is just personal preference. For vamps I wouldn't take either one unless I already rolled +AG, in which case Pass>Accurate. Another idea that I wouldn't recommend, but worth considering if it's your play style, Dump Off. In the long run I think 4 ST Blodger > Dump Off. The long run only being 1 more skill. :)

Vampires really start to shine at high TV. Are you playing perpetual and/or with redrafting? Thick Skull (NTB) is a huge boost I have never played with.

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 Post subject: Re: Vampire rookie coach, Starting Roster NTTB
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:45 am 
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Having experimented in a fumbbl ranked environment, I much prefer block and dodge before pro. They give you a guaranteed reroll on things you'll be doing most frequently.

Pro would mostly be used on failed blood lust. My approach to that is to focus on positioning of the thralls (in places where they can be bitten without critical failure) and only doing things that are necessary. This means you bite your thralls pretty frequently, unless its critical. You're effectively saving the TRRs for the point in time you desperately need to reroll a failed blood lust - you won't want to use pro then either. I would use pro to avoid a non-critical bite, so have it down the priority list. Block and dodge also assist in saving TRRs for failed blood lusts when you've run out of thralls in the vicinity.

I've also got a AG5 vampire (similar theory to passing skills) and can see the benefits. You'll find though that more conventionally developed vampires end up getting the SPPs, as you do things with the less risky players (with block/dodge/both)

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 Post subject: Re: Vampire rookie coach, Starting Roster NTTB
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:42 am 
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mawph wrote:
You'll find though that more conventionally developed vampires end up getting the SPPs, as you do things with the less risky players (with block/dodge/both)
In longer running environment this is a good reason to go Pro first. They will skill up more evenly. I also like being able to Pro Hypnotic Gaze. I won't say getting it after block and dodge is wrong, just not my preference. I think waiting till the 5th skill to get it would be wrong.
Another note for the long run. Actively try to skill Thralls. My Thralls had bad luck, lots of death and cripple. I retired the team at 2370 TV. 10 Thralls with a total of 7 skills and six stat downs. At first I didn't want to be biting more valuable players, but getting them all wrestle would have been huge.
Skills for Thralls:
1 Kick/Wrestle
1 Block/Frenzy
Everyone else Wrestle
Everyone next skill Fend
(My Frenzy was the only thrall ever to a 3rd skill because he got 5 MVPs.)
Every Thrall that I had get a doubles died within a few games, but Guard (if not yet Wrestle) and Dodge I think are good choices.
I never got a stat on a Thrall, but a leaguemate had a +AG Thrall for ball retrieval. I would take every stat, MA>AV.

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 Post subject: Re: Vampire rookie coach, Starting Roster NTTB
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:58 am 
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CyberedElf wrote:
mawph wrote:
You'll find though that more conventionally developed vampires end up getting the SPPs, as you do things with the less risky players (with block/dodge/both)
In longer running environment this is a good reason to go Pro first. They will skill up more evenly. I also like being able to Pro Hypnotic Gaze. I won't say getting it after block and dodge is wrong, just not my preference. I think waiting till the 5th skill to get it would be wrong.
Another note for the long run. Actively try to skill Thralls. My Thralls had bad luck, lots of death and cripple. I retired the team at 2370 TV. 10 Thralls with a total of 7 skills and six stat downs. At first I didn't want to be biting more valuable players, but getting them all wrestle would have been huge.
Skills for Thralls:
1 Kick/Wrestle
1 Block/Frenzy
Everyone else Wrestle
Everyone next skill Fend
(My Frenzy was the only thrall ever to a 3rd skill because he got 5 MVPs.)
Every Thrall that I had get a doubles died within a few games, but Guard (if not yet Wrestle) and Dodge I think are good choices.
I never got a stat on a Thrall, but a leaguemate had a +AG Thrall for ball retrieval. I would take every stat, MA>AV.

I agree with most of that, except taking pro first ;) certainly the point about using pro on a gaze - most excellent (my AG5 vamp has pro as his first two level ups)
I'd also suggest tackle for thralls who get through a handful of skills. By the time you've got to multiple two skill thralls, you'll probably see a reasonable amount of dodge so a tackle+wrestle thrall is a nice ball threat (combined with hypno gaze and others)

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 Post subject: Re: Vampire rookie coach, Starting Roster NTTB
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:02 pm 
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All valid points but I'm afraid this Vampire team is not very likely to see long time development, as I am currently playing a smaller league.
I must admit, a mistake of taking them in the first place but I saw them as a challenge.

So I'm currently inclining towards the following choices:

For the game against the Ogres I would add a Thrall (total 4 Vamps and 9 Thralls then) for more bench and I am also considering to up my AC & CL as I see that TRR can be crucial for this game. Only downside is that I would take my current bank of 130k down to 70k and thus would not be certain to be able to afford a 5th Vampire for my last Regular game. So rather sticking being 1 Thrall to make sure I have the cash to buy the Vampire.

To support 5 Vampires without 5 TRR I am inclined to give Pro on my Blodge Vampire and on the next Rookie that is getting a skill. I would see him as the 'Gaze' guy.

From Tactical point of view I am currently leading the way with a Thrall almost every move my Vampires are making to make sure I have the TRR ready to be used on the action that my Vampires are making.
I do feel that this limit my numbers I have available for general positioning (screening and area denial) or assisting in Thrall blocks.

Is it a good alternative to take more risks with only foreseeing a Thrall for crucial ball movements or blitzes preparing this? I now typically will also set up a Thrall to assist the Vampire that is making the lead Gaze.
The problem is that 5/6 this Thrall isn't really effective as he is generally not denying any Tackle Zones or locking a player.

I have the feeling that Vampires are very 'dicey' as they lack so many basic skills and their negative trait can turn the tide quite exponentially: either removing crap players, TRR or even Vampires and causing a Turn-over.

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 Post subject: Re: Vampire rookie coach, Starting Roster NTTB
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:32 am 
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A 5th Vampire before basic skills on others make for a higher likelihood of hunger related turnovers. I'd be inclined to stick with the 4 vampires throughout and focus on bench.

You're absolutely right with your thrall usage in relation to just being in the right spot for being eaten. It's a slightly different mentality to 'normal' teams, but can be combined with a column defence ok (although be wary that the column may get eroded/eaten...). One of the best things is to start with the vampires in useful spots (on defence) and leave them there until they are needed, closing the space with the thralls. I'd be wary about intentionally basing opponents with thralls (apart from when going after the ball carrier in that turn) due to their AV7 and the need to have them available to be eaten.

The other thing about leaving thralls where you want the vampires to end up is that you are able to save up the TRRs for really important stuff. If the thrall was in an important spot and gets eaten, then the vampire is in that important spot instead and you've saved a TRR.

You're right in the last sentence. Thinking of thralls as dinner, rather than as blood bowl players, definitely helps things though. It means you should only lose vampires if everything is going properly tits up and you've lost all your thralls (or they've ended up the wrong side of the other team as things have gotten properly dicey!)

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 Post subject: Re: Vampire rookie coach, Starting Roster NTTB
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:25 pm 
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Cheers Mawph!

So to sum up my progression plans for the Vamps:

#1 Blodge Vamp 29 SPP: next Pro because it will help in reducing biting and he will be my go to guy if all TRR went out the door. Alternatively I can see Strip Ball being useful too as only Orcs should have Sure Hands of the Play-off teams.
#2 Block Vamp 11 SPP: next Dodge or Frenzy to open up some more possibilities. I am more inclined towards Dodge as Blodge is just THAT good on a Vamp.
#3 Double Vamp 6 SPP: I intend to get Pass to improve my offensive capabilities. I do know that he is lacking in general skills but I hope to still get some mileage out of his Pass skill by being able to make faster TD's and thus shorter drives, to let the bench do it's work. Even on defence I see the advantage of picking up the ball and at least being able to toss it into the right direction to prevent fast recovery vs Ogres.
#4 Rookie Vamp 5 SPP: I intend to get Dodge as I'm quite lacking that skill.

Now taking into account that you wouldn't opt for a 5th Vampire before all 4 others have a basic skills, do you mean Blodge on all or just 1 skill on each?
I'm feeling quite confident that #1 & 4 will skill up after the next game (barring any true deaths) and thus I will have all vamps with a skill. I feel I could to include the 5th Vampire and be saving up my cash to make this possible. My last regular game will be vs High Elves so the more AG4 I can get on the pitch to increase my Intercept chances and out strengthening them will improve my chances.

But I read like you want to wait for all 4 Vampires to get Blodge before adding the 5th. So my question would than be: how deep is a good bench for Vampires? 13 Or 14 players? Since my next match is vs Ogres I am inclined to opt for 10 thralls and even adding both AC & CL to 2 each. This would leave me with just 30k gc and the winnings from the match vs the Ogres to refill my bench as I do expect the Ogres to remove at least a Thrall from my side.

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