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 Post subject: First tourney with Slann (skyte)
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:07 pm 
Legend
Legend

Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 3:02 am
Posts: 3372
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
I have little experience with Slann, just a few casual games in unscheduled open leagues with experimental rosters. So it was with some trepidation that I took them to the Greenstone Cup in Auckland last weekend (20 players). But I ended up winning the tourney (my first ever tournament win), with 5 wins and 1 narrow loss (TDs: 20-10, CAS: 11-14). TD record should have been better, as I got sloppy in 2 or 3 matches when leading by 3 or more TDs. Catcher no.8 (Lionel Messy) scored 11 TDs all by himself, as many or more than I normally score with a whole team.

I followed the same system I have been proposing on the league sub-forum, which is to take no Blitzers, no Krox. TV 110 roster was as follows:

4 Catchers, 8 Linefrogs, 5 RR, Apoth
Day 1 skills: Guard (Catcher), Dodge (Catcher), Wrestle (Linefrog)
Day 2 skills: Guard (Catcher), Dodge (Catcher), Wrestle (Linefrog)

2 doubles skills were allowed, and the tourney was light on skills, especially on day 1. I only took Slann because the teams I normally like to take to tourneys do not benefit from doubles skills, and a little playtesting showed them to be quite weak in this format.

I got 9 turnover scores (1.5 per game), and never got turned over myself. Only twice did my opponent shut me out (in the last round), otherwise I scored every time I received. These are the stats of a very high performance team.

I will post the gory details below for those who are interested.

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Last edited by Smeborg on Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: First tourney with Slann (skyte)
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:16 pm 
Legend
Legend

Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 3:02 am
Posts: 3372
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
1ST MATCH VS. ORCS: Won 4-1 (CAS: 3-2). An old foe with a winning record against me.

Perhaps the most lopsided match-up I have ever played in a tourney. I sacked my opponent at will (he had no Guard), 6 times in all, I think.

I got lucky with CAS. My opponent took until the second half to get better than a stun, whereas my first knockdown got a CAS on a Black Orc. Also got a CAS on the Thrower, and the icing on the cake was when the Troll ate the Gobbo on turn 8 (could have been a TD). Got a couple of KOs too. So had a numbers advantage for most of the match.

My opponent did well to scramble in his only TD on turn 16...

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Last edited by Smeborg on Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: First tourney with Slann (skyte)
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:21 pm 
Legend
Legend

Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 3:02 am
Posts: 3372
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
2ND MATCH VS. WOOD ELVES: won 5-3 (CAS: 2-0). Opponent finished 6th.

Got lucky with a Blitz! followed by a Wardancer failing a dodge on a 1,1 when trying to blitz the ball carrier. Fouled a Frenzy Wardancer off the pitch (KO), when he eventually came back he CAS'd himself.

Felt I would have won without the Blitz! as I got sloppy at the end (could have had a 5-2 or 6-2 result). Had a numbers advantage for most of the match.

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 Post subject: Re: First tourney with Slann (skyte)
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:26 pm 
Legend
Legend

Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 3:02 am
Posts: 3372
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
3RD MATCH VS. SKAVEN. Won 5-2 (CAS: 1-4). Opponent finished 5th.

Started with 12 players on the pitch (very embarrassing), but I doubt it would have changed anything, as my opponent rolled 1,1 on consecutive turns. Again got lucky with a Blitz! and consequent turnover score. My opponent's dice were very poor, he suffered multiple turnovers, and the Rat Ogre rolled many 1s for Wild Animal.

This is the only match of the tourney where I was often at a numbers disadvantage. It did not seem to matter, given my opponent's dice.

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 Post subject: Re: First tourney with Slann (skyte)
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:38 pm 
Legend
Legend

Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 3:02 am
Posts: 3372
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
4TH MATCH VS. LIZZIES. Won 3-2 (CAS: 1-3). Opponent finished 3rd.

A tough and tense game, very close. I did not manage to get the ball off my opponent until his 3rd receive, scoring the winning TD on turn 15.

Due to a positional error by my opponent I manage to surf 2 Saurus on turn 8, getting a CAS and a KO (Slann Catchers are particularly good for this manoeuvre, like 2-Heads Gobbos they can block an exit square). Facing only 4 Saurus in the second half, I stalled for the only time in the tourney (well, only for a few turns), by tying up the Saurus (none had B-Tackle) and holding the ball with a Linefrog. Eventually I was forced to score, surfing a Skink on the way in. Leaving my opponent with just 3 turns to score applied the pressure needed to get the winning turnover (a Skink was forced to pass, it was a fumble).

A pleasing result, I was 0-1 and 1-2 down.

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 Post subject: Re: First tourney with Slann (skyte)
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:48 pm 
Legend
Legend

Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 3:02 am
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Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
5TH GAME VS. NORSE. Won 2-0 (CAS: 2-3). Opponent finished 4th.

A dour game at the business end of the tourney - I knew a win would put me in good position. Nevertheless, a good match-up for the Slann.

First sack attempt worked (my opponent had no Guard). However, the ball was caught in the scrum by my opponent on a roll of 6. Second sack attempt produced exactly the same result! Third sack attempt failed. Fourth sack attempt succeeded, and at last I got my slimy webbed hands on the ball for a turnover score. Then lots of dogged defense for a shutout.

In the second half, I scored quickly, followed by more dogged defense for another shutout. So in the end a more sedate, though classic, 2-0 win.

My opponent had just 1 RR, but managed to win another 3 from the kick-off table, making life a lot more difficult! He had a Blodge Thrower who was difficult to sack at times (I had no S-Ball), but nevertheless I managed to put him in the dugout twice. Also surfed a Runner and kept numbers even or favorable to me through the middle period of the match.

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 Post subject: Re: First tourney with Slann (skyte)
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:19 pm 
Legend
Legend

Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 3:02 am
Posts: 3372
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
6TH AND FINAL MATCH VS. AMAZONS. Lost 1-2 (CAS: 2-2). Opponent finished 2nd.

Very close indeed. Had my opponent scored another TD, he might have won the tourney. Scoring system was 4 points for a win, 2 for a draw, 1 for a loss by 1 TD, nil for a loss by 2 or more TDs. The narrow win secured me a point and the tourney, whereas if I had got nil points (loss by 2 TDs), I and my opponent would have been tied on points, and the tourney would have been decided on a tie-break (net TDs/CAS). I don't know who would have won, but according to the organiser, it would have been very close, and I might well have lost, as my opponent had a good CAS record.

My opponent did not fail a single roll in the whole match, and only groaned once (when he was forced to use his last RR on turn 15). Meanwhile I suffered multiple turnovers on rolls of 1/1, 1/2 and 2/2, with most of my 10 RRs in the match being blown on a failed 2+ roll early in the turn.

Match started badly with my opponent getting +2 fame, winning the kick, and the ball scattering into his arms. I got a lovely sack attempt on the first turn (2/3 chance) but it failed and things went downhill from there. Sack attempts were at ever-diminishing odds (my opponent had 2 Guards and a Blodge Thrower, I had no S-Ball), and my opponent's Star Roxana surfed 2 of my players. Eventually I popped the ball loose on turn 6, only for it to scatter into the arms of Roxana. But at least I forced her to score. It was to no avail, however, as my 2-turn score attempt (5/9 chance) failed.

As in the previous match, my opponent won several RRs from the kick-off table, making life quite a bit more difficult (he started with only 2).

In the second half, I scored quickly (I did not have the means to stall). Then my opponent repeated his steady stalling drive of the first half. This time I was unable to sack the ball-carrier (Roxana), but again I forced her to score, again leaving me 2 turns to score. Disaster ensued when the ball scattered to my Catcher on the LoS, leaving me out of position, and greatly reducing the odds of scoring (I was a crucial Catcher short, 1 was in my backfield). The low odds attempt (1/3 or worse) failed when the ball-carrying Dodge Catcher got sacked by Roxana (with no RR). I had blown my last RR on a 2+ roll of 1 early on turn 15. Then I had to scramble to secure the narrow loss, with a low odds attempt to get the ball off Roxana on turn 16 (it failed).

A very tough match, I could have done better, but I doubt that it would have made any difference with the dice that I and my opponent rolled.

I am not surprised that 1st and 2nd place went to non-bash teams who took a couple of Guards, this was my reading before the tournament of the way to go in this format. Bash teams (50% of teams, I was expecting more) did badly, although rumour has it that this may have had something to do with their coach's behaviour on the Friday and Saturday nights. The need to protect the anonymity of sources prevents me from making further comment...

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Last edited by Smeborg on Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:48 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: First tourney with Slann (skyte)
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:38 pm 
Legend
Legend

Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 3:02 am
Posts: 3372
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
GENERAL COMMENTS
-----------------------------------
The Apoth was gold, he brought back a player in every match. The team was surprisingly resilient, I was only well down in numbers once (not including the end of matches) - against the Skaven. I put the resilience down to:

- Luck
- AV8 being just good enough (I never faced more than 2 M-Blowers in this format)
- 12 men + Apoth (opponent has to put at least 3 players in the dugout)
- Wrestle and Dodge (these players tended to stay on the pitch)
- Slann ability to surf opposing players in the right situations (Catcher sealing the exit square)
- Important ability of the Slann to get players back from KO (because they score so many TDs)
- Important ability of Slann to disengage by leaping all players away (especially with 5 RRs) - frustrating for the bash coaches

The Guard players were dynamite, making cage-breaking ridiculously easy. They were very fragile too, but I learned to live with this, and by the end of the tourney I was often using them as bait. Guard was useful on turn 1 of offense on the LoS too (as planned).

The Linos got about 6 of the 11 CAS, the rest being crowd-surfs and self-inflicted injuries. The Linos also came to the rescue with 4 TDs out of the 20. I recorded 8 Pass Completions by the Catchers, but there were many more passes to 1 square short of Catchers (taking advantage of D-Catch to reduce the passing range). The Slann passing game was outstanding.

The main decision I had to take on the roster was whether or not to take S-Ball. It would (probably) have won me the last crucial match, but I don't think I would have liked to go with only 1 Wrestle, so I don't think I would change the roster (in this format). In other formats, of course, with more skills, S-Ball should be taken. Guard and Dodge on the Catchers was outstanding, and not to be passed up.

The decision to do without the Krox and Blitzers (in favour of RRs) appears to have been vindicated. I only recall one occasion when I wished one of my Wrestle Linefrogs had been a Wrestle Bltzer (the Jump Up would have enabled me to get one more sack attempt on Roxana in the last game, or at least one more crucial turn in which to score, 3 instead of 2).

Hope you enjoyed all that, and maybe this thread will persuade more brave and not so brave coaches to try their hand with Slann in tourneys! All the best.

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 Post subject: Re: First tourney with Slann (skyte)
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:41 pm 
Emerging Star
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Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2005 12:25 pm
Posts: 396
Location: Belgium
I played Slann at last year's Brassbowl. I took a 3 Catcher, 8 Linefrog, Kroxigor + 3 RR's + Apothecary roster. I used my double skill to get Leader on the Krox.

Thank you for your report and the insights. It was a very interesting read (as always).

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 Post subject: Re: First tourney with Slann (skyte)
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:40 am 
Experienced
Experienced

Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:13 pm
Posts: 100
Been playtesting this roster a while now as I got interested by your post and the league's one. I've loved Slann since the team became official and bought a team right away when Goblinforge made theirs. Played a couple of tournaments and lots and lots of match leagues, but I had never played without the Krox and I only played Blitzers in league.

So I got interested by what you said and tried it, and... Man, not sure I can play without the Krox... Only linefrogs and catchers is awfully fragile and so dice heavy... Drew most games, won only a handful, lost the others... After a few games I went back for a few games to playing with the Krox and by magic it all went back alright.

Replacing a line by the Krox allows to tie between 2 and 4 players up and that is invaluable. I never expect anything from the Krox: just soak punches; without him, I don't have enough power to block players away from me nor the agility to reposition reliably. The extra reroll does not help much as you need these leaps to work in the same turn.

The extra reserve is compensated by the number that you do NOT take by outnumbering the opponent thanks to the Krox tying up players. Also the extra line helps for the following drive, not the current one, and after being outnumbered, it's when it becomes easier for the opponent to stall.

The team has to play on his mobility: create a hard center and force players on both sides. Hopefully dividing his team and redeploying quickly using our great mobility to attack the weakened cage, and if that doesn't work, you will still force the opponent to hug the sideline and slow him down. Without the Krox, I found the opponent would do what he wants and play his own strength, and that's when it all goes wrong.

It was fantastic trying it, as it requires a different play style, but now I keep my Krox with me and hug him every day. :)

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 Post subject: Re: First tourney with Slann (skyte)
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:52 pm 
Emerging Star
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Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2005 12:25 pm
Posts: 396
Location: Belgium
Great post Johnny. Echoes my sentiments about how the team plays.

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 Post subject: Re: First tourney with Slann (skyte)
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:44 pm 
Legend
Legend

Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 3:02 am
Posts: 3372
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
I'm trying the same approach in our tabletop league, we'll see what happens.

All the best.

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 Post subject: Re: First tourney with Slann (skyte)
 Post Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:39 pm 
Super Star
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Interesting stuff, Smeborg.

What would you drop for a straight 1M tourney?

Right now I have 4 catchers, 7 linemen, 4 rerolls. Trying to decide between an apothecary, extra lineman or extra RR.

Is there any reason you decided to forego kick? You seem to have down well enough without it, obviously, but it is often put forth as a skill that the slann make great use of.

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 Post subject: Re: First tourney with Slann (skyte)
 Post Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:34 am 
Legend
Legend

Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 3:02 am
Posts: 3372
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Gaixo wrote:
Interesting stuff, Smeborg.

What would you drop for a straight 1M tourney?

Right now I have 4 catchers, 7 linemen, 4 rerolls. Trying to decide between an apothecary, extra lineman or extra RR.

Is there any reason you decided to forego kick? You seem to have down well enough without it, obviously, but it is often put forth as a skill that the slann make great use of.
I don't think you can improve on 4 Catchers, 7 Linefrogs, 5 RR as a starting roster at TV100. I don't think 4 RRs is enough for Slann in any format. I am even thinking of taking 6 RR to a forthcoming tourney. I am also thinking of taking Slann to next year's CanCon (TV100 progression tourney).

I love Kick on the Slann, but in a league I still give all the Linefrogs Wrestle first before other skills (unless I roll a doubles, in which case I take Guard). After Wrestle, the second normal skill on the first 4 Linefrogs to skill up is (in theory at least): S-Ball, Kick, Tackle, Tackle (I will also consider Dauntless if the league is high ST). Then I build some Wrestle/Fend Linos. The reason I go for 4 Linefrogs with 2 skills each (and without Fend) is because that is how many are not on the LoS when I set up on defense.

I have found that tourney formats which allow doubles skills can suit Slann, because they can take Guard on Catchers. With (say) 2 doubles skills allowed, this gives 2 Catchers with Guard, 2 Catchers with Dodge, and 2 Linos with Wrestle (6 skills is a typical limit). No room for Kick yet, I would take up to 4 Wrestle first, plus S-Ball, if allowed, so it's 10th skill on the tourney list (about the same on the league list, interestingly).

Hope that helps.

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 Post subject: Re: First tourney with Slann (skyte)
 Post Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:40 pm 
Super Star
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Yeah, I'm only getting 6 skills, with doubles taking up two slots each. Agree that it's hard to fit Kick in there, especially with at least two choices being spent on getting Guard for a catcher.

I have a lot of experience playing them in a league, but was a bit spoiled as I ended up with quite a few AG/ST increases and double skills. It's a lot harder without ST3 catchers and AG4 linemen.

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