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 Post subject: Poetry in Motion (Nurgle)
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:25 pm 
Legend
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Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 3:02 am
Posts: 3372
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
INTRODUCTION: I am starting this team blog for the benefit of coaches who may be nervous about playing a Nurgle team for the first time, and want to see what happens to the team in a typical competitive league start. Questions welcome.

We have just started a "semi-scheduled" league (similar to a tourney, but with league progression). There are 7 teams currently, this may grow by 2, we can expect about 12-16 games for each team (we will probably face each opponent twice). This league is intended to be more "competitive" than our more "friendly" open league. Mostly this means that there will likely be no joke, semi-joke nor "experimental" teams (and bragging rights are bigger, of course). We are a tabletop league.

I have gone with what I consider to be easily the best starting roster for Nurgle at 100TV:

Beast, 4 Warriors, 1 Pestigor, 5 Rotters, 2 Re-rolls (no change).

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Last edited by Smeborg on Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Poetry in Motion (Nurgle)
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:46 pm 
Legend
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Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 3:02 am
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Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
FIRST MATCH: (a month ago, so memory a bit hazy).

OPPONENT: Pro-Elves with a decent and resourceful young coach, but he has not coached PEs before, giving me an advantage. PEs are tough for Nurgle because of NoS (only D-Pres works against catching, tackle zones don't). He has a standard starting roster: 2 Blitzers, 2 Catchers, Thrower, 6 Linos, 3 RRs.

RESULT: 0-0 (CAS: 6-1). A rather classic scoreline for a first match.

COMMENTS: Won the kick-off, and racked up CAS through the match. Caged up but got bogged down before getting into scoring range, then the game went wild, with ball movement by both teams. Felt relieved to get to half time, as my opponent got close to scoring. Second half saw D-Pres deployed to good effect, I stalled the offensive play and the game went wild again. Either side could have scored, but didn't. Made some minor positional and risk assessment errors (I have not played Nurgle for months) and felt I should have done better. Blocking game was good, however.

ROSTER: Gained a free Rotter, but lost another one to -1ST (Decay). 6 CAS is a good start (mostly on Warriors and the Beast). Rotter who got a CAS also got the MVP and took Block. 40,000 in winnings, saved (do not buy Rotters at the start - they die).

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 Post subject: Re: Poetry in Motion (Nurgle)
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:09 pm 
Legend
Legend

Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 3:02 am
Posts: 3372
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
SECOND MATCH: (a few weeks ago, so memory still imperfect).

OPPONENT: Undead, coached by a tough old foe who has long experience with them and other bash teams (Orcs, Necros, Chaos, C-Pact). Standard starting roster: 2 Mummies, 2 Wights, 3 Ghouls, 4 Zombies, 3 RRs.

RESULT: 1-1 (CAS: 1-1).

COMMENTARY: Received, caged up, scored in 6 turns after a few adventures (made a break for it, got sacked and recovered). This was was not a bad effort, as I was missing the Beast from turn 1 (see below). Then I defended poorly and only escaped conceding an equalising TD when a Ghoul (with RR) failed to pick up the ball near my end zone on turn 8. Second half: defended better, got a 2-dice blitz on the isolated ball-carrying Ghoul, but it failed (both down, Pestigor KOd, Ghoul survived). Then had 4 turns to score, but played badly (also had poor dice, but could have done better). Made some wrong choices, especially in move order, plus some minor blunders. But considering I played a whole game without the Beast, I'll take the result.

STAR TURN: Gervaise Johansen, my lengendary Beast of Nurgle and player-manager of the team, excelled himself. On the first turn he became Stupid, then later in the same turn he was KOd. Spending the best part of 3 drives (11 turns) in the dugout, he finally heaved his carcass onto the pitch for the last quarter of the game. First he went Stupid, then he went Stupid again. Finally he took his first successful action of the game (a Move). This surprised his team so much that they turned themselves over immediately on the last turn, before Gervaise could do anything!

ROSTER: The Rotter with Block died (no Decay required, he just died). So it's 2 games, 2 CAS suffered, 2 Rotters gone. Sadly, this is not untypical. With just the one TD, one CAS and a PC (to the "free" Rotter from last game), no-one has skilled up yet. The MVP goes again to a Rotter (not what you want - they cannot retain SPPs). Just 30,000 winnings, so no purchase yet (70,000 in the bank).

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Last edited by Smeborg on Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:48 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Poetry in Motion (Nurgle)
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:47 pm 
Legend
Legend

Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 3:02 am
Posts: 3372
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
THIRD MATCH: (a couple of days ago, so memory better).

OPPONENT: Norse, coached by a very keen and sporting coach who loves his team, and has played it a lot. Not among the strongest coaches in our league, but is quite resourceful and has a never-say-die attitude. He won his last game 4-2. Roster (IIRC): Snow Troll, 2 Beserkers (both with M-Blow, one with Dodge?), 2 Catchers (one with Dodge?), Thrower, 6 Linos (one with irrelevant Tackle), Apoth. No Ulf-Wereners nor Guard, so I have a considerable ST advantage.

INDUCEMENTS: Since I have no skills and have made no purchases yet, I have 190,000 in inducements. After much hesitation I choose a Wizard (other choices I contemplated were (a) 2 merc Rotters plus a Babe, and (b) a merc Rotter plus a Bribe). I expect to get a numbers advantage anyway, thanks to my raw ST and AV (but I do not like the look of 2x Block/Frenzy/M-Blow and the SnoT's Claw). I am not at all sure I made the right choice, although it worked out very well in the game.

RESULT: 2-0 (CAS: 1-2). Felt like a "perfect" game, but it has to be said that I was favoured by Nuffle (and my opponent was not).

COMMENTARY: Received and ran into trouble immediately as the Beast caught the ball on the line of scrimmage. He managed to cage up, but then went Stupid for 2 consecutive turns (he was trying to hand-off). The second time this happened, the cage came under great pressure, and the Pestigor (who was trying to receive the ball) was killed (! - Regen'd) but thanks to several Warrior re-inforcements, the imperfect cage held its shape until the Beast finally managed a move to a new cage. Meanwhile, I had fouled the Snow Troll (KO) with my Journeyman Rotter (wishing I had taken a Bribe and a reserve!), and had also managed to KO the 2 Beserkers, as well as getting a CAS on another player. A Warrior was also CASd along the way (BH - Regen'd). With just 3 turns left in the half, the Beast finally managed a hand-off to a Rotter, who moved downfield, caged up, then made a break for it on turn 7, screened by 3 players, scoring comfortably on turn 8 (perfectly timed run). CAS'd another Norse player along the way (BH - Apoth'd to reserves). Had a 3-man advantage by the end of the half. SECOND HALF: starting with a 1-man advantage, the Wizard worked to good effect by inspiring over-caution in my opponent. Notwithsanding the Beast being KO'd on turn 1 by the Snow Troll, I pressed my opponent back, using even Rotters to mark every available opponent when I could. Judicious blocking created a gap in the line, and the Pestigor got a good sack attempt on the ball carrier (2 dice, but it failed on a double both down, the Journeyman Rotter had consumed the re-roll to create the gap). But this forced my opponent to move the ball, this went pear-shaped for him when the hand-off (with RR) failed, allowing me to surf a player and retrieve the ball (eventually). The Pestigor scored on turn 16 after the Wizard had zapped the only opposing player posing a threat (stunned). Other players who should have stopped him earlier all failed their dodges. A fortunate TD.

ROSTER: Just 40,000 winnings (won the game and had +2 Fame, but rolled 1,1). But finally I get to buy a second Pestigor (a great relief). The original Pest got his second TD and skilled up (Sure Hands - which I consider essential). I managed, by design (rare for me) to give a TD to the Rotter with MVP, so he skilled up too (Block). MVP went to the heroic Journeyman Rotter, hence is lost (if I had just 10,000 more in winnings, I would have been able to buy him). Looks like I will have to rely solely on the hard-earned type of SPPs in this league!

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Last edited by Smeborg on Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:10 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Poetry in Motion (Nurgle)
 Post Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:23 am 
Legend
Legend

Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 3:02 am
Posts: 3372
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
GENERAL COMMENTS AFTER 3 GAMES: A somewhat lucky start, with 1 win, 2 draws (TDs: 3-1, CAS: 9-4). Roster:

Beast: 4 SPPs
Warrior: 4 SPPs
Warrior: 4 SPPs
2 Warriors with no SPPs
Pestigor: Sure Hands, 6 SPPs
Pestigor: -
Rotter: Block, 8 SPPs
Rotter: 1 SPP
2 Rotters with no SPPs
2RRs, 3FF, 30,000 in Treasury, TV 111

Conceding just the 1 TD in 3 games is excellent, and is the sort of thing Nurgle like to do. Excluding single turn drives, the team has played 8 meaningful drives in 3 games (close to my typical average of around 3 drives per game), as follows:

Received 4 times (scored 2, shutout 2)
Kicked 4 times (scored 1, shutout 2, conceded 1)

This is a relatively healthy pattern for Nurgle - they should get a relatively high number of shutouts (no-score drives) combined with few drives which concede TDs. As usual, offense is the weak point - if I can score more often on my receive, the win ratio will rise. On both drives where I was shut out, I made mistakes (Nurgle offense requires care, precision, and constant forward momentum). But this may just be rust - by the third game I was not making these mistakes. I have (so far) not missed a 3rd re-roll (thus I can contemplate going without it perhaps for the whole league).

The roster is developing nicely, although thanks to appalling money rolls (3,2,1,1) I still have only 11 players. Player (and SPP) retention can expect to improve as more Pestigors take the field. 12 SPPs, including 2 MVPs, have been lost already (30% loss rate), and there are only 27 SPPs retained (9 per game). This is not great, but it is not untypical, and at least the SPPs are rather nicely distributed. MVPs going to Rotters and Journeymen is a typical blow to early Nurgle. Patience is a virtue while waiting for this team to develop. While the Beast and 2 Warriors appear to be on the verge of skilling up, history tells me that they could be on this verge for some time. Until I buy the 3rd and 4th Pestigors, I will probably enjoy a small inducement advantage against most opponents. Where I don't, that will probably mean parity in numbers. Have played over half the time without the Beast, so I should not complain (normally he is the key man, tying up multiple opponents). He has also been Stupid for a high proportion of turns (6 out of 10 Really Stupid rolls have been 1s in the last 2 games, but this is still nowhere near my record of 7 ones out of 11 rolls in a single game). Sigh.

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 Post subject: Re: Poetry in Motion (Nurgle)
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:44 pm 
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Hello Smeborg,

I am a big fan of PiM. I hope to read your match reports for some time.

No question at the moment.

:wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Poetry in Motion (Nurgle)
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:58 am 
Legend
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Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 3:02 am
Posts: 3372
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Thanks for your kind words, Alu-Cinator. I expect to play 2 games a month and will add general comments every 3 games or so.

FOURTH MATCH: Against very well coached Wood Elves. Something of a "needle" match, as last time we met playing the same teams, I was beaten in a tournament final in extra time. Tree, 2xWardancers, Catcher, 7 Linos, 1xRR, Apoth, no skills. With my 2 hard-won skills, and my opponent only havinig 11 players (like me) I feel I have a slight advantage. However, WEs are notoriously difficult opponents due to their raw speed. I struggle to get better than a draw against them.

INDUCEMENTS: 60,000 and a Babe to my opponent.

RESULT: 1-1 (CAS: 2-0 to PiM). I had 2 chances to win the game, one decent, the other unlikely - both failed.

COMMENTARY: Not a good start, as I lost the kick-off roll (always better to receive first in early matches) and then rolled pouring rain (normally a big advantage for the AG team, but in this case it helps me shut down receivers (rain+D-Pres+TZs)). Played cat and mouse for several turns, got a couple of players stuck to the tree, until he took root (then I dodged the remaining Warrior away). Formed a deep and broad defense, it worked fairly well, I clobbered a potential receiver. I got a good opening (c. my turn 3) with a chance to put a Tentacled tackle zone on the ball carrier (a Wardancer) by taking a Blitz with the Beast on a distant cage corner. Unfortunately this required 2 go-for-its, the Beast failed the first one (Loner failed as well). Had the Beast succeeded (2 in 3 chance), I would have put great pressure on the ball, with good turnover chances. Such chances should always be taken. I then discovered I had made 2 minor mistakes in my defense: I was a little skewed to one side (1 player too many) and I had moved a Pestigor to the wrong square (had I swapped him with a Rotter in the centre, the Pest would have neatly covered the more open side). These minor errors enabled the Woodies to run down the more open side, and after making them roll plenty of dice (I could not actually block them), they scored in 5 turns with little difficulty. I then had a 4 turn score attempt, made difficult by a kick to my backfield, but no longer in pouring rain. I first shielded the ball with a screen, in about the centre of my half). Then the WEs stopped my cage from advancing much further, but I had got a Rotter (on the first turn), and later a Pestigor (penultimate turn), into scoring positions. He took down the Pest, I had a low odds passing play (say 1 in eight) to the Rotter, but he failed his dodge to get to the end zone to receive. A great bonus, however, on the same turn 8, when the Beast BH'd the Tree. SECOND HALF: A handy numbers advantage (10 vs. eight) and no Tree. However, another deep kick, compounded by a failure to pick it up on turn 1 (also the Beast went Stupid, as usual on turn 1 of offense). This removed any realistic chance of winning the game. I caged up, advanced the cage a square a turn for several turns (with some difficulty as well). In the end my opponent started losing more players, and suffered some early turnovers as well. This meant I could advance the cage 4 turns on each of turns 14 and 15 with an easy run in to score on turn 16 (1 GFI required, with RR). Survived the 1-turn score attempt by the WEs, which started well, then died with a knockdown (push needed, no RR). A good result in the end, I made good chances to win, but they did not happen. My opponent picked up the ball once, and never made a pass or hand-off, I picked up the ball twice, and never made a pass or hand-off. Classic stats for a Nurgle match. Also most enjoyable and sporting, with maximum racial asymmetry.

ROSTER: An outstanding game in this respect. Got 80,000 winnings (a 3rd Pest, the important 12th man). A Warrior skilled up (Block). Gervaise (the Beast) got his 3rd CAS and the MVP for a total of 11 SPPs and got +1ST!!! He will be the terror of the league (when he's not Stupid of course). 4 games with only 11 players, but now all looks well, with 3 Pests and a reserve (and 30,000 in Treasury).

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Last edited by Smeborg on Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:17 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Poetry in Motion (Nurgle)
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:26 am 
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Woah good work conceding so few a touchdowns in four games! Guess thats the classic nurgle defence at work. That beast truly will be a terror now!

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 Post subject: Re: Poetry in Motion (Nurgle)
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:17 am 
Legend
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Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
van der vaart wrote:
Woah good work conceding so few a touchdowns in four games! Guess thats the classic nurgle defence at work. That beast truly will be a terror now!

Thanks vdv, that's how Nurgle play. Their defense is very good, and you need to approach each defensive drive with the attitude that you can and will stop your opponent scoring. Note that in 3 of the 4 games that I have played, I have identified at least 2 clear errors in each game, so my results could have been better (of course we will never know, it might have made no difference). In a 6 game tournament, I would expect to concede (say) 4 TDs in total, when I am playing accurately. In a league, conceding no more than 1 TD per 2 games is my target.

Because Nurgle are on the slow and clumsy side, and start without Block, S-Hands or Pass, the nature of their offense differs from bash teams such as (say) Orcs and Dwarfs, who start with plentiful Block plus ball movement skills. Nurgle can only safely assume that they will score 1 TD on their offense - therefore the pressure is on their (excellent) defense to win the match. This can be by shutout (1-0) or by turnover (2-0).

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 Post subject: Re: Poetry in Motion (Nurgle)
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:16 pm 
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These are so well written, smeborg! Thanks for this - they are a valuable resource to any BB coach, interested in Nurgle or not!

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 Post subject: Re: Poetry in Motion (Nurgle)
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:57 pm 
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Thoroughly enjoying these, recently picked up an unpainted nurgle team so this is interesting on a practical level as an alternative to chaos.

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 Post subject: Re: Poetry in Motion (Nurgle)
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:05 pm 
Legend
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Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Thanks, Chance and TalonBay. I am trying to show 2 things, among others: (1) that the Nurgle offense differs from other caging offenses (it is more tricky), and (2) that the defense is simply outstanding (but does not happen by itself).

TalonBay - I rather like Chaos, their games are often sporting for both coaches. They have quite a bit more MA than Nurgle, everyone is AG3, everyone can dodge on a 3+ and blitz at ST4. This makes them a very resourceful team in the hands of a good coach. They are more of a blank canvas in development terms, and can be developed in many different ways, or in combinations of different ways. For example I have played against good Chaos teams which combined vicious slayers with good ball movers. There are similarities with Nurgle at the start, but the teams tend to diverge as they develop. This is especially clear in the more rapid development of the Chaos Warriors (who can score TDs easily, and who make better ball holders than the Beastmen).

A popular Chaos variant in our league is to drop the Minotard for a very lean TV indeed (4 Warriors, 10 Beastmen, 3 RRs, Apoth for an underlying TV of just 123).

All the best.

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 Post subject: Re: Poetry in Motion (Nurgle)
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:22 pm 
Legend
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Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
I am considering going for an ultra-lean TV with this team:

Beast, 4 Warriors, 4 Pests, 4 Rotters, 2 RRs (underlying TV of 120!!!).

I have missed a 3rd RR at least once (in the last game, where it would have improved my one missed scoring chance from about 1/8 to about 3/8 - i.e. quite useful). It does not look like this league is going to be very bashy, and anyway it is short, so we will see few advanced slayer skill combos. I have not tried a 13 player roster before with Nurgle. Plenty of time to mull this one over. Maybe I will stick with the tried and tested 14 players, but 2 RRs (underlying TV of 124). Or I could go "extremist" and drop the 4th Pest for a Rotter (TV116). But I love the Pests (a 4th Pest with no SPPs will often go on the defensive LoS - more resilient than a Rotter). The team plays well with 3 Pests, but badly with 2 (so a reserve 4th Pest is advisable). Playing with 2 RRs for a season would be good practice for me, especially with the World Cup coming up. "Character-building".

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 Post subject: Re: Poetry in Motion (Nurgle)
 Post Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:42 am 
Legend
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Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
I have found an accurate sporting analogy for the Nurgle defense: rugby sevens. In rugby sevens, the side holding the ball will often be forced backwards by a good defense, then backwards, and backwards again. The offense move the ball from side to side, probing for an opening, until eventually they are forced to take risks and make a dash for it.

One of my regular opponents (the WE coach from last game) calls this "the Nurgle press".

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 Post subject: Re: Poetry in Motion (Nurgle)
 Post Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:39 am 
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Smeborg wrote:
I have found an accurate sporting analogy for the Nurgle defense: rugby sevens. In rugby sevens, the side holding the ball will often be forced backwards by a good defense, then backwards, and backwards again. The offense move the ball from side to side, probing for an opening, until eventually they are forced to take risks and make a dash for it.

One of my regular opponents (the WE coach from last game) calls this "the Nurgle press".


This is how i try and play with most teams. So its good seeing how you do it with nurgle then trying to apply that to other teams! :)

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