Blood Bowl – Basics

So in the first effort at branching out a little I thought I would revisit an old article I wrote for my local Blood Bowl League.

Now, the objective of a game of Blood Bowl (despite what an Orc player may try to tell you) is to score more touch downs than your opponent.  Of course how you go about doing this is where the fun of the game comes in.
The first thing to think about (after picking your team colours) is how you  want to score your touch downs.  The two basic choices are to play a running game or a passing game.  The running game lends itself well to teams with a high Armour Value (AV), good Strength (ST) and a few players with the Block Skill  helps (I said a few not all, damn Norse Teams.)  To play a good passing game on the other hand you want players with high Movement (MA),  good Agility (AG) and having easy access to players with both Pass and Catch helps.
Now after looking at your team and matching it up to the style you want to play what else is there to consider?
Well the basic mechanics of Blood Bowl actually favours not rolling dice, I am going to say that once more just to help it sink in Blood Bowl favours NOT ROLLING DICE.  OK so I got to type something in capitals and bold but what do I mean by this.
Simply that because in Blood Bowl if you attempt to do something and fail this usually results in a turn over.  That means that if as your first action of the game you try to pick up the ball and fail (even though it is on 3’s with a re-roll) your turn is over and your opponent gets to start his turn.
So how should that little fact affect how we approach each turn?
Basically if there is a chance you can fail to carry out an action and there is something else that you could/should do first than do the other thing first.
So how does that fit in to either the Running or Passing game?
Simple really if you are playing a running game and want to Blitz a hole in the line to burst through you need to consider what can go wrong.  Mainly you could end up rolling an Attacker Down result (Skull) on the block dice, there by taking out part of your line and given the opponent a route to sack the ball carrier.  If you can position players a cover the eventuality of failing on the block to mitigate the risks do that first then pummel the opposing lineman into the ground.
If you are playing the passing game there are even more things to consider.  Lets look at  what could go wrong with a simple pass;
  1. You could fumble it (roll a one when attempting to pass is a fumble and the ball scatters from the throwers square)
  2. It could be an inaccurate pass (the ball is scattered three times from the target square and can only be picked up after the final scatter)
  3. You could just plain and simple fail to catch it (the ball scatters once from the target square)
All three of these result in a turn over and this does not take in to account the chance of an interception.
Obviously there is more to go wrong when attempting to play the passing game but there are still things you can do to help. Again try to move any players into a position where you will be passing from and to, so that they can cover in case something goes wrong.
So, if you plan on throwing a pass this turn there is no point moving players to cover where the ball is now.  You need to cover the launch point and the target to minimize you opponents chances of capitalizing on something going wrong.
This is also where we first have to consider priority of actions rather than relative safety of actions.  As if you have moved two players to cover the launch point of the pass you want to make and have two catchers through waiting to receive the ball and a nice 3 dice you chose block to throw what do you do?
Well the 3 dice block is a relatively safe action but if you were to fail, you have moved your cover for the thrower in to the position you want him to be in and left him exposed so I would throw the pass first even if it means letting that block slip away.
And with the end of the post approaching I should sum up the points I am rather ineloquently trying to make.
  • Have a plan on how you are going to score your touch downs
  • Understand how good your team is going to be at trying to carry out your plan
  • Safe moves first
  • If you have to start rolling dice make sure you roll them in an order that will minimize the risks of not only turning over the turn but also the ball.
Well thanks for reading guys and remember it will all go wrong on the last Go for it!

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