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Thread: Blood Bowl: Help
19-12-2011, 03:29 PM #1
Blood Bowl: Help
Ok so I picked up Blood Bowl when it was 80% off on Steam and I know lots of RPS peoples love it. Now, the crux of this thread. I suck at it. Really, really badly. I understand the very basics of NFL but I haven't the foggiest about what to do here.
When my opponent has the ball I don't know whether I'm supposed to just hold the line and try to catch them or I'm supposed to start attacking their players. Basically if you guys could point me in the direction of a good beginners guide I'd be very happy. I can tell it should be a lot of fun but I'm currently stuck in a swirling vortex of despair. Ok, slightly frustrated.
19-12-2011, 03:39 PM #2
First thing you should do is give a quick skim to the rules, they're called the Bloodbowl competition rules pack now, and anything calling itself living rulebook is outdated. Find them here: http://www.games-workshop.com/MEDIA_...tion_Rules.pdf
The site bbtactics.com is an excellent place to start, read the more general minded articles first, caging and passing and so on, then pick a team, maybe read up on starting roosters and play some games in either the single player or ask for a game in the challenge league on this very forum. Don't worry too much about the shitty UI of the video-game, the core game mechanics are excellent. :-)
19-12-2011, 03:57 PM #3
Challenge League is seconded as a place to meet nice internets mans and there's a reasonably good chance that someone there will play a "tutorial match" or two with you if you ask nicely.
19-12-2011, 04:00 PM #4
BBtactics is indeed a good site, although probably the best way to learn the game is to get your arse handed to you a few times by human opponents. The AI in the cyanide game isn't the smartest hammer in the knife drawer, and will do things like cage up with a passing team, or run to two squares from the line but not use a go for it when it's the last turn of the half.
As for should you try to hold the line and roadblock the opponent, or should you try to break their cage - the answer is basically both. It does rather depend on what team you have and what team you're playing against.
19-12-2011, 04:32 PM #5
Cheers dudes. Will read up on the rules. The tutorial is all very cheeful but when its just 'roll a d6 modifier to do this' without any basic tactics. Also, I'm clearly a little thick. May seek one of these 'friendly' matches over Christmas.
19-12-2011, 04:52 PM #6
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
Second BBtactics as a reasonable source of reading material. RPS had a season writeup on one of the RPS leagues a little while back (was it Kieron? can't recall, I'll go digging) which is an entertaining read and gives a lot of useful play info in the writeup.
When playing the AI, swap from the chat tab at the bottom left to the maths tab - it shows the behind the scenes dice rolls and whilst it makes little sense at first you begin to get a handle on what's going on.
As starter teams go the Orcs are a nice pick, reasonably simple tactics succeed with them and there's just enough variety that can be introduced with the thrower to keep things interesting longer term. Plus they don't tend to fall over in a crumpled heap the moment someone sneezes.
19-12-2011, 08:29 PM #7
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
19-12-2011, 09:35 PM #8
At the risk of being too basic here, I'll just talk about your objectives.
On Offense you want to get the man(woman, elf, orc, dwarf, Lizard, undead minion, etc.) who is holding the ball into the last row of squares on the opponent's side.
On Defense (any time you dont have a man holding the ball) you want to make sure the other team doesn't achieve this. This is usually done by making them drop the ball, or impeding their progress until they run out of time.Why are you wearing that stupid human suit?
19-12-2011, 10:25 PM #9
Incase you're like me and can't tolerate instruction manuals:
You'll notice your turn ends prematurely when one of your players loses a fight. Try to make sure you move all your other players into the position you want them to be before making the main attack, especially the low risk ones.
The number of dice you get for attacks are related to the strength attribute and friendly players adjacent to your square which are in a position to support. When attacking there's rarely an excuse for making a player go one-on-one, always have support nearby to give you an extra dice roll.
When the dice have rolled, pick the best result. Yellow explosion means you win, red exclamation means you lose, both crammed together means double knockout, and a blue arrow means you can push a player back. Never have your players standing next to the sidelines. If a player gets pushed over the lines, several Blood Bowl fans will promptly kick the shit out of him. I love doing this to the opposing team.
19-12-2011, 10:44 PM #10
When I was first learning the game the real breakthrough was simply in understanding the dice. Red Skull is bad, yellow explosion good. Other outcomes are in between.
Most importantly you should know that choosing yellow explosions on your turn=good, choosing them on your opponent's turn=bad. When you get the option of picking your opponents dice (you overpower their attacker) you want to choose the worst outcome because it applies to THEIR player.
In short, pick the best dice during your turn and the worst dice on your opponent's turn. That is really enough to get you started.
Also, looking at the teams should help size up how to play: If they have agility 4 players you will likely be playing the passing game whereas if you have mostly average or below agility and high strength then you are caging and running the ball.
The teams you should play first and how to play them-***:
Skaven/Elves of all kinds - Passing teams (Jump throw the line with dodginess, get open for a pass and score in a turn or two while avoiding getting hit because your players are brittle)
Chaos/Orc/Dwarf - Running/Bashy teams (their goal is to reduce the number of players they are playing against)
Halfling/Goblin/Ogres - Losing Teams (crippling shortcomings abound that can end your hopes in a heartbeat while also being fun to play)
All others are hybrids that take a little familiarity to decode.
***- This is a simplistic overview of starting rosters, I don't want to hear about your 4000 TV Orc Passing Team or Dark Elf Bash squad.
Last edited by jryan; 19-12-2011 at 10:50 PM.
19-12-2011, 11:12 PM #11
Addendum: Also, the the other important lesson is to minimize risk. You want to perform least risky actions first (stand up downed players, move players in open field), then do your moves from least risk to most risky, avoiding the most risk with the knowledge that your players can die on your turn and you are a bad person for making them do dumb things... like performing a one on one attack against a Dwarven death roller using your lowly halfling lineman.
Disregarding skills that alter outcomes for a second, here are the die rolls break by riskiness:
On your roll-
You Choose which die to play:
3 dice - Three chances to get a good roll - least risky
2 dice - Two chances, not risky, should be your standard
1 die - Risky
Opponent Chooses which die to play:
1 die - Risky (same risk as when you choose, really)
2 dice - Bad. Don't do these actions unless the game is on the line and you have no other choice
3 dice - What are you doing? Stop that!
From there you have to get into specific skills versus other specific skills and stuff, but you have the raw basics of the game now and the skills explain themselves fairly well.
Last edited by jryan; 19-12-2011 at 11:22 PM.
20-12-2011, 04:45 AM #12
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
You should tell us which team(s) you decide to play. You'll get more advice than you know what to do with, I reckon.
I'll elaborate on some aspects of what the inestimable jryan has been saying. There are two extremes, and specific sides tend to fall more towards one than the other- teams specialising in beating their opponents to the ground, and teams specialising in getting the ball to the touchline and scoring. I shall talk about bashy teams.
Bashy teams: here's what they want to do on offense. Get the ball, surround it with players (referred to as caging- optimal formation is an X shape) and have a leisurely stroll up the pitch, beating the tar out of everyone on the way and scoring on the last turn of the half.
On defense vs. scoring teams: if you can't stop them from scoring, and you often can't, ignore the ball and beat the tar out of anyone you can reach so that they're forced to score, and you can have the ball back for another leisurely but violent pitch stroll.
On defense vs. other bashy teams: a big punch up roughly centered on the ball.
Anyone want to give some general tips on the assortment of pointy-eared ponces?
20-12-2011, 09:18 AM #13
My advice would to be to learn the basics with one of the teams with a simple caging strategy, Dwarves are probably your best bet, because they're very hard to kill/injure and are very good at protecting the ball carrier.
The passing/dodge teams are great fun, but you can get into a lot of trouble if you make a mistake or two and end up outnumbered by a stronger team and you're better off sticking to Orcs/Dwarves untiil you understand what's going on around you.
20-12-2011, 09:20 AM #14
Elf play I believe is mostly based on penetrating the opponents half with as many player as possible (giggity), then passing to one of them when he's in range of scoring. Skaven can be summed up as "give it to the gutter runners". Defensive elf play varies, but usually involves keeping one square ahead of the cage, making the opponent do something stupid in order to score on time, and then pouncing.
20-12-2011, 11:37 AM #15
Thanks guys, this has been a great help. I learned to actually mouse over the dice rolls now! I was wondering why I was getting turned over until I realised yellow explosion sometimes means attacker down! Had a quick game against the AI last night (Undead dudes with werewolves) and managed to beat them up fairly well but didn't pay enough attention to the amount of plays left. Had a cage formed up but ran out of time.
Starting to see the very basics, and I'm tending to say 'why did I do that, that was so stupid' more than 'why are all my peoples falling over' so that's a good start.
Is it too soon to start a campaign? I held out for the 1-0 victory in the first match of story mode (only just) and decided I'd like my own team. Looks a little complex so far but will let you know how I get on.
Much love to you and yours, RPS gentlemen and ladies.
Last edited by Skeletor68; 20-12-2011 at 11:44 AM.
20-12-2011, 11:41 AM #16
The story mode actually does a reasonably good job of introducing the basic principles of the game to you - by setting objectives which require you to use different aspects of the game to complete.
20-12-2011, 12:00 PM #17
I might stick with story for a little while longer so. Also, am I better off with playing the campaign in classic or blitz (is that correct?) mode as a noobie? Not sure what to do about sponsorship contracts etc.
20-12-2011, 12:10 PM #18
The Plasmoid Playbooks are a great read additionally to bbtactics. Though tailored to the tabletop game a lot of stuff fits the adaption as well.
Oh and go for classic mode, it's what's played online most of the time. Blitz isn't that much different but some of the additional crap just adds to the first timer confusion.
I'd recommend orcs for a first campaign. They are one of the sturdiest teams out there, faster than dwarves and fairly simple to play (stomp everything that's stompabable, form a cage of doom, grind your way into the end zone).
For a fairly faster/agile but still straightforward game pick humans.
But as people have pointed out, the AI isn't a good teacher. It does bash teams fairly well but you'll never see the tactics it deploys with agile (or even stunty*) teams from a human opponent. I suggest either signing up for the divisions of death or play random matches online with one of the simpler teams to get a feel for Blood Bowl.
I entered the divisions of death as a bloody newb (only played Orcs against AI and read bbtactics/plasmoid) and I'm surprised how well I'm doing with my Amazons.
*Though alone for this it's worth playing the SP campaign at least once. Playing any of the stronger teams against AI halflings or gobbos is pure GLEE.
20-12-2011, 12:24 PM #19
20-12-2011, 02:03 PM #20
I failed at Storymode. Miserably. I couldn't get past the third or fourth seession (and I even forgot what it was).
I do reasonably well in the RPS' Divisions with my Amazons though, although that is apparently based a lot more on luck than on skill when it comes to my past 15 games.
The AI in campaign taught me a couple of basic things:
1) If you have a squishy team but end the turn without having players in base contact with opponent players, at most they can do is kill one of your players per turn with a Blitz.
2) Always position yourself so that you have an off-chance at a TD in the last turn of each half, even if it means making a few 6+ passes and dodges. That means always having at least one player in actual range of the TD line.
3) Having one or two players far, far away from the bulk of the opponents and/or in range of the opponen TD line will potentially allow you to make an occasional surprised TD.
4) Protect your cages. Don't leave your ball-carrier open to be knocked down on a single roll of a die, make the opponent jump through some tackle-zones at the very least.My games-related Twitter: VexingVision
Currently playing: Puzzle Pirates; Blood Bowl; XCOM: Enemy Within; Dominions 4
Currently waiting for: Wildstar; Darkest Dungeon