Learning Curve: Blood Bowl & Recovering from a Beating!

Hi, me again and yes I’m still talking about Blood Bowl. In fact my obsession with the game has meant I’ve played and painted little else for a while now. I really should make those drop-pods though. Anyway I now have one team completely painted, one with enough guys to take to the field done and another that need a bath still plus I’ve decided that I definitely need some Wood Elves because frankly they’re silly and I love playing as them. Anyway let us proceed to the point. This is meant to be a rough guide to why you should try to recover that team that took a pounding and hopefully in some measure how…

This guide is for those of us with teams that have taken a mangling in the last game or games.   Either you’ve lost half your squad like in the picture above; where Blood Bowl Community member Adam San Jose did a spot of Rat rolling with his Death Roller and left the Skaven in a somewhat depleted state or you’ve lost your key positional players and think you’re going to struggle. Before I begin on the tips I would like to say a big thank you to the members of the Blood Bowl Community of Facebook. Without your help this guide wouldn’t have been written or would have been much less helpful.

Onwards! To the tips already! OK here we go: tip the first is that it’s probably not as bad as you think. Obviously if all of your players are dead then yeah starting over might be the thing to do but otherwise it’s potentially recoverable. You’ll still have eleven players all be it that some will be Journeymen and whilst this will be a struggle for the one game your key players are missing Journeymen can be great. They are complete mugs that you don’t have to care about (probably ensuring their stubborn resistance to injury throughout) and so they can be merrily stood out there on the line of scrimmage getting punched every single turn of the game to protect your other players. Coupled with the new MVP rules they’re unlikely to earn SSPs and make you feel you should sign them too!

You don’t have to take an eleventh Journeyman of course. They’re optionally granted to you as part of the post-match process. If you know your next opponent is going to be out stripping your team value by a large amount it might be worth not hiring one and getting a larger amount of inducement money. This can be spent on a mercenary with a particular skill (sure-hands/block) to help out for the game or a ridiculously expensive Star Player to tip the balance in your favour?

Tip number two is to try and think about why you’re in this situation. Obviously sometimes your precious Wardancer will attempt an easy dodge, roll back to back one’s and fall on his neck breaking it with a sound like cracking twigs (and those of us who’ve received a Wardancering in the past will utter something like “good, he deserves it the prancing tw@t” but that’s irrelevant). There’s not a whole heap one can do about that to be honest. If a key ball handler got mangled because your cage play was weak (this is me right here see last weeks piece) then maybe you need to read up on caging the ball and learn to prepare your turn better. On the other hand if half a dozen Elves are missing your next game after they stood next to a pair of Mummies all game then maybe you should consider that you’re ‘Elfing wrong’. After all it’s easy to blame the dice for an en-masse slaughter, sure sometimes it can be not your night on that front but I would still recommend having a think on why your opponent was rolling so many armour rolls in the first place…

Third point here is that you need to protect your remaining players. This may mean that you’re risk averse to the point of losing the game but this match is a recovery one and the goal is not to win. It’s to put your squad back to where it should be next game or the game after. You may have to play a few games like this if you took a particularly bad beating but the point of sticking with it is to make you a better player, if you can eke out a draw without all those lovely skills then it should be easy when you get those players back. The other reason is that you can feel pride in your performance when your team is back to full strength in readiness for that new grudge match against the poor coach who did all the damage in the first place. I bet all of your players will be grinding their teeth in readiness for kicking the snot out of the opposing players (whilst they’re laying down)!

Part of minimizing risk is to never Go For It unless you really have to! Proper planning should eliminate the need and you know what’s going to happen when you try. If you don’t then you will when you watch open mouthed as your valuable star Minotaur sprints downfield, trips on his own hooves and somehow breaks his own spine on the Goblin he was going to gore to death… Seriously Nuffle has a sick sense of humour.

Finally you must spend your cash on the right things. Stick to your buying schedule and replace those positions you lost first. Only replace Linemen after all of those things; apothecaries, blitzers, catchers etc are in place. You get them for free anyway so what’s the point of buying them?

Of course there may come a point where you feel that either it’s no fun anymore or that the team is genuinely finished and by all means start over. In my opinion if we’re not all having fun then none of us should be. But please do try to recover, even if you have to speak to the league commissioner and see if you can play a ‘recovery friendly’ against a low TV or a fellow heavily battle damaged team. The guy running the league is probably enthusiastic and likes to involve everyone so I’m sure they’ll sort you out.

OK I think that’s all of my words of wisdom for this week but remember that if you enjoy what we do please become a Patron over at Patreon. It will really help us to develop what we do and you can even have your say on the direction you want us to go! Next week I’ll discuss something different honest. Possibly how many hands one needs to build those accursed drop-pods… -Mark!

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  1. Learning Curve: Building Space Marine Drop Pods – Tabletop Games UK
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