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Blood Bowl (2016 edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Blood Bowl Basics: Team Creation rss

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Vernan Stanton
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Edit: It's here
I woke up this morning to a knock on my door and a parcel containing my new BB set, Deathzone and the Skaven team box. I missed out on the skaven dice but my girlfriend has banned me from talking (or in her words,"sulking") about this anymore. After flicking through the rulebook and the Deathzone book it definitely gets my seal of approval for doing what I really wanted, which was very little change.

There are three new skills with 'weeping dagger', 'timber' and 'Monstrous mouth', Human catchers are cheaper, two skills have gone with 'fan favourite' and 'stakes' being removed (but they were star player skills anyway), the addition of chaos renegades and underworld takes the official number of teams up to 23 (from the pdf 'Teams of Legend' at the official BB website. Print it now if you haven't already)and the big one which is the nerfing of 'pile on'. Of course special play cards are back too, but no one I know used them in leagues when third edition came out and I probably won't be again this edition. There are some other slight changes to league housekeeping but all in all it's the same great game just new and Firefly style shiny.

The official website now has not only the match and team blank roster sheets, but also the faq, the Deathzone errata and the absolutely essential Teams of legend team lists.I started writing this post last night but needed to add in all the stuff above as now that the game is here I've finally been able to check out the new rules in full.

After the positive response to Blood Bowl Basics, I wanted to follow up with a post looking at creating a team and I'll follow that up soon with one on skills. I will try not to ramble on as much as I did last post and I'll try to use standard terms for players and coaches.

An episode of Game of Thrones is good but watching all six seasons is way better

Blood Bowl is at it's best when you play in a league. Creating a team from scratch, carefully naming all the players (admittedly this can sometimes mean looking around the room for inspiration and ending up with a player named Bowla Cereal or the infamous time when I was looking around, saw my girlfriend on the couch and suddenly inspired, said out loud "Naglor the Great!".), watching as your team and players develop and truly investing yourself in this creation and development plays a huge part in the enduring appeal of this game . For me it is incredibly satisfying and it's scary how attached you will become to certain players and how genuinely proud you can feel over a teams achievements.

When starting out in BB this creation can be challenging and the choices made when creating a team do effect your chances during a match. I will look at some things to know and to consider when first heading down this road and I will use the teams available upon release in my examples to try and simplify matters for new coaches.

Leagues
You don't need to go to a game store league night to enjoy the team development of this game. For the first few years I played third edition, it was with the only two mates in high school who enjoyed the game. The four years between 1996-2000, in a uni student share house of six guys, the Tillot Street Champions League saw the most intense, heated and sometimes physical games I've encountered.
My point is you don't need to join a store league or official event to enjoy season style play. Whether it's three dudes with only the core set and the old minis from second edition Dungeonbowl, six dudes and an unhealthy level of competitiveness or just you and your son, the enjoyment and fun of team development doesn't depend on large numbers and official status. Print out some blank team rosters, change the plaque on your under 8's Rugby League trophy to 'Tillot St Champion' and you're ready to go.

Team Race
Don't worry about what race other coaches are going to pick or which team will win you the most games, the team you choose is going to be with you for at least one season so pick a race you'll enjoy playing. My favourite team to run is Goblins. They don't win as much as when I run a Wood elf team but I have a blast every time they hit the table. With only the core set and skaven out so far, most new coaches have a limited choice but basically orcs are tough and bashy, skaven are fast and pass based and humans can go either way.

Team Make Up
Within most races you have a lot of scope to shape the style of your game even further. Take the flexible humans for example, you can aim for a running game with:
4x Blitzers, 1x Ogre, 1x Thrower, 4x Lineman and 1x Catcher (an Apothecary, 2x Re-rolls and 2x fan factor)

or a passing game with 3x Blitzers, 2x Throwers, 4x Catchers, 3x Lineman (an Apothecary, 3x re-rolls and no fan factor).

As you can see, the passing option has 12 players instead of 11 because with more low armour and strength catchers you will get injured more and an extra re-roll because passing teams tend to roll more dice per turn with throws, catches and dodges.
As a side note don't be worried that the back of the box says this model is a lineman and this one is a blitzer. The title and stats on the team roster is what really counts. If number 13 is a blitzer, they're a blitzer. Especially with the core set limitations and especially if you're playing in casual leagues or just with friends. The Tillot Street Champs had teams with models from Heroquest, Space Crusade and I can't remember but probably Monopoly too. Games Workshop don't send swat teams to your house anywhere near as often as they used to.

Advanced Team Make Up
When you are more experienced with the game you will start to take into account not just the play style you are looking for but you will look more carefully at the player positions of a race more critically.

Take for example a human thrower and a human lineman. For 20 000gp more you get the same base stats but the thrower comes with 2 excellent re-roll based skills (which means less reliance on team re-rolls) and level up choices from the passing category as standard. Also a human lineman with pass adds more to your team value than a thrower with pass and sure hands (but more about team value next post).

Look at the running human line up above and you could swap out 1 Lineman and your fan factor for a thrower. Is this worth it? As with most things in BB, it depends. It depends on how long the season is, what sort of races end up in the league, what style you are going for. The point is more to get you thinking about your decisions more critically and the complex way all the moving parts in this game work as a whole.

Re-rolls
Re-rolls are a key part of BB, especially early on, but so are players. When you create your team, re-rolls cost the base amount (for example 50 000gp for a human team)but from then on they cost double this. Which will you buy? Teams like the orcs and the skaven have re-rolls that are more expensive. On the flip side to this, teams with very expensive players will have very little cash left after buying 11 players.

Select 11 players and look at what's left of your money. Consider how many of your players have individual re-roll skills(less re-rolls), if you're a passing based team (more rolls)and how resilient you think your team is to turn overs (elves for example succeed at more agility rolls and are fast and therefore will often need fewer re-rolls and can recover more easily). Think long term as to how many re-rolls you want for your team. Most teams will end up wanting no more than 4 but a Goblin or vampire team will need at least 6. Consider this along with how long it will take to save the money to get to this total, especially when you are basically getting a one time 50% discount on the price at creation.

Apothecaries
I'm a big fan of them from the start but I know a lot of experienced coaches who disagree. You could get a re-roll for most teams for the same or a similar price or an extra player and teams with higher armour values don't need them as often. One friend points out you can buy apothecaries later for the same price but re-rolls are double and an extra player is like a guaranteed successful healing roll which can get more valuable over time.
I think of them as a unique re-roll, not just one that can stop a turn over but one that can save you a lot of money and help you not just this match but next week when that player you saved can line up once again in your roster. Looking at the human lists above, all of the players except lineman cost more than an apothecary and their healing rolls can save you that amount each time its successful. Save a blitzer and you've effectively made 40 000gp. Like most decisions in BB it's a tough choice. Don't buy one and your 110 000gp witch elf will die the first match. Buy one and you will roll badly and be left swearing at stupid Heally Potter and his useless healing ass.

Cheerleaders and Assistant Coaches
No. Not at the start. See team value comments later, but no.

Fan Factor
Fan factor is not as important as it once was as it is the FAME score which effects your match winnings these days not fan factor. Fan factor directly impacts FAME but these days I just use whatever is left out of my million bucks to put towards fan factor.

Big Guys
Buying big guys is a tough choice. They're strong, tough; look cool on the board and are completely unreliable. You will yell at your big guys more than any other player on your team and although they are really necessary in some teams like Goblins, they are really hard to use well and will take time to learn how and when to use properly.

That's about all for creating your team. Next post I will look at skills, leveling up and maximising team value in detail.







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David SL
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Thanks so much for this. I was already very enthusiastic about this game (this is all new to me) but these posts have amped my enthusiasm up to 11!

Also thank you for talking about competitive and league play. I'm really keen to get involved in a league but have had concerns about with whom and where. Knowing that this is possible with a group of 3 or 4 of us really helps, because I want that full experience of growing my team from the get go.

Can't wait for 'my' Dwarves to be released!
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Rich P
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NerdyCat wrote:
Of course special play cards are back too, but no one I know used them in leagues when third edition came out and I probably won't be again this edition.


Our leagues always used Special Play cards. They were great fun and also gave the underdog an extra chance. I'm looking forward to their return.
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Risto Sarja
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What does Monstrous mouth do?
And is piling on really nerfed as optional but you have to waste a re-roll to use it?
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Ernie Barrett
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Meltyman wrote:
What does Monstrous mouth do?
And is piling on really nerfed as optional but you have to waste a re-roll to use it?


Monstrous Mouth [Extraordinary] - A player with MM is allowed to re roll the d6 if they fail a catch roll. It also allows the player to reroll the d6 if they drop a handoff or fail to make an interception. In addition, the strip ball skill will not work against a player with MM.

Piling On has been removed from this edition but some will want to play with it so here it is...( listed under optional league rules ) .... May use the skill after they have made a block or blitz action but only if they are currently standing adjacent to the victim and the victim was knocked down. You can use a team reroll to reroll the armour roll or the injury roll but they cannot be modified by any other skills (eg. claw or mighty blow ) Then the piling on placer is placed prone in their own square - no armour roll is made for them. Piling on does not cause a turnover unless the piling on player is carrying the ball. Piling on cannot be used with stab or chainsaw skills.

So yes it is optional and you will need to waste a team reroll to use it.
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Risto Sarja
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Ok, cheers. That means that Piling On is either removed or as an optional ruled removed also. Now it's unplayable, but it probably is for the best.
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Rauli Kettunen
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I'm definitely in the TRR > Apothecary at the start camp. Especially with the Journeyman rules for part-time replacements in a league setting. For most team, Apo is my first purchase once you get 50k.
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Dan Kochis
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Thanks for another excellent Blood Bowl Basics post.
I've never played in a league with other people, but I absolutely want to. For my own team I'm mulling over some ideas:
1. Dark Elves: 4x Blitzers, 7x linemen, 2x re-rolls
2. Humans: 4x Blitzers, 6x linemen, 2x throwers, 4x re-rolls

I like the idea of the Dark Elves for their ability to dodge out and reposition for the best sacks and break away plays. But, I keep hearing that they're not a team for beginners so I'm considering the humans as a safer alternative to start with.

Looking at development, I like that the dark elves have access to agility skills, which I think would be totally awesome for making a team that can zip around the field and sack whomever is holding the ball. Or (when they have the ball) zip around the opponent to score). However, a human team would be initially more forgiving (with twice the number of initial re-rolls!) and access to a big guy.

So I'm curious for opinions/feedback. I know that the games I play against a computer AI don't really give me a true sense of tactics. So I'm totally expecting that the plays I go to against an AI will fall flat against someone with a n actual brain.

Thank you
 
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David Munch
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Get a couple of catchers on your human team, and you get some nice agility focused guys.
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Risto Sarja
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Ardos wrote:
Thanks for another excellent Blood Bowl Basics post.
I've never played in a league with other people, but I absolutely want to. For my own team I'm mulling over some ideas:
1. Dark Elves: 4x Blitzers, 7x linemen, 2x re-rolls
2. Humans: 4x Blitzers, 6x linemen, 2x throwers, 4x re-rolls

I like the idea of the Dark Elves for their ability to dodge out and reposition for the best sacks and break away plays. But, I keep hearing that they're not a team for beginners so I'm considering the humans as a safer alternative to start with.

Looking at development, I like that the dark elves have access to agility skills, which I think would be totally awesome for making a team that can zip around the field and sack whomever is holding the ball. Or (when they have the ball) zip around the opponent to score). However, a human team would be initially more forgiving (with twice the number of initial re-rolls!) and access to a big guy.

So I'm curious for opinions/feedback. I know that the games I play against a computer AI don't really give me a true sense of tactics. So I'm totally expecting that the plays I go to against an AI will fall flat against someone with a n actual brain.

Thank you

Check here http://fumbbl.com/help:LRB6RaceStrategy

Personally i don't see enough value in a human team when compared to dark elves. Sure elves are expensive, but paying extra for agi 4 is worth it.
But it's just a matter of raw power. Humans are competitive, just not as good as dark elves. I think agi 4 is more forgiving than 4 rerolls, since with agi 4 you can change your positions more easily and as a new player misplacements happen often!
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Dan Kochis
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Meltyman wrote:

Check here http://fumbbl.com/help:LRB6RaceStrategy


Very Cool.
 
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