Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Blood Bowl: Line Up And Punch?

I've noticed that there's a tendency in Blood Bowl games for the players to ultimately end up lined up beside each other ready for a shoving match. Often it seems like one team or the other fails a roll on their turn (either by missing a dodge away from the line-up or by rolling skulls in a hit of their own) with disastrous consequences. Snuggles scored a touchdown against me yesterday when I failed a 1 in 6 chance near the start of my turn 3 turns in a row. Robb keeps getting a third of his team casualtied out on dodge rolls. I figure there's got to be a better way to go about doing things and wanted to really look at the turnover chances of different actions dealing with a line brawl.

Dodge away (2 agility, no dodge skill) - 1 in 2 chance of a turnover.
Dodge away (2 agility, dodge skill) - 1 in 4 chance of a turnover.
Dodge away (3 agility, no dodge skill) - 1 in 3 chance of a turnover.
Dodge away (3 agility, dodge skill) - 1 in 9 chance of a turnover.
Dodge away (4 agility, no dodge skill) - 1 in 6 chance of a turnover.
Dodge away (4 agility, dodge skill) - 1 in 36 chance of a turnover.
Punch (no block skill, 1 die block) - 1 in 3 chance of a turnover.
Punch (block skill, 1 die block) - 1 in 6 chance of a turnover.

Punch (no block skill, 1 die block, reroll available) - 1 in 9 chance of a turnover.
Punch (block skill, 1 die block, reroll available) - 1 in 36 chance of a turnover.

Punch (no block skill, 2 die block) - 1 in 9 chance of a turnover.

Punch (block skill, 2 die block) - 1 in 36 chance of a turnover.

Punch (no block skill, 2 die block, reroll available) - 1 in 81 chance of a turnover.
Punch (block skill, 2 die block, reroll available) - 1 in 1296 chance of a turnover.
Punch (no block skill, 3 die block) - 1 in 27 chance of a turnover.
Punch (block skill, 3 die block) - 1 in 216 chance of a turnover.
Punch (no block skill, 3 die block, reroll available) - 1 in 729 chance of a turnover.
Punch (block skill, 3 die block) - 1 in 46656 chance of a turnover.
Stand still - no chance of a turnover.

What if you stand still? What are your chances of getting knocked down on the opposing punch?

2 die, no block, no dodge, opponent no block - 5 in 9
2 die, no block, no dodge, opponent block - 3 in 4
2 die, no block, dodge, opponent no block - 11 in 36
2 die, no block, dodge, opponent block - 5 in 9
2 die, block, no dodge, opponent no block - 5 in 9
2 die, block, no dodge, opponent block - 5 in 9
2 die, block, dodge, opponent no block - 11 in 36
2 die, block, dodge, opponent block - 11 in 36
1 die, no block, no dodge, opponent no block - 1 in 3
1 die, no block, no dodge, opponent block - 1 in 2
1 die, no block, dodge, opponent no block - 1 in 6
1 die, no block, dodge, opponent block - 1 in 3
1 die, block, no dodge, opponent no block - 1 in 3
1 die, block, no dodge, opponent block - 1 in 3
1 die, block, dodge, opponent no block - 1 in 6
1 die, block, dodge, opponent block - 1 in 6

If they have a 2 die block lined up already without needing to move anyone, without block, and you have 3 agility without dodge then dodging away causes your guy to go down 1 in 3 times. Just standing around causes him to go down 5 in 9 times, or almost twice as often. But you need to consider that forcing them to throw that block gives them a 1 in 9 chance themselves of generating a turnover (or using up a reroll) and uses up their own guy's turn when he might well have had something better to do. If it's only a 1 die block then you have the same odds of falling down either way but give your opponent a free 1 in 3 chance of falling down themselves. Or you make them dedicate a second guy to coming over and thugging you just to get back to the first case.

If it's a 1 die situation then you may be better off throwing a punch yourself. Certainly compared to dodging away you have the same fail chances and a different (and probably better) positive result (you knock him over as opposed to you running away). 

Guys with 4 agility have a much better set of options. 1 in 6 to dodge away is a lot safer than 5 in 9 on a return punch. Especially when you assume that 4 agility guys will tend to have less armour and be more likely to have the dodge skill and you can see where dodging away can be a good plan. Even then, if you make enough 1 in 6 rolls you will get your turnover so you should take any 'free' actions first just in case.

The block skill numbers on throwing 2 die blocks are pretty huge. I have a chaos team I play in a public league and I find I'm constantly falling over. I only have a 1 in 9 chance to fall down but I built the team with only 1 reroll and often found myself throwing 6+ punches in a turn. I'm going to fall over a lot with this plan. Just getting block on some guys (or buying more rerolls) will go a long way to how good a line brawl is for my chaos team. 

These numbers in particular are why dwarves are so ridiculous at low levels. They have block on pretty much the whole team. They have tackle on pretty much the whole team (negating opposing dodge skills which both means the dwarf blocks are better and the enemy dodge aways are worse) so they present enemy teams with two losing options when they engage in a line brawl. Either you dodge away (causing lots of turnovers) or you stand still (causing lots of safe thuggings) or you try to fight back (dwarves have high armour so they don't mind getting punched as much as other people). Eventually the other teams will get more block themselves and negate some of that early advantage. They'll also buy more rerolls to allow for more dodge aways or riskier blocks. 

I wonder if the solution with the faster, squishier teams is to not line guys up near the line of scrimmage? Try to spread the play out over a larger area to try to keep the line brawl from developing? You're going to give up the guys on the line of scrimmage but maybe that's a small price to pay?

3 comments:

Sky Roy said...

When I played Skaven for a long time back in 2000 or so I only put 3 dudes on the line of scrimmage most of the time. I then dodged them all out as fast as possible. Limiting the opposition to a single blitz each turn leaves them in an absolutely miserable position in terms of actually beating me down. Obviously teams like Chaos can't do that successfully but I can vouch for the pure running away plan being reasonably effective.

Neio said...

When I play my vampire counts you will see me put my 3 worst thralls on the LOS. The two men in each wing stand 1 off the line, and the rest change formation depending on if I am kicking or receiving.

The only time I fill the line is when I think I will be on the benefiting side of a slug fest.

Anonymous said...

I'm still new at this but it feels like high agility teams want to avoid slugging and actually play football while low agility (and high strength) teams want to punch you in the face and maybe slowly walk the ball down the field.

sSs