Monday, August 18, 2014

Blood Bowl: Salary Cap Cuts

The season for Duncan's Blood Bowl league ended last week. I wasn't forced to forfeit while at WBC and was able to play the finals shortly after getting back. I'd just leveled up my claw guy in the conference finals and was able to finally build a player with the dreaded kill combo of claw, mighty blow, and piling on. My opponent was orcs and the dreaded combo really came home for me. He got 4 casualties against a team with almost exclusively 9 and 10 armour. At one point I'd decided to play for overtime (my opponent had busted through and was guaranteed to score unless I went crazy so I decided to just kill more mans to make overtime easier) and my opponent scored instead of stalling. This gave me plenty of time to score for the win while up men and it went smoothly.

The salary cap for the next season is 1850 with an extra 100k in cash allowed. I have a skill to take and then my team will be at 2220. I do get some bonuses (30k for winning the preseason, 30k for winning my conference, 50k for winning the Superior Bowl) but I still need to cut 260k to fit in under the cap. There are 4 types of things I can cut...

Rerolls - I save 70 for every reroll I throw away. They cost 140k to buy back. I have 4, which most people think is too many longterm for a team. I run with a 2 agility ball carrier who doesn't have sure hands so I like having extra rerolls. Especially now that I have a full kill stack guy, I'm going to want to have the flexibility to reroll some early pushes in an attempt to get more early casualties. I should be able to rebuy one reroll pretty easily but it isn't without risk. I've been lucky to not suffer many injuries to key players... Earmarking all my early money for a reroll could backfire if I lose a blocker or a bull centaur. Those cost 130k or 70k to replace... Easy to do once if I carry 100k over, hard to do if I need to spend 140k on a reroll first.

Bull centaurs - I have 2 of these guys and they each have 5 skills. Firing one and rebuying him immediately (I have 790k on hand right now, so easy to do) will save the 100k or 120k I'm currently spending on their skills. Starting over gives me a chance to build better players... But I don't know that I can build better players. Stat increases would be pretty good... But what I have right now just works so well. One bull is built as a hitter with block, mighty blow, tackle, break tackle, and guard. The other is my ball carrier and elf annoyer with block, dodge, break tackle, stand firm, and diving tackle. They both do what I want them to do and it feels really bad to get rid of them if I can avoid it. I'd probably rather chance getting screwed on rerolls than firing one of these.

Chaos dwarf blockers - I have 6 of these guys and they all have 3 or 4 skills. Only one has rolled an interesting skill result, and that is claw guy who is clearly untouchable. The uninteresting skills for blockers are actually really good, at least the first few. Guard and mighty blow are crucial for the way I play and stand firm has been pretty solid. After that I'm stuck taking things like grab and dauntless and those aren't very exciting. To top it all off, I have a couple blockers with permanent injuries. The guy with dauntless is down an agility which doesn't matter much. One of the guys with grab is down a movement and that is actually a pretty big deal. Moving 3 instead of 4 has impacted my play a couple of times. So purging that injury along with getting rid of an unexciting grab feels pretty reasonable and saves 80k towards the cap. Tossing the less agile guy or one of the uninjured but 4 regular skill dudes is reasonable and saves 80k also. I don't know that I like the idea of having a lot of unskilled blockers though...

Hobgoblins - These guys are the filler on the team. I generally don't use them for anything and don't try to skill them. I am running with 14 players right now so I can straight up fire up to 3 of these guys without replacing them immediately to save their full value (and not just the value of their skills like with the other players since I would want an immediate rookie). I have 6 hobgoblins... Two of them have the same 3 skills. (Dirty player, wrestle, and kick.) One of these guys is down a movement and I actually skilled the second one with kick because I intended to cut the other one at the cap. That guy is worth a full 100k and is certainly out the window. Which makes me a little sad since he's been with the team the whole time and lead the league in fouls in his first season. I have one hobgoblin with guard and don't want to fire him since guard is a double roll and I like having a more mobile source of guard. One hobgoblin is my safety of sorts with wrestle and strip ball. I can keep him or leave him... He almost never does anything useful but I think he won me a playoff game this season and is a nice safety valve to have. And then I have 2 hobgoblins with no skills at all. They have a couple SPP on them so I'd like to keep them if I can, but they're an easy 40k cut if it comes to it.

I need to cut 260k, but if I cut more than that I can carry over extra money to next season. Extra money helps with buying replacement players if people die, and also with buying more hobgoblins to fill out my roster in case I drop down below 14 players during this culling.

I'm certainly throwing away the injured hobgoblin for 100k. After that I have to cut things I want, and a lot of them, to get an extra 160k. Pretty sure that means the movement reduced blocker needs to go. That saves 80k more, so I need just another 80k. Getting rid of a reroll still requires getting rid of something else so I think I'll keep those. Realistically there are three legitimate options for an extra 80k savings... I can toss another blocker (probably the agility reduced one), I can toss two more hobgoblins (play my first preseason game with 11 players but then buy a couple hobgoblins to go back up to 13), or I can toss the safety hobgoblin.

Winning the preseason this last season got me into a fairly soft division (even though I lost to the worst team in the league due to a ludicrous amount of bad luck I still like what happened) and it got me 30k towards the cap this time around. I'd like that cap boost again, so crippling myself for the preseason is not something I really want to do. But even then I'm not sure what would cripple me more in the short term... Only having 11 players, losing my safety valve, or going down to 4 skilled blockers...

I do feel like for the most part I like my skills, so I am leaning towards dropping down to 11 players. I'll have one dangerous game where I don't have a bench but then I can buy a couple players and still have some cash left over. It does put me in danger of suffering some injuries and running out of cash... But it won't be as dangerous as tossing a reroll because I don't necessarily need to buy extra hobbos, and I can buy them in small chunks of 40k instead of blowing a full 140k all at once. There is merit in the short term to run 12 players by ditching the wrestle/strip ball hobbo... Especially if I dedicate some of the preseason to skilling up some hobbos. If I fire down to 11 players I have to lose my 2 and 3 SPP hobbos, but if I fire the skilled guy those other two are pretty close to leveling up to partially replace the fired guy.

And actually... If I were to pick 2 skills to have on hobbos I'd actually want another dirty player, not a strip ball guy. I'd like to have a wrestle/strip ball guy for the playoffs again, but I've got 18 games to skill people up before I get there...

Ok, I'm sold. I'll get my 260k by cutting 100k from my crippled hobbo, 80k by replacing my crippled blocker, and 80k by cutting my strip ball hobbo. And I guess I'll take my pending skill as a second copy of grab to replace the grab off the crippled blocker. I did like having a bunch of grabs for some of the side step heavy teams I was facing in the playoffs and I do think it'll eventually let me surf some mans with all my stand firm.

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