I’ve not done individual match reports for my last three Blood Bowl games because they would all read the same and come to the same conclusion – room for improvement. Not a little bit of room either. As the title suggests there is quite a lot of room there. Enough to drive a bus through in fact.
The last three games – two in the RTTNAFC on FUMBBL and one tabletop – have highlighted that my game lacks in two key areas – 1) Positioning and 2) Scoring.
When I first got back into the game I went back to my favourite team, the Elves and to my top want-to-play team, the Skaven. Both teams give you a lot of flexibility and cover up deficiencies in your play; a couple of Elves or a couple of Gutter Runners can pickup, dodge, move, throw, hand off and score at will. An unskilled Chaos beastman or a frenzied Norse Berserker isn’t quite as forgiving.
I’ve been doing quite well in our little online league with Humans and Underworld but again there the MA7 and built in Dodge skills can get you out of sticky situations. Most recently I’ve been playing Norse and Chaos and am making silly mistakes that are turning Wins into Draws and Draws into Losses (or at least the chance of getting the better of the outcomes).
I’m going to leave the management of the Frenzy skill out of it at the moment as that just adds to the problem!
I find that I don’t move a loose or tight cage effectively (unless my opponent is down on numbers). I’m moving without protecting the ball carrier well enough, but also not making the best use of the space. I’m not fully accounting for what my opponent’s players are capable of. On top of that I’m doing silly things like not counting spaces left to score properly, or getting within 2 GFIs of scoring and allowing myself to be pushed back and out of range. In my last game, I thought I was safe but allowed a Wardancer to get a 1DB on a 5+ Dodge on my ball carrier on the sideline. Chance to score gone and Sure Hands ball carrier KO’d too. It has been the same pattern of play in all three games. I do well without the ball on defence, get myself in position to equalise but don’t think it through properly when the chips are down at the end of a half. In my last game I could have, no should have, levelled it on Turn 7 of the 2nd half on a GFI with a reroll in hand. I chose not to and the ball got knocked out. I had a chance to score again at the end of the game, but instead of a single 2+ roll, it was a sequence of rolls that I couldn’t and didn’t make. It’s not my overall decision making that it a problem, I don’t think. I perform the key actions in the correct order (again I think), trying to go from least risky to most risky. Of course in some situations the most risky thing may need doing first to maximise the reward. It’s the overall strategy that needs working on and knowing when to strike the hammer blow and score.
It’s nice to be able to sit here and understand what some of the problems are and to try and formulate a plan to get to the next level in my game. I’m pleased to be in this position. I see on some of the forums people asking questions like ‘how are some players continuously successful’, or ‘how do I get better at..’.
The only way to get better is to play more and to play against better players more. I spectate games and watch good players and try and guess what I think the next move will be by placing my cursor in the target square. What I don’t do is play enough to make those moves part of my natural game. FUMBBL is the answer and I’ve created some teams in the Ranked division with the intention of getting some games in. Another part of it is playing with and against more races; it’s not until you come up against a good Nurgle or a good Wood Elf coach that you see how how those teams play in anger.
I’m looking forward to this next phase in my game. It’s going to involve quite a lot of pain and suffering, I’m sure. The prize will me being a better player 🙂