by Tom Anders (Talk Blood Bowl)
In October so many things might change on the Flings in regards to the following 3 things: 1) Free Master Chef with experimental BB Mag rules 2) No more Ogres 3) On-Pitch Take Root becomes an experimental rule
All 3 of these things will get voted on by the BBRC this year .. the outcome of those votes will dramatically change the team building tactics.
For now I’m basing this playbook on all 3 getting voted in as these are the rule set that the BBRC has the MBBL using right now.
Starting team assuming the above: 2 Trees Deeproot Strongbranch freebooted 12 Flings 3 Rerolls 9 FF 60k in the bank
Use the 60k to buy extra ingredients to bleed your opponent dry of rerolls for your first game.
After your first game, hopefully you’ll have 120k. If you do, buy an Apothecary and a Fling … leaving 40k for more ingredients your next game. ... Your TR will be below 100 so you’ll get another +1 to your gold. If you survive your 2nd game and get 70k in winnings (not difficult with a decent gate) ... buy your 14th fling. Then try to keep 40k around after each game to buy ingredients … as you get 120k, buy a 4th reroll.
Also … yes I advote starting TR 100 Halfling teams to freeboot Deeproot for their first game to help jump start the team. Its a nice way to pick up an extra 10k for the win, the casualties he’ll hopefully cause will get you a +1 to your FF also … also by being able to field all 3 Trees on the LOS with no Flings on the LOS for the game helps keep your casualties very light for that opening match. I’m 5 wins – 1 tie – 1 loss in my life with an LRB 2.0 TR 100 Halfling team with Deeproot facing another TR 100 team.
If you can while playing this team, try to always leave 40k around for ingredients each game to suck out your opponent’s rerolls and increase your own.
My rules for money … always fill out your squad with your cash up to 15 players FIRST. You need to have 15 players each game if at all possible. After that you can think about your other options at the end of game.
When to retire players: Any Stat decrease other than AV. A 2nd niggling injury A niggle injury suffered before reaching 6 SPPs.
Skills to take: Your 4 best friends are Diving Tackle, Sure Feet, Side Step, and Catch. With teams I focus on getting 6 Diving Tackle Flings. Once I have 2 Flings with Diving Tackle I start using this Defense against teams without Frenzy: Fling Defense Against teams with Frenzy … move the wide zone player closest to the LOS one square closer to the center of the pitch. This prevents a frenzy blitz taking any wide zone player off the pitch. Fling Defense – Frenzy
Then get Diving Tackle on 8 and 9 first, and then 6 and 7. This defense is weak against a Quick Snap … but its a risk I take for the benefit of positioning of the TZs (better use of the Diving Tackle and a way to prevent super team up on the Trees). Don’t have more than 6 DT players on your team. Your team needs some Sure Feet to get placement and scorers. If find yourself getting out of position, develop the first 4 Diving Tackle players only … then get 4 with Sure Feet, and then work on filling out your remaining 2 Diving Tackle players. Side Step and Catch mix up for skills. Your Diving Tackle players should grab Side Step for skill 2 and your Sure Feet players should grab Catch as their 2nd skill. Note on Catch: I really don’t recommend trying many if any normal passing plays with ‘Flings, but the Hand Offs are critical to TTM plays and Catch gives your Sure Feet players that are your best candicates for the toss a nice extra to save you the reroll for the turn for the Landing. Side note: +1 ST players should be Side Step as their first skill then Diving Tackle OR Sure Feet (depending on your playstyle and team needs). +1 AG and +1 MA should be Sure Feet, Catch, Side Step.
Doubles … use to get in this order: Kick then 2 Sure Hands players then 2 Dirty Players THEN pick up Block. The exceptions …. Sure Hands on +1 MA, Jump Up on +1 AG, Block on +1 ST. Never turn down ANY stat increase on a Fling.
The Trees … get Pro then Block then Tackle then Break Tackle then Guard Doubles … always grab Pass then Leader. Turn down +1 AG on Trees in favor of a normal skill … take MA and ST upgrades.
For offense with the Trees … set up the Treeman for 3 dice blocks if you can … also try to have one player start next to each Tree not on the LOS that they can throw if the defense is set up weak against a possible TTM play.
On offense with the Flings … no matter HOW tempting or game vital you think it is … never ever reroll a PUSH result from a block with a Fling unless its like turn 7 of the 2nd half, will prevent the winning TD from scoring, and you don’t really care if the Fling dies. There is a 1 in 4 chance EVERY time a Fling gets knocked down of him getting KO’d or worse (if the opponent has Mighty Blow, Claw, or RSC the odds are really scary). Do NOT do your opponents job for him especially with your own rerolls.
NEVER get attached to Flings. The only Fling you are to ever apothecary (unless its turn 8 of the 2nd half) is one with 31 or more SPPs or with a +1 ST or +1 AG increase. Otherwise you’ve probably wasted your apothecary and then your good Fling players or a Tree will get killed within 2 turns, I pretty much promise this. If your +1 MA or 2 skill Fling dies …. well it was nice knowing him. Have the Trees Avenge his death (they seem to do well in avenge mode).
ALWAYS try to give your Trees one assist for any block they make against an ST 3 player … that’s 3 dice for the block. Make sure you think about the push. Do not end up with the assisting Fling being in your opponent’s TZ if you roll a push. If this is impossible, just take the 2 dice block.
Once you have 6 Assistant Coaches … don’t get anymore. Retire the Fling without grabbing an assistant coach.
Don’t get your team more than 4 rerolls … after that save your money for freebooting Deeproot or buying extra ingredients if you don’t need to replace Flings.
Before freebooting Deeproot a 2nd time for your team (the 1st time was your first game), buy 6 Cheerleaders. The MAIN goal of the Halfling team to win is reroll denial of your opponent … this is one more way of doing this. Once your team gets to the point where you are able to start saving money and freeboot Deeproot again, you’ll want to trim the team down to 15 Flings so you have the free spot for him to play in.
Don’t be afraid to throw a Fling to Short Range especially if he doesn’t have the ball. A failed landing roll without the ball is not a turnover, a fumbled Throw TeamMate? (TTM) is. A Short Range TTM has a 2 in 3 chance not fumbling … if you have Pro the odds are even better … remember this. Also remember that a Fling that has not moved, can get up from a failed landing and move OR de-stun to prone. Also for TTM … NEVER EVER UNDER ANY BUT ONE CIRCUMSTANCE use Pro or Pass to reroll an Inaccurate TTM … the goal with TTM is to just get the Fling downfield … if its accurate that just a bonus not a requirement. The one exception … you are trying to throw a Fling that has already moved directly into the Endzone for a last second TD.
As for planning one turn TTM plays. Okay if you are going to set up to go for a one turn TTM, then do it right. Here is an 11 man for a 1 turn TTM attempt … usually a turn 8 play. One turn TTM The goal with this set up is too optimize your offense for the play. If the kick lands deep you aren’t going to pull of a TTM one turner anyway, so you play a short range back line that is within no GFIs of the handoff to Fling 4 or 5. Now the key to this play is to free up one of the Trees so that they can throw with no TZs on them and take one step forward before throwing Fling 4 or 5 if needed. Also you want Fling 4 or 5 to be free of tackle zones for the handoff. To do this, use Flings 3, 10, and the whichever one of 4 or 5 is not being thrown to get a 2 dice blitz with 11 to free up the throwing tree and receiving fling from any TZs needed for the play. So the play goes … blitz the Tree and Fling free, pick up the ball and hand it off to Fling 4 or 5, the appropriate Tree declares the TTM pass, takes one step forward if needed and then throws: The decision on whether the pass should be to Short or Long range (ie -1 or -2 to the TTM roll) should be based on the following: a) Can a Long pass get behind the opponent defense so the Fling would not need to Dodge? b) Does the Tree have Pro or Pass to avoid a fumble? c) Does the Fling to be thrown have Sure Feet? Frequently you’ll be picking a Long Pass … make sure the target square if 4 squares away from the sidelines and as many as you can get from the endzone as you don’t want to throw the Fling to far on an inaccurate pass. A long pass is better than 3 Dodge rolls to get through a defense line set up for TTM if you try a Short Pass. Also a Short Pass that inaccurately scatters 2 to 3 squares back towards your side of the pitch will mean that you won’t be able to score anyway.
Try to always keep 1 Fling in an ordinal position (N, S, E, W) of a Tree. A team with ST 3 players won’t be able to get more than a 2 dice defender’s choice block against the Tree without getting rid of the Fling first. Even an ST 4 player will only have a 1 dice block option if you do this. This also has the advantage then of always having 2 flings that you can toss if need be.
Get a Fling in scoring position. Always try to have one Fling run down field to get within 5 to 7 squares of the endzone. A TTM pass followed by a handoff could turn this into a quick score.
0 SPP Flings go between the Trees on offense or defense. When you set up your team for a kickoff. Field all your players with skills, then field your Flings from that point in order of 0 SPP to 5 SPP. This will help you spread out the SPPs on your team as best as possible. ... It also reduces your losses of players in position to get skills from the MVP for the game. Along these lines if you have a player get to 6 SPPs in a game so he earns a skill … don’t field him if you can … he’s guaranteed to die if you do before getting that skill.
Don’t forget to DODGE DODGE DODGE … never leave a Fling next to an opponent unless you really believe deep down that you need a personal TZ on that player. Odds are any Fling left in position to be blocked won’t be returning to play again in your lifetime (cause his will be over). Flings dodge to any square with a 88% chance of success … so don’t be afraid to Dodge … you’ll occassionally kill a fling dodging .. but you’ll kill off more if you don’t.
Finally, don’t be afraid of risk. The occasional 1 dice block, Short Pass Fling toss, and lots of GFIs are staples of winning for the team. Play Flings consertatively and you will loss.
I really need to sit down and write a full article … but these are the basics that I can think of right now for what I’ve learned over the last 2 years. My two teams … I’ve learned the above lessons playing mostly the Iron Chefs in the MBBL where they are 4 wins – 12 losses .. okay not a great record .. but I’ve learned a lot cutting my teeth on Flings with that team .. since then I’ve improved a lot. Practicing for GenCon? I went 4 wins – 1 tie – 1 loss with Halflings, at the Underworld Cup tournament I was the 2nd highest USA player at the tournament, and my team in the PBeMBBL has a record of 7 wins – 8 losses.