by Douglas Webber' (www.blood-bowl.net)
Okay. This is my attempt at detailing out high-elf team building strategy. I may give away a lot to rival coaches, but for those of you that are interested in stuff like this, here goes!:)
p.There are really only two routes you can take here. Either you go with big fan factor or you don’t.
Fan factor will typically pay for itself over time, but with high elves the choice is often between having five more FF or an extra reroll.
No matter what you choose, your line-up should look like this:
10 linemen 700,000
1 DragonW 100,000
My inclination is to take 3 rerolls and 5FF. Some will say only 2 RR and an apoth, but they aren’t the ones writing this now are they? Some will say “but Ironhead, you should take tons of position players.” Again… they aren’t the ones writing this now are they? :)So let’s stick with my choice. The reason will be all too clear soon enough.
Take advantage of your high AG from the very start. A gratuitous quick pass can be done by 2 rolls of 2+. Cake. And it gives you an spp. Perfect for a skill when you get that post-game MVP.
Believe it or not, elves are great blockers early on*. Maneuvering for a 2d block is sooo easy. Throw as many as you can, because having your opponent on the ground is one step towards getting him off the pitch and a TD on your side of the board.
Agility helps a lot with blocking. Not only does it put you in position for good assists, but you can build your drive by dodging off opponents and moving around to the other side of them to keep them tied up.
Spread out your spps. No team can do this as well as the elves can. Get a couple TDS for one player and then keep him out of the action. Share the lovin’ so to speak.
*Depending on your opponent. Dwarves are not the greatest sparing partners because they all have block.
Here are some things that make me laugh…
Most non-elf coaches think they can tie down a high elf by putting a tackle zone on him. Most non-elf coaches talk trash when you leave an elf in a tz of one of their players. My advice: let ‘em! They’ll shut up after you beat the snot out of ‘em!
Tackle zones are the key to beating slower, dumber, less agile simpletons that make up the bulk of your oppoenents. Why? In the beginning, most of those jerks don’t have any skills. Just like high elves. So you’re even there. The ones that can dodge like we can have crappy armour and the ones that have good armour can’t dodge like we can. As teams develope, yours will have a more even spread of skills, so most likely your will always stay ahead of your opponents. If you tie them down, more likely than not they will be unable to bring the strength where they need it. If one player of your can suck up the attention of two of their players for even a turn, you have done well.
Don’t let those cheezepuffs think they can scare you with extra armour and the fact that their models look more like something that came out of a freakshow. They are just blowing smoke because they know that if you put tackle zones on them they can’t do jack!
What is the difference between a zombie and a high elf? The high elf can break away from his opponent.:) I’ll say it one last time. Tackle zones are the key. Learn ‘em, know ‘em, use ‘em to screw your opponent because that’s what elves are best at!
Another thing to keep in mind… Movement. Elves can outpace most of the brute teams, so tying a couple players up for a turn or so and then breaking away is classic.:)
Let’s get back to our starting roster and talk about what you are going to do to build it into a dominating team.
Take random events exclusively. This is where the money is at. Once you get an apothecary(50K) and 2 more players(pheonix warrior and another DragonW) you’ve invested another 230K into your team.
Without money cards that could takes as many as 6 games to come up with. Yech! So go for the dough. Random events can also mean less opponents for you to face, keeping your opponent from fouling you, and many other wonderful things. But pray to the money god because that’s what you need right now.
Down the road you can start taking a magic card, and the rest as random events. Don’t even look at the dirty trick pile for now. Magic can save your expensive ass. Period.
Secondly… Spps and Skills
You should look to average 15-20 spps a game. My current elven team averages over 20 so it’s not hard. This means with some good coaching you should be getting couple skills per game. Here’s some thought on what to get…
Take any ST you can get. Agility will give you leapers, and don’t take MA unless you have to(6+4).
First make yourself a line. Give these guys block followed by dodge. You can do the reverse, but taking block first can give you a much needed advantage over less skilled opponents. Remember- having your opponent on the ground is the first step to getting him off the pitch. Dodge will make you a bitch to take down, allow you to peal off your opponents with more certainty, and force your opponents to spend skills getting tackle to deal with all the shit you bring.:)
Next. You need wings if you are going to fly.:)
Diving tackle: give it to at least 2 guys. Give them block too. Make sure that any ST4 guy gets block and DT(talk about annoying). With 2-4 of your wingmen having DT, you can ensure a tough go for fast and weak opponents, and you will make slow strong opponents think twice.
Dauntless. Toss this onto 2 of your diving tacklers. Your opponent may think he’s cute bringing in a tough guy so you can DT him with 2d his choice, but this will shut him up. Note: in a league with few big guys you might not have to do this.
Leap. Give it to anyone who gets AG5.
Sidestep(the unsung skill). It’s nice in the wings- no more getting shoved out by that stupid witch elf. Of course.. if you have DT in the wings…;) Where it is best is on the line and on certain position players. Even when you get knocked over you get to choose where you fall. Awesome for getting away from foul freaks and taking up space.:)
Pro. Goes well with Diving tackle. A reroll chance where you normally have none.
So to recap…
Make a line of 3 with block and dodge. Give yourself some wings with block and diving tackle. One other thing to put on a lineman. Give one kick. Do this within your first five games if you can. Give another the ‘great equalizer’. Dirty player.
Dirty player. I call it Armour technician. Whatever your prefer, make it bloody clear that if your opponent get’s cute with his DP that you will start knocking his guys off the earth. I usually do this by striking first.:)
Later down the road you may find that you don’t need nor desire an Armour Technician on your team. But in the formative years, it can give you a boost. The ONE major drawback is that it hogs spps. For that reason, dump his ass unless he can get the skill to become a productive team member.
Nothing will make your opponent buckle more than 5 or 6 high elves dodging though his line. Stand firm kicks ass on these guys. Period. Guard is nice too, but to put real pressure on your opponent, bypass most of his players with stand firm. I beat an orc team that was rated 70TR points above me and had 3 Morgs on it. His TR was 350, mine was 278. Dollars to doughnuts one of the biggest reasons why was because I had stand firm on no less than 5 of my elves. Man he hated that.:)
Dragon Warriors- Bastages of the Midway! Hope for ST. Hope for doubles so you can take mighty blow, and again so you can take stand firm or guard. Invariably these guys will be your workhorses. They start with 7 3 4 8 block
So the extra move and skill make them rock(for high elves). Devote one(that hopefully has mighty blow) to be your hunter. This is the guy that takes out all those cheeze-ass bastards that run gimmick plays. Give him dodge, tackle, side-step. He will be totally annoying, hard as hell to bring down, and perfect to whack gutter runners, witch elves, and catchers in general. Hell if you really wanted to make him gross and got another double, give him piling on.:)
Make the other just as annoying. Set him up with strip-ball and what-ever skills give you the best chance of penetrating your opponent’s defenses. Then use him! Make your opponents actually consider putting sure hands on receivers.:)
Phoenix Warriors- This one is a no brainer. Make one your ball-hander, carrier, etc. Give him sure hands, block, maybe DT or dump-off. Accurate might be nice if you can swing it(just to help a little).
The other should be your long-distance(LD) service. Accurate, Strong Arm, Safe throw. You would think Hail Mary Pass is nice, but I look upon it as a desparate measure taken by desparate teams. The ball is always better when it’s in your hands.:)
Lion Warriors- I haven’t hardly mentioned these guys, have I? They should be the last players you pick up. Well, you can get one before your second phoenix warrior if you really want. But my advice is to hold off with them. Low armour sucks. But there is a bigger reason.
Until now, your opponents have been watching you develope a run & shoot offence(hopefully). Lots of quick passes, short reverses, etc.
Most wont anticipate the extra speed that the Lion Warriors bring you. Plus they will double-take when they expect to have an advantaged block and find that your guy is 3ST!!!
And even you will be surprised at the scoring ability this guy packs onto the top of your team.
Now the main point of the Lion Warriors is not to score points(what?!). It is to draw off the defense while your true scorers do their thing. Call me crazy. The only time I would throw to a Lion Warrior is if he is clear and my opponent had no wizard. I’d have to be
very desparate otherwise.
Funny how times change. I have since learned to put great faith in these guys as scorers. Giving them skills like dodge and sidestep make them tough to go after. Jump-up helps. Block makes them a pain as well.
My thoughts… give one block, dodge, sidestep. He’s mister annoying. Hope that the other getg AG5 for leap. If not just give him dodge, jump-up.. and …well… experiment.
Things to keep in mind about all your players- You have to pattern these guys to your opponents. I’ve had Lions act as both scorers and defensive safeties. Being able to tote diving tackle all the way across the pitch works wonders for stopping up your opponents. Don’t be afraid to try wierd combos on these guys, and whatever you do… don’t be sad when they die. Because they will die. You just make more. :)
Finalizing your team
When you have 13-14 players, try to scrape up the dough for a wizard. Then start focusing on getting rerolls. Having six is a Good Thing™.
At the point where you have about 15 or so players, it’s a good time to start cutting out the chaff. Any players that have gotten skills that don’t fit the game plan, can be retired and replaced one by one. Refine your team. Here’s a thought… Recycle your DP every so often. Remember that all those casualties he’s got adds up and mean an increased TR.
Injuries- unless you are a desparate, retire anyone that gets niggled or some other permanant SI immediately. Unless the guy is a god you will be doing yourself a favour. Not only can he come back to haunt you, but he adds team rating to you for a game while he sits and does nothing.
On the pitch, you have one thing to do. Win. Set the tone of the game. No one can do this better than high elves. One drive you pound into your opponent. The next drive you pound into your opponent. The third drive you dance around him and play a ‘standoffish’ game. Your opponent will blink and not know how to react. Then you pound into him again.
No one can change up tactics as well except for humans. Wood elves don’t have a good enough strong game, and dark elves don’t have a good enough pass game.