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Usopreme
30-05-2008, 07:20
Hi everyone I am very new to blood bowl but our club has just started a league using the living rulebook 5 and I am playing wood elves. I played my first league match yesterday against Orcs and won, but there was something that disturbed me about the match. Any time he was able to pick up the ball all he did was put a cage around the carrier and slowly grind his way to the goal line.

Basically the way I dealt with this was to move out of the way and basically concede the point, my list consists of nine linemen and 2 wardancers and I was wondering if there is a way to break a nasty orc cage with wood elves. I was tempted to send my Wardancers in but I really didn't want to risk them dieing in the first game. Like I said I still won the game, but there is something about letting the other team score just because they mobbed around the ball I don't like. Any and all advice is appreciated, thanks in advance.

Tennboy
30-05-2008, 14:42
This is going to sound very odd, but attack the back of the cage, while putting a screen one or two squares off the front of the cage.

Here is the reasoning behind this tactic.

First the Screen: By keeping your guys one square back, you limit the offense to only their one blitz. By having a double line screen you get the benefit of overlapping tackle zones (most teams that cage aren't gonna try dodging through after the blitz in fear of failing and leaving their cage open. That means they only make two to three squares of progression a turn.)

Next, get 2 or 3 guys around the back and attack at the rear. Most of the time, a coach will have his heavy hitters up front blazing a path for the ball carrier, so the guys in the back are normally not as skilled or as strong. Try and blitz these players and get a tackle zone on the ball carrier with the follow up. At the very least tie up the guys in the back. This puts you in a win/win situation, They will either a.) turn their attention of knocking they guys off the back of the cage causing their drive to stall out b.) leave the guys behind as the cage moves forward, which will weaken the cage and leave more openings to blitz the ball carrier. or c.) try to dodge away in order to keep the cage together. (and given enough times, they are going to fail at one point. Pardon the expression, leaving their back door open for a real pounding.)

The main objective is slow down the game, you can score fast they can't. Force them to cause turnovers by making dodge rolls, if they want to move their cage. And limit the number of hits your players can take by dodging the front guys one square off the cage when the oppenent moves up (don't be afraid, dodging is what elves do).

Last, you want to force the cage to against one of the side lines. It cuts down movement options, well giving you less field you have to cover to stop forward progress.

-fen-
30-05-2008, 18:25
Last, you want to force the cage to against one of the side lines. It cuts down movement options, well giving you less field you have to cover to stop forward progress.
I can't agree with this at all unless you have plenty of Side steppers on the field. I deliberately move my cages to the wings against agility teams because it provides a side that is well protected and also makes it easier to chain push those annoying Blodgers off the pitch.

This counts even more so when you're up against grinding teams with frenzy players. Especially Norse.

Usopreme
30-05-2008, 22:19
Thanks for the advice I will try it out in my next game.

CaptScott
03-06-2008, 08:43
Nice strat Tennboy, my DE's thank you for it.

AlmightyNocturnus
12-06-2008, 05:59
Tennboy has laid it out very well. I played Wood Elves in a league for a long time and I think they might be the best team at breaking cages. You can slow down their cage`s forward progress and limit their TDs considerably, but Wood Elves can score at will (after your roster expands). I used to attack cages relentlessly. Wardancers, with Leap and their huge MA score, can leap in, pop, survive fairly well, and even pick up the ball. Or, after popping the ball loose, a second wardancer can leap in and pass it back out. A quick touchdown a turn later prevents your Wardancers from getting hurt too badly. Woodelves have all the skillz to get into your opponents back field, take the ball and score quickly.:p

Almighty Nocturnus

Aaron
23-06-2008, 12:13
I can only agree with what's been said. Form a line in front of the cage to slow it down and then harass from all sides with your wardancers. You should be able to disrupt the back of the cage before going in for the kill.

Be alert for cage break-aways once your opponent gets within 8 squares of the end zone.

Defence with elves is all about making those 2+ dodge rolls to make sure your opponent can only knock one of your players down per turn (i.e. with their single blitz action).

Reaver83
03-07-2008, 18:37
if your playing elves sometimes letting them score is a plan...

I play dark elves and often choose to kick first, my basic game plan in tournaments and the like is to try and win 2 -1 I kick, try and nab the ball before a cage is formed, but if they do, i normally try and take out any out of place positional, this means they often run the ball in, then as long as you have 3 turns left you score and they can reply. Then turn two you can waltz in say turn 4 and they've then got very little time to get the 2nd. Works well for me

Bloodknight
03-07-2008, 18:46
I played my first league match yesterday against Orcs and won, but there was something that disturbed me about the match. Any time he was able to pick up the ball all he did was put a cage around the carrier and slowly grind his way to the goal line.

I see why you find this disturbing, but it is a sound tactic for some teams, if they ever want to score.
For example: I play Chaos Dwarfs. Chaos Dwarfs cannot reliably play the ball, i.e. you can almost count on losing the turn once you have to throw it because either the thrower sucks or the guy who is supposed to catch it sucks. And they suck at dodging to boot. So my main tactic is to beat the other guys black and blue, foul them with my Hobgoblins if possible, grab the ball and walk it over the line in a cage. What else am I supposed to do? Running is not an option, and sneaking through the lines isn't either with a team that has no agility skills and usually dodges on a 4 or worse.

jazzdude78
03-07-2008, 19:02
if you can get the ball to a BC they can run it really well especially if they get break tackle
never forget about that in a pinch.

Now normal dwarves those guys are stuck caging the ball, same with khemri.

TheLionReturns
04-07-2008, 19:58
In addition to what Tennboy wrote, I would add that it is best to try and stop the cage forming in the first place if possible. With leap, dodge and good movement wardancers can get to potential ball carriers quickly. Get the strip ball skill on one later in a league and this becomes even easier.

neXus6
05-07-2008, 21:29
Bah, noone should give woodelf players tips...that's as bad as giving Skaven players tips. :p ;)

To be honest Woodsies should only need to break a cage if the opposing team is caging to run down the clock to win/draw, possibly with a last turn TD. Past that just score more than they do.

Mind you against Wood Elves I would probably do that. If I recieved first half I'd go for a last turn score and 100% possession, if not then try to defend, but if it all goes wrong and they score get the ball and wear down the clock in the same way. And vice versa if the kick offs go the other way at the start and break.

Cirrus the Blue
06-07-2008, 17:39
Bah, noone should give woodelf players tips...that's as bad as giving Skaven players tips. :p ;)

To be honest Woodsies should only need to break a cage if the opposing team is caging to run down the clock to win/draw, possibly with a last turn TD. Past that just score more than they do.

Mind you against Wood Elves I would probably do that. If I recieved first half I'd go for a last turn score and 100% possession, if not then try to defend, but if it all goes wrong and they score get the ball and wear down the clock in the same way. And vice versa if the kick offs go the other way at the start and break.

haha I agree with this. If you're playing Wood Elves in the first place, cages shouldn't even be a problem to begin with. ;) Leap with a Blitz does the trick just fine, I'd say!

*run, dodge, run, dodge, run, dodge, JUMP!* .... *bionic man sound effects in slow motion* .... *PUNCH!* *grab, toss, catch, run, run, run, dodge, dodge, dodge, TOUCHDOWN!!!!* This is the entire Wood Elf Playbook by the way. *wink* hahaha

Trust me. This exact play has screwed me over more times than I'd care to count. And we're talking 3 or more Tacklezones, here!!!!! :mad: Futhermore, in the unlikely event of that play somehow not succeeding, they've still got a freaking TREE to flatten your team anyways!! AUGH!!! lol

- Cirrus

shartmatau
06-07-2008, 23:00
I agree on trying to force the cage to a sideline. By placing your elves heavy on one side you can force you opponent to the sideline in a turn or two. Then when they are there you keep two or three guys to the front of the cage to slow it down and move two guys into position on the fieldside of the cage. Then blitz into the side so its a one on one fight use pushback to get a cageguy pushed into the crowd. Do this two or three times until they are playing a couple men down which means making a cage is much harder. Then you just score more which is easy for elves.
If they cage up right off the first kickoff you can try to just harass the guys in the back of the cage and let the cage move faster downfield. You can let him score as long as you keep harassing the rear of the cage so he wants to move fast. Pushing guys off the pitch is a good way to convince your friend not to linger for the whole half after strolling down the pitch. In the second half you never want to let the cage get far because you don't want to have to play catchup with only a turn or two remaining.

LordSnotball
09-07-2008, 10:15
Never played WEs till now, but HEs and DEs im quite good with...

DONT attack the cage immediately, stall them for 2-3 turns... Run 1-2 players in the opponent's mid-deep end. As he is a potential scoring threat if ur opponent fumbles, your opponent will move 1-2 players per player of yours to mark those in the deep end. This cuts the number of players available for the cage down drammatically.

The comes the cage breaking time. Make sure to eliminate assists first, and then leap/blitz the ball carrier (dangerous 1 dice block). Or take out one of the corners of the cage and put the ball carrier in as many TZs as possible (many 2 dice blocks for your opponent next turn).

What you want to do, is create a chaotic situation, where blocks are being made left right and centre, and the ball is bouncing all over the place. To master this u need a basic understanding of chain-blocks (pushing 1 player onto another), pushing players onto the ball making it scatter (if the ball is in 4 TZs, a pushback can get the ball to scatter. 50% chance it will land on an opponent. If u have all the opponent's in 1 TZ, it is a 6+ catching the ball action [3ag = 4+, -1 bouncing ball 5+, -1 tackle zone 6+], making it bounce again, so chances are that the ball will bounce out...

THEN comes in typical elfball, where an AG4 dodges in, picks up the ball, dodges out, and makes a pass...

a NASTY TRICK to play on your opponent, is called the punt. you throw the ball to an EMPTY SQUARE. This ends your turn, but gets the ball away from your opponent, and your elves can get there far easier than your opponent will... For example, your mid-deep linemen are on the left wing (as are those marking them), and th cage is mid-deep on your right wing, you throw the ball down the right wing.

Here, your players who were marking the back of the cage now form a net of players/ tackle zones/ spread cage, which hinder your opponent from even getting close to the ball...

but your players can easily 2+ dodge away, pick up the ball, go further, and then, if unsafe, throw the ball again :)

WEs, like Skaven, are fragile, so if you make a play like this, expect a few KOs minimum as punishment. With HEs or DEs you can do this regardless... 2 weeks ago i pulled this play off Chaos vs my HEs, having just 4 elves on the pitch (6 KOs, 1 injury), a cage 8 squares away from the endline, and scored...

but you need to think outside the box... sometimes, it is better to put the ball in 4 TZs than attempting to pick it up... in the same token, if u do punt, then its wise to put the ball in a TZ before sending another to pick up the ball... if he fails, (snake eyes happen) the ball could bounce to safety (worst case scenario, it bounces onto the player marking the ball :)

hope this helps

The Grand Wazoo
11-07-2008, 09:52
I see why you find this disturbing, but it is a sound tactic for some teams, if they ever want to score.
For example: I play Chaos Dwarfs. Chaos Dwarfs cannot reliably play the ball, i.e. you can almost count on losing the turn once you have to throw it because either the thrower sucks or the guy who is supposed to catch it sucks. And they suck at dodging to boot. So my main tactic is to beat the other guys black and blue, foul them with my Hobgoblins if possible, grab the ball and walk it over the line in a cage. What else am I supposed to do? Running is not an option, and sneaking through the lines isn't either with a team that has no agility skills and usually dodges on a 4 or worse.

Well, I play Chaos Dwarves as well, and I've never used a cage while playing them and I'm still doing alright. The Hobgoblins are too fragile to be worth investing a lot of effort into developing, so they're mostly cannon fodder. Give them Block, and they're good to go. If they get stat increases, even better.

For me, it's all about the Bull Centaurs, so I play a running game. As you can see from my team roster, it's about one of them in particular. He picks up the ball on a 4+ with a reroll (which succeeds surprisingly often) and just runs across the pitch with the ball in his hands. As a result, he is by far the best player in the league, with about 30 SPP more than the next best player (a Gutter Runner with AG 5).

This is my team:

http://bloodbowl.krokodille.com/team.php?id=136&tid=

Bloodknight
11-07-2008, 10:02
I should have mentioned that we only play one-offs; we're only 4 guys and don't get games regularly enough to build a league.