Sunday 4 February 2018

Leap is an underrated skill

I haven't talked about Blood Bowl in ages.

Our FLGS runs leagues. The first one, I took halflings because I love them and because I didn't want to scare off new players by thrashing them. Some of the other experienced players didn't have such qualms, and the league (being run by one of them rather than the staff) had the "play as many games as you like" format that meant someone like me, with too many hobbies and too little energy, quickly feel behind on star player points and stopped having fun. There was no encouragement for me to play the minimum-expected number of games, so I stopped bothering, and wasn't the only one. Eventually, we reset.

This time, I took norse - a team I'd not used before, to again not be too scary for beginners, but one with a bit more resilience than halflings. Minimum game requirement was enforced and people were chased where they fell behind. Everyone was to play each other once in an official league format, and you had a fortnight for each game. You could also play up to one "training match" a fortnight - no fans, so no winnings and no MVP, but other SPP's were available, and of course injuries applied... The problem we had then was that people kept dropping out, and new people joined, until there were so many people there was no way you could play everyone, so people started dropping out again... I was pretty near the top when we called it, despite having played fewer games than some (and only one training game).

A new league season starts soon. It was made clear you should only sign up if you could commit to one game (and an optional training game) a fortnight, so initially I said no. Divisions were drawn up with the people who confirmed. Everything was about to start and... someone dropped out.

I've stepped in. Husbit's trying to organise this one and the person who'd dropped out was in the division that was already a player short, so he was left frustrated at the thought of having to set everything up again. The divisions format means I'll play 4 games in my division, then a further 2 games to decide final rankings (I think). 6 games at a game a fortnight I can probably manage.

I'm taking wood elves, because I love them. I feel a bit guilty because they're playing Blood Bowl on easy mode (now watch them all die first game and never recover...), but I haven't played them in ages and miss them. And I know a few tricks.

Zombie Halfling Cup
Years ago, a friend of ours wanting to get into Blood Bowl organised the Zombie Halfling Cup mini tournament. I think there were 6 of us playing in it, maybe 8. I took wood elves and Husbit had undead, the teams we're probably best with. It was clear pretty much from the beginning that it was between the two of us for the cup: for each of us, the only game we didn't win was the draw against each other. There was a play-off between us for the final.
I like leap. In tournament play, I usually go down the classic route of giving the double skill (if there is one) as guard on a wardancer, strip ball on the other, then using leap to smash the cage and get the ball. I also find it handy for those blitzes - leaping over the line of scrimmage to be under the ball in your opponent's half before they've had a turn has satisfaction written all over it. So I usually give leap to at least one catcher as well. 
Husbit had mocked me throughout the Zombie Halfling Cup tournament for this, saying it was a risky skill and I'd have been better with block.
The final wasn't looking good for me. We were drawing, going into my final turn, but I only had 2 players left, both catchers. One was in range of the end zone and could score, but the one with the ball was sat in the wrong end zone, all 5 of the squares around him occupied by ghouls and rotting corpses. No re-rolls left (this was back in the day when I took rerolls to tournaments), and I think I was out of range to pass anyway. It was a draw, at the least, and probably a win to the undead, who had a turn to crowd me, retrieve the ball, and score. Husbit moved the last of his players into place, and looked at me, satisfied he'd done enough.
I leant forward, heart pounding. Looking him straight in the eye, I picked up a d6 and declared my action: "leap".
His face fell as the die did. It bounced. A success! I dodged from that square and ran as close to my other player as I could. Pass. Catch - fumble! But it's a catcher, so a built in reroll to score and flee to the other end. Touchdown.
Undead can get a one turn touchdown to equalise, but not easily and not today.
I won. 
No one mocks me for leap anymore.




  1. I'm so getting Leap for my Chaos players now.. ��

  2. I have no idea what that was all about, but damn, that punchline was totally worth the build up :-)

    1. :-D

      Yeah, you do need to know Blood Bowl fairly well for it to make sense