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Offensive Setups

Page Contents

For some (veteran) coaches, Offense is easy - 1) Defend Blitz (if possible), 2) Protect Ball, 3) Hit Things. But if it was as easy to do as to say, you wouldn't be here...

There are many, MANY different parts to a good Offensive Setup. So many things to consider, so many ways it can be flawed, or easily improved. Each part is easy - but there are many parts. Tough it out, read through - if you came here looking for answers, you won't be sorry. You might even get answers to questions you didn't know to ask. ;)

This page is broken into 4 distinct subsections, to try to make all this easier:

  • Intro
    • General concepts/goals for Offensive Setups
    • Basic Tips - what to do, what to avoid
    • Kickoff Results: Blitz & Perfect Defense
  • LoS (Line of Scrimmage) Basics
    • Basic Setups
    • Multiple Blocking of one Target (aka Line Blocking)
  • Backfield and Wide Zone Basics
    • The Kick skill
    • Asymmetric (off-balance) Defenses
  • Specific Setup Examples *
    • 1) Pre-set Cage direction
    • 2) High Strength LoS w/ Big Guy
    • 3) Multiple Blocking Schemes

(* Anyone confident of a setup is welcome to add theirs here. Please follow the general format - mention what Race(s) it's designed for, any other considerations, and the pros/cons. Or add a comment to a previous contribution - this is a wiki!)

Although critical to any Offensive Setup, most examples on this page will not detail how to Block, how to set up a 2d Block (or why that is important!), how to set up Assists, nor any of the basic player-blocking-player rules. This page assumes you know that, but may remind you that it's important. Without meaning to sound harsh, learn how the game works first, then come back and start to learn how to win. ;)


Intro

General Goals - What makes a good Setup?

Specific setups can be as personal as the clothes you wear or the music you like. A "perfect" setup for one coach may not be a good fit for a different coach with an identical team. So the first thing we'll do is talk about the basics in general terms, and once those are covered then some degree specific, detailed setups can be demonstrated, with the pros & cons listed.

  • Reasons for different setups, or variations on similar setups, may include...
    • the Race
    • the skills on the team and players (including MA, AV, +/-stats, etc., etc.)
    • the opposing Race and their team Skills
    • the Defensive Setup you are facing
    • the Coach you're facing
    • Players each team has lost during the game
    • the current score
    • what Turn it is
    • how many RR's you have remaining
    • the current Weather
    • whether this is a "must win" game (such as in a knock-out Tournament) or if a it can be a "builder" and winning is not all-important
    • and many others...
  • Most all Offensive Setups have some general concepts in common. The goals of an offense are multiple, and some coaches/teams emphasize or prioritize some goals over others:
    • Protect the Ball, where ever it lands on the kickoff.
    • Protect the Ballcarrier once they pickup the ball (and/or then the ball if that fails).
    • Knock down as many opponents as possible, possibly causing a Casualty.
    • Move players downfield, possibly into scoring range.
    • Position against the possibility of a Blitz or Perfect Defense kickoff result.
    • Slow or prevent the defense from maneuvering against you on their Turn.
    • Protect your most valuable/vulnerable player(s) from Defensive blocks/blitzes.

Ultimately, there is no one example that is "generic" or "perfect" - but there are some places to start, basic concepts, more general rules than hard "laws", that create some solid offensive setups - and that you can then tweak to suit your specifics.


Quick basic tips:

  • The Defense must put at least 3 players on the LoS. If at all possible, you (usually) want to Block these 3 players, and (again, if possible) with your players that have the Block skill (and possibly also Mighty Blow, Claw, Pile On, and other damage-causing skills). You want (at least) 2d on these blocks (3d is even better).

    (Sometimes, a 1d Block is a necessary risk, but is never "desirable". Understand the odds before intentionally setting up for a 1d Block, and/or committing too many players to a 3d just because you can.)
  • If the Defense puts more than 3 on the LoS, try to block as many as you (comfortably) can. If their superior Strength, Guard or numbers are overwhelming, as a rule try to set up to block who you can.
  • If the Defense puts players on the LoS that you do not wish to Block (high-Strength, typically), keep in mind that a Blitz kickoff result will let any un-marked player move and/or Blitz. Consider placing 1 sacrificial player marking these players, to hold them in place - just in case. 1/12 shows up more often than most (new) coaches seem to expect. ;)
  • If the Defensive LoS is bunched tight, 3 side-by-side, they can often be surrounded and pinned in place. If set up wider, the Offense can often setup to be able to block any of them twice if the first is a Push. New coaches should be clear on how Assists work before you try this, or you may face less-desirable 1d blocks. (see below.)
  • If the Defense lines up players only 1 square off the LoS, a Quick Snap result (4/36 = 1/9 chance) will let you shift nearby players 1 to be able to Block them, possibly knocking more players down than the expected 4 targets (3 Blocks + 1 Blitz) normally allow.


Kickoff Results: Blitz & Perfect Defense

One of the first decisions of any Offensive setup is whether or not to try to defend against unfavourable Kickoff results, specifically the 3/36 (1/12) chance for a Perfect Defense and an additional 3/36 chance for a Blitz kickoff result (1/6 chance all together). Slower teams can't blitz as deep as fast teams, so are less(!) of a threat. Non-dodgey teams must Blitz any necessary path to take advantage of a Blitz kickoff result, but high Agility Dodgey (or Leaping!) teams can Blitz your deeper players directly.

Even if you don't seal the wide-zones perfectly, it's usually recommended that, if possible, you have some defense against a Blitz, so at least they can't easily Blitz an open path thru your line, and have to take the long way around and/or make a risky Dodge. Allowing a direct path to the center of your backfield is a recipe for disaster.

Because of the risk of Perfect Defense (a 1/12 chance), many coaches/teams (esp lower-Agility teams) keep wide players 1 square off the LoS, so they do not have to Dodge to maneuver after being marked by a Perfect Defense. Otoh, some coaches will take the risk, and put players (esp Dodgey ones) on the LoS to get them as deep as possible on the start of the drive.

Of course, some teams just don't care - they have enough Blockers and/or high-Strength to cover (almost) the entire width of the field, so they put everyone on the LoS, and no matter who or what shows up, they can handle it. Either way, many of the setups below can be tweaked to allow one or the other.


You can use Play Creator to help work out setting up: http://www.midgardbb.com/Resources/PlayCreator/version1.swf



NOTE:

  • In all these diagrams, X or x = Defense and O or o = Offense unless otherwise noted.
  • All Offense/Defense is St 3 unless otherwise noted.
  • The Wide Zones may be marked by four "w"s, for easier visual reference. These do not represent players.
  • Yard lines may be listed in the left sideline square. These do not represent players.

LoS Basics:

LoS setups

Regardless of what your backfield or wide zones look like, the LoS is where most Offensive Setups start. Unless the defense does something unusual (which does happen, depending on the team & coach), you will face one of 3 setups on the LoS - 101, 202, or 303.

Notation for the LoS

This ssection will use a standard notation for location of linemen. Starting with the center square, which is "0", each square is then numbered going out from there. Thus, the 7 spaces on the Los are...

 w  w  w  w  3  2  1  0  1  2  3  w  w  w  w 

So, 3 men grouped tightly in the center would be "101"...

 -  -  -  -  -  -  1  0  1  -  -  -  -  -  - 

...or...

 -  -  -  -  -  -  X  X  X  -  -  -  -  -  - 

...3 spaced as widely as possible would be "303"...

 -  -  -  -  X  -  -  X  -  -  X  -  -  -  - 

... and 3 shifted all the way to one side would be "321"...

 -  -  -  -  X  X  X  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 

Mirrored versions (321 vs. 123) are rarely distinguished, as there is no practical difference in setting up to counter them. If it's important to show positions in the wide zones, the numbers can be continued out to the wide zones, from 7 to 0 and back to 7 again.

(Note that these numbers are different from numbers that may show blocking order, or other personal notations in specific examples below. This is a wiki, not a standardized textbook.)

Many Offensive LoS's must be flexible to account for different Defensive LoS schemes, even if their backfields and wide zones do not change (much). Part of that flexibility is whether or not you want to try to setup multiple Blocks on one target (see Multiple Blocks, below) - that's one of the variables left to you.

Teams with St 4(+) players can easily substitute them for a Block+Assist pair, but should consider the advantage of any Players with the Block skill over unskilled if appropriate.

LoS vs. 101

 -  -  -  -  -  -  X  X  X  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  a  B  B  B  a  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 w  w  w  w  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  w  w  w  w 

The B's are Blockers - one of the outer B's will take the first Block, with an assist by the "a" next to them. Once one of the two outside X's are down or Pushed away, the B that made that Block can assist the center B on their 2d Block. Once an outer Block is made, that "assist" player is free to move.

(Pro tip - Make one Block, then move that free "a" where you will before making the next Block. Whenever possible, always try to move before rolling (more) dice - just in case of disaster. Skulls happen.)

Note - If the center B is St 5, with 2 assists (from the other B's) they can achieve St 7, which is 3d vs. a St 3 target.

LoS vs. 101, w/ 1 Guard

 -  -  -  -  -  -  X  X  X  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  B  G  B  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 w  w  w  w  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  w  w  w  w 

Suddenly life gets easier. Same as above, but the Guard assists the outer 2 Blockers. Once one of the two outer X's is down or pushed away, the Guard can make their Block next if you prefer.

LoS vs. 202

 -  -  -  -  -  X  -  X  -  X  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  3  -  2  -  1  -  a  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 w  w  w  w  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  w  w  w  w 

This is setup to Block to the right - 1, 2, and 3 are the Blockers, a is an assist. 1 blocks, then is free to assist 2, who then blocks and is free to assist 3 in their block. The "a" is free to move after the first Block.

Add more linemen to achieve multiple blocks if the first Pushes, as described in the "Multiple Blocks" section, below.

LoS vs. 202, with 1 Guard

 -  -  -  -  -  X  -  X  -  X  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  3  -  2  -  G  -  1  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 w  w  w  w  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  w  w  w  w 

1 Guard allows both ends to block toward the middle, instead of all having to block in the same direction.

LoS vs. 303

 -  -  -  -  X  -  -  X  -  -  X  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  B  a  B  -  a  -  a  B  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 w  w  w  w  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  w  w  w  w 

A wide defensive setup requires more assists, but opens the door for the defenders to all be blocked multiple times if the first is a Push, if you wish, altho' it's better if the "a" players have Block also. (See Multiple Blocks, below.)

Each B/a pair can independently be arranged to block left or right, altho' blocking "in" requires the Blocker to be in the Wide Zone, as shown above on the far right.

As shown, the far left B can only block "up", away from the LoS ''(altho' swapping them with their "a" would allow them to block left and into a potential 2nd block). The center B can block up or to the right, and the far-right B can block up or left.

Note that Guards do not help against this Defensive formation unless/until pushes along the line are involved, and even then are rarely necessary.

Option: Multiple Blocks on 1 LoS Target

If you want, it's easily possible to get more than 1 Block on a player on the defensive LoS if the first block results in a Push.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  L  M  R  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  7  6  1  2  3  4  -  -  5  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 w  w  w  w  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  w  w  w  w 

L(eft), M(iddle) and R(ight) are Defense, 1-7 are Offense.

(NOTE - This is an example setup only, designed to show what is possible, not what is "optimal". Too many variables to show one "perfect" setup. Once you understand the concept, you will need to constantly adjust to suit your current, particular situation.)

1 Blocks R first with an assist from 3 (2 is marked, so no assist from them). If a Knock Down, great - if a Push, they push R along the line to the right (whether or not they "follow" is up to you). Then 2 can Block R with an assist from 3 & 4, and so on, until the 3 pushes R to the upper-right of 4 (and then they MUST follow, to assist 4). 4 then blocks R - and if they get a Push, they can either push up and away, or to a location up-left of where 5 is (and follow to assist). So 5 is either the last-chance blocker, or he can be kept free, as preferred.

Then 6 blocks M and 7 blocks L.

This is even easier with a Spaced or Wide setup (see above), where each Defender can be blocked multiple times. It's even possible (with a Frenzier) to push a defender all the way to the widezone and then out of bounds for a Crowd surf - takes some luck to get that many Pushes, but it's possible.

Many coaches/teams can put almost all their players on the LoS and just keep blocking until they get a Pow. This is common with Dwarves, Norse and Orcs, among others - anyone with a lot of Block (and high Strength and/or Guard). Doing something like this exposes all offensive players on the LoS to being marked from a Perfect Defense or Blitz kickoff result (1/12 chance each, 1/6 total) - this may not bother some teams (much), but a coach should consider the worst possible result before diving in too deep.

See also #3, below!




Backfield and Wide Zones

Once you've dealt with the LoS, the rest of your players are free to set up to be in position to do other things, such as...

  • Guard against a Blitz kickoff result
  • Field the ball
  • Help screen the ball before the pickup
  • Form the Cage/Screen for the Ballcarrier
  • Blitz, or assist with the Blitz
  • Go downfield
  • Other maneuvers (to screen, to mark, to assist, to foul, to threaten, to distract, whatever)

As a rule, you want:

  • your ballhandler(s) to cover the entire backfield, to field the kick no matter where it lands. (If they can't, covering the front, where the ball is within reach of the defense, is far more important than deep to the rear, where the defense won't (usually!) be able to reach it for 2 turns.)
  • your backfield support player(s) to be able to assist forward and/or to the side, so able to reach the defense and/or anywhere they may be needed.
  • your important backfield support players to NOT be marked from a Blitz result, so they can maneuver and respond.
  • your chosen blitzer(s) to be able to reach their planned target(s), with appropriate assist(s).
  • any widezone players to be placed to slow the defense where they stand if things go badly, and/or be able to shift toward the far side of the field if needed there.
  • (IF the Defense has Frenzy, do not set up in position to be frenzied of the field!)

We'll be conservative, and assume you have used 6* players on the LoS (represented by "o", with the large "O" in the center) - that leaves only 5 for the Backfield and Widezones.

Of course, if you want/need more players elsewhere, you can pull from the LoS. As mentioned at the start of this page, the variations and possible tweaks are endless.


Protecting the Wide Zones against a Blitz kickoff result

First, this is not 100% necessary, far from it. A Blitz kickoff result only happens on 3 of 36 rolls (1/12 chance), so if an "average" game has 4 kickoffs that's only once every 3 games (on average), and then still a 50/50 chance whether for or against you. For teams with low Agility and/or low MA, getting to the ball and catching it is, on average, tougher to start with, so less of a threat than high-Agility, high-MA teams.

The Kick skill

One additional factor is the Kick skill. Without Kick, the ball can land pretty much anywhere - d6 for distance, d8 for direction from the target square. When Kicking, many coaches aim a non-Kick kickoff at or near the middle of the 6 yard line. Anywhere else starts to risk increasing (and needless) chance of going out-of-bounds and directly into the hands of any player the offense chooses.

With the Kick skill, the defense has much more control over where the ball will land - a good bet to land within roughly any 5x5 square centered where they want. If the Offense doesn't defend against it, that can easily be aimed short and to one side or the other, and if there's a Blitz, or a failed pickup or an early-turn fail, the Defense gains an unexpected chance to recover the ball, or at least challenge for it.

(Since, without a Blitz, a short kick gives the Offense an easy forward cage, many coaches do this only on Turn 1 or 9 kickoffs, so they can then pressure a quick score, leaving them plenty of time to receive and score to tie that half.)

 -  -  -  -  o  o  o  O  o  o  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  W  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  W  W  - 
 0  -  -  W  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 9  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 8  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 7  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 6  -  -  -  -  -  -  H  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 5  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 4  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 3  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 2  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 1  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 G  w  w  w  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  w  w  w  w 

The two W's on either side (each pair arranged differently, to show diff options) are now screening the wide zones - as they stand, a Blitz (or multiple Dodge or Leap) is necessary to get past them to anywhere deeper within the backfield. "H" is the designated Ball-Handler, the player who will try to pickup the ball ''(usually with high Agility and/or Sure Hands). If they are MA 7(+), they can reach any square in the backfield - if MA 6 or less, some squares near the edge may be out of range without a risky GFI (see next).

(If the team has St 4 and/or Guards, it's possible that you can safely move some/all Wides up to the LoS, and not worry about Perfect Defense.)

(Remember that the "w" only marks the beginning corners of the Wide Zone, not a player.)

A note about Asymmetric Defenses

Some coaches will present you with an "unbalanced" defense, one that is not the same on both sides, or a "123" scheme (see "Asymmetric Defenses" on the Defensive Setup page for examples).

If you take a "101" scheme and shift it as far as you can to one side, you get a 321...

 -  -  -  -  X  X  X  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 w  w  w  w  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  w  w  w  w 

The goal is to trick the Offense into making a mistake in their setup, to leave one side or the other open. If you do - and if the Defense has Kick - they will kick to the weak side; if you don't, they might just kick deep - or not! Even if they don't have Kick it's possible, through luck, for the kick to land in an area within reach of the defense.

 -  -  -  -  X  X  X  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  a  B  B  B  a  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 w  w  w  w  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  w  w  w  w 

As shown above, a "standard" blocking setup against a 321 Defensive scheme requires one Assist to start in a wide zone. The defensive backfield may be asymmetric as well - the variations are endless, as are the possibilities open to the defense on their turn or a Blitz. This can skew a coach's "standard" offensive setup. It also invites one side or the other to be left wide open, and other players should be positioned against the possibility of a Blitz (or Perfect D) result.

If one side looks wide open and inviting, the defense is probably planning to do one or both of two things, either 1) pin the cage against the edge of the field, and/or 2) pressure a quick score (so they have time to receive and score themselves!). A double-deep screen/cage, so there are 2 levels of defenders between potential blitzers and your ballcarrier, is probably the safest answer to this sort of "invitation".

There is no one "answer" to an asymmetric defense - the variations are just too many. But they aren't that scary if you stop and think. Consider the situation, and the risk of a Blitz or Perfect Defense result, apply the basics and tricks on this page, and try to maintain a balanced setup as appropriate.

Slower Ball Handlers

For some teams with slow ballhandlers and/or poor ballhandling skills (for example, any Ag 3 w/ no Sure Hands, etc.), two Ballhandlers can start back, one to help screen the ball while the other makes the uncertain pickup attempt. Some teams (of any type!) also have a designated "Screener", who is centered to work with the ballhandler(s), moving before the pickup (or any other rolls) to screen the ball in case of a failed pickup. This requires that one or more players be pulled off the LoS, and/or from the Wide Zones.

 -  -  -  -  o  o  o  O  o  o  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  W  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  W  -  - 
 0  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 9  -  -  -  -  -  -  S  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 8  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 7  -  -  -  -  H  -  -  -  H  -  -  -  -  - 
 6  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 5  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 4  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 3  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 2  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 1  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 G  w  w  w  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  w  w  w  w 

The two Handlers (H) are evenly spaced, and a bit forward on the 5 yard line (because, we assume, they are less than MA 6, perhaps MA 5 Orc or Khemri Throwers). With MA 5, one or the other can reach anywhere forward of the 1 yard line (from the LoS back to the 2), with the other H moving to support a screen if desired. If the kick is very deep, they may take 2 turns to get to the ball, or will need to GFI. (If the ball is that deep, it's safe from most(!) defenders. If the Handlers start further back, a short kick near the LoS is within range of the Defense, and cannot be handled without a GFI - and that risks needing to use (and possibly failing) the Team RR before the pickup.)

The Support player (S) is centered in front of them, to swing to either side (with support from that side's W player, and/or any O freed from the LoS). They will probably be the first player to move (or one of them), shifting to a position somewhere in front of the ball to screen and protect it until someone can pick it up. They could also be further back, to better support a deep kick, or further up, to better move up and be part of a forward cage if a Pass may be expected. Lastly, depending on the player and the kick location, a Handler could hand-off or Pass to them, and they can be the designated Ball Carrier (perhaps a Blodger) to carry the ball forward from there. Any of these can work, depending on the team skills and coaches preference - and luck.

Note that, with 6 lined up tight on the LoS, only one of the two W players can actually get TZ's across the entire wide zone; the one on the right is shifted in to cut off the inner route, leaving the outside-most squares open.



Specific Offensive Setups

Specific setups, with pros and cons, and possibly what Races work best with them.

1) Pre-set Cage Direction

Race(s): Good for faster caging teams, like Dark Elfs

If you are willing to accept the risk of a Blitz (and/or Perfect Defense) hurting you, you can set up strong to one side, planning on sending the ball in that direction. This is safest if

  • 1) you have a few players with good movement (MA 7 or better, hopefully including ballhandler)
  • 2) your opponent is slow(ish)
  • and 3) your opponent does not have Kick.

If any of these are not the case, a setup of this type becomes much riskier, unless you can pull 2 players from the LoS to screen the off-side wide zone.

 -  -  -  -  o  o  o  O  o  o  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  a  -  -  F  -  F  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 0  -  B  -  C  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 9  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 8  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 7  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 6  -  -  -  -  -  -  H  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 5  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 4  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 3  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 2  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 1  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 G  w  w  w  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  w  w  w  w 

This cage is definitely wants to go left, and push the cage deep into the opponent's territory on Turn 1 - or that's the plan. However, it could shift and cover right if that's where the ball lands, if it has to. It's designed to go left, but able to go right - flexibility in case of the unexpected.

On the LoS, the o's are shifted to block to the right (adjust as necessary), to at least Push the defense away from the left where we want the cage to form. Some o's will be free early to help shift around as needed to help form the cage, mark or screen opposing players, or screen a short kick before the pickup, and the Blitz will target the biggest threat on the left.

The initial ballhandler (H) is centered - we already established this team is at least average speed. The two "wide" players to the left are (probably) your Blitzers - one to assist (a), and the other (B) a skilled hard-hitter (who is back one, protected from a defensive Blitz result). The F players are fast (MA 7 or better), able to shift to the right if the ball lands there*, or push around to the left for the cage. The C player is either an additional Cager or the ballCarrier, to whom the ball will be handed/passed.

(* Obviously, if the ball lands short-right, then the plan may have to be changed, and the F and some of the o Players moved early to screen the ball before the pickup. If it lands deep, the Pass/Hand-off may have to be delayed a turn, and/or the cage shifted back to receive the ball there.)

On the rare chance that the kick lands right and there is a Blitz, the offense must shift to screen and suddenly play defense, and try to make it as difficult as possible for the opponent to capitalize on their luck (and hopefully get the ball back!). That's how it goes sometimes with setups like this.



2) High Strength w/ Big Guy

Race(s): like the sign says

Often, the Big Guy is better used as a road block than a Blocker/Blitzer. Keeping the BG back where they can maneuver after the LoS blocks, maybe even after a defensive Blitz kickoff result, can be crucial to scoring and winning a game.

 -  -  -  -  -  4  -  4  -  4  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  o  -  -  o  -  -  b  -  -  -  -  o  -  - 
 0  -  o  -  -  -  -  5  -  -  -  -  -  o  - 
 9  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 8  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 7  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 6  -  -  -  -  -  -  H  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 5  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 4  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 3  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 2  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 1  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 G  w  w  w  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  w  w  w  w 


There are too many "high Strength/Big Guy" races to be specific (and a +St skill might open new doors), but this shows three St 4's handling the LoS (shift as needed). The "b" in the center both screens the St 5 Big Guy (so he's not (easily) marked by a Defensive Blitz) and also acts as a baby-sitter if needed (for Really Stupid BG's). This leaves the BG free to move to wherever he can do the most good on your turn - perfect for Nurgle's Beast, Lizardman's Krox, etc.

The o's that screen the wide zones are set up differently on each side in this example - on the right, they are set up against a defensive Frenzy, but both can be marked; on the left, the forward is vulnerable to Frenzy but the back cannot be blitzed and can't even be marked without a dodge or blitzing the forward, outside player first. (One from each pair could easily be started further back to support the ballhandler, or the pairs could go "double-deep", one directly behind the other, and leave some part of the wide-zone open.)

Some of the wide-zone players and/or the baby-sitter will Blitz, and some others can be moved early (or later) to help screen the ball before the pickup, and/or form the cage around the ballcarrier.



3) Specific LoS multi-blocking schemes

Race(s): any

For me, the key elements that vary my offensive setup are the defensive line and the team I'm coaching. Some of these LoS setups leave few players to support the backfield, so a reliable ballhandler is a must. Depending where the Kickoff lands, some multi-blocking may have to be aborted in favor of ball security.

If that's the case, always move players before rolling dice!

 -  -  -  -  -  -  X  X  X  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  o  o  -  o  o  1  2  3  -  W  W  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 w  w  w  w  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  w  w  w  w 

Vs a 101 (or 321) defense, I'll pick a blocking direction in advance (the above is setup to block LEFT). My blockers hit diagonally, Pushing laterally (along the line to the next block) or Powing diagonally back. Either way, the first two blockers (1, then 2) do not follow, so they do not get in the way of later Pushes that can turn into extra hits. "3" blocks last of the 3 main Blockers, with any o's blocking later if necessary, or (if not) then are free to blitz, cage or screen, as needed.

If facing a 321, a decision must be made to either block toward the wide zone (and have later blockers waiting there on the LoS), or back toward the middle of the field.

The pair in the wide zone away from the direction of blocking (W) can be moved off the LoS if desired, or (if high Str and/or Guards, and/or facing a weak opponent Race) kept to serve as blockers in case of Perfect Defense. The exact player skills, on both teams, matter a lot when making these decisions.

 -  -  -  -  X  -  -  X  -  -  X  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  o  o  -  a  B  -  a  B  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 w  w  w  w  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  w  w  w  w 

Vs a 303 defense, I put my main hitters (B) at the 1 and 4 columns, with assists (a) at the 3 and maybe 0 (this setup is designed to block left). They push or pow laterally and always follow, to assist the next block if needed but also to form a lock for the defensive linemen and a screen across midfield. The "o" positions are optional, depending on the exact situation, but recommended if possible.

 -  -  -  -  X  -  -  X  -  -  X  -  -  -  - 
 -  W  -  B  a  -  o  O  o  -  a  B  -  W  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 w  w  w  w  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  w  w  w  w 

Another 303 option is to put 2 hitters in the wide zones to box the LoS players in, and 3 centered to push that target in either direction desired, depending where the Kickoff lands. 3 center players allow up to 3 blocks on that one defender. Block with the Center players first, block "up and away" if it comes to a 3rd block, and do not follow that 3rd block, so that side pair can get 2 blocks if needed. (In theory, the large center "O" could be placed elsewhere, but that would mean either only 1 block on the center target, or deciding in advance which way to block.)

 -  -  -  -  x  -  -  x  -  -  T  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  b  a  -  a  -  b  B  F  -  w  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  W  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 w  w  w  w  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  w  w  w  w 

Sometimes if I have a Frenzy, esp vs AV9 or some target (T) that I want off the field but don't expect to easily hurt, or just to start them "way over there", I'll set up a line-surf. Again, the B guys throw the opening hit, but the F is the one with Frenzy. If the target is pushed all the way to the sideline (after w's block), the large W will Blitz for the surf. (Requires patience and luck to avoid a knockdown, but that's not a terrible thing. Maybe you can foul him.) ;)


4)

 -  -  -  -  o  o  o  O  o  o  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 0  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 9  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 8  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 7  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 6  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 5  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 4  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 3  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 2  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 1  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 G  w  w  w  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  w  w  w  w 



#) SAMPLE ONLY - COPY/PASTE FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION!

Race(s):

 -  -  -  -  o  o  o  O  o  o  -  -  -  -  - 
 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 0  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 9  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 8  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 7  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 6  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 5  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 4  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 3  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 2  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 1  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 
 G  w  w  w  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  w  w  w  w 




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Last update: February 2, 2014