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fork



Joined: Jul 27, 2004

Post 19 Posted: Jan 24, 2005 - 01:44 Reply with quote Back to top

Time to make up some good tactica for the Vampire team. Unfortunately I'm no native english speaker and my mastery of the language is nowhere near perfect. I guess I need input on format, contents, grammar
and anything else that might pop to our minds.
Master and Servant
Winning with Vampires

After the BBRC launched their rules updates making the Vampire team an official one it's about time we figure out weather or not they actually can win games. At first glance, the Vampires look like the dream team; six players with the magic combination of Strength 4 and Agility 4, and access to just about any skill they want. They even have cheap linemen, to better allow you to buy more Vampires at the start. But here is the first fatal mistake a vampire coach can make. If we start by a looking at the start-up that seem to be working for most people:

2 Vampires
9 Thralls
4 RR
9 FF
Apothecary

The reason behind buying only two vampires is that Vampire teams have a habit of consuming a lot of RR's. And since you won't have unlimited RR's in the beginning, two vampires will be enough to win you some games and just few enough to keep the risk of you eating your own team by yourself.

A question of Re-Rolls

By now I hope you figured that RR's are really the key to make a functional vampire team, without them you will crash, burn and die. So let's throw some statistics into it: The chance of suffering from OFAB is P(OFAB)=1/6. Taking into consideration that a half is eight turns long, you would se that a vampire consumes at an average 1.33 3 RR's per half. If we were to multiply this average consumption rate with the number of vampires on the rooster, and round it up, we would get a recommended minimum RR allocation. But then again this is the minimum level so you might as well try to keep ahead by one as long as you can.
Although it would take you forever to get six vampires on the team, since you would need to invest 1,000k into the project, you can see that they will consume an average of an RR/turn then. And since all Blood Bowl players are unlucky in critical situations we are realize that keeping six vampires on the pitch is probably a situation that one should not even try, unless...
The solution lies within the Pro skill. An extra 4+ RR per vampire and turn, wonderful! Let's do our math : The chance of suffering from OFAB is still 1/6 but now you have a 1/2 chance to re roll that dice. Then the chance of failure will be P(Failure|Pro)=(1/6)*(3/6) + (1/6)*(3/6)*(1/6) = 0.097. A pro vampire will then consume at an average 0.77 7 RR's per half. Wow, lots of numbers lets just make a table out of it.

#Minimum RRs/half any number of Vampires
#without Pro\ #with Pro
\ 0 1 2 3 4 5 6
0 0 1 2 3 4 4 5
1 2 3 3 4 5 6
2 3 4 5 5 6
3 4 5 6 7
4 6 7 7
5 7 8
6 8

I'm not saying that this should dictate your shopping list entirely but this table could give you a good estimate considering how many vampires to keep on the field at any one time.

Thralls

Thralls are exceedingly bad. Their poor movement of six allows elves run circles around them and their low armour value ensures that any team that really know how to block will eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Consider on top of that an agility of three, no skills and only general access and you got a player in league with Halflings.
When everything is said and done they still have their uses but you need to use them wisely. The main assignment for the thrall is to help your vampire win the day. Put them in position to lay out some tackle zones, assist a block, foul and all the other tedious tasks that you have to do but don't want to risk a OFAB roll to do. But the single most important task for the thralls is to act as a living target for the vampire's blood lust. By moving a thrall ahead of a vampire at all times you ensure that even if you fail you OFAB you still get to move the vampire where you want it and you wont suffer a turn over. This is important I say it again, always keep a thrall nearby to make sure that it goes instead of the vampire.
Now it should be pretty obvious that the life expectancy for thralls is pretty short, but I guess they really don't need that many skills to function and besides they are really inexpensive.
As for skill picks I would go for Block on most of them for a first skill, since it give them some kind of staying power and enable them to make an odd blitz now and then. I would say that about three Blocks are needed on the team and then it is absolutely necessary to pick Kick for one of them. A highly underrated skill, and since Vampire teams really are the masters of misery a good placement of the kick-off is vital if you want to have any chance of a rebound considering the very average speed of the team.
The second skill would be Dirty Player or Tackle or in a few rare cases Sure Hands. The reason for the last one is that although your vampires really are the better throwers you don't want to put them alone in the backfield. Thralls make fair throwers, they usually don't have to throw it very far anyway and your vampires need to focus on other things than throwing.
Third skill, even though you really can't expect them to get this far you should aim at making them as annoying for the opposing player as possible. A few Pass Blocks usually fits nicely in. Noting is as annoying as seeing half of the opposing team form a box around the designated receiver.
If you roll doubles go for Guard, Leader or even Diving Tackle if you feel a bit crazy. The basic idea is to pick skills that will stop the opposing team, or at least slow them down because your vampires aren't exactly fast.

Apothecary

Thralls die, that's just the way the Vampire team works. One thing that you might even consider a pro of the team since you have a dedicated apothecary for your worst players. It happens pretty often that when one of your worst players get injured of die early on in a game you will just let it happen, because you want to save that apothecary for the big stars of the team, god forbid should anything happen to them. So, now and then you end up never using your apothecary and rather play outnumbered. Vampires don't have that problem =). Ok, it would be a lot better if you were allowed to use the apothecary to heal you vampires. But that won't happen so remember to look at it from the bright side and use it whenever a thrall picks up a mng or worse.

Vampires

Vampires are the backbone, blood and soul of the team. With a strength rating of four and an agility to match that, the vampire really is a player to fear. Delivered out of the box with Regenerate and Hypnotic Gaze and with an exclusive access to general, agility and strength skill they have almost unlimited potential.
Unfortunately they also come with a complementary Off for a Bite' negatrait. Possibly the worst negatrait in the game since, not only does it cause you to loose the action; but it also force you to move next to a thrall and bite it or suffer the humiliation of ejection and turnover. The good thing about all this is that they are not loners so you are still able to RR their OFAB. So the way to cope with this is to have a lot of RR's, the Pro' skill and just make sure that you have a few thralls accompanying your vampires at all time. But this is already handled earlier in the article, let's focus on the strengths. The upside to the lack of apothecary on the vampires is more or less made up for with Regenerate. It's a 3+ instead of a 2+ but you do get to roll for all injuries, even those Badly Hurt you normally wouldn't waste an apothecary on.
Skill picks for the vampires can be hard as there are so many available, but these babies really need Block so don't hesitate to give it to them as their first skill. Unless you roll a double or a stat increase I think Block is always the way to go.
The second skill makes is a bit trickier. Dodge is always a nice second choice for vampires, but there are so many things to take into consideration. If your team is gaining some team rating and therefore are facing some tougher opponents you probably need that Tackle or Strip Ball more then dodge for some defensive viability. On the other hand a ST4, AG4, Block and Dodge player is really a good ball carrier. You might even give it Sure Hands further down the road to really bug those elves out of their tight panties. And then we have Pro, you need it no excuses. It's more of a question when to take it rather then if to take it. Pro got a 1001 uses you can RR bad blocks, failed dodges, gfi's, ball handling and foremost the feared OFAB roll ok six uses, but you really need it to keep the team going. I would go for it as the second or third skill, depending a little if you have enough skills on the other vampires and if you have lots of RR's.
I would accept all stat increases available to vampires without exceptions. Strength and agility is always good for obvious reasons, but movement increase could really be a blessing for this slow team.
Third skill for a vampire would be pretty much the skill it didn't take as their second skill. Dodge, Pro, Strip Ball, Tackle or Sure Hands. Although Sure Hans would only make it's worth on a Block, Dodge vampire designated as a ball carrier.


Playing with Positional Players

Vampire team is a team heavily tilted to the vampire side of the game so doesn't be afraid to use them. In many teams if you rely heavily on your positional players the rest of the team will be suffering and get stuck with no spp's. Guess what? Your thralls will be suffering even if you allow them to score. Sure, give them the opportunity to make a pass now and then, AG3 isn't all that bad. Put some effort into letting the tralls into about six spp's initially and leave the rest of the real work for your vampires. Face it, without vampires you are as good as dead anyway, so you may as well make them good.

A special notice on Hypnotic Gaze

Hypnotic Gaze can really be a wonderful skill. In some ways it really does compensate for the low movement. With a few vampires on the pitch it won't be hard to gaze your way through the biggest and strongest box there is, or squeeze in that extra assist when you really need it. Gazing a single player exerting tackle zones in critical places can really lower the amount of squares you will have to move. Even though your vampire starts the turn prone it can really be of some use anyway, just stand it up and gaze away. Can save more dodges than anything. Get it, learn to use it and use it well.

Advancing the Team

When you start picking up some cash your first purchase should be to get that tenth thrall since you need twelve players in the line-up. And ten is the magic number for thralls now on, always keep ten thralls on the rooster no more no less. Then save the money to make some real investments alternating between buying RR's and vampire, in that order. Again consult the minimum RR table above, try to keep your RR's at least one above. Though I recommend you to disregard the Pro skills in this consideration to keep some extra RR's, the thralls will need them too.

Conclusion
Is the vampire team any good? Well I think it is. Lots of people tend to shrug them off as yet another fun team as Halfling and Goblins. And they are fun to play, and they play really different from most teams, but a good vampire team takes some time to build. Expect to loose a lot during your stay at the lower team rating levels. Let's look at a little statistics from FUMBBL. This table show average touch down and casualty rating and win percentage for Vampire teams at different team rating levels.

*********** sorry about the bad format, it didn't work out here in the forums **********
*********** but the information is also available from FUMBBL stats.

TR: 100-149 TR: 150-199 TR: 200-249
Race TD Cas W% Race TD Cas W% Race TD Cas W%
Dark Elf -0.8 -0.7 30 Amazon 0.4 0.1 49 Elf 0.8 -0.7 55
High Elf -0.7 -0.7 30 Vampire 0.2 -0.7 48 Skaven 0.7 -0.3 54
Human -0.6 -0.5 30 Chaos D 0.4 0.8 47 Chaos D 0.5 1.1 51
Vampire -0.7 -0.9 30 Skaven 0.5 -0.5 47 Lizardmen 0.5 0.1 50
Chaos -0.9 -0.1 25 Wood Elf 0.4 -0.8 46 Wood Elf 0.6 -0.7 50
Goblin -1.4 -1.6 25 Elf 0.4 -0.9 46 Vampire 0.4 -1.1 50
Halfling -1.7 -2.8 24


As you can see they really perform horribly at the 100-149 level, there can be many reasons for this, such as a lot of players just trying them out for a few games and never getting the knack of them, or they may just be bad at this level leaving the community with a feeling that vampire team sucks. Only Chaos, Goblin and Halflings have a worse win percentage. When you get up on the higher levels you see that they perform quite well actually. They are not really winning by a lot, but they do win even though they seem to suffer quite a bit more casualties then their opponents, but that's no surprise right?
Glomp



Joined: Jan 04, 2004

Post   Posted: Jan 24, 2005 - 01:49 Reply with quote Back to top

Shocked

Can you do this for every race? Very Happy

Its pretty comprehensive.

The only additions/alterations I'd make are:

-Dirty player is a perfect skill for your first 2-3 thralls in a closed league format.

Cheap players (especially ones with a low life expectancy) make good foulers.

-Thralls aren't that bad. they're average except for one point of AV less. Not great players but not terrible either.

-I'd also debate the necessity of Pro early on.

With enough re-rolls Block, Dodge, Guard , Tackle and Mighty Blow are all acceptable skills to take before Pro,

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torsoboy



Joined: Nov 23, 2004

Post   Posted: Jan 24, 2005 - 02:20 Reply with quote Back to top

Good work! It's making me want to try out vampires as the next team.

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Uber



Joined: Mar 22, 2004

Post   Posted: Jan 24, 2005 - 03:46 Reply with quote Back to top

I've started my own Vampire team not too long ago and I'll tell you, that team can drive you crazy. My starting rosted was similar to the one described here, however I had an extra RR, no Apo and FF7. I'm up to 13 games(W/T/L - 6/3/4), but I can't say I've made any real progress. The problem is that the Vampires are really fragile. Any halfway decent player will know to get em down and foul em off the field.

To add to my turmoil, I've had two Thralls age on first and second skills and my other vampire aged on third. Meanwhile, my remaining Vampire got killed and I had to get myself two vamps. I'm hanging in there, but it's not easy. At least I'm up to FF9 and I have 6 re-rolls now. I just hope I can raise more cash in the next few games and get back on track.

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fork



Joined: Jul 27, 2004

Post   Posted: Jan 24, 2005 - 04:01 Reply with quote Back to top

inquisitorpustus wrote:
Shocked
Can you do this for every race? Very Happy
Its pretty comprehensive.

Oh, my thx Embarassed But I don't really know if I can do it with so many other teams. I guess I just saw the complete lack of any tactical discussion around vampires.

inquisitorpustus wrote:

-Dirty player is a perfect skill for your first 2-3 thralls in a closed league format.
Cheap players (especially ones with a low life expectancy) make good foulers.

Yes, Dirty player certainly is a powerful skill, but the problem is that noone is going to play your vampire team in FUMBBL if you have 3 DP as the first skills. And thoose that will play you have three of their own. But in a closed league where ppl more or less have to play you =)

But you should know that I'm getting more and more convinced that DP is the way to go with Vamps... they need some kind of edge... that don't require an OFAB.

inquisitorpustus wrote:

-Thralls aren't that bad. they're average except for one point of AV less. Not great players but not terrible either.

Well true enough, but you'll have to look at it relative to other teams. The Statline 6 3 3 7, is slightly below average. All other teams basic players (few exception, wont go in on them here) have a bonus on one of the stats or a skill, such as block (norse) or dodge (amazon). But these teams also have more positional players. usually eight of them, and around tr 150 they wont have to field more than 50% linemen, where as the vampire team is more likely to field 8-9 thralls at tr150. Two things make them bad, they are average worse than all other "real" linemen and they need to be played in a larger amount. Not that the thralls does some real good on the team. I just didn't want to get the expectations up for them. I think you'll have to get used to the though that they die all the time.


inquisitorpustus wrote:

-I'd also debate the necessity of Pro early on.
With enough re-rolls Block, Dodge, Guard , Tackle and Mighty Blow are all acceptable skills to take before Pro.

Well, early on and early on. I should probably rewrite that section. I guess it doesn't always make sense to pick pro as a second or third skill, not even I did that. If you only have two vampires skip the pro, if you get a third one you probably should give it pro as 2-3, by then you should already have a forth one... and so on and so on. The consensus among Vampire players seem to be that OFAB sucks big, and need to be corrected. I guess Pro is one of the easiest ways to make it not quite as bad - and you can use it for a lot of other good things.
skummy



Joined: Aug 02, 2003

Post   Posted: Jan 24, 2005 - 04:06 Reply with quote Back to top

The only thing I disagree with is buying an Apothecary out of the gate. I'd rather have an extra thrall than an apoth to start the game, becasue the thralls quite frankly are not worth using an apothecary on until they get skills.
fork



Joined: Jul 27, 2004

Post   Posted: Jan 24, 2005 - 04:09 Reply with quote Back to top

uber wrote:
I've started my own Vampire team not too long ago and I'll tell you, that team can drive you crazy. My starting rosted was similar to the one described here, however I had an extra RR, no Apo and FF7. I'm up to 13 games(W/T/L - 6/3/4), but I can't say I've made any real progress. The problem is that the Vampires are really fragile. Any halfway decent player will know to get em down and foul em off the field.

Well you are doing quite well compared to other players Wink But as all other teams I guess that if a lot of players die early on it take forever to get back on your feet again. Take a look at my Vamps they are (5/1/4) but atleast they got to keep the vamps alive so far.

uber wrote:

To add to my turmoil, I've had two Thralls age on first and second skills and my other vampire aged on third. Meanwhile, my remaining Vampire got killed and I had to get myself two vamps. I'm hanging in there, but it's not easy. At least I'm up to FF9 and I have 6 re-rolls now. I just hope I can raise more cash in the next few games and get back on track.

I would say that most of that is just pure bad luck in it's most evil incarnation.

How would you say that pro works on your Vampires, I see that you have tried giving them pro as their first skill sometimes.
fork



Joined: Jul 27, 2004

Post   Posted: Jan 24, 2005 - 04:14 Reply with quote Back to top

skummy wrote:
The only thing I disagree with is buying an Apothecary out of the gate. I'd rather have an extra thrall than an apoth to start the game, becasue the thralls quite frankly are not worth using an apothecary on until they get skills.


I know there are different opinions in this matter. I guess it's not really obvious if it is better with 10thralls or 9thralls + apoth. In either case you got 11players on the field. What makes me favour the apoth is that when that injury occurs, if you make the roll the player stays on the field, besides there could be a chance that that player got some spps, thereby making it more valuable than just a new player. In some cases I could definately see what you are saying, but I really don't think it will matter much. In either case lets hope that you get 40k out of the gate and then you will buy an extra player if you got the apoth or the extra player if you got the apoth. I guess is should be put out as an functionable alternate set-up.

And I guess I will have to ask you too, you seem to have some success with your team. What do you think about Pro on vampires. You picked it as a first skill with some, hows that working out?
Glomp



Joined: Jan 04, 2004

Post   Posted: Jan 24, 2005 - 22:27 Reply with quote Back to top

I love fork, he's special. Very Happy

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Grumbledook



Joined: Aug 02, 2003

Post   Posted: Jan 24, 2005 - 22:46 Reply with quote Back to top

man o man how do you manage to lose with vampires ;]

starting with an apoth is stupid spending 50k to save a 40k player off the bat when you can squeeze in an extra reroll which double up to a very expensive 140k

also don't overuse the vamps too much you want to get skills on as many thralls as you can, its easy to get spp on a vampire, once you hve some core thralls with block a dude with tackle maybe a guy with guard, you can set up about filling the team out

pick your fights, try not to get stuck in, strike grab the ball and get it out, scoring is a big help, gives you a chance to get more thralls back on the pitch from reserves and KO box (with av7 bound to happen with some) also means any players got stuck in a bad place can get moved back to some degree of safety

sure starting with only 11 players may be a risk but keep any guys with niggles or -stat and use them to bite on and LOS fodder, at 40k a pop you can soon start fleshing the roster out a bit more, certainly easier than saving up for a reroll whilst also still losing players
Darkwolf



Joined: Aug 02, 2003

Post   Posted: Jan 24, 2005 - 23:30 Reply with quote Back to top

I have tried vamps with the starting rooster (hehe, I love typos) outlined above. So far with some luck and great cherry picking that would make a Dane blush, I am 4-0. Early observations are: thralls are fragile, lost some due to niggling and death. First skill for my vamp was pro. It has paid HUGE dividends. I plan to take it first for all my thralls.

So far, for skills: doubles on a vamp- jump up; two +1ma on thralls.

For the future: surehands on a 7ma thrall to hand off to vamps up front. Pro, dodge on vamps for 1st and 2nd skill. I am trying to take skills that reroll actions to avoid turnovers and having the vamps fall over. I took jump up for a vamp for blocks and if I need to stand him up and he needs to get to a thrall, he can.

I bought a 3rd vamp first and added some extra thralls to have some reserves. Will get some thralls with kick and block and dirty player (hopefully) soon.

Good article, a lot of what you said I have been doing so far. Some notes of some in games strategy:

-Blitzing vamps last is a good way to avoid bad positioning. Move every vamp as if he is going to roll a 1.
-Make sure to dont eat a good thrall, keep the 0spp thralls near your vamps.
-Try to spread out the spps with vamps and thralls. Thralls throwing qps to vamps and mvps gets you some skills (and block) quick.
-You do need some cherry picking skills. Elves are good opponents vs. lower rated teams. Avoid gobs and flings at low TR. They will own your ass.

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Colin



Joined: Aug 02, 2003

Post   Posted: Jan 24, 2005 - 23:32 Reply with quote Back to top

inquisitorpustus wrote:
Shocked

Can you do this for every race? Very Happy

Its pretty comprehensive.


It already has been done, in the User Guide. http://fumbbl.com/help:RaceStrategy

There are still gaps, notably in the Vampire section: http://fumbbl.com/help:VampireStrategy

Keep it up - maybe this thread actually belongs in the User Guide section, if it is to become something like Wombat's superb effort on Lizardman strategies:
Forum thread: http://fumbbl.com/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=3317
Final result: http://fumbbl.com/help:LizardmenStrategy

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celas



Joined: Aug 02, 2003

Post   Posted: Jan 24, 2005 - 23:52 Reply with quote Back to top

Great post fork. I can offer only very little except my two cents on Vamps.....I like taking dodge early, sometimes instead of bock because it allows for great movement around other players to get a blitz with needing a reroll and also makes the move toward a thrall during OFAB less painful. How many of you have used a reroll to reroll a 1 on dodgeless Vamp who is trying to get to a thrall? That is true frustration. I like going without an Apoth right away and getting the extra reroll (per Grum's post). I almost always take kick first but especially so with teams that have either good agility and/or MV and can get to and catch a ball on a Blitz kickoff roll. Between their agility, and hypnotic gaze, this is a powerful move. Finally, don't forgot that the same thrall can be used multiple times for the Vamp's hunger. I have seen many Vamp players ignore stunned thralls, forgeting that they still have blood in them!

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fork



Joined: Jul 27, 2004

Post   Posted: Jan 25, 2005 - 13:14 Reply with quote Back to top

Good to see that there are a few concerned Vampire coaches out there. Not to seem as a complete coat turner I think I'll agree with almost everything said so far, except the part about 3xDP. It always make me feel a bit bad when I fould ppl, I just can't do it. Giving in to the fact that I'm not really a master vampire coach myself I realize that relying more on your thralls might not be a such bad thing after all.

The big disagrement though seem to ba about Pro. To Pro or not to Pro, thats the question? Maybe a more intense pro/con debate here. Parts of me see Pro as a necessary skill after all thoose failed OFABs, most of the time OFAB is a great inconvenience but not really disasterous as long as you keep thralls nearby. But pro would give you a "free" chance at a RR anyway, that certainly would make the vamp behaive more accordingly to your plan.

Another part of me dislike Pro in all of it's incarnations and never use them on anything accept Treemen and other BG who simply can't get any other RR's. In so many ways it is just a dead skill - _just_ a RR. Offering no other abilities that you might like.

That being said about RR's I might as well ask about you opinion on RR-skills (Dodge, Sure Hands, Catch, Sure Feet, Leader and Pass). I have this feeling that since the team really should be built with quite a lot of RR's to begin with, skills that just give you and RR just isn't worth it. That leaves us with Dodge and Sure Hands. Dodge obviously have it's uses. What about Sure Hands? A Blodge Sure Hands ball carrier would certainly be harder to stop than one without, but is it necessary?

Also, what do you think about taking a similar approach to thralls as many CD teams do(there are similarities between the players, at least on the paper Wink ), picking pass on a double and then go ahead and get sure hands. That way you can keep you vamps on the LoS during offence and still have a desent chance to move the ball forward.

Finally: Strip Ball or Tackle?
Glomp



Joined: Jan 04, 2004

Post   Posted: Jan 25, 2005 - 13:35 Reply with quote Back to top

Like I said 2-3 DP's would only really work in a closed league format, where you can take advantage of your cheap gen skill only players.

My main objection to Pro as an early pick is that its well...boring.
Your paying 110k for a player with probably the best statline and certainly the best skill access in the game. I'd like to be making them into something more impressive.

Again with a starting roster containing only 2 OFAB players and multiple re-rolls, an inconsistant skill re-roll is probably of limited use (despite its all round nature). I'd certainly consider dodge, since its probably going to be the thing involving D6s that you do most often. Other skill re-rolls can probably wait till late also.

Pro is going to be an essential early pick at some stage, but it should start to be chose early in conjunction with the purchace of additional vamps. I'd reackon 4 or more on the roster and you'd have to start looking more towards having it as an early or even a first skill.

One of the things I'm not too clear on though is: Is this the games first 8 re-roll team?
Most others do with max 5-7 (and usually 7 only at a push or with very cheap re-rolls).
Do these guys need the full 8?
If so what stage should people be looking to pick them up?

Oh and I'd take tackle on the vamps and (possibly) strip ball on the thralls, probably since that gives them nice seperate rolls and maximises the hitting power of the teams best players.

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