59 coaches online • Server time: 23:06
* * * Did you know? The most deaths in a single match is 8.
Log in
Recent Forum Topics goto Post Linux (Ubuntu) - can...goto Post GIFgoto Post Flings in the new ed...
Christer
Last seen 14 minutes ago
Khemri Tomb Kings
Star
Khemri Tomb Kings
Record
59/24/37
Win Percentage
59%
Shambling Undead
Super Star
Shambling Undead
Record
51/5/10
Win Percentage
81%
Overall
[R]
Star
Overall
Record
228/56/79
Win Percentage
71%
Archive

2019

2019-04-14 23:33:08
rating 6
2019-04-07 16:59:39
rating 6
2019-04-07 00:55:26
rating 6
2019-01-08 15:27:38
rating 5.9
2019-01-05 02:58:18
rating 5.8

2018

2018-08-17 17:28:31
rating 6
2018-08-15 00:05:40
rating 6
2018-07-17 20:17:40
rating 6
2018-06-28 14:28:08
rating 5.9
2018-05-23 17:55:10
rating 6
2018-05-10 22:42:46
rating 6
2018-05-09 19:42:28
rating 6
2018-04-30 10:44:23
rating 5.8
2018-04-23 12:33:02
rating 5.8

2017

2017-04-23 18:06:35
rating 6
2017-04-06 23:00:56
rating 6
2017-04-03 19:06:00
rating 6
2017-03-29 22:35:46
rating 6
2017-03-25 16:18:39
rating 6
2017-03-11 21:24:26
rating 6
2017-02-14 14:23:58
rating 6
2017-02-10 14:54:03
rating 6

2016

2016-11-30 00:04:21
rating 6
2016-11-27 23:40:04
rating 6
2016-11-17 18:18:07
rating 6

2015

2015-09-06 23:59:26
rating 6
2015-01-24 15:56:29
rating 6
2015-01-22 13:10:32
rating 6
2015-01-19 21:20:53
rating 6
2015-01-10 19:03:45
rating 6

2014

2014-09-09 15:35:53
rating 6

2013

2013-04-26 11:48:40
rating 5.7

2012

2012-12-18 17:37:29
rating 5.9
2012-11-18 18:19:19
rating 6
2012-09-25 13:47:16
rating 5.6
2012-08-15 12:31:53
rating 5.9
2012-08-10 23:12:22
rating 5.9
2012-06-27 22:53:48
rating 5.9
2012-04-10 11:56:38
rating 5.9
2012-03-07 13:52:00
rating 5.9
2012-02-16 16:59:56
rating 5.9
2012-02-04 19:00:41
rating 5.3

2011

2011-07-25 23:32:43
rating 5.6
2011-05-23 13:12:52
rating 5.6
2011-02-04 14:26:18
rating 5.4

2010

2010-03-26 11:38:41
rating 5.1
2010-03-01 12:16:53
rating 5.6

2009

2009-12-08 16:40:30
rating 5.8

2008

2008-09-11 14:47:19
rating 4.1
2008-02-26 21:16:54
rating 5.3
2008-01-21 01:01:58
rating 5.6

2007

2007-11-06 21:23:14
rating 5.1
2007-10-16 00:26:11
rating 5.4
2007-09-30 17:10:03
rating 5.4
2007-09-30 12:01:42
rating 5.3
2007-08-09 12:14:57
rating 4.5
2007-08-06 12:02:52
rating 4.9
2007-08-03 17:56:21
rating 5.4
2011-07-25 23:32:43
93 votes, rating 5.6
Balance, ruling and rules
Another month, another hot topic. This time around the topic is yet again about the rules of the site, and more specifically what's competitive and what's not. In order to be a bit more complete, let me back up slightly and provide some background.

There has been a.. let's call it a conversation.. regarding the Claw, Piling On, Mighty Blow (CPOMB) combination of skills pretty much since the start. Effectively, this combination of skills has the potential of taking players off of the pitch in short order and certain teams exploit this fact to its full extent. This in itself isn't really a problem, but it leads to some strange situations.

Before I get into the consequences, let me begin by stating that I believe the combination of skills is indeed overpowered and am of the belief that it should be toned down in some way. I will revisit this topic later in this blog post, and will instead focus on the topic at hand.

Since we have teams optimized to take advantage of the CPOMB combination, opponents to these teams (predominantly in the Blackbox division, where you can't really avoid them) are naturally trying to figure out how to best deal with the threat.

Recently, a certain coach took a particularly extreme approach to this and the staff team collectively decided that the approach was against the rules of the site and retired the team in question for this breach. This triggered a rather unfortunate blog posting by said coach where it was insinuated that the staff wanted to get rid of the person from the site. This, in turn, started a chain of forum threads on the subject and here we are.

The extreme approach taken by above mentioned coach was to, at the first kick-off, gather all players at the back of the field and at every opportunity try to hurt his own players and have the opponent push players out of bounds. The rationale here was that failing GFIs, dodges and taking crowd injury rolls are less lethal to the team than taking CPOMB blocks.

I'm speaking for myself here, but I am pretty sure the rest of the staff team agrees with me on this: This type of play is completely and utterly against the spirit of the game. I can accept that people try to bash their opponents and pay less attention to the ball in an attempt to decimate their opponents' numbers enough to score later in the game. I can accept that people start bashing their opponents at the end of the game rather than score when the end result is unchanged. I can accept that people play at varying skill levels. A play that seems obvious to me may not be obvious to someone else, and the point here isn't that I want FUMBBL staff to punish players who make tactical mistakes.

Playing in a way that harms your own team on purpose, however, is completely against the spirit of the game and this site. I simply cannot condone that type of play on a large scale. Sure, there are tactical reasons to sacrifice a player to gain a positional advantage. I have personally put players on the side-lines to sacrifice them in order to tie down two of my opponent's players for a turn. But running back and forth in an opponent's tackle zone? running your full movement and doing two GFI rolls hoping that your player falls? Huddling all your players into a corner at the start of a drive? To me, that's clearly behavior that needs to be discouraged. I'm sure there are those of you who disagree with me here, and feel that any level of meta gaming should be allowed - even taken to this extreme.

People in the forums are asking what the limit is, and the above should give you a hint to where I believe it lies. I simply don't believe it's healthy for the long-term to allow this extreme kind of meta-gaming which so obviously (again, obvious to me) violates the spirit of the game.

Someone also asked us to put the rule into black and white. "Show us where the line is". The thing with that is that it's not that simple. There are simply too many variables to have a full set of strict rules and hard lines to what is allowed and what's not. Also, even if we had this kind of "absolute ruleset", the staff would be considered extremely rigid and inhuman. The staff needs to have flexibility, because there are a few unique cases where a resolution according to the FUMBBL admin guide would be very inappropriate and unfair. Finding a strict line to the above is simply not possible, because the game is simply too complex for that. In this particular case, the coach did something that is simply blatantly strange and I can't even imagine that the person in question never even thought that it might be a bit extreme to play in that fashion.

Something that seems to be commonly forgotten is that the FUMBBL staff is built up by enthusiasts, much like yourself. They simply wouldn't be spending so much time helping out with the site unless they loved the game and wanted to give their support. I am continuously amazed at the effort the staff puts in to keep this place running smoothly, and it's something I can never thank them enough for. The point I'm trying to make is that everyone in the staff team does their best to make calls that end up being the best possible in terms of keeping the site a fun place to visit. The staff isn't trying to push their own agendas onto people (that's my job :) ), and are genuinely trying to make it a better place, for others as well as themselves. This fact is not often considered by the people who end up on the sharp side of a rules call.

Every now and again, we end up with these crucade-type situations where a group of coaches question a ruling a staff member has made. I find it excessively unfair to the people who put in hours on end and make a real effort trying to keep the community running smoothly to go on these tirades regarding a particular ruling. In this case, I was directly involved in the issue and am directly responsible for the ruling and the consequences administered. I've been around for long enough to be able to handle this over-the-top reaction to something which in reality isn't that big of a deal. The reality is that a single team was retired. Is that really worth the uproar which has been displayed on the site over the last few days?

I'm not saying you can't disagree with the rules or rulings I (or the rest of the staff) makes. I don't mind you guys questioning my decisions, or disagreeing with me. I truly don't mind that people disagree or believe I make the wrong calls. I'm pretty sure I've made a few bad calls over the years here as well, so at times you guys have been right. What is hurtful, though, is the fact that a few people take it upon themselves to push these issues to the extreme and I end up having to respond to false allegations, read hundreds of posts and argue with coaches in person regarding censorship or whatnot. I end up spending hours on end dealing with excessive reactions to an issue that's really not as huge as it seems to some individuals. Time that I feel could be used in a more constructive manner.

I'm sure a number of you will be complaining about this attitude of mine as well, but at least you have some insight into my thinking. If that doesn't suit your personal preference, so be it. I accept your opinions and I expect you guys to accept mine.

So.. Let me go back to the CPOMB balancing I mentioned at the top. Essentially, what it comes down to here is a combination of skills that is effectively overpowered. This much is clear to me (I'm not as stupid as you may have thought, eh?). However, it poses a dilemma:

FUMBBL has always intended to be a site which follows the rules as closely as possible. The idea is that staying true to the ruleset means everyone's on the same board, playing the same game. If someone didn't know about a rule, that's a matter of not having read the rulebook closely enough and not a matter of not having seen the house rules page of the site. This was a problem for me in OLBBL back in the days, where they had an enormous list of various house rules and I desperately don't want that for FUMBBL. It's hard enough to get into the site and community without having to spend more time reading house rules.

On the other hand, CPOMB is clearly overpowered and in need of a modification. Those of you who are in touch with the greater Blood Bowl community know that a change to Piling On is something that "would have been on the list to test" for LRB7. However, LRB6 (or CRP actually) is likely to be the last official Blood Bowl edition to see the light of day in the foreseeable future. We have, however, already made a small nudge away from CRP into LRB6 (which mainly means we're using three extra races).

My dilemma here is whether or not to push towards this hypothetical LRB7 or not. One problem is that we'd end up having a pretty unique ruleset in the Blood Bowl community, as the tabletop scene doesn't run into the CPOMB issue to the extent we do here. On one hand, I'd welcome a change while on the other hand I don't want to open up the proverbial flood gates for new house rules suggestions. It's a shame the BBRC was dissolved without a chance to resolve the rebalancing issues that are becoming obvious on FUMBBL. In my opinion, the ruleset was primarily designed for an environment like FUMBBL, but there are some issues that prevent that from being a reality. CPOMB being overpowered is one of them.

This has probably ended up being my longest blog entry to date, so thank you for reading to the end of it. I'm sure you've had enough of my rant by now :)

Before I end, though, I want to ask you to NOT name and shame people here. I will delete ANY comments mentioning the offending coach's name, or linking the match in question. This rule will remain unless the person writes a post here, stating that he or she is the one I've mentioned. I know most people know who it is already, but I want to keep this in a generic setting and not turn into a flamewar. Thank you for understanding.
Rate this entry
Comments
Posted by pythrr on 2011-07-25 23:37:20
Thank you Christer for this wonderful and most sensible post. I hope it will lead to more informed discussion on behalf of many people in the forums.
Posted by gjopie on 2011-07-25 23:43:30
Blimey, you know its a serious post when pythrr gives a serious answer!

Thanks for all the hard work you and your team put in to the site, Christer!
Posted by SvenS on 2011-07-25 23:43:33
Well put indeed.
Thx again for all the hard work here and for keeping it up despite likely being extremely frustrating at times!
Posted by Tomay on 2011-07-25 23:47:03
Well constructed.

I would like to see something done about ClawPomb, but believe its possible to push things too far, especially without extensive playtesting. Some of the proposed rules are OTT IMO. One thing we at SWL would love to see is the option for leagues (and therefore divisions) to alter the rules slightly, mostly in regards to Clawpomb (potentially if it pans out to be dominant in league) and especially to spiralling expenses (where we would like to have the option to kick it in at different TV's for different divisions).

Thanks Christer for your input and open mindedness.
Posted by Snappy_Dresser on 2011-07-25 23:49:13
A well written and well put post. However I stand by my original objection that unless there's a line there's no way to know if you're breaking it. So the only sensible thing to do is keep playing however you see fit and if the admin taps you on the shoulder and tells you you just broke the rules so be it.

This objection has nothing to do with whether or not C-Pomb is broken. I personally haven't seen it as too big a deal, but will allow that maybe my personal experiences are abnormal.
Posted by spiro on 2011-07-25 23:51:23
fumbbl forum is dead ; ]

ps. wow o-O after 8 months Christer said that CPOMB is overpowered, i can't believe.

Congratulations, however i think, that CPOMB is not overpowered in the new rules generally, but at a new client heh.
Posted by Azure on 2011-07-25 23:54:40
The is no line. "I know it when I see it."
Posted by uuni on 2011-07-26 00:00:10
Thank you for the consideration and the information that something is planned for the change.

If I may be so bold, I would like to remind, that the remains of BBRC mentioned that the pairing system of Box may be in the core of the problem.

The pairing system has been discussed before, and the main change that has been suggested has been the widening of the TV difference limit from the current of 15%. One thing that could be considered would be to have the pairing to somehow prefer a clear underdog-overdog -pairings.

I have got the feeling that the overdog-underdog-setup was a setup that BBRC was more familiar with when designing the rules. Perhaps such setting would encourage TV maxing instead of TV fixing, which has been said to be near the core of ClawPOMB-problem. Rules manage TV maxing with Spiralling Expenses and player attrition, but rules don't seem to manage TV fixing.
Posted by Marcellus on 2011-07-26 00:08:54
A very well written and reasonable post.

I agree that it would be impossible to draw a line in the sand -- the game is indeed to complex to allow it.

I also fully understand and applaud the reasoning behind keeping the site on the rulesets (no house rules), but I would also agree that CPOMB is overpowered and should be addressed.]
Posted by blocknroll on 2011-07-26 00:15:48
The NAF sanction the 3 new teams so I'm not sure we're outside what is considered the "proper" rules. And personally I like that. I get nervous when people suggest an LRBFumbbl, maybe I'm just an old-fashioned kinda guy. Love to all. - Block
Posted by JellyBelly on 2011-07-26 00:16:19
Awesome blog post Christer. It's very interesting to hear your thoughts on the recent events and also that you think there is an issue with CPOMB. I'm curious as to what sort of remedies you might consider trying for it in future.

Many thanks for all the hard work that you and the admin staff put in to making Fumbbl such an awesome site - it really can't be said often enough! :)
Posted by f_alk on 2011-07-26 00:27:23
"I'm speaking for myself here, but I am pretty sure the rest of the staff team agrees with me on this: This type of play is completely and utterly against the spirit of the game."

This is scrub behavior and totally uncompetitive.
http://www.sirlin.net/articles/playing-to-win-part-1.html

[B] and [R] divisions are house rules, they are full of more metagaming - because it happens outside the pitch. You can't metagame on the pitch (apart from exploiting bugs) as the rules of the game are not "metagaming" yet they dictate what can happen on the pitch.
"blatantly strange", "spirit of the game" ... then comes a good part about staff being human beings ... and then "a site that follows the rules as closely as possible".
The rulebook says nothing about playing competitively. Even if you then try to keep your team competitively for the next drive, by choosing the lesser of two evils for your players, you risk being to be punished for following a houseruling to an extend that the rule-keepers don't see as in the "spirit" of the rules.... The "spirit" of rules is never "following the rules as closely as possible".

This is one of the not so good decisions, IMHO.

Posted by Overhamsteren on 2011-07-26 01:07:09
Thanks for the post, clears some things up.

Although I don't think retiring a team should be devalued as a small thing, a 48 game team is a huge investment in time (for a lot of people at least I would believe).

Now my impression of staff on this site is that they are helpful, friendly and fair so I am not afraid to suddenly have a team deleted without warning. (well also I have never moved a player to the corner to get surfed to prevent damage no matter how dire the game was)

What I think has been a bit too unclear in this case is how many times and how strongly the coach was warned before being punished quite hard. It leaves a little feeling of unsafety for my precious teams.

Looking forward to a clawplomp tweak. :)
Posted by robocoyote on 2011-07-26 01:15:49
I would like to say that the staff here is great and have always been helpful to me even in my first days on the site, when i broke a few rules, because i didn't know any better and didn't read the site rules.
Posted by nin on 2011-07-26 01:46:36
It's allways surprising to me how clear and well thought looks everithing you write.

Still, this time I disagree with the decision. If the tactic was intended to win the game, then there is worse metagaming (infamous "cherripicking" and "grieffing" are at least in the fringe of the site rules)

That said, I'd like better to see a middleground from CRP and LRB7 in the form of Team Strenght for BlackBox scheduling (it's a houserule, but one about league management instead of game mechanics).

Aniway, thanks.
Posted by Jeffro on 2011-07-26 01:53:56
Excellent post. And I read all of this one, as opposed to some of the forums I post on :)

As a suggestion towards a move to an hypothetical LRB7, could we nominate coaches from the site whose opinions and judgement we respect to form, say, a new BBRC? A FUMBBLRC, as it were?

It'd be "house rules" in a way... but much more democratically. A long process, no doubt... but a nomination of representatives and then a nomination of rules changes. And we let our "peeps" decide without needing a say from every Larry, Moe and Curly - but without it being a Dictatorship Decree.

Just a thought... I appreciate all the thought that you and everyone involved with making the site "go" put in.
Posted by Kinks on 2011-07-26 01:57:32
Thanks for a quick response on the topic. I hope you don't think of me as "a few people take it upon themselves to push these issues". I genuinely wondered what your stance was as some of the moves seemed similar to my own.

Really pleased you are considering LRB 7.

PS. I hope you don't mind I quoted your blog in the forum thread for people following it. (presumably that will be the end of the thread)
Posted by PainState on 2011-07-26 02:00:57
I think my record of 147 responses to my blog on Global Warming is a left wing hoax might get a serious "run" with Christer steping into this CLPOMB discussion.

As to the actual blog

I agree with Christer.
Posted by Colin on 2011-07-26 02:44:44
The issue of moving the ruleset on is a thorny one; with JJ seemingly out of the loop entirely (probably on orders), the community is contemplating taking this big step upon itself with no oversight, much as things were in the dark days before 4th edition relaunched the game.

How do we keep it 'official'? Should it be the NAF, former BBRC members, senior FUMBBL and TFF reps, or as Jeffro suggested, a committee formed from delegates of each? Maybe the chairperson could be elected by this committee, to replace the absent JJ? They could also settle upon a timetable of rules reviews as the previous LRBs had. This, I rather favour.

FUMBBL earns it's place at the table as it is a significant portion of the Bloodbowl world, and we have a unique insight - our perpetual nature and rapid game turnover allow us to push the rules to breaking point and beyond, as has happened with the Clawpomb combo.
Posted by awambawamb on 2011-07-26 03:03:14
I may not be a top coach, but I cannot agree with you. Freedom of doing whatever you want while it's in the rules it's something not even a Mastercard could buy away from a game.

I'm quoting a famous coach:
"[...]If it's within the rules, whats the point of moaning about it?"

Let the coaches move the players as they want, not as BB maniacs would like to. If I have a Mv7 runner with the ball in hand and just one square from the opponent endzone, why i could waste 5 squares of movement doing a small dance of victory on the squares just before the endzone? It's my right to use my player's resources as I like. Even the ability to move 2 extra squares with the risk of a snake's eyes.
Posted by Timlagor on 2011-07-26 03:17:17
If you can't/won't make the rules clear (and that's certainly a valid position) then I do think it behooves the admins to give [b]warnings[b] whe coaches do things that are in that unclear area. It's not that big a deal really (and in this case I think the coach's analysis was distinctly faulty) but I do have an opinion on it ;)
It's not the first time I've felt that a warning from the admins would have been the appropriate action.

I do think a FRB (Fumbbl rulebook) could be considerably better than CRP (enough to make it worth having).

Posted by Mr_Foulscumm on 2011-07-26 03:35:41
LRB FUMBBL!
Posted by Catalyst32 on 2011-07-26 05:03:31
Jeffro... Fumbbl has always been a Benevolent Dictatorship with Christer as Dictator. I think it is best that the site remain a Dictatorship so long as Christer is that person.

I trust that he has read or will read all of the suggestions on how to fix this problem and will pick the solution he thinks will work best. I also expect he will ask a few coaches he respects for their opinion on which solution they see as best.
Posted by Jeffro on 2011-07-26 05:36:50
.. and I'd have no problem with Christer making the decision, as I believe him to be as level-headed as anyone associated with FUMBBL. I was throwing out an option in case he didn't feel like being the figurehead. I's jes stormin' wif mah brain... ;D
Posted by Wang on 2011-07-26 06:10:59
I haven't watched the game that is mentioned, but if a coach wants to do those crazy things I don't think there is anything wrong with them or against the spirit of the game (whatever that is), but if in doing so they weren't trying to win, then it goes against the spirit of the competitive divisions.

Having all my players lying down through failed dodges and use of Wrestle might be interesting against Clawpomb. The Clawpomb coach could start fouling, but if he gives up positioning then my players would get up, and if a few of his get ejected then that's all good.

If I had the time and motivation I would try this with Zons. Wrestle on everyone, Jump Up on those who can take it. Probably make for some dull matches though.
Posted by JellyBelly on 2011-07-26 08:36:49
@Arktoris: iirc, the loss of aging was said to be balanced by the nerfing of the apo. Also, Claw is now available to several teams as a normal skill pick. So, there are some other balancing factors apart from CPOMB.
Posted by Purplegoo on 2011-07-26 08:43:28
It’s a really difficult, slippery slope, changing rules in the main divisions to our own tastes. I’m a little disheartened to see it’s cropped up in Big C’s mind, a bit more disheartened to see him use the word ‘overpowered’ and to start the train of thought that because we have the 3 extra teams (for instance) we’re already changing the rules a little so why not tweak here and there.

It’s a slippery slope. PO will become the Eye, will become fixing Ogres, will become Space Marines, and suddenly we’ll be screwed. Even if you just nerf PO and do nothing else, how do you justify that with years of ‘playing to the rules’? Who’s call is it that xyz is overpowered? Who changes the rules?

I agree with 99.9% of C’s blog, but I get a really uneasy feeling in my stomach when we start talking about a FUMBBL LRB or LRB7 ‘test’ rules suggested by (remember) people that no longer have say in the rules of the game, and infact are out of time with GW full stop. I think it might be the thin end of a wedge, and I’m not even sure we’ve proven Claw/MB/PO is ‘broken’. Remember we’re still playing without a full rule set.

I’m a bit worried, all in all. Sorry to hone in on one section of a large blog, but there it is.
Posted by Keith-Lemon on 2011-07-26 09:16:15
All the Chaos coaches will start to panic now lol, get rid of PO and job done :)

Great post C and great work with the site thanks.
Posted by Calcium on 2011-07-26 11:42:28
Time for a LRBFumbbl for sure. This game has evolved enough that a modified ruleset here will make no difference to the game as a whole, and it will certainly enhance the game here.

As for a better BB ruleset? Who better to create that than FUMBBL?
Posted by MadTias on 2011-07-26 11:45:16
Thank you for all your hard work and for taking the time to explain you pov, Christer. That goes for all the rest of the staff too. You guys rock.
Posted by Ehlers on 2011-07-26 12:22:59
Great post Big C

@awambawamb
Putting all your players on your own end zone to get surfed will not ensure you a victory. Making a GFI to get a TD does. So to me it seems you agree to Big C post.

I have myself violated the rules of one of my teams and I was approached by one of the staff to not do it againt. I agreed that I would not and nothing was done. If the said coach began arguing against and not follow the request, then it really was the right decision. If not, might be a too strict calling.

But if we allow this kind of behavior of putting your players on the end zone to just get surfed because the other has a Claw-MB-PO guy, it is just really the same as conceding. Actually it is better for the opponent, because he can farm SPP for his team.

And if I remember correct this has happened before in the past of "agreeing" and farming SPP. Also strict actions was taking back them. So the action this time by the staff should not come as a surprise to anybody.
Posted by Niebling on 2011-07-26 13:25:07
Great post

I really love that fumbbl is true to the rulebook, I was away from the site for almost 7 years and it was nice to still know the rules when I returned :) I hope fumbbl will always stay true to the official rules.

That being said, their is need of a CPOMB fix, and they are a few other fixes we all could need.

The only right thing to do, is to bring back the BBRC in one form or the other and make an official(uofficial) LRB7

GW has frosen the rules, but the community is still the heart of the game, make a LRB7 that every major BB community can accept, keep the changes small, and this could work.

As the larges BB liga in the world fumbbl (and you Christer) could play a major role in seeing this done.

Cheers
Niebling
Posted by maysrill on 2011-07-26 13:27:29
If we do consider a rule change, here's a simple one that wouldn't even require change to the client code:

If you have Claw, you can't take PO. If you have PO, you can't take Claw.

Someone along the way realized that Grab+Frenzy was just a great combo; too good to be allowed, in fact. We could do the same with Claw+PO.
Posted by bobafettsmum on 2011-07-26 13:46:36
There has never been a "perfect" set of rules for Bloodbowl hence the reason the rules have been updated so many times. Therefore I think it prudent to stick to the current ruleset as the site has always done. Playing a game of [R]anked & [B]lackbox should be just like playing a TT game that sticks to the current rules. However I think it would be cool if [L]eague was able to turn certain rules on/off as this would help to bring even more variance to different leagues on the site.
Posted by Ehlers on 2011-07-26 13:55:15
@Frankenstein
4) “Spirit” of the game:

Black Box is merely Ranked where you cant pick your opponent.
So if I in Ranked accept a challenge from a Claw-POMB team, it is ok that I put all my players on the end zone to get surfed? Do highly risky dodges first instead of throwing blocks?
Just because you cant dodge teams in black box, does not mean it is oki with not at least try to win from Turn 1.

I am glad that Christer and the stuff punish this, else we would see in the next majors where teams simple have farmed SPP and Gold to make the best possible winning team. And then we will get millions of threads complaining about such things.

The Black Box is just so easy to get games that coaches are too lazy to use Ranked to get their games. Here you can dodge and avoid those Claw POMB teams. (While some might consider Ranked dead, it could also be because coaches are more lazy than they fear the Claw POMB teams.)
Posted by Frankenstein on 2011-07-26 14:43:21
There are at least 4 more or less entirely different issues related to the topic:

1) Clawpomb:
Actually, not Clawpomb in isolation is the issue, kicking vs. heavy bash is, especially when losing the coin toss.
Anyway, if you really want to mess with Clawpomb then Jimmy’s suggestion to just remove PO is probably the best way to go, as that couldn’t really be considered a houserule since other skills haven’t been implemented either.

2) The desire that people play competitively and/or play to win:
Nowhere do FUMBBL rules mention that playing competitively means playing to win. Apart from that, merely drawing a game can sometimes be considered a huge accomplishment.
If you want to reliably make winning worthwhile and desirable then implement the alternative CRP-ruling for FF (would not even be a houserule as CRP mentions it as a perfectly legal alternative).
Beneficial side-effect: Purplechest would regain access to a decent staple price for Minors.

3) Warnings:
There is no way for coaches to properly track former rules violations.
I do not know whether any staff-member is familiar with DotA-League, but I’d strongly recommend having a close look at their penalty points system. FUMBBL might benefit largely from a similar system, which most likely could massively facilitate the staff’s work if implemented.

4) “Spirit” of the game:
Now this is a totally flawed concept that doesn’t make much sense and therefore needs to be disregarded entirely. To possibly force coaches into the employment of an inferior strategy merely to match an arbitrary perception of some kind of (true) “spirit”, which would have to be totally subjective and based on ambiguous opinions anyway, is a recipe for disaster. You can’t honestly expect coaches to risk their chances of winning a (tournament) game just to comply with an expectation of how the game "should" be played. Playing competitively and/or playing to win occasionally can constitute the opposite of playing within the aforementioned “spirit” of the game. Seriously: players (after being pushed on the pitch against their will by a merciless coach) trembling in terror in front of an army of bloodthirsty Clawpomb-mutants and then running around in panic, cowering in fear or even trying to hide in the stands, that fits perfectly with the fluff. So do chaos teams not bothering much about ball-nonsense as long as there are targets left to hack, slash and decapitate. So do teams playing cautiously before an upcoming major they intend to participate in. Anyway, to disallow a valid competitve strategy or play just because it is perceived as "lame" or "cheap" would open a can of worms which could not be contained.

Fouly was totally spot on when he claimed that “Unless it's actual match fixing I could give a rats ass how other people approach the game”.

F_alk was right too, when he properly described that dubious “spirit of the game”-perspective as a scrub approach towards gaming in general.

To really enforce a “spirit-of-the-game”-policy would probably require some kind of mind police anyway.
Posted by RandomOracle on 2011-07-26 15:05:26
"I simply don't believe it's healthy for the long-term to allow this extreme kind of meta-gaming which so obviously (again, obvious to me) violates the spirit of the game."

I think this way of thinking can be dangerous. A lot of people would say this - and have said so - regarding stalling. Other people think that minmaxing TV is against the spirit of the game. You could even make the argument that pushing your own players forward for a one-turn TD is against the spirit of the game.

On the other hand, I do have experience playing against this specific tactic in question and it is true these games were far from my favorite BB experiences. I think there's a possibility that the site could be hurt if people were to consistently concede the first half whenever they lost the coin toss. In the end, I'm still of two minds regarding the issue and don't know the best course of action.
Posted by KenThis on 2011-07-26 15:23:09
I am a notorious pixel hugger.
I play fumbbl for the team development side of things.
This leads me to two things.
While on the surface this may suggest I think nerfing clawpomb would be a good thing actually it makes me feel a little uncomfortable.
Altering the ruleset because someone feels that a particular combination of skills is overpowered, (even if that may be true and even if that person is Christer) seems like the first step to destroying fumbbl.
What happens when PO is nerfed and then people start huge forum discussions on how something else is "overpowered" will these things be changed too. Once a precedent is set then whenever there is uproar about a particular skill or tactic then obviously calls will be made for more houserules.
As a community we already have 3 main divisions, of which ranked has few clawpombs (cos of the scarcity of getting games with the combo) and in league a commissioner already has the power to introduce house rules by banning the picking of such skills.
Besides although CLAWPOMB is effective it is not an immediate game winner just like khemri dp teams in lrb4 didn't always win.
If people do not like facing clawpomb teams they have several options ranked, league, making their own clawpombs. outlawing the combo just seems like people want all the benefits of quick games without any of the drawbacks of playing in "pure competitive division of box". In essence these people want to "cherrypick" in box.

As for not playing "competitively" or not playing in the "spirit" of fumbbl this to me seems that its too much a grey area for comfort. what one coach believes is competitive another may feel is conservative and yet a third may feel is suicidal. I have played a lot of games and I have always attempted to protect my players as much as possible.
I have occasionally risked 5+ dodges to blitz ballcarriers and succeeded. I have thrown -2 die blocks needing double pows. I have refused 2+ dodges or 1 die blocks because doing so would have unnecessarily risked injury to my players, even though had they succeeded they could have potentially helped me win games. Like the majority of fumbbl I don't know the ins and outs of the current situation. But unless it was a Pre-game agreement of how one coach was going to play I'm not sure I disagree with the tactics. I myself have started a drive sacrificing the los and setting up deep to protect the team as much as possible and possibly make the opponent score fast, leave himself open by getting over confident or to risk having players sent off for stupid fouls. Giving someone an easyish quick touchdown to get the ball and give you the chance to lay down some hurt seems far more sensible than throwing bodies in front of a clawpomb stall and not having enough men to compete second half.
the particular match replay does indeed look extreme but since the grey area is so large who's to say the coach in question wasn't making legitimate tactical choices to deal with clawpomb. he may have very easily given up 3spps for the td but he was not making cas spps very easy to come by.

If I'm down to fewer than half the number of players than my opponent I'll often keep my men prone for a drive unless I can see I realistic way to get to the ball. does that mean I'm not playing "competitively" or within the "spirit of fumbbl".
Unless its cheating and by that i mean pre-game agreements, anything that goes on on the pitch should be legal if its not a bug exploit.
should I dodge my star av5 gutter runner through 4 5+ dodges for a -2die ballcarrier blitz to try to stop the turn 8 score or run the same star gutter runner away from the action so i can make a 1 ttd attempt. Those decisions are judgement calls.
Just like setting up all mens safe in corner and minimising potential blocks if it potentially leads to more players next drive or for the opponent to get overconfident/bored and score early...If the offending coach had won the match 2-1 because his opponent had scored early or because having all his players second half he was able to clear the pitch and score twice would we all be now congratulating him on winning tactics.

I doubt that this rules infraction was a one off or that it was a first time punishment, but the possibility that it was leaves me feeling very uncomfortable. to think that somebody could report a drive of mine as not being "competitive" or against the "spirit" of fumbbl and then that admins could decide that it was and retire my team without discussing it leaves me very uneasy.
However I think we've all been around long enough to understand that this was probably not how it went down.

so to recap
notorious pixel hugger thinks nerfing clawpomb is bad idea and that with the exception of cheating anything done on the pitch should be allowed.
Posted by JimmyFantastic on 2011-07-26 15:33:14
First of all thanks for everything, seriously your site is awesome.
There are a couple of things I have to say on this subject.
1. I disagree completely with house rules or hypothetical LRB7 rules, so how about just not allowing people to take the PO skill and letting people who already have it pick a replacement skill?
2. I can see your point with ###'s match as it seemed he was using this tactic to save his team rather than produce a favourable result.
However if I were to use a similar strategy and win or draw the match, would that be deemed competitive?
Posted by Irgy on 2011-07-26 16:17:32
I agree with your argument about black and white rules to an extent, but I will add one thing - if there can't be clear rules, there should be some degree of leniency to compensate. If people can't know whether they're disobeying the rules or not they should be warned before being punished.

Not commenting on the specific case as it looks like I missed all the fun on this one.

Anyway, keep up the good work Christer. Your overall sanity and common sense is a big part of what keeps this site so awesome.
Posted by WhatBall on 2011-07-26 17:48:13
Great post.

I am 100% for some changes to move to LRB7. Some others mentioned the BBRC, and I would indeed welcome them to the discussion as well. If you can get the BBRC in agreement then you can likely get the NAF, and the rules may be pushed through universally as unofficially official, much like the 3 extra teams.

And no JJ veto to deal with! ;)
Posted by Corvidius on 2011-07-26 18:08:07
Just wondering, did people complain as much about the old claw/razor sharp claw rules? Genuine question because i ignored online forums back then.

I like the fact that Fumbbl currently sticks as closely to the current rules as programming or development allows. I also appreciate that League allows for customised rules (to a degree) and love the open nature of Ranked and that Box means i'm virtually guaranteed a game against an equally skilled team. These are all good things to me.

Something else which is cool is that Fumbbl can currently say "look, here's a massive amount of stats regarding the current rules." something that would be lost with changes which i think would be detrimental to Blood Bowl as a whole.
Posted by Dhaktokh on 2011-07-26 19:47:04
I really like the post. I dont have a problem with how it works at the moment, since I am trying to use new tactics (ie. fend) to get around those players, and its a fun challenge for me.

A thought I like to share to you Christer though, if you are serious about doing "houserules" in the future: (which I personally dont think is needed)

When I started playing lrb6 here I hadnt played this version before. I misunderstood the rules and thought that all teams except underworld had to roll doubles for mutations (teams that could get mutations ofcourse). I liked that thought, but obviously the mutations arent as good as in lrb4.
Perhaps put the double on po and/or claw and the 30k instead of 20k for those skills, on teams that need less firepower?
Posted by Tarabaralla on 2011-07-26 21:58:58
Hello big C!
I'm quite embarassed for my first speech with FUMBBL Emperor :D

But I'd like to point out a pair of things i didnt agree with. I hope it should help to make things clear:

- LRB6/CRP was NOT developed for FUMBBL-like systems. It is developed to run short/medium leagues in a closed environment, completely different from the endless open divisions here on FUMBBL.

- CPOMB seems overpowered but... do we have stats to say so? Looking at Koadah's Blackbox stat tabs from time to time seems that non-clawmbpo races are still rocking

- Seems that the problem is more about Blackbox than Ranked... why? Maybe some TV modifier for the B scheduler will fix it without rule changing?

Said that, moving FUMBBL to an experimental LRB7 will doom it in the long run: accepting rules' problems is already hard with an official rulebook, with an unofficial one will probably move many people away.

My 2 cents,

Tarabaralla
Posted by RandomOracle on 2011-07-26 23:39:25
Tarabaralla:

If by saying that LRB6/CRP was "developed to run short/medium leagues in a closed environment" you mean it was designed to work in open, perpetual leagues, then yes, you're quite correct. Check JJ's designer notes in the rulebook:

"The way that I tried to get
round this problem was by creating an ‘open’ league format. This places
the emphasis on arranging matches and playing games firmly on the
shoulders of the coaches themselves. In this way enthusiastic coaches
can play as many games as they like, or rather, as many games as they
can find opponents to play against. Meanwhile, less enthusiastic coaches
can play fewer games, as and when they like."
Posted by Brainsaw on 2011-07-27 20:01:30
1) Blood Bowl Spirit, Tactics and Rules
Playing vs a Coach, who just wants to bash and clearly doesnt play to win.
Is this still with the spirit of the game?

Is using a overpowered Skill Combo against the Spirit of the Game?

If disallowing a defensive Tactics which was clearly covered by the Rules, Why not forbid the aforementioned one?

To judge such a tactics as not being with the Spirit of the Game is one thing.
Trying to discourage the Usage by penalizing the Coach with Team Retirement is another.

IMHO this Penalty goes way too far. And as you can see by the reactions, i am not the only one, who thinks that way.

BTW IMO Coaches/Teams who use a obvious OP Skillcombo are against the Blood Bowl Spirit.
Can you please retire all those Teams, as a Penalty?
I will then happily reenter playing Major Tourneys, Smacks and B!

2) Fumbbl Rules Adjustments/House Rules
The same moment i decide to play BB on fumbbl, i have to accept, that one guy can (and in fact does) change Rules!
This is true for the Decision to allow some experimental Rosters, as well as implementing Metavalues or dis/allowing Skills.
So what would be the difference, if ClawPOMb is changed? If playing fumbbl, i just have to accept that. Pretty easy.
Who knows how many coaches would join fumbbl or play more Games, exactly because Christer decided to correct that Problem?

3)Dilemma
And again one very important Question to me is:
Would Christer rather prefer to loose Coaches/Games/Site Activity by sticking closely to the Ruleset, than do adjustments to fix a proven existent Ruleflaw?
What does more or less Harm? What Condition has to be met, where a Change could be in Order?
Posted by EvolveToAnarchism on 2011-07-28 00:43:26
Brainsaw,

Incredibly well said comments. It would be interesting to hear a rebuttal of your views by the site admins because I believe a significant portion of the FUMBBL community feels very much like you do.
Posted by Flix on 2011-08-14 09:16:16
I wrote a Post in Talk Blood Bowl (TFF) in Jun 02, 2006, about the plans for LRB6 and said CPOMB will get a problem. After 5 Years i guess everyone should know their is a CPOMB Problem. And of cause there are much more Problems in LRB6 that have to be fixed. But GW frozen the rules, and Blood Bowl needs their LRB. I guess, if the old Rules Comite, Fumbbl and the NAF work together to get a LRB7 ready, that would bring us all a LRB7. Even Galak made some changes with the new Experminatel, after he ignored me in 2005.

But what about the ideas of getting TV Bonus for each Player #12, #13, ... of 30 Points, to limit Teammaxing
Posted by Pirigin on 2013-02-06 17:17:17
Me personally does not think that the named tactic for surviving cpomb is wrong at all. The reason for condemning the tactic as wrong stated by christer is: "Playing in a way that harms your own team on purpose, however, is completely against the spirit of the game and this site." In my opinion the coach clearly does not intentionally harm his own team, he just tries to save his team from harm. By getting people into the KO and reserve dug outs.(with a small chance of them going into other dugouts. Nothing wrong with it in my eyes, since the intention is not the one Christer stated but rather the opposite.