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jdmickleburgh
Online
Ogre
Super Star
Ogre
Record
66/60/274
Win Percentage
24%
Goblin
Legend
Goblin
Record
51/39/99
Win Percentage
37%
Overall
[R]
Star
Overall
Record
214/138/398
Win Percentage
38%
Archive

2018

2018-09-23 07:56:20
rating 6
2018-09-03 17:11:32
rating 6
2018-08-30 09:10:36
rating 5.4
2018-08-10 19:50:40
rating 5.3
2018-08-02 17:35:29
rating 6
2018-07-22 18:31:23
rating 5.4
2018-05-08 07:23:26
rating 6
2018-04-24 08:05:29
rating 6
2018-04-15 09:59:46
rating 6
2018-03-31 17:43:04
rating 5.9
2018-03-06 16:43:34
rating 5.7
2018-02-24 20:30:14
rating 5.7
2018-02-14 18:18:57
rating 5.7
2018-02-04 09:26:54
rating 5.9

2017

2017-12-14 18:28:46
rating 6
2017-01-15 12:47:28
rating 5.4
2017-01-01 16:52:33
rating 5.5

2016

2016-12-23 10:57:42
rating 5.4
2016-12-14 17:19:26
rating 6
2016-12-11 11:55:58
rating 5
2016-12-01 18:06:37
rating 5.3
2016-11-22 17:23:50
rating 6
2016-11-19 16:28:35
rating 5.6
2016-10-30 13:48:58
rating 6
2016-10-19 16:48:37
rating 5
2016-10-11 16:11:15
rating 5.9
2016-10-04 21:35:14
rating 6
2016-09-26 18:56:08
rating 6
2016-08-01 11:11:08
rating 4.9
2016-07-01 19:49:29
rating 5.5
2016-06-15 18:54:05
rating 5.7
2016-06-09 17:22:31
rating 5
2016-06-01 18:58:13
rating 5
2016-05-08 10:54:58
rating 5.4
2016-04-30 21:50:15
rating 5.7
2016-04-26 08:38:00
rating 5
2016-04-25 00:07:04
rating 5.4
2016-04-21 18:39:51
rating 5.3
2016-04-21 14:45:33
rating 5
2016-03-13 12:26:48
rating 5.2
2016-03-07 09:27:31
rating 5.3
2016-02-02 18:50:13
rating 4.8
2016-01-31 17:43:07
rating 6
2016-01-30 01:10:36
rating 5.6
2016-01-22 12:56:13
rating 5.4

2015

2015-12-29 13:43:59
rating 5.5
2015-12-21 18:17:48
rating 5.1
2015-12-18 19:46:31
rating 4.3
2015-12-16 09:49:59
rating 5
2015-12-10 18:10:36
rating 4.4
2015-11-18 19:17:32
rating 5.4
2015-11-07 09:32:14
rating 4.3
2016-03-27 13:41:27
31 votes, rating 5.3
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Box
Much is written about the box and I must confess the reputation of the place kept me away for quite a while. I played a bit previously but had only managed ~50 games up to the start of last week. Why did I stop playing? Can't really tell you. But I can tell you why I started again and why it's possibly the best decision I made on FUMBBL.

I enjoy playing lower tier teams and novelty builds. I'm not the only who enjoys that and by no means do I have exceptional teams but I like them a lot. I like some of my players as more than just "pieces" in a game. Both of my trolls in my goblin team for example are closing in on the top spots for most of the active lists (and even topping a few). The entire goblin team is mostly built around the trolls and helping them be the best they can be. Likewise, my ogre scientists have a whole back story of discoveries in the world of particle physics and play each game as a "collaboration" with the other team to try and discover (kill) the elements in the periodic table (snotlings) by smashing things into the pitch and seeing what emerges.

This kind of backstory for teams is really common on here, more so than in any other online gaming community I've been part of. Even my mordheim bands pale in comparison to a large portion of the teams on here. And it's great that people put that effort in. It truly makes FUMBBL be THE place to be for bloodbowl.

But it was after logging onto gamefinder with my goblins, turning down the usual offers from dwarf teams with TV 1.5x my own that I realised something. I'm not actually playing blood bowl anymore. All I'm doing is artificially driving up the number of spp on some of my key players. I'm not challenging myself as a player. And I think the previous matches played by my goblins shows this. The usual suspects of elves, rats etc. Yes, the goblins have played every race but it's been ages since I accepted a game from anything that wasn't in the whitelist of teams I'd play. I got fed up of checking how many tackle/PO/MB players a team had before accepting the offer.

In summary, I couldn't be trusted to play the game. Instead I was playing the system.

One of the leagues I play in is the excellent Lineman Only League and after 2 seasons of underworld gobbos and a troll I decided to try the exact opposite and run dwarves this season. And I've been having a blast. But it got me thinking. Why don't I play dwarves normally? Because (and I have nothing but word of mouth and my personal xp here) they don't get games due to people like me not playing vs them. That's a shame because I'd really love to run a dwarf team. Enter the box...

So I made a dwarf team in the box, slightly unsure what to expect as I'd never really played them before and you hear stories of what teams you find in the box. Here is a breakdown of the first 16 games I've played:

1. Halflings (yes, my first game in the box, with dwarves, was vs flings).
2. Chaos
3. Vampires
4. Lizardmen
5. Lizardmen
6. Wood Elf
7. Skaven
8. Goblin
9. Norse
10. Norse
11. Lizardmen
12. Dwarf
13. Skaven
14. Human
15. Nurgle
16. Undead

After 16 games I've played against 12 different races (of which 3 are ARR races) and 15 different coaches. The lizardmen team that I played against twice was also basically an ARR team, only have 1 saurus and a krox. I've also played against "unusual" builds (no offence) - skaven with no gutter runners.

And not only has the variety of coaches been great, but the quality of them has been excellent and the conversations I've had while playing have really added to the fun of the game. Exactly the same experience I had in ranked (rather unfairly this was a fear of mine as the chat during game is often more important to me than the game).

Due to the success of this, I've recieved word that the Large Ogre Colliders, the team of ragtag physicists last seen hurrying away from a burning lab, have been spotted boarding a boat and setting sail onto the sea. They ARR coming. Something about "opening up new avenues of research" and "maritime law not covering snotling rights".

So in summary, I'm going to be moving the majority of my ranked games into the box. I'm gonna keep the ranked teams around for when I fancy dipping my toe back in (or if I learn to stop picking) but mainly box is where you will find me.

There was also a really good thread on the forum yesterday which explains a lot of other reasons that coaches have for playing box. Check it out: https://fumbbl.com/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=27733

Thanks for reading
Rate this entry
Comments
Posted by Timetis on 2016-03-27 13:55:27
Welcome! Have fun, it's [mostly] great!
Posted by Verminardo on 2016-03-27 14:30:37
Hear, hear! :-)
Posted by Bloodfeast on 2016-03-27 14:32:17
Agree with Everything above since Im basicly doing the same. In the Leagues I love the planning how to beat my next opponent, Days before the match will take Place. Ofcourse the plans often is thrown overboard during the game but anyhow ;)

In ranked, it is not as fun. People awoid some mathcups and it can take forever to take a match and then often people conceed if it going the wrong way during the match.

The box is as great as League, but different in the way that you never know what opponent you will get until you matchstart, and that is equally fun as the planning Days Before the match.

But, I know some people Thinks the opposite and like the ranked just because the reasons I dont like it but thats also whats great for fumbbl, there is something for everyone.

Leagues, tournaments & strange matchups mixed up with legendary teams, noob teams and stuntys.

This site is just , great!!!
Posted by bghandras on 2016-03-27 14:59:13
BBox is great.
Posted by DeathJester74 on 2016-03-27 16:03:44
I look forward to shredding your teams and making you fear playing in the box!
Posted by Rbthma on 2016-03-27 19:22:42
Awesome dude! Some coaches forget an integral part of the game - fun.

@ Bloodfeast: I avoid mathcups at all costs! Tastes terrible! :D
Posted by Throweck on 2016-03-27 19:24:50
Great blog! Hope to see you on the pitch some day soon.
Posted by King_Ghidra on 2016-03-27 20:18:03
i agree, box is great fun with dwarves at low tv. i would recommend it to anyone. glad you are challenging yourself.
Posted by jdmickleburgh on 2016-03-27 22:17:45
Thanks for the comments all. I look forward to playing all of you (even you deathjester, you sweet cuddly teddy bear).

Must watch out for those mathcups though, I hear they can cause food poisoning if not cooked properly.

HE and Ogre teams are both one game in. HE managed to turn a win into a loss with a double skull on turn 8 and ogres stomped a mudhole into a dwarf team, causing more casualties and winning 1-0.
Posted by Miceycraft on 2016-03-27 22:27:08
Nice post :)

Glad you are loving the box. Hopefully I will get to play some more games in there with you.

(I'm hoping your game against my flings helped you get into the box more; its not all chaos. You definitely converted me to playing some League of Linemen - just finished my first game and it was an absolute blast)
Posted by JellyBelly on 2016-03-27 23:54:46
I like the Box too - it's a different sort of challenge to Ranked and you never know what to expect :-)
Posted by footballolb16 on 2016-03-28 02:09:43
Enjoy! It's always good to have a variety of box/ranked tams for things like tournaments (if you partake), but also if you want a game, depending on time of day, it's easier to find one or the other. If you activate for the box and don't match, you can spend ~10 mins searching for a [R] game before re-activating... Usually, that gets you a game of some kind.
Posted by paradocks on 2016-03-28 04:20:45
Can't agree more with the sentiments. When you're just playing to get spp its a very very boring game. Most of my favorite own teams are awful but that's what makes them fun to play
Posted by gansus on 2016-03-28 08:49:23
Your experience is pretty similar to mine when i got to try blackbox. Not that i was afraid of facing the "big killers" but much more worried about not having fun or coaches to be absolutelly competitive only oriented.
But instead of this, i found that i did not have to wait to get a match (well, problem arose when you were not scheduled, but... impossible to solve totally), that coaches in general were talkative and nice to play (so i was having fun no matter if i lose or won) and, very important, i was facing any kind of teams.
Posted by keggiemckill on 2016-03-28 10:01:54
I enjoyed your Blog sir.
Posted by extremegrazedknee on 2016-03-28 13:34:40
I agree with what you say but in addition I notice that the first few games in Box were with varied opposition. Once my TV exceeded about 1450, 60-70% have been against CD's, Lizardmen on Dwarfs. Given the number of races available this is a poor reflection. I am guilty of cherry picking in ranked, but feel that given the extraordinarily one dimensional strategy of out and out bashers, and the fact that I am the opposite kind of coach, I gain nothing in terms of a strategic experience by accepting those games. I like to challenge myself against bash races but not about coaches who are simply trying to accumulate casualties. Winning a game 2 or 3-0 and losing 7 or 8 players against a coach who simply wanted to surround my players isn't worth it. Coaches should be trying to WIN. Blackbox is a good way of forcing me out of my comfort zone, but it is exploited too. Where are all the high ranked elf teams? I guess FUMBBL is a harmless outlet for people's aggression but the game is far richer when people take a balanced approach. Being smashed up and a coach winning 2-1 from good stalling is fair. When coaches develop their teams without recourse to ball moving skills for more than 1 player on the roster is just ridiculous. My attitude is that the FUMBBL world is full of coaches with a fairly neanderthal mindset (as well as super clever and cutthroat coaches) and its a great challenge to beat them, despite the inbuilt imbalance of playing a specialist dodging team against a team full of tackle.
Posted by happygrue on 2016-03-28 13:43:09
Good read! I find myself playing about 50-50 ranked box. Partly due to being in the NA timezones, where sometimes one is dead and I can find a game on the other. Also partly due to getting frustrated with ranked or box and going to the other for a bit to shake things up. The box has it's own frustrations but when they don't get you down it is really great!

Large Ogre CollidARRs FTW!
Posted by WhiteAlien on 2016-03-28 14:31:08
I always remember the laughter that came from your goblins and snotlings being flung into into the crowd!
Posted by Rabe on 2016-03-28 16:27:24
Great blog entry! Makes me wanna play in the Box again. :-)
Posted by andrewsuber on 2016-03-29 00:18:17
Wait until your teams don't have rookie protection, anymore. Then your thoughts may be different. Wait until your 31st game with a team, making you eligible to face any TV value.
Posted by bghandras on 2016-03-29 14:27:00
Then the team may either (or both)
- die on the pitch
- earn a glorious win
And you can start having the same cycle, while having immense fun.

1 out of 30 is not a bad ratio to be honest.
Posted by fidius on 2016-03-29 17:13:11
Box's reputation is largely thanks to only a couple bad actors who play too much. When the incentives are unbalanced you generally need regulation, but on a free hobby site no one wants to be the regulator. It is what it is -- which is usually fun, occasionally infuriating!
Posted by andrewsuber on 2016-03-30 09:25:50
Blood Bowl is a game that requires courage.

If you aren't ready to face a team with a TV 60 or 70% more than yours, don't develop it on BB.

Your team has a rookie protection period of 30 games, then in each game after that it can conceivably face anyone.

So, it's a race to develop a team that can survive.

There are a couple of ways to combat this:
A) Don't play teams that have more than 30 games. You'll face plenty of CPOMB, but the matchmaker will keep your TVs close.
B) Play a durable team like dwarves conservatively
C) Play CPOMB
D) Play a team (like Goblins or halflings) where there are no star players to kill
E) Play ranked

I play Black Box. It's a challenge. It can be incredibly frustrating at times. Here's a match to illustrate:

https://fumbbl.com/FUMBBL.php?page=match&id=3787216

I conceded out of cowardice after he downed 600,000 crowns worth of freebooters and broke my Troll's neck on the first turn.