10 votes, rating 2.8
The block and blitz actions are the backbone actions of this game, positioning your players in the right place in the hopes of bashing them down into the dirt and off the field from an injury.
There is nothing inherantly wrong with either of these actions, but they become distorted when player development and team management come into play. Skills like block, tackle, mighty blow, claw, frenzy, and piling on create a meta where some players and some teams dominate the longterm divisions through above average attrition and only normal ammounts of scoring.
There isnt anything wrong with this playstyle, but it outshines every other playstyle in high team value, long term league formats. Sure there are exceptional teams that dont rely entirely on this playstyle and survive, but their lifespan is always less than the bashing average.
I don't think any adjustments need to be made to the block or blitz actions themselves, although I can think of some changes to make, because this would change the core of the game. I would instead take a look at the skills involved with blocking to see if any changes could or should be made.
So here are all the skills I think should be discussed when talking about blocking.
Block - As it works now, effectively negates one negative result of block dice, good for both offensive and defensive purposes.
Does this contribute to a problem? This skill is available to almost every player on a normal skill, and ends up being a skill most players get, it doesnt break the game, but it becomes a default choice for many players, so it becoems something many coaches dont want to go without.
But could any changes actually be made to this skill without making it either useless or no longer a 'must take' skill? Probably not, so leave it pretty much the same.
I would however postulate one small change, if both players involved with a block/blitz action have the block skill, and the 'both down' result is chosen, the coach rolling the block can choose to knock both players prone as if neither had the block skill.
Wrestle - Effectively negates one negative result of block dice, good for safely making players prone. Defensively it can be a liability if you don't want a hole in your line to open up, but would atleast take the other player down too.
This skill isnt seen as a team-wide liability to get for every player, it doesnt break things substaintially, doesnt need to change.
Dodge - Defensively negates one result of the block dice, but can be negated by Tackle.
As far as the blocking utility of this skill goes, I think it should remain the same.
Has movement utility that I will look at later.
Tackle - Offensively negates the dodge skill.
For blocking utility, this skill is fine.
For movement utility, I will look at this again later.
Mighty Blow - Adds a bonus to breaking armor or causing injury
I don't see much problem with this skill, it becomes a default choice for many players, but isnt all that bad by itself.
When combined with other skills it sure can cause problems, but I think fixing those other skills is what needs to be done.
Frenzy - Allows a second block to be made if 'pushback' is the result chosen from a block.
This skill doesnt really cause much problems, it isnt eccential but adds nice flavor, available to pretty much everyone.
Piling On - Allows you to reroll armor or injury dice when you place your player prone.
This skill has gone through some changes over the years. It used to add your strength to results, then it used to add +1, and now it allows a complete reroll. This skill is what has really changed the 'kill' meta of the game.
Since its a strength skill, generally you will see this only on players that have normal strength access, or really lucky players who have rolled two or more double skills.
I would like to see this changed to have these effects.
If used during a blitz action, you may add your remaining points of movement to the armor roll against your target.
If used during a block action, add +2 to armor roll.
If used during a foul action, adds +2 to the armor or injury roll against your opponent.
I think these changes would make it a very useful skill on high move players for blitzing, maybe even as a first 'double' choice on non strength teams. It also adds some utility to teams that might rely more on fouling than blocking to deal damage.
Claw - Effectively reduces opponents to armor 7 when blocking them.
This skill makes high armor targets effectively the same as low armor targets, while having no effect against low armor targets. This skill makes the '+AV' statistic increase less attractive. I think there must be some way to change this to keep it attractive, not kill low armor too much, but also not make '+AV' a useless choice vs claw.
This skill used to be rare, and was +2 vs armor, now its very common, useless against low armor, and too good against high armor.
Change to just +1 when making armor rolls.
Dauntless - Allows you to raise your strength to match the opposing player.
You have to roll higher than the opponents strength for Dauntless to work, I think a simple change of rolling equal to, or higher, than your opponents strength would make this skill much better without being too powerful.
Horns - Adds +1 strength on a blitz action.
Seems fine to me.