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Though they are a lightly-armoured team, this is offset by all their players starting with Dodge. Amazons are best employed playing a fairly bashy, running game.
Amazons are one of the best rosters at TR 100 due to their cheap rerolls, cheap players and the ability to have the combination of Block and Dodge (known as "Blodge") on their first skill rolls. Their Blitzers begin with this combination, and with access to Guard, they quickly become a thorn in the side of most teams. Amazons are a particularly strong defensive team, as other teams struggle to break through their lines.
In a word, Tackle! Dwarfs in particular are the nemesis of Amazon teams, and you will notice that Amazons avoid this matchup at all costs. This is the main reason why Amazons are not quite so successful at higher ratings, as most opposition teams will have more Tackle players in their ranks.
Their other main weakness is the lack of pace. With a maximum of Ma 6, and only two catchers, Amazons rarely go for the lightning-fast two-turn touchdown, preferring to run the ball in over three or more turns.
The Amazons are one of the most interesting team to develop. If you're going with a long-term strategy as described in the Roster section, you'll want to develop your linewomen as quickly as possible. It's very easy to get them their first skill with two TDs or a simple completion if they previously had a MVP. You should try to get a few of them in scoring position and then dump them the ball with a quick pass from your thower or a hand-off. If you can save your re-rolls for the catch, it should make scoring with them relatively straightfoward.
Be warned however that this tactic will get you ridiculously high team strength at your linewomen will be worth a lot in comparison to their TR value. It also makes this team one of the best in term if value/strength ratio. A well developed TR 150 Amazon team will beat an Orc team of the same value any day.
Linewomen: Block, Tackle, Pro
Doubles : Guard, Frenzy, Side Step, Dauntless
Stats Increase : Take all.
Block is really the only skill needed for these linewomen, but Tackle and Pro will give them some extra punch. Tackle is of course better against agile teams, while Pro is useful against stronger teams to re-roll your blocks if you only get a push. The combination of both makes for some pretty bashy girls. It can be worthwhile to give kick or dirty player as a second skill to one of them, depending on your preference. You might also give one sure hands to act as a backup thrower, especially to one with an Agility increase. Since Amazons are a bit slow, I would take movement over a skill on a double 5. Guard is the first skill that comes to mind on a double, but you may wanna choose Frenzy, Side Step or Dauntless to add some variety.
Throwers: Sure Hands, Accurate, Block, Safe Throw
Doubles : Strong Arm, Sure Feet, Nerves of Steel
Stats Increase : Take all, except Strong Arm on a double 5.
The first pick goes to sure hands to prevent you from wasting re-rolls on pick-ups, which is very important at the beginning. Next comes accurate, for extra range and then safe throw or block depending on what suits your style best. Strong Arm is really good since it make you thrower very reliable at longer ranges. I also recommend sure feet as a possibility since extra movement will help your thrower get in shorter range and reduce your chances of failure.
Blitzers: Guard, Mighty Blow, Tackle
Doubles: Stand Firm, Frenzy, Dauntless
Stats Increase: Take all, but maybe Stand Firm on double 5.
It has been said before, but let me say it again: you can never have too many guards. Now that we got this out of the way, it's not a bad idea to get one of the blitzers tackle early on, before your linewomen start getting their second skill. It's nice to have at least one guy who can reliably take care of those annoying gutter runners or wardancers. Stand Firm is an excellent skill for dodgers, since it completely removes the chance of causing a turnover on a failed dodge, which is almost priceless. Stand Firm also works very well with Guard, making those assists literally stick unless they can knock you down. Again, Frenzy and Dauntless can be taken for the sake of variety, but really Stand Firm is THE trait for those Blitzers. On a double 5, I'd be really torn between Stand Firm or the movement and would probably choose based on what I already have on the team and diversifying.
Catchers: Block, Side Step, Diving Tackle, Sure Feet
Double: Guard, Jump Up, Nerves of Steel
Stats Increase: Take all.
Block comes first for self preservation. Catchers usually go deep and wait for the touchdown pass, which makes them common blitz target. Next, I like to have Side Step, which makes them more annoying and keeps you from being pushed back out of scoring range. It's also good defensively to protect the sidelines. Sure Feet will also give you some extra speed for those two turn drives when you need them. Diving Tackle is another good defensive skill and works well with Side Step. Catchers are definitely not the center piece for Amazons, which makes their picks on doubles more questionable. I think Nerves of Steel is better for ag4 players, who can use it to reliably catch or throw of tackle zones, but this is more of a desperation tactic at ag3. I also think Jump Up isn't as good since because of low av, you're likely to get stunned or worst, reducing the usefulness of the skill. So by default, my pick goes to Guard, because well you can never have too many guards and that also works well with Side Step. For catchers, I would also choose movement over skill on a double 5, since they need all the speed they can get.
Here we look in more detail at Amazon fundamentals.
Should you load up the LOS, to prevent rushes? Or hold back and offer up sacrificial lambs?!!
The key considerations here are whether or not the opposition has Block/Tackle, and your risk appetite.
If they DO have Block, but not Tackle, it can be useful to put your Blitzers on the LOS - this will greatly reduce the likelihood of a knockdown. However, any such knockdown could be more costly! Therefore, for the risk-averse, keep your Blitzers safe.
If they DON'T have Block or Tackle, then it is usually fun to go with Blitzers on the LOS. Many coaches get frustrated when they 'waste' Blocks on pushbacks, and will often gang up/burn their blitz to finish the job! This is great for you, as it detracts them from their overall strategy! The best of all is when you encourage them to use their Big Guys, who are usually without Block/Dodge, to attack - there is a fairly good chance they'll end up downed!
Having said all that, if the opposition has Tackle, keep your blitzers away - and alive!
Sometimes doing less is doing more! This particularly holds true for Amazon teams, who thanks to Dodge are superb at defending blocks. With defending regular block there's only a 1/6 chance of your player alone going down! AND you have the possibility of a turnover! Whereas if you block yourself, the possibility of failing doubles. When dodging, the chance of a fall is 1/9, but that will also lead to a turnover. Therefore, being blocked is less risky in many respects than either blocking or dodging.
So look at the position on the field!
For example, let's suppose one of your players is rushing for the endzone with the ball, and your other players are supporting her but in tackle zones.
What to do?
It's tempting to try and dodge free of the opposition and run down to support the ball carrier. The logic being, by dodging you restrict your opponent to a single blitz, and that will have to be on a covering Zon and not the ball carrier.
However, consider what happens if you fail the dodge - your player goes down, ending your turn and opening up a line to the ball carrier!
Whereas if you stay put, your player gets blocked - so for starters the blocking player can do nothing else this turn. They may even go down, ending their turn! Or a pushback (most likely), which still keeps your player in the way, and then the blitz has to be burned on them!
However, we cannot be dogmatic with our decisions. Consider another position:
Your opponent is rushing for the endzone with a STR 4 player. You have one Zon who can make the blitz, but you also have a Zon in a tackle a zone. What now?!!
Let's say you just blitz with one Zon - the chances of a knockdown are a tiny 11%. You'll push them back if lucky, then they blitz in return, get at least a pushback and advance down field for the score.
What if you use your other Zon first? You dodge, which is 89% certain, move round to the endzone side of the ball carrier, then use your blitz. Now the chances of toppling them soar to 33%, and even with a pushback you can still end up with two Zons between them and the endzone.
In sum, look at the situation carefully - do not just action your players automatically!
The Zons should be capable of stopping almost any team, thanks to their combination of Dodge for all, Blodge for Blitzers and reasonable speed. Let's see how!
Rule Number 1 is the following - first visualize the position you would like your team to be in at the end of the turn! This is the most difficult part and is what many coaches forget about.
How to do this? Well, look at it from the other player's perspective. Analyze how you would try to score if you were them, and the situation should become clearer. We are all naturally better at exploiting weaknesses than covering them - so use your brain from a different perspective! Using this technique we may come up with something like this:
Once you see that, we need to consider how to GET to that position. Inevitably this will involve some risk, and this is where things get complicated. You must consider that something may go wrong, and attempt moves in such an order that a downed player doesn't ruin your defense. This is tricky! Because, taking risk into account, your optimum view of the end position will most likely need to change to a more 'realistic' one.
It's not the case that risk-free moves should always come before risk. In some situations, an open player may be required in their starting position in case another player goes down, and they can't be moved until the outcome is clear:
In sum, don't be dogmatic! Consider what you want the shape to look like, then start moving toward that goal, one step at a time. Assume every risk is going to fail! You will then create a very robust defence.
And remember, you don't always need to move players to be succesful! If a player has to block you, then they can't do anything else that turn.
One more thing - the football can be thrown! If you're defending desperately and the football happens to be fumbled, get someone in there and throw it away! This will costs your opponent a lot of time...
Here are the key points about attacking:
1) You don't have to go forward every turn! Keeping the football safe is your number one priority. If there is no gap to run into, go sideways, stand still, or even backwards, to create more space on the field for your players!
2) Don't commit to a wing too early. Try to stay central until you cross the halfway line to force your opponent to man both wings. Her blocking potential will then be much-reduced.
3) Use wide players to draw defenders away from the ball. Quite often an opponent will put two players on your catchers to prevent the potential of throws - good! These players are doing a superb job if they enable you to have a numerical advantage elsewhere on the field.
4) Don't throw the football!?? I have found that using tactic (3) coupled with sudden wing rushes is the most stable way of scoring with Amazons, before you have real throwing and catching skills. You can head for a flank once over halfway, with excellent support from your Blitzers. This is a very safe way of scoring! I've used it time and time again. And if the flank gets closed down, switch to the other one!
Congratulations on your choice - you've opted for the best team in the game! And of course, you can populate your team with stunning beauties - and then even your losing opponents will be happy to have played you!!!
Dwarves are seen as the nemesis team to Amazons due to their usage of Tackle. They therefore warrant a separate strategy section, as many Amazon coaches struggle in these games.
The key aspects here are speed and potential. Before we look at those, let's consider the general form of the offence.
First, as always, secure the football. Cover up the ball before you attempt to pick it up with around 3 players. You'll have plenty of time to move the football later on! You should form a cage around the ball carrier with up to 6 girls. You don't really need too much depth at the sides as the Dwarves aren't quick enough to get round there! Also space them out with gaps between, as the Dwarves aren't going to be dodging inside! You should aim for a wide front with 3-4 players, with reserves at the rear to assist blocks/break free later on. Set up two pairs of player on the wings, usually a Blitzer and one other. These girls are going to spread out and give the team potential...
Now, you're all set - you can NOW try and dodge the LOS girls back a single square, or more if you desire greater ball protection. Move the ones you can afford to be prone first! If you can't afford that, leave them alone - they prevent their marker from moving towards the football.
Although you have a cage, it is a quick cage relative to your opponents! It will easily be able to speed to either flank - but don't commit until you're at the halfway line. One cunning option is to hold the cage way back in your own half until you see how the Dwarves are developing their defence...this also leaves more open space behind their front lines. And once the cage breaks for it (see below), you can use any spare girls to tie up the Dwarves by standing alongside them.
Your catchers should be spread about the field. This presents quite a dilemma for the Dwarves! They can either double mark them, in which case they'll find that they can't catch & break the cage well, otherwise they will not, in which case a throw will leave them stranded (see later).
Also, as the Dwarf coach will be blocking whenever possible, there will be inevitable turnovers and chances arising from those.
You play a waiting game, carefully advancing your cage and then dodging/blocking with your Catchers, until your opponent commits to their defensive stance - double marking catchers or blitzing. You also see how the play develops between your catchers and their cover.
If they double mark, use your cage to take the ball home. As you get closer to the endzone you can tie up front-line Dwarves by not moving your front-line ladies, and your Catchers can fold back to trap the other blitzers. Your speed and dodge should allow you to score without too much trouble.
If they don't double mark, you need to throw! The best way to do this is to first charge your free cage members down the field (often starting with lateral movement). Then, move your throw laterally, to get a clear shot at a throw. Even if the ball is dropped, you'll have tackle zones all over it, and many players close by, whereas the majority of the Dwarves will be stranded by the remnants of the cage. The odds are that you'll score.
Make sure the game is stretched and open and you will see how mind-numbingly slow the Dwarves are! It should be a simple matter to choose the right approach depending on what they do defensively. The odds are with you to score!
Important point - against Dwarves you're often better off blocking, especially with your Blitzers, than standing, due to Tackle. In these situations try to get 2 dice blocks on the Dwarves. It's very frustrating for Dwarf coaches if they run up to exert pressure on your cage, only to be repeatedly bashed back to the floor!
The most important point is to realize that the Dwarves will be very uncomfortable about the flexibility of your team! Don't just think about Tackle, think about the many concessions the Dwarves suffer! Confidence really helps
Longbeards are the biggest threat to the stability of your defense, as they possess Tackle. Forget about the football! It's perilous to try and win it unless it is offered up via a mistake...which is likely as your play is going to frustrate the Dwarves into desperation. But, until that happens, stick to the plan. With mid and deep cover the Dwarves have virtually no chance to score, with a solitary blitz action per turn.
You should aim to keep a covering defense that is occupying all tackle zones the Dwarves may potentially enter. Each front line player should have cover, so even a blitz will only move the Dwarves a couple of squares. Ideally a system of 4-4-3 would work best, with one square between the 4 front line players, and 2 betwen the mid and deep cover lines. With one blitz, the Dwarves cannot reasonably score! On your turn you push them back where possible and regroup. Forget about the football!
1) Move girls caught out of position into position - either in mid or deep cover (including to cover risks to be taken below), or to assist in blocks. They should be getting goal-side of the football and not attacking the sides or rear of the Dwarf cage. 2) Use Blitzers with assists on 2 dice blocks. Go for Longbeards if possible - as they have Tackle! 3) Next use assists on regular blocks. There's a 1/9 chance of a turnover per block here, but your downed player would cover a potentially useful Dwarf square. 4) Finally dodge any available* players into cover - here a turnover is worse than in (3) as the prone girls don't impede the Dwarves to the same degree.
(if there is no cover it is recommened you leave them - as they will use up a block which may well be assisted.)
Try it - and see what the Dwarves can do! However, if you take a lot of casulaties due to blitzes or turnovers leading to multiple blocks, then it can be best to think long-term and let them score. After all, they can't easily stop you from scoring in return. And, at the end of the day, it's always better to have a squad for the next game!
So you're familiar with the cage, and the tactic of rushing the backfield for a pass. Both are somewhat extreme approaches. What about something in between?
Basically, the staggered line looks like the illustration below:
The staggered line has the following advantages:
Try it! Its latent potential will be a thorn in your opponent's sides!
See also Amazon Starting Lineups