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 Issue 8 - September 17 2506
A Lecture on How to Coach Humans - Part Three
by Prof. Robert Elliott (College of Altdorf), aka brownrob

Team Development

As your players gain experience from the blocks they make and the passes they complete they will learn new skills. I will suggest some skills that will prove useful for your squad.

Linemen:

The meat and potatoes of the team. These boys will be the line fodder on the team so give them something that will increase their life expectancy. Block is a great skill and should be given to all Linemen and Tackle is a good second. If you are fortunate enough to roll doubles then I suggest you take Guard to increase the hitting potential of the team. You will need a player with the Kick skill to make defending that little bit easier for your team so it is best to give that to a Lineman. Dirty Player is a frightening skill for your opponent every time one of his players goes down.

Throwers:

You should aim to buy your second Thrower as soon as you can but you should develop the two Throwers differently. Your original Thrower should be your offensive thrower, specialising in long passing, with skills like Accurate and Strong Arm. Your second Thrower will be your defensive thrower, used when you kick, and general utility player. Accurate is still useful for him, but his first priority is to get Block.

If you decide to run the ball rather than making a passing play, this second Thrower is your ball-carrier of choice. When using this tactic, try to keep two players with Guard adjacent to your Thrower, so that even if an opposing player gets past the rest of your team to the ball-carrier, he will still have to deal with two Guards and a carrier with Block and Sure Hands!

Blitzers:

The best players on the team and you can have four of them! As you have a healthy number of these players it is wise to develop them into a number of roles. If you plan on playing bashy opponents then you must go for Guard as it will help with your ST 3. Some Tackle is essential if you expect to face elves and want to take down their receivers. After that I would take Mighty Blow, Pass Block and Shadowing, in that order.

If Blitzers get doubles then I suggest Stand Firm or Dodge. At lower Team Ratings, Dodge is more useful because many teams will not be loaded up on Tackle. However, at higher Team Ratings, Stand Firm is a much better skill to take on a double. Blitzers are also well capable of scoring in early games and scoring with them rather than Catchers helps you to quickly 'beef up' your team with Guard.

Catchers:

Catchers are not that strong or tough, but they are fast and score with ease and have a hidden defensive ability which should be developed. They should be given Block and Side Step to increase their lifespan and then I would suggest giving them Shadowing or Diving Tackle. On doubles I would give them Dauntless followed by Strip Ball (a normal roll) to make him a fearsome ball winner!

The high movement of your Catchers gives you a flexible defence capable of covering a large area and a Dauntless Strip Ball catcher will cause your opponent a lot of concern. You may find that you want to develop one Catcher into a pure scorer, but he will start to hog all of your Star Player Points and inflate your Team Rating. It is much more sensible to develop your Catchers into defensive players as scoring is of little difficulty to them even with just the skills with which they start out. Catchers are also useful for drawing defenders away from your main attack when on offence, but this is risky as they are easily killed!

Ogre:

Well if you decide to have an Ogre then there is only one way to develop him: Guard, Break Tackle, and Multiple Block and Block and Stand Firm on doubles. Pro is another good choice on a double. Piling On is a nasty skill that will inspire fear in your opponents. Ogres are big and strong but they are untrained and unreliable. Never blitz with your Ogre unless absolutely necessary as he will invariably fail his Bone Head roll or roll double skulls and cost you the game!

Stat increases

On any Human player, any stat increases should be snapped up, as they are highly valued. A few +AG or +MA Catchers are a menace, and ST 4 Blitzers are a terrifying sight.

Conclusions

If you are playing in a long-term league, try to score with all players, especially your Blitzers and try to build up a good base of skills on many players right from the start. A great team isn't built around one or two great individuals but instead relies on everyone working together and playing their role. (Much like this class… Well, those that haven't left yet!)

Humans provide a different challenge to coaches because they rely more on skills than natural ability. However, they are a rewarding team to play with! Humans are a team that take a while to get going but can bounce back from a mauling quite easily so do not be disheartened if you lose a player or two.

Obviously you should play according to the atmosphere around you… if you are playing in the final of a fifty game hardcore league by all means foul and use any dirty tricks up your sleeve to win but if you are teaching a friend the game he may not appreciate your 'competitiveness'.

Listen up, you lot! That is it for today! I expect you to go and win some matches now. (For a change!) Oh, and have fun while you're at it!

Class dismissed!

 
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