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 Issue 11- November 14th 2510
Angry man's corner.

One man's rant at the World. This issue; LRB6 - Don't Believe the Hype.

Up until about a year ago, threads in the Tactics and Strategy section of the hallowed FUMBBL forum followed a familiar trend.

"What should I do with player x?" They would ask.

The answer was unflinchingly simple. Take the +ST. Failing a 6+6 roll, there would be a stream of responses, and the skill suggestions would likely come down to a choice between two as the great and the good distilled a collective million games of experience into a route of least resistance for that pixel. It was a beautiful thing, you'd know within 4 hours that the question would be answered correctly (or at least, correctly according to the established wisdom), and we'd move on to Pie, Macavity or how a team of Space Marines or farmyard animals would work.

With the advent of LRB6, there is a bit of a vacuum when a question is asked. There are new skills, new mechanics and new ways of thinking afoot; and often such discussions aren't over in seconds, there is trepidation from old hands that are unsure of the correct path nowadays, and new voices offering exotic and often left field suggestions. Fend! Kick-Off Return! That Wardancer needs Grab! Uncertainty is afoot.

So where are we then? Have things changed that much in LRB6 that we need to rip up the old ways and begin afresh? Do the new skills alter the way the game is played so much that all we knew until now is wrong? Are we back at square one? My thoughts on the matter are thus; don't believe the hype. Things have changed. But I would argue, things are still very much the same. After all, no matter how many times Star Wars is remastered, Darth Vader doesn't become a goodie.

Off the field, Blood Bowl is a different animal. I accept and in most cases, welcome this. TV management is more important than ever before. Your bank balance can't guarantee your Undead a SMACK via Count 90k goodness. Inducements make any game a game. I will accept that these new ways will take our community a while to work out, break down and master. The place I don't believe BB has changed much is on the field, you know, where it matters. Blood Bowl on the field of play is the same animal it always was. Wood Elves still Dodge, Orcs still grind, Ogres and Khemri still suck but might hurt things; it's just the mechanics are so very slightly different. If you get a new car; driving to work would be much the same as with your old car, the biting point may have moved slightly, the brakes more responsive, the stereo louder, but you're still driving from a to b on the same roads, the result is the same, there is just a slight mechanical tweak. The new U2 album will still sound exactly the same, no matter how 'experimental' they say it will be and who produces it; Bono will still be a massive tool, the NME will still label it a masterpiece; nothing will really change. And such is LRB6 on the pitch.

There are some stand out differences that the LRB6 'experts' like to use as poster children for the new way of 'balanced' thinking (balance is a word that should never be associated with BB; to make this great game of ours balanced would destroy it, but I digress to another article / rant / moan). The removal of old DP. The Claws / MB / PO combination. Wrestle. Fend. I say; meh. They will give you an avalanche of facts and figures, diagrams and experiences from their tabletop days. Tales of woe, of their victory that would only have come about with this new skill, it's silly. You, with your thousands of Blood Bowl games on this hallowed site, know better than just to listen and accept this frontier gibberish, you just need the confidence to get on and do it your own way.

You know that without the Eye and with +1 DP, fouling is less effective in a single application, but you get to do more of it if you so choose. You know that, and you'll weigh up the situation as and when you need to strategically. The argument as to whether your Khemri team was better with +2DP and a 50/50 shot of getting sent off every turn, or with less effective but more freedom around Fouling is not a mathematical one, it's a situational one. You know that Claws / MB / PO / Frenzy / Looking at you funny is the new damage rock 'n' roll. But you know what - how often did the old damage rock 'n' roll (and there were a few multi Claw / RSC and Claw / MB, multi DP teams knocking around) win a big Tournament or out-think an opponent any more than just having blanket AG4 and good Leap rolls? The number of times such a team had no plan B is mind boggling, and that won't change. You know that the Wrestle thing represents a new option, but you're experienced enough to already know how that might look even if you've never played LRB6. And you know that Fend might be annoying en-masse, but isn't a proper skill. It's not exactly a straight choice with Block, is it? And so it goes on and on and on, if only I had the space to dissect every argument I've read on this and other sites (Lord knows; TFF is even disowned by table top coaches that know what they're doing as a black hole of strategy; it is to tactics what BP is to the environment) in this GLN, but it'd never end, and you might want to kill yourselves by the end, unless you track me down first, that is.

The point is that you know what's going on here. Latently, your Blood Bowling mind knows what's afoot. That Chaos team is still going to attempt to destroy you and then score. The mechanic might be slightly different, but in many ways, your tactical response to this threat is the same. You know what, Elves might well still take Dodge, run away and be annoying. Regen teams might still gangfoul you. There might be one or two new skills that 'pull a Passblock' (wait! Passblock! forgot that, oh well) on you, but then again, they aren't that great as skills. Oh, I can't follow up that block. That was a POW? He's dead? Great, good work, Fend.

The mechanics have altered so little that I would even contend that your long term, open division strategy with the established teams hasn't changed a jot. I made the error recently of taking a Thrower early on an Elven team because of access to Leader at 6SPP. What a numpty I was. In terms of TV, I'm paying +2 for the Thrower, +2 for Leader (so one less than actually having the RR that my infinite game team will eventually want long after the death of the Thrower), and I have to field the useless lump for both halves and I need to look after him. In an infinite team, just because Leader is available, it is still the sub optimal choice. I made the error of changing tack just because the option was there. Don't make the same mistake.

When the new client comes out of Beta; I expect a furious period of play, of testing strategies and of top Blood Bowling action.

Give it six months, and I expect;

  • A TV 200 Elven team will look pretty much the same as a TS 200 Elven team, give or take the odd Wrestler.
  • Guard is still the main answer to 'What do I take on this double?'.
  • Casablanca will be remastered in 3D by George Lucas at a cinema near you.
  • There will be some frightening Chaos teams that will be bested by Elves or that game where AV doesn't crack.
  • There will be a bunch of threads about the new rock 'n' roll being overpowered.
  • The NME will have labelled the new U2 album, a collection of Bono's sneezes, as 'Genius that will solve World hunger'.
  • Khemri will still foul you, it'll annoy you when it works, but they will still suck.
  • Good coaches will still be still good coaches. Bad coaches will still be bad coaches.
  • PeteW will still be the luckiest man alive, Spiro will still be convinced the RNG is broken.
  • Those people that tell you that LRB6 is a new, brave, different World will have gone quiet. A bit confused and upset by how nothing has really changed.

And thank Nuffle for that.

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