Friday, August 7, 2009
Beginners Blood Bowl Guide: Rerolls and Turnovers
This is part 1 of my new series, Beginner's Guide to Blood Bowl. As the name suggest this is just some basic thoughts for new players who might have become interested in the game because of the new PC Blood Bowl Game. While I do not have a copy of the PC game, it is said to be very true to the board game rules so what I say here applies there.
No single thing in Blood Bowl is more important than your team rerolls. I never start a team with less than 3 and like to get at least 4 available pretty quickly. Now as a recent mainly 40K player, this is very different. In 40K rerolls are all tied to very specific things most commonly shooting, wounding, and saves. They are important to that event and may save the day through their repeated use but they are not vital to the entire game because they are tied to specific events for that character or unit. Blood Bowl has these types of rerolls also granted to individuals for specific tasks through player skills which often grant that player a reroll at that specific task, but team rerolls are different.
Why are your team rerolls so vital in Blood Bowl? First, you can use them on most die rolls you do during your turn. How great would that be in 40K? How many games have been decided by failing 1 random save or morale test. Having a reroll to be used anywhere would be great there. Ofcourse there is a trade off and that trade off is the dreaded turnover. In Blood Bowl often when a die roll does not go your way, your turn is over through a turnover. This means not only did what you want to happen not happen, you do not get any chance to respond to the change in events. It also means that any players who have not already completed their actions in a turn will not get to do anything. Now in Blood Bowl, pretty much anything you want a player to do that is not moving about 5 or 6 squares(varies with race and position) nowhere near anyone will have you roll the dice and risk the turnover.
Recently while listening to a tactica someone said a good 40K general does not like to leave things up to the dice. In Blood Bowl, you really have no choice. Even the most unlikely result can occur, 3 Skulls when your Star Mummy blocks a goblin resulting a down mummy who could in fact end up no longer a member of the undead if the dice really go against you. So the team rerolls really save your bacon. Therefore I almost exclusively save them for trying to avoid turnovers and then only turnovers that really matter. Maybe I am trying to dodge a linerat away from a chaos warrior so he does not get pounded the next turn. If it is near the end of my turn and I have already gotten the important stuff done then I let him fall. Sure he might hurt himself, but he is only a linerat.
This is where it is important to prioritize your actions. What must get done? What order does that need to happen? How risky is it? What else would be helpful? All these questions are important to answer before you move a player (but always remember your turn marker so the opponent does not take one of your rerolls). Managing the risk while maximizing the reward is really what Blood Bowl is about. You can play it safe the whole game and still win but adding a little more risk makes the game better. I think my recent opponents would say I play a very risky style. I probably end about half my turns in a turn over, but that is fine because they are coming after the important stuff has occurred(sometimes while trying the important stuff unfortunately).
Some people complain that Blood Bowl depends too much on the dice since a single bad roll can turn triumph into tragedy. Well, your rerolls prevent this so use them wisely. And if it still does not go your way, you have something interesting for the game report and to remember the match by.
How do you play your matches? Do you want 2+ and a reroll on a d6 or are you throwing long bombs with your AG3 players over opponents heads to your triple marked up reciever.