5th June 2018 at 8:46 pm #2571
With a Krox, 6 Saurus, 4 Skinks, and 2 rerolls coming to 980 TV this team is effectively an auto-pick with just a slight variation. With the remaining 120k you have to pick 2 of the following 3 options:
- A third reroll
- A fifth skink
- An apo and a bit
In a typical 6 normal skill tier 1 build you’ll want to put everything on the Saurus. The Krox doesn’t really benefit from Strength skills, and the Skink normal skills are trash. With your rerolls generally held for covering double skulls and the unreliability of Ag3 this means that a core of any team build is Block on the Saurus. Here you have some options:
- 6 Block is a very bullying build, allowing you to make a lot of hits and also gives you momentum in not being taken down (often dissuading the enemy of even 1 die hits with their block skilled players). However it is very weak in broken play as you need to rely on armour breaks to get the Saurus out of their tags. The main solution is not to let the play get broken, but that’s much easier said than done.
- 4 Block, 2 Break Tackle. The English meta trades off reliability in blocking for more manoeuvrability. 1 Break Tackle can often be double marked and isolated, but 2 prevents your opponent just mixing the game up and relying on you to have to dodge Saurus. Also trades offensive power for defensive power, which evens up the halves.
- 5 Block, 1 Tackle. The Italian meta drops a Block Saurus for a blodger killer. The lack of Block doesn’t matter on this player as you gamble on taking the blodging ball-carrier down. Strong also to tag up lower strength enemy players who will want to dodge away.
Of course these are just a taster of the full reasons and options available, so please not only add your own but feel free to re-cover any of the above in more detail!7th June 2018 at 3:52 pm #2573
Question: What exactly is the claim from the top BT*2 proponents?
That a) it’s optimal or b) The additional responsiveness is necessary at the business end of highly competitive tournaments like EB?
I’m taking 2x BT to Cardiff purely because I trust Goo’s opinion on this more than my own, but I’d be much more hesitant to move away from 6x Block at a local weekender.
I think what’s happening with 2x BT is that we’re attempting to favourably alter our matchup equity profile in a specific, fairly well-defined, agile meta?8th June 2018 at 11:38 am #2575
I could also mention Pipey and his 2x Tackle build, going even harder in to counter the elf meta.
As for the choices reroll, apo and a bit or extra skink I think that choice should be taken into consideration when choosing skills. A 2 reroll build would be more likely to go for the 6XBlock, to get that sturdiness in your team. For me the apo is a must. The weak spot in a Lizard team is that if you lose a Saurus, it can snowball quicly. Having that Apo handy to keep your KO on the pitch or patch up that BH is imo huge.
As for the skill choices the main problem with 6x Block is the lack of responsiveness. If you are in a hurry and can find a hole it is quite easy to score on them, just run for it and tag everything. Generally a horrible tactic, but against all-Block Lizards your odds are quite good. Now, a single BT changes that radically. A single BT also gives the option of cage busting (4+ or 5+), now even if you don
t use BT the cage bust option is something the opponent must take into consideration every single turn. So I would the argue that BT isnt specifically against the elves, any caging team needs to be wary with BT on a Saurus. Another point that could be made in favor of BT is that your opponent will tag them down to reduce your mobility, put this again means more free blocks.
The tackle player(s) is something I am a bit unsure of. It is clearly anti elf, and I can see the point in a meta where WEs and DEs flourish. Team Norway used 5xBlock and 1xTackle last EB. This year we have a different player, and he favors 4Block and 2BT. He is also experimenting with 4Block, 1 Tackle and 1BT. Losing Block players this again gives the answer to the 2nd extra option; that would have to be the 3rd reroll.9th June 2018 at 1:41 pm #2577
I’m with Straume that 6 Block is a bit inflexible. I like 1 BT Saur, and think you should be able to position well enough to free another Saur when needs be. Tackle is limited to taking down specific elven players, I think, but that in itself is entirely viable in the tournament meta! For safety I would probably choose the 5 Block 1 BT route with 2RR and an Apo (essential for Saurs imo) with a 5th Skink.9th June 2018 at 5:24 pm #2587
Break Tackle has a number of uses, including:
- Not just increased mobility but the threat/potential of it. The best way to beat 6 Block Saurus is to piss around for a bit and then mark them all for the one turn you want to make a breakaway. It isn’t just that you can use BT to stop this, it is that is dramatically reduces your opponent’s options for running the ball behind your lines without full protection. If they can’t get 4-5 players through, they can’t go at all. This puts extraordinary pressure on them allowing you to bully them up front without having to worry as much about defending the panicked breakaway dash.
- It is great against Elves, forcing them to ‘defend properly’ as a normal screen allows a 4+ dodge for 2D on the ball. This can force them to bunch up more than they want, making your big strong pieces more effective. Elves want to spread the play to minimise the value of your strength.
- It is great when you go men down. Lizardmen tend to cascade player losses. Once one Saurus goes all the rest become remarkably more vulnerable. But BT offers a plan B, and you can play a pseudo-elf offence, dodging away every turn with your Skinks and BT saurus. This won’t work with Skinks alone as you can’t block/blitz your way out of contact.
- Lastly, and more vaguely, mobility wins high level Blood Bowl. The options you have, the places you can go, the more chance you have of out playing and out positioning your opponent. If you are playing a pure tactical game then 4 Block is plenty enough.
11th June 2018 at 8:28 pm #2589
- This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Joe.
The issue with talking about roster choices you can make for the big four races in vanilla rulesets is that the teams are so good, most ideas are great. A Sidestep Wardancer, we probably all agree, is not as good as a Strip Ball or Frenzy / Tackle Wardancer, but that’s no consolation when it’s right up in your grill, bossing you about. You can’t exactly say to your opponent ‘But this isn’t even optimal, why is this happening?!’. It’s still probably 9.5 / 10 of a Blood Bowl player, and someone, somewhere will have had fantastic success with it and had their choice reinforced, as is perfectly natural when things go well.
Tackle Saurus are probably also great. The reason I’m evangelical about Break Tackle Saurus is that I find them to be great in near every circumstance, rather than Tackle being up my sleeve for certain eventualities. The best tools available to a decent player are positioning and options to enforce your superiority (in luck or judgement!) via sequentially better positioning, and nothing helps positioning more on a Lizardman team than Break Tackle. 32 chances to do that thing (or threaten to do that thing) is much better than Tackling an Elf two or three times in the two games where Tackle is cited as great (DE / WE), I think. If my opponent is good or not unlucky, I don’t expect to be able to use Tackle that decisively anyway, even passively. That’s my opinion having played Lizzies at some top end of top tournaments over the years, but I can’t claim I have ‘proof’. At the World Cup, where you used to have one Break Tackler on day 2, I always found that to be the hardest day of the three and the one guy easy to marginalise, try as you might to keep him dangerous. Two feels better than double as good.
However – as I say – it’s not a solvable problem. Which makes it great forum fodder. 😉
12th June 2018 at 10:36 am #2591
- This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Phil.
The intention for this article is not to present a single solved build, but rather a range of good options that coaches can take. In particular I think that different playstyles will lend themselves more to one build than another on an individual basis, so one of the things I want to do with this article is talk about the style / strategy that you should be looking for. The “why” is just as important / interesting as the “what”.
Similarly when I talk about something being the x-meta it is not because I think that is the right way to do it, or that everyone from that place does it, more that this is the most common one you see. I myself do not conform to the English meta (preferring the 6 Block build). As much as anything I think that generates more interest – why has a certain group of people landed on a certain preferred build? Is it just group think, or is it that those players more commonly encounter certain other teams or builds and so choose that as the right response to that environment?
For example you bring up a good point Phil about how something like Break Tackle can be very viable if you take 2 of them (or none of them) but possibly not so good if you only take 1 of them. Maybe the point here is that if you want to be mobile you shouldn’t go half-hearted and instead should commit to that strategy? That’s why it is really interesting to capture everyone’s thinking process. It allows me to give a range of 3-5 builds with the reasons behind it, and how to play it. Then coaches can pick the one they like best / most suits them / or try a few out.18th June 2018 at 4:21 pm #2594
I have different feelings regarding the Lizardmen Setup and Skills.
First – regarding Roster its 3RR; 11+Apo+”a bit” all the time for me. The “+ a bit” is not to be underestimated as i think Kick-Off-Events in General are underestimated. So the +1 FF may have a positive impact there. Furthermore the team is struggling more when losing a Saurus than losing a Skink, so i would take the Apo everytime a Saurus got hurt (i will use it on any casualty in half 1 though). I don’t see why you should take the 12th Skink over that.
Regarding Skills: In Germany there is a big lean to 6x Block (preferred by Planlos), which i personally prefer over BT, too. Actually in my experience it gives you way more flexibility in your own turns (!), because you don’t have to fear the Block Turnover or the Block Reroll before the skinks may do something that could need a Reroll. I also disagree to joe that in high level Bloodbowl Movement is the key. Imho the key is to shorten the other teams’ numbers, which will Block help into. Furthermore the 2 BT Saurus’ offer a potential easier gap in the Defense as they are probably the guys where the Blitz will come (assuming they are knocked over) and so they have only 3 Movement left to actually react (which isn’t enough to come to a safe cage against a good player). If nothing special happens the high-level matchup in your offence with Lizards it usually comes to “the skink has to dodge 3+3+3+ to score” – which is a 65% chance (assuming Team RR). I would take this chance against a high level player all the time. If you are hopeing that you get a 4+ dodge into a cage with a BT Saurus (that is usually tackled before, so to be honest realistically it would be a Dodge + 4+Dodge in a cage)- then a simple 5+ Dodge with a Block Saurus is the better option. Have you all really experienced that all of your Block Saurus are tackled? if they are then a 5+ usually gives a 2d on the ball carrier (or the skinks could reach the ballcarrier) then, as 7 Players are needed to tackle all saurus and the Krox!
As there are Elf-Matchups i see the idea of 1 oder 2 Tackle Saurus. But i think you have to consider other matchups, too. Without Block you will get blocked with 1d with a reasonable chance of being knocked over (and getting an armor and injury roll), which is something you will face against bashy opponents (Dwarf, Chaos Dwarf, Undead, maybe Human, Norse, Amazon) – the opponent usually doesn’t want to mark you when you have block and will try to push you away (at least) – so you got your free Saurus sometimes to reposition. The opponents won’t try to break your line in turns 1-5 usually, so you have some turns where your block saurus shine! These are more turns than the 1 or 2 turns you will need your BT Saurus to shine. Actually i won my last match at UKTC because i had 5x Block playing Sladmortis’ Chaosdwarf and more or less forcing him into 1d Blocking (there were more then one situations with the both down result, where i could block back (otherwise armor/injury against me) and there was the important situation later when he rolled the skull on an 1d block).
Furthermore it helps in the mirror match. I played 3 Lizardmen mirrormatchs in the same tournament this year, none of them had 5times block and i didn’t lose a single one of it. Everytime the saurus without a skill failed something, so that the game turned into my favor. People will limit the use of 1 or even 2 saurus because especially in the crunch time when rerolls are gone you won’t that easy pick your 2d block without skill first. In this time BT doesn’t help much either because you will fear the one and think twice if you actually use BT.
I see other possibilities though
We have an experienced Lizardmen-Player in Germany, who is playing 4 Block 1 Tackle 1 Frenzy. I like the frenzy idea a lot as this is offering good options in a number of situations (Pushes into Saurus’, Sideline – Thread, 2nd Block on a Ballcarrier) though i haven’t tested it yet by myself.
I saw some italian guys playing 2times guard saurus. We have a very good player in Germany playing this too, their arguments are that they help in the bashy setups including darkelf (they really do and often give the krox a nice 3d block) and in the Wood-Elf Matchup at least the Wardancer has a -2d against the Skink in the cage with at least some chance to survive the blitz or forcing another reroll off the woodelf team. i see the point in their arguments but haven’t tested it myself. I think there may be some valid points there.
Playing against Lizardmen i don’t fear 1 BT Saurus. You will need 2 of them i think to be an actual thread to your opponent. Actually i fear the Block Saurus more as i am never sure when i block them to actually get them down.
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