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 Post subject: Swindon Elfball League kicks off!
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:28 am 
Star Player
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Hi,

We're having the opening games of or Elfball league in Swindon (Home of Elfball) tomorrow night :D

Anyone else in the area is more than welcome to join in - match reports and thoughts on league progression to follow...

Regards,
Spiky

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 Post subject: Re: Swindon Elfball League kicks off!
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:19 pm 
Kommissar Enthusiasmoff
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OK, here come the Whirling Davieshes...

The Defenders. Big, scary, slow and delicate. To control the centre, in case anyone is silly enough to come in range.
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The Thrower and Midfielders, there to patrol the backfield on the off-chance that someone breaks through.
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The Strikers - not wearing cloaks, so they are super-agile. There to receive the ball and run it in.
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And finally, the reason for playing Desert Dogs, the Dervishes. Working in tandem, can get anyone within 8 hexes of a white line sent off. Be afraid, be very afraid...
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 Post subject: Re: Swindon Elfball League kicks off!
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:49 pm 
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Hope you don't mind, but I posted this on Boardgamegeek.com in the section that advertises leagues/clubs in England.

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 Post subject: Re: Swindon Elfball League kicks off!
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:22 pm 
Kommissar Enthusiasmoff
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The more the merrier! Though you got accused pretty quickly :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Swindon Elfball League kicks off!
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:51 pm 
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Trolls are everywhere. I'm beginning to believe most forum posters show up just to wag their finger at someone else. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Swindon Elfball League kicks off!
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:55 pm 
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Oh, and the guy who called me out was from Seattle, Washington, USA. :pissed: So why was he reading the England forums? That's when I have to remind myself that my Impact! hat is on and play nice.

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 Post subject: Re: Swindon Elfball League kicks off!
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:38 am 
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Had a good couple of games last night to kick the league off!

Valkyries v.s Desert Dogs
Ratmen v.s. Pharaohs

A couple of things happened which were interesting:

1) We didn't get playing until nearly 8PM, so after the first tests (both drawn so took just over an hour) - we decided at this point to play for the best of 2 tests to start off with. This will probably affect both experience, and it may mean that our current points cap might be too high, so we'll keep an eye on these and adjust if necessary.
The cap I think will mean that we;ll need to focus more on scoring, as you have plenty of players and support to deal with any attrition.

2) The 180 Point cap did seem very 'roomy' compared to our experience of using 150 point rosters, although I expect the pressure will come on in later games when players start gaining abilities.

3) Being shoved out of play seems a lot less scary (unless your player was holding the ball) as they're just out for the test.

4) Kegs are MUCH improved in League play when compared to tournaments. They're refreshed each test (unlike potions) and there are a lot more dice rolls that you can use them on.

5) Sann had 4 cheerleaders rostered, and with the cheerleader refresh cards it seemed he had momentum to hand whenever he needed it. They also refresh each test so are a great investment for league matches.

6) I brutalised Sann's team especially during the 2nd test - with the league system it simply means he replaces any of the injured players so his next game is not played at a handicap. This IMO is one of the best parts of the Elfball league rules. I guess an Elfball starting team is like playing with a squad of Journeyman positional players in Bloodbowl, but without loner :)

Final scores were 1-0 to the Ratmen and a closely fought 0-0 for me and Sann. I'm fairly happy with my defensive strategies but I really need to work on how to plan for scoring before the cards run out

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 Post subject: Re: Swindon Elfball League kicks off!
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:27 pm 
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I think last night went well, especially for me :D

I know I'm still relatively new to the game compared to you other guys, but I thought I'd throw in my thoughts here in case they are worth anything. Also I figure any discussion about Elfball has to be a good thing for the game :)

I definitely think attrition is not the main strategy for league games, particularly when faced with a rookie team with a deep bench. In my first test we just pretty much had a massive scrum going on in the centre without taking much notice of the ball, this didn't really go anywhere and resulted in neither team scoring. In the second test it started in a similar way but then I thought you have to go for it and concentrated more on the ball and getting it out. Admittedly I was lucky in that a failed pass-off (skill 4 player - rolling 3 flops and a blank!) scattered in my favour and got the ball further out of the centre. This allowed me to get a safety in, scoop it up and run it down a relatively clear field, I just had one disengage to make.

Kegs definitely helped me on a couple of occasions although as we're going down to 2 tests this might change their usefulness. I can see them being more useful to save for experienced/skilled players to prevent career-ending injuries or stat loss.

I think going forward sorting out the game time should be considered. Last night's 2-hour-ish game felt about right but ideally would have been nice to fit in more tests. I'm wondering if we could think about using the cards to limit the whole game time rather than each test. So the game lasts as long as the card deck but in that time we play effectively unlimited tests. When/if someone scores don't shuffle the deck and start it again, just set up for another test and continue. We could maybe run through the deck twice? This gives a known quantity to the length of a game, and probably also helps put the focus on scoring.

Anyway just some thoughts...


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 Post subject: Re: Swindon Elfball League kicks off!
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:39 pm 
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I like the idea of making league games last two decks of cards long. That would be interesting way of limiting the time without limiting the tests and give a more uniform playing time. Possibly 2 goals for a single team or two decks of cards which ever comes first ends the game.

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 Post subject: Re: Swindon Elfball League kicks off!
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:10 pm 
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Sounds like an interesting rule! It should definitely result in at least 1 score + experience per game if you keep the first test going into the 2nd deck of cards... :D

Only issue I could see would be whether a hitty or shoving team could reasonably hold of scoring and run the card pack down to deliberately limit time in a 2nd test... My feel with the 180 point roster is that this would still be challenging to do given the opponent's bench depth.

Don't want to see the 1-0 grind rearing it's ugly head in Elfball if we can avoid it :D

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 Post subject: Re: Swindon Elfball League kicks off!
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:39 pm 
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I just thought that limiting the time not the tests is a better way to go, at least for league games. Certainly most sports work this way, e.g. football(soccer) 2x45mins, rugby 2x40mins. This puts the focus on scoring as much as you can in the time available, not just trying to injure the opposing team.

That said something would need to be thought of for the case if you do flatten the entire opposition. Clearly you should win the current test (choosing a player currently on the field to score for 2xp, all others 1xp) but then the opposition couldn't face-off so what do you do then. Especially if you are currently losing on goals, you shouldn't lose the game because the other team can't play.


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 Post subject: Re: Swindon Elfball League kicks off!
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:33 am 
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I played Xenolith on last Friday and got hammered 0-2 :( I won the face-off on both tests, but couldn't get the ball out of my own half.

I changed my roster slightly from the previous game - I dropped a reserve Midfielder and invested in 2 extra cheerleaders (total of 4) and an extra keg. I was happy with my roster but I just got outplayed.

lessons learned:

1) Against a team with fast low MIGHT players (couriers, imps & mecats) a Thrower may not be the best option as a ball carrier if you intend to keep hold of it. Using a Striker instead would mean that the opposing MIGHT 2 players would need to make an impact challenge, plus the tackle challenge would still need 2 successes from front facing - as the fast players need to make both challenges using only 2 dice, this is a lot more risky for them.
The Thrower is still useful to have as a defensive player as they can still Tackle any fast ball carrying players as they have TACKLE 3 and don't need an impact challenge.

2) The ref saved one of my players after being shoved into the goal hex. The player was then able to move next turn and shove the opponent into the goal hex instead (although in practice, I flopped a shove attempt).

3) In the 2nd test, a Ratman midfielder collected the ball and was within scoring distance. I used 2 cheerleaders before going for a tackle with a Hunter. For some reason, sense deserted me and I decided to do an easy shove first, which flopped. I should have just gone straight for the tackle attempt - I'd have been happy with even a slide tackle at that point anyway :(

After 2 matches, Xenolith now has several players on 3 experience points so his players should be gaining abilities soon. I've not won a test yet so am still sat with a rookie team.

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 Post subject: Re: Swindon Elfball League kicks off!
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:12 am 
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We had 2 league games last night, in the first game Xenolith threatened a major upset by scoring against Sann0638 in 6 turns! :D Sann managed to rally his team and won the next 2 tests to bring the score to 2-1 before the time ran out.

In my game I played Charon's Pharoahs with my Valkyries, and lost 0-1. Charon scored in the first test, and I was looking likely to equalise but I failed key challenges in a couple of turns where I had the opportunity to pull out of range and into scoring distance. In the end Charon recovered the ball and got it into my half which denied me any scoring chance as the clock was running out. It was a great game though and play went backwards and forwards an awful lot before the end! :D

Before the games we had some discussion about changing the league rules. We decided to limit the game length to 2 decks of the 2-minute warning cards (plus the extra time house rules used in the Swindon tournament) , or to when 1 team has 2 more goals than their opponent. This means that the test still contiues when the 1st card deck ends and we just re-shuffle and start taking cards again.

This change made the games last just over 2 hours, which we felt was about right for what we wanted, plus it meant that games should always have at least 1 score and therefore players would pick up experience. We decided to leave the experience rules as they are for the time being.

I'm now 0-1-2 with the Valkyries so not doing particulary well :) . I think my main issues are that I'm too used to playing with teams that are easier to generate momentum with and teams that have abilities (tournament builds). The problem as I see it with the Valks is that you have few players with High MIGHT or DODGE so you're unable to easily build momentum to help your tackles.

I've been looking to generate momentum by shoving on 3 dice but I think this may be too unreliable especially on critical actions. I think I'm still playing them for attrition which is not the best way so I'll probably replace one of the 4 hunters on my roster with another midfielder instead.

I'm re-assessing my general opinion of the hunter as the attrition king - getting momentum is just too unreliable until you have some abilities! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Swindon Elfball League kicks off!
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:14 pm 
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Spreadsheet of rosters and rankings:
https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key ... l=en#gid=0

Free to view!

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 Post subject: Re: Swindon Elfball League kicks off!
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:39 am 
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Thanks! :)

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