Subj: [BBOWL-L]   Jervis goes on & on about Big Guys

I must say I've been fascinated by the debate over Big Guys and Star
Players that's been taking place in the BB list. On the whole I'm very
pleased with the rules in the current edition Blood Bowl (third time lucky
and all that!). There are a few things I'd like to change, however; for
example, I'd change the wording on some of the rules in order to make them
clearer, and I think I might lower the price of some of the players in the
'finesse' teams like High Elves and Dark Elves a little bit in order to
allow them to start of with 12 or 13 players rather than the 11 or 12 they
have to make do with at present. But apart from minor tweaks like this,
there aren't really any drastic changes I'd like to make - or rather there
aren't any drastic changes I'd make, _except_ for the rules for Big Guy and
Star Player.

At this point there is a terrible admission I must make, and that is that
I've never, *ever* used the rookie Big Guy rules. These were quickly
knocked together by our mail order trolls for their newsletter, and the
first I knew about them was when we started getting questions about them at
the Studio. To say I was upset by the whole episode is something of an
understatement, and it means I have a rather jaundiced view of the rookie
big guy rules and don't use them. Apart from anything else, the costs for
most of the players is way to low, IMO anyway.

On the other hand, over time I've become less than happy with using the
Star Player cards as a method of getting Big Guys into the game. After all,
according to the background you can have entire teams of Big Guys (the
Oldheim Ogres being the most notable example), and I now feel that they
should really be treated as races in their own right, with a team list just
like the other races get, and that they should be incorporated into other
teams using something like the mixed race team rules that appeared in the
Citadel Journal. This would leave the Star Player cards to represent unique
one-off Star Players. With this version of the rules Star Players couldn't
be repeated within the same team (no more "I'm saving up for 4 Tuarn
Redvenoms"!), though *opposing* teams could field the same Star Player
(after all, if you've bought him and painted him you should be allowed to
use him!).

Linked to the above is one _very_ important question (to me, at least),
which is: Why, in the background, have teams of Big Guys always done so
badly? After all, no team I can think of could take on even 11 Morg's (let
alone 16!), but the Oldheim Ogres aren't one of the really great teams,
while the Craggen Counts (a team of _Vampires_!) was "systematically put
out its misery by its fans". How could these things happen when Star
Players of these races are so good?

The answer is, I think, that Star Players like Morg and Count Luthor Von
Drakenborg are truly exceptional players that lack a highly debilitating
quirk or failing found in all other players of that race. Therefore, when
writing up non-star player Big Guys, they should be given a really bad
_negative_ skill which crocks them enough to make taking a whole team of
them as attractive as taking a team of Snotlings.

For example, lets assume that Count Luthor is exceptional because he is
able to control his longing for blood, during the game at least. Other
vampire players (the non-star ones) aren't so lucky and are afflicted with
the negative 'Off For A Quick Bite' skill. This 'skill' means that their
coach must roll a D6 for *each* vampire each time he wants to set them up
on the pitch. On a roll of 4-6 they can be set up, but on a roll of 1-3
they've popped into the crowd to bite the lilly-white neck of an attractive
maiden (and who can blame them!).

Another example. I imagine that Morg, apart from being exceptionally strong
and skilled, is also exceptionally intelligent, for an Ogre at least. Thus
'ordinary' Ogres could have the 'Bonehead' skill, which would mean that,
say, on a roll of 1 they standing around trying to remember what it is
they're meant to be doing. This would mean that they couldn't do anything
for the turn, and they would lose their tackle zone until they managed to
roll something other than a '1' at the start of a turn.

And so on. These negative skills would explain why entire teams of the Big
Guys don't do all that well. On the other hand, you could include some
'ally' Ogres or vampires in your team via the mixed race team rules (_one_
of whom could be a Star Player) to add a bit of muscle, it's just that they
wouldn't be the _invaluable_ powerhouse players they are at present.

But enough of my ramblings. I'm thinking of writing this up as a proper set
of rules, as and when I get time, which I'll dump on Dean to make available
to subscribers on the list. That's assuming you guys think it would be
worth the effort - so, what'ya think? Am I on the right track, or should I
leave the Big Guys as they are?

PS. This message is just from Jervis, though the sig says different!

Jervis and Andy

*Disclaimer* This stuff is just our own opinions - it ain't official until
it's in print!

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