On Mon, 19 Oct 1998, Simon Danielsson wrote:
> This is the story of how I built my very successful Dwarven team Zeus
> Slayers. It was used in a No Starplayers (except Secret Weapons), No
> Wizard (i.e. no Alchemist) league.

I'd say these rules favor Dwarves, since they allow them to keep one of
their most potent advantages - the Deathroller - while discarding one of
their biggest disadvantages (getting Fireballed once per game with no
possible means of recourse).

> Choosing Skills
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Dwarves are a strength team. Their strength is to hit people out to the
> "Dead and Injured Box". Elves throws and catches. Dwarves bash. Remember
> that.
> It's a waste of time trying to develop throwers and catchers, when all
> you have to do is make each Dwarf a killer. If you have eleven guys on
> the pitch against his 5 you're going to win.

I don't think it's a good idea (conceptually) to make a team
one-dimensional - at least, not if you plan on having any success with
it.

Why not? Because inevitably, you'll end up squaring off against your
opposite number - another Dwarf team, for example. When that happens, who
wins?

The team with the widest spread of options.

Consider: According to Mr. Danielson, virtually *every* doubles roll
should be spent on Dodge. What will happen when his team comes up against
a similarly structured Dwarven squad?

All that Dodge will be wasted because of the opposing team's Longbeards.

Consider again: what happens when you try to apply a "beat 'em off the
pitch" result against a nihilistically successful team like the Undead?

Simply put: the drive might work on the occasional drive, but as a
game-long approach, it's likely a tactical failure. Simply put, Undead
can take this and likely keep dishing it out throughout the game.

My suggestion, then, is in alternate roles for the Dwarven troops. To wit:

> Longbeards:
> First skill: Mighty Blow
> Second skill: Guard
> Third skill: Stand Firm or Pro
> Fourth skill: Pro or Stand Firm
> Doubles: Dodge.

I hereby postulate that a better doubles skill is Jump Up. Consider: Dodge
is useful for two things - rerolling a failed dodge roll and taking a hit.

Remember that our two 'problem teams' were other Dwarves and Undead. Note
that the Dwarven Longbeard has Block and an AV of 9, which makes him very
hard to actually injure on a clean knockdown.

Why is Jump Up better? Because with Stand Firm, you won't get pushed away
from your opponent. Since your AV is high, he likely won't injure you -
which means that your Longbeard will be free to Jump Up and throw another
Block!

Essentially, this is like another Blitz. Additionally, if your opponent
runs away from your Longbeard, he stands up for free - and still has 4
squares of MA left. This helps combat one of your main deficiencies -
namely, a lack of MA.

> Blitzers:
>
> First skill: Mighty Blow
> Second skill: Guard
> Third skill: Pro
> Fourth skill: Stand Firm
> Doubles: Dodge

Again - Dodge would be good here, but maybe Jump Up as well.

> Troll Slayers:
>
> First skill: Mighty Blow
> Second skill: Stand Firm
> Third skill: Guard or Pro
> Fourth skill: Pro or Guard
> Doubles: Dodge

Definite Dodge/Jump Up candidates. Can't go wrong either way.

> Runners:
>
> First skill: Block
> Second skill: Accurate
> Third skill: Stong Arm, Pass, Dump Off
> Fourth skill: Pass, Strong Arm, Dump Off, Nerves of Steel.
> Doubles: Dodge.

Why are you bothering with these Passing Skills when you haven't bothered
developing a receiver?

The best skills for these guys:

First skill: Block
Second skill: Nerves of Steel
Third skill: Dump-Off, Hail Mary Pass
Doubles: Sure Feet, Stand Firm, Jump Up (esp w/SFirm)

Basically, once these guys get the ball, _they shouldn't let it go_. They
get the ball, they run with it behind the line. If absolutely necessary,
they give the ball to a Blitzer - but since the Blitzer will likely be
very close by, Pass is probably all that is needed, and Nerves of Steel
will probably compensate for Accurate at Quick Range (and allows you to
put a couple players in a tackle zone, making it harder for them to defend
the play later!)

But these guys should have everything that makes MA easier, and allows
them to break from the middle of the box into the end zone. I would
suggest one SFirm/HMP player for defense. He should jump in, grab the ball
when it comes loose, and heave it the length of the field when the time is
right if it turns out you can't score.

-=-Chet
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