From V116QHTH@ubvms.cc.buffalo.eduSun Nov 10 23:58:52 1996
Date: Mon, 20 May 1996 17:42:17 -0500 (EST)
From: Aaron C Thies 

Subject: Back to the Boneboard...

Well, it looks like we're back to rehashing the old "The Undead are great/
The Undead are feeble" rule.

Back in the "old days" of 3rd Edition (say, about a year and a half ago), 
everyone was complaining about the Undead. A 2+ Regeneration rule was simply
too silly - it became nearly impossible to kill off any Undead players, and
at the rate with which they could gain SPPs, they could easily afford to be
the dirtiest team out there.

Strange side effects were also a norm - for some reason, you were better off
KO-ING an Undead player instead of putting him in the Dead & Injured Box (I
won't even say 'putting him out for the game,' because it never happened). With
the ability to gain 4 copies of (arguably) the best Star in the game (Count 
Luthor von Draekenbourg) - and with those 4 copies virtually indestructible -
the Undead were easily the cheesiest team in the game. They had gone from being
the worst team in the game in the 2nd Edition rules to the strongest in the
3rd Edition. Posts to this list were awash with the tides and tidings of the 
victories (and victims) of the walking dead. The supposed 'penalty' for this
was the actual lack of talented players, and the inability to hrie a 'regular'
Wizard.

Then came JJ's Q&A in White Dwarf 182. Suddenly, a dent was placed in the armor
of the bone-rattlers - they could only Regenerate on a roll of 4+. 
Additionally, their Regeneration was made dependent upon their Necromancer, and
if he died - well, most of the team went into the ground with him.

The list flamed up for a while. Most Necromancers (of course) were rather
vehemently against this rule. Most flesh-and-circulating-bloods were all for
it :)

Things seemed to be a bit more in balance. Granted, JJ did little to clarify
how a Necromancer is replaced, whether an Ejected Necromancer could Regenerate
his players at the end of the match, etc. But Undead teams now had to work a 
bit harder to attain elite status. Skaven, Human, and Elven teams continued to
win the vast majority of the tournaments posted to this list, with little more
than token resistance from the brainwave-challenged :)

But then other changes were worked in. The natural movement of leagues against
the out-of-kilter destructive potential of Dirty Players resulted in a wave of
'Natural' rulings - Death would occur only on a natural 12, for example. Some
leagues took this further, so that even Serious Injuries were only inflicted on
a similar natural roll.

Soon, many teams were starting to have players that lived forever. Only their
players had actual AG's, and MA's, and AV's, and Skills, so that the Undead 
were becoming extinct upon the pitch. What had been fantasy on the pitch -
removing the Undead from play - had become reality off of it.

What's more, this general lack of good friendly violent death :) all but
eliminated a specific function of the Necromancer - the ability to Raise the
Dead. Undead teams started to fade away like ghosts at sunrise...

But then came 'Sigurd's Rule' - and with it, a general rise in deaths over the
'Natural 12' wave which had washed upon the beach. "At least," said potential
apprentices, "we might have a chance to gain a few extra bodies." And so a few
more fledglings joined the rank-and-file of the Necromantic Circle.

But where are we today with the Undead? How fair is the game of Blood Bowl - 
not just for them, but for their opponents?

And in just a minute - we'll have a look and see...

-=-Acerak

From V116QHTH@ubvms.cc.buffalo.eduMon Nov 11 00:00:38 1996
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 1996 14:49:27 -0500 (EST)
From: Aaron C Thies 
Reply to: bbowl-l@CS.UTK.EDU
To: bbowl-l@CS.UTK.EDU
Cc: thies@jmcanty.com, norton@aries.scs.uiuc.edu
Subject: Undead Analysis, Part I.

Well, it looks like we're back to rehashing the old "The Undead are great/
The Undead are feeble" debate.

Back in the "old days" of 3rd Edition (say, about a year and a half ago), 
everyone was complaining about the Undead. A 2+ Regeneration rule was simply
too silly - it became nearly impossible to kill off any Undead players, and
at the rate with which they could gain SPPs, they could easily afford to be
the dirtiest team out there.

Strange side effects were also a norm - for some reason, you were better off
KO-ING an Undead player instead of putting him in the Dead & Injured Box (I
won't even say 'putting him out for the game,' because it never happened). With
the ability to gain 4 copies of (arguably) the best Star in the game (Count 
Luthor von Draekenbourg) - and with those 4 copies virtually indestructible -
the Undead were easily the cheesiest team in the game. They had gone from being
the worst team in the game in the 2nd Edition rules to the strongest in the
3rd Edition. Posts to this list were awash with the tides and tidings of the 
victories (and victims) of the walking dead. The supposed 'penalty' for this
was the actual lack of talented players, and the inability to hire a 'regular'
Wizard.

Then came JJ's Q&A in White Dwarf 182. Suddenly, a dent was placed in the armor
of the bone-rattlers - they could only Regenerate on a roll of 4+. 

Additionally, their Regeneration was made dependent upon their Necromancer, and
if he died - well, most of the team went into the ground with him.

The list flamed up for a while. Most Necromancers (of course) were rather
vehemently against this rule. Most flesh-and-circulating-bloods were all for
it :)

Things seemed to be a bit more in balance. Granted, JJ did little to clarify
how a Necromancer is replaced, whether an Ejected Necromancer could Regenerate
his players at the end of the match, etc. But Undead teams now had to work a 
bit harder to attain elite status. Skaven, Human, and Elven teams continued to
win the vast majority of the tournaments posted to this list, with little more
than token resistance from the brainwave-challenged :)

But then other changes were worked in. The natural movement of leagues against
the out-of-kilter destructive potential of Dirty Players resulted in a wave of
'Natural' rulings - Death would occur only on a natural 12, for example. Some
leagues took this further, so that even Serious Injuries were only inflicted on
a similar natural roll.

Soon, many teams were starting to have players that lived forever. Only their
players had actual AG's, and MA's, and AV's, and Skills, so that the Undead 
were becoming extinct upon the pitch. What had been fantasy on the field -
removing the Undead from play - had become reality off of it.

What's more, this general lack of good friendly violent death :) all but
eliminated a specific function of the Necromancer - the ability to Raise the
Dead. Undead teams started to fade away like ghosts at sunrise...

But then came 'Sigurd's Rule' - and with it, a general rise in deaths over the
'Natural 12' wave which had washed upon the beach. "At least," said potential
apprentices, "we might have a chance to gain a few extra bodies." And so a few
more fledglings joined the rank-and-file of the Necromantic Circle.

But where are we today with the Undead? How fair is the game of Blood Bowl - 
not just for them, but for their opponents?

And in just a minute - we'll have a look and see...

-=-Acerak

From V116QHTH@ubvms.cc.buffalo.eduMon Nov 11 00:00:45 1996
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 1996 15:37:55 -0500 (EST)
From: Aaron C Thies 
Reply to: bbowl-l@CS.UTK.EDU
To: bbowl-l@CS.UTK.EDU
Cc: thies@jmcanty.com, norton@aries.scs.uiuc.edu
Subject: Undead Analysis, Part II.

Undead players, to be quite blunt, suck.

I'm going to put this out in the open first and foremost, so that we drop any
charade that the players have any real talent. There are bright spots here and
there - a Mummy is a pretty damn fine front-liner, for example, while ST-3
Ghouls make pretty good Catchers - but the truth is, most of the rank-n-file
Undead make Goblins look like pretty handy fellows.

First off, a look at the actual prices for the Undead vs the "should-be" prices:

Skeletons	30K	40K
Zombies		30K	40K
Wights		90K	80K
Ghouls		70K	70K
Mummies	       100K	90K

(note that these are by my own system, which i'll go into if anyone requests)

Basically, the Undead have been given cheaper feebs (would anyone seriously
consider paying 40K for a Skeleton?) at the cost of slightly-more-expensive
position players (Wights and Mummies). The Ghouls are the right price.

Undead do not have great stats. They are a slow team (all but the Ghouls have
average of lower MA). They are not an agile team (only Ghouls and Wights have
AGs of 3). They are a fairly iron-deficient (read: "armor-poor";) team (only
Wights and Zombies have average AVs; 2 Mummies have AVs of 9, while 4 Ghouls
and numerous Skeletons have AVs of 7).

In short, they suck (see the first sentence of this analysis:).

Central to the survivability of any Undead team is the Regeneration skill. This
skill lacks any inherent offensive capabilities - no Wight is going to use
Regeneration to pick up the ball, for example - but has a decent defensive
capability - namely, it allows Undead players to live a bit longer, hopefully
racking up enough SPPs to get another skill or two.

But how well does this Regeneration skill work? Let us consider the following:

There are 16 players on a basic Undead team. 4 of these are certain to be 
Ghouls, who do not Regenerate and do NOT come back when killed (we will leave
aside the Healing Scroll for the moment). However, for simplicity's sake, I'll
leave the Ghoul situation alone for now and assume that all 16 players have
Regeneration.

Thus, of 16 Undead players, 8 will stay dead when killed (1 lifespan, or "LS,"
apiece). Of the 8 who survive, 4 will stay dead the next time around (2 LSs
apiece, or 8 among the 4 of them). Of the 4 who survive that wave, 2 will stay
dead the next time around (3 LSs apiece, or 6 between the 2 of them). Of the
2 remaining corpses, 1 will cease moving when he next hits the turf (4 LSs for
him). The last one, we shall assume, will stay dead after his next 6 on 
Sigurd's Table (5 lifespans for this rare individual).

So, we have the following:

8 died first time around		8 lifespans
4 died second time around		8 lifespans
2 died third time around		6 lifespans
1 died fourth time around		4 lifespans
1 died fifth time around		5 lifespans
---------------------------------------------------
16 died after 5 games ;)	       31 lifespans

31 lifespans divided among 16 players will yield an average of 2 lifespans
per player (though it should be noted that half the team will not pass the
first Regeneration roll).

Thus, it can be assumed that the average Undead player will live twice as
long as a comparable player from another team (linemen for Skeletons and 
Zombies, DPs for DP Skeletons, Blitzers for Wights, Big Guys/Blocker/Warriors
for Mummies).

It takes 6 SPPs to get your first skill. Double that and you get 12 - Skill #2.

It takes 11 SPPs to get your second skill. Double that - and you don't quite
have Skill #3, but I'll fudge it for you.

It takes 26 SPPs to get your third skill - doubled to 52, you'd have 4.

It takes 51 SPPs to get your fourth skill - this has only been seen in our
league with DPs and Super Catchers, so I'll go no further.

I think you can see my point. Regeneration, among 16 Regenerating players, 
will be worth one extra skill per player, per player type - thus, if Linemen
in your league generally get to 1 or 2 skills apiece, the average Skeleton
should be expected to get to 2 or 3 skills. If Blitzers tend to get 3 skills,
a Wight should be expected to go to 4 skills.

"This is all well and good," non-Necromancers conclude. "What's the problem?"

Well, there are problems. I've coached the Undead, and I'll tell you that
there _are_ problems. I'll leave the theoretical numbers alone - I'm sure there
are countless Necromancers who would tell you they've never seen the same 
player make 3 Regeneration rolls, much less four (five is unheard of:), but
I'll throw out those arguments for the time being.

I'll start with the Ghouls. Ghouls don't have Regeneration. This, we are told
by the list, is because Ghouls are not Undead - they're "corpse-eaters." Of
course, "for balance," Necromancers aren't allowed Apothecaries to save them...

With 4 Ghouls thrown onto the Undead roster, the lifespans break down like this:

4 Ghouls			4 LSs
6 died first time down		6 LSs
3 died second time down		6 LSs
1 died third time down		3 LSs
1 died fourth time down		4 LSs
1 died fifth time down		5 LSs
-------------------------------------
16 died after 5 games ;)       28 LSs

This means that the average Undead enjoys a lifespan roughly 7/4 that of
comparable players - in other words, it's generally NOT enough to account
for an extra skill.

And then we come to another point - what sort of "comparable players" are
there? If a Human Lineman's stats looked like a Zombie, a case could be made
that the Zombie benefits for having Regeneration. But the stats are nothing
alike. If a Wight looked like an Orc Blitzer - instead of a hyped-up Human
Lineman - a case could be made that the Wight is at an advantage for having
Regeneration.

But Undead suck, remember? Their stats are inferior. Their AV is inferior.
Their MA is crippling, meaning several of them - Skeletons in particular -
are forced to become DPs. They don't survive anywhere near as long as their
Skaven, Orcish, or Human counterparts, either, because they either simply 
aren't as well-armored, or simply can't move away fast enough, or because they
can't make good use of a skill like Dodge owing to their 2 AG. Wights are
glorified Linemen - if your Human Linemen tend to survive to 2 skills, the
Wight shoudl expect to get 3 before he kicks off. _And_this_is_their_best_
_all-around_player_...

Thus, their "double-life expectancy" (read: "extra-skill dependency") is 
practically negated by the fact that they get sent off the pitch much more
frequently than "comparable" players of all other races...

Additionally, Undead player costs INCLUDE 20K for Regeneration - a skill
whose only use if for the player to gain one extra skill - usually a 10K deal.
Thus, every Undead player seems to lose out 10K in the bargain...

Mummies, of course, make for great players. Granted, they can only do one thing
- bash the hell out of the opposition - but they can do it pretty damn well. A
great ST, a good AV, and Mighty Blow to start with make them pretty damn good
players. I'm not going to complain there (however, they're not the Almighty
Balancing Gift designed to offset the rest of the team's inadequacies - any
Troll Slayer will lay waste to a Mummy more often than not, and being
surrounded by feebs is the surest way to find yourself alone the pitch, being
set up for a nasty Foul or two...) 

However, the position players are rather limited (you can only have 2 Mummies,
and 2 Wights, and 4 Ghouls, meaning that while you *could* have the maximum of
8 Zombies on your team, you'll probably have to make do with a Skeleton or 2).

Right about now, most of the well-thinking Skaven and Orc coaches among you 
will be thinking, "Hey, what about the Vampire? How about 4 Vampires?"

Well, I'm leaving the Vampire out of the discussion. For one thing, JJ has said
that the Star Players were afterthoughts - the teams were supposed to be
balanced *before* the Star Players were rushed into the deal. For another, our
league has decided against the use of Star Players (except for Secret Weapons);
our Vampires start off 6/4/4/8/HypnoGaze, Regenerate, Off For A Bite, and take
twice as long as everyone else to gain skills. You can also only have 1 per
team here, so...

"Ah," the rest of you say, "but you're forgetting the Necromancer..."

No, I'll get to him in just a moment...

-=-Acerak

From V116QHTH@ubvms.cc.buffalo.eduMon Nov 11 00:00:53 1996
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 1996 16:16:22 -0500 (EST)
From: Aaron C Thies 
Reply to: bbowl-l@CS.UTK.EDU
To: bbowl-l@CS.UTK.EDU
Cc: thies@jmcanty.com, norton@aries.scs.uiuc.edu
Subject: Undead Analysis, Part III.

[This hour's installment brings us to that most hallowed of individuals, 
the Necromancer...]

Almost everybody can agree on the following:

	1.) Wizards are a great thing to have. A Wizard can stop one opposing
	    TD per game, with a better-than-good chance of success.

	2.) Zombies suck.

	3.) The more games your team plays, the less it relies on Linemen.

	4.) The more you shy away from the original rules, the less deaths you
	    have.

	5.) Zombies suck.

According to the rules, Undead are NOT able to hire a normal Wizard. Rather,
the team Coach (the Necromancer) acts as the team's Wizard.

However, instead of being able to do normaly Wizard-ly things - like turning
Ogres into Toads, for example, or Fireballing a pack of Dwarves, or Lightning
Bolting that pesky Wardancer - a Necromancer can cast "Raise The Dead".

All of you on the list know what this spell does, of course. In limited
circumstances (ie., no Goblins, Halflings, or Big Guys may be the targets of
this spell), it allows you to turn *one* dead player on the opposing team
into -

- a Zombie.

Supposedly, this is to "balance Regeneration," or something like that. Or maybe
it's supposed to be an even trade, I don't know (slightly opinionated tone, but
I happen to be a bit righteous about this sort of thing;).

But the fact is, Regeneration is already paid for; it only amounts to most of
an extra skill; Undead players suck; and in no way is the POTENTIAL for 
creating a 30K slab of meat equal to the CERTAIN casting of a TD-saving spell
each and every game.

Recall, if you will, Sigurd's Injury Table. Recall the Lottery League play-
testing numbers - 20 deaths in 16 games. 8 permanently dead players in 16
games (oh, and 1 of them COULD have been Apothecaried, but I opted to let the
Hobgoblin die in case a Chaos Dwarf bit it - and it never happened).

Four of the dead players were Goblins. Another 1 was a Halfling. This leaves
3 players dead (and able to be Raised) in 16 games, allowing for Sigurd's
Table and Fouling/Blocking Assisting Rules.

Clearly, this is ludicrous. I'm sure some of you will reply that this sort of
thing doesn't happen in your league; I'll allow that you are correct. Not
every league plays without Star Players, either (Stars provide a great deal
of carnage themselves not accounted for here). Not everyone is playing with
Sigurd's Rule, or with Natural 12's, or anything like that - in which case
I'm sure the Undead in your league are in great shape.

But the opportunity to get 1 Zombie every 5 games or so in a lot of leagues
(and who isn't using 4+ Regeneration rules OR Sigurd's Rule OR Consistent
Assisting Rules?) is completely, utterly, totally worthless.

Additionally, we come to the issue of White Dwarf #182, wherein it was stated
that if a Necromancer left the game for any reason, the Undead could not
Regenerate.

Needed in a league where Regeneration works on a 2+? Certainly (in such 
leagues, actually, Regeneration has actual offensive capabilities, since the
Undead will be able to use the same players virtually all game). Needed in
a league where it works only on a 4+? Where players from other teams simply
stop dying off?

Not at all.

In theory, Undead should have more money to spend than other teams - after all,
they don't have to pay for new players quite as often. However, the team peaks
early, often starting out with 2 Mummies, 2 Wights, and 2 Ghouls, with the
result that 140K later, you have a full team and a lot of money in the Treasury
to buy an extra reroll or two (of course, you'll be replacing a Ghoul every
other game, in my experience). What good is money with nothing to spend it on?

In short, the game has tilted radically away from the Undead, making them an
inferior team compared to Orcs, Humans, Skaven, Elves, and even (shudder)
Chaos Dwarves. They're about on par with Dwarves, actually - and how many
Dwarven teams do you have in your league? Even Chaos players are better off -
and people complain about the lack of variety on Chaos teams constantly.

Think Regeneration is such a great skill? Think again. Since we've gone to a
4+ rule here, no one has taken Regeneration as a mutation. In the 'old days'
(2+ rule), it was the first skill a Chaos or Skaven player took on a double -
there were never any second thoughts.

It seems we've gone from one extreme to the other on the Undead, and neither
has proved acceptable. They're at the weak end of the spectrum now, and I'd
like to suggest a thing or two to fix that...

-=-Acerak

From V116QHTH@ubvms.cc.buffalo.eduMon Nov 11 00:01:48 1996
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 1996 17:36:38 -0500 (EST)
From: Aaron C Thies 
Reply to: bbowl-l@CS.UTK.EDU
To: bbowl-l@CS.UTK.EDU
Cc: thies@jmcanty.com, norton@aries.scs.uiuc.edu
Subject: Undead Analysis: Even More Finality.

Finally, we get to the last point:

5.) INCREASE _RAISE_THE_DEAD_. I mean, *REALLY* increase it.

    As Louis Norton has pointed out to me, Halflings and Goblins were probably
    exempted in the original rules because they didn't have enough mass to 
    create a Human-sized Zombie.

    But with these rules, why should that matter? No one's asking for a man-
    sized Goblin Zombie. A Goblin Zombie would simply look like this:

    4/2/2/7	Stunty, Regenerate

    That would be a pretty interesting player. Granted, Stunty would have to
    carry the Assumed Stunty Penalty (+1 to Injury Rolls, passing range 
    modifiers, etc.) And a ST of 2 might limit this player's effectiveness.
    But if a Necromancer wants such a player...who am I to say no? :)

    Now, let's get back to Hyper Cheez E, Gutter Runner extraordinaire:

    11/2/5/7	Stunty, Very Long Legs, Dodge, Catch

    Hyper gets blasted by Thrasher von Death, my Wight of Doom, and becomes
    milquetoast with the following flavoring:

    9/2/4/7	Stunty, Very Long Legs

    Now *this*, as I've said, would be a spell worth throwing around!

    Of course, I expect a lot of people will say this is a great idea, and a 
    lot more will be screaming bloody murder (doubtless, they're the ones with
    the Wizards who like to Fireball both my Mummies and 3-4 feeble Skeletons
    and Zombies, to boot.) But let's look at the facts, eh?

    In the test league here, we've had 8 players die in 16 games (I'm going to
    keep repeating this mantra until everyone gets it:). Of those, 5 have been
    either Halflings or Goblins. 1 has been a Hobgoblin, who makes an inferior
    Zombie (4/3/2/7, Regenerate). 1 has been a Human Thrall, who makes for a
    standard Zombie. And another was a Dark Elf Lineman - a pretty decent 
    Zombie at 4/3/3/8 (if you like your cannon fodder to have AGs of 3, that
    is, like I do;).

    Chances are damn good that HyperCheese here is going to be saved by his
    Apothecary. A nice luxury, I might add, denied to my own catcher-types.

    Just to really get the uproarious in an uproar, though, I'm going to ALSO
    propose the following (separately or in combo, doesn't matter):

	A.) RAISE THE DEAD can ALTERNATELY be used once per match on any Undead
            player (either side) who has failed their Regeneration roll after
            being killed. The magicks are instead directed at reanimating the
            player in its original state (ie., a Raised Mummy is still a
            Mummy), with the result that the player loses all acquired skills
            and is reduced to 0 SPPs (Peaked Undead should be presumed to have
            some physical defect which limits their ability to acquire skills,
	    and thus remain Peaked). In no way may the usual standards (3
            Mummies, 2 Wights, 8 Zombies, etc) be violated. Vampires are never
	    created in this fashion, so a Vampire who is killed stays dead.

(I should note that since Ghouls are not Undead, Ghouls may only be raised as
Zombies with 5/3/2/7 stats as a base - they may not be Raised in the above 
manner.)

	B.) RAISE THE DEAD can also be used on larger creatures - Ogres, for
	    example - to create so-called "Monster Zombies". Reduce the MA of
	    the target by 2, and the AG by 1 (no stat may be reduced below 1,
	    as per the Serious Injury rules in DeathZone). All Physical 
            Abilities the creatures normally start with - Thick Skull for most,
	    Prehensile Tail for Rat Ogres, etc. - are retained, as are all
	    starting skills - Mighty Blow for most, Stand Firm for Treemen,
	    etc., as these skills are not 'learned' but are simply natural
	    outgrowths of the creature's enormous bulk.

For those who don't believe me - all Ogres have Mighty Blow. It's not something
they all learned. It isn't all about a ST of 5, either - if that were the case,
every yob who got beaten by a Lineman and two friends (ST 3 + 2 Assists = ST 5)
would be feeling a lot more pain in the morning - they have Mighty Blow because
they're large and obtrusive and - well, 'large and obtrusive'! (cf Mummies)

This would make the talk in the book about 'players being horrified as ex-
team-mates get up to play against them' ring a little bit closer to the truth..

(That oughta get 'em shouting in the aisles...;)

Now, several people are going to say that this takes EVERYTHING off its
hinges. Honestly, I haven't playtested these rules. I will say the following:

1.) I've played with Undead for about a year and a half now (after WD 182 came
    out). I'm not just pining for the days of 2+ Regeneration - I thought that
    was cheesey as all hell.

2.) Undead are severely crippled by the lack of a Wizard, and players of skill.
    While several drawbacks to their game (WD 182 being a direct example, 
    Sigurd's Table being a more well-meaning but indirect one) have been 
    forwarded, nothing has ever been done on their behalf.

3.) In a league with Star Players, these rules probably aren't such a good
    idea (having 4 Luthors is probably enough). If your league plays 2+ for
    Regeneration, these rules aren't for you, either. Similarly, if you haven't
    adopted Sigurd's Table or messes around with DP, these rules should be out.

4.) You are only allowed EIGHT Zombies. Praying on making your team by nailing
    the Orcs' Ogre requires you to keep one spot per game open for a fresh 
    corpse (few Necromancers do this now, I'm sure). Given the low rate of
    deaths in this New World Odor (as well as the pounding you'll take playing
    against the Orcs, whether or not the Ogre is alive), and the prevalance
    of successful Apothecaries, this is hardly going to be a common thing.

Now, I tend to think this is a rip-rockin' idea. It would certainly devastate
my opponent to see his hulking Ogre suddenly lining up on MY side of the pitch
(actually, in the league we're going to start, it doesn't look like we'll
even have any teams which can hire Ogres. But I digress...) Honestly, I don't
think Regeneration should be tied to the Necromancer, but since we use 
Suggestion #1, it's rarely such a big deal.

And that's my contribution to the carnage. Feast on!

-=-Acerk the Lich King

"The surest way to survive a game of Blood Bowl is to make sure that everyone
 who could possibly kill you is dead." --Engel 'The Exterminator' von Evilstein

From V116QHTH@ubvms.cc.buffalo.eduMon Nov 11 00:00:59 1996
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 1996 16:53:29 -0500 (EST)
From: Aaron C Thies 
Reply to: bbowl-l@CS.UTK.EDU
To: bbowl-l@CS.UTK.EDU
Cc: thies@jmcanty.com, norton@aries.scs.uiuc.edu
Subject: Undead Analysis: Final Suggestions.

(Of course, given the traffic this post is sure to generate, I sincerely doubt
there will be much "final" about it...but here goes!)

Any and all of the following suggestions are up for sale:

1.) Dean Maki posted it here just recently, but I have previously sent our
    league's rules for the Necromancer to this list:

	* If the Necromancer is Ejected, Killed, or Badly Hurt, he may not
	  Regenerate players until after the match. If he is Seriously
	  Injured, he may not Regenerate any players until the end of the
	  *next* match (and you must carry any 'dead' players on your roster
	  you wish to have Regenerated, and they count towards TR).

    The reasoning is quite simple - the magic which brought the corpse to its
    undead state does not cease functioning without the Necromancer present -
    this is supported by the fact that the team does not actually disintegrate
    if the Necromancer is removed from play. The Necromancer is usually too
    busy yelling at his players, the fans, the referee, etc., to attend to
    injuries during the course of a game - that's why he waits until there is
    a break (TD scored, halftime, end of game, etc.) to 'fix' his players.

    A failed Regeneration roll means that the body housing the magic is too
    seriously battered to keep functioning (imagine a Skeleton with an arm,
    a leg, AND a skull missing), and the player thus ceases to (un)be.

    However, time is rarely an object - a Skeleton can be tended to a play
    later (the Skaven score lightning quick), or a half later (the Orcs grind
    the Zombies to mulch over the course of the second half). So, if a 
    Necromancer is out of the game, he simply gets to the injured charges when
    he can.

2.) SEPARATE REGENERATION FROM THE NECROMANCER.

    In this case, the ruling is simple - damage which would normally kill a
    player do not have the usual effect. Thus, the Skeleton is ground into 
    dust - but it magically reforms (successful Regeneration roll). Or the 
    Zombie has his foot removed by the Ogre, but it doesn't re-attach 
    (unsuccessful Regeneration roll, MA -1, miss the next game, for example).

    In this case, the Undead become a slightly stronger team than they are 
    now - no one can remove their Regeneration (the Necromancer is hardly out 
    of the game that often, anyway, of course). Of course, they are still
    handicapped by the lack of a true Wizard, but...

3.) KEEP REGENERATION ATTACHED TO THE NECROMANCER. GIVE THE UNDEAD A WIZARD.

    Undead get a Necromancer for free (he is the Head Coach, after all). Even
    though the individual player costs account for Regeneration (in other
    words, even though it isn't free and shouldn't need a handicap, since it
    doesn't amount to what you pay for it), the Necromancer must provide this
    service. If he is removed, the players suffer in some way (either they 
    can't Regenerate, or Suggestion #1, above).

    However, the Necromancer can't cast Raise The Dead. The spell is actually
    rather complicated - it involves stitching some body parts together, 
    finding suitable corpses, etc. - and can't be cast during a game on some
    already overly abused Human Thrall.

    But the Necromancer, with all this free gold lying about, undoubtedly 
    attracts interest from other Mages. On of whom might be willing to work 
    for the team for, say, 150K and a bottle of smelling salts...

4.) INCREASE THE POWER OF _RAISE_THE_DEAD_.

    This is the brainchild I came up with this morning :) In short, it stems
    from a couple mismatches in the game - why should a Gutter Runner Zombie
    have the same stats as an Orc Zombie, for example? - and an itching to
    tweak the rules to get things back in the Undead's favor (or at least
    back to even).

    Let us assume for the moment that all Zombies on an Undead team were
    created from general human beings (read: "Human Linemen").

    Thus, when a player is turned into a Zombie, he loses 2 points of MA and 1
    point of AG, while gaining the Regeneration skill.

    All well and good. Now, let's apply this to all manner of players, shall
    we?

    Thus, a Skaven Zombie becomes 5/3/2/7 (in other words, equivalent to a
    Skeleton).

    An Orc Zombie becomes 3/3/2/9 (in other words, a slower, better-armored
    Zombie).

    A Human Zombie, of course, stays the same.

    But then we get to...position players! If you're fortunate enough to
    kill Mad Max McGee, Human Blitzer, you are rewarded with a 5/3/2/8
    Zombie (ie., a slightly more-mobile Zombie). If you kill Syltan Windrider,
    Wood Elf Catcher, you are rewarded with a pretty neat guy - 7/2/3/7, and
    Regeneration to boot! 

    Of course, this character really isn't all that great - after all, he's
    got a ST of 2, and Regeneration, whereas a Wight has a ST of 3, and Dodge.
    Old Syltan here won't exactly be picking up Dodge anytime soon in his new
    form, either (since he can now only choose General Skills).

    But interesting things also occur if I manage to knock off good ol' Gard
    Hain, Black Orc Blocker, too. Now I've got a character who looks like this:

    2/4/1/9	Regenerate

    A ST 4 Zombie! Who-hoo! Granted, he'll have to follow Treeman rules for
    standing up. Granted, this is going to be a MAJOR hassle (I would know, I
    had a Mummy with MA 2 until he got Jump Up). But THAT is a worthwhile
    spell to throw around!

    And so I was thinking about this further...and it logically occured to me
    that a Beastman Zombie still has Horns. And a Storm Vermin with Claw isn't
    going to lose the Claw when he dies, either.

    Skills, of course, are lost when you become a Zombie. But why should
    Physical Abilities? After all, the Dwarven Zombie *still* has a Thick
    Skull - it's not a learned ability, after all. Your Big Hand doesn't 
    suddenly cease functioning when you go to pick up the ball.

    So now, let's say I manage to kill Hyper Cheez E, Skaven Gutter Runner.
    Hyper has been tearing up the league for some time now, and has:

    MA 11*, ST 2, AG 5*, AV 7, Dodge, Catch, Very Long Legs*, MA +1*, AG +1

    Well, Hyper got a little too close to my Mummy last game, and bit the
    dust. His Apothecary failed, of course (but only because he needs to for
    this example), so I Raise Hyper Cheez E:

    9/2/4/7 Very Long Legs

    Not bad! My very own Gutter Runner! ;)

    Now, according to the original rules, the spell doesn't work on Goblins
    or Halflings (presumably, because they have Stunty). Honestly, I don't
    why that is, but for the sake of consistency, we'll say that if HyperCheese
    had Stunty, he'd be exempt. Similarly, Big Guys are also exempt.

Looks like I'll have to finish this suggestion in the other lab...

-=-Acerak the Lich King