The Wonderful World of Wood Elves, Pt. 2
Playing a Young Wood Elf Team
When playing a young (usually its 1st five games or so, give or take) Wood Elf team, your tactics are, of course, going to be markedly different than a team with more experience (and a full roster, and more position players, etc.) This is the section where I deal with that.
Also, for the purposes of this discussion, I'm going to assume you're using the Team I gave in Part 1. If you're a slacker, and you did something different, these guidlines will still be the same in some ways, but in others will make no sense. Consider yourself warned!
One last thing before I start: This section of my Strategy guide will never truly be done, as I will tinker with it and add material to it as it comes to me, so even if you've read this before, come back now and then and see what's changed.
Anyway, here are some of the basic strategies to keep in mind when playing your new wood elf team.
Card SelectionIf you only get 1 card, take a Random Event. The chances of getting money in a random event deck are greater than your chances of getting the Magic Helmet in the Magic Item deck, so play the odds. Your team REALLY needs money so it can get the important position players most teams are cheap enough to start with, and to replace any deaths or ST/AG-downgrade players or nigglers you get. About the best single young Wood Elf-friendly card I can think of is Big Match.
if you get more than 1, take a Magic Item, and the rest Random Events. Until you have a full roster, or near it, Dirty Tricks should only be used in large handicap (2 extra cards or more) games, see above. Best 3 card combo I can think of: Magic Helmet, Big Match, Merchandising
Offense/Ball ControlUse your lineelves as throwers. Everyone on your team is AG4, so early on it's OK that they aren't specialized in AG skills (no throwers, no catchers, etc) Use everybody as both! Put 2 Line-Elves in the backfield when you recieve your kick, use the closest one to go get the ball, and usually he is close enough to the other elf to make a quick pass (2+) to him, and he can then go up to the line and hand off to your Wardancer, who is your best ballhandler early on (he's really tough to knock down, and can leap out of any messes in a jam). It's a good idea also to rotate different elves in for this passing duty, to spread out the SPP's on your team. This way, with any luck, it'll be almost impossible after a few games for your MVP award not to result in a skill for whoever gets it!
Note that most of the line-elves should have at least 1 skill, many 2. Also note that your Wardancer may not even have the most SPP's. This is be expected after 5 games.
Don't let your Wardancer do all the work. Your line-elves are excellent scorers in their own right, and should be allowed to do so whenever possible. Otherwise, you'll soon find yourself with 1 guy with 30 SPP's and the rest of the team with just an odd MVP or completion here and there. Often it only takes a hand-off to score with a line-elf instead of the Wardancer, don't be afraid to do so unless your opponent is really good, or happens to be in a position to really capitalize on your possible error. Other times to "just go" include when the game is on the line, when it's raining, and/or when you have no re-rolls.
Damage Control:After you've finished all of your other more important stuff (blocks, fouls, blitzes, etc.), dodge all of your remaining elves away from the line, especially when playing a mean hitting-type team like orcs or dwarves, but don't use a reroll on them unless it's real late in the half and you have one to spare. This keeps the other team from taking advantage of your low AV by beating up all your players.
If dodging away is not possible, don't be afraid to take a few even-strength (1 die) blocks, especially if the player you're hitting doesn't have block. You have better odds when hitting then when being hit with a skill-less (no block or dodge) player. (1 in 3 vs. 1 in 2)
Fouling:Don't think that just because you're elves means you shouldn't foul now and then; just don't do it so much that you start a foul war. Your players aren't tough enough to take that kind of beating, and the probably cost more than your opponent's players, too! You have more agility and speed on your team then anyone else...so when somebody goes down, you can surround them and foul with good success. Use this approach to take out the opposition's biggest threats to your well-being. (Lord Borak comes to mind, if you can knock him down that is...my advice is not to play a team with him until later)
You can play good defense with this team!! I play a 3-7-1 Defensive setup, with the 3 required line elves on the Line, then 7 more line elves 2 rows back.
I use the extra row to prevent a quick snap from decimating my defense as has happened before. They are spread such that 2 are in each wide zone, then 3 spread through the middle of the field.
Then the Wardancer plays in the middle of the field, 2 rows further back (4 rows off the line). This allows him to blitz almost any forward player on the field.
This is a very flexible defense, and allows you to quickly react to any strategy your opponent uses. I love it!