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Gnome Playbook

by bouncergriim

The Gnomes are a rugged team, but also have a soft underbelly which you need to protect if you want to win with them. The Gnomes themselves can be a pain to tie down or tackle due to their high DODGE, and are all equally able to move the ball if needed. The Contraptions are fast (for Monsters) with relatively high DODGE, plus you might face 3 of them so again can be very difficult to deal with. On the flip side, the Gnomes are all slow, so have to worry about being out-positioned while the contraption's LOW grit mean that they're likely to stay on the floor if they find themselves there.

Team Strengths
  • 3 monsters with high MIGHT and TACKLE, that are fast for monsters
  • High DODGE little guys who are pretty average overall
  • Only 2 player types, easy roster to build and learn

Team Weaknesses
  • Slower team overall
  • Monsters with low grit, easier to attrition out of game.

Getting Started

This section gives some views on how to compose a team

1) Roster Choices
Max out your contraptions, you want all three of these. I would recommend against using the impcrusher (if your league/tourney allows it for gnomes) because of the high likelihood of ejection from the game and that you can't use potions on it. Then have at least 4-5 gnomes, so you have at least 1 in reserve, 2+ is preferable

2) Support Items
Go with a bribed ref, 2 potions and 2 cheerleaders (these ladies are more optional, Skills on players can trump these ladies). The ref will help if you want to risk the face off, if your contraption wins it gives you an opportunity to take out an opponent early, shove then move behind and destroy that opponent. Also it is good to be able to move a contraption into the goal as a guard if you are feeling overwhelmed and just turtle there.

3) Abilities
Taunt and swarm are great little guy abilities and shouldn't be overlooked. These abilities will really help you position players out of sequence and make up for the slower movement of gnomes as well as can be used to help move gnomes in to support their teammates. Abilities for Contraptions, these are not completely necessary and can be avoided to save cost in team building, however grapple, buff and bonecrusher are great for these brute machines.It is up to personal preference, but I would take buff and bonecrusher over a cheerleaders, Yet contraptions are pretty good without them, so get these if you get a potion boost.

4) Reserves
You need at least one or two gnomes in reserves for when (not if) a contraption goes down. Your opponent should focus their attacks on the machines to really weaken your team.

Player Types

This section is a quick review of the player types available on the team. They are one of the few teams who don't have access to any of the 'standard' player types.

0-3 Contraptions (Monster)
JOG
MIGHT
TACKLE
DODGE
SKILL
GRIT
5
5
5
3
1
2
Attrition specialists, these machines are great at shoving and destroying anything in their path, great to use pre-emptively, but beware of retaliation, keep these 'bots well supported or they will drop out of the game early. Try not to use these machines for too much ball handling, because they become even more fragile when holding the ball, and that gives your opponent another opportunity to get the ball and sideline your brute. They can be effective ball carriers against lower MIGHT teams that have more difficulty getting through an impact challenge


Ability picks
  • Grapple, Buff and Bonecrusher for general take downs and damage
  • or Pummel and Plough to help you hurt and move more.
  • Bonecrusher is a no cost bonus to destroying an opponent, whereas Pummel is basic and can be more deadly against low DODGE, high GRIT players.

0-9 Gnomes (Little Guy)
JOG
MIGHT
TACKLE
DODGE
SKILL
GRIT
5
3
3
4
3
3
Basically your standard midfielder, but slower and DODGEier. Use these guys as your ball handlers and support players. With swarm they can work effectively as a group and be repositioned on the fly with momentum. Without skills they are better than regular midfielders at staying in the game because of their higher dodge. 4 dodge is surprisingly difficult to injure without a lot of tackle when they are not holding the ball.


Ability picks
  • Taunt and Swarm, both good at helping positioning, also both are very effective at not leaving momentum on your track.
  • Nimble and agile, nimble to help build extra momentum and agile to give you a better ball handler.

Setting Up


1) Basic Face-Off Rules: Use the Gnome here and then try to push your opponent if they are of average or less MIGHT, or try to pick up the ball if they are of extra MIGHTy.

2) Advanced Face-Off Rules: Risk vs. reward here, with a Bribed ref it might be worthwile to try to take out an opponent early with a Contraption, otherwise if you want to make sure you keep your contraption in play use a Gnome here and follow the basic advice above. Be aware that your Gnome is rather exposed, as none of his team mates can effectively reach him to assist in the first couple of turns. A bribe is a good threat to stop your opponent placing a more homicidal player for the face-off, even if you don't use it.

Play Style

Do Not Rush this team patience is necessary, then Positioning and support are key for this team. Your contraptions are strong and excellent hitters, but retaliation against them can take it's toll easily. Keep a handler with any contraptions moving upfield into enemy territory as protection from being tackled from behind. Also if you are using abilities remember that swarm will allow gnomes to move toward other gnomes so have your gnomes positioned accordingly, this can even give you a way to double back in 2 turns by bringing a gnome in from reserves then swarming back towards him.

This team also a great attrition team, take the opportunities you get to remove key opponents from the game with your contraptions, without leaving them overexposed, and if a contraption goes down it is always good to have a gnome or other contraptions nearby to help him get up again (especially if he is dazed). A dazed contraption is worse than a hurt contraption because he cannot get up on his own and you cannot send in a reserve to help him, so watch out for tackles against your contraptions and DO NOT DASH with them, because they quickly go from asset standing to liability dazed. Try to always shove before you tackle to build momentum with them. Even though contraptions are big and seem able to handle themselves, they really make great team players and are best when working in tandem with a gnome or another contraption.

Gnomes are good but slow all around players, they can do anything and they are tough to take out. If you lose to many contraptions, don't fear, just go to a positioning play style. Gnomes in the open field are tough to take down and can be used to help hop-scotch forward using swarm. Remember swarm can even allow you to move a gnome into a hex with the ball if he is moving towards a little buddy. Be aware though swarm doesn't let you change your facing of the non active gnome.

General Positioning Strategies

With the bribed ref, it is a great idea to keep a contraption safe in the goalie circle and ready to hit any player that gets within his range, if an opponent is just outside his range or is a sprinter, you might want to move him back into the goal circle instead of pursuing an opponent. Try to get a gnome down field (at least one), especially with swarm he is an asset to be able to move towards and have closer to the goal when you get the ball.

I like to put a gnome in the face off ring, a gnome and contraption in each rover circle and a contraption in the defender circle (goalie). From here I prefer to start defensively, hopefully the opponent has takent the ball back to their side of the field. I move one of my contraptions up toward the gnome who faced off and then move them in tandem up one side of the opponents pitch and start hunting down players to try to force them to move the ball carrier to my side of the field ( I also might start repositioning players on my side to have more reach: have a contraption supported by a gnome move to be able to fall back to the goal or move forward to intercept incoming opponents and leave the goalie contraption back for a second line of defense to stop ball carriers. I like to have the gnomes spread out to help use swarm more effectively, basically one in/near each rover circle and one downfeild so I can more a gnome with swarm towards the action as needed for better positioning.

The Impcrusher (Optional Rule)
The Gnomes can opt to Swap a contraption for an Impcrusher, although you have to carefully consider the benefits before using it, as it's a big sacrifice to make.
Impcrusher
JOG
MIGHT
TACKLE
DODGE
SKILL
GRIT
5
5
5
4
1
2
The impcrusher also comes with the following attributes: Cheapshot, Ruthless, Pummel and Plough

The Impcrusher has a fearsome stat line, it's strong, nasty and also hard to take down with the high DODGE attribute, plus it is the only player type that comes with skills as standard. The skills synergise really well with this player so not suprisingly using it comes with a penalty.
The best way to use it is for zone control and you should avoid moving where possible to reduce the risk of the referee sending it off. You need to ensure you have the best odds of causing attrition every time you activate it otherwise you're wasting turns and risking losing it.

When an opponent player falls over, the Impcrusher can shove an opponent to generate some momentum then use the Ruthless and Plough skills to travel extra hexes across the pitch towards the downed player using the Cheapshot skill to attack them. If you have spare momentum and only need 1 success for the Tackle challenge, you could elect to use pummel and throw a dice or 2 less in the challenge in return for increased injury chances. Because of the high risk using this player it would also be good to maximise tackling opportunitites by doing a dash challenge for an extra tackle, should you have spare momentum, although if you flop a dash, you will need at least 1 friendly player facing the machine for it to get up again..


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