Shoving as a tactic is an indirect way to achieve lots of different objectives. For most average (MIGHT 3) players, a 1 success shove has 72% chances of success and 11% chances of a flop. Not getting the number of successes needed costs you 1 pace of jog to perform other actions or move, but no other penalty. If you shove from a rear facing, you can simply walk away and complete the rest of your turn if you fail to get enough successes, or shove again!

Know your limits!
  • JOG 3 or 4 players can shove twice in a turn
  • JOG 5 or 6 players can shove 3 times in a turn
  • JOG 7 players can shove 4 times in a turn

1) Shoving to build momentum
A MIGHT 3 player has a 50% chance of generating at least 1 momentum point when shoving another MIGHT 3 or less player. While you might just be looking at the shove for this effect, you can also indirectly help with your space control (see point 3) If you can achieve multiple objectives with a single shove - more power to you!

2) Shoving for Attrition

The shove itself can be easily overlooked as it doesn’t directly impact the health of an opposing player, however you can use shoving as an aggressive tactic to help reduce the number of opposition on the pitch.
The main advantage of shoving is because it’s a relatively safe action – a failed shove doesn’t cause a SiM or cause your player to fall over, and in many cases you can shove again if you pay a hex of JOG to do so. It’s still a Shift in Momentum if you flop a shove though!
Players are limited on the amount of shoves they can do (Half the player’s JOG attribute rounding up) which means most players can shove about 3 times a turn.
The best players for shoving have high MIGHT and average to high JOG. Dervishes and Dryads excel in it, although Strikers and Safeties can make pretty decent shove specialists.

Below are some common strategies to get the most out of the shove game:

a) Out of bounds.
Players too near the sidelines can easily fall prey to being shoved off the pitch. Players pushed out of bounds are permanently out of the test, so for tournament play especially this is more effective than tackling as there’s no injury roll, and no chance of the player coming back into play by using a potion.

So, with that in mind, it’s quite easy for your opponent’s players to stay 3 or 4 hexes away from the sidelines, right?
Well, there are several things that you can try to get opponents into the danger zone!
  • If your target moved last, you have 2 turns to shove the player before he is able to move again. Players like dryads and dervishes can effectively work in tandem to shove players long distances
  • You can set up a target for a tackle near the boundary, close to the maximum jog limit of your opponent’s player. You can have another player supporting them from towards the centre of the pitch. If the opponent takes the bait, you can use the supporting player to shove the opponent out
  • You can elect to throw the ball near to the boundary, this is especially good if the opponent player has enough jog to reach the ball but not enough to get it to safety again, and you have a supporting player close enough for the shove.

b) Into goal circle
There is a reason that the defender circle isn’t in a straight hex line to the goal circle! Be aware of your proximity to the goal circle when placing defensive players. It’s bad to be scored against, but even worse when your would-be safety is shoved into the goal circle en-route to the score.
The same notes apply to the goal circle as to the boundary line, but throwing the ball into an empty square between the goal circle and the boundary can make things very challenging for the defence, especially if they only have low skill players.

c) Guarding entrance areas
Reserves come on from the 2 entrance steps on their half of the pitch, up to a maximum of 3 hexes. If you can get a forward player hanging around one or both of your opponent’s entry areas, this will cause them massive problems when they need to bring in reserves, as you can simply shove them back the way they came!
This tactic can give you numerical advantage on one side of the pitch as players will have to make their way across from the other side.

d) Shove to get momentum
This is easily the most common use of Shoving – if you are using a medium to high might player, simply identify some shoves where you only need 1 success that you can do before doing your critical action.
  • You could shove the target of an intended tackle, if they are low might and you have enough JOG a shove is a low risk way to generate some momentum for the Tackle challenge

external image ShovetoTackle.jpg

  • If you are looking to make an Impact challenge against a higher might player, you can shove a lower might opponent player first to generate momentum before attempting the Impact challenge

e) Shove to get assists
This tactic ties in with Tackles – a high dodge player in the open field is seldom worth the trouble tackling unaided, although if you have a team mate close by, you should aim is to shove the opponent into a square covered by at least 1 forward facing friendly player. This can generate momentum and reduce the number of successes needed for the Tackle

external image ShovetoAssist.jpg

f) Dash challenge for an extra shove
Players can attempt a dash challenge for an extra shove attempt providing they have spare momentum. If you’re performing 3 shoves with a high might player, it’s likely that you can get enough momentum to perform the dash at the end of your turn. This can be effective when pushing players out of bounds or into the goal circle

3) Shoving for Space Clearance
Shoving is an excellent way to create space on the field. This tactic is easily overlooked, but in Elfball every player can only move alternate turns, If you can shove a player away from their objective, it can delay your opponent's plans for several turns following.
  • If you have an opposing Hunter 6 hexes away from your ball carrier, shoving him a hex is a simple way of keeping him away!
  • A couple of Shoves can be used to keep players out of scoring range of the goal
  • Shoving can be used to isolate opponents from each other & prevent supporting plays
  • You can shove a player into tackling range of a friendly Monster or Defender

4) Shove to reduce number of successes needed
Shoving opponents can be an good way of making your life easier for future challenges in this or future turns.
  • A shove can take an opponent's facing from the ball, a downed player or a team-mate.
  • Shoving a player onto the ball could pop it to a more useful hex if it's guarded (or a more useless one if you're not lucky with the bounce!)
5) Dash for an extra shove
As we've seen, a MIGHT 3 or 4 player should reasonably expect to generate momentum when shoving other players. Therefore you should be able to plan for a dash challenge if one is needed to push an opposing player out of bounds. A wise coach should always factor in the Dash challenge when calculating their player's distance from the sideline!

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