SECTION 3: THE EFFECTIVE USE OF MOMENTUM


Every time you take a challenge and exceed the number of successes required to pass, those extra successes are “stored” as Momentum. A point of Momentum can be used to re-roll a single challenge dice in any subsequent challenge rolls taken during the same turn, potentially turning a failed challenge into a success. This is all clearly stated in the rulebook, but knowing how to exploit this, and use it effectively is a fine art.

Momentum Point “Farming”
Before any high-risk challenge is attempted, it is good practice to try and generate momentum by performing low risk challenges earlier in your turn. Rolling 4 or 5 dice in challenges that only need 1 success can build momentum very quickly.
  • For players with high DODGE attributes, try running past a couple of opponents with TACKLE 3 or less.
  • For players with high MIGHT attributes, shove an opponent one or two times.
  • For players with high SKILL, just picking up the ball can generate good momentum. (You can also throw the ball to generate momentum, but always consider that a failed throw (as well as a flop) means that play passes to your opponent.)
  • It is very difficult to generate momentum in a tackle due to the naturally high number of successes usually required, but it is relatively easy to gain momentum through an Impact challenge
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The best situation you can achieve is that you gain as many momentum points as dice you need to throw in the risky challenge. Obviously this will let you re-roll EVERY dice, should the challenge fail. The flip side of this is that every time you take a seemingly easy challenge in order to generate momentum, you are taking a risk - any flop will end your turn immediately. This balance is a delicate one, and it’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security when the momentum track sits at 3 or more points. Any challenge that results in a flop (ie the net number of successes is -1 or less), your turn ends immediately, and you cannot re-roll the result.

Before you roll any dice, consider your position and the effect it will have on your game if the challenge roll fails. Even a 6 dice challenge roll needing 1 success can end up with your player down on the floor (although the chance is small) – if this will leave your opponent an easy gap to run through and take the win, it may not be worth the risk.

Assuming you have generated a point or two of momentum, the next decision is do you try and generate more? Or go straight for the risky challenge? A common mistake I made in my early games was to get caught up in a Momentum addiction, and found myself trying to gain as much as possible without much thought. Always keep in mind what your aim was when you activated the player, and never do any more dice rolling than necessary. As a very rough guideline, take the number of challenge dice you will be rolling in the risky challenge, half it and round down. If you can generate that many points of momentum, it’s probably time to go for the risky challenge.
If you’ve taken a couple of challenges and you’ve failed to gain ANY momentum, it may be better to forget it completely and opt for a good defensive position with your player instead.

Decisions start to get trickier when you already have momentum and you go for another easy challenge to generate more and the challenge fails. The difficult choice is whether or not to use some momentum points to re-roll the offending dice and turn it into a success.
Re-rolling a single X into a bulls-eye gains you 2 net successes, re-rolling into a star gains you 3 net successes, and will probably regain you the spent momentum point............note the careful use of the word “probably”!

However, if you still have enough points of JOG left in your turn to achieve what you set out to do in the first place, it’s probably better to shrug your shoulders, spend the penalty point of JOG and continue with your turn. When choosing which dice to re-roll, the easy choice is any X results. You may also be tempted to re-roll a blank dice in order to turn it into more successes, but this is risky, as rolling another X could result in you flopping the overall challenge roll. Re-rolling several dice at once puts a large amount of chance into the whole thing – not highly recommended!

To Dash or Not to Dash
So your turn is over, you’ve done what you wanted to do but you have 4 momentum points sitting on the track, and they’re saying to you in a low seductive voice:- ”.....use me.....use me”.

Unless it is vital to your game-plan.....DON’T DO IT!!!!!

The dash challenge (in my opinion) is one of the riskiest things you can do. The chance to do another tackle, or another shove is very very tempting, but the consequences of failing are pretty rough.
  • A failed dash puts your player down on the floor.
  • A flopped dash puts your player on the floor in a dazed state.

Put another way, even using the maximum 6 momentum points to roll a dash challenge still has 14.5% chance to put your player down on the floor or worse.
As another twist of the knife, both results count as a Shift in Momentum, so any points you saved to re-roll that final dashed challenge go to your opponent for their use.

All this sounds like I am totally against using Dash......trust me, I’m not. At the end of it all, a dash challenge only ever needs 1 success to work, and if you have several points of momentum, the chances of success are pretty high. What I’m trying to get across is don’t do it unless the benefit outweighs the risk!!!!

Good examples when to use it:-
  • You have used up all your shoves for the turn and only need one more in order to push an opponent onto the sideline or goal area (and therefore getting them ejected by the referee). By far the best use in my opinion.
  • You are one space away from scoring – bit of a no-brainer – worth doing with only 1 momentum point!
  • You are one space away from an opponent who will score next turn.
  • Your move ends next to a very vulnerable opponent and you’ve already tackled once this turn. Only viable if you have a decent chance of injuring the opponent, or that opposing player moved on their last turn.
  • You need 1 extra shove to push an opponent out of bounds
  • Sometimes you might want your player to be on the floor - especially if it looks like they're about to get tackled next turn. Better down than out! Warning - look out for Cheapshot players!

There are others, but this gives a general idea.

The worst use by far is to try and move an extra space when there’s no good reason to do so other than “because I can”. (I hold my hand up to being guilty of this in the past).

Dash for an extra dice
You can attempt to Dash to gain you an extra dice in a challenge! This sounds great but remember the risks involved!
  • If the challenge you need to attempt involves you rolling 1 or 2 dice, and you need more than 1 success, then the dash first might be a worthwhile investment, for example attempting to tackle a high DODGE ball carrier with a Dryad, or attempting to throw the ball with a SKILL 1 player.
  • If the challenge you need to attempt involves you rolling 3 or 4 dice, or just requiring 1 success then I don't think the dash would be a good idea, as you could just replace any poor dice using the momentum instead of risking a further challenge first.
  • The Dash challenge ends your turn - take note of the position of your player and how exposed they are particularly if you have extra JOG left

Saving Momentum to increase the chances of success
Keeping 1 or more momentum aside when rolling your Dash challenge enables to to replace some dice to improve your chances of success. Be warned though, as this is offset against your increased chances of naturally flopping the challenge (as you roll less dice). You also then hand your spare momentum to your opponent if you flop.

To summarise:-
  • Good careful use of Momentum is strongly tied in to a successful game, but mainly in the ability to re-roll dice during your normal turn.
  • Dash as a last resort, or to take advantage of a too-good-to-miss situation, but don’t use it arbitrarily.


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