SECTION 5: TACKLING



The first thing to note that it's very hard to clear the field of opposing players and score a goal in the time allowed when using the 2 Minute Warning cards. If you focus too much on eliminating the opposition, you'll either run out of time or your opponent will score against you. The main aim in Elfball should always be to secure the ball and score a goal, as that is what wins you the test.
Attrition however does have a big effect on your ability to win the test - some teams need to rely on attrition more than others to make up for their lack of pace and ball handling skills
The key to winning with attrition when Tackling is to always work out strategies and look for opportunities to reduce your Tackle 1 success needed where possible, and try to generate momentum to improve your result.
Also note that Shoving can be effectively used to remove opposition from the game - for more details on this see the shoving section here

1. Positioning

Positioning is mentioned here because it is a very important factor to consider when looking at attrition - either by exploiting a weakness of your opponent or negating the effects of attrition on your own players. Even a 'weak' opponent can give your team a good kicking if you position your players badly.

a) Player Facing
This critical part of Elfball and can mean a big difference as an opponent gets -1 to the number of successes needed if they are shoving or tackling you from the rear 3 hexes. At the end of your turn always position your players to minimise the risks of being hit from this direction. On the reverse side when Shoving or Tackling a player, you should be on the lookout to exploit any facing problems that your opponent has.

b) Player Support
In general, you need to ensure your players are in a position to support and protect each other. If you have a player exposed, your opponent will try to take him out. Having players close by gives you more opportunities to use player facing to reduce the number of successes needed for challenges.

c) Player Spacing & Zone Control
In the attrition game it’s critical to know how many hexes opponents players are away from your players. Space control is another key aspect to this game and you should use your high MIGHT and TACKLE players to control areas of the board and allow your ball handlers freedom to move.


2. Impact Challenges

These challenges must be passed to allow you to take down the higher might players like Monsters and Defenders. Commonly, high MIGHT players have a low DODGE attribute, which means that you generally need only 1 success on the Tackle challenge, so have decent chances of forcing an injury challenge.

a) The Bane of Defenders & Dwarves
Against MIGHT 4 players, the Impact challenge requires only 1 success if tackled from the rear or you have a friendly assist. This means a MIGHT 3 player has a 72% chance of passing the challenge, and also a 50% chance of actually getting momentum from it! If using any MIGHT 4 players you need to be very aware of this vulnerability

b) Tackle Tag
Once a monster has moved, He's unable to move again next turn. If he's unsupported, it's easy to place a friendly player with facing on the monster before hitting him with a tackle from another player in your next turn. With a helper, and hitting from the rear you can take the Impact Challenge down to just 1 success needed against the MIGHT 5 beasts.

c) Pick on a smaller guy first
Before working up to take out the other guy's monster, generate momentum by shoving one of their weedier players around first. You really don't want to fail the impact challenge and be left stood next to them if you can help it - flopping the Impact challenge can actually be safer in this case!

3. The Tackle

OK, we’re finally at the important bit – the Tackle. Maybe it’s a hangover from other games I play, but I find it tempting just to run in and hit the opponents at every available opportunity without a massive amount of thought. – this is not a great tactic.

a) Tackling is not a no-brainer action
You need to think about whether it makes sense to hit a player with a Tackle this turn. If you need multiple successes, it may be worth waiting until you have an assist in place. A shove may achieve your objective just as easily. A slide tackle might be just the job on the ball carrier, but for attrition purposes you need to wait until the time is right.

b) Get Momentum!
It’s worth saying it again, to make the Tackle hurt, you really need to get some Momentum first. If your player has high DODGE, disengage him around your target, then hit him from the rear. If your player has high or medium MIGHT, consider a shove or 2 to get some extra Momentum.
Fig 1: Example of Disengage to generate momentum. This is an easy way for high DODGE, low MIGHT players like Hob-imps to generate some momentum before a Tackle.
external image DodgetoTackle.jpg
















Note for using conditional successes: The chances of failing challenges are higher, so you should be a bit more conservative when it comes to momentum generation. It the tackle is criticial i.e. on the ball carrier, then it's better to limit the number of challenges you make before tackling. Use a cheerleader instead if you have any.
c) The Magic 3 Successes
If you’re able to hit a Tackle with only 1 success needed, you’re actually going to need to roll 3 successes or better to stand a chance of injuring the opponent! With a TACKLE 4 player, you should be doing this 40% of the time without momentum.
If you need 2 successes on the tackle challenge, the chances of injury go to 22% and with 3 successes needed you’re looking at only a 10% chance of injuring your opponent!
This shows that you really need to look for and engineer the 1 success Tackle challenges to have any decent chance of injuring opponents. It’s seldom worth tackling opponents if you need more than 1 success

d) Re-rolling the Tackle
If you have Momentum – you did generate some, right?, and roll less than 2 more successes than needed in the Tackle challenge, you need to consider which dice to re-roll to get the best chance of getting an injury.
  • Re-rolling any flopped dice is your best bet - unless you roll a flop again, you remove 1 negative from your total successes, and rolling a success can give you a net +2 to your total successes.
  • If you have blanks, you need to consider the impact of rolling flops on them and the risk of this flopping the whole challenge
  • If you have already rolled 2 more successes than needed, it may not be a good idea to re-roll any except flops

In my view, if you already have forced a grit 6 injury challenge, it is better to save your momentum to re-roll the opponents injury challenge than to risk just downing the player if you flop on your re-rolls.

e) Re-rolling Injuries
On a GRIT 6 injury challenge, your opponent has just under a 42% chance of staying on the pitch - any spare momentum you have can be used to force your opponent to re-roll successes on the challenge. Obviously the dice with major successes (stars) are the prime candidates for this first.

Note for using conditional successes: Momentum re-rolls are less effective on the injury challenge, as you can only force a re-roll of 1 success per momentum counter.

f) Covering Dazed Players
If you've just tackled a player and they've rolled 4 successes on their Injury challenge, they are now Dazed. They can still be kept out of the game at this point. Leaving just your tackling player facing a dazed Striker is enough to prevent him from getting to his feet. For any of the other standard player types, if you can bring a second assist into contact in your next turn you can achieve the same thing. When considering covering a Dazed opponent you also need to be aware of proximity of opponent players, who could Tackle your player and also use their facing to help the Dazed player regain his feet. You also need to consider if you have the manpower to invest in keeping the opponent from play.

g) When the Tackle doesn't work
A lot of the time, you'll simply not be getting enough successes to injure your opponent with a Tackle, so you need to be planning what happens if you fail the attempt.
  • Flop
Your player is down, and your turn ends. Being down is not that bad though, as your opponent might not be able to do anything about your player, however any Momentum you've generated is now given to your opponent.
  • Not getting enough successes
This can be problematic, especially if you're attacking an opposing Defender, Monster or Hunter as you're now well within range for opponent retribution. If you've tackled from the rear facing, you can consider moving your tackler further away, ideally within supporting range of other friendly players. If you've tackled from the front, a disengage attempt could be considered to either move your player or engineer a 'down' result.
  • Slide Tackle
If you have enough JOG remaining, you can simply stand your player back up and continue moving, but sometimes discretion is better than valour and it may be best to leave your player on the deck.
  • Solid Hit
Again, can be a problematic result against enemy hitters with high GRIT, who can simply stand up and wallop your player. If you have enough JOG to move back into an area protected by your other players then great, otherwise it may be possible to move your player in a direction that takes your opponent out of position if he wants to chase your tackler down.

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