03 March 2014

Blood Bowl: Post Game Analysis

Today we have a Stat-tastic post for you as I take a look at the Darkblades game against the Rats from Saturday. I love my stats and Blood Bowl games like this are ripe for number crunching and probability analysis.

A very dramatic game for both me and Bull as we saw the first deaths of the season; Bull losing his lineman Boilrost the Contagious and the Darkblades lost the TD scoring machine Adin Heartrender.

The match report describes the Darkblades 2-1 win, but I want to concentrate on two key Rat moves that almost spelled disaster for the Darkblades.

The first incident was the gut-wrenching death of Adin Heartrender. After a Dark Elf blitz, the Skaven Thrower has spilled the ball and Heartrender grabbed it and made off towards the endzone unchallenged. I thought I had done enough, but Bull pulled off a stunning move that not only prevented the score, but also finished off the Darkblade hero.

As you can see from the diagram above, the prone Gutter Runner to the left was well within range of the ball carrier, but still had to make a dodge roll to get there. I wasn't surprised at all when he rolled up in Heartrender's face.

The staggering part of the play was the Gutter Runner on the right of the field. I clearly hadn't seen the possibility, more concerned with the prone Lineman who was much closer. This move involved three more dodge rolls (the first came with a minus modifier for dodging into a tackle zone), then two 'Go For It' rolls in order to get to Heartrender and make the hit. Bull then had to achieve a Defender Down or Defender Stumbles result on a single Block dice roll. After some quick calculating, the chances of achieving the above move come in at approximately 1 in 23. A long shot but worth a go to save the TD. I hasten to add that Bull got there without a single re-roll. Kudos.

Add into this situation what eventually transpired – Heartrender's death and the dice rolls to achieve that – and things get a lot more extreme. Having decked the ball carrier, Bull had to beat his armour, cause a Casualty, roll Dead and I had to fail my Apothecary roll. The combined probability of the Skaven move resulting in the Blitzer's death equates to approximately 1 in 5805!!

I wouldn't have been so offended had it been the Clawed Stormvermin who'd made the kill, but to die at the hands of a Strength 2 Gutter Runner… ^^

The second incident under the spotlight is the Skaven touchdown, which came at a time when the Dark Elves were in the ascendency and should have killed off the game. My blitzer had just knocked down a Gutter Runner, with support from a lineman, broken the Skaven cage and exposed the ball carrier. It was all looking very positive.

The diagram again shows what transpired. My bad positioning left both the ball carrier and the Gutter Runner downfield a window of opportunity, Bull making no mistakes in getting the score. The move still involved a couple of dodge rolls, a long bomb pass and a rain-soaked catch. The probability of getting the Touchdown under these circumstances was a relatively positive 1 in 9. However, given that Bull rolled a double six for the Throw and subsequent Catch, the probability of receiving the result he did drop to 1 in 52.

Had I read the situation a little better I could have made his chances a lot more unrealistic. By moving two of my Linemen a single square each in my previous turn I could have force 4 additional dodge rolls to be made, 3 of them with a negative modifier. This tweaks the probability of Bull scoring from 1 in 9 to 1 in 35. Alternatively, if Bull were to roll double six as he did, the probability goes from 1 in 52 to 1 in 210 with the additional dodges.

I can't remember if my two Lineman had the spare moves available to get to the revised positions, but it goes to show the difference a single square can make.

I'll leave you with the post-game Darkblade roster. As you can see we're down a Blitzer, which is quite an issue, although our previously injured lineman, Laric Fellheart, has returned.

The outstanding Torel Dragonclaw managed to roll a double for his skill up. I've given him Guard for the moment but am pondering the pros and cons of this versus Mighty Blow. Similarly, our TD scoring lineman, Atal Starslayer, was awarded MVP in the end – for a crucial catch – and has been given Kick, though I am still considering Block instead.

We now have two players on 8 SPP plus another couple on 4 and 2. This should see more skill ups in the next game if things go well. I also managed to increase the fan factor after the match and bag 100k gold after all the dice rolls and bonuses were handed out.

This injection of cash could see me instantly replace my lost Blitzer, or hold out for a Witch Elf and play the next game with two journeymen again.

Decisions, decisions…!

* final Rat SPPs not collated
The league standings have changed a bit after the last couple of results. The Darkblades are sitting pretty in second place now, but still a massive 14 SPP behind the Orcs – mostly due to the excessive Orc Casualty count from when we used to include KO's. The Boomtown Rats slump to the foot of the table, the only team now without a win. Don't count them out for too long though, a win is coming.

With rumours of new teams signing up to play, things could start to get very interesting indeed during March and April.


  1. I am loving the diagrams. They are excellent to show tackle zones etc. Nice job.

    1. I'm finding they help to re-live and review individual plays as well as give the viewers a more bird's-eye perspective of the action.

  2. This is all getting a bit technical! Great report though.

  3. I would suggest the lineman might get block or dodge. He is already at 10, so pretty close to a second skill - and if you play the Orcs next, kick is less useful than against skaven (still nice).

    You have another lineman with 4spp. Get him to throw 2 passes in that game and you have kick :)

    Mighty Blow or Guard is exactly the conundrum. You might not cause many casualties versus Orcs, but it may help enough to get more stuns/KOs. Guard will help more with your cage. If you play a style where you move your cage around so he can't really get much more than a single blitz move against you - go MB. If you anticipate having to square up to him, Guard is the choice.

    Like the diagrams as well. Gotta ask what do you mean "fail your apothecary roll" ? Usually an apothecary just means you reroll the result - and if one of the two is badly hurt he goes back into reserves. So in order to kill someone who has an apothecary used, they need to roll 61-68 on the table, twice.

    1. Ahh crap!
      We were treating the Apothecary roll like regeneration for some reason! Idiots!

      Bull!… we need to re-roll!!

    2. With this new information the probability of Heartrender dying, off the back of Bull's combined Gutter Runner move, becomes 1 in 17414!

      Surely no…

    3. Well that makes much more sense to me. My inducement of 100,000gp for an extra Apoc who only gives a 50/50 save seemed like very bad value for money when I had failed the roll. Agreed - we need to reroll.

    4. Who needs an Apothecary when we have Tristan!!

    5. I expect a Tristan model to be painted up!

  4. Could Adin Heartrender still be alive?!!

  5. Hi,

    I love your Blood Bowl reports and the post-match analysis is also very cool! How did you make the diagrams?

    The math might be off though... or maybe I'm not seeing everything clearly... the equality signs below are just approximations naturally...
    So in the first example, the first Gutter Runner gets to the blitzer with a 2+ dodge that he can re-roll. The probability of succeeding that is 35/36 = 97,2%. The other GR has to do a 3+ dodge plus two 2+ dodges, and can re-roll once with his skill which succeds with prob 1/3*2/3*(5/6)^2+2/3*5/6*35/36 = 69,4 % (fails 3+ but succeds with re-roll and does the 2+ dodges without re-roll OR succeeds 3+ and does two 2+ dodges with one re-roll), go-for-it twice which succeeds with prob 25/36 = 69,4% (btw the diagram shows that he only has to go 10 squares including the block so that would be only 1 gfi...) and then roll a good result on the block dice which happens with prob 1/3 = 33,3%. Combining everything you get about 0.972*0,694*0,694*0,333 = 15.58%, which is of course not super high but still... and we didn't count the team re-roll (I don't know if Bull had any).
    Of course the kill was... well super unlikely (about 0,1% if we consider only the dice rolls after your player was down).

    However I think the TD was more unlikely then you write... in the match report you wrote that the Thrower had the ball (here you write GR) so I'll just go with the thrower: 4+ dodge, 3+ dodge, 6+ throw with re-roll and the GR has a 2+ dodge with re-roll and a 3+ catch giving about 6,6% for success. So I wouldn't say you made a huge flaw in your defence, the TD was a long shot...

    I don't want to sound as a jerk, I'm only writing this because in BB, knowing what risk one takes with certain actions is a crucial part of the game...

    Keep up the great reports!

    1. Didn't take into account any re-rolls in my calculations. I admit they may not be spot on – I just worked out the fractions (for success) for each individual dice roll and multiplied them together!

    2. The diagrams, by the way, were created in Photoshop from scratch.

    3. I agree that it was not a defence flaw - it was in fact a very long shot that happened to come off - due to shear skill of the Skaven and of course the shining light of Nuffle!

    4. http://www.midgardbb.com/Resources/PlayCreator/PlayCreator.html