Narrowing the Tiers 2015: Plasmoids CRP+ & NTBB
[NTBB2015 Rosters & Summary] [NTBB inducement hand-outs]
[Have fun trying NTBB - join the play by email league NTBBL]

Welcome to the Narrow Tier Blood Bowl (NTBB) rules package. NTBB has 2 parts – Plasmoids CRP+* and the Narrow Tier Rosters:
First, Plasmoids CRP+: 10 house rules which I think improve CRP Blood Bowl. Not long after the official release of the CRP rules Galak Starscraper (of the by then disbanded BBRC) released a list of changes, which the BBRC would have liked to see playtested as part of the PBBL cycle - had GW not terminated the process. Having great veneration for the ex-BBRC’s vision for Blood Bowl I contacted Galak and Doubleskulls, and we discussed each suggested change to the CRP until we came up with versions that Ian and Tom could both agree would improve the game – if they panned out like we hoped they would. Later on I contacted Stephen Babbage who approved of the rules and finally Paul Geggster, who liked some of it, but not all of it. Plasmoids CRP+ consists of these rules changes (except one which was removed in 2014, when Galak considered it outdated, and one which I reworded and thereby altered).
(I feel I should clarify that I have been asked to change the name from CRP+ to Plasmoids CRP+. I find the request a touch far out, but have decided to comply all the same. So – when I say Plasmoids CRP+ it is not because I love the sound of my own “name”, but to emphasize yet again that these are in fact not official rules)

Second, my own Narrow Tier roster changes to 10 of the 24 official teams - created to be used with Plasmoids CRP+ with intent to diversify Blood Bowl by making more teams and tactics viable. Originally I wanted to do this with just my roster tweaks, but as I came to see the power of bash as a threat to league diversity in long term play, I wanted to address that, and Galak’s previously mentioned list was the perfect starting point.

This page lists the changes in Plasmoids CRP+ and the NT roster changes along with some explanations of the steps taken. If you don't care about the reasons, but just want to see the rules, then I suggest downloading the NTBB2015 Summary. If you on the other hand are curious about the development of Plasmoids CRP+, then you can read more here: Provenance of Plasmoids CRP+. Finally, if you want see the data and definitions that I used to identify which rosters to tweak then read more here: NT Rosters Explained.

It should be noted that the ex-BBRC involvement in the CRP+ part of these rules does not imply that any of these rules are in fact somehow a semi-official project. Odds are that there will never be another Living Rule Book, and if there is then the ex-BBRC - and certainly myself - are not likely to be let anywhere near it! Still, I hope that these rules will appeal to anyone who'd like to see a bit more parity and variety in Blood Bowl.

1. Plasmoids CRP+
To my mind, changing the rules for Blood Bowl is not a neccessity - but that's not to say that Blood Bowl couldn't be improved, with a few hand picked rules. Plasmoids CRP+’ changes to the CRP deal mainly with the current slant towards bash, in order to make other strategies and roster types more viable in a mid- to long term setting. Plasmoids CRP+ also introduce changes to the Human roster, which seems to struggle near the low end of tier 1.

On-Pitch Rules: Bashing
These first 4 rules are intended to shift some of the power to inflict damage away from the 'killstack' (Claw + Piling On + Mighty Blow) towards the generally available fouling.

1. Claw: Claw works on an armor roll of 8 or more before modification.

2. "Pile On (Strength): The player is adept at landing a second blow on a player who is already incapitated. The player may use this skill after he has made a block as part of one of his Block or Blitz Actions , but only if the Pile On player has just made an injury roll and is currently standing adjacent to the victim. You may re-roll the Injury roll for the victim. The Pile On player is Placed Prone in his own square -- it is assumed that he rolls back there after flattening his opponent (do not make an Armour roll for him as he has been cushioned by the other player! ). Pile On does not cause a turnover unless the Pile On player is carrying the ball. Pile On cannot be used with the Stab or Chainsaw skills."
 

These 2 rules reduce the efficiency of the killstack considerably - changing their increase in efficiency from an exponential growth into a more linear development. The change is particularly prominent for AV7 targets (including Claw-victims). This should make both non-bash tactics and non-bash teams more viable. For comparison I'm presenting the odds of causing a 'KO or better' and a 'straight Casualty' (KO+/Cas) on a knockdown in CRP and Plasmoids CRP+
 

 

POMB vs AV9

POMB vs AV8

POMB vs AV7

POMB vs gobbo

CPOMB vs AV9

CPOMB vs AV8

CPOMB vs AV7

CRP

31.5/14.2

45.0/20.5

58.5/26.8

68.8/37.9*

58.5/26.8

58.5/26.8

58.5/26.8

Plasmoids CRP+

21.1/9.5

32.1/14.6

45.4/20.8

52.2/28.7*

34.4/16.4

34.4/16.4

45.4/20.8

It is worth noting that the change to Pile On means that the player may very well be unable to go prone after following up. This makes it possible to trap and counter the Pile On player by using good positioning.

3. Fouling: A generic +1 modifier now applies to the armor roll when fouling.

This rule does serve as a deterrent to overly enthusiastic use of Pile On, but the main objective behind this rule is to replace some of the carnage which is lost with the change to the killstack.
 

4. Sneaky Git (Agility): The player is a sneaky silver tongued git. Whenever you roll for K.O. recovery, you may also roll a d6 for each sneaky git who is currently sent off. On a 4+ the penalty is revoked, and he may return to play provided that he isn’t KO’d or injured. To track the status of a git who is both injured and sent off, simply place him prone in the proper box of the dug-out.

Fixing weak skills is not on the NTBB agenda - but buffing fouling is. The new SG ought to appeal to teams with secret weapons, to teams with expensive linemen, to dirty players and to teams that often get outnumbered. Note that the new text completely replaces the old SG skill - it is not added to the old skill.

On-Pitch Rules: Gobbos, Snotlings & Halflings

5. Right Stuff (Extraordinary): [Added to skill text]: Additionally, the player is not easily tackled. Any opponent blocking (or Blitzing) this player is not allowed to use Tackle skill to affect the resulting block dice.

The performance of slightly developed tier 3 teams is just appalling - not to mention the fact that against Dwarfs and Chaos Dwarfs things get really nasty. The rule helps Gobbo, Halfling and Ogre teams develop, and gives a lesser boost to Underworld (+ Orc teams adventurous enough to use skilled goblins).
 

Dislodging Bash

6. Bank: At the start of any game, all cash above 150K is automatically treated as Petty Cash. Petty Cash does not have to be spent, but does increase TV.

In the current Blood Bowl rules teams were intended to eventually float around a Team Value cap of roughly 220 TV. Sometimes they would venture over it, and sometimes they would dip back under it. One of the mechanisms to ensure this was the above described Bank rule, which was part of the CRP playtest, but which was nixed by JJ at the last minute. Part of the bash slant in CRP is that some of the heaviest and bashiest teams can stay above the cap for very long periods of time - and they do that by going in with massive treasuries. The Bank rule was and is intended to prevent that.
 

7. Spiralling Expenses: The recommended Spiralling Expenses should be set at a starting point of 1800, with steps of 100.

Slightly harsher Spiralling Expense settings should help bring down the cap a bit. The SE levels are entirely optional anyway, but any league commissioner changing them to something higher should know that he is making things easier on the big basher teams.
 

8. Concessions: The team that receives the concession no longer gets the conceding team's cash. The cash is just lost.

The cap works by restricting the cash flow. Giving away extra cash whenever you bash an opponent into submission just wasn't a good idea.
 

9. Wizards: Wizard price increased to 200K

The wizard has been one of the main ways for finesse teams to win in face of the bash onslaught. 2+ to pop the ball, take the lead and then hope for the best against the bash. Now that the bash has been curbed, this main weapon of finesse teams has to be curbed too. The price has been upped to 200K

Tier 1
The Human team isn’t what it ought to be. The human team is a front runner in the Blood Bowl fluff, but is such a mediocre team in actual play.

10. Humans: Ogres reduced to 130K. Catchers get AV8 for no additional cost.

The Human team gets 10K off the ogre, but more importantly the Human Catcher gets an AV increase for free. This will make him the toughest catcher in the game, which is only fitting because he sure ain't the most reliable. This stops him from being too much of a target and makes him more likely to see play. The human catcher could have been improved in a multitude of ways, but this one preserves the human team’s playing style.

 

So why mess with anything else? Read on here: NTBB Roster Changes