Tactician’s Guide to Blocking

Tactician’s Guide to Blocking

by Horthien “Tactician”


Hello again kids!  Now that Dignity has finally released me from my on-field duties, I’m ready to share some of the secrets of blocking that were handed down to me from my father.

So what are the skills that help you get a successful block?

That’s right!  The block skill.  But don’t forget about the tackle skill to help with those pesky dodgers.  And even the dauntless skill when you are up against an opponent of greater strength.

But do you know about block assists?  That’s right!  Block assists are a way for your buddies to help you out and effectively raise your strength for the block!  But be careful, block assists work both ways, and your opponent’s buddies can help him in exactly the same way.

Occasionally I even see seasoned MML coaches struggle with blocking assists, but I have a way to make it super easy to understand.

Tackle zones aren’t just for trying to keep an opponent from dodging away from you, they are also a fight radius.  When a player has an opposing player in his tackle zone, they are pushing and shoving and fighting each other.  Did you know that?  Of course you did.  You kids are smart.

So if you want one of your teammates to help you with a block assist, make sure that he is only fighting the guy you want to hit.  If he’s busy fighting somebody else, he won’t be able to help you.  Oh no! Unless he has the very special Guard skill, like Dignity’s guard Stalwart.  The guard skill lets a player help with blocks against AAALLLL of the guys he’s fighting.  Wow, Stalwart!  That’s amazing.

We all know that equal strength results in a single block die, greater strength 2 block dice, and lesser strength 2 red block dice.  Red dice mean that your opponent will choose which die actually happens.  Ew!

But did you know that if you have 1 more strength than twice your opponent, you get to choose between three block dice?  The same thing can also happen against you though.  If you throw a block against someone who has 1 more than twice your strength, you will be rolling three red block dice for your opponent to choose from.  Double ew!

But what is the actual chance for a block to be successful?

For a 1 die block, if neither player has the block or dodge skill, there is a 33% chance to knock down your opponent, a 17% for your opponent to knock you down, and a 17% for you to knock down each other.  That means, there is a 33% chance that your block will end your turn. Oh no!

But what are the chances for a 2 die block?

If neither player knows block or dodge, and there is a 33% chance to knock down your opponent on one die, then the chance to succeed with 2 dice is about 55%.  Wow, that’s way better!  Do you want to know what makes the real difference?  With one die you had a 33% chance to end your own turn, but with 2 dice that chance falls all the way to 11%.  Wow.  What was 2 chances out of 6 to fail, became 4 chances out of 36.  And that, kiddies, is why you always want your friends to back you up!

But what if you have the block skill and your turn doesn’t end on a both down result?  That makes it so a two die block has only 1 way to end your turn.  That’s a little less than 3% for things to go badly for you.  Amazing and dependable.  Just remember, 3% is low, but it’s still a lot more than 0.  Eventually you will fail, so try to be ready for it with team training, and consider making your most important blocks as early as possible.

Now, how about a harder problem?  What is the chance to knock down an opponent if your opponent has block and dodge, a bunch of friends, and you have the wrestle and tackle skills?

You are rolling 2 red dice, but 3 faces on each of them are successful.  You need both dice to come up in one of those 3 ways.  The first die has a 50% chance, and the second die has a 50% chance.  That comes out to 25% chance to succeed.  That isn’t much, but sometimes it’s the only way to knock the ball free from your opponent.

Ok kids, can you tell me what the chance to roll badly is?  1 face from each die, that’s exactly right.  That means each die gives you an 83% to not end your turn.  You take that 83%, multiply it by .17 because 17% of the faces are bad, and you get 14%.  Add that to the 17% from the first die and….  wow, that’s a 31% chance that a red die block ends your turn, just about the same chance for an unskilled player to end your turn with a 1 die block.  That’s gross!  …But sometimes you don’t have a choice.

Now I have just one more question for you guys.  Let’s say the guy you are blocking has block, dodge, and a bunch of friends.  And, he has the ball!   You have wrestle and strip ball.  We already know that there is a 31% chance that the red block goes bad and you lose your turn.  But what’s the chance that you manage to get the ball free?  Let’s look at the die.  Attacker stumbles, that’s bad.  That’s the face of the dice that is giving us a 31% to fail.  Both down?  With the wrestle skill the ball pops out!  Two push faces?  With the strip ball skill the ball pops out!  Defender Stumbles?  He doesn’t fall down if you don’t have the tackle skill, but the ball pops out!  And defender falls?  That’s right, he crashes to the ground and the ball pops out!  Wow!  Every other face on the die loosens the ball.  That’s 69%!

And that kiddies, is why you need to make sure your ball handler has sure hands each and every time your opponent has a strip ball player.

That’s all for now.  Next time maybe we’ll learn the chances to dodge away from danger when you’re surrounded.

And remember kids, when you play with Dignity, you win!


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