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Nufflenomices #2: Riotous Rookies

Written by guest blogger Stewbacca which first appeared on SKABB League’s blog



I recently finished painting up my snotlings and was thinking about taking them to a tournament in December and I was wondering about the value in taking riotous rookies.

Long story short, I found out that the tournament doesn’t allow this inducement – however I’d done a lot of thinking about it already, so here it is below.


What is it?

Riotous Rookies is an inducement available for ogre and snotling teams for a cost of 100k. Before the game starts, you roll 2 x D3, add the results together and then add 1 to get that number of additional journeymen for the game.


The economics

You therefore will get somewhere between 3 and 7 journeymen for the game. The statistics on this are below

Journeymen

Percentage

Value

3

11%

45

4

22%

60

5

33%

75

6

22%

90

7

11%

105

You can see from this that even the very best possible outcome is only very slightly more than what you pay for the inducement. Purely economically, it is not a sound idea.


Other benefits

The main benefit to this inducement is that this can put your roster above the standard 16. If you have a full roster plus riotous rookies, then the minimum number of players you will be taking into the game is 19, and a maximum of 23.


This makes it more difficult for your opponent to win the battle of attrition. For an ogre team you will want to ensure you have at least 11 players for every kick-off, for a snotling team you would ideally want 14 so you can have the maximum number of players available if you roll the maximum number on the D3 for swarming.


When you knock over a snotling or a gnoblar, there is a 20% (6+ armour and then 9+ injury) chance of removing them from the game permanently, or a 22% (6+ armour and 7-8 injury) chance of knocking them out.


Collectively therefore a 42% chance of a removal each time they are hitting the floor. This means that one of these players will be removed from the pitch nearly every other time they take a punch (or fail a dodge or get thrown into the ground by a big guy etc.)


If a team are hitting the titchy players with mighty blow, this will obviously increase the likelihood of removal to 58% (25% for KO, 33% for an injury). However, we will assume no mighty blow for simplicity.


To get a 16-player roster below 11 for the next kick-off 6 removals are needed. For the time being, we will only focus on removals by armour rolls and not through other methods, e.g., crowd surfing.


To remove 6 titchy players for the next drive (which is obviously easier than removing the higher armoured players which will help but is less likely), a team would be expecting to need to make around 18 armour rolls against them. This is calculated as 22% chance of a KO, reduced to 11% as the chance of them coming back is a 50:50 recovery roll, plus 20% chance of a casualty. This gives us just shy of a third, but for quick workings a third is close enough.


The number of armour rolls to get the team under the target number therefore increases by 3 for each additional player that has been gained from Riotous Rookies. The number of removals needed for each roll on the riotous rookies is below.


It is obviously easier to get the team below the maximum on field number if the team has swarming because the maximum number of players is higher.

Riotous rookies

Percentage

Average armour rolls needed to reduce team to fewer than 11 players

Average armour rolls needed to reduce team to fewer than 14 players

0

n/a

18

9

3

11%

27

18

4

22%

30

21

5

33%

33

24

6

22%

36

27

7

11%

39

30

As you can see from these numbers, to remove enough players to get the team below 11 players from a squad of 16, you can expect to need to make 18 armour rolls.


Twice as many armour rolls are needed to get snotlings below 14 players even with the lowest number of riotous rookies rolled as are needed without the rookies. That effectively doubles how hard the opposition need to work.  And is one of the key features of the inducement: frustrating your opponent.


We next need to consider how likely is it for an opposition player to get to make an armour roll on your snotlings. Barring any snotlings having acquired the block skill, they will always have an armour roll made against them on 2 sides of any one block dice.


For every three block dice thrown against snotlings, you would expect 1 armour roll to be made if they accept both downs. This decreases to once for every six block dice rolled if they do not take both downs.The other combinations are tackle but no block (which is not going to be very frequent) which will mean players are being knocked down on 2 sides of the dice – the same as if you accept both down, or a player with block and tackle, in which case an armour roll will be made one in two block dice rolled.


It is likely it might be a combination of these options depending on the team you are playing against. For simplicity, we will look at the options as:

  • 1 Side – blocking team does not have block/will not accept a both down and does not have tackle (42% chance of a knockdown on a 3DB)

  • 2 Sides – blocking team either has block/will accept a both down, or has tackle but not both (70% chance of a knockdown on a 3DB)

  • 3 Sides – blocking team has block/will accept a both down AND has tackle. (88% chance of a knockdown on a 3DB)

If players are getting three dice blocks (which theoretically they should be doing regularly against snotlings) then the chance of removing when 1 side is good is 13% on each block, when 2 sides are good is 22% on each block and when 3 sides are good is 27% on each block.


This is calculated by multiplying the above knockdown chances with the 31% removal chance.

The number of blocks needed to make each level of removals is therefore below. As you can’t make half a block, these numbers are rounded up, hence why they don’t always go up in the same increments.

Removals

3 Sides

2 Sides

1 Side

1

4

5

8

2

8

10

16

3

12

14

23

4

15

19

31

5

19

23

39

6

23

28

46

7

26

33

54

8

30

37

62

9

34

42

69

10

37

46

77

We can now start to look at these numbers alongside the number of riotous rookies. This is to get the team below 14 players.

Riotous rookies

Percentage

3 sides

2 sides

1 side

0

n/a

12

14

23

3

11%

23

28

46

4

22%

26

33

54

5

33%

30

37

62

6

22%

34

42

69

7

11%

37

46

77

You can see that the effectiveness of Riotous Rookies is significantly better if you’re playing against a team with no block or tackle as they will have an exceptionally hard time of reducing the number of players you have on the pitch to gain a numbers advantage.


All of the above ignores removals without armour rolls – for example players being sent off or eaten by trolls. Effectively if you take the risk of either of these actions, you risk making it easier for your opponent to get you below the target number of players.


Other options

As the event I was going to didn’t allow Riotous Rookies, this then got me thinking about whether there are any other ways to ensure that you are always fielding the maximum number of players on the pitch?

The main ones I could think of are:-

  • Bribes

  • Apothecary/ies

  • Bloodweiser kegs

  • Regeneration (on the trolls)

  • Stronger players


The first three are all things that I want to look into the effectiveness of separately. Regeneration is unreliable and only on 2 of your players on a snotling team, and using stronger players either means taking the pump wagons (risky without bribes). Hiring in star players who are stronger or higher armoured is a good idea. They will also have a target on their back, and their removal is a large amount of team value to lose.


Conclusion

In conclusion, the value in riotous rookies is not the extra players themselves – as snotlings are not very good value even for 15k – but the fact you will need to make your opponent work hard if they want to gain a numbers advantage, and all the time you have the advantage you have a better shot at making something out of the game.


In a tournament you don't know who you'll be playing against and I would recommend having them regardless. 


In a league setting, you might make a call on this depending on your opponent. If you have a 16-player roster and they don't have any skills that would help them remove your players then it might be worth considering other options as a possibility. However, I would expect you don't have a 16-player roster as you are leaving gaps for hiring star players. So in that case, hire the rookies.


Basically - hire the rookies! Hopefully the above has helped you to understand why you want them. 

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