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Chaos League
Posted: 12/7/04 by King_Ghidra | Comments (52)

The second mode is the pure RTS mode. In this there are no pauses, and you must marshal your players as best you can, a feat more often than not achieved by frantically clicking around the screen like a maniac. My first experience of playing the game In RTS mode was highly traumatic, and I conceded three touchdowns in quick succession as I struggled to keep up with everything that was going on. However with a little practice I was able to get my team working together and ultimately found this mode highly enjoyable. Perhaps more of an adrenaline rush than a cerebral challenge, but definitely good fun nonetheless.

Finally there is the Active Pause System, in which the game plays like the RTS mode but may be paused by the coach at any time. There was something about this mode that I found quite unsatisfying, perhaps in the fact that it was neither the pure turn-based mode I was accustomed too nor the unbridled chaos of the RTS mode. Nevertheless, kudos have to go to Cyanide for presenting all three options to their customers.

Each player is measured by a variety of stats - their movement speed, agility, etc. However there are two stats which merit special attention, Health and Breath. Health, as the name suggests, measures how battered (or not) the player is. If a playerís health reaches zero they will be knocked out (or worse). In fact injuries and deaths can occur fairly easily when being pummelled by the larger and more violent types.

The Breath stat might be better thought of as a Special Ability gauge. When the Breath bar is full, players can perform various special actions such as Sprinting, Casting Spells, Exciting the crowd, etc. Breath recovers slowly, so it must be used wisely, and there are many minor actions that also consume breath, so it must be managed carefully by anyone who wants an ace up his sleeve for that crucial moment.

And that brings me neatly to spells. Casting a spell typically uses all of a playerís breath, although some of the more magically adept races such as the Dark Elves find it less taxing. Your teamís race also has a great bearing on what spells (if any) are available to your players. The spells themselves range from simple buffs and debuffs to massively damaging spells like lightning bolts or demon summons. Spells can often save a situation where tactics can not, say for instance if a pacy receiver has run clear of your last man and is haring towards the line - when even the quickest player would not catch them, a well timed fireball can halt their advance in a pinch.

Teams can also bring other nasty surprises to bear in game. If the crowd has been incited, a team might be able to cause an incursion of hooligans to disrupt play, or place a mine in a key area of the pitch, for example. In fact even prior to the game, a team can spend money from a Dirty Tricks pool to prepare drugs bans, hooligans and cheerleaders to influence the game.

Tactically I found that my old Blood Bowl tactics served me well. With my dwarf team I defended deep, trying to limit the opportunities for my more mobile opponents to sprint past me and lob passes over my short lads heads. I also sought out a confrontation whenever possible, grinding the opposition down in a war of attrition. With an elf team the opposite strategy worked results, spreading the play as wide as possible and trying to create gaps by passing the ball around while keeping the opposition at armsí length.

Once the match is over, an MVP is selected and a wealth of statistical information is available to bring home exactly how awesome/mediocre/dreadful you were. This statistical information is expanded massively when in Championship Mode. And speaking of Championship mode...

Chaos League features an extensive Championship mode that you may play through in single-player. Starting in the third division with your choice of one of the races and a small treasury, you can build your team with wealth and experience and try and take them through the divisions to become the Chaos League champion.

   
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