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BloodBowl Tactics

Recopiled by Belfador

http://www.blood-bowl.net/Tactics/BBTactics.html
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BloodBowl Tactics
http://www.blood-bowl.net/Tactics/BBTactics.html

General Guides
Pag Pag Pag Pag Pag Pag Pag Pag 004 New to BloodBowl 012 The Basics 016 What is BloodBowl? 023 Adding Lateral Thinking to your Game 025 BloodBowl Playbook 039 BloodBowl Playbook II 044 Justification for always having a 9 Fan Factor 046 BloodBowl Maxims

Team Specific Guides


Pag Pag Pag Pag Pag Pag Pag Pag Pag Pag Pag Pag Pag 048 Chaos 074 Chaos Dwarf 088 Dark Elf 108 Dwarf 124 Goblin 134 Halfling 146 High Elf 161 Human 170 Norse 177 Orc 188 Skaven 194 Undead 226 Wood Elf

This guide is provided as is and without any guarantee. All trademarks and articles are property of his respectives owners. This is only a recopilation of all strategy guides of blood-bowl.net for the only purpose of printing them in a proper way. Enjoy.

Blood Bowl Newbies FAQ v1.0


Please note that this FAQ is now a little old. As a result, many of the links off site are possibly now null and dead.

This is a Blood Bowl FAQ for newbies, written by a newbie. This is not initially intended to be an answer forum for rules questions, although answers for basic rule questions may appear in later versions. The Blood Bowl Newbies (BBN) FAQ is intended for prospective purchasers of Games Workshop's Blood Bowl game and people who are first-time players. The maintainer of this FAQ makes the assumption that you are thinking about buying the Third Edition of Blood Bowl or you have just purchased it and are wondering where all the other stuff is (like those Apothecaries everyone seems to mention). It is rather unofficial, and probably hasn't even been looked at by anyone at Games Workshop. Basic legal stuff: By publishing this FAQ on the internet, it automatically becomes a copyrighted document (Copyright 1998, Thomas Deeny). Feel free to make as many copies of this document as you wish, providing it is not altered/changed/edited in any way other than format. Blah blah blah. This is an absolutely free document, no money can be made from creating or distributing this FAQ. Blood Bowl and Death Zone are Registered Trademarks of Games Workshop (GW). Original Blood Bowl material is Copyright 1998 by Games Workshop All Rights Reserved. Used without permission. Any use of Games Workshop's copyrighted material or trademarks in this file should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights or trademarks. The author accepts no liability for the usage of this FAQ, whatever that means.

1.0 General 1.1 What is Blood Bowl? 1.2 What is Death Zone? 1.3 What is White Dwarf? 1.4 Who's this Jervis guy? 2.0 The Games 2.1 What comes with the Blood Bowl boxed set? 2.2 What comes with the Death Zone boxed set? 2.3 What other versions of Blood Bowl exist? 2.4 How does Blood Bowl relate to the other GW games? 3.0 Rules 3.1 Where can I find Big Guy rules? 3.2 Where can I find Ally rules? 3.3 Where can I find Mixed Racial Team rules? 3.4 What is that other damage table everyone seems to be using? 4.0 Miniatures 4.1 Do I need to buy them to play? 4.1.1 No. 4.1.2 Yes. 4.2 Where can I find painting tips? 4.3 Where can I find miniatures for Blood Bowl? 5.0 Teams 5.1 Where can I find Human teams? 5.2 Where can I find Orc teams? 5.3 Where can I find Skaven teams? 5.4 Where can I find High Elf teams? 5.5 Where can I find Dark Elf teams? 5.6 Where can I find Wood Elf teams? 5.7 Where can I find Dwarf teams? 5.8 Where can I find Chaos Dwarf teams? 5.9 Where can I find Chaos teams? 5.10 Where can I find Halfling teams? 5.11 Where can I find Goblin teams? 5.12 Where can I find Undead teams? 5.13 Where can I find Vampire teams? 5.14 Where can I find Norse teams? 5.15 Where can I find Lizardman teams? 5.16 Where can I find Bretonnian teams? 5.17 Is there some way of posting my teams to the web? 6.0 Races 6.1 What the heck is a Skaven, anyway? 6.2 What's with the big hats on the Chaos Dwarfs? 6.3 What's the difference between the Empire, Humans, and Bretonnians? 7.0 About the FAQ 7.1 What's new with the FAQ? 7.2 I'm really interested in revision histories of various FAQs. Does this FAQ have one? 7.3 Where can I send in information that the FAQ is missing? 7.4 What information would we like to include in future versions? ===

1.0 General: 1.1 What is Blood Bowl? Blood Bowl (BB) is a game of fantasy football, played in the Warhammer game setting, also published by Games Workshop. You need the BB box to play this game. It's a game where you can have a team of orcs and a team of elves playing something rather violent that looks somewhat like American or Canadian football. The history of the sport is included in the BB boxed set, but who cares? It's football with dwarfs and elves and other fantasy races! 1.2 What is Death Zone? Death Zone (DZ) is a supplement to Blood Bowl that expands the game considerably. DZ will allow you to play a team in a BB league and improve your team. If all you want to play is one-off games, you don't need this. However, if you want to really open the game up, you'd want to get this box. Check out 2.2 below for more. 1.3 What is White Dwarf? White Dwarf (WD) is a gaming magazine that Games Workshop puts out to cover their games. WD mainly covers Warhammer 40K, Warhammer, and the other GW miniatures wargames. Occasionally, a BB article is published. 1.4 Who's this Jervis guy? Jervis Johnson? He's the Blood Bowl game designer over at GW. === 2.0 Games: 2.1 What comes with the Blood Bowl boxed set? This is not a list of contents, this is a list of what you get when you buy Blood Bowl (Third Edition). First you get a complete Orc team and a complete Human team (plastic figures), complete with cheat sheets -cardboard sheets that tell you what each of the four types of players on your team can do. You also get several nifty counters for keeping track of the score, what turn it is, and so forth. Also included are four star players, players with extra skills. With the basic rules in this box, you can create Human, Orc, Skaven, High Elf, Dark Elf, and Dwarf teams. Rules in this box include: moving, picking up the ball, blocking, blitzing, knocking players down and hurting them, throwing the ball, catching the ball, bouncing balls, throw-ins, and turnovers. Advanced rules include: the coaching staff, cheerleaders, secret weapons, star players, the weather, handing off the ball, interceptions, fumbles, kick-off table random events, assisting a block, throwing team-mates, going for it!, and fouling other players. Also included is the history of Blood Bowl and looks at the different "famous" teams. 2.2 What comes with the Death Zone boxed set? More stuff. First off, you've got all these cards to punch out -- about two dozen more star players and dozens of special play cards. The special play cards come in three flavors: Dirty Tricks, Random Events, and Magic Items. When you play, you get to draw a special play card or two (or three or four...) to add a little bit of chaos to the game. Also included are rules for Team Wizards (and magical spells), Apothecaries (your medical staff), more star players, more secret weapons, all of the skills, rules for running and playing in a BB League and Tournaments, and rules for improving your players through Star Player Points (SPPs). The new teams included in DZ are: Undead, Chaos Dwarf, Halfling, Goblin, Chaos, and Wood Elf. The three Big Guys (Treemen, Trolls, and Minotaurs) have rules for them in this box. The four tournaments listed here include Spike!, Dungeon Bowl, The Chaos Cup, and the Blood Bowl. There are dungeon rules for Dungeon Bowl which was relased in White Dwarf #225. A Dungeon Bowl conversion from 2nd Edition to 3rd Edition is available at http://www.teleport.com/~matasar/bloodbowl/dungeonbowl.html . Dungeon Bowl was a supplement for 2nd Edition BB.

2.3 What other versions of Blood Bowl exist? There's the First Edition, which didn't have any miniatures included, just a staggering 119 cardboard fold-up counters. The board was actually six pieces, placed together like a jigsaw puzzle. The Second Edition had the "Astro-Granite" playing field. This was actually a gray three-piece polystyrene board, with each square on the pitch resembling stones. Like the Third Edition game, this came with plastic miniatures of Humans and Orcs. Unlike the Third Edition game, each Human miniature looked the same; each Orc mini looked the same. This version is said to be much more complex and slower than Third Edition. Fourth Edition is just a whole pile of changes to Thrid edition, to try to fix some things people saw as problems with the rules. And then there was a Blood Bowl game for the PC. This is a computer game where you could actually run a Halfling team through a season undefeated. 2.4 How does Blood Bowl relate to the other GW games? Blood Bowl takes place in the same timeframe that Warhammer takes place in. Many miniatures from Warhammer can be used in Blood Bowl with minor modifications. Unlike Warhammer miniatures, BB minis have round bases and most BB minis are unarmed. === 3.0 Rules: 3.1 Where can I find Big Guy rules? 3.2 Where can I find Ally rules? 3.3 Where can I find Mixed Racial Team rules? Jervis' Big Guy, Ally, and Mixed Racial Team rules can be found here . 3.4 What is that other damage table everyone seems to be using? It's Sigurd's Injury Rules. It's the basic injury table found on the blue board that came with Blood Bowl, except that if you roll a 10, 11, or 12 on the Injury Table, you roll another d6 without any modifiers. A 1-3 results in Badly Hurt, 4 or 5 is Seriously Injured, and a 6 is Dead! Dead! DEAD! This table evens out most of the logical errors that occur when bonuses for injury-rolls that creep up to +2 or more. It makes the deaths a little less common. A statistical analysis of this injury rule can be found at a page oddly titled "Statistical Analysis of Sigurd's Injury Rule" [http://mama.indstate.edu/users/python/bbowl/math.html]. === 4.0 Miniatures: 4.1 Do I need to buy them to play? Two answers to this, depending on what and how you're going to play. 4.1.1 No. You paid a sizable chunk of change for the basic game and probably $25 to $35 more for Death Zone (which is nothing compared to playing any of the other GW games). If it's just you and your husband or you and your kid brother playing, sure, you can get by with the humans and the orcs from the main box or you can create your own stand ups. You'll need some sort of marker to keep track of who's on what team, what their position is, and which player number the marker represents. You'll also need some way of determining if the player is stunned or just knocked over after being on the hurt end of a block. My wife and I use folded cardboard standups when we play. That way, we can get to use all twelve BB teams that come with BB and DZ without having to pay around $30 per basic team. Also, we feel that several of the miniatures GW puts out just aren't right. We don't envision High Elves running around with Conehead prostheses, the halflings just don't look the way GW thinks halflings look, nor do we feel that the Treemen miniatures look like Treemen should. And what's with the hats on those Chaos Dwarfs? By using the folded cardboard standups, we can draw what we think these fantasy creatures look like.

4.1.2 Yes. You need to buy miniatures to play. This serves several purposes. Firstly, GW sees that someone's actually buying stuff for Blood Bowl and will continue to support the product. Secondly, it becomes much harder to play games when you have to set up your pieces and say something like: "Okay, these Linemen here plus this Blitzer are Line Elves. The Blitzer with the paperclip on it is my Wardancer. The first Thrower is still a Thrower, but this one with the rubberband is a Catcher and this Black Orc is a rookie Treeman and that Black Orc with the red paper clip is the Star Player Treeman." The most important reason why you'd want minis is: If you're playing in a League, you're going to want to have miniatures. Some games are played in game stores. The owners of the game stores is going to be happier if you purchase miniatures and support the shop. Most league commissioners are going to insist that you use miniatures to play. I've heard of a GW store that hosts BB games -- one of their house rules is you not only have to have miniatures to play, you've got to have GW miniatures. So, if you don't want to play in a league (which adds a whole 'nother flavor to the game), you don't have to buy miniatures. But hey, it's a whole lot cooler to look at a piece and instantly recognize that what type of player that is. 4.2 Where can I find painting tips? There's a four-page pamphlet included in the Third Edition of Blood Bowl. Although some of these pages are geared towards other games, they still have good ideas for miniature painting: the Star Wars Miniatures Painting and Design website [http://www.webzone.net/bvogle/swmb/paint.htm], Erik's RoboRally Website [http://members.xoom.com/eflod/], and the ever-popular Miniatures Painting Guide and FAQ [http://www.faqs.org/faqs/games/miniatures/painting-faq/]. The Miniatures Painting Guide and FAQ can also be found over at http://www.lib.ox.ac.uk/internet/news/faq/rec.games.miniatures.misc.html, but I'm not sure, as that URL is incorrectly blocked from my work address. This web site has a section specifically for painting Blood Bowl miniatures. 4.3 Where can I find miniatures for Blood Bowl? If you purchased the game in a gaming store, chances are a nearby wall was covered with GW miniatures for all sorts of games as well as miniatures for other games. If you got the game by mail-order, you can probably order miniatures from the same place. Check the yellow pages for Games, Hobbies -- Toys and Games, even Comic Books (many comic book stores also carry gaming material). Call up and ask if they carry miniatures for wargaming. If they do, ask if they carry Blood Bowl or Warhammer miniatures. You can always create a team of Blood Bowl players out of regular Warhammer minis. Support your local game store! If there's nothing in the area, you might want to contact Games Workshop's mail-order service [http://www.games-workshop.com/mailorder.html]. Third Edition BB comes with a black and white Blood Bowl catalog. After that, you could check out several of the online game stores. A good list is provided over at RPG.net [http://www.rpg.net/news+reviews/stores.html]. Failing that, you might want to try an auction website like eBay [http://www.eBay.com], where you might find painted or primed miniatures for sale. Or over at Warhammer Fantasy Battle For Sale [http://falcon.cc.ukans.edu/~darkwolf/fbfs.html], a page on a website that deals with selling and trading GW games/sourcebooks/miniatures. Occasionally on the Fantasy Battle For Sale page, Blood Bowl items are listed. And finally, if you just want to use the cardboard standups but still want to be able to instantly recognize the players, head to Blood Bowl Central's team pages [http://terracom.net/~bodyman/BBCENTRAL/teams.html]. Color images of miniatures are on the individual team pages. Just view the image there and print out the amount of each player you want. Stick them on a thin piece of cardboard and number them. Viola! You've got a Witch Elf that looks like a Witch Elf. ===

5.0 Teams: Most strategy for an individual team can be found right here at Paradigm Central 5.1 Where can I find Human teams? Blood Bowl. Strategies for playing Humans can be found at Blood Bowl Central's Team Strategy Pages [http://terracom.net/~bodyman/BBCENTRAL/strategies.html], as well as Coach Blackknife's Dugout [http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Battlefield/4101/]. 5.2 Where can I find Orc teams? Blood Bowl. Strategies for playing Orcs can be found at Coach Blackknife's Dugout [http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Battlefield/4101/]. 5.3 Where can I find Skaven teams? Blood Bowl. Strategies for playing Skaven can be found at Coach Blackknife's Dugout [http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Battlefield/4101/]. 5.4 Where can I find High Elf teams? Blood Bowl. Strategies for playing High Elves can be found at Coach Blackknife's Dugout [http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Battlefield/4101/]. 5.5 Where can I find Dark Elf teams? Blood Bowl. Strategies for playing Dark Elves can be found at Blood Bowl Central's Team Strategy Pages [http://terracom.net/~bodyman/BBCENTRAL/strategies.html], as well as Coach Blackknife's Dugout [http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Battlefield/4101/]. 5.6 Where can I find Wood Elf teams? Death Zone. Strategies for playing Wood Elves can be found at The Wonderful World of Wood Elves [http://mama.indstate.edu/users/python/bbowl/welves/index.html]. 5.7 Where can I find Dwarf teams? Blood Bowl. However, the skill for Tackle isn't in BB -- it's in DZ. For the convenience of game players who are thinking of buying BB or for those who have BB but not DZ, the Tackle skill is reprinted here: Tackle. Opposing players who are standing in this player's tackle zone are not allowed to use their Dodge skill if they attempt to dodge out of the player's tackle zone, nor may they use their Dodge skill if the player throws a block at them. Strategies for playing Dwarf teams can be found at Coach Blackknife's Dugout [http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Battlefield/4101/]. 5.8 Where can I find Chaos Dwarf teams? Death Zone. Strategies for playing Chaos Dwarfs can be found at Coach Blackknife's Dugout [http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Battlefield/4101/]. 5.9 Where can I find Chaos teams? Death Zone. Strategies for playing Chaos teams can be found at Coach Blackknife's Dugout [http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Battlefield/4101/]. 5.10 Where can I find Halfling teams? Death Zone. Strategies for playing Halflings can be found at Coach Blackknife's Dugout [http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Battlefield/4101/]. 5.11 Where can I find Goblin teams? Death Zone. Strategies for playing Gobbos can be found at Blood Bowl Central's Team Strategy Pages [http://terracom.net/~bodyman/BBCENTRAL/strategies.html].

5.12 Where can I find Undead teams? Death Zone. Strategies for playing Undead teams can be found at Blood Bowl Central's Team Strategy Pages [http://terracom.net/~bodyman/BBCENTRAL/strategies.html]. 5.13 Where can I find Vampire teams? This is an unofficial team. Team stats can be found on various web pages. Search for +Vampire +Thrall +"Blood Bowl" over on Infoseek. 5.14 Where can I find Norse teams? The Citadel Journal #10, White Dwarf #223. There's an article called "It's Not Just the Crowd That Goes Berserk: Norse BB Team". Over at Blood Bowl Central's team pages [http://terracom.net/~bodyman/BBCENTRAL/teams.html] is a list of player stats. 5.15 Where can I find Lizardman teams? Although appearing in The Citadel Journal, they are not an official team. Try http://www.teleport.com/~matasar/bloodbowl/lizardmen.html or The Citadel Journal #22 (Leaping Lizards: Lizardmen BB team). 5.16 Where can I find Bretonnian teams? I'm not sure about this one, but I think they're an unofficial team. 5.17 Is there some way of posting my teams to the web? Assuming you've got a website and know how to upload files to the web, you can download a Blood Bowl HTML Team Editor, a program writte You can use the team information when playing online (via IRC). Information about the team editor and playing via IRC can be found at Avi Stetto's Web Page === 6.0 Races: 6.1 What the heck is a Skaven, anyway? Yeah, that's what I asked when I got the box. Now, I haven't looked at any Warhammer supplement or the Warhammer game system, but from what I've gathered, they're Big Rats. Big Scary Fast Rats. Who enjoy eating this chaos-stone which might cause a mutation (see also "science fiction movies from the 1950s"). That's it in a nutshell: Big, fast, scary rat-things that might come with extra body parts. Enjoy. 6.2 What's with the big hats on the Chaos Dwarfs? I don't know, but they look pretty goofy. Maybe that's what happened when that particular group of dwarfs started turning towards Chaos. Perhaps it's a social convention -- the more important you are, the bigger your dorky-looking hat. If that's the case, the High Elves have them beat. 6.3 What's the difference between the Empire, Humans, and Bretonnians? In the Warhammer game, there was one major Human Kingdom, the Empire. That's the Human team Blood Bowl came with. I'm not sure what's the deal with the Empire -- you'll have to ask a Warhammer gamer. However, the newest version of Warhammer comes with a handful of Bretonnians and Lizardmen. Bretonnians seem to be humans cast in a King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table role: very colorful knights in shining armor. === 7.0 About the FAQ: 7.1 What's new with the FAQ? This FAQ is now offically released. I've broken up the teams 7.2 I'm really interested in revision histories of various FAQs. Does this FAQ have one? Hey, you're in luck! 10

v 1.0 Split up the teams section into teams and races, redid this section (7.x), corrected even more spelling mistakes. Additions: Q 2.4, 5.16, 5.17, 6.3, and 7.4. Also added another reference to 5.14 (Norse Teams). v 0.6 and 0.7 Corrected various spelling mistakes, added info for the redirection service, added more information to Q 4.3 v 0.5 First "live" version. An announcement to the BBOWL-L mailing list was sent out to ask for assistance on this project. 7.3 Where can I send in information that the FAQ is missing? Mail that to americanflagg@hotmail.com. Please include in the subject line [BBN FAQ]. All comments are welcome! 7.4 What information would we like to include in future versions? There was a request for a section on the differences between 2nd Edition and 3rd Edition Blood Bowl. However, as the maintainer of this FAQ has never played 2nd Edition (only 3rd Edition), this section will have to be written by someone else. If you have a list of changes between the two editions, please drop me a line at americanflagg@hotmail.com. I'd also like to include a bit on the Bretonnian Blood Bowl team. If anyone can point me to rules for them, I'd appreciate it.

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THE BASICS
by Stephen Babbage with Coach Blacknife To me, Blood Bowl is a fun strategy game: yes, the most important element is strategy. In our league a team winning by luck alone is very rare; obviously luck does affect gameplay and can help determine the outcome of a game, but if the Coach is not using strategies and intelligence to win then they'll find it difficult.

1. Choosing a Team
This is, perhaps the most important part of the game. After all if the team does not reflect your style of play then you will be struggling to be successful. Success is not necessarily winning the League although this is a common goal - but rather it is measured in how you feel the team has performed (after all, a Goblin team is not expected to lift many trophies!). Although your initial choice of team is unlikely to be your ideal, bear in mind the way in which you want the team to progress. A solid core for your starting team is essential, although most teams are forgiving and can be brought back round after a poor start. Weaker elements of the team (such as Catchers) should be drafted later in the season unless your plan revolves around these guys otherwise you may find that they just don't last the distance. Some points to remember: Do not rely on Star Players. Some teams (e.g. Chaos Dwarfs) can easily do this (Hthark), but if the player gets taken out of the game then you can end up in trouble. A Blood Bowl team should be flexible enough to cover the loss of any one player, after all that's what the word Team refers to! One other problem with them is that they tend to absorb Star Player Points (SPPs). Enroll Position players. Position players are those on the team lists which aren't Linemen: Blitzers; Witch Elves; Wardancers and so on. Dwarf teams are unlikely to go far (pun intended) without Trollslayers and this is true of most teams. Admitedly Elf teams can field Linemen exclusively and get by, but at the cost of each player you'll find that they are almost a match for other teams Positional players! (Although saying that, even Elf teams are complimented by Position players: Wardancers on the Wood Elf team for example.) Don't pass by the miscellaneous. The support elements of your team list should not be entirely shunned, after all Rerolls are vital to most teams and Fan Factor will help you on the Kickoff table (and your income at the end of the game!). An Apothecary is essential for all teams after game 1 (and for Elf teams for game 1) - even for Chaos teams. Wizards are a fair addition once your team is robust and the Halflings struggle without their Master Chef.

2. Game Strategy
Look at your team. Look at your opponents team. Weigh up their strengths and weaknesses. Taking on a Chaos team with the strategy of attritional warfare could be considered a bad career move for the Coach as, unless the dice are in your favour (remind yourself how often that happens!) you will likely take a pounding! Most teams are flexible enough to at least try a variant play, in the example against Chaos you could try a Passing game - something even Orcs could achieve - and hope you survive the onslaught.

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The point here being that you shouldn't play to their strengths: develop strategies. Otherwise winning won't be your objective; getting off the Pitch in one piece will seem way more appealing! Some points to remember: Play to your Strengths. Don't plan on scoring quickly with Dwarfs or holding the tide of Chaos with Elfs. Allowing early TDs from your opponents can even be a game winner (see the Lateral Plays article). Play to their Weaknesses. Refer to Choosing a Team (above) and work out how you can neutralise their key players; whether this be taking them out of the game or getting them off the Pitch! Stay with your strategy. Even when you're taking a beating, changing tack in mid-game can spell disaster. Incidentelly, this point is also valid for Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Warhammer 40,000, Necromunda, and any other wargame you care to mention! Watch the clock. Don't leave a two-turn strategy until the last two turns of the game unless you really have to! Give yourself a turn in hand to account for the slip ups which will inevitably occur. Strategy Guides. White Dwarf 176 (U.K. version) has tips on team plays. Of course you could always refer to our own home-grown strategies.

3. Setup
Placing players on the pitch is the first step of your strategy, thinking that you can execute your plan regardless of your setup is a big mistake! If you are kicking, for example, you have to ask yourself some questions like "Can I catch a fast opponent?", "Should I let them into my backfield easily?" and so on. These should be balanced against questions such as "What level of resistance should I exert on my Line of Scrimmage (LoS)?" and at all times it should be kept in mind that you will almost always move after your opponent (unless you are extremely blessed and manage Blitz turns at every kickoff!). Setting up to receive means that you can take advantage of the kicking teams position and it is at this point you should question your strategy. Should you pound your opponent into the dirt? Form 'da Cage'? Or Blitz your way into his half for a quick Touchdown (TD)? These points should really be addressed as you're setting up and not after the ball has been kicked! Some points to remember: Players in the Reserve Box. Remember, they didn't necessarily sit out last drive because they are useless, your defensive specialists should have been put 'on ice' during your offensive push and are then brought back for when you kick the ball. Exploitation. Balance your strengths and your opponents weaknesses to maximize your setup. Bear in mind that a strike at the weak point in your opponents LoS could be a trap... Think during their turn. While your opponent is setting up, don't use the time to grab a soda or run to the bathroom, watch his positioning. After you respond with your setup just yell "Woah, have to get to the bathroom!" - they'll wait!

4. The Turn
Some points to remember: Miscellaneous gubbins. Always bear in mind what Special Play cards you have retained in your hand - and how many Rerolls you have left for the half! 13

Moving is free. Make sure that you move players who don't need to make any rolls before contemplating your master stroke; otherwise you may never move them! Get them UP! If your players are on their backs, please remember to do this as soon as possible in your turn. Otherwise you deserve the Dirty Player who's coming your way! Opponents player strengths. Keep an eye on which players are placed where. You don't need to memorise all of them, but knowing where the guy with Tackle is should make choosing where to Dodge easier! Your strengths. If your team is better at Blocking then punch before Dodging and vice versa for Agility based teams. Bear in mind the above point about 'free' movement however. Your players strengths. Many of your Position players are specialised and as such should be the ideal candidate for their job: don't pick up balls with Mummies when a Ghoul is around; don't dodge with a Black Orc when a Lineman could do it; and so on. Watch the clock. Allow yoursef at least thirty seconds of your four minutes just to contemplate the order of your moves in the coming turn. Contemplating this during your opponents turn helps too and allowes quick changes to your immediate move if needs be. Watch the Dice. If the probabilities are on your side then the luck kind of looks after itself. I say 'kind of' as we've all had at least 'one of those matches'.

5. The Drive
This is all about scoring TDs. Actually it could also be about wearing down your opponent in preperation for scoring lots of TDs. On the other hand it may be that you wish to let your opponent score as quickly as possible just to get your hands on the ball... many possibilities really! Some points to remember: Don't rush. Why present yourself with unnecessary problems caused by pushing your players at the wrong time? There is no reason why players need to 'go for it' if they are within normal movement distance for next turn (unless it'd put them out of immediate Blitz range!). Slow teams should make an orderly advance down-pitch, leave the acrobatics to the Elf teams. Anticipation. As your opponent is moving, use the time to not only adjust your immediate turn plans, but to figure out what they are up to - you're not the only one with a plan! If you can see gaps, or possible breaks, then try to plug them with Linemen or tempt your opponent to take another route; the latter being a better idea as you can then predict where your opponent is likely to be and the advantage is yours! Keep your game strategy in mind at all times.

6. The Rest
At the end of the day, Blood Bowl is about fun. Nobody outside Games Workshop has been making money off it by playing and social benefits don't immediately spring to mind either. Keep this in mind and have fun, remembering that you can enjoy the tension of the game while still taking it all lightly! Some points to remember: Don't work from hearsay. If you can get a hold of the rulebooks, then please do. Not only does this mean that you will be able to make positive rule decisions, but it means that Games Workshop will continue producing the game! Roleplaying. It's not just for Dungeons & Dragons or Vampire players! Playing the team (thinking 'Orcy') should lead you from a game of min/max'ing statistics into a more 14

enjoyable experience. Remember the team who wouldn't foul? Sure they may take a kicking for it now and then, but they have a moral advantage over the rest of the league (which may even discourage fouling against them!). Organisation and promotion. Being league Commissioner or one of his lackeys, sorry 'Assistants' gives an interesting spin to the hobby outside of playing game after game. Drawing in new players is a great way to both keep the league going and bring in new ideas, be they strategies, organisational or rule changes. The periphery. Get into all of the aspects of the hobby: Painting teams in your own (or favourite team) colours; naming the players; throwing together a game report or league newsletter. The hobby holds more interest if you make it more personal.

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Greeting sports fans! Once again I have taken up cyber pen and paper to bring you what should _become_ the definitive guide to strategy and tactics (with addendum and revision) _whatever_ team you play. This document is designed to supplement the advice given for a specific team. ...but I need your comments and advice added to it - other wise - it's hardly definitive is it? - lots of the comments made will be of a generalisation style and may not hold true to some teams - if this is the case - let me know! I'd value any comments etc. =-) Babs.

What is Blood Bowl?


Well, the best thing is to read the FAQ for new players.

So, you want to play Blood Bowl?


Great choice - I couldn't recommend it more highly. The first step you should be taking is to read the rulebooks. There are two of them, Blood Bowl and Death Zone. I would in fact recommend reading them both twice. Don't skip the rules parts as they are very important. Once this has been done (or even while this is being done) I would take the time to watch at least one entire game - and hopefully have people playing for who you can ask questions about what is going on. These two steps are vital parts of understanding the game. Before reading much further I recommend you doing this now. If you can't get your hands on a rulebook - buy the game! It is an excellent choice. After this, I would recommend playing at least one full "practice" game against an experienced coach - with you both playing teams of similar value. Expect to lose, but take the opportunity to watch how the other coach plays. Blood Bowl is a game of strategy - and developing good Blood Bowl strategy takes a lot of experience and thinking. Coaches play better Blood Bowl if they play good opponents. I myself recently joined an online league (Blood Bowl over the internet - see the FAQ for more inormation) and was beaten soundly by coaches better than I using tactics I had not seen before. Once this has been done then you are ready to choose a team.

Choosing a team
There are 13 official types of teams available to play and many other teams which are not official (i.e. not sanctioned by Games Workshop - the producer of Blood Bowl) but are being allowed by the league you are playing in. Without going through each type of team one by one there are differing styles of play which are suited to different types of team. For example a "pass and run" style play involving lots of dodging is not the kind of play which dwarves are naturally suited. If this is your thing I would recommend against playing a dwarven team, and would recommend an elven team or a skaven team. You must remember that a team is not perfect. None of them are - they develop as time goes by (with the Death Zone rules) and become a 'custom' team to suit the way you play. If you have nt played Blood Bowl before, I would recommend one of two types of team.

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1. Humans. They have fast players and players which can throw the ball. The blitzers can also develop into people who can hit fairly hard, as well as move quickly. Their star player range is also excellent - but some leagues do not allow star players - so make sure you understand what your league allows and what it doesn't _before_ choosing a team. 2. Orcs. They are not as fast as humans - but have higher armour - meaning they are injured less often, and have more strength on their side (with the Bloack Orc Blockers). They also can throw the ball as well as humans, but they do not have anyone who is specifically designed to _catch_ it (unlike the humans). These two teams are good to begin with for a number of reasons, but one of the main ones is that they are less resistant to technical 'blunders' when building your team. Another good point is that if you buy the basic set, you get both orc and human miniatures with the game! That being said, a team that you choose should reflect how you want to play the game. If you aren't aiming to hurt other people's players as an active part of your game plan, you should either be playing another game, or playing a team which does not specialise in hitting other people down. (Actually, you should plan to hurt other people's players no matter which team you play - it's part of why it is called Blood Bowl.) Each of the teams descriptions give a brief description of what the team is good and or bad at. Look carefully at the statistics for the players and see whether they match what you intend to do with your team. <do I need to change this to put a brief description of each team type and where it 'specialises'?>

Choosing a starting team setup.


o.k. so you've chosen a team! Great. If you need to purchase miniatures, any hobby store who sells Games Workshop products should be able to get them for you, or alternatively you can ring your local Games Workshop Mail Order and they will send them to you. Some more models will need to be purchased , and it may be financialy advisable to purchase those individual models at the same time as you buy your team if you are buying through mail order (you save on postage). Many Warhammer models (another game by Games Workshop) can also be purchased and modified slightly to make a great Blood Bowl player miniature. This is explained in the Blood bowl rule book - so you should know this right? Painting the miniatures is a great start. Not only will they look a lot better, but you can put numbers on them so that they can be told apart and you can see (as well as your opponent) who has which skills and statistics once they start improving. Painting models takes a lot less time and is a lot less of a pain that a lot of people think - although if you really do not like that kind fo thing, there are people who will paint minitures for you for a fee. At least that way you end up with fantastic looking models. I always paint the miniatures myself. It's actually the way I got into Blood Bowl (by painting miniatures as a hobby of its own) but that's another story. You actually have choice about which type of people start on your team and which ones don't. This is explained in the Blood Bowl handbook. There are several teactics to advise on this matter - and this is part of the overall strategy of developing a good Blood Bowl team. Developing a team which you like and is customised to your play is all part of the strategy and fun of the game. A starting lineup is the beginning of this. Pointers: Spend your money wisely. Think carefully about how you are going to use each of the players you buy. If you can't justify why you want that player, put the money elsewhere (at least for now).

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Starting with a high Fan Factor is always a good idea. Fan factor (as you should know) influences not only the kickoff table (which can give significant advantage in a game) but also the amount of money which you get at the end of the game. The more money, the more you can buy for your team! Once you start a team you can't buy more fan factor - so stock up now! Rerolls cost double once you have begun (unless you get a special play card called Extra Training) so again it is a good idea to buy a few now while they are cheap! I would recommend a minumum of two for any team, but the number of rerolls I would recommend depends on the cost of them for the team and the agility of your players. three is a good number to tart with if you can afford them. Many people would rather put their money into fan factor and rerolls and buying an aopthecary from the first gaem -as the cost of an apothecary is such that it does not increase after the team starts and is likely affordable after the first game (particularly if starting with a high Fan Factor). So a sound strategy is to play one game without an apothecary and to purchase one after the first game. Whether you are confident to do this, or decide an apothecary is a commodity you can't do without for even one match, either way - get one soon. The apothecary will save you 'money' (blood bowl gold crowns not real money) over the price of the investment - sometimes even the first match you have one on your team! I tend to have one in my starting lineup - as I inevitably have an expensive player dies in my first match - but if you are playing a team with a high armour value then there is not much to fear from one match without an apothecary. Note: Poor Undead coaches can't purchase an apothecary. Buy an extra reroll instead as commiseration. Buy eleven players. I would probably recommend only starting with eleven players and spending the rest on fan factor and rerolls on most teams (note: Halflings and goblins are the obvious exception to this - there may be others). New players can be purchased later for little expense, both rerolls and fan factor cannot. Think very carefully about star players. These guys are great - they can win a match for you - however they can also be a big liability. If you start without an apothecary - and the star player dies -then that is a large amount of money lost. Also the star player will do things your players would ordinarily do. Some of this earns Star Player points (read: experience). Star players don't develop to be any better than they already are - and hence tend to waste the experience a non-star player would have used to develop new skills. Some teams I would recommend to begin with a star player - but if you do an apothecary is probably also a necessity (poor undead coaches, luckily their star players come with regenerate). Most I would recommend picking up star players as you develop (if your league allows).

Expectations
Expect to lose your first few games. Obviously play to win and try your hardest, but new teams with new coaches tend to lose their first games. If you lose your first six games, don't be disheartened. Meanwhile your team should be getting better. There are reasons for this which will be explained soon. I myself lost my first five games of BloodBowl - and this is not an uncommon occurance. If you are joining a league, then many of the teams you are playing wil be more developed than you - and although you will receive a 'handicap' (which includes more cards) this is not to even things up, rather to give you a slim chance of winning.

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Part two: The game!


Before you start you should think carefully about who your opponent is and how you should beat them. Many a Blood Bowl coach as gone into a game thinking about the strengths of their team only and has lost as the team used counter tactics to defeat them. I would recommend coming up with a game objective. Norally my game objective will have seveal minor points... things to cover should include: * taking out key players of the opponent. Look for who scores all their TD's. Can they be eliminated easily? If so - then they should be a target for you to make sure they are off the pitch. I often, rather than target the scorer, targe the person who gets the ball to the scorer. Is there a thrower who would hamper the teams style were they not on the pitch? With taking out key players it is important to set realistic expectations. I have seen many people lose to a local halfling coach as they try to target the teams treemen. Although the team would not be very good without it, the treemen are a very difficult target to get down, and then again to injure. Indeed they are almost designed to take that kind of punishment instead of the teams who they play for (wood elves and halflings both have very low armour). So I would recommand against targetting a star player with high armour value, for example. Of course, this may be a valid strategy, depending upon your opponent. When playing elves, I often try to target players wjho are also a threat to my own players. Players with Mighty Blow, for example, tend to carve my elves up on a regular basis, and hence will become a target simply out of self defence. * don't get 'sucked' into playing the opponents game. If the opponent grabs the ball and forms a 'cage' of players around the player with the ball, think carefully before sending all your players careering into it to stop them. If you do send all your players to the fray, the opponent has forced you to play a very block oriented game. Conversely, if your opponent has spread their players all over the pitch and has scored twice on you early in the first half - don't get rushed into trying to score in two turns. Doing so has made you play the 'elven passing' game, which you may not be suited to. Remember your own teams strengths, and think about the opponents weaknesses. What can you play to (their weaknesses) and exploit? If they have low armour value, block them often. If they have low movement, run around them. I would never play a passing game against skaven, for example, unless I was also playing a pass oriented team (like wood elves). I would prefer to run with the ball and block them often. * choose a team strategy. When are you planning to score? If you aren't a pass oriented team, maybe scoring on the last turn of the half is the best for you - as it gives you plenty of time to whittle down your opponents. Don't then rush for those 3 Star player points at the end zone early - as it will only compromise your strategy and give the opponent plenty of time to equalise. Of course, a valid strategy may be 'score as often as possible' with evles for example. this would entail having one player always in scoring range if the ball happens to pop loose into one of your hands. Then a pass to them would ensure one more on the scoreboard. Think about how best to defeat the team, and when playing, place the players accordingly. * Look at your special play cards when you get them. Can you set up a play which will use this card? If so - then put that in your team strategy. Some cards are best used when you set the situation up careefully before playing it. A special play card can make the difference between a win and a loss. ..of course, some special play cards are best used spontaneously. Whatever happens, remember you have them. Forgetting them is a big mistake.

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During the Game!


* Receive if you win the toss. I think the only time I know of experienced coaches choosing to kick is if they are teaching a new player or if there is a special play card they have and are planning to use it first turn of their opponent, effectively getting first turn of the game anyway :) Not only do you get the first turn (and hence first hit!) but you also get the chance to score first - hence owning the psychological advantage! (they receive second half - but frankly by then hopefully you'll have an advantage anyway). * Stick to your game strategy and objective. Even if it doesn't seem to be working, changing game strategy mid game normally means you will have lost the game. I know this all too well from experience.

Each turn:
- I would always move players who can be moved without any rolls and are not a critical part of the turn strategy (see later) first. This inlcudes rolling players over and standing them up. Then if something fails, at least you have those players about and wehre you wanted them. - Immediately afer moving your turn marker on (unless you play with the 'four minute rule' - and I recommend all novice players play without it for a while) think what exactly you are doing _this_ turn. where are you going to hit to get to the ball? Where are your targets and can they be hit this turn? Where is the best place for my thrower with the ball to be during my opponents next turn? Develop a strategy and stick to it with all the players available. - Work with the following two adages, which work in opposition to each other upon occasion. Follow both wherever possible, and judge between them where necessary. 1. Do the things which are least risk first. (movement is 'no risk', hence comes first (see above)) 2. Do the things which are most important first. Note there is also a third: 1. Do the things in the right order so as to maximise your turn's performance and chances of success. ...this will need some explaining. I would, for example use 1 when blocking. I would always do a three die block (my choice) before a two die block (my choice) and again do a two die block (my favour) over a one die block. And I normally wouldn't do a two die block (opponent's favour) unless I was hitting the ball carrier or another important player near the end of my turn. If so, I would try to do so with a player with block (see later). If passing, I would normally first move player to near where my thrower and catcher will be in case te pass/catch fail (if this involves a dodge I wouldn't normally bother, unless that player has the dodge skill). I would then move the thrower as close to the catcher as possible, and maybe take an extra step if the passer does not have the pass skill and I think it might improve the range band. Then I would pass to the catcher. Once the catch is caught, I would clear the path for the catcher (who at the moment has friends around him/her) and then finally move the catcher. So by this strategy - the play is minimised for failure. The pass isas short as possible, the chances for failure are minimised and the chances of the play succeeding are more. If I moved the catcher first, this makes the pass longer, although this may be necessary as the catcher may be in tackle zones where they are and would be free of them (making the catch easier) if they are moved first.

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So make the most important rolls first, but make sure that if the rols fail, you aren't totally out of control for the rest of the drive. This same principle can apply just as well to blocking, moving a cage down the pitch or pretty well anything you are doing that turn. - Remember your game objective. - Do the things you wish to do with the players who do that best. If it's dodging - can you do it with a player with dodge? If it's passing - do you have a player with pass? I have seen players play very well, but fail while trying to dodge with Black orcs and longbeards! (They do fine if they get stand firm!) Of course some teams do well with almost anybody - but if you fail that pass with a player with pass - then you get a 'free' reroll. So block with the guys with high strength first - or the guy with block over the guy who doesn't. Horses for courses.

Set ups and rules to remember while playing:


* If something goes wrong - you should have team rerolls. I've forgotten these - use them if it is important. However don't use your rerolls for things which are not critical. If noone can get to your catcher and he bobbles the catch, (he/she shouldn't be going for extra steps if nooone from the opposition can reach him unless it's something like the last turn of the game etc.) then just pick up the ball next turn - don't use a reroll for it. Save the rerolls for really important things which go wrong. They are valuable assets - don't waste them on trivial things. If you follow the three adages above, then using rerolls should be a matter of simple judgement on how important the situation or how dire it would be if the roll stands as it is. If you have team rerolls left at the half - then who cares as long as you're doing o.k. You don't _have_ to spend them every half - and in the second half they can be useful if going into overtime! * Use the apothecary only on 'worthwhile' injuries. I think apothecarising even most serious injuries is foolish - leave them to miss a match - save the apothecary in case a valuable player dies. I would even think twice about using an apothecary early in a game if a lineman type of player dies as they can be replaced without much cost. O focurse- if it the second last turn of the gaem then I can understand using the apoth on a serious injury - but unless that player is dead without the apoth I'd think very long and hard about apothecarising the player. This is why Star players can be a headache. If Morg'th goes and seriously injures himself on the second turn of the gaem - do you play on without him or use the apothecary and play without the safety net of an apothecary? Tough choice. If on defence, set up to preent the other player from scoring. That means exerting tackle zones where opposing players might get through. If they have fast players - expect them to skirt though into your backfield. Make sure they regret it for doing so, or never get there! If they wil form a cage - plan for it! Bolster the front line team to withstand it - or - even better set up so that you can get to the ball carrier before the cage really forms! Remember to play to your strengths and his weaknesses. Never let the opposition score. Scoring TD's wins games - but as the old NFL saying goes "Offence draws crowds - defence wins games". If they never score they can never win! Take every opportunity to spoil their plans for scoring and if possible, score when they receive - tha'ts the way the game of Blood Bowl is won. In fact, when setting up make sure this is part of the strategy for defence - scoring without compromising your position of defending!

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On offence, don't be afraid to set up so even a moron could see where your players are going. A 'strong side' offence can simply outman a balanced defence and that weight of numbers will guarantee the score. On the other hand - keep your options open - sometimes a balanced offence will be able best for the game strategy you have in mind. Make sure that either way, you are sticking to your game strategy. Play to your team's strengths on offence and rememebr that as long as you have the ball you are dictating the style of blood bowl game. Don't forget to minimise risks with your offensive plays don't throw over an opposing player unless you have to - as there is a chance they will intercept you (or you have safe throw). On both offence and defence I try to preempt the players moves and counteract. If you are thinking two turns ahead of your opponent -then you have the edge (think chess here!) protecting where a player can get to may be a valuable option, whereas if nooone can get there -then put your players somewhere else!

Developing players and teams!


Once you have played a few games and earnt some money, experience and hopefully a few more fans (Fan Factor) you can start developing. Depending on how your team is faring, you can replace already killed players, or buy new ones! I recommend not simply buying more of the basic line type - but rather to purchse players of superior standard (unless yuu simply are replacing players, and sometimes even then). Start investing in those lovely position players you drooled over but couldn't afford with the rerolls and fan factor you chose instead. I would try to fill up the position players you can choose from before investing in Wizards and other neat stuff. The position players will be able to do things that your standard player cannot do as well - which only helps your game. ..Choose things to buy which close your weaknesses. Choose strength players on a team which has few and choose players which can pick up the ball if you cannot do so very well. But only do this if it fits in with your style of play. Choosing players should be like this too. Although it can be a huge advantage to have a wizard before other teams afford them (sorry Dwarf, Halfling and Undead coaches), they do cost a significant amount and I would think about whether your defence needs that advantage (as the wizard is almost always used as a defensive play). As a chaos dwarf coach it was a great advantage to have a wizard before any other coaches could afford one, but a star player or 'big guy' (if your league has those as an alternative) could be of more value to your team. With skills, think carfully about that players role in your games and what you would wish that player to do. Then choose skills which fit that role. Simple? Well, unless the player does simething extreme - and gets more agile or faster on you. Choose then what to do carefully. Some coaches prefer firing the player and starting again - I tend to fit the player into a new niche and play to that players strengths. A chaos warrior with AG 4 for instance can be a great asset as a dodger and ball carrier - although it is most certainly not what most coaches would be wanting to develop with their chaos warriors. Extra strength is very rarely not taken - but it is also a double roll, so there should be no problem if people decline it. I honestly am hard pressed to think of a situation of when I would, but it depends on the coach. ...well that's about it! Have I missed anything??? Don't forget to check out! The Blood Bowl Newbie FAQ: as this has many good points and clarifications and links for new coaches. If you reached the bottom of this and read it all - well done! I'd love some comments. =-) Babs.

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Adding lateral thinking to your game.


By Andy Meechan Published in Blood Bowl Compendium #3 You've played against the same Coaches with their same teams and their same tactics for a lot of games. You've no doubt sussed their favourite plays and have, hopefully, developed some nasty counter-plays of your own. You've also noticed that they use similar tactics no matter what race they Coach. No doubt they know the same about you. What you need is to 'throw them a curve' in your plays, let them think and react and not respond like automata. Put some interest into your games again - this is, of course, where lateral thinking comes in. LETTING THEM SCORE "Confidence in your team and Coaching abilities is key to this play. Your opponent's overconfidence in the situation you will present to him will ultimately be their downfall." It's the start of the second, you're 1-0 up against a power team and you have to kick. You need two clear turns to score, call it four to be safe. There is no way that you can stop them from scoring in eight turns. What do you do? You let them score. Giving away touchdowns sits uneasy on any Coach, just ask around and you'll find out that nobody likes losing a touchdown. It's a mark against their defensive ability. Well, ignore them as they are merely misguided and will ultimately be the ones who suffer from your use of lateral play. Allowing your opponent to score gives you a threefold return - and a job to do. Firstly you will be receiving the ball, so there's no need to 'spring' it from a cage. Secondly it presents an opportunity for players to recover from K.O.s. Finally by setting yourself up for a last-ditch game winner, you're gaining SPP's. The downside is that you are setting yourself up for a last-ditch game winner, it's a high pressure situation. You'll have to think on your feet; this is what makes the game enjoyable. You don't want to make the touchdown look to easy or the Coach might realise that he's no longer laying to his game plan, but to yours. Set up a solid defence as normal and play as hard as you would in other circumstances with only one exception - make a mistake. This 'mistake' should allow your opponent to capitalise and move the ball closer to your endzone. He will no doubt be able to 'take advantage' of you and consolidate the safety of the ball. By turn 4 (turn 5 at worst) he will have scored. More fool him. It is now turn 4 or 5 and you are receiving with a team who's star is now conscious and on-pitch again. You can score in two turns, but have three or four - use them. The game is yours. Or is it? Things to bear in mind here are that the score is now 1-1 and your opponent only scored in turn 4 because he needs time to retrieve the ball from you and score the winner. Nobody plays for a draw. Think fast and play faster as you have the advantages. The only thing that can stop you is a run of bad luck. Fortunately 23

for you 'fate' smiles upon those who play for the game and produce last-ditch winners. Congratulations, you've just won 2-1. PREDICTING BALL POSITION "If you know where your opponent is going to move the ball before he does, then you must make full use of your advantage." Firstly I will expand on the term 'passing lane' as it will be used this frequently in the following narration. The passing lane is the path along which the ball will be thrown. There can be several lanes open to a thrower be they open-field lanes or high risk long-bombs over the heads of the opposing team. In general the thrower will choose the lane with the safest throw, failing that he will choose the lane which leads to a receiver in an advantageous (or safe) position. One way to predict where your opponent will throw the ball is to restrict his target options. If you leave more than one passing lane free then your opponent has the advantage. On the other hand, if you restrict the number of lanes to only one reasonable choice then if he chooses to pass you can be one step ahead. How do you restrict the number of passing lanes? This is where your player's individual skills come in; players who are catchers or pass-blockers are particularly valuable, as are those who are naturally agile. Placing such players around the pitch means that the thrower will rank a lane which crosses them (or near them in the case of the pass-blocker) lower than another, safer, lane. This works for you twofold. Firstly - and most obviously - if the thrower chooses the passing lane above your 'skilled' players, then you can execute interceptions as usual. But your opponent will soon learn to spot these players and the thrower will choose lanes to negate the skills they have. So our lateral play steps in to show that these players have not wasted their talents learning short-lived skills. Instead of hoping the thrower chooses a lane over your players, make sure your players are placed in as demonstrative manner as possible - now the thrower knows where your dangerous players are he is sure to go out of his way to avoid them. This means that with careful placing of your 'danger' players you can 'present' the thrower with only one safe passing lane. If he chooses to pass, you can be certain that the ball will travel along this lane. Now that you know where he will pass you can position your 'ball capture squad' with certainty. Such players will be able to strip balls, tackle with easy or just be generally quite violent (or frenzied!) - they will make short work of a receiver. So what if he chooses not to pass? Well we can call this a mission accomplished. Not only have you delayed his touchdown by a turn, but by using your skills - or the lateral use of your skills - you have thrown his plans into confusion and he will have to run the ball. You do know how to stop the run don't you?

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BLOOD BOWL PLAYBOOK


by Andy Meechan, with Harald Hedlund The following may be of use to you in a few ways: you're a beginning Coach; you want to learn some new plays; or you want to see if your favourite cunning plays are original after all. This should be of use to you unless you fall into the last case; the Lateral Plays page is probably more your style - here we'll see basic kickoff Offensive and Defensive setups and take you through a turn-by-turn guide on how the play should progress. If you're a new Coach you'll find the word 'should' gains more meaning as you get into the game: experienced Coaches know what I'm talking about. The text below is split into two main areas: Offence and Defence. Both of these split again when discussing general tactics to be used against certain styles of play which your opponent will attempt. These styles are loosely grouped into the following two areas: Strength and Agility. Strength teams such as Orcs or Chaos are renowned for their brutal approach to the game (specific race tactics are discussed in the Team Playbook) which is characterised by a slow moving offence which will gain the upper hand in the second half of the game through weight of numbers due to a grinding attrition in the first half. Agility teams on the other hand rely upon their ball moving abilities to out-score their opponents. They can handle the ball well and generally run rings around their opponents, but suffer in the aforementioned games of attrition; relying to score more in the first half than the Strength team can in the second. Of course this is a liberal application of such stereotypes and some teams fall [almost] neatly between the two. These teams are the easiest to start playing with, but will give you little long-term challenge compared to one of the extreme teams. But for now all you need to know is that we'll be broadly stereotyping to avoid an article which will take you a day to read and a lifetime to master.

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DEFENCE
We'll start by looking at defensive set-ups; after all games are won by your defence (or so they tell me). All you know about your opponent when you're kicking off is if their playing a Strength or Agility team: it doesn't matter which we deal with first. Astute Coaches will note by the end of this section that in Defence against Stronger teams the opposing team's speed dictates your set-up whereas in the Defence against Agility teams your speed should dictate your set-up.

DEFENCE AGAINST STRENGTH TEAMS

Note: Overlapping TZ's are in blue and areas of no obvious lack of TZ coverage are in yellow/gold. This defence is what we call a 3-4-4. The idea being that you group your players for mutual protection rather than to force your opponent to throw lots of dice while dodging. (You'd want a Defence Against Agility Teams for that!) There are two main options you can play: the spread 3-4-4 (top) which allows partial defence against an unexpected running play; or the Flattened 3-4-4 which is an extreme example. The Flattened 3-4-4 is played against really slow teams such as the Undead or Dwarfs whereas the other would be used when facing Orcs. You will notice that the 3-4-4 allows only three Block actions from the Offence -- this should minimise your Turn 1 casualties and allow a weightier response to your opponent.

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TURN PROGRESSION In general a Strength team will form 'Da Cage' [more of which in Offence for Strength Teams, but for now all you need to do is imagine a block of eight players surrounding a ninth square where the ball carrier will usually be placed for safe-keeping] and roll it down the pitch in a manner akin to an Empire Steam Tank [WhFB reference - explain]. What you have to do is delay the score as long as you can and if you can manage this until the half ends then you're doing better than a lot of Coaches! What you need to do is force your opponent into making Blitz moves only to further the forward progress of his players - the less Blocks he manages, the less your players get carried off the field; leaving more of your Defence left to prevent the score! This is achieved by getting your guys out of his forward Tackle Zones (TZ's), but keeping them with only one square between them and their opponent; easier for those teams with a higher Agility (AG) really! This should go on until you're ready to drop (in which case try Letting Them Score) or until the half finishes. But surely you can give a bit of grief as well as receive some? Sure you can. If you've got a couple of players standing waiting to take a pounding why not let them outflank your opponent, running around to any weak spots you may have noticed in his Cage. This serves a twofold purpose -- not only do you actually threaten to 'pop' the Cage (and hopefully turnover the ball!), but it also forces your opponent to respond by peeling players from the forward motion of his play, slowing the momentum further!

DEFENCE AGAINST AGILITY TEAMS

Note: Overlapping TZ's are in blue and areas of no obvious lack of TZ coverage are in yellow/gold. 27

I call this defence a 5-5-1; with the 5's being concave across the field (Harald prefers a 3-2-3-2-1, but the 5-5-1 can be tweaked to fit both of the diagrams above). The aim of this defence is to lay down a net of TZ's in such a way as to give even a Gutter Runner a hard time; weigh the odds against their dice as it's the only defence you have in their Turn 1. Again you will notice that there is a Flattened 5-5-1 (top) and a Spread 5-5-1. The Flattened 5-5-1 is of more use if you want to lay down intersecting TZ's (there are five areas on the pitch with overlapping TZ's); however you are giving up the backfield response by doing this (a compromise would be to drop the back 1 further into your own territory; just make sure it's a Blitzer!). The Spread 5-5-3 allows deepfield response to penetrating dodgers - particularly handy if you're playing a slow moving team: a Dwarf Longbeard would find it difficult to drop back from the Flattened 5-5-1 to Blitz a ball carrier threatening the Touchdown. Use the Flattened 5-5-1 if you have a fast team and the Spread 5-5-1 if your players are slow. Again the 5-5-3 only allows three Blocks on Turn 1 for the Offence. Although you don't need to worry about attrition as much as with Strength teams, you shouldn't present unnecessary Blocking opportunities unless you have to. TURN PROGRESSION Generalising once more, Agility teams will take advantage of their speed and dodging ability to drive at least one group [more of which in Offence for Agility Teams, but for now all you need to know is that there will probably be an obvious scoring group and quite likely a second, smaller, distraction group] of players midway into your half in their Turn 1; setting themselves up for the Turn 2 TD. What they aim to do is get the ball from their Thrower (probably still midway in their half) to any eligible receiver and score; the difficult bit for you is that all of their players are usually eligible receivers! All you can do in their Turn 1 is rely on your chosen defence to force as many Dodge rolls as possible; the faster they use their Team and Dodge Rerolls the better. Your Turn 1 is rather crucial as your opponent intends to score in their Turn 2 (unless they're trying to Run Out the Clock). Your Defence must be fluid enough to either throw Blocks on any opposition player within range of the TD (discounting Event Cards) or get close enough to them to cover them in TZ's; making it statistically improbable that they can Catch and Dodge with any success. These TZ's should be lain between their opponent and the Endzone. Meanwhile your Line of Scrimmage (LoS) players will probably serve you best by splitting into two groups: Group 1 will seal the eligible Passing Lanes to your opponents receivers. This way you can try for an Interception or if you have lower AG players they should lay more TZ's onto their opponents; this time to their opponents sides or rear. Group 2, ideally consisting of two or three Ball Retrieval players, will put pressure on the Ball carrier or generally make a nuisance of themselves by laying TZ's onto eligible Hand Off players. Be aware that the Thrower may not pass directly to the eligible TD receiver (more on this in Offence for Agility Teams). The odds are in the favour of the Agility team scoring so don't be demoralised by this. After all if you play an Agility team then you can expect to score at the same rate; if you Coach a Strength team then take solace in pounding them into the dust while they score!

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OFFENCE
Offence is easier to execute than Defence for your first two turns of the drive as you will set up after the kicking team and be able to spring your attack before the Defence can muster itself. After two turns you should be in a position to score or grind down your opponent; in either case you will be calling the plays as this article can do no more than suggest an opening break and method of finishing the drive. Bear in mind what you have learned above and that the speed of your team will dictate the kicking teams defence if you are playing a Strength team, whereas the Defence will proscribe it's own set-up if you are an Agility team.

OFFENCE WITH A STRENGTH TEAM

Note: The Offence are in white, the Defence in red. This is called a Weighted Offence; where you position your players to overwhelm one side of the Pitch, thus gaining a foothold which the Defence should have a hard time reversing. Setting up your Offence is dependent on your players individual strengths and weaknesses, but as this section deals with Strength teams I can safely assume that you have at least some muscle available to you. Place said muscle on the LoS in the centre of your players and in base contact with an opponent: he's there to hurt people after all!

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Note: if you have to place anyone on their own on the LoS then they should be muscle players who can look after themselves - you do not want a weak link on your Offensive LoS. TURN 1 OF THE DRIVE

In Blood Bowl, the golden rule is that all 'safe' movement should be carried out first; so move your Turn Marker! If the ball is safe for one turn then you can leave it alone - what good is the ball if you have nowhere to go? To this end your first moves can be to Block and Blitz players away from the Widezone you will be using - try to use Two Dice You Choose blocks with players who have Block (remember those muscle players?). This is imperative with any Blitz moves you pull because if you have to roll a One Dice block without even Block to rely on then your plan can crumble at that point and your Offence will grind to an embarrassed halt. Don't despair; it happens to all of us.

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Consolidation of your beachhead into your opponents half is recommended at this point. Use all of your Move actions which don't require Dodge rolls first. After these have been made you should assess the situation thus: Is my position secure should I suffer a Turnover now? If it is then consider your Dodge roll moves to a position which will strengthen either the beachhead, the predicted final destination of the ball this turn, or your weak flank. Now think carefully about moving the ball. Where will the ball end this turn if I fail to pick it up? Is my position secure enough to shrug off a failed Pick Up attempt this Turn? If not then secure the path between the ball and your opponent by sticking a player in the way - they'll make the Defence run farther and, hopefully, force them out of Blitz range. Where will the ball end this turn if I successfully move it? Is it secure from my opponent? If you're confident about this then go for it: Pick Up the ball and move it to a secure area. This can be either the newly formed pocket (your proto-cage) or it can be in a position which will get you to your cage next turn. FURTHER TURN PROGRESSION This is where the going gets tough. You should ideally be getting as much forward movement into your cage (which should now contain the ball carrier) as possible each turn. If this is because your opponent is getting out of your way then good; if he's letting you Block him out of the way then so much for the better (your Blockers like hitting things after all!). Frenzy is a skill of particular use as such players can gain you additional space for movement by pushing their opponents back (or even off the Pitch!). Beware that you do not travel too close to the Sideline however as your cage may

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find itself being forced into the Crowd! Your momentum should be maintained at all times and the Cage can break up into a smaller group if it has to because of this; you're not going to score if you don't move toward the Endzone. Be prepared to take the whole eight turns of the half if you have to (if you have them!) as this is not a fast team you have chosen, be patient, be brutal. OPTIONAL OFFENCE

If you feel that you have a better chance rolling up the centre than a Widezone then do so, but beware of traps: note where the key Defensive players are (Strip Ball, Tackle, etc).

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Your initial blocks should clear a Running Lane unimpeded by opposing TZ's.

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Once such a Running Lane has been established, your players should take full advantage of it in forming their Beachhead. The same rule for moving the ball and Cage stand, but as Coach you should be wary that your team can get outflanked on either side now!

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OFFENCE WITH AN AGILITY TEAM

Note Offence is in white and Defence is in red. Offence with an Agility team is harder to pin down than with Strength teams as there are so many more possibilities. In general you will find that the standard weighting of your LoS works just as well as with Strength teams; in fact it is necessary as you need to remove as many TZ's from your path as possible to increase the odds of moving many players before a turnover occurs through a failed Dodge.

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TURN 1

Ideally you would like to create a path which has no TZ's at all and which give your players a free run toward the Endzone. (As with the right flank in the diagram above.) This can be acieved by identifying any weak points in your opponent's Defensive line and exploiting them by judicious use of Blocks and your Blitz.

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Once the hole has been made then you should force your eligible receivers through the gap, flooding one area of the half with four or so players. This should cause plenty of problems as four players can be mutually supportive and demand at least an equal number of opposing players to respond; the more that respond the better as it leaves other areas of the pitch free for your second flank. The second flank should consist of fewer players (otherwise your whole team will be in your opponents half!) and will act as a major pain in the neck for your opponent. They can either help out your first group by removing opposing TZs or can threaten to score themselves. This woks remarkably well in that your opponent will then have to split their efforts between the two groups or risk having you score a two turn TD. A further benefit of this is that the Defence may well split up the middle leaving a third coring path for your ball carrier and his bodyguard!

FURTHER TURN PROGRESSION If you do not have any of your players in a position to receive the ball and score in Turn 2 then think fast! Agility teams rely upon scoring within four turns, otherwise they are in serious risk of being drawn into a battle of attrition which they may well lose. Be prepared to take risks when Passing, Catching, Dodging and running (including Go-For-It's) as these points set your team apart from the others. You will need to control the urge to play conservatively or risk losing scoring opportunities, be warned: the buzz you get when a multiple move play terminates in a perfect TD after using rerolls (both Team and Skill) and daring manoeuvres is well worth it!

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SKILLS
Here are some general pointers on skills. We'll look at preferred skills for Strength and Agility teams as well as skills appropriate for both. Obviously if you manage to get a 'doubles' roll for the upgrade then you could look at the Agility skill suggestions for your Strength team and vice versa.

SKILLS FOR STRENGTH TEAMS Stand Firm and Guard should be high on your list of priorities - and probably in that order. Mighty Blow does have a place in your team; that place being your punishing, unmoving Line of Scrimmage (LoS). Talking of the LoS, Break Tackle can throw your opponent if they're relying on some Tackle Zones (TZs) stopping your main Blockers from Blitzing their Catchers.

SKILLS FOR AGILITY TEAMS Emphasising your strengths would mean choosing Dodge or Leap. Diving Tackle is a nasty surprise to play on anyone; as is Side Step. Although increasing your movement may seem unnecessary at first -- as you can run rings around many teams - skills like Sure Feet can gain players a fair burst of speed, whereas Jump Up can affect your players in a more subtle manner: it's great on those players who tend to start the turn on the ground. You really are spoiled for choice here as Agility skills are on the 'most wanted' list of every team.

SKILLS FOR ALL TEAMS Block and Pro. That's all you need to know. All right then, so they're not the only good skills on the General Skills list: Tackle is a great indirect annoyance - as is Shadowing; Strip Ball has a rather specialist application, but forces skill choices upon your opponent. Finally you can teach your opponent to fear you by using Frenzy (remember to get Block!). If you play against Agility teams a lot then choose Pass Block for increased trouble! For those that can choose Passing Skills Accurate and/or Strong Arm is a must to get an increased chance of placing the ball where you want. I would think hard before choosing between Safe Throw and Dump-Off and probably plump for the latter through personal taste - even though I have seen the most unlikely Interceptions happen!

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BloodBowl PlayBook II
Defence for Fast Teams

This is the fun part when playing with fast teams, if you can keep all your players intact for the whole game, victory will be yours. Fast teams vs. Strong teams: The chart below displays how it could look.

L = Lineman B = Blitzer S = Witch Elf, Gutter Runner, Wardancer Yellow Squares = Tackle Zones

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Offence for Fast Teams


This is the fun part when playing with fast teams, if you can keep all your players intact for the whole game, victory will be yours. Fast teams vs. Strong teams: The worst thing that can happen when playing against strong teams with a fast team is that all your players gets knocked out, injured, or even killed in the first half (who can forget the game between The Pets of Tzeentz and TTK, after the first half the only Wood Elf players who were standing were one brave Wardancer and three linemen). If this doesn`t happen the rest is easy. The best tactic that I`ve found is the pass-and-run tactic. As the name says you pass the ball and then run, but there are a few things you have to remember before you do this. You just can`t enter your opponents half of the field with only one player, because he will most certainly get knocked down. Instead you enter your opponents half with about six players. At least two of these players should have an agility of four and/or should preferably be a catcher. These two players act as receivers and the rest of the players are there to protect them. The rest of the players in your team are there to protect the thrower and to hold back the opponents. Then all you have to do is make the pass and run for the end zone. The danger with this tactic is that of something goes wrong the opposing team will have a wonderful chance to score a touchdown them selves. The only thing you can do to prevent this is to use some of the players in your team to act as defenders. The chart below displays how it could look.

L = Lineman B = Blitzer S = Witch Elf, Gutter Runner, Wardancer, Catcher T = Thrower Fast teams vs. Fast teams: When you play against equally fast teams you can use the example shown to you above. But it might be a bit harder because you will not be able to out run your opponent. You can also use the tactic when you form a small cage around your thrower and move up the field, and when you find a gap in the defense you can either make a handover to a player who's standing a bit further down the field or you can pass a player in your team who is in a good spot on the field.

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Defence for Strong Teams


Strong teams vs. Fast teams: This first example is used when you play against weaker but faster teams. The most important thing about defence when your opponent is fast is to have a deep defence. But you don't want to back of completely instead you want to be ready on offence AND have a stabile defence. The best defence is offence. So if your opponent makes a mistake and a turn over takes place you can quickly turn from defence to offence. It`s very important to make good use of your strength, so always set up a strong line of players on your front line. This has two advantages. First it forces your opponent to use the side lines, the best thing about forcing your opponent towards the side lines is that the opponent won`t be able to attack with as many players as he want to. The worst thing that can happen when playing against fast teams is that your half is invaded by allot of fast players. If this happens you wont be able to cover them all properly and this is exactly what a fast team coach wants to happen. Because all he have to do if this happens is to use his thrower to make a pass and run for the end-zone, and you will have no chance to catch up. So force your opponent towards the side lines where you will have some kind of control over his/her offence. The second advantage about having a strong front line is that if your opponent fumbles and there is a turnover you can use the front line to smash through your opponents defence and hopefully, if you are very lucky, grab the ball. If you can`t reach the ball don`t get to excited and move all your players to the opponents half, instead you should only move some players to put some pressure on your opponent, but always keep a steady defence. Below you can see how I usually set up my defence against fast teams. It may vary depending on who your opponent is.

B = Blocker L = Lineman, Beastman BM = Big Monster Yellow Squares = Tackle Zones As you can see on the chart above the Blocker and the Lineman, in the side lines, are one square away from the halfline on the field. This is done to force the opponent to use his blitz move on one of these. Because this is the only way to get through on your side of the field. So instead of getting blocked in the first round they will be a great annoyance to your opponent. The front line is very tough as you can see. With two blockers and a monster anyone

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with some self preservation will give up the idea of getting through there. The Linemen in the back of the field act as "cleaners". If some enemy players get through to your end of the field they will take them out. Strong teams vs. Strong teams: If your opponent is of equal strength the only change you have to make is to move your defence forward to increase your smashing ability. One important thing when playing against teams with equal strength is to choose your blitzing and blocking targets wisely. Always try to get two blocking dices, and always play an offensive game even if you are playing defence, with that I don't mean that you should charge your opponents zone with all you got, but instead use four-six players to hunt the ball and generally cause allot of confusion in your opponents half. This will stop your opponent from getting a organized attack together, and then it`s just a matter of time until your opponent will make a mistake and you`ll have a wonderful chance of scoring a touchdown, with so many players in your opponents zone. Here is one example how your defence could look like.

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Offence for Strong Teams


The offence for strong teams is kind of straight forward. All you really have to do is smash your opponent to a pulp and then score a touchdown.......sounds easy??? Well it`s not all that easy as it sounds, there is a bit more to it. Read the following article and you`ll get some advice (hopefully good!). Strong teams vs. Fast teams: One variant that works really good is when you form a cage around the ball carrier. The Cage should consist of some strong players who just smashes all opponents who come near the cage, so the only thing you have to do is walk down the field and score a touchdown. You can make this a bit more confusing for your opponent by letting two players in your team run along the side lines. They can either be used as a distraction to your opponent or you can use the ball carrier in the cage to break out from the cage and run to one of the side line players and make a handover. After that all you have to do is make the touchdown. The chart below displays how it could look.

B = Blocker

L = Lineman, Beastman

BM = Big Monster

Of course there are other ways, for example you can smash your opponent in the first half, if her receives the ball, and in the second half when he can`t set up a full team you can just smash him some more AND after that score a touchdown. A very good tactic is to set up a small cage on the side of the field, and the use the rest of the players on your team to hold of your opponent. Strong teams vs. Strong teams: Hmmmm......this is a bit harder. I`ve found that the best tactic to use when playing against strong teams is to be really, really dirty. Because if you can get your opponents number down, the rest is easy. If both you and your opponent have a monster the first thing you should do is to GET IT OUT. This will give you the edge for the rest of the game. With you in possession of the only monster you can use it to make way for the ball carrier, and hopefully there wont be anything to stop you.

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Justification for always having a 9 Fan Factor


Posted By: Zombie - Dead Man Walking Posts: 2483 Posted At: (1/13/2002 4:23:20 pm) Reply: Ok, those who are tired of hearing this, you can hit the "back" button now, though there's a lot of new stuff in here that you might like to hear anyway. In 3rd ed, there was no question that 9FF was a must. Each extra point of FF basically gave you an extra 2.33k per game for the rest of your team's existance. Well, not that long actually, but only until you can expect to hit the 75k crowd no matter what. Still, that's quite a long time. Now with the new edition, it's a little less obvious, but i think it's still worth it. With the new winnings table, 1 extra FF gives you 1.75k per game, and not even forever either. Since you get -1 on your FF roll for every 10 FF now, being higher in FF sometimes means not going up or even going down, and when that happens because of your extra FF, it has just been canceled permanently. For the sake of discussion, let's assume that when you win, you always get +2 on your FF roll, not withstanding the possible -1 (i.e. +1 for winning and +1 for either TDs or CAS). Let's also assume that you always get +0 when losing (-1 for losing and +1 for either TDs or CAS). That's just to make calculations easier. Let's also assume that you win 50% of your games and lose the rest (i.e. no draws). For the sake of simplicity, we'll assume no bonuses for playoffs either. With these assumptions, here are your chances of going up or down in FF: Result . . . . . 10FF . . . . . up . . . . . down win . . . . . . . -0 . . . . . . 3/6 . . . . . 1/6 win . . . . . . . -1 . . . . . . 2/6 . . . . . 1/6 win . . . . . . . -2 . . . . . . 1/6 . . . . . 1/6 lose . . . .. . . -0 . . . . . . 1/6 . . . . . 1/6 lose . . . .. . . -1 . . . . . . 1/6 . . . . . 2/6 lose . . . .. . . -2 . . . . . . 1/6 . . . . . 3/6 When between 1 and 9 FF, your chance of going up is 1/3; your chance of staying the same is 1/2; and your chance of going down is 1/6. When between 10 and 19 FF, your chance of going up is 1/4; your chance of staying the same is 1/2; and your chance of going down is 1/4. On average, someone starting with 9FF will spend x games at 10FF (where that +1FF you started with actually gives you -1 on your roll) before getting to 12FF, at which point it's unlikely to make a difference anymore. In each of those games spent at 10FF, there's a 1/3 chance that the extra FF gives you -1FF (i.e. either by keeping you from going up or by making you go down), effectively canceling your extra starting FF from then on. Now that number x is what we're looking for, in order to know how many games you can expect to keep 44

that +1FF advantage. And that's where i ran into a wall... You see, i didn't know that fact until i wrote this, but looking at the table above, it appears that once you get at 10FF and above, your chance of going down is as good as your chance of going up. Of course, that's assuming a 50% win percentage and no playoff bonuses. This means that a team would be expected to remain at 10FF for a while. Even once you reach 12FF, your chance of going back to 10FF is pretty good (in fact, it's 100% if we're talking very long term, as in infinity). Since your team is expected to be stuck at 10FF a lot of the time, it shouldn't take long before that 1/3 chance occurs and you lose your extra FF. It will probably take around 6 games if you keep fluctuating at 9 to 11FF for a few games, since you'll be at 10FF about half the time and the event occurs 1/3 times. However, if you're lucky enough to reach 12FF without it occuring, you could easily wait a good 20 games or more before it occurs. You can make the calculations if you want, but it's getting pretty complex here. Let's make it 10 games on average, which i think is a pretty good approximation. That's 10 games from the moment you first reach 10FF. If you start at 9FF, it takes on average about 5 games before you get to 10FF (remember, even when you win, you can still go down, which will make it a lot longer). That's a total of 15 games where you get your bonus for the extra FF you started with before you can expect to lose it. Now if we multiply that by 1.75k per game, we get a grand total of 26k. This means that each point of FF gives you around 26k before it dies out. Since the extra FF cost you 10k, you've made 16k profit. Now, granted, that's not much, but with the limited cash input in the new edition, i'll take anything i can get. Now i hear you say, "yeah but starting with less FF means better players and more chance of winning". This is an argument i've answered numerous times in the past and in great detail. To sum it up, i'll just mention the main points of my argumentation here and you can go through it on your own at your leisure. 1. Starting with an extra 10k worth in positional players doesn't increase your chances of winning significantly. You could easily have won even without it and you could easily lose even with it. 2. The extra FF also increases your chances of winning by helping you on the kickoff events. This factor must be subtracted from the one above, which was already pretty slim. 3. The extra 10k which you spent in FF will return to you in less than 6 games on average. Hence, any advantage you might have obtained from spending that 10k elsewhere can only be expected to last for 6 games. After 6 games, the advantage goes the other way since you'll have more money in your treasury, thus more to spend on players. To sum up this gigantic post, extra FF gives you significantly less money than it did in 3rd ed, but since your money needs are significantly greater now, i'd say that the impact of the extra FF is almost as big as it once was. Thanks for reading all this and good day! Zombie

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Blood Bowl Maxims


Posted By: Acerak (Chet) - Registered User Posted At: (1/23/02 2:23:08 pm) Here, as I have learned them the hard way, are the maxims of Blood Bowl... 1. The odds of doing something easy are 1 MINUS the odds of normally doing it successfully IF the game/TD/player's life is on the line. Example: Tutenkharnage, a MA4 Block/Frenzy/Tackle Mummy, has to Go For It once (with a reroll) to put a TZ on the Dark Elves' DP. The odds of doing this successfully are normally 35/36. Since falling down in front of the DP could prove fatal, however, the odds shift to 1 MINUS 35/36 - or 1/36 - and Tutenkharnage rolls back-to-back 1's and falls down in front of the DP. Later in the same game, the Mummy throws a 3-die Block on a Block/Dodge Thrower in an effort to free the ball for a TD, which would give a Ghoul a skill. Of course, he rolls a 1 for the Go For It, rerolls it successfully, but then rolls 3 pushes for the Block. 2.) One of anything is a target. Dauntless is a good skill, but if you only have one Dauntless player, he is soon taken out. Ergo, you need at least two players with Dauntless. The same applies with Tackle - if you only have one, your opponent will take him out early and screw you over. Position players are similarly affected - one Gutter Runner is an annoyance, but two actually represent a legitimate scoring threat. COROLLARY #1: If you only have one such player and your opponent fails to take him out, he will always end up on opposite side of the field when you need his skills. COROLLARY #2: Once your Tackler disappears, you will roll an inordinate number of {!} results on your Blocking dice. 3.) A player with a chainsaw will never get it running until there is an opponent within striking distance who can flatten him on the very next turn. 4.) When faced with an obvious mismatch in power, the team on the expected receiving end will do at least one rEEEally annoying (and usually fatal) thing to one of the opponents.

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5.) If you wouldn't really mind seeing a player die, he'll live. If you'd hate to lose him, he'll die next game. 6.) Having no concern for player safety ALWAYS pays off. 7.) If you are dead set on taking Block for your next skill, you will almost certainly roll doubles (Goblins and Halflings excepted). COROLLARY #1: If you do not roll doubles, you will roll MA +1. 8.) If you get all the breaks against one opponent, it will probably even out next game - only you'll get hosed by someone else, while your opponent will slay some hapless team who had nothing to do with the bad luck in the first place. This is nothing more than the sadistic whim of Nuffle. 9.) Wasting a reroll on something frivolous before doing something important ensures that, if not both, at least the important task will fail. Example: Undead mummy throws a 2-die block against an Elf at midfield and rolls push back and skull. There is one Elf next to the End Zone; the Undead coach plans on having a Ghoul go for it to put at least a Tackle Zone on the Elf, thus forcing a dodge and holding up the pass. The Undead coach decides to burn his team reroll for another shot at taking out the midfield elf who is nowhere near the play. The Mummy promptly rolls a pair of pushbacks. The Undead coch then moves the Ghoul over towards the Elf near the End Zone and rolls a 1 on the GFI. Breaks armour. Dead ghoul. #10. If your player is less than five points away from a star player roll he will die in and recieve the MVP. #11. Laughing hysterically at your opponent's turnover suddenly increases the odds of you failing your first action by 100%

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Dug Out of Doom


Chaos Team Tactics by Andy Chambers
The Lure of Chaos After a long and succesful career as coach of the Skavenblight Scramblers I finally decided to hang up my running shoes and try something different. I wanted to play with a slower but harder team than Skaven, a team with players which didn't give me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach every time they got blocked. Although I was tempted by the Orcs, I was eventually seduced by the lack of subtlety of the Chaos team and the mouth-watering selection of hideous monsters that will play for them. After winning both the Spike Trophy and the Chaos Cup and getting to the semi-finals for the Blood Bowl, I must say that I'm delighted with my choice. Dark Blessings There are only two kinds of players available to a Chaos team: Chaos Warriors and Beastmen. There is only one skill possessed by these players and even that isn't a skill, its the physical ability Horns which is possessed by the beastmen. This ability has nothing to do with clever stuff, it just makes them Strength 4 if they move at least one square while blitzing. Other than this, no skills. None! Natch! Zero! Nil! But wait, the players themselves are quite good. Chaos Warriors have Strength of 4 and an Agility of 3 which makes them exceedingly tough players who can punch out most opponents, handle the ball well and dodge with a good chance of success, unlike the Black Orcs or Dwarf Long Beards they often end up facing. Though their slowish Movement of 5 stops Chaos Warriors being real Blitzer types they can still outpace the Blockers from other teams and once they've got the balls they're very hard to stop. The only real downside to Chaos Warriors is that you can't have more than four in your team and they cost the earth to recruit! The Beastmen are less well armoured than the Chaos Warriors and a bit quicker, so with the help of their horns they can do some blitzing and chase opposing Catchers around in the backfield. Other than this, the Beastmen have to fill in for all the other duties on the team - Thrower, Catcher, Lineman, etc as best they can. The main advantage of Beastmen is that they are relatively cheap so they can be used to pad the team out and to replace losses. So the Chaos team has players which are good basic allrounders and particularly adept at breaking heads. This means that if you are playing in a league you get a clean slate to start developing your team with. As your players earn skills and you get enough cash to buy Star Players you can take the team in whatever direction you like. Whichever way you want to go, there are a number of plays you can use to confound your opponent and improve your chances of winning. Blood and Shekels Because the initial Chaos line-up is so lacking in skills it's a good idea to start off your team with a Star Player to take some pressure of your rookies. This means the rest of your team won't have to perform flawlessly for the first few matches. Another thing to consider carefully is how many team re-rolls to buy when you start out. Team re-rolls are expensive for Chaos teams (doubtless because the players are too busy ravaging cities to practice together regularly!) but they are vital to keep your game alive because you won't be getting any re-rolls for handy skills like Catch, Dodge and Sure Hands that other teams take for granted. Here's the team I started our Studio League with: Gnashrak Blackhoof, Minotaur Star Player 160,000 4 Chaos Warriors 400,000 6 Beastmen 360,000 1 Team re-roll 70,000 Fan Factor 1

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10,000 Total: 1,000,000

*** Did You Know... The Minotaur Star Player Gnashrak Blackhoof has one of the most lucrative contracts in Blood Bowl. He gets his pick of the crowd, his own straw and a custom built maze in the dug-out. When asked about his perks, Blackhoof simply said "I'm milking them for everything they've got..."!

With the benefit of hindsight I can tell you that one team re-roll isn't enough! This is especially true in a league because once the team is set up you have to pay double to purchase extra team re-rolls unless you are lucky enough to draw an extra Extra Training Special Play card. Having Extra Training is only useful if you just happen to have 70,000 hanging around in the bank (which is like waiting for the spirit of Christmas to reach to the Chaos wastes). This means that each extra team re-roll costs you 140,000! That's equivalent to the price of a new Star Player, so get them early while they're cheap. Of course one solution is to take Lord Borak the Despoiler as your first Star Player and get an extra team re-roll for his Leader skill, or in a league take Leader as the first skill you get. But neither of these options takes advantage of this golden oppertunity to kit yourself with with team re-rolls while they are cheap. Personally I'd now replace either the Minotaur or two of the Chaos Warriors with Beastmen in the starting line-up, buy an extra team re-roll, and spend the ecxess on improving my Fan Factor. Additional fans are always handy as they can give you an advantage on some of the results on the Kick-Off table, and they bring in much needed cash. Fear Is The Key You'll note that my starting line up only includes eleven players and no Apothecary. This isn't as bad as it seems as you should be able to afford an Apothecary after your first or second match (getting one is highly recommended) and soon after that a few extra players to pad out the squad. The thing to remember is that Chaos teams aren't going to start off being well-balanced no matter what squad you pick. The only sure way forward is to get some games and progress. In these early games you might end up playing with only nine or ten players for part of the match, so practice some defensive and offensive set-ups with less players - this is good practice to prevent panic setting in half way through a game if you are a few mwn down. Overall the toughness of the Chaos team means that your casualties should be light, especially if you pick on weaker opponents like Elves, Humans or Skaven for your first few games. These early games are also a vital stage in creating the best weapon in your armory - a fearsome reputation. If opposing coaches perceive your team as being terrifyingly strong and aggressive they will be scared stiff of leaving their playerrs in range to get blocked or blitzed and this will inhibit their plans. If you utter a few choice phrases like "Well we've got no other skills so we'll just have to smash you up a bit before we score" you'll reinforce the opposing Head Coach's growing sense of apprehension. Naturally, if you actually inflict a few actual casualties, you will drive the point home even further. This is where having a Minotaur or Lord Borak in your starting line-up is essential. Both of these well 'ard Star Players can flatten the toughest opponent's and with their Mighty Blow skills can often put them out of the game altogether!

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Chilly Khorne Carnage So, what about game winning strategies? Personally I think that a powerful and aggressive defense is what wins games of Blood Bowl, after all it's so much easier to carry the ball into the opponent's End Zone from his half of the field than your own. To this end I use one of two defensive formations depending on the opposition.

A. The 3-4-4 defence leaves no gaps for catchers to run through without making at least two dodge rolls. If a couple
of your players have picked up the Tackle skill, this set-up is almost impenetrable. The first formation, the 3-4-4, is for use against faster teams which use passing or lightning quick runs to get the ball down field; Elves, Skaven, Humans, etc. Although this formation spreads your players a bit, it does make it near impossible for the opposing team to blitz a hole and make a straight sprint for the End Zone without having to make a string of dodge rolls. On your turn, you should attack any of the opposing Catchers who might have broken through, remembering that if you can get an assisted block against a Strength 2 Catcher your Chaos Warriors or Beastmen will count as Strength 5 and roll three block dice. This will make splattering the little scuttler a virtual certainty. By using your stronger Chaos Warriors to bolster up your Wide Zones you can force the opposing team more towards the centre of the field where your whole back row can move in and shut down any Catchers that slip through. Alternatively you can place the Chaos Warriors on the inside and force the Catchers towards the side lines so that you can smash them into the crowd. While this is going on, you just concentrate on holding the centre and front line while you batter anything left in contact and try to cause some casualties. If this goes stunningly well you could be in position to threaten the opposing Thrower in the next turn but it's more likely that you'll end up grinding down the opposition for a few downs before the ball-carrier starts to panic and you get an opportunity to pile on the pressure. When you play against a fast team it's always advisable to keep two or three of your own guys covering open areas of the field in case the opposition makes a break for it. Nothing is so frustrating as being caught with no one close enough to bring down a player who's going to score. This sounds obvious but in the heat of the game it's all to easy for most of your players to get drawn into the flight to get through to the ball-carrier, leaving you vulnerable to passing play. The disadvantage of the 3-4-4 formation is that you can't fully capitalise on the Kick-off table 'Blitz' result because your players are too far back. It also leaves your players vulnerable to being outnumbered and dragged down if your opponent has tough Blitzers or Star Players, although the greater strength of your players will make this difficult. Having said all that, the 3-4-4 has served me very well through the seasons and remains my favourite set-up if I'm unsure about my opponents plans.

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Kill The Good ! The second defence is for nasty, crunchy opponents who can give as good as they get; Orcs, Dwarfs, Undead etc. Trying to beat up this sort of team is about as effective as trying to outrun a Skaven on a ratwheel! As these teams are slower, a defence in depth becomes less important, though against Orc teams you must keep a wary eye out for the Goblins slipping (or being thrown) past the front line. In this formation, you should move your players up and place two models shoulder to shoulder for mutual support in each wide zone. The players in the middle can also move up to support the line of scrimmage. This should weigh the odds in your favour if a full scale rumble develops.

Against hard teams, you don't have to worry about passing plays so much and can move your team forward. Depending on the opposition's line-up, the Minotaur and Chaos Warrior can even be set up on the line of scrimmage. Against Orc, Dwarf and Undead teams the minions of Chaos can happily hold the line but are unlikely to pummel the enemy hard enough to win a battle of attrition. To overcome this, you can fall back on an unexpected advantage speed! Because the Chaos players are slighly faster than most strong teams you can use your speed and power to break around the line of scrimmage before the opposing team manages to form a pocket around their ball-carrier (which is the most common thing for them to do). Once you're around the line a huge slugfest will ensue but after a few downs you can hopefully get your big, spiky gauntlets on the ball-carrier and bring him down (preferably for the rest of the match...!). When the ball is free, bash any opposing players out of the way so their tackle-zones won't interfere with you scooping up the ball. This achieved, get the nearest player to grab the ball and then leg it off downfield covered by as many players as you can extricate from the centre. Simple really... Skills - The Unholy Ascension So, you've left a trail of mangled bodies through your first few games and earned enough Star Player Points to gain a few skills, now what skills do you take? You'll find that your first few skills are likely to be dictated more by who your regular opponents are than anything else, particularly if you've been losing your initial matches. For example, one or two players with the Tackle and Pass Block skills are going to be a necessity if you're constantly chasing Catchers, Gutter Runners and their like. Against tougher opponents Block and Guard will be required to prevent them gradually overpowering you as they earn their own skills. However, in between the gaps in your defence you need to give a little thought to developing some new attacking strategies. The first strategy is to develop a stand-in for a Thrower who you can rely on to pick the ball up with either Sure Hands skill or (more preferably) the Big Hand physical Ability. If the player also has Pro or Pass skill he can manage the odd passing play to catch opponents on the hop. Extra speed can give the opposing players coach an extra shock too, Sure Feet or Very Long Legs will give your players a better chance of smashing clear and sprinting for the open backfield. When you pick skills for players try to think ahead and pick ones that will complement each other in the long run, for example Block and Mighty Blow are two skills that work with each other by helping to ensure a block works and then

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(hopefully) keeping the opponent down with an injury. Its also a good idea to have in mind a specific role for a player when you pick his skills. Ask yourself if the player is offensive or defensive - is he going to storm up and beat a path all the way through to the End Zone or is he going to stomp around to mangle the opposing players as they try to pass the line of scrimmage? Cursed Inheritance If you roll any doubles when you're rolling for skills you can take a physical ability rather than choosing any skill. Whether to go for a physical ability or not really depends on the player and his position more than anything else. Chaos Warriors always benefit hugely from Claw, Razor Sharp Fangs, Very long Legs or Tentacles, because they make them even harder hitting or difficult to run away from. On the other hand if you roll a double for your Beastmen it is usually better to take Agilty skills like Dodge or Sure Feet (Sure Hooves?). Because you have no skills to start off with there are several skills which aren't worth worrying about until the team is well established, things like Strip Ball, Dauntless and Shadowing. These are all very worthy talents but more basic skills like Block are usually far more useful. If you are truly fortunate you may roll statistic increases for some players. Players with improved Movement or Agility scores should be groomed for specific jobs such as throwing or blitzing by the addition of a few complimentary skills. Agility increases are particularly welcome because they give someone who can pass, pick up the ball and dodge with a good basic chance of success. Blackmane, my precious Agility 4 Beastman, has served as an excellent Thrower with only the addition of Pro skill to give him a chance of re-rolling the dice when the chips are down. In my opinion, Strength increases are rather excess to requirements in an already strong team like Chaos, those double 6's are best used to pick physical abilities or hard-to-get skills. With all this in mind here's my shortlist of skills for Chaos players. Chaos Warriors To my mind Chaos Warriors are destined to either become Blockers on the line of scrimmage or Blitzer types who lurk in the Wide Zones. blockers absolutely need Block as their first skill followed by something that increases their chance of harming anybody they knock over - Mighty Blow, Claw or Razor Sharp Fangs, possibly even Piling On. Other skills such as Stand Firm and Guard should be chosen to make your line even harder to push back. Blitzer-style Chaos Warriors are harder to create because they really need one or two agility skills or physical abilities to give them speed enough to catch who ever they're after. they still need Block (though they can get away without it) as well as some skills to keep them moving - Break Tackle is useful but the real peaches are the things like Dodge, Sure Feet or the essential Very Long Legs. A final thing to note taht either type of Chaos Warriors can make very good use of the Frenzy skill, because they keep blocking their opponent until they knock him over or they run out of movement allowance. Frenzied Chaos Warriors can use their superior strength to drive straight through the opponent's line or hoik opposing players off the pitch. If you want Chaos Warriors with Frenzy, I would strongly advise taking Block first of all so that they are less likely to mess up and fall over at some crucial moments. Beastmen As mentioned earlier in this article, Beastmen get the less glamorous tasks of backfield security and picking the ball up. You really should have at least one Beastman with the Sure Hands skill or Big Hand physical ability which makes it easy to recover the ball after the kick off. It's likely that the player that picks up the ball will end up carrying it all the way to the opposing End Zone because you can't usually afford the luxury of risking hand offs, so Dodge and/or Block will also come in handy for keeping the player upright. The other roles for Beastmen are providing assists for Chaos Warriors and Star Players and covering the rear against fast running plays and passing plays. To keep a lid on dodging types, the Tackle skill is invaluable, in fact I have found that Beastman with the Tackle and Mighty Blow skills is an excellent remedy for Catchers who think they can dodge around your line and get away with it. If they try and to dodge out of their tackle zone there is a greater chance they'll fall over, if they don't try to dodge they're going to end up eating dirt! Pass Block is also very useful against passing plays, though you really need two players with this skill for total coverage.

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Souled Out the last piece of Chaotic wisdom I can pass on about buying Star Players. The Chaos team enjoys one of the widest selections of Star Players available to any team. Considering the dearth of skills available to the minions of Chaosand the psychological impact of 'uge slobberin' monsters, buying Star Players when you can afford them is highly recommended. Here's your player-by-player guide to Chaos nasty guys! Lord Borak the Despoiler Lord Borak makes a natural team captain because he has the Leader skill. His awesome Strenth of 5, Block and Mighty Blow skills make him a good player to place on the line of scrimmage, though he also has the movement and agility of a Chaos Warrior so he can blitz and carry the ball reasonably well. Lord Borak has the Dirty Player skill so he's deadly at fouling though I usually only use him to foul if the Ref has been got at somehow (either through a Kick Off result or Special Play Carc) so I can be sure he won't be sent off - Lord Borak is just too tough and useful to spend the game kicking his heels on the side-lines. Morg 'N' Thorg - Ogre Blocker The mighty Morg'n'Thorg is not only an excellent blocker with Strength 6 and the Block and Mighty Blow skills, but also fast and passably agile so he can dodge (a bit). However such allround talents doesn't come cheap so I would recommend either taking a cheaper Star Player instead (so you can afford more in the long run) or hiring Morg as one of your last team members when you can better spare the cash. in terms of player position Morg can play pretty much anywhere he likes (and who would argue) as he has the speed to move rapidly up through the Wide Zones and the strength to wade through the line of scrimmage. 'Ripper' Bolgrot - Troll Blocker Ripper Bolgrot is strong, slow and very hard to injure. This makes him a perfect player to start in the middle of the line of scrimmage, facing up against the worst opposition has to offer. Because Bolgrot is cheap as Star Players go, and has Regenerate ability you can pretty much leave him to lumber up and down the line of scrimmage making the odd block here and there. Bolgrot's appaling Agility of 1 means that he is useless for pretty much anything except blocking so just stick him in the front line and let him biff people and you can't go far wrong. Gnashrak Blackhoof - Minotaur Blocker Gnashrak is a very useful player because he's got a good movement and has Horns which increase his strength to a deadly 7 when he's blitzing. This means that Gnashrak will roll three block dice against most opposing players, almost certainly knocking them over and hopefully injuring them with his Mighty Blow skill. Painful experiences like having Gnashrak KO'd on the first turn of the game has convinced me that Gnashrak has no real advantages over Bolgrot on the line of scrimmage and is more vulnerable to being knocked over and injured. Overall I've found Gnashrak plays best by starting in the Wide Zones and blitzing his way forward through the thinly spread opposition. The terrifying sight of Gnashrak stampeding into the opponent's Wide Zone tends to make them panic a lot and upsets their plans no end! Scrappa Sorehead - Goblin with Pogo Stick Scrappa offers some interesting options because he is quick, he can leap over things with his pogo stick, he has the Dodge skill and he can be thrown by a suitably large team mate like Morg or Bolgrot. These are all abilities not normally afforded to the Chaos team so initially Scrappa has loads of surprise value. The problem with the little feller is that he's very puny and to make good use of any of his abillities he has to leave the protection of his beefier team mates and venture out on his own. Getting the ball to Scrappa is difficult without a decent Thrower and the only alternative is for him to make a lone run for the End Zone with the ball, which is asking for trouble. I always found that opposing coaches kept a close eye on Scrappa and marked him too well to try either of the above. However at the end of the day Scrappa is the cheapest Star Player available to Chaos teams and he does offer the oppurtunity of scoring one-down Touchdown if he is given a helping hand over the line of scrimmage by the aforementioned big guys. Hence he makes a good choice as a Freebooter for those tricky matches. Nobbla Blackwart - Goblin with Chainsaw Nobbla is a useful Star Player for Chaos teams because he may only be a Goblin but he's got a chainsaw! Nobbla's

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presence puts opposing coaches in fear of their player's lives even more than monsters like Gnashrak and contributes consideraly to your team's feae factor. In point of fact Nobbla's best use is to foul opposing players when they've been knocked over by some of your larger and more robust players. He can be used to blitz of course but this is best left to bigger, meaner players on your team like Gnashrak as Nobbla is liable to get flattened if he doesn't get in a good enough hit with his chainsaw to take down whoever he's attacking. Nobbla needs to be protected because the opposing coach will take any opportunity to lay him out and he's almost guaranteed to get injured if he falls over. Nobbla is cheap and therefore a good choice as a Freeboter, although when you can afford it he is a useful fellow to have permanently on the team roster. Summing Up Coaching a Chaos team can be a gruelling, bloody experience. Sometimes you will gnash your teeth in frustration as your opponents 'dance' past in a flurry of skills. Most of the time your opponent will weep in terror as his carefully constructed team gets consigned to the injury area or a black box! Above all.. hit 'em... hit 'em again... then kick 'em when they're down! And may the dark gods smile on you!

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The Chaos Strategies


By Brian Giese
Some Blood Bowl teams have a variety of players to choose. Some have passers, catchers, linemen, and then some elite player like wardancers, or witch elves. Chaos simply has Beastmen and Chaos Warriors. Chaos does have 1 great star player and one decent one. Lord Borak, is indeed one tough S.O.B., but Grashnak Blackhoof is big and tough but has a flaw I feel most star players have. No block. Example of a starting Chaos Team. Here are two example teams I use on a regular basis for Blood Bowl. Chaos Example 1 Chaos Example 2 8 Beastmen 480,000 7 Beastmen 420,000 3 Chaos 4 Chaos 300,000 400,000 Warriors Warriors 2 Rerolls 140,000 1 Rerolls 70,000 8 Fanfactor 80,000 9 Fanfactor 90,000 TOTAL TOTAL 1,000,000 1,000,000 This is a average conservative This team gives you the 4 full chaos force... takes 3 out of 4 chaos warriors. As well as a total allowed chaos warriors much higher fan factor to help and fills the rest of field with with money in the future. the beastmen. A good fan Whenever you get the card factor and 2 rerolls isn't too that allows you to buy rerolls, bad, especially for the 70K a take advantage of it. With reroll. only 1 reroll. You will have troubles a lot of the time. A team like this can be very powerful down the line. The Chaos Players (pros and cons) Beastmen: Beastmen have decent movement. It isn't great, but it is the best you are going to get with a chaos team. How you build them up really depends on how you want to play with your chaos team. Chaos can be one of the toughest teams. You start with no skills, besides horns and based on what your roll early on will give you a direction to go with your team. If you roll doubles, you have to decide whether to take Mutation or some Agility based skill. If you don't get lucky and hardly ever roll doubles then your options are limited. I will list 2 possible combos for choosing stats. First group will be for your average Chaos team that barely gets any doubles. 2nd group will assume you are a bit lucky in rolling for skills and have a little more freedom of choice... Skills 1: Assuming you have 8 Beastmen. If you have just 7 it won't really affect what skills you take. Give block to your first 2 Beastmen... as long as you don't roll doubles. This is just too important of a skill for a team that has no skills or any rerolls... Your 3rd and 4th Beastmen need other skills. Just for variety sake and team sake. I would give one Guard, a very useful skill. Also Sure Hands would be good for a Beastman that you intend to stay back and try to get the ball early.. If you roll doubles on you first couple skills. I HIGHLY suggest Big Hand. This can be so effective and makes picking the ball up so easy.

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After your first 4 Beastmen have skills (assume 2 with block, 1 with guard, 1 sure hands), give every other one block, the other tackle or Pass Block. Don't give anyone leader, save up for Borak (he is the man). Unless you are playing a league that doesn't allow Star Players. As for the second skills for the Beastmen I would recommend that the ones that you use for the front line get stand firm or guard. Another good skill for someone that has guard would then be block. The ones used as wide outs should get tackle. Mix up the skills when you get them. When they roll doubles always give them a physical skill unless you are trying to form a certain player. Skills 2:This is for the people who get a ton of doubles for your beastmen. If they do not roll doubles for the first skill give them block. You have many choices, Do you want the make a Beastman into a blitzer type? Or do you want him to be a catcher or passer? If you want a catcher, then give him either very long legs, catch or even dodge. If you want a blitzer type give him Claw, Prehensile tail or Razor Sharp claws/fangs. If you are lucky to have someone with pass give him big hand if they roll doubles again. But the odds are against this. The main thing is by the time everyone has two skills at least 5 out of 8 Beastmen should have block and something else. Someone should hopefully have some skill to play as passer. Another as a runner. 3rd skill and up: Strip ball, some more with guard.. Possible regeneration, Razor Sharp Fangs can be very effective. The idea that I am trying to get across is that since that the chaos team has no Position players, you have to make your own. Chaos Warriors: Chaos warriors are the main focus for the offensive in the chaos team... At first though they have no skills and they can be beat. However they are still tough, with 4 strength. They are good for the line because not a lot of other players start with a higher strength. Chaos warriors are used to help break down the middle or sides of the field as your Beastmen run through the holes they make. Skills: The first skill to give them is block, if you don't roll doubles. Try to give this skill to all the Chaos Warrior. A chaos warrior with block and a Beastman next to him with guard can be a good combination indeed. If you roll doubles take a mutation. Claws, fangs are good choices. Tentacles can be good, if you know you will be facing lots of elves in your future. Second skills and so on, Mighty blow can be a good skill for at least one warrior. If you get doubles and already have block Give them dodge and make him a bitch to knock down. Hopefully you might get a strength 5 chaos warrior, if luck is with you. Other skills such as guard are ok, if you don't already have some Beastmen with it. Guard is better for Beastmen though as they can assist the chaos warrior. Foul appearance is always good and regeneration is a good thing to have as well (they just keep coming). Stand firm is another useful skill to make them unmovable. Big Guy Minotaurs: I include these because a ton of people use the big guy rules from Citadel Journal 13 . Minotaurs are just fun... So what if they go crazy and charge. Just make sure they are close to the enemy. Skills:For their first skill give them block. Even if you roll doubles... Since they sometimes charge, minotaurs need Block in case they get in trouble. Of course they gain skills rather slowly. They are just a good big guy to have on the field. Don't give them the ball. They will just drop it if they go nuts. They are very good in center of the line. Multi block can be good against smaller players. Especially if the minotaur is charging with horns. One assist from a Beastman can give him total of ST 7 and any elf team will be flying to the ground in pain.

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How the troops are placed

Receiving: This is the way I usually set up for chaos. You need to make your setup specific to your team. If you have a minotaur with Wild Animal (if you play with big guy rules) place them in the front line. Your opponent cannot choose not to place players there. Therefore if you go balistic you have an enemy close by so you don't end up blitzing your own guys. Kick Off: The same as above. If you have any suggestions, please mail me.

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More on Chaos Teams


From V116QHTH@ubvms.cc.buffalo.eduSun Nov 10 23:51:50 1996 Date: Mon, 19 Feb 1996 17:54:20 -0500 (EST) From: V116QHTH@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu

This is fairly long. However, it should be of particular use to coaches looking for tips on coaching a Chaos team. Let's look at the players normally available to a Chaos team: Chaos Beastmen ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Strengths: Horns make every last one of them good Blitzers. They can also take Strength Skills in addition to General Skills, making them more well-rounded players than the Human Linemen whose stats they mimic.

Weaknesses: Each player costs 60K, mostly owing to the Horns - and only one player can use the Horns each turn, and even then only on a Blitz - and even, then only in specific circumstances (you must have moved at least 1 square prior to throwing the Block).

Overall:

Definitely above-average players. However, their main Weakness lends support to the claim that a Beastman Ally is more valuable than a goat-man on an actual Chaos team.

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Chaos Warriors ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Strengths: High ST rating (4) coupled with average AG make Chaos Warriors among the most devastating players among the game. High AV is also a plus, as is the access to Strength Skills.

Weaknesses: Each player costs 100K, which is a bit pricey on a team with 70K rerolls. Also, their 5 MA tends to limit their overall usefulness, which goes a ways towards negating their 3 AG as a factor in gameplay.

Overall:

The fact that you can get 4 of these players is a HUGE plus, and contributes highly to their desirability.

Overall, the Chaos team has two obvious Strengths - the team's overall ST (in conjunction with Horns and Strength Skill access) and its good overall AV (no player suffers from below-average armor).

However, there is one glaring Weakness (aside from price) - Chaos teams do not have any bona fide ballhandlers. With no Throwers and no players with a 4 AG, regular players (in this case, Chaos Beastmen) are asked to shoulder the load when it comes to scoring TDs.

Many coaches argue that Chaos teams should just skip with the formalities and forget about scoring touchdowns, opting instead to turn their teams into devastating machines capable of annihilating any given opponent.

However, as it has been pointed out in a previous thread, such teams can go games upon weeks without finding opponents (because they crush everyone in sight). And besides, a one-dimensional Chaos team is pretty boring, really, for both the coach and the opponent.

There are actually, in fact, two positively good reasons to try and develop a Chaos team which can actually Khorne, forgive me - score :) The first is a simple mathematical fact - every casualty inflicted gives the 59

inflicting player 2 SPPs (and gives the inflicted player something to remember you by!;). Every touchdown gives the scoring player 3 SPPs - so it only takes 2 TDs to get your first skill, as opposed to 3 Casualties. Scoring 2 TDs takes no particular skill other than actually managing to roll a 3 to pick up the ball. Scoring 3 Casualties, though, with nothing but Horns to help you out, is going to be a little slow in the making. (I haven't even mentioned the bonus SPPs one can occasionally get later from actually - *gasp*! - throwing the ball...)

Secondly, no Chaos team is going to be able to win any games come tournament time if it can't actually move the ball and score with it on occasion.

That being said, it's time to look closer at constructing such a scoring machine...

CHAOS TEAMS ~~~~~~~~~~~ Your team may not have a Thrower-type available, but as one astute observer on this list pointed out: your players are all at least *competent* with the ball. A 3 AG isn't exactly *poor*, in game terms. Neither is a 6 MA. In fact, Chaos Beastmen are no worse than average in any given category, and can thus be expected to perform any duty reasonably well - well enough, at least, to occasionally pick up the ball or make a successful dodge, even without skills.

In fact, a Chaos Beastman makes a particularly adept ball-carrier, because he generally lacks the one debility most other ball-carriers exhibit: frailty! A Beastman doesn't injure easily (AV 8), and can Blitz his way out of most scraps with his Horns. And since in the early games you won't have a designated ball-carrier (at least, he won't have any particular skills that mark him as such), you don't have to both protecting him, since anyone else could do the job equally well!

In light of a lack of passers (and an even more noticeable lack of receivers:), Chaos teams are particularly suited to running the ball, as you might imagine. With Chaos Warriors anchoring the front line and Beastmen using their Horns to Blitz open holes where needed, a Chaos team can hold the ball for quite some time before scoring!

SKILL SELECTION ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Every player on a Chaos team has access to both General and Strength Skills. In addition, every Chaos player can use a doubles roll to select a Physical Ability. This comes in very handy, as many PAs - Big Hand and Two Heads come to mind - are designed to combat the fact that Chaos teams have no access to Agility Skills.

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Chaos Warriors ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ These great warriors of evil will most likely be found on the front lines, dealing out a great deal of punishment while trying to punch open the opposing team's front line. Because they will be doing a lot of Blocking, Block is absolutely essential for a Chaos Warrior's first skill (assuming a normal roll).

As your Warriors will want to take out as many opposing players as possible, I'd recommend that Mighty Blow and Pro be the next two skills taken. Mighty Blow has obvious uses. Pro is good for players who will be throwing a lot of Blocks, as it allows them to reroll failed (or unsatisfactory) Blocks, as well as screw around with AV and INJ rolls. In fact, I'd recommend taking Pro first, as it is about halfway to MB in terms of damage, and can cover for a lack of Tackle when facing opponents with Dodge (and, as I've said, it can bail you out of that inevitable double-skulls roll). The only reason I'd advise against taking Pro first instead of Block? Pro doesn't help when you're getting hit - which Warriors will be doing, often!

Now, on a roll of doubles, you have a lot of choices available. Passing Skills are right out, of course. Among the Agility Skills, Dodge is never a bad option. However, for those looking to get more punch out of these machines, Diving Tackle is always a good choice. No other Agility Skill stands out in my mind as particularly useful to a Chaos Warrior.

Physical Abilities offer the usual choices. If I hadn't taken Mighty Blow yet for a Chaos Warrior, I'd strongly consider Claw. Combined with Pro, this lets your Warrior take all kinds of opponents out of play - some on a more permanent basis than others! Personally, I would *not* take Razor Sharps before Claw, and I wouldn't take either of them if I already had Mighty Blow - Diving Tackle would more greatly amplify your player's impact during a game.

Regenerate is good for a particularly targetted player - and it also helps you protect your 100K investment. Spikes is never bad, although this can be replicated by a Magic Helmet. Most other mutations (I'm writing off the top of my head here, without rulebooks) are right out the window. It would be good to turn at least 2 of your Warriors into Guards, to help anchor the front line (and make it stronger). They should DEFINITELY have Block, and Mighty Blow as well, if possible (I won't deal with anything beyond the third skill, as it hadn't been my experience to have more than 2 players with that many SPPs on my roster at any one time).

I would rule out most other Strength Skills, though, especially Piling On. Voluntarily placing 100K players on the ground on a regular basis is a sure recipe for disaster, IMO.

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Chaos Beastmen ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Using the Basic and DeathZone rules, a Chaos team with a full roster would expect to have 4 Chaos Warriors and 4 Star Players on its roster. This leaves room for 8 Beastmen.

While Beastmen are good at one thing (maiming) for certain, their well-rounded style of play (average MA, ST, AG, and AV) can be combined with an astute choice of skills - and a bit of luck in the form of doubles skill rolls to provide a malleable fighting force capable of handling a large number of tasks.

Runners ~~~~~~~ The first thing any would-be adviser will tell a Chaos coach is this: get a Beastman with Big Hand right away. Coupled with Sure Hands, it gives you a near-failsafe player who can get into the worst tangle of players (especially if he has Stand Firm) and get the ball.

Of course, if it was that simple, every Chaos team would be running around scoring TDs willy-nilly :) So, of course, it ain't that simple...

The biggest problem, IMO, is this - you *do* want a player with Sure Hands and Big Hand as your ballcarrier. The problem is that most coaches will take the Sure Hands right away - and then they're stuck with hoping that *this* particular player will roll doubles and get Big Hand. If someone else rolls... The trick here is to exercise some patience. Pro is the weapon of the average - yet dedicated - player. It is also a prime Beastman tool. Your first skill should be given over to Pro if it isn't a doubles roll. Let this player act as your ballcarrier until you can get a player with doubles (who then takes Big Hand). If this Pro gets another skill, he can always use Block to help him out - Block and Pro are useful no matter what, and this player can then be developed along other guidelines given below when your Big Hand player comes to the fore.

As far as the ball-carrier goes, he can then use doubles rolls to give himself Dodge, which is usually useful as well.

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Berserkers ~~~~~~~~~~ Undoubtedly, being gifted with Horns lends itself to all matters of nastiness. For one thing, if have Frenzy and can find a suitable ST-3 target, you can go nuts and push that target right off the board - eliminating one player for the rest of the drive, with no AV roll required.

If you have Dauntless, Horns gives you a great chance to take on big guys and win. Even the great Morg'N'Thorg will be hit with two dice when Blitzed by a sufficiently psychotic Dauntlessing Beastman.

In either case, Pro is a necessary skill - in the case of the Frenzier, to help get the desired pushes; in the case of the Dauntless player, to help make the Dauntless roll. Block is of some use here as well (for the obvious reasons). And while there is no necessary reason to make your Dauntless Beastman a Frenzier, the option *is* there - and if it worked often enough, could provide a huge lift during a game!

Frenziers would need Frenzy, followed by Pro and Block. Dauntless players would need Dauntless, followed by Pro and Block (or Pro and Frenzy, if you want to take a chance on it!).

The best thing about Berserkers is that they don't need any doubles rolls to be effective. In fact, they're about as effective a standard player as you could possibly create!

Hunter-Killers ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Similarly, these Beastmen are simply built to be nasty and effective: Block, Mighty Blow, and either Pro or Guard are all obvious combos. Stand Firm can be used as a filler or change now and then.

Your first "Hunter-Killer" is easily adapted from your initial ball-carrier (as described above), who should already have at least Pro (and maybe Block).

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Defensive Specialists ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A large number of Physical Abilities can be lumped into the "defensive" category - Tentacles, Foul Appearance, Very Long Legs, etc. However, these skills are all generally useful only in conjunction with such skills as Pass Block and Shadowing. As these skills are generally of more use to Skaven players, it is a safe assumption that they don't work all that well for Chaos Beastmen, owing largely to their average MA of 6 and lack of Dodge skill.

Personally, I'd recommend using Frenziers as "deep safeties" and foregoing the creation of "defensive specialists," but for those who might want to create such players, the combinations and possibilities should be apparent.

* As you can see, there are a good four solid "classes" you can lump Beastmen into - and, as you'll probably have 8 of them on your roster, you can go with 2 of each "type" to create a good array of truly well-rounded players - despite your lack of so-called "skilled" or "position" players!

AND THAT'S, IT.

-=-Coach 'Krusher

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CHAOS TEAMS
By Coach 'Krusher
PLAYERS Chaos Beastmen Strengths. Horns make every last one of them good Blitzers. They can also take Strength Skills in addition to General Skills, making them more well-rounded players than the Human Linemen whose stats they mimic. Weaknesses. Each player costs 60K, mostly owing to the Horns - and only one player can use the Horns each turn, and even then only on a Blitz - and even, then only in specific circumstances (you must have moved at least 1 square prior to throwing the Block). Overall. Definitely above-average players. However, their main Weakness lends support to the claim that a Beastman Ally is more valuable than a goat-man on an actual Chaos team.

Chaos Warriors Strengths. High ST rating (4) coupled with average AG make Chaos Warriors among the most devastating players among the game. High AV is also a plus, as is the access to Strength Skills. Weaknesses. Each player costs 100K, which is a bit pricey on a team with 70K rerolls. Also, their 5 MA tends to limit their overall usefulness, which goes a ways towards negating their 3 AG as a factor in gameplay. Overall. The fact that you can get 4 of these players is a HUGE plus, and contributes highly to their desirability. Overall, the Chaos team has two obvious Strengths - the team's overall ST (in conjunction with Horns and Strength Skill access) and its good overall AV (no player suffers from below-average armour). However, there is one glaring Weakness (aside from price) - Chaos teams do not have any bona fide ballhandlers. With no Throwers and no players with a 4 AG, regular players (in this case, Chaos Beastmen) are asked to shoulder the load when it comes to scoring TDs. Many coaches argue that Chaos teams should just skip with the formalities and forget about scoring touchdowns, opting instead to turn their teams into devastating machines capable of annihilating any given opponent. However, as it has been pointed out in a previous thread, such teams can go games upon weeks without finding opponents (because they crush everyone in sight). And besides, a one-dimensional Chaos team is pretty boring, really, for both the coach and the opponent. There are actually, in fact, two positively good reasons to try and develop a Chaos team which can actually Khorne, forgive me - score. The first is a simple mathematical fact - every casualty inflicted gives the inflicting player 2 SPPs (and gives the inflicted player something to remember you by!). Every touchdown gives the scoring player 3 SPPs - so it only takes 2 TDs to get your first skill, as opposed to 3 Casualties. Scoring 2 TDs takes no particular skill other than actually managing to roll a 3 to pick up the ball. Scoring 3 Casualties, though, with nothing but Horns to help you out, is going to be a little slow in the making. (I haven't even mentioned the bonus SPPs one can occasionally get later from actually - gasp! - throwing the ball...)

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Secondly, no Chaos team is going to be able to win any games come tournament time if it can't actually move the ball and score with it on occasion. That being said, it's time to look closer at constructing such a scoring machine... CHAOS TEAMS Your team may not have a Thrower-type available, but as one astute observer on this list pointed out: your players are all at least competent with the ball. A 3 AG isn't exactly poor, in game terms. Neither is a 6 MA. In fact, Chaos Beastmen are no worse than average in any given category, and can thus be expected to perform any duty reasonably well - well enough, at least, to occasionally pick up the ball or make a successful dodge, even without skills. In fact, a Chaos Beastman makes a particularly adept ball-carrier, because he generally lacks the one debility most other ball-carriers exhibit: frailty! A Beastman doesn't injure easily (AV 8), and can Blitz his way out of most scraps with his Horns. And since in the early games you won't have a designated ball-carrier (at least, he won't have any particular skills that mark him as such), you don't have to both protecting him, since anyone else could do the job equally well! In light of a lack of passers (and an even more noticeable lack of receivers, Chaos teams are particularly suited to running the ball, as you might imagine. With Chaos Warriors anchoring the front line and Beastmen using their Horns to Blitz open holes where needed, a Chaos team can hold the ball for quite some time before scoring! SKILL SELECTION Every player on a Chaos team has access to both General and Strength Skills. In addition, every Chaos player can use a doubles roll to select a Physical Ability. This comes in very handy, as many PAs - Big Hand and Two Heads come to mind - are designed to combat the fact that Chaos teams have no access to Agility Skills. Chaos Warriors These great warriors of evil will most likely be found on the front lines, dealing out a great deal of punishment while trying to punch open the opposing team's front line. Because they will be doing a lot of Blocking, Block is absolutely essential for a Chaos Warrior's first skill (assuming a normal roll). As your Warriors will want to take out as many opposing players as possible, I'd recommend that Mighty Blow and Pro be the next two skills taken. Mighty Blow has obvious uses. Pro is good for players who will be throwing a lot of Blocks, as it allows them to reroll failed (or unsatisfactory) Blocks, as well as screw around with AV and INJ rolls. In fact, I'd recommend taking Pro first, as it is about halfway to MB in terms of damage, and can cover for a lack of Tackle when facing opponents with Dodge (and, as I've said, it can bail you out of that inevitable double-skulls roll). The only reason I'd advise against taking Pro first instead of Block? Pro doesn't help when you're getting hit - which Warriors will be doing, often! Now, on a roll of doubles, you have a lot of choices available. Passing Skills are right out, of course. Among the Agility Skills, Dodge is never a bad option. However, for those looking to get more punch out of these machines, Diving Tackle is always a good choice. No other Agility Skill stands out in my mind as particularly useful to a Chaos Warrior. Physical Abilities offer the usual choices. If I hadn't taken Mighty Blow yet for a Chaos Warrior, I'd strongly consider Claw. Combined with Pro, this lets your Warrior take all kinds of opponents out of play - some on a more permanent basis than others! Personally, I would not take Razor Sharps before Claw, and I wouldn't take either of them if I already had Mighty Blow - Diving Tackle would more greatly amplify your player's impact during a game. 66

Regenerate is good for a particularly targetted player - and it also helps you protect your 100K investment. Spikes is never bad, although this can be replicated by a Magic Helmet. Most other mutations (I'm writing off the top of my head here, without rulebooks) are right out the window. I would rule out most other Strength Skills, though, especially Piling On. Voluntarily placing 100K players on the ground on a regular basis is a sure recipe for disaster, in my opinion. Chaos Beastmen Using the Basic and DeathZone rules, a Chaos team with a full roster would expect to have 4 Chaos Warriors and 4 Star Players on its roster. This leaves room for 8 Beastmen. While Beastmen are good at one thing (maiming) for certain, their well-rounded style of play (average MA, ST, AG, and AV) can be combined with an astute choice of skills - and a bit of luck in the form of doubles skill rolls - to provide a malleable fighting force capable of handling a large number of tasks. Runners. The first thing any would-be adviser will tell a Chaos coach is this: get a Beastman with Big Hand right away. Coupled with Sure Hands, it gives you a near-failsafe player who can get into the worst tangle of players (especially if he has Stand Firm) and get the ball. Of course, if it was that simple, every Chaos team would be running around scoring TDs willy-nilly. So, of course, it ain't that simple... The biggest problem is this - you do want a player with Sure Hands and Big Hand as your ballcarrier. The problem is that most coaches will take the Sure Hands right away - and then they're stuck with hoping that this particular player will roll doubles and get Big Hand. If someone else rolls... The trick here is to exercise some patience. Pro is the weapon of the average - yet dedicated - player. It is also a prime Beastman tool. Your first skill should be given over to Pro if it isn't a doubles roll. Let this player act as your ballcarrier until you can get a player with doubles (who then takes Big Hand). If this Pro gets another skill, he can always use Block to help him out - Block and Pro are useful no matter what, and this player can then be developed along other guidelines given below when your Big Hand player comes to the fore. As far as the ball-carrier goes, he can then use doubles rolls to give himself Dodge, which is usually useful as well. Berserkers. Undoubtedly, being gifted with Horns lends itself to all matters of nastiness. For one thing, if have Frenzy and can find a suitable ST-3 target, you can go nuts and push that target right off the board - eliminating one player for the rest of the drive, with no AV roll required. If you have Dauntless, Horns gives you a great chance to take on big guys and win. Even the great Morg'N'Thorg will be hit with two dice when Blitzed by a sufficiently psychotic Dauntlessing Beastman. In either case, Pro is a necessary skill - in the case of the Frenzier, to help get the desired pushes; in the case of the Dauntless player, to help make the Dauntless roll. Block is of some use here as well (for the obvious reasons). And while there is no necessary reason to make your Dauntless Beastman a Frenzier, the option *is* there - and if it worked often enough, could provide a huge lift during a game! Frenziers would need Frenzy, followed by Pro and Block. Dauntless players would need Dauntless, followed by Pro and Block (or Pro and Frenzy, if you want to take a chance on it!). The best thing about Berserkers is that they don't need any doubles rolls to be effective. In fact, they're about as effective a standard player as you could possibly create!

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Hunter-Killers. Similarly, these Beastmen are simply built to be nasty and effective: Block, Mighty Blow, and either Pro or Guard are all obvious combos. Stand Firm can be used as a filler or change now and then. Your first "Hunter-Killer" is easily adapted from your initial ball-carrier (as described above), who should already have at least Pro (and maybe Block). Defensive Specialists. A large number of Physical Abilities can be lumped into the "defensive" category Tentacles, Foul Appearance, Very Long Legs, etc. However, these skills are all generally useful only in conjunction with such skills as Pass Block and Shadowing. As these skills are generally of more use to Skaven players, it is a safe assumption that they don't work all that well for Chaos Beastmen, owing largely to their average MA of 6 and lack of Dodge skill. Personally, I'd recommend using Frenziers as "deep safeties" and foregoing the creation of "defensive specialists," but for those who might want to create such players, the combinations and possibilities should be apparent. * As you can see, there are a good four solid "classes" you can lump Beastmen into - and, as you'll probably have 8 of them on your roster, you can go with 2 of each "type" to create a good array of truly well-rounded players - despite your lack of so-called "skilled" or "position" players!

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"Kill-Kill-Khorne Karnage"
Creating a successful Chaos team

At the request of Babs, I've put this together. Note, this is just MY style of playing, and while I've found it to work for me, other Chaos Styles may work. Use this as a base and go from there. Owning the biggest OLBBL team in history is no fun sometimes. You hardly ever get games, you become a target for extry team with 5 DP's and a willingness to use it.. but thereare its upsides too. You become a kind of "Game Ettiquette" enforcer. People will say "if You continue to do that, I see a game against the Goats in the future", which usually provides the impetus for change in people's behavior. But I digress. You want to try to get your Chaos team to the level that I have. Well, first off, Good luck. It took 4+ seasons for the Goats to get where they are today, and a lot of luck. But here's some hints. 1) Starting Squad: This is where a Chaos team can do well against most other teams (except teams with all-block, such as Dwarf, and Norse), due to the fact they can have ST 4 most of the time (CW's start with it, and Beastmen Blitz ST 3+Horns) If I was forced to start a new Chaos Team... this is how I'd do it. (Using Vanilla Rules, No Big Guys/Allies) 2 Chaos Warriors-200k 10 Beastmen-600k 2 RR-140K FF6-60k Here's why. I always prefer 12 players to start. Chaos is a team that needs to take advantage of it's numerical superiority vs Elves and the like. This will allow you to keep as many players on the possible after the first couple of drives. A possibility is to go down to 1 RR, bump the FF up to 9, and convert one beastman into a 3rd Chaos Warrior. I don't agree with that, because you need RR's as much as possible, because your team starts with no skills (except for the Beastman's Horns). You should be able to buy a Apothecary after the first game or two, and it's not absolutely critical you start with him, as you have a solid AV (8 on the Beastmen, 9 on the Chaos Warriors) Here's an Alternate Chaos Team, using Big Guys/Allies 2 Chaos Warriors-200k 8 beastmen-480k 1 minotaur-110k 2 RR-140k 7 FF-70k

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The Minotaur provides a smasher for you (MB+5ST), the Chaos Warriors are your anchormen, and the Beastmen will try to fill in whenever necessary. This is a good set up, but risky... as you have no apocathery to save your expensive players (it has to be your first purchase under this setup), and 3 players with a cost of 100,000 or more. 2 RR, are just about adequate, but make sure you leave your WA in the middle of the pack, or you'll be in trouble when he pops your own player. Here's a third Chaos team, using Allies, proposed to me by a fellow OLBBL Chaos Player 3 Chaos Warrior=300k 7 Beastman=420k 1 DE lineman=70k 2 RR=140k 7 FF=70k Nice set up, and this helps fix one of your problems early on dealing with ball handling as dodging, as your team is just average in that category, and the Dark Elf will become your thrower quickly. I'm not convinced though, as Chaos should be barely adequate at ball handling and dodging, it's hitting that this team excels at. It feels kinda traitorous, you know? Early Games: Setting up a team. People look at the sheer number of goodies available to Chaos, and lick their lips, figuring that they're going to roll over everybody right away. Those teams tend to get caught up in the middle of the pack, as they take on tough teams and maybe win, but take a beating. Instead, what I feel a young Chaos team should do, is take a few games against much higher teams. Now I'm not referring to high ranked bruiser teams, which would be team suicide, I'm talking about that 200ish Wood Elf Team with no Treemen that win every game, but take a beating. Timing is everything. Try to hit them when they need a recovery game. After all, you're not that big a threat, are you? Getting +3/+3 every game is going to build your team FAST, They'll be happy, as they'll probably be able to get fully healed for their tougher games. Try for RE and MI to start. You want cards like Special Offer, That Boy's Got Talent, Inspiration and the ever popular money cards to build your team fast. During game play, you want to be aware of who's got MVP's and who doesn't. If you see someone with 5 SPP from a MVP.. try for a foul to get over the hump and get a skill. If that's not possible, try to get everyone at least one SPP somehow, so a MVP will push them over. Remember, that second skill is just a MVP away from the first. Your results will vary, depending on your rolls, but here's some of the categories you want to set up for your players. The Bruiser: These are probably your Big Guys, or your Chaos Warriors or Beastmen who get doubles. They of course, need Block to take down their opponents, and this is where doubles rolling comes in. You need to be able to inflict Casualties as much as possible with these players. The four skills you can take on normal rolls that I would take with these players are: Block, Pro, Tackle,Frenzy,Guard, Stand Firm and Mighty Blow. On Doubles, this is where you get the fun stuff. If you already have Mighty Blow, take Razor Sharp Fangs, otherwise take Claws, as this will allow you to break armor more, but I find if you already have +1, trying to make it +2 will just force MB into an empty skill. Once you get the Block/(MB/Claw)/RZF/Pro combo set up, go for tentacles on doubles, to make sure they're NOT getting away. If you have a poor rolling streak with one of your bruisers, and feel he can take the foul that you know will come in return, take Piling On. + ST Bruisers are a blessing from the Chaos Gods.. use them to their fullest extent.

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The Ball Handler: AG+ Beastmen fall in this category, as well as Dark Elf Linemen (if you're using allies) and even a regular AG3 Beastman can do nicely here. Since once you get a couple of Bruisers, you can use a Doubles roll to create a ball Handler. On Normal Rolls, the preferred skills are: Pro, Sure Hands, Block (Chaos should always be able to hit no matter what <G>). On Doubles skills, take Big Hand (2+ Pick Ups all the time is FUN), Stunty dodge, and Passing skills. The KABONGERS: Or the players your opponent will hate the most, as these players will never take on players in a fair fight, instead preferring to dash forward and lay in the boots to an already fallen player. I call them "Player Removal Specialists" Dirty Player and Pro should be the FIRST Two Skills taken for these players, in that order. Once you get that set up, SPP, should flow rather nicely (especially if you start playing teams your own size). Here's some other regular skills I'd take for a Kabonger: Block (to survive your opponent's retaliation. Leader (Free RR that he can use in his own defense) Kick (since you won't have him on the LOS ANYWAY) On Doubles, take Regen or Foul Appearance (to let him live longer), once you've got one of em, Spikes would be nice. The Scorers: This is the category where I put Skaven Gutter Runners, Beastmen who get +MA, and maybe even a Dark Elf Lineman. These are the guys who can put the ball in the endzone. For the AG4 players, Leap/Pro/Dodge could be a useful three skills. (Leap allows you to pick your dodges, which in an ever increasing era of Diving Tackle, proves VERY useful.) Gutter Runners can be converted into one turners fairly easy (one doubles skill roll or a 10 to provide the MA+, and Sprint) and works even better as a distraction then a scorerm since your opponent might put all his guys back to stop the one turner, and leave you free to slaughter the three fools on the line.! For your two Mutateable players (GR and Beastmen), I'd get Stunty on Doubles. Another nice skill is Catch as it allows you to evoke the rarely seen Chaos Aerial game. Another "weird" skill is Dauntless, as Dauntless/Horns works nicely to take down those Big Guys that are set up off the line. The Odd Balls: This is where I would go to fill out my team. Diving Tackle is always nice for Cageing up to prevent people from surrounding the cage.. If you don't have a Leader/Kick guy already in your Kabongers, try to get one here. I also like Guard/Stand Firm here, as it will provide the Bruisers the means to hit with 2db all the time. Filling out your team: Since you have only 4 ally slots in leagues that allow them, I'd try to get the best ones for my team concept. I'd try to get my quota of Big Guys before anything else except for an apocathery, and I like Minotaurs here, as their negative skill is easily routed around, and can easily set up a later foul or blitz. A Gutter Runner is also good here, as you can start one turning, or use him as a Defensive Back. That leaves your 4th ally spot as a Dark Elf Lineman or an Orc Black Orc Blocker or Blitzer, and this is up to personal preference, Orc Blitzer might be nice early, as they start with Block. Once you have filled up your team, try to fill up your team with RR's, buying any replacement players that you need, and if your league has a FA market, try to snag any doubles folks you need. Good luck!

David Yellope

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The Chaos Strategies


by Mike Cooley

I honestly believe I have found the best Chaos Starting Team ever and I am willing to share my information with you. This is my starting team and it is worth trying: Lord Borak 160K 2 Chaos Warriors 200K 7 Beastmen 420K 1 Gutter Runner 80K 1 Re-roll 70K 7 Fan Factor 70K Total 1,000K Most will skoff at starting a team with an ally Gutter Runner but trust me, this is really the best starting team you can use. The whole offensive idea is to pocket your gutter runner, break a hole and put in some defense, then run the gutter runner right to the end-zone. On defence put the gutter-runner off the pitch or way in back, 2 beastmen about half way back, Borak and your warriors on the front line, 2 beastmen in each side zone and one between the line and your two middle guys. Remember Borak and the warriors can take a beating. The only skills you should give your Gutter-Runner should be sidestep then surefeet then sprint then leap unless you roll doubles, then you give them Very Long Legs. Borak and the warriors are front-liners. Give the warriors block then piling-on then guard then standfirm. If you roll doubles on any chaos warrior at any time give him Razor Sharp Fangs. Select one beastman to give kick then block then stripball then frenzy Select two beastmen to give Dirty player then block then pro then frenzy The other four beastmen should get Block then guard then standfirm then mighty-blow. These will be to compliment your front-line. In your first few games do not try to win by touchdown. Try to get as many casualties as possible even if it means fouling and gettin a guy kicked out of the game. Remember, if they can't put 3 guys on front-line then you win (opponent's choice). Also on your first few games take all Random events (trying to get those money cards)

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After your first few game you should have enough money to buy stuff, here is a list of stuff to get: First is the apothecary (only because of the gutter-runner, remember to save him for your gutter-runner). Second should be 2 more chaos warriors. Third should be your wizard. Fourth, if you use rookie big guys in your league you should get 2 rookie minotaurs. This is my personal starting line-up and my win loss record is 25 to 5. Although if your league does not use ally rules then sorry for wasting your time.

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Chaos Dwarf Team Tactics


By Andy Meechan, with Harald Hedlund and help from the Blood Bowl mailing list Introduction Ask anyone to name the worst team in Blood Bowl and Chaos Dwarf isn't far from their lips. This doesn't sound unreasonable for a team where it's best players on par with the Dwarf Longbeards and it's Linemen are notoriously stupid. Welcome then to the tactics you need to make your opponents shut up and take notice of you Big Hats and learn that the Hobgoblins are hardly notoriously stupid. Dangerously stupid perhaps... Prepare to be enlightened. Starting Teams Assuming that you don't want to field Star Players (the teams were designed without them after all), you can go two ways with your team: grab as many skilled players as possible, tool up on rerolls and then throw in some Hobgoblins as make-weights; or go Hobgoblin crazy and max. out with these guys, giving you silly amounts of rerolls and a Fan Factor which will allow you to draft the Big Hats if you begin to hurt for them.
6 Hobgoblins 6 Chaos Dwarfs 4 Team re-roll 9 Fan Factor Apothecary Total: 240,000 420,000 200,000 90,000 50,000 1,000,000 480,000 300,000 90,000 50,000 50,000 50,000 1,000,000

or else
12 Hobgoblins 6 Team re-roll 9 Fan Factor 5 Assistant Coaches 5 Cheerleaders Apothecary Total:

In the top team a Bull Centaur could be added by chopping a reroll and a Chaos Dwarf and fiddling with the Fan Factor for the remainder, but you really don't need one... yet. The second team is unusual as it contains Linemen only; would you consider a team of Human Linemen? I didn't think so, but Hobgoblins have their own charms. So why isn't there a Wizard on the all-Hobgoblin team, after all you can afford one from the off? By the sound of it you don't realise that you'll need your six rerolls more than any number of Wizards! Trust me on this; it's not for the faint hearted (or die hard win-only players), but it is a lot of fun. For the rest of this article we'll assume that you chose the former.

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Playing A Chaos Dwarf Team Card Selection Let's face it; with players as cheap as these and a Fan Factor that's as high as possible, what use do you have with the money (Random Event) deck? A Magic Item is great if you have two cards, a necessity if you draw three, but for one card draws I'd go for a Dirty Trick every time - being a vicious, vindictive team it's the only way you can go really! Offence You're joking aren't you? No? Oh very well then: Chaos Dwarfs play a strange, risky offence which involves the Chaos Dwarfs creating the initial play (the pocket) and the Hobgoblins creating scoring opportunities. This is where all those rerolls come in. Chaos Dwarfs on the Line of Scrimmage (LoS) is a start as, from here, they can force a couple of enemy Tackle Zones (TZs) out of the way and create a staging area of Block/Tackle players for the eligible Hobgoblin receivers before they break into your opponents half. Meanwhile three of your players have one after the ball if one fails to pick it up then either one of them will catch the bouncing ball or it'll be covered in TZs. The rest of the play involves a mixture of your Chaos Dwarfs kicking seven shades from opposing players while trying to get the Hobgoblins to run in the right direction (and remembre the ball). You won't score often, but you will feel good when you do. Defence A lot of Coaches with access to players with similar skills to Chaos Dwarfs would have no qualms about sticking at least three on their LoS and I would tend to agree with them in the main. However there are a couple of changes you can make to keep your regular opponents on their toes: If playing against Agility (speed-based) teams then you should have a net of TZs all over your half with no gaps. The majority of your Chaos Dwarfs will be the last thing between your opponent and the End Zone. Why not on the LoS? Well, we have to assume that the Agility team can get around your cunningly crafted front-line and make it at least half way into your half of the pitch; what was the Movement (MA) of a Chaos Dwarf last time you looked. They'd never do anything except exert TZs on Turn 1 of the drive. Being midway to your End Zone allows the doughty Dwarfs to muster at least two players for a Block/Blitz. Meanwhile the Hobgoblins either assist, run around daft laying TZs where your opponent doesn't want them, or squint into the sun and wonder why their brains are getting warmer! Strength teams will beat you to a pulp if you give them half a chance, but with a LoS full of Chaos Dwarfs and a bucket-full of Hobgoblins ready to take advantage of those on the ground, you can play them with your version of their game. (remember that I mentioned that your team is both vicious and vindictive.) Damage Limitation With an armour (AV) of only 7, hobgoblins have as much of a hard time as wood elves do - and they're going to get all the attention as there aren't any wood elves on the pitch to pick on! (unless you're playing them, in which case: "Do unto them before the do it unto you." because you outnumber them and don't care if your hobgoblins get sent off!) Chaos Dwarfs can look after themselves (just don't leave them on their own). General You have very slow blockers and medium fast, average ag linemen. this team is not easy; even with Hthark the Unstoppable (or the rookie bull centaur depaending on the rules variants you play). if you're new to the game then be wary about choosing this team. if you're an experienced coach then you stop playing orcs and challenge yourself for once!

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Advancing Chaos Dwarfs Skills Hobgoblin. If you're playing with the team in death zone (dz) only then you'll likely have ten of these guys on your team. Out of these only five or so will be on the pitch at any one time, so these five had better be good. what you can try is to create pairs of skilled players who you can choose from whether you are kicking, receiving or on a crucial drive. pair #1 are your ball handlers with such skills as block, sure hands and pass or dump off. pair #2 turn up on the pitch with one purpose: to remove the other team from the pitch. these guys are your dirty player, pro and block skills. pair #3 are defensive safeties aiding your blockers with tackle and pass block, tackle and shadowing (you never know!), frenzy and strip ball, and so forth. pair #4 compliment pair #1 being your catchers with such skills as catch or ag4. You're going to see many of these guys on your team any time soon! pair #5 fill in the rest of the holes with kick, leader, block, pro, mighty blow, or dauntless! Normal: pro and block Doubles: catch, mighty blow or dauntless. Remember: one successful completion (quick pass preferably!) and a random MVP means your first skill. Chaos Dwarf. Upgrades are going to be slow on these guys as they will be relying on casualties and mvp awards in the main. So max out on strength skills. After all, the hobgoblins need all the muscle that the big hats supply. Normal: dauntless, guard and mighty blow. Doubles: diving tackle, sprint and sure feet! (Just sob quietly if you get +1AG.)

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GIDDYGIDDY-UP
How to win in Blood Bowl with your Chaos Dwarfs By C. Matt Billman
Originally published in Citadel Journal #35 Copyright Games Workshop Ltd. 1999

FROM THE LAND OF SILLY HATS For the true competitor, if youve ever played in a Blood Bowl league before youll know that competitiveness radiates form every BB player. I see this in BB more than any other GW game. Maybe its because you only control eleven or so pieces (each with their own name!) and one tends to get attached to them as they increase their skills throughout the league play. The best, well-rounded team out there is the Chaos Dwarf team. Ah, ah, ah now let me explain, Elf-lovers, let me explain there are three reasons why this is true. Now, I know youre saying they dont have a thrower or a catcher. Well, thats true but in league player durability and survivability play a bigger role in being competitive than finesse any day Elfy!

LINEMEN Everybody knows that Dwarf linemen are the best linemen in the game. Well, you can have six Chaos Dwarf linemen (same as Longbeards but with cool hats!). Its always good when a group of your players can have access to two skill groups as they progress with Star Player Points. These mighty-hatted fellows get Strength and General skills. Theyre going to be your front line and protective wall as your offense goes down the field so I would recommend the following skills to compliment their Block, Thick Skull and Tackle that they come with (where else can you find players who start with three great skills and decent stat line to start with?). There are three skills you should work on to get the most out of these guys: Stand Firm, Mighty Blow and Guard. These can be in any order but Mighty Blow might by considered first. This will help you to start inflicting casualties, which is the Dwarf prime means of advancement. Guard will help you to get the two Blocking Dice that you often need to get the other guy down. This automatic assist will help in the mightiest of scrums. Stand Firm keeps your wall intact as you maneuver down the sideline. It also allows for some players to have a little added mobility in traffic even with their horribly low Agility, these guys wont fall down if they fail a Dodge roll. Hell probably only be able to move one square but at least he can dodge into six enemy tackle zones, not fall over and then still deliver a very important Guard assist if hes experienced. You may find it difficult for these guys to gain Star Player Points; one trick is to put one Dwarf on the front line and one on a wing. That way if a kick scatters out of bounds you can give it straight to him instead of him trying to pick it up or catch it, which in the best of situations requires a 4+.

BULL CENTAUR Now there are a lot of good Star Players and each has its own thing but the Bull Centaur Hthark the Unstoppable is in the top three you can get. Hthark has greater mobility than any other Bigun and combined with his Strength means hes nigh on unstoppable. With his Sprint and Sure Feet he essentially will be going nine squares when he wants to. He has Block, which is very important, and Thick Skull, which keeps him on the field, with Break Tackle that sets him apart from the rest. By using his awesome Strength for any dodge rolls he needs to make hell make any Elf green with envy. Granted, he will technically be bulling his way through those tackle zones rather than dancing through them like Elves and Gutter Runners who can go a lot further if they Go For It but none of them will be packing 6 Strength and 10 Armor, I promise you that! Hthark will be the workhorse (or workbull!) for this team on offense. Start with him on a wing of your choice next to a Chaos Dwarf to start a nice wall deep down the field. When kicking the ball dont always start with your Bull Centaur on the front line necessarily, your Chaos Dwarfs can handle that. Let him roam about picking his spot with some choice Blitzing work.

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CHEAP, CHEAP HOBBOS Actually, in all honesty, the entire team is cheap (you can field a sixteen man team of Chaos Dwarfs and Hobbos, eight fan factor and two rerolls for a million!). For a mere 40,000gcs these little guys are the cheapest with three Strength and six Movement out there. Granted, their Armor of seven is a bit thin but if these guys are used properly (carrying the ball on offense and assisting with tackles on defense) they shouldnt get into too much trouble. You will want to give them Block to start with. Pass Block and Strip Ball will give you a good defensive minded Hobbo. If you roll a double when rolling for skills a selection from the Passing skill category is always a good idea, such as Accurate or Strong Arm. This should give you a good Thrower and add a new dimension to your already stout offense. Dont be afraid to give one of your Hobbos Dirty Player. This will help thin out your opponent and since you should have a deep bench if he gets sent off you should still be able to field eleven players (not to mention being very apt for a low down sneaky Hobgoblin Ed). Sure Hands is also good for your Hobbos to ensure that they arent too clumsy with the ball.

IN CONCLUSION Power and mobility is what youll find with Chaos Dwarfs. With six Chaos Dwarfs up and around, the front line will give you the feel of a Dwarf team. You can even add to this with the Blunderbuss Star Player. The Blunderbuss secret weapon works great by itself but with a 10+ to get penalized you should have another lineman for most of the games giving you the same depth up front. The key to a Chaos Dwarf teams success is the Bull Centaur, the hardest working man-thing in the Blood Bowl business. Just as soon as you get the money up for another centaur theyd all better look the hell out, itll be a cattle stampede in your favor! Try out this team for size and youll be riding off into the sunset and the end zone saying happy trails to your opponent.

SAMPLE CHAOS DWARF TEAM 1 Bull Centaur 180,000 6 Chaos Dwarf Linemen 420,000 4 Hobgoblins 160,000 3 Rerolls 150,000 9 Fan Factor 90,000 1,000,000

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<I had just won with the Chaos dwarves..>....


> Congratulations to your win with the best team of them all. > As a coach of Hatclad FC I am very curious about your strategy. > Could you mail me some info on your offense and defense strategy > as well as your lineup!

Contents:
______________ Introduction The Roster Forming the Team Part one About Hthark Forming the Team part two The Chaos Dwarf Blockers The Hobgoblins Overall Strategy - Defense Against TD Machine Teams Against Crunch Teams Overall Strategy - Offense Against TD Machine Teams Against Crunch Teams Progression: Chaos Dwarf Blockers Hobgoblins The Horror Rooks II Simplified Roster Notes about the Horror Rooks II Coping with Deviances (House rules, CJ implants etc.) Only One Star Player & Grashnak Blackhoof? Allies Big Rookie Guys

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Introduction
I've never thought of my Chaos Dwarf teams as the most successful teams I've coached - but over my entire 3rd Edition Blood Bowl coaching career - of the three times I've coached Chaos Dwarves - I've won the league three times. Quite suprising. I think that a primary reason (not the primary - but contributing) is that other players are not used to playing against the Chaos dwarfs and the element of suprise counts for upset win again and again. Given the amazing (even to me) correlation of Chaos Dwarfs to league win ratio when I've been coaching them - I have decided to spill my beans and write the exhaustive tome on how to coach Chaos Dwarfs. Most of this document is exclusive to chaos dwarf coaching. There is much in the strategy of playing Chaos dwarfs which could be applied to any team - and indeed some of the information within is still applicable to some teams. I will summarise the most important points to general strategy with the team now - so that you can mull them over. Enjoy this mammoth tome :) It mght just fit, rolled up, in your hat - so I recommend keeping it under your hat :)

Summary of general tactics particularly useful to Chaos dwarfs:

Use cards and wizards to get the ball (lightning bolt template please) Have a game strategy - and stick to it Target the teams assets and remove them if this is an appropriate strategy Use rerolls only on rolls failing which leave you wide open (unless you have as many turns left as rerolls and have done all the critical stuff) Make all the important rolls first - and those which are probability friendly Move first - it's free (unless dodging or you need to get someone out of the way first) Move your turn marker on - at the beginning of every turn - check! Stand Chaos Dwarf Blockers up at the beginning of the turn - they aren't going anywhere much anyway.

The Roster
Chaos dwarves are shunned by most coaches because a quick scan down their roster shows that they only have two players available - the Blockers and the Hobgobs. A scan of the stats for these players reveal that the blockers are exactly the same as the longbeards for the dwarves and the hobgobs are equivlent to human linemen without as much armour on! What kind of team is this? How can a team like this win? Well, the answer is a little further than the simple statistics - it is the combination of the two types of player which make the chaos dwarves - with a lot of help from one source - Star Players. I openly admit that the Chaos Dwarf teams really require star players to be 'up there' with the best. Without them, the Chaos Dwarf team is shafted more than Chet's undead - and that isn't a little bit either. So to get over the 'only idiots rely on Star Players' or 'Star players are cheese' is a quintessential part of the gaming strategy. That is not to say that Star players are the critical part of the game plan - and that without them all is lost - but the Star Players for the pointy ones do contribute a lot to the team.

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Forming the team (part one)


When forming a team, you need to have a strategy. My strategy has been to win from game one. Some people prefer to max out on rerolls to 'get their money's worth' - but I find that there is no real need to begin with four rerolls. The chaos Dwarves are fortunate enough to have 50,000 rerolls as it is - and after a while you will run out of money to spend things on anyway (what with the majority of your team costing ony 40,000 each.)

About Hthark
So I took Hthark from the start. Hthark is arguably the best star player in the deck. He is undoubtedly in the top five. I admire Hthark primarily for his flexibility. Morg'th is the only other star player with the flexibility of Hthark. You need to remember that Hthark has an effective movement of nine and can dodge almost anywhere on 2+. That combined with Block, Strength of 6 and an aromour of 10 (backed up with Thick Skull) makes him the ideal player for the Chas dwarves. The only real downside of Hthark is his AG of only two (he dodges with Break tackle). This makes ball handling with him worth saving a reroll for. Cetainly do it though. I primarily use Hthark as a response player. In defense, he is fantastic at ripping into any cage which forms, and makes an excellent stop to anyone who has delusions of streaking in for a two turn touchdown. Used as a defensive 'safety' you can almost depend on the player going down. So I usually put my Htharks in the widezones to prevent anyone pushing past to score quickly. Near the sidelines. (One square in - not next to - with a helping player next to him as well) Of course this changes depending on the opponent - with the centaur being nearer the action if the team is the kind which maims first and asks questions later. On offense I use the centaur either as a bodyguard protecting the ballcarrier, the ballcarrier himself (which is useful when outnumbered although the SPP's are wasted) or as a sweeper to clear anyone out of the way for the oncoming cage or pocket.

Forming the team (part II)


That being said, my opening list almost always looks like this: Hthark 6 Chaos Dwarf Blockers 4 Hobgoblins 2 Rerolls 9 Fan factor Apothecary

The Chaos Dwarf Blockers


I max out on the Chaos dwarf blockers as they are worth their weight in gold. Sure they are slow - that is the nature of them - but they are a very solid front line. Against tough opponents I only place three of them up front as they are likely to be outsmashed - but against the agile teams I place a few more - depending on the position of the game. The 6 blockers give you a front line which is as tough as a dwarf front line - which we all know how tough that is - so don't be afraid to let them be pounded a fair bit. They can take it. Really thier main responisbilities are to duke it out, take some casualties and tie up those nasty hurting types from getting to the hobgobs. Admittedly - I'm not a pounding type of player. I prefer a ball-oriented game. But this suits the Chaos Dwarves to a tee. Sure they hit hard enough themselves - but I don't make a habit of going toe to toe with the beefy teams - as they are likely to win at it. So I use my chas dwarves as cannon fodder. I do pound with them - and I take two-dice-you choose at the end of my turns as the pointy hats can take a skull without panicking - and with block they don't have that huge a chance of going down.

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I certainly take one die blocks with them on anybody who would dare to approach without block - but get the priorities right - I only make the blocks which help get to the ball and are statistically likely to be favourable. The other major use on defense is to be the 'tackle' player - as they all come with it. I make a point of not allowing any player to get through the defense wihtout having to make dodges of blitz the right players. Of course - I put my toughest players in the key positions. My three lambs should not be contingent on remaining upright to prevent anyone from getting through - so basically a line of defense which has a semi-circle around the three lambs - makig sure no catcher types come around - which all changes if the team is highly unlikely to execute this kind of maneuver. Dodging past player with tackle will reap rerolls - if nothing else. And unless the player is a one turn scorer they'll pay for it next turn. Nohting better than tying up catcher with Chaos dwarf blockers!

The Hobgoblins
The hobgoblins are the ball carriers. You can get up to twelve of them if you really want to - so specialise. Make at least one a dirty player (if for no reason other than to annoy Chet) and use him - until he is ejected. Make at least two ball handlers. They should have sure hands. Get most of the others block - and turn them into catcher types, general response safety types, extra cannon fodder etcetera. Don't underestimate the hobgobs as important - they are invaliuable. I find that if an opponent takes all your hobgoblins off the pitch you are in serious trouble. This is beacuase you have no ball handlers left and The Chaos Dwarves need to play a ball centred game if they are to win. You can still pull it off - especially if you still have Hthark on the pitch and rerolls - but it does put you at a severe disadvantage. So protect them with your line of big hat men and bodyguard Hthark. To a limited extent. Don't mother them and never let them go into the enemy lines for the ball - just be careful not to let them take too many big hits from the enemies 'guys who hurt' list.

Overall Strategy - Defense.

<Against TD Machine teams> Spread youself out - don't let the scorers get through your line. If they do - pounce on them. This, however is not first priority. Get the ball. Most speed teams have plenty of catcher types (or blitzer types who can do the same kind of thing but are harder), and removing them is not easy. So remove the threat first. I ususally 'sic' my bull centaur on the player closest to the ball. With break tackle and a move of nine the team's thrower usually let's out a shriek before being slammed out of the game (fouled out by the hobgoblin in fast pursuit if necessary.) Get the ball yourself. Give it to the Bull Centaur and pound for a while. If this doesn't go to plan and you can't reach the ball - take out the closest player to it and tie up the rest in tackle zones (with tackle if possible). That ought to keep them worried for a while. Make sure that anyone who is in your backfield is at least surrounded by two players each. That should leave them the middle of the field - but if worst comes to worst the ball ends up in a cage there - but you've taken out their thrower and two of their catchers. (and still have time to eat that cage with your Hthark - and plenty of players downtown to hold it up if it progresses too far.) So focus on the ball.

<Against Crunch teams> Again - focus on the ball. The crunch teams will try to form a cage type affair so make sure you get to the ball before it reaches it's destination. If that can't happen - then play it tough. Don't send too many players in - just enough for the cage to have to shed players slowly to keep moving. The best players for this is of course the Pointy hats. Wait for the cage to slowly whittle down (and not too near the endzone) and then strike - send all the players in at once. You will pay for it with hobgobs ending up nursing wounds - but it will get you to the ballcarrier (to blitz with Hthark if he's around). Speaking of Hthark - don't set him up toet to toe with their big bad guys - he's too vital to be simply exchanging pounds - and without mighty blow etc. he'll likely lose it (if only slightly). Keep him out in the open and blitzing in and out of the perimeter of the cage - picking off the vulnerable ones. I'd use him for the blitz every turn you can - in and out again - one more player on the ground. Then comes the boot.

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Fouling Do it with hobgobs. A dirty player is handy and maybe even two depending on the league. Even if none are available take the key players out. Normally that for me is not the towering ST 6 or 7 player but the guy who is most likely to score touchdowns or throw long bombs with ease. Look at their roster to work out who that is. The ST 6 or 7 player is not only harder to get down - but also harder to injure once they are down - so targetting them is not as smart a move.

Overall Strategy - Offense

<Against TD machine teams> Make sure that you have the ball. Run with it and protect it. I would only rarely set up a pass play as if it goes wrong the opponents are home and hose. Offense agasint these teams can have no margin of error - as if the ball gets loose - all your players are in the wrong spots to recover (Chaos dwarves being slow and hobgoblins generally not big hitters) Take the going slow and pound to your hearts content. Let them come to you. You have the ball - so use this advantage to injure some of them. Only if the going is tough then score. If possible - let anyone but Hthark score and rack up the SPP's - but conversely don't be afraid to score with him. If a Chaos Dwarf Blocker ever ends up with the ball - take the opportunity to rumble up the field and score himself (with friends - of course) - and the SPP's will be appreciated. As I alluded to - commit all of your player to the offense as you need them to protect the ballcarrier running. You will unlikely stop the enemy if they get the ball anyway - so make sure that they don't.

<Against Crunch teams> A solid cage is not a great idea as the other team will hammer it. Set up a fast running play with Hthark if things are grim (as all he needs is 4+ ball pickup and he's away). The other option is a two or three turn pass play. Hobgoblins can pass quite well with a reroll - its the catching which undoes me. So I send a small platoon of players in case the ball comes loose. If this attracts the attention - run a bit moe with your continget with the ball. If the ball get's the attention, then throw the thing and, worst come to worse (other than the fumble) you can pick up the ball next turn for the score. (after the bobbled catch) Scoring by this method once after scoring on defense will win you the game - so don't try it too often or the other players will think you did it intentionally :)

Progression:

Chaos Dwarf Blockers: Normal rolls (in order of favourites): Guard Mighty Blow Frenzy Piling On Dauntless (but this isn't my kind of game - as discussed in fouling) Stand Firm

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Doubles: Diving Tackle (up to two - great for defense against one turn scorers) Dodge (great on the line of scrimmage and in general play if needing to for a suprise) Jump Up

Wish for: ST+1 Wish against: AG+1

Hobgoblins: Normal rolls (in order of favourites): Sure hands Block one Dirty Player (or maybe two - depending on the league) Pro Kick

Doubles: Dodge Pass Sure Feet

Wish for: AG+1 Wish against: too many 'normal' rolls

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The Horror Rooks II Simplified Roster


(all stats are as normal unless indicated) 2 x Hthark types: 'Abbatoir' Stampede Zag 'mad cow' Beefcake

Chaos Dwarf Blockers: Biggles Icegrag Thorn Smashmouth Brag Wormscar 'Krakenback' Scumbuster 'Pete' Blackrock Kramer Quaffliqueur

Skills Diving Tackle, Mighty Blow

Diving Tackle, Dodge

Dodge, Guard Guard

Hobgoblins: Snaggletooth Devious Scapula Artifice Swastika Oriface Zimmer Boogeyman Bupu Overtime Prestige Fastbreak Gratuitous Violence

Skills Sure Hands, Dirty Player, Magic Helm, Block Block, Dodge

+1 AG, Pass Block, Dodge

5 Rerolls (+ trophy reroll now) Fan Factor 17 1 Apothecary 1 Wizard

160,000 in treasury

Team rating = approximately 216

Notes: We don't use allies or any of the other 'non official' things in our league - and you are only allowed two star players......

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"Who is ZZharg Madeye?"

Zzharg is a starplayer with a 10+ penalyt rating as he has a blunderbuss. Rather than blowing other player's heads off with it though, he only uses it with the ball - which allows you to rocket a ball to anywhere on the field. It's not that great a weapon really, although it has it's uses (can make some interesting plays!_. He is, unfortunately, just as likely to pick the ball up as Hthark (and guess who I'd prefer to have te ball?). He's really just a chaos dwarf you can have on the team over and above the blockers you can buy (6). That's the only use I can see for him - and he has a penalty roll after every kickoff and is peaked! So the only time I'd buy him would be if you can only have one Hthark (see below) and can buy up to four star players (Hthark and Grashnak would be the first two).

Coping with Deviances:

'only one of each Star Player' + 'What about Grashnak?' Buy Grashnak if you can't have any more Htharks. The benefits of Hthark in a ball oriented team are obvious - but Grashnak is still a powerful asset. With Grashnak I would tend to use the blitz with the minotaur to use the Horns 'skill'. I would again refrain from going toe to toe with other big guys (except as a hit & run blitz) as Grashnak does not have block - nor thick skull - making a downed minotaur a liability (and more likely to happen). I'd put Grashnak in the defensive - blitzing anybody who threatened to score rather than on the line of scrimmage - unless the line of scrimmage held no threat and you had the ball.

Allies: Allies are undoubtedly more beneficial than a disadvantage - so if you can afford to lose a reroll occasionally because of them - then invest. I recommend a stronger front line (Chaos Warriors and Black Orc Blockers) and get them block early to bring them into line with the rest of your force's main advantage. Any player with Ball handling skills would be great also - so a DarkElf thrower, Blitzer of lineman if possible (which, IMO, it shouldn't) would be great. A Skaven thrower coula also be an investment - but a gutter runner I'd think over heavily - ST 2 doesn't bode well with the Chaos Dwarves. Just before you go and buy allies left right and centre, make sure you have at least 3 rerolls because te Chaos dwarves use them - and to have their few taken away leaves you in grim pickings indeed.

Big Rookie Guys. The Rookie Bull Centaur is a great player - but with only ST4 and no block makes for slow going with them. I'd recommend it for people who aren't needing the ST6 of Hthark - where ST 4 isn't the norm in the league. I played with two Big Rookie Centaurs in my previous team (which also won it's league) - The Evil Faerytale. I did find that eventually (for the final against the vampire league) I had to sack one and get Hthark. Hthark makes more sense, as many of the skills you consider for the rookie Hthark already has, but it is nice to have players who can use those rumbling touchdowns for progression.

Well - that's it. The complete digest of Chaos Dwarf strategy and Tactics.

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> > May our hats always be the biggest! And our messages to this list (whew!)

> > coach Dirty Harry of Hatclad FC > http://www.csd.uu.se/~ce97hhe/hatclad

=-) Babs.

> //Harald Hedlund > E: harald@erlang.ericsson.se

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The Dark Elf Strategies


By Dan Barnaby Dark Elves have a great advantage over most other teams. They ALL have an agility of 4!! Now this may seem like a weak advantage, but in Blood Bowl, and advantage is a good one.

Example of a starting Dark Elf Team.

These is two example teams I use on a regular basis for Blood Bowl. Dark Elf Example 1 Dark Elf Example 2 7 Line elves 8 Line elves 490,000 560,000 2 Blitzers 2 Blitzers 200,000 200,000 1 Witch Elf 1 Witch Elf 110,000 110,000 1 Minotaur 110,000 1 Reroll 2 Reroll 50,000 100,000 2 Fan Factor 3 Fan Factor 20,000 30,000 TOTAL 1,000,000 TOTAL 1,000,000 Get used to playing with less players then you opponent. It is going to happen and the only way to get all your special players out on the field is going to be at the start of a league. The first thing you want to buy for both teams is an Apothecary! If you have any left over then get more fan factor, then start buying Line Elves as quick as you can!!! With your best Armour being a 8 your ARE going to lose players. What you need to have later in the league is going to be replacement players. If you are playing in a league with Rookie Big Guys then by all means trade off one of your Witch Elves for them!!! You might loss a great scoring component in your game, but at least you will have someone left on the pitch at the end of the match!

The Dark Elf Players (pros and cons) Line Elves: THE best linemen in the game are the Dark Elf linemen!!! They can get the best combo of skills in the game, Block AND Dodge!!! Their low armour value means that they will get smashed once in awhile, so expect that. They have an average movement but they all have an Agility of 4!! This means that if you don't buy a passer at the start of your league, you can make one if he rolls doubles!! Line Elves are good. Skills: Block and then dodge, or Dodge and then Block. Either way you begin advanced your Line Elves they should ALWAYS have these two combinations to begin with. What this does is make it very hard for even the largest of creatures to take them down. Their is only ONE clear "pushed back and knocked down" result on the dice. These two skills make these regular Line Elves, really, really, good! After you have these two skills then it's time to be creative! Dark Elves seem like cheaters, so get a Dirty Player. Guard is great skill, and so is Dauntless, and Pro. Pass Block is great for all those other Elf teams, and Leader is NEVER a bad choice. But if I were to roll doubles, then Mighty Blow is the skill to get. It's hard enough to put the hurt on other teams if your an Elf, when you have the chance to get it, don't pass it up! Blitzers: These fellas are great also. Have you ever wanted a Human Blitzer with an Agility upgrade? Well here he is! He starts off with Block which is nice, but once again, it's the Block/Dodge combo that makes him dangerous! With those two skills it makes him very hard to take down, and he becomes a great ball carrier. Skills:Well after the mandatory Block/Dodge combo where do you go? Want a great ball carrier? How about Sure Hands, Pro, Sprint, Sure Feet, Leap? What about a Linebacker? Try Strip Ball (a GREAT skill), Pro, Pass Block, and maybe even Shadowing. You can make a Blitzer into a sick Blood Bowler! After you get Dodge, then just try what works best for you.

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Throwers: Well, these guys are just Line Elves with the pass skill. Some people don't think that Dark Elves should play the passing game, I disagree. If you buy a Thrower then use him. But the greatest thing about a Thrower is that they can get from the Pass skills. I think you should try to have one. Skills:Well I like to have a thrower on my team, and I usually don't get the Block/Dodge combo for him. Suprising I know, but if he is getting in on the Blocks then I need to rethink my strategies. But then again, if you are playing Dark Elves, there are going to be games when you need a good hitting Thrower. So if you are planning on a defensive Thrower, go for something like Block, Dodge, Strong Arm, Sure Hands and Pro. Now if you want the traditional "Just go long" Throwers then I would suggest Dodge skill first cause you can ALWAYS use a dodge, and then Sure Hands, Strong Arm, Accurate, and Nerves of Steel. Pro is great to if you think you'll need it. Remember, ALL Dark Elves have an agility of 4! Witch Elves: What can ya say about this ladies? I love them. They start off with three skills, putting them in the same class as the Wardancer, or Troll Slayer, but they are not that deadly at all. They have a VERY low armour value, but they have great speed and Jump-up is a nice skill. An Agility of four (like the rest of your team) makes their dodges almost a sure thing, All-in-all, they make great catchers, and in a pinch can move to assist a block where most Blood Bowl players could never make it!!! Skills: Well these ladies make the best Receivers in the great game of Blood Bowl! They already start with a 7 movement, but then they have a Dodge, Jump-up, and Frenzy. The first skill I like to give these ladies is Block! I know it seems like it is redundant but ANYTHING that will keep your players off the ground is a good thing! Especially these ladies cause they are marked targets from the moment they take the pitch! Now after Block, you can make the Witch Elf a very versatile tool in your team. They make great catchers with Catch, Leap, Sure Feet, Sprint. But they also make a good Blitzer type with skills like, Leap, Pro, Strip Ball, Pass Block. If you roll doubles, then get Mighty Blow. It is a great skill that we've already talked about but I warn you now. If you give a Witch Elf Mighty Blow then you are going to get a lot of laughs from the opponent. "All right...my Witch Elf knocks you down, now I am going use my Mighty Blow skill....". See how that sounds? You've got to be tough to play Dark Elves friends!! Minotaurs: If you are playing in a league with Rookie Big guys then at all costs buy a Minatour for your team!!!! In some games I have played, this is the only member of my team still standing!! He's big, he's got horns, and so what if he goes crazy and has to move first? Just make sure that he is closest to the enemy and let him do his thing! The only bad thing about the Minatour is that he does have to move first on your team. One of the last things you should do on your turns is to make sure that he has some support, but never put an Elf in harms way for the Minatour, even if they knock him down, chances are they won't kill him. Skills:First thing...BLOCK!!!! A big guy with out Block is just silly. Now, if you roll doubles....I still say get Block!!! Going first will get this guy in trouble at times, if he has block then he has a better chance of surviving. After that, if you roll doubles take away the negative skill, and then after that, you can think about how to make him a creature of mass destruction! How the troops are placed Defense: The key to playing Dark Elves is in your ability to move! First thing is to remember that you need only place three players up on the line! If you are playing with Rookie Big Guys, then one of them is the Minatour!! The rest are sacrificial lambs that we, as Dark Elf Coaches HOPE will survive! Now, if they have the Block/Dodge combo, I always feel a little better about these two poor fools. But I try to leave at least two people in my own backfield. These guys are going to slow down any ball carriers that come barreling through your line. Push a Witch Elf or something into HIS backfield! This will make him very nervous, and they'll get rid of the ball faster, throwing it either away from his intended target, or into traffic! Either way it's good for you. But also this helps if you mange to get the ball, all of a sudden, you have a man/woman open deep! The slow down tactic is a wonderful thing. By never giving an opposing coach more than one shot a turn at your people you make it take for ever for him to score. Remember, you only get one Blitz a turn, if you keep dodging back ONE square at a time, he'll never make it down field, and he'll have to try something more challenging, and you will dodge into a empty square (out of his tackle zone) on anything but a 1. So try it, it works! Offense: This will vary depending on your playing style. If you like to try and get a Witch Elf open down field then go for it! If you get her 5 hexes into your opponent side of the pitch, then she can score on the very next turn!!! If you think you can hold the opposing team off for a bit, then run your Thrower around in the back field for awhile, hopefully they will go after the ball, and not the Witch Elf streaking down the side line (not bloody likely!). Here's the key in a good Dark Elf play book. ALL Dark Elves have an Agility of 4! That makes them ALL good Throwers, Catchers, and Runners! If your Witch elf can't break free then send a Line elf out into the open. If the Thrower gets nailed, and you get the ball back, then have him toss it! The Run/Hand-off/Run/Pass play or the Hand-off/Run/Pass/Run play are both ways of making your opponent say "Geez! I never knew they could move the ball so fast!" Master those movement combinations and you will be amazed at how fast you can score! Special thanks to Dan Barnaby for allowing me to print these strategies.

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Starting A Dark Elf Team


No matter how many starting funds you have at your disposal, just keep the following in mind : 1) ALWAYS start with a team apothecary : these 50,000 goldpieces will certainly save you a lot of extra costs (replacing dead elves costs small fortunes)! 2 )Start out with a minimum fan factor of 6. You'll need lots of cash and it gives you an edge on the kick-off table : cheering fans, get the ref, throw a rock and PITCH INVASION (a well-timed invasion can cripple your opponent). 3) Don't waste your money on a thrower when you start, he's too expensive and a lineman will do just fine. 4) If your local rules allow you to buy the Dark Elf star player Tuern Redvenom (7/4/4/8) block, dodge, pro, dirty player/175,000) buy him!! With his dirty player/pro combo he can do a lot of damage and he draws away the attention from your witch elves.If you're not allowed to buy Tuern don't waste your money on the other star players: they suck ! You're better off training your own star players. 5) Try to start with at least 2 re-rolls, with Dark Elves you'll definitely need them (trust me). 6) Never start with an elf team in a league full of strenght-based teams.

The Dark Elf Players


Witch Elves: These annoying witches are the most hated Dark Elves on the pitch: so they're marked with a big cross on their foreheads. Their biggest weakness is their AV of 7 : so give them block A.S.A.P. Skills: First skill: BLOCK ! Second skill: dauntless, leap Third skill: pro, strip ball Doubles : mighty blow, stand firm (if you fail your dodge you won't suffer a turnover) Use the Witch Elves to sneak past you opponents defenses (dodge, leap) and go after the guy (throwers, Dwarf runners,.. ) holding the ball, knocking him over or stripping him from the ball while hopefully injuring him in the proces. You also have to use them to get rid of your opponent's scorers (catchers, gutter runners,...) Blitzers:Since they are your quickest players try to shape them into catchers so you can save your Witch Elves to trash up the opponent (women are better at this anyway). Skills: First skill: dodge Second skill: sure feet, leap Third skill: sprint, side step Doubles : stand firm Since AG 4 is rather high you won't need the catch skill (hopefully).Leap just crushes about any defence and has a reasonable chance of success, sprint and sure feet give you that speed edge you need. And the block-dodge combo makes it very hard for your opponent to knock down your (catcher). Throwers: These players are rather expensive so don't purchase them untill you have at least 14 players. Because you can buy two of them it's advisable to develop both an offensive and a defensive thrower. Always start with an offensive thrower. Skills: Offensive First skill: sure feet Second skill: dump-off, accurate Third skill: safe throw Doubles : your pick The offensive thrower must receive the ball and pass it to your blitzers, altough he usually doesn't get involved in fights, the dump-off is particulary usefull against other elf teams who'll use their fastest players to trash the guy holding the ball. Because there won't be many tackle zones around the ball when you receive it you won't need sure hands. Defensive First skill: accurate Second skill: dodge, sure hands Third skill: nerves of steel, (leap) Doubles : your pick This guy's job is to throw the ball forward, usually over big distances, after you've recaptured the ball when your opponent received it. Because the ball will probably be around a lot of tackle zones skills like dodge, sure hands and nerves of steel will come in handy.

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Lineman: The backbone of your team should be trained so they can handle any situation. With an AG 4 they are also very usefull all-rounders. Because of their high AG and reasonable AV they're not just the guys you only put on the field because you need eleven players (like hobgoblins). I advise you to train 3 kinds of linemen. Skills: Big Guy Food First skill: dodge Second skill: block Third skill: side step, jump up Doubles : guard These elves are the few lucky ones that will see BIG star players like Morg'n'Torgh from very close by. They are used to fill that 3-men frontline and probably get beaten to Goblin-food. You'll need at least 3 of them but I recommend a few spare ones because for some crazy reason they seem to be injured a lot. Dirty Players First skill: dirty player (duh !) Second skill: pro Third skill: dodge Doubles : guard You'll want to have at least one of these players on the field : dirty player is the most effective skill to inflict nasty injuries. A dirty lineman is very easy to create because he'll inflict more casualties then an Enlish soccer fan once he has gained dirty player. Furthermore dirty play is a must when you play Dark Elves (because of their evil character) so try to create two of them. Scramblers First skill: block Second skill: diving tackle Third skill: dauntless Doubles : mighty blow, guard These guys are made to f**k up every attempt of your opponent to break, dodge or leap through your defense and even better yet, drive your opponent nuts.

Basic Team strategies


Offensive: When you receive the ball, concentrate your players on one flank (choose the weakest). Make a blitz (don't forget to foul !) there so you can get as many players as possible (3-4) behind the enemy lines. Like this you should be able to create a safe zone where your blitzer is safe from opposing blitzes (stay close to the sideline . On the other flank you'll want to try to get your other blitzer behind his ranks, this one should run a little more to the center of his half : this forces your opponent to mark your men on two different places : you probably won't be surrounded on his next turn if you do this well. Meanwhile your thrower should pick up the ball and take place on a safe central spot on the pitch, and have about two linemen guarding him. If you have done this well you should have 2 blitzers and a couple of other players in about 7-8 squares from the end zone. On your second turn choose the flank which is the weakest defended pass the ball there, once again blitz a hole in his defence (if necesary) and run towards a second-turn touchdown. Some things should be noted : 1.) Especially against hard-hitting teams try to delay scoring as long as possible : if you score on turn two they're going to take the rest of the half to beat you to pulp and score in the last turn. 2.) If you don't have a trower give the ball on turn 1 to your protected blitzer : on turn two you can still run and pass to the other flank if necesary. 3.) Remember : anyone on your team is agile and fast enough to score, it doesn't have to be a blitzer to score a TD

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Defensive: Put no more than 3 players on the first row, they'll get wasted anyway. Put on both flanks 1 blitzer and 1 witch elf 1-2 squares away from the scrimmage and not too close to the sideline. Try to get the witch elves and blitzers behind the opposing lines and sack the ball carrier. At the end of your turn dodge your players away from opposing players : this way he'll only be able to get to one of your players. If your opponent gets the ball perfectly protected (da cage, da bag or as we Belgians call it : da tank) try the following things : 1.)Get your blitzers and witch elves back in defence : you'll need some elf power between the ball and the end zone. 2.)Place the least usefull lineman about 6-7 squares from the end zone : he'll take care of the counter-attack, if you recapture the ball just throw it as far as possible to the opposing end zone. 3.)Every turn blitz on a weak corner of his defence and foul him to hell. 4.)Don't be tempted to get involved in an all-out brawl. 5.)Remember : elf tactics is all about holding and recapturing the ball. However if you play against teams with similar offensive tactics as you, keep the witch elves and some linemen in deep defence to frenzy those annoying war dancers, catchers and gutter runners of the pitch. General: Don't waste your time on trying kill the biggest and meanest thing on the pitch: you're better of trying to injure your opponent's scorers : these players are a lot easier to injure and without them your opponent will be in trouble. If the ball is in a lot of opposing TZs enter the square but don't pick it up : with some luck it will bounce to a better square to pick it up (you won't suffer a turnover). This one isn't so important but it's a code of honour all Dark Elf coaches should uphold : play mean, dirty and ruthless. Foul every turn if possible, don't be mister nice guy : go ahead and play that peaked card on his Ogre rookie (unless he decides to give his winnings to you of course) ! If you lose a match kill one of your assistent coaches : it was his fault we lost and Khaine demands some sacrifices ! ! Finally a list of how you should organize your turn (be flexible with this), in order of importance : 1.) Set up a good combo that will most likely allow you to score on your next turn. 2.) FOUL 3.) Knock down the opposing ball carrier 4.) Score 5.) Dodge away from your opponents 6.) Those who couldn't get away throw if possible one-on-one blocks. If you have no dirty player or no re-rolls the foul comes a bit later on the list.

Special thanks to Gert Corthout for allowing me to print the strategies.

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Milo Sharps Guide


The Dark Elven Blood Bowl game is balanced in speed and ball handling. With good coaching, they can become excellent players and compensate for their lack of strength and star players. Dark Elf Positions
Qty 0-2 0-2 0-2 0-12 Position Witch Elves Blitzer Passer Lineman MA 7 7 6 6 ST 3 3 3 3 AG 4 4 4 4 AV 7 8 8 8 Skills Dodge, Frenzy, Jump Up Block Pass Cost 110,000 100,000 90,000 70,000 Skill Categories General, Agility General, Agility General, Agility, Passing General, Agility

Re-roll cost: 50,000gcs Advantages Like their racial counterparts, Dark Elven agility is the anchor of the team. It establishes them as a passing threat and locks them as a ball movement capable team. Playing against a hurt elven team with only six or seven players is still daunting because of their ability to scoop the ball, dodge through the defense and score so easily. Gratuitous passing has become a hallmark of Elven team development. When a player is one or two SPP's from their next skill and there's a reroll nearby, a quick pass is a low risk way of generating player points. They have good speed and can line up even with most races. Whole team access to Agility Skills makes the roster even more dangerous. All players can choose Dodge, Sidestep and Diving Tackle making even basic linemen difficult to knock down, push around or even approach. Witch Elves are one of the most dominating basic roster players on the board. The AG4, Dodge and Jump Up make them a tremendous scoring threat. Coming with Frenzy straight away makes them dangerous to opponents that haven't learned to give them the sidelines. I use Witch Elves as the teeth of the team and the other players as support. String out the assists for a Witch Elf Frenzy run first then take the opposing player for the ride. Be careful not to let them get out on their own. A string of one-die blocks will end the Witch's blocking run fast. Skills come quickly to Witch Elves because of their ability to receive a pass and convert it to a TD so easily. Block, Sidestep and Pro or Dauntless would be the first three of choice in order. On a Doubles roll, choose Mighty Blow. The Dark Elf Blitzers are fast but aren't the game's greatest, featuring Agility skills rather than Strength. Use that to their advantage, giving them Leap and Dodge so they can get to ball carrier and Strip Ball to knock it free. On defense, put blitzers in position to react to the ball movement. Dark Elven Passers are outstanding. Starting with AG4 gives them the accuracy of more experienced passers without a single SPP. Building them with Accurate, Strong Arm and Sure Hands makes for a great air attack. Building one with Dump-Off, Nerves of Steel and Dodge is a way to set up a good ground game. Ringing him with Diving Tacklers works well also. Dark Elf Linemen are without question the best line in the game. Decent speed, strength and armor make them solid players. The addition of AG4 and Agility skills make them elusive targets makes each a scoring threat. I give Dodge then Block to three linemen at a minimum just to add longevity to the front line. After that, a good spice skill like Tackle or Dauntless. Side Step is another good third skill. There's nothing more annoying than a front line you can't knock down with two die blocks and that moves into or past your front line after being pushed around. Off the LoS linemen should be given Dodge first, then block. With Dodge, they have a better chance of surviving an attach, can get away from an attacker once he's next to them and go in for the score easier after making a catch. I develop linemen by putting them on catching duty for a game or two and feeding them touchdowns until they have two skills.

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Disadvantages The largest disadvantage facing Dark Elves is their lack of strength. They have no strength skills, no strength access on the roster, no big guys and no powerful star players. Dark Elves typically follow the rest of the pack in Casualties. Plenty of scoring potential and the ability to bob and weave but no punch. They need to make up for their lack of Strength skills (Mighty Blow, Guard, Piling On) with some method of inflicting punishment. The most prevalent alternative Dark Elf coaches have used has been fouling. Dark Elves have become known for their fouling -- not because their coaches are any meaner or nastier -- but because they don't have another option for dealing with the team attrition. The second largest problem faced by all elves is known as OatOa - One and then One again. Elven coaches get accustomed to their players dodging out of tackle zones without difficulty and sometimes take for granted the possibility of failing the reroll. It's important to minimize even low risk moves. Suggested Tactics On defense, put two linemen in his backfield early, compelling him to deal with the linemen or move the ball from a position of safety quickly. His cages will now need backs, you will have receivers to help capitalize on bobbled balls and the pressure will be on to keep the ball covered up. Forcing the play on his half of the pitch is another good possible outcome. Elves are adept at taking a ball on the pitch and converting it into a touchdown in the same turn. Make sure you have a safe place to hold the ball -- the opponent's endzone -- by putting a player in scoring position even on defense. If possible, make sure your players don't end their movement in contact with opponents. Keeping your team alive might include dodging players one square away from opposing players and relying on the one blitz maximum to limit the amount of punishment your team endures. If your opponent is undermanned or under-strengthed, move in and keep contact. Make sure one opposing player is on his back each turn to receive a boot to the head. From the opponent's endzone, count backward six squares. Mark that line in your mind as the Red Zone -- the place from which your players can score. When you receive, move players you want to develop into the red zone on turn one. If you only use one player, they'll get knocked over for sure. Use three instead. They'll be able to knock over one, put tackle zones on the rest but it will take five or more players away from the LoS if they want to do it right. Get good at the Run-Pass-Run-Handoff-Run-Score routine. It's something elven teams do well. It will go nicely with the next tactic. The Relay: Before picking up the ball, move a Witch Elf or a Blitzer with Dodge to midfield, behind the line of scrimmage, as the relay player. In the next turn, move your ball carrier up, quick pass to the relay player and have the relay player run and dodge to a point where the ball can be handed to the receiver. Rather than hand off to a receiver that's in a tackle zone or two, position the relay player in the path of the receiver as the receiver is moving to the endzone. If you can, use a blitzer to move one of the tackle zones off the receiver to clear his dodge path. The pass-handoff-score allows you to chose which players will be getting the TD (which aids team development), is safer and more accurate than longer passes and also prevents most interceptions. For cards, choose a Magic Item each time. The Magic Items will help keep your team intact, featuring Healing Scrolls, Magic Helms and Magic Sponges. Take Random Events until you have a full roster and Dirty Tricks from there on out.

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Team Development Good team development rules apply: Get a kicker early to force the play deep in his end of the pitch. Give that kicker the Diving Tackle skill to keep opposing coaches honest about targeting him. (He'll still be targeted but the coach will need to put some effort into it.) The Dark Elves don't have catchers. With their high agility, that's actually a good thing. It forces you to use others to catch and those others will get the TD SPP's rather than a corps of catchers. Be the first coach in the league with a Dirty Player. Use him judiciously to take down opposing threats rather than booting any linemen and happens to be down. Protect your DP to make sure he's not KO'd or worse, leaving you with plenty of bob and weave but no punch. The game turns bad when it revolves around fouling but it's not wise to expect your opponent to be "gentlemanly" if he shows up with four guards and eight players with Mighty Blow. Put Diving Tackle on your DP early and then Pro. They'll get plenty of experience in short periods so make sure you have a retirement plan for over achieving (read "bloated") Dirty Players. Tailor your skills to your league. Bring in Tackle for faster leagues and Dauntless for bruising groups. Don't put these skills on the same player. You'll begin to depend on him and will be lost when he's SI'd. With Doubles, choose Guard and Mighty Blow. After AG increases, choose Leap and Strip Ball. For long-term development, elven teams that thrive are the ones that survive. If they can keep from getting pounded, they will be scoring threats and consequently game winners. Dark Elves have a decent AV but it will get chewed up against a team with mighty blow and strength. Putting defensive skills on players and limiting the damage you take is very important. Look for Dodge early, perhaps even before Block. Not only will it help you stay upright during blocks, it also increases your ability to successfully avoid your opponent's tackle zones. Remember -- he can only knock you down once per turn if you end your turn with all of your players outside of his tackle zones. The start up team I'd choose depends on the maturity of the league. In a fresh league, I'd choose an Apothecary, a 2 rerolls, an 8 fan factor and 11 line elves. It's not skill heavy but with AG4, you can afford some gutsy die rolling in the first few games while your fan factor makes some money to afford the pricey players. With a mature league, I'd start with an Apothecary, 1 reroll, a 4 fan factor, a Passer and 11 line elves. You can rely on the mature teams to boost the gate but will need an extra player to deal with the brutality. Never Apothecary a Badly Hurt or a pre-game Niggling injury. Never. Think twice before immediately healing a Serious Injury too. More times that not, a player getting seriously injured will only miss the next game. Chose carefully the players you'll apothecary for an SI. Save your apothecary for the Turn 8, second half death of your prized witch elf. It's not a question of whether it will happen. It's only a question of how bad you'll kick yourself for losing the killed player. Famous Dark Elf Teams The Darkside Cowboys The Naggaroth Nightmares

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Dark Elf Tactics


by Sigurd G

INTRODUCTION Overall, the Dark Elves start out as a fairly lowpowered team. Their movement is generally insignifficant, but not to scoff at either. Their AV of 8 allows the to get stuck in and survive a few punches. They lack high-speed catchers, and they are not going to win any fist-fights. PLAYERS Blitzers. Did you ever want a Human blitzer with an AG upgrade? Well, here it is. Only you can't take ST skills, but have to endure the G-selection. Which in the end is not a great loss. The Blitzers are fast and dependable, but expensive. Witchelves. Definite catcher potential despite the Frenzy. Jump Up and Dodge gives the Witchelf a maneuverability that compensates for her lack of pure speed. MA 7 is not bad, but it still means that a witch elf must get 4 squares into the opponenets half in order to score any 2-turn TD's. The ST of 3 makes her more dependable, but the AV of 7 really sucks. Then again, you cannot have it all. Throwers. These guys are claimed to be extremely over-pirced compared to humans and High Elves. But never mind that. In the long run, an extra 10k isn't too much of a hassle. It would be recomendable to buy this fellow for starters, allthough, as some claims, any Lineelf is equally good at 20k less. Lineelves. Elf linemen are definetly the best you can get. Good AV, Good ST, Good MA and superb AG. These guys you can rely on. TACTICS As with the High Elves (refering to a previous posting), beat away the opposition by concentrating your attack against one of the enemy flanks, and secure a foothold deep(ish) inside enemy territory, so that some of your players can reach the endzone next turn. Ensure that at least one is unreacheable by opposing players, so you can avoid tackle zones on your player. Also make sure that the opposition only gets to throw one block (his blitz) by staying out of the way. Meanwhile get the ball, and move it into your back-field. Place your thrower out of blitz-range. Possibly pick up the ball with a Lineelf to give him a comp... To score, blitz and block an opening for your reciever. Run your thrower forward and toss the ball. Here I would advise you to score with a lineelf if no Blitzers or Witchelves are less diffiult positions. A Lineelf with Block and Dodge is a true pain, but you'll love him dearly. On defense, you have greater problems. The dark-elf curse will make things even worse than if you had been playing dwarfs... Your Witch-elves should be deployed about midfield, within reach of the sidelines. Blitz any lone catchers of the field. The rest should attempt to keep out of the way of the opposition, so that as few as possible will get pulped. Always hit back at a favourable 2-die block situation. Breaking the cage will require either the leap-skill or a really lucky dodge. A rerolled 5+ dodge is a 56% chance of success, but not something one would relish doing.

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SKILLS Blitzers. Dodge is cool for the first skill. Barring doubles and Stats, get Pro and Leap to go. I've had a total of 5 Blitzers, of wich three earned a AG upgrade as their first skill roll. Give these leap, and go score with them. Again Pro is a divine skill. Don't bother with catch (you *are* buying more rerolls, right?). Movement is not that useful but Strength wil make you happier. On the roll of a double, I'd recomend the skills Mighty Blow and Guard. Throwers. Did you roll any doubles on thes guys? TOO BAD: Ignore them and get the following skills: Sure Hands, Accurate (or Strong Arm, akes no difference) and Safe Throw (My personal grudge. Lets not go into it.) Or you could attempt some other approach. If you gain a point of MA (as I did) get Accurate, Dodge, Sure feet etc. Make your thrower fast and mobile rather than a show off with long-ranged throws (wich will fail and leave you gutted). If you can move fast enough, you will not need to throw those long bombs... Witchelves. Did I hear "Block?" So absolutely true. Block gives you a player with Wardancer potential. Having three skills allready puts the lady in league with the Troll Slayer and the Wardancer. These babes have somewhere to go!Secondary skills number sidestep, leap and the speed skills. Again pro is whipered in dark corners, and it should be noted as well. A double? Definetly Mighty Blow. I've never been a fan of Stand Firm, but if you feel sick, give yor lady Sidestep and Stand Firm. Just to show off how many SPPs you can burn... Lineelves. Block or Dirty Player. Then Pro, Dodge or Pass Block. Basically, though, I might go for a few player with dodge at first. Getting them out of tackle-zones and allowing them to gang up on the oppoition is beoynd question true power. The maneuverability a lineelf gains from dodge makes Guard almost unnescessary. On doubles, get guard to toughen up the line of scrimmage. I haven't mentioned getting Catch on any players. This is because I do not like the idea of having a player with such a clear role on the game. It is allways too easy to build up your strategy around a few key players, and then have hell to pay when they end up in the injury box. That is allso why I continually rant about trying really hard to gain skills with Lineman types. Never underestimate the lineman. He is tough, fearless and utterly devoted to any task you assign him. With dark-elves I have also expressed the need for maneuverability, in contrast to that of speed. Unless one of your hotshot Witchelves or Blitzers get an MA increase, your Team is basically void of fast catchers. The difference between 7 and 8 MA is huge. Your thrower will need Safe Pass, as he will be forced to throw the ball into the thick of the action more than once.

THE DARK ELF CURSE It is a common experience among the Dark Elf coaches of the Old World that playing the odds with a Dark Elf Team just wont cut it. Logics, Probability Calculations and Statistic analysis are all exercises in futility. All because of the Dark Elf Curse. Those who do not Coach Dark Elves laughingly call it "ONE, and ONE again!". To avoid it, simply remind yourself in each game: A 2+ roll will fail 25% of the time, and 50% of the time if the ball is involved at some stage. Then build your strategy around this. Ensure that when you have failed, the Opposition will have some trouble taking advantage of the situation. However, once you are down on you're bum, you will find that the impossible is possible. Others will agree to this I am sure. [Leaves to recall the fond memories of the (late Jeremiah Unbelievers' Blitzer's one-man stand against eleven enraged Undead. Being out-numbered eleven to one, he still managed to score after kicking to the undead.] Happy Blood Bowling

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Why so many linemen?


> KidNefaria wrote: > starting with a lineup like this is short-changing > > yourself. i know you're Kid Knowledge and you have a real successful team and > > all that good stuff, but why should you build up all these linemen and then > > have to concentrate on your position players later? With position players > > you'll have a better chance of winning your opening matches, and they'll gain > > skills earlier. Having a low FF is bad, but i think having a low talent team > > is worse. I mean, i've never coached HE's, but i have done DE's and i think > > the same principles apply. Start with as many position players as possible, a > > low FF and 1 reroll, get your apothecary later, they're still 50k. Just my > > opinion, i guess, i wonder why its different from everyone else's. >> > > nef OK, he did ask "why". And why indeed? Why would anyone in his right mind want to start a team consisting entirely of Linemen (There is that one blitzer of course, but...) Here is why: You can have up to 2 throwers, 2 catchers (or was that 4?) and 2 blitzers on your High Elf team. This is 6 out of 16 players. Which leaves a demand for 10 linemen. Your position players, even new ones, will have no problem advancing. Any Lion warrior can run fast and catch the ball. Any Dragon Warrior can do largely the same while kicking butt in a reasonable fashion. A new Phoenix warrior just has to lob the ball a few times. By starting with so many linemen you are bound to get some SPPS on them. You will have to rely on them for scoring, passing and fighting. And they *will* get better at it. With the MVPs and occasional casualty, TD and pass, your linemen will improve over time. In the long run, you buy new specialised players, but by that time, your linemen have got their Block, Dodge, Diving Tackle, skill vital to the well-being of your team. Your SPPS will be more or less evenly distributed among your players, which is desirable. Having two skills on twelve players (~150 SPPs) is better than having four skills on two. Sigurd.

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Dark Elven Tactics

or Cunning, Conniving and Cruelty to get the Blood Bowl Trophy


So you're interested in our secrets eh? Well, come and meet a nice female dark elf I know. She's just dying to meet you. In all seriousness, Dark elves aren't the easiest team to play. Some days they have the habit of just dying by 'the sword'. In Blood Bowl, the sword is the block dice and the die 6 you roll. Dark elves live by the sword more than most teams. And if you live by the sword, you die by the sword - as the saying goes. That being said the dark elves are a lot of fun. They are stubborn and cruel enough to hit some teams hard. They won't last long in a big brawl, but they'll make casualties as fast as a lot of teams. They also have enough skill and speed to race the fastest of the Blood Bowl teams. But don't get the idea that they're the perfect team. Long term, you're in for a fight - and will have to use more than your stat line to win a game. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Let's look at the team makeup: 2 Witch Elves 2 Blitzers 2 Throwers linelves That's your maxed out team. Sure you may get other types available - but let's look at the opposition. 4 Black Orcs 4 Blitzers 2 Throwers Lineorcs

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You can see that in a blow by blow situation - the elves lost out by four players. Not to mention the differential of armour value. So how do you start? Well, by comparing the linelves with the linorcs. Sure they cost more - but lineorcs normally do one of very few things. Elves on the other hand have a whole range of useful tricks up their sleeve. So to start the linelves are the key. Huh? You might well ask. Well, elves as you know aren't cheap. So the best way to start is figure out what's essential, what's very nice and what's icing on the cake. I'll tell you rerolls are on the essential list. You may not think so - but with them coasting double later, that puts them right up there. Fan factor (not being able to be purchased at any other time) is also essential. Four Fan factor normally pays itself off within 4 matches - and afterward is only making money for you. An apoth is also on my essential list. You may differ here and buy one after one match - but I know so many woe stories about doing it that way that I don't. So that leaves us something like: 1 Blitzer 1 Witch elf 1 thrower 8 linelves 1 apoth 2 rerolls 8 Fan factor Now this is very flexible. The blitzer and witch elf are simply niceties. You could dich one or both of them. The thrower I'd leave in , not really as an essential item, but simply that you want to be gettting your thrower Star Player Points from day one. Get sure hands first for the guy - they don't come with it. Whatever you do for the startup, don't go for this: 2 blitzers 2 witch elves 1 thrower 6 linelves apoth 2 FF No rerolls will get you _killed_. No apoth with all those position players is also a no no. Believe me I've started this way before. More than once. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Development: Obviously purchasing your other blitzer and witch elf are the key to the max out. The Random Event That Boy's Got Talent or Special Offer will appease the 100k+ price tag considerably - so take at least one RE each match. A wizard will also go a long way to helping out your defense. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Play This is where the real cunning lies as if you get it right you win games (dice barring) and if you don't you lose. You can start a dark elf team _any_ way - but playing a dark elf team is the key. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Offense: When you have the ball, keep it. That's a large part of it. There are two ways to make sure you keep the ball. 1. Keep it out of range of a blitz. 2. Keep it very well protected. The second method is more risky. You need to tie up other players tacklezones too so that they can't get to you. This way of play normally results in your players being toast if you do this for long. So the key is to only do it for a turn or two at the most. I might make an exception if you were playing an all halfling team, or a team which you outnumbered by more than one player on the pitch. So obviously when these two things are being put into play this doesn't leave you with much room to move does it? Well it does - just make sure that at the end of each turn that the ball is in one of these two situations. You can protect the ball carrier simply with one man if you have plenty of players tying up all the other players nearby - if you're not playing an elven team or a team with lots of AG4 (the dodge to get free). When playing a team - always play to their weakness. There will be some teams faster and better at throwing than you. Don't fight them for that title as they'll whip you at it. Run the ball instead and beat up their key players so then you can whip them at their own game. Remember with a couple of blitzers moving the ball (move handoff move) you can shift the ball 18 squares along the board without having the ball in the air for a single moment. That's a pretty darn fast run! Also try to make sure one of your players can get to the endzone if the ball comes loose ever. The opposition may pick on that player if they're alone - so send a team of two if you can afford the players. They'll learn to hate these players quickly - so make sure they aren't sitting ducks. I often get block/dodge/diving tackle on my players who do this job - it makes them last a lot longer. Also don't forget your linelves are as capable with the ball as anyone else. Don't be afraid to use them. It will keep the opposition guessing. Some points to remember: Keep the defense guessing as to what you're doing. Send your catcher types up, then pass to a blitzer near the line of scrimmage on the other side of the board the following turn. After the blitzer streaks away - there'll be noone to catch him. Then next offense run the ball if you can . Then actually use your catchers. Have some trick plays up your sleeve. Remember the wizard. If the opposition has one - guarantee a lightning bolt as you're strutting in for the score. Keep a pal closeby for the recovery until the annoying git's used (the wiz). Play a more closed game (with pals nearby the ball carrier).

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Keep spare players near the points of most risk (like a handoff pr a pass). A reroll saved for such occasions will also help. That way if you screw up royally then you at least have players exerting tacklezones on the ball. Do the key things first. Don't leave moving players (or standing up players) having done no action unless you need them later. The number of times I've forgotten this and regretted it later doesn't bear remembering. Take out any one turn scorers - target your heavy hitters on their scoring threats (normally a catcher, runner or passer). (see defense) Obviously, this is just some tips. Try to make sure that if the next roll fails, then you'll still have a good shot at being the playmaker. Also - a lot of my strategies rely on the maneuverability of my players. Dodge on a lot of guys sure helps. Just makes dwarf teams a pain to play (with all that tackle) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Defense Defense is a little harder. Remember that your opposition is going to hit you first. I almost always put only three on the line on defense. If you like - space them out one space each then it takes more effort by the opposition to hit them down. I have guard on my current dark elves - so I don't. The key as I see it is to force an error. Play against their technique to score. If they are a cage making team, don't get sucked into a beat up brawl. You'll lose. Instead pick a couple of players each turn and tie them up or hit them down , and slowly erode the cage. Dodge who you can back a square or two they can only hit with the blitz, and wait for your opportunity at the ball carrier (who is the key to defense). Keep a sledghammer handy - like a player with tackle if the player with the ball has dodge - or a player with dauntless and a player with guard if the player with the ball as more than ST 3 If they are like you on offense - that is sends a couple of guys for the end zone - don't waste much time taking out the symptoms - Deal with the cause - namely you don't have the ball. Sure I'd put tacklezones on the guy and hit any I could. Keep most of your players back to stop them strutting for the score. send a couple of players after the ball carriers. If you can keep the scorers out for one turn - your real threat (the guys headed deep) can smash that ball carrier. Then get that ball and strut for the score! Of course - it helps to cover your bases -and defense isn't very easy. It takes practice learning the best way to take down the traditional ways of scoring. If you're not too experienced - get a wizard early and use that if theings get a little out of hand. Remember to use the Wizard's Lightning bolt where you can retrieve the ball when it pops loose. Keep the same mentality on offense as defense. While making life hard for the offense you want to be in a position that when the ball is loose and it's your turn - it's score time for you. This requires a player in scoring range at all times - but I double up - and my thrower sackers end up being my scoring threats. Also remember not to send too many players back deep. After all the opposition won't care if you send the whole team back there - they'll just strut into your end zone. I've made the mistake of sending too many players after the ball carrier more than once. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Skills Diversify. I'm not going to go into each player and skills to get - but I recommend dodge before block. It's just more useful for the way I play. Every Joe in town gets block. Be above that. Get block second. Dodge allows everyone to be a scoring threat. 3 SPP's for a TD allow a player to be a lot closer to their second (and third, and fourth etc.) skill. Diving Tackle is also a very potent skill - and elves don't need doubles for it. Lack of strength means dauntless is a useful skill too.

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Customise your skills to your individual playing style. Mighty Blow on doubles works for some. Piling on I love for my Witch elves (works great with Frenzy). Guard is another skill useful for countering the lack of strength players on double rolls. Catch is just something I don't use. You might. No hard and fast rules here. You might come upon a combination that works great for you - but then again I have a few I like. Making your witch elves hard hitting scorers is a no brainer. The old 'frenzy out of bounds' trick works well with them . Maximise their capabilities. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Other things There are a great deal of rules to supplement the basics. Big Guy Rookies, Star Players, allies etc. I'm not going to cover all this. However the things to remember are: Don't underestimate the power of elimianting key players for the opposition. The Assasin does this just fine. So does a well placed boot to the head. Strength is a major weakness - if you can boost your strength then do so with allies, or rookie big guys etc. Do it any way you can. Any penalty is likely to be offset by the advantage you gain. Don't necessarily put them on the line - they're much more valuable as blitzer types and scabs on the butts of those players you want to remove. Don't go for something you already have lots of. Agility is _your_ department. So is speed. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Well, time to fly. Hope this little chat helps you to win - at least on the scoreboard. I'm often happy to make the loss on the casualty count by several if I win the scoreboard by several. You might be the other way around. Make sure you do at least one of the two :) And after all - a casualty count 5-3 against me isn't too bad punishment to dish out (my last match) when you walk away with the win. =-) Babs.

103

The Dark Elf Bible


By Vorstav Vaul Including the distilled wisdom of Arlith Blacknife [AB] An a-z of how to run your Dark Elves well in the short and long term
Dark Elves are a tough first team to play, because they don't do any one thing really well. They are competent at the running game, useful at the passing game (but have no lightening fast catchers), and can hold their own with hitting (but they don't have anyone with ST skill access). So how do you play this bunch of 'all things to all people'. There are a few pointers which really should be of relevance to any coach intending to field elves. These are as follows. Elf Hints Do NOT start a Elf team if you are the only 'finesse' team in the league. It will not work in the long run. Choose your opponents carefully. Avoid playing 2+ games, back to back against a 'power' team. Get a high FF. Elves cost alot. You will need the money. Take many Random Events as they are the best money cards in the game. Avoid the Elven Star Players. You can develop your own better players. You have the best linemen in the game. Use them as such. Give some of your scorers Leap. You will need an aerial brigade, to force you opponents strategy off balance. Not all the teams have access to this ability. You don't need a hole in the line, and AG 4 makes it likely to succeed. Get alot of Re-rolls when you can. Learn the Move/Pass/Move/Hand off/Score routine. (Or Move/Hand Off/Move/Pass/Score). All your players are just as good as most teams throwers and catchers naturally. AG 4. Love it, Use it. [AG 4 is slightly less successful than AG 3 with Pass. The difference is all in the head - some Coaches prefer the safety net of the skill reroll. -AB] All your players can get Block and Dodge. This is a powerful tool because although many teams can get either, few can get both. The Players The Dark Elves are a low powered team. Their movement is insignificant. Their AV of 8 allows them to get stuck in and survive a few fights. They lack high-speed catchers, and they are not going to win any long protracted engagements. Witch Elf. She is definite catcher potential despite the Frenzy. Jump Up and Dodge gives her a maneuverability that compensates for her lack of pure speed. MA 7 is not bad, but it still means that a Witch Elf must get 4 squares into the opponents half, in order to score any 2-turn TD's. The ST of 3 makes her more dependable, but the AV of 7 really sucks. [AV 7 is always a sore point with any team. (Just ask any Wood Elf or Skaven Coach.) Block is a great first skill for the Witch Elf as it allows the Coach to release her fury without too much worry. -AB] Blitzer. Did you ever want a Human blitzer with an AG upgrade? Well, here he is. Only he can't take ST skills, but has to endure the AG-selection. Which in the end, is not a great loss. Thrower. These guys are over-priced compared to Humans and High Elves. In the long run, an extra 10k isn't too much of a hassle. It would be nice to be able to buy this fellow for starters, although any Lineman is equally good at 20k less. Lineman. Get as many players as you can ASAP. A full roster is a necessity. A lot of people turn their noses up at the sight of linemen, but a lineman on the field is at least there. If you hold out for the expensive players, you're going to be fielding 8-10 players at half-time and then things will get real ugly.

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Tactics
General Try your safe (no dice required) moves first, then you do your main play, then dodge your team one square away from any opponents [Safe moves first is a great tactic for any Coach no matter the team. -AB] Offence Basically it should take two turns to score. Beat a hole in the opposition line by concentrating your attack against one of the enemy flanks, and secure a foothold deep(ish) inside enemy territory, so that some of your players can reach the endzone, next turn. Ensure that at least one is unreachable by opposing players, so you can avoid tacklezones on this player. Also make sure that the opposition only gets to throw one block (his blitz) by staying out of the way. The main benefit with this tactic is that your opponent gets only one Blitz, so he has to choose between trying to stop one of the scorers, or going after more important players (i.e. Witch Elf). Usually opposing coaches can't help but try to stop a scorer. With a handful waiting at least one will be safe. This means that they can only bring down one Elf in their turn (and then foul...) using a Blitz - and it's going to be one of the few that broke through. Meanwhile get the ball, and move it into your back-field. Place your thrower out of blitz-range. To score, blitz and block an opening for your receiver. Run your thrower forward, from the deep position, and toss the ball. Always make your pass as short as possible, or you WILL fail, losing the ball in the process. [I find my Throwers incapable of making 4+ passes. Give them a 5+ or a 3+ and they'll make it without breaking out the Pass reroll. Remember, if you roll a '1' on the first dice, the Blood Bowl fate means you'll roll a '1' on the reroll! -AB] Score with a Lineman, if your Blitzers or Witch Elves are in difficult positions. [A score with your Lineman assures your team SPP's. A handoff to a Blitzer assures a burned reroll and a scattered ball! -AB] Defence The basic strategy should be to hassle the opposition ball-carrier in his backfield, before he has time to get the support or an offense moving forward. With AG 4, Elves can successfully leap on a 3+, so sending them over the top is an effective tactic. Get one into the backfield, blitz the ball carrier, and grab the ball. In Summary Bottle them up. Try and keep your opponent to a narrow frontage. If they're doing The Cage, great. Let them. If they are all in a group then your defense can be deeper not spread out across the field. Fall back. Set your defense up with 1-2 spaces between them. Have at least two layers of defense. This way if they do break through and cream one or two Linemen (hopefully requiring the use of their blitz), then they will still have to do some dodges to score. Don't get in a clench. If you end the turn with any one player in base to base contact with a "meat grinder" type dude, you're asking for it. This means that you can usually only have 1-2 players per turn that are targeted for destruction and with some luck you can keep them alive. Specific Tactics ' Da Cage ' There are two options open, to an elven coach in this predicament. The first is a contact punch-up and the second is to use the clock and control it's pace. [Guess which one is favoured by Elven teams! Another tactic is to let the other team score after 5 turns, allowing you 3 turns to secure a reply. -AB] Dodge your elves 2 squares from the cage each turn forcing only 1 blitz and slowing the cage to a small amount of movement every turn. He can't advance faster than 1 square a turn (marching by follow-ups). An aggressive style of play may force him to expose the ball-carrier, and then you can dodge in, give him some taste of fine Elven boot-leather and grab the bouncing thing (the ball!).

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' Your equals ' Against weak teams, pummel him into the ground, and make sure you can block as many as possible each round. AV 7 spells disaster in a lengthy fist-fight. A Witch Elf has a good chance of getting the creepy bastards out of the game. A Big Guy? Well, a Blitzer might do well to throw even a 2 Die block against him, as long as there is a re-roll around. Just remember to foul the ugly fella. [Dark Elf teams love to foul, it's in their very nature to follow that path. Just remember that you shouldn't foul if it could mean that you play with less than 11 players at the next kickoff. -AB] If you get your Elven offence in scoring mode, and all you need is one defensive score to basically give you the game. Its important to point out that this strategy is only of limited success. In a perfect world this works well. On the Blood Bowl field be prepared to think fast. Skill Development Witch Elf. These two girls are going to be your most skilled players and much will rely on how they perform. The jobs that you should keep in mind for them are; cornerback and wide receiver/speed queen. Block is their first skill. It gives you offensive power and a measure of defensive safety. Having three skills already puts the lady in league with the Troll Slayer and the Wardancer. The only thing preventing you from this course of action is a stat change. If you gain MA, then follow the Block, Sprint, Pro, Sidestep route. If you gain ST, then try Block, Pass Block, Strip Ball, Shadowing. If you get AG, then Block, Leap, Sure Feet, Nerves of Steel gets you've got a catcher. If you don't get stats increases, go for a mix of the above, e.g. Block, Pro, Sprint, Strip Ball. And on a roll of doubles? Definitely Mighty Blow! If you get a second pair, then perhaps Stand Firm will interest you. If you feel sick, give your lady Sidestep and Stand Firm. Just to show off how many SPPs you can burn... Blitzer. Blitzers enable the rest of the team to perform. They are Linebackers and Running Backs. Dodge is the best, first skill. Barring doubles and Stats, get Pro and Leap to go. If you gain MA, then get the Sprint, Sure Feet combo... If you gain ST, then try Pro, Tackle and hope for doubles. If you get AG, then get Leap and Pro as above. Skills like Sure Hands, Diving Tackle are good. On the roll of a double, I'd recommend Mighty Blow again. This isn't me being one dimensional, rather it is the best use for them. Thrower. Make your thrower fast and mobile rather than a show off with long-ranged throws (This is a High Elf/Wood Elf trait that you should not follow). If you can move fast enough, you will not need to throw those long bombs... Start with Accurate and Sure Hands to have a reliable ball carrier, then get Sure Feet and Safe Throw. As he develops, buy another and make him a defensive thrower. Block, Dodge, Sure Hands and Dump Off, if you make it to a fourth roll. If strip-ball-itis hasn't set in, you can exchange Sure Hands for Pro, just to expand his repertoire. This will give you a good way of exploiting turnovers without being a defensive liability. You can just see him scoring by the old QB sneak...

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Lineman. The key to dark elf development is to not make carbon copy players. I do not like the idea of having a players with obvious roles in a team, but the players must be tailored to specific jobs. Start a few of them with Dodge. Their next skills are Block followed by Sidestep. Then spread Dirty Player, Pass Block and Diving Tackle amongst them. If you roll doubles, use it to get Guard. Give the rest the Block skill, barring doubles or stat increases. If you gain MA, then make a Block, Tackle, Shadow guy. If you gain ST, then get Block, Diving Tackle and Pro. If you get AG, then invest in Leap and Pro and Pass Block. The other linemen who have Block get either Pass Block (if your league is elf-happy), Diving Tackle (if your league is ultra-violent) and Dauntless (if your league is overgrown). They then get Pro and Dodge. Use doubles rolls as follows. Your +1 ST Lineman should take Mighty Blow. The Dauntless guy should get Mighty Blow and all the rest can get Guard for mutual support.

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THE DWARF WAY


Tactics for Blood Bowl By Ben Singleton
Originally published in Citadel Journal #30 Copyright Games Workshop Ltd. 1999

Here commences a definitive guide to everyones favorite short, fat people in Blood Bowl (no, not bloody Halflings!). Dwarfs have been playing Blood Bowl since it was invented and teams such as the Giants and the Ironbreakers are legend. Dwarfs seem to be ideal Blood Bowl players being tough, well armored and having that stubborn knack of refusing to die! Most successful Dwarf teams work on the principle that if they can take out all the opposing teams potential scorers and wear down the rest, there wont be anyone left to stop them from scoring the winning touchdowns! Choosing your team This is the team that has served me well in leagues championships and: 1. Its flexible 2. It uses all the models that come in the box 2 Runners 160,000 2 Troll Slayers 180,000 2 Blitzers 160,000 6 Longbeards 420,000 1 Reroll 40,000 4 Fan Factor 40,000 Total 1,000,000 DWARF TEAM TACTICS Attacking On the offense, Dwarfs are at their best. The Runners should field the ball and run forward. The other players should then form a pocket around the ball carrier led by the Troll Slayers, possibly with a Blitzer going it alone up a wing to keep the option of a pass open or to take the opposition from behind. You should then be able to smash your way through the defense hopefully taking large chunks out of the opposing team. This play should work well against fast, wussy teams (i.e. Humans, Skaven, Elves, Halflings and Gobbos), but against the tougher teams (Chaos Dwarfs, Orcs, Undead, Chaos, Norse and other Dwarfs) you may need to adjust it a bit, but on the whole your greater resilience should see you through despite their greater strength. Note: If you think its worth it, you can put off scoring for a few turns so that your opponent doesnt have enough time to score. WARNING: THIS IS BEARDY!!

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Defending It is easier to defend against harder teams; deploy quite close to the front line and give as good as you get, leave your Runners back to intercept anything that gets through the rest of your team or to take out any Gobbos thrown over your defenses. With a bit of thought you should at least be able to hold up the opposition. If you think you need to, you could bring up your runners to support the rest of the team or perhaps to get a hand to the ball. Defending against a fast team is harder. I favor the 3, 4, 4 pattern described by Andy Chambers in his article Dugout of Doom in WD 183. This prevents any serious holes appearing in your line. I recommend having three Longbeards on the skull, a Longbeard on each wing one square from the side, the Blitzers are deployed one square behind. Each Troll Slayer is then placed one square behind the front-line next to the wide zones. The Runners are one square behind them. This should be effective in stopping that fast scum.

DWARF PLAYERS AND USEFUL SKILLS TO HAVE New Dwarf teams have advantages over other starting teams as they all come with a set of useful skills. I mean, can any other race claim that their Linemen come with 3 Skills?!! All Dwarfs come with the handy Thick Skull Physical Ability. This gives all the team a 50% protection from being knocked out! Combined with high armor values this makes Dwarfs very hard to get off the pitch. I will now go through the merry, sociable bunch of psychos that make up your team. Note: If you are fortunate enough to roll a double, in most cases, go for Agility Skills because this is the only skill table other than Physical Abilities that you cannot choose from regularly. Runners Runners do as their names suggest; they run! These are the guys who can pick up the ball with some sort of surety of success, having from the start the useful Sure Hands skill. Runners will benefit from skills that keep them in one piece on the run up to the oppositions end zone, skills such as Block. Other skills that are good for them are Leader, Pro and Tackle. Try to get one of your Runners Guard and the other Dodge. That way the Runner with Guard can support the other with Dodge. Any Stat increases are welcome but Move increases may seem a bit excessive. ONLY PASS IF IT ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY! If you want to pass the ball a lot play with an Elf team! Note: A lot of people on the Net consider making a Runner into a thrower is essential. I disagree. Pass is a useful skill, but I think that Runners are better used carrying the ball forward. Longbeards These are the basic guys, the Linemen. At a glance their Stat lines are not particularly inspiring (especially their Movement! Ed), but they make up for this by coming with the very useful Block and Tackle, a very nice skill combo for dealing with those pesky catchers and other annoying, dodging opponents. Longbeards will benefit form Lineman skills like Guard, Dirty Player and Mighty Blow. On rolls of a double, I recommend Diving Tackle or Dodge. All stat increases are welcome especially Movement and Agility increases as these allow the player to keep up with the action and handle the ball with some chance of succeeding. Try and get one Longbeard with Kick because this will make life defending so much easier. Blitzers These are the guys who intercept ball carriers and run forward as escorts because they have good Armor, Movement and Agility (for Dwarfs, that is, I mean lets not get carried away now!) so they can handle the ball and Dodge fairly well. It is the Blitzers who pick up the ball if the Runners get clobbered, so Sure Hands could be useful. Like Longbeards they benefit form skills like Tackle, Guard, Mighty Blow, Dodge and Diving Tackle. As they are faster than Longbeards thy can get into better positions to use skills like Strip Ball and Pass Block. Any Stat increases you are fortunate enough to roll are useful, particularly Strength increments. Troll Slayers These are the ardest members on your team and they should lead from the front smashing their way through anything thats stupid enough to get in their way!

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They come with the skills Dauntless and Frenzy, which, during the early stages of a championship, makes them unstoppable! Their only problem with Frenzy is that you have to follow up and hit your opponent again which can work against you. Skills that these fellas benefit from are Stand Firm, Pass Block, Tackle, Strip Ball and Guard (sigh), on doubles Diving Tackle combines with Pass Block to create a nasty catcher-killer. Mighty Blow turns these guys into blocking daemons. Any stat increases are welcome; particularly Agility increases as these allow the player to handle the ball with some chance of hanging on to it!

THE STARS The Dwarf team only has access to two Star Players in Death Zone but this is more than made up for by the vast number of stars that are in the Journal and on the Net. I will go through a few of them. Grim Ironjaw Now he is a really useful guy is Mr. Ironjaw, he s ST4 and comes with Mighty Blow (ouch!). Otherwise he is just like a normal Troll Slayer but has an Agility of 3 so he can dodge (a bit). He is useful throughout the championship. The Deathroller With 4/7/1/10 as its stats and not having to make Dodge rolls, the Deathroller literally churns up the pitch, its only weakness being that if its knocked over its instantly destroyed for the game! All is not lost; however, as it will be repaired in time form the next match. Deathrollers are very effective early on in a championship but get less and less so towards the end, when people get players with Dauntless and skills like that. I recommend using it to multiple block several opponents or to Foul. The Cannon (Rules published in the Blood Bowl Compendium) The Cannon is very useful for scoring quickly, the only problem being the amount of luck required to score! Flint Churnblade (Chainsaw wielding loony) A Longbeard, but when his Chainsaw is started, go on a Fouling spree! The only problem is starting the chainsaw, having only an Agility of 2 means that this is difficult. Barik Farblast (Bazooka) Useful if you want to try a throwing game. Helpful if the player you shoot the ball to has Diving Catch, otherwise ignore.

CONCLUSION Well, thats it from me in my Stronghold of Lewes. I know for a fact that a lot of people disagree with me on certain points, as any tactics article is often a matter of personal preference. So, why not tell me what you think or just email me anything to do with Games Workshop. You can email me at: ziken@compuserve.com Ben Sez Did you know? Dwarfs are the beardiest race. Did you know? Green Paisley Shirts and flairs rarely make a good fashion statement! Did you know? Never pet a burning dog!

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How to write your own Book of Grudges


By Simon Danielsson
So, you're thinking about playing Dwarves? Good Choise. They are in my oppinion the best basher team around (Orcs come close though). This is the story of how I built my very successful Dwarven team Zeus Slayers. It was used in a No Starplayers (except Secret Weapons), No Wizard (i.e. no Alchemist) league.

Buying your team Well. For starters we have the question of starting lineup. Dwarves areprobably the team with the toughest starting lineup. Take advantage of that and build a strong team from the beginning. But as with all teams, go for high FF (7 at the least) and at least two Rerolls. My Starting squad was: 1 Runner: 80,000 2 Blitzers: 160,000 2 Trollslayers: 180,000 6 Longbeards: 420,000 2 Rerolls: 80,000 8 FF 80,000 Total: 1,000,000 You might want to change a Trollslayer for a runner and a point of FF. (in fact, would I to start a new Dwarf Team I'd do just that) but suit your self. This is a very strong starting team and I think with a little good coaching you'd definitely win the first couple of games.

Filling up your roster After the first game, buy an apothecary. Even though Dwarves have high AV, they are expensive and a death can be hard to replace. Next, buy the last position player. Then save up for a big guy (Ogre's most often) then another. Fill up your squad with longbeards and a deathroller if you're allowed. When you have 14-15 players you can wait with the last longbeard and buy a couple of rerolls. It's a great way to lose some teamrating.

Choosing Skills Dwarves are a strength team. Their strength is to hit people out to the "Dead and Injured Box". Elves throws and catches. Dwarves bash. Remember that. It's a waste of time trying to develop throwers and catchers, when all you have to do is make each Dwarf a killer. If you have eleven guys on the pitch against his 5 you're going to win. That's what I had in mind when I started my team.

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Here's how you should develop your Dwarves

Longbeards: First skill: Mighty Blow Second skill: Guard Third skill: Stand Firm or Pro Fourth skill: Pro or Stand Firm Doubles: Dodge. Their only way of earning SPPs is through casualties and MVP's. Giving them Mighty Blow makes them earn SPP's at a much higher rate. Guard is invaluable in all surcomstances. Make half of them MB, Guard, SF, and the other half MB, Guard, Pro. The standfirmers has line duty on defence and the pro guys on offence. On a doubles as first or second roll, then take stand firm instead of guard. Still Mighty Blow first though. Don't take Dirty Player. Mighty blow is not much worse when fouling and it can be used on every block.

Blitzers: First skill: Mighty Blow Second skill: Guard Third skill: Pro Fourth skill: Stand Firm Doubles: Dodge Do you see a pattern? Good. Theese are just faster Longbeards. Faster killing machines. Never take catch or sure hands or something. It's a waste. Doubles? Always dodge. The skill after dodge shall be Stand firm. Then continue were you left of in the "Skill Hierarchy". In a league with many elves you might consider giving them tackle as third or fourth, but otherwise, don't.

Troll Slayers: First skill: Mighty Blow Second skill: Stand Firm Third skill: Guard or Pro Fourth skill: Pro or Guard Doubles: Dodge I don't think I need to explain myself on Mighty Blow anymore. Standfirm helps them survive after they've done what they do best. Shove the other team of the pitch. Guard or Pro? Well, make one a guarder and the other a Pro. Dodge is great. They are the weak (AV wise) in your squad and they are allways targets. Make them hard to take down. In a league with many elves you might consider giving them tackle as third or fourth, but otherwise, don't.

Runners: First skill: Block Second skill: Accurate Third skill: Stong Arm, Pass, Dump Off Fourth skill: Pass, Strong Arm, Dump Off, Nerves of Steel. Doubles: Dodge. This is the only position I'm not really sure at. I was very lucky getting +1 AG and Dodge on one of mine and the other was almost never allowed to play. Dump Off might be considered earlier.

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The Game Always elect to receive. I don't buy that "let them score and then score late" crap. at least not with Dwarves. I rather kick their ass. Score. And then take the ball from their 4-5 guys and score again. Place your Mighty Blowers on the line to punch their frontline. Make sure you can get at least two shots at each of them (i.e. strike diagonally and puch them left or right where another killer can strike him. Place your Trollslayers in a blitzing position. And try to push someone into the crowds. You can go to lengths about it, just make sure they don't have to roll a two dice block AGAINST you if they only get a pushback. Take their Dirty Player out as fast as you can. Foul every turn if you have a Mighty Blower and a re-roll handy. And take out his key players. Pick up the ball and protect the ball carrier with at least two Guarders. Advance him to were you have the most of your players, or send him heavily protected into an unguarded widezone. Don't pass, unless you need to.

Defence Three Longbeards on the line. The rest deep, just without blitzing range. Since dwarves are very slow and unable to dodge you need them free of tacklezones to manoeuver them to where they can stop the offence. If they form a cage. Put tacklezones on them. If they run in with a couple of catchers: Blitz one of them and put at least two tacklezones on the others, and force them to dodge into another tacklezone. Well that's about all I can think of right now. I hope you have now learned enough to start writing your own book of grudges. And remember. A Dwarf never forget. If someone does you wrong: remember name and number and kill him the next time you get the opportunity. Saying: "That's for what you did to XXXXXXX!" Good Luck.

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Chet Zeshonski's response to Simon Danielsson's Dwarf tactics


On Mon, 19 Oct 1998, Simon Danielsson wrote: > This is the story of how I built my very successful Dwarven team Zeus > Slayers. It was used in a No Starplayers (except Secret Weapons), No > Wizard (i.e. no Alchemist) league. I'd say these rules favor Dwarves, since they allow them to keep one of their most potent advantages - the Deathroller while discarding one of their biggest disadvantages (getting Fireballed once per game with no possible means of recourse). > Choosing Skills > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ > Dwarves are a strength team. Their strength is to hit people out to the > "Dead and Injured Box". Elves throws and catches. Dwarves bash. Remember that. > It's a waste of time trying to develop throwers and catchers, when all > you have to do is make each Dwarf a killer. If you have eleven guys on > the pitch against his 5 you're going to win. I don't think it's a good idea (conceptually) to make a team one-dimensional - at least, not if you plan on having any success with it. Why not? Because inevitably, you'll end up squaring off against your opposite number - another Dwarf team, for example. When that happens, who wins? The team with the widest spread of options. Consider: According to Mr. Danielson, virtually *every* doubles roll should be spent on Dodge. What will happen when his team comes up against a similarly structured Dwarven squad? All that Dodge will be wasted because of the opposing team's Longbeards. Consider again: what happens when you try to apply a "beat 'em off the pitch" result against a nihilistically successful team like the Undead? Simply put: the drive might work on the occasional drive, but as a game-long approach, it's likely a tactical failure. Simply put, Undead can take this and likely keep dishing it out throughout the game. My suggestion, then, is in alternate roles for the Dwarven troops. To wit: > Longbeards: > First skill: Mighty Blow > Second skill: Guard > Third skill: Stand Firm or Pro > Fourth skill: Pro or Stand Firm > Doubles: Dodge.

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I hereby postulate that a better doubles skill is Jump Up. Consider: Dodge is useful for two things - rerolling a failed dodge roll and taking a hit. Remember that our two 'problem teams' were other Dwarves and Undead. Note that the Dwarven Longbeard has Block and an AV of 9, which makes him very hard to actually injure on a clean knockdown. Why is Jump Up better? Because with Stand Firm, you won't get pushed away from your opponent. Since your AV is high, he likely won't injure you - which means that your Longbeard will be free to Jump Up and throw another Block! Essentially, this is like another Blitz. Additionally, if your opponent runs away from your Longbeard, he stands up for free and still has 4 squares of MA left. This helps combat one of your main deficiencies - namely, a lack of MA. > Blitzers: > > First skill: Mighty Blow > Second skill: Guard > Third skill: Pro > Fourth skill: Stand Firm > Doubles: Dodge Again - Dodge would be good here, but maybe Jump Up as well. > Troll Slayers: > > First skill: Mighty Blow > Second skill: Stand Firm > Third skill: Guard or Pro > Fourth skill: Pro or Guard > Doubles: Dodge Definite Dodge/Jump Up candidates. Can't go wrong either way. > Runners: > > First skill: Block > Second skill: Accurate > Third skill: Stong Arm, Pass, Dump Off > Fourth skill: Pass, Strong Arm, Dump Off, Nerves of Steel. > Doubles: Dodge. Why are you bothering with these Passing Skills when you haven't bothered developing a receiver?

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The best skills for these guys: First skill: Block Second skill: Nerves of Steel Third skill: Dump-Off, Hail Mary Pass Doubles: Sure Feet, Stand Firm, Jump Up (esp w/SFirm) Basically, once these guys get the ball, _they shouldn't let it go_. They get the ball, they run with it behind the line. If absolutely necessary, they give the ball to a Blitzer - but since the Blitzer will likely be very close by, Pass is probably all that is needed, and Nerves of Steel will probably compensate for Accurate at Quick Range (and allows you to put a couple players in a tackle zone, making it harder for them to defend the play later!) But these guys should have everything that makes MA easier, and allows them to break from the middle of the box into the end zone. I would suggest one SFirm/HMP player for defense. He should jump in, grab the ball when it comes loose, and heave it the length of the field when the time is right if it turns out you can't score. -=-Chet

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DWARF TEAMS
By Maquis, with Cory of the Pacific Bloodbowl League

STARTING TEAM

7 Longbeards 2 Blitzers 1 Runner 1 Troll Slayer 3 Rerolls 6 Fan Factor

490,000 160,000 80,000 90,000 120,000 60,000

As a matter of preference I usually take one runner, 6 FF and 3 rerolls to take advantage of Dwarves low reroll cost. I find that the high reroll safety net is useful to a starting team. You don't save much money by only taking 2 anyway. One other option would be

5 Longbeards 2 Blitzers 2 Runners 2 Troll Slayers 2 Rerolls 7 Fan Factor

350,000 160,000 160,000 180,000 80,000 70,000

This maxes out your positional players early and allows you to buy rerolls (relatively cheaply) at 80k later in the season to keep your Team Rating down. An Apothecary is not exactly essential for a Dwarf team, but buying one in the first couple of games is advised; then 'max out' your positional players.

PLAYING A DWARF TEAM


Card Selection: Due to your lack of speed on defence it is usually best to concentrate on picking up "play stopper" cards and the majority of these are in the Dirty Tricks deck. Grab a Magic Item card unless you feel your opponent is going to give you real trouble and if you need money then look to the Random Event Deck. In general though you can go with a Magic Item and make up the balance with Dirty Tricks.

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Offence:

The Dwarf team are, arguably, the finest exponents of "da cage" in Bloodbowl - even more so than other power teams like Orcs and Chaos! The reason is that the team's skills are well suited to the mutual support the cage needs to get rolling.
Run the Cage just inside one of the widezones; once there you can use Longbeards (preferably with Guard) to assist Trollslayers Blitzing the opposition off the pitch! Keep the Cage tight and advance a few squares at a time while you blitz players off the sideline. Remember that it is helpful to The Cage to remove as many players as possible in your drives and if you are pushingthem off the pitch then they are not only out for the drive, they may also be removed for the game through injury. By the end of the drive you may well have 6 or fewer opposition players to bother you. Run a couple of players wide of the cage if you can afford it, they will force the opposition to cover them and will take pressure off your cage. It will also give you an escape route if the cage is broken or allow you to spring a little surprise on the opposition if the opportunity arises. With an advanced team you should be using Dwarves with Stand Firm on the Corners of the Cage and some with Diving Tackle (if you are luck enough to roll those doubles) on the weaker flanks to protect against wardancers and other airborne freaks. Most of your players should have Guard (see below), thus making the cage very difficult to assault if you take it slow and keep it tight. Defence: Dwarves, being slow, are not well suited to defending against passing teams. When tossing for kickoff, you should always elect to kick to a passing team, this means if (when) they score in 2 turns you will have 6 turns to secure a reply then 8 turns to run da cage in the final half. Controlling the game clock is the key to the Dwarf win. Given that you are expecting the opposition to score in 2 turns you may as well go all out on a blitzkrieg to try to force the turnover. If it fails then the opposition will score giving you ample time to secure the reply, if you force the turnover, then take your time and score on the 8th turn. Try a 3-4-4 defence with Stand Firm on the Line of Scrimmage (LoS), close together with Guard. Blitzers are placed wide, and Diving Tackle (again, if you have it) one row back in the widezones; Troll slayers and Runners play as safeties. Keep your Troll slayers inside the widezones so they can Blitz ourtwards to push players off the line rather than inwards to nowhere. Against a 'power' team you can take a different tack: putting expendable players on the line and keep your 'big guns' back a bit (face it, a power team is going to be able to knock the stuffing out of anyone from the LoS). Try to keep the opposition bottled up near the sidelines and use stand firm players to slow the progress of their cage. Keep a second row behind the first in case of breakthroughs and keep players to the side of the cage to prevent them rolling out. This will usually grind them down to the point where they have used all their rerolls throwing 1 die blocks trying to break out. Just be patient be thorough, and wait for "the mistake". Damage Limitation: Your players have heavy armour, Thick Skull and support each other well. Do not be afraid to take punishment because you can generally dish out far more than you take. Having said this though, don't expose your players to unnecessary risk. Do not allow your players to become isolated from one another, if you are sending players away from the main drive, then send them in pairs. This will ensure you do not surrender your advantage in a biffing war. Don't bother trying to dodge players away, 1 die blocks will give you better odds of success, especially if you have Block and Tackle. General: Controlling the pace of the match is the key. You don't have the speed or skill to match it with the flashy Elf teams so play to your strengths, make the only dice you roll block dice and make them play the Dwarf game. Don't be afraid to score in two turns if you think they don't expect it - just don't take your eye off the clock. It's always worth having Accurate and Pass for one Runner as it gives you options. Remember though that you lack speed and skill so don't take unnecessary risks.

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ADVANCING DWARFS
Longbeards: With Block and Tackle and access to the Strength lists, your Longbeards are the most formidable linemen in the game and are perfectly suited to supporting the Cage. Guard will give your opposition fits and is ideal for a first skill. Mighty Blow and Stand Firm make good secondary skills; a matter of preference really, but you will need Stand Firm players. Once you have a couple of players with Stand Firm, you can concentrate more on getting Mighty Blow. SKILLS: Guard, Stand Firm, Mighty Blow DOUBLES: Diving Tackle! (though a guard/standfirm/dodge longbeard is a hell of a cool player) Blitzers: A good proportion of your Touchdowns will come from these guys so you can focus on offensive skills. SKILLS: Stand Firm and Mighty Blow DOUBLES: Dodge or Diving Tackle Runners: Your fullback, thrower, and scorer all rolled into one. One is best given passing skills so he can be used to move the ball up quickly from the kickoff or roll out from the cage if necessary, the other one can be used as a high(er)speed blitzer. SKILLS: Accurate and Pass, or Block and Pro DOUBLES: Dodge or Diving Tackle. Troll Slayers: They key to your offence, these guys are responsible for removing the opposition from the pitch and taking out opposition Big Guys. Pro is essential for helping with bad Frenzy dice and Dauntless rolls, it can also allow you to reroll armour rolls if you don't get the injury... SKILLS: Pro and Mighty Blow DOUBLES: Diving Tackle or Jump Up

GENERAL COMMENTARY
The Deathroller: Both over and under-rated as a Star Player. As long as you remind yourself that it's not an essential part of your offence and convince your opponent that it is, then you'll do well ;) Never send it out alone, use it to multiblock holes to roll da Cage through; always forming the cage back around it so the opposition never had a chance to throw better than a 1 or 2 dice block against it. Bringing it on in the second half helps lessen the chance that has any nasty cards, spells, etc. to take it out of play. Other Stars: Grim is handy but I would never take him if it meant taking up a Troll Slayer position on my roster (depends on your league). Drumgrim [Who? - Coach Blacknife] isn't much better. Allies: If you can, pick up a couple of Rookie Ogres as they make excellent line-fodder for an advanced Dwarf team and can help even the score against some of the larger freaks of nature available to other teams.

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DWARF TEAMS
By Mike
Some people will claim they're hard to win with, but a few basic strategies and they become scoring machines. Starting off in the league, Dwarfs generally have the advantage over other teams compared to other teams. Everyone except the runners having Block is very handy. What you want to do, is every round, make sure the ball is safe from marauding gutter runners or catchers (Note, you don't have to pick it up, tackle zones on the ball are just as goood), then proceed to bash the crap out of your opponent. Throw blocks left right and center, let no enemy escape unharmed from you Dwarfs. Throw 1 on 1 blocks, especially against opposing lineman (You have Block, they probably don't), use your Troll Slayers to frenzy people either off the side line or into a big group of Dwarfs (FOUL!). Also, consider holding off scoring for a turn or two so you can remove a few more players permanantly from the game, though some opposing coaches do get annoyed by this tactic. One of the big things people here find about it Dwarfs is that if i even glance at the range ruler they burst out laughing at the mere thougt of Dwarfs throwing the ball. Don't be afraid to do it, and try to get a runner ASAP with Pass. Remember a throw from a runner is still accurate on a 3+ at quick range, or 4+ at short, and short is usually all you need. Your Blitzers are the god send on the Dwarf team. These guys should be your scorers or support players as they are as agile as runners, 1 slower, but have Block. Admittedly it only takes one skill roll to get Blck for a runner, but i'd prefer a Thrower personally ;). In the last league i was in, one of my Blitzers got the following:-

Gruf Iceforge: Dwarf Blitzer 7 3 4 9 Blck, TSkl, Dodge, Ctch. This guy was awesome, and you'd be surprised how shocked people are to see Dwarfs move 9 squares in one turn. Re: The Cage tactic, I never bother with it. Just because Dwarfs are slower then most teams, doesn't mean you still can't score in 2 turns the normal way (ie run down the sideline). Push with your Runners/Blitzers alot and they can score easy, you've just got to be careful, and not get a Blizzard. Get a Dirty Player ASAP as with any bashing team, and foul every turn with him if possible. The more players you take off, the easier it is to score. For your Troll Slayers, the big thing you want for these guys is Mighty Blow ASAP, and if possible a Strength increase. ST 4 Blck, Daun, Frnz kicks some serious butt. Stand Firm is also very useful for them, as you can dodge with out fear of falling over, plus your that much harder to get away from the opposing players good players. Guard is a must have for your Long Beards as well, as you can create a really nasty front line for your opponents, although your Guard players do tend to get picked on. If you're receiving the ball, always set up more players on the front line then the opponent to get that extra dice needed to decimate his/her front line. This is very important for winning the game. Generally with Dwarfs, if you win the toss at the start, you should win the match as you get first hit on your opponents and get to keep the ball safe. My normal start up for a league is as follows : 2 Troll Slayers 180 2 Blitzers 160 1 Runner 80 6 Long Beards 420 2 Rerolls 80 - and far too cheap IMHO 8 Fan Factor 80 I usually don't start with an Apothecary, but with 8 FF, can usually afford one after the first game.

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The Star Players for Dwarfs are reasonable. Grim IronJaw is very good, as is Grimwold Grimbreath. The Deathroller sucks, no matter what people will tell you. The number of times if had that thing hit by the Custard Pie, and it's even slipped on a Banana Peel before. Barik Farblast is good for getting the ball anywhere on the field instantly, though he does occasionally have problems picking up the ball (4+). Churn, while an amusing figure, is not the most practical of Star Players A 5+ to turn on the Chainsaw is not that great, but he's fun and amusing if you manage to start it. I think that's all, good luck with them, hope this helps.

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The Dwarven Strategies


By Robert Koper
Today we will discuss a little about Dwarves and their strategy. First, the Dwarves are hampered by two things - their low movement and their inability to get more than four ball handlers ( those with an agility of at least 3 ). This makes them a team that scores only once or twice in a game. This means that he Dwarves concentrate on Defense. To aid the Coach, Dwarves excel at "closing the gap" with the tackle and Block skills, especially against Halflings, Gobbos, and the Elf teams. You can;t afford to have more than one eligible opposing reciever downfield. If he passes the ball, you will be hard pressed to catch the faster moving receiver. This means that the Dwaves must keep their opponents "on their backs" by blocking one to one every turn. Dwarves are good at this, given their cheap rerolls, and it isn't very risky with an AV of 9 and Thick Skull. Every Dwarf Team should have two slayers and two Blitzers. For each Slayer there should be one reroll set aside for him. The slayers will probably be dealing with large creatures from the other side of the line. I can tell you from personal experience that there are few things worse than screwing the Dauntless roll. The ideal situation is to have both Slayers standing, with assists (to block at 2 dice) next to something big and nasty at the beginning of your turn. Use the slayers to push holes in the line, and then use your Blitzers to murder that poncy little thrower of his. This should shut down his throwing game, and then the Longbeards can handle the ground game. With the ball in your possession, NEVER go for it unless it will take you out of the enemys reach. The Dwarves are put down by few things, but tripping over their feet is the most common. This also runs out the clock. You want to delay kicking off your opponent as long as possible. The ideal Dwarf game is one Half of the Dwarves scoring a goal, and another Half of the Dwraves preventing a score by the opposition. Running the ball brings up one of the big weaknesses in the Dwarf list - the Runner. He is useful, but remember that by Dwarf standards he is lightly armored and has no Block skill. I usually only buy one, and use him only on the receiving Kickoff. Your advance up the field will take about 5 turns at constant speed. Try to form a flying wedge to prevent people from getting at him. Keep in mind that the "Tackle Net" aroud him will keep slippery Star Players from getting at him. On the opening of your reception (first turn of possession) the first thing to do is NOT to grab the Ball, but to Power Up the Slayers and take out the opposing line. I cannot stress too much how much trouble an AV 8 Slayer is in if he fails to knock over what we both know you are going to put him up against. SKILLS Slayers: First order of business is either Mighty Blow or Pro. The mighty Blow to facilitate the gain of more SPP's by Casualty, or the Pro to prevent the dreaded blown Dauntless roll. If you roll doubles, then either Jump Up or Diving Tackle is in order (note that you can Dauntless the Diving Tackle since You are throwing the block. Second or third skill acquisitions are probably Pile On (to get a plus equal to the Dauntless) or Multi Block (add STRs and then Dauntless, but be careful of High STR totals). Note: Try using the Pro to ensure a good injury or Armor Pen. This does not count as a turnover, and his turn is about to be over anyway. Runners: Block. Maybe followed up with Pro or Leader. Doubles get Dodge (Block + Dodge, see Humans). If you have two Runners, then get Dump Off and Nerves of Steel and keep them close together. Blitzers: Guard or Pro. Doubles get Dodge or Jump Up. LongBeards: I can't say it loud enough. GUARD. Giving multiple Longbeards Guard will turn your front line into a Death Machine, especially combined with the Slayers' abilities. AFter that, try giving them Pro to avoid sucking up the Team Rerolls (I mean the Slayer's Reolls. Ahem.) Doubles means Diving Tackle (combined with Guard, you're rolling 2 dice on his turn - it doesn't get any better than that. Example Team: LongBeard (x6) Runner Slayers (x2) Blitzer (x2) Rerolls (x2) Apothecary Fan Factor (1) Note: I'd rather be unpopular and alive after the first game. Call me Paranoid.

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Set Up (Kicking)

This setup allows me to form a net across the front line of Tackle zones, while not sacrificing my Slayers to his first turn onslaught. The Slayers are close enough to Blitz or assist on My Turn, and the Blitzers and Runner are poised to punish the impudent fool who breaks through my line. Set Up (Receiving)

This setup allow sme to get the mileage out of my Slayers, with the Longbeards giving the assist (hopefully). The Longbeards can then punch through the line one on one. The Runner leisurely goes over to the ball to pick it up and falls in behind the Blitzers. This sets up the long drive to the Goal. Remember to guard against his slimy dodgers coming after you (relatively) defenseless Runner.

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The Goblin Strategies


By Joe Harkleroad
When I was planning my first league and trying to decide which team to play, I decided on Goblins because they were the weakest, sorriest team type out there. I had accidentally overlooked the Halflings, but Goblins are still 2nd to last. Think of it like this: Average movement (MV) Well below average armour (AV) Below average strength (ST) Average agility (AG) So, they like to get beaten up a lot and killed even more. Why play them? If you want a challenge then go for it (which is the only real reason I can think of). Their strengths are almost as numerous as their weaknesses but they include numerous (very cheap) Star Players, the skills dodge, stunty and right stuff (we'll get into those later), and the Goblins themselves very cheap. Now, regarding their first strength, I have read many a strategy FAQ and team tactics everywhere I could get my hands on them and they all say, "Don't rely on your Star Players". For Goblins, forget all that. Your Star Players are the only ones that can get casualties. The Star Players that are of any worth are Morg'N'Thorg, Fungus the Loon, Nobbla Blackwart, and Ripper Bolgrot. Since Goblins are so cheap, you can start with three of these Star Players right off.

The Goblin Players (pros and cons)

Goblins: They don't have many pros but the ones they do have have won me games. I've seen Goblins dodge through three tackle zones (TZ) flawlessly with Stunty but then that last dodge away from the fringe guy, fail twice and fall. Don't let Stunty lure you into a false sense of security. Stick with the old Blood Bowl addage, "The less dice rolls, the better the play". It might not hurt if say, at the end of your turn, your last useless Goblin on the wrong side of the field trys to dodge somewhere useful. It's just that I've rolled too many double 1's or a 1 and a 2, to use the skill Stunty that much. Dodge is useful (we all know that). Just watch out for the Dwarves; the skill Tackle will kill your strategy, make your Goblins even more useless and you rerolls will dissappear faster. By far, the skill Right Stuff is the most useful skill the Goblins have, as long as you have someone with Throw Teammate that is. That's why you need to buy Morg'N'Thorg right off. I've won more games than not by throwing Goblins into/near the End Zone (EZ) with the ball. It's a little harder to do (more dice rolls), but if done right you could take the ball (first turn after the kickoff) from your back field and score with it (details below).

Skills: I'll talk about the skills for Goblins now since they are the only players who can have Star Player Points (SPP) and hence the only players who can get skills. All I can say is, pray you roll doubles early on. The only Skill Category that Goblins can have is Agility. That's not bad, but by itself is very limiting. It wouldn't be so bad if it were General and Agility, but God forbid Goblins get useful skills like Block (?), Dirty Player, Dauntless (can you imagine?) or Kick. As it stands, the only truly useful skills for Goblins are Jump Up, Sprint, Leap, Side Step and Sure Feet. Jump Up, Sprint and Sure Feet are the most useful because they increase the movement potential of your Goblins, which will help against quick Skaven and Human teams. Besides, the Sure Feet and Sprint combo is a sure fire success. My Goblins always seem to get pushed so (even when it's "three dice, my opponent chooses) Side Step would be useful. Then last but not least, Leap. It sounds good in theory but it encourages players to make more and more dodges to try and do cool things which means more and more dice rolls (see the Blood Bowl addage above). In theory, if you throw a Goblin near the EZ, while he's holding the ball of course, then you could Leap your front line over to the other side to run interference and get in the way. The last two skills are Catch and Diving Catch. I usually don't rely on the Goblin passing game since the range is decreased by one but it could be done. In that case, Catch and Diving Catch are essential. I'ld give your reciever Diving Catch first because if you start making those Long Passes with a -2, chances are the pass will fail and the ball will scatter. Diving Catch will let you go for it and still complete the pass. The reason I don't suggest Diving Tackle is for this reason; can you see a 2 ST Goblin throwing a block on a 3 ST blitzer as he's running by to clobber your ball carrier? Granted, if you knocked him down, it would end his turn and the ball would be safe but it will be "two dice, defender chooses". With some luck, you can just push him but you're opponent will be choosing.

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Now we'll talk about all the skills if you're lucky enough to roll doubles. First, it's General Skills. Two words, Dirty Player. There is no doubt. Every team MUST have a Dirty Player. Especially the ones that aren't that great at blocking. You need a Goblin to run around as your clean up crew mopping up all of your opponents that fail a movement or get knocked over by Morg or if Fungus failed to break armour so on and so forth. Don't hesitate. If that Goblin lives long enough to get another skill, on doubles give him Pro (the unltimate skill for your DP) or give him Sprint or Sure Feet so he can run around the board to get to every down player. Another good general skill to take is Kick (for obvious reasons). Think about Sure Hands for your reciever. If you like to have fun then choose Dauntless. Think about all the fun you can have when your Goblin throws a block on Headsplitter with an assist and then knocks him on his...well, you get the picture. If you want to further your Passing game, or fill in the lack thereof, then go for (say it with me) Passing skills. You can give a Goblin Accurate or Strong Arm to counteract the weak Goblin throwing game, namely the shortened throwing range, or Pass so you can save those rerolls for Fungus. Dump-Off is useless since Goblins (unless they have Strong Arm) can't throw Quick Passes. In three seasons of Blood Bowl, I've never seen a successful interception so until then, I won't ever think about taking Safe Throw. The last one is Hail Mary Pass. I have to say that Hail Mary Pass coupled with Diving Catch is too insane to pass up. With Hail Mary Pass, you can ignore the fact that Goblins can't pass that well and with Diving Catch, chances are the ball will stay within one square of you. The second skill you need for your Hail Mary Pass reciever is Catch of course. I don't even need to talk about Strength Skills because if your crazy enough to throw more than five blocks with normal Goblins during the whole game, then you must either outnumber your brand-new opponent 3-1 or you must be playing against the Halflings. Either way, the only way that you'ld want to take a Strength skill is if you roll a second set of doubles for your Dauntless Goblin (see General Skills above) or if you happen to increase a Goblin's ST. Then give him Mighty Blow. If you're hell-bent on a Strength skill, whether it be because your a little messed up in the head or just want to have fun, then go with Guard or Stand Firm. If you're really crazy or if you can garuntee that you'll be able to throw the "two dice I choose" blocks, however few they may be, with the same Goblin, then give him Mighty Blow. Piling On would be a waste of a skill and Break Tackle would be stupid (for obvious reasons).

Morg n' Thorg: I shouldn't have to say too much in praise of him. My all-time favorite Star Player has thrown more Goblins than Mike Tyson's opponents have thrown matches. Block and Mighty Blow are very effective in thinning out your opponent's numbers and Thick Skull will keep him on the field. A 6 MV is average, with a 6 ST, he can pound down 98% of the players in the game, his 3 AG makes it easy for him to pickup and throw Goblins as well as the occasional dodge, and the 10 AV is hard to crack. Watch out for those Dirty Players and Special Play cards. There are only two strategies your opponent can bring against someone that strong. First, they could try to get him out of the game by obligating 25% or more of their team to taking him down. The normal team would need a 3 ST player with four assists. That's seven people against one. I call big players like that "whoopass magnets" because opposing teams ALWAYS try to get them out by surrounding him with five or more players for the block and then the foul. With the Goblins, not only is that essential to survival, it also helps to win. Then the Goblins only have six or seven other players to deal with on their own. That means a couple of them actually get to throw some "2 dice I choose" blocks by surrounding opponents with Goblins. Second, they could just leave 1 or 2 players in his general vicinity to annoy him and try to slow him down. That's also good because he can pound his way through them easily. What I'm getting at is, if your opponent doesn't take him out early on then it's all over. It's a no win situation for them. Fungus The Loon: I know that he has to move first and if he is "knackered" that he'll end your turn. That's what your rerolls are for. They're to reroll those failed "Knackered" rolls. The rest of your team gets to reroll most of their actions for free because of skills like Dodge and Sure Feet. You'll be surprised how many turnovers you experience from dodging with Stunty. Save those rerolls for Fungus. I also know that he has no TZ and that he usually gets kicked out for his Secret Weapon on the 1rst or 2nd kickoff but by the time he gets kicked out he's taken out two or three of the opposing players. I also know that there is the potential that he can throw a block on one of your own players. If he throws a block on a Goblin, he'll get three dice. How many times have you ever seen three dice thrown and not a single "Push Back" or explosion with exclamation point rolled? Hardly ever! Your Goblins are safe. Just watch out for the big guys on your own team. Keep Fungus away from them. Now that I've justified all of his bad points, let's look at his good points. I always put him on my line no matter what. Your opponent can't throw blocks against him so it is one less block that your opponent can throw against you. With Fungus and two Goblins on the line, that's only three Goblins that will die on that first turn! You're already winning the game if you have less than four Goblins out of the game at the end of the first half! I know you think I'm joking but you'll see. Since he's on the line, and your opponent has to put at least three people on the line, it's obvious where he's going to wander. He is another 6 ST player. That makes two so far! He is cheap. In fact, he's the cheapest (tied with Scrappa Sorehead) Star Player out there. All of his good points outweight his not so bad points to make him a hearty addition to the Goblin's Four Horsemen of "Dish-it-out"

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Nobbla Blackwart: It depends on what day of the week it is what my answer to "Who is your favorite Blood Bowl Star Player?" will be. Today it's Morg'N'Thorg but Nobbla shows up in a close second. Here are his cons. He has to spend a turn starting his chainsaw and can't do anything else. Not only that but it's a "straight-up" Agility roll to start it. But, once again, that's what rerolls are for. If someone has to break his armour for some reason, they get a +1 'cuz he's a Goblin and a +3 for the Chainsaw. They were gonna break it anyway, him having a 6 armour and all. Everytime he comes back onto the field, he has to start the Chainsaw again. At least it's not considered a turnover if he doesn't. The last point is that he usually gets kicked out along with Fungus on the 1rst or 2nd kickoff. Pros: How can you turn your head away from him as a member of your team when he forgoes block dice and goes straight to an armour roll...and breaks it at a +3? He is your big guy killer. Suddenly a Morg'N'Thorg becomes armour 7 and everyone else (at least normal players) becomes armour 5. How can you turn that up? If you don't have any Dirty Players, then you can foul with him at a +3 to break armour as well and also with assists. I wouldn't recommend fouling with him though because the Referee usually doesn't have a problem tracking down the loud engine, screaming players and trail of blood/parts. The only problem is that you can't leave him in the thick of things because he's only at a 2 ST. When he recieves a block they injure him at a +3. That means that he'll be your "surgical strike" guy (not that there's anything surgical about a Chainsaw). You'll have to blitz in, saw up those 6 ST guys, and then move back away. If you can't blitz with him, don't leave him near crowds of the opponent. Move him somewhere advantageous for the next turn. When you setup, leave him in the backfield with your reciever/interference runner.

Scrappa Sorehead: I'll never buy this Star Player. All the Pogo Stick gives him is two extra squares that he can move when he "goes for it" and he has the leap skill. With a potential 10 MV and leap, it's obvious that he was made to be a scorer. I don't like scoring with Star Players since they don't get SPP's. Besides if you "go for it" all the way, that's four chances to roll a 1. If he had Sure Feet, I'ld think about him, maybe. Otherwise, NO. Besides, just for the opportunity to roll four 1's and the leap skill, he has a penalty roll AND you're paying an extra 20k for two skills (Leap and an improved version of Sprint) with no chance for advancement. If you don't mind making touchdowns with Star Player's though, he has Right Stuff and he could make your Teammate Throw easier for Morg by lessening the distance.

Boomer Dribblesnot: He is a potential waste and I run an efficient (at least as efficient as I can get) Goblin team. It's up to chance whether or not the bomb will scatter somewhere useful. If it doesn't land on a square with someone in it, then it only knocks down people in adjacent squares on a 4+. Not only that, but players can catch the bomb and throw it back (no thank you). There aren't many times that your opponent will actually have five or more players clustered together. You may get one or two chances like that but I find that my opponents learn quickly regarding Nobbla and Fungus and they'll pick up on Bommer too. He's not as bad as Scrappa and has the potential for good BUT you can only have four Star Players. Morg, Nobbla and Fungus are essential, and your 4rth player should be 'Ripper' Bolgrot. Those are the Four Horsemen of "Dish-it-out" for any Goblin team.

Ripper Bolgrot: Don't start with him but save up for him to be your 4rth Star Player. He's a watered down Morg'N'Thorg with -2 movement, -2 Agility and no block. Dwarves would eat this guy for breakfast (or is that Halflings?). Ripper Bolgrot has Throw Teammate but also has that dreaded 1 AG. The odds are against him and he can only throw a Quick Pass. If he's in any Tackle Zones then forget about it. Do the math. Da Rulz Boyz had this to say about it: "You know you don't have to throw your Team Mate with him...." Then why did they give him the skill? I don't know. All I can say is, don't throw anyone with him unless it will be a game winner or he's your only chance. Otherwise, he's yet another powerful addition to your front line. 'Ripper', Fungus and Morg. Can't go wrong with that, just keep Fungus away from either of them 'cuz it will be a straight up block and we don't want either of them going down during your first action of the game, ok? Maybe put a few goblins in there to for assists or to add TZs so your opponent doesn't knock them both down on his first turn. I know that leaves a lot of your opponent's players alone with the two of them but if you kick off, Fungus will spread a few of them out for you. Like I said, leave a few Goblins on the ends to take up a few TZs and you're golden. A special thank you to Joe Harkleroad for allowing me to print these strategies.

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Martins Guide to Goblin Strategy


Hi Mecki and Boss Tricksta, this is a compiled version of my gobbo tactics. But before we start, Tricksta, the roster you sent to the list, is that a starting roster? I see no skills gained, but yet you have gotten an awful lot for your buck!

Da Tactics:
1. Getting started: 1a. Big Guys. What big guy rules does your league use? If you use "no stars", you have no easy access to TTM, and this will greatly hurt your team! IF you play in a league where you first need an ST+1 for a troll rookie, and _then_ TTM - you are screwed! Talk to your commish about lowering TTM to ST:5. If you do use stars - then do you also allow multiples of each star? If multiples are allowed, pick the troll star instead of Mork. The troll is so much cheaper, and besides, when throwing players you only need to get a "missed result", so there will be no difference between AG1 and AG3. 1b. Wizards Does your league allow wizards to cause TO's? (standard rules). If so, buy one for your starting team - it can win you many games. 2.Playing: 2a: Skills and Throwing players. Throwing players is your number one weapon! Remember - throwing a player that does _not_ have the ball will not result in a TO!!! This is very important. This also means that you should get jump up for some gobbos ASAP! Once you've got jump up gobbos and 1 or more TTM trolls, you can use the 2 special plays sketched out below. Always throw players short range (never long), as this will count as long, and incur a -1 throwing penalty. This means that you only need a 3+ to get a missed result (which is what you need). 3.Da special Plays. 3a. Da deliverator. (offense) When playing offense, sometimes you may be tempted to throw a gobbo with the ball. But on a missed pass, he will need a 4+ to land, and this just might cause a turn over. Instead, throw a gobbo without the ball (but with jump up (and preferably catch too)). If he lands on his feet great! If he lands head first, he may still pass his armour roll. If he is hurt, don't panic - try again next turn. But if he is allright, run a gobbo with the ball up to him, give him a hand-off, and let him run in the touchdown. 3b. Da flying double blitz. (Defense). This is good against a large defensive formation such as the cage. Throw a jump up gobbo at an empty square, next to as many opposing players as possible. He probably won't land on his feet - but hopefully he will be allright. Now - run in assists, and let the gobbo take a block action, against a corner of the cage. Hopefully, this will open a hole, so that another player can use the blitz action to get attack the ball handler. 4. Safety Allways consider: Am I in a position to either score or steal the ball? If you are not, the safety of your gobbo's is a top priority. Any gobbo's next to a player with block (or mighty blow) should immediately attempt to dodge away. (If this fails heck, anything would have failed with that roll). If a gobbo is standing next to a player with tackle, use a troll to blitz the bastard. Thats about it - good luck with the gobbos Martin (uncle bigbad)

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The Goblin Strategies


By M Spanke
Goblins, goblins, everywhere, on the pitch and in the air... So, you've picked out the most unique Blood Bowl teams to play and you want to win. Well, word to you, cheat! You picked Goblins because you love to cheat, maim, and do anything that is unsavory and ill-mannered. You picked Goblins because you have a certain mean streak, kind of a gang or hit man mentality. Or you have a malign sense of humor. Winning aside, playing Goblins is easy and fun. These little guys are gifted with a sense of mayhem. Because Goblins are so one dimensional, you will never have to fear organizing specialists.

Starting Teams
You have only few choices since there is only one player type and anything but a Troll is too expensive when farming out. The Troll's bulk and ability to toss the little boogers across the park comes in handy. Variant #1 (Strong) 10 Goblins 400,000 2 Trolls 300,000 1 Bomber 80,000 1 Chainsaw 80,000 1 Apocathary 50,000 3 Fan Factor 30,000 1 Reroll 60,000 Total 1,000,000 Variant #2 (Cautious) 12 Goblins 480,000 2 Trolls 300,000 1 Bomber 80,000 1 Apocathary 50,000 3 Fan Factor 30,000 1 Reroll 60,000 Total 1,000,000 Variant #3 (Annoying) 14 Goblins 560,000 1 Bomber 80,000 1 Chainsaw 80,000 1 Apocathary 50,000 5 Fan Factor 50,000 3 Reroll 180,000 Total 1,000,000 An Apothecary is worth 40,000 per game since you know you will lose goblins. You will defiantly lose them, especially your cheaters, if they don't kill themselves, the opposition surely will. The Fan Factor should keep you in a position to replace one Goblin per match.

Playing a Goblin Team


Card selection Role playing your team would suggest Dirty Trick and more Dirty Tricks. If, however, you have some cash and are somewhat beaten up, random events are good for building the team back up. A Magic Items may be vital for scoring a point. Always keep enough cash on hand to buy rerolls when the cards come up.

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General Despite their size and pitiful Strength, Goblins avoid injury through the use of Dodge and can go pretty much where they want when combining this with Stunty. Use these abilities to run as close to your opponents as possible, keying up on the opposition players with multiple TZs. Note I said multiple TZs, there is safety in numbers. Use your cheaters every turn. Throw bombs until ye' can't throw no more. Take out one, a handful, and don't worry about catching an occasional teammate (they are not nearly as expensive as your opponent's players.) Send out posse to foul and finish off those still conscious. It should be your goal to take out one player every single darn turn. Worry about scoring later. Hit'em, hit'em, and den ... hit'em. Read the playbook in Death Zone. It is very revealing. For added fear, pick out the opposition's favorite player. Announce your intention to 'take 'em out.' Dis is for da tim ye done it and dat un da Orcs you done in last week!' Watch the player run in fear, effectively eliminating him from play. When rerolls are plentiful or must be used, lynch first and get their numbers down. You need to be able to swarm the enemy to live, and you can't do that while you take hits without first dishing it out. When replacing cheaters, choose them for variety or freeboot them if they are in season. Nothing is more pleasing then to toss out a dead freebooter. This also keeps your team rating down and gives you extra cards to play with.

Offence Put the Trolls on the line, unless there is a Goblin you desperately want smeared. Do not worry about lone Trolls, if the opposing team drowns it with tackle zones, it opens the field wide up. The Trolls regenerate and can take care of themselves. Let them be beaten and pounded on. There are four options for scoring: Make a wedge on the side of the field consisting of one point Troll, one corner Troll and fill the back end of the wedge with Goblins who will be able to swarm back door blitzers. Slowly and painfully move the wedge down the sideline, at a rate of about 2-3 squares per turn. It's great for eating the clock and keeping the other team off their offense. When the clock is running out, it is time to run to the endzone, dodging away with reckless abandon, or throw a Goblin downfield, or send one out scampering for a pass. Never, but never make the mistake of standing next to the sideline, The Goblins might get the an idea about running off with females or picking fights in the crowd. This is a very pesky offense when you have a rare Goblin with Block skill and Side Step. This is also very painful to defend against. Throw a Goblin or two downfield and worry about getting them ball to them later. The ball can be run downfield and lobbed by another Goblin. Make sure to pick up that Diving Catch skill! If you get a Goblin with Agility 4, set him up behind a Troll, feed him the ball and heave him. If the Troll doesn't fumble the Goblin, then he gets to move himself (on the proviso that he hasn't gone pop when he hit the ground!). Its a one turn Touchdown! Make sure you have a reroll when you do this. This is best for scoring against defenses that stand on the line of scrimmage. Another way to aggravate defenses is to play pass the snot. Or snot flinging. This is particularly effective after a turnover. The idea is to throw the ball out of your opponent's range, but within two sprints of your own players. Let the receivers find a open patch of ground, then toss the ball (snot) up to 6 squares ahead of them. This will cause a turnover, but they will be able to gather the ball up the next turn. If you have run out of rerolls, throw it within four squares.

Defence Let the trolls plug up the middle and divide the opposition's attack. Let the trolls punish the unwary as often as possible. Three Goblins should set up within 2 or three of each Troll. Whomever the Troll knocks over, the Goblins swarm and jump on. Three Goblins and a Troll give you +4 to armor rolls. Your opponent will get cocky and leave his players in pairs or - better for you - on their own due to the Goblin's lack of Strength. (One Goblin blocking an Elvin Lineman is a two-dice he chooses situation.) With two assists you make the two dice block and there's no problems getting to him? Now he's on the ground and a fourth Goblin can foul him with a meager +4 to the armor roll - the blocker didn't get him, but his posse did! Goblins could care less if they are sent off to the Sin Bin for a little extra-curricular activities! Besides, you've got plenty more spare gits in the Reserves box. Laugh with glee at your opponent when tossing the Goblin off-field. A particularly wide open and annoying defense is the winged Goblin defense. Make a line behind the Trolls. They become ammunition. Start throwing Goblins into the backfield (this should be your final act of the turn.) It is wonderful chaos. If your opponent is cocky enough to leave the ball unguarded and deep, send a Goblin flying. Remember to keep a good stock of rerolls for this. (You may even want to target near the ball carrier who is in a crowd in hopes you scatter and clobber someone.) Remember, try to take out one per turn, this means getting through their armor. Use the Bomber first to thin out the field and remember to Cheat, Cheat, Cheat. 'It 'em wen der down. When the bomber is sent off the pitch, bring in the chainsaw and let it rip!

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Damage Limitation Seven Armor, two Strength, and Stunty; and you want to talk about damage limitation? I believe only Halflings have shorter lifespans when it comes to Blood Bowl! (There was a Snotling team once, but the Orcs thought it was just a pregame snack. They waited 2 weeks for the real team to show up, pillaging the town while they waited. Because of this possible confusion, Snotling teams are generally not allowed.) Use Dodge and Stunty to get your lone guys out of enemy TZs. Mostly, however, run in packs - remember the blocking example above? If the attrition becomes too great, Dodge whenever you can. This is always true when playing the Undead. It is nearly impossible to win the attrition war here. Use your speed and Right Stuff, to open up the offense and take advantage of dropped balls when on defense.

Playing Advanced Goblin Teams


You still with us? You've got advancements and two Trolls? Skills Goblins, assuming they are disciplined enough to acquire six or more Star Player Points (SPPs), what can you do with them? Well if you want them to live longer and be a general pain to your opponents (and who wouldn't?) then Block and Sidestep are high up on your list of must-haves. After all, they'll only fall down on a 1-in-6 and for 66% of the time you'll be choosing where they're pushed back to! Having all your guys with the same skills will get a bit mundane and, let's face it, you collect skills to make sections of your team perform differently from other sections. Skills which allow your guys to make the most of their movement are especially helpful, but perhaps Jump Up is pushing your luck - after all, if a Goblin hits the ground, there's not really much chance of him getting back up again! Useful Skills Block. Extremely wild. Guard. Strength in numbers. Dirty Player. Solo murders. Strip Ball! More chaos. Piling on: Just another way you can dish it out. Leader: Another reroll! Pro: Just plain irritating. This guy rerolls just about anything. Frenzy: Rabid Goblins are a riot! Sidestep. He chooses where to go. Sprint. Movement 8 Sure Feet. Extra speed on demand. Pass. For those long quick passes. Stand firm: He thinks he's a fence post! Useless skills Break Tackle. What? Shadow. They will just hit you anyway. Dirty player. Friends are always plentiful. Multiple blocks. Maybe if you see two snotlings. Jump up. Is he still breathing? Nerves of steel. Goblins that stand in a crowd of monsters don't have long lifespans.

General Commentary
#1 Vanilla (Blood Bowl & Death Zone) Don't expect results, but do expect to cut down the opposition. Goblins are not a serious team and should be approached in a malicious way: Mail Order those Cheerleader and Squig miniatures; develop an annoying, yet infuriatingly victory dance for use whenever a Goblin doesn't get injured or takes out Morg'n Thug... you get the idea! #2 Jervis Johnson (Blood Bowl, Death Zone, No Stars, Big Guys and Allies) Trolls. Of course the reason you buy Trolls to lob your boogers about, this can't be done with the Rookie Troll. You'll have to work on them first. SKILLS: Block, Throw Teammate and Mighty Blow DOUBLES: Get rid of his stupidity and then worry about a Strength upgrade.

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Consider The Following


Consider the following: The Trolls and the Chainsaw wielding Goblin surround the ball. Challenge the other team to just take the ball and prevent you from running out the clock. Come get some! Consider the following: Give the rare Agility 4 Goblin Diving Catch. Now you don't need to throw an accurate pass. Consider the following: On a doubles roll, get frenzy. Rabid Goblins are literally a riot. On the receiving kick-off, set up two rows of Goblins on each side of a lone defender and use the Frenzy player to make your opponent run the gauntlet. At the end, everyone jumps on the victim, if he's still breathing. When the mayhem is over, toss the ball (snot) into the ready made wedge. You begin the round with a cas!

A Final Note
Remember, where the Stunty Dodgers go, there are no pockets. Annoy your competition, move freely, and humiliate them. In competition I took a team of pure Goblin team (no trolls) against Dwarves and went into overtime for a 2-1 game, the casualty box filled with the dead and maimed. When you have 6 rerolls per half you can reroll those lynching block results you don't like! How infuriating. Variant #4 (Tourney with no Star Players) 16 Linemen 640,000 6 Rerolls 360,000 Total 1,000,000 Variant #5 (League and you want no Trolls!) 16 Linemen 640,000 1 Apocathary 50,000 7 Fan Factor 70,000 4 Rerolls 240,000 Total 1,000,000

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Goblin Tactics
by Robert Arnholm
INTRODUCTION Most of all you Blood Bowl [BB] players says that the Halflings are the worst BB players but then you haven't played Goblins yet. Coach Big Madeye Goblins looks like Halflings but they don't have those big trees. Most of the Halfling coaches rely upon their Treemen to score 1-turn Touch Downs [TD]. But since the Goblins [Gobbos] only have their Trolls with Always Hungry and Really Stupid, and both these skills make it very unreliable to throw those small fellows... But on the other hand the have a lot of secret weapons and last but not least they gain a lot of "Dirty Trick-Cards" from their Wizard.

STARTING A GOBLIN TEAM Gobbos are very cheap (still more expensive than Halflings), and you can start with quite a few little fellows. 12 Goblins Ripper Bolgrot Apothecary 5 Fan Factor 3 Rerolls 1 Gobbo Wizard Total Cost 480,000 150,000 50,000 50,000 120,000 150,000 1,000,000

Most of you think that Ripper sucks but at that point you have not seen his armour value[AV] of 10 and his Regeneration skill. With This combination he is very tough to kill and that is needed in a gobbo team. Besides it is very hard to include a Wizard at the same time as Morg'N'Thorg. But the point is that you need a big guy with Throw Team Mate. If you are playing with the rookie big guy many will include a rookie troll, but remember his negative skills, and you need a big gobbo lobber... You could if you want include the fast Scrappa Sorehead, used to score fast TD's. This at a cost of a gobbo and 2 FF.

11 Goblins Ripper Bolgrot Scrappa Sorehead Apothecary 3 Fan Factor 3 Rerolls 1 Gobbo Wizard Total Cost

440,000 150,000 60,000 50,000 30,000 120,000 150,000 1,000,000

PLAYING A GOBLIN TEAM Card selection: With your Wizard in the team you will gain some extra Dirty Tricks, although you are playing a cheap team you will need some more big buy and they cost a lot. Random Event cards will give you the needed money. Offence: You have 2 opptions to score: 1. Try to score 1-turn TD. 2. Use Scrappa, leaping over your oppnents heads. Your enemy should always be afraid of your Troll to throw those little fellows around, which will make your opponent to spread his defence. This you can take advantige of and block his players with a lot of assists. With 2 assists you have a two dice block against most of your enemies. If his is still on the pitch let your next gobbo get dirty (+4 without Dirty Player).

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Defence: How do you keep your gobbos on the pitch ?!? That is not an easy task but as usual don't let your opponent get more than 1 block (ie the Blitz action). With dodge and stunty you don't have any problem with getting out from his Tackle Zone's [TZ].

ADVANCING GOBLINS Goblins, you will have a lot of these and if they stay alive long enough to gain skills you will need block and so on. But since they only able to take agility skills, you will have to go for skills increasing mobility. You will need a thrower gobbo with Sure hand and Pass. Togehter with the thrower you need a catcher with catch... Skills: Side Step, Sprint & Sure Feet. Doubles: Block, Dauntless & Guard. Trolls, big stupid things and you need to lose the Really Stupid skill (on doubles), and Block in every other cases. Skills: Block, Guard & Stand Firm. Doubles: Lose Really Stupid and ST advancement.

SQUIGS Squigs may only play for Goblin teams (good for you). You must hire a team of Squig Hunters to use Squigs in your team. They have no effect on the game but they are the only gobbos who know how to handle a Squig. Usually with a big club to the Squig's head. When your Squig gain Star Player Points [SPP] and become Star Player then you may chose skills from General, Strenght and Physical. But you must use common sense and choose skills wich reflect Squigs nature (no Big Hands, while Squigs don't have any arms at all).

Goblins
Qty 016 0-3 Title Cost MA ST AG AV 2 3 3 7 7 with Squigs Skills Right Stuff, Dodge, Stunty Razor Sharp Fangs, Thick Skull, Frenzy Agility General, Strenght, Physical Upgrades

Goblins 40,000 6

Squigs 50,000 D6 4

Re-Rolls: 60,000 gp Squig Hunter Band: 50,000 gp

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HALFLINGS
by Coach Blacknife with Sam Williams
Halflings? You must be kidding! You're not? Oh all right then... So, you've picked out one of the two Blood Bowl comedy teams to play (the other one being Goblins of course!) and you want to know how to get them to win. It's not going to be easy as these guys gifted with a sense of humour rather than the ability to play Blood Bowl. Never fear though as I will reveal tips to get your team up and running! Well, 'running' is probably an exageration; we'll try 'waddling' first.

Starting Teams
You have a few choices here, well actually that should be "you have few choices here"; after all, there is only one player type! However Halflings come with the ability to field a rather unique Wizard: The Halfling Chef. This little guy will come in mighty handy, especially in your first few games (I'm assuming you'll be up against other recently started teams here). Next in their armoury is the Treeman who's bulk and ability to toss the little guys about the park comes in mighty handy (especially if you need to jump the queue to the Rat-on-a-Stick trolley at Half-Time!). 12 Linemen Deeproot Strongbranch Apothecary Halfling Master Chef 8 Fan Factor 3 Rerolls 1,000,000 360,000 180,000 50,000 150,000 80,000 180,000

An Apothecary for a team who's players cost half a reroll? Not exactly: think of him more as a Tree Surgeon! In all honesty your little guys are going to have to look out for themselves on the Pitch, it's your Star Player who's vulnerable (i.e. has a Bullseye on his trunk). Halfling Master Chefs play a great part in the team: they really get up your opponents nose by reducing his rerolls (and increasing your if you're lucky!). The Fan Factor should keep your players topped up and may even help toward a second Treeman which will lessen the blow if your first returns to his roots...

Playing a Halfling Team


Card selection Role playing your team would suggest Random Events and, well, more Random Events, but this need not be the case ingame. Try a Magic Item in there and pick out the Dirty Trick cards - admittedly the Random Event deck is great for money for that second Treeman, but the Dirty Tricks deck is way more fun: and you're playing a fun team after all! Offence Keep Deeproot one square back from the Line of Scrimmage (LoS) otherwise the opposing TackleZones (TZs) will add up fast enough to mean you either make the throw or fumble (and I'm sure the little guy would prefer the former - it get's him closer to the popped corn vendor!). Two options for scoring here: 1. Throw a Halfling (why else do you think their names abbreviate to 'fling?) downfield and worry about getting the ball to him later. At the outside the little guy will cause your opponent to drop back and cover him, so next turn chuck another one in there too! The ball? well it can be run downfield and lobbed by another Halfling can't it? 2. Pick up the ball, hand off to a 'fling who's standing behind the Treeman, the Treeman lobs the little fella who then gets a move himself (on the proviso that he hasn't impaled himself into the Pitch or spotted a tasty sticky bun in the Crowd!). Woah! so Halflings are capable of one turn Touchdowns? You betcha!

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Defence There are rumours that Dirty Player was introduced to give the lower powered, Agility based teams a chance of fighting back against the attritional Power based teams. Well, think of it this way: nobody takes Halflings seriously, right? I mean those little guys couldn't hurt a fly really, could they? Well actually they can. Try the following (and remember that having Dodge and Stunty is better than you thought): Your opponent will get cocky and leave his players in pairs or - better for you - on their own due to the Halflings lack of Strength: one Halfling blocking an Orc is a two-dice he chooses situation after all. But with two assists you make the two dice block and there's no problems geting to him, remember? Now he's on the ground a fourth player can foul him with a meager +4 to the armour roll - the blocker didn't get him, but his pals did! That's without Dirty Player... But you don't want your players sent off; or do you? After all, they'll be happier in the Sin Bin, chowing down on cakes than lying in the Infirmary wishing they could have something crunchier than soup for the rest of their days! Besides, you've got plenty more of the gits spare in the Reserves box: laugh at your opponents glee when tossing the players offfield. Damage limitation Six Armour, two Strength and Stunty; and you want to talk about damage limitation? tough one. All I can suggest is to use Dodge and Stunty to get your guys out of enemy TZs; alternatively you can run in packs (herds?) - remember the blocking example above? it's a weight of numbers thing. Playing an Advanced Halfling Team You still with us? You've got advancements and more Treemen, well it's actually more of the same really: Halflings are a fun team and as such are not meant to be a long term league proposition, so your tactics remain much the same as before. Just don't get too attached to any of your players as I believe Gnats have a longer lifespan when it comes to Blood Bowl! General Despite their size (i.e. pitiful Strength), 'flings are quite resiliant because of Dodge and can go pretty much where they want when combining this with Stunty (of course this means that when they get hit they stay down!). Use these abilities to run as close to your opponents endzone as possible, leaving key opposition players tied with multiple TZs of your own. Note I said multiple TZs, after all players love beating up little guys on two-dice blocks!

Advancing Halflings
Skills Halflings. Assuming they last long enough to aquire six or more Star Player Points (SPPs), what can you do with them? Well if you want them to live longer and be a general pain to your opponents (and who wouldn't?) then Block and Sidestep are high up on your list of must-haves. After all, they'll only fall down on a 1-in-6 and for 66% of the time you'll be choosing where they're pushed back to! Having all your guys with the same skills will get a bit mundane and, let's face it, you collect skills to make sections of your team perfom differently from other sections (and in playing a Halfing team you begin to really want these differences). Skills which allow your guys to make the most of their movement are especially helpful, but perhaps Jump Up is pushing your luck - after all, if a Halfling hits the ground, there's not really much chance of him getting back up again! SKILLS: Sprint, Sure (Furry!) Feet and Sidestep DOUBLES: Pass and Guard!

General Commentary
#1 Vanilla (Blood Bowl & Death Zone) Don't expect results as wins will be thin on the ground, but do expect to have fun. Halflings are not a serious team and should be approached in a jovial way: take some buns (and drinks and chips and candy...) to the game; Mail Order those Cheerleader miniatures; develop an annoying, yet infuriatingly cute victory dance for use whenever a Halfling doesn't get injured... you get the idea! #2 Jervis Johnson (Blood Bowl, Death Zone, No Stars, Big Guys and Allies) Treeman. Of course the reason you buy Treemen is to lob your little guys about, this can't be done with the Rookie Treemen. You'll have to work on them first. SKILLS: Block, Throw Teammate and Mighty Blow DOUBLES: Get rid of 'Take Root' and then worry about a Strength upgrade!

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Dirk Vormann's guide to Halfling strategy


> Speaking of which, I'm probably going to be starting/playing in a BB league > in about a month, most likely with Goblins. I was looking at the Agility > skills, and wondered what was worth getting? They all already have Dodge, > which would've been my first choice. I was thinking along the lines of > giving one or two Diving Catch, and most of the others Sure Feet or Side > Step. On doubles, maybe Sure Hands, HMP, or Block. Any suggestions from > those more well-versed in the game? Suggestions on team composition? > (Thinking 1 Ogre, 1 Apoth, 14 Goblins, 3 Rerolls, 7 FF)

Having played halflings here some suggestions:

players without double or skill increase: diving catch, catch, side step followed by sure feet/sprint if they survive that long. Good catchers.

with double: HMP is a must, if strong arm increases range (depends on how your league plays) you can consider it. DP works well on a player with sure feet/sprint, combine with pro if you get the chance. Sure hands is tempting but there are normally other skills more important. You could have one sure hands player to pick up the ball who hands it over to someone with hail mary and catch...

Block won't help much with low ST. Anything that helps you handle the ball is worth more.

with stat increase: MA: don't change skills because of it. Can become a good catcher or everything.

AG: he will be thrown. If you ever get a double choose pro (possible landing reroll). Catch, leap, side step, etc...

ST: combine with diving tackle. If a double comes up later block is good, otherwise you have to live without.

Side step is your only chance to prevent frenzied ST3 players pushing your complete team out of bounds...

DV Post office does not deliver mail without postage. And sometimes, even with.

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The Small And Short Of It!


by Jeremy Vetock MEASURING UP
Since the new version of Blood Bowl was released, the staffs at the American Games Workshop office in Baltimore have been running a very intense Blood Bowl League. In a frenzy of high-voltage gaming we have already completed two exciting Tournament Cups and are about to start on our third. Although I had already been very successful with my overly pugnacious Ore team, even pulling off a miraculous win in the Spike Magazine Trophy final, for our next "Cup" season I decided to retire my Orcs for a while and see what it would be like to coach a team from one of the other Blood Bowl races. A quick scan of our leader board (an ingenious poster with all the teams listed alongside their win-loss records) showed me which teams had already been entered. There was a plethora of Orc and Human teams and strong representation from many of the other races, but nobody was fielding a Halfling team. Since I wanted something different, I thought to give them a try and so I ran to check out their rules in Death Zone!

SHORTCOMINGS
It is true that Halflings run at half-pace compared to most other teams and it is also a fact that the better portion of a Halfling team can gang up to block an Ogre with little chance of success. Yes, I know Halflings are too small to properly throw the ball and therefore suffer range penalties and I have learned (through bitter experience) that any Halfling knocked over is likely to wind up in the Injury boxes or worse. Given these tremendous handicaps many people wonder why Halflings even bother playing Blood Bowl in the first place!

THE STUNTY AND DODGE SKILLS


I have to admit, that after looking at their stats I had some serious doubts about winning with Halflings, but there were a number of good points to them as well. The most important of these is that all Halflings come endowed with the twin skills of Stunty and Dodge - a wickedly effective combination. In Blood Bowl, each player exerts a tackle zone on all of the squares adjacent to the model. As a result, whenever you attempt to move through an opposing players tackle zone, you have to make a dodge roll. All Blood Bowl players may attempt to dodge, but some races, like Elves, are more graceful and adept at dodging than others. To counter a particularly agile player from sneaking through his lines, a cunning opponent will stack up his players in order to create multiple tackle zones. With more tackle zones come cumulative dodge penalties, but this is where Halflings excel! The Stunty skill represents the fact that Halflings are too small to be easily grabbed - they just duck under arms and run between legs. In game terms this means that Halflings can ignore the multiple effects of tackle zones and they always dodge at their basic roll of a 3+. To make things even better for the little guys, they also come with the Dodge skill, which allows them to re-roll a failed dodge attempt once per move. By making use of Dodge and Stunty, you can easily slip your ball-carrier or a receiver straight through your foe's best defence in an extremely effective, but nerve-wrackingly suspenseful play! In several of my games, the outcome has hinged on one of my Halflings making a last-ditch effort to score by dodging through a literal maze of opposing players, where each die roll could have meant certain doom...! Of course, when you do pull it off you also have every right to jump up and down, yell a lot, and mock the puny efforts of the opposing team.

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PICKING YOUR TEAM


Every Blood Bowl coach starts off with 1,000,000 gold pieces with which to select their players, buy team re-rolls, purchase a fan factor, and add extra coaching staff, cheerleaders and a whole lot more. This is a critical stage for all teams, but especially so for Halflings. First off, Halflings have never developed any but the most basic Blood Bowl skills. As a result you don't have to bother with Throwers, Catchers, or any of the specially players that other teams may choose. Halflings are always Linemen. On the bright side, the low points cost (a mere 30,000) for a Halfling means that you can easily start off with a roster full of players. Given their fragile nature, I heartily recommend buying as many as possible. The following list shows how I started off my Halfling team - the Southshire Stoutboys:

13 Halfling Linemen Treeman Star Player 3 Re-rolls Fan Factor 5 Halfling Master Chef Apothecary TOTAL

390,000 180,000 180,000 50,000 150,000 50,000 1,000,000

A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS


Despite their obvious weaknesses, the fact that Halfling teams are allowed to recruit Treeman Star Players goes a long way towards rectifying the balance of power! These towering arboreal monsters can pile-drive opponents straight into the pitch with their Mighty Blow skill, and there is a fair chance that anyone a Treeman can get close enough to block, will be carried off on a stretcher. I certainly jumped at the chance to recruit Star Player - Deeproot Strongbranch onto my team and I know of another Halfling team that managed to start league play with two of these awesome creatures. The Master Chef is another nasty trick up the short sleeves of Halfling teams. Unable to purchase a wizard like most other races, the more culinary-minded Halflings may instead hire a Master Chef for their team. The fantastic food will inspire your team to the tune of one to three extra Re-roll counters per half. Even more diabolical, the delicious smells emanating from the Halfling dugout are so distracting, that other teams must reduce their team re-rolls in direct proportion to your bonus. By not allowing your opponents to re-roll any of their misfortunes you can often force them into crucial tumending mistakes. For an authentic looking Master Chef model I found the cleaver-bearing cook from the Halfling Hot-Pot crew to work especially well. The poised-to-fire Stewpot, crewed menacingly by my two assistant coaches, is equally brilliant. In my practice games I quickly learned that a Halflings armour value of six makes them very fragile. During the course of a normal game the Knocked Out and Injury Boxes saw a constant rotation of bruised and battered players. To counter this I started our League with the healing services of an Apothecary. You might want to take a risk and start without a healer, but I find confidence in knowing I can save my favourite players or (Sigmar save me!) the too-expensive to replace Treeman, should they be seriously injured or killed! Finally, in my experience, many Blood Bowl players ignore the importance of Fan Factor when starting up their team. After each game, depending on whether you won or lost (and influenced by subtle things like how many touchdowns you scored and the number of casualties inflicted!) your Fan Factor will rise or fall. The importance of your Fan Factor is that it ultimately determines how much profit you receive from each game. High profits allow you to purchase new players, extra re-rolls, and more. Since you are bound to lose some of your Halflings to injury or (ulp!) even death, you will certainly want to make as much money as possible. The Southshire Stoutboys started out with a Fan Factor of 5 and I would've increased it even further. However, I also wanted to begin League play with as many re-rolls as possible and so I had to make a compromise. Halflings often need a second chance to pull off a block or thrown pass and so in addition to the Halfling Master Chefs constant supply, I purchased an additional three re-rolls because they are often simply too expensive to buy during the course of a season.

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HALFLING STAR PLAYERS


In Blood Bowl, as your team advances, completes miraculous passes, and scores daring touchdowns, your players gain Star Player points. Once you have amassed enough points your player will enter into the lofty heights of exalted Star Player status. Star Players may then choose skills from the category appropriate to their position, which unfortunately leaves Halflings only selecting from the Agility Skills. During my first few Halfling games I noticed that my players accumulated Star Player Points rapidly, but also that my players did not last too long afterwards! I was quick to learn that skills, which work quite effectively with other teams, were not as useful for Halflings. Jump Up, for example, is an excellent skill, which allows you to stand up without paying the normal three movement points to do so. When this skill works for Halflings it often leads to spectacular results, but more often than not, a knocked over Halfling has no chance to Jump Up as he has already been carried to the injury boxes! The skills I have found more reliable for my players are Sprint and Sure Feet. Halflings are not fast, so I find myself using the sometimes fatal "Going for it" rules to move extra squares. The Sprint skill will allow you to go for yet one more square and Sure Feet will let you re-roll any failed attempts. This combination can definitely get your furry feet moving out of even the most desperate of situations. Given the Halfling tendency to make errant passes, the Diving Catch skill is extremely useful in making up for the fact that the ball often doesn't land where it is supposed to. Anytime you roll doubles when selecting your Star Player Skills you may choose a skill outside that players normal repertoire. I haven't been lucky enough to do this yet, but I have my eyes on Nerves of Steel, Sure Hands, and any of the passing Skills. A warning though, Halflings can't rely too heavily on Star Players! With an armour value of a mere six, the harsh Blood Bowl environment often means that their playing days are often numbered.

TEAM TACTICS
The first thing to get into your head, as a Halfling coach is that you doesnt necessarily have to block someone to score. A Halfling team is simply too fragile to absorb damage the way a Dwarf or Ore team can. A conservative running game formed up behind a closed formation just won't work for Halflings. In order to score or take a shot at blocking a opponent's ball-carrier, you will often find that you need you Halfling to dodge three times through heavy traffic and go for an extra square or two. Take the risk! It takes quite a bit o guts to run your Halfling ball-carrier straight into the teeth o an inspired defence, but as often as not, I've found that the Halfling will emerge safely on the opposite side! Not eve outlandish play will work for you, and occasionally even a "sure-thing" will fail due to disastrous dice rolling, but the important lesson to learn with a Halfling team is to take the chance. You should be well-equipped with re-rolls and besides, if you stand still you'll find your team pulped to jelly. While no tactic will guarantee success, here are a few potential game-winners to get you started!

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GOING BALLISTIC!
Treemen have the Throw Team mate skill, which allows them to pick up and hurl their fellow players. All Halflings have the Right Stuff, a skill that allows them to be picked up and flung. As you can see from the diagrams, the object of the play is to toss the Halfling with the ball over the heads of the defenders. Assuming you make the agility roll to for your player to land on his feet, he can then use his entire movement allowance to scamper into the end zone. I find throwing a player who's not holding the ball to be very effective on defence as well as offence. Not only can this ploy set up an open receiver deep in enemy territory, but it can also allow you to put pressure on your opponent's ball-carrier despite elaborate defensive formations. Note that your turn will NOT end if you fail to land feet first (so long as you weren't carrying the ball, that is). Even if you attempt this play and it fails it will alarm your opponent and help to accomplish the second part of my cunning plan.

SPREAD THE DEFENCE


Once your opponent realises that you are maniacal enough to fling your own teammates into the heavens, then he will often spread his players across the field. By this time he will have noticed that the multiple tackle zones so effective against other teams are relatively ineffective against Halflings anyway. Halflings don't move very quickly and against a deep formation you will find it very hard to break out into open territory. This can still work to your advantage! With the opposition spread out deep downfield to prevent a projectile Halfling from sailing overhead, you can simply gang up on his players close at hand. Three-to-one odds for the Halflings will more often than not give you two blocking dice and a better than average shot at knocking down his players. Save Black Ores, Chaos Warriors, and Star Players for the Treeman! Remember, a Halfling may have a lower strength than most players, but when it comes to assisting a block or fouling, a Halfling is every bit as effective as a Black Ore or an Ogre!

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The majority of coaches I have played against panic at the sight of Halflings knocking over their players. To avoid this shame most coaches will collapse their reserves and charge, opening up a perfect slot to toss a Halfling. If the opposition is cautious and maintains his spread formation, advance down field with your three-to-one odds. When you get close enough to attempt it, send in the daring Halfling ball-carrier and hope Dodge and Stunty don't let you down.

SPECIAL PLAY CARDS


This is the perfect time to mention the Special Play cards from Death Zone. Divided into three decks, Magic Items, Random Events, and Dirty Tricks, the Special Play cards bring a fantastic range of variables into the game. Each coach starts the game with between one and three cards, randomly determined by a dice roll. The only exception is when one team greatly out-experiences the other. In this case, the handicap system should provide the underdog with enough extra cards to stand toe-to-toe with the toughest veterans. I've found this card system loads of fun and it can definitely save your hide when playing a game against a stronger team! When it comes to picking Special Play cards for my Halflings, I always opt for a Magic Item card first. You are allowed to choose any combination of Magic Items, Random Events or Dirty Tricks, but due to the rarity of Magic Items, you may never select more than one. These potent relics can often be used to heal or resurrect dead and injured players (the Healing Scroll and Magic Sponge cards), and you'll have many of those! There are also plenty of excellent Magic Items that can put an absolute halt on your opponent's drive, such as the Magic Hand of Jack Longarm card, which, to the dismay of your opponent, lets you automatically, intercept a pass. If you only get to choose one card, make it a Magic Item. When selecting additional cards, I switch between Random Events and the Dirty Tricks pile. All Blood Bowl coaches develop their own personal preference and every player has a favourite card that they hope for. Despite the fact that the Special Card drawing is random, I'm always hoping for either the Random Event card Special Offer (which would allow me to purchase a Star Player for half price - bringing the second Treeman into an affordable range!) or the risky, but effective Dirty Trick Razzle Dazzle (a stunning play which allows your team to go two uninterrupted turns in a row!). Used in the right place at the right time, any of the Special Play cards can give your team that extra boost to stop a drive or score a much needed touchdown. If you get several cards don't worry too much about saving them for the perfect time. If I can pile all my cards into just one touchdown I'm always happy to do so. Remember though, that your opponent is sure to have a few tricks of his own and several cards are perfect for taking out the mainstay of your line, your Treeman!

SHORT BUT SWEET


At the start of our League there was a constant line of challengers, anxious to pulp my team before they were forced into early retirement. Now I have a constant line of challengers, eager to prove that my Halfling victories have all been a fluke. Winning with a Halfling team is never easy, but it can be done. Halfway through our current tournament the Southshire Stoutboys have won more than they've lost, and even the defeats have been by narrow margins. I have had both my share of good luck (my Halfling Bing O'Groten leads the League in scoring) and bad (in a single half against a Dark Elf team three of my Halflings were slain). Over the course of the season I have discovered a lot about playing Halfling teams and I'm still learning. Currently I'm trying to save money to purchase a second Treeman and I've even been working on a running play where the Treeman carries the ball! Although it is early in the season, I find myself thinking of the playoffs and the glory (and uneasy angst) I will gain for winning the tournament with a Halfling team! Good luck and may your stew stay hot! Published in the White Dwarf #180.

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The Halfling Strategies


By M Spanke
Halflings? You must be kidding! You're not? Oh all righty then... So, you've picked out one of the most unique Blood Bowl teams to play (the other one being Goblins of course!) and you want to know how to get them to win. Well, word to you, why? You don't pick Halflings to win. You pick Halflings because you have a sense of humor. If you don't have a sense of humor, then you picked the Dark Elves. Winning aside, playing Halflings is easy and fun. These little guys are gifted with a sense of humor rather than the ability to play Blood Bowl. Because Halflings are skill-less, you never have to fear organizing specialists.

Starting Teams
You have a few choices here, well actually that should be "you have few choices here"; after all, there is only one player type! However Halflings come with the ability to field a rather unique Wizard: The Halfling Chef. This little guy will come in mighty handy. Next in their armory is the Treeman who's bulk and ability to toss the little guys about the park comes in mighty handy (especially if you need to jump the queue to the Rat-on-a-Stick trolley at Half-Time!). Variant #1 (Strong) 9 Linemen 270,000 3 Deeproot Strongbranch 540,000 1 Halfling Master Chef 150,000 0 Apocathary 0 4 Fan Factor 40,000 0 Rerolls 0 Total 1,000,000 Variant #2 (Tough) 13 Linemen 390,000 2 Deeproot Strongbranch 360,000 1 Halfling Master Chef 150,000 1 Apocathary 50,000 5 Fan Factor 50,000 0 Rerolls 0 Total 1,000,000 Variant #3 (Annoying) 11 Linemen 330,000 2 Deeproot Strongbranch 360,000 1 Halfling Master Chef 150,000 0 Apocathary 0 4 Fan Factor 40,000 2 Rerolls 120,000 Total 1,000,000 An Apothecary for a team who's players cost half a reroll? I don't think so. However, if your league has players with mighty blow, acquire one for the treemen. Nothing like having a tree surgeon on hand! Your little guys are going to have to look out for themselves on the pitch, it's your Star Players who are vulnerable (i.e. they have a Bullseyes on their trunks). Halfling Master Chefs play a great part in the team: they really get up your opponents nose by reducing his rerolls (and increasing yours!). The Fan Factor should keep you in a position to replace one Halfling per match.

Playing a Halfling Team


Card selection Role playing your team would suggest Random Events and, well, more Random Events, but this need not be the case ingame. Random events are good for a team that is pretty well beaten up and playing to survive. Magic Items and Dirty Trick cards can be vital for scoring points. I suggest taking a magic item before dirty tricks. Magic and tricks are all part of playing for the fun of frustrating your opponent. General Despite their size (i.e. pitiful Strength), 'flings are quite resilient because of Dodge and can go pretty much where they want when combining this with Stunty (of course this means that when they get hit they stay down!). Use these abilities to run as close to your opponents endzone as possible, leaving key opposition players tied with multiple TZs of your own. Note I said multiple TZs, after all players love beating up little guys on two-dice blocks!

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Offense Keep the three trees on the line unless you like quick team rotations. Halflings first in line believe they deserve to be first in line at the chef's BBQ. If the opposing team has only strength three, a Halfling buddy will keep the trees from being swarmed in multiple enemy Tackle Zones. Do not put trees more than one square away from each other otherwise the opposing team will drown it with tackle zones. There are four options for scoring here: Make a wedge on the side of the field consisting of one point treeman, one corner treeman and one side treemen. fill the back end of the wedge with Halflings who will be able to swarm back door blitzers. Slowly and painfully move the wedge down the sideline, at a rate of about 1 square per turn. It's great for eating the clock and keeping the other team off their offense. When the clock is running out, it is time to run to the endzone, dodging away with reckless abandon, 'fling a Halfling downfield, or send one out scampering for a pass (though this is a low percentage scorer, I prefer to physically take it in.) When on a scoring run, keep dodging and sprinting until you burn your reroll counter or have successfully pulled off your play. Never, but never make the mistake of standing next to the sideline, your already too easy to squish. Works well against elves and rats. (Cover every one of the ball-carrier's tacklezones when playing vs. Wardancers or similar nuisances (especially those with tackle or strip ball). This is very solid when you have a rare 'fling with Block skill and Side Step. This is also very painful to defend against. Throw a Halfling (why else do you think their names abbreviate to 'fling?) downfield and worry about getting the ball to him later. At the outside the little guy will cause your opponent to drop back and cover him, so next turn chuck another one in there too! The ball? well it can be run downfield and lobbed by another Halfling can't it? Make sure to pick up that Diving Catch skill! If you get a 'fling with Agility 4, set him up behind a tree, feed him the ball and fling him. If the tree doesn't fumble the Halfling, the Treeman lobs the little fella who then gets a move himself (on the proviso that he hasn't impaled himself into the Pitch or spotted a tasty sticky bun in the Crowd!). Woah! so Halflings are capable of one turn Touchdowns? You betcha! But this tactic is hard on your defense. Make sure you have a reroll when you do this. This is best for scoring against defenses that stand on the line of scrimmage. Another way to aggravate defenses is to play pass the snot. Or snot flinging. This is particularly effective after a turnover. The idea is to throw the ball out of your opponent's range, but within two sprints of your own players. Let the receivers find a open patch of ground (hopefully they don't get caught spreading out the picnic blankets), then toss the ball (snot) up to 5 squares ahead of them. This will cause a turnover, but they will be able to gather the ball up the next turn. If you have run out of rerolls, throw it within three squares. Defense Let the trees plug up the middle to divide the opposition's attack. Let the tree's punish the unwary. Use your chef's available rerolls to increase the range of your lumber. (catch the opposing team flatfooted, distracted by the smell of sweet meats.) Halflings should set up halfway back. Put them within 6 of the endzone, giving them the ability to blitz and attack on a go for it if someone should decide on standing around the goal. Why stand halfway back? Smudge, star defensive Halfling player commented that when you stand that far back, there is much less of a field to defend. When the enemy advances past your trees, you now have trees in your opponent's backfield. Stingy Hamswiper was more honest reveling that it allows them to stand closer to the Chef's pot. There are rumors that Dirty Player was introduced to give the lower powered, Agility based teams a chance of fighting back against the attritional Power based teams. Well, think of it this way: nobody takes Halflings seriously, right? I mean those little guys couldn't hurt a fly really, could they? Well actually they can. Try the following (and remember that having Dodge and Stunty is better than you thought): Your opponent will get cocky and leave his players in pairs or - better for you - on their own due to the Halflings lack of Strength: one Halfling blocking an Orc is a two-dice he chooses situation after all. But with two assists you make the two dice block and there's no problems getting to him, remember? Now he's on the ground a fourth player can foul him with a meager +4 to the armor roll - the blocker didn't get him, but his pals did! That's without Dirty Player! But you don't want your players sent off; or do you? After all, they'll be happier in the Sin Bin, chowing down on cakes than lying in the Infirmary wishing they could have something crunchier than soup for the rest of their days! Besides, you've got plenty more of the gits spare in the Reserves box: laugh at your opponents glee when tossing the players off-field. A particularly wide open and annoying defense is the fling defense. Make a line behind the treemen. They become ammunition. Start throwing Halflings into the backfield. It is wonderful chaos. If your opponent is cocky enough to leave the ball unguarded and deep, send that Halfling a flying. Remember to keep a good stock of rerolls for this. (Throw a red shirt into an open space amonst a crowd in hopes of clobbering someone.) Damage Limitation Six Armor, two Strength and Stunty; and you want to talk about damage limitation? All I can suggest is to use Dodge and Stunty to get your guys out of enemy TZs; alternatively you can run in packs (herds?) - remember the blocking example above? It's a weight of numbers thing. I prefer dodging away. This way they can only get one 'fling per turn. Playing Advanced Halfling Teams You still with us? You've got advancements and four Treemen, well it's actually more of the same really: Halflings are a fun team and as such are not meant to be a long term league proposition, so your tactics remain much the same as before. Just don't get too attached to any of your players as I believe Gnats have a longer lifespan when it comes to Blood Bowl!

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Skills Halflings, assuming they last long enough to acquire six or more Star Player Points (SPPs), what can you do with them? Well if you want them to live longer and be a general pain to your opponents (and who wouldn't?) then Block and Sidestep are high up on your list of must-haves. After all, they'll only fall down on a 1-in-6 and for 66% of the time you'll be choosing where they're pushed back to! Having all your guys with the same skills will get a bit mundane and, let's face it, you collect skills to make sections of your team perform differently from other sections (and in playing a Halfing team you begin to really want these differences). Skills which allow your guys to make the most of their movement are especially helpful, but perhaps Jump Up is pushing your luck - after all, if a Halfling hits the ground, there's not really much chance of him getting back up again! Useful Skills Block. Pass the butter please. Sidestep. He chooses where to go. Sprint. Movement 8 Sure (Furry!) Feet. Extra speed on demand. Pass. For those long quick passes. Guard. Strength in numbers. Strip Ball! More chaos. Useless skills Break Tackle. What? Shadowing. They will just hit you anyway. Dirty player. Friends are always plentiful. Multiple blocks. Maybe if you see two snotlings. Jump up. Is he still breathing? Nerves of steel. Halflings that stand in a crowd of monsters don't have long lifespans. Interesting skills Stand firm: He thinks he's a fence post! Piling on: Just another way you can dish it out. Leader: Another reroll! Pro: Just plain irritating. This guy rerolls just about anything. Frenzy: Rabid wiener dogs are a riot! General Commentary #1 Vanilla Rules(Blood Bowl & Death Zone) Don't expect results, but do expect to have fun. Halflings are not a serious team and should be approached in a jovial way: take some buns (and drinks and chips and candy...) to the game; Mail Order those Cheerleader miniatures; develop an annoying, yet infuriatingly cute victory dance for use whenever a Halfling doesn't get injured... you get the idea! #2 Jervis Johnson (Blood Bowl, Death Zone, No Stars, Big Guys and Allies) Treeman. Of course the reason you buy Treemen is to lob your little guys about, this can't be done with the Rookie Treemen. You'll have to work on them first. SKILLS: Block, Throw Teammate and Mighty Blow DOUBLES: Get rid of 'Take Root' and then worry about a Strength upgrade. Halfling sayings Timber! (what you say when your tree is field.) I've got an idea, formin' in me head! (Before playing a special play card). E's Stunned E' stunned `em Oh, look at the pretty flowers? He's not stunned, e's only 'avin a bit to eat. Echt, eaten dirt again! I see stars! Oh, look at the pretty blimp! I see all sort's of shapes in the clouds. Actually, Halflings are quite residulant. The results really aren't injured for the game, its stuffed beyond movement, its too busy to be pulled from the table, its enjoying a bit of sweet weed after a good meal... Halflings pick up the ball because the head coach told the player it was a chicken. Unfortunately he sat down short of the goal and gnawed on it for three turns. (Those poor rats were maimed by the treemen in the meantime.) Halflings love to serve rat on a stick when playing Skaven. Dead Skaven always go up missing in a Halfling game. Reserve Halflings that take the field in a tree's absence and wear red shirts. Beam me down Scotty. Unfortunately the apocathary was used on the tree. Dam-it Jim I'm a tree surgeon, not a doctor! Rats face down in the dirt are looking for shiny things. Halflings face down in the dirt are looking for their jelly babies, and on occasion they too look for the shiny things. Halflings fumble usually because they just got back from the BBQ pit.

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Not all dodging is skill, half is the butter. Orcs like Halflings because they are preseasoned. Halflings make a nice squishy sound when blocked. Blocking a Halfling is like making jelly. Consider The Following Consider the following: Trees surround the ball, what, you expect they would be able to pick it up? Let the other team just try to prevent you from running out the clock. Come get some! Consider the following: Trees always roll for the interception. (But, occasionally a Halfling can run up the back of a defender or be tossed in the air, or step on the thrower's foot). Try to take the ball away from a tree. This is another time killer. What, you thought you could get the tree into the end zone? Consider the following: Give the rare Agility 4 Halfling Diving Catch. Now you don't need to throw an accurate pass. Consider the following: On a doubles roll, get frenzy. Rabid wiener dogs are literally a riot. On the receiving kick-off, set up two rows of Halflings on each side of a lone defender and use the Frenzy player to make your opponent run the gauntlet. At the end, everyone jumps on the victim, if he's still breathing. When the mayhem is over, toss the ball (snot) into the ready made wedge. You begin the round up one player! A Final Note in the Afterglow Remember, where there are Stunty and Dodge there are no pockets. Annoy your competition, move freely, and humiliate them. In competition I took a team of pure Halflings (no trees) against Wood Elves and went into overtime for a 5-4 game (whoever had the ball seemed to score). When you take away the opposition's rerolls and average 7 rerolls per half for yourself, you just can't help but push your luck every single darn turn. How frustrating. How shocking as you toss 4 valuable unused rerolls into the box and say shucks, I guess we should have been more aggressive. Variant #4 (Tourney with no Star Players) 16 Linemen 480,000 1 Halfling Master Chef 150,000 0 Apocathary 0 1 Fan Factor 10,000 6 Rerolls 360,000 Total 1,000,000 Variant #5 (League and you want no trees!) 16 Linemen 480,000 1 Halfling Master Chef 150,000 1 Apocathary 50,000 2 Fan Factor 20,000 5 Rerolls 300,000 Total 1,000,000

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High Elf Strategy


I've made some changes since I last sent this. The results of wisdom(or something)... :) It's based off of a league with no starz that high elves can get. Let me know if you have any questions or comments. I'm always looking to improve it. Figured I'd send it on to the list at large as well. D Okay. This is my attempt at detailing out high-elf team building strategy. I may give away a lot to rival coaches, but for those of you that are interested in stuff like this, here goes!:)

Initial line-up
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There are really only two routes you can take here. Either you go with big fan factor or you don't. Fan factor will typically pay for itself over time, but with high elves the choice is often between having five more FF or an extra reroll. No matter what you choose, your line-up should look like this: 10 linemen 700,000 1 DragonW 100,000 My inclination is to take 3 rerolls and 5FF. Some will say only 2 RR and an apoth, but they aren't the ones writing this now are they? Some will say "but Ironhead, you should take tons of position players." Again... they aren't the ones writing this now are they? :)So let's stick with my choice. The reason will be all too clear soon enough.

Early Strategies
________________

Take advantage of your high AG from the very start. A gratuitous quick pass can be done by 2 rolls of 2+. Cake. And it gives you an spp. Perfect for a skill when you get that post-game MVP. Believe it or not, elves are great blockers early on*. Maneuvering for a 2d block is sooo easy. Throw as many as you can, because having your opponent on the ground is one step towards getting him off the pitch and a TD on your side of the board. Agility helps a lot with blocking. Not only does it put you in position for good assists, but you can build your drive by dodging off opponents and moving around to the other side of them to keep them tied up. Spread out your spps. No team can do this as well as the elves can. Get a couple TDS for one player and then keep him out of the action. Share the lovin' so to speak. *Depending on your opponent. Dwarves are not the greatest sparing partners because they all have block.

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Tactical Wonders/Blunders
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Here are some things that make me laugh... Most non-elf coaches think they can tie down a high elf by putting a tackle zone on him. Most non-elf coaches talk trash when you leave an elf in a tz of one of their players. My advice: let 'em! They'll shut up after you beat the snot out of 'em! Tackle zones are the key to beating slower, dumber, less agile simpletons that make up the bulk of your oppoenents. Why? In the beginning, most of those jerks don't have any skills. Just like high elves. So you're even there. The ones that can dodge like we can have crappy armour and the ones that have good armour can't dodge like we can. As teams develope, yours will have a more even spread of skills, so most likely your will always stay ahead of your opponents. If you tie them down, more likely than not they will be unable to bring the strength where they need it. If one player of your can suck up the attention of two of their players for even a turn, you have done well. Don't let those cheezepuffs think they can scare you with extra armour and the fact that their models look more like something that came out of a freakshow. They are just blowing smoke because they know that if you put tackle zones on them they can't do jack! What is the difference between a zombie and a high elf? The high elf can break away from his opponent.:) I'll say it one last time. Tackle zones are the key. Learn 'em, know 'em, use 'em to screw your opponent because that's what elves are best at! Another thing to keep in mind... Movement. Elves can outpace most of the brute teams, so tying a couple players up for a turn or so and then breaking away is classic.:)

Development
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Let's get back to our starting roster and talk about what you are going to do to build it into a dominating team. Firstly... Cards Take random events exclusively. This is where the money is at. Once you get an apothecary(50K) and 2 more players(pheonix warrior and another DragonW) you've invested another 230K into your team. Without money cards that could takes as many as 6 games to come up with. Yech! So go for the dough. Random events can also mean less opponents for you to face, keeping your opponent from fouling you, and many other wonderful things. But pray to the money god because that's what you need right now. Down the road you can start taking a magic card, and the rest as random events. Don't even look at the dirty trick pile for now. Magic can save your expensive ass. Period.

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Secondly... Spps and Skills You should look to average 15-20 spps a game. My current elven team averages over 20 so it's not hard. This means with some good coaching you should be getting couple skills per game. Here's some thought on what to get... For linemen: Take any ST you can get. Agility will give you leapers, and don't take MA unless you have to(6+4). First make yourself a line. Give these guys block followed by dodge. You can do the reverse, but taking block first can give you a much needed advantage over less skilled opponents. Remember- having your opponent on the ground is the first step to getting him off the pitch. Dodge will make you a bitch to take down, allow you to peal off your opponents with more certainty, and force your opponents to spend skills getting tackle to deal with all the shit you bring.:) Next. You need wings if you are going to fly.:) Diving tackle: give it to at least 2 guys. Give them block too. Make sure that any ST4 guy gets block and DT(talk about annoying). With 2-4 of your wingmen having DT, you can ensure a tough go for fast and weak opponents, and you will make slow strong opponents think twice. Dauntless. Toss this onto 2 of your diving tacklers. Your opponent may think he's cute bringing in a tough guy so you can DT him with 2d his choice, but this will shut him up. Note: in a league with few big guys you might not have to do this. Leap. Give it to anyone who gets AG5(well... maybe not on your passer:). Sidestep(the unsung skill). It's nice in the wings- no more getting shoved out by that stupid witch elf. Of course.. if you have DT in the wings...;) Where it is best is on the line and on certain position players. Even when you get knocked over you get to choose where you fall. Awesome for getting away from foul freaks and taking up space.:) Pro. Goes well with Diving tackle. A reroll chance where you normally have none. So to recap... Make a line of 3 with block and dodge. Give yourself some wings with block and diving tackle. One other thing to put on a lineman. Give one kick. Do this within your first five games if you can. Give another the 'great equalizer'. Dirty player. Dirty player. I call it Armour technician. Whatever your prefer, make it bloody clear that if your opponent get's cute with his DP that you will start knocking his guys off the earth. I usually do this by striking first.:) Later down the road you may find that you don't need nor desire an Armour Technician on your team. But in the formative years, it can give you a boost. The ONE major drawback is that it hogs spps. For that reason, dump his ass unless he can get the skill to become a productive team member. Doubles... Nothing will make your opponent buckle more than 5 or 6 high elves dodging though his line. Stand firm kicks ass on these guys. Period. Guard is nice too, but to put real pressure on your opponent, bypass most of his players with stand firm. I beat an orc team that was rated 70TR points above me and had 3 Morgs on it. His TR was 350, mine was 278. Dollars to doughnuts one of the biggest reasons why was because I had stand firm on no less than 5 of my elves. Man he hated that.:) Position players: Dragon Warriors. Bastages of the Midway! Hope for ST. Hope for doubles so you can take mighty blow, and again so you can take stand firm or guard. Invariably these guys will be your workhorses. They start with 7 3 4 8 block So the extra move and skill make them rock(for high elves). Devote one(that hopefully has mighty blow) to be your hunter. This is the guy that takes out all those cheeze-ass bastards that run gimmick plays. Give him dodge, tackle, sidestep. He will be totally annoying, hard as hell to bring down, and perfect to whack gutter runners, witch elves, and catchers in general. Hell if you really wanted to make him gross and got another double, give him piling on.:) Make the other just as annoying. Set him up with strip-ball and what-ever skills give you the best chance of penetrating your opponent's defenses. Then use him! Make your opponents actually consider putting sure hands on receivers.:)

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Phoenix Warriors. This one is a no brainer. Make one your ball-hander, carrier, etc. Give him sure hands, block, maybe DT or dump-off. Accurate might be nice if you can swing it(just to help a little). The other should be your long-distance(LD) service. Accurate, Strong Arm, Safe throw. You would think Hail Mary Pass is nice, but I look upon it as a desparate measure taken by desparate teams. The ball is always better when it's in your hands.:) Lion Warriors. I haven't hardly mentioned these guys, have I? They should be the last players you pick up. Well, you can get one before your second phoenix warrior if you really want. But my advice is to hold off with them. Low armour sucks. But there is a bigger reason. Until now, your opponents have been watching you develope a run & shoot offence(hopefully). Lots of quick passes, short reverses, etc. Most wont anticipate the extra speed that the Lion Warriors bring you. Plus they will double-take when they expect to have an advantaged block and find that your guy is 3ST!!! And even you will be surprised at the scoring ability this guy packs onto the top of your team. ~~~~~~~ Now the main point of the Lion Warriors is not to score points(what?!). It is to draw off the defense while your true scorers do their thing. Call me crazy. The only time I would throw to a Lion Warrior is if he is clear and my opponent had no wizard. I'd have to be -very- desparate otherwise. ~~~~~~~ Funny how times change. I have since learned to put great faith in these guys as scorers. Giving them skills like dodge and sidestep make them tough to go after. Jump-up helps. Block makes them a pain as well. My thoughts... give one block, dodge, sidestep. He's mister annoying. Hope that the other getg AG5 for leap. If not just give him dodge, jump-up.. and ...well... experiment. Things to keep in mind about all your playersYou have to pattern these guys to your opponents. I've had Lions act as both scorers and defensive safeties. Being able to tote diving tackle all the way across the pitch works wonders for stopping up your opponents. Don't be afraid to try wierd combos on these guys, and whatever you do... don't be sad when they die. Because they will die. You just make more. :)

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Finalizing your team


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When you have 13-14 players, try to scrape up the dough for a wizard. Then start focusing on getting rerolls. Having six is a Good Thing(tm). At the point where you have about 15 or so players, it's a good time to start cutting out the chaff. Any players that have gotten skills that don't fit the game plan, can be retired and replaced one by one. Refine your team. Here's a thought... Recycle your DP every so often. Remember that all those casualties he's got adds up and mean an increased TR. Injuries- unless you are a desparate, retire anyone that gets niggled or some other permanant SI immediately. Unless the guy is a god you will be doing yourself a favour. Not only can he come back to haunt you, but he adds team rating to you for a game while he sits and does nothing. On the pitch, you have one thing to do. Win. Set the tone of the game. No one can do this better than high elves. One drive you pound into your opponent. The next drive you pound into your opponent. The third drive you dance around him and play a 'standoffish' game. Your opponent will blink and not know how to react. Then you pound into him again.

No one can change up tactics as well except for humans. Wood elves don't have a good enough strong game, and dark elves don't have a good enough pass game.

Jesus this is long!!! I'm sure there are things I've missed or only touched the surface of. Such is the depth of the High Elven game. Hopefully this will aid those of you patient enough to read through it.

It's totally a work in progress.:)

Good luck, Doug

p.s. Two things to remember. 1. Tackle zones are the key. 2. Two or better. That's what an elf needs to succeed on most everything.

Two or better. I garrauntee you'll find

yourself saying it a lot.:)

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High Elf Tactics


by Robert Arnholm INTRODUCTION
The main problem with High Elves are the lack of Big Guys. All of the other team may begin with a big strong (stupid) guy, but not you. If your playing in a rough league with a lot Orcs, Chaos, Dwarfs and Undead teams this can be a problem. But remember, while you dont have an Armour Value[AV] of 9 you got somethine else.. With Agility 4 you can dodge out and minimize your opponents block opportunities. Overall the High Elves are fairly lowpowered, and their movment are generally insignifficant, but not that bad. With AV of 8 they can take a hit or two but they won't survive in the long run.

PLAYERS IN THE HIGH ELF TEAM


Dragon Warriors (Blitzers) Basically a human Blitzer with an extra AG point, costing 10k, not able to take Strenght, but with possibility to take Agility skills. Important players in the High Elf team, you should get two of them from the begining and never have less... Lion Warriors (Catchers) A Human Catcher with Strenght and Agility upgrade. Not bad, to bad they don't start with dodge. Unfortunantly he's never going to be a one turner (1-turn TD). Phoenix Warriors (Throwers) A overall good thrower and cheapest among the Elves. He can throw a Long Bomb at 5+, with a reroll. Not bad. Even though you normally shouldn't have a Thrower in your elf team you might start think again when you start a new High Elf team. Linemen (Lineelves) Elf linemen are definetly the best you can get. Good AV, Good ST, Good MA and superb AG. You can rely on these guys. Never underestimate the lineman. He is tough, fearless and utterly devoted to any task you assign him. But remember even though they're good, they ain't immotal but expensive...

ADVANCING YOUR TEAM


Dragon Warriors. Dodge for the first skill. Go for Dauntless (taking care of Big Guys) and Diving Tackle (protection). On doubles take Mighty Blow, after that maybe Stand Firm. You can always pray for a Streght increase... Phoenix Warriors Don't bother doubles, go directly for Sure Hands and Accurate. After that you can throw a Long Bomb 4+ and you doesn't have to bother about fumbling when you pick up the ball. After you got a good Thrower you might hire another one for offensive purpose, giving him Block, Dodge and Nerves of Steel. Lion Warrior. I always start with Dodge and Block. Now your Catcher is protected and he is much better then most Blitzers! Of course if you get an AG upgrade take Leap! If you roll the dubbles go for Strenght skills as Stand Firm (you don't need to worry about missed dodges), Mighty Blow (unexpected) or Guard (always useful). You might go for two Catchers (offence/defence) one with Block/Dauntless/Mighy Blow/Diving Tackle and one with Block/Dodge/Nerves Of Steel/Stand Firm. Lineelves. Block/Dodge. Okay giv half your guys Block and the rest Dodge. Block is always useful and while one of your main mission every turn is to dodge out of your opponents tackle zone. Dodge will keep you from unpleasent surprises. Then of coures you give one Dirty Player, for fouling. The dirty player should get Pro and Dodge(protection) later. One or two players gain Dauntless to take out the big guys that you don't have. On doubles, get guard to toughen up the line of scrimmage, or maybe Mighty Blow. Most of your players should have Diving Tackle as second or third skill.

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STARTING A TEAM
High Elves Qty 8 1 2 2 6 Total: Title Linemen Phoenix Warriors Dragon Warriors Re-Rolls Fan Factor Cost 70,000 80,000 100,000 50,000 10,000 Total 560,000 80,000 200,000 100,000 60,000 1000,000

There are some changes you may consider, first you can remove a re-roll and upgrade a Lineman to Lion Warrior and add three points to your FF, since you will need the money. You could also consider starting with 10 players and an apothecary from start, keeping two re-rolls and adding 2 to your FF. If you don't start with an apothecary that is what you first will buy. You can't afford losing any players they are to expensive.

TACTICS ON THE FIELD


With High Elves you should concentrate your attack against one of the enemy flanks, and secure a foothold deep inside enemy territory, so that some of your players can reach the endzone next turn. Make sure to make a good cage so that at least one of your players are unreacheable by opposing players, so you can avoid tackle zones on your player. The other main theme in any Elf player tactics should be to get out of reach from you opponents blocks and only allow him to one (his Blitz action) block action. Meanwhile get the ball, and move it into your backfield. Safe from any long running Blitzers. You can not afford any problems with your Thrower this early in your turn. To score, Blitz and block an opening for your reciever. Run your Thrower forward and toss the ball. I wouldn't say there is any problem scoring with a lineelf. Most players prefer score with their Dragon and Lion Warriors, but don't worry they will get enough SPP's anyway. A Lineelf with Block and Dodge is a true pain, and you'll love him dearly. On defense, you have greater problems. You can never be safe when you meet a tougher team, (Orc/Dwarfs) and you should always be careful when you meet a faster team (Woodies/Skaven). When meeting tough teams never ever stand still, even though it doesn't has any meaning now you will confuse those stupid orcs! Remember do only allow one block (the Blitz), you can either dodge away or block him (there are no problem dodge away to give another Elf assist on his block!). Playing Wood Elf and Skaven look out for thier Wardancers and Gutter Runners (they always got a one turner), and remember thier AV is lower than your.

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HIGH ELVES
by Sigurd Garshol
Dragon Warriors (henceforth known as Blitzers) Basically a human Blitzer with an extra AG point, costing 10k. He can take both General and Agility skills. Did I hear Dodge? It is likely to be worth it, but leave Leap to the catchers and other schmoes. Use your blitzers to punch holes in the oppositions lines, and to protect your friends. If the going gets tough, hand the ball over to him and let him score. The Blitzer should aquire Dodge, Dauntless and possibly Diving Tackle. Doubles should be spent on Mighty Blow. Multiple doubles should be spent on combat skills, even though he can take these ordinarilly (yes, you may have to turn down a double!) Magic helmet? This is the guy that deserves it. PRAY for a ST increase. Lion Warriors (henceforth known as Catchers) A human catcher with an extra point of ST and AG. Somewhere this guy lost his Dodge-skill. He costs 20k more than his human counterpart, and could use some protective skills. With a ST of 3, this guy can blitz his way out of a pocket and move fast enough to get to the end-zone. He is never going to be a 1-turner (unless you spend three lucky rolls getting MA+2 and Sprint). You might ignore speed at the benefit of safer movement. Block and Dodge is good. Leap allows you to get out of the really tough breaks. Doubles? Mighty Blow is a shock for the opposition (who expects a Catcher with MBlw?), but Stand Firm is also an option. However, I would rather go for Block and Dodge first, then either consentrate on speed or maneuverability. Phoenix Warriors (henceforth known as Throwers) The cheapest elven thrower available. Although Sure Hands is something all the other teams have, This guy throw long bombs at 5+, with a reroll. Get the ball, move into a forward position, lob the ball to a nearby line-elf, run line-elf to back-field. Move Catchers and potential touch-downers forward into enemy territory. Next turn, move line-elf-with-ball forward, hand over ball to thrower, clear path for catcher, lob ball to catcher, score. The above tactic won me a 4-2 victory over Sewer-79'ers. Blast those rats. Skills? Only Passing or move-related skills for this bloke. Here you might find yourself forced to ignore the roll of doubles. Consider the possibility that you have gained two skill rolls, and roll a double for your third. Is there really any point in taking an Str-skill just to use the Double? Remember that the next roll is FAR away, and the Thrower isn't likely to get points for much else than completions... And Sure hands is well worth taking as the second skill (after Accurate). Linemen (henceforth known as Line-Elves) Costly target-practice for the opposition. Line-elves should do what line-elves do: Put out a lot of tackle-zones and block the way for those big monsters. Keep your boys out of trouble (or out of striking distance) whenever possible. Captialise on their high AG and move to concentrate your blocks. If your opponent can make a block only once per turn, you are getting somewhere. Ever thought about scoring with a line-elf? Consider doing so if one is in the right position... The first skill of these dudes should be dodge or block, followed by block and diving tackle respectively. You will also need some with dauntless (and later block). And of course your Dirty Player. Consider taking Dodge before taking Pro as the DP's second skill. Let the Dauntlessing dude bring down the big brutes, and foul them (a lovely combination). Do not give DP to your Blitzers, as these are needed on the field. Did you roll a double? Cool. Guard and Mighty Blow are musthaves.

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A suggested setup: # 2 1 8 2 6 Type Blitzers Thrower Line-elves Rerolls Fanfactor Cost 200 80 560 100 60

This will give you a bit stable team from the start. You should also consider removing a reroll and upgrade a Line-Elf to Catcher and add three points to your FF. You will need the money. You could also consider starting with 10 players and an aporthecary from start, keeping two rerolls and adding 2 to your FF. After your first match, buy an apothecary. The most important thing will be to add man-power to your team. Extra LineElves will be wonderful. For your first games, play the weak opponents (other elf-teams). Don't worry about losing, just rack up the MVP's and a few Comps to go with your TD's. Casualties are a bonus, but if you can play a couple of clean games, so much the better. Stars? Earen Wyrmsbane if your league allows the OBERWALD stars. Prince Moron? Only if you have to, mate. General Strategy. If you are managing to beat the shit out of a chaos team (I mean, throwing people into injury boxes and KO boxes all the time due to amazing luck), you have no rush scoring. If you are low on men, try to score as often you can. Knocking people down is as good as dodging away from them, and even safer in the long run. Capitalize on agility to play a passing game. And I MEAN a passing game. You don't have the movement to just hand the ball over to the catcher and have him run home

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Why so many Linemen?


> KidNefaria wrote: starting with a lineup like this is short-changing > > yourself. i know you're Kid Knowledge and you have a real successful team and > > all that good stuff, but why should you build up all these linemen and then > > have to concentrate on your position players later? With position players > > you'll have a better chance of winning your opening matches, and they'll gain > > skills earlier. Having a low FF is bad, but i think having a low talent team > > is worse. I mean, i've never coached HE's, but i have done DE's and i think > > the same principles apply. Start with as many position players as possible, a > > low FF and 1 reroll, get your apothecary later, they're still 50k. Just my > > opinion, i guess, i wonder why its different from everyone else's. >> > > nef

OK, he did ask "why". And why indeed? Why would anyone in his right mind want to start a team consisting entirely of Linemen (There is that one blitzer of course, but...) Here is why: You can have up to 2 throwers, 2 catchers (or was that 4?) and 2 blitzers on your High Elf team. This is 6 out of 16 players. Which leaves a demand for 10 linemen. Your position players, even new ones, will have no problem advancing. Any Lion warrior can run fast and catch the ball. Any Dragon Warrior can do largely the same while kicking butt in a reasonable fashion. A new Phoenix warrior just has to lob the ball a few times. By starting with so many linemen you are bound to get some SPPS on them. You will have to rely on them for scoring, passing and fighting. And they *will* get better at it. With the MVPs and occasional casualty, TD and pass, your linemen will improve over time. In the long run, you buy new specialised players, but by that time, your linemen have got their Block, Dodge, Diving Tackle, skill vital to the well-being of your team. Your SPPS will be more or less evenly distributed among your players, which is desirable. Having two skills on twelve players (~150 SPPs) is better than having four skills on two. Sigurd.

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The DOW Jones has said it again :)

High Elves and tactics.


=================== Now getting into a debate over this is pointless, as there is no 'right way' to play High Elves. Let's face it (speaking from a High Elf pointy eared view [point of view]) If you're playing High elves then you ARE playing right. :) But What 'D' has suggested is _not_ the only 'two ways' of setting up a High elf team. So here's my reply as a kind of 'second opinion'. I don't find Doug's version offensive, but there's more than one way to skin an opponent :)

How to spend 1,000,000 gold pieces:


=============================

Well, simply put, start with the most important thing and work backwards. Well, That's obvious. Because High elves _are_ expensive and invaluable you can't afford to lose one. So buy insurance in an apothecary. One game without the healer and you could end up down many gold pieces and valuable players. So, 950,000 and no players bought. To me, the most important players on a High Elf team are the Catchers. (Lion Warriors) They are the best money can buy. They're fast. They're agile. And you already have your apothecary to make up for their lack of armour. Buy two. they'll earn Star Player Points (SPP's) faster than anyone else on the team so it's good to buy them early and make them an embarrassment to any other team as quickly as possible. Then you'll need A Phoenix Warrior. Otherwise, who passes the ball to them? It's a cheap pass skill and access to other passing skills for only 10,000, so get one. In your league, if Prince Moranion counts as a dragon warrior, then only buy one dragon warrior and leave a slot for him. Otherwise buy two. Their block skill and extra movement is more than worth the measly 30,000 extra you are paying to 'upgrade' a linelf to a blocking blitzing type. So we look like (with 11 players)

2 Dragon Warriors 2 Lion Warriors 1 Phoenix Warrior 6 Linelves

1 apoth.

Total: 930,000

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What now? Well, a reserve would help - but that would jeopardise the amazing skills your team starts with. So - we have two choices... 1. 1 reroll and 2 FF. Now Fan factor money can't buy after the initial purchase - but Elves don't need fans to tell them how good they are - everyone knows already! O.k. start but many on this list believe in the power of the fan factor. I let other teams win kickoffs and simply win on the pitch. 2. no rerolls and 7 FF. With AG 4 live on the edge and go without RR's. People can't understand why elves can cope but I do all the time when starting. Far better than starting without an apothecary. You can always pick them up later with special 'extra training' cards no matter which deck you get. In the first few games you can choose a leader. (after they have block). I never use more than 3 rerolls a half anyway. So you're set......

General tactics.....
=============== Well, a fair amount has to do with having low rerolls. Make sure that you do all the 'important' stuff first. Move first as it's free, then do what counts. That way if something _does_ fail then you can cope because the important stuff should already be done. Keep a game plan. If you are afraid (and don't ask me why - elves are the best so shouldn't be afraid of anything) of a player - use any 'anti-player' cards on them and target them for the first half whenever possible. Take them out by any means necessary without disturbing the game plan. Other game plans should be to score as often and as regularly as possible, unless playing faster teams (who you crunch and stay level with on the score) or really wimpy teams (such as halfling) which you should use your speed to lend assists and pound them. **** Don't get sucked into playing the same game as the opposition. My game plan is normally the opposite to my oppositions. If they are beefy don't get sucked into the beat-em-up game. Score often and stay away from opponents when convenient. If they are sppedy (Skaven, Wood elves) then pound them and especially take out their faster players to keep their speed on par with yours (you'll find the faster players are normally easy to take out anyway). ****

Specific tactics:
============

Certainly exert tackle zones on players who could inlfict pain on those who have the ball with players who aren't critical to the play. But equally keep those players whom you can away from those who are the biggest risk. I've seen too many hihg elf coaches with eyes bigger than their fists. Stay away from treemen. Don't bother with them Same with trolls. Both are so slow they won't bother you much and if they have to waddle everywhere they aren't doing what they do well, which is hit. So keep players moving when possible. Take any two dice blocks in your favour fairly regulalry, as players on the pitch aren't hitting you, holding the ball, or chasing you. One dice blocks less regularly as the chance of success is less (especially with few rerolls). Weigh up the importance of the dodge, block or whatever with the risk of failure and do those of relatively equal importance but less probability of failure first. So your blitzers should block/blitz before anyone else. Get your position players to do their respective jobs. Throw with your passer and catch with your catcher where convenient, as it helps your probability, but elves _are_ flexible in this department, and are good with the ball.

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Against the cage:


--------------------------

If you see an opening - punch through to the ball - but if you don't, wait. Dodge your players back one square each turn. that way they only advance one square each turn and make one block (the blitz). Form a wall with you players so they can't get through. You'll get an opportunity to hit the player who blitzed back and your blitz if you set up correctly and then all step back one square again. You may lose a few players this way - but it will stop the opponent from scoring. The other tactic, which can be used in simultaneous action, is to tie up players in blocks and whittle the players around the ball as they can't advance and have to hit you to get away. When the cage has lost players all up the pitch involved in minor skirmishes ans there are only three or four players around the ball, _then_ hit the cage. Cards can help - and tacklezones on the ballcarrier can really freak your opponent out. Don't leave lots of players around the cage where he can hit you all day and keep your team playing cards in the dugout - you just have been sucked into playing the beat-emup game. The Line of Scrimmage: Stay away unless you have dominance. Sure hit and skirt away - but make them come to YOU. Never give them free shots when you can avoid it. With planty of players around you can have dominace and do ther 'domino maneuver'. Two dice (with one assist), push or knock down, don't follow up and be the assist for the next block, two dice (with one assist) etc. right across the line from left to right or right to left. The ball: Develop radar. Pick it up and keep it away from the opponents. Don't be afraid to get in the action to get it, but get it 'out of there', even at the expense of a turnover, as soon as possible. Run the ball if you have lots of linelfs near the ball carrier against really speedy teams, pass over crunchy ones. Use a wide zone as help to create a miniature pocket with a few players placed wisely to protect the ball carrier rather than biff straight down the middle where the really strong players are. (watch for players with frenzy - they can make a mess of this tactic). Remember to make players come to you. Scoring: Use a mini cage around the ball until you can throw to a guy who can score _in the same turn_. Don't leave a lion warrior (or anyone else) alone with the ball in a backfield, unless NOONE from the opposition can get to them. There are exceptions to the rule. I normally work my 'pocket' down the field until I get caught up in enemy players I can't knock down - then I pass to an open guy and score. You can set up a pocket in the oppositions backfield to pass to as well - it gives protection for the ballcatcher if they get it and it can mean you can offload the ball earlier and wait a turn before dodging away to score. It also gives you other people to catch the ball if it isn't accurate. If your pocket isn't facing opposition, run all the way while he chases your lion warriors all over the pitch. Running the Phoenix warrior in to score normally is a suprise to coaches - they expect a pass. I would discourage sending lone lion warriors into the backfield by themselves, they normally end up dead. Instead, move into the wings where they don't look like a threat - then short pass to them and streak out of danger - tying taklezones up with any other player possible. There - that's about ten plays right there..... Defence. Focus on the ball - early. Before the cage. Get your dragon warriors to the ball pronto - especially if they fumble the football trying to pick it up - it can allow you to score. If you get the football from such an eventuallity, don't stay deep in the backfield all alone with the ball - send it back to your passer. Strange - passing backwards, but it keeps you with possession of the ball a lot longer. It's another suprise trick. Rather than focus on potential threats to score and keeping all opposition out of your half (forthose speed teams) hit them, sure - but remove the threat in taking out the thrower. I've seen many an orc team crumble without their beloved thrower. He's their weak link. Remember to make the oposition come to you and dodge to convenient locations to assist where it matters - you may be outnumbered (and expect to be about 7 player in the second half sometimes) but make the players you have outnumber them where it matters.

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Skill development.
============== Block is very useful and is great for keeping your players on the pitch. Grab some strength skills on doubles only if you can use them. I find some skills like mighty blow are not that useful even on dragon warriors... Guard can be a great one as can Stand firm on Lion wariors (with dodge never knocking the player down or a turnover ever eventuating). Throwers should grab sure hands as it helps getting the ball when it's raining and when it's in trackle zones. Dodge before block for the lion warriors only - as they need it and it still helps them stay on their feet (I don't block with my lion warriors much). Dauntless is great - but Prince Moranion has it. Strip ball is overrated - I feel - but Diving Tackle, Dodge and Block on the Lion warriors makes them pretty nice. Frenzy on anyone with block can also be a good idea to make the players blocks count. And don't forget leader on a 'block' player for a free reroll. As to Stat upgrades - the only ones I'd be happy with would be +1 ST. You don't need MA or AV.

Team Development:
================

Save for the 140,000 gold piece twelfth player. He's worth it. You should get random events (at least one per match) to help out with the financial side of things. While saving - buy a reroll if you get that 'extra training'. Prince Moranion is not only really helpful with his ST4, but also makes a great player to run with the ball. Keep him as a 'blitzer' type - not on the line where he can be pounded and his MA 7 is wasted. In fact if you can have 4 of him - get them. Look to pad out the roster with reserves fairly quickly. Don't pay the twice price for rerolls - extra training will pay for that if you have money in the treasury. Only look to a wizard when you are having 11 players on the pitch all game long.

Leagues
=======

Choose your first opponents very wisely. Choose the teams which won't easily beat you to a pulp, are unlikley to pose a threat to a win, and has high fan factor (in that order). The first few games can make or break a team - so if you can play those halflings early - do. Also less experienced coaches can make easy starting opponents if you are sneaky - but don't underplay the first few games. You should look to win (get points on the board early), and develop your team as quickly as possible.

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And Finally
========= If you end up starting with 10 or even 9 players for a few games early on because of serious injuries - don't give in. Jervis himself said: "Finally, don't get disheartened if your team rating gets worse after your first couple of games. This happens quite frequently with starting teams, and more often than not the team manages to bounce back later on." Just choose your opponents while you are 'vulnerable' especially carefully and don't compromise your game plans or league strategy because of a few players missing matches.

=-) Babs. (written some time ago)

P.S. This may be VERY different to Doug, but it is meant to be complementary and supplimentary, not against him. Doug, Well done - I liked your article so much it inspired me to write this :) Nef: I agree with you somewhat - do you kind of agree with this?

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The Human Strategies


By Andy Welton Example of a starting Human Team.
These is two example teams I use on a regular basis for Blood Bowl.

Human Example 1 3 Blitzers 270,000K 2 Catchers 140,000K 1 Thrower 70,000K 6 Linemen 300,000K 3 Rerolls 150,000K 7 Fan Factor 70,000K TOTAL 1,000,000

Human Example 2 4 Blitzers 360,000K 2 Catchers 140,000K 1 Thrower 70,000K 5 Lineman 250,000K 2 Rerolls 100,000K 7 Fan Factor 70,000K TOTAL 1,000,000 But when every one is out to kill, I ususally take this team when I I take this team. If we play with am playing in a conservative Bigguys I forgo the catchers and league. take an Ogre , a lineman, and 4 fan factor

The Human Players (pros and cons)


Blitzers: Blitzers are one of the better players in Blood Bowl. (at least the best Human player type). They are quick and tough. I tend to use the Blitzers as a mix between bruisers and catchers. They have the ability to do both then why not do it. When my Blitzers move they always move in pairs. That way they can protect each other and keep opponents away. They are also real good protecting catchers as they run for a td. Skills:When my Blitzers get a first skill I usually give them Mighty Blow (more casualties!!... The humans need to pack as much punch as they can get.) But if I ever roll doubles for the Blitzer, they get dodge. The block-dodge combo is a must for my blitzer. Otherwise I get them a mix of skills , tackle, leader, and sometimes pro. Catchers: Catchers are by far the most picked on players on my human team. That usually happens to low strength players. Everyone I know tries to take out my catchers. You need to protect them as best as you can. One strategy you can use (and I have used) is to get Right Stuff skill and toss them for td's. But that usually makes them have a very large target on their heads. :) Skills: When my catchers get skills, the first one is Block. That way it helps to protect them. Also other skills I try to give them is sprint, catch, and pass block. Pass block can stop any foes offensive drive and remember you get 2 tries to intercept the ball(1 for catch and 1 for pass Block.) As I said for above, another skill that I give to my catchers is Right Stuff. If you give them right stuff make sure you give them pro (it is great for that last minute TD to win the game when you have no rerolls left and you fail a land roll). Throwers: Throwers are the compliment to the catchers. I tend to use them as my original ball handlers and literally sit in the pocket until there is a need for a pass. I try to keep them out of danger like my catchers. (like hiding behind blitzers or Ogres. Skills:When my throwers get a skill I usually give the pass skills. Accurate is always the first skill I give them. That way you can get more completions therefore more skill points. Then strong arm is the other skill. If I feel like I need to, I give the throwers block. That way it could protect them from possible danger. Lineman: Linemen...... There is no real strategy with them. I tend to use the on the front line like linemen should be. They should be played so they get in the way of the enemy and make a hole for your offense. They are what people call 'disposable heroes'. If they die on the field of combat they can be replaced fairly easy. (except for that one really cool guy that got all the casualties.) Give your linemen a personality. That makes it much more fun to play them. Skills: If they get skills, I usually give them block and then tackle. Other skills could be useful such as Dirty Player, leader, or even dauntless (use this to take down that annoying minotaur picking on your linemen).

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How the troops are placed

Receiving: Just one way I set up the offense. Sometimes I use more catchers if we are playing in a 'nice' league, Or just a fun game. Kick Off: Same as above.

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HUMANS
by Coach Blacknife with Mark Roberts
The most basic of all Blood Bowl teams, the Humans get runners, passers and catchers combined with decent speeds and access to the right skill tables at the right times. Reputidly one of the easiest teams to Coach, this team can be very forgiving of early upsets and bounce back remarkably. While not as specialised as other teams, Humans can provide their own challenge for league play as you will find it difficult to win against experienced Coaches. Oh, and they come free in the box!

Starting Teams
There are a couple of ways to start a Human team, specialise in running, or go for a passing game? The advantage to the run is that it can be played as a passing game...

6 Linemen 2 Throwers 3 Blitzers The Mighty Zug 7 Fan Factor 2 Rerolls 1,000,000

300,000 140,000 270,000 120,000 70,000 100,000

Okay, so above I've plumped for the running game. I'm a big fan of this as it suits my playing style down to the ground: grinding, but with the ability for passing - no weak links to start with. Now some might say that Catchers are a great idea and one Thrower could be dropped for him and that would be just fine... for them. Like I say, my style has been laid on the field here and I'd only add Catchers later in the season once I knew I could do two things: a. Protect them when they're on-field. b. Live without them when they're stretcherd off it! As you can probably guess, I don't like putting my only hope of competing onto the field in next to no protection! Try a Catcher if you want, it may suit you better, but as it stands I'd buy an Apothecary for Game 2 and think about Catchers for Games 4 onward.

Playing a Human Team


Card selection One card: Magic Item. If you draw more than one the choose either Random Events or Dirty Tricks freely, just base your decision on sense: If you need cash try Random Events; if you'd rather have a lot of fun grab a Dirty Trick. Human teams don't really have a preference. Offence Assuming that you took my advive for the starting team above then you are in a position to go toe-to-toe with any team in your league. Try to score with your Blitzers as much as possible as these are your key players. Run two toward the End Zone, or if you prefer send one with Lineman coverage. The others can help secure your line of Scrimmage (with some help from The Mighty Zug!) and make sure that your Thrower of choice has a clear passing lane. Choices here for scoring are a slow grind or a quick pass, choose wisely depending upon your opponents, the current scoreline and time remaining in the match. Don't be afraid to give your line support from your Thrower, after all they're Linemen at heart!

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Defence Here's the reason you have two Throwers! As mentioned above, the Thrower is basically a Lineman and you'll find that you can keep Linemen in your dugout to replace casualties if the need ever arises. Leave a couple of Blitzers back in your half to react to any breakthroughs which your opponent will try; their high speed and skills make them ideal as linebreakers. This, combined with your two Throwers should mean that wherever your line is broken, if the counter strike produces a loose ball you should have a Thrower somewhere in the vicinity to capitalise. Damage limitation Linemen are cheap, nasty and expendable. Use them to plug gaps which are likely to fail and hopefully they'll hold until your Blitzers can get there! Alright it's a bit extreme and I don't really think of them this way, but they do make rather good speed-bumps, sorry stop-gaps. Even your Blitzers can look after themselves, what with Block and a fair turn of speed (unless you're in a league full of Wood Elves!). In other words you're not pushed into worrying about damage limitation very often as you are coaching a fine all-round team. Playing an Advanced Human Team Once your Blitzers are up to speed (and you have four of them), your Throwers should be pretty much on-line too; now you worry about Catchers. This approach to introducing Catchers has many-fold advantages which can be summed up as follows: Your opponents play against a radically different team in the second half of your league. Sure, you have to adapt your playing style, but it isn't so hard to slowly remove your Blitzers from scoring (no Catchers on the team) to running defence for the Catchers (new additions to the team) and then finally to defending your line and threatening secondary scoring opportunities (fully on-line Catchers). Ideally you'd like four Blitzers, around two Catchers and perhaps both Throwers on field at any given time, leaving the need for only three or four Linemen; perhaps less if you're fielding Star Players! (I tend to find however that Star Players are replaced by home-brews after a season or two!) General You are good at everything, but special at nothing, roll with the punches and give as good as you get. Get the idea? That's right, the Human team is perhaps the Jack-of-all-trades team over even the Orcs (Orcs are better 'hitters', but worse 'scorers' y'see). Need to learn the game without much of a worry about your team snapping or having a dearth of SPPs? Humans are for you.

Advancing Humans
Skills Linemen. Let's face it, a full roster of positional players leaves you with two slots for Linemen so they'd better be worth keeping! Really they're only good for a couple of skills, one of which is Leader - and that's only useful at the start of a season! SKILLS: Block, Tackle, Leader DOUBLES: Guard. Throwers. These guys are the most basic Thrower-type in the game and as such are a good, reliable, solid and boring template to build upon. That's right, there is nothing out of the ordinary here. Well, you can mould them as you want as nothing out of the ordinary really presents itself and you wouldn't be going against the grain! SKILLS: Accurate, Strong Arm and Nerves of Steel DOUBLES: Dodge, Sidestep. Try building your first Thrower as an Offence player and the second to be used on Defence. Your Offensive player is designed to get the ball accurately to it's destination, whereas your defence may tend toward tossing balls from the middle of a group of opponent players (Nerves of Steel and Hail Mary Pass?). Catchers. As these guys break easily, several skills offer themselves up for inclusion into their repetoire. As you have access to up to four Catchers on your team however I would suggest having distinct skills for them: Rough Offence players prefer Block and Sidestep, whereas your scorers go for Sprint, Sure Feet and Sidestep; Defence catchers need to either cause havoc (Block and Dauntless) or Capitalise on your opponents mistakes with Sure Hands and, if you manage an Agility upgrade, Leap! SKILLS: Block, Sprint and Sidestep DOUBLES: Stand Firm!

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Blitzers. Blitzers are my favourite position on any team as they can be specialised for scoring, cracking your opponents ball free, or left to create merry hell wherever required on the field. Esentially the same mantra applies to Blitzers as Catchers: specialisation is the key. Strip Ball and Mighty Blow make a particularly nasty combination (if you don't strip the ball, you'll make sure they stay down!), Doubles allow them access to Dodge, making them all round players! Stand Firm makes them particularly nasty in Defensive situations and a prayer or two may net you Diving Tackle! Movement upgrades are great for your scorers, as are Strength upgrades. Come to think of it I can't imagine many situations where a Strength upgrade would be shunned! SKILLS: Mighty Blow, Strip Ball and Stand Firm DOUBLES: Dodge, Sidestep and Diving Tackle

General Commentary
#1 Vanilla (Blood Bowl & Death Zone) You really don't have much to worry about with this team; in that it will perform consistently for you over the course of the league. You may struggle to win at times, but the point is it's hard for you to lose... confusing? well, yes. What I'm getting at here is that your Human team shouold pull Draws with ease, but if your league or Tournament insists upon a single winner then the Human team will have some work to do. Starting players will find them a comfortable introduction to the rules, against experienced Coaches expect a tougher time. #2 Jervis Johnson (Blood Bowl, Death Zone, No Stars, Big Guys and Allies) Ogre. Front line strength. An Ogre adds the Strength which is lost when withdrawing The Mighty Zug from the game. Block and Mighty Blow are a good start and with a Strength upgrade Multiple Block becomes an option. Don't worry excessively about removing Bonehead; after all you don't roll 1's that often do you? you do? welcome to the club! SKILLS: Block and Mighty Blow DOUBLES: Strength upgrade!

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BLOCK AND TACKLE


By Robin Dews Originally presented in White Dwarf #177 & #220 and Blood Bowl Compendium #2 Copyright Games Workshop Ltd. 1999 Human teams offer a Blood Bowl coach an almost perfect combination of speed, strength, resilience and agility. So says Robin Dews who ran a successful team called the Deathheads in our Studio League. We asked him to convince us... HUMAN TEAMS
Along with many others of the staff at the Studio, I jumped at the chance to get involved in the playtesting and development of the new version of Blood Bowl. I normally fight Warhammer battles with an Empire army and, true to form, have always fielded a Human team in Blood Bowl. Although, they lack some of the super-strong or tough members of other races (such as Black Orc Blockers!) and can't field so many special weapons as some other teams, their combination of strength, mobility and toughness makes them excellent all-rounders.

PICKING A TEAM
Picking a Blood Bowl team really is a matter of personal preference, but there are a number of guidelines that should always apply. With a brand new team, try to have at least twelve players in your squad. This means that even when the inevitable casualties or even deaths start to roll in, you will still manage to keep eleven players on the pitch. It is a favorite tactic of Orc, Chaos, and Dwarf teams to try to grind you down in the first half by causing as much damage to your team as possible and then overwhelming you in the second half by sheer weight of numbers! Although there are tricks you can employ to reduce the damage, nothing will stop it completely and so your only real defense is to have sufficient players in the reserve box to hold the line on the pitch. At the start of the Studio Blood Bowl league, I therefore fielded the following squad: 4 Blitzers 360,000 4 Linemen 200,000 2 Catchers 140,000 1 Thrower 70,000 The Mighty Zug 120,000 Star Player 2 Rerolls 100,000 Fan Factor 1 10,000 Total 1,000,000

KNOW YOUR PLAYERS


Whenever you pick a Blood Bowl team (or an army for Warhammer or Warhammer 40,000 for that matter) there just never seem to be quite enough points to go around! As I've explained, I wanted a squad of at least twelve players and I'd also decided to include the Mighty Zug in my team form the outset. Although expensive (I could have included another Lineman and a second Thrower or Catcher for the same price!), I wanted him in my squad for two reasons. First of all, he would put some much-needed muscle into my front line when I came up against Orcs or Chaos teams with their Black Orcs and Chaos Warriors. Secondly, big, tough Star Players like Zug inevitably attract a lot of attention (and hopefully put the fear of God into your opponent). It would suit me fine if the opposing team concentrated their efforts on knocking him down. With an AV of nine, he is difficult to hurt and with his strength of five would most likely be attacked by at least two players at a time in order to even up the number of Block Dice they rolled. All this meant that for the cost of a couple of average players, I could hopefully tie up two or more of the enemy and give the rest of my team the opportunity to break through or outflank my opponent's line. A similar logic applied to my choice of four Blitzers. These mighty players really are the stars of the Human line-up and I always attempt to play with the maximum number at all times, particularly in the early stages of a league. The main reason for this is that in addition to their movement of seven, they automatically come with the Block skill.

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When you attack another player in Blood Bowl, in an attempt to knock them over of grab the football, it's called making a block. What happens is that you compare the strengths of the two players involved and add in any assists they might have. The attacker then rolls a number of Block Dice which determine the outcome of the block and range form merely pushing back your opponent, to having your face smashed into the dirt as the result of a swift counter block. In a standard attack, where the strengths of both players are equal there is a 33% chance of knocking down you opponent (unless he has the Dodge skill in which case, your chance plummets to a miserable 16% or 1 in 6!). However, if you have Block your chances increase to 50% giving you a considerable advantage in most attacks. Whilst on the subject of initial skills, there are a couple of other important points to remember about Human players. The first of these is the Human Catchers come already equipped with the extremely useful Catch and Dodge. Catch allows you to reroll any failed catches, handoffs or interception attempts. Dodge not only allows you re a tell if you fail to dodge out of an opposing player's tackle zone, but more importantly, it also modifies the results of the Block Dice. Although on the surface, these skinny guys with their armor value of only seven might look a little fragile, they are in fact worth their weight in gold pieces. With their movement of eight, these players can zip around for up to ten squares, if you need them to 'go for it'. The Dodge skill also enables them to sprint through your opponent's line and fan out into his backfield ready to receive passes. This has the desirable secondary effect of forcing your opponent to run back some of his players to mark your men thus weakening his front line. Don't make the mistake of only using Catchers when you are attempting to score. Despite their low strength of two, if you run them together in pairs, they can quickly reach and overwhelm most other teams' players. Even if they don't make the attack themselves, their ability to slip into tight corners and lend that vital extra assist makes them just as valuable in defense. Of Human Linemen and Throwers, there's not a lot to say. Both are standard Blood Bowl players, with stats much like any other comparable race. The only thing to remember is to either start your team off with two Throwers, or get a second one in your squad as soon as you can afford it. Throwers have exactly the same statistics as Linemen but they come with two solid skills in Sure Hands and Pass. Although at 70,000 gold pieces, they cost 20,000 more then a Lineman, that only works out at 10,000 per skill and either of them could win you the game or save your bacon when you're in a hole!

SKILLS
As your team develops, there are a few skills that you should definitely go for. Your Throwers and Catchers will rapidly gain Star Player points as they score most of your touchdowns. Accurate and Strong Arm make for a deadly combination of passing skills. The +1 on the dice roll together with the one-band range reduction will enable you to pop the ball into the waiting hands of any teammate. The other great Thrower/Catcher skill combination is a Thrower with Hail Mary Pass working together with a Catcher with Diving Catch. Hail Mary on its own can easily get you out of a tight spot as it enables your Thrower to place the ball anywhere on the pitch. Coupled with Diving Catch it becomes a game winner and is sure to frighten the living daylights out of the opposing team's coach. One final word on skills. Don't try to build a beat-'em-up team out of Humans. Compared to Orcs, Chaos, Dwarfs and other high AV teams, you just can't hack it in a prolonged punch up. Sure, now and again you'll get lucky and put one or two of the other team's guys in the hospital. However, if you try to make this a feature of your play, you'll end up with most of your team stretchered off or worse! Stay mobile, use Dodge as much as possible to protect your guys in a fight and concentrate on that combination of both a running and passing game.

TACTICS
The versatility of the Human team means that unlike Orc or Dwarf squads, there is no real set pattern that can guarantee you victory. The Human's special talent lies in the way that their players adapt to luck and circumstance. I've won many a game in the penultimate or final down, by throwing a Long Bomb (pulled back to a Long Pass for Strong Arm and with a +1 for Accurate) or watched my opponent weep in frustration as his attempt to Blitz my runner merely result in the player being pushed closer to the end zone due to the ubiquitous Dodge skill. That being said, there are some key moves that you should really learn by heart. The most important of these is essential either when you receive the ball after a kickoff, or during the game if you manage to grab the ball from your opponent. It's called forming a pocket. The pocket is not too dissimilar to 'Da Cage', described by Orc coach Carl Brown in his 'Ere we go' article. The major difference is that a pocket is a temporary formation, designed to protect the ball carrier until the runners are safely down the field.

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FORMING THE POCKET


As you can see from the diagram, the idea in the first phase of the attack is to create a safe zone into which you can place a receiver. This can be a Catcher, but it's often better to send these guys running down the field and pass the ball to someone with a little more muscle, like one of your Blitzers. Either way, do not pass the ball until the pocket is secure. There are two reasons for this. The first is that should an accident occur (and they happen to us all!) and the pass is incomplete you could be left with your opponent grabbing the ball off you in his turn. The second reason is subtler. While your Thrower is holding the ball, your opponent still has no way of knowing the real direction of the play. The pocket could be real or it could be a feint with the real run coming down the other side. As I've already emphasized, the real strength of the Human team lies in its flexibility and you should take advantage of this by not committing yourself until you have to. This will force your opponent to maintain a broad line of defense.

THE DIAGONAL RUN


For the next turn or two, your aim is to edge forward until you either have runners in the back field or you've reached a point nine squares away from the end zone. From here you strike. Two Catchers working in tandem can either make the run on their own, or if there are enemy players blocking the way, cross over and hand off the ball at the mid point. Again what you are trying to do is maintain maximum flexibility so that the opposing coach has to cover every base. At the same time you also maintain the capacity to switch you attack should the need arise.

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ALL'S FAIR IN WAR AND BLOOD BOWL


As my team has developed and I've added Star Players and more skills, these tactics have been endlessly refined and developed. However, the basic principles stay the same. Be fast... be flexible... be brutal!

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Norse Strategy
> Hi all > Another new listmember, another new league :) Cool! > As the topic hinted, I'm taking Norse in out league, a couple of the > players have started, so ill get a few underdogs to start with. Great.

> This is my current team list (well i havn't started, this is what im > planning on taking) > > 11 Linemen 550k > 2 Blitzers 180k > 1 Passer 70k > 1 Catcher 70k > 2 Rerolls 120k

> 1 Fan factor 10k > > I'm also considering dropping a lineman for more sundries (fan factor, > etc) but i'm not really worried about money or long term success, its > only the game that counts :)

The first game, you mean. The second, third, and subsequent games will count more if you start with a sounder base :) I might suggest something like this:

4 Blitzers 360K 8 Linemen 400K 3 Rerolls 150K 9 Fan Factor 90K

Go to town early. Pick up an Apothecary right away. You can go far simply trying to maim your opponents - but not if your team is short on Rerolls and Fan Factor to start with!

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Maybe consider swapping a Reroll for an Apothecary to start with - at least if you'll be playing against a banger team in your first game. That AV7 does NOT hold up well, even with all that Block.

> My strategy (at this moment) consists of fielding 11 linemen on startup, > keeping the blitzer, passer, catcher in reserve. Then i would spend the > first half, or until the next kickoff, thumping the opposition, and > possibly worrying about the ball. Then, hopefully with casultieson the > opposition, i'll have 4 reserves, including all my specific players, to > come on and hopefully score.

That's not bad! However, try keeping, say, 1 Blitzer in reserve instead. Pick up the Throwers and Catchers later! No one has Sure Hands, so once you have the ball - don't throw it away! ;)

> Now this is the part where you tell me this is a stupid idea ;)

Nah. Norse are fun. Carnage, carnage, carnage!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now onto more detail...... I will probably start up a new Norse team this season in the Modest League. I know Norse have a reputation as a team that can dish it out, but can't take it... ...but I take some issue with this. I think Norse are very intriguing, and would make a very, very fine team in the hands of the right coach. In analyzing the Norse, I'm going to compare them to their closest kin: the Human team. I will do this on a general basis, and then on a position-by-position basis. I will make the following claims up front: * I have never played Norse. * I have limited experience with Humans. * I've played this game for a LONG time. * I don't believe one team or the other is 'clearly' superior. Each has its own strengths, weaknesses, and styles. * What holds true for this analysis might not hold true in an analysis based on a team other than Humans.

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GENERAL ANALYSIS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Norse and Human teams enjoy a number of advantages over most other teams. Chief among these is access to all mannner of skills save Physical Abilities. Norse and Human teams also have cheap Linemen, access to both Wizards and Apothecaries, and a large number of position players. A quick perusal of the two team lists reveals that Humans have the edge in MA, AV, reroll cost, and number of position players. Norse, on the other hand, have the edge in ST and starting skills. If we consider playing styles, we will see that the Humans can employ a decent strength game built around their four Blitzers and attendant Strength Skills. They can employ four Catchers with good MA and a couple of scoring skills up front, and their Throwers allow them to run or pass effectively. Norse, on the other hand, have all the same ingredients in different measures. Norse have good Throwers and Catchers, but they are much different than their Human counterparts because of differences in starting skills and stats. They will likely employ more of a running game or short passing game. Norse Blitzers ensure that the team has a heavy-hitting element, and the success of these players is obviously essental to the success of the team as a whole. Norse Blitzers can provide a serious edge for any smart Norse coach. However, Human Blitzers can help counter the Frenzy advantage because Human Blitzers are more likely to choose - and be in position to +use+ - the Guard skill. Norse Blitzers can't rely on Guard, because they never know where they'll end up next!

POSITIONAL ANALYSIS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Linemen ~~~~~~~

Position ~~~~~~~~ Human Lineman Norse Lineman

MA ST AG AV Skills ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~~~~~ 6 3 3 8 6 3 3 7 Block

Cost ~~~~

50K 50K

Human Linemen and Norse Linemen are related in a 'half-dozen of the other' way. Human Linemen have one more point of AV, but Norse Linemen start with the Block skill. Conventional wisdom holds that the Norseman will have the advantage early in his career, but the Human will eventually gain Block and overtake his counterpart, allowing the AV advantage to show through more strongly. However, close analysis proves this inaccurate. If we consider these two as rookies, we see that they are actually equal at breaking AV in a matched Block. The Human will knock the Norseman down 1/3 of the time, and break AV 5 times in 12. Final rate of success: 5/36. The Norseman will knock the Human down 1/2 of the time, but will break AV only 5 times in 18. Final rate of success? 5/36. The two are identical at this stage of their careers. However, note that because the Norseman will cause more knockdowns, he is actually in the more enviable position, because he will be able to force his opponent to stand up in his tackle zone more often than the Human will be able to do the same. Furthermore, the Block skill protects him more often when he initiates the block, and he is less turnover-prone than his Human counterpart.

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What happens if a wandering Black Orc Blocker turns his attention to our two players? This is a two-die Block in the Black Orc's failure. Intuitively, we know that the ailure rate for the Black Orc is constant across our two contestants, because he will fall down on any combination which forces him to choose a skull or a double-down result. What we are truly concerned with is the rate at which he will knock down and break AV on either of these players. We will allow for the moment that the Black Orc will take a pushback over a double-down result if at all possible. Given that restriction, the Black Orc will knock down the Human 23 out of 36 times. He will break AV 5 out of 18 times, resulting in a final success rate of 115/648. Given that restriction, the Black Orc will knock down the Norseman 5 out of 9 times. He will break AV 5 out of 12 times, for a final success rate of 25/108 - or 150/648. In this case, the Norseman comes off second best in terms of not getting hurt...provided, of course, the Orc coach will take the pushback over the double-down result against the Human Lineman. In passing, it is worth noting that the BOB-down/Human-standing ratio sits at 35:1, because this will only happen on a pair of skulls. The Norseman, however, will be in this enviable position 1 time in 9: four times better. One skill passes. Each now has a Star Player Roll, and each rolls normally. The Human Lineman takes Block, effectively neutralizing the skill advantage of the Norseman and bringing his AV advantage to the fore. The Norseman will take Pro, however, in an effort to cause more knockdowns and AV breaks. What happens now? In a matched Block, the Human will knock the Norseman down 1 time in 3, and will break AV 5 times in 12. Final rate of success? 5 in 36. That's right - his success rate hasn't changed at all. Granted, he is less failure-prone, but he won't hurt the Norseman any more than he did before he gained the Block skill. The Norseman, meanwhile, has watched his sole blocking advantage negated: after all, he can no longer count on a double-down result to drop his opponent. He has picked up a new advantage, however: Pro. Let's see how it works... The Norseman can knock the Human down on the first throw of the dice, but his odds have dropped from 1 in 2 to 1 in 3. However, if knocked over, he will still break AV 5 times in 18. Initial success rate, without Pro: 5/54. To this, however, we may add a few qualifiers. The Norseman might knock the Human down cleanly on the Block (1/3), but fail to break AV (13/18). He could successfully Pro the roll (1/2), and then break AV (5/18). This is exactly the same multiplication of odds found in the example above, but with an extra 13/36 thrown in. We set that to the side for the moment. The Norseman could also fail to knock the Human down on the Block (2/3). He could make his Pro roll (1/2), and then knock him down (1/3) and break AV (5/18) as before. This is exactly the same multiplication of odds found in the first example, but with an extra 1/3 thrown in. We add this to the 13/36 found in the previous example, and the 36/36 implicit in the first example, and determine that the odds of knocking down the Human Lineman and breaking AV on a one-die Block when the Norseman has Pro and the Human has Block are: 61/36 * 5/54 = 305/1944. Breaking this down simply, we come up with something slightly above 5/33. Note that these odds are better than the original 5/36 odds the Norseman had when neither player had gained a skill! The Norseman's failure (read: "turnover") rate has dropped as well. He will now fall over only in the following circumstances: * Rolls a skull (1/6) and fails to Pro out of it (1/2) * Rolls a skull (1/6), Pros successfully (1/2), skulls again (1/6) * Rolls a double-down or pushback (1/2), Pros successfully (1/2), rolls a skull (1/6) The total odds? 5/36 - actually less than the original 6/36 odds of falling down when neither player had gained a skill. Granted, the Human Lineman has cut his failure rate in half, while the Norseman has posted more modest gains. It is still important to note that the Norseman succeeds more often, and fails less. He also causes more knockdowns, so he forces his opponent to stand up in his tackle zone more often. The wandering Black Orc, of course, is now more deadly to the Norseman by far, because his success rate is the same for both players, so only AV provides the difference. The AV, of course, is in the Human's favor.

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The accounting gets trickiest at the two-skill level. The Human Lineman, in a head-to-head encounter, would take Pro, but the Norseman can't really take a single skill that will help him take out the Human Lineman unless he takes Frenzy, which is exceptionally difficult to calculate. At this point, however, the Norseman becomes generally useful to the rest of his team. He can take Tackle, for example. He can take Frenzy. Or he can take Dauntless, essentially giving him the edge over the Human Lineman when the wandering Black Orc makes his re-appearance. Most Human Lineman who are not DPs do not seem to average 2 skills apiece. If they do get to that point, the journey has usually been a long and hard one, and they don't seem to last much longer beyond that. This means that the old adage about the Norse - "Once other teams pick up Block, they've lost their advantage" - doesn't really ring true. In fact, the Norseman enjoys a number of advantages over his Human Lineman counterpart for a large portion of their respective playing careers.

Throwers ~~~~~~~~

Position ~~~~~~~~ Human Thrower Norse Thrower

MA ST AG AV Skills ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~~~~~

Cost ~~~~ 70K

6 3 3 8 Sure Hands, Pass 6 3 3 7 Block, Pass 70K

Human Throwers and Norse Throwers are similar, at least initially. The Human Thrower is less turnover prone because of his Sure Hands skill, while the Norse Thrower is less likely to be knocked over in a Block - and, as a consequence, is less likely to be injured despite his lower AV. Of course, Passing is a Thrower's forte. Both players have an AG of 3 and the Pass skill, so each can make a decent living Passing the ball as rookie players. As they develop, however, it is likely that their paths will diverge. If each player becomes a long-ball artist, then they will develop fairly evenly. The Human Thrower will likely take Accurate, Strong Arm, and Safe Throw, while the Norse Thrower will counter with Sure Hands (a given, in my book), Accurate, and Strong Arm. On a fourth skill, they will probably come to a head as the Human takes Block, while the Norseman counters with Safe Throw. At this point, the Human Thrower has the advantage of AV. However, this is not a likely development for the Norseman because of his Catchers, who are no speedier than any of their team-mates. The Norseman will likely develop along a path that is different, yet also useful. We can rightfully assume that any reasonable coach will take Sure Hands for his Thrower's first skill. After all, it relieves him of the need to keep a team reroll handy for picking up the ball, and also protects him from any opponents with Strip Ball. At this point, he is a sturdy ball-carrier, but not as adept a passer as his Human counterpart. I believe that absent any speedy players, Norse are well adapted to small 'cage-style' tactics. This requires the Throwers to get the ball (Sure Hands), run it up field, and perhaps make a Quick or Short Pass to a Catcher who runs upfield for the score. He might also want to be able to survive a hit and dump it off, and he should also be decent at throwing a Long Pass or Bomb. It is my contention that the best two skills for this are Accurate and Dump-Off. Some coaches would place Nerves of Steel before Accurate, but I believe this is inefficient. If you only ever Dump-Off in the face of one defender, Accurate is every bit as good as Nerves of Steel, because it cancels the -1 penalty incurred by the opposing player's tackle zone. Additionally, it will help you complete those Quick and Short Passes prior to scores, and it will also help minimize the fumbles on Long Passes and Bombs. Nerves of Steel will not help these things. This will give you a different, yet efficient Thrower well-suited to the short passing game employed by a team whose players are all MA6.

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Catchers ~~~~~~~~

Position ~~~~~~~~ Human Catcher Norse Catcher

MA ST AG AV Skills ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~~~~~ 8 2 3 7 Dodge, Catch 6 3 3 7 Block, Catch

Cost ~~~~ 70K 70K

Human and Norse Catchers are at opposite ends of the catching spectrum. Because Human Catchers have high MA, low ST, low AV, and some scoring skills, they will likely be developed as 'burners' or Pass Blockers. It takes a tremendous amount of time and investment to develop them as 'hitting' players, because they need Block, Dauntless, and Diving Tackle to be effective. Likely skills involve Block, Sure Feet, Sprint, and Nerves of Steel. Norse Catchers, on the other hand, will never qualify as 'burners'. They do make good Diving Tacklers, however, because they start with ST3 and Block. They can also make nice complements to your Throwers, running up the field with the rest of the pack before catching a Dump Off and running in for the score (Blitzing their way through if need be!) You have options with Norse Catchers. Dodge is one of the more likely skills, because a ST3/AG3 Block/Dodge player who can catch the ball is an obvious asset to the team. Other good skills include Diving Tackle, Nerves of Steel, Side Step, and Sure Feet. It all depends on the type of player you want. Humans do have one advantage over Norse in the Catcher department: they are allowed four Catchers, while Norse may have only two. However, Norse Linemen are decent players who come with Block, and suitable back-ups to Norse Catchers once they have acquired Pro. This advantage plays into the hands of a good Human coach, who can build a pair of offensive scorers and a pair of defensive Pass Blockers. However, it does give the Norse a sizable edge in ST, and the ability of the Human team to send their ST2 Catchers deep will be severely curtailed against a Frenzy-heavy team like the Norse.

Blitzers ~~~~~~~~

Position ~~~~~~~~ Human Blitzer Norse Blitzer

MA ST AG AV Skills ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~~~~~ 7 3 3 8 Block

Cost ~~~~ 90K 90K

6 3 3 7 Block, Frenzy, Jump Up

If Norse enjoy one large advantage over their Human brethren, it is in the area of Blitzers. Human Blitzers are faster and better armored, but Norse Blitzers start with two extra skills. One of these skills is an Agility Skill they can't normally get, making Norse Blitzers the only players in Blood Bowl with this advantage!* (see the end of this tirade) Human Blitzers can develop into outstanding players in their own right. Pro, Dauntless, Mighty Blow, Stand Firm, Guard these are all excellent choices for Human Blitzers.

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Norse Blitzers, however, have to play to their strengths - and that means they must cater to Frenzy and Jump Up! To this extent, Norse Blitzers must rely on such skills as Pro and Stand Firm. Guard and Mighty Blow are not quite as useful for the Norse Blitzer, because he often ends up far away from his team-mates - or pushes his opponent into the stands, where his Mighty Blow isn't even needed! As any number of coaches will tell you, Frenzy has obvious drawbacks. However, a smart Norse coach with four of these players can dictate play to his opponent, almost certainly keeping the enemy away from the sidelines, running for his life up the middle of the field. A Norse Blitzer with Stand Firm creates a real problem for any opponent who doesn't break his AV in a Block. * Dwarven players start with Thick Skull. We didn't count it :)

-=-C.

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'Ere we go! 'Ere we go! 'Ere we go!


Orc Team Tactics by Carl Brown

Orcs have been playing Blood Bowl since the game was invented, and teams such as the Gouged Eye and Orcland Raiders are amongst the most succesful in the league. Orcs play a tough and hard-hitting game based around pounding their opponents into the turf before they stomp downfield to score. Orcs don't tend to throw the ball much which is a good thing really as they are not very adept at catching it. It's not that they can't catch, it's just that when the ball is in the air they tend to forget about it and get stuck into fighting with the nearest opponent instead! Before we look in detail at creating a winning Orc Blood Bowl team, let's take a minute to consider their strengths and weaknesses. In Blood Bowl , as in war, you should understand your friends and respect your foes - the better you know your team, the more chance you've got of using it to the best of it's ability. Orc teams have two main attributes: toughness and strength. Orcs have the highest armour values in the game, equal to Chaos or Dwarves, so they are very difficult to hurt. In common with Chaos teams, Orcs are also able to start a season with Strength 4 players, which makes them very very mean. On the downside, Orcs also have two major disadvantages compared to other teams. First of all, their low Movement Allowance means that they can be easily outrun or outmanouvered by other races. Secondly, Orc teams don't have any Catchers which makes the throwing game particularly risky. So, what does this tell us? Well, with high armour values you can expect Orcs to stand up to a lot of punishment during a game. Black Orcs (with their Strength 4) are at an immediate advantage when they make Blocks, as the majority of their opponents will require an assist to be on even terms. The lack of Catchers in the team means that the throwing game should be used as a last resort, and because Orcs don't move very fast they can't be expected to outpace anyone in a flat out sprint for the endzone. You've probably guessed that this all points to a team built for sustained, stomping, running plays. Which is exactly what Orcs are good at.

Creating Your Team


With all these big and aggressive creatures at your disposal, it's relatively easy to create a league team capable of beating the living daylights out of almost anyone they meet. However, although four Black Orcs, four Blitzers, two Throwers, one Lineman, two Rerolls and a Fan Factor of 5, might sound like the perfect line-up for a one-off game, for a league it's a bit of a risky option. When playing in a league your team carries on for game after game and any injuries or deaths carry over to the next match. This means that if you start the season with only eleven players, when casualties start rolling in you'll find yourself starting games with less than a full team. This will make it even harder to win your next game, and more likely you'll sustain further injuries. Once you get to this state it is very difficult to pull your team back up to scratch. A far better, and safer, idea is to start off with a team designed to compensate for these early losses. I've played in Blood Bowl leagues for quite a long time now and I've fallen for starting with a super-strong eleven Orc killing machine on a couple of occasions. Needless to say they didn't stay super-strong for long! For a longer-term squad, designed to stand good in a fight but also able to cope with the odd casualty in the initial stages of the season, I recommend the following line-up. The Deff Skwadd started oit with two Black Orcs, two Throwers, one Blitzer, seven linemen, one Goblin, three Re-rolls and a Fan Factor 5. This forms a good foundation on which to build a succesful team. My first purchase after a few games would be an Apothecary, and after this you can concentrate on strengthening the front-line with more Blitzers and Black Orcs. Your plans should then involve adding extra bits and pieces like Goblin Secret Weapons, Cheerleaders and Assistant Coaches as well as saving up for a Star Player such as Varag Ghoulchewer or an Ogre or Troll.

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Tactics And General Game Plan


Once you've picked your team it's time to start thinking of about how you are going to use it - Da Plan! Deciding on an overall strategy or game plan is a vital part of becoming a succesful Blood Bowl coach. In your first few games it's good enough to just go out, cause mayhem, and try and score as many times as possible. However, you'll soon learn that there are points in each game where you have a definite advantage and times when your can dictate the flow of play. If you're up against a fast, lightly armoured teamsuch as the Skaven and Elves the game plan is simple. You should try to rip as many of them apart as possible in the early stages of the game so that they can't put up much of a fight later on! If you win the toss, opt to receive the ball and try not to score until the 7:th or 8:th down. By then, a fair proportion of the opposing team should be in the KO'd or Dead & Injured box and your team will outnumber them for the whole second half. If you lose the toss and your opponent decides to receive, you have two choices. The first is to try and soak up your opponent's attack and capture the ball off him. Once you have the ball stomp your way down to the endzone and score. The risk with this tactic is that you may succeed in holding up your opponent's attack for the best part of the half, only to see him slip through on down 7 or 8. If this happen if this happens you haven't really got much chance of equalising before half time. The second option be even more of a gamble. This time you deliberately don't put up too much of a fight in order to prevent your opponent from scoring (You do however take every oppurtunity to beat into pulp any of his players not directly involved in the play!). As you aren't offering any real resistence, your opponent should score by turn two or three and this will leave you with the remainder of the first half in which to equalise. At the start of the second half it will be your turn to receive, so you should be perfectly set-up to grind your way down the field for a 2-1 victory at full-time. The big danger with this plan comes if anything should go wrong while you're trying to equalise - such as fumbling the ball or your opponent rolling a Blitz result on the kick off table. Your opponent may sieze the chance to score a second touchdown and leaving you trailing 2-0 at half time. Against slower, tougher teams such as Dwarfs or Chaos your tactics are similar up to point. If you win the toss - get them before they get you! Have a good old-fashioned brawl in the first half and try to score on the 8th down. In the second half, try to weather the storm as your opponent rips into you and while this is going on try to work someone behind his line to sack the ball carrier (Orc Blitzers are good at this!). If you lose the toss and the opponent receives, try to minimize your casualties by backing off so that the only block he can make is with his Blitz action. If you do this properly, and are reasonably lucky, you should end the first half at 0-0 and with most of your team intact. In the second half, you get to receive the ball and can batter your way down the pitch once again. It must be said that games against these kinds of teams can be very bloody. In one memorable match against Andy Chambers' Chaos Doomlords, Andy killed two of my players, crippled on of my Linemen and left my only Thrower with an Agility of 2! Needless to say, I also lost the game.

Tactics On Defence
When you come to set up your defence, the main thing to be aware of is that your opponent is going to have the first down and thus hit you before you can hit him (unless you're lucky enough to roll a Blitz result on the kick-off table!). You must therefore set-up your team in order to minimise the initial damage. There are two ways of doing this. The first is to set-up five Orcs on the line of scrimmage, two Orcs on each wide zone and two Orcs a bit behind the frontline (see Diagram 1). Putting so many players on the front line creates a large number of tackle zones which prevent your opponent from using assists. This makes your line much harder to break open. The only way your opponent can get assists is by launching his attack against one of your widezones and then continuing down the line (see Diagram 2).

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The way to minimise this danger is to put a Black Orc on each wide zone. As most teams' players have Strengths of 3, they only get to roll one Block dice even when they get an assist from a team mate. This means the Black Orc has a reasonable chance of standing his ground. The danger with this defence is that if just one of your players go down, it creates a hole through which your opponent can sprint. The second defence (see Diagram 3) follows a different approach entirely. In this case, the line of scrimmage has the minimum of three players and the rest of the team stands two squares back.

The reason for standing so far away is to stop your opponent from being able to block lots of your players on his first move. Why not stand only one square back? Well if you are unlucky enough to roll a Quick Snap on the kick-off table your opponent can move each of his players one square in any direction and into contact with your men before he starts to make his play! By standing two squares back you can stop this from happening. If your opponent should break through down one of the wide zones, you'll have trouble getting players back to cover the attack, because the only players within reach are positioned in the centre. However by putting the Black Orcs on the wide zones you'll make it nmuch harder for your opponent to break through here and he'll probably go for a softer spot. If, because you only have three on the line of scrimmage, your opponent breaks through there, it's not such a problem as you can get players in his way from both wide zones. By keeping a Blitzer or two in the middle of the field you'll have a fast reserve and someone who can hunt down the opposing ball carrier.

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Tactics On Offense
When you're on offense with Orcs you might think that putting everyone on the front line where they can stick the boot in straight away would be the best policy. On some occasions this can work, especially when you have a lot of Black Orcs and Blitzers. However, as Orcs have a low agility, it's also important to set up your team in a way that enables you to manoeuvre your players into a protective pocket (or Da Cage as Orcs call it) around the ball carrier with as little dice rolling as possible. Obviously you're going to need a player who can pick up the ball in the first place so you'll need at least one Thrower with his very useful Sure Hands skill. One of the worst things that can happen to an Orc team is a deep kick into their endzone. Because they are not very fast, a turn spent running back down the field to retrieve the ball cuts down the time they have to move upfield. With this in mind, your Throwers should be set up so that they can reach the corners of your own endzone. It's best to place your toughest players on the line of scrimmage with the job of clearing a path for the rest of the team to follow down. These players will probably be Black Orcs and Blitzers and a Troll or Ogre, if you have one. The example play "Da Stomp" shows the first down and general movement of an Orc drive. If the ball lands close to the halfway line, gather it up with a Thrower or Lineman and get it to the centre of the field behind your Black Orcs. Then form a protective cage around the ball carrier with your remaining players. If the ball lands deep in your own half create the cage first then gather the ball and hide it inside. The reason for creating the cage first is that these moves require no dice rolling and can't go wrong. Why not create the cage first if it lands close to the halfway line? Because as the ball is close to the opposing players, if you fumble it when trying to pick it up, and all of your men are standing 2 or 3 squares away, there is nothing to stop your opponent from running forward and grabbing it. If the ball is deep in your backfield your opponent can't reach it so if you do fail to pick it up it's not such a problem. Once the ball is secure in the pocket, Block with your Black Orcs and Blitzers but don't follow up. If all as gone to plan, on your opponents down he will be faced with menacing wall of Orcs that he is unable to block except with his lone Blitz action. This means that on your second down, your formation should still be pretty solid and ready to roll (still keeping a cage around the ball) maiming and killing all the way downfield to score.

1. Form a pocket and get the ball to safety.

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2. Block your opponent's men on the line of scrimmage in order to move them away form the cage but don't follow up. 3. Smash your way down the field, manoeuvring your pocket of players through the gaps made by Black Orcs and Blitzer. 4. When you are in range of the endzone, break a final hole and rush the ball carrier out of the pocket to score. My second sample play is "Da Foola". As it's name suggests, the aim is to fool the opposition into defending against one attack, while actually pushing towards a different play. In this case you are initially making your play look like "Da Stomp". On the first down you form your players into a cage around the ball and block with your front line. On the next and subsequent downs you swing the pocket around the left or right and make a concentrated push down that flank. Simultaneously, you run a couple of players down the opposite side in order to threaten a pass action and spread your opponent's defence. Because Orcs are not renowned for their throwing game, your opponent won't believe you'll attempt the throw and the two player will be only lightly marked. If your running play grinds to a halt, it should be easy to get one of these two into the endzone and throw the ball for a surprise touchdown. Goblins are particularly useful in this role as their "Stunty" and "Dodge" skills enable them to slip through opposing lines and get into position for the catch.

1. The initial moves mimic the pattern of Da Krunch, but the box is more loosely held. 2. Fake attack down centre. 3. Main attack and ball carrier switch to the left hand side. 4. 1 or 2 Goblins move down the right hand side. 5. Da Foola, the ball is thrown to a waiting Gobbo!

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Weapons And Monsters


One of the best things about an Orc team is the sheer choice of Star Players. Some of the most dangerous and useful are the Goblins with Secret Weapons and large monsters such as Trolls and Ogres. Although your opponent can roll after every touchdown to see if any players using weapons are sent-off, don't worry about this. The fear they cause far outweighs this risk and at one point in the Studio League I had one each of the four weapons available! Nobbla Blackwart is a must for every Orc and Goblin coach and should be purchased as early as possible in the team's development. When he attackswith his chainsaw he gets a massive +3 on the armour roll so he almost always causes an injury. This makes him excellent at taking out your opponent's Star Players. If he only stuns them it's good enough because while the player is down you can gather a few boyz around and kick him to death with a foul action! Fungus the Loon is good for the sheer terror he puts into your opponent. He might not exert a tacklezone but you can guarantee your opponent will keep his best players away from him. This makes him very useful for opening gaps in lines of defence through which you can send your Blitzers. There is a danger that the fanatic could end up splatting one of your own players but that's the kind of risk you have to take! Scrappa Sorehead is good when you need fast a touchdown. He normally moves six spaces but can go for three extra squares making a total of nine. Add to this his Leap and Dodge and you have the fastest and most agile player an Orc and Goblin team will ever get. Bommer Dribblesnot is most useful against a team that plays the running game such as Orcs, Chaos or Dwarfs. When you need to break into the pack surrounding the ball you can lob a bomb. Don't throw the bomb into the middle of the group as it might get caught and thrown back! Aim just for the edge of the pack and if you are lucky it will scatter adjacent to a couple of players and knock them down. This will then open the ball carrier up to be Blitzed. Trolls and Ogres open up a whole new element to your game. Aside from being immensly strong, they can also throw Goblins. If you use them on the front line you can be sure that they'll knock down any player foolish enough to get in their way and they are in turn very hard to take down. Should you have a Goblin in your team as well as a monster or two, then you have in your hands the capability to score in one down. When you are on offense set up your Goblin and monster next to each other just behind the line of scrimmage. When the ball is kicked, retrieve it and hand it off to the Goblin. You then declare a pass action with the monster and aim the Goblin as close to the endzone as possible. If you are lucky (you'll probably need 6 to be accurate), the Goblin will land safely and then simply run into the endzone to score. It's a risky play, but in a tight spot, close to full time, it can win games.

Special Play Cards


I'll just say a quick word about special play cards and using them in a game. Don't forget you have them, and don't be afraid to use them! In all the time I've played with the Death Zone rules, the single most frustrating experience I've had is when I've seen a chance to use a card but didn't do so, just in case a more appropriate situation come up later. Inevitably, the opportunity I'm looking for doesn't arise and I end up using the card on something trivial. After this had happened to me more times than I care to recall, I've come to believe that it's better to use a card as soon as you think it's the right moment rather than wait for an opportunity that never comes.

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Summing Up
No matter how much plotting and planning you do there is one thing that cannot be prepared for, and that is luck. Even with the most fool-proof plan and best team in the world, if the dice aren't rolling your way there is nothing you can do about it. (Except maybe curse, and mutter "We wuz robbed" - a common enough practice among Blood Bowl coaches who are having a bad day). There are, however, small things you can do to increase your chances. When you want a job doing, make sure the right player is doing it. It's no good expecting a Black Orc to pick up the ball in an enemy tackle zone, dodge out and then throw a perfect long bomb to your receiver in the endzone, they just don't do that sort of thing. A Thrower on the other hand would have a figthing chance. In the same way, don't expect your Thrower to flatten the opposing team's Star Player. The right man in the right place is the mark of a good coach. The sequence of moves and dice rolls is also important. Try to make any dice rolls for which you have a skill re-roll first and then proceed to ones that are covered by a team re-roll working from the easiest up. Sometimes this isn't always possible and you have a very difficult roll to make before anything else in play can happen. On these occasions make sure you prepare for the worst by moving free players into positions from where they can defend should something go horribly wrong when you make your play. Well that's all for now I can't guarantee you'll win all your matches, but these suggestions should go som way to helping you to Block, Foul and smash your way to the top of the league. Even if you don't win every game, make sure you duff-up your opponents and you'll have almost as much fun. Right now, me ladz need their pre-match team-talk, so happy hunting and in the words of Varag: "Stomp 'Em!".

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Orc strategy in a BB2k1 environment


Subject: Re: Orcs Posted By: Acerak - Registered User Posts: 128 Posted At: (1/13/02 1:36:39 am) Reply

Most of the suggestions involve 11 players and at least as many Blitzers as BOBs. I'm going to suggest something else:

3 BOBs 2 Blitzers 1 Thrower 2 Goblins 4 Linemen

3 Rerolls 7 FF

A trio of BOBs makes a good front line for both offense and defense when faced with a smaller opponent. A pair of Blitzers can cover both sides of a field. Besides, BOBs don't score. Blitzers do. This means you can plug-and-play a Blitzer at a later date, but you should start your BOBs early. Not only will most opponents find them difficultto handle, but they will stand a better chance of getting an MVP or two in the first few games. Some folk will argue that four Linemen is two too many. I disagree. Your team will take injuries at some point. Even if they don't take anything terribly nasty, a 12th player is always a good safeguard against a short bench. Remember, KOs will cut you down just as quickly as casualties. A smart and determined opponent will target your Throwers and Goblins. And he'll foul them. You're playing Orcs, so you'll probably foul the other team's players and run the risk of ejection. Don't think AV9 is going to save you all the time. You'll notice that this team has to play at least one Goblin per drive. Don't let that worry you too much. Goblins are terribly annoying. I like having both on the field at the same time. Not only does it give you flexibility if you need an assist, but most opponents can't resist the urge to send a Blitzer to take care of one of them. Assuming a 2-die Block, your opponent has slightly better than 50/50 odds to knock you down, slightly less than 1/4 odds to break your AV, and slightly better than 1/8 odds to get you off the pitch! This is great for you and bad for him - as long as he doesn't get lucky early. Even better, mounting frustration may make the Gobbo an even bigger target! This will free up a Blitzer for a score, or allow the Goblin to assist when the Blitzer comes over to clear away your flustered opponent! This team also has the requisite 3 Re-rolls and a good Fan Factor. I realize it's not exactly 9, but if you win your first game and grab a couple casualties and a couple TDs, you should be at 8 after your first game. This is much better than squeezing in 9 just because it's the maximum - and then possibly losing a point after the game as a result! If you're really jonesing to boost it, grab a third Goblin instead of a fourth Lineman. You'll have to play every drive with at least two of the little buggers, though. Your first purchase should be an Apothecary. With 12 players and an Apothecary, you shouldn't have many bench issues at all. With 11 players and no Apothecary in your first game, you're likely to have bench issues for your first two or three games. Again, starting with a 7 FF is fine if you're winning; starting with a 9 FF does you little good if you're losing. Don't make concessions in this area just to do it. Two points of FF don't amount to 10K per game - in fact, they mean 10K every three games. If you win an extra one of those three games because of the rest of the line-up, you've made up the extra 10K - and you might even make up the Fan Factor difference, to boot! To round out the roster, I'd take a Troll, two Blitzers, and a Black Orc. The total cost is 340K. Add in the 50K for the Apothecary and you're looking at a good seven or eight games to scrape together the required gold. By this time, you'll probably need to replace a few players, so it shouldn't hurt too much to slip out a Lineman and insert a second Thrower. After all, you're not going to throw 3 BOBs on the front line against Chaos, are you? That's why you have Linemen.

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Some will argue for an Ogre instead of a Troll. I prefer the Troll because he can play both sides of the ball very well. On offense, he's just as bright [sic] as an Ogre if he has someone nearby. Sure, the Ogre throws more accurate Goblins, but they fumble at the same rate! This point is key for any discussion of TTM. Remember that a Goblin still lands on a roll of 4+ after an inaccurate throw. The Big Guy's job doesn't extend much beyond "Don't fumble the little git!" Anything else is pure gravy. On the defensive side of the ball, it's no contest. The Troll should sit on the front line and take a beating. He's large, so he'll attract attention. He regenerates, so he can recover from almost any beating. And he's slow, so you don't 'waste' any MA by sticking him up front. Sure, you can put your Ogre in the backfield to blitz opposing players - but why bother? Bonehead can only screw things up. And this is why you have Blitzers, remember? Finally, the Troll is 20K cheaper. This is always a good reason to favor the Troll, especially with money a bit tighter than it used to be. Skill selection is very important, of course. As your Blitzers are your all-around best players, they are required to hit and score. Their average statlines and non-Agility access make skill re-rolls very important. Accordingly, all Blitzers should be given Pro on a first skill unless the skill roll was a stat upgrade or a doubles roll. Once you have Pro, you are almost all set. Add Tackle. Or Mighty Blow. Or Shadowing (don't forget the new "equal or beat" rule). I usually use Pro as a "wait and see" skill. Essentially, I'm hoping for a doubles roll or stat upgrade in the first two rolls. If I get that roll first, I can tailor the player down a particular path with Pro: Pro and Frenzy or Mighty Blow for a ST+1 Blitzer, Pro and Shadowing for a MA+1 Blitzer, and Pro and Pass Block for an AG+1 Blitzer. Doubles rolls on first skills are best spent on un-Orky skills like Dodge or Diving Tackle. Guard is never bad, of course; don't ignore it. Black Orcs need Block. Mighty Blow, Tackle, Pro, and Guard are also good skills. You may want to consider mixing MB into the mix early. A Black Orc with Mighty Blow will have an easier time piling up enough casualties to get to 16 SPPs (Block). Doubles should be spent on Stand Firm - no exceptions, except for Frenzy! Opponents will have to dodge away from you or take a beating. This can lead to turnovers for the opposition. I was fortunate enough to have a Thrower with MA+2 and Dodge. Sadly, he was killed by a Dirty Player after failing a dodge for a touchdown in the 2497 Spike! tournament - serves him right, the git! Not everyone can be this fortunate, of course. I recommend Accurate and Block. Doubles should be spent on Dodge or Sure Feet. Don't try to make your Thrower a pure passer. Give him "running-back options." You'll be glad you did. Block is important because opponents will key on your Thrower - with AV8, he's one of the 'weak links.' If you ever lose your Throwers for a match, just use a Blitzer with Pro to move the ball. Linemen should get the standard skill set. Grab a pair of Dirty Players. Fill in with Block. Spend doubles on Leader. Etc. If that's not enough to help you coach your way to the top of the (very green) pile, you should go play some namby team like Wood Elves! :)

Enjoy. Chet

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ORCS
by Coach Blacknife and Nigel Buckle
Orcs are a popular team. A really popular team. There are a couple of reasons for this aside from getting the majority of your players free in the box! They're a good all round team, but you can also specialise them to a degree. They also epitomise Blood Bowl; they are as green as the turf, as tough as the standard issue boots and could even give the crowd a good challenge in a straight up fight! If you're playing for the first time then Orcs may well be the team for you as they are forgiving of a bad starting line-up. On the other hand, if you are an experienced Coach playing in a well established league then trying to find plays to surprise your opponents with may be the challenge you are looking for. After all, everyone knows how to play Orcs... don't they?

Starting Teams
Playing Orcs is a matter of taste more than anything else. Coaching style dictates your starting set-up and the Orcs allow for differing styles more than most teams. The following is a fair mix of strength and skills allowing you leeway for a change of pace mid-drive: 4 Linemen Thrower 4 Blitzers 2 Black Orcs 3 Rerolls 7 Fan Factor 200,000 70,000 320,000 160,000 180,000 70,000

No you don't need an Apothecary in your starting line-up; just have a look at the Armour Value (AV) of the players! The money saved from the loss of the Apothecary can be funnelled straight into Rerolls (which are always handy). If you prefer more Black Orcs then either a straight swap for Blitzers or a deal involving Linemen, Rerolls and Fan Factor is in order. I prefer the Blitzers because Strength (ST) 3 players with Block beat ST4 without nine times out of ten. (I don't care for the actual statistics, but I feel safer!) You can't really go wrong with this set-up because, at the end of the day, including an Orc with Sure Hands (da Thrower dummy!) is going to earn his keep just picking up the ball! Alternatively you could get cocky and try the throwing game...

Playing an Orc Team


Card Selection "Dirty Tricks". That's all you need to know about the style of Orc play. Once you're done role-playing your team however you might consider a Magic Item if you draw two cards; definitely get one if you draw three or more! Offence Flattening your opponent's Line of Scrimmage (LoS) is always a good plan and this is where your Black Orcs excel; besides they're never going to move far in any given drive, so they may as well start in the middle of the fray! A Blitzer and Lineman can threaten the flank while your main assault heads down the centre of the board (although slightly offcentre is preferable). In the meantime be sure to keep a Blitzer or Lineman a few squares back from the rolling melee to deal with any outflanking manouvers which the Defence may pull. At the end of the day you have the ball and once it's been well protected you can concentrate on pounding your opponents into the turf - if they're in the Dugout they can't help the Defence!

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Defence A Blitzer in either wide-zone and one in the middle of the LoS -- flanked by Black Orcs - is a pretty nasty green wall for any opponent to face. To make it worse (for the Offence that is) you can pad the line with more Linemen and drop another Blitzer into your backfield to act as a Free Safety. Damage Limitation For your opponent the only chance is to get out of your way. For you? Don't worry about it just make like an Orc and "Stick in da boot levva". General Try not to throw the ball too much; your main strength lies in the running game, with the added benefits of a head start in games of attrition. Take your time scoring, because then your opponent will either run out of time to equalise or manage a draw at best! When in doubt, beat them senseless and then ask where the ball is later.

Advancing Orcs
Skills Linemen. It's a Lineman. It's a slow, thumpy Lineman. SKILLS: Block and Tackle DOUBLES: Guard and Mighty Blow Thrower. Not much to be said here except that you've got a slower Thrower than anyone else. As such he may well need some protection from designated ball-retrieval experts on the Defence; fortunately he starts with Sure Hands (which will protect against Strip Ball). Add a mix of Passing and General skills and you have yourself a little powerhouse who can toss the ball and then tidy up the backfield: all you need now is someone who can catch... SKILLS: Accurate and Block DOUBLES: Stand Firm or Side Step Blitzer. Being your star players, your Blitzers get the choice of skills fit for kings; kings of the Blood Bowl pitch at least. As they will be your major ball carriers and retrievers, the Blitzers should be equipped with skills relating to their task. SKILLS: Stand Firm, Strip Ball and Sure Feet DOUBLES: Dodge, Sure Feet, or Catch if you get Agility (AG) increases! Black Orc Blocker. There are few players in the game with such a slow initial skill progression as those relying upon Casualties for Star Player Points. The Black Orc falls into this latter category. Because their roll is to hurt the opposition you can concentrate on skills which emphasise the Blocker's starting talents. SKILLS: Block and Mighty Blow DOUBLES: Diving Tackle (tee hee!) I was tempted to offer Break Tackle as a Skill, but why would you want to Dodge and Blitz when you can just Block?

General Commentary
#1 Vanilla (Blood Bowl and Death Zone) You shouldn't have too many problems here. If your opponents start making the most of Star Big Guys then you can feel justified in hiring Morg for a season or two... Something which should be watched closely is the slow start some teams have; they are poor when new, but once skill shave been gained become a different prospect. Be prepared to make tactical changes mid-season as the Orc game plan does not develop over time. #2 Jervis Johnson (Blood Bowl, Death Zone, No Stars, Big Guys and Allies) Less problems are experienced here than in Vanilla (above) as you have one of the best starting line-ups going. Again you have to watch out for the long-term game plans of other teams - especially Skaven and Chaos Dwarfs as they can now hire and develop their own Big Guy players.

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Skaven Strategy
> Gimme a brief summary of what you have learned as a Skaven coach, so I may > demonstrate your smarts to the BB world at large. Given the basic Third Edition rules I would have some of the following comments:

* Get all your special (non-lineman) players first. I generally like this for any team. Emphasize acquiring both Storm Vermin ASAP to get them going. This is vital depending upon how your league uses Rat Ogres. * Skaven Lineman have enough move to make them really useful in a variety of situations and I recommend building a few types. I liked to get a pair with Block and Strip Ball (Dauntless with this is even better). I would send these two running into the backfield after the ball every turn on defense without any regard for their health. They caused a lot of turnovers, and were not hard to re-build if they died. They are also very annoying to many coaches, which is always a plus in my book. You can very easily use a Skaven lineman as a safety, and only one is needed to cover the field. * Once I had the ball I found that moving the Skaven around the opponents, and just placing them next to as many of the closest opponents to the ball, was good. They generally got in the way enough to allow a GR to run into the endzone. * Everyone knows to build a few one-round scorers with your 4 GRs. I like to have the Block/Dless/DT GR or two to put to good use. I know a Skaven coach who would take these guys and throw the DT block no matter what the odds, whether or not this GR had Dauntless yet. That ended in a bad situation most of the time, so use some discretion. * I never had to give Accurate to my Throwers because they always got AG+1 from hanging around the GRs. * Make the Skaven EAT the warpstone, not just play with it. You get more mutations that way, trust me. * Skaven linemen are so much more useful than almost any other linemen because of that MA7. Anyone can make good SV, GRs, ROs, and Throwers, but good use of the lineman makes a good team great. -Aaron Thies

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Skaven Tactics
by Coach Blacknife, Dr Pestilance, Coach Bubonic Plaguers, with help from Nigel Buckle and the irrepresible James Jamieson

INTRODUCTION
Skaven are an uneasy blend of low armour and very fast players. The Wood Elves have an advantage in that all of their players are more agile - which balances the low armour; the Skaven have to rely on their low cost to keep them supplied with plentiful replacements. (Which seems appropriate for rodents really.) The Skaven are fast, but they break easily. Actually it's remarkable as to just how fast these rats can run - this can infuriate your opponent if they're not used to it. A good thing too, as it can throw them off their gameplay!

STARTING TEAMS
You can go two ways here: 'all out' for skills and edge-of-your seat dice rolls; or 'strength' giving a means of retaliation against power teams like Orcs or Chaos. I started with an 'all out' option as I like to live with the doubt that any of my players will be on the pitch by the end of the game. That's not quite true, but fact is you may not have any players left standing by the time the final whistle blows! 7 Linerats 1 Thrower 2 Gutter Runners 2 Stormvermin 2 Rerolls 7 Fan Factor Apothecary Total Cost 350,000 70,000 160,000 180,000 120,000 70,000 50,000 1,000,000

If you'd like more Gutter Runners I would recommend that you hold off for a while as you risk reducing the overall strength of your starting team by introducing them too quickly (giving up critical Fan Factor or Rerolls for a ST2 player - of which you already have two). Starting with only one means that there is only one target for your opponent to worry about, two targets can keep them off balance longer. What about the rest of the team? A Rat Ogre would be nice, but this is balaned by starting with fewer Rerolls, a lower Fan Factor or even only 11 players. The latter is a mistake - especially if you can't buy an Apothecary after game 1. (Freebooting 2 Linemen instead of buying 1 is a gamble you may want to try - just hope to pull money cards.) Never underestimate the Linemen if you can capitalise on their speed. That extra square or two makes such a difference. Try at least 1 go-for-it and you'll soon see how far these little guys go. And they're cheap too!

PLAYING A SKAVEN TEAM


Card selection: Althogh less reliant on money than an Elven team, Random Events are probably still your best bet. If two cards are drawn then I would tend toward two Random Events, but be tempted by a Magic Item. Three cards guarantees a Magic Item and two Random Events. Offence: Start with just 1 or 2 gutter runners, with the plan to try to run deep and interfere with the guy receiving the kick off. If I have rat ogres I put them on the line, otherwise just stick expendable linerats up front. The storm vermin setup with the runners giving deep field protection.Don't forget that Gutter Runners can throw the ball only marginally worse than your Thrower can - a completion and a lucky MVP means a skill! Defence: Use a thrower deep and throw in as many runners as you have near the widezones, ready to run deep.

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Damage limitation: It would be nice to rely on your high AG to dodge out of TZs once all other important moves have been completed - but you can't. Instead players with Guard are worth the doubles it takes to get one (on Linerats at least). The alternative is to throw some 1-Dice blocks - you are fragile but can take some punishment. After all, a 1-Dice block with no skills on either side is in your favour. However, try and keep the GR's away from too much danger as that ST2/AV7 combo can be punishing. Playing an Advanced Skaven Team: Skills that increase you power in blocking are VERY useful - if you block you want the opponent to go down and preferably out. Therefore, including a frenzy, block combo to get players off the pitch. Emptying the pitch has two benifits, 1) Fewer possible blocks against your players and 2) more space for you GR's to roam in. General: You have a major speed advantage over most opponents, use it to spread them out minimising the 2 & 3 dice blocks they can do. Score as heavily as you can. I always recieve the first kick if I can and score in turn 1 or 2, thereafter your opponent is playing a catch-up game.

ADVANCING SKAVENS
Linerats, if you max out on all the position players then your full roster is going to include eight Linerats tops (even less if you start buying Rat Ogres). Out of these eight, five or six or so will be on-pitch at any time so they have to be good to get noticed. Specialisation of Linerats is similar to any other Lineman - that is, they're limited by skill choice. Skills: Block, Dirty Player, Tackle, Shadowing Doubles: any mutations esp. Claw, RSC, Regen, Spikes. Guard and Dodge are also useful. Kick is a handy skill as a well-placed ball can be capitalised more readily by a Skaven team than any other (with Wood Elf teams being the exception). Don't take it too soon as a well kicked ball is of little use if you have no skilled players to take advantage of it!

Thrower, use heavily to get their first few skills quickly. One thrower can always get to the ball on a kickoff. Once you have a Thrower, use him on both Offense and Defense (he's basically another Linerat, remember?) to gain him SPPs as quickly as possible. Once he collects two upgrades you can consider purchasing a second to use on Defense - your #1 Thrower will now be an Offensive player. Of course if you've rolled a couple of doubles thus far then you may well want to rethink this strategy... Skills: Accurate, Strong Arm, Safe Pass (useful for lobbing the ball to GR's in the back field ready to score), Block (protection for the running throw, and assistance for the line) Doubles: Big Hand (2nd thrower with BH and Hail Mary is realy useful for converting loose balls into TD's), Dodge.

Gutter Runner, major scoring machines. Useful to generate a 1-turn-TD-monster as these will always be a threat to the opposition. The development of Gutter Runners to use specifically on Offense (Sure Feet, Sprint, Very Long Legs and Side Step) or Defence (Dauntless, Block and Horns) is advisable - you don't generally need all four on any given drive anyway! Skills, Catch, Leap, Diving Catch (all useful), Block (extra protection), Pass Block (useful if you can combine it with AG upgrades or VLL Doubles: Very long legs (+ sure feet + sprint), Regenerate (they will always be targets).

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Stormvermin, good blitzers, but don't forget to score with them to increase SPP they are quite capable though GR are the obvious targets. Skills: Mighty Blow, Guard, Tackle (To hit other dodgy types). Its worth considering getting one with Frenzy as this helps remoe opponents off the field, which is essential for skaven. Doubles, Claw + Razor Sharp anything (devastating combo), Dodge (gets them places)

GENERAL COMMENTARY #1 Vanilla (Blood Bowl & Death Zone) Stay sharp and adjust your play to that of your league. That is if your opponents tend toward the violent then you will need to hire Headsplitter (and perhaps three of his cousins). On the other hand if you play fast action games then max out on the Gutter Runners early on and scare your opponent with their speed and ability to move and retrieve the ball - remember the specialisation.

#2 Jervis Johnson (Blood Bowl, Death Zone, No Stars, Big Guys and Allies) Rat Ogre. Front line strength. Rat Ogre Rat Ogre is a good line vs most teams. Use their agility too, they are equivalent to Stormvermin and a lot harder to put down (and once they get Block...). Skills: Mighty Blow, Guard, Stand Firm (good start off) Doubles: BLOCK!!!! (They desperately need it dont waste the fisrt doubles on anything else!, Dodge, Claws (if you get 2 doubles before getting MB)

#3 Other Allies (Chaos, Undead 6+) [Mail Order rules] There isn't anything of real interest in the undead side except perhaps the Mummy (if you are into heavy immobile front lines). Chaos Beastmen are to me the obvious choice as they add to the only department the skaven have a shortage of - BLITZERS. They don't slow the team down and they add ST 4 blitzes and are ideal candidates for Frenzy.

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Milo Sharp's guide to Skaven strategy


The vicious Skaven live far beneath the Olde World in their burrows and warrens, but occasionally venture above ground to plunder, pillage, or play Blood Bowl! The Skaven Blood Bowl game revolves around their blistering speed, frequently scoring four or more touchdowns within a single game. Their fascination with the mystical warpstone leads to a greater than normal incidence of mutations within the Skaven species, and the best of these are put to use on the Blood Bowl pitch.

Skaven Positions Qty 0-2 0-4 0-2 Position Storm Vermin Gutter Runner Thrower MA ST AG AV Skills 7 9 7 7 3 2 3 3 3 4 3 3 8 7 7 7 Block Dodge Sure Hands, Pass none Cost 90,000 80,000 70,000 50,000 Skill Categories General, Strength, Physical Abilities General, Agility, Physical Abilities General, Passing, Physical Abilities General, Physical Abilities

0-12 Lineman Re-roll cost: 60,000gcs

Advantages Starting with the obvious advantage, Skaven are fast. With a base of 7 MA for even their basic player, the Skaven have speed unequaled by any team in the league except Wood Elves. Gutter Runners, like Wood Elf catchers, are only a skill and a movement increase away from being able to score in a single turn. It could be argued that Skaven are faster even than the Wood Elves, because they have easier access to movement increases via the mutation Very Long Legs. Access to mutations is another advantage for the ratmen. As mentioned above, it boosts the likelihood of a speed increase from 1-in-12 to almost 1-in-4, but that's not the only desirable mutation. Big Hand is incredibly useful for retrieving the ball from lots of tackle zones, and Stunty can allow a Gutter Runner free access to practically the entire pitch. Claw and Razor Sharp Fangs will allow your Skaven to clear the field of their enemies in record time, and even Spikes will help you offset one of the biggest disadvantages of the Skaven -- their low armor value. Storm Vermin should not be overlooked by a Skaven coach, regardless of how appealing the Gutter Runners may be. It is the opinion of many a coach -- and not just Skaven ones -- that Storm Vermin are among the best blitzer-type players in the entire game. Their movement allowance of 7 is better than many blitzers, and the access to physical abilities allows for Horns, Claw or Razor Sharp Fangs to enhance the innate abilities of the Storm Vermin. The job of a blitzer is to blitz, essentially, and the high speed of the Storm Vermin allows them to do so with aplomb. How many times have you seen a blitzer have to go for it to get the extra point of movement to put a tackle zone on a ballcarrier, or -- better yet -- to knock the ballcarrier over? With Storm Vermin, you can frequently save yourself another risky dice roll. Last but not least, many coaches overlook the fact that the Skaven are the only team with access to all five skill categories, making them one of the most well-rounded teams. They have access to some of the best catchers available, and some pretty good throwers as well, making their air game almost as potent as their running game.

Disadvantages In a nutshell: fragility. Skaven suffer from having some of the weakest armor in the game, leaving them vulnerable to high player attrition rates. It can frequently become difficult to field a full team near the end of a game against a rough-andtumble team, and injuries on key personnel can leave your offense somewhat shaky. To offset this, try to score early and often, and take a Magic Item card when possible in the hopes of drawing Healing Scroll, Magic Helmet, or Magic Sponge.

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Unlike the other big air teams, Skaven do not have Throwers with 4 AG. This can make passing, particularly early in a season, somewhat risky. Stick with quick and short passes until you can acquire the Accurate skill for your Thrower (or better yet, an agility increase.) Once you have Accurate or Strong Arm, you'll have more flexibility for future plays. Although these may not seem to be tremendous disadvantages, any experienced Skaven coach will warn you to be careful not to get too attached to your vermin. A run-in with a high-powered "crunchy" team can leave a Skaven team in ruins. Save your apothecary for deaths and draw plenty of Random Events to bring in the cash you will undoubtedly need to replace your wounded players.

Suggested Tactics Most Skaven coaches, at some point or another, develop a Gutter Runner capable of scoring in one turn. With a 9 MA and the ability to sprint two squares, a rookie Gutter Runner can come within two squares of the endzone in one turn's worth of running from the line of scrimmage. All that is needed to make a one-turn scorer out of him is any combination of two of the following: Very Long Legs, Sprint, or a movement increase. If you are taking the Sprint skill, you would be wise to also take Sure Feet. In a pinch, the Speed of Light or Magic Pills Magic Item cards will substitute for one of these. (And you should already be taking a Magic Item card hoping for one of the healing cards mentioned above.) You never know when you'll have one turn left to score before the end of the half or game; it's nice to have the ability to do so. Furthermore, it's certain to make your opponent nervous when he knows you have that capability, and may force a mistake. Use your high movement wisely. Tackle zones are the bane of Skaven, because they tie your players up, negating your primary advantage. Keep your defensive formations loose, so you can better react to whatever your opponent does. Whenever possible, keep your players away from the opposing team and look for a mistake to be made. Few coaches prepare for the possibility of a Skaven breakthrough, and can frequently be caught flat-footed when a turnover is made. If possible, circle a player or two around the rear of your opponent's formation to harass him; if you can break the ball free from your opponent, you can also use them as receivers for a pass which ought to put them out of reach of retaliation. Score whenever possible. Attempt to delay your opponent only when you clearly have an advantage or when you honestly believe you can prevent an opponent from scoring before the end of the half/game. A high scoring game favors the Skaven, as their high MA should keep you ahead of or equal to your opponent. Any game in which the Skaven score less than three times should be considered a poor performance, regardless of the outcome. Remember, touchdowns bring more star player points than any other player action. More touchdowns also means more changes to get players out of the KO box, which should not be overlooked.

Famous Skaven Teams The Skaven Scramblers Fifth Column Tunnelers Warpfire Warriors The Rattsburgh Squeelers

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Undead Strategy
From V116QHTH@ubvms.cc.buffalo.eduSun Nov 10 23:58:52 1996 Date: Mon, 20 May 1996 17:42:17 -0500 (EST) From: Aaron C Thies

Subject: Back to the Boneboard...

Well, it looks like we're back to rehashing the old "The Undead are great/The Undead are feeble" rule. Back in the "old days" of 3rd Edition (say, about a year and a half ago), everyone was complaining about the Undead. A 2+ Regeneration rule was simply too silly - it became nearly impossible to kill off any Undead players, and at the rate with which they could gain SPPs, they could easily afford to be the dirtiest team out there. Strange side effects were also a norm - for some reason, you were better off KO-ING an Undead player instead of putting him in the Dead & Injured Box (I won't even say 'putting him out for the game,' because it never happened). With the ability to gain 4 copies of (arguably) the best Star in the game (Count Luthor von Draekenbourg) - and with those 4 copies virtually indestructible - the Undead were easily the cheesiest team in the game. They had gone from being the worst team in the game in the 2nd Edition rules to the strongest in the 3rd Edition. Posts to this list were awash with the tides and tidings of the victories (and victims) of the walking dead. The supposed 'penalty' for this was the actual lack of talented players, and the inability to hrie a 'regular' Wizard. Then came JJ's Q&A in White Dwarf 182. Suddenly, a dent was placed in the armor of the bone-rattlers - they could only Regenerate on a roll of 4+. Additionally, their Regeneration was made dependent upon their Necromancer, and if he died - well, most of the team went into the ground with him. The list flamed up for a while. Most Necromancers (of course) were rather vehemently against this rule. Most flesh-andcirculating-bloods were all for it :) Things seemed to be a bit more in balance. Granted, JJ did little to clarify how a Necromancer is replaced, whether an Ejected Necromancer could Regenerate his players at the end of the match, etc. But Undead teams now had to work a bit harder to attain elite status. Skaven, Human, and Elven teams continued to win the vast majority of the tournaments posted to this list, with little more than token resistance from the brainwave-challenged :) But then other changes were worked in. The natural movement of leagues against the out-of-kilter destructive potential of Dirty Players resulted in a wave of 'Natural' rulings - Death would occur only on a natural 12, for example. Some leagues took this further, so that even Serious Injuries were only inflicted on a similar natural roll. Soon, many teams were starting to have players that lived forever. Only their players had actual AG's, and MA's, and AV's, and Skills, so that the Undead were becoming extinct upon the pitch. What had been fantasy on the pitch removing the Undead from play - had become reality off of it. What's more, this general lack of good friendly violent death :) all but eliminated a specific function of the Necromancer the ability to Raise the Dead. Undead teams started to fade away like ghosts at sunrise... But then came 'Sigurd's Rule' - and with it, a general rise in deaths over the 'Natural 12' wave which had washed upon the beach. "At least," said potential apprentices, "we might have a chance to gain a few extra bodies." And so a few more fledglings joined the rank-and-file of the Necromantic Circle. But where are we today with the Undead? How fair is the game of Blood Bowl - not just for them, but for their opponents? And in just a minute - we'll have a look and see...

-=-Acerak

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From V116QHTH@ubvms.cc.buffalo.eduMon Nov 11 00:00:45 1996 Date: Thu, 20 Jun 1996 15:37:55 -0500 (EST) From: Aaron C Thies Reply to: bbowl-l@CS.UTK.EDU To: bbowl-l@CS.UTK.EDU Cc: thies@jmcanty.com, norton@aries.scs.uiuc.edu

Subject: Undead Analysis, Part II.

Undead players, to be quite blunt, suck. I'm going to put this out in the open first and foremost, so that we drop any charade that the players have any real talent. There are bright spots here and there - a Mummy is a pretty damn fine front-liner, for example, while ST-3 Ghouls make pretty good Catchers - but the truth is, most of the rank-n-file Undead make Goblins look like pretty handy fellows. First off, a look at the actual prices for the Undead vs the "should-be" prices: Skeletons Zombies Wights Ghouls Mummies 30K 30K 90K 70K 100K 40K 40K 80K 70K 90K

(note that these are by my own system, which i'll go into if anyone requests) Basically, the Undead have been given cheaper feebs (would anyone seriously consider paying 40K for a Skeleton?) at the cost of slightly-more-expensive position players (Wights and Mummies). The Ghouls are the right price. Undead do not have great stats. They are a slow team (all but the Ghouls have average of lower MA). They are not an agile team (only Ghouls and Wights have AGs of 3). They are a fairly iron-deficient (read: "armor-poor";) team (only Wights and Zombies have average AVs; 2 Mummies have AVs of 9, while 4 Ghouls and numerous Skeletons have AVs of 7). In short, they suck (see the first sentence of this analysis:). Central to the survivability of any Undead team is the Regeneration skill. This skill lacks any inherent offensive capabilities - no Wight is going to use Regeneration to pick up the ball, for example - but has a decent defensive capability - namely, it allows Undead players to live a bit longer, hopefully racking up enough SPPs to get another skill or two. But how well does this Regeneration skill work? Let us consider the following: There are 16 players on a basic Undead team. 4 of these are certain to be Ghouls, who do not Regenerate and do NOT come back when killed (we will leave aside the Healing Scroll for the moment). However, for simplicity's sake, I'll leave the Ghoul situation alone for now and assume that all 16 players have Regeneration. Thus, of 16 Undead players, 8 will stay dead when killed (1 lifespan, or "LS," apiece). Of the 8 who survive, 4 will stay dead the next time around (2 LSs apiece, or 8 among the 4 of them). Of the 4 who survive that wave, 2 will stay dead the next time around (3 LSs apiece, or 6 between the 2 of them). Of the 2 remaining corpses, 1 will cease moving when he next hits the turf (4 LSs for him). The last one, we shall assume, will stay dead after his next 6 on Sigurd's Table (5 lifespans for this rare individual).

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So, we have the following: 8 died first time around 4 died second time around 2 died third time around 1 died fourth time around 1 died fifth time around --------------------------------------------------16 died after 5 games ;) 31 lifespans 8 lifespans 8 lifespans 6 lifespans 4 lifespans 5 lifespans

31 lifespans divided among 16 players will yield an average of 2 lifespans per player (though it should be noted that half the team will not pass the first Regeneration roll). Thus, it can be assumed that the average Undead player will live twice as long as a comparable player from another team (linemen for Skeletons and Zombies, DPs for DP Skeletons, Blitzers for Wights, Big Guys/Blocker/Warriors for Mummies). It takes 6 SPPs to get your first skill. Double that and you get 12 - Skill #2. It takes 11 SPPs to get your second skill. Double that - and you don't quite have Skill #3, but I'll fudge it for you. It takes 26 SPPs to get your third skill - doubled to 52, you'd have 4. It takes 51 SPPs to get your fourth skill - this has only been seen in our league with DPs and Super Catchers, so I'll go no further. I think you can see my point. Regeneration, among 16 Regenerating players, will be worth one extra skill per player, per player type - thus, if Linemen in your league generally get to 1 or 2 skills apiece, the average Skeleton should be expected to get to 2 or 3 skills. If Blitzers tend to get 3 skills, a Wight should be expected to go to 4 skills. "This is all well and good," non-Necromancers conclude. "What's the problem?" Well, there are problems. I've coached the Undead, and I'll tell you that there _are_ problems. I'll leave the theoretical numbers alone - I'm sure there are countless Necromancers who would tell you they've never seen the same player make 3 Regeneration rolls, much less four (five is unheard of:), but I'll throw out those arguments for the time being. I'll start with the Ghouls. Ghouls don't have Regeneration. This, we are told by the list, is because Ghouls are not Undead - they're "corpse-eaters." Of course, "for balance," Necromancers aren't allowed Apothecaries to save them... With 4 Ghouls thrown onto the Undead roster, the lifespans break down like this: 4 Ghouls 6 died first time down 3 died second time down 1 died third time down 1 died fourth time down 1 died fifth time down ------------------------------------16 died after 5 games ;) 28 LSs 4 LSs 6 LSs 6 LSs 3 LSs 4 LSs 5 LSs

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This means that the average Undead enjoys a lifespan roughly 7/4 that of comparable players - in other words, it's generally NOT enough to account for an extra skill. And then we come to another point - what sort of "comparable players" are there? If a Human Lineman's stats looked like a Zombie, a case could be made that the Zombie benefits for having Regeneration. But the stats are nothing alike. If a Wight looked like an Orc Blitzer - instead of a hyped-up Human Lineman - a case could be made that the Wight is at an advantage for having Regeneration. But Undead suck, remember? Their stats are inferior. Their AV is inferior. Their MA is crippling, meaning several of them Skeletons in particular - are forced to become DPs. They don't survive anywhere near as long as their Skaven, Orcish, or Human counterparts, either, because they either simply aren't as well-armored, or simply can't move away fast enough, or because they can't make good use of a skill like Dodge owing to their 2 AG. Wights are glorified Linemen - if your Human Linemen tend to survive to 2 skills, the Wight shoudl expect to get 3 before he kicks off. _And_this_is_their_best_allaround_player_... Thus, their "double-life expectancy" (read: "extra-skill dependency") is practically negated by the fact that they get sent off the pitch much more frequently than "comparable" players of all other races... Additionally, Undead player costs INCLUDE 20K for Regeneration - a skill whose only use if for the player to gain one extra skill - usually a 10K deal. Thus, every Undead player seems to lose out 10K in the bargain... Mummies, of course, make for great players. Granted, they can only do one thing - bash the hell out of the opposition but they can do it pretty damn well. A great ST, a good AV, and Mighty Blow to start with make them pretty damn good players. I'm not going to complain there (however, they're not the Almighty Balancing Gift designed to offset the rest of the team's inadequacies any Troll Slayer will lay waste to a Mummy more often than not, and being surrounded by feebs is the surest way to find yourself alone the pitch, being set up for a nasty Foul or two...) However, the position players are rather limited (you can only have 2 Mummies, and 2 Wights, and 4 Ghouls, meaning that while you *could* have the maximum of 8 Zombies on your team, you'll probably have to make do with a Skeleton or 2). Right about now, most of the well-thinking Skaven and Orc coaches among you will be thinking, "Hey, what about the Vampire? How about 4 Vampires?" Well, I'm leaving the Vampire out of the discussion. For one thing, JJ has said that the Star Players were afterthoughts the teams were supposed to be balanced *before* the Star Players were rushed into the deal. For another, our league has decided against the use of Star Players (except for Secret Weapons); our Vampires start off 6/4/4/8/HypnoGaze, Regenerate, Off For A Bite, and take twice as long as everyone else to gain skills. You can also only have 1 per team here, so... "Ah," the rest of you say, "but you're forgetting the Necromancer..." No, I'll get to him in just a moment...

-=-Acerak

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From V116QHTH@ubvms.cc.buffalo.eduMon Nov 11 00:00:53 1996 Date: Thu, 20 Jun 1996 16:16:22 -0500 (EST) From: Aaron C Thies Reply to: bbowl-l@CS.UTK.EDU To: bbowl-l@CS.UTK.EDU Cc: thies@jmcanty.com, norton@aries.scs.uiuc.edu

Subject: Undead Analysis, Part III.

[This hour's installment brings us to that most hallowed of individuals, the Necromancer...] Almost everybody can agree on the following: 1.) Wizards are a great thing to have. A Wizard can stop one opposing TD per game, with a better-than-good chance of success. 2.) Zombies suck. 3.) The more games your team plays, the less it relies on Linemen. 4.) The more you shy away from the original rules, the less deaths you have. 5.) Zombies suck. According to the rules, Undead are NOT able to hire a normal Wizard. Rather, the team Coach (the Necromancer) acts as the team's Wizard. However, instead of being able to do normaly Wizard-ly things - like turning Ogres into Toads, for example, or Fireballing a pack of Dwarves, or Lightning Bolting that pesky Wardancer - a Necromancer can cast "Raise The Dead". All of you on the list know what this spell does, of course. In limited circumstances (ie., no Goblins, Halflings, or Big Guys may be the targets of this spell), it allows you to turn *one* dead player on the opposing team into - a Zombie. Supposedly, this is to "balance Regeneration," or something like that. Or maybe it's supposed to be an even trade, I don't know (slightly opinionated tone, but I happen to be a bit righteous about this sort of thing;). But the fact is, Regeneration is already paid for; it only amounts to most of an extra skill; Undead players suck; and in no way is the POTENTIAL for creating a 30K slab of meat equal to the CERTAIN casting of a TD-saving spell each and every game. Recall, if you will, Sigurd's Injury Table. Recall the Lottery League play-testing numbers - 20 deaths in 16 games. 8 permanently dead players in 16 games (oh, and 1 of them COULD have been Apothecaried, but I opted to let the Hobgoblin die in case a Chaos Dwarf bit it - and it never happened). Four of the dead players were Goblins. Another 1 was a Halfling. This leaves 3 players dead (and able to be Raised) in 16 games, allowing for Sigurd's Table and Fouling/Blocking Assisting Rules. Clearly, this is ludicrous. I'm sure some of you will reply that this sort of thing doesn't happen in your league; I'll allow that you are correct. Not every league plays without Star Players, either (Stars provide a great deal of carnage themselves not accounted for here). Not everyone is playing with Sigurd's Rule, or with Natural 12's, or anything like that - in which case I'm sure the Undead in your league are in great shape. But the opportunity to get 1 Zombie every 5 games or so in a lot of leagues (and who isn't using 4+ Regeneration rules OR Sigurd's Rule OR Consistent Assisting Rules?) is completely, utterly, totally worthless. Additionally, we come to the issue of White Dwarf #182, wherein it was stated that if a Necromancer left the game for any reason, the Undead could not Regenerate.

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Needed in a league where Regeneration works on a 2+? Certainly (in such leagues, actually, Regeneration has actual offensive capabilities, since the Undead will be able to use the same players virtually all game). Needed in a league where it works only on a 4+? Where players from other teams simply stop dying off? Not at all. In theory, Undead should have more money to spend than other teams - after all, they don't have to pay for new players quite as often. However, the team peaks early, often starting out with 2 Mummies, 2 Wights, and 2 Ghouls, with the result that 140K later, you have a full team and a lot of money in the Treasury to buy an extra reroll or two (of course, you'll be replacing a Ghoul every other game, in my experience). What good is money with nothing to spend it on? In short, the game has tilted radically away from the Undead, making them an inferior team compared to Orcs, Humans, Skaven, Elves, and even (shudder) Chaos Dwarves. They're about on par with Dwarves, actually - and how many Dwarven teams do you have in your league? Even Chaos players are better off - and people complain about the lack of variety on Chaos teams constantly. Think Regeneration is such a great skill? Think again. Since we've gone to a 4+ rule here, no one has taken Regeneration as a mutation. In the 'old days' (2+ rule), it was the first skill a Chaos or Skaven player took on a double there were never any second thoughts. It seems we've gone from one extreme to the other on the Undead, and neither has proved acceptable. They're at the weak end of the spectrum now, and I'd like to suggest a thing or two to fix that...

-=-Acerak

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From V116QHTH@ubvms.cc.buffalo.eduMon Nov 11 00:01:48 1996 Date: Thu, 20 Jun 1996 17:36:38 -0500 (EST) From: Aaron C Thies Reply to: bbowl-l@CS.UTK.EDU To: bbowl-l@CS.UTK.EDU Cc: thies@jmcanty.com, norton@aries.scs.uiuc.edu

Subject: Undead Analysis: Even More Finality.

Finally, we get to the last point: 5.) INCREASE _RAISE_THE_DEAD_. I mean, *REALLY* increase it. As Louis Norton has pointed out to me, Halflings and Goblins were probably exempted in the original rules because they didn't have enough mass to create a Human-sized Zombie. But with these rules, why should that matter? No one's asking for a man-sized Goblin Zombie. A Goblin Zombie would simply look like this: 4/2/2/7 Stunty, Regenerate

That would be a pretty interesting player. Granted, Stunty would have to carry the Assumed Stunty Penalty (+1 to Injury Rolls, passing range modifiers, etc.) And a ST of 2 might limit this player's effectiveness. But if a Necromancer wants such a player...who am I to say no? :) Now, let's get back to Hyper Cheez E, Gutter Runner extraordinaire: 11/2/5/7 Stunty, Very Long Legs, Dodge, Catch

Hyper gets blasted by Thrasher von Death, my Wight of Doom, and becomes milquetoast with the following flavoring: 9/2/4/7 Stunty, Very Long Legs

Now *this*, as I've said, would be a spell worth throwing around! Of course, I expect a lot of people will say this is a great idea, and a lot more will be screaming bloody murder (doubtless, they're the ones with the Wizards who like to Fireball both my Mummies and 3-4 feeble Skeletons and Zombies, to boot.) But let's look at the facts, eh? In the test league here, we've had 8 players die in 16 games (I'm going to keep repeating this mantra until everyone gets it:). Of those, 5 have been either Halflings or Goblins. 1 has been a Hobgoblin, who makes an inferior Zombie (4/3/2/7, Regenerate). 1 has been a Human Thrall, who makes for a standard Zombie. And another was a Dark Elf Lineman - a pretty decent Zombie at 4/3/3/8 (if you like your cannon fodder to have AGs of 3, that is, like I do;). Chances are damn good that HyperCheese here is going to be saved by his Apothecary. A nice luxury, I might add, denied to my own catcher-types. Just to really get the uproarious in an uproar, though, I'm going to ALSO propose the following (separately or in combo, doesn't matter): A.) RAISE THE DEAD can ALTERNATELY be used once per match on any Undead player (either side) who has failed their Regeneration roll after being killed. The magicks are instead directed at reanimating the player in its original state (ie., a Raised Mummy is still a Mummy), with the result that the player loses all acquired skills and is reduced to 0 SPPs (Peaked Undead should be presumed to have some physical defect which limits their ability to acquire skills, and thus remain Peaked). In no way may the usual standards (3 Mummies, 2 Wights, 8 Zombies, etc) be violated. Vampires are never created in this fashion, so a Vampire who is killed stays dead. (I should note that since Ghouls are not Undead, Ghouls may only be raised as Zombies with 5/3/2/7 stats as a base they may not be Raised in the above manner.)

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B.) RAISE THE DEAD can also be used on larger creatures - Ogres, for example - to create so-called "Monster Zombies". Reduce the MA of the target by 2, and the AG by 1 (no stat may be reduced below 1, as per the Serious Injury rules in DeathZone). All Physical Abilities the creatures normally start with - Thick Skull for most, Prehensile Tail for Rat Ogres, etc. - are retained, as are all starting skills - Mighty Blow for most, Stand Firm for Treemen, etc., as these skills are not 'learned' but are simply natural outgrowths of the creature's enormous bulk. For those who don't believe me - all Ogres have Mighty Blow. It's not something they all learned. It isn't all about a ST of 5, either - if that were the case, every yob who got beaten by a Lineman and two friends (ST 3 + 2 Assists = ST 5) would be feeling a lot more pain in the morning - they have Mighty Blow because they're large and obtrusive and - well, 'large and obtrusive'! (cf Mummies) This would make the talk in the book about 'players being horrified as ex-team-mates get up to play against them' ring a little bit closer to the truth.. (That oughta get 'em shouting in the aisles...;) Now, several people are going to say that this takes EVERYTHING off its hinges. Honestly, I haven't playtested these rules. I will say the following: 1.) I've played with Undead for about a year and a half now (after WD 182 came out). I'm not just pining for the days of 2+ Regeneration - I thought that was cheesey as all hell. 2.) Undead are severely crippled by the lack of a Wizard, and players of skill. While several drawbacks to their game (WD 182 being a direct example, Sigurd's Table being a more well-meaning but indirect one) have been forwarded, nothing has ever been done on their behalf. 3.) In a league with Star Players, these rules probably aren't such a good idea (having 4 Luthors is probably enough). If your league plays 2+ for Regeneration, these rules aren't for you, either. Similarly, if you haven't adopted Sigurd's Table or messes around with DP, these rules should be out. 4.) You are only allowed EIGHT Zombies. Praying on making your team by nailing the Orcs' Ogre requires you to keep one spot per game open for a fresh corpse (few Necromancers do this now, I'm sure). Given the low rate of deaths in this New World Odor (as well as the pounding you'll take playing against the Orcs, whether or not the Ogre is alive), and the prevalance of successful Apothecaries, this is hardly going to be a common thing. Now, I tend to think this is a rip-rockin' idea. It would certainly devastate my opponent to see his hulking Ogre suddenly lining up on MY side of the pitch (actually, in the league we're going to start, it doesn't look like we'll even have any teams which can hire Ogres. But I digress...) Honestly, I don't think Regeneration should be tied to the Necromancer, but since we use Suggestion #1, it's rarely such a big deal. And that's my contribution to the carnage. Feast on!

-=-Acerk the Lich King

"The surest way to survive a game of Blood Bowl is to make sure that everyone who could possibly kill you is dead." --Engel 'The Exterminator' von Evilstein

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From V116QHTH@ubvms.cc.buffalo.eduMon Nov 11 00:00:59 1996 Date: Thu, 20 Jun 1996 16:53:29 -0500 (EST) From: Aaron C Thies Reply to: bbowl-l@CS.UTK.EDU To: bbowl-l@CS.UTK.EDU Cc: thies@jmcanty.com, norton@aries.scs.uiuc.edu

Subject: Undead Analysis: Final Suggestions.

(Of course, given the traffic this post is sure to generate, I sincerely doubt there will be much "final" about it...but here goes!) Any and all of the following suggestions are up for sale: 1.) Dean Maki posted it here just recently, but I have previously sent our league's rules for the Necromancer to this list: * If the Necromancer is Ejected, Killed, or Badly Hurt, he may not Regenerate players until after the match. If he is Seriously Injured, he may not Regenerate any players until the end of the *next* match (and you must carry any 'dead' players on your roster you wish to have Regenerated, and they count towards TR). The reasoning is quite simple - the magic which brought the corpse to its undead state does not cease functioning without the Necromancer present - this is supported by the fact that the team does not actually disintegrate if the Necromancer is removed from play. The Necromancer is usually too busy yelling at his players, the fans, the referee, etc., to attend to injuries during the course of a game - that's why he waits until there is a break (TD scored, halftime, end of game, etc.) to 'fix' his players. A failed Regeneration roll means that the body housing the magic is too seriously battered to keep functioning (imagine a Skeleton with an arm, a leg, AND a skull missing), and the player thus ceases to (un)be. However, time is rarely an object - a Skeleton can be tended to a play later (the Skaven score lightning quick), or a half later (the Orcs grind the Zombies to mulch over the course of the second half). So, if a Necromancer is out of the game, he simply gets to the injured charges when he can. 2.) SEPARATE REGENERATION FROM THE NECROMANCER. In this case, the ruling is simple - damage which would normally kill a player do not have the usual effect. Thus, the Skeleton is ground into dust - but it magically reforms (successful Regeneration roll). Or the Zombie has his foot removed by the Ogre, but it doesn't re-attach (unsuccessful Regeneration roll, MA -1, miss the next game, for example). In this case, the Undead become a slightly stronger team than they are now - no one can remove their Regeneration (the Necromancer is hardly out of the game that often, anyway, of course). Of course, they are still handicapped by the lack of a true Wizard, but... 3.) KEEP REGENERATION ATTACHED TO THE NECROMANCER. GIVE THE UNDEAD A WIZARD. Undead get a Necromancer for free (he is the Head Coach, after all). Even though the individual player costs account for Regeneration (in other words, even though it isn't free and shouldn't need a handicap, since it doesn't amount to what you pay for it), the Necromancer must provide this service. If he is removed, the players suffer in some way (either they can't Regenerate, or Suggestion #1, above). However, the Necromancer can't cast Raise The Dead. The spell is actually rather complicated - it involves stitching some body parts together, finding suitable corpses, etc. - and can't be cast during a game on some already overly abused Human Thrall. But the Necromancer, with all this free gold lying about, undoubtedly attracts interest from other Mages. On of whom might be willing to work for the team for, say, 150K and a bottle of smelling salts...

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4.) INCREASE THE POWER OF _RAISE_THE_DEAD_. This is the brainchild I came up with this morning :) In short, it stems from a couple mismatches in the game - why should a Gutter Runner Zombie have the same stats as an Orc Zombie, for example? - and an itching to tweak the rules to get things back in the Undead's favor (or at least back to even). Let us assume for the moment that all Zombies on an Undead team were created from general human beings (read: "Human Linemen"). Thus, when a player is turned into a Zombie, he loses 2 points of MA and 1 point of AG, while gaining the Regeneration skill. All well and good. Now, let's apply this to all manner of players, shall we? Thus, a Skaven Zombie becomes 5/3/2/7 (in other words, equivalent to a Skeleton). An Orc Zombie becomes 3/3/2/9 (in other words, a slower, better-armored Zombie). A Human Zombie, of course, stays the same. But then we get to...position players! If you're fortunate enough to kill Mad Max McGee, Human Blitzer, you are rewarded with a 5/3/2/8 Zombie (ie., a slightly more-mobile Zombie). If you kill Syltan Windrider, Wood Elf Catcher, you are rewarded with a pretty neat guy - 7/2/3/7, and Regeneration to boot! Of course, this character really isn't all that great - after all, he's got a ST of 2, and Regeneration, whereas a Wight has a ST of 3, and Dodge. Old Syltan here won't exactly be picking up Dodge anytime soon in his new form, either (since he can now only choose General Skills). But interesting things also occur if I manage to knock off good ol' Gard Hain, Black Orc Blocker, too. Now I've got a character who looks like this: 2/4/1/9 Regenerate

A ST 4 Zombie! Who-hoo! Granted, he'll have to follow Treeman rules for standing up. Granted, this is going to be a MAJOR hassle (I would know, I had a Mummy with MA 2 until he got Jump Up). But THAT is a worthwhile spell to throw around! And so I was thinking about this further...and it logically occured to me that a Beastman Zombie still has Horns. And a Storm Vermin with Claw isn't going to lose the Claw when he dies, either. Skills, of course, are lost when you become a Zombie. But why should Physical Abilities? After all, the Dwarven Zombie *still* has a Thick Skull - it's not a learned ability, after all. Your Big Hand doesn't suddenly cease functioning when you go to pick up the ball. So now, let's say I manage to kill Hyper Cheez E, Skaven Gutter Runner. Hyper has been tearing up the league for some time now, and has: MA 11*, ST 2, AG 5*, AV 7, Dodge, Catch, Very Long Legs*, MA +1*, AG +1 Well, Hyper got a little too close to my Mummy last game, and bit the dust. His Apothecary failed, of course (but only because he needs to for this example), so I Raise Hyper Cheez E: 9/2/4/7 Very Long Legs Not bad! My very own Gutter Runner! ;) Now, according to the original rules, the spell doesn't work on Goblins or Halflings (presumably, because they have Stunty). Honestly, I don't why that is, but for the sake of consistency, we'll say that if HyperCheese had Stunty, he'd be exempt. Similarly, Big Guys are also exempt. Looks like I'll have to finish this suggestion in the other lab...

-=-Acerak the Lich King

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The Undead Strategies


By Andy Welton
Undead are too powerful!! This is a common opinion (and I repeat opinion). But contrary to popular belief, (especially in the Pegasus League in Madison WI), Undead can be beat, they do have disadvantages. The Undead are not known for their quickness, agility, or ability to consistently stay in one piece. They cannot run like the Skaven, pass like the elves, nor do they have the toughness of the Orcs. Playing an Undead team takes time and a ton of patience. You must realize that you might fumble more that any other team and move slower (except Dwarfs). But with time the Undead team can be formed into one of the more powerful teams of this great game of Blood Bowl.

Example of a starting Undead Team.


These is two example teams I use on a regular basis for Blood Bowl. Standard Undead Quick Undead 2 Mummies 2 Mummies 200,000 200,000 2 Wights 2 Wights 180,000 180,000 2 Ghouls 4 Ghouls 140,000 280,000 4 Skeletons 4 Skeletons 120,000 120,000 2 Zombies 60,000 3 Rerolls 2 Rerolls 210,000 140,000 9 Fanfactor 8 Fanfactor 90,000 80,000 TOTAL TOTAL 1,000,000 1,000,000 The only reason I have a super high fanfactor is that the more ff you have at the beginning of the season the more money you make.

The Undead Players (pros and cons)


Mummies: Mummies are by far my favorite players in Blood Bowl. They are casualty machines if you play them right. I usually place them right on the front line since that seems to suit them real well. Skills:When a mummy gets his first skill give him Block. It is a must for the powerful mummy. I then try to model him after my star player mummy. If he ever rolls doubles, I give him Dodge. Some people give the mummies when they roll doubles Diving Tackle. I personally do not agree with this. I visualize mummies as an immovable force and I try to tailor them that way. If they get a third skill I usually give them Stand Firm. This way it almost guarantees that he will be standing and ready to knock others down. Another second skill I like to give my mummies is Piling On. This just adds to the fun. Wights: Wight are what I consider blitzers for the undead. They are quick enough to score and tough enough to stay living through a block. I usually use them for scoring along with the Ghouls. And I play the wights as protectors for the Ghouls as they run down the field. Skills:The usual skill I give a wight is diving tackle, if they roll doubles. Otherwise I give one leader and the other one pro. Other than that I give them a conglomerate of skills, like Strip Ball, shadowing, and Frenzy. If they are being used as defenders of the Ghouls, I tend to build them that way, Diving Tackle, Pro, and Dauntless. Ghouls: Ghouls by far (in my opinion) are the most dangerous player on the undead team. They (in my opinion) are the receivers and the passers for the Undead. That means that they play a very big part of an Undeads offense. Unfortunately they are the only ones without regenerate. That makes them a very big target for opponents to take out. That is why I usually use the wights to defend them. Skills:It really depends on what their first skill roll is before I finally decide on what skill I give the Ghoul. If they roll doubles I give them pass. When they roll normal I give them catch, or block. Also some good skill choices are sprint and sure feet. That way you score quicker. Vampire (rookie or star player): If you use the rookie big guy rules the undead can take rookie Vampires. I usually use these in place of the ghouls in receiving and passing. If I have the Star Player Vampire then I will place him right on the front line to work with the mummies. I never allow him to score unless it means the game. He is a lineman on my team. Skills:The rookie vamp are really powerful. When they get their first skill, I get rid of Off for a Bite. That way it guarantees that they will stay on the field. Then I use the in place of the ghouls in all scoring aspects. If they get a second or third skill it is usually Block, and then Pass.

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Skeletons: Skeletons, hmmmm. I tend to use skeletons to back up my mummies(to lend assists). Otherwise they are not agile enough to be great ball handlers, not quick enough to be much of a use. They are Great cannon fodder though. I usually play the skeletons on the line. They are my blockers. Skills:Skeletons do not usually get skills at all. But when they do the first skill is block and then maybe tackle. Sometimes I give them Dirty Player. If I give them DP, I usually place them behind my mummies waiting for someone to be knocked down and then they foul them. Zombies: Zombies are the same thing as skeletons. I usually do not use zombies at all. Even though they are tougher than skeletons they are not as maneuverable. I play zombies the same way as I do Skeletons. Skills: The first skill I give the zombie is block and then maybe tackle. Sometimes I give them Dirty Player. If I give them DP, I usually place them behind my mummies waiting for someone to be knocked down and then they foul them.

How the troops are placed

Receiving: This is the usual setup I use for the Undead. The only way it varies is with injuries. And because of limited bandwidth I wont show every setup. If I have any rookie vamps they take the place of the wights on the side and the wights take the place of the skeletons on the line. Also zombie can take the place of the skeletons if you wish. Kick Off: I place these the same as the receiving team. Rookie vamps switched with wights, wights to skeletons etc.

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Tactics for the Life Impaired


> Just wondering if anyone could help me with tactics for the > Undead. Oh, I think we could do that...

> We're just starting a league hear and i'm damned if > I know what to do with these buggers. I've played elven teams > before, but since this is pretty much an all strength teams > league I decided to go with the decaying ones. > > Any and all tactics are appreciated, but I'm more concerned > with what are the best tactics on the pitch.. Can't run + > throw 'em, I guess punch it out, but they don't seem to > have the staying power there.. > > Any help is greatly appreciated, thanx in advance..

You have hit the nail on the head - you have a 'strength team' that can't really dish it out and has little staying power. You simply try to win by attrition, and hope that you develop enough cool players (namely, any non-Skeleton/non-Zombie) to actually win games for you. I will assume no Stars, and no Allies. I would start your team off thusly: 2 Mummies 2 Wights 2 Ghouls 3 Skeletons 3 Zombies 3 Rerolls 9 Fan Factor This gives you a lot of rerolls to start with, and a big Fan Factor. These are important. It also means you only have to buy, basically, 2 more rerolls (@140K apiece), 2 Ghouls, and a Zombie/Skeleton pair (total cost: a mere 340K!)

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I would suggest the following skills for your players:

Mummies Block is essential. I would follow this up with Guard (you need it) and Stand Firm (in case you are feeling dodgy or want to get your Guard into a play). On a fourth normal skill, I would take Tackle (people tend to run away from these guys;) Good doubles choices: Jump Up (fail to Foul him and he'll get up and kill you:) and Dodge (harder to knock down, good with Stand Firm and/or Break Tackle). On MA +1: Go with Frenzy, Block, Tackle, Break Tackle. On ST +1: Jump for joy. On AG +1: Fire him unless your league is particularly Fireball-happy or he's very well developed.

Wights Wights need to do a lot of things. For them, Pro is essential. After that, it doesn't matter much. Tackle, Dauntless, Sure Hands, Strip Ball...these are all workable Wight skills. On doubles: Dodge. Jump Up. Guard. Stand Firm. Avoid Mighty Blow - Pro is about as effective at causing injuries, and can be used in more situations. Try to take something that enhances your player's versatility. Hail Mary Pass if you want to use one of these guys as a ballhandler and plan to employ a pair of Diving Catch Ghouls. On MA +1: Pro, Shadowing, Tackle. On ST +1: Pro, Frenzy. On AG +1: Pro, Pass Block.

Ghouls Block is essential. Having a tried a number of other skills, I have finally settled on Sidestep as a good second skill. Sure Feet is good. Diving Tackle is good with Dauntless and Pro (and Block). Remember that you have four of these guys, so you can build them in pairs if you so desire. You can try for a pair of Catchers if you so desire, with Block, Catch, Diving Catch, and Sure Feet combos. Best pray for HMP, though. On doubles: Guard first. Combined with Sidestep, this has GOT to be the most annoying combo in the game (especially with Block and Dodge). Stand Firm second, but only if the player doesn't have Sidestep yet. Otherwise, take Accurate or HMP. On MA +1: Block, Shadowing, Tackle, Sidestep. On ST +1: Frenzy OR Diving Tackle, Block. On AG +1: Block, Pass Block, Sidestep, Catch.

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Zombies & Skeletons Employ either of them in whatever mix you like. However, I suggest the following: Block, followed by Pro. You're waiting for doubles. Zombies get Guard with doubles, and Stand Firm or Jump Up if they roll another pair of doubles. Otherwise, they get Dauntless for their third skill. Skeletons are more mobile and make good Foulers, so you're hoping for Mighty Blow. Otherwise, they get Tackle and play linebacker. I suppose you should probably carry a DP or two early in your team's career - make them both Skeletons if you can help it. Follow up with Block and Pro, and take Dodge on doubles. On MA +1: Fire them. On ST +1: These are gifts from the Dark Ones. Try to supress the urge to cackle with glee. On AG +1: Fire the Zombies (unless they have Guard). Fire the Skeletons unless you thinkyou can give them Sure Hands, Block, and HMP. Then use them as the focal point of your offense and watch the bewilderment on the face of your opponent.

Allies & Stars If your league allows Luthor - get him. If your league allows multiple Luthors - get them, too, but lament the fact that you play in a very unimaginative league. If you are allowed a Vampire, get it. Hypnotic Gaze is a very cool thing to have. Don't worry about the fact that it/they don't show up half the time. It only takes up a Zombie spot, anyway. If you are allowed a Minotaur, think twice before getting it. They don't regenerate, have average AV, and cost your team a lot of rerolls. If you are allowed a Chaos or Dark Elf Ally, think twice. They can't be protected (short of getting Regenerate for the Chaos player). if your league allows Linemen-only Stars, that's fine - a Beastman and Dark Elf Lineman fit quite nicely, and they're more than reasonably priced. Take one Magic Item (you're hoping for Healing Scrolls for the Ghouls and Magic Helmets for everyone else) and a bunch of Dirty Tricks.

Happy haunting!

-=-Acerak

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Dem Bonez Dem Bonez


A skill guide for coaching undead by David Yellope

Chapter 1:
So you want to coach an undead team? What you need to know. Ah, I see you all are budding necromancers, fresh off the cemeteries with your degree in necromantic magic and you are chomping at the bit to raise the fallen remains of some players and think you're going to rise to the top of your chosen league without a sweat. It's not going to be that easy. The best thing a necromancer can do when checking out the league in his areas is find the rules of regeneration and what the team can and cannot get. Some leagues use the rule of JJ, where access to necromantic magic is high, and your players will regenerate fairly easily (on a 2+) other regions may find it tougher, where the flow of magic is harder to reach. (3+ or 4+) Also, some leagues allow a Necromancer to hire a Necromancer's Adept to work as an apocathery. Do your homework before you troop to the graveyard. The rules will dictate your choices. Here are some of the positives and negatives about Undead teams (using vanilla rules)

Positive: Strongest Non-Big Guy around Cheap Linemen Decent Specialists (Wights and Block, Ghouls and Dodge) Regenerate

Negative: AV 7 Skeletons and Ghouls Slower then just about everybody Ghouls can't regenerate 70k ReRolls NO Apocathery

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Chapter 2:
That ol Black Magic: Summoning your first squad. This team was built assuming the vanilla rules in Blood Bowl and Death Zone (2+ Regen, no Adept, no allies) this would also fit better (with a bit more worry) on 3+ or 4+ regen.

2 mummies (200,000) 2 Wights (180,000) 1 Ghoul (70,000) 5 Zombies (150,000) 4 Skeletons (120,000)

3 RR (210,000) 7 FF (70,000)

With 14 players to start, you can outlast the other team if it turns into a foul war, you're not going to be scoring much, a lot of 1-0, 1-1,2-1 games, but your opponents will fear you. You have more players then he does and since your players regenerate, he can't get into a foul war because he only has the one apocathery. With allies, you may wish to dump a zombie and a skeleton and 10k of FF and snag a Dark Elf Linemen to be your ball handler. Use your mummies as brute forces. Drive downfield slowly, using the mummies to take out any opponents foolish enough to get near them. The Ghoul and the Wights are your flankers (their dodge and block will help them stay up respectively) and provide the scoring power you need. Take as much time as you can when you are on offense, using your Skeletons and Zombies as walking assists, or as foulers on downed opponents. Some may think to use your mummies as foulers, because of their Mighty Blow. DON'T fall for it. Your mummies are TOO important as blockers and targets of your opponents wrath to risk wasting on a double. Of course if you have "Bribe the Ref" or "Biased Ref" or your fans get the ref, go ahead. I can't stress this next point too highly for Undead teams. DO NOT TRY TO PLAY AN ELF TYPE GAME. Don't try for 2 turn scores unless you absolutely positively HAVE to. The Undead team is the kind that can let the opponent do that, but that leaves 6 turns for you to grind him, knocking three or four or even more people out or injured. Same thing if you get the kickoff, grind, then score on turn 8. Sure he can one or two turn you to open the 2nd half.. but he still has to kick off to you again, and you just repeat against what probably would be a weakened team. As the teams get higher and higher, you will start to face teams with wizards. All you can do is spread your team out so he can't fireball you and have enough players around to keep the ball in your hands if/when he Lightning Bolts your ball carrier. This means you will have to score a turn earlier then normal.

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Chapter 3:
Raising your spirits: The Mid-Range teams and become a power house. I consider a mid range team to be from around 130 to probably 200. This is where you fill your needs at other positions. This is where you get even MORE hitting power and maybe fill in your limits at other positions, getting rid of a couple cheap players instead. In the PBBL on-line league, here is what undead were allowed to ally with and my thoughts: 0-3 Chaos Beastmen: Eh.. decent but you already have a bunch of ST 3 guys, take a pass here 0-3 Dark Elf Linemen: Dark Elves successfully negate a huge disadvantage of undead teams. Their AG of 4 lets them move the ball upfield and actually pick it up/catch it. Buy one or two, but a reminder. If you don't have a Necromancer's adept, you're not going to be able to apoc any injuries they suffer. Use with caution 0-2 Minotaurs: Oh boy, 2 more ST 5 players for you to add to your front line! :) If you're making a real smashing crunching team, these guys should be on your MUST-BUY list. Not many teams besides Big Guy teams will be able to stand up to 4 ST 5 players on the line! 0-2 Vampires: Maybe it's just me, but while Hypno Gaze, Regen, ST 4 and AG 4 are all good together, I think that you should take a pass on these guys. OFAB is a very hard skill to get rid of, and you need all the players you can get on the field.

Skill Choices:

Mummies: First get Block, they need it :) Second of all, if you know you can either take the foul that this will result in, or can protect them, get Piling On. That's a just about guaranteed armor break at armor 8, and you can still add your Mighty Blow to the injury roll. Third Skill: Stand Firm or Guard Stand Firm lets you stay next to your opponents (which means you get to HIT THEM BACK) and Guard gives bonuses that your Skellies and Zombies will need On Doubles: JUMP UP. A Piling On/Jump Up Mummy is one of the scariest things an opposing coach will have to face. Other good choices include Dodge (to stay up longer) or Break Tackle (2+ dodges :)) Retire on: -ST or -MA injuries, +AG rolls, and most of the time on Niggles

Wights: These guys are pretty decent, but having General access only hurts.. 1) Frenzy Good to knock your opponents wing men off the pitch to set up for your cage 2) Pro Get this to generally re-roll failed efforts. (With Skeletons and Zombies on your roster, you might not have a team RR available) On Doubles: Dodge (to stay up except on Pows) and Mighty Blow (if you don't have minos you need more hitting power) Retire on: -ST Injuries or Niggle

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Ghouls: 1) Side Step No apoc means you need to keep your Ghouls away from the sidelines, and it's auto inj roll. use this to avoid those nasty frenziers 2) Block Once again, staying up and not on the ground where you can be fouled is a priority On doubles: Get Stand firm (to help on those failed dodges) (NOTE: In a no allies league, turn your Ghoul into your passer: Sure Hands, Pass on doubles) Retire on: -AG or -ST inj

Skeletons/Zombies this is where you specialize.. get a couple with oddball skills (kick, Leader) and a couple of DP's to hammer your opponent. The others probably won't get enough SPP to get more then one or two skills before you have other players take their place.. but block and the like are always useful

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Chapter Four:
A Case Study. The Un-washed-ington Deadskins This team has been mildly to moderately successful, no titles, but have earned a reputation as one of the most feared teams in the league and a team to watch in Chaos Cup 98 action in the PBBL 1. Mummy Regen, MB,Block,Piling On,Stand Firm (41 SPP) 2. Mummy Regen, MB,Block,MA+,Piling On,Frenzy (61 SPP) 3. Wight Regen, Block,Mighty Blow,Pro (29 SPP) 4. Minotaur Always Hungry, Wild Animal, Mighty Blow, Thick Skull (2 SPP in one game) 5. Minotaur Always Hungry, Mighty Blow, Thick Skull,+ST (21 SPP) 6. Skeleton (NIGGLE) Regen,Block,Tackle (11 SPP) 7. Skeleton Regen,Block (9 SPP) 8. Vampire HypnoGaze.Regenerate,OFAB (9 SPP, but plays only in about 10% of my drives..)*** 9. Ghoul Dodge,Sure Hands,Block (22 SPP) 10. Zombie Regen,Dirty Player,Pro,Block (30 SPP, the feared EL KABONG!) 11. Ghoul Dodge,Surehands, Pass,Block,Side Step (59 SPP) 12. Zombie Regen (0 SPP) (Soon to be replaced <G>) 13. Zombie Regen (2 SPP) (Also to go bye bye probably) 14. Zombie Block, Regen, MA+, MA+ (33 SPP) 15. Zombie Regen, Dauntless (10 SPP) 16. Frank N Stein (Star Zombie) 4 5 1 9 Break Tackle, Mighty Blow, Stand Firm,Thick Skull

4 RR, 13 FF, necromancer's adept (use like apoc, or to rr one failed apoc.. costs 100k) 3 asst coaches TR 244 *** this is why I hate vampires <G>

This is a good example of a hitting team. They have 4 ST 5 hitters, all with Mighty Blow... (2 mummies, one of the minos and Frank).. all with Mighty Blow, and a single ST 6 Mino (without WA) and once they go down (via the hitters) El Kabong can finish them off.. although not many people can avoid being at least stunned with +5/+1 Piling On, and El Kabong is a good deterrent if they decide to foul my downed mummies (although I keep my Mummies together, so usually if they go after one, my other one will smack the DP/Pro. To protect his guy, he has to commit many of his guys, leading to an imbalance I can exploit What's in the future for the Deadskins? Well, if they can get a couple more games in before tourney time, I want to add more rerolls, and maybe a Dark Elf or two to help pick up the ball (although my ghoul does nicely with that already.)

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Things That Go Bump...


Undead Team Tactics by Gavin Thorpe Dead Good
The Undead are one of the most rewarding teams to coach in Blood Bowl and I hope that the following hints and tips will encourage you to try them out. They do require a good sense of tactics, but when used properly they can be almost unstoppable, burying their opponents under the weight of their attack.

Raising Their Spirits


Undead teams consists of a strange variety of players, ranging from the fairly dire but plentiful and cheap Zombies and Skeletons, to the awesome Vampire Counts of Sylvania. To get the best from this wide range of players, remember the saying "a place for everything, and everything in it's place" and try to ensure that you use each player to do things that they're good at. Forget passing the ball to a Mummy, for example, as they've only got an Agility of 1. Zombies and Skeletons are the Lineman of the Undead Blood Bowl team. They should be used to get in way of your opponent, exert tackle zones and assist your blocks. Their low Movement means they can be out-flanked and out-paced by almost every other team, but don't worry about this - the following tactics assume that the other side will run circles round these guys. As mentioned above, Mummies have abysmal Agility, but they make up for this by being the strongest players you can buy without purchasing a Star Player. Their Strength of 5 makes them a cornerstone of any offensive or defensive line, where they can smash their way through the enemy and provide holes for your speedier players to exploit. With a Movement of only three, Mummies find it hard to compensate if they are not set up carefully so you must be aware of this when you begin each play. However, any opposing player who is clumsy or stupid enough to get in range can be quite certain of getting a good whack round the head! Ghouls and Wights are your equivalents of Catchers and Blitzers. Ghouls only have an Agility of 3, and don't have the Catch skill, but their movement of 7 gives you the ability to respond quickly if something goes horribly wrong. Their Strength of 3 is better than most other Catcher-types, making them useful for throwing blocks, at a pinch. Wights come with the Block skill and a slightly higher Armour value, allowing them to stay in the thick of the fighting and still emerge reasonably intact.

Death Warmed Up
Vampires are great play makers. In my opinion, their high Strength and Agility, plus the Block and Dodge skills, makes them the most versatile Star Player you can get - for any team! Although when I started out with the Washington Deadskins I didn't have a Vampire, I soon found out that it was difficult to win without one. I lost five of my first seven games simply because I didn't have enough skilled players, but I learned! A Vampire Star Player gives a rookie Undead team a sort of safety net which keeps you in the game while the rest of the other players get some skills. With your Vampire in reserve, ready to save the day if things go wrong, try to score with your wights or Ghouls (allowing them to get the Star Player Points they need). Vampires have the Hypnotic Gaze skill, which means they are great for turning small holes in your opponent's defence into large gaps for you to exploit. They can even Hypnotize one player and block another in the same turn, creating a hole wide enough to run your Ghouls and Wights through without having to dodge.

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Taking everything I've said into account, my prefered starting team would now be something like this:

1 Vampire Star Player 2 Mummies 2 Wights 2 Ghouls 3 Skeletons 3 Zombies 1 Team re-roll Fan Factor 5 Total:

180,000 200,000 180,000 140,000 90,000 90,000 70,000 50,000 1,000,000

As the Undead have two types of player who only cost 30,000 each I've found that it's quite easy to have two or even three reserves in your starting team. This makes a battle of attrition a very favourable game plan for most Undead Coaches. If you are playing in a league, you can cut down on the Zombies in your starting line up as your Necromancer will be able to use his Raise the Dead spell to turn the casualties you inflict on your team!

The best defence against a running play is to stand firm and give as good as you get! The Undead are very resilient to damage and with both Mummies and the Vampire on the line of scrimmage they are able to rumble with the best of them. A. Your opponent picks up the ball and tries to form a safe pocket to hide the ballcarrier in. As he does this, he also attempts to break through your line to make a clear path into your end zone. B. Stand Firm and fight back! Your Vampire and Mummies can hit them harder than they can hit you, so don't pull your punches! C. As the blood flows freely in the centre, you should run round the back of their safe pocket and attack from all sides.

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When you're facing a team which is good at passing your line needs to be much more flexible. Keep your faster players out of contact so that they can move quickly to intercept any Catchers that make a break for your endzone. A. You kick off to your opponent and he scoops up the ball with one of his Throwers. At the same time, his Catchers rush forwards ready to receive the throw once they are clear of your defence. B. Your immediate counter should be to drop back your Ghouls and Wights to cover any break through, blitzing the most threatening Catcher as you do so. C. Once you've covered his Catchers, break through the enemy line with your Vampire if you can, and sack the Thrower carrying the ball. This is more likely to fail and cause a Turnover, so remember to make your safety moves first.

Stopping The Rot


Undead are not one of the best defensive teams. Being dead, they are rather clumsy and to avoid serious problems you must make sure that your team is set up correctly. If you fail to do this you will find that your team is too slow to respond to your opponent's underhand and sneaky plays. Two classic defensive set ups are shown in the examples. Both are very similar, the main difference lies in the way the players react to your opponent's plays. Basically, you have strong central line of scrimmage with the Mummies ready to pound anyone who comes within reach - remember that your opponent has to put someone on the line of scrimmage. If you think that there'll be a big ruck in the centre you can throw your Vampire's weight in there too, otherwise you might want to leave him free to plug any gaps. Behind this block are faster Wights and Ghouls and to either side are Skeletons and Zombies. The Skeletons are fielded nearer the flanks where their extra point of Movement helps them to keep up with the Ghouls (sort of), and the Zombies are placed more centrally because their armour will keep them going longer in a fight. The first diagram shows the defence against hard-hitting teams like Dwarfs that prefers to run with the ball. This is just the sort of game that Undead are good at and you shouldn't have too much trouble in ensuing scrap.

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Grave Trouble
You'll probably have most problems facing fast, agile teams like High Elves. These teams can potentially run through and around your defence and pass the ball over the heads of the Mummies and Vampire, dodging your most dangerous players and leaving you with little to do but chase forlornly after them. To counter this you should try the set up shown in the diagram above. With this information you are more adapted to deal with passing plays, that usually send players up the flanks. You do not have to waste your valuable movement crossing from the centre of the pitch to the sides. Instead your players can drop back with the opposing Catchers, using their whole movement. Vampires are so flexible they can be useful almost anywhere. Setting them up towards the middle of your line of scrimmage brings their Strength of 5 into play, but if you set them up in a widezone their Hypnotic Gaze allows you to storm your opponent's line. Either way, Vampires are your best all-round players and should cause your opponent some nasty moments however you use them.

The Funeral March


The best offensive play is the straight run up the centre. There are variations on this theme which I will explain later but the basic idea is very simple. Using your Mummies and Vampire you break a hole in the defensive line of the other team. The ball can be carried through this gap by a Ghoul or Wight (preferably Ghoul as their Dodge skill can get them out of unforseen scrapes). Before you do this you must set up a corridor so that the ball carrier is protected. Using your other Ghouls and Wights you set up a short 'safe zone' three squares long. In your next turn you can run the ball carrier into this area without unneccesary Dodges. From then on, your team steadily works its way up the field, hitting anybody foolish enough to stand between the ball carrier and the end zone. After two or three turns of this slow advance your ball carrier can sprint into the end zone. I call this play the Funeral March, as the two lines of players slowly make their way towards the end zone. Variations on this play can be introduced to keep your opponent from knowing exactly what you are trying to do. For example, sending a Ghoul down one flank may convince your opponent that you are going to pass the ball, making him pull baack from your line and making it easier to form the corridor. If you are using the Special Play cards from Deathzone, you may be lucky and draw a Magic Item that will make a passing play possible. Even if you don't, the Ghoul can still either return to another part of the corridor or wait for a hand off which will start him running for the end zone a turn eralier than expected. If you've plenty of time to score, or it's the first half and you want to grind the other team down a bit, you can use your Mummies as blockers, making sure the path is completely clear of opposing player. This does limit the whole team to the Mummies' movement of 3 which is why you shouldn't attempt this play when you only have two turns left to score! With a Vampire on your team you can try the odd passing play to keep the other Coach on his toes. One of the best uses of this tactic is a fake Funeral March play. After a turn of advancing up the field the ball carrier hands the ball off to the Vampire, the Ghouls at the front of the procession make a break for it, and the pass is thrown over the heads of the defenders. The beauty of this play is its felxibility. If the opportunity to use this play presents itself you can perform the pass, if it doesn't then you can simply forget about trying fancy manoeuvres and carry on with the Funeral March.

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Your first job is to secure the ball and surround it with the largest, strongest and most psychopathic players in your team. This done, you move off downfield. Once inside the box the hardest thing to do is to keep up the momentum. You may have to do some pretty fancy manoeuvring in order to keep the pace of the Funeral March steady if not fast, so think carefully about the order in which you move your players. Also, be sure to keep an eye on the number of downs you have left to play and be ready for that final sprint! A. Having secured the ball, your front line obliterates the opposing line of scrimmage and starts to form up for the procession down the pitch. B. You move your ball carrier into the centre of the box and close the lid on the coffin with Skeletons at the back. C. With everyone in place you set off towards the end zone at a sedate pace, breaking the opposing players' bones as you go. D. The other side will undoubtedly try to stop you, but with your Vampire, Mummies and Wights at the fore they will have to be very lucky to have much chance. E. When you're far enough downfield, use the Vampire's Strength and Hypnotic ability to smash a hole in their line and send your ball carrier sprinting through for a Touchdown!.

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Special Play Cards


The Special Play cards in Death Zone add an entirely new element to the game, and if used properly can stop or score a Touchdown when all else has failed. The most useful cards for Undead are those that involve moving about, such as the Sewer Map, and the Magig Items Speed of Light, Rakarth's Bounding Leap, Time Warp, The Secret Way and Magic Pills. If you can get your hands on one of these cards you can spring an unexpected trick on your opponent. Imagine his surprise to find that one of your Ghouls or Wights can move an extra four squares this turn! Imagine his complete confusion when an extra Mummy turns up right next to his ball carrier! The other cards have no more specific uses with an Undead team than they do with any other race, but here are a few pointers on some of the more profitable uses. Knutt's Spell of Awesome Strength is a great card for Ghouls, allowing them to add the roll of a D6 to their already average Strength of 3. Combined with their speed and Dodge skill they can make excellent pocket-breaking runs or Touchdown blitzes with this card. Scutt's Deluge of Despair halves the Movement of the other team, bringing them down to your own sluggish pace. It's especially demoralising for your opponent if you play it when he thinks he's broken through your line, your end zone is in sight and he has that "nothing can stop me now" feeling. Magic Hand of Jarik Longarm allows you to automatically complete a pass successfully. Since the low Agility of an Undead team makes passing plays unlikely, the use of this card can throw your opponent's defence completely off balance, especially if used in conjunction with a card that allows you to move a player further down the field to receive the pass. If you get this card, you can often tempt the other side into a largle brawl in the centre, setting them up for the sudden pass over their heads. Magic Helmet permanently increases one of your players Armour value by one and is best used on ghouls, whose Armour Value of 7 means they can spend quite a bit of time staring at the pitch. Alternatively, you can give the Magic Helmet to a Wight, giving them enough protection to participate in a full scale ruck with the opposition and you don't have to worry too much about the Wight being too badly hurt. Combined with the Regenerate skill, a Magic Helmet can make players almost impossible to injure...

*** Did You Know... Blood Bowl pitches often take several years to build as there are dozens of rules for each one to comply to. One of the most recent of these states that pitches must not be built over old graves, battlefields or tombs. This was introduced to avoid a repetition of the infamous game between the Athelorn Avengers and the Erengrad Undertakers which ground to a halt after thousands of the Undertakers' fans rose from their graves in the end zone and invaded the pitch!

The Long Haul


Undead teams are definitely at their best in a League. Their ability to Regenerate allows them to continue to pick up Star Player points long after ,ortal players would have retired. Having said this, you can have all the time in the world, but you can't rely on Most Valueable Player awards only, you have to score Touchdowns and inflict casualties if you are going to get anywhere in this game. The following are my suggestions on what types of skills are best to acquire for different players. Of course, Strength increases are welcome on any players, but be wary about increasing the Movement of Zombies and Skeletons, as this seems to me to be throwing away a good opportunity to get Block, Tackle or a more useful skill. Of course you will only have the choice if you roll a double, but it's always worth bearing in mind. A Mummy with a Movement of 4, on the other hand, can be a horrible surprise for your opponent, as this allows them to make a Blitz action on the same turn they stand up (their usual Movement of 3 is taken up by the process of standing up). In fact, the mere thought of a Mummy with high Movement is enough to give some Head Coaches nightmares.

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Mummies The majority of Star Player Points for a Mummy will come from casualties, so hit the opposition whenever you can. The most essential skill to get for a Mummy is Block and when they have this skill the Mummy is almost without equal on the front line, with the exception of a few very expensive Star Players. Tackle is also useful for making sure the opposition go down when you hit them, and at the same time the Tackle skill stops fast teams like Wood Elves slipping past these lumbering players. If you are fortunate enough to roll a double, then I would recommend the Jump Up skill, as there is no sight more horrifying for your opponent than to see a Strength 5 player leap nimbly to his feet and be allowed to block the guy who just downed him! Ghouls Ghouls benefit greatly from skills such as Catch, while Sure Hands and Sure Feet increase their ability as ball carriers. To make full use of skills like Leap (which require an Agility roll) a roll of eleven and a bonus Agility point is preferable. Block is a handy skill too, allowing the Ghoul to ignore certain Block dice results when the other team inevitably gets close enough to land a few blows. Pass Block is another annoying skill for your opponent, which can be used very effectively not only to intercept a pass, but also to move your Ghoul nearer the ball and the opposing end zone. One Ghoul can be given Dirty Player and be turned into a kind of hit man. He can then use his speed to run in and make sure you remove downed players for as long as possible. Wights Wights with skills can be divided into two categories: those who are great at blocking, and those who are great at Blitzing. Blocking Wights ought to get Mighty Blow, Tackle, Dauntless and Strip Ball, while Blitzing Wights will find Shadowing, Frenzy, Strip Ball and Tackle more useful. Depending on your choices, your Wights will then start gaining more Star Player points from Touchdowns or casualties, so capitalise on this during the game. Them Dry Bones Finally, you have the cheapest of all your players - Skeletons and Zombies. These players should be given all the usual Linemen type skills, such as Block, Tackle and Dauntless. If you can get one or two players with the Guard skill by rolling doubles, you can keep them next to your Mummies and make them even more potent blockers. For a bit of surprise value and variety, why not try a Zombie or Skeleton with Kick, as these players can be set up off the line of scrmmage without damaging your game plan. Last Rites Well there you have it - the distilled wisdom of an old Necromancer. Everything I know about leading an Undead team to the top of the League. At least, everything I'm going to tell you - I still need some secrets, you never know when our teams might meet...

*** Did You Know... The Deadbeats were the first major league team to lose a thousand games in a row. This all-Zombie team was so hilariously bad that it attracted a huge following who would travel miles to watch their favourite team fall apart - literally! Their Head Coach and Necromancer Galbash the Black said that their game would improve as soon as he'd worked out how to get the Raise the Dead spell to last a whole match...

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Undead
In the Old World the dead do not rest easy. Vampires lurk in haunted castles in the sinister forests of Sylvania. Necromancers seek to escape their mortality by searching for forbidden knowledge within the pages of accursed books. In lost pyramids buried beneath the desert sands of the Kingdom of the Dead, the Liche-Lords rule over legions of corpses, their servants in death as they were in life. In the musty crypts of dead noblemen, tomb robbers freeze in terror when they head the clink of silver rings and movement behind them. And on the Blood Bowl field, players who died long go return to the scenes of their former glory and play Blood Bowl once again...

Undead Positions Qty 0-2 0-2 0-4 0-8 0-12 Position Mummy Wight Ghoul Zombie Skeleton MA 3 6 7 4 5 ST 5 3 3 3 3 AG 1 3 3 2 2 AV 9 8 7 8 7 Skills Mighty Blow, Regenerate Block, Regenerate Dodge Regenerate Regenerate Cost 100,000 90,000 70,000 30,000 30,000 Skill Categories General, Strength General General, Agility General General

Re-roll cost: 70,000gcs

Advantages The single biggest advantage of the Undead is regeneration. Where other teams are cleaned of the pitch for the game, the undead keep coming back for more. One can't say that 50% regeneration is a game-winner(it's not block), but it is a game-SAVER, and when it does work you'll be a happy necromancer. Another advantage of the undead is the cheap cost of their line-feebs. Couple this with regen and you have a team that is relatively easy to fund and keep on the pitch. This means you get an advantage in the game you are playing and in "recovering" for your next match. The third, and final, advantage of the undead is in their position players -- namely the ghouls and mummies(I'd mention vampires too, if you allow them). With 5ST on the mummies and the ghouls with good speed and access to AG skills, you have both the bash and scoring angles covered in small amounts. Exploit this versatility whenever possible.

Disadvantages Some believe they are too numerous to list. No access to wizards for starters. No access to an apothecary. Their ghouls, who also happen to be their premiere ball-handlers, cannot regenerate (making them very vulnerable to being knocked out for the match - or longer). The bulk of the team players are slow. They lack agility. They have no rostered passer and possess very little "non-general" skill access. The drawbacks mount up, but it is overcoming these seeming hurdles that is the challenge for an aspiring Necromancer.

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Suggested Tactics Unlike other teams (e.g. skaven), tackle zones are not the bane of the undead. In fact, you want to keep your opponents in your tacklezones just to slow them down so you can get your bony claws on them! Work to tie up as many opponents into disadvantaged field positions and blocks as possible. Using your mummies as focal points is an excellent way to start down the path towards destroying your opponent -- and destroy him you must. Speed kills, and nothing beats undead more than teams that can outrun them. Game-flow control is key. Make your opponent play at your pace. Try to stonewall his offense at the LoS and force him to cough up the ball right around there. Cost him players every turn if you can. Remember the cheap cost of your players; getting a zombie ejected for badly hurting an elf on a foul is always a good return. For line-feebs like zombies and skeletons, skills such as Dirty Player, Block, Pro, and Tackle should be the developement route (and possibly in that order). You'll want to give one Leader, and another kick as well. If you get doubles consider Mighty Blow (so long as you don't have DP yet), Guard, and Stand Firm, or (more rarely) Diving Tackle or Jump Up. It should also be noted that although I've heard one coach choose skeletons over zombies "because of the move difference", I've always recommended zombies for the better AV. Your feebs are supposed to take hits and give them. Moving around is secondary to the more important goal of staying on the pitch. I'll also point out that the coach who chose skeletons has started getting zombies after getting his skeletons crushed repeatedly. One or two skeletons is fine. But let the wights and ghouls do the moving... Speaking of wights and ghouls... Give wights blitzer-type skills: Tackle, Pro, Strip Ball, Dauntless. On doubles, consider giving them Dodge, Stand Firm, Mighty Blow, or maybe Guard (and if you are feeling crazy, but Multiple Block on one with Dauntless). Hope that one gets +1AG so that he can become an awesome ball-handler. It is often felt that wights are "crappy blitzers" because they only have general access and average stats, but put faith in these blokes because they are your back-up ball-handlers and need to be developed. Ghouls: your workhorses. These guys will serve as your scorers, blitzers, safeties, you name it. Give them Block right off to make them hard to take down. After that it's all up to you. Best picks (in no particular order): Side-step, Shadowing, Diving Tackle, Sure Hands. Hope for +1AG. On doubles take either Mighty Blow or Stand Firm. If you do take Mighty Blow, make sure to pick up Tackle and make this guy a catcher-killing safety. Just try and be sure not to out-run your offensive line unless you plan on scoring. Mummies: Use these guys to beat the life out of your opponents and break up their game. Combos that work: Block/Stand Firm/Break Tackle (yeah, yeah- I hear you talkin' MA 3, but this combo really does work), Block/Guard/Stand Firm. Piling On is also nice (hope for doubles - Jump Up), as is Frenzy. Going back to doubles, I'd recommend Dodge and Diving Tackle primarily. Some last(ing) tips: Choose to kick to your opponent if you can. Come second half the game should at least be 1-1, you'll be receiving and should have your opponent undermanned (or at least short a few position players). I cannot stress enough the importance of tackle zones. Use 'em to reduce your opponent to a crawl. Foul downed foes (never the stunned guy). Never argue the call unless your league plays that the regen isn't tied to the Necro. Oh... and one last thing. Try to nail your opponent's favorite player, then raise him from the dead. Sucks to be alive. :)

Famous Undead Teams The Grimfang Doom Patrol The Champions of Death

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The Undead Strategies


By WarNerve79@aol.com
THE POWER OF THE UNDEAD I have been playing undead since first starting BloodBowl and I must say they are one of the best teams out there if played correctly.

The Myths People say that the other races can "dance" around undead, that is not true. Just look at the above average 7 movement on the ghouls, or the average 6 movement on the wights. Do not forget the vampires movement of 6 also, they might be big guys but they are worth the effort it takes to lose the off-for- a-bite drawback skill. The Truth Well let's see about the truth aspect of the undead. Number one is the fact that they are hard to kill, everyone of them except for the ghouls have regenerate. Number two is the well-known fact that the mummy is the heaviest hitting non-star player in the hole game that isn't an ally. And number three is that the vampire is one of the best allies in the game. The Star Players Hmmm. You can't possibly say that Count Luthor Von Drakenborg is a bad SP. For 180K you get a 6/5/4/9 with hypnotic gaze, regenerate, block, and dodge. The hypnotic gaze works 50% of the time on almost all the BB players in the game. That is it for mentionable SP's until the 4th edition comes out. The Starting Team Almost any good BB player will tell you that the starting team is what decides how good your team will be. It is no different with the undead. The first team is assuming you may start the league with Star Players. Count Luthor Von Drakenborg 180K 2 Mummies 200K 4 Ghouls 280K 4 Zombies 120K 8 Fan Factor 80K 2 Re-rolls 140K For a grand total of: 1,000K This team is a heavy beat-down with 4 ball-handlers. This second team is assuming you can't start or have SP's in your league. 2 Wights 180K 2 Mummies 200K 2 Ghouls 140K 5 Zombies 150K 2 Skeletons 60K 3 Re-rolls 210K 6 Fan Factor 60K For a grand total of: 1,000K This team has 13 starting players and plays a bit differently. Because there is no SP I am starting this team with 3 re-rolls instead of two.

The Tactics for Team 1 The setup is an easy one if going for offense. In the middle of the front- line is Count Luthor, flanked by a zombie on each side, next to each zombie will be a mummy and on the other side of each mummy will be another zombie. In each widezone will be a ghoul one space back from the line and two spaces away from the side. Finally and most importantly is the last two ghouls set into receiving position. When you start the very first thing to do is hit with Luthor then with the mummies, all those hits should give you 2 dice and if you are lucky you took a few guys off the field (remember to follow up with the mummies, because it is gonna be hard for someone to get two dice on one of them). The next thin is to pick up the ball with one of the ghouls then go right up behind the front line. Use the other 3 ghouls to box him in. Finally hit with your zombies, if you can you should declare one as your blitz so you can foul someone. If all goes good then your ball is pocketed, now all you have to do is march up the middle while hurting people until the point were a ghoul can break away with the ball for a touchdown.

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On Defense setup your front-line the same. with 2 ghouls in the center of the wide-zone one space back from the line. Chances are that your mummies will stay standing along with Luthor, and your zombies got knocked on there @$$es. One of your ghouls most likely got blitzed and possibly injured (they do only have a 7 armor). Once it is your turn you should put the smack down with Count Luthor and the mummies, then stand up your zombie's and move them in on the line, If some zombies were standing wait till the end of the turn to hit with them. You should now try to send 2 ghouls to the back (just in case) and if you can move the other two in on the ball-handler you should do so.

The Tactics for team 2 On offense you should setup your front-line like this. Three zombies in the middle with one skeleton on each side and a mummy next to each skeleton. One wight should go in each wide-zone one space back off the line and 2 off the side and once again two ghouls in receiving positions. The first thing to do is to hit with your mummies (do not follow up if you only push), hopefully you knock the opposition down (and hurt them) so that the mummies can now assist the skeletons so they can get two die hits. If you can go all the way down the line getting two die hits do so and never follow up. The reason for not following up is so that next turn any hits the want to do is gonna be a blitz. Once again you must pick up the ball and pocket it behind the line. Now bring the two wights around to help secure the ball, if one of your wights can get a one die blitz on someone do so now. If you have successfully pocketed the ball now, once again, march up the middle while hurting people and get that TD. On defense put three zombies in the middle flanked on each side by a mummy with another zombie next to them. Now put a wight and a skeleton next to each other in the middle of the wide-zones (the skeletons go to the insides) one space away from the line. Then on you play the same as the other team just instead of sending the ghouls to the back you send the skeletons and use your wights as blitzers. The skills Each of the undead players have a different role on the team. These are the skills I have found work the best on the different players. Mummies.... #1) Block #2) Piling On #3) Stand Firm #4) Guard #5) Pro If you ever roll doubles give him diving tackle. Wights.... #1) Strip Ball #2) Frenzy #3) Dauntless #4) Pro #5) Pass Block If you ever rolls doubles give him diving tackle. Ghoul.... 2 of your ghouls should get: #1) Sure Hands #2) Catch #3) Side Step #4) Sure Feet #5) Sprint If you ever roll doubles give him pass. The other ghouls should get: #1) Block #2) Dirty Player #3) Pro #4) Strip Ball #5) Diving Tackle If you ever roll doubles give him Stand Firm.

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Zombie.... #1) Block #2) Dauntless #3) Tackle #4) Pro #5) Dirty Player If you ever roll doubles give him Guard. Skeleton.... #1) Dirty Player #2) Kick #3) Block #4) Pass Block #5) Pro If you ever roll doubles give him Stand firm.

Your Money The first things you should spend your money on is Players. Fill up on wights, ghouls, and mummies, then get 2 skeletons if you don't already have them. After that I would suggest re-rolls and (if allowed) a rookie vampire. Always keep at least 70K in your treasury in case of a extra training card. If you can I would suggest cheerleaders and coaches quick, if you can get two or three of each after your first game do so.

Closing I would just like to say that the same thing does not work for everyone. This is the way I play undead and it has been all good for me. I do not guarantee that this will work for everyone. I myself have posted a 15-6 record which is good seeming that I have a bad habit of forgetting my turn marker.

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Wood Elf Tactics


The Wood Elves are seldom seen outside their forests and glens, unless of course they're playing an away game! Physically, they are very similar to their cousins, the High Elves, but have replaced arrogance and haughtiness with a deep and abiding love of nature and the forests.

Wood Elf Positions


Qty 0-2 0-4 0-2 0-12 Position Wardancer Catcher Thrower Lineman MA 8 9 7 7 ST 3 2 3 3 AG 4 4 4 4 AV 7 7 7 7 Skills Block, Dodge, Leap Dodge, Catch Pass none Cost 120,000 90,000 80,000 70,000 Skill Categories General, Agility General, Agility General, Agility, Passing General, Agility

Re-roll cost: 50,000gcs

Advantages
Wood Elves have three major advantages: speed, agility, and access to arguably the best player in the game -- the Wardancer. To start with, Wood Elves are among the fastest players in the game. It's a toss-up whether the Wood Elves are faster than the Skaven or not -- a full Wood Elf team will have 4 players with 9 MA and 2 with 8 MA, as opposed to only four Skaven players with 9 MA (all other Skaven move 7.) On the other hand, Skaven have access to the Very Long Legs mutation, slightly increasing their chance of movement increases. Regardless of which has the title of "Fastest Team", Skaven and Wood Elves are typically the only teams which will feature players capable of scoring in one turn. Developing a one-turn scorer is relatively simply; it requires only a movement increase and the Sprint skill, which any Wood Elf can take on a normal skill roll. A one turn scoring machine is a huge advantage in clinch situations, when you have only one turn left to break a tie game (or recover from a one point deficit.) I highly recommend that every Wood Elf team at least attempt to develop one, but for regular play, I'd avoid using him -- he will quickly suck up all of your touchdown star player points, leaving the rest of your team underdeveloped. You never know when lightning will strike, so it's good to have a team which can withstand the loss of any player, even a very skilled one. Furthermore, having a high average MA allows you more tactical flexibility. It will frequently allow your players to avoid passing through a tackle zone which a slower player would have to take his chances with. Fast players can sprint past a defensive line to menace the ballcarrier before he can form a cage, and your entire team will be able to better reposition themselves to adjust for your opponent's plays. All Elves, not just the Wood Elves, are fortunate enough to have a 4 Agility. This allows Elves to handle the ball much more carefully than the other races, and again, offers more tactical flexibility. Essentially, any Elf player has good odds at passing and catching the ball -- that means any player on your team can be a scoring threat and will keep your opponent on his toes. Finally, Wood Elves are graced with one of the premier Blood Bowl players: the Wardancer. Fast, agile, and with one of the most potent skill combos in the game (Block/Dodge), the Wardancer is an almost impossible-to-stop scoring monster. He can Leap over opposing lines and penetrate deep into the backfield to receive a pass, and is tremendously difficult to knock down (since only one result on the Block dice will succeed.) A Wood Elf team will soon find their Wardancers dominating the pitch in virtually any game they play.

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Disadvantages
Primarily, the Wood Elves' disadvantage is their high cost. The average Wood Elf Lineman will set a team back 70,000 gold crowns, and the Wardancer costs an amazing 120,000 (more than any other Blood Bowl player.) Wood Elf coaches will find they have to make lots of compromises when initially purchasing their team. Do you take lots of skilled players and forgoe the team re-rolls, counting on innate talent to carry the team through their first few games? Or is it better to max out the team on linemen and purchase the skilled players later in the season? Compounding this is the low armor value of the Wood Elves (only 7.) You can almost certainly count on high rates of player turnover on a Wood Elf team, which will force a coach to continue to spend large amounts of money throughout the season just to keep his team roster healthy and full. An apothecary is practically a necessity right from the start -- you can't afford to lose even your cheapest players on a regular basis. This is going to impact your initial purchase as well.

Suggested Tactics
A wood elf team should first and foremost try to minimize contact with the opposing team. Your players are too fragile to withstand a smashmouth game of Blood Bowl. Instead, use your speed and agility wisely. Avoid tacklezones with your superior speed and dodge away from the players most likely to knock you over during the next turn. Keep in mind that your opponent can only throw one Blitz per turn, so if you can move all of your players out of their tacklezones, you can go a long ways towards reducing player losses. You should always put pressure on the opposing team's ballcarrier. Your speed and agility should allow you to squeeze one or two of your players through the defensive line to blitz the ballcarrier. Kick the ball deep to ensure the opposing quarterback must waste half a turn (or more) moving backwards to get the ball. Remember that every player will fumble a pass or fail an attempt to pick up the ball at least 16% of the time. Make sure you have players in his backfield to capitalize on that. Your agility offers good chances for intercepting the ball, as well -- and if your opponent is aware of that, you can force him to take a risk or find a different receiver, one which is hopefully less of a scoring threat to you. You should also be able to react to your opponent's strategies better. If your opponent pushes up one of the wide zones, almost all of your players can be in position to prevent him with only one turn's movement. Furthermore, you can give the impression -- by stacking one side of the pitch with the majority of your players -- that you'll be traveling up one wide zone, then use your speed to swing the other way and catch slower teams off-guard and out of position.

Famous Wood Elf Teams


The Athelorn Avengers The Brookglen Birchfellows

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Starting Your Wood Elf Team


For most teams, the way you start your team depends on the rules variations your local league uses. Well, that's most teams! For Wood Elves, I haven't seen a rules system yet where I didn't start my team the same way. The 100 point Wood Elf Team # 1 Position/Type Cost Wardancer 120,000 700,000 100,000 80,000 1,000,000

10 Line Elves 2 8 Re-Rolls Fan Factor Total Reasoning: Now I'll explain why I use this starting lineup.

Well, the Wardancer, without question, is necessary for making this team competitive in the starting game. He's probably going to be the fastest player on the field (unless you play a skaven team or something), and he's really hard to knock down. He should be your main player for the first game or two. The line-elves (calling them line-MEN is a sure-fire way to utterly convince them that they cannot dodge very well, so they won't) are neccessary because they are the cheapest players available to you, and you have to start with 11 players. Don't worry though, they cost 70K each for a reason, namely that they are the best athletic linemen in the game. They can keep up with or outrun most other teams' speedsters, especially early on, and the fact that they all have AG4 means several things. You don't have to worry about not starting with a thrower, since line elves pass as well as most rookie throwers from other teams anyway The opposing teams' defense has to worry about every player on your team being a possible scorer, since they can all catch You can dodge off the line fairly easily (when you're done with everything else) so that your opponent can't pound you into oblivion.

Remember that your team is the fastest, most agile team on the field, and that the only way any non-wood elven or skaven team can compete with you is to outnumber you. All you have to do is not allow them to do so, and the best way to do that is to only allow your opponent to hit you when it is absolutely necessary. This usually means only once per turn, the other teams' blitz. I choose to start with 2 RR's because that is the maximum number I can have while still having a Wardancer on my team, which I feel is essential, and having a good FF, which I also feel is essential. (I'm getting to that part.) I'd love to start with more Re-Rolls if I could (I sometimes start undead teams with 6), but I just have to sacrifice too much. I choose to start with 8 Fan Factor because it's the most I can do without losing either a Wardancer or a Re-roll for 1 point of FF, which obviously isn't worth it, even to a FF-happy freak such as myself. The reason I need Fan Factor is that it drastically improves your teams' winnings (due to higher gates) which is vital to a team whose players are so terribly expensive, like this one. It also helps when it's you who wins those re-rolls, pitch invasions, rocks, refs, and other Fan Factor related kickoff events, and not your opponent. Those really add up!! I'd really love to start with an apothecary, but I just can't afford it given the circumstances above. It's always the 1st thing I buy, though! On a side note, if you'd like to know if this strategy works, the last team I started with this method was on an on-line IRC league, the OLBBL. They started out 5-1, out-scoring their opposition 13-7, and even out-casualty-ing their opponents 1211!

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Playing a Young Wood Elf Team


When playing a young (usually its 1st five games or so, give or take) Wood Elf team, your tactics are, of course, going to be markedly different than a team with more experience (and a full roster, and more position players, etc.) This is the section where I deal with that. Also, for the purposes of this discussion, I'm going to assume you're using the Team I gave in Part 1. If you're a slacker, and you did something different, these guidlines will still be the same in some ways, but in others will make no sense. Consider yourself warned! One last thing before I start: This section of my Strategy guide will never truly be done, as I will tinker with it and add material to it as it comes to me, so even if you've read this before, come back now and then and see what's changed. Anyway, here are some of the basic strategies to keep in mind when playing your new wood elf team.

Card Selection If you only get 1 card, take a Random Event. The chances of getting money in a random event deck are greater than your chances of getting the Magic Helmet in the Magic Item deck, so play the odds. Your team REALLY needs money so it can get the important position players most teams are cheap enough to start with, and to replace any deaths or ST/AGdowngrade players or nigglers you get. About the best single young Wood Elf-friendly card I can think of is Big Match. if you get more than 1, take a Magic Item, and the rest Random Events. Until you have a full roster, or near it, Dirty Tricks should only be used in large handicap (2 extra cards or more) games, see above. Best 3 card combo I can think of: Magic Helmet, Big Match, Merchandising Offense/Ball Control Use your lineelves as throwers. Everyone on your team is AG4, so early on it's OK that they aren't specialized in AG skills (no throwers, no catchers, etc) Use everybody as both! Put 2 Line-Elves in the backfield when you recieve your kick, use the closest one to go get the ball, and usually he is close enough to the other elf to make a quick pass (2+) to him, and he can then go up to the line and hand off to your Wardancer, who is your best ballhandler early on (he's really tough to knock down, and can leap out of any messes in a jam). It's a good idea also to rotate different elves in for this passing duty, to spread out the SPP's on your team. This way, with any luck, it'll be almost impossible after a few games for your MVP award not to result in a skill for whoever gets it! Note that most of the line-elves should have at least 1 skill, many 2. Also note that your Wardancer may not even have the most SPP's. This is be expected after 5 games. Don't let your Wardancer do all the work. Your line-elves are excellent scorers in their own right, and should be allowed to do so whenever possible. Otherwise, you'll soon find yourself with 1 guy with 30 SPP's and the rest of the team with just an odd MVP or completion here and there. Often it only takes a hand-off to score with a line-elf instead of the Wardancer, don't be afraid to do so unless your opponent is really good, or happens to be in a position to really capitalize on your possible error. Other times to "just go" include when the game is on the line, when it's raining, and/or when you have no re-rolls. Damage Control: After you've finished all of your other more important stuff (blocks, fouls, blitzes, etc.), dodge all of your remaining elves away from the line, especially when playing a mean hitting-type team like orcs or dwarves, but don't use a reroll on them unless it's real late in the half and you have one to spare. This keeps the other team from taking advantage of your low AV by beating up all your players. If dodging away is not possible, don't be afraid to take a few even-strength (1 die) blocks, especially if the player you're hitting doesn't have block. You have better odds when hitting then when being hit with a skill-less (no block or dodge) player. (1 in 3 vs. 1 in 2) Fouling: Don't think that just because you're elves means you shouldn't foul now and then; just don't do it so much that you start a foul war. Your players aren't tough enough to take that kind of beating, and the probably cost more than your opponent's players, too! You have more agility and speed on your team then anyone else...so when somebody goes down, you can surround them and foul with good success. Use this approach to take out the opposition's biggest threats to your wellbeing. (Lord Borak comes to mind, if you can knock him down that is...my advice is not to play a team with him until later)

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Defense: You can play good defense with this team!! I play a 3-7-1 Defensive setup, with the 3 required line elves on the Line, then 7 more line elves 2 rows back. I use the extra row to prevent a quick snap from decimating my defense as has happened before. They are spread such that 2 are in each wide zone, then 3 spread through the middle of the field. Then the Wardancer plays in the middle of the field, 2 rows further back (4 rows off the line). This allows him to blitz almost any forward player on the field. This is a very flexible defense, and allows you to quickly react to any strategy your opponent uses. I love it!

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Advancing Your Wood Elf Team


(Skills and Acquisitions)

This section of my strategy guide deals not with game play itself, but rather the wise expenditure of your teams Star Player Rolls and treasury. First I'll deal with skills, position by position, then acquisitions.

Wood Elf Skills


Index: Line Elves, Throwers, Wardancers, Catchers, Summary

Line Elves: Since these guys make up the bulk of your starting team, your skill selection for them will largely determine your team makeup, and go a long way into giving your team its specific "flavor". My approach is to specialize my line elves for specific duties. For example, I give at least 2 of them Block and Diving Tackle. This allows them to hold the flanks of your defense, in the wide zones, which is important since that's where most teams drive the ball to exploit the defensive weakness there. An excellent 3rd skill for these players is Dauntless, as it makes them even more effective at doing so. Pro is a great skill for this as well, depending on the type of teams in your league. If you have lots of high strength teams, or star players, I'd generally reccomend dauntless. If your league is more finesse-oriented, pro might be advisable. Of course, it's always possible to get one or more of each as well :) Another example of line-elf specialization is to make a few "armor specialists". (Wood Elves would never call themselves "Dirty Players"!) Give them Dirty Player, then Block, then Dodge, then Pro. Two of these is a good number, though you'll usually only need one on the field at a time (the other is a good backup in case the first is injured or ejected). More line elf specializations include Block and Dodge Line-elves to put on the line (unless you can put a bunch of trees up there, which is always nice with AV10 and ST7), and a few Block, Dauntless, Dodge guys to deal with those pesky Black Orcs or Chaos Warriors. If you REALLY like some hitting power (and it'll shock your opponents, too), try a dark elf tactic...get Block, Dauntless, and Frenzy! Some people even consider making a catcher or two out of the group, but I personally don't ascribe to this theory, since all your players are AG4 anyway, and because that's what catchers are for. Also, early on, remember that you have more linemen then you will when the team is fully developed. The exact number depends on what specific rules your league uses, but even if you are allowed no star players or allies on your roster, there will always be 2 extra line-elves. (2 Throwers, 2 Wardancers, 4 Catchers, only 8 positions left). Use one of these for a leader. That way, when your team develops and gets more rerolls, you can just fire him. Use the other one as a "screwup guy". This could be a death, a serious injury (niggler or downgrade), or just a guy whose skills didn't develop right. (a movement upgrade + an Agility upgrade is pretty useless for a line-elf, for example.) By far the most important thing to remember when assigning skills to line-elves is what to do with doubles. Give them Guard every time. If they already have guard, and they roll doubles again, either ignore it or give them stand firm or mighty blow, depending on the player's role. The only time to make an exception to the "guard" rule is for line elves who already have several skills aimed at another specific purpose, and would be better suited to another skill. For example, remember your two guys on the flanks with Block, Dauntless, and Diving Tackle? They wouldn't really have much use for guard. They would need either Mighty Blow (to help with the damage on their D. Tackles) or Stand Firm (to thwart the evil plans of certain Troll Slayers and Witch Elves if the D.T. doesn't work.) A totally different, but also viable, approach, is to make a whole bunch of line elves exactly or nearly the same way...I've seen this done most often with the Diving Tackle skill. Give a bunch of Line Elves Block, Diving Tackle, and Dauntless, Pro, or Tackle, depending on your league's makeup (or some of each).

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This has some inherent advantages, as well. Having a bunch of people with DT makes the other team have to really think to get around your defense. Also, a few injuries are easily replaced by clone elves on the bench, wheras the loss of a specialized line elf is tougher to overcome. The downsides to this plan, and therefore my reasoning for not doing it, is that you are limited in what your players can do. There are lots of times when you need a player with a certain ability to maximize the chance of success of certain situations, and that ability is minimized here. The main reason is that, for me anyway, it's no fun. Half the fun of building a team is building skills on lots of players, trying different combinations, etc... This is lessened or negated by making a bunch of identical guys. Besides, it's a lot more fun to give your guys an individual personality, with skills that enhance that. I guess it's the Libertarian in me, I can't stand the thought of faceless masses of players who are all alike...give them the freedom to be themselves! (or thems"elves")

Throwers Throwers are a very important part of any team that passes as much as wood elves do, and you're only allowed 2 of them, so it's important to make their skills count. I tend to specialize my throwers with their skill growth, as well. Since I only buy one at a time (see Acquisitions section below), one thrower is always going to be superior to the other (unless one dies, which is actually pretty rare). This 1st thrower is my "offensive" thrower, and he gets Sure Hands, Accurate, Safe Throw, and Strong Arm. This allows him to throw the ball extremly well, and extremly far should the need arise. He's basically a pretty standard thrower. The other, later thrower (I usually buy him when the 1st reaches 26 SPP's, at the earliest, so as not to stunt his growth), becomes the "defensive" thrower, and he gets Sure Hands, Dodge, Block, and Safe Throw. He Takes Dodge and Block because, on defense, the thrower is often getting himself into slightly more dangerous situations, and therefore he needs to be able to defend himself a bit. Also, it's nice because that way he's not a defensive liability. These guys are the most versatile, skilled players on your squad, and you only get two of them, as well. Wardancers, by default, and by virtue of the high MA, and leap skill, need to be your hitters, blitzers, and "ball extractors". As such, good skills for them include tackle, strip ball, dauntless, and if you're lucky enough to get doubles, Mighty Blow. Another good use for Wardancers is to give them tackle and shadow, and with their high MA, they can give most players fits! Another great fact about Wardancers is that they can really use any upgrade they get, esp if they roll it early in their careers. A ST4 Wardancer is one of the most coveted tresures in the whole world of Nuffle, and an AG5 on isn't far behind, as it really helps those leap rolls. Even MA upgrades are useful, what better time to try that shadow/tackle suggestion mentioned above? Wardancers are arguably the best players in the game (which may explain why they're the most expensive). Learn to use them effectively, and you're a long way towards winning already!!

Catchers I did these guys last for a reason, there are so many different approaches to playing them, and I think I may very well have tried them all! The good news is that you're allowed to have four of them, so the opportunity for specialization abounds! Important!If you roll a Movement upgrade for you first skill on a catcher, you needn't read past this paragraph! Make him a one turn scorer. The only other team that can do this regularly (in fact a bit more regularly) is Skaven, so take advantage!! Give him Sprint, then Sure Feet, then Leap. Then just use him on offense only, and then only after the opponent's wizard has been used if you value his life, he will be Public Enemy #1. Consider yourself warned!! For the rest of you mortals out there, here are some other ideas for catcher development: If you can get Deeproot, give one catcher Right Stuff, so you'll have a chance at 1 turn scores at the end of halves. Just the possibility of this option can also force your opponent into making mistakes as well, so just the threat of this is often just as important as it's use. Give this catcher Sprint and Sure Feet as well, that way the Tree (who's AG1) only has to advance him 1 space into enemy territory for you to be able to reach the end zone.

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Make another catcher a long-distance emergency blitzer. Get Block, Dauntless, and Sure Feet, and play her (oh, all my catchers are female--it must be those gloves) on defense. I've never actually tried this, but always thought about it, and have heard success stories from other coaches concerning this strategy, so maybe it's worth a shot. If you do try this, and it works, let me know! In fact, I've gotten word that Luke Williams has killed Morg N Thorg with a Wood Elf catcher like this! Way to go man!

Make Arwen! Most people aren't lucky enough to get two Agility upgrades as the 1st two rolls on a catcher like I did (but hey, I've never had a 1-turn scorer catcher, either, so I guess it balances), but if you do, give her PassBlock, Leap, Pro, and Block. She's my favorite player ever, and I couldn't be happier with her! (Hey, you guys didn't actually think I'd write this without mentioning her, did you??) Seriously, even if you don't get 2 AG upgrades, a passblocking catcher is very nice. It allows you to interrupt many passes, one way or another, and if you can get under the path of the ball, you get 2 shots at 5+ to snag it. It'll pay off eventually! This is also a good player to mix with the type listed below: Use Passblock to attach yourself to the catcher, then follow the catcher around the field! Another good way to use this strategy is to dictate a passing lane for the other teams thrower/reciever. Get 2 passblocking catchers, and set up each 4 spaces from the sideline. This will force the other team to either pass over you (risking interception), or pass down the very center of the field. Either way is good for you, as with catch your chances of getting the ball are decent, and if not, the other player has just walked right into the heart of your defence, where your Wardancers are. Gravy!!

Try the Block, Tackle, Shadowing plan like I was mentioning for the Wardancers. The extra MA would make it even better, though most people would just be more likely to hit you, being ST2 and all. (which is why I would give her block first). Try an all-purpose catcher. Get a mix of skills, block, leap, pro, sure feet, so you can do just about anything. That's pretty much what I did with Arwen's best friends, Eowyn and Anduin. Both have Block, Sprint and Sure Feet. Then one has Leap, the other Stand Firm. Stand Firm is a nice doubles skill for catchers because it allows you to skirt the sidelines without fear of being chucked into the stands. In many situations, this extra space can be the difference between a potential blitz or not. On a more subtle tone, perhaps you'll make the potential blitzer make that one last go-for-it that ultimately fails and ends his chance of catching you. Besides, with Block and Dodge already, you become very hard to affect with blocks at all, as only one die result out of 6 (the POW) affects you at all!

Obviously, you don't have enough catchers to do all of these options, so just pick the ones that work best for your strategy, and get a nice combiniation! Good luck, and again, if you come up with something I missed, or want to argue or verify any of my points here, feel free to tell me!

Skills Summary Specialize your Line-elves to maximize specific roles on your team--remember that you have extras early on, so temporary needs can be filled by them (i.e., leaders). Make your first thrower a standard, "true" thrower, then suit your second, backup, thrower to a more defensive role. Make Wardancers into your mobile hitting machines. Be creative with your catchers, they have many more purposes besides just catching the ball and running real far with it, although they do that really well, too! Note that most of these players get the Block/Dodge combo eventually...this is a good way to keep them alive!

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Wood Elf Acquisitions


Index: General, Vanilla, Jervis, One Star, No Stars, X, Summary This second section is going to be, thankfully, much shorter than the first. :^) It would be even shorter, but this section, more than any, depends on the particular variations of rules you use, and therefore, I have to deal with that extensively. Also, these guidelines once again assume you followed my starting team recommendations on page 1. If you didn't, adjust accordingly. General Guidelines Overall Acquisition Rule #1: Buy the Apothecary 1st!!! Overall Acquisition Rule #2: Don't buy a Wizard until you have a full roster!!! Version 1: Vanilla Blood Bowl This version of Wood Elves can be competitive, even in light of the fact that many teams are completely unbelieveable (Orcs with 4 MorgNThorgs, Undead with 4 Vampires, etc.). In a league such as this, though, one must also buy lots of stars...and not Jordell Freshbreeze, either. After acquiring your 2nd Wardancer, 1st Thrower, and 1st or 2nd Catcher, I'd highly reccommend purchasing a Deeproot Strongbranch to help anchor the line against those nasty ogres and trolls and minotaurs (Oh my!). ST7, Block, and Stand Firm, and AV10 and Thick Skull, are really good defenses against such behemoths! Then, as the situation arises, continue buying Deeproots until you've reached your maximum of 4. This allows you to have a dominant, tough to kill front line, and takes a lot of heat off of your wood elves. Many coaches will concentrate on felling your trees, surrounding them with many players and fouling the daylights out of them. By all means, pretend to be very afraid of this tactic, all the while laughing at him while you rack up the score! Deeproot makes a great diversion! For tournament time, if you have the cash, replace one of your trees with a Jordell Freshbreeze. His AG5 and Leap make him a diversion of another type, the scoring type, and it opens up your offense a lot. The reason I don't do this regularly is that it also increases the chances of dead elves a bit. The other downside to having Jordell around is that he tends to steal SPP's from your other players. But hey, if it's a tourney, it's all out, baby!!

Version 2: Jervis' Blood Bowl This is what I call Jervis Johnson's revised Big Guy/Allies rules, like the way we play in my league the NAL (more or less). I'm also going to assume a limit of 2 Stars and 2 Big Guys, since that what we use. If you run under a slightly different version of this system, adjust accordingly. This time, after getting your base team built up as before (2 Wardancers, 2 Catchers, 1 Thrower, rest Line-Elves), then buy a Deeproot. Avoid Rookie Treemen at all costs...you simply don't have the roster space for a player that only shows up half the time!! After you have your 2 Deeproots, buy A human Blitzer Ally to secure the line, and give him skills like Mighty Blow, Stand Firm, and Dodge (doubles required) or Guard. He's really the only ally (besides the trees) you'll ever need.

Version 3: One copy of each Star Player per League In a league such as this one, such as the OLBBL, it is best to accelerate your prioritizing of Deeproot, else you may not get him at all. Start with the normal team roster, then buy an apothecary, then start saving for the Deeproot right away, so as to get him faster than your competing WElf coaches. (If there's a halfling team in the league, though, kiss your chances goodbye, he'll probably start with one) If not, just do whatever you can (loan, bribe, rob convenience stores, etc.) to get him. Then, if your fellow Wood Elf coaches are either completely inept, or completely unable to get money for some reason, save for Jordell. He'll most likely be gone by now, though. Then, go back to normal team building as per whichever section is most appropriate.

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Version 4: No Stars at All Easy!! Just develop the rest of your team without them. If you're allowed to have allies, and you have plenty of rerolls, you may consider getting 2 human linemen to compliment the human blitzer on the line. They have AV8, and are cheaper, so you could give them block and let them be sacrificed instead of your expensive elves! Otherwise, just buy wardancers, then a thrower, then catchers. Like I said, Easy!!

Version "X": Something I missed If somebody out there plays under a rules system I've neglected here, write me and we can talk about some ideas for what you should do, if you'd like!

Acquisition Summary No matter what kind of rules your league uses, buy an apothecary first. The kind of league your team is in determines the order of your purchases to some extent. However, the acquisition of your regular players is pretty much constant: 2nd Wardancer, Thrower, Catchers, 2nd Thrower. Never buy a wizard until you have a full (or nearly full) roster. Get as many tree stars as your system allows. Ignore Tree Rookies, and Jordell (and most other stars available to your team)

Gosh, I really need to split this up into two pages...too bad I already did all the numbering and everything. GRRR!!!

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Playing an experienced Wood Elf Team


By the time your Wood Elf Team has played several games, it will have elements of strategy that were unavailable before due to lack of skills, specialization, and position players. Playing a team of Wood Elves with a full roster, including a full compliment of skilled Catchers and Wardancers, is significantly different then playing a team of little more than a bunch of line-elves. This page will attempt to address those differences. Again, though, many elements of this page will differ based on the type of rules your league uses. Most of the stuff listed will work for most Wood Elf teams, just keep in mind what doesn't and adjust accordingly.

Offense/Ball Control At the start of an offensive drive, set most of your players up on one side of the field, with a few on the other side as damage control in case of a blitz (off the line). After the kick is recieved, take any two die blocks you have first (or 3 die blocks if you have them, usually with trees!). You should have set up so as to allow a few of these if at all possible. Attack the opponent's flank with a blitz. Set up a line-elf near the end player in the wide zone, preferrably one with guard if you have 2 or more, and didn't have to use them for hits on the line. Then Blitz the player with your best Wardancer. Be sure to hit him at an angle so as to cause a sufficient space to run through with your catcher, even if you don't knock the other guy down. After your WD hits, then he should continue downfield using the remainder of his movement. After the maximum number of people have been hit, pick the opponent's most dangerous player down (usually his Dirty Player if you were lucky enough to get a shot at him), and boot him with your "armor specialist", plus any of his friends you can spare for help. Pick and choose your timing with these, though, as you don't want to start a fouling war with players as frail and expensive as yours! Move as many elves as possible through the hole your WD created, and try to position the Diving Tacklers in the group to maximize their protective capability for a pre-chosen spot in that area that the catcher (or other player you want to score) can reach. After everything else has been completed, send your thrower to get the ball, and pass it to the nearest catcher. If necessary, move that catcher to the one whom you want to have the ball, and hand off to her. She then takes off down the field until she is in your pre-chosen, well defended "spot" for her. If you want, leap a Wardancer, or anyone else with leap, over your opponent's line on the other side, so that he can tie up the most likely blitzer the other team was going to use. If you're using a one-turn scorer, quit reading this, it's so simple you should be ashamed! Damage Control Try not to leave any of your players next to standing opponents at the end of your turn. If you must, try to make sure they have block and dodge, to minimize damages. Don't try to hold the ball to stall to the end of the half very often, especially agianst violent teams. Your team is not meant to withstand those kinds of pressures, just score and play good defense! If you can, put players with ST7, Block, Stand Firm, AV10, and Thick Skull on the line. :) If not, at least make sure they have block and dodge. Magic Helmets sure are nice, too!

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Defense Set up as many trees as possible on the line. I run the 3-6-2 with my improved Wood Elf team. The three compulsory line occupants, then 6 players 2 rows back (4 in wide zones, 2 in middle area). If you have a defensive thrower, he's one of the middle guys, if not, pick a catcher with leap (and block if possible). The other is your Dirty Player. Finally the 2 Wardancers go 2 rows further back, and act as safety valves. They're also still close enough to blitz most of the other team's half of the field if you need to do that, too. Put Diving Tacklers in the wide zones(outside) and guard Elves next to them(inside) if you have them. After the other teams drive has started, use your DT to (hopefully) contain the drive in the first 3 rows of your side. Then surround the barrcarrier's entourage, especially with any Guard elves available, and then blitz with your WD, leaping (if necessary) into an empty space next to the ball carrier, and smack him. Don't be afraid to hit him with one die, that usually works, too, especially if you have strip ball! Then use your catcher or thrower, whichever you have, to try to get the ball out of the mess and as far away from the opposition as possible, using hand-offs, passes, and leaps as needed. If, for whatever reason, a blitz with the Wardancer is not possible, play a stalling defense. Try to make a line of elves (hopefully with well-positioned DT guys), and consistently dodge them away one square backwards turn after turn. This will slow the opponenets drive considerably, and will also make it very hard for your opponent to hurt many elves, as he will theoretically be able to blitz one elf a turn. Keep stalling, being ever prepared for the opponent to make some sort of mistake. Often, the opponent will become frustrated by this defense and that is when the mistake will occur. Also, if your defense is successful in only allowing a square or two of advancement a turn, the opponent won't have enough time in the half to score. :) Always be ready to take care of turnovers by the opposition. Wood Elves are one of the best teams there is (MAYBE second to skaven) at scooping up the other guys flubs and turning them into quick TD's. Make sure you know how to take advantage! (I can't give away all my secrets!!) Card Selection Take 1 M.I., 1 R.E.(more if you need $$ bad), and the rest (if any) Dirty Tricks.

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Pepe Muss Strategies


Introduction I believe there should be others out there better suited than me to write this article as I haven't been playing Woodies for long, but as none has stepped forward to do it I have decided to be the one. I started a Wood elf team mainly for aesthetical reasons: I really loved the quality of the 2nd ed. minis sculpted by Jess Goodwin, but also because the tactics that apply to them are totally different from the ones that apply to my all time team: the Undead. It was thus a refreshing change. Before deciding to coach them strictly from a powergaming point of view it is my opinion that you have to take a look at the context and rules of the league: Wood elves are at their best when they have time to develop, they are a long term team that can have trouble early on with so expensive players and lack of skills (basically dodge) which are a must for their gameplay. Long term, however, they have a potential unmatched by any other races, due to both their stats, the access to agility skills & the over the top position players; even the humble elf lineman is a very flexible player with just a couple of skills...the woodies just need cash and time to reach this stage. Based on the above, forget coaching them if you are playing in a league using Vainilla injury rules & no restrictions to fouling...your team will most probably be massacred by any competent opponents before it has time to develop. However, if the league uses advanced injury rules as Sigurd's and has implemented some restriction to blatant fouling then you have a decent chance of keeping your expensive players alive and get them the skills they need to rule the league.

STARTING TEAM The context in which you are playing should be considered before deciding the starting lineup: if you are facing a team with MB in your initial game (Mummies or BGs hitting your crappy AV7!) or, even worst, you are facing Dirty Players either because you are entering a developed league or some Star Player has the skill...then maybe you should seriously consider including an apothecary in your starting team. Otherwise, and assuming the league's injury & fouling rules are not too harsh I would counsel starting without one as you will be going through a lot of trade-offs to create your team. In My Opinion (IMO), 2 rerolls are a must in a starting elf team because you are going to make a lot of dodge rolls to keep your players alive without skills to back them up. I do not like starting teams with low FF either as it's the only thing you cannot buy later on (and helps winning games to boot!)...these two facts do not leave room for much considering that the basic lineman costs 70k. Following the above I would recommend the following starting team: 10 lineelves 700k 1 wardancer 120k 8 ff 80k 2 rr 100k If you want to make room for an apothecary you will have to sacrifice some of the above, either the WD, the FF or 1 RR. Normal BGs Treemen are not recommended in the starting lineup as they are too unreliable with the Take Root skill, and Star Players are too expensive to be afforded so early. The good thing about having so many Linelves early on is that they will gain the MVPs and develop without falling behind the more skilled position players, they are also easier to replace if the worst happens and you lose one or more players in the initial games.

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Buys after the first game should be: 1.-The apothecary if you do not have him already. 2.-Whatever your money can afford: the 2nd WD, a Treeman or a Catcher 3.-Consider a wizard as soon as you be confident that you can field a decent team even after suffering a couple of casualties. If you use the Compendium racial wizards get yours even earlier as he will keep your players alive. 4.-Keep filling up the 16 slots after having all the above, Get Deeproot Strngbranch if your league allows him, he rocks. Get also a re-roll here and there, if possible through Extra Training.

CHOOSING SKILLS

CATCHERS You have access to the 2nd best catcher in the game (the Gutter Runner is slightly better because of mutations), so use him to his full extent. There are many development paths you can follow here, I would counsel against trying to turn all your catchers into one turners, as you would miss a lot of the potential they have if you do not get the right rolls (so, no choosing of Sprint always as 1st skill IMO). If you get +1MA early on (1/12 chance) the development path is obvious: Sprint & Sure feet next and you will be able to score in 1 turn with your 10+3 squares MA...if the player develops further get things like Leap, Stand Firm...that allow him to be better at getting through the defenses. Use this guy to score at the *end* of the half, not at the beginning of it...you do not want to allow your opponent a whole half of hitting your elves and scoring on turn 8. +1AG-> Leap first, then Stand firm on doubles and things like Block to increase his survivability of Sure Feet to increase his range. +1ST-> turn him into a ball retriever with Block & Strip ball...you can also develop this type of player with Dauntless instead of the +1St. Sprint in one of the catchers is good though, he allows you to score in one turn if Quick Snap is rolled in the kick-off table (a lot of "ifs" in this...but it happens now and then: chance to roll 8 on 2d6 is 5/36, not too bad). If you enjoy a passing game maybe you should consider skills as Diving Catch or Nerves of Steel...these are not my priorities though. Right Stuff can be good too to develop a catcher throwing game...AG4 and 9MA certainly help in this (Vanilla rules allow this tactic for elves, house rules might not or might penalize it with extra bands), other skills good for this guy are Sure Feet/Sure Hands/Pro.

WARDANCERS Best rookie players in the game, even better than many experienced players, so use them wisely and keep them safe. These guys should be your ball retrievers in defence, keep them behind the lines until a gap shows and then run them through and sack the ball carrier or take advantage of turnovers, in offence they are your last bullet for desperate situations. A must have skill for a WD is Strip Ball, get it to them earliest. On doubles I would go for Stand Firm to dodge in & out without fearing those double ones, then either Dauntless (if league allows Big Guys or Star Players) or Sure Feet to increase range. Mighty Blow might be good if you want to turn your WD into a hitter, then go with skills like Pro/Dauntless or Tackle. +1ST or +1AG are a gift from the Gods in a WD, you might want coupling a +1ST with Diving Tackle or Frenzy, while the +1Ag works wonders with the skills he already has as rookie, and with Stand Firm. +1MA is not so good here, so if it is 5+5 I might get the double. Basically, almost any skill is good on a WD as he already has the basic ones, just try to choose skills that work in combo and maximize each other.

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LINEELVES They should definitely get Dodge as first skill, then Block for the combo. On doubles get them Guard as they will be the ones holding the line and need as much help as they can get...I'm not a big fan of Jump up for low armour guys as most of the times they will either be face down or fouled out, if their 3rd skill is not a double get them Side Step. Anyone that gets +1AG should go the Leap,Dodge & Block route (maybe in different order). Anyone that gets +1ST should consider either the Dodge+Block combo or Block+Diving Tackle or Block+Frenzy...all of them good. +1MA is the worst roll for these guys, as it means delaying any combos. Dodge versus Diving Tackle: I prefer Diving Tackle on players with high ST (so they can get 2 dice their choice) or with a lot of skills that work in combo with it (Block, Dauntless, Pro &/or Mighty Blow)...otherwise I think Dodge is a better skill (even more if the player has AG4). You need a player with Kick soonest (maybe a catcher with defensive skills), otherwise a linelf...you might need a Dirty Player early on too (depending on the league) and a another one with Leader.

THROWERS Only 1 skill for a whole extra 20k is not great value for money, and I'm not a big fan of risky passing. Plain elves are good enough at quick passes without help from skills, so I would go for a very conservative route with these guys. I would get them late in development and turn one into a runner (Dodge,Block,Sure Hands/Dump-off) and the other into a long range thrower (Accurate,Strong Arm & either Sure Hands/Sure Feet/Safe Pass or Dodge).

TREEMEN If your league allows rookie Treemen, first thing to keep in mind is that they are sloooow to develop with their negative skill, so do not plan on getting more than 2-3 skills at most unless you join a league that will stretch for very long. There are a lot of house rules regarding Big Guys (negative skills or not, MB or not, access to +1ST on doubles or access to agility skills on doubles...), so trying to summarize: Remove any negative skill soonest, you want your tree on the pitch. Consider getting him MB if he doesn't have it: the Treeman needs all its help to get SP points. Get him Block soonest, same reasons as with MB and also keeps him on his feet.

Other skills to consider are Throw Team Mate (to couple with Catcher with Right stuff) & Multiple Block (can hit 2 opponents with 2 dice with just one assist). Guard would be sweet too but he probably won't get that far. +1ST is great, +1AG sucks, +1MA has mixed feelings for me (IMO this would *not* allow him to get up without rolling, as the restriction is a racial one, but this is open to discussion [check your local league ruling on this] ). If you can get agility skills on doubles Jump up would be great to get rid of the "get up" roll, and it works in combo with Stand Firm & AV10 too.

TACTICS ON DEFENCE

This is where Elves have to win the game in my opinion, having a great offense will only help you tie games at best unless you have a one turner machine...you have to score when the opponent receives to win. How do you do that?: get groups of players deep into the opponent's half, try to hit the ball carrier soonest, before any cage is created. take advantage of the Kick skill to place the ball deep by the wide zones against slow teams, maybe in the wide zones near the scrimmage line if you have a turnover causing card or your opponent's setup is too unbalanced to the other side. Cause turnovers with cards & wizards and use your speed to pick up the ball and take it far from any opposing players. Use those wardancers with Strip Ball. Take advantage of Blitz rolls on the kick-off table and of your opponent's fumbles...you must be ready for the opportunity and grab it when it shows, and that requires some planning ahead.

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I have used TTM defensively after rolling blitz on the kick-off table to throw a Catcher and get the ball before my opponent even started moving (we play Place ball, roll on table, scatter ball, move...others do it different so you should check with your League Commish regarding this). This tactic needs a certain kick-off setup as you need the Treeman & the Catcher starting one by each other's side or the Catcher wouldn't be able to move after being thrown. I used the following setup at the time: ....|..LLL..|.... ..L.|L..T..L|.L.. ....|W..C..W|.... L: Linelves W: Wardancers T: Treeman with TTM C: Catcher with Right Stuff |: Wide Zone Lines Note also from the setup that all position players are more or less protected and cannot be blitzed on the first turn, also only 3 sacrificial lambs in the line. You might wish to set the players 1 additional square back to protect against Quick Snap. If you do not succeed at robbing the ball early on and your opponent forms a cage then you must start falling back, dodge your players 1 square away and keep the pressure on, use your speed to isolate and surround a player here and there and try to block/foul him out. Keep one player as a scoring threat in case you manage to get the ball and, generally speaking, try to minimize the damage your team suffers while you wait for your opponent to fumble a roll...do not leap your WDs blindly into the cage as that would probably just end getting them injured and not being on the pitch when their opportunity shows: Either get the ball quickly or be patient if chances are not good yet.

TACTICS ON OFFENCE Wood Elves are the team better suited for offence, and you shouldn't have much trouble with this part. You can play a passing game even without using position players, or you can play a running game using your speed...you should be able to mislead your opponent by dancing from left to right at will...he will not be able to match your speed. Two points worth noting though: Beware of cards & wizards: Even if your opponent's players are too unskilled to stop yours he might have something in his sleeve that might screw you...so try not to run a player with the ball solo through the opponent's half if you can avoid it...keep someone nearby in reserve whenever possible. Timing: even if you can score in two turns you must decide if you really want to; do you want to leave your opponent 7 turns to equalize? maybe you should hold the ball a couple more turns...this is something you must ask yourself in each game, sometimes it will pay to score quick (maybe you have cards to rob the ball and score again), others it will be better to leave the other coach less time.

A note on gaining experience: If you have time, re-rolls and are not hard pressed in offence - just do a quick pass here and there in a safe pocket: basically every player should get 1 SPP just in case he gets awarded a MVP...of course every player that gets a MVP later on should be the one picking the ball next game and passing it to get a skill. Just do not overstretch this and take unnecessary risks. As mentioned before, if you have a Catcher with Sprint and there's only 1-2 turns left just set him in the line by the wide zones just in case you roll Quick Snap.

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Apart from the above example & the MA10 & Sprint one turner, there's a 3rd way for woodies to score in one turn by using TTM, the procedure is more or less the following: Set the Treeman & catcher as far forward as possible without putting them in opposing players tackle zones (all those -1 add and might make the tree fumble the throw). Set your fast players spread out. You need to throw the catcher before he gets the ball, because otherwise the failed pass (and it will be most probably a failed pass with the Treeman's AG1) would cause a turnover if the Catcher had the ball. So, you throw the catcher to a more or less safe spot nearby taking into account possible scatter (have a re-roll ready for the possible fumble), catcher needs to land on his feet (AG4 means 3+ to land on failed pass, 2+ if the treeman rolls a 6), after this the Treeman has taken his action, but not the catcher...you now need to get the ball and hand it to him (you have already used your pass action for the turn)...then it's just time for the Catcher to run and score. As you can see, many rolls which can fall, but it can be done...the more skills you have to minimize chances of failure, the better. I think it's worth mentioning again that all these one turn scoring tactics only pay at turn 7-8 of the half...if you score in one turn in turn one your opponent will only say "Thank you, please set up your guys so that I beat them for the rest of the game".... a game that you might end up losing 1-2.

CARDS, CARDS, CARDS Always get 1 Magic Item, you need those Healing Scrolls & magic helmets more than anyone else. Apart from that, Random Events early on, and Dirty Tricks if money ever stops being a problem...you will need the cards which cause turnovers.

WOOD ELVES COMPARED TO OTHER ELVES You might ask yourself: I want to coach an Elven team, but which one? If that is your case, maybe the following can help you: Wood Elves are the finest of the finesse teams, they take all Elven advantages & disadvantages to the fullest, so they are the more skilled, but also the more frail & expensive. In My Opinion Wood Elf position players are better than their counterparts, but the Lineelves are weaker. Why? you might ask. Because a lineman's first task is to hold the line and take a beating, and AV8 is much, much better than AV7 for that. The extra MA woodies have doesn't pay for that disadvantage. So, if you plan on playing fancy Elf play to its fullest, go for Woodies...otherwise maybe you should consider a more solid bet by going Highs or Darkies. Wood Elf Star players are also better than their counterparts in Vainilla BB, that should also be considered in leagues that use them...finally, if your league uses very restrictive Injury as fouling rules (as "Naturals" & IGMEOY) there's no team better suited for this context than Wood Elves, as number of deaths will be minimum (IMO, they are even unbalanced in this situation...they just have too much more potential than anyone else). Hope this guide will be helpful to anyone that took the pain to read it. Good dicing, Pepe

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