Which team is right for you?

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    Wulfyn
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    One of the most common questions for players new to the game is to ask which team is right for them. With 23 Games Workshop approved official team (RIP space frogs), and a few more unofficial ones that are popular in the community, it can be quite overwhelming to people new to the game. And we know that the fun you get can vary hugely depending on which team you pick. Someone who likes high risk high reward play will get a very difference experience to someone that likes to slowly drive up the pitch mashing everyone along the way, so picking the wrong team could even lead to you thinking that this great game isn’t for you!

     

    Roughly there are 4 types of team:

    • Skirmish teams use high speed and agility to move the ball around quickly and not get pinned down, looking to snipe away in defence.
    • Bash teams are ones that need knockdowns to advance up the pitch, and are often good at removing opposing players.
    • Control teams look to dominate areas of the pitch, blocking lines and slowly strangling their opponents into a mistake.
    • Fun teams are full of crazy rules and antics, most of which will not work, and are generally terrible… but fun!

     

    Getting Started

    For new players the most important thing is having teams that are reliable. They may not be the best, but they are easy to understand, and are generally good at doing what they want to do. This provides a satisfying experience. If you want to make a short passing play then having a player called a Thrower and another called a Catcher makes it pretty obvious what they are all about! For these teams the most important thing is to have lots of extra skills. These are usually in-built rerolls or the powerful Block and Dodge skills that have a big impact on the block dice results. For example the aforementioned Thrower might have the Pass skill, allowing passes to be rerolled if unsuccessful. And the catcher might have the Catch skill, allowing catcher to be rerolled if unsuccessful. These may not be the best choices for veterans of the game, but for new players they are perfect to get started without feeling out of control because everything you try keeps failing.

    Fortunately the starter box featuring the Human and Orc teams are perfect for this! Humans get 4 Blitzers all with the Block skill, meaning that if you can generate those 2-dice hits only a 1/36 chance of hurting yourself occurs. They have Throwers and Catchers as well, and the linemen are the definition of average. On the Orc team you also get 4 Blitzers with the Block skill, as well as a Thrower. No Catchers for Orcs, but instead they get 4 Black Orcs – players who have no skills but do get an extra point of Strength to bully those puny ‘oomies about. Both of these teams do what you expect them to do.

    For your first team as an extra I would recommend Undead. Not only are they one of the best teams in the game, but like the Humans and Orcs their players are very reliable in doing what you expect them to do. Mummies are like Black Orcs, but even stronger! They also get up to 4 Ghouls, fast players who come with the Dodge skill for getting away. Because these players are so good there needs to be some compromise. Undead do get Blitzers, although they are called Wights, but they only get 2 of them. Also their linemen are either Skeletons or Zombies, both lower agility than Human linemen and slower. But that’s ok as they are still great for supporting the other players. Like Humans and Orcs, the Undead team has a good reliability about them, with each player doing what it is supposed to well.

    But if you fancy something else then check out this list!

     

    Style: BASH
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    From the jungles of Lustria come a team who’s unique selling point is that they all have dodge. With light armour and no Big Guy it is perhaps therefore surprising that this is classified as a Bash team. But it is done this way as Amazon (or Zons) want to get right up into the face of the opposition relying on their 4 Blitzers to skill up and take Guard, and all that Dodge making them surprisingly hard to knock down. They win by being on their feet whilst the opponents are on the ground, which is necessary because this is not a fast team and they are not agile. But with a lot of skills (4 players start with the powerful Block + Dodge combination called “Blodge”) this team is forgiving for new players.

     

    Top tip: Take 13 players in your roster as you will need reserves!

    Suits: Players who want to play a varied bash game that rewards good positioning with few turnovers.

     

     

    Style: BASH
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    From the fields of fair Bretonnia, the Knights of the land love a good scrap, but lacking the numbers require the peasants to help them out. At first glance this is a solid team as well, with 4 players having Block and more having it’s baby brother skill Wrestle. When everything is going well then they work excellently. Wrestle can open up gaps or put key opponent players on the floor where they cannot hit back. Fend is a very annoying skill that stops the other team pressing up into your weaker players. But they are also too easy to neutralise, and with low agility linemen the team can get broken up quite easy. New players will like the good range of skills, but get frustrated when attacks bog down. So why Bash? Well Brettonians are not a good control team (suffering badly when facing them), so they rely on knockdowns to advance up the pitch. The Wrestle helps here as a pseudo-knockdown, and then Fend helps the team to keep momentum. But they really need extra skills like Guard, and their “big” players, the Knights, really are not that exceptional.

     

    Top tip: Stop your linemen getting tagged up by using Fend to keep enemy blockers at arms length.

    Suits: The French.

     

     

    Style: BASH
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    You see a lot of these teams near the top of the pile in longer leagues when they have time to develop. And this is why they are not very good, and not very good for new players. To balance the game teams either tend to have good stats or good skills, but rarely do they have both (and the ones that do are 5-star teams). Chaos have great stats. Good speed for a bash team, decent agility for a bash team, and excellent strength when you add in the Beastmen having the Horns skill for +1 Strength when blitzing. But that’s it. No Block. No Dodge. No nothing really. And the Minotaur is as much a liability as a help. Hard for new players who will be turning over a lot.

     

    Top tip: Don’t take a Minotaur when you first play these, and treat them as a strong running / control team.

    Suits: Players who like a blank canvass which they can shape to their will, with a good array of solid but not spectacular players.

     

     

    Style: BASH
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    Hard to go too far wrong with Dwarves. The standard Lineman is incredibly tough, and with Block and Tackle are reliable from the start. Add in the faster hobgoblins and the fantastic Bull Centaurs and you get a team that can bash their way through anything. Mutation access on the Chaos Dwarves gives them good options in long leagues too. However they are a little on the slow side and you want to be properly co-ordinating your players. This makes them good at controlling a game, but they lack the speed to be a proper control team. Things rarely go wrong, but when they do it can be very hard to recover. Flat track bullies.

     

    Top tip: Like Chaos also drop the Minotaur when you first play. Focus on using the slower Dwarves to create gaps whilst using the hobgoblins to protect the flanks.

    Suits: Players who like a slow bashy game where they can strangle the opposing team, but with a little flair when required.

     

     

    Style: BASH
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    This team is similar to the Chaos team in that it is largely a blank slate. With great stats and few skills they are also underpowered compared to the top teams, but can develop well. What makes them a little better than Chaos is their unique array of positionals, being allowed 3 Big Guys (Minotaur, Ogre, and Troll), plus a Dark Elf, a Skaven, and an Orc. Access to that higher agility player is paramount, and thus leads to a style of giving the Elf the ball and letting the other players do all the work. The Linemen (Marauders) are cheap chaff, but with access to basically every skill tree has huge long term potential (which they will die before realising).

     

    Top tip: In leagues don’t just let the Elf get all the SPP from touchdowns, try to work a safe position so others can score.

    Suits: Players who like a high degree of volatility, and the challenge of min/maxing Big Guys with basic linemen.

     

     

    Style: CONTROL
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    At first glance this Elf team looks much like the others, but they are a fair bit slower and far more aggressive. With 4 Blitzers and 2 Witch Elves getting a lot of Blodge is easy. The Frenzy from the Witch Elves can cause a lot of problems as well. Overall this is a very strong team with great positional control and an array of excellent starter skills. On the other hand they don’t excel at anything. They are not especially fast, or bashy, and don’t have any of the big trick players that other teams have. This means that you are rewarded for consistent good positioning and strong game choices. You can out-bash some teams if you outplay them, but sustained contact will have you come off the worst.

     

    Top tip: Take just 1 Witch in a starter league and probably keep it that way until you are better at using Frenzy. For tournaments 2 Witches and 3 Blitzers is probably the way to go.

    Suits: More experienced players that art looking for a team with no discernible weaknesses, and an emphasis on measured considered play over the spectacular.

     

     

    Style: BASH
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    Like their chaotic cousins, this is a team that has a great solid core of very tough bashy players. It is very common to see Dwarf Linemen with a lot of Guard, which makes them a nightmare to face. But without the faster or more agile players they have to rely more on bashing players into the ground than just controlling the pitch. And in Troll Slayers they have a great option, as these fanatic lunatics come with Frenzy for the extra hits. Being slow means that you do need to make sure you don’t commit too much, but with the Tackle skill most opponents are going to get pinned down or smashed down. Then roll your way over the opposing team for the touchdown. No Big Guy, but there is the option of a Death Roller for the lols.

     

    Top tip: More than 4 Guard is unnecessary in a tournament or short league. Don’t commit your players or the opponent will just run around you.

    Suits: Players who like to see their opponents cry.

     

     

    Style: SKIRMISH
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    The original Elf team before the 3-way split. This team is very much like the High Elf team in that it has great starter stats but very few good skills out of the box. What’s even trickier is that they are mostly armour 7, which means that any sort of prolonged contact and you will not have much of a team left. But these positional players are so expensive, and, given that even just 11 Linemen starts you at 660gp, you won’t have a bench. They also lack a Big Guy. But beyond the universal Agility 4 what makes these guys so good is the annoying skills they do have. The 2 Blitzers start with Block and Sidestep, so the first skill up invariably has you taking Dodge. Watch the other coach howl in frustration as they fail to find the pow only to see the Blitzer Sidestep his way into an annoying place. Then the underestimated Nerves of Steel skill means that the Catchers don’t get penalised for catching (or passing) in tacklezones, making them very hard to pin down and stop.

     

    Top tip: You can score easily in 2 turns, so on defence focus on making the opponent score before their last turn rather than stopping them.

    Suits: Players who like fast high energy game style, where they are always threatening, and don’t mind sacrificing players to win.

     

     

    Style: FUN
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    By far the most insane team to pick. You get 2 Big Guy trolls and everything else is a Strength 2 goblin. Known as a Stunty team (after a skill that certain bad players have) they basically are rubbish. It is hard to generate 2 dice blocks, there is an almost complete lack of General skill access (meaning no Block, Tackle, etc.), and they are not even that agile. So what do they have going for them? Well first off they are cheap. You may not get good players but you do get a lot of them. And they are all reasonably agile and come with the Dodge and Stunty skill, meaning that they don’t incur dodging penalties for tackle zones. That can make them annoyingly hard to pin down, as it is basically always a 3+ dodge. But you don’t want to be doing it a lot, as even a single dodge can be risky with a 1 in 9 chance of failing. But what they do get is naughty dirty secret weapons. Everything from a bag of bombs to a massive ball and chain. These are highly volatile, not quite as good as they seem, and tend to go away early. But when they work oh my god do they ever work! Don’t expect to win. Do expect to be on the floor crying with laughter. Not suitable for new players due to the large number of special rules you need to learn.

     

    Top tip: Take reserves so that you can keep your Secret Weapons off the pitch on short drives to prevent them being sent off. And don’t commit all the toys early!

    Suits: Players who just want to see the world burn.

     

     

    Style: FUN
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    The second of the Stunty teams. On the whole they are better than Goblins as they have access to Treemen, which are crazy good – especially with the special Halfling Timber! rule to help them stand up. But you lack any of the fun Secret Weapons, which means that this roster is very much more vanilla in terms of it’s play style (and why it gets half a point more on the new-player-suitability scale). Because of this the real fun for Halflings comes from their wide array of special star players that they can take. Anything from the classic Deeproot (allowing a 3rd Treeman!), to the ever annoying Puggy Baconbreath, to a Piemaster, to a chap riding a sheep. This gives them a more solid game-plan, but one which is still very weak. Expect the Trees to become isolated and the Halflings to start disappearing.

     

    Top tip: Always take the Master Chef!

    Suits: Players who like other Halfling players more than they like Blood Bowl.

     

     

    Style: SKIRMISH
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    No team in the game starts with better stats than High Elves. No team in the game starts with worse skills than High Elves. This makes them a poor choice for tournaments, short leagues, and new players. They start with just 2 Block skills on the Blitzers, and no Dodge as their Catchers come with Catch only. They lack a Big Guy and don’t have any specialists like Witch Elves, Wardancers, or Bull Centaurs. This makes them the elven version of Chaos, a blank slate onto which you can mould your design. They do start with the best Thrower in the game, and they are a fast team as well. But their USP is that their 4 Catchers are all Strength 3. This basically means you have 4 Wardancers but without the starting skills. In longer leagues this makes a difference as you will easily get skills on these players and can customise them to win and retrieve the ball. But it is a long slog to get there. Like other elves they are best when holding the opponent at arms length, and then rushing in to mug the ball off of them.

     

    Top tip: Treat your Catchers like Blitzers, and your Blitzers like Blockers; ball pressure saves lives.

    Suits: Anyone crazy enough to want to play the passing game, but with Armour 8.

     

     

    Style: SKIRMISH
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    Most of us are humans, and because of that we put ourselves right in the middle. Average, boring, self obsessed. Therefore every other team is some sort of variation of the human team. So humans are not that bashy, and they are not that agile, and they are not that fast, and they are not that tough. So why play them? Because when you are average the weakness of your opponent is always a strength. You may not be as bashy as Orcs or Dwarves but you are faster. And you may not be as Agile as Elves, but you are tougher. Humans play best when they build a little bashy (Guard skill) and use this to keep the opposition off of them, which allows them to play a more selective skirmish game. Their lack of doing anything amazing will never put them top tier, but with a good tournament skills pack or in a longer league they can out-perform anyone on their day.

     

    Top tip: One catcher presents a huge scoring threat, but more can be a liability. Don’t get suckered into a passing game.

    Suits: Players who like a bit of everything, or are just starting the game

     

     

    Style: CONTROL
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    At first glance Khemri look tough as nails. Take the best players from the Undead team (the S5 mummies which are not loners), and double the amount you can take. This creates a front line that even a Chaos Pact team cannot out-muscle. But the problems quickly pile up. Whilst the Undead team has a player for all occasions, what the Khemri team gain in strength they lose in agility as the rest of their team are just some sort of skeleton. This is not a problem with the Wights becoming Blitz-Ra, as you only really care about the Block skill. But losing the Ghouls is a huge deal. Some skills help to bulk this up (especially for pick ups), but the balance of the team is all wrong. The Tomb King Mummies may have the strength to bash through but you need to get further up the pitch as making those clutch plays in later turns just is never on. All too easily the drive can get bogged down, and the skeletons can prove brittle, so this team rewards players who are very efficient with their positioning and blocking as there is little chance to recover once things go wrong.

     

    Top tip: Use the Tomb Kings in 2 supporting pairs about 3 squares apart. This is wide enough to form a great screen, but not so wide that they get picked off and tagged by weaker players.

    Suits: Players who want to control the front line, and can position a drive efficiently to push through obstacles without relying on clutch plays.

     

     

    Style: FUN
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    A team initially created for the Cyanide PC Blood Bowl game this team lacks quality in design. The mass of Frenzy makes them a real liability at the start, which means they rely heavily on their Big Guy to do anything. But what a Big Guy! Terrifying is not the word! The lack of team balance makes neutralising them quite easy once an opponent has a bit of experience at playing them (which they possibly won’t as they are so new to tabletop). Simply basing all the units can see a well crafted position fall apart, as even if the blocks don’t cause a turnover the double movement and forced follow ups can create real gaps if your opponent positions those tags well. This relegates the team into the “interesting puzzle to solve” category, where you are always fighting against your own players to achieve anything. Which, counter-intuitively, can actually make them very fun to play.

     

    Top tip: It’s all about the Bloodthirster – this monster should be blitzing every turn so ensure it gets 3 dice blocks.

    Suits: Anyone who likes puzzles more than games.

     

     

    Style: CONTROL
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    Possibly the most unique team in the game, no player has the average Strength of 3. And yet also the most standard team in the game in that you can basically guarantee what roster you will be facing. The Kroxigor is one of the better Big Guys with Bonehead making it easy to use, and the Prehensile Tail meaning it has a use in just moving around or even not being activated. Then you have 6 Saurus. They have Strength of 4 meaning they can solo blitz, and are very hard to gang up on. The balance is that with Agility 1 they are stuck if tagged up. This means you have to be very efficient with your placing so that blocks from one can free up others to move. But at Movement 6 this team is fast given the rest of it is made up by the Stunty Skinks. With Movement 8 but a Strength of only 2 these guys are used for ball retrieval, carrying, and making and cutting assists. If Lizards lose the game it is early in their drive, as once they are settled they are hard to stop (and worst case they only need to get 3 squares into the opposing half to score). The slight lack of ease only comes from the Saurus not being re-positioned easily if in a bad spot – unless of course you take Break Tackle.

     

    Top tip: Lizards are all about having a quiet boring game where they put pressure on to an opposition that crumbles, so play strong but quiet moves.

    Suits: Fans of Alekhine over Capablanca. And Geckos.

     

     

    Style: BASH
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    One of the most varied teams in the game, they are like a worse version of Undead but with a very strong extra positional. All the normal positions are present, with Flesh Golems being the equivalent to Mummies – the lower Strength is a bit of a pain, but access to General Skills to take Block makes up for it. Wights and Ghouls are also able to be taken (although just 2 of the latter), and the team is filled up with Zombies. And then come the Werewolves. At Movement 8 they are rapid, and with Frenzy and Claws they are natural killers. The downside to the team is that you have to pay for it. The positionals are all quite expensive which means that for tournaments below 1150TV they are pretty much a write off. You also need a lot of skills to make them work (at least 7), so they are not new player or new team friendly. Also this is well known in the community, so when the ruleset hits a peak for this team expect the field to be heavy with them. It’s all about making those Werewolf blitzes count without being unstuck.

     

    Top tip: New league teams should start with 1 Werewolf and only take a second when the first has Block. In a tournament the second Werewolf can take MB and be in reserve for when you need numbers.

    Suits: Higher TV tournaments and longer leagues.

     

     

    Style: BASH
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    Very similar to Amazons except more aggressive than defensive. A near identical team with just 2 main changes – the swapping out of Block for Dodge (which makes them stronger when rolling rather than receiving the dice), and the allowance of a fairly unique Big Guy. This Snow Troll has claw rather than Mighty Blow, but is often taken with that skill in tournaments to become a real killer. Which is good as with Armour 7 the Norse need some equalisation! Up to 5 of the players can also have Frenzy which can make them very dangerous but also hard to control. But if you drive near the sideline you can catch an unsuspecting opponent out through a series of chain pushes to surf them off the pitch, which is quite frankly delicious. Agility 3 all around means you have good ball control and can even make a few dodges if necessary, but most often you’ll be all about being the one still standing.

     

    Top tip: The Blitzers are over-priced, so consider dropping them from the roster for more reserves.

    Suits: Players who like to have the momentum at all times in a grinding game where they are not as slow as Dwarves.

     

     

    Style: CONTROL
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    When you think of anti-fun in Blood Bowl your mind probably goes immediately to JBone. But cast your gaze a little further and you will land at Nurgle. This is a team that is not very good at doing anything except for stopping the other team from doing anything. The Big Guy is just a slow Chaos Spawn, but with high Strength and access to Mutation skills the selection of Tentacles becomes a real headache for other teams. And it gets worse in leagues as Stand Firm means it is difficult to even make a cheeky half dice punch to push them away. Not to be outdone the 4 Nurgle Chaos Warriors all have Foul Appearance. This means that any commitment against them is fraught with peril; are you brave enough to move more players in to assist a block only to see that 1 get rolled and the action fail to happen? Disturbing presence is also a real problem that can prevent the ball from being moved around. This game can often be about asking difficult questions of your opponent and then capitalising on their failures, and no team does that more effectively than this one.

     

    Top tip: Lean into the pressure; don’t make risky plays that can undo all that hard work on one lousy roll.

    Suits: Those who find the tears of their enemies to taste sweet.

     

     

    Style: FUN
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    Another one of the fun teams, the Ogres are hands down the worst team in the game. They only really work at all if you take all 6 possible Ogres, and that means the potential for a lot of Bonehead rolls. And ultimately this is why they fail – you could be having a great drive and then 3 will Bonehead on the same turn and the position will be irrecoverable. It is this volatile nature that is their undoing; if you could guarantee one to fail each turn regularly it wouldn’t be so bad, but in a 16 turn game there are going to be quite a few where nothing goes wrong and the whole game feels so easy it is broken and you are an absolute genius and… then 3 Bonehead and the game is over. Given that the supporting crew are Strength 1 Snotlings they are not going to do more than form light screens and farm SPP for your opponent. I mean if you want an Ogre to carry the ball then there is a 1/6 chance you just won’t be able to score a simple walk in, so you always need an extra reroll to cover. And Snotlings don’t even give a penalty for dodging through their tacklezones, so screening is also weak.

     

    Top tip: Play a different team.

    Suits: People who don’t take advice.

     

     

    Style: BASH
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    No team roster is as deceptive as Orcs. On paper they have everything. A decent Big Guy that suits the team – being quite bashy they want to remain compact and so getting the friend to assist the Really Stupid is fine. Then they can take up to 4 Black Orcs, players with extra Strength that in mass are very hard to get through. Add in 4 Blitzers and a Thrower and all of a sudden 10 of your 11 players are selected. Take a goblin and you not only have a Throw Team Mate 1-turner option but also you have a full team without a lineman in sight! With good Armour the only real weak point is that they are a touch on the slow side. But plenty of teams are worse, so there’s not much of an issue there. But at some point they just fail to deliver and let you down. They are still a good team, but they should be a great team. But the problem is they don’t really have a style or anything going for them other than press in and hit some stuff. And if that fails to deliver then you don’t have much of a plan B. That all said they are still a good choice for new players as their plan A, whilst not being anything special, is very easy to get your teeth into.

     

    Top tip: Consider dropping some of the slower players for faster ones to make a more dynamic running team!

    Suits: Those new to the game who want reliable but unexceptional players.

     

     

    Style: SKIRMISH
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    The fastest team in the game, Skaven play a race against time. They will leak players consistently over the 16 turns so you need to up the risk and try to have the game won early. Despite having exactly the same Agility and therefore chance of success, a Gutter Runner trying crazy stuff is a world more frightening than an Elf doing the same thing. Because they just keep going at it, and if they ever do succeed that’s it – they are off with the ball and you are 2-0 down… again. This makes their ease of use quite interesting. On the one hand all the players do exactly what you expect them to. The Big Guy Rat Ogre with Frenzy runs in and causes havoc in cages. The Blitzers snipe at the edges and try to make kills. The linerats just die. And the Gutter Runners sprint around causing absolute mischief. They are by far the most high energy team simply because they need their main guys to do a lot of work – elves can always reliably dodge their linemen away, but Skaven cannot so it is a race against time. If you want a game that is just totally nuts and anti-control then the ratties are yours.

     

    Top tip: If you ever think to yourself “is this a good idea?” the answer is always a resounding yes. It’s not about it if works this turn, it’s about will it work if you do it 4 turns in a row.

    Suits: People who like a high-octane game.

     

     

    Style: SKIRMISH
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    A team so weird that Games Workshop tried to make it look normal by converting into Russian Dancers and a Circus Bear. Yes that’s right, the antiquated image of an imprisoned wild animal made to jump for the pleasure of the public is seen as better for their image than space frogs. But animal cruelty in games aside (this is Blood Bowl after all, not Happy Friends Bowl) this team is just absolute nuts. With every player bar the Big Guy having leap there’s nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. The Catchers especially are coming in on a 2, and whilst they are lower strength that ease of manoeuvrability allows you to pop a couple guard skills on and go for the big hits. Like Skaven it is not about whether it works this time, it is about it working at some point in the next 4 turns. But this creates a real dilemma, especially as the Blitzers have the weird skillset of not having Block, but instead having Diving Tackle – your players are also going to get stomped on. So in the end nobody has a clue what is going on, not you and not your opponent. So you’ll just fumble around until one of you is left shaking your head. Probably because the Slann looked out of the game and then something happened.

     

    Top tip: Honestly I have no advice here, these guys are just weird. Oh, take lots of rerolls and probably no Blitzers.

    Suits: Anyone who already has a team of them. And possibly only them. Oh, and DocMaXX.

     

     

    Style: BASH
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    Comfortably the most balanced team in the game, with little in the way of weaknesses. The pair of Mummies gives them the equivalent of 2 Big Guys, but even better as they don’t have Loner or a negative trait making them extremely reliable. The Blitzers, in the form of Wights, are exactly what you expect – decent speed, good armour, and the Block Skill. Ghouls make up the more dynamic aspect of the team, with the extra Movement, the Dodge skill, and access to Agility based skills. And then even the weakest part of the team, the Zombies, are very good as they are only 40k each, making it easy to bulk up on them for reserves or to tag up powerful and expensive models with something cheap. Not just one of the best teams in the game, good in all formats except for long leagues, but works exactly as you expect.

     

    Top tip: Keep the Mummies about 3 spaces apart so that they can support each other without getting too narrow.

    Suits: Everyone who doesn’t want an Elf team.

     

     

    Style: SKIRMISH
    Quality:
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    This team exists on the precipice of being a serious team and a fun team. At its heart it is a pretty awful team, taking the weakest parts of the Skaven team (no Gutter Runners) and the Goblin team (no special weapons) and fusing them together. They do have access to 2 Skaven Blitzers, which is about the only option they have of any quality. They don’t even get a 2nd Big Guy. So I’m not exactly selling this. But they do, in return, get one thing that, whilst not making up for it, does make them viable as a serious team – access to Mutation skills as a normal choice. Claw on the Skaven Blitzers can be truly frightening. Sadly most tournaments prevent stacking which means the Claw + Mighty Blow combination won’t be available often, but in kinder tournaments and leagues this can really level the playing field. And they also have the Movement to exploit loose play. Add to this a Tentacles Troll, a Two-Headed Goblin (dodging through any tacklezones on a 2+), and an array of fringe but fun skills (Horns on a Goblin, anyone?) and in the right hands they are an absolute menace. The downside is that you are probably not the right hands.

     

    Top tip: This team will be cheap, so bulk up on extra players and look at taking stars like Skitter and one of the Glarts.

    Suits: Experienced players in tournaments that heavily reward low tier teams.

     

     

    Style: FUN
    Quality:
    Ease:

     

    Vampires break the rules. The only team that can claim with strong justification to be more unique than Lizardmen or Slann, their whole plan revolves around catching the opponent unaware with trick plays. The team has no Big Guy and consists of just 2 positions, Vampires and Thralls. The latter are trash, basic humans but with less armour. They are there simply to help screen and put in the occasional block. Oh and to also be food. Because Vampires are so good they have a hefty negatrait to balance them. First the good: the only positional in the game with both Strength and Agility of 4, they can do basically what they want. But that’s just normal good, to be exceptional good we have to look at their Extraordinary skill – Hypnogaze. A successful Agility roll means that a player counts as having boneheaded, losing their tacklezone. Yes, that standard cage is now a thing of the past, and if you are not careful a couple of Hypnogazes will let the Vampires right into your ball carrier. The downside is that on a 1 they are lusting after blood, and must end their turn next to a thrall who they have to bite (and could remove from the pitch). Crazy good.

     

    Top tip: Don’t take all 6 Vampires. Do take a lot of rerolls!

    Suits: People looking for something very different, who enjoy the challenge of having to optimise their play.

     

     

    Style: SKIRMISH
    Quality:
    Ease:

     

    Last but not least are the Wood Elves. In fact they couldn’t be furthest from the least in that they are (just) the best team in the game. Unlike the other Elves they have access to a Big Guy, and a pretty good one at that (I rate Big Guys as being good based on how effective they are when not doing anything). They are the fastest elves, with their catchers having Strength 2 but not really suffering for it as they are good for making crucial exists pretty much anywhere they want as they have Dodge. But the real stars are the two Wardancers. Along with Amazon Blitzers they are the only natural Blodgers in the game, they come with Leap to make them even harder to pin down. Add Tackle on one and Strip Ball on the other and the ball carrier is never fully safe, no matter what team they face. They play a typical Elf skirmish game of backing off and then going in heavy all at once. Your opponent will be so focused on securing the ball that they won’t be able to exploit the full contact. And if the ball pops loose you can get it clear quickly. The only thing that stops them being recommended as the key team for all new players is that they are a little harder to use than Undead. But not by much.

     

    Top tip: Don’t over-use leap; be patient and wait for your time and when it comes pounce.

    Suits: Anyone who likes the quality of Undead but wants an agile team instead of a strong one.

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