by Brownrob (FUMBBL)
Looking around on the net you can find lots of strategy articles for playing the Chaos team. Unfortunately none of these have been updated to the new BB2k1 rules, so I think it’s time we revisited the Chaos team and see what options the new rules offer us.
The Chaos Blood Bowl team has the well earned reputation of being one of the strongest teams around; all their players have access to Strength skills, and four of them start with Strength 4. With the addition of big guys we now get a Strength 5 player thrown into the mix. However the new rules have also nerfed the most popular Chaos strategy: Pro + anything which modifies armour or injury (as these cannot be rerolled). Other important changes include: -Leader is a trait (available only on a doubles skills roll) -It takes 16 SPPs for a player to get his second skill -Mighty Blow and Dirty Player have been tweaked to be less powerful -IGMEOY and no casualty SPPs make fouling a less viable strategy -Star Players can only be freebooted (a big change to the Chaos rosters of old, as Chaos has the largest star player selection available).
All this makes the old Chaos strategies obsolete, and therefore we must adapt (fortunately Tzeentch is there to help us out). The following strategy is for league play (as opposed to tournament play) and is based on my belief that the Chaos team can be extremely versatile and skilled, even early on.
My initial starting roster with Chaos was: 11 Beastmen 4 Rerolls 6 Fan Factor
Although in hindsight I think that this line up might offer a stronger start, though the loss of that fourth reroll can be detrimental (but you do get that 9 FF, which is very nice): 10 Beastmen 1 Chaos Warrior 3 Rerolls 9 Fan Factor
It is extremely tempting to start with the uber team of 4 Chaos Warriors, 7 Beastmen, 4 Fan Factor and 2 Rerolls, but the lack of any skills on your players will hurt and you won’t have any rerolls to fall back on.
The reason I chose to go with 11 beastmen lies in the marvel that 4 Rerolls brings to the Chaos team: reliability in movement and ball handling. In any game of luck the dice can ruin a perfectly laid out plan, this is especially true in Blood Bowl. Many teams can rely on their position players to provide the necessary skills to twist fate their way; Chaos however has no players with such skills, but extra rerolls can go a long way towards remedying the situation. Also, extra rerolls are a great starting base for a team that plans on being around for a long time.
Game Strategy and Development
The key to winning early on is to use the versatility of your Beastmen to your advantage.
1- Every turn one Beastman will have Strength 4. The blitz must be one of your main priorities when planning out your turn, often it is better to make it early on, to make sure that it gets used before a turnover occurs. The best use for the blitz is targetting position players on the other team (get rid of those pesky guys with skills, who do they think they are anyways?) You can also use it to disrupt the opponent’s positioning and frustrate his plans for his next turn.
2- Your Beastmen are anonymous. No player on your team stands out as a target. This means you can safely leave some Beastmen roaming around by themselves, and should they get singled out then you can always blitz your way to safety with Strength 4.
3- Spread your SPPs around. It’s generally agreed that having five players with two skills (80 SPPs total) is better than having one player with five skills and four with no skills. This is especially true on the Chaos team because of the lack of positional players. You should aim for having 5-6 Beastmen with one skill each by game 5. Whenever possible carefully choose who will pass and score on each drive; a good example is to have a player with 5 SPPs pick up the ball and make a quick pass to the player who you want to score. That’s 4 SPPs that are basically assigned by you, use them wisely. Be careful though, don’t go overboard with the passing, we’re not elves (those pansies).
4- Choose the right skills. Early skill progression for Beastmen is pretty straight forward. On a normal roll (2-9, no doubles) the first skill should be Block. No skill is overall more useful in my opinion; Sure Hands looks appealing but remember that you have 4 rerolls, and having a player with Sure hands makes him a ball hog, thus countering point 3 above. On a doubles roll you have several options: Claw, Razor Sharp Claws, Big Hand, or Dodge. Claw is my personal favourite; RSC is nice but really annoying when you fail to break armour; Big Hand is great for getting the ball away from your opponent; Dodge is great for players you want to turn into blitzers (in combination with Block). Stat increases are always nice, especially an Agility increase as it gives you elf agility with beastman strength, very cool.
5- Master the 2-1 win. Here’s the basic game plan: Kick to your opponent and let him score early, concentrate those first few turns on beating up his players and getting them out of the game (target those with low armour first and truly troublesome players second). You need to put some pressure on the ball carrier to make sure he scores quickly though, as you’ll need the rest of the half to tie the game up. Once your opponent has scored you should hopefully be up a man or two. Take your time and score on turn 8, all the meanwhile beating up more of his players on the way. Then when you get the ball in the second half use all 8 turns to make your way downfield and score on your turn 8, thus ensuring a 2-1 win. Of course things rarely work out this way, and some improvisation will always be necessary. Don’t be afraid to aggressively go for the opponent’s ball carrier if the opportunity arises, your Strength 4 blitz is especially useful here. Should your opponent choose to kick to you then you need to just apply the above strategy backwards: take the entire first half to score, let him score early in the second half and then finish it up by scoring late in the game; however this is more risky. When you have the ball you must defend the ball carrier above all else, making a cage is always a good idea, and be sure to restrict your opponents movement by placing lone beastmen in key positions to maximise the spread of tackle zones.
Edit: Add-On No.1 Spending your Money
So, you’ve hopefully won your first game and now you have some money to spend. This is one of the tricky parts of playing this team. First consider what you want to purchase for your team:
4 Chaos Warriors 100k each
1 Big Guy (probably an Ogre) 120k
1 Apothecary 50k
Common wisdom would say to purchase the apothecary first, but who said anything about Chaos being wise? If you think you can get away with it, save your money from your first game and buy a Chaos Warrior after your second game. Although it’s risky, getting that 1st Chaos Warrior is a huge boost for the team, and can make the difference between a win and a loss in game 3. In any case your purchasing progression should hopefully go something like this:
Game – Purchase 1 – nothing 2 – Chaos Warrior 3 – Apothecary 4 – Nothing 5 – Chaos Warrior
This obviously assumes you’ve been lucky enough to not lose any players to injury. Replacing Beastmen with Chaos Warriors might not always be an option, so don’t be afraid to purchase another Beastman to replace a dead one – remember, your Beastmen are your most important players.
Well, there you have it. Hopefully it’ll be of some use to those crazy Chaos coaches out there. This is just the first part, follow up articles will be posted as my team progresses. And remember, even the best laid out plans can go to heck when you start rolling double skulls in sequence…