by Sigurd G (Blood Bowl Home of @rnholm)
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.
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.
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.
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