by David Yellope (Paradigm Central)
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)
- Strongest Non-Big Guy around
- Cheap Linemen
- Decent Specialists (Wights and Block, Ghouls and Dodge)
- AV 7 Skeletons and Ghouls
- Slower then just about everybody
- Ghouls can’t regenerate
- 70k ReRolls
- NO Apocathery
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
11. Ghoul Dodge,Surehands, Pass,Block,Side Step (59 SPP)
12. Zombie Regen (0 SPP) (Soon to be replaced
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
this is why I hate vampires
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.)