by C. Matt Billman (www.blood-bowl.net)
For the true competitor, if you’ve ever played in a Blood Bowl league before you’ll know that competitiveness radiates form every BB player. I see this in BB more than any other GW game. Maybe it’s 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 you’re saying they don’t have a thrower or a catcher. Well, that’s true but in league player durability and survivability play a bigger role in being competitive than finesse any day Elfy!
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!). It’s 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. They’re 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 won’t fall down if they fail a Dodge roll. He’ll 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 he’s 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+.
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 he’s 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 he’ll 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 don’t 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.
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 shouldn’t 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.
Don’t 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 aren’t too clumsy with the ball.
Power and mobility is what you’ll 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 team’s 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 they’d all better look the hell out, it’ll be a cattle stampede in your favor!
Try out this team for size and you’ll 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
Originally published in Citadel Journal #35