by unknown (FUMBBL)
Nurgle’s Rotters strange starting skills enable them to be built into an excellent defensive team. Fragile for a primarily bashing team, they often use their skills to force mistakes from their opposition, using these to strengthen their position. The Beast of Nurgle is arguably the best Big Guy in the game, easily capable of occupying multiple opposition players.
Between Beasts of Nurgle and Rotters themselves, a Rotter team is capable of fielding an exceptionally strong, tough and resilient front line. The Beast of Nurgle is an excellent player, able to use his Tentacles to control several lower strength opposition players at a time, along with the usual big guy ability at bashing. With their Horns, beastmen also make excellent blitzers. Access to Physical traits is a big bonus, and these can be used to enhance their strengths, or to help make up for weaknesses.
For what is generally considered a bashy team, the majority of the Rotters players are quite fragile. With only AV8 and no healing from Regenerate or an Apothecary, it’s not uncommon to see Beastmen in the CAS or KO boxes. The other obvious weakness is ball handling capability. With expensive rerolls and no ball handling skills, Rotters coaches will often end up frustrated as their inability to handle the ball prevents them from taking advantage of the opportunities they create.
Rotters can go a number of ways in the development of their team, and it’s best to pick one as early as possible so that the appropriate skill choices can be made. No matter which direction they go however, a solid core of players with Block, and someone to handle the ball via Sure Hands, Big Hand or agility increases are essential. It’s also a good idea to spread your precious spp’s as much as possible, as you will lose that super beastman sooner or later, so it’s best to have a suitable replacement ready.
Rotters can easily load up on injury increasing skills such as Mighty Blow, RSC, Dirty Player and Claw to simply beat their opponents into submission.
A more balanced approach can see Rotters become a nice all round team. In this approach, useful skills such as Guard and Tackle are as worthwhile as on any other team. Pass Block can be very useful for players with Foul Appearance like Rotters, as once next to a passer or catcher, they will force a -2 to their rolls. A balanced approach to doubles selection is also useful, generally combining further Foul Appearance and Claw for Beastmen (Nerves of Steel and Big Hand is another excellent combination), and either Tentacles or Claw for Rotters. Combining Stand Firm with Foul Appearance can also make it very frustrating to get rid of your Rotters from a particular area. Beasts benefit greatly from Pro, as it increases their reliability, and enables them to use the Tentacles to capture players much more reliably. Claw is recommended above as it’s dramatic increases in causing stunning to your opponents will greatly reduce the number of blocks thrown back, which helps circumvent the vulnerability of your beastmen.
The final option is to load up on skills that play havoc with your opponents movement and ball handling, and try to beat the Elves and such at their own game. For this sort of team, Pass Block, Tackle and Shadowing are the general skills most desirable after the ubiquitous Block and Guard. On doubles, Foul Appearance, Tentacles, Diving Tackle and Prehensile Tail can all help to make every dice roll your opposition makes a much more risky proposition. This team does tend to be very vulnerable to the bashy teams however, as nothing has been done to counter the vulnerability of the beastmen.
Rotter offense tends to be quite similar to their Chaos counterparts, with a couple of differences. Rotters are not as mobile as their Chaos Warrior counterparts, and so tend to always be more useful on the line. A Beast is often best used by singling a couple of players most likely to interfere with your drive that he can reach, and go off to grab them with his tentacles. This will make your drive much easier, and high mobility players are a particularly good target for this sort of play. With your Rotters and Beast hopefully occupying more than their share of the opposition, you Beastmen should be able to use their strength in numbers to cage and pocket their way down the field.
Maximise the special abilities of your players. Against agility teams, it’s generally a good idea to hold a couple of Rotters (or other FA players if you have them) further back in your half, so that your FA coverage is wider. Players will often avoid your Beast, so you generally want him to try and make contact with as many players as possible as soon as possible. This prospect makes Blitzes a particularly sought after kickoff result for Rotters, as they can often wade into a slew of opposition players bunched together. Combine this with using your Beastmen to try and blitz and recover the ball at every opportunity. Don’t be afraid to take a high risk blitz opportunity at the end of your turn if it won’t leave you tremendously vulnerable, as the potential rewards are increased by the presence of your interfering skills, meaning your opponent will often have to get through these skills once more. A good trick is often to pass the ball to your Beast if you can get to it and there are no suitable alternatives available, as it will often prevent the opposition from retrieving it the following turn. Against slower teams, the general idea is to use your Rotters and Beast to tie up the opposition in a blocking contest, while your Beastmen attempt to blitz through into the backfield. Try and make sure as few Beastmen get caught up in the blocking contest as possible, as they simply won’t hold up very well compared to Dwarf Longbeards, Lineorcs etc. Cage breaking is generally achieved by preventing parts of the cage from moving, and using pushback combinations to expose the ball carrier to a blitz. Once the ball is out of the cage, it’s often a good move to try and throw it some distance away, as you’ll often have more free mobility than your opponent.