by Robert Koper (www.blood-bowl.net)
Today we will discuss a little about Dwarves and their strategy.
First, the Dwarves are hampered by two things – their low movement and their inability to get more than four ball handlers ( those with an agility of at least 3 ). This makes them a team that scores only once or twice in a game. This means that he Dwarves concentrate on Defense.
To aid the Coach, Dwarves excel at “closing the gap” with the tackle and Block skills, especially against Halflings, Gobbos, and the Elf teams. You can;t afford to have more than one eligible opposing reciever downfield. If he passes the ball, you will be hard pressed to catch the faster moving receiver. This means that the Dwaves must keep their opponents “on their backs” by blocking one to one every turn. Dwarves are good at this, given their cheap rerolls, and it isn’t very risky with an AV of 9 and Thick Skull.
Every Dwarf Team should have two slayers and two Blitzers. For each Slayer there should be one reroll set aside for him. The slayers will probably be dealing with large creatures from the other side of the line. I can tell you from personal experience that there are few things worse than screwing the Dauntless roll. The ideal situation is to have both Slayers standing, with assists (to block at 2 dice) next to something big and nasty at the beginning of your turn. Use the slayers to push holes in the line, and then use your Blitzers to murder that poncy little thrower of his. This should shut down his throwing game, and then the Longbeards can handle the ground game.
With the ball in your possession, NEVER go for it unless it will take you out of the enemys reach. The Dwarves are put down by few things, but tripping over their feet is the most common. This also runs out the clock. You want to delay kicking off your opponent as long as possible. The ideal Dwarf game is one Half of the Dwarves scoring a goal, and another Half of the Dwraves preventing a score by the opposition. Running the ball brings up one of the big weaknesses in the Dwarf list – the Runner. He is useful, but remember that by Dwarf standards he is lightly armored and has no Block skill. I usually only buy one, and use him only on the receiving Kickoff. Your advance up the field will take about 5 turns at constant speed. Try to form a flying wedge to prevent people from getting at him. Keep in mind that the “Tackle Net” aroud him will keep slippery Star Players from getting at him.
On the opening of your reception (first turn of possession) the first thing to do is NOT to grab the Ball, but to Power Up the Slayers and take out the opposing line. I cannot stress too much how much trouble an AV 8 Slayer is in if he fails to knock over what we both know you are going to put him up against.
Slayers: First order of business is either Mighty Blow or Pro. The mighty Blow to facilitate the gain of more SPP’s by Casualty, or the Pro to prevent the dreaded blown Dauntless roll. If you roll doubles, then either Jump Up or Diving Tackle is in order (note that you can Dauntless the Diving Tackle since You are throwing the block. Second or third skill acquisitions are probably Pile On (to get a plus equal to the Dauntless) or Multi Block (add STRs and then Dauntless, but be careful of High STR totals). Note: Try using the Pro to ensure a good injury or Armor Pen. This does not count as a turnover, and his turn is about to be over anyway.
Runners: Block. Maybe followed up with Pro or Leader. Doubles get Dodge (Block + Dodge, see Humans). If you have two Runners, then get Dump Off and Nerves of Steel and keep them close together.
Blitzers: Guard or Pro. Doubles get Dodge or Jump Up.
LongBeards: I can’t say it loud enough. GUARD. Giving multiple Longbeards Guard will turn your front line into a Death Machine, especially combined with the Slayers’ abilities. AFter that, try giving them Pro to avoid sucking up the Team Rerolls (I mean the Slayer’s Reolls. Ahem.) Doubles means Diving Tackle (combined with Guard, you’re rolling 2 dice on his turn – it doesn’t get any better than that.
Fan Factor (1)
Note: I’d rather be unpopular and alive after the first game. Call me Paranoid.
Set Up (Kicking)
This setup allows me to form a net across the front line of Tackle zones, while not sacrificing my Slayers to his first turn onslaught. The Slayers are close enough to Blitz or assist on My Turn, and the Blitzers and Runner are poised to punish the impudent fool who breaks through my line.
Set Up (Receiving)
This setup allow sme to get the mileage out of my Slayers, with the Longbeards giving the assist (hopefully). The Longbeards can then punch through the line one on one. The Runner leisurely goes over to the ball to pick it up and falls in behind the Blitzers. This sets up the long drive to the Goal. Remember to guard against his slimy dodgers coming after you (relatively) defenseless Runner.