Blood Bowl PlayBook :: Goblins :: The Goblin Strategies

The Goblin Strategies

by M Spanke (


Goblins, goblins, everywhere, on the pitch and in the air… So, you’ve picked out the most unique Blood Bowl teams to play and you want to win. Well, word to you, cheat! You picked Goblins because you love to cheat, maim, and do anything that is unsavory and ill-mannered. You picked Goblins because you have a certain mean streak, kind of a gang or hit man mentality. Or you have a malign sense of humor. Winning aside, playing Goblins is easy and fun. These little guys are gifted with a sense of mayhem. Because Goblins are so one dimensional, you will never have to fear organizing specialists.

Starting Teams

You have only few choices since there is only one player type and anything but a Troll is too expensive when farming out. The Troll’s bulk and ability to toss the little boogers across the park comes in handy.

Variant #1 (Strong)
10 Goblins 400,000
2 Trolls 300,000
1 Bomber 80,000
1 Chainsaw 80,000
1 Apocathary 50,000
3 Fan Factor 30,000
1 Reroll 60,000
Total 1,000,000

Variant #2 (Cautious)
12 Goblins 480,000
2 Trolls 300,000
1 Bomber 80,000
1 Apocathary 50,000
3 Fan Factor 30,000
1 Reroll 60,000
Total 1,000,000

Variant #3 (Annoying)
14 Goblins 560,000
1 Bomber 80,000
1 Chainsaw 80,000
1 Apocathary 50,000
5 Fan Factor 50,000
3 Reroll 180,000
Total 1,000,000

Variant #4 (Tourney with no Star Players)
16 Linemen 640,000
6 Rerolls 360,000
Total 1,000,000

Variant #5 (League and you want no Trolls!)
16 Linemen 640,000
1 Apocathary 50,000
7 Fan Factor 70,000
4 Rerolls 240,000
Total 1,000,000

An Apothecary is worth 40,000 per game since you know you will lose goblins. You will defiantly lose them, especially your cheaters, if they don’t kill themselves, the opposition surely will. The Fan Factor should keep you in a position to replace one Goblin per match.

Playing a Goblin Team

Card selection

Role playing your team would suggest Dirty Trick and more Dirty Tricks. If, however, you have some cash and are somewhat beaten up, random events are good for building the team back up. A Magic Items may be vital for scoring a point. Always keep enough cash on hand to buy rerolls when the cards come up.


Despite their size and pitiful Strength, Goblins avoid injury through the use of Dodge and can go pretty much where they want when combining this with Stunty. Use these abilities to run as close to your opponents as possible, keying up on the opposition players with multiple TZs. Note I said multiple TZs, there is safety in numbers. Use your cheaters every turn. Throw bombs until ye’ can’t throw no more. Take out one, a handful, and don’t worry about catching an occasional teammate (they are not nearly as expensive as your opponent’s players.) Send out posse to foul and finish off those still conscious. It should be your goal to take out one player every single darn turn. Worry about scoring later. Hit’em, hit’em, and den … hit’em. Read the playbook in Death Zone. It is very revealing. For added fear, pick out the opposition’s favorite player. Announce your intention to ‘take ‘em out.’ Dis is for da tim ye done it and dat un da Orcs you done in last week!’ Watch the player run in fear, effectively eliminating him from play. When rerolls are plentiful or must be used, lynch first and get their numbers down. You need to be able to swarm the enemy to live, and you can’t do that while you take hits without first dishing it out.

When replacing cheaters, choose them for variety or freeboot them if they are in season. Nothing is more pleasing then to toss out a dead freebooter. This also keeps your team rating down and gives you extra cards to play with.


Put the Trolls on the line, unless there is a Goblin you desperately want smeared. Do not worry about lone Trolls, if the opposing team drowns it with tackle zones, it opens the field wide up. The Trolls regenerate and can take care of themselves. Let them be beaten and pounded on.

There are four options for scoring:

Make a wedge on the side of the field consisting of one point Troll, one corner Troll and fill the back end of the wedge with Goblins who will be able to swarm back door blitzers. Slowly and painfully move the wedge down the sideline, at a rate of about 2-3 squares per turn. It’s great for eating the clock and keeping the other team off their offense. When the clock is running out, it is time to run to the endzone, dodging away with reckless abandon, or throw a Goblin downfield, or send one out scampering for a pass. Never, but never make the mistake of standing next to the sideline, The Goblins might get the an idea about running off with females or picking fights in the crowd. This is a very pesky offense when you have a rare Goblin with Block skill and Side Step. This is also very painful to defend against. Throw a Goblin or two downfield and worry about getting them ball to them later. The ball can be run downfield and lobbed by another Goblin. Make sure to pick up that Diving Catch skill!

If you get a Goblin with Agility 4, set him up behind a Troll, feed him the ball and heave him. If the Troll doesn’t fumble the Goblin, then he gets to move himself (on the proviso that he hasn’t gone pop when he hit the ground!). Its a one turn Touchdown! Make sure you have a reroll when you do this. This is best for scoring against defenses that stand on the line of scrimmage.

Another way to aggravate defenses is to play pass the snot. Or snot flinging. This is particularly effective after a turnover. The idea is to throw the ball out of your opponent’s range, but within two sprints of your own players. Let the receivers find a open patch of ground, then toss the ball (snot) up to 6 squares ahead of them. This will cause a turnover, but they will be able to gather the ball up the next turn. If you have run out of rerolls, throw it within four squares.


Let the trolls plug up the middle and divide the opposition’s attack. Let the trolls punish the unwary as often as possible. Three Goblins should set up within 2 or three of each Troll. Whomever the Troll knocks over, the Goblins swarm and jump on. Three Goblins and a Troll give you +4 to armor rolls.

Your opponent will get cocky and leave his players in pairs or – better for you – on their own due to the Goblin’s lack of Strength. (One Goblin blocking an Elvin Lineman is a two-dice he chooses situation.) With two assists you make the two dice block and there’s no problems getting to him? Now he’s on the ground and a fourth Goblin can foul him with a meager +4 to the armor roll – the blocker didn’t get him, but his posse did!

Goblins could care less if they are sent off to the Sin Bin for a little extra-curricular activities! Besides, you’ve got plenty more spare gits in the Reserves box. Laugh with glee at your opponent when tossing the Goblin off-field. A particularly wide open and annoying defense is the winged Goblin defense. Make a line behind the Trolls. They become ammunition. Start throwing Goblins into the backfield (this should be your final act of the turn.) It is wonderful chaos. If your opponent is cocky enough to leave the ball unguarded and deep, send a Goblin flying. Remember to keep a good stock of rerolls for this. (You may even want to target near the ball carrier who is in a crowd in hopes you scatter and clobber someone.)

Remember, try to take out one per turn, this means getting through their armor. Use the Bomber first to thin out the field and remember to Cheat, Cheat, Cheat. ‘It ‘em wen der down. When the bomber is sent off the pitch, bring in the chainsaw and let it rip!

Damage Limitation

Seven Armor, two Strength, and Stunty; and you want to talk about damage limitation? I believe only Halflings have shorter lifespans when it comes to Blood Bowl! (There was a Snotling team once, but the Orcs thought it was just a pregame snack. They waited 2 weeks for the real team to show up, pillaging the town while they waited. Because of this possible confusion, Snotling teams are generally not allowed.) Use Dodge and Stunty to get your lone guys out of enemy TZs. Mostly, however, run in packs – remember the blocking example above? If the attrition becomes too great, Dodge whenever you can. This is always true when playing the Undead. It is nearly impossible to win the attrition war here. Use your speed and Right Stuff, to open up the offense and take advantage of dropped balls when on defense.

Playing Advanced Goblin Teams

You still with us? You’ve got advancements and two Trolls?


Goblins, assuming they are disciplined enough to acquire six or more Star Player Points (SPPs), what can you do with them? Well if you want them to live longer and be a general pain to your opponents (and who wouldn’t?) then Block and Sidestep are high up on your list of must-haves. After all, they’ll only fall down on a 1-in-6 and for 66% of the time you’ll be choosing where they’re pushed back to!

Having all your guys with the same skills will get a bit mundane and, let’s face it, you collect skills to make sections of your team perform differently from other sections. Skills which allow your guys to make the most of their movement are especially helpful, but perhaps Jump Up is pushing your luck – after all, if a Goblin hits the ground, there’s not really much chance of him getting back up again!

Useful Skills

  • Block. Extremely wild.
  • Guard. Strength in numbers.
  • Dirty Player. Solo murders.
  • Strip Ball! More chaos.
  • Piling on: Just another way you can dish it out.
  • Leader: Another reroll!
  • Pro: Just plain irritating. This guy rerolls just about anything.
  • Frenzy: Rabid Goblins are a riot!
  • Sidestep. He chooses where to go.
  • Sprint. Movement 8
  • Sure Feet. Extra speed on demand.
  • Pass. For those long quick passes.
  • Stand firm: He thinks he’s a fence post!

Useless skills

  • Break Tackle. What?
  • Shadow. They will just hit you anyway.
  • Dirty player. Friends are always plentiful.
  • Multiple blocks. Maybe if you see two snotlings.
  • Jump up. Is he still breathing?
  • Nerves of steel. Goblins that stand in a crowd of monsters don’t have long lifespans.

General Commentary

Vanilla (Blood Bowl & Death Zone)
Don’t expect results, but do expect to cut down the opposition. Goblins are not a serious team and should be approached in a malicious way: Mail Order those Cheerleader and Squig miniatures; develop an annoying, yet infuriatingly victory dance for use whenever a Goblin doesn’t get injured or takes out Morg’n Thug… you get the idea!

Jervis Johnson (Blood Bowl, Death Zone, No Stars, Big Guys and Allies)
Trolls. Of course the reason you buy Trolls to lob your boogers about, this can’t be done with the Rookie Troll. You’ll have to work on them first. SKILLS: Block, Throw Teammate and Mighty Blow DOUBLES: Get rid of his stupidity and then worry about a Strength upgrade.

Consider The Following

The Trolls and the Chainsaw wielding Goblin surround the ball. Challenge the other team to just take the ball and prevent you from running out the clock. Come get some!

Give the rare Agility 4 Goblin Diving Catch. Now you don’t need to throw an accurate pass.

On a doubles roll, get frenzy. Rabid Goblins are literally a riot. On the receiving kick-off, set up two rows of Goblins on each side of a lone defender and use the Frenzy player to make your opponent run the gauntlet. At the end, everyone jumps on the victim, if he’s still breathing. When the mayhem is over, toss the ball (snot) into the ready made wedge. You begin the round with a cas!

A Final Note

Remember, where the Stunty Dodgers go, there are no pockets. Annoy your competition, move freely, and humiliate them. In competition I took a team of pure Goblin team (no trolls) against Dwarves and went into overtime for a 2-1 game, the casualty box filled with the dead and maimed. When you have 6 rerolls per half you can reroll those lynching block results you don’t like! How infuriating.