by Acerak (www.blood-bowl.net)
Most of the suggestions involve 11 players and at least as many Blitzers as BOBs. I’m going to suggest something else:
A trio of BOBs makes a good front line for both offense and defense when faced with a smaller opponent. A pair of Blitzers can cover both sides of a field. Besides, BOBs don’t score. Blitzers do. This means you can plug-and-playa Blitzer at a later date, but you should start your BOBs early. Not only will most opponents find them difficultto handle, but they will stand a better chance of getting an MVP or two in the first few games.
Some folk will argue that four Linemen is two too many. I disagree. Your team will take injuries at some point. Even if they don’t take anything terribly nasty, a 12th player is always a good safeguard against a short bench. Remember, KOs will cut you down just as quickly as casualties. A smart and determined opponent will target your Throwers and Goblins. And he’ll foul them. You’re playing Orcs, so you’ll probably foul the other team’s players and run the risk of ejection. Don’t think AV9 is going to save you all the time.
You’ll notice that this team has to play at least one Goblin per drive. Don’t let that worry you too much. Goblins are terribly annoying. I like having both on the field at the same time. Not only does it give you flexibility if you need an assist, but most opponents can’t resist the urge to send a Blitzer to take care of one of them. Assuming a 2-die Block, your opponent has slightly better than 50/50 odds to knock you down, slightly less than 1/4 odds to break your AV, and slightly better than 1/8 odds to get you off the pitch! This is great for you and bad for him – as long as he doesn’t get lucky early. Even better, mounting frustration may make the Gobbo an even bigger target! This will free up a Blitzer for a score, or allow the Goblin to assist when the Blitzer comes over to clear away your flustered opponent!
This team also has the requisite 3 Re-rolls and a good Fan Factor. I realize it’s not exactly 9, but if you win your first game and grab a couple casualties and a couple TDs, you should be at 8 after your first game. This is much better than squeezing in 9 just because it’s the maximum – and then possibly losing a point after the game as a result! If you’re really jonesing to boost it, grab a third Goblin instead of a fourth Lineman. You’ll have to play every drive with at least two of the little buggers, though.
Your first purchase should be an Apothecary. With 12 players and an Apothecary, you shouldn’t have many bench issues at all. With 11 players and no Apothecary in your first game, you’re likely to have bench issues for your first two or three games. Again, starting with a 7 FF is fine if you’re winning; starting with a 9 FF does you little good if you’re losing. Don’t make concessions in this area just to do it. Two points of FF don’t amount to 10K per game – in fact, they mean 10K every three games. If you win an extra one of those three games because of the rest of the line-up, you’ve made up the extra 10K – and you might even make up the Fan Factor difference, to boot!
To round out the roster, I’d take a Troll, two Blitzers, and a Black Orc. The total cost is 340K. Add in the 50K for the Apothecary and you’re looking at a good seven or eight games to scrape together the required gold. By this time, you’ll probably need to replace a few players, so it shouldn’t hurt too much to slip out a Lineman and insert a second Thrower. After all, you’re not going to throw 3 BOBs on the front line against Chaos, are you? That’s why you have Linemen.
Some will argue for an Ogre instead of a Troll. I prefer the Troll because he can play both sides of the ball very well. On offense, he’s just as bright [sic] as an Ogre if he has someone nearby. Sure, the Ogre throws more accurate Goblins, but they fumble at the same rate!
This point is key for any discussion of TTM. Remember that a Goblin still lands on a roll of 4+ after an inaccurate throw. The Big Guy’s job doesn’t extend much beyond “Don’t fumble the little git!” Anything else is pure gravy.
On the defensive side of the ball, it’s no contest. The Troll should sit on the front line and take a beating. He’s large, so he’ll attract attention. He regenerates, so he can recover from almost any beating. And he’s slow, so you don’t ‘waste’ any MA by sticking him up front. Sure, you can put your Ogre in the backfield to blitz opposing players – but why bother? Bonehead can only screw things up. And this is why you have Blitzers, remember?
Finally, the Troll is 20K cheaper. This is always a good reason to favor the Troll, especially with money a bit tighter than it used to be.
Skill selection is very important, of course. As your Blitzers are your all-around best players, they are required to hit and score. Their average statlines and non-Agility access make skill re-rolls very important. Accordingly, all Blitzers should be given Pro on a first skill unless the skill roll was a stat upgrade or a doubles roll. Once you have Pro, you are almost all set. Add Tackle. Or Mighty Blow. Or Shadowing (don’t forget the new “equal or beat” rule).
I usually use Pro as a “wait and see” skill. Essentially, I’m hoping for a doubles roll or stat upgrade in the first two rolls. If I get that roll first, I can tailor the player down a particular path with Pro: Pro and Frenzy or Mighty Blow for a ST+1 Blitzer, Pro and Shadowing for a MA+1 Blitzer, and Pro and Pass Block for an AG+1 Blitzer. Doubles rolls on first skills are best spent on un-Orky skills like Dodge or Diving Tackle. Guard is never bad, of course; don’t ignore it.
Black Orcs need Block. Mighty Blow, Tackle, Pro, and Guard are also good skills. You may want to consider mixing MB into the mix early. A Black Orc with Mighty Blow will have an easier time piling up enough casualties to get to 16 SPPs (Block). Doubles should be spent on Stand Firm – no exceptions, except for Frenzy! Opponents will have to dodge away from you or take a beating. This can lead to turnovers for the opposition.
I was fortunate enough to have a Thrower with MA+2 and Dodge. Sadly, he was killed by a Dirty Player after failing a dodge for a touchdown in the 2497 Spike! tournament – serves him right, the git!
Not everyone can be this fortunate, of course. I recommend Accurate and Block. Doubles should be spent on Dodge or Sure Feet. Don’t try to make your Thrower a pure passer. Give him “running-back options.” You’ll be glad you did. Block is important because opponents will key on your Thrower – with AV8, he’s one of the ‘weak links.’ If you ever lose your Throwers for a match, just use a Blitzer with Pro to move the ball.
Linemen should get the standard skill set. Grab a pair of Dirty Players. Fill in with Block. Spend doubles on Leader. Etc.
If that’s not enough to help you coach your way to the top of the (very green) pile, you should go play some namby team like Wood Elves! :)