by TuernRedvenom (Talk Blood Bowl)
Let’s get right down to business. The biggest misconception about the Khemri team is that you should have no interest in winning games and only in causing casualties to play them. This is entirely false; Khemri can top the league just like any other team while causing a boatload of casualties to boot. Read on if you want to know how.
Khemri have one HUGE advantage: they can take 4 Mummies. And this is just about the only advantage they have. OK, they also have Regenerate for everyone and dirt cheap linemen, but these are only minor issues. Still, that one big advantage is all they need.
- AG 2 or worse across the board makes any ball handling a serious risk.
- Speed: only 2 Blitz-ra’s with MA 6, the rest MA 5 and Mummies only MA 3. This makes positioning superimportant as just about every team can outmanoeuvre you without breaking a sweat.
- Expensive positionals: both Thro-Ra’s and Blitz-Ra’s seem overpriced when compared to similar players on other teams.
- Skeletons break easily: AV 7 lineman for a bashy team!
These are some pretty harsh weaknesses but you can work around them and maximise your strengths.
Some general stuff applies to both offense and defense. Skeletons and Mummies should work together as a tag team: every Mummy should be accompanied with at least one Skeleton untill opposing numbers have seriously dwindled. Tag teams should also preferably work together setting up a chain of Mummies with Skeletons between them. This way if your opponent goes after your weak Skeletons he will face some Mummy retaliation. If your opponent tries to tie up your Mummy with cheap fodder like Zombies then the Skellie can make a block for the push on the Zombie to free up the Mummy so he can look up more worthwhile targets. Lastly it makes it very hard for your opponent to take out Mummies with players like Troll Slayers as nearby Skeletons will remove assists or give counter assists (thereby forcing him to commit multiple players). Finally, lone Mummies can be ganged up on and fouled: don’t let this happen in any case! Losing just one mummy early on will already hurt you a lot, losing 2 would be a disaster. Skeletons should at all times be considered 100% expendable, go ahead, throw them against that nasty Big Guy you want tied up for a little while. Also don’t be afraid to lose a few to fouling, if you have a decent chance of breaking armour do it! Doesn’t matter if the eye is on your team, you’ll need to cut down their numbers if you want to achieve anything with Khemri. Most likely, with 4 Mummies on the pitch you’ll be filling up the opponent’s ko and injury boxes faster than the ref can fill yours with sent off players. Always try to set up 3 die blocks with your Mummies, your casualty rate not only depends on your armour and injury rolls but also on your knockdowns. You just need 2 assists to get a 3-die block on a STR 3 player. This gets maximum efficiency out of every Mummy block, not to mention it also reduces your turnover rate (especially when your mummies haven’t picked up the block skill yet). All pushbacks made should be considered with care, against eg. Elves make pushbacks to places where they’ll have a tough time dodging out of. Against Dwarfs, try to push them away from each other to minimise their likely Guard advantage. In general, all agility rolls besides picking up the ball must be avoided (one exception tough, I’ll get to it later on). With AG 2 max I don’t think this needs a lot of explaining. Most importantly: Khemri need the numbers advantage to win: any chance you get at taking an opponent off the field should not be overlooked! So consistent fouling is important.
Like it or not, clock management is part of the game and an essential part of the Khemri Playbook. Remember, as long as you hold the ball your opponent can’t score. So when you have the ball keep hold of it as long as you can: typically untill you score in turn 8.
Defense (‘Good offense wins fans, good defence wins championships.’):
Basically there are two possible defensive strategies. First is forcing them to score as soon as possible. Yes, in the Khemri playbook conceding a quick TD is a defensive tactic. The theory is: let them score in the first two/three turns, receive the ball back and beat them up for the rest of the half, scoring in turn 8. Second half you receive again and score again in turn 8. 2-1, game won. Here again you can employ two different ways to entice your opponent to score. First is to surround a bunch of players with your bash crew, when your opponent sees that some of his best players are about to get the royal Mummy treatment (and if they survive that a boot to the head will surely follow) he will probably try to score asap. I usually make some comment like ‘Oh yeah, that Werewolf will be dog food soon!’ to convince any doubters. Second option is obvious: create a blitz threath on his ball carrier. Now here is where the exception on the “never dodge” rule applies. Many players will assume that putting a TZ on an AG 2 player will stop you from dodging away, and usually they’re right. But if you have a shot at their ball carrier then make that 4+ dodge, if only for shock effect! (But be sure to bash with the Mummies first tough.) Even if you fail the dodge your opponent might think twice about stalling. In any case apply the pressure ‘till they crack.
Second tactic is stopping their offence in its tracks and keeping the nil. Khemri are very, very good at stopping running plays. Especially tight cages can be grinded to a halt and smashed apart by your mummies with ease. Against running teams I put 3 Skeletons on the line and all 4 Mummies 2-3 squares back. Putting Mummies on the LoS risks getting them bogged down by fodder while the play is developing somewhere else. Holding back at first gives you the possibilty to blitz right where you think your opponent will try to push through. Any attempt by your opponent to run a cage up the field should be stopped by simply putting as many tackle zones on the cage as possible, especially with Mummies, and overpower them. This works very well against low AG teams that can’t dodge out easily. Against high AG teams keeping a tight defence will prove to be a lot harder. They can dodge out and move the play to the other side of the field leaving your mummies twiddling their thumbs. Against teams that have no way to easily put down a Mummy (no Big guy or Dauntless) stacking the line of scrimmage might work, but if they do get through your line your backfield will be wide open. I prefer to make a very strong wide zone defence and leave the centre deliberately vulnerable. If the opponent takes the bait and tries to make his move through the middle (often he has no choice but to do that) then the players in your wide zones can fold back centrally and try to surround their breakthrough (leave them no way of dodging out easily). Added advantage now is that if your opponent does manage to redirect his drive towards the sidelines your players are positioned rather centrally and can probably still react to it. In general I always keep one Blitz-Ra as a deep safety, this discourages opponents to make a solo run with a quick player past your line into your backfield.
Most important part of Khemri offence is having a decent ball carrier. Speed is especially important as you’ll need to get the ball out of your backfield and into your cage asap, and passing the ball isn’t an option. Therefore I prefer Blitz-Ra’s as ball carriers: they are the fastest players on the team, are harder to take down because of the block skill and harder to take out of the game because of the higher AV with regard to a Thro-Ra. Just make sure to give your Blitz-Ra sure hands as his first skill. On offense your goal should be to get the ball in the cage asap and then up the field slowly while getting as many opposing players off the pitch as possible. First part is getting the ball safe. Keep at least 3 players back, against fast, high AG teams preferably more. After kickoff immediately move 1 or two players next to the ball, if something goes wrong you’ll have tackle zones nearby making it harder for your opponent to steal the ball. Then do your bashing. Try to make it hard for your opponent to rush the ball. Finally try to pick up the ball. Once you have it, keep it safe, this will most likely mean looking up the company of your mummies. Although a cage cornered by 4 Mummies is rarely necesarry, it is often worth making just to see the look on your opponent’s face. Never rush your offense, if all goes well and you keep fouling and hitting then by turn 7 there won’t be anyone left to stop you from running in an easy TD. Biggest enemy to a Khemrian drive is the Kick skill. Having the ball kicked way back while being swarmed by Blodging/Side Stepping Gutter Runners is tough to get out of. So players with Kick should always be candidate #1 for a boot to the head. Luckily most teams only have one Kicker at most.
Most coaches choose to receive regardless of the team they are playing. After all it gives you the chance to draw first blood! With Khemri however it often pays to kick first. Why, you might ask. Well, a few reasons really.
- Kickers; kicking first gives you a few turns to try to get rid of the opponent’s kicker permanently before you get to receive (if he’s not cowering in the reserves box that is). You might also be able to take out players that can rush your backfield when you receive.
- KO rolls. If you choose to receive in the first half and if all goes according to plan you’ll score in turn 8. This means your opponent still has his 8th turn to play, meaning there will another kick-off and thus also another chance to roll for KO’s. After his 8th turn first half ends and he gets another chance on his ko rolls. If you however kick and either make them score quickly (probably not yet too many KO’s by then) or manage to stop their drive completely they will only get 1 chance at half time to get KO’s back (even if you score back in turn 8 ). If your opponent does manage to score in turn 6-8 then you’re screwed of course.
- Surprise factor. Some people can’t understand the notion of kicking when you win the roll-off and might underestimate you or be confused.
If I think I can outmuscle the opponent then I’ll always kick. Against other Khemri, Ogres, Lizardmen which can match you in a fist fight first blood might make the difference so I choose to receive.
- Mummy: maximise bashing skills, first skill block because you should be throwing lotsa blocks. Other good skills include Guard, Tackle and Break Tackle. Doubles either Stand Firm or Frenzy.
- Skeleton: Dirty Player is the most efficient skill to cause casualties, get a bunch of Dirty Players first, once you have at least 4 of them start investing in Block and Tackle. Doubles make an interesting choice: Guard is always usefull, Diving Tackle can be great when facing a lot of AG teams (just stick him next to a Guarding Mummy), Mighty Blow speeds up development and is particularly good when combined with Block and Tackle.
- Blitz-Ra: Sure Hands, Tackle, Mighty Blow, Break Tackle. Doubles: Stand Fim, Dodge, Sure Feet. I usually develop one as ball carrier and one as heavy hitter.
- Thro-Ra: never use these guys so can’t really comment.
NOTE: you’ll need a lot of tackle in your team when you come near 200 TR to compete with the agility teams.
Always start with 4 Mummies. 4 Mummies is the definition of the team, take them from the start. Also at least 3 Re-rolls are needed, 4 Blockless Mummies can cause a lot of turnovers. The rest doesn’t really matter all that much.