by unknown (FUMMBL)
In former times, Undead were considered to be one of the more dangerous bashing teams. These days, there are better teams at doing that; Undead are now primarily a running team, relying on a tight or loose cage to protect the ball until breaking for the endzone – with developed Ghouls and tough, Regenerating players to support them, they are a hard team to overcome, if coached well. At early stages, they generally perform very well, but the slow development of the Zombie and Skeleton players, and lack of access to Strength or Agility skills means they find it harder at higher team ratings.
Cheap, regenerating Zombies and Skeleton make perfect line fodder, and their cost offsets the expensive team rerolls when first setting up the team. Mummies are the best Str 5 players in the game, as they don’t suffer from negative traits, and can rack up the casualties while being very difficult to bring down themselves, if supported well by Zombies, Skeletons or even the Wights. Ghouls are cheap positional players, and have the valuable Dodge skill from the start, to which they often quickly add Block, much to the consternation of relatively skill-less early teams with no Tacklers. Wights are sturdy blitzers.
Zombies and Skeletons may be perfect for putting tackle zones on opposing players, the Necromancer in charge of the team caring little if they survive or not, but they can’t be relied upon to do much else – the burden of playing the ball falls on the Wights and Ghouls. With no apothecary or Regenerate to keep them alive, Ghouls tend to have short playing careers. The Mummies are the only players with access to Strength skills and hence the invaluable Guard skill, which means Undead often struggle against other strong running teams with more Guard players.
In offence, a Ghoul or Wight picks up the loose ball, and gets into a cage, usually consisting of at least one Mummy, as quickly as possible – the slow Mummies and Zombies means that it’s not a good idea to commit too many of them to the LoS, only to find themselves bypassed as the opposing team outflanks them and runs down the ball retriever; this is especially true versus elvish teams and Skaven. Ghouls are fairly quick, so Undead can push for a fairly quick TD, in say four or five turns, then pressure the other team for the rest of the half.
In defence, use Zombies and Skeletons to tie up opposing players with one-to-one marking or even two-to-one, if the Mummies or supporting players start to remove opposing players from the field. It doesn’t matter if they get hurt – they are cheap to replace, Regenerate half the time, and dead opposing players will add to their ranks as a new Zombie! Wights and Ghouls are typically used to pressure the ball or the intended ball receivers.
Unless you have players with +Ag, Pass or Catch, passing is rarely a good idea with Undead – it’s a good way of handing the ball to the opposition. If you must, try to keep it to Quick or Short Pass range. If you do run into trouble, make sure you have a Ghoul (or Wight) with Catch or +Ag in range to hand-off too.
Zombies/Skeletons: Block is a useful skill on all of them. Kick is valuable on at least one, too, Dirty Player is another popular choice and after that, it is very much up to personal preference. Zombies are more likely to be used on the LoS because of their better armour, whereas Skeletons often play deeper, picking up catchers, so keep this in mind for your 2nd or 3rd skills choices – they hardly ever get more skills than that.
Wights: You only have two Wights, so consider carefully what role they should play; typically, they are the defensive spearheads of the team. They will probably be the first players on the team to get Tackle. Other defensive skills like Pass Block and Strip Ball are common choices, as they can only choose from General skills. Stat bonuses are all valuable (+Ma increases the effectiveness of Shadowing), and doubles are typically spent on either Guard, Dauntless or Mighty Blow. Sure Hands is always useful, freeing a Ghoul from ball-carrying duties and likely prolonging their lives. Kick is never a bad choice once all the other good General skills are already chosen on that player.
Ghouls: Sure Hands on at least one Ghoul will save rerolls on pick-ups, and protect against Strip Ballers, Block on all of them will help them survive, as will Side Step. Catch helps with hand-offs or the occasional emergency pass. Strip Ball, Shadowing, Side Step and Tackle are good safety skills. Sprint and Surefeet increases their range – always watch to see if Sure Feet skill is used before GFIing again!
Mummies: The cornerstones of the team, Mummies cause casualties, tie up lots of players or serve as a (not very) mobile wall! Block is the first choice, Guard is often the second. After that, Break Tackle, Tackle and Multiple Block can serve a purpose. Doubles choices are interesting; some go for Frenzy to increase their casualty-causing, others choose Stand Firm for defensive ability – it combines well with Guard and Break Tackle, Sure Feet gives them extra range, Dodge makes them all but impossible to knock down, and Diving Tackle makes it almost as dangerous to run away from them as to stand and fight. +Str (good for Multiple Block) and +Ma (good for Break Tackle) are good stat bonuses, however +Ag is best passed over in favour of a regular skill.