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Bloodbowl tips article
Hiya all,

Saw this on a forum at lunchtime and thought it a rather nice little guide for all things bloodbowl. I think we may have posted it on the old forums, but cant be sure. Anyhow, its a rather decent all round guide I thought and well worth a look for any level, even as a reminder for those who have played a lot. Haven't got the url copied over but here is the article...

Remark: whenever I use the word “coach” I mean a real person playing the game of blood bowl. When I use the word “player” I mean a piece on a blood bowl team.
Blood Bowl is one of these games that are quite easy to learn but very difficult to master. One of the most common misconceptions by beginners about this game is that it’s all luck. In fact a lot of dice are thrown during a game of Blood Bowl, but the random factor in the game only very rarely decides the outcome. In Blood Bowl you can manage the luck factor and even make it work to your advantage. Read on if you want to know how.

Common beginner pitfalls

The first thing you must realize as a coach is that you rarely lose a game because of luck, although it will often seem that way (to a beginner). The best way to never improve in this game is to tell yourself every time you lose that you were unlucky. Always try to find the real reason why you failed, usually it will be bad positioning or taking unnecessary risks. Throughout this article hopefully this will become clearer.
The goal of the game is to score more touchdowns then your opponent. It is not to kill your opponent’s best player or to injure as many opposing players as possible. Beginners often get carried away by trying to cause casualties and neglect the ball while doing so. This will cost you games. Always, always, always keep your eye on the ball!
A basic grasp of statistics can be very useful in deciding which is the better action to take.

Selecting a team

Blood Bowl has a whopping 21 different team races to choose from. This can be quite confusing for a new coach. It gets even more complicated as not all races are created equal; some of them are deliberately underpowered to give veteran coaches a bigger challenge.
The sub-par teams are:
As a beginner it is best to steer clear of these.

If you are a beginner in a league full of beginners it will probably not matter that much which race you select to play with. If you are starting in an established league it is probably a good idea to start with a team that has a high average Armour Value and some skills to start with. These are some teams I would recommend for a beginner when facing more experienced coaches.
Orcs: good all-round team which has a bit of everything and a good survival rate due to their high Armour Value.
Undead: slower then Orcs but also pretty though and a decent selection of starting skills.
Chaos Dwarf: the solid backbone of Chaos Dwarf blockers makes for a reliable and durable team while the Centaurs have definite star player potential.
Amazons: although they have low Armour Values the fact that they have the Dodge skill across the board makes them a very forgiving team.

In my opinion Orcs are best as they have high strength players (Black Orcs), 4 players that start with Block (Blitzers), mostly average agility and they are tough so they will stay on the pitch longer. They allow you to learn the basics quickly. Another positive thing is the minis come with the boxed set.

Once you have chosen your race it is time to fill in the roster. I am not going to give you starting rosters for every race but just some pointers on how to start your team.
• If you can take players that start with the “block” skill, take them from the start. They will usually be the most reliable players on the team because of that skill.
• Never buy more than 1 thrower when starting out, only 1 can throw the ball after all.
• Be careful about taking fragile players in an otherwise tough team (eg Goblins on an Orc team, Catchers on a Human team). These players need to be protected by the rest of your team as they will be targeted by your opponent. This requires some skill.
• Don’t take any players with the “Loner” skill just yet. Usually these are tempting to take for beginners because of their high strength attribute but if you don’t have much experience yet these are likely to mess up your plans often.
• It’s fine to start Elf and Dwarf teams with just 11 players because of the high cost of their linemen. Almost all other teams, especially those that do not have high Armour Value stats, should start with 12. More than 12 will usually be a waste.
• Rerolls are very important. Start with at least 2 and preferably even 3. 4 is probably too much. Remember that rerolls cost double once the season starts so loading up from the beginning is never a bad idea.
• An apothecary can save you a lot of money by healing a killed player, but on a team with high Armour Value stats this isn’t necessary from the start. It’s usually better to invest the money in an extra reroll. However buy an apo asap when the season starts. Once you have an apo, save him for your most expensive and skilled players, skillless linemen can be replaced easily. Only use him for a permanent injury (stat decrease, niggle) or death. Don’t be tempted to use him on a badly hurt just to keep a player in the game.
• Don’t invest much in fan factor while starting out; any leftover money can go here though. Assistant coaches and cheerleaders are not worth the money until a lot later in the league.

Basic play advice (exploring the odds)

It is always of utmost importance to remember the turnover rule: once something goes wrong your turn is over! This means prioritizing your actions and doing the safest ones first. Also keep an eye on your rerolls and whether you’ve already used one this turn.

In Blood Bowl only a few actions are 100% safe. The most common and important one by far is the move action. Moving free players first to more useful spots on the board is always the first thing to do.
You should have a basic plan in your head about what you want to accomplish that turn. Then think about where things can go wrong. For example you want to pick up the ball. What can happen if the pickup goes wrong (however small the odds)? Can the opponent reach the ball and steal it? If so it might be a good idea to move someone next to the ball first before you try to pick it up, so when it goes wrong your opponent will have a harder time stealing it.

Blocking is next. It is not risk free, but if you do it right it is low on risk. Getting a good feel for the blocking part of the game is vital. First you will want to throw 2-die blocks with the players that have the “block” skill. The chance of failing this is 1 out of 36, so quite safe. With a reroll this even drops to 1 in 1296. So you must try to position yourself so that your players with the block skill can throw these 2-die blocks as often as possible: this usually means moving in assists. The easiest way to do this is with your riskless moves of course. Another good way is by trying to set up blocking “chains”: first player blocks and frees himself so he can lend an assist for the next player blocking and so on. If you do this right for example 6 human linemen can set up 5 2-die blocks versus 5 opposing human linemen! Watch out for these kinds of situations as they will be used against you as well. Another good way to set up more 2 die blocks is using your blitz action. Blitz somewhere where you have 2 dice and then move on to somewhere else where you can assist another player for a new 2-die block.

Once your “block” players have made their 2 die blocks your non-block players can take 2-die blocks. The chance of failing a 2-die block without having the block skill drastically increases here to 1 chance in 9 (4 times as risky), so you should be careful about taking a lot of these early in your turn. This is also where a lot of beginners go wrong because those high strength but blockless players can easily get those 2-die blocks without needing any assists, so it is tempting to start your turn with them. Sooner or later this will go wrong.

Next up are all kinds of agility rolls. These all fail at best on 1 chance in 6. This is quite risky in Blood Bowl, even though a reroll drops this to 1 in 36 it is still more risky then 2-die blocking. In Blood Bowl, making a lot of agility rolls (although some can never be avoided) will sooner or later go wrong. Generally speaking you will want to make as few of these rolls as possible during a game. Especially when the rerolls are gone odds of 1 in 6 should be considered as a risky move. Beginning elf coaches often complain about always rolling 1’s when dodging (“it’s only 1 chance in 6!”), but if you start every turn with a dodge and try to dodge with every player it will go wrong very often.

One die blocks with a player with the “block” skill will fail 1 chance on 6. So while this isn’t a good idea to start your turn with it is not all that risky when needed or done late in your turn. Doing this without the block skill doubles the risk making this a pretty risky action.

Of course all this talk about risks is very relative as everything should be weighed with relation to the rewards. For example a 4+ dodge to 1-die blitz a player is probably a bad idea, unless that player has the ball and would otherwise score. These kinds of situations and weighing up risks to rewards can only be taught by experience. But in general getting the ball on defence can justify taking big risks as the reward is big as well. When you are losing it also often a good idea to start making more high risk, high reward plays. But in any case always do the risk free things first.


Different races have different ways to play their offensive drives. Strong but slow teams will run the ball up the pitch while fast and agile teams will often use passes and handoffs to cross the pitch. But for every team it is important to keep this in mind: always protect the ball! If your opponent can score on your offence you’re in deep trouble! So whatever you do, always make sure the ball is safe. Let me repeat that: always keep the ball safe. Yes it’s that important.
Slower teams will often use the “cage” to protect their ball carrier and move it upfield. A cage consists of 5 players: 1 in the middle and then 4 players around it in an “X” formation:
This ensures that anyone trying to get at your ball carrier is facing a dodge roll into 3 tackle zones, a very daunting task indeed! Of course there’s more to it than just this, as you need to be able to move upfield quickly enough. So try to keep your team around your cage to block anyone away that tries to hold it up by marking the corners, or they can step in to fill in gaps. Or if something does go wrong then the rest of your team will be close by to make any attempt to steal the ball as difficult as possible. Try to keep your cage rolling in the centre of the pitch, as it’s harder to move forward next to the sidelines. A common mistake is to rush things and make a sloppy cage in an attempt to move up quickly, only do this if time is running out. As long as you have enough turns left keep it closed!

Faster and more agile teams will often use their speed and agility to outplay the defence and keep the ball out of blitzing range. The trick here is to move the ball quickly with minimal risks. Overwhelming one flank is a popular and easy tactic: blitz on one flank and make a safe zone there with tackle zones. Next turn get the ball to someone in that safe zone and score. Keep in mind though that counting on this to work every time is asking for trouble: kick off events like “perfect defence” can stop this brutally so always have a backup plan!

It is often tempting to pass the ball for a touchdown, but passing the ball, even with elves, can be a risky action! Keep in mind the things that can go wrong: the pass can be misthrown or fumbled, the catch can be failed and the pass can be intercepted. First, always try to think of alternatives: maybe you can just do a handoff, which is a lot less risky. Or you could just try to run the ball in anyway if the defence left a gap somewhere. If you do decide to pass, try to keep the range as short as possible (4+ passes even with reroll are near desperation plays). Keep this in mind when you place your receivers, if your receiver moves 9 it is not a good idea to stick him right next to the opponent’s endzone, it will make the pass a lot longer and harder. Put him 9 squares away from the endzone to keep the pass short and then just run in the ball. Then throw it from somewhere your opponent would be hard pressed to get to the ball should you fumble, the same goes for your pass’s destination. Try not to give your opponent a chance to intercept, sure it’s only 1 in 6 he’ll make it but when he does you’re probably in big trouble. If you don’t like the situation (or you’ve burned a reroll in the buildup or …), don’t throw the pass just yet, try to get better positioning for next turn and then make the play.


Defence is hard. The offense has the distinct advantage over the defence in Blood Bowl but getting your defence working is vital to winning games, and this requires experience.
Different races have to play different styles of defence. Fast teams should try to get to the ball right after kick off, before it can be secured by the receiving team. Strong teams should try to pressure their opponent and grind them down. Generally: when in doubt, block them. You should have the advantage in the blocking game as your opponent needs to dedicate players to carrying and protecting the ball. Try to put a blitzing threat on his ball carrier and watch out for the handoff play (as almost every team can pull this off) when you do. Try to make sure they have no way to go with the ball and make them take risks.
Your setup should be so that no player can move past your line without first blitzing a player away or making a few dodges. Putting high strength players on the outer ends of your line makes it harder for your opponent to create gaps. Many beginners try to stack the line of scrimmage with most of their team but this rarely works as your opponent first gets to block you and you leave a big, wide, open space in your backfield for your opponent to move into. Never put more than 3 players on the line of scrimmage!

There is sooooo much more that can be said but really the best way to learn the game is to play it. But if you stick to these tips you should be able to get some wins under your belt relatively quickly. Just remember to never blame your loss on the dice but try to figure out what you did wrong that forced you to make that go for it into the endzone for the touchdown which you promptly failed and learn from that.
Monkey Hustle
Indio wrote:The goal of the game is to score more touchdowns then your opponent. It is not to kill your opponent’s best player or to injure as many opposing players as possible.

I stopped reading after this bit. The man is just crazy with talk like that!!!!
Controversial indeed Smile
#magic roundabout music#
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