Saturday, June 1, 2013

Blood Bowl Orc Strategy Guide


Orcs are the most straight forward team in Blood Bowl. They are one of the original ‘cookie cutter’ lineups that allow you to field a near perfect roster at 1,000,000 tournament value.  Their advantages are obvious:  cheap strength and toughness in spades.  Eight positional players have access to strength and general skills making them easy to develop and juggernauts at mid TV.

Weaknesses are also obvious- average speed, lack of real agility players and a nonexistent passing game. Additionally, in perpetual Match Making leagues they become outmatched by 1750+ Chaos teams. Claw/Might Blow/Piling On turns your Orcs into AG3 Wood Elves.  Claw is your enemy- and there really isn’t a great way to fight it.

The Boston Bruisers

Throughout this guide I am going to acknowledge the popularity of the various perpetual matchmaking leagues that FUMMBL and Cyanide have created. These leagues allow teams to develop into 1750+ TV monsters rather easily.  Additionally, I will offer advice on normal 8-10 person standard leagues that we all grew up playing on the Table Top edition.

Let’s take a look at a few options for starting rosters.






Starting Rosters:

First let’s take a look at the most accepted and widely used starting Orc roster. It fits neatly into 1,000,000 TV and offers the safety of 3 rerolls and all necessary positional players. This list is lacking a Troll- which I am a BIG fan of in an Orc lineup. However, it is consistent, safe, and a great list to take to a tournament or to start a short league. 

Standard Lineup:
Quantity
Player / Item
Cost
2
Linemen
100k
1
Thrower
70k
4
Black Orc
320k
4
Blitzers
320k
3
Rerolls
180k
Total
990k



Standard Lineup with Troll:
Quantity
Player / Item
Cost
1
Lineman
50k
1
Thrower
70k
4
Black Orc
320k
4
Blitzers
320k
1
Troll
110k
2
Rerolls
120k
Total
990k

This lineup drops a lineman and a reroll for access to a Troll. Adding a Big Guy, with loner and stupidity while dropping a reroll makes this starting lineup CONSIDERABLY less reliable. However, any experienced coach knows how to mitigate the Trolls drawbacks while maximizing his strengths.

 
Quantity
Player / Item
Cost
1
Goblin
40k
1
Thrower
70k
4
Black Orc
320k
4
Blitzers
320k
1
Troll
110k
2
Rerolls
120k
Total
980k

This is another variation of the Troll lineup. This time we drop the lineman in favor of the Goblin… Yes, no lineman and yes, a goblin. Sure Gobbo’s are squishy, sure they die, but they have access to agility skills, can be tossed for the TTM and can be uniquely developed. The above roster is fun and one I bring to tournaments and TT leagues. However, roster number one is the most consistent and competitive.

As you can see there are multiple starting rosters that Orcs can field. All are reliable and formidable.  Do you want to have one route to victory: bash and cage, or do you want other options. The choice is yours.


Players and Development:

0-16 Lineorcs:

Position
Price
MA
STR
AG
AV
Skills
Normal
Double
Lineorc
50,000
5
3
3
9
None
G
ASP


Lineorcs are the exemplary lineman. They have the average stat line, but above average armor. The Armor Value of 9 allows them to take beating after beating and keep coming back for more. The resilience of the lineorc is commendable, but is it needed? What role does the Lineorc play that can’t be better served by the Black Orc, or Troll? With normal access to general skills you are relying on doubles (and the added TV boost) to get guard, Dodge or Mighty Blow. I personally would rather have the an extra Thrower. This is not a popular view but one that I am confident in.

Admittedly they are fine players and if you want to field one or two lineorcs here is the skill progression I would follow:

Standard Lineorc Fodder:
·         General:  Block, Tackle, cut em’
·         Doubles: Guard
·         Stats Increase: ST, AG
By level 4, if you have not Doubled up, or rolled at least one stat increase… cut him, trim the TV and start again. This will keep TV bloat down while giving more chances at ‘star players’. 




Lineorc Kicker:
·         General:  Kick, Block, Tackle, cut em’
·         Doubles: Guard
·         Stats Increase: ST, AG

So, just basically a lineorc with kick. Orcs can’t take advantage of kick as well as other teams so I personally don’t develop these players. But, if you like the idea of pinning people deep or kicking short and praying for a blitz then go for it. 


Lineorc Dirty Player:
·         General:  Dirty Player, Wrestle, cut em’
·         Doubles: 
·         Stats Increase: 

I neglected to add the dreaded DIRTY PLAYER. Once you hit 1500 TV I say add one of these Orcs immediately. The are there for those damn clawPOMB chaos teams, and pesky War Dancers. You dont want many skills on them. But they are worthwhile. This is your 12-13 Orc.


0-2 Throwers:

Position
Price
MA
STR
AG
AV
Skills
Normal
Double
Thrower
70,000
5
3
3
8
Pass, Sure hands
G, P
AS

Let’s get one thing straight, Orcs are not a passing team. They should not be developed as a passing team. With AG 3, a low MV and a deficiency in agility skills, Orcs are made for bashing and caging, not dodging and throwing. For this reason, Orc Throwers are often relegated to ball retrieval duty- or left off the roster all together.

Orc Throwers should not be developed as passers in the elven sense, but they play essential role on an Orc team. With the way the Orc roster is laid out, it often comes down to choosing between a Lineorc or a Thrower for the last slot on the field- the Thrower is correct choice. For +20,000 TV you get -1 AV, but still a respectable 8, and two worthwhile skills in Sure Hands and Pass. Sure Hands is a nuffle send for AG 3 teams, and although Pass should not be used often, it opens up a different avenue of attack if your cage gets bogged down- or you need to score quickly in a pinch. A developed Orc team should always field the maximum of two Throwers.

So how these should these Throwers be developed?  The first thrower should be your primary ball carrier:

Ball Carrying Thrower:
·         General:  Block, Leader
·         Doubles: Dodge, Sidestep
·         Stats Increase: ST, AG, MV (later in development)
Obviously, the first skill chosen for the Thrower should be Block. A stat increase of AG, or ST is the only
deviation from this plan. Sitting a sure handed, blocking Orc inside a cage is tough for many undeveloped teams to deal with. On any double grab Dodge immediately. This is more for keeping him on his feet than dodging in and out of tackle zones. ST increases and AG increases are Nuffle sends, take them and smile.

Skills I usually stay away from.  Kick of Return- I honestly think this is a waste of TV- and you should have at least two players back on any kick off anyways. Fend is fine later in development, level 6 or above,as it will help keep your player on the pitch.

Defensive Thrower (Thrower #2):
·         General:  Wrestle( Block), Strip Ball, Leader,  (Kick)
·         Doubles: Dodge, Guard
·         Stats Increase: ST, AG, MV

Thrower #2 should be developed as the utility knife. I start with Wrestle over Block as I leave him back as a safety (albeit a slow one!) meant to pick off any overzealous runners looking to make a break from my Blitzers and Black Orcs. Next up is Strip Ball to help disrupt the opposing attack and free up the ball. Leader can be taken at any time during the skill progression, it depends on your team’s development and how light you are on rerolls.  Kick is also an option as this Thrower should be nowhere near the Line of Scrimmage.

On doubles, I would go with Guard first followed by Dodge. All stat increases should be taken as they come up. 

0-4 Black Orcs

Position
Price
MA
STR
AG
AV
Skills
Normal
Double
Black Orc
80,000
4
4
2
9
None
G, S
A,P


Black Orcs are the glue that holds the green team together. They are big, strong and difficult for non-claw opponents to remove from the pitch. With AG 2, they won’t be scoring often- so their skill progression is fairly straightforward.  You need to maximize their damage ability while keeping them on their feet and limiting turnovers.

Standard Black Orc
·         General:  Block, Guard/ Mighty Blow, Stand Firm, Grab
·         Doubles: Dodge
·         Stats Increase: ST
I’ve read people argue that Black Orcs first skill should be Guard. Guard is a GREAT skill and I understand
that it increases your chances of throwing Two Dice blocks more often- but they are simply wrong. Block is the ONLY first skill choice for Black Orcs. Black Orcs need to be knocking people down in order to gain SPP. In low TV there are only a handful of teams you won’t be throwing unassisted Two Dice blocks against anyways. Guard can wait. The only real debate is what skill to take next, Mighty Blow or Guard?  In perpetual MM leagues, I think it’s best to go with Mighty Blow next. You will play more games and your third skill will come a lot faster than
standard weekly leagues. In standard weekly leagues with a 10-12 game season I think Guard is the correct choice as it has a more direct impact on your team right away. Getting a Block/Guard Black Orc from 16 spp to 31 spp is going to take a lot longer than one season. If you are using a Troll (who’s first skill will always be guard) you can feel free to split the Black Orcs up 2 with Block/MB two with Block/Guard. After these three skills it’s really preference. I like Stand Firm, on most with Grab on one. Stand Firm makes your line nearly impossible to budge and Grab can assist in surfing or keeping pesky players next to your line.  I stay away from Piling On as I would rather have my Black Orcs on their feet- plus we have blitzers for that.

Ignore Doubles until you get the Holy Trinity of Block/MB/Guard then look to Dodge to help keep your big Orc on his feet.  Diving Tackle should be avoided as it is wasted on your non mobile Black Orc… and again, I want to keep them on their feet.

Stat increases are ST taken at any time. AG 3 is cute, but where are you dodging with your MV 4 Black Orc anyways? Just stay the course on Block/MB/Guard and be happy.

One more note- if you are pummeling your opponent and have a chance to score with Black Orc, waste a couple of turns trying to get the big oaf the ball… Those 3 SPP can really help. 




0-4 Blitzers

Position
Price
MA
STR
AG
AV
Skills
Normal
Double
Blitzer
80,000
6
3
3
9
Block
G, S
A,P


The Orc Blitzer, the true star of the Orc team. Blitzers start with Block, are the fastest player on the Orc team and come with the rock hard 9 AV. On top of all this they have access to both general and strength skills allowing them become tailored to specific rolls.  I like to make two blitzer/killers and two support Blitzers.

Orc Killer Blitzer
·         General:  Mighty Blow, Piling On, Tackle, Frenzy
·         Doubles: Jump Up, Dodge
·         Stats Increase: ST, AG, MV

I like to develop two Blitzer Killers. The skill progression I use is Mighty Blow followed by Piling on. These

players when coupled with your Black Orcs will be making Two Dice blocks on opposing players and hopefully removing them from the pitch. My third choice is Tackle, as nothing makes an Orc happier than squishing a dodgy little elf (especially the ones with mohawks that dance around in the woods). Frenzy is a popular late choice- I’m just not a huge fan of Frenzy on ST 3 players as it leads to bad, bad situations.

On doubles, Jump Up works great with Piling On. Mighty Blow should always be the first choice on a killer. Dodge is helpful as the Killer will soon become a target for the opposition.

Stat Increases- ST and AG at any time during development.MV after MB/PO. On a roll of a ten I would consider Jump  Up before +MV.

Orc Support Blitzer
·         General:  Guard, Tackle, Mighty Blow
·         Doubles: Side Step, Diving Tackle, Dodge
·         Stats Increase: ST, AG, MV

If I could blitz 4 times in a turn, I would make 4 killers- sadly I cannot. So that’s where support Blitzerscome into the picture. Support Blitzers pick up where your team is lacking. Are you lacking Guard with Black Orcs? Take Guard first. Are you facing a plethora of agility teams? Take Tackle. I usually start with Guard first, followed by Tackle and Might Blow. Guard is the key on these players and really helps you start pummeling the opponent.

Doubles should be taken immediately. This will allow you to specializeyour Support Blitzer from the beginning. I’m a big fan of Side Step/Diving Tackle or Stand Firm/Diving Tackle on Support Blitzers.

Stat increases help you mold the Support Blitzer to your liking. There is nothing wrong with making a MV 7 blitzer a running back or a ST 4 Blitzer as your 5th Black Orc. 

0-1 Troll
Position
Price
MA
STR
AG
AV
Skills
Normal
Double
Troll
110,000
4
5
1
9
Loner, Always Hungry,
Mighty Blow, Really
Stupid, Regeneration,

S
APG

The Troll has caused more smashed keyboard than any other big guy in the game. Sure, other big guys have negative traits, but try tossing your star Goblin for the winning touchdown to have your Troll decide he looks like a tasty little twinky. Still Trolls play a vital role on the Orcs front line. They are big, the regenerate and have an AV of 9. Claws be damned, they are not going anywhere. A line of scrimmage with 4 Black Orcs and a Troll with Guard is a problem that few teams can deal with.

Da Troll
·         General:  Guard, Break Tackle,  Stand Firm, Grab
·         Doubles: BLOCK, Dodge
·         Stats Increase: ST

A Trolls skill progression is pretty simple. Guard first, then what ever makes you happiest next. I like Guard, Break Tackle, Stand Firm. Just as my Black Orcs, I like to keep the Troll on his feet so Piling On is not an option.

Doubles, take Block. Hell, even if you roll a 12- take block. This will make using your Troll considerably less frustrating and will turn him into a consistent asset to your team.

0-4 Goblins

Position
Price
MA
STR
AG
AV
Skills
Normal
Double
Goblin
40,000
6
2
3
7
Right Stuff, Dodge, Stunty
A
GSP

I find goblins play an essential role on the Orc team. They are the only player with general access to agility skills. They start with dodge, are dirt cheap and faster than 75% of your team. Of course, they are also weak and squishy. Furthermore, the sneaky little gitz are adept at running around the pitch and kicking prone gutter runners or witch elves.  Don’t underestimate how these agile little buggers can complement the other bashers on your team.

Goblin Catcher:
·         General:  Side Step, Diving Tackle, Catch
·         Doubles: Block
·         Stats Increase: ST, AG, MV

The main role of the Goblins... agility? Kicking opposing players? One turn touchdowns? Not really essential to a competitive team, but they are fine for you 12-13th player.

On Doubles, Block is the way to go. Making a stunty blodgestep goblin can me a nightmare to any non tackler.

As for stat increases,  AG 4 on a stunty player is absurd. It allows them to go anywhere they want, whenever they want, +MV after Diving Catch and ST if it presents itself. 


Offense:
Throughout this guide I have spoken generally about offensive strategies for moving the ball from one side of the pitch to the other.  Nothing I say here will be earth shattering. On attack my preferred starting lineup is:
4x Black Orcs
4X Blitzers
1X Troll
2x Thrower

I will make my front line of 4x Black Orcs and the Troll. Splitting up the Guard Black Orcs to ensure Two Dice block down the line, and hopefully a Three Dice block for the Troll (always the last move of the turn!). I keep my Support Blitzers 2 squares in the flanks- this allows them to be moved up to support the Line of Scrimmage or fall back to cage up deep in my zone. My two killers will remain within blitzing range of one of the opposition’s players, this will sometimes leave him prone for a ripe kicking, but so be it- that’s what the AV 9 is for. My throwers remain deep and will stay there unless I can form a decent cage. I will happily sit back for 2-3 turns and bang with my Blitzers and Black Orcs until I am comfortable making a cage or forced to.

Once I establish a cage- stay committed to it. Sometimes its better just to not move the cage then try to force something that isn’t there. Remember you have 8 turns to score-no need to panic. Let them make the mistake. Additionally, it’s better to not score on your drive, than risk something that will leave you exposed and allows them to score on your drive. You don’t want to be down 1-0 and kicking off to the opposition.
As the cage progresses down field, make sure you get at least one or two Black Orcs anchoring the corners. This will allow your more agile blitzers to be maneuvering down the field and pestering the opponent. A Blitzer down field is also a threat to score something that will pull players away from your cage.

Defense:
Defense varies greatly depending on what team you are playing against. I will give my general defensive strategy here then delve into specific matchup later.

4x Black Orcs
4X Blitzers
1X Troll
2x Thrower

With my suggested lineup of there is not much leeway. The Black Orcs and the Troll hit the line and the Blitzers hold the flanks. The two throwers are set back from the fray hoping to pick up overzealous receivers or assist on a block in a pinch. You have to play conservative on defense with Orcs- they don’t have the speed to adjust if something goes wrong. Against agility teams you have to understand they are going to score on you… so punish them. If an important player hits the pitch- kick him until the opponent scores. You want agility teams to score quickly or make a mistake because you are maiming their team.

Depending on what TV team you are playing, other bashy teams are easier to deal with. There are few- if any- teams that can consistently 2-1 grind an low TV Orc team- maybe  Lizardman but Blitz a skink works wonders against the 2-1 grind.  Mark their cage with Black Orcs- they will need to double up on the Black Orcs to get favorable dice. This will give you the number advantage in the on run. Let them burn rerolls on failed blocks and take advantage of any mistake. Do not over commit! Even a Dwarf Runner is faster than the majority of your team!



Hope you enjoyed the revamped  ORC strategy guide. Comments are welcome.

Frank N. Stein







5 comments:

  1. Nice write up :) Orcs are probably my favorite team.

    I like the Orc thrower- I'm always trying to play a short-pass game with orcs, even if it isn't always ideal.

    Another skill to consider for the Thrower is Kick.
    I like to field a thrower even on defense, so I can have a player with a decent chance of picking up a knocked-lose ball in a tackle zone, but with wanting to protect him, he's back from the center - a perfect place for a kicker anyway! Kick can be good for Orcs- a short kick, forcing the opponent to deal with the ball up where you have your blitzers & black orcs can be a great thing for the orcs- less time for them to cage up and defend, and better chance to steal the ball.

    btw, can you add a 'follower' function to your blog? I don't see a way right now to add on so I can follow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks mate, I added the follower gadget. Kick is a good idea on the Thrower, thanks.

      Delete
  2. Thanks for the advice here. Really enjoyed the write up and the ideas. I've recently started playing Fumbll and the Orcs are proving more fun than Slann.

    ReplyDelete
  3. do you always put BoB's and troll on the LoS at defence?
    is it never good to have 3 lino-fodders?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Def worth it to have 3 lino fodders against developed chaos id think

    ReplyDelete