Thursday, 9 November 2017

Dem Bones part 1 – Undead Teams in blood bowl

Welcome bloodbowlers! As you may (or may not) know Blood bowl followed the races released with Warhammer fantasy. Therefore, initially there was one blood bowl team for undead which had a mixture of vampiric, Necromantic and Khemri Elements.

When games workshop split these armies so did the split occur in blood bowl and three new teams were born Khemri, Vampires and Necromantic. Instead of ridding themselves of the old team this was retained to make 4 Ghoulish teams.

Again, I’m not sure what’s happened to them now. However, vampires and the dead are tolerated if not cheered with gusto wherever they go! I’m guess Vlad and Manfred coach rivalling teams…

Out of the 4 I’m going to first look at the traditional old-world teams the undead and the necromantic.

A note for the dead

Both this teams play similarly as the teams as you will read below are almost identical.
However, for both these teams they aren’t allowed an apothecary.

Instead they have regenerate which ignores an injury on a 4+. I can’t begin to tell you have in some respects this is very stress relieving (you don’t have to worry about who to apothecary!). However, this means players such as Ghouls who don’t have regenerate are very vulnerable.

They also have the ability when killing a player on the opposition to turn it into a zombie. Zombies are cheap so this is kind of a bonus but the player plays in the same game allowing you more reinforcement.

Right! Now that’s over and done with….

Shambling Dead

This is a team with 2 linemen in the zombies and skeletons and 3 positionals in mummies, wights and Ghouls.

The Zombie is a brilliant lineman in the context of the team. He’s only movement 4 strength 3 and ag 2 but he has armour 8 and regen and he’s cheap at 40k. Perfect for sitting on the line getting beaten up. Skeletons gain 1 movement lose 1 armour and get thick skull. I never use these guys. The extra movement isn’t worth the draft in armour. I’d rather be surviving more hits than turning KO’s into stuns now and again.

The positionals come in two guises…

Mummies are one of the best starting players in the game. They are basically big guys without the loner skill that your allowed 2 of. 2 Strength 5 on the line is brilliant and helps very well with cage building and busting. Their limited movement is in line with the other linemen and where this is a restriction they will rarely be moving really far.

Wight’s are the team blitzers. They are identical to human blitzers but sacrifice a movement to get regenerate. These guys work well with the teams general running and caging plays. These will be your tacklers and speedy response (for undead anyway)

Ghouls are the teams runners and are mv 7 with av 7 and dodge. These will be the guys scoring the TD using their speed to use the running game effectively. I like these guys their access to agility and general skills allow them to be irritants and difficult to remove.

So how does this team play? Undead teams don’t really pass although the main players are AG3 so passing can be done, they are much better at bogging down the opposing team in a swamp of mummies and zombies and then speeding through a gap with wights and ghouls.

As you can imagine they cage very well with the mummies and they can score deeper as the ball carrier is faster than your usual ball carrier. So, the restricted movement of the zombies and mummies isn’t as much of an issue.

They do lack a few skills initially such as sure hands, however they start with a couple of dodgers and blockers. Each player has a very defined roll as well. Ghouls are the runners, Wights are the blitzers and mummies are the wrecking ball. As such if you’re a beginner this is a good team to use (Unless you want to try a passing game!)

I would also say they aren’t the best running team in the game although they do this better than most. When I’ve used them, I use the ghouls deceptive speed to exploit gaps beaten open by mummies.
For experienced players this is a good team to try and master.

Mikes starting roster

2 Mummies
2 Ghouls
2 Wights
5 Zombies
3 Rerolls

Get the 2 extra Ghouls and then that’s all you need. Level up and score touch downs with Ghouls and wights. Try and spread the SPP. The mummies will level themselves. This is why zombies are so good as they can’t really score and won’t be hitting as much meaning they won’t be levelling up. A zombie is a cheap meat shield!


Ok I think I cheated today…

Necromantic team is identical to undead and pretty much plays the same way. There are three changes….

1) No access to skeletons – No big deal in my book!

2) Mummies are replaced with flesh Golems. These guys are 1 less strength, don’t have might blow but do come with stand firm. They are basically bigger Zombies. Necromantic are a bit worse off here they lose a lot of muscle on the front line because of these although the access to general skills is a plus and makes them annoying to shift as well! Stand firm is a very good skill!

3) 2 of the Ghouls are replaced by Were wolves… These guys are nightmares. Movement 8 frenzy and claws as well as regeneration make these guys vastly superior to the ghouls they replaced.

This team is the same as undead in terms of tactics.

The focus here however is they are better at the running plays than undead but worse at cages. Werewolves are horrible. They can dart in blitz a player with frenzy and claws (reduces their armour to 7) then dart back behind the zombie screen. Frenzy also means the opponent has to be careful with positioning on the flanks. The wights in this team tend to end up as support players rather than blitzers as you want to blitz with the werewolves. However, this is a role they are also adept at.

In terms of difficulty to use this team is harder than Undead because of the simple fact brute force plays are easier than running plays. The reduced strength up front often leaves the team lacking a bit.

However, once you get used to them there great for an experienced player to use. Out of the two however for a beginner shambling dead is easier.

Mikes starter team.

2 Werewolves
2 Wights
2 Ghouls
5 Zombies
3 Rerolls

I can probably copy and paste the statement from undead here, there are only 2 players different after all…. Get the Flesh Golems next and your all set. The werewolves will level at a furious rate. They will score touchdowns and get casualties regularly. Try and score with Ghouls and wights as well but when I use them I just get as many SPP on the were wolves as possible. 

Although there are only 2 players different in my starter teams it shows the different focus of both teams. Undead focus on brute strength with running plays as back up. Necromantic are the opposite. Both are great fun!

Until next time!

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