From Nov 10 23:51:50 1996
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 1996 17:54:20 -0500 (EST)

Subject: [BBOWL-L] More on Chaos Teams

This is fairly long. However, it should be of particular use to coaches looking
for tips on coaching a Chaos team.

Let's look at the players normally available to a Chaos team:

Chaos Beastmen
Strengths:	Horns make every last one of them good Blitzers. They can also
		take Strength Skills in addition to General Skills, making them
		more well-rounded players than the Human Linemen whose stats
		they mimic.

Weaknesses:	Each player costs 60K, mostly owing to the Horns - and only
		one player can use the Horns each turn, and even then only on
		a Blitz - and even, then only in specific circumstances (you
		must have moved at least 1 square prior to throwing the Block).

Overall:	Definitely above-average players. However, their main Weakness
		lends support to the claim that a Beastman Ally is more 
		valuable than a goat-man on an actual Chaos team.

Chaos Warriors
Strengths:	High ST rating (4) coupled with average AG make Chaos Warriors
		among the most devastating players among the game. High AV is
		also a plus, as is the access to Strength Skills.

Weaknesses:	Each player costs 100K, which is a bit pricey on a team with 
		70K rerolls. Also, their 5 MA tends to limit their overall
		usefulness, which goes a ways towards negating their 3 AG as a
		factor in gameplay.

Overall:	The fact that you can get 4 of these players is a HUGE plus,
		and contributes highly to their desirability.

Overall, the Chaos team has two obvious Strengths - the team's overall ST (in
conjunction with Horns and Strength Skill access) and its good overall AV (no
player suffers from below-average armor).

However, there is one glaring Weakness (aside from price) - Chaos teams do not
have any bona fide ballhandlers. With no Throwers and no players with a 4 AG,
regular players (in this case, Chaos Beastmen) are asked to shoulder the load
when it comes to scoring TDs.

Many coaches argue that Chaos teams should just skip with the formalities and
forget about scoring touchdowns, opting instead to turn their teams into
devastating machines capable of annihilating any given opponent. 

However, as it has been pointed out in a previous thread, such teams can go
games upon weeks without finding opponents (because they crush everyone in
sight). And besides, a one-dimensional Chaos team is pretty boring, really,
for both the coach and the opponent.

There are actually, in fact, two positively good reasons to try and develop a
Chaos team which can actually - Khorne, forgive me - score :) The first is a
simple mathematical fact - every casualty inflicted gives the inflicting player
2 SPPs (and gives the inflicted player something to remember you by!;). Every
touchdown gives the scoring player 3 SPPs - so it only takes 2 TDs to get your
first skill, as opposed to 3 Casualties. Scoring 2 TDs takes no particular
skill other than actually managing to roll a 3 to pick up the ball. Scoring 3
Casualties, though, with nothing but Horns to help you out, is going to be a
little slow in the making. (I haven't even mentioned the bonus SPPs one can 
occasionally get later from actually - *gasp*! - throwing the ball...)

Secondly, no Chaos team is going to be able to win any games come tournament
time if it can't actually move the ball and score with it on occasion.

That being said, it's time to look closer at constructing such a scoring 

Your team may not have a Thrower-type available, but as one astute observer on
this list pointed out: your players are all at least *competent* with the ball.
A 3 AG isn't exactly *poor*, in game terms. Neither is a 6 MA. In fact, Chaos
Beastmen are no worse than average in any given category, and can thus be
expected to perform any duty reasonably well - well enough, at least, to
occasionally pick up the ball or make a successful dodge, even without skills.

In fact, a Chaos Beastman makes a particularly adept ball-carrier, because
he generally lacks the one debility most other ball-carriers exhibit: frailty!
A Beastman doesn't injure easily (AV 8), and can Blitz his way out of most
scraps with his Horns. And since in the early games you won't have a designated
ball-carrier (at least, he won't have any particular skills that mark him as 
such), you don't have to both protecting him, since anyone else could do the
job equally well!

In light of a lack of passers (and an even more noticeable lack of receivers:),
Chaos teams are particularly suited to running the ball, as you might imagine.
With Chaos Warriors anchoring the front line and Beastmen using their Horns to
Blitz open holes where needed, a Chaos team can hold the ball for quite some
time before scoring!

Every player on a Chaos team has access to both General and Strength Skills. In
addition, every Chaos player can use a doubles roll to select a Physical
Ability. This comes in very handy, as many PAs - Big Hand and Two Heads come to
mind - are designed to combat the fact that Chaos teams have no access to 
Agility Skills.

Chaos Warriors
These great warriors of evil will most likely be found on the front lines,
dealing out a great deal of punishment while trying to punch open the opposing
team's front line. Because they will be doing a lot of Blocking, Block is 
absolutely essential for a Chaos Warrior's first skill (assuming a normal

As your Warriors will want to take out as many opposing players as possible,
I'd recommend that Mighty Blow and Pro be the next two skills taken. Mighty 
Blow has obvious uses. Pro is good for players who will be throwing a lot of
Blocks, as it allows them to reroll failed (or unsatisfactory) Blocks, as well
as screw around with AV and INJ rolls. In fact, I'd recommend taking Pro first,
as it is about halfway to MB in terms of damage, and can cover for a lack of
Tackle when facing opponents with Dodge (and, as I've said, it can bail you
out of that inevitable double-skulls roll). The only reason I'd advise against
taking Pro first instead of Block? Pro doesn't help when you're getting hit -
which Warriors will be doing, often!

Now, on a roll of doubles, you have a lot of choices available. Passing Skills
are right out, of course. Among the Agility Skills, Dodge is never a bad 
option. However, for those looking to get more punch out of these machines,
Diving Tackle is always a good choice. No other Agility Skill stands out in
my mind as particularly useful to a Chaos Warrior.

Physical Abilities offer the usual choices. If I hadn't taken Mighty Blow yet
for a Chaos Warrior, I'd strongly consider Claw. Combined with Pro, this lets
your Warrior take all kinds of opponents out of play - some on a more permanent
basis than others! Personally, I would *not* take Razor Sharps before Claw, and
I wouldn't take either of them if I already had Mighty Blow - Diving Tackle
would more greatly amplify your player's impact during a game.

Regenerate is good for a particularly targetted player - and it also helps you
protect your 100K investment. Spikes is never bad, although this can be 
replicated by a Magic Helmet. Most other mutations (I'm writing off the top of
my head here, without rulebooks) are right out the window.
It would be good to turn at least 2 of your Warriors into Guards, to help
anchor the front line (and make it stronger). They should DEFINITELY have 
Block, and Mighty Blow as well, if possible (I won't deal with anything beyond
the third skill, as it hadn't been my experience to have more than 2 players
with that many SPPs on my roster at any one time).

I would rule out most other Strength Skills, though, especially Piling On.
Voluntarily placing 100K players on the ground on a regular basis is a sure
recipe for disaster, IMO.

Chaos Beastmen
Using the Basic and DeathZone rules, a Chaos team with a full roster would
expect to have 4 Chaos Warriors and 4 Star Players on its roster. This leaves
room for 8 Beastmen.

While Beastmen are good at one thing (maiming) for certain, their well-rounded
style of play (average MA, ST, AG, and AV) can be combined with an astute 
choice of skills - and a bit of luck in the form of doubles skill rolls - to
provide a malleable fighting force capable of handling a large number of tasks.

The first thing any would-be adviser will tell a Chaos coach is this: get a
Beastman with Big Hand right away. Coupled with Sure Hands, it gives you a
near-failsafe player who can get into the worst tangle of players (especially
if he has Stand Firm) and get the ball.

Of course, if it was that simple, every Chaos team would be running around 
scoring TDs willy-nilly :) So, of course, it ain't that simple...

The biggest problem, IMO, is this - you *do* want a player with Sure Hands and
Big Hand as your ballcarrier. The problem is that most coaches will take the
Sure Hands right away - and then they're stuck with hoping that *this*
particular player will roll doubles and get Big Hand. If someone else rolls...
The trick here is to exercise some patience. Pro is the weapon of the average -
yet dedicated - player. It is also a prime Beastman tool. Your first skill
should be given over to Pro if it isn't a doubles roll. Let this player act as
your ballcarrier until you can get a player with doubles (who then takes Big
Hand). If this Pro gets another skill, he can always use Block to help him
out - Block and Pro are useful no matter what, and this player can then be
developed along other guidelines given below when your Big Hand player comes
to the fore. 

As far as the ball-carrier goes, he can then use doubles rolls to give himself
Dodge, which is usually useful as well.

Undoubtedly, being gifted with Horns lends itself to all matters of nastiness.
For one thing, if have Frenzy and can find a suitable ST-3 target, you can go
nuts and push that target right off the board - eliminating one player for the
rest of the drive, with no AV roll required.

If you have Dauntless, Horns gives you a great chance to take on big guys and
win. Even the great Morg'N'Thorg will be hit with two dice when Blitzed by a
sufficiently psychotic Dauntlessing Beastman.

In either case, Pro is a necessary skill - in the case of the Frenzier, to
help get the desired pushes; in the case of the Dauntless player, to help make
the Dauntless roll. Block is of some use here as well (for the obvious 
reasons). And while there is no necessary reason to make your Dauntless 
Beastman a Frenzier, the option *is* there - and if it worked often enough,
could provide a huge lift during a game!

Frenziers would need Frenzy, followed by Pro and Block. Dauntless players
would need Dauntless, followed by Pro and Block (or Pro and Frenzy, if you
want to take a chance on it!).

The best thing about Berserkers is that they don't need any doubles rolls to
be effective. In fact, they're about as effective a standard player as you 
could possibly create!

Similarly, these Beastmen are simply built to be nasty and effective: Block,
Mighty Blow, and either Pro or Guard are all obvious combos. Stand Firm can
be used as a filler or change now and then.

Your first "Hunter-Killer" is easily adapted from your initial ball-carrier
(as described above), who should already have at least Pro (and maybe Block).

Defensive Specialists
A large number of Physical Abilities can be lumped into the "defensive"
category - Tentacles, Foul Appearance, Very Long Legs, etc. However, these
skills are all generally useful only in conjunction with such skills as Pass
Block and Shadowing. As these skills are generally of more use to Skaven
players, it is a safe assumption that they don't work all that well for Chaos
Beastmen, owing largely to their average MA of 6 and lack of Dodge skill.

Personally, I'd recommend using Frenziers as "deep safeties" and foregoing
the creation of "defensive specialists," but for those who might want to create
such players, the combinations and possibilities should be apparent.

* As you can see, there are a good four solid "classes" you can lump Beastmen
into - and, as you'll probably have 8 of them on your roster, you can go with
2 of each "type" to create a good array of truly well-rounded players -
despite your lack of so-called "skilled" or "position" players!


-=-Coach 'Krusher