The Dark Elf BibleBy Vorstav Vaul
Including the distilled wisdom of Arlith Blacknife [AB]
An a-z of how to run your Dark Elves well in the short and long term
Dark Elves are a tough first team to play, because they don't do any one thing really well. They are competent at the running game, useful at the passing game (but have no lightening fast catchers), and can hold their own with hitting (but they don't have anyone with ST skill access). So how do you play this bunch of 'all things to all people'.
There are a few pointers which really should be of relevance to any coach intending to field elves. These are as follows.
The Dark Elves are a low powered team. Their movement is insignificant. Their AV of 8 allows them to get stuck in and survive a few fights. They lack high-speed catchers, and they are not going to win any long protracted engagements.
Witch Elf. She is definite catcher potential despite the Frenzy. Jump Up and Dodge gives her a maneuverability that compensates for her lack of pure speed. MA 7 is not bad, but it still means that a Witch Elf must get 4 squares into the opponents half, in order to score any 2-turn TD's. The ST of 3 makes her more dependable, but the AV of 7 really sucks. [AV 7 is always a sore point with any team. (Just ask any Wood Elf or Skaven Coach.) Block is a great first skill for the Witch Elf as it allows the Coach to release her fury without too much worry. -AB]
Blitzer. Did you ever want a Human blitzer with an AG upgrade? Well, here he is. Only he can't take ST skills, but has to endure the AG-selection. Which in the end, is not a great loss.
Thrower. These guys are over-priced compared to Humans and High Elves. In the long run, an extra 10k isn't too much of a hassle. It would be nice to be able to buy this fellow for starters, although any Lineman is equally good at 20k less.
Lineman. Get as many players as you can ASAP. A full roster is a necessity. A lot of people turn their noses up at the sight of linemen, but a lineman on the field is at least there. If you hold out for the expensive players, you're going to be fielding 8-10 players at half-time and then things will get real ugly.
Meanwhile get the ball, and move it into your back-field. Place your thrower out of blitz-range. To score, blitz and block an opening for your receiver. Run your thrower forward, from the deep position, and toss the ball. Always make your pass as short as possible, or you WILL fail, losing the ball in the process. [I find my Throwers incapable of making 4+ passes. Give them a 5+ or a 3+ and they'll make it without breaking out the Pass reroll. Remember, if you roll a '1' on the first dice, the Blood Bowl fate means you'll roll a '1' on the reroll! -AB]
Score with a Lineman, if your Blitzers or Witch Elves are in difficult positions. [A score with your Lineman assures your team SPP's. A handoff to a Blitzer assures a burned reroll and a scattered ball! -AB]
' Da Cage '
' Your equals '
If you get your Elven offence in scoring mode, and all you need is one defensive score to basically give you the game. Its important to point out that this strategy is only of limited success.
In a perfect world this works well. On the Blood Bowl field be prepared to think fast.
Witch Elf. These two girls are going to be your most skilled players and much will rely on how they perform. The jobs that you should keep in mind for them are; cornerback and wide receiver/speed queen.
Block is their first skill. It gives you offensive power and a measure of defensive safety. Having three skills already puts the lady in league with the Troll Slayer and the Wardancer. The only thing preventing you from this course of action is a stat change.
If you gain MA, then follow the Block, Sprint, Pro, Sidestep route.
And on a roll of doubles? Definitely Mighty Blow! If you get a second pair, then perhaps Stand Firm will interest you. If you feel sick, give your lady Sidestep and Stand Firm. Just to show off how many SPPs you can burn...
Blitzer. Blitzers enable the rest of the team to perform. They are Linebackers and Running Backs. Dodge is the best, first skill. Barring doubles and Stats, get Pro and Leap to go.
If you gain MA, then get the Sprint, Sure Feet combo...
Skills like Sure Hands, Diving Tackle are good. On the roll of a double, I'd recommend Mighty Blow again. This isn't me being one dimensional, rather it is the best use for them.
Thrower. Make your thrower fast and mobile rather than a show off with long-ranged throws (This is a High Elf/Wood Elf trait that you should not follow). If you can move fast enough, you will not need to throw those long bombs... Start with Accurate and Sure Hands to have a reliable ball carrier, then get Sure Feet and Safe Throw. As he develops, buy another and make him a defensive thrower. Block, Dodge, Sure Hands and Dump Off, if you make it to a fourth roll. If strip-ball-itis hasn't set in, you can exchange Sure Hands for Pro, just to expand his repertoire. This will give you a good way of exploiting turnovers without being a defensive liability. You can just see him scoring by the old QB sneak...
Lineman. The key to dark elf development is to not make carbon copy players. I do not like the idea of having a players with obvious roles in a team, but the players must be tailored to specific jobs.
Start a few of them with Dodge. Their next skills are Block followed by Sidestep. Then spread Dirty Player, Pass Block and Diving Tackle amongst them. If you roll doubles, use it to get Guard. Give the rest the Block skill, barring doubles or stat increases.
If you gain MA, then make a Block, Tackle, Shadow guy.
The other linemen who have Block get either Pass Block (if your league is elf-happy), Diving Tackle (if your league is ultra-violent) and Dauntless (if your league is overgrown). They then get Pro and Dodge.
Use doubles rolls as follows. Your +1 ST Lineman should take Mighty Blow. The Dauntless guy should get Mighty Blow and all the rest can get Guard for mutual support.