By Maquis, with Cory
of the Pacific Bloodbowl League



7 Longbeards 490,000
2 Blitzers 160,000
1 Runner 80,000
1 Troll Slayer 90,000
3 Rerolls 120,000
6 Fan Factor 60,000

As a matter of preference I usually take one runner, 6 FF and 3 rerolls to take advantage of Dwarves low reroll cost. I find that the high reroll safety net is useful to a starting team. You don't save much money by only taking 2 anyway.

One other option would be
5 Longbeards 350,000
2 Blitzers 160,000
2 Runners 160,000
2 Troll Slayers 180,000
2 Rerolls 80,000
7 Fan Factor 70,000

This maxes out your positional players early and allows you to buy rerolls (relatively cheaply) at 80k later in the season to keep your Team Rating down.

An Apothecary is not exactly essential for a Dwarf team, but buying one in the first couple of games is advised; then 'max out' your positional players.



Card Selection:
Due to your lack of speed on defence it is usually best to concentrate on picking up "play stopper" cards and the majority of these are in the Dirty Tricks deck. Grab a Magic Item card unless you feel your opponent is going to give you real trouble and if you need money then look to the Random Event Deck. In general though you can go with a Magic Item and make up the balance with Dirty Tricks.

The Dwarf team are, arguably, the finest exponents of "da cage" in Bloodbowl - even more so than other power teams like Orcs and Chaos! The reason is that the team's skills are well suited to the mutual support the cage needs to get rolling.

Run the Cage just inside one of the widezones; once there you can use Longbeards (preferably with Guard) to assist Trollslayers Blitzing the opposition off the pitch! Keep the Cage tight and advance a few squares at a time while you blitz players off the sideline. Remember that it is helpful to The Cage to remove as many players as possible in your drives and if you are pushingthem off the pitch then they are not only out for the drive, they may also be removed for the game through injury. By the end of the drive you may well have 6 or fewer opposition players to bother you.

Run a couple of players wide of the cage if you can afford it, they will force the opposition to cover them and will take pressure off your cage. It will also give you an escape route if the cage is broken or allow you to spring a little surprise on the opposition if the opportunity arises.

With an advanced team you should be using Dwarves with Stand Firm on the Corners of the Cage and some with Diving Tackle (if you are luck enough to roll those doubles) on the weaker flanks to protect against wardancers and other airborne freaks. Most of your players should have Guard (see below), thus making the cage very difficult to assault if you take it slow and keep it tight.

Dwarves, being slow, are not well suited to defending against passing teams. When tossing for kickoff, you should always elect to kick to a passing team, this means if (when) they score in 2 turns you will have 6 turns to secure a reply then 8 turns to run da cage in the final half. Controlling the game clock is the key to the Dwarf win. Given that you are expecting the opposition to score in 2 turns you may as well go all out on a blitzkrieg to try to force the turnover. If it fails then the opposition will score giving you ample time to secure the reply, if you force the turnover, then take your time and score on the 8th turn.

Try a 3-4-4 defence with Stand Firm on the Line of Scrimmage (LoS), close together with Guard. Blitzers are placed wide, and Diving Tackle (again, if you have it) one row back in the widezones; Troll slayers and Runners play as safeties. Keep your Troll slayers inside the widezones so they can Blitz ourtwards to push players off the line rather than inwards to nowhere.

Against a 'power' team you can take a different tack: putting expendable players on the line and keep your 'big guns' back a bit (face it, a power team is going to be able to knock the stuffing out of anyone from the LoS). Try to keep the opposition bottled up near the sidelines and use stand firm players to slow the progress of their cage. Keep a second row behind the first in case of breakthroughs and keep players to the side of the cage to prevent them rolling out. This will usually grind them down to the point where they have used all their rerolls throwing 1 die blocks trying to break out. Just be patient be thorough, and wait for "the mistake".

Damage Limitation:
Your players have heavy armour, Thick Skull and support each other well. Do not be afraid to take punishment because you can generally dish out far more than you take. Having said this though, don't expose your players to unnecessary risk. Do not allow your players to become isolated from one another, if you are sending players away from the main drive, then send them in pairs. This will ensure you do not surrender your advantage in a biffing war. Don't bother trying to dodge players away, 1 die blocks will give you better odds of success, especially if you have Block and Tackle.

Controlling the pace of the match is the key. You don't have the speed or skill to match it with the flashy Elf teams so play to your strengths, make the only dice you roll block dice and make them play the Dwarf game. Don't be afraid to score in two turns if you think they don't expect it - just don't take your eye off the clock. It's always worth having Accurate and Pass for one Runner as it gives you options. Remember though that you lack speed and skill so don't take unnecessary risks.



Longbeards: With Block and Tackle and access to the Strength lists, your Longbeards are the most formidable linemen in the game and are perfectly suited to supporting the Cage. Guard will give your opposition fits and is ideal for a first skill. Mighty Blow and Stand Firm make good secondary skills; a matter of preference really, but you will need Stand Firm players. Once you have a couple of players with Stand Firm, you can concentrate more on getting Mighty Blow.

SKILLS: Guard, Stand Firm, Mighty Blow
DOUBLES: Diving Tackle! (though a guard/standfirm/dodge longbeard is a hell of a cool player)

Blitzers: A good proportion of your Touchdowns will come from these guys so you can focus on offensive skills.

SKILLS: Stand Firm and Mighty Blow
DOUBLES: Dodge or Diving Tackle

Runners: Your fullback, thrower, and scorer all rolled into one. One is best given passing skills so he can be used to move the ball up quickly from the kickoff or roll out from the cage if necessary, the other one can be used as a high(er)-speed blitzer.

SKILLS: Accurate and Pass, or Block and Pro
DOUBLES: Dodge or Diving Tackle.

Troll Slayers: They key to your offence, these guys are responsible for removing the opposition from the pitch and taking out opposition Big Guys. Pro is essential for helping with bad Frenzy dice and Dauntless rolls, it can also allow you to reroll armour rolls if you don't get the injury...

SKILLS: Pro and Mighty Blow
DOUBLES: Diving Tackle or Jump Up



The Deathroller:
Both over and under-rated as a Star Player. As long as you remind yourself that it's not an essential part of your offence and convince your opponent that it is, then you'll do well ;) Never send it out alone, use it to multiblock holes to roll da Cage through; always forming the cage back around it so the opposition never had a chance to throw better than a 1 or 2 dice block against it. Bringing it on in the second half helps lessen the chance that has any nasty cards, spells, etc. to take it out of play.

Other Stars:
Grim is handy but I would never take him if it meant taking up a Troll Slayer position on my roster (depends on your league). Drumgrim [Who? - Coach Blacknife] isn't much better.

If you can, pick up a couple of Rookie Ogres as they make excellent line-fodder for an advanced Dwarf team and can help even the score against some of the larger freaks of nature available to other teams.