The Halfling Strategies
By M Spanke

Halflings? You must be kidding! You're not? Oh all righty then... So, you've picked out one of the most unique Blood Bowl teams to play (the other one being Goblins of course!) and you want to know how to get them to win. Well, word to you, why? You don't pick Halflings to win. You pick Halflings because you have a sense of humor. If you don't have a sense of humor, then you picked the Dark Elves. Winning aside, playing Halflings is easy and fun. These little guys are gifted with a sense of humor rather than the ability to play Blood Bowl. Because Halflings are skill-less, you never have to fear organizing specialists.

Starting Teams

You have a few choices here, well actually that should be "you have few choices here"; after all, there is only one player type! However Halflings come with the ability to field a rather unique Wizard: The Halfling Chef. This little guy will come in mighty handy. Next in their armory is the Treeman who's bulk and ability to toss the little guys about the park comes in mighty handy (especially if you need to jump the queue to the Rat-on-a-Stick trolley at Half-Time!).
Variant #1 (Strong)
  • 9 Linemen 270,000
  • 3 Deeproot Strongbranch 540,000
  • 1 Halfling Master Chef 150,000
  • 0 Apocathary 0
  • 4 Fan Factor 40,000
  • 0 Rerolls 0
    Total 1,000,000

    Variant #2 (Tough)

  • 13 Linemen 390,000
  • 2 Deeproot Strongbranch 360,000
  • 1 Halfling Master Chef 150,000
  • 1 Apocathary 50,000
  • 5 Fan Factor 50,000
  • 0 Rerolls 0
    Total 1,000,000

    Variant #3 (Annoying)

  • 11 Linemen 330,000
  • 2 Deeproot Strongbranch 360,000
  • 1 Halfling Master Chef 150,000
  • 0 Apocathary 0
  • 4 Fan Factor 40,000
  • 2 Rerolls 120,000
    Total 1,000,000

  • An Apothecary for a team who's players cost half a reroll? I don't think so. However, if your league has players with mighty blow, acquire one for the treemen. Nothing like having a tree surgeon on hand! Your little guys are going to have to look out for themselves on the pitch, it's your Star Players who are vulnerable (i.e. they have a Bullseyes on their trunks). Halfling Master Chefs play a great part in the team: they really get up your opponents nose by reducing his rerolls (and increasing yours!). The Fan Factor should keep you in a position to replace one Halfling per match.
    Playing a Halfling Team
    Card selection
    Role playing your team would suggest Random Events and, well, more Random Events, but this need not be the case in-game. Random events are good for a team that is pretty well beaten up and playing to survive. Magic Items and Dirty Trick cards can be vital for scoring points. I suggest taking a magic item before dirty tricks. Magic and tricks are all part of playing for the fun of frustrating your opponent.
    General
    Despite their size (i.e. pitiful Strength), 'flings are quite resilient because of Dodge and can go pretty much where they want when combining this with Stunty (of course this means that when they get hit they stay down!). Use these abilities to run as close to your opponents endzone as possible, leaving key opposition players tied with multiple TZs of your own. Note I said multiple TZs, after all players love beating up little guys on two-dice blocks!
    Offense
    Keep the three trees on the line unless you like quick team rotations. Halflings first in line believe they deserve to be first in line at the chef's BBQ. If the opposing team has only strength three, a Halfling buddy will keep the trees from being swarmed in multiple enemy Tackle Zones. Do not put trees more than one square away from each other otherwise the opposing team will drown it with tackle zones.

    There are four options for scoring here:

    Make a wedge on the side of the field consisting of one point treeman, one corner treeman and one side treemen. fill the back end of the wedge with Halflings who will be able to swarm back door blitzers. Slowly and painfully move the wedge down the sideline, at a rate of about 1 square per turn. It's great for eating the clock and keeping the other team off their offense. When the clock is running out, it is time to run to the endzone, dodging away with reckless abandon, 'fling a Halfling downfield, or send one out scampering for a pass (though this is a low percentage scorer, I prefer to physically take it in.) When on a scoring run, keep dodging and sprinting until you burn your reroll counter or have successfully pulled off your play. Never, but never make the mistake of standing next to the sideline, your already too easy to squish. Works well against elves and rats. (Cover every one of the ball-carrier's tacklezones when playing vs. Wardancers or similar nuisances (especially those with tackle or strip ball). This is very solid when you have a rare 'fling with Block skill and Side Step. This is also very painful to defend against. Throw a Halfling (why else do you think their names abbreviate to 'fling?) downfield and worry about getting the ball to him later. At the outside the little guy will cause your opponent to drop back and cover him, so next turn chuck another one in there too! The ball? well it can be run downfield and lobbed by another Halfling can't it? Make sure to pick up that Diving Catch skill!

    If you get a 'fling with Agility 4, set him up behind a tree, feed him the ball and fling him. If the tree doesn't fumble the Halfling, the Treeman lobs the little fella who then gets a move himself (on the proviso that he hasn't impaled himself into the Pitch or spotted a tasty sticky bun in the Crowd!). Woah! so Halflings are capable of one turn Touchdowns? You betcha! But this tactic is hard on your defense. Make sure you have a reroll when you do this. This is best for scoring against defenses that stand on the line of scrimmage.

    Another way to aggravate defenses is to play pass the snot. Or snot flinging. This is particularly effective after a turnover. The idea is to throw the ball out of your opponent's range, but within two sprints of your own players. Let the receivers find a open patch of ground (hopefully they don't get caught spreading out the picnic blankets), then toss the ball (snot) up to 5 squares ahead of them. This will cause a turnover, but they will be able to gather the ball up the next turn. If you have run out of rerolls, throw it within three squares.

    Defense
    Let the trees plug up the middle to divide the opposition's attack. Let the tree's punish the unwary. Use your chef's available rerolls to increase the range of your lumber. (catch the opposing team flatfooted, distracted by the smell of sweet meats.) Halflings should set up halfway back. Put them within 6 of the endzone, giving them the ability to blitz and attack on a go for it if someone should decide on standing around the goal. Why stand halfway back? Smudge, star defensive Halfling player commented that when you stand that far back, there is much less of a field to defend. When the enemy advances past your trees, you now have trees in your opponent's backfield. Stingy Hamswiper was more honest reveling that it allows them to stand closer to the Chef's pot. There are rumors that Dirty Player was introduced to give the lower powered, Agility based teams a chance of fighting back against the attritional Power based teams. Well, think of it this way: nobody takes Halflings seriously, right? I mean those little guys couldn't hurt a fly really, could they? Well actually they can. Try the following (and remember that having Dodge and Stunty is better than you thought):

    Your opponent will get cocky and leave his players in pairs or - better for you - on their own due to the Halflings lack of Strength: one Halfling blocking an Orc is a two-dice he chooses situation after all. But with two assists you make the two dice block and there's no problems getting to him, remember? Now he's on the ground a fourth player can foul him with a meager +4 to the armor roll - the blocker didn't get him, but his pals did! That's without Dirty Player! But you don't want your players sent off; or do you? After all, they'll be happier in the Sin Bin, chowing down on cakes than lying in the Infirmary wishing they could have something crunchier than soup for the rest of their days! Besides, you've got plenty more of the gits spare in the Reserves box: laugh at your opponents glee when tossing the players off-field.

    A particularly wide open and annoying defense is the fling defense. Make a line behind the treemen. They become ammunition. Start throwing Halflings into the backfield. It is wonderful chaos. If your opponent is cocky enough to leave the ball unguarded and deep, send that Halfling a flying. Remember to keep a good stock of rerolls for this. (Throw a red shirt into an open space amonst a crowd in hopes of clobbering someone.)

    Damage Limitation
    Six Armor, two Strength and Stunty; and you want to talk about damage limitation? All I can suggest is to use Dodge and Stunty to get your guys out of enemy TZs; alternatively you can run in packs (herds?) - remember the blocking example above? It's a weight of numbers thing. I prefer dodging away. This way they can only get one 'fling per turn.

    Playing Advanced Halfling Teams
    You still with us? You've got advancements and four Treemen, well it's actually more of the same really: Halflings are a fun team and as such are not meant to be a long term league proposition, so your tactics remain much the same as before. Just don't get too attached to any of your players as I believe Gnats have a longer lifespan when it comes to Blood Bowl!
    Skills Halflings, assuming they last long enough to acquire six or more Star Player Points (SPPs), what can you do with them? Well if you want them to live longer and be a general pain to your opponents (and who wouldn't?) then Block and Sidestep are high up on your list of must-haves. After all, they'll only fall down on a 1-in-6 and for 66% of the time you'll be choosing where they're pushed back to!

    Having all your guys with the same skills will get a bit mundane and, let's face it, you collect skills to make sections of your team perform differently from other sections (and in playing a Halfing team you begin to really want these differences). Skills which allow your guys to make the most of their movement are especially helpful, but perhaps Jump Up is pushing your luck - after all, if a Halfling hits the ground, there's not really much chance of him getting back up again! Useful Skills

    Block. Pass the butter please.
    Sidestep. He chooses where to go.
    Sprint. Movement 8
    Sure (Furry!) Feet. Extra speed on demand.
    Pass. For those long quick passes.
    Guard. Strength in numbers.
    Strip Ball! More chaos.
    Useless skills
    Break Tackle. What?
    Shadowing. They will just hit you anyway.
    Dirty player. Friends are always plentiful.
    Multiple blocks. Maybe if you see two snotlings.
    Jump up. Is he still breathing?
    Nerves of steel. Halflings that stand in a crowd of monsters don't have long lifespans.
    Interesting skills
    Stand firm: He thinks he's a fence post!
    Piling on: Just another way you can dish it out.
    Leader: Another reroll!
    Pro: Just plain irritating. This guy rerolls just about anything.
    Frenzy: Rabid wiener dogs are a riot!
    General Commentary #1 Vanilla Rules(Blood Bowl & Death Zone)
    Don't expect results, but do expect to have fun. Halflings are not a serious team and should be approached in a jovial way: take some buns (and drinks and chips and candy...) to the game; Mail Order those Cheerleader miniatures; develop an annoying, yet infuriatingly cute victory dance for use whenever a Halfling doesn't get injured... you get the idea!
    #2 Jervis Johnson (Blood Bowl, Death Zone, No Stars, Big Guys and Allies)
    Treeman. Of course the reason you buy Treemen is to lob your little guys about, this can't be done with the Rookie Treemen. You'll have to work on them first.
    SKILLS: Block, Throw Teammate and Mighty Blow
    DOUBLES: Get rid of 'Take Root' and then worry about a Strength upgrade.
    Halfling sayings
    Timber! (what you say when your tree is field.)
    I've got an idea, formin' in me head! (Before playing a special play card).
    E's Stunned
    E' stunned `em
    Oh, look at the pretty flowers?
    He's not stunned, e's only 'avin a bit to eat.
    Echt, eaten dirt again!
    I see stars!
    Oh, look at the pretty blimp!
    I see all sort's of shapes in the clouds.
    Actually, Halflings are quite residulant. The results really aren't injured for the game, its stuffed beyond movement, its too busy to be pulled from the table, its enjoying a bit of sweet weed after a good meal...

    Halflings pick up the ball because the head coach told the player it was a chicken. Unfortunately he sat down short of the goal and gnawed on it for three turns. (Those poor rats were maimed by the treemen in the meantime.)

    Halflings love to serve rat on a stick when playing Skaven.
    Dead Skaven always go up missing in a Halfling game.
    Reserve Halflings that take the field in a tree's absence and wear red shirts. Beam me down Scotty. Unfortunately the apocathary was used on the tree. Dam-it Jim I'm a tree surgeon, not a doctor!

    Rats face down in the dirt are looking for shiny things. Halflings face down in the dirt are looking for their jelly babies, and on occasion they too look for the shiny things.

    Halflings fumble usually because they just got back from the BBQ pit.

    Not all dodging is skill, half is the butter.

    Orcs like Halflings because they are preseasoned.

    Halflings make a nice squishy sound when blocked.

    Blocking a Halfling is like making jelly.

    Consider The Following Consider the following: Trees surround the ball, what, you expect they would be able to pick it up? Let the other team just try to prevent you from running out the clock. Come get some!

    Consider the following: Trees always roll for the interception. (But, occasionally a Halfling can run up the back of a defender or be tossed in the air, or step on the thrower's foot). Try to take the ball away from a tree. This is another time killer. What, you thought you could get the tree into the end zone?

    Consider the following: Give the rare Agility 4 Halfling Diving Catch. Now you don't need to throw an accurate pass.

    Consider the following: On a doubles roll, get frenzy. Rabid wiener dogs are literally a riot. On the receiving kick-off, set up two rows of Halflings on each side of a lone defender and use the Frenzy player to make your opponent run the gauntlet. At the end, everyone jumps on the victim, if he's still breathing. When the mayhem is over, toss the ball (snot) into the ready made wedge. You begin the round up one player!

    A Final Note in the Afterglow

    Remember, where there are Stunty and Dodge there are no pockets. Annoy your competition, move freely, and humiliate them. In competition I took a team of pure Halflings (no trees) against Wood Elves and went into overtime for a 5-4 game (whoever had the ball seemed to score). When you take away the opposition's rerolls and average 7 rerolls per half for yourself, you just can't help but push your luck every single darn turn. How frustrating. How shocking as you toss 4 valuable unused rerolls into the box and say shucks, I guess we should have been more aggressive.

    Variant #4 (Tourney with no Star Players)

  • 16 Linemen 480,000
  • 1 Halfling Master Chef 150,000
  • 0 Apocathary 0
  • 1 Fan Factor 10,000
  • 6 Rerolls 360,000
    Total 1,000,000

    Variant #5 (League and you want no trees!)

  • 16 Linemen 480,000
  • 1 Halfling Master Chef 150,000
  • 1 Apocathary 50,000
  • 2 Fan Factor 20,000
  • 5 Rerolls 300,000
    Total 1,000,000
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