HUMANSby Coach Blacknife
with Mark Roberts
The most basic of all Blood Bowl teams, the Humans get runners, passers and catchers combined with decent speeds and access to the right skill tables at the right times. Reputidly one of the easiest teams to Coach, this team can be very forgiving of early upsets and bounce back remarkably.
While not as specialised as other teams, Humans can provide their own challenge for league play as you will find it difficult to win against experienced Coaches. Oh, and they come free in the box!
There are a couple of ways to start a Human team, specialise in running, or go for a passing game? The advantage to the run is that it can be played as a passing game...
Okay, so above I've plumped for the running game. I'm a big fan of this as it suits my playing style down to the ground: grinding, but with the ability for passing - no weak links to start with. Now some might say that Catchers are a great idea and one Thrower could be dropped for him and that would be just fine... for them. Like I say, my style has been laid on the field here and I'd only add Catchers later in the season once I knew I could do two things:
As you can probably guess, I don't like putting my only hope of competing onto the field in next to no protection! Try a Catcher if you want, it may suit you better, but as it stands I'd buy an Apothecary for Game 2 and think about Catchers for Games 4 onward.
Playing a Human Team
Choices here for scoring are a slow grind or a quick pass, choose wisely depending upon your opponents, the current scoreline and time remaining in the match. Don't be afraid to give your line support from your Thrower, after all they're Linemen at heart!
Playing an Advanced Human Team
Sure, you have to adapt your playing style, but it isn't so hard to slowly remove your Blitzers from scoring (no Catchers on the team) to running defence for the Catchers (new additions to the team) and then finally to defending your line and threatening secondary scoring opportunities (fully on-line Catchers). Ideally you'd like four Blitzers, around two Catchers and perhaps both Throwers on field at any given time, leaving the need for only three or four Linemen; perhaps less if you're fielding Star Players! (I tend to find however that Star Players are replaced by home-brews after a season or two!)
SKILLS: Block, Tackle, Leader
Throwers. These guys are the most basic Thrower-type in the game and as such are a good, reliable, solid and boring template to build upon. That's right, there is nothing out of the ordinary here. Well, you can mould them as you want as nothing out of the ordinary really presents itself and you wouldn't be going against the grain!
SKILLS: Accurate, Strong Arm and Nerves of Steel
Try building your first Thrower as an Offence player and the second to be used on Defence. Your Offensive player is designed to get the ball accurately to it's destination, whereas your defence may tend toward tossing balls from the middle of a group of opponent players (Nerves of Steel and Hail Mary Pass?).
Catchers. As these guys break easily, several skills offer themselves up for inclusion into their repetoire. As you have access to up to four Catchers on your team however I would suggest having distinct skills for them: Rough Offence players prefer Block and Sidestep, whereas your scorers go for Sprint, Sure Feet and Sidestep; Defence catchers need to either cause havoc (Block and Dauntless) or Capitalise on your opponents mistakes with Sure Hands and, if you manage an Agility upgrade, Leap!
SKILLS: Block, Sprint and Sidestep
Blitzers. Blitzers are my favourite position on any team as they can be specialised for scoring, cracking your opponents ball free, or left to create merry hell wherever required on the field. Esentially the same mantra applies to Blitzers as Catchers: specialisation is the key. Strip Ball and Mighty Blow make a particularly nasty combination (if you don't strip the ball, you'll make sure they stay down!), Doubles allow them access to Dodge, making them all round players! Stand Firm makes them particularly nasty in Defensive situations and a prayer or two may net you Diving Tackle!
Movement upgrades are great for your scorers, as are Strength upgrades. Come to think of it I can't imagine many situations where a Strength upgrade would be shunned!
SKILLS: Mighty Blow, Strip Ball and Stand Firm
#1 Vanilla (Blood Bowl & Death Zone)
#2 Jervis Johnson (Blood Bowl, Death Zone, No Stars,
Big Guys and Allies)
SKILLS: Block and Mighty Blow