Bloodbowl 2: Advanced Position Guide

Bloodbowl 2: Advanced Position Guide

While Linemen, Throwers and Blitzers are fairly universal positions, there are a series of more specialised, more effective player roles that can be developed over time. This is a brief look at more advanced positions, from specific variants of the base positions, to entirely new player builds. All of these positions require two or three level-ups, and so are to be forged by a coach over the course of a player’s career, rather than units that can be pulled straight out of the box.

Kick Returner

Overview

A variant on the Runner used by passphobic teams such as the Dwarves, the Kick Returner is a more explosive, aggressive player who seeks to pick up the ball and hit the Line of Scrimmage within one turn. Focusing more on toughness and durability than elusiveness, this player looks to secure possession and nestle themselves safely in a cage of teammates and begin the slow drive towards the endzone. The Returner flourishes on bashy, slow teams, such as the Dwarves and Norse.

Ideal Skills

Kick-off Return, Sure Hands, Sure Feet, Sprint, Block


Kicker

Overview

One of the more straightforward positions, and one that can find a home on any team, the Kicker looks to pin opposing offences right where the defence wants them by accurate kick-offs. Yet this player only requires a single Skill – kick – to be an effective Kicker, and so can then morph into a second specialist; a Kicker can develop into a hybrid Kicker-Fouler, for instance, with a few extra level-ups. Useful on any team, but especially the less mobile races who would benefit from a highly accurate kick-off, such as the Orcs, Dwarves and Undead.

Ideal Skills

Kick


Tight End

Overview

Named after the American football position of a roughly identical role, the Tight End is a Catcher who thrives inside enemy Tackle Zones, and smashes through defenders rather than slipping around them. There are obvious risks involved in this approach – namely that the vital Nerves of Steel Skill can be one of the hardest to unlock – but it can be a fun development project for a side with an already-established running game. Useful on teams with Throwers but no Catchers, who have the Skills to operate a basic passing game, but lack the explosiveness to stretch the field like the Elves, such as the Orcs and the Norse.

Ideal Skills

Nerves of Steel, Catch, Block, Sure Hands, +ST


Safety

Overview

Another player named after an American football equivalent, the Safety is a team’s last line of defence, concerned only with preventing touchdowns being scored. As a result, fists of stone are of secondary importance compared to mobility and being able to force the ballcarrier to fumble the ball. On more expensive rosters, where money is tight and a coach may not be able to afford to buy a fourteenth player to develop into a specialist Safety, Throwers can often be given Skills such as Block and Strip Ball to make them hybrid Thrower-Safeties, pieces who, offensively or defensively, only dwell in their own half, either sparking moves down the field, or saving touchdowns.

Ideal Skills

Strip Ball, Block, Tackle, +MA, Sprint, Sure Feet


Pass Blocker

Overview

This highly specialised defensive piece will only see action against passing opponents, but can be a deadly addition to a safety line. Tasked with man-marking enemy Catchers, the Pass Blocker can afford little armour and low strength, as long as they are able to keep opponents from Dodging away from them. Yet this unit is only likely to see action in games that pit two passing sides against one another, where aerial play and touchdowns come thick and fast; recommended for all Elf sides, in addition to nominal passing teams such as Skaven and Humans.

Ideal Skills

Pass Block, Nerves of Steel, Very Long Legs, Catch, Shadowing, Tackle, Diving Tackle,Strip Ball, +MA


Kill Piece

Overview

Simply put, a Blitzer with Mighty Blow. This is a mobile and aggressive unit that is sent to injure key opponents out of the game, rather than the more conventional Blitzer strategy of hitting the ballcarrier. Expected to take on enemy Throwers and Runners single-handedly, the Kill Piece can rack up SPP and crush an opponent’s gameplan. While the Kill Piece can be overwhelmed against more robust opponents – a 3-Strength Kill Piece will struggle against a 4-strength opponent  – it is one of the more versatile special positions, as it can easily be withdrawn into a more conventional defensive shell. The combination of Piling On and Jump Up is also a devastating one, as it allows almost all injury rolls casued by this player to be re-rolled, without compromising their ability to make blocks. Useful for teams who rely heavily on their Blitzers, such as the Orcs and Humans

Ideal Skills

Block, Mighty Blow, Piling On, Jump Up, +ST, +AV


Mobile Guard

Overview

This is one of the more weird and wonderful pieces that I’ve encountered while playing the game; this is a mobile, agile player armed with Guard, who starts each turn dodging out of any tackle zones they may be in and leaping into new tackle zones to provide assists to players bogged down with the enemy, in a more important part of the pitch. For instance. The Mobile Guard may spend a few turns around the line of scrimmage while their teammates secure the ball, then as soon as their runner breaks free down the sideline, they scamper across the field, sticking themselves alongside their teammate, and providing more assists. This is a luxury, and difficult to build, piece useful for teams with an abundance of catchers, who cannot effectively use all four at once on an offensive drive, such as Humans or High Elves.

Ideal Skills

Guard, Dodge, +MA, +AG, Leap, Stand Firm, Block


Ball-Hitter

Overview

Another variation on the Blitzer, the Ball-Hitter looks to recover the ball, but not necessarily to injure opponents; think a finesse Blitzer found on Elf teams, rather than the brutal variant used by Orcs. Agility and mobility are especially important for the Ball-Hitter, as they are expected to make precision strikes against ballcarriers, operating separately from the remainder of the defence, and so the ability to pick up the ball and dodge away upfield is invaluable. Useful for high-Agility Blitzers, like those on High Elf, Dark Elf and Wood Elf teams.

Ideal Skills

Strip Ball, Block, Leap, Sure Hands, Dodge, +AG, +MA


Crowdsurfer

Overview

One of the most entertaining and unpredictable positions, the Crowdsurfer patrols the edges of the pitch, narrowing the pitch by threatening opposing wide players with the Frenzy Skill. A side with two Crowdsurfers can effectively narrow the pitch by a square on each side, helping to shut down expansive passing games, and force offences to push through the middle of a defence. As a result, the Crowdsurfer is particularly useful for races with Big Hitters, or other pieces that render their central defence powerful, such as Orcs, Chaos, Lizardmen, Norse, Undead and Dwarves.

Ideal Skills

Frenzy, Sprint, Sure Feet +MA, Block, Wrestle


Second Runner

Overview

This is an offensive unit who supports the primary ballcarrier by offering a quick passing option, rather than assisting in blocks. Requiring the toughness to square up in contact, and the speed to be a ballcarrier in their own right, the Second Runner is one of the rarer special positions due to the luck required in rolling for moves such as Guard. This unit thrives on Dark Elf teams, but can do a job for other explosive running sides, such as Skaven.

Ideal Skills

Nerves of Steel, Dump-off, Catch, Guard, Dodge


Fouler

Overview

The role of a Fouler is a thankless one, wandering around the pitch and fouling downed opponents until the ref ejects them or the opposition kill them to take revenge. While some would consider this a waste of a player, to build a unit with the very real risk of not playing most games, many injured players can find new life as Foulers. A Wood Elf Lineman who loses an AV point, for instance, is likely to be too fragile to stand up in contact, and so can be loaded with unsavoury Skills to fill a role on the team. This is also somewhat of a luxury purchase, as a substitute is highly recommended to fill the role left by the inevitably-ejected Fouler, as is a Bribe in pre-match inducements to ensure the Fouler isn’t immediately rendered useless. Useful on any team, especially those that naturally struggle to break armour such as Bretonnian and Wood Elf.

Ideal Skills

Dirty Player, Sneaky Git, +MA, Sure Feet, Sprint


Sacrifice Piece

Overview

Another job for an injured former starter, the Sacrifice Piece aims to distract and divert the attention of enemy Big Guys and Big Hitters, so the rest of the side can go about their business unsquished. By staying in the tackle zones of Trolls, Ogres and Minotaurs, this player ensures they can’t Dodge away to hit ballcarriers, and they are forced to waste their Block on one of the more useless members of the team. The lifespan of the Sacrifice Piece is quite varied – it is essentially as long as the coach’s luck holds on armour break and injury rolls – and so it is not to be employed without a more reliable backup plan for attacking Big Guys. Recommended for non-bashy sides that lack a Big Guy of their own, and would struggle to take down an enemy Big Guy, such as the High Elves, Dark Elves and Bretonnians.

Ideal Skills

Tackle, Block, Dodge, Jump Up, Dauntless


Marker

Overview

Perhaps a more positive term for the above position, the Marker is a vital player for any team seeking to employ solos or screen as their primary offensive approach. This player sits in opposing tackle zones and refuses to let them move unchallenged, bogging down Linemen, to deprive the opponent of vital assists, and Blitzers, to prevent them from hitting ballcarriers, alike. Unlike the Sacrifice Piece, the Marker is not expected to, well, die quite so frequently, so skills like Block and decent armour are important.

Ideal Skills

Tackle, Diving Tackle, Prehensile Tail, Wrestle, +MA


Slayer

Overview

The Slayer is essentially a Dwarf Troll-Slayer imported to teams of other races. Offering mobility, aggression and toughness, this is a more proactive response to the Big Guy problem than the above Sacrifice Piece. Yet consequently, the Slayer is an ofter-injured player, as smashing head-first into Trolls for an entire career can test the limits of a player’s body, and so injured Slayers can easily ease off into semi-retirement as Sacrifice Pieces. Like the Sacrifice Piece, such a unit would be useful for High Elves, Dark Elves and Bretonnians.

Ideal Skills

Dauntless, Block, Wrestle, Tackle, +AV


Yet, as ever, this list is by no means exhaustive, and many specialised positions grow organically over the course of a team’s career, through the luck of level-ups, as much as through any intentions to generate a specific player.

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