Big Hand (Mutation)
One of the player’s hands has grown monstrously large, yet remained completely functional. The player ignores modifier(s) for enemy tackle zones or Pouring Rain weather when he attempts to pick up the ball.
In previous editions Big Hand allowed you to always pick up the ball on a 2+ roll, as there are now teams that can take mutation skills on normal rolls (Chaos, Choas Pact, Nurgle and Underworld), Big Hand got toned down a bit. Instead of it always being a 2+, Big Hand now only lets you ignore tackle zones on the ball when picking it up. For those AG4 players most of the time this won’t make any difference unless it is raining. For AG3 players, they now pick it up on a 3+ like normal, though typically the AG3 players taking Big Hand would usually either already have Sure Hands or take it as one of their next two upgrades.
The obvious benefit of Big Hand is retrieving the ball after it has been knocked loose but landed in the tackle zones of opposing players. Normally this would render the ball still safe (unless you could scatter it free by blocking a player onto the ball) but certain teams can go in and pick it up as if it was sitting in the open.
Of course the down side of this is that after you pick up the ball, you are going to be in opposing tackle zones, so either need to dodge out, pass the ball out, or hand the ball off. Different players will choose different options, with the hand off option being rather situational. High agility players will usually just dodge back out again assuming they were able to run in to pick it up, this shouldn’t be a problem. The same might also be true of AG3 players as well though obviously with a bit more risk. (AG2 players aren’t likely to be taking Big Hand.) If the player is a Thrower and they have Nerves of Steel then passing the ball out may be the best option, or depending on the players skills they may elect to just stay there and take the hit. If you can move team mates with Guard into the area as well then this may be the best option.
The other benefit that it can have is that if you have the threat of a Big Hand player who can run in and get the ball, then you may force the other team to try and pick the ball up first if it was them who knocked it loose and it fell in multiple zones of both teams. This may result in them failing and it bouncing into the hands of a team mate who catches it. This avoids the pick up roll entirely and puts you in a better position to secure the ball in your own turn more often than not.
- Able to pick up balls in heavy traffic
- Can force other teams to try the same pick up first
As usual with mutations there aren’t many teams who can take it as a skill upgrade. I would rule out Chaos Dwarfs entirely, they require doubles and there are far more useful options for them in that case. The other team that requires doubles for mutations is Skaven and there are a couple of good players to single out for Big Hand. The first is a defensive built Thrower, they already have Sure Hands so stand a good chance of picking it up and can also get Nerves of Steel easily if they don’t already have it. Another option is Gutter Runner as they have AG4 so can pick the ball up easily and also with Dodge can run away with it as well, perhaps even to safety with their high movement. They can also get Leap for the times there is no easy way to dodge into the square with the ball. If they just Leap into the ball square and pick it up using Big Hand, then dodging out there is usually a much easier route having to dodge into another tackle zone once or twice. It is also an option on one with Two heads as well as dodging through tackle zones is also child’s play for them.
It can be helpful on a Chaos Beastman built with the ball retrieval role in mind. Usually one who already has Extra Arms and Sure Hands, Dodge would be a bonus as would Two Heads, though without Block it may be wise to then give the ball to a team mate. The same can be done for Pestigors as well, though with only 4 on the team this might be somewhat of an extravagance. Chaos Pact would probably do the same thing for a Marauder and with passing skill access as well can again look to getting Nerves of Steel.
The last option is Underworld teams, a Goblin with Two Heads and Big Hand can run through tackle zones and go get ball and the run out again. The 2+ dodges ignoring tackle zones combined with picking it up on a 3+ (you may need a reroll) means they can get the ball from practically anywhere they have the movement to get at. Extra arms would make the pick up easier and Sure Feet gives them a bit more range as well. You could take it on one of the Underworld Throwers as well, though they can’t dodge out so well and even if you have the skills to pass the ball out as well, I’d rather not leave mine in tackle zones to get hit if I can’t score off it.