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Chaos Dwarf Blockers

Blood Bowl Chaos Dwarf Blocker

Chaos Dwarf Blockers Overview:

For years the Blockers on the Chaos Dwarf team were identical to their kin on the Dwarf team. Recently though they gained access to Mutations harking back to even earlier editions of the rules and to make them a bit more “Chaotic” then their brethren. Generally their role on the pitch doesn’t really differ a great degree even though their team mates are vastly different. Their stat line of being slow, but well armoured with low agility means they are pretty much only going to be used for marking and hitting things unless a drive takes an unexpected turn. Being Dwarves they have Thick Skull which combined with their high armour keeps them on the pitch quite a lot. Starting with Block and Tackle means they can block with success more often than not and strength skill access on normal skills gives them a great selection to go hand in hand with that. Mutation access really has just given them the ability to get Claw with none of the others being overly useful for their job demands.

Given their low agility though they can suffer from slow development, but at least starting with Block and Tackle can go a little way to mitigating that issue. They also have a reasonable cost and along with cheap team mates you will usually see any Chaos Dwarf team with the maximum allowed six Chaos Dwarf Blockers on their roster.

Standard Chaos Dwarf Blocker:

  • Normal: Guard, Mighty Blow, Stand Firm, Pro / Piling On / Dauntless / Grab
  • Doubles: Claw
  • Stat Increase: +ST +MV

I personally find there isn’t really a massive amount of leeway or difference in the development of your Chaos Dwarf Blockers. I would recommend to always start off with Guard as their first normal skill, the only time I wouldn’t is if you have a team that already has a lot of Guard on it. You will be going up against a lot of stronger teams where it will help you get one die blocks and some two die blocks (backed up by your Block skill) and make it harder for them to get two die blocks. Against other similar strength or weaker teams, then Guard will let you dominate the blocking game. After that I would follow up with Mighty Blow which will help remove players off the pitch and also aid in their development. I’ve experimented with Mighty Blow before Guard but the massive decrease in two dice blocks you can get is more detrimental than the benefits of +1 to AV or injury rolls. For a third skill I would get Stand Firm, it helps keep your Guard players exactly where you want them, means you can’t be pushed away from players you are marking and helps control space on the pitch, especially near the sidelines.

At this point you start to run out of really great skills to take and I’d be more than happy to have a team with six built up exactly this way. Some however may reach more skills and I’ve found Pro to be the best fit. It allows you to get a free 50 50 chance of rerolling unsuccessful blocks without wasting your team rerolls. I would still use a team reroll on double skulls though, unless the risk of turnover isn’t critical, I just try it for double pushbacks or pushback skull results etc. Pro can also give you better odds at catching bouncing balls, intercepting and some other agility rolls when you are out of rerolls, like gfi and dare I suggest it, dodges. Some coaches may take Piling On in order to reroll injury rolls, I may consider this on a couple but I like to keep my slow players upright, especially with the other skills they have. Dauntless is another to consider on a couple, especially if your league has a lot of stronger bash teams. Grab could also be of some use, though I’ve yet to personally play a Chaos Dwarf team since it was added. Other options like Fend, Frenzy, Juggernaut don’t really have as great a benefit and I can’t see me selecting these.

For doubles I think most coaches now are going to obviously take Claw, the only real argument against it would be if you are facing a lot of AV7 teams where it is useless. A couple of alternatives to perhaps consider would be Dodge if not facing much Tackle (Block, Dodge, Guard and Stand Firm is a horrible combo to play against and makes them excellent at marking Big Guys), or Side Step if you don’t yet have Stand Firm. Tentacles could be annoying but it is really better on stronger players, so give it more thought if your player also got a strength increase. Prehensile Tail may also be useful if facing a lot of agile teams too.

As far as stat increases are concerned you really are just hoping to get a strength increase though they can be developed to really great players without any stat increases and will also be less team value. Later in development I would also perhaps take a movement increase. In a new team without many skills though your priority will be getting Guard so I would pass it up unless you are happy to take a short term hit for some perhaps more potential long term gain. I’m not convinced there is a massive gain to be had though as they tend to spend most of their team in contact with opposing players and not doing much in the way of movement. An agility increase may be helpful on a rare occasion but not enough for it to be useful and while getting AV10 would be nice, there are skills that are going to be a bigger help overall, especially if you play a lot of Claw teams.

Killer Chaos Dwarf Blocker:

  • Normal: Mighty Blow, Piling On, Dauntless / Frenzy / Stand Firm, Guard
  • Doubles: Claw
  • Stat Increase: +ST
Since they have gained access to Mutations on doubles a specialist killer role has become more common. I would usually only go for this on a player who gets a double as their first skill or second after a stat increase. Follow it up with Mighty Blow and Piling On and they are pretty much at their optimum. A lot of higher armoured opponents are also fairly strong so if they keep getting SPP from casualties then consider Dauntless next. Frenzy may also be good though be careful against the stronger sides. Stand Firm also has some merit as it should mean you are in base contact more often so can get more blocks in. If they keep on developing then taking Guard can never be a mistake in my opinion.

Chaos Dwarf Blocker Summary:

Chaos Dwarf Blockers make up the core of any Chaos Dwarf side, there is nothing fancy or complicated really in their development and they are very good players for the roles they typically perform. I can not stress enough though that you need to get Guard as quickly as possible on nearly all of them. Success can be had mixing it with Mighty Blow, but going Mighty Blow all out first skill on all of them just isn’t as effective, if you only take one thing from this article let it be that.

Another outside skill I didn’t go into is perhaps taking Pass Block on one, especially in pass happy leagues. Even if it just gets one of your players next to one of theirs and doesn’t really affect the passing play, that may mean another block in your next turn and perhaps the removal of an opposing player. Given the lack of passing in most games though it is of very marginal use and should be considered as a late option at best.

If you wanted to play around a bit more with Mutations, then a late double may mean Foul Appearance should be considered. Combined with Block, Guard and Stand Firm, you could have a very hard to shift and annoying player. If you get Dodge as well then expect a lot of opposing players cursing at him and it may even end up having the result that they don’t target him at all, preferring perhaps an easier to shift player. You’ve a lot of small ways to tailor your team once you start getting into the 4th skill and beyond, but for the first three don’t be surprised if every Chaos Dwarf you see has pretty much an identical skillset across teams.

9 Responses to Chaos Dwarf Blockers

  1. McGuirk August 26, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    Nice write up Coach. I’d really like to give the Chaos Dwarves a shot at some point.

    Perhaps a little surprising not to see Disturbing Presence get a look in. Of course, they’re not especially mobile players, but with Stand Firm they can be stubborn to shift and it could give a lot of agility teams a real headache. I suppose the problem is though that you need to stack it on a few players to get coverage on the field and what doubles you are lucky enough to get may well be better spent elsewhere.

  2. Coach August 26, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    I considered it when mentioning Foul Appearance and perhaps I should have mentioned why I wouldn’t take it. Passing isn’t overly common in games, though it could help with a bouncing ball in a scrum, but generally a Chaos Dwarf is going to get hit far more often than they would be near someone to disrupt a pass. Disturbing Presence is going to be of very marginal use for them, especially as a double skill. I think there are too many better alternatives to ever really consider it.

    The only time it could be worth having is if you are the only bashing team in a league full of Elves, but even then Prehensile Tail and Diving Tackle may be more useful. If anything I should have given more thought to Diving Tackle…

  3. Doover August 28, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    You could also consider Diving Tackle with a Double (maybe after taking Claw) and only use it if it´s enough to bring your opponent down.
    Normally I don´t like D-Tackle on a MV 4 player but with Tackle the only thing that can help against it are Team Re-Rolls (or Pro). Your MV of 4 is enough to get up again and put your just dropped opponent into your TZ again.
    If you are really lucky and get a ST+1 Blocker you could also consider tacking Break Tackle. You can make a 2+ Dodge then and suprise quite a lot of opponents.

  4. Vusfnuv August 28, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    In fact I find disturbing presence quite good vs bashers as well. If you manage to mark the ballcarrier and also to apply one or two disturbing presence auras on the cage corners, your opponent will have to think twice if he really want to try a handoff. This is the method I try to use by my Nurgle team to apply pressure on the case. Even better if your marker has a standfirms and prehensive tail or tentackles, which will also make dodging the ballcarrier away harder.

    Sure, it’s much easier to do with Nurgle due to built-in disturbing presence and natural mutation access, but may be it can still be applied for Chaos Dwarfs as well if they are lucky to roll a second double?

  5. Dr Rudolf von Richten September 1, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

    Finally! It’s great to seem my favorite team’s players being discussed here. Would there be any sense in taking Horns if you ever get a second double (first being for Claw, obviously)?

    • Coach September 1, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

      Depends if you are going to do much blitzing with him. I do most of mine with the Minotaur or the Bull Centaurs which makes Horns useless. I would get far more use out of either Dodge, Diving Tackle or Prehensile Tail.

  6. Peter October 4, 2011 at 12:47 am #

    I don’t think horns would be an early choice, chaos dwarves don’t have the movement to regularly be in a position to blitz with them. I guess you could make a case for it if you use bull centaurs as ball carriers, but I think that isnt getting the most out of them.

    You can always bring up an assist if you need to.

    My take on chaos dwarves is they are there to control the line of scrimmage, to hit and be hit and allow your other players to do their thing better. Most of the blitzing tends to be done by the bull centaurs or minotaurs.

    If I did get a second mutation, personally I would be inclined to take foul appearance. Chaos dwarfs should be the target of blocks, this will potentially frustrate your opponent and help keep your player on his feet. It never hurts to make your opponent have to make additional dice rolls.

  7. Big Pete October 6, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

    I do like foul appearance as a mutation for chaos dwarf blockers. Nullifying blocks and forcing more die rolls for your opponent to do what he wants to do is always useful.

    The way I play, the chaos dwarves should always be in the thick of everything. Their job is to hit and also to be hit; they are enablers, allowing other players to make plays.

    Foul appearance is very under rated, but can be very useful. Hopefully coach will do an article on it sometime.

    I am not sure I would take foul appearance over claw on chaos dwarf blockers, but I would at least consider it.

  8. Metalsvinet October 20, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    Could see the use of grab on a killer dwarf after claw, mb, pion. That way you can kinda cancel fend and sidestep and also net you more blocks. Have not tried it myself yet, but have a claw, mb, pion guy getting close to the fourth skill.

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