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Chaos Dwarf Bull Centaurs

Blood Bowl Chaos Dwarf Bull Centaur

Chaos Dwarf Bull Centaurs Overview:

Bull Centaurs are one of the best players in the game of Blood Bowl, let alone on the Chaos Dwarf team. This is reflected by their high price, they are the most expensive non Loner player or 0-1 positional player in the game. They are faster than their average movement suggests thanks to starting with both Sprint and Sure Feet, they are strong and highly armoured and being Dwarfish they also have Thick Skull, so getting them from the pitch is no easy task. With General and Strength skill access they can become very formidable players. Apart from the high cost their only other downsides are the below average agility and the lack of core starting skills. Thankfully the higher cost is offset by the rest of the team being fairly cheap.

Another thing that sets Bull Centaurs apart from other players is that they are perhaps the single biggest player that coaches will disagree on how they should be utilised on a team. It basically all boils down to if you feel you should use them as your main ball carrier or not. There are valid arguments both ways so I will try and outline both and let you make up your own mind how to use yours.

The Chaos Dwarf Bull Centaur Ball Carrier Conundrum:

The Argument for it:

There are two main reasons for using a Bull Centaur as your ball carrier and that is that they are your fastest players and also they are strong. If they are sat in the middle of a cage they are going to be very tough for the other team to get the ball off them. Their higher strength also means they can blitz away easier if the situation calls for it. Also those times that the ball carrier needs to make those go for its to get out of trouble, they come with the in built skill reroll to aid that.

These attributes mean Chaos Dwarfs are the only other team apart from Vampires that are likely to choose a ST4 rookie player to be their main ball carrier. From time to time you may see Saurus or Black Orcs used but that is usually to try and feed them SPP rather than because they feel they are best suited to the role. Due to the rarity of such players, many coaches are often not that prepared to deal with them which can be to your advantage.

Development of Bull Centaurs can also be on the slow side if all you do is bash with them, so using them as your offensive ball carrier will get them more touchdowns and aid in generating SPP and more skills for them.

The Argument against it:

While there are some good points for developing them as your ball carrier I think there are more reasons against it. There is a fair amount of overlap in skills anyway it really boils down to if you are going to give them Sure Hands or not.

Most teams will look to use their most agile players as the ball carrier as they are better at ball handling and moving around. For Chaos Dwarfs that would be a Hobgoblin, sure when you factor in a Bull Centaur with break tackle can dodge easier and they are a bit faster there isn’t a lot in it. Hobgoblins are also weaker but that usually doesn’t matter if you are successful in avoiding your ball carrier taking hits (which you should be!) When they are nice and snug inside a cage the strength of your ball carrier doesn’t matter if they can’t hit him. Some players can use Leap to get into the cage easily but they will then often be facing a lot of hits from Guard, Block and Tackle players and then perhaps a foul after for good measure. You somewhat make your Hobgoblins a bit redundant taking the ball carrying role away and leave them mostly for fouling and getting the odd assist. Hobgoblins also only have general skill access. Their skill choices are limited and Sure Hands is usually one they will consider, though you wouldn’t take it if you have it on your Bull Centaurs. The Bull Centaurs on the other hand have a lot of great skills to pick from that you are passing up if you take Sure Hands.

However the advantage of using a Hobgoblin instead of a Bull Centaur for your ball carrier is that then frees up your Bull Centaur to do other things. Another reason other teams don’t tend to use their ST4 players to carry the ball is that they are better at hitting and protecting another player who is carrying the ball. Compared to most other bash orientated teams Chaos Dwarfs are one of the weakest ST wise, so hiding one of your two possible ST4 players inside a cage doesn’t help in the hitting game. If one of your Bull Centaurs is inside the cage, that means you have  a Hobgoblin outside the cage to do the job of protection and helping advance the cage. There isn’t much between using either of them as the ball carrier, but a Bull Centaur is by far more useful on the outside of a cage. It is harder for the other team to deal with a ST player on defence than a ST3 one, especially when the weaker player is also only AV7! So not only would a Hobgoblin be easier for them to hit, they can’t get easy access to Guard and other strength skills but they are much easier for the other team to injure and start to get a numerical advantage. If the other team is already stronger, giving up the numbers to them will make life harder for you.

Bull Centaurs are one of the best blitzing players in the game with their movement and strength, especially when they get more developed. Taking skills to aid them in being a ball carrier means you are sacrificing a skill that would make them even better Blitzers. I  don’t understand why someone would do this when you have an alternative player who can carry the ball with just as much success. When you also consider that they don’t start with any core skills you are limiting the effectiveness of your blitzing opportunities. The first two skills are generally going to be Block and Break Tackle (in either order) and the more skills a player has the longer it takes to get the next one, delaying the blitzing skills in favour of Sure Hands is something you should consider.

They can also become a SPP hog if you go this route as you will rarely do much scoring with anyone else. If you are also doing most of your blitzing with them too, then other players may suffer from slow development instead. A team built with Bull Centaurs primarily carrying the ball may struggle to ever get any skills on their Hobgoblins making them juicy targets on the pitch for the opposition.

Even if you don’t build them towards being your primary ball carrier, they can still do the job on any given drive if you feel tactically it is to your advantage. The main reasons to take Sure Hands would be that it helps counter their low agility when it comes to picking the ball up, saving your pricey rerolls for the rest of the drive. It also negates Strip Ball, though it isn’t a commonly taken skill these days apart from Wood Elves and a couple of other races. Depending on the teams in your league this may not be a concern at all. A Bull Centaur can often pick up touchdowns from defensive drives much like other players who blitz the ball carrier of the opposition. If you knock them down and get the ball loose they may your only player in range to attempt a pick up. If they succeed it can then often lead to a touchdown your next turn, or if you don’t you still then have a ST4 player stood next to the ball that they have to deal with.

There will also be offensive drives where you whittle the numbers on the other team down that you may decide to try and do a hand off to the Bull Centaur in order to feed them some SPP to aid their development. This situation will occur far more frequently if you have the Bull Centaurs outside the cage with an extra blocking orientated skill, rather than sitting inside it with a ball handling skill. Even if you get an AG3 Bull Centaur, I don’t think that changes the arguments much as you still would be taking one of your strongest players away from a role they are better suited for than their team mates.

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32 Responses to Chaos Dwarf Bull Centaurs

  1. Doover August 31, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    For the Ball Carrier I think Grab would also be a good idea later.
    That way you can put player out of your way after blitzing them and you counter side step which can stop you singlehanded because you can use breacktackle just once.

  2. Coach August 31, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    Grab only cancels Side Step when blitzing, you can’t push them to any square you like, it only works like that when doing a block. Being able to cancel Side Step though is still a useful ability to have when blitzing for the end zone.

  3. Dr Rudolf von Richten September 1, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    I love Bull Centaurs, but they do have some issues.

    One of the being that they desperately need that first skill, but with no Block skill blocking with them is somewhat risky even with 2 dice and with Ag 2 the whole ‘ball carrying’ (and therefore, scoring) also carries too great a chance of failure. 4+ with reroll (for pickup or catch) is 25% chance of failure. So it’s hard to get those SPP’s in, initially anyway.

    Another thing is this: their main feature is the combination of strength and speed, but since the rest of the team either can’t match that speed (the CD’s) or is not tough enough to withstand serious punishment (The Hobbo’s), actually using this feature often leaves them isolated and easily outnumbered.

    Also, one tip, for their first two skills stick to the plan of Block, Break Tackle even if you roll a double or Ability increase (except Strength); I rolled a double on the first skill for both of them, took Dodge, and found that it doesn’t really help much. Oh well, you live you learn.

  4. Gerard September 2, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    I’ve just purchased Greebo’s awesome new Chaos Dwarf team so I’m looking forward to giving these guys a go!

    I’m thinking Break Tackle as first skill up rather than Block, for two reasons. 1) Your team isn’t short of starting Block. 2) With only AG 2 that potential MV 9 can be easily negated by man marking him up.

    Also taking Break Tackle first works for both a blitzer build and a ball carrier build meaning you don’t have to commit either way.

  5. Coach September 2, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    Sound logic there Gerard.

    Be sure to post pics of your painted team on the forum when you’ve finished them. Great looking minis though yet to see them painted up!

  6. Dr Rudolf von Richten September 2, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    Hmm the Greebo team dosn’t look bad, but I prefer the ‘old skool’ mad hatters :p

    Anyawy a question: if a player has Break Tackle and makes a Dodge, do you have to declare the use of the Break Tackle skill before making the roll, or can you see what you rolled and whether you need it for this dodge or not (and thus can use it on a subsequent Dodge roll)?

  7. Coach September 2, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    Every skill in the game, you roll first and decide skill use afterwards.

  8. Dr Rudolf von Richten September 2, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Ok, thanks a lot! That makes BT a better skill than I thought.

  9. Wedge22 September 7, 2011 at 11:42 pm #

    I have just started out a CD Team in our League, Thunderbowl, won my 1st two games, lost the 3rd. 1 Centaur is close to his first skill and its likely to be Block and then the other will get Break Tackle. I am doing the same with the dwarves, Guard on one MB on the other, just alternating until they are all skilled unless I roll doubles for Claw or a +ST.

  10. TalonBay September 21, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    No mention of mutations as skill choices? I’d have thought these guys would love Claw!

    • Coach September 21, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

      There are too many other skills they can take that in my opinion are more useful, there are many players you will be blitzing with them who already only have AV7. That and there is the fact that they can’t get Mutations! Only the Blockers and the Minotaur can get them on a Chaos Dwarf team.

  11. Big Pete October 14, 2011 at 12:57 am #

    Hi Coach

    What skills do you suggest for Hobgoblins?

    It seems like there are quite a lot of directions you can take them.

    Are you doing an article for them anytime soon?

  12. Keggiemckill October 20, 2011 at 6:21 am #

    I like to change it up a bit with hobgoblins. The first skill I take and I feel the most important is kick. Wait, wait hold on the nah sayers. Let me explain. I like to set up an offensive hob and a defensive hob. The other 3 go on the line of scrimmage on Defense. I play with no minotaur.
    So why kick? Well apart from the bull centaurs the team is very slow. Most of my TDs are scored defensively. I like to place a kick as far back as possible, hopefully in a corner, and then force the play with my bulls. On this basis I never gear a BC offensively. I’ll list the first non double skills on all players below.

    CDs always guard first. I want to keep my TV as low as possible. One skill is enough for the time being. It’s harder to play against 6 guarded CDs than 6 MBs.

    BCs I take block or break tackle. Depends on my schedule and team development at the time.

    Hobgoblins I start the first player with kick, then block. He will. Be my defensive player. The next several players get sure hands. I hate using Rerolls on pick ups.

    Everyone assumes that Hobs die easily. Not so. When you have 6 guard CDs, most teams need to use 7 players to counteract them. Having 2 Bulls also bring attention away from the good Hobs. They go unnoticed most of the time. That is where they succeed with fouls and as safety’s. I send the bulks down field to pressure the ball carrier and then use a Hob or 2 to hold the fort.

  13. Phunbaba November 24, 2011 at 12:46 am #

    I think you misread/misremember how grab works. When I read through it grab cancels sidestep on both block and blitz. Other bit about block and not blitz getting to pick any open square is right though.

    • Coach November 24, 2011 at 12:52 am #

      No, perhaps what I wrote wasn’t clear, when Blitzing the only use for Grab is to cancel Side Step. Grab also lets you pick the square to push back into when used on a normal block, or it cancels Side Step.

  14. Scott May 13, 2012 at 6:19 am #

    I think Centaurs make good ball carriers IF they get an ag upgrade in their first two skills.

    Why? Strength and Speed.

    The Strength means he is harder to take down and can defend himself more effectively.

    I think there has been some underestimation of the value of speed on your ball carrier though. No, the rest of the team can’t keep up with him, but it allows latter movement and the use of screens. Most importantly it means you only have to get within 9 squares of the endzone to score.

    • Therion November 5, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

      I like to use Bull Centaurs as surprise ball carriers when the occasion arises. It’s always risky that way, given that I opt to level them as heavy hitters. But in situations where should a ball not be able to make it to the TD line in time or an enemy ball carrier is in range for a blitz knockdown/pickup/score or perhaps when a hob carrier was knocked down I will (ab)use their amazing movement and strength.

      I do tend to specialise a bit too much for this to be more than a lucky shot.. they really need sure hands/+AG to make it a bit more reliable.

  15. Void June 13, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    You’ve forgotten in the article the most popular plausible ST4 ball carrier – Chaos Warrior.

  16. Juriel June 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    Using Bull Centaur as a ball-carrier is like using a Saurus as one…

    While you can make it work, it would be more useful to have that extra Strength working on moving your offense ahead, not wasted behind a cage/screen. You shouldn’t expect to be letting your ball-carrier be getting hit in the first place (barring Slann/Woodie opponents).

  17. Rien June 24, 2012 at 6:32 am #

    You don’t need that many skills to make a Centaur a ball carrier that wouldn’t also work for a blitzer. Sure hands and … +1 Agility would be the only pretty specific ball carrier skills.

    Otherwise, block, break tackle, even dodge are all skills you’d want on a blitzer too.

    I’d give Sure hands to both a centaur and a hobo and leave both in the back field.

    You should always have a player in the backfield anyway to protect the ball in case of a failed pick up, so just use either the centaur or the hob goblin depending on your opponent.

    • Coach June 24, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

      While true, it also means you have passed up on Tackle, Guard, Stand Firm, Juggernaut, Mighty Blow or something else. All of which are in my opinion more useful for a Bull Centaur, especially as Hobgoblins carry the ball just as well and don’t have a lot of useful alternative skills they can easily take.

  18. BIg Pete June 6, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Interestingly, none of the sample builds list guard as a skill option.

    While not a skill I would look at early, I would consider it from the 3rd skill, it helps you win the blocking battle.

    • Street June 6, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

      Considering you are likely to have block on all 6 of the chaos dwarfs, it certainly isn’t something id consider on the bulls until more like 4th or 5th skill.

      There isn’t much to take on the chaos dwarfs themselves so they are likely to all go mightyblow / guard or guard / mightyblow for first 2 skills.

  19. timdog April 10, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

    Just wanted to chime in – i love my ball carrying bull. He’s extra special though – +2MA, block, sure hands, Break tackle I did a successfull 1TTD with him the other day. Can’t tell you how good that felt 🙂

    I’ve lost 1 game out of about 34 due to him failing to pickup the ball too many times in a row, so I can deal with that. I use the other bull as my blitzer, and having this guy able to score from almost mid-field really makes it easy for me to score in 1-2 turns, where most CD’s have issues.

    Anytime i have to carry with a hob, he’s a) slower b) easier to de-pitch and c) just too easy to get the ball free from. That str4 in the middle of a cage who also can dodge away on a 2+ thanks to BT is simply so much safer than carrying with a hob. I will always build one to be the carrier!

  20. timdog April 10, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

    Oh and i highly advise starting with BT before any other skill. Once you have BT on these guys, they can get anywhere you want due to thier high speed and ability to both dodge and blitz free as needed. You can live without block because you don’t need rerolls for the other guys you are blocking with (the dwarves) and thier tough armor and thick skull makes it OK to fail and get knocked down from time to time 🙂

  21. timdog June 24, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

    I have a brand new bull centaur that just rolled doubles. Oy! I hate to waste doubles, but i also hate delaying getting those key skills that let them do their job i.e. sure hands, block, break tackle for the ball handler and block, mb, tackle and bt for the killer.
    Add to this that this team is now being “parked” and i may never play it again, so this bull may be going to a new home (OFL, our players can go into Free Agency and be picked up by other teams if we allow it, which i think i will) i have NO idea what to do with this guy. Suggestions? To try and be clear, this guy would be essentially starting on a new team with whatever I choose, and it may or may not be my team.

    • Coach June 24, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

      If he’s going on another team then pick something useless, like Sure Hands! 🙂

      I wouldn’t really worry about it if you aren’t continuing with the team.

      • Osp June 28, 2014 at 3:01 am #

        Since it’s a throw-away skill I would have gone with Leap and see if anyone had the panache to recruit him.

  22. timdog June 25, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

    snicker, bad coach, bad! I loves me some sure hands, had the best 2AG ball handler in the game up till a single rat stomp ended that run sadly 🙁 He picked up the ball and ran in 2 tds in the rain in one half one game. ag2 isn’t a big problem lol

    I ended up giving this guy jump up – for a ballhandler, it lets him pop back up and possibly grab the ball when it gets popped free, and for a killer build it lets him still have his full range of blitz movement from the ground. and its not that bad a shot at jumping right up and popping someone in the face when knocked down if you need the blitz elsewhere 🙂

  23. JJape September 23, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    Would it make sense to give one of your bulls wrestle? Build would be:
    Normal: Break Tackle, Wrestle, Tackle, Mighty Blow
    Double: Jump Up

    I know ending your turn on ground risks some fouling, but it would make some interesting uses:
    A) Very mobile and dangerous ball-sacker
    B) Co-working with Dirty-player hobgoblin to effectively remove annoying blodge-recievers (Elves, Gutter Runners)
    C) Reliably removing critical players (blodge-sidesteppers) from critical positions (i.e.next your ball-handler).

    • Coach September 23, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

      I can’t fault your reasoning, though your Centaurs are big foul targets if they go prone. Thankfully they have good armour and you can usually mitigate space for fouling assists. The type of players you’ve identified as targets for Wrestle also tend to be low strength and Chaos Dwarf teams can usually get assists when they need them, so I would think most of the time you could use a Hobgoblin with Wrestle. The other factor is that having your strongest players upright on the pitch will cause other teams more problems during their own turn.

      All that said though, I can see merit in Wrestle on a Centaur so by all means give it a go and report back you thoughts.

      • JJape September 23, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

        Thanks for the answer: the low strength of targeted players is a good point, STR4 is kinda of a waste here. The movement might be useful, but maybe wiser just build more than one hobbo with wrestle (although in optimum situations, you are not fielding many of hobgoblins at time).

        I will probably be starting one centaur with block and other with break tackle, and later see if I will take wrestle or block for the latter. Better see how hobgoblins level up (how much, and any str-increases) before deciding the worth of using dedicating one bull for this purpose.

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