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Goblins

Blood Bowl Goblin
Goblins Overview:

Goblins are one of the cheapest players in the game and have a reputation of being sneaky, underhand and are well known for their love of weaponry. The basic Goblin is weak and and not very tough, though they do have some handy benefits as well. For their price they speed and agility is pretty good and with the skills Dodge and Stunty, they can get around the pitch fairly well most of the time. Their skill access is rather limited though so they aren’t the most flexible of players and it isn’t unusual for a Goblin to have a short life span anyway.

On the Blood Bowl pitch Goblins will have a variety of uses mostly in a more supportive role to their team mates than being a star on the team. Use them to prod the Trolls into doing what you want, getting assists, being a tackle zone, fouling or helping a foul and sometimes you may even do some blocking and possibly even scoring with them!

The fact Goblins are cheap means you can have a lot of them in reserve so getting sent off for fouling isn’t a bad thing and is often encouraged. It also helps that you can get cheap bribes for the team as well which points towards a more underhand play style of using fouls in combination with the various illegal weaponry they field.

All that being said though there are a few useful skill combinations available to Goblins which make them annoying to the other team, or more useful to your own team. Doubles can open up more possibilities, as do getting stat increase. If a Goblin has three skills without one or the other don’t be shy about being reckless with him, if they die it isn’t something to be upset about. You shouldn’t go over the top though and ideally you would prefer to keep all your Goblins out of contact with the other team, preferring to stand back and block off areas of the pitch.

Catching Goblin:

One of the builds that will be your most numerous due to the limited skill choice you get without rolling doubles. Catch to start off makes moving the ball around easier when you hand it off. It can also help get possession of the ball when it is bouncing around in scrums of players. Two shots at interception passes can be a game saver or winner as well. It also helps with Throw Team Mate attempts for those otherwise dead turns at the end of halves. Sure Feet and Sprint give them greater range for moving the ball around. Side Step makes it harder to pin them down and can also give you an extra square of movement in the opposing team’s turn. For doubles go for Block to keep them upright (early doubles go for other builds). +ST lets you hit a bit easier and makes them a bit harder to hit. An agility increase makes dodges and mobility really easy as well as handling the ball.

Defensive Goblin:

One of my favourite builds for a Goblin is to make them into a defensive nuisance , Side Step makes them great at marking players or blocking off running lanes. Diving Tackle combines really well for both of these roles as well. After that there aren’t many options for you Sure Feet can help you get them where is most useful and extra speed to the team. For doubles I can’t see past Block as it will keep them on their feet more. Stat wise +ST makes it harder for them to be blocked and +AG will let you easily get to where you want. It is especially useful if you want to get next to a ball carrier. If you get it early on though I would look towards another build.

Blitzing Goblin:

A very similar set up to the defensive build but if you get a double skill early then consider Wrestle. With Stunty you can get to the ball carrier easily and Wrestle will help you knock them over, even doing two dice against blocks. After that Side Step will keep you next to them if you don’t knock them over and Diving Tackle keeps them there unless they get knock you over. Try to stay away from Tackle players on the other team though. Obviously +ST helps for anyone who is doing blocking and may turn some of those blocks into an even one die. +AG makes it even easier to get there too.

Ball Retrieving / Handling Goblin:

Another option for a player if you get a double skill 1st or even better +AG is to turn them into a player who can go and get the ball. Sure Hands would be the choice if you get a double to reroll picking it up, you can also use them as a ball carrier then, getting Block if you rolled a second double. Getting an agility increase will let you dodge almost anywhere on a 2+ and also make picking the ball up easier as well. For normal skills you want to increase their range so you can move somewhere as safe as possible. Sure Feet and Sprint are your options for doing that.

Fouling Goblin:
  • Normal: Sneaky Git, Sure Feet
  • Doubles: Dirty Player
  • Stat Increase:

In the spirit of Goblin teams everywhere this guy fits in really well. You might want to wait for the double first as its harder to ensure you get one after taking Sneaky Git. It combos really well with Dirty Player and lets you foul without really worrying about getting plenty of assists in (though that is still good practice). If you skill up again then take Sure Feet to make getting to your target easier. Otherwise I would ignore any more skills to keep his value down, otherwise its just more value you are giving away when they do get sent off.

Goblin Summary:

Despite the limited skill access there are quite a few ways to go with a Goblin, the catching and defensive builds are the most common ones and what you will go for without getting doubles or a stat increase. Generally taking +MV or +AV is going to increase their team value more than its really worth, though the movement can come in handy on some players and you may consider it as the first skill increase. If you get doubles first then look to specialise, prioritising based on your personal preference of play style and what you feel the team needs the most of at the time. If you get +AG first then look to use them more for handling the ball while +ST would point to going down a more blitzing role.  If you can get a doubles on these guys then they can become really useful and may even be worth using your Apothecary on!

Goblins are a fun team but you can compete with them with a bit of practice, hopefully these builds will help you on the way. If you do happen to get any skilled up further than I’ve suggested then head over to the forums if you want some suggestions on where to go next.

23 Responses to Goblins

  1. Dalryk June 2, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    TV management is key with goblins.   You need bribes to maximise your fouling and secret weapon game, and if you can induce a 3rd (or 4th) Big Guy your chances are dramatically increased.
    On top of that, Agility skills on their own aren’t very good.  A goblin with 4 ordinary skills costs as much TV as 3 unskilled goblins, and isn’t substantially any more useful on the pitch.
    Combine these facts, and my preference (treasury permitting) is to fire any goblin that gets to level 3 without doubles or an +Ag upgrade.  +Av/Mv are never worth the TV cost, and even +St is too expensive to be worth it, unless the goblin already has Block/Wrestle.

  2. Meta June 4, 2010 at 12:01 am #

    Only reccently found the site. Was bemoaning the lack of an indepth Goblin discussion and then bosh, you post one.
    I’ve chosen Goblins more because my mate has nabbed my orc team and I can only paint green flesh. Was despairing with their squishy nature but reading your guide has given me lots of fresh ideas. Many thanks. I’m looking forward to the individual Goblin player guides! Keep up the good work.

  3. Juriel June 10, 2010 at 8:05 am #

    Yeah, pretty much. No doubles by lv3? Fire the bugger. Bribes and extra bodies are infinitely more useful to you.

  4. Lemonfly August 19, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    Intresting idea to juggle with the TV, quite intresting.

    I miss a skill very much here, which I prefer to speed up the team with: Jump up.

    In my opinion it’s of more use than Sure Feet mostly for the blitzing kind of Goblin.

  5. Coach August 19, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    Jump is an interesting alternative, though I prefer Sure Feet overall but there isn’t much in it. Sure Feet most of the time will get you those extra 2 squares of movement (though not always). Jump Up guarantees you an extra 3 squares so it is better in that regard.

    Jump Up only works when prone though and often if a Goblin gets knocked over they can get hurt more easily than most. Sure Feet will work even when they are already standing though increasing movement to possibly 8. Jump Up does have the extra option for blocking from prone, though Goblins low strength doesn’t mean that this is something you would take advantage of compared to a lot of other players who take it.

    So they both have their advantages over each other, hopefully that explanation will help people decide which one they would prefer. Thanks for bringing that suggestion up.

  6. danton August 20, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    I’ve seen Jump up used very effectively on Goblins that are thrown into the opponent’s backfield. This is especially useful if the opponent fails the pick-up from the kick-off. Even if the goblin fails the landing (the hardest part of a TTM play) he doesn’t lose any movement allowance as long as his armour isn’t broken in the fall.

  7. Tapo September 7, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    On defense I love to have one flying gobbo with Jump up as first skill. Every time the oposition leaves the ball alone far on the distance thanks to a turnover a Troll throws him far away, and if he doesn’t lands well but doesn’t fail the armour roll,… He goes quick to the ball and sometimes scores!!

  8. el chico loco September 14, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    Really useful stuff.
    Will you do skills/strategies on the other goblin types like loonies and pogoers?

    • Coach September 14, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

      Quick one until I cover them properly:

      Player – Normal / Double:
      Fanatic – Grab / Sure Feet or Block
      Bomber – Side Step / Hail Mary
      Looney – Side Step / Block
      Pogo – Sure Feet / Block

      Please don’t use this for discussion on the, if you want to do that before they are covered individually then start a thread on the forum please. This one is about the normal Goblins.

  9. Jenner September 27, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    Another point about Jump Up is that it makes your defence (i.e. Diving Tacklers) more mobile.

  10. Michael Dyer January 20, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    You said “(Catch) also helps with Throw Team Mate attempts for those otherwise dead turns at the end of halves.”

    How does Catch help with Throw Team Mate? I can see it used for the Hand Off to the ball carrier who will be thrown. Are you suggesting the thrown player can reroll his landing? I don’t think the rules support that. You have a vague reference to this in your Catch article as well. Please outline clearly what you mean.

  11. Coach January 20, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    You answered it yourself, it gives you a reroll for the Hand Off.

    • Coach D February 23, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

      Also helps to get more spp’s 🙂

  12. Michael Dyer January 20, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    That’s what I thought. There was some confusion over it in our gaming group. 😀 Thanks.

  13. Mico Selva October 28, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    I find having one +AV Goblin on the team very useful. His greater resillience makes him a good candidate for LoS duty, along with Trolls, when the team is unable to induce any help in this regard.

    He also makes a good living bullet for Trolls, both for ball retrieval from deep within opponent’s half (Blitz! event, failed pick-up, etc.), as for cage busting attempts. Giving him Jump Up on next level up makes him even more useful – usually I would not recommend it, but with AV8 this skill has some edge over Sure Feet.

    On a side note – You’re suggesting Side Step as a normal skill for Looney, Coach. Wouldn’t Dodge be more useful than that?

  14. Duffins November 11, 2011 at 1:19 am #

    Responce to a previous comment; I don’t think fanatics can use grab, also, why the hell wouldn’t you take mighty blow with the fanatic? I’d take block every single time over sure feet with fanatics. Their job is to hit stuff, and let’s face it, movement 4/5 (with sure feet btw) is good, but make every block count, I say. + Movement is awesome on fanatics too! (extra blocks! :O ). However, If you roll double 5 then I’d be tempted to take +movement over block because, if you think about it, there’s only 3 rolls (6 and 4 on different dice and double 5, of course) to get 10, whereas there’s 6 rolls to get a double (taking +str is mental as you’re gonna get at least 2 dice against EVERYONE except another fanatic or deathroller – never even attempted to throw a block at etiher, and I’ve played goblins tons of times) and then taking block as a double skill.

    And one other thing, I feel that fend is sometimes overlooked. Obviously I wouldn’t take it on the first roll, but it’s great for a scorer or receiver to have, especially when coupled with side-step. I have a goblin (named scruffy, after the janitor on Futurama 😉 ) who is level 4, with +agi, block and fend (extremely lucky skill ups) and he’s an absolute arsehole to take down. It’s also great for a bomber, though pass and accurate are just better overall. I don’t think you can hail mary a bomb either.

    Oh, and I don’t really like taking sure hands, just get a + agi gobbo (better yet, pogoer) and use the double for block so you can have a decent scrimmage goblin next to your troll(s). Or if you’re completely wacky (as you should be for choosing these lovable scamps to play as) then you could take hail mary pass, provided you have a diving catch goblin to throw into their half (and jump up as well would be nice, but it’ll be a jaunt to get a level 3 gobbo). I’ve scored once using this, though it
    was only a friendly. It just adds one more way of scoring a last ditch equalizer or to punish the opponent for not defending well enough!!

    Looneys, let’s face it probably won’t level up, but if they do then it’s dodge then sidestep or even jump up if your feeling lucky for his armor. Give him sneaky git and he’s a fairly reliable fouler, although you’ll want him to make blitz’ because you have 6,7,8 goblins to foul with and no one wants a chainsaw off after 1 turn. Doubles: block and stand firm. Stat ups are a bit of a luxury, because +move, + agi and + av are a bit bleh for him (he plays one drive and proabably makes one block/blitz unless you’re lucky) and + str… is he really worth 100k/100 TV?! Just pray you roll a stat up AFTER the first level up.

    Last note, everyone always passes their diving tackle dodge!!!!!! Aaarrrrrgggg!!!!

  15. Duffins November 11, 2011 at 1:27 am #

    I forgot to ask, is +str useful on a normal, previously unskilled goblin? I just rolled it and am debating whether or not to take it, and massively inflate my TV in doing so.

  16. Duffins November 12, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    Correction, +str gives +50k value not +60k. My bad 🙁

  17. smileynazgul April 25, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    just curious but can a troll hand off a gobo to another troll?

    • Coach April 25, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

      No that isn’t possible.

  18. erfolgsdiplomat August 12, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

    Hi coach and everybody,
    i was browsing the strategy guides for different players and noticed that there is nothing specific about Trolls in Goblin teams. I wonder what Skill Ups people would suggest here, as a Goblin team lacks quite a lot of what Orcs can bring to the game. I guess Guard is still not the worst, but it seems like Break Tackle might add more to a Gobbogame?
    What you think? And maybe will there be a section for Goblinteamm Trolls one day?
    diplo

    • Coach August 12, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

      There should be a guide for them some day but I can’t give a time scale. In the mean time I suggest looking on the forum and creating a thread if you can’t find any suitable answers. Good Luck!

    • Street August 12, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

      Well having some experience with Goblins myself I normally go for:

      Normal: Break Tackle, Guard/Standfirm, Standfirm/Guard, Strong arm
      Doubles: Pro/Block, Block/Pro

      Stats:+MA if quite developed and not already considered too much bloat, +ST if you already have all the doubles you want(Unlikely)

      However, if a troll gets to 31spp without any doubles then generally I will sack them the moment the 60k TV I save replacing them has a huge impact on inducements, quite often even at 16+SPP if the 40K TV makes a difference as well.

      The other option is a dedicated throwing troll by giving one Strong arm earlier as either first or second skill, but id only do this in a league setting where you know you won’t be able to induce Ripper and/or Morg very often / at all as they are better TTM options due to lack of really stupid or always hungry rolls.

      Also reason for the skill orders, I find break tackle helps more than guard for the most part on Goblin trolls as you don’t have the luxury of just using them as roadblocks all game and sometimes need to reposition them. Also the amount of times I have used break tackle for a 50% chance to cage break and it gets the ball loose for me has been amazing.

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