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Human Catchers

Blood Bowl Human Catcher
Human Catcher Overview:

There are different schools of thought on the Human Catchers, some coaches think they are rubbish, being low strength and low armour, others find them really useful, with high movement and Dodge. There are others who have some middle ground who will utilise a couple. It is my opinion they are valuable players on the team and add the versatility of the Human roster.

The high movement can be really useful for both outrunning the opposing team with the ball or moving around the pitch to provide an assist where needed or switch the play from one side of the pitch to the other. The fact they have Dodge as well gives you someone who is more reliable at getting away when all your players are marked without having to use a team reroll in most situations. The Catch skill combines well for when you needed to get the ball away as a target who will be less likely to drop the pass or handoff. This can be especially useful if you pass to one catcher who runs away to handoff to another one and the ball can travel a long way down the pitch in one turn with less risk than trying a long pass.

Early on with less teams having Tackle can also help keep them on their feet against stronger opposition. They can be useful to mark up ST4 players who don’t have Block as well, though you do need to consider his lower armour vs the lower chance of him getting knocked down. So moving onto skill builds, I rarely build one dedicated to scoring, as they have the skills to do that out of the gate and they can always be considered a scoring outlet.

Mobile Tackle Zone/Assist:
  • Normal: Block, Side Step, Diving Tackle/Tackle, Shadowing
  • Doubles: Guard
  • Stat Increase: Any

Block and Side Step are always usually the first two skills that I traditionally have recommended for Human Catchers before new skills came in. This gives them the great Block and Dodge combination to keep them on their feet and makes them a bit better at blitzing blockless Throwers who are sitting deep. Side Step is a great skill for both offence and defence. Offensively you can move to squares that will let you dodge out into the open in your own turn, or let you sit on the sideline which can let them move a bit further away from potential blitzes if they made a break away with the ball.

For Defence you can mark a lot of different player types. The other team can’t block you away from the person you are marking easily, making it harder for them to catch a ball and forcing them to dodge away. Or you can tie up a potential blitzer, forcing them to dodge or have to do goforits to run around you. Another option is that it lets you move and stay as a potential assist, or cancelling assits and also really getting in the way and slowing down the progress of a cage. Diving Tackle/Tackle and then perhaps Shadowing will really tie whoever you are marking up.

Guard is great on Doubles as Humans can never get enough and you can really go and assist in a more effective manner. For stats +ST is fantastic as it brings them up to the average ST3 and makes them harder to block and will get them in a position where they can make more blocks in their favour. Agility increase lets you move around the pitch really well and increases your scoring threat. For the roll of a 10 I’d probably take guard on doubles, otherwise the extra movement combines really well with Shadowing, cover even more of the pitch and again help with scoring, or +AV will increase their resilience.

Blitzing Catcher:
  • Normal: Wrestle, Dauntless/Tackle/Stripball, Side Step, Diving Tackle
  • Doubles: Guard
  • Stat Increase: Any

Since Wrestle was added you will see a lot more players built as Blitzers who aren’t actually the Blitzer positions. This isn’t a new thing though, but since taking Wrestle on someone who has Block already is rather redundant, it becomes more attractive to build up a different player starting with Wrestle. The fact they are fast and start with Dodge as well really means you can get at players in the backfield if you kick deep.  The speed also possibly means you can get a team mate there as well to get an assist for a one die blitz at times. Dauntless makes a nice second skill and can make the difference in turning a blitz into your favour, it also gives you some more options when playing against stronger teams as well. Combine with Stripball then even if you have to do a two dice blitz in their favour you can still have a good chance of getting the ball, especially against players without Sure Hands.

Past that Side Step is great for the times you don’t get them over to keep a tackle zone on them and keeps them useful as the above build as well. The same goes with taking Guard and the same applies to all the stat increases as well.

Fast Scorer:
  • Normal: Sure Feet, Sprint, Diving Catch
  • Doubles: Nerves of Steel
  • Stat Increase: +AG, +MV, +ST

This is probably the build you will see most rookie coaches start to build. Catchers appear to be fast moving scoring players, throw it to them and they go score. Which on first appearance makes a lot of sense. The trouble with this is they will hog a lot of the SPP and skill up quickly while the rest of the team doesn’t. Then when they get killed your team drops in a lot of value and becomes a lot worse. The above players are more useful to the team as a whole and will also be more resilient with either Block or Wrestle.

If you still want to go this route though, Sure Feet lets them move those extra squares with more certainty, then Sprint gets you one extra square and Diving Catch will let you catch a few more balls and with the pending rule changes let you catch accurate passes better as well. Nerves of Steel on a doubles make it much harder to prevent him receiving the ball. Agility increases help with catching as well as dodging past players you need to, movement lets you get to the end zone quicker and away from opponents and the strength helps should you need to blitz someone out the way with him.

Human Catcher Summary:

Those are the three main ways of using catchers and they are relatively cheap players. They can be fragile and you may need to learn to be careful with them. However they are fairly easy to skill up but you do have to be aware that they aren’t hogging all the scoring. Learn to use them well and they can be a great asset to your side and a real pain to the opponents. One other question is if you start the team with them initially which I will cover in the starting rosters section. For here though, you may want to start without them as they are fragile and can hog the points but they are good earlier on with less tackle and block about.

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15 Responses to Human Catchers

  1. SamZ January 2, 2010 at 7:14 am #

    Just wondering Coach, if You are trying to spread the SPPs around, who on the human team can score consistently

    • Coach January 2, 2010 at 8:30 am #

      Typically I will start the team without any Catchers. This means the Thrower will pick the ball up and run it all the way for a touchdown while sat in a cage. If you can’t manage that then handing off or doing a quick pass to a team mate, which is usually a Blitzer, but may be a Lineman, can go and score. After you start to get catchers, then typically the Catchers and Blitzers will perhaps do most of the scoring, though the Thrower can still run it in a cage as well. No hard and fast rule to it, mostly comes down to how each game and turn develops and selecting your best options each time. Humans have to be flexible and due to this, unless you specifically start to rely on a one or two single players for your scoring, the scoring will tend to get spread around.

  2. Welshy April 7, 2010 at 3:00 am #

    My preference is for the ‘blitzer’ style catcher as they come out of the box as pretty good scoring types anyway. Having said that the main change on LRB6 that would affect my skill choice here is DIVING CATCH as it now gives +1 to catch rolls. A mini nerves of steel or +1AG… it is very tempting!

    For those still in doubt, WRESTLE is an awesome ball-winning skill for a ST2 player as it not only provides a longer life span (less “both down” knock downs) but also as these fast players can get up hill 2DBLOCKs on ballcarirers with a 25% chance of winning the ball without re-roll… that will be even greater with STRIP BALL. 

    Freeing the ball with these chaps means that it leaves greater opportunity for yout blizers etc to score spreading your SPP’s around… again critical in my mind ot human development as catchers can be real SPP hogs … and with ST2 and AV7 they won’t live forever!

  3. 'umiecoach2010 June 22, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    Diving catch is amazing on catchers! get this with an ag +1 and you are golden for those passing plays.  Add a Thrower with strong arm and accurate and you are rivalling elves for the “master of the throwing game”.  2 turn TDs become a regularity.
    To try and keep them alive longer give them fend and side step and either block or wrestle and that should keep them on the field whilst keeping them mobile.
     

    • Coach July 3, 2010 at 5:50 am #

      You are correct about Diving Catch now, though that wasn’t the case when I originally wrote this before LRB6 was released. In the future a rewrite may be done to account for the rule changes.

      • Ephraim December 11, 2015 at 11:46 am #

        Hi Coach. Glad you said you would consider a rewrite of the guide regarding the new skills. Bu what happened ? It’s been 5 years now. I would be very interested in you suggestions. Specifically, the catchers and blitzers might need a rewrite more than the others.

        Great content anywa. Sheers.

        • Coach December 11, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

          Lack of time due to other projects, there are still players and articles I’ve not written anything for yet! There are many great coaches who use the BBTactics forum who would be more than happy to discuss team development options if you were after some input from others.

  4. VBC Coach July 7, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    Um, doesn’t Sure Hands also count as a good skill to have for the blitz pattern Catcher as well?

    • Coach July 7, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

      Sure, the builds aren’t absolute and this kind of player is really flexible so there are lots of alternate skills you could consider. Sure Hands itself doesn’t help with actually Blitzing though so I didn’t include it. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Valcurdra November 28, 2010 at 9:07 am #

    Coach what do you think of combining the first 2 catcher types? I was thinking wrestle, tackle, leap, sidestep, diving tackle, shadowing in that order.

    Wrestle instead of block and sidestep later in development makes you a slightly worse marker but otherwise this player is pretty good at both roles.

    This strat allows you to only take 1 catcher in the side which gives you more hitting power.

  6. Coach November 29, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    I really don’t like having Leap on an agility three player, Side Step and Diving Tackle are both probably better to have before it, at least in my opinion. There are going to be times that having Leap is handy, but I don’t think it will be as often.

  7. BigBoB April 23, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    Just to point out, I’ve had a lot of success taking a human catcher like this – Block, Pass Block, Tackle, Diving Catch, Diving Tackle, Shadowing.

    Use Pass Block to put the reciever in your tacklezone (as you intercept on a 6 anyway) making it harder for the reciever to catch it and then to dodge away. Just my 2cents anyway

    • Coach April 23, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

      It is a great combo but it is also a lot of skills so will take many games to get that far. Also due to the infrequency that most teams pass the ball I would leave Pass Block to one of the later skills. Side Step and Diving Tackle are useful every game while Pass Block may not be.

  8. Smiler6310 January 2, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    Thought I’d throw this catcher into the mix;

    The dirty player catcher:

    Normal: Dirty player, Sneaky git, Block
    Doubles: Guard

    Fouling may not be as strong now as it was back with LRB4 but with piling on becoming more common this guy is invaluable at keeping the “killers” honest.

    He can get almost anywhere to foul with his high movement, when he gets Blodge he will become hard to take out and lets face it if he’s blitzed then a better player has survived. Sneaky git will help him stay on the pitch to keep putting the boot in when the AV rolls aren’t friendly and he doesn’t need a double roll to get it! Being a fouler also makes up for his STR2 (nothing better than a STR2 catcher taking out a prone big guy, chaos warrior or Black Orc etc!).

    But perhaps the best bit for me is the dual roles he brings. While he may be geared skill wise as a fouler he doesn’t have to be. Where need be he can mark players, force harder dodges, his high movement will allow him to get around the pitch to assist or put tackle zones on the ball and if need be he can take the ball and score with it if no-one else can/is in position too.

  9. Tur13l October 23, 2012 at 4:20 am #

    After playing several games on Cyanide with humans I can say that having that one movement 8 dodging player is invaluable. He can cover a lot of ground and its always nice to have that catch on the opponents side of the pitch.

    Wether roving assist or scoring threat this is a player enemies will usually mark.

    On that note I´d like to throw in my starting roster:

    Ogre
    Blitzer x4
    Thrower
    Catcher
    Linemen x4

    3 rerolls
    10k to spare(or fan factor 1)

    Very simple and surprisingly dynamic.

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