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Skaven Blitzers / Storm Vermin

Blood Bowl Skaven Blitzer / Storm Vermin
Skaven Blitzer Overview:

Skaven Blitzers (previously known as Storm Vermin) are the two players on the Skaven team that give them some reliable strength and resilience. They have the highest armour of the Skaven players at AV8, though this still is only an average value. The Blitzers also have access to strength skills, so you can utilise them to add a bit of bite or resistance to your squad. While they do make really good Blitzers, with access to strength skills and also having high movement, I think there are better ways to develop them given the make up of the team as a whole.

If you read my guide on Gutter Runners, you will see that I lean towards using them for blitzing, they are even faster and more mobile and you can counter their low strength. This is because the Blitzers can get Guard and with their higher armour are going to survive in a ruck better than the rest of your team (though don’t mistake AV8 for being better than it is). As they start with Block you can still blitz with them should you have them free, able to get to the target and also need the higher strength. Skaven are very flexible with regards to their high movement, so look around the pitch for the best player to fulfil any specific action.

Protective Blitzer:

Personally I tend to develop mine to complement the current state of the team as a whole and with an eye on the other teams in the league, rather than a hard and fast build. I’d start with Guard though, as they are the only players on your team who can easily get it. Combined with their higher armour you can move them in to assist where you need them, whilst they are more survivable if that should leave them open to get hit again next turn. Ideally that wouldn’t happen but sometimes needs must. I would also consider getting Tackle next, or first if building both this way. As they start with Block, having a player who has the Block and Tackle combo is well worth having. Stand Firm is good if you want to block off parts of the pitch and slow down cages, also combines well with Guard or if marking someone. There are quite a few skills that could be useful after that, Fend aids in slowing down cages and minimising blocks against him. I may be tempted with Mighty Blow to give a bit more bite to your team though.

For doubles, Dodge is great for mobility reasons and protection, most Blocker positions on other teams usually won’t have Tackle. Block, Dodge, Guard and Stand Firm is a brilliant skill combination. Next up Side Step is great as well, though I wouldn’t take if it you already had Stand Firm. Then I would consider Horns or Claw instead. Stat wise +ST and +AG you should take without even thinking about it. For +MV or +AV, take the double on 5,5 rolls. For 4,6 +AV would be helpful if you tend to get them bogged down in a ruck, or if your skills lean more towards blitzing, then the +MV would probably be more helpful.

Killer Blitzer:
  • Normal: Mighty Blow, Piling On, Tackle, Frenzy
  • Doubles: Claw, Jump Up/Horns
  • Stat Increase: +ST +AG

The standard killer build that teams with players to strength access can possibly add to their team. Get the numbers advantage on pitch with Skaven and you are probably on your way to winning. Mighty Blow first off to get more armour breaks and injuries, Piling On follows on nicely after that. Tackle for hitting the softer players who typically have Dodge. Frenzy will give you two chances to knock them over and is better on faster players like Skaven. The downside to this build is you are giving up on a player with Guard, so bear that in mind.

Doubles point to Claw being the most obvious, though it is less useful in leagues with lots of lower armour teams for obvious reasons. Jump Up combines really well with Piling On and also keeps your high movement available to you. Horns is another option if you are blitzing targets, which this build often will be, the extra strength is useful considering the lack of Guard on your team, will also make Frenzy less risky for the second block. Stat Inceases +ST is really useful, +AG lets you get to targets, though if you get it first or second skill, I would change plans and look to build a more rounded player.

Ball Extracting Blitzer:
  • Normal: Tackle/Strip Ball, Guard, Stand Firm/Mighty Blow
  • Doubles: Dodge, Two Heads/Horns
  • Stat Increase: +ST +AG +MV

The more usual build is for ball extraction, with the standard skills of Tackle or Strip Ball. Follow up with Guard as it is never a bad choice. Stand Firm for the reasons mentioned above, or Mighty Blow to injure those players you are blitzing. Dodge, again for reasons given above, Two Heads also helps with mobility or Horns to make the blocks easier when you blitz targets. As ever +ST or +AG are a no brainer and I’d consider +MV on 6,4 rolls. You don’t really need to consider picking the ball up after you knock it free as you have Gutter Runners who should be able to get in and do that, or even perhaps a Thrower. Being that since Wrestle has come into the game, which is a better skill for ball extracting than Block, I find any player who starts with Block less useful to build in this manner.

Skaven Blitzer Summary:

With only two Blitzers available it can be tricky to decide how to develop them. Personally I look to building two of the Protective builds. They are the most flexible and you can give them a useful skill on every increase without really praying for a double roll like the Killer. The ball extracting role can be done with Gutter Runners, or a Lineman with Wrestle, so I don’t really favour that build either. Those jobs are probably also made easier if you get Guard on your Blitzers as well. If you run out of obvious choices you may want to look at skills like Shadowing, great for your high movement, especially as you probably already have Tackle as well.

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9 Responses to Skaven Blitzers / Storm Vermin

  1. Red August 28, 2009 at 2:19 am #

    Would you consider using Dauntless over horns on them?  It seams that most of the time you would only need a 2+ to get enough strength to take out even big guys.

    • Coach August 28, 2009 at 12:24 pm #

      I perfer Dauntless on the Gutter Runners due to their lower strength. Horns will give a Blitzer ST4 when Blitzing whilst Dauntless will be of no use against other ST3 targets, which is the most common strength of player you are likely to be blitzing. With Skaven I don’t usually waste my time trying to take on Big Guys, I’d rather feed them a Wrestle Lineman to deal with, or even a Blodge Sidestep Gutter runner if they have Frenzy (be careful about letting them have 3 dice blocks though).

  2. Sramota August 28, 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    Dauntless is quite horrible on any Blitzer as horns allow you to always have 1/2 dice on str 3 players, which as we know, are the majority of them.
    Dauntless gives you a chance to maybe have 1/2 dice on big guys but not on regular linemen, which is a waste.

  3. Big Pete December 22, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

    If you are building a Blocker style Blitzer (which I agree is great), is it worth considering Disturbing Prescence or Foul Appearance?

    Considering these guys will be in the thick of it quite a bit, it is very possible they get hit 18+ times a game. With Foul Appearance it means there is 3 times (on average) a game where your opponent cannot block these, considering these guys are key players that is going to cause a lot of frustration.

    If you can get Foul Appearance on both Blitzers, is be around 6 times a game where blocks are nullified. It is probably worth considering giving Foul Appearance to your fodder linemen as well.

  4. Coach December 23, 2010 at 12:15 am #

    There is some merit behind it and under older rules before the skill was split into two separate ones I could have seen some people selecting it.

    However now as they are separate and it requires a double I can’t help but think you will get better use out of alternative options.

  5. Big Pete April 26, 2011 at 4:53 am #

    Is it worth considering jump up on a double roll for Storm Vermin?

    They are you key players and tend to get hit a lot. Jump up will allow them to get up and use their speed to get to the action.

  6. Jasper June 8, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    I used to go with Guard first on Vermin, but increasingly I’m thinking Mighty Blow is a better idea.

    Having at least one player who can reliably blitz with MB makes a big different in the relative injury rates, helping you not be as many players down against bashing teams, and giving you a decent chance of having more players on the field against softer teams. Similarly Claw is immensely helpful, as even the softer teams typically have at least a few players with AV 8+, and you’ll eventually be playing against Dwarves where it is essential (especially in a playoff game with overtime!).

    Sure, if you have a Rat Ogre (especially one with Juggernaut or Block) you already have some MB, and often you’ll prefer to blitz with them due to Wild Animal. Still, often enough they’re unreliable and a more mobile Vermin as MB backup makes a substantial difference.

    I wouldn’t go the full on Killer route though (at least not right away), as the Skaven really need Guard too. Getting MB first also handily speeds up getting both skills.

    If I knew I was facing lots of Dodge players I might pick up Tackle first, as the odds of injury are only a bit worse against Dodgers compared to MB and you’re also more likely to knock them down or make them burn rerolls. Often I find the players I wind up hitting aren’t the ones with Dodge however, and MB works on everyone.

    Currently I’m thinking something like:

    * Normal: Mighty Blow, Guard
    * Doubles: Claw
    * Stat Increase: +ST, maybe +AG

    And then after that taking a closer look at my team and opposition to see which way to go.

  7. Jasper June 8, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

    Oh, and as far as Jump Up goes… I’m increasingly liking it as well, but I don’t think I’d take it over Dodge unless there were lots of opposing Tacklers in my League (e.g. Dwarves).

    I find the main use for it isn’t the extra mobility though, so much as the extra “Fend” effect you get from opponents being reluctant to follow up when they knock you down — or the free block you get if they do follow up.

    If my Vermin had MB and Claws though, I would strongly consider Jump Up (though Horns would be tasty too).

  8. Tad30s March 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    I feel that there should be a clause for every “killer” build, noting : “Get tackle before MB, if you face dodgy teams”. It may be logical to most, but with everyone having to frequently change their pants whenever MB is mentioned, some coaches may forgetting that you get a big, fat nothing on defender stumble rolls.

    Which will be your every roll, on a (C)POMB with no Tackle.

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