A player with this skill is armed with something very good at stabbing, slashing or hacking up an opponent, like sharp fangs or a trusty dagger. This player may attack an opponent with their stabbing attack instead of throwing a block at them. Make an unmodified Armour roll for the victim. If the score is less than or equal to the victim’s Armour value then the attack has no effect. If the score beats the victim’s Armour value then they have been wounded and an unmodified Injury roll must be made. If Stab is used as part of a Blitz Action, the player cannot continue moving after using it. Casualties caused by a stabbing attack do not count for Star Player points.
Stab is one of the newer skills in the game and it has some great advantages over doing a normal block, though don’t get tempted to use the Stab skill if a Block actually makes more sense. The biggest advantage that Stab has is that it has no immediate negative drawback to the player using it. If you fail at a block your player gets knocked over and causes a turnover, same with dodging. Failures handling the ball don’t get you knocked over but again still cause a turnover. If you Stab an opposing player though, you can’t get sent off, your player won’t fall over and failing doesn’t cause a turnover either. The only real drawback to failing a Stab roll is that your player will be left in the tackle zone of the opposing player. This means that your Stabbing target will be able to hit back the next turn, unless another of your players performs a block on the target player later in your own turn.
This unique trait means it makes a lot of sense to use your Stab ability at the start of your turn as no matter what you roll your turn will not end. There are a few other rolls that have this, such as standing up a Bonehead player, but nearly all other failed rolls will result in the end of your turn. The other great benefits to Stab is that when you do succeed you automatically are rolling for an injury on the target player afterwards. This means the opposing player will be at least stunned and miss their next turn. Comparing it to a successful Block, in this case the target is just knocked over and there is no guarantee that you will break armour. The last real benefit of Stab is that players strengths make no difference to the attack and so it combines really well with Multiple Block as the strength bonus the two opposing players get make no difference and you can Stab both of them. Assists also make no difference to the roll either so it can be put to great use if you are around higher strength players or plenty of opponents with Guard. Lastly Stab also bypasses any skills the target may have as well, such as Block and Dodge, making it fantastic against those players, especially if they have low armour.
The biggest drawback to Stab is that it is obviously weaker against higher armoured opponents. Typically the stronger the opponent the higher their armour tends to be as well, somewhat negating the benefit of Stab ignoring the strength value of players. As alluded too earlier as well, a failed Stab will leave you next to the target player as well which will likely mean they are probably going to hit you back. You need to consider this any time you Stab a player and realise the times that Blocking them may work better, as pushing them away may be preferable. This may be just to negate the chance for them to hit you back, especially if they have high armour and Stab is likely to fail, or for some tactical stand point where having them one square further away benefits your team.
Stab also doesn’t really help with player development as any casualties you cause as a result of using Stab do not gain the player SPP. This is yet another reason to consider blocking opposing players instead of just using the Stab skill by default every chance you get.
Stab Odds and Probability of Success:
Obviously when deciding if you should Block instead of using Stab, the things you want to consider are the odds of Stab working, compared to the odds of a successful Block. Below is the odds and probabilities of Stab working against the armour value of the opposing player. So if the opponent has AV7 the odds of rolling an 8 or higher are 41%, if that player also has Block and Dodge, the chances of knocking them down are 30.6% on a two dice block. Use the Blocking Odds Tables to compare the chances of success but don’t forget the bonus of Stab always causing an injury if it works.
|Armour Value||Odds of Breaking|
As Stab is an extraordinary skill you can’t select to take it on players that don’t start with it. For normal players there is only the Dark Elf Assassin who comes with the Stab ability. There are though some star players that have Stab and if you do get enough inducement money to be able to hire one, you should bear in mind the skills and armour values of your opponent when deciding if they are worth hiring. The no fail and no sending off traits of Stab are very handy and it is the only thing I would do on the last turn before running the ball in for a score.