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Thick Skull

Thick Skull (Strength)

This player treats a roll of 8 on the Injury table, after any modifiers have been applied, as a Stunned result rather than a KO’d result. This skill may be used even if the player is Prone or Stunned.

Overview:

Thick Skull has changed in LRB5 from being a Mutation to a Strength skill meaning that every player can potentially gain it now. It has also changed from being a 4+ roll to be stunned instead of KO’d, to just treating an 8 roll on the injury table as a stunned and just a 9 roll being a KO. This takes an extra dice roll out the game and speeds things up a small amount when playing. It has given the players who take it a slight boost as well as a result though. An 8 will be rolled 5/36 times while a 9 will be rolled 4/36 times. So the old 4+ rule saves you 4.5/9 of KO’s while the new version saves you 5/9 times a KO is rolled. Even so considering the player needs to be knocked over (or fall over), have an armour break and then a KO result has to come up, it is very circumstantial and the benefit in real terms is highly negligible.

The obvious benefits of it are that it is that bit harder to remove the player from the pitch when they get knocked over. More players on the pitch makes it easier for you than if you had less, pretty obvious stuff here! It applies to any injury roll for the player as well, including fouls and crowd injuries.

Useful to:

In all honesty I can’t really see this skill being that useful to anyone, sure it has it’s benefits but there will be better alternatives to take when your players skill up. Why would you take it over Block, Guard, Mighty Blow, Tackle etc on a normal skill roll. Also any player who requires a double to take strength skills will have an even wider selection of skills to choose from. If you come across someone who has taken the skill I would be surprised to find out if they took it for any reasons other than for team character reasons or because they are fairly new to the game. Maybe I can be enlightened here as to any tactical benefit compared to the opportunity cost of a different skill. I can see some benefit to it as a late skill on players who are often in the thick of it and get hit a lot, but I’m not sure it will make a difference enough times to justify the choice due to the specifics when it comes into play.

Summary:

As I’ve suggested no one will really take the skill as part of development but it comes in handy for those players who already start with it, most notably Dwarfs. That isn’t to say that I think it would be wrong to take it under every circumstance, if you are playing perhaps in a more characterful environment then by all means go ahead. Teams with more character may perhaps get blessed by good fortune by Nuffle! An example would perhaps be a player who always seems to get stunned on armour breaks, or always comes back from a KO first roll (if you keep track and notice this kind of thing). Maybe you just want a team full of Thick Skull Elves or something unusual. You could also be using random skill selection, either for fun, a personal challenge, or to handicap yourself if playing against lots of newer coaches to ease them into the game. You don’t always have to take tactically the best skill available for every increase.

20 Responses to Thick Skull

  1. eriochrome September 22, 2009 at 1:17 am #

    It is not a bad skill but just not as good as any of the other choices.  Might have been better as a skill which limited stuns to just knocked down for some rolls.

  2. Camouflage6 September 22, 2009 at 6:19 am #

    ??^
    ^

    ?In that case you will find your self almost impossible to caging pass Dwaft team.

  3. BoBliness September 24, 2009 at 3:56 pm #

    If they altered it to all KO effects, it would suddenly become very good. However it would then make dwarves horribly powerful.

    Really, the fact that it is given for free to all dwarf players restricted its utility.

    I’d like to see it as all KO -> stunned. But take it away from dwarves as a standard skill

  4. Thanatos October 14, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    Its a great skill to have but not one I would ever give to any of my players

  5. Vladimyr October 14, 2009 at 8:29 pm #

    -1 to all injury rolls would make it more worthwhile

  6. BagOBones November 12, 2009 at 12:54 am #

    Can’t argue with any of the comments made to date.  I’m not certain it’s a skill I’d choose myself, however running the numbers gives you (no skills applied except Thick Skull, includes chance of armour break):
    Apologies if the formatting is off.  This looked great in the comment window before submitting.
    Chance Off Field (KO/Cas)                  Chance Stunned
    AV     Norm      TS                                    AV     Norm      TS
    4         34.7%     23.1%                             4         48.6%     60.2%
    5         30.1%     20.1%                             5         42.1%     52.2%
    6         24.3%     16.2%                             6         34.0%     42.1%
    7         17.4%     11.6%                             7         24.3%     30.1%
    8          11.6%      7.7%                             8          16.2%     20.1%
    9            6.9%      4.6%                              9            9.7%     12.0%
    10         3.5%      2.3%                             10           4.9%       6.0%
    11          1.2%      0.8%                             11            1.6%       2.0%
    Upto AV7, it gives you an equal or better chance of staying on the field than a +1 AV.  Granted there is an increase chance of the player eating dirt when compared to an actual +1 AV, but it is avaiable on a normal roll for some, or a doubles roll for most.
    So, if you dream of getting a +1 AV for a player with AV less than 8, this is much easier to obtain.
    While there are lots of other more useful skills around, what good are they if you’re player isn’t on the pitch?  😉

    In LRB6, Skeletons effectively become a MA5 Zombie with a 6% increase to being stunned.  This now might make a case for using Skellies over Zombies on the front line.

    Just my 2 cents.  🙂
    BagOBones

  7. Gormogon December 27, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    Perhaps it could be considered useful for Thralls? Helps keep them on the field for those times when your camps just HAVE to bite someone….

    • Coach December 27, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

      There are so many far better skills to take on a double skill increase for a Thrall, Dodge or Guard the obvious ones. That would be such a situational use that it isn’t really worth taking.

  8. McGuirk March 10, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    They should change it to work a bit more like the Stunty modifications in LRB 6; ie if a player rolls 10 on the injury check they are automatically badly hurt and don’t have to roll for casualties.

    You can bet it would give a lot of coaches pause for thought when rolling a skill-up double for especially favourite players..

  9. Coach March 10, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    Nice idea, initial reaction was that I liked it, but then considering every Dwarf has it and how hard they already are too hurt, I don’t think it would go down well.

    Especially in leagues that don’t have much Claw to deal with high armoured opposition. Dwarfs already tend to be a cash rich team, this will also make that worse. If it was a separate skill that combined both, that would be more acceptable I would think. Anyway we are detracting from the actual article now. If anyone else wishes to add anything on this side issue please start a thread on the forum.

  10. Brettski April 7, 2011 at 3:58 am #

    I think its a solid 4th skill for heavy blockers like black orcs and mummies. It might not happen very often, but keep in mind the cost of an K.O is huge. You will be off the field for perhaps the whole game. Look at what happens when orcs play dwarves for example. Given enough K.Os, the orc team eventually collapses without enough players to defend themselves.

  11. Tr1tolo October 27, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    I quite agree with the coach’s points about Thick Skull BUT under certain circumstances it could be the best choice, for example in my situation: a wood elves team mostly relying on my lucky WD who got +1 AG +1 MA and jump up, meaning he can pretty much leap in a cage, take the ball, dodge away, and score TD in two rounds with 3+ rolls; such a player is obviously being targeted a lot by other coaches from my league. Giving him Jump Up and Thick Skull forces other teams to choose between leaving him alone, or focusing him trying to slow him / get him off the pitch, and this will leave other zones uncovered for some time since the chances of actually knocking him are low. In this situation Thick Skull empowers the “forced-choice” mechanic a long way.

    I apologize for my poor spelling :p

  12. Jasper October 31, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    I’d rather have Sidestep there, especially since you already have Jump Up. That way you’ll get chain blocked less often, so it’ll reduce your KOs but also your Injuries too. Plus anyone who blocks you runs a substantial risk of giving you a free block back, which may make opponents less likely to target him in the first place.

    And then add to that all the other uses for Sidestep for marking players and sideline work.

  13. Brett February 23, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    Perhaps one option would be to buff thick skull into a stronger skill, but take tackle away from dwarves. In other words, buff and nerf dwarves at the same time. I think overall, dwarves would come out better in that trade.

    All that that tackle from game 1 makes dwarves broken in certain match ups, but at the same times, I think dwarves feel underpowered facing teams with no dodge players.

    If you take away tackle and buff thick skull, it would make the team feel equally strong in all matchups rather than just easily crushing some, and being crushed by others.

    just a random thought.

  14. Shinzer March 31, 2013 at 12:36 am #

    I could see Thick Skull being a very interesting choice for a 5th or even 6th skill after you’re player has gotten any/all goodies they want, preferably on a guy with strength access on a normal roll. If for example you got a Human Blitzer who has all the tools he could ever want to blitz a guy and he didn’t get any double rolls, then why not make him harder to remove from the pitch? After all, all that TV sunk on him is useless if he feels like taking a nap in the KO box.

    • Shinzer March 31, 2013 at 12:37 am #

      *your player

    • Tad30s March 31, 2013 at 10:10 am #

      I can see thick skull being *sorf-off* worth it, during the last game of a cup, on your irreplaceable star player who has all of his role skills already taken, and whom you cannot afford to lose.

  15. Ben July 9, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    If you give Thick Skull to a player with Stunty then he’s Stunned on 2-6, KO’d on a 7, and Stunned on an 8. Right? Seems a bit odd.

    • Coach July 9, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

      It is odd but correct. Can’t see why anyone would ever want to use a double roll on a Stunty player to pick Thick Skull though. Due to this the oddness was overlooked rather than add in rules for a scenario that isn’t really likely to occur. If it does then you just have to live with the odd rules in this instance.

  16. SirSebstar May 27, 2016 at 11:13 am #

    I wanted to add an odd reasoning i missed here.
    Thick Skull affect the odds of fouling in a reasonable way. If you have a guy on the ground a lot, then fouled, thick skull can cause more people to be sent of then piling on gives casualties. Well cause is a bit thick, but if it keeps your player on the pitch, it serves its purpose.

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