BB2020 Old World Alliance Starting Rosters

Old World Alliance Starting Rosters Overview

Old World Alliance teams have a lot of different players to pick between which can seem a bit daunting to know what ones to pick, especially if you’re taking them as your first ever team. You also have to pick between two different Big Guys in the Ogre and Treeman. The rerolls are expensive and depending on how you build your team quite a few of them would have trouble even using them as they have Loner. You also have some Animosity to deal with.

Unfortunately if feels like this team was put together based on what players were on certain sprues that came with the team specific box sets, rather than a team that was created with some deeper thinking behind it (though I could be wrong!).

In a change from the normal format it might be worth a quick overview on the advantages and disadvantages each of the players brings to the team.

QTYPositionCostMASTAGPAAVSkills & TraitsPriSec
0-12Human Lineman50k633+4+9+GAS
0-1Human Thrower80k633+3+9+Animosity (Dwarf and Halfling), Pass, Sure HandsGPAS
0-1Human Catcher65k823+5+8+Animosity (Dwarf and Halfling), Catch, DodgeAGS
0-1Human Blitzer90k733+4+9+Animosity (Dwarf and Halfling), BlockGSA
0-2Dwarf Blocker75k434+5+10+Arm Bar, Brawler, Loner (3+), Thick SkullGSA
0-1Dwarf Runner85k633+4+9+Loner (3+), Sure Hands, Thick SkullGPAS
0-1Dwarf Blitzer80k533+4+10+Block, Loner (3+), Thick SkullGSA
0-1Troll Slayer95k534+9+Block, Dauntless, Frenzy, Loner (3+), Thick SkullGSA
0-2Halfling30k523+4+7+Animosity (Dwarf and Human), Dodge, Right Stuff, StuntyAGS
0-11 Of 2:
0-1Ogre140k554+5+10+Bone Head, Loner (4+), Mighty Blow (1+), Thick Skull, Throw Team MateSAG
0-1Altern Forest Treeman120k265+5+11+Loner (4+), Mighty Blow (+1), Stand Firm, Strong Arm, Take Root, Thick Skull, Throw Team Mate, Timmm-ber!SAGP
0-8ReRolls70kApothecary: Yes
Special RulesOld World Classic
  • Old World Linemen: These are just the same as a normal Human Lineman so average at everything and you aren’t going to be upset if you lose them.
  • Old World Human Thrower: A slightly worse version of the Human Thrower as their passing stat is 3+ rather than 2+ and they also have Animosity towards their Dwarven teammates. Probably going to be your main ball carrier but viewing the whole roster overall you aren’t likely going to want to develop a passing game.
  • Old World Human Catcher: The same as a Human Catcher but just with added Animosity to the Dwarf players. Can be handy to add some speed and easy agility skill access but a bit fragile.
  • Old World Human Blitzer: Slightly more expensive than their normal counterpart and again they have Animosity towards Dwarfs. Definitely a player you are going to want as they are quick, start with Block and have strength skill access.
  • Old World Dwarf Blockers: Again they are more expensive than on the Dwarf team and they swap Block and Tackle for Arm Bar and Brawler. There’s not much point playing Old World Alliance if you aren’t going to take some of the Dwarf players. I would look to fit both of them into the team as they are tough to remove from the pitch and have strength skill access for Guard. The skills combination isn’t as good as standard Dwarfs but Brawler could come in handy for a team with such expensive rerolls and average ball handling. Loner needs to be considered when choosing the order you activate the players but Brawler makes these a little less risky when throwing blocks.
  • Old World Dwarf Runner: Whilst they are vital to a Dwarf team, the fact they have Loner isn’t great. They are a worse version of the Human Thrower for more money. Are they really offering much more to the team than a Human Lineman? They do have passing skill access so you might take one in order to get Leader. Human players don’t like to give the ball to them so if you do take one they will likely be picking up the ball and carrying it, either to score themselves or to hand off to a team mate.
  • Old World Dwarf Blitzer: Again the main draw here is that they have really high armour, they start with Block and have strength skill access to get Guard. Loner isn’t ideal so while they are more agile than the Dwarf Blockers I would treat them in a similar vein. Having Block does lower the chances of a turnover which does help. Their agility does mean that you could score with them but it will be easier to get the ball to them if you have a Dwarf Runner doing the carrying. I would include these in every team where possible.
  • Old World Troll Slayer: They don’t have the high armour of the Dwarf Blockers or Blitzer but they do start with Block. Dauntless can help with your team’s low strength and Frenzy could be a blessing or a curse depending on how well you and your opponent can work around it. Strength skill access is again nice to have but you might consider building them for blitzing work with Mighty Blow and Tackle.
  • Old World Halfling Hopeful: I would take one of these to get a Throw Team Mate option and they are cheap enough that you would happily trade them doing gang fouls. The Animosity for basically the whole team doesn’t make them great for getting the ball, unless you can just got and score with them.
  • Ogre: The same as on a Human team, they are more manoeuvrable around the pitch than the Treeman but they also cost more.
  • Altern Forest Treeman: Cheaper than the Ogre, stronger, has more armour and also starts with Strong Arm for better Throw Team Mate potential. With all those plus points they seem like the more obvious choice, though they are very slow and can get stuck in one place.

Old World Alliance Base Roster

QuantityPlayer / ItemCost
5OWA Human Linemen250k
1OWA Human Thrower80k
1OWA Human Blitzer90k
2OWA Dwarf Blockers150k
1OWA Dwarf Blitzer80k
1Altern Forest Treeman120k

This is the framework that I would start the team with. You get eleven players and three rerolls. Four of them have high armour, two with Block, two with Brawler and a Sure Hands Thrower. That leaves you with 20k in the bank which you have a few options on how you want to spend it.

  • Swap a Lineman for a Human Catcher: Gives you a fast and semi mobile player for when you need to score quickly and takes you up to twelve players (Leaves 5k in the bank)
  • Swap the Treeman for the Ogre: If you prefer the Ogre then you’ve just enough in the bank to start with the Ogre instead (Leaves none in the bank).

Old World Alliance Starting Rosters Summary

Old World Alliance teams required a different way of looking at the myriad of options and different players than most Blood Bowl teams typically do. There are other ways you can take the team but if you’re not careful you could just end up playing a worse Human team.

That’s essentially what this has left my impression of them as. You’re trading three pretty solid Human Blitzers, for less mobile Dwarf Blockers / Blitzers, who also have to deal with Loner. Throw Animosity considerations on top of that as well, are those trade offs worth it for the slightly better armour? As Human teams can now also take Halflings the decision becomes even more cloudy.

If you’re playing Old World Alliance you would need to come at it from the viewpoint of liking the idea of the mixed race team and perhaps you want something a little bit more challenging. If you’re reading this having already played or are thinking of playing them, then please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

8 thoughts on “BB2020 Old World Alliance Starting Rosters”

  1. I might just be being dense, but I think you’ve calculated your 5 Human Linemen as costing 200k, when at 50k each they should equal 250k all together. Which would mean dropping a Lineman in order to make the options below work.

    • Well spotted. That makes it a lot rougher to start the team. I’ve updated the article with what I still feel is probably the best way to go but you’re not going to be able to pick from all the previously listed additions any more. It wouldn’t surprise me if we see some tweaks to the roster at some point in the future.

  2. I was wondering if it might be better to have fewer rerolls since you have so much loner spam and grab a trollslayer right off the bat instead.

    This really is such a wonky team lineup

  3. So what the OWA brings to the table is an ability to be a legitimate threat in most type of circumstances:

    1) You can do ‘Elfy Shenanigans’ by having the Runner pick up the ball, hand off to the Thrower and have the Thrower move up to hit a Halfling that’s in the end zone.
    2) You have the Trollslayer for hitting higher strength targets, and Frenzy for the ability to knock players off the pitch.
    3) You have Single Turn Touchdown threats in the way of Halflings and the Treeman. Combine that with a Human Thrower and you have a legitimate threat.
    4) You have Dwarf Blockers to guard your Thrower while he tries to set up the big play, with a Catcher, Halflings, a Human Blitzer and the like to guard your play.

    Here’s how I’d start:

    1 Treeman – 120K
    2 Halflings – 60K
    1 OWA Thrower – 80K
    1 Dwarf Runner – 85K
    1 Trollslayer – 95K
    2 Dwarf Blockers – 150K
    1 Human Blitzer – 90K
    2 Human Linemen – 100K
    1 Human Catcher – 65K

    2 Rerolls – 140K
    Total: 985K

    You don’t really need to reroll Take Root – He’s just there to lob Halflings and take the occasional pot shot if someone comes close. Strong Arm helps with lobbing the Halflings in the first place and not dropping them. You have Block on 5 of your players to start with, including Brawler for a built-in reroll on your blocks if you roll a both down and not a skull on ganging up.

    You get rerolls to pick up the ball, to throw the ball, to catch the ball in a squeeze. Those rerolls are essentially for Catching on non-Catch models. Or on defense, getting a better Hit on your Blitz for the Human Blitzer.

    Animosity can be a pain, but you can mitigate it by a lot(Though not eliminate it entirely) and the Loners you have are on very high armour value models which makes it less difficult to decide to let those double skulls lie where they are.

  4. Having played OWA for a bit of a season, there are a couple of things to point out. Dwarf Blockers are not good players. Brawler != block. They are too slow to move with the thrower, and get blocked by players with Block. The halfling isn’t going to do anything except foul (and get sent off) or get hit and injured. He’s not waiting around in the end zone to score. He does carry a OTT threat early on though.

    The Linemen are ok and do a decent job, as my opponents tend to try and tie up the tree and the positionals, leaving the linemen to score. The Trollslayer does the hard work and the Dwarf Blitzer backs him up. The Human Blitzer makes a good defensive sweeper with Tackle or staying with the catcher with Guard.

    My random skill rolls have been awful though which haven’t helped – I can see this being a more successful tournament team with dropping down to tier 3 (as I’ve seen it a few times) and a good selection of skills – just giving the dwarves block makes a massive difference, or some guard makes for good defence and the Catchers a good threat to score if you can stop him getting mullered.

    A fun but challenging team.

    • Thanks Matt, I appreciate the feedback. Might be a while before I give this team a go. Perhaps when Blood Bowl 3 is released, they don’t appeal to me to take in the local tabletop league.

  5. OWA I originally thought of as garbage. I’ve taken some time to reexamine them and am really thinking about taking them in my next league. Pro as a skill on the Dwarves could really help, and I’ll try to level them as quickly as possible to get there. Meanwhile the Human components will do the actual ball handling. My theory list is:
    H Thrower
    H Blitzer
    H Catcher
    H Linemen x4
    D Blocker x2
    D Slayer
    D Blitzer
    RR x3

    Here I’m getting almost everything. I can save for the big guy and don’t think I’ll need the D Runner. Block is priority for the catcher and hopefully I can get him some early touchdowns and make it happen after game 1.

  6. I realize this is a fairly old post at this point, but I’m just starting to dig into this team after a massive Blood Bowl hiatus. We are about to start a league, and I intend on taking this team to the GW Tampa Open (I don’t expect to win, just roll dice and potentially play spoiler.
    My first starting roster:
    1 Troll Slayer – 95
    1 Catcher – 65
    1 Dwarf Runner – 85
    1 Thrower – 80
    1 Blitzer – 90
    5 Linemen – 250
    1 Ogre – 140
    2 Haflings – 60
    1 RR – 70

    Really I’m still feeling the team out and knocking the rust off. I’ve not played blood bowl since pre-2020 rules.
    For league I wanted to start with 13. If I hit an extremely bashy team (Tomb Kings for example) I wanted to make sure I had reserves in the tank for the inevitable casualty.

    I’m not sure I’ll want the runner, but I took him. I wanted 2 ball carriers on the field in the event one goes down, and with both having sure hands I wanted to make sure I had that free re-roll to pick up the ball.

    The Slayer seems like an auto-take. They are a bit pricey, but the ability to punch up means you build him for a blitzer and keep him off of the line. I used to run Gutter Runners the same way. Try to get them Dauntless and Block if possible and use their massive movement to snipe ball-carriers.

    The Ogre or the Treeman was the big question. I opted for mobility over Strong Arm and strength. Personally I feel take root is more punishing to fail than bonehead, and if he every gets knocked down you could be struggling to stand the treeman back up

    The catcher is a little fragile, but also fast and fairly cheap. rerolling a catch attempt and dodge give you access to a bit more mobility without having to burn through Rerolls

    The haflings could arguably be dropped for another lineman. I took two haflings so I had a cheap dude to throw a foul, but also for that cheeky throw-teammate should it ever come up. In addition, dodge and stunty means those chubby little doofuses can slip their way through lines and potentially pull your opponent out of position to prevent a potential pass/score

    The dwarf Blocker is the only teammate I have that I’m unsure of. I like AV 10, but brawler seems wasted, though if you give him block it allows you to “fish” for a better or different result if you get a different result. I think wrestle could be an interesting skill, or stand firm. I don’t see him as a “damage dealer”, I would probably think to build him to just be as obnoxious and annoying as possible. Tarpit whatever I can

    1 RR may be a bit dumb, but with most of the team having loner, I just figured I’m better off raw-dogging dice rolls than being at the mercy of loner. If I need rerolls I can try to take skills that allow for skill-specific rerolls.

    Anyway. sorry that’s so long, and sorry to revive an old post, but I am just trying to soak in as much as I can as I prepare for Tampa


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