Black Orc Teams

Black Orcs are the biggest and strongest of all Orcs. Many believe they draw their name from their dark green skin, although the title is more likely derived from their dour demeanour and bleak sense of humour! Grim and singularly focused on violence, it’s no wonder so many flock to the Blood Bowl pitch!

QTYPositionCostMASTAGPAAVSkills & TraitsPriSec
0-12Goblin Bruiser45k623+4+8+Dodge, RIght Stuff, Stunty, Thick SkullAGPS
0-6Black Orcs90k444+5+10+Brawler GrabGSAP
0-1Trained Troll115k455+5+10+Always Hungry, Loner (3+), Mighty Blow (+1), Projectile Vomit, Really Stupid, Regeneration, Throw Team MateSAGP
0-8ReRolls60kApothecary: Yes
Special RulesBadlands Brawl, Bribery and Corruption

Black Orc Team Overview

Black Orc teams are making their first appearance in the game of Blood Bowl after being announced by Games Workshop in the upcoming Second Season edition due out later this year. Previously only seen as part of a standard Orc team, they have now branched out on their own grabbing a handful of extra tough Goblins and a Troll to throw them about. A lot of coaches initial reaction to them has been that they are just a rubbish version of Lizardmen teams, but I’m excited to give them a go. Read on to find out why!

So the team can be made up of up to six Black Orcs who now will come with some starting skills for the first time. With six ST4 players on the starting roster who come with Brawler and Grab, they are going to pack some punch in the middle of the pitch. A Troll will add a bit more muscle, although somewhat unreliable, and the ability for one turn touchdowns via throwing Goblins. The rest of the team will be made up of toughened up Goblin Bruisers who are going to have to do most of the ball moving duty.

Whilst the team make up does seem very similar to Lizardmen but a lot slower, the main advantages are those two starting skills on the Black Orcs, the Throw Team Mate option and the Goblins are a bit tougher than Skinks.

Black Orc Team Strengths:

  • Strong, high armoured with useful but unusual starting skills
  • Cheap and expendable players
  • Cheap bribes and Throw Team Mate option

Black Orc Team Weaknesses:

  • Fairly slow and not very agile
  • No good passing game

Black Orc Team Tactics

Starting with Brawler will make Black Orcs a lot more reliable, get them more knock downs and hopefully gain skills quicker. Grab lets you manoeuvre opponents a lot easier, to open up gaps in their defence, get more blocks and really make the sidelines dangerous. The slower nature of the team just plays into the 2-1 Grind strategy so isn’t really missed. Black Orcs also have a better agility than a Saurus so there is the slightly risky option of doing some ball handling and dodging with them if either needed or wanted. As Brawler only works when you’re doing the hitting rather than getting hit, it does encourage a slightly more aggressive style of play.

Back all these strong high armoured players up with some sneaky Goblins to go and get the ball then you can hide them in a cage and march down the pitch. Goblins are also a lot cheaper than a Skink so a handy foul here and there wouldn’t be a bad thing, especially as the team has access to cheap bribes as an inducement. You are also risking less value when your Troll uses them as ammunition to Throw at opposing players too!

When defending the strength of the Black Orcs combined with Grab should make you hard to move a cage through. Against weaker teams you’ll want to try and get a numbers advantage so they can’t just run though you. Again Grab can help if you use it to trap some of their players for either very easy blocks or a likely effective gang foul.

Black Orc Team Development

There are two main ways that immediately spring to mind when it comes to development of a Black Orc team. First is the more traditional way of selecting your skill increases as they become available. As I mentioned above starting with the Brawler skill should hopefully mean they gain Star Player Points quicker than before.

The other option is going down the random skill route, having Brawler means you don’t need either Block (or less likely Wrestle) as the first skill. If you look at the list of strength skills, they already start with two of them, they can’t get Strong Arm which leaves 9 skills to randomise from. Quite a few are worth having and the weaker ones, Pile Driver and Multiple Block still have some merit. Pile Driver now being a foul will get more use when you’ve got a Bribe in hand and also opens up taking Dirty Player as the next (chosen) skill if you wanted. Multiple Block has some downsides but with a decent starting strength, lots of Grab and potentially quite a bit of Guard, a Black Orc may get some decent use out of it.

The Goblins can either save up to get Block / Wrestle (or any other secondary skills) without having to rely on rolling a double any more. Alternatively you can look to keep them cheap and roll a random Agility skill. Leap is the obvious poor result (since you have Stunty) and I’m not that convinced by Safe Pair of Hand (especially on this player) but you can make use of all the others. Going random will get your players skilled up quicker and also keep the team value lower in the hope to get those bribes!

Black Orc Teams Summary

Hopefully that brief quick and dirty run down of my initial thought on the upcoming Black Orc team (combined with some of the new rule changes) will inspire you to give them a go as well. Writing them off as a slow Lizardman team ignores the differences that I feel will make them fun to play.

Expect to see individual player development articles in the future after the Blood Bowl Second Season box set is released later this year. It looks like this team will be one of two included in that box, along with the new Imperial Nobility team.

14 thoughts on “Black Orc Teams”

  1. Cheap bribes, Grab Fouling, and Tough Skulls so more thrown gobbos stay on the pitch, we’re in for at the very least a team that’s going to be very fun.

    • I doubt it’ll be a way to play at all, lol. Would you take frenzy on a skink in a lizard team?
      And even if you did that a goblin, I’m really not sure it would open any opportunities. You could block twice with a goblin, ok. What for? It would require you to position your BO optimally just to get two blocks with a ST2 player?
      If you want to do something fancy with your gobbo, better take Mighty Blow, at least it does something different.

      • when u got a frenzy goblin in a team with many guard players? yes, its an awesome potential and “gapcloser” for your grablines. Add a bit of dountless to spice it up.

      • I was thinking on the possibility of surfing with that much grab, just as a fun, unexpected and greenskinish stuff. Another way to spread mayhem on the board! Not sure why you are comparing that with a “frenzy skink in a lizard team”.

  2. Great write up!

    Question: Why do you state that Black Orcs can’t take Arm Bar as a skill? I don’t see any limitations on the player or on Arm Bar interacting with Grab or Brawler.

  3. I am currently trying to make the Black Orcs work but I am really disappointed in their weaknesses: low MA or Low strength.
    I can sure learn to improve my way of playing them, like pairing up BoB’s, in order to be able to free them up by blocks but man is MA 4 slow ! It’s as slow as a Dorf!

    I think the team will get a lot better with some random General skills on the Goblins.
    Once you get them going they will improve.
    Yet for now I see the Black Orcs as a weak version of Nurgle.
    They lack so many skills and on top of that they lack a good Blitzer type of player. Nurgle had the Tentacles of the beast and pestigors to make plays.
    Throwing a goblin is more like desperation plays because the Troll isn’t known for it’s reliability.

    Sure the goblins can make okays but with only 4 of them and MA 6 they can only go so far.

    Yet with enough development on the BoB’s you can make something work, Guard is great yet you still need Block, Mighty Blow and some Frenzy to make the most out of grab. Yet MA 4 and Frenzy isn’t the best combination.

    So for now I would rank Black Orcs at the very bottom of Tier 2, below Nurgle.

    They do have cheap bribes and one Re-roll on a Bribe, so you actually don’t mind being somewhat behind in TV.

    • I’ve seen quite a bit of feedback saying that they aren’t very good. I’m looking forward to giving them a go at some point. My instinct is that you can get random strength skills on the Black Orcs but you will also need to be quite aggressive as Brawler doesn’t help when you’re the one being blocked (maybe that will get changed in future rules).

    • How are you finding them after a few games in?

      Started my first league this week and using the black orcs, I like the way they look so I’m not too fast about how good they are. That being said, I still want to do as well I can. Would you save up for block after the first game or go for a random? Got enough spp for my first orc and not sure which way to go.

      • Hoi PatH,
        How did you do in the league?
        I’m starting a league this sunday (just with friends).

        I’ve only played 2 games with the Black Orcs but i really like grab and hand the enemy to my next Black Orc or place it on the side line.

        Brawel is maybe a poor mans block, but it works good enough (imo). Especialy because I can often roll 2 dices en push is with grab also a good thing.


  4. I would advise against taking random skills on Black Orcs.
    They need Block, Guard and Mighty Blow and they are too expensive and slow to level to risk getting a very bad skill like: Arm Bar, Pile Diver, Thick Skull and even the more situational skills are difficult to use because of the lack of speed Juggernaut, Break Tackle.
    Stand Firm is one of the mediocre skills which gets great with Guard and Block.

  5. guard followed by stand firm on the black orcs, defensive followed by side step for the goblins. always start with a troll. plays similar to dwarves.


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