A player with the Block skill is proficient at knocking opponents down. The Block skill, if used, affects the results rolled with the Block dice, as explained in the Blocking rules.
The Block skill has been one of the main skills in the game for years (if not ever). Most teams have access to players that start with it and with blocking being a fundamental part of the game it is a widely selected skill choice.
The main benefit, which might be apparant, is the greatly lowered chance of being knocked down, when blocking or being blocked. A one die block without block you fall over 1/3 (33.3%) of the time, if you have block you fall over 1/6 (16.7%) of the time, assuming you don’t have/use a reroll. For a two dice block you fall over 1/9 (11.1%) of the time without block and 1/36 (2.8%) of the time with block. As you can see a two dice block, when you have block is by far the least likely to cause a turnover. Adding three dice into the mix and you turnover without block 1/27 (3.7%) and with block 1/216 (0.5%).
Block will also increase the amount of times you knock an opponent over who doesn’t have block. For one die if you didn’t have block you knock them down 1/3 (33.3%) of the time (unless they also have dodge) with block you knock them down 1/2 (50%) of the time. For a two dice block without block you knock them down 5/9 (55.6%), with block you knock them down 27/36 (75%) of the time. With three dice blocks without block 8/27 (70.4%) and with block 189/216 (87.5%).
So as you can see a two dice block with block is by the safest and most effective, least chance of causing a turnover and greatest chance of getting a knock down. Avoiding turnovers is crucial, more knockdowns means less opponents on the pitch and more SPP and less chance of being knocked down yourself.
- Lower chance of turnover
- Greater chance of knock downs
- Lower chance of being knocked down
On the face of it, Block is useful to pretty much every player and is never really a bad choice. Some player builds may be better off selecting the newer skill, Wrestle, which has changed blocking somewhat under LRB5.
So who should take Block? Obviously players who are doing a lot of blocking are prime candidates, so players like Black Orcs, Saurus, Big Guys (they need a doubles roll) etc. With a two dice block with block being safer than a three dice block without it, these guys really need it to be more reliable. Also as they are slow to skill up, it will give them more knock downs and a greater chance of getting more SPP.
The other type of player who makes good use of block are ball carriers. The lower chance of knock down is useful for keeping hold of the ball. So, Dwarf Runners, Human Throwers, Beastmen etc. Elven throwers won’t tend to be running with the ball quite as much and would probably benefit more from passing skills initially. Obviously the best way to not get knocked over, is to not get hit by the opposing team at all. Giving these players blocks also makes them handy on defence making them more reliable should you need to do some hitting with these guys as well.
The last player type I would suggest are Linemen (in their various guises). These are more tricky to pick out as depending on what race you are playing, wrestle may now be a better choice. Typically though they slower the player, the more likely Block would be preferable, Orc Linemen, Zombies, Beastmen etc.