A player who has the Catch skill is allowed to re-roll the D6 if he fails a catch roll. It also allows the player to re-roll the D6 if he drops a hand-off or fails to make an interception.
Catch is one of the common starting skills on quite a few of the Blood Bowl teams with every Catcher position starting with the skill. The use of the skill is rather obvious in that you get two chances of trying to catch the ball any time when making a catch roll. To be clear that not only includes the rolls mentioned in the skill description of catching a pass, hand off or rolling an interception. Any time the player is in the square the ball bounces to, that is also a catch roll so you can reroll that if you failed as well.
In real terms on the pitch as well as having greater success in moving the ball about, or gaining possession when the ball is bouncing around lots of players, Catch also saves on using team rerolls. As you can roll a 1 on any single dice roll, the ability to get two chances can greatly increase your odds of success and there are quite a few situations where it useful to have.
Rerolling catches from a pass or hand off are obviously very helpful when on offence and you have the ball and are trying to move it down the pitch. Dropping the ball can be fatal to your chances of winning so minimising that occurrence is great. When you are on defence, if you can get your players with Catch where they get a chance to intercept, you can either prevent the pass from taking place (even if you need to roll a straight 6, that increases your odds from 16.7% to 30.6%), or better yet you actually intercept, gain SPP and also possession of the ball!
It can also be helpful to have guys with Catch nearby when the ball gets knocked loose amongst a group of players. With them all being in tackle zones the ball can often bounce around from player to play until one happens to catch it. If you have players there who get two shots at their attempt, that can give you a nice edge to either retaining the ball, or getting hold of it. So useful on both defence and on offence when things go pair shaped.
Benefits of Catch:
- Can move the ball around more reliably
- Greater threat of Interception
- Saves team rerolls
Who is Catch Useful to:
Catch is obviously going to be useful to nearly any player, however most of them are going to need to roll a double in order to take it. For them Catch is so far down the list of what would be helpful that it isn’t going to be taken by them. Even for those players who can take Catch on a normal roll, a lot of the time there are other more important things for them to take, such as skills that protect them, or help with positioning and movement.
There aren’t many players that I would consider taking Catch on if they didn’t start with it. For those players who do start with Catch I find it a very helpful skill. As only one player on the pitch can hold the ball at a time, often split between teams and other turns where no one has it, there are many turns that Catch is a luxury over alternative choices.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t ever take Catch, it just relegates it somewhat to being a skill later in a players development than early on. I would take it on a Gutter Runner (though probably not every one) after they have three or four skills already. Their high agility means that they often do a lot of the ball handling work, for teams that have low (AG2) or average agility (AG3) it makes more sense to try and avoid giving the ball from one player to another. No one on the Dark Elf team comes with Catch and they are all high agility players. You could consider it on perhaps your Runners, or a Lineman, you then have a better option when using Dump Off (as you can’t use a team reroll during an opponents turn).
The other selection of players who will look to get Catch are the Stunty players. Skinks, Halflings, Goblins (for all three team types) and perhaps Snotlings. These players only have access to agility skills as normal so they don’t have a great selection to pick from generally. If you get Catch on a few then that helps with handing the ball from one to another, helps for one turn Throw Team mate attempts and also is useful in a scrum of players with a bouncing ball. If one of them does catch it in a lot of players, as they also have Stunty, they can run through the opponents tackle zones a lot easier than other players.
If you were going to take Catch as a double skill choice, then I would look towards mutated players who had Extra Arms, or if you take Catch first that is a useful skill to follow it up with. As with picking any skill though, weigh up the alternatives and how useful one is over another.