Dump-Off (Passing)

This skill allows the player to make a Quick Pass when an opponent declares that he will throw a block at him, allowing the player to get rid of the ball before he is hit. Work out the Dump-Off pass before the opponent makes his block. The normal throwing rules apply, except that neither team’s turn ends as a result of the throw, whatever it may be. After the throw is worked out your opponent completes the block, and then carries on with his turn. Dump-Off may not be used on the second block from an opponent with the Frenzy skill or in conjunction with the Bombardier or Throw Team-Mate skills.

Dump-Off Overview:

At first glance Dump-Off appears to be a very useful skill, retaining possession of the ball when the opposing team looks likely to knock your ball carrier down. I personally am of the opinion though that the threat of Dump-Off and the adjustments the opposing team has to make due to it, is more useful than the skill actually is in practice. A successful Dump-Off does count as a completion though and can speed up the development of your player.

To get best use of Dump-Off you need to make sure that you have a team mate within Quick Pass range otherwise it is going to be useless. I would advice to have more than one target within range so that the opposing coach can’t know for certain who you will try to pass the ball to. Also by having more than one potential receiver, it will make it harder for the other team to properly mark them all with enough tackle zones to make the catch highly unlikely (though low agility players will often not really be considered a receiving option by you or them).

Their other option is to mark the ball carrier with enough tackle zones that the pass has a good chance of being a fumble and you drop it. This can be hard for them to do though if your ball carrier is protected by team mates. If you combine Dump-Off with Nerves of Steel on either both or one of the Dump-Off player or the intended target, then marking them becomes somewhat irrelevant. There two skills combine very well to retain possession of the ball and frustrate the opposing side. This will change their defence to more of a marking one trying to tie up the ball carrier, either hoping you fail to get away with the ball, or you end up giving the ball to someone they can hit without the Dump-Off threat.

The main issue I have with Dump-Off though is that it only is of use when your ball carrier is getting hit. My general play style that I advise though involves not getting the ball carrier hit at all. If you succeed with that then there is no place for Dump-Off on your players. Then there are the times that their hit on your ball carrier doesn’t knock them over and you have passed the ball to a less mobile team mate. Risking extra dice rolls that may have dropped the ball which weren’t needed. Perhaps the worst thing that can happen is that you try to Dump-Off and do actually end up dropping it (either from a fumble or failed catch) and they don’t knock you over. You have then needlessly dropped the ball and they can look to pick it up and they achieved this without even knocking you over, or having Strip Ball.

I personally feel that you would be far better just protecting your ball carrier, as not only by not getting hit you are more likely to keep hold of it, but less hits also means a longer life for your player. I would advocate taking skills that make it harder to knock your player over and then having Dump-Off for those times where their odds look good of a knock down and your passing option looks doable. This will usually be if they have a Wrestle + Tackle player doing the hitting. Most teams won’t usually have more than one of these guys so my first plan would be to just keep them at bay.

Benefits of Dump-Off:
  • Can Keep Possession of the Ball when hit
  • Gain Completion SPP in opponents turn
  • Forces the opponent to mark more players
Who Dump-Off is Useful to:

With Dump-Off being a pass it is going to be better suited to players with higher agility. Low agility players just run too much of a risk of dropping the ball. This also applies to your team mates, it is no good having a player who can Dump-Off well if there is no one suitable to catch it afterwards. Due to that I would say it is only really Elven players that would really considered it. You may be able to get away with it on AG3 players if you have other suitable passing and catching skills to back it up with as well. That being said I don’t think I would ever select Dump-Off as a skill on anyone. It is handy to have on a Dark Elf Runner, though if you read my guide on them, you will see I don’t advise to focus on using it.

Dump-Off Summary:

I have read some other guides online that suggest building two Dump-Off + Nerves of Steel players in tandem in order to just keep passing the ball backwards and forwards. I don’t think this is a sound plan, every time you attempt it you are risking dropping the ball, regardless of how good the players are at it. Also every time they are using Dump-Off, it means they are being hit. A player that gets hit may end up off the pitch, perhaps forever! If you are then left with just the one player you will need to adapt the game plan you were using. The problem is you used your skill advances to create a good Dump-Off player and now they aren’t very flexible to a change of plan. Not to mention that their skills are mostly going to be of use when they are holding the ball and this isn’t much help when the other team have their hands on it!

29 thoughts on “Dump-Off”

  1. Personally I think you undervalue this skill. I play with dark elves a lot and dump-off is a key skill in the dark elf arsenal in my opinion. Generally I would not let my runner get hit on purpose, but dump-off becomes a vital skill in two key scenarios that can occur quite regularly:
    1. The running game gets stalled, or exposed due to an early failed dodge or other turnover. This is where dump-off saves your bacon and provides you with a back-up option.
    2. You only have 1 turn left to score and can get your runner into scoring range, but can’t protect him properly from a blitz. Again dump-off allows you to do this while retaining possession and enables you to score on your next turn.
    Both of these scenarios can crop up when your opponent defends the running game well and no other skill gives you the contingency solution for these scenarios that dump-off does.
    Another key situation is on defence when you steal the ball. If you can’t clear the ball from danger, then giving it to your runner gives you far more of a chance to retain possession and prevent the opposition from recovering the ball straight away.

  2. Thanks, those are valid uses, though I’ve not once had those crop up when I used Dark Elves in a league personally. Obviously as Runners come with it there are times to use it, I still don’t think I’m ever going to select it as a skill on anyone who doesn’t start with it.

    Perhaps it’s due to the fact I build my Runners to stay on their feet, so I prefer to just take the block. Then have players positioned to either catch the scatter or have tackle zones on the ball if they do manage to get the knock down.

    • No Dump-Off can only be a Quick Pass, so you have to roll for the throw and the catch. Please note that you can pass the ball to someone in the square next to you.

  3. Also you can dump off to an empty square, it doesn’t have to be to another player. This is mostly useful when the opponent has no player left who could reach the ball there that turn. This leaves the ball free of tackle zones to pick the ball back up on your next turn, and continue your attack.

  4. Having played a bit with Dark Elves, Dump off has proved to be useful on occasion. With elves you haven’t got any really tough players to hold your cage together and the opposition are going to get through every now and again. Dump off gives you a life line so long as you can reasonably expect to make the pass.
    I wouldn’t consider giving dump off to any player with AG3 because they usually have someone to toughen up their cages and lots of guard too.
    Saying that, I’m not sure I’d consider it on a thrower/ball carrier type in the other elven teams, not over the more traditional passing skills like pass, sure hands, accurate and so on. It’s nice to have, but by no means essential.

  5. I would not pick Dump-Off on any level up on any player.  However, as a Dark Elf coach, it is a decent skill on defense. Prying the ball loose from an opponent is difficult, and there is a good chance the player you are able to scoop the ball up with (if you can) will be left unguarded.  Naturally, the opposing coach will do everything he can to blitz down that player, and Dump-Off can really shine in this situation. It is very disruptive for the ball to land several squares away, rather than at the feet of the broken runner.  Or, best case scenario, you complete a pass to an open player.  Only one blitz a turn means the best he can do is mark the new ball carrier. 

  6. Dump off is perfect with elf team. Pick up the ball with a catcher and “protect” him with 2 others catchers. As they all have nerve of steels, you can safely use dump off. Then next turn even if some players mark the catcher with the ball,  you can safely pass the ball to someone else thanks to nerve of steels again

  7. I played the old version of Dark Elves, when they had throwers instead of runners. I fielded 2 throwers, one with dump off and one with sure hands. sure hands to pick up the ball and pass to the guy with dump off, who waits for your drive to be ready to recieve a pass and score. Having the pass skill gives you a re-roll on your dump off, add in nerves of steel and your only failing the pass on double 1’s.
    Dark elves have a hard time keeping a bash team from getting the occasional blitz on their ball carrier, they have no big guys to hold the scrimage line, and having your ball carrier sacked in your half normally spells a touchdown for the the opposition. Any skill that saves you a opposition touch down is ok in my books.
    Then on defense your thrower becomes the guy who will run in for the ball once your witch elves have blitzed the ball free, instead of the guy who stays away from the action for fear of getting hurt. So what if he gets smashed the following round, your witch elf is standing near by to recieve a quick pass and score a winning touchdown.
    I find it interesting that they have replaced the thrower with the the dump-off runner in the dark elf team, obviously appreciating how well this skill goes with the dark elf play style.
    I can garuntee this skill will win you some games, I can also garauntee that once your opponent sees you dump off to a waiting player who then scores the following round, your dump off player will get fouled every time he goes down. There is something about getting SPP when its not even your turn that makes people see red.

    • Thanks for the comment Geoff, personally I’ve never had the issue you seem to have had with bash teams getting a hit on your ball carrier. With Dark Elves agility and how easily you can get them Dodge, reforming a cage usually isn’t that big of a problem. While not the fastest, Dark Elves are faster than the typical bashing teams, and they can also hand off the ball easily making moving the ball and a cage around it to somewhere else on the pitch fairly straight forward.

  8. Dump off is a very difficult skill to get a lot of benefit from but it’s also one that really suits the Dark Elf play style and might be in the one place where it’s really useful, it’s a skill that has saved me on a few occasions where I’ve had a bad turn over such as a cage corner failing a 2+ dodge roll with a reroll and leaving the ball exposed to a blitz and at times like this dump off is a life saver.  There’s also the nasty game situations no one wants to be in like having only 6 players left on the pitch, turn 13 and your runner gets the ball in your own half.  When things get really bleak dump off can make all the difference, sure with eleven players you can usually form a cage but when you’ve taken heavy casualties it sure is nice to be able to put your runner in the open and just go for it.  Or when the wardancer jumps into your cage, or when you get a small breakaway, a tiny gap opens in the opponents line and only the runner and 1 other elf can squeeze through, 2 turns left to score without dump off the other elf has to go it alone and receive a pass, with it both can run and one defender just won’t be enough to stop them.  I really like the skill and I seek out opportunities to take advantage of it.  I have a very dark elf inspired trap play that leaves my runner open to only one or two opponent players but to get to my runner they have to make a handful of rolls.  A wardancer may have to leap my line, dodge a diving tackle and go for it once to blitz my intentionally carefully positioned runner with a one dice block only to find the ball in the hands of another player and himself alone against a hand picked team of elves (assasins, tackle, mighty blow, dirty player etc.), that is if he’s lucky enough to even make it all the way without face planting and causing a turn over.  Few players can resist a chance to sack the ball carrier, even in the presence of dump off and a nasty gauntlet of rolls.

  9. There are many great articles on this site however I’m sorry to say this isn’t one of them 🙁

    Dump off is one of those weird skills that can entirely change how you play your offensive drives because it means you no longer need to protect your ball carrier from being sacked. The reason imo its not popular is because people are so used to caging on offense they are reluctant to really change their strategy.

    Here is how you use dump off. You need a few things: A thrower who can throw a quick pass on a 2+ with the pass skill with nerves of steel and safe throw too. This is pretty easy for most teams to get. But perhaps later in team development for some teams.

    The harder thing is you need a receiver with a 2+ catch and catch skill. Nerves of steel and dodge are highly recommended too in case he is marked. This is hard to find so elf teams are prob the best candidates.

    Use of this skill can make it near impossible for your offensive drives to be stopped. Your opponent can only blitz your thrower and it is highly likely that your pass will succeed leaving hopefully a high agility fast player unmarked with the ball. You then simply proceed to run/dodge away for the TD.

    Worst case scenario is a fumble with a bad scatter or miracle interception. Even a dropped catch is not too bad really since your not taking a turn over. Keeping in mind also that these results are much less likely than your opponent knocking over you ball carrier and freeing the ball for a teammate to pick up.

    Basically this skill is highly situational mainly because a lot of teams don’t have access to the skills needed to make dumping off work. Even when you have it you will elect not to use it some times. But when used effectively it is devastating and extremely frustrating to your opponent.

  10. Guess we will have to just disagree then!

    All those skills you are taking for a play that involves your ball carrier getting hit isn’t something that fits into my preferred play style.

    I’d rather concentrate on skills that keep the ball carrier safe and help out on defence as well. If my ball carrier does get hit, I’d rather he had skills that protect him, rather than lose both the ball and the player.

    As you said at the end, sometimes you even choose not to use it and I probably take that option more than most. There are still times when it can come in useful to have for that frustration factor (good positioning makes up for the lack of specialist skills) without focusing on it.

  11. Yes we will!!

    We all know you hate passing anyway coach so its OK 🙂

    Great thing about this game is the different play styles that are possible.

  12. I play an orc team with 5 players with AG4 (3 blitzer, 1 thrower, 1 lino).

    I dropped Dump-Off on my Thrower, and I have been using it since.
    I usually cage with a “bait” opening on my thrower, guarded by AG4/Guard/Block Blitzers. If my opponent plays an agile team the bait will usually work. I give 1 dice block on my thrower, often requiring one or two dodges to get there. When you consider this option to blocking your way through 6x ST4/Guarded/AV9 and a block Troll it is often the best bet.

    Dump off is here to save the ball, and make this bait still safe for my team. My thrower rarely score, and rarely pass in his turn, he usually gets his SPP in my opponent’s turn. It’s a much safer throw since even if I roll a double 1, I can usually pick it up straight after.

    I play my team with my opponent’s turnover and this skill allows me just that.

  13. Dump-Off can be a great skill. Some of it’s best uses aren’t completly obvious. My favorite teams to use dump-off on are the ones that some here would question… I like it on Orcs and Dwarves..

    1- if I get hit by a flying wardancer or other creative blitz ( this is not 100% avoidable .. elf players are known to try some ridiculous blitzs ) it lets me place the ball 3 squares farther away from my opponent’s ball retriever… regardless of if I make the catch or even if I don’t have someone in range to toss it to. I can at least throw it in a difficult place to retrieve.

    2- Sometimes you are forced to make a 2-3 turn TD with a slow team.. you can’t just grind a slow cage down the field… you have to take risks and push it. This skill gives you an increased chance of success in those situations.

    3- ( I like this one best ) It encourages the other player to mark all of my orc/dwarves to prevent the dump-off catch before he attempts a difficult blitz.. ( I may not even dump the ball off ever *snicker snicker* ) This places him right where I want him as I proceed to bash him team to bits next turn.

  14. Dump off is great with a Diving Catch receiver (Slann Catchers start with Diving Catch). It allows the receiver to be one square out of Quick Pass range (pass to the adjacent empty square), or it gives +1 to the catch on an accurate pass to their square (an AG4 with Diving Catch can be marked by a single opponent and still catch on 2+, which makes marking them less useful to prepare against a dump off)

    Additionally it allows a 48% chance (assuming no adjacent opponents) of getting a chance to catch the ball, since they can catch the inaccurate pass if it lands in an adjacent square. Since the dump-off player will be passing in tackle zones (at least one) the pass might well be inaccurate.

  15. one surprising thing I’ve been using dump-off for a lot: wizard control!

    I’ve always been a big proponent of trying to control when an enemy uses a wizard; sometimes playing like you’re afraid of the Wiz is a lot worse than simply baiting the fireball/LB when it really isn’t as good for them as it looks, and then playing the rest of your game wizard-free. The goal is to get them to use the wizard when it won’t get them possesion of the ball. dump off is great for this in 2 ways!

    1) dump off is a great fireball bait. Normally against a wizard you need to avoid grouping up; even if the fireball doesn’t knock down your BC, it is very likely to blow a huge hole in any tight cage. with a NoS dark elf runner at the center of the cage, you are essentially giving the FB a 50% chance to fizzle; even if his whole cage is down, as long as the BC is on his feet, you are likely to keep possession.

    2) baiting your enemy with seeming “accidental” opportunities to blitz the BC are a great way to stall a looming lightening bolt. I can’t count the number of times enemies have opted to “save” their wizard and make the blitz I’ve given them, only to see me dump-off and score the next turn.

    TLDR: I wouldn’t take this skill outside the DE team (actually, it can be good on a developed HE team too) but I do maximize its value by using it to influence opposing wizard use.

    • Not sure I follow your logic, if I had a Wizard the opposing ball carrier wouldn’t affect when I’d opt to use it. Could make for an interesting thread on the forum if you wish to discuss it further.

  16. Coach,

    You say that you “prefer to keep your ballcarrier standing” but it sounds like you don’t play in a league where people take tackle, wrestle or strip ball. You can throw all the blodge on players you want, but once your opponents get these neutralizing skills blodge doesn’t completely protect your ball carrier.

    Dump off isn’t a skill to design a player around and I also prefer to give my elves more defensive skills (like wrestle and strip ball) in order to help get the ball back but dump off can be a valuable tool for a high AG team. I just wouldn’t take it too early in team development as there are other, more pressing, skills to take early on.

    And yeah, I realize I’m leaving this comment some 4 years after the last one but I’m assuming people still come to this site to check out the many great articles about the game (as I do!)

    • Thanks for your comment! I absolutely play with people who take those skills, however I try to position my players in such a way to minimise the ball carrier getting hit at all! If they do get hit, then it’s even more work for the opposing team to use their preferred player.

  17. Hi, I am missing one of the best reasons for having Dump-off on your ball carrier. And that is Strip Ball. This skill which is used a lot on ball retrievers is completely negated by Dump-off.
    May just be my league off course, but with quite a few Skaven and Elf teams in my league pretty much everyone has created a Strip Ball Blitzer. I have been the 1st one to try Dark Elves here and I have been pleasantly surprised and saved often by this skill.
    That said I would never take it unless I play Elves or possibly on a 3rd and/or 4th Gutter Runner.

  18. I have a really derpy question about how this interacts with Pass Block.

    Pass Block RAW doesn’t mention anything about turnovers and so on when anything happens to the player (such as being knocked down when they attempt to dodge out of a TZ), just that it uses “all of the normal rules and skills”. I assume this is because under normal circumstances you will never use Pass Block during your own turn. However, because Dump Off counts as a normal pass, it’s legal to use Pass Block against it.

    This means that your player can move in their Pass Block interrupt turn and be knocked over, while it is still your turn. Normally, that would be a Turnover. Is that still the case in this instance? (And if so, does the block against the player with Dump Off continue?)

    This isn’t urgent or anything, I was just reading Pass Block in the rules and was like ‘huh’.

  19. Question for a Khemri player. What about 2 Thro-ras with Block, Nerves of Steel and Dump Off paired near each other to score TDs?

    • With such low agility I would try to limit the amount of ball handling rolls as much as possible. Dump Off will also only work if your player is getting hit. If they are getting hit then they aren’t going to be lasting very long and it probably took you quite a lot of games to get 3 skills on them in the first place.

  20. No dump-off on Khemri. Just no. I have thoughts on NoS on Khemri too, but we’re talking about dump-off here.

    The one thing Thro-Ras have going for them, is sure hands, so people can only make them drop the ball by knocking them down. If you choose to dump-off the ball when the thro-ra is blocked, you cut the advantages of block and sure hands in half, and you nullify the natural synergy of those two abilities.

    Also, Khemri Thro-ras get targeted, so if you have a thro-ra being protected as well as you can manage that is getting hit, what do you think are the chances that your second thro-ra, who is presumably less protect because it doesn’t have the ball, is still going to be standing and within quick pass range? Furthermore, Khemri needs help being more mobile, I’d suggest avoiding tactics which limit your maneuvering options.. such as needing to keep your thro-ras within quick pass of one another.

    To be honest though, I’m having trouble with dump-off.. it doesn’t even seem to be very good on dark elves to me, but then I haven’t had many opportunities to play them yet.


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