Dwarf Deathroller

Blood Bowl Dwarf Deathroller
Dwarf Deathroller Overview:

The Dwarf Deathroller is the strongest player in the game (along with Deeproot Strongbranch) and can cause real problems for the opposing team. They epitomise the Dwarf way of playing, slow, tough and full of hitting. A Deathroller won’t be adding much in terms of speed to your team, but they do provide you with a player who is stronger than ST3. Their really high strength makes it very hard for other teams to hit and even if they do get knocked over their high armour will rarely break. Mighty Blow causes damage to those they hit and Stand Firm is great for forcing players to dodge away and also holding space on the pitch you want to keep clear.

Unfortunately there are some drawbacks to having such a strong, high armoured, wheel of death on the team. The sheer size and flagrant abuse of the rules doesn’t escape the eye of the referee and they will get sent off at the end of the drive they start. This means you will want to either make good use of bribes if you can get them, or failing that field them in a drive that will last as long as possible. This will usually be the one where they Dwarfs are receiving, when they aim to use up the whole clock slowly moving the ball to the opponents end zone for the touchdown. Deathrollers also have Loner so you will want to be careful about what dice rolls you elect to do with them. Fortunately their high strength means that they get 3 dice on a one verses one block against a ST3 player. This will minimise the turnover potential and makes up somewhat for their lack of Block. If you blitz with them then Juggernaut will practically wipe out most turnovers in this situation.

Other tricks up the sleeve of a Deathroller is that their high strength and Break Tackle make is rather easy to dodge into multiple tackle zones. If you are attempting this then it is usually because you are trying to dodge into a cage. Don’t be surprised though if the opposing team tends to keep the ball away from them and hope their slow movement keeps them away! If you are fielding the Deathroller when you receive though, you should have the ball so this option perhaps won’t crop up too often. (For the record ST7 with Break Tackle dodging into three tackle zones is a 3+ roll.) Also Loner means you will probably only get one shot on the dodge roll, don’t be afraid to use break tackle to move into a better position though, into two tackle zones is a 2+ roll!

The last consideration is that they have Dirty Player, normally you wouldn’t want to be fouling away with a player that causes a lot of problems. As the Deathroller is going to get sent off anyway though, you can start using them to foul towards the end of your drive, not really caring if you get sent off. It can work out to be a very good trade if you remove an opposing player for the rest of the game!

Dwarf Deathroller:
  • Normal: Guard / Grab / Multiple Block
  • Doubles: Block /Pro / Diving Tackle / Frenzy
  • Stat Increase: +MA

Deathrollers aren’t going to usually skill up very fast and their job on the pitch is very one dimensional. Therefore developing them up is fairly straightforward in the skill they would take, it is personal preference which order you elect to take them in. Guard is always handy for Dwarf teams, you can never have enough and with ST7 and Stand Firm, they aren’t a player that is going to get knocked over or pushed away easily. Grab is great for keeping players they hit next to them, keeping as many opponents tied up as possible. As usual it can be used to create space and also set up crowd pushes for your Troll Slayers as well. Multiple Block is also perhaps worth considering (safer to take it if you manage to get Block first though) they can then block 2 ST3 players in the same turn without needing any assists and still get two dice in your favour.

Doubles, much like on Big Guys look like Block or Pro, Block obviously helps when hitting and will let you do more two dice hits rather than looking for only three dice all the time. Pro can be used to try and reroll blocks (therefore again helping with two dice ones, though Block is better), or you can use Pro to attempt more Break Tackle dodges that might be a bit risky. There is also the interesting choice of selecting Diving Tackle to really tie up opposing players, this would lead to a more passive role perhaps (though less risk of turnovers) and combines really well with Grab. Frenzy is also nice, six block dice on a ST3 player (assuming no assists either side) means you should be knocking an opponent over every turn you can hit one.

For stats I would pass up on +ST, it is a big increase in team value for a player that will get sent off a lot and the double roll is more useful. They are also already strong enough to not really get as much mileage out of the increase compared to pretty much any other player in the game. +AG is worthless, +AV you can’t take as you already have maximum armour. That just leaves +MV which can be handy for that extra movement around the pitch.

Dwarf Deathroller Summary:

The Deathroller is a player that has a lot of split opinion about if they are worth taking on your team. Starting the team with one will often leave you with less than 11 players on a drive in your early games, so it isn’t recommended then. For the same reasons you might want to wait until you have one substitute already so get one as the 13th player on the roster. They are expensive though and use up quite a bit of TV that you could otherwise have on either skills or inducements. The fact they only play for one drive and that can be a really short time if the other team manages to turn you over for a quick score. On the other hand they are great fun to use and you are happy enough to put up with the sacrifices then they can certainly make your games more entertaining!

29 thoughts on “Dwarf Deathroller”

  1. The DR does not have the loner skill so that is incorrect. I think for LRB6 it will have (but maybe you are refering to this – not sure if it is out yet)

    You can acually use multiple block on two str4 guys and get two dices on each. Personally I regret taking multiple block since there is a pretty big chance of a turnover doing two two-dice blocks without having the block skill. I tend to use him to blitz with and should probably have taken frenzy instead.

    • Yes LRB6 is out, though it is called the Competition Rules Pack and Loner was added to the Deathroller (though you are correct under LRB5 they don’t have Loner.

      Fair point about Multiple Block vs ST4 players, though like you said without Block that is going to cause turnovers. Not so much a big deal if you have a reroll and are using the older rules where they don’t have Loner, but the latest rules that is too much of a liability for my liking! So in a bash heavy league with more ST4 players, that makes Multiple Block Less desirable.

      Thanks for your input.

  2. Great work as always, Coach, you are the best! But, isn’t ST7 with Break Tackle dodg? into three tackle zones  a 2+ roll? My wardancer with Ag5 dodges into 1 tackle zone by 2+, so ST7 dodge into 3 zones should be 2+, not 3+

    • This is a common misconception which is why I put it in the article. The agility table only goes up to 6+ and not 7. So agility 7 is the same as agility 6 with a target of 1+. So you get +1 for dodging -3 for the 3 tackle zones which makes -2 overall. If you roll a 2 and take 2 away you get 0 which is lower than the 1+ you need. If you roll a 3 and take 2 away then you get 1 which was the target.

      Dodging into three tackle zones on a 3+ is already pretty sick, AG4 players can be annoying enough, so no need to make AG7 players practically unstoppable! Being that no player can get AG7 and it only comes up when using Break Tackle it is an easy mistake to make.

  3. Just a note about your figures for dodging into 3 TZs. You say ” If you roll a 3 and take 2 away then you get 1 which was the target.” Sure 1 is the target, but I thought that a 1 always failed whether it is modified or not…

  4. If you are lucky to roll doubles before getting multiple-block you can decide wich way to take your deathroller. Either take block for multiblock fun or take frenzy for easier advancement of your cage.
    Frenzy and guard is a great combination as it lets you use your troll-slayer on the LOS with a less micro-management of guards, assist and the like. Effectivley advancing faster and saver.

  5. very interesting articles there bro, at least i know now how to use that behemoth!! though sadly no-one is ever on xbox live to play it with 🙁

  6. I think the Deathroller is a must have for a dwarf team. I agree that a dwarf is tough enough to stand against any other team, but with a Deathroller it is tough enough not just to stand but to do a TD.
    That DR creates lots of space and even other bashy teams have to fear that mashine. Without DR i often get in a brawl near the LoS and need to fight for every step towards the TD-Zone, with the DR u create space much faster and have a playing piece in the first line that will not be knocked down even with lots of support. Or when knocked down only if the opponent really concentrates on doing that – but than just stand up and blitz!

  7. Hello.I have a dilemma:I am starting playin and I chose dwarves for my team.In a TV 1,000,000 I am between chosing 2 blitzers,2 runners,2 troll slayers and 5 blockers with 2 rerolls or a team with a deathroller and 2 blitzers,2 trollslayers and 1 runner with only one reroll.what would you advise me?
    Any help is welcomed.Thans beforehand

  8. If you haven’t picked up a Deathroller they make a great merc inducement, especially if you can also pick up a bribe to extend their play time. It’s the only inducement that I find to be roughly equal in value to a wizard — that a Dwarf team can get both is a huge advantage when playing higher TV teams.

    Similarly, if you already have a Deathroller bribes are a powerful inducement. I’d say perhaps a bit less value than a Wizard, but cheaper too.

    Plus, as Dwarves are very TV efficient and don’t rely upon reserve players as much as other teams, they often have a relatively low TV and are the team benefiting from inducements.

  9. I know the doubles Coach lists are all tempting, but since the Deathroller now has Loner, Sure Feet is another good pick for making the most of his limited range.

  10. you don’t mention the fact that as dwarves almost never die and can buy their full roster for 1000TV, they almost always are sitting on a massive treasury. The dwarf player in my league won the championship game using petty cash to buy 4 bribes for his DR, essentially keeping him on the field most of the game. sure, the other guy got plenty of inducements, but it didn’t help, not nearly enough!

  11. You mention fielding deathrollers on offense, but don’t forget their value on defense:

    1. cagebusting.
    2. if you have a bribe, and can kick off, and can prevent the score, you can essentially keep your deathroller the entire game with 1 bribe (score or not on T8/T8, use bribe, recieve and slow drive score on T16/T15)
    3. Dwarves THRIVE on the 2-1 grind. The 2-1 grind relies on forcing a fast score. What better way to force the fast score than with a deathroller? Most likely, if your opponent has a deathroller, and knows how to use it, you’re going to score fast or not at all! Either way, the deathroller serves its function…a powerful defensive tool, or a powerful incentive to score!

  12. Hi Coach

    I was lucky enough to roll double for deathroller so I took block as my first skill up. When considering what I’d take on a second double I’d suggest that DODGE might be worth taking.

    My logic for this is this two-fold

    1) A strength 7 blodger is going to be VERY hard to knock down (players with tackle tend not be high strength so will need a LOT of assists whereas high strength players need fewer assists but won’t have tackle).

    2) Dodge with break tackle means it can fairly reliably make a dodge each turn, even one that might be considered difficult

    3) Pro? What exactly might I need to re-roll? If I choose my blocks well I’ll have 3d and I think that on triple skulls one can conclude that Nuffle really has it in for them!

  13. If they have enough guards/assists which generally takes half the team and/or a big guy to be involved.

    Tying up half the team is worthwhile and big guys rarely have tackle.

    Another reason the DR would get less use from Pro is that it doesn’t have a stupid/bonehead/wild animal with a chance of (at least) 1/6 to fail to act.

    I once managed to crowd surf a deathroller with a deathroller. 😀

  14. Hey coach, with the stadium system in BB2 now, would you be more willing to recommend a deathroller as at least for home teams, you can ensure a minimum of 1 bribe?

    • Hi Hastati, thanks for your question but I’m predominantly a tabletop player and I’m not at all familiar with the stadium or any extra rules that Cyanide have implemented in BB2. I’d suggest asking on the BBTactics Forum as I know there are coaches there who have it.

  15. Hi.Playing in a heavy bashing league and had a stroke of bad luck. Started with TV 1000 and have the starting lineup with all positionals,3 rr and apo, no guard so far. Better save for Deathroller as a 12th player or wait to skill up, take another longbeard and then as a 13th take it? Our league consists of 11 games each coach and we are playing 4th game sortly. Tnx for the help.

  16. Where do you come up with the +1 to dodge? A 7 str (with break tackle is a 1+ on the table) needs a 1+. Three tackles zones makes it -3, so you would need a 4+. I am not understanding how you are coming up with the 3+?

    • Every dodge action has a basic +1 to the roll, just like every pick up action for the ball has a +1 to the roll. So a Deathroller has a 1+ basic chance of success, -3 for tackle zones, +1 for dodge = 3+ success.


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