Goblins are one of the cheapest players in the game and have a reputation of being sneaky, underhand and are well known for their love of weaponry. The basic Goblin is weak and and not very tough, though they do have some handy benefits as well. For their price they speed and agility is pretty good and with the skills Dodge and Stunty, they can get around the pitch fairly well most of the time. Their skill access is rather limited though so they aren’t the most flexible of players and it isn’t unusual for a Goblin to have a short life span anyway.
On the Blood Bowl pitch Goblins will have a variety of uses mostly in a more supportive role to their team mates than being a star on the team. Use them to prod the Trolls into doing what you want, getting assists, being a tackle zone, fouling or helping a foul and sometimes you may even do some blocking and possibly even scoring with them!
The fact Goblins are cheap means you can have a lot of them in reserve so getting sent off for fouling isn’t a bad thing and is often encouraged. It also helps that you can get cheap bribes for the team as well which points towards a more underhand play style of using fouls in combination with the various illegal weaponry they field.
All that being said though there are a few useful skill combinations available to Goblins which make them annoying to the other team, or more useful to your own team. Doubles can open up more possibilities, as do getting stat increase. If a Goblin has three skills without one or the other don’t be shy about being reckless with him, if they die it isn’t something to be upset about. You shouldn’t go over the top though and ideally you would prefer to keep all your Goblins out of contact with the other team, preferring to stand back and block off areas of the pitch.
One of the builds that will be your most numerous due to the limited skill choice you get without rolling doubles. Catch to start off makes moving the ball around easier when you hand it off. It can also help get possession of the ball when it is bouncing around in scrums of players. Two shots at interception passes can be a game saver or winner as well. It also helps with Throw Team Mate attempts for those otherwise dead turns at the end of halves. Sure Feet and Sprint give them greater range for moving the ball around. Side Step makes it harder to pin them down and can also give you an extra square of movement in the opposing team’s turn. For doubles go for Block to keep them upright (early doubles go for other builds). +ST lets you hit a bit easier and makes them a bit harder to hit. An agility increase makes dodges and mobility really easy as well as handling the ball.
One of my favourite builds for a Goblin is to make them into a defensive nuisance , Side Step makes them great at marking players or blocking off running lanes. Diving Tackle combines really well for both of these roles as well. After that there aren’t many options for you Sure Feet can help you get them where is most useful and extra speed to the team. For doubles I can’t see past Block as it will keep them on their feet more. Stat wise +ST makes it harder for them to be blocked and +AG will let you easily get to where you want. It is especially useful if you want to get next to a ball carrier. If you get it early on though I would look towards another build.
A very similar set up to the defensive build but if you get a double skill early then consider Wrestle. With Stunty you can get to the ball carrier easily and Wrestle will help you knock them over, even doing two dice against blocks. After that Side Step will keep you next to them if you don’t knock them over and Diving Tackle keeps them there unless they get knock you over. Try to stay away from Tackle players on the other team though. Obviously +ST helps for anyone who is doing blocking and may turn some of those blocks into an even one die. +AG makes it even easier to get there too.
Ball Retrieving / Handling Goblin:
Another option for a player if you get a double skill 1st or even better +AG is to turn them into a player who can go and get the ball. Sure Hands would be the choice if you get a double to reroll picking it up, you can also use them as a ball carrier then, getting Block if you rolled a second double. Getting an agility increase will let you dodge almost anywhere on a 2+ and also make picking the ball up easier as well. For normal skills you want to increase their range so you can move somewhere as safe as possible. Sure Feet and Sprint are your options for doing that.
- Normal: Sneaky Git, Sure Feet
- Doubles: Dirty Player
- Stat Increase:
In the spirit of Goblin teams everywhere this guy fits in really well. You might want to wait for the double first as its harder to ensure you get one after taking Sneaky Git. It combos really well with Dirty Player and lets you foul without really worrying about getting plenty of assists in (though that is still good practice). If you skill up again then take Sure Feet to make getting to your target easier. Otherwise I would ignore any more skills to keep his value down, otherwise its just more value you are giving away when they do get sent off.
Despite the limited skill access there are quite a few ways to go with a Goblin, the catching and defensive builds are the most common ones and what you will go for without getting doubles or a stat increase. Generally taking +MV or +AV is going to increase their team value more than its really worth, though the movement can come in handy on some players and you may consider it as the first skill increase. If you get doubles first then look to specialise, prioritising based on your personal preference of play style and what you feel the team needs the most of at the time. If you get +AG first then look to use them more for handling the ball while +ST would point to going down a more blitzing role. If you can get a doubles on these guys then they can become really useful and may even be worth using your Apothecary on!
Goblins are a fun team but you can compete with them with a bit of practice, hopefully these builds will help you on the way. If you do happen to get any skilled up further than I’ve suggested then head over to the forums if you want some suggestions on where to go next.