As the main players on one of the weakest teams in Blood Bowl, Halfling players make up most of the team, well in numbers anyway. They are weak, slow, break easily with low armour and Stunty and only have normal access to agility skills. Their benefits though are that they are cheap and start with dodge. They have average agility and when you combine the tackle zone ignoring benefits of Stunty (when dodging) with the Dodge skill they aren’t bad at running past opponents.
On first glance they seem somewhat useless as they have trouble really performing at any of the basic actions you expect from a Blood Bowl player. Halflings also have a habit of getting removed from the pitch at an alarming rate, especially if the opposition has plenty of Block and / or Tackle. There are some strategies that can make them work but they really need to work coherently as a team.
As far as development goes there aren’t really many options for them due to their limited normal skill access. The short life span of the average Halfling player also can hamper the development. Getting doubles and stat increases really open your options up and can greatly improve the usefulness of a Halfling. Any Halfling who gets blessed with such an advancement becomes worth protecting. You still may not want to use your Apothecary on them early in a game as replacing a Treeman is far worse. Due to the somewhat different nature of Halfling development I will go after the stat increases separately.
This will be a typical route of development for a Halfling. Side Step can help negate their slowness a bit, is good for marking players / running routes and offers some protection against chain blocks. Follow that up with Diving Tackle and your Halfling can be really tricky for a lot of players to get past. Unlike most other players with this skill combination you don’t necessarily want to man mark in the opposing tackle zone (they will happily hit you) but having a screen of defensive Halflings in the way can cause opponents to try and run around instead.
With limited options for increases Sure Feet is probably the next most useful to take to help with moving around. A three skill Halfling without a double though is one you aren’t too bothered about losing. Hopefully his replacement will get better skill rolls. If you do get a double at any point then Block is the best choice as it will keep them on their feet more often keeping their tackle zone in play.
This is the other most common Halfling build and having a few is worth having. Start with Catch to help with receiving a hand off and it can also help with grabbing bouncing balls and you may get the odd interception. If you already have a lot with Catch then you can go with Sure Feet first as you will be moving with them a lot more than making catch rolls. Sprint comes in as third choice to increase their range that little bit more.
Again Block is probably the best use on a double, it can keep them upright that bit better if you have to make a break for it but can’t get safe from being blitzed. Sure Hands is another option as well (though you can never have enough Block, you can get too much Sure Hands) as it is pretty easy for a Strip Ball opponent to get the ball off a non Sure Hands Halfling. It can also save on rerolls and can be useful at trying to get a loose ball that has opposing tackle zones next to it.
With the first Halfling to get a double a Kick player is well worth having. If you get a blitz on the kick off or the opposing team fails to pick the ball up, then you can throw a Halfling into the other half to either try and catch the kick off, or pick up the loose ball and score in your first turn! Normally I would take skills to protect a Kick player though that is hard on Halflings, Sure Feet or Side Step are probably your best options. As you try to keep them out of trouble (hide behind your Treemen) they may not get many more SPP.