If your team can only field 10 or less players for the next match, you may bring Journeymen onto your team for free until your team can field 11 players for the next match. A Journeyman is always a player from a 0-16 allowed position on your team’s roster, counts his normal rookie cost towards your total team value, but has the Loner skill as they are unused to playing with your team. Journeymen may take the total players on your team (including injured players) to more than 16 at this point.

Blood Bowl Inducements Journymen

Journeymen are one of the new rules changes that were introduced in LRB5. One of the previous issues in the rules were when teams get badly beaten up in a game, they have a very hard time trying to recover afterwards. Journeymen allow you to field a team of eleven players in every match that you play. This is in order to try and cut down on the number of teams that just get restarted. It is far more rewarding and adds team character to have fought back from a set back instead of just abandoning the team. Team history is another fun facet of the game if playing in a league with progression.

It may appear fairly straight forward in their use, if you have less than eleven players, just use them until you can afford to replace them. This may not always be the case however. If you lose more than one player, especially if they are positional players as well, you may decide not to just replace them one by one as soon as you can afford them. If they just die straight away in the next game after you bought them you are straight back in square one. It may be better to save up and then buy a few replacement players all in one go.

Using Journeymen:

So you have Journeymen players for this game, what do you actually do with them? There are a few things to consider about them. First they all come with Loner, so they don’t make the best use of rerolls, you will want to utilise them on the pitch doing roles where they either make no dice rolls at all, or non vital rolls which you can get away with if they don’t fail. Second thing to consider is that they are not permanent players on your team, if they get hurt it is no big deal as you will just get another one to use the following game if you are still short. The last point is that they are going to be one of your non positional players, typically the least skilful/useful player that your team can usually get.

Considering those three points, it would appear they are best used to tie up the opposition and take all the hits that you don’t want your own players to take. They can either get injured or just stand up to get hit again the following turn, neither of which requires a dice roll on your part. Typically they will be the ones you put on the Line of Scrimmage when you are kicking the ball, leaving the three free blocks the opposition are open to have being against any Journymen you have.

Any ball handling is usually best left to your permanent players, they will be more reliable because they can use rerolls freely and you will also want to keep the SPP from completions and scoring. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use Journeymen for these things and if a situation dictates they are in the best position to do so, then by all means go ahead and do so, even more reason to do so if you are out of team rerolls as well.

Hiring Journeymen:

Just because Journymen are best use to your team by doing the dirty work of getting beaten up, it doesn’t mean that they won’t get any SPP. Sometimes you need to pass with them, or even score, they can on occasion get casualty points as well and there is always the chance they will get the MVP as well. Should this happen you are given the option to pay for them after the match and keep their SPP. Should this happen and you can afford them, it is probably worth doing, especially if they got quite a few. If you are saving up in order to purchase new players all in one go then you may be tempted to skip over them if they only have the one or two SPP, though the race you are using will make a difference as well.

33 thoughts on “Journeymen”

  1. Though this being a great addition to BB it is in fact ruining the Game.
    Players should be forced to buy a player if they can afford to do so to bring their numbers upto a play level, if say playing BB online this has been abused completely with players buying rerolls and cheerleaders rather than replenshing their teams.
    IMHO this was a poorly thought through game mechanic which when play tested correctly with the public has been found to be completely and utterly broken.
    Perhaps in the future GW will actually playtest these changes in the publid domain before releasing them, if they ever hope fo the game to actually be playable.
    My 2 cents anyway…

    • Games workshop didn’t rewrite the rules, they were done by the Blood Bowl community. So it was the public community that play tested it. Personally in our league it has been fantastic. The Journeymen still add to your team’s value and they do have the Loner skill as well. If your view comes from the new computer game by cyanide, they haven’t implemented the rules for Journeymen properly yet, so I would hold off your judgement.

    • I think basing an opinion on incorrectly implemented rules gives you an unclear view on how they actually work. I’m not saying they are without fault but the way they work in the cyanide game at the moment they are definitely open to abuse. This came up in play testing of the rules and they were made with this kind of abuse in mind. I would hold passing judgement until it is fixed, there still make some cases where it is beneficial to abuse it to that extreme (with the correct implementation), but it hasn’t cropped up yet to my knowledge.

  2. ok no probs i understand that they are there to helpteams play making them able to rebuild.
    But ad this is a big but if you have the cash , you should HAVE to buy players to replenish your team, not use them for rerolls, and Inducements etc. The fact that people are using the system to Boost their teams by not bothering to hire new players aggrevates me no end and shows poor poor play testing on the part of Cyanide.

    Its great that the “community” is having an input on these rules but some questions have to be asked as to the validility of there reasoning regarding the points costs of rerolls etc..
    Having played games of WFB with the FAQ team whose questionable rulings on Errattas and other such issues in that particular game system i have to question wether these rules should have been put out for playtesting to a wider audience, or perhaps this is the playtesting as the game isnt on general release till sept…

  3. This is definitely an unfair rule. I realize the game can be difficult if your team is decimated, but a limit on the number of limemen should be implemented. Teams getting 5 or 6 free lineman should have further penalties. A bonehead type rule should be implemented rather than loner, reflecting a player’s confusion about what his team is doing, and what the free lineman thinks he should be doing. This would prevent the abuse of the rule while still allowing decimated teams a chance to recover. I also like the idea of forcing teams to spend money on new players when they can afford them. Of course, this is from the viewpoint of an online player who has been victimized by these teams. Correctly calculating a team’s TV would go a long way though…

  4. This is a good rule. Just because Cyanide did not implement it correctly does not make it a bad rule. If you get 4 players killed in a game your team is probably finished for the tourney without journeyman. And having 4 or 5 journeyman hinders your game big time. Do not forget they can use a RR only 50% of the time.

  5. My view is that journeymen are there to timely help in case of a disastrous setback (lots of casualties suffered in a game) in order to leave you time to get back to strength and buy reserves.
    If you build your long term strategy around journeymen, your team is prone to failure (maybe less true for dwarfs or orcs with their AV9 but still…) as you need reserves in order to not be understrength after the first drive of each game!

  6. I have found journeymen to be a great rule. it allows the lower armour teams to take on the bashey teams and even if they get decimated, they can still play. It will always be abused, like any crutch rule, but you cant force people to buy players when the get them for free… at least they dont get SPP and have loner – which can be real game-killers.

  7. Journeymen (haven’t played the Cyanide game yet–I play over BOTOCS java client) are fantastic.  And there’s a very big penalty for using them–if you don’t buy the player, they never get better and always have Loner.
    As far as giving them Bonehead–that’s a terrible idea–there’s a reason Ogres are barely playable, and the only saving grace they have is their tough!  Journeymen still increase the value of my team (so I don’t get free inducements), but allow me to keep playing after a freakin’ Deathroller squishes my front line!  😀

  8. Ok the poor cyanide implementation of this rule will eventually be fixed, although i havnt read any plans for you being able to buy the loner at the end of the game, they simply bugger off!
    Bonehead would be a little extreme, and yes the chance to rebuild is awesome, but the problem is people simply arnt bothering o rebuild, they are spending the money on ReRolls Cheer Leaders, inducements etc..
    If the team has the cash to replace a dead player then why should the NOT be forced to replace them?
    To take football as an example, if your 3 goal keepers are injured, you draft in a loan keeper- you still PAY for him and have the option to buy, you simply wouldnt ask local teams to send a different keeper to you every week to play a game?!
    Hence if the rules were more clearly thought out, with the people who WILL abuse the rules being taken into account then these problems would simply disappear as they wouldnt be able to buy the additional items that affect games.I.E. ReRolls etc…
    The people who envisioned this rule saw the game as being played by TT gamers who 90% of te time are more than honest and play for the fun of the game.
    With the release of a computer game the real issues are the original playtesting of this rule, the comparative unbalanced facets of certain teams, and other dubous combinatons are now being seen..Minotaur, Claw,Mightyblow,Horns,etc easily the best Big guy that can be bought easy to SPP and comparatively cheap.. these issues are now being seen as things to be changed in the future incarnatons of the LRB..
    Well thats my humble opinion…..

  9. Actually this did happen in my league… one skaven player did not replace his linemen straight away, he spent it on a rat ogre and an extra re-roll bofore replacing them. he was 3 players down once he did start to, and suffered in the league as his linemen just kept failing their loner roll. karma has it’s comeback. but it does happen, it is just the computer version has highlighted this to the whole world, not just individual leagues.

  10. First off, in the PC game, it does prompt you to buy your Journeymen; I had to use one for a Blitzer that got a MNG injury, and at the end of the match it asked me to purchase the guy.  As he had no SPP I took a pass.
    Having Loner makes them limited in usefulness–it’s a 50/50 chance of throwing away your reroll, and base stats/skills.  There are certain teams that can use Journeymen more reliably than others (dwarf journeymen are pretty effective) but every team plays different!

  11. I just got the Cyanide Blood Bowl video game, but haven’t yet tried online play. I’ve heard about this journeyman “bug”, but don’t understand it. Could I trouble someone to post a link, or explain it?

    This rule is great (note: I play Skaven…) for the table top game, what’s going on with the video game? Does “Loner” not work properly? Can you recruit journeymen with 11 uninjured players still on your roster? Or are players simply refusing to pay to hire on the journeyman after the game? I thought that was my understanding of how the game works… You can spend your money on cheerleaders and rerolls, and still get a brand new journeyman the next game (ie, a new guy, with no SPP and still has “Loner”), if you want. The “Loner” skill sucks, so how is this an exploit?

    • I believe the bug was fixed in the latest patch, but basically they were giving you Journeymen players and not adding them to your Team Value, so you got extra inducement money that you weren’t supposed to get.

  12. As of right now I think the Journeymen bug is still in when playing Single Player mode.
    Journeyman are not being included in Team Value calculations prior to determining Inducements.

  13. I’m almost positive the value of journeymen are added before inducements are bought. However, last I checked, the TV displayed by a team with less than 11 players capable of playing will not include the value of the journeymen they’re getting! This means that you’ll need to check the roster of every single challenger to avoid ending up in some horrible mismatched game! I was challenged by a wood elf team a bit above my own TV, but as it turned out he lacked 3 players for his starting line it became apparent that I was severely outclassed. Inducements help mitigate this problem but only partially so, for example buying an apothecary or reroll will cost you 50k each and 50 TV (for some teams at least) but if you want to get it as iunducements the price is doubled.

  14. In the Cyanide game, as of right now it doesnt show the prospective TV of the team after journeymen.
    What it shows is the value without them, and then they are purchased in the inducements section.
    So if you are challenged by someone with the same TV as you, when you accept you will find yourself with inducement money equal to how much they had to spend to buy journeymen.
    Not ideal, but by no means horrible.

    Since they have limited it to only linesmen as journeymen, its really not too bad.  The most common occurrence is for elf teams anyway, which to my mind is suicide on their part.

    Playing a game with elves where you have exactly 11 players (since you cant get more than that if you have journeymen) is incredibly risky, one KO or casualty and you’re suddenly down players.

    Additionally it leaves their team with multiple loners, so yes, they have better than expected wardancers for a 1300 rated team….but they also have basically noone else. If you’ve got one or two good hitters with tackle then they can easily be shut out of the game before the first half is over.

    In my opinion the rule for the tabletop is very good, the implementation in the video game is acceptible if not perfect.

  15. The journeyman rule has been great in the league I participate in (real world, not computer game). It prevents players from completely abandoning the league if they hit an unlucky streak and loose several players. Abandoned teams = less matches in the league = less fun for the players, and more work for the commisioner, since he has to annul all matches that/those coaches played.
    I wasn’t that badly hurt this season my self, but it did keep others in the league, and no abuse was done. One player (the leagues commisioner 😛 ) lost 5 players in his first 3 matches, and only managed to claw his way back up because of the journeyman rule.
    So what if he spends his money the first couple of matches after that on apothecaries and rerolls, he’s still missing 5 original players, the journeymen usually suck – hard, and he risks loosing several alot of SPP to the journeymen, further slowing his teams development.
    Now, if I was the leagues commisioner, I would probably insert a house rule, forcing players with more than 3 journeymen to buy players instead of other things, if it is financially possible of course.

  16. I was playing the xbox 360 version where I had a merc  lineman playing for me. I was wood elves and he scored a touch down INT and mvp of the game so If I got it right he got 10 SPP in the game so heck yea I purchased him. But when I got him on my roster he didn’t have any? Did I do something wrong?  Has anyone else had this problem?

  17. um quick ? does the journeymen  have limits to abide by the rules of your team like on a type  of 0-6 can I only take 0-6 of that type or can I take 0-11 of that type. Just asking it matters for teams like Chaos pact there  big guys have loner already and for big guy teams (0-11 ogres = death for a team with a lot of bounties on it and cash for me.)

  18. Just to re-assess the posts on this topic.

    1. Cyanide doesn’t (or didn’t) take the TV of the jounreymen into account. This is a computer bug, Not a rule problem. I can see how this is a huge benefit to exploit.

    2. The rule itself states that the players come from the 1-12 or 1-16 player types on the roster. i.e. Human Linmen, Lizards Skinks, Ogre Snotlings etc.

    My two cents:

    My experience of the rule is form our local TT league (Christchurch, New Zealand) where my human team suffered 7 deaths in it’s first 3 games… not fun. The ability to gain journeymen was critical to getting back to an 11player roster (after 8games) and allowed the team to weather hits with with the jouneymen. The comment about using these guys as fodder as opposed to main play makers is quite correct. The LONER skill makes sure that you can’t depend on these guys and so a permenant lineman (i.e. no LONER) is always a better choice.

    As an aside (and possible separate article) the inducement on mercenaries ofetn goes hand-in-hand with this. Not because of the cyanide issue, but becasue of the inevitable lower TV you team will have with less skills etc etc by having to play with Journeymen. Mercenaries also comming with LONER should therefore look to minimise this handicap. Drawing from my experience above a HUMAN thrower with LEADER excels in this role as do catchers… why? LONER doesn’t affect skill re-rolls. D.Elf assassins and big-guys are also favourites, for former as re-rolls aren’t necessary for their stab and the latter as they come with LONER anyway.

    In summary: The rule works well on the TT (if not implemented on cyanide correctly) and is a worthy inclusion to the rules allowing dessimated teams to limp on as well as providing the necessary ‘fillers’ to the AV7 teams. The article is therefore also written well (thanks coach) as it covers the main points of the rule, if not the incorrect implementation on the Cyanide computer game.

  19. The problem with the Cyanide version isn’t the rule implementation, it’s that  the open league matchmaking pairs by TV. Since the journeyman aren’t considered into that pairing until inducements, the system will pair the player with someone of a lower value every time.
    As an extreme example, there are quite a few chaos teams that attempt to only carry 8 actual players on their rosters so they can just fill up with the 3 free beastmen to throw on the los each game. That 180TV they get paired down to is actually NINE more ordinary skills their team gets once the pairings are done. With only limited inducements available, it’s a pretty big advantage (there’s not much an extra reroll or apoth is really gonna do). So basically, you end up w/ a Chaos team at actual rank 1500-ish with all their 8 “real” players at level 3-4 or more getting paired down consistently w/ something in the 1300’s.
    Not saying the example is foolproof at all by any means (they could get their key guys fouled into oblivion for instance, if you can get to them), but unfortunately some do just do it to garner an advantage as opposed to what the journeyman rule was actually brought into the game to achieve.

    • You also get dwarf teams that exploit it in the same way (rather better than chaos though, as they have block, and you won’t really dodge with AG2) to avoid claw at 210 tv higher matchmaking

  20. Quick question about the table top game. Are you REQUIRED to take a journeyman if you are down to 10 players (or even less)? The rule says you “may bring Journeymen onto your team…” not “must”. What if someone would rather use just their 10 Players and induce a cheap Star Player instead of the Journeyman?

    • There is no problem with doing that it is totally within the rules. You don’t even have to take a Mercenary or Star Player either if you don’t want to. You can play with ten (or less) players and hire a Wizard if you wanted to do so. It is only the initial team creation that you have to start with eleven players, subsequent games this doesn’t apply.

  21. I think Journeymen can be a godsend if your luck is sufficiently bad. If, owing to severe injuries or deaths, you find yourself missing 3-4 players for your next game and have no way to replace them immediately (VERY expensive unless they’re halflings or snots) you really have no realistic way of winning versus a competent and full-strength opponent barring insane good luck. Even worse, you won’t have enough players to cover all your bases so the one you DO have will end up too spread out, outnumbered, overwhelmed and ultimately beaten up. Rather the game letting you recover by allowing your injured players to get over their injuries and letting you earn some gold to buy replacements, it only makes things worse as you take MORE damage and earn minimal gold for your loss. It can lead to a crippling downward spiral, with each subsequent game worse than the last, from which there is no escape but to scrap the team. Journeymen compensate for this well- although they’re not good players (being rookie Loner linemen) they can at least get your team into COMPETATIVE shape for their next match, giving you a better chance at recovery. If you can make the journeymen absorb the damage you can at least earn a bit of gold and let your injured recover without losing too many more.

    Sure, it can potentially be exploited in a manner that isn’t quite balanced, but whoever said Blood Bowl was balanced? It makes the game more fun and less annoyingly frustrating- I can get behind that.

  22. I love the journeyman rule. They make great meat shields at the opening kickoff so your real players don’t have to take the hits.

  23. Here’s something I don’t understand. Why do some teams even have 0-12 limitations on their Linemen, instead of 0-16? What’s so bad about a team with 16 Marauders or Underworld Goblins?

    • I thought all teams had the Lineman type position as 0-16 now. Perhaps that was just missed, or the three “extra” races document never got updated. I can’t imagine anyone having an issue for using 13-16 of those players on a roster. Of course this may not be possible online with digitally coded restrictions, tabletop I’d ask the commissioner first but see no reason for them to decline.

      • I think it may be to represent the fact that it is harder to get as many of those players as regular linemen. The players that are 0-12 are marauders, underworld goblins and old world alliance human linemen.

        • Well in the 2020 rules, of the 21 races in the rule book, the following have 0-12 linemen positionals:

          Goblin Bruiser (black orcs)
          Renegade Human linemen
          Dark elf
          Dwarf Blockers
          Elf Union
          Imperial nobility
          Old world humans
          Skeleons / zombies on Undead
          Underworld goblins
          Wood elves

          Which is roughly half the teams.


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