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.
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.
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.
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.