Lizardman Skink Overview:
Lizardman teams main advantage is their speed and the Skinks possess this in abundance. At MV8 they can be really hard to pin down, especially as they also have the Stunty skill to ignore tacklezones when they dodge. The Dodge skill combines with this really well to give them a fantastic ability to move all over the pitch. You do need to be somewhat careful though as they do still only have an average agility of AG3.
They do have their drawbacks though and this is most apparent in their low strength. With only ST2 they can appear to be a bit useless at times, having trouble to hit almost anyone. Their low armour value and Stunty can also make them rather fragile, though Dodge offers some protection. When it comes to skill access as well they can only take agility skills on normal rolls. As they also don’t start with any ball handling skills, this can make ball handling somewhat troublesome. With their stronger team mates having the really poor agility of AG1, you are probably going to be doing all the ball handling with the skinks, though passing plays are probably out of the question due to the negative side of the Stunty skill.
All these factors combine in making it a rather attractive tactic of hunting down the Skink players on your team to really hamper you. They are easy to hit because of their low strength, break easily cause of low armour and Stunty and if you have none left then you aren’t going to be able to handle the ball or move around that easily with the rest of your team. Ideally then you want to try and protect the Skinks behind the rest of your team and keep them from getting hit.
So I’ve probably made them sound like horrible players by now, though this is far from the case and they can be developed in a few different ways to make them even more effective. I mentioned that they can’t really pass, though with high movement and agility access to get the Catch skill, you can do running handoff plays and move the ball quite a distance anyway. Do this well and you can probably move it just as far as teams who do so by passing, as I said speed is you main advantage. There are other great combos you can take as well for defensive duty too.
- Normal: Catch, Sure Feet, Side Step
- Doubles: Block, Sure Hands
- Stat Increase: +ST +AG +MV/+AV
You will need a couple of these, perhaps even 3 or 4 eventually and you should be able to move the ball around really well when you do. Catch is the first skill to give them so you hand off the ball to them, you also get two chances at catching bouncing balls and interceptions which is handy as well. Sure Feet next up will let you move 10 squares fairly reliably which will really open the pitch up. Both of these skills also have the extra benefit of saving your team rerolls which is great on a team that tends to need them. Side Step is probably the best remaining skill as it makes it hard to pin them and in reduces the number of dodges and blocks they will have to suffer.
On doubles Block is probably best, really makes them hard to knock over and increases their survivability, will also let you do the odd one die block or blitz with less risk as well. Sure Hands could be handy should you get another one, or perhaps even as their first skill (then you might skip taking Catch) so you can pick it up and then hand off to the other ones. Any stat increase could be useful, ST3 with Stunty you can use then look to turning them into a long range blitzer, +AG and they will really be able to move anywhere on the pitch at ease and be great for ball related activities. On a 10 roll I may skip it early on and take a skill though +MV will give you an even greater scoring range, or +AV could be helpful to keep a valuable one alive a bit longer.
- Normal: Side Step, Diving Tackle, Jump Up
- Doubles: Block/Shadowing
- Stat Increase: +ST +AG +MV
These guys are a real pain for opposition teams to deal with and only need two skills to be effective. I’d get at least two and 4 will really cause trouble for the other team. Side Step first of all will help with protection and also let you mark receivers well or keep running lanes blocked off. Diving Tackle is next up and it makes them better at doing both jobs mentioned. When marking receivers it will be hard to blitz them away and then Diving Tackle can either stop them attempting to dodge or even better cause them to turnover if they do. Against slower teams with lots of Tackle then you perhaps don’t want to mark the players giving them a free block on you, but just standing in the way of where they are likely to run through (easier to predict for slower players) then they can have trouble getting past them. You can also use these guys to swarm a ball carrier and make it hard for them to get the ball away. Be wary though if they have an option to just hand the ball off to a team mate. Jump Up could be a good third skill, helping to keep your high movement effective after you have just used Diving Tackle.
On doubles, Block may be best as it will keep them standing keeping their other skills in play. Shadowing though can really cause problems if an opponent is trying to get away, I favour Block though. +ST will let you hit players back who elect not to dodge away and make it harder to blitz you off as well. +AG will let you get balls that get dropped or knocked loose and then let you run off with it through lots of tackle zones. +MV will let you get to receivers from across the pitch or +AV will keep them alive a bit longer as they will be taking lots of hits.