Loner (Extraordinary)

Loners, through inexperience, arrogance, animal ferocity or just plain stupidity, do not work well with the rest of the team. As a result, a Loner may use team re-rolls but has to roll a D6 first. On a roll of 4+, he may use the team re-roll as normal. On a roll of 1-3 the original result stands without being re-rolled but the team re-roll is lost (i.e. used).


Loner was a new skill mechanism that was introduced to the LRB5 rules book. Its inclusion is used on various different players, each for slightly different reasons. The most common players you will come across with them is probably Big Guy players (representing their animal ferocity or stupidity). Now all players who aren’t on your permanent team roster also have the Loner skill. This means all Star Players that you either hire from your treasury or through inducements come with the Loner skill (representing their arrogance and selfish nature). The last group of players are the newly introduced Journeymen players who you can hire for free if your team can’t field eleven players at the start of their next match (representing their inexperience to the game and with the team).

The biggest issue with Loner is the obvious reliability issue involved with rolling anything that a player with Loner does. Anything that they do had the possibility of being a one shot affair as you can’t guarantee that you can just use a team reroll for it. I’m sure you have had games where you have used your team rerolls up early and how precarious every roll for the rest of the half is. Unless the Loner player has a skill reroll for any given roll, anything that you do with them has this potential.

Of course this isn’t necessarily the case as you do have the option to try and use a reroll if you still have one available for that turn. This is where the other issue with Loner kicks in as half the time you attempt to use a team reroll, you will not only be unable to reroll the dice but you will also waste your team reroll. For this reason I personally treat any players with Loner as being unable to use rerolls at all and use them accordingly.

Dealing with Loners Unreliability:

Previously players who were labelled as “Big Guys” were unable to use team rerolls at all making their unreliability something really consistent. Now the Big Guy trait has been replaced by Loner and you now have an option to use rerolls with a element of risk of wasting them involved. This has made the unreliability also inconsistent as well and it is something that I can certainly be a problem for newer coaches.

The method I have of dealing with Loner players is much the same as the use of Big Guy players from previous editions. That is to say I treat them as though they can’t use rerolls at all and will be very risk adverse and expect them to fail. If you assume that they will fail and look for an alternate plan to take for your turns, then you will not be left ruing your player when they not only fail but perhaps lose a reroll in the process as well.

I recommend to use them at the end of your turn and also try and avoid having a plan that revolves around them doing something successfully. Of course there will be occasions where your opponent has left you with no better plan than to start your turn off using a Loner player. Sometimes you will just have to plough ahead and have your fingers crossed that it works, assuming you couldn’t find another plan for that turn. Remember to keep an eye on how many turns you have left in the drive as well, sometimes if you have quite a few turns you can take a turn to just consolidate the position you are in rather than perhaps go on the offensive.

Loner Effect on Rerolls:

The fact that Loner players can attempt to use team rerolls can have a big effect on the outcome of games that involve them. Due to the risk adverse way I recommend in using Loners, leaving them to the end of your turns and trying not to do anything vital with them, I would just let them fail if the dice go against me. Any time you rashly just decide to try a block (or whatever) with them at the end of your turn (without before considering how bad failing with them would leave your team) you then run the risk of being tempted to try and use a team reroll. Due to human nature I will guarantee that you will remember every time you fail a Loner attempt to use a reroll, which will make it seem more like 90% failure rate than 50%.  Successful attempts aren’t as likely to stick in your mind, but either way you still use a team reroll up.

Due to the importance rerolls can have on a game, (see my article on rerolls) the thought of attempting to use one on a Loner fills me with dread. Not only will it use up a valuable reroll, half the time they will waste it and still fail anyway without the chance of re-rolling. This doesn’t cut the mustard for me and unless it is a very important action of a game turning roll, I will just let the Loner fail and save my rerolls.


There are quite a few players in the game now who have the Loner skill and most matches will probably involve at least one. Being clear on the effect they can have and the reliability issues that they are plagued with are key to not hampering the success of your team. Treat them as though they will fail everything and don’t waste your team rerolls on them and you minimise the trouble they can cause. Be aware of what they can do and their limitations and make sure to take advantage of any skills they do have to use and play to their strengths. It is also worth considering Loner and the player’s role in your team if they are a permanent team member, when it comes to selecting skills when they gain new ones.

11 thoughts on “Loner”

  1. “…for example, Pro gives you the same chance of a reroll, but every turn, and without wasting a Team Reroll.”

    Just thought I’d finish that off for you, as you seemed to forget that last sentence. 🙂

  2. And if the action is super-critical, if you failed the Pro roll, you could use a TRR to try to re-roll it.  Lousy odds – 25% chance just to reroll it, but if it’s the difference between victory and defeat, take every chance you get with both hands.
    As Coach pointed out, while you generally want to avoid critical actions with your big guys, sometimes situations arise.

  3. A big guy gets block before pro.
    Block is better at limiting turn-overs:
    A 2 dices block :

    without block: 11% chance of causing a turn-over.
    without block / with pro: 6%
    with block without pro: 3%

    Block protects your player during your opponent turn. And finally block increase your chances of casualities (against non-block player) allowing a faster SPP gain.

  4. The only time I can think of where I’d consider taking Pro before Block would be on a Minotaur who already has Juggernaut and Tentacles.

  5. Depends how you use your Big Guy, if you are more active and tend to use them to hit a lot then Block is better. If you are more passive with them and make more use of their tackle zone then Pro is probably better. Tentacle players are a good example, like the Beast of Nurgle.

  6. Juggernaut and Tentacles don’t really go that well together. Tentacles keeps people near you and Juggernaught needs you to Blitz (IIRC).
    Block is defo the better skill for a loner.

  7. It all depends on your big-guy’s roll.

    If you’re playing lizards and your kroxi is a reciever stopper for example, pro is far more useful to him to allow the reroll of break-tackle dodges, and to ensure he’s allowed to move in the first place (and doesn’t lose his tackle zone)

    If you’re playing wood elves and you tend to like to move your tree around (depends on your style) he can get a lot of use out of pro since he needs it to :
    a     Do anything at all
    b    stand up
    c    break tackles
    d   go for it (2 movement is a killer after all, while 4 isnt so bad)

    Block is the better skill if you use that player only for blocking obviously, and for players with frenzy as standard its damn handy.
    But remember those players also have wild animal, which is possibly the worst of the handicaps, pro makes the rat ogre a LOT more versatile, lets you more reliably put him in the right place for his tail and guard to make the critical difference. Quite often you dont actually want to be blitzing with him, but you really want to put him near a certain player (perhaps so you can blitz the carrier into his tackle zone)

    Trolls depend on their roll, if you’re playing orcs and find yourself commonly attempting to lob goblins, or doing anything with the troll other than hitting…. well then they have plenty of support to stop the enemy taking them out, pro is probably worth it
    Whereas for the goblin team i find it’ll be block every time on trolls since you’ve got no other players with guard, no other players with block and you NEED your trolls on their feet.

    Minotaurs dont need pro the way rat ogres do since
    a     they can get claw on a non-double, making them a MUCH better hitter than a rat ogre, which means you’ll be hitting with them pretty much all the time.
    b    you can get guard on plenty of players so you are less likely to need to get the minotaur to a specific place on the board without blitzing
    c    you can get guard on so many players that the minotaurs frenzy is less likely to land you in trouble, combines with a) to mean that you will be hitting with him all the time.
    d   Your team relies on casualties to win matches (or at least knock outs), you dont just want to be hitting with him, you NEED to be hitting with him.

    Minotaur for chaos dwarves I’m unsure on, i havent played them much and his role seems to depend on how you shape the rest of the team.

    Personally it breaks down like this for me:

    Pro first:
    Rat ogre
    Kroxigor (depends on what roll you’ve given yours)
    Troll for orc team (though this is mostly because I’m addicted to throwing goblins)

    Block first
    Trolls on goblin teams
    Ogre on human team (arguable)
    Beast of nurgle
    Snow troll
    Death roller
    Halfling treeman

    Thats my general pattern anyway. I dont think you can really go wrong either way, both are incredibly useful skills for all of the big-guys listed

  8. It’s a pitty they didn’t thought of a chance for Big Guys getting rid of Lonerism and other negative skills (for example instead of a 12 you could either go fo the +1 ST or get rid of a negative skill). It would be nice having some of those reliable big guys in the team other than starplayers!!

    • I agree I rarely use the big guys because of this, prefer a team of reliable players, but a big guy without loner or really stupid etc would make me want to keep him around


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