Norse Linemen

Blood Bowl Norse Lineman
Overview of Norse Linemen:

Norse Linemen have an edge over most other Linemen in the game in that they start with Block. This makes them a bit more useful than their counterparts for other teams, especially in less developed leagues where less opponents will have skilled up. Starting with Block means they are much more reliable at hitting opposing players than players that cost more than double than them. This extra reliability means that Norse teams are less likely to be using rerolls up when performing blocks. As they are more reliable you will also tend to do more blocks early in development compared to other teams which affords a few advantages.

The most obvious advantage to being able to do more blocks is that you knock opposing players over more. That obviously makes the game easier to play, especially if you get them off the pitch. Doing more blocks also increases your chances of getting SPP for injuries which speeds their development up, with AG3 as well, Norse Linemen are fairly easy to skill up if you wanted.

Block also affords them protection when being hit as well, opposing Blitzers lose their early advantage for knocking more players over against these guys. Being knocked over less not only keeps them alive but your turns are easier to play if your players remain standing. Their biggest drawback however is that they have low armour, so when they do get knocked over they can be rather fragile. As you face other teams that are more developed the advantage of starting with Block decreases and the weakness of the low armour increases. Norse teams are very much a hitting team that doesn’t like to get hit back in return, so try to avoid all out brawls against other bashing style teams.

While it can be fairly easy to skill Norse Linemen up, most of the time you are going to want to be trying to skill up the positional players. Your Linemen don’t really need much in the way of skills to be effective they don’t really have a great array of useful skills to take anyway. Getting highly developed Linemen on a Norse team isn’t something you would usually strive for, as they won’t often be that much more useful than a rookie.

Norse Lineman Kicker:

As I’m of the opinion that every team can make good use of a player with Kick, Norse are no different and as they all start with Block already it seems a no brainer to me to take Kick on the first one that skills up and gets a normal increase. After that look to Fend to negate Piling On and makes chain blocks a bit harder. It also frees him up to move around without having to dodge every time. That can get him out of trouble and can help preserve rerolls too. Any more skills reaches the point of diminishing returns in my opinion, Tackle is helpful if you don’t have much and/or if you are in a Dodge heavy league. Pro wouldn’t be terrible either, extra help if you do try and dodge with him and can also let you try and reroll some blocks too.

Doubles I would take Dodge for protection, you could look at Guard but I’d prefer to keep my Kick player out of harms way if possible. For stat increases +ST you can’t really turn down as its so useful but you would prefer it on just about any other player. +AG makes him a bit more mobile and a flexible option for ball handling. Extra armour can keep him alive a bit longer and I think it edges +MV for me though it is borderline as it also can be useful.

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11 thoughts on “Norse Linemen”

  1. Hi Coach,
    It would be good if you listed the stats for these player guides.  I’m sure a lot of people don’t know all of the different races.  Great work on the site btw.

  2. I think its an excellent write up for the linemen! I would have never considered Kick for a lineman! It is the next skill I take for my lineman that is 2 SPPs away from leveling.

  3. This way of leveling up linemen makes think that norse team is defensive and fear the ennemy, while I think on the contrary that they are a very attacking team : with all these block skills from the beginning, you can hit other teams very strongly and level up with that. But also, having all those guys with block skill to get help each other to roll 2 dices is great, and the next turn, as the other team is getting up, they can’t block ; and as you stay close to them with all those block skill, you continue to hit them again and again, untill you have a TD and then restart. 7 for the AV is not a problem if it’s the other team eating the mud… and anyway, a new lineman is cheap and already has block skill so who cares the injuries : it means the player was weak and wasn’t made for Blood Bowl. 7 in AV also means that claw skill is useless against the team, and so you have one more skill to play compared to mutating teams.
    By the way, for the fouling norse lineman, on a double, I would first take Sneaky Git skill, so the player could stay on the play ground a little longer.
    I thinlk there is not only the good skills to get to the players, but there is the spirit of the team to play most of all, and I think norse are made to hit and not to fear contact : they have 4 frenzy guys !
    Why not getting some more ? As they all already have block skill, the linemen could get frenzy skill then pro skill (maybe before frenzy, depending on your luck fluid) and finaly tackle skill (if they can get mighty blow, it’s even better). While the other teams will be getting block skill for their guys, all the norse team will already have it and block twice half the time : it’s 50% more than the team you will be hitting. If you know how to play frenzy skill well enough, it can be very destructive. If the player in front of you fears to get his team hit by yours, he won’t see the 7 in AV, he will only see the block skill everywhere, and the violence of your other skills.
    Bllod Bowl is not only about tactics, it also about the spirit of the team, else there wouldn’t be goblin team or halfling team, and we wouldn’t even imagine to throw a snot with an ogre to breack a cage before a blitz.

  4. The trouble with loading up everyone with Frenzy is that opponents with lots of Guard can set up lots of blocks where you will end up getting into trouble on the second hit. You are also going to be far more likely to end up in a situation where they can just hit you back if you fail to knock them over. That also means that you don’t get any choice with regards to following up and are much less likely to have players free to just move without dodging if they fail to knock the opposing player over.

    If it is working for you though then by all means go for it, thank you for the comment.

  5. Personally, any time a Lineman rolls doubles, I like to take Guard rather than Dodge as the Norse can use as much as they can get. For single skills, I like to have 1 Kicker and at least one Dirty Player. After I’ve got those, I’ll snag a couple Tacklers because I seem to run into a lot of Dodge-heavy teams. If I were in a league where that weren’t the case, then I probably would go Fend more often.

  6. Norse linemen make some of the best foulers in the game. These guys are similar to skaven linerats and thier role is usually to get killed in the place of more valuable players. These guys are designed for dirty player, they start with block, they only cost 50 and with AV7 they will probably get stretchered off the pitch anyways so a sending off isn’t terrible, especially if you can take an opponent’s star player with you. As a norse team develops I like to have a minimum of 2 dirty players and a minimum 14 player bench.

    After the dirty players and kicker are taken care of the other linemen should take defensive skills like fend so they can better fill thier role of getting punched in the face so your good players don’t have to.

    For doubles I would pretty much always take guard, but taking dodge on a dirty player can be worth the investment.

  7. I’ve found that sneaky git is actually quite useful – you can feel a bit more free to just go ahead and foul even if you don’t have enough friends with you to normally make the attempt. If you get lucky and break armor, great, and if not at least you aren’t sent off. I’d heavily advise it with one of your dirty players.

    For every other lineman yes, guard is really useful. This team has limited guard opportunities and those guys are often out of position due to frenzy and piling on, so a couple of stationary guarders is great. I find guard/kick a wicked combo as now this guy is useful after he kicks the ball!

  8. I love the three norse lineman builds and just have a few helpful comments to make in regards to the actual building of said players.

    The most important thing for norse seems to be that the linemen themselves just plain don’t need levels! They’re so effective right out of the gate that as you tack on levels, you start to see diminishing returns with the usefulness of the skills vs. the cost (both in total Team Value, which determines inducements, and in “choosable” SPP….opting to run in a TD with one player over another, all else being equal). I’d generally advise coaches that whenever you have a choice, opt to make the blocks which might result in casualties, or run in the TDs with a positional, as they make so much better use of their levels. That being said, it really isn’t worth doing an extra handoff or making extra GFIs to score with a positional if a lineman can do it with less risk!

    Secondly, i think the interaction of Fend and Guard has been understated. Similarly, I believe dodge overvalued when fend is advocated as early as it is. A guard player with fend will probably get blocked a good deal. He’ll be in the thick of the action (otherwise, why fend?) and at ST3, he won’t be a hard choice for the opponent to decide to hit. When they DO throw a block, however, if they get stuck with a push result (or even a knockdown without an armor break), your opponent has just gifted you with an easily relocatable guard player! I’ve used said players to great effect in many of my norse games, and having that player free, when my other (often low agility) guard players are tied up meant i was able to move in key assists for critical blocks on my turn. Dodge, while immensely helpful, has the opposite interaction, being made less useful if fend forces a disengage from an opposing block (the disengage is still useful, but then you basically have fend and dodge serving the same function)

    Finally, as was said earlier, norse make extremely efficient, and just as importantly, FLEXIBLE foulers. Coming with starting block, and levelling into Dirty Player, you suddenly have a player who is useful either hitting standing OR prone players. This dual utility for them, combined with their cheap cost, makes fielding 2 or even 3 dirty player norse linemen a viable tactic and serious threat, as more dirty players on the field means a higher likelihood that one will be free of tacklezones and in range when that high-profile opposing player hits the turf. Combine those excellent reasons with the rather lackluster competing normal-roll options for levelling up, and you’ve an excellent argument for a team with several Dirty Players that gives up very little in the way of alternative development to gain those players.

  9. Nice analysis Limdood. I just have 1 point to add. On a more developed team, i really favor +AV for non-double 10 on a LOS lineman. Oftentimes with Norse you really suffer if you go down in numbers. Increasing AV from 7 to 8 has a very large effect on you staying on the pitch. For example, non MB knock down on AV7 has 42% chance to break armour (compared to 28% with AV8). And even more compelling is a MB knock down (which you are more likely to face against more developed teams), with AV7 player having 58% chance to have his armour broken compared to 42% with AV8.

    I also don’t see Norse as particularly suffering from tv bloat, so i feel they can afford picking AV over a normal skill.

  10. I have a norse lineman with +1 St. He’s just got his second skill up and I rolled 6 + 4.
    The question is +av, +mv or general skill.
    I’m leaning towards fend, tackle or strip ball with a view to keeping him mobile and able to blitz (also stopping pile on if I take fend 😉 )


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