Norse Linemen

Standard Norse Lineman:

Most of your Linemen are probably going to go this route in their development. Fend is a great choice as I already explained, though you may want to pick up a couple with Tackle first if you find yourself short in that department. Again Pro is an option if you find they live that long, or instead of Tackle if you already have quite a bit. Dauntless on a couple can also be helpful if you are in a league with lots of strong players. You may also want to consider getting one with Wrestle even though it duplicates some use with Block it is a skill worth having on your team.

For doubles I would consider Guard probably the best option as it makes it harder for the other team to hit you and easier for you to hit them. Norse teams also have quite a few players with Frenzy and Guard will help ensure that you are less likely to get in really sticky spots due to that. Alternatively take Dodge to help stay upright and play a more stand offish game. +ST is great and doesn’t require thinking about, the same with +AG. If you roll +AV ignore it for the doubles otherwise it can be useful to take it for the ones you put on the LOS. For the rest it is really 50 50 compared to extra movement.

Fouling Norse Lineman:

One way to make it harder for the other team to hit you is to foul them. Your players are fairly cheap compared to a lot of others so it can be a good trade even if you do get sent off! If you don’t then the extra numbers on the pitch lets you gang up on their players rather than the other way around. You will probably want a couple of these guys so you can hopefully ensure you have at least one available at the start of each half. Dirty Player is obviously the skill of choice here and follow it up by Fend to try and keep him as free as possible to be able to run to the target easily. More skills is somewhat of a waste and not really needed, but if he is fouling a lot and getting sent off chances are his development is going to be somewhat slow anyway. If you do then the usual Tackle or Pro are all you can really consider.

Doubles may point to Dodge being preferable over Guard, staying upright gives him maximum range to move and also helps if he needs to dodge obviously. You can consider Sneaky Git but if you are fouling right and getting plenty of assists in then you should be breaking armour anyway making it pointless. Stat increases follow suit as before.

Norse Linemen Summary:

It may appear that there isn’t really a great deal you can do with development of a Norse Lineman and to some extent that is true. They start with the most commonly taken first skill upgrade other Linemen would take which effectively puts them one skill ahead of the development curve. As such don’t worry a great deal if you don’t get them past their first or second skill as they will already be pretty useful to you. As your team develops your skill choices will lean more towards Fend and away from Tackle. Their team mates will be able to deal with Dodge players once the team is developed.

If you do find that you aren’t suffering much in the way of injuries and your Linemen do start getting multiple skills then you can perhaps consider sacking some of the ones who reach the third skill without a double increase. Getting more Guard is going to be very helpful to the team and the extra skills don’t really add a great deal. If you are short on players then I would still keep them until you get a reasonably sized squad. This also ties in with fouling as it is usually advisable to not get your players sent off if you don’t have replacements on the bench to bring on in the next drive. Remember you want to be the ones doing the hitting and avoiding being hit back, so also don’t be too scared of doing one dice blocks and make use of the fact they all come with the Block skill!

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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