Norse Runners / Catchers

Blood Bowl Norse Runner / Catcher
Norse Runners Overview:

Runners have replaced the Catchers (though Games Workshop appears to have changed the name back to Catchers) on the Norse team but are still the only ones with natural agility skill access. Along with Throwers they dictate how your team will look to play on offence with the ball. Some coaches may prefer to not bother with Runners at all and can be deemed a bit pricey. Like most Norse players they do start with Block, they are fairly fast players on a team that is fairly average speed wise and in more bash heavy leagues Dauntless can come in handy.

The downsides to them along with perhaps their price is like usual their low armour which makes them somewhat fragile. Dauntless can also be somewhat useless against a lot of teams and they can also end up hogging most of your touchdowns when you want to develop your Berserkers and Ulfwereners. All that said though I personally like them as players and would be more than happy to have two on my team.

As the faster players on the team and with access to agility skills they can be developed into valuable and useful assets to use during a game of Blood Bowl. Most coaches will perhaps be looking at building them as a more standard Catcher type, though that really will point towards them hogging the SPP. My preference like with actual Catchers on other teams is to look at a more defensive build for them. Norse Runners are in fact better equipped for this role as well as they start with both Block and Dauntless, though the latter is more a bonus that an essential skill.

Defensive Norse Runners:
  • Normal: Dodge, Side Step, Diving Tackle, Tackle, Shadowing / Pass Block / Catch
  • Doubles: Guard
  • Stat Increase: +ST +AG +MV

I would look to building both allowed Runners in this build as they can do it really easily compared to anyone else on your team. It is such a useful and annoying player to play against that I personally would not like to face. It still lets you use them as a ball carrier if you wished, or as a receiving option if things get desperate. Dodge would be the first skill and pretty obvious to get the excellent Block + Dodge combo. It will negate the low armour somewhat and keep your fastest player more mobile. Side Step next up to make being pushed into the crowd, or secondary blocks harder and also lets you effectively mark opponents. Diving Tackle will keep players you are marking in their place and Tackle after that combines well and then lets you hit them more effectively as well. In dodge light leagues or if your team already has lots of Tackle, then you can consider skipping it.

Few options after that if you get that far without them getting killed (as you want to save your Apothecary for your Berserkers and Ulfwereners most of the time) are Shadowing, though it isn’t that great with MV7. Pass Block is more useful in a more agile heavy environment, or Catch can pretty handy for both interception attempts or getting hold of a bouncing ball. It will also make them more effective at being a scoring threat which could open up the defence.

For doubles there is only really Guard to consider for this build, I like it so much I wouldn’t even consider another choice. A strength increase would be very helpful as it is on nearly every player, though does then render Dauntless useless against all the ST4 opponents. +AG may actually be better with the agility skill access so don’t pass that up. +MV could be a good option later on, but early in development I personally would skip it unless playing in a perpetual league.

Receiving Norse Runner:
  • Normal: Dodge, Catch / Diving Catch, Side Step, Sure Feet, Sprint
  • Doubles: Nerves of Steel
  • Stat Increase: +ST +AG +MV

As I’ve already mentioned, I wouldn’t really go for this build but if you really want to make a Norse team that likes to do passing plays then this is the development route  I would take. Dodge first for the reasons outlined above. Catch probably comes in next as with AG3 the reroll can come in handy for catching the passes, as well as the other uses for it in the previous build. Diving Catch should also be considered and perhaps taken before Catch if you have a lot of rerolls. The extra benefit to catching an accurate pass is very useful for an AG3 player and you can still get hold of passes that go a bit wayward as well. I would then go for Side Step after that to make you harder to mark and give some extra usability on defence. Lastly Sure Feet and Sprint to get the extra more reliable movement around the pitch, usually towards the end zone with the ball.

Doubles you should probably take Nerves of Steel to make getting the ball easier if you do end up getting marked. +ST will let you blitz your way through defences and make you more useful on defence, while +AG is a no brainer choice for someone doing a lot of ball handling and probably dodges. +MV has the same reasoning as the previous build.

Norse Runner Summary:

These guys can be a bit of take it or leave it player and there are no doubt some other variations and uses for them on a Norse team. I’ve just outlined my preference for using them as defensive players (though they are still very useful on offence with this build) as they are the best players for the job on your team. Other roles that they could be developed in are going to be achievable with your team mates. The only build which probably isn’t would be the Catcher type, but they will turn into a SPP hog and Norse will usually be looking to run the ball more often than they would look to pass it.

24 thoughts on “Norse Runners / Catchers”

  1. I agree with you and unless you have a super AG+ thrower I would find it a waste of skills to give them catch/diving catch.

  2. Lucky for my my throwers 1st level was +1 ag so giving my runner catch was a great skill I still have yet to do it though. I think dodge and Sidestep were my 1st two skills of choice so far for them 🙂 Nice work coach give us the thrower and Yhetee block and your done with Norse 🙂

  3. With only two players with access to agility skills, doesn’t giving both dodge just give your opponent’s tacklers something to focus on?

    • Sure, but with the low armour of your team as a whole, you will probably consider Dodge on the Berserkers as well. While other teams can favour skipping taking dodge at all, Norse players have rather low armour so a bit of extra protection also comes in helpful. There will still be plenty of players who don’t have tackle. Also on teams with a few it does mean that they have to pay more attention to keeping their Tackle players in the right place.

      If your league does happen to have quite a lot of Tackle in it, then by all means don’t take Dodge and elect for something else instead, perhaps Fend for example. It is very much a chicken and the egg scenario with no right or wrong answer.

  4. Yeah, keeping alive Norse players is the hardest part of playing them. In a short league or tournament dodge is second only to Block, but over a longer time I find its value drops off as people spam tackle.
    I’ve got a Norse team, 6 games into a perpetual league, and I’m trying to deny my opponents any value out of tackle by forgoing dodge across my team. All the linemen bar one have fend and it has been surprisingly effective so far. To that end, if I’m going to replace dodge with fend on a defensive runner/catcher, should I take it before or after side step?
    Looking forward for the thrower and Yhetee posts. Haven’t found need of either so far and I’m interested if you can change my mind.

  5. I guess I have been very lucky I have had only two linemen die on my team and thats because one I forgot about my apothecary the first game.  Poor Pushy died a death that wasn’t supposed to be. The second time a lineman died it was Pushy Jr. again 🙁 this time with Guard but I let him die due to it being very early in the first half and I had to consider casualties on my yhetee and werewolves or my very expensive Thrower. So Pushy the 3rd was purchased and is now doing his best to stay alive although he hasn’t hit the pitch yet in fear of the fate of his grandfather and father  🙂

  6. It is certainly an option, though as they are your only players with agility skill access I prefer to take advantage of that. Also Dodge and Side Step are in play a lot more often than Sure Hands is. You may also have used Throwers to take Sure Hands. If you don’t take Throwers then Sure Hands is more viable, especially if there is plenty of Strip Ball in your league.

  7. My second runner just got his first skill roll, and got doubles. I’m torn. My team only has 1 guard at this point, but if I do take guard, he will remain vulnerable without dodge. What recommendations and comments do you guys have on whether to go dodge or guard?

  8. If you’re taking diving tackle, why not Jump Up to follow it? Certainly I’d expect more use out of it than Catch, Pass Block or Shadowing?

    • Jump Up could certainly be a good option to take, I’m just too used to playing the older rules which made Jump Up harder to get an less common so I often neglect to consider it, the same also applies to Dauntless which I also often tend to overlook.

  9. I have to disagree on catch. My runner is the weak point in the throwing the ball category, not the thrower – with one double and regualr skills, you can have a pretty wicked thrower (strong arm, accurate, pro, loner, surehands).

    My one runner died about 3 games ago and i’ve not spent the money to replace him. My other one is a hybrid defense/offense guy who works really well for me. he has dodge, tackle, +ma and diving catch. He is good at grabbing other teams fast guys, and is a threat for a passing td that sometimes soaks up a blitz that normally would hit a more reliable target. I cage with my thrower and if things go well, he runs it in, but if things go bad i have this guy as a relief valve and it works well, even if only as a distraction.

  10. So far I have used my runners next to my berserkers as flankers and hit and run team. Their additional MA really helps in this. Thinking about it I don’t think I’d build a dedicated catcher although I might consider a dual thrower/catcher build for a thrower with doubles. Why not? Norse probably don’t need to throw the ball to get touchdowns as much as they need capable blockers.

  11. I’d have to disagree a little bit with devaluing catch so much.

    Regardless of whether or not you’re going to pass with Norse, the team as a whole has 2 great features that strongly increase the value of catch, ESPECIALLY in leages that have an end (ie. not the perpetual Cyanide league).

    the first is that Norse can get away with less rerolls than pretty much any other team out there. Smack 2 rerolls on them, maybe a leader skill on your thrower, and you’re golden. Heck, 2 rerolls might be overkill with Leader. Picking auto-reroll skills helps a bunch with keeping TV down by avoiding rerolls. Consider handoffs get the reroll too, and defensive build or not, the runner is the most likely to be able to reach the endzone when needed.

    The second is that with norse being fairly easy to skill up across the board (and the linemen not really wanting to be skilled up), you’re going to be spending a lot of time in your games making handoffs or maybe passes to various players to get them SPP for their next level. That being said, you’ve all been in those games where things seem solidly in hand and then suddenly its a tie game with 2 turns left and no rerolls. Having a player that you CAN go to for a handoff or a pass with an 89% success chance on the action can really save your rear.

    Just like the comments about dodge hint that it can make your runners a target for tackle, having only the throwers on your team having any reliability for ball handling rolls could (and should, with intelligent opponents) lead to excessive fouling and marking of the throwers. It becomes much harder when anyone can foist that ball off on a runner, and you can pretty much count on him grabbing it.

    I’m definitely a strong supporter of dodge (unless you have an overwhelmingly tackle-heavy league), followed by catch…..whether building a dedicated receiver, or a defensive PITA.

  12. After reading most of the player level up guides I am missing a position from the Norse team that others (may) have and that is the ball extractor.

    This position needs the following:
    – Wrestle
    – Tackle
    – Strip Ball
    – High MV !!!
    – Dodge
    – Dauntless does wonders as more and more coaches try to use High STR players for scoring !!!
    – Mighty Blow is also good to remove the ball carrier

    Since they are the fastest in the team and have dauntless, why not just use them to hit where only they can reach?

    I would start with Dodge for life insurance.
    Strip ball or Tackle as the coach prefers it.
    Wrestle after these to make getting off the ball from the carrier a sure thing.
    You can also get Side Step for its uses. (keeping him on the ball carrier, extra mobility, etc.)
    And there is still room for Mighty Blow for removing the guy from the pitch. This is the only Double roll you need on this fellow. Of course you can choose Guard if you prefer it.

    The above is basically copying the GutterRunner/WoodElfCatcher as a ball extractor with a slower and stronger player. Since this is admitadly the case as fine tuning this idea a bit, sure feet and sprint might also fit into this built.

    Feel free to comment! 🙂
    I would like to get some insight from others.

    • I would be more inclined to give a piece that does not start with block wrestle. In this case the norse werewolves. I like using the norse werewolves to get at the ball carrier and wirh wrestle it negates the block that is spammed on ball carriers. Combined with high strength, and frenzy, they have the best shot at removing the ball. Alternative to this is strip ball on a berserker, I like one strip ball in case the piece you blitz does not have sure hands. But yes, a runner with high speed, having wrestle and block does give you plenty of defensive and offensive choice, with dauntless as well and access to jump up… its a good option. Not my first choice with a ball carrier runner type but if you use throwers on norse there is nothing wrong with the build.

  13. I like giving my runners dodge, pro, side step as default and use them regularly on the line against high strength teams. They pair really well with Ulfwereners Guards.

  14. I just started a Norse team and I feel that it is not efficient to recover the ball from a “Blodger” ball carrier. The team will unlikely have “tackle” as this skill comes as a third or fourth choice for the Berserkers and Ulfwereners (“mighty blow” and “guard” first). “Tackle” could be considered on linemen as a first skill but I believe they are not often in a position to reach the ball carrier. Furthermore, “wrestle” is not recommendable for any player of the team.
    I’m convinced “strip ball” is a very important skill for the team and “runners” are the best candidates. It combines very well with “dodge” which gives a better mobility to reach the ball carrier.
    I know people will immediately reply “sure hands” will negate the effect of “strip ball” but it is very uncommon to face a “sure hand” “blodger”.

    As a result, your opponent prefers to carry the ball with his “sure hand” player? Berserkers will just smash him. Your opponent still prefer to carry the ball with his “blodger” ? Your “strip ball” runner will do the job.

    What do you think of picking “strip ball” as a second skill instead of “side step”?

    • The trouble with Strip Ball is that a lot of ball carriers will take Sure Hands very early on making it a bit redundant. It’s fantastic when it works and will often force the other team to use their Sure Hands player at all costs. However personally I would just get Tackle on a couple of Linemen and with some good positional play even with just one, you should be able to keep them in a position to get to the ball carrier at that crucial time.

  15. I’m new to a league that just started their second season. My conference has my Norse and two orc teams and two human teams. I’m counting on getting Chaney on the pitch for the first few games to help with all the Green ST4. to get some speed in I put two runners in my starting line up. without a yeti the Dauntless runners are a semi decent weapon against big guys.
    Both runners have first skill to choose; a normal and a double. I’, thinking dodge for normal, make him the ball carrier, and Mighty Blow for the double, make him the giant slayer…. any thoughts on that?
    If either of them live to see the next skill up one will get strip-ball to be a safety, probs the dodge guy so he can have two uses?

  16. I’ll just keep having this convo with myself then!!!
    I was just about to post the comment below when i saw that I was the last person to leave a comment too. well, I’ve spent all this time typing, I might as well post it as if nothing has happened!!!

    y’see, in our league in Telford we got 1m gold to start a team and either 6 normal skills or 4 normal and one double, to bring us nearer to the returning teams from last season. So I’ve developed one of my runners as a ball carrier, just by giving him dodge, and the other as a ‘giant killer’ by giving him Mighty Blow. The Berzerker has guard so he works in tandem with the giant killer. this was great in another league in Shrewsbury, which was Orc heavy. in Telford, after second game the ball carrier, with 5 TD’s, is the first to get his second skill – and its a double !! So, while I value Guard as a skill to have, I don’t want my ball carrier getting too involved in any fracas, even in defence I’d prefer him to be the guy who swoops on the ball after its been knocked loose, rather than be supplying the assist. but also, if no one else can provide that assist, maybe he should!?!?!
    The other double skills are not really as attractive:
    Leader, possibly. what i spent most re-rolls on in these two matches was to pick up the ball, so maybe Sure Hands would be a cheaper alternative?
    Mighty Blow; Because the other dude with MB is gonna die, probs at the hands (hooves / horns) of a Minotaur.
    Nerves of Steel; For IF I get a thrower…. reeeeealy!?!?

    So, quickly I come back to: “What do I WANT him to have?” Sure hands, Sure Feet, Side Step, are all vying for it, with Strip Ball, Jump up and even Fend very close behind….

    • Questions like these theBymster, are better posted on the forum to get more people to see it an be able to reply.

      For your question here, I would personally ignore the doubles if you are set on him being the primary ball carrier, otherwise you could try and make someone else main ball carrier and just give him guard as blodge guard is pretty useful, also still useful even as a ball carrier.

      Depends a lot on what races you are against though.


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