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.