Norse Throwers Overview:
There are a lot of Norse coaches who don’t think the Throwers are worth having on their team and are happy enough to not play with any. Typically on most teams a Thrower will become the de-facto ball carrier, though a Norse Thrower doesn’t start with the useful Sure Hands skill that usually causes that. Like Norse Linemen the Throwers have pretty average stats across the board apart from their low armour like the rest of the Norse team. As well as having Block like most Norse players they come with the Pass skill that is typical for a Thrower to have and passing skill access along with general access. Price wise they are pretty average though it is up to you if what they offer over a Lineman is worth that difference.
As I mentioned they don’t start with Sure Hands like some of the other AG3 Throwers on other teams. Obviously you can give them Sure Hands and you have the typical ball carrying Thrower for a bashing side (other teams taking Block that the Norse Thrower starts with). The main reason behind some electing to not do this is that the Runners can do the same but also move faster and can get Dodge and Side Step on normal skill rolls. That means the ball carrying role isn’t really open for the Thrower to take.
I still think there is room for Thrower on the team though, even as the main ball handler / retriever. Using a Thrower for the job means you don’t have to take skills like Sure Hands and Kick Off Return on your Runners. That leaves them to develop into great marking players instead. Also if your Throwers are back deep to collect the ball, your Runners can push up and be receiving threats for those short offensive drives. Having a better passing threat can spread the defence out against those opponents that you don’t want to get into a big ruck in the middle of the pitch with.
Ball Retrieving Norse Thrower:
- Normal: Sure Hands, Accurate / Kick Off Return, Fend / Nerves of Steel / Safe Throw
- Doubles: Strong Arm / Dodge
- Stat Increase: +ST +AG +MV
This build can be flexible to develop to fit your own personal preference for how you play your Norse team, either just collecting the ball and then passing it up the pitch to a Runner straight away, or they can carry it forward themselves. You could also prioritise the passing skills if you wanted to build a passing game with the team. This isn’t something that I typically advise but it can be useful to have as an option and with the changes to Diving Catch an AG3 passing play can be an option to you.
Start off with Sure Hands to save on rerolls picking it up and to protect against Strip Ball. After that either go for Accurate if you want to improve their passing ability as soon as possible, or go for Kick Off Return to get nearer the ball straight away. After that I would go for Fend if you use them more as a ball carrier and it also helps with protection making them more useful as a defensive retriever as well. Alternatively Nerves of Steel can help you get the ball out of tough spots if your cage breaks down. Safe Throw can also offer nice options to avoid some interceptions and let you attempt a long throw by minimising fumbles.
For doubles your main choices are likely to be Strong Arm if you want to have a long passing threat, or Dodge for protection and to get out of tricky spots. A stat increase makes them even harder to hit which is useful for a ball carrier and useful on defence as well. An agility increase on a Norse Thrower makes them the prime candidate to be your main ball handler though. Getting one is golden and definitely frees up your Runners as I outlined above. As usual for a ball handler, movement is more useful than an armour increase.
Utility Norse Thrower:
- Normal: Leader, Sure Hands / Fend, Accurate / Kick Off Return / Tackle
- Doubles: Guard
- Stat Increase: +ST +AG +MV /+AV
For those coaches who do like to use their Runners to carry the ball, they may still take a Norse Thrower on their team. Their passing skill access gives them access to Leader to get a cheap reroll. Norse teams though generally on the whole only roll dice for blocks and most the team starts with Block anyway, so rerolls may not be something you are short on, if you think that way then you probably don’t take Throwers. After that it is a bit tricky and depends on how you use him. Sure Hands may be an option though you probably have it on a Runner. If you do just have one on the team as a Lineman with Leader then Fend is probably the next best choice instead. After that Accurate or Kick Off Return will free up your runners to take other skills, letting the Thrower collect the ball to pass or hand off. Tackle is more fitting for the more standard Lineman role, especially if your team is light on Tackle which is possible.
For doubles go for Guard as the team needs it to deal with the stronger teams and your strength access team mates may have taken other skills first. A strength increase is great and would also protect the Leader skill more. Again if you get an agility increase then mould them into being your main ball carrier. If you get it on the first skill roll then don’t bother with Leader, hire another Thrower instead if you still wanted that. Movement again edges out armour, even in the “Lineman” mould the team isn’t exactly fast so I would still take movement. You could go for armour though if you wanted some more protection for the Leader reroll, though the boost over AV7 isn’t massive.
Norse Thrower Summary:
The so called black sheep of the Norse team with many teams electing not to hire any, whilst on others they can become crucial players. I can see merit with both sides of the argument though I like to include them as having a slightly more reliable passing option for when things go pear shaped is never a bad thing. There is always the option to really try and build the team into one that does like to pass a lot. I’m still not convinced it is optimum but the rules changes make this a better option than before. I think that spending the skill increases for the necessary skills to do it just detract from your defence. Still if you want to try something different and not become another cookie cutter Norse team then post on the forum and let us know how hit goes.