Orc Goblin Overview:
To look at Goblins they appear somewhat out of place on an Orc team, they are low armoured, weak and get agility skills. None of these are traits you would usually associate with an Orc side. The fact that they offer these traits though opens up some extra options to the Orc team playbook. The most obvious perhaps is that they allow the Orc team an easier one turn touchdown option in combination with a Troll and the Throw Team Mate ability. Whilst not exactly fast, Goblins are fast compared to most players on an Orc side and with agility skills access they can be built to be an effective catcher for a passing game.
Of course no real Orc would want to be seen dead playing with Goblins on their side, though some coaches have strong enough will to keep their players in line and add one or two Goblin players to the side. Usually skilled up for Throw Team Mate duty, or as an extra snack for the team’s Troll, or for drives when they need to score quickly and a passing play is likely to be needed.
There are some coaches who really shun the Orc way and decide to go all out with four Goblins, against most other rookie sides they can be really effective, though would hate to be facing a Dwarf team during a match. Goblins do provide more manoeuvrability around the pitch which is something Orc teams lack. Their extra movement and ability to dodge through tacklezones can help with stretching the defence out. This can either make the cage easier to move, or possibly use the Goblin as an outlet as a more traditional receiver.
Goblins are also cheap which can free up more cash to buy other things when starting a team as well, though as Orc players aren’t exactly expensive and you don’t have to spend out money on getting nine Fan Factor any more, I can’t really see much need for this.
The trouble with Goblins though is that they are weak and low armoured so are rather fragile, Orc players are usually hard to remove from the pitch so fielding Goblins can lead to you being outnumbered which isn’t something an Orc team likes to be up against. You can be sure that if you do have Goblins on the pitch, the other team will do their best to target them.
To prevent this you want to keep them as safe as possible and only take risks with them if the pay off is worth it. Don’t leave them next to players to get blocked next turn, especially if the opponent has either Block or Tackle or even worse, both. Running them down field as lone receivers won’t really work either, you need to support them with your Blitzers. If you don’t then you will soon find them being squished and off the pitch. Don’t go overboard with dodges either, if you want to run through loads of opposing players make sure there is a good reason to be doing so, like picking up a loose ball.
Goblins can also do well as ball carriers sitting in a cage, they are faster than Throwers and can dodge better. Also by sitting in a cage it is unlikely an opposing player will just run up to them and hit them. You can also use Goblins to foul the opposition, you may get a really cheap player sent off, but hopefully at the expense of a much more valuable opponent. Also with the Stunty skill, Goblins can run into a half cage formed on the sideline and try and push the ball carrier into the crowd, no one else on the team is likely to be able to do this without having to dodge in on a six roll.
How you skill up a goblin will usually depend on how early you roll doubles on them. I also wouldn’t expect a very long life from them, so wouldn’t worry too much about getting more than 3 skills. If you do get a long life Goblin and are stuck for a skill choice then head over to the forum and ask for advice.
- Normal: Side Step, Diving Tackle, Jump Up
- Doubles: Block
- Stat Increase: +ST, +AG +MV
This is probably the most useful build as you can’t rely on getting double rolls for skill increases. Aiming for the common Side Step and Diving Tackle combo and sticking them either on ball carriers, receivers or in a running lane to block it off. Jump Up is a quite handy 3rd skill if they get that far and if you do roll doubles Block probably compliments the skills best. +ST will help with keeping them alive and let you block players easier, getting it early, stick with this build unless rolling doubles. +AG means you now get 2+ dodges nearly all the time and can really go about picking up loose balls. Rolling +AG early I would look to build into a receiver or retriever Goblin. +AV won’t really keep a Goblin alive much longer while +MV is much more helpful, especially if you need to score quickly. +MV early on and I would switch to a receiver build.
- Normal: Catch, Sure Feet, Sprint, Diving Catch
- Doubles: Block
- Stat Increase: +ST, +AG +MV
This is the other common build as it also doesn’t use any doubles, again an early doubles roll change the build you are going for or ignore it. Late on Block will help with protection. First up Catch helps with Throw Team mate and also for a more typical receiver type. Sure Feet gives them more reliable extra movement and Sprint extends that an extra square as well. Diving Catch can be a handy fourth skill and it is due a boost in the next version of the rules but it still won’t improve changes of Throw Team Mate scoring so will still stay a fourth choice. Stats +MV is helpful for this build, as is +AG, +ST you would hope to get early on but may be considered for a more robust receiver.