Orc Linemen Overview:
Orc team are a bit strange in that you can have a 15 player team that doesn’t have a single Lineman type player in it. With most Orc teams typically having their full compliment of Blitzers, Black Orcs and usually a Troll and often both Throwers, you already have an eleven player team. It is rare to see a starting team though without any Linemen in it. They are cheap with average strength and agility with high armour. They are a little bit slow but that isn’t really a huge problem for them.
Being cheap and having high armour makes them great for marking opposing players as they won’t often get hurt. So it can be useful to have a few knocking about for when you don’t want to put your more valuable players in harms way. It can be hard to also put them on the pitch when you have eleven positional players in the side. One of the more common uses is for two of them to sit on the Line of Scrimmage supported by a Troll.
The other job Linemen usually would be doing is perhaps fouling, though Orc teams have access to Goblins who are cheaper and can move faster. They are also slightly better for offensive purposes as well in some situations. Any true Orc knows though that Goblins belong on their own team and no respectful Orc would want to play on the same team as one. Besides Orcs have bigger feet to foul with!
Fodder Orc Lineman:
Chances are an Orc Lineman isn’t really going to develop very far. The Blitzers and Throwers will do most of the scoring and Black Orcs are usually there for doing the hitting. If they do skill up though as usual Block or Wrestle would be best first. There aren’t really any other great candidates for Wrestle on the team and your high armour means you don’t fear fouls (not that many coaches would bother fouling a Lineman). They are a bit on the slow side regarding getting up afterwards and a bit slow perhaps to always get to where they are needed. On from that I would take Tackle if you are short of it and face a fair amount of Dodge players, otherwise Fend can be useful to cut out some dodge rolls. It will free them up to move along with a cage on a fairly slow team, or to reposition in a better square when marking an opponent (like moving around to avoid eventually getting crowd surfed. If you keep getting skills then Pro is worth a punt, Dauntless could be considered but your team is usually the stronger side in most matches already.
For doubles for either for Guard to keep your strength edge or go for Dodge, though that loses value if facing lots of Tackle heavy teams. A strength increase turns them into a more mobile Black Orc which is handy, agility would change their role to one that can be useful for moving the ball around a bit easier. They don’t really need the extra armour so I would choose movement. That would basically give you a fifth Blitzer and I would certainly want Wrestle if I got the movement first.
Fouling Orc Lineman:
- Normal: Dirty Player
- Stat Increase:
If you are going to ignore Goblins like any respectful Orc should, then you will probably want a Dirty Player Lineman to stick the boot in. They only need one skill and that is Dirty Player. Any more and you just lose their team value after they get sent off. Also if they are getting sent off a lot, they won’t really be getting many SPP to get extra skills anyway.
Orc Lineman Kicker:
This is a debatable build due to the fact I mentioned earlier in that it is hard to fit Linemen in your kick off formations. If you don’t then you need to decide who else on the team you are going to give Kick to. Otherwise get it on a Lineman and follow it up with Block. Fend and Pro for the same reasons already mentioned follow up nicely.
I’d go with Dodge on doubles for protection value and to keep him away from anything nasty trying to hit him. Strength you aren’t going to pass up and agility would be helpful as above and also perhaps keep him out of trouble more easily. Again I would favour movement over armour.
Orc Lineman Summary:
Orc Lineman are very much the black sheep of the Orc team, often shunned to just sit on the bench and not see much game time. Often overlooked instead for some puny Goblins who shouldn’t even be on the team. It is a shame really as they do make very good Linemen with their high armour. They are the middle way between Blitzers and Block Orcs and can kind of fill in for when one is missing, though just have that something lacking to really be a star on the team.