The player is so small that they are very difficult to tackle because they can duck underneath opposing players’ outstretched arms and run between their legs. On the other hand, Stunty players are just a bit too small to throw the ball very well, and are easily injured. To represent these things a player with the Stunty skill may ignore any enemy tackle zones on the square he is moving to when he makes a Dodge roll (i.e. they always end up with a +1 Dodge roll modifier), but must subtract 1 from the roll when he passes. In addition, this player treats a roll of 7 and 9 on the Injury table after any modifiers have been applied as a KO’d and Badly Hurt result respectively, rather than the normal results. Stunties that are armed with a Secret Weapon are not allowed to ignore enemy tackle zones, but still suffer the other penalties.
Stunty has a very useful benefit of allowing players who possess it of dodging around a crowded area of the pitch with no extra hassle compared to dodging out into the open. This allows them to run through a defensive screen easier than all but the extremely high agility players. A Stunty player with an agility increase pretty much has the freedom to run where they please and will paint a large target on their head.
This ability to dodge far more freely around players should be utilised to your advantage, for example dodging into a cage is tricky even for elves with Dodge, though for a Stunty player it is no harder than a normal dodge for them. Of course the flip side to this is that players who have Stunty as a Skill are all weak players so hitting the ball carrier after the dodge isn’t going to be easy. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t perhaps do it and with a combination of skills like Side Step and Diving Tackle, even just getting next to the ball carrier can end up troublesome for the opposing side.
One thing to note that wasn’t mentioned in the skill description though is that Prehensile Tail and Diving Tackle do effect the dodges of Stunty players, it is just the tackle zone modifiers that you can ignore.
Unfortunately there are some downsides to go with the good and that is that passing plays are going to be much harder to do. The -1 that Stunty gives to passing can cause far more fumbles if throwing a Short Pass, Long Pass or Long Bomb. It also wipes out the +1 bonus of doing a Quick Pass as well. Unless you are somewhat of a gambler, this will generally force you to just run with the player who picks the ball up, or look to use hand offs to move the ball.
The other downside to Stunty is the fact that it makes the player easier to hurt, they end up in the KO box on an injury roll of 7 or 8 instead of 8 or 9 and they also end up in the Injured box on the roll of a 9 as well as the usual 10, 11 & 12. The rules have changed slightly for the better now though as a roll of a 9 is always going to just be a Badly Hurt, whereas before you would have to roll for the type of injury and they may have ended up dead!
Despite those downsides, Stunty can be a very effective skill if the advantage is put to good use. It is easier for you to get to the opposing ball carrier, or to a loose ball. You can run through defences, though doing this with a lot of players through a lot of tackle zones can spell trouble, so be careful not to overdo it. It can also force the defence to spread out to create a larger blanket of total tackle zones, rather than fewer overlapping tackle zones. With overlapping tackle zones you have less squares to dodge through. With a more spread out coverage, you can gang up on their players easier as there is more space and as there is more space, it may make advancing or forming a cage/screen around your ball carrier easier.
Experiment and see what works, good use of movement and positioning can be key to winning or losing games. Stunty offers you different options than what are available to the majority of teams in the game. Learn to use it well and your squishy players can play above their weight!