The player may use this skill when an opposing player attempts to dodge or leap out of any of his tackle zones. The opposing coach rolls 2D6 adding his player’s ST and subtracting the Tentacles player’s ST from the score. If the final results is 5 or less, then the moving player is held firm, and his Action ends immediately. If a player attempts to leave the tackle zone of several players that have the Tentacles skill, only one may attempt to grab him with Tentacles.
Tentacles is a weapon in the arsenal of the stronger players in the game who are able to mutate for whatever reason. The use of Tentacles is rather straight forward in that it only does one thing and that is to prevent opposing players from moving out of your tackle zone. The stronger your Tentacles player is compared to the opposing player trying to either dodge or leap away, the better your chances of keeping them held still. This is why you tend to see it on the strongest players on a team and it gets less effective on the weaker ones, so much so that I wouldn’t recommend taking it anyone who isn’t at least ST4 or higher. As it works better the larger the strength difference, the best players to target are the weakest ones on the opposing team. ST2 or less is best but it can also work on ST3 players as well. At the very least it forces them another die roll which can fail.
Being able to keep the weak players next to you is rather helpful, typically because the weaker the player is, the more agile and faster they tend to be. Taking away these advantages from those players is of great benefit to you as the opposing team will have to probably change their plan to something less likely to work by using other players who were less suited to what they were aiming to do.
When you have multiple opponents in your tackle zones you need to watch out that any action you perform with your Tentacles player may accidentally free up the opposing players you have currently occupied. This is especially true on Big Guys who have negative skills that mean they lose their tackle zone entirely, leaving the opposing players free to run away. Due to this it may be better when you are in a good situation like that to just leave your player as he is and force the opponent to take action. The same can be said for blocking opposing players, you may end up pushing an opponent away meaning you have to follow up to keep them in your tackle zone. However this follow up may then free up another player you were marking before the block. Watch out for situations like that.
Tying into the above you will find that the opposing team may look to either knock over your player, or just get a push back to free their players up. Skills that prevent this are obviously very helpful, Stand Firm being the best skill in combination with Tentacles. Other skills that combine well are ones that make dodging away hard for them even if they do manage to break free of your Tentacles. So Tackle, Diving Tackle and Prehensile Tail can be used to good effect. Break Tackle is also another useful skill so that you can move your player to where they can tie up the most opponents possible, rather than being left marked by a solitary Lineman. If you do decide to go down the route of hitting opponents you have marked up then Grab becomes very helpful so that you can keep those players next to you even after a push back without having to follow up.
One last tactic that can be used with Tentacle players, is to push opposing players into their tackle zone. This is especially useful if your Tentacle player has a skill that can make them lose their tackle zone. If you push opposing players next to them, then you get the benefits of their skill without the risk of them going Stupid if you tried to move them on their own accord.
Benefits of Tentacles:
- Can prevent weak, fast agile opponents from moving
- Makes Big Guys even more useful without taking actions with them (negates their negative traits somewhat)
- Tie up multiple opponents effectively
Players Tentacles is useful to:
The Beast of Nurgle starts with Tentacles and it is very useful to them. Foul Appearance also helps avoid getting pushed away too. Similar players to this are the ones you are looking at selecting Tentacles for. Pretty much all the Big Guys who can take Mutations are worth giving Tentacles. Underworld Troll, Chaos Dwarf and Chaos Minotaurs, Rat Ogres, the three Chaos Pact Big Guys.
The last real options are the ST4 players on those teams, which is just Chaos Warriors and Nurgle Warriors. These players have plenty of alternative skills that are going to perhaps be more useful though so it won’t be as common. If one of them gets a strength increase up to ST5 though, then Tentacles becomes more worthwhile. As I said the bigger the strength difference the better Tentacles works. So ST4 players in general perhaps edge on the side of not taking it. All the ST3 or lower players who have access to Tentacles you shouldn’t in my opinion waste a skill choice on it. Even though there is an official Blood Bowl Miniature of a Chaos Beastman with Tentacles, that doesn’t mean it is a good skill choice!