TV1000 Skaven Starting Roster

This article was written for a previous version of the Blood Bowl rules and has some outdated information in it. You might still find it contains some useful information.

There is now an an updated Blood Bowl 2020 Second Season Skaven Starting Rosters article.


Skaven are one of the cheapest teams in the game and the biggest choices are starting with a Rat Ogre or not and if you should take an Apothecary straight away. Rat Ogres are probably the most argued big guy with regards to taking one on your team at any point, let along straight away. The Apothecary issue really depends on if you prefer to have more than eleven players to start and how many of the positional players you start the team with. I recommend starting most teams with just the bare eleven players, Skaven teams though do tend to suffer from not only being fragile with the Linemen having no defensive skills and low armour and also the average agility to make dodging away harder. So Skaven are one of the few teams I would look to take advantage of their lower cost to either get a substitute, an Apothecary, or both from the outset. The low cost of the players certainly gives you a few different starting options for Skaven teams.

Gutter Runners and Apothecary Skaven Starting Roster:
QuantityPlayer / ItemCost
4Gutter Runners320k

I’m in the camp of not taking a Rat Ogre so this is my favoured Skaven Starting Roster. This initial lineup sees you taking 11 players and an Apothecary and nearly maxing out on positional players. I think you should start every Skaven team with both Blitzers. They are the only ones with strength skill access, come with Block and AV8 and also cost the most (if you ignore the Rat Ogre). Block is greatest on starting teams before more opposing players get it, the higher armour is useful for trying to keep a full team on the pitch. Their higher cost also means it is easier to start with them, than having to save up. Those reasons all combine to making them certain starting players for my Skaven teams.

Next up are the Gutter Runners who are in contention for the best players in the game despite only being ST2. As we no longer need to buy any fan factor we can go ahead and afford all four of them to start with. Their high movement, agility and Dodge makes them really troublesome and not many opposing teams are going to have Tackle straight away. Aim to score two touchdowns with the same one in every match to get them either Block or Wrestle asap and this shouldn’t really take you long to do.

I like to include a Thrower, though there are coaches who don’t bother as Gutter Runners can handle the ball fine as well. Personally I like to have the extra skills the Thrower provides as it can save on rerolls and they also develop slower than Gutter Runners usually do. Having  a good Thrower opens up extra tactical options as well. With the team mostly being AG3 and fairly cheap I wouldn’t start with less than three rerolls. They aren’t the cheapest and the doubling in cost makes them 120k which is far more than most of your players cost, you could get 2 Lineman and 20k change for example. With the Throwers skills and 4 AG4 players I don’t think you really need to start with 4 rerolls as that would mean cutting something else.

This leaves us with 7 players so 4 Linemen fill the roster out to the minimum 11 players and gives us 50k left over to start the team with an Apothecary. There can be a case for getting an extra Lineman instead with that 50k to have a guaranteed substitute. Your Linerats are going to be taking a lot of hits and the extra Linerat may mean not having to put someone else on the LOS. I prefer the Apothecary as I’d rather not lose one of the positional players in the first match and you can always use it on a Lineman if you wanted. The other option is to drop the Thrower for a Lineman but I think the Thrower is more useful. Future purchases point to getting a couple of Linemen for depth on the bench and then either a fourth reroll or the second Thrower.

Deep Bench Skaven Starting Roster:
QuantityPlayer / ItemCost
2Gutter Runners160k

This starting lineup sacrifices two of the Gutter Runners at the start for depth on the bench. This is another fairly decent option as two Gutter Runners is fine on a starting team and still fairly able to score at ease, though it does mean there are only two the opposition has to try and get rid of. The benefits though are that you have 12 players and an Apothecary straight away so should be able to start most drives with 10 players if not the full 11 every time.

Purchases should be getting the last two Gutter Runners asap, then either another reroll or the last Thrower, or if you are going for the Rat Ogre then get him after the Gutter Runners.

More on Page 2…

53 thoughts on “TV1000 Skaven Starting Roster”

  1. Don’t be fooled by the cheap price of Skaven, they can be very expensive to maintain.  It’s not uncommon to have a streak where you lose an average of 1 Linerat a game.  A 50,000 gold loss every game is not cheap when you don’t even make that much in earnings very often.   The linerat probably dies more often then goblins do. 😉  With this in mind I personally think the most important member of the team is the Apothecary.  Having a Journeyman replace a Linerat is no big deal (and maybe even an advantage), but losing any other player can be a big blow to the team.

  2. In a perpetual league like the Cyanide game, or Fumbbl. Starting with all linemen or at the very least no GR is very viable. You develop those players that have a hard time developing. Getting Block (or Wrestle) and perhaps dodge (if you can manage it) on your linemen is important to increase their survival. The shot at the odd +Str or double rolls (dodge, guard etc) will significantly increase the strength of your team. Once you have 5 or so linerats that are lvl 3 THEN spend the money for your GR.  The will be better supported. I suppose you oculd get 1 GR and try and develop a safety. But he’s gonna be an expensive target.

    • I still would use the same starting lineup in a longer term league. Starting a Skaven team like that would leave you at a disadvantage early in your team development against other starting teams in my opinion.

  3. I’m frankly astonished to see that every starting line-up in this article has 2 Stormvermin (that’s Blitzers to those of you new to Blood Bowl!). Stormvermin are vastly overpriced for what they do; they cost almost double that of a Linerat and are functionally almost identical. If your game plan really needs Block and +1 AV, as a Skaven player, I’m of the opinion that your game plan is in need of review. The 80k(!) you save by downgrading those 2 Stormvermin to Linerats buys you a Re-Roll with spare change, or a whole entire Gutter Runner; a player that is what Skaven teams are all about.

    • One of the great things about Blood Bowl is that there is no one universal correct way of playing a single team. Thanks for your thoughts regarding the Blitzers, in their defence though they have the higher armour which can help with keeping players on the pitch which can be an issue for Skaven. They also start with Block which on a new team is huge (less so if joining an existing league with developed teams) and you can start with both of them and all four Gutter Runners already. So due to this I would personally start with both of them, that will also give them more games in which to skill up and become even more useful.

  4. It’s also the access to the list of strength skills which makes the stormvermin useful. Not something to take lightly.

  5. i find in a long league like  bbonline  starting with only linemen and a rat ogre is  best option it gives you the flexablitliy to remove badly hurt players and replace them with new gutter runners blitzers ectra
    but you will have a good base for your team
    i normaly start with 15 linemen and a rat ogre  1 apothecary and 30k cash
    i have no plan to win just score points  biggest tip i can give is  try to play teams with more than 200+ tv than yourself  as it gives you two more apothecarys
    i find when i have the ball if i can get 3 throws before the oppenent gets it off me ive got the same amount of spp as him for the TD
    later i will remove players who are really hurt and have no function  and normaly revert to the team of around 14 players  but by this time i will have 6 really good linemen  around lvl 3
    i found before when i started a team with positionals my linemen would never get any points  and be killed very quickly this way i can have a good base and  if you lose some early on its not such a problem
    main reason for the rat ogre is to provide more cover for the gaining of spp
    and with a big squad once a player achevies lvl 3 i can keep him off the field  giving others the chance to rise a level
    nothing is better than having 6 lvl 3 linemen a new thrower and two new blitzers and gutterunners
    team value is still low  and you got enough punch up front  to keep the ball protected

    • I’m not convinced that against a good coach a lot of the time in early games you are going to be able to win with that roster. That isn’t to say it isn’t possible and if it is working for you then fair enough!

  6. who said anything about winning its  just   for getting spp and building up cash
    mostly through throwing  but if the  chance for a td comes  ill take it
    after 10-15 games I find ive loads of cash and  can dump all the broken linemen  buy  the  positionals and have a good skaven team  with a lowish tv  and if your positials  are just getting the spp  as normal its not a problem as you should have  4-6  lvl 3 line men after 10-15 games
    normaly first  players i get  are blitzers

    • This whole site is geared towards giving advice to win games…

      I’ve nothing against those whose main aim is just to try and develop their players, though I don’t really think getting SPP is as tricky as consistently winning (which should achieve the same end result as well). If you are playing in a short term league then winning/being competitive from the outset is vital if you want to win the league. A lot of leagues may not even go as far as 10-15 games.

      I’m not sure I understand the point in having skilled Linemen and then hiring the positional players either. By this time the opposing teams will have more skills to pick on the positionals and even with some skills Linemen aren’t going to make the team as competitive.

  7. I just thought I would mention a Rat Ogre starting roster I have been running recently. For those who like running Rat Ogres for one turn touch downs and the other things they can bring to the team. (it was not possible in LRB5, but it is now the Rat Ogre is 10k cheaper):
    1 Rat Ogre, 4 GR, 6 Line rats, 3 re-rolls, apothecary. TV1000
    Normally I would never advocate against starting without skaven blitzers. But the taking the Rat Ogre makes this possible. It a surprisingly solid build, of course the downside is you don’t start with the blitzers, but the rat ogre more then makes up for it in the first few games, until you can afford them. You also get a reasonable amount of re-rolls and an apothecary or an extra line rat depending on how you like to play. More importantly you start with all four gutter runners!

  8. You can actually start with:

    1 Rat Ogre, 2 Blitzers, 3 Gutter Runners, 5 Linerats and 3 RR = 1 round Million.

    This build is similar to Coach’s take on a Skaven team with a Rat Ogre, but dropping the Thrower and the Apothecary for a third RR and upgrading a Linerat to Gutter runner. 3 GR with 3 RR make up for not having a thrower and give the team more mobility. Strength is maximized with the RO and both Blitzers. First purchase would definitely be the Apothecary and then save up for either a Thrower or the fourth GR.

  9. I agree with Jolly Puggles sentiments regarding blitzers. As a starting player they are really expensive and will not make much of a difference initially.
    Sure block may save you a reroll or a turnover occasionally but this can be achieved by dropping them for linemen and buying more rerolls. The extra damage they can cause with thier strength skills is actually more easily achieved using a rat ogre and linerats fouling. You will also find without stormvermin that your line rats will level up a little quicker too which is very handy long term. Also lack of AV8 is compensated for by apoth and and extra lineman in reserve.
    IMO storm vermin should be your 1st and 2nd additions to the team. In worst case senario if you lose a few linerats whilst saving up it doesn’t matter since you get free loner replacements anyway.
    My starting lineup: 1 Rat Ogre, 2 Gutter Runners, 9 linerats, 3RR, 1 Apoth.

  10. Maybe this works for you, but your statement, the Block skill does nothing more than saving a reroll now and then, is not true. Block skill helps you getting opponents to the ground, too, and in the end this is what blocking is about.

  11. On my bass team i like
    Linemen 7
    Thrower 2
    Gutter Runner 3
    Re-roll 4
    and 30k in the bank
    and they dont dies anywhere near as much as just get knocked out and stunned. Remember you can hurt them toojust be sneaky like skaven remember the crowd is always your friend

    • While having the extra reroll is nice, I feel that having two players with Block and slightly higher armour and the last Gutter Runner adds more to the team from the start. At the very least I think perhaps you should swap one of your twelve players for an Apothecary instead, saving a Gutter Runner or a Thrower is better value for money.

  12. Also, str skills aren’t just for doing damage, skills like guard or stand firm are great to gain control of the field, and thath helps you get those gutter runners just where you need them.

  13. I was thinking about starting a team like this:
    2 Blitzers
    4 GR
    5 Line
    3 RR
    7 FF

    I know it leaves you with only 11 players and no apo in the first match (so take good care of your positionals!), BUT with 7 FF there’s most likely (depending on your oppponent) a fifty percent chance of gaining Fame+2 which means +20k in winnings. That way you’ll hopefully be able to buy an apo after the first match and your high FF will continue to bring you extra winnings for your continued shopping enjoyment.

    As (more or less) stated above – this is by no means the strongest starting setup, but it’s meant to leave you in a very beneficial position after your first match (IF you get your apo, of course).

    Thoughts? 🙂

    • It will depend on a number of factors, firstly you need to be against other new teams, if joining an existing league that Fan Factor won’t work as intended and you are also more likely to suffer an injury against their developed players.

      Even if you do get +2 FAME you still may not get enough to purchase an Apothecary, especially if you lose. You need to keep winning to maintain the Fan Factor and as other teams catch up the length of time that you enjoy the bonus may not make up for losing a player. With three team rerolls, four Dodge AG4 players and a couple with Block it isn’t vital for you to win the rerolls on the Kick Off table. You’ve also dropped the Thrower losing both the Sure Hands and Pass rerolls they bring. So not only are you saving for the Apothecary (which should usually come fairly quickly) though you then have to save up for the Thrower. You are paying for the Fan Factor other teams are going to pick up for free.

      Under the right circumstances though it could give you an early boost and pay off nicely, though it isn’t something I personally would do. Losing a Blitzer or Gutter Runner in the first match would be too painful, though of course that can still happen if you start with an Apothecary…

  14. I like lots of RR´s at the start. So I thought about this one:
    2 Blitzer (180)
    2 Runner (160)
    1 Thrower ( 70)
    6 Liner (300)
    4 ReRolls (240)
    50k left for a 12th player or the Apo

    That way you have both Blitzer to create some holes, 2 Runner to use them. 1 Thrower to get the ball and with 4 RR´s you can try to spread your SPP´s on your Linerats.
    Try to get the 2 other Runners as fast as possible. (If you start with the Apo else get him first) that way if no player die you should have 13(14)player after 3-4 games. (Or you can compensate the loss of 2 players)

  15. This was my starting roster:

    1 Stormvermin
    1 Thrower
    3 Gutter Runners
    6 Linerats
    5 Rerolls

    I think 5 rerolls are mandatory for skaven, so better get them as soon as possible.

    • Skaven can make use of a lot of rerolls, though a lot of their rolls will be dodges. As Gutter Runners have AG4 and Dodge that takes care of most of them. Having two Blitzers with Block makes hitting less of a risk as well and the Thrower comes with two skill rerolls, which is why I prefer the 3rr starting lineup. Starting with more positional players will also mean they skill up quicker and you have the Apothecary too to try and prevent them getting injured. Even then you can end a half with rerolls left over, with 5 I can see that happening a lot more often.

  16. Hey coach, I spoke to you on warseer ‘rotten face’ I was asking about dwarf tactics.

    Now I’m also running a skaven team and I have

    5 line rats
    2 storm vermin
    2 gutter runners
    1 thrower
    1 big hands
    1 long legs
    1 extra arms
    1 claw
    1 rat ogre

    Now I’m looking at what you’re advising for starting line ups.
    I was planning on using the big legs as a third gutter runner and also using the other mutations as extra positional players.

    I want to use the rat ogre at some point too and I was goi g off some advice I got off bloodbowl tactics about starting with the typical line up (what you get in the box) then adding a third gutter runner and then the rat ogre.

    I was wondering if you have any advice on first of all making a balanced starting line up with what I have (I guess I could go four gutter runners and use a second mutant as the fourth) bearing in mind I’d really like to use the rat ogre as I have it and want to use all the models I have if possible.

    Also, I really like the mutation idea and saying as I have four mutated players I’d like to use them with the mutation so any advice on that, like what positions suite which mutations I have etc.

    What I’m asking is probably gonna seam pretty noobish but I have only just started with blood bowl and I haven’t even played a proper game yet.

    • The Mutation miniatures aren’t really that representative of what you would take, there wasn’t much forethought that went into them when they were sculpted back in the 90s. The rules have also changed quite a few times since then as well, which has improved some but made others less desirable. My actual advice would be to post on the forum asking if anyone has any spare minis they want to sell and perhaps check out ebay as well.

      The Claw mini is based off a Blitzer but you have two of those, they are the only real likely ones to take Claw anyway. The Big Hand mini is based off a Thrower so he could be your second one for that, I’d prefer Extra Arms though that one was based off a Linerat, again a skill you wouldn’t likely take over Dodge or Guard on them. Very Long Legs used to be a staple Gutter Runner skill, but it doesn’t give +1 MV any more so not really that desirable. You basically just need a couple more Gutter Runner minis and I would look to pick them up and just use two of your current ones as proxy models until then.

      If you didn’t want to use proxy models then given what you have I would go with 2 Blitzers, 1 Thrower, 2 Gutter Runners, 1 Rat Ogre, 5 Lineman and 3 rerolls, saving the last 10k for an Apothecary. I wish you luck whatever you decide.

  17. Well I was thinking of using the long legs model to represent a third gutter runner and then I could use extra arms as a gutter runner too. Do you think I would get much bother with opponents for using mutant sculpts as positional players?

    Do you think the list you just gave me would be good for starting with or do you think more gutter runners is really the way to go? I could always add the rat ogre later and have more gutter runners to start with. So do you think the list above is a good starting point or could I do with an extra gutter runner or two?

  18. I’ve don’t usually play a Skaven team with a Rat Ogre so can’t really comment. The Gutter Runners are what make the team tick though, I’d always start with all four. I can see some merit to starting with the Rat Ogre though if you are going to take one so they get more games to hopefully skill up in.

    I can’t see anyone having a big problem with you using the mutant players as Gutter Runners though, as long as it they are clear to both you and your opponent generally anything goes.

  19. Ah right, thanks coach. I think I’d like to go with three gutter runners and a rat ogre to start with if I can afford them as I’d want an apothecary to start with too. If you had to pick starting with 2 gutter runners and a rat ogre and then adding another gutter runner next or three runners then adding the rat ogre, what would you go for?

    Also, I know this section isn’t the place but you think undead are the best beginner team to start with yeah? I just want to know whether you would suggest me starting with my skaven as my first team or should I start with an undead team to get to know the game better?

  20. Depends how quickly you want a Rat Ogre, it is quicker to save up for a Gutter Runner than the Rat Ogre.

    Skaven are a perfectly fine team for a newbie, you may suffer casualty wise but Gutter Runners are very forgiving with regards to movement and ball handling. So perhaps the three GR lineup may suit you better in the short term, especially as Rat Ogres can be somewhat unreliable.

  21. So I know you don’t really dig the rat ogre, is there any particular reason why (haha well actually there’s probably more than one reason) just I thought with skaven being pretty lightweight, the rat ogre would add some needed weight to the team.

  22. I’ve had succes both with and without a Ratogre on the starting bench. I took your first mentioned Gutter Runners and Apothecary Skaven Starting Roster to the BBLE game and it went really well. But now I’m going for a build for a Tabletop League with three Gutter Runners from the start. So the build will be:

    2 Storm Vermins
    3 Gutter Runners
    1 Thrower
    5 Linerats
    3 RR
    1 Apo
    Total: 970k

    That will give me a 50/50 chance to be able to afford the fourth Gutter Runner after first match if I don’t lose – before possible winning reroll.

    I really like the Ratogre and after it gets Juggernaut it can really help the rats scoring those all important two turn touchdowns. At least the way I play them the two turn touchdowns are the backbone of the offensive tactics, because I want to skill the team to perform well on defence. But my experience is that the big rat is too unreliable on a starting team. I feel when the team has had some development it can better cope with the Rat Ogres negative traits.

  23. Hi Coach, this is my high risk – high reward roster;

    1 Rat Ogre
    2 Stormvermin
    4 Gutter Runners
    1 Thrower
    3 Linerats
    2 RR
    10k in the bank for apo after game one.

    So all your positionals from the get go, in built rerolls ie surehands and block should negate the lack of rerolls to some extent. Its a strong roster with your Stormvermin and Rogre supplying the muscle and 4 Gutters should provide the ability to score almost at will.

    The weakness lies in the absense initially of an apo and the bench is short on linerats for 2 or 3 games, two rerolls is certainly liveable but not ideal.

  24. I’d just like to belatedly support Smiler’s roster above. It’s the same I like using (if you’re going to ever use Rat Ogre, that is). Just don’t lose anyone in the first two games.

  25. Just a question coach now that rat ogres are 10k cheaper what do you think of:

    1 Rat Ogre
    2 Stormvermin
    3 Gutter Runners
    5 Linerats
    3 Re-rolls


    Basically is the same as your rat ogre roster except upgrading the thrower to a gutter runner. Is the gutter runner more valuable early on than the thrower? Or is the thrower more useful?


    • Ah looks like the price of the Rat Ogre is perhaps wrong, or I was using an old pdf of the rules when I wrote this. Shall have to update it.

      Generally a Gutter Runner is overall more useful than a Thrower though, their high agility and movement lets them move the ball just as well if not better than a rookie Thrower.

      • Thanks for the quick reply, I have definitely found the extra gutter runner more helpful than the thrower in the few test games I have had, but I wanted a second more experienced opinion (the price reduction happened between LRB5-6). 😀

  26. May sound a bit crazy, but if facing strong teams on a league, i think the following roster my work
    10 lineman ( 500k ) + 4 GR ( 320k ) + 3 RR ( 180k ) = 1KK
    You can swap a lineman for an apo.

    Why this build ? when starting a league against strong bash teams, i think having only 2 players with block ( really expensive imo ) is not the solution. you will still have 9 players in the team without block that will probably get injuried on the first half, so with this roster, you have a solid answer if you have 2+ injuries before first TD.

    Skavens are a strong team, but losing the first match and losing some players may be a really big downside for the league, so I think this roster fix these weaknes. What do you think @Coach ?

    • 4 Gutter Runners are usually a pain to deal with. However you may struggle to get the ball from the other team without anyone with Block. Also the Blitzers can be a bit slow to skill up so I like to have them early and they do have a bit higher armour as well. Starting with that many Linemen if they don’t get injured then you are probably going to end up sacking them (though in my experience they will usually get injured). It’s also harder to protect 4 Gutter Runners on the pitch than it is 2.

      As with any starting lineup though nearly anything can work and there is no right or wrong answer.

  27. Hi Coach, I’m starting in a TV1100 league with Skaven, I can have 3 level ups (one a double). It’ll be a pretty bash heavy league with Chorfs, Orcs, Undead and some others. Any advice on line up? I was thinking Rogre (who cannot take a skill) 2 gutter runners (one with claw) 3 Gutter runners- one with a skill, thrower and 4 line rats, one with kick. Apo and 2 re-rolls. Any suggestions?

    • I’d be most tempted to protect the Gutter Runners as they will get targeted the most. Taking Block, Block and Wrestle. I’m not a huge fan of Claw, especially for a starting skill. It does nothing against some teams and AV and INJ rolls are still a bit random. The core skills are the most useful most often and are even more powerful early on in a league against other new teams. The only issue is that Gutter Runners do tend to hog your star player points.

  28. Tabletop tournament in 2 months, with following rules:
    -Starting gold 1110k
    -3 games (maybe 4)
    -No resurrection
    -Players can level up during the tournament.
    -Max 5 normal skills at a cost of 20k to five different players.

    Thinking of rolling with skaven again. I’ve used 2 wrestle gutters, 2 block gutters and then changed between guard blitzer, kick lineman and accurate thrower. What would be your choice of skills/roster? Roster of mine is: 2 blitzer, 4 gutter runner, 7 lineman, 3RR, 1 apo. 20k in bank in case I lose something, but it can also be used to upgrade one linerat into a thrower.

    • I like your line up, but skills depend. If you are likely to face some dodge, I’d swap wrestle on one of the gutters for a Tackle blitzer. I’d probably put guard or MB on the other blitzer rather than accurate on the thrower. Otherwise keep the rest the same.

  29. I think you have the right line up but I would take the thrower. He can really help with picking up and distributing the ball, leaving the Gutters ready to carry out some BS. You are likely to lose some players, but journeyman linerats are fine.

    Skills wise, 2 wrestle and 2 block GR look good, and as Drastic said consider your opponents. I’d take either Tackle, Guard or MB on one Blitzer, and potentially drop a wrestle for a skill on the other Blitzer if you need it.

    • Hi, Prehensile Tail can be useful on some players, but it isn’t the best one to take for most players who can get mutations. Read the individual player articles which lists which skills are useful to take.

  30. About to start a league, which will be my first in-person one, previously playing the PS4 version.

    I’m thinking:

    3x Gutters
    2x Blitzers
    1x Thrower
    5x Linerats
    3x RR
    1x Apothecary
    970k + 30k in bank.

    Thoughts? I’d normally go for the R.Ogre, but I dont have the model, and he seems to let me down a lot. Might be fun to play with only little guys.

  31. Starting BB for the first time, liked the look of the first roster here, but in the new 2nd season rules, that list is 5K over the limit, would like some input as to what to change to make it.


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