This article was written for a previous version of the Blood Bowl rules and has some outdated information in it.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:
|Quantity||Player / Item||Cost|
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:
|Quantity||Player / Item||Cost|
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.