Undead Zombies

Blood Bowl Undead Zombie
Undead Zombie Overview:

Zombies may seem fairly cheap and useless but they are a small part that makes the wider picture of a whole Undead team work. All the other players have their roles within the team which they can perform, though every team needs some players to take the hits and tie up opposing players and this is where Zombies come in. They may be the best player in the game for the role, or at least would certainly be one that is considered in this role. They are really cheap (though their price has risen from previous versions of the game), they come with the average strength and armour that helps in this role and they are also hard to injure due to their ability to regenerate. This means they can last a lot longer than their counterparts from other races, making their cheap cost seem like even greater value. Zombies do have low movement and agility, though they don’t really need either of these attributes most of the time, so you aren’t paying for stats they wouldn’t use.

During a game they are the guys who you set up on the Line Of Scrimmage for the opposition to hit. Stick them next to powerful low agility slow moving opponents on the other team. Tying these guys up with a cheap player is invaluable as the opposing player will usually be worth a lot more to their team, than the Zombie is to yours. As Undead teams usually play a slow grinding cage style, their slow movement is fine for keeping up with a cage (or may even dictate the pace). Their agility also isn’t so low that should you really need to dodge one (or have player overlap so you can deal with a failure) they have a 50 50 shot of a successful dodge.

The last role they usually fill is for performing fouls, Skeletons are perhaps better for this role due to their higher movement, but there are plenty of Undead coaches who would prefer to still have the higher armour of the Zombie on the field. With a full team of positional players on the pitch, you would have three Zombies and usually one of them is within reaching distance of performing any fouls you would like.

Due to the fact that Zombies don’t usually do any ball handling and blocks will usually get done by Mummies or Wights first, they can be very slow to skill up. Especially if you just leave them tying up a Black Orc away from the action and all they do is stand up every turn to repeat the process. As such I wouldn’t expect them to get many skills, even if they do play for a long time. This isn’t a bad thing though as usually once they have Block anything past that may probably just be bloating your Team Value.

Zombie Grunt:
  • Normal: Block, Tackle/Dirty Player
  • Doubles: Guard, Stand Firm/Side Step
  • Stat Increase: +ST, +AV/+MV

As I mentioned earlier you really just need Block on Zombies. This keeps them on their feet more, allowing them to tie up opponents better and also improves their blocking reliability and effectiveness. Wrestle could be handy, though I feel Zombies are too slow, especially if you have to stand up again afterwards. Tackle is a good second skill in Dodge heavy leagues, or you could give them Dirty Player if you tend to be a coach who likes to foul a lot. For doubles I can’t see past Guard for the usual reasons, if you get anther then Stand Firm or Side Step could be an annoying surprise for the opposition. For stat increases +ST is brilliant, +AG is a total waste, for the roll of a ten, I’d take Guard on a double, Block if not and it is their first skill, otherwise I could consider +AV in bash heavy Claw light leagues, otherwise take the movement or a normal skill.

Undead Zombie Summary:

As Zombies skill up slowly and this job needs doing on the team, I can’t really see much value in building them another way, though obviously you can do if you please. With only usually 3~4 on the pitch, their team mates will usually be doing any other actions and Zombies are usually too slow and clumsy to do anything special unless you are in a desperate situation. They are great at what they do, so I’m more than happy with letting them get on with being punched in the face!


15 thoughts on “Undead Zombies”

  1. I find there are two other skills that can benefit Zombies. If you feel these add to much TV then disregard and stick to Block/Tackle (Guard).
    Pass Block: No one expects the Zombies to run over and mark your throwers and recievers. I found that people tend to forget the Zombies with Pass Block, or actually spend actions removing them before attempting the throw (even better).
    Pro: Block/Pro Zombies can mark up players and stand a quite good chance at 1d downing them. In addition it allows them a potential re-roll on the Interception roll if you have Pass Block as well.
    This is my favourite Zombie build, assuming it doesn’t roll a double for guard ofcourse, and they usually skill up a bit faster than regular Zombies. They get to do 1d Blocks quite often, and even have some Interceptions on them with some 23% chance of cathing it due to the Pro skill:
    Block, Pro, Pass Block

  2. The reason to disregard them is stated by Coach in the article. Zombies are dead slow to skill up.
    Eventhough pass block is nice, you don’t use it a lot compared to block or DP.

  3. Mine aren’t slow to skill up, but then again I tend to go out of my way to give them SPP if I’m already winning. Currently after 19 games, my zombies have 5 completions and 11 Touchdowns between them. Then again, they might just end up addin to much TV and being sacked, but damnit it’s fun to scream BRAAAINS!

  4. I noticed that some Undead/Necro players have been taking Fend as their first skill for the 3 zombies that they place on the line of scrimmage.  I’m wondering if this was just an experiment, or if there is some greater benefit to this over taking block as your first skill.
    I also overheard a coach making a statement along the lines of “Why does your zombie with block also have fend?  Fend [zombies] is for the LOS.”  Which made me think block isn’t?  Is there some sort of field of thought out there that Fend and Block don’t synergize well for LOS Zombies?  Maybe something to do with skill bloat (TV bloat) on Zombies that are just there to get hit?

    • Block then Fend, it isn’t like you usually need to dodge with Zombies and are happy for them to be in opposing players tackle zones. That lowers the need to take Fend, Fend is also of little use if you get take down by a Block player and end up off the pitch. Block will also help when they are hitting as well making use of the Guard on their team mates.

      If in a new league with new teams then there is more of a case to take Fend first, when there will be less players with Block around. I would still take Block first though and don’t get the reasoning for taking Fend first over Block. They are the obvious first two skills for LOS Zombies though, I can’t think what else you would rather take with only general skill access. A couple with Block and Tackle are clearly useful for non LOS jobs but what else are you really going to get much benefit out of on a normal skill increase. (That is rhetorical btw)

  5. But what makes fend great is for slowing down opposing cages. You just line up the zombie in front or behind the cage and dwarfs/orcs get really annoyed by not being able to progress after their block. Fend is not used for the offensive benefit of being able to move after getting hit but for the defensive bonus of a better tie-up ability.
    For that reason I can see it better than block for a first skill on a couple of zombies in a bashy heavy league. It also helps your Mummies buying them more time to catch up with the cage. It is also a very good skill to counter Norse teams early on because they are loaded with frenzy and can crowd surf you easily.

  6. I think I’m going to take block-Dauntless-Guard on all my zombies. I’m often using zombies to mark St4-5 players cuz they’re cheap and disposable.

    If you find yourself doing the same, I think Dauntless becomes a great skill for going toe-to-toe against big guys. That way, you put your cheapest player against their biggest deadliest guy, and you stand a reasonable chance of winning to fight!

  7. Coach, here’s one for you. On my league undead team, I was lucky enough to get a + ST zombie. On defense, I play him back, away from the LOS a few spaces. He now has block. For his third skill, I’m considering kick, since no one else on my team has it, and all the other positionals have more important skills they need to learn first. What are your thoughts on that? Tackle is tempting as well, admittedly.

  8. Could do with seeing the whole team and knowing what opposing races you typically play against the most. Please create a thread on the forum with more info so we can keep this specifically about Undead Zombies.

  9. Hi Coach, there is another suggestion on a double. When I played in a league with a lot of AV7 teams, it got a double after the first skill. The first skill was Block, then I took Mighty Blow. It`s quite nice to get rid of the grunts at the goalline fast, so that the opponent has to place more valuable players there after a while.

    Guard is nice when you play against a lot of teams with more than ST3 in the league.


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