Underworld Goblins Overview:
|0-12||6||2||3||7||Dodge, Right Stuff, Stunty||AM||GPS||40k|
Underworld Goblins are very similar to their counterparts on standard Goblin or even Orc teams, with the exception that they get normal skill access to mutations. This can open up a world of fun when it comes to development that they don’t usually have access to at all. As your cheapest players they do the usual roll of being the most expendable, though you may find a small handful of them become high value assets on your roster. Whilst the Skaven players on the team will do most of the heavy lifting you can use Goblins to fill in the gaps. Most will have a short lifespan and not live much beyond getting their first skill.
All Purpose Underworld Goblin:
With normal access to mutation skills any time you get a skill increase on an Underworld Goblin I would give them Two Heads. Combine this skill with having Stunty already and they can pretty much dodge anywhere they please on a 2+ roll. Add in the fact they also have Dodge means you can typically get them where they are the most useful. If you need a player on a hard to get to square for an assist, as long as it’s within their movement range, there is a great chance a Two Headed Underworld Goblin can weave his way through the tackle zones to lend a hand. I would go as afar as saying that if you take anything else you aren’t making the most of that player.
I wouldn’t get overly attached to them as they are liable to get hit quite a lot, but as it’s only a single skill away and you have a lot of Goblins on the roster they are easy to replace. If they do live to a second skill without having rolled doubles then Side Step is the next best option. This will make them far harder to shift out of the way, either from an assist purpose in the blocking game, marking a receiver, or when creating a barrier to get in the way of advancing opponents. It can also keep them alive a little bit longer by making it harder for opposing teams to push them next to a team mate in order to chain block them.
Beyond this point you will start looking at specialising them into a more specific role. If they don’t have any doubles to make that easier then go with Diving Tackle and they become useful players to screen off running lanes or for marking players.
Much like their standard counterparts, any Goblin that rolls doubles will want the extra protection afforded to them with either Block or Wrestle. This will keep them alive for longer and gives you a great platform to build upon. If you manage to get a second double skill then I would go for Guard. Underworld teams aren’t the strongest and being able to dodge a Guard player into the cage ready for a hit on the ball carrier is something most teams would kill for. So much in fact that if this happens you will find most teams will actually try and kill your mighty Goblin.
An Agility increase will turn any Goblin into a MVP, unfortunately it does make having Two Heads a bit redundant, though you then have a ball carrier who can make their way through most defensive lines. They will also have a better chance of landing if being thrown, though do you want a valuable player to get eaten by your Troll? Perhaps save that for must win games. With a Strength increase you will want to develop more into a blitzing roll, unless you get a double for Block or Wrestle then again they will be a high priority target for the other team.
Underworld Goblin Cage Blitzer:
- Normal: Two Heads, Horns, Side Step, Diving Tackle
- Doubles: Wrestle, Dauntless / Tackle
- Stat Increase: +ST +AG
As usual you will start with Two Heads for that extra manoeuvrability and if they get a double on one of the first two skills you can go down this development route. As they can get into a cage far easier than most players you can just run in and take a shot at the opposing ball carrier. The downside to this is that you only have a low strength ST2. Taking Horns gives you that strength boost to at least equal all ST3 players (assuming you’ve marked up the cage corner players and they don’t have Guard). If you can sneak a Guard Goblin in as well then you could have an advantageous chance of knocking the ball loose.
Side Step is generally never a bad skill to take, if you don’t knock the ball carrier over it gives you a chance to stick next to them, or if you do knock the ball loose you could perhaps go stand next to it before another team mate makes the pick up attempt. Again like normal it adds to hopefully keep them a live a bit longer, it’s very easy to get chain blocked a lot if you start the turn in the middle of an opponents cage. Side Step will help you minimise that and work your way to either maximum safety or maximum annoyance. Do note that Horns will require a blitz action and becomes redundant if you end up starting the turn next to the opposing ball carrier and just do a standard block.
Wrestle is really the skill that is key for this role and you get two shots at gaining it before adding Horns on the third increase. Generally every opposing ball carrier will have Block so you’ll want Wrestle to give you the best chance to bring them down, along with the extra protection it affords yourself. Tackle would be the next choice for most as more often than not a ball carrier will have Dodge as well as Block. In some leagues where Dodge isn’t as prevalent then Dauntless combines nicely with Horns for a one player Blitzing machine (please note Dauntless and Horns don’t interact correctly in the digital Blood Bowl 2 game). Dauntless will also help when making normal blocks and unlike Horns doesn’t require a blitz action. Given the overall lower strength of your team this can make a nice addition, be careful trying to hit ST5+ players though, especially as they tend to have Mighty Blow too!
A strength increase will point to this route almost without question, get Two Heads and Horns and then getting an assist is required a lot less often. It will also make them a bit harder to target as the opponents will now likely need an assist themselves. Agility as before will make Two Heads redundant, it’s hard to pass up but may take the development to perhaps a less risk adverse ball carrying role.
Underworld Goblin Ball Carrier:
- Normal: Two Heads, Catch, Sure Feet, Sprint, Side Step
- Doubles: Block, Sure Hands
- Stat Increase: +ST +AG
Like before you will start with Two Heads for versatility and then depending on the second roll and the needs of your team you can branch off down this route. I develop perhaps more than two for this role as they won’t be as useful for as much time as a more general purpose role. It’s also likely that your Underworld Thrower will be doing most of the ball carrying. The advantage the Goblin has is that when needed there is the option to throw them with your Troll.
Catch will mean it’s easier to give them the ball (someone else will likely be picking it up), Sure Feet gives you that safer burst of speed when breaking for that scoreline. Sprint gives you that little extra range, especially helpful as Trolls can’t throw that accurately. If they are holding the ball and do get hit, Side Step lets you pick to move closer to where you need them. I think at this point though the extra skills aren’t really adding a great deal to their usefulness.
For doubles I would really be tempted to go down another route as you’ll find they are more helpful more often. If however you really want to make a Goblin your main ball carrier to free up your stronger team mates, then like most ball carriers you will want to go with Block. With a second one then Sure Hands will help pick it up or to negate Strip Ball if you’re picking up with another player first.
Strength increases are hard to pass up making them harder to take down, though again could they be more useful with a different development path. Agility as usual is great for a ball carrier, again not so great with Two Heads and as mentioned above makes landing rolls easier if they get Thrown.
Underworld Goblin Ball Retriever:
- Normal: Two Heads, Big Hand, Extra Arms, Side Step, Catch
- Doubles: Block, Sure Hands
- Stat Increase: +ST +AG
The last utility role I would go for is a specialist ball retriever. This little Goblin can get into the tightest of places to grab a loose ball and then make it out the other side. Again start with Two Heads (hopefully you’ve picked up that is your best choice nearly ever time) for that easy dodging around. Follow it up with Big Hand to ignore any tackle zones when attempting to pick up the ball. Extra Arms makes that pick up attempt easier and also has some utility to make an emergency receiving option as well. Then Side Step for the same reasons outlined before.
Doubles points towards Block being the most useful, if you manage to grab the ball out of a scrum then you want to be harder to knock over if you end up hanging onto it. The extra level of safety can’t be overlooked as usual either. Sure Hands will help with the pick up attempt and again protect you from Strip Ball. It can be hard to find a safe square to stand in after fishing the ball out so these two skills will hopefully mean it remains in the Goblin’s hands for your next turn.
Agility increase is a complete boon for this role, it negates the need to take both Two Heads and Extra Arms, though would be a bit annoying if you got it after already having those two skills. It will however mean you can still give them the ball easily even when marked. If you get it early then Catch becomes a handy later skill choice to take as well. Strength doesn’t do anything specific for this roll in collecting a loose ball, though it will make them a bit harder to knock down. If you get a strength increase then I’d adjust some later skill choice to another path.
Underworld Goblins Summary:
Hopefully after reading this article you’ll know that two heads are better than one, especially on your mutant Goblins! They are fragile but versatile players and I’d keep some flexibility in mind when making your skill selections. You might find as they develop there is a lot of role crossover and that’s not a bad thing. Like your standard Goblin, ones on an Underworld team will make useful foulers. I wouldn’t bother developing one down this speciality though as that’s more team value that can get sent off and they won’t do a particularly better job than a rookie or journeyman Goblin. Doubles choices are too valuable to be selecting Dirty Player. The one thing you want to wish for is if you get an agility skill increase is that it happens before the first normal roll. Keep in mind what’s going to help the team the most overall and you can’t go far wrong.