Underworld Linemen Overview:
An Underworld Lineman is more important to his team than a Skaven Lineman is. This is because the team has even cheaper players to act as fodder and you are limited to only two of them. Like the rest of the Underworld Skaven players they differ from their standard counterparts by having the Animosity skill and normal access to mutation skills. Their role on the team pretty much falls to them as default, as the Blitzers are better as killer builds and the Throwers better for the ball handling roles. The other important role that is missing is that of a ball hunter which your Linemen can fulfil nicely!
Ball Hunter Underworld Lineman:
- Normal: Wrestle, Strip Ball / Tackle, Horns, Frenzy / Fend / Shadowing / Two Heads
- Doubles: Dodge, Mighty Blow / Side Step
- Stat Increase: +ST +AG +MV
The single most important skill and first priority on a normal roll would be to get Wrestle. Your Blitzers start with Block, your Throwers as ball carriers will want to get Block and the rest of your team doesn’t have normal access to general skills. Wrestle is one of the three important ball hunter skills to counter Block on an opponents ball carrier and it also gives you protection from it as well. After that the other two skills they need are Tackle and Strip Ball, the order you take them in depends on your common opponents, or you may prefer to spread the two skills across both allowed Linemen. Going further Horns is going to be useful to maximise your chances of getting a two dice block on your target when blitzing.
Beyond that base you can really develop to personal taste though I would consider Frenzy, be wary that Frenzy can get you into trouble spots and you may have it on a Blitzer already. Fend can give you a bit more protection and free you up to avoid dodging away, while Shadowing can cause the opponents problems if you fail to knock them over. Two Heads is also a nice option if you want to make them even more mobile. For doubles Dodge seems the obvious choice for both protection and mobility and if you get any more then Mighty Blow can help remove the target from play, or Side Step can make you a bigger nuisance, especially combined with Shadowing. A strength increase is very handy to get and lowers the need for Horns (though a ST5 blitz can be useful to have). Agility boosts should be taken as well, for extra mobility and also as a ball handling threat. Movement is a take it or leave it affair, earlier on in development I’d err to take a skill instead.
Utility Receiver Underworld Lineman:
If you are happy with only having one ball hunter build, then the other useful build is a utility receiving threat. With Animosity being an issue if you can avoid having to pass to a Goblin that’s one less thing that can go wrong. Start with Block for protection and then the ball handling mutations of Extra Arms and Two Heads. As you develop beyond the third skill I would look at what your team really could benefit from having. Fend, Tackle, Dauntless, Shadowing and perhaps even Pro or Claw. As a utility build you want to develop them to tailor to your common opponents and plug deficiencies in your roster.
For doubles look towards either Dodge for protection and mobility, or give strong thoughts towards selecting Guard. It is one skill you are probably going to be fairly light on without much natural strength access. Two heads can help you get where it is most needed as well. Side Step is a useful follow up that is useful for both a Guard assist and as a receiver. Stat increases follow the same logic as the previous build.
Underworld Lineman Summary:
While at first glance you may think they are just cheap fodder like a normal Skaven Lineman you perhaps now have an idea of how vital a role they play on an Underworld team. I think you really need at least one dedicated to sacking ball carriers, the second is really down to personal taste. If you get a double first skill on one, then I would consider developing that one with Guard and into a utility support player. Another skill I’ve not mentioned yet is Kick and Underworld are a team that can take advantage of a well placed kick off, especially on a blitz result on the kick off table. If you do get stuck for an obvious choice than one of your Linemen may be the best fit to try and get it onto your team.