Wood Elf Catchers

Blood Bowl Wood Elf Catcher
Wood Elf Catcher Overview:

There are similarities to be had between Wood Elf Catchers and Skaven Gutter Runners. They are both fast, agile, weak and fragile. The Wood Elf Catcher has recently had a change in the current rules though, having one less movement but starting with Sprint instead. They also have an extra advantage in that they start with the Catch skill, this is handy to have but not a skill that is usually taken by choice often. Due to their similarities to Gutter Runners I would tend to develop them in the same way. Out of the blocks they start with the agility and skills already to be great at catching and scoring, so I would make them better at hitting and you have some long range blitzing opportunities with them. Wood Elves do have more mobile hitting players already with a Wardancer but building the Catchers to be able to hit as well will help you loads.

This is made somewhat easier now as Dauntless is no longer a double roll for them any more, so you can negate their ST2 somewhat, though obviously bear in mind this can fail. I would mostly use it against ST3 players when you have an assist. You are less likely to fail against ST3 and if you do then your assist will mean it is only a one die block rather than two in favour of the opponent. Having more options for really mobile blitzers also gives you some redundancy should your Wardancers get injured or knocked out.

Blitzing Wood Elf Catcher:
  • Normal: Wrestle, Strip Ball / Dauntless, Tackle, Side Step, Diving Tackle / Leap
  • Doubles: Guard
  • Stat Increase: +ST +AG

These guys are built to get into the back field and get at the opposing ball carrier before they manage to get into a cage. So with that in mind you want to skill them in a way that has the best chance of getting the ball free. Start off with Wrestle as it gives some extra protection. Then either Strip Ball next (though likely one of your Wardancers has it by now so you might want to put it off, you also probably don’t need Strip Ball on two guys of this build) or Dauntless to negate the ST2 disadvantage. Tackle is worth taking next as ball carriers will frequently have Dodge and you are probably Tackle light across the team. Side Step will stop them getting bogged down in a melee and also keep you next to a target, forcing them to offload the ball or dodge away. Diving Tackle will be a great help on defence if you get so far in development. You can consider Leap as well though with Wardancers I don’t think the team really needs it.

Doubles I would take Guard as Elves tend to need it and with two of this build one can go and assist the other to do the actual hitting. For stat increases +ST is great (if you get it before Dauntless then don’t bother taking Dauntless), +AG will let you get where you want easier and get the ball from out of tackle zones as well. I wouldn’t bother with +MV as you are already fast enough and skills will be more useful, +AV can be nice but replacements can skill up very quickly and more skills are probably going to be of more use. I might consider it more later in development though.

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16 thoughts on “Wood Elf Catchers”

  1. Blitzing catchers?  Wow… I’m left almost speechless, but using them in such a way and tying them up in physical brawls with enemy players seems like a perfect way to get them killed plus with a two STR assuming they can get assists assumes you have other players where your catcher *ought* to be… in the backfield.  And *why* would your other wood elves be back there in the first place playing a physical hitting game against anyone but gobbos or halflings or skaven?  Beats me.
    Plus the entire concept seems to completely negate their reason to exist- catch balls and run for scores and get positioned to catch a ball so they can run for a score.  And uh… oh yeah run for score.
    The other thing that they are good for is scaring the other player.  One Catcher in the back field can tie up at least two enemy players, sometimes three if they fear your passing play enough, meanwhile you play a running game with less physical fight at the other side of the field.  This type of catcher isn’t suited as a blizter, as the point is to dodge and play keep away and never let him have a hand (get in block) on you unless the enemy coach wastes a blitz .  In my Wood Elf games I aim to receive one maybe two hits per turn at most, otherwise the economics of injuries catches up to you.
    Oh and taking “Guard” with elves?  Wow… I don’t know what to say but it seems like you’re trying to make up for their weaknesses instead of seriously strengthening their already considerable strengths so you get a really dynamic team instead of an average or weak physical team- which will take many injuries and cost the coach a lot of gold…
    Just my 2 cents.

  2. Blitzing with them isn’t the same as getting stuck in a brawl with them. I don’t recommend doing that at all.

    You take Guard because your players are mobile and you can use them to cancel out assists and get them yourself when you want to blitz the opponents ball carrier. Having Guard also helps slow down their cage as you can hit their players back if they move up to contact with you. This halts their progress and also can get one of their players off the pitch now and again. Dodging away all the time does work but you are more likely to fail a dodge than you are a two dice block. Dodging away also lets them move forward again the following turn.

    Looking at it another way, what would you take instead? What plan do you have to halt cages and also get the ball off the other team if they are caged up? Leap and Strip Ball fails far too often for my liking and gets your Wardancer killed. You can already score easily without taking extra skills to help with that. A rookie Catcher can already tie up a couple of their players.

    I guess you have yet to play against a team built up in this manner, but I assure you it works.

  3. I want to defend 1 turn scoring elf build, I think, that in fact, it is nearly to crucial to have one, at least for not so experienced coaches like me. I don’t think, that his usage in team is limited. Let’s see:
    1) It is the best protection against stalling. We kick first, and if everything goes wrong and an opponent stalls until 8 turn, we can still score with a decent chance.
    2) Another use is to either present a constant menace of scoring, simply standing in the middle of the field, or pressing the enemy ball handler deep in their territory.
    3)  He attracts a lot of attantion and most of the blitzes, which leaves other your players lightly guarded. The most fun part is that a blodger is hard to go down.
    4) Due to high speed he can cover large distances, either to outrun the enemies or to make a sudden blitz, or to serve as safety.
    I play Cyanide game and my 1TTDM elf saved my ass several times, including matches against chaos with tentacles and dwarves with their usual stuff like tackle and MB.

  4. Well, obviously, this is all true to LRB 5 Wood Elves, as they are nerfed in CRP. I should have posted this in Gutter Runner page, but you get the point of the advantages of having a 1 turn scorer.

  5. @Dearmad
    Scoring with wood elves is very easy, since every elf is a scoring threat. This makes putting offensive skills on already awesome catchers seem less-than-smart. “Catching” catchers will be nothing more than targets while you are on defense. When considering most wood elf teams can/will score in 2 turns, this usually leaves you on defense for most of the game. Meaning the more options you have to get the ball back into the hands of your 11 scoring threats, the better chances you have of winning.
    You said yourself that  just 1 catcher is needed to “scare” the other team, possibly tying up 3 opposing players (maybe against new coaches…). You have failed to recognize that you can have 4 catchers on your team, so in reality having both builds is completely viable.
    Some coaches get hung up on the name of the player, instead of realizing it is just a game-piece with stats on it.  A potential ball-stripper/blitzer with 9 movement is quite useful, even with the name “catcher.” Especially when paired with a go-anywhere 9MV teammate w/guard. If you don’t see the benefit of this, you must be new to the game, or play in a very inexperienced league.
    Consider yourself lucky that Coach even dignified your post with a response…

  6. I agree with Zambarzo & Coach. I have played all of the Elves and the only problem I have EVER had scoring is whether I want to score in 2 turns or run out the clock (and usually get beat up in the process with the latter). So, it is true that against bashing/caging teams, I usually spend 2 turns on offense and the rest of the game on defense trying to get the ball back. So, having a good defense is critical!! And that includes Wrestle/Tackle/Strip Ballers (balls on the ground are music to an Elf’s ears) & Guard & Dauntless players, etc.

  7. I know this topic is of an older date, but still. I have played the woodelf team for some years, and the guard skill on catchers are most important. All the guard a woodelf team can get is vital. And guard on a catcher with MA 8 and the ability to dodge from birth makes them perfekt to get that skill. I like a playing style I call “hit and run”. So if a catcher can dodge out of trouble himself AND help a teammate (or two) get 2 dices so they can block their way out of trouble is even better. Ofcourse this must be in situations where the catcher stands unmarked after helping his friends stopping the potential cage forming in front of them.
    However I don’t like the idea of giving the catcher wrestle because I want them standing up when starting my turn. A wrestle skill can result in a foul if the catcher get 3-4-5 skills-ups. I don’t want that happening to my playing piece. One of you said it’s just a playingpiece, and you are right, but nobody want a potential starplayer lying on the grund ready for a boot.

  8. Coach is right Dearmad, they are brilliant Blitzers. The only think missing from any of these builds is Surehands. the first catcher I build is block then Surehands. This is so I have a dedicated player for retrieving balls in tackle zones. Even when the ball is in 3 tackle zones having Surehands on one of your catchers gives him a 55% chance of succesfully picking the ball up, then they can dodge away and hand off to another player, or just run to cover.

  9. I built a blitzing catcher recently, right now he has Wrestle, Dauntless and Tackle, and he is by far my favourite player on the team. He works wonders in tandem with especially my Guard Wardancer, knocking the ball loose against almost any opposition all the time. Awesome stuff here, Coach!

  10. I really have the compulsion to give these fellows sure feet. Not for one turn touchdown purposes, but because I don’t like sprint at all and I feel any player with it really needs sure feet to make something of it. And even then I’d probably only think of getting it for desperation plays. Although I probably still wouldn’t because while such plays can work I don’t want to build players with them in mind.

    It’s silly, I know, but just having sprint on these guys seems like such a waste.

  11. I played them with dauntless in a tournament and ended up taking second! So many times I hear “It doesn’t matter where I put the ball carrier, you can get to them easily.” I like building them as interceptors, yes they can catch and score, but only if they have a chance to get the ball. On defense that can be a little tricky.

  12. hi.

    You build tour defensive catcher with block – side step – diving tackle.
    Don’t you think another option (that by the way make the catcher a defensive AND offensive catcher) could be block – side step – DAUNTLESS (which you give only to your blitzer catcher without side step before level 5) ?

    If you have 2 more side step blodger (wardancer or other catchers), it’s easy to make a wall with only 3 guys. He will have to blitz one of the blodger side step, and if he don’t POW them (maybe he will have tackle…), with side step your catcher can force him to make this choice :
    1- follow, but with no help (the wall is still here), and at your turn you just have to come with one fellow and use dauntless to block 2 dices
    2- don’t follow, so next turn he will only have 1 blitz to try to injure you, but not to go ahead for the moment (you still have your 3 side step for the wall)

  13. Why do you use catchers as pseudo blitzers? Line men are cheaper and stronger. They only have one movement less and although they don’t start with dodge, they don’t need to take dauntless.

    • Dodge makes them far more manoeuvrable, especially early on, though by all means use whatever works for you. Personally I wouldn’t ever play Wood Elves if I could avoid doing so as they are my least favoured team. High Elves are my Elven team of choice.

        • I’ve just feel that they are a bit overpowered and this never got addressed whilst other teams got hampered when they didn’t really need it. I mostly played in tabletop tournaments too and for years they were pretty much the only Elf team you ever saw. No other team starts with a Block, Dodge, AG4 player and they also have high movement. They are also the only Elf team with a Big Guy player (there was a play test period where the Treeman got removed but it got added back).


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