The player is specially trained in grappling techniques. This player may use Wrestle when he blocks or is blocked and a ‘Both Down’ result on the Block dice is chosen by either coach. Instead of applying the ‘Both Down’ result, both players are wrestled to the ground. Both players are Placed Prone in their respective squares even if one or both have the Block skill. Do not make Armour rolls for either player. Use of this skill does not cause a turnover unless the active player was holding the ball.
Wrestle is one of the new skills introduce in the LRB5 rules. It probably has the greatest impact of any of the new rules and it will probably get selected the most. For years some coaches have been suggesting that block was too good and needed splitting into an offensive and defensive skill. That hasn’t happened though Wrestle has certainly had an impact on the blocking game and certain players will benefit from Wrestle over Block.
It has two main uses, both to do with the blocking game. The first one which is probably of most use to the majority of the races is the ability to to take down opposing players with Block. Most typically this will be the opposing player who has the ball, more often than not their ball carrier will have Block. Previously having Block yourself was no help to getting them off their feet. Wrestle allows you to both go prone at the expense of armour rolls on either player, though it will mean the ball goes loose. Of course it isn’t just limited to the opposing ball carrier, any select player on their team that is in the way can be targeted in this manner.
The other use as I see it is for taking down opposing players when they are blocking you. Of course you can still elect to take Block instead, though Wrestle has some advantages here. While it doesn’t cause the other team a turnover, having their player going prone may be really bad for them. Should that player be providing assists with the use of Guard, a stronger player, a slower player or exerting tackle zones, all these can be helpful to you if you get them off their feet. Slow players will be out of position and can’t move very far if they have to stand up. They also can’t hit someone on your team again next turn without using up the Blitz action. Your player may also be in the position to just stand up and run away next turn as well, where before he may have had to dodge away from the player. The other benefit of getting their player prone is that it may leave you a nice target to foul as well. Any one of the above factors may cause a coach to decide to not do a one die block with his Block players where before they would have.
This skill may really catch out even experienced coaches if they haven’t played against it before. It is one of the new weapons in LRB5 and an important one to get to grips with.
- Better chances of knocking down ball carriers
- Can take down opposing players with block when they hit you
- Can free up more space by removing tackle zones
- Slows opponents down
The fact it is great for blitzing the ball loose, it would appear to be a great skill to take on Blitzers. However I would really shy away from giving a player who starts with Block the Wrestle skill. Their uses overlap too much and there would be preferable skills for those players. So the players who typically would send after the ball carrier instead of a Blitzer: Gutter Runners, Catchers (Human, Elves, maybe Amazon), Beastmen, Pestigors, Ghouls, perhaps even Witch Elves. Others may need a double skill to take it: Skinks, Goblins and Halflings, though it can be handy to have a couple if not at least one on a team. Some of those players though where you have 2 or more on a team, you might want to split it up with two taking Block and two taking Wrestle. This gives you more choice for players carrying the ball and fielding the different ones depending on if you are kicking or receiving.
For the types of players who typically line of scrimmage fodder, this is a useful skill as outlined earlier. Skaven and Elven Linemen can make great use of this, perhaps Amazon Linewomen too. Human Linemen I might err to the side of taking Block but it is a close call. The disruption they can cause the other teams slow hitting players benefits them well. You don’t always have to use it though, should the other team roll a Skull/Both Down on their first block with an unskilled Black Orc for example, if you used Wrestle to avoid the armour roll, then you also either saved them a turnover or a reroll. So you need to watch out for situations such as that, your player may be better off taking one for the team!