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Shambling Undead
Shambling Undead
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Super Star
Win Percentage
Win Percentage


2012-04-26 03:39:18
rating 5.4


2009-03-13 11:38:09
rating 3.2


2008-12-24 17:44:34
rating 3.4
2008-10-14 23:39:55
rating 2.7
2008-12-24 17:44:34
21 votes, rating 3.4
The Strategist
I start this blog to have a place to post my thoughts on general and particular strategy. I know i'm not the best, but i have some knowledge and experience that would like to share and discuss. Therefore comments will be appreciated. Also, i am aware of the strategies page but wanted to give my personal view and some expanded options, i have learned much from it and recommend it.

Lately, most of my matches have been in [.B] or [R] minors and majors so my view of the subjects may be biased to fit that sort of playstyle, also was a federated chess player for a long time, so my approach to BB is mostly analythical.

I'll start with the race i was most successful with in high TR tourneys (I like high TR :D), feel free to hate me => Dwarfs (Yes, i confess: I like playing with dwarf and they're slow and painful pace):

The race:
In general slow and clumsy; mistakes on protecting the ball can be very easily punished with a stall and a TD, especially vs higher mv races (wait, that's every race). They are the hardest players to get out of the pitch so what they lack in movement they can (try) make up in numbers and rock solid positioning. They also tend to last long enough to hoard some stats and make an uber team.

The players:
Longbeard: The pillar, the fodder, the blocker, the dirty player. These guys are just great, av 9 w/ thick skull and blockle makes even rookie longbeards a pain to everyone to get rid of, they're also synergic with one another, especially with guard, 2 skills for blockle guard mighty blow makes for a 10 TR Beast, they're just one of the best players in the game IMHO. They're pretty much one of the main features in the dwarf team and it's general nastiness. On doubles I'll go for side step as an early skill (or SF, whatever you like, may discuss this choice later on), dodge; as a later skill: dauntless (have taken dauntless as a first skill on a LB and now have a 5 str dauntless player, which is good but could be better :P). Oh, if they get a third and subsequent skills you can either chose: PO (me likey!); Kick, DP DP DP DP!, or pro; I'm not a fan of pro but understand that a team with some of it can be more effective on the bashing game.

Blitzers: Not so much above average as longbeards but still good, 50% of the natural ag3 in the team they're a must have (there was a time when i played with 1 ag 5 blitzer and 1 ma 8 runner but that wasn't very wise, fun though). Comparing with an orc blitzer they have -1 ma exchanged with thick skull; as the team need as much guard as it can get the regular guard mighty blow advancement is my usual choice, since the team doesn't need tackling blitzers as orcs do, sometimes, as a third skill i'd pick sure hands (athough the extra ma of the blitzer can sometimes call for tackle too). On doubles definitely SF, or dodge....but SF :P. stats: yes please

Runners: 8 av, sure hands 6 ma. Even though they're soft in comparison with the rest of the team, 6 ma is not too shabby for the team and allows a score from the 3/4 of the pitch zone, which is grand for dwarfs, comparing with the human thrower you get thick skull instead of pass, not a bad trade within the theme; this can be a versatile player as you can make him into a blitzer-interceptor with block tackle, a thrower with pass, accurate safe thrower etc, or, as I have seen and used, a mobile DP. with 1 or 2 doubles he can also be a hellish ball handler with blodge side step.

Trollslayers: Saved this for last, you may look at it being a 3 traits wonder, Dwarf's witch elf or something, I think he's crap, but a needed crap, 8 av makes him a target and frenzy doesnt let him be as protectable as the runner; although vs higher str he is your dauntless and having at least 1 frenzy on the pitch never hurt anyone except your opponents positioning (and yours sometimes) and eventually players. Skills Mighty blow: discourage people from standing next to him, make him skill up faster, hurting the higher str beasts, Guard (dwarf => guard :P), on this one, pro as a third skill can be a bit more usefull as they roll more; on doubles: SF, SS, dodge etc. I admit i think so poorly of the slayer because i don't play too well with it, doesn't fit much in my playstyle and because of that i don't get better in using him ;).

The skill choices were thought of in a general way, another thought on a LB third skill i had was pass block, i dont think a couple of them would hurt a dwarf team but have never had the chance to have enough dps and PO's to take it :P.

General Strategy:
It is very important to play with almost military discipline on positioning as a mistake can lead to whole teams out of reach of your faster players, and we're all about contact!
In general I try to remove the opponents mobility either by creating fobidden zones on the field, using my players as a barrier or engaging in hand to hand fast, forcing dodge rolls or the opponent to bring more assists into the action in order to block, usually, in a match in which both players throw the same number of blocks, dwarfs will be better off...also usually they end up throwing more blocks if it's mostly a blocking match, so it's ok to to trade 1 block for 1 block against (in general ofc). In defense the general goal is to force a fast score and hurt as much as possible, also, if a stall is being attempted or the coach is obviously going for it (as in not going immediately forward so he can pull your players to the midfield so he can then take advantage of higher move); it is important to have a couple of players ready to stop that type of movement or blitz in order to create danger and force the score; AS important as that is to keep hurting and blocking and fouling, if not the oppo can just run down the clock in his side of the field, that won't be a problem if you hurt enough to make the 2nd half a walk in the park or a massacre, you'll get the tie (or the half time in tourney).
On offense: block, maim, foul but never forget your positioning, dwarfs are team players so you want your whole team engaged in 1 task, protecting the ball carrier (the bait). If the opponent doesnt go for it, good, just roll down the field, taking down and fouling whoever you can, after you reach a safe point where you can score in 1 turn you can start your hunt. Most people will try to stop you either by going for a bash fest, doing the 1 square away from you 2 player barrier or being really threatening to the ball. Will come to those later.

Options vs different styles and opponents:

vs Bashers: I feel the hardest bash match there is vs dwarfs are powerful orcs, mostly because they can have the same or more power as the dwarfs, good stars, wizard and plenty of dps, chaos can have that too but with 8 av on most of the team they can usually be dealt with, don't forget that LB's have av 7 vs claw, but so do beastment vs mighty blow and it's 1 skill that adds on injury, claw/rsc can be nasty but that's what you have dps for ;). Vs powerful orcs you must prey on their weakness: crappy subs, even though the lineman orc is good and a good dp, blitzers and BoBs are irreplaceable, but you can have a horde of guard/MB longbeards so try and take out the positionals as fast as you can, remember that, when it comes to hand to hand, a guard/mb orc blitzer is worse than your average longbeard so go for the special guys, every orc team seems to have one. Another tough dwarf opponent is Undead, can do as much about them as the other bashing races...(perhaps get Zara), take out the mummies, tie up dps and target ghouls if possible...the usual. Khemri: try to avoid early damage, enjoy the skeletons and try not to get too blocked by mummies (blocking them first! use positioning to take advantage of their low move), foul only if it is worth it (blitz-rahs, mummies, skeletons with 2 or more skills),avoid getting gang fouled and your av should hold the charge. Ogres: hurt what you can, let the dice screw them as usual. This type of matches will usually be decided by who hurts who

VS running teams: First of all, i consider every other team to be a running team, humans can put more of a fight but they'll still be overpowered so this applies in general. A good approach to this type of match is to use something like an arrowhead formation with the ballcarrier in the middle, like a huge cage and use it to smash the opponents team, once you have a good skirmish, try and form something like a square or circular formation to keep as much opposing players in contact as possible, take your time with them and try to remove them, remember not to let the cage break, if the ball goes down and the opponent is able to recover it it's very close to game over (unless you're really, really efficient with the scoring and the mangling); as always, hurt as much as you can as you will have a very hard time to win vs a full team, especially elfs and skaven.
The hardest match you can give dwarfs is a running team, particularly elfves or skaven with a wizard on this type of match, a good, not always effective, but good, tactic is to use a larger cage, occupy more of the field and get less fireball hits, while keeping alot of tz's in the way of the ball, that way, even if that nasty fireball works the opponent has many dice to roll to get the ball back, this leaves you a bit more vulnerable to leaping wonders but hey, they'll have to go sometime and the ball is the perfect bait for that dice gang foul you have been planning ;). Oh, don't give away lightning bolt shots unless you have to or have the zone well protected (and if you have the zone well protected why isnt a LB taking the bolt shot??)

Against the 1 square 2 player barrier formation:
xx |
xx | oppo's defense is something like this
xx |

use a barrier to fit the oppo's (The Press): 2 players for each of his players, forcing the dodge roll or a bunch of assists to block, also, use your blitz to force him down the field, even if only 1 square, if it's too hard to hurt him or to gain some precious squares down the field, consider loosening the cage a bit, putting more power on your press, the opponent may then loosen his barrier too because he can target the ball (the bait) but you'll be expecting it, and of course ready to recover (positioning positioning positioning)

Another tough dwarf opponent can be: amazons, i know what you're thinking but remember that,usually, at least 1/3 of the team doesn't start with tackle and isn't very likely to get it early, also, the opposing coach will probably be very focused as he knows the expectation for the match is total annihilation and you, the dwarf coach, will be as bloodthirsty as you get ;). Try to stick with the plan but it will be hard because a good player will be thinking way out of the box with the motivation of a giant slaying possibility, turning the fragile zons from dream matchup to killer foulers , dodgers, whatever it is asked of them to do...if you cause early cas's or resist the initial impact of the psyched up amazon coach you'll probably win as easily as predicted...if not and you lose, don't feel ashamed, It happens (to n00bs like me i mean).

So that's pretty much what i can remember right now, there's of course more to it, but i feel these to be the main guidelines to the dwarf game, comments and critiques are welcome, I may even add something considering these in order to make my strategy blog more complete.

Merry Christmas


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Posted by torsoboy on 2008-12-24 17:57:41
I like your post. Any words on Dwarven Stars and the Runes?

My thoughts:

Zara - great against undead types and possibly another ball handler.

Grim Ironjaw - the default star against most other match ups.

Deathroller - Interesting but way too fragile. Best taken against teams that can't hire a wizard, as a fireball will knock it down and out of the game easily.
Posted by MPC on 2008-12-24 18:14:07
Good point, will probably post a follow up "article" with the conclusions of a discussion here and stuff i forget:
Zara - Agreed
Grim - Agreed
Deathroller - agreed, can only be interesting if it's the sort of match you can really overpower the opponent without him taking any blocks, ie: orcs with much fewer guards and no +str and such. Never hired it though :P.

Runes, not a fan can become useful if you consider the following:
If you're at high ratings and all you have is uber dwarfs you dont want to put on the LoS you may consider 16 players, dwarfs with some stats can be better than grim (not zara vs undead types though, stakes are very nice). Especially if going on a major where attrition to your team is big and you probably won't get any recovery matches between qualifier and tournament ;).
As a rule of thumb i like to distribute power among my team, having a great player getting greater isn't as good as 2 great players so i'd say using the runes as following:

Speed: Runner, preferably not the thrower type

Might: your regular mighty blow guard LB or perhaps a blitzer, if you have enough str you may consider it for your ballcarrier (ie: vs elves)

Dexterity: ballcarrier...

Stone: (+av and standfirm): Trollslayer, perhaps a blitzer

Courage (turns them into slayers): either a LB or blitzer, the player should have mighty blow, if possible stand firm or side step