Also hairy, crude, obsessive, greasy, thick skulled, rageholic...
Short, Angry Alcoholics
Dwarves should be angry, drunk, short and hard-headed. All of this adds up to an obvious bias towards the bashing game. However, Dwarves are not Orcs! If Orcs overpower their opponents, then Dwarves should outlast them through sheer stubborn-headedness. Dwarves aren't as big and strong as Orcs, nor should they be. But they make up for the difference with tenacity and discipline.
Or, in skill terms, thick skull and block spam. That said, they do sit in about the same place on the Pass/Running scale as Orcs do, though perhaps with somewhat reduced weight given the drop in average agility that's expected with the team.
And to be clear, that legacy is the real issue here. We'll talk more about it in a moment, but it also pretty spells out a lot of details for what the team must look like. One of the criterial for the template teams was that they needed to work from CRP6 without too many adjustments and no template team runs into that requirement more than Dwarves.
Still, in terms of making the team feel like Dwarves, we could do worse. They have high armour. They are 12% less likely to suffer a removal (thick skull is not a fake skill!) and they have more block than anything outside of a Norse team.
|0-16||Longbeard||4||3||2||9||Thick Skull, Block, Tackle||GS(AP)||70K|
|0-4||Troll Slayer||5||3||2||8||Thick Skull, Block, Dauntless, Frenzy||GS(AP)||90K|
|0-4||Runner||6||3||3||8||Thick Skull, Sure Hands||GP(AS)||80K|
|0-1||Deathroller||4||7||1||9||Loner, No Hands, Secret Weapon, Thick Skull, Mighty Blow, Break Tackle, Stand Firm, Obstinate||S(GAP)||150K|
Fun fact: The Longbeard is both a lineman and a blocker. This is convenient because it means this team still meets the player quota for a template team.
Anyway, there are things to talk about here. As hinted at before, this roster is the most different from it's CRP6 equivalent yet (and, baring last minute roster changes, going forward). Longbeards aside, everything is at least a little bit different. Let's break it down:
Troll Slayers are probably the most flavourful non-Longbeard members of this team. They act as blitzers with high movement and possess a suite of offensive skills which are very valuable for this low-strength bash team. Here we can induce 4 of them, replacing the CRP6 Blitzer by doubling up on the number of Slayers allowed. The downside is that the Slayers aren't quite as durable as Longbeards. They require a little more babysitting, though quite possibly to wonderful results.
There's also the Runner, which has also been increased to a 4-of. This is to compensate for the loss of the Blitzer as a backup ball carrier. It also opens up some potential fringe builds, albeit once again with the cost of lower armour bundled into it.
Last of all, this Death Roller is a little different from the CRP6 equivalent. It has thick skull because it's a Dwarf, damnit, and Dwarves have thick skulls! More importantly, the removal of Thick Skull from the strength list lets us do it, since we can have it without pulling more than 4 strength skills on the player (any more and it could run out of level ups). We've also added our new skill Obstinate to the roller in exchange for juggernaut to make it really feel as impenetrable as possible, albeit at the cost of some offensive power. Finally, this Death Roller is 10K less expensive. I'm of the opinion that the CRP6 Roller was overpriced and this change brings it more in line with where I think it should be.
Being Not Boring
Okay, so, I like playing Dwarves. I think they are very fun! But I'm also a bit of a maniac so, you know, take that with a grain of salt.
In truth, Dwarves have a two-headed problem in Blood Bowl where their thematic niche clashes with good gameplay. First, for the Dwarf Coaches themselves, the team has traditionally only had 1 gameplan. They win when it works. They lose when it doesn't. And while there's plenty of room for good play to make or break things, there isn't a whole lot of flexibility for innovation.
Then there's the other head. Are Dwarves that fun to play against? Their bash matchup, more than any other, hinges upon whether the opposing team has claw. Their agility matchup on the other hand hinges largely on movement speed. Teams that move slowly get grinded down, while teams that move fast can trivialize staying out of reach. I'd argue that the agility matchup at least is interesting for the positional excellence it demands of all coaches involved...but that only accounts for perhaps a third of the team's matches.
The problem is that the most thematically appropriate dwarves are also kind of boring. It is important to be not boring! If this were a new team, we'd probably go back to the drawing board to come up with a different niche for them to fill. But that's a hard sell for a legacy team. So instead we're look at damage control and trying to put different emphasis on which elements are important to making a Dwarf a Dwarf.
Here, I've done that in 2 general ways. First of all, I've increased the number of specialty players on the team. The combination of Dauntless and Frenzy leads to Troll Slayers encouraging much more interesting play decisions than Dwarf Blitzers ever did! Likewise, more Runners gives Dwarves more options for ball carrying and for building players who aren't...well, Longbeards. They let the Dwarves have just enough a taste of the running game to enable some alt strategies.
Second of all, by focusing on these positionals I've reduced the average AV value of the team. Dwarves will be just about as hard as ever to remove, but maybe a little bit easier to stun than before. It forces the team to either take risks for optimal plays or else put more attention towards actually protecting their positionals. Besides, I'd argue that thick skull is more symbolic of Dwarves than AV9 is anyway.
This is becoming a catch phrase of sorts, but it's worth repeating here that playtesting will be important. I think that these changes will lead to less boring Dwarf Matchups, but the only way to know for sure is to play the changes and test them out.
Next time we'll be diving into the world of mutations. But before then, how would you "fix" Dwarves? Or another problem team like Amazons? Let me know in the comments!