Did you know I really like Simyan? They are a fun, gimmicky team not unlike Kislev, with a wholly unique and eclectic set of skills and a diverse stat range. Simyan offers a combination of a lot of strength, not a lot of armour and a whole lot of arms. It has a big guy unlike any other and it has skill access unlike that found elsewhere. There’s only one problem:
Simyan is literally a team of nothing but apes.
|0-2||Orangatang||5||3||3||8||Extra Arms, Strong Arm||GP(AS)||70K|
|0-2||Chimpanzee||7||3||3||7||Extra Arms, Wrestle||GA(PS)||80K|
|0-4||Gorilla||5||4||2||8||Extra Arms, Grab||AS(GP)||100K|
|0-1||Silverback||5||5||1||9||Loner, Wild Animal, Extra Arms, Grab, Mighty Blow||S(GAP)||140K|
Bonobos are the lineman of the team. At 6337 they have the speed of a human and the armour of a skaven. They lose that extra point in exchange for starting with Extra Arms, making them sort of like budget pro elves, or maybe ball-friendly hobgoblins. The Chimpanzee is the closest thing the team has to a blitzer, with wrestle, A access and an extra point of movement compared to the Bonobos. With no S access possibly the lowest armour of any blitzer in the game, the Chimpanzee is more of a dedicated sacker positional than a true blitzer. They are mobile and good at harassing, but easy to tie down when out of position Chimp and poorly optimized for dealing damage.
Next is the Orangutan, This is the only thrower in any official team that starts with Strong Arm, making it a development dream...if you can get it there. It has traded a point of the Bonobos’ movement in exchange for some much-needed armour and, while it’s as passable with the ball as the rest of the team, it’s sorely lacking in any rookie skills that help to protect the ball. It doesn’t have block, sure hands or pass. It doesn’t have agility access. And it’s slow speed virtually demands it takes kick-off return to be a functional thrower, though one that is definitely worth having on the developed team.
That leaves the Gorillas and Silverback. The Gorilla is the player that makes or breaks the team. It offers a relatively cheap STR 4 option with Strength and Agility access, as well as a powerful tool to keep players based, all at the expense of no G on normals. That means no block without a double. That lose is arguably essential to the player’s fairness. With the ability to take both Break Tackle and Dodge on level ups, the Gorilla can be developed to become the most mobile player on the team. They can be built into killers with POMB+JU, or they can be turned into pillars with dodge, guard, diving tackle and your choice of stand firm or sidestep! A Gorilla can, on only normals, do everything that a strength 4 players dreams of doing...except roll both down.
As for the Silverback? It’s essentially a Gorilla with more strength and armour. This is the only Big Guy in the game who has Wild Animal but not Frenzy, which makes it only slightly worse than the Krox, arguably the best Big Guy in the game, for grabbing players and making them stay put. A little bit closer to REBBL, Extra Arms makes it an ideal Big Guy for handling the ball, which it is able to pick up or catch on a 4+.
Making Men out of Monkeys
I think Simyan is an extremely fun team, if not necessarily an especially good one. I think, in terms of skills and stat lines, there is nothing wrong with including it as-is. No, the problem here is that they are monkeys, so let’s theorycraft a bit. If we shave off the fur and give them some pants, what options do we have for lore?
Fortunately, Cyanide has already established a precedent for this. When a team needs to be re-skinned, take a sub-faction with little lore, make some up, and write them in.
So I present to you Estalia Lucha Libre.
For simplicity’s sake, the Bonobos will be reskinned as simple Linemen. They will be small, with athletic builds, bare chests and masks. Everyone on this team wheres a mask. Maybe each positional has their own type of mask, in which case the Linemen can have domino masks, or maybe every player draws from the same pool of faces. Whatever the case, the important thing is that they are masked.
The Chimpanzees will become Luchadores, larger than the linemen with full face masks and more agile posture. The Gorillas can be heavyweights, players with the heaviest builds, rippling muscles and probably the least amount clothing. Orangutans are a little bit harder. Maybe they are trainers, with some actual padding on their bodies? Maybe they can be another type of masked wrestler. A High-Flyer maybe, the name being twisted to refer to how they make the ball sore through the air? Or maybe they’ll just be labelled throwers, and the problem will be ignored.
Last of all is the simplest change of all. If Kislev can have a tame bear, then Estalia can have a tame Gorilla. Or a Masked Gorilla, as the case may be. The Silverback can be imported without a single thematic change at all, except perhaps to put a mask on its face for some plausible deniability. Because that’s definitely not what the rest of the team has done already.
Wrapping things up
We have gone over one of my favourite teams that’s not actually in BB2, reskinned them into Estian Luchadores and put at least one mask on at least one Gorilla. So, what’s left?
Well, the Star Players I supposed. Simyan can induce Helmut, Griff, Zugg and Morg, as well as two ape-specific stars. All you need to know about those stars is that one is called Furious George, the other King Bombastic, and both are pretty bad as Star Players go. Fortunately, they have excellent names and demand little aside from reskinning the Luchador and Masked Gorilla into Star Player variants.
The other big question is will this happen? Well...maybe?
I do think there is a fair chance that Cyanide will introduce Simyan to the game, after a fresh coat of paint, with Chaos Edition. I’m also pretty sure that they won’t be masked wrestlers, even though that's clearly the best way to include them. Maybe we could see them as a Chaos Faction? Whatever the case, we can all look forward to their inevitable inclusion in the definitive edition of Blood Bowl.