Thinking of taking the plunge - Skaven


=][= Ordo Grognardicus =][=
Staff member
Yak Comp 1st Place
Tribe Council
Jun 1, 2016
Ellon, United Kingdom
I've played Blood Bowl all of once, probably around 18 years ago. Back then I wanted a skaven team (the game I played was me as Elves of some flavour vs Skaven).

I know next to nothing about blood bowl beyond that game I played all those years ago. It seems to have reasonable support and a decent enough number of people seem to be interested in playing it and, just recently, those Skaven were finally released... they calls to me they doooo...

So... those in the know... am I mad? I presume teams are reasonably balanced in general with Blood Bowl so you can't really go far wrong picking any of them, and I've always liked skaven flavour (mmm, fried rat).

Any great pearls ( or chunks of warpstone) of wisdom for a Blood Bowl beginner?
Skaven are a good team, but no, not all teams are balanced in BB. There are some that are clearly worse, and others that all come down to the player, team exp and few other bits (can explain more on team levels if you want but since you are interested in Skaven... not really important here).

Skaven are great as a starting team, they have a high mobility, and high ball handling ability. This means that they can dodge about, retrieve the ball (to then play keep-away with), and as a rookie if you make a positioning error, you can recover fairly easily with their high M value.

The risks with them are their lower armour values, and their potential to focus on one or 2 star players who will hog all the points. Your gutter runners become universally hated, and you can built a decent stormvermin in the team too, so they are flexible. They will lose extented bashing against most bar some elves, but can strike hard in certain points which is nice.

Overall a good starting team.

I'd avoid a rat ogre to start with though, they are a little too awkward to use reliably, and therefore on a 'fun' thematic option rather than a serious pick.
What @spafe said basically.

Skills like Block, Dodge, Wrestle, Tackle, Guard, Mighty Blow are the bread and butter choices early. Gutter Runners are your game winner. Protect them and when the chips are down rely on them to move like greased lighting and win you games.

Worse places to start then FUMBBL Strategy guides (for overall BB) and Race Specific builds and Strategy.

My favorite game by GWS (followed closely by Necro obviously ;) :p ) and Skaven are a firm favorite team :) Good luck with em and have fun :)

Cheers :)
Cheers chaps!

I was thinking of just getting the starter pack of Skaven & dice* and trying to find someone who lives relatively close to cadge the rules off and learn to play with before expanding the team or buying the actual box & supplements. No designs on a Rat Ogre (yet).

Glad they're a solid starting choice - I hoped they would be.

Now... if only there was such a thing as BloodBowl 40k with Necromunda themed teams...

*total sucker for themed dice.
If there is noone local, then the FUMBBL site I linked is also a free Java based version of the rules. Mising some of the newer stuff but core rules are all correct.

White Isle League is a UK based bunch of coaches who could help you learn as well ;) . Easier to learn probably on Table Top though and get to play with the cool models so definitely the way to go at first :)
I've joined FUMBBL but I have no idea what I'm doing :LOL:

I got as far as making a team name.

I might just spend a lump of the next paycheque buying the core game.
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Well if you want to blow off work and come to the Yakmeet I'm sure we could fit in (another game!) a demo/crash course of BB :p
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It's okay, you'll have block and dodge by then... maybe even a MVP :p
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@Stoof, if you want a quick and easy way to try the game (and the skaven team) for yourself, you could get one of the Cyanide BB video games on Steam. The first one should be $10 or so (both games use the same ruleset as the TT game AFAIK, and the difference between BB and BB2 is mostly cosmetic)
From what I gathered, the AI is pretty bad at the game (which may explain why I can beat it) so I wouldn't base any real life strategy on it, but it should be enough to give you an idea of how each team play.

My only experience with skaven teams being crushing their skulls under digital dwarven boots, I can't really give you any good advice about them. I think you'll quickly find yourself wanting more than 2 gutter runners though. Those fast-fast rats look like they are very important to the skaven strategy, and losing one (or both) of them early game will be a huge problem if you don't have backup. On the other hand, you may not need both throwers (it's easier to keep them out of harm way as their position is a skaven wet dream: hidden far-far away in the backline) and all 6 linerats from the box. Maybe you could convert some of those into extra GR/blitzers?
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It should be easy enought to convert basic linerats into Blitzers or Gutter Runners, alternatively I could pick up a second box at some point.
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Skavenblight Scramblers purchased. I hope you're happy, you dirty enablers ;)
Yes...yes we are.

I agree with Thorgor about the video game. I think we played a game or two of the newest edition and then I bought the game on Steam. It really helped clear a few things we had done wrong, never having played it before. The AI in the second one has either been fixed or I'm just as bad at that as I am with other games. Though, I did have an Ork Thrower complete a pass to a Black Ork Blocker for a touchdown on the table top. That was entertaining.
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The AI in the second one has either been fixed or I'm just as bad at that as I am with other games

More likely you're just still new mate. There's a almost painfully obvious routine the AI does... so once you get familiar with that, you can game them to your hearts content if you wish (They have made 2 or 3 plays, but most teams still default to a cage). The Cage play they do is actually nice practice for busting cages open though, so I recommend using it for that. I've made ork, human, wood elf and chaos teams so I can do cage breaking in various styles with them now. Unfortunately once you get that down, AI offers no I to go with it's A. Fun til that point though!
The most disappointing thing to me about the AI in BB1 was the skill selections for teams.

Solid skills is really not too hard to preprogram surely? But they had things like Skaven Throwers who come with Sure Hands (reroll pick ups) and Pass (reroll passing) taking Pro.... a skill that on a 4+ gives a reroll of any dice roll.... pathetic when so many functional and better skills exist to suit that player.
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Reactions: spafe is a great site for getting started too. They have overviews for all the teams along with starting roster ideas and tactics for all of the individual players.

I will also throw my hat in to say that BB2 on the PC is awesome for learning the basics of the game.

We just started our own little league and I am so glad we did. I played a lot back in my teens when 3rd edition was released and played BB1 a lot vs other real folk so have a bit of experience with it but couldn't be happier to be back to playing the tabletop version. I'm joining a second league on Friday too with my new Dark Elf team.
Skaven are a good team, though I'm not sure they're the most beginner-friendly due to their fragility. You should find it relatively easy to score (assuming you have enough players) due to speed, but you'll probably find defence tricky. Further, if you're playing a league, you can easily be crippled by too many injuries, if you're not careful.

It should be easy enought to convert basic linerats into Blitzers or Gutter Runners, alternatively I could pick up a second box at some point.

I believe you're only allowed 0-2 Blitzers, so the basic box should have you covered there. Competitive builds will want four Gutter Runners, but I wouldn't necessarily advise converting Linemen into GRs as you'll be needing those too. There is a Forge World set of four extra models, including two GRs, but it's £20 so unless you really want some variety in your models another regular box is probably the way to go. (You can use the spares as part of a separate Underworld team or for conversions if you want.) Alternatively, some people use the Skaven Assassins from WHQ Silver Tower as their other two GRs.