The Wood Elves and Dwarves round out the “basic” races in Blood Bowl. While the Orcs and Humans are both fairly robust and flexible teams, the Wood Elves and Dwarves both focus on specific elements. In the case of the Wood Elves it is speed which takes focus, while the Dwarves are more concerned with strength and toughness. Learning to play these races will give any player a good idea of Blood Bowl’s strategies.
Those Pansy Elves
Of the basic races, the Wood Elves are the most agile by far. Anyone who wants to train to play the Skavin or Lizards would be wise to practice with the Wood Elves.
Of the five types of players, there are extremely self-explanatory. The throwers throw, the catchers catch, and the linemen are fodder used to attack and block opponents. The only thing exceptional about these players is a strength inherent to the entire race - speed. Linemen and throwers have a movement of 7, and catchers have a blistering movement score of 9. Besides those basic players, Wood Elves have access to wardancers, who serve as strong offensive and defensive pointmen. Finally there is the Treeman. The treeman is extremely resilient to damage and hard to knock down, but given his movement score of 2 makes him feel out of place on the offense.
The elves have a great passing game and arguably a great running game as well. Even linemen are decent at catching, and catchers are absolutely amazing. Because of their high agility, the elves are great at leaping through tackle zones. And once a catcher gets behind the enemy’s line, well, a touchdown is almost certain. The catcher’s amazing speed makes him literally impossible to catch by most players in the game of any race.
Of course, all of this speed and agility doesn’t help much with defense. While it will be hard for a tough race like the Orcs to stop the elvish passing game, it will also be very hard for the elves to stop the Orc running game. The wardancers and the treeman are the only players good at knocking enemies about, but that is all the elves have for defense. In most situations, the best defense for the elves is simply to score so quickly and so often that the opponent cannot keep up. This is particularly true against strong teams like the Orcs or Chaos. Elven players are expensive, and it can sometimes be a better idea to get the hell out of the way than risk having a lineman put six feet under.
The Dwarven Menace
Dwarves are tough, but slow, even more so than the Orcs. If you’re looking for a race with a running game, this is probably the one for you.
The basic dwarves are blitzers, longbeards, and runners. Blitzers and Longbeards are both extremely tough, but Blitzers are faster. Runners are faster still, although they are still quite slow. The dwarves also have Troll Slayers, who are Blitzers that specialize against extremely strong opponents. The dwarves have no big guy, but rather a secret weapon called the Deathroller. It is very deadly, but can only be used once per game.
Dwarven offense relies almost entirely on a slow, unstoppable running game. Dwarves are very slow, but everyone except the runners start with block.This makes it hard for an enemy, particularly a weak enemy like the elves, to stop a dwarven cage. Even the orcs have trouble because most of their players do not start with block. Learn tackle zones and how to use them to greatest effect, and be sure that if the runner goes down there are plenty of dwarves ready to jump on whoever knocked him over.
The defensive options of the dwarves are decent against slow teams like the orcs, as dwarves can directly engage their cages and often times come out on top. Against faster races, however, things become difficult. As with the orcs, fighting a fast team sometimes requires ignoring the ball and simply pounding on the opponent as hard as possible in hopes of doing enough damage that the opponent cannot effectively continue the game.