Friday, December 9, 2011

Ape Blood Bowl: toying with team building

A couple months ago I made a roster for a Hobgoblin Blood Bowl team, and now that the Apes met their kickstarter goal, they will be a reality.  Which, don't forget, you can still support it at Kickstarter, and Chance will get an Ape tattoo if it reaches the $5k mark!  Also, Impact has said they'll be making an alternate set of arms for each Gorilla as well as bits of add-on short pants and armor gear! Very cool.  Just go back a couple updates to find the link to get to the kickstarter apes!

Back to the topic at hand: Blood Bowl Ape Roster.
Apes could represent a lot of teams: Ogre, Orc, Chaos, Chaos Dwarves...
but what about an Ape for Ape sake team?

After some thought, I set up the goals for my vision of an Ape team:

1.  Have position players for the minis that are being created.  This is: Orangutan thrower, Chimp linemen, Chimp runners, Gorilla Blockers and Gorilla Blitzers.  I also added a 'Silverback' as a Big Guy: Impact is offering Gorillataur minis in some sets, and Reaper & other manufactures have some super-sized Gorillas ... and I figure people will want some kind of centerpiece 'King Kong' type model.

2. Strong, moderate speed and agility.  Some apes can do amazing moves in the trees, but a pitch is just flat grass.  So I decided the team is best kept at Agility 3.  However, Chimp runners would have agility access on standard rolls.  I at first thought all chimps should have agility access on standard skill rolls, but then thought better of it: I didn't want the linechimps to eclipse the chimp runners.  Gorillas are strength 4 and would have access to strength and general skills on standard rolls.

3.  Different play style. I wanted to avoid something as simple as hairy orcs. I also want the team to be a bit more challenging.  So that means different starting skills than are normally seen.  Chimp runners start with Fend, which helps them carry the ball safely, and adds to their flavor of being agile.  Orangutans start with Sure Hands and Strong Arm.  They have long strong arms, so it makes sense.  It also means they have effectively +1 to throw, but without the standard 'Pass' skill reroll that other agility 3 throwers get.
Gorilla Blockers have Grab (since they are strong and have long arms) and Gorilla Blitzers have Juggernaut, since they charge like a freight train.  The Silverback has the negative trait Wild Animal (seemed appropriate) and the positive trait Mighty Blow (as do all Big Guys) and Stand Firm.

-  Glaring obvious: no starting Block skill.  Apes are new to Blood Bowl.  They have to learn Block.  And that will make the team very different from most teams.  The combo of Fend, Stand Firm, Grab & Juggernaut should create a team that has a lot of opportunity to decide where their pieces will be on the field as well as the ability to influence where opponent players end up on the field. I think it'd end up being an interesting team to play.

So here's how the roster looks:

I kept the Gorilla positions to 0-2 each, rather than 4.  Some of the sets on kickstarter have as many as 8 Gorillas, since the Orc roster has 4 Blitzers & 4 Black Orc Blockers, but I didn't want the Ape team to have the same dilemma that the Orc team has: almost no linemen get used. I think it's a better balance with Blitzers and Blockers limited to 2 each, especially since both types are strength 4. I didn't want 8 Strength 4 players on the field- that would overshadow the Lizardman team. 


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