Last in our little series (and six months after the last instalment, ahem), we’re finally getting onto those skills that help you punch people. Repeatedly.
What a pro! What a champ! Look at him go!
Pro is like a little reroll your player can carry around in their pocket, ready to use as and when they need to. Basically, if they make a roll, they can choose to expend a once-per-turn free reroll, provided they can make a 4+ roll first. If they flub the 4+, then you have to stick with the original roll. This is both better and worse than a Team reroll.
- It’s great because you can use it every turn, as well as the team reroll. You can even use a Team Reroll to re-roll the Pro roll, if you want.*
- You don’t have to fail a roll to use it, you can use it to try and get a better result. For example, if you throw a block and get a skull/push, you could Pro roll it to try and get something better. Might as well, eh?
- On Big Guys, it’s amazing. A normal re-roll needs a 4+ to succeed anyway, so you can get the same effect for free, every turn. It’s awesome for beating negatraits as well as mitigating bad Block results. As for negatraits…
- Vampires! Vampires have two rolls they are often performing each turn, Blood Lust and Hypnotic Gaze. With Pro, you can freely reroll one of those, saving the Team Re-rolls for the important rolls. And if you fail either roll, it’s no biggie, as it doesn’t cause a turnover. Cool!
- Slann. No other built in reroll for them leapers.
- As said earlier, you can use it in your opponent’s turn. So lets say you have a piece with Pass Block. If it triggers, you can use it on a failed Dodge to position the Interception, or even on the Interception itself.
- Oh the temptation to use it… I had an Elf with it once, failed a dodge, thought I’d Pro it to save team rerolls, he obviously fails the Pro and kills himself. On turn 1. Serves me right really.
- It’s hard to decide whether to invest in a skill that you might potentially never use, or one that would see little use compared to another. The classic choice is Pro vs Block on a Double for a Big Guy. I personally favour Pro. I’d rather have a Big Guy that can reliably (well, more reliably) move and get in the way then throw the odd punch/take the odd punch.
*here’s a fun situation. An Ogre with Pro tries to stand up, rolls a 1 for the Bone-Head. You decide to use Pro to reroll it, and get a 3 on the roll. You can then use a Team Re-roll to re-roll the Pro roll, but you’ll have to make a Loner roll first. So lets say you roll a 4 on the Loner roll, which means you’re now free to use a Team Re-Roll to re-roll the Pro roll, which means you’re able to re-roll the Bone Head roll. Whew!
I’d recommend against this for two reasons: 1, your opponent, enemy though he may be, wouldn’t mind getting the occasional turn in himself, and 2, the Bone Head re-re-re-roll is bound to fail anyway purely because it took to much effort to attempt.
Basically, it’s fantastic on Big Guys, and Vampires. Other players, especially ones that perform all sorts of janky-crazy stuff (and Slann) can still benefit. Speaking of big guys failing blocks…
He’s a machine! He’s in all places at once! Whoo!
Multiple Block lets you make two Blocks in once turn. Where do I sign?! Oh wait, what do you mean stipulations?
Yes, it’s not as brilliant as it sounds. 1st, no following up. Boo. 2nd, each opponent that you’re blocking is counted as two strength higher for the purposes of this block. Boo hiss!
Ok, what does this mean? It means in the most common circumstance you’re going to be hitting two Strength 5 targets (linemen) with your Strength 5 guy (Big Guy). That doesn’t sound good… Good thing assists still work as normal. If you can get an assist on each, you can easily throw two 2d Blocks. The only thing is, as we all know, Big Guys and 2d Block can, and often do, go belly-up. It’s up to you whether the pay off is worth it. Certainly getting that much more bash in one turn can be a gamechanger, but the extra risk… If your Big Guy can get Block or Pro then it’s obviously much safer.
It’s great on Treemen as they’re strong enough to whack people without assists, and it’s also brilliant on Assassins (Horkan, anyone?). Multistabbing, while not always the most reliable way to play, is hilarious.
Now, taking it on <S5 pieces is, well, not always recommended. Unless you can get some serious assists in, you’re going to struggle to get 2d blocks. There are upsides though. Being able to push away two people on the Line of Scrimmage can free up more players so they don’t have to dodge.
If only there was some way to beef up your player so he could beat up guys stronger than himself…
The indefatigable! The monstrous! The fearless!
Dauntless lets you punch bigger, meaner chumps than you. When you block someone stronger than you (before assists), you roll a D6 and add your strength. If the result is higher than you opponent’s Strength, you can block them as if you were as strong as they were. Eg, a Strength 3 Norse Lineman blocks a Strength 5 Ogre, and rolls a 3 for the Dauntless roll. 3 (ST) + 3 (Dice) = 6, which is higher than the Ogre’s Strength, so the Lineman is considered Strength 5 for this block.
Dauntless is a surprisingly useful skill. A while back I was trying to think of reasons to take Dauntless over other skills, naively thinking it’s useless against most teams. It was then I realised that it’s actually useful against almost every team. There are only four teams in which Dauntless is useless, and that’s assuming they don’t have and +Str guys or Stars. (it’s worth stating here that I’m assuming a Strength 3 piece, as the majority of pieces are. You could of course take it on a weaker player, making it more useful. More on that later).
The only teams in which Dauntless is useless against are Amazons, Dark Elves, High Elves and Pro Elves (oh and I guess Bretonnians! But I don’t have BB2. Sob). There is an argument saying it’s less useful against Wood Elves and Dwarves, as Treemen and Deathrollers are comparatively rare, but still, that’s anywhere between 18 and 20 out of 24/25 teams that it is useful against.
It combines with Multiple Block beautifully. Just ask Grim Ironjaw.
It’s always nice having a piece with it somewhere, as being able to thump a Kroxigor every now and then can be vital.
Let’s look at some numbers…
Lineman (S3) vs Saurus (S4). 83% of Dauntless working, making it a 1dBlock as opposed to a -2dBlock.
Lineman (S3) vs Ogre (S5). 66% chance of success.
Lineman (S3) vs Treeman (S6). 50% chance of success. 33% chance of Defender Stumbles or Pow, as opposed to 11%.
Hey, let’s look at it combined with Multiple Block:
A Lineman (S3) blocks two Thralls (S3) using Multiple Block and Dauntless. He has a 20% of making both Dauntless rolls and getting a Push or better on each block. This is not strictly true, as it doesn’t take into consideration the fact the Thralls are assisting each other’s blocks, but for illustration purposes it works.
The only limit to stacking Multiple Block and Dauntless is your imagination!
Here’s a spoiler: Don’t take thick skull.
There are only two useful circumstances:
- You’re a thrall and you want a slightly better chance of staying on the pitch.
- You’re scared of getting fouled.
If 1 applies to you: take the 30k that the extra skill costs you and buy another thrall. Problem solved. If 2 does: Man up!
So yeah. Skip it.
And that’s it! This concludes my little series on Low Tier Skills. I hope it’s encouraged you to try something a bit different.