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A minotaur can make or break a team. If you roll well, it can single-handedly break down the doors of Valhalla and carry your team to glory. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. A rookie Wild Animal is the greatest liability any team can have, and it takes both skill and luck if you wish to win your first few games with one on the team. Generally you should keep him out of the fray until you are in a comfortable enough position that you can risk a turn-over on the first action of your turn.
If you are willing to take this liability and manage to steer your minotaur through its delicate infancy it starts to pay back for the effort after it gets Block, Pro, Guard and Tackle. It is a tower of strength around which your Blitzers can wreak havoc. It is a run-away freight train hunting down your opponent's Big Guys (but be careful when doing this, if the Big Guy you knock down stands up again, and you are still standing next to it, you are in for a 1d block).
- Note: This was written before the 2003 Rules Review. Wild Animal was changed drastically, and so this information is no longer so relevant.-
An ogre is more reliable than a minotaur. You can take it into a mêlée without having to fear a Wild Animal trap, and there it can use its great strength to your advantage. However, as with any Big Guy, you must be wary, as they cannot use team re-rolls, and Big Guys do not start with Block - which can cause turn-overs to the unwise and the unlucky.
An ogre, more so than a minotaur, is a pillar of strength. With Block and Guard it can be your Blitzers' best friend, and it can face off against your opponent's Big Guy if it gets an assist, though less effectively than a minotaur generally can. Ogres also tend not to cause as many casualties as their horned counter-parts. At the cost of one fan factor, you trade in a fraction of hitting power for a boat-load of reliability - though Bone Head can still ruin the most carefully laid plans.
Who needs Big Guys? They're unreliable and expensive. We don't need them! Not even to take on Big Guys on the opposing team. With Block you can afford to hit someone with two dice in your opponent's favour and get away with it more often than not - and if you roll a double on a skill, Dauntless will take care of all of your problems.
As an added bonus, this set-up can start you off with four Blitzers all at once. Four Berserkers going for your throat will throw off any opponent. Rampant side-lining by chain frenzying can clear the field and make it yours. Four Jump Up players can ambush players where they thought they were safe and gives you a lot of extra blocks. You will swiftly have four players with Guard and/or Tackle that will make it rough on any team to stop you from doing whatever you want.
At the cost of two positional players it is easily possible to get an extra re-roll. This makes it possible for you to consider dodging more often, and reduces the risk of a series of bad pick-up rolls killing your chances of winning the match. With a high FF, which should continue to rise, you should be able to afford the positionals you didn't start with swiftly enough.
On the other hand, the same can be said for buying re-rolls, since 120k is easily made if you have even a little luck on the injuries you sustain and don't have to replace a player for two matches. Additionally, this keeps your TR low and generally means your players will have relatively more SPPs.
As previously mentioned, Norse are fragile. It's a hard blow to the team if it loses a Blitzer in the first match. Therefore, depending on your personal taste and your fear of losing a player, you might want to trade in a re-roll for an apothecary, putting the 10k that is generated into the bank. However, you should never start off with less than two re-rolls, as this will cost you dearly in terms of ball-playing capabilities.
It is often said that Norse can't take what they dish out. In general, this is true. However, Norse can garner skills faster than any of the other bash teams around. They progress faster and can recover faster. On the down-side, they also tend to age faster, but then they can play ball alongside the fast lads, so it all evens out.
What, no positionals?! The reasoning behind this team is that in a rookie roster, the Norse Blitzers, Throwers and Catchers aren't really worth the extra cost, as they only really shine once developed. By taking this route, the linemen get a chance to develop a bit before these glory-hogs appear on the team.
By starting with 12 players, a Big Guy Ogre to absorb some hits on the LoS, an Apothecary to stave off those early expensive injuries and deaths, and even a little cash in the pot, this lineup is very forgiving. You'll find that Block on all the players and avoiding the passing game means the 3 re-rolls are ample to begin with.