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Which race to start with?

Which race do you use for your first team on FUMBBL?

You probably want your first team to have a decent chance of winning matches, surviving and developing in its first few games so you feel you're getting somewhere with the site.

Here's some advice on which teams will help you achieve that. All new teams from all the races can work, but some have more difficulty winning matches or just plain surviving. Also, some rookie teams have powerful strategies that work against them, and there are a lot of coaches that will probably exploit them, so whilst you may love the idea of that goblin team... it's less fun starting your second or third match with a team that's understrength from injuries.

Teams in blood bowl can be divided broadly into four groups,

  • Bashy - those who rely on removing players from the pitch and bashing through the opposition to score. They have high armour, low movement and sometimes struggle to pick the ball up. Top picks for a new coach: Orcs/Shambling undead
  • Agility - they generally have lower armour higher movement and players who can do things with the ball that bashers can only dream of. They tend to go pop a lot. Top picks for a new coach: Skaven/Dark elves
  • Hybrid - a bit of both, they have players who can be quick and agile, and some strong players who can hold their own in a fight. Top picks for a new coach: Humans
  • Stunty - not at all recommended for beginners this category includes such delights as goblins, halflings, ogres, vampires and are really best left until you have worked out the basics.

Best to start with

  • Orc Bashy. Probably the best team for a new player. They have a good mixture of player types which have different strengths but work flexibly together. Also, they have good armour and are fairly cheap, so running out of players is unlikely to be a problem. Playing Orcs is a good way to learn the way of the basher.
  • Shambling undead. Very focused on bashing their opponents but have a good set of players who can pick up the ball and score as well. Regeneration, and the ability to raise the dead, means they don't suffer so much from injuries.
  • Human Hybrid. With 4 players who start with block, a big guy and some players with movement 8, Humans can adapt their style of play to what is needed. Compared to other fast teams, Humans are tougher and reasonably priced which means that it's easy to keep a team going.

More good options (with a few downsides for first few games)

  • Dwarves Bashy. Low speed and agility, balanced by moderate strength. Dwarves are reliable and hang around on the pitch, they are quite forgiving for a new coach but if you leave a gap, good luck trying to catch those who nipped through it.
  • Skaven agility. Lightning-fast team including players who can move 9 with ag2+ and start with dodge. On the whole you will want to avoid blocking. Their players are very vulnerable but when one dies, a replacement Linerat is quite affordable.
  • Amazons or Norse Similar to Humans but with extra skills. Dodge in the case of Amazons, Block in the case of Norse. These powerful skills mean these races are forgiving to play and suffer few turnovers. However, if you learn to play with nearly every player having Block or Dodge you will find life more difficult with your next team where the players aren't so skilled.

Challenging teams for your first few games

  • Chaos Chosen Bashy. Starting rosters for Chaos aren't very strong. Generally you will find yourself either lacking Chaos Warriors or lacking the rerolls you need to handle the ball reliably. Some find the simplicity of the team a bonus to start with and, when well developed, they can be a real force. If you are a new coach approach with caution.
  • Chaos Dwarves flexible bashy team. Bull Centaurs, Chaos Dwarves and Hobgoblins all have fairly clear roles. However it might be best to learn the basics before trying them.
  • Dark Elves / Elven Union (aka Pro Elves) Agility. You will only ever be able to afford 11 players on a starting Elf team and replacements are very expensive. While they can pull off some amazing plays, many starting Elf teams are retired after a match or two thanks to casualties. If you want to play Elves think seriously about Amazons or Skaven instead, at least for the first team. However, if you absolutely must play Elves, Dark Elves would be a good choice. Dark Elves have a relatively forgiving AV9+ and four players who start with block. Elven Union have slightly cheaper players and more skills.
  • Necromantic horror Hybrid Similar to Undead but with more expensive, more specialised players.
  • Imperial nobility humans with a range of different more niche skills, one to try after understanding humans first.
  • Old World alliance an interesting team with a mix of different races but really one for the more experienced coach.

Very challenging teams for your first few games

  • Underworld Denizens In the hands of a good coach this mixed race team can be very good, but it’s perhaps not a team to start with, snotlings, goblins, skaven and trolls with mutations, lots to get your head around.
  • Lizardmen rely on very careful positioning of the Skinks and the Saurus. This is tough to get right, and many Lizard teams suffer very high Skink casualties.
  • Wood Elves or High Elves agility are immensely difficult to start out. AV7 on the wood elves and a lack of many good skills on High Elves as well as very expensive players means you need to keep every player safe from harm - and even then you will probably start many games understrength.
  • Chaos Renegades you can hire three big guys for this team and they can cause havoc, they can also fail to do anything worthwhile at all. If you wanted to see how multiple big guys worked then this is the team, but it's not an easy ride for a new coach.
  • Goblins/Halflings/Snotlings stunty need a lot of flair to play well, and their players die at a very high rate.
  • Ogres and Vampires very unreliable for new players, due to the high numbers of players with negatraits.
  • Black Orcs bashy very slow. Very, very slow.
  • Nurgle / Khorne bashy Like Chaos, but with more complicated skills.
  • Tomb Kings (aka Khemri) bashy have atrocious agility and need to be played carefully for that reason - Recommended for more experienced coaches.
Last update: January 16, 2023