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 Issue 5 - January 20, 2505
Vocal Population
by FUMBBL coaches with help from Stevie

Greetings sports fans! It’s that time again to inform the masses, so we sent our horrible little reporters far and wide to get the points of view of the people in the know, the people with the fingers on the buttons (and possibly other places… but we’re sure that’s a different topic), the coaches!!! Today we’re looking at the age old problem: we’ve all seen them, they're big and they're mean, heros of the terraces, scourge of the front line, love them or hate them they seem here to stay… the BIG GUY!!!! Mighty giant of the field, or expensive mascot? Worth their weight in gold or should stick to making the half time tea and coffee? What’s your favourite Big Guy, and just how useful are they? Discuss.

Big Guys are basically overrated by all noobs, they are really good when they do as you want but a lot of the time you find yourself wanting to blitz that guy on the line and then your wild animal stand and roars...
I think we all know that feeling when we could just have made the blitz with another player but we waited for that high ST and the MB and maybe even the Frenzy. Big Guys are good but unreliable. That makes them a good blocker and meatshield but a bad blitzer.
My favourite Big Guy I think is the krox or the rat ogre. I always get a big guy if the team can but not from the beginning - they can be bought later when you have the positional players and the rerolls you want.
And what does it come to... Big Guys are like any player but expensive and unreliable. Don't overrate them but don't underestimate them either because used well they are awesome (that is if you have luck on your WA or stupid rolls).

I hate Big Guys, I tend to roll one all the time anyway when I need them most, but they are too attractive, (i.e. ST), :)

Big Guys are my favourite type of player actually. Unreliable, but can accomplish so much with some luck. Old style wild animals were my favourite Big Guys, because they needed true skill to work well, and good use of them was rewarded well (unless you got unlucky but that goes for everything in Blood Bowl).
Best use of a Big Guy is as a high strength road-block with Guard. Just move him into the most inconvenient positions and make life hard for your opponent. Biggest benefit of it is that either your opponent needs to use more than usual resources in his turn to deal with the Big Guy, or ignore him which leaves you with a strong Mighty Blow player to tear apart enemy players.
Big Guys also make great cage players, and if the ball is free at the beginning of my turn with many players of both teams nearby, I usually move the Big Guy next to the ball first in my turn, just in case a turnover happens suddenly. At least then my opponent has to work for the ball.

A team depending on the Big Guy for its tactics isn't going to be a successful one. For that, they are all too unreliable. Nevertheless, sometimes the big guy can boost a team considerably. A perfect example is the Troll on the Orc team that doesn't only decimate the opponent now and then, but also gives hope of a one-turn TD when the need falls upon the coach. A Rat Ogre or a Treeman can both take away a dangerous block on a fragile Skaven or Wood Elf Lineman on defence and provide that extra BH that brings the FF up another step. If you can find such good use for your Big Guy he will be much more than a mascot. However, don't ever trust him; he will certainly let you down sooner or later...

Personally, my favourite is the mighty oak. Pound for pound he is the toughest and least impaired Big Guy going IMHO, if he isn’t sleeping somewhere during the first half... then the only main disadvantage is getting up. But naturally with ST6 it is rather hard to get one down to begin with. Get the guy +MA and all of a sudden he no longer has this disadvantage.
Other than the aforementioned sleeping disorder and the "help, I have fallen and can’t get up" disorder. the inability to reroll is the only thing I fear with a Big Guy, so with any double I automatically take Pro for any Big Guy... unless it is a 12 roll (and 10 for trees). My dream Big Guy is a 4 8 1 10 Treeman with Block, Pro, and Multiple Block - the fun part would be watching the opponent's players run in fear! Right now my woodie team has a 4 6 1 10 Treeman with Block so I am almost half way there (grin)

I think Big Guys can be fun but at times a bit too much. In Stunty League I think too many Big Guys and secret weapons exist causing them to be "mighty giant of the field" yet under the LRB 3.0 without Trophy Re-rolls and not sure how Leader Re-rolls are in place yet as I haven’t gotten Leader yet they can become an expensive mascot. In my personal opinion I think if you restricted the Big Guys from using General skills and allowing them access to Pro as a normal skill they'd be fun for both sides.
My favourite Big Guy depends on the type of team I'm playing. For instance, the Beast is much more effective against speed teams then any other Big Guy available, yet the Minotaur and Rat Ogre having access to physical traits make them very powerful against bashy teams as they can get Claw allowing them to break that heavy AV9 much more often. But besides Big Guys, I think Mummies are far better as they haven’t the need to roll for Bone Head, Really Stupid, or Wild Animal.

When you get over the new player rush of "Oooh I have a ST5 player" and start to block last with them as they can't reroll, they progress slowly and often end up as LOS fodder and distractions. But what a distraction, even without Block their size and MB skill makes them a constant worry to any opponent. So I rate them, but usually more for the psychology factor than actual usefulness.
Really Stupid Big Guys aren’t very useful in my opinion, as it takes a lot of work just to keep them active. Ogres and Kroxigors are more reliable and very handy, but for me look no further than the Minotaur for the best Big Guy. ST6 when blitzing, Frenzy, Thick Skull, access to mutations (Tentacles, Claw) are all great, but to me it's the "fear factor" a Mino brings. Everyone is afraid of Minos, and the underrated "auto-unstun for wild animals" makes them the best. Even Ogres and Krox stay stunned 1 in 6, and Really Stupid Big Guys often stay stunned 50% of the time if blocked away from their mates. Plus Minos look cool and are great for fluff. That alone is reason enough to love them.

I usually treat my Big Guy as an expensive mascot, a handy-to-have ST5 tackle zone who can stand there looking rough and soak up assists and hits. All my Big Guy has to do - if I have one - is distract the opponent a bit. By no means do I find a Big Guy a must-have.
The important thing to remember about a Big Guy is that he is, and remains, a Big Guy, and can't use Team Re-rolls. Most of them have negative traits that make them further undesirable. As a result you can't use a Big Guy in any of your important plays, since the chances of him failing, or doing outright nothing, are too high.
I use Big Guys on Orc, Human, Chaos Dwarf and Norse teams (and Stunty Leeg teams, naturally). I would rather do without them with Chaos, Wood Elves or, back when they could use an Ogre, Dwarfs. I find the presence of a Big Guy on any of those teams practically useless. Having ST5 is less important due to the other strengths of those teams, and reliability is a much greater virtue. I'd rather have an extra Longbeard than a mobile tackle zone that is prone to turnovers and standing around looking stupid. I'd rather have another MA7 player with AG4 than a player who, despite being strong and extremely tough, doesn't show up half the time or if he does, falls on his arse and stays there for three turns before getting up again.
My favourite Big Guy is the Troll, and that is the only reason I take a Big Guy on the Orc team. A solid, strong team that can pull off a TTM when they're in trouble is the best thing ever conceived. Go Orcs!

The Big Guy (or bigg'un for us oldies) has been a common sight on the touchlines since the inception of the game. The starting strength along with the ability to send a Mighty Blowed fist smashing into the face of the nearest terrified lineman has bought joy to the black hearts of many a coach. Unfortunately for some, the threat posed by the Big Guys has been gradually diminished over the years until the specimens we are presented with are mere shadows of their former glory. Most teams can now only take one Big Guy as opposed to two. Big Guys are sadly too stupid or too uncontrollable to gain access to their team's re-rolls and they may soon lose their access to General skills which will surely limit their killer potential when on the field. Under the old rules my personal favourite Big Guy had to be the Rat Ogre. The 6 blocks allowed with their Frenzy could easily send players flying off the field into the stands to be ripped apart by those Dark Elf fans (not the nicest way to go), their agility of 3 with a re-roll allowed them to move the ball like no other Big Guy and mutations along with cumulative armour/injury modifiers reduced many teams to a squishy pulp (this pulp being the material that this fine publication is manufactured from). There has been no scarier sight on the Blood Bowl field than a Mighty Blow, Claw, Razor Sharp Claw, Piling On, Frenzy, Block Rat Ogre blitzing across the field intent on destruction. Since the Big Guys we are currently allowed are reduced in power from their older counterparts I’d look no further than the Beast of Nurgle. The Beast is a nightmare opponent for any coach to face, with its grasping Tentacles which few players can hope to escape from, its access to hideous (and dangerous) mutations, its ability to restrict passing plays due to its less than appealing looks and its Undead-like ability to raise warriors from the grave to serve you. The Beast is a force to be reckoned with. The Beast should be a key player on all teams allowed to take it since it allows the possibility of tying up running teams' skilled players (tie up a reasonably-skilled Wardancer for the game and it has paid its cost back). The reluctance of coaches to get their players too close to the Beast can also be a valuable factor in protecting the ballcarrier. Essentially, the Beast allows another element to the game which can easily swing the balance in your favour.

When facing the inevitable question of whether or not to acquire a Big Guy on to your team, one needs not only ask will he inflict a lot of casualties, but rather, how many turnovers will he cause? On the other hand, they are an asset by providing certain teams a more "bashy" element, while on the other hand they are the main cause of turnovers for many fresh teams, due to the lack of rerolls for them.
So, we all know the facts, but why do we need them, some of us even like them. I, for example, have grown to love my Rat Ogre, Mickey, not only because of his Wild Animalism (which is, by the way, far superior to the loathed Bone Headism) but because he has personality, if pixels can have that sort of thing and he is truly evil. In my last game he killed a Mummy and a Wight. And surprisingly they didn't regenerate! That kind of behaviour lights up my day and although I lost the game, Mickey made it worth playing.
The other one of my tactics is to choose for Big Guys skills that normal people wouldn't choose - Pass Block, for example. It never ceases to amaze opponents when they make their first pass and you pass block with your Kroxigor. It usually ends up doing nothing, but it's the thought that matters.
Big Guys differ from the usual lineman/blitzer/thrower etc by being, yes, BIG. Large men have always had a place in our legends and in our myths and today we still love to see big men play basketball. We love everything huge, super size meals and all that. It's in our blood.
And even if Big Guys are a liability, they are at the same time a necessity. And though the most important fact of all has eluded many, it still remains as it was in the beginning of Blood Bowl: "If Big Guys weren't fun, they wouldn't have been introduced to our beloved Blood Bowl."

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