Match Report : Eshin Academy (Skaven) vs Humans

“The Eshin Academy step out into the Blood Bowl arena for the second time and I must say Jim they are looking more confident. No need for the extra portable latrines this week. Bob, let’s hope they’ve spent a lot of time on the practice turf as they made a lot of rookie mistakes last week…”

“…the humans have made good progress down the middle, pushing the Academy’s line back and punching a hole through the middle..and yes, it looks like they’re about to make play the catcher has broken free and the thrower is advancing into the space created in the middle by the smashing blitzer. Here we go..and oh he’s made a mess of that the ball is wobbling through the air and lands next to the catcher…it bounces..but nobody gets a chance to pick it up. Bob, that’s unlucky. They would have been closing in on the endzone had that landed. Yes, Jim and now the Academy have a chance to make the most of the turnover. It’s the thrower, Gareek Shade, who’s making the move on the ball he grabs it and moves into some space but he’s still in the rat’s half. He’s going to need some help and he it comes as the free Academy players rush to support him. The humans are trying to put pressure on the ball Jim but they need to be careful, we know how quickly the ball can move. Bob, it looks like the Eshin Academy are going for it, Gareek sprints left and gives it to runner Hythe Throttle, who charges down the left…and scores. 1-0 to the Eshin Academy and that’s the teams first score Jim…”

So what happened. I lost the toss and kicked off. The humans made a hole in the middle of the line. Nothing too bad though; not like last week. The skaven were being pushed around rather than knocked over and when they did go down the armour held and when it didn’t they were only stunned. This held all the way up to turn 5 or 6 in the 2nd half. The missed pass got me off the hook a little bit, as it was looking like a quick score against. I was pleased to be able to capitalise on the drop though; sure hands on the thrower helped and then the runner burning it with the help of two GFIs was fantastic to perform and see. A sweeping zig-zag across the pitch for 1-0.

The second possession for the humans went very similar to the first – hole created through the middle followed by a pass to a free man. This time it was to a blitzer. I had left him open to allow me to put more pressure on the ball, but didn’t bank on him being able to catch the ball. He did and ran into the corner needing 2 GFIs to get the score. He made the first but fell over on the second and the ball bounced inbounds. This is where I could have done a bit better I think. I managed to get back to the ball but was then isolated with the ball. The opposition coach is very good at getting multiple players free when he needs to and he did just that, knocking the ball carrier over. The ball bounced again and the blitzer was able to stand up and pickup for the score. 1-1 at half time. Getting the ball was one thing but leaving one player in the corner on his own was not solving the problem of having the ball and several of their players near my endzone.

I received first in the second half and set up more aggressively. I managed to blitz a path down the right and with another gutter runner charge got rat and ball a few squares short of the end zone. I knew I had the covering human blitzer to deal with and was lucky that after some rerolled block dice still only ended up being pushed against the sideline. I still thought one dodge out and 9 moves round the blitzer to score would be the plan. But again, the experienced human coach was able to get another two players to put tackle zones around me. Suddenly this became a much tougher challenge. I thought about having the runner pass the ball to a near by runner, but thought with 2 tackle zones on me that the short pass was too risky. So I went for it, straight down the side line and the grasping arms of the humans. Started with a 1 but used the Dodge skill to reroll that, then needed to burn a team reroll..but made it. 2-1.

The human’s possession was familiar and the ball and ball carrier were deep in the corner near the end zone with only a couple of turns left. The skaven armour was feeling the pains of the game by this stage and the players closest to the action were lying stunned. I dodged out with a runner, blitzed the ball carrier and the ball was left on the ground with the humans having 1 turn left. Familiar? Well the same thing happened. The human catcher managed to stand up, dodge to the ball, pickup the ball and score. Final score 2-2.

In hindsight I think I would have at least tried the pass with the runner at the end. There was another runner up the pitch available to catch. Even if the ball was fumbled, or missed then the ball would have either been further up the pitch out of harms way or it would have been no worse than it already was. I’ll remember that for next time. I did attempt to force more dice rolls from the opposition coach this game and wasn’t afraid to use the runners more this game. Both things I learned from last week. I do need to think about blocking assists more carefully and need to spend a little time trying to stop holes being punched through the middle of the line as easily. I may have owned the wide areas but the humans owned the middle and made the most of it. The skaven were much tougher this game and I made more of the risky dodges than I did last week. That’s the luck of the rolls though. I also managed to think about what I was going to do more and apply some sort of strategy to each turn. It was a very enjoyable game and it was nice to see some improvement.

Now to organise a game for next week 🙂

Eshin Academy P2 W0 D1 L1

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