The new Rygas Roughnecks table top Blood Bowl league season kicked off last night and my Norse were facing some Dark Elves in Game 1. It was my second Norse vs Dark Elves matchup in a week and I can’t say I was that confident going into it.
I’ve picked a different build for my tabletop season and have gone with 2 x Ulfs, 2 x Beserkers, 7 x Linemen, 3 x Rerolls and 1 x Apothecary. I like more certainty and control in my game and thought the Snow Troll would be too much of a distraction and that dealing with the Frenzy would be hard enough.
My opponent was new to our club league, having found himself in the same position that I had the year before and just missing the start of the league season. Anyway he had 2 x Witch Elves, 3 x Blitzers, 1 x Runner, 5 x Linemen and 1 x Reroll. We’d never played each other before and neither of us had played tabletop for a while so it was going to be an interesting game.
I won the toss and elected to kick. It’s one of my favourite tactics at the moment as I like knowing what I need to do in a game and getting a feel for how my opponent is going to play. As expected the Elves got the ball, caged up near the centre line just to one side and kept a free player within Dump Off range. The Norse’s starting Block proved useful and I was able to knock over the Dark Elf line and get some pressure on the ball carrier. It didn’t amount for much though as being Elves they were able to skip out of trouble and progress down the field. I was conscious of being surfed by a Witch Elf and likewise I was always looking for a surf opportunity. My recent experience with Norse has taught me that trying to surf with an AG2 to Ulf who HAS to follow up can be very dangerous and could end badly for me. I managed to control myself although there were numerous opportunities not to. I continued to knock players over but not hurt anything and my opponent moved the ball through quickly with a pass. The Blitzer that had broken free muffed the catch though and the ball was free about 3 spaces from my end zone. I pulled players back forcing the Dark Elves to roll dice at least but knowing all the while that a simple dodge and pickup was all that they needed – simple for an AG4 anyway. As you would expect they Blitzer redeemed himself and picked up the ball and ran in for the score.
At the kick off the weather changed and we had to play out the rest of the game in the Pouring Rain (Edit: I originally said Blizzard which would have modified my GFIs. No we were in the Pouring Rain which affects ball handling). This was not what a team with no ball handling skills wants and rerolls were going to have to be saved. The kick was deep and my designated ball carrier picked it up (first time) and I was able to cage up in my own half. My objective was simple but the challenge was difficult. I was still knocking players over but the best that I had done was KO a couple of Dark Elves. The Dark Elves would pick themselves up and reposition making my forward progression tough. One of the Witch Elves dodged her way – very aggressively – to get one dice on my ball carrier but it was one dodge too many and she Badly Hurt herself. I can’t say that I was disappointed as the Witches had been a pain so far. It helped me move forward but I would still need full movement (MA6) and 4 GFIs with the ball carrier to score. We got to the last turn of the half and the Elves had one last chance to get to the ball carrier. A failed dodge meant they couldn’t get to her though (I am using the Valkyries) and I made the two 2+ rolls to go in 1-1 at half time.
I received the ball in the second half and the numbers were in my favour; the Dark Elves being down to 7 players and me still at 11. Again in Blizzard conditions I was able to pickup the ball and cage up. The cage slowly made its way forward down the left had side and the Elves would base me and attack at every opportunity. The cage got stalled and swung round to the right but was loosing players as they got stuck in tackle zones or only managing Pushes. There were lots of Skulls being rolled by both coaches including quadruple skulls by the Dark Elf coach at a very inopportune moment. On Turn 8 the Norse ball carrier was in scoring range and again it was the turn of a Witch to save the day. A series of 3+ dodges to the ball carrier required the use of the Dodge reroll and the 5+ to get to the ball carrier proved too much and she was tackled to the ground leaving the Norse to run in for the winning score. The game ended 2-1.
Overall it was a very good match and despite lots of blocks thrown there were no (blocking) casualties on either side. I got a normal/single skills on a Lineman and will probably take Tackle. The reason being that there are 3 Human teams in the league and it would be nice to have safety player to take out the Catchers. If not Tackle then it will be Fend to give me that extra bit on movement flexibility.
It was amazing the difference that rolling dice and moving miniatures has on my game compared to the pixels of FUMBBL. I confirmed to myself that tabletop is my preferred format of the game (although the ability to replay online is fantastic!). My next two opponents are Humans and Khemri so two very different challenges ahead.
It was good to get back to the club and to tabletop Blood Bowl 🙂