Getting ready for ExeBowl 2

The first ExeBowl was only a week ago but I have been busy working on the 2015 version over the last week and yesterday I published some of the changes.

There were a few things related to the rules themselves that I wanted to tweak. These are not core games rules, but rules related to the operation of the tournament. Things like what type of casualty causing event counts towards your match total and how coaches are ranked (e.g. net touchdowns, casualties, strength of schedule).

I’m not disappointed with the first set of rules, but they were not as balanced as they needed to be and preferred certain types of teams and play style over others. The original selection was because of my naivety of tournament Blood Bowl play and match balance than anything else. Remember, that when I created ExeBowl I was halfway through my first league in nearly 20 years and hadn’t played a Blood Bowl tournament. I’d much prefer that in the second ExeBowl that all races have an equal chance of winning the tournament overall. I am lucky that the NAF Championship rule pack has been released recently and I have shamelessly taken their rules for ranking coaches. It seems like the fairest approach.

ExeBowl 2 Logo

I’ve also chosen not to add any special rules or quirks to the tournament. I want it to be simple and standard. Maybe further down line I will embellish the tournament but for now I am happy with clean, out of the box, Blood Bowl.

I’ve also kept it as a 1 day, 3 game tournament. I’d like to try and get 4 games in but this will depends on the venue in certain regards. Having run a 1 day tournament I have no problems with running a 2 day event. Next year though is the World Cup and lots of players in the ExeBowl catchment area are thinking of attending that. I don’t want the first ExeBowl 2 dayer to fail because I scheduled it at a time that excluded half of my player base. It is something that I’d still like to do in the future.

In terms of style, I took my obsession with the 2nd Edition of Blood Bowl and have recreated the look and feel of the Hand Book and Rule Book in my website and the tournament rules pack.

I’m really pleased to have lots of interest in players coming to ExeBowl 2: 2nd Edition, and even more pleased that coaches that played in the first one a prepared to come back!

ExeBowl 2: 2nd Edition Hand Book (Website)

ExeBowl 2: 2nd Edition Rule Book (PDF)

 

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Blood Bowl – ExeBowl Tournament Report

Things have been super busy recently but yesterday one of my hobby projects came to fruition – ExeBowl. Here’s a tournament report that I submitted to the NAF site. I’ll  be posting a few more articles about my current hobby projects and my experience of being a first time tournament organiser shortly.

ExeBowl I – Tournament Report

The months of advertising and forum posts were over. The rosters were in and checked. The last minute switch of players was resolved. The prizes and other give aways were packed. The lunch order was in. The cleaner had finished his rounds. The tables and chairs were set up ready. All was still.

The morning of Saturday 18th October had finally arrived…and so had ExeBowl.

32 coaches turned up to support the first ExeBowl tournament and they brought with them a good mix of races and rosters. 19 races were represented with only Slann, High Elf, Pro Elf, Ogre and Halfling not in attendance. The coaches were a good mix of new tournament players and experienced hands; 14 players were eligible for the ‘Rookie Wonder’ award for the highest ranked player with fewer than 5 NAF tournaments under their belt. Following recent changes to NAF sanctioning the coaches were playing for a NAF trophy, the first time that this would be awarded at a 3 game event, as well as prizes donated by Element Games. Coaches were also playing for ranking points for the 2015 South West Tournament Championship, with ExeBowl and other one day tournaments being added to the circuit for the new season.

The round one draw pitched two of the pre-tournament contenders – Hawk (Undead) and Sann0638 (Lizardmen) – against tournament rookies from the host Rygas Roughnecks Gaming Club, while the tournament’s only stunty team – Dreamcreator’s Goblins – was paired up with Glowworm’s Underworld. The coaches found their opponents, found a table and started to prepare the teams. The atmosphere in the room was the usual mix of excitement and nerves. Everyone starts the day hoping for the best, but knowing that in a 3 game event, 3 wins will be needed to take the title of Champion. The introductions and roster run downs were soon over and the room was filled with the familiar sound of rattling dice cups and rolling dice. Occasionally the background noise was interrupted by cries of joy or pain as Nuffle’s great plan unfolded. First round wins were recorded by DavidO, Glowworm, Camsbell1514, Sann0638, CeeTee, Mawph, Nightwing, Rubick, Buggrit, SeriousCallersOnly, Hawca, Dionysian and Hawk.

Lunch was delivered as the games came to an end and the stories of crazy dice, dare-devil plays and abject failure were told. The hunger for Blood Bowl meant lunch was quickly devoured and the coaches were eager to get round two underway.

In the second round it was all to play for! Buggrit’s Orcs faced off against Glowworm and his Underworld (who as all playing nearby came to find out had come armed with Claws). Sann0638 was hoping to take his knack of causing casualties from the first game into his second against the equally destructive Hawk. It was’t to be though and several head-in-hand moments ended in a 3-0 defeat. The lesson for all players is don’t fall over in front of a zombie, because he WILL foul you! CeeTee’s Chaos Dwarves came out 2-0 winners against Hawca’s Dark Elves and in the battle of the Rygas club mates Camsbell1514’s Vampires overcame DavidO’s Skaven 2-0. Round two ended with 6 coaches on 2 wins – Glowworm, Hawk, CeeTee, Dionysian, Camsbell1514 and Mawph.

Round 2 also saw a moment of sporting greatness from Canteloup as his coached his opponent JimAlbins to a game levelling one-turn touchdown to end the game 2-2. All this after Jim had taken the advice of some of the tournament regulars – “Kill the rat ogre!”.

Round 3 and the top 3 tables were playing for the positions – Hawk faced Glowworm, CeeTee faced Camsbell1514 and Dionysian’s Wood Elves faced Mawph’s Chaos Pact. With CAS and TD all factoring into the overall result actions in each of the next 16 turns would be vital to the outcome of the tournament. Merrick’s cry of “I’ve got no players left” meant that his result was the first in and Enderman was making big noises in his matchup against Canteloup. The Chaos team doing their best to kill anything vaguely ratlike and the skaven doing what they do and scoring with limited numbers. As the day progressed the mood in the room had become more serious with each passing turn. One by one the results came in and kept a closely guarded secret as they were entered into Score!. Players tried to work out their points total and find out how others had finished. As the tables were being cleared and teams packed away the final results came in the final standings calculated.

The coaches gathered as the announcements were made and the results prepared.

The raffle prize of Impact! Miniatures gift certificates was won by Camsbell1514 who topped off a good day by taking home the ‘Rookie Wonder’ prize too. Most touchdowns (8) was won by JonathanC having come from nowhere to take it after a 5-0 win against the Goblins in the final round. The top ranked players overall also did well in racking up the casualties, but it was Enderman who took the prize thanks to his 7 in the final round.

The Wooden Spoon was taken by Jaskiirl whose Vampires were taking part in their first tournament and the Stunty Champion went to Dreamscreator. There was only one stunty team in the competition but Dreamscreator deserves special mention as he found out that he could make it only two days before the tournament when registration was closed and yet he was still happy to come down and help out uncertain if he was getting a game or not. Just another example of the fantastic Blood Bowl community that we have here in the South West.

At the top, CeeTee and Camsbell1514 played out a draw in the final match to put Rubick back into contention for the places following his 3-1 victory over Lunchmoney. After the tiebreakers were considered 5th was taken by Camsbell1514, 4th went to Rubick playing Humans (like Elves) and 3rd place went to CeeTee. Dionysian won his final game to end the day with 3 wins but it was only enough to take 2nd place.

1st place, and the title of ExeBowl Champion 2014, went to Hawk. His Undead team ending the day 3-0-0, scoring 7, conceding 0 in the process and racking up 17 casualties on the way.

There will be many other stories to tell and hopefully the new tournament players enjoyed their first NAF tournament experience enough to try again.

A massive thanks to all of the players for supporting a new tournament and for making the day easy to run and fun for all.

ExeBowl will be back in 2015, hope to see you there.

Full results and pictures can be found on the History section of http://www.exebowl.co.uk

Awards

Champion: Hawk

Runner-up: Dionysian

3rd place: CeeTee

4th (International Glowworm): Rubick

Rookie Wonder: camsbell1514

Most CAS: Enderman (share the wealth)

Most TDs: jonathanc

Stunty Champion: dreamscreator

Wooden Spoon: jaskiirl

ExeBowl – Swag alert!

ExeBowl is Exeter’s first NAF approved Blood Bowl tournament and is being hosted by Rygas Roughnecks gaming club.

It’s our very first Blood Bowl tournament and from Day 1 the aim has been to keep it simple, balance the books and have some fun. We want to get the tournament established in the South West circuit and hope that there will be many more ExeBowl’s in the future.

That plan meant that we weren’t able to offer some of the swag and prizes normally associated with tournaments. Until now…

Thanks to the generous support of the Roughnecks and the support of those that have already paid for the event, I am able to go ahead and offer 2 custom ExeBowl dice to all players as part of their registration as well as one entry to the raffle prize draw.

Everyone will be in with a chance of going home with a nice prize.

On top of that I will also be able to offer a prize to the winner of the first ExeBowl and some smaller prizes for other awards.

Full details of the prizes will follow.

Again this wouldn’t be possible without the Roughnecks and those that have showed support for the tournament so far.

Thank you.

Pete

Time for an update

In my head I don’t do many general update posts – but a quick look at the list of posts says that the last two posts have both been updates of sorts. Anyway, there are so many little bits and bobs that I am dipping in and out of at the moment that I thought I’d bring them all together in one post. I will then pick each item in turn and do a separate post on the best bits.

 

FUMBBL

I’m still by no means a FUMBBL expert and I’m not a regular, but I am taking part in a little Twitter league that has seen me playing a game a week. I’ve taken more of an interest in the regular 145 Rookie messages that I get as well and will probably get back into that. Time is a major factor at the moment though as I’m enjoying the other things that I’m working on too much to play lots. FUMBBL is still a little alien to me. Playing sideways is strange and I find that I am very easily distracted when playing which massively affects the end result.

 

ExeBowl Branding

When I started the ExeBowl tournament I pulled together a general look for the various documents that (felt) I needed to produce and came up with a quick and dirty logo based on the Exeter City F.C. emblem. I’m not a graphic designer though and my computer graphics skills have always been well behind my other IT skills. Recently though I have produced a simplified – and I think more striking – logo for the tournament and have been rebranding all of the materials that I’ve produced.  This has also included porting the website from WordPress over to its own domain (http://www.exebowl.co.uk) and giving it a quick spruce up along the way. I’m much happier with it all now and the change allows me to..

 

ExeBowl Prizes and Tokens

As a first time tournament keeping costs well-managed is very important to me. It would be in any year to be honest, but the first year especially is important in terms of gauging interest. I do want to run the best tournament that I can though and I have been getting in touch with manufacturers and vendors to see if I can get some prize support for those that do attend. With a simplified logo, I have also been investigating costs and lead times for custom dice and tokens that can be given away at the event. No promises but if enough people sign up and pay I’ll be in a better position to do something with this.

 

ExeBowl Roster

More ExeBowl and more IT now as I’ve been pulling together a customised Blood Bowl team creation spreadsheet that I am asking all attendees to use. I’ve taken the tournament version of the stalwart of the Blood Bowl roster creation – Halfling Scribe – and modified it to work with the ExeBowl tournament pack. The changes have been fairly simple and have basically involved splitting out the player skills into a new column to show which free skills have been selected and applying the tournament’s TV1100 limit and 6 normal skills restrictions. I published it on the ExeBowl website earlier this week and hopefully everyone will find it useful.

 

Score! Templates

Finally on the ExeBowl side of things I have been modifying the outputs of Score!. For those that don’t know Score! is a small piece of software that is used to run Blood Bowl tournaments. It lets you enter the teams, run the draw for each round and then based on your tournament tie-breakers creates the results for each round and the tournament itself. It’s very good at what it does but the outputs for it a not very pretty. I like things that not only function well but look nice when doing it, so it was important for me to have the outputs ExeBowl branded. The outputs themselves are easily customisable so I have been doing that as well. I will do a longer post on this soon as the changes I’ve made can easily be applied by other tournament organisers to their events.

 

Painting

The #WorldCupPaintingPact has really inspired me to paint and has been a roaring success for me. I have finished the chaos team that started as a primed set of models only two weeks ago. I’ll be taking some better photographs and posting on these later on. I’ve no stopped there though and I’ve started working on my orc thralls for my vampire team and have gone back to my ogre team. The five ogres that we already done have had eyes painted on and just need the bases finished and I’ve also got the snotlings into a similar position. I’ve also pinned and primed a sixth ogre and will start painting him in the next couple of days. I’m also going back over my elf team (the one that I finished at the end of last year for the league) and have been retouching them. I’ve been amazed at how my level of painting has improved (in my eyes) between the elves and the chaos and ogre teams.

 

Blood Bowl Pitches

I’ve not done much on these recently but they are always in the background. You may remember that I started a pirate pitch inspired by an article in an old Blood Bowl Magazine this hasn’t moved on at all really and the other ones that I eventually want to do are still just things to do. I have been trying to create a digital pitch with markings and dugouts as a friend has access to an A0 vinyl printer and there’s a chance we could print out own custom pitches at cost price. Too good an opportunity to miss. Trouble is – as you’ll know from earlier in this post – that my graphic skills are not great. I know what I want but doing it in a software package is easier said than done. The language and tools are all alien to me and the basic techniques that I need all need to be researched and tried out before I can apply them in anger. I’ll get there though!

I think that is quite enough for now. As you can can see Blood Bowl is very much the focus of all of my hobby attention now; collecting, painting, reading, running and hopefully attending tournaments.

Until next time 🙂

 

ExeBowl Blood Bowl Tournament Update

As you will know I am running a Blood Bowl tournament in Exeter, UK on October 18th this year.

It’s a short 1 day, 3 game tournament with 5 normal skills and 1 double skill on a 1100TV roster. Nice and simple for my first time as a tournament organiser.

We’ve had two people confirmed and paid and have several others registering an interest on the TalkFantasyFootball forum. I continue to do all I can to publicise the event locally and on social media and will do so right up to October.

I have just purchased the http://www.exebowl.co.uk domain and am in the process of transferring everything over  (the old one still works in the meantime). I held off from purchasing the domain early on but after a few weeks of high intensity Blood Bowl love, I have come to the conclusion that ExeBowl will be on the UK tournament map for a long time to come. I have the support of the Rygas Roughnecks gaming club and that helps to manage one of the big factors/concerns at the start of the process – cost.

The target now is to get people to sign up and for us to have a fun tournament. After the tournament there will be time for reflection and improvement and we can think about how to make ExeBowl II even better 🙂

ExeBowl I – Exeter’s 1st Blood Bowl Tournament

Well after a little bit of behind the scenes preparation and double and treble checking things ahead of the big announcement, ExeBowl I is here.

We’re running it at the Rygas Roughnecks Gaming Club and hope to have as many of our league players taking part in some capacity as possible.

It’s our first time running a Blood Bowl tournament and want to have a really fun event and have cut out some of the glitz and glamour of the bigger, more established events 😉 If all goes well we will run it annually and if it goes really really well then we could look to add a second 2-day event to the calendar as well. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and focus on delivering ExeBowl I first.

I’ll post on here about what I’m doing for the tournament and how I’m finding the whole experience. There’s quite a bit of time between now and the tournament, but I want to run the best tournament that I possibly can.

All of the details are up on http://exebowl.wordpress.com.

The basics are Saturday 18th October 2014, 1 day, 3 game table top Blood Bowl tournament.