Last weekend I played in my second Blood Bowl tournament, following Gert Bowl in July. I reverted to my original plan and took Ogres, wanting to take away any of the pressure of scoring and winning and really focussing on having some fun, relaxed games.
I took 6 ogres, 8 Snotlings, 2 Rerolls and have 10k left over which I spent on Fan Factor. I could take three normal skills on Day 1 and took Guard, Juggernaut and Break Tackle on three Ogres. I had Block, Guard and Break Tackle lined up for Day 2. I am nowhere near the world of optimal roster or skill selection. I took Guard as I thought I’d be likely to face a Treeman or two and Guard is always useful for annoying players trying to load up on assists against an Ogre only to find they need more or are stuck with a 1DB. Break Tackle was because I am not used to playing Ogres and it would give me a little bit of mobility incase I end up too spread out. Block is obvious and Juggernaut was the best alternative for Day 1 and gave me slightly better odds on a Blitz.
Game 1 vs Norse
Norse are not the best match up for Ogres as they have so much Block making uphill blocks likely and reducing my odds of knocking them down. The Claws on the Yhetee could also quickly rip through my armour. I received the kick off and slowly rumbled my way down the pitch using a Snotling as a ball carrier and a loose cage to protect him. Eventually on turn 7 the ball carrier made his way in scoring range, but the support was dwindling as Ogres couldn’t get free to help or the Snotlings suffered from being Snotlings. The decision was dodge out and go for it on turn 7 or get hit and killed turn 8. I went for the touchdown and fell over spilling the ball free. The Norse consolidated their position and the half ended 0-0. The second half saw the Norse grind their way down the pitch scoring on their last turn. The one turn touchdown was on to equalise. A few blocks on the line helped free an Ogre to pass, the ball was recovered and handed to a Snotling the Ogre went to pass but got distracted by a passing bird and bone-headed ending the opportunity. Final score a creditable 1-0 defeat but taking the casualty battle 4-2.
Game 2 vs Halfling
Not another great match up. The Treemen are stronger than the Ogres and the Dodging Halflings would be tough to take down without Tackle or the benefit of Block. The Halflings received and scored early. Deeproot being an absolute beast and injuring an Ogre in turn 2. The early score gave me a chance to level before the half, which I managed to do thanks in part to the rooting Trees not being able to cause any damage. I setup to receive and the Halfling team got the Blitz and came flooding through into my backfield applying as much pressure as they could. They overcommitted to the Blitz though and I was able to get in front of them and move my way, again with a Snotling ball carrier, up the right hand side of the field. The Halfling airforce came into play as they tried desperately to get the ball. One did manage to knock over the ball carrier but was seriously injured for his troubles next turn. With the Treemen again rooted eventually the Halflings could not reach and the Ogres scored to take the lead and the win on Turn 16. Final score 2-1 and 2-1 in casualties.
Game 3 vs Skaven
Now this would be interesting. The Skaven coach was quite keen to rack up a decent score here. I had the strength advantage, although there was a pesky Rat Ogre to think about. He certainly had the speed and mobility advantage. I would have to keep hitting and hitting and hope that eventually the numbers would end up in my favour. I kicked and very quickly went down 1-0 and then 2-0 in just a few turns; the Gutter Runners doing what they do! It looked like it would end up being a heavy defeat. The Gutter Runners did all the ball work and the rest of the Skaven concentrated on bashing – a sound tactic. I don’t think I made it out of my half in the first half. I did try to setup a one-turn touchdown towards the end of the half but couldn’t knock down an indestructible Gutter Runner, even with a 3DB with a Snotling. If you ever get a 3DB with a Snotling you have to take it! (even if he is the ball carrier). That little display did stop the scoring run though and the half ended with the Skaven only up 2-0. The Ogres received in the second half and the Skaven flooded through to defend high up the pitch. The numbers game was slowly working in my favour through as I was getting in a lot of blocks. The defence was only holding because of the failure of the Skaven dice though; in the end even Gutter Runners fall over especially when making so many audacious dodges and go for its. The ball was deep in my half though, only one or two squares from the end zone. The Skaven got the ball but fell and sent it bouncing to an alert Ogre who caught it and sprinted upfield untouched for the rest of the game scoring a consolation touchdown on Turn 16. Final score a 2-1 loss and 5-3 to the Ogres in the casualty battle.
Game 4 vs Norse
Another Norse team! More Block! This was more of a killer build than the first one with lots of Mighty Blow and a clear plan to take out all the Snotlings. I kicked off and couldn’t hold the Norse who scored on Turn 4 blitzing Snotlings all the way. In the few turns that were left I did manage to get a Snotling into scoring position down the left hand side, protected by as many players as were available. A Norse player managed to dodge down the sideline avoiding the Titchy Snotling in the process and knocking the ball carrying Snotling over at the end of it. The half ended with the Norse 1-0 up. The second half started with a deep kick that ended in my endzone in the middle of the pitch. The Norse also got the Blitz and were able to apply early pressure before I was able to mount any form of defence. The Snotlings did recover themselves to get the ball to halfway but the pressure became too much for them and a crucial Dodge resulted in a Snotling falling over an losing the ball. The Norse consolidated their defence and the Ogres tried to setup the one turn touchdown but it was all for nothing when the last remaining Snotling was stretchered off the pitch in significant pain. The game ended with a 1-0 defeat to the Norse who also took the casualty battle 7-2.
Game 5 vs Orcs
I was looking forward to this game as I Orcs are a ‘normal’ team to me; no tricks, no spamming of skills. Should be a good game. I kicked off to the Orcs who formed a cage to the right. It’s fair to say that the Orc Coach’s dice did not help him in the first half with turns ending on 1, reroll, 1 and Skull, reroll, Skull. This allowed the Ogres to get into a bunched up Blocking battle that they would eventually win. The Orcs tried to move the ball down the right hand side and managed to make a hole but the throw was intercepted by an Ogre. The Ogres tried to turn defence into attack but couldn’t take advantage of the change of possession and the half ended 0-0. The Orcs kicked off the second half and tried to apply some early pressure on the Ogres. The Snotling ball carrier tried to move down the left hand side only to come face to face with a Tackle Orc Blitzer intent on getting the ball. The Ogre team then had to swing back round to the right which they eventually managed to do. By the end of the Ogre Turn 15 the Ogres had managed to position a lone Snotling 5 squares from glory. It was now up to the Orc coach to save the game. A few blocks freed up a Blitzer who made his two GFIs and injured the Snotling for good measure. It was now the Orc’s turn to try to take the win as they looked to pass the ball downfield. The game ended however when a Snotling intercepted the pass and took the ball home. The game ended 0-0, with the Orcs taking the casualty battle 5-2 with an Ogre and a Troll seeing time in the dugout.
Game 6 vs Nurgle
Game 6 and the Stunty trophy was on the line! I was in the lead but the two other stunty teams (both Halflings) were facing off against each other in the last game that would also decide the Wooden Spoon winner.
I kicked off again and Star Player Lewdgrip Whiparm recovered the ball and kept it deep in the Nurgle’s backfield protected by some teammates. A couple of Ogres and a Snotling went ball hunting and moved down the left hand side. The Nurgle team slowly and carefully moved the ball down the right hand side. The ball hunting Snotling didn’t make it back and the two Ogres got distracted and bone-headed several times while trying to come back to defend. The Nurgle team, with the help of an incredibly mobile Beast, punched a big hole down the left hand side and got Lewdgrip into scoring range. The Ogre defence was prepared for this though and a Break Tackle Ogre dodged out to get a 3DB on Lewdgrip but had to settle for Both Down. This proved to be a little blip in the Nurgle attack though and Lewdgrip was able to recover and pickup the ball to score the touchdown. The Ogres could do nothing with the ball for what remained of the first half and lined up to receive the kick off in the second half. The Snotlings took the ball right and then left, eventually falling into the grasp of the Beast’s Tentacles. The Ogres tried to knock him down but 6 games was proving too much for many of them who spent a lot of the game looking at the clouds. Eventually though a Snotling did manage to break free and was within 2 GFIs of scoring. The Nurgle defence recovered just enough to knock him down on Turn 15 though…
Jim Johnson: Bob, it looks like The Ogre Team are going down to another tournament defeat following that Knock Down.
Bob Bifford: Thanks for mentioning it Jim, I noticed that you brought in a few extra friends before you said it though. It’s been a good tournament for the Ogre Team, Coach has played some good defensive games…
Jim:…I’m going to interrupt you Bob, it looks as if the Ogre defence will be tested again as Lewdgrip Whiparm is looking to increase his match bonus and he’s looking to throw it downfield.
Bob: I’m not sure why he’s doing this, Jim. The game is over. The Coach is screaming at him stop, but Lewdgrip is ignoring him.
Jim: He must be able to hear him even with all this crowd noise. Sometimes these Stars think they are bigger than the team.
Bob: He’s picked it up and…he’s launched upfield to towards the sideline at halfway.
Jim: That looks like a bad throw. I can’t see from here…but it looks like…yes…it has it’s gone right into the crowd. And that’s where the Ogre Team’s friend and family are sitting.
Bob: (forgetting he’s an impartial commentator) Yeeessss!!!!
Jim: It looks like Zog Toestubber’s brother Nog (star Ogre Thrower) has it. He’s launched it perfectly back towards Lewdgrip, it’s out of his reach though.
Bob: (any notion of impartiality long since gone) What a throw! There’s a chance here, Jim. Look! Tugs Ballnipper, who lost the ball in the first place, is coming to. He’s up. He’s seen the ball…Go! Go!
Jim: He’s up, he’s dodged away from the defender…and again…he’s got the ball! He’s really going to have to go for this Bob. It’s too far for him.
Bob: Look he’s turned around!
Jim: This is incredible. He’s moonwalking into the endzone. He’s scored!!!!!
Bob: (dancing) YEEEESSS!!!
Jim: The Ogre Team have equalised. It’s 1-1. This is incredible stuff.
…so the game ended 1-1 and 1-1 in casualties. There was still another 15 minutes or so to play in the Halfling vs Halfling game and I couldn’t watch. I packed up my stuff and took it to the car while they played it out. As the other games finished a crowd gathered and still I couldn’t watch – “Play it cool, Trig. Play it cool”*. The game ended with one of the Halfling teams taking a 2-1 victory with a final turn touchdown and now the wait was on to see who would win the Stunty trophy.
To cut a long story short it was me! 🙂 My 1/2/3 record was enough to take it.
I had a fantastic weekend. I loved every minute and playing Ogres is so much fun. I was particularly pleased with the defence that I managed to play, only conceding 6 touchdowns over 6 games. I was happy with my build in general, maybe some Diving Tackle would have helped? I’m not bothered to be honest. I enjoyed what I took. I didn’t find 2 rerolls was a problem – even when I had 0 rerolls vs the Halflings thanks to the good work of their Chef. I also came away thinking that I want to try playing Nurgle. I’ve never played them and have only played against them twice at tournaments but both times I really enjoyed what they do and the Beast is well named.
Thanks to my opponents and organisers for making this a fantastic weekend. I enjoyed all of my games but the last two were particularly fun ones 🙂
Thank for reading. Hopefully there will be many more tournament write ups to come.
* For those that don’t know this British comedy reference check out this link. It is an absolute classic!