Blood Bowl Tournament – Birthday Bowl Report

Saturday morning at 4am and my son is awake coughing and spluttering, which meant that I was awake too. Two hours of disrupted dozing later and it was time to wake up and get ready for the two and a bit hour drive up to Swindon for Sann’s Birthday Bowl, a 16 man Blood Bowl tournament hosted by Mike and his family at their house. The drive was clear and quick and as with most things I was the first to arrive.

I’d brought my Norse team the Hellspire Avalanche to the tournament. I chose them partly because it ticked Norse off the list on my Road to 24 and partly because through my recent experiences with Norse I wanted to get them out of the way now because I hate them. Something about me and Norse just doesn’t click. I think the lack of movement, Frenzy and the fact that my play-style tends to emphasise the glass part of the often used glass-cannon analogy.

I took the Snow Troll and gave him Mighty Blow, 2 Ulfs both with Block, 1 Beserker with Guard, 1 Runner with Dodge, 1 Linemen with Guard, 6 regular Linemen and 3 Rerolls.

Through all of my league play with Norse, I’ve seen just how important the Runner is to me and my game. Giving her (I’m using the Valkyrie team from Impact!) Dodge would help in her roll as ball carrier and give me more dynamic movement and make her a Blodger.

Guard on the Beserker is probably an odd choice. I chose this based on my play style. Very often with the Beserkers I find that I don’t know what to do with them. I love Jump Up and it is a skill that opponents often forget about but the Frenzy on the ST3 player means that am generally overly cautious with the player and don’t end up getting them into trouble, or not using them at all. By giving her Guard, I was trying to make her more useful and Jump Up would help give me a little bit more mobility on the team.

There was a nice little twist to the tournament. At the start of each round, each player rolled a D12 and was awarded with a free mutation that could be added to a selected player on the roster. Mutations stayed throughout the tournament, could be stacked and could be added to Star Players. Allowing these mutations on Star Players made for some very scary players!

I didn’t take notes on the games so this is all from memory. I find that 4 games in one day is very draining and writing notes often falls by the wayside as my brain goes on strike for the few moments of downtime between games.

Game 1 – Amazons (Lost 2-1)

I received the kick off and in keeping with my more progressive approach recently I scored early, running it down the right and scoring on T4. Before I forget I rolled Foul Appearance and gave it to the Runner – making her just that little bit harder to knock down (in theory!). I hoped that I could then hold out for the rest of the half. Hope didn’t get me very far as my Snow Troll, who had been menacing on the first few turns, got seriously injured and was out for the rest of the game. I couldn’t hold out, and in the battle of the AV7s I couldn’t break armour and mine was non-existent. I could knock players down but didn’t do any real damage. We went in 1-1 at half time with me to kick at the start of the second. I was down on numbers and in the end the Amazons could just run along the end zone picking off the couple of players that I had in striking range. It ended 2-1 to the Amazons. It was a tough matchup and not the best for the Norse in my mind. Still Cornish is a great guy and a great opponent and it was a fun game. I did learn an important lesson – don’t sit next to the beer fridge at a Blood Bowl tournament.

Game 2 – Chaos Dwarfs (Lost 2-1)

Not a great matchup again. I kicked and was determined to try to hold out. It wasn’t looking good to start with when a Bull picked up the ball and was well protected by teammates as the raging Minotaur tried to kill my players single-handedly. My Snow Troll made amends for a poor first game though by killing the Minotaur early on in the game. Taking out the Minotaur opened up some space in the middle and allowed me to Block the ball carrier and push him to the sideline. The ball was free and my Linewoman with the newly acquired Hypnotic Gaze dazzled a defender allowing me to get some pressure on the ball. It looked like it would be enough and maybe even enough to get me a touchdown of my own but a lone Bull managed to break away and avoid my Blitz to get the T8 score. I received in the second half and was down on numbers which meant that I got stuck in the middle of the field longer than I hoped. I managed to break free with the Runner holding the ball and had a choice – try to stall for the Tie or score and see if one of us could get a result. A Tie doesn’t help anyone so I scored on T14. The reward for my choice? Pitch Invasion and all but 3 of my players, and all of those that could stop the ball carrying Bull, ending up face down! The Bull needed his Sure Feet but was able to get in to make the final score 2-1 to the Chaos Dwarfs.

Game 3 – Chaos Pact (Drew 1-1)

I kicked and started the game by taking some early damage with two players leaving the pitch on the first turn. I managed to even the score a little by seriously injuring the Chaos Ogre with a little help from the new Claws that one of my Ulfs developed between games. I conceded with enough time to try to score the equaliser. Everything was setup – I had three players in scoring range, the ball…but no rerolls. I did the hard bit by clearing out the Troll with Prehensile Tail on a 1DB. Handed off to a free Ulf (slightly better odds than my other choice of scorer) who caught the ball and ran towards the line. “Two dice, anything but a 1”, I said as I went for it twice on T8. Of course one of them was a 1. The Ulf tripped up and spilled the ball ending the half at 1-0. I was doing slightly better in the casualty battle this time around and managed to score but not as quickly as I would have liked. I first tried one side and then other before finally crossing the line on I want to say T14. There wasn’t enough time to score again and the Kick Off table didn’t help either of us and the game ended 1-1.

Game 4 – Underworld (Won 3-1)

Final game of the day was against Glowworm and his Underworld. I’ve played Underworld a bit recently and I know that Glowworm plays them a lot and well. They say that 1s are the Curse of the Elves. You can probably extend that to Trolls and dodging Goblins. I kicked off and managed to recover the ball and run away with it down the sideline to score. I was able to do it again shortly after to make it 2-0 at half time. The Extra Arms that I gave my Runner allowing her to pick it up from the feet of the Troll and Dodge out and away to the protection of the Snow Troll. Not much was going right for the Underworld, including when Star Player Bomber Dribblesnot blew himself up and took one of his teammates with him. I made it 3-0 in the second half before the Underworld’s two Skaven Throwers moved the ball up the pitch and ending the move with a pass to a goblin in two tackle zones who caught it and dodged out for the score. The game ended 3-1.

So I ended the day on 1-1-2 but I must say it was a lot of fun. Four really good opponents, a really relaxed atmosphere and a nice twist on the ruleset with the mutations. I really enjoyed the home tournament vibe and will look out for more of them.

Thanks to Mike and family for hosting and for my opponent’s for making it a really fun day 🙂

My next tournament, and the only one booked in for the rest of the year, is the NAFC in a few weeks time!

Advertisements

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