Blood Bowl: Daisy, Daisy…

My first tournament of 2015 is next week and there’s a nice little addition in honour of the event being held on a dairy farm.

Daisy you’re a little star
Strange things happen on the farm in wildest Somerset. Some of the more inquisitive cow based locals have become interested in what’s going on, each team will be allowed to have one Minotaur Calf join their team at the start of the tournament, they have the following profile:

Minotaur Calf 5 3 2 7 Loner, Horns, Disturbing Presence

The calf joins the team as a regular player and may take the number of players on a team over 16 but only 11 on the field at once please. The calf will not carry SPP’s from game to game and cannot gain skills in any way. The calf will ‘regenerate’ at the start of each game, same as the rest of the team.

We would like those attending to provide their own ‘Minotaur Calf’; there will be an award for best painted/most imaginative interpretation of this. Please be sensible in the interpretation, approximately 28mm scale taking up about one square would be appreciated.

There will be some spot prizes for Calf related antics.”

I’ve modelled my Daisy using a 2nd Edition human lineman with a simple head swap for a Hornby cow. The paint scheme is a more pink variant of my Chaos team’s uniform because Daisy is the baby of the team. Don’t think it will win any prizes but I like it 🙂

"Daisy" - Custom figure for BUBBA

“Daisy” – Custom figure for BUBBA

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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)

 

Reavers

 

Blood Bowl – Tournament Roster Template

I created a tournament roster template for ExeBowl based on the brilliant Halfling Scribe spreadsheet that you can find on theNAF.net website. It’s a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that pulls through the costs and skills of all the player positions and includes rules for inducements and Star Player selection.

As with most tournaments ExeBowl has a Team Value limit and some rules about the number and type of skills that can be selected. The ExeBowl roster sheet takes these rules and applies them (I hope) to the roster so that you can see straight away if your roster is tournament legal or not. I’ve also added columns for the skill selection for each player so that you can see if it is a Normal or a Double skill and it is then displayed separately from a player’s basic skills.

When I attended my first tournament I took this template, stripped out some of the validation and used it to put together my team.

I’ve kept is fully unprotected in keeping with the way that the Halfling Scribe version is found on the NAF site. I like to keep one master document and save a copy of each of the roster sheets that I build and eventually take, keeping one sheet as a template.

I find it useful and a couple of the other players have found it useful too.

So I thought that you might find it useful too.

Blood Bowl Tournament Roster

Blood Bowl Tournament Report – Exiles 6(66) Dead Rising

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 & Bob

 

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.

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

 

…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.

 

Exiles - Stunty Trophy

Exiles – Stunty Trophy

 

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!

 

 

Blood Bowl – Match Report (Humans v Humans)

I came into this game not really knowing what to play or what I was going to be playing against. I was certain that I wasn’t going to play Elves and that I wanted to be a little more bashy in my approach. My opponent had played Chaos Dwarfs and Orcs in the last two club leagues.

This game though was a tester for ExeBowl and an opportunity really for my opponent to test out a build and to play a tournament style game in a 2 hour time limit; whereas I am often too quick to move and find that I’ve miscounted or not respected the abilities of a player (on the pitch not the opponent) during the next turn, my opponent for this game is one of Blood Bowl’s thinkers and often is up against the 4 minute time limit. It was also a chance for me to play something that wasn’t a squishy Elf.

In the end I decided to take Humans over Ogres. I am probably going to play Ogres at my second tournament, Exiles, in September, and want to try them out before that, but I’ve not played them before and didn’t want to add another variable to the game and not give the opponent the game that we planned. So I went for an Ogre with Block, one Blitzer with Frenzy, one with Guard, two with Mighty Blow, a Thrower with Block, one Catcher, some Linemen and an Apothecary for TV1100.

My opponent had a build more suited to moving the ball with a Diving Catch Catcher, an Accurate Thrower, a Juggernaut Blitzer, a Guard Blitzer, a Strip Ball Blitzer and a Tackle Blitzer. The roster was filled out with second Catchers and Throwers, an Apothecary and Linemen.

I won the toss and elected to Kick. As an inexperienced player, I would normally like to receive and give myself a chance to be in the lead, but this time I wanted to kick and change the challenge in front of me. The opposing coach ran through his Catchers and scored a very ‘Elfy’ two turn touchdown with Accurate and Diving Catch combining on a Long Pass to score. This took me by surprise to say the least! On the one turn that I did have though I managed to Frenzy a player off the pitch 🙂

I set up (keeping the Catcher in Reserve) and received the ball, forming a loose cage and working my way to the left hand side and trying to throw some blocks. My lack of caging experience and skills was evident and I got a bit caught up on the side line at half way and the opposing Guard Blitzer was able to get into the thick of the action and offer an assist to knock over my ball carrier and spilling the ball off the pitch. The ball was thrown in along the half way line and bounced on some prone players before landing pretty neatly for the opposing team. If I remember rightly my Ogre was Boneheaded at the time (no tackle zones) and that allowed the opponent to essentially walk through to got 2-0 up.

Again, I set up and again I moved to the left. This time the cage was more effective and I had a better selection of players and skills making up the cage. It was helped by a failed dodge by an opposing Blitzer that gave me more space to work with. My blocks were also proving very effective and I was knocking opponents over a fair bit. I moved down with in scoring distance and the only thing between me and a score was a speedy Catcher that had managed to get back to cover. There was only one thing for it and I blitzed out for the score (not before I forgot that I had Block on the Thrower and passed up a Both Down for a Push resulting in me having to roll an extra dodge!). The half ended with me 2-1 down.

I received the ball in the second half and the game started to swing in my favour. I got the ball setup a strong cage with support and marched it down the right hand side of the pitch wreaking havoc. The bash approach was gradually taking its toll on the opposition and the casualties and missing players were racking up. The Ogre accounted for a few as did the Mighty Blow Blitzers. The crowd surfs were helping on each drive but not doing any serious injuries. I walked down the pitch smashing opponents as I went and walking in for the equalising score on Turn 5.

The last couple of turns and the opponent was receiving the ball. He still had his Diving Catch Catcher and his Accurate Thrower. He picked up the ball but couldn’t protect the ball carrier as he was down on numbers – 7 on the pitch I think. He ran through a Blitzer and the Catcher to end his turn. My turn meant covering the two scoring threats knocking over the Catcher, and getting up to cover the ball carrier. One Blitzer ran through to mark the covering player and my Catcher – making his first appearance of the game – sprinted through and went for it twice to mark the ball carrier. The opposing Thrower went for the pass action and successfully dodged away and launched an accurate long pass towards the Catcher. The Catcher though was not able to bring it down under the cover of two of my players and spilt the ball. I moved a few players to cover and picked up the ball with a Blitzer and moved forward but just short of the half way line. My Catcher was still upfield and the Blitzer was still marking an opposing player but within scoring distance. Out of rerolls my opponent made some 1DBs to clear a patch for his Blitzer to make a block on the ball carrier. The path was cleared and the ball carrier was knocked to the floor and the ball landed at the feet of the attacking Blizter but he couldn’t pick it up. My Turn 8 and there was only one thing I could do but if successful it would give me the win. I moved a Lineman up to provide an assist and blitzed the opposing Blitzer away from the ball. My Thrower moved in and using picked up the ball and using his Pass skill launched a Long Pass upfield to the Catcher who caught it and ran in for the final score of the game. 3-2 to me and I won the casualty battle 5-1 as well.

It was nice to win and even nicer to win having been 2-0 down. The bashier approach was a nice change from the avoidance game of the Elves. My Ogre did a lot of damage and it was worth trying to block with him given that he had Block. Loosing his tackle zones on a couple of occasions was a pain but I got better at managing that. Frenzy was not a problem and I didn’t get trapped, but overall I didn’t find it as useful as I would have found a second Guard piece for example. Keeping the Catcher off the pitch until the end was a strategy going in. Being only ST2 he is a natural target and I didn’t want to lose him. I did miss his speed but having him there at the end was really valuable. We got the game done with the 2 hours and didn’t use a timer so it was a good result all round.

I like the difference in game play between tournament matches and league matches. In league play you are always thinking about the risk of death of injury and are looking to spread SPPs if possible. In tournament play injuries are less important as the player will be back next game and SPPs don’t (generally) matter. You can therefore give the ball to a designated ball carrier and move him and the ball upfield. It changes your mindset and although the general risks of the game stay the same their long term impacts are not. This makes for a different overall style of game and one that I am finding increasingly enjoyable.

Gert Bowl – 1st Tournament Experience

Last night I got home from my first ever Blood Bowl tournament and for the last 24 hours I’ve had a mass of new ideas, experiences and lessons swirling about in my mind. Time to share I think…

I arrived nice and early on a bright Saturday morning and waited for the doors to open and the other players to turn up. A short walk around the outside of the venue and when I got back the doors were open and there was another car in the car park. There was another player getting his stuff out of the car and I took that as my cue to walk in.

I nervously walked in to see 20 or so tables setup in lines with two chairs setup at each table chess style. At the front of the room were two guys chatting and when I introduced myself I was warmly welcomed with a (pre-arranged) hug from Liam (@MunkeyKungFu) the TO. The other guy was Mike (@sann0638) and we said hello and got chatting. The first little barrier into the tournament scene had been knocked down. The next would be the other players themselves.

I’d only experienced Blood Bowl players at the club league and through the odd photo that you see online from other events. I wasn’t sure what to expect really. Over the next 30 minutes or so the other players started arriving and spilling out of cars. Some, like me, were pacing around sticking to the sidelines. Others were clearly tournament regulars and got stuck in slapping backs and shaking hands with old friends from tournaments past. The Bristol Blood Bowlers in their coordinated blue polo shirts and the Welsh Team in their red finery; this was getting serious. Mike was kind enough to introduce me to some of the good and great of the community and I was soon able to put faces to forum names (partly because a lot of players had their names printed on their shirts). The time to play was fast approaching.

The draw was made and Liam read out the list of NAF Names who would be facing off against each other. Those that knew each other quickly paired up and found a table and the rest of us were sorted out with various points and nods between us all.

I was playing Elves and was the proud Elf player that had helped this tournament achieve the full complement of 24 races being played. I’d had a couple of practice games but hadn’t really settled in the perfect skills. In the end I took 2 Blitzers with Dodge, 1 Thrower with Kick, 1 Catcher with Dodge, 2 Catchers with Wrestle, 1 Catcher with nothing and 6 standard Linemen. 13 players total, 3 rerolls and no apothecary or anything else. Not the optimal roster but one that I would know how to play and one that I wouldn’t forget key parts of – like the appo.

So to my matches…

Game 1 vs Nurgle

I was playing a very good coach (I later found out) and he was playing Nurgle for the first time. As with all of the races I played at the event it was the first time that I’d ever faced them too. I received the kick and ran through to one side setting up the screen. The very first action against me was a double skulls block forcing the reroll and truth be told the dice were slightly in my favour initially. I ran through for the score around T5 an held out for the rest of the half to go in 1-0 up. Second half and it was going to be a test for me defensive skills. The elves slowly left the pitch as the Nurgle slowly moved forward the key turn for both sides was T4. If the Nurgle could score then the match would be open for either side to win, if not then it would be continue the grind to the very end. In the end the grind was needed and it looked certain at one point that the Nurgle would level the score, but somehow and I’m still not sure how, the Elves mounted a valiant defence and on T8 of the second half the opposition coach said he could see how it could be done with pushes – I looked at it and couldn’t see it but I’m a novice. Dice were rolled, chain pushes moved the ball carrier closer to the line but he still ended up needing a crucial dodge to get out for the touchdown. He made it and the match ended 1-1. I was elated with the result having spent 3/4s of the game in defence.

My trick here was to not pass (avoiding any potential Disturbing Presence) and to not block the high strength players. To get a 2DB I would need 3 players and would have to roll for Foul Appearance. It just wasn’t worth it. As a result I was able to keep just enough numbers on the pitch to mount a defence.

Result  1-1

Record W0 T1 L0

 

Game 2 vs Norse

Result  2-0

After a long wait during lunch we were all eager to get back to the tables and I was paired up with a Norse coach. I kicked off and the pace of the Catchers and the Blitzers caught the defence off guard and they rushed through to steal the ball and run it through for the score. The Frenzy of the Norse team was causing me all sorts of problems and I lost 4 players to injury on the first 4 turns of the game. I still managed to hold out for the rest of the half to go in 1-0. I received the ball in the second half and again managed to run through for the score. On the resulting kick off the Catchers managed to run through again and apply pressure eventually stealing the ball, but only being able to run into space. The unprotected Catcher was easy prey for the Norse who won the ball back and the two teams were now strung down the length of one side of the pitch, both trying to strike a balance between defence and attack. At the end the Elf defence came down to 2 Sidestepping Blitzers on the line and they did their job valiantly forcing the Norse into Dodging out for the consolation score which was failed as time expired.

Getting the early score after stealing the ball made all the difference here. I think it gave me a little bit more confidence and freedom in my play and of course made the opponent have to try and comeback against Elves. Sidestep is brilliant. It’s a skill that nobody expects as a basic skill and few remember it.

Result 2-0

Record W1 T1 L0

 

Game 3 vs Ogres

Final match of the day and I was paired with Ogres. With no strength and no Tackle on my side this was a tougher matchup than it looks on paper. The Ogres had one goal – smashing Elves. The Elves kicked off and from the resulting Blitz rushed through only for the Catcher to fail to catch the ball. The Snotlings came in to get the ball and they were a nuisance to knock over – most of them staying on their feet. The Ogre team broke free and attempted to handoff to an Ogre in midfield who promptly dropped it. The Elves saw their opportunity, grabbed the ball and setup a well manned screen on the right hand side. Super screen take super plays to beat and a Break Tackle Ogre danced his way between several tackle zones to get 2 dice on the ball carrier and knock him down. The Elves were shocked but managed to recover their composure and take the ball in for the score to make it 1-0 at half time. The Elves received in the second half and looked set for the second half. The Thrower picked up the ball and with the confidence of an Elf stood there just within range of an Ogre. The Elf lineman declared “an important move” and promptly Dodged himself to the ground. Even an Ogre couldn’t miss that opportunity and one charged through knocking the ball free and a Snotling was thrown to recover the ball and rush towards the end zone. An Elf catcher saw the danger and moved to make the tackle only to fall over flat on his face at the start of the move. 1-1. It was still early and the Elves ran through for their second score to make it 2-1. The Ogres still had time to get a Snotling in scoring distance only for him to fall over when Going For It into the endzone. The nearby Elf Blitzer picked up the ball and himself fell over in the confusion. The Ogres somehow rallied and scored the equaliser on T8 to end the game.

I messed up my defence on the last turn. I had the ball. I had no rerolls. I would have been just as well to just stand where I was with it. I went for the GFI to handoff to a Catcher who would then runaway. It still meant rolling dice though. 

Result  2-2

Record W1 T2 L0

 

Game 4 vs Norse

I lost the toss and received. I scored a quick 2 turn touchdown, of the unstoppable Elf kind, down the right hand side. I was then able to just about hold out for the remainder of the first half with 2 injury causing fouls seeing player ejections too. I kicked off in the second half and went for a risky 2D blitz on the ball carrier on my first turn. No guts, no glory! The Elf dice failed me , blitz was over before it began and the Norse were able form a very solid cage. The Yeti was on form and was there to play this game. The Norse then started a half of frenzied destruction driven wild by the annoyance of the Blodging Sitestepping Elf Blitzers. How to you stop that? Well you create a tunnel with 6 players along the sideline and funnel players into it!  For turn after turn the Elves left the pitch. There were always just enough Elves to mount a possible comeback should the Norse score so the pitch clear became the goal. On the final Elf turn of the game there was one player (a Wrestle Catcher) left on the pitch and he was on the floor. He did all he could. He stood up, Dodged away and Wrestled the ball carrier to the ground with a 1DB. With the ball on the floor and nothing else to do the Norse had to pick it up  and walk it over the line for the score which they managed to do.

My opponent was very skilled at playing with Frenzy. I wasn’t very skilled at mounting a defence that could cope with it. Still after all that and with one player on the pitch I still managed to make him roll dice and that’s all I could do at that stage.

Result  1-1

Record W1 T3 L0

 

Game 5 vs Halflings

I kicked off and the Halfings caged up with the ball and let Morg and the Trees smash-up everything in sight. And when an Elf went to ground the ‘Flings were there to give him a boot in the face. They slowly rolled down the pitch and my blocks just couldn’t knock the ball free. Somehow with the endzone in sight the ball was Wrestled free and then run upfield by the Elves for the touchdown. In the second half the Elves received and again the positioning of the ball carrying Thrower wasn’t good enough. Morg smashed through and knocked the ball free and took over the game. He picked up the ball himself and from there it was going to be very hard to get it back from him. One of the Wrestle Catchers twice tried to pull him down 2D against but twice he failed and Morg was able to charge down field with the ball. On the last turn of the game the Elf defence was set – badly – on the goalline and the Wrestle catcher foolishly tried to bring Morg down again. He ended up stunning himself on one of Morg’s biceps when he’d have helped his team more by just standing next to Morg shouting at him. Morg blitzed through with 3 dice for the equaliser. An incredibly tense game, mode more tense by both sides being out of rerolls for 6 turns in the second half.

Morg is a beast! I needed Tackle to deal with the ‘Flings. The Chef is a brilliant inducement. Again, right at the end my action wasn’t the best and I should have just stood the Catcher next to Morg and make him roll more dice. Instead I gave him an ‘easier’ option which succeeded.   

Result  1-1

Record W1 T4 L0

 

Game 6 vs Wood Elves

The final game and I was paired with Wood Elves. We setup, I kicked, and I’d conceded by turn 2. The first time I’d gone behind all tournament. It was a bit of a shock to the system. I’d been on defence for most of the tournament and now I needed to go on the attack. I managed to score my own quick touchdown before a Riot turned the clocks back. One more quick score each for the final kick off of the half resulted in a Blitz which I just about managed to capitalise on to go in 3-2 up at the half and receiving in the second half. The second half was a little more subdued in comparison. The Wood Elves stole the ball with the help of the dominant Edril to make it 3-3. The pace was quickening up as game time was running out. It was now the Wood Elves turn to get the Blitz and they came through to score another touchdown to make it 4-3; a Sidestepper did his best to stop the touchdown but AG4 did its stuff. One turn left. I don’t know how to do 1-Turners. Game over?

Not just yet! I said that I didn’t know how to do 1-Turners and my opponent offered to teach me. He setup his team as he normally did and helped me setup my team and coached the basic concept. The ball landed and it was on! The Blitzer came in from the side and one push. The Dodge Catcher made it forward one square. The second Blitzer got his block in and again the Catcher was pushed forward. A covering Catcher and Lineman were then brought in to provide some assistance. Another block and the Catcher was in range. The Thrower could just make it to the ball, picked it up and completed the Short Pass to the Catcher – Edril not being able to use his Pass Block. The Catcher dodged out 3+, 2+ ran to the line and made the 2 Go For Its to score the equaliser! 4-4. A stunning game and a stunning act from the opposing coach. Game 6, Turn 16 and my highlight of the tournament 🙂

Edril is a monster and Hypno-Gaze is brilliant. Playing against AG4 when it works is horrible 😉 Blood Bowl coaches are the best.

Result  4-4

Record W1 T5 L0

So there you have it! I finished my first tournament with 1 win, 5 ties and 0 defeats. Not groundbreaking but undefeated in my first tournament. I’m over the moon. I really am. I’ve come back with some great memories, I’ve met some fantastic people who love the game and love playing the game. I picked up little things like the use of dice cups and miniature dugouts for effective use of table space. I’ve played against 6 great coaches and have learnt something in each game.

I’d like to thank Liam and everyone involved in organising a brilliant weekend, my 6 opponents over the two days and to everyone else there for making me feel so welcome and for making it a wonderful experience.

I’m up for the challenge of my next tournament. I want to see these people again. I want to experience the adrenaline rush of it all again. I’d recommend Gert Bowl to anyone and I’d recommend that every Blood Bowl player gets to at least one tournament. Try it out. You won’t be disappointed. I wasn’t! 🙂

 

P.s. I hope the match summaries are accurate. I’ve done my best to recreate the events but the weekend was pretty intense!

 

Edit to move Game 1 thoughts under the correct game and adding thoughts from Game 2. Pete

Blood Bowl – Training Report (Elves v High Elves)

Last game before Gert Bowl and I tried a couple of skill changes. The wisdom of Twitter suggested Kick on a Thrower and keeping him as a utility piece. The thinking being that this piece would really be out of the major action and certainly less than the lineman that I was going to give Kick to. The move of Kick freed up a skill that I decided to add to a high value piece – a Catcher. I wanted something a little more defensive and went for Tackle.

So who was I facing…? High Elves. A little unexpected but an interesting battle. I’ve played High Elves a little bit on FUMBBL recently and found their AV8 much less fragile that I did the Elves AV7 in the tabletop league. Sounds obvious but it makes a big difference when you play the game as the Elves can disappear pretty quickly sometimes.

So I won the toss and elected to Kick. I’m not sure why I did this really because in my head I was thinking I’d get an early score (i.e. receive). Anyway. I kicked short knowing the opposition could handle the ball pretty quickly anyway and hoping to take advantage of an early mistake or Blitz result. In the end we had a Riot and a shortened first half that the High Elves started with a bashy game against me. I pretty much surrounded the High Elves at one point but this did leave me short in places and the High Elf Blitzer with Frenzy was useful in clearing the extra spaces. I”m not saying the dice were against me but it seemed that my players were always getting knocked over. The Thrower, with Kick, was injured in the first couple of turns and stuns and KOs were pretty frequent. The High Elves progressed slowly downfield and eventually scored on their Turn 8. It was a stalled drive and I nearly got back prevent the score but with AG4 and rerolls you can move pretty freely. 1-0 at half time.

Into the second half and I was down a couple of players and receiving. This half the blocks went my way a little more and I was able to control possession better and moved the ball down the right hand side. By Turn 5 I’d caused a casualty of my own and was in position to score. I decided though to test myself a bit and stall for an extra turn. Often in games I wanted to stall another turn to put things in my favour more but chickened out and it would cost me. I ran through stopped short of the line and ran through the supporting players to screen the ball carrier. As always with this kind of thing though I mis-positioned a player by a single square and allowed a blitz; there’s still so much to learn and have in my ‘game muscle memory’. So we had a massive scrum right in the corner. The High Elves made it in a took the ball back, I dodged in a knocked the ball free myself. Numbers were low. Space was short and players were failing rolls all over the place. So it came to Turn 8 the ball was on the ground with a High Elf guarding it. I stood a player up for the assist, blitzed a High Elf into the crowd and then ran back to pickup the ball, dodge out and score. Very Elfy and all completely unnecessary. The game ended 1-1.

It was a useful game as for a lot of it I only had 6 or 7 players. I also think that I am better off playing to my strengths in terms of skill selection rather than defending against the opposition. Wrestle is a good skill for me as it can be useful on attack and defence but other pure defensive skills require me to ‘think’ a bit too much. That will come in time but for now I just want to play my game, meet some new people and try and have fun.

So I am off to Gert Bowl in the morning with these things in mind. I’ll try and tweet some updates but may be to involved in the games to remember!