Friday, May 31, 2013

Vikings Invade Las Vegas: NATC Pre-event Report

Can an army of Elvis Impersonators marshaled by the rhinestone golem of Liberace hope to defend against a raiding party of Norse Dwarves backed up by a troll?

Not bloody likely.

This was the first year for the NATC: North American Team Championship of Blood Bowl.
I've always been jealous, listening to events like the ETC for Warhammer, and not being able to go to the Blood Bowl World Cup a couple years ago, so I was hoping it'd work out to go to this Team Event.

In future updates I will cover the games themselves, but with 9 games over 3 days, I'll first devote an update to preparing for the event itself and selecting our team and the Blood Bowl team I would take.

First thing was to find a team.  Each team needed four people, each with a different team race.
Two of the people on the team I have known for a very long time.  One of them, Russ, was the person who taught me how to play Blood Bowl back when 3rd edition was released- so a lot of this you can blame on him.  The other was long time adversary across the table sized battlefield, Dan, who you can find in some Blood Bowl game reports here even.. when my Gators pummeled his High Elves in the West Coast Quake, and these same High Elves later making a mockery of my Orcs at the following West Coast Quake when it was in Las Vegas. The other member of our team, Steven, quite a nice guy who I've met before in a couple local tournaments, including the Seaside Slaughter in Pacifica.

So, we had a team.
Next we needed a name, and to decide what teams we'd each be bringing since we couldn't bring any duplicates.  I originally pushed for an 'all stunty' team: Goblins, Halflings, Ogres & Skinks.
This idea didn't win out, but I still think it'd be fun.  But then, I'm a big proponent of stupid ideas.

For a team name, Dan suggested 'something chaosy, and it has to have a location", and since I've always preferred teams that can have an animal mascot I suggested "Chaostriches" .. a chaos ostrich: chaostrich.
Like I said: big proponent of stupid ideas.
But this one was well received and we settled for "West Coast Chaostriches".  Dan then cranked out a great T shirt design and we were on our way to high fashion, if not glory.


Team selection:
I said I was flexible: I have a lot of teams and generally indecisive.
Steven chose Undead,
Dan chose Chaos Dwarves, since he was working on that team already- about 4 months in, so roughly half way done ;)
Russ was thinking of either Orcs or Dark Elves, and rested on Dark Elves
I was thinking of Orcs if Russ didn't pick them, or maybe Humans to play my Apes.. then again, Skaven could be fun- but what about Wood Elves- I have a team I'd never used that was close to being finished.. Chaos Pact could work well.. 3 big guys with block! or maybe dwarves- and between all of these choices I decided on Norse.

Norse. A team I've never played on the table top.
We did a practice game, where I tested out Skaven, with great success, and later decided nah.

So I'd be going in cold. Oh well. 9 games.. guess I'd get used to them pretty quick.

So I needed a name for my Norse.
The best team names, in my opinion, fit into the pattern of "Location / Physical Mascot preferably an animal" and bonus points if it is alliterated. The 'Both Down' podcast are enthusiastic about this as well and I agree with them.  I don't care for 'concept' names. There are some dumb ones in real world sports.. "Miami Heat"?  How do you draw the mascot? little wavy lines coming off the pavement? Weak. Maybe that isn't even a team anymore,. I don't know. I don't follow sports. But "Miami Dolphins"? There you go. But the better name would have been "Miami Manatees" .. alliteration... yeah, now we're talking.

I decided on "The Fjord Furies". Mixing mythologies a bit, but evokes furious fighters which seems very vikingish. For their team logo I chose a raven, fresh on the scene of a battlefield.

I gave all of the team names of Norse Dwarves from Norse Mythology, though the Troll I named 'Uffda" in honor of all the funny 'Uff Da' trolls you find in Scandinavia shops & Tshirts today.


Here is my team roster.  (click to enlarge)

A bit unusual for a Norse lineup maybe.
My idea was I wanted to have the Troll (Yeti) and both Werewolves because it is fun! Plus I wanted to use the miniatures.  After them you'll notice I have just one positional player, the rest are basic linemen!
But, Norse linemen all come with Block, so they're pretty good basic players!
Reason for only 1 positional is they are expensive! If I wanted 3 rerolls, and I insisted on that: 4 players with frenzy meant I wanted rerolls to cover the bad places they may end up in.

With just armor 7 for most I also wanted an apothecary: The 3 beasties are expensive and only armor 8, so I figured an Apotho might come in handy.  Add an extra linemen and it's effectively a 13 man roster: about right I would think.

We got to choose 3 skills for the first day, one being allowed to be a 'doubles skill' and two each for the next two days, with one doubles skill each.  Day one I went for Block for the troll and the werewolves. They don't start with it, and frenzy can be very bad without it.  Most would prefer Mighty Blow for the Troll, because combo'd with Claw means any roll of a 7 or more on 2d6 breaks any armor value. Nice, Very Nice.  But armor 8, no block & frenzy.. no.. I went with Block for the greater stability, and didn't regret it.

Day 2 I wanted Sure Hands, to help pick up the ball, and a Guard to help all the blocking I'd be doing.
Day 3 I added another guard and for lack of any better idea chose Mighty Blow for the Blitzer.
-- Tackle is a popular choice, to help take down dodgers, but with all the frenzy I have on the team, which almost equals tackle, I figured I could do without it. Plus, I am not crazy about taking a skill devoted to canceling out a skill that the opponent team might not have.  Plenty of times I faced a team with a tackler or two and since I had no one with dodge, it was like they'd wasted their skill choice.

So the team was set! They have their team name, they all have their own thematic name, and our squad of 4 human players have our team name too.

The four of us all arrived at different times, since we were coming from 3 different airports.
On arrival we met up at the hotel room of the world famous Zoot Suit Jeff, for drinks, pizza and meeting people from around the world.  Of the 13 teams, 7 were from the U.S., 5 from Canada and 1 all the way from Germany! Which was quite cool- very nice guys, who I'd met a few months before when I went to the Dungeon Bowl in Germany (which I've yet to write an update for -but I will, I'm working backwards on the catch-ups)

The next day's check in time for games was at bleary-eyed painful o'clock, so after all the travel and such any exploring Vegas would wait until the next day.  Truth be told, I'm not much for Vegas.  I don't gamble, don't drink much, have zero interest in strip clubs & such: not a moral objection to be sure; I have no puritan instincts and think prostitution should be legal, I'm just not personally interested in it or it's watered down forms: if I'm attracted to a woman I would want the same reciprocated in the same manner: not her interested in my wallet. A sexual exchange should be based on mutual sexual interest and an economic exchange should be based on mutual economic interest: when the two mix I lose interest. I'm also not into glitsy musical assaults, so Vegas isn't a big draw for me.  Walking around I'm left with the impression that Vegas is like the Disneyland of Bad Taste.

But I still had a lot of fun.

Next up: Let the Games Begin!

8 comments:

Francis Lee said...

"What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas"..........

Laughing Ferret said...

No way Fran! I didn't agree to that, nor did I sign anything. Full throttle expose ahead!

Michael Awdry said...

Come on the Furies and a bad taste expose!

Simon Q said...

Nice choice of team and its good to read how it all comes about :D

M R Lee said...

nice start to the bat reps mate.. and wow that end escalated into a different topic quickly! :)

Alfrik said...

Hahahahahahaahah...........nuf said.. ;)

Laughing Ferret said...

Thanks folks :) MrLee: you'd think it was a near nonseq, but unfortunately it's not at all- it is pervasive in Vegas: walk around and see little flyers scattered around on the ground with nude women advertising strip clubs, and walking back from the main area after dinner a club hawker yelled at us 'hey guys, free passes to the best titty bar.." and continued rather graphically about it. Just strikes me as very odd that it would be appealing. So if it is an immediate association with Vegas for me now, Vegas only has itself to blame for that ;)

DFlynSqrl said...

Very nice lead-in to your battle reports LF.
Rod

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