Sunday, June 2, 2013

Vikings Invade Las Vegas: NATC Day 2 Games Report: The Pummeling

Continuing on with the coverage of the North American Team Championship of Blood Bowl, 2013.
If you missed Day 1 or the Pre-event coverage, just go back to the two previous updates to catch up.

The first proper night out in Vegas mostly consisted of walking 10 miles in a circumspect route to find a restaurant to eat in that wasn't playing (c)rap music. Easier said than done.  We did find a place that did it's very best to hide their door from anyone who might be doing something as unwelcome as trying to find it, and the food and music were good: so victory in the end. I took some ribbing from a couple of our squad since I do not drink beer: nasty stuff that makes me think of siphoning gasoline. I was quite happy with Sangria: perfect drink for hot nights. Sorry Dan, but fruit in wine is ideal: Romans new what they were doing.. except for the amount of lead they put in theirs. But hey, nobody is perfect.

The night wandering around cemented my impression that Las Vegas is the Disneyland of bad taste: it doesn't feel real, it is a fabricated world of, well, bad taste. I am pretty sure this must be the place which gave the writer of the movie Mannequin his idea, for I saw a large number of Mannequins walking around, seemingly alive. I think of women of this subculture as 'click click' girls, because there are a lot of similar women in Belarus, who wear the most ridiculous outfits & always with silly high heels: which you can hear from a block away 'click click' on the sidewalk, and this past winter showed me that yes, many still wear skirts, nylons & heels in the icy snow. Even Inka now calls them 'click click girls' ;) But Vegas takes this to an extreme unimagined in Belarus. So, on to the games...

GAME 1: vs. Jack's Leitdorf Rolling Rocks: Humans.

What's this?  No Wood Elves? A relief.  Jack's team was great: a cool name and nice theme.
He was even supplying opponents with his team's trademark product!  I appreciated the gesture, but, as I mentioned, I don't drink beer, so I donated it to Dan, despite his being unworthy after his sacrilegious comments about sangria. The Rocks were similar to how I wrote my Ape team when I played them as Human, so I was looking forward to seeing how someone else played them.
That's a big beer for such tiny men!

-- I won a team of these GW humans in a tournament last year.  I like them a lot- someday I must get around to painting them!

He won the toss and elected to receive and i got +1 fame: the first time I've won the fame roll this event. 

He had a very interesting defensive style of play, where it was clear my frenzy could put my players at a big disadvantage if they got a push result on their first block.. following up into a bad situation, forced to block again.

Things go bad right from the start: turn 1 he injures my Troll! I used the Apothecary and was very grateful I had him!

Turn 2 Fafnir, my blitzer did a 1 die blitz on his ball carrier: Skull! Reroll? Get the carrier down, but the ball bounces to one of his others and is caught! Loki must have influenced that play!

I put pressure on his carrier, but he's too squirrely and he makes it for the Touch Down.
I must have had a mental hiccup this game, I kept thinking his thrower was a catcher, so kept expecting him to be strength 2, but it was 3. Jack was very patient with my mental deficiency.

In the last few turns of the first half I ran it down to tie it up.  I tried to get to his Ogre and others to hurt them, but his 'T' defense was impossible to crack. I am going to have to remember that for my Apes!

The second half it fell apart.  The Rolling Rocks stole the ball, and despite my best attempts, I couldn't stop them. Armor 7 showed it's weakness here as key players who might have had a chance to stop the score were stunned.

Well that's the trade off for Norse: lots of Block, but everyone is vulnerable.
My last chance to keep the tie: Blitz the carrier, needing a Go For It: Fail.
The 1 tolls for thee.

The game ends with my first loss at the event:  1-2 with just 1 casualty in the whole match: my Troll turn 1.
Jack really knew how to play the human team: nice guy and great player.

GAME 2: vs Simon's "Fascist Anarchists": Dark Elf.

Our Squad moved down the tables.. ok, down to the bottom table! How the mighty have fallen ;)
Even after my loss I remained 'player 1' for our squad, and drew Dark Elves.  Well, at least they weren't Wood Elves.

I have come to the realization that I might be too nice when I play in events like this. Or too accommodating?  Maybe just too eager to keep things going smoothly and friendly, but as time goes on some things bug you a lot more. Like someone putting a fuzzy ring on your miniature. Insisting on it.  That's why I wrote the skill on both sides of the base, to avoid such aesthetics diminishing things.

Colored skill rings don't do a lot for me- sure, it is quicker to see it has a skill, but the color doesn't always help me remember what skill it is. Plus, he had 2 red rings and 2 purple rings.  The red was dodge, the purple was guard.  He insisted on putting a red ring on my guard.  It was like pulling teeth to explain that I was unlikely to function like that. If I look at my player with red, knowing it has guard then when I see his players with red I am going to think 'they are guard' and be confused the whole game since his red are not guard! After several minutes were he seemed not to understand or care about this, I got him to at least change it to white. Also, one of his players had tackle and had a fuzzy ring, and since I have no one with dodge (the only point of 'tackle' is to cancel dodge) I requested the fuzzy be removed, since it would only confuse me, trying to remember which skill that color was, (maybe I'm just simple, but it is what it is) if it was one I needed to worry about- but with me having no dodge, tackle meant nothing.  But no-he wanted to keep it on, despite the blitzer with tackle being no different at all than the 4th, unmarked blitzer. Just needlessly obfuscating, causing me confusion as I focused on a mini being marked out only to remember that no, he doesn't have any skill.
But really, I shouldn't have accepted that ugly fuzzy tutu on my own miniature at all ;)

The next problem was the pitch.  I've always liked the idea of a 40mm pitch: more room for big guys, but it means you have to play the pitch at a 90 degree angle from standard play.  That, plus the fact that the pitch is larger, and this particular one is very light and hard to see where the markings are meant I was going to have a harder time playing.  Looking down the light pitch it could be hard to see & count how many squares away something was.   If you only play looking down the length of the pitch, to change your visual angle throws a wrench into it. Or it does for me. So that slowed me down for sure.
Maybe you can see what I mean by the picture, once you get a few spaces away those white cross marks get lost in the pitch.

I got +1 Fame and he kicked to me.
Result was a blitz with a shallow kick: ideal for the dark elves.

Turn 1 Uffda gets double skulls: Reroll? no chance: failed his loner roll. argh.
Uffda went down, ending my turn, but I had the ball pretty well guarded.

But not guarded well enough.  Elves being elves, they sneaked in and stole it.
I did manage to injure a Blitzer in Turn 3, so that was fun.
Elves steal, Norse hit. The ball goes lose again.
You shall not pass!

The Furies stop them from scoring, but since it was my receiving, going into the second half 0-0 puts me on the backfoot. 

We were going too slow to keep up with the schedule, and so had to start playing faster- I do mean we.
We both were.  I'm sure I was going slower with the board- I caught myself having to count out movement paths several times as I plotted a course, just being unable to quickly 'see' my options. The elves were playing slow too.  But when someone takes their time on their turn and then rushes you moments into your turn with 'come on come on we have to pick up the pace' then that seriously tests my patience. It is just rude. 
Not to mention the only effect it is going to have is to rattle the person and further delay the game. Pointless.

The elves made quick Touchdowns however: Kick to them, and can't stop them from scoring on Turn 2. 
With only 1 elf having been removed, it's hard to stop any elf team from a 2 turn score when they're set on doing it. 

Vestri says "It's My Turn!" 

I couldn't manage to injure any of the elves, but I kept them tied up & knocking them down, even got a couple off the field, but no injuries. 
In the interests of time, I ran it down and made 2 Go For Its to score, but failed with no Re-Roll!  
To recover from that, after the elves got the ball back I blitzed out of the elf cage, dodged, scooped up the ball and scored to tie it up at the end. 

Game ended 1-1 Tie with just one casualty for me: 1-0. 

Some games just are not that enjoyable.  I tried to make the best of it and enjoy it, but sometimes these things just aren't a recipe for fun.  It was the only game I didn't enjoy, so 1 out of 9 is still pretty good. 

I got a tie and some of our squad got wins, so we were climbing back up the tables! 

GAME 3 vs. Adam's "Chaotic Discord": Chaos Dwarves. 

2 games into the day and no wins, yet I still remained our 'player 1' and faced the very solid Chaos Dwarf team. This match up was against a Canadian team, and from what I gathered, one with a lot of Tournament experience. Coincidentally, Dan, our Chaos Dwarf player was playing their Norse player! 

He gets +1 Fame from the rolls, I won the coin toss and chose to kick. 
Adam had a nice 'puzzle pitch' from FF Fields, an Italian company that makes some amazing custom pitches.  
I am strongly considering getting a couple. 
The Chaos Dwarves were a pretty standard team, with both centaurs having block. 
Chaos Dwarves can be a very strong team, so I knew I was in for a tough game. 
I stunned the Minotaur (see the red token by the boar?) but a lot of my linemen were knocked down. 
By Turn 3 I had 2 linemen in the Knock Out box! I did manage to break Chaos Dwarf armor twice, but only rolled stuns. 
Uffda joins the minotaur on the sidelines as they chat about the game, life as a big guy on a team, and admire each other's stun tokens. 
Brave attempts were made to move the ball, but the reality was that the game devolved into a brawl. 
Turn 4 I blitzed the ball carrying hobgoblin and the ball bounced to Uffda who caught it!
The Troll has the Ball! 

Turn 5 Uffda blitzes and moves the ball down the field!  This is glorious! Rarely does an agility 1 Big Guy get the chance to score!  but 2 Bull Centaurs ran,blitzing him, and turn after turn, they failed to knock Uffda down, but despite Uffda's frenzy, he was unable to blitz a centaur away and down enough to get clear to score.  In the last turn his last effort was 2 dice: both pushes: no re-roll.

Fate denied Uffda this rare chance. "Trolls hurt things.  Trolls do not score." Never had the words of his mother stung Uffda so deeply. 

I had denied him his chance to score, so at least there was that. 
At the half I had 3 in the Knock Out box and all three failed their 4+ roll to come back! Yikes!
The Discords set up thin & deep.  Possibly worried I'd score fast and then try for another holding defense?
But the ball scattered deep far back into the corner of the TD zone: Couldn't be worse for me: down men and a delaying kick. 

I decided for a risky play and threw the ball to my blitzer! I was going to take advantage of things before I got attritioned to death.  But, needing a 3 I rolled 2: Re-Roll: 2.  I know this from playing my Orcs. 
The ball bounced around awhile (clumsy dwarves) 
But a Hobgoblin recovered it, and a cage formed around him. Not good for the Furies. 

The Hob moved it down, but I did 2 Go For Its, with a dodge to 1 die blitz the hob & I stunned him! 
Could this be saved?

But equally daring, a centaur gets the ball, 1 die blitz, dodges & scores! 

Victory for the Chaotic Discord! 
A very tough fought slug match and all-round great game. 

Results: Loss 0-1  Casualties in my favor 2-1

I was worried I'd let my squad down, but in the sum up, every one of us lost our games!  Wow.
The worst round for us by far.  Yet we all had good games. 
So the Canadians whooped us good. Their squad name? "Blame Canada".. which I think I will. ;)

Day 2 down, with more fall & rise & fall. We'd made it up to table 4 but after that we wouldn't be staying there.  As for me, I guess I would have been better off against 3 Wood Elf teams. 

Stay tuned for the last day, Day 3 coming soon.

Song seems appropriate ;) Enjoy!


Michael Awdry said...

Great games, but rotten results - roll on day three.

Simon Q said...

So the Season continues. Some tough game especially the Dark Elf match yikes what an awkward pitch to look at.

Anonymous said...

Great reports LF. Sorry that one game wasn't very fun. I hate it when several oddities of personality or game set-up throw you off before you even start a game. But seriously... the fuzzy rings were ridiculous!

Tim Kulinski said...

Wow, that Dark Elf player was a jerk. I am sorry, but I would have told him to pound sand if he insisted me to put that fuzzy ring around my figure! I get it he might have needed them, but come on, to slap them onto your awesome figs is asking too much.

I also agree with the board, it was a pain to see the boxes on it. I take it he supplied the board?

And anyone that hurries me up in my turn, than takes there time in theirs is a total tool!

I'm sorry man, this guy was a jerk and I hate when people have to be jerks while playing a miniature game!

On a plus note, your posts are making me want to play BB now more than ever!

Francis Lee said...

Good read, that dark elf player was a bit of a douche!

Laughing Ferret said...

Thanks all, glad you're enjoying the reports!

Well, that middle game wasn't much fun, but don't want to give the impression it was torture. I've had some games in the past where the opponent brought out homicidal considerations, and one guy was so bad the next time I had to play him (this was years ago in a warhammer tournament) I flatly refused- told the organizer 'give the guy a win if u must, but I won't spend anymore of my life playing that guy ever again- I've played him before, paid my dues & won't repeat the experience" -but this wasn't in that kind of company, just a game I didn't enjoy. Guess it can't always be fun, which you forget sometimes.

Tim: anything that makes a person want to play more Blood Bowl is a good thing, so I'm pleased to have had that effect!

Tristan M said...

Some more good reads.
While I understand the desire for skill rings, he should have had some nicer one's that only wrap around the base, those fuzzy things were hideous.

Talarius said...

Sangria is a crime against wine. ;-)

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