Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Vikings Invade Las Vegas: NATC Day 3: The Final Wreckening

So this is it.  Last Day of the North American Team Championship for Blood Bowl.
But it's not over until Fat-Elvis sings.
Three more games left.  On the final day teams add their last 2 additional skills: 1 doubles, 1 regular.
I added my second guard and gave mighty blow to my blitzer. Mighty Blow more to keep it simple than anything else, wanting to keep the two white-haired guards obvious, not adding a red haired guard too, and not feeling like I needed a second with sure hands, so I thought I'd try out the +1 to armor/damage.

After the last pummeling we took, our squad was on the way down again. I was finally not our 'player 1': Steve with his Undead took that honor for Game 7.

The day started extra early to get all games and awards finished in time for people to get to the airport.
The night before we had good Mexican food, a number of drinks, and tried out the Blood Bowl Team Manager game with the new expansion.  I ran the Dark Elves and found their play style very fun.  Looks like a great expansion, I'll have to pick it up.

Game 1: vs. Mark's "Sea Serpents": Dark Elves.

Quite a coincidence since I'd just played as Dark Elves in the card game the previous night.
He gets +1 to Fame and wins the coin toss and elects me to kick: Just as well, that would have been my choice too. We set up and the kick off result was 'Throw a Rock'! We tied on the roll, so a Wereboar & a dark Elf Blitzer were both stunned before the match started. Quite a hostile crowd!

2nd Dark Elf team I faced but a very different team build, with a Witch Elf & an Assassin.
For skills he had 3 Blodging Blitzers, 1 Mighty Blow Blitzer, a Wrestling Witch Elf, 2 Guard Linemen.
I was worried about that Assassin since I have so much armor 7!
Turn 1 the Sea Serpents come on strong: 6 elves push into my half of the field, stunning 3 of my players!
Turn 2: the inevitable: they score.  I managed to stun the assassin but that wasn't much help.

In setting up for the next drive we had a Weather Change:
Weather Change: Sweltering Heat! a 1 in 6 chance for everyone playing at the end of the drive to have to sit the next drive out!
Turn 4, with the ball I seemed to stall out along the sidelines, and knocking down the witch elf, but failing to hurt her, I resorted to fouling and secured an injury! Thing of beauty.
I put one of the guarding elf linemen in the Knock Out box on turn 5 but was still surrounded by elves.
Don't let their graceful figures fool you: Elves are masters at blitzing through multiple tackle zones and knocking the ball free!
Turn 6 I got into a bit of a mess, Uffda rolled double skulls and failed his Loner roll!  Oh no!

As you can see, there were a lot of elves still around. So in Turn 7, rather than risk giving the elves another turn to find a way to stop Galar from scoring, he made 2 Go For It's to try to push his movement to 8 and score now! High tension as I fail that 1/6 roll 2/3 of the time when it is for a Touch Down, but not today!

Turn 7: Tie Game 1-1.
Dark Elves can't make one turn touch downs, but the kick off result could be a riot, in which case the clock moves back and they'd get 2 turns, so I had to still be prepared!
We both lost 2 players to the Sweltering Heat. not a big deal when it is just 1 turn to the half.
The elves were desperate to make something of their short drive and foul one of the Fjord Furies.. no damage, but that ref was having none of it and sent the elf into the penalty box for the rest of the game!
Undaunted by the ref, the Furies answered in kind, fouling the assassin, but no damage and the ref didn't spot it! No harm, no foul, right?

The half ends and we check for the effects of sweltering heat again: Sea Serpents lose a Blitzer & Assassin and no effect for the Furies: Who would have thought Norse so adapted to the sun?

The Sea Serpents were down 5 players to my 1 player out.  With the ball in my possession, looking for a long & hurting half I would be fine if I could contain the remaining elves.
I caged up in the center and the Serpents tried to snake around behind me.  I isolated two against the sidelines, pushing one out.
Slow and steady, drive it upfield.
That's a lot of Northerners to get through to get to the ball.
Everything according to plan, Galar walks it in on Turn 8.

Game ends with a win for the Fjord Furies: 2-1 with low casualties: 1-1.
An enjoyable game.  The Dark Elves played very well and the Sun certainly helped the Furies' cause.

We did pretty well as a squad, so gravitated back up the tables.  Next we'd face the team from Germany: The Teutonic Terrors.  Not that they were doing so poorly as to be playing us, but squad games were having to be a bit flexible so the same high ranking teams didn't face each other every game.

I was back to being out team's 'Player 1' after this last win and would be facing Mark, Lauth81, who I met when I was in Germany for the Dungeonbowl.  Quite a nice bunch of guys, easily spotted in their cool team shirts.

Game 2: vs. Mark's "Seckenheim Raptors": Lizardmen.

Mark had a beautiful team and awesome custom pitch, again a 'puzzle' pitch from FF Fields.

No one edged the other on Fame and he won the coin toss and chose to receive the ball.
The Kick: Quick Snap: the Raptors get a touch of movement and the game is away!
subtle touch: his various markers were all NAF tournament trophies, all earned.  A kind way of saying "good luck, but you are outclassed" ;) But how could I complain about an eminent whooping? Look at this field and the teams? This is what Blood Bowl is for me when at it's best: nice opponent and a visual treat. Two nice looking teams, fully based, well cared for and about and the high quality field just makes it even better.
The reptiles get into a scrum with the various mammals, and straight away injure a Lineman!
While the two wereboars run around back to enclose on the skinks, the two big guys size each other up!
The Kroxigor's skill was Leader, giving the team 4 rerolls. I was a bit surprised about the Leader on the Krox: sure, it's hard to remove but a Lizard team is starved for doubles skills, with skinks wanting sure hands and the Kroxigor preferring doubles skills. But Mark really played well so there must be something to it.
Still, I think I'd prefer Block, or since there are limits to how many of the same skill can be chosen, and the Saurus want Block too, I do enjoy a Krox with Break Tackle. But not having an aggressive skill didn't seem to limit the Krox at all, so who knows.
Hey guys, I hear Skink tastes just like pickled herring! Go get him!
But the Furies must feel the same way about herring that I do: they were having none of it!
Turn 5 the slippery skink scored and it was time for my try. We had a Pitch Invasion! But just 1 stun each.

I shifted my focus from right to left to try to get clear for scoring, but he cleared a Saurus, blitzed and failed! But wait.. Re-roll: My ball carrier goes down and the ball is free!  And that skink got it!
Two Strength 4 brutes stare each other down, looking for weakness.
"Hey Regin, wake up! That skink stole the ball!"
That sneaky skink stole the ball and headed out to ruin the hopes of the North! But we stopped him in time.
Down now 0-1 things were looking grim, but there was still time to tie it up, maybe even win.
The Norse try to push into lizard land.
But rookie player Nabbi, who's sat on the bench most of the event stumbles and the ball is lost!
Oh just get up and get the ball!
But the skinks moved it to the right, and must have known something about the magic of the field, because I spent a couple turns trying to get there to recover the ball, and rolled a host of 1s, mostly on Go For It.
We determined there must be a zone of bad luck located in that spot on the field.

Risking this 'zone of ones' we continually sent wave after wave into it, falling, failing and fumbling topick up the ball in vain.
Fafnir can do nothing but shout obscenities at the skink who saunters into the zone of ones, picks up the ball and strolls by to score. 0-2!
At 0-2 there was little hope left. The Fjord Furies would play for honor and the hope that something would present itself.  Very little time left to save face, a path is cleared, and the ball is handed off to Nordi, who scores.  I may have lost, but I've kept all the loses to within 1 point, so that helps the overall score for the squad.

The game ends: Loss at 1-2 with casualties in my favor: 2-1.

A very enjoyable game! Mark really knows his Lizardmen, as he was telling me, they're the only team he plays that he cares about his NAF ranking for.  One of my favorite games in general at the event and by far my favorite game visually. Was just a pleasure to look at the game as we played.
I'm telling you, having a nicely painted team is not just fun for you, but it makes the experience for your opponent more memorable and more fun.  I took a beating and would volunteer for it again just to see the teams in action against each other.  It's like a visually impressive movie: something magical about a visual spectacle in a high quality theater.

And so we come to the last round. The Teutonic Terrors against the Rocky Mountain Rampagers for winner's circle. If the Germans make it, I claim 'Kingmaker!'

Game 3: vs. Simon's "Teams That Have it Easy" : Lizardmen. 

Second match against Lizards. I was thinking 'just my luck' to match against lizards on the last day. I think the format was rough on lizards for the first day or two, since Lizards are starved for skills: they need them, and playing with just 3 skills is hard on them, but by day 3 with 7 skills, 3 being doubles, they are humming.

I won the roll for Fame +1 and the coin toss, and broke my pattern and chose to receive.
After the last game, I wanted to see if I could remove some of those skinks before they had their chance at the ball.
The luck wasn't all on my side though, the kick off result was 'perfect defense' so he got to change his set up, which i'd placed against for maximum damage.  The Kick goes deep, so I'd have to watch those skinks!
Turn 1 Uffda throws double skulls!  The third time he's done that in the event.. loner? This time it's good! So he re-rolls and manages to Knock Out a Saurus: well worth a Re-Roll.

** Speaking of Luck and Double Skulls: in the last game Russ, on our squad rolled Double Skulls: Re-Roll: Double Skulls again!  But not just once in the game, not even just twice.. three times in one game! Ouch!

Turn 1 Lizards, they returned the force with Knocking Out a Lineman.
Turn 2 I brought the ball to near the half, and sideline pushed a Saurus: Knock Out result!
Uffda, now in his zone injures a Saurus! Finally a chance to use his claws! The Lizardmen used their Apothecary, so the injured Saurus sat on the reserves bench.
A Frenzied Saurus  hits my ball carrier and knocks him down, a skink steals the ball!
But Otr, #2 Wereboar attacks a Saurus: Armor roll: 11. Injury Roll: 11!

Turn 5 'Sure hands' Galar goes to pick up the ball: 2: fail: Sure Hands re-roll: 1. Done.

Turn 7 Otr makes his second Injury on a Saurus! with a pair of 10's on the dice.  Otir is on fire!
If you look closely, you might have noticed a mech invasion.  The mech walker is the Krox.  I forgot to ask, but I assume a miniature was damaged, lost or forgotten, so the mech was standing in for a Kroxigor.
Galar, having finally picked up the ball, scored on Turn 8, leaving the Lizards 1 turn in the half.
That is a downside to receiving: the opposing team has 2 chances to recover players, but then, so do you.
If you look at the dugout at the top of this picture you'll see a lot of players out.
Not content with this, a skink gets a multi-species beating as they try to fertilize the pitch with him.

The Half ended at 1-0 and Simon wasn't feeling so hot about the game.  If the system allowed for it, he said  he'd have preferred to concede the game and buy me a drink.  Can't blame him, since the dice were flowing my way without a doubt and he was very short on players.

In the second half he did manage to get some players back and started with 8: Krox, 4 Saurus & 3 Skink.
Looks pretty decent on paper, but on the field it gets spread pretty thin.
he tried to make up for it by fouling a lineman and was rewarded with an injury on that Lineman! So things looking up for the Lizards, but in my half of the turn I Knocked Out another Saurus.

Turn 2 the Krox injured a Lineman, but I Apothecaried him. I knocked a skink down and got 3 Tackle Zones on the ball, to keep it safe until I'd pick it up.

I wanted to make sure the skink was no threat, so a lineman made 2 Go For Its to mark the skink and a Boar made 2 Go For Its to blitz the skink for 3 Dice: down goes the skink,but stillno armor break!
One tough Skink!
So, after 4 Go For Its I throw all caution out and Uffda the troll runs for the downed skink: 2 go For Its and Fouls the Skink!  Yes, a loner big guy: 2 go for its to foul: Skink gets knocked out and the Referee is blind to the whole business! I then got the ball.

But I wasn't the only one making crazy rolls, a Saurus*dodges* to blitz my ball carrier and makes it!
Carrier goes down & the ball is free.

In Turn 5 I injured the last Skink, leaving just 3 Saurus and the Kroxigor.
I kept them tied up, continuing to hit them- and took another casualty for my trouble, but it secured the win with Alfrig making Touch Down #2.

The Game ended as a Win: 2-0 with casualties just in my favor at 4-3.

I'm afraid Simon didn't enjoy the game too much.  The dice were shining on me, he was down players early and continuously and though he got some good punches in, there wasn't much opportunity for him to compete in the game. Some games just go that way. I know I've had more than my share of such games too.

Sum Up:

Victory went to The Teutonic Terrors.
Yes, the North American Team Championship went to a team not from North America!
So the local teams are going to have to play a bit harder next year!

Our own squad finished in the bottom half. We had some ups & downs. Russ especially seemed to be a magnet for bad luck. And Dan was very close to winning Most Casualties. Myself, I did only a bit better than my usual results of about 50%. With 4 Wins, 3 Loss and 2 Ties. In casualties I caused 16 and suffered 6.  Not bad at all for an armor 7 team.

I played against 5 elves (3 wood, 2 dark), 2 lizards, humans & chaos dwarves

I had a great time and would definitely go again.

I'd love to see some flexibility within the match ups to let teams try to jockey for who plays who within their squad.

Perhaps of the two squads playing against each other, the lower rated team gets first selection of who plays who, the other team selects the next, and then the last 2 are selected at random, or individually paired for current ranking.

It would just be an extra bit of tactical fun.

Thanks to all those who ran the event- it looked like a lot of work but was much appreciated.
Thanks to my opponents and hope everyone had fun.

The Fjord Furies

Being just a touch of a gaming nerd, I like to keep track of which players earn star player points, and see which would earn additional skills if it was a 'league' -assuming any that have skills added by the tournament start with 6 SPP already, to account for the skills. I also roll for MVP for each of the games.

With this system, both wereboars got new skills rolls, in fact, number 3 got 2 skill rolls!  He was tied with #6 for the most SPP earned (not counting MVP rolls) with 11 points.

The boars both selected 'guard' as a skill and #3 also took tackle.
Lineman #6 also was given tackle.
I didn't roll any doubles, but #9 & 10 both rolled 10 (6+4) so I decided I'd give these two +1 Armor,figuring they'd make good choices for the LOS being much more durable with that armor.

Now the Fjord Furies are pining for home.
They load their longship up with spoils of Vegas and head home...


Phil Curran said...

Thanks for some great reports.They've made the last part of my nights pass quicker.

I liked the pitch, very clean and uncluttered.

Francis Lee said...

A good read and end to some great shenanigans.

Simon Q said...

Great match reports yet again, You have me looking at bloodbowl teams @P Thanks for sharing your trials and tribulations it was ace.

Michael Awdry said...

It has been great fun following the Furries’ exploits and all in all not a bad set of results over the days; certainly looked like fun anyway.

Tristan M said...

Fun reports again, but beware pretty much any team (especially a dark elf team) can OTT :)

Anonymous said...

That was a another great report and wrap up of the whole event. Sounds like a lot of fun.

Laughing Ferret said...

Thanks for the comments everyone, glad you enjoyed the games, I know I did.

Tristan: OTT? I didn't think there was any chance- I guess there is always some slim hope & a way to do it, but pretty hard I'd guess with the frenzy player gone, down more players,with movement 7 he'd need 4 pushes and 2 go for its. I'm no master of OTT theory, but I'm not sure how you'd get such distance with just the blocks on the line, 1 blitz and no frenzy and limited players to go around to plug holes for the push distance. Would be nice to see though.. if not against my team ;)

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