Monday, January 19, 2009

BloodBowl: Moortown Flinggers vs Hawk Eaters

I managed to make the trip down to Guildford on Saturday to play in the opening round of BloodBowl for the 2009 season. After the usual meet and greets it was settled that I would line up against Brad and his Orc team the Hawk Eaters. It was a spur of the moment decision to come to this session so I didn't have my Orc team ready. I also left my camera at home so I'll try to get some of the shots taken by the other guys and add them later.

Brad has a couple teams which are more of the "hitty" persausion and being an experienced coach also made him a more dangerous opponent. I needed a team that could either match him in strength or have the agility to run around his team.

I played neither. I played Halflings and for a couple of reasons.
  1. They were in my case and they were painted. My new years resolution is not to play with minis unless they're painted and I intend to stick to it.
  2. Halflings are a weak team but everyone underestimates them. You can use this to your advantage and if the dice gods are watching and they're in your favour...
  3. The only way a team gets better in BloodBowl is to play BloodBowl.
  4. I wanted to use my new Treemen minis.
The difference between the two teams (TR173 - TR111) allowed me a nice 620,000gp as inducements. My choices were simple enough:
  • Star Player: Deeproot Strongbranch (250k). Three treemen on the field just made the line of scrimmage get that little more interesting.
  • Halfling Master Chef (100k). Taking your opponents Re-Rolls is always a great way equalise things somewhat.
  • Wandering Apothecary (100k). Umm we're playing Orcs, we're really going to need him. In fact I almost got two of them.
  • I bought three Special Play Cards. Dirty Trick (50k): Gromskull's Exploding Runes, Speacial Play (50k): Going the Extra Mile and Misc Mayhem (50k) Fanatic Invasion.
The Game
The weather was fine and the Orc fans were there in fine voice giving their team the +1 FAME bonus. The coin was tossed and won by the Orcs who opted to receive.

The First Half
The Master Chef was in fine form taking 2 re-rolls from the Orcs but they managed to increase their two back up to three by winning the Cheering Fans kick off event.

The Halfling kick off was short and poorly aimed resulting in the ball going out of bounds. The ball came back into play in the hands of Black Orc #1, this was not good. They're slower than a Halfling but I'd need four of my guys to have a chance of taking him down. I needed my line of scrimmage to hold up this turn, alas it wasn't to be. Block after block from the Orcs resulted in Halflings getting knocked down or stunned. I started my turn with maybe three Halflings within running distance of the Black Orc. Two of them made their way to the Orc before the third failed his dodge roll and subsequent re-roll, faceplanting himself into the turf. It was a sign of things to come. The Black orc continued his slow lumber to the end zone while the remaining Orcs continued to pull apart my line of scrimmage.
My turn three started with only one real option: to use the "Going the Extra Mile" card and hope that the 4 successive Go For It rolls would come off, I only had to roll 2+, 2+, 3+ and 4+ right? Then a two dice Block his way? It was that or let the brute (the Orc, not Brad) get an easy touchdown. In pure Halfling fashion I failed the 3+ roll (and re-roll) with 1's. Wooo Halflings rule.... sigh.

Touchdown to the Hawk Eaters. Fast forward to my turn 6. I have the ball and the Hawk Eaters have deployed in a strong defending formation, read that as: 3 chumps on the line and everyone else in front of the End Zone. I'm almost flattered, but very worried. I need to equalise or the game will get away from me. I could throw a Halfling with the ball and then try to run it in but that's too risky when I still have time to run it in. While the Treemen deal with the Orcs on the line my most experienced player Neddy Crimpwit tucks the ball under his little arm and runs towards the rest of the Orcs. The plan is to use his Leap skill to bypass the wall of green, angry Orcs. Next turn I need to use one Go For It roll (2+) to start the leap, then it's a simple 4+ for the land. I fail the Go For It roll... twice. Neddy lands in the end zone face down and stunned. The Orcs start to move in one Neddy and things don't look good for the little guy. Within miniutes a bruised and battered Neddy Crumpwit is laying on a stretcher in the dugout awaiting his turn with the apothecary. The wandering apothecary manages to reduce a smashed ankle(or hip, can't recall which exactly) to a badly hurt (miss rest of game).

End of the half with the Hawk Eaters up 1-0 on the scoreboard.

The Second Half
The Flinggers came back from the half time break looking fresh, detemined and well fed. There was a glint in their eyes and a spring in their step. Things could only get better... right? I mean we've been through the worst of it... right?!? One look at the Orc lineup gave a simple answer: no. Turn two of the second half saw two events unfold. Firstly the Hawk Eaters were in scoring distance again and it didn't look like the Halflings were going to pull a draw from this one, let aone a win. Secondly the Halfings decided to try something a little unusual and brought the fight to the Orcs. Well it was more of a slapping really, with little hands. Imagine a 3 year old in a full tantrum and you're getting close, now multiply that by every player left standing on the field. Ok yes... stop laughing, please. The treemen continued to knock over (but not injure) the greenskins when Deeproot Strongbranch got his angry on and hit Orc Blitzer Jughead with enough force to plant him 2 feet into the soil (casualty roll 62 - Dead). The Orc apothecary tried his best but alas rolled a 63 - Dead(erer).

It seemed like the tide was changing in favour of the Halflings. What actually happended was we made the Orcs angry. Yeah I was suprised too. The details of the next 4-5 turns are kind of fuzzy. There was a lot of yellin' and screamin'. Have you ever seen 9 halflings all trying to climb and hide in the same treeman. It was so funny that it was sad, or is that the other way around? Anyway what we do know about what happened is that the Orcs scored again. Chundwise Windblossom walked off the flield with a broken neck (-1AG) which was only discovered when he complained that wearing his Carmen Miranda fruit hat made his head hurt and his legs go all wobbly.

The Result
At the final whistle the Orcs run out clear winners 3-0 on the scoreboard and won the casualty count 4-1.

The Moortown Flinggers
31 - Foggwick Shakebelly got the MVP and skilled up (rolled 10: +1MA/AV or skill).
7 - Chundwise Windblossom will miss his next game while nursing his broken neck. I would retire him but he's 2SPP away from skilling up.
78 - Samin Finefettle managed a completion but will also miss next game with a broken jaw. The poor guy cried himself to sleep... although I think it had more to do with the fact he couldn't have any of the post match pie.

The Hawk Eaters
1 - Black Orc Gort Morn had 1 casualty and 1 TD.
2 - Black Orc Orrrgh Stonehead caused 1 casualty.
3 - Blitzer Fourngit had 1 TD.
4 - Blitzer Kilboy had a completion.
5 - Thrower Throo'it recieved the MVP.
6 - Line Orc Duurgh had a casualty.
15 - Blitzer Jughead also got a TD but later died of massive bark poisoning.
Trogg the Troll caused a casualty.

Wrap Up
A great game that was a lot closer than the final score line shows. Yeah yeah I know everyone says that but I felt there were moments where the game could have turned my way but for a few crappy rolls. I think my tactics were sound and I wouldn't change much next time around. Maybe fouling a little more, I have the reserves to deal with a player (or three) being sent off. Also I could have done with the third apothecary and got less cards, lesson learnt there, poor little Windblossom. No point dwelling on it, now where did he leave that hat: Let's do the Copacabana... It's tropical people go to your feet and make you feel latin...

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