Last Saturdee a bunch of the Bristol Bubba lads and I made our way down to Exeter to engage heartily in some Blood Bowl, courtesy of HairyPete, whom I had played once at Bubba Bowl II and lost miserably to.
Exebowl II was, you guessed it, the second year Exebowl has run. The rules pack was well thought out and agreeable. Teams were split into three tiers, with the usual suspects in tier one – Wood Elves, Dark Elves, Skaven and the like, Stunties and Vampires tier three, with everyone else in the middle. Tier one gets three skill choices, tier two gets 5 of which one must be a double, and tier 3 gets 6, of which one must be a double. You can only take a skill twice, and no more than one skill on a player. 1,100k Gold to spend, all inducements welcome.
What made it that little bit special and unique was that each player received a magic item for free at the start of each game, to be drawn from the 50k Magic Items part of the inducements in LRB 6.0. While these aren’t exactly going to make yoru team unstoppable, they add a bit of random chaotic fun to each game, and I would highly recommend other tournament commisioners try it out. There are four whole decks of 50k inducement cards to choose from, so plenty of variety too (Magic Items, Miscellaneous Mayhem, Dirty Tricks and Special Team Play). More on these later 😉
So, I was taking Pro Elves because I’m that guy. Well, that and I just got some new Pro Elf models I wanted to use, and I wanted to see if my performance at Gert was a fluke or whether I actually knew my arse from my elbow when it came to a team.
The roster was similar to Gert but with a few small, but important, changes. Eldril was still there because I’m infatuated with him. Because I had 100k less to spend though, I was faced with a tricky decision. In the end I dropped two rerolls for him(!). That left me with Eldril, two blitzers, two catchers, a thrower and six line elfs. And one reroll. Hmm. Nightwing suggested I just go for that, but I was convinced one reroll wasn’t enough… (Incidentally, I know Buggerit sort of did the same thing, except he went for absolutely zero rerolls in favour of The Mighty Zug. What I love about this was his team name: Zug Don’t Need Rerolls!)
Talking to Loki, he helped me by suggesting I take leader on the thrower, a choice that saved my skin. That meant I could use the much more manageable two rerolls at the cost of a skill allocation.
So, I took dodge on a catcher, dodge on a blitzer, guard on a blitzer, kick on a line elf and leader on the thrower. Sorted! It took a long time to decide whether to go for two blodging blitzers, guard on a catcher or not, or maybe dodge on the catchers and leave the blitzers naked, but I decided spreading it was best. And boy do two blodging side-steppers get up people’s noses!
We arrived just in time, and my first opponent was DaPiranha. A welsh coach of some renown, I was worried when I found out he had brought Skaven! Two rerolls, four gutter runners, two stormervermin, a thrower and a rat ogre made up the scary part of his team. Thankfully, tier one teams only get three normal skills: Blodge on a Gutter Runner, Guard on one Storm and Tackle on the other Storm. Scary, efficient skills.
The game itself was ferocious. By turn 8/7 it was 2-1 in my favour, me having received. DaP pulled off an impressive One Turn Touchdown, despite it raining. I’m gutted because I realised too late I’d put my kick guy in the wide zone, so I couldn’t technically use the skill. Rats…
That happened a few times. Stupid rookie errors on my part, like putting players in the wrong place, blocking others, silly things. Not as rookie as the BIG error I made in that game though. More on that in a mo…
The second half was madness. A tense scrum in which the Skaven Offense was grinding slowly, slowly towards the elven line. I used my magic item, the Ring of Teleportation, to zoom a blitzer into the centre of the Skaven cage. I was losing players like nobodies business as well, with 2 in the Cas box and around 4 in the KO box.
Thankfully, somehow, I managed to keep him at bay until the final whistle, so the game ended 2-2, with 2-2 on casualties as well.
It was a few minutes after that DaP gently took me aside and told me I’d been playing with thirteen players, not the twelve on my roster. I was mortified. I was so proud of managing a draw against such an experienced tournament player, to learn I’d cheated throughout the entire game made me feel like an absolute bastard. DaP was really kind to me, saying it’s not a big problem, don’t worry, these things happen, but I still didn’t want anyone to think I had anything to conceal.
I went straight to Pete and threw myself on his mercy like the dirty cheating scum I am. He said basically we’ll see what happens. He didn’t DQ me, but he didn’t not DQ me either.
I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who listened to my emo moans around that time. To find out I’d done something like that, in a tournament as well, was a massive shock, and I know I talked about it a lot. Thanks to Merrick, Matt and especially Glowworm who calmed me down and told me I wasn’t a bastard after all (except Merrick actually. Again, more on that later…)
Anyway, the Anything But A One Podcast crew (of which I am a member) recorded a little post-game interview talking about how we did. Merrick lost against Dionysians Wood Elves, but only just, and with Halflings, so fair play to him. Matt drew against Hawca’s Necromantic team, again a very tough player and a solid team, so we’d held our own against very tough opposition. Hugo and Loki both won their games, so we were somewhat dragging the Bristol Side down a bit!
My second game was against Cornishwoon, a lovely chap with a fine hat, and his gorgeous Necromantic team. He’d modelled them on undead orcs, with the flesh golems as Trolls. They looked awesome. If luck were based on paint jobs, Cornish would have kicked my elfy bottom.
Unfortunately for Cornish, his luck and his paintjob were entirely opposite! I was breaking armour all the time, elves weren’t leaving the pitch for love nor money. I got a blitz on the first turn and proceeded to KO one of his wolves immediately, a wolf that stayed asleep for the first half of the game.
Despite playing solidly, it was 3-0 in my favour by the final whistle, with me matching Cornish for casualties 1-1. Still, Cornish was a great and fun opponent, it was a pleasure to play against him, and I hope to bump into him again in the future!
For the other Bristollians, Merrick grabbed a draw versus Tully’s Dark Elves with his Halflings, which is amazing. He says in turn 14 he was 1-0, but the sneaky evil elves stole a TD in the last two turns to get the draw. Matt beat up some different halflings, this time controlled by AngryHobbit (who I believe took the Stunty Cup at Gert V). Loki lost to Camsbell’s Human Griff build, and Hugo beat Wobert’s Underworld. Looking pretty good for Bristol overall!
Matt has a curs upon him. For every single tournament he’s been to, all 9 NAF sanctioned ones, he has always played someone form Bristol. Today he was given the dubious honour of playing… me!
Matt had a bashy Human build, chock full of Blitzers with Guard and Mighty Blow, as well as an Ogre with Block. What proceeded was one of the most ludicrous dicing I’ve ever seen.
Nothing Matt could do could stop me. I was breaking armour on almost every block, and KOing or worse in what felt like the majority of them. I’d injured a Guard Blitzer within two turns, and by the second half Matt had around 3 players, including two Blitzers, in the Cas box. I don’t know what Matt did to offend Nuffle, but he was not a happy deity!
Matt still managed to match me in TDs though. By turn 15 he was down to five players, and the score was 3-3. I still had plenty of elves though, including Eldril Sidewinder… As a perfect way to sum up the day, Matt’s final move was to blitz my ball carrier on his final turn with his ogre, only to have him fail a GFI, make a loner roll, then fail the GFI again… The game closed 4-3 to elves, with the elves leading 5-1 in casualties too! Wtf!
Merrick defeated Cornishwoon, my opponent from round two, in a similar way as I did. By rolling good dice. Within the first couple of turns Cornish had lost a wight, a werewolf and a flesh golem as casualties, with no regen rolls made. Poor sod.
Loki beat some slann, and Hugo won his third game as well against Hawk’s undead!
It was results time before we knew it…
Bristol cleaned house! Hugo took 2nd place, only coming 2nd and not first because of Strength of Schedule – a form of tiebreaker that compares the people you played against, and how they did overall, to determine the strength of your tiebreak. Because both Hugo and Camsbell got 3/0/0 in W/D/L, they needed to tiebreak, and this meant Hugo took second. Still, bloody good result!
Merrick won the Stunty Cup as well, something he’s been wanting to do for ages, and bloody well deserved 🙂
Matt took home the Mr Average, You Did Ok award for scoring exactly averagely! 1 win, 1 draw, 1 loss, net TD of 0, net Cas of 0, 16/30 players. Exactly bang on in the middle! A pretty rare achievement, only won by one person before!
As for me, I took home the Rookie Wonder award… And third place!! So I actually got two trophies, which was incredible. What an amazing day! Time to retire the elves for a bit though I reckon. Watch this space…
Thanks again to Pete for a fantastic day, really good fun, very well organised and run. See you next year >:)
Oh, and if you haven’t yet, be sure to check out the new Blood Bowl podcast I’m involved it over a Anything But A One!