. . . and welcome to another gorgeous day of Blood Bowl.
I managed to get in another league game last night, my Beaming Screagles against DaveB's orc Manglerz, and am pretty pleased with the result. I lost 2-0, but managed not to get anyone permanently disabled, and improved a player to boot. Despite the win, the Manglerz's coach didn't seem impressed by his team's performance.
We started out with fair weather, 10 000 fans, and a clear bias toward the orc team (my total absence of Fan Factor making its presence felt ;). Oh, also, what proved to be a totally illegal deployment.
Which necessitated some shifting in the first turn. DaveB won the toss, and elected to kick, dropping the ball deep in my backfield. I set up a cage on the right, knocked over a few orcs, picked up the ball, and handed things over to DaveB.
DaveB wasted no time in having his orcs make their presence felt. See the half painted lineman (serving as my newly recruited blitzer)? See the black orc next to him in the picture below?
|For my next trick, the amazing, disappearing Blitzer!|
See how he's not in the picture below?
Yeah. Turn two, orcs take one of my players out of the game. Poor guy never knew what hit him, and the only thing that saved him from a permanent Strength loss was the intervention of my (newly recruited) apothecary. Thanks doc! As it is, he was out for the rest of the game, and is out next game as well.
I caught a bit of a break, however, when DaveB rolled both down, both dice, twice (he used a reroll), turning over play to me - that's the mess in the middle of the table.
With the ball in hand, I tried to push my way up the right side of the pitch. I was hoping to break out one of my catchers, and then try a pass. With a little luck, I'd be able to rely on the speed of my catchers to outrun the slower orcs, and maybe get a touch-down. Seemed like a good plan, anyway.
Things got a little constricted, however, and my guys made little headway. Meanwhile, the orcs pushed me steadily closer to the the sidelines. Those of you familiar with the game probably know what happens next. To me, it was an object lesson.
|This does not end well.|
With my own players hemming in the ball carrier (he's so well protected, I said to myself), the Black Orc / Blitzer combos surrounding them had no trouble pushing one of my guys into the ball carrier, who had nowhere to go but the sidelines, i.e., the crowd. The crowd, in Blood Bowl, is, shall we say, an "active" participant. Which means when they get their hands on a player, they tear him apart. Automatic injury roll, and my guy ended up in the knock-out bin. The ball was tossed over the scrum into orc controlled space, and I found myself watching an orc run the ball downfield with little for me to do about it.
My efforts to extricate myself mostly ended up with my guys getting thumped, or fouling out of the game (two players, one in each half, if I remember). While I could get the orcs down, actually breaking armour and hurting them proved an uphill battle.
DaveB scored, kicked off to me (my knocked out player came back in), and I received deep in my own end. I seem to recall trying a pass, which failed, and that more or less ran out the turn.
At the half, the weather turned, and we had pouring rain for the rest of the game. DaveB put his bruisers up front, his goblins back, and after a turn or two of squirming in the mud, managed to pick up the ball.
One thing I really need to work on is formations, as I have no real idea of what I'm doing yet. At this point in the game, I was outnumbered (1 injury, 2 fouls, then another injury later!), out-gunned (have you seen the size of Black Orcs), and was being steadily outplayed. My goal was mainly to try and slow him down with a minimum of damage to my fledgling team, and with a bit of advice from the crowd, managed to more or less do it.
He set up a box around his goblin carrier, and began grinding holes in my defence.
|Dirty, filthy, goblin, squirming in the mud.|
But I kept running into the same problem; setting up 2-dice blocks meant outnumbering him with a smaller team, and even when I did get off a good block, thinning his numbers proved difficult; orcs are tough! I can see how they'd struggle against a really fast, agile team, but against my humans, it felt like the speed advantage I had wasn't enough to offset the brute force I was facing.
|Dirty, filthy, goblin, waiting for the orcs to make a hole.|
He set up a nice little running lane for his goblin, and moved down the field.
|Dirty, filthy goblin, running down field.|
Meanwhile, my guys just couldn't break away to stop him.
|Dirty, filthy goblin, about to score.|
He scored, and kicked off to me with a couple of turns to go.
At this point, I mainly was looking to get some team improvement out of the game, and tried to set up some short, safe passes. I passed the ball successfully to my catcher.
|You! Shall not! Pass! Oh, wait . . . .|
My remaining blitzer managed to weather the boots of a gang of filthy, cheating goblins.
|Dirty, filthy goblins.|
And with a turn left, my catcher tossed the ball off to my thrower! The ref blew the whistle, and it was all over. Given that I have only the slightest clue about what I'm doing, I think things turned out okay. I got lucky on injuries, other than the one scary moment, managed to roll the same guy again for star player (that one catcher is going to be carrying the team), and got some decent coin out of the deal, so I should be able to pick up my fourth blitzer after next game.
Humans seem like a bit of a double-edged sword. They're the swiss army knife of the game, which means that in the hands of a good, experienced player, they can function well in any situation; on the other hand, because they can do a little of everything, there's a hell of a lot to learn. In other words, for someone like me, who likes to figure stuff out, they're pretty much a perfect first team.
Playing against orcs was very different from elves. I think the next time I go up against a "hitty" team, I need to play a little more fast and loose. I'm going to try just running my catchers downfield, and generally forcing the opponent to split their attention, maybe spread out a little more in general. I think maybe a little more depth, especially in defence, is a good idea as well. I 'm definitely hooked on this game, however, so there will be more reports in store.
Next week is a little up in the air. There's talk at the club about a painting night, but as I'm away the week after (Cub's in town!!), I think I'd like to get a game of something in - we'll see. In other news, Watts has apparently begun painting up some Russians for Dystopian Wars, which has me more than a little excited. The prospect of getting in a game (after what, 3 years?) has prompted me to dig out my Blazing Sun and clear the painting queue. We're aiming for 400 points fully painted in a month, which should be doable. Hopefully I'll have some progress on that for the weekend.