Sunday, May 22, 2011
A.C. Memorial Blood Bowl Tourney
Me, strategerizing for some maximum block dice
Andy said, "Hey, let's play Blood Bowl for eleven hours on my birthday!" I grabbed a football jersey, emailed my buddy Tristan for tourney team-building advice, and hit the pitch. The 'memorial' in the title is a tribute to the fact that Andy was turning forty, not that he had, point in fact, shuffled his mortal coil.
It wasn't just a 'day of Blood Bowl', it was rolled out as a true tournament, with round-robin style match-ups to start the day off with and a skills draft between matches. Other interesting nuggets included double star player points during the games, an additional MVP you could choose to put on a player in the post-match, double earnings, and most importantly for those low armored teams out there...no "miss next game" injury results.
From the photo above you can see that at its height there were no fewer than six simultaneous games being played. A thirteenth player would eventually show up, but a couple of players had to bow out early as well. Overall it was a blast, great food, drink, gaming, and of course, hanging out with friends.
I went with my Chaos Dwarves because, well, I've been playing them the most lately and didn't want a whole new learning curve to throw in on top of a tournament. Everyone started with all new teams, so I had to build my team, Hashut's Hammers, up from scratch. I've actually learned a lot from my mistakes building my league team, the Gorgons of Gorgoth, so that helped quite a bit.
What really helped, as I mentioned, was recruiting Tristan's advice. Of all the friends I've got out there, he travels most frequently to NAF approved (and other sanctioned) Blood Bowl tourneys. I told him my general game plan, what I wanted to accomplish, and he gave me some great tips on how to get there. For the most part, what he really helped with, was the change in mindset in my play style itself. The Chaos Dwarves are a great team, but can be a bit fiddly, and you really have to understand their strengths to get them proficient.
Game One Versus Wood Elves: Win 2-0
I couldn't have hoped for a better draw than my first round against a notoriously low-armored team. The good news for my opponent, Tom, was the aforementioned "no miss next game" injury results. The bad news for Tom was my new play-style focused around fouling as one of my main tools to clear the pitch. Well it worked, quite well. In addition to the multitude of knock-outs, I racked up four casualties as well. I won't forget Andy's reaction in the hallway after the match (he was also the tournament director) when he asked about the casualties I scored but he didn't see any SPP's. Fouls weren't the only tool in the kit though, multiple block dice, blitzing minotaurs, the works all came together in crunchy harmony. At one point I had the Wood Elves down to just two players on the pitch. I was able to walk in two touchdowns to a very agile Wood Elves' zero touchdowns. [EDIT: Somehow I went and deleted my one match shot against the Wood Elves and can't find it. They had a Tree Man too...]
Game Two Versus Norse: Loss 1-0
I don't have a pic of game two, playing Andy's own cleverly named Norse team, Turning Thorty. The score indicates a loss, but it was just two die rolls away from a tie. It was a tough game, the Norse may be AV7, but they all come with a very good starting skill in Block, making them tougher to knock down. Also it seemed my expendable fouling Hobgoblins were always in the wrong place to come up and deliver a swift boot to a downed player. I recall Andy had some miserable luck concerning the 'Sweltering Heat' kickoff table result. What do you expect though? His team was modeled with snow on their bases, of course they're going to suffer from sweltering heat! Anyway, as with the Wood Elves, I cleared the Norse off the board for the most part and surrounded his remaining players. All I had to do was pick up the ball and walk it in for a touchdown on the last turn of the game, tying it up. To boot, the AG3 Hobgoblin selected for the task had the Sure Hands skill! Alas, I failed two 3+ rolls in a row!
Game Three Versus Chaos: Loss 2-1
If Chaos Dwarves are tough, plain old Chaos is even tougher...and they get better minotaurs! My last match was against these guys, The Unknown. This team would eventually go on to be first place on the day and overall tournament winner, so it was going to be tight. Their "fodder" players, unlike mine, were AV8 and had Horns which let them blitz like ST4 players. His Chaos Warriors were like my Chaos Dwarf Blockers, except they were faster and had better agility. I did have a minotaur which he did not, but the edges overall went to him. It was a tough match and the score doesn't tell the whole story. I was down 2-0 for most of the match and only scored that one TD late in the second half, much too late to make a difference really. The casualties on both sides were surprisingly low as well.
Well, that's a wrap. Quite frankly I was ready to roll with a fourth match, but the energy of the assembled players had dwindled quite a bit. In between games all day there was a lot of good food (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and drink to be had. A couple of guys were friends of old that had come in from out of town as well. It was definitely fun, but already people were lamenting the inability to keep playing their tourney team further. My own birthday is this summer, maybe we'll have a tourney part two then. Who knows?