Hello Sports Fans! Last month, Dan went up to Chicago to play in the 2-day, 6-round Stupor Bowl XV at Adepticon! He’s here to break down his team choice and all 6 games. Take it away, Dan!
The Stupor Bowl at Adepticon is always one of my favorite events of the year. Due to the pandemic and the fact that we had a baby last March, this is my first Stupor Bowl since 2019! In those halcyon days, I managed to take 3rd place with my Orcs, so naturally I brought Elven Union this time around.
The Event Pack
For this event, we’re looking at 1.1 million gp and Matched Play Guide skill distribution
- 6/8/10 skills points for tiers 1/2/3, respectively.
- Tier 1 teams: Amazon, Chaos Dwarf, Dark Elf, Dwarf, High Elf, Lizardmen, Norse, Shambling Undead, Skaven, Underworld Denizens, and Wood Elf
- Tier 2 teams: Black Orc, Chaos Chosen, Chaos Renegade, Elven Union, Human, Imperial Nobility, Khorne, Necromantic Horror, Nurgle, Old World Alliance, Slann, Snotlings, Tomb Kings, and Vampires.
- Snotlings, Tomb Kings, and Vampires.
- Tier 3 teams: Goblin, Halfling, Ogre
- Primary skills cost 1 skill point, Secondary skills cost 2. No stat-ups. Limit 4 of the same skill. A player may only get 1 extra skill.
- Star Players are worth 2 skill points, except for the mega-stars, who are worth 4 (Morg, Deeproot, Griff, Bomber, Kreek, Hakflem).
- Deeproot costs 2 for Halflings, Star Player duos count as 2 players and are thus worth 4 skill points.
So, why elves? Well, I was recently mentioned in an excellent article about Elven Union tournament stats as one of the 13 coaches who played the most tournament games last year with Elven Union. In the world! And I thought, shit, I gotta keep this going! While I’m obviously not the best Elven Union coach out there, I do love this team’s playstyle, and I always feel like I could win every game I play. So I went with my Elves: The Baja Blasters!
- Always bring extra elves.
- The apothecary isn’t worth it if it isn’t explicitly automatic.
- Refer back to #1.
With those tenets in mind, I’ve come up with what I consider my “standard” 1.1 million gp roster:
- 2 Throwers
- 2 Blitzers
- 2 Catchers
- 7 Linemen
- 2 Rerolls
- Total: 1,100,000 gp
I’ve got 8 skill points to play around with, so I figured I had the space to spend one on a secondary. I chose Guard on one of the blitzers, and I took the obvious route and put Dodge on the other. I needed that critical 3rd reroll, so I went with Leader on one of the throwers. Both of the catchers got Dodge, as it really allows them to make the most of that MA8. Finally, I upgraded two linemen: one with Kick as it’s one of the best utility skills around for Elven Union, and one with Wrestle to act as a safety. The final roster:
- 1 Thrower w/ Leader
- 1 Thrower
- 1 Blitzer w/ Guard
- 1 Blitzer w/ Dodge
- 2 Catchers w/ Dodge
- 1 Lineman w/ Kick
- 1 Lineman w/ Wrestle
- 5 Linemen
- 2 Rerolls
The Stupor Bowl was held on the Saturday and Sunday of Adepticon, and if you want to hear about how my Thursday and Friday went, you’re more than welcome to listen to SRM and I yukk about it on our podcast. Anyways, Saturday morning rolls around, I get up, go grab a bite, and show up early for a day of intense Blood Bowl action! I grab a seat, wait for pairings, and then play musical chairs as people shuffle around. Eventually I’m paired up, and off we go!
Game 1: Baja Blasters vs. Saumrats (Skaven)
- Rat Ogre w/ Juggernaut
- 2 Blitzers w/ Guard
- Gutter Runner w/ Block
- Gutter Runner w/ Sure Feet
- Gutter Runner w/ Wrestle
- 5 Linemen
- 3 Rerolls
1st round Skaven! One of the few teams that are faster than my elves! But that’s ok, since they’re almost as squishy! I don’t like the look of that Rat Ogre, though. I’ll have to either play keep-away or babysit it with a sacrificial lineman. On to the game!
Unfortunately, the vibes for this game were immediately atrocious. The Stupor Bowl didn’t have custom dice to give out as many tournaments do, and John started out our game by immediately demanding that we share dice. Back in the previous edition of the game, you’d sometimes see language specifically codifying this practice in event packs. But I haven’t seen it in packs in a few years, and I’ve never had an opponent ask for it. Kind of a rough start for our little relationship. I tried to explain to him that I was using GW dice, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. On top of that, it seemed as if he just didn’t want to be there. Maybe he was hungover or something. I dunno. This guy wasn’t rude or anything, but the vibes were instantly in shambles.
That being said, John played an extremely good game. He knows his stuff, and piloted his Skaven very well. Nice weather, and I got the opening kickoff. Knowing how fast Skaven can score, I need to stretch things out here and take my time to get a score. However, John manages to sneak a Gutter Runner in for a 1-dice blitz on the ball carrier and manages to knock him down, putting the ball in the dirt! Fortunately, I’m able to recover and set up a screen allowing me to walk into the end zone on turn 8. Just as planned!
He’s receiving in the second half, and we’re running into a problem. We’re given 2 hours to play our games, and the first half took about an hour and twenty minutes. We’ve got to pick up the pace in the second half if we want to get all 16 turns in. John gets the ball and sets his ratty lads for a clock-eating score. I’ve got to play more aggressive defense if I want to get that ball out, but, as usual, Blodge is a fake skill when my guys have it. He eventually gets a score in as round time runs out on his turn 15. Had we played a quicker game, I could have had time to grab the last-second score, but alas, I end up on the wrong end of a tie.
Result: 1-1 Tie
Honestly, not the best game of Blood Bowl. The play was fine, but my opponent didn’t seem to enjoy himself and his pace of play was rather deliberate. Who knows, maybe it was me. Anyways, a tie isn’t the worst thing to happen in the 1st round of a Blood Bowl tournament, as it means I probably won’t get fed to a buzzsaw in round 2. We break for lunch (I got a salad), and we’re back for round 2!
Game 2: Baja Blasters vs Skink Bomb (Lizardmen)
- 4 Saurus w/ Block
- 2 Saurus w/ Wrestle
- 1 Kroxigor
- 4 Skinks
- 3 Rerolls
Lizardmen! Another team that can outclass my Elves in the speed department! And she’s got all the combat skills, too! This one could be a bloodbath If I’m not careful. Nice weather again, and I’m getting the kick in the first half. That’s good, because I need to get some points on the board before her Saurus kill all of my players. She kicks the ball way back into my endzone. I send my throwers after it and start setting up some blocks to get my players down field. Unfortunately, she knows what she’s doing when it comes to set-ups and doesn’t give me a single viable block on a skink. I’ve got to take a 1-dice block on a Saurus to start the party. I’ve got Blitzers, though, so I’m reasonably confident that I can make some moves here. So naturally I reroll a skull into a skull on my first block. Hoo boy. So it’s gonna be like this, isn’t it? Fortunately for me, I had made all my moves before impulsively rolling dice, so my team wasn’t in an awful position after flubbing this roll. I scramble and manage to score on my turn 4 or 5. However, that gives her plenty of time to equalize, and after flubbing a few more rolls, including a HUGE double skulls on my T7, she walks it in and we go to the half 1-1.
She receives the kick to start out the second half, and the trend of me not making any rolls continues! But this time, she’s making every single one of her rolls. She’s doing a lot of what I would consider to be unnecessary Go For Its but it’s cool, she’s making them all. For me, I couldn’t buy a damn roll. Two more instances of rerolling a 1 into a 1 while every block she makes is coming up with a pow is starting to get to me. However, I manage to force her to score on her turn 15, and you know what that means: I’ve got two turns to even things up! And suddenly, my luck turns around. I set up my players for the two-turn score, and I’m finally able to make blocks and dodges! I had 1 thrower and one blitzer KO’d, with my other blitzer in the casualty box, but I manage to score the equalizer on turn 16! It’s a tie, and this time I’m on the good end of it!
Result: 2-2 tie
At least I’m on the happy side of the tie this time. But starting out the tournament with two ties means I will have to make a pretty impressive climb if I’m gonna go home with a medal. I feel like I could have won this game if I could have made a dang roll in the first half. But it’s ok, since the vibes of this game were far, far better than game 1. Katie was a ton of fun to play, and I’d happily play her again! Round 3 starts right after this, so with barely enough time to run to the bathroom, we’re in it for the last game of the day!
Game 3: Baja Blasters vs. Shambling Undead
- 2 Mummies w/ Guard
- 2 Wights w/ Guard
- 1 Ghoul w/ Block
- 3 Ghouls
- 2 Zombies
- 1 Skeleton w/ Kick
- 1 Skeleton
- 3 Rerolls
Unfortunately I can’t remember this guy’s name, so I’ve got to use his NAF name. His roster also didn’t have a team name on it, so I’m forced to just go with “Shambling Undead”. Chef was playing in his first tournament. I’m honestly terrified of this roster, but I’m hopeful I can finally have a Blood Bowl game that’s not a nail-biter.
Weather’s nice, and I get the kick in the first half. I set up for a run, and Chef replies by immediately killing my Guard blitzer and another linemen. Great! My best player is off the field on turn 1. Thankfully, I’m able to even the scales a bit by killing one of his ghouls right afterwards. I run in for a score on my turn 5, and then I get a Blitz on the kickoff! My plan! It’s working! I’m able to recover the ball in his backfield and run it in for a second first half TD. He’s unable to answer, so we go into the second half 2-0 in my favor.
At the start of the second half, Chef gets the kick and immediately flubs the roll to pick it up. I’m once again able to send my speedier players downfield to try and get it themselves. After a brief scrum, my elves come up with the ball and I walk into the end zone with my 3rd score of the game. At this point, Chef switches from trying to score TD to seeing just how many of my elves he can put in the Casualty box. In the end, the answer is 6! Pretty good! However, he isn’t able to score at all in the second half, and I get away with it without having a heart attack. Finally!
Result: 3-0 win
Chef provided a great game, and he definitely got a moral victory by putting half of my team in the dirt. They’ll have to be future Undead players, I guess! Either way, it was a fun one for both of us, and I’ve managed to get almost max points with this win. I’m starting to think that if I can pick up a couple of big wins on Sunday, I might be sniffing the winner’s circle! I end the day happy and excited to resume on Sunday. After the games, I get in a probably-too-long Lyft to go to Rosemont and get the best sandwich in the world. It was 100% worth it.
Now, this article’s getting a bit long, so I’ll be back next week to talk about day 2 of the Stupor Bowl XV! You can look forward to an epic rematch from last year’s NOVA Open, an epic rematch from last year’s Chaos Cup, and me walking into an absolute buzzsaw of a Halfling team! See you next week! If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, drop us a line at Contact@Goonhammer.com.