Welcome back, Sports Fans! This article was meant for release last week, but Dan’s own little halfling caused some chaos and we had to postpone the second half! But he’s back now with part 2 of his trip to Adepticon’s Stupor Bowl at the end of March. Let’s see how he did!
If you read my first article, you’ll remember that I had 1 win and 2 draws on Saturday. I scored nearly max points with my win in round 3, so with a couple of wins today, I could very well make an appearance on the winner’s podium! With high hopes and a lot of tea, I was ready for the 8 AM start time for round 4. Let’s get to the action!
Game 4: Baja Blasters vs. Vengeance for Kazad-dum (Dwarves)
- 2 Troll Slayers
- 2 Blitzers w/ Guard
- 2 Runners w/ Block
- 2 Blockers w/ Guard
- 4 Blockers
- 3 Rerolls
As soon as the matchups were up, I felt my hopes begin to crumble. Not only are Dwarves generally a terrible matchup for elves, but Sean C, or houseblackfyre as he’s known in the NAF, is an extremely strong opponent. We played a game against one another at NOVA, and I barely squeaked by with a 1-0 win. He’s an extremely canny Blood Bowl player, and this is his 100th tournament! Suffice to say, if I didn’t play my ass off, I wasn’t going to win this game.
Nice weather, and I’m receiving the kick in the 1st half, which is fine, as I’ll need to get some points in before Sean depopulates my sideline. Sean sets up with some deep safeties with the intention to cut me off from screening his team out, which is a good idea, and we get to work. I manage to set up my initial go at protecting the ball without losing all my rerolls, and then I start blocking. Because of all of his Guard players all over the place, dominating the line is unfortunately out of the question, but I set up a 2-dice blitz on one of his Blitzers and…immediately cause a Casualty! With Elves! Against Dwarves!
With a man-advantage, I move the ball down the field and manage to stall long enough for a turn 5 TD, without losing any players. I’m getting more than my fair share of armor breaks, too, but I’m unable to send anyone else to the casualty box this drive. Sean’s got 4 turns to score, but Dwarves are amongst the slowest teams in the game, so if I can play reasonably good defense, I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to hold him off. I set up with the “anchor” defense, and try to slow his momentum by giving him exactly one blitz per turn. For once, my plan works! I keep my players all exactly one square away from his cage, and he isn’t able to send any of my jerks to the hospital, and he doesn’t have the momentum to score by the end of the half. I’m up 1-0 at the half, but I’m about to kick and give him 4 blocks in one turn.
My Kick lineman manages to send the ball deep, and I start the 2nd half in the anchor defense once more. My skilled players are protected from his marauding dwarves, and I prepare to weather the storm. For Sean to win this one, he’s got to go down and score, kill a bunch of my players, then take the ball from me on his kick and score again. It’s a tall order, but a tie is definitely on the table. With his first turn, he knocks a few elves down, but no injuries! He’s got a ways to go with those stubby little dwarf legs, so I send my Blitzers deep to harass his ball-carriers, and set up to slow his advance as much as I can. My plan is working, and my armor rolls begin to heat up! His advance stalls as I manage to send two more of his Dwarves to the casualty box, while only trading in one lineman! Long story short, he isn’t able to punch it through and I win 1-0!
Result: 1-0 Win
Sean is an excellent Blood Bowl player and a truly great opponent. My two games against him have been two of my favorite games of Blood Bowl of all time. But with a victory and a differential of +2 casualties, I once again score near max points for this game. I’m in the thick of things! My next opponent will be near the top of the rankings, so I had better start hoping for a favorable matchup!
Game 5: Baja Blasters vs. Tim’s Halflings
(I was unable to take hom Tim’s roster, and I forgot to take pictures of it, so I’m recreating his roster from memory)
- 2 Treemen
- 10-12 Halflings of various type
- Deeproot Strongbranch
- Matt Spooey (a Stupor Bowl-specific Stay player with Human Blitzer stats and the following skills: Loner (3+), Block, Sure Feet, Sure Hands, Safe Pair of Hands, Fan Favorite all for 130k)
- One million Rerolls (Halfling Master Chef)
Well, would you look at that? A Halfling team. With Deeproot. And the Griff Oberwald we have at home. Talk about a bad matchup. It might surprise the uninitiated, but in tournament games, Halflings are generally The Violence Team. And I’ve just matched into them with AV8+ Elves. Great. This game is going to be an absolute bloodbath unless I can play the world’s dumbest game of keep-away.
It’s nice weather, and I’m receiving in the 1st half again, which is great because I’m honestly in danger of being board-wiped. Right before we start, Tim hits me with the old duplicate ball trick play and on top of all the violence I’m about to be party to, now I have to worry about scoring with a fake ball! I manage to get both balls to my catchers and away we go! My plan is simple: get both catchers into scoring range quickly and safely and score as soon as possible to mitigate the danger of scoring with the fake ball. My plan works swimmingly! I get my goons into position and score on turn 3, on the 1st attempt. I kick to Tim, and the bloodbath begins.
On my offensive drive, I was able to stay away from his treemen, but not any more! His treemen immediately start dismembering my linemen while Griff-lite grabs the ball. He constructs an impenetrable halfling cage, and I’m forced to try and dodge my players away from his trees and stay a minimum of 4 spaces away. This makes it hard to mount an aggressive defense, and Tim manages to score on his turn 8, ending the half. It’s 1-1.
Once again kicking to Tim, and we start the 2nd verse, which turns out to be a lot like the first. I play keep away from trees, all while TIm slowly marches up the field. At one point, I lose a sidestepping blitzer to a surf (no casualty, though) when Tim sells out his entire team to surf him. He had about 7 rushes to get all his halflings there, but thanks to his Halfling Master Chef, he’s got plenty of rerolls to get it done. Around turn 14 I decide it’s all or nothing and try and get my non-Blodging Blitzer on the ball carrier. He is swiftly knocked down and fouled off the pitch. I try to column up, but Griff-lite’s effective MA9 means he can run right around it. Tim scores on his turn 16, making the game 2-1 in his favor.
At this point I’m down to only 7 players, so I set up with a potential 1-turn touchdown in mind. Tim rolls the kickoff dice, and it’s a 3! A timeout! Instead of 1-turn, I’ll have 2 turns to even it up! That’s doable! With any other team it might be a stretch, but against Nerves of Steel elf catchers, I’ve got a chance. But then, Tim looks up the custom Stupor Bowl kickoff table to see if the result is the same. It’s not. Instead of the turn markers moving back a space, this kickoff table’s 3 result means that the turns move forward, and only forward one space, ending the game immediately. Not only do I not get to try for a 2-turn TD, I don’t even get to go for the 1-turn. The game’s over. I’ve lost.
Result: 2-1 Loss
Not gonna lie, that game was not great. Tim was a fantastic opponent and a very nice guy, but the matchup was terrible and getting screwed out of the chance to tie it up at the end of the game really rankled. Oh, well. Better luck next round, I guess. With that loss, I’m pretty much out of the running for any sort of award, but the 6 casualties Tim earned would eventually help him win most casualties for the weekend, so good for him!
Game 6: Baja Blasters vs. Beechwood Aged (Wood Elves)
- 1 Treeman w/ Guard
- 1 Thrower w/ Accurate
- 1 Wardancer w/ Tackle
- 1 Wardancer w/ Strip Ball
- 1 Catcher w/ Wrestle
- 1 Catcher
- 1 Lineman w/ Kick
- 4 Linemen
- 2 Rerolls
In a fortuitous twist of fate, this game is another rematch! This time it’s against Paul, who I played at the Chaos Cup, where I beat his Nurgle team 4-0. But he doesn’t have any Teenage Mutant Nurgle Burgles this time. He’s got Wood Elves. The good elves. It’s elf-on-elf violence, and I’m thrilled to see a friendly face across the table. Let’s see what happens!
I’m kicking this time around, and I immediately hit Paul with the duplicate ball, like Tim had done to me. He grabs both and starts to head towards my endzone. But here’s where things start to get wild. I manage to knock one of his ball carriers down and scoop up the ball! It’s a footrace to opposite endzones! I’m hopeful that he’s got the fake ball and I’ve got the real one. Paul had first turn, so he gets first crack at scoring and…It’s a touchdown! He had the real ball the whole time! It’s ok, though, as it’s only turn 4, which gives me plenty of time to equalize. And equalize I do! I manage to score on my turn 8, but along the way, I’m able to surf one of his Wardancers who ends up in the Casualty box. It’s a win-win! We go into the 2nd half tied, 1-1.
Paul’s kicking to me this time, and I’m ready to take the ball down and stall my way to a win. But, unfortunately, Paul’s got other ideas. I’m able to move things along, but the constant threat of his remaining Wardancer means I can’t get complacent. At one point, his Wardancer leaps past my screeners and manages to get the ball out for his trouble, but I repay him with another surfing trip. Even with no Wardancers, Paul’s able to force me to score earlier than I want to. I’m up 2-1, but this is Wood Elves, so once again, Paul’s on the move. I set up the column defense to stop him from getting it in, but after a truly impressive set of dodge rolls (a 4+, 4+, 3+, and 2+, without using a single reroll), Paul manages to score the equalizer on the final turn, to make it 2-2! It’s a tie!
Result: 2-2 Tie
What a game! Elf on elf is always a good time, and Paul is a great player and nice guy. I was glad to play him again, and I look forward to matching up in the future! And with that, the Stupor Bowl is done. I go 2-1-3, which ain’t too bad. I’ve got some takeaways, though.
I really think I could have forced a tie in the game against Tim’s Halflings had I held on to the ball a little longer in the 1st half. He wasn’t all that close to forcing me to score, but the duplicate ball had me shook. This is a good learning experience. I’ve got to hold out until the very last second in the future. I don’t know if winning that game was in the cards, though. Tim’s a very good player and Deeproot ‘Flings is an awful matchup. Overall, I’m pretty happy with my performance! It would have been nice to medal, but it’s all right, as I had a ton of fun.
However, I’d like to make an appeal to TOs out there: ditch the custom kickoff tables. Nobody cares about them. We’ve all memorized the standard table, and most of us have it printed out on our mats. No one returns to a tournament because the custom kickoff table was so sick. The GW kickoff table is fine. Good, even! It’s not game-breakingly bad like it used to be. Can we, as a community, please move on from this? All right, rant over.
Thank you so much for reading, Sports Fans! Next week, Ghidra explores some Blood Bowl lore and gives us a lesson on the worst teams of all time! And no, the Baja Blasters aren’t on the list. See you next week!, and if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at email@example.com.