At the end of last game week we left our fearless coach Fitz of the Albion Exiles muttering oaths into his beard about stunties. We rejoin him some days later, still muttering oaths into his beard. This time they are slightly puzzled since it appears that the latest bunch of short fat softies (Armour, really? What kind of coward wears protective clothing to a sports match) are working with Goblins. Dwarves and Goblins on the same team, it’s not natural.
Worse still, some of the shorties look like they are riding horses. As if that wasn’t bad enough the team was still without Bergelmir the troll, whose particular talents would have been very useful against these walking tin cans. Still, he mused, at least he had two journeymen he could offer up as an early sacrifice to Nuffle on the line of scrimmage. Perhaps that would appease the sport’s patron good and buy him some time for his team to do its work…..
If I had to pick a favourite dwarf team it would be the evil, big hat wearing kind. At least from a Blood Bowl sense they have more to them – they can move the ball more than 4 squares a turn, they have play options other than caging, and they aren’t all AV9 with block! Granted, in the hands of a decent coach they are probably better than regular Dwarves but at least they are more fun to play against – until they all get Claw / PO / MB / Guard. But that takes a while and you can always foul the little gits.
And so to this week’s match up, evil_bryan and his crew of psychotic and grumpy stunties. This is a hard game with AV7, and harder when you don’t have a Snow Troll, but the dwarves were still in a manageable phase, with only one Guard player, paired with a couple of usefully skilled Hobgoblins (one Block and one Sure Hands). I wasn’t optimistic, but neither was I in despair. I felt that provided the old gods blessed with some decent armour and the rerolls worked when I needed them, I had afighting chance.
However, by turn four of the first half, I was less optimistic! Bryan won the toss, opting to receive, and promptly removed three of my players to the dead and injured box in 4 turns. Two journeymen weren’t really a concern but my Fend lino had picked up a niggling injury and I wasn’t going to waste an apothecary on him.
At that point the plan changed from “Compete” to “survive and force him to score soon”. As Bryan ground down the pitch I was able to isolate a Chaos Dwarf and threaten him with either a swift foul or a trip to the crowd unless the score happened quickly. Obligingly the Hobgoblin scuttled over the line and scored in Turn 5.
So, 8 vs 11 and 4 turns left in the half for me to score, tricky, but Bryan tried to be a little clever with his defensive formation I guess looking for a ball carrier sack – the pouring rain meant picking it up would be tough!. He put both Bulls on one side channel and left the other populated with Hobgoblins whilst the Chorf linemen stayed centre field. I unsubtly put all my muscle opposite the hobgoblins and left a solitary lineman on the opposite flank to mark a Bull. Nuffle smiled on me as a high kick allowed me to put my lineman under the ball, and he improbably caught the kick avoiding the need to pick it up!
I was able to force a way past the hobgoblins with my berzerkers and Ulfwerener, and despite some blocking moves from a Dwarf and the unmarked centaur Bryan wasn’t able to stop my Runner getting in for the score in my 7th turn after some distinctly elf-like dodging and a hand off. Fortune favours the bold as they say.
The end of the half saw no further casualties for the Norse and at halftime a blitzer that had been knocked out returned thanks to the ministrations of a buxom northern blond with a beer soaked sponge.
The second half started slightly more auspiciously than the first – Bryan not forcing too much contact on the line. I backed off and successfully picked up the ball, attempting to suck some Chaos Dwarves into my half before executing and outflanking manoever. It nearly worked, but by this time I was taking casualties – with 2 more KOs in the box. I was able to get a Berzerker within spitting distance of the line by around turn 12 but he wasn’t able to escape the attentions of the Hobgoblins and a Bull Centaur.
In the final three turns Bryan played well to return the ball up the pitch and score in his final turn with a Hobgoblin to cloes out the deal.
FINAL SCORE 1-2 to the big hats.
Honestly that was the best game of the three so far this season. I never felt uncompetitive, we had a good two and fro and no permanent harm (that I care about) was done to my team. I won 70k on top, which allows me to replace the dead Ulfwerener and leaves me at full strength to face next weeks opponent – Undead!
Well, at least the Skulls for the Skull Throne come pre-bleached!