Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Bitter and Stout - the story so far

This team are to be entered into a different league - the "RPS Open". This is currently a single large league of around 12 teams. There are about 3 weeks to go in the current season, and I will join next season.

Unlike the "Divisions of Death", where you must start a fresh team, the RPS Open takes any team with a TV of less than 1750, but fresh teams are not recommended as there are some very powerful bashy teams in the league.

I have therefore been levelling my dwarf team via the default internet matchmaking league.

I went for quite an unusual setup because of the way I'm building the team. Basically because of the way that matchmaking works online I want to keep my TV as low as possible. I don't want to get set against a killer team such as a developed chaos team - freshly minted elves and high elves are my ideal opponents right now.

I also wanted an apothecary straight away - my goal is to stay alive and level, rather than win matches. I don't care if I lose every game, so long as I keep my players alive and get SPPs.

I therefore went with 11 players and 2 rerolls, and the current position is as follows:

1 Runner - Block
1 Troll Slayer
1 Blitzer - +1AG, Mighty Blow
1 Blocker - Guard
7 other Blockers

I have 400k saved up in the bank. Current TV is 1110, but I am thinking of dropping a reroll or a rookie Blocker and getting another Runner.

I've been kind of unlucky in my level ups - currently 9 players are within 3 SPPs of a level up, but the problem is that my only two players with agility >2 (the AG 4 Blitzer and the Runner) are hogging all the touchdowns.I think if I can get 5 Blockers with Guard then I will cash in my bank to take my rerolls to 4 and then spend the rest on a Runner, Troll Slayer and Blitzer. I'll then be ready for the league when it starts.

The Blitzer could be a bit of a star - that AG 4 is going to be quite useful. Still haven't quite worked out the best way to use Blitzers, and I think my skills to date have not complemented each other too well. The AG 4 implies either a ball handler or a ball stealer - someone who can move easily to where the ball is, pick it up and move away. Mighty Blow however would be better for a killer. Need to think hard about the third skill.

Thoughts on match 1

I was not confident going into the game, but in the end I was disappointed to lose. My dice rolls with the ball were appalling – I failed three out of four pickup attempts (all being 3+ rolls) and both of the ball-carrier dodges I attempted – and as such there were only four turns in the whole game out of 32 where I ended the turn with the ball.

That said, my positioning was at fault for three of my four turnovers – with more careful play I might have held onto the ball much better.

I was worried about the dwarves having block, and they did indeed smash me whenever they got in range, but it occurs to me that if you don’t have block yourself, then when hitting you don’t actually care very much whether your opponent has block – your failure odds are identical. Accordingly if I’d played more aggressively in the first half I might have caused more casualties.

Coming out of the game it’s not too bad. One of my casualties was a badly hurt, and the other is a niggle on a rookie beastman (I’ll drop him when I can or maybe try to build him as a safety). A loner beastman in the next game is not too bad really. I just need to hang on until I can get an apothecary and protect my chaos warriors. From the dwarf perspective losing a blocker killed means that I came out solidly ahead in the war of attrition, so I’m pretty happy with that.

Next up is the 7 armour Norse. I think it’s the rookies first, which is good. They’ve gone for ball handling in their line up – only one werewolf and no Yheti – so I don’t think I have anything to fear in a fistfight. Hopefully I will do better with the ball…

Match report - Divisions of Death division H, season 1, week 1

Doomdark’s Revenge (Chaos, me) vs Blades of the Dwarves (Dwarf)

The Chaos team kicked off, with both teams keeping a tight formation in the middle of the pitch and looking ready for a fight. The kick was very deep, and landed in the Dwarf end zone. After the  Dwarves dished out some pain on the line of scrimmage, causing a Chaos beastman to be carried off, the two dwarf runners tried some fancy handling with one picking up the ball and attempting a pass to the other in order to get the ball to the safety of their blocking line. The pass was dropped and there was a turnover. The Chaos team charged forward, blitzing the edge of the Dwarf line to make a hole and running two beastmen through it. There followed a few turns of back and forth hitting on the line of scrimmage, with the two beastmen fighting the two Dwarf runners for the ball near the Dwarf end zone. Neither team had the speed or agility to send more players into the Dwarf backfield.

Just when the two beastmen seemed to have the upper hand and a Chaos touchdown seemed inevitable, one of the runners dodged away and launched an astonishing long bomb downfield which was caught by a Dwarf blocker, said blocker then waddled off towards the chaos endzone. Now it was the turn of the Chaos team to be out of position, scrambling back to try to stop the slow-but-powerful Dwarf running game. The Chaos players were forced into an increasing series of risky dodges and blitzes, but the positions stabilised when one of the Chaos Warriors, The Lord of Whispers, made it back to help out with the defence. The score at the end of the half was 0-0, but the Dwarves were leading 2-1 in casualties and had also KO-d a beastman.

Resuming for the second half, things started to unravel for the rookie Chaos players. With a two-man disadvantage, they tried a risky charge up the left hand side of the pitch, committing all their players to that side of the field in an attempt to force their way up to the end zone and leave the slow Dwarves in their wake. Sadly though one of the Dwarf blitzers managed to get close to the ball carrier, who failed a 3+ dodge roll (with a reroll! 1 in 9 chance of failure!) to escape and which allowed the Dwarves to recover the ball. Again the Chaos players tried to get back and defend, but this time there were too many Dwarves and they couldn’t prevent the score. In frustration the Chaos team started to ignore the ball and decided to hit Dwarves instead, with the mighty Chaos Warrior Lord Doomdark himself killing one of the Dwarven linemen and a trusty beastman lacky KO-ing another.

0-1 to the Dwarves, midway through the second half, 8 players left each.

The final desperate drive of the Chaos team ended in farce, with the beastman receiver failing to catch the kick, and then to pick up the ball afterwards. With an equalising score impossible for either team in the late stages, the players left the ball where it lay and had a huge fight in the centre. No injuries were caused however.

Final score was 0-1 to the Blades of the Dwarves, but 2-2 in casualties and with the only death caused by the Chaos team.

Doomdark's Revenge starting roster

I went with the standard roster of four chaos warriors, seven beastmen and three re-rolls.

The goal will be to get an apothecary first, then an eighth beastman, then save for a minotaur.

The league is called the “Divisions of Death”, and its structure is two parallel conferences, each with eight divisions (numbered 1 to 8 and A to H). There is also a championship league where the top teams from each conference are placed each season. I am in division H this year.

Since chaos teams start out so slowly my goal is Not To Die in the current season. Hopefully if I can keep my chaos warriors alive long enough to pick up some skills then I’ll be able to be competitive.

The other teams in my division are–

The Blades of the Dwarves, a rookie dwarf team
Odin’s Longboatmen, a rookie norse team
Another norse team whose name escapes me for the moment

My initial thoughts are that everyone has block and starting skills except me. I’m not going to be able to bash my way out of this league, sadly. I’m also a bit worried about the unnamed norse team, as they have a Yheti (strength 5, mighty blow, frenzy, claw). That seems like a chaos warrior killer, and I genuinely don’t know how I’m going to deal with it without an apothecary. That team is pretty beat up though (no skills, only 10 players) so it might not be too bad on the day if I’m careful.


This is a Blood Bowl blog, about the Cyanide videogame "Blood Bowl - Legendary Edition". I have joined an online league over at Rock Paper Shotgun, and this blog will follow the fortunes of my teams in that league.

My two teams are Doomdark's Revenge, a rookie Chaos team, with names based on the old Spectrum game Lords of Midnight, and Bitter and Stout, a beer-themed Dwarf team.