Thursday, 26 July 2012

Match report - SSC division 2 match 6

The Counters (Vampire) v Angband Wolves (Orc, me)

The rebuilt orc team, having had a fortnight off after their last game emerged onto the field looking to continue their rehabilitation from the mauling in game week 3. They faced The Counters, a team of many vamps, a medium number of thralls, and very few rerolls.

The orc coach, never having faced a vampire team before, told his players to target the thralls and to be cautious with the ball, hoping that if the thrall numbers could be decreased eventually the vampires' bloodlust would take over and their play would fall apart. The orc team was much weaker on paper than the vamps' so a wizard was recruited to even the score.

The vamps won the toss and elected to kick. Their specialist thrall kicker placed the ball very close to the halfway line on the orc's right, with the orc throwers unable to reach it without "going for it". Unwilling to take a risk so early on, the orcs contented themselves with surrounding the ball and flattening the thralls on the LOS. They had reckoned without the vampires' hypnotic gaze, however, and the vamps turned their funny eyes on the corners of the orc cage, allowing one of their number to steal in, grab the ball and dodge away back behind their own lines. The sparkly-skinned poseur finished his turn by taking a bite out of the thrall kicker, which took him off the pitch for the remainder of the game.

The orc team kept to the plan and kept hitting thralls, and the vampires quickly shifted the ball across the pitch and another vampire took the ball and hurtled down the orc left. He lost his footing and tripped, however, and the orcs gathered the ball and began a slow push down the left side. Without much actual hitting, the orcs kept the ball moving and kept a screen up between the ball and the vampire lines. Eventually the orcs were in the position to make a simple hand off to a blitzer for the touchdown, but the ball was dropped! Fortunately they were able to recover, with star thrower Gothmog able to run the ball in on turn 8. 0-1 to Angband Wolves at half time

Lining up for the second half the vamps received the ball and caged up on the half way line in the centre. Again, they used their superior speed and agility to shift the ball to one side and down the orc left, and over the first three turns of the second half they established a cage by the sideline and with the ball in the hands of a vampire within scoring range. The smell of ozone in the air alerted the fans to the fact that the wizard was warming up his wand, and with a crash of thunder and a flash of light the unfortunate vamp was lying in a blackened heap.

The orcs recovered the ball, but again using their hypnotic gaze the vamps were able to penetrate the cage and knock it loose. With only a few turns to go a large punch up ensued near the orc end zone. The orc tactic of beating up the thralls (and the vamp tactic of eating the thralls) began to bear fruit however, and vampires began to be sent off for bloodlust. With the clock ticking down there was just time for the orcs to grab the ball and make space for a blitzer to burst clear of the scrum and hand the ball off to a goal-hanging team mate on the half way line, who sprinted for the vampire end zone. The orcs surrounded the remaining vampires to no avail, and on the last turn the last vampire was able to dodge away from his markers and flatten the blitzer, meaning the game ended 0-1 to Angband Wolves at full time

Decision time in the SSC

So my orc team, Angband Wolves, had a walkover last week as their opponent, the humans of Weathertop Warriors, have been refusing to play any games after getting three players killed in their first game.

The team is now

Black Orc - Block
3 rookie Black Orcs

Blitzer - Tackle
3 rookie Blitzers

Thrower - Block
Thrower - Accurate


2 rerolls, Apo, 100,000 in the bank

There are now two weeks left in the season left, with the orcs due to face The Counters (vampires) this evening and Zombie Economics (undead) next week. I then have to decide whether I want to take this team into the main league next season.

On balance I think I won’t. It’s not because I don’t like the team, or the team is bad. In contrast I’ve enjoyed playing them and I think it’s been a good experience. The reason is because orc teams are so common in the main league – there are more orc teams than all the elven races put together, for example. So I think I’ll try something different, and I’ve gone for a high elf team. I like the idea of the elfy passing game, and I like the fact that my players can pick up the ball occasionally. I like the fact they have AV8, so don’t fold up like paper.

I’ve been running a high elf team in the development league with mixed success. After a 2-2 draw last night (damn saurus making a turn 16 interception to stop me winning) they are in good shape and have a star blitzer with AG5.

I’ll keep reporting on Angband Wolves until the end of the season – there is still an outside chance of me finishing in the top 2 – and thereafter will report on the elves. I’ll keep posting match reports for Doomdark’s Revenge, even though this season has been a really tough one for them.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Match Report: Divisions of Death division J, Match 2

Int'He Night Guardians (Necro) v Doomdark's Revenge (Chaos, me)

The Chaos team were very confident going into this match against a rookie Necro team with no skills from its first game. The match saw the debut of Doomdark's Daughter, their new minotaur blocker. Unfortunately Nuffle had his own plans for the outcome of the match.

Even before the first ball had been kicked, the home fans threw a rock which badly hurt The Utarg of Utarg, the only skilled Chaos Warrior on the team. The kick landed off-pitch, and the ball was handed to Lord Doomdark. Immediately after the start of the game the Chaos players began to be KO'd, to the extent that by the start of the Chaos turn three there were only six Chaos players on the pitch against ten Night Guardians. Doomdark's Daughter had been carried from the field having knocked herself out while attempting to clobber a zombie.

With such a shocking numerical disadvantage there was little the Chaos team could do to prevent the score. The Night Guardian team slowly and methodically surrounded the remaining opposition, hitting and fouling repeatedly to reduce the Chaos team to five by the end of the half, with one of their werewolves running the ball as the last act. 1-0 to Int'He Night Guardians at half time

With five players standing at the end of the half, one reserve and five KO'd, the Chaos coach hoped for eight or nine players in the second half to make a game of it, but it was not to be. Not a single Chaos player came round at half time and only six Chaos players stood to try to contest the Night Guardian drive. As expected the Necromantic team swarmed forward and easily scored a second touchdown on turn 11. 2-0 to Int'He Night Guardians on turn 11

At this point fully four of the five KO'd Chaos players returned, including the minotaur, and with 10 players on the field the Chaos team determined to try to set up a drive for a consolation touchdown. Unfortunately it was not to be. With so few turns left it was necessary to move the cage quickly, and so a gap was smashed in the line for the remaining Chaos Warriors to pour through, but the Night Guardians had set up deeply and their safety line moved to cover the break.

The Chaos team saw an opportunity to change the point of attack, but two failed Wild Animal rolls in a row on the required Minotaur blitz meant that the drive stalled with the ball being knocked loose. Finally at the very end of the game the Chaos team remembered how to hit, and a series of spectacular blocks ensured that there would be no third touchdown for the Necro team.

Thoughts - Not again!

Yet another spectacular series of bad dice at the start of the game ensures that it's over before I have a chance to do anything. Losing my best player to a thrown rock and then four players KO'd in my opponent's first two turns was just sickening and ensured I would be behind at half time, but then for every single KO'd player to stay down (1 in 32 chance) it meant that I had no chance of preventing a second score.

Looking at the dice overall I would say that I was actually rather lucky. My opponent's armour rolls were really awful, and it was a miracle that lining up with six players against a merciless fouler with clawed werewolves did not lead to anything worse than KOs. My only casualty against was caused by the rock thrown by the crowd at the start. Some of my block dice at the end were ridiculous too.

This illustrates why looking at the dice stats from BB Manager is pointless - it doesn't matter what the overall dice were, just what the important dice were. That early thrown rock, for example, denied me my only reliable hitter for the entire game, and that was crucial in the end.

To add insult to injury, the MVP went to Ice Fear, my niggled beastman (who I was about to cut). He then rolled a double. I've given him sneaky git, because I am really really in the mood for hurting a team at the moment.

I am also really cash rich. I don't want to add players at the moment because it would only be more rookie beastmen who would dilute the MVPs away from my minotaur and Chaos warriors (but then 3 rookie beastmen on the bench would have been great for this match). I've taken a fourth reroll for now and I'll look to add more players in future - 14 sounds a good number to me.


Lord Doomdark - Chaos Warrior - rookie
The Utarg of Utarg - Chaos Warrior - block
The Lord of Whispers - Chaos Warrior - rookie
The Lord of Thrall - Chaos Warrior - rookie

Doomdark's Daughter - Minotaur - rookie

Ice Fear - beastman - sneaky git, niggle
Xajorkith Taken - beastman - extra arms
The Fey Slain - beastman - rookie
The Moon Sets - beastman - rookie
Morkin Fallen - beastman - rookie
Two other beastmen whose names I can't remember - rookie

4 rerolls
1 Apo
2 FF

Friday, 13 July 2012

Match report – SSC Division 2 match 4

Angband Wolves (Orcs, me) v Davey Jones’s Rum Runners (Human)

After their mauling at the hands of the Amazons last week, a much reduced Wolves team lined up against an unusual catcher-heavy Human side. The Rum Runners, lead by star thrower Davey Jones, had 3 blitzers, 3 catchers (2 blodgers, one side stepper), another thrower, an ogre, and some linemen. The Humans were clearly looking to play a passing game, and the Orcs fancied their chances for a 2-1 grind in the match.

Losing the toss and being asked to receive, the Orcs were surprised by a sudden Human blitz, with all three catchers and a blitzer knocking a hole down one flank and threatening the kick. The Orcs calmly pulled back their blitzers to screen out the Rum Runners, put a tackle zone on the ball, and prior to the pickup decided to put in a couple of LOS blocks to free up more players to come back to the ball. Double both down on a loner lineman, who KO’d himself in the process.

The Rum Runners blitzed through the Wolves’ defensive screen and their catcher rushed forwards, picked up the ball in a tackle zone and dodged away for the score. 0-1 to the Rum Runners on turn 1

The visibly shaken Orcs lined up again, and this time matters went more smoothly – the ball was caged up near the line of scrimmage, and one of the human lineman was KO’d in the melee. The Rum Runners ran 6 players round to the sides and rear of the cage to pressure the ball, and the Orcs were content to eat up time and get blocks in without moving the cage forward.

As the scrum continued over the next few turns it became apparent that the Human centre was weak, and the Orcs planned their trademark “bash through the middle” move, needing only to push away a single Human lineman who had managed to get next to the ball carrier, Gothmogg. Double skulls. Reroll. Double both down. The lineman jumped to his feet and pulled off a 1 dice block to push the ball carrier out of the cage and into the three human catchers. There followed a series of 1 dice and half dice blocks from the catchers who were unable to knock over the burly Orc thrower Gothmogg (but neither did they fail for the humans and no rerolls were used). Completely surrounded, the Orc team saw a way of chain-pushing the catchers away with two of their blitzers, and the left hand side of the pitch was now completely wide open – a score was on for the Orcs. The first Orc blitzer hit a human catcher. Double skulls. Reroll. Knockdown (phew!). The second Orc blitzer went to push away a second catcher. Double skulls.

With the Orc coach visibly weeping at the side of the pitch, the humans finally knocked Gothmogg over, and Davey Jones picked up the ball, passed it to a nearby catcher who ran in the TD. 0-2 to the Rum Runners on turn 6

With two turns to score, the Orcs lined up aggressively. They now had a one man advantage over the humans and were determined to use it to get back in the game. Again, however, the Rum Runners blitzed from the kick off, knocked a hole in the right hand side of the Orc lines and pressured the ball. The Orcs again brought back players to defend, and Gothmogg picked up the ball and moved it away from the marauding human catchers. With such a short time left in the half he realised that something special was required, and he lined up a short pass into a group of players including 2 blitzers and a black orc on the left hand side. If this was caught the Orcs could threaten a turn 8 touchdown as there were very few human players on this side or left at the back as safety. The pass needed a 4+ with a reroll, but 2+ would at least get the ball away from the humans to safety. The dice came up 1. Reroll. 1 again. Fumbled pass.

A nearby human catcher dodged away from his marker, picked up the ball from next to Gothmogg, dodged away and made 2 GFIs to put himself out of range of virtually every Orc player on the pitch. The rest of the Human players on the left dodged away from their markers (unskilled AG3 linemen and blitzers) to move next to the nearby Orcs and prevent them getting back to intervene. Again, no rerolls required for any of this.

The only Orc player with a chance of preventing the TD was the star Orc blitzer Ugluk. The tackle blitzer charged back, made 2 GFIs, and put in a 2D block on the human catcher (55% chance of a knockdown). Pushback only, and the catcher dodged away to score in turn 8. 0 -3 Rum Runners at half time

The Wolves trudged their way back onto the pitch for the second half. Aware they had lost the game and were playing for pride only now they decided to ignore the ball and focus on hurting the Rum Runners as much as possible. The human team, in contrast, lined up with their catchers rather than throwers to receive the kick. The kick landed next to the Human end zone, and the Orcs ignored the ball and concentrated on hitting and fouling. While they had some success in this, there was on permanent damage as the best they could manage throughout the entire game was a KO (I think there were 6 in total). Meanwhile the hapless Rum Runners catcher failed three pickup attempts in a row, which eventually came to the notice of the Orcs who halfheartedly sent a blitzer to mark the ball. This seemed to annoy the catcher who, with the assistance of a colleague, picked up the ball next to the Orc, blitzed him aside, and ran forward to hand the ball off to a colleague. Finally failing a GFI however, the way was clear for the Wolves to finally register a score. The blitzer smashed his marker out of the way to run to the end zone, and the Orcs’ reserve thrower picked up the ball on half way and made a short pass for the TD. 1-3 to the Run Runners on turn 12

The Humans lined up with a more traditional formation with Davey Jones deep, looking for the insult of a fourth touchdown. They ran catchers into space on the sidelines, but the Orcs’ extra numbers told again as they marked up the receivers. Undeterred Davey Jones darted forward towards the half way line and near the side lines to make the pass, trusting to the dice to allow his catchers to receive under pressure and dodge away. It was the Humans’ turn to roll snake eyes however and Jones fumbled the pass. The Orcs caged up around the ball with a blitzer picking it up before pushing  forwards at high speed into the Humans’ half. With the Humans unable to get back in time and as the final action of the match the Orc blitzer sprinted into the Humans’ end zone (3 GFIs required over two turns. 2-3 to the Run Runners on turn 16

Monday, 9 July 2012

Thoughts on the game

A frustrating game in the end, where the lack of skills for my chaos team yet again became an issue. After four games with this team I have only two skillups, with my SPPs sprinkled across my players fairly evenly.

The first half I benefitted from yet another opponent who tries too hard to get the ball while not paying sufficient attention to holding the centre (this is becoming a theme). In the second half my opponent’s error in leaving their thrower within range of a blitz (apparently she pressed the “end turn” button by mistake) should have given me the game, but she had a nice streak of luck at the end to get a TD with no rerolls available (which was fair enough, she’d been unlucky in the first half and the dice were pretty even over the whole game).

That said, I am quite cash rich, and have enough money to either buy a fourth reroll or a minotaur. Perhaps the sensible thing to do would be to buy the reroll but, I’m sorry, I love the bull. Yes, perhaps it’s too early in the team’s development to buy an unreliable turnover-machine, but then, look at it. Strength 5. Horns, for God’s sake! Frenzy! Mighty blow!

Yep, I’m getting the cow in for the next game.

That will make the team:

1 Minotaur
4 Chaos Warriors (1 with block)
7 Beastmen (1 with a skillup)
3 Rerolls
1 Apo

Not sure what to do with the skillup. I have thought about getting extra arms, to reduce my need for rerolls when picking up the ball, or block for a slightly more reliable hitter. The final choice would be piling on to start my “killer” beastman on his path to glory.

I think the boring-but-sensible block might be the way to go, especially as I am letting myself in for the insanity of the minotaur. It gives me a reliable blitzer to use as a safety against any orc break.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Match Report: Divisions of Death division J, Match 1

So the second season in the Divisions of Death has begun for Doomdark's Revenge. Fortunately with the structure shakeup last season they were not promoted to the third tier, and return in the bottom (fourth) tier of a new, flatter division structure.

The opponent's for Doomdark's Revenge this season will be

Xenny's Berserkers (Norse) - Played them last season and beat them up a fair bit. One werewolf dead, the other cut due to -1 strength. +1AV yheti is a bit scary.

The Waaaghriors (Orc) - New team. Experienced coach. Lots of rerolls and a sensible build. Should be tough.

Int-He Night Guardians (Necro) - Bizarre childrens' TV-themed necro team. Coach is a bugger for fouling so with cheap zombies I expect him to be all over me like a rash.

Match report - Xenny's Berserkers (Norse) v Doomdark's Revenge (me, Chaos)

So the new season kicked off with the Chaos receiving a high kick deep in their own half. Immediately mistakes were made on the line of scrimmage and some poor hitting allowed the Norse to pour forwards and pressure the flanks. The ball was recovered by Xajorkith Taken (beastman), and the Norse overcommitted at the sides and neglected to leave a safety screen.

Xajorkith duly zigzagged through the Norse tackle zones without coming close enough to be grabbed, and headed for the end zone. The Norse flank attackers were too far away to get back, and they contented themselves with causing a casualty and a KO before the beastman trundled home on turn 6. 0-1 to Doomdark's Revenge

The Berserkers lined up for an audacious pass-and-cage move, hoping to form up around their receiver midway through the Chaos half. Unfortunately the pass was dropped, and the Chaos team blitzed in and ensured there was not enough time for a score. 0-1 to Doomdark's Revenge at half time

The Chaos team were outnumbered again in the second half, with 9 players lining up to the 11 Norse. Again the Norse team abandoned the LOS, forming a cage on their left hand side and keeping their thrower deep with the ball. Deep, that is, but not deep enough, and a beastman blitzed forwards, just catching the thrower and KOing him. A desperate fight ensued at the sidelines near the Norse end zone, with the yheti miles away and furious because there were not enough players nearby to hit, and a ring of chaos warriors around the ball.

On turn 13 the ball was in the corner, the Chaos team had just crowdsurfed two players, and the Lord of Thrall needed a 3+ pickup to make the score 2-0 (and level up, as it happens). He failed, and a Norse loner mercenary lineman dodged away from his marker and picked the ball up in a tackle zone. The Lord of Thrall made to swat the impudent Norse into next week, but a quick double skulls later was on the deck, and the lineman was sprinting away to hand the ball off to a nearby runner.

True to his name, the runner hared off down the field with a lineman keeping up. A single chaos warrior stood in his way, but the dauntless runner charged straight at him, knocking him down, and hurtling the length of the field to tie the score 1-1 on turn 16.

With no help coming on the kickoff table, the Chaos team ignored the kicked ball, and tore into the Norse on the line of scrimmage, causing three of them to be carried off, and the final score was 1-1.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Snotling Soda Cup Division 2 Match 3

Women of Wrath (Amazon) v Angband Wolves (Orc, me)

No match report this week. It’s all too depressing.

So I lined up against the Amazon team and was feeling pretty good – yes, they have dodge, but with 3 black orcs (1 was out injured) and the troll, plus my 4 blitzers, I felt sure that I had a sufficient strength and armour advantage to win the blocking war.

That’s not what happened at all. My tackle blitzer (the key player in my team) spent almost the whole game in the KO box, to start with, and even when blocking with my other blitzers I kept rolling “defender stumbles”, which was of course negated by their dodge.

Meanwhile my opponent rolled block dice the like of which I have never seen. At least once every turn he rolled a 1D block, often early in the turn, and he never ever failed. Even with unskilled linewomen against my skilled blitzers. I don’t think he used more than one reroll in the whole game. He rolled one double skulls in the game, even though most of the time he was blocking with unskilled players and so the odds of failure are 1/9. I was laughing by the end at his block dice - they never let him down at all.

In addition when I could knock the Amazons down (and I guess my block dice were about average) I could not break armour. For the second game in a row I was outhit by an armour 7 team – even my troll only managed to break armour once.

Ah the troll.

Second half, I’m massively outnumbered and hanging on for a draw. I am desperately trying to make space around the ball carrier, so I blitz with the troll against an unskilled linewoman. Both down (1/9). I try to reroll and fail due to loner (1/2). I fail the armour roll (1/6). Injury roll comes up casualty (1/9). Casualty roll comes up dead (1/6). I use the apothecary – dead again (1/6). I fail the regenerate roll (1/2). Odds of that result? A whopping 1/69984. Sigh.

I was fine at half time – despite the beating I held off the Amazon drive and only lost 2 players to non-permanent injuries. I lined up with the ball and a 2 man disadvantage, but the amazing run of blocking dice and the death of the troll meant that it just got crazy in the second half. I held out as long as I could, losing another black orc killed, but with only 4 players on the pitch at the end I needed a very unlikely last ditch play to prevent the touchdown and failed. The Amazons scored in the last turn to make it 1-0.

So, basically my team has been gutted by the loss of 190,000gp worth of players. The troll is particularly galling as he’d just levelled up. A troll with guard is an excellent player and could have been key in the remaining games.

Still – positives:

1) No other permanent injuries (or even MNG), meaning that if I roll a 5+ for my winnings I can buy back the black orc and have a reasonably full roster for the rest of the season.

2) One of my black orcs levelled up, so I have 3 experienced players now. I’ll give him block I think.

And what should I have done differently? I should probably have fouled when I had the chance. I’m wary of early game fouling, but against AV7 it could have tipped the scale for me. I’m really bloody cross about all the deaths, and the urge to hurt the opposition is currently very strong. Whoever I play next is getting a kicking.