Sunday, 28 October 2012

OCC Season 16, Division 4D

So, the great Orca Cola computer has been fired up, and has produced the answer "4D". The computer was turned upside down and shaken a couple of times, but apparently that is indeed the correct answer.

So. A double promotion. After finishing in mid-table in division 6A. Let's have a look at who the plucky high elves will be facing off against:

1) Boldly Gone - Necromantic
TV - 1590 (1750 when injuries return)

A well developed team, with plenty of dodge and tackle. There are five blodgers on the team - both wolves, both ghouls and a golem.

The team doesn't really have a killer - the only mighty blow is on a wight, whose other skill is guard - but there's enough guard (4) overall on the team. The team is set up for defence - there are no ball handling skills that I can see, but of course with the wolves' pace they'll have a strong running game.

The team won their division quite easily last season (8 wins from 9 games), and they have an experienced coach.

Not a team to be scared of, I think, but a team that will be tough to beat.

2) Khorne Beef  - Chaos
TV - 1510 (1680 when injuries return)

A chaos team that struggled in this tier last season, and one that I'll be looking to beat this time around.

They have two rookie chaos warriors, a minotaur skilled for blitzing (juggernaught), and there are only two beastmen of note - one is a blodger with extra arms and sure hands, while the other is an unfinished killer - block, mighty blow, +1MV.

There is precisely zero tackle in the team.

As long as I get a little lucky when the minotaur charges, I will hope to outmaneuver them.

3) Neverending Rest - Khemri
TV - 1840

Now this team is a bit more scary, in pure bash terms at least.

Four developed Guardians, one of whom is ST6 and has block and the rest who have guard, stand firm and mighty blow. Two killer blitz-ras, with mighty blow and tackle. A ST4 throw-ra with block and tackle. A dirty player skeleton.

But - again - zero ball playing skills. Everyone is AG2. There are lots of ways that this team could come unstuck - particularly with their high TV giving me the possibility of a wizard. One of the blitz-ras is niggled and so will need a lot of protection.

This is a team that with a fair wind and some decent block dice could cause a great deal of pain. On the other hand, they'll struggle to score twice in a game I think.

4) The Elf Avengers - Pro Elf
TV - 1560

From one extreme to the other, we have the makings of an exceptional pro elf team here, if they can survive the start of the season. The team has an excellent thrower, and three good catchers (one in particular being exceptional - block, dodge, +1MV, but niggled). They also have two blitzers who have rolled doubles - one has guard and the other has mighty blow and tackle. They have two (!) level 2 linemen with guard.

The problem is that the team has all the "icing on the cake" type skills, but very little of the basic stuff like dodge. If they come up against a really tough team early on, and the dice go against them, they'll be slaughtered. If, one the other hand, they can survive until they get some core skills then this will be a real force to be reckoned with.

The team won it's division in tier 6 last season, so the coach clearly know what he's doing.

5) The Queen's Champions - High Elf
TV - 1840

Now *this* is what a high elf team should look like.:

Thrower - AG5, Accurate, Strong Arm
Catchers - 3 of them are MV9, they all have dodge, 2 of them have guard
Blitzers - Both blodge, one has guard, the other has AG5

Upsides for me... Um... Well, there isn't a killer - only 1 tackle and no MB on the team. They only have 12 players. But realistically, this team came second in its division last season with 6 wins, so assuming the coach knows what he's doing these guys look unstoppable.

6) Night Horrors - Undead
TV - 1440

A somewhat battered undead team here, redeemed by three star playes. First there is a block, guard, break tackle mummy. Second there is a blodge, mighty blow wight. Third there is a blodge, tackle, side step ghoul.

The rest of the team is fairly low level, and so I think that this team will struggle a little bit this season - particularly when they come up against the bashier teams in the league such as the Khemri. Not too scary at all as yet.

More to come later tonight...

Thursday, 25 October 2012

End of season review

So, the end of my first season in the big league, and I've finished with a 4-3-2 record to come in 4th out of 10.

A bit disappointing really - with not much more oomph from me I could have made it to second. Here's where the team ends up for the next season

Stuff to consider before next season - maybe sacking that niggled lineman and replacing him with a second thrower. I also need to work out the right time to drop down to 3 rerolls - probably when I have a bit more block and dodge in the team.
So what have I learned? I've played quite a lot of games against a hybrid offence - teams with a few bash players and some faster players. I find that sort of defence really tough, but I'm getting the hang of it.
I still have only one elf-v-elf game to date, a 2-2 draw against the all-linemen dark elf side. I really need more experience in playing against finesse teams. It's quite likely there'll be a lot of finesse teams around me next season, as there were high ranking elf or high elf teams in all four tier 6 divisions, as well as some skaven, so maybe I'll get that chance. I struggle to shut down that fast moving cage which can either dodge through you, pass deep, or switch sides with a short pass or hand off.
I've also yet to play a real bash team - the orcs in my division played a passing game!
Next season there have been quite a lot of rerollers in our league, with lots of new underworld and chaos dwarf teams. Thus those of us that haven't rerolled can expect at least one, perhaps two, promotions. So I might be up against quite highly developed sides very quickly. Have to see how that goes I guess.
The divsions should be listed after the weekend.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

OCC Division 6A, Match 9

The Grey Haven Guard v Ulmus Lupus

A game against a somewhat battered necro team, for whom both wolves had died recently. I was giving away 470k of inducements, which they spent on Ramtut (first time I'd played against him) and a bribe.

Firstly - Ramtut is shit. What the hell is wrestle doing on that character. Seriously. "Waste of money" I thought, and so he proved - right up until the end of the game.

The first half was fine. I ran the ball. Badly hurt a Golem with my first block of the game. The bugger regenerated, but still. I just kept going left and blitzing with Vanval, until I was able to tiptoe around the left hand edge of the pitch and score on turn 6. I could have scored earlier or later, but I think that leaving the opponent 3 turns is optimum - give him the opportunity to score if (i) he takes risks and (ii) I defend badly. Gives the chance of a defensive score for me.

And so it proved - my opponent passed his 88% chance of not conceding a second score (I got a TZ on his ball carrier, but he dodged away with his AG3-and-a-reroll-ness), but I held firm and went in 1-0 up.

The second half was a bit of a ruck, and it all went wrong at the end. Up until about turn 13 I was trying to decide whether I would win 1-0 or 2-0, but I ended up conceding an equaliser and having to try a 1 turner to win the game. Not *really* sure how it happened - I think I really need to watch the replay and try to work it out, but the fault was mine and mine alone. I should not have conceded that touchdown, but basically half my team were miles away from the ball stunned, when they should have been blocking off blodger wights from scoring (blodger wights? who in their right mind takes dodge on a wight? madness!). It was a positioning mistake, getting too many of my team the wrong side of the ball.

My opponent scored on his turn 16, leaving 2 golems and Ramtut on the LOS. The only non-stand firmer was Ramtut, and I was reduced to blocking and blitzing him to get my catcher in position, but nevertheless it worked, although my attempt failed when I failed to pick up the ball.

The game finished 1-1, which means that I finish at best 3rd in the league, and probably 4th. A win would have meant 2nd. I therefore lose the shiny award, but will almost certainly be promoted at least one tier in any event. When I drafted this post I referred to the match a couple of times as a defeat, which is how I feel about it really. I should not have lost this game, dice rolls apart.

I had intended to reroll to Khorne next season, but I'll stick with these boys at least one more season and see how they get on. Vanval has emerged as the division's most violent player with 6 casualties, and was joint second highest scorer with 5 - not bad for a rookie in MD1!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

OCC Division 6A Matches 6 to 8

Match 6, GHG vs Cruor Imbibo II

This was a tough game against vamps (only my second ever game against vamps). I won the toss and chose to receive, but made a mess of my drive. I passed the ball to my rookie catcher Gil-Galad mid way into the vamp half on the left, but failed to make a strong cage for him and left him badly exposed.

The vamps grabbed the ball with one of their ST4 blodgers, and the first half degenerated into me chasing him around the pitch with my players trying to get 2D hits on him as he made his way closer to my line. On turn 8 I finally got a 2D block on him with my killer (tackler) catcher Vanval - I knocked the ball loose, my new thrower picked up the ball and passed it to Gil-Galad, who caught it in a TZ and dodged away for a late touchdown.

In the second half the vamps attacked down my right, but again exposed their blodging vamp ball carrier to a 2D hit from Vanval, and again I knocked the ball loose. I waited and waited, holding the ball in a little cage near my own end zone, waiting for the vamps to de-pitch their own thralls, before handing off to Gil-Galad to run clear for his second TD of the game.

The game finished 2-0, and Gil-Galad picked up +1MV after the match. My new thrower Cirdan also levelled up straight away, and took accurate.

Match 7, GHG v Erengrad Convicts

The humans bought a bribe before the match, and basically used it to foul every turn of the game. I chose to receive again, and decided to run the ball, making a cage on my left.

The humans formed columns to hold me back, but a substantial portion of the team were engaged in gang-fouling Gil-Galad on the far side of the pitch, so I went "full contact", and pushed onto the humans, inviting blocks. Sure enough, they failed a block and Cirdan darted forward down the touchline and handed the ball off to Werelenial for a touchdown.

The human team went for it in the remainder of the first half, and were unlucky not to score - they ran the ball on my left side via their catcher (who was knocked over by Vanval). The ball was picked up and handed off to their AG4 blitzer, who failed a GFI just short of the line.

The humans received in the second half, and again passed the ball to their catcher who was protected by a cage on my right. Several turns of intense fighting in the elven half ensued before the humans dodged clear, making a strong half-cage in the centre. Xakalwe was having none of it though, and dodged through the cage, brought down the human catcher and dodged clear with the ball.

The crowd roared as the humans fired up the wizard, who killed Xakalwe on the spot with a lightning bolt! The humans were unable to secure the ball however, and it was scooped up and handed off to Gil-Galad who made the final score 2-0.

Match 8, GHG v Krieg Komodo

After two very close games, something a bit easier with a Nuffle-assisted win over the lizards.

Vanval was the star here, killing a skink with his first block, and then sweeping up as the lizards broke forward with the ball. He KO'd the ball carrier, and then picked up the loose ball and passed it to Gil-Galad, who sprinted forward to score an early TD.

The lizards received a second time, but a dropped hand off gave rise to a huge ruck in the centre of the pitch. At the end of the first half Cirdan managed to grab the ball and pass it clear to Werelenial, who scored on the stroke of half time for 2-0.

In the second half more touchdowns followed, an early sack on the ball carrier was recovered and converted into a three turn TD for the rookie blitzer Turin. The lizards then responded by running the ball close to the elven line. Vanval again knocked the ball clear, and again Cirdan tried to pass the ball clear, only this time a lizard interception allowed the skinks to pass the ball themselves to make it 3-1. Finally a typical elven 2 turner made the final score 4-1

Updated roster

With 1 match to go this season, the roster is as follows: