Thursday, 22 November 2012

Match Report: OCC Division 4D Match 2

The Grey Haven Guard (me, high elf) vs ItSmellsLikeTeamSpirit (nurgle)

At first glance this was a terrifying nurgle team to face - three of the four warriors have mighty blow and claw, and one of those three (called Ted Nightall) has piling on as well. I could just imagine the carnage at the line of scrimmage.

Looking again, however, I paused. Where was the beast of nurgle? Checking out the replay of their previous match I saw that the poor beast had died to a gang foul in their game against the division's other frightening bash team - the Khemri.

Looking a third time I relaxed a bit. None of the nurgle warriors had block, none had tackle (no tackle on the whole team) and there was no guard on the team at all. This therefore was a dice rolling team - if the dice went their way on the night then it could be a slaughter, but assuming reasonable luck I ought to be able to outmaneuver and overpower them.

And that's what happened.

My opponent won the toss and opted to receive. I put dodge linemen on the line of scrimmage, and set up in a narrow formation in the centre. I then kicked short and wide and hoped for a blitz result which was not forthcoming.

My mistake in setting up on so narrow a front quickly became apparent, as the nurgle team moved to surround my players. Dodge worked wonders on the line of scrimmage as I didn't lose anyone, and I started to knock his players away. Ted Nightall charged forward and hit my guard lineman (I knew he wouldn't last long!), piling onto him to badly hurt him.

A few turns of shadow boxing took place, with him pushing players into contact, and me hitting them clear or dodging away during my turn. I managed to KO one of his killer warriors with my mighty blow catcher, and his dirty player rotter fouled my wrodge catcher out of the match.

My opponent eventually got overconfident however, and used his ball carrier to assist a block on one of my linemen. The elf had dodge and so the block failed, which allowed my to dart in with my guard blitzer to put an assist on the block, and the lineman punched the pestigor, knocking the ball clear. A lineman scooped it up and hared off up the pitch, followed by the rest of my team.

I'm not sure quite what happened next, or rather, *why* it happened. I wasn't all that far away from his players, he certainly could have made it difficult for me or forced me to score earlier than I eventually did, but he basically ignored my breakaway to try to foul my guard blitzer and catch hold of any of my players that he could with his killer warriors. Fouling my blitzer was a complete failure - he could only get a stun, and had two players sent off in the process, and as a result of his lack of pressure on the ball I could delay until turn 8 which meant he didn't get another three free line of scrimmage blocks. As it was, I handed the ball off to my rookie blitzer to run in the touchdown and make it 1-0 at half time.

The second half was a bit of a farce really. He put his entire team on the line of scrimmage for the kick off - I think he'd pretty much given up at this point. Since I had some guard and he did not, it was easy to engineer a few two dice blocks on this players, one of which managed to kill one of his nurgle warriors who then failed to regen! (Not the bastard, but still a claw - mighty blow warrior).

I kept the rest of my team out of contact, and again he didn't bother to even try to get the ball but went for casualties on his killer warrior and fouling every turn. I kept running my team away, but trying to get blocks in where I could. My opponent had a very strong run of block dice this half, smashing the knee of my rookie thrower, giving one of my linemen a serious concussion and KOing three other players, and I was forced to score on turn 14 to make it 2-0.

During that drive his fouling dice were not so good, however, and he had a further three players sent off!

We lined up again, and I put linemen on the line of scrimmage, with all my valuable players quite a long way back. Again he put everyone on the line, except this time his extra arms beastman was back to receive the kick. My opponent's lack of block came back to haunt him here though, as without any rerolls he had an early both down. I dodged two of my linemen off the LOS and towards the ball, and another sending off from a foul allowed one of them to scoop it up and jog nonchalantly home for a third score in turn 16.

Final score: 3-0 to the Guard.

I still consider myself a bash coach rather than an finesse coach, with my favourite team being my chaos team in the RPS Divisions of Death, and looking at this nurgle team today was a salutary lesson in how things can go wrong when building a bash team.

My opponent was extremely unhappy with this dice in the game - his play basically collapsed after conceding a score in the first half, and got worse after the death of his warrior. He could not understand how his team with AV9, mighty blow, regen and claw could be outbashed by my team of elves.

My response to him at the time was that his team was not a scary bash team, lacking as it does the basic components of bash - block and guard. I had those skills and he did not, and as a result I was able to put pressure on him. AV9 is nice, but it will still fail one time out of six, and then regen on a team is not (in my view) as valuable as an apothecary. You only tend to get one really bad injury in a game that you absolutely must save (unless you are getting a nuffling), and regen gives you a 50% chance of saving it whereas an apo gives you a 67% chance of avoiding any consequences at all, and a further chance of an injury that may not be career-threatening (-1 MV or something perhaps).

He set his team up to get casualties, and he did get casualties - four of them in the game, with his killer warrior getting three. Those casualties were not late in the game either - his first came on turn two and the second on turn four or thereabouts - but they were not enough on their own to make a difference. He can't point to the sendings off either - he still had 10 players in the second half (as did I) and an extra rotter on the field would not have made much difference. I would still probably have scored, leaving him having to score twice in a single half to save the game.

He lost the game when he conceded a defensive score to an elf team. He got his player killed when he stuck a vulnerable piece (a warrior without block or dodge) on the line of scrimmage in the second half. The sendings off (six in total!) made the game seem a lot more one sided than it actually was.

Looking at my team, it's in pretty decent shape at the moment. I took a niggle on my new thrower which is a shame, and had to sack my AV7, niggled rookie lineman. Otherwise I'm pretty happy - no-one died!

My rookie blitzer levelled up and took dodge, so at last I have a blodger again. I had touchdowns for Cirdan (my main thrower) and one of my lineman. I also had a casualty for my guard blitzer.

My team is set out below. I have to play the Queen's Champions next match - a much stronger high elf team. Could be quite tricky. They haven't played their game this week, so they may get a few injuries, but otherwise I could be looking at a wizard at least in inducements.

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