Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Review of OCC Season 16 Division 4D

So here's the final table:

At the top, I was surprised to see a Necro win, but Tys is an amazing coach - one of the best in the league in terms of his record - and so given a half decent team he was always going to be up there. 

The performance of the Night Horrors is another surprise - this team suffered two appalling defeats which resulted in the death of most of their best players. To finish in the top four (with almost certain promotion) is a real achievement.

As expected, Neverending Rest were very strong - too strong for the other bash teams in the league. Their defeats were against the two high elf teams plus Tys. A feature of their play is the concession of turnover touchdowns against finesse teams and that's something the coach will need to work on, but he has certainly got the bash game down to a fine art.

At the other end of the table it was sad to see The Elf Avengers get taken apart. They had the makings of a good team, but as I'd feared they got destroyed before they could get those critical defensive skills. There are still some good players in the team, but it will be tough for the coach to rebuild in tier 5 (if that's where they end up).

The chaos, orcs and nurgle took some key casualties too but, well, screw them eh? :)

My team going into tier 3 is as follows:

Taking the various positions in order, Cirdan is a really good player as my main thrower. He's not a flashy long-bomb expert, like you get on some elf teams, but he complements my slower, bashier style well and he's a useful player on defence too. Hurin, the reserve thrower, is pretty terrible and I'm tempted to cut him but since I'm into spiralling expenses now I don't feel I can cut anyone. I think I will build him in the same way - accurate, dodge, block, and see how long he lives.

Tananmyr (aka "the slowest levelling blitzer in history") is still a key utility player and my onlyr reliable guard. His counterpart Turin is sadly no longer with us - now playing as a zombie for the Night Horrors - and I am concerned that levelling a rookie blitzer in tier 3 might be tricky.

My catchers, of course, are my real stars. Vanval has been holding the team together for so long, and has finally become a blodger. Now though he might be upstaged by Gil-Galad in the star quality stakes. Just 16 more SPP to go to make Gil-Galad a blodger - here's hoping he lives that long! He's got a massive target painted on him and he and Vanval take so much heat in the game. Werelenial is more of a fire-and-forget player - if there is a player who I'm willing to risk in order to get the ball, it's usually him.

As for the linemen, I've lost 3 killed this season, which has had an effect. I like having a lot of linemen, and as things stand my LOS for next season will be Telthanthor, Rission and Kienden. I could do with another spare, but not sure if I can spare either the cash or the TV.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Match Report: OCC Division 4D Match 9

The Grey Haven Guard (high elf, me) v Night Horrors (undead)

Not very much about this game went to plan. Firstly I should have been playing a beaten up shell of a side, freshly mauled by a killer nurgle team. As it was the nurgle team failed to make the match, handing the Horrors an admin win in week 8, and so I was facing a full strength side.

And secondly since my opponent lives in Cambodia it had been very difficult to schedule the match. In the end I got up for a 5am start on a Monday morning – the early start and the fact that my children started creating havoc in the second half meant that my mind was not really on the game and I made a number of mistakes.

The undead team had a couple of relatively fresh mummies. Its wights were both pretty good – one with mighty blow, dodge and tackle, and the other with guard and tackle. They also had a star ghoul – block, diving tackle, tackle and side step. This ghoul was an incredibly annoying player and most of their key moves on offence and defence went through him.

My opponent took the vampire star player Count Luthor von Somethingorother and a wizard as inducements, won the toss and elected to kick. I (thinking I should try to get some SPP on my reserve thrower) Hurin at some point, decided to use him this drive, keeping Cirdan back in case of a lightning bolt. I knocked over a zombie-and-skeleton LOS and started to push down the left hand side of the pitch. Hurin stayed deep with the ball.

The Horrors sent Count Luthor into my half after the ball, and after marking him I spent my second turn hitting undeads, managing to KO superghoul in the process. I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me that Count Luthor wouldn’t just dodge away from his marker and blitz the thrower, but this is what he did (making 2 GFIs in the process, so overall the chances of getting to Hurin were a bit more than 50%), and he battered the elf into the pitch.

Still, all was not lost, and Hurin jumped to his feet, dodged away, grabbed the ball and launched a long pass… onto the ground beside the waiting receiver. Useless bugger. I rolled a 3 for the pass, which would have been enough for Cirdan but since Hurin is still a rookie the pass failed and caused a turnover. This was bad – I’d taken this action first because it was critical, but the fact it failed left my team in contact. The Horrors took advantage of this via one of their mummies, who smashed Gil-Galad’s ankle. On came the doctor to fix it, but using my apo on turn 3 had not been in the plan.

Still, undead are rubbish, and this was typified by the wight failing to pick up the ball, fumbling it into the crowd in the process. The ball was thrown in next to a mummy, and it was the work of a moment for my block lineman to grab the ball and throw it to Tananmyr who ran in a touchdown on turn 4. 1-0 to the Guard.

So, pretty good so far. I’d mucked up and relied on the dice for my TD, but no casualties (superghoul annoyingly recovered from his KO) and I had “stalled” until turn 4.

I’d watched a few games of the Horrors vs elves, and noticed that, like the khemri in MD8, they tended to overload the LOS when attacking and are vulnerable to a blitz. Sure enough they overloaded the LOS and a blitz came up. I blasted through the end of my opponent’s line with Tananmyr, and ran Gil-Galad around there too to support him. The Horrors made the odd decision of blitzing Tananmyr (a blodger) with a mummy rather than one of their wights, but were rewarded with a KO, and superghoul came up to assist. I wasn’t expecting this, to be honest, but it was quite a cunning plan – Gil-Galad has no defensive skills and so is easy meat for any mummy who can get hold of him, and superghoul’s diving tackle skill stopped him from running away. Meanwhile the undead’s specialist fouler put the boot in to one of my LOS lineman and fouled him into the hospital.

Forgetting that the superghoul has blodge and sidestep I decided to blitz him away with Gil-Galad and run off to pressure the ball handler who was standing on his own in the undead half. Although I didn’t realise it at the time, the only dice which would have been sufficient was a pow, and a pow was what came up (phew!). Gil-Galad then continued his solo run, putting a tackle zone on the ball handler. He was blitzed away though, and the ghoul ran forward to hand off to a wight by the LOS. Fortunately undead are rubbish and it was dropped, and I had a chance for a second score.

Gil-Galad dodged away from the mummy and stood in the corner of the end zone, while Vanval and Alawe combined to free up the ball. Cirdan sprinted forwards, scooped up the ball and fired in a long bomb, but again the pass was inaccurate and the ball landed next to Gil-Galad by the undead end zone.

The only two players who could get the ball were the mummy (who had been chasing Gil-Galad all over the backfield) and superghoul. The mummy blitzed Gil-Galad but undead are rubbish so he could only get a push. Superghoul then ran forward to pick up the ball but only managed to fall over his own feet and KO himself. Amusing. On turn 8 Gil-Galad dodged clear, grabbed the ball and scored. 2-0 to the Guard.

So. This is going nicely. Only 1 casualty so far (a lineman) and I have a seemingly unassailable 2 goal lead at half time. Superghoul managed to un-KO himself though, and we were both at pretty much full strength for the second half.

I tried another deep kick, but this one scattered back into the centre of the field. The undead formed a cage in the middle, and ran Count Luthor around the left side – presumably to offer a hand off threat. The Count was in contact with Tananmyr, and the opportunity to hurt him was too good to pass up, although it meant moving three assists over to the left, so I marked up a couple of zombies on the right, formed a thin screen in the centre and went over to bash the vamp. Sadly I could only get a push, and here the undead offence clicked into gear. The mummies and wights pushed down the right into my screen, a somewhat-ineffective fireball fell from the sky into my defensive line and suddenly their blocks started to do damage. Turin (15SPP blitzer) and Feanor (rookie lineman) were killed in quick succession – the former by an unskilled zombie, which was annoying – and two more linemen were carried off injured. To make matters worse, I started to roll 1s. A snake-eyes on a dodge later and I had conceded a quick touchdown. 2-1

With only 9 players against 11 I decided to go for a fast score myself. I punched a hole with Gil-Galad and made a loose cage of three catchers by the right touchline, halfway inside the undead half, and Cirdan passed the ball to Vanval in the pocket. Count Luthor used his hypnotic gaze to open up the cage however, but fortunately as the undead attempted to exploit the gap the covering zombie fell over and caused a  turnover. I hurtled up the pitch, but was unwilling to take another three hits on the LOS if I scored early – all my LOS-fodder linemen were either dead or injured - so tried to stall for a couple of turns by the end zone. Count Luthor laughed at my stalling efforts and again gazed open the cage, and this time superghoul was in position to dodge into the gap and knock out Vanval with a 1 dice block. The ball scattered through the end zone and into touch and was thrown back near to the LOS where a waiting wight gathered it up.

Although I tried to get players back I again rolled double 1s on a first-action dodge and conceded a turnover. The undead had miscounted however, and their ball carrying wight was 9 squares away from the end zone on turn 16 with no closer player able to score either. Some very clever chain pushing of Alawe (I think 3 pushes) was sufficient to nudge the wight a little closer and he ran in the equaliser. 2-2

The game still wasn’t over, however, and the high kickoff on turn 16 was caught by Hurin, who passed the ball to Gil-Galad for his first ever SPP (after I think 6 games). A blitz and a couple of chain pushes later Gil-Galad hurtled up the pitch and dodged past the undead cover for a 1-turn-touchdown, and Gil-Galad's second goal of the game. 3-2 and a win for the Guard!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Match Report: OCC Division 4D Match 8

 The Grey Haven Guard (high elf, me) v Neverending Rest (khemri)

My penultimate game of the season against a very strong khemri side. Their four tomb guardians (TGs) were quite well developed - all being level 3 and above. They had a ST6 player with block to lead the line, plus three with mighty blow and guard, and a couple with stand firm. That wasn't what worried me though - it was the blitz-ras and the star throw-ra that were the heart of the side. Both blitz-ras had tackle and mighty blow, and there was also one with piling on. The star throw-ra had ST4, block, tackle and leader and essentially played as a sweeper. Adding in a couple of AG3 skeletons for ball handling and a dedicated fouler, it was a very intimidating team.

To make matters worse I was missing my blodging blitzer and my best lineman, so had just 11 players. I didn't have enough inducements for a wizard so I bought a fourth catcher instead to give me a substitute.

My plan was to kick first, and try to kick deep. I'd noticed in my opponent's previous matches that he'd normally place all his big hitters on the LOS, and he'd come badly unstuck against aggressive defences who rushed the backfield with fast players.

Aaaand... it all went wrong straight away. I won the toss and kicked, but the ball went out of play for a touchback. I was absolutely furious with myself - in my defence the baby had woken up while I was setting up and I kept having to dash out of the room to sort her out, but I always ensure that I have 4 spaces between my kickoff and the side of the pitch, but this time I didn't and the 1/15 (ish) chance came up and the ball bounced off the pitch.

This was an ideal start for the khemri, who not only did not need to roll to pick up, but could get the ball into an impregnable cage straight away, with 4 TGs on the corners. My mood did not improve as I suffered a casualty and a KO on the opening turn, and already I was in serious trouble.

Abandoning any plans I had of actually getting the ball this half, I decided to model my defensive style on Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, and tried to prevent the khemri getting past. It was a good learning experience for me actually, and I kept my players out of trouble as much as possible, kept columns in front of the cage and tried to blitz skeletons with Vanval whenever I could. My block dice were appalling however and I took another lineman casualty (Alawe this time) until at the end of my turn 6 the khemri were just four squares from the end zone. At no point up to this had I had any chance of getting the ball - I have no leap/stripballer, and I was not prepared to risk a blitz against a ST5 stand firm TG which could see me lose more players to those blitz-ras. The only bright spark in this was that I managed to KO the MV7 blitz-ra, and he stayed off the pitch for quite a while.

Rather surprisingly my opponent elected to score on turn 7 rather than stall until the final turn, and this left me the possibility of an equaliser before half time. The weather was very hot, and three of the khemri team were too hot to come back on the pitch, and so both of us lined up with only 8 players. The kick was deep, and Cirdan picked up the ball while I ran four receivers into his half in a box formation, two squares apart. He could not really mark me properly due to the box, and I was able to bulldoze a path clear for Felagund, my new catcher. All that was needed was a 3+ pass (with safe throw and a reroll), a 3+ catch (with a reroll) and a 2+ dodge to score. The pass was intercepted. Damn.

So at half time I was a point down, several players down, and in serious trouble. I was basically playing for a draw now - knowing that a draw would mean that I was assured of second place in the table if I won my last game of the season.

I didn't want to score straight away, and leave myself having to defend a 7 turn khemri drive, so decided to stall. I prefer to stall in my own half than by the end zone, so I knocked over the LOS, didn’t try to run anyone through his lines, and basically just held the line from the kick off. My opponent responded aggressively, pushing his players into contact with mine and abandoning his deep defensive position. He also managed to hospitalise Werelenial with his piling on blitz-ra.

On my turn 9 I took advantage of his aggressive move by knocking a hole in his lines with Gil-Galad, my ST 4 catcher, and moving my whole team (except Cirdan) around him into his backfield. The khemri coach marked me up as best he could and sent players to threaten Cirdan, but I was left with a fairly straightforward opportunity to pass short to Hurin and form a loose cage by his end zone. I dodged Vanval free as my first action to get in position to make the cage.... and rolled double 1s for the dodge.


My whole team was marked, and I had two khemri (including the tackle/piling on blitz-ra) within range of Cirdan by my end zone. Cirdan bravely rode the (rerolled) block, but was double-marked, while the rest of my team took a kicking and Vanval was fouled into the KO box. With only two potential receivers standing at the start of my turn, and the almost certain concession of a second touchdown being the culmination through the game of some truly rotten dice, I was staring defeat in the face.

And then

the clouds


Nuffle smiled on me, and the next turn produced some almost unbelievable elvish play. Kevatononel punched his way out of the scrum with a 1D block (skull, rerolled to push), dodged away from this marker, and set off on a lung-bursting run to the end zone (2 x GFIs). Cirdan, although marked by a player with tackle skill, dodged twice through the tackler's tackle zone and hared off to the half way line (2 more GFIs) before launching an incredible max-range long bomb into the waiting hands of the lineman. 1-1.

And from turn 11 onwards everything went my way. I set up expecting to defend furiously for my opponent's remaining 6 turns. The kick was better this time, and was behind his receivers and close to the right touchline. I took some LOS hits but nothing serious, and he pushed his TGs into contact with my defenders and formed a deeper screen with his throw-ras and a couple of skeletons before trying to pick up the ball. His skeleton fumbled it and suddenly, gloriously, I saw a chance to win.

My  opponent had tried to hit Tananmyr, who was holding the end of my defensive line, with his ST6 TG. Getting only a push, he'd followed up. This follow up meant that the right hand end of his offensive line was on a diagonal - I could dodge past on a single 2+ roll. Basically my whole team poured through that gap and formed a strong screen between his LOS and the ball. I discovered that, even though I had 9 players to his 11, when three of his TGs, both his blitz-ras and his fouler are on the wrong side of my lines, the lack of numbers doesn't matter. Gil-Galad was the spearhead, crashing into the side of his loose cage.

The khemri gathered the ball at the second attempt, but couldn't make a watertight cage, and Gil-Galad smashed the ball loose and picked it up. My opponent realised that the game was up here, and started trying to hurt Cirdan with his piling on blitz-ra. The plucky AG3 skeleton managed to knock over Gil-Galad in a half dice block, but Cirdan, having ridden two blocks from the khemri, dodged clear, picked up the ball and handed it off to Vanval to run in a touchdown. 2-1.

The khemri had a small chance to equalise in their two remaining turns, but it would have required a pass, and Gil-Galad nobbled their only potential receiver. The frustrated khemri spent their last turn hitting anything in sight and 7-man fouling Hurin, killing him. Fortunately the apothecary managed to turn this into a badly hurt, and the game ended with a win for me.

Thoughts on the match to come later...

...and here they are!

The first half was awful. I had no answer to the cage he put up except throwing guys in front of it and trying to blitz skeletons. I had some pretty bad block and armour dice and so that didn't work at all. That said, the touchback was what set the tone for that.

Second half started badly, with that double 1 on the first action of turn 9 which nearly cost me the game, but the dice came to the rescue. My second TD wasn't lucky at all though, and just underlines how much that bad kickoff cost me in the first half - a khemri team who stack the LOS with their toughest players will come badly unstuck to a decent kick it seems. One of the better coaches in the OCC told me that when he plays khemri his TGs never ever go on the LOS on kickoff, and I think that's right.

So. Last game of the season. I have a massive 14 players available, and my TV has just hit 2000 for the first time ever. Vanval made it to 51 SPPs and took block, and no doubt now he has some defensive skills he'll die in the next match. I do have too many players though - 13 is the sweet spot I think - so my roster is looking a bit bloated.

The undead I'm up against in the last game of the season have yet to play in this game week, but they are up against Itsmellsliketeamspirit, the psychotic team of nurgle killers, and I really fear that they are going to get a kicking. They've already had both mummies killed this season, so God knows what I'll be up against in our game.

In other news, my team's ELO rating is now almost 1600, and so The Grey Haven Guard are officially the third-ranked high elf team currently active in the OCC, behind the two tier 1 teams, one of whom is retiring this season.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Match Report: OCC Division 4D Match 7

The Grey Haven Guard (high elf, me) v Middenheim Head Bashas (ogre)

My first ever game against ogres, and a bit of a baptism of fire since, although these guys are propping up the division with a draw and five defeats going into the game, they are an old team and their coach has a great deal of experience.

The Bashas have the most SPPs of any team in the league, and have the three most experienced players in the league. They have two ogres had ST6, there were three instances of block, two of piling on, one charming ogre with frenzy, and an AG3 ogre with sure hands and break tackle (but carrying an injury so down to MV4). There was no tackle on the team, but there were a couple of diving tackle snotlings.

I had just enough inducements for a wizard, but without dauntless on any of my players, my only plans for actually knocking over their ball carrier were the wizard and a blitz from my ST4 catcher Gil-Galad. I decided to kick first if possible and try to use the wizard to force an early score. The rest would be up to Nuffle.

In the end my opponent elected to receive, and I kicked deep and to the left. Some LOS hitting resulted in a couple of stuns but nothing worse, and the AG3 ogre and a snot rumbled over to where the ball had landed. Tananmyr smashed his way past the snotling screen and put a tackle zone on the ball, but an ogre blitzed back from the LOS to knock him over and the AG3 ogre grabbed the ball and started to run down the left hand touchline.

A few turns of hitting ensued, with the elves trying to engineer a situation where either the wizard could be used in such a way as to spill the ball in a place where it could easily be recovered, but the diving tackle snots were a great nusiance at zoning out areas of the pitch. The ogres started to cause casualties too, with Turin taking a gouged eye which will rule him out of my next match.

Finally however, Cirdan (who had an excellent game) rode a couple of blocks from their frenzy ogre, and there was a chance to grab the ball. The wizard zapped the AG3 ogre, who obligingly spilled the ball onto the pitch rather than into the crowd. Cirdan dodged away from his marker, scooped up the ball and flashed a short pass forward to a waiting lineman who sped away towards the Bashas' end zone. The remaining elves dodged clear of their markers to make a screen, and Kiendian ran the ball home on turn 6.

The ogres were unable to make anything happen in the remaining turns of the half, so I went in 1-0 up. It wasn't all roses though, as Gil-Galad had been KO'd too (he would fail to return for the rest of the game).

In the second half I was down to two catchers, and it was at this point I started to see the need for four catchers in the roster. Nevertheless I decided to go for a quick score. My opponent gave me three ogres to hit in the LOS, including the frenzy ogre who I had noted before the game was carrying a niggling injury. I tried to let Vanval have a go at him but could only roll a push despite some creative assist-placing to engineer 2 dice. I then ran potential receivers (blitzers and linemen as it happens) up the sides of the pitch.

The two ST6 ogres had been held back, plus the lone remaining DT snot (Kienden had crippled the other at the end of the first half, getting him to 16SPP and putting the seal on a great performance), and they marked up the most dangerous receivers, and all my players were marked at the start of my turn. To make matters worse, there were two ogres who ran into my half to hunt down Cirdan - both with break tackle skill so hard to tie down.

The best choice for a receiver was another lineman, Telthanthor, and he caught the pass in a tackle zone, dodged clear and despite the efforts of the ogres he was able to score in turn 11.

So six turns for the ogres to score twice - at this point the game was pretty safe but I was looking for a third goal. The dice abandoned both players for a while on this drive, and turns flicked past quite quickly in a huge scrimmage in the centre of the pitch. I was eventually able to knock the ball loose on turn 15, and got the ball to Werelenial in the ogre half with Telthanthor ahead of him. It wasn't to be however, as the ogres got back and rolled a pow to knock him over. A recklessly brave half dice block from Tananmyr ended double pows, and the ball was free again, but Telthanthor dropped the hand off to leave the final score 2-0.

Not sure whether that was a good result or not. The other high elf team in this division won their game against the Bashas 4-0, and so I feel I could have done a bit better here, but never mind - at this stage in the season I'll take the win!

My roster is

I will surely miss my two MNG blodgers for the next game, which is against a killer Khemri side. I'll be down to 11 players for that match, and maybe now's the time to invest in that fourth catcher to give me a substitute. I only need a draw and a win to secure second as my rival for second place surprisingly lost to an undead team (my MD9 opponents) this week. I think a draw will be enough against the Khemri therefore, and if I could get that and the rest of my team out of the match relatively unscathed then I'd call that a great result.

Anyway, Kienden's reward for his heroics was wrestle, and the job of standing on the LOS forever, since is now ideally skilled for that. The MVP went very fortunately to Alawe, who did absolutely bugger all in the match except for not killing snotlings despite all the chances I put his way. Nevertheless, dodge makes him a much better player.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Review of 2012

So I started playing and blogging about Blood Bowl in the summer of 2012, and I thought it might be good to review how things have gone to date in the various leagues I've played in.

Rock Paper Shotgun Divisions of Death
Doomdark's Revenge (Chaos)

This was my first ever league. It's a really friendly league with a wonderful community and good fun to be in, my only problems with it are that firstly it's very slow (I play on average about one game a fortnight), and secondly they don't keep to a fixed timetable so it's hard to plan for it. 

I'm also not really loving the team. This chaos side is the only bash team I've played with over anything more than 9 games, and I really hate how they are a slave to the dice - because they are so slow I find that if I take a few casualties early on I just can't recover. I've had a few games where I've been down to about 8 players midway through the first half, and have just felt helpless. I also hate relying on hurting the opposition in order to win - if MB/Claw doesn't work I'm just lost.

I'm therefore in a bit of a quandary as to what to do. On the one hand I could reroll to something more fun, but the slow pace of the league is such that I don't fancy starting from the bottom again and taking ages to get the team up to scratch. On the other hand I'm really not looking forward to my matches much any more.

On balance I think I will stick with them - 18 games is still quite early for chaos development - and concentrate on making them an unpleasant team to face without worrying about winning matches. I've got some good players - a ST5, block, guard chaos warrior, two other warriors with block and guard, a MB/Claw beastman. Hopefully with time the rest of the team will catch up to them.

Rock Paper Shotgun Open
The Dessert Spoons (Halfling)

This is a bit of an odd league. It's much bigger than all the others I'm in - 22 teams I think - and there have been no really scary killer teams for a while. The effect of this is that there are about 5 or 6 bloated 2k+ TV teams which utterly dominate in terms of stats - humans and elves mainly.

This is also another league where I don't really like my team - all Halfling matches seem to play out identically. When I receive I seem to be desperately trying to get the ball into a cage by my trees on the LOS. If that fails I always seem to concede a TD and so I have to try again. If I make it to the cage then I try to march downfield and get within TD range, while my opponent murderises halflings and tries to dodge into the cage and hit my ball carrier. On defence my opponent dances round the trees and runs away from the flings to score.

One of the pleasures of Blood Bowl is building a team, and that pleasure is largely denied to Halfling coaches - players who don't roll doubles are generally disposed of as bloat in short order, and the best players are the star players hired with inducements who can't develop.

Again, I have some highlights in my team - a ST3 halfling and an AG4 halfling, but other than that I have not very much to show for the team after 10 games - 1 win, 1 draw and 8 defeats so far and the rest of my players are very basic. I think I will bin this team when the league is over.

Orca Cola Championship
The Grey Haven Guard (High Elf)

The OCC is not for everyone and I know some who can't get on with the discipline required to organise and play your games within a short period, but I love the well organised league, the good players, and the size of the league which really makes you feel that your team is progressing and makes match results often more important than developing your team, which is as it should be.

The high elves took a while to get going, but I really like the feel of the team now - for reasons set out in my earlier post on OP elves! Loads of pace, resilient, lots of useful skill options, great at ball handling, and just a few doubles really bring the team to life. I've just confirmed that they will continue next season, and hopefully I can get somewhere near a promotion to tier 3 in my next few games - I am currently third, 5 points behind the division leaders but only trailing the second placed team on TD difference.

UK Blood Bowl League
Trance Nation (Dark Elf)

A new team this, and a new league. I've been really impressed with the UKBBL so far - they seem to have a strong community and a set of very dedicated and enthusiastic moderators, plus they have developed their own webhosting tool to hold replay files and generate statistics.

The dark elves are very much in a building phase at the moment - only four games played so far. I faced a pretty brutal orc side in my last match and although I won I lost a guard lineman killed and a blitzer to a career ending injury. That said, I have a ST4 lineman and three level 2 blitzers, so the team is doing ok. I'm missing the pace of the high elven catchers, but having four blitzers is very nice indeed, and I've just bought my first witch elf so the tempo of the team should change a bit.

Snotling Soda Cup

I've tried out orc and undead teams in the SSC and while I've enjoyed playing them, I've not really got the same buzz playing a bash team as I do with elves. Not for me.

The norse were horrific. I had 3 players killed (including the yhetee) in the first 4 turns of my first game, and every game after that I took at least one stat injury or death. I was down to 4 players by the end of the season. Never again.