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.