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.

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