So, following a promotion for the Guard, we have been placed into division 3A. What awaits us I wonder...
Eagles Wing (human)
Ugh. A really nasty, well developed human team. Four excellent blitzers comprise two promising new players with ST4 and guard, and two stars. The first star is a stone cold killer - blodge, MB, tackle, grab, piling on - while the second is the heart of the team with AG4 and MV8, guard, MB, tackle.
There are a stat-boosted thrower and catcher.
Weaknesses? The lineman roster is largely unimpressive, there is no dedicated fouler, and the ogre is a rookie. For me, however, the main weakness is the fact the division contains two brutal killer teams, and either of those two teams has the potential to clear these guys off the park. See below.
Otherwise these boys look formidable, and it will be a tough and probably bloody game for my elves.
Another Bad Idea! (orc)
An orc team that's been around a while it seems like, and is recovering from a bit of a pasting. The presence of two level 6 blitzers and a level 5 black orc and troll indicate the team's age, but nevertheless there are three very new black orcs and only 4 guard on the whole team which suggests they won't be unstoppable in the bash game.
Also they have a goblin, which is nice as I like free SPP and only facing 10 players.
Another team with an excellent thrower, and with MV6, AG4 and accurate this guy is almost as good a quarterback as I have.
Weaknesses? I have mentioned the lack of guard, which leads me to think that the team will take casualties as the season goes on, particularly against the division's nurgle and chaos teams. Again there isn't a fouler, but this time there's also no-one on the team with piling on. I think these guys are actually less scary for my elves than the humans above.
Star Spanners (chaos)
2030TV (2090 fully fit)
Wow! A seriously impressive chaos team! No minotaur, which indicates that the coach likes to win rather than roll dice for fun, plus two of the best chaos warriors I've ever seen.
The first has ST6 (yes, 6!) plus block, MB and claw; while the second has ST5, block and claw. There are also three AG4 beasts.
So some amazing stats on this team, but looking at the team's record last season (2-3-4) you sense that something must be wrong. Firstly I note that only 1 of the chaos warriors has guard, and there are only 3 on the team. There's also only 1 tackler (a chaos warrior).
So weirdly, they will rely on their superior strength to get two dice blocks instead of a guard advantage, and so it might be possible to push them back in the bash game. They also don't have much answer to my blodgers.
FAST BUNNY UTD (pro elf)
1450TV (1570 including mercs)
Comfortably the weakest team in the division on paper, but the coach of FBU is a wily veteran of the top tiers and not to be underestimated.
FBU spent a long time at the top echelons of the league, finally having almost their while team killed off last season. Only 9 players on the team, with only two of any note being a much-injured superstar blitzer and an AG5 blodging catcher. The rest are pretty much rookies.
Nevertheless, this could be a good division for FBU - only two orc teams, and neither being set up as true killers, and with the real killer sides lacking tackle. I reckon they could consolidate this year and end up back near the top...
The Sigil Torments (dark elf)
My first (edit - second actually!) ever dark elf opposition, and blimey there are loads of them. 15 players on the team, including two assassins, makes for a certain amount of bloat.
Added to that is the fact that there aren't really any scary players here. There are a few blodgers, who will be tricky, and one of the assassins has multiple block, but other than that my greatest concern is simply the coach's good record. Looking back over last season's results there were some excellent wins in there and it's that really which makes me pause a bit.
Some old friends from division 4D. And by "friends" I mean "murderous psychopaths", because the coach of this team cares not for winning or for touchdowns. He cares instead for death and the causing thereof.
Only two good players on the team - their killer warrior (block, MB, piling on, claw) and their fouler/kicker (who has MV3!). There's no guard on the team, nor is there any tackle, and so again it will be a game of running away from their killer and trying to stay alive long enough to score a touchdown or two.
1540TV (1750 when fit)
Ah FOAD - one of my greatest nemeses. I've played these guys every season so far, and each time have managed to do it after they've received some kind of appalling beating and have won both matches.
This coach prefers ball playing to ball breaking, and with his AG5 leaping blitzer and AG4 thrower he has the players to do it. His brutal thrashing by ItSmellsLikeTeamSpirit last season still affects the roster though, and we see a rookie troll and two new black orcs as a result.
Aside from the two agile stars, there are a couple of block/MB/guard blockers and a tackle/MB/guard/stand firm blitzer (who killed one of my linemen last season). So four really good players on the team, the rest pretty new. Not much guard, no designated fouler and no pace. That said, the coach knows what he's doing even if he does throw the ball around a bit too much for my liking. Looking forward to a tough rematch here.
A Can of WHAT? (chaos)
2000TV (2140 when fit)
OK, these are the boys. The ACoW coach is the ultimate in bash-only play, who feasts on the tears of his victims and occasionally scores the odd touchdown.
7 mighty blow players on the team, a dedicated fouler (who sees a lot of use), and 2 (two!) mighty blow/claw/piling on killers. At least there's not much tackle - only a single player has that - and no frenzy, which means that I'll need to be ultra disciplined at moving my players out of contact before any risky actions with the ball. There is however some diving tackle, and one unpleasant bastard with diving tackle and prehensile tail for -3 on dodge rolls!
These guys are built for killing orcs, lizards, nurgles and humans. They are ideal for it. They are not brilliant against elves right now, so I'll hope to play them late in the season after they have killed everyone else and I'll concentrate on keeping my players alive.
Ectothermic Scutes (lizards)
This team have won their division in the last two seasons, so my first thought is that these guys are going to be a nightmare this season.
That said, the team itself does not look too scary - two sauri have tackle, and two have break tackle, but there's not much guard or mighty blow. There's a level 4 krox with block, guard and multiple block (?), but it's the skinks who shine - particularly an AG4 bugger with sure feet. Several of the skinks have diving tackle.