Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Match Report: OCC Division 2C Match 4

Lesser Horned Ones (chaos, Youleaf) v The Grey Haven Guard (high elf, me)

The Horned Ones had been badly beaten up in their previous game – a bit of a nuffling against my MD5 opponent, also a chaos team. As a result of that beating they had had a level 4 chaos warrior killed and a level 6 warrior MNG, so I was facing only three chaos warriors in this match, two of them relatively fresh.

The remaining chaos warrior was level 6 and had MB but no claw, tackle or piling on, so was relatively formidable but not too bad.

There was a fair amount of tackle on the team – three tackle beastmen, one of whom was ST4. The second tackle beast was their main ball carrier, with +2MV and extra arms (although carrying a -1MV injury so only MV7). The final tackle beast was the real danger, having wrestle and mighty blow.

The real unknown was the minotaur, with block, claw and tentacles. Clearly the performance of this piece would have a huge impact on the game.

I was missing two skilled linemen for the match (1 dead, 1 MNG), and so hired another rookie. I was giving away a wizard in inducements.

I won the toss and decided to receive, as I really dislike that slow bashy drive followed by a score on turn 8 that sucks in half your team and causes a bunch of casualties. I much prefer against bash to score midway through the first half and then try to hold out for a halftime lead – if successful that generally means I won’t lose the match and my slow opponent is playing for the draw.

The kick was relatively short, and I knocked over the LOS and blitzed the wrackle beast with Vanval, knocking a hole for three players – Vanval, Legolas and Felagund – to run around the left side of the defensive line. My new lineman Estel picked up the ball and threw it to Cirdan deep in the backfield.

The minotaur charged forwards to blitz Legolas on the far left, but couldn’t knock him over, and I added a couple of extra players to the melee in Gil-Galad and Tananmyr. There were three turns of punching in the left hand wide zone, but although I got a MB hit on the minotaur I couldn’t remove him from the pitch, and when Youleaf finally ran some players forward to pressure Cirdan on turn 4 I decided not to stall any longer and scored on turn 5 with Cirdan dashing forward and passing to Felagund in a little pocket I’d managed to hollow out in the centre of the melee. My plan was to give the chaos team a sniff of an equaliser in the hope my opponent would overextend in rushing for the TD giving me the chance for a second TD.

The chaos drive, however, got off to an unbelievable start with a KO and a casualty on the LOS, and then Cirdan being badly hurt in a blitz in the same turn. With only 8 players against 11 things were looking grim, but on turn 6 the chaos team miscalculated and game me a chance to get the ball.

Youleaf had pushed the edges of his cage into contact with my players to put pressure on me, but had forgotten that Telthanthor is as strong as a man who is as strong as a chaos warrior, and he smashed down the level 6 chaos warrior via a block, allowing Tananmyr to nip into the cage with a guard assist before Felagund blitzed the three-armed ball carrier. The ball landed badly for me however, and I failed a dodge which would have been needed to cover the ball, and the ball bounced next to Tananmyr. The chaos coach hit Tananmyr four times trying to put him down and only succeeded on the last attempt, before the three armed beastman leaped to his feet, picked up the ball, made 2 GFIs and put in a quick pass to a nearby rookie beastman. This rookie charged off down the pitch and handed the ball to the rookie chaos warrior very close to the line!

It was all a bit desperate now, but Legolas dodged away from the minotaur, evading his tentacles, to put a tackle zone on the warrior. Telthanthor, still flushed with triumph after battering the level 6 warrior, also dodged away before rushing back to blitz the warrior down. Felagund also dodged through traffic to put a TZ on the ball, and although Telthanthor was knocked over when the rookie warrior stood up, in order to score the chaos team needed a rookie beastman to dodge into a TZ, pick up the ball in a TZ, and then dodge away and make 2 GFIs to score. Youleaf failed the first dodge and the half ended 1-0 to me.

The second half began with another fairly nondescript kick, and the chaos team gathered the ball centrally and formed a cage in the middle of the field just behind the LOS. I lined up my defence in the normal U shape to cover the middle and restrict lateral movement, and Vanval niggled a rookie beastman while Glorfindel KO’d another. The chaos team identified a weakness in my lines on the right and were able to punch through it, forming a cage inside my half with five players. They were cut off from the rest of the team however, and I ran players around to cover and KO'd the MB-wrackler beast. The chaos team blitzed through again however, with the MV7 beastman running in the equaliser on turn 11, which was fine - I was worried about an 8 turn grinding drive, but one of the charming things about chaos teams is how easy the beastmen are to get off the field and, isolated from his minotaur and one of the chaos warriors, Youleaf probably felt that he had to take the TD and try his luck on defence.

And… since I’m writing this almost a week after the game, I can’t for the life of me remember what happened next. I know in broad terms that I scored a 4 turn TD, leaving my opponent 2 turns to equalise. I can't remember exactly how it went, but I don't ever remember feeling unduly threatened. I know that I made the executive (and wrong) decision to stall for one turn by the chaos end zone, and after a series of dodges and a blitz the chaos coach managed to get back with a rookie chaos warrior to mark the catcher, and then used the wizard at the start of MY turn. Fortunately the wizard fizzled out, but even if it had worked then I would have had the chance to blitz the warrior away with one of my ST 4 catchers and get the ball back before the chaos team could take advantage of it.

The chaos coach then miscounted thinking he only had 1 turn left, and then was forced to try an incredibly unlikely play to score on turn 16 by chainpushing with a frenzying minotaur.  This failed, and since I’d run a potential receiver into the chaos half on my turn 15, I was able to nab the ball and score a third with the final play of the game.

Hey ho, must be getting old!

One level up from the game – Felagund hit 31 SPP and took tackle, so I now have 2 tacklers on the team at last. The MVP went, fittingly, to Telthanthor and he has 21 SPPs. With his injury it’s still a fair old way to 31 SPPs and block, but this takes him a third of it.

Next game is against tackle-less chaos.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Match Report: OCC Division 2C Game 3

Ghouls Gone Wild! (undead, Antonlunau) v The Grey Haven Guard (high elf, me)

This undead team had stormed up the divisions into tier 2 and had several really excellent players. The stars were the wights – Ulric the Maimer (165SPP) with +1MV, tackle, mighty blow, juggernaught and piling on, and Oswald the Haunter with tackle, mighty blow and +1AG. There was also a truly excellent mummy – with block, dodge, stand firm and guard. The zombie roster was unusually strong, with a ST4, mighty blow, tackle zombie being a particular highlight. Finally there were a couple of ghouls with diving tackle and blodge.

Having watched a few recent games, Anton’s strategy seems to be to wreck face with Ulric the Maimer and let the rest take care of itself. My goal was to target the two wights where possible, in the hope that taking them out would improve the survivability of my team. The mummies and turbo-zombies were tough but since they are so slow I hoped to outmanoeuvre them.

The game kicked off in the pouring rain, with the undead coach choosing to receive. Straight away Ulric the Maimer imposed himself on the game, killing Kiendan (dodge, wrestle lino) outright on the LOS. With a heavy heart I chose not to use the apo and let him die, expecting more serious injuries during the game. Luck swung my way however when a ghoul fumbled the wet ball on pickup, and I ran catchers around the right side and put pressure on the ball. Gil-Galad swooped in to attempt the pickup but he too dropped it!

The undead team rushed back to defend, but I had blodgers between the LOS and the ball and their high strength players couldn’t get back, leaving me to fight the ghouls for the ball. Vanval smashed a rookie ghoul into the injuries box, allowing Gil-Galad  to pick up at the second attempt and hare off for the line. The undead continued to try to get close to him, but it was too far and a high elf TD looked a certainty, particularly as Vanval managed to KO one of the diving tackle ghouls with a blitz. I was just considering whether to stall until turn 4 when a double 1 on a dodge ended my turn.

Lightning flashed out, stunning Gil-Galad, and the diving tackle, sidestep ghoul tried to pick the ball up but dropped it a second time! There followed a couple of turns of ghouls v catchers around the ball, before Felagund finally wrestled the annoying ghoul to the ground and Gil-Galad was able to nip in for a TD in the corner on turn 5.

On the kickoff I rolled my fourth blitz of the season, and yet again I was able to get catchers around the ball and gather my own kick on the right hand side with Legolas. The undead swarmed all over the pocket, knocking over Legolas. Felagund picked up the ball, but it was hard to keep him safe. The two mummies bashed two elves out of the way (as a result Alawe will now miss next week’s game against a chaos team) and Oswald the Haunter dashed though the gap for a 1D blitz, but I got another stroke of luck as the undead failed the required GFI. Felagund cut left into the clear space and on turn 8 he handed the ball to Tananmyr who jogged home for a TD and a 2-0 lead at half time.

OK, so despite the death, things were going well at this stage. I felt that a touchdown would give me the win, and so I determined to score quickly and then just stall out the game.

I set up with Cirdan deep and, mindful of the possibility of a blitz, I defended the wide zones. An undead blitz duly materialised, with the ball right on the centre line in the left hand wide zone. The undead team rushed over to pressure the ball but couldn’t clear all of my elves out of the way and the ball simply bounced back over the line into the undead half for a touchback! I handed the ball to Gil-Galad on the right side of the pitch, and there was only a single rookie ghoul between him and the line. Vanval rushed forwards to hospitalise the unfortunate ghoul, and Gil-Galad ran in the third touchdown unopposed on turn 9.

With the game all but won I wasn’t too interested in stopping the undead from scoring, and didn’t put up too much of a fight to prevent a close cage forming. I had misjudged the situation however and it turned out the undead weren’t too bothered about scoring either, but instead just wanted to kill off elves. I managed to foul off Ulric the Maimer with Vanval (I used an expensive player since I figured that at worst I’d have him sent off but alive), and as the undead advance slowed down I decided to have a crack at getting the ball. A nasty little scrum ensued mid way into my half, and with a bit of chain pushing I was eventually able to prise the ball loose. On turn 16 I was able to hand it off to Elrohir who made a couple of GFIs to score a fourth TD for 4-0.

On turn 16 I took the usual beating, with Elrohir’s life being saved by the apothecary, but the game ended 4-0 to the Guard!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Iframe link

A link to my team roster sheet from BBM, as well as the current league position, is here:


With one game to play in week 2 I am one of four teams on 4 points, and with a TV of 2140. Elrohir has joined the team as a lineman - hopefully he will fare slightly better than his father Elrond who was killed in I think his second game.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Match Report: OCC Division 2C Matches 1 and 2

Match 1

The Grey Haven Guard (high elf, me) v I Just Blitzed Your Mum (dark elf, AndyDavo)

I won the toss and elected to receive. I picked up the ball and contented myself knocking over the LOS and keeping a strong centre. Andy responded by running a player around the end of my line, and so I passed the ball to Legolas and made a loose cage on the left hand side. I had miscalculated however (the first of three bad errors I made in the game), and the dark elves' ST5 lineman was able to peel back an opening for one of the witch elves to dance through and 1D frenzy Legolas off the pitch!

I got lucky however and the ball fell safely, but with my team badly out of position I was forced to pick the ball up with Cirdan and fire in a pass to Vanval to score on turn 3.

I was rewarded with a blitz from the kick off, and three of my players dashed into the dark elf half getting under the ball. Felagund caught the kickoff but was blitzed down by a witch elf, and the dark elves recovered and caged up in their half. I formed a strong line, but again the ST5 lineman showed the way, bashing a hole in the end of the line and allowing 2 players to run clear on my right side.

Seeing the threat, I pulled players to mark up the runners and tried a blitz with Vanval to take out their dirty player. A double 1 on a GFI thouigh left me badly out of position and the dark elves poured through the centre. The Guard players retreated as best they could and (unwisely) tried a dodge into 3 TZs to get a 1D blitz on the ball carrier rather than picking off an exposed dark elf. This failed, leaving an easy score for the dark elves.

Deciding to stall, the dark elves focussed on killing off my team and managed to badly hurt Vanval with a foul. Since I felt I needed my only tackle player I used the apo, and then in return Kiendan  badly hurt the mighty blow-piling on witch before the dark elves walked in the equaliser.

As the second half began I again rolled a blitz, this time right on the centre line in a wide zone. This time I managed to get players under the kick and form a rough cage. The remaining witch elf again performed a heroic series of dodges to get a 1D blitz on the ball carrier, but this time Legolas held firm and I was able to make a series of three blocks and blitzes to surf the irritating witch, who was badly hurt.

After a couple of turns of brawling, however, an early double 1 on a dodge ended my turn early and gave Andy a chance to get the ball. The 1D blitz worked and a dark elf blitzer dodged round the side of the line to get the ball and hare off up the pitch. Felagund brought him down however and Cirdan was able to scoop up the ball and fire in a pass to Glorfindel to score for a 2-1 lead mid-way through the second half.

It all went a bit wrong on the last drive however, as a basic positioning error let Andy waltz through my lines. I had a couple of chances to stop the ball but couldn't do it, and the match finished 2-2.

After the game I had two level ups - Vanval rolled a 12 for +1ST! This gives him ST4, block, dodge, mighty blow and tackle and gives me 2 ST4 catchers. Legolas however made a normal roll to give him block.

Despized (orc, Zunk) v The Grey Haven Guard (high elf, me)

I won the toss and again elected to receive. The orcs lined up in usual orcish fashion, protecting the wide zones with their ST4 blitzers, but Vanval knocked over the chap on the extreme right of the line allowing me to tiptoe four players around the edge and into the orc half. Meanwhile Cirdan picked up the ball and dropped deep. The orcs responded by marking up my players but didn’t send anyone to menace Cirdan, and so rather than scoring my receivers bashed a hole in the defence and escaped to the centre of the field.

It was hard to create any kind of safe pocket with all the guard and stand firm on the orc players, and I was quickly surrounded. Over the next couple of turns I used my guard players to hit back, but the net closed inexorably around them until I was forced to score with a pass to Felagund on turn 5.

I was awarded with my third blitz of the season on the ensuing kick off, and managed to get three players around the ball which was halfway inside the orc half and about 4 squares from the right sideline. On of the ST 4 tackle blitzers charged back to KO Legolas however, catching the bouncing ball on a natural 6 (the orc coach needed a 6 and used a reroll to get it). The orcs then tried to fight their way out of trouble but all the blodge, guard and sidestep that I was able to bring to bear ensured that this was tricky and in the next two turns I rolled 8 dice against the ball carrier (4 of them with tackle) but was unable to put him down.

The monstrous orc finally burst clear of the scrum and charged to the half way line, with only Legolas and a lineman between him and the line. An early double 1 on a dodge however meant that I didn’t have the chance to put in a block, and I was forced to call on the wizard to bring him down with seconds to go until the half time whistle, and…

…the wizard failed. A last gasp 2D-against blitz from Legolas (which would have needed double pows to work) also failed, leaving the orc blitzer to thunder home to tie the score as the half ended.

No blitz for me in the second half kickoff, although Haldir on LOS duty took his second permanent injury which will mean he now retires – adding a fractured skull to his broken neck. I didn’t do much except form a line, but I was provided with a wonderful stroke of luck after a couple of turns when the orc thrower tried a GFI to get the ball into a safe cage and rolled a double 1! The way was easy to open, as one of the orc blitzers had piled on, and so Gil-Galad smashed a marker out of the way to make the space and then cut left towards the sideline, while Glorfindel ran to pick the ball up under the nose of a black orc, then dodged away and flipped a short pass to Gil-Galad. My remaining catchers then made a screen around Gil-Galad.

The orcs marked up my players but couldn’t get to Gil-Galad. I ran round them and stalled for a turn by the end zone (which proved to be critical) before scoring on turn 12.

Four turns for the orcs to equalise and this time my defence held firm. The ball was in a loose cage very quickly, but I kept my columns, and even used Gil-Galad to blitz a hole for Glorfindel to put a tackle zone on the ball carrier, which forced the orcs to waste their turn’s blitz clearing him away. On my turn 15 there were 2 orcs who could get to the end zone, and I crowdsurfed one and stunned the other, giving me a 2-1 win!