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!