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!