The Grey Haven Guard (high elf, me) v Nocturnals (dark elf, Tx)
I came into the game giving away 600k of inducements for the second time this season, against a dark elf team which had had its best player (ST5 blodge witch) killed by a 1 dice block from a player without tackle on MD1. Gosh. Suffice to say however not all was lost - still two exceptional players on the team in a POMB tackle witch and a +1MV +1ST blodge blitzer who had grabbed his ST boost after the previous game. There was also some guard and a ST4 lineman. So overall in terms of first team ability we were not all that badly matched - much of my TV advantage was in my deeper bench - but still my chances on paper were very good.
But then Nuffle intervened. Let me throw down a couple of numbers here. I took 8 (eight) casualties in the game. From a total of 40 blocks. So my opponent caused a casualty every 5 blocks. It was an absolute slaughter and far beyond anything I've experienced before - even against high TV chaos and orc teams, or even TheMuffinThief's killer necro werewolf in my four games against him in recent seasons.
Most of those casualties went to the killer witch.
On that basis there wasn't much I could do.
I won the toss and chose to kick, the plan being to force him to use the wizard to score and then to grind in 2-1. But, yeah, 6 cas and 2 KOs in the first half says no. I did what I could, and even knocked the ball loose at one stage, with 5 players on the field. Legolas ran forward and fractured the skull of his new ST4 blitzer on a 1D block (apo failed!), and Gil-Galad scooped up the ball. He failed a GFI trying to get some distance from that fucking witch elf ("TFWE") and stunned himself in the process. 1-0 to the Nocturnals on turn 8. I didn't have the manpower to get a 1 turner going and farmed a pass on Felastur, my new rookie lineman.
In the second half my KOs came back and I think I had 8 vs 10, and I kept the ball deep with Ecthelion and relatively compact in the centre, hoping for an overcommitment from Tx. This duly happened as the dark elves flooded forward, but unfortunately for me my players started to drop like flies again, and the wizard zapped Ecthelion, causing another casualty. The ball was picked up by a dark elf blitzer but Glorfindel knocked him over on a 1D block, and Cirdan continued his recent good form by dashing back, picking up the ball and hurling a long pass out to Tananmyr who scampered off towards the dark elf line.
He wasn't able to get completely safe, however, and was hauled down. TFWE ran back to pick up the ball and, with stars in her eyes, decided to try a long pass of her own but fumbled it (ha!). Tananmyr leaped to his feet and dodged into the end zone, leaving Felastur to complete a memorable match for him by picking the ball up at the feet of TFWE, dodging away and making a touchdown pass. 1-1 on turn 13.
I'd paid the price however and was down to five players to stop 11 dark elves for four remaining turns and, predictably, it was not enough. I got close - a 1D block on the ball carrier from my wrestle lineman knocked it loose, but I was hoping for a bounce off the pitch that never happened. Both my blitzers were thereabouts and being annoying, but I couldn't quite stop the cage. On turn 16 the dark elves sealed their win with TFWE performing a spectacular double surf (never seen that before - 2 of my players surfed from 1 blitz, brilliant play from Tx) and needing a 2+ from a hand off reroll, which duly appeared. 2-1 to the Nocturnals.
The one silver lining here was the lack of permanent damage. I took 4 MNG and 4 BH with an unused apo. I'll be missing Cirdan, Anduril (frenzy catcher), Elladan (DP lino) and Kevatononel (blodgestep lino) for my next game. All of those four have now had two MNG injuries or worse in the three games this season. It's been fairly brutal.
My next game is against Klauser - a really good bash coach with a very lean TV orc team. I will broadly match him on ST but he has a guard and armour advantage. He also has 5 tackle in the team and a vicious killer blitzer. I will only have 10 players and HE will have inducements! One of those games where at present I don't see how I can win - it will be very tough.