The Grey Haven Guard (high elf, me) v Waaagh Dodgers (orc, Klauser)
I was expecting this to hurt, and it did.
Klauser is relatively unknown at the OCC since this is his first team, but he is a tier 1 coach over in the UKBBL with chaos dwarves and has a shockingly high win percentage. I was expecting a tough game. What's worse is that his team included two MB-tackle-piling on players, one with juggernaut to cancel out my wrestle. The blitzers were excellent all round. What was even worse than that is that after my mauling from Elfic last week I was down to just 10 fit players.
Surprisingly Klauser put £150k into the pot to buy a wizard, which gave me enough inducements for a apo.
I won the toss and elected to receive. I was hoping for a draw here, and my plan was essentially to play for 8 turns and hope to be winning by then, which would enable me to run away in the second half and get a draw, as Klauser would surely be too scared of my offence to score his TD before turn 16.
I knocked over his LOS of lineorcs without breaking armour and kept a relatively compact line in the centre. Klauser responded by aggressively marking up my players, spacing his black orcs out across the pitch. His centre was wide open though and I punched through with Vanval, knocking out a lineorc and running three players through the centre.
Klauser's juggernaut blitzer rushed back to break the leg of Anduril (ST 4 wrodge catcher), but could not quite close the pocket down. I felt sufficiently threatened to knock a gap for Gil-Galad, and Ecthelion passed him the ball to sprint clear for a turn 3 score. 1-0 to the Guard.
So now the period of time which would decide the game. I had 10 players to Klauser's 11, reduced to 9 v 11 when a wrestle lino was KO'd on the LOS. Klauser caged up tightly around an AG4 blitzer in the centre, and pushed his hard hitting players down both flanks. Since Klauser had again left the centre weak I moved Glorfindel into contact with the cage, since neither player on that side had tackle, and also got a wrestle lino into contact with the ball carrier by knocking down a cage corner. Klauser responded by cutting right and screening off the ball carrier, but badly miscalculated and I was able to make 1 2+ dodge and 2 GFIs to get a 2D block on the ball carrier by simply running Vanval (ST4 blodge, MB, tackle catcher) around the edge of his line.
It all started to go wrong here though as the ball scattered to another blitzer who caught it outright. Klauser attempted to recover but half of his players were stranded on the wrong side of the pitch. He inexplicably left Vanval alone, leaving Vanval to make a 3+ dodge with a reroll in order to get another 2D hit on the ball carrier. This failed though and Vanval was stunned.
It was looking pretty grim at this stage, but again I was allowed a chance on turn 8 to get the ball to safety, with Gil-Galad needing a 4+ dodge with a reroll to get a 2D hit in, but again this failed. 1-1 at half time.
So I set up with my players on the left, determined to let him score and try the 1 turner to equalise, but it all fell apart. Another positional mistake from Klauser right at the start of the half left me with a chance for a 2D hit on his ball carrier with Vanval, who needed only a 3+ dodge to dance through the orc line. There was no one near the ball carrier at this stage, and success would have allowed me to potentially run clear for a score. The dodge this time succeeded, but I rolled skull push, rerolled to double skulls. Vanval was then killed on the injury roll! The apo came on and offered to save his life at the expense of a niggle, but with a heavy heart I let my team's best player die.
Bayete Vanval. Heart of the team for 50 games. You will not be forgotten.
All hope of a draw had basically gone now, and Klauser closed the game out. I was trying to run my pieces away but he was quite merciless, piling on every turn and even using the wizard to try to get an injury on Gil-Galad (who was nowhere near the ball) on turn 15. Fortunately there was no more permanent damage and he scored on turn 16. I had only 5 players for the one turner so couldn't make it work, although farmed 1 SPP on Gil-Galad to take him to 76 SPPs as a consolation.
2-1 to the orcs.
So, farewell then Nesandton Vanval. My first ever superstar player on any team. My highest SPP player on any team with 124.
You joined the team after three games, rolling a double and taking mighty blow as your first skill. I fondly remember your first ever casualty caused, when you and two mates ganged up on the goblin player from an orc team and you killed him. Even with that sole double roll, you were the best player on the team even before rolling +1ST at 76SPPs.
At the time of your death you were the perfect combination of speed, strength and hitting power. A terrible loss.
But, we move on.
Gil-Galad rolled a double 3 for his superstar skill up, and after thinking hard about MB I took tackle. MB without tackle is weak and I have a lack of tackle on the team. With his speed and strength he's the perfect sweeper and deep sacker, and tackle will enable him to do that. I was advised to take guard by a couple of fellow coaches but I do not like AV7 guard at all and I think it's just a waste of his pace to keep him next to horrible MB players who would want to splatter him.
I am now in a position where my best sacker and best hitter are not the same person, which may be for the good of the team. My best hitter is now Legolas with his frenzy. Frenzy increases the chance of a depitching on an AV8 block player from 6% to 9%, with is significant enough to be worthwhile to blitz with wherever possible. Even against dodge players Legolas will be the best option. I will also need to concentrate on finding crowdsurfing opportunities.
My best sacker is Legolas, and if he survives to 51SPPs then I will have a ST4 wrackler, to make the ideal sweeper.
I have also bought a new catcher - Arwen - in the hope that giving her a girl's name will make people leave her alone until she has some skills.
Former OCC champion Fastshark and his chaos are next. With the death of Vanval a lot of my love for the team has gone. I started a new Norse team last night and am determined to reroll unless I get promoted this season.