The ARBBL Pick’n’Mix is one of my favourite tournaments. Now in its second year, one of the things I really like about this tournament is the range of teams you see here that maybe you won’t see so often elsewhere: you get to take two teams, one for each day. If you’re familiar with Blood Bowl, you’ll know that the different teams are ranked by how well they do – from Tier One (teams like Wood Elves and Amazons that tend to do very well) down to Tier Four (the ‘stunty’ teams, like Ogres and Goblins that tend to do very badly). For this tournament, the tier value of the two teams needs to add up to at least 5. Last year, I took Amazons and Ogres (and perversely did much better with the Ogres than the Amazons). It was a lot of fun, but this time I decided to pick from Tiers Two and Three.
For Tier Two, I was torn between Chaos Pact (which I’d taken to Crumb a couple of years ago and quite enjoyed) or Humans (which I’ve never taken). I went with Pact because Humans just feel boring to me. Tier Three was a lot easier: Stunty-legal Lizards! Regular Lizards have never particularly appealed to me, but the stunty variant (skinks and kroxigor only; no saurus) sounded fun.
DAY ONE – The Pact-thetic Worms
|'Multiple Block' should read 'Mighty Blow' - my team sheets were a bit damaged so I drew up a new one with typing error.
Game One – vs Dribbli’s Orcs
Gate: 8-7 so fame to me thanks to my fan factor.
The Worms won the kick off and elected to received, but were surprised by a blitz from the orcs. Fortunately the Worms had accidentally set up to protect against this and the orcs couldn’t make much headway, with the ball at the very back of the pitch, where Lewdgrip quickly got hold of it. The big guys on the front line pushed over the troll on the orcs’ team, but didn’t do much damage.
Some pushy-shovey from both sides later, Lewdgrip threw the ball to the skaven… who was shortly knocked down by a goblin on the orcs’ team. The minotaur put their other goblin in the crowd, and the Worm’s goblin knocked over an orc to give the skaven a chance to grab the ball and run to safety, with a touchdown to follow on turn 4.
As the teams lined up again, the sun burst forth from the clouds. The orcs were clearly in a party mood, playing pass-the-parcel with the minotaur, who eventually fell on the third attempt. The troll went over on the first hit. Their goblin then failed to pick up the ball. The next turn left both big guys on the floor, but with the Worm’s goblin by the ball. It wasn’t enough – the ball was collected and thrown to the goblin stood behind his troll. The minotaur wasn’t having any of this, and knocked the troll down to stand intimidatingly over the little gobbo. The ball eventually fell loose, but the dark elf proved that elves can’t dodge to end the half 1-0 rather than 2-0.
The second half started with the Worms blitzing the orcs – someone got under the ball but couldn’t catch it, so the orcs were able to get hold of it and take the minotaur down again: angry, the minotaur then hit the black orc who knocked him over, only to end up stunning himself with the black orc falling uninjured. The orcs then managed to get the ball safely into a cage, whilst shoving Lewdgrip off the pitch. The Worms responded by getting as many tackle zones onto the ball carrier as they could – which the orcs seemed unconcerned by, as they ran to relative safety at the side of the pitch.
First blood finally went to the ogre killing a black orc. Their retaliation was swift and brutal, with two marauders (including the one with mighty blow) heading off to the ‘dead and injured’ box. Desperate measures were called for, and a 1 die block knocked the ball loose, but the Worms lived up to the pactthetic name and failed to catch it. A bit more awkwardness later, the Worms’ goblin killed an orc goblin in an attempt to reach the ball – he managed to pick it up the following turn, but had nowhere to go and was soon knocked over by the opposing troll.
In the final moments of play, the dark elf failed its second dodge required to score again. Saving grace was the black orc skulling itself to death against the ogre and I’ve now realised I missed my final turn of the game (or absolutely nothing happened so I forgot to make a single note).
Final score: TD 1-0; CAS 3-2
Game Two – vs Ivan’s Ogres
Gate 11-7 so again fame was mine!
My second game and my second new opponent. I’ve made some really good friends playing Blood Bowl and it’s always a real pleasure to see them again, but it’s always nice to play someone new.
The Worms again won the toss and elected to receive. The ball bounced off the pitch so the mino demanded it be handed to him – and who’s going to argue with a minotaur? The troll went stupid but the ogre made up for him, knocking down an opposing ogre (it’s a bit intimidating to be outnumbered on the big guy front). The guarding marauder attempted to dodge out to support the minotaur, but even with a re-roll failed his dodge, and the minotaur was knocked down next turn. Fortunately, another marauder had reached him and managed to snatch the ball before it fell into the ogres’ hands: two stood looming over him. The troll attempted to come to his aid, but ended up falling over as a both down against an ogre.
The marauder inevitably fell next turn, with the ball bouncing loose. The troll and minotaur soon followed, then the goblin got knocked out. Lewdgrip realised his team needed him and recovered the ball. The ogres knocked out the dark elf and, in a moment of panic, Lewdgrip threw the ball inaccurately. The ogres quickly killed the blocking marauder and recovered the ball to throw it to safety. The minotaur, confused by this turn of events, refused to blitz and the skaven, having taken lessons from the dark elf, failed to dodge. In return, the ogres knocked out Lewdgrip and gathered the ball. This reminded the minotaur what he was meant to do and he achieved a blitz to put a tackle zone on the ball carrier. The skaven still couldn’t dodge.
Knocking out the tackle marauder, the ogres then ran the ball along but failed the go for it needed to blitz. A lot more pushy-shovey later and he’s in range to score when a cheeky block knocked the ball loose. It wasn’t quite enough, though, and he scooped the ball back up and ran, earning the spot prize as he failed the go for it over the white line and killed a snotling to end the half. Phew!
The kicking was clearly a little wild this match, with the ball again sailing off the pitch to be given to the ogre with frenzy. Two of his ogres bone-headed, which meant the team couldn’t make good use of their first turn. The Worms were similarly ineffective, and it really is time the dark elf stopped taking the training sessions on how to dodge, as another marauder failed to do so and left a nice space for the ogres to move through. To make it easier, he knocked over the minotaur and ogre, then left the ball carrier leering at Lewdgrip. He managed to push the ogre back on a ½ die block, so the ogre proceeded to kill the dark elf, whilst snotlings kicked the minotaur in the head until it was stunned. Snotlings are a pain.
Fortunately for the Worms, in the confusion the ball carrier ran at the skaven and ended up with both falling over – the skaven leapt up and grabbed the ball, running as far as he could in the hopes he’d be safe. An ogre killed the goblin on his way to try and stop the rat but the rat had finally remembered how to dodge and kept running. Another moment of fortune favoured the Worms – in their excitement at knocking over the minotaur, the ogres forgot to send snotlings after the rat. The big guys on the Worms’ team picked themselves up just in time to see the rat score his touchdown.
This left two turns of fairly ineffective violence, with a dead snotling being all to show for it.
Final score: TD 1-0; CAS 1-3
Hard fought – we both made silly mistakes but the blitz from the ball carrying frenzy ogre was the one which won me the game.
|With a friesian minotaur, a stand-in dark elf (as the usual one for this team broke her arm that she stands on) and a chaos warrior called Fluffy as Lewdgrip.
Game Three – vs Lunchmoney’s Khemri
Gate 9-6, so I was 3 for 3 on fame!
Referring to what I said about playing new people: Lunchmoney is better known on this blog as Husbit, so it doesn’t always work out that well. Having said that, I’ve never taken Pact against him, nor played against his Khemri, so it’s not as if it’s our usual ‘Wood Elf vs Undead’ (where the statistics show each NAF match has thus far ended 4-1 to me – any other line-up, he wins. So maybe I should always take Wood Elves to tournaments where I may face him…).
Again, the Worms won the toss and elected to receive. Possibly shocked at the fact we were playing, the crowd rioted, costing us the first turn of the game. Going into the second turn, then, Lewdgrip quickly grabbed the ball whilst the troll no zoned and the minotaur decided not to blitz – this was right after the realisation that he had 4 strength 5 guys without nega-traits on the front line and that I’d set up really badly considering this. Teach me to pay attention when he’s explaining his team…
My team was inevitable pushed around, and a both down result took my guard assist out of the game. Still, things seemed to be looking up in turn two, with the minotaur agreeing to blitz, and a successful pass and the skaven running to where he seemed safe – at least, Lunchmoney claimed he was out of reach and I stupidly didn’t check. A knocked down ogre and a GFI later, and the ball is loose. Fortunately, the dark elf managed to grab it but had to run on alone, as the ogre wouldn’t stand and the troll no zoned in sympathy. Turns out, Khemri are really good at dodging and managed to knock out the elf.
This did at least spur the Worms on: unsupervised, the troll finally moved and the skaven managed to reach the ball, even if he couldn’t quite get it to stay in his paws. The Khemri stunned him and picked it up themselves, only to fail a GFI with re-roll the next turn. The minotaur agreed to blitz, so I thought things were looking up – especially when the goblin managed to stand next to the ball and Lewdgrip passed the loner roll. Shame he couldn’t pass the second attempt on the dodge roll, though. This meant Sekhemet could happily kill the goblin and grab the ball – the minotaur charged ineffectively to his side, where he was knocked down and with two successful GFI’s the Khemri ended the half with a score on the board.
The second half started with the Khemri knocking all 3 big guys onto their back. The ogre refused to stand – the troll happily stood, but then wasted a re-roll on his block to skull himself back to the floor. The Khemri then also lost a re-roll for a second both down result against a marauder. The ogre agreed to stand but the troll, embarrassed, refused, whilst the minotaur attempted a blitz and failed the loner roll that would have protected him from the skull/both down result that followed… a failed dodge in turn 3 and another failed big guy block in turn 4 gives you a pretty good idea of the luck I was having. At least the skeleton who kicked the minotaur to a stun was sent off.
Turn 5 saw the Khemri ball carrier reach the end zone and wait. Fortunately, all the big guys stood up – but a marauder knocked himself out trying to dodge towards the ball. So the Khemri knocked the minotaur over and the Worms failed another dodge roll. The troll then fell and was stunned on the foul – and the Worms failed another dodge to allow him to score on turn 8.
Generously, he set up to allow me to get some casualties in the final turn, but as I needed a non-existent re-roll to get the second I could only really claim one (and that only cos he felt bad for how my game had gone).
Final Score: TD 0-1; CAS 3-1
I’d very much like to play this game again but without failing most skill rolls, so I could actually give Lunchmoney a challenge and an enjoyable game.