the world cup is over. With some ups and downs, I think everyone had a good time and is already looking forward to the next big event (probably the Eurobowl 2016 in Sweden). I have taken the time to summarize my weekend and my 9 games.
We were travelling by car from Lucerne, and it took us about 6-7 hours to get to lucca and finding the hotel. As a first surprise we found in the restaurant right next to us not just out teammates, but also the Swiss Ourobros, the only other Swiss team in Lucca. What a coincidence! We had a nice meal, went looking for some more B&B players (Belly or Beard) and found some laughter and some familiar faces somewhere in the middle of the Town. Not too much to drink on the first night, after all we had a powergamer team and wanted to reach top 10 again as in the last world cup.
Out Team Hellhound consisted of Jokaero (Necros), Budspencer (Lizards), Flix (Dark Elves), Oventa (Dwarves), Kithor (Undead) and myself playing Woodies. All long time blood bowlers that have played a lot of live tourneys and most have multiple thousand games played on fumbbl. We grab the second shuttle bus to the venue and it is astonishing! 900 players, all in the same room, almost all with either Beard or Beer Belly :-) and most importantly: Every single one just happy to be part of that great event and ready to play some blood bowl!
We got out first game against team Vessannu, some French guys which were quite nice and even brought us a bottle of vine from their region.
Game 1 vs Jeanjean (Chaos)
I started in defence which I prefer. I could split his team a bit into 2 halves and promptly got a 1 dice with my strip baller without leaping onto the ballcarrier. Ball bounces out of bounds, right into the middle where my WD can still reach it with 2 gfi. first one fails, rr works, pickup fails though. The ball goes back and forth, but more importantly the focus goes away from purely bashing as the chaos team needs to try to recover the ball. turn 6 I can finally score after a bit back and forth. I do not risk too much but want to make sure he cannot tie, which succeeds before his last turn. I then run my offence and can score in turn 6. I then risk a bit more to try the 3:0, but the ball ends up in my catchers hands at the sideline who gets crowdpushed and bounces right infornt of my opponents beastman, who can then just pick it up and run in. 2:1 victory. Our team wins 4:2, not exactly what we expected given the difference in experience, but a win is a win!
Lunch is incredibly fast served and quite enjoyable as well, given it needs to be provided for about 1000 people.
Game 2 is against the Scottsmen and I play goldeneye and his skaven. Often skaven vs woodies. I am in defence again, and a failed pickup enables me to put 2 players next to the ball with 5 gfi... the Rat oger does not want to blitz and the ball cannot be picked up, so I can already break him in turn 2. He then tries to score quickly with some 3+ actions which fails again I take the ball, and control of the pitch with increasing casualties and I can score at half time. my offence I score on turn 4, then get the break again for the 4:0 on turn 8. Really lucky dice for me, but also a bit much risk taken by my opponent which was punished severly.
Apparently it was not just me that was lucky, but out team won 5.5 to 0.5 and we were heading to the top tables.
On game 3 I played against Zoul (Darkies) from Azes Tech (which came in 5th at the end)
I chose to defend again and go a 1 dice with some nice follow up action on his runner. I think he did not choose to dump off as all was covered, and I somehow managed to get the ball and safeguard it till turn 8. I scored in a couple turns and then was lucky on an interception to secure the 3:0. the assassin did not do too much and overall I was lucky to outcas. Once I had the ball I was pretty save, except some 2+ dodge and some shadowing rolls (which might have triggered more 2+ dodges)
So day one in the Books, our team managed to get a tie against Azes Tech and we were set to face the Masters of Tilea (later World Champions) on day 2 at table 4
We had a nice dinner with some whine and were too tired so missed out on much of the late night action. Nevertheless a nice evening with lots of hope for the rest of the tourney. In the morning Flix, Jokaero and myself go for a run and find that the surprisingly nice track on the city walls is just about 4 km which we do twice to get hungry to enjoy the great breakfast buffet.
Game 4 vs Farina (Dwarves; Masters of Tilea).
Some familiar faces for the 4th game, very skilled players and dwarves for me. I chose to attack this time, in order to avoid being outbashed early. This worked amazingly well, as all my dodges worked and his first armour roll came in turn 4! keeping my thrower in the backfield 3 dwarves including the troll slayer were moving into my half over the right side, while the 2 runners were kept in his backfield. this left me with 7 elves and a tree vs about 6 dwarves. I managed to get some stuns, ond crowdpush and even a casualty that was apoed on the runner. With these dice I could relatively easy dominate the sideline and break through to cage in his side until turn 8.
It’s his offence and the kick goes deep. I try again to separate the team and push the 5 dwarves protecting the ballcarrier to one side and back, while leaving the others in the middle of the filed fighting agains dodging elves and a strong treeman. he plays a solid defence and I could get a 1 dice on the ball with some commitment. I rather decide to take the 2 dice blocks and keep my strong position. After all, I don't need to score I just need to prevent him from scoring. After pushing back a blocker twice, my wardancer is trapped and as a last action I leap out to close the move possibility to the other side. I fail with the rr already gone on a 2d wo block, and the WD is KO. He then moves over to the other side still deep in his half, trying to incorporate his other players again to join his ballcarrier. In my next try to separate them I do roll double 1 on a 2+ dodge, which kos that player, leaves the side open and also enables him to create 2 more casualties and a ko. This leaves me with 5 people, so not too hard for an experience player to score. I could do the one turn TD, with 7, however, the thrower is stunned by a rock and I fail the pass to the catcher on a 3+.
Overall we manage a tie against the later World champion and are still undefeated as a team.
Game 5 vs Doowa (Lizards) from a Danish team.
They were pretty happy to be playing on table 4, and I was pretty happy to play against Lizards. Again In defense I tried to split his team and successfully did that (after getting a bit of an easy 3 dice on a skink with my tackler WD which promptly resulted in a casualty) so not enough players to close a cage, and I can get a 2 dice with strip ball on the ballcarrier with just 2 2+ dodges. However, the Sauri catches the ball! I put some players next to him, however, I can’t close completely as I fail a dodge. The Sauri can blitz himself free and 2 turns later I get a 1 dice with strip ball on the Ballcarrier (both down rr skull) which then takes away the pressure abit. I do not go for the risky -2d but rather put on some pressure for him to score in turn 5. I then get 4 turns which are enough to score more or less secure. I can then stall out my offence for 6 turns, though needing to leap for the score. Recovery would have been pretty probable even if that had failed. I then focused on defense and got the ball lose, however, there was a possibility with some stunty pass 5+ for him to score. Luckily he fails and I win 2:1. Our team ends up winning 3.5 to 2.5 still undefeated.
Game 6 vs Reddawn (Pro Elves)
More teams are starting to catch up on points and even with a win we move down to about table 10 to face the Tourone Bashlords, a good French Team. I played Reddawn, a very nice player with Pro elves. I got the offence this time and promptly make a turnover with my tree (as almost every game) Since I kinda was expecting it, I had my ball well covered so I did not use a reroll. His blitzers swarming in with the blodge ss, but with Tackle and woodelves this is a bit easier than for other teams. I manage to more or less cage savely and score in turn 8. His oneturner attempt fails after all on a 3+ roll with the catcher after a lot had already worked without rr. His offence gives me a pretty good chance to leap 1 dice strip, ball bounces nicely into 1 tz but I fail the pickup. He then fails the pickup as well, so I can then pick it up on a 2, cage it and score in turn 8 for the 2:0.
Our team wins again 3.5 to 2.5 and we can maintain place 8 after day 2. Good enough as we have found out before the last day is where you need the luck . More surprisingly, I find myself at second place in the individual rankings with 5-1-0 and a very good tie breaker. Only one human player with 26! Casualties is still before me, but also on 5-1-0. 3 more wins and just maybe it would be enough to be at the very top.
On the way back (by foot) we suddenly notice that one of our team members is not really capable of walking straight anymore. Turns out even the biggest bloke (except Legolas I guess) can feel some effect after 10 beers, especially with the 10% alcohol in them. Even though we can secure the boneheaded Kroxigor back to our hotel, he is knocked out in his room and we shall not see him until the next morning. The dinner is more focused quantity than quality, enough reason to pour down a couple mojitos afterwards and keep dreaming of the big trophies. I find my way into bed around 1am, more than enough time to sleep, but not enough to get up early for jogging again
Game 7 vs Glilles_Cacciari (Lizards; The linemen)
Lizards again! And defense again! This should be an easy one I believe. I usually tend to net get too aggressive in the early turns unless I get either into trouble (outbashed) or I get a really good chance. This was a bit of both here. For one the kroxi was hugging 2 players, my tackler WD was KO, and I get a nice strip ball 2 dice to my side of the cage where I can easily recover the ball. I do fail the leap though, so no scattering ball at all and I’m a bit out of position. I recover a bit and try some more actions, get the ball free once, but cannot recover it fully (3+ dodge fail) another 3+ fail then seals the deal and gives me only the oneturner chance. I do the best possible and get my catcher with the ball 3 flields dowon the field, missing only a 4+3+2+ dodge sequence and 2 gfi. Unfortunately the dodge fails right away and its 0:1. I can then score my offence in turn 4, to get it secure and put on some pressure, after all I want to win, and it’s woodelves vs Lizards. I get my chance right away and leap into the cage for a 2 dice on the ball, but again the sauri catches the ball (as in my last game). My strip baller gets downed, but still prone, and he hands off the ball to a skink in reach of just one Leap of my WD. I decide to not pull in an extra assist for the 2 dice but try a 1 dice leap blitz with strip since I need to have my lineman there to pick up the ball or even score. I leap in but then roll 2 skulls, which of course is another turnover. Somehow he decides to not go out of reach of the stripballer, which gives me another shot, but the bounce is the worst possible free square next to the kroxi. I fail the 6+ dodge in, so he can then pickup, handoff and score for the 2:1! Dreams gone, nuffle teased me a couple times this game…
Turns out I was not the only unlucky one, and we ended up losing out first team game 2:4. That then also threw us back and more or less sealed the deal for any hopes to the final 3 spots. Except maybe for a very high win in the next round.
Game 8 Lizardcore (Chaos Dwarves; Goerdie.Juggernaut)
The Englishmen around Brandon (Pipey) were our next opponents. I got chaos dwarves, not the best but not the worst matchup for Woodies. However, a sure hands BC might make this a bit harder. I was in defence again, and did not put up the tree in fear of the claw MB minotaur. My linemen held the line and I again tried to separate the team and split them a bit. This worked more or less, but then finished with a double 1 with all my important players exposed. Not much happened, and I could start again with a blitz with my wardancer, who needed to dodge away first. Another double 1 and KO then made this a bit uncomfortable, especially since the KO box was filling up quickly. When then the Tree mate as a first action a 3 dice turnover, I even tried to use the RR which failed, so I ended up with only 5 players on the ground after 4 turns of the Chaos dwarves. I decide to just not stand up anymore, with only 11 players, fouling is not really an option for him and I’d rather save the rr for the oneturner. So 0 out of 5 Kos come back for the oneturner, which obviously makes it a bit of a challenge. He sets up to counter riot, which enables me to oneturn if I can handoff the ball and don’t need to throw it. The kick is close enough, but the bounce is in the wrong direction, which makes this impossible. 0:1 halftime! 2 of my 5 kos come back in the second attempt, and even though he rolls perfect defence with 2 stand firm! Dwarves, I can get a realtively easy 2 turn score (with all just 2+ actions). Of my remaining 3 kos, 1 makes it back so I have 8 people and something to work with. The bull picks up the ball and I try to make some pressure, again trying to split up the team somehow for him to make only a lose cage. This happens and I can dodge in my guarder on a 4+ and then leap one dice the ballcarrier. I get the ball free but of cource the hobgoblin catches it. 2 turns later I have a shot at the ball again but roll another double 1 with the wardancer which seals the deal: 1:2 loss
Game 9 vs Undead (some Italian)
I kick and again rush forward to make pressure. I do not close the sideline enough so he can do a blitz and a handoff to move the catch all the way into my half. Nevertheless his team is now really split so I move all my guys back. with 2 wd far and 2 linos near I put one wd next to the cage, one lino on the other side and strip with my wd with 2 gf and a one dice to get the pow and the ball free. Pretty lucky, but I was a bit annoyed by then already, furthermore it would have been hard for him to stall anyways, so why not try to pop the ball and prevent the score. I pick it up 3+ but the fail a gfi to safety. So the game goes back and forth a couple times, he needing some 3+ dodges and pickups, me needing more dodges and gfi but 2+, when I finally secure the ball and break in t7 or t8. I then bring through my offence and he makes a final score for the 2:1 victory.
Overall I ended up 6/1/2, half a point more than what I targeted, but then again a bit disappointing given my day two 5/1/0 standing. Out team won closely as I remember, and we ended up only 20th out of 136 teams where we missed our target of top 10 clearly.
There was a bit ceremony, Woodelves (Muadib) won the single best player price (which I would have needed 8/1/0 for) and Masters of Tilea won the team competition. At least we did not give points aways to them.
We went out for lunch again which was very good with a nice seafood pasta and some wild hog, and then went for some beers and back to bed to drive home again the next day
Fun trip, pretty happy with the Woodelves, I think I might just bring them again for a big tourney