Yesterday was one of those big days – you know, the kind of day when everything happens all at once and you wish you could do it all. For starters there was the Glasgow Comic Con where one of my friends went and got published out of it – congratulations Evonne! In the meantime our local gaming group had set a gaming day too  (accidentally it has to be said, we never wanted to clash with a convention!) where quite a few of my friends went to play RPGs and Boardgames at our new hall, which all told went swimmingly; thankfully, because I was one of the people involved in setting it up after a brief hiatus when we lost our hall.

However the event I ended up going to was Chaos of the Warp 3, a tournament set up in Dunfermline for war games including Warhammer 40k, War Machine, and of course, the one thing that would drag me away from an event that I had a large hand in organising, Blood Bowl.

The Kayoss Bowl involved an early start with me getting up at 6 to be at Motherwell train station at 7. My friend Rikki, I was travelling with had to get up at 5 so it could have been a lot worse. After being late to the last Scottish Blood Bowl tournament I was at, I was determined not to be again, especially as I was doing the round draws and taking results on the day. The Scottish weather denied my wishes  for that though as localised flooding meant my 7 o’clock train from Motherwell cancelled, making my late and slowing the tournament up in turn.

Despite the weather though, we got cracking an hour after originally intended. The tournament set up was for 3 games, 1050k gold with 3 regular skills, picked at the start of each match – meaning you would have 1 skill for the first, 2 for the second and 3 for the last.

Of my 3 teams (yes 3, I had totally forgotten all about my partially painted Necromantic), I chose my Skaven over my High Elves as I didn’t like the idea of fielding an 11 man elf team with very little dodge or block. When I think about it, as the tournament organiser, I really should have brought the Necromantic team since they’re a little lower in the Tier system than the powerful top tier Skaven team. Ideally though, I really need to invest in a Goblin team if I’m going to run more tournaments, so that’s at the top of my budget.

Of the teams there I was the weakest in terms of strength so I was expecting a long tournament of getting mashed all day by the 2 Undead, 1 Dwarf, 1 Chaos Dwarf and 2 Orc teams there. Great…

First match was up against our usual tournament organiser, Ant, Edinburgh born but a Geordie at heart (“Areet man!”). This was our first match together despite playing in other tournaments together and generally getting sloshed together and making mischief. Some of our feats of debauchery include staying up late to play Munchkin while listening to Earthtone9 and going to bed early after a nice curry and pint.

Ant was playing one of the two humans teams at the event, his was without the somewhat unreliable Ogre. Sine there were very few teams at the tournament with starting Dodge skills (myself, the two humans and a Lizardman team were the 4/10 who did) he chose to take the pseudo dodge negater, Frenzy on a Blitzer. I chose Guard on a Stormvermin to try and win the bash war against what was a similarly powered team in regards to bashing. I also though it would help me break cages open once I had a corner of the cage.

I won the kick off and chose to receive for a slow turn 6 score. During my drive Ant lost his Frenzier and we both lost a Linemen to KOs and injuries. However, he had taken a babe inducement so he was at 10 men for the next drive while I was at 11.

Pouring rain meant he failed his original pickup giving me a chance to pressure him on my turn 7. On his turn 7 he got the ball almost clear and in my endzone with a 2 man cage and a catcher holding the ball. For me to the stop him scoring, I had to dodge through 2 tacklezones and use to go-for-its to one dice blitz him.I had a reroll. I never needed it, as my Gutter Runner got an open POW on the blitz, forcing the ball off the sideline and out near my endzone.

I then needed to make a 3+ then 2+ dodge with another Gutter Runner then a 3+ pick up to get the ball so that he would at least struggle to score on his turn 8. I had a reroll though. I never needed it. Gutter Runners are amazing.

Still on my turn 8, I had to make a long pass with the same Gutter Runner to another Gutter Runner who was man marked meaning a 4+ pass and a 3+ catch. I had a reoroll though. I never needed it. Gutter Runners are truly amazing.

Finally, to score, still on my turn 8. I had to run my Gutter Runner receiver through a 3+ then 2+ dodge away from his marker to score. I had a reroll in case I used my Dodge skill for the 2+ dodge. I never needed.

This set the tone for the next half as I was 2-0 up and Ant and needed to score and then steal from me to win. He scored to make it 2-1 but then a scored again on my turn 14 to make it 3-1 at which point he conceded the game after we brutalised our teams earning 3 casualties each.

Game 2 was against my old nemesis, Squinty with his Dwarves. I have now faced Squinty on three occasions, twice now with Skaven and once with a loaned team of Dark Elves. We have drawn now on both occasions so I knew this was going to be rough. I also knew that I was going to get truly mashed as he had taken Mighty Blow for his first skill on a Troll Slayer and decided to gleefully do so again on his second. I figured that the only way I could beat his team was if I stole the ball before he could cage up so I took Kick on a Gutter Runner.

He won the kick-off, meaning, if Kick didn’t work, I was getting mashed for 8 turns.

And mashed I was indeed. We rolled a Riot for the kick-off so it was only for 7 turns thankfully but the kick landed right next to one of his Runners and he started as he meant to go on by taking out two of my scrimmage line-rats on the first blocks of the game. Uh-oh…

I tried to stop a cage forming but when that failed, I stopped standing up my line-rats and ran my Gutters all the way up the end of his end zone so that they would be safe. He left 7 players in a cage and screen in my endzone and chased the gutters and my Guard Stormvermin (one got knocked out) and chased my surviving team with 4 of his players in a game of Cat and … Mouse. See what I did there?

By the end of the first half, he was 1-0 up and I had 8 players including all of my positions and one surviving line rat. This meant I would struggle to score and had to steal from him too if I wanted to win. I scored in two turns with a pass and some Gutter Runner magic. The stealing would be the hard part and he had 6 turns to score. Oh boy…

I set up asymmetrically, relying on Kick to boot the ball to the side I was on if he set up symmetrically, or Kick to the opposite side of the field if he set up asymmetrically like I did.

He set up symmetrically with an equal distribution of Dwarves on either side of the pitch, so I booted the ball up the left side of the field where my 4 Gutters and 1 Stormvermin were on – the other 3 rats being on the line of scrimmage. Sure enough he picked up the ball but didn’t form a cage around his runner. I had a chance…

I one die Blitzed a Dwarf covering my access to prey (using my final reroll to do so) and then rolled 4 2+ no reroll thanks to tackle, dodges on my Gutters to swamp the ball carrier. He then botched a roll on his turn and the ball was mine! I had to stall for 4 more turns, otherwise he might make the result 2-2 so we played cat and mouse again as he tried to catch my gutters while they hovered in his end zone but eventually I got the turn 16 score to make it 2-1.

Phew! Last up was Phil, whom along with Ant, I went down to Monkey Bowl with as part of a 4 man Team Scotland. As a fan of grunge and having good taste in music in general, I knew Phil had an able brain in there underneath all those riffs, 3rd-verse-same-as-the-first yell-alongs and song names named after random women.

Phil was playing an Undead team with a Block Ghoul, a Guard Wight and a Tackle Wight he rightly chose for me. My third skill was a toss up between Strip Ball and Wrestle. In the end I chose Wrestle because I knew it would useful even if he didn’t take Sure Hands on his remaining Ghoul. Now that I think about it, I should have known he would take Tackle and just went in with the Strip Ball.

He won the kick off and proceeded to mash my team as I failed to break his initial cage. We played some more cat and mouse as I dodged away from Mummies as far as I could while staying near his cage so that I could pressure it on his last turn before scoring and fouling and (screwing up!) crowd-pushes on anyone that I could. I might have messed up his drive had I had Strip Ball, but no matter. He scored on turn 8.

This left me with one turn to score. I set up for a one turn touchdown but then we got a riot on the kick off result. Despite this I failed a dodge on a Gutter Runner leaving me just one more turn to score. Phil put a tacklezone on my ball carrier and then after knocking down my receiver, went for a go for it to foul him and failed it. Just as a side note, he attempted 3 foul actions with go for its and every one failed all game.

This left me with my turn 8 to score and with a 6+ longbomb, I did just that. My ratty heroes made it 1-1

In my drive,I was only a few players down so I elected to go for a slower drive, rather than a turn 2 score and in my attempt to send 3-4 Gutter Runners near his end of the half as receivers I double 1’d a Gutter Runner dodge meaning he managed to steal the ball. as I was setting this up. He then blitzed my ball carrier and in return, in the furor, I stole it back off him and ran away with it to my endzone with my thrower. He then pressured my stalling tactics and as I tried to make a longpass to a receiver, I 3+ dodged a Gutter Runner out and failed. He got a free Blitz with a reroll on my thrower meaning he really ought to have scored but only got pushes and that I got another chance to play some Hero Bowl.

This may just be the play of the day, even more so than Ant’s ball stealing.

He had committed all his faster players to chasing down my ball carriers and had some Mummies and Zombies tying up all my players in the middle. I had a Gutter Runner that I ran up into his side of the pitch and a Lineman marked by a Zombie.

I dodged my Thrower out and threw a long bomb – not to my Gutter runner who was in long pass range, but the lineman, man-marked by the zombie as I knew that if he didn’t catch it, he would struggle to get many people around the ball, meaning my Gutter up there could do its magic. Sure enough though, he failed his intercept attempt and while I was simply hoping for a 4+ with a Pass reroll so I didn’t fumble the ball with my Thrower, BAM! I get a 6.

The line rat now needs a 4+ to catch, which of course, being the hero that he was, he did. He then need a 3+ dodge out of the zombie’s tackle zone and 2 go for its to score which, of course, being a star of my team that I put on my line of scrimmage to get eaten by mighty blow players all the time, he did.

After going up 2-1, on the resulting kick-off,Phil was looking at playing for a draw at this point until I rolled a timely Blitz for me to make it 3-1. Luck, luck, luck. That’s how you win a Blood Bowl tournament!

Before rounding off though, I want to thank all the guys at Chaos of the Warp for being awesome in general. I had some time between the rounds to talk to not only the Blood Bowl players but the guys in the other tournaments too. The atmosphere was really welcoming and friendly and the day went without any hitches other than those caused by the weather.

Normally I’d give a props and slops section a la old Magic: The Gathering writers when they reported their tournament results but there were no slops (not even the train operators who did the best they could) and instead would like to give 3 super-awesome-fantaculous-winslice-megabumps instead.

Super-Awesome-Fantaculous-Winslice-Megabump number 1 goes to Geoff who organised Chaos of the Warp as he did a fantastic job doing all the heavy lifting of taking payment and organising a hall and other logistics to make the tournament happen. Where I may have ran the Blood Bowl side of things, he made it all happen.

Super-Awesome-Fantaculous-Winslice-Megabump number 2 goes to all of my opponents for putting up with my spawny, spawny luck all day and not killing all of my super-hero players, though not for trying 😛

Super-Awesome-Fantaculous-Winslice-Megabump number 3 goes to the guys on the committee at Lanarkshire Gamers – namely Doug and Chris, for running the show while I was away kicking ass and taking names. Thank you!

* * *

Normally I would end the post there but I’m feeling so good that I’m going to have to give a bonus Super-Awesome-Fantaculous-Winslice-Megabump.

BONUS CONTENT GET’S:

The Super-Awesome-Fantaculous-Winslice-Megabump Bonus goes out to Brian at Lead Legion aka ‘Brain Rae’ for pro-painting the star players I won. Here they are in all their glory: http://www.leadlegion.com/2012/06/griff-and-zug.html

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