General

Small packages

The summer saw an explosion of Blood Bowl events in the London area with several taking place over a couple of months. Earlier in the year we’d had the London Grand Tournament, but from June we had three of the more established events on the calendar.

First up was Pearly Kings and Queens XIII, 30th June-1st July.

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Having recently started playing in the ECBBL, the best ‘Blood Bowl league in London’. So it says on the website. The annual Pearly Kings and Queens tournament run by the ECBBL fell onto my calendar. This was the 13th edition of this event so it certainly has a history. The event has a skill system which I had not come across before. This used points instead of a number of skills. The higher the points cost for the more popular skills. The higher tier teams having less points to use. Any duplication skills also would cost additional points. So taking just block on your players would mean you would have less skills to take.

Now going into a tournament you would typically review the ruleset and see what race would be the best fit. However as I continue to try and reach the fabled 26 Races for the NAF, this left me with only one painted team to choose from. This is not a race I particularly enjoy using but they have one of the coolest positions in the game… the mighty Deathroller!

Game 6 vs Dark Elves_B_PK&Q_20180701

So Dwarfs then. One of the most divisive races to play within the Blood Bowl community. I say that but the typical reaction from most coaches, as you put down your little bundles of joy on the pitch, is a slump of the shoulders with a muttered, grumbling comment.

“Oh great, Dwarfs!”

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DAY 1

So it started with a glorious sunny day in south London. Luckily I was going to get out of all that nasty sunshine and headed into the Mad Hatter Hotel just south of the river Thames near Blackfriars Station. Despite the name, it was both a hotel and a pub. Which I have come to find means three things for Blood Bowl tournaments. Small tables, great food and lots of beer.

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So I registered with Rob, TO on the day and a fellow ECBBL league member. After a bit of chat with a few familiar faces and we were into round 1.

Game 1

First game was against Firebreather and his Goblins. Ok I thought. You have dodge, but I have lots of tackle. You have some high strength guys and Mighty Blow but I have high armour mostly. I got this!

Game 1 vs Goblins_PK&Q_20180630

So as we setup I was facing two Trolls, Ripper, a Chainsaw, a Pogoer, a Bomba, Fungus the Loon and a bunch of goblins. So lots of different positions to deal with, but this games standout player was the chaotic Fungus the Loon. This guy took out the caged ball carrier twice in the game. The goblin Pogoer took advantage in the first half by outrunning the Dwarfs to go up 1-0 at half time. I successfully made the Argue the call roll for my Deathroller (love that rule), so felt confident about causing some casualties and scoring in the second half. Unfortunately the reverse happened. With casualties piling up against the Dwarfs, I only just managed to squeeze out the turn 16 touchdown for that hard earned draw.  

Not a great start but I could have easily lost that game so felt I had got away with one and looked forward to my second game.

DRAW 1-1
Casualties 2-4

Game 2

I faced Wulfyn in the next game and his Underworld. Another ECBBL regular so a tough opponent but a favourable match-up I thought. His dodging Goblins against my tackle. A few secret weapons and lots of skills but take out a few players and things should go as planned. Kill a few Skaven, base the goblins and grind out my first victory.

Game 2 vs Underworld_PK&Q_20180630

Well I got the casualties in bucket loads. Ending up with a delightful 7 before the final whistle. But I was struggling to pop the ball loose and get clear with the limited movement. So I had to rely on another turn 16 scramble to eek out a 1-1 draw.

DRAW 1-1
Casualties 7-2

Game 3

The draw was made and I found myself playing Geggster. If you are not aware, he is a regular player for Team England at the Eurobowl and has hundreds of NAF games to his name. But most of all he is a really nice guy. Having not played him before I was looking forward to it but did not expect much of a result. Although he was using Chaos Renegades, so a few untimely 1’s and I should be in with a chance.

Game 3 vs Chaos Renegades_PK&Q_20180630

The Koolbeards kicked to start the game. The Renegades got straight to work with the Minotaur getting lots of hits but not any injuries. Despite this the Renegades scored, after dominating the field for the half. My opponents then explained to me that as I had chosen not to field my Deathroller in defense and as I had only 12 players, he was desperately trying to get a casualty and then score in turn 8. This would then have forced me to play my Deathroller for my turn 8. Resulting in a likely early bath for the Deathroller. Luckily in this case I made a KO roll so that I could save him for the second half. This was something that I had not really considered before. One to remember for the future I thought!

So with the Deathroller in play, the plan was to bash a couple of big guys with the Deathroller and scored in turn 16 for a draw. This time the dwarfs couldn’t make it. Geggster did a great job of slowing me down and it ended 0-1. A fun game playing a great opponent.

Now during this game both my opponent and I were a little distracted by the French national football team playing on the big screen. In my case I had them in the office sweepstake so was keen to see them do well (Spoilers – France did quite well in the end!) But I have to stay the crowd noise from the TV actually made for a bit of a stadium atmosphere for the game which was great fun. I don’t think much of the cheering was for me but it sounded good.

LOSS 0-1
Casualties 3-2

So the end of day 1 and I was on a record of 0-2-1, Not great considering the races I had played. If you said Goblins, Underworld and Chaos Renegades would have been my opponents, I would have expected better by the days end. I had played some good coaches and I found out that with that last game I was only 1 or 2 behind on the Most Casualty award. Winning was out, so the plan for the remaining games was to get at least win and cause lots of casualties. Day 2 would surely bring better things I thought.

DAY 2

Game 4

It finally happened! We all know it will at some point but today was that day. Spoiler alert – I lost to Ogres! Oh the shame.

Actually I have to say this was a really fun game despite the result. My opponent was Tom from the DBL. One of the largest leagues in the London area and a very vocal bunch wherever you find them.

Well once again armour 9 continued to fail and those pesky Snotlings just would not die. Suffering 5 casualties in the game got both us bogged down in the middle of the pitch for most of the game. The Ogres received first half and failed to pick up the ball 6 times in a row. I only committed one player initially to pressure the ball, which turned out to be a mistake as that Blitzer could not free himself and the ball from the Snotlings.

Game 4 vs Ogres_PK&Q_20180630

0-0 at halftime but the Koolbeards were receiving. Casualties started to mount and the Dwarfs got stuck in the middle of the pitch. With Dwarfs and the ball knocked around all over the place, a Snotling managed to pick up the ball in multiple tackle zones. A quick hand-off to another Snotling who is then thrown clear for a TD. A reroll wasn’t even needed. I looked on in disbelief as this unfolded but it was great fun to watch.

The most disappointing part was that I had managed only 2 casualties in this game. With those Snotlings on the pitch I was hoping for a real bounty of death to push for the Most Casualties award. But the injury rolls were not working in this one. But a really fun game despite the result.

LOSS 0-1
Casualties 2-5

Game 5

Only my second ever game against Bretonnians for this one. After hearing a lot of talk about how good they could be, I was intrigued to see how it was going to go. My opponent was Ewuan who was down from Scotland for the event. Pretty cool!

The Brets received. And I didn’t choose to field my Deathroller again. Surely my Armour 9 will hold up this game so I was confident of keeping my players on the pitch. Early on I managed to pop the ball free, gathered it up and pushed right through a big crowd looking to roll up the Brets. Unfortunately I had forgotten about the Brets Frenzy blitzer, who proceeded to surf two of my players in his next turn. I was now players down. Crucially 1 was injured the other KO’d for the rest of the half. My opponent took advantage of the player advantage and scored in turn 8.

So came the KO roll for my 11th player. And I failed it! So my Deathroller had to come on, with only one turn (turn 8) to my his mark. Argue the Call did not come to my rescue so I lost him for the second half. That Frenzy blizter is now on the Grudge list!

Game 5 vs Bretts_PK&Q_20180701

The strategy for the second half switched to getting a draw and causing as many casualties as possible, but Nuffle decided not. My opponent rolled a pitch invasion and with his +2 FAME, I had only 4 players standing for the start of my 2nd half drive. Lucky all the stunned players made a screen behind which I could hide with the ball. Unfortunately this required a one die block to free my blitzer. A skull it was and the Brets did not need to be asked twice. The next 4-5 turns were my attempts to get out from a ring of Bret players and try to progress forward. Eventually I ran out of players to form a full cage and the Brets scoped up the loose ball. It ended with a comprehensive 0-2 loss. This game was a bit of struggle where little went my way, although I did make a couple of mistakes for which I was punished. Again causalities were not forthcoming so onto round 6 looking for maybe a win for a little bit of pride.

LOSS 0-2
Casualties 0-1

Game 6

The final game of Pearly Kings and Queens had come. Would it be a final humiliation or perhaps I could salvage a bit of pride. I was drawn against Richy, again form the ECBBL and someone I had lost to before. Today he was using Dark Elves so I didn’t have too much hope. But any hope of prizes was gone so it was time to have some fun, and pound some elves.

Game 6 vs Dark Elves_PK&Q_20180701

Well I thumped them pointy-eared *****! Straight into the KO box. Ending on only 2 casualties by the end, but not suffering any for the first time. And another turn 16 TD, to claim my classic comeback 1-1 draw.

DRAW 1-1
Casualties 2-0

Finishing day two with a record of 0-1-2, which gave me an tournament record of 0-3-3. The 17 casualties being the main bright spot on an otherwise poor tournament, putting me 32nd overall.

The Champion was Stu (stu2) with Chaos Dwarfs, again from the ECBBL. Did I mention that they are the best Blood Bowl league in London!

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In summary, I think my positioning was not great with the Koolbeards. I allowed myself to get bogged down by the opponents in the last third of the pitch. Tending to base and not leaving myself free players to push forward and progress. Thankfully this was 6 NAF games for the Dwarfs and so I will not need to use them again for 26. Maybe one day I will bring them out of the box but not quite sure when that would be.

I really enjoyed this event. The venue created a fun atmosphere with the World Cup games going on in the background. Maybe tournaments could start putting on some background crowd noise to add some of that atmosphere. Play a game while the football is on at your local and see what you think!

Lunch on both days was included in the ticket price and was excellent. And very much appreciated as I was looking to get into true character with my team by indulging in the food and drink throughout. Finishing early and living locally meant I was home in good time to enjoy the last of the warm weather.

A big thanks to Rob for running a great event, with everything going smoothly throughout. Definitely one for the 2019 Blood Bowl Tournament 2019.

OTT’s Achieved: 0 (not a surprise really)

Grudges to be settled:

  1. Fungus the Loon – A guided missile all game.
  2. Snotling TD scorer – Because…
  3. Bretonnian Frenzy Blitzer – Two player surf in one turn!

 

General

POW’s mean prizes – A year of tournaments

Tabletop tournaments is something new to me. When playing the game initially in the 90’s, it was purely for fun against a few friends. The idea of playing Blood Bowl in a tournament never even crossed my mind. Having come back to the game with the 2016 release and being introduced to the NAF (not actually sure it stands for), tournaments seemed to be a prominent part of the Blood Bowl scene.

After a bit of research and understanding what the terms Swiss and Resurrection mean in relation to tournaments. I decided to find a local event to give it a try.

Well it turned out that many events were taking place in my area. It was around this time that Games Workshop announced a one day beginners tournament at Warhammer World, Nottingham. Having never been to the home of the Warhammer Universe, I jumped at the chance and got ticket.

Mighty Blighty Underleague – February 2017

WHW

To be honest everything that this event was a bit of a blur. Trying to take in the awesome surroundings of Warhammer World and also playing my first tabletop event of any type was a lot to take in. Now this was not the most competitive event. In fact, winning didn’t really matter. This was a fun (and free) event with the emphasis on learning the game. For example my first opponent had only played his first game the night before against his son. So most of the day was spent teaching some less experienced players the game and learning from everyone I played. It was a great introduction to gaming events in general. I could not wait for my next event.

Crash Bowl – March 2017

So I arrived at Asgard Games in West Bromwich very early on a sunny March morning for Crash Bowl.

I expected this to be a much more competitive environment, filled with serious Blood Bowlers keeping their optimal rosters close to their chests. I could not have been more wrong. Yes, everyone wanted to score touchdowns, cause casualties and ultimately win. But they also wanted to just have fun.  It was a smallish event but had some great prize support. The event organisers were owners of a local micro brewery so a few sample beers helped the day run smoothly.

After a bit of a nervous loss with my Skaven (Furham Athletic) against Norse in round 1, I came back with a couple of wins over Dark Elves and Humans. So I left with a 2-0-1 record and some cool swag.

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Blood Bowl Grand Tournament, WarhammerFest – August 2018

Having never attended a WarhammerFest before or the previous incarnation, Games Days. I was excited to see what the two day ‘Festival’ of Warhammer in Coventry was all about.

The Blood Bowl tournament was five games over two days, the rules pack was a 1.3m build and allowed the use of Special Play Cards. The inclusion of the cards is unusual for tournaments due to the random nature of the effects, some of which are can almost guarantee a result one way or the other.

Following a late start due to the security checks, the four games on day one ended for me well after 9pm. The event as a whole seemed a little chaotic at times. Last minute changes to the number of games to be played each day. And then rearranging the Specialist Games Preview Seminar on the Sunday to a time that Blood Bowl players were not playing in the tournament. But credit to Games Workshop for reacting to feedback and make changes to try and improve the event. No giveaways or tournament mementos also left a sour taste, simply due to the cost of a tournament ticket. Overall it was fun event and if you are interested in the Warhammer games systems or worlds in anyway I would most definitely recommended a visit.

My 15 player Skaven team (due to not having a painted Rat Ogre) came away with a 1-2-2. record. No prizes this time but my first two day Blood Bowl tournament was done and I still had something of a functioning brain left at the end of it. A good sign for the future.

Twisted Cup III – June 2017

If you have ever been to Folkestone you will have seen the massive Grand Burstin Hotel which towers over Folkestone harbour. The hotel may be past its heyday but we had a huge room all to ourselves down in the basement.

Another outing for my Skaven brought home a 1-0-2 record. The highlight was a final bottom table match against Ogres. Having never played against them before, I soon learnt that they can throw things, lots of things in fact to quite good affect. I managed to get the win and avoid the wooden spoon. Which I was quite pleased about as the prize was actually a trophy in the shape of someones… Well I think I will leave it to your imagination. Sorry no pictures either.

Top tip: If you ever find yourself in Folkestone checkout the great seafood kiosk right by the harbour. Serving lots of freshly prepared seafood stir-frys. I went home happy, full of seafood and with more event dice in hand.

Hard 6 Superbowl III – September 2017

Now this is how a tournament should be … in a pub! Forget clever rules packs, dice, or awesome prizes. Just hold it in a pub and they will come. 

The place was packed with over 40 players and my Underworld went 1-2-1 on the day. My only loss coming against a fellow league members Dave in the first game. This is where I learnt that a 3+ pick up with Sure Hands always fails.

Blood Bowl, with great pie and a drink fuelled Saturday evening made this an event to attend in the future.

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Warboar Tournament – October 2017

Perfect, my local games shop decided to put on a Blood Bowl tournament. A great opportunity to meet more of the local players and generate some interest in the shop league. However due to it only being announced a few weeks before the day, attendance was low with only seven players. No reserve player meant one player got a bye for each of the three rounds. After a 2-2 draw against Norse with my High Elves, I was drawn against my regular opponent Dave. The odd man out in this case was a young lad playing in his first event. Dave and myself decided that as we played each other so often we would roll to see who would switch with him. So a bye in the 2nd round meant that I was playing Dwarfs on table one. A tight game which ended with a last minute Dwarf pass play failing to get the equaliser. A 2-1 victory.

The results came in and I took top spot, winning  a copy of the miniature Blood Bowl trophy. 

Winning was great, albeit a small event. But the best thing on the day was meeting more of the local players area. Many of which have since joined the Warboar league. Local events are always worth a go no matter the size or prize fund and supporting to local shops only helps the hobby.

Burmayhem Bowl II – December 2017

And the best trophy ever goes to …

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Sadly I did not get to take this beauty home but a Minotaurs (or is it a bull?) head as the trophy was just awesome.

My Skaven came away with a 1-2-0 record. I was happy with 7th place and some more tournament dice. As it turned out, if (and a very big if) I had managed to stop my last game Lizardmen opponent from scoring in turn 16 I would have come second. But every Blood Bowl coach has many a story to tell where if only I had rolled <insert dice roll> then I would have won.

But the OTT duo did not go home without any kind of prize. Tom took home the coveted Gloworm award for coming in 4th. I understand that this has pride of place above his toilet but I cannot confirm or deny if this is the case.

UKTC V – January 2018

My first team event on the road and I am sure it will not be my last. At the UKTC teams of four face off against each other, with prizes for both team and individual performance. The Dodgefathers as were called (not my fault that one) came a respectable 33rd out of the 40 teams. A 2-1-3 record with High Elves for myself. Notes for the future include maybe not drinking so much on the Friday night and then more on the Saturday night. Hangovers and any kind of thinking do not mix well.

Hard 6 Superbowl IV – February 2018

And so for a second time I took Underworld to a Hard 6 tournament. In part to get my three NAF ranked games, but also so that I could take eight skills with Underworld being Tier 3 at the event. I took eight different skills in an attempt to confuse my opponent as much as possible. With Underworld you need every advantage you can get.

Two games in and I found myself at the lofty heights of table four, I think it was. With victories over Norse and Dark Elves. My strategy was paying off!.

But then reality came crashing in on my dreams of glory.  After two loses (another one against Dave and his Orcs … grrr) I end with a 2-0-2 record.

The traditional post tournament beer flowed and the night ended in good cheer. Always a great event and have I mentioned the great lunchtime pie yet? Well it is awesome.

So why play in a Blood Bowl tournament?

Quite frankly, tournaments are just great fun. You get to spend a day with like minded people. Yes, there are other crazy people just like you who love playing this game. Play a bunch a games. At the end of which a small group of people huddled around a laptop will announce a winner. Making sure that the required offerings to Nuffle and to his prophet ‘Score’ are made. If you are lucky you may even take home an award. First, runner-up, most casualties, or my favourite, the International Gloworm award (4th Place). For all those coaches who come 4th and go away empty handed.

Oh and you often get something cool to remember the event by. I have often said the two best things in life are dice and free stuff. Combine the two and I am there.

I have a number of tournaments planned for later this year. So I suggest you go find a tournament near year, small or large and spend a great day or two playing more Blood Bowl.

General

The beginning times…

My Blood Bowl journey began in 1990… something. While at a New Years Eve party, a friend of a friend whose name I cannot remember happened to mention a game he had recently played. The game involved Orcs and Humans playing some kind of American Football on a board. This person’s main comment was that as they played, his opponent always seemed to constantly interrupt his turn by quoting a rule which explained why they had failed something. Little did I know how accurate a description of a game of Blood Bowl this would turn out to be. As a keen American Football fan I was interested. A quick trip to the reading outpost of the Games Workshop empire and I was the proud owner of what turned out to be a copy of the Blood Bowl 3rd Edition box set.

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At this point, I was not aware of any local gaming clubs or shops so my early games were against friends and family. To my surprise, my interest in the game was not universal and I soon had burnt through all of my possible gaming bridges. Most were just not interested in playing an American Football based game for more than 2 hours. So I soon found the main obstacle to playing not just Blood Bowl, but most tabletop games. Finding someone to play against! A few friends were interested in the hobby but most focused on 40k or Fantasy. So with the very occasional game becoming the norm, my tabletop Blood Blood career slowly dissolved to nothing over the next few months.

The following years were punctuated with the occasional Blood Bowl moment. A brief outing with the Ronald Lokers’ Blood Bowl Tool, a PBeM (Play By eMail) application. Which still appears to be around, a quick Google search seems to confirm. And then the release of the first Blood Bowl PC game by Cyanide was my only Blood Bowl experiences since those early days.

But then came the Blood Bowl 2 game on the PC. This was the small stone that would become the Blood Bowl avalanche. I soon discovered that Games Workshop were rumoured to be re-releasing the tabletop game. A few preview pictures online peaked my interest. So I waited with anticipation to see what Games Workshop would come up with.

November 2016 arrived and the game was released. I picked a copy from my newly found friendly local gaming shop, Warboar Games in Bromley. A place I would be soon returning too with great regularity.

I loved all of the new content and could not wait to put them together and play my first tabletop game since the 90’s. It was at this point that the reason I stop playing back came to the fore. I have a cool new two player game, but who the hell am I going to play? Well my searches online for a copy of the game had also inadvertently provided the solution. Your friendly local gaming shop probably has a social media presence, and therefore a way to find pick up games. A quick post online and my first game was arranged. I showed up, my opponent didn’t! A small setback, but I was soon playing one off games most weeks. I meet other similar coaches who had just picked up the new release and were getting back into the hobby. These games, lead to regular weekly games, then leagues and then my first tournament.

As GW released more content my involvement grew, and I am now involved in a few ongoing leagues and have played in several tournaments around the UK. And loving every minute of it.

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So what next? Well, if I am not playing Blood Bowl, I am reading or talking about it. So why not write about it. A blog seemed the logical choice.

I met the other 50% of the One Turn Touchdown blog at one of those early Blood Bowl tournaments at Warhammer Fest. Tom and his Dark Elves against my Skaven, which ended in a 2-2 draw, I think. One of my better results for the weekend. We soon discovered we both lived in the London area and were looking to play more Blood Bowl. Tom mentioned the idea of a blog and I jumped at the idea. And so the One Turn Touchdown Blog was born.

This blog is a chance to share my views and experiences of the game. Hopefully entertaining and informing along the way. Tournaments, league play, rules, releases and all things Blood Bowl related are all on the agenda going forwards. So welcome to the blog and remember…

Nuffle doesn’t like you… but he loves me!