Blood Bowl Update – Round Four
Welcome back sports fans.
Going into Round Four, I was borderline terrified. Red Dwarf IV had given a decent account of themselves in the season so far, mainly by beating up on the opposition. This tactic had been reasonably successful thanks to the type of teams I’d faced. Dark Elves and Humans just don’t have the raw staying power inherent in all Dwarves, or the concentrated strength to bludgeon them into submission. What they did have was plenty of speed and flexibility which had flummoxed me in my previous games. When it comes to hauling ass… well, Dwarves just can’t haul ass, is what I’m saying.
Enter The Magic Dinosaurs. Lizardmen teams are curious beasts (har har). Their players lack a lot of starting skills (such as Block, which virtually all of my Dwarves have at the outset) but they make up for it in two ways. First, they have Skinks. They’re impossibly fragile creatures, but dangerously fast and with an agility that allows them to nip through enemy tackle zones as if they weren’t there. They’re some of the fastest ball carriers in the game. Second, in place of anything approaching a normal lineman, Lizardmen teams have the Saurus. Big, tough and highly mobile, their job is to punch holes for the Skinks to run a ball through, or close down the opposition ball carrier and beat him to a pulp. And then there’s the occasional Kroxigor in a line up, which is just a bigger, dumber Saurus.
In the Dinosaurs, I faced a team that was not only much faster than me but one that I probably wasn’t going to be able to beat up. (Which is usually my solution to that first problem.) Worse, they had players that could very well beat me up. Oh, and they were sporting the widest victory margin of any team so far, having just taken apart Asmo’s Anklebreakers in a 4-0 thrashing.
Basically, I thought I was screwed.
Things didn’t go quite as badly as I’d feared. Before kick off, because of the big difference in our respective team values (players level up as they earn experience, and all the touchdowns the Dinosaurs had been scoring had helped that along), I was given extra gold to spend on one-off improvements. As a result, the Red Dwarf scrimmage line was bolstered by Grim Ironjaw, star player troll slayer, for the match and I had an extra team re-roll. I even won the toss too and chose to receive the kick off, meaning I’d have possession from the get go. It was going great right up to the point play actually started.
The first half was an absolute fustercluck, Red Dwarf unable to move the ball forward and being closed down by the Dinosaurs in short order, the ball going loose. In the rumble that followed coach Neo was able to run his Skinks through the chaos for a touchdown. I spent most of the half trying to hold my ground and not concede another touchdown, with the Dinosaurs able to break through my lines with apparent ease. The second half didn’t go much better (and was blighted by technical problems, with Neo disconnecting three times) as I conceded another touchdown, but my Dwarves were able to power through for a single score, running the clock down in the late stage of the game to deny the Dinosaurs any time for a lightning fast Skink counter. A 2-1 defeat then, but given my performance a defeat that could have easily been so much worse.
So, at the end of Round Four the teams stand thus:
The Magic Dinosaurs and the Goats of Wrath still reign supreme in the tournament, the winner of the overall competition now likely to be one of those two. The Anklebreakers have slipped into third place with the Bankers right behind them, followed closely by Red Dwarf. The top two slots may be all but sewn up, but there’s still a lot to play for in the middle of the table. Plus, there’s still plenty of time for the other teams to injure some of the experienced players in the Dinosaurs and Goats rosters in the coming games, should any coach be feeling particularly vindictive.
Oh, and before I leave you (and because I’ve finally gotten around to posting it) here’s the replay of my Round Two match against the Wunch O’ Bankers (regular readers will recall it ended in a 1-1 draw). This is worth watching if only for Dezzick’s completely jammy touchdown:
See you next time.