Coffee Cup 2021 Preview

Gutted not to be able to play Coffee Cup this year, but don’t think my back would thank me for 11 games in 24 hours!  Luckily Enderman has stepped in to make the numbers even, as asking a TO to hang around for that long without playing is a bit much.  Jip was in charge of herding the cats into the scout hall, and I popped along in case any technical support was needed (bringing a laptop lead with me, as it turns out…)

The ruleset was pretty basic – 115TV, maximum one star for stunties, none for others, 3 tiers for skill packages.  Each player plays 10 others, randomly chosen, with no Swiss and the schedule decided in advance.  5 stunty teams (3 halfling, 2 goblin) and 2 vampires, then a mixture of others.  The vampires were FatboySlimming, fresh from his 9-0-0 with them at Thrud weekend (7s and 11s) and CeeTee, a great coach who was the first of those 9 and was obviously bitten…

The attendants’ experience ranged from 2 tournaments (Vindaloo) to 267 (Lycos) and ages from 16 (Enderman) to 106 (Lycos, probably).  Raging82 will be recording his games for his YouTube channel, so that should be some entertaining viewing later.  There will be some great madness in the early hours with vampires v goblins game 10, so I’ll hope to pop back for that one!

Round 1 in full swing in the photos below.

Raging’s setup v Rubick
Jip rolls snake eyes on a foul v Maverick
AngryHobbit v Ahzek
ThatAsianGuy v Lycos
Duffins v Filthmonger
Onyersix v Ceetee (front), Col v Enderman (back)
Vindaloo v Padster
FatboySlimming v Spiky

Thrud 21 Roundup

Another great weekend at Thrud, so time for some thoughts from me as roster checker/ deputy results guy/ participant.  Bit of a brain dump, but hopefully interesting.  Massive congratulations to Thor, Glowworm, Landrover, Nazgob, Lunchmoney, Widram and the rest of the team for a fantastic event.

Another people have other written stuff, so check them out (will add more as they appear)

The Auction

Amazing as ever, the boys spent their own money for the first time, buying in to the event by spending over the odds on fancy dice and a nice old pitch.  Raised £8k from the room and online bids, in a big step up from previous years in terms of slickness of presentation.  Still room for shortening the actual evening, but all in a good cause!

The Venue

Swindon Supermarine is the new home of Thrud and is literally 10 minutes drive from my house, or 50 minutes running as it’s actually half way round my standard 15km running route!  Excellent space, bar, camping space.  Slight lack of mobile service and wifi, but something to work on for next year.  We had just under 100 people, which pretty much filled the main space and the “top table” room, so not sure how much room there is to grow, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  100 is a good size, especially including campers!  The showers and facilities were also a step up from the previous venue – available 24 h and people were certainly showering at some strange times.

The Rules and Rosters

People were asked to fill in rosters on Google Sheets, which I thought would be straightforward, but the rules were too complicated for about a quarter of the people – is a skill a single or double, how much do we have to spend, and so on.  Also the tech failed as when they got sent through they came through as pdfs, bizarrely.  Will go with Excel in future I think, or do some testing with instructions on how to submit them.  The rules were probably overly complicated I think, but maybe they should be kept the same now that more people have got the hang of them!

The Games

Game 1 I faced Stowelly’s flings with Griff and Karla.  Would have been scary except I managed to remove all the flings and then my wrestle ghoul (I was using Undead) managed to take down Griff.  Boot to the head solved that problem.

Game 2 was Bron’s Imperial Nobility – great opponent and my closest game against him as I sneaked a win.

Game 3 v Gerdleah’s Necro.  A new opponent for me, experienced BB2 player.  Really tight game with a crazy number of necessary 3+ dodges which all came off until his critical win, which was the difference between the teams.

Game 4 was still in the top room, playing Sparky73 and his Nurgle.  Great game against a super opponent, again experienced BB2 and newish to tabletop.  Stand Firm spam was an absolute pain, as it’s designed to be!  He made the critical 3+ dodge and went in 1-0, but then it was 8v8 for the second half because of terrible KO rolls and sweltering heat.  I demolished his team and scored in my turn 6 to go for the (tournament) win, and was rewarded with more bad KO rolls and a Blitz.  Unfortunately I played like a muffin and nearly let one of his 5 players in to score!  Got away with it and drew 1-1.

Game 5 v Gimli’s Underworld was going very well until a 4+, 3+, single dice pow on a blodger, 3+ pickup, 3+ gfi, 3+ gfi meant that his gutter had the ball and I couldn’t get it off him.  Then in the second half the snots meant that he could pick up his cage each turn and put it somewhere else. I’m still playing back in my head whether my wrestler could have gone for the 4+ dodge into the snot cage because of titchy, but I forgot that rule for most of the half.  Lost 1-0.

Game 6 was raging82 and Chaos Renegades, which would have been on YouTube if he had pressed record.  He smooshed my mummies with his Claw Mino, and would have had a comfortable win if he hadn’t left me a one die blitz on his ball carrier!  He had to settle for an uncomfortable win instead.

The Tiebreakers

One interesting facet of the weekend was that “Tier” was used as a tiebreaker after score but before opponent score, which meant that stunties faced other stunties.  I wonder if the star player threat would have manifested itself more if this had not been in place.

The Technology

Nazgob built a lovely website for the event, which contained all the info needed.  Other big tournaments have done the same, with the notable exception of NAFC, but hopefully this will change soon!  We used a Google Form to submit the results, which would work really well in a venue with good wifi and/or mobile signal.  The results appeared as they were submitted into a Google Sheets file and could then be quickly entered into Score and checked.  Results entry was super efficient and could be quickly checked back to what was submitted. No allowing for fat fingers though!

The Sevens

A bit of a personal reminder for me possibly not to play 7s next year – Friday evening good for socialising!

In Summary

See you there next year – first weekend in August!

Thrudball 21 Halfway

It’s been a good day!  The sun has shone, people are playing tabletop BB in tournaments again, and I have been bought some pints, so apologies in advance for any typos.

Interesting things have been happening.  Vampires coaches by FatboySlimming won the 7s last night and are winning the 11s at the half way point.  Lots of pro, managing animal savagery, and 2+ hypno gaze removing all skills from the gazed player is a potent combination it seems, leading to a current 9-game winning streak by FBS.  Top 30 are below, and the full standings are on the website.

There were worries beforehand (by me!) of a halfling tournament win, but that doesn’t look to be manifesting itself, possibly partly due to “tier” being first tie breaker after total score, which is an interesting way around the “stars problem”.

The orc teams did not have access to stars, Gimli is using “Drunken Thrud”, a ball and chain star, and Sparky is using Gymir, who is basically a fouling goblin.  Top stunty is current Kismet’s Snotlings with Morg and Varag, so will see how they perform tomorrow!  All the rosters can be found here.

One of the highlights of day 1 was Nazgob setting up with 13 players and his opponent (as per the rules) choosing to send off Morg and Griff.  The game was not close.

The auction is about to start, after everyone has filled themselves with meaty goodness.  Follow Thrudball on Twitter tomorrow for latest updates!

Pre Thrud Thoughts

Half an hour to kill before daughter gets home and we can deposit her with friends and head to Thrud, so time for some quick thoughts about rosters and rulesets!

You can see the summarised rosters on my Tableau Public and the full rules on

The tiers are these.  You had to pay for skills – 20k primary, 40k secondary.  No “duplicate” skill choices, so no two players just given guard, though you could have block+guard and just guard.  Max 2 skills per player.

  • Tier 1 (1200k) – 4 Skills: Shambling Undead,
  • Tier 2 (1200k) – 5 Skills: Dark Elf, Wood Elf, Skaven
  • Tier 3 (1200k) – 6 Skills: Amazon, Old World Alliance, Norse, Black Orc, Elven Union, Human, Dwarf, Chaos Dwarf
  • Tier 4 (1250k) – 7 Skills: Imperial Nobility, Necromantic Undead, High Elf.
  • Tier 5 (1250k) – 8 Skills: Chaos Chosen, Underworld, Lizardmen, Orc.
  • Tier 6 (1250k) – 9 Skills: Chaos Renegades, Daemons of Khorne, Tomb Kings
  • Tier 7 (1300k) – 10 Skills & up to 1 Star: Nurgle, Slann, Vampires, Skinks*
  • Tier 8 (1300k) – 12 Skills & up to 2 Stars: Goblins, Halflings, Ogres, Snotlings, Undergobs**

And the main thing to notice is that only tiers 7 and 8 can take stars.  As a result, and also because people quite enjoy playing stunty, we have a large number of stunty teams!  13 Halfling with 7 Morg between them, plus 5 Snotling, 3 Ogre and 2 Goblin for near enough 25% of the field.  The top two tiers took a beating, with only a few hardy souls making do with the meagre number of skills and TV.

Apart from the Mighty Morg, Deeproot also features heavily, and the human trio of Griff, Zug and Karla also put in appearances.  Griff is less popular than sometimes because he is basically 50k more expensive, as teams are only “stunty legal” if they don’t have any S4 players, and “stunty legal” teams get 50k more.

The full list of stars are these:

So expecting to see lots of damage this weekend – we have a 7s tournament on Friday night, but lots of the weekend might be 7s games if Deeproot and Morg keep firing.  Will the deadly duo be enough to bring Halflings to the title though?  They have never (I don’t think) won a 6 game individual tournament of significant size, so is it time for BB2020 to smash that stat?  Follow me and @thrudball on Twitter for updates throughout the weekend!

Facebook in Local Politics

I have been thinking recently about the use of Facebook in local politics.  This is not a deep cover Cambridge Analytica style data mining investigation, it’s a lot simpler than that, and is to do with who are the Admins on local Facebook groups and who they allow into the groups, and I think it could be a fairly significant problem in local politics.  I should say that I am standing as of this moment to be a Parish Councillor for Labour in the Eldene ward of Nythe, Eldene and Liden Parish Council in East Swindon, which is what has brought this to mind.

A note first on the difference between Pages and Groups on Facebook, as people often do not know the difference.  A Page is set up to represent a person’s “professional” persona or an organisation.  As an example, I have my own Facebook personal profile, then I have a Page for my political stuff, a Page for gaming, and have set up Pages for Am Dram organisations and my local church, for example.  Pages are usually very obvious what they are for, and are not problematic, people just Like and Follow them if they are interested in what the Page has to say.  It is possible to post on a Page, but usually the Page will post something and then people will respond to it.

A Group is a different thing – it is a collection of people with a common interest.  You “join” a Group, and once you have joined everyone can post.  A Group will have a team of Admins and Moderators (which I will shorten to Admins) who approve or block members of the Group and sometimes have to approve a post.  If posts do not need approval, there will certainly be a set of rules and posts that do not meet those rules (e.g. relevance, politeness) can be deleted.

A particular subset of Groups is those that serve a common area, and you can find examples of such Groups here.

They are often called “Place Community”, and are either set up by well-meaning local individuals or local politicians who serve the given area.  If the former, great, but the problem comes when politicians or individuals with very particular political views set up the Groups and then run them with their own set of undeclared biases.  When this happens, the local community may be expecting a non-partisan local view, but instead is getting a curated slice of local news.  This would be similar to only getting news from the Telegraph or the Guardian, when you were expecting the BBC (if we assume the BBC to be neutral, which is a separate conversation…)

Poor behaviour from Admins in these Facebook Groups can include:

  •         Banning local politicians from non-favoured parties from the Group.  This can be “blocking” so that the individual cannot see the group at all, or just not allowing to join.
  •         Banning pages representing parishes from the Group (pages can join groups, as well as individuals).
  •         Deleting posts that are critical of a particular party or administration.

I set up a local Facebook Group over a decade ago, and always strived with my team of Admins to make it politically neutral, which was especially difficult because there were unfortunately people who lived in the area representing some strange views.  We allowed criticism and promotion of viewpoints as long as they were not offensive or illegal. 

While it is too late to bring this issue to people’s attention for this week’s elections, I believe that using Facebook Groups in this way is immoral, though obviously not illegal.  If you are a member of such Groups, maybe have a look at who the Admins are and simply post in the Group about any political affiliations they might have?

Finally, a caveat to all of the above.  Local Facebook Groups are a good thing, it’s hard work sometimes being an Admin, and I would not want people to stop.  Also, I am very aware that not everyone is on Facebook, and this may well be regarded as a minor thing by lots of people, but Facebook is one of the major global communication tools, and I believe it is incumbent on those in local politics to set a good example and behave honestly and openly wherever possible.

Eldene Wishlist

Mulling over what I would change about Eldene if I could click my fingers, here is a quick list. This doubles as a list of projects that I would want to move forward if elected – not much is in direct Parish control, but part of being an elected representative is trying to influence the people or bodies that can decide things!

Quick list here, then more information below…

  1. Parking
  2. Eldene Drive path
  3. Eldene Centre
  4. Access to Morrison’s from Meads
  5. Parish Council communication
  6. Public transport links
  7. Events
  8. NEL Website further progress
  9. Support of local issues
  10. Interaction with local businesses
  11. Traffic calming

A straw poll of residents suggests that parking is the number one issue locally.  This causes traffic problems and damages the grass as well as being frustrating when people can’t find somewhere to park. 

The causes are fairly well documented, and are to do with a lack of decent public transport and more cars per household than there used to be, as well as more vehicles for home working than when the estate was designed.  The solutions are harder to implement!  I talk about public transport below, but equally it may be that there is a good case for creating more parking, and it is certainly something that the Parish Council should have in the back of its mind when discussing how to improve the area, which should probably be one of its reasons for being.

Eldene Drive Path

This may be a personal one, but it has always seemed odd to me that the path around the North of Eldene Drive stops where it does, instead of carrying on round to Morrison’s, as shown in the blue line below (M for Morrison’s).  I would want to take this forward in terms of costing it and seeing if it’s possible to do.

Eldene Centre

In an ideal view of the world, the newly turfed Eldene beach, the school, the Crumpled Horn and the Community Centre would be working together to make Eldene Centre a proper beating heart of the area, and would love to see a working group set up to make this happen.  Very happy to acknowledge that this sort of relationship might already exist, in which case some of the other items on the list might be easy to implement!

Access to Morrison’s from Meads

It has always seemed strange to me that there is no obvious route to get to Morrison’s if you are at the square in the centre of the Meads.  There are pretty much 3 options, shown in the graphic below.

The red route is the most pedestrian friendly, and it involves walking towards the underpass and crossing by the bus stop.  The blue route is another option, which involves walking along Stubsmead, which has a significant parking problem and very little good pedestrian routes.  The black route means going through the houses and then crossing over a patch of grass.  I believe the black route was not paved when Morrison’s was built so that it did not encourage people to take this route past the row of houses, but it is one of thos situations where people do it anyway, so a better solution is probably needed.  One to think about, anyway!

Parish Council Communication

As a keen Facebook user, it seems very strange to me that the Parish Council does not have its own Facebook page.  The main effect of this is that the Chair gets tagged personally on Facebook whenever someone wants to flag something to the Parish Council (e.g. fly tipping), and also that Parish Council communication comes out through an individual’s Facebook account (usually the Chair’s).  This does mean that the Parish seems to be represented by one person (the Chair) rather than being a collective of nine people, which does not seem very healthy.

Public Transport links

The two main bus problems are the lack of a direct bus to Old Town and a direct bus to the Hospital.  It would be great to keep pushing for these important transport links to be put into place – obviously not under direct control, but a nice to have!


Connected to the Eldene Centre being a hub, it would be great to have things like summer gatherings, jumble sales, that sort of thing.  Definitely one that the Parish Council can help organise!

NEL Website further development

The parish website has just had a redesign and is looking great, so the Council and the Clerk should use it in conjunction with social media to get parish information out as much as possible, to build engagement with the Parish Council.

Support of Local Issues

The big one at the moment is Charles MacPherson Gardens Wardens, but there will always be specific issues that Parish Councillors can support with.  The big one here is about knowing how various things work, communication with Borough Councillors, and so on.

Interaction with Local Businesses

We have some great local businesses in Eldene, and it would be good to support them with advertising and so on.  This would all help to raise the profile of the area.  Again, maybe this already happens!

Traffic Calming

Eldene Drive can be a bit of a race track on occasion, though average speeds are within the speed limit.  There are patches such as the mouth of Ecklington where parking on the Drive makes driving quite difficult, though actually this has the bonus effect of slowing cars down!

Suggestions such as “speeding reminders” or a crossing at the location shown below would be worth investigating.

So there we go!  If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading – would be great to hear from Eldene residents as to whether you agree with this list or think I’m barking completely up the wrong tree!

As I said at the outset, I’m fully aware that most of these are not under direct Parish control, but that’s no reason not to put them on a wishlist…


Ranked Amateurs at 400

Streaming this week on Twitch (21 UTC Thursday 22nd April), Matt Slater’s Ranked Amateurs hit their 400th game on Fumbbl and Matt’s using it as a Fumbbl fundraiser before the team retires into Blood Bowl 2020.

The 400th match will be against Gary Gygax, and you can see the two teams below, and can watch the match through Fumbbl or on  The Ranked Amateurs are a team that only ever hires linemen!

You can support the fundraising effort on this forum post, which also has links to the two teams.


Fun few games in the back garden today as the weather smiled on us coming out of Covid lockdown for our first Blood Bowl 2020 games.


Teams were (1100 TV, 5 primary and 1 secondary):

  • Halflings with Deeproot and Karla
  • Underworld with Hakflem
  • Black Orcs with a bribe
  • Lizards
  • Wood Elves
  • Undead

Highlights of the day:

  • Undead mummy not getting any benefit from Brawler all day
  • Underworld taking saurus off the pitch so outnumbering them 14 to 8 at one point (yay swarming!)
  • Deeproot chucking prone halflings all over the place
  • Quick snap not helping one turners as much as only open players can move
  • Sun shining!
  • Doughnuts
  • Having to re-learn the Throw Team Mate numbers
  • Making up new names for GFI.  Push?  Rush?  Dash?
  • Learning not to predict a winner until all the scores are in
  • Enderman’s first tournament win over me!

It’s the same old game, just with a few tweaks!

FAQ Email to GW

Just sent this to GW.  The more people that make similar points, the more likely they are to listen, I expect, so if you agree with any, please do email them. Email is


Blood Bowl: Second Season – rules feedback in advance of May designer notes

I am one of the admins for the Blood Bowl Community group on Facebook, whose 25,000 members have highlighted some areas of the BB rules where there is still room for interpretation so further guidance would be helpful.

Diving Tackle
The previous FAQ stated that DT can only be used on the reroll if it was not used on the initial roll. This is a new interpretation of any use of a reroll and opens up a few problems. The reasoning is that the player is now prone, so is not able to use the skill on the reroll. However, this interpretation indicates that in fact there is no tackle zone on the dodging player at all, which would lead to an automatic success. It also suggests that if the player is dodging from one square in the DT player’s tackle zone to another square in the same player’s tackle zone, then the modifier for dodging into a tackle zone would no longer apply either.
This is the only item where I thing a previous ruling should be reversed, as this really is an anomaly in the rules at the moment.

Blitz Result on Kick-Off
The wording of the blitz is d3+3 open players may move. One may blitz and one may TTM. Does this mean that if a 3 is rolled, then 6 players can move AND one may blitz, or 6 players can take an action, of which one can be a blitz?

Foul Appearance
FA is rolled at the beginning of a blitz action. If it is failed, does the player lose the entire action, including the move section? This is my understanding, but it is a bit strange, and is being interpreted differently by different people.

Sweltering Heat on weather table, Pitch Invasion on Kick-Off Table
D3 players are affected on each team. Is this a single d3 roll applied to both teams, or two separate d3 rolls, one for each team?
Player Activation
The previous FAQ stated clearly that you do not have to activate every player. It then goes on to say that you can declare a move with each player and not move them, which is not the same thing when dealing with negatraits. It would be great in the next FAQ to remove the second paragraph.

For me, these are likely to be the fundamental causes of disagreement in games. However, for my league I have tried to make it as clear as possible, so have put together a rules document. If as many of these could be clarified as possible by GW, that would be tremendously helpful, and of course if there is any way I can help, I am happy to do so.
The rules clarifications I have written can be found here:…/1catXlLLAbvJLbrINOv0M…/edit…
Kind regards
Mike (sann0638 on the internet)

BBTS: Team Review

BBTS first review here.

This is a look at the teams done by Vergond for BB2020.  Will say up front that this is an amazing achievement for a community resource, and anything here is not a criticism, just things to bear in mind when using.   I finish with a “tier list” of which teams I would choose to use when playing.


Slightly underdressed catcher for me, but otherwise brilliant!

Chaos Dwarf

Really good, massive weapon on the Bull!  Small weapons on the CD and hobgob.

Dark Elf

Big sword on the blitzer, otherwise spot on.
High Elf



A few weapons on these guys.  Serious ogre!


Big fat weapon on the herald, and smaller ones on the other ones, but good otherwise.


Scary stuff! Sword on the ghoul and fat cleaver on the flesh golem, but the others are brilliant.


Almost perfect except for the swords on the ulf.  I think I would swap in the Necro wolf above, then this might be my team of choice (while being slightly underdressed, but there are lots of fully dressed men around!)


One small weapon, but otherwise spot on.

Tomb Kings

Shame about the massive sceptre!  Skeleton has a good Jason and the Argonauts vibe.


The skaven here definitely got lost from a Warhammer battlefield!


Solid.  Shame the team is so bad currently…

Wood Elves

Our first bows on the pitch!  Scary knives mark out the wardancer, I guess no-one was brave enough to take them away.


Great big guys, scary little guys with weapons.  Nice team!

Chaos Renegades

The crazy gang come together really nicely, unique figures easily identifiable for each position.


An actual BB team!  Wonder what the story is of why these guys exist… Love the T-poses, as the kids say.

Pro Elves/ Elven Union

Not a big fan of these, but very usable.


This lot are suitably bonkers.  The Doom Diver in the bottom left is wearing a top hat, the bomber has a clown mask, and altogether they capture the craziness of this team!

Black Orcs

In with a bullet to #1 team.  Awesome stuff, and one of the teams you can’t play online at the moment, so definitely a contender.


Another perfect one.  I love Kislev!


Weapons on the positionals, but in this case I think that’s quite handy to identify them (didn’t say I was consistent!).

Imperial Nobility

Worth playing just for the Ogre.  In fact, I think I’d play a team of Ogres with the Ogres from each of the teams, that would be awesome!  Pretty good, unfortunate blitzer weapon, but will forgive it.


Perfect, again.


Suitably disgusting.  Maybe the massive halberd explains the foul appearance?




The actual Ogre team, Runt Punter on the right.  If I were to play Ogres I would use the Ogre figure from each of the different teams, and it would look amazing!


Solid team.  I’d swap the blitzer (bottom right) for the lineman (bottom centre) as I don’t use linemen (go gobbos!).  Love the thrower (bottom left) who just wants a hug.

Shambling Undead

Awesome mummy and wight. Solid team.



Few too many weapons for me on this one, doesn’t quite capture the BB vibe.


Interestingly, this one had some error messages flash up, which would get annoying if using.  But snotlings are meant to be annoying, so maybe that’s part of the charm?  The stilty runner is floating…




So for me, if I was looking for an immersive experience, this is how I would rank the teams:

1 – pretty much perfect, I would use these as first choice:

Dwarf, Lizard, Slann, Kislev, adapted Norse, Black Orc, adapted Ogre, Amazon, High Elf, adapted Orc, Renegades, 

2 – perfect unless you’re picky, use if you like the teams in particular:

Vampire, Halfling, Nobility, Chaos Dwarf, Chaos, Dark Elf, Human, Nurgle, Khorne, Necro, Undead, Wood Elf

3 – I would only use if I was a superfan of the teams:

Skaven, Elven Union, Goblin, Snotling, Tomb Kings, Underworld

Sharp eyes might have noticed OWA omission, they’re made up of other teams.  Silly team…


Again to reiterate, an amazing community efford by Vergond, and I can’t wait to get stuck in with playing – videos to come later.  Will be great as a training resource as well, with more flexibility than other online platforms.  Will be my training video resource of choice from now on, and there is already talk of leagues, though I’m personally somewhat overcommitted with Fumbbl and BB2!