Waterbowl 2020 Day 1

Blood Bowl never seems to disappoint in terms of stories to be told, and Saturday was no different.  The big takeaway from me is that I like to win at Blood Bowl!  Shocker.  But the reasons are interesting.  I like to do stuff to challenge myself a bit, and in the BB world this means playing against the best coaches around.  It’s why Eurobowl is great, it’s why the NAF tournaments on Fumbbl are ace, and it’s why winning games is good, not good because of the warm fuzzy feeling from winning, but because it means that your next game is likely to be against someone at least as good as the person you just played.   On the flip side, it also means that if you lose then your next game has an increased chance of being against someone who is less good than the person you just played, or is using a less good race, and in both situations it’s non-ideal for the purposes of playing challenging games of BB.

So, my day.  Game 1 was against Varag, a lovely and enthusiastic (loud!) Spanish player using Wood Elves.  I was using High Elves, with 3 dodge catchers, a leader thrower, and frenzy and mighty blow blitzers.  I didn’t particularly have high hopes going into the tournament, I was using HE on my quest for “the 52”, which I’ve decided is getting all 26 races to at least 10 NAF games each (just a thing I’ve made up, really).  My first block killed a lineman, and in the next few turns I deleted another couple and built a nice cage near his endzone.  All good.  He failed the one-turner, and then scored in two turns at the start of his drive, and then again I got fairly comfortable in his half with the ball.  Only fairly comfortable though, because both wardancers were still alive!  At this point I had a nailed-on draw, or the possibility of stalling out for the win. Or, as it turned out, a third possibility, which was to leave the ball slightly unsafe, get turned over, and lose 2-1 after some serious dice.  He was very happy!  I was less so, but at some point I’ll learn not to overexaggerate the inevitability of the wood elf score, and take the touchdown for the definite draw and possible win. They’re not called mind sports for no reason (by those who call them mind sports).

The loss took me to bottom table (it’s random based on those on the same points, I think) and cjblackburn’s halflings.  He stole all my rerolls and didn’t roll a single take root.  Two interesting dice moments, where I took a 3-dice block with block before scoring, and managed to roll triple skulls, and puggy double skulled but passed the loner.  Apart from that I scored in 8 turns and then he scored in T16 with the Ag4 halfling, after I’d done everything I could with my limited players.  1-1 draw, where I think I did everything right, so frustrating times.

Game 3 was more wood elves, but a less experienced coach (mahwell-skel).  He was using the GW halfling dice, and my table manners may be affected as I think I may struggle if I ever see a knife and fork again!  The first half was comfortable, with me scoring in 8, but towards the end of the first half and the beginning of the second he managed to score 7 casualties!  He scored in turn 12, so I was attacking with 4 against his 9.  Made a sideline cage in his half, such as it was, but he turned the ball over and then had 4 turns to trundle up the pitch for the win.  A possibly unnecessary hand-off was punished by Nuffle, and a snake eyes allowed me to scoop up the ball and go 2-1 up, leaving him 2 turns to score with rerolls in hand.  The ball scattered to one of his line-elves on the line – he moved down the pitch and handed over to a wardancer, but not very protected, so I was able to get two dice and a pow, and then collect and protect the ball to only leave a one-die blitz.  The knockdown didn’t come, and I’d managed a win from somewhere.  Respect to him for taking the insanity well!

The clan had mixed days – no good dice for Alex’s cage-diving in games 1 or 2, but then a 4-1 win with his pro elves in game 3.  Linus won game 1 using bretonnians, then was podfreyed in game 2 and lost game 3.  There’s another U16 competing for the chocolate bear, and jip and I are both on 1-1-1, so the competition for star of the car is also fierce.  Lunch not included next year, so the takeaway prize for the latter takes on extra importance!

Finish with a big shout to Ringbeard for being top of the table – definitely rooting for him to keep the Waterbowl trophy at its home!  Also to kfoged for running the scoring and Alex for exemplary organisation as ever.  Bring on day two!

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