Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Blood Bowl Match Report: Skull 'n' Skinks vs Stirland Dockers

Last Sunday, after four years of trying, I finally managed to persuade my wife to sit down to a game of Blood Bowl. Helped by the fairly spare attendance on the first day of the Lead Legion Blood Bowl League's second session (Half the players forgot we were playing) and the fact she's recently fallen in love with Skinks, we were able to convince her to try her hand with Adam's Lizardman team in a friendly.

Given that Caroline was a complete newcomer to the game, I created a fairly unorthodox Lizardman team: 4 Saurius, 7 Skinks and FOUR re-rolls to help her overcome the inevitable newbie mistakes. Adam also agreed to help coach Caroline for the first half-dozen turns. Although I'm playing a Nurgle team in the League, Nurgle team's have a preponderance of special rules and aren't really suitable opponents for a beginners first game so I brought my human team out for a friendly.

Beginner's Luck?

Going by this pitch invasion, the humans must be playing away!

Right from the first, Nuffle smiled on Caroline when I rolled a 12 on the Kick-Off table. The resultant pitch invasion left we with just three players on their feet and eight lying strewn across the pitch in a stunned state. Caroline lost just one player, a Saurius, and had a clear path through my lone of scrimmage to the ball.

Fortunately, that was the last bit of luck she had for a while. I managed to hold her off -just- through some pretty damn skilled play (even if I do say so myself -and I do, a lot) until her Turn 4, with the ball trading hands several times.

First Blood:

Score 1 for the scaly-boys!

But alas, despite a brave defence, the inevitable soon happened. A very nice throw from one skink to a teammate loitering in the human end-zone resulted in what would turn out to be the first of many, many touch-downs.

More Pain:

Not again! I bet it was the same darn Skink too!

A turn later, a rash running play by me left a Stirland Catcher eating dirt and an opportunistic skink with possession of the ball. Demonstrating why a well-handled Skink team is both a thing of beauty and something to be feared, Caroline had her second touchdown on turn 6. Satisfied that his job here was done, guru-Adam departed to leave Caroline to play on alone.

It was! It was the same bloody skink! Good thing this is just a friendly!


A successful throw from a human team? It does happen. Sometimes.
With just two turns left in the half I knew I had to pull something out of the hat. I feinted to my right (top half of the photo) while sneaking a catcher through on my left on turn 7. On turn 8, after drawing Caroline's reserves out of position and then switched the ball to the right and made the throw to score! 2-1 to the Skullin Skink's at the end of the first half! Don't let the position of the ball in the photograph throw you off. He made the catch. Honest!

Second Half:

In a good position at the end of my turn 9
 Capitalizing on my successful diversion at the end of the first half, I set up my team as though I intended to repeat the same play, but on the other flank. This time, it wasn't a diversion though. Caroline didn't shift her reserves this time. I risked an interception to pass the ball over her line of scrimmage and finished in a good position to score. The fly in the ointment was the Skink Caroline had positioned in her end zone for "deep defense". Actually, it turns out she'd gotten confused and thought she could score by getting the ball into her own side of the pitch, but I'm too much of a gentleman to mention that the Skink was really mooching in the hope of scoring an own goal (and here I thought she was being damned clever)!

That's not a baby you're cradling, son!


Who let that giant into the stadium?

Despite a brave attempt by a pair of skinks to bring down the catcher, it was not to be and the laddie managed to find his way to the end zone to score touchdown number two (for the humans) in Turn 10. But Caroline wasn't down, and she certainly wasn't out. The tide was about to turn yet again.

Cold-Blooded Revenge:

Disaster! The outraged lizard fans invaded the pitch for a second time in protest at what was clearly an off-side touchdown! This time, five of the brave Stirland lands managed to fight off the scaly horde and stay on their feet. The visiting human fans did their best but it wasn't enough! Only two lizard players were stunned, leaving the visiting team outnumbered 9-5.

Dammit, what are they invading the pitch with? Giant Parrots?
Why yes! Yes they are! Thanks Bruce. Why don't you go throw Adam's dice somewhere else?

Number Five is Alive (and a Lizardman, apparently):

Touchdown number three for the Lizards wasn't long in following a 14 week old Giant Parrot's rampage! A different skink ran the ball in to score on this occasion, tearing through the human lines on the lizardmen's turn 11...
The Skinks are facing backwards because we always turn a player round after activation, to avoid accidentally activating the same player twice in one turn.
and then score on their turn 12...
That bloody skink again!
and leaving a trail of destruction in their wake:
They're not stunned, they're on Parrot Watch, honest.

Stirland Resurgent:

Not about to be beaten by a beginner (a girl, of all things and my wife at that!) I lined the boys up and gave them a stern talking too (earning some funny looks in the process). But it didn't look good when the Lizardmen delivered a perfect kick that left the ball sitting in my very own endzone. I had to drop my thrower way back to pick up the ball (contrary to my wife's claims, I was NOT trying to score an own goal. I leave that sort of thing up to her -although mentioned this again on a public blog is probably scoring an own goal of a different kind).
It's lonely back here....

Bombed Out?

Conscious that I had to score twice to win, I took the risk of a long bomb throw to the Catcher on my right. As is usual for me, when I really need something to go right, it goes wrong! But it wasn't a total loss. Catcher-boy dropped the ball, but fortunately it bounced right onto an escorting Blizter and got stuck on a helmet spike or something because, wonder of wonders, he actually managed to catch it despite being in a Skinks tackle zone!

Wot just bounced on my 'ed?

Knock Out Blow:

Alas, why my dumb-ass Blitzer was skipping about celebrating, he got mugged by a mob of Skinks and knocked himself out hitting the ground. Or something. Couldn't have been those little guys that did it. No sirree!
Spot the conspicuously empty square where a blitzer should be.

Back and Forth:

There followed a small but vicious brawl over possession of the ball. No rat-catchers or their mangy mutts were involved but eventually a Stirland Catcher (of all things) won the ball and made a break for the end-zone...
All your ballssss belong to ussssss!

 only to be caught and mobbed by no less than FOUR skinks!


Clearly however, Nuffle was with this brave lad, for not only did he manage to shake off the four-skink tackle, he managed to score as well! 3 all with two turns to go! What a guy!
I'll turn yarz into boots!

Obviously a lad who eats his Spinach. Now. Why were you so crap in the last league number 7?


With two turns left on the clock, both teams have everything to play for. After all, a two turn touchdown is well within the realms of possibility for either time. Oh eck. Nail-biting stuff. Stirland kicks to the Lizardmen -and the ball drops right behind their line. The result is another vicious brawl for possession. In turn eight, the lizardmen finally seize the ball. All is lost for the humans -their turn eight has been and gone. It's all down to the dice now. First the lizards need a pass...
...and they make it. But it cost's their re-roll. Now they just need two go for it's. They get the first, they roll for the second and.....


The lizardmen roll a one, just one single square from the end-zone and a 4-3 victory over the humans. Brian (that's me by the way) sighs loud and deep. Partly from relief that he didn't lose to his wife in very first game of Blood Bowl (he'd never hear the end of it, and his home or Adam's) and even more so because Caroline loves the game. It was at this point that she named her team the Skull'n'Skinks and pledged to join the League.

And what a classic Blood Bowl ending to a truly classic Blood Bowl Game.

1 comment: