Here is the review from my viewpoint on this great tournament. A lot of text but hopefully a good read.
I have hardly played TT Bloodbowl since 1999 but while my wife was away for 2 weeks I had plenty of free time and instead of squandering(?) it at Cowboys Casino I checked if I could get a BB game at the local Calgary club. I had a couple of friendlies one weekend (loss and draw) and it turned out their annual tournament, called Powtown, was scheduled for the next weekend and is a NAF event. Fantastic timing! I was super excited though with only having Humans with me, not much choice of players, and an unremarkable FUMBBL record I was not expecting to be amongst the leaders. Though of course being an English Gent was bound to give me the moral high ground over the west Canadian cowboys.
This was a 6 match tournament over 2 days, Swiss Style so you play people with similar match records. Venue being the Sentry Box which is a massive gaming and book store. Team values were 1100 TV with 6 normals (or 4 normals and 1 double) plus 2 normals or 1 double extra on the second day. No more than 2 of each additional skill. 1 skill per player day 1.
I made a FUMBBL thread about my Human with Griff Oberwald team and there was an interesting discussion. The majority, including some top coaches (including Purplegoo who is always ranked near the top of the site and plays for England/UK), said an Ogre with Block build, more rr and catcher would be much more solid, though Licker mentioned Griff could give the necessary special factor, just as I thought. I decided to stay against the majority opinion and keep daydreaming that mine was the true path.
Soon after arriving Dave the Elder checked our teams and got us all organised. First up my Averheim Plebeians had a tough fixture against last year's champion Sean and his Dark Elves Electric bubblegum. The crowd were cheering for the Champ Sean like crazy (+2 Fame). Though I was strongly aided by a couple of Elf players being taken out I think the stall I did in the corner till turn 8 was probably the drive I was most proud of this weekend. It was getting tricky for the last couple of turns. Second half the Dark Elves came back and scored pretty easily. They then did a great long kick followed by Griff going over and fumbling the ball. We were in dire straits but we headed forward once more. Suddenly when an Elf tripped up it looked like it was all over and would be a 2-1 win for me as I set up a screen and advanced. But I forgot a Witch Elf had Jump up! Well she still had multiple dodges to make but she got through to blitz Griff. He is stronger but she pushed him and then wrestled him down. I hadn't considered the witch Elf frenzy chance in my previous turn so Griff ended next to the sidelines. The ball scattered off the pitch. Sean's fanatical fans then hurled the ball 10 squares down to the other end of the pitch where his awaiting Blitzer calmly waltzed off for the late winner. :o I was cursing the Dark Gods and went off for lunch thinking that if I had lost a match that had been going well surely this was not my time for a successful tourney. Maybe Griff was the wrong choice too.
Next up we played Steve's TIA. Amazons are an impressive sight with all their blodge at this fairly low team development level. We really struggled to make our way up the pitch but eventually Griff scored turn 5. Our kicker then placed a long kick and we marked the receivers well enough to keep 1-0 at half time. 2nd half a crucial factor was the absence of one of the ko'd Zon guards. Somehow one of our blitzers was not seen sneaking around behind their lines and he got a 2db blitz in on the ball carrier. With the resulting surf and throw-in we took control and got 2-0. Good match but the Blodge didn't quite do enough for TIA and the poor Zon player stats ended up not being enough to stop us rushing by them.
Now we faced Damion (Champ of 2 years ago) and his Cursed Ones. More Dark Elves! We ko'd 2 line elfs first turn. After a failed stab by the Assassin (they are probably only good versus armour 7 blodgers) we hurt him after a couple of attempts. We scored turn 5. There was a few cas for us by half time and we were 1-0 up. Things got worse for Damion and his players were just truly inept. We blitzed down their ball carrier for 2-0 and more Elf fail led to 3-0. 4-0 in the end and 3 cas. Damion took it very well considering the mess. So we had actually ended the first day with a very positive (and fun) set of results.
Day 2 we started on table 2 versus Tim's Undead. Undead are fierce in tournaments and Tim played very well. This was a tough match. There was a blizzard for the whole match which left us both deep in thought at various moments of how to get behind screens etc. Tim chose to kick to start and promptly the Chosen Undead blitzed us. Eek! Griff then fumbled. They had 4 ghouls and one of these bad boys got through quickly for a TD. I set up again thinking how my tackler would make a Ghoul pay. But alas another Blitz kickoff suffered! :'( Somehow we weathered the storm. Griff and cover got through and we stalled out to turn 8. We couldn't hurt his ghouls though. There was then a Get the Ref and a zombie used that when he laid down the pain with the boot turn 8. We had 9 players v 10 and the crowd were still frisky so a riot occurred. Tim scored in turn 5 fairly comfortably. His stand firm mummies were a nuisance and I was screaming to the heavens when his zombie on the sidelines cas'd one of my guys who was double teaming him and a Wight also outhit a double team. So we setup 2-1 down with yet more crazy kickoff shenanigans with a Guard blitzer being taken out by a rock and the ball going to our endzone. Our thrower then fumbled it too. But somehow we got through again and we made a last moment score with Griff blitzing his way free. 2-2! Relieved. 8)
Next up was Dave the Younger with his High Elves, The Elves of Elevation. We had drawn a friendly the previous week so this would be another toughie. I was weary and when we suffered yet another blitz kickoff to start the match it looked ominous. However there was an immense scrum near the sidelines. Our slight strength advantage got us through and eventually Griff emerged with the ball and got away for a T5 score. At this point due to skipping lunch through lack of time I died of starvation. Fortunately things further improved when I returned as Undead. The High Elf thrower with accurate did a gfi back after pickup but fell! Griff sprinted through and picked up. A feeble S3 blitz on him failed and he made it 2-0. The Elves still had chance for 1 TD first half and pulled out a great long pass. However the catcher proceeded to fall in the endzone. Second half there was another great scrum after Griff caught the lone catcher receiver but we were overconfident and the Elves emerged with the ball this time and got a Td to be just 1 behind. There was still a single turn each left but organiser Dave the Elder said time was up. >:( We shook our fists at him angrily at this outrage but he cruelly ignored our protestations. It was a 2-1 win with 0 casualties either side.
So then I had made my way up to 4th place. I would play 1st place on the top table while 2nd played 3rd. I faced Lair's Norse. Lair had won his first 4 matches. But he had just lost to Duff's Chaos dwarfs. Maybe I could impact the title destination. Norse though were the team I was fearing as with their extra skills and strong players adding up to a lot of firepower they looked menacing. Lair and his Valknut Destroyers had been sitting on the top table all tournament and he was the favourite. But straight up after a riot his Snow Troll got both downs, managed to reroll but double skulled! Ooh the perils of a no block big guy. Griff had space and picked up in their half. He survived a blitz attack on him. A few moves later we found that tackle had been unfortunately forgotten. But Griff made the score. The crowd got the ref to show their disgust. After our next kick a Norseman tripped up somewhere. Griff sprints in and makes it 2-0! The Snow Troll was seen acting stupid quite a bit too. We had enough guys back to defend the last TD effort of the half. Second half we mounted up the casualties, our mighty blow player Gotwinus doing great damage. At this point we could see the effect of Norse av7 once things went wrong for them. We scored turn 5. They had just 5 players left. One skulled and we made it 4-0 turn 7. Lair didn't put a player back for the finale, he just wanted a cas but there was another riot! So he had a guy scrabble back who couldn't do enough. They caused some KOs but we end with a resounding (and exceptionally fortunate) 5-0 win with 5 cas. I and many others were amazed. Lair took it very well (quietly plotting how to sacrifice me to nuffle).
The other big match had been a narrow win for Undead over Chaos Dwarfs. My final points total including cas and TD points was 200. Cam from Vancouver and his Undead had 198. Just 1 cas difference but enough for tournament victory to be mine!! I was shocked.
My team had conceded joint least cas, joint least TDs and scored the most TDs. Maybe the Griff choice was good? Or was it my talent (no)? Or was it luck (all tournament winners have good luck overall surely)? Hard luck on Cam and it was a pity I didn't get to play him or Duff, in fact it was a shame I couldn't play all the coaches there! Dan from Edmonton somehow got 3 wins and a draw with Halflings. Remarkable.
All in all an excellent tournament, great fun and challenging, and well organised. Swiss style worked well. Thanks to everyone, especially Dave the Elder who organised and therefore couldn't show his reputed playing talents. Great vinyl boards too. Also The Sentry Box for providing the space and boosting the prize amounts.
Vancouver is a long way for a weekend (too long I think) of BB but the Spike tournament in September is still tempting. Not that I think I could get close to such success again. My tactic of distracting people by scrawling ineligible notes wont work again and there is no way that we will suffer so few casualties next time or get such fortune..