5 votes, rating 6
Last weekend was the delight that is the Pow Town Blood Bowl tournament in Calgary. I attended Pow Town from 2014 to 2017 and waslooking forward to getting back to the event again. In fact there was a record Canadian tournament attendance of 58 coaches! Superb. The record of 57 was just set the previous week in the Spike major in Vancouver. Pow Town 2014 had 16 coaches so it has come on leaps and bounds along with the Alberta tournament scene. Coaches join from other Albertan cities, plus from Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Lair who has done the organizing the last few years has done a superb job. The use of Facebook seems to help. Plus Jack P who provides the high quality Maelstrom gaming mats. It was my first time to the Ogres Den gaming venue. A great spot for tabletop games, and it even had space for some other game tournaments at the same time, so there was loads going on. There was also plenty of swag, a Halfling team was given to one of the folks who gave early roster submissions, and there were door prizes including KR model multicases.
In addition to the main 6 game, 2 day, Swiss tournament there was also a 3 match Sevens Tournament on the Friday night. Which was won by Goblins!
I decided to go with Lizardmen for the main tournament. “Sore You not Sore Us”. It was 6 match Swiss, 1200 TV, with 150 TV of extra skills for tier 1, 170 for tier 2, 190 for tier 3. Max of 3 of any skill. Making an 1100 TV team is quite straightforward with Lizardmen, as you get a balanced team for 1090. However, this was 1200 TV, and without stars you end up “wasting” 50 TV on fan factor etc. So I decided to go with the star Slibli. That did mean to get 2 team rerolls, 6 Saurus and a Krox, I couldn’t have any bench or apo. I knew at some point(s) in the tournament I would be bound to take early cas and suffer. But the idea of having 7 Strength 4 and 1 Strength 5 in the lineup was too much to resist. Plus Lizardmen lack skills and so Slibli brings a really useful selection and is quick. I took Sure Hands double on a skink which I thought was important. Then a skink leader double, and then a Block double on the Krox. A couple more well needed Block on 2 Saurii, and then decided I better have one tackle Saurus. Though the likes of Frenzy, Guard, Mighty Blow or Break Tackle were all tempting. I have used Lizardmen on FUMBBL, but this was a first for me on TT.
There was a big range of team types at the tournament. Game 1 I was up against Chris P’s Skaven “Rat Attack”. He had a star Gutter, so lots(!) of pace. First half I received and managed a solid, drive that went more or less to plan. Got a couple of Skaven out and managed a 1-0 half. Second half Chris pulled his carrier back. Some times it’s tricky to deal with fast teams that stretch the field. I pushed players forward. Left some back, but not enough, so he was able to spring forward, make his dodges, and equalize. At least I didn’t allow him to hang about so there was time left. It was a really close thing but we made it through to win in turn 16. Just a couple of 2 dice block and blitz pushes needed in the final turn to have the gap to do it. A good match!
Game 2 I was rewarded with a match against Halflings who had won their first game too. Kyle’s Half Pint Halflings. I know from past tournament experience not to write off stunties, particularly if they already have that winning feeling under their belt. Their chef rudely removed our team rerolls. First half was a tough grind. One of their block trees rooted near the middle early but the star and other block tree kept trailing us. We weren’t having a huge amount of player removal success but had passed their team by and just managed to get a 1-0 half time lead. Definitely not easy to hold them off. They then couldn’t succeed with their brief chance to drive back. Plus their dirty player and coach sending offs were a relief! Second half the Halflings received. But a couple of turns in they started to crumble. A double skulls let us in and near the ball. There was some hits back and forth but Halflings are in trouble vs Saurii. We were removing players. One Halfling fumbled in the pack and then our Sure Hands skinks managed his 4+ to pick up and then escaped for the crucial 2-0. The Halflings went for a TTM attempt but it barely started before failing, and then we sailed by to get the ball and for 3-0. One more TTM attempt but no luck for the halflings. Kyle took it in great spirit. So that was two wins.
Game 3 I was up to table 2 against George B’s mean looking Khemri “Elves in the Nile”. Lots of Mighty blow and Guard, a Frenzy Blitzer, and of course including 4 Strength 5 Tomb Guardians. The sort of team that could perhaps get me outnumbered. I realized days after the match that George is Jorj on fumbbl who had smashed my undead with lots of cas 4 times in the past! I had also recommended local tabletop tournaments to him.
First half I drove again. We ran around their team fairly easily changing sides but they were laying down the hits. Fortunately we taking the blows like true tough Lizards and staying on the pitch. We were able to stall a little and score, though did have to dodge a skink to get over the line. With 2 turns left the Khemri were too slow to come back. But the second half they found their power! A couple of turns in they got a cas and a KO from a block and a foul. We were creaking, and not long later we were down to 7 players. Somehow we were still holding their advance in the centre. It was desperate times and surely they would score. We managed two 1db blitz attempts on the carrier, but no joy. The first was from Slibli managing to dodge away on 5+ to get a chance and the other was from a couple of skinks. As time ticked away though the Khemri still had rolls to make. George did a wise foul on one of our skinks in turn 15 which took him out. That extra body could have been crucial. As it was we had a Saurus and a couple of skinks who dodged back to bar their carriers path. So the Frenzy Blitz-Ra blitzed the Saurus. 2db push, so needed a risky 1db success….Got the pow! The skele ball carrier then needed 2 GFIs to get across the line and just managed it. Curses, a turn 16 equalizer! So that realistically trounced both of our teams hopes of winning the tournament. But it was a brilliant, grinding match and the draw was fair enough. At this point I set my eyes on going for best defence. End of a successful day 1!
Day 2..The first day were really great matches, but not too unusual. My day 2 games were a lot more chaotic.
Game 4 was vs Sean’s Brets (The Brettonian Krackers). I had played Sean from Edmonton’s teams twice back in 2014 tournaments and not managed to win either. Though playing Brets was a first for me. He had 3 Guard wrestlers amongst his skills. And The Mighty Zug! I decided Zug was best left avoided most of the match. The Brets have plenty of fend and of course their dauntless skills proved really useful against our higher strength. But we cas’d a peasant on our receiving turn and got the ball. The first half advance went superb again. In fact we got a couple more players out and their apo failed. We were a little spread out though so didn’t stall long, and a few turns were left after I scored. The Brets received and quickly got the ball near halfway with a catcher next to the sideline. I blitzed his cover with a Saurus and then had the Krox keep a clear head and get over next to him. Surely with the strength 5 prehensile tail that guy wasn’t getting out. But he blitzed, was successful with dauntless…and pow’d down the block Krox! Then raced and gfi’d off. I had a blitz try but couldn’t take down the blodger. So he dodged and equalized!
Second half we were now 11 vs 7 players. All his Guards out! Despite the equalizer it looked good for me. We advanced fine but they did managed to KO a saurus and a skink. I scored with 2 turns left. I really should have stalled more but had a feeling they were going to pull off another great blitz play. A skink without block isn’t exactly secure. Then neither of my 2 KOs came back. Still 2 players up but a chance for the Brets. They had no rrs left. But they blitzed a space open and pulled off a handoff. I had underestimated them. Our blitz didn’t work and they got their 2nd TD! Another great, fun match. Sean did superbly, though I feel I let the win get away considering the extra players.
Game 5 was then vs other Lizardmen. Eek, a mirror match. Against Corey’s Disco Galaxy. Corey is a Cyanide BB player. Though there were team differences as he didn’t have Slibli. He had more normal skills, an apo with 12 players including Hemlock, the Blodge stabby skink as his star. I received yet again to start. A skink got the ball (I used a rr after mistakenly not using sure hands skink) but almost immediately Hemlock dodged through and stabbed my skink down! Soon after they got the ball too from the ruck and my team were in a mess. We couldn’t retrieve it and they go 1-0 up. Next drive we managed to get it together and make the score. I found having Block on my Krox helped a lot, both in this game and basically the whole tournament. Next drive they had an early block fail and we were able to steal the ball ourselves to get the 2-1 and turn things around. Another drive for them went better, although a close thing, and it was 2-2. But we had pressured enough that we had a couple of turns left. It was a real challenge but I just got the winner in turn 16. In fact it came through a Saurus handoff catch! Hemlock had again stabbed down the skink carrier. But a skink retrieved the ball and somehow got it to a free Saurus six squares from the endzone for the winner. A great 3-2 battle which I was fortunate to escape from.
Game 6 I was up against Josh’s (Thespian) impressive Gobbos – Stonewall Gutter Punks. Josh from Lethbridge makes an excellent Alberta BB podcast – “Get the Ref”. I had drawn with his Slaan a few years ago and he always places well. His team had 3 block Trolls including a star. Plus a dirty player saw, a pogo, a diving tackler, blockers, a Doomdiver, Fungus the Loon and a couple of bribes! A lot of dangerous stuff. I drove again to start, took out a gobbo, but didn’t impact much. We went up a flank. A Troll blitzed through to tag my skink. Fortunately I dodged away. I decided just to get the score quick on the board and hope bribes went quick. A get the ref kick off result hadn’t helped me there! Now on their drive they turned up the pain. Lizardmen were being carted off the field. The Trolls were brutalizing us, the saw was being reliable and the ref was enjoying as it slashed my down players, and the Ball and Chain was spinning around taking players down. But I did take out their Doomdiver on the 2nd attempt, and then we tagged their Pogoer after a Troll double skulled early in a turn. It tripped up. My skink picked up and raced off. He wasn’t totally free so I had did the 2 GFIs to be sure of the crucial 2-0 lead. I had a rr. But snaked the endzone GFI!! I have seen that plenty of times on FUMBBL but still a howler to in a tournament. They made it 1-1 by half-time after retrieving the ball. At least the star player Troll block failed and was casd in turn 8.
My team was in dire straights and I was expecting a 2-1 defeat with lack of players. But as the Gobbos advanced they moved the players such that they just opened a corridor for my Krox to be able to blitz their carrier. He had annoyingly bonehead, rr failed his earlier blitz chance. But this time he succeeded! The ball carrier was smashed down. We had little cover but a skink was able to race up the flank with a couple of Saurii. Could we actually win? Well, one Gobbo dodged in front of the skink and also the Pogoer managed to get in and blitz him down. The ball went off the pitch, was thrown back on by the fans and the gobbos yet again had the ball. They looked set for the win again, but a dodging Slibli blitzed down the carrier and we just managed to cover enough that the Gobbos time had run out. A draw! My Krox then did a t16 cas foul. So that was 3 wins and 3 draws for both our teams. I was pleased to get through undefeated. Lots of fun had by all.
I had to rush off to the airport straight after my last match so sadly couldn’t stay to chat and see the finale with the awards. Bob won the tournament with his Undead, “Accidents Happen”. I believe with 6 wins from 6. Impressive! Rob was 2nd place (End Boss) with Pro Elves on 5 wins. Jack P was 3rd with Skaven. Josh was stunty champion (7th!) with Gobbos. Scott had best defence with Humans (just 4 conceded). Tom won best presentation with his beautiful Undead. (There were some impressive paint jobs, including one team with a pirate ship for a presentation base.) Brian’s Dark Elves earned the wooden spoon. Marc’s Wood Elves got most TDs with 18. And most casualties was a record 34 caused by Len’s Gobbos! Ward got best sportsman (using Khemri). I ended up in 8th, on the same win record as 5th-7th places, but with lower TD difference, or same TD difference and lower cas difference. Can’t complain at that.
An awesome community, and an excellent event!