Grotty Little Newspaper
Issue 8 - September 17 2506

Image removed for copyright reasons
Back in Black
News & Views
Defending the Indefensible
by pac
Fouling in the last turn, and why you should do it.
Cherry-Picking - A Never-Ending Debate
by DukeTyrion
A short commentary on the phenomenon we all know and love.
The Death of Richard Cage
by Topper28
On the collection of a long-awaited bounty.
A Gobbos Tale - Part 6
by Candlejack
Part of an on-going story concerning a goblin's (mis)adventures.
Team Tactics
How to Coach Humans
by brownrob
A lecture by Prof. Robert Elliot.
The Dwarf RAQ
by pac
Everything you wish you'd never get to know about Dwarfs.
FUMBBL Focus
Admin Corner
by Christer
Informing you of the work behind the scenes on the Web site.
The Future of [R] Tournaments
by Mezir
An interview with the newly appointed [R]anked Tournament Director.
Coaches Couch
by PurpleChest
PurpleChest chains four coaches to his couch to ask them about FUMBBL SMACKs.
Grum's Grudging Grumbles
by Uncle Grum (and Mezir)
Words of wisdom and astute advice from everyone's least favourite admin.
P.A.R.P.
by PurpleChest
Can't choose a race to play? Perhaps our Race Profiler can help!
Group/Tournament Reports
Grotty Little Tournament II Review
by Angie
The ins and outs of the Grotty Little Tournament II.
The Southern Wastes League
by chunky04
What's all this about the SWL, then?
Classifieds
Obituaries/Valedictories
GLN info
How to contribute
Acknowledgements
 
Defending the Indefensible
by pac

Foulers can suffer from a bad reputation these days. Some coaches read words like these:

...makes me all warm and fuzzy in my tummy when that last block pushes a ma10/sprint/sure feet gutter runner into an 8-man dirty player boot party.....that's when i like to do my victory dance, when i hear that special kersploosh sound.
--shadow46x2

…and inexplicably receive the impression that foulers are unpleasant individuals, who only take joy in the pain and suffering of others. Apparently, what many of these coaches find most objectionable is fouling in Turn 16 of a game, or at any other time in the game when 'the match has already been decided' (whatever that means).

It has even come to such a pass that perhaps even a majority of coaches consider Turn 16 fouling to be beyond the pale, and will add any coach who does it against them to their Do Not Play list. Unless, perhaps, the coach in question has a good enough excuse for doing it...

This is where the GLN is here to help you, our foul-loving readers! Below we have compiled a list of useful excuses (or, 'reasons' as it is more politically correct to say) which may be able to deflect your opponent's ire if deployed at a timely moment in the in-game chat. Also included are some notes on which situations the excuse is most applicable in.

"What do you mean you don't get SPPs for fouls any more!?"

In previous editions of Blood Bowl, SPPs were awarded for casualties resulting from a much wider range of causes than today: including fouls. However, this excuse will be much less convincing if you have played a significant number of games under the new rule-set on FUMBBL (more than about 10 games).

"Oops - I forgot about the CAS you apo'd - wanted my second CAS for FF roll!"

As it happens, the Java BB application seems to incorrectly apply the LRB with regard to the bonus given to Fan Factor for casualties inflicted.

Q: Does the +1 for inflicting 2 or more casualties on the Fan factor table mean any injuries caused or casualties only caused by Blocks as in gaining SPPs?
A: Only casualties that count for SPPs.
-- LRB 4.0 FAQ

As I understand it however, the client does count casualties caused by fouls (although not those resulting from failed GFIs, dodges, and most other causes). The net result of this is good news for foulers, as if you have only caused 1 casualty so far in the game, you have an excellent excuse for trying to cause another. And of course, between apothecaries, Regeneration, trying to remember whether or not earlier casualties resulted from causes which count for the FF roll, who could blame a coach for fouling one more time just to make sure?

"I wanted a new Zombie/Rotter!"

Delete as appropriate. Undead and Necromantic teams get a free Zombie (worth 30K) if they can permanently kill an opposing player. Nurgle teams get a free Rotter (worth 110K!) if their Beast of Nurgle can permanently kill an opposing player (with a block or a foul!). In both cases, the team has to have a free slot for the new player.

This is by far the best possible excuse for fouling: who can argue with a coach who is just trying to earn a new player for his team? Its only limitation comes if the team has carelessly already got a permanent kill earlier in the game, or if the team already has a full squad of 16 (or all four Rotters).

"It's traditional to try to clear the pitch in this situation."

It is a time-honoured tradition in Blood Bowl to do one's best (when an opportunity arises) to completely clear the pitch of opposing players. Indeed, no one who has never achieved this feat (and also had it inflicted upon them) could truly claim to be an experienced Blood Bowl coach. As such, it is a rite of passage, and part of the homage to him demanded by Nuffle.

Unfortunately, it's much harder to claim that this is your objective when there are only a couple of turns left and the opposition still have 10 players on the pitch.

"FUMBBL tracks foul stats now. I'm trying to gain the next level Fouler Award!"

Since last October, the FUMBBL site has tracked the number of fouls committed, and since last month all fouls committed in the Ranked division give the coach Fouler Awards.. There are Fouler (10 fouls), Adept Fouler (50), Master Fouler (200), and Legendary Fouler (1 000) Awards known to be available. There may even be a Zen Master Fouler (5 000?) to be had. We can't be sure: but it should be fun trying to get there!

"It was revenge for your kill earlier!"

Turnabout is fair play, as they say. Many coaches consider Blood Bowl to be a role-playing game, and this sort of motivation will be entirely comprehensible to them. Other coaches see the game as simply a thing of risk and reward, and this argument will cut no ice with them (although why they wouldn't accept that another point in the CAS-for column might not count as 'reward', I couldn't say).

"That guy just had it coming."

Some FUMBBL coaches subscribe to a philosophy that states that eliminating any AG+ or ST+ player, other highly developed Star, or other generally annoying individual, is a selfless act benefiting the entire community. Sadly, however, this belief has yet to gain wide acceptance, and doesn't help much when you feel like victimising a skill-less Lineman.

"Didn't I mention? We're members of E.M.U./Rat Race/other. Our group hands out points for all casualties!"

Lastly, it can always be useful to hold membership of one of the above groups, or any similar group which awards points for inflicting casualties. These groups often have restrictions (your targets must be elves; your team must be Skaven), but the one thing they don't restrict is when and how you cause the damage!

Well, I'm sure our readers will be able to think of many more good reasons for fouling which we have overlooked. Send your ideas and comments to the author, and (if we get enough) we may be able to compile them into a second article. Soon we'll have enough, so you'll never be short of a reason for fouling!

 
Cherry-picking - A Never-Ending Debate

In an open league, it is inevitable that a debate arises around what is and is not a fair game. Are there coaches that deliberately try and avoid certain games or do some coaches just have a different preference in their gaming style? The answer is, of course, yes to both. In an open league there are teams created over time to be killing machines, often seeing the ball as a last resort, whilst other teams see even a needless block as an unfriendly gesture when there is the chance to score and recommence play for yet more touchdowns.

So what is cherry-picking? Well, it is many things, but first and foremost it is unreasonably maximising your odds to win games. In fact it is best described in the words of SkiJunkie himself: 'I would say you are a cherry picker if you constantly issue challenges that, were the team owner's reversed, you yourself would decline'. Some coaches repeatedly start new Norse or Amazon teams for a few games, and then retire them. Others may have four or five Claw and Razor Sharp Claws players on their team, but refuse challenges from other Claw sides. Some may only challenge coaches with Coach Rating under 145; and still other coaches might only challenge down 20 or 30 points of Team Strength, or pick teams 26 Team Rating points higher so they receive handicaps. The key point is, these coaches do not do these things just once or twice, they do it constantly.

Now, before we get too far along this painful path, let's look at the grey area. If every coach played an equally matched team (perhaps Dark Elves versus High Elves), at the same TR, TS and CR, then over time with equal dice their winning record would be exactly 50%, but these circumstances just don't exist in actual play. When a coach looks at a game he weighs up many things: the bashier teams will look to wipe many elves from the field before they score too many times; while an elf coach will be calculating how many TDs he can score before he has lost too many players to stop the final assault of, say, Dwarves, who rarely score more than twice per game. These are factors that every coach can and should consider in an open division, but those who become too systematic and exclusive about their match selections become cherry-pickers.

However, there is hope for us all, more so after the recent changes to FUMBBL. The FUMBBL SMACKs and other official tournaments give you the perfect chance to play games where your team cannot be avoided. Also, an inspection of a coach's history can give you some insight into just who is challenging you. If you are in any doubt about a match offer, just say, 'No thanks'. Some may argue and be offended that you declined their match, but if they do then odds are they would not have been a fun coach to play against anyway. If you decline games that you think would be unfair, then you are ensuring that the true (and few) cherry-pickers out there will spend longer finding a match. Someone who offers fun and fair match-ups will find a game soon enough.

As for coaches who are tired of being declined, perhaps you should look more to yourself than to your opponent. If you have a real killer side, then by all means be proud of it, but do not act surprised when the fifth elven coach in a row declines your challenge. Join a Smack or one of the many Unranked tournaments, or just accept that it may take you a little longer to get games. Often people do not mind losing players, they just have no wish to lose a whole team.

The open environment of Fumbbl is not so different to the world at large. There is much that goes on that we agree with, but even more that happens that we dislike, so the best we can do is to accept that the rest of the world will go on about us in its own way, whilst doing what we can to make our lot a bit better. If we just say, 'No thanks', to matches we view as unfair, and take no offence at a declined match and move on then we have done our bit. The rest of the world will carry on regardless, and the cherry-pickers will carry on their own game against new players, or even players that view the game as an unusual challenge, but at least by declining their challenge you will have ensured that games are that bit harder for them to find.

 
The Death of Richard Cage

The mist was covering the field on what was to become a day to remember. The sun was slicing through the dark clouds and the wind was causing havoc to the last tree standing on this barren wasteland. The two teams had decided to take this game outside the arena, playing it on the same field that had drunk the blood of a thousand warriors of the past. There was a foul smell in the air; a smell of death and decay mixed with the sweet smell of sweat. The players knew that this was to going to get ugly.

From early dawn, spectators had been coming in from lands far away to watch this game, expecting an orgy of blood and mayhem.

They were not to be disappointed.

The two teams finally took to the field. Narcissism Incarnate, coached by the feared anti, stood proudly at the sideline just waiting for the chance to rid the world of some evil humans. But they were not alone. zerkalo had his troops ready for combat. The sight of anti's foul disciples made the humans drool with bloodlust. It was time.

zerkalo had somehow gotten his renowned Human Blitzer, Richard Cage, ready for the game. Who knows what kind of dark magic he used to get this living Legend ready for the task at hand? Richard Cage was an awesome player. He held the league record for most games with consecutive kills. He was the all-time greatest Human blocker and overall the third best Human player in the game. For sure, a force to be reckoned with.

But his name was well known throughout the Blood Bowl community. Several coaches had had their share of run-ins with this mean blocking machine in the past. Topper28, the world's greatest Human coach, played zerkalo's Men Without a Past, in one of the nastiest games Topper28 ever led a team into. That game saw the birth of something only whispered about in the past. Bounties! Topper28 - annoyed by this player - knew the magnificent human would become the greatest ever if he didn’t end this reign of terror. On a quiet night, in a murky room, Topper28 drew up the papers for the first bounty of the league. The price for ending Richard Cage's life was never mentioned, but Topper28 let the world know that he would pay generously when the great Blitzer was laid to rest, never to torment the fields again.

The Kingpin, a usually calm Flesh Golem, but with debts up to his drenched elbows, had heard about the bounty and decided to see if he could earn himself some extra cash. He had never kicked a prone player before, but his economic situation had made him desperate.

Richard Cage got hit hard. He went down, and he didn't look like he was getting up any time soon. The Kingpin saw his chance. He rushed the great human, and with a surgeon's precision, he delivered a devastating blow to the throat, crushing the Adam's apple and breaking Richard Cage's neck in two different places.

zerkalo called for the Apothecary, disregarding the rule about medics only having one attempt to aid a player. No use. Richard Cage was dead. anti, being a necromancer, used his powers and raised the dead Blitzer to serve his own team as a Zombie.

It seemed Richard Cage got a second chance in death. zerkalo, filled with rage, gave the last order of the game: "Forget the ball! Concentrate on destroying!" And so they did. In fact, Richard only had a few moments on the field for anti's team before another well-placed boot was landed on the grotesque Zombie body, crippling him. For the second time that game, Richard was out for the count. He did not get up. zerkalo was seen tipping his hat at anti with a smirking smile as the broken Zombie was carried from the field.

Yet another great player was no more.

Evidently, the bounty was paid and Topper28 was last seen shaking hands with the Flesh Golem near the field after the game. He had a nasty smile on his face when the small envelope was handed over to the Kingpin.

 
A Gobbos Tale -- Part 6

Tough Break

This is a tale of a time long ago, before Blood Bowl fell into oblivion, a tale about a little goblins amazing career. All characters and events in this story are totally fictious and any similarities to real life and/or FUMBBL characters are totally unintended. Furthermore the author admits that the abilities of some characters in this story may not be in consistence with any of the official or unofficial Blood Bowl rules known - this is just a story

What happened so far:

Gnot was kidnapped by G'morg to play for the famous Blood Bowl team "Da Deadly Raiderzzz". Against his will he was forced to join a team, where some players threaten his life. After surviving the first tests, he now has gone through the tough training phase.

After ballhandling Gnot now get's to know the feeling of ballbeing.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHRGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!" The ground was approaching very fast and no matter how loud Gnot screamed, he knew it would not stop. Instinctivly he put his arms and legs beneath him and closed his eyes, praying to Mork so he would save him. The impact was not as excepted, no hard, splattering noise when his bones got crushed when hitting the ground, instead it felt more squishy and "splorty". After a bit of struggling he popped his head out of the mudpit and once again everyone was laughing at him. He got scared to death and all he gets are jokes at his cost and he didn't even ask to be here. He did not dare to think about whether it was just coincidence he landed on the only soft spot in this area or that Noreg knew what he was doing. After a few more minutes of struggling Gnot finally had solid ground under his feet again, where in the meanwhile the others of the team did walk up to him, still smiling. "Nice landing style" or "Look at t'is dirty bird" were only a few of the things he got to hear. Luckily the coach did call it a day after this and training was over.. for now.

The following day did not start much different from the previous ones, waking up after a night with not too much sleep, having breakfast, getting taunted by the other players and the usual humiliating arrogant looks in the locker room. After running, passing and "being passed" this day's lesson was called "blocking" and G'morg was nice enough to choose Gnarshik as Gnot's sparring partner, the very one Gnarshik who tried to break Gnot's neck at their first encounter. With a nasty grin the muscle pile bullied up before Gnot, "'it me, if ya can" and that all got rounded up by a cocky self laughter. Oh yeah, he would hit that nosey prick of a Black Orc, he would hit him harder than anything else had every hit him before. Gnot took a few steps backwards just to suddenly rush onto the green wall. That would indeed hurt this big ugly guy, he would be truly surprised. Gnot imagined Gnarshik's painful and unbelieving look when he took of to hurl the worlds hardest shoulder smash on his target. "BAMM!" Gnot's head started to ring when he just bounced of the muscular belly and fell to the ground like a wet bag of sand. Slowly Gnot stumbled back on his feet to see how bad Gnarshik got hit and was not only suprised but also imensly disapointed when he realized his oh-so-mighty attack did not have any effect apart from amusing those who did watch him. But he was not willing to give up yet and launched some more strikes, restless but also useless, until he was too exhausted to continue.

More laughter, almost hysterical now and Gnarshik even started to taunt "Is t'at all ya got? I've had mosquito sticzes t'at 'urt more!" This was such a painful experience for Gnot, he felt like crying but for some reason he did not. Instead anger and rage started to grow within his heart and suddenly he felt a strength and bravery he never knew before. All this did remain unnoticed, while the orcs stood around laughing and joking about the pitiful blows the Goblin did deal. But suddenly Gnarshik screamed out loud in a very high tone and fell down on his knees while clinching to his crutch. Finally he fell over onto his face whimpering and whining. And where Gnarshik did stand only a few seconds ago they saw Gnot with his face red from anger and his steel capped foot right where Gnarshik's loins just had been.

Everyone went silent at once, noone had expeceted anything like this quite shocking experience. One of the hardest players every to set foot on the pitch brought down by a midget that sneaked up on him and landed one single hit in the right spot. But then they started to cheer on Gnot and his ruthless stealth attack something they never would have expected but that made it even more impressive to them. This was the last day anyone did laugh at Gnot's mistakes.

To be continued...
 
A Lecture on How to Coach Humans
by Prof. Robert Elliott (College of Altdorf), aka brownrob

Ahem! Good morning, students… (They really are a hideous sight this year!) Erm. Okay. Let's calm down this racket and concentrate on the lecture… I don't care if that imbecile wants to show you an interesting piece of snot he found on the floor… Anyway, I hope you will all listen to me as I prepare you for the task in hand, which will be "How to Play and Win with Humans!" So get those fingers out of your noses and get those quills scribbling because I'm not going to repeat what I say to you now! Pay attention…

What is the Human team?

Human teams are best described as unpredictable. These guys can adjust to any game, score from anywhere and beat down the opponent at the same time. What more could you want? You will have the necessary resources to switch tactics during a play if required. They are one of the easier teams to coach because of this versatility and are a common starter team for new coaches. However, this versatility can also lead to confusion with new coaches because of all the options you have.

How to make your team

A lot of coaches fall at the first hurdle. However, you will not! Important questions you should ask yourself at this stage are: what is my preferred play style? What race are my opponents? Look at each player and list the benefits and drawbacks that they bring your team.

0-12 Linemen 6 3 3 8 50k G

Pros:
  • Are cheap & easy to replace.
  • Love to do the jobs other players hate!
Cons:
  • Are unskilled.
  • Have limited access to skills.

Summary: These guys should be the backbone of your team. Plugging holes, lending assists, tying up nasty players - and they make excellent foulers! Just don't rely on them to do anything else…

0-2 Throwers 6 3 3 8 Sure Hands, Pass 70k GP

Pros:
  • Have excellent ball handling skills.
  • Can provide a secondary scoring option if you employ the running game.
Cons:
  • Are vulnerable and need protection.
  • If they are removed from play then you have no passing option.

Summary: These guys are the glamour players of your team, lofting accurate long passes and also able to switch style and run accompanied by two Blitzers with the Guard skill. Don't allow them to get blocked as you can't afford to lose the passing option on your team, your team's strength lies in its ability to play all styles of Blood Bowl…

0-4 Blitzers 7 3 3 8 Block 90k GS

Pros:
  • Have excellent stats.
  • Can access Strength skills.
  • Are versatile.
  • Can pound the opposition and are capable of the odd deft touch.
Cons:
  • Are expensive and difficult to replace.

Summary: You can score or smash with these guys, you can have four killers or four proficient defenders or a mixture of the two - it is up to you! They will never be as good at scoring touchdowns as Catchers, so it is unwise to develop them in this way…

0-4 Catchers 8 2 3 7 Catch, Dodge 70k GA

Pros:
  • Are fast and capable scorers.
  • Can develop into excellent defenders.
  • Are relatively cheap.
Cons:
  • Are very weak and possess weak armour.
  • Require careful management as they can hog the experience your team gains through its matches.
  • Need lots of protection.

Summary: Excellent scorers and ball retrievers but they need careful management as they can easily become very experienced and delay development of the rest of your team. They are very easily injured and will need to be well protected! They are good value for money, and even when you do lose one, they are easier to replace than Elven Catchers.

0-1 Ogre 5 5 2 9 Mighty Blow, Thick Skull, Big Guy, Bone Head, Throw Team-Mate, 120k S

Pros:
  • Adds serious muscle to your LoS.
  • Induces fear in your opponent.
  • May distract your opponent from your main scoring/defensive threats.
Cons:
  • Is very expensive!
  • Is unreliable!
  • Is unable to use team rerolls.

Summary: Although he is arguably the most reliable Big Guy in the sport, he is still unreliable, so use him only after you finish the important tasks of your turn (at least until he has a few skills). When he rolls triple skulls (and he will!) don't say I didn't warn you! He can become the showpiece of your team and the bane of other teams but he is expensive and needs a lot of attention.

Okay, I think it is time for a break. There is a tavern across the road you can go to, but be back in 15 minutes and don't bring back any drunkards! (No… Not even the head of department if you see him!)

The lecture continues on the next page.

 
A Lecture on How to Coach Humans - Part Two
by Prof. Robert Elliott (College of Altdorf), aka brownrob

One hour later…

Ahem… Now that we have had an ample break and the wenches are outside… (again… I hope that door is locked now…) we can finally start on the next section. Ignore the wenches for now: we have pressing matters at hand!

Starting Line-ups

If you are playing in a long-term league it is tempting to start with as many positionals as possible, 1 Fan Factor and no re-rolls. But you will get as far as I would into an Orc stronghold! It is much better to start with high Fan Factor as you will receive more money at the end of your games which will help you cope with the loss of players during matches. The crowd will also help rally your team at kick-offs. There are many ways to start a team but I will now write down some of the best that spring to my mind.

This is my personal favorite set-up that I have coached with much success (that takes me back…):

  • 1 Ogre (120K)
  • 2 Blitzers (180K)
  • 2 Catchers (140K)
  • 1 Thrower (70K)
  • 5 Linemen (250K)
  • 3 Team Re-rolls (150K)
  • 9 Fan Factor (90K)
  • Total: 1 000K

This is a good all-round set-up which will cover all areas of the game. Two Catchers provide excellent scoring potential, while two Blitzers and the Ogre will give you some hitting power. The Thrower is required to give you a passing option but he can run with the ball too and throw a Quick Pass when near the End Zone if desired. The Ogre will scare the life out of your opponent if used well, and he will usually sacrifice several players to gang up on him. With a bit of luck your opponent will also throw away re-rolls trying to take him down. This is good for you as those players are no longer a menace to your Catchers! It is also useful to give your Ogre as much match practice as you can, because once he gains a skill or two he can really become useful. After the opening match you should have the funds to hire an Apothecary and then save for another Thrower as you can't afford to lose your passing option on the team. Then aim to get a Blitzer and another re-roll and after that it is a matter of personal preference as to further development of the team.

Another method one can apply is to purchase as many blitzers as you can afford. It is advantageous to have the Blitzers at the beginning so they can develop quickly meaning you can concentrate on their defensive benefits. You have ample re-rolls with this set-up. Furthermore, it is fast, while still possessing decent blocking power. I would suggest that you aim for this set-up if you don't like using Big Guys or if you can't cope with Catchers dropping like flies!

  • 6 Linemen (300K)
  • 3 Blitzers (270K)
  • 1 Thrower (70K)
  • 1 Catcher (70K)
  • 4 TRR (200K)
  • 9 FF (90K)

Offence and Defence

General Tips

You should now be able to make your own roster. (If you can't then see me at the end of the class and my assistant Mr Zug will be happy to help you!) So now it is time for our team to take to the field! What do we do now when the game is about to commence?

If you win the coin toss then elect to kick. If you can learn how to score when you kick and manage to steal the ball from your opponent then there will be less pressure on you when it is your turn to receive, and more pressure on your opponent to steal the ball from you. If your opponent does score in two turns then you have six whole turns to score and wear your opponent down to leave it at 1-1 at half-time.

It is demoralising for your opponent if you score against him when he receives. This will put pressure on him and will help to hinder his judgement. If you can place seeds of doubt in his mind he will start to play negatively - especially if you can hurt his 'pet' players - and you can use this as a platform to play more freely. Fouling is another good method to cause panic in the opposing quarter. A rampaging Dirty Player will often persuade the coach that self-preservation is a better tactic than winning the match! A Dirty Player also gives you a second ‘bite' at that Wardancer once you knock him over.

If you can grind your opponent down so he has fewer players than you then score quickly, as he will have greater difficulty in scoring against you. Humans are also good at scoring in two turns and this flexibility is where their strength lies. You must remember that you can score in two turns if needed but you can also play the clock safe in the knowledge that you can hold your own for six or more turns! How to score in two turns is explained below if you need to score quickly.

Offence

  • The Maul
  • Following this tactic, you should aim to flood down one side of the pitch and advance five or six squares into the opponent's half over the course of one to three turns (depending on his set-up and your confidence).

    First of all on the first turn, if the ball is in a dangerous position you should secure it by guarding it with a free Lineman. Using a Blitzer, blitz one of the defenders on the flanks and move in as many players as you can to exploit the hole. Using an Ogre at this stage to tie up two or more players is very useful. Then you should make any favourable tactical blocks you deem necessary. You can run a Blitzer and Catcher through the defence if there is a hole on the other flank to either act as a decoy or an alternative scoring option.

    After you have finished your important moves you can pick up the ball and advance forward with the retriever. You should not attempt to collect the ball first as you will sometimes fail to pick up and will turnover, leaving you very exposed on one flank. Never leave your ball-carrier in a position where he can be blocked, and try to protect him in your pocket. In the following turns you should be able to advance up the field with the loose pocket (akin to a maul in Rugby). You have the speed to score a quick TD if under pressure.

  • The Flood
  • If you come up against a tough Dwarf or Chaos team you may need to score as quickly as possible so play 'elf ball': make a hole and flood your receivers through and position them so your opponent can't cover them all. This method will not work as often as it does for your Elven counterparts, but it is still a reliable way to score quickly. Just remember that you're not elves and to play safely at all times.

  • Switching Tactics on Offence
  • The beauty of the Human game is their ability to switch tactics in mid-drive. If you feel you can't make a safe pass then you have the option of running the ball and scoring in a slower grinding play. The decision to switch tactics will invariably depend on your opponent and the team he uses and you may feel that a grinding play will work well against elves (using your strength to help remove their players from the pitch while giving them less time to score). On the other hand if playing a killer Chaos team you may feel that you need to score quickly to avoid the unnecessary damage his nasty players may inflict on you.

    Defence

    Okay, so we now know how to score, and it is now our turn to defend! It is often said that it is defence that wins championships. In order for you to win you will need to stop your opponent scoring on his drive, turn him over and score yourself. Forcing your opponent to make errors is the key to this process, and you should achieve this by putting pressure on his players or by playing mind games, forcing him to play your game. You should aim to give a lineman the Kick skill early so you can kick the ball deep and put pressure on his ball-retrievers or make your opponent form his cage deeper in his half than he would like to.

  • Defence against a bashy team
  • If playing a bashy team (such as Orcs, Dwarves or Chaos) you should ideally kick the ball deep and run your Catchers and Blitzers (who should start out set up in the wide zones) down the pitch to try to hassle the ball-carrier while using the strength of the Ogre and the assistance of the Linemen to prevent the LoS from crumbling.

    This will achieve two things. You are making your opponent feel more pressure as there are Catchers and Blitzers breathing down his neck and he will without doubt run some players back to help out. This should leave you with a numerical advantage on the front line, and the chance to play the game where you want to: in his half. Another option is to give your Catchers Shadowing and Side Step and have two of them pester the ball carrier.

  • Defence against an agility team
  • Elves are a team great at scoring and passing the ball. However they aren't so good at fighting. If you have to play an elven team then concentrate on taking down their numbers with your Ogre and Blitzers and try to make as many blocks as possible whilst your defence remains intact. Use every trick in the book to get them off the pitch. Diving Tackle is the bane of all elven teams and if you can stop them dodging you can use your tougher players to soften them up! Forcing your opponent to roll more dice than he wants to will win you matches as sooner or later even elves will roll a one.

    When setting up in defence against elves, you should cover the width of the pitch to force dodges to get deep into your half. Again, Blitzers and Catchers should start wide so that they can rush round the sides and put pressure on the ball should anything go wrong for your opponent.

    We'll take another short break now - but stay away from the wenches!

    The lecture continues on the next page.

     
    A Lecture on How to Coach Humans - Part Three
    by Prof. Robert Elliott (College of Altdorf), aka brownrob

    Team Development

    As your players gain experience from the blocks they make and the passes they complete they will learn new skills. I will suggest some skills that will prove useful for your squad.

    Linemen:

    The meat and potatoes of the team. These boys will be the line fodder on the team so give them something that will increase their life expectancy. Block is a great skill and should be given to all Linemen and Tackle is a good second. If you are fortunate enough to roll doubles then I suggest you take Guard to increase the hitting potential of the team. You will need a player with the Kick skill to make defending that little bit easier for your team so it is best to give that to a Lineman. Dirty Player is a frightening skill for your opponent every time one of his players goes down.

    Throwers:

    You should aim to buy your second Thrower as soon as you can but you should develop the two Throwers differently. Your original Thrower should be your offensive thrower, specialising in long passing, with skills like Accurate and Strong Arm. Your second Thrower will be your defensive thrower, used when you kick, and general utility player. Accurate is still useful for him, but his first priority is to get Block.

    If you decide to run the ball rather than making a passing play, this second Thrower is your ball-carrier of choice. When using this tactic, try to keep two players with Guard adjacent to your Thrower, so that even if an opposing player gets past the rest of your team to the ball-carrier, he will still have to deal with two Guards and a carrier with Block and Sure Hands!

    Blitzers:

    The best players on the team and you can have four of them! As you have a healthy number of these players it is wise to develop them into a number of roles. If you plan on playing bashy opponents then you must go for Guard as it will help with your ST 3. Some Tackle is essential if you expect to face elves and want to take down their receivers. After that I would take Mighty Blow, Pass Block and Shadowing, in that order.

    If Blitzers get doubles then I suggest Stand Firm or Dodge. At lower Team Ratings, Dodge is more useful because many teams will not be loaded up on Tackle. However, at higher Team Ratings, Stand Firm is a much better skill to take on a double. Blitzers are also well capable of scoring in early games and scoring with them rather than Catchers helps you to quickly 'beef up' your team with Guard.

    Catchers:

    Catchers are not that strong or tough, but they are fast and score with ease and have a hidden defensive ability which should be developed. They should be given Block and Side Step to increase their lifespan and then I would suggest giving them Shadowing or Diving Tackle. On doubles I would give them Dauntless followed by Strip Ball (a normal roll) to make him a fearsome ball winner!

    The high movement of your Catchers gives you a flexible defence capable of covering a large area and a Dauntless Strip Ball catcher will cause your opponent a lot of concern. You may find that you want to develop one Catcher into a pure scorer, but he will start to hog all of your Star Player Points and inflate your Team Rating. It is much more sensible to develop your Catchers into defensive players as scoring is of little difficulty to them even with just the skills with which they start out. Catchers are also useful for drawing defenders away from your main attack when on offence, but this is risky as they are easily killed!

    Ogre:

    Well if you decide to have an Ogre then there is only one way to develop him: Guard, Break Tackle, and Multiple Block and Block and Stand Firm on doubles. Pro is another good choice on a double. Piling On is a nasty skill that will inspire fear in your opponents. Ogres are big and strong but they are untrained and unreliable. Never blitz with your Ogre unless absolutely necessary as he will invariably fail his Bone Head roll or roll double skulls and cost you the game!

    Stat increases

    On any Human player, any stat increases should be snapped up, as they are highly valued. A few +AG or +MA Catchers are a menace, and ST 4 Blitzers are a terrifying sight.

    Conclusions

    If you are playing in a long-term league, try to score with all players, especially your Blitzers and try to build up a good base of skills on many players right from the start. A great team isn't built around one or two great individuals but instead relies on everyone working together and playing their role. (Much like this class… Well, those that haven't left yet!)

    Humans provide a different challenge to coaches because they rely more on skills than natural ability. However, they are a rewarding team to play with! Humans are a team that take a while to get going but can bounce back from a mauling quite easily so do not be disheartened if you lose a player or two.

    Obviously you should play according to the atmosphere around you… if you are playing in the final of a fifty game hardcore league by all means foul and use any dirty tricks up your sleeve to win but if you are teaching a friend the game he may not appreciate your 'competitiveness'.

    Listen up, you lot! That is it for today! I expect you to go and win some matches now. (For a change!) Oh, and have fun while you're at it!

    Class dismissed!

     
    Dwarf RAQ*
    by pac

    Interested Coach: Are Dwarf teams boring?

    GLN: No, of course not: that's just cruel stereotyping...

    Ouch! - Okay, Mezir says to say that, yes, Dwarves are boring, but that this is not something of which they should be ashamed. Dwarf coaches: take pride in your ability to bore your opponent off the park!

    IC: So, what is the point of Dwarves then?

    GLN: It could be said that Dwarves are the thinking coach's bashy team. It is well known that Dwarves are slow, and are short on players with decent agility. But the thing is, they aren't that strong either! Their armour is very good, although not actually as good as that of Orcs, overall (if you assume no Goblins), although Thick Skull does make up the difference.

    Your standard bashy team can be run in a very simple, direct manner: just use your higher ST players (Mummies, Black Orcs, Chaos Warriors or whatever) to hit the opposition - get them Block as soon as possible, then some damaging skills. There's more to it than that, of course, but this is still the basic minimal-thought-required strategy for many teams.

    IC: Most bashy teams aren't boring, though. My Claw/RSC Chaos team is great fun! What's the problem with Dwarves?

    GLN: Dwarves are more awkward to handle than the other bashers: one ST 3 Dwarf standing around by himself is not that much use - and while an Orc coach can count on getting his BOBs Block sooner or later, for his Dwarf counterpart there are never any guarantees of getting +ST skill rolls. Near-universal Block will win Dwarves a lot of early games by itself, but it won't be long before all other teams will match this.

    This is where the infamous Guard comes in. Many Dwarf coaches will take Guard as the first skill on every player (except the Runners). A TR 150 Dwarf team may well have five or more Guard players, while their opponents are still yet to get all their players Block. The only problem with all this Guard is that it narrows a coach's strategic options down a lot.

    IC: Strategy? I thought this was a bashy team?

    GLN: ...

    Anyway: Guard means Strength - which Dwarves need but lack. But Guard only means extra strength if you keep your players close together: spread out Dwarves are doomed! This means that the main Dwarf offensive strategy is to get the ball into what is not so much a formal cage as a kind of semi-organised ruck. This is where many would say that the boredom starts...

    You see, Dwarves simply can't allow the ball to go loose: with all their players forced to pack together, and such poor MA and AG, if it scatters out somewhere, the odds heavily favour the opposition to retrieve it. And if the other team does then score, the chances of Dwarves replying quickly to level the game are remote.

    For these reasons, a Dwarf coach has little choice but to bury the ball deep in that ruck, preferably in the hands of a Blodge, Sure Hands, Sidestep Runner who is in no way eager to hand it over to anyone. There it will stay until the opposition has no chance of scoring: either for lack of players in the right position; or lack of players altogether.

    IC: I still don't understand why anyone would run a Dwarf team. This sounds like misery.

    GLN: I sympathise: it is a somewhat masochistic pastime. It's the kind of thing that not everyone will enjoy: like crossword puzzles, Marmite, or [CENSORED FOR REASONS OF TASTE AND DECENCY].

    There is a lot of technical complexity to Dwarf play. Since you are playing such a tight, narrow game, chainpushing, the sequence of your actions and Guard positioning become really important. This is why some Dwarf coaches will sometimes spend a long time thinking, before just moving one player a single square.

    Spectate a Dwarf game at the same time as an experienced (and chatty) Dwarf coach: every turn he'll say something like, "No, that Longbeard should have been placed one square to the left for that assist!" You'll probably have no idea what he's talking about: in fact, he's probably spotted an opportunity for setting up a double chainpush to create a crowdpushing opportunity for the Troll Slayer, or more likely something even more arcane. It's another world.

    And yet, there is definitely a certain unique appeal to running Dwarves. With few other teams do you have the ability to cause the opposing coach to be completely paralysed with indecision, as the careful positioning of a single Guard Dwarf denies him any dependable two dice blocks: and so you watch as, in desperation, he turns to his Big Guy to save him, and you are able to sit back, and rub your hands together in anticipation of the turnover.

    IC: I see. But they are the bashiest team of the lot if you use them right? Right?

    GLN: Well, I wouldn't be a true Dwarf coach if I didn't say yes. But it gets more and more difficult to stay ahead at high TR.

    Once you get up towards the 200 TR mark, other teams (Orc and Chaos especially) start getting a lot of Guard too - those wannabes! Now, by this time most of your Dwarves should have Mighty Blow - which is great, but doesn't have quite the same amount of impact on the game as Guard.

    As TR gets even higher, those other teams will get Mighty Blow too - and even nastier things in the case of Chaos. At this point, your Longbeards may be getting their third skills too: but their remaining normal skill options won't have very much impact at all. At the highest (playable) TRs, Dwarf coaches have to rely on the technical positioning skills they have developed, sheer bloody-mindedness, and the occasional surprise...

    More Rarely Asked Questions can be found on the next page.

    * Rarely Asked Questions

     
    Dwarf RAQ - Part Two
    by pac

    IC: Surely there are other ways you can develop Dwarf players, though?

    GLN: I'm glad you asked that - we still need some more material here. Which position in particular were you interested in?

    IC: How about Longbeards?

    GLN: Well you probably know the default Longbeard development: Guard; then Mighty Blow; then scratch your head for a bit. Stand Firm on doubles.

    Don't underestimate the Pass Block Longbeard: it may sound like a silly idea, but, when it comes down to it, a 6 is a 6 on interceptions and Longbeards need every square of movement they can scrape together. Diving Tackle on these guys for a double: that'll give those sneaky catchers second thoughts. Dirty Player on a further normal roll: to keep them down once you've tripped them.

    One tactical note: when on defence against a team with any pace at all, keep two of these pass-blocking Longbeards back deep in your own half. However well or badly things seem to be going in the centre of the pitch: keep them there! You're a Dwarf, show discipline - if one opposing catcher gets away on a run, you can't count on catching him with a player running back. On offence, these Dwarves can be your designated foulers. One of these deep-lying Longbeards can also be given Kick.

    The irritant-class Longbeard takes Sidestep rather than Stand Firm on a double, along with the usual Guard, and Diving Tackle if he can get yet another double. (You can combine this Dwarf with a pass-blocking Dwarf if you like.) This Dwarf uses Sidestep to make himself annoying by moving where he's not wanted; then again by having Guard and being there; then becomes even more annoying by threatening to make a Diving Tackle. Sometimes your opponent will prefer not to block this guy at all: being forced into this situation will annoy him even more - superb!

    Not to be overlooked is the 'finisher' Longbeard. You can keep a couple of these guys on the bench to be brought out in the second half if you're in a foul mood or just like to hurt the opposition. Don't bother with Guard as the first skill for these (you'll only use them when the numbers favour you anyway): just get Mighty Blow then Piling On. Good for those occasions when you don't feel like taking the risk of leaving anyone on the other team alive.

    The problem with Longbeards is that they tend to run out of useful skill options if they roll nothing but normal skills. You may want to consider retiring Longbeards who fail to roll any doubles or stat increases on their first three skills: since Dwarves have the appealing tendency not to die you should be able to afford this.

    There are good arguments for taking stat increases on Longbeards. MA 5 may not seem like that big a jump, but think for a moment about how often you find yourself going for it with a Longbeard. +MA might not be worth having on all your Longbeards, but on one or two it gives you more flexibility. Naturally, only a purist Dwarf coach determined to get the job done with Guard and Dauntless alone would ever turn down a roll of +ST.

    +AG is a somewhat trickier decision. To be honest, with only MA 4 it is very hard to make effective use of AG 3. Especially on a new team, +AG will have far less value than another Guard. (This is also true of +MA on a very new team.) However, on a more developed team, another relatively reliable ball-handler and dodger can be handy. Another advantage of an AG 3 Longbeard is that on defence you can leave one or both of your Runners on the bench (thus keeping them safe and raising your team's average on-pitch AV, while still retaining some potential to snatch the ball and counter-attack).

    Also, if you take +AG, perhaps you will then get +MA later: and a Longbeard with both +MA and +AG becomes a priceless bonus Blitzer (with built-in Tackle). Dwarves with +MA or +AG can be turned into superior deep-lying pass-blocker Dwarves as their careers progress. A Longbeard with +ST and +AG is usable as an ST 4 ball-carrier at the heart of your cage. And a Longbeard with double +AG... Well, I don't know what he is... Some kind of freak, anyway.

    One final note on Longbeards: do make the effort to score touchdowns with them. Waiting around for fortunate casualty rolls or MVP awards is not a reliable way of skilling them and you need one skill on each as soon as you can manage it. Your default method of scoring should be to carry the ball with a Runner until there is no risk of the opponent stealing the ball and scoring himself, then making a hand-off to a Longbeard for him to run it in. AG 2 (with a Re-Roll) to take a hand-off or pick up the ball is a 75% chance - well worth it, especially if you have a turn or two to spare.

    IC: Runners?

    GLN: The default option for Runners is to make them secure ball-carriers. They already have Sure Hands, so Block should invariably be added to that. A double will often go on Dodge, or else Sidestep if Tackle has become very widespread. After that some Dwarf coaches feel there are so few options left that they put Kick on a Runner rather than on a Longbeard!

    The obvious point to make is that Runners do have access to Passing skills as well. If you set aside the disadvantage of not starting with Pass, a Dwarf Runner can in time become just as good a thrower as his Human or Orc counterparts; taking the usual path of Accurate, and Strong Arm on a double.

    In most serious Dwarf teams however (unless you are lucky enough to have lots of +MA and +AG Dwarves) a passing game is just an option to be kept in reserve, rather than a default tactic. Trying to keep the ball deep may end in humiliation, while an attempt to run receivers through the opposition line can be closed down even by Orcs or Khemri.

    The Dwarf passing option generally involves a move later in a drive, shifting the ball out of the ruck (or even passing from inside the ruck) and throwing downfield (or across to the other side of the pitch) to a previously unsuspected receiver. Many opponents won't even take a Longbeard (even an AG 3 one) seriously as a ball receiver, and may not bother to mark one. More careful opponents will spot your Runner's passing talents, and mark your Dwarves more carefully: but this is fine as it draws another opposition player away from the main action.

    Since you will often be throwing from congested positions, Safe Throw is a handy skill for a Runner who does a lot of passing. (Dump-Off probably needn't be considered.) You should almost never attempt to pass against teams such as Elves and Skaven. They may well have plenty of eager pass-blockers; and should anything go wrong (and there are rarely any guarantees in a Dwarf passing game), you can be certain they will punish you for it with a speed of movement you can never dream to match.

    Against an opponent who isn't quite so quick, one Runner at full back can be an alternative to two deep Longbeards on defence. Generally, this Runner will only offer token deterrent value against any daring runners, though. However, you could develop one as a safety (with Pass Block, Tackle, and Strip Ball) who, if called into action, could also take advantage of his Sure Hands to make sure he secures the ball after bringing his man down.

    Needless to say, all stat increases on a Runner are very welcome indeed. You might prefer to have ST+ on a different player: but an ST4 ball-carrier certainly never does any harm. The advantages of AG and MA increases for this position (even if you only use your Runners for ball-retrieving) should be self-evident.

    More Rarely Asked Questions can be found on the next page.

     
    Dwarf RAQ - Part Three
    by pac

    IC: What about Blitzers then?

    GLN: Wow, you really have become enthusiastic about Dwarves!

    Dwarf Blitzers aren't like Blitzers on other teams. Generally speaking, Blitzers on other teams are just that: the players you prefer to use for blitzing. There are exceptions, of course, but higher MA, Block skill and decent agility typically makes this a Blitzer's preferred task.

    In a Dwarf team, your preferred players for a Blitz action are as follows:

    Longbeards: they have Tackle, for knocking down Dodge players.

    Troll Slayers: for Frenzied crowdpushes, Dauntless attacks on high ST players, and to take down targetted opponents.

    Runners: for when they (being the Dwarves with the highest MA) are the only players who can get to where you want to blitz.

    Thus Dwarf Blitzers (undeveloped ones, at least) are in fact your fourth choice for taking actual Blitz actions. Dwarf Blitzers are thus a bit like Catchers on an Elf team: fun and useful for some more elaborate plays, but inessential for any of the basics. A starting Dwarf team can pass up the chance to purchase any Blitzers without too many worries.

    Guard is always a popular choice for a first skill on a Blitzer: and certainly their decent MA and AG make it possible to position them effectively to use this. Stand Firm (on a double) strengthens them further in this role, and the usual Mighty Blow can be added as well. A further double can be usefully spent on Dodge.

    Incidentally, never assume that there's no point taking even more Tackle on a Dwarf team: a wily opponent will look to keep his Dodgers away from your slow-moving Longbeards wherever possible, so having some on faster players can be handy. In the long run it should be your aim to make Tackle as universal as Block (and Guard) on your team.

    Another path for a Dwarf Blitzer is as a player to pursue and pressure the ball-carrier: with Tackle, Strip Ball, and perhaps even Shadowing (with an MA increase, definitely). Stand Firm again helps in this role.

    If you choose to develop a passing option on your Dwarf team, Blitzers are your preferred Catchers (but never underestimate the surprise value of a +AG Longbeard!). Catch (and again Dodge) are possibilities on a double for this kind of player. Pro might seem a good option for all-round ball-handling, etc - however (as far as the JavaBB client is concerned, at least), Pro cannot be used when a player is not active, so it is useless for receiving catches or hand-offs (for example).

    Any stat increase on a Dwarf Blitzer is the foundation for a quality player indeed.

    Finally, a truly stylish Dwarf coach will do his best to get a Leap-ing Dwarf Blitzer on his team. All emergency tactical value aside, let's face facts: the only thing to compare with a flying Dwarf in terms of sheer elegance is a flying Saurus (and possibly a flying Troll).

    IC: ...

    GLN: You're meant to ask me about Troll Slayers now. Nevermind, I'll tell you anyway.

    Troll Slayers don't really have as much variety as other Dwarf positions can. With Frenzy and Dauntless, they are built for hitting, and these abilities should simply be strengthened.

    There are two options for a first skill: Guard and Mighty Blow. I find that Dwarf teams can reach a saturation point with Guard - where they just don't need any more - while lacking the hitting power to actually put any opposition players out of the game. Therefore I prefer to pick Mighty Blow first on Troll Slayers. On doubles, Stand Firm is an automatic choice.

    When using your Troll Slayers, you may find that a red mist occasionally descends when you approach an opposing Big Guy, and that you just can't resist having a go at it - keep these urges under control! Dauntless is incredibly unreliable (the chance of failing it against just an ST 4 player is the same as that of rolling a 1 on one dice), and combined with Frenzy it will lure you into countless turnovers. The best time to use Dauntless is when you would have a two dice block anyway (and are hoping to get three!). At least - barring desperate circumstances - try and make sure you would have a one dice block if Dauntless fails, and make sure you know what will happen if you are forced to block again due to Frenzy!

    Attacking monsters is far from the only use for Troll Slayers, however. They can be more effective when targeted at the most vulnerable (lowest AV) opposition players, and also for crowdpushing wherever possible. Tackle (again, don't reject Tackle just because there's plenty of it on the team already) is of course useful in this role (although it will occasionally prevent you from being able to complete a crowdpush attempt).

    As with other Dwarves, Troll Slayers can run out of promising options after (in their case) three normal skill rolls. There is an argument for Break Tackle on a Troll Slayer, but you are really not going to get that much value out of that skill (especially compared to what a Bull Centaur or Saurus gets out of it). Piling On can be powerful, but puts your Troll Slayer exactly where your opponent wants him to be.

    If your Troll Slayer is lucky enough to roll an ST increase, do not dare breathe a word along the lines of "Well, it's a shame it came on a player who has Dauntless anyway". Dauntless is always a disaster waiting to happen! An ST 4 Troll Slayer is priceless. +MA is also good for avoiding trouble with forced Frenzied GFIs. +AG on a Troll Slayer is one stat increase that I would almost always turn down in favour of a skill: although I daresay some innovative coaches would find a use for it.

    Some Dwarf coaches are so put off by the risks inherent in the Dauntless/Frenzy combination that they aim to remove Troll Slayers from their line-up entirely as their team develops. While this is creditably cautious (caution being an essential trait in a successful dwarven coach), it overlooks the effect the mere presence of Frenzy can have on an opponent: forcing him to modify his preferred line-up and take extra care in positioning at all times. The psychological effects of Frenzy on the opposing coach make it a must: especially on a team which can get it so easily. I recommend taking at least one Troll Slayer on a starting Dwarf team for this reason alone.

    Note: as with Longbeards, it can be well worth making the effort to score with a Troll Slayer (especially one that has yet to get Mighty Blow) - sometimes you just can't buy a casualty roll.

    IC: Phew! Is that it?

    GLN: Pretty much: unless someone demands that I write a sequel.

    The last thing I would say: in some ways, Dwarves are to other bashers as Human teams are to Elves. They aim to play the same kind of game (Dwarves as bashers; Humans as Elves), but it seems to take so much more hard work and care to do so effectively. Without question, Humans require an even tougher and more determined coach than Dwarves, but running either race requires the same combination of patience, tolerance and bloody-minded stubbornness.

     
    Admin Corner

    Lots of things have happened since the last issue. The Academy division has settled in with somewhere between 20 and 30 games being played daily much like Faction. There is a steady stream of new teams, and a core of old-timers is emerging. It's all very exciting, and I am looking forward to seeing what will happen with the Academy.

    The major change, however, has been the introduction of awards. In short this is a feature that gives you as a coach a benchmark on various accomplishments you have achieved over your coaching career, be it number of games played or number of touchdowns. When they were introduced, a lot of noise was made over it. Some liked them, others didn't. I for one find them quite entertaining, and they give you something new to strive for, even if they don't have a big impact other than bragging rights.

    What else is new? Oh, a slight modification to the overview and coach pages. As with a lot of other things, some people liked it and others didn't. The reason for the change was technical. Your overview was being generated by code different than when you looked at other peope's pages. The changed layout came with the package. The thing is, FUMBBL is a very large system with an enormous number of different pages and views of the data that is stored. I am currently considering if it would be worth the effort to redesign the entire navigation system of the site, making it a bit easer to grasp. I'm not too happy with the number of links you see on each page, since they take up so much space; space that could be used in better ways. Oh well, time will tell what happens in this respect.

    Another thing that I have been giving my attention is the tournament scene. A lot of effort is being made to put tournaments into the spotlight. The newly announced TNT (Tournament News Tonight) project is progressing quite well and the TNT section of the site is slowly taking shape. I have great hopes for this, as I want everyone to be able to see what's going on in the tourney scene and participate in it. I am hoping the TNT will be fully in action by the start of next year. To make this happen, they will need help. I hope that some of you take the time to contribute.

    With that, I yet again leave you to the rest of GLN. I'm sure the other articles are far more interesting than this one!

     
    The Future of [R] Tournaments - Introduction
    by Mezir

    As I'm sure you've all heard, a new man has been placed at the head of the official FUMBBL tournament structure. Rich and eccentric, the owner of many of FUMBBL's strongest Blood Bowl teams has been asked to oversee the future of FUMBBL's [R]anked tournaments. Often criticised for his excessive spending and the fact that he buys all good Blood Bowl players off the market, whether they be Elves dominating the agility game or Chaos Dwarfs dominating everybody, Malthor was a controversial choice for this position.

    We have been given a rare opportunity to take a glance into the mind of this new man at the top and thus, accompanied by my secretary and the sounds of fervent mastication that appear to permanently emanate from him, I traveled to Athel Loren to find Malthor still enjoying the after-party of the GLT II victory enjoyed by one of the many teams he owns - the Athel Loren Guardians.

    After enjoying the party for some time, I was invited into more private settings. Half an hour later, once my halfling helper had been extricated from the buffet table, we commenced our interview.

    GLN: You've recently been placed in charge of the Official FUMBBL Tournament circuit - how did that feel?

    Malthor: First and foremost, a surprise. I have been a controversial figure at FUMBBL for a number of years, with many supporters and many knockers (and many who who don't give a hoot, or even know who I am). I have also not been on the same page (or even the same planet, it seems) as a couple of admins in the past (not to say that one was right and the other wrong) - we had such divergent views about FUMBBL. Apart from that, I also felt excited and thankful. Excited at the awesome opportunity to bring something new into FUMBBL and thankful of the trust Christer was giving me.

    It is hard to describe, but it was also an opportunity to reflect on what I wanted to achieve as part of the admin team and as a coach on FUMBBL. One of the many decisions I made was to say goodbye to my match reports that used the term 'dice rape'. Being part of the leadership at FUMBBL meant that it was not appropriate for me to continue to use that term as there would be expectations that I be an example to others around acceptable language and although that term was borderline, there were enough who found it distasteful for me to no longer push at the edges.

    GLN: Despite your "divergent views", things have appeared to maintain the status quo, but we've already seen the first signs of enthusiastic new leadership - Tournament News Tonight! What are your plans with it, and what more can we expect?

    Malthor: My initial plans with TNT was to create a very interesting portal into the world of [R]anked tournaments: a community project that contains lots of interesting information about tournaments, links to and actual match reports, previews, interviews, etc. I very much respect the GLN, but it is more of a journal and not dynamic enough to follow, for example, a Major tournament which has hundreds of matches in the opening weeks, dozens of qualifiers being played and the changes that leads to in terms of favourate teams to make it through, and so forth. Essentially, I wanted to draw on the FUMBBL community to help with bringing together all the [R]anked tournament information there was out there, as well as provide any information that would be interesting.

    I started the seeds of TNT during the GLT II by asking Plorg if he would do a Plorg's Picks thread and if he would be willing to work with others (I asked Prinz to be his partner in crime). I also asked AFK_Eagle if he would help out with the RIP list on an on-going basis once he showed an interest in the first post. And it all snowballed from there. To be honest, working on TNT with the crew of about 15-20 various coaches who have helped has been one of the highlights of my time on FUMBBL. Some of the most fun I have had.

    Now Christer wants TNT to be the Tournament page which is very exciting, so I am looking for more helpers with the project as there are many things in store. Firstly, new banners and logos for each tournament and news portals for each Major tournament - that's a page for each tournament that contains interesting information about it and links to articles, threads, etc. The aim of TNT is to give visitors the latest tournament news very quickly. If the visitor wants to find some older news, such as a list of all previous SMACK Pro Winners then that is easy to find as well, but the focus is on the latest news.

    As I said before, working on TNT has been a very very fun experience and I am looking forward to the FUMBBL Cup where the team (and hopefully some of your readers will join it) will work together to create interesting content for our visitors whilst having the same amazing laughs we have had in the last few months.

    The interview continues on the next page.

     
    The Future of [R] Tournaments - The Majors
    by Mezir

    GLN: Now, the questions everybody is interested in - the Majors! First off, let's start with the contemporary issues: Concessions. What will your stance be against this phenomenon in these events?

    Malthor: Concessions, I love collecting them! Next!

    Seriously, I hear the concerns of the coaches very much. In some tournaments in particular (like Rookie Smacks) an early concession can 'ruin' the tournament, or the coach who has to play the beneficiary of that concession next feels the tournament has been ruined or turned into a farce. The reality there is no simple answer. Conceding is within the rules and if a coach does not want to play the game anymore what can you do? Make the coach play on and he/she doesn't move any players at all? Or he/she just fouls the heck out of the other guy?

    GLN: So, in short, you'll be making no move against concessions, leaving the RRR - which makes conceding a bannable offence - as the exception to the rule.

    Malthor: I do think conceding in tournaments is undesirable, but it is not clearly something we want to punish - it's not something we want to encourage either. Although I am in charge of tournaments, I make decisions in consultation with my fellow admins, and there are mixed views on this. If there is a change to be made to discourage concessions (a desirable outcome) then there might be a slight penalty - for example, a concession from a SMACK might earn a two week ban. I am more worried about coaches who concede multiple times from SMACKs, to be honest, than a coach who concedes once in the 8 or 9 majors that they have played.

    GLN: In the same vein, there have been mutterings about the prevalence of power-teams - your own experience in this matter should be succinct. Any thoughts on placing a team rating cap on any of the Major tournaments?

    Malthor: Again, there are very divergent views. On the one hand, coaches want to see the biggest and/or best teams in the final series and selecting your opponents in ranked is part of being in an open league structure. On the other side, I hear some coaches don't feel it is fair for über teams (some call them artificial teams) to dominate the Majors. Lets put it into context: We have had 9 Majors. Apart from the Athel Loren Guardians winning the GLT II, no Major has been won by an über team that was super selective with their games.

    GLN: But not for lack of trying! This was what, your fourth Major final?

    Malthor: Fourth Major final, I think so, with one or two of those being from the days of me being a Chaos Dwarf coach. I will certainly give it some more thought. It is not appropriate for the FUMBBL Cup to have a TR cap, nor for the GLT, it seems. The FUMBBL Cup is the premier event, and the GLT - well, the fluff is about publicity, after all. I could see the UI or the WO having a cap, though. Alternatively, there is also the possibility of other TR capped tournaments besides the Majors that will have worthwhile prizes, for instance a 64 team KO Cup with a TR 250 ceiling. Then again, should the new team structuring rules code-named "LRB5" be implemented on FUMBBL, the point of TR 300 teams will be moot.

    GLN: On to the issue of qualifiers, then. Are you planning to change the existing formats, introducing Swiss style qualifiers, perhaps, or removing them entirely in favour of a straight 128 team Knock-Out tournament?

    Malthor: Handling who progresses with so many teams and getting it all done quickly is an enormous challenge. There are some coaches who like Swiss style tournies, but they are very difficult to manage with large groups - handling ties for example. My plan at the moment is to try out some Swiss and round robin type 16 team tournaments to see how well they work before we progress further. Obviously if we use a 16 team tourney, we are not going to make them play all 15 teams! We'll probably break them up into groups of four groups of four round robin or four swiss game rounds to work out the four winners. Then they might do a Swiss or round robin again or proceed to straight KO.

    GLN: That sounds like an awfully long dragged out qualification procedure.

    Malthor: And there you have the problem.

    GLN: No plans to forgo the qualifications altogether and make the Warpstone Open a straight-up 128 team tournament, then, for instance?

    Malthor: As for a straight 128 team KO tourney with no break for recovery/cash games inbetween, you read that and think "Great idea!" - but then lets think this through... Many coaches complain (coaches will complain about anything, heh) that the Majors and the SMACKs are dominated by bashy teams. If you take out the UI, which gives Elves a better chance to reach the final 16, the majority of Majors and SMACKs have been won by bashers.

    GLN: A myth, surely, as out of the four current Major champions, we have one Orc team and three different Elf teams.

    Malthor: Go back and include all 9 majors. Anyway, make it a 128 team KO and the Elves will all stay away. Now I've got nothing against bashy teams, but we want a wide range of teams participating if possible.

    GLN: This has nothing to do with you preferring and coddling to the cherry-picking, team-building, treasury-hoarding crowd, then?

    Malthor: I think it is interesting that Dominik who I played in the GLT final series with a killer chaos team against my Elf-Bowlers has made posts supporting a break before the main round. As he points out, there is a reason why the Bashers have so many Stars they can hire while the Elves are limited to naff Stars (Horkon vs Dwarves anyone?) and the Wizard. As I said above, I am not averse to looking at measures to get as many coaches playing as possible. If a 128 straight KO cup is not suitable, we can try limiting the number of recovery games after qualifying, or handing extra cash for making it through the qualifier and removing MNGs. Then again, you'll get complaints that the Dwarf team who is already going to suffer fewer casualties is going to have more cash to hire Grim Ironjaw and Zara, etc. In some ways, running any league is a lose-lose proposition: there is always going to be someone who isn't happy.

    GLN: Now that you've brought it up yourself, what about the friendly games that many teams play between qualifying and the tournament itself to generate cash and keep their players in shape?

    Malthor: We could always limit the number of preparation games people can play to one, or so. We could offer bigger cash prizes for reaching the final 16, or, if you reach the final 16, we delete any MNG results to simulate a week off when you reach the final 16, instead. The other thing to add is that whatever rule we use, there will be coaches preparing their games to min/max and get their team to the optimal position before the start, be it a max of 100K for Stars/Wizards or making sure they have 3 DPs. Our coaches are very good at planning ahead.

    GLN: Then there's the timing issue. Many spectators complain that one game every two weeks does not keep the interest at a sufficient level. Sponsors are grumbling and Purchased Phantasmagorical Visitations are down by 50%! Any plans?

    Malthor: There is a common perception that bi-weekly tournaments are just way too long. The majors just fizzle out after the initial first few weeks as the very interested specs and followers wait and wait for the next game to be played - so I am going to look at weekly KOs for the majors.

    The interview continues on the next page.

     
    The Future of [R] Tournaments - The Minors and the Tour
    by Mezir

    GLN: Excellent. Moving on, let's talk about the Minors. Will the Royal Rookie Rumble, XFL and FUMBBL SMACKs undergo any changes, or will they remain as they are now?

    Malthor: The biggest change to the Tournament scene in next year is the Tour. More about that later, but I see the RRR and SMACKs as being part of a 'rival' promotion to the official circuit. They work pretty well, so I see no need to change them. They will just be official [R]anked tournaments that are not part of the Tour. As for the XFL, Chickenbrain and Candlejack have done a great job of running the first series. However, there have been some coaches waiting for a very long time for their chance to play (High Elves and Undead for example) since the very first XFL Humans was played. The intention is to complete an XFL cycle (all 21 races) in a calendar year. Additionally, Candlejack has a surprise in store concerning the XFL which he will reveal when he is ready.

    GLN: You've mentioned a "Tour". Certain officials of minor independent tournaments around the Old World have come to us saying they've been approached by FUMBBL officials. The Middenheim Summer Smash, for instance, claims that you've offered a bid to buy the rights to their name and venue, as have many other tournaments. Any comments or explanations?

    Malthor: The biggest change I have planned for the [R]anked tournament scene next year is to implement a Tour of linked tournaments. The idea is to have teams playing in tournaments around the year (which will also lessen the time available for Elf-Bowling and cherry-picking). The hope is that teams will be playing in 'Minor' Tour events around the Old World, such as the respected Middenheim Summer Smash, the Kislev Icebowl or the Naggoroth Night Challenge. These [R]anked Minors will provide teams with the preparation for the Majors. The incentive for coaches to play in these Tour Minors is that a Tour is a year long event with prizes at the end of the year for those who do well in the Tour, including possible invitations to a year end Masters or Champions League event for 8 teams - more reasons to play in the tournaments!

    Sure there can only be 4 winners of the Majors and one of the Invitational, but there are other prizes to compete for, such as '2007 FUMBBL Tour Necromantic Champion' for the Necromantic team that scores the most Tour points during the year, and similar titles for the other 20 LRB teams. I am also hoping that Christer will have time to support a Tour only Awards system. You know the new feature where you can see your achievements, such as 10, 50, 100 TDs, 10 wins etc. Well a Tour only version will really tell us who the good coaches are! Anyone can carefully pick 10 low CR coaches and pick up a 10 wins in a row Award. Try that on the Tour where you can only play those who turn up on the day, not a carefully picked opponent. Now someone who can pull off a 50 Tour wins Award or 10 Tour wins Award will get my respect.

    There are also a whole lot of other things I would like to be a part of the tour, but I can't reveal all that just yet, as some of it still needs approval by the Overlord.

    Malthor makes an obscure blessing sign.

    Malthor: I will certainly reveal more as time goes on.

    GLN: When can we expect to see the first signs of this new Tour?

    Malthor: November.

    He makes the same sign once more.

    Malthor: That is when we will start some Minors to gauge level of interest and work out how many we need each month. The Minors will be a combination of weekly KOs, by TR min/max, and possibly even a Swiss or mini round robin. The basic premise is that each Minor will be a 16 team weekly event. That's the starting template anyway. From there we add in things like a TR 200 cap for one Minor, a TR 200 minimum for another, a Minor that has at least four human teams (the Altdorf Cup gives wildcards to local teams) or at least 4 Amazon or Lizardman teams in the Lustrian Rumble in the Jungle.

    GLN: Sounds very interesting indeed! I will jion you in hoping that our benevolent Overlord approves of these plans and orders them implemented.

    Much as I have enjoyed talking to you, time constraints and the plaintive cries of my hungry scribe force me to cut this interview short. Thank you for seeing me, and perhaps we will speak again at a later time.

    Interview by Alfred König and the unknown halfling scribe.

     
    Coaches Couch

    Welcome back to the GLN couch. I have groomed, abducted and coerced 4 more coaches to join me on the sofa. The straps are fairly loose, but they ARE staying until we thrash out the subject 'FUMBBL SMACKs'. These are 8 team instant KO tournaments, run in [R]. They are the current minor league of FUMBBL's official tournaments. Those without the option of not having opinions this issue are:
    RedFish: 3 FUMBBLSMACK wins. All Elite.
    sk8bcn: 1 FUMBBLSMACK win, a Pro, but 2 RRR wins and opinions galore.
    stormknight: 2 FUMBBLSMACK wins. Weirdly a Rookie and a Legend.
    Frankenstein: 4 FUMBBLSMACK wins. 2 at Pro level and 2 at Elite.

    GLN: Tell the readers something about you that they may not know, by way of introducing yourself:
    RedFish: Hmm. I fear little, but I am so afraid of heights it's insane. Makes my knees go weak and my palms sweaty.
    sk8bcn: I am known as sk8bcn, which has a meaning. But Meech gave me the nick of skate-bacon which makes me the unique coach with a community given surname and I am pretty proud of it. *Smile*
    Frankenstein: Technically, my account is illegal, as my former account was Mirascael. After a long break (almost a year or so, I think) I came back to FUMBBL and wanted to be anonymous, as it became more and more cumbersome to live up to my then reputation as a Wood Elf coach. I asked EvolveToAnarchism to block my old account because of that, which he did.
    stormknight: When I started here I was always trying to pick those with the highest coach ranking... hehe.

    GLN: FUMBBL SMACKs now, are you all fans of the format?
    stormknight: Yep... I love playing Blood Bowl this way!
    RedFish: Very much - it's fast, comfortable, minimizes drop-outs. Besides - it's the only place in Ranked you can go for tourneys that aren't either rookie or insane TR. I admit I'm competitive - something I only admitted to myself some months ago and FUMBBL SMACKs are competitive if nothing else.
    sk8bcn: Except a little flaw, yes definitely. I always loved tournaments in all forms. That makes the game so much exciting.
    Frankenstein: Yep, ordinary games are normally dead boring, FUMBBL SMACKs, on the other hand, are often thrilling and exciting, as you really play for something and can't cherry pick at all.
    GLN: The ‘little flaw’ sk8bcn?
    sk8bcn: The main problem is that you need a good amount of time to start one.

    GLN: Exactly where I was going next. You said "it's fast", Redfish. Surely they take an age to actually start?
    RedFish: Well I usually get there when they need a last man on board... But compared to other tourneys they're lightning fast to get going. Though they sometimes fail to get started at all - like a scheduled tourney.
    sk8bcn: Depending on the day, if you are the first to gather coaches it takes 20-30 minutes. But it depends. I feel like it's easier at European times.
    Frankenstein: Right, sometimes FUMBBL SMACKs didn't happen because no admin was available.
    RedFish: I know of some FUMBBL SMACKs that sometimes take an hour or more to get started.
    sk8bcn: Starting one thus means you need a 3:30 total free time to start one. Though the admin problem IMO decreased when the new staff was introduced. I think it's nearly fixed now.
    RedFish: But this is a good way to get quick Tourney-fix.
    stormknight: RedFish is right - they are fast... Though they are hard to start... Sometimes trying for hours to get the last two players can be hard. Though I wouldn't miss the thrill of not knowing who I'm going to play or how much better their teams are. It's the thrill I like, the not knowing.
    Frankenstein: There's also the occasional problem of slow coaches by the way.

    GLN: So how do you pass the time while a FUMBBL SMACK forms? Do you still look for games with other teams? Or wait patiently?
    RedFish: Varies - LFG, smack-talk (oh I kill myself) and do stuff outside of the computer. Looking for a game is mainly if you've got less than 5 coaches trying to drum up the FUMBBL SMACK.
    Frankenstein: I either do exercises or caress a cat in my lap, we've got 3.
    stormknight: Well I don't. Sometimes I try to gather players, or watch movies in the background...
    sk8bcn: I do usually chat in two of the best channels on fumbbl: the French speaking one (#fumbbl.fr) where Québécois, Belgians and French chat, and the fun old #Fumbbl_Academy (you should join there). FUMBBL channel is too crowded for me.

    GLN: FUMBBL SMACKs are famously divided into the 6 divisions. Rookie, Experienced, Veteran, Pro, Elite and Legend. Do you have a favourite?
    RedFish: Anything from Experienced to Elite - including those 2. I don't like Legend as the TRs are often way off compared to each other, and generally I believe that games at that high a TR are more dice dependant. Rookie... Well you can just join a RRR for that.
    sk8bcn: I expect the best one to be the Legend one, but as yet I have failed to make my teams reach a very high TR to compete there. Thus Elite is the one I prefer.
    Frankenstein: Veteran, Pro and Elite. Rookie and Experienced are too Star Player dependent, I'd say. And legendary teams are often highly artificial teams boosted by excessive cherry-picking.
    stormknight: No, anything is good to me... The competition, and the occasional winning, is by far the most rewarding.
    RedFish: I just find that the competition on Legend is very skewed, as are the low TR categories to some degree.
    stormknight: Most of the time, yes!
    sk8bcn: Frankenstein, don't forget the fluff of legendary teams gathering up.
    Frankenstein: Anyhow, the Majors are the real LEGEND tournaments out there.
    RedFish: Don't even mention the Majors or I'll send you one of your cats a little visit.
    Frankenstein: lol at RedFish.

    GLN: What races do you like to play in FUMBBL SMACKs? Are any races unsuited to the format in your opinion?
    RedFish: Not really - well stunties are rarely all that competitive and can grant another coach an unfair advantage through SPPs and low casualty rate.
    sk8bcn: I actually first wanted to play a FUMBBLSMACK to satisfy my desire to play clawed Chaos. But I finally even entered with elves. Everything can be fun!
    RedFish: I prefer to see as many different races there as possible.
    stormknight: I'm an Orc player. One could say stunties aren't so good in FUMBBL SMACKs. But mostly I see the Dwarfs, Orcs, and Chaos as some of the preferred races in Legend.
    RedFish: That's probably because those teams don't get a lot of chances to play otherwise.
    stormknight: RedFish has a point there...
    RedFish: Speaking of Orcs - there may be too many in the FUMBBL SMACKs. As in everything on FUMBBL. But they do make nice punching bags.
    sk8bcn: But Orcs are overpowered. I always believed it, they don't have any peak, they are always good.
    Frankenstein: My favourite races are Dwarf and Orc, definitely. All AV 7 races suck by default (Wood Elves being the exception because of Treeman and Wardancer), Elves/Skaven aren't good because of their inferior star players.

    GLN: I was just about to ask: Elves. I’ve heard it said a FUMBBL SMACK is no place for Elves. Is that true?
    RedFish: That's nonsense.
    stormknight: No that's not true!
    RedFish: Elves are always competitive - at least any but Pro Elf.
    sk8bcn: You can join a FUMBBL SMACK with Elves, with appropriate roster deepness you are a strong contender, but FUMBBL SMACK is no place for coaches that love to build their Elves by elf-bowl only.
    RedFish: It's just that so many people have no idea how to play anything but elf-bowl with their elves. They can't grasp that what they have is one of the best teams to win with without scoring 4 goals more than the opponent.
    Frankenstein: Yes it is true. Dark elves and Skaven basically have no star, High Elves' Prince Moranion isn't good enough, Wood Elves can be competitive up to Elite though, Treemen and Wardancers are pretty good.
    stormknight: Nope... It's competitive play all the way...
    Frankenstein: And Pro eElves are the 3rd stunty race.
    RedFish: Pro Elves are good one-off gamers - not a tourney team. But Elves do have a distinct advantage in the wizard in tourneys.
    Frankenstein: If they can afford him.

    GLN: And any race you fear to face in FUMBBL SMACKs?
    RedFish: Khemri - for what they can do to your team before the next match.
    sk8bcn: Feared races? Not that many, however I fear to face back to back real strong bashy teams.
    Frankenstein: I fear Chaos Dwarves in all formats, the bull centaurs are basically sort of ST4 MA 9 Blitzers in my book, very difficult to contain.
    stormknight: Hmmm. No. That's something one should leave behind as one enters the FUMBBL SMACK. But if I have to choose Chaos Dwarves... I haven't played v Khemri that much weirdly enough.
    RedFish: Yeah - CDs are always a tough nut to crack. Only if coached by a good coach though. CDs can be transformed into a pile of pudding in the hands of a weak coach.
    sk8bcn: True, I always sucked so much with CD. *Very Happy*
    RedFish: There you go - sk8 makes an excellent point! *cough*

    You can find the rest of PurpleChest's expert interrogation on the next page.

     
    Coaches Couch - Part Two

    GLN: We've mentioned stars. Are they essential in FUMBBL SMACKs? Are they tourney winners?
    RedFish: Depends on the teams facing each other, obviously.
    Frankenstein: That's why Undead and Khemri have won so many FUMBBL SMACKs, Chaos Dwarves too (Hthark).
    RedFish: True. They can be a big influence, but the more advanced the teams playing the less influence Stars have.
    sk8bcn: I tend to try to have cash for a star in finals. You won't face them in the first round, though, maybe in semis, very likely in final, but not in first round.
    stormknight: Yep, but there’s good odds to meet "Ripper" or the Count.
    Frankenstein: Imagine Undead, Khemri and Necromantic without Count Luthor and/or Ramtut.
    RedFish: I guess that's one advantage to Legend. Stars don't unbalance as much as in the mid-rangers.

    GLN: Ramtut, The Count and Hthark. No one has mentioned Morg’N’Thorg. Is he over-rated?
    Frankenstein: Morg’N’Thorg is excellent, but doesn't change the entire team by his presence, I'd say, he isn't such a tank as the other 3 mentioned.
    RedFish: Hmm. I think he often ends up being an expensive road block, or a ball carrier that could have been used better. The others are more versatile and mobile.

    GLN: In terms of entering teams. Do you prefer to come in with a team right on the limit (150, 175 etc.) and is that with cash in the bank? Or a tough squad? Or is it ok to enter below the line?
    RedFish: I prefer it if all teams are as close to the limit as possible with no cash to spare. But everything’s fine really, as long as the 175 and the 151 don't meet first.
    stormknight: Well it’s fine to enter as they are. I just go for it...
    Frankenstein: Preferably at the limit for me
    sk8bcn: I always tried to enter at the very limit. But lately, I entered this team a little lower + an MNG player and I reached the finals. The tendency isn't that much anymore in power gaming, I think.

    GLN: Do you ever 'clip' a team to get down to the line? Dropping a coach, cash or even a player? Does that work? Or leave you vulnerable?
    RedFish: Sure - often hire and fire a coach, drop an injured player etc. Whatever it takes to get in the FUMBBL SMACK that seems to be forming.
    Frankenstein: Definitely, works perfectly.
    sk8bcn: I did at TR 205 or so, didn't prevent me to lose though. But it's worth it since tournaments are much funnier than one off games.
    RedFish: Sure are.
    stormknight: Yes... Once... First one but not last. It's good to have an optimal team when one enters... Then one has higher chances of success.
    RedFish: And again - you can usually be sure the FUMBBL SMACK is done within a short period of time so you get the satisfaction of seeing it to the end, either as winner or loser.

    GLN: Lately we've seen a large number of multiple DP teams do well in FUMBBL SMACKs. Are DP's essential?
    RedFish: I've won a couple of FUMBBL SMACKs with my Lizardmen who have no DP - against heavy DP teams. Fouling isn't the end all and be all of BB, unless you allow it to be.
    sk8bcn: I have no clue. My lineperson gets kick as first skill then DP. And multiple DP vs. one DP isn't that much of an advantage.
    RedFish: Unless you are playing one of the Undead teams and you have loads of DP’s. That can pack a punch I'd reckon.
    Frankenstein: I will always try to have two. However, my dwarves reached the semi-finals of GLT II without a single DP. Thus, dwarves might be dirty enough by themselves.
    stormknight: Well it depends on the team. Orcs don't need them as much as say Skaven do. It's the 'who has most players on the field' mentality.
    RedFish: Skaven don't need to get into a foul war - on the contrary. I'd say Skaven could do decently without a DP but in general Skaven are a weak tourney team. Unless you get lucky on CAS against.
    Frankenstein: Anyhow, the mere presence of a DP changes the entire flow of a game, you can't afford to leave important players unprotected, and the psychological impact can be massive as well.
    RedFish: True - often makes players realize they can't just run their star receiver down deep. 'Cause that boot has his name on it.
    sk8bcn: I agree to Frankenstein. I faced a team with two DP and started directly to foul, assuming he will surely do.

    GLN: Can a FUMBBL SMACK be won without a DP? And without fouling?
    stormknight: Yes...
    RedFish: As I said - I've done it so everyone else should be able to. One can always win without fouling, fouling just makes it easier - sometimes.
    sk8bcn: Of course it can be done. DP is a good skill but you can't safely foul twice in a row.
    Frankenstein: Of course it 'can', but it can be won much more easily with a healthy assortment of DPs.

    GLN: Is FUMBBLSMACK addictive? If so, Why?
    RedFish: Addictive? I wouldn't say that - it's just a good way to get your tourney-fix. Hmm, 'Not addictive' and 'fix' in the same sentence. Back-to-back games add a different thrill, so yeah the tension can be higher.
    sk8bcn: Well if you get past a few rounds, I think so. Some little early throw outs by bad luck and you can get disgusted.
    stormknight: I would say yes to that. One just doesn’t know who or what will come next.
    sk8bcn: Overprotecting your CR may be a problem, you bet many points in FUMBBL SMACKs, better don't lose if you care about it.
    stormknight: Then you don't have the right to it.

    GLN: Is there any advice you'd give a coach that has never played a FUMBBL SMACK and is looking to maybe do so?
    RedFish: Try it? It's a good way of getting introduced to tourneys. Just remember that it can take a load of your time to wrap up.
    sk8bcn: Join and hang in the FUMBBL SMACK channel (#fumbblsmack). If you have time a week-end, advertise for it.
    stormknight: Don't be afraid to lose something.
    sk8bcn: And you'll soon try something out that is really hard!
    stormknight: And fun!
    RedFish: Yarr - it gives you 'blood on your teeth'. I have no idea how the saying goes in English.
    sk8bcn: If you win one, I am sure you will be proud of the title.
    Frankenstein: Be prepared to encounter psychological warfare, don't pay any attention to whining/slow play/high CR, foul even if your opponent claims the game was decided, you never know what's going to happen. If you don't foul, be aware that is a luxury you afford at your own risk (I do quite often).
    RedFish: Yeah - as in any tourney there can be people who will use ANY means of winning the game. Even ones not game-related.
    sk8bcn: like starting a webcam and proving he plays nude?
    Frankenstein: Don't let the minority of pathetic coaches intimidate you - or spoil your fun.

    GLN: Any FUMBBL SMACK coaches, that aren’t here, that you respect and want to 'Big Up'?
    stormknight: Emphasy.
    Frankenstein: No, they all suck big time, including those in this chat. *Wink*
    sk8bcn: Flix, one of the most terrific coaches on FUMBBL.
    RedFish: Smess - but he's done well in most things he's done.
    Frankenstein: Yeah, Flix.

     
    Uncle Grum's Grudging Grumbles
    by Uncle Grum with help from Mezir

    On Mud and Witch Elves

    Dear Uncle Grum,

    My Blitzers are concentrating more on the Witch Elves than on the ball. I have mandated that they all take cold showers, but to no avail. What can be done about this? Is it possible to get an all female Dark Elf roster similar to the Amazons, maybe? Your insight and guidance is highly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

    Optihut

    *

    Dear Optihut,

    The solutions here are manifold, but all hold their own drawbacks. You could, of course, just fire the Witch Elves. Or the Blitzers - whatever suits you best. You could initiate nude training sessions, which would make match days, when everybody is dressed, less interesting to the Blitzers. However, since you wouldn't get any training done at all, you'd probably end up losing your games still.

    Medical solutions may be sought as well, although I have heard that this leads to a significant drop in the aggression levels in Blitzers, causing sloppy play and soft blocking, which is undesirable. Perhaps you should hire a good wizard and get him to cover the Witch Elves in an illusion spell.

    As for an all female Dark Elf roster - the thought is interesting, nay, inspired! Your stadium will be packed every day. I suggest you create two such teams and have them compete on a daily basis. I also suggest that you cover the pitch in a two-inch layer of topsoil and drench it with water just prior to the match. The game play may suffer, but I'm sure the crowd will love it.

    Send me free tickets,

    Grudging Grum

    * * *

    A Case of the Snuffles

    Dear Uncle Grum,

    Lately, Nuffle worship just hasn't been working out for me. My players keep dying, my apoths can't seem to do anything to help them and my match record is getting steadily worse. Are there any other gods out there I could pray to for aid on the pitch? Does Nuffle have a sister? Snuffle, maybe?

    Thank you,

    Woodpecker

    *

    Dear Woodpecker

    There is no god but Nuffle. He is the One and the Six, the Skull and the Pow. That said, perhaps you might consider sacrificing a six-pack of Goblins every now and then or, if this does not work, switching to a higher quality Goblin type. Nuffle is very partial to roasted grot.

    On the subject of Nuffle's sister, I would suggest you not venture in that direction. She, too, is One and Six, and no sane man would wish to be involved with six women at once.

    Regards,

    Grudging Grum

    * * *

    Chaos Undecided

    Dear Uncle Grum,

    I have a Chaos team that is sponsored by all four Chaos deities. You would think that they would win all the time, right? Well, some days, it seems as if I have Gods against me! Is Nuffle mad that my players are worshipping the wrong Gods? Or should I hedge my bets with the four Gods of Chaos? I can't make sacrifices to all five Gods as I don't have the resources to do so. But if I sacrifice to three of four Chaos Gods, they will get pissed. To whom shall I sacrifice?

    Oblitzamanger

    *

    Misguided one,

    Considering that you sacrifice to four Gods what most people only sacrifice to one, wouldn't you think it obvious that none of them are interested enough to help your team out on the pitch? But we didn't think of that when we decided to follow the path of Chaos Undivided, now did we? Of course not, since followers of Chaos are not noted for their cranial capacity, unless they happen to be very good at head-butting.

    It looks like you've got yourself between a rock and a hard place. On the one side, you can't please four gods. On the other, should you stop sacrificing after all this time, it will get noticed and somebody will be along shortly to ask pointed questions with pointed implements.

    I'm sure somebody will now tell you that they told you so. Best of luck with the losing record,

    Grudging Grum

    * * *

    Unpleasant Peasants

    Dear Uncle Grum,

    I am unsure what title you possess or if there is any royal blood in you, but you may modestly address me as "sire". I am Prince Elegan de Silverville (you may have heard of me, please, no autographs) captain of the team F-Squad which is currently on tour throughout the Old World in search of worthy Blood Bowl opponents. I am writing to you in regards to this concept of "Fan Factor" and how one gets it.

    I am at a loss as to why the ignorant masses hate me. We score for them, they leave. We crack heads for them, they don't care. We win games for them... they boo! One even threw a rock at me! The nerve! He was, of course, beaten by my brute squad, but it just makes me wonder: What must I do to please peasants?!

    I have decreed law in town that F-Squad is the only team one may "root" for... and they still don't. I have given a tax cut to those who fly flags with my face on it at the game... they burn them. Sheesh! Well, you see my point. Please provide any advice you can as to how to get more minions to favor me. Though their smell is a bit repulsive, I'm finding the more of them present, the better the game goes. Of course, if you are not royally educated in a king approved college, I shall have to take anything you say with a grain of salt... Which I'll kindly spare to you should you need one.

    Signed,

    Prince Elegan de Silverville.

    *

    Sire,

    I think I may have located your problem. Please direct yourself to a mirror. You will most likely posses long hair, and therefore you will have to hold it back away from your ears. Regard them carefully. I have a feeling that they will be pointed.

    Your mannerisms and arrogance make it plain that you are not Human, but an Elf. This explains the hate of the common people, and I cannot say I blame them. Other than your ears, you may also which to check the contents of your breeches. You have, after all, just lost your manhood.

    Enjoy!

    Grudging Grum

    * * *

    Super Stench

    Dear Uncle Grum,

    As coach of the team Super Strength I have come upon a very serious problem. A large majority of the teams (98.642%) have refused to play us, even though they usually have equal or higher Spike! Magazine Team Ratings compared to ours. After numerous game refusals, it occured to me that many coaches had the same reason for refusing to play. The reason was, our team had to many "Dirty Players", and something about the word "Foul", which I assume has something to do with the way they smell. Now I know the team is entirely made up of undead players, but all of them are either skeletons or mummies. A Khemrian skeleton is actually not very smelly at all, due to the lack of rotting flesh. In fact they likely smell better than the average living player (ever been inside a dwarf locker room after team practice?). The mummies also do not smell, as they are covered in burial wrappings, and have special preservatives applied to them to preserve their body. So why is it that everyone refuses to play us?

    Diabl0658

    *

    Dear Diabl0654321,

    Your situation baffles me. Perhaps you should seek out like teams. I suggest Nurgle's Rotters. If any team can be called foul and dirty, Rotters are it.

    Grudging Grum

    * * *

    A Foul Act

    Dear Uncle Grum,

    How can we convince more people to accept and love the act of fouling?

    Plorg

    *

    Dear Plorg

    Have you explored the realms of liberal application of lube and careful placement of the boot? A little love goes a long way.

    Grudging Grum

     
    Personal Automatic Race Profiler

    The art of personality profiling comes at last to Blood Bowl. The following decision tree has been scientifically designed*, exhaustively tested** and proven 99% reliable*** in defining your ideal racial choice for Blood Bowl, based upon your personality type.

    To Use:
    Answer each question truthfully. Each answer will either send you to another Question (Q2) or to a Race Choice (R2). Having decided on an answer simply click on the Question or Race Choice belonging to it to go where instructed and eventually the system will determine which race is optimal for you. If you read straight through without following these instructions you will become very confused and in no way prove yourself to be cool or non-conformist.

    Q1: You are running in a marathon race. For the last 26 miles you and one other runner have been in the joint lead, as you approach the final stretch you sense he is tiring, do you...
    1. Put in a sprint and leave him behind. It is all about the winning. (Q2)
    2. Join hands and finish together, sensing the crowd would love it. (Q3)
    3. Decide it would be fun to finish the race running backwards. (Q4)
    4. Trip the other runner up. Then stomp on him. Then pull out a knife and stab him, then set him on fire, stomp on the remains, laugh, and finish at walking pace. (Q5)
    Q2: You decide your home needs a new look. Which of these design ideas would appeal to you more...
    1. Flowers everywhere, you can never have too many fresh flowers. (R21)
    2. 'Popular Bland', it's what everyone else has. Ikea or local equivalent. (Q6)
    3. The collected symbols of the occult, candles and sacrificial daggers. (R4)
    4. The most expensive, gold encrusted, artsy nonsense you can find. (R9)
    Q3: Where would you go on holiday, if money and reality were yours to command...
    1. Somewhere nice and sunny. (Q9)
    2. A cold desolate wasteland full of depressed people with beards****. (R14)
    3. Somewhere very similar to my home, with lots of familiar things around me. In fact, my home. (R10)
    4. My imagination. Which is full of women who do not feel the need to wear clothes and find computer game players irresistibly attractive (R1)
    5. Hell. And no, I don't mean Spain, I mean actual HELL. (Q8 )
    Q4: Picture the scene: Michael Jackson is visiting a terminally ill child in a hospital. Who are you in this scene...
    1. I am Michael Jackson. (R20)
    2. I am the poor little sickly child. (Q7)
    3. I am the disease killing the poor little sickly child. (Q5)
    4. I am the scantily clad nurse in the background. (R1)
    Q5: At a job interview you are asked an 'ice breaker' question. "Would you rather be safe or Sorry?" Do you reply...
    1. "Safe." (Q10)
    2. "Sorry." (R16)
    3. "What am I doing here? I'm independently wealthy and don't need a job." (R9)
    4. "People who ask me questions like that deserve death" before ripping out their spine and laughing at their twitching corpse. (Q11)
    Q6: Which of the following best describes your childhood dreams of ideal living accommodation...
    1. A tree house. Like the one in the film 'The Swiss Family Robinson' (R6)
    2. A den of wild children, beyond the reach of adults, like the film 'Lost Boys'. (Q7)
    3. A nest of filth within a pool of toxic waste. Like the film 'Swamp thing'. (R18)
    4. A sweet little cottage, with flowers and nice curtains. Like 'Chick Flick' films. (R21)
    Q7: Which of these best describes your ideal meal...
    1. Human flesh. (R20)
    2. A nice roast dinner, and then another one. And dessert. And a snack. (R8)
    3. The contents on my own nose. (R7)
    4. Cute little children. Raw. (R16)
    Q8: What is the best thing about hanging around in graveyards...
    1. The general atmosphere, the gloom and the darkness. (R19)
    2. The weird twisted trees that grow from the bodies of the dead. (R18)
    3. The opportunity to create your own army of the night through a mix of arcane magic and grave robbing. (R13)
    4. The slim chance of being killed by a creature of the night and turned into an immortal killing machine that exists solely to take life and cause small children nightmares. (R11)
    Q9: Which of these animal breeding hobbies would you choose, if you were forced to pick one as a passtime...
    1. Snakes. Nasty slithery things that can kill, yes Sir. (R12)
    2. Spiders. Nasty scuttling things that can kill, yes Sir. (R4)
    3. Bunny Rabbits. Cute fluffy things I could cuddle. (Q2)
    4. Bunny Rabbits. Cute fluffy things I could torture and kill, for the simple joy of seeing their suffering and hearing their cries of anguish. (Q5)
    Q10: When people complain about you they tend to pick on you because of your...
    1. Love of money and your short, fat legs. (R5)
    2. Unbearable arrogance and general ability to be better than everyone else. (R3)
    3. Smell. (R17)
    4. History of violence, criminal record and the fact that you are trying to kill them. (Q11)
    Q11: If you were a psychotic killer (that's a small if, as you have reached this question) what would be your style...
    1. I'd be head of a motorcycle gang, causing destruction and fear wherever we went. (R17)
    2. I would use knives and sharp cutting things. I would like to see the blood and hear the cries of my victims. (R2)
    3. I would release toxins and flesh eating viruses, I would love to see people writhe in agony as they die. (R15)
    4. Style? Death requires no style. It is a goal all in itself. I AM the anti-life, the bringer of doom and the ender of worlds. Where I go death arrives with me, and takes all in its path as I sit in glory revelling in the destruction I have wrought. (R11)

    Your optimal race is:
    R1: Amazon: Now surprise everyone and choose pictures that have clothes ON.
    R2: Chaos: Remember there are OTHER mutations than Claw/RSC.
    R3: Chaos Dwarf: Bully for you. Enjoy your many wins.
    R4: Dark Elf: Don’t let ‘Dark’ fool you. You are still playing elves.
    R5: Dwarf: Speed isn’t everything. Especially in finding games.
    R6: Elf: A short career of long passes awaits.
    R7: Goblin: Picking your nose is neither big, nor clever.
    R8: Halfling: Bring joy to all, except possibly yourself.
    R9: High Elf: Armour and Agility, spoilt children. "I want it all and I want it now".
    R10: Human: Imagination is possibly not your strong suit.
    R11: Khemri: And may God have mercy on your soul.
    R12: Lizardmen: Think Skink, according to some an 'unbashy' roster.
    R13: Necromantic: You do know werewolves don't actually exist, right?
    R14: Norse: Can you get a Norse team over 200TR. Will you even try?
    R15: Nurgle's Rotters: Apoth's are for wimps. Play to slay and Rotters come free.
    R16: Ogre: Why have players you can actually control?
    R17: Orc: Big, bad and strong. Can you possibly go wrong?
    R18: Skaven: Every Skaven coach builds one turners. Everyone else hates them.
    R19: Undead: Given 51 flavours of ice cream, you chose vanilla.
    R20: Vampire: Have you considered a career in stand up comedy?
    R21: Wood Elf: Try not to break a nail while pressing the pass button.

    * Disclaimer: The phrase 'scientifically designed' is not meant to imply that any science was, in fact, used in the design of this process.
    ** Disclaimer: Testing carried out on three people, two of whom have played Blood Bowl.
    *** Disclaimer: The designer takes no responsibility for any/all game losses that result from using this process to decide a race choice. The 99% statistic may, or may not, be true at time of going to press.
    **** Disclaimer: No offence is meant to the fine peoples of Scandinavia, who have, after all, given us both Abba and 'helmets with horns on'.

     
    Grotty Little Tournament II Review
    by Angie (formerly known as mikafreak)

    The Grotty Little Newspaper is proud to present the Grotty Little Tournament II!

    July 8th saw the start of the qualifying for this year's Grotty Little Tournament. Run over two weekends, every six hours from 4 AM server time, in an attempt to cover as many time zones as possible. 128 teams baying for blood and glory, fighting it out to be crowned GLT II champions. Proving beyond doubt that they rule the world. The world of Blood Bowl that is…

    Blood spillage came thick and fast, as can be seen on the RIP list. The more permanent kills there are the better, in my personal opinion. It really isn't Blood Bowl unless there is plenty of the stuff! Most of the qualifiers were played with no problems at all. A couple of late starts and a team not being automatically put through to the next round caused minor problems, which were rectified as soon as possible. Allowing play and more blood spillage to continue. Note to self: watching four matches at once is not a good idea!

    Qualifier #13 saw an unprecedented show of sportsmanship as DAD, coached by Bald-boy encountered an emergency and needed to leave the field early. High Heel Hooligans and their coach MadsL decided, due to the nature of the emerency, that they would just run in a TD, rather than forcing DAD to concede, risking the departure of numerous players. Well done, MadsL. A fantastic sport.

    Down to the last 16 and an uneven mix of 12 bashy and just four agility teams amongst the finalists. This seemed at first glance to favour the bashers out there. However, the games have proved otherwise.

    A controversial concession in one semi-final allowed the Athel Loren Guardians, coached by Malthor, to join Hifflitik's Runners, coached by ankkh, in the final. Good luck to both of you. Although I have requested at least 5 Welf deaths, maybe a rat kebab or two would be good too…

    Special thanks to:

    Rijssiej - For being there to start any qualifier I was missing (sleeping) for. Although I did actually manage to be there for them all… Yes, I am mad.

    Malthor - For joining the team and assisting.

    Christer - For pushing through the team that somehow got stuck in the system.

    And lastly thanks to all the coaches who have taken part in this year's tournament. It could not have happened without you.

    All that is left to say is Welf burger or Rat kebab. Either suits me, as long as I get my fill!

     
    The Southern Wastes League

    What's all this about the Southern Wastes then?

    While the exploits of the heavyweights in the ranked division are well documented, there are many coaches who dislike the open format, with all its talk of cherrypicking and recovery games. There are many leagues running in the unranked division that are setup much more like a conventional sporting league, with a set schedule and a race to the finish line regular season, with the winner being determined either by first past the post ala Premier League Football or via some form of postseason, such as in the NFL.

    Many of the largest and most successful tournaments are organised along national or regional lines. The Southern Wastes League (or SWL) is an Oceania region league populated mostly by Australians and New Zealanders, though we also have or have had players from Japan, Korea, Singapore and Thailand.

    Given the difficulty of overcoming the large time difference between Oceania and the rest of the world to play in tournaments, its no surprise that like minded coaches have banded together to form one of the longest running, largest and toughest leagues on fumbbl. Due to that time difference though, we're probably one of the more insular communities on fumbbl, not overly likely to be noticed. This article aims to give you a bit of an idea of whats going on down in the SWL.

    SWL Today

    The SWL currently has quite a number of different divisions, much the same as the larger fumbbl community.

    The core of the SWL remains the original SWL scheduled leagues, commonly called the divisions. We currently have 58 coaches in our divisional leagues, with Premier, Conference and Regional levels.

    Regional is our newbie division and has a TR limit of TR150 applied before each season begins. This gives newbie teams a better chance against the older teams, but the first season is generally about survival and preparing your brand new TR100 team for a challenge for promotion in their second season. This also tends to sort out the less dedicated coaches, so that the completed games rate of the league is very high. There have been a few coaches promote in their first season though, and some of those have even gone straight to Premier in three seasons and done quite well! Being our most varied league, Regionals tend to have a different structure each season to accomodate numbers. There are always at least 6 promotees however.

    Conference is the next level up and this is where the meat of SWL competition is. We currently have 3 Conferences and will likely look to expand to 4 in the next few seasons. Coaches in the Conferences duke it out for the right to challenge for all the glory in Premier and to avoid the shame of relegation (and its accompanying TR hit!). Conferences are capped at TR200, and we generally have a solid mixture of TR. Conferences only have 4 promotion spots available unless we have a Premier coach dropout (which is quite rare), so competition for those spots can be quite ruthless.

    Last of all we have the pinnacle of SWL - the Premier League. To even make it to Premier league is an accomplishment many coaches in the SWL will never reach. Staying there is even harder, as 4 teams are relegated each season. Premier league has an unlimited TR, but the sheer ruthlessness of the competition and the quality of the coaches tends to mean TR maxes out at around 250 in an environment where recovery games are few and far between (and generally accomplished due to a serious bollocking in your opponents previous game).

    Divisional play also has a number of rules to promote a diverse group of teams and playing styles. We have two methods of limiting races. We have a maximum number of any particular race and a maximum grouping of teams into three categories based mostly on how much damage they can put out. This helps ensure that the league remains reasonably balanced, especially in conjunction with the quite ruthless promotion and relegation combined with the preseason TR caps.

    We have a draft at the start of each season to allocate races to coaches receiving new teams, either because they've just joined or they've decided to make a fresh start with a new team. We take their list of preferences for teams and cross reference them with the availability of the teams on their list. The actual order of the draft is determined randomly, with more weight given to newbies so that the veterans don't dominate all the good races.

    SWL is currently about to start its 16th season, with the draft complete and due to start on September 4.

    Our current two-time defending champions are the German Vermin, a Skaven team coached by Symmetrical. They've had a number of clashes with the previous two time champion Vanguard of the Southern Ark, a Dark Elf team coached by Snorri, whose Dark Elves you might remember from the Warpstone Cup. If you're available at the strange hours we normally play at (generally around +10 GMT) and looking for a quality game to spec, you could do worse than to look in on an SWL Premier fixture.

    SWL also has it own mini-Ranked division called the Fringe, where SWL coaches can run riot with whatever strange ideas they have for tourneys or just organise matchups quickly in a place where they know lots of people. This group currently has over 400 teams!

    The SWL and its associated leagues are maintained by a group of 9 admins, who do all the needed tasks to keep the league running and also debate on and decide what changes to the structure need to be made.

    We have our own forum posting for coaches to make fluff posts about their team, all made in character with each coach assuming a favoured reporter persona and other colourful characters.

    We have our own wiki at http://swl.kicks-ass.org/swl/Southern_Wastes_League, where you can find extensive records and stats for each season, our hall of fame, award winners, links to our rules and all sorts of useful odds and sods.

    The wiki is fairly new and the coaches of the league are still playing around with extensive bios and such for their teams, tactics articles and whatever else we can think of to go in there. Just don't ask about the buckets!

    All in all we do our best to provide ways for all dedicated Oceanian Blood Bowl coaches to enjoy themselves, no matter what style of play or focus they prefer.

     
    Obituaries/Valedictories

  • Valdrek Bloodgaze
    One of the most hated and feted players in FUMBBL history, Valdrek Bloodgaze finally met his end on the pitch.

    Valdrek's amazing career was ended by a flying boulder hurled from the grandstands by a Treeman fan of the noble Liras Leveler at the start of the second half. The Blood Falcons had already used up their match allotment of magic sponges on another fatality earlier in the match and arguably the most infamous player on FUMBBL ended the match as a big red smear on the pitch! Ironically, it was Valdrek's own inflated TR value that probably killed him. The 5th handicap for the match was Bad Press, which halved the Falcons' 33 Fan Factor to 17 which was enough to lose the roll off!

    Hate him or love him, Valdrek was an amazing one of a kind player. Just before his death on 27 June 2006 Valdrek was:

    All Time Ranked Records:
    • #8 Star with 497 SPP
    Active Ranked Records:
    • #2 Star with 497 SPP
    • #9 Scorer with 67 TDs
    • #8 Most awarded player with 14 MVPs
    Dark Elf Records:
    • #1 Star with 497 SPP
    • #2 Scorer with 67 TDs
    • #1 Blocker with 73 casualties
    • #6 (equal) Interceptor with 5 intercepts
    • #3 (equal) Most awarded player with 14 MVPs
    Dark Elf Thrower Records:
    • #1 Ranked Dark Elf Thrower with 497 SPP
    • #1 Ranked Dark Elf Thrower scorer with 67 TDs
    • #1 Ranked Dark Elf Thrower hitter with 73 casualties
    • #1 Ranked Dark Elf Interceptor with 5 interceptions
    • #1 (equal) Most awarded player with 14 MVPs
    Valdrek also holds the following records:
    • Highest 'Triple' with a score of '67' (see the Recordopedia Spluttanica) with 67 TDs, 71 Completions and 73 Casualties.
    • Best Blocking Thrower (see the Recordopedia Spluttanica) with 67 TDs and 71 Completions.
    • Only player to achieve a Perfect Thundercall (Completion, TD, Interception, Casualty and MVP in the same call) and TWO additional Thundercalls (same without MVP).
  • Hellbound Charioteers
    The Hellbound Charioteers have died on the field... All of them...

    Whiplash, after enduring 36 March of Death games, finally rides home on an 8 man gang foul by the Drakwald Demented, coached by wibble. With the icy hand of death covering his eyes, the debt of blood has been paid.

    The March of Death began as the result of a mundane Norse team sucking so bad they couldn’t beat any other team, except the Justified Enforcers who pursued them across the Old World seeking, but never succeeding, to regulate them. This losing streak came to a climax in the XFL Norse tourney where the Charioteers took on another norse team 60TS weaker... and lost. The shame was so great, the whole team needed a true slaying to receive atonement.

    The March of Death is the only time the Charioteers truly knew life; playing to the fullest extreme against impossible odds and still managing a few successes. They achieved one win, reduced an 11 man Wood Elf team to their numbers, and were even turned down by a Vampire team who claimed they’d rip them to shreds... despite being only 3 Norse strong.

    Head Coach Mike would like to thank all the coaches who delivered on this quest to destruction:

    At this time, no one knows what has happened to the set of spiked brass chariots, or the coveted 13 heads stolen from their opponents. All that’s left is the memory of their captain’s words...

    Joey DeMaio - "In our deaths, we shall live again. Hail and Kill!"

  • Harry Potter
    During a funny game between DracoDormiensNunquamTitillandu and Magical Mismatch, Harry Potter found his fate, at the hands of Draco Malfoy. Here are his last moments:

    Foul selected.
    Draco Malfoy fouls Harry J. Potter. (5, 3) +5
    DIRTY PLAYER skill used on injury roll.
    (6, 2) + 2, 6: Harry J. Potter has been KILLED!!
    IGMEOY Roll = 5
    The ref spots the foul and bans Draco Malfoy from the rest of the game!
    (2) Argue the call fails.
    Move ended for Draco Malfoy
    (1) Apothecary FAILS!

    Poppy Pomfrey refuses to make any declaration, but some rumours say that she was healing some pupils after that last class of Magical Creatures Care.

    Thats life in Hogwarts!

  •  
    How to contribute
    by the GLN editors

    Where to contribute

    Those wishing to contribute to the advertising sections of the Grotty Little Newspaper (GLN) should post in the appropriate section within the correctly dated GLN forum. These are regularly checked by the editors. If your forum contribution is erased, it was probably used and is safely tucked into the correct area of the GLN.

    For those wishing to contribute an article to the GLN please go to the IRC channel #GLN and speak to Mezir or anyone willing to listen :) about it.

    House style for the GLN

    Articles in the Grotty Little Newspaper, like any publication, have a set of house styles which mean that certain elements appear in a consistent style across the whole issue. Specifically, please conform to the following rules:

    • FUMBBL is spelt in all capitals... NOT Fumbbl.
    • Blood Bowl is spelt as two words, both capitalised... NOT Bloodbowl or Blood bowl.
    • Races and positions are capitalised when they are referred to individually, so for instance you would talk about an Orc Blitzer, not an orc blitzer.
    • Skill names are also capitalised. Note that both Dump-Off and Throw Team-Mate have a hyphen, but Side Step and Bone Head do not.
    • Coach names are referred to as they appear on their coach pages so that, for example, m0nty is not capitalised but Christer is.
    • Be careful with apostrophes. Do not use them when talking about plurals, like SPPs.
    • Question-and-answer (Q&A) interviews are normally done with the questions being preceded by GLN:, not the author's name. Carriage returns (i.e. a blank line) are inserted between the Qs and As. Stage directions (when you are describing something that is happening, not being said) are put after the speech in a new line, in italics. There are no quote marks around the speech sections.

     
    Acknowledgements

    The Grotty Little Newspaper would like to thank everybody who made this issue possible:

    Bull Centaur <!--Card [Mezir.jpg] Mezir, 7 4 2 9 35, Sprint, Sure Feet, Thick Skull, Block, Break Tackle, +MA, Head Editor-->
    Minotaur <!--Card [christernew.jpg] Christer, 5 5 2 8 48, Mighty Blow, Frenzy, Horns, Thick Skull, Always Hungry, Big Guy, Throw Team Mate, Wild Animal, Block, Guard, Pro, Enlightened Dictator-->
    Chaos Dwarf Blocker <!--Card [candle.gif] Candlejack, 5 2 4 8 58, Block, Tackle, Thick Skull, Dodge, +MA, +AG, +AG, -ST, -AV, Editor-->
    Hobgoblin <!--Card [avatar016.gif] pac, 4 1 1 5 8, Break Tackle, -MA, -ST, -AV, -MA, -AG, -ST, -AG, -AV, Regular Contributor-->
    Hobgoblin <!--Card [mikafreak.jpg] Angie, 6 3 3 7 24, Block, Sure Hands, Regular Contributor-->
    Chaos Dwarf Blocker <!--Card [pcavatar.jpg] PurpleChest, 4 4 2 9 72, Block, Tackle, Thick Skull, Guard, Stand Firm, Mighty Blow, +ST, Regular Contributor-->
    Chaos Dwarf Blocker <!--Card [] DukeTyrion, 4 3 2 9 7, Block, Tackle, Thick Skull, Side Step, Contributor-->
    Hobgoblin <!--Card [] Enkeli, 6 3 3 7 13, Dirty Player, Proofreader-->
    Chaos Dwarf Blocker <!--Card [] Fama, 4 3 2 9 19, Block, Tackle, Thick Skull, Guard, Mighty Blow, Proofreader-->
    Chaos Dwarf Blocker <!--Card [] Topper28, 6 3 3 8 38, Block, Tackle, Thick Skull, +MA, +AG, +MA, -AV, Contributor-->
    Hobgoblin <!--Card [] chunky04, 7 3 3 7 16, Block, +MA, Contributor-->
    Hobgoblin <!--Card [] MrB, 6 3 3 7 8, Block, Proofreader-->
    Hobgoblin <!--Card [] EvilUpstart, 6 3 3 7 18, Block, Dirty Player, Artist-->
    Hobgoblin <!--Card [] brownrob, 6 3 3 7 30, Dodge, Side Step, Contributor-->



     


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