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 Issue 8 - September 17 2506
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.

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