Angry man’s corner.
One man's rant at the World. This issue; Purplegoo has mutated! For one issue only, he has been spliced with Jeremy Clarkson, an overweight, ugly motoring enthusiast who has a thing about Europeans. Clarksongoo will be taking us through the most important thing of all in Blood Bowl; cool.
Greetings, friends. I, Clarksongoo, am here to take you through the results of the 2011 FUMBBL Cool Wall!
For the uninitiated amongst you (and where have you been?!), not all Blood Bowl races are created equal in the World of cool. Just as at school you weren’t cool, you were the nerdy kid in the corner playing with his Games Workshop models and wondering what it would be like to be in Lord of the Rings, or if you’d ever see a girl naked (don’t protest, you’re reading a newsletter on a nerd website populated by geeks. If you aren’t 25-40, male, with reasonable education or better and in the middle classes by now, looking down on the cool kids from school who serve your burgers, you’re in the minority!), there are BB races that simply don’t cut it. They’d never get a date to the prom, they figuratively have their glasses held together by tape; and enjoy wearing cardigans. I, as Clarksongoo, am here as your guide.
Obviously, democracy is a terrible system. There was much forum debate in 2008 and then again very recently on what is a cool race. It’s a mess of opinion, bias and banter. What you need is a leader to cut through the noise, a man who is never wrong, an authority to steer you in the right direction. And I am that man.
So, now that you’ve accepted my word as gospel; here are the rules. There are four levels of cool. From the uncool (Seriously Uncool, Uncool) through to no mans’ land, to the cool (Cool, Sub-Zero). Each race belongs in a level, and I shall list them with the common populace’s take in brackets (just so we can point and laugh). There is no hard and fast rule on what makes anything cool. Be it popular culture references, the types of coach that use a race, the icons, how I feel today, cool is an intangible, floating scoring system of which it seems only I am qualified to use. So, eyes down, look in, and become educated. We’ll have you in sunglasses with a Playboy model on each arm yet, don’t you worry.
Section 1: Seriously Uncool.
For a race to have ended up here, they’ve really dropped one. This is the cellar of cool; the end of the line for any race. These races should probably be deleted, but I say no; let’s use them as a yardstick to measure coaches by. Got one of these teams? Go look in the mirror – nerd…
Amazons (Seriously Uncool): In life, as in sport, there is such a thing as an open goal. In terms of coolness, Amazons are it. Not even Emile Heskey with a blindfold on could miss this sitter; Amazons are perhaps the least cool of any race. As cool as a cheese pizza topping fresh from the oven on the surface of the sun, Amazons suffer in many ways. From the awful race design of simplistic, equal statlines, to the Blodge dependence, to the avoidance of Tackle in [R], to the insistence of some to soft porn the place up with player pictures, to hideous, samey icons; it’s tough to see any redeeming features Amazons possess. A race in need of a serious rethink, deletion or some system of releasing anthrax through your keyboard when you create a team. Afterall; if you have an Amazon team, you’re part of the problem!
Chaos (Mainly Uncool, some Cools): Oh, what’s that in your pocket? A Claw? How interesting. And in your other pocket? Oh. A Claw. Slightly less interesting, having two of them. What’s that guy got there? A Claw? Really? Who’s this chap? Sir Mighty Blow of Clawness? I’m sure we’ve met somewhere. Probably at Dave McPileon and Kill YerTeam’s house. There is nothing like bringing Claw to a Clawfight is there? Nothing impresses me less than ignoring playing Blood Bowl and trying to kill everything. Well – there is one thing, everyone building the exact same Chaos team to perform the exact same operation. Yes, you, with your Claw / MB / PO / Jump Up / Shotgun / RSC / Nuke skilled Beastman, the same as his, and his and his? You’re the problem, not the solution. You know what’s cool? Leap / Dirty Player. –ST , -ST Snotlings. You know what you are with your Chaos team? Massively uncool.
Dark Elves (Generally Coolish): So, we come to my first Clarkson correction / veto / I’m right, shut up. Dark Elves. Let me start by saying Darkies used to be cool, man. I remember their first album, it was called ‘Elves, but moody and mysterious’. One of the tracks had a sample on it from that DJ, you know the one, ‘MC look-at-my-Frenzy’. He was big news back in the day. Then, everyone jumped on the bandwagon. Darks Elves are comparable to that band you were into from their very first record, and then they went all namby pamby and radio friendly, the mainstream got hold of them, they thought they were bigger than Jesus… They were ruined by idiots, and became uncool overnight. Someone noticed the issue with Dark Elves and tried to help by throwing an Assassin at them (weaponry, as we’ll discover, is cool), but sadly, the same idiot slipped in a Runner through the back door to make the race even more efficient and play the Dark Elf way even better. You know what Dark Elves are? Germans. Ruthlessly efficient. Efficiency is seriously uncool. Plus, I’m Clarkson, the Europeans and I… Well, let’s move on.
Section 2 : Uncool.
Someone made an error with these races. Not so uncool that you’d not be seen in public with them, but uncool enough so that you don’t want to be around them too often. The sigh when you see yourself scheduled against one of these races is audible. Them again? Sigh.
Chaos Pact (Uncool) : When someone was looking at adding 3 new races to Blood Bowl, they clearly had a creativity bypass.
"Perkins, we need three new races!"
"Well, Jenkins, why are we doing this? I mean, to sell more models?"
"Nah, we don’t do models for BB now, at least not new ones."
"Oh – so these three races need to be something new, right? Interesting? Unique? Unique is cool."
"Nah, just do cut and shuts for at least two of them, it’ll be fine."
And here is that first cut and shut, Chaos Pact. Take some Chaos, a sprinkling of Big Guy, chuck in a Dark Elf and a Goblin, and, oh hell, stick a Rat in there, and what do you get? An utter, stinking mess, is what. Chaos Pact suffer from not actually adding anything to BB, not being worthwhile. They are only not Seriously Uncool because on occasion the Big Guy trio can kill everything, or not play at all, or score a random TTM with the Goblin. Such randomness is cool. But, mainly, you cut and shut some races, you give everything kill access, and you’ll just get boredom.
Pro Elves (Coolish): Whilst we’re talking unnecessary… Back at that same secret meeting place, only this time on the eve of LRB4, not LRB6;
"Well, we need some new Elves, that’ll shift minis, even if we’ve got three lots of them already. But the problem is differentiating them… I know, let’s give them a random, rubbish skill no one will ever select. We must have been really high when we wrote all of those useless skills, although, good joke on Diving Catch, Perkins, we’ll leave it in as a reminder how funny we all are (high fives all around). What's a skill we haven't used yet?"
"I dunno, give them some Nerves of Steel, and just make Linos AV7 MA6 just for the sake of ease, the rest kinda writes it'self."
"Hahahaha, yeah but seriously, let's have a good suggestion."
"Look, the Football is on the telly in a minute, I can't be bothered to come up with something new and exciting, let's just go with the first thing that we came up with!"
"OK, OK, you ring for pizza. Maybe everyone will hate ‘Zons enough to ignore this last minute rubbish."
Meanwhile, somewhere across town...
"You need one more painting for this exibition, Ted."
"You're kidding! It starts tomorrow! Quick, gimmie that canvas, I'll urinate on it, and come up with some war protest reason, the critics will love it."
"OK, OK, you ring for pizza. Maybe everyone will hate war enough to ignore this last minute rubbish."
And thus, Pro elves = modern art. Uncool, but they got away with it anyway.
Dwarves (Uncool) : Even though Dwarves aren’t cool, they’re necessary. No, really. Much as in the same way we can’t all afford a Ferrari and have to drive some 1.3 litre micro car, Dwarves are a fact of life. Like death and taxes, we appreciate they need to be, but don’t really like them much. The yin to the Elvish yang. The grounding in the running grindathon. The reminder of what we all could do without on a game by game basis. For this reason, and the hilarious addition of an expensive weapon, Dwarves escape Seriously Uncool. Plus; beards. The defence rests.
Orcs (Uncool, but getting frostier) : Much the same as Dwarves, you can’t really get away from the fact Orcs need to exist. I mean, how can you like Orcs? Bland, vanilla. An Orc team is like a washing machine, it does a job in an hour or so, but you can’t get very excited over it. It’s the lack of variety that really does for this kind of race; afterall, what can you give an Orc or a Dwarf really? Guard? Tackle? MB? I’d love to see the all Pro Orc team doing the rounds, but they’d fail faster than Michael Jackson at a ‘Who’s face is the least plastic’ competition. Much like bills, the Antiques Roadshow and Simon Cowell; uncool, but I begrudgingly accept that the World needs them to continue revolving.
Apart from Simon Cowell, he deserves a fate worse than death. Probably playing with Dwarves all day, every day with no access to a Deathroller?
Underworld (Sub-Zero, mainly) : Well, here is a hot potato. The democracy falls over massively on Underworld. Let’s analytically look at what we have here, we have half a Goblin team, half a Skaven team, you bang that in for 2 hours at 200 degrees, sprinkle mutations, and what do you get? An uncool team. If you chopped Angelina Jolie and Cameron Diaz in half and stitched the combined superwoman together, you’d get a mess made with all the right intentions. This is the Creepers problem, in a nutshell. Throwing mutations at a rubbish team doesn’t make them cool, it just means that the only mechanism available to that team to win games is to load up on Two Heads and Horns and get lucky. Aiming to get lucky isn’t cool, if you took your Cameron Jolie experiment out for an evening and came on too strong, she’d shun you. Even though your stitches were pretty bows. Desperation is massively uncool, to women, to Blood Bowl, in life. Sorry, Underpants, you’re not for me. Although, the other halves of my superwoman that I’d previously discarded might be; perhaps Gutter runners and the other Troll or a RO would have been better? Make a cut and shut team that actually might be handy? Perhaps the question here is, who gets the face, and who the backside? Creepers are the backside. And not a pretty one.
Still not with me? Stick the Fonz into the start credits of Resovoir Dogs. ‘Dum dum de dum dum dah dah dah de de dum’… "Eeeyyyyy". Never cross the streams. Cool x cool does not equal cool squared.
Wood Elves (Somewhere in the middle) : Ahh, Woodies. The pointy eared bastards, in general, aren't cool. Being all fancy and dancing around the place isn't big, isn't clever. You'd like to punch Christiano Ronaldo, right? Like, repeatedly? Every time he does a step-over you hope he breaks his ankle and the other fellow elbow drops him, yes? So, generally, Elves suffer this first hurdle; they're ponces. Manchester United. Bayern Munich, Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Tiger Woods, the Yankees, the Patriots. Perennial winners are never cool, never popular. FC United are cool, not Manchester United. A Wardancer you say? Block and Dodge out of the box? Universal speed? Even a super-n00b can pull off a Leap Blitz every so often? Yuck. Plus, Orlando Bloom. Debate over.
Halflings (Cool) : There isn’t much that’s less cool than being a TV controlling menace. There is just too much temptation for the weak with Halflings; a couple of Trees and some little guys and a whole bunch of Chefs and Inducements are normally more than a match for an unsuspecting ‘real’ team, and it’s all a bit underhand, a bit lame. It gets spoiled for everyone. Halflings suffer massively because when someone says Stunty to you, your mind drifts to Chainsaws, Pogo sticks and madness, not to the shire. There is no romance to Halflings, no magnificence in their souls. They are forever confined to uncool, with Mr. T looking down upon them from above, silently weeping, wishing he’d played for Woodies. Yes, he’d still have been uncool, but he might have won the odd game or played against some opponents with skills.
Undead (Around the middle) : Undead are the poor Regeneration buddy of the dead teams. With LRB4 Count and mass DP lameness looming over them like a deep, dark winter, Undead have a lot of ground to make up in LRB6. Ground they fail to make back. Stripping G access from Mummies and upping the price of Zombies and Skeletons is akin to wiping one of Will Farrel’s terrible movies since Anchorman from the face of the Earth; OK so you made a start, but look at what’s left. They always felt like a patchwork of Necro and Khemri, were always a bit too good and get things for free. That’s never a cool combination. They’re slightly cooler now that Skeletons are a genuine option and not a fun aside, but even so. If you find anyone excited over Undead, assume they’re mentally unhinged and keep your distance. He’ll probably attempt to murder you. Or sleep with you. Or both, regardless of order.