FUMBBL Cup II: Helmut's Hectic Heckling of the Favorites
FUMBBL Cup II is about to start, and all the teams are raring to go, itching to get their fingers around the necks of their opponents, throwing them to the ground and stomping them into the dirt. On rare occasions, they want to get the ball and carry it into the opposing end-zone as swiftly as possible. Me, I think they should give me the ball so I can show them how it's done. These kids have no style! You should have seen me back in the day, I was all over everyone! Ah, memories.
Now, to get back to the Cup... It promises to be an exciting spectacle to compete in and to watch, even more so than in its first incarnation, but with approximately a hundred teams competing it's getting hard to see who's in with a chance. Everyone is looking at the Zharrduk Juggernauts, of course, hoping to see them smeared across the pitch in interesting pigments, and everyone is cheering on their own team, but all the other teams are wildcards. Thus, in a moment of true genius, the GLN editors sent out me, goblin star reporter and one of the all-time top scorers, to go and take a look at all the major competitors. Or maybe it was because they were getting tired of my yammering and wanted me to leave the building. In any case, here I am now, so let's get started!
We'll start off with the coach who reached the finals of both the last FUMBBL Cup, and the X-Cup - Malthor - who is currently at the head of the strongest Chaos Dwarf team to enlist: the Zharrduk Juggernauts. Truly a strong team, with a hefty centaur at the helm, a large troll, and lots of dwarves who are very good at what they do. The hobgoblins have a reputation for being sneaky gits, and are well-protected by the rest of the team at all times. The head coach also has a reputation for hiring a multitude of stars - primarily His Ugliness Hthark (don't tell him I called him that) - and with over seven hundred thousand gold pieces in his treasury they won't miss what I took. Um? Of course I meant to say that all their money would serve to hire Hthark multiple times during this Cup as well. Can they make it all the way? Should be doable.
From Chaos Dwarfs we'll go to High Elves, where the ever-redoubtable great coach of yore, Korhil, has his Dragon Princes lined up for battle. Other than the fact that High Elves don't kill as many Goblins as Chaos Dwarves, I also find that the way they play gives more interesting matches than those featuring the almighty stomping power of the bashers and their stars - with exceptions, of course. The Dragon Princes have all the plays in their repertoire: the Long Pass, the flying leap ninja tackle, the unstoppable linemen, and so on. They miss the amazing Soaring Helmut, but you can't have everything. Korhil himself always said he liked a challenge, and that he could beat bashy teams that played to kill easily. He'll have the chance to prove himself right, and no doubt he'll do it - but can the elves withstand multiple poundings? Can they make it all the way? It's in the hands of the gods.
Back to Chaos to look at our all-time favourite basher, mighty Wuhan! Bubble Gum Crisis looks ready to bring on the smack-down, killing one of the strongest Bull Centaurs in the game twice in their final warm-up match. This team will kill, maim and slaughter. They will hit, they will laugh, and they will foul. And they'll do it with style, and leave you eating trail-dust as the ball zips towards the end-zone. Every elf's nightmare - and that of many dwarfs - a bashing team that knows what a ball looks like. Can they make it all the way? Luckyhan, make it so!
Escaping the Wastes, we're off to Naggaroth, where we find the Terrifying Anarchists. Coach EvolveToAnarchism's die-hard, become-a-legend-or-die-trying policies have resulted in the monster team that is one of the greatest FUMBBL legends there are. The skills they have are amazing! Unfortunately, so are their injuries. Prowling the changing rooms for valuables, I could hardly hear myself think for the whining: "Coach, my knee hurts, I don't think I can play today!"; "Coach, I have a throbbing pain in my back; Coach?". Can they make it all the way? Sure they can - if every player pays a fortune for corrective surgery.
Having heard enough whining, I thought I'd head off and see some silent players. Vladimyr's Undead, the Death Dealers, are some of the strongest in the game. Their mummies are downright scary, without displaying any signs of the alarming falling disease that causes them to lie down on their opponents after hitting them (seriously, so many mummies have it, it reminds me of my old mate Smelly who kept having these shaking fits, and falling over - it kept him out of playing games against dwarves and the like - it was downright creepy). They also have some mighty good-looking wights on the team, and their top two ghouls are great - if they show up for the match. I've also never seen zombies move quite so fast as those of the Death Dealers - I barely got away. Last time I try and filch something shiny from a tomb. Can they make it all the way? Definitely!
Stopping by in the Empire to sell what I found - making a tidy profit! - I killed two flies with one stone and paid a visit to the Tilean Tyrants, coached by Korkrest. This human team is renowned throughout the Empire for the number of matches they have played, and their amazing ball-handling skills. Relatively injury-free and followed around by a veritable army of fans, this team can take a pounding and dish it out, can sack the opposing ball-carrier, and can then toss the leather to a catcher and score in two blinks of an eye. Can they make it? I don't see why not.
So off to the forest, pockets a-jingle, to meet the happy Wood Elf squad of coach Mafo, W. Arsenal. I didn't have a good time there - one crack about tights and I was hanging by my ankles while a treeman used me as a piñata. This team has some mean elves, and isn't just here to get slaughtered. However, with the very little armour they wear they aren't likely to manage to field a whole team - or indeed half a team - if they run into rabid minotaurs or zombies with heavy boots. Can they make it all the way? Maybe, if the injuries go their way.
With the elves being downright rude, I though I'd try my luck with the dwarves. Coach Indûr has this team called the Iron Guards. Sixteen staunch dwarves, with hardly any injuries - or none I could see under that layer of grime and hair, anyway - all with plenty of games under their belts, all ready to rumble. This team combines agility and strength like no other dwarf team, skilled and rock-solid. Can they make it all the way? Yes, sir!
Not long after this I found myself among a bunch of stinky rats. Thankfully ogres often smell worse, as do trolls, so that didn't matter too much as I'm used to it. I met this rat called Bendrig who apparently coaches a team called something really weird - wait, I wrote it down - Dovie'andi se tovya sagain. Sheesh! Well, I looked over their players and saw them playing, and I was pretty amazed! This was the weirdest skaven team I'd ever seen. Little guy with horns charging and knocking over anyone he could reach, flanked by some of the fastest and strongest players ever to grace the pitch. Those are throwers? If their name-card didn't say so I would never have guessed. And what is that short fellow with all the muscles? Apparently it's supposed to be a gutter runner, but he sure fooled me. Can they make it all the way? Eminently, if their armour holds.
After this I made my way closer to home again, only being waylaid twice - at first by a roving band of orcs. These Mordor Boys as they called themselves were led by Warchief Callo, and they informed me they too played Blood Bowl. After relieving me of my valuables, they had me try and escape their lines - and I really couldn't find a way out, which is very impressive, if I do say so myself. The big black orcs are plenty strong, and the blitzers know what they're doing. As if that wasn't enough, every time I was almost there, one of their silly goblins wrapped himself around my legs and dragged me to the floor. In the end, their ogre picked me up and threw me across the glade. Can they make it all the way? Arr, matey.
Thinking I had escaped, I stood up and dusted myself off. Unfortunately a little sadistic goblin came up to me and invited me to dance. He introduced me to what he called a "samba" but in fact he was just trying to feel if I had any money in my pouches. I did, but only after I took it off him. This goblin introduced himself as Lord Splutticus, and his friends were Splutteralis Excorporated. Granted, there were two trolls, and one looked pretty strong, but face it, they're goblins, and incompetent ones at that. Not anything like me and Eyedindewit in the old days. Can they make it all the way? Not in a million years.
Escaping these goblins, I was in the Empire once more. I asked around to see if anyone knew of any halflings playing in the Cup. Apparently, there aren't any - looks like they're planning to stay out of the game and beat everyone to lunch. Typical halfling mentality. I should try it some time.
This was Helmut, goblin super-star, reporting for the GLN. Enjoy the Cup!