Group Report: Axis & Allies
The Axis & Allies group is nearing the end of its first full season, with the three end-of-season cups closing in on their grand finals. A&A was set up as a group to test out the new experimental undead races versus the three allied teams, and some clear trends have emerged already.
First, vampires are difficult to play, especially at low TRs. In such bashy company, it was decided half-way through the first league season to replace vamps with Nurgle's Rotters. In fact, the vamps were getting beaten so hard that ChickenBrain left in disgust - a hasty act made in anger which he unsuccessfully tried to rescind later. More than one coach expressed regret at poor starting roster selection, with many looking back and thinking they bought too many vampire players and not enough rerolls. The decision to change races was made with the participation of the coaches, in particular the coaches of the vampire teams themselves. Along with the drop-out of another coach due to personal reasons, this meant that a "pre-season" had to be played between candidates to replace the outgoing teams, which became known as the Cutthroat Open.
Trends throughout the rest of the main tournament have become apparent in the spread of races throughout the positions. Khemri teams with Piling On mummies seemed to do best at racking up SPPs and wins amongst the undead teams, with Necromantic teams not doing badly either. In fact, all four winners of the league divisions were undead teams. Lustrian teams suffered more than the other allied teams, with Chaos Pact looking the strongest. At the end of the first league season, the two "wildcard" entries into the top-level Battle Bowl were CP and Necro, with Indûr's Red Storm Rising Chaos Pact team already winning through the allied side of the draw to the final. The Nurgle's Rotter teams are yet to be tested in mixed company, save for a loss in their Battle Bowl quarter final against the highest-rated team in the group, AvatarDM's Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Awards for individual players for the first league season are listed here. Special mention must be made of Gregory Archer, a thrower for golroc's Goody Two-Shoes Old World team, who got hit by a rock on his first kick-off, was raised as a zombie by oeuftete's opposing Moonbeams team, and was hit by another rock in the same game, earning him the honour of A&A Fan Favourite. In his second game he sustained a niggling injury and in his third he died under a mummy.
I look forward to the finals being played, and the second season starting.