Friday, 4 October 2013

MAD Bloodbowl - Asgard's Wrath vs Lions of the Three Rings

Hi everyone, and welcome to my first full match report on the performance of my Norse bloodbowl team in the inaugural MAD League.

Last night saw the mighty Norse warriors take on the girly high elves (I'm serious, the models are all female). I'm pleased to say that both teams performed appropriately to their character, with the Norse just trying to hit everything in sight and the Elves actually trying to use the ball. In fact, it wasn't until deep into the second half that an elf actually followed up a block.

So without further ado, here's what happened:

Far to the north in the frozen wastes of Norsca, two intrepid teams of bloodbowl players clashed in a contest of strength and skill, battling their opponents, the elements and in some cases their better judgement to get a second league win under their belts.

Rather unsurprisingly given where the match was played, and the freezing conditions, the Norse fans substantially outnumbered their opponents, though some would say that to persuade 4000 high elves to even set foot in the barbaric land of Norsca was achievement enough. Perhaps it had something to do with the cold temperatures and the all female teams outfits, I'm not sure. 

But I digress, the Norse got the game underway with a kick off deep into the opposition half, hoping to buy a bit of time to get some fighting in before needing to think about the ball. Sadly that didn't quite work out, as an Ulfwerener quickly hit the dirt, although his thick hide protected him from any serious harm. On the other flank, one of the Norse berserkers proved why they are so called, buffeting one of the elves into the crowd, who wasted no time knocking them unconscious for the rest of the game. 

The elves made good use of their legendary agility however, dodging around the clumsy tackles of the Norsemen to break the ball free into the opposition half. Part way through the first half then and the high elves went 1-0 up, the Norse trying to concentrate on damaging the elves at the expense of the touchdown, but the high elf armour was proving to be up to the job.

Receiving the kick off, the Norse pushed hard at the elf line, breaking a runner free into the backfield and the berserker carrying the ball followed suit. He got carried away however and whilst his attempt to pass the ball to the runner was accurate, the freezing conditions caused the catch to be fumbled and the elves were able to scramble their lines clear. In attempting to even the teams up, the elves tried to foul one of the Norse linemen out of the game, but the attempt was unsuccessful and spotted by the referee.

So halftime arrived at 1-0 to the elves, though a bit more composure could have seen the scores even going into the second half. 

The Norse received the kick off at the start of the second half, and that was when the weather took a turn for the worse, with a blizzard closing in.

Pushing a slight opening into the elf lines, the Norse took the touchback they received and gave the ball to a berserker on the line of scrimmage. They then proceeded to make a cage round the ball carrier with only a single elf in contact, and him lying prone after being knocked over on the previous turn. The elf turn saw their players close in, and the prone line elf made the desperate blitz. It paid off, dislodging the icy ball and sending it skittering free from all the grasping hands of the players clustered in the centre of the pitch (possibly just to keep warm, who knows). Fortunately for the Norsemen, when it finally broke free, it landed close enough to one of their linemen for him to pick it up and run in for the touchdown.

So it's 1-1, with a quarter of the match left and its all to play for. The Norse take the kick off, and the ball scatters close to the line of scrimmage. The elves go first however, and retrieve the ball, switching play to the opposite flank to find a way round the Norse defence. A lucky block sees the very outside wing open up, and the elf catcher makes a break for it, receiving the ball in space. She'd forgotten about the last Norse line of defence however, and it proves its worth, knocking her down and scattering the ball for a pickup. The pass doesn't findits mark however and bounces through the scuffling players to the wing. In the final moments of the game, the elves have an opportunity, their thrower is free and just needs to get the ball to the catcher for an almost certain touchdown. The icy conditions get the better of her though and she fumbles the pickup, knocking the ball into the crowd, whereupon the ref called time on the match. 

After the game, it became apparent that the testimonial collectors for the Asgard's Wrath had done a great job extorting money from the rich travelling fans from Ulthuan, and the Wrath proclaimed themselves satisfied having hired a Yhetee to represent them during the later league matches. Similarly, the Lions were happy to escape the land of chill with a draw, and the signature of one of their journeyman representatives on a new contract, bringing their permanent player roster up to 10 following their disastrous start to the season.

So there you have it, a draw that could so easily have been a win had I kept my composure a little more and not tried unnecessary passes. It's a regular failing of mine that needs to be stamped out of my game, though it's oh so sweet when it works!

Having said that, I think even my opponent would agree that my armour rolling was abysmal, breaking through only three times in the match despite knocking down 2-3 players per turn. At one point I even had three 2-dice blocks in a row on the same player without a single pow or stumble result. Mustn't complain too much though, my wandering apothecary saved an ulf from death and when that same model's frenzy resulted in a 2-dice block against, I rolled double stumbles against a model without dodge, so I guess things even out.

I'll leave you with this thought. I now have a snow troll, with games against chaos and orcs still to play.