Monday, January 12

UK Team Challenge - Blood Bowl Tournament

Well that was a blast.  Two days playing Blood Bowl with your friends in York is great fun!  The venue was a community centre which had enough space for the tables and chairs necessary for the amount of people taking part.  There were twenty-one four-man teams in the tournament including ten from England, two from Scotland, four from France and even a team from Spain.  Blood Bowl coaches really will go to any lengths to attend a tournament!

Team Bunker was comprised of myself as team captain and my friends Paul, Andrew and Alex.  This was Alex's first Blood Bowl tournament so it was a bit of a baptism of fire as it seems a very solid lineup of pro-coaches taking part.  When we registered we could see the list of teams that other coaches were using and there were very few tier three and four teams so I realised that most people had traveled this far to win and that we were in for a pretty hard tournament!

For the first round, Team Bunker was drawn against the DBBL Pows being captained by a buddy of mine so that was great to play against some friendly faces to get us into the mood.  With the format being a team challenge, the four team mates all sat side by side playing against their opponents so it was good to be able to look away from your board and see how your buddies were doing.  There was lots of banter being thrown about too.  I drew my first game against Wood Elves with a 1-1 score so I was pretty happy about that as I've not used Dark Elves in a tournament before.

Round two and we were drawn against one of the French teams, Pilou.  Great guys who all had a team chant whenever one of them caused a casualty or scored a touchdown.  My opponent was using Chaos Dwarfs which was never a good match up for a Dark Elf team with lots of added Dodge skills.  I lost 2-1 but I was up against a superior coach with a better team.  As it happened, all four of us lost our games this round - a French whitewash!

Round three and by now we were on the bottom table which was shared between the last three teams. I was up against a Chaos team so I knew I was going to get bashed about a lot.  My opponent chose to kick to me and I was pressured into scoring quickly which gave him the rest of the turn to equalise (which he did).  In the second half I kicked to him which gave him the whole half to trudge down the field and score on turn eight.  I had one turn left and needed a Riot to give me any chance - and that's what the kickoff result came up as!  I launched lots of players forwards to get into range just to give me some options.  In my last turn I had to try some real elf razzle-dazzle with no rerolls and it worked!  I scored to make it a 2-2 draw.

Day one was over and Team Bunker was on two wins, two draws and eight losses.  Not the best results so we headed off to drown our sorrows in the pub.

Day two and with headaches from all the thinking and beer, we got straight into the gaming.  We were on the bottom table again and I was playing a buddy I've met in other tournaments who was using Lizardmen.  He chose to kick and again I was forced to score early and then try to stop him scoring - but I realised that I really wouldn't be able to do that so I ran away and tried to focus on beating up a few stragglers outside of his cage - ineffective but it did stop my players dying in attempting to stop him.  In the second half he caged up and moved down field and I was forced to try so crazy stuff to get to the ball carrier.  I ended up blitzing a skink in the middle of a saurus cage with one of my witch elves and she needed to make a 5+ dodge to make it - which she did.  She Wrestled him down and the ball popped free.  I had to pick it up in a tackle zone and then dodge away, then throw it to a waiting blitzer who sprinted down field to get it out of range.  My opponent had to back track and did manage to blitz my blitzer with his kroxigor but I had enough players nearby to pick it back up and score.  He had two turns left to try to equalise but he only had two skinks left to do it with.  He did really well, picking up the ball and getting a cage downfield ready to score but he failed the handoff to the receiving skink and it was game over.  2-1 to me and my first win of the tournament.

After a quick lunch we were on for game five and I was facing against Dark Elves.  I knew I was in trouble here as my opponent looked like he knew what he was doing with his team rather than my tactic of making things up as I went along.  I opted for me to kick as it had worked really well for my opponents in my previous games and was rewarded with a dead lineman in the first block of the game.  Despite being a man down and later losing a blitzer to a crowd surf, we ended up at halftime on a 1-1 score.  In the second half I had eight players on the field against his eleven but managed a crafty side switch on him after he moved most of his players to one flank to defend against some blitzers that I had run up there.  I moved my ball carrier to the other side and dodged the blitzers away and he was left in all sorts of trouble as he was out of position.  I stalled out a little and scored with him having a few turns left,  In the remaining turns of the half, I was trying all kinds of tricks to stop him scoring and blitzed his runner in a cage (another 5+ dodge!) on my final turn to pop the ball free.  He managed a pick up on the last turn and equalised.  I was happy with the 2-2 draw as I really was expecting to lose that one.

The final round was announced and Team Bunker were on the bottom table again - and I was facing more Dark Elves coached by the current NAF Championship winner so no pressure!  I've played him before and he really is the nicest guy you could hope to have as an opponent.  I won the toss so I opted to kick and got a dead blitzer immediately!  Despite my best efforts he did score fairly early and I managed to score on the last turn of the first half to equalise.  For the second half we both had 10 players and he kicked to me - and my luck really turned as I started knocking out and crowd surfing his players so that by the end of that half he only had four left on the field.  I scored on my last turn and he had no time left to equalise so it finished 2-1.

It was a good event and all four of us in Team Bunker had fun.  Alex even got a win in his last game so at least he got a win in his first tournament.  I was very impressed with my Dark Elves once I remembered to play them like elves and try some crazy moves as sometimes they pay off.  They did for me as this is my best tournament result so far.

Next up for me is trying to finish painting the remaining Dark Elf models for my team and preparing for the next tournament in February - the Boudica Bowl which is thankfully a lot more local.

Team Bunker

UK Team Challenge hall
UK Team Challenge Apothecary token

Tuesday, January 6

Dark Elf Blood Bowl Team

This upcoming weekend the inaugural United Kingdom Team Challenge is taking place in York.  It's a four-man team event and there are four of us from the Chelmsford Bunker going as Team Bunker.  The event itself is fairly standard in that it's a 1,100,000 team value resurrection tournament.  Skills are allocated via a tiering system and the team I'm taking is classified as a Tier 1 team so I can just give five normal skills out to my players.  I'm taking Dark Elves as I've not used them in a tournament before and I fancied trying out a good team for once at a tournament.  I've had these minis in the original box for over six years so they were due some attention.  I've kinda cheated and only painted up the eleven models I need for this tournament but I will get the rest done after the weekend.
Blitzers
Witch Elves
Linemen
Dark Elf Team
 My roster is :

4 x Blitzers (3 with Dodge)
2 x Witch Elves (both with Wrestle)
5 x Linemen
2 x Rerolls
3 x Fan Factor

I'll try to take some pictures of the weekend and I'll post up more pics when I finish the rest of the team.