Foxy’s Wood Elves, on paper, looked pretty terrific. 13 players, all with at least one skill, both wardancers with three skills, one of those with +AG. He had the funds to buy a wizard too. I had commented to Erik that this was possibly the best team we have seen in the Prem – so it was going to be an uphill struggle.
My skaven on other hand, were 12 with only 6 of them skilled. Four two skill runners, a MB, T, PO vermin a movement 6 block thrower. And inducements to get a wizard, Skitter, Hakflem and a babe. Perhaps if the vermin star teed off, I might have a chance. If not, it was going to need a pretty lucky game (or more likely a terrible unlucky game for Iain).
I won the toss and elected to receive. Foxy rolled a Pitch Invasion with a +1 FAME. He was a little annoyed that 3 of his 11 were stunned. Until he stunned ALL 6 of my gutter runners, both vermin and the rat-ogre. That’s nine, folks. NINE! Leaving the thrower and a lino trying to hold off 7 wood elves and a tree from a short kick. I collected it and forlornly throw it back towards my endzone, hoping that a stunned runner would recover the ball, but the ball didn’t go far enough and Iain recovered it instead. To make matters worse, I failed an early dodge in T2 and Ian put it in. 1-0 to the elves. Possibly my worst ever start to a game.
Drive number two didn’t start off that great as I double skulled what was my first block of the game, forcing me to pick up the short kick with the thrower – who failed. Thankfully it bounced back and was caught by a runner but I had players still in contact and lost Skitter KO’d and two more were stunned. I took the ball back towards my own endzone (with a runner pal in case of the wizard) and tried to develop some momentum, only for Iain to go full pressure on his next turn (KOing Hakflem). I was thin on options now and felt forced into a quick pass over the head of a marked elf. A straight six intercept here and surely it was game over. And yes, it was intercepted.
2-0 with 5 turns down – it would have been stopped by a neutral. Erik, however, was having a great time, delighted to have found someone unluckier than him. The babe did the trick and revived both Hakflem and Skitter with 3s.
Iain went for the killer blow immediately and went full contact on my third attempt at offence. My vermin, who was in the middle of a run of, I guess, five two dice blocks where he rolled double push didn’t help much and I was forced into handing off to a marked runner (by a tackle WD). This could have ended the game had it failed, but it allowed me to got off downfield and screen sufficiently that the runner couldn’t be reached by either dancer or indeed a regular player if the wizard was deployed. 2-1 to me. Iain’s one turner failed immediately on first block.
Second half – and I was delighted to only be 1 down. This was immediately improved further with a Blitz! and I even caught the shortball with my sidestepper/diving tackle, standing close enough to Skitter to cause Iain a headache. Yes the ball was stripped down but a very lucky bounce for me left it next to Skitter AND diving tackle. Iain left the ball guarded by four but it was still on the floor. I felt this was my best chance and had to take it. Wizard deployed, stunning the only tackler. Skitter successfully stabbed the other WD, leaving two TZz left on the ball. I blitzed one off and picked the ball up on 3s for the equaliser. Iain’s very comfortable procession was now going to require a bit more work. And I was in a game that I felt I had lost, once, if not twice already.
He scored in two, requiring a few key 2 ups and a hand off to a marked player. I toyed with stalling but the WDs (and the wizard) were just too dangerous so I was forced into a quick equaliser with several 2ups and a couple of 3up runner dodges. My play here was either hope for a snake-eye from Iain or try and, more likely, get it to OT. In Iain’s T6, he developed a cage in my half and rather and go for the ball, I tried to bottle him up and hopefully force a fumble or at least the score. More pushes from the vermin, but the rat-ogre got into contact and with Skitter and my strip baller in attendance, Iain put it in.
4-3 down with two turns left for an equaliser. I got four runners in range, including Hakflem but one was KOd, and two more marked heavily. Only Hakflem was a good shout. Iain’s wizard blew up my deep ball-carrier too, so it was just as well I had a backup in the vicinity and got a nice scatter. The rat-ogre behaved again and blitzed a vermin free at the LOS, who caught the pass from the new ball carrier and the vermin handed off to Hakflem. At best a 50-50 play but it worked and to OT we went. And the rats won the toss too.
Again, I got runners in range but they weren’t spread out enough this time and Iain covered them all on his right-flank. I opted to develop a loose cage on the other flank, away from the WDs, and try and get a runner into the endzone for a short pass on my next turn. Iain wasn’t going to let that happen easily and dodged in with a dodge lino, wrestling the ball down and even recovered it. I had strip ball in the area so it was going to go down again. With WDs covering the entire field of play, and a train with my name on it, it was now or never. A runner picked up in TZs, dodged twice, GFI (team reroll) and passed to a marked Hakflem. He caught it (extra arms) and dodged away from a tackler, needing only one more dodge (with dodge skill this time) to win the game. This was a one to ramp up the tension, but he made the dodge reroll and the game was won. 5-4. O my. O my o my.
An incredible game – one that I felt I was very fortunate to be in, let alone get to OT. A game that Iain must have felt won on several occasions and the only time I looked favourite was in the last few minutes of a 3.5 hour slog. Iain can point to the Blitz for the turning point, it is true, but I do feel my start was historically inept/unlucky. Very unlucky, Iain. An incredible team that was coached very well but didn’t get the luck to kill off my rats.
The Cheatahs, meanwhile, round off my 24th different race in the Prem with my second Prem title. There may be more titles to come but surely none more ridiculous. Perhaps that’s Blood Bowl. Perhaps it’s masochism.
FOXYBEE: What a game. The start was ridiculous and i felt very comfortable, but this was ultimately misplaced. I felt we both played each drive correctly, more or less, but i had two main regrets. Firstly i could have tried to stall my last score one turn to leave paul one turn only to equalise but felt it was safer to just score and second i risked my wizard to break armour and gain a bigger advantage than targeting a different player. Ultimatley paul scored 4 times when he recieved and each time it required a few dice to suceed. The last two were with a loner so there was always a chance it woild be virtually over woth a single dice. Critically though i never made those dice rolls harder than 2 ups or 3 ups often with rerolls and each time it was probably more likely to succeed than fail. You never get a better chance than having the best team on paper and leading throughout until overtime. It could still have gone my way but in the end i think the better coach won as paul was faced with a mountain and managed to climb it against all the odds...onwards to next season and my team with one skill as opposed to 23!!!!
|Posted Wed Sep 28 2016 6:17:08 (last edited Wed Sep 28 2016 11:29:55) by FoxyBee