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  1. MD 3 - vs Heisemer Boyz, Orcs 1960TV coached by @Leman_X_Russ Sekh the Incredulous looked doubtfully at the figure hunched before him... short, hunched (well obviously!) and apparently incapable of speaking without dribbling and drooling obscenely, the man (?) was reputedly an expert in his field... although he looked more like a cross-eyed tramp with a sack slung over his shoulder. "So what did you say your name was again?" asked Sekh "Igor. Mahssthter." replied the ill-favoured individual. Spittle dribbling down his chin. 'Riiight... And you're some sort of an expert in regeneration eh?" On reflection, Sekh decided that at least looked to be true - Igor DID look a bit like he'd been taken apart and re-assembled several times over... even if some of those times the individual doing the reassembly had apparently lacked the instructions or inclination to put all the bits back in the right spot. "Yeshth Mahssthter. Igor can revive anyone. Can repair any damage." Sekh tried to consider whether this was really worth the cost - regenerating damage would be very important this match, which would be a hard fought struggle against a mighty green horde, but for the same price he could hire a couple of bloodweiser babes or even make a donation to the goblin referees' holiday fund. Then an idea occurred to him. Some sort of test was in order - if Igor could revive a test subject, then Sekh would employ him for the match. But he would need someone (or something) eminently disposable... in the event of a horrific accident, some sort of revoltingly botched revivification, he would need a subject who was already next to worthless. he leaned over to one of the waiting nectrotects.. "Be a good chap and go and fetch Gareth's remains for us!" The necrotects hurriedly busied themselves retrieving Gareth's remains from several locations around Sekh's pyramid, although retrieving the skull did necessitate finding a replacement chamber pot for the deputy chief necrotect's apartments. Once all (or at least a fair portion) of the pieces were assembled, they were handed over to Igor, who produced a jar of magical revivification balm from his sack and set to work on Gareth's remains... and just a few moments later, Gareth stood and looked around the room blinking in confusion. Even Sekh had to admit he was impressed... "Very well Igor - you have proven your skills and I will hire your services for the forthcoming match against the or.. - GARETH PUT THAT DOWN!" "I was just cleaning it" Said Gareth, a little sheepishly, as he set the scrying device carefully back into it's position on the desk. "That's what you said about the last one Gareth, and it 'mysteriously' developed a great big bloody crack in it. So don't touch the new scrying device! Got it?!" Calming himself, Sekh turned his attention back to Igor and took him by the shoulder, carefully avoiding the dribble, as they walked into the dining room to discuss the financial aspects of their arrangement. Left alone in the scrying chamber, Gareth glanced at the scrying device longingly but shook his head... he had only just been revived and it would not do to annoy Sekh so quickly. Then he spied the jar of Igor's revivification balm which had been left of the table. "I'll just put this back in Igor's sack so it doesn't spill!" Gareth thought to himself. "Sekh will be pleased that his newly returned Assistant Necrotect is so helpf... Oops!"... Those jars WERE awfully slippery! So a tough match against a frankly horrifying green horde this week - Heisemer Boyz had more guard, close to the same strength and some really well developed Black Orcs and Blitzers just dripping in stat ups and doubles that would be a nightmare to deal with. What really concerned me though was the plethora of mighty blow backed up by a dirty player. This could easily be a game where some of my key players were crippled or killed, so getting an Igor seemed like a good investment. Now Sekh's Machines once again have a dirty player, a bribe seemed like a good idea too, so with those inducements pretty much auto buys, I was left with just enough for a wizard. Given the advantages the orcs were bringing into the match, my plan was to receive if I could and try to get some early removals - the one thing the orcs did not have was much of a bench, so any orcs of the pitch would almost immediately have an impact. If we could score then perhaps with the wizard we could prevent them from scoring back, especially if they had fewer than 11 players for the second half. With this rough game plan in mind, we started the game... First Half, First Drive: The plan started out promisingly with Sekh's Machines winning the toss - The LOS hits didn't bear any fruit, but at least we were able to knock down the blodge Black Orcs @Leman_X_Russ had placed on the line. The orcish defense was set up to make good use of their strength and guard leaving limited options for a blitz target, but Sekh's Contraption was able to knock out the rookie Orc Blitzer who was somewhat exposed. Ding dong the Blitzer's gonged! Sekh's Worker 6, Sekh's Machines' new dirty player, ran in to deliver a foul on one of the downed Black Orcs but couldn't break the tough orcish armour. Undeterred by this, the orcs responded by standing everyone up and marking where they could, forcing Sekh's Machines to take another round of blocks, my clumsy Tomb Guardians again trying to get the orc blodgers down. This was largely unsuccessful, and forced me to burn a reroll, but Sekh's Pistol got a nice punch onto one of the Black Orcs that didn't know how to dodge... Two orcs having a nap now... maybe this might all be ok... The orcs though, still trusting to their armour and the ability of their team-mates to guard their backs, kept up the pressure, once again marking as many Khemri as they could. Then Impohtehnt screwed up royally - trying to blitz down the orcs' killer Blitzer, he rolled pushes which I accidentally rerolled (it was tempting to deliberately reroll and get a piling on hit on a key orc player, but I wasn't going to waste rerolls on greed when the orcs had me so much pressure). The reroll wasn't even a success, coming up pushes, so I was doubly annoyed at myself for the misclick. My woes were compounded when the orcs removed two of my players in rapid succession. Smelling a change in the wind (or was it just the pre-match onions the orcs had consumed?) the greenskins doubled down on the pressure and ran a Blitzer into my backfield, forcing me to tighten up my formation. With 9 players each again and an orc behind me, the Tomb Kings are forced to tighten up their formation. This sort of tight scrum suited the orcs perfectly, allowing them to bring their superior guard (5 guards compared to only 2 for Khemri) fully to bear. This forced my clumsy players to desperately use my last reroll in an ineffective attempt to push the orcs off, but with blodgers, stand firm and that disgusting sidestep blodge Black Orc, Heisemer Boyz were able to stay in contact and punch back - to bruising effect: Ha-Dhas has a bit of a glass jaw to be totally frank... It was then that my earlier reroll error really came back to bite me in the asp... unable to keep my cage corners unbased, the orcs successfully 1 diced to open up a string of 2d hits on the ball carrier Sekh's Aide the Throw-Ra. His blodge and the orcs limited tackle fortunately left him standing, but his luck ran out when he tried to blitz himself free the following turn... Double skulls should be good for Khemri... that should totally be a rule... With the ball on the floor (and Sekh's Aide unconscious as a result of his ill-fated blitz attempt), the orcs swooped and grabbed up the ball, and then rubbed salt into the wound by punching out one Tomb Guardian after another... Welcome to the team Sekh's Pistol - better get used to it... The KO rolls would be increasingly critical.... Note the orc holding the ball right near Sekh's Machines' endzone. By late in the drive it was very obvious that Heisemer Boyz' star Blitzer would run in an easy touchdown and the orcs took the lead 1-0. Second Half: The KO rolls were amazing, with the critical Tomb Guardians returning. This might give us a chance to press the orcs... but the LOS hits didn't start promisingly... Oh Gareth - I mean the twat had only just been revived and look at him... Regen failed (which to be fair was probably Gareth's fault for messing with the medical supplies) and Sekh had to shake his head - classic Gareth! Oh well - no doubt he will return... again... Anyway on to other issues - With Sekh's Machines another player down, things were starting to look grim, so when the orcs pushed forward on the right flank, no doubt looking for an early score, Sekh judged the time was right to play his trump card... Sekh's discharges - just shocking... Unfortunately it turns out that being a slow team with no players above AG2 makes it hard to really capitalise on a successful lightning bolt. The Khemri were able to pressure the orcs but a failed block required a reroll and made it difficult to put any real pressure on the loose ball. The orcs recovered the ball, but with everyone spread out, they had few players they could screen their Thrower with. He gave it to an Orcish Blitzer who ran forwards, partially screened by a couple of Black Orcs. Sekh's Doll was able to be blocked free and with 2 GFI's got a lucky pow on the blodging orc with the ball. Playing with Sekh's Doll - fun... but a bit embarrassing it your mates find out about it... The bounce was kind to the orcs though and although Sekh's Machines had done their best to tie up the rest of Heisemer Boyz, they orcs could just ignore Sekh's Doll and recover the ball again. They were then able to punish the very connected Khemri with a number of punches, including this one... Sekh's Device is a key player - so naturally he was MNG with no regen... Although there was still plenty of potential for permanent damage, I judged this would be the right time to use Igor's skills - which is when Sekh discovered that Gareth had apparently also spilt all of Igor's regeneration balm and replaced it with camel dung remover because it didn't bloody work. The orcs might have chosen to stall at this point, but they knew they had the win in the bag and decided to push for a third TD, running the ball in quickly... That Blitzer was starting to be quite the irritation! Second Half - Second Drive: With the game lost, Sekh's Machines unenthusiastically set up for a final drive to try and salvage something in the form of SPP from the game - an injury to an orc... a pass... maybe even a touchdown. What they got instead was this... The curse of the Tomb Guardians in action here - decay turning an MNG into death and regen predictably not working #thanksGareth To rub salt into the wound, Sekh's Counsellor the new Throw-Ra decided now was a good time to show the limitations of AG2 and failed 4 pick-ups in a row to let the orcs realise their aim of stealing the ball again and running in a third TD on turn 16... final score 3-0 Conclusions: Yuck! How about that for a conclusion?! In all seriousness though - despite a somewhat promising opening where my plan of trying for early removals seemed to be working, the orcs kept up their aggressive marking on defence and my block dice failed me before their armour really did. On reflection I should have tried to spread the game more so their guard advantage counted for less, even though that would have exposed my Tomb Guardians to some more early hits (they ended up taking the hits anyway once the orcs began to dominate). I felt like the first drive of the second half was more spread out and therefore went much better and my team was more competitive (despite the orcs scoring fairly quickly) so I might try to avoid such a scrum against teams that are close to me in strength but have a big guard advantage in future. Apart from accidentally blowing what turned out to be a potentially very useful reroll, I don't think I made too many egregious tactical errors - more that my overall strategy against teams I can't easily bully needs work. Still not sure how Khemri can handle such matches but I'll keep trying new ideas. One point to note was that I was pleased to see I out blocked the orcs 55-47 at least - although my 55 blocks only yielded 6 armour breaks and no casualties, testament to how good AV9 is on all your players if your opponent doesn't have any claw! Vampires next....
  2. MD 2 - vs Jimi's Leaping Avengers, Kislev 2160TV coached by @Mongloom Sekh the Insufferable was smug - his team had exacted revenge upon the unwholesomely moist undead who had beaten them in a previous season, by securing a narrow win after a hard fought and brutal match. Even better, the new scrying device now seemed to be properly operating and he had even been able to imbue the device with images of Sekh's Machines' former matches, so his legions (legions I say!) of adoring fans could relive every match... well the ones he had been bothered to write a review of in any case. Sekh had already received a warm letter of appreciation from a fan - he was so touched he decided to respond personally... 'Dear Mother,' he began, 'Thank you for your kind letter..' Just then one of the necrotects hurried into his study waving around a papyrus scroll which he handed to Sekh. "Master! I have news of our next opponents! Their coach is... known to you..." Sekh grabbed the scroll and read the intelligence it contained... Oh dear... Sekh's feeling of smug triumph faded as he read through the scroll. This coach, although now at the helm of a team of Kislevites, was known to have been a very successful Khemri coach in a previous era. He who would know the strengths of a Tomb King team intimately and would understand well how to counter them. Worse, as Sekh scanned the document, he noted how impressively developed the Kislevites were - a number of them were a distressingly fine combination of agility and technique that would make keeping the ball safe a right pain in the ankh. What could be done to try and hamper the panache and derring-do of these leaping lunatics? A desperate ploy began to form in his mind... "Summon the halfling!" Sekh commanded. "And ask him if he knows any good recipes with cabbage!" Oof! Even after buying a second Throw-Ra for the team, we would still be playing down 680tv to Kislev! And playing a coach who knows Khemri inside and out to boot - this was going to be a tough hill to climb, and not one that was helped by having lost my guard Skeleton last match and not having my wrestle/tackle Skeleton available either. Kislev would have more guard than us and several of those guards were AG4 leapers, so stopping 2d ball sacks would be very difficult indeed. While I wasn't too worried about losing players, I did have to respect the fact that Kislev's very capable POMB killer would be returning for this match and with 4 guards, it wouldn't be too hard for him to hit even my Tomb Guardians very hard. In the end I opted for a very variable, but potentially quite effective way to try and hamstring the Leapers. If the Halfling Chef (as over-priced as he is) could steal enough rerolls, the Kislev would be always worrying about even a 2+ leap... it was about the only inducement I could think of that might slow them down. A wizard, a bribe and a dirty player loner used up the rest of the inducement money nicely. Let's see if Sekh's Machines could hold onto the ball for long enough to get some solid punches and removals in... First Half, First Drive: With the coin toss in our favour, Sekh's Machines elected to bash heads... er I mean, receive the ball. The Master Chef stole two of the Kislev rerolls which was nice, giving me a ridiculous 5 to use for the half but more importantly limiting the Kislev to just 1 reroll... they would have to save it for a real clutch play! The LOS hits were disappointing unfortunately though, with even a piled on block failing to secure any removals. The deeply kicked ball was safe enough for the time being, and Sekh's Aide's new Kick-Off Return skill brought him very close to where it landed. He was able to bring the ball to a safe enough position. Kislev responded surprisingly aggressively, charging in with their guards, and using their killer Blitzer to try and take down a Tomb Guardian, just as I had feared they might. He knocked down Sekh's Pistol, but didn't break armour and wisely didn't pile on with my dirty player lurking nearby. Then, the Master Chef bore some early fruit! The Blizter failed his GFI to try and return to a safe distance and not wanting to use his only reroll, my opponent was forced to leave his killer on the floor anyway. After punching away the Kislev guards, and bringing Sekh's Aide into the relative safety of the cage, my hired dirty player loner ran in and did what he was paid to do... Gareth would've been proud!... and weirdly excited... the little creep. While obviously pleased, the downside was that the ball was well within striking distance of the Kislev sacking menace and in spite of the fact I had diagonal cage corners with guard, it was just a 2+ leap from a Kislev AG4 guard to allow the Kislev sacker a 1d on the ball... with no rolls failed, my opponent didn't need to agonise whether or not to use his reroll and the ball spilled free... Curse those leaping cabbage lovers!! With the ball now loose, Sekh's Machines set about trying to at least make the connected Kislev players pay for their impudence... and pay they did! And a one... And a two... While all of this violence was very cathartic, the ball was still on the ground, and my opponent was able to block away one marker and swoop in with a sure-handed Catcher to scoop up the ball and move back behind a screen with it. The bear stunned itself on a skeleton which was also nice, but the sad fact remained that the ball had now been officially stolen! Not an ideal situation on turn 4 of my offensive drive... There was a slim chance that if Sekh's Aide could punch down a blodgestepping Catcher then Ha-Dhas Fuhk (my only tackle piece for this game) could double GFI to attempt to sack the ball. I wasn't game to try that given Sekh's Aide would have to roll a straight pow, so I opted to get Ha-Dhas to 3d the blodgestepper instead... THAT's for stealing our ball!! With 4 players injured out now, Kislev were starting to look low on players. If Sekh's Machines could keep up the pressure, perhaps they could get the ball back and get a load of those jumping jackanapes off the pitch too. Since I still had 4 of my ludicrous 5 rerolls to play with (and because I wanted to free the new Throw-Ra to foul the AG4 Kislev guard), I greed rerolled Impotehnt's block against the Kislev Lineman on the wing... Stupid Gordon Gekko... what he does he know anyway?! This crucial error gave Kislev the breathing space they desperately needed, allowing them to move the ball wide and blitzing free the offending Kislev Lineman who duly received the ball and Kislev managed a string of successful leaps to disengage and screen the new ball carrier off as well... Although reduced to only 7 players, the Leaping Avengers had managed to completely bugger off with the ball now... Staring down the barrel of a Kislev score, Sekh pulled the trigger on the wizard (well, he turned and told the wizard to hurl lightning at the ball-carrier and promised to quote 'Put a scarab where not even the blazing Nehekharan sun shines if your spell fizzels!') The well-motivated wizard successfully bolted the ball-carrier and Sekh's Machines surged forward, attempting to punch a hole through the Kislev screen to allow one of the Throw-Ra's a shot at retrieving the ball... Injuring yet another Kislevite was just the cherry on top really... Despite of the pleasing removal, Impotehnt the Blitz-Ra failed his jump up roll which would've blocked the Kislev Blitzer away and there was no way I was going to try and dodge an AG2 player past diving tackle. Instead Khemri once again tried to simply mark the ball well and hope for the best... Kislev immediately rolled a 1 to dodge their Blitzer out and try to blitz the ball free - my opponent finally used his single reroll and managed to retrieve the ball once again, only to roll yet another 1 trying to dodge his Catcher away! Sekh's Machines pounced... well ok, shambled... into action, finally retrieving the ball! With the end of the half rapidly approaching, a risky hand off and a double GFI could still see Sekh's Machines score!! Or not... despite using my 5th reroll of the half to try and catch the ball! So...0-0 at the half. I had thrown 5 rerolls, a wizard and managed to secure 5 injuries, but still hadn't been able to score! Second Half, First Drive: The Master Chef was less effective this time, only stealing 1 reroll from Kislev. Still this left them with only 2 rerolls, so when they double-skulled one of their opening LOS blocks, they opted to eat it and save the reroll... Double skulls - SO much more fun when they happen to the other guy!! Kislev only had 9 players to bring to the pitch this half, so the turnover allowed Sekh's Machines to move forward and apply pressure across the line - this would be a dangerous game of cat and mouse though and I would need to avoid the mistakes of the past and over-commit, allowing a faster foe to slip behind me... Khemri move in, marking every Kislevite except the Catcher deep in the Avengers' half... It was always going to be hard to pin down a team that still had four AG4 leapers though, and Kislev cleverly split their two remaining Catchers wide apart, forcing Sekh's Machines single tackle piece to pick one. Ha-Dhas Fuhk chased down the potential receiver, while the rest of the team tried to keep pressure on the ball and the remaining Avengers. In hindsight, I should've kept the Blitz-Ra centrally located, but my opponent cleverly left me with no really good option... Kislev then did what they do so often and leapt and blitzed their way into a half open position - this time on my right flank, marking my tackle piece with a brave Blitzer. Their bear went stupid though and once again Sekh's Machines moved in, removing another Avenger in the process. Kislev were down to just 7 players again. Surely Sekh's Machines could keep the pressure up?! With most of the team somewhat boxed in (well, as boxed in as jump-enabled pieces ever can be) their ball-carrier made a break down the other flank, trusting to blodge and my lack of tackle on that side to keep him safe. Sekh's Aide was in range though and charged in, finding a pow and knocking the ball free! Now he just needed to pick it up... Often mocked for his 'lack of tackle' Sekh's Aide found he was often still able to perform adequately. Unfortunately his ball work still needs some practice... Sadly Sekh's Aide had failed to retrieve the ball, and that turnover cost me the chance to punch some more Kislev and try to pen them in (I had considered simply marking it so I could finish my turn, but wouldn't have been able to free enough other players to make retrieval sufficiently hard for Kislev). Kislev blitzed Sekh's Aide off the ball and scooped it up off the ground once more, sprinting off downfield and managing to scrape together enough players to sideline cage. Ha-Dhas Fuhk had finally made it back to this side of the pitch and with the help of some Tomb Guardians, did his best to hem in the Avengers in a last ditch effort to prevent them from scoring. Aaaand they bounced out and buggered off! Lacking quite enough pieces to make ever potential landing spot difficult for the Kislev jumpers, it felt inevitable that they would leap to freedom. With a solid screen in place thanks to some more successful leaps, they had the ball deep behind my team and were finally safe to score on T16... We'll get you next time!! And your little dog/bear too!! Final Score 1-0 to Kislev! Conclusions: Well it was a hard fought and entertaining match and even though Sekh's Machines lost, I felt that we had some very good opportunities and some great dice (especially the removals - poor Kislev had awful injury rolls all match). The Halfling Chef was actually pretty solid against a team that relies on team rerolls heavily to make critical plays, so i would definitely consider it again if I am against such an opponent. I think I made a couple of critical errors which cost me dearly though - the greed reroll in the first half which allowed Kislev just enough space to keep the ball from me and prevent me scoring, and then in the second half when I ran my only tackler off to one side of the pitch against a much more mobile opponent. All in all though I was pretty pleased with how I played and commend my opponent for not giving up despite those horrific removals!
  3. MD1 - vs Ghoulish Goons coached by @Tys123 Sekh the Incalculable sat admiring his shiny new scrying device. The old one had totally stopped working, rendering it useless for storing images of Sekh's Machines games and also delaying Sekh's important... research... into the latest embalming techniques for those naughty naughty mummies... In any event - the new scrying device seemed to be working well, although there were still some little quirks he had yet to completely work through when it came to using it for communications. Sekh's thoughts snapped back to his task - Hmm yes, the game. This season's first match was against Undead coached by a particularly notorious necromancer, even by the very... liberal... standards of bloodbowl coaches. He was known for actively encouraging his players to kill the opposition through fouling. In the previous game against this team in an earlier season though, the Goonshad surprised the Khemri players by actively pursuing the ball, and had handed Sekh's Machines a humbling defeat as a consequence. This would have to be a carefully considered match. Sekh knew too that the so called Ghoulish Goons had several extremely impressive players - a wight who was as strong and as agile as a vampire, a fast ghoul and a very agile ghoul. The only real weakness Sekh could see was that the undead had few guards, so perhaps Sekh's Machines could leverage this for some additional hits. The undead had a very skilled killer wight and two mummies as well though, and with no rostered player capable of really delivering savage blows to downed players anymore either, Sekh's Machines could easily lose a brawl with this team. Perhaps then a thoughtful, considered approach was called for... Sekh turned to his minions and called "Gare..." Damn! There he went again! Why did he always start inadvertently calling Gareth's name?! Growling in irritation, Sekh corrected himself "Fetch my wizarding wand - I have some practicing to do!" Sekh then intoned a mystical incantation to call up a communication portal with the Goblin Referees Association - a small donation might help things along... After several failed attempts to reach them, which included accidentally contacting the Goblin Retirees' Association; Sekh's elderly aunt (who kept him on the line for several hours as she complained that he never contacted her these days) and a small restaurant in Middenheim specialising in cuisine from Cathay; Sekh finally got through to the Goblin Referee's Association. The line was a bit garbled, but after a while Sekh was confident he had made them understand that he was paying a hefty bribe and expected his team to be ignored if they 'accidentally' stepped on any of the Goons during the game. "Ok boss!" Said the Goblin representative finally "We no send off any fouling skeletons!" Sekh smiled as he closed the connection - what could possibly go wrong? So the first match would be against the Ghoulish Goons, Undead coached by @Tys123 - who is famous for not only a top shelf fouling game but also a very strong record of wins. His team had some extremely nice players too - a total star AG4 ST4 Wight and a couple of very nice Ghouls which meant his team had the capacity to really threaten the opposing ball carrier and move the ball around on offence too. Combined with the very strong fouling game, a scary killer Wight and two Mummies, this team could both bash and dash very effectively. I would need to try and fight hard, but not go so fully into a melee that I left the ball exposed or gave up too much green space for the undead to play into. All in all a tough assignment and one that I felt a balanced inducements package of a wizard, a bribe and a babe would suit best. First Drive The Undead won the toss and elected to receive, no doubt hoping to start punching right away. A Perfect Defence kick-off result allowed Sekh's Machines to position their guards opposite some ST3 Goons, which meant they would have to rely on a red-dice block to make any real headway... So that's how it's going to be eh? The double-pow wasn't the only combination that would've knocked down my Tomb Guardian of course, it was simply the most enraging result that had my tomb guardian knocked down, and allowed the Goons to blitz down Sekh's Doll, my shiny new block Tomb Guardian, and them foul him. If that wasn't bad enough though, this was just the start of a fairly epic run of fouls from the Goons over the next four turns... With 4 removals from 5 fouls, and no send offs, Sekh realised something had gone badly awry... Those idiots at the Goblin Referees' Association had obviously been confused about which skeletons they were supposed to ignore when it came to fouling! The Goons fouled left and right and Joker, the Goons' killer Wight removed a Skeleton as well. By Sekh's Machines' T4 it was time to try something drastic. Sekh even took the a desperate step and summoned powerful mystical energy to rain destructive fire down upon a crowd of Goons who had gang-fouled Impohtehnt the Blitz-Ra, but only managed to remove a single undead Skeleton. Finally though, Sekh's Contraption the Tomb Guardian blitzed up off the ground to strike a mighty, if extremely clumsy, blow against the Goons' best Mummy... It took a both down to do it, and the Mummy regenerated, but Sekh's Machines finally made a removal. This Goons took advantage of their numerical superiority to break down the totally open left flank and screen their ball-carrier, but the removal of the Mummy seemed to signal a change in fortunes as Sekh's Machines then KO'd a Ghoul and Sekh's Contraption followed up his earlier big hit with another fine blow... This one didn't regen... The Goons didn't slow their fouling at all however, and when the Goblin referee finally started spotting some of their more obvious fouling, two of the Goons' Skeletons were sent off in rapid succession, including one particularly reckless foul which left the ball-carrier Ghoul open when the foul caused a turnover... Sekh's Pistol, although new to the team, has already gained a reputation for his amazing sack... After a lucky pow took down the Ghoul, the Goons had lost their chance to score, so they naturally decided to retreat in good order and definitely did not engage in one last egregious T8 foul... oh wait, yes they did... Sadly this one didn't regen either... and given that was my guard Skeleton, it was a real kick in the nuts, literally AND figuratively... So Sekh's Machines had stopped the score, but between the fighting, fouling and send offs, there were only 11 players left on the pitch... in total! Second Half: Given almost every player had regeneration though, it was still 10 Sekh's Machines against 11 Goons and Sekh's Machines were soon able to even things up... Ha-Dhas Fuhk was having one of his typically strong performances... The Goons were crafty opponents though and after a turn or two of back and forth, were able to spot a gap in Sekh's Machines' line only protected by a single Tomb Guardian. They blitzed through with a Mummy and applied heavy pressure to the ball... There are few things less pleasant than a mummy applying pressure on your balls... In reply though, Khemri were able to use a special move known as 'The Jaws of the Sphinx" (otherwise known as a desperate gamble of a recovery play) - the result being that a number of the Goons were effectively trapped between the guard Tomb Guardians... The move is also known as a 'Khemri Sandwich'.... not to be confused with a 'Khemri Sandwedge' which is generally used in Khemrian high-schools on the nerdier Necrotects... The tricksy Goons were able to dodge their talented Ghouls around for a 1d on the ball, but were unlucky when their wrestle, tackle Ghoul was only able to push Sekh's Aide the Throw-Ra up against the Goons star Wight, who then knocked himself down with the follow-up red-die attempt. This gave Sekh's Machines the opportunity to break up the left flank, with most of the Goons trapped or knocked down... With only two players left on their feet, the Goons did well to mark up the Machines, but it was desperate stuff.. Sekh's Machines were able to bring the ball back into the middle and keep it well protected, forcing the Goons to use their ST4 star Wight to bust is way into marking the ball carrier while their few remaining players tried to set up a screen between Sekh's Machines and the endzone. The Goons' Mummy then KO'd itself in a tussle with a Tomb Guardian, leaving the Goons with few options to try and stop the Khemri cage. This was the second time Sekh's Machines got lucky with both down results against a Mummy... Sekh's Doll blitzed and stunned the star wight down and the cage rumbled forward. In a final desperate play, the Goons' AG4 Ghoul, thanks to a successful Zombie dodge, managed to try and 1d the ball-carrier, but failed to get the straight pow she needed. Ha-Dhas Fuhk stepped up and delivered the ultimate in retribution on the return punch... If only Batman had a sidekick called Ha-Dhas Fuhk, instead of 'Robin'... Sekh's Doll then once again blitzed in and knocked away the marking Zombie, allowing Sekh's Aide to run in the winning touchdown! An outcome that looked very unlikely on T4... Final Score 1-0 to Sekh's Machines! Conclusions: This was a very tough game and one that I had almost given up on halfway through the first drive - the Undead were extremely successful with their removals, allowing them to dominate the opening. The dice turned though and my opponent also revealed later that he is focused on rebuilding his team this season and winning the fouling trophy rather than trying to you know, score touchdowns and such... so watch out if you are facing him later this season!! It did mean that he fouled when he should have scored on T7 which was what really saved the score for me and with the removals suddenly reversing direction and staying that way for the rest of the game, I was able to squeak over the line. I think the key lesson is to never completely throw in the towel, but also don't try plays that are too reckless to try and swing things back - for example my killer was fouled off because I desperately piled on when I really should not have and it just made things worse! Losing the guard Skeleton was tough too - I will need all the guard I can get in coming match-ups, so hopefully I can level a Tomb Guardian or get another doubles on a Skeleton before we come up against the orcs or chorfs.... Kislev next though!
  4. Thanks!! So I should (checks notes from game) keep getting crazy good dice... Hmm- sounds like a good plan!! ....Also - you did win the game so it seems I'll need more than bloody good removal dice to have a chance. Seriously though - thanks and that really is high praise indeed coming from a Khemri coach pro such as yourself! I seriously doubt I can even make it into the Championship but playing Khemri at this level is fun in a different way. Trying to keep the TGs alive and the team viable is, as you know, a 'fun' challenge' all by itself!
  5. Sekh the Indifferent stared down at the lifeless corpse of his minion Gareth - the Chaos Warrior had not left much of Gareth's face intact, and it was generally agreed amongst the necrotects and other servants that this was a fairly substantial improvement – Gareth had never been known as a ‘looker’ and had in fact been mistaken for a particularly hideous gargoyle on more than one occasion. Unfortunately though the facial rearrangement had come at the cost of Gareth’s life – he was indisputably dead... like really dead. As Sekh regarded his erstwhile minion, he was surprised to note an odd sensation somewhere in his chest cavity. Approximately where his heart used to be. Hmm – probably a side effect of his recent incantations and international travel. A soothing beverage of jackal blood and scarab juice should set things aright. He started to call out - "Gare-"... Dammit. That's right - Gareth was dead. Why did he keep starting to call out for him? Gareth, as even his closest friends ... polite acquaintances ...colleagues who had no choice but to tolerate him would admit, was very annoying at the best of times. He had a peculiar capacity for buggering things up too - a number of times Sekh had taken out a mystical object of great value and power out of storage only to find that Gareth had damaged it whilst 'cleaning'. He was fairly certain Gareth was the one responsible for the damage to his scrying device. ...and yet... he couldn't help but feel how unnaturally quiet the pyramid had been lately... previously he could almost always hear Gareth busily rearranging things that didn't need it, or regaling some of the other minions with his frankly ridiculous claims about how he would be a great tomb king himself one day or his high-pitched giggling floating up from the prison as he practised his 'boot to testicle resuscitation' techniques which he had so frequently used to try and ‘assist’ downed opposition players. It felt... odd that he was no longer there. Being irritating. Hmm - what was this awful sensation Sekh was experiencing?! That last incantation was clearly upsetting his mystical flows – that MUST be what was causing this heavy sensation in his chest and a strange sting in his eyes. Sekh decided he needed a distraction to shake off his lassitude. Sekh sighed - in an of itself a feat for a being that technically no longer draws breath. "Someone fetch me the team reports for next season. I want to see what we are up against." So only two seasons in and Sekh’s Machines are already in Tier 2! While I would love to boast that this was a clear sign of superlative coaching on my part, the rapid rise of the Machines has been a touch more rapid than I would’ve liked – starting in Tier 4 and just barely scraping enough adequate results to keep being promoted has meant they have gone into almost every single match they have played as the underdogs. Some teams love playing down TV and can make excellent use of inducements – Khemri…. Eh… Wizards are always excellent, but Khemri are one of those teams who lack much ability to steal the ball if an opposing ball carrier has been bolted. What has been more useful are bribes, and in the eternally important bash contests that characterise much of the game at this tier, fouling can be one way lower TV bash teams can try to keep up… so it’s a big bummer that Gareth, my dirty player skeleton met his untimely end. I’ll have to revive – or replace – him as a matter of priority. So let’s take a look at this season’s match-ups and see what our chances might be! MD1 - Ghoulish Goons coached by @Tys123 Undead 1890TV This was a team that handed Sekh's Machines a thorough drubbing when they met in Sekh's Machines' first season, and they had only one mummy for the match-up to boot. A very bashy team with a very competent coach who loves to win fouling contests. Sekh's Machines should have a guard advantage though and might be able to bully the undead a little, but would need to be very wary of the potential for casualties either from blocks (especially from the Goon’s killer wight) or fouling. The Goons also have a lovely AG4, ST4 wight and an AG4 ghoul which could be trouble if the game becomes all about the ball. MD2 - Jimi's Leaping Avengers coached by @Mongloom Kislev 2090TV Sekh's Machines have already faced a surprisingly high number of Kislev teams given how rare they usually are - and have found them extremely difficult to deal with. They are especially so when the Kislev are at a much higher TV (as this team is) and cause my Khemri all sorts of trouble keeping the ball safe. Jimi's Leaping Avengers are equipped with plenty of guard too, so sacking the ball will be a constant threat! Of interest, the last time Mongloom and I met in OCC, he was coaching Khemri and I diced the hell out of him... I expect him to use his expert knowledge of Khemri to help him extract revenge! The have a very competent killer and plenty of guards, so I need to be cautious of not losing a key player as things could easily spiral out of control if that happens. MD 3 - Heisemer Boyz coached by @Leman_X_Russ Orcs 1970TV Representing one of the three really hard bash teams in this division, Heisemer Boyz benefit from having some extremely well developed Black Orcs (including a Blodgestepper!). This is unusual as at this TV, as orcs usually struggle to keep their BOs alive. An AG4, MV7 blodge blitzer, a frenzy POMBer a dirty player and 5 guards make this team a threat to opposing players and the ball alike. Honestly I am struggling to see what edge Sekh’s Machines could have over these greenskins – at least we should have some decent inducements to try and even things up a little. This might be a game where we focus on trying to keep our players alive as the primary goal and aim for a win as a secondary focus… MD 4 – Serial Sinkers coached by @Crunky Chops Vampires 1980TV Vamps are always an odd sort of opponent – at low TV they often as not murder themselves, leave the pitch in droves and let you waltz down the field, punching AV7 thralls for SPP on your way to a lazy TD. At this sort of TV though they are a constant pain in the neck (ba-dum tish!) – and several of these highly developed stat-boosted vamps also have the Pro skill, reducing their reliance on rerolls and allowing them to pull off elf BS that leaves the elves in the dust! Three blodgesteppers means you have to think carefully about throwing blocks at all sometimes too as having an AG4 ST4 menace slipping through your ranks can cause all sorts of headaches. Perhaps the Norse who face these vamps the week prior will do some damage and make life a little easier? Probably not – this could be a match where we concede rather a lot of TDs… even so, hopefully they won’t do much damage to the team itself and either way all those AV7 thralls may still offer some shots at garnering SPP through casualties. MD 5 – Necro Machine coached by @PointBlank93 Necromantic 1880TV An old stable-mate of Sekh’s Machines, this will be the third time our teams meet in three seasons. Each time so far, Sekh’s Machines have had very generous removal dice and Necro machine has had trouble keeping players on the pitch. Their MB wolf, an AG4 Ghoul, a blodgestepping AG4 wolf and some nice wights give this team a lot of options though and plenty of potential to remove my players or pinch my balls (er… steal the ball I mean). If I can leverage my strength advantage I might be able to bully them a bit, but it is a tactic that can backfire badly against a team with several guards and claws… MD 6 – Hatricola Coached by @JJape Chaos Dwarfs 1830 TV Ah chorfs – everyone’s favourite! These chorfs are properly scary too with a clawpomber, 5 guards and two dirty players, so plenty of removal potential. Now that one of the bull centaurs has frenzy as well, the sidelines will also need to be carefully respected. Sekh’s Machines faced these chorfs before and were pretty lucky to scrape through for a draw. If we can do so again without losing any key players I will be very happy and count myself very fortunate. MD 7 – Wolverine Fielders, coached by @Duckwing Norse 2180TV Norse certainly look muscly, but these boys have the stats to back it up. A ST5 berserker a ST5 Ulf and a ST4 Lineman make this an insanely strong Norse team and a block Yeti and dirty player only add to their potential to remove opponents. Only one tackle and two guards are really the only tools this team lacks. A game against them looks like it may well come down to how quickly each side can remove the others’ players. At least the generous inducements we will be able to call on should help – an Igor and some babes will probably be wise choices! MD 8 – KROTEK RUNNERS, coached by @txlanhualpec High Elves 1570TV These High Elves are the only other team within 200tv of Sekh’s Machines in this division and don’t have many very developed players yet… what they do have though are two AG5 leaper catchers who were a constant threat to the ball when KROTEK RUNNERS and Sekh’s Machines met last season. While Khemri managed to win that encounter, it was really thanks to great removals and a lucky (and rash) wizard. I will need to be extremely careful about protecting the ball-carrier whilst trying to chip away at the elvish numbers. With no bench that might be a way (my only way?) to try and replicate last season’s success. MD 9 – Despized, Coached by @Zunk Orcs 2170 TV Bleh – if the other orcs were bad, this lot are even worse. No fewer that 7 guards to help the 8 mighty blows tear the opposition apart… at which point the two blodge blitzers (one of whom is AG4) will stroll in to collect the ball and wander off. Hmm – another game where I really can’t see how my relatively inexperienced Khemri can realistically compete. Another atrociously hard match that at least comes right at the arse end of the season. Maybe by the time this match rolls around the tier placings will be largely decided and we can afford to take a very conservative (from a player preservation perspective) approach. So - can Sekh's Machines continue to rise... or are they already at their fullest, most turgid point? Let's hope their fall is not a premature one!!
  6. Sekh the Incredulous stared down in dismay at the large altar he used as a desk in his study… it was strewn with half-completed match reports, the remains of several desiccated birds, a large stack of well-worn issues of “Embalmers’ Monthly” magazine and his large scrying device…. The one that now sported a large crack down one side of its’ crystalline surface. Sekh had already fallen well behind keeping his legions (legions I say!) of fans updated with reports of his team’s exploits – he had been called to distant lands to deal with issues only his mighty mystical powers (and willingness to work cheap) could handle. This had been interesting and mildly profitable, but it had interfered with the team’s training and game schedule and had left him precious little time to mystically embed his reports into the scrying device… which he had recently discovered was apparently damaged and had lost a number of images from his previous reports. Sekh had been less than impressed when he discovered this problem and despite having little to no moisture in their bodies some of the necrotects had actually blushed upon hearing several of the terms Sekh had used to express his disappointment – Nefertiti’s Necrotic Nipples being one of the milder curses he had invoked. Disillusioned, disheartened and disgusted Sekh had considered tossing it all in, but it irked him that his experiment of coaching a team, analysing his own performance and reporting on it would end so soon. So he steeled himself to provide at least a summary of the team’s remaining games in their second season and despite being notoriously tight-fisted (‘Tighter than a scarab’s sphincter’ was the phrase the necrotects used when they thought he was out of earshot), he considered the purchase of an actual proper scrying device… rather than the free one he had found in an old tomb… And so it was that Sekh picked up his stylus and hunched over another clean sheet of papyrus, marking down the latest chapter of the BloodBowl Team known as Sekh’s Machines…. So apologies to all of you (both of you? Especially you, Mother) who have been following this blog – my work required me to travel halfway around the globe for a while there and I was genuinely flat out just keeping up with my games. I had planned to do catch up reports but was pretty bummed when I found that imgur seems to have somehow deleted a number of the images from my previous match reports. I will look into shelling out some actual cash for a commercial service to see if I can fix this, but I want to at least provide written reports and keep trying to breakdown my own coaching for fun and profit! Well… fun anyway… Below then are summaries of the remaining matches of season 26 – Sekh’s Machines’ second season. MD 4 vs Circus Cirkor Bloodbowl, 2130tv Kislev coached by @tubragg Sekh’s Machines’ first ever game was a drubbing they received from a much higher TV troupe of Kislevites and going into this match 750TV down didn’t look promising at all. The Kislevites chose to receive and scored early on their drive, thereafter settling happily into their favoured role of aggressive defence. Sekh’s Machines’ first half offensive drive started poorly with totally ineffective LOS hits followed by a double bribe fail that saw Gareth (Sekh’s Machines’ resident Dirty Player) leave the field. This also left the deeply kicked ball still on the ground… so all in all a Kislevite wet dream. The leapers surged in, threatening the ball and forcing Sekh’s Machines to pick up with Ha-Dhas Fuhk the blitz-ra who actually managed the pick up and scrambled back into something resembling a cage. A string of successful leaps though saw a successful sack on the ball and Kislev were able to screen and stall out until turn 8. 2-0 to the circus at half time. The second half threatened to go poorly for Sekh’s Machines as the first, with Kislev tying up the Tomb Guardians near the halfway line whilst threatening to steal the ball deep in Khemri’s half. After much scrambling Kislev popped the ball free again, but a wizard’s lightening bolt and a snaked Kislev dodge combined to allow Sekh’s Machines to recover the ball and run forward, completing an unlikely hand-off to a tomb guardian who sprinted for the Kislev endzone. Sadly the fairy-tale consolation of a TG touchdown was cruelly ended by a snaked GFI. But because Nuffle is a capricious sod at the best of times, he couldn’t let the Kislevites off without a blood payment. So the dice decreed that Impohtehnt the blitz-ra would manage a very late game murdering of Kislev’s own killer blitzer, ending their game long duel in decisive fashion. 2-0 to Kislev at fulltime. Conclusions: Kislev, especially at high TV, are a huge problem for Khemri to deal with. It is next to impossible to keep the ball safe if you can’t get it into a cage with guard corners. Some games like this are just bloody hard work and perhaps concentrating on grabbing SPP, especially on key players, is the best that can be hoped for from such match-ups. MD5 vs High Flying Potential, 1580TV Kislev coached by @Lagerbon Yay… more Kislev! These leapers were starting to establish themselves as a real pain in the pyramid – at least the TV difference was only 200 this time, so the lower level of development should mean Sekh’s Machines might be more competitive. Things started well for Khemri too, with the opening blitz putting Kislev’s ST4 blitzer out with a niggle. The kick was so deep though it was actually in the Khemri endzone and Sekh’s Aide the Throw-ra, normally weirdly reliable, fumbled the pick-up leaving the ball on the floor. Kislev predictably surged forward, seeking to cut off the ball carrier from the rest of the team but Sekh’s Aide retrieved the ball and was able to double-GFI to safety. Sekh’s Machines began a slow grind downfield, keeping their guard pieces positioned to make a leaping sack less appealing. Kislev fell back to slow the Khemri advance, biding their time however and eventually striking on T6 just as my slow moving Khemri had finally made it over halfway. A 1d on the ball carrier left Sekh’s Aide KO’d and the ball bounced crazily between fumbling Khemri players before Gareth the Watcher made an unlikely catch to keep the ball in Sekh’s Machines’ possession. Sekh’s Machines surged forward, knowing the half would end soon – and Kislev tried a desperate attempt at sacking again but could only manage to red-dice and pushed Gareth backwards out of scoring range. Sekh’s Machines then punished the Kislevites, badly hurting one and chain pushing Ha-Dhas Fuhk into contact with a screening kislev catcher who he injured off the field as well. That opened enough space for Gareth to run forwards and hand off to Impohtehnt the blitz-ra who ran it in – Touchdown Sekh’s Machines! 1-0 to Khemri at half time. Hamstrung by now only being able to field 8 players for their offensive drive, High Flying Potential tried to push Sekh’s Machines right flank, aiming for a quick score. A risky 1d blitz that had to be rerolled left them with nothing though when the pass upfield went wide and Sekh’s Machines were able to recover the loose ball with Ha-Dhas Fuhk (Sekh’s Aide was still sleeping off his earlier KO). Sekh’s Device the Tomb Guardian then injured off the Kislev bear, leaving high Flying Potential even further down on players. The Kislevites managed to attempt a 1d sack on the ball, but could only roll a push. Gareth wasn’t so lucky – getting a niggle injury from a Kislev Blitzer that didn’t regen. Khemri rolled slowly down the pitch and despite Kislev trying numerous red-dice or 1d sacks from their st4 lineman, they weren’t able to pop the ball free. Another KO left only 6 Kislev on the pitch and so it was that Sekh’s Machines had the space to chance a greedy hand-off to a tomb guardian near the endzone. It failed, but Kislev’s last gasp hero play to try and retrieve the ball also failed and the game ended 1-0. Victory for Sekh’s Machines! Conclusions: We finally broke the Kislev curse – mostly thanks to getting the ball into the cover of a guard enabled cage and then getting lucky with removal dice to give Sekh’s Machines the numerical advantage. Nice – but hardly a reliable strategy to try and replicate in future Kislev match-ups! Still not completely sure how to handle Kislev – if they roll well it seems impossible to protect the ball. MD6 vs KRYOTEK RUNNERS 1690tv High Elves coached by @txlanhualpec These high elves are distinguished by having not one, but two AG5 catchers… both of whom had levelled in their prior match and now were both leaping blodgers… This meant Sekh’s Machines were once again facing opponents who could threaten the ball at almost any time they chose – another tough match for sure. Knowing that the Elves lacked any guard or mighty blow however, Sekh’s Machines elected to kick and set up much more aggressively on defence than they usually do, with a broad frontage designed to force the elves to rely on their new leapers or some dodges through multiple tackle-zones if they wanted to score fast. The elves obligingly committed heavily to one flank and then snaked their first ever leap to leave themselves awkwardly connected. Sekh’s Machines were able to punish this, removing two elves with solid punches while Setekh ran into the elvish half to threaten the ball. The elves tried to create space on the flank, but left one of the AG5 catchers in a surfable position – from which he was duly surfed (although sadly was unharmed by the experience), leaving only 8 elves on the pitch. In response the elves spread right out, managed to avoid any further losses and were able to fire a 10 square pass to the remaining AG5 who ran it in on T4. 1-0 to the KRYOTEK RUNNERS. Some elves returned from the sidelines, but not their kick piece, which meant the ball was more easily retrieved by Khemri on their offense and safely caged with guards on diagonal corners. This made a sacking attempt a real long shot, so the elves fell into column defence, determined to slow Sekh’s machines’ advance. KO after KO allowed Sekh’s Machines to grind forwards however, and by Turn 7 just six desperate high elves formed columns to block the Khemri advance. The wizard struck – bolting down a high elf catcher and allowing Ha-Dhas Fuhk to blitz the remaining elf out of the way. Sekh’s Aide made the double GFI required and Khemri had equalised! 1-1 at halftime. Only 8 elves made it back to the pitch for the second half, and despite the kicker not being one of them, the ball landed in the exact rear left corner of the Khemri endzone. Skeletons and desiccated undead shambled urgently back to try and cover the ball, but the out-numbered elves saw their chance and surged forward, blocking the LOS Khemri from their own backfield and marking as many other Khemri players as possible. Sekh’s Aide fortunately retrieved the ball and made it into a cage, the final cage corner relying on Setekh’s break tackle ability. A tomb guardian luckily injured off an AG5 catcher too, thinning the elvish numbers further. Tucked in the back corner of the Khemri half, the high elves still managed a 1d on the ball, using a reroll to sack Sekh’s Aide and pop the ball free. Without a reroll and with no spare AG5 player, the elves were forced to rely on a mere AG4 player to try and retrieve the ball which failed. Sekh’s Machines stunned two of the elves in return and retrieved the ball, caging up securely again and leaving the few standing elves with little chance at a sack. The remaining AG5 elf was able to attempt another 1d on the ball, but Sekh’s Aide’s blodge meant this was never likely to succeed and Khemri were able to roll forwards and reunite with their players near the LOS, allowing them to cage with guard corners again as they shambled slowly towards the elven endzone and scoring on T16. 2-1 to Sekh’s Machines! Conclusions: Facing another AG team cemented my thinking that removals and guards on the cage corners are the key for Sekh’s Machines in these match-ups. Removals are not a reliable strategy unfortunately, and trying too hard to kill opposing players can leave you out of position. Keeping players free to run back and help protect the ball (and keeping guards on cage corners) at least makes it harder for the AG teams to get away with their nonsense. I think I’ll try for set-ups that emphasise this in future match-ups against AG teams – of course if I fall behind anyway, then smashing them to bits is probably the only way back into the game (and if nothing else, will hopefully garner at least some SPP). MD7 vs Liverat ! OCC 1720TV Skaven coached by @Troy_Tempest High TV Rats - ewww... well perhaps my new 'anti-AG' tactics would come in handy? Starting on offense, and with my the rough strategy Sekh’s Machines are now adopting for trying to deal with AG teams, things opened quite well. Injuring a linerat out from the LOS, Sekh’s Machines were able to drop back and cage up with guards on diagonal corners. Unfortunately the rats got very lucky with a dauntless, double-GFI blitz on Ha-Dhas Fuhk, injuring him off and denying me my tackle blitz-ra for the whole game! Being in a guarded cage didn’t stop the rats trying to cage dive though – a bold attempt which was unsuccessful and left the gutter runner on the floor who was then fouled off the pitch by Gareth. The ref didn’t like what he saw, and Gareth left the pitch too. The hits kept coming for the rats though, who by turn 4 were down to 7 players (including one dead). Sekh’s Machines ground their way down the field, but the plucky rats kept up the cage dives, eventually getting lucky and knocking the ball free… whereupon it was caught by a tomb guardian! I was low-key delighted that the ball was now on a tomb guardian, and continued the slow movement towards the Rats’ endzone. An ambitious 3d red-die sack failed, but the rats once again got lucky on their T7 and knocked the ball out of the tomb guardians’ hands (dammit) but it was once again caught by a Khemri player! So it was that a lowly skeleton ran the ball in – 1-0 to Sekh’s Machines! Given the Rats had a natural one-turner though, the halftime result was by no means guaranteed… and when the kick-off resulted in a riot and an extra turn, the rats were well positioned to bring the score back to level. In spite of a wizard’s lightening bolt (which failed) and a pretty solid screen of Khemri players, the Rats’ one-turner indeed made all the rolls required and the score was 1-1 at halftime. The second half opened with the Liverat ! OCC patiently waiting for a chance to slip through the Khemri defence and screen their gutters. Sekh’s Machines did a lot of marking and punching, but failed to make any more rats leave the pitch and the gutters duly slipped past on T11. Sekh’s Machines applied enough pressure to make the rats score on T12, leaving the Khemri with a glimmer of hope of a draw. 2-1 to the rats. The Khemri drive needed to make haste down the pitch, but Liverat ! OCC’s deep bench ensured they were still able to field 11 players, helping them to block Sekh’s Machines’ progress. Lacking speed and with removals drying up, Sekh’s Machines were left with a desperate attempt to try and push forward but couldn’t make enough ground through the screening rats to place the ball in scoring range by T15. A last gasp play to try and dodge Impohtehnt the blitz-ra through the rats ranks and get into the endzone unsurprisingly failed and the game ended with the rats in the lead. 2-1 to Liverat ! OCC. Conclusions: In spite of the result I was reasonably pleased with how I played and how the game went. The wizard failure was unfortunate and potentially critical, as bolting down the gutter holding the ball would’ve have made blitzing and marking the remaining scoring threats a real option. Still, my own failure to push forward hard enough near the end of the game is what robbed me of a chance to draw, so I need to really appreciate just how slow Khemri can be, and how tough it can be to keep the tomb guardians unmarked and moving forward with the cage to ensure it doesn’t slow to a crawl. Khemri really are not good at scoring quickly! MD8 vs The Bedlam Bucks 1920TV Chaos coached by @Kunxion I’d been dreading this match-up all season. A chaos team with plenty of claw and mighty blow who had unfortunately also managed to get some guard pieces just prior to our match, removing what little potential edge Sekh’s Machines might have had in that regard. It was always going to come down to a slugfest between what are two bash teams, so Sekh’s Machines were happy to start on the offensive - however the initial hits failed to even break the armour of the three goats on the line and things immediately took a turn for the worse when Bedlam Bucks knocked out a Tomb Guardian with their first punch. A brief glimmer of hope shone through when Sekh’s Machines injured off a chaos warrior, but it was a false dawn and on T3 the forces of chaos tragically and permanently injured another Tomb Guardian. Things snowballed rapidly now that two tomb guardians were off the pitch and by T5 there were only 6 Khemri left when a third tomb guardian was gang-fouled off. A desperate spite fireball knocked down 5 chaos players but failed to break armour once. The final Tomb Guardian was removed on T 7 and a desperate long pass to Setekh, who had been left ignored on the ground in the backfield, unsurprisingly failed when Setekh dropped the ball. Chaos brought the Khemri player numbers down to just 4 and managed a long pass and hand off to score on T8. 1-0 to chaos at halftime. Unfavourable KO rolls left Khemri with just 10 players to start their defensive drive with – and only two of the critically important tomb guardians. When one more skeleton was removed from the Chaos LOS hits, Sekh’s Machines opted to try and reduce the risk of further permanent injury to the remaining players, consolidating on one flank and trying to snipe exposed goats - managing to injure off the chaos dirty player. Tragedy struck though when the return blitz by a chaos warrior killed Gareth outright and his regen roll failed. Sekh would have to pause and reflect long and hard about how to replace the annoying, perverse and cretinous minion... who he somehow strangely missed... Following Gareth’s tragic passing (I can still hear the pitter-patter of his little feet and he ran over to deliver a savage kick to the testicles of downed opposing players!) Sekh’s Machines moved right to one side, effectively conceding the TD to chaos. Bedlam Bucks took the offer and ran the ball in quickly, hoping to perhaps push for a third before the end of the game. 2-0 to Chaos. Sekh’s Machines KO rolls were again underwhelming, with Sekh’s Aide refusing to return to the pitch, but at least Sekh’s Doll the newest tomb guardian woke up, bringing the number of TGs on the pitch back up to 3. With the Chaos KO’s staying out, both teams had 9 players with which to play out the final drive. Sekh’s Machines second attempt at offense began much more promisingly, removing two goats with the LOS hits and blitz-ra Ha-Dhas Fuhk picking up the ball successfully first go. Khemri now outnumbered Chaos – but Bedlam Bucks responded cleverly by suddenly changing tactics – dodging their AG4 goat through Khemri lines to sack the blitz-ra! They used a reroll to do it though and the goat ended up on the ground too after he failed a GFI to try and secure the now loose ball. This left the Bucks’ warriors connected with the Machines’ tomb guardians, who took the opportunity to knock out one of the warriors and freeing up enough khemri players to gang-foul and KO the prone AG4 goat. Chaos had lost 4 players in two turns and couldn’t prevent Ha-Dhas Fuhk from recovering the ball and running down the pitch as the remaining Khemri grappled with the now out-numbered chaos. Ha-Dhas went over for a consolation TD on T16. Final score 2-1 to Chaos. Conclusions: I don’t know what possessed me to try and fight into Chaos in the first half the way I did. Looking back I could have been more conservative and tried to go after the weaker goats more than I did, moving up the pitch and forcing Chaos to react. As it was, when I stopped removing warriors (which happened VERY early!) I started losing players in droves and couldn’t keep up the fight. The dice were a bit unkind with Chaos garnering 19 armour breaks from just 32 blocks, but it was a good lesson to work harder to minimise contact when facing claw enabled opponents. Losing a guard TG and my dirty player skeleton made sure it was an expensive lesson! MD9 vs Chaos Metamorphoses 1710tv Chaos Dwarfs coached by @Eldryr Speaking of claw, the final match was against chorfs who had not only two claw/mb players, but one of them had piling on as well. Backed up by 4 guards (one of which was ST4 chorf) and a ST5 bull-centaur, this promised to be another scary match! Sekh’s Machines had been able to recruit a fresh tomb guardian and used the inducements to hire a dirty player and an Igor to try and keep casualties to a minimum. Unsurprisingly the chorfs chose to receive when they won the toss but Khemri skeletons proved remarkably resilient on this occasion, with thick skull keeping two of them on the pitch (albeit stunned). The extremely deep kick might have seen the chorfs fall back to protect their AG4 blodge hobgoblin ball-carrier, but instead they aggressively surged forward, using the ST4 blocker to assist the ST5 bull to punch down a tomb guardian. This was aggressive to the point of recklessness however, as these two key players were now essentially unsupported and Sekh’s Machines took the opportunity to knock down and foul the blocker, stunning it. The chorfs ambled forwards, and although they didn’t engage the Khemri line fully, the ST5 bull was able to KO the Khemri dirty player. Khemri punched back the exposed bull centaur though and fouled the beast, stunning it. Then a skeleton who had recovered from his earlier stun got up and dodged out to screen the rest of the team from the chorf claw/pomber. The chorfs brought the ball forward, but between the scrum their ST4 blocker and ST5 bull were engaged with and the partial skeleton screen, they couldn’t shield the ball-carrier with more than the remaining bull-centaur who was knocked sideways by a tomb guardian. Sekh’s Machines were then able to double mark the ball, including Ha-Dhas Fuhk who now had mighty blow to go with his tackle. The remaining chorf players were either prone, or marked by guards, forcing a desperate dodge to keep the ball safe. Ha-Dhas wasn’t far behind though and when another hobo failed it’s dodge to try and screen the ball, Khemri struck, knocking down the ball-carrier and using a push play block to pop a skeleton free from the scrum in the middle – he promptly fouled the hobo ball-carrier, stunning him. The chorfs responded by punching Ha-Dhas into the ball – whereupon it bounced off the prone hobo and into Sekh’s Aide’s hands! He took off down the pitch, but was pursued by the ST4 bull centaur who tackled him near the sideline. With the ball right on the sideline, the bull centaur made the fateful decision to try and scoop it up, failing and leaving him very, very surfable. Sekh’s Aide didn’t hesitate, surfed the centaur, retrieved the ball and scored on T8! 1-0 to Khemri! The understandably annoyed chorfs lined up for their defensive drive, but were shocked by the ferocity of Sekh’s Machines opening blocks – all three LOS blockers were injured off by blocks or a foul leaving the chorfs heavily disadvantaged. The chorfs ran their bulls around the Khemri front line, which had narrowed considerably as a result of the LOS blocks and gang foul, and marked what they could with their remaining players to try and pressure the Khemri into leaving the ball exposed. Luckily for Sekh’s Machines, Sekh’s Aide who had successfully retrieved the very deep kick, was able to run forwards safely enough once the tomb guardians had stunned a bull out of the way. When a hobo killed itself trying to dodge away from a TG, all the fight went out of the chorfs and they stopped contesting the drive, instead electing to hunker down near the sideline and protect their valuable players. This gave Sekh’s Machines the unusual luxury of time and space to move forward to the endzone comfortably and even handed the ball off the the Tomb Guardian Sekh’s Doll who amazingly managed to catch it and scored on T16! 2-0 victory for Sekh’s Machines! Conclusion: Some things I felt went very well this game were keeping the chorf clawpomber tied up with skeletons and the turn where I managed to effectively mark three chorfs and two bull centaurs with two guard tomb guardians and a skeleton – this really enabled me to pressure the ball and eventually force a turnover. A lot of it was luck of course – especially at the start of the second half when the chorfs lost 3 blockers right from the LOS. It was nice to finish the season on a positive note, especially following the deaths of some key players on MD8. Thins would only get harder though – the final record of 4-2-3 would be enough to promote the team again and tier 2 would be even more brutal... what horrors lie in store for Sekh’s Machines?!?
  7. Thanks - yeah maybe I've hit a limit and when i upload a new one it deletes an old image. I was probably being a bit greedy with how I was uploading 15+ images per match! :-D Hmm - maybe the best is for me to just pay for a proper image hosting service . I want to keep going with the blog in roughly this format without butchering the previous posts (even though I am pretty far behind). I will reflect on it and maybe start fresh with a new provider for the new season.
  8. Does anyone know what is causing this? It makes some of my posts even more crap than they were before...
  9. MD 3 – Necro Machine 1470TV Necro coached by @PointBlank93 Sekh the Insurmountable hummed to himself as he worked, shaping, crafting and occasionally hammering away at the automaton he was creating. He had been quite sorry to have to have had to scrap his old Tomb Guardian for parts – Sekh’s Grinder had been a faithful servitor who had been developing well. After it had taken permanent damage from getting punched by an opposing Tomb Guardian though, it would never be as strong again and the team needed every bit of strength that each of the Tomb Guardians could muster if it was to face future challenges with any hope of success. Stepping back, he paused to admire his handiwork – this new Tomb Guardian was a particularly fine specimen, even if he did say so himself… the features were smooth, even and beautiful… almost doll-like. “Yes” Sekh muttered to himself… “You shall be my Doll!” The Nectrotect standing in attendance made a note on the team register… “New Tomb Guardian… Sekh’s Doll”. Sekh paused… was there something a little… odd… about that name? Nah it is fine! Next I’ll be questioning the whole team name! “Ok then!” Sekh said briskly – “What are we facing this week?” “A Necromancer and his recently revived undead my lord.” Replied the Necrotect. “We have faced them once before…” Oh yes – thought Sekh... the necromantic team. They were impressive these newly raised undead… but terribly… moist. Sekh found it all rather distasteful. He looked at their roster, reminding himself of their strengths, noting a highly agile ghou and werewolf and even worse, the other werewolf's claws that were backed up by a very powerful punch. He glanced at his shiny new Tomb Guardian – protecting the giant automatons from that werewolf would be key to success. He didn’t want to have to rebuild another machine so soon after completing this one! Returning to the team rosters and preparation for the match, Sekh noted that the necromancer’s team had been given rough treatment last week by a team of Chaos and would be missing a flesh golem and a wight for this match. With those absences for the necromantic team, Sekh’s Machines would not have much money to spend on inducements. With just over 100k available, a bribe was the obvious choice… So necro again! As for strategy, the weakened Necromantic team (who would have no guards and only a single strength 4 player this week) would be vulnerable to strength bullying. I would have to be careful that the MB werewolf didn’t get its claws into any TGs (literally) but otherwise this game would probably come down to how well Necro Machine could move the ball around with it’s fast and agile backline. The ghoul, one of the wolves and the remaining wight who was available this week all had dodge, so my new tackle blitz-ra could be crucial. I would have to work to keep him free and not over-commit to pressing my team into the Necro and letting them run past me. First Drive, First half Necro won the toss and elected to kick, setting up a fairly standard defensive ‘rule of 5’ with their LOS zombies centrally located. Sekh’s Machines set up to spread reasonably broadly, giving them maximum opportunity to start punching zombies while remaining reasonably well protected against a bli… Sekh is an ancient and wise being... millennia are to him as the blink of an eye... he would never say a bad word just because of a blitz... well ok... maybe one bad word... or so... Well … shit. In fact I wasn’t as well protected as I thought because I had neglected to note that Necro had a kick zombie and the kick landed beautifully near the LOS on my right flank to allow them to run in and take advantage of the blitz kick-off result. By the start of my first turn, Necro had the ball on the ag4 blodgestepping wolf and my team was largely tied up on the LOS… probably a good learning moment for me as a coach! (in that I learnt to f-cking hate getting blitzed on!) The LOS hits tried to free some players up to run backwards and try to block the necro, which were partially successful, but rolling only pushes and skulls on 9 dice meant the zombies were all left standing and unharmed. Impohtehnt my MB blitz-ra did at least take the opportunity to blitz the MB wolf who was screening the ball-carrier, but only rolled more pushes! Ha-Dhas Fuhk made his GFIs to put tackle on the ball-carrier but then Sekh’s Contraption snaked his single GFI to eat a reroll and leave himself sprawled on the floor… A nice secure defensive position... just a pity this was my offensive drive... Necro took the chance to try and assassinate Impohtehnt with the MB wolf punching down and stunning my blitz-ra before the ball-carrying wolf dodged away and ran back to the safety of Necros backfield. They had the ball, but now their killer wolf was tied up in a cluster of my players with Gareth nearby…Muahahahaha.. Haaaa... oh crap… Sekh’s Machines continued to roll pushes and skulls trying to knock the killer wolf down and after three sets of 2D blocks it was up to Gareth (of all people!) to finally knock it over, which used up another precious reroll (in hindsight, not my greatest ever use of a reroll...). This also meant he couldn’t deliver the inevitable foul which failed to break armour and despite finally getting some knock downs from the Tomb Guardians, it wasn’t until a cheeky 1d from Sekh’s Worker 5 right at the end of the turn that we saw our first removal… Sekh's Tip: If your opponent is moist, proper application of a bone can help knock one out... The Necro were now fairly tangled up – not exactly what I had envisaged when it came to my 'strategy' of trying to strength bully them but it did mean they had to rely on some 1D blocks to start before their killer wolf, obviously aware of the danger from Gareth's feet, tried to blitz free on red dice. This only ate up a reroll though and ensured he started my turn on the floor, ready for a jolly good fouling… You stay right there Mr Wolf... Unfortunately ha-Dhas Fuhk immediately rolled double skulls, eating the last team reroll. At least Sekh’s Machines were able to clear away any Necro players who would act as counter-assists for the foul without further incident and Gareth ran in to drop the boot, at least breaking armour this time but still only stunning the wolf. Sekh’s Device meanwhile KO’d another zombie with his Mighty Blow and Sekh’s Tool stunned one too. It was a slow start, but Sekh's Machines were finally starting to bully Necro a bit. Under sustained pressure now, Necro moved their ghoul into a forward position where he could both potentially receive the ball and where his flesh golem screener could potentially counter-assist future fouls on the wolf. The other wolf meanwhile ran even deeper into the Necro’s own half, knowing that the remaining downed and stunned zombies couldn’t reliably screen anymore in the face of my Tomb Guardians. Sekh's Machines starting to turn the screws... Some more blocks eventually knocked down the flesh golem and allowed a solid foul on the wolf again, but again Gareth could still only stun it – at least the ref wasn’t paying any attention whatsoever to the very obvious and egregious fouling of a downed player that was going on. Some Sekh's Machines pushed into the Necro side of the pitch cautiously where they could start to pressure the ball a little, but trying to keep players back in case Necro made a break for it... Which they did! Running the ghoul deep into Sekh’s Machines backfield and moving the side-stepping ball-carrying wolf forwards on my left flank, right on the sideline. Necro tried to make space away from where most of the other players from both teams were clustered around the killer wolf. The ball-carrier tried to keep as far from the melee as possible... Gareth dropped one last foul in again but only delivered yet another stun. After that, Sekh's Machines had to reposition and didn't have the luxury of gang-fouling the wolf anymore. Sekh's Worker 1 was able to run over and mark the ball-carrier right on the sideline and Sekh's Aide moved in to make forwards dodging by even the AG4 wolf unappealing and risky. Ha-Dhas Fuhk, my tackle blitz-ra tried to knock over the blodge wight but could only push it further away from the action, using that to run himself into a central position where hopefully he could bring his tackle to bear on the ball-carrier next turn. Sekh's Device then trundled over to try and really pin the wolf on the sideline, but failed his GFI... if only I had saved a reroll.... Necro were still under pressure though with the ball carrier single marked right on the sideline so the wolf blitzed itself free, using a reroll, injured the skeleton marking it and ran forwards. As it had blitzed it couldn't do anything with the ball, so instead the ghoul ran back to try and cover as best it could whilst the wight that Ha-Dhas Fuhk failed to knock over last turn double-GFI'd to mark him. The wolf was free with the ball, but he couldn't hand it off and didn't have anywhere safe to go... With no rerolls I wasn't going to try a Khemri dodge with ha-Dhas Fuhk, so it was left to Sekh's Aide to try his best... And his best was pretty good really... even if a little unorthodox to use a kick... Not only did he sack the ball, he stunned to wolf to boot! Sekh's Device hauled itself to its feet and double-marked the ball, leaving Necro with few good options. A desperate blitz from across the pitch by the killer wolf failed a GFI, leaving Khemri with a clear run. Surely Sekh's Aide can't keep being so reliable picking up the ball? Sekh's Aide secured the ball and ran deep into Necro's half, in scoring range and a last gasp sack attempt by the ghoul also failed, leaving Sekh's Aide a single GFI to score on turn 8... Sekh's plans are impossible for mere mortals to comprehend... but even Sekh had to admit that wasn't exactly what he'd had in mind when he decided to try and score on Turn 8... So... not at all how I had planned my offensive drive to go, but luck swung my way just in time. Necro's turn 8 didn't lead to anything interesting, except that it started to rain. Second Half - First Drive: Things immediately took a turn for the worst for Necro when the kick-off resulted in a someone... no one knows who... but someone... threw a rock... How unsporting... I wonder who threw that rock?! With their blodge-stepping wolf KO'd from the rock, Necro had lost their best ball carrier, and were forced to run the ghoul backwards to pick up the ball, which he fumbled in the rain and needed a reroll to secure. Under pressure already, they ran forward into my right flank, screening the ghoul and obviously hoping for a quick score... My defensive setup, which had emphasised defence and limiting or eliminating LOS blocks, had worked from that perspective, but it made it hard to get across quickly to close the door on the quick necro advance. Fortunately the Ghoul with the ball wasn't in range, so Sekh's Machines settled for marking as many Necro as they could... Sekh's Machines... not exactly 'shutting the door' here... Under pressure though, Necro ran the ball right forward, not able to mount any sort of screen but at least double marking Ha-Dhas Fuhk so I couldn't make benefit of his tackle to try and sack the ball. It was left to Sekh's Aide to try and repeat his heroics of the first half, but even with a reroll he only got skulls and pushes, leaving the ghoul well marked but upright... With the whole team marked or down, Necro's ghoul blitzed forward, trying to create a dodge gap... Ghouls... not as slippery as the always need to be... With the ghoul knocking itself out spectacularly, Necro were left with only two players above AG2... in the rain! Ha! Imagine trying to retrieve the ball in the rain with only AG2!! Lol... anyway... What even IS AG2?! Anything above AG 2 is a waste in my opinion... Sekh's Aide was playing an amazing game, and having somehow picked up the ball in the rain, now raced off (well ok, as a skeleton he ambled quickly) down the pitch, well-screened from the Necro. Impohtenht celebrated by knocking the Flesh golem out. Ha-Dhas Fuhk then knocked the wight down and marked him against the sideline, and Gareth tried to add to the festive mood with an impropmtu display of traditional Khemrian folk-dancing on the wight's head. Unfortunately the ref was less than impressed and demanded a bribe. Even so, left with few options, Necro had to try a hero play from the remaining wolf, who managed a red-die blitz to make a gap in Khemri's screen and dodged through to mark Sekh's Aide. In reply, Impohtent was easily able to blitz the wolf down though... Notice some of the Necro players tied up on the Tomb Guardians... where are the others though? ...and with only two positionals left, and both of them down and marked, nothing could stop Sekh's Machines now, who battered the poor Necro over the next few turns.. Ah - here they are... And nothing could stop Sekh's Aide from running all the way down the pitch and scoring... nothing that is, except atrocious greed... Deep in the necro half of the pitch, Sekh's Aide hatched a crazy plan and tried to hand the ball to the new Tomb Guardian Sekh's Doll who had wandered down the pitch with him... only an idiot would try a hand-off to an AG player in the rain... Who's an idiot now?! Well ok - it WAS still a stupid thing to do... but it worked! Sekh was so excited he grabbed a new magical trinket he had developed that recorded images... running down to the endzone, he captured the moment the tomb guardian crossed the line to score, forever immortalising this historic achievement in a picture that would last forev.... who let that bloody Goblin into the frame!?!? And what on earth is it wearing?!? A shame - Sekh's Doll's mum (if he'd had one) would've been so proud of that picture... FINAL SCORE 2-0 Conclusions While very pleased with the outcome, there was an awful lot of luck in this match... the start was atrocious, with a blitz kick-off leading to my team chasing the ball during what was supposed to be their offensive drive. But the dice turned for me at the crucial moment, allowing the sack and score in spite not really having used my tools properly. The second half was pure luck, with Necro's key players being removed by the crowd and crappy dodging and Sekh's Aide picking up the ball in the rain. The hand-off at the end was pure greed, but TG SPP are incredibly valuable and on the rare occasions when there is no risk of conceding a TD, it can be worth it... greedy? Absolutely... but sometimes...just sometimes... greed is good! Speaking of greed... Kislev next!
  10. Season 2 – MD 2: Hatricola, Chaos Dwarfs, coached by @JJape Eulogy for Irehkt Mem-bah Sekh stood solemnly inside the pyramid erected to house his former players – with a new blitz-ra added to the mausoleum it was appropriate for a few words to be said to the assembled minions, players and support staff who had come to see Irehkt Mem-bah laid to rest for the last time. Sekh listened as the Necrotect began his sober duty of reading the eulogy… “Irehkt Mem-bah was taken from us too early! He was barely 2 millennia old – and we all noted his youthful … exuberance… whenever he stepped onto the pitch…” If pitching a tent in his loincloth every game is what you mean by ‘youthful exuberance’... Sekh thought to himself. “He died doing what he loved…” Sekh reflected that while that might be true, what Irehkt Mem-bah actually really loved about bloodbowl was peeking under the stalls at the mummies when they were unwrapping in the changerooms after a match. “He knew the risks of being on the pitch..” Ha! Sekh recalled the blitz-Ra confidently telling everyone that regeneration basically never fails...That might be true if Gareth hadn't mixed the regen solution with camel dung cleaner... “He will be sorely missed…” Sekh wasn’t so sure about that - the useless twat had been taking space on the roster for far too long – 10 games and still hadn’t learnt a single skill! What sort of positional player does that?! “We shall now begin the 3rd of the 5 hour hymns of remembera.. Even the immortal Sekh had to admit this whole process was dragging on a bit...He stood abruptly and said “Right… drop him in the hole and let’s get going. We’ve got a match to prepare for. What’s the name of the new blitz-ra we’ve hired?” “He’s Ha-Dhas Fuhk my lord” replied the necrotect. “Errr.. yes – i’m sure he is.” Said Sekh... “But what is his name?” “Fuhk my lord. Ha-Dhas Fuhk. From Lybaras? He’s the brother of that rather lazy priest.. you know, Duhzen Givvah”. “Ah yes – right! Ha-Dhas Fuhk. Capital fellow! I remember him now. Much more energetic than his brother fortunately. Good – well i’m sure he will do well in his first game. Who are we facing this week?” Sekh asked “Chaos dwarfs my lord”. “Oh Ptah’s Petrified Priapus! Chorfs?!” exclaimed Sekh... “...Well good luck Ha-Dhas... you’re going to need it..” Chorfs indeed – at least these ones weren’t the especially killy ones, and even better they were going to be down a couple of blockers this game thanks to a rough match the week before. Still, Sekh's Machines had lost a TG and a Blitz-ra last week and could only afford to replace one of them. With Ha-Dhas Fuhk joining the roster, the chorfs were still far enough above Sekh's Machines in TV that I could afford to hire a loner Tomb Guardian for the match. A bribe was a almost an auto-pick in a matchup that might well come down to removals and Gareth does love a good stomping now doesn’t he? With my inducements almost picking themselves, it was time to strategise. If I could go on offence, my opponent would either have to put hobo’s on the LOS or risk his few chorfs. Either way I could potentially get some early removals in and then try to strength bully the chorfs. My opponent still had 4 guards, a MB, TWO dirty players and both bull-centaurs were block/break tackle so this would be more than a handful to deal with... First Half - First Drive My opponent the chorfs known as ‘Hatricola’ won the toss and sensibly elected to receive. The LOS hits proved depressingly good for the miniature murderers successfully garnering a stun and then a cas on Sekh’s Worker 6. A dirty hobo (literally - a dirty player hobgoblin) then ran in and kicked Sekh’s Worker 2, breaking his neck! What sort of sick depraved creatures would kick someone on the ground... while wearing that sort of weird little leather posing pouch... Two players injured out – neither of which regenerated (bloody Gareth! Did you fill up the regen balm jar with dung remover AGAIN?!) Gareth! What did we say about letting me know if you spilled the regen balm again?!? With 2 players out and another stunned Sekh’s Machines took up a fairly defensive formation and set up a 3d blitz for Sekh’s Device, my newly promoted TG with Mighty Blow. He punched down a guard chorf but failed to break armour. The chorfs responded by taking the space I’d left open on my right flank, and a bull centaur GFI’d to blitz down Gareth who’d been lurking at the back of my formation. The dirty hobo then ran in and fouled Sekh’s Worker 5 stunning the poor skeleton who was still recovering from being stunned the turn before on the LOS. Reluctant to spread my team out and expose myself to further removals, I instead swung Impohtehnt around to punch the hobo DP who would then push a guard chorf into my TGs... Sekh's Tip: Sometimes Sekh's Machines work best when they come in from behind... Unfortunately the hobo didn’t even go down and the chorf was unscathed. Hatricola chorfs pushed a couple of guard chorfs in to let their bull centaur blitz down my loner TG before moving the rest of the team deep into my half, comfortably screening the ball carrier in scoring range. With the early removals the chorfs had made, I had decided I would not try too hard to stop the score – it would leave me too exposed and things could snowball out of control. I was still hoping if Sekh’s Machines could cause some removals then that might give us a chance at forcing an early score by applying a different sort of pressure. And Sekh’s Device delivered – his MB knocking out one of the bull centaurs... Sekh's Device: Can cause unconsciousness in delicate people... and also in giant beared monsters... Three out of the 4 chorf blockers on the pitch were pinned up against Sekh’s Machines now – so my opponent had to choose whether to keep his safe stall or rush players back in to help the trapped blockers...He decided to do a bit of both, protecting the ball on my endzone with most of the hobos while his last blocker ran in to provide a guard assist to allow a hobo blitz on Impohtehnt... So much for applying pressure through damage... At least this injury regenerated – but it allowed two of the chorfs to 1d block down the loner TG and Ha-Dhas Fuhk the new blitz-ra. Sekh’s Machines were falling further behind in the bash and had no chance of getting at the ball. Sekh’s Device then stepped up again and showed why MB is a pretty decent skill... Sekh's Device was having a blinder of a match... literally... several of his opponents had trouble seeing for hours after the match... Both of his removals had been due to the MB bonus, so I was pleased with how that was going at least. Gareth unfortunately was off his form, using up the bribe and failing to even break armour when he fouled a downed chorf. Sensing the bash tables might be turning again, Hatricola ran two more hobos, including a guard hobo and the remaining bull centaur back, punching down two of the TGs but failing to cause any armour breaks and leaving only one hobo to screen the ball carrier. Sensing an opening now that the ball was hardly protected, Ha-Dhas Fuhk ran back to threaten the ball while Sekh’s Device blitzed up off the ground... Sekh's Device takes out a third - a guard hobgoblin this time! Note the ball is right near the endzone on the rear hobgoblin. Sekh’s Device had now caused three removals – what a star! The rest of Sekh’s Machines punched chorfs to the ground and without enough players free or standing to safely screen the ball from Ha-Dhas Fuhk, Hatricola decided to run the ball in... At least we can't see his leather underwear this time... So we were 1-0 down but at least we had 3 turns to score... very doable right? Hmm – well a super awkward kick which landed near the halfway line and right on the extreme left of my team was exacerbated when my opponent got a Perfect Defense kick-off... 'Perfect' in this case being entirely a matter of opinion... This meant that rather than being able to try and blitz a gap and send players forward, instead Sekh’s Machines had to run sideways and cover the ball, which they managed to do reasonably successfully. Only the next turn would they start to try and press into the opponent’s half though. Hatricola had used the Perfect Defense to cover their flank fairly well, so instead Sekh’s Machines tried to force the centre, getting Impohtehnt and Sekh’s Worker 5 into range thanks to a bit of a push play... Sekh's Machines pushing up the middle... eewww... Ha-Dhas Fuhk then did something his predecessor never managed – injuring a hobo in his first game! Ha-Dhas doing a better job than his predecessor right out of the gate... In spite off that fortunate removal, the chorfs weren’t making things easy and a break tackle bull dodged away from his marker (Gareth... the git...), blitzed down Sekh’s Worker 5 and marked Impohtehnt. Sekh’s Contraption blitzed the bull away and Sekh’s Aide managed a khemri dodge (not even needing his dodge skill!) but Impohtehnt’s bony hands couldn’t grasp the ball in spite of a team reroll and Sekh’s machines lost their chance at equalising in the first half... SECOND HALF FIRST DRIVE Hatricola’s bull Centaur woke up, but both hobos stayed out which meant both teams took the field with 10 players. Sekh’s Machines got off to a shaky start though with 5 blocks only delivering a single knocked down chorf. Sekh’s Aide then fumbled the deep kick leaving him quite separated from the bulk of the team. Sensing an opening, both bull-centaurs ran deep, one of them stunning Sekh’s Worker 6 oh his way to menace the ball while the blockers re-engaged with Sekh’S Machines LOS, trying to tie players up and managing a stun on Impohtehnt. A weak start leads to lots of early pressure from the bulls... Sekh’s Machines, only able to free a single TG from the LOS, ran Ha-Dhas Fuhk and a Skeleton back as well, trying to tangle up the bull centaurs and protect the ball which Sekh’s Aide had managed to pick up. But with so few players free, the best they could manage was a ‘I’ cage... An 'I' cage is totally the best sort of cage right? Running hobgoblins forward, Hatricola, were able to cancel counter assists and broke a bull centaur free who could 2D Sekh’s Aide. Fortunately Sekh’s Aide’s mastery of block and dodge proved clutch as he avoided getting sacked, even with the use of a reroll by the bull centaur. Still, he was under huge pressure, which is when Sekh came up with a cunning plan.... Something about the best laid plans of mice and... the desiccated remains of former men... At least that was the plan... failing to knock the bull centaur down with the initial block meant that although both Ha-Dhas Fuhk and Sekh’s Worker had blocks as well, each was only a 1d and they were both downs that led to nothing. Once again it was up to Sekh’s Aide to rescue himself - blitzing his way free, stunning the hobgoblin marking him and running around the back where he was somewhat screened. Enraged, Hatricola responded by having a bull-centaur injure Ha-Dhas Fuhk off the pitch as he tried to blitz free, but the bull-centaur was double marked and failed his break tackle escape. With only 1 reroll left after the failed sack attempt, Hatricola decided to keep their powder dry and the bull crashed came crashing to the ground. In response, Sekh’s Aide ran wide and started to make ground towards halfway while Sekh’s Contraption very helpfully stunned the other bull centaur. This gave Sekh’s Machines a little breathing room as they raced... admittedly very slowly... down the pitch... With the bull centaurs left behind, Sekh's Machines could finally stabilise and make ground... In a ‘race’ between chorfs and Khemri, it would inevitably come down to how the bull centaurs performed. So between being able to knock the Bull-centaurs down and then one of them snaking a GFI after they'd made about 7 billion of them, it was left to a single plucky chorf blocker to try and block the advancing undead near the endzone... Sekh's Device finally get's a 'proper' removal... and how! With that ‘little’ obstacle overcome (heh heh – little, get it? ‘cause he’s short! .... Ah what do you know about funny?!) it was inevitable that Sekh’s Machines would run it in and secure a draw. Sekh's Aide secures another draw... Final score: 1-1 Conclusions Well after a bit of a horrible start I was pleased to have at least applied enough pressure to Hatricola to force a somewhat early score and then gave Sekh’s Machines a solid chance of equalising before halftime in spite of the Perfect Defense. In the second half I probably tried to be too tricky to use a push play to free my Throw-Ra after the dreadful start that left him under so much pressure, but I got lucky with not getting the ball-sacked and lucky again being able to get free and then stay ahead of the bull-centaurs. All in all a reasonably solid outcome and I was very pleased with the new Blitz-Ra Ha-Dhas who picked up the MVP and levelled after his first game!
  11. Season 2 – MD 1: Papyrus Makers, Khemri coached by @BirdManDarkWing Sekh the Undefinable sighed – the formalities with the other coach, a fellow Khemrian noble, were quite rushed by the standards of undying immortal nobility from a culture several millennia old, but even so, it had been 4 days since the conversation started and they had only just finished discussing the weather (hot… and dry, in case you were wondering). And this is the wet season... Sekh’s discomfort was not only driven by the extended nature of the discussion however – glancing down at his notes about the opposing team revealed a terrifying level of development amongst his fellow Nehekharans… 2 deadly Blitz-ra’s, 2 very impressive Throw-ra’s and Nefer’s Teetees!! Just look at the Tomb Guardians… Sekh admitted he was envious as he studied them in particular. Normally too clumsy to be taught to block consistently, not one but two of the Papyrus Makers’ TG’s were blockers and one of those massively strong to boot. Sekh was loathe to hire temporary players to supplement his Machines as there was a risk it would slow the development of his permanent roster… but this looked like time to suspend that policy in order to simply survive… he called to the necrotect attending him… “Summon Ramtit!” “Do you mean Ramtut my lord?” “Errr… yes, that’s what I said!” Sekh covered hastily… “The big ugly tomb guardian who likes to wrestle.” So – first game of the new season and we were in a mirror match… Even our team strip is the same! Although it begs the question if it can be called a ‘mirror match’ when the thing staring back at you is bigger, stronger and clearly mother’s favourite. At least we would have an abundance of inducements to work with (680k no less!) and sadly I had to accept that my policy of only using inducements that didn’t risk SPP theft would have to go out the window. I simply can’t compete (or survive) against some of the teams in this division without some more muscle or special skills. At this level too, star players and mercs are arguably a way to help keep your permanently rostered alive as they will tend to soak up more blitzes from the opposition, so many of whom have MB now, if not Claw/MB/PO! One small consolation looking at my opponent’s team was the general lack of guard – with so many delicious doubles on his TGs, he actually only has 2 guards on the whole team, so with Ramtut on my side, I might just be able to mitigate his ability to punch my TGs down… that would help keep them alive and give me one aspect of the match at least where I might be able to compete. With that big expense covered, I naturally got a bribe to help with my dirty player removals which left me very neatly with 200k… so a wizard and a babe seemed obvious choices to round out the inducements… First Drive – First Half Winning the toss, the Papyrus Makers elect to go on the offensive. With a star player in my line up and a dirty player skeleton to protect, I'm forced to put my rookie Blitz-ra Irehkt Mem-bah on the LOS... I'm sure it will be fine... Not so 'hard' now are you....? So – dead into failed regen… poor Irehkt Mem-bah was eternally dead now and even worse I was down a positional from turn one. I had hoped creating a strong second line would discourage my opponent from blitzing, as trying to blitz into a line of 4 TGs and Ramtut would be very reckless… I guess my opponent was emboldened by the LOS success... because he charged right the hell in! Using his ST6 TG, my opponent blitzed and knocked down Sekh's Device but failed to break armour. Hmmm - Ok so my Blitz-ra might be dead, but arguably my opponent’s best piece was now hideously exposed! Confident that Ramtut would blitz down the ST6 TG that would give me a MB hit and a nice juicy foul to follow! Laughing confidently, Ramtut charged… Ramtut eh? ... More like ... Sham-Tut! Huh yeah! Feel the burn SHAMtut! Right… So not wanting my start to season 2 to be quite so bad (and probably still a bit salty from Irehkt Mem-bah’s recent passing), I made things worse by wasting a reroll trying to retrieve the situation. The Papyrus Makers charged in to support their ST6 TG, but in spite of my opponent mixing up his guard and block pieces (thereby only giving him a 1d blitz), he successfully knocked down Sekh’s Contraption and suddenly it was Ramtut who was getting stepped on by a crowd of Papyrus Makers… Fun Fact: Apparently papyrus is made in some parts of Nehekhara by stomping hard on the desiccated remains of mummified corpses.. Fortunately the foul snaked the armour roll and the ref, not appreciating Nehekharan traditional craft making displays demanded a bribe from my opponent. With my opponents’ stadium bribe gone I might be able to breathe a little easier, but I still had to try and rescue my (allegedly) 'star' player from the mess he had gotten himself into. Pushing my TG’s into line I punched down one opposing TG which allowed me to use Ramtut’s strength and 2blitz himself off the ground. He failed to knock anything over though and it took a reroll to finally knock down one of the opposing TGs. By that stage Impohtehnt was the only free player so he ran around and delivered a weak foul that failed to break armour. Gareth shook his head in disgust at the amateurish effort. Much to my dismay, exposing Impohtehnt proved costly as my opponent surprised me by blitzing up of the ground with his TG who used break tackle and 2 GFI’s (and a reroll) to hit Impohtehnt hard enough to make his head ring like a bell… At least this one wasn't dead... I now had no Blitz-ras on the pitch and after trading mostly ineffective blows backwards and forwards, Papyrus Makers were able to envelope my outnumbered team and move the ball into a safe scoring position. Gareth was stunned by a piling-on from a Papyrus Makers’ Blitz-ra and I blew a bribe fouling him back only managing to stun him in turn. Fearing a total envelopment and not wanting to completely give up on the drive, I ran Sekh’s Aide into space and back, trusting to his blodge to keep him safe and being careful to keep him away from the Papyrus Tackle-enabled killer Blitz-ras, one of whom was tied up on Sekh’s Device... Sekh’s Tip: Some apparently people don’t take kindly to being kept trapped on Sekh’s Device… Following the success of that rude red-dice-ed-ness, my opponent was able to heavily mark Sekh’s Aide which gave him enough assists for a 3d block… So who needs tackle when you have 3d? That was my last positional off the pitch now and things were looking bleak. Just then though a small ray of hope flickered as Sekh’s Worker 1 was able to KO the opposing +MA skeleton and Gareth was finally able to get a good foul in, killing an opposing Blitz-ra… Gareth clearly hasn’t lost his touch! THIS is how we make papyrus in my part of Nehekhara! Sadly the opposing Blitz-ra regenerated the damage, and a revenge blitz from a Papyrus Makers’ TG knocked Gareth out. To be fair Gareth, you can't go around stepping on people's unmentionables and not expect some of them to get a little upset about it... Things were back to looking pretty bleak and my opponent ran in his now inevitable TD on T7, ensuring that I wasn’t tempted to use the wizard (Khemri aren’t great at recovering the ball with only 1 turn left, so I understood his reasoning behind not potentially losing the score). Sadly not one of our Sand and Azure striped players this time... This did give me 2 turns to theoretically score but neither Impohtehnt nor Sekh’s Aide felt like waking up to run back onto the pitch. At least Gareth came back, eager to stick his boot into more people, but with only MA5 AG2 skeletons to be my potential ball-carriers then, I wasn’t too optimistic about my chance at a 2 turn score and decided to focus instead on causing some damage. Things started well with the LOS hits which gave me a beautiful 3 out of 3 removals - 2 injuries (which regenerated unfortunately)_ and Ramtut who KO'd a skeleton. But the best came when my opponent left his ST6 TG within blitzing range of Ramtut who, eager to further redeem himself, punched the ST6 TG down into a spot surrounded by Sekh's Machines... Gareth then ran over giggling and raised his spiky boot high… Four removals in two turns was... helpful, but my opponent's regen meant only two of them stayed of the pitch... Fortunately the ST6 TG wasn't coming back anytime soon! SECOND HALF, FIRST DRIVE My opponent’s KO’s all stayed out, leaving him with only 10 players… unfortunately neither Impohtehnt nor Sekh’s Aide woke up either, meaning I was still faced with an offensive drive using a line-skeleton as my ball-carrier. On the plus side I now had 5 TGS (including Ramtut) to my opponents’ 3, so perhaps I could start to bully the Papyrus Makers a little... Things started promisingly when Ramtut knocked out another line-skeleton (Ok... I take back the whole 'Sham-tut' thing... you're ok big guy... ). Gareth stunned another with a foul and Sekh’s Worker 5 picked up the ball first go! In response, my opponent tried to take out Ramtut, but despite knocking him down, was unable to break armour. This effort also concentrated a fair number of his remaining players on one flank however and when Sekh’s Machines responded with a mini flood of armour breaks, stunning 3 Papyrus Makers in 1 turn it left Papyrus Makers stretched very thin on defense… It can be hard to tell the teams apart... one easy way though is to look for the lovely 'Sand and Azure' of Sekh's Machines as opposed to the rather mundane 'yellow and blue' of my opponents... Papyrus Makers tried to respond, but their +MA Throw-ra was wrestled to the ground by Sekh’s Worker 2 and his last free TG rolled a double bothdown, leaving the pitch wide open… Sekh’s Tip: Wrestling Sekh’s Workers can be fun, but it can also be very costly leave you in an awkward position! With the pitch so open I took advantage and ran in a TD – although not until T13! ...Khemri just really aren’t good at scoring quickly at the best of times, never mind when the ball-carrier is only MA5! I considered trying to stall, but with the wizard still in my back pocket, I could perhaps dream of turning my opponent over, or at least being fairly confident of stopping the score. Sekh's Workers like to score sometimes too! SECOND HALF, SECOND DRIVE With 3 turns left, Papyrus Makers threw themselves forward and hit Sekh’s Worker 1 so hard he went off the pitch and wouldn’t be back next game. The ball landed nicely centered for his +AG throw-ra though who scooped it up safely. My chances of a contested ball or even a turnover were looking pretty slender now. Interestingly my opponent then ran his +MA skeleton far forward and up my right flank, but kept him on the sideline… I suspected this was a trick to draw away some of my players but honestly… how could I resist?! A delicious surf... even if it did leave me exposed on the other flank... I really should have put more resources into scoring position though and when my only player who was in any sort of position to think about being a scoring threat was knocked down and stunned, I was forced then instead to focus on stopping my opponent from scoring. A creditable draw would be fine and not at all displeasing given the big TV deficit we took into the match. The Papyrus Makers pushed forwards, but the wizard duly bolted down their ball carrier. Ramtut and Sekh’s Grinder needed 7 dice between them to knock down the other Throw-ra, but finally succeeded making it almost impossible for my opponent to score. With nothing to try for in terms of TDs, my opponent took one last punch at Sekh’s Grinder who was slightly open… Well we made it all the way to T15 without losing a TG... minus ST is not going to be good for his career though... Final Score 1-1 Conclusions: Sekh stalked into the changing rooms after the match furiously… “Gareth!!” He shouted, “Did you remember to pack and bring the regeneration fluid to the game like I asked you?!” “Ummm… yes?” Said Gareth with perhaps less than complete certainty.. “So why did none of our players regenerate this game? Bloody Irehkt Mem-bah is dead! Like - Permanently!” “Ummm…well you see great lord…” began Gareth again. “Yes… tell me…” “Uh...Well I was packing the regenerating balm like you asked but... well those earthenware jars are terribly slippery you know and it sort of... slipped... out of my hands and spilled everywhere… so I grabbed another jar and refilled it from that one instead… Sorry.” Sekh sighed… “Right so instead of regenerating balm, what was it that I was smearing on our players all match?! Do you remember what the label on the other jar read?!” Gareth narrowed his eyes and his lips moved as he recalling the phrase inscribed on the other jar… “Ummm… I think it is mystic Nehekharan script of the 4th era my lord, or possibly 3rd era… something like ‘DON OTOP EN!’.. is that right?” Sekh sighed again… “No Gareth that’s not right… I know the jar you mean and it’s in English Gareth... plain English… it says ‘DO NOT OPEN!’ It’s a solution for cleaning camel dung off the pyramid steps…” Well I suppose things could've gone worse - we managed a draw against much stronger opponents at least and i think my new policy of using star players to help soak up damage has some merit. Although irritatingly one of my TG's was effectively killed (minus ST on a TG is a sacking I'm afraid) for the most part Ramtut did a good job of being a target and helped by removing some opposing players (he even had the decency to only KO them and not steal cas SPP!). One game in though and I have to replace a TG and a Blitz-ra... let's hope this isn't a trend that continues or my still new team might be destined for the tomb before they ever really get going...
  12. SEASON 2 Note - as I have fallen behind a little in the blog, I am writing these next few entries as though they were drafted before the matches started. I will be all caught up soon after which everything should follow normally... Sekh sighed with satisfaction - after a tough first season in a higher than anticipated starting division, his rookie Khemri team had performed moderately well. Admittedly they only managed a single genuine victory, but on the other hand they only lost three times, and two of those games were against teams that heavily out-matched them. The team had developed some skills as well, and although they were still very green, they were starting to look more like a team that could reasonably compete in division 4 again this season. He would have to look up which division they were allocated to, but as he opened up his scrying device, he just wanted to check something else first... Not long after, a Necrotect burst in to the scrying chamber... Sekh hurriedly dispelled the image that he had been... observing... of Mummies I'd Like to Embalm and shouted: "Dammit didn't I always tell you to knock before barging in here?! I was JUST about to finish... chanting my mantras!" "Sorry dread lord of the endless sands!" stuttered the nervous necrotect, who rolled his eyes this way and that and had definitely NOT seen anything untoward. "But there is some urgent news I must impart regarding Sekh's Machines and their tier allocation this season!" Sekh paused - that sounded serious... deadly serious. He turned back to the scrying device, but he wasn't focused on "Nehekhara's Hottest Mummies" anymore. instead he called forth the OCC season 26 division allocations... "Hatshepsut's Hairy Happysack!!" He cried "How in the burning sands of hell did we get PROMOTED?!?" So - division 3!?! What the actual funerary rites?! Somehow despite a VERY modest record of 2-4-3 in our first season, we were now going to be facing tier 3 after only 9 games. Well - time to put the big boy pants on (well, wrap the big boy loincloth around our loins) and prepare to face some genuinely scary and well-developed teams. If last season was a 'fun challenge', this season would be something else.... MD 1 – Papyrus Makers, Khemri, coached by @BirdManDarkWing Arrgh – as if playing in tier 3 wasn’t bad enough, the very first game will be against another Khemri team, but one that is a full 680k above mine in TV. I’d be lying too if I didn’t admit to a small amount of envy as I look at Papyrus Makers, who are very much what I hope to be able to build Sekh’s Machines into some day. With four very developed TGs (including two with block, and one of those ST6!), 2 well developed blitz-ra killers and 2 very nice Throw-ras, this team is simply better than mine in every conceivable way. The only tiny edge I may have is that they only have 2 guards, between that and the heavy inducements package I’ll get, I might be able to fight back his TGs for a while… MD 2 – Hatricola, Chaos Dwarfs, coached by @JJape Eeewww… dwarfs.. and the chaos variety to boot! At least they don’t have any claw yet. That’s about the only positive though – this team has plenty of MB and the guard cohort to help make sure they can use it against stronger opponents. 2 break-tackle Bull-Centaurs will be a pain to deal with as well. I will be pleased if I can get out of this with minimal casualties. MD 3 – Nero Machine, Necro, Coached by @PointBlank93 We played this team last season and were able to cruise to a draw, thanks in large part to the necro coach failing 7 out of 7 KO rolls! Assuming I’m not quite so lucky this time around this could be a much harder game – the MB/Claw wolf and ag4 blodge-step wolf are still there, but both the flesh golems have block now too. MD 4 – Cirkus Cirkor Bloodbowl, Kislev, coached by @tubragg What goes up… is a huge pain in the sphinx! Last season Sekh’s machines were drubbed 3-1 by a highly developed Kislev team and I’m not looking forward to repeating that experience. On the plus side at least I have some guard now, so in theory it should be easier to protect the ball-carrier from the inevitable sacks. Two ag5 catchers too who will be a right pain… MD 5 – High Flying Potential, Kislev, coached by @Lagerbon More Kislev! Slightly less developed than their countrymen and no AG5 yet, but a couple of ST4 players who can potentially 2d sack all by themselves. One possible source of help is that their MD4 is against some fairly nasty chorfs who might do me a favour and bash some heads before our match day rolls around… MD 6 – KRYOTEK RUNNERS, High Elf, Coached by @txlanhualpec Another one of the teams at the dodgier end of the scale this season – two AG5 catchers but otherwise unremarkable for elves… lots and lots of blodge which, as always, will be a pain to deal with. Their MD5 is against kill-chaos, so perhaps some of them will be taking break for MD6. We’ll see. MD 7 – Liverat ! OCC, Skaven, coached by @Troy_Tempest It’s rats, so of course they have a natty one-turner. Apart from that they don’t seem too remarkable, no claw yet at least but their well-developed gutter runners will be a constant threat to the ball. MD 8 - The Bedlam Bucks, Chaos, cached by @Kunxion Bleh – death on a stick chaos. No guard yet, so that might help lower the number of 2d claw/mb hits they get and no PO yet either. Otherwise not much to be optimistic about if you are a low TV Khemri team – that mino could easily make mincemeat (powdered milk?) out of my TGs. A dirty player round out the kill potential of this team. They also have an AG4 wrestle goat in case they ever need to go after the ball before they’ve annihilated the other team. MD 9 – Chaos Metamorphoses, Chorfs, coached by @Eldryr More chorfs, and these ones are a bit more on the killy side than the others with 2 claw/MB already. Will be very interesting to see the game between them and the kill chaos on MD 3. Most of the other teams will be watching that game very closely I imagine! So all in all this will be quite the season I expect. A tough road for 9 game Khemri with a bunch of bash to start (bigger-than-me Khemri, chorfs and necro), lots of ag teams in the middle to run in loads of TDs against us, and some really nasty bash at the end with the two main kill teams. I think we’ll have our work cut out for us boys! Bring me my brown loincloth!!
  13. Ha ha - yes, I am writing these as though we don't all know what will happen!! Sekh was... less than delighted shall we say? I am researching Khermi swear word translations as I type this!
  14. MD9: Final match of season 1! Sekh the Indefinable gazed into the scrying device, assessing the opposition for the final game of the season – more lizards, which meant more listening to groans, burps and whistles from a slann coach. By now Sekh had his Noorgle translate service set up to provide almost simultaneous translation of the odd frog language... Burp, grunt, whistle, croak [“Our team will reign destruction upon your desiccated corpses”.] Ribbit, groan, croak, click [“We will meet at the agreed time then. See you on the pitch. Goodbye.”] Grunt, groan fart fart…. Sekh was confused… Noorgle wasn’t providing a translation of this string of noises. The slann began to turn red in the face… Fart grooaaan GRUNT fart… FAAAART. Splash! Sekh turned to the Necrotect assisting him. “What’s wrong, why aren’t we getting a translation?” “Ah…” replied the nervous Necrotect… “There is no translation because he’s not actually trying to communicate anymore… I think he’s just forgotten to turn of the connection from his scrying device…” “So why are we still hearing all this farting and grunting… and a splash?!” “Ah…well…” continued the Necrotect nervously “That's not part of the slann language… he’s just defecating…” “Oh… right…” Sekh said.. “You know I always suspected those slann spent a suspiciously long time sitting on those mobile ‘thrones’ of theirs’”. On that rather unsavoury note, Sekh terminated the connection, trying to erase the image of a straining and grunting frog wizard from his mind as he considered what inducements he would bring to Sekh’s Machines final game of the season… With this lizard team being perhaps the least developed of the three this season, the inducements package I had to draw on was perhaps the smallest yet. I decided a bribe was still a solid investment given I had a dirty player rostered and needed removals to really try to gain pitch control. Despite this, three of the saurus had block, as did the krox. One of the skinks was very fast too, so I would have to be wary of one-turn attempts. FIRST HALF: FIRST DRIVE With an awkward kick landing fairly deep and right off to one side of the pitch, things didn’t go well as the LOS blocks proved frustrating, with a string of pushes giving me only a single knockdown of the Krox. Gareth ran in to deliver his traditional Khemri "Welcome to the pitch" dance on the Krox’s head, but only managed to stun the beast. At least Sekh’s Aide continued his long run of successful picks ups and secured the ball, although he was uncomfortably separated from the bulk of the team. Predictably, the lizards sought to take advantage of this by manoeuvring to try and be in the way while a saurus blitzed down and stunned (actually knocked out because blitz-ra's don't have thick skull... mutter mutter...) Impohtehnt the blitz-ra. Impohtehnt is developing a nasty habit of getting blitzed on T1... Sekh’s Aide immediately failed a GFI to try and get the ball secured behind the rest of the team, eating up a reroll, but fortunately made it safely into the vicinity of the rest of Sekh’s Machines. The rest of the turn wasn’t fantatic though as Sekh’s machines secured the cage but only managed to knock down a single lizard and Gareth’s foul on the Krox failed to break armour. The lizards piled on the pressure, marking where they could and blizted to push a saurus in to mark Sekh’s Aide. There followed several turns of back and forth pushing, with Sekh’s Machines either unable to knock their opponents over or failing to break armour if they did and the lizards mostly just marking and hoping for bad block rolls from the unskilled Khemri players. Things took a dramatic turn however on turn 4… Eeek... not a great turn... Gareth regenerated but unfortunately Sekh’s Worker 4, who received a -AV, did not. Faced with a suddenly desperate situation, my Tomb Guardians finally started to make an impact, stunning one saurus and injuring another: Sekh's tip: Under pressure? Need relief? Try knocking one out! (or injuring them!) In spite of this though, Sekh’s Machines were still under enormous pressure and really needed to make some ground soon or else have zero chance of a score. Lizards turn up the heat... So when Sekh’s Device was stunned the next turn and the Krox boneheaded, the need to move became more urgent just as a path forwards opened itself up… Sekh's Aide making a break... Unfortunately I didn’t have anywhere near enough players to do more than set up the most basic protective screen, and the lizards were able to get several skinks back to mark the beleaguered throw-ra whilst the MB Tackle Saurus lurked nearby. At this point I should have tried to blitz away from the skinks and make a run for the endzone, but the lurking MB tackle saurus made me worry, as did the DT skink and in the end I chickened out and opted to try and keep hold of the ball and keep Sekh’s Aide safe… marking the saurus with Sekh’s Device while the rest of the team punched more lizards behind play. The Krox was able to blitz the mb/tackle saurus free though, who moved to mark Sekh’s Aide, effectively eliminating any chance of scoring at all. Sekh’s Tool was at least able to finally land a solid punch on a skink… Injuring a skink was good but Sekh's Aide was still not going anywhere... But the long anticipated hit on Sekh’s Aide from the MB/tackle Saurus was by now unavoidable. Fortunately Sekh’s Aide was merely stunned and the ball landed mid-field where there was no danger of the now reduced skink cohort running off with it in time to score… HALFTIME 0-0 Now it may be difficult for some of you to believe, but I have been known to make the occasional mistake… Oops I did it again...(Sekh REALLY needs to stop listening to Britney...) Unbelievably I once AGAIN set up as though it was T8 instead of the second half already (a mistake I made in my game against the Dark Elves)… I don’t recall what the hell was going on in my head, but I personally blame my children as they are my go to for whenever I need an excuse for why my brain has turned to sludge. At least the blitz kick off result allowed me to partially reposition, even though had I set up normally a blitz might have put the lizards under huge pressure… Sekh's not upset... no really, this is FINE... As it was, the LOS hits knocked out Sekh’s Worker 2 and stunned Sekh’s Worker 5, removing the one player advantage I had taken into the second half. The +MA skink failed the pick up though and by making 4 GFI’s, I was able to bring my team into contact with the Lizard front line to start applying pressure. Now it was time for the lizards to feel the heat.... of the Desert!! With a couple of Saurus tied down (or tying down my TGs depending on how you look at it) the lizards successfully scooped up the ball and broke left, trying to gain ground down my right flank. Sekh’s Machines piled in, finding knockdowns on the blocking dice that had been so scarce in the first half and stunning a saurus. Sekh’s Aide ran deep to act as a sweeper. The Lizard advance was suddenly looking vulnerable... Khemri starting to control the pitch... The lizards continued to move forward, but lacking the numbers of unmarked players to form a proper screen, were forced to rely on marking Sekh’s Aide and hoping the saurus and Krox could hold back the undead tide. Khemri block dice continued to roll my way though and when Sekh’s Worker 6 knocked down the Krox who was swamped by undead, Sekh’s Worker 5 was able to blitz the ball carrier, taking a both down happily to spill the ball lose… Here i come little skink... With the ball perilously close to the sideline and most of the big lizards marked or stunned, the +ma skink could do little else other than stand and try to retrieve the ball, dropping it in his nervous haste! This left him standing alone next to the ball… and the sideline… Surfed. With Sekh’s Device freeing him from the pesky skink marking him, Sekh’s Aide ran forward to scoop up the ball, but the normally reliable Throw-Ra also failed his pick up! The lizards had very little they could do however, with their best effort being to free a saurus who could stand to try and block the way forward for my Throw-ra (should he manage to retrieve the ball!) Irehkt Mem-nah tried to blitz the Saurus away, but with only 1 assist wasn’t able to shift the beast. Sekh’s Aide at least retrieved the ball and tried to make himself safe while Sekh’s Contraption gave a saurus in the backfield something to remember him by… A gift from Khemri... The lizards were able to free a saurus to blitz Sekh’s Aide, but could not find the pow or both down on the dodgy Throw-Ra. Then when the saurus blocking Irehkt Mem-bah and Sekh's Worker 5 knocked itself down, I realised I just need to free Sekh's Aide to make my run up the field! A cunning plan... I just needed Sekh’s Device to block the saurus against the sideline, then Sekh's Aide could blitz free with the sidestepping/diving tackle skink marking him no longer having any squares to dodge into. Unfortunately Sekh's Device ate a reroll moving the saurus and couldn't knock it over. No problem, I would just blitz the skink off and dodge - still a 75% play... The best laid plans... Amazingly the ball was thrown back in and landed right in the hands of a very surprised, and very surrounded Sekh’s Worker 6. The saurus around him piled on, but my opponent's block dice were awful and after throwing 6 dice at the skeleton, eventually had to accept a bothdown on a blockless saurus to knock him down and free the ball. Impohtehnt injured off the second last skink, essentially ensuring the lizards couldn’t win, but what could khemri do to steal the game? Gareth ran deep into the lizard’s half, if we could retrieve the ball and get it to him… he might still score. Sekh’s Aide ran over and scooped up the ball, GFI’ing to try and get within decent passing range of the skeleton waiting downfield… Unfortunately he blew 2 out of the three GFI rolls (using a reroll) and it wasn't to be... FINAL SCORE 0-0 Conclusion: A fittingly thrilling end to the season, even though the kind dice didn't hold quite long enough to secure that late winning TD. Overall I was reasonably pleased with how I played, but in hindsight I should have definitely made a break for it on T7 and tried to score no matter what. I also need to protect Impohtehnt, my MB Blitz-ra better as he is getting consistently targeted and neutralised early which really undermines my ability to generate removals... These are really important at this TV, especially when Sekh's Machines are consistently the underdogs! Next season I am hopeful that my team's modest record (2-4-3) will ensure we stay in Div 4 and can play some more even matches! Overall even though we only scored 1 'real' victory this season, I was pleased we only lost 3 times, and only one of those was really due to my own coaching!
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