2B MD2 vs Bdawg - Carteret Cavaliers - Bretonnian
Time to travel abroad, to play at the home pitch of these Bretonnians! They must have an interesting season, having played the other Khemri just last week, for which they had induced a wizard... but, they've bought a newbie Blitzer since then, so we have no such worries! They're still at just 11 players (+an induced peasant), so my aim is... well, it's the same it always is, only more. Their defining element is Sir George, the perfect knight with ST4, MB and the rest.
Actually, it's a relief to play on a pitch where there's no thrown rocks or bribes... but they say it is not the heat that gets you, it's the moisture, and there's certainly a lot of it here, up to Sweltering Heat levels! So once this drive ends, who knows what will happen to each team... and with this in mind, Brets choose to receive first, while they still have players to do anything with.
No skeletons go missing from the line of scrimmage! Also, I was curious to see if they'd split up their players and run someone deeper (to hit our suspiciously exposed AV7 Guards), but they didn't, keeping their Guard Blockers and their Blitzers away from our Blitz-Ras. Guess they're not angling for a quick score, which suits me fine.
We proceed with the original plan - tie up their Guard players (made easier by them clumping together at the LOS) and start marking their peasants for eventual removal. Brets try to free their players, and even though Dauntless fails, the 2d-against block still takes down Luxurious Lynx, the tomb guardian at the LOS... But then it's our turn, to stun one Guard and oh look, there's a peasant.
First blood goes to Relaxed Ragdoll! Just returning the favor of Sir George blitzing them down on turn 1, now we have the man advantage. Brets spread wide, abandoning the Guard Blockers to remain stuck at the LOS, so that's my main worry gone.
I do want to force Brets to pick a side, so we move to where they sort of can, but it won't hold... plus I just really wanted to hit that Dirty Player peasant on the right side with the Block/MB TG, before he got any ideas.
Brets do go towards the left side, as expected. Which presents me with a choice - we will always blitz their front-most Blitzer with Agitated Abyssinian, our Tackle Blitz-Ra, but there's a free skeleton who just recovered from stun on the LOS who could reinforce that left flank, or make sure they don't go towards the right...
The knight is injured out of the game, yay! And because our only Tackle is on the far left, I decide to make sure they won't break to the right by reinforcing the LOS with the skeleton.
Brets finally get their chance to hit my Tackle with Sir George, and sure enough, that's enough to stun Abyssinian, who's used to being coddled. Still, to form any kind of a side-cage, they need to move deep into our half, which will then require GFIs to secure it. Which I was kind of prepared for, being able to free up players to move there (though with some GFIs of my own), putting my faith into forcing them into AG3 dodges from being squeezed against the sideline by TGs.
But instead, Sir George fumbles the catch, the ball goes off the pitch, and gets thrown back into their half. In the immortal words of my opponent: 'I regret everything'.
Now our priority is to get people between their best players and the ball. We can move some around the ball without much in the way of blocks being needed, but we also fail to get the actually important Bret players to go down. But at least we have tackle zones in place.
First a Bret Blocker 1-die Wrestles a skeleton down, so the other one can dodge out and do the same to the skeleton guarding the ball! Now it's down to whether Relaxed Ragdoll can guard the ball against the Bretonnians' newbie Blitzer dodging there and picking it up...
And the Blitzer makes the dodge, but then fails the pick-up! Ragdoll didn't even need to be there! So, yes, there was a chance that Brets could open space with those blocks, make their dodges and pick up the ball, and dodge free, and then longbomb the ball to their open star Blitzer in my backfield, past interceptions... but it was likely they'd fail somewhere along the way. Not that I intentionally left their players standing, I imagined one of the three would've gone down from our blocks.
Sir George moves up, so we busy him with skeletons and put tackle zones in the way of them and the ball, Abyssinian stands up and marks the lone knight in our half, and then we can finally attempt to pick the ball up with Klutzy Khao Manee...
Because there's a GFI involved, there goes my last reroll, and I am not risking losing a player and the ball to another, so Khao Manee stays next to the downed Wrestle Blocker, surrounded by Guard. Brets do not believe in their Blocker, as only as their last action, do they attempt a hopeful 2d-against blitz from the ground! They reroll the initial push and...
Oh you. This is still fine, because my goal was just to stop them from scoring, I have full faith in our ability to grind a score in during the second half. But, since we're here... Khao Manee picks the ball up again, and I place Luxurious Lynx, the most experienced tomb guardian, as both the screen as well as a potential receiver were something to happen.
But still does that same Wrestle Blocker hound us! This time he's dodging out of a tackle zone and into two, in order to get a 1d-hit on Khao Manee... only resulting in a push, as they are also out of rerolls! Alright, now... we have the ball. But, we need to make a GFI to score from here. And we need to get rid of the Wrestle/Dodge next to the ball-carrier.
We can get Khao Manee within casual walking distance of the endzone with a chainpush, all I need is for this peasant to just get pushed into position first...
And Ostentatious Oncilla is so excited about that newly-acquired MB that they injure the peasant right off. Which is a solid sentiment, but surely you could've done it on some earlier turn.
We move another TG in as an assist, take a regular 3d-block with Luxurious Lynx... and fail to get a POW to take the Blocker down with! Good thing we just happen to have Nefarious Nebelung the Skeleton in range - sure, it takes a GFI, but if you have to GFI, why do it with the valuable player? Nebelung has waited to shine, makes the GFI, gets a POW with the 3 dice, chainpushes Khao Manee closer, and we score!
Sweltering Heat takes out the two biggest threats Brets had going for them, Sir George and that Wrestle/Dodge Blocker, while we lose... nooo, Ostentatious Oncilla, you were supposed to be fed a touchdown, maybe two!
Ahem. The ball lands in our half, just out of the reach of Bretonnians, and we have people in the way, so if you have to fail the pick-up at some point, this seems like a good time to do it.
I should not really be surprised, because Sassy Singapura, our secondary Thro-Ra, hasn't been allowed to touch the ball in two seasons, and thus has been stuck at 13 SPP all that time.
Brets blitz some people closer, only now getting their first removal vs a skeleton in their way, so now we only have a 3-man advantage over them, oh no. I put some tackle zones in place before doing the risky stuff, and this time the pick-up is successful! The ball is taken behind the wall of LOS TGs, just like was the plan for turn 1 and...
Well, if the ball had landed shorter, and if we'd made the pick-up on turn 1, I was going to try and go for 3 touchdowns. But now, I don't want to take risks for a shot at 3 turns to steal the ball and score...
So we just grind up the pitch and here, I'll let Capricious Caracal sum the whole half up!
That's a 2-0 victory. Could have maybe been 3-0, but that would've required exposing all my faster players by rushing across the pitch in a new drive, hoping I actually get the ball to the secondary Blitz-Ra, and that Brets wouldn't get all their KOed and heatstruck players back...
MVP goes to Sassy Singapura, of course, only now, after they already got the level through regular means.
Don't try to look innocent, hogging all the SPP! I know there's only room for one ball-carrier on the team, but... here, have a Block, maybe if you roll +AG next time, then Khao Manee starts getting put into dangerous positions that require specifically their Guard support..