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The Rise of the Machines?


Varrus
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The merciless sun and the howling winds would blister and scour the skin of any who dare enter the realm of Nehekhara, land of the dead. But the unliving inhabitants of that arid wasteland care not... skincare not really being a major concern of theirs. Indeed, they care for little except performing their unending duties, labouring endlessly in the service of their eternal lords and furthering their inscrutable stratagems. Schemes that are not measured in simple years or even decades such as those of the many short-lived races, but plots that take centuries to reach fruition. One of the most notable schemers and strategists of Nehekhara is the great artificer and general, Sekh.

 

A noble in the service of Nehekhara's greatest kings, Sekh is a peerless engineer, fabricator and architect. Indeed, it could be said that Sekh's inventions helped the Tomb Kings achieve some of their most magnificent erections in history - Settra himself was reportedly so excited when he first gazed upon one mighty monolith that Sekh's slaves had just finishing polishing the capstone of that he uttered the now famous phrase: Settra does not serve - he RULES!!

 

Who knows why the double-mummified Sekh (for longer lasting afterlife) has chosen to turn his fiendish mind to the creation of a bloodbowl team? How can mere mortals attempt to understand Sekh's obsession, Sekh's deviance or Sekh's desires? What is certain is that Sekh's Machines have been crafted with made for one purpose - to score!

 

AgShIR.jpg

 

Ok - so after a pretty decent run with my Brets (certainly better than I had expected) I have decided to hang up my spurs and move onto greener pastures... and by greener pastures of course I mean the arid wasteland that is Khemri. I have to admit, I had been hoping to do some 'back to basics' bloodbowl after a number of seasons playing at a fairly high TV and spending rather a lot of time each game working out how not to get murdered by the latest version of clawPOMBing horror I was presented with. I was hoping instead for a refreshing season or two, focusing on positioning and being cautious with a team that, while it has strengths (most notably, strength) will definitely punish an incautious coach. Being immediately put into Div 4 was a bit of a surprise then, but at least I get to play around with inducements too (after all, what better way to level your team quickly than to maximise the number of loners and star players every game?!) lol

 

As for this blog, it will hopefully serve two purposes - to keep me entertained (and hopefully some of you too, but that's a lower order priority to be sure!) and also to force me to review my games with a little more objectivity and a little less weeping and swearing.

 

Speaking of weeping and swearing, let's take a look at my division shall we?

 

MD1 - Boing, Boing, Dead coached by @wismerhill

Kislev 1550TV

With an ag 5 Catcher, a sensible 4 Rerolls, a wrestler and a guard this Kislev team already have all the tools needed to threaten the ball almost constantly and run off with it easily. As this is my first match-up this could be a really ugly start to my new team's career!

 

MD2 - Mens go for balls coached by @frick you

Woodies 1330TV

5 blodgers and a guard tree... No crazy stat ups or doubles to worry about at least, so that's something? 1 RR and a Leader might mean they sometimes fall foul of the 'curse of the elves' and roll too many ones. Makes their thrower a very attractive target at any rate. Their first MD is against Necro who have a MB/tackle wight too, so maybe he can thin out the elvish blodgers a little before I have to face them.

 

MD3 - The UnDeli coached by @Vlakenhol

Undead 970TV

Another rookie team! Hooray! Hopefully we are both still in decent shape by MD 3 so we can have a nice even match... although he has the well-known fouler @Tys123 on MD2 so that might make a dent in the UnDelis... he has two skeletons rostered which is interesting as most eschew them in favour of zombos... I wonder if this means he is inclined to throw the odd foulhimself too? 

 

MD4 - Necro Machine coached by @PointBlank93

Necro 1360TV

And there it is... first season and my khemri already have a claw/MB to look forward to! Yuck... oh and the other wolf is an AG4 blodger so there's that. There is also a dirty player and the wights are developing well. It is really just the Fleshies who need levelling, but they are pretty annoying to deal with even as rookies. All in all, this match-up is shaping up to be one I am not really looking forward to....

 

MD5 - Delft Blue Redux coached by @BumFillups

Dark Elves 1350 (or thereabouts) TV

Elves... only 4 blodgers but two AG5! One of those is a witch elf too, so that opens up all sorts of shenanigans to be mindful off. They only have the 2 rerolls at the moment though and apart from the blodgers, not a lot of skills yet. I mean, they won't be doing Khemri levels of turnovers, but there might be the odd cock-up here and there.

 

MD 6 - Full Makákók...! coached by @Szurke291

Lizards 1370TV

One of three lizard teams in this division, the Full Makakok have a couple of nice skinks in the making, including a kicker and a blodger. Will be extra important to be cautious with offensive setups against this team and the speedy ball-hunters they are developing! Again, this team is coming up against a necro with a tackle/MB wight the week before our game though, so maybe I can hope for a couple of skinks taking a break for our game?

 

MD7 - Ghoulish Goons coached by @Tys123

Undead 1470TV

A MB/PO wight, a couple of mummies and some blodge, this team looks like a pain in the neck. Look closer... what do you see? A full roster including several zombies with names that don't match the team theme... this here is a team that has killed a number of opposition players already... and as it is @Tys123 at the helm, I'm going to guess a fair number of those players died under the boots of those rostered skeletons! At least we aren't facing this death menace team until MD7!

 

MD 8 - Cold Blood Champions coached by @Andal

Lizards 1600+TV

A returning team apparently and one of the three lizard teams in this division. Frankly they look a little over-powered for this division with 18 games already under their belts. A blodge saurus, a couple of diving tackle skinks, an AG4 skink built for speed and a break tackle Krox will all make this team a real headache to deal with. 

 

MD 9 - Urga Thora coached by @Elarion

Lizards 1270 TV

The last of the lizards and the last of the teams for the season, these guys have some nicely developed skinks too, with a potential one-turner in the making and some diving tackle to bother opposition ball-carries.

 

So - all in all this will be a challenging and interesting season for Sekh's Machines. I am not terribly confident of achieving great results, but I'm sure I'll learn something ... even if it is simply that Khemri aren't really the team for me! ;)

 

 

 

Edited by Varrus
I finally worked out how to post images.
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2 minutes ago, wismerhill said:

Ill have written mine up tonight😉

I'll be kind to you if you are kind to me!* lol

 

 

 

*This offer not valid in some regions.

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MD 1 Boing, Boing, Dead (Kislev 1550TV coached by @wismerhill)

 

Sekh the Inscrutable considered the first challenge his unliving minions would face – Kislevites from the far northern frozen wastes. These leaping lunatics already had some experience behind them and would provide a constant threat to the ball. Sekh noted one of the Kislevites had mastered the twin skills of blocking and dodging, and this could prove troublesome to take down.  Sekh therefore decided to engage the services of one of the most notable strippers in Nehekhara – Setekh to be precise.  Simply stripping would not be sufficient though – Sekh’s Machines have to be dirty to have a chance at this level, so the assistance of a particularly dirty player was procured and a liberal payment made to the old referee’s home to help ensure the player wouldn’t attract too much attention too quickly.  Finally Sekh knew his team were still very inexperienced and needed more training – so an expert was hired to drill Sekh’s Machines night and day…

 

Sekh knew his team was as ready as it would ever be to face the challenges of life in the OCC – he therefore turned his mind to his own appearance. He uttered a mystical incantation to don a simulacrum of flesh to avoid frightening the crowds too much and then selected attire that would show the mortals that he was a serious and conservative coach. It had been a few centuries since he had mingled with mortals, but he was pretty certain fashions hadn’t evolved too much and finally decided upon an ensemble that said “It’s Sekh’s time now and we are here to score!”…

 

 Ty1wMr.jpg

Sekh was confident he had found the right balance between ‘casual elegance and sober conservatism’…

 

So my first game with this team and it was a doozy – 560TV down to some Kislev with a decent smattering of skills and an AG5 catcher. This was a team that would make it extremely hard for my guardless Khermi to keep their ballcarrier safe so I decided I would try to aim to thin the Kislev numbers a bit and with Kislev often prone to.. well, being prone, a dirty player with a bribe seemed like an excellent investment. Setekh is a great star player who would help play to my strength advantage and would give me a somewhat mobile blitz threat against a team that lacked sure hands. Finally the extra reroll seemed pretty key given how often my team would likely turn-over when blocking or trying to do almost anything with the ball. I also previously nominated the Kislev AG5 catcher for a bounty in the smacktalk thread – I’ll be doing my best to kill him anyway so I may as well try to get some extra points in the bounty hunter competition if I succeed!

 

Oh, so a bit of a disclaimer before I start these match reports in earnest – first and foremost the object of these is to entertain (myself mostly, but if some of you find this amusing as well, then so much the better). If anyone finds anything offensive I would be surprised but if so, please just message me and let me know what it is that is troublesome and I’ll consider your comments seriously.

 

For this game specifically I should note that @wismerhill had some IRL time pressures, especially as the game wore on, so he was more focused on playing quickly than he was playing optimally. I will point this out sometimes but my intent is not to be critical, hopefully just fun. Generally speaking I don’t like to criticise my opponents because:

  1. I’m hardly a bloodbowl prodigy myself and it is certainly not for me to be casting the first stone… and
  2. It is super fucking lame to criticise your opponents at the best of times frankly. Constructive criticism is always welcome but I loathe it when some snorting neck-beard points out micro-errors to me in order to try and highlight how he is way smarter than me. So I will do my best not to be ‘that guy’ either and will try to keep it light.

To that end I will try to be even-handed in my analyses of my matches BUT I am trying to have a bit of a laugh and be entertaining and part of that will involve the rich bloodbowl tradition of whining about my luck! 

So – with all that in mind, on to the report!

 

Weather: ‘Very Sunny’

First Drive:

I had hoped to kick and focus on defence, maybe inflict some removals and some fouls without having to worry about protecting the ball. The Kislevites won the toss though and elected to kick which was disappointing but unsurprising. I had planned for this though and presented a solid LOS but kept my skeletons back to help protect against awkward kicks or a blitz but close enough to run forwards and allow my tomb guardians to make 3d LOS blocks.

 

The kick landed very awkwardly forward and right next to the sideline – a quick snap gave me the confidence I needed though to run some cover to the ball and then have Setekh blitz the Kislev guard blitzer down and start my 3d blocks with skeleton support…

 Ba6nyY.jpg

Ha ha ha - YOU wanted to play Khemri! THIS is what you get!!

 

Ok – so samba tells me rolling 6 dice and getting only skulls or both downs is about a 1 in 729 chance and ending my team’s very first turn with a 1 in 729 sounds like about the most Khemri thing ever! With only one player still covering the ball, Kislev blitzed in and secured the ball but lost it again immediately when they tried to pass back to a safer position despite the ‘very sunny’ conditions.

 

In response my tomb guardians moved over to try and muscle in on the ball, but with two Kislev standing over it I wasn’t prepared to expose Sekh’s Aide (my throw-ra) for a 6+ pick-up. So I crowded in and kept Setekh centrally positioned for a blitz if needed next turn.

 

Unfortunately the Kislev bear was able to block the Tomb Guardian Sekh’s Tool onto the ball which bounced so it was only in a single Khemri tacklezone. The AG5 catcher swooped in, scooped up the ball and passed it to another catcher who ran off down just short of my endzone. Three 3+ leaps later Kislev had a number of my players in range of the ball marked and had the guard covering the catcher…

 

4yn0D2.jpg 

Nyah! Nyah!

 

But then Setekh stepped up and proved why he is the best stripper ever! Breaking free of his marker and making two GFI’s, Setekh was able to 2d the catcher in spite of the Kislev guard. The ball popped free and Setekh pushed the catcher into the endzone, tantalisingly close to the edge of the pitch. With almost no one in range to help, this placed the Kislevites in a precarious position. Any screw ups and I would likely surf one of their players and secure the ball!....

 

GZPUcD.jpg 

Tantalisingly close...

 

So the guard blitzer just casually 3+ leapt, 1d blocked my throw-ra onto the ball which bounced straight into the hands of the Kislev catcher already in the endzone… touchdown!

 

Second Drive:

Ok so basically I was just going to pretend that horrible first drive never happened and play as though it was still 0-0 and go for a good solid move up the pitch. Neither of us changed our set-ups and the ball landed deep but much more centrally this time. My LOS blocks go off without a hitch, but despite three knockdowns and a really solid foul I only manage a single stun. My throw-ra then stuns the crowd by successfully picking up the ball… a player of real promise this one!

 

Kislev respond by aggressively leaping and running in to separate my ball carrier from the rest of my team. In spite of this I am able to block them back easily enough and finally manage a KO (on a catcher). In spite of this and some cheekily successful 1 d blocks though, my cage is an awkward thing thanks to the Kislev players all up in my grill. The best I can do is make them rely on dodges and leaps but I can’t really prevent Kislev getting 1 d on the ball-carrier following a successful 3+ dodge and two 3+ leaps. The throw-ra gets powed and the ball lands in just a single tacklezone. That bloody AG5 leaps in, scoops up the ball and fucks off with it, passing it to another Kislev catcher who is miles down field. None of which required a reroll!

 

DYUvZA.jpg

“Boing, Boing suck it unDead!” might be a more apt team name!

 

This time I have even less hope of recovering the situation so I focus on taking the blocks I can to try and get some removals. No fewer than 10 blocks (9 blocks plus a reroll) only net me two stuns though and despite throwing 11 dice at the AG5 I fail to even get him off his feet. Kislev rub it in by vanity passing in for the touchdown and we are now down 2-0! Bleh.

 

Third Drive:

Without much time left I’ll need to push up quickly to have any chance at scoring at all this half. The throw-ra has the crowd in ecstasy after actually catching the kick-off. So with that positive omen I run Impohtehnt the blitz-ra forward as well as Setekh who stuns the yet again unprotected Kislev guard blitzer on the way through. I take my LOS blocks and even throw a pretty decent foul onto the downed Kislev guard but only succeed in eating my last reroll and using up my bribe.

 

In response, the Kislev bear goes stupid and with a number of players down or too far away, the Kislevites are forced to run their fragile catchers in to mark my scoring threats. Now my chances at scoring were super low (I would need a 6+ handoff, a push or better on 2d and then a 4+ dodge or some similarly horrible odds)… but that bloody AG5 catcher is a little exposed so with a couple of lucky GFIs (which were amazing for both teams throughout the game) I manage a cheeky push play and surf the AG5 into the crowd... who were very excited to meet him!

 

jjbmdt.jpg

Nice to ‘meat’ you!

 

The crowd only KO’s the catcher unfortunately - but maybe that might be enough to keep him out of the game?? (spoiler alert – it wasn’t).

 

Second half:

First Drive: Now as a rule, Khemri need to be SUPER careful with their tomb guardians and really limit their exposure to needless risk. Lose one or two TGs and you start to rapidly resemble some sort of Undead meme team only with less class. Knowing I was already down 2 TDs though I was prepared to take some more chances than I might otherwise and put the largest Sekh’s Machines I had on the LOS.

 

BeaROr.jpg

The Largest Sekh’s Machines can be somewhat… intimidating.

 

Perhaps wary of all that skeletal muscle (is that a thing?) or perhaps sniffing the chance at a truly enormous number of touchdowns, Kislev set up for a quick run down one flank. They blitz and send a number of players forward but fumble the pick up (oh sure… NOW you fumble the f-ing pick-up!). I ponder my options and decide to go for it – this might be my only way back into the game. So I block a hole in the Kislev line and run a thoroughly excited Irehkt Mem-bah the blitz-ra and Sekh’s Aide the throw-ra in to cover the ball. Setekh punches the Kislev bear down and my dirty player runs over to ineffectually foul it (I no longer have a bribe, but by now I have plenty of salt to try and wash away with excessive amounts of violence!). Sekh’s Tool the TG stuns a Kislev lino and with a lot of players forward or marked, Kislev might just be in a spot of bother here!

 

Except they aren’t… a 3+ dodge and a 1d (using a reroll this time at least) sees Irehkt Mem-bah knocked out and the ball bounces onto Sekh’s Aide. He is apparently still hilariously over-confident after his earlier efforts and actually tries to catch it the poor deluded skeleton!

 

76iT7S.jpg

I wonder where this is going?...

 

It falls at my throw-ra's feet… in one tacklezone… sound familiar? Despite not having the AG5 back (yet) the rookie Kislev catcher scoops it up, dodges out and fucks off with the ball. He then passes (in spite of the very sunny conditions) to the Kislev blodge catcher who runs it deep into my half.

 

Setekh time bitches!! The Kislev bear, unharmed by the earlier foul, stood up at the end of last turn to mark Setekh. But Sekh’s Grinder the TG blocks him off and Setekh once again plays out of his skin, blitzing down the pitch, injuring out the Kislev blodge catcher who despite an apo will miss the next game.

 

0Q1cqB.jpg

Best stripper ever? Best stripper ever!

 

Incidentally this play brings up another reason why playing a rookie team TV down is really… awkward. With star players the only half-competent players on your team, you are naturally motivated to rely on them to do a lot of the heavy-lifting. This means they will also naturally tend to soak up opportunities to generate SPP through blitzes etc. Looking back over this game, I used Setekh extensively for blitzing (at which he performed admirably) but this arguably cost one of my players 2SPP and could have cost more. So if this slows down my team development then and, to misquote the Lion King, the circle of suck continues… I’m going to give serious thought in future games to accepting that my rookie Khemri are likely to get smashed on the scoreboard and only take inducements that won’t potentially steal any SPP from my players.

 

Anyway – back to the action…

 

The ball bounces off the pitch and the crowd, who so unhelpfully refused to murder the AG5 catcher earlier when given the chance continue their rude behaviour by throwing the ball back in directly to the most forward Kislev player on the pitch! He fumbles the catch but it lands at his feet. Khemri still have a number of players around though and I am able to send several back to cover the ball.

 

JhsV0x.jpg

Sekh's Tip: Always cover your bouncing balls!

 

Kislev only have a catcher close enough to do anything and he can’t reach the ball. Perhaps knowing things look sticky, Kislev decide to indulge in some blockless 2d blocks and are rewarded with an injury on Sekh’s Grinder decay turning this into an MNG but thankfully Sekh’s cunning as an artificer meant that this injury almost magically disappeared thanks to regeneration. With all the important stuff out of the way, Kislev finally turn their attention to the ball and execute a cunning and complex plan known as ‘click player, click ball and click endzone’… a 3+ leap, a 5+ pick-up and a 3+ dodge later and they are 3-0 up!

 

 FRpqw2.jpg

Sekh is completely ok and totally fine with this turn of events...

 

Second Drive:

Ok so this has all gone about as horribly wrong as I had feared it might. Time to focus on what is salvageable and make whatever I can from this.  Irehkt Mem-bah recovers from the KO and is once again upright (tee hee hee!), but unfortunately my favourite AG5 Kislev catcher wakes up too. At least I’ll have more chances to injure him this way…

 

By this stage the game is such a fait accompli that @wismerhill (who I suspect was also running VERY low on time by now) doesn’t even bother repositioning following a Perfect Defence kick-off result. I’m still pretty happy with my offensive set-ups despite how poorly this has all been going too, so no one changes anything. The ball lands close in behind my second line of skeletons this time, so I take my LOS hits and blitz that guard Kislev blitzer yet again, but only get two stunned linos and blow a reroll when I roll a beautiful triple skull. The foul doesn’t break armour but at least the ref doesn’t notice. With the ball so close I am able to get my admittedly surprisingly competent throw-ra to run forward and pick up the ball, but it is very easy for the Kislev to engineer another 1d on the ball, which works and once again the ball lands in a single tackle zone. This time though the AG5 blitzer snakes his post-leap dodge towards the ball and stuns himself… oh dear… I hope no one accidentally steps on him in that awful scrum…

 

 9qNYa4.jpg

Oh do be careful of that poor catcher lying on the ground everyone...

 

I block a few Kislev away and my throw-ra once again retrieves the ball (the great thing about undead servitors is that no matter how many times you screw up and fail to protect them, they will still willingly try to retrieve the ball, knowing full well you will fail to protect them again next turn…).  My dirty player then winds up and delivers a MASSIVE foul on the downed AG5.. and rolls a double one, failing to break armour and finally being too obvious for even this crooked ref to ignore. Snakes are only nice when it is the other guy rolling them...

 

tni0Nh.jpg

Stupid ref… mutter mutter, just a little light tap-dancing mutter mutter… din’t even hurt the git…

 

 Kislev are easily able to engineer another 1 d on the ball, and in a shocking outcome, succeed with the 3+ leap and sack my poor patient throw-ra again.  As the AG5 catcher is still stunned, Kislev are forced to rely on an AG4 to leap in, scoop up the ball and fuck off with it… except this time the rookie catcher makes an arguably unnecessary dodge which he snakes! The ball is on the ground and maybe this time I can properly secure it!

 

So, optimism springing eternally in my heart, I decide to take the safest moves I can first and get players around the ball before getting my throw-ra up to try and recover the ball (again). At which point Sekh’s Device the TG decides now is a good time to try out one of those 1 in 81s he’s heard about…

 5hNVM8.jpg

I mean, it had to happen sooner or later right? Or, sooner AND later...

 

So, imagine if you can, an unusual situation – the ball is on the ground in just a single Khemri tacklezone. You know the next bit - Let's say it all together now.. (in unison) "The AG5 Kislev catcher comes in, scoops up the ball, and fucks off with it…"  But wait – this time he tries a long pass in the still very sunny conditions which is a 4+ in spite of his high agility. He blows it and the ball is on the floor… can Khemri finally make something of this???

 

Setekh blitzes the accursed AG5 down, stunning him and covering the ball. I finally have the luxury of moving more than one player to cover the ball, none of my blocks screw up and Sekh’s Aide picks the ball up once again! I also run Irehkt Mem-bah into scoring range to give me a back-up plan.

 

Despite the ball carrier potentially being exposed to yet another 1d, Kislev decide to try and block away one of the covering players. They fail though and settle for trying to mark the throw-ra and his entourage as heavily as they can. The bear meanwhile runs back and marks Irehkt Mem-bah near the Kislev endzone.

 

Impohtehnt the blitz-ra KO’s Kislev’s guard blitzer (somewhat meaningless by now, but good to know I was finally able to remove him from the pitch, however briefly). Between this and Setekh blitzing and getting a stun, Khemri are able to move forward into the Kislev half of the pitch with the ball for the first time in the game! Sekh’s Device KO’s another Kislev lino but Sekh’s Contraption gets excited and KO’s himself trying to punch another lino down. In response Kislev break tackle their bear in to cancel anti-assists from my screen and manage to get one final 1d on the ball carrier. This time though, despite burning a reroll, it fails and my throw-ra ends the turn still holding the ball! Setekh blocks the throw-ra free and he runs forward, double GFIing to finally get a point on the board for Khemri!

 

 F24oTb.jpg

Ha ha - thought you'd beat us 3-0 eh?!

 

Final score: Boing, Boing, Dead 3 vs Sekh’s Machines 1

 

Conclusions:

 

Ok so looking at the stats is always instructive and I am really trying hard to not just finish each game by saying “Well I played loads better than the other guy but I just got unlucky!”, so here we go trying to analyse my mistakes…

 

I definitely failed to build cages that made it sufficiently difficult for Kislev get sacks on my ball-carrier. My next game is against woodies who obviously have a couple of leapers (including a newly-minted AG5 wardancer… yuck!) so I really need to work out how to make it harder for my opponents to threaten the ball so much.

 

I also need to think hard about my inducements – Setekh was SO GOOD and a couple of times probably gave me a decent shot at retrieving some bad situations. But having him meant I wanted to use him all the time and that’s bad for the team in the long term. Maybe i would be better off loading up on rerolls instead and trying to use my regular players more, come what may.

 

Despite not getting a lot of removals, I was pleased to see how many blocks I made and honestly, despite that bloody 1 in 729 early on, I don’t think my block dice were really bad at all. Getting lots of favourable blocks will be key to developing my team – especially the TGs so I want to keep this up. I need to plan for when they go wrong though, which they will probably do more frequently than they did in this game. I also need to note though that a lot of the blocks I got to make were LOS hits, which are a total freebie for essentially having been bad at stopping the other guy scoring. The Kislev played a very connected game too which gave me some more blocks for free, so I need to consider how to manage that going forward.

 

Anyway – onwards and from here, the only way is upwards… right??

 

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7 hours ago, Rymdkejsaren said:

This post alone is worth a fluff award! :D 

Thanks - it was fun so I'll do one for each match day... assuming Khemri haven't caused my premature insanity with too many results like this one! :gutted:

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6 hours ago, Doomy77 said:

Hello, new Khemri. Welcome to the wonderful world of turnovers on three die blocks.

Bloodbowl has always been a cruel mistress... she just has new ways to torment and publicly humiliate me now...:D

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22 hours ago, PointBlank93 said:

I regret that you did not hire a player named « Sekh’s Toy » :ham: or « Sekh’s Pistols »

Don't worry - i am saving some names for when some of them die. I still also have Sekh's Maniac, Sekh's Fiend... :D

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Posted (edited)

MD 2 - Mens go for balls (Wood Elves - 1430 TV, coached by @frick you)

 

As Sekh the Eternal called up mystic visions in his scrying device to ascertain the identity of Sekh's Machines' next opponents, he reflected that at least the embarrassment of last round's  3-1 defeat against the leaping acrobats from the frozen North was behind them. Now they could perhaps focus a little more on some traditional gameplay and fundamentals, without constantly worrying about an opponent leaping in amongst them to snatch the ball from their bony grasp. The mists on his scrying screen gradually coalesced into an image of his next foe… OH Settra on a sphinx! Wood Elves?! Really?!

 

Pushing his irritation aside, Sekh focused his attention on the elvish team roster, divining details about their skills and abilities. One of the wardancers showed exceptional agility, even for an elf, and many of the catchers had already mastered the skills of both blocking and dodging. Sekh noted ruefully too that this team was far more experienced than Sekh's Machines - several of the elves by themselves had as many skills as the entirety of the Khemri team put together…

 

Sekh paused – it would perhaps be prudent to obtain support from Setekh again, or perhaps a mercenary skilled in tackling (or stepping the heads of downed opponents), but the more Sekh thought about it, the more he began to consider this match from another angle. Sekh’s Machines were still very inexperienced and perhaps victory in this match, whilst obviously desirable, was not the ultimate goal. Perhaps a strategy that provided some chance of success, whilst maximising Sekh’s Machines chances of gaining experience, might be a better long term plan… after all, Sekh’s plans were always best when they took longer to complete…

 

Sekh hadn’t had actual eyes for a long time now.. but there was a distinct gleam in his eye-socket as he once again activated his scrying device… A hairy and very surprised little face peered back at him from the mists before stammering “Y-yes? Can I help you um… sir? Drongo Cheesyfeet at your service!”

 

Ugh – Woodies… Rookie Woodies are already an arguably very tough match-up for rookie Khemri, but these were Woodies with 5 blodgers who now had a 3rd reroll and an AG5 wardancer to boot. After last week’s hammering 3-1 by the Kislev of @wismerhill, I wasn’t relishing the prospect of spending another whole game trying to layer my cages in the largely vain hope of stopping sacking attempts on the ball. I always think that Woodies (and Kislev) are a bit like Vampires – sometimes you just have to watch the other coach roll a bunch of dice and if they don’t roll too many 1’s, you’re stuffed.

 

I was also very conscious of wanting to maximise potential SPP gains on my team – that ruled out following the most sensible plan to use my sizeable pot of inducement money to get the excellent Setekh (or even a cheeky Ali Babad to stab for fun and profit), or maybe a merc skelly with tackle or DP and a bribe. Instead I thought about how I could cause issues for my opponent and address some of my team’s shortcomings but without risking the loss of crucial SPP to a star or a merc... How could I potentially make my almost skill-less skellies screw up less, whilst at the same time potentially exploit one of the key potential weaknesses the elves have?? Why a halfling master chef of course!!

 

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Sekh's fans everywhere were shocked at his inducements choices...

 

Ha ha – I know, I know – chefs are hopelessly over-priced and I knew that at best I could only steal 2 of my opponent's now 3 rerolls (leader rerolls being immune from the influence of a master chef). BUT with the chef I had decent chance of forcing the elves to operate with only 1 or 2 rerolls per half whilst simultaneously giving my side 3 or 4 rerolls to help mitigate their unfortunate tendency to screw up blocks. As far as other options went, with everyone AG2 or worse, wizards usually aren’t great for Khemri (especially against elves) but a bribe was still useful, even without a Dirty Player.  A babe used up the last of the cash neatly, even though it wouldn’t likely be useful.

 

My basic idea then was to try and encourage the elves into some rash sacking attempts, preferably reasonably close to one side of the pitch or other. With (hopefully) fewer rerolls, they might fail a leap or some dodges from their linos at an inopportune time and that would let me get a bunch of punches back on them… and maybe even a surf or two. So with this vague strategy in mind, I began the game…

 

First Half; First Drive:

Drongo underperformed somewhat and only stole 1 reroll from the elves. Still, that left them with only 2 RR for the half however and boosted mine up to 3, so not too bad.

 

We won the toss and I elected to kick – I really wasn’t confident of being able to stop the elves on offence so if I could limit them to one offensive drive at the start of the game that was probably the best I could hope for. Starting out not bothered about protecting the ball might allow me some more time to focus on thinning the elvish numbers too – with no elvish bench, any removal would be helpful when it came time for me to try and get the ball up the field!

 

The elves commenced with some troublingly effective LOS hits and stunned 2 skellies...

 

t0aPYB.jpg

Lemme just do a hand-stand real quick... Ka-POW!!

 

This made it a bit harder for Sekh's Machines to form up a solid defence in return. Instead I settled for tagging a couple of dodgeless linos with TGs in the hope of forcing some dodges and maybe eating a precious elvish reroll. The woodies were determined not to be bullied however and surprised me with an aggressive attack on my left side… and my big-brain strat of trying to starve them of rerolls almost immediately bore fruit…

 

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Should've gone for the handstand move... get's 'em every time...

 

Despite the reroll resulting in a double-both down, the elves didn’t back down.  Doubling down on trying to down Sekh’s Contraption the TG they risked a 3+ dodge (with dodge) and a naked 2+ dodge to get sufficient assists in for a 2d, knocking down the TG and swarming one flank. They finished up with a 2+ vanity pass that had to succeed in order to secure the ball in a forward cage.

 

Unfortunately their damn tree (who I knew was going to be a pain in my sarcophagus) effectively screened or tied up a lot of my players and prevented me from moving too many of my resources across to block and engage the elves much. Irekht Mem-Bah the Blitz-ra managed to stun a wardancer with a lucky pow, and Sekh’s Tool the TG stunned a Woodie lino. I also tagged the elvish Leader (who lacked dodge) hoping to force some more dice-rolling from my opponent and potentially eat another reroll….

 

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Oh ho - is this some more lovely bones I see??

 

So – Turn 3 and the Woodies were out of rerolls! Admittedly their block dice had been very harsh to throw two sets of double skulls at them so early, but this was broadly in line with what I had hoped to achieve.  What was definitely NOT part of my plan was the Woodies failing no further rolls and surfing my blitz-ra Impohtehnt (knocking him out) and then injuring Sekh’s Worker 2, who had been marking the elves leader.

 

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Not part of the plan...

 

And suddenly I was down 2 players... and the Tree then stunned Sekh’s Worker 4 to really leave me on the back foot. Keen to even the numbers a bit, I saw a chance to get some Sekh’s Machines around the still prone wardancer and I set up a push play designed to clear the surrounding elves. If I could get a solid hit on the leader I had a chance of taking him out AND setting up a 3 assist foul on the wardancer… I greedily rerolled pushes into skulls though and Irehkt Mem-Bah stunned himself to boot.

 

The elves took the opportunity to move past my prone and out of position Khemri, securing the ball behind my team with a large, loose cage. Being now out of rerolls though, they turned over when their first dodgeless lino failed his dodge away, leaving me with some sweet sweet blocks to take! Sekh’s Worker 1 managed to badly Hurt one of the rookie Woodie linos and using a reroll, Sekh’s Device managed to finally knock the Tree down… With the Tree’s guard removed, this allowed Sekh’s Aide to throw a cheeky one die at his opposite number…

 

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Sekh's Aide hit him so hard that I think that's the Elvish thrower's left nut flying off to the left of screen... Just a KO however...

 

Now it was back to 9 players a side on the pitch, so the AG5 wardancer led all the elvish catchers off to secure the ball deep in my half near the endzone. Before they could evacuate the rest of their team though,  the 'curse of ones' reared its’ head again when the other wardancer who had been stunned two turns ago finally got back up and immediately snaked a 3+ dodge out. This left him (her? I never can tell) sprawled temptingly on the floor and again, leaving the remaining line-elves and the tree still connected or in blitzing range… Let's see what happens if Sekh's Tool gives the elvish wrestle lino a little tap...

 

rHVarZ.jpg

Note too the cluster of elves near my endzone...

 

Unfortunately the foul only stunned the wardancer. The Tree got knocked down though and refused to stand up after all this rudeness. With only 5 active players still on the pitch (and the absolute certain knowledge I would apply massive amounts of bony shoe-leather to the wardancer again next turn), the elves sensibly went ahead and scored.

1-0

 

Second Drive (Khemri Turn 6):

So the strategy wasn’t going perfectly, but I was definitely pleased to see that I had been lucky enough to drain my opponents rerolls early and this had directly lead to more blocking opportunities, which had in turn generated some removals. The KO’d Leader didn’t come back (nor did my blitz-ra Impohtehnt despite the tender ministrations of the Babe).  Best of all, I still had three turns to try and equalise…

 

Aaaand the crowd rioted...Ok, so a famous "Khemri 2-turn" it will be then… With only 1 blitz-ra on the pitch though, I just got to get me some skellies into scoring range…

 

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Sekh's Tip - Don't ask Sekh's Workers to 'go faster'...

 

Ok… so let’s just try to hurt some more things at least? Sekh's Device - would you do the honours please?

 

gJBuMo.jpg

Right in the owies...

 

Well that’s a bit more like it!  After that I did manage to get two skellies and Irehkt Mem-Bah the remaining blitz-ra into scoring range, but the elves were able to use their remaining players to screen me out completely and the Tree hit my skellie, Gareth the Watcher, so hard he decided to stop watching for a bit and have a lie down. With almost no chance of scoring, I was pleased to see Sekh’s Aide, who has been consistently performing well above the standard expected of an AG2 player, successfully pass the ball, even if Irehkt Mem-bah couldn’t catch it.

 

 

SECOND HALF: First Drive:

Neither Impohtehnt nor the elf leader woke up during halftime – which despite my irritation that the babe still wasn't helping at all, was overall good for me. Drongo the chef then reduced the elves by a single reroll. While that still a bit underwhelming, with the Leader out it reduced the elves to just ONE reroll for the drive. 

 

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Sekh was not entirely displeased with this state of affairs...

 

Down to only 7 players on the pitch, the  elves set up deep to protect their wardancers and catchers, obviously planning to bide their time before striking. A touchback made me dearly tempted to put the ball on a TG, but even a 2 red-die from their strip ball wardancer against my TGs would see the ball pop loose 3 out of 4 times and I wasn’t prepared to make it quite that easy for them to sack the ball.

 

My LOS hits didn't bear any fruit this time and once again irritating Tree tied up more of my team than I would’ve liked... If I could just get it to go down I knew there was a decent chance it wouldn’t get back up…

 

The elves once again swarmed in to knock down Sekh’s Grinder, which left him stuck prone next to the Tree but also clumped almost all the entire elvish team together on one flank.

 

vqay7X.jpg

Who needs a handstand kick when you have 4 mates helping you? 

 

In response I considered pushing up the other side of the pitch, but spreading the game out would suit the highly mobile elves much more than me. I wanted a scrum, especially one near the sideline and preferably one which might see some elves getting closer than they should to my Sekh’s Machines and their bony extensions. So I moved straight into the elvish position with the TGs, managing to knock the tree down trying to box the elves in whilst layering my players to try and discourage a sacking attempt... at least for now...

 

The irritating Tree stood up and the elves once again clustered around a Tomb Guardian, swarming Sekh’s Contraption and blitzing his supporting skeleton away to allow for a two die (from a catcher!) on him.  Once again my opponent rolled skulls though and with only 1 reroll he chose to accept it…

 

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It's not every day you see a ST2 catcher try to 2D a ST5 TG... 

 

With the elves so tightly packed it was time to move in and surround them – Sekh’s Device blew a reroll GFI’ing in to squeeze in and Sekh’s Worker 3 got so excited he decided to dodge (I was momentarily distracted and forgot I needed to block his marker away before moving him…Duh...) but I proved once again though that it is better to be lucky than good and managed to make the rerolled GFI and unplanned dodge successfully.  Despite being knocked down, the elvish catcher with side-step was unharmed and wriggled his way into my formation. With the elves now under pressure, but deeply engaged, I figured this was the turn they would try to strike…

 

The elvish turn started well enough with a successful naked dodge to remove anti-assists from Sekh’s Aide the Throw-ra and the Tree KO’ing Sekh’s Grinder the Tomb Guardian.

 

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World's most annoying Tree... I was really going to need to do something about him...

 

Their wardancer needed a 3+ dodge out to start his blitz though and he failed, stunning himself and leaving every single elf connected…With the side-stepper in my midst, I wondered how hard my opponent would try to keep my ballcarrier marked if I gave him the chance… the reason being he might step progressively towards the sideline… which he obligingly did.

 

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Side-Stepping sneakiness...

 

Despite Sekh’s Tool almost spoiling the whole thing by rolling a 1 in 27 on his 3d, we got the sidestepper against the sideline and when Sekh’s Worker 3 killed the last remaining wood elf lino to remove any blockages around the catcher, I swarmed him and pushed him off the pitch.

 

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Sekh's Tip: If you're dealing with something very slippery, it pays to wrap it up extra snug...

 

With only 5 players left (one of them stunned) the elves desperately blitzed my cage with their tree, getting a knockdown on Sekh’s Contraption and successfully GFI’ing to mark the ballcarrier. The AG5 wardancer and the remaining two catchers moved up to screen behind him, but were finally being more cautious about connecting now and left the Tree somewhat exposed.  

After blitzing down the AG5 wardancer, I was able to surround the tree and after 6 dice, finally knock him down… Isolated, surrounded by skeletal boots, the Tree looked up to see a bony foot descending…

 

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Bone beats wood... eventually...

 

Unfortunately the apo saved the Tree, so he will merrily continue irritating people for many years to come no doubt. The other problem was that surrounding the tree however HAD left the elves with a long shot 2 red dice on the ballcarrier and managed to roll a both down/ push-pow. The other dancer failed the 5+dodge which would’ve given him a chance to leap near the ball though and finally, my long-held plan of surfing a wardancer after a sack could be put into action!! Sometimes Sekh's plans can take centuries to reveal themselves!

 

IycV6w.jpg

Note the delicious elvish cas box in the rear...

 

The surf was followed by Sekh’s Aide happily re-gaining the ball (what even IS AG2?!), and moving up to participate in a solid gang foul on the remaining wardancer – which stunned him (her?) but finally used up my bribe as well. The elves were left with only 2 active players but I had to hustle if I was to get into scoring range before the end of turn 15. I managed to cage up within range, and after applying 5d to one of the catchers, got another KO. Another foul to stun the dancer left the elves with one sole catcher, who failed a 4+ cage dive to try and hero sack Sekh’s Aide the Throw-Ra.

 

With only 2 prone elves on the pitch, Sekh’s Aide ran in the TD: 1-1!!

 

Last Turn:

The elves spent a long time trying to set up for a one turn attempt, despite only having 6 players on the pitch. I think it might have been an outside chance, but we never got to find out as the elvish dominated crowd…  mightily displeased with the state of the game, (and having robbed my team of a turn to try and equalise in the first half) now rioted again and managed to secure an extra turn for their team in the second half! Could the elves still snatch a victory?

 

Second Half - Second Drive:

The kick landed very wide, right on the sideline however making it awkward for the elves to retrieve and make good ground quickly. They reacted by sensibly running a wardancer deep into my half to give them a scoring threat. The catchers then moved to screen the ball and one of them ran forwards to have a second player in scoring position… only to snake a GFI. The one reroll the elves had all half was gone.

  

This left just one elf who could score, but he was a blodger wardancer and even a push wouldn’t be enough to keep him out of range… if I didn’t POW him he could still score – instead I elected to mark him heavily and blitz a screening catcher away from the ball. I moved two players in to cover the ball and managed a lucky POW on the AG5 wardancer, followed up with a foul for good measure (which failed to break armour).

 

The Elvish wardancer who was marked dodged his way into the endzone, so it was now up to the remaining free elf catcher to try and swoop in, grab up the ball and pass long…

 

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Elves... they even fumble the ball dramatically...

 

Final Score 1-1 a draw!!

 

Conclusions:

 So - what conclusions to take from MD 2?  Well firstly I was quite pleased with my risky and frankly silly inducement - the elves seemed to feel the lack of rerolls the whole game and I am certain it lead to them staying more connected to my team than they otherwise would have... this in turn allowed me to take more blocks on AV7 and generate more removals... and SPP!

 

Speaking of which, I was also pleased with the decision not to take inducements that might steal SPP... my team managed 16 SPP this game, a tidy haul for a rookie team! Getting removals, via blocks and a couple of cheeky surfs, made things much easier when facing such a vastly more mobile opponent.

 

On the downside, whilst I feel I was lucky enough that my strategy ended up being viable, I don't think I performed tactically all that well a few times. I definitely allowed the Tree to tie up too many players of my players and I was unable to successfully deal with it until very late in the game. While I had hoped for a desperate sack that would allow me to surf or get rid of a wardancer, on reflection that would've been much more appropriate in the first half, instead of turn 14 when it made almost no difference... still very satisfying though!

 

Lastly the dice were overall very kind to me this game - I got 51 blocks in and generated 7 removals from that (which probably includes the foul on the Tree). The Leader staying KO'd was huge and I managed to avoid turning over due to failed blocks... something that almost never happens with Khemri! I doubt this good fortune will hold, but after last week when I punched the Kislev 66 times and only got 4 removals, it was a pleasant change.

 

Rookie undead up next - will be refreshing to have a match against a team close to my TV!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Varrus
Tidying up typos
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey all - if you have been reading (and possibly even enjoying) this blog then don't worry, I simply had a hellish week at work and will be filing MD 3 and MD 4 blogs soon!

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Posted (edited)

Sekh the Ineluctable grinned with satisfaction – obviously he grinned all the time, what with having no skin to cover his face (apart from when he disguised himself for the benefit of his team’s mortal fans), but this time it was a grin of satisfaction.  Sekh’s Machines were about to face their first opponent who were not substantially more experienced than themselves – a team of mostly recently undead (recent by the standards of the eternal Sekh that is) with a couple of mummies and a filthy ghoul to round out their ranks.  Sekh regarded their team roster and noted no developed players at all!  In fact, given the pleasing news that Sekh’s Aide the Throw-Ra had learned how to dodge, it seemed that the opponents had almost exactly the same range of skills as did Sekh’s Machines. With the teams so finely balanced, tactics would be paramount. Sekh turned his thoughts inward… and plotted…

 

A team that doesn’t hugely overmatch the Machines in TV?! How refreshing!  I have to admit I had been looking forward to this match to finally play some low TV Bloodbowl the way I had planned when I rerolled and I was struck by how evenly balanced our teams were – with 2 block and 1 dodge piece on each team, the only differences were minor: I had two extra ST5 players obviously (see? Minor!), but the Undead did have three AG3 players and 2 MB on the mummies. They had no bench and one of the wights had a niggle – so between that and the mummies’ MB, I felt removals might be what would potentially tip things for one team.  If @Vlakenhol's mummies could remove some skeletons… or worse, a tomb guardian, things could start to snowball rapidly against me. I would have to concentrate on very careful positioning to maximise my strength advantage whilst avoiding giving up too many hits from the mummies, especially against tomb guardians....

 

 

BjRy0g.jpg

This would be a clash of the titans!

 

The Undead would have a small amount of inducement money to play with, and I expected him to choose a babe given his lack of bench.  @Vlakenhol surprised me though by selecting Sinnedbad – not a bad choice given he could stab some AV7 skeletons reasonably effectively and it gave my opponent a cheap fouling piece who would get sent off anyway.

 

I was extra surprised then when he elected to defend after winning the toss and didn’t put Sinnedbad on the pitch – I can only assume this was an oversight (similar to ones I have made myself on many, many occasions!) but the upshot was that if I could draw out my offensive drive and remove a couple of pieces along the way, he’d be forced to field Sinnedbad on his T8 and get little to no value from him. With this extra incentive to try and score some removals forefront in my mind, it set my strategy for the drive and I set up to start punching some zombies….

 

First Drive:

Sekh’s Machines began with a somewhat underwhelming set of punches against the zombies on the LOS, although Sekh’s Tool managed to stun one of them. I focused on ensuring the TGs took 3d blocks and as my opponent had set up to protect his team with the mummies, I decided against rushing forward to try and punch one of them and didn’t want to offer his mummy the chance of blitzing my TG with mighty blow next turn. So I didn’t blitz and covered gaps in case I failed the pick up….

 

RrFIex.jpg

A rare mistake from the weirdly reliable Sekh's Aide

 

Sensing an opportunity, the undead surged forward and marked the TGs with zombies whilst moving most of their the ghoul and both wights into flanking positions.  A mummy took the offered blitz against Sekh’s Worker 4 but failed to break armour.

 

Facing the very real prospect of Sekh’s Aide failing another pick up, I opted to carefully screen out the undead whilst covering the ball before targeting the exposed wight with a niggle.  Impohtenht failed to break armour on the knockdown however and whilst Sekh’s Aide recovered the ball and moved into the cover provided by three of the TGs, Sekh’s Grinder took my first blockless 2d of the game with the predictable result of rolling double skulls. Using the reroll I was able to make the ball safe, but my team was spread thinner than I would’ve liked…

 

KLNy4I.jpg

 So much room for activities!

 

Sensing the vulnerability of rookie Khemri down to 1 RR, the Undead moved every single player into contact with my players with the exception of one wight who moved back to sweep.  The mummy blitzed again, this time stunning Sekh’s Worker 1.  The ghoul then somewhat boldly dodged through making the 4+, 3+ dodges required to enter the cage and mark the ball-carrier. Given he was the most fragile player on the pitch, this carried some real risks...

 

kj3PuT.jpg

 A bold move indeed...

 

With most of my team marked, I blitzed the ghoul with Sekh’s Worker 2, my only free piece. Unfortunately he immediately rolled a 1 in 9 and I had use my last reroll to push the ghoul off.  The TGs and Irehkt Mem-bah the blitz-ra then threw 11 dice at the ghoul before finally getting him down, but failed to break armour.  This reckless assault also left Sekh’s Aide somewhat exposed, so he moved up to provide Sekh’s Tool with an assist to knock down the mummy marking him – it was risky, but I just need to not roll another 1 in 9 to (sort of) secure the cage again…

 

hVupgB.jpg

Not an ideal way to protect the ball... 

 

At least I hadn’t removed my own tomb guardian, but Sekh’s Aide was obviously exposed to a return blitz from the downed mummy. The Undead chose to take a couple of blockless 2ds first though, and knocked down a TG and a blitz-ra, but then blew a reroll on the GFI required for the prone mummy to blitz the ball-carrier and only rolled pushes. Sekh’s Aide was pushed up against an Undead skeleton who could’ve taken another block, but the wight who’d been held back to sweep failed his GFI rushing in to try and provide an assist.

 

Sekh’s Aide was now uncomfortably marked by a mummy and a skeleton so I needed a TG to be freed up for a 2d blitz to clear the ball carrier.  Sekhs Device knocked out a zombie to free up Sekh’s contraption , but yet another 1 in 9 on the blitz and we are once again open to a mummy blitz. 

 

My opponent again opens with a couple of blockless 2ds in the backfield before rolling dice to hit the ball-carrier. This time though the Undead go for a 1d blitz from the wight - they only roll a push and I am really riding my luck with these hits on the ball-carrier! Out of alternatives, the Undead take a 1d from their skeleton and roll a both down – the ball is loose!

 

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 Sekh's Aide is getting sadly used to being on the ground...

 

Luckily the skeleton knocked itself out and Sekh’s Aide is unharmed - Sekh’s Tool and Sekh’s Worker 3 make their blockless 2ds to clear the undead marking the ball and Sekh’s Aide manages to retrieve the ball and moves into some cover. Unfortunately Sekh’s Worker 2 tries to blitz the ghoul off him so he can close up the cage but he double skulls.

 

In response the Undead knock down both blitz ras Impohtehnt is KO’d.  The ghoul moves back to sweep and a wight successfully dodges to 1d blitz the ball, but rolls a skull into a push.  The fourth time I have allowed the Undead to roll block dice on the ball carrier!

 

Finally though Sekh’s Machines are able to clear some space and Sekh’s Device blitzes the wight off and stuns him, allowing me to form the closest thing to a cage all half.

  

I get greedy though and try to dodge Irehkt Mem-bah out to screen out the last of the undead except the ghoul and only succeed in injuring him out of the game.

 

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 Khemri - not natural dodgers...

 

The Undead aren’t able to get numbers back now and blow their last reroll trying to free a wight.  They settle for running the ghoul further back to give them some chance of stopping my drive.  It is now T7 though and I have to haul ass – or I would if any of my players had asses. Instead I haul bone and Sekh’s worker 2 makes his GFIs to allow me to form an ‘I’ cage with Sekh’s Aide in range of the endzone.  Sekh’s Tool is marked by a mummy, so given the choice between getting hit with mighty blow next turn or hitting the ground after failing a dodge, I choose the latter. Sekh’s Tool amazes everyone by making the dodge though and skipping happily stomping slowly down the pitch to sort of help screen.

 

The ghoul tries to red die blitz Sekh’s Aide, but as I have dodge and he has no rerolls it is a long shot – the blitz adds a GFI to my next turn. In spite of my anxiety, Sekh’s Aide makes the GFI and we are in! The first time my team has taken the lead in a game!

 

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Sekh's Aide's patience finally pays off.

 

Second Drive:

Impohtehnt and the Undead zombie both wake up, but the skeleton that KO’d itself sacking Sekh’s Aide stays out, so my opponent is forced to field Sinnedbad on his T8 as I had hoped. He stabs Sekh’s Worker 2 and only gets a stun.  The Undead make up for it though when  a mummy KO's Sekh’s Worker 3 and a gang foul KO's Sekh’s Worker 3... At least the ref sees him and sends off the offending zombie.

 

 

Second Half:

My KO’s both stay out, but so does the Undead skeleton and with Sinnedbad and a zombie now in the sin bin, both teams take to the field with 9 players.

 

I set up with a wide LOS to try and encourage my opponent to split his mummies up and structure my backline to discourage a blitz.  This seems to have the desired results and my opponent is unlucky enough to only stun Sekh’s Worker 4 from the LOS hits. I move up to try and find favourable marking while preventing a 2d mummy blitz on a TG, but I mess up my placement of Sekh’s Tool and leave Sekh’s Grinder exposed.

 

 txwy7W.jpg

Sekh's Tip: Always make sure you are careful with Sekh's Tool's placement... (he should've been one square to the left)...

 

Despite being on an offensive drive, my opponent then surprises me by marking up as much as possible and keeping the ghoul ball carrier close to the action – no doubt hoping my team would display similar blocking skills (or lack thereof) as they did at the start of the 1st half. He then takes the obvious 2d blitz I inadvertently offered with his mummy but rolls only pushes, relying on a cheeky 1d from a wight to pow Sekh’s Grinder down.

 

In reply I start by moving Sekh’s Aide to the flank and provides the assist Gareth the Watcher needs to hit the niggled wight… and kill him stone dead!!

 

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Sekh's Tip: Be careful when "bopping Bologna"... it can lead to permanent consequences...

 

Sekh’s device blows a reroll in the back field, but otherwise Sekh’s Machines manage to KO a zombie and get stuns on a zombie and a skeleton… but the biggest hit by far comes when Sekh’s Tool punches down a mummy….

 

rLyLkO.jpg

This round goes to the TG... 

 

The undead regen this time, so the mummy will return, but my opponent’s tactic of marking my team up has back-fired dreadfully this drive – he lost three players and has two more stunned. With that, he has no choice but to run the ghoul away. He only has two blocks he can make - His trapped mummy gets a push but his wight manages to red die Sekh’s Device…

 

 0oEFvH.jpg

Sekh’s Device is stunned (literally and figuratively) by this, but the Undead are still in dire straits.

 

I decide to try and surf a zombie out on the left side of the field, figuring if I can use my numerical and strength superiority now to get moar removals, I can slowly turn the screws on the Undead. Unfortunately Sekh’s Worker 4 blows a reroll and then rerolls double pows, so I can’t set up the surf. I mark up the remaining wight and move Sekh’s Aide and Impohtehnt forward to threaten the ghoul.

 

I try to 2d down the remaining mummy and wight, but roll pushes, so I decide to use Sekh’s Tool’s blitz to screen the wight off from the ghoul…. All I need it to make one GFI…

 

Hindsight is perfect, but even at the time I knew it was a silly risk. The outcome was even worse though – despite failing a GFI, the undead skeleton successfully blitzed Gareth the Watcher off the wight. This allows the ghoul to run up and hand off, and the wight skips off down the pitch.

 

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Sekh's Tip: Always leave someone to clean up at the back in the event you make a mess of things...

 

Sekh’s Grinder blitzes himself free of the mummy marking him, but I’m out of rerolls and he fails the GFIs needed to mark the wight. The wight runs right down near the endzone under no threat at all. This allows my opponent the luxury of taking a cheeky 1d on Sekh’s device and an even cheekier foul on Sekh’s Tool!

 

I finally get to move Sekh’s Grinder and Sekh’s Aide down the pitch so I can put some pressure on - the wight takes the hint and scores. 1-1!

 

Second Drive

Everyone’s KOs stay out, so there are only 9 Khemri facing 7 Undead for the final drive. The kick is wide and right on the sideline, meaning Sekh’s Aide will have to GFI just to pick up the ball. He manages this though and I stun two zombies and the skeleton on the LOS, and knock down a mummy. I move a Gareth the watcher forward – maybe I can score in three turns without any rerolls…

 

Gareth gets marked by a mummy and although I get Impohtehnt into scoring range, I don’t have enough players to screen him, despite marking every piece that the Undead have. The ghoul and wight dodge free and blitz Impohtehnt, but use a reroll on the dodges and can’t reroll the blitz, accepting a bothdown that leaves the blitz-ra double marked.

 

With two markers, and no scope to blitz them both off, it is actually better odds for Sekh’s Aide to run up and try to hand off to the now unmarked Sekh’s Grinder… can we achieve the impossible dream and score a TG TD??!?

  

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Keep dreaming big dreams little tomb guardian...

 

Final Score: 1-1

 

Conclusions:

So overall not a bad match, but I definitely felt like I snatched a draw from the jaws of victory - after my opponent's gamble of marking everyone blew up so spectacularly, I over-committed to applying forward pressure. Then, when he managed to red-die and stun one TG and I stunned another with that failed GFI, I just didn't have the players to stop the only two AG3 players on the pitch from connecting and running away with the ball.

 

In spite of that, I don't think I played the second half poorly overall but the first half felt pretty messy. I was lucky to survive so many hits on the ball and was overly cautious and spread my team too thin, making it hard for them to support each other once they were all marked. 

 

On to Necro next (MD4) - a much more developed team with claw/MB! I will really need to tighten up my positioning to stay safe in that match and have a chance of winning...

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
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MD 4 vs Necro Machine (1530TV Necromantic) coached by @PointBlank93

 

Sekh the Indecipherable was anxious… it was not often that the ancient master of mystical powers found himself concerned about anything, but on examining Sekh’s Machines' next opponents, he noted a truly worrisome combination of skills… Necro Machine might share Sekh’s Machines undead status and even had a strikingly similar team name, but the similarities ended there. The newly raised dead had a much more experienced roster, including a werewolf who had mastered the power of mighty blow to complement his claws – such a beast could easily tear tomb guardians asunder given enough support. It would be of utmost importance to ensure that did not happen.  Sekh turned his attention to his still inexperienced team. Not for the first time Sekh’s gaze lingered on one of the linemen skeletons who looked rather.. fleshy.  It was the odd one, Gareth, who kept annoyingly referring to himself ‘Assistant Necrotect’ when it had been made clear time and again that he was an assistant TO the Necrotect. As irritating as he undoubtedly was, Gareth had recently developed a very useful skill. This might be just the time to explore the limits of its’ uses…

 

With a third of the season now played – and with some very modest developments to show for it, this seems like a good point to show a snapshot of a key player on the team:

 

Player Profile – Gareth the Watcher: 

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Likes: Being a dirty player. Being foul.

Dislikes: Observant referees. Someone called ‘Jim’?

Quote: “Two girls. Sisters. I’m just watching.”

 

Soooo… on to MD4 - what a match-up! 1530TV Necromantic with a claw/mighty blow werewolf.  Not only that but the team also has an AG4 blodge-step wolf, a tackle/MB wight to bother my dodge Throw-ra, and a dirty player and a deep bench to round out their very strong bash credentials.  With a guard wight they could potentially make it very tough for me to position my TGs safely to avoid getting a 2d claw/mb frenzy hit, so trying to avoid that would be a high priority, or if it was unavoidable, at least trying to set up frenzy traps.  The only good news was that the two flesh golems were both rookies, so at least they wouldn’t be too bad and there was only one guard to contend with – still, Flesh Golems can be an utter pain in the sphinx at the best of times, so this was going to be one tough match!

 

Looking at the possible inducements I could bring I immediately decided against stars as I was still conscious of trying to get SPP rather than win games.  As I now had a dirty player on the squad (Gareth!), a bribe was an obvious choice. An extra reroll was always welcome given my team’s appalling lack of skills and a babe would help if the mighty blow wolf started wreaking havoc amongst my team.  Finally I opted for a wizard - normally something I would prioritise with Khemri, but as I was avoiding stars and mercs, it seemed like best way to spend the remaining funds and might be a way to discourage my opponent from carrying the ball with his AG4 blodgestep wolf – who would be extremely difficult to otherwise stop.

 

First Drive:

Winning the toss I decided eventually to defend... it was a calculated risk – I might end up with a couple of skeletons down from LOS hits, but I figured my only chance of winning was a 2-1 grind.  I set up to make a blitz as unappealing as possible and prayed for the best...

 

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A 'ruff' start... 

 

The Necro used a reroll but this and the remaining LOS hits only stunned 2 of Sekh’s Workers. This was followed by a wolf blitz which brought the hapless skeleton back into a cloud of necro players. I assumed a gang foul would be incoming, but the Necro diidn’t get the chance after the ghoul fluffed the pick up and since the necro had already used their reroll that turn, it was time for Sekh’s Machines to swing into action…

 

I moved the TGs forward in a line, covering each other to not give away easy claw hits. I then took advantage of the clumped up necro players to blitz from the side and push the tackle/MB wight into contact with two of the TGs in a way that would force my opponent to dodge or red-die next turn.

 

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Eeek! Tomb Guardians!!

 

With limited options for a blitz, my opponent moved his guard wight and wolves to my left flank and blitzed Impohtehnt – once again the dice were against Necro though and they accepted a both down instead of using another reroll so soon, especially as they didn’t actually have the ball yet. The ghoul managed to pick-up however and moved back a little while the tackle/MB wight made his dodge out of danger.

 

This left the necro under early pressure and Sekh’s Machines moved in, blocking a zombie down and stunning it. This pushed the guard wight out of position and opened up a 2d on the MB wolf, knocking him down. Impohtehnt followed up to mark the guard wight and Gareth ran around to drop a boot onto the downed wolf – failing to break armour but not getting caught by the referee either. Along the line Sekh’s Machines marked the Necro up so that only the ghoul and tackle wight were free.

 

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Necro getting strength bullied by Khemri

 

Under real pressure now, the necro opened with a dodge blitz from the AG4 wolf on Impohtehnt, risking a red dice frenzy trap on pushes. My opponent’s dice finally came good though and he knocked Impohtehnt down, freeing the guard wight and cleverly pushing the downed MB wolf free too so he didn’t have to dodge away. This allowed the necro to regroup all their positionals, except for the fleshies, further back.

 

Sekh’s Machines piled on the pressure again -  marking the wolves with Sekh’s Contraption backed-up by Sekh’s worker 1 and blitzing the dirty player zombie backwards into my lines to set up a gang foul. Gareth happily ran in and dropped a filthy foul, KO’ing his opposite number.  Sekh’s Grinder blew a reroll but the TG’s managed to stun another zombie and a fleshie, following up blocks and marking to leave the necro once again with only two players free.

 

This forced the Necro to take some risks and using the ball-carrier as an assist, they blitzed down my right flank, breaking poor Sekh’s Worker 3’s skull in the process

 

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Punching Sekh's Workers is not cool!

 

No regen at least means he can look forward to an early retirement.  The wolves then dodged free and the guard wight managed to get a red-die push Sekh’s Grinder to free up a zombie. This allowed the Necro pull enough players together to screen off the ball-carrier ghoul and mark some of Sekh’s Machines, threatening to run past my team next turn.

 

Sekh’s Aide ran back to act as a sweeper but Impohtehnt then unhelpfully immediately double-skulled to eat up a reroll. Fortunately it didn’t prevent me from using more push plays to shove players around until I could get Sekh’s Device into position to block in and mark the ball.

 

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Sekh's Tip: Try to get Sekh's Device into the correct position by pushing!

 

Sekh's Device was in a cluster of Necro players however and I could not move anyone else in to try and support him properly. On the plus side it left Necro with only one player unmarked to start his turn…a wolf!  My opponent responded by blitzing Sekh’s Device with this unmarked wolf – another 2d into a red-die frenzy trap! My opponent’s dice held out again this time though and he knocked the TG down, stunning it thanks to claw. This freed also up a couple of his players. He ran the ghoul past my lines, cutting back inside, marking my ‘sweeper’ Sekh’s Aide with the tackle wight and making a dodge and a GFI with the MB wolf to mark up Impohtehnt, who would’ve otherwise been able to be blocked free.

 

Sensing the game was at a crucial turning point, Sekh unleashed mystical powers he had been storing up in his finger by rubbing his shoes on the carpet for the last 20 minutes… the bolt of electricity struck the ghoul, knocking it down but failing to harm the filthy beast. I tried various blocks to free up a couple of layers, but the dice only gave me pushes against fleshies so I was obliged to try a desperate 1d blitz by Sekh’s Aide to push himself free and scoop up the ball! He sprinted to some modicum of cover, eating up a reroll on a GFI to try and get somewhat safe. A heroic dodge by Gareth helped to screen him partially and Impohtehnt knocked down the MB wolf – this gave Sekh’s Worker 1 a chance to foul it, but to no avail. Most importantly though - We have the ball!!

 

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The first time Sekh's Machines have stolen the ball!!

 

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Sekh was pleased by this turn of events...

 

As Sekh's Device had been stunned last turn though, we weren't able to mark up all of the spare necro players and with the help of a zombie and the guard wight, one of the Fleshies was able to block Sekh’s Tool down, opening up my 'screen' and, with three successful GFI’s, exposed Sekh’s Aide to a 2d tackle mighty blow blitz from the other wight. Sekh's Aides first foray as a ball hawk was short lived and he left the field unconscious.

 

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Sekh's Aide was reportedly 'totally and utterly unsurprised' to be left unprotected whilst holding the ball...

 

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Sekh was somewhat less pleased by this...

 

At least the Necro had no one left to recover the ball, so there was still a chance to get players back and cover it – Sekh’s Worker 2 tried and failed to block Irehkt Membah free, forcing the blitz-ra to blitz himself free to run back and help cover the ball.  This allowed Gareth the Watcher to push the Ghoul away and although Sekh’s Grinder used up another reroll, he was able to punch the guard wight down and push Sekh’s Tool closer to the ball. Finally Impohtehnt made another Khemri dodge (!) to get back. We had decent coverage around the Necro and the ball with two Khemri on the ball and every positional marked… but would it be enough to stop the blodgestepping AG4 wolf?

 

Necro opened with a 1d which pushed Gareth onto the ball, bouncing it out into a single tackle zone. The ag4 Wolf then 1d blitzed himself free, using up a reroll, made the 3+ pick-up and dodged away! The ghoul dodged out to cover Irehkt Mem-Bah and it looked like Necro would score after all!

 

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A clevel 1d to bounce the ball, then a 1d blitz to get that bloody AG4 wolf free...

 

With little chance of stopping the wolf, Sekh’s Machines turned their attentions to taking the available hits they could on the Necro… and holy Horus on a Hieroglyph did they punch some Necro!

 

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Sekh's Machines couldn't stop the wolf from getting away, but they punished the other Necro players for it...

 

Impohtehnt punched down the ghoul, while Irehkt Mem-Bah injured off the tackle wight (no regen), getting some revenge for Sekh’s Worker 3.  Sekh’s Tool KO’d the other wight and Gareth took the opportunity to run in and sink his boot into the downed ghoul, injuring him out of the game. Finally Sekh’s Device took a both down and KO’d a zombie – Necro had lost 4 players in a single turn!

 

In spite of this (or perhaps desperate to try and even the removals up a little), my opponent decided to risk a blockless 2d on Sekh’s Grinder and rolled a double skull! His last reroll saved the day and the AG4 wolf finally ran the ball in…

 

1-0 to Necro Machine!

 

Second Drive – Sekh’s Aide stayed out, but the Necro failed all 3 of their KO rolls and my LOS hits generated another KO’d zombie. Gareth the Watcher ran in for a massive gang foul, but only managed a stun… the ref still not calling any of the egregious fouls he was making on the downed Necro players. A fairy-tale ‘Khemri vanity pass’ failed (to the surprise of no one) ending the half.

 

Second Half.

Necro now had 4 KO’d players and I can only imagine my poor opponent’s face when they once again failed every single KO roll. That made 7 failed KO rolls in a row – which I estimate has about a 0.781% likelihood… In spite of their sizeable bench at the start of the game, the Necro could only field a paltry 8 players in the second half, 4 of whom were zombies.

 

Sekh’s Aide stayed out too though, so I was going to have no sure hands to pick up the ball (and the ag4 wolf was still around) and I would have to rely on a blitz-ra to carry the ball. It also meant I only had 10 players on the pitch myself, so I wasn’t perhaps as confident as I might have been with so few Necro taking to the field.

 

I need not have worried though – Irehkt Membah continued my team’s tradition of unreasonably successful ag2 pick-ups (it can’t last and will certainly come back to bite me sooner or later!). Most of the second half after that then consisted of the Necro trying to keep their wolves out of harm’s way while the Khemri trudged up the field punching zombies and the occasional flesh golem.  Gareth took the opportunity to live his best unlife and fouled again, and again and again…

 

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Gareth was living out one of his fantasies... not that one, the other one!

 

Amazingly, the ref never called a single one of them – the bribe remaining unused throughout the whole match! …

 

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Asked about the egregious fouling after the match, the Referee reportedly said 'Gareth who? I thought we were at the cricket?!'

 

My opponent asked, not unreasonably, why I didn’t go for a quick score and try for the win – at one point the Necro were down to just 5 players on the pitch!  My reasoning though was that with only 2 players on his side actually injured (and 7 KO's), there was every chance his KO rolls would finally stop being total shit and he could very possibly be fielding a full 11 players for the final drive. With his ag4 blodge wolf still around too, stopping him without a wizard would be extremely hard and I felt it was likely he would win. Plus the way the second half was going I had lots more opportunities to generate SPP from blocks on his zombies (which although I managed 2 more KO’s didn’t pay out with any further injuries unfortunately).

 

So without too much trouble, Irehkt Mem-bah cruised over the line safely in T16 to level the score...

 

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While Sekh's Machines are still yet to secure a victory, they have at least managed to score in every game so far.

 

My opponent got 5 out of his 7 KO’s back (finally!), which I felt validated my concerns about scoring early. He attempted a one-turn, which was possible with 10 players and an AG4 Mv10 sidestepper, but got into a bit of trouble early and had bad luck to boot, snaking a GFI to close out the game..

Final score 1-1

 

Conclusions:

Overall I was very pleased with this game - I had been worried about facing this team which had real potential to cripple my rookie team and had some real star positionals to use too.  But I got lucky with early dice and was very pleased with how my team were able to apply and keep up defensive pressure – this forced the Necro into some risky blocks and a desperate run past my team with minimal cover. 

 

I was also pleased to have used position and my team's strength to minimise the claw/mb hits, especially on TGs - overall I think there were only a couple of claw hits on the TGs the entire game, only one of which was a 2d. This strength also allowed me to dominate the blocks all game and Sekh's Machines out-blocked Necro by a factor of 2 to 1 (52-26). This generated good removals, which is really how Khemri should be utilised. I was slightly disappointing to only get 1 injury from those blocks though, as it meant we didn't get much SPP and with the loss of a 2SPP skeleton only made a net gain of 8SPP for the match.

 

Overall I was quite lucky – my opponent had bad block dice initially (although they evened out by the end according to the dice log). This put him under early pressure and allowed me to apply my strength. The KO rolls were huge though and made getting a draw easy (I still think I would've thrown the game if I had tried to score early). The fouling was stupidly lucky - although possibly not that influential in terms of the result given most were in the second half and didn’t cause much in the way of removals. It was fun to develop Gareth's character a little though and weird to never have ref call even one of them.

 

Dark Elves for MD5 - lots of blodge including an ag5 (although the other AG5 has been MNG'd which makes it a bit less painful to deal with)... let's see if I can pin them down!

Edited by Varrus
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17 hours ago, PointBlank93 said:

You played very well, unfortunately I didn’t have got enough players to resist in the seconde half. Well done !

You had really rotten luck a few times there! It was a great game and lots of fun!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

MD 5 Delft Blue Redux (Dark Elves 1490TV coached by @BumFillups)

 

Sekh groaned – dark elves?! Not those weirdos!! Sekh had experienced some odd and unsettling encounters with dark elves in the past… like the time a group of them turned up unannounced at the gala event Sekh was hosting to open his new dungeon! Sekh had patiently explained that yes, while they were at Sekh’s Party at Sekh’s Dungeon there was no way he was letting them in dressed like that… they had seemed very annoyed and disappointed and went off muttering.  Now Sekh’s Machines were due to face a team of these leather loving loons – and Sekh didn’t like what he saw… most of these dark elves displayed unhealthy levels of flexibility, with almost half the team knowing how to block and dodge. One in particular was extremely agile – and a very slippery customer to boot!  At least the elves looked a little worse for wear and would be bringing in some journeymen to plug gaps in their team… all in all though he estimated that the Machines would have trouble pinning these dark elves down… although Sekh reflected that being pinned down might be something they would actually enjoy… Yes – maybe that would help then… That Gareth fellow was proving useful, so investing in a donation to the goblin referees’ retirement home again would be a good start…

 

So more elves – and these ones unfortunately have av8 almost across the board too, so it would be hard to count on removals to help as Sekh’s Machines still lack any mighty blow. Even worse, without any tackle, dealing with the blodgers that made up so much of the dark elvish roster would be a right pain in the pyramid. I couldn’t even count on much in the way of inducements, as the reduced elves were only a few hundred TV above me. One thing I have though is a dirty player and so a bribe is almost an automatic inducement given the lack of other good options.  With that done, I figured extra rerolls would be helpful if I was fishing for a pow, which I would be doing a good deal of given the number of blodgers on the opposition roster.  With the inducements out of the way I thought about a strategy – blodgers would be hard to get down, but perhaps I could force them off the pitch if I could move things to the sideline. I’d need to be careful of the frenzy witch-elf though! Meanwhile the AG5 blodgestepping blitzer would likely be a nightmare and I probably wouldn’t ever be able to keep the ball properly safe without guard or tackle.

 

First half: First Drive:

The dark elves won the toss and elected to defend – something I had anticipated but which made me think I was in for some aggressive elvish defence focused on trying to turn-over the ball. I therefore set up to try and maximise my hits but still let me have pieces back to help cover the ball until my ball-carrier could reach the safety of the TGs on the LOS. One of the elves had the Kick skill and put it to good use with a deeeep kick that made me groan inwardly as I could foresee the elves rushing into my half and making life awkward from the outset…

 

I had at least set up to somewhat protect against a blitz, and used the high kick kick-off result to run Irehkt Mem-bah the blitz-ra right back as well.  The LOS hits and (and an opening foul from Gareth) lead to two stuns, whilst Sekh's Aide the Throw-ra once again was successful with the pickup after Irehkt Mem-bah unsurprisingly dropped the catch. I ran a few other skeletons back to help cover the ball carrier...

 

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Sekh's Tip: If you think your balls might be going deep, plan ahead with extra protection! 

 

The dark elves then did run forward, but perhaps somewhat put off by seeing my players back, they surprised me by concentrating players around my exposed TG Sekh's Contraption, who was left far more alone than I would've liked when my skeletons ran back. They punched him down but this left fewer dark elves available to run forward, so they didn't close off the access between Sekh's Aide and his entourage and the rest of the team near the LOS. This then allowed Sekh's Machines to bring the ball up into a proper cage. A couple of punches put some more elves on the ground, but it was left to Gareth to make a real impact...

 

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Gareth getting off to a good start!

 

The dark elves respond by again targeting a TG - Sekh's Grinder this time who I had greedily positioned next to a dark elf lino, hoping to induce him to dodge away.  Instead the elves swarmed again and punched Sekh's Grinder down, stunning him!  They then kept a close screen around my team, limiting my ability to move but not yet threatening the ball. 

 

I concentrated on trying to make 3d blocks with the TGs, but whilst this was largely successful, including getting a pow on a dodge line-elf, I get four more knock downs without an armour break.  Instead it is once again left to Gareth to show the rest of the team home to break dark elven armour...

 

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When asked why he liked working with Khemri, Gareth noted the excellent health plan, retirement benefits and the frequent opportunities to kick people hard in the testicles... That Gareth! What a wheeze!

 

I was conscious that all this... ungentlemanly... conduct by one of my players might induce the elves to reciprocate, and as I had a precious TG still flat on the floor, I tried to manoeuvre to cover him - but couldn't do this well as I needed to cover the ball too.

 

My prediction turned out to be accurate as the elves punched down the skele covering Sekh's Grinder and proceeded to gang foul him. They only stunned him, but the totally one-eyed ref didn't call it!! My god Sir! It was right in front of your eyes you blind fu... where was I? Well...To be fair, the elves were annoyed at the ref not calling any fouls as well...

 

 

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Oi ref, why don't you try looking with this eye?!?

 

Sekh's Machines continue to grind forwards, again concentrating on trying to get as many 3d blocks as possible to maximise removal chances and minimise fuck-ups... and it worked - A KO thinning the elvish numbers a little more!

 

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The dark elves were down three players now...

 

Sensing they were on a knife edge, the knife-ears turn up the pressure, punching and stunning Impotehnt and marking Irehkt Mem-Bah at the back of the cage. Between this and my TG getting up after being stunned, I am painfully slow to move forward.  A situation that is compounded when I roll 8 dice in blocks without getting a knock down, even though they were all against dodgeless elf linos. Even Gareth has to foul unassisted (what is the world coming to?!) due to lack of knockdowns and fails to break armour. By turn 5 the Khemri finally make it over the halfway line and I can feel momentum draining away!

 

The dark elves form a tight screen with their remaining players and Sekh's Machines push into them, desperate to make yardage. This leaves a number of my cage corners marked, but the elves don't have the numbers or strength to reliably push them away... instead they finally pull the trigger on the long anticipated cage dive by the ag5 Blitzer, making the dodge with ease but rolling a skull into a push on the sack attempt. This does leave me uncomfortably marked by a sidestepper though...

 

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Damn tricksy elves at it again...

 

Sekh’s Grinder hits the elf with 3 dice but doesn't find a pow. The elf sidesteps into a square I  where I can blitz him off though, which imphotehnt does finding a pow whilst doing so but failing to break armour. I was sorely tempted to just camp around the elf and let Gareth do his thing, but it was late enough in the half that if I didn't motor I would have no chance of a score. Sekh's Worker 1, my last available piece does try a sneaky foul on the ag5 elf blitzer but he fails to break armour and the ref finally notices and greedily accepts the bribe. I move up as far as we can but it is T7 and I am 8 squares away from the endzone!

 

The elves then make the dodges they need, including the bloody ag5, but then fail a GFI to completely lock the door. Sekh's Aide can't reach but Impotehnt can...

 

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Ah yes, the world famous Khemri hand-off play, what could possibly go wrong...

 

 

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Oh right... that...

To his credit, Impotehnt actually catches the ball using the reroll, but fails the first of the two GFI's required. At least the elves are in no position to scoop up the ball and score... 

 

0-0 at half time...

 

Did I say halftime? Surely I scored and it is still T8 right?... at least, that is what must've been going through my head as I set up my players merrily as though it was T8 instead of the second half already... I even left Sekh's Aide off the pitch to avoid any chance of a thrown rock...

 

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Sekh was a little shocked when he realised it was actually the second half already...

 

Oh man... what a bonehead... I really don't know what I was thinking, but in any case my team was horribly out of position and Khemri aren't well placed to rapidly re-deploy if you get my drift! Shaking my head at my own stupidity, I begin the slow march up the field...

 

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It's totally a valid tactic... it's called the withdrawn defence...

 

The dark elves then pull back even further, so not until T12 or so do I start to pressure them to try and slip past.  They do this by running their linos forward to mark up my players and trying to slip past with their blodgers. The AG5 stacks the GFIs though and fails two out of three rolls!

 

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He landed right on his 'Referee's Eye'...

 

This leaves the elves in an awkward position with two blitzers forward right near the sideline, several of their linos marking up Khemri and a small group deep in their own half with the ball. I decide to mark up the group carrying the ball at the back and enact a plan to remove the two blitzers who ran forward – one should be easy to surf and the other can then be gang-fouled! Muahhahahaha!! Ahem...

 

So, Sekh's Machines punch down some of the linos marking them up and manage to push the DE blitzer onto the sideline! A single GFI will give me a 2d surf now!...

 

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Of course it won't...

 

Except Sekh's Contraption fails the single GFI and uses the reroll... which would've come in handy when he then double skulls. He is so embarrassed by this that he claims to have knocked himself out and "Can't remember what happened"...

 

H0eWIiB.jpeg

Honestly boss, last 'fing I knew I was about to push him off the pitch...

 

This allows the elves to blitz free easily and the ball carrier runs up, passes the ball to the still very on the pitch blitzer I had just failed to surf who then double GFIs (just to flex) to go deep into my half...

 

tBihRpu.jpeg

That old sinking feeling...

 

This feels familiar - a faster opponent who has run right past me - I need to reflect on how to do some things differently to avoid this happening again (at least avoid it happening so often!) ... maybe I should try to avoid massively screwing up my set-up? Hmmm... Could work...

 

Anyway - I try to focus on getting removals, but over a couple of turns only manage a surf and eating up 2 rerolls. A couple of my players move to threaten the ball, but without much hope...

 

Then, "cometh the hour cometh the skeletal remains of what was once a man!"  Sekh’s Worker 2 gets in range of the stalling dark elf blodge blitzer, but is marked by AG5... probably no chance of being able to stop the ball carrier...

 

4e6tA3l.jpeg

 

Oh no you didn't?!?!

 

Sekh's Worker 2 pulls off a miracle, dodging, double-GFI-ing and powing the DE blodger, knocking the ball into the crowd! I hold my breath for a moment... the throw in will be critical...

 

Aaaand the ball bounces back into my endzone - too far away for any of my players to reach but well within range of the still standing AG5 dark Elf blitzer... It is disappointing obviously...Oh well - I certainly can't complain following that outrageous sacking play!

 

The Dark Elf AG5 squats over the ball and marks my Irekht Mem-bah (I mean my blitz-ra), who is my only reasonably close player to prevent him interfering. I manage to get him free with a blitz and Irekht Mem-bah uses my last reroll to GFI and mark the AG5. I don’t bother to try and mark the ball because it is a 2+ either way with AG5. It is far too little too late though and predictably he makes both 2+ rolls and scores...

 

HKnowZp.jpeg

The inevitable consequence of a series of poor Khemri decisions...

 

1-0!

 

Conclusions:

 

On my T16 Sekh's Machines get a late consolation injury removal on the final LOS hits – whilst I happily accept the SPP, I can't help but be a little disappointed... Sekh's Machines made 46 successful blocks and but generated just 2 removals from those. The fouling worked really well, but my defence was so messed up I couldn't keep it up in the second half. On the flipside I had some very good luck too - I managed to keep the dark elves to only 12 blocks but they were unlucky to only get 1 removal (my self-inflicted KO!).

 

In terms of how I played, I think I did well to manufacture lots of 3d blocks - in fact I think I threw more 3d blocks than the dark elves total number of blocks (15 versus 12). I really needed to move up the pitch faster though, something I should've been aware of right from the start with that very deep kick. So up until halftime I was reasonably happy with how I played. Setting up like that for the second half was obviously very dumb, but these things happen and I will probably do something like that again before too long (still not as bad as the time I forgot to score on T8 with another team!!).  I also need to work on not letting quick teams slip past so much - as soon as I can I will try to get a sweeper with tackle to hang back and help with this!

Edited by Varrus
fixing typos
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Posted (edited)

Absolutely wonderful, F'ing brilliant! :cool:

(and, honestly appreciate the critique/comment on gameplay:)

Edited by BumFillups
"My strategy is so simple, it could have been devised by an idiot", Zapp Branigan
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18 hours ago, BumFillups said:

(and, honestly appreciate the critique/comment on gameplay:)

Thanks mate - it was a fun game even though I managed to royally screw up! I honestly thought your defence was pretty good... I mean it worked! I'm certainly not in any position to critique other people's play! Overall though if I had been you I think I would've tried harder to block my access to my own team right at the start and ignored/avoided the TGs as much as possible. With an AG5 to sack you can cage dive very reliably and put enormous pressure on the other team, especially if you force them to spread out.

 

18 hours ago, BumFillups said:

"My strategy is so simple, it could have been devised by an idiot", Zapp Branigan

I f-cking LOVE Zapp Branigan!! lol

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I had no idea this section of OCC Board existed! A new dimension added to the BB2 experience, one designed to truly add 'fun' to the league/game play. And, OMG, the creativity is just incredible! 

 

Also, your comments on my game play were/are spot-on :P

 

I'm efforting to level-up my BB Coaching skills/strategy, finding myself 'indecisive' more than anything right now. Attempting move from the 'charge 'n bash anything that moves!' rookie Coach style, to a more considered approach...seems that, for BB at least, the truism, 'only fools rush in', is TRUE! :) I'm realizing that it's not so much 'balancing' aggressive vs defensive tactics (which is how I find myself caught with one foot on each side of fence tactically), as it is to know when to be aggressive or defensive...and then DO IT! Anyway, rambled on way more than I intended, but really enjoyed reading your blog, and appreciating all the coaching and strategy tidbits therein.

Cheers mate! :D

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On 6/9/2022 at 2:00 AM, BumFillups said:

as it is to know when to be aggressive or defensive...and then DO IT

I think that's a good insight - My only other tip is as the TV of games gets higher, the removal potential of some teams becomes a constant issue! The earlier you can try to sack, the better as you may not have many players left later in the game. I've also noticed that against hard bash, if you can make the game about the ball, then it is not as easy for them to focus on killing your team!

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Sekh the Incommunicado winced as he tried to catch what the voice on the other end of his scrying device was saying... the static interfering with the communication was bad enough - the call was coming all the way from Lustria, so a poor connection was to be expected.  Unfortunately the other coach was a Slann, and it was almost impossible to try and hear what was being said when the other end was communicating using a series of croaks and burps..

 

"Can you make it out?" Sekh asked one of his attendants.. "Was it CROAK CROAK BURP WHEEZE or was it BURP CROAK CROAK WHEEZE

 

The Necrotect assisting Sekh shrugged... it all sounded like flatulent frogs mating to him...

 

Sekh sighed and tried to run both options through his Noorgle translation device... It was very useful in the absence of anything better... which was to say it gave wonky results at the best of times...

 

"Ok, so the Slann is either saying... "We are unavailable to play this week...." ...or.... he is saying... "Your eye holes remind me of a Kroxigor bending over..."

 

Sekh turned to the Necrotect and said "Ok - I'm going to assume it's the first one... Tell Sekh's Machines to prepare for training!"

 

My opponent for MD 6, Lizards coached by  @Szurke291 was unfortunately unavailable until very late in the week by which time it wasn't possible to schedule. It did mean at least that Sekh's Machines finally scored a win, even if only an admin result.  So there is no match report to report this time, but I should probably go over some team updates briefly ahead of the MD 7 clash.

 

There isn't actually much to report - MD6 randomly assigned SPP for an MVP Which went to Sekh's Tool the Tomb Guardian (yay!) and 2 touchdowns which went to Sekh's Aide the Throw-Ra (cool) and my dirty player Gareth the Watcher (meh).

 

The MVP on Sekh's Tool was great as this meant he levelled and I rolled normals... I did think a lot about Mighty Blow, which has a lot going for it on a TG as first skill... first of all, MB is just a good skill, as it helps drive removals and these are really important to Khemri. Secondly, it discourages opponents from marking your TG's with one player to try and tie them up... with MB it is much more likely that this tactic will at least cost them. Finally more removals means more SPP and it gets the TG to the next level much faster.... in the end though I chose guard. The reason behind this is I think it's very important for TGs to try to make as many hits on 3d as possible as this drastically reduces the chances of them screwing up a block and ruining your whole turn.  Guard will also effectively help the other TGs level faster then by allowing them to get more and more reliable blocks in at a higher chance of getting knockdowns. So I'll probably get guard for the first couple of TG level ups, and then get mighty blow for any laggards to help them get to level 3 faster so they can get guard more quickly. Once all the TGs have guard and MB they will be a hugely more effective group to control the pitch and power removals.

 

Sekh's Aide was still 4 SPP short of another level, but hopefully he would get those soon enough and then I'd give him block to make him a blodger unless I rolled a stat-up or a double.

 

Gareth the skeleton getting more SPP was less helpful - as my designated fouler I don't want to level him too much, but block (or maybe wrestle) never hurts on a team with so few skills - either would help to keep him safe and wrestle sometimes lets you wrestle an opposing player down when they try to hit you so you can just stand up and foul them on your turn. All in all I was pretty pleased with the 'free' SPP from the match - although I had been hoping that Impohtehnt the recently levelled Blitz-Ra could've had some chances to punch skinks now that he had mighty blow!

 

MD 7 against @Tys123 coming up soon!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey all - unfortunately my laptop has died so I haven’t been able to prepare any more match reports. Once I get it fixed or replaced I will catch up. Hope you’re enjoying the journey so far!

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