Saturday, April 27, 2013

Blood Bowl League Batrep Day 2 - Necromantics vs Amazons

Three friends and I started a Blood Bowl League. I am soo satisfied!! I have been itching to play this game for quite awhile, and it is my favorite GW game. Even though we are playing the video game and not my painted miniatures, I am still happy to be playing. We have already completed day 1--The following Batrep will close out Day 2.

I am posting this Batrep on behalf of Laertes...


Pre-game thoughts:

I must admit that I was somewhat dreading the matchup against the Amazons. In some ways our teams are almost opposites – the Amazons start off well, with a team loaded with many starting skills, is fairly fast, and can pass, while the undead (any sort) tends to start off slowly, with few starting skills, and rely pretty much exclusively on a running game. I was afraid that we could get in to trouble quite easily against them. I'd played with them (my D-Cups team) but I'd only played against them a few times. Here is what I thought were our keys to the game:

  1. Play DEFENSE. This is challenging for me. If you've seen my teams play, or the teams I tend to choose, you know that I tend to play offense first and let defense be a rather secondary concern. But in previous games against the computer (playing Amazons) defense was absolutely key – trying to run up and down the field with the would fail.
  2. Get LUCKY. I knew I had likely erred when I purchased only 1 re-roll – I should have skimped and bought 2. I knew the Amazons would have at least 2 re-rolls plus the re-rolls from their skills. Simply put I could not afford to make many mistakes, take silly chances, or get some bad rolls. I needed to get some luck on my side: perhaps nothing huge, but a Cheering Fans roll, or a Quick Snap, or something that would help out.
  3. Stay UNHEALTHY. This may seem odd for an undead team but I needed to stay out of the KO and casualty box. It's just how I seem to end up playing: my teams take casualties regardless of their armor value. And with only 11 players I knew I did not wish to be facing situations where I would be facing 11 Amazons with only 9 player on my team.

That all being said, after a long while I hope the game lived up to the hype!

First Half:

My heart sank a little when I saw the Amazons didn't have 2 re-rolls . . .they had 3!! That meant the “Get Lucky” part was going to be that much harder. I won the toss and, in keeping with playing defense, elected to kick. The first kick off result was a Quick Snap – okay not that lucky for me, but not terrible either. I then thought I got a bit lucky when the Amazon thrower failed to pick up the ball. It ended their turn, but the Amazons were still in good position. I did manage to get a Ghoul deep and have him “Go for It” a few squares that put him very near the ball. I thought I was even luckier on [Lord Grimskull]'s turn when his block failed to knock down the Ghoul (only push him back). This was the game plan! It was going to be turn three, all I had to do was Dodge out of one tackle zone, pick up the ball in an empty square (no tackle zones on it) and waltz in the end zone. No problem, right?

Well, wrong.

The Ghoul managed to Dodge out of the tackle zone without effort – now to pick up the ball! But then roll a 1. No worries – I have my one re-roll, and it's a good use on a scoring play, right? Well not when you roll another 1 and end your turn. I had tried to position the team first just in case this happened but that still left me with a Wight against the sideline whom the Amazons promptly pushed off of the pitch.

The Amazons were able to pick up the ball on the next turn and start up the field, but we'd run through the midway point of the first half already and I knew I just needed to keep the scrum going and not let any Amazons deep. The Amazons completed one pass on their last turn but could not score. I did not feel too badly: we had not perhaps gotten as lucky as I might have hoped, but we had played defensively enough that there was no score. Unfortunately we had not kept ourselves unhealthy, and were only going to start the second half with 9 players. We had KO'd some players though, so it was going to be 10-9 (players) in favor of the Amazons.

Second Half:

Okay now I felt a little bit better. The lack of players meant I had to set up with some significant gaps in my line, but I felt I still could take advantage of the Amazons. Well that is unless they were to get a free turn for the defense . . . which they did. But I got what I wanted out of the kick-off: a touchback! No more sweating to see if I could pick up the ball, I could give it to any player so I gave it to my Ghoul who was closest to the line and started the “funeral march” up the field to my left.

But I started to stall out. [Lord Grimskull]'s Amazons were quick to recover and, even though I had a Flesh Golem and a Wight leading the way, they were able to quickly wall them in. I had hopes that I might be able to hand it off to my other Ghoul but again he got pushed off of the pitch . . . and now there were simply too many women in the way. I knew folks tend to underestimate the speed of a Ghoul so I was trying to get close to the end zone, punch a small hole and scoot through it, even using Dodge if necessary. But the Amazons were thick like the rain forest. But there might be one opening . . . I ran the Ghoul to the right and backwards, towards mid field and almost along the mid field stripe. There was a lot of open space but very few Amazons – and I had both Werewolves, a Flesh Golem, and a Zombie over there. That put the Amazons in a tricky position – they could put a crimp in things, but they'd have to get lucky on a few rolls. But [Lord Grimskull] couldn't roll it, leaving the Ghoul to sprint towards the right sideline now with a bit of an escort. Still the Amazons put up resistance, and when the Wight couldn't block an Amazon off of the Ghoul, the Ghoul was forced to Dodge away but made it in the end zone for the score. Unfortunately on the Amazon turn they seriously injured my Flesh Golem (yes I know he is AV10 with regeneration . . both failed).

Not many turns left so I knew I just needed to play defensively. The kick off roll gave me an extra re-roll (Cheering Fans!) and was also not a touchback (boys and girls I cannot stress enough how important it is to make your opponent always always have to roll to pick up the ball). We were still at 10-9 players (in favor of the Amazons) but I knew we needed to stay deep. [Lord Grimskull] surprised me a bit when he picked up the ball and threw it almost to mid field – it was not an accurate throw and caused a turnover but the ball also wasn't in a place I thought I could pick it up ([Lord Grimskull] said he confused is catcher and thrower: it was the catcher who threw the ball). Still we couldn't reach the ball and I didn't wish try too much – I thought I'd throw a 1 die block with my Werewolf just to get things in position. And he knocked himself down and out . . . that left a lane on the right. But time was running out – the Amazons picked up the ball and hurled it down field towards their catcher, but the Ghoul intercepts! Perhaps only the 2nd time in 70 or 80 games I've seen an interceptions and the first time my team had actually done it! I ran to the left side of the field and the Amazons could not catch the Ghoul as time expired. Hard fought to the end for a 1-0 victory.


Two out of three keys to the game is not bad, is it? We had played defensively, we got some luck (and did not have any really terrible luck, perhaps the first two “1”s notwithstanding). We did not stay unhealthy – we suffered 3 casualties while causing none in return, and failed 2 of 3 regeneration rolls. We were fortunate to knock out 7 Amazons, but that doesn't get you SPP, which is something that the undead definitely need to get out of the gate quicker. I rolled a 2 for winnings, re-rolled it and also got a 2, so I don't know if we finally saved up enough or another re-roll or not.

[Lord Grimskull] played well – I think the only times I caught him were in a tendency to have the Amazons bunch up a bit. On defense that enabled the Ghoul to reverse the field and on offense that sometimes would hinder his ability to go deep on some of those pass routes. Of course, to be fair, the one thing that tends to surprise people is that the undead tend to be faster than you think, so he moment you believe you have an undead team blocked off . . .

His team was very physical – he sets up a lot of good blocks and he makes high percentage plays. That is going to make the Amazons very difficult to beat as they get more and more SPPs from league play.