The rules pack gave you 1,100TV to build your team, with each player only allowed 1 additional skill to start and every skill can only be used once. I brought Orcs since I was a little tired of playing my Undead (even though they would probably be a better team based on the rules pack). My overall plan was to try and stay under the radar - win my games but not by much. Between my ST4 blitzer and my Blodging blitzer I was hoping I would always have a ball carrier very tough to take down depending on what skills my opponent had. After the third game was a skills draft, with two of each upgrade (ST, AG, etc.) and skill available - with last place picking first.
Blitzer w Guard
Blitzer w Dodge
Black Orc w Block
Black Orc w Stand Firm
Thrower w Leader
Goblin w Sneaky Git
Game 1 vs. Craig (Humans - 7th + Most Improved) 2-1 win
Funny how it goes, I hadn't played in a blood bowl tournament since the Blingtoof - where Craig was my last opponent, now he's my first opponent at the CCKO. He brought the shadowforge bunny team but played them as humans. For the first couple turns I kept thinking they were amazons. He chose to receive after winning the coin toss, and I decided to pressure him very aggresively hoping for some early KO's/Casualties to get the numbers advantage. This meant giving him an opportunity to really get out of range and score an early touchdown - which he dutifully took. I did enough to force him to score on his turn 3, and then he rolled a Riot kick off result, which basically gave me 7 turns to grind to a first turn tying touchdown. Throughout I managed to block & foul off 4-5 of his bunnies to get that numbers advantage. I made sure to stall right the way to turn 8.
Second half I received, and Craig rolled all his KO's back. He had 1 extra player in his build so we were just about even on numbers, but I managed to do a good job of cage-ing down to the end zone for a turn 8 score, all the while still getting 4-5 of Craigs players off the field. He had his turn 8, and fortunately for me (and my setup) he failed to roll a riot and was unable to score again. I think Craig hated my Sneaky Git goblin the most.
Game 2 vs. Stephan (Orcs - 18th + Special Mention: No CAS Against) 1-0 win
Another funny one. Friday evening while chilling at one of the ottawa guys - Stephan and I nearly convinced each other to take duplicate rosters!! I am glad I convinced him to bring all 4 black orcs (Glenn convinced him to take at least 3) and I am also glad he convinced me to switch my skills from blitzers to black orcs (blitzers are already pretty useful!) and then further glad he convinced me to switch my dirty player line orc to a sneaky git goblin. That extra 10K + one black orc skill gave me Dodge for a blitzer, which was unlikely to be available in the skills draft. It meant my goblin would remain on the pitch even if I rolled doubles but armour didn't break. In the end Stephan ditched all but the black orc changes and kept his roster pretty different from mine.
Again I lost the coin toss and kicked to Stephan. Unfortunately though he left an opening to hit his ball carrier pretty early and I took full advantage with my ST4 blitzer. I ended up scoring around turn 6-7 and the rest of the match was pretty much a shoving contest - even were we did knock opposing players over there was only 2 KOs the entire game. Stephan did give me a scare knocking the ball loose but I managed to recover and I threw the ball downfield leaving him with an opportunity for a passing score which unfortunately for him - didn't go off. Kept this win under the radar too at 1-0.
Game 3 vs. Leathan (Chaos Dwarves - 6th) 1-0 win
Possibly my proudest moment of the tournament. Leathan is a very strong player and I tend to not do well against chaos dwarves (those damn bull centaurs are freakin annoying!!) Thankfully he didn't have a minotaur. This game my ST4 blitzer really proved his worth. I lost the kick off again and Leathan had the ball in a bull centaurs hands. He had my blitzer tied up, but elsewhere he rolled double skulls and (can't remember) either chose not to reroll or he rerolled to double skulls. It seems Leathan has a tendancy to poor luck against me when it's 1-1 (he's owned me 3-0 but in deathbowl format - after looking up my NAF stats I see both games I've played him at CCKO I've won.. something in the water I guess!!)
I took a chance and once I had done the few safe moves I had, blitzed with the ST4 blitzer (requiring a dodge) and got a single dice block against the BC which turned up open star (schweeeeeet!) and this is where I can really tell my play is improving. Instead of trying to pick up the ball with the blitzer (which after such a sweet blitz, I usually would have) I left him as a tackle zone next to the ball, and then used the rest of my team to get behind his line of scrimmage and picked it up with a different player. Managed to stall out the first half and score late. He had a long shot chance to score with a chain push (not beyond his abilities!!) but I rolled Perfect Defence on the kick off and got to screw up that chance for him.
Second half I just held the ball deep in my end zone, stalling him where possible and late on threw the ball into his end - again giving him a chance to score, but definitely making it more difficult by forcing him to roll many more dice than a blitz on my ball carrier would have. I even dodged a black orc out of a tackle zone to tie up his bull centaur (something I should have learned from, because I should have tried a similar move later in the tournament). Held on for my second win vs. Leathan out of two standard games (whaaaaaa?)
After game three there is a skills draft. In their game three, my next two opponents - Alex and Glenn - tied their match 1-1 so going into the skills draft I was in FIRST PLACE and got to pick skills DEAD LAST. I got a nice little ovation for being in first place at the time (but by the end of the tournament if there had been a "biggest dissapointment" trophy I would have won it!)
I knew I would be playing Alex and Glenn (both Norse) - so my number 1 skill had to be wrestle. Other selections I was hoping for were Stand Firm or Fend for a black orc, dirty player for the goblin, and hail mary pass for my thrower (just to be able to guaranteed get the ball out of my end). I got Wrestle (was amazed Alex had the pick before me and he got dodge - how was dodge still available after 19 people had picked?!?!) and put it on a black orc. Second pick I got Fend for the other skillless black orc, third pick I got my Dirty Player, fourth pick I had to scramble to choose since my selections were taken - in the end it was between Catch or Diving Catch for my blodging blitzer. In the end I selected Catch because you can reroll a hand off as well (later in the tournament, Diving Catch would have helped - but I still think I made the right choice)
Game 4 vs. Alex (Norse - 2nd + Best Defence) 0-2 loss
Definitely my worst performance of the tournament. Can't blame anything - dice were not terrible, just down to poor decision making. 4th game of the day, it was very late by the time it started. Alex made several mistakes too - also due to fatigue I am sure. The best way to beat Norse is to start winning the numbers game, they are basically faster/more vulnerable dwarves so it's key to get some early KOs/CAS. Strange how the one match that I won the kick off, I lost. Alex kicked to me and I pressured his players very hard - going for some early damage. He snuck a couple through and put pressure on my thrower. Here's where I made my mistake, I tried to block (or blitz, can't remember) his player off my thrower but could only push him. Then - instead of forcing him to block me down and then pickup the ball, I tried to dodge away with my thrower (I wanted to get the ball in the hands of my ST4 blitzer) and failed my dodge with a team reroll to boot. This allowed Alex to simply free up a player, pick up the ball and stroll into the end zone.
I was pretty dissapointed with myself, the rest of the first half didn't accomplish much, but in the second half I had to kick to Alex and he took his time to score not leaving me with much chance at a consolation TD, let alone to tie it up. Alex is pretty new but is already a very very strong player - he was the eventual second place winner so I don't feel too bad about losing to him - but have definitely decided from now on, caffeine is required before a 4th game in one day!!
Game 5 vs. Glenn (Norse - 1st) 2-3 loss
This one was a total heartbreaker and probably a tie for my proudest moment at the tournament. Glenn is something of a legend in Canadian blood bowl. His living room has a coffee table that is a beautiful blood bowl pitch the likes of which you have never seen (it's glass over an entire stadium, filled with figures and with an etched glass field) and is littered with the stacks of trophies he has won over the years. A really great guy, this was my first time ever playing him (he works at a bar, so unfortunately finds it tough to make most tournaments due to weekends being his major bread winning time). I knew I was in for a tough match - again against a Norse team, which may have been the best team suited to the rules pack for this tournament.
Started very aggressively again, in a near copy of my first game vs. Craig - I caused some pain but gave up a very early TD. For the remainder of the second half I stalled/held out, until finally on the last turn, managed a long pass TD score without even requiring a reroll!! Unfortunately he rolled back all his KOs, and he started with 12 players so we were pretty even in the numbers game for the second half. He as well as Craig really hated my little goblin sneaky git/dirty player!
In the second half, he managed to blitz my ball carrier who I was trying to keep out of harms reach and score another quick TD. I pulled the same hijinx again and stalled until very late and made a long pass to score my second thrown TD of the game (with ORCS?!?!?) and here's where heartbreak happened. He had two turns left to score, I rolled a Riot on the kick off and unfortunately for me, it gave him an extra turn to score, which I made very difficult but he dutifully did. Later a buddy pointed out I should have tried to dodge out my black orc to make his passing play more difficult, it's difficult though when everyone is watching your game and with all the excitement. I was literally a 50/50 die roll (the Riot result) away from tying Glenn on my very first game playing him - but well played to him for a good win and a really really fun and exciting game.
Game 6 vs. Ryan (Undead - 4th) 0-2 loss
After that demoralizing loss, I was happy to play any race other than Norse. I came up against Ryan's Undead - he was close to 3rd and also to Most Casualties but ended up in 4th place. It kinda sucked for him to come up against an Orc team when he needed casualties. My goblin also was ejected on his first foul for double 5's which lost him the one AV7 guy he could beat up on. I wanted to try something very similar to the games vs. Craig and Glenn - basically trying to destroy Ryan's ghouls early and force him to score early so I could grind out a 2-1 win. Unfortunately for me, after killing a ghoul early - my dice just completely turned on me. Lots of failed Go For It's and Dodges all over the place - if you remember last years CCKO, you know the dice have a big F-U on the 1's. Well in this game I got the middle finger a lot. Ryan played really well and stalled on his scores enough that I didn't really have enough time to grind - and while pushing to try to tie it up I kept giving up turnovers.
I did make one big mistake though, I didn't read his team sheet closely enough - I thought he had no tackle and my blodger would be very tough to take down - but he did have tackle and didn't have a problem all game destroying that blitzer. Fair play to Ryan though, he played pretty well - though I managed to nullify the effect his mummies had on the game, after I killed that first ghoul he protected them very well and definitely earned the win.
So overall, I won my first 3 games, then lost my next 3. 1 loss I felt was due to the dice, and 1 loss was a real heartbreaker - but considering I lost to 1st, 2nd, and 4th place - I was very happy with my performance. I really wanna win this tournament at some point though - this year they instituted red CCKO dice for the champion - where the F-U is on the SIX!!
dual posted on GWpertinent