Today we have great news from our friend Neil!
Past weekend he went to Gütersloh to have a go at the Sturm der Hiebe 2012, and while at it he decided to share a report with us!
Here's how he meticulously decided what team to take, and is insight on the games during the whole thing, sprinkled with is usual humour notes.
Well played Nick, congratulations!
Hey I’ve just won my second NAF accredited Tourney ‘Sturm Der Hiebe’ and that makes me officially a happy bunny!
Twenty eight coaches took part playing 6 games each, spread over two days with a modified Swiss scoring system. The rules for the tournament can be found here but essentially it was TR110 resurrection. I spent a long time trying to decide what to take, it’s not an easy choice when you have as many teams as I have and it’s not helped either when you’re as indecisive as me (I think I used to be indecisive but now I’m not so sure!). Then the deadline day for submitting the rosters arrived and I was too busy to work anything out so I took my Pro Elves as I already had a TR110 roster that fit the bill.
Who are these Elves you ask? They are the Beastwick Wytches, a highly specialised offshoot of the Kult of Khaine formed when some acolytes got bored waiting for their torture lesson to start and began throwing the still beating heart of their previous victim around. Post match parties are legendary, mostly because no one who has ever been to one has survived to tell the tale!
First up were the Chaos Dwarves of Smashing Pumpkins, normally I’d of said ‘Rats there goes all my dodge skill rolls!’ (or words to that effect) but if you look at my roster you will note I only have one player with the dodge skill so all those tackle skills are largely wasted. I won the Fame roll, the weather was perfect and I chose to receive. Two turns later I’d done the Elf thing and scored, so it was back to the start position and prepare to spoil the Chaos Dwarf Grind plan.
I was able to first stall his cage then disrupt it but couldn’t wrest the ball clear so I had to be satisfied with 1-0 at half time, I was particularly happy to KO a Bull Centaur and even happier when it refused to come out for the second half.
The second half couldn’t of gone better if I’d scripted it and I was able to run home three further touchdowns without reply; with the first Bull Centaur only returning to the fray once the first had been injured. Game one finished and I was top of the pile and playing on Pitch 1 next.
The second game was against more Pumpkins, I had the stray thought that with my Wytches and all these Pumpkins maybe it was already Halloween but apparently not!
These were the Sleepy Hollow Pumpkins a Necromantic Team who had defeated a Halfling Team 3-1 in the previous round. Once again I won the Fame roll (this time with Fame +2), the weather was again perfect and I chose to receive and duly scored in the obligatory 2 turns. In a familiar turn of events I stalled his cage, disrupted it, couldn’t wrest the ball clear and went to half time 1-0.
Kick Off brought me a Pitch Invasion and with Fame +2 there were a lot of stunned undead all of a sudden. Unfortunately for me neither of the Ghouls was stunned and they were able to secure the ball and take it out of reach whilst the rest of the team recovered. Still (I thought!) I’m in a good position here and then the Wight with Piling On and Mighty Blow really went to work. By the end of the game he’d injured 4 players and KO’d another 3, 6 of which by using Piling On!
Eventually I ran out of players and couldn’t hold him out any longer so the game finished tied at 1-1 and I dropped to place 5 in the rankings.
Next up were the Underworld team of Mutagen X coached by Robert who’d come all the way from Belgium to play in the tournament. He had the dangerous combination of Claws and Mighty Blow on not one, not two but three players so I feared for my team; on the other hand he had a lot of Strength 2 Goblins so maybe I’d be able to dish it out as well as taking it.
I managed to gain Fame +2 again but the weather had turned for the worst and it was now pouring with rain. The game flowed this way and that and even featured a dastardly one turn thrown team mate touchdown. Another Pitch Invasion helped me to an unassailable 4-1 lead though before a late multi dice risky play, without the cushion of a reroll, gave the Underworld a deserved consolation and the final scoreline of 4-2 was enough to see me return to the top of the table.
As a footnote his Warpstone Troll, just like the Minotaur in game one, didn’t fail a single Really Stupid (Wild Animal for the Mino) roll, although neither really caused any damage. That was the end of a very satisfying first day with the third game being the most fun but all of them interesting.
Day 2 and I was facing off against another Underworld team the Seckenheim Suicidal Sewer Things coached by Planlos who is a very accomplished player (he finished ranked highest individual at the NAF World Cup two years ago!!!!) but he’s also an all round nice guy. He had Skitter Stab-Stab on his team and a whole horde of 2 headed Gobbos.
This was a tense tactical battle which I was edging having scored just before half time to lead 2-1 despite the Sweltering Heat giving the numerically superior Underworld an advantage and all those pesky dodging goblins who didn’t roll a double one in the entire game despite making 60 or 70 dodges!
It could and probably should have been better but my Leap equipped Catcher landed on her head and knocked herself out rather than blocking the Star Rat in it’s living cage. He had one turn left before half time though and so having been on the receiving end of a one turner in the last game I set up cautiously. The ball scattered right out on to the touchline with a lone gobbo standing next to it, kick off result Blitz!.
Because I’d set up to protect against a thrown team mate only my fastest players could get to it though. I blitzed the goblin (with my newly returned to the fray leap ‘expert’) but could only push him aside before sending my sure feet catcher to catch the falling ball which she duly did, leaving her a little exposed but hopefully preserving my lead. What followed was a game defining turn however, as with the help of a couple of assists the Goblin who’d been left standing blocked and then injured my Leaper and a Skaven Blitzer dodged out and made 2 GFIs before slamming my Sure Feet lady holding the ball in to the crowd. The spectators duly kicked her head in and injured her too! In the second half I slowly ran out of players and was unable to prevent an equaliser with 2 turns to go.
The loss of the two catchers meant the Underworld were easily able to stomp the lone scoring possibility I was able to send forward and the game finished with an honourable draw. Fortunately the players below us also drew and I was still in the lead!
Yuck what is that stench?
It’s the Nurgle team Hof Der Pestilenz not exactly opponents of choice for Elves especially those like mine that like to pass and hand off, all that Disturbing Presence is, well, disturbing!
The Game started in perfect weather, I had Fame +1 and he chose to receive. I did what had been working well for me up until now by first stopping and then disrupting his cage, my sidestepping blitzer's (especially the blodger) proved really useful for this throughout the tournament and I was able to apply enough pressure to wrench the ball loose then score and go in to half time leading one nil and due to receive the ball next.
Nuffle doesn’t really like such easy victories though, so with my usual 2 turn touchdown beckoning, off I went. First blitzing the intermediate ball carrier free - Block and Skull, whoops reroll and a pushback that’s enough thanks. Pass a 1, pass skill reroll fine - catch a 2 needing a three because of the Disturbing Presence, catch skill reroll fine - just the hand off to a NoS catcher and a dodge out to an empty square 2 yes! But wait a minute what is that stinky Chaos Warrior doing there! I need a three, Catch reroll... 1 aargh! All was not yet lost however as the ball landed kindly and he quickly turned over leaving me just needing to Dodge out and pick up the ball a 1, reroll another 1 and now I was in trouble! He was able to grind down the pitch and equalize but with 2 turns still to go an accurate long pass to my Blodgy Blitzer held in two tackle zones and with 1 disturbing presence close by……a five, she’s only gone and caught it! Two dodges later and it was a glorious elf style last turn winner.
I was still ranked first going in to the last game but it was really close and, I think with the right results there were at least 5 potential tournament winners. Because I had already played Planlos I faced up against Chassalla Monsters another Necromantic team who were currently third. For the first time I didn’t win the Fame roll (it was a draw) however the weather was perfect and my opponent won the toss and chose to receive. However, by turn four my Elves were on fire and they were already 2-0 up and had knocked out one of his werewolves and (re)killed a Zombie.
With the kick off to come in the second half it was looking comfortable. Strangely Nuffle decided he was happy with this state of affairs and with four turns to go in the game the Elves lead 4-0 and had (re)killed another Zombie. At this point my opponent started to roll hot with his armour and injury rolls and managed to injure four of my players (but not kill any - so no little zombie elves!) and knock out 4 more before grabbing a consolation touchdown for a final score of 4-1.
As Planlos matched my result on the pitch next to me that meant I had won the tournament on Touchdown difference and had also won the Most Touchdowns prize.
This tournament had some very nice prizes, including two fully painted teams, but I chose the Impact Orc Rock Band as my prize for winning the tournament and a lovely tournament pitch made by FF Fields for the most touchdowns, added to this all participants got some special tournament dice.
The Wytches now have a new home stadium and I can use the NAF Trophies as Turn Marker and Reroll counters for them. What a great weekend, 6 interesting games of Blood bowl and stuff to take home too!
You can find more info, results and a lot more pics in here: Sturm Der Hiebe.