Well, I was able to once again attend a terrific tournament, the Four Diamonds Cup. This event is hosted by a friend of mine, Jaime, who is a member of the AGBBL (Adventurer’s Guild Blood Bowl League). This event is a one-day tournament of 3 rounds of solid Blood Bowl action.
What’s really great about this tournament is that the proceeds are donated to the Four Diamonds Fund at Hershey Medical Center (and with Penn State Unniversity). The money helps support THON and the Four Diamonds, a fund to aid in research as well as to support patients of pediatric cancer and their families.
This tournament is especially meaningful to me, as my daughter Natalie has just finished 2 years and 3 months of chemotherapy battling A.L.L. Leukemia and is finally on the road to recovery. My family made extensive use of the support offered by the Four Diamonds foundation, who have given us aid with medical bills, meal vouchers, counselors, as well as moral support. The students at Penn State Unniversity also help raise money for THON, the largest student-run fund raiser that supports the Four Diamonds foundation and Hershey Medical Center in PA.
Jaime and his wife Evan lost their daughter to an invasive brain tumor and the Four Diamonds helped them during their daughter’s treatment and throughout. This is his family’s way of giving back.
So, that all said, this event drew over 30 participants, had incredible prizes, raffle drawings for cool stuff, great competition and an incredible buffet of food for the entire event. The $25 donation to the fund was modest considering what one got in return. The raffle tickets available were for various prizes, and a special drawing for a custom made dugout that Jaime expertly assembled. Truly that was the most coveted prize of all, apart from the first place trophy.
I love this team. Sure other players call Dwarfs (Dorfs) slow, boring, ect. But truth is they are tough, hard hitting, reliable, but they are slow. One must be tactically aware of movement limitations as an agile elf team can quickly out pace you if you do not set up a solid defensive net maximizing use of player skills and tackle zones.
The format was Living Rule Book 6.0 (LRB 6.0). We were allowed to give 4 skills to players, one could be a “doubles” skill. I gave 2 longbeards/linemen Guard, perfect for support in blocks and running a cage-style ground game offense, and both slayers skills: one: Mighty Blow for breaking armor and eliminating opponents off the pitch, and the other took Side Step, allowing for safety if he would play near the sidelines, throwing opponents off the pitch out of bounds due to frenzy.
• Runner: Ben Rumblesberger (#7). Move: 6, ST:3, AG:3, AV:8, Skills: Sure Hands, Thick Skull, Cost: 80,000gp
• Runner: Terry Badshaw (#12), Move: 6, ST:3, AG:3, AV:8, Skills: Sure Hands, Thick Skull, Cost: 80,000gp
• Blitzer: Rok Warson (#26), Move: 5, ST:3, AG:3, AV:9, Skills: Block, Thick Skull, Cost: 80,000gp
• Blitzer: Jak Hammerbert (#58), Move: 5, ST:3, AG:3, AV:9, Skills: Block, Thick Skull, Cost: 80,000gp
• Troll Slayer: Kevyn Gangrene (#91), Move: 5, ST:3, AG:2, AV8, Skills: Block, Dauntless, Frenzy, Thick Skull, Side Step Cost: 90,000gp
• Troll Slayer: Korrik Hammerhands (#92), Move: 5, ST:3, AG:2, AV:8, Skills: Block, Dauntless, Frenzy, Thick Skull, Mighty Blow Cost: 90,000gp
• Longbeard: Dermonti Deathrun (#63), Move: 4, ST:3, AG:2, AV:9, Skills: Block, Tackle, Thick Skull. Cost: 70,000gp
• Longbeard: Mikail Battlestone (#64), Move: 4, ST:3, AG:2, AV:9, Skills: Block, Tackle, Thick Skull, Guard Cost: 70,000gp
• Longbeard: Arn Ironfist (#71), Move: 4, ST:3, AG:2, AV:9, Skills: Block, Tackle, Thick Skull, Guard. Cost: 70,000gp
• Longbeard: Willie Colon (#74), Move: 4, ST:3, AG:2, AV:9, Skills: Block, Tackle, Thick Skull. Cost: 70,000gp
• Longbeard: Mean Jorg Green (#75), Move: 4, ST:3, AG:2, AV:9, Skills: Block, Tackle, Thick Skull. Cost: 70,000gp
Shawn (a.k.a. King) has taken to Blood Bowl recently and has been learning the game well at a very quick rate. I’ve faced Shawn in 40K tournaments before with his Black Templar and he has been a cagey opponent. I expected no less from him in Blood Bowl. He entered the AGBBL in season 8, finishing with a very impressive 8-2-2 record, and made it to the Semi-finals. This time he brought Dark Elves, but he had never faced me on the field.
In Shawn’s defense, my dice were hot. Using the dice that were part of our “prize package” for entering the Four Diamonds Cup, my dice were solid all game. In turn, his dice were quite the opposite. Even the best laid plans and tactics will fall apart in Blood Bowl if Nuffle forsakes you.
The game started out with the Dark Elves receiving, and Dwarfs had the FAME bonus. Early armor breaks resulted in some Dark Elf casualties and knock-outs, leaving the Dark Elves down men. Still, King managed to play well, surfing runner #7 Ben Rumblesberger into the crowd, out of bounds. Luckily Ben was pushed into Black Fire Pass fans and was able to return to the reserves bin in the dugout.
The Dark Elves offer a flexibility in their agility. Shawn took full advantage of it and did his best to try to invade the cage and hit the ball carrier. The mistake Shawn made was as I moved my players to sweep right, he over compensated and this allowed me to counter left, and eventually seal his players off.
The second half started with the Black Fire pass Blitzers receiving. The Dark Elves took to the field down 3 players. As the game was tied, I wanted to make a solid, time consuming drive down the field and control the ball (and the clock, so to speak).
Knowing that Shawn’s Witch elf was going to be his best option to take shots at my ball carrier, I tried to feed him options of linemen to bait her away. One such play almost cost me as he was able to send one of my guarders out of bounds, thankfully into my own fans (player was stunned on injury roll), and allowed to return to the reserves.
The Dark Elves tried to take aggressive shots at my players, almost popping the ball loose, but he failed a critical Go-For-It roll having to push into the cage on frenzied blocks with the witch elf. Instead the witch elf tripped, knocking herself out.
That happened here. I had a chance to pin down Dark Elves and tie them up with tacklezones. Despite my efforts, Shawn was able to dodge out, complete a pass/handoff and had a chance to score. All he had to do now was make 2 or 3 key dodges and 2 go-for-its.
Rory is a solid player and has won many games in the AGBBL. He was bringing in a classic Undead team to face me, starting line up: 2 Mummies, 2 Whites, 2 Ghouls, 7 Zombies, 3 rerolls, and coach and cheerleader.
Game started out with normal weather, Black Fire Pass Blitzers had +1 FAME (fan base) and won the coin toss. I elected to “hit” first, er…..I mean receive. Heh heh.
Some players have different thoughts on tactics, I’ll have to address that in another blog, but I always prefer ball-control and going first in the game allows me to throw the first blocks and start to establish position on the field. It also allowed Troll Slayer #91, Kevyn Gangrene to score a casualty, putting a zombie out of the game and he did not regenerate. The kick was out of bounds and termed a “touchback” so I gave it to Blitzer #26, Rok Warson, putting the ball in the hands of a player with the “block” skill.
As we exchanged blocks, I attempted to move downfield and my blocks were true. I was breaking armor rolls and either stunning opponents or scoring KO shots, taking zombies off the pitch at a steady rate. The Thick-skull of the dwarfs proved to be great and helped keep my players on the field.
I kept true to my game plan, caging up the ball, using the guarding blockers to solidify my position. I left a lone longbeard on each Mummy, tying them up and the tougher armor of the longbeards kept them alive and able to absorb the punishing blocks of the Mummies.
Second half of the game started out strong. Mummy blocker stunned a longbeard, and I followed suit with #75, Mean Jorg Green knocking out another zombie. I stayed away from trying to put Mummies on their backs without Troll Slayers around, instead relying upon the tough armor of my dwarf blockers.
Rory sent a ghoul deep for a pass play. I had a shot to take him down, but my man fell rolling a 1 on the Go-For-It roll, and rolling another “1” as I burned a team ReRoll. The undead player moved to better his position to try the pass play to score.
The Undead managed to get the ball back, and hoped now just to tie the game as it was now turn 6. Dwarf Longbeard #63, Dermonti Deathrun tied up the mummy the rest of the match, allowing my other players to play a tighter defense, and the undead now down several zombies from knockouts and 2 casualties, were sorely outnumbered.
A tough game, and a solid vicotory: 2-0…..one more round to go!
This was going to be a good game. Jason and I both were undefeated. He is down from the NY area and working with another friend of mine, a skilled player, Ramsey MacPhereson and the two are planning on running a tournament in June.
His roster was with the newer Norse types, and I’ve not had much experience (or luck) against this roster. The upside: all players have block skill except Ulfwereners, who instead get STR: 4, and Frenzy. Norse Beserkers also have Frenzy and Jump Up. The Downside: Armor Value: 7. This makes a Norse team very fragile. Also, if not handled properly, Frenzy can be used against an opponent, especially if you have players with guard and can sucker him into secondary blocks.
To complicate things, we rolled a Blizzard for weather. This meant that only quick and short passes could be thrown, and also all Go-For-It rolls would fail on a 1 or 2, instead of just a “1”. This would work to my advantage, holding his team’s movement back, if I could play defense properly.
I picked up the ball with runner #12, Terry Badshaw and went with my classic frontal blocks and attempt to cage up the ball. I tried to keep away from the sidelines this time, as I was facing 4 players with Frenzy, which allows a player to take 2 blocks per turn.
Trying to keep up with my movements and keep pressure on me, the Norse players started to get aggressive early. He would get into position to throw blocks on my runner, but when he would have to make a Go-For-It roll (GFI), he would fail. The ice and snow ended up being my friend this match.
The Norse were able to capitalize on the play, popping the ball loose, but burned out their last reroll in turn 5. The dice continued to be hot, more casualties and stuns on the norse team at the hands of my dwarfs opened up the field. After the next couple of turns, I scored a few more stuns, a KO and another casualty. I was able to get to the ball and get a dwarf into scoring position.
The second half the Norsemen were receiving. They were down a few players thanks to knock outs and injuries. I was hoping to outmaneuver him and either stop him or take the fight to him.
The kick off result was a quick snap, allowing his men to move one extra square each, but the kick landed deep in his territory. The Lager Lovers started out strong with 3 stuns on my front line. All I could do was reset my men and prepare to counter.
This was just the chance I needed, and in my next turn I moved men into position and #26 Rok Warson jumped into a tacklezone and picked up the ball (using a reroll in the process).
The next turn a norse Ulfwererner had a chance to hit one of my longbeards. But….he rolled double-skulls (attacker down) and with the reroll, had the same result, and #63 Dermonti Deathrun stunned his norse attacker.
This gave me a clear opening to block norse men clear of the ball and I was able to move and give the ball to the runner #7, Big Ben Rumblesberger.
Two more knock outs by dwarf blockers opened up the path, and Big Ben was on the edge of the goal line waiting to score. Somehow the Norse managed to get an Ulfwerener downfield and was able to put a tacklezone on my Dwarf Runner.
The Norse were left with 2 turns left to score. In a vain attempt to save face, the norse thrower fumbled the ball. They were only able to throw some blocks that didn’t account for much of anything, leaving me with a 2-0 win.
So, I finished the tournament 3-0! My best performance in a Blood Bowl tournament yet. My total Net Touchdowns was 4. Unfortunately for me, my friend Justin Stoner also went 3-0 and his Net Touchdowns was 5. So, due to the tie breaker, I ended up in 2nd place.
I got a nice trophy, a custom made passing template, and some other raffle prizes, including some werewolves or Ulfwereners. More importantly the entire tournament raised almost $1700 for the Four Diamonds Foundation.