AGBBL Season 9: Couronne Panthers game #6 vs. Arkham Annihilators.
My season in the AGBBL was stymied for a bit due to my family and I moving into a new house. Thankfully my next opponent, my good friend Brad from Harrisburg and the Adventurer's Guild made the trip down to Reading to meet me for a game. So, since it was a mildly special occasion, I broke out one of my special Blood Bowl Pitches made by Impact Miniatures.
I was originally optimistic, my human team had been performing well and I know that I had a bit more experience than Brad when it came to the game of Blood Bowl. However, no matter how sound your tactics are in ANY game, when the dice fail you, you will be hard pressed to salvage the situation.
I expect at least one or two games like this in any season of 8-10 games. Today happened to be that day for me.
Looking at home field advantage, the Couronne Panthers won the FAME roll, and had the +1 bonus. This result is determined pre-game and is modified by your fan factor. The FAME modifier can affect results on the kick off table each time, and did come into play at times for me.
Weather was perfect, the Chaos team: Arkham Annihilators won the coin toss and elected to receive first. I set my human team in a classic 3-8 defense, careful not to be too close to the sidelines as there was a Minotaur with Frenzy on the opposing team. The kick was short, but good, and the kick off table result was Brilliant coaching. I rolled a 6 for the d3 roll, +1 (for FAME) gave me a 4. The Annihilators rolled a 1, and had 2 assitant coahces, ganing +2 for a result of 3. The Couronne Panthers gained a bonus REROLL for the half.
It was becoming clearly evident that the Minotaur was going to be a problem. Most Big Guys are, but ones with skills are dangerous. This particular Minotaur, apart from being Strength 5 and having Horns and Frenzy, also had Tentacles to hold players fast and a Claw. The Claw mutation treats all armor as value 7, and with Mighty Blow, allows him to break armor on rolls of 6 or more. As fate would have it, the Minotaur (Shub-Niggurath) stunned another lineman on a frenzied block. My human passer, Matt Moore managed to do the same to one of the Chaos Beastmen.
This is when the dice really started to fail for me and run red hot for Brad. Brad made every roll, dodge, block, armor, pick ups, everything. Me....I couldn't even make a Go-For-It roll and using a reroll, which normally is successful on a 2+ on 1d6.
With the Annihilators close to scoring, I put just enough pressure on them at the end of turn 5 to force them to score by their turn 6. This would at least give me some time to try and score.
As fate would have it, I had to move players to clear the way for my catchers to get downfield. Two of my blitzers led the way, one with guard moved into position to tie up to men, allowing the second blitzer to throw a block and clear the path. Fate failed me and I rolled a skull/pow (both down unless you have block), and his beastman did not have block. I needed a push to open the way for my men. So, all I had to do was "Go for it" with the blitzer and than move my two catchers downfield. I rolled a 1. I rerolled, and rolled a 1 again. Blitzer down, turn over. On a side note, the kick off result was "Get the Ref", and both teams received a bribe for the referees for any rules infractions, such as fouling a player while he is down.....
So, I entered the 2nd half down some men, but thanks to reserves, it was only going to be 11 vs. 10. I was receiving and thought I could pull out a tie and with luck, I could still win this game, it was a new half.
The second half for me was worse than the first. The kick off result was Brilliant coaching. The Arkham Annihilators won this roll, giving them another reroll for the half. I tried my classic clear the lane and send 2 catchers downfield. I had men on the front line, but no one on the minotaur, thinking without someone for him to hit, he may be left out of the mix. Big mistake, i should have sacrificed one lineman to tie him up.
My men went downfield, my passer got to the ball, I was prepared to throw the ball next turn and score in turn 2. Or so I thought.
With a Strength 4 Chaos Warrior running with the ball, I would have to use at least 2 men at any time to have a hope at knocking the ball loose. I moved men into position but the chaos team's blocking was so effective I could only get one man into position to do anytying and Abhoth simply blitzed and pushed him away, scoring a TD in the 4th turn of the 2nd half.
I rolled my men down field and attempted to make a way down to score. This time I found a seam in Brad's defense. I moved one catcher through it, making the dodge and getting into scoring position. I moved the second catcher into a similar position. He failed the dodge but has "dodge" skill, so got to reroll that result for "free". He failed it again.
The rest of the Chaos team bum-rushed downfield to get to the ball, pushing my passer away. I tried to get my men into position to save face and take the ball away from the chaos team, one last attempt at a possible TD score for my honor. My dice failed again and passer Matt Moore (#10) fell. This allowed the Chaos team to get a Chaos Warrior into position to pick up the ball.
The only saving grace I had here was that one of the Warriors picked one fight too many. Throwing a block at #74, Geoff Schwartz, Chaos Warrior Abhoth rolled double skulls on the dice, and the Panther's lead scoring man in casualties got his 5th one of the season by ducking low and kicking him in the groin. Abhoth will be sitting out his next game recovering from that attack.
I tried to move men into position to stop the Chaos Warriors, but they ganged up on Matt Moore and fouled him, stunning the human passer and effectively taking him out of the play, leaving the Panthers helpless to prevent yet a 3rd touchdown score by the Annihilators.
In the end, the game was an utter loss for me. My tactics were sound, my dice were horribly bad. Not one play I made succeeded, where as when the Chaos team tried to do anything, they almost always succeeded. The Minotaur was amazing, activating every round but 1. He dominated the game, responsible for 75% of the knock outs, stuns and casualties. Big guys can be a risk but in this game, Brad showed how truly effective they can be.
Still it was a good game in that I got to see a good friend of mine, we hung out for a few hours, swapped some tales, and had several laughs over the inneptness of my team today. On a bright note, my 2 players that miss the next game are not permanently injured and the 50,000 gold coins my team earned for their play today gives me enough for purchasing an Ogre to play for the Corounne Panthers.
So, we welcome #99: Fredrick W. "The Ogre" Palowaski to the team!
With the ball loose, I tried to blitz my men to clear the way and get someone to pick it up. All I managed was a series of pushes and the chaos warriors were still around the football. The Annihilators would mess up and drop the football on a failed attempt. I had one more chance to fix this mistake.