Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Stillwater Stiffs 10-1-1

Well it had to happen. I've had more than my fair share of games where the Armour and Injury rolls have gone heavily in my favour so it was only a matter of time before Nuffle would decide to turn the tables. The Stillwater Stiffs have taken their first official loss of the season, much to the delight of my fellow coaches I might add, and it was a pretty gruesome game too boot.

The game was against Sass' Norse team the Frosty Snowmen. My first game against the Frosty Snowmen was a draw so they are now officially the only team I haven't beaten. That leaves me hoping that if I make it to the play-offs we can get a rematch. But anyway, on with the game details.

I once again forgot to take photos. Considering the game was played at my house I had no excuse not to but the thought quickly fled my mind as I found myself constantly under pressure during the game. Simply put; I had bigger things to worry about.

Sass won the roll off and decided to receive. He was 380k down on team value so for inducements he took a wizard, a Re-Roll (giving him a total of two) and two Bloodweiser Babes...he didn't need any of them.

First block of the game Sass laid the smackdown on one of my Zombies and sent him straight to the KO bin. In hindsight I see now this was a sign of things to come but at the time I didn't think much of it. The game progressed back and forth with me filling gaps to create a solid defence and Sass retrieving the ball and forming a cage. By about the third of fourth turn I noticed my defensive line was quite stretched and I was wondering why I was struggling so much to contain him. I looked over at my dugout and sure enough there was the reason. In that time Sass had managed to Knock Out 5 of my players. It was amazing! It seemed like every time one of my players fell over they decided they had, had enough and played dead (har har har) so someone would carry them off the pitch. The game continued and in the last couple of turns of the first half I was left with four players on the pitch. Sass pressed his advantage but did leave the ball carrier open enough for me to sneak a blitz in with my star Wight (thank god he was still on the pitch). He turned over the ball and then remained standing after Sass' blitz action the following turn. It was at this point I did something really stupid. I had a Ghoul up field in a tacklezone and I had the choice to dodge out with my Wight, who was surrounded by Snowmen, or pass to the Ghoul. There was only one square to dodge too and it was in two tackle zones. I was afraid of tripping and dropping the ball right in front of my endzone so I decided to pass. I needed a six and didn't get it so instead I fumbled the ball. In hindsight it would have been far better to try dodging out then passing or even carrying the ball and dodging a Ghoul away in support to protect against a blitz. But ah well, such is the benefit of hindsight. Sass picked up the ball and scored. By that time I had six players knocked out and one injured and just to add insult to injury Nuffle decided to let only one of my knocked out players wake up. The rest remained snoozing. So after an ineffectual last turn in my first half we moved on to the second half.

I had managed to wake up enough players to get ten men on the field. I was optimistic about this. I knew I could easily score with ten players and if I could score quickly I could wake up more men and get a full squad on the field. So we set up and I got ready for some aggressive play.

The second half started good with my Wights sending two of Sass' players off the field bruised and bloody within the first two turns. Things were looking up for the Stiffs and it seemed as though they wanted to redeem themselves. This it appeared was wishful thinking. Sass decided it was time to bring out the Wizard and dropped a Fireball on open ground in the middle of my cage. Of course it was only fitting that the Fireball caught my ball carrier and halted my advance. I had to bring players back to protect the ball and that was all Sass needed to bring the weight of numbers to bear...

...hang on! I said I got two off the field and I started with ten players. So surely that means I had the advantage of numbers!?!

Well you'd think so wouldn't you. But as soon as my drive stalled Sass got a few knock downs from Blocks and guess what happened? My guys started getting carried off the field again. One thing led to another and I had only about four players left again (possibly less, I can't remember). Then Sass managed to casually catch a bouncing ball with his Norse Werewolf (I think I may have sworn at this stage) and prance in for a second Touchdown. The only thing worse than finishing the second half 2-Nil down after that game was seeing that Sass still had one of his two Re-Rolls left. His rolling had been so good that in eight turns he had used a Re-Roll only once.

So in closing; a very forgettable game though it certainly taught me what it has felt like for some of the other coaches to play my team when I'm having a lucky day. I've picked up the odd thing about what I could do better next time and will try to put that into effect. I can only hope that in my next game the luck is a bit more balanced and I can keep on track to making the Play-Offs.

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