Monday, 10 February 2014

Capital Shield

Well seeing as Capital Shield was over a week ago I thought it about time I finally did a quick write up. I can't really remember much about the individual games anymore or any particular highlights or lowlights so all I can really say about how the Embers performed is that they did quite well for Humans. They came out slightly above 50% with 3 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses placing them in 7th overall. An honourable finish for a Human team I believe as they're not exactly one of the top tier teams.

I took the Humans to try and teach myself a bit more about team positioning and tenacity. They're known as the jack of all trades but master of none so while they can play almost any kind of game you can't rely on them to actually be competent at anything. This means you have to get your positioning right and you have to keep fighting for the ball and take some risks with passing, pick-ups, dodges and one die blocks.

While I struggled a bit with my first couple of games because I was too defensive I soon learned to throw caution to the wind and pitch my players into the game in a desperate struggle to fumble the ball into the endzone. I really enjoyed this style of play as almost every roll required at least a little bit of risk or a hard decision on whether or not you should use a re-roll. I found myself charging through any gaps I could find in a reckless attempt to get my Blitzers on the ball while my Linemen frantically (and unsuccessfully in most cases) tried to pin down opposition players to stop them tackling my Blitzers. It was a whole lot of fun and truly opened my eyes to the principle of using an aggressive offense as your main defensive strategy. On that note I must say a big thank you to our resident Hummie coach here in Christchurch; Simon "Welshy" MacDonald who suggested using Break Tackle on the Ogre. This proved to be a truly winning strategy! In all honesty the number of times my Ogre threw a block during this tournament could be counted on two hands but the sight of having an Ogre barrelling down on their ball carrier was enough for some opponents to take some risky actions which would in the end cost a turnover in their own half and allow me the opportunity to try (emphasis on try) and scoop the ball up for a quick Touchdown. At the very least the Ogre kept the play in the opposition half and turned my opponent's thoughts away from scoring and onto defending the ball. In addition to all of that I can't put into words how valuable it is to be able to move your Ogre with your cage when on offense. Having a strength 5 player holding up your cage corner is such a relief for the weakling strength 3 Humans.

So overall an awesome event; thoroughly enjoyed the Blood Bowling and the company wasn't too bad either :) I'm stoked with 7th place as I feel it was a hard fought placing for me and I also feel like I've learned a lot from playing these guys even just for one tournament. Most of all I'm stoked that I managed to get a full 16 man team plus Ogre painted in time for the event. These models have been sitting in the garage for about a decade so it feels like a huge achievement to have the team painted finally.

The East End Embers

Though I thoroughly enjoyed playing them this will be the last outing for the Embers in a long while. I'm on a mission to get my teams painted and to try new playing styles so I already have another team in my sights. The Melbourne team championships are in March and as part of my New Year's Resolution I want to have my Halfling team painted and ready to play. Here are the Meadow Hills Half-Pints dragged out of their decade long slumber, a little worse for wear, but ready for a fresh coat of paint and a crazy, fun weekend away in Melbourne.

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