Saturday, 28 March 2015

Capital Shield!

As usual I'm a bit late with this post but I didn't want to leave it out because it was a great weekend away and I think well worth promoting. Capital Shield weekend was on the 28th Feb and 1st March in Wellington and is their annual Blood Bowl romp. The tournament this year was held in JJ Murphy's Irish pub on Cuba St; a respectable establishment with many choices in cold (and warm) beer and fine stodgy food. My complements to Steve the Welshman who picked a good venue for this year's festivities.

The Capital Shield comprises an interesting build requirement; you have 1,100,000 gold to spend on your team and then you can allocate Star Player Points to your team according to a table based on average team win rates in tournaments around the world. The table looked like this:

This year I am trying to step outside my comfort zone a little and play Elf teams to learn a bit more about the 'dash' side of the game. For Capital Shield I decided I'd give High Elves a try and hence had 42 Points to spend. Seeing as 6 points are needed for your first skill the 42point total fit neatly into 7 skills across the team so I set out my roster like this:

I've not had much experience with High Elves...well I've not really had much experience with Elves at all, so I wasn't quite sure about the build but the best way to learn is with practice so down the rabbit hole we dove.

Game the First!

Game 1 was against Phil who was one of the locals attending. I found out that Phil was the one to recently delivered me a humiliating defeat in our on-line Cyanide league at the hands of his Goblins. Once becoming aware of this I was very keen for revenge. Phil was playing slippery Slann which would be an interesting challenge for me to try and contain them with the Elves. I worked hard at trying to create a double cage around the ball but the game soon deteriorated into a free-for-all across the whole field with frogs and Elves both desperately trying to intercept and pass back down field. Thankfully for me in this game the dice went very much one way and Phil's poor Slann limped off the field at full time 3 points down to the Elves and 4 players in the casualty dugout. Despite his awful dice Phil was an outstanding sportsman throughout the whole game and from memory was one of the two players I gave a 10/10 in sports scores.

Final score - 3-0 (4-1)

Game Dos!

Game 2 was against Dean; another Wellington local and after some discussion I learned is the same person I met in the Cyanide final last season with my Lizardmen. Dean had brought his Wood Elves to Capital Shield so it was going to be another interesting game in seeing how I go about containing an extremely agile team with my dancing Elves. The first half went pretty well with us coming out about even but then I lost control of the match in the second half. From memory I had a couple of poor kick-off results and a couple of double '1's at critical moments and the Woodies quickly capitalised on the situation. This game was a harsh lesson for me on how quickly a game can turn when playing against a high teir team and a good player if you don't play good defense. Although the game was a good lesson for me I can't say it was particularly enjoyable; I gave Dean a pretty low sports score primarily due to complaining about his dice so much (which actually seemed pretty lucky to me) and complaining that he was robbed in our Cyanide league final which I had won due him playing a risky undefended backfield. None the less some good lessons came out of this one and a well played game by Dean with a deserving win.

Final score - 2-4 (1-2)

Game Triple!

Game number 3 was against Ian who was playing his Dark Elves. This was my most enjoyable game of the tournament primarily because it was so close. The dice were about even, Ian and I seemed about an even match in playing ability, and it was another game of Elves vs. Elves so the whole field was an open playground for our players. We traded touchdowns in the first half and then in the second I scored first with about 4 or 5 turns available for Ian to score; heaps of time for Dark Elves so I was sweating a lot. Ian desperately tried to push up field while I desperately tried to stop him and in the end Nuffle decided today that he would let the game go my way. This was a fantastically close game and it really did come down to just an unlucky roll or two for the win. A great game and a great player.

Final score - 2-1 (2-0)

Game Square!

Game number 4 was against Brandon, a fellow High Elf player but with a slightly different build to me. Instead of Dodge on his Blitzers he had taken Tackle and he had taken only 3 Catchers instead of 4 with Block on all of them from memory. I can't remember where he put the extra coin, maybe on another Re-Roll? Two turns in this game was looking really good, quite challenging with pretty evenly matched players so I was hoping for a real nailbiter. Unfortunately this was not to be as after turn 2 the dice all went one way. We all have these games occasionally where you roll nothing but '1's and Skulls and every kick-off result seems to go against you. There's not really much you can do other than try to smile your way through the pain. Brandon was a fantastic sportsman throughout in tolerating my rather dour mood and despite the lack of any real chance to even compete in this game I did mostly enjoy it. Ah well, nothing can be done, on to the next.

Final Score - 1-4 (1-2)

Game V!

Game number 5 was against Andrew's beautifully converted jungle Orcs. Andrew asked not to be photographed which is why his head is cut out of the picture. Straight off the bat I want to say that Andrew was the very best sportsman I played all weekend. Not to bury the lead but had he not reminded me to use a Re-Roll at the end of the first half for a 1 turn score attempt it's highly likely this game would have resulted in a draw or possibly even a loss for me. In addition to this niether of us realised I played the first drive with 12 players but when we did realise Andrew didn't complain at all but rather just moved along with the game. He was absolutely my number 1 sports for the weekend.

This was my first match up against a bash team and I was surprised it had taken me this long considering the number of bash teams at the event. It certainly did prove to be a change of pace; Andrew received in the first half and despite me trying to delay him he ground me down to score in his last turn. I then managed a chain push on the last turn of the first half to get one of my catchers in to score. Had Andrew not reminded me to use a Re-Roll on one of my blocks this would not have happened. Then in the second half I scored early and left Andrew with about 6 turns to reply. He repeated the grind from his second half which I handled better this time but still not particularly well. In the last turn I crowded his ball carrier with as many players as I could in the hope that he would fail a block or a dodge roll as he had no Re-Rolls left by this stage. As luck would have it his first block was a Both Down/Skull so due to bad dice he lost his last chance to equalise. All in all this was definitely the most enjoyable game I played all weekend and Andrew was top sport by a country mile.

Final Score - 2-1 (0-0)

Game Hutchy!

Hutchy is a pretty well known player around the Australasian tournament circuit. He's your typical loud mouth, extroverted, alcoholic Aussie. And because of that it's impossible not to like him. When I found I had drawn Hutchy for the last round I was both happy and sad. Happy because Hutchy is a very good player so you always learn a lot more about yourself when playing those better than you. On the other hand I was sad because I knew my last game of the weekend was not going to be an easy one. In the end I didn't really have to worry as the dice went a similar way to my game against Brandon. Hutchy had a Blitz for the first kick off result which quickly led to one of my players being injured by his Goblin Chainsaw which set the tone for the next few turns. By turn 2 I had lost a Blitzer and a Catcher to injury and one other (I forget which position) to a KO. I tried to quickly score in order to get my player out of the KO bin and force Hutchy to use his Bribes early but his Gobbos were having none of it. The whole game went one way until about turn 14 by which time it was far too late. As always Hutchy was a great sportsman and despite my frustration at having two of these games in one tournament I did learn a bit from this game about positioning by watching Hutchy play.

Final Score - 0-3 (0-6)

So overall not a fantastic tournament in terms of results for the High Elves. I was a bit frustrated to get two games of one way dice but them's the breaks. The silver lining was that I got to play some fantastic people, I also got to meet some people I've played on-line and it's always nice to put a face to a name...or username in this case. Not the best start to the year of playing Elves but some lessons learned for the next round.

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