It's not the 7's we would normally expect from Wellington, it's Blood Bowl 7's!!!
I'm a bit behind in this update as work has been extremely busy but I'm finally catching up. On the 1st of August I attended the inaugural Wellington Blood Bowl 7's held in the convention room at JJ Murphy's on Cuba St.
There were a total of 10 teams competing on the day and only one double-up with myself and another coach playing Lizardmen. From memory the teams were:
- Wood Elves
- High Elves
- Lizards x2
Obviously in a game of 7's the rules for selecting teams are going to differ a little so here's a quick run down of the conditions:
- Max 4 positionals
- Re-rolls cost double
- Must have between 7-11 players
- No Star Players, Mercs, Special Play Cards or Extra Training
- 90k to spend on skills in addition to your 600k but no Leader skill
The game uses a smaller board but teams must set up back from the line of scrimmage so you still need to move 13 squares to the end zone. Additionally there are only 6 turns in a half and of course there are only 7 players on the pitch from each team.
It was all a bit last minute for me so from the teams I had I just grabbed the one I thought would perform best in the game. Currently my Undead are still in Christchurch so I had a choice of Humans, Halflings or Lizardmen. With the movement 8, Stunty Skinks I thought they had a chance to be pretty good at this game so I picked my Lizardman; the Bayou Biters, to compete and went with this build:
- 3 Saurus with Block
- 1 Unskilled Saurus
- 1 Skink with Sure Hands
- 3 Unskilled Skinks
- 2 Cheerleaders
- 2 Assistant Coaches
I wasn't quite sure how these guys would do, it was a toss up between taking an agility 4, strength 3 Skink and totally unskilled Saurus or taking some more reliable Saurus but without that agility 4 ball carrier who can take a few hits when others try to sack him. I've had a bit of tough luck with dice recently in Blood Bowl so I think that was what turned me towards the more defensive approach of skilling up my Saurus. Was it the right choice or the wrong one? Let's find out...
Game 1: Andrew's Goblins.
I played Andrew's Orcs at Capital Shield and he was an awesome guy to play so I was really looking forward to this game. Andrew had a full 11 players on his roster with a Troll, Pogoer, Looney and 8 regular Goblins. He poured all his skill points into his pogoer to give him +1 agility, Block and Side Step. I received first half and ran a Skink upfield down my right wing. Unfortunately I forgot Goblin Pogoers have Leap and my cage around my ball carrier was too close. Andrew's Pogoer leapt in for the one dice block, with only a 33% chance of knocking down my star Skink I was still pretty confident, but sure enough the Pogoer not only knocked the Skink down but also injured him and then picked up the ball and bounced out of my cage before dancing downfield to score. I managed to equalise before the second half but when Andrew received for the second half he just bounced his Pogoer through my team and scored again. I had a chance to pull out a draw before the game finished but I forgot each half was only 6 turns and didn't move a Skink into position to score in the last turn. Final score: 1-2 Cas 1-1. Andrew was once again a fantastic sportsman and I really enjoyed the game.
Game 2: Dawid's High Elves.
I think this might be the first time I've played Dawid. I've certainly seen him around the Wellington Blood Bowl scene but I can't remember if we've ever crossed paths at tournaments. Dawid was playing his High Elves and unfortunately I can't remember exactly what kind of build he had. I believe it was 2 Blitzers, 2 Catchers and 3 Linemen. What skills he picked completely escapes me. This was a really close game, I received first half and formed a good cage but Dawid managed to force a blitz in their and knock the ball loose. It scattered advantageously for the Elves and a desperate scramble ensued. We spent the whole half picking up the ball and then sacking each other's ball carrier. I managed to hold him out till half-time but that was my receiving half. In the second half I kicked to Dawid and I managed to hold up a pretty good defence until the last turn. Dawid had his ball carrier in range but needed a blitz and four 2+ rolls to get the touchdown. The blitz came off well and then it was just a matter of not rolling 1's. Dawid banged out the four rolls needed and scored in the last turn to win the match. Awesome game with a final score of 0-1 Cas 0-1.
Game 3 - Liam's Ogres.
Another familiar face for game 3. Liam was one of our team at the State Champs in March and I also played him in Capital Shield a couple of years ago against his Orcs. This was going to be an interesting game from the outset as Liam could out muscle me with his Ogres and out dodge me with his Snotlings, but if I could manage to put a few of the Snotlings on the ground I could hopefully get a numbers advantage. I didn't make very good notes for this game as I've just written down that I self destructed in turn two of the first half after receiving but I didn't put why. I think I rolled up a few double skulls on my Saurus and with no re-rolls it meant a quick turnover. I managed to hold Liam back for the first half but he was receiving for the second. Liam mashed his way downfield until he was one turn away from scoring and then his team decided it was their turn to self-destruct. The Ogres decided to Bone-Head themselves and the Snotlings decided successfully dodging wasn't all that important. The ball came loose and my star Skink picked it up and ran the length of the field to score. Rough game with the dice both ways and it really could have been anyone's game. Final score 1-0 Cas 1-0 (yes that's right, only 1 Snotling injured!)
Game 4 - Matt's Amazons.
One of the great things about this event was getting to know the Wellington locals. Matt is another player I have seen around the Wellington Blood Bowl scene but had yet to play. He had brought his Amazons and from memory he had 4 Blitzers and 3 Linewomen. The Blitzers had a mix of skills including Guard, Tackle...and a couple of others I don't remember (I really should write this stuff down). Matt received in the first half and set up a cage to move downfield. The first half was a bit of a forgone conclusion as I finished 3 of my 6 turns early by rolling double skulls on my first block. Matt also had a double skull and some tough rolls but ultimately with me only really playing every second turn there wasn't a whole lot I could do to stop him. The second half started better with me scoring by about turn 4. I don't remember exactly who I scored with but by the looks of the photo above it was with a Saurus! I do remember that I got a very fortunate bounce onto a Saurus and then I guess it must have been him who stomped downfield for the touchdown. I managed to hold Matt off till the final whistle to finish 1-1 Cas 0-0.
Game 5 - Barry's Lizards!
It had to be inevitable that the two Lizard teams would end up playing each other. Our teams were a mirror of each other in players but where I had gone for the defensive skill set Barry had gone for the more aggressive approach with the agility 4, strength 3 Skink. In the first half Barry received and started the half with a riot. Once the riot subsided there was nothing particularly crazy about this half as he pushed upfield for a turn 4 or 5 score. I then received for the second half and did exactly the same...
It was maybe a little boring but the most logical outcome for a mirror match. Final score was 1-1 Cas 0-0.
So overall not a good showing from the Lizards. From what I saw of the tables throughout the event the high agility teams tended to dominate the tournament. The Chaos team and the Norse team made a really good showing getting up amongst the the higher teir rankings but it really seemed to be the teams with agility 4 players and higher movement that managed to get enough points on the board before the clock ran out of time. I think next year I'll be bringing the Elves.
That's a wrap for the Wellington 7's 2015. It was a really enjoyable event and I take my hat off to Steve the coordinator. In my old age I'm beginning to find two day events a little tedious so having a 1 dayer with 5 short, sharp games was a very refreshing way of playing Blood Bowl. I'm definitely keen for more of these kinds of events and it appears that Steve has plans for running more further down the track. So hopefully you will see another non-conventional Blood Bowl tournament report somewhere in the near future, but until then...
Eat more burgers!!!