Friday, 18 September 2015

Greenstone Cup 2015

The Greenstone Cup is over for another year and the Av'ndale Dandies humiliated all competition to bring the cup back to Wellington!...well ok not quite. This was in fact my worst Greenstone cup placing ever and I managed to achieve it with a tier 1 team; Wood Elves.

At the start of the year I posted about 2015 being the year of the Elf for me and how I was going to try and step outside of my comfort zone. The aim was to play the four different Elf races in Blood Bowl in four separate tournaments and learn more about the 'dash' style of play. Wood Elves were the last team I needed to play so I thought why not bring them along to Greenstone where I think they could be quite competitive.

The build guidelines for Greenstone are 1,100,000 gp with 6 skills (5 normal skills and 1 'double roll' skill) with all the regular caveats around inducements and Star Players etc. This was the team I took:

And as part of playing my last game with Elves I wanted to try and finish painting my Elf team. I didn't quite get there but I got pretty close. This is them:

I'm very happy with the monochrome effect and I like the purple contrast. I think they'll look really good once I've finished painting the purple and the bases.

So anyway that was my team and my models, but what about my opponents? Well settle down with a tea, coffee, beer or whatever you enjoy drinking as I wax lyrically about my tale of woe...

Game 1: Ingwenya Lizardmen (Helouis)

Final Score 3-0 (Cas 2-4)

The Dandies made a good start to the tournament against Helouis' Lizardmen. The game was looking a bit concerning in the first turn when Helouis sent two of my linemen to the casualty bin but I managed to score quickly and get my reserve on the field to bring my team up to 10 players. A lucky sack on Helouis' Skink ball carrier gave me another quick point before the end of the first half. In the second half the Elves came up with another lucky sack to bring the score up to 3-0. Then by turn 15 Helouis was looking like she would at last get a very well deserved touchdown. All her Skinks had to do was complete a hand-off. But it seemed even that was too much to ask from her dice as the Skink fumbled the ball into the crowd. The ball then got pitched 11 squares across the field right next to a waiting Elf catcher to threw it down field to stall out the last turn of the game.

Helouis is one of those people who maintains a happy and positive outlook on things no matter how bad the dice are rolling and hence is always a great person to play. I think she deserved a lot more luck than she got in this game but I was glad to see she placed pretty well in the end which indicates that the dice did turn round for her later in the tournament.

Game 2: Holy Harlots Amazons (Nick)

Final Score 1-0 (Cas 2-4)

For the second game I moved to the top table to play Nick and his Amazon team. I forgot to take a photo of the game in progress so I just snapped a shot of Nick's team when we packed up. This game didn't go so well for the Dandies. I received in the first half and ran the ball up-field into a scoring position. To follow on from the previous game's early casualties turn 2 left a lineman dead and Nick managed to knock the ball loose from my catcher. Things weren't so bad though as it looked like a relatively easy pick up next turn and then in for the touchdown. Unfortunately not so as Nick had one last player to move and with her he strung together a hand full of unlikely rolls to dodge away, pass the ball and catch it with another player right in the middle of a ready-built cage. It was all pretty much one way after that as the Amazons ground their way towards the end-zone. Nick had so much Guard in his team that the only chances I had to strip the ball out of his cage required two dice, up-hill blocks. One of these left a Wardancer as a casualty while the other Wardancer was taken down by the Amazons on turn 11. A blitz at the start of the second half allowed me to get a point on the board but the game was pretty one-sided overall.

Game 3: Fifty Shades Dark Elves (Dave)

Final Score 2-0 (Cas 1-2)

Third up for the day was Dave and his Dark Elves. The Dandies did pretty well here but I must say there was a disparity of dice. Dave's weren't great and mine were pretty good. I received first and after a very unlucky early two dice block I was left scrambling to recover. I managed to get the ball to touchdown on turn 5 with a riot having delayed the game a little. On the kick off one of my catchers chased the kick and managed to injure himself tripping over his shoelaces but otherwise the first half was pretty uneventful. The second half started with a thrown rock which injured one of my Wardancers but thankfully the team kept it together and managed to turnover the ball and score again in turn 14.

Game 4: Ravensburg Rhinos Undead (Steve)

Final Score 1-2 (Cas 0-5)

This game started well enough with the Dandies scoring early in the first half after receiving. I was hoping to stall a bit but things were looking a bit too risky to do that. Once he received Steve kept basing all my players in order to grind them down. Unfortunately I wasn't having much luck in dodging away from him but thankfully for me Steve was also having no luck with his block dice or armour rolls. I delayed Steve as much as I could to get him to risk exposing his ball carrier for a blitz and sure enough my chance came on turn 7 to strip the ball out. Nuffle had different ideas however as my Strip Ball Wardancer leapt in and rolled a Both Down followed by a re-roll with the same result against Steve's Block Ghoul. Steve then flattened all my standing players and scored before the half time whistle. In the second half Steve received and just ground his way down-field, but this time his dice had turned exceptionally hot and my team fled to the casualty and KO bin. I had to take risks and was very lucky to knock the ball loose on a two dice uphill block and then pick it up in two tackle zones before making a pass to an open player. However just as Nuffle giveth he also taketh away as Steve rolled the 6 he needed for an interception and his Mummy plucked the ball from mid-air. That was the nail in the coffin as Steve stomped in another Touchdown and I was left with only 4 players on the pitch.

Game 5: Welcome to the Freak Show Chaos Pact (Gil)

Final Score 1-2 (Cas 0-4)

Another game that started well but quickly went pear-shaped. I sent some catchers down my left which drew a number of Gil's players away from the centre then blitzed through the middle and repositioned almost my entire team behind Gil's front line with a good screen to stop him getting to the ball. The Elves it seemed were working just how they were supposed to; with speed and agility. It was too risky to stall so I scored on turn 3 and kicked off to Gil. Gil's team formed a similar cage to Nick with enough Guard to make it difficult for me to strip the ball out. I learned from my previous game however and based his Guard players forcing him to cage up without them. I got a good opportunity on turn 6 where I leapt in to blitz the ball carrier however my Wardancer failed the leap roll and I had no re-rolls left (they were all gone by turn 4 *sigh*). My Wardancer in his incompetence managed to break his neck in the dive and then the following roll Gil broke my other Wardancer with his Ogre. Gil touched down before the end of the half as my players started fleeing to the injury and KO dugout as game 4 began to repeat itself all over again. By turn 12, due to having so few players on the pitch I advised Gil I was just going to shift the remnants of my team up the other end of the field and wait for him to score so I could attempt a 1 turn touchdown. So we called it a touchdown to Gil and save ourselves 4 more turns of Gil shifting his cage slowly forward. We set up for the 1-turn touchdown attempt where Gil promptly rolled a Blitz and smashed my front line. In the end I just didn't have enough players to get the chain push going for the one turn score and it was all over bar the crying.

Game 6: Wainuiomata Widowmakers Dark Elves (Dawid)

Final Score 1-2 (Cas 0-2)

This game was madness from the very beginning. By turn 2 I had a dead lineman and my cage had been busted wide open with 3 or 4 of my players in danger of being pushed into the crowd. Thankfully my Wardancers came to play this time and stripped the ball out of the Dark Elf cage which bounced free for my catcher to run in on turn 4. Dawid received the kick-off and set about decimating my Elves. It was one of the most bizarre things I have ever seen. For about 8 or 9 turns he was rolling 10's, 11's and 12's on the armour rolls only to roll 2's, 3's and 4's on the injury rolls. So thankfully my players weren't leaving the field but the number of players left dazed, confused and scattered across the pitch was making it hard for me to contain the Dark Elves. The remainder of the game played out similar to the previous 2. Dawid scored on turn 8 of the first half and then received for the second. He caged up and set about pushing down-field. I blocked him off for the most part and forced him to switch from one side of the field to the other but in the end he pushed through for the touchdown on turn 16. I had to try the 1 turn score again and this time it came perilously close to working but I failed a 'Go for it' roll when trying to move my ball retriever closer to the line of scrimmage for a pass.

So that brought the tournament to a close. It was an extremely disappointing finish for me as I struggled ineffectually to get to grips with playing Elves. In all honesty I have not enjoyed Blood Bowl very much at all this year in playing the pointy ear teams and have considered taking a break from the game many times. I think at the moment we'll just let things settle a bit and try playing some more bashy teams to see if I can reignite my interest in the game. With all the other models to paint and games to play however taking a break might not be such a bad thing.

As always thanks for reading and until next time remember...

Catchy slogan!!!

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