Monday, 14 March 2016

Capital Shield 2016

It's that time of year again where fanatical sports geeks from all around the country converge on Wellington for a weekend of beer and Blood Bowl. Gamers came from Auckland to Christchurch and everywhere in between to catch up, drink excessively, talk smack and somewhere in between play some games of Blood Bowl. While I'm having to cut back a bit on my travelling to gaming events this year being in Wellington meant this was one I could actually attend without an exorbitant cost.

The venue this year was The Grand on Courtney Place. We had a sweet upstairs function area with it's own bar and a balcony overlooking the main street. It was a whole lot roomier and breezier than last year's venue as well which was a welcome change as the upstairs area at JJ Murphys tends to get quite warm when it's filled up with sweaty geeks.

I had been travelling all week for work leading into the weekend and was absolutely buggered so I took my Halflings with the intention of not really taking things very seriously and just focusing on having a laugh. The build allowed me a 1,100,000 gp team with 51 Star Player Points spread amongst the players. The rules stated your first skill must be a normal skill but your second could be a double, so this is what I took:

Meadow Hills Half-Pints

Zara the Slayer
2 Treemen with Grab and Block (16SPP each)
3 Halflings with Side Step (6SPP each)
9 Halflings
2 Re-Rolls
1 Fan Factor
Halfling Master Chef

I had yet to achieve a tournament win with my Flings so I was hoping to get a bit more luck than I had with them in Melbourne when I last used them. This is how my games went:

Game Uno - Toffer: Nurgle

My first game was against someone I hadn't seen or played in a long, long time. Chris (otherwise known as Toffer) had managed to escape the clutches of his loving family to spend a weekend in Wellington playing Blood Bowl. Chris is an all round good guy who I was looking forward to sharing a few pints with but to get a game with him really made my day.

The game started a bit shakey, neither of us were familiar with the Nurgle rules as I've never played them and Chris hadn't managed to get much practice with them before the tournament (no one really plays Blood Bowl in Marlborough where Chris is from) so we kept forgetting about the Disturbing Presence and Foul Appearance. The Tentacles however we were very much aware of and they were a royal pain in the butt for the poor little Halflings who just couldn't escape Chris' tentacly grasp. We managed to draw even on score about half way through the second half and Chris had 4 or 5 turns left to take the game. Unfortunately for Chris' boys this is where he got Nuffled. A Thrown Rock on the kick-off result took out Chris' Sure Hands Pestigor playing Full Back and then a couple of turns of unlucky dice for the Nurgle and lucky dice for the Halflings meant the Flings were 2-1 up and the Nurgle had no time left to score.

Final Score: 2-1 (2-5) cas

Game Dos - Dawid: Dark Elf

Game two was against Dawid's Dark Elves who schooled me in Game 6 of last year's Greenstone Cup. With high confidence coming off a lucky win I was hoping this time would be different.

Unfortunately it wasn't as Dawid out positioned and outplayed the poor Flings, but I wasn't too disappointed with how the wee guys went. I was close to scoring a couple of times but suffered a double 1 on a go for it the first time and then a double Skull to blitz away the second time with Zara who then promptly failed her Loner roll. So while I walked away with the loss I was still feeling pretty confident about finding another win if I could just get a little more luck with the dice.

Final Score: 0-2 (1-2) cas

Game Tres - Phil: High Elves

Game three was against a familiar face. I always enjoy playing Phil, he always brings a great attitude to his games. This game started out well with a point on the board thanks to Zara and only two casualties by the end of the half with one of the Elves also in the Dead and Injured bin. Unfortunately I was unaware that I was about to be Nuffled. At the start of the second half I lost 6 Halflings to casualty or knockout within two turns. Phil got the equaliser on the second turn of the second half and then got a Blitz! on the following kick off where he proceeded to put 4 more Halflings in the Dead and Injured bin over the next two turns. In the end there just wasn't much I could do to hold him back with so few players on the pitch and he ran in another two touchdowns.

Final Score: 1-3 (1-9) cas

Game Cuatro - Liam: Humans

Oops, I forgot to get a game photo of me playing Liam so above is his team set up for the beauty pageant. Liam, like Dawid, is a fellow Wellingtonian (well I still count myself as a Cantabrian but I live in Wellington now) so I've managed to get the odd game in against him and he's always a good challenge to play. With both of us taking lower tier teams I was looking forward to how this was going to play out.

This game was pretty much one way dice for both halves. Liam's dice were on fire for the first half as be squashed and kicked my Flings off the pitch before running in a touchdown. In the second half my dice were hot while Liam's were struggling (I think he rolled 4 Boneheads in a row on his Ogre at one stage) so what was left of my little midgets ploughed downfield to put Zara over the line in the last turn for a hard won draw.

Final Score: 1-1 (1-7) cas

Game Cinco - Nick: Underworld

Games against Nick are always a good challenge. If he were playing a high tier team I wouldn't rate my chances much of winning but seeing as he was also playing a lower tier team I thought this game could be really close...and it kind of was.

As was expected Nick used his Claw Troll to try and take down my Treemen early, and as was expected I tried to take down his Troll early with a Halfling gang-foul. I got some lucky dice and by turn 2 the Troll was out of the game and things were looking grim for Nick.

I tried to stop Nick from scoring by marking and fouling all his catchers but I just couldn't keep them down and a string of good rolls put the ball in the hands of one of his Goblins before running it in. Not unfair given the luck I had in injuring his Troll. Not a problem though as I was receiving second half and managed to run Zara upfield into a scoring position. I was pretty happy with how my cage was looking as Nick would need uphill blocks to take Zara down no matter which way he tried. That was unfortunately my downfall as Nick blocked and blitzed Zara into the crowd with two uphill blocks (using a re-roll in the process). Zara got injured and the ball came free for Nick to run in a second touchdown. It was all over from there with not much I could really do other than dream about what might have been.

Final Score: 0-2 (3-5) cas

Game Seis - Sassmo: Vampires

I should probably point out that from the start this game might have gone seriously the other way. Sassmo had a chainsaw in his team who in the first turn injured one of my Treemen. I noticed a turn later that Sass had 12 players on the pitch and suggested we restart as I would like a chance to get my Treeman back. Sass being the gentlemanly sportsperson he is agreed and second time round my Treeman only got stunned while Zara immediately sent the Chainsaw off the pitch into the knockout bin. After that it was a bit of a grinding game where I tried to take out all of Sassmo's Thralls while he suffered his Vampires rolling 1's at exactly the wrong moment. Zara managed to run in a touchdown and a loose ball was luckily picked up by a thrown Halfling to get 2 points on the board. While that was happening the pile of Thralls was slowly growing in both the Knocked Out and Dead and Injured dugouts. It was a fun game because Sass is such a good sportsman but it left me wishing he had a bit more luck with the dice.

Final Score: 2-0 (5-3) cas

I really enjoyed Capital Shield this year. I took the Halflings with the intention of not being too serious about the whole thing, and while I was starting to believe that dreams could be possible after my first round win, I was soon brought back down to Earth in rounds 2 and 3. After that I really relaxed for the second day and just took what the dice threw at me. Zara being pushed into the crowd in my game against Nick was a hard pill to swallow but Nick was really good about it and bought me a beer afterwards which helped me remember my 'Don't be too serious' mantra and get back into the fun of things. Overall I really enjoyed myself and I'm looking forward to my next Blood Bowl event in August at the Australasian Team Champs. The Mainland Midgets are returning for a second shot at becoming Team Champions so keep an eye out for them come August.

In other news I'm not quite where I hoped to be with my Kitsune Escort ships for Natcon 2016 but I'm not far off. I've only got the window frames to paint and then last touch-ups and I'm all finished. I had hoped to get some photos this weekend but as always with me life has been so busy that I haven't had much of a chance. I'm happy with where I am though, just over a week to go till Natcon so I'm confident I'll get them finished in time. I don't think I'll have my bunker completed which is the last of my Dystopian models to paint, but all-in-all I'm happy with how many of the unpainted models I managed to get through over the last 4 months.

That's all for another post. I've got a few burgers to review and a book I've recently finished reading (not a Horus Heresy novel) which I need to post up so check back towards the end of the week and I'll have something new for you to read.

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