On 7th June a group of hardy adventurers headed to the Oracle in Reading – not to ask deep and mysterious questions of an ancient pothead, but to park and wander to Eclectic Games for a Blood Bowl fixture. Every Wednesday a group meet upstairs at this lovely games shop, sharing a room with Magic players, and as a between-season treat they got to host visitors from Swindon and Wiltshire Blood Bowl league.
We used the Eurobowl rules to make teams, and apart from avoiding Dwarf/CD v Stunty games, everyone could choose the race they wanted to use without restrictions.
SAWBBL v Reading
Skaven v Humans
Skaven v Goblins
Nurgle v Nurgle
Orcs v Humans
Lizards v Humans
Orc v Undead
Individuals were approximately matched up by order of experience. My Skaven took on the guy who came 2nd in the Reading league, though he did that with Dwarfs rather than Humans – he hadn’t played with them before! This may have led to some non-optimal choices – he only had 11 players, and 5 rerolls, and as well as this took Guard rather than Block on the Ogre, despite being allowed a Double, and this cost a couple of turnovers during the game.
To keep things interesting I sportingly rolled 2 lots of snake eyes in my first 2 turns on gutter runner dodges, and then one a bit later in the game, but managed to pull out a 3-1 win after he received and then scored quite quickly in the first half. Possibly one of the hangovers of playing Dwarf was that he did man-mark quite a lot of my players, leading to lots of free blocks. My armour/injury dice were not good enough to make his lack of players count, but his did spend a lot of time on the floor!
Next to me was skaven v goblins, a new player in our league returning to the game after an eight-year break, against what seemed like a fairly new player who was armed with the full complement of rulebooks! He was using the new doom diver, who did pull off a throw team-mate score. There was also a slight look of confusion pre-game as rolls were made for new refs and exciting pitches, leading to a wall around the pitch and crowd pushes not being allowed! Despite this the skaven emerged triumphant. 2 games to nil!
Also making a competitive debut was our lizardman coach, with a shiny new team, who started well but then suffered from some hot casualty dice on the other side, including from an Ogre who made the wise decision of taking block, and ended up with fewer players on the pitch than would be ideal. 2-1!Some of the nicest figures featured in the classic Orc v Human matchup, with some marvellous stripy trousers, but the quality of the painting wasn’t enough to save them from a battering, as SAWBBL went 3-1 in games, and meaning that we couldn’t lose the fixture.
Two of the more experienced coaches were using Nurgle, and had a possible predictable 0-0 draw, as Cthulhu on one side took on the more traditional Nurgle team. The Swindon beast spent most of the first half on the floor being stupid, but in the second half we weren’t able to turn a numbers advantage into actual points. 3.5 – 1.5, a team win for Swindon!
The final game was an exciting one, with two recent spoon-winners battling out a 2-2 draw and sharing the honours in that match, but consolidating the overall fixture win 4-2.
Thanks very much to Nat for inviting us over – a very different setup to our league, as we play our games at people’s houses, so nice to see a more traditional games night. The games were played in a great spirit, and hopefully we’ll be able to host the return fixture in a few months’ time, possibly with more players on either side.
Fixtures like this are what make team tournaments (World Cup, Eurobowl, NATC, UKTC, Scrumpy, ARBBL, Lutece, Tilea, lots of others) so great – I thoroughly recommend heading to one if you possibly can, even if you need to be a mercenary and join a team!
Happy to get match reports from any of the games where I was a bit sketchy on the details – just comment below!