04 February 2014

Post-Game Happy Dance

I've had time to get over my first ever Blood Bowl win at the weekend. I happy danced myself all the way back down the motorway on Sunday afternoon – my first win and the first time that the Undead have scored.

After the elation comes the contemplation. What was so different with this match? What combination of variables collaborated to give me my first win? I think there are several.

First of all, without doubt, the introduction of two additional Ghouls into the team made a big difference. The fact that my Two-Touchdown hero is modelled actually carrying the ball also helped I think, even if only psychologically. It made the team a little faster and, having got used to the Dark Elves in more recent games, I made use of what I had learned and tailored it to the abilities of the Undead.

My opponents for the day were the Boomtown Rats.
This meant that the Undead could also do what they're meant to do – bash!

Bashing is something they've not be great at when facing the Orcs, simply because the Orcs are better at it and have high armour. The Rats had to buddy up to hit most of my Undead players, and when facing Mummies had to be in groups of three or four. The Mummies finally scored their first couple of Casualties, which is a relief. Of course it should have been more, but I can't complain – I went through a good spell of getting high dice for armour rolls against the Rats and there were prone vermin all over the place. We just couldn't convert them into casualties.

Possession. As I mentioned in the match report, the Rats only had the ball for 5 turns out of the 16. This put pressure on Bull to get the ball off me, which in turn played into the bashy aspect of the Undead – up to that point the Rats had been quite stand-off. I could take my time, grinding my way towards the end zone, eating up time and turns. So long as I didn't do anything silly, or leave my ball carrier exposed, things would come good. Keeping possession of the ball also meant that the Rats couldn't make best use of their biggest strength – speed. Once they had the ball, I had a real fight on my hands to do much about it – as the Dark Elves did in the last match – so the best way to stop them scoring was to not give them the ball.

Familiarity. Bull has had time to get used to the Rats a little now. He plays them well – even using Gutter Runners to block – so the fact that he was facing something new (or a new incarnation of something he thought he knew) meant that it took him a little time to acclimatise. My first half TD was evidence of this – by the second half he was more adventurous and got better results trying to break down the cage. Similarly, until picking up the Dark Elves, the Undead are the only team I've ever fielded in Blood Bowl. Whilst I was reasonably comfortable with them, having a different lineup meant I could try new things – e.g. I swapped round my reserve Skeletons and Zombies at different kick-offs depending upon whether I was kicking or receiving.

Experience and Restraint. I was very tempted on several occasions to make a block or blitz to take down a Gutter Runner, yet found myself being cautious. The most important thing for most of the game was to protect my ball carrier, so gave up quite a few blocking opportunities for the sake of the big picture. A couple of games ago this would not have been the case and I would probably have lost the game as a consequence. It also meant I was rolling less dice and by marking Bull's players rather than hitting them meant that he was having to dodge to get away – this ultimately led to the dice roll that ended the game.

Looking forward…

Our next game will be a rematch of the Darkblades vs Boomtown Rats. This will be a very interesting game indeed. After the 2-2 tie in their opening face-off, and the Rats' loss this week, the playing field will be a different arena completely.

The Rats have some skills now and Bull has learned a lot more about them. I too have learned a lot about the Skaven, but need to get a decent game under my belt before the Darkblades face the Orcs again in the following match. I need to have acquired an Apothecary by then or I could be in real trouble – some new skills would help too.

The Gutchewers will get a breather for a couple of games before facing the Rats again. I have a Ghoul and Mummy in need of an MVP paint job – that's the least they deserve after their first win!


  1. Congrats! Sounds like you are gaining valuable experience in defeating not only your opponents but the unwated attentions of nuffle. Forcing bull to roll dodges is a great tactic even with having the dodge skill on some pieces. Now you need to get some tackle :)

    1. I have to say – and Bull will admit – that his Dodge and Sure Hands skills saved him quite a bit on Sunday, but even that wasn't enough. I think I may be off Nuffle's most wanted list!

  2. Forcing every opponent to roll dice is a key tactic - even Elves will sometimes roll 1 reroll 1 and spill the ball!

    1. I saw Bull have to reroll a lot of Dodges with his Skaven during the game, which made me realise how tricky it can be.