Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chaos Cup 2014 - A Very Chaotic Recap: Part 3

Third and last day of the Chaos Cup. Going into this the Bullies were firmly locked into the bottom rankings for the event but fighting for Most Casualties with a Norse team towards the top tables. Time to focus on blood and not winning right!?

Game 5 vs Nurgle (Stoutyoungblood)

Nurgle again?! Coach Stoutyoungblood and I have played once before (I think?) but it had been some time ago since we met. It was going to be an uphill battle for casualties but the Bullies felt up the challenge!

The game started with a kick to the nurgle team and... you guessed it... a riot!! 4th riot the Bullies have faced in the last 4 kickoffs but it doesn't keep the nurgle players down as they proceed knock out several snotlings in quick succession before knocking out an ogre as well. The rest of the half plays out with plentiful failures on both sides of the pitch with failed dodges, dropped balls, and plenty of boneheaded rolls but the Bullies manage to keep nurgle from scoring in the first half.

Second half begins with ogres receiving the kick minus one ogre who doesn't come back into the game to play and the ball lands in the ogre endzone. While trying to get the ball two snotlings knock themselves out and allow a pestigor to get the ball and score on turn 5. The game ends with more failed blocks from the chainsaw and finally with the snotlings dropping the ball.

Final result - 0-1 (Casualty 1-2) LOSS

This game was a frustrating and painful one for the Bullies. It seemed nothing could go right - blocks, dodges, bonehead rolls, and even secret weapons all failed to do anything worth mentioning. It was probably the worst game of Blood Bowl I have ever played when it comes to dice.

Game 6 vs Khemri (Firesocold)

Last game of the tournament. Still a chance the Bullies can bring home the casualty award as the Norse were only 3 ahead in the total casualty count. Just need the right opponent. Something with low armor, not too much strength, and no way to stay on the pitch. Too bad!! How about Khemri instead!?

Game started out with khemri kicking to the Bullies in a blizzard! The kick goes long and is given back to an ogre on the line. With the ball in hand the ball carrier moves up after two tomb guardians are hit and stunned on the pitch. The snotlings swarm the skeletons and assist in keeping the ogres from being crushed by the tomb guardians running into them. Sadly this fails on turn 4 when the ball carrying ogre double skulls himself and allows a snotling to catch the bouncing ball. While getting the snotling to safety in an attempt to score with throw teammate the Bullies ultimately fail to make anything happen and end the half with no casualties and no touchdowns.

Second half started off bloody with three dead snotlings on the three first blocks from the tomb guardians on the line. Meanwhile the bomber hangs back and chucks bombs into the khemri cage. First bomb blocks up and takes down 2 tomb guardians, a blitzer, and the thro-ra ball carrier. Second turn the bomber does the same again after the khemri stood up and reformed their cage. This time he hits 2 tomb guardians and the thro-ra ball carrier yet again. A snotling dodges in to pop out the ball but falls and dies on the ball but also launches it into the hands of the nearby chainsaw wielding goblin. A blitz from the remaining blitz-ra takes down the chainsaw (blodger) with a one die block and knocks him out of the game. After some bashing, lots of boneheads, a dead ogre, and fails, the Bullies manage to put some pressure on the loose ball but cannot keep the khemri from finally getting the ball ans scoring on turn 5. Turn 6 the remaining 5 players on the Bullies roster lined up to take on the khemri but fail to make anything happen before finally allowing the khemri to score again on turn 8.

Final result - 0-2 (Casualty 2-7) LOSS

Instead of dealing lots of casualties the Bullies took a lot of casualties and ended the event in second to last place. It was a fun game but also a little frustrating due to the inability of the Bullies to not roll 1 for just about everything.

Final Record - 0-1-5 (20 Casualties)

Ended up losing the most casualties award by 2 but I did win something... something big... a big fat WOODEN SPOON!!

What did I win? A cool trophy, a Street Bowl pitch, and a set of new dice (and the words "try a new game" which is a little hard to take but...).

So there you have it... my Chaos Cup 2014 experience. 6 games down and plenty of snake eyes rolled but we'll always have the memories!

Me losing game 1 against Skaven
Me losing game 3 against Amazons

Thanks to all the fantastic coaches I played and massive thanks to the Chaos Cup planning committee for putting on such a fantastic event. Now to start planning on how I will lose the next event!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Chaos Cup 2014 - A Very Chaotic Recap: Part 2

Saturday of the Chaos Cup. Began early with some breakfast and then right into the pre-registration madness of the main room. This year 94 coaches showed up to play 2 days of Blood Bowl and set a new North America attendance record for NAF tournaments! Of course all of this excitement was nothing compared to my team being on table 1!!

Of course that didn't last very long as the first round matchups were announced and I packed up my Ogres and headed down south to table 30 something for the first game of the day.

Game 1 vs Skaven (Darkstar70)

Darkstar70 and I last met up at Headbanger's Ball where the Bullies took home the casualty award and he vowed vengeance after losing to them naming me as his Grudge Match for ZlurpeeBowl X. Sadly he wasn't able to make it due to severe illness so this was the unintentional replacement game and he was out for blood! Ogres vs Skaven is always a hard matchup for the Ogre coach and this game was no different. 

The game started in perfect weather with the rats receiving the kickoff with a quick snap. First blitz of the game is on Dribblesnot the bomber who gets knocked down on a one die block and then knocked out of the game. The following push by the rats had a gutter runner fumbling the ball but managing to kill a snotling before scoring on turn 3. The ogres got the ball back on the return kick but a riot broke out in the stands and forcing the Bullies to lose a turn. After spending a few turns dropping the ball the ogres kill a blitzer but fail to protect the ball and allow a gutter runner to score (by letting the rat make a dodge into 3 tackle zones to pick up the ball and then dodge out twice) on turn 6. A last ditch effort to throw a snotling into the backfield fails and the first half ends with the Skaven leading the score 2-0 but down on players. 

Second half has the Bullies receiving the kick off  with a chainsaw on the pitch. A quick blitz by the chainsaw weilding madgoblin killed a linerat and a snotling decides to follow up that excitement by falling on his face. The nearby gutter runner dodges 5 times and picks up the ball in 3 tackle zones. Meanwhile two of the Bullies decide to do nothing for the turn leaving only the chainsaw blitz to keep the rats from scoring again. After taking own the ball carrier the ball lands in the hands of a nearby snotling who had already moved for the turn and out in the open with no assists. After being smashed and killed by a blitzer the snotling hands him the ball and allows him to score on turn 2. The Bullies get the kick (again) and focus on crushing the one shirtless linerat who still remains on the pitch (his name was Shirtless Steve). Meanwhile a snotling picks up the ball and goes for it to be in position for throw teammate on the next turn. After keeping the rats in the backfield the snotling with the ball is thrown successfully but lands 1 square away from being able to score. The following turn has the rats crushing the snotling holding the ball sending it into the stands where the fans throw it deep into the Bullies backfield. With time almost up for the round the Bullies spend their last turn killing Shirtless Steve and then dropping the ball again. 

Final result - 0-3 (Casualty 4-3) LOSS

Overall a great game with a lot of action on both sides of the pitch. The Bullies did great on the Bonehead front but couldn't keep enough rats off the pitch to get a score in. This was also the only game of the tournament I didn't finish due to time being called. No idea what might have happened in the last 3 turns but I like to think I would have killed some more rats if nothing else. With this loss I was kind of excited to go to the bottom tables where I could play teams that were better suited to the Ogres (and not a top tier team like Skaven). 

Game 2 vs Nurgle (droachmega)

Coach droachmega and I had not played before but we did have a conversation about Nurgle in tournament play at ZlurpeeBowl X so I kind of knew what to expect from his roster when I sat down for this match. Another hard match for Ogres but at least the Bullies should be able to keep up with the Nurgle movement unlike Skaven. Also his team looked awesome!

Game started in perfect weather with Nurgle getting the kickoff but the turn ends quickly when a pestigor drops the ball in the backfield. Snotlings surge forward through tentacles and tackle zones to base the ball and put pressure on the rotting chaos players. Eventually the nurgle players push the snotlings away and get the ball moving up and forming a cage. Meanwhile the nearby bomber begins throwing bombs into the cage and knocks down the ball carrier but also knocks out a nearby snotling forcing a turn over. Nurgle warriors push forward to pressure the bomber and cause him to fumble his next bomb but he still hits the ball carrier again and knocks it loose. Finally a pestigor manages to grab the ball and break away on the sidelines after a turn of some critical failed bonehead rolls and failed GFI from the bomber attempting to base the ball carrier again. Turn 5 the pestigor scores after a snotling fails his dodge to blitz the ball carrier. The half ends with the Bullies killing a rotter. 

The second half started with the Bullies getting the kick off with their chainsaw on the field in Very Sunny weather. After fumbling the ball in the backfield for a couple turns a snotling gets the ball and hands it off to an ogre to run in for a score. Sadly he spends his next turn being a bonehead and then double skulls a blitz block to get away from the nearby nurgle players. Meanwhile the nurgle players are pushing up on the ball, knocking snotlings out of the game, and being hacked apart by the chainsaw. After another two turns of failing to pick up the ball an ogre picks up the ball in 2 tackle zones, dodges out, and passes the ball to a snotling receiver in the end zone who catches it to score for the tie. 

Final result - 1-1 (Casualty 4-6) TIE

Another fun game with a lot of strange action ending in one of those "crazy plays" you hear about from other coaches. With the odds stacked against the Bullies they managed to pull out a tie in the last turn and keep themselves from a total goose egg record for the tournament. 

Game 3 vs Amazons (Whigwam)

Another game and another coach I had never played before! Whigwam had just recently started playing Blood Bowl and this was his first major tournament/event which explained while his Tier 1ish team was so low on the tables but didn't make it any easier a matchup for the Bullies.

The game started with the amazon players receiving the kick off in the pouring rain and still manage to quickly pick up the ball and form a cage. Meanwhile the Bullies threw three different three die blocks and get nothing but pushes. On the next turn the amazon cage moves up and the ogres take the opportunity to take out a linewoman and then throw a snotling into the cage and stun the ball carrier. The amazons scramble back into position with the ball and the ogres follow up by piling on the cage. With plenty of dodges the cage moves to the sidelines where it stalls and is swarmed by snotlings who keep the amazons from scoring while allowing some additional blocks and casualties before the end of the half. Snotling wall prevails!!

Second half the ball is kicked all the way into the Bullies endzone but does not bounce out. The chainsaw gets bribed back into the game but is immediately taken out of the game after being knocked out by a amazon blitzer. The ogres spend the next 3 turns attempting to pick up the ball and fumbling it while the bomber keeps the amazons at bay with his explosive passes. Enraged and wanting to score the amazons send their start blitzer in with two 4+ dodges to take him out of the game with a successful one die block (on a blodger). The ball is loose and a snotling attempts to move it into a better position by falling on it but kills himself in the process. After spending the last two turns being boneheaded the ogres fail to help pick up the ball and the amazons score on their turn 8.

Final result - 0-1 (Casualty 6-3) LOSS

Another fun game with plenty of fouls, fails, and carnage. I had hoped for a tie or even a win in this game but the dice went south quickly in the second half and the pouring rain didn't do them any favors either. 
Game 4 vs Pro Elves (Jeffro)

In the final match of the day I found myself meeting Coach Jeffro for the first time. Astute D&M readers may remember Jeffro as the brewer of the appropriately named Zlur-piss beer that was made for the tenth anniversary of ZlurpeeBowl. Heck I even reviewed it here on the site! We met at the bottom tables and played on the very nicely crafted pitch of Amateur Hour's very own Mattias Darrow who I met and played last year at Chaos Cup. He also gave me a beer to review here on the site! Thanks Mattias! Expect to see your beer reviewed here soon.Once Jeffro and I met and I told him about the site and review he demanded we drink some more Zlur-piss in celebration of the momentous occasion! Not sure if it was his excitement, or part of his plan to distract me, but the celebration was cut short when the Zlur-piss exploded out of the bottles and all over us (but not on your board Mattias - we kept it pristine!!). 

The game started with the elves receiving the ball in perfect weather. After the kick the elves quickly scooped up the ball and moved to the line where they were quickly swarmed by snotlings. Of course being elves that doesn't stop them from easily passing to a catcher in the ogre backfield and running in to score on turn 3 after all three ogres go bonehead at the same time. On the return kick the ball goes out of bounds and into the hands of an ogre which causes a riot in the stands. Meanwhile the chainsaw is brought in to cut up a few elves and the ogres stumble up the field but the ball carrier falls down on a GFI allowing the elves to pick it up and score again on turn 6. Another kick off and another riot makes the half end quickly with the ogres not leading in casualties nor touchdowns.

Second half starts with the Bullies getting the ball but the fans in the stands freak out again and start yet another riot (the third one in a row!!!). A snotling actually manages to get the ball and hand it off to another snotling who breaks away into the backfield and stall while being screened by other snotlings. The Bullies use the extra turns to chainsaw, bomb, and hit the elves who prove to be a little too resilient. On turn 7 the snotling with the ball finally gets hit after several failed attempts and dodges but doesn't manage to hold up to the hit and drops the ball into the crowd. The game ends with a few more hits and fouls but nothing notable for either team.

Final result - 0-2 (Casualty 3-2) LOSS

A really fun game and even though I could have scored with the snotling I don't regret my choice to hit elves in the head instead. 

And with the spilled beers, crushed snotlings, and no wins the day ended with the Bullies tied for the Most Casualties award (at 17) with a Norse team playing towards the top tables. What was in store for the ogres on day two? Find out soon in the third and final part of the Chaotic Recap.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Beer Review - Sixpoint Brewery 3Beans Porter.

Sixpoint Brewery - 3Beans

Beer Type: Baltic Porter - 10.00% ABV

Appearance: Super limited edition beer in a skinny 12oz can! Out of the fancy limited edition can the beer is a dark brown. Can't see through it!! Nice big tan colored head on top.       

Smell: Coffee and dried fruits first followed by roasted malt and a hint of "spice". Can't smell the booze?!   

First Drink: Some coffee flavors followed by roasted malts. Something kinda woody and metallic coming through too?      

Mouthfeel: Not super carbonated but my tongue feels fuzzy. Seems very smooth.     

Last Drink: More malt and some chocolate and raisin flavors coming in now. The sweetness is nicely balanced. Getting a bit of booze now too.            

Drinkability: Very interesting and I would certainly drink this again... if it was ever made again!             

Notes: First beer I have had from Sixpoint and they set the bar high for me on this one.         

Verdict: 4.75 out of 5. Hope to see more unique collaborations like this one in the future (this one was between Sixpoint, Mast Brothers, and Stumptown). 

Chaos Cup 2014 - A Very Chaotic Recap: Part 1

Here we are. A week after the Chaos Cup was held in the mighty chaotic lands of Palatine, IL. Once again I made the trip across the not so cold and not so frozen northlands of Indiana and around the mighty Lake Michigan to get in 6 games of tournament Blood Bowl action. This year I decided to bring a "fun" team and the Ogres of the Bulltimore Bullies hit the pitch with a slew of Snotlings and a couple Star Players to round out the roster. It looked a little something like this roster here.

But before the festivities could begin I had a Friday night Mordheim party with Furry - both of us playing our first games in the old GW system and having a lot of fun in the process. 

I brought the Undead warband with no name nor fluff. The list was 500gc and looked like this:

Vampire - Heavy Armor, Sword, Mace, Bow - 183

Necromancer - Sword, Bow - 55
Dreg - Club x 2 - 26
Dreg - Club x 2 - 26
Dreg - Club x 2 - 26

Ghoul - 40
Ghoul - 40  
Ghoul - 40 
Dire Wolf - 50

Total: 496gc

Knowing nothing about Mordheim I went with basic kit on the Vamp with a bow to make use of his higher BS and for when I can't close the distance to stabby stab. The Necro is for hanging back and maybe holding objectives so I gave him a bow too (which I forgot to use in the game at all). 

Dregs are clubbin' it up and are there to knock folks down and around so they can be killed at a time which works for the Undead and the Ghouls are running around with bones looking for a fight with the killer undead dog friend. That was the plan anyway. Thing about plans is...

We rolled up the 8th mission in the main book (can't recall the name at the moment) which set the objective as a "take and hold" with buildings. We only had a few "buildings" proper so we used a few other cardboard boxes to fill the role (like this Bell's Best Brown box in my deployment zone)

After getting our warbands out on the table the match started! It was limited to a certain number of turns so the clock was ticking and it was time to move into position. 


After getting around the various walls and barricades that blocked their way the undead minions and Dregs rushed to take and hold the middle building while the crazed flagellants of the Witch Hunters ran forward to meet them.

On the other side of the building a crew of Witch Hunter heroes made their way through the rubble in hopes of taking out a few Ghouls on the way. This is where we learned about the intercept rules and how setting up your position on the board is very important! 

After a few rounds of combat the Witch Hunters were missing all of their flagellants and one of their Witch Hunters and the Undead were missing one of their clubbin' Dreg heroes but nobody was killed. In the end it was a tie with both forces holding one building and the third (middle) objective being contested.

All in all it was a lot of fun and even the half finished terrain pieces from Dave Graffam looked fantastic on the actual table top.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The road to Chaos Cup 2014

Well here we are. It is September. Where the hell did August go!? I managed to paint a couple Gnoblars and one commission but that was all pretty much. I did get more beastmen assembled for my Malal Chaos force but no paint on them yet. All of my Chaos fantasy dreams stopped when I saw this... 

Thanks Dice and Brush!
Then I spent some time away from home and on the beach and did my best impression of the new book while I was at it...

The end times are coming... out to tan
Still working my way through the new book but I am quite excited by the possibilities of crafting my SKELEDUDE army of the TOMBDEADKINGCOUNTS. But we're not ready for that yet. Oh no. Our time must be spent getting ready for the chaos to come... Chaos Cup 2014!!!

I've been to the last three years of the Chaos Cup (the US Blood Bowl Major) and every one of them has been a blast. The first two years I played Nurgle (which was quite painful). Last year I played Orcs (which was quite average). This year I will finally do it... I will finally bring out my Ogres the Bulltimore Bullies!! (and this team name has nothing to do with the real world activities of the Baltimore Ravens and that abusive Rice guy just to be clear). So what does my roster look like? Glad you asked! This year the build was 1,000 team roster and 150k in skills. Instead of going all out Ogres with no skills I went with less Ogres with more skills, maxed out my Snotlings/Gnoblars and added a couple Secret Weapons just for fun. Behold!! A spreadsheet!

Will the Bullies win any games? Will the chainsaw backfire and cut a stunty in half? Will I drink or eat something that will make me feel sick all weekend? These questions and more will be answered after this weekend in Chicago-land where the Chaos Cup will be held (and no I doubt I will be the one holding it over my head).My prediction - 1 Win/3 Ties/2 Losses but I will be happy with anything that has at least one win in there. Ogres rule!!