It was just Ken and I available for the usual Friday night game, so we decided to play Blood Bowl. This time out Ken decided to break in the newly painted Chaos Pact team while I took a break from playing the Dark Elves and field the Orcs
Rather than stick with the stock starting rosters (which are really designed for league play and so can be pretty limiting to start), I churned up yet another idea for starting with some skills. Basically each player got an extra $100,000 to buy their team (allowing a bit of a bench, etc) and then each of us assigned a number of d8 rolls to the players – 6 to a random player on the team, 4 to a random one of the 6 “playmakers” each coach designated beforehand, and 2 to any player of the coach’s choice. After all of the dice were assigned, we rolled them to determine the number of Star Player Points for that player and then rolled for additional skills as normal. The idea of doing this instead of simply assigning extra skills is that this basic system could be used to jump start a league, allowing teams to start with some skills (which IMO makes the game much more interesting). This seemed to work out pretty well, with a decent mix of randomness and customization, and allowing each of us to customize our teams a bit. I went with a more pass oriented Orc team than usual, getting a pair of Goblins. Unortunately, I failed to give either of them the Catch skill, which turned out to be a big mistake. Ken’s team had a mix of this and that, highlighted by the Minotaur with Juggernaut and Stand Firm.
The Orcs got the ball to open the first half and started their comedy of errors by failing to pick up the ball (despite a Sure Hands thrower back to do the job). They recovered soonn enough and began to push up field, managing to knock down the Chaos Pact Troll. Attempts to foul the troll off the field were unfortunately not successful and the Chaos team’s Minotaur was being a real pain. Eventually enough Orcs were lying stunned on the field that I had to take a chance before the Chaos team was able to break through onto my ball carrier. I flung an accurate pass down field, but the silly receiver failed to catch the ball, which bounced free. Ken had given his Renegade dark Elf the Sure Hands skill, and now the agile elf jumped into the tackle zones of a couple of Orcs, scooped up the ball, dodged out, and then rifled a strike to the Skaven waiting in my backfield. I was unable to do anything about it and the rat scored on the last turn of the first half.
The Orcs were kicking off to the Chaos Pact team to start the second half and set up with the blitzers on the wings to try and break through into the backfield and recover the ball to tie the game. Unfortunately for the Orcs, this also proved to be a flawed plan, as the Marauders on the flanks held long enough and the Troll and Minotaur tore a great gaping hole through the linemen and couple of Black Orcs in the center. Soon the Chaos PAct team was scampering in for a commanding 2-0 leand halfway through the second half.
The Orcs now needed two quick scores – a doable feat for elves or some other speedy team, but a tall order or the greenskins. I set up stacked to my right and rapidly carved out a corridor down the right side. The Thrower scooped up the ball and advanced as blitzers and goblins spread out downfield. Ken tried to cover as many players as possible, but a goblin opened up and the ball sailed accurately toward the reciever – only to be dropped again. The Dark Elf was not in a position to recover immediately, so the ball bouned around for a turn or two before the Blitzers cleared away the surrounding Chaos Marauders, allowing the Thrower to pick it up, pass back to a Goblin, who ran in for a score. However, it was now Turn 8 and some Kick-Off shennaigans would be required to give the Orcs time for a tying score… Egged on by the Orc coach, the Orcs fans in attendance complied and started a riot! Unfortunately for the Orcs, the referees saw fit to simply let the clock run and the game ended at that point.
Another fun game of Blood Bowl with Ken. I definitely need to consider my Orc tactics, as the ones I used were mostly disasterous. More importantly, I need to acquire one more Black Orc and then get the other two Black Orcs painted. I only had two available and they were no match for the Troll and Minotaur on the other side. The two Chaos Big Guys spent plenty of turns not acting (having failed their Wild Animal/Really Stupid rolls), but with two of them there was usually something big and strong in my way.