I'm just back from CanCon (Canberra, Austalia), which is a massive Con, with many games, every games retailer in Oz, and this year, 36 Blood Bowl coaches playing 8 matches (up from 7) over 3 days. A lovely relaxed tournament, all the coaches are enthusiasts for the hobby. Resurrection format (like a league), chosen MVP. I took Chaos, for the 2nd year running. Here are the gory details:
Won 3, drew 1, lost 4. TDs: 8-11. CAS: 12-20 (ouch!).
1st round: Beat Undead 2-1 (CAS: 2-1). Opponent: Bill Murphy (Sangraal). Received, KOd 2 Zombies on the first drive, they never came back. Only faced 2 Ghouls (poor roster choice IMO). Scored in 5 turns, my opponent got a fairly lucky equaliser on turn 8. Turned him over in the 2nd half for the winner.
2nd round: Lost to Orcs 0-1 (CAS: 1-2). Kicked, the ball scattered to the sideline, my opponent decided not to pick it up. I swarmed the area, things were looking rather good, but then my team parted like the Red Sea. 0-1 down at half time, I couldnt manage to score in the 2nd half (I was down on numbers).
3rd round: Beat Norse 2-1 (CAS: 0-0 ahem). Opponent: Chris Stratford (Devilsreject). Perhaps my best game, not without some very good luck. Received, got into trouble, made a blunder and was turned over. 0-1 down at half time, I somehow managed to turn my opponent over twice in the 2nd half for the win. He failed a hand-off on turn 15 (which would likely have given him the win).
So not a bad first day.
4th round: Drew 1-1 with Lizards (CAS: 3-4). Even more extreme good fortune (Lizzies are the most difficult opponent for Chaos). Started very badly, received, the Lizzies got a Perfect Defence, I recovered from that, but rolled a 1/1 GFI on turn 2 with the ball exposed. Easy turnover score for my opponent. Got turned over again, after a scramble a Skink dropped the ball, it scattered 12 squares to my opponent's end zone. But it was still easy for the blessed Skinks to get there, my opponent looked set to go 2-0 up on turn 8, but the GFI to the End Zone failed. In the 2nd half, my opponent dropped the ball multiple times, allowing me to score an improbable equaliser. The last drive was comical, I had 5 players left, but I had managed to put all the Skinks into the dugout. The last Skink, who had been desperately trying to move the ball, was a Journeyman (with Loner).
5th round: Lost 0-1 to Norse (CAS: 1-3). Kicked, had a lovely chance to surf the lone Ulf on turn 1, it failed. Unable to prevent my opponent scoring (1 Block against 10). In the second half, I was down on numbers, and although I managed to get 3 players into scoring distance on turn 16, with RR in hand, I was forced to make a dodge with a Journeyman. It failed. (My opponent tied 1st place for CAS for the tourney.)
6th round: Beat Orcs 2-1 (CAS: 2-0). A win owing much to Nuffle. Kicked [Edit: I got a Blitz, put indirect pressure on the ball], the Troll caused 2 turnovers in 2 turns, I won the ball eventually in a long scramble for a turnover TD. In the 2nd half, I was forced to use the Wizard after having been turned over myself, then I had 3 turns in which everything I did worked (starting with an Elven passing play). My hapless opponent could only manage 1 consolation TD after that. (My opponent tied 1st place for CAS for the tourney.)
So, a real scrap on day 2, I was feeling a bit punch drunk, but not without hope...
7th round: Lost to Orcs 0-1 (CAS: 1-4). Kicked, but managed to turn over my opponent. A Chaos Warrior with Block was poised to score, but he was sacked rather improbably by a Gobbo and 2 Journeyorcs with dodges and multiple GFIs (RR not required). My opponent then had a very good chance to score on turn 8, which failed. Well down on numbers, I could do little to prevent the winning score in the 2nd half [Edit: which followed a Fireball by my opponent, a 1-die sack of my ball carrier, and a lucky scatter]. (My opponent won "most CAS" for the tourney, on tie-break, thanks to getting 9 CAS against Gnome's CDs in the first round...)
8th round: Lost 1-4 to Undead (CAS: 2-6). Kicked, 2 of my players CASd on turn 1, another on turn 2. By using the Wizard on turn 1, I managed an elegant turnover TD on turn 3. Then I struggled, being well down on numbers, I managed an improbable sack chance on turn 6 (with RR). it failed, I pushed the Ghoul into the end zone instead, but this proved to be a mistake (my opponent got a Blitz with lucky scatter, and scored again to go 2-1 up at half time). The 2nd half continued in similar vein, I ended up with 1 player left on the pitch (Chaos Warrior no. 2), my last 3 or 4 turns consisted of moving my turn marker and unstunning the fouled Warrior.
So, a dire 3rd day.
In a word, I got mashed, as can happen in progression tournaments. A tough draw (all my opponents finished in the top half, 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 14th, 15th, I finished 22nd places out of 36). Facing only bash teams (3 Orcs, 2 Undead, 2 Norse and 1 Lizzie), my team was unable to cope with (or recover from) the quantum of injuries (there were some AG teams in the tourney, apparently, the winner was a Skaven team with a 1-turn-score Gutter Runner). 5 teams tied 1st place for CAS in the tourney: I had to play against 3 of them. I played 6 matches with 11 players, 1 with 12 and 1 with 13. Of the 20 CAS, 5 were Deaths, 3 were Permanent Injuries, 5 were MNG (bear in mind this is after using the Apothecary...). The Apothecary was a waste of skin, the best roll he made was MNG (once). It seemed that my opponents caused a disproportionately high number of CAS and KOs (but I don't track the stats). Certainly the Casualty rolls were disproportionately bad.
As is often the case in bash vs. bash matches, results largely followed the kick-off, while seeming wild at the time. Of the 3 times that I received, I got 2 wins and a draw. Of the 5 times that I kicked, I lost 4 and won 1. In 4 out of 8 matches my team was annihilated - these were all matches in which I kicked. So better fortune on the kick-off rolls would perhaps/probably have seen better results (we will of course never know).
On the plus side, I managed to retain skills, but my development was constrained by the loss of players with SPPs (I twice had to give MVPs to players with a skill already, not ideal). Here is the team that made it to the last round:
1. Warrior with Block
2. Warrior with Block, M-Blow (last man "standing")
4. Warrior with Block (missed game 5)
5. Beastman with S-Hands, Block (KOd early in the last match, did not return)
9. Beastman (-AV thus MNG for game 5, he was also MNGd in the last match, thanks to the -AV)
10. Beastman (died in the last match)
13. Beastman with Wrestle
14. Beastman (MNGd in the last match)
16. Beastman (Journeyman, died in the last match)
3RR, 4FF, Apoth
Roll of shame (players who failed to make it to the last match):
3. Warrior (-MA, thus MNG)
7. Beastman (died in the 2nd game)
8. Beastman (died in the 7th game)
11. Beastman (Niggled in the 2nd game, died in the 5th, thanks to the Niggle)
12. Beastman (MNG)
As you can see, I got through the whole squad of 16...
A very high standard of sportsmanship, as always at CanCon. The only problem I had was a coach who dropped his dice from a few inches, without rolling them. When this produced (for example) double 6 followed by double 6, it was rather trying. Alas, it seems my ahem glorious winning streak with Chaos may have come to an end.
[Edit: The defense worked rather well, with 6 turnover scores in 8 games (1 thanks to the Wizard). That is something Chaos are good at. In the first 7 games, I conceded only 1TD in each game. However, the offense failed badly, often (but not always) due to being down on numbers. Once Chaos are more than 1 down compared to their opponent, things start to get hard. Overall this was a strange and wild tourney, I often felt I was a specatator at a game played by Nuffle - this applied just as much to my wins as my losses!]
Hope that's of interest. All the best and LLBB!
Smeborg the Fleshless