* * * Season XII - Climb for the Cup - Part V - Round of 16

Postseason's Greetings Blood Bowl Fans,

Arthur Dee here, once again, with the latest installment of our club's Season XII
team blog, from the Champions Ladder to the Champions Cup.

As the Dark Elves of the Dark'rside Dreampirates were able to best their Round of 32 opponents, Patbat83's Errare humanum est in the first round of the playoffs, their Round of 16 match against Coach @CalciumCas and the Anger Management Issues was officially the highest I've so-far been able to coach a Blood Bowl team in international competition.

With the season already being a personal success, I was thankful and hungry heading into match-weekend!

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The Dream

  • Prematch

I put a great deal of preparation into this match, primarily the prematch phase, so I could focus on the action as it unfolded. I personally anticipated our opponents to cut three players, and a bit of forum banter confirmed my suspicions.

That meant I would have 180k in inducements, plus a 120k treasury, to use. As the match would be in our home stadium, Never-ever Land, and not the Magician's-Shop-equipped Dwarf stadium of the Killbox, magical superiority was ours.

I went all-in, hiring a Wizard, a Wandering Apothecary, and installed a keg of Bloodweiser Beer for those elves sure to find themselves on the wrong side of stars.

In game, I was going to lean-on the AG5 Blitzer Regis Remwraith to throw haymaker plays and put the match away early.

I was ready!

  • First Half

The First Half was achieved as planned.
I nearly always prefer to kick the ball on Turn 1, so the Dwarves winning the opening coin toss to receive and begin to try and injure our players was a fine start.

An aggressive defense and a Celestial Wizard meant the Dark Elves were able to strike at the first weak formation I could see, electrocute the opposing runner, collect the spilled ball, and ultimately score the go-ahead touchdown at the end of the first half.

Subsequently holding the bearded-ones back for the remaining turns to remain up 1-0 meant a second score after halftime could put the dwarves too far behind to rally in the match, no matter how many blocks they threw, or how hard they went for it (WFI'd?).

  • Second Half

Ahead in the match 1-0, and receiving the ball, I was on the look-out to keep the play fast-paced and exploit the first opening I could.

It quickly appeared: a point in the center of the dwarves' formation with no tackle where I only had to shift a single opposing player aside, and press four of my own forward through the breach. The course of action for a three-point screen in the dwarven backfield, all without having to redistribute the ball, was clear.

The blocked player was pushed, meaning 2+ dodges would still get players through. The second player to move rolled consecutive ones with his dodge skill, so it meant there was only a single dark elf downfield, and the ballcarrier Regis Remwraith with few defenders around him. Eep!

I have been unable to get back into the studio and boot-up the crystal ball to watch the replay, but as I remember it, after the turnover, the dwarven team managed to single-man mark the dark elf downfield, and were unable to sack the ballcarrier.

The score was still on, but time and players were running-out.

This would be the defining turn of the entire contest.

Regis Remwraith rolled right, around the dwarven defenders, short-passed the ball to his marked teammate in scoring-position, over the head of the runner, Dinan, marking him...

// Interception: (6+): ⚅ SUCCESS! // Turnover! //

TURN (match?) OVER.

Anger Management Issues then used to the remainder of regular time to move forward, dispense violence, and equalize 1-1; sending the match into extra time.

  • Overtime

The Dwarf team won the toss, and with sixteen turns of attrition already sustained, no amount of dogged defense (6+ dodges into two red-die, double defender-down blocks) could wrestle the initiative back.

Anger Management Issues - 2
Dark'rside Dreampirates - 1

      • Post-match Musings

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If I had to do it all again, I do not believe there is much I would have done differently.

Perhaps, I could have changed the action order, dodged the receiver into the endzone first, and made the pass without a chance for an interception or affecting the play % much.

I also had an erroneous GFI, that leads me to my premier takeaway from the match:

On that Ultimate turn when I broke my ballcarrier down the widezone for the pass, my Blood Bowl lizard-brain must have kicked-in, because I made a GFI to avoid staying on the sidelines and getting pushed into the crowd on subsequent turns.

This was a logical mistake, because what I had to do was plan for the match-defining play to succeed, meaning there would be no subsequent turns. It would make no difference where my players were standing (or cowering) at the time, because they would have been lining-up again to kick after the touchdown.

If the clock is ticking when you go All-in, Go All-in.

I think the last time I saw a pass intercepted in my own match was nearly two years ago in a tabletop regular season contest. This match decided almost exclusively on a single interception roll in the playoffs was electrifying. I jumped to my feet and gyred. What a game.

How am I going to explain to my friends that don't play Blood Bowl that my fantasy football team lost because I let my evil elves get picked-off in a razzle-dazzle play by a dwarf!? They can't even jump that high. They're dwarves.

A heartbreaker to me, but glory to to the victors!

Thank you for the exciting match Mr. Cas, and congratulations.

I look forward to the opportunity of tilting opposite you again in the future.


That brings our Season XII climb to a close, finishing in the top sixteen, and recording my best finish ever.

It was a blast to compete, from start to finish, and we promise that you haven't yet heard the last of the 40below crew.

In fact, in order to get more Dark Elf reps-in (manager's words), I drafted another Dark Elf squad to play in the Season XIII ladder. The Metropolis Muses have taken some tight losses so-far, but I think they just might be able to qualify for the playoffs and develop into an even better Dark Elf team than the Dreampirates. The quarterfinals are our new target.

If you're interested, please stay-tuned for the story of their Climb for the Cup!

Thank you for following along, please share with me your coaching tips to help me not be such a loser next time, and keep naming your players, hahaha!

Until next whistle,

  • Arthur Dee

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W-hey!

Just caught @CalciumCas 's Twitch video of our playoff match.

* * * XBox One Champions cup XII Playoff 2nd rd - CalciumCas vs Edub

Awesome getting a glimpse on the other side of the ball, so-to-speak.

Our appraisal of the match, and the defining turn, are much the same! Hahaha

Until next time!

  • Arthur Dee

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last edited by Arthur Dee

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