Episode Twenty-Five: Glowblins

 

Oh dear. We’re talking about Goblins this week, and that means only one thing. Glowworm guest-stars again and, well, you remember last time..!

We’re also (ostensibly) discussing Loner, No Hands, Chainsaws, Hail Mary Pass and Secret Weapon, as well as Fungus, Ripper and Scrappa Sorehead. I’m sure it’ll all go to schedule and nothing untoward will happen!

Glow’s also running his infamous BloodBlusters variant again. It’s unforgettable. I mean it. Oh, we also touch on the Podbowl!

What could go wrong?

ABAO Episode 25: Glowblins

Find us on iTunes!

Bumford’s Adventures Episode 4: Reddit Rotters

4: Reddit Rotters VS Nautical Imperatives


There is a stench in the air, and for once its source is not Bumford, the dwarven coach of Nautical Imperatives.

The elfs all sit in their dressing room with an assortment of delicate handkerchiefs pressed to their faces. Gags and coughs splutter from those unfortunate enough to have to remove their kerchiefs to drink or talk. One elf, To The Brig!, is desperately trying to drown the smell out with perfume, but it isn’t helping.

Bumford enters the room, totally unphased by the miasma filling it. “Mornin’ wusses!” he beams, clipboard in one hand, package in the other, bottle under one arm. He looks around the room.

“Oh come on, it’s not that bad. It’s just a bit of a whiff is all. Come on, I have a present for ya.”

The idea of a gift from the coach strikes the team as an instant threat. Nevertheless, they crowd in as best they can. Bumford puts down the bottle and board, considers, picks up the bottle again and pops the cork. A small purple cloud giggles from the bottle before he takes a swig. He sets the bottle down again.

“What was that?” pipes Nicholas Clearbone, the most recent in a line of mercenaries somehow finding their way to the team.

“Another gift, lad, but for the opposition. More on that later.” Bumford smirks.

“Anyway, this is what I wanted t’show ya.”

He snaps the lid of the box and whips out the contents. An enormous, ludicrously proportioned codpiece crackles with eldritch energy.

“A… codpiece?” asks Board!.

“A magic codpiece. For you, in fact milad, well volunteered!” Bumford thrusts the frankly pornographic affectation at Board!, much to the amusement of the other elfs. Their laughs turn to gags as they unwittingly inhale more of the putrid air.

“Anyway, Nurgle’s lads today. They’re a cakewalk, slow as pudding, nimble as a worm. Speaking of which, watch out for the worms. And tentacles. Oh, and I wouldn’t touch them if I were you, just to be safe. Ok, off you go!”


As the elfs file out, Bumford staggers over to the other side of the stadium, just outside the Reddit Rotters own dressing room. Bottle in hand, he knocks once and walks in. The milk-curdling, hair-curling wall of stench that meets him doesn’t appear to affect him in the slightest.

“Right then,” shouts Bumford. Eyes, many, many eyes, turn towards him. “Who’s the toughest son-of-an-elf that thinks they can outdrink me then, eh?” He shuts the door behind him.


A few minutes later, the Nurgle team slide and shamble from their dressing room. Some of the largest humans the elfs have ever seen stand at the forefront, armoured to the teeth. Behind them, an indescribable monstrosity gurgles forwards. Grasping tentacles, all manner of appendages, teeth, eyes, all flail around it.

Gulps of fear from the elfs.

The referee, in some form of crude gas mask, blows the whistle. The ball is kicked by Steady! and promptly flies off the pitch. The ref hands the ball to the largest of the warriors, a brute named Angas.

“How on earth are we supposed to get the ball from that… thing!?” cries an elf.

Meanwhile, Bumford is walking back to the stands near his team, a slightly more uncontrolled swagger than normal. He flumps on a bench. Somewhere on the other side of the pitch, a veteran Pestigor is still recovering.


A furious half of the game sees elf after elf throw themselves at Angas, but it’s not until Belay! practically hurls himself at Angas back, forcing him into a scrum of elfs, that four elfs can all jump on him at once. Miraculously, one knocks the ball free, and Stow Mainsails!grabs it and flees backwards. As elfs begin to free themselves (apart from the elfs wrapped in tentacles who stay very firmly where they are), Stow looks for a target to pass too. He finds it hard to concentrate with the moist, necrotic air, so in stead elects to sprint up the pitch. He manages to score just before the Ref blows his whistle for half time.


As the elfs enter their changing room a decrepit old woman is shuffling away. Her eye catches the accessory ofBelay!, and the woman hobbles over to Bumford, whispering something in his ear. He nods solemnly.

“What did you do?” asks Hard to Larboard! once the team are alone again with their coach. “That… beast, whatever it was, spent the first half being sick in the corner!”

“Rule number one – doesn’t matter who you are, whether yer a zombified creature of darkness and plague or not, never try to outdrink a dwarf” Bumford laughs. “Rule number two – Witches make good allys if you need a favour. Oh, which reminds me, Board!, after the game there’s a lady I need to introduce you to. You’ll be spending the night with her as a, ahem, favour to me. Don’t worry, she’s very friendly. You’re not allergic to warts, are you?”

Belay doesn’t hear him. He sits in silence. The only sound he makes is the odd fizz or crackle from the anti-chastity belt he’s wearing.

“And,” Bumford brings his voice to a whisper, “bring the codpiece.”


The second half happens much like the first. The elfs are trying desparately to avoid as much tentacle and pestilence as they can, but a now enraged pestigor charges elf after elf with renewed vigour. A lucky thrust fromBelay! sees the codpiece pierce the Pestigor right through face, but cries of triumph from the elf are soon changed to horror as the hole fills once again with rotten flesh, the creature unphased by the murderous injury.

As the game draws to a close, Hard to Larboard! snatches the ball again and sprints for the end zone, barely making it, the sound of tentacles whipping the air behind him. The game ends 2-0.


“Job’s a good’un lads! Well played today!” says Bumford. Elfs are sitting in various states of horror. Some are covered in slime. Others have sucker-shaped bruises. Some look as if they’ve not slept in weeks.

The old woman quietly walks into the room, takes an unresisting Belay! by the hand, and walks out again.

“I’d say we’re doing pretty well this season!” Bumford flips through his clipboard again. “Lets see, who’re we facing next…”

He squints. Then he grunts, and spits.

“Pff, waste of time. Stupid matchup.”

“What is it coach?” floats a plaintive voice, followed by a cough and dry heave.

‘Welfare’? That’s a stupid name. A stupid name for a stupid team. Bloody useless. Suddenly it’s all ‘oh no, let’s actually pass the ball, let’s not try to kill everyone that moves, la de da la da lo, ooh look at my lovely hair.’ Game’s gone to the dogs.”

Expectant looks greet his tantrum. He sighs and looks at the team.

He says: “Do you know what a ‘Wardancer’ is?”

FUMBBL Replay

Bumford’s Adventures Episode 3: Madcap Maulers

3: Madcap Maulers VS Nautical Imperatives


“It’s a bloody disgrace is what it is,” Bumford grumbles, pacing the changing room of Nautical Imperatives. “Utter snotling shit.”

The team know Bumford. They’re scared to ask what might be causing his unhappiness.

“Look, just look!” Bumford thrusts his clipboard into the face of Hard to Larboard! who narrowly avoids losing a tooth.

“Not only is the smegging pogoer not fit to play, but the flipping Bombardier has lost his bottle too! Imagine getting injured against a Halfling team, disgraceful.”

“I hear the trees are somewhat fierce in their-”

“Shut it Steady!, no one asked you, you good-for-nothing wet fart of an excuse for an elf.”

Silence.

“No bombs, not even a one. So unfair.” Bumford wipes a tear.

“Still, no use crying over spilled unpowder, eh? We’ve still got the ol’ ball and chain and the chainsaw! Eh? So wipe that look off your faces and go get them, c’mon, hop to it!”

The elfs file out.

“Did he say chainsaw?” asks a merc by the name ofHoward.


A small army of Goblins meets them on the pitch following two enormous green and blue trolls. An orc, his massiveness emphasised by the goblins around him, saunters over to Bumford.

“Oi, Bumford! Long time no speak. Still sore abowt da last time I beats ya?”

Bumford stops and looks at the greenskin. He turns to the elf next to him.

“Bloody Orcs. Uncivilised savages is what they are, and Da Boss is the worst of ’em” Bumford spits. The elf wipes the phlegm from his perfect outfit before Bumford continues.

“No grace, no style. No dignity.”

“Buumfoooord, I’s talkin’ t’you!”

“Stick it up your bunghole you squig-faced troll-licker! I stil haven’t got the stench out o’ my boots since our last game! Tell your mum I said ‘hi!'”

Scowls from the orc. Giggles from the goblins. Da Boss clubs one of them who hits the dirt and doesn’t move.

“Bah. Imagine not having a backup bomber. Amateur stuff.”

Somewhere nearby a throaty engine roars into life followed by a grinding sound of metal on metal. Bumford immediately cheers up.

“Ahh, that’s better. Welp, off you go then.”

“Uh, coach, no advice? What do we do?”

“Make it fun. That way everyone wins!”

“But the chai-”

“Make it fun! See you all at half time.” Bumford turns and struts to the sidelines, leaving a small gaggle of elfs looking at him as he goes.

One elf spots the referee chatting with Da Boss and another troll, this one covered head to toe in jewels and expensive looking clothes. The same troll is on an advert on the stadium walls. “Sir Trollington The Third’s Executive Products for Deserving People”. The troll is laughing and shaking hands with the ref, shovelling handful after handful of cold cash into his open hands.

“Is that… allowed?”

Before an elf can respond, the whistle blows.


The day is beautiful. The sun is bright, the day is clear. Elfs line up and prepare to kick the ball deep into goblin territory.

The moment it’s in the air, an insane goblin with an enormous spiked metal sphere attached to a chain starts swirling and swirling, knocking elves over wherever he goes. An even crazier looking goblin with a chainsaw starts cackling and sprinting around the pitch, chasing elfs back and forth. The ball is largely forgotten.

Steady! stands still as the chainsaw gobling chases him having just downed Belay!. Mustering all the strength he can muster, Steady! throws a wicked punch, flooring the goblin and knocking him clean out. Bumford cheers from the stands until he realises it was the Chainsaw that was injured. The cheers from him turn to jeers and threats. The words “twist”, “privates” and “blunt knife” float through the wave of angry dwarfish.

The elfs grab the ball and run it in, almost being stopped by a wave of green. The referee moves to send the Fanatic off, but he is intercepted by Sir Trollington, who crosses his palm with enough silver to stop the ref in his tracks.


The games continues in a similar fashion, with the Elfs managing to score two more times before full time. The goblins actually remembered the ball on occasion, nearly scoring once or twice, until Bumford’s threats to take the goblin down scared the elfs into aggressive defensive action. Each time, Sir Trollington consistently offers enough green to the ref to keep the fanatic on the pitch, but is looking a little more unhappy each time he does. The ref’s whistle blows full time, 3-0 to Nautical Imperatives.


Miraculously, no one is permanently injured. The elfs are actually chatting happily with each other. No one hurt, 3-0 up. Enough money in the bank to start actually replacing lost players. Bumford kicks the door in. It actually flies off the hinges.

“First! The Bomber is too sick to play. Second! You actually injure the Chainsaw player, so much so he has to stop playing! Third! None of you sustains so much as a scratch! Utterly worthless, totally useless! Not so much as a death! Why do I even bother!”

Bumford collapses sulking into a chair. The chattering has stopped.

“Pff, still. Season’s still got some way to go.”

A pause.

“Who’re we playing next, coach?”

Bumford sniffs. He looks at his clipboard. “Chaulssin Shadows. Oh, hang on.” He sits up, looking more excited.

“They’re elfs too. Black armour. Spikes. Insane semi-naked lady elfs. Oh this should be good! Apparently they try to kill as much as they score. My kind of elf!!”

FUMBBL replay

Bumford’s Adventures Episode 2: Burnfurnace

The night before…

Bumford’s arms are spread wide. He speaks with gusto.

“Come on you lot! A pint of the brown stuff for every broken bone you inflict on’m!”

The response is nonexistent.

“Oh for Arnok’s sake, that’s entirely the wrong attitude.” He glances around for inspiration. His face creases with concentration.

“A.. pint of… wine?”

Small shuffles. A voice floats from the back of the changing room.

“Fruit wine?”

“Uh, sure.”

Faces lift. The mood is lighter than before, in a way that the earth is lighter if you throw a stone in the air.

“A pint is a bit much maybe though coach, delicate stomach you see.”

“Fine, fine! A small glass of fruity wine for anyone who breaks a dwarfish bone!”

A tiny cheer rises. Perhaps this game would go well after all.

“Coach Bumford, just how tough are Dwarfen bones?”

A pause. “Well, do you know soft, ultra ripened peaches? The way they easily splat on the floor in an explosion of flesh?”

Mutters of agreement.

“In this analogy, the Dwarfs are like the floor. The cold, stone, indefatigably robust earthern pavement.”

Sighs.


2: Burnfurnace VS Nautical Imperatives

Bumford swaggers back into the room stinking of dwafen booze.

“Ah, great bunch of lads, lovely guys. You’ll love ‘em.”

The team are sitting warily in the changing room. No one speaks.

Bumford belches loudly before continuing.

“Anyway, so you all know the plan still, yeah? You, what’s your name, hmm?”

“Eleri- I mean, my name is Kiss The Captain’s Daughter!, coach.”

“Wos the plan?”

“Uh, grab the ball then run it in?”

“Remind me to promote you to captain once the game’s over son. Ok, off you go then”

Kiss The Captain’s Daughter! almost smiles, then remembers what they’re about to face.

“Oh, actually, a bit of advice before you get stuck in chaps. Dwarfs are slow, so the trick is to outrun them and huff the ball as far as you can. Nice long passes and running as fast as you can, that’s the key. Ok?”

The elfs stand up. They’re almost feeling the tiniest spark of confidence at this sudden unexpected nugget of actual, solid advice. A stranger, someone calling themselves Paul, is helping them out as they’re an elf short.

“Does anyone else feel a chill?” he asks.


Snow blankets the pitch. Whirling winds and bitter cold wash through the air, whipping hair and stinging throats. The elfs find it hard to walk steadily, let alone run.

“Ah, they’ll be fine,” grumbles Bumford happily. “Bit o’ cold never hurt anyone.”

The dwarfs of Burnfurnace look well at home in the inclement weather. They’re laughing and joking, slapping arms and sharing tankards. One dwarf yells across the screeching wind.

“Oi! Bumford! I’ve promised a pint o’ brown for anyone who breaks an elfin bone, just thought I’d let you know laddo!”

Bumford laughs, wiping snot from his brown beard.

“Hah, brilliant lad that Dalof, right laugh he is. Ok boys, remember the fruit wine now. Good luck!”

The elfs win the toss and elect to receive the kick. It’s hard to see the ball in the snow. They hold back, not wanting to press forward and get stomped. Dwarfs walk forward with inexorable determination. It’s not long before the injuries start. A crunch, a scream, a splatter of red on the pitch.

“First pint is mine then lads!” yells Dalof, to a responding cheer.

Kiss The Captain’s Daughter! lies on the floor. The teams Apothecary, new to the side, stands up but Bumford holds him back by his arm.

“Wait a mo, this’ll be good”

A second disgusting crunch, and Kiss the Captain’s Daughter!’s head flies from his body a few seconds later to cheers from all, none louder than Bumford himself. The doctor decides perhaps decapitation is beyond his expertise to repair and sits back down.

The elfs spot this, the second death in as many games, and panic sets through them. They break though the line with urgency and sprint forward, hampered by the snow. The elf with the ball at the back has snow in his eyes. Passing is next to impossible.

The elfs hand the ball from elf to elf, being taken down by dwarfs almost as fast as they’re doing so, and fuelled by self-preservation instincts Belay! manages to score a touchdown.

The first half isn’t over yet. Five elfs are on the sidelines, either dead or knocked clean out.

“Well, maybe the snow will slow them down..?” muses the doctor whimsically. The sound of an anvil being struck from somewhere in the vicinity of Burnfurnace’s changing room. The clouds split, and beautiful sunshine spills from the sky.

“Or, maybe not”.

The dwarfs know they don’t have time to score, so they merrily beat the cheese out of a few elves for the fun of it.

The ref blows his whistle. End of first half.


Bumford address his team again.

“Good one guys, 1-0 up at half time. Going pretty well, eh?”

Empty stares. Fatigued elves sit noiselessly on benches.

“Oh chin up, it’s not that bad. Remember last match? At least Kiss isn’t standing on the line o’ scrimmage as a shambling zombie now, eh?”

Paul the mercenary looks up.

“What kind of team is this..?”

“Hear that? Time to go lads. Off you go now!”

“But coach, there are only six of us. How’re we supposed to stop a whole team of dwarfs?” pipes an elf.

“Plan F! Simple!”

“We don’t have a plan-“

“You really better get a shifty on boys, time’s a-wasting!” and with that, Bumford struts back out onto the sidelines. A sob floats from the changing room.


The second half happens much as the first did, with several minor alterations. Instead of 11 elfs, there are 6. Instead of the elfs nimbly darting around dwarfen attacks and handling the ball with finesse, they stand back and try their best to fend off a veritable steam tank of dwarfen strength.

The dwarfs are in no hurry. They casually saunter downfield, wrecking elfs left and right. Weigh Anchor!finds himself shoved into a crowd of other dwarfs who treat him slightly unkindly. The elfs that managed to recover from their trauma enough to stand back on the pitch are again knocked into the dirt and stretchered off. The two stars of the team, Belay! and Hard to Larboard! remain prone on the sidelines, counting stars and nursing bruised brains.

In a fit of repressed rage, Board! flings himself at a laughing dwarf by the name of Lorim and cracks him in the neck. He falls to the ground, badly injured. The remaining dwarfs scarcely notice, but pummel Board! all the same. Bumford cheers.

By the time the dwarfs score, the clock has run down and there are only 3 elfs left on the pitch, none of which are standing.


The elfs are in a various states of extreme pain, but no permanent injuries.

“Well boys, 1-1 is respectable. That’s for sure, and nothing of value was lost.” says Bumford, contentedly. Glares from the elfs.

“Oh of course, how stupid of me. I’d forget my head if it wasn’t welded on! We have something very important to do regarding one of our number.” His face is solemn. The elfs look up with curious sadness.

Bumford walks out of the changing room and returns with a small glass of purple fruit wine. He hands it to a dumbfounded Belay! with a huge smile on his face.

“Here you are lad. You’ve earned it.”

Paul stands up. “Well, I think I’m going to go and, you know, it’s been fun, ahem.”

He makes for the door.

“Good luck against in your next match.”

Bumford consults his chart. “Ah yes, goblins. Madcap Maulers. Everyone knows goblin teams are pushovers, and weak as toffee pudding as well.”

A sigh of relief from the remaining elfs. A nice, easy game with little bloodshed. Paradise.

“Of course, that’s why they sneak in all sorts of interesting, hmm, handicap-levellers, if you catch my drift. Nothing huge, just a mushroom-crazed ball and chain, a few bombs, and-” he yelps with joy.

“Oh fantastic! They’re bringing a chainsaw!”

Bumford hops from foot to foot in glee.

Speechless faces. One of the elfs faints. No one helps him up.

FUMBBL replay

The Elflympic Games

Come one, come all! It’s the inaugural, the inceptive, the very first Elflympic Games!

The Elflympic Games is a four game tournament held in Yate, about 11 miles north of Bristol.

Find the full rulespack attached, as well as a custom excel roster that will allow you to make teams according to the ruleset (look at post below).

Here’s a quick summary though:

1,350TV, skills are bought from the same budget. Most skills are costed at normal TV rate with some exceptions. All teams are allowed, not just elves! 14/6/1 for W/D/L, with bonus points available for TDs, Interceptions and Completions.

Skills =/= stats. No stat ups chaps (and chapettes).

All inducements barring Mercs are allowed. If the same Star is taken by two coaches in one match, they will not play in that game. A joint weather roll is made at the start of the round which everyone will share.

You need 11 rostered players before Stars. (thanks glow!)

Cost: £10.
Paypal (friends and family) to alex_turner4 AT hotmail.com.

Timings:

9am – Registration opens
9.30 – Game One
11.45 – Game Two
13.45 – Lunch
14.15 – Game Three
16.30 – Game Four
18.45 – Awards and Close

NAF approved.

Yate Parish Hall,
Station Road,
Yate,
South Gloucestershire,
BS37 4PQ

The Elflympic Games Rulespack

The Elflympic Games custom roster maker

Bumford’s Adventures 1: Necronobacon VS Nautical Imperatives

Way back in the murky depths of 2015, I was involved in the Reddit Redux Fumbbl Cup, a small league hosted by the chaps over at Reddit.com/r/BloodBowl. Part of the fun for me was writing up fluffy match reports after each match. The story goes that my Elf team was being coached by Bumford, a maniacally beligerant dwarf that for reasons unknown was in charge of them.

Each of the reports was written after the actual match, with the fluff and events accurate to what happened in the game itself.

Without further ado… Here they are! Let’s start with game one…


1: Necronobacon VS Nautical Imperatives

“Do you cress-heads need me to explain it again?” says Bumford, the (very) newly appointed coach to the (very) newly created Elf team, Nautical Imperatives.

“Erm, I think we understand,” pipes a small voice. “We get the ball and score with it.”

“See? You’ll go far, son. What’s your name squirt?”

“Aelfrileale, coach”.

“That’s a stupid name. No panache. From now on, your name will be Land Ahoy!

Land Ahoy?

“No, Land Ahoy!, with an exclamation mark. Right, I reckon it’s about time to get out there. Off you go then.”

The elfs start to move towards the exit. “Aelelfirel?” one elf asks.

“You can’t call me that anymore or Bumford will beat us. Call me Board!” comes the reply

“Uh, ok Board!. Did I see your ex in the crowd? Doesn’t she hate your guts? Why is she here?”

“Oh, erm, I’m sure it’ll be fine. She’s a bit angry with me still. I think it gives her closure,” Board! says warily.


The Necromantic Necronobacon are already on the pitch when Nautical Imperatives arrive. The stink of death is only slightly stronger than the overwhelming perfume wafting from the elfin lines. Bumford huddles his team.

“Nasty bunch of skalliwags, that’s for sure lads. Still, the plan stands. Land Ahoy!, you and Board! steal to the south and round, everyone else cover them. Off you go.”

“What do we do if one of them tries to hit us?”

“Good luck lads, I’m rooting for you!” Bumford says as he swaggers to the sidelines.

The elfs line up, ready to kick the ball.


“The thing is,” says Bumford to anyone who’ll listen. “the money we saved on not employing some quack doctor means we’ll have more cash for the booze when we celebrate, savvy?”. The unlucky spectators near him politely ignore his ramblings to watch the game.

“Anyway, let’s see how the boys do.” Bumford turns to spectate the game.

A whistle sounds. The sound of a ball being booted. The undead move with surprising alacrity. A resounding crack followed by a sickening crunch. “Homewrecker!” someone screams from the stands. Board! lies face down on the floor, a hefty rock on the ground by his head. Land Ahoy!’s brains are splattered across the fists of a hearty Flesh Golem named Lou. Elfs are being punched, kicked and shoved in all directions.

“Hey, not a bad start!” beams Bumford, accompanied by shrieks from the pitch and cheers from the crowd.

Agonising minutes pass. More elfs are knocked out or worse.

“This isn’t going as well as it could. Elfs! Strategy C!” Worried glances in his direction from the remnants of his team. “Strategy C! Come on barkbrains! You remember C! Just charge forward! Scrum time!”

The elfs respond to his authoritative voice with terrified determination. Of course, could they see the grand scheme of things, they probably would have rather tried to survive then try to out punch a literal wall of dead flesh.

Bodies are moaning on floor moments later. Miraculously, some elves have surrounded the ghoulish creature currently grasping the ball in pallid hands.

“That’s it! More violence!”

Somehow, through some twist of cosmological humour, an elf knocks the ball free and another throws it to Weigh Anchor!, one of the speedier elfs on the team, who sprints as if his life were in peril (which indeed it is) forNecronobacon’s touchdown line. Scoring with seconds left to go, the referee calls half time.


“Going well so far I think!” smiles Bumford, patting a wincing elf on the blood-splattered arm. “Ready for the second half then, eh?” No response. Some of the team have just learned of the death of one of their teammates.

“Where’s his body?” comes a small voice.

“Oh, no use moping.” Bumford pokes his head out of the changing room. “Ah, here we go. Second half. Knock them dead!”


The sight of their recently departed friend on the line of scrimmage somewhat dampens the mood of the already soggy elfin spirits.

“Ok, Strategy B! Runaround!” shouts the coach.

The elfs catch the kickoff and immediately pull hard to the flank. They pile in tight right against the sidelines, dangerously close to a dangerous crowd.

As if expecting such a strategy, the living dead swarm the depleted elfs, utterly cutting them off from any hope of escape.

A desperate pass goes awry, and the bloodbath begins anew.

More minutes pass. Belay!, having grabbed the ball in the mad scramble after the fumble, escapes from the scrum before being pounded into the dirt by a red-eyed Wight. The ball is getting dangerously near the elfin line. The same creature as before, the pale, hunched monstrosity, tries to pick it up, but it scurries capriciously from his dead hands.

On a wish and a prayer the elfs duck and dodge their way to the ball and Belay! huffs it downfield to Hard to Larboard!, misses the throw, and the ball scatters madly. Necronobacon pile the pressure on the one or two elfs standing in their half, but they manage to slip through the gaps and score again.

The game ends with a 2-0 victory to Nautical Imperatives.


“See? I knew you lads could do it. Piece of undead cake, eh?”

Empty stares meet Bumford’s words.

“Poor Land Ahoy!..” mutters an elf.

“Oh, hush now. He died in the way he would have wanted. Brains smashed against a golem’s fist, then raised to scramble endlessly in a posse of the living dead.”

“Who are we playing next?” whispers an injured voice.

The coach looks down and flips through a small pile of papers. He smiles.

“Ah, easy peasy. Nothing to worry about. Some of my kinsmen actually!”

Relieved faces drop in horror.

“The Dwarfish team of Burnfurnace.” Bumford smiles again. “let me see if I still have the address of that apothecary I know…”


FUMBBL replay

Once Upon A Thrud – Thrudball 2016

When someone tells you an event is for charity, that doesn’t always conjure up images of high quality. It tends to suggest a half-arsed attempt to desperately squeeze as much money from a bunch of people, with some veneer of circumstance to give the gathering an ostensibly ‘interesting’ feel.

Thrudball is an event for charity.

Thrudball was one of the most fun weekends of my life.

It started with a three hour drive that went by in seconds. The collective hype that hangs around Thrud like Batman’s cape had me so excited.

I rocked up with Rubick at about 8pm to find the huge firepit BBQ well underway, Jimmyjazz manning the tongs (which, if I remember right, made lightsaber sounds. I say ‘if I remember right’ because it was here the booze started with gusto). The sun was setting, the mood was excited.

IMAG2142

Plenty of  people were there already with tents ringing the field behind the social club. Most of us had taken the wise option of setting up the tent before the drinking, though that can’t be said for everyone. Merrick and I had a race to set up (with Landrover admonishing anyone who dared attempt to look at the instructions, demanding we return our Man Cards), and despite having a tent 1/4 of the size of mine I left him tangled in a mess of wires, pegs and plastic. To be fair, he was fairly sloshed by this point, so he was definitely winning that race! My booze-highlight of the day was Glowworms Own Bru, blue and creamy in appearance, which tasted something like cough medicine. Papa Glow happily poured a sizable helping into my cup, the cup that already contained not a small amount of rum. It was a cocktail that I don’t think I’ll be repeating in a hurry (despite numerous attempts by said cocktail to repeat on me).

IMAG2139

Fast forward a few hours and the TO, Tweety Rawdon, announces the Most Thrudlike competition about to commence. I’d turned up with the intention of getting a bit blotto, but nothing too rambuncious, but after a heartfelt discussion with a close friend of mine around the fire I decided ‘Thrud it’, and threw my hat into the ring. “I’m sure it’ll not be too bad,” thought I in my ignorance!

At this point, my knowledge of Thrud the Barbarian was this:

  1. His name is Thrud
  2. He’s a Barbabian
  3. He has some form of link to Blood Bowl

What I didn’t know was Thrud, Large of Arm and Small of Head was a big, tough manly man who makes Conan look like Chicken Little. What I also didn’t know what that the most Thrudlike contest consisted of four parts: The Test of Strength, The Test of Pain, The Test of Drink and The Test of Tales.

There were four of us competing; Loki, a gruff Scotsman in a kilt; Hawk, a Bouncer that could literally break me in half; Buggrit, the human-representation of Gotrek the Slayer, and me, a chubby vegan with floppy hair. But, it was for charity!

So, first was the Test of Strength. This was in the form of Leg Wrestling, so I was thankfully not pitted against Hawk, though I didn’t fancy my chances either way… I faced Loki, and somehow won despite getting a face full of far too much, er, skin (let’s just leave it at that.)

Hawk defeated Buggrit, probably because he weighed three times as much. So, I wasn’t optimistic! And, sure enough, within about 2 seconds of lying on my back on the cold, dark, wet grass, I found myself face first on the cold, dark, wet mud. First round to Hawk!

The Test of Pain next. Spicy food is not my thing. I can just about handle a Korma. So when Tweety cracked a beardy smile and told me to get ready to munch on a series of hotter and hotter chillies, I got a little worried. Buggrit was chuffed, as he told me, one drunken hand stroking his illustrious ginger beard. I was fairly certain I was about to lose, badly. Not only that but we were placed a mere arm’s length from the BBQ pit that had been converted into a roaring fire.

Loki bowed out after round one, Jalapenos. Hawk and I shared worried glances as our sloshed brains imagined the horrible sensations to come. As we were handed deceptively mild looking peppers, we each grunted and chewed our way through a mouthful of fire. Buggrit didn’t care. Buggrit wanted more.

IMAG2141

I got five peppers in (Scotch Bonnet) before I couldn’t handle any more. Second from bottom, with a tongue like a welding iron, I started hopping around trying and failing to think of anything else than shoving my head neck deep in mud. Andy conceded shortly after, granting the Round of Pain to Buggrit.

It was at this point that I was discreetly sick behind my tent, which I was told wasn’t technically a disqualification as it was not because of the booze, but the peppers. Hooray!

The third round was the Test of Drink. The challenge: Two pints of lager drunk from a watering can, fastest drinker wins. Andy didn’t even compete, I think he was too far gone. Loki had lost his shirt, was just in Kilt by this point. He managed it in 1 minute 50 seconds. I was next, and put my mind to a faraway place, and managed to drink the lot in just under 50 seconds, getting a whole minute’s lead. Buggrit, hater of lager, tried a bit, drank a lot, then sprayed it on the fire, laughing all the while. Point to Trumpkin!

The final round, the Test of Tales, was a contest of who could tell the most embarrassing story. Buggrit’s story was repeated no less than four times before he was dragged off to bed. Hawk’s revealed a certain mystery involving a bidet that had until this point been vehemently denied. Loki was so far gone he sort of swayed on the bench log, shouted something, then ripped his kilt away before falling on the food table. Thankfully, my story seemed to go down well. I won’t repeat it here… But suffice to say, I was embarrassing enough to win the round, despite Jimmyjazz pulling my leg and pretending I didn’t, up until the horned crown was placed on my steamy head. There was much shame in them all being beaten to most Thrudlike by a vegan, and I’m not planning on letting them forget it!

IMAG2198

— DAY ONE —

I woke up feeling less like a brutish barbarian and more like a wet paper towel. I grabbed my dressing gown (I knew I packed it for a reason) and limped to the ashes of the fire, where I sat in a chair for about three hours, trying to scrape together enough energy for three gurelling games of Blood Bowl. Looking around the pit my fellow contestants didn’t fare much better, one of them managing to stumble from his tent, bare chested, vomit on his face, bloodshot eyes, before slumping onto a camp chair and being rather quiet for a while.

Moving on to 10’o’clock, the actual games could begin.

My roster was a particularly nasty Nurgle list. Beast and four Warriors, each with Stand Firm, plus Pro on the Beast and Guard/Block/Diving Tackle/Leader on the Warriors, coupled with a Claw/Mighty Blow Pestigor. That much Stand Firm is bound to give anyone a headache! Combined with S4 and Foul Appearance, it was perhaps the least fun team to play against ever, but I was determined to make a competitive Nurgle team.

My first match was against a person I’d not met until the night before, a fellow by the name of NinjaGoSplat, and his Orcs. Funnily enough, I have memories of drunkenly imparting my (pathetically meagre) wisdom on How To Play Orcs, as he was undecided on his roster until the night before. Thankfully, Nurgle were able to stack up on skills, and with a sea of Stand Firm and a dash of Claw/Mighty Blow, Orcs were a relatively favourable matchup. My Nurgle could do no wrong during the match, with the poor Orcs barely getting a chance to do anything before being caught in a swampy mass of Nurgle, with my Pestigor sweeping in and out wiping out Greenskins all over the place. When the Orcs did receive, they were so few in players that they didn’t really have a chance. They couldn’t fight past the Foul Appearance/Stand Firm combo, and with relatively little Guard and Block they suffered heavily.  I walked away with a 2-0 and 4-1 in Casualties.

My next game was against another Orc coach, the very talented ref/player/TO Lunchmoney. I’d played his Undead at Gert V with my Elves, so knew the speed at which we made his moves. He didn’t run Speedbowl for nothing! I’ll kill the suspense now and say that I lost a miserable 2-0, with 2-1 to casualties in Lunch’s favour, too. He’ll be the first to tell you it was a dicing though. My chaps couldn’t succeed in even simple blocks, while Al was darting this way and that, making one-die blocks like a dwarf, dancing like an elf. The only Foul Appearance roll he failed was on Turn 16, on a ‘why-not’ final block. Not a good day to be a disgusting Nurgle player.

IMAG2145

The last game of the day was against the delightful Mr_Frodo, a fantastic gent who, when I asked him about his roster, said:

“A political aide, if presented with this roster by the MP she or he is working for, would describe it as ‘brave’.”

It was a Halfling team with no chef, no skills and no rerolls. However, it did have two Trees, Deeproot Strongbranch and Morg’n’Thorg. My first run-in with the big man himself! Though it doesn’t take a Blood Bowl veteran to notice that the roster, being eleven ‘men’, wasn’t exactly hugely competitive… Though, saying that, it was surprisingly tough. There was a moment where Morg had the ball in a cage consisting of Deeproot and two Trees. Even a tough Nurgle team would baulk at that. Thankfully, being flings, I just had to wait for him to fall apart and capitalise on the chaos.

Highlights include Morg hiding in fright from my Claw/MB. He was stood quivering in a cage of Halflings, from which he would blitz out and then cower back into each turn. Wuss!

I walked away with a 2-0 win and 3-0 in casualties, pretty low considering.

With that, I finished the day on 2-0-1, which I was chuffed with. The only thing left was the auction…

The auction is a thing of beauty. People donate all sorts of stuff, Blood Bowl related or not, and the organisers, assisted by a group of enthusiastic volunteers, each try to squeeze money from the crowd by either upping the ante or calling the bidders manhoods into question. There were some delicious objects on offer, with some frankly mind-boggling prices paid for some, either because people got them cheap or people paid through the nose. Sets of block dice went for £30, with other, rarer dice going for more. A single set of metallic  silver Block dice was the subject of a huge bidding war, with the price climbing and climbing. I had in my special dice bag an identical set, with the only difference being it was gold instead of silver. I’d told myself that if the bids went to £50 I’d donate them. As the bidding hit fever pitch, I grabbed the auctioneer and handed him the set, at which point he divided the bidding between them. In the end the silver dice went in the region of £75, and the gold-coloured dice (with a gold D6 and D12) went for £100! In total over £2200 was raised for charity in that evening alone.

Bearing the scars of the night before, I had a single pint and went to bed. Very Thrudlike!

—DAY TWO—

So, going into the second day I was drawn against Cassius, a relatively new-to-the-Tournament-scene player from the local town of Bognor. He was rocking a Chaos Dwarf team, so it was yet more bash. He’d gone for a Claw Minotaur and only one Bull Centaur, but had thirteen men at the cost of several skills. A damn solid coach, the game was nearly over before it began. I was receiving (incidentally, I won every single kickoff this weekend), and Cassius rolled a Blitz. In my desperation to recover, I started with a block to free some Warriors to help, and rolled Dub Skull, reroll, Skull/Both Down, so uh oh!

IMAG2187

Thankfully, mostly due to Stand Firm, I was able to recover. I just sat my big fat Warriors in his face and let him come at me. The Pestigor and the Minotaur threw blocks at each other with gusto, but neither of them really did any damage. At least the Pestigor caused some hurt later on, but the Mino was a veritable pussycat throughout the whole match. There was a time where a Bull Centaur made a frankly disgusting play, dodging into two tackle zones (Twice!), including escaping a Diving Tackle roll, to single-die POW the ball carrier. I wasn’t chuffed! I surfed him for it later though, which made me feel happy.

I scored my turn 8, and set up to defend.

Again, everything just went right, and I squashed his team against the sidelines, all that Stand Firm and Tentacley goodness holding him fast. When he did try to make his desperation play to escape, he managed to fail a Foul Appearance, throw a 2d block and get Skull/Push reroll Skull/Push, and was stuck! He tried to make a run for it, but his Bull failed his Break Tackle and fell on his face. I was able to score to walk away with a 2-0 win.

IMAG2163

The next game was against Loki, on Table Two(!) That was the highest I’ve ever been during a tourney, especially this late into the competition. He also had Chaos Dwarves, aptly named In Block We Trust as he had 11 players, 10 of which had Block, including two Bulls and the Mino. Again, Dave will tell you that I didn’t stand a chance. It was raining to start, and my Leader managed to die turn one of both halves (after regenerating). Using my last Reroll to try and pickup (and failing), it meant that by turn two I was reroll-less. I swear 50% of every block was a Skull/BD or worse, for both of us, but as Loki was prepared with Block everywhere he just dominated me. The turning point was a failed 2d block to free the ball carrier from the Mino, at which point I was at Loki’s mercy. If I’d made it, I could have been free, and placed my Warriors in such a way to hold Dave’s whole team back. But alas, ’twas not to be! I had Nurgle Warriors and the Beast getting KO’d, I was failing blocks all over the place… It was frustrating!  There were a few funny parts though, like my Block/SF Nurgle Warrior holding three Chaos Dwarves in place for three turns single-handedly through a combination of Block, Stand Firm and Foul Appearance.

In the second half, the kick landed very short and I got a Perfect Defence. I slapped two players in the ball’s TZ, but Loki knocked one down and casually picked it up on a 5+ (AGI3 + TZ + Rain), and danced away into a tough cage. He scored turn 6, so I set up again aiming to maybe get some Cas points in… But failed again to cause any damage, at which point Loki zips in with his Bull Centaurs, knocks me out the way, picks up the ball on a 5+ again and scores turn 16. Ouch!

I lost 3-0 in the end, which is not a normal thing to do vs Chaos Dwarves. But Loki is always fun to play, and I beat him in the Thrudlike contest, so who’s the real winner here?

In my last game I was placed against Val and his High Elves. He’s a solid coach, and I respect a man that takes High Elves. He had a fairly standard build, with three blodgers and a Mv9 catcher. This was a fun, close, tense game. It was nice to have two totally dichotomous teams. I ground up and scored my turn 8 in normal Nurgle fashion. My Beast was being a total champion today, at one point holding up five elves simultaneously. What a hero!

IMAG2194

Val tried to score in two turns, and very nearly did so. He made a dodge, hand-off, catch in a TZ, dodge again, two GFIs and a Long Pass without a reroll, but failed a 2+ rerollable catch on the Touchdown line – Oh man was it tense! The ball fell off the pitch and landed eleven spaces away, right in a blob of Nurgle… on the side lines. I had a hard choice. Try and hold on for 6 turns, or try to pick up and score again… If I dropped it and it fell off the pitch I was as good as a chocolate teapot. I elected to stand my team around the ball and weather the storm. However, Val is a fantastic Elf coach and managed to knock me onto the ball, which promptly fell into the crowd, who threw it another 10 spaces into safety. Another 4+ pass and the ball was scored on turn 5. I’d actually have preferred it to be scored on turn 2, as that would have meant I had longer to score again.

Eventually, I simply couldn’t make the winning TD. I nearly did, but Val was able to take out the key players in scoring positions. The game ended 1-1 with me leading 4-0 in casualties. It was a hell of a game, the closest of the day, with no one side having a huge dice advantage. Just how Blood Bowl should be played. Maybe Val would have a different opinion though!

I talked to Landrover at the end, while waiting for the award ceremony, who was also taking Nurgle. “I’m pretty happy,” said I, “Nurgle are a tough team to get a good record with. How did you do?” “Oh,” says he, “well, it was the first time I’ve taken them to a tournament. I got 4-1-1.”

I was thrilled.

He ended up winning 3rd place overall. Fair play to him! Ultimately, I strutted home with the Most Thrudlike certificate tucked under one arm, and a respectable 3-1-2 record with Nurgle. That, and the memory of one of the best weekends of my life.

PS, the winner was Mike Davies, NAF Presidente himself, who won entirely due to a hugely broken star player called Belly Smalls. If you see him in public, make sure to boo him accordingly.

IMG_2996IMG_2995
Photos by Al ‘Lunchmoney’