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?”
“That’s a stupid name. No panache. From now on, your name will be 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…”