Episode Sixty-Three: The NAF World Cup IV – (DORN)BIRN, BABY BIRN!

I don’t need to tell you about the world cup here. Instead, listen to our enormous four hour special on the World Cup. Seriously, it’s over four hours.

00:00 – World Cup

4:00:00 – Are they still prattling on?

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Episode Sixty-Three: The NAF World Cup IV – (DORN)BIRN, BABY BIRN!

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The NAF Blood Bowl World Cup IV: Dornbirn To Be Wild

If you’re reading this I assume you at least know vaguely what the Blood Bowl World Cup is all about, so I won’t bore you with the details. If you are in the very small venn diagram of knowing and caring about the Blood Bowl tournament scene but not knowing about the World Cup, it’s basically an enormous 1400-player 6-coach-team event. LOTS of blood bowlers, lots of fun, much insanity.

I wasn’t able to attend the third NAF World Cup in Luca sadly, so I was determined to make it to make it to Dornbirn. I sold all of my warhammer, took on some painting commissions, saved up all my pennies, and before I knew it was waiting for my 06:30 bus to shepherd me away to some full on, hardcore nerding.

Travel and Lodging
The travel was, in my opinion, fairly straight forward. A bus to the airport, a plane to the bus, a bus to the venue. Granted each leg took a good 2-3 hours, plus faffing around time, but it wasn’t actually too bad. I coached from Newport to Heathrow, flew from Heathrow to Zurich, and then got the bus from Zurich to Dornbirn. The shuttle buses were much appreciated, and it was great to just make sure I was in the right place at the right time, and I knew I would be picked up and plopped down in the right areas.

We found it hard to find a good place to sleep all six of our team for a non-crazy price, so we ended up splitting into three splinters. Thankfully we were all fairly close, so we were able to meet up in some capacity on each night – in theory. More on that later…

I stayed with Dreamscreator (Hugo) in a nice little two-bed apartment in the centre. We agreed to play a match to determine who got the sofa bed and who got the normal bed. I set it all up on the iPad, quite happily letting him play Orcs… little did he know the Orc team he was playing had only three BoBs, three Blitzers and a goblin/troll combo. Har! Lizards ftw!

6am bus on Thursday

6am bus on Thursday

 

Sunrise over the Severn

Sunrise over the Severn

 
Start as you mean to go on!

Start as you mean to go on!

The Team
My team was BUBBA Legacy. We’d all at some point or other lived in or around Bristol (except Sam), and we decided to add Legacy as only two of us did currently. Eski (Steve – Necro) was our Captain, with Hugo (Orcs), HungDonkeyman (Dave – Chaos Pact), scs.sam (Sam – Slann) and Hawk (Andy – Undead) comprising our six. We collectively had only one tier one team, with the rest solidly tiers two and three. None of us were man enough to bring any  stunties!

http://nafworldcup.sbbm-turniere.com/1/B66.html

The Squad

The Squad

My Roster
I brought Khemri, because #KhemriLife. I have had a lot of fun with them and I would say at this point they are my strongest team (geddit?) My roster was: Tomb Guardian x 4 (Guard Day One), Blitz-Ra x 1 (Tackle Day One/Mighty Blow Day Two), Throw Ra x 1 (Block Day Two), Blitz Ra (Guard Day Three), Throw Ra (Block Day Three), Skeleton x 6 and two rerolls.

http://nafworldcup.sbbm-turniere.com/1/B66/B66A02.html2

My opinion with Khemri is that if you’re not going four Guard Guardians on day one you’re doing it wrong (my mantra is – Guard Wins Games). Then again, I didn’t finish as top Khemri so maybe I’m way off the mark. (Top Khemmers took a Break Tackle Guardian and a frenzy Blitz Ra, so who knows!)

After that, the next most important skill is Block on the Throw Ras. I’ve had many games where a single die block or -2D on the Ball Carrier has dislodged it. Cake Bowl taught me that Block on the Throw Ras is absolutely vital. However, with only one skill allocation left, I elected for Tackle instead. Tackle is just as important in many ways, so it’s a toss up. My thinking was that if I come across a Zon team or some nasty Woodies day one, or even some unskilled Ghouls or human Catchers, that Block/Tackle combo is going to make some people very sad.

Day two gives you an extra 50k, so I blocked a throw ra. I didn’t want to block the other one as it would waste the remaining 10k, so instead of using a double (I don’t think Khemri particularly care for doubles anyway) I stacked Mighty Blow on the Tackler to make him even more popular. Last day I slapped Block on the last TR, then it was a case of what to buy with the last 20k. Dirty Player is a nice skill, especially with a 14-man build, but I elected for more Guard because I’m tonnes of fun.

Fourteen players seems like a lot, and it is, but I had games where I needed them all. AV7 is bad, and even with Regen they like to stay off the pitch. I completely abuse them as well, throwing them into all sorts of nasty situations. Again, you can obviously go 12-man build and bring the third reroll (again with a random 10k to spend on what, Fan Factor?), but I’m not a fan of this. Rerolls come and go, and can be wasted so easily, gained and spent with nothing to show for it. Players are never wasted. Even if he dies in turn one, knowing you have another ready to join in next drive is a great feeling. With 12-players, you only need to be two skellies down before you’re sticking positionals on the LoS, and with the amount of Chaos and Undead, that’s not a good idea… Plus Khemri should (ideally) only throw 3d or 2d with Block blocks (important ones anyway), plus Sure Hands – Rerolls and for when things go wrong. Khemri are a team that can easily go wrong for the unprepared player, so you have to play safe safe safe. Balls to the walls is for other teams 😉

I’m always up for a good debate about Khemri, so feel free to disagree. We can settle it on the pitch!

I blathered on about that for far too long! Let’s get onto the event itself.

Venue
The venue was gorgeous! A lovely great big hall with plenty of room, despite the concentration of nerds. Lots of easily accessible bars, plenty of toilets, nice breakout areas for getting fresh air. There was a big shopping mall two minutes walk away, so lots to see and do.

Austria is gorgeous. The mountains! Swoon

Day 0 – Thursday
Well, it had to roll around some time. Day 0 was the day for everyone to get oriented, to see what was going on, meet old friends, and it was the day for the Captains to get everything ready with regards to registration etc. Unfortunately, this is where things started to go a little awry.

It was a mandatory requirement for Captains to collect their teams welcome packs, containing a couple of goodies plus their lanyards, and their mandatory skill ring allocations. It was a great idea. In anticipation of the language barriers, a predetermined allocation of colours for each skill had been communicated out in the most prevalent languages, and the entrance fee included your required skill rings, all magnetically enhanced, so there would be no doubt as to yours and your opponents skills. Each ring was in fact a base with a raised rim, consisting of four small puzzle pieces that could be interchanged with other colours to create stacked skills. Good idea, right? Right.

However…

For whatever reason these had not been prepared ahead of time. What this meant was they were being constructed live in front of the waiting captains. They were fiddly little things, with four puzzle pieces and small sticky magnets. Multiplied by an average of say 9 skills per coach, 6 coaches per team, you’re looking at around 12500 skill rings. That’s an awful lot of fiddling about. We started queueing in the first main queue to get into the second hall. We were there for around an hour and a half, then we were able to progress to the second queue… which we were in for almost three additional hours. We joined the queue at 6pm and didn’t leave the venue until quarter past ten, well after the final bus to the town had left. People were getting frustrated, myself included. I offered to help in any way I could, perhaps I could take a team at a time and just dump the needed skill rings in their respective captain’s goodie bag for him or her to figure out, but it was declined.

I had started to get annoyed by about 8pm.

I can sympathise with the organisers. I run a few small tourneys and that’s stressful enough, I imagine such a large event must cause a few headaches. I talked with many people, including those who had run similar-sized events (albeit all smaller – this was the largest BB event ever run remember.) I had a mix of responses. Some said that until the naysayers had run events of that scale, they had to right to complain. Others said that this sort of delay was simply inexcusable. It’s a hard one. Remember these are volunteers, not paid staff. But then again, also remember that we players have travelled a long way (very long way for some) and paid a lot of money to play a few games and have a laugh, not to wait in a hot stuffy room for over four hours.

It meant that I missed dinner on the Thursday, and missed the opportunity to socialise with my friends, other that what we could manage in the queue (I played a few matches on the ol’ iPad). I did make some new friends though (how could you not, when standing next to them for that long? I spent longer with them than some of my opponents). I also missed the opening ceremony, the band, and the bus home, meaning I had to lug my suitcase all the way to the flat.

I do not know how long people were there until, but I imagine it was until the small hours. I know there were lots of people queueing again when I arrived at 8.30 the following morning. Thankfully it wasn’t the same queue!

I did manage to buy myself a little prezzie while waiting though.

from this gent!

And saw some really cool things.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/gBHKHUsCaMQ5qRE57

Day One – Round One – Friday

 

Due to the skill rung delays, round one didn’t actually kick off on time. Coupled with some technical problems surrounding the customised ordering within the teams, even as far as 10.30/11am the organisers were asking people not to start their games. Myself, with many others, decided to start playing anyway. We thought that if we had to start again due to mismatched pairings, in the words of my opponent: We would have had all this fun for nothing. So we started anyway, and said we would count this as the proper result.

Our first opponents were the Dutch team BUBBLE, and I was playing poor Mepmuff, who had recently had an accident on his bike and was in a wheelchair and cast combination! His Undead boasted a Block mummy on day one, plus a Tackle Wight with Guard.

Ours was a funny old game. It was Pouring Rain and I lost the kickoff, but the weather immediately changed to normal, so that was nice. I ground up the pitch, but my drive was stymied and stopped, so I went into the second half without anything to show for it. We agreed that the dice were completely normal. No wacky stuff, nothing failed on either side, and only a KO’d Tomb Guardian was the only real removal. The only Reroll I used was on turn 8 for a block that needed a knockdown hoping for the handoff-blitz-ra play, but it was not to be.

The second half was a whole separate kettle of snotlings. We both failed and flubbed all manner of simple things. All of our rerolls were gone by turn 4. My favourite part was this: He broke away for a sideline cage. I tried to tag a corner with my Tackle BR, but snake eye-d the GFI. He ran his side-cage down, but in trying to get the zombie to protect the corner, snake eye-d the GFI! I laughed when he shook his head, then smiled and said “Don’t you hate it when the dice are fair?”

I pushed his Ghoul into the crowd, the throw was fairly favourable, but I snake eye-d another GFI to pick it up. Basically we both failed to do anything much, but I did secure the ball in a janky cage to stop the score. End of game: 0-0.

My vegan lunch was actually really tasty. Jacket spuds, rice plus herby tomato sauce. Nice and filling, and the queue was thankfully fast moving.

Bad tidings again. There was a problem with the software that managed the rankings and the draw. A poor ref would stand on stage, tell us it’s all in hand, and only a 5-10 minute wait until the draw was done. Then nothing for an hour, then another 5-10 delay… We were eventually told that only two games would be played today, and there may be scope to play the extra game on Saturday. It wasn’t until 17:30 that we were finally able to start round two – or so we thought. Again we were told not to play, but plenty of us did anyway (just for something to do!). Many people were trying to be good natured about it, but the disappointment and frustration, particularly after Thursday night, was palpable. Around 20 minutes after we started our round two, we were told there was a redraw, so we all packed up and shifted over to the new table allocations. We kicked off at 6pm.

Round Two
What iced the cake for us was after all this – we were playing another team from the south west of the UK! What are the odds! My opponent, the wonderful Skab and his Humans, were in the same league as me.

His humans had three Guard and a Tackle (or was it MB?) blitzer, plus Guard on the Ogre. It was a great game with some tough back and forth. With that much guard on the pitch, it’s always a slog to fight your way through. Unfortunately for me, my drive was again stopped due a combination of good positional play and the blocks slowing down, so started the second half with 0 touchdowns.

Skab went for the quick score, which can be a valid tactic against Khemri. Score fast, then throw everything you have at stopping them equalising. That, coupled with the problem of Khemri having to spread themselves out to defend, means you can usually score quite reliably.

Unluckily for Dave, I was able to just about swamp his catcher with enough guys to make it hard to break free. That, and a sneaky Blitz-Ra dodge meant it went from hard to very hard.

A quick note on Khemri dodges – don’t rule them out. Once I’m done in my turn with all the sensible stuff, I will look at any unactivated players who’re being marked by chumps. I will 100% dodge them if they could be in a better position and if there’s no real problem to them tripping. Also remember that a downed player can block an avenue better than a standing one in many ways.

Anyway, with all my guard, it meant Dave had to attempt a -2DB at some point, and unluckily for him it failed. Another note on Khemri strategy – I find many drives will succeed or fail on how lucky the opponent is with -2DBs. If they work, you’re going to struggle. But, the dice are technically in your favour…

With that flubbed, I was able to smoosh the humans with some very friendly casualty dice. I scored five cas in that game, and I think they were all in the second half. Very hard to stop a drive without a team, so I went 1-0. My first touchdown! Woo!

With that, day one ended with only two games played at around 8.30pm. Some of us had been in that hall for 16 hours over the last day, and only had two games to show for it.

We went out for a banging Chinese that night though as we were starving! The issue was that I felt I couldn’t leave the venue for fear the round would be drawn at any moment. In reflection, it would have been better IMO to be told that the round would not start for two hours, so everyone go and get some dinner. But then, I wasn’t there behind the scenes, so I don’t know. I do know that communication is key.

I will state again that I have sympathy for the organisers. It must have been heartbreaking for it to go so wrong at this stage after all their hard work.

We did manage to find a great asian restaurant, which I ended up returning too again on Sunday.

The moment Sam realise that when the chef said ‘Spicy’, he really meant SPICY!

The moment Sam realise that when the chef said ‘Spicy’, he really meant SPICY!

 

Day Two – Round Three – Saturday
It was indeed confirmed that we were going to try to fit in four games on Saturday. With that in mind, we all geared ourselves up for a long day. I stopped by the shop to get some dinner in preparation.

Thankfully, the organisers seem to have ironed out the bugs, and the day actually ran really smoothly. We were relieved, but again a little disappointed : the last game finished around 9pm, so I was completely knackered. I was too tired to socialise. I reckon between 6 and 10.30-11pm is the golden time to eat and laugh together. Instead I had to settle for whatever I had bought from the shop for my dinner at about 9.30pm back at the flat. Sad face.

Anyway, after only a short delay (of fifteen minutes which is fine) we begun…

My third game was against a Swedish coach on the African Impis team. His name was Oberwald_1, and he was bringing Humans with Helmut Wolf. Other than that, it was a standard human team, with guard/MB blitzers, catchers and of course the Guard Ogre. In his drive he scored in two turns, which I was happy with. It meant I had six turns to grind it down in the next drive, then a full 8 turn ubergrind in the second half.

Unfortunately, he stopped my drive on turn 8. Helmut had sat at the back, not getting involved for the whole game, but on the very last turn he charged across the pitch and chainsawed my Throw Ra in his boney face.

My drive started well but quite quickly fell to pieces. The problem with Khemri is when you don’t get any knock downs at all. I was finding myself getting more and more hemmed in, and at about turn 5 or 6 I was completely stuck. More and more -2DBs started working, and before I knew it the ball carrier himself was being assaulted and half my team were gone, gone, gone!. It was certainly not all dice, and my opponent played very well. After turning me over he ran it in on turn 8 for a well-earned 2-0 lead. He ended the day on an amazing 7/1/1, so fair play to him!

Now it was officially ‘Day Two’, so we could bring some more toys into the matches.

Round Four
Game four was versus a Hungarian team in the second hall (our team had lost…). Wolio is one of those rare players: a woman who plays the game. Sadly, our hobby is not the most diverse, and it’s always refreshing to see women competing. That’s a discussion for another time though.

She was playing Bretonnians, and playing them damn well. (Note: Wolio won the award for highest placed Bretonnian at the end of the tourney). She had a Sure Hands knight and two Dodge knights, plus some a Guard Yeoman and a Tackle Yeoman. What was funny is that before the game started, she was leafing through a small pile of A5 pieces of card. She picked two out, looked at them, then told me she was going to inform my captain. It turned out they were invitations to a Hungarian tournament, but I had misinterpreted them and thought they were two Dirty Tricks cards! I was on the edge of my seat the whole round, expecting at any moment a Pit Trap or Trampoline or Custard Pie… Gulp.

Of course, I did the gentlemanly thing and completely destroyed her team. She scored again in two turns (after a hand-off play), giving me ample time for the grindy-grindy. By the time I walked it in, she was down to 6 players (and only one knight). By the end of the second half, she was down to about three.

There was a worrying moment when, after throwing player after player at my cage, she succeeded in the 6+ cage dive! Thankfully for me I wasn’t knocked down. Could you imagine…

She took it all in good spirits, and I walked away with a 2-1. Speaking of spirits, our captain was gifted a bottle of the infamous Hungarian Magic Potion which saw him enjoy his next couple of games immensely, regardless of the result.

Round Five
Round five saw us pitted against another Hungarian team. There were only three, and we joked that we wanted to play the last one to get the set. This time I was playing Swifty and his High Elves. I can always respect a man who plays High Elves. Only one blodger made me happy, with a smattering of tackle, dodge, block and wrestle throughout the team.

It was a good game. I scored in 8 turns (boring shmuck that I am.) However, there was a moment of controversy that I still feel unsure about…

It was sweltering heat. We played my drive as normal, then started rolling for the players to feel the heat to set up for turn 8 for him. I had lost two TGs to the heat (it happens) and he had lost a player or two. After his his turn 8, we again rolled for each player to feel the heat, and again I lost two TGs. After I told Hugo, he said we shouldn’t be rolling for players that were already off (for KOs or previous Heat). We hadn’t yet started the 9th turn, and had only just set up. We had a quick chat about what to do, with myself saying we should roll again, not including all players who were already off, and my opponent suggesting we carry on as we are now. In the end, as is probably the best scenario, we agreed to roll a dice and on a 4+ we would start the drive again. It was indeed a 4+, so we rerolled the heat but only for the relevant players.

In the end it didn’t really matter as he scored in two turns regardless, but I still wonder if I did the right thing.

I ground up for 7 turns and walked it in on turn 16 for another 2-1.

I also built a cage I like to call: The Paranoid.

Round Six
My opponent was fairly long in the tooth – how long you ask? Well, when I say my NAF number is 21092 (and I daresay yours is not too dissimilar,) Skaffen’s is: 97. Blimey! His first official NAF tourney was in 2002. He had the full compliment of positionals, with Guard on the troll and a Blorc, plus three Block Blorcs and a Tackle Blitzer. I like it when I’m playing Khemri and my opponents bring Tackle. Rehehe.

When I took a sneaky at his NAF ranking before our match (masochist that I am) I saw that his Orc ranking was a less-than-average 128.41. This was from a few tournaments, some as far ago as 2003! However, I can say that he did not play like a coach with a 128 ranking.

Our game was a mad one. I received (I had received in almost all my games – protip, I like receiving with Khemri. It means that at least for the first offense you have all your important players). I had the hard job of trying to fight my way through an orcish wall. It was a tense game of concentrating all my strength and Guard in the centre, forcing him to either risk the -2DB blocks or dodge away. At one point Skaff said “I can’t believe I’m having to do a dodging screen with Orcs.” That’s the beauty of Khemri, baby!

Thankfully, I knocked out his Troll in about three turns (the only removal of the match, except in the second half – where I knocked his Troll out again!) meaning I had the Guard advantage. And, remember what I said before: Guard Wins Games. I was able to breakthrough for a touchdown at the end of my drive, despite it very nearly going all sorts of wrong. My throw-ra was being marked in a way that meant I had to blitz through to score (and I HAD to get a knockdown). Thankfully, it all worked out.

I was feeling at least confident of the draw at this point. He had the goblin OTTD attempt, but it’s a fairly low-success play. It was only when I had set up all my guys right in the back field (with three Tomb Guardians off for safety reasons) I realise he in fact had two turns left to score as I had only run it on my turn 7…whoops. I’ve been victim to the Orcy Two Turn Score before, and I know it’s entirely possible!

He ran all his scoring threats down, that being all four blitzers plus the goblin. I did what damage I could, but I couldn’t stop them all, and a hand-over-eyes turn of expert Orcy ball handling and passing saw a blitzer run it in on turn 8 for the equaliser. Doh!

So it was 1-1 as I was kicking – never a good place to be with Khemri. He was unable to force his way through the Khemri Stodge Wall Of Fun (always a great moment when your opponent looks at your wall of Guard and just goes “What now?”), so he elected to try and charge down the sidelines. I stopped him, and ended up shoving a blitzer off the pitch for his troubles. The throw in was kind to him, and within a few moments an Orc Blitzer was sauntering his way down to my end zone, ball in hand. I had one opportunity to take him down… my Blitz-Ra straightened his helmet, rubbed his hands together, and blitzed like he’d never blitzer before! Not only did I take him down, the Blitzer was actually killed as well. What a hammerblow! I had just enough turns to be able to scoop it up and run it in on turn 16 for a (hard fought) 2-1 win. Whew!

So, after a punishing four games in one day, we finished at around 9pm. That’s a late finish for such a high-demanding tournament in terms of brain capacity. I was knackered, but well happy with my 3/0/1 record that day. That put me on 4/1/1, a respectable result for 6 games, and tied for top Khemri! Exciting!

Day Three – Round Seven – Sunday
Ah, this game! It was an interesting one all right. I was a little late arriving (much to the chagrin of my captain, quite right too), and didn’t realise until a little way in that I was on a clock that had started before I turned up. So I had to get a wiggle on!

Avang was bringing Wood Elves with the standard build of Grab Treeman, Tackle/Strip Ball dancers and a few Block and Wrestle, plus Leader on the Thrower.

Despite my opponent having FaME+2, we both were hit by a rock, and unbelievably his Leader Thrower was killed on turn 0. Blimey! My team were on a killing spree and I reduced him to five elves (plus tree) within a half dozen turns. Unfortunately, even with Block/Sure Hands and all the Guard I could eat, his Dancer leapt into the cage and knocked my Throw-Ra down on a double pow/stumbles (grah!). My Tomb Guardian helpfully caught the ball though, and I was able to walk it in on turn 8.

Check who has the ball!

His OTTD flubbed (mostly because he had no one left), but a couple of elves recovered from their KOs. Stinkin’ elves.

He scored in three turns despite my best efforts (elfs gonna elf!) so I had enough time to grind up. After another leapy-double-pow/stumbles blitz that knocked the ball loose again (gnarg!) it was caught by another Tomb Guardian (wahoo!), who, thanks to his paltry MV4, was not going to make it without some GFIs. I got within 4 squares, but a second Double Skull this drive ate my last reroll, so it was seat-of-pants time. After a failed uphill blitz, my TG was marked, so I had to free him for him to score. Three blocks is what I needed to guarantee success, a 2d with block, a 3d with block, and then lastly a 3d without block. Guess who flubbed the last roll!

And again!

The game finished 1-1. I wasn’t bitter about it. Uncontrolled sobbing

Round Eight

I like Pro Elves. I myself have delivered a drubbing to Khemri with Pro Elves against poor Merrick. A blitz on turn one let me score on his drive, my turn one… ouch.

British_Dog is an exceptional Pro Elf player, packing an interesting and competitive build that featured Eldril plus a Block/Frenzy catcher, and this was coupled with a fairly abysmal turn of the dice for me. If I tell you I lost 4-0, you can probably guess what sort of game I had!

Practically every block whiffed, and those that didn’t did bugger all damage. I must have twatted Eldril a dozen times, but he just-didn’t-die! I can’t really complain, I’ve been on the other side of that exchange… He did some impeccable stalling, and although I was able to force him to score in four turns, he was able to apply mega pressure and turn me over to score again in turn 8.

My favourite turn was this: I received the kick (at this point I was 2-0 down already). I failed the GFI to pick up, rerolled, failed the pickup. It turn bounced into the crowd, and was thrown 11 squares into his side of the pitch, and it was caught by his thrower. Ah well!

Thrower on right, elf with ball on left. Fill in the blanks!

With games like this you just have to laugh it off. You can’t win them all 😉

British_Dog ended up on 7/2/0, placing 6th over all. Fair play!

Round Nine

I was having a bit of a stinker of a day so far. Due to the rest of the team having stinkers too, I was still on the top table heading into the final round. Hopefully I could have a final game that would be a nice, easy, fun win against a newbie coach on a lucky spree. I was informed I was matched against Nicodaz, a man so french he was wearing an actual beret. A quick shufty at his NAF page, and…

Blimey! That’s a high win percentage and a lot of won tournaments, including a world cup win! Maybe ignorance is bliss…

He was rocking a Chaos team. There were lots of chaos teams here, but this was the first I was playing against. He had a claw/juggernaut Mino, three block warriors, a guard warrior, a guard beastman and a leader beastman, all topped off with the new and improved Lewdgrip Whiparm (he has dodge now, sneaky chaos warrior).

I actually kicked this time (not my choice), and the final game started. It was clear the tourney was taking its toll on us, we were both making just silly mistakes and forgetting things. Thankfully for me, the dice were with me meaning my mistakes were less punished and Nico’s were, er, not. His rerolls simply disappeared from a series of flubbed actions, and the final one went on a failed catch to almost guarantee a touchdown. I had pinned Lewdgrip up against the wall (after forgetting he had dodge – I had blitzed with a skeleton when my tackle/block Blitz Ra was in range. Why!!!), so he needed to do something a little special to get free. As I say, the catch failed, and I had enough time to scoop the ball with a plucky Throw Ra and run the hell outta there for a TD on turn 8.

I was now receiving, and decided to play it as safe as I could. Despite that, he still managed to get a block on the ball carrier, knocking him down, but my advantage in strength meant I was able to break through and run it in relatively early in the half. No sense in stalling it out! I was 2-0 up with two turns left. A few more turns of bullshit almost saw me walk in a third touchdown (I had the ball and was 6 squares away), but an amazing turn saw a single beastman blitz his way through tacklezones to down the ball carrier, then Lewdgrip also dodging through TZs to chuck a huge pass downfield, to hand off to a beastman, to score! It was a beautiful thing to see.

The last turn was a nothing turn, so I was able to take the 2-1 win.

That put me on 5/2/2, which I am happy with… Well… I wish that final turn in my round 8 had gone differently. A single push would have put me on 6/1/2, which would have snaffled me Best Khemri as well. But then, that’s the game we play! Still not as bad as losing a tournament on a Quad Skull… I’ll never forgive Sann for that. Lol.

Overall I was placed 182nd out of 1423. That puts me in the top 8th (Well, top 12.78%, so perhaps just past that top 1/8th… I’m taking it, okay!!)

Our squad finished 157th out of 236 overall with a 3/2/4 ranking. In a field as tough as this, I’m proud of them for that.

Probably my favourite moment of the tournament was at the bottom of round two. Our team was against the Hakflem Globetrotters. We had lost three games and won two, so to steal a round draw we needed a final win on the bottom table. Hawk was had inched a touchdown, putting him a 1-1 against some Necromantic with two turns left. We had all finished, so were all watching, cheering, chanting as he had rolled a Long Pass with a Wight, and succeeded, so the ball was with an unprotected ghoul, waaay down in the opponent’s backfield… All he had to do was survive the blitz, then break free!

The Ghoul was a blodger, so a single Pow and we were stuffed. In came the support… in came the Wolf for the big blitz! Push, Skull, frenzy block, Push, Defender Stumbles! The ghoul was up!

A third player tried to pin him in, but slipped on a crucial GFI. All Hawk had to do was get through! A dodge, another dodge! A GFI… A second GFI, and he was over the line for that 2-1 win, getting us a team draw! We were all cheering and whooping and bundling him into a massive team hug. That’s what the world cup was all about!!

At time of writing we’re still awaiting the NAF upload, so I’m unsure at how my rankings have been affected. I certainly won’t have hit 200 yet, but I should be a significant step closer. My love for the Egyptian Boney Boys has nothing if not strengthened. I think I have a problem.

So, in summary. The world cup was a heck of an experience. I was able to put lots of faces to names. Shout out here to Shawass, Strider84 and some other wonderful people who I met – thanks for the wonderful words about the podcast and the pleasure in meeting was all mine, I assure you! The food was great, the atmosphere unique. Despite the massive issues on the first two days, thankfully it was all sorted by the end, and congratulations to Torsten and the others for pulling off this magnificent event.

Here’s to 2023!

 

Sharing the stage with the Podcasts from the States - Both Down and Three Die Block

Sharing the stage with the Podcasts from the States – Both Down and Three Die Block

 

The South West

The South West

 

After disembarking on Monday night

After disembarking on Monday night

 

Farewall, Dornbirn!

Farewall, Dornbirn!