Bumford’s Adventures – Season 2: Game Three – Downend Dynamos

Game Three: Downend Dynamos

It’s the third day of Season 22 of the WIBBL, and Bumford is studying Yaverslann’d’s next opponent: The Downend Dynamos; a Skaven team that’s been enjoying success so far in the league. They’re the only team that have won both their starting games in this division. Bumford is in the stands above their dugout, watching them warm up before the match.

“They’re a nasty bunch to be sure, no doubt,” he says to the hunched figure next to him.

The figure shifts uncomfortably. “You do know I’m their coach?”

Bumford turns to regard the pale ratman next to him. “So?”

“Ssso… Well, never mind. I’ve come to assssk you to bugger off, as, you know, this is ssssort of cheating.”

“Nothin’ wrong with sizing up the competition.”

“Well, that’sss quite right, but I think the line is drawn at pelting them with rocksss.”

Bumford grunts and lets fly with another stone the size of a potato. It hits a rat square in the face. Bumford whoops with joy.

The Skaven coach sighs and walks off.

Bumford waits until he leaves, then turns and shouts towards his own team. Within a few moments Lottabottol is padding up to him.

“Coach!” he says, standing to attention.

“Hold these a second.” says the dwarf, shoving a few rocks into the frog’s webbed hands.

“Certainly, coach!”

“Good stuff, now I’ll be right back. Don’t move.”

A few minutes pass, and within a few moments the Skaven coach returns with several Ogres in referee’s striped regalia.  He points towards the Slann. The largest Ogre jogs over to him.

“Ah, good morning gentlem-urk!

“No Lottabottol today, squeezlings. To be honest, his sportsmanship and general ethics are not at all what I expected, really lowering the tone of the game,” he sniffs.

“Anyway, ratmen today. They’re almost as mutated and disgusting as you lot are. Off you go then!”

As the team leave, a shambling undead representative from the League Commissioner’s Office sidles in, clipboard in hand.

“Good morning. We have received a complaint that you’ve been cheating, and that you’ve framed so-called ‘star player’, eh,” he looks at this clipboard “Lottabooter. Ridiculous name. Is this true?”

Bumford scoffs. “How dare you, questioning my integrity. I would never dream of actin’ in such an underhanded way.”

The zombie nods. “I thought so. Well, bye.”

He shuffles out. Bumford waves at a small procession that walks past the door after the zombie, two Ogres clamping Lottabottol’s arms behind him. His eyes are a mixture of anger and trepidation. Bumford waves.

He turns and chuckles.

“Heh heh. Frog marching.”

The teams file out onto the pitch. Boggy Bee stubs his toe and almost trips on a rock.

“You think they’d comb the pitch croak for rocks before the match starts.”

A monstrously large rat called Norvegicus scampers heavily towards the line of frogs as they enter formation. The frogs instinctively take a few steps back in fear. The Rat Ogre charges towards them.

It skids to a stop inches from the nearest frog, flecking them with mud, and stands up straight. It sticks out a meaty paw, big as a paving slab, and it’s gigantic maw splits into a smile.

“Terribly pleased to meet you, charmed, charmed.”

Wasteyenot, the closest Slann, hesitates before shaking the huge arm politely. “Er, likewise croak.”

The rest of the Skaven team are similarly well mannered, shaking hands and wishing luck. There is even a polite chuckle after Tiomanicus, a Gutter Runner with three arms, manages to shake hands with three frogs at once.

Norvegicus speaks up again.

“Beautiful day, hmm? Looking forward to getting stuck in, what. After, perhaps you would all like to join us in a little post-match wine tasting evening? The exercise really loosens the palette. Well, speak soon.”

The ball is punted overhead deep into the Slann’s backfield, and Norvegicus instantly roars like a dragon and rips into the line of frogs amidst croaks and screams, knocking Snippy Slip Slapper out cold with a single backhanded blow.

Flicker Dee grabs the ball and he, along with a swathe of frogs, dart to the south to sweep around the ratmen.

They fend off the lightning-fast advances of the Dynamos, first from the north then the east. The Ogre is far away, having lost himself to mindless fury, and is chasing down Stretchy Pete, who is running for his life.

The Slann play conservatively, screening off their offence. It’s all going well until Norvegicus’s head snaps round, and he charges towards Flicker like a steam tank. It’s all the frogmen can do to keep his murderous rampage at bay long enough to score. The moment the ball passes the touchdown line, he stops slavering and frothing and claps his hands together.

“Well played, chap. I’ll get you next time, har!”

The frogs are unnerved.

The teams set up for another drive, and the rats have plenty of time to score again. However, it’s not as easy as that.

As the Slann kick the ball, an argument breaks out on the Line of Scrimmage. Norvegicus and Everetti, the Skaven Blitzer, were apparently discussing philosophy prior to the drive.

They are falling out over whether the fundamental nature of the soul is one of balance despite adversity or adversity despite balance, and perhaps you should read more about it before debating with the big boys, and perhaps your face needs balancing, and you so on and so on.

The rest of the Skaven team try to calm them down.

“Hurry up! Go get the ball, green idiots! The clock is running!” yells Bumford.

The Slann, unsure of the etiquette here, jog around the scrum and pick the ball up before walking slowly towards the touchdown line.

With barely a few seconds left on the clock, the teams set up again.

The Slann form a defensive wall, though they’re not worried. What team can score that quickly, with ten seconds left?

The Skaven team are fast.

Very fast.

It takes seconds for the ball to be swept up, then it’s sailing through the air.

Tiomanicus swipes it from the air, and is streaming towards the touchdown line.

It looks like he’s going to make it!

The Slann defense charges to meet him. Tiomanicus avoids them easily. The Blitzer Swish is the last hope. Tiomanicus, perhaps in a display of ability, decides to go over him instead of around him. He jumps, and plants both feet on the Blitzer’s head, intending on gracefully jumping off of him like a footstool for the score. Sadly, Tiomanicus didn’t take into consideration just how sticky a Slann’s head is, and instead slaps wetly against Swish’s back.

The whistle blows for the second half.

Back in the changing room, Yaverslann’d are feeling pretty good. They’ve not had a lead line this before. They’re all alive. They’re feeling confident.

Snippy Slip Slapper is still out for the count. Bumford takes this valuable coaching time to draw on his face. In pencil.

The second half begins, and the slaughter finally arrives, much to Bumford’s delight! No less than three players die within minutes of each other, two Skaven and one Slann. Miraculously, the doctor (despite angry bellows of questionable ethics from Bumford) revives Stretchy Pete from the brink of death. One of the other deaths is Tiomanicus. (He’d tried to escape the slimy fists of Flicker, but his feet stuck to the floor at the wrong moment and… Well, suffice to say his running days are over.)

The Dynamos manage to perform a blisteringly fast roundabout passing play, scoring early on in the half. But, due in part to their ongoing felicitations and, er, otherwise about various vagaries of philosophical this and metaphysical that, and the often violent confrontations within the team about exactly which path to inner peace was most direct, the Dynamos were severely disadvantaged in numbers.

They had looked like they were about to rally together, having finally unified on their beliefs (for now), when Bumford leaps up onto his chair and yells about how inner peace is wholly selfish, for what great act of self-interest can one pursue than the ultimate fulfilment of the personal soul, and they all started off again.

Making the most of this, the frogs swamp them with bodies, holding them back long enough to score a third time.

3-1 to Yaverslann’d!

“Nice one swamplettes! You’re getting a decent record. Course, it’s only against teams that wear practically nothing, so no wonder. Once you have to fight some real armour, you’re really going to suffer. Especially if it’s covered in spikes. And maybe poison. Oooh, I can’t wait, the suspense is killing me…”

He timidly peels back the top page of his clipboard, and reads.

He cheers.

“Ahar! Dark Elves! All those blades, all them spikes, and those lady elfs… Oh my.”

He sits down.

His team exchange worried looks.

There is a poster on the wall. It bears the portrait of Lottabottol. There is some very severe looking red writing beneath it.

Fumbbl replay.

Bumford’s Adventures – Season 2: Game Two – Forest Side Warrior Princesses

Season Two: Game Two – Forest Side Warrior Princesses

Bumford is feeling good. Brand new team (even if they are weird frog people), first victory under their belt. He bursts into the changing room of Yaverslann’d, an overflowing barrel of finest dwarven BlitzBooze clamped between his arms.

“Mornin’, wusses!” He roars.

The frogs flinch from the sheer volume of the greeting. They are less enthusiastic about their new coach.

Bumford eyes a spot to deposit his cargo, manfully slamming it on a bench next to Gwan Tekkit. It sloshes over the rim, splashing the spotted legs of the hapless frog. It fizzes and sizzles on contact with him, and Gwan leaps yelping into the air, rushing for the nearest water source.

“Present for you lot for doing so well!” Grins the dwarf, producing a number of beakers from his beard.

The frogs listen to the painful moans of Gwan and decide perhaps abstaining is the wisest course.

“Pah! Fine, suit yerselves. Cowards. A little salt-infused pick-me-up never hurt anyone.”

Bumford lifts the barrel above his head, bites a hole in the bottom with chunky dwarven teeth and downs the whole thing in one.

When he finishes, he hurls the barrel at the wall behind him, and it bursts, showering the team in splinters and flecks of alcohol.

It takes a few minutes to restore order to the team. A few minutes, and not a small amount of threats.

“Right. Amazons today. Bloody amazons. Watch out, they’ll try and distract you with all their provocative clothing, curvaceousness and jiggling promontories.”

The frogs are startled by this stream of eloquence from their coach.

“It means their boobies, do I have to spell everything out for you? Arnok forfend… They’ll distract you give you the old runaround when you ain’t looking.” A look of fond remembrance comes over Bumford’s face.

“Uh, coach.” croaks Stretchy Pete. “We are an entirely separate species, and therefore have no desire whatsoever for human females.”

“Wait till you see ‘em!” Winks Bumford.

“I, well-”

A powerful knock at the door, and famed chainsaw-maniac Helmut Wulf walks in. He and Bumford greet each other warmly, clapping hands and laughing.

“Thought you’d all need some help today chaps,” he says.

“But coach, won’t Mr Wulf be susceptable to the aforementioned croak distractions you were mentioning?” Stretchy suggests, smugly.

Helmut looks at the frogman with disgust, before furiously walking away.

“That’s very insensitive of you, Pete. I’m dissapointed. Everyone knows Wulf had a dreadful chainsaw accident many years ago, when Nobbla Blackwort challenged him to a juggling match, leaving him missing key aspects of his anatomy. Speaking of which, I’d be careful on the pitch today. Helmut don’t half hold a grudge.”

Stretchy Pete gulps nervously.

As the team are filing onto the pitch, Bumford stands with his meaty arms folded, sussing the competition.

A quiet croak followed by a louder cough grabs his attention. He turns to see Lottabottol, again.

“I was, ahem, perhaps wondering if you valued my assistance again this day.” He says.

“No, I’d rather punch myself in the face.”

“Please, sir Dwarf!” Lottabottol falls to his knees. “You have no idea how hard it is as a serious Slann blood bowl player to make a career! No one hires me, no one wants me! I have sic thousand children to feed…”

“Ah, fine! Just quit yer blubbin’. On ya go.” Bumford slaps him on the back, knocking him face-first onto the floor.

The amazon team, while no seasoned veterans like the last match, are nonetheless serious contenders. Several of the women, Blossom and Demeter, are rumoured to be ace ball-handlers. Bumford snickered when he was first told this.

The Forest Side Warrior Princesses (the what? thinks Bumford) are indeed every bit as revealing in their uniform as Bumford had warned. As expected however, the only one really noticing was Bumford himself.

Yaverslann’d are receiving the ball this half, and arrange themselves for the kickoff. The moment the ball lands, Flicker Dee grabs it in sticky hands and rushes to the south, accompanied by several of his fellow Blitzers. The Princesses try to pile on the pressure, but the combination of springy frogs darting about and the manic whirling Chainsaw of Helmut Wulf sees them contained in the centre of the pitch. For what seems like an age the Amazons are contained further and further, the Slann confidence growing, until finallt something snaps. Out of nowhere the Princesses are hurling frogmen out of the way, exploding from their unwilling cage, chasing down and beating up anything that moves, not least poor Helmut, who finds himself set upon by no less than seven of them at one point.

Deciding that waiting around and showboating is not perhaps the wisest move, Flicker runs the ball in for a touchdown.

As the teams set up for the next drive, Bumford notices the time left on the clock. There’s enough time for the Zons to comfortably score, equalising before the second half even begins. He needs to do something.

He stands up on the head of a nearby spectating troll (a conspicuous fellow in glasses and a trenchcoat) and turns towards the predominantly female followers of the Princesses.

He cups his hands around his mouth.

“The gender-pay gap is a myth!”

The ensuing rampage of fans sees three dead, many more wounded, and a veritable mountain of hatred pointed towards the dwarf and his team. Thankfully, it’s bought just enough time to make equalising this half all but impossible for the Amazons.

It is half time, and Bumford is chatting to his team.

“That was fun, eh! Bunch of emotional, over-reactive-”

“Uh, coach? croak Do you think they’re actually going to hunt us down after the match and do those things they said croak they were going to do?” squawks Todd’m Bouncer.

“Naw, I shouldn’t think so. Probably. Maybe. Well, there’s a small chance. Like 50-50, I’d guess. You’ll be fine. Right, off you go! Remember, no ogling!”

The Amazon offence is brutal. Absolutely no quarter is given. A punishing wall of, ahem, flesh repels any attempt by the Slann to get to the ball. Several frogmen try to use their gifts to attack the ball carrier from the air, but are each time crushed entirely.

Tired of their sport, the Princess player Hestia charges down the pitch, ball in hand, ready to score. Again, Bumford seizes his opportunity to help his team. He again clambers on top of a spectator.

“Oi! Get yer baps out!”

Hestia stops, aghast. “Excuse me?”

“You ‘erd! Waheeeyy!”

A look of rage. “I’ll have you know, I am a campaigner for the equal treatment of women in sports, and I will not abide crude remarks from the type of sexist pig that thinks it’s acceptable to yell-”

She doesn’t get any further, because, perhaps in a fit of determination, Lottabottol streams from behind and thumps her on the back of the head. He, and several other Slann, surround the ball as best they can. It looks certain they will prevent the touchdown…

But several of the other women have heard and seen the exchange, and furiously storm down pitch, giving the frogs an absolute beating. They then pick up the ball and slowly walk it in, with a last withering stare at Bumford.

The referee blows his whistle. The score is 1-1.

The attitude is tense in the dressing room.

“Well, you drew. But at least you didn’t lose, so you’ve actually lost me a bet.” Says their coach.

“Coach, we believe we must discuss some of the tactics that you used today. We believe in parity of treatment of all races, genders, species, and-” Wasteyenot is cut off by a rumbling sound coming from the hallway.

“Hold that thought froggie-boy. Don’t tell it to me… Tell it to them. Turrah!” Bumford vanishes through a trap door, locking it behind him, as the dressing room door is bashed back, revealing a gang of very unhappy, very muscular and very armed Forest Side Warrior Princess fans.

“C-coach croak!-”

Fumbbl Replay

Bumford’s Adventures – Season 2: Game One – Burnt Wood Grockles

Game One: Burnt Wood Grockles

It is a new day. A new season. A new team.

Bumford emerges from his dressing room, bedecked in a luxuriously enormous fur coat. Ostentatiously furred, almost as if Bumford was trying to make a point. He picks his teeth from his lunch. Ale boiled frog’s legs, something tantalising he’d found last night. Why was he craving frog’s legs, again?

The air is crisp, but a little swampy for Bumford’s alcohol-infused morning brain. Bumford trundles over to the door of the newest bunch of rejects he’s responsible for, and boots it open. It flings back on its hinges, slapping something wet and squishy on the way.

“Right then! Line up, maggots.” He announces, picking his teeth again with a bone, before flinging it on the floor. A huge green hand plucks it up between padded fingers as big as chair legs, before an enormous wide face scowls at it. The scowl moves to face the dwarf.

“Oh yeah! Stupid frog people! I remember now. Line up then, come on!”

“Coach Bumford, what is this? *croak*”

“I don’t think you lot ‘erd me, LINE UP!

Bumford walks to the nearest frogman and backhands him towards the middle of the room with such fury that the Slann’s head sticks to the floor. He has to be peeled off the flagstones by his mates.

The other frogs, perhaps more out of shock than anything, shuffle into a line.

The huge frog with the bone in his hand hasn’t moved.

“Bumforrrd. We are an elderrr race, and as sssuch we expect-”

If one were to be standing outside the changing room at that point, one might have heard an unusual sequence of noises. A war cry, a snap, a grunt, two sounds not unlike sticking a pole in a pool of custard, three yelps, an insane cackle, a wet splotch, a burp, then a murmur, followed by silence.

Eyes already much larger than human are stretched wider still.

Bumford wipes himself clean.

“Now that that’s out of the way, what’s on the ol’ agenda for this evening for you disgusting bog-fwompers? Ah, gobbos. Easy. Lots of green. You know the strategy, just, I don’t know, bounce around or something.”

No one moves.


They retreat instantly, one of them slipping over the mess.

The door swings shut, revealing a smaller frog that had been trapped there since Bumford’s entrance. Bumford unsticks him from the wall with a sharp tug.

“Do me a favour, frog-boy. Grab a mop.”

He leaves.

The Burnt Wood Grockles are a goblin team that’s surprisingly long in the tooth. They’ve been hanging around the lower divisions of the Wight Isle league for ages, perfectly content to focus on maiming newer and less successful teams instead of facing off against the heavy hitters.

Dozens of goblins, a couple of trolls, and all the trimmings jog onto the pitch. Some of the goblins are cartwheeling and throwing a ball to each other with frankly upsetting skill. Bumford squints in disapproval.

“Not even a bomber, what’s the point…”

He looks at his pathetic team walk nervously to the pitch. He looks at the roll call of names he was given.

“Says here we’re meant to have a big feller, where is he?” He demands of an aide.

“He, er, we-well, you, uhm-”

“Oh, him! Totally deserved it. Never mind. Why do we have so many blitzers, by the way?”

“Uuhm, again, er, coach, *croak*, you insisted we, we, er, start with as many as we c-could find.”

“Hmm. Must have had some great plan in mind. Let’s see how the lads do!”

Two figures move over to Bumford. Another Slann, in ornate armour, and a skink wearing a skull.

The Slann, in a deep voice, says:

“Bumford, was it? We couldn’t help noticing the, hmm, discrepancy between the two teams playing today. Perhaps you’d like us to join in? We’re always up for a bit of a scrap.”

Bumford snorts. “You mean no bugger ever lets you play because you’re useless and expensive, so you want to beg me for some money in exchange for what can laughably called your expertise?”
The frog sniffs.


The first half sees the goblins tear the Slann team apart. Sticky green fluids coat chainsaws, trolls, even goblin boots. Hemlock the skink gets punched about quite considerably, but Lottabottl seems to stay intact. A few Slann get hurt, but Bumford doesn’t care particularly. By turn 8 the Slann are down, 1-0…

The changing rooms, several minutes later.

Bumford is angry.

Bumford suggests that perhaps the ‘dirty toilet mouldy limpet sucking toad lickers’ didn’t quite get the message earlier.

Bumford puts it in no uncertain terms that he would hate to have to demonstrate his position again.

The team listen very closely.

The second half sees new life breathed into the Slann. They’re speedy, they’re agile, they’re strong. They give hits and take hits. They steam up the pitch for an early score, then pile on the pressure for the second half.

Hemlock dives into a crowd of troll for an attempt at the ball carrier, but gets squashed. Hey ho, thinks Bumford.

A sneaky gobbo is unceremoniously thrown by a Troll, landing miles from anyone, and darts for the Touchdown line. A glance from Bumford incites yelps of fear from the frogs, who catch him just in the nick of time.

A surprisingly smooth passing play sees the Slann score again, bringing them the victory!

2-1 Yaverslann’d!

“Not bad, not bad,” struts Bumford later on, swaggering back and forth. “Medium amounts of carnage, acceptable injuries… Not bad. Still worth less than the hair on the boil of my arse, but still.”

The door opens. It is the fabulously wealthy Troll that blackmailed Bumford into coaching this team.

“Well played, team, and congratulations, Coach Bumford. Our little debt is settled, you may go.”

The frogs sigh with relief. One of them laughs. The nightmare is over!

“Oh, no, that won’t be necessary Trolly. Truth it, I’ve grown quite attached to the little buggers. I’ll be staying put for the time being.” He smiles enormously.

“Well, I won’t say no! But let it never be said I was not a Troll of my word. Good day, Bumford.”

The troll turns to leave. His feet are stuck to the floor in a puddle of ooze.

“I, uhm, tried to clean it u-up, coach, but it *croak* was ever-so-sticky.”

The dwarf pats the smaller frog on the head, nearly knocking him out.

“Know what? I like it like that. That swampy odour… smells like home.”

He turns to face the team. They avert their eyes.

Fumbbl replay.

Episode Thirty-One: Slanntastic Mr Krox

Oh Slann, you underrated team of freaks, you. Who cares for tiers or optimisation when you can simply bounce around, having fun?

Who needs Blitzers with Block or Catchers with Catch? Or, well, any of the staple skills required to make a team competitive? Not Slann!

We’ll also take a look at Scrumpy Scramble this week, and how it all went, how we did and all that. Then it’s a brief overview of the Bubba League, Bristol’s new tabletop league wiv a proppur wibsight an’ everyfink (bubbaleague.co.uk, if you were wondering!)

Oh, they might just be time for Bloodblusters too, hosted by the Anne Robinson of Blood Bowl, Nazgob…

What could go wrong?

ABAO Episode Thirty-One: Slanntastic Mr Krox

Find us on iTunes!

Episode Thirty: Grak and Crumblebroken?


Literally nothing contentious happened in the last few weeks. No new models were released, no new unbalanced star players were announced, nothing whatsoever even remotely controversial even crossed the minds of anyone.

Well, maybe not. This week we’re talking about the new star players Grak and Crumbleberry, the new models revealed at Warhammer World, the referee models and rules, as well as a few other bits and bobs.

We’ll also discuss Scrumpy Scramble, Naz’s tournament goin’ on dowun in th West Countr’y moi luver. And of course, Bloodblusters, hosted by Twelfman!

ABAO Episode Thirty: Grak and Crumblebroken?

Find us on iTunes!

Episode Twenty-Nine: The Elflympic Games Round-up


Join us this week in our recap of what went down during The Elflympic Games Trumpkin’s Twelfman’s elf-centric tournament held on the 3rd of December.

We also talk briefly about the Albion Coast Trophy, the new Winter Board and the Bristol Bubba League that’s just started.

And, of course, Bloodblusters, and it’s Nightwing’s turn this week!

What could go wrong?

Episode Twenty-Nine: The Elflympic Games Round-up

Find us on iTunes!

The Elflympic Games – An Autopsy

Yesterday was the first Elflympic Games, a one-day four-game tournament run by myself. The rulespack can be found both on this blog and the dedicated website.

Here’s a quick summary though: 1,350k GP to build a team. Skills can be bought from the same budget, with no restrictions on doubles or spamming. Normal skills are 20k, doubles are 30k, with certain ‘luxury’ skills costing 40k and other ‘bargain bin’ skills costing 10k (regardless of being a double or not).

Win/Draw/Loss is worth 14/6/1 points, with 2 points per Touchdown, 1 per Completion, 2 per Long Bomb Completion, and 2 per Interception, with no caps on any of them.

This might cause some people – especially veteran tournament-goers – to double-take. Bonus points for completions and touchdowns, with no limits, with these Bonus Points being added to overall score? In fact, it generated so much controversy that it is has over 300 replies on the TFF thread since its creation in August, much higher than is typical of a British One-Dayer.

There were lots of concerns about a number of aspects of the Elflympics. Was it worthy of a NAF trophy? Does it undermine the sanctioning process? Does it invalidate the primacy of W/D/L? Was it competitive? Was it broken? Was it going to be fun? Was it fair?

I’m going to take a post-mortem look at the day, how it ran from my perspective, and analyse the results a bit too to see if we can answer some of these questions (from my own most-likely biased perspective!).

Firstly, I had twenty six coaches pay up, which was the limit of comfortable capacity for the venue. This suggests that either people wanted to come along to see whether the tournament was going to be as insane as people thought, or perhaps (and I hope this is the was the more common motivation!) people were intrigued by the alternative ruleset, and thought it could be fun.

(Just a quick aside – by ‘fun’ I mean the player enjoyed themself according to their own criteria. Different people come to Blood Bowl tournaments for different reasons, my idea of fun is likely different to yours. Some people enjoy the ultra-competitive side, some people enjoy the larks, most people are in the middle. When I say ‘fun’, I mean that the person walked away from the venue having gotten from the tournament whatever it is they wanted to get from it.)

It also helps that Yate (and by extension Bristol) is in prime Blood Bowl territory. It’s slap bang in the middle of the Welsh sides, Bristol sides, Swindon, Exeter, and to a further extent the Southampton/Midlands gaming groups. It has a train line that connects to Bristol/Gloucester, it’s fairly close to a junction from the M4. The Parish Hall itself is literally minutes walk from the train station and plenty of shops, chip shops, fast food, supermarkets etc. So I think that also helped get the numbers in.

One thing that became apparent is that many people rejected the idea of taking elves, despite the obvious bias in points. They went instead with anti-elf teams, with the expectation that they would face plenty of elves and so be perfectly prepared to take them down. What was interesting is that these people were originially in the majority!

I published a few rosters prior to the event, and there was concern from some people that with so many shutdown teams, chances are there would be matches between two shutdown teams that would boil down to a Metapod-off; two teams that are only good at stopping elves failing to impact each other significantly.

I published these rosters for a few reasons. The first was just for my own personal enjoyment! I had a great laugh writing some fluff for the event, and I couldn’t wait to get it out there. Secondly, it was meant as a gentle hint to the overall meta as it stood. Several people, inlcuding the overall winner (Wobert) alterted their rosters entirely when it became apparent the meta was going to Bash teams. Wobert saw there were actually relatively few elves, and changed to High Elves from Chaos Dwarves, and went on to win  the tourney!

People also saw this fairly open style of team buildling coupled with the skill set as an opportunity to build unusual, specialist teams, more-or-less disregarding the meta. At least I think so, can’t think of any other reason why there were so many ogres!

Here’s the race breakdown:










Why so many Ogres!?

Seriously though, lets take a further look. Six of the twenty four teams were pure Elf teams, with entire teams of Agi4. However, these weren’t the only agility teams. There were also three skaven and one slann teams, with a Vampire team too (however as Gorgoroth was taking them purely for the 24, he only brought one vampire – Count Luthor!).

So with Skaven and Slann, there were ten Agility-focussed teams that could reasonably expect to score decent Bonus Points either through passing or scoring.

There were six stunty teams, so lots of competition for the stunty cup. The remaining teams were comprised of Norse, Chaos Dwarf, Orcs and a Human team. The teams not present were Wood Elf(!), Dwarf, Lizardmen, Amazon, Chaos, Chaos Pact, Khemri, Necromantic, Nurgle, Undead and Underworld.

The Present column represents the amount of teams that this race made up. The Normal column is the percentage of a tournament normally made up by this race (based on these numbers), and the difference is (obviously) the difference between the two.


Obviously this was a tiny sample, but it was nice to see lots of normally under-represented races making up a decent chunk of available teams.

Anyway, onto the important stuff: the scoring.

The focus was obviously on scoring quickly and scoring often, with additional points for showing off. To this end most of the Spot prizes were also designed in such a way as to encourage these even more. For example, one prize was for the next coach to score. This meant that if someone was planning on stalling for a few turns, they might instead be tempted to push harder and score now. Another was to make ten Go For It rolls in one turn (which Merrick managed to make!). This was again to make people throw what might be considered good tactics out the window, and instead ride their luck, in the hopes of a glorious payoff.

As a point of comparison I’m going to use the scoring system from the upcoming Welsh Open (which I recommend you check out – they’re a lovely bunch of guys, and damn talented at the game!). Their scoring system is as follows:

3 points for a win
1 points for a draw
0 points for a loss
No Bonus Points available.

To make it easier, I’m going to multiply the scores by a factor of 5. This doesn’t affect anything, it just makes a straight comparion simpler. Meaning it would look like this:

15 points for a win
5 points for a draw
0 points for a loss
No Bonus Points available.

As a reminder, the scoring for The Elflympic Games was:

14 points for a win
6 points for a draw
1 point for a loss
2 points for a Touchdown
2 points for an Interception
1 point for a Completion
2 points for a Long Bomb-range Completion

The biggest win in terms of Touchdowns at the Elflympics was a 5-0 win with 6 completions and an interception. In a normal scoring system, this would net 15 points, the same as a 1-0 or 2-1 grind. In Elflympics, it granted the player 32 points, worth over double the value of a single win. It would have taken some incredible dice to purely place this on luck, though this is most likely a factor. But it would have still needed a coach to push that luck, and to know when to hold back. Undoubtedly he could have stalled for a 2-0 win, with little to no completions. But because the rules rewarded the crazy plays, he kept going and secured a significant lead going into round two.

There were many other games with similar stories too. The final on the top table was an immense 4 – 4 on Touchdowns and 6 – 7 on completion points, netting the two players an incredible 20 and 21 points respectfully for the overall winner and the runner up.

Interestingly, they knew how many points each other had going into the final, so each knew exactly what they needed to win. If the 2nd place coach wanted to win, he needed to either outscore his opponent or draw, but really rack up the bonus points – or prevent his opponent from doing so. The coach in 1st place just needed the draw – provided he didn’t rest on his laurels and let his opponent farm points. (In the end, it came down to a Perfect Defense roll on turn 16 that prevented a very likely one-turn-touchdown for the touchdown, the win, and the tournament!)

The question is: was this good playing, and did it deserve extra points? If so, how much is too much?

Going into the final the two teams were 8 points apart. The game itself was the last game still being played, and was one of the most tense matches I’ve ever watched!

But lets look at the broader picture. An important aspect that many people are concerned with when it comes to Bonus Points in BB tournaments is what is called the ‘primacy of W/D/L’. What this means basically is that regardless of what happens, the person that wins the most games should win the day, and should not place higher than someone that did not win as many games. If you have the same amount of wins, then the person with the most amount of draws etc.

How did The Elflympics handle the primacy of W/D/L?


These are the results after round four. Now, lets substitute the scoring system for the 15/5/0


There are obviously a few differences! Interestingly Wobert still comes out on top. The biggest casualty is HungDonkeyman’s Pro Elves that dropped a mighty fourteen places. They had managed to place 5th with a fairly unimpressive W/D/L of 1/1/2 because of his 23 passing points and 16 Touchdown points. On the flip side, Barney’s Norse rocket from 13th to 3rd. While they had a relatively decent 3/0/1, with 53 points in total, they had only scored 5 Touchdowns with 0 Passing Points at all. This meant that despite a great performance they didn’t place as high as they should have, were this a normal tournament. Barney’s Norse only conceded three touchdowns all day, less than one a game, which suggests a well-fought grind in several games. While this is good tactics in normal Blood Bowl, in the Elflympics it meant that they did not place in the top half, landing slap-bang centre table.

It shows that a team with a poor W/D/L can place well, if they score well in bonus points. Conversely, a team with a good W/D/L can place low if they play a more conservative game.

Ultimately, this is sort of what I was hoping for. I wanted a crazy no-holds-barred day where people would be rewarded for pulling off the risky plays.

Was it broken? The fact that it came down to the last turn of the last game suggests to me that there was never a clear advantage to one team.

Was it fair? People went in knowing the rules from the outset.

Does it undermine the NAF sactioning process? Hmm, I think people who have been to more tournaments than me will have to answer that. There are teams that placed low in the tourney but did well in terms NAF ranking.

Was it competitive? Every award was contested up to the last game, from Casualties to Completions to Touchdowns. I think next year more people will bring elf and agility 4 teams, seeing how nine of the top ten races were agi 4 teams.

Was it fun? I hope so!

Will it be running again? You betcha  🙂



p.s. if you want to play with the numbers yourself, here’s the Score file. I’m sure there are better analyses can be taken from the results.