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!

Advertisements

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:

racevoutn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

present-stats

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?

Results

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

table2

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  🙂

-T

 

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.

Bumford’s Adventures 8: FINAL vs Kurgan Blood Tide

FINAL

This is it. The final match of the Reddit Redux league.

Bumford paces up and down. He turns to look at the elfs, murder in his face, then stops and continues pacing. He doesn’t know what to do.

“Inscrutable. No mutations, no freaks, no nothing. Just a well rounded, skilled team. Nothing obvious. How do they play!?” Bumford mutters. He’s been examining the roster of the Kurgan Blood Tide. There isn’t anything particularly fantastic about it. No hugely strong or agile players. No veteran monsters. Bumford crumples the paper, along with the clipboard, into a ball and tosses it at Hard to Larboard!.

“I can’t believe our stupid weakling blitzer is out for the match! What a leaf-eared wuss!” he spits.

“Well coach, one could say you might be partially responsible for-”

“I didn’t ask for your opinion! You want some of this, eh?” Bumford starts violently shaking a fist back and forth right under the nose of Broadside!.

“Look lads, let’s just get out there and crack some ‘eads. It’s what we’ve always done, and it’s how we’ve been doing so well, right?”

The faces of the team show that this was perhaps not a view shared by Nautical Imperatives. Nonetheless, they nod halfheartedly.

“Well, go on then. And don’t mess it up!”

The team begin to file out.

“Oh hang on, nearly forgot this.”

Bumford reaches into a box and retrieves the same enormous codpiece worn by Belay! against their first encounters with the Rotters. He throws it at Weigh Anchor!. It hasn’t been cleaned, and slaps wetly at the Elf. The Elf doesn’t have time to be disgusted before he’s shooed out by the dwarf.

Bumford waits until he’s alone.

“So, you still want to make this bet?” murmurs a voice from the shadows.

“O’ course. Two handfuls of the good stuff on Kurgan.”

“Some might say that’s slightly unethical, Bumford.”

Bumford grins at the troll, bedeckered in jewels and furs.

“Yet here we are, Trollington”


The Kurgan are a hard team to read. Their teamwork is impeccable. No one player stands out from the bunch, yet their record is almost unmatched.

They line up on the pitch, their armour shining menacingly.

The elfs line up opposite. Many of them are scared. Some of them are terrified.

The ball sails into the air, and the final begins.


The first half is brutal. Elfs are being beaten back and forth. Yet something is different. Countless games of being beaten, bruised, maimed and even killed has given the elf team a tenacity that they had previously not known. No matter the amount of times they are forced back, they keep hurling themselves at the Blood Tide.

The Kurgan game is impeccable. The ball is knocked loose metres from the elf line, but incredible athletics by a beastman named Untusk, moves to rival any elf, sees the elfs 1-0 as the whistle blows.


Bumford is nowhere to be seen in the changing rooms. The elfs are unsettled. Even an insult ridden spit fest from Bumford is better than nothing.

It’s not long before the whistle blows again. As they’re leaving, To The Brig! spies several packs of butter melted on the floor. He doesn’t think much of it.


It takes an unnatural amount of time for the elfs to pick up the ball, and each precious second they waste gives their opponents more time to bear down on them. Every time someone tries to pick it up to move it downfield, it slips tantalisingly from their hands.

The Chaos are just as indefatigable on defense as on offense, yet somehow Steady! slips through to score an equaliser for Nautical Imperatives. The Chaos line up to receive again, and the crunchfest begins anew.

The ball flies back and forth, being picked up and knocked down again and again. More and more it’s barely being touched as it pops from the hands of any who get close.

The clock runs down, and the referee blows his whistle for extra time.


The referee, at the urging of Bumford (who has surfaced from somewhere) decides to eschew a break before the next round, and immediately kicks off the final drive. The elfs receive the ball, no longer slimey but sticky, and dart up the pitch. The Chaos, having dealt with this tactic against the Mad Experiment Skaven team, envelop the elf team and beat them into submission. The ball is close to the sidelines, as is Bumford, and it’s there that To The Brig! spies their team coach with more packets of butter in his pocket. Bumford catches his eye. As the elf opens his mouth to shout, an enormous mailed fist cracks him in the skull and kills him instantly.

Bumford cheers, infecting those around him with his enthusiasm.

“Free butter for all!” he yells.

As the minutes go on, it’s clear what is happening. Elfs are leaving the pitch, overwhelmed by the Blood TideGhusk, the beastman, pummels Board!, knocking the ball clean from his hands. The ball flies across and sticks to Ghusk‘s fur, who points, laughs, and begins a gentle jog to the elf lines. No one can stop him.

The whistle blows. The final is over.

2-1 to *Kurgan Blood Tide!*


The atmosphere is strange in the changing rooms. Instead of sadness, the air is full of motivation. Of determination.

“We can do better.” says All Hands On Deck!. “I know next season we can win!”

Cheers from the elfs.

“We’ve had some hard games. Some tough opponents. But we can do it together! With Bumford leading us, we will triumph!” shouts Row, Damn Your Eyes!.

The elfs cheer and start patting Bumford on the shoulder. Their glory days will return again!

Bumford slaps away the hands.

“Yeah, about that. I’ve decided I don’t want to coach you all any more. Frankly, the sight of you all makes me sick.”

Unbelieving stares.

“Yep, I’ve decided to have a change of pace. See you around, you wet cress-headed celery sticks.”

An elf squeaks up.

“Well, what about our prize money? All our wages?”

“Sorry laddo, it was, uh, nicked. Oh, which reminds me!”

Bumford scrapes back a bench, sending the elf on it flying, and picks up a healthy sized chest. It jingles tantalisingly, and Bumford struggles under the weight.

Bumford opens the door. Elfs watch in horror as all they’ve worked for is taken from them. He smiles broadly.

“You’ll be fine lads! Well, some of you. Well, one of you. Maybe.”

And with that he’s gone.


Bumford staggers under the weight of the money.

Trollington meets him in an alleyway.

“That was dirty, Bumford.”

“pff” is the response.

“I’ve decided I want you to do something for me as a favour.”

“I don’t owe you nuffin’.”

“Oh, shall I just go and tell the referee union about this little bet then?”

Bumford stops. Sighs.

“Ok, what do you want, you big green snotbucket?”

Sir Trollington the Third smiles disgustingly.


Bumford checks the slip of paper. The address is correct. He sighs, and knocks at the door.

It opens with a creak.

“Coach Bumford? ribbit”

FUMBBL Replay

Bumford’s Adventures 7: Semi Final vs Reddit Rotters

7: Semi Final vs Reddit Rotters.

The team is waiting in their changing room. It’s been a short while since their last game against the Jelly Jammers, and they’ve had time to come to terms with what they’re about to face.

The smell is necrotically familiar. It’s only been a few weeks since the Nautical Imperatives faced the then-undefeated Reddit Rotters. It had been a brutal game, but Nautical had escaped victorious, besmirching the Rotters’ perfect record and making themselves a tenacious enemy in the process.

Bumford is nonplussed, as always. He’s once again talking to the elderly, decrepit witch that helped them out last time. She shakes her head, glances at Belay! and leaves.

“Sorry lads, no help this time. Stop yer bellyaching! You’ve beat ‘em once before, ya can do it again.” The team are worried. Some of them have been keeping an eye on theRotters, and can see how they’ve improved over the last few games.

“A few things worth remembering today, lads.” Bumford explains. “As it’s a semi-final match, there ain’t gonna be any draws. We gotta keep going and keep going until someone wins or you’re all dead. Here’s hoping, eh? Eh?” he nudges the nearest elf with an elbow, who cringes of disgust.

“Well, actually, that ain’t true. If it’s a draw, it’ll go to extra time. If that goes on for bloody ages, they’ll call the whole thing off and flip a coin. And, ah, after last week, I reckon the cointoss might be slightly skewed in our opponent’s favour…”

Bumford remembers the previous week when he’d been a member, albeit briefly, of the referee’s union. He hadn’t made any friends, put it that way. Any chance for revenge by the referees is likely to be seized upon.

“Any tactics, coach?” squeaks an elf.

“Hmm, not really. Just win! This is for the finals barkbrains! Come on!”


Bumford has paid for a few scandalously dressed women to administer beer and massages to anyone needing it on the sidelines. He reckoned, funny as it would be to see his team get the snot kicked out of them -Bumford giggled- , it would also be fantastic to actually win and make it to the finals, where he would face either the perfidious Skaven team Mad Experiments or the less, well, scrungey cousins of the Rotters, the Chaos team Kurgan Blood Tide.

The Nurgle team shuffle onto the pitch, followed by a cloud of flies swirling behind them. The cloud is larger than last time. Bumford sniffs. Humphrey, star player of theRotters, heads over to him. Bumford smiles widely, remembering the last time they met. “Bumforrrd.” his voice sounds like mud bubbling on an sewage grate. “None of yourr trickss will work thhis time. Just yourrr little elvess and usss. We’re gooing to have some fuuun, maybe staaart recruiting.”

Bumford slaps Humphrey on the arm, laughing all the time. “Here’s hoping!”

Humphrey looks confused for a moment, then decides maybe taunting this insane dwarf would be a waste of his time, and jogs back to the team.

Bumford turns to the nearer of the two so-called ‘Bloodweiser Babes’.

“Great laugh, that Humphrey. Can’t hold his drink though. Speaking of which..?”

The whistle is blown, and the match starts.


The game is furious. Enraged by their last encounter, theRotters unleash their anger through sickening impacts, laying out elfs left and right. Elfs are dragged to the sidelines, where Bumford, between cheers, encourages theahem assistants to try to wake them up again. The ball is kicked to the Elf team, who zipped up the pitch as fast as they could, only to find themselves trapped on all sides by the disgusting, fetid, congealing flesh of the corrupted Chaos Players.

The largest and most hideous of these, the simply-namedHudor, had gripped a number of the elfs in his array of tentacles, keeping them close enough that they were all but passed out from the stench.

Humphrey, as is typical of the veteran, was laying out about him with fervour. The ball was knocked out of Hard to Larboard!’s hands, and bounced madly around the scrum, ricocheting off heads, arms, and whatever else the Nurgle team had, until it finally came to a stop. It had stuck in some of the gelatinous gunk that coated Hudor, and he plucked it with a wet splotch from his side, grasping it in hands and tentacles.

Oh dear, thinks Bumford.


The only hope Nautical had of getting the ball back would be if they somehow overpower the hideous groaning mass of death and teeth. Aye Aye!, thrower of the team, had somehow become freakishly strong recently. Perhaps it was Bumford’s constant bullying that had driven him to suicidal weightlifting. The incessant digs at his cowardice, hiding in the back, not getting stuck in like a proper player.

Either way, a lucky lunge from* Aye Aye!, being supported by half the elfin team, and the ball was somehow freed! *Weigh Anchor! snatches the ball and runs it in.


The Rotters’ offense is insatiable, and it’s not long before they’re deep in elfin territory with the ball. Elfs are being swatted away as they approach as if they weren’t even there. There are mere moments left for the first half. Bumford is perfectly happy, knowing that the Rottersaren’t going to equalise, there are too many elfs in the way.

As if sensing the challenge, Humphrey snatches the ball and gracefully pirouettes around and defenders, leaving them in the dirt. Moments later and the ball is in touch, and the score is 1-1. The half time whistle blows.


It’s halftime and Bumford is half annoyed, half excited. He flits between explosive rage and childlike enthusiasm, chattering furiously.

“How can you let them score like that, in our half! Useless, the lot of you! Cor, isn’t it fun though? I wonder who’ll win! It better be you though lads, or you’ll be sorry. ThatHumphrey is amazing isn’t he? Kill him! I hope he kills you!”

This tirade lasts for a full fifteen minutes. The next half begins. The elfs file out, some of them lingering a few moments more to spend more time with the, ahem, special interest representatives Bumford had hired. Bumford sees them daudling and practically hurls them onto the pitch.


If the first half was intense, the second was frenetic. More injuries, more tackles, more elfs going down. A glorious pass is almost thrown by To The Brig! for the victory, but his mouth is full of flies and his eyes are full of moths, and there’s a huge 7 foot tall armoured disciple of Nurgle breathing down his neck, and he fumbles it, and gets a fist of steel in the teeth for his trouble. Nurgle grab the ball again, and pass it as well as any elf to Steamy the pestigor, protegee of Humphrey, scores again, bringing the score to 2-1 Rotters.

Bumford jumps from his seat and starts yelling and shouting.

The elf team attack yet again, sprinting forwards with all the speed they can. Belay! is knocked into the crowd, and Bumford, in his fury, joins the crowd and kicks him in the groin as he stands up. Elfs are being grasped in tentacles, unable to support.

The whistle blows for full time, and it is only after several moments waiting for the mist to lift that Bumford realises his team scored in the interim. It’s 2-2. It’s going to go into extra time.


The elfs are tired. They’ve been playing their best, and they’re waning. The Reddit Rotters don’t look like they’ve been exerting themselves. They’re as fresh, if fresh is the right word, as the shambling dead can be. The ball is kicked to Nautical. They hightail it up the flank, relying on their speed to win them the day. The Rotters, see this, and counter effectively, snatching the ball for themselves. The ball, once again, is lost in a scrum of bodies, before popping into the bands of Steamy again. Steamy, flush with victory, steals away up the flank. Time is running low for both teams. Nurgle victory is certain. There’s only one way the elfs can snatch a draw. Hard to Larboard!, the other elfin blitzer, avoids a crushing blow from a warrior and jumps up to kick him in the exposed, fleshy neck. Using him as a springboard, he leaps around the Nurgle defense to hurtle towards Steamy. Steamy hasn’t noticed him, he’s too intent on scoring.

Hard to Larboard! almost trips, he’s running too fast. With the last, final strength he can muster, he literally throws himself at Steamy, taking the Pestigor down, and the ball bounces into the crowd, who throw it back in with an excited roar. It bounces off of the head of another warrior, who doesn’t realise what is happening, and the elfs seize their chance, their last chance! Aye Aye!, freak of strength and nature, somehow dodges through tentacles and fists, steals the ball and gets ready to throw. The flies are thick in the air, but he closes his eyes, and throws.

The crowd is in a frenzy. The ball sails, cleaving a path through pestilence, and the ball is caught by Weigh Anchor!, who had been fighting off a monster of a warrior for the past few minutes. Weigh Anchor! dodges from his grasp and is away, and just as the referee had gotten his game-deciding coin into his hand, Weigh Anchor! scores with seconds to go. The score is 3-2, Nautical Imperatives are through to the finals!


The changing room is abuzz with excitement. They’ve done it! They’re through! Through all the odds, they’ve actually made it to the finals.

Bumford is pleased. He goes from elf to elf, clapping backs and punching arms. Elfs flinch from the affection, several yelp, and one even passes out.

Belay! is still in a bad way. Bumford saunters over to him and shrugs.

“Nasty bunch, the crowd. Never know what they’re capable of.”

There’s a knock on the door, and Humphrey is standing there. His eyes scream murder, but he is in control of his face.

“You got lllucky, Bumforrrd.”

“Sorry? What was that? I can’t hear ya over the sound of my victory! Har!”

“We’ll meeet again, and next time-”

“Oh, go and get drunk from shandy, ya silly, stunted, waste of good disease. Gowan! Bugger off!”

Humphrey is not pleased. Belay! groans and stands up, and shuffles over to him.

“Yeah, piss off you-”

Humphrey kicks a cloven hoof at Belay!, once again causing him to double over in pain, clutching his crotch. He moans pathetically on the floor. Humphrey turns and leaves.

Belay! is not looking good. He’s most certainly not going to be fit to play for a while.

“He’ll probably be out for the next game, lads. Never mind, you don’t need him! You’ll be fine, don’t you worry.” The elfs have gathered around the twitching Belay!.

“Who’re we playing in the final, coach?” pipes an elf.

Bumford turns to face them, and glances quickly at the clipboard.

“Oh, it turns out the Kurgan Blood Tide won their game, they needed extra time too, so it’s Chaos.”

“But didn’t we just face Chaos?”

“Yes, but these are different.”

“Weaker?” asks a plaintive voice, hopefully.

“Oh no, not at all. Just as strong. Only difference is they’re faster and more agile. Something to look forward to!”

He downs a bottle of grog he was holding and swaggers from the room. He tosses the bottle behind him, and it lands, once again, on Belay!‘s unmentionables. He faints from the pain.

Bumford’s Adventures 6.5: Interlude

 

Bumford paces up and down. The team are resting like the wussy elfs they are. They didn’t seem bothered whether Nautical made it through to the playoffs. What did they know, eh? Who was coach? Who knows best?

The only way his team could make it is if Reddit Rotters, the currently highest ranked team in the division, beat Necronobacon, the second highest team. Bumford stopped pacing and remembers both of those games fondly. The carnage, the deaths. He wipes a tear from an eye.

No, focus. Back to the matter at hand. He WOULD get into the playoffs if it killed him.

With a stealthiness utterly betrayed by his girth, he finds his way to the Ref’s lounge, and sneaks in by a back window. He falls, breaking the window in the process, and creates such a ruckus that he is immediately discovered.

Luckily, there’s only the one referee there. The stout, blotchy human that Sir Trollington the Third was plying with during the game with Madcap Maulers.

Bumford smiled broadly, chunks of glass sticking from his mad beard.

“Who the-”

The referee didn’t say another word. He didn’t get the chance.


The commissioner, the single, bloated figure responsible for the entire league sits on a leather chair that groans under his weight.

“So let me get this straight,” he says, in a voice that oozes with disdain. “My head referee, who also happens to be the most respectable, entrusted with the task of administering trophies to the best players, he, ahem” he glances down to a piece of paper, “accidentally brutally caved his own head in by accident when sweeping.”

Bumford nods, smiling.

“Not only that, but you were chasing a robber through the stadium, who then charged through the window to the Lounge, stole all the money from his pockets and pissed on his face. After that, you discovered the whole scene and reported it to us immediately.”

Assent from Bumford. “Terrible tragedy, that. The sort of thing that can happen to anyone.” He stresses the word anyone, and looks around the room.

“Then,” continues the commissioner, “you chased off the crook before he could steal any of the trophies, correct?”

Bumford claps his hands. “Yes sir!”

The frog like man sighs.

Silence.

“I was thinkin'”. says Bumford, “how’re you’re probably short am official, maybe I could, ya know, volunteer for a game, just while I’m sittin’ around?”

Stares. “Sitting around waiting for the final game of the season? The game that will decide whether your team enters the playoffs?”

Bumford coughs, and nods.

A twinkle in the commissioners eye.

“Agreed, if you do something for me. You must deliver every individual achievement trophy to all the winners of each category, because I can’t be bothered to find another replacement, and also because it will amuse me.”

Bumford spreads his arms, palms open.

“Why, nothin’ would give me greater pleasure.”


The game between the Rotters and Necronobacon is a farce. Countless rules are flaunted by the Rotters, Bumford doesn’t care. A zombie on Necronobacon coughs, Bumford sends him off for misconduct. Bumford fights the golems, shoves the wights. Twice, the werewolves of Bacon are racing towards the touchline with the ball, both times Bumford calls a foul and sends someone off, cutting their momentum. That, or ‘accidentally’ trips up the ball carrier, then threatens him with penalties if he argues. Bumford actually hands the ball to the Rotters several times after confiscating it from Necro. In short, it is a gross injustice to the Necromantic Necronobacon.

However, by the time the whistle blows (that is, when Bumford remembers), the Rotters are in the lead. Nautical Imperatives are through to the playoffs!


“I’m thinking of retiring the whole referee game” says Bumford to a speechless elf team. They were hoping to be knocked out. That way some of them might make it home with all their limbs intact.

A knock at the door. A goblin with a clipboard beckons Bumford over. Bumford follows.

“So what, just give them out?”

The goblin nods.

“Snk, and don’t forget the accolades.”

Accolades? Maybe this would be fun after all…


The pitch has been cleared of bodies to make room for, well, bodies. The shambling undead rub shoulders with halflings, with vikings, with… were those apes? No, they’re lizardmen. Wait, just more elves. “Could’ve sworn…” Bumford mutters.

Bumford climbs up on a podium and begins the proceedings.


“The award for scoring the most touchdowns goes to Humphrey of the Reddit Rotters. Well done chap, well earned.” Bumford hands the trophy over with a wink. “Go easy on the booze though, eh? We all remember what happened last time”

The silver and gold go to Kosmouse 186 of the Skaven team Mad Experiments and Soljssnar of the Dark Elvf Chaulssin Shadows. Bumford sighs when he thinks of missed opportunities for violence and sexy lady elfes, respectfully.

“Most completed passes, eugh excuse me. This award, this pointless award, goes to-” Bumford recognises the name. Aye, Aye!, the dedicated elf thrower, shuffles up. He can’t look Bumford in the eye. Bumford shakes his head as the elf walks away, leading a chorus of ‘boo’s.

“For shame.” he adds.

A vampire collects second, waving to a crowd and lingering his gaze slightly on the third place prize, a haughty Wood Elf named Pirouette.


More awards are dished out by Bumford, most with abuse about wussiness, some with congratulations. Geiger-Murine of the Mad Experiments gets the gold for most casualties, and Bumford claps him on the back, nearly knocking the rat off the podium. The same thing happens with Porthos of the RaRaRasputins for being the most aggressive blocker.

A few hours later the FUMBBL Sheidl award is rolled out, and given to The Mad Experiments for a flawless season.

“Flawless, eh?” whispers Bumford. “We’ll see about that…”

Bumford’s Adventures Episode 6: Jelly Jammers

6: Jelly Jammers VS Nautical Imperatives

Bumford walked into the changing room of Nautical Imperatives laughing.

“You won’t believe this,” he says, wiping a combination of various facial secretions from his face. “They’ve hired themselves a chef, right, with the intention, ya’ll like this, of trying to distract you mid game. Normally, hehe, this tactic can work. Them little fellas are nifty with a cleaver and an onion, but… but–”

Bumford roars again with laughter, falling over.

“It’s all just salad! Seeds and leaves and turnips! AAahahahA! Not a crumb of cheese, not a sliver of meat, an ounce of gravy, no cream, no butter, nothing! AAAHHHOOOOOOHRHEHAhaha!”

Bumford rolls over and pushes himself up. “Who’d get distracted by a soggy lettuce, I ask you! Who’d be so – what is it?”

The elfs can smell it now. Their faces crease with pleasure.

“I smell parsnips and roasted potatoes!”

“Is that a hint of rosemary?”

“Anyone else catch the suggestion of quinoa?”

“I think I can catch some cous cous stuffed beetroot dumplings…”

Excited elves babble amongst themselves. Bumford stands and sniffs the air, disgusted.

“Don’t tell me ya actually… like the sound of all that?”

Aye Aye! brings his attention to Bumford with some force of will. “We don’t eat meat, coach. Nothing from the animal or of the animal. No meat, no fish, milk, cheese, butter or honey.”

Bumford is aghast. “No bacon?”

“No, coach”

“Sausages?”

“No, coach.”

“Ice cream?”

“Not a drop”

“Bacon?”

“Nothing, coach!”

“Hmph, I suppose that’s that then. Do ya all want some strategical advice or what?”

“Well, some food would be nice. Do you think they’ll share..?” Belay! asks.

Bumford shakes his head.

“Go.” He says. “Just…. go.”

The team sidles out of the changing room.

Where did I go wrong? muses Bumford.


A veritable army of Halflings are surrounding a huge steaming pot next to a table groaning with consumable delights, just off the edge of the field. Each was scooping piles of food onto plates, laughing, drinking, and making merry. The elfs watch from a distance, transfixed. An impatient referee stalks over and gestures at them wildly to hurry, but the chef, a lady halfling as round as she was high, silences him with the largest plate of all. The referee’s face cracks into a smile, and he happily tucks into this impromptu lunch. The halflings make their way over to the pitch, wiping hands on clothing and tossing crumbs from their plates onto the pitch.

The elfs, when they’re not gawking at the steaming buffet, start preparing to receive the ball, a sadness in their eyes as big as the lustiness in their little elfin tummies.

As play is about to start, a halfling stops and smacks his forehead as if remembering something important. He scurries off to the changing room, and exits a few moments later. Two enormous monsters make of bark and branch emerge after him – what were they doing? Holding hands? – and stride up to the line of scrimmage. Each is terrifying and clearly very powerful.

“Oh yeah!” shouts Bumford, “They’ve got dirty great big trees as well! Just knock ’em down and you’ll be fine!”

Looks of horror from the elfs. Bumford smiles and waves as the whistle blows.


Within a matter of minutes the elfs grab the ball and huff it up the flank, right next to the table of halfing snacks. Abuse from Bumford starts to dissuade them of getting near. The elfs start veering back to the centre, with the ball in the hands of Stow Mainsails!. Suddenly a creak of wood followed by a shadow falls over him, and a halfing in a top hat lands expertly inches in from of him.

“Missed!! …more’s the pity..” grumbles Bumford.

The halflings, a swiftness betrayed by their portlieness, begin to swarm the ball and its holder, and before long they’ve managed to wrest it from Belay!‘s hands, though not before he fumbles it into the crowd. The chef, perturbed by the distraction, boots it back onto the pitch and the game continues. Embarrassed by this surprisingly effective maneuver, Nautical Imperatives fight their way back to the ball and start running it in.

In the mean time, several unlucky elfs are trying to escape the clutches of the trees, and failing. Row, Damn Your Eyes! is knocked over by Willow, and a disgusting crack soon follows as a halfling named Tweefeet Twinkietoespops up and delivers a spiked boot right to his crotch.

Bumford laughs and snorts when he sees Row being stretchered off. Some elfs are trying to get the attention of the referee, but he waves them off with one hand while stuffing sticky buns into his face with the other.

The elfs score, and the halflings line up again. The whistle blows, and within a few moments the ball is moved up the line of halflings and into the arms of Spoony Bardman, who in turn is hefted by Argyle Mapleleaf and thrown over the heads of the elfs, most of which have already swerved around the trees to enter the Halfling back line. Before they know what’s happened, the score is 1-1.

In a desparate attempt to score before halftime, three elves, lead by Belay!, dart deep into halfing territory.

“Watch this!” yells Belay!, streaming straight for Danny Dark Chocolate like a falcon. Danny waits until Belay! is mid spear, then delivers him a swift uppercut to his neck, causing Belay to crumple like last weeks pie tin. Cheers from the crowd, cheers from Bumford, groans from the elfs, gurgles from Belay!.

Whistle blows. 1-1 at half time.


It’s hard to get a word out of Bumford. He’s laughing too much, and whenever he sees Belay!, he starts all over again. Ten minutes of pure mocking laughter and its time for the second half. Belay!‘s glowing red face shows through his mask.


The second half sees the elf team score two more times, as halfings begin to fall like autumn leaves. The Jelly Jammers continue to play dirty though, and elf after elf are crotch stomped and finger-crushed, each with the referee calmly ignoring anything they get up to. By the time the final whistle blows, the elfs are leading 3-1.


The familiar sounds of pain and victory mix in the dressing room. Spirits are high. Four wins, two draws and one loss is a pretty good streak. Bumford still claims he was must have been dangerously drunk during their match against the Dark Elf team Chausslin Shadows, as he can’t remember a single second of it.

The season is drawing to a close, and Bumford looks at his chart.

“Hmm.” he says.

“What is it coach?”

“I don’t know if we’re in the playoffs.” he grumbles. “It all depends on how the other teams do.”

Bumford doesn’t want to come this far only to fall at the last hurdle. He knows something needs to be done to give his team, or rather, his rival’s opposition, a little helping hand…

He smiles wickedly.

FUMBBL Replay

Bumford’s Adventures Episode 5: Welf[A]re

5: Welf[A]re VS Nautical Imperatives

The air is much cleaner than it was last match. All is as it should be; the sun shines, the breeze is gentle, and Bumford is cursing expertly.

“Stupid! Waste’ve time! What’s the point!?” he roars, “it’s boring is what it is!”

The elfs surrounding him are, as usual, quietly sitting through his tantrum. All in all it takes about five minutes for him to calm down.

“Well, might as well try to win I suppose. Pff.” Bumford sighs and stands authoritatively to address the team. He grumbles something about how to pronounce a name with brackets.

“The thing to remember about elfs,” he begins, hocking and spitting at the word, “is that they’re spindly as shit and wet as winter. Seriously, a stiff wind is enough to knock one down. I saw an elf break his leg tying his shoes once. Useless, pasty faced, weakling snotling-fondlers are elfs. Every one of them.”

Bumford is immune to the looks he is getting fromNautical Imperatives.

“With that in mind, the way to play is to beat’m up. These elfs, these… Wood Elves… Urgh, well, they’re everything ya are and better. They’re faster, more skillful, some’ve them are even tougher than ya. So basically, just go out there and bash some skulls in, alright?”

The elfs are disquieted by this.

“They’re… faster than us?” squeaks the newest member of the team Row, Damn Your Eyes!. Up until this point,Nautical have not faced an enemy that could match them in speed. Without that to rely on…

“Aye,” spits Bumford again. “So expect lots of running away. Lots of… actual ball handling… Eurgh, I think I need a sit down.” Bumford collapses into a chair.

The elfs look at each other. A bell starts chiming from the pitch. They get up and file out. Bumford doesn’t follow.


Welf[A]re are on the pitch waiting. They look similar at a glance to Nautical, but each is taller, more lithe, and with even larger, pouffier hair. Jealously starts to bubble beneath the surface. Some elfs control it better than others. One elf, Belay!, even spits, much to the consternation of his nearby teammates.

Two Wood Elves in particular, Help Plx and Piroutte, look menacingly towards them. These are different from the others. More powerfully built, more tattooed, the biggest hair of all of them. Belay! cracks his knuckles.

Bumford wipes a tear and shuffles out of the changing room, ale sloshing around an enormous mug, more like a bucket, that he holds in both hands. He looks from team to team, to the crowd, back to the beer, and shakes his head.

“Game’s gone to the dogs.”

The ref blows his whistle. Welf[A]re kicks the ball.


The first half, from the point of view of those that appreciate the spectacle of elves playing blood bowl, was superb. The ball flew back and forth, in and out, soaring between teams and each side fought for possession.Nautical scored early, and Welfare scored in return. Wardancers lept with abandon over the heads of their slower cousins, breaking grips and breaking noses.

By the time the whistle blew, each team had scored twice. The score was 2-2.


Bumford met the team back in the changing room.

“Well, what did I tell you. No one so much as scratched. Waste of time.”

The elfs are out of breath. This is the hardest game they’ve ever played.

“Well, best get back I suppose.” sighs Bumford. He is glum.


The second half begins with renewed vigour. The Wood Elves toy with their masked relatives, darting back and forth, just out of reach. Something snaps in Belay!, and he starts lashing out with unmatched fury. Two elves are escourted off the pitch because of him. The WardancerHelp Plx sees this and decides to cash in his chips. He leaps over Belay!, laughing as he does, and scores the third touchdown for Welfare, dangerously close to the final whistle.

Bumford sits up. His team hasn’t yet lost. His attention is suddenly as fervous as it has ever been this season. It’s one thing to be stuck watching game of disgusting elf on elf blood bowl (especially if there are none of those sexy lady elves…), quite another to actually LOSE a game. He notices the small pile of injured wood elves on the sideline.

He jumps to his feet.

“Come on lads! You can do it! ..P-pass the ball to, eugh, toWeigh Anchor!! Come ON!!”

He’s cheering with the rest. Nautical may be a bunch of stinking elfs, but by Arnok they were his stinking elfs.

The timer is running dangerously low. The team is tired. Their opponents are not. The ball flies to the elf team, who sprint with all their might towards the Wood Elf lines.

“COME ON!”

Help Plx sees Board!, ball in hand. He runs, even faster, towards him, jumping straight over lines of defense.

“COME OOOON!!!”

With a disgusting momentum, Help Plx aims a boot right at the face of Board!, who spots it just in time. A roll and he’s not hurt, but something is wrong. The Wood Elf was not aiming for his head. The impact he heard wasn’t the sound of pain, but the sound of the ball being knocked from his hands. The Wardancer laughs, kicking the ball away to land in the hands of another Wood Elf.

Belay! snarls wordlessly and hurls himself at this unlucky Wood Elf, but can’t knock him down. The whistle blows.Belay! doesn’t hear it. It takes three of his team mates to hold him back.

Bumford is speechless, for once.

The score is 2-3.


The changing room’s atmosphere is unlike anything experienced this season. No laughing, no cussing. No sound at all.

Bumford stands in the middle of the room.

The team sit facing inwards, heads down. Belay! is clenching and unclenching his fists.

Bumford throws his empty ale bucket at the wall, where it shatters. Elfs flinch in response. He stomps over to Belay!, who looks up with fury still in his eyes.

Bumford rests a hand on Belay!‘s shoulder.

“You did good.” says Bumford, and pats him affectionately. “Can’t win ’em all. Maybe next time, eh?”

He turns to leave. The team looks at him.

“Oh, and a nice treat for you all next week. You’re playing hobbits.”

Bumford stops and turns around. He smiles broadly.

“Good job out there lads. I’m proud of ya, alright?”

The team smile in response. The room warms.

Bumford’s expression drops.

“But you if lose to those pot bellied stump-humpers next week, I swear I’m going t’ kill all of you.”

He smiles again, and walks out of the room.

FUMBBL Replay

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