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2013: A Year of Blood Bowling Lunacy

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#1
Mr Squiggee

Mr Squiggee

    Snotling

  • Boyz
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  • Gender:Male
  • Location:In the Shadow of the Temple of Mir-Anda, Sydney, Ooztralia
  • Army Name:Ork Air
This is the day before the day before.

Tomorrow, I train it from here to Wollongong (59kms south of home by road) by lunch time, meet up with a couple of fellow members of SLoBB (Sydney League of Blood Bowl - and I would point out that as I live in the very southern extreme of the Sydney suburban sprawl, the 'gong is definitely not part of Sydney) - and then drive (or more likely, get driven) another 277kms south east(ish) to Canberra.

There, on the next day, I play my first Blood Bowl tournament game of this year, a year which should see my Goblin team feature in 12 different weekend events and a local league (or two). At the end of which, I hope to be well and truly set as the 44th ranked Goblin player (as per the NAF ratings) in Australia.

(There are currently 43 ranked Goblin players in this country.)

WHY BLOOD BOWL?

The race came before the theme. I have been gaming since 1975, and I first used Greenskins in 1996 (WHFB). I've drifted away from the green for a long time, but have got the bits for a long mooted Ork army together. Having 'rationalised' away about 12 half done 40K & WHFB armies in October, I've decided to run a universal theme through my gaming & despite being inevitably & regularly tempted by other races, stay basically focused on Greenskins.

The question became: what army features in all GW games? There are three basic options: Humies, Panzees or Greenskins. No brainer that - only one is consistently fun to play in every game, often crossing the line into incredibly funny in several.

The next trouble is that, with my age & fading vision, I don't do the quick paint any more, so it will take me quite some time to get the 40K army together to what I consider an acceptable standard (albeit, not that high by most pipples' thinking). In order to get something green onto a table in next to no time, Blood Bowl is the obvious answer. So I now have 16 core players ready to roll 'n' roll, plus two separate star players. By the next event - in March - I'll have sidelines personel, bribe markers, weather markers & turn/ TD/ reroll markers all converted & painted up.

WHY DA GORKTHORN GORKS?

The theme came before the team. I've got a lot of Blood Bowl teams which draw on the usual themes derived from NBA (Cleavedland Cadavaliers - albeit painted as the Browns); NFL (Vampa Bay BiterNears); or Premier League sources (or "sauces" in this case: Munchiestar United, aka The Fed Devils).

I haven't seen too many (well, precisely none that I can remember right now) Australian Blood Bowl teams using our own wonderful sporting leagues. I am a mad keen lover of our indigenous game: Australian Rules Football, and especially of the biggest sporting league in this wide brown land: the AFL.

So, in order to counter the traditional cultural cringe of our country, I started working my way through all 18 AFL clubs, trying to find a name that could be Orcified. Well, 17 clubs - I refuse to use my beloved Geelong Cats as a basis for the team, because of the danger of caring too much about results (sad, but possible). I ended up with DA GORKTHORN GORKS, a team which has no connection in any way with the Hawthorn Hawks.

OK, so their colours are the same (brown & yellow - ded Orky, dem colours), their club song sounds very similar, and both wear vertical stripes (although DA GORKS wear them on their trousers instead of on their playing tops). And alright, I'll concede that the players' names bear a passing similarity (more later).

And yes, my beloved Geelong & Hawthorn (aka, the 'poo & wee' boys) are quite bitter rivals on the playing field, so it won't bother me at all should Gorks get hurted!!!

(Another part of my in joke, btw, is that whenever I'm playing my lads, I'll be wearing any one of my three Geelong Cats premiership t-shirts - from 2007, 2009 & 2011.)

WHY GOBBOS?

DA GORKS started as an Orc team, and I'm really quite chuffed at how the conversions turned out. But then the thought struck me that it would be funny doing up a Gobbo GORK team as well, using the same team name & colours, & the same player names (ish) & numbers. So #1 Braynleak & #2 Ruffhedd are both Black Orcs in the Orc squad, and Trolls in the Gobbo mob (and bear very little resemblance to Brian Lake & Jarryd Roughead of the Hawthorn Football Club) (even though Jarryd Roughead does, coincidentally, also wear #2).

I started playing games on Cyanide with both squads in order to get a feel for them (although I was very much leaning towards using Orcs), and although the Orc GORKS were brutal, the Gobbo GORKS were a riot. Orcs play basically the same as almost every other team: big guys, linemen, throwers, catchers(ish). I get occasionally tempted by Dark Elvises & Nurgle teams as well, but basically all these teams essentially have different players doing different roles, and rarely does the twain cross over (enter Elf joke here). And I do know the difference between hitty & skill based teams, so allow me to paint this concept with a trowel, please.

Gobbos are different. You have to play without fear using them because if you go quietly conservative, they get squished deader than a maggot in a Mortein factory regardless. So you may as well go for those three straight dodges & Throw Team Mate one move TD play before the bigger & uglier guys on the other side make mincemeat of your blokes. When it fails, it's like a Keystone Cops stunt, but when it comes off, it's party time. Either way, they're incredibly funny.

So funny won over brutal predictability.

(As I write this: the Gobbo playing squad is fully painted - but in the middle of being varnished, so piccies in a week or so - while the Orc GORKS are only about half done.)

GRATE EXPECTORATIONS?

Gobbos don't tend to do well in Australian tournaments (surprise surprise surprise). The highest ranked Gobbo player holds a NAF rating of 157.28 for his team, which is the lowest held rating for any race's #1 team (and ranks #306 among all Australian players). Even Halflings are better performed: their #1 player is a well known genius with a 'fling squad rated at 188.6 & ranked at #30 nationally.

BTW: the #1 ranked Orc team in Oz is rated at 205.19 (#12 nationally), while a Wood Elf squad rated at 232.94 is currently the highest ranked team nationally (interestingly, the very same player also has the #43 ranked Gobbo mob with a rating of 76.75).

The tournament starting on Australia Day (26 January) is the Australian Nationals, part of CANCON - Australasia's biggest tournament (the WHFB & 40K events there are massive - by Australian standards). There are 54 Blood Bowl players registered, and the event will be played out through 7 rounds over 3 days.

It's basically a 1m gp starting limit, standard progression tourney, with the only exemptions being that players choose their own MVP after each game & that there are no special play cards. There is a limit of 2 Star Players max.

DA GORKS have been built using a philosophy of a 40k gp limit on non Star Player Gobbos. So I have a chainsaw in the team, but no other weapons (I also have 2 bribes set up for Round 1, unless my opponent has also underspent their 1m gp budget). If I can ever afford them, my nominated Star Players are Ripper (aka, Dum Skull) & Nobbla (aka Lethal - neither resembling past Hawthorn legends Don Scott or Leigh "Lethal" Matthews).

So my expectations for this coming weekend are that, basically, I'm going to get thumped! Relentlessly, and repeatedly.

I haven't played a living breathing opponent for donkey's years, and way back when I was a pretty average player (if that). So even without using the crutch of DA GORKS being a Gobbo team, I've got a heck of a lot of rust that will be seriously smashed off over this weekend (if not at the next event as well).

The whole point of playing this team, and of recording its trials and travails here, is the journey. Destinations are highly over rated, but the real pleasures of life come through just embarking on a trip & seeing what there is to be seen.

It will also - hopefully - stir some life back into the quietest page of this forum, and draw some fellow Blood Bowlers back onto the playing fields in their respective neck of the woods.

Stay tuned, folks!

:cheers

#2
Captain Chaos

Captain Chaos

    Yoof

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  • Location:Yorkshire
  • Army Name:Barak Bighornz bad moon bling boyz
Good luck in your tourney. Remember: Green iz da bestest.
Well known to his friends and club members as having the worst luck EVER....

Amazing the number of "1"'s I roll...Damn dice gods!!!