Playoff 1 VS Iron Head Wanderers
I was against this blasted team again – Top of the group and I’d only just managed to scrap that draw. Worse yet, I’d been unable to afford to buy Indhil the Loner who had subbed in my team randomly last match when I only had 10 players after the unfortunate death of one linesman who’s name will not go down in the annals of history as I lost the slip of paper it was written down on. (Still not sure how that happened!) Luckily, once the funds had cleared from the ticket sales, I was able to afford a new player and I quickly snatched up the strangely named Fear Might, an assassin of no renown. I figured that having someone of that profession on the pitch would sway things in my favour.
I wasn’t looking forward to this game, but play on I did. I watched as my brave sacrificial lambs, er players… er, beloved players took to the pitch against the Dwarven threat. We let them kick off and I watched as the ball sauntered through the air to land not far off my runner, the heroic Mortbean, who in true style was kept in the rear due to his lack of muscle. I sent my linemen, blitzers and witches all off to block and guard the dwarves who had once again fielded two Troll-slayers and their one Blitzer… all three of which appeared to be nearly unbeatable in the last game. Then, with Morty heading forward my attack began to falter.
Left and right, players from both sides were going down in the maelstrom of pitched battle…. And then promptly getting back up again after a quick nap. Morty managed to pass off the ball to the Camfindys, the witch elf, and she made a run between the Dwarf Blizter and one of their blockers – skilfully dodging a blow or two as she did so – and i watched as she ran wide right where there were fewer dwarves. Unfortunately, it was at this time that my blocking spree in the centre crumbled as my assassin tripped on the dirk he had pulled from his boot and fumbled to the ground in a failed stab attempt on one of the troll-slayers, promptly being knocked on his ass and as the whole mass of players moved forwards a two blockers emerged from behind the pack to race across the field to intercept my witch elf. She managed to hand off the ball to a blitzer, Argthar, who was promptly knocked out, the ball sent flying out of play. This, of course, annoyingly meant that it was flung back onto the pitch right into the midst of the main body of dwarven players… just my luck.
Immediately I shouted a time-out to the ref (who ignored me until I called his mother a slimy pus-bag at which point he came over to enquire how the old slimy pus-bag was…. It was all very embarrassing. I had to lie about her health being poor which seemed to please him greatly and he granted us a moment to talk to our teams). Drawing my meatbags around me I told them to hit the dwarves hard and to keep them in their half it they could. “No mercy!” I remember shouting as they ran back onto the pitch which, in retrospect, seemed rather redundant. Amazingly my team proceeded to do very well for the next six or so turnovers. They hemmed-in the dwarven defence who were crowding their runner and stopping any meaningful progression. My assassin managed to fail three other stab attempts and as the referee’s whistle blew to end the half I was considering murdering him and taking his apparel and putting it on a child I had seen waving a pointy stick in the crowd. He probably would have been more deadly.
The second half started as you’d expect. I kept my assassin in the centre along with a witch elf and a blitzer, spreading the rest of the team wide to cover any runners. The ball soared into the air and all hell broke loose. From what bleary memory I do have of the event it seems that one of our cheerleaders accidentally threw her knife-edged pom-pom into the eye of one of dwarven players' wives…. who then fell backwards into the warm ale she was stirring, spoiling it for all the potential drinkers in the crowd. The crowd, thus incited, went on a rampage, spilling onto the pitch and attacking all the dwarven players and subs and knocking virtually the whole team out. Double out, in fact…. They were seeing at least six or maybe eight stars each! It was a beautiful sight. Unfortunately, there was a little collateral damage with both of our players on the left of the pitch knocked partially unconscious (just four stars) as the players exited to the stands to enjoy the rest of the half.
Unsure of what had really happened, everyone just stood there until Morty, that god-blessed devil of a man, sprinted up and claimed the ball right from underneath the noses of the befuddled dwarves. The rest of my players dusted themselves down, kicking a few of the dwarves for good measure in the process (the ref didn’t notice… in fact he may have been unconscious too!), then proceeded to run a standard blocking pattern. It’s mighty effective on unconscious dwarves and is now a staple in my playbook in case such an event should ever happen again.
So off he went, towards the touchline when a couple of dwarves picked themselves up and trundled off after him. Once again, Morty came through. He dodged a tackle and, as they knocked him into the ground, threw the ball to our Blitzer, Argthar, who turned around and scored a touchdown!
(Later on, after the match, Fear Might – the assassin – informed me that he had directly contributed to the score by not using his stab ability and thereby confusing several of the surrounding dwarves. He still hadn’t knocked anyone down or out though!)
We only had four or so turns left in the match too and all’s we had to do was run interference. Back to kick-off positions and we launched the ball high into the air where it once again landed near their back blockers. One of them picked the ball up and was immediately surrounded by the defensive-minded dwarves. My players moved in for the blocking kill. It was at this point that the dwarven blitzer and his blocker mate went on a bit of a bender. The blocker knocked my witch elf out – sending her off the pitch into the recovery zone… where she then died. Dead?! Camfy was dead? This was a terrible loss but the pain wasn’t over yet because then, with the help of one of the troll-slayers, he opened up a huge hole in the midfield by knocking out another man. Down to nine men - I wasn’t hopeful of the outcome after being left with only five in the last turns of the preceding game against the dwarven scum.
Slowly, the dwarves motored forward with a combination of knocking my players down and running a diagonal pattern around my blocking formation: The blocker who had the ball switched from the left to the right of the field and made his way into my half. It was at this point that I realised that the only person between the blocker and our touchline was good old Morty. There was another lineman off on the far left of the pitch, covering what I had thought would be their route, who was running over to cover the centre but who would be unable to make it in time to aid in the interception. Morty lept. My hands were gripping the railing of the dugout so tightly that the knuckles went white. Morty hit the blocker and pushed him back and toward the centre of the pitch – near the lineman who was running to join him. Another dwarf broke through the centre and came to sit behind the ball holder and, obviously overexerting himself, promptly fell on his face. Taking advantage of that mess, the lineman ran next to the blocker holding the ball and caused a distraction while Morty gave him a good push and collected the ball as it fell to his feet.
There was only one problem: In the intervening period most of the team had been knocked senseless and now there were a metric f*ckton of angry dwarven Blood Bowl players heading towards Morty and the linesman. So Morty did was any blue-blooded Dark Elf would do in his situation…. He ran! First he ran towards me and the coaches in the dugout. I began screaming, “No!! Get away!” and at last he took heed and turned…. Straight towards out touchline!! What the hell was he thinking? Well, it turns out that old Morty had a bit of a brainwave (or that’s what his story is post-match at any rate!). Why waste the final moments of the game letting himself get tackled and possibly allowing them to score when the slow as molasses dwarves would be unable to keep up with him?
Unfortunately, as he ran back and forth across our touchline in an effort to confuse the dwarves he was tripped by a sneaky runt of a dwarf who then stomped on Morty’s catching hand. Morty, injured as he was, left the pitch but the game was won! The match was over!
I had done, er I mean, we had done the unthinkable and beaten the strongest side in our league.