Playoff 2 VS The Bramble Blockers
So we were up against our nemesis – The Bramble f*ckers. Those namby-pamby, wishy-washy, no-good do-gooders of the wood elves. The very same team that had beaten us 4-0 in our opening match.
I looked over our team and, to my consternation, found we were missing a Witch Elf! Where had she gone? I had no idea…. It’s possible that the hit on the head she received from the Dwarven Blitzer had brought about a sudden onset of Stockholm syndrome and she’d ‘gone native’ on us… or at least on the Blitzer in question. I checked the stats for the match and there were no dead but two injured. I guess that she had reached her injury limit and had retired…. Probably with that damn dwarf blitzer!!
At any rate I’m wasn’t bitter I still had ten men and Mo- Morty?!! Morty, what’s wrong with your hand? Oh, my terrible and dark gods! You… you can’t play? So there I stood in our changing field with Mortbean, the star player of the team so far, sitting on the grass with a hand the size of a melon. A quick look in our war chest told me that we only had 50,000 gold which wasn’t enough to purchase any players outright. I glanced over at the score board from the game the Bramblers had fought against the Scaled Scavengers the day before and saw that the had won 3-0… again!! This wasn’t going to be pretty.
My heart was pounding as I went to look at their team roster…. Seven men!! They only had seven men left! Oh, was it possible that we could pull this one out of the bag? The only problem was that they still had their catcher and thrower… Hopefully I would be able to do something about at least one of them.
So with my heartbeat pounding in my ears, we set off to do battle. In the pre-game warm up and bribery I managed to f*ck things up considerably. Instead of putting 50,000 gold into the pot to buy stuff…. I managed to input 50 gold instead. There was no way back either! Luckily, or rather, unluckily, a band of mercenaries turned up at the last minute with me receiving two of them and the bloody lucky Bramblers getting four. I guess the odds and gods were no longer in our favour! It was now apparent to me why I’d received that loner, Indhil, in the final match of the pool against the dwarves – you always start with 11 players, regardless of your actual player roster.
Having no runner with which to pick up or kick the ball, I used the only other player I had left with high stats – the witch elf, Riisilneth. She would be our runner. Considering this was her first kick off, she did quite well, shunting it into the depths of the enemy half. Unfortunately the wood elves proceeded to set up a really strong box of players around their thrower who was likely to knock it down the field once they got their catcher into position. The only option I had was to take out the catcher and other free linemen then close in on the ball… OR hope for an interception like I had done before. That would make me champion of interceptions in our little league.
We surrounded the catcher with two linemen and our wittle baby Fear Might jogged forward and stabbed the guy through his armour, knocking him completely out and taking him off the field – probably for the half. I stared in shock. The most useless player in our side had actually come through and done something useful! Not only that but it was the first action of the game. Things were looking up!
The second action of the game resulted in the other free wood elf lineman getting sent off the pitch on a stretcher…. It was beautiful! I had to wipe tears from my eyes as the rest of my team surrounded their defensive box.
Unfortunately, my run of good play was soon back to normal when both my strongest players – the witch elf and the assassin – were knocked unconscious for two turns, leaving the rest of my team to fend for themselves. In a rather silly tactical error on my part, we managed to leave an opening at the edge of the pitch, just large enough for the thrower to run through and around my line. Oops.
Luckily, my assassin and one lineman were free to track back and block their progress and, as one of their players powered forth to knock the assassin back into the diapers he so rightfully normally wears, he flicked his leg up and stopped that weakling wood elf dead in his tracks, leaving a nice boot print on his face. It was good times!! Unluckily, my witch elf kept on getting knocked down on her follow-up attacks… allowing the enemy wood elves a second shot at the assassin that stood in their way, this time knocking him down and out – completely off the pitch. Nuts!!
The thrower ran through the newly-made gap and there was only one lineman who could reach him in time to stop the touchdown. He charged… and was knocked out by the stupid, weedy thrower – of all people!!
The only bright side to the score was that, during the celebrations, my assassin recovered and returned to the pitch but their two players did not. The loss was also compounded by the seemlingly witless witch elf fumbling when picking up the ball. Where was Morty when I needed him?! Even worse, while the rest of my team performed defensive duties, the witch elf proceeded to fumble the ball, seemingly unable to get a grip on it at all! I immediately called to the ref for an inspection of the ball for tampering by the bramblers but it only served to remind him that it was actually well into half time and the whistle was blown.
After the break we got back to business, with the witch elf vindicating herself by collecting the kicked ball and running up the field. The assassin stabbed another wood elf, knocking him out completely and the offensive line began it’s (hopefully) inexorable push forward. I grinned and rubbed my hands accordingly.
The next few minutes were a veritable bloodbath with several key players getting kicked and gouged around. First off, our assassin was knocked for six and, while scrambling to cover our ball carrier, the witch elf, the wood elf catcher’s head was almost taken off as he tried to dodge around several of our players. I silently hoped that it was a crippling, permanent injury.
As the dust cleared, the witch elf saw her chance and slipped through the defence towards the touchline. Then, from out of nowhere most of their team sat up and seemed to come alive…. Well, I mean figuratively – they weren’t undead! Whilst most of them were blocked by my fearless blitzers and assassin, the catcher ran past three players, dodging all their attacks and, in a fit of frenzied rage, punched our blitzer, Rianndrir, so hard that his pelvis momentarily appeared to be above his shoulders; a frightening sight that I hope you only see happening to your enemies… This left him being carted off the field and a gaping hole in the defensive line that was preventing runners from catching up with the witch elf. Though, I guess it was ironic that the runner that did catch her did so from a completely different hole in the defensive line that I hadn’t spotted. There was still a chance though! She had been able to dodge attacks before and she was within distance of scoring… Nailbiting resumed. SCORE!!
A couple of horny linemen came to the witch elf’s rescue, momentarily distracting the wood elf and allowing her to run to the end zone.
Upon resuming the game and the witch elf making the kick, I was struck with a sudden fit of genius, allowing me to magically rearrange my team without penalty while the ball was stuck in the air. Brilliant! I moved up my players and had them ready to attack the opposition’s half. The move obviously paid off because a lone wood elf, driven to madness by the unlikely turn of events then threw himself at my left-most lineman, knocking him down and himself out in the process. The lineman, a hardy fellow by the name of Malion, proceeded to get right back up before spitting on the wood elf as he was carted off the pitch. Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the pitch, my linemen blasted into the front line of the wood elves, injuring one guy and pushing the other back - the poor sod who was on the receiving end of that attack also happened to be holding the ball, spilling it onto the floor ready for the pick-up. Amazingly, the same lineman who had just crippled the other player proceeded to grab the ball in the middle of a somersault and avoiding the defensive play of the nearby wood elf lineman. This, of course, left the rest of the team in a dumbfounded daze and I screamed at them to pick their jaws up off the floor lest they be shattered by the quickly regrouping Bramblers.
The assassin, taking advantage of the general lethargy of everyone else, glanced around before placing a handkerchief over the wood elf that stood next to him until he was unconscious. I was beginning to like this Fear Might fellow afterall. However, despite the number of wood elves off the pitch and on the floor a couple were able to catch up to the courageous lineman, Mormal (one of the mercenaries who I suspect might have been a ringer), though with my two covering blitzers close behind. They knocked out one wood elf and Mormal was able to dodge his way past the other to score!
This was just unbelieveable. Just one and a half turns to go and we would win. This called for an all-out defensive strategy of blocking and delaying. There could be no mistakes made this time – not with the wood elves annoying propensity for being able to run long distances. I carefully placed the members of my team, noting that the Bramblers only had 4 starting players on the pitch. Strangely, though I had been cock-sure, once the game started they had the full compliment of 10 players (11 minus the injured player) and the kick went straight into the hands of their damned thrower… If there was any way they were going to draw and get extra time in this game it would be through a throw and score approach. I held my breath.
Our assassin lept forward into the breach of their closing defence around their thrower and was promptly knocked out for his bravery… simultaneously, their thrower chucked the ball down the pitch to a player that wasn’t their catcher because, for some unknown reason, he had ran behind the rest of the team towards his own end – doubtless scared of our aggressive nature. The lineman that tried to catch the ball took his eyes off of it and let it spill to the ground at his feet. The whistle blew, we had won!!
The victory was cut short though, when I realised that I was unable to hire Mormal directly after the match despite having 50,000 in the war chest and earned 20,000 in the game. They apparently hadn’t collected the ticket sales yet and so I had to let this apparent superstar go. Damned rules!!
It’s amazing really – and a tribute to my skill and passion for the team and my players – that we won the trophy despite finishing last in the group stage. Actually, we graduated with flying colours. Learning a game that is actually pretty brutal - even on easy mode - can be quite difficult and i'm quite happy with myself for managing to bring it all together. This will be the last diary for the time being. I have played through a second season where the introduced Chaos team really gave my team a spanking and i lost a few good players... If people have an interest i can write it all up and post it. So let me know in the comments!
Hope you enjoyed this little foray into game diaries. I'll try and think of other games i could do this in and if i get any ideas then i'll probably put something together.