23 September 2010

Blood Bowl Game Diary #5

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.

22 September 2010

aaand.... GoG is back...

Seriously, what a terrible way to do this whole thing. It was all just a PR stunt. Great.


19 September 2010

And it's done.... Bye bye Good Old Games

(Update: So it's possible that this is all one big, huge, misguided publicity stunt. However, these are just rumours so we'll have to wait and see...)

Well, there's one less thing that's good about PC gaming. DRM-free older games on Good Old Games are no more. Seriously! Just go and have a look.

Sucks... doesn't it?

I hadn't even downloaded some of the games i had bought, because of our monthly download limit, such as Masters of Orion 1+2. They say, in the very light blurb on their replaced main page, that they will try and give a way to redownload the games for their customers some time this week. We'll see how that pans out.

As such, it's a nice little test of all these claims by companies, like Valve, who claim that if the worst comes to the worst and they are bought out or go out of business then they will release patches for their games to enable their customers to continue playing them. Not quite the same scenario since, if you have the installer for the game already then you're covered - which was one of the immense pros of GoG.com.

The two most disappointing aspects come of all this: It looks like the DRM-free model is dead. The idea, despite what GoG themselves have stated in their words, seems dead and unworkable. The reasoning for this is linked in with the second aspect which is that there is essentially no reason given for this closure. Worse, it was so sudden that it seems unreal. They had only just added new games and had a sale on Activision titles.

What their blurb seems to say is that "the idea of DRM-free old games is unworkable... but we couldn't make it work." Since they were the only game in town with this then... well, there was practically no competition and that potentially means that the publishers and developers who were making the contracts for their games on GoG.com didn't want the service to work. If the publishers and developers don't believe in the service then the service will not exist. Essentially, DRM-free games are gone; the future is a bleak mishmash of always connected DRM-authentication combined with ultra-small and lower quality games that contain little DRM but which are still tied to a service environment like Popcap and Zynga with a minority of small and lower quality independent titles like Evochron and Minecraft that subsist on their playerbases over incremental updates in a symbiotic relationship.

It's possible that publishers and developers will change their minds on how they treat and interact with their customers and my bleak prediction of the future of gaming will not come to pass. However, given the current economic and political trends that seems unlikely... The bright side of this all is that music will never suffer the same fate as games and movies due to the lower budgetary requirements and level of difficulty to produce a track or album (e.g. skillset, technology and manpower) than it is to make a movie, TV show or game.

I look at times like this and I wonder what sort of a world I will be experiencing in 10 years time...

GoG's release below:

We have recently had to give serious thought to whether we could really keep GOG.com the way it is. We've debated on it for quite some time and, unfortunately, we've decided that GOG.com simply cannot remain in its current form.

We're very grateful for all support we've received from all of you in the past two years. Working on GOG.com was a great adventure for all of us and an unforgettable journey to the past, through the long and wonderful history of PC gaming.

This doesn't mean the idea behind GOG.com is gone forever. We're closing down the service and putting this era behind us as new challenges await.

On a technical note, this week we'll put in place a solution to allow everyone to re-download their games. Stay tuned to this page and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

18 September 2010

Blood Bowl Game Diary #4

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.

17 September 2010

Blood Bowl Game Diary #3

Match 3 VS Iron Head Wanderers

This next match was weighing heavily on my mind. Looking at the group table, the Iron Head Warriors were top – having easily won their previous two matches. Worse still, I was a man down – Riisilneth wasn’t able to play having been severely injured in the previous game – and instead Indhil, a wandering mercenary stepped in to fill the gap.

Starting the match, we received the ball, via Mortbean’s pick-up and charged up the field, handing off to Camfindys. Unfortunately, I hadn’t taken into account the stoutness of dwarven players and Camfindys was knocked completely unconscious just past the halfway line by a dwarven blocker and dragged off the pitch. The rest of the dwarves began knocking our players senseless up and down the field. It wasn’t a pretty sight! Morty, sensing an opportunity, sprinted up and re-collected the ball in the midst of the confusion and passed it out of the melee to Enddar, who waltzed up the right sideline towards the touch line, covered by Rynnear. Meanwhile, a little fight had broken out between Mortbean and a dwarf named Hurrig over beard-pulling or some such. Morty, in an uncharacteristic bout of truthfulness to his name, planted the seeds of death and outright killed Hurrig in a move that could only be described as audacious. Somehow he got away with it and the ref didn’t bat an eyelid.
I made a mental note not to mess with him if he was in a bad mood and when I looked up I saw Enddar crossing the touchline and scoring!


Excellent! The plan was coming together. The play started off innocently enough with a few blocks and manoeuvres but, somehow in a triple move including the two troll-slayers, perhaps in revenge for the earlier death, Banfil’s skull was crushed-in and he lay dying on the pitch. I immediately called forth the apothecary and sent him out to save the poor lad. Unfortunately, the damned physician spent the time applying leeches or something instead of un-caving-in Banfil’s skull and he actually ended up more dead than before. Ah well, he shalt be remembered!

The dwarves rallied as my team began to lose cohesion and pushed forward with the ball – I noted that they liked to play very tightly around their ball carrier in a similar, but shorter, manner to the lizardmen. Argthar, Enddar and Malion lead a counter attack, knocking the ball-carrier down and allowing Lamael to collect it from his twitching hands. Lamael turned and ran up the pitch with two dwarves in close pursuit… there was only one outcome possible really – the dwarves knocked him to the ground completely unconscious and he was taken off the pitch. Damnit!! They immediately counter-attacked but, as their players pushed forward to make space for the ball-carrier, one of their players was severely injured from a tackle and also stretchered off the pitch… Shame it wasn’t another death!

Once again Agthar, Enddar and Malion stood in the way of the ball carrier and managed to collectively push him back. Somehow, though, during a bit of pushing and pulling, Rynnear was knocked unconscious and had to also be taken off the pitch – we were down two men!! As I reeled from these continued losses, Agthar, Enddar and Malion were getting thrashed as another player was knocked unconscious just as the half time whistle was blown. Phew!!

Coming back from a few light refreshments, we kicked into their half. Three of our knocked out players recovered and returned to the pitch – bringing us equal in number, if not skill to the dwarven side. Receiving the ball, the dwarves pushed forward – their blitzer, Noragni, holding the ball. We tried valiantly to stop this advance but with the knocking out of Camfindys and Mortbean there was no one left but Argthar to defend deeply and the touchdown was inevitable once the seemingly indestructible Noragni also palmed him off.


Camfy rejoined the play after being roused by the cheering which helped me formulate a plan of attack. After the kick (which was sent to our touchline), Morty retrieved the ball and passed it to Camfy (the pairing of these two is remarkable – I wondered if perhaps there was some sort of extra curricular activities were happening off-pitch) who sprinted up the field, covered by Malion and Enddar. In the centre the troll-slayers were getting their arses kicked, however this unexpected sight merely resulted in distracting both Malion and Enddar who were promptly shoved away from the nearly defenceless Camfindys who tried to run away but was tripped in the process with the ball falling to Malion’s feet. With our luck running low, however, he was also tackled and the ball fell free.

Our only chance at interception before the whistle was also knocked out and stretchered off the pitch and, as the dwarven player trundled along towards our touchline all hope of drawing seemed lost. The only man in the way was dependable Argthar, who, in the tradition of the blitzers of legend, blocked the run whilst Camfy, angry at her earlier deposal, trounced down the pitch and knocked both the dwarven player and the ball for six. Annoyingly, the ball was sent back to the halfway line in no-man’s land, however, Rianndrir had enough presence of mind to run over and pick it up – completely uncharacteristic of a blitzer! He then ran towards our own touchline with a couple of dwarves closing in quickly. Camfindys and Argthar rushed to cover his retreat as Rianndrir circled around and stood on the touchline awaiting the game’s end. A cynical move, some supporters might say, but one I was thankful of!

We drew! Against the group leaders! Awesome! Things were definitely looking up.

16 September 2010

Blood Bowl Game Diary #2

Match 2 VS The Scaled Scavengers

After a stern talking-to and a quick browse over a book I found in the library titled “Tactics: You may need them”, my team rallied for their next engagement. This time I was up against the lizardmen of Katchanooth. I noticed that the majority of the lizardmen team was made up of weak but fast players…. however, their stronger players were beasts twice our team’s average height with prehensile tails that could trip us as we passed them. It wasn’t looking like the match would go well.

We won the toss and took the received the kick. Good old Morty stepped over and caught the ball as it hurtled into our half. “Nice catch!”, I yelled though my voice might have been lost in the mug of warm beer that I was drowning myself in – in preparation of our impending defeat. The rest of my team ran something called an “interference pattern”, covering and blocking all the lizards so that they would be unable to hit Morty with any force.

Unfortunately it appears that we underestimated those weaker, faster lizards as they easily moved around our players without so much as a trip or foul. They closed down on poor Morty and tackled him to the ground though, once again, he managed to pass off the ball to one of our players (this time into his hands). Banfil (the guy with the ball) shot up the sideline towards their touch line and was immediately knocked out of play by a charging Skink. Those things are annoying!
The ball was thrown back into play in our own half and, as the players all ran to collect it, the lizardmen Saurus took the opportunity to fell most of our team. Mortbean, the ol’ mucker, grabbed the ball before the Skinks could arrive and score and passed it off to Camfindys – who sprinted heavily up the pitch towards our unconscious players and the Saurus who had done the unconscioufying. Luckily, all of my players got to their feet and provided cover from the front while, unluckily, the Skinks caught up with Camfindys from behind. She managed to fend off one attack but was knocked out by a second Skink who sacrificed his own consciousness to pry the ball from her hands.

This must have confused the other lizardmen as they managed to collect the ball and then field a pass backwards into empty space. Camfindys and Argthar pushed forward, blocking and collecting the ball. Camfy did a sweet-looking little pirouette and ran to the touch line where she scored. I briefly considered adding more armour to her attire so as to protect her from the depredations of enemy teams but, as she performed her celebration, all thought of such things quickly evaporated as I made a mental note to personally congratulate her later that evening for making the score.


A decision that I may come to regret after she was knocked out upon kick-off. Is it considered taking advantage of someone who has amnesia? I guess we’ll take care of that if it crops up! Fortunately, half time came around and allowed her to regain her senses and return to the field for the second half.

We kicked to the lizardmen, who collected the ball and formed a Cambrian square dance around the ball holder. It was an effective defensive manoeuvre which also resulted in them being unable to move the ball very quickly. Taking advantage of this, Lanlil and Ryanndrir took out a Saurus, injuring him in the process. Quite satisfying!

Unfortunately, breaking that Cambrian square dance was proving far trickier and none of my players could get a hand on the Skink holding the ball. Lanlil, overconfident from his take-down of a saurus, launched himself at a puny skink and was knocked completely unconscious for his troubles and stretchered off the pitch. This gave the lizardmen a chance to make a break for our touch line with only Mortbean and Ryanndrir blocking the way. What with the Skink’s ability to run circles around our defence, the next moment screaming filled the air as it ducked through Mortbean’s legs and scored.


The lizardmen, sensing victory, kicked the ball deep into our half, requiring Mortbean run backwards to pick it up. Unfortunately, Morty must have picked up some sort of eye injury because he promptly fumbled the ball and stood there wiping his face as the lizardmen tried to move forward against our defensive lines, though they held firm. Once he had actually collected the ball, Morty ran up the field and handed off to Riisee (I should really look into making up nicknames that aren’t so cutesy) who also ran around the lizardmen right against the left sideline. She obviously wasn’t looking where she was going because a Skink came from midfield and chucked her into the roaring crowd, sustaining a major injury in the process. Somehow we managed to retain control of the ball after the lizardmen fumbled a pass and Morty once again sprinted with the ball across the pitch to hand it off to Enddar who wasn’t far from the lizardmen touchline… just in time for the final whistle to blow. Nuts!!

I took this opportunity to purchase another cheerleader and also an apothecary for any future matches as I thought he might come in useful at some point…

15 September 2010

Blood Bowl Game Diary #1

Match 1 VS The Bramble Blockers

As my team lined up on the pitch a sudden tremor hit me…. I barely knew how to play the game. I mean, I really barely knew how to play the game. I’d done the tutorials but they often felt like they covered up information or didn’t make the mechanics clear enough to me during die rolls. However, strong-willed as I am I set my face in stone and watched the match begin in grim determination.

They kicked to us and as the ball landed the centre of our field pushed theirs back while the runner, Mortbean, picked up the ball and ran straight across the field to an opening our team were leveraging wide on the right side of the pitch. Having run out of steam, Mortbean attempted to pass the ball off to another player and promptly dropped the ball on the floor. I realised now, that throwers are named so for a reason!

Taking advantage of the situation, several wood elves streamed through the defensive lines and picked up the ball. My players tried to organise a defence but it came to nothing as, time and again, they were knocked to the floor trying to get to the ball holder, a wardancer named Balldeorn (I think the translation of this is ball hog). My team appeared to rally briefly as they knocked down several Bramblers until my idiotic witch elf, Camfindys, pushed Balldeorn ‘back’… by which I mean forward toward our touchline. She tried to salvage the situation but the wardancer just, well, danced around the witch elf and scored.


After the kick, Camfindys, who obviously felt some portion of guilt (a weak emotion if ever there was one!) charged into the fray. This would have been a noble endeavour if not for her managing to get herself injured and stretchered off the pitch. Somehow though, despite the sight of one of our stronger players being removed from play, the rest of the team pulled up their panties and made a run up the pitch, with Mortbean, holding the ball, steaming ahead of the pack…. Only to run out of steam and fall over, spilling the ball. This unfortunate event allowed a wood elf to pick up the ball and pass it off to their thrower and, as my defence organised themselves, the thrower threw the ball through a humongous gap in my central defence to their receiver who scored an immediate touchdown.


I slapped my hand on my forehead – something that one of my coaches later suggested that we patent, though I dismissed him saying that it was unlikely to catch on – and cursed the benevolent gods of the flammable wood tribes, Deh and Ooh. This was going to be a long match.

My team were quickly losing cohesion. After the kick off, Argthar and a couple of others hit their central formation hard in a fit of anger. They knocked one guy down and, right in front of the ref, proceeded to kick the everliving sh*t out of him.

Red card.

Stupid m*therf*ck*ng Argthar!! What the hell was he thinking? Worse still, the player on the floor didn’t even appear to be hurt and the wood elves pushed through our lines to attack Mortbean who had idly picked up the ball during the fracas. I and the rest of our measly supporters (who, granted were mostly here to watch the cheerleader) shouted at him to move as Ball Talu (translation: Ball Breaker), a wood elf lineman, hurtled towards him. Semi-luckily, Morty tossed the ball forward in panic before being flattened and it landed next to one of my players who watched it as one of the wood elves nimbly sprinted by and plucked it off the ground. Damnit!

I looked at the clock and realised that they might not even have enough time to effect a touchdown before half time and I frantically waved my arms around in what I thought was a motion that would induce our team to do something. Luckily, they did and a couple of running wood elves were tripped as they tried to get past our defence. Half time came none-too soon!

After a break, during which I swore and swore until I had no words left, Mortbean kicked the ball into their half and I watched as they formed an Aladrian circle (which is actually more of a square) around their thrower who had picked up the ball. Their catcher and a lineman ran forward and thankfully my team moved to surround them as the thrower cast the ball into the air. We all watched as it sailed towards the catcher only to be intercepted by our brave Rynnear who hit the ground running with everyone who was in our half directly behind him. I should have known not to get too excited about this turn of events as, just past the half-way line, he was knocked down by the angry catcher who then tossed the ball back into my half – though no one was there to receive it.
“Another bit of good luck”, I said to myself as I rubbed my hands. Only, it wasn’t… since Lamael moved from next to the big Ent, er, I mean Treeman towards the ball without first looking for low-hanging branches and was promptly stretchered off the pitch with a nice big red lump on his forehead. Stupid boy!

Balldeorn streamed forward and collected the ball, followed closely by several wood elves playing a defensive formation. There literally was nothing my players could do, though Riisilneth the witch elf who tried to block the soon-to-be scorer from making the touchline.


What a mess! There wasn’t much time left on the clock now so I called to my team to run an all out attack to try and score at least one retaliatory touchdown. Unforunately, my shouting obviously distracted the players because the damned wood elves breezed past our team as the ball they had just kicked flew through the air into our half.

Sensing disaster, Malion threw himself at one of the charging wood elves, only to knock both himself and the runner down. The rest of the wood elves collected the ball and scored without any of our other players even moving from the starting position.


I wasn’t sure if managers could be fired before they’d even played one game but I felt as though it might be happening to me in the dying moments of this abortion of a game.

In an odd bit of luck, or perhaps pity (the vile scum!), the wood elves dropped the ball short into their own half, allowing my team to select who received the ball; I gave it to Riisilneth so she could charge down the pitch and score. The wood elves decided that their good natured pitiful action was over and quickly knocked down the rest of my team as they surrounded Riisilneth, who jumped past them, only to be knocked down once she got into their half.

Game over.

I was beginning to regret the decision to enter into this tournament. My distant relative died for nothing…

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Blood Bowl Game Diary

It was the night before Christmas, when all through the… wait a minute, it’s not December and we don’t celebrate Christmas in the world of Warhammer!!

Not to fret, instead I thought we’d celebrate through a good game of Blood Bowl (or two)! So I figured I’d set up a league and see about doing one of these autobiographical/fictional playthrough diary thingies.

Let’s set the record straight right here at the very start: I’ve never played Blood Bowl before. In fact, my only experience playing any of the Games Workshop games has been a little of the 40K universe, Necromunda and Warhammer Quest. These games are not really at all similar to something like Blood Bowl … well, apart from all the blood! In fact, I’m not really even very good at any of those games (nor, as you’ll see, at Blood Bowl itself).
On the other side of the equation I’ve played games like Championship Manager and in various Fantasy football leagues… never finishing in the top few places in any of them.

To put it short: I’m a newbie, a fool and an idiot for thinking I would be able to manage a team in a sport that I know nothing about. But that’s never stopped me before. So, just to make it so that you’ll have something to read I set the game up so that it was in classic rules mode and also on Easy (I’ll be playing against the AI).

**And so it starts!**

Liistgar Anstronmel (that’s me) is calling on his fellow evilies *ahem* …er, I mean vile and underhanded Dark Elf brethren to show these other pitiful races what-for! I’ve come into a bit of an inheritance after one of my distant relatives fell on a sword he borrowed from me…. (right after I gave it to him) and I’ve booked a place in one of the lower Blood Bowl leagues. Our team shalt be named: Valkyrie Warriors!

I started by looking over the types of players and seeing what their strengths and weaknesses were…. And immediately bought 4 Blitzers, 2 Witch Elves, 4 Linemen and a Runner. Let’s see who we’ve got!

Riisilneth – Witch Elf
Camfindys - Witch Elf

Argthar – Blitzer
Lanlil – Blitzer
Enddar – Blitzer
Rianndrir – Blitzer

Lamael – Lineman
Rynnear – Lineman
Malion – Lineman
Banfil – Lineman

Mortbean – Runner

I had a little spare cash after that spending spree to get one cheerleader to increase my chances of getting luckier random events that can happen upon kicking off. It basically appears to be a luck modifier to my untrained eyes…. Something that every team desparately needs in Blood Bowl.

More to come soon! I should be posting one up every couple of days.

10 September 2010

Thoughts on Kong 2005... late though they may be...

So, while i'm busy with other stuff. I thought i'd talk about King Kong (2005).

It's simultaneously a great-but-..... amazing take on humanity in desparation, greed... racism and passion. Episode 11 is coming soon - i promise!! But i'm watching the film. It started off, passionately enough. The 1920s or 30s era of America was depicted fantastically! The desperation of the characters is shown and expanded upon. Then, however, the film has a weak point where it depicts tribal africanism and becomes, IMO, quite racist in its depiction - not because those particular characters are black but because they are depicted in the most unthinking savagery that it becomes degrading in its spectacle.

Of course, there are many fictions within this period of the film that also do not work; such as the carrying of the sacrifice (Anne) during transit on all fours. (I think that she would have been crushed at this point as no load-bearing stress on a fist would not crush the person within the fist).

Then, further on, the fight between the ape and t-rexes....... the anthropomorphism between the 'lizards' (aka Tyranosaurus rex'es) makes no sense. Why would a being dedicate itself to the eradication of some entity it had just barely been made aware of, no less 3 or more T-rexes all coming to the same conclusion at the same time.

Clearly, if i were a T-rex, standing 3 stories tall, i would concentrate my efforts on a prey that was able to satisfy my appetite for more than a few seconds (aka the female sacrifice) otherwise i would ignore it. That is standard evolutionary procedure...

The worst thing of all is that the writer (as in the actor) is a metaphor for the courage of the writers...... which is possibly the most impotent and offensive part of the whole narrative.

Then, of course, the inverse existence of any participants that show adversity in the face of existence.... draws parallels between white and blonde idealism......... To a point. Mainly since Jack Black is dark haired. It is, to be fair, a strange realm, to be sure...