Yesterday I got to play the season opening game of the new league season of the Hogtown Blood bowl league for my team. I actually think it may have been the official first game of the season 15 in the league. This is the first time I have been in this league – I played in a different local league in Toronto oh 10 years ago, but that is now long gone. P.S. Hogtown is an old nickname for Toronto – you can read this article for more info on that if interested.
We actually played in a local pub and although the lighting was a little dark it worked out ok. The location did allow good food and drink to be had while playing. Thats always a plus, and not as common as these things are in the UK. I doubt a few drinks affects the quality of my play either way to be honest. It meant I did not take any photo’s of the game, so this will just be a game write up.
The game was my Skaven vs an Elven Union team. These are both new team having just played a game or two each. The in game weather was good for the game, and I chose the receive the ball first. The Ratskins thrower (Payton Ratling – as I have named him) got the ball and loosely ‘caged up’ protectively behind other players in the first couple of turns. The rest of the team protected him and also tried to get open to make a scoring move. Unfortunately, the elves of the Eleventh managed to get to him and KO him – also knocking the ball loose. Fortunately, the star in the making for Ratskins (a gutter runner) Lesster Red saved the day. He scooped up the ball and after dodging a block or two ran in for the a Touchdown half way through the first half. So I was up 1 to 0.
Unfortunately, Payton Ratling failed to recover from the knock out and so I was down a player on the next drive. In fact all through the rest of game he would fail all the rolls (a 50% chance of success each time) to get him back in the game. I made 5 attempts at this through the game. <sigh> We later joked that he had found a hole into the opposing dugout where they had multiple beer kegs (as inducements) and decided it was safer just to sit and get drunk vs than play the rest of the game…
Anyway, back in the game the Eleventh got the ball as I had scored. After making a protective group on one side of the pitch, they moved the ball to the other side. They then succeeded in running down the sideline to score at the end of the half. So, the Eleventh tied the game going into the break, that was despite some active defending from the Ratskins. It was notable that the Eleventh were clearing the pitch of the Ratskins in this drive with 5 Ratskins players KO’ed at the end of it!
Luckily, all but one of those players came back in the second half for the Ratskins (yes that Payton did not come back) so the Ratskins started 1 player down compared to the Elves. The Elves got the ball first this half and again tried to move the ball. This time one of the Ratskins players got to the Eleventh player with the ball in their half though and knocked him down. This opened up the opportunity for the Ratskins blocker to get the ball. After some desperate defending from the Eleventh failed, the Ratskins blocker ran in to get a second Ratskins touchdown. That meant the Ratskins were in the lead again – now 2-1 up. But there was plenty of the second half left to play.
For the third time the Eleventh were kicked too and started to pay out of their half. This time they were more careful with the ball and used their blockers to great effect to protect the ball carrier. Still as their attack moved forward it exposed a player (a catcher) with the ball who was trying to get to the end zone. The Ratskins took that opportunity and jumped on him – pushing the Eleventh catcher out into the crowd. Unfortunately, the crowd had a high proportion of Elven fair weather fans and that showed up in how the ball came back into play as well. The ball was thrown back by the crowd into a favorable position for the elves. After a quick scrabble over the ball (the Ratskins were not giving up without trying to get the ball), an Eleventh player picked up the ball and quickly ran it in to even the game at 2 all.
So, with 2 turns left the Ratskins got the ball back. They had also evened up the player count on the field with the Rat Ogre causing a casualty. So it was 10 players each on this final drive. Unfortunately, some bad ball handling (i.e. me rolling a 1 followed by a 1 to pick up the ball), meant that the Ratskins chance to get the winning touchdown failed. So the game ended as a draw. In frustration (maybe) the Rat Ogre did manage to cause a second casualty with the second to last block of the game.
As a point of note, up until very close to the end the Ratskins had been always Stuns and nothing else to the Elves, when they broke armour. Meanwhile, the elves had a bit of the same issue, but they ended up sending a lot of the rats to knocked out box. So this ended up as not that bloody a game. In the rats ended up winning the casualty count battle, causing 2 vs having none in return.
So the game was a 2-2 tie. We both got some money and star points from this and there were no permanent injuries to either side. It was a very fun game and nice to play in a local pub to be honest. As you may expect with an Elf vs. Skaven game there was lost of movement throughout the game in this – even more than the previous game vs. Skaven.