A few months ago a number of office mates started up an online Blood Bowl League, playing on the PC game developed by Cyanide. This computer game has a tremendous amount of, uh, quirks (to be kind). They took the original Games Workshop minis/board-game, which has a lot of moments of built-in frustration, is heavily luck dependent, and occasionally rewards Holy Hell Rand! plays while punishing basic strategy, and adds a layer of bugs, poor UI, and peculiar oddities.
Yet the fun of playing in a league, and sharing your pain (and the losers’ humiliation), and your victories, and the intense flavor that GW develops so well, makes it worth it. Well, almost worth it. It’s a very easy game to rage at when the dice decide to hate you and are doing everything in their power to turn your brilliant strategy to ashes.
For the first season, we had 10 teams. I played SKAUS’s Screamers, a Skaven team. And after the third or fourth game, I decided to start writing up game reports, in-character; assuming that character to be a strange mash-up of Friday Night Lights Mojo Radio (with a heavy nod towards radio personality Slammin’ Sammy Meade), a bit of Howard Stern, a dash of Hunter Thompson, and a few bottles of Dwarf Skull Grog, all in the character of the Orc Blind Bastard Barnebas (with a heavy nod towards Happy Harry Hardon).
The first of those write-ups follows.
HAIL and BRIMSTONE, all you out there in interweb land. This is Blind Bastard Barnabas with another epic tale of woe and damnation. So feed the hogs, kick up the fire, lock up your daughters, siddown and shaddup, cuz it’s GAME TIME, you rotters!
Saturday night is right for fighting, and it’s a messy slug fest down in the pit tonight. SKAUS’s Screamers enter the arena with one Gutter Runner down, but a mess of ‘em and Throwers on the field.
Across from them Coach CleveRoh lines up Koballer – a nasty looking crew of Chaos Warriors and beastmen what crawled from the undermuck of the Warp.
The coin is flipped high and called…and Chaos receives. But what is this? The fans are bloodthirsty tonight and RIOT onto the field. Looks like the ref is gunna let the clock run a spell. I’ve always hated that ref. Shifty looking corn-suckler.
The crowd has been cleared off, and the Skaven are lining up to kick-off. A Skaven lineman kicks it solidly into Chaos’s side. They grab it up but don’t move the ball much. Skaven’s moving…
Oh, lookit that! One of the Gutter Runners just threw a hard elbow at a screening beastman, finding his glass horn and knocking him out cold! What a blow in the first minutes of the game! I can hear Coach CleveRoh yelling from the sidelines, but it ain’t enough to wake that beastman up from his nap.
The Skaven are trying to take advantage of the hole in the offence. A Skaven Lineman pushes another beastman, and moves to follow up, but THERE’S A HITCH IN THE SIGNAL. He’s frozen in time! The players aren’t moving! The crowd is screaming bloody murder! The coaches are about to spit nails! The ref is panicking. Someone is scrambling to get the Interwarp signal restored…one long minute passes…then two…is the game gonna hang???
Whew! Connection restored. Someone sacrificed something hot and wet and tasty to the Old Ones beyond the stars tonight!
The Lineman moves away from the line of scrimmage and the game continues!
Another Skaven Lineman dodges away from the blockers on the line of scrimmage and slams into the ball carrier. The ball bounces and ends up in the hands of a free Gutter Runner, but he’s out of time.
This could hurt. Chaos forms a tight wall around the Gutter Runner ball carrier – but the gods are frowning. Skull / Skull / Both Down result! Coach CleveRoh uses a reroll, and takes out the ball carrier. The ball drops and bounces loose.
The Skaven are rushing over each other to reclaim the ball. A tactical error! A Skaven threw a block to knock down one of the beastmen marking the ball, but instead pushed him on top of the ball! I thought I was the Blind Bastard, but Coach Sarc needs some new specs, clearly!
The scramble for the ball continues, but that lucky sumbitch beastman scoops it up and hands it over to a Chaos Warrior blessed with an Extra Arm.
That Chaos Warrior, we’ll call him “Extra Arm” what cause he’s got an additional appendage y’see, blitzes! QB Extra Arm is on a tear, pushing a Skaven outta his way and running for it.
Skaven are not happy that Extra Arm is so deep in their territory. I can see it in their hateful, beady, unblinkin’ eyes. They race down the pitch, zigging, and zagging, and zoning in on him and BAM! QB Extra Arm is sacked, two spaces away from a touch down!
The ball is loose! Skavens pick it up!
Chaos in on the assault, so close to a goal they can taste it. A flurry of blows is exchanged on the mud-turned-blood pitch! Those Skaven ain’t gonna just take it. They strike hard, rat-piling onto one beastman who goes down with a smashed hip!
This just pisses Chaos off more, and someone, I couldn’t hear who, grabs onto a Skaven by the arm and KRAK! That Lineman is off the field and outta the fight. Luckily for Coach Sarch, it was just a mercenary.
Extra Arm tries to sack the Skaven ball carrier, but it’s just a push. Back in the midfield, another Skaven lineman takes one for the team and is KO’d.
But the Skaven shove back hard! Another Chaos teammate goes down, and then another on a Both Down! These rat men are vicious tonight! Ain’t they being fed?
The Gutter Runner with the ball sprints up and is almost at midfield.
Extra Arm blitzes, but once again only gets a push. Then a Chaos gets an attacker down.
It’s Turn 8 for the Skaven, but the Coach sees he cannot make a touchdown this half, so he lobs an easy pass for the experience of it.
HALFTIME, you rotters and snotlings! I need a beer!
AND we’re back. Eight Chaos creatures hurl themselves onto the field of battle, facing nine Skaven. NINE Skaven! Unheard of!
Chaos kicks off and it’s a HIGH KICK. The Skaven Thrower has plenty of time to move directly beneath it, and he plucks it out of the air. But he’s looking too cocky. Is he watching for a special mousey someone in the stand? ‘cuz he nearly blows his fucking pass! Coach rerolls and Thrower lobs it to a Gutter Runner, who streaks it down the field. Damn lucky.
A beastman and Extra Arm race at the Gutter Runner QB, forcing him to stumble. He dodges to stay upright, but ends up pressed against the sideline! If he steps over, he’s done for. I can see Coach Sarc sweating bullets.
The Skaven push back, and the Gutter Runner QB has an opportunity for a touch down, but what’s this? He tries to throw a block at Extra Arm to take him down a notch because…? Revenge play? Apparently he got confused by the audible and decided to be a hero but forgot someone else had already blitzed this round. All he does is push Extra Arm back and set himself up for some pain.
AND somebody’s gonna get a hurting real bad. BAM, the Gutter Runner is sacked. Chaos gets the ball.
Whoah, someone mute Coach Sarc. You sure as hell can’t say that on the Interwarp.
Chaos tries to pass and fails! A Chaos warrior tries a dodge/run for the ball but, wham, gets knocked down! Turnover and the ball is still loose.
That lucky sumbitch Gutter Runner snaps it up and leaps over the line, scoring a Touch Down!
It’s Turn 11, and Chaos is down to one reroll. The kick results in someone trying to get the ref, but shockingly both teams are playing straight and no one cares much about an extra bribe. The kick is good and lands square in the middle of Chaos’s side.
Chaos throws a block but gets Skull / Both Down, and burns his last reroll to avoid the turnover. Man, Coach CleveRoh is getting a ton of Skull / Pushes this game. He really displeased the Chaos gods tonight.
Another block is thrown at a Skaven Lineman at the line of scrimmage, and both go down. No one has even picked up the ball yet!
There’s confusion – AGAIN! – on the Skaven side. Confusion from the audible. Who is going for the ball? A Gutter Runner has a clear sight on it, but NO! A Lineman scoops it up! What the hell is he doing? Why would he do that?
Chaos rushes at the Skaven Lineman ball carrier, but can’t bring him down. They just push him toward the endzone, but are forming a cage around the Skaven.
The ball is handed to a Gutter Runner who is running for it. He tries to make it through the tackle zones, but damn, he loses it and gets knocked flat. The ball is loose, people!
Turn 13, Chaos immediately gets a Skull / Both Down – oof!
Skaven throw a good tackle, then the QB scoops up the ball. He throws a perfect pitch to a Gutter Runner who hops across the line for an easy Touch Down! Skaven are up by 2 points!
Skaven kicks, and again the ref tries to hand out bribes and no one cares. However, a Chaos Warrior snatches the ball out of the air and starts the clock with the ball on the line of scrimmage.
Chaos pushes and stumbles a Skaven lineman, then pushes another. They are having a devil of a time poking a hole in the Skaven defense. Waitabloody minute? Where is Extra Arm? Why isn’t he on the field? What? He got wounded? When the hell did that happen? What, am I blind up here?
Nevermind that. The Chaos Warrior QB doesn’t have much of an opening, but he’s running and gunning for it. He dodges between TWO tackle zones! He’s a machine! ‘course, now he’s way out in the open…
Skavens are still a bit of a hot mess, despite their advantage. One Skaven runs up to standin the way of the Chaos Warrior QB, but he’s not got much back up. The others are trying to support him, but…What the hell was that? A one-roll block far from the action got a Skull, and the reroll got … another skull! Attacker down!
Turn 15, Chaos is two runs from a touch down. What’s it gonna be? A Chaos Warrior KOs a Lineman back on the line of scrimmage, keeping the rear defense up. The Chaos Warrior QB blitzes and stumbles the Lineman in his way, who falls, stunned! The way is open, though there’s another Skaven in the way. The Chaos Warrior jumps out of the tackle zone! He’s not a machine, he’s a Terminator! He’s one run away from scoring!
A Skaven Lineman runs all out. He’s got one chance to Blitz from the front and…fails.
The Chaos Warrior QB shoves the lineman out of the way and he is wide open. There is no stopping this and he strides purposefully over the goal line!
AND THAT IS THE GAME, you miscreants and salacious cretins! And what a game! SKAUS’s Screamers win, 2-1, over Koballer!
Skaven made some spectacularly stupid plays due to exhaustion, and maybe the coach’s baby? Did I hear that right? Was there a baby on the field for the first minutes of the game? But their sneakiness and perseverance helped. Also, Chaos got shit luck on their rolls. Next time they’ll know they should sacrifice a black goat coated in honey and peppers to the demented gods before game time.
Lights out, y’all. This was Blind Bastard Barnabas.