is Australia's, nay, the Southern Hemisphere's self-declared biggest and best Blood Bowl tournament. It's been running annually in Sydney since 2005.
The format is six resurrection games over two days, with a 1.2m roster including skills and inducements (no doubles; max. one skill per player; no inducement cards). This year, I took my new team, the Vampire Bite Club
. Four Vamps (three with Pro and one Strip Ball), eight Thralls (two Wrestles, two Fends, two Sure Hands, and a Tackle), with three Rerolls and Fan Factor 1.
The venue is excellent; the function facilities at the Burwood Club. There were sixty-five coaches slogging it out to be numero uno
(spoiler alert- it was Thomsy with five wins and a draw). On the large screens there was a slideshow updated with rankings, draws, remaining round time, etc
. The organisers (Virral and Rabid) moved around making sure every table had a bowl of sugary goodies. Being a club, of course, there was cheap beer, coffee, soft drinks and food. Undoubtedly the highlight of anyone's Blood Bowl year.
|Day one matches|
|Main arena before sixty coaches descend!|
There was a table of glittering prizes, allegedly with a total value of $5000. After the winners have received their trophies, everyone lined up in their final rankings to take a prize of their choice. Noone left empty-handed.
|Some of the trophies|
|Some of the prizes|
Even before the prizes, all coaches received a pack with a custom dugout, a mini-printed rulebook, custom scatter templates, a frill-necked lizard miniature, a resin die marker, a set of Australian BB dice, a commemorative coin, and Eucalyptus Bowl 2013 dice.
|Every coach received these goodies|
There were "Unlucky door prizes" for the first coach to kill one of their own players, fail a touch-down on a go-for-it reroll, roll a triple skulls, roll double skulls- reroll- double skulls, etc
. Every coach had to nominate a rostered player as 'Boggy', and there was a reward every round if you killed Boggy or if he scored. This means that even when you're losing, you're still in the running for fame and fortune.
All up, it ran very smoothly, and was great to catch up with all the other coaches I have met over the years.
But how was my tourney, I hear you cry? I think I may have muttered the word, "Dismal...", on several occasions, and asked many people to remind me never to take Vampires again!
I knew Vamps were going to be challenging, but thought if I played conservatively with plenty of Pro, lotsa rerolls, only four Vamps, and thoughtful placement of thralls and tactical use of Hypnotic Gaze, I'd give them a red-hot go. How naive... (When I told Rabid I was taking Vampires, his face turned from disbelief to pity- I kid you not).
My first game lulled me into a false sense of security. I played Carbrawn's Khemri, Tomb Raiders. In true Khemri style, he never picked up the ball and I was 2-0 up at half-time. I held this lead in the second half, and won a comfortable 6-2 casualties. This put me on Table 3 for Round Two. The high-water mark.
|Bite Club blunts the Tomb Raiders' offfence!|
Round Two was against Darquebus. His Halflings had trounced me embarassingly at Biff in the 'Riff
two weeks ago, and now it was time for payback against his Orcs, the Organic Rekkin' Krew
. But it wasn't to be. I had nothing. He smashed me 4-0, 3-1 casualties against. He went on to come second overall. Someday I will have my revenge...
|The O.R.K. make mincemeat of the Vampires|
I then went on to play Hacker's Chaos Dwarves, and again, nothing I tried worked. I 'only' lost 2-0, 4-0 casualties against. Suffice to say I was fairly downhearted by this point in time.
|Chaos Dwarves confuse the Vampire play|
Day 2, Game 4. I played Joe's Chaos, the Aurochs of Anarchy. Joe hadn't played for a very long time indeed, and (IMHO) made a lot of rookie mistakes. But that doesn't help when all I can roll are skulls and 1s. I lost that one 1-0, thankful it wasn't 2-0 because Joe forgot about scoring in the first half and was having too much fun injuring me. I lost the injuries 7-0. Yes, 7-0. Joe said two things that stuck with me: "It's like you're playing against my team, and also against your team!", and, "Why on earth did you choose Vampires?" Why indeed?
My mojo returned in game 5, against Jason's Orc Black Fist Pack. This was the most enjoyable game of the tourney for me, and I won 2-1. It really should have been a 2-2 tie, as our teams were evenly matched, but in his final offence my defence held. I lost the casualties 2-1.
|Bite Club punches a hole through the Black Fist line|
My final game was against Babs' Nurgle, Shadows of Depravity. I didn't actually get a picture of this game, but Babs' beast won Best Single Miniature. He beat me 2-0, as yet again every play I tried just fell apart...
So I had two wins and four losses. If I had to re-do things (over my dead body) I'd take Pro instead of Strip Ball, and try to squeeze in an extra reroll- dump Tackle, Fend, and the Fan Factor. Overall, I came "about 50th" of 65, according to Rabid. And that takes me to thirteen different teams played at official tournaments- eleven to go!
Here's the prizes I won, for coming fricken' about 50th: some Scibor minis, a card game, special gold marbled E-Bowl 2013 dice, balls, and few other rare BB miniatures. Wow.
Finally, check out this utterly amazing custom pitch. Every corner was a little masterpiece.