The Bite'em'all Raven's lined up for the inaugural Wargamers Free Company Blood Bowl Championship.
For the first match of the season we would be taking on JP's Nurgle team. On paper, these two teams are fairly evenly matched. No general skills on either side and four strength 4 vampires matched with two Warriors, one Beast of Nurgle and two Prestigors with horns. It was always going to be close:
Bite'em'all Ravens 1 - 1 Rottenham Tight'uns (Casualties 0-3)
However, it wouldn't be the score that was talked about in the papers the next day, but this player:
The beautiful Countess Bella Svan. Except she wouldn't be in this position... by that I mean standing, more:
I'm still finding it difficult to hold back the tears. I have Kieron to thank for immortalising her image.
So what happened?
The Vampires started well and quickly collected the ball to drive down the left flank. But then a series of scrappy turns by both the Vampires and Nurgle eventually ended with the Nurgle breaking the drive and taking possession of the ball (and neither team with any re-rolls left). The Nurgle also started to show the vampires they mean business leaving a Thrall and a Vampire badly hurt. In turn 7 the Prestigor (4 squares within the vampire half) with the ball had to dodge (3+) to make it to within 8 squares of the TD line to score in turn 8. As is blood bowl legend he failed and face planted.
In a spectacular recovery a Thrall on the left flank picked up the ball, ran across field to avoid the beast of nurgle to hand off to a vampire in a tackle zone. The vampire managed to withstand that oh so dangerous lust for blood and dodged away from his marker to attempt a quick pass (in a disturbing presence zone) to a fellow vampire 6 squares away from the TD line but in a tackle zone. The pass was accurate and the receiving vampire caught it for a completion (a feat that would later earn him the MVP award and thus a skill). A Blitz later and the vampires lead 1-0 but had lost 2 players with another 2 KO'd.
The last turn of the first half saw the nurgle inflict more pain KO'ing another 2 Thralls who would not return for the 2nd half. The lack of numbers on the Vampire side started to show but the Nurgle made some early mistakes. Countess Bella Svan made it to the ball breaking the nurgle drive, much to the upset of the nurgle Prestigor, known as Jasper von Helsing, who in revenge KILLED her:
But wait, you can't kill a vampire. She can regenerate... or not as the 3 on the d6 would dictate. The Countess was stretchered off into the dead and injured box.
The vampires were left scattered and the equaliser was inevitable. 2 turns left and the vampires had to move fast. A perfect kick saw the ball land deep in the vampire half. 2 Thralls ran towards striking distance of the Nurgle line, one of the remaining vampires failed to pick up the ball. Turnover and the nurgle knocked down one of the Thralls but as they attempted to Blitz the second, fell and left a glimmer of hope in my teary eyes. If the vampires were going to win it would have to be another turn 8 blinder.
The vampire picked up the ball, ran forward for the long bomb but fumbled and it was game over.
I was lucky to get the draw after losing that many players so early. And with one of my key players dead it means I'm in for a very long hard season. The crowd were kind though and after all the merchandise buying left the Ravens 50,000 gold. I purchased a Thrall to bring the roster back to 12 players but was going to suffer a strategic blow in my next few games until I could replace Bella.
Oh did I mention that her Husband the great Count Edvard Cullen is now sulking and has offered this reward:
And now for some friendly sledging... JP killed a girl! Inflicted a further 2 injuries and still couldn't win. Loser!
Karak Dur Bruisers (Chaos Dwarf) next... with a vampire down. Could be a tough match. Tune in soon to find out the result (well it's already been played but you know what I mean)