It was time for Count Luthor von Drakenburg to enter the fray. The vampire star player was obviously sick of the general mocking of his favourite vampire blood bowl team by other league participants. Well that or he didn't trust the head coach and wanted to ensure the Ravens had a fighting chance of making the play-offs. The Count tried his hardest to secure at least 2 points from the game. Would he manage it... read on:
With a wizard creeping around in the vampire stands, and an induced Thrall with Strip ball the Raven's had options to halt the Skaven advance. The toss went to the Skaven and they decided to receive. The vampires having none of this Blitzed themselves an extra turn before the ball landed deep in the Skaven half. A vampire pushed through the left side zone to put pressure on the ball.
But the Skaven weren't worried about a slow, pitiful vampire. A couple of simple blocks on the Thralls occupying the line of scrimage and two gutter runners had free reign of the vampires half. The ball was picked up, handed off to another gutter runner (deep in the Skaven half) who ran up field at lightning speed to hand off to the gutter runner on the line of scrimage. Another scurry and the ball was 3 moves away from the vampire line. A second gutter runner followed to keep any nearby Thralls occupied. Boy are they are fast.
Count Luthor reminded Ratboy Stu that hypnotic gaze can be a dangerous skill. The previously marked Thrall was suddenly free to pressurise the ball carrier. Another Thrall moved down field but couldn't reach the action. A 3rd ran in to mark the hypnotised runner if the Blitz on the ball carrier should play out well. A vampire dodged away from his marker to Blitz the ball carrier, failing the GFI cost the leader re-roll and meant that the 3 dice block resulting in push-back couldn't be re-rolled. The Gutter runner was pushed closer to the end zone.
The wizard skulking around in the Vampire stand stood up, but decided better of it. Let the Skaven score in turn 2, that gives me 7 turns to equalise. This did not please the fans and a riot followed pushing the clock on 1 turn. Only 6 turns to score but still a fairly easy ask. The ball landed straight into Countess Svan II hands. The pass to Luthor was easy and the ravens flew in to cage Luthor with the ball. It is well know blood bowl lore that rats are useless cage breakers. Add to that a high strength, high agility ball carrier with both Block and Dodge it was going to be extremely difficult to stop my advance.
But those rats did try. The ran towards the left side zone where I was breaking through. This pushed me closer to the rat ogre.
But with the main pack spilt from the ogre it was fairly easy to mark him with a sacrificial Thrall to keep him from Blitzing (or at least trying to) Luthor. We kept moving the cage towards the end zone.
But the Thrall population was thinning and a decision had to be made. Try and hold on or score now and leave the Rats 2 turns to get one back? The later was the chosen action. I could stop him... I thought... until another riot pushed the clock back granting him 3 turns to score!
3 runners pushed through our defence. 1 ran left field, 1 right. The 3rd stayed central and due to its starting position couldn't run that far past the line of scrimage, but nevertheless was in range to score next turn should the ball be thrown to him. So 3 targets that could score. We hypnotised the two deep in our half (to prevent them being able to catch the ball without moving) and Luthor Blitzed the 3rd putting him in the dug-out. It seemed to be going to plan. But then the Skaven throwers are just as fast. In the 8th turn Tte Gutter runner on the left side easily dodged away from the marking vampire and ran to the line. The ball was scooped up and run down the left side for an easy short pass without possibility of interception. With 2 rats in possible scoring position the wizard couldn't stop it so saved his magic for another day.
CRHV led 2-1 at half time, but now I was receiving.
I decided to spice things up a little. The Countess moved in to secure the ball, while I started to mark the weak gutter runners and get a passing game going. This involved a vampire dodging through the Skaven defence, but when Luthor tried to follow he tripped and fell! 390,00 gold pieces had just face planted, with a free re-roll! Time to go back to caging!
The rats used this opportunity to move in on the countess. But she was semi caged and this gave her time to pass to Count blockula (to her left) who ran into the left side zone to cage up. Luthor eventually made it over to support as did the countess.
As she reached the caged ball she pulled off a spectacular block against the Ogre, threatening the Ravens chances, and stunned it.
We pushed ever forward, the rats conolidated and grouped between the cage and the line. That was when the wizrd finally saw his chance. A massive fireball stremed onto the picth frying 4 rats. 2 were stunned and 2 were sent off injured. That success meant the Ravens could cage the ball near the end zone while the few remaining rats tried to stop the equaliser (2 points would be better than none!)
It eventually came in turn 8 as Luthor made the easy dodge away from the rats and scored (again!). The cheers rose from the stands. That Draw result would see us level with other teams fighting to avoid the wooden spoon. But those celebrations would be premature.
CRHV had 1 turn and could only score if quick snap (or Riot) was rolled to move a movement 10 gutter runner that vital 1 square closer to the vampire line. As is Raven luck this season that's the result that was rolled at kick-off.
Maybe I did make the mistake in not leaving my players on the line... meaning the rats could Blitz a hole in my defence with a storm vermin and needed only 2 GFI rolls to score and win... but Stu still had a re-roll anyway (if I had setup better and forced him to make a few dodges) so once that fateful '9' was rolled at kick-off it was pretty much over anyway.
That has probably secured the wooden spoon for the vamps. Only a win against the Chargers and other games going in our favour will see us through.
Tis a sad day!