This past week my Blood Bowl game was a blowout. It was another good matchup for me against a team that has some Dodge, but not enough to be able to dance around me. The Dwarves love playing against people that have a little bit of Dodge so they can use their Tackle to lock the board up. My opponent was The Thief who was running Brettonians who were levelled just enough to have Dodge on all their Blitzers and a small collection of other skills.
My ability to negate Dodge on my enemies and their base Agility of 3 meant that it was going to be a slugfest. The Thief couldn't plausibly run away from me consistently so he had to stand and fight. Unfortunately for his fighting chances his team has much lower Armour and he had only 2 copies of Guard to my 6 copies of Guard. His team is faster of course, (since everyone is faster than the Dwarves....) so I rated to have positioning struggles and would be slow on scoring but I liked my odds.
I actually had some real fun before the match. I had 160,000 gold over the cap, and a Deathroller costs 160,000. Deathrollers are extremely powerful but they have the problem that they get kicked off after a single drive. I didn't think a Deathroller was worth it because my opponent didn't have a Big Guy I could push around with the Deathroller but I had nothing else to do with the money so I bought one.
And of course after buying it I yelled a lot about how I was going to crunch The Thief with the Deathroller. People told me I was being stupid because Deathrollers are bad, but they seemed to believe me. I guess I have built enough table cred for doing dumb but hilarious stuff! Right before the game started I fired the Deathroller, hoping it had done its job of intimidating The Thief. I doubt very much that it had any impact at all, aside from momentarily confusing him when we got to the game start screen and my team value had dropped from what he was expecting. However, I enjoyed his momentary confusion followed by immediate understanding of what I had been doing, so there was that.
My odds got a lot better when on my first action I injured one of his dudes with Guard. Every dude counts in a slugging match, but losing that copy of Guard was particularly awful. On turn 3 he got in position to take a shot at my ball carrier but he had to take some dodges to manage it. The first dodge failed and his dude fell down and got injured, removing his other copy of Guard from the game.
It was pretty much over at that point. I was actually thinking he might concede, but I think The Thief believes in bashing through the game because the whole point of being in the league is to play, not give up! With no Guard left The Thief had no prospect of getting decent blocks in a big brawl and was going to get punched around the field for the remainder of the game. I sealed the deal by injuring another two random dudes during my push up the field, and then used Barik Farblast, the Star Player I recruited for the match, to foul another player and injure him out.
When Barik fouls someone he shoots them with a cannon! That sounds unfair enough that even the Blood Bowl referees won't put up with it.
At halftime there were five injuries on The Thief's side, I had a touchdown in the bag, and another one of his dudes was still KO. He started the second half with only six dudes. I proceeded to beat the hell out of them, injuring two more, and the last turn saw his team on field reduced to two dudes, both of whom were on the ground and did not get up again.
My team is now 5-1, and that single loss came from a game I could not show up for so my opponent got a free win. I have three wins at a score of 2-0, all of which were absolute slaughters. I have two wins at 2-1, both of which were against elves, and both of which I won solidly but not without some difficult moments. Since joining the league I have sustained zero deaths or serious injuries and in fact I am fairly sure I have never activated my apothecary.
I wonder how much of this is luck. Make no mistake, this extremely strong record has both luck and skill components. I am a good Blood Bowl player, having many hundreds of games under my belt. Lots of those are against the computer, but even against the computer you have to practice what to do against a variety of formations and skill sets and those games help. I am one of the top players in the league, this I am confident of.
But I have also gotten ass lucky. My dwarves haven't been knocked down much compared to other teams, but I have gotten knocked down. I should have taken some injuries by this point. That isn't relevant in terms of money because I have so much I have no idea what to do with it and I just set it on fire after each match. However, losing players who have experience is a real threat especially because most of my most experienced players are the ones with lower armour. Part of my lack of injuries is playing tight and being a super bashy team, but a big part is just the dice going my way.
I have also been pushing my luck. My ball carriers should have a ton more experience than they do, but instead of pushing levels on them I have been handing off the ball to other random dwarves to try to level them up. This is kind of ridiculous to do in a league against other humans, but it is a thing you can get away with when you are in a really dominant position. Sometimes you are guaranteed to win and you just want to give the ball to a random lineman so he can get some experience and level up, and I have had opportunities to do this, and taken them. When the elimination rounds come about I am going to be a lot less aggressive and just take the best line to win the game regardless of the experience situation.
At any rate I think I had a good matchup against The Thief and my early success with taking out his dudes with Guard made the game easy for me. There was a combination of early luck and the skill to capitalize effectively on it.