OK, so I’ve used a slightly unusual DE starting roster and made some foolish errors playing on LE last night. I thought I’d share the tale. The team is called Amen Awomen and is competing in the NO, the post is enormous, I hope you brought your reading glasses I went with 2 RR, 2 Blitz, 2 Runners, 1 Witch, 6 Line. I know most people advocate 4 Blitz and 1 Runner and I’ve tried that before and it works well but I wanted to try out some kookie dump off and scramble strategies with a pair of runners and I find witches spectacular (one way or the other) when I play them so I thought I’d risk it. Match 1 Khemri 1000TV Drive one – Kick is usually my first line-elf skill and it must’ve been a dozen matches since I played without it, I promptly kick it cleanly off field and he touches it back to a tomb guardian. Over-estimating the low speed of the Khemri I spend turn one setting up a safe crowd surf (no side-step so I have to protect the witch) and leave my wall weak in the middle and the Khemri surge forward leaving me pushed out onto the wings and never managing to get enough assists onto the ball carrying guardian to bring him down, he eventually scores on turn 8. I really feel the 2 missing blocks from the blitzer build and my over eagerness to crowd surf with the witch was defiantly an error 2nd Half – Drive two – I reckon I can beat the Khemri still so I decide to go for a fast TD and then try and steal the ball after kicking again. Turn 9 goes smoothly enough opening a hole and putting 4 elves deep, they get marked up but I’m able to blitz a receiver free and go for the pass in Turn 10, 2+, fail, reroll – on target, catch on a 2+, fail, reroll already used the ball bounces loose. The Khemri player is very competent here boxing in the ball with two layers to refuse assists and with 2 tomb guardians covering the ball all I can really do is shove skellies onto the ball, every time I do it bounces to a worse position and the clock runs out without either of us being able to retrieve the ball. 1-0 defeat, total ssp 8 from a BH, 1 completion (tossing it to a runner) and mvp on a lineelf. Winnings, 40k gah. Game 2 – Nurgle, I’ve never played against Nurgle so this is something of an education. Drive 1 – a safer kick and the game is on, the nurgle line pushes forwards, the witch receives the blitz and a fouling and still blocks on my turn 1, the double 1 sends the rotter off though. This is just enough to open a gap on the left and the blitzer and runner for that flank race through and blitz the ball carrier pestigor. The ball bounces away and I don’t have the GFI to grab it. The nurgle team blitzes away my blitzer and recovers the ball, aggressive marking sees me knocking the ball loose on turn 4 as well but turn 6 sees a desperate pestigor to rotter short pass that completes without a reroll, in the rain, to put Nurgle up 1-0 Drive 2 – I have time to score in the first half, 3 whole turns, so I set up everyone on the left only to be met with a blitz result. I still recover the ball but end up badly positioned, I barely make a pass passed disturbing presence and the rain and fail the GFI for the TD, the line elf that went for it proceeds to fail his armour roll and die. 2nd half, Drive 3 – the Nurgle team set up 6 players on the LOS, I take the bait and set up 9, an extra reroll each from the kick and the beatings commence, I floor 5 and push the sixth before blitzing a 7th into the crowd with the witch, this goes on, turn after turn but his players keep getting up and re-marking my players and I seem completely unable to break armour except for 1 pestigor that goes BH but regenerates. Disturbing presence and the rain make any passing play risky and it takes me till turn 14 to score. Drive 4- Nurgle dish out a beating and successfully cage up, the last 2 turns are simply a brawl as there’s no way I can get the ball, I manage to kill another pestigor but he regenerates again. Post Match – I was all over them that game, some bad dice at the wrong moments cost me the win but that’s blood bowl. I finally manage to get some skill ups, both normal rolls, so block on the mvp lineman from match 1 (you can tell I miss the blitzers, I really should’ve taken kick) and NoS on one of my runners (I have never picked up NoS on a DE runner before but started considering some special NoS trick plays, mostly involving DO and thought I’d test them out), a good winnings roll and I manage to get the Apoc and have some decent money to spare Game 3 – Dwarves – This turned into a entertaining and tricksy match that I rather enjoyed. I’m down 40TV but that’s not enough for anything Drive 1 – Kicked to the dwarves and it’s scooped by a +AG runner, the importance of this doesn’t really sink in until turn 3 where he dodges away from the 2 elves marking him and pitches a pass to a blitzer who I’d been ignoring, a neat little catch and he runs into the end zone for an easy score. Drive 2 – The curse of the blitz strikes again I’ve set up asymmetrically and the dwarves get a chance to reposition, cancelling all my assists, mark up most of my players and run 2 players towards the deep kick ball on the open half. Only my two runners can get there and they can’t get away again, everyone else is marked and too far away so I have little choice but to try the very trick play I was hoping to use. My unskilled runner pulls up a couple of squares short while my NoS runner scoops the ball and awaits his fate. The NoS runner gets hit with 2D but neatly dumps off 2+ & 2+ thanks to NoS and leaves my new ball carrier open and with a small headstart. The ball carrier joins up with the rest of the team who are quite successfully scuffling with the dwarves and barely pauses before outpacing the slow dwarves to their end zone with only a single blitzer leaving the scuffle to run interference. 2nd Half – Drive 3 starting suspiciously similarly to Drive 2 I get blitzed again, a more balanced setup leaves me in a less desperate situation but I’m still back footed and I’m supposed to be on offence. The blocks are going badly and I can’t make any headway then turn 3 sees an early turnover with a failed dodge before I can move my cage and with the RR already used this turn. I smile as the dwarf player over commits, blitzing a cage corner and putting 3 dwarves on the ball carrier while surrounding all the exits with 4 more dwarves leaves me with a couple of unmarked options, with a RR in hand I decide a short pass is worth the risk and hit the 3+ (NOS can be so useful), my excitement is short lived however as the ag4 runner (who I did mark to reduce his chances) rolled the natural 6 plucking the ball out of the air. He then managed a long pass to an open blitzer and ran in the TD on turn 13. 2-1 dwarves. Drive 4 – I set up with a bit of a twist, my passes have been going badly so this time I’m going to use my speed to run it in. I set up to overload the right and put my runners in the 2nd row for a change (usually they hang back and pick up). Finally the dwarves don’t get a blitz but the ball is laughing at me as it lands on the LoS just left of centre in 3 dwarf tzs and 0 DE tzs. I quickly set up a line elf on the corner to lend an assist and send in the blitzer, he has to dodge into a tz to make a blitz from his side of the LoS and knock a dwarf over onto the ball bouncing it away from the other dwarves. A lineelf scoops it and hands it off to the NoS runner and a couple of dodges later both runners and the witch are in scoring positions and most of his team are marked or screened. The ag4 runner goes it alone, dodging twice to blitz the ball carrier who dumps it to the unmarked witch before getting knocked flat on 1D (using the last reroll). A blitzer attempts to dodge free to mark the witch but falls on his face leaving the witch to walk it in on turn 15. Drive 5, the dwarves try to run receivers into my half for a 2 turn TD, I quickly mark them 2 or 3 to 1 removing any possibility of a quick dwarf TD - Final score 2-2 Post Game – That was bizarre, dodging, passing, intercepting dwarves and ball carriers intentionally taking hits, the dump off plays certainly aren’t the safest plays but they open up all kinds of possibilities when things go bad, I’m not sure a conventional DE team could’ve managed with all those blitz kick offs and odd landing positions in such a fast paced game. I was seriously impressed with NoS and amazed at all the little changes it can make to your game like marking before you pass and getting the ball out of some really nasty messes. MvP landed on my block lineman so the only skill was the witch, she picked up a normal so went for side step as planned (I know everyone says block first and I mostly agree but I want to see how this works out). I also buy a 3rd RR, something I dearly miss when starting a new elf team. At the moment I’m pretty confident that the 4 blitzer start runs easier up to this point, although the record is poorer than it should be, dice have not been kind, more armour and more block make those early matches easier. Without NoS DO is risky and needs to be played into most of the time and without sidestep the witch needs too much support to crowd surf, without easy crowd surfing you might as well have the blitzer. However it’s around this stage, with side step, a third RR and NoS shoring up those weaknesses that I hope to see a different DE team playing a different game. Next few games I’m hoping to grab kick on a lineman, NoS on my other runner and if I can push the spp that way, block on the witch, I’ll also purchase blitzer number 3 once the cash is available.