Wednesday July 24th 2019…a Blood Bowl league match; my beloved EH Gaming 49ers against the Amazonian Fallout Femmes. Back to full strength with a thrower and catcher, newly skilled up blitzers with Guard…this was my night and a chance to turn around a dismal opening few matches in the league. I love Blood Bowl, it’s my favourite tabletop game…but on that night, the game (or at least the dice) screwed me each and every way…
The only way I have managed to recover was through the cathartic act of writing a full, detailed match report…see if you can work out where the double skulls, re-rolled double skulls, 1s and re-rolled 1s appeared (as well as bundles of pushes against their Dodge instead of Pows)…and they were in plentiful abundance.
“Good evening sports fans…it’s a hot one tonight and we’ve got, on paper, a very evenly matched game with the human EH Gaming 49ers stepping up against the statuesque and sturdy ladies of the Amazonian Fallout Femmes…humans against Amazons, it has bore score draw written all over it!”
The Fallout Femmes are only lightly played so far this season, this being only their third match but they have held their previous 2 opponents to a draw, whereas this is game 4 for the 49ers and their season couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start. I spoke to the coach earlier on this afternoon and despite the death of their star thrower and only catcher in game 1, and a spot of bad luck against the lizards in game 2, and a spanking beyond belief against the elves (losing 5-1!!) in game 3, he was optimistic and hopeful and fully expecting to get some kind of result tonight that would signal their luck has changed. Buoyant to have been able to spend some money before this game and recruit a new catcher he was thrilled to bits to have a throwing game back and is expecting the arrival of Jerry Lice to finally give Mo Jontana, frustrated thrower, a target so that he can become the new sniper-lethal throwing machine that they all see in training. This was his comment before the game:-
“This is the most optimistic I have felt all season; we’re back to full strength and now have options with the throwing game as well as the running game and we’re up against a bunch of, well, ladies, so this should be a stroll in the park and I don’t see us coming off the pitch with anything but a win under our belts…can’t wait to get started and finally show the league that we are a team to fear and not the whipping boys around here. BRING IT ON!!”
So, without further ado, the lights are on, the teams are taking to the field…let’s see what short work the boys can make of the girls over the next couple of hours…
It’s a fairly normal defensive set-up by the Fallout Femmes; 3 plucky linemen..er…women on the scrimmage line and they are toe to toe with 2 very handy and tough human Blitzers and the massive presence of Ephraim Toughnut, the 49ers ogre who is staring at them like they are some sort of snack.
The ball is in the air and we’re off, game on…a few big hits from the blitzers take down a couple of Amazons but they are not out and a strong hit from the ogre lands but, well, the target just swivels the hips and dodges away and that may yet be something that works in their favour as all the Amazons are certainly looking nimble tonight. They’re no elves, but in these opening seconds they are making the humans look slow and cumbersome. Still plenty of options down the flanks for the 49ers but it looks like their thrower is desperate to make an instant impact as he’s ran over to pick the ball up early. Normally you’d expect all the blocking to be done before risking anything to do with picking up and throwing the ball, but not tonight…that’s a great sign, he must be brimming with confidence to make that move so early on in the turn and I think it speaks volumes of just how cocksure the 49ers coach is about this, well, formality of a match…
…oh, hang on, he’s messed up the ball pick up, but with his sure hands he spins around for another go and…no…he’s fumbled the heck out that one and it’s a Turnover! Must just be due to the nerves settling and he’s bound to come good next turn although he’s getting some abuse from his team-mates…perhaps all isn’t as rosy as we’ve been led to believe in the team?
The Fallout Femmes have a real opportunity to apply some very early pressure here, although just as I was about to say they are being far too cagey along comes a great blitz down the right flank and that significantly weakens that side of the field for the 49ers…but play is back with them so let’s see how they respond…
They’ve chosen to ignore the flanks by the looks of it and are tightly caging up in the middle of the field…looks like they are pulling a full 8 square cage together and judging by the signals between the thrower and the catcher there’s going to be an easy throw and catch and Jerry Lice will pop into the middle of it. Mo Jontana composes himself and picks the ball up easily this time and lets off a perfect ‘down the throat’ throw to the new catcher who just has to open his hands, spin around, and he and the ball have a clear run into the middle of the protective huddle…
…oh my, the catcher has guffed up that very easy catch but there is a chance he can get his hands on it at the second time of asking…but no…he grasps at thin air and the ball scatters away and that’s another premature turnover for the 49ers.
By the look on their coach’s face it would appear that the excitement and joy at having their throwing game back is already ebbing away…
Now this is interesting though as the Femmes have a real opportunity here with most of the 49ers locked up in the middle of the field in a cage with nothing to protect and a loose ball with only a fragile catcher to guard it…and they’ve wasted no time dashing down the flanks and, smash, there goes the catcher’s face into the astrogranite from a huge blitz…who said they were the fairer sex!
2 more Femmes crowd the ball and then a linewoman nips in and scoops the ball up…this is incredible, they have the ball, the numbers to protect it and I don’t think the 49ers can get back in time to stop this…
…and here they are, desparately trying to untangle themselves from the cage formation and getting in each other’s way…one blitzer gets free and has the legs to hit the ball carrier and she takes the hit but just pivots away and stays on her feet, even managing to get a little closer to the end zone. More 49ers have tracked back so it’s a little more crowded and tough now than it was a few seconds ago but these ladies are nasty, in a clever way by the looks of it…two big blocks go in and those amazonian blitzers have carved open a perfect gap for the lineman…woman…bah…to slip through and she’s off but she’ll have to really go for it to get into the end zone…and she’s safe….TOUCHDOWN!!!!!!
The teams set up for the restart and after some very angry words from their coach the 49ers have lined up across the scrimmage line, leaving just the throwing team at the back, and they look ready to bring the pain. The ball is up in the air and team captain and star blitzer, Gamling Spikehand, swings at the Amazon in front of him to start a world of hurt…but…he seems to have missed and…it looks like he’s somehow having another swing at her and…no, he’s down and that’s a turnover!
Well, through the laughter the Fallout Femmes front line simply takes a few steps backwards to get out of range, and a couple of them are actually moonwalking. Some clever movement from the back line brings them into a cagey, yet firm defensive set up and they just can’t believe their luck. The 49ers coach is actually banging his head against the dugout wall…but play is back with them and the captain is back on his feet and barking orders through the abuse he’s getting and they step forward and it looks like they are going to try and build the cage again…
This feels like the right move as it’s very rare that a perfectly matched partnership of thrower and catcher will mess up twice in a row and you can easily excuse the catcher for his earlier mistake with it being his first match for the team, so he steels himself as Mo Jontana heads for the ball to pick it up…and…erm…he appears to have fumbled it, but gets another go and…no…he’s…hang on…no, he’s f**ked it up and that’s a turnover!
So here come the amazons again and despite the target being a long way away one of their blitzers has gone for it and pummelled the human thrower to the ground and she’s going for it again to pick the ball up and reaches it and…fumbles it!
In comes the 49ers blitzer and it’s the captain, determined to make amends for his comical mess up a few moments ago and POW that’s a huge hit on the cheeky amazon blitzer who took out the thrower and she’s seeing stars and off the pitch! There’s the turning point, and from zero to hero the captain pushes on and grabs the ball…ah…no, he’s spunked it, that’s a fumble and turnover…jeez, from zero to hero and back to zero again!
The amazons are moving and open up with another huge blitz and that lineman isn’t going to be returning to the pitch for the rest of this match…you’d have been able to hear that crunch over in Bogenhafen!!
It’s all about them getting the numbers down the pitch now but the 49ers have regrouped as play returns to their hands and despite the comedy of errors so far they seem to be putting together yet another cage but this one is textbook. In slips the catcher and he’s waiting for the pass…the thrower manages to pick up the ball cleanly (for once), moves and checks the range of the throw but he’s not seeing something he likes and looks like he’s overstretching himself to get just a little bit closer…not sure why he’s not released the ball yet as the catcher is screaming at him…looks like he’s going to try and sprint a little closer and…he’s tripped, he’s down!
The ball squirts out sideways from his grasp and he hits the deck and as the catcher screams words that would make a troll blush in slips an amazon for a very shaky pick up but they have the ball again within touching distance of the end zone…and I don’t see how the 49ers can get back to stop this.
Looks like they have realised that they can’t stop the girls from scoring so they are just throwing blocks at anything that looks feminine and a few crunching blows land but these ladies are tough…they go down but they’re ready to get straight back up again.
In skips the Fallout Femmes once more into the end zone and that’s another TOUCHDOOOOOOOOWWWWWWNNN!
That’s the end of the first half and a glance at the dugout shows that the EH Gaming coach appears to be drinking quite heavily?
AND we’re back for the second half and it’s the 49ers to kick to the Femmes…I’m not sure what the coach said to them at half time but the guys look ready to eviscerate the girls. They have spread themselves across the line once more and they look p**sed, really p**sed. They’re hoping to kick the ball perfectly to the back of the Femmes’ half and then punch their way to the end zone…and the ball is in the air…could this be the break the boys need…and…no, the ball has bounced off the edge of the pitch and its a touchback so the amazon thrower gets the ball in the perfect position for the girls!
The Femmes coolly start to build an offensive shape and in their fury the 49ers have left a couple of gaps down the sides and off skips the catcher who slips by the human linemen and she’s away…could it be that the amazons have a throwing game up their sleeves after all?
Let’s see if the 49ers can squish that idea by getting to the thrower first and this time it’s seasoned blitzer Paolo Rossi who makes the first move and with a scream of rage he swings for the lineswoman in front of him and…misses, and seems to stumble, but somehow gets to swing again and this time…oh no…he’s down, and did that sound like armour cracking? He’s definitely down and seems stunned…and the Femmes fall about laughing yet again.
The 49ers coach is now facing the opposite direction to the game…looks like he’s seen enough…
This simply couldn’t be easier for the ladies…while the rest of the 49ers stare at their stunned blitzer in disbelief the Femmes’ thrower, Penny Proton II, skips through the gaps, hands the ball off majestically to their catcher, The Mighty Atom, who dashes away down the field and after a risky sprint manages to hit the end zone yet again…and that folks is another TOUCHDOWN!!!!
It’s 3-0 to the ladies…so much for the confident bravado of the 49ers coach earlier on and…yes…he has now left the dugout and, by the looks of it, the stadium too!
Another kick off by the amazons and despite each of them wishing the astrogranite would swallow them up the 49ers seem to have accepted their fate and are beginning to move like a team without a care in the world…oh jeez, they’re building the *&%$!* cage again…will they ever learn…and here comes Bimbo the Chimp, I mean Mo Jontana the thrower…and he’s…well, f**k me he’s actually picked the ball up and thrown it to the catcher…and he’s actually caught it…and has run into the middle of the cage!!!
These guys look like they can really play now that their coach has nobbed off! The cage closes tight around the catcher and it’s up the chicas to bust it open…
Some good movement from the ladies with the very imposing blitzer Mamma Gamma causing a few problems down the left hand side; her presence gives her teammate Plutonia a real chance at blitzing into the side of the cage and there she goes, piling into the lineman who stays on his feet but he knocks into the catcher who gets pushed into another lineman at the other side and knocks him out of the cage. The catcher still has the ball but that was a close one…here comes another big block from the same side and there’s a bit of chaos in the middle of the cage and…oh no, out pops the catcher…he’s been evicted from his protective shell completely…but thankfully play is back with the 49ers so can he scarper away from trouble with the ball, or can they get him back into the middle of the cage and restart the drive upfield?
It looks like there might be a gap to give the catcher a chance to get some breathing space and in comes the captain again to start the play and slice open the gap even wider…a big block here will unlock a real opportunity and let the rest of the team make a push to get out of their own half and the 49ers might score yet before the game ends…he swings big…and misses and somehow manages to punch himself to the ground…and that’s a turnover!
Once more through the giggles the amazons leap into action and waste no time disrupting the confused and tightly packed bunch of blokes that is supposed to be a professional Blood Bowl team…some cheeky pushes has them tripping into each other and then a big hit goes in on the catcher and he’s down and out squirts the ball, bouncing once onto the head of a 49ers lineman and then onto the prone body of the catcher and then towards another human lineman…who…oh my word, will Nuffle preserve us…manages to catch it!!!
This could be it…there’s a gap which can be taken to get the ball carrier out to the left flank and cover can be provided by the blitzers…there’s enough time left in the game for a strong drive and the 49ers could score…they just need to get things moving with that first block to give the ball carrier some extra space and here it comes…and…no…the blocking lineman swings, misses, trips and goes down!!!
The Femmes cannot believe their luck yet again and how many times have I said that during this game? A risky one on one block pays off and the ball carrier is down…the ball bounces to an empty patch. In comes a block from Tina Neutrina, another tough Femmes blitzer and the hit is strong and pushes a bunch of 49ers into each other and they all get shoved even further away from the ball and from out of nowhere Penny Proton II has appeared and the ball is safely in the thrower’s hands…surely it’s not going to be 4-0??!
It looks like the only 49er that has a chance of stopping the thrower next turn is going to be Ephraim Toughnut, the so far ineffective ogre and all he has to do is shake off this lone block by the linewoman…and this must be a formality, it’s as if the ogre could simply choose the outcome of this hit…but for all that is holy about this game she’s somehow punched him to the ground and is now stood on his chest and waving at the cheering crowd!
The 49ers are reacting but they quickly realise that they are not going to stop this fourth touchdown from happening and in a fit of pique they turn on the amazons near them and smash out the blocks…3 of them land but the ladies seem to be able to sway and swirl aroud the attacks and simply move backwards out of the way…not a hair out of place on any of them…it’s as if this ability to dodge is in their DNA? Interestingly, while the blocks have been thrown an overlooked 49ers lineman has managed to get himself between the ball carrier and the end zone and this is a great chance for him to stand firm and stop the Femmes from scoring…we could be about to witness the birth of a legend if he can plant his feet and stop the charge…
Here come the girls and…oh dear, the rather sturdy and suitably named Mamma Gamma blitzes into that plucky lineman and he’s down, and with a crack of armour he looks stunned…the only way he’s going to stop the touchdown now is if the ball carrier trips over his unconscious ass!
As the clock begins to wind down on this one, the only chance to come out of this game with any sort of result is if the 49ers can injure as many Femmes as possible and first to move, surprisingly, is Ephraim the ogre who seems to have grown even larger than normal from his bellowing rage at being taken down a few moments ago…he moves against one of the female blitzers and smears her across the pitch with one massive blow and she’s in a mess and that’s the end of the game for her…hopefully she’s just badly hurt rather than anything permanent.
Taking inspiration from that display of violence up steps Esmé Punchpaws, another 49er who has had a quiet game but another veteran blitzer who looks set to lead by example…he winds up, swings…and…well…just gets it all wrong and down he goes…*sigh*
Play is back with the amazons and they have had such an easy ride during this entire game…they are actually walking…yes, walking towards the 49ers end zone and have stopped right on the edge and have even built a little cage around the ball carrier as if it is one last middle finger to the failed cages of the boy’s game…this is hysterical stuff!
Reacting to that the 49ers start trying to bash more players and a big hit from Gamling Spikehand sees a linewoman go down with a sickening crack of snapped armour, but she seems dazed, confused, but ultimately ok…the rest of the hits are once again absorbed by the graceful movement of the targets who take the blow and simply step backwards to minimise the effect, it really is something to behold.
Down at the end zone with the time nearly up in steps Penny Proton II with the ball and that’s another TOUCHDOWN!!!!!!!
It’s 4-0 to the Femmes…all that’s left now is for the 49ers to receive the ball and see if they can salvage some tiny, tiny speck of glory in the last push…
The ball is in the air and in comes the first block from Paolo Rossi and it’s solid and the linewoman goes down with what looks like a huge crack across her armour…she’s not going to be taking any further part in this game…which is kinda ok, as there is about 15 seconds left!!
Two more blocks land but the remaining 2 linewomen are ok…one is down but not hurt and the other has stayed on her feet but still has the ogre to contend with and he’s very well supported from two blitzers…could this be the fatality that the crowd are hungering for…it looks like he’s winding up…but…erm…no…he suddenly seems very confused, almost like he’s forgotten why he’s there and has turned his back on the brave amazon!
The last seconds tick and all that remains is for the throwing team to salvage a little bit of pride by grabbing the ball and tossing a perfect pass into the hands of a perfect catch, just to give them a little bit of confidence ahead of the next match…
…and over steps Mo Jontana to pick the ball up to start this little exhibition piece to close off the match and…hang on…he’s not quite managed to pick the ball up there, but he’s reached back to grab it on the second attempt…and…huh…no, he’s messed that up…
…what a nobhead…and what a perfect way to end one of the most calamitously, funny, despairingly bad displays of Blood Bowl I and the crowd have seen for many a year.
All credit to the Fallout Femmes, they took perfect advantage of every single opportunity that was handed to them and rode the waves to a remarkable victory.
What next for the 49ers? Their catastrophic season continues to get worse and I don’t see how they can recover from this one, and certainly not in time for their next match in a few weeks against the fearsome Norsemen.
It looks like its going to take a miracle to get that throwing game going and maybe it should be abandoned…perhaps the death of their original catcher and star thrower in the first league match against the Khemri was a sign?
Let’s at least hope the ogre stops drooling and standing still in the middle of the pitch by then…he’s been there for over an hour now.
And where has their coach disappeared to…he hasn’t been seen for a few hours now and I’m told he wandered out of the stadium muttering something under his breath…something about the other coach not giving him the change from buying the half time drinks??
You’d think he had bigger fish to fry right now…
Thanks for tuning in sports fans…what a night and what a win for the Fallout Femmes”