Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

NAF Championship 2011: Day Two

Day Two dawned slightly later than Day One, as the games began at 9.30 - this enabled anyone who'd been part of the entertainment and socialising on Saturday night an extra little bit of time to sleep it off! There were only, apparently, a couple of people who didn't turn up and, as Darkson succinctly put it: "they somehow never seem to be from the top 10 or so tables."

For those who have never been, GW's HQ in Lenton is massive. The Space Marine statue and three floor high Imperial Aquilla are where the main operation is located, with the White Dwarf offices, Studio, and general important business-related things go on. Just off to the left of the picture is Warhammer World, the massive gaming hall and store that GW run. It's a place where you can buy anything that GW sell, as if they don't have it in stock they'll go and cast it for you in the foundry - which is only across the road - while you wait. Warhammer World has Bugman's Bar (fully licensed to get you drunk, of course), where we had some breakfast on Sunday, as well as the GW Staff Canteen.

This also explains why I went on about the food at the tournament to such an extent. When I went for an interview at GW about a year ago, they told me that the staff canteen came Runner-Up in a national survey for the best canteen, second only to Marks and Spencer, who use their 'Finest' range to feed the workers. So, the food there is pretty damn good as things go. Anyway, back to the Blood Bowl.

Having finished in 182nd place at the end of day one (out of the massive 188 coaches), I was down to play an Orc team by the name of "I thought I came for a weekend with my boyfriend". It turned out that the fourth match of the tournament was Nathalie's fifth game of Blood Bowl. Ever. He'd come along with his team and was fairly high up the rankings, while she'd come to play too and also lost all three games on Saturday. I won that one 2-0, while helping her along with how to play the game - telling her how best to get the right blocks, make the safe moves first, all that sort of thing. I must have done something right, as in Game Six she was on the bottom table and won, beating a guy called James down to make him take the wooden spoon.

After lunch it was straight on to game five, where I faced an Orc coach called Tom. He'd got some lovely, bright orange-and-blue miniatures converted from 40k Orks, and had put Block on all four Black Orcs and his Thrower, like a combination of Norse and Orcs. Norks, they were, and he'd got them out for me. I was in trouble, or so I thought. Thankfully for me, Tom could not have rolled above 6 for armour if his life had depended on it. For most of the first half, the closest he got to an injury was a light tickling of my Flings of Leon. I Skyped with Chance and Pauly for a couple of turns during this match to give them an update on proceedings, so hopefully Tom wasn't too irritated by that.

What he was irritated by, though, was a sheer inability to roll a Pow/Open Star/Kerblammo or a Both Down result when he had the choice. Chuck in a couple of freak incidences on picking up the ball or dodging (having no re-rolls thanks to my chef) and he was very frustrated. Moreso, then, when I ended up throwing a Halfling down the pitch to score. He smashed through my lines and eventually equalised, though but then something remarkable happened. I formed a Halfing cage while he set up to defend the TTM. The two Treeman ended up anchoring the rear to fight off the black orcs and blitzers, while three Flings bravely stood in front, a square away from my ball carrier, in sort of a five-pointed star formation. They marched down the pitch, two squares at a time, with the Orcs unwilling to come forward for fear of the little guy being thrown over their heads. Eventually, though, the three Flings ganged up to smash the Thrower aside, and the fourth little guy ran through for a score to take the lead.

By now the armour rolls were starting to go above 6, and the casualty rolls were hitting the magical 7+ to get the flings off the pitch. As the numbers dwindled, Tom equalised for the second time. I had a last turn TTM from the kick-ff to try and pull ahead, but couldn't manage it. 2-2 was a fair result, though I can't help thinking it was a draw snatched from the jaws of victory (or for Tom, defeat). He'd not had the luck the entire weekend, while finally mine was coming good.

I thought.

Before the next match, though, we got to speak to Johnny P of Zlurpcast.  I had a good chat with him, then Roy grabbed his phone off me - my HTC is now irritatingly overheating after too long (5 minutes) on constant wi-fi/internet - for a good session of insults, before I got my roped-in types, Dave (Cantaloup), Arthur (Inkpwn) and Pressie (OneShard) in on the action. After Tom pussied out, Tim (who has never listened to the show), got on the phone and fell straight into line with the Blood Bowl Variety Show. Thanks ever so much to those guys, I hope it makes a great podcast section!

Might even make Dan smile. Maybe not.

My final game (sitting next to OneShard, no less) was against an Skaven team - using the ace Gaspez Arts team. This guy completely took my team apart, using the gutter runners to run the width of the pitch back and forth, with my little fat flings trailing in their wake. He kicked, then stalled to score on Turn 8, denying me a last-turn TTM, then scored a second time, a bit quicker, in the second half. My highlight of the match has to be when one of his Gutter Runners was passing to another. It was a 3+ to pass to either of the other two, though one path crossed a Treeman. Being 2-0 up, he quite generously said "I want to see the Treeman intercept!"

So, up stepped Treeman #5, Leonard Nimoy. He already had four inflicted casualties for the tournament so far (one in the first game, two in the second, and a chainsaw-wielding orc in the fourth), and - with Nuffle as my witness - I rolled a 6. Shortly after, he handed-off to a nearby Halfing, before throwing him next turn for the Touchdown - what a player! Sadly, it finished 2-1 (though that scoreline flatters me somewhat), but he was a very good player.

Then it was simply time to calculate the rankings, hand out the awards and thank everyone who organised, ran and participated for an awesome 2011 NAF Championship. See you there next year!

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