Road to the Hobbitbowl: The Leydenhove Corsairs

Our local group just finished our first season of Blood bowl. As I mentioned in the previous post; I played through the season with Orcs, mainly because I wanted to try a race I haven’t played before in 40k or fantasy. We decided that for the next season, starting in June, we would either start new teams or reset our teams to a 1000 team value. I decided that this would be an excellent opportunity to paint up the other team in the box, namely, the humans.  I did a poor job keeping track of individuals games and team activities last season but I intend to rectify that this go round and breathe some life back into the blog.

With that said, I like to take the time to name my players and get a sense of them. I feel that it helps me to grow a sense of attachment to the players and to remind me to make smart, meaningful plays. I’ve also started listening to the Both Down podcast and Steve and Scott are always stressing the importance of fluff in their leagues. I wanted more for this team than my orcs, who simply had “they’re orcs….from the mountains…that play bloodbowl”. In one of their early episodes, Steve and Scott talk about a Google Maps like website (http://www.gitzmansgallery.com/shdmotwow-full.html) that shows large portions of the Old World and allows you to zoom in. The site is worth checking out because if you are building a team there is a ton of locations to get you started. I had decided that I wanted a paint scheme similar to the LA Raiders so I figured I would do a knock off and call my team the Corsairs. With that name in mind, I started looking around the map for coastal or riverine towns. I settled on the Middenland town of Leydenhove, a small town along the river just east of Marienburg. To add to the theme, I imagine that the Corsairs travel the river south and east by boat playing games in towns along river forks, and the large cities such as Carroburg, Altdorf, Talabheim, before ending their season at Fortenhaf in Ostermark.  If the team is in need of funds or new players, or a rematch presents itself, they can always stop on their return voyage.

Leydenhove

The Leydenhove Corsairs originally started out as an eleven man roster with three rerolls. After a particularly nasty preseason exhibition game, which I’ll touch on below, I decided to drop a reroll for now and add a twelfth player.

Starting Line-Up, Start of Season, 2496 (Team Value 1000, 2 x Rerolls, 3 x Fan Factor)

1 Hartmann Hegeler Thrower
2 Vacant Vacant
3 Norbert Lichtenfels Blitzer
4 Ubaldo Mueller Blitzer
5 Oliver Holder Blitzer
6 Ludger Spiegel Blitzer
7 Laurin Fehrenback Lineman
8 Reinhold Spielberg Lineman
9 Wolfhard Schottenstein Lineman
10 Curt Gobel Lineman
 11 Erfried Strasburg Lineman
12 Hugo Glas Lineman
13 Ingbert Gilges Ogre

My plan is to start with four blitzers and an ogre to give them the most time possible to get star player points as well as some heavy hitters.  I may add catchers later, but it will mostly likely be after a few games into the season. They seem very fragile and tend to be a ball hog which causes the rest of the team to suffer skill-wise in the long run. I plan to develop two blitzers offensively with skills like Mighty Blow and Guard and two defensively with skills like Strip Ball, Sure Hands, and possibly Catch. One of the linemen will train for Kick while the rest will focus on bolstering the line with Block and Guard. I intend to throw more with the Corsairs than I did with my orcs so I will look at some passing skills to build that ability. I don’t want to commit strictly to building a power team so I will also pick skills based on how the players grow into them. A player that’s usually in the backfield will mostly likely get Kick Return while a routinely dirty player will end up with Dirty Player and so forth.

As mentioned earlier, the Corsairs played a preseason game on a beautiful day against The Crimson Warhounds, a Norse team. The box office reported that 23,000 fans were in attendance; 15 thousand for the Warhounds and only 8 thousand for the Corsairs. The Crimson Warhounds won the coin toss and opted to receive. The Crimson Warhounds benefited from brilliant coaching during the first half. Rookie ogre Ingbert Gilges, expected to make a big impact this season, let down his coach on his first play by standing around with a dumb look on his face. Someone clearly forgot to remind him that when the ball is overhead hes is supposed to hurt people. Going into the second turn of the drive, the Crimson wolves offense was quickly halted when #3, Norbert Lichtenfels, laid out a lineman and sent him to the dug out to wake up.  Lineman Curt Gobel shouldered a runner into the Corsair fans while fellow lineman Reinhold Spielberg knocked out a Norse line. The Corsairs were up eleven players to nice going into turn three when a Warhound blindsided #11, Erfried Strasburg, with a sickening crunch of bones sending his broken body to the dugout.  At this point the Crimson Wolves made a move for the ball, recovering it and making a quick pass to their remaining runner. Curt Gobel, who already has a taste for blood this game, planted an elbow square into a lineman’s face, stunning him on the pitch. During turn four the Crimson Warhounds started to bring the pain by quickly stunning both team leader Hartmann Hegeler and the cocky Curt Gobel.  A Norse berserker charged headlong into blitzer Ludger Spiegel only to receive a stunning knee to the face before falling face first in the dirt. Spiegel used the momentum to blitz in the ball carrier but could muster more than a shove towards the sidelines. Going into turn five, the ball carrier tries to retaliate against Spiegel but is knocked out. Ludger Spiegel quickly scoops up the ball and runs it in for a TOUCHDOWN! 1-0, Leydenhove Corsairs!

The Crimson Warhounds start the second drive with a furious vengeance. During the initial flurry of violence, blitzer #5, Oliver Holder and lineman #8, Reinhold Spielberg, are laid out in the dirt while a Norse Lineman injures #7, Laurin Fehrenbach. Scoring leader, Ludger Speigel is quickly targeted and shoulder tackled into the fans. With a massive hole opened in the defensive line, the Warhounds quickly secure the ball and launch it to an open runner who escapes unhindered deep into the Corsair backfield. The Corsairs quickly scramble to perform damage control by scrambling to the ball carrier. In to turn seven, Curt Gobel is humbled by a hammer-like fist in the side of his head that sends him to the recovery room. Oliver Holder made a rookie mistake by getting too close to the sidelines and was quickly grabbed by crimson-clad fans. Reinhold Spielberg, while still recovering on the pitch, had his bell rung when a Norse lineman put the boot to his helmet. The lineman was quickly thrown off the pitch by the referee despite all his laughter. Hegeler makes a last ditch block against the ball carrier but fails to pull it off before the Warhounds can run it into the end zone. This brings the score to 1-1 just before the half.  The half ends amid a flurry of rocks that leaves Hegeler, Spielberg and Schottenstein, as well as the lone Norse runner, stunned.

The second half starts with more of the violence that ended the first. The referees forgot to stop the clock during the ruckus and didn’t realize until it was too late. After the players simmered down enough to focus on the game, Ingbert redeemed himself by putting a ham-sized fist square into the nose of the Ulfwerenar, knocking him senseless. Blitzer Lictenfels similarly launched a lightening spear tackle into their thrower that left the Warhound dazed. Turn three saw a berserker zero in on the ball handler and forcing their third injury of the game on lineman Spielberg. At the top of the fourth, rookie blitzer Ubaldo Mueller slams into the ball carrier, knocking the ball loose for a quick recovery by Hegeler, who in turn retreats into cover. Going into turn five, Curt “The Goon” Gobel cleans the clock of a Warhound lineman which creates breathing room for Hegeler to survey the field and launch a pass into the waiting hands of Lictenfels. By turn six the match had turned into a battle in the middle of the pitch, with the unfortunate Schottenstein catching a stunning uppercut. Spiegel had lost control of the ball, but a quick-witted Hegeler was present to retrieve it and run it down the field to the TWENTY, THE TEN, to a FACE PLANT…. on the goal line…..

The Corsairs preseason ended on a draw game, 1-1. Corsairs management is strongly considering adding some depth to the team by acquiring rookie lineman Hugo Glas  and taking applications for a skilled apothecary to join the team as soon as possible. The Corsairs should be fortunate that these skirmishes are played with extra padding…

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