Up and Under
A gripping tale (recounted in weekly episodes) from recognized writer of fiction, Ian H. McKinley, and award-winning artist, Meunier, in which elves, orcs, humans, dwarves, rodentiens and exotherms play football. Explore Guayamartí, the great city of the Hierarchs and home to the famous Eztadio Sanger, a stadium that has seen the greatest exploits in the history of sport. Follow the fortunes of an owner, a coach, and a player as they navigate the perilous world of “footy”.

Cassandra Thordwall, a pirate who wishes to leave her old life behind her and start a footy team, tracks down the infamous former coach Karsgaard Neuvil and proposes forming a new team, the Mytilan Militantes. What happens next will leave you longing for the next episode of Up and Under.

Part 3

12: “You’re late!”

Karsgaard Neuvil slumped down onto the stool in front of Cassandra Thordwall’s desk. “Am I? Pardon me, I did not know your time was so precious as to preclude a mateo getting stuck in the throngs of people crossing the Bridge of a Hundred Arches. Next time I shall cancel the city’s Festival of Night…

11: You Viper-bitten double-crossing weasel!

Anahuark leapt at Karolyse, who ducked but didn’t succeed in stopping Anahuark from driving a knee into the face. Karolyse flew backwards and slammed into the groundkeeper’s stone veranda. Karsgaard Neuvil’s old footy reflexes kicked-in and he pounced onto Anahuark, grabbing her in a bear hug.…

10: They’re only friggin’ jesters

Cassandra Thordwall couldn’t imagine what Karsgaard Neuvil was fussing about. “How hard can it be to beat a few clowns?” Neuvil’s jaw dropped open so far it almost slammed onto the floor of the groundskeeper’s cottage they were using as their team headquarters. “I thought you were a footy fan.” “I…

09: You’ve Got A Friend On The Pitch

"The hat's the signal." Neuvil nodded, took the scrap of paper back from Jacyntha, and crumpled it up. “Thanks.” She smiled. “I could teach you how to read.” “I could teach you how to hold your ale. Don’t think I didn’t notice how awful you were in training yesterday.”

Part 2

08: The Scheme Only Lacked Sharks

Sharks; proper killer sharks. But sharks were hard to bring inland and damn near useless when you did, so she’d settle for no sharks. Cassandra Thordwall crept towards the villa, keeping to the shadows where the wan moonlight couldn’t penetrate. Umberto was a step behind her, and despite being so…

07: I could put an arrow in his eye

Cassandra Thordwall shook her head to let Jacyntha know exactly what she thought of that idea. Then she added, “Here in Guayamartí, that’s called murder.” She looked out between the columns lining the Militantes' training ground towards the aqueduct. Then her gaze shifted to the citadel atop its…

06: This Heat Could Kill!

Sweating, Jacyntha crept low through the underbrush, spear in one hand, machete in the other. It was hot, hotter than the N’Itgat Jungle usually got. The light was strange … muted, diffuse, as opposed to refracted and verdant under the influence of the canopy high above. This part of the jungle was…

05: Temple of the Viper!

He’s got a dagger! Jacyntha ducked and felt the blade trim her hair. She dodged to the left and scrambled around the side of Rodentien line. The sewer-slipper spat green phlegm after her. Protecting Gods, these things are disgusting! Pre-season training, all two sessions of it, hadn’t prepared her…

Part 1

04: You’re not going to score

Naught says "you're not going to score" like a spike through the arm. It was Karsgaard Neuvil’s approach to footy. You could swap out the specific body part, but the principle held; it’s impossible to score a touchdown when impaled on a spike. In this particular case, it was the arm.

03: Daggers Scythed the Air

One hit Umberto, another embedded itself into the snug’s door-frame. Neuvil jumped up and grabbed a stool. Thordwall dove under the table and another dagger thumped into the wood panelling right behind where her head had been a second earlier. Two men and two women surged from the throng that had…

02: It Was a Hell of a Play

Whatever one’s thoughts on hell, Karsgaard Neuvil’s detractors certainly called it “devilish,” implying that some foul power had aided him. His Hammarskjöld Nordhammers had been drawing 1-1 heading into the final moments of their last game of the season against the Karthini Royalists.

01: Get the Bastard!

Jacyntha knew him, Pierce Rosethorn, knew he’d make for the sideline. Get him now! She had seen the Quarrel’s thrower fade right and had known Rosethorn would be the target. She had backed off her sisters in the ruck and had done so just in the nick of time.

Blood Bowl Articles By Taureau Amiral

Rookies

The Rookie coach does not control his risk-taking and is a gold mine to exploit for a skilled opponent. For example, he starts his turn with a ball pickup or with a blocking Loner Big Guy without first covering a possible failure. He aims for a two-turn touchdown without realizing that he is nailing himself into his own coffin. He keeps his players outrageously in contact, piling up injuries to the point where his team cannot develop correctly.

At the same time, the Rookie coach often curses his misfortunes while not noticing that he has been previously blessed by succeeding some risky dice rolling sequences. If you are a Rookie coach, stop cursing your bad luck and fill your heart with the words of wisdom below.

Blood Bowl Coaches and Bad Luck

When Nuffle decides to rot a game by granting too many bad dice, each coach absorbs the insult differently. If some coaches take the outrage without flinching, others will laugh, moan or get angry. Anyway, everyone has to face the facts: Blood Bowl is a "tragic heroic comedy" and sometimes, these

Dealing With Your Competitive Self

Congratulations, you have adopted Blood Bowl! This game will reward you with rich experiences while easing the stress of everyday life! Or maybe not ... Especially if you have a bad competitive attitude, in which case you will continually ruminate your last few horrible games. It will be even worse…

Blood Bowl Wisdom According to Nuffle

From a discussion between Nuffle, the god of Blood Bowl, and two of his followers. Nuffle: My followers, this is my Blood Bowl game that I created for you. Come on, play and have fun. Roze-El: But what is fun is different for everyone! Nuffle: So, find your own fun. Mungk: I like game…

Experienced

The Experienced coach does the basics correctly. He orders his turn from the easiest to the riskiest actions and awkwardly tries to slow down the game. On the other hand, he still makes doubtful skill choices, rolls lots of dice, leaves his Big Guy isolated, and plays a little too often in contact with his opponent when the situation would require some delicacy.

Fresh back from his Rookie honeymoon, the Experienced coach often finds the game a little heavy and too influenced by luck. However, he is about to make his exciting debut in the real Blood Bowl world where he will master the rules, the odds and sometimes even his opponent.

An Introduction to Sneakiness

Sneaky tactics - PART 1 I am often asked to write about sneakiness. Clearly, there are many coaches who think that it is the ultimate Blood Bowl means to achieve victory. Not that they are wrong, but it is very difficult to sneak drive after drive. Occasionally, the situation on the pitch is not

The Grind, or winning 2 -1

This strategy, often named The Grind, aims to win the game by a score of 2 to 1. Yes, you are reading correctly; we are not talking about a shutout. Even more convolutedly, we are not even seeking to score the game's first touchdown! In fact, we do not care if our opponent scores first, as long as

Blood Bowl Fouling Odds

At Blood Bowl, fouling is the only action where a coach will attempt an armor roll for the sole and assumed purpose of stunning or depitching a player. Rolling an armor after a successful block is certainly fine, but this dice roll results from an action undertaken with another goal in mind and is…

Blood Bowl Armors & Injuries Odds

If there are a lot of game situations where it is worth looking for a fight, very few are really worth it from a Blood Bowl team’s development point of view. As proof, the armor rolls statistics below detail frightening odds for anyone thinking of going to war. At Blood Bowl, it is often understood…

What to do Against a Team of Lumberjacks

Here is a typical scenario "Help, I got trashed against a stronger team than mine! He had the Guard skill everywhere and Mighty Blow on almost all his players ... Oh! And he two dices blocked me throughout the game. I won the coin toss and elected to receive the ball. I scored in three game turns…

Engineering your good fortune

Even though mathematics is pretty close to being Nuffle’s language, it is not an absolute truth. Heresy? Not at all! At Blood Bowl, every game turn is different. Sometimes, 1 in 6 odds is what will send you to heaven. Other times, it's 35 in 36 odds that will send you to hell. "Hey Taureau, slow

How to stop an offensive

A well-controlled offensive is very difficult to stop, especially for a rookie coach. Here are some tips that may allow you to stop an offensive ... and even, who knows, maybe steal the ball. Before going on with the tools, let's review the main offensive tactics you can meet and their main…

Blood Bowl Odds

All rookies are regularly told to play their turn starting from the safest actions to the riskiest ones. Blood Bowl can be approached by playing only the probabilities and an experienced coach can become relatively good by restricting himself to the safest actions. But in reality, there are usually…

Veterans

The Veteran coach usually makes the right decisions. He grasped a strong positioning’s importance and his pitch control is harder to contest. His improved synchronism allows him to better optimize his remaining game time. His offensives alternate between cages and runs – often in a single game, and even during a single drive. His eyes are constantly on the watch for chain pushes opportunities without mastering complex sequences. He optimizes his team but still tries bizarre skills combos. The Veteran coaching level is a cool phase of tests and discoveries.

Attacking a Veteran’s defense is an adventure. Defending against his offensives is never already won. The Veteran coach has understood that what wins a blood bowl game is the cumulation of small advantages and that it is often enough to tip the balance in his favor even with some ordinary luck.

Luck does not matter

Is there a deeper question than: “What do you desire? What do you itch for?”. While in-game, I often hear coaches say they do not have the faintest idea what they want. So, I always ask the question “What would you like? What would you enjoy?”. Well, it is so amazing! Crowds of coaches answer:…

Pulling Off a Long Feint

SNEAKY TACTICS - PART 2 A long feint aims to goad your opponent's screening players and mobile resources into contesting or stopping (dead) your ball carrier on a flank. As soon as your opponent compromises enough players and player skills on your feint, you then swiftly change the ball of

How To Improve Your Coaching

Let’s valiantly tackle an abstract topic: how to improve your coaching. Most of us try to be the best blood bowl coach possible. I am that way too. I give all my best. But I observe that some of you are not really improving even though they are spending a hell of a lot of time coaching their team.

How To Break Bad Coaching Habits

When I first learned to play Blood Bowl, I thought I simply had to pay attention to avoid picking up some bad coaching habits. It sounded simple enough. Yet, I would sit on the pitch’s sidelines, sweating through my t-shirt in the middle of the Canadian winter. I even ended up taking a nap before…

I’m Losing 0-2. What Should I Do?

It is typical. Either you have played too sketchily, or your opponent is particularly on fire, or luck has blown far too heavily towards the pitch's other side ... Or maybe it is all this combined. Anyway, you are now losing 0-2. Yes, you are in serious trouble! "Help! What do I do?" Blood Bowl is a…

Granting a Touchdown to Win

If you ever wondered, yes, it is better not to grant a touchdown than to grant one. But in the end, it is not that easy because to win a game, you need to score more touchdowns than your opponent ... by all means possible. Unfortunately for your pride, granting a touchdown is sometimes a tactic that…

How to move a cage forward

Here we are again discussing the eternal dilemma between ball security and freedom of movement! A cage is a simplistic compromise between the two, and it requires no less than five players confined in a 3 x 3 space. Hell, that is almost half of your team! Crazy, no? Bluntly, this is why it is not

Blood Bowl Teams Strength

For many, what makes Blood Bowl so fun is that it is possibly the most unfair strategy game ever created. This state of injustice was certainly born with the very first edition of Blood Bowl which had a very light tone, a nice snub to all those players who took themselves too seriously. Fortunately,…

Champions

The champion coach has a game timing bordering on perfection. His positioning is impeccable and covers a maximum of useful space. He masters when to hold back his players and when to send them to the assault. Complex chain push sequences have no secrets for him. His team is the leanest meat possible with, sometimes, a modest candy that reflects his playing personality.

Yet, despite all these good qualities worthy of a Champion, he still lacks this little something to sneak in amongst the bests. Call it “instinct”, “creativity”, “connectivity”, or “the touch”. Many coaches stagnate for a very long time at this level and, tragically, many will never crack the Legendary coaching code.

Khemris – Playbook

Khemris push the one-trick poney concept to Blood Bowl’s furthest extreme. Yes, it is true that they are very muscular with up to 41 strength points on the pitch. However, this extreme has its polar opposite because their deficient agility complicates an action as easy as picking up the ball.

Why You Should Practice Gratitude

The devil is in the detail. I can roll nine consecutive pows followed by a lonely skull. What do I remember? The skull. Well, it seems I am not alone. Research shows that, unfortunately, we are all wired to focus on the negative. Obviously, being all stressed up and rancorous will not help us become…

Surfing the Winds of Luck

I have spent almost a decade of blood bowl observing what makes coaches luckier than others … And from what I saw, there never was a coach who could win four touchdowns to zero, game after game, just by being lucky. As far as pure luck is concerned, a coach has as many chances to dry clean his

Mildly Shocking Legendary Secrets

We all know the drill. I will not mention the game's probabilities, skill choices, positioning, common sense and all these run-of-the-mill but very important Blood Bowl aspects. Here are some theoretical and philosophical leads to explore in your quest to legendary coaching. 1. The…

Why do we amp up our game against a good coach?

You probably already have experienced this phenomenon: when you respect your opponent, you naturally amp up your game. But why? In the blood bowl world, almost every coach's development follows a very standard progression. We all start our career by compulsively trying the most foolish plays…

Draws for Dummies

There are three kinds of draws: the good, the bad and the boring. A good draw is when you coached your team out of the jaws of defeat. A bad draw is when a victory slipped from between your claws. A boring draw is when a game leaves you with nothing to write home about. If most of your draws are…

The Importance of Creativity to Blood Bowl

This question comes back regularly among Blood Bowl coaches: "How important is creativity for a good coach? The more games I play, the more the situations feel similar and the more the solutions seem the same to me. Is creativity necessary or does repetition always prevail? " When a coach reaches…

Legends

Upgrading to the legendary level is having understood how to break the inviolable coaching rules. It is also finding opportunities where other coaches would not even poke their nose. Is it abstract? It is normal! Welcome amongst Legends!

But that is not all there is. On a more concrete level, the legendary coach has a perfect now or never instinct. For example, when to push for the win instead of protecting the draw, when and how to abandon security to provoke errors, when and how to fully leverage a game situation, and the list could grow on and on.

Legendary coaches usually have the reputation of being lucky, but in reality, they have a stellar risk-taking synchronism, the instinct to spot the game’s pivotal play, the flexibility to immediately change tactic to avoid losing control, and the gift of reading their opponent’s mind.

Goal and Simplicity

For most Blood Bowl legendary coaches, games are made of sequences, repetitions, similarities, and probabilities. They allow us to roughly predict whether achieving our goal is likely even before activating a single player. However, when probabilities and humans insert glitches in these constants,…

Security and Surprise

At Blood Bowl, a coach must always combine security and surprise. Security is imperviousness to surprises, but if a coach only plays securely, he will have difficulties achieving a surprise to unbalance his opponent. Blood Bowl can only be played securely and a coach can become very good this way.…

An introduction to legendary coaching

One of the difficulties in discussing Blood Bowl is that what is easy to visualize is often discussed while what is vaguer is mostly left out. For example, interesting skill combos and kickoff formations are easy topics because there are a limited number of ways to approach them. However, as soon…
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Up and Under: Latest Episode

12: “You’re late!”

Karsgaard Neuvil slumped down onto the stool in front of Cassandra Thordwall’s desk. “Am I? Pardon me, I did not…
Studded Boots