Scribed by Nate Ball
My scribe, Nathaniel, once told me, “Your brilliance outshines even the sun, Baron.” And it so happens I do have those moments more often than not. What’s that, Nathaniel? You didn’t say that? Well, not verbatim, my boy, but you certainly implied it. Nathaniel made this perceptive observation after the regular season with the River City Gunners was complete. It is true we were a good team, although looking at our record after the first two games (one in-division and one cross-division) would seem to not support that determination.
However, a true nobleman is never daunted by setbacks, especially when they are not his fault. Our next five games would prove this point. While lesser coaches would wallow in defeat, especially those coaches of the Orcish nature, such as Gorn of the whoever-he-is-coaching-this-year, it is important to stay the course and learn from those mistakes. Our next in-division game would be against the Crookback Breakers, a lowly Skaven team. In this game, we still were making some mistakes, but between our Thrower, Duke Kaiser, and our two Blitzers, Counts Fowler and Stafford, who made tremendous strides on offense securing us two touchdowns, including a couple of completed passes from Duke Kaiser. We were still looking for an answer to the Gutter Runners. But thanks to their inexperience with playing teams who are their betters, they were completely bamboozled by our Retainers and Bodyguards and their skills in defending. With a match culminating in a 2-1 victory for us, we would need to look at our mistakes… and make more money to fix some of them.
By this time, our team was able to afford our fourth Bodyguard and we were well on our way to purchasing an Ogre. The third game would find us playing the Elven Union team, The White Lions of Lothern. Finally, a team with a modicum of class and civility! What set this game apart from the previous two was our offensive capability. Our Quarterback, Duke Kaiser, was able to throw and complete passes, and even caused a casualty! Our forward caging proved effective now that we had four Bodyguards to help anchor our corners. But, we were playing an Elven Union team. And without the ability to really punch through their armor, they do what they do best – play like Elves. Even with a stronger defense, sometimes there’s nothing you can do to prevent a Catcher who apparently has Nerves of Steel, to snag a pass guarded by several players. And although this game could have gotten away from us, our defense consistently forced their team to make outrageous plays to get past us. Fortunately, our positioning and marking paid off and we were able to draw, 1-1.
The team was now going from good to very good. It certainly helped that now we could afford an Ogre, and this would prove very useful in our second game against Hammer Time, the Chaos Chosen team – a team to which we previously lost. With our added strength of the Ogre in the mix, this match became a match of the hard slog. Each team looked for openings to strike, but an Imperial Nobility team with Fending Retainers, Standing Firm Bodyguards, and Ogre? As the lesser greenskin teams like to say, “Fuggeddabouddit.” Did I say that correctly, Nathaniel? I did? I feel like I did, since I felt my intelligence dropping as I said it.
Needless to say, we emerged victorious to win the game, 1-0, which also allowed me to make sure my Blitzers knew how to Dodge as well as Block. It also helped that Hammer Time was unable to use their horns to full potential and gore us in the process, except for one Retainer who had to miss the next game.
Our next game was a cross-divisional game, with The Bad Batch, an Orc team. Nothing of note really occurred in this game except our Blitzers, Counts Fowler and Stafford, were skyrocketing in gaining experience, and our Thrower, Duke Kaiser, listened to me in what Sure Hands can do in picking up and holding on to the ball. At this point as well, I taught two Bodyguards, whose names escape me, how to Guard. Now they could Stand Firm and Guard? By Nuffle, what a beautiful combination. We were a very good team and now we have become a great one. This would set us up well for finishing out the season.
Speaking of the next game, this would be an important one for several reasons. First, we were facing The White Lions of Lothern again, and this game, should we win, would give us a “Bye” for the first game of the playoffs. I will break this down as simply as I can. We caused three casualties, passed twice, and scored three times. Out of respect for a civil side, I won’t go more into that except that even Elves can be taught better manners.
After this game, I was able to teach two Retainers how to Block and a Bodyguard how to Wrestle. We now moved from great to amazing, which, of course, I always knew we would be. I think Nathaniel said it best when he said, “Baron, your future’s so bright, you must wear tinted lenses.” What’s that? Please, Nathaniel, of course you said that. You may have been drinking at the time. What? You don’t drink? Then assuredly it was me who was drinking, but, again, I am simply paraphrasing what you stated to me. But at least you weren’t wrong in that assessment!
Let’s go over the importance of choosing what skills I want each player to learn instead of randomly guessing what I think they should learn. Even a dull twit like that gibbering slob Gorn Where’s-My-Leg will note my approach to team training. A great Imperial Nobility team must have players with a solid set of specific skills. When I ask Nathaniel to bring me a bottle of wine, do I ask him to choose randomly? Of course not! I instruct him to bring a specific vintage, a specific year, et cetera. Although he has been quite adept at noticing my shining intellect, does that mean I still trust him in the most important task of a true nobleman’s life? I must again state- of course not! This means you must do the same with your own team. Call upon the reserves of forbearance that comes with noble blood to avoid the quick, random skill development. Have purposeful patience so that your Blitzers may select to learn Dodge first, so your Throwers may select Sure Hands, and so your Bodyguards may select Guard. If your Retainers survive long enough, they should choose Block.
Now, having said a lot of interesting and informative things, I will add by closing with some wizened words by our benefactor, Admiral Taureau Amiral, in his Strategies Handbook, specifically Part 6, subset 8:
“A coach is skillful on offense when his opponents do not know where to defend, and he is skillful on defense when his opponents do not know where to attack.”
And an Imperial Nobility team such as mine proves this to be completely true.