Setting Eyes Forward Through Setbacks

Entry 5
As scribed by Nate Ball

Now that all of our theory and thoughts have been laid down, it’s time to see how they are measured in practice. As Djimm Thorp once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get tackled.” 

Before the league actually began, I was given a 1,000,000 gold piece treasury to purchase all of my players, support staff, and team training. Despite my obvious complaint of not enough resources to start the team I wanted, I was told all teams in the Waterloo League would start at 1,000,000 gold pieces as well. To my credit, I gave a charming performance filled with intelligence, logic, and bravery to the League Commissioners, but even with my talents and name, I was denied more resources. 

To begin with such meager means, I set about with a roster that follows as such:

1x Thrower
2x Blitzers
3x Bodyguards
5x Retainers
3x Extra Team Trainings

A little dejected at what I consider to not be a full roster, I was comforted in knowing that given some time and a dash of luck, my Imperial Nobility team, the River City Gunners, would fare better than other teams in terms of progressing throughout a season. And, naturally, with me at the helm, the Gunners would be able to progress faster and better than anyone else. I chose to go with 3 noblemen; one Thrower and two Blitzers. I could have gone with one Blizter and all four Bodyguards, saving 15,000 gps in the treasury, but I decided I’d rather have more nobility on the pitch as that would increase our chances at scoring more quickly, give them more experience, and overall add more civility and panache to the pitch. Also, in my most superior opinion, I would rather start with more team training in the beginning as trying to fit those in later would be far more expensive – like double the expense! 

Once purchased, the Gunners and I took to the league in a glorious flourish. We had our schedule, our practice times, and our beautifully set banquets. Now, it was time to show the true power of Imperial Nobility! At least, right after our first two, horrible games. The Waterloo League was broken into two divisions. We could play teams from our division twice, while only playing a cross-division team once. We could only obtain league points from our division games, but as is standard, we got to keep our winnings from all games played. Okay, now let’s get into our first two games. Sigh.

Nathaniel, be a dear and grab me the Bordeleaux ‘30, please? Bordeleaux ‘14? Why? That particular wine only pairs well with the saltiest of flavors – oh, you bandit, I see what you did there. By the twin-tailed comet! I shall have you know, dear commoner, that if I am ‘salty’ it is with impeccable reason. Very well, I’m so parched, and lucky for you in this case, you aren’t far from the truth, or very harsh words and then me ignoring you would come your way. 

So! Our first match was against a Chaos Chosen team, called ‘Hammer Time,’ who was in our division. Between the Minotaur, four Blockers, and the Beastmen, let’s just say they did nothing to elevate our sport in any way. There really ought to be a contest between any Chaos Chosen, Nurgle, or Black Orc team to see who can out-stink the other. It’s as if you could taste the smell. Blecch! Our first match was beset with all sorts of issues – most notably, their Minotaur. While Minotaurs are noted for their power and Frenzy, and Retainers Fend well against them, our men just weren’t prepared for the strength a Chaos Chosen team can bring to the pitch. By the time the match ended, in which we lost 0-1, we had three players unconscious and two Retainers who had to miss the next game due to injuries. The one positive we pulled from this game was being strong defensively even with players off the pitch. There are teams, usually the snobby Elven ones, who can score with very few players on the pitch. However, there aren’t a lot of teams who can still defend well with fewer players on the pitch like we Imperial Nobility can. A Bodyguard who Stands Firm in the face of slobbery adversity and Retainers who can Fend off odorous beasts, can help to prevent an opposing team, who isn’t used to playing Imperial Nobility (the shining example of chivalry), from gaining ground quickly. 

This game taught me two key tactics as well. One really needs to teach one’s Blitzers to dodge! And do not dither. And one also needs to ensure one’s Thrower can pick up the ball. It was all more vexing than a cork-spoiled Saint-Remillion! Why, if they weren’t related to some Counts I know, I was of a mind to …

Pour another glass of the Bordeleaux ‘14, Nathaniel. Please, and thank you. What? Why are you looking at me like that? I don’t always say ‘thank you’? My dear Nathaniel, could it be that you only hear what you want to? I am a cultured man and therefore have impeccable manners. So, logically, maybe your common ears haven’t quite picked up every time I’ve been polite because it is, in fact, in my nature. Now stop lollygagging and get the wine! Schnell, Nathaniel! Well, schnell faster, then!

Our second game went poorly for us as we had to play the Black Ice Blazers, a Norse team. The only good news that came from playing this game was that it was a cross-division game, so league points were not on the line. That, and no players were hurt permanently. Now – if I said it before, I’ve said it 374 times – how do those drunken barbarians Block so well? I can only imagine it stems from their backwards culture where even their children are raised on ale, swill, and beatings. I might be drunk all the time too if my women could easily wrestle me into submission. What’s that, Nathaniel? I’m not drunk all the time! As science has shown, one cannot get drunk on wine. And besides, even if one could, one would surely experience moments of regret and embarrassment, and I have had neither experience when drinking wine. As that Blood Bowl philosopher, Taureau Amiral, stated in Part IV of his famous Art of Coaching:

4.4. You can be a great coach without actually winning the game.

I wholeheartedly agree! Clearly these losses lay in something beyond my renowned drinking abilities. What’s that, Nathaniel? I most certainly did not say “drinking”! I clearly said “coaching”. You really must pay attention, Nathaniel. You are treading on dangerous ground. Don’t make me think I need to indenture a new scribe!

Now, where were we? Ah, yes. I would not fault you if you imagined that our issues stemmed solely from Norsemen with a penchant for Blocking. Our problems were as follows: poor catching from our Blitzers, poor ball handling from our Thrower, and the inability of our Bodyguards to even pick up the ball. Therefore, I need to focus on training the team in not only how to handle balls properly, but what to do with those balls once they get ahold of them! Not even the time and money I put into extra team training could help in this endeavor. Needless to say, although we lost 0-2, and committed many turnovers, we gave the Blazers massive frustration in trying to punch through our defensive line, no matter how drunk and Frenzied they were. And, thus, the first two painful games of the league were over. Luckily, we escaped severe injury, and so we could focus on more training.

Is that a letter for me, Nathaniel? From whom? Gork? Oh, Porn. What an odd name. Oh! Gorn. Well, similarly odd name. I find it hard to believe an Orc wrote anything, but I guess if Ripper Bolgrot can expound on the virtues of literature, I suppose anything can happen. Oh – it’s transcribed. That makes more sense now. Oh, look here, he’s taken to giving his thoughts on Blood Bowl and coaching Black Orcs? And it’s more than barf, punch, fart? This could be interesting reading indeed…

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