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 Post subject: Flame On Team B's World Cup Odyssey
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:41 am 
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Disclaimer

I'm not going to lie - I can't write reports of any sort. I don't take notes, rarely take photographs and have the memory of a goldfish. The last time I was asked to give an account of a union meeting at work I panicked and told the story of The Count of Monte Cristo instead. It was going well until my boss killed the office intern in a fencing duel.

The NAF World Cup has been no different. In my mind the faces of my opponents have all blurred into one gruesome, nine-faced monster. I can barely remember my own name, let alone theirs, and would struggle to recall which country they came from (Bolivia had a team, right?). What photos I did take are foggy, badly lit or close-ups of my genitals, so instead I'll be trawling the internet in search of surrogate images. I also paid very little attention to the progress of my team mates and so cannot give a breakdown of their performance, at least not at the Blood Bowl table. Also I have contracted a cold and a mild ear infection which has affected my equilibrium, so much so that I nearly fell into the canal today. It wouldn't have been so bad but I was sat at home watching loose women when it happened. Prepare for spelling errors, and lots of them!

Also, image posting doesn't seem to work on Talk Blood Bowl so we're in for a big wall of text. I guess all I'm saying is don't get your hopes up. This piece won't be winning any Pulitzer prizes any time soon. And besides, don't you have anything better to do than read this?


Prologue

Every hero has an origin story, although some are more impressive than others. Wolverine was infused with adamantium in a military lab. Kim Jong-il's birth was heralded by a double rainbow. Four years ago Flame On Team B convened at the summit of Mount Everest, piggy-backed all the way to the top by Nepalese maidens, stopping only to cure the sick and to dig out hikers from beneath the snow.

Well, by Mount Everest we mean an overheated Games Workshop in Manchester. By Nepalese maidens we mean we were glowered at by grumpy, one-eyed shopping centre security staff. And by stopping to cure the sick we mean we cried while the bigger boys took our dinner money. But the team was formed. Four years ago the six of us travelled down to Nottingham for the inaugural NAF World Cup. We played our hearts out, threw all of our tactical might at our opponents, weighed and evaluated each decision to the nano-fraction, played the numbers game. We finished the tournament exhausted. We finished the tournament knowing we'd done all we could. We finished the tournament... last. That's right, out of a field of over two hundred and seventy players and almost fifty teams we were the worst.

There was no glorious open topped bus tour around Manchester for the boys from Flame On Team B, only disdain from the locals. We were barred from every pub in the city. Children would spit at our feet. Eric Cantona called us 'a disgrace'. Morrissey applied for Sudanese citizenship out of shame. For four years we were the laughing stock of the town.

Fast forward four years. Captain Barney is bouncing around the bedroom, pretending his hairbrush is a microphone and belting out Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler.

Oops, actually you should fast forward four years and one month and pretend you didn't see that.

The team is different now. Only three of the original members remain, but perhaps this is a good thing. New blood was needed, and not just to be transfused into us after going berserk in Amsterdam. But anyway, without further ado, here are your champions:

Barney the Lurker (c) (Amazons)

Some might call him the captain of a sinking ship, but Barney well and truly believes that Flame On Team B can achieve something meaningful. This lack of realism is probably his biggest failing, although others could argue that it's his terrible taste in music and regrettable fashion sense. His unorthodox approach to team motivation involves berating his team mates until they break down crying. Unsurprisingly this tactic didn't work at the first World Cup.

Zoglug (Wood Elves)

Another of the original members and, for a team that prides itself on its connection to Manchester, the only Mancunian to ever don a Flame On Team B shirt. Has spent the last four years locked in boot camp mode, learning to play skaven with deadly efficiency, running calculations, analysing statistics, researching the optimal gutter runner build. He even bought a pet rat to study its behaviour. The man is ready. He then switched to wood elves two weeks before the tournament, which was nice.

Sizzling Gromril (Elves)

With his Humphrey Bogart good looks, impeccable style and razor sharp wit it's a wonder he isn't captain of this team. By far the most competent player among them, perhaps even the best Blood Bowler ever. Another original member of the team. To count his virtues here would take far too long and would probably overload the internet, but one of his finest qualities is knowing all of the words to every Shakin' Stevens song ever released.

The Chosen Gobbo (Lizardmen)

Ex boyscout. Ex 40ker. Ex machine. Gobbo's time in the Scouts has given him an incredible sense of direction and a knife throwing arm better than Crocodile Dundee's. His policy of brooking no shenanigans has served him well, although at the last Carrot Crunch he took off a piece of somebody's ear when they tried the 'dice cup pullback'. One of the stronger players on the team. Seriously, he can crush a man's head with one hand.

Gorgoroth (Dark Elves)

Nobody knows what Gorgoroth means, just like nobody knows what dark matter is or how to beat Joemanji. Hailing from the concrete wasteland of Birmingham, G-Roth wanted to visit somewhere with less canals than his home town. Blood Bowl was secondary as long as he didn't have to look at 'those bloody waterways'. Another strong player, although is he stronger than Gobbo? It's a case of the unstoppable object meets the immovable one.

Pug (Halflings)

A man who barely needs an introduction. Very arty. He can do all sorts of things with a pencil, even draw with it. He's taking halflings to the World Cup, despite protestations, pleas and offers of cash from Captain Barney. Pug once beat Gary Kasparov at Kerplunk!

Isn't that the sorriest excuse for a World Cup Blood Bowl team you've ever seen? Perhaps a great captain could motivate them into becoming the heroes of the tournament, but all we have is Captain Barney so we're pretty much screwed. Other teams had proffered all kinds of forfeits and rewards for their members in order to get them to perform. The Italians received a pint of beer for every game won, the Scottish had to lift their kilts if they didn't hit the top half of the table and the French vowed to ritually sacrifice their lowest placed player.

Over the next few posts there'll be some haphazardly put together match reports. It might get a bit blue, and given that this is an international tournament there may even be some jingoism thrown in, but it'll all be tongue in cheek and in good fun.


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 Post subject: Re: Flame On Team B's World Cup Odyssey
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:13 am 
Legend
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You had me at 'Disclaimer'!

*Grabs the popcorn and gets comfy*

:lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Flame On Team B's World Cup Odyssey
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:53 am 
Scotland's Saviour
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Sizzle.....awesome

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 Post subject: Re: Flame On Team B's World Cup Odyssey
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:14 am 
Legend
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Can't wait for more...been laughing like a idiot at work reading this! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Flame On Team B's World Cup Odyssey
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:22 am 
Rapdog - formally known as Pippy
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Sizzleology at its best!

Keep it coming :)

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 Post subject: Re: Flame On Team B's World Cup Odyssey
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:25 pm 
Legend
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Glorious :D Sizzle, you really are the first Wonder of Wigan :) Can't wait for more!

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 Post subject: Re: Flame On Team B's World Cup Odyssey
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:53 pm 
Veteran
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The man.....the myth.....the legend! Mr. Sizzler!

Can't wait for this to continue!


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 Post subject: Re: Flame On Team B's World Cup Odyssey
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:10 pm 
Veteran
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The disclaimer was almost as funny as the rest :)

looking forward to it :D


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 Post subject: Re: Flame On Team B's World Cup Odyssey
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:51 pm 
Star Player
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There are some combinations that just don't go well together: dry wood and matches, pop rocks and cola, your nan and half a bottle of brandy. So when four hundred and eighty Blood Bowlers were herded through airport security like cattle, squeezed onto a plane no bigger than a Ford Fiesta, had their liquids confiscated on the other side and then set loose in Amsterdam there was a recipe for only one thing – disaster. Sweet, sugary disaster.

The days before the tournament are still something of a haze, although the days of the tournament, the days after the tournament and what I had for breakfast this morning have also slipped my memory. Right now there's a bowl next to me that I have just eaten out of, but for the life of me I can't remember what was in it. What I can recall, though, is that something called 'Movember' was in full swing. Apparently people are sponsored to grow bushy moustaches over the month of November in aid of charity. A noble cause, no doubt, although when I entered De Schutter on Thursday evening I thought I'd infiltrated an international paedophile ring.

Due to both this memory lapse and a super injunction set in place by one member of Team Waterbowl we'll press on with the game reports.

Game 1 – Miyata (Lizardmen)

My first opponent was French, so already I was one up on him. He had a lizardman team, standard Charlie Brown. Two block saurus (lets call them 'russes' just for fun, but also in the singular form it'll save us two letters, although after this explanation this report now needs to include the word 'russ' another thirty four times in order to justify those two dropped letters) and one break tackle. It was a tense affair. Either I received, or he did, and then one of us held out for the turn eight score. In the second half, whoever didn't receive in the first half received this time, as are the rules as I understand them. We then moved some models – Heidi Klum and Naomi Campbell needed help carrying their washing machine into their new flat – and then rolled some dice. One of us popped the ball loose, and then one of us passed it. One of us then intercepted it with their 'russ'; I think it was me.

Surprisingly my application to become a football commenter was turned down.

When the smoke cleared and the biscuit crumbs were brushed aside it was 2-0 to me. I got lucky here – I think a snake eyed break tackle russ dodge saved the game – or it could just as equally have been my blindingly good play. Although if you believe that then I've got a three legged racehorse to sell you.

Like Henry V at Agincourt I expected to turn to my right and see a complete English domination of the French. However, I then remembered who was actually on my team and was not surprised to learn that every one of them had lost.

Game 2 – Lauth81 (Lizardmen)

The Germans this time. As we climbed the stairs of shame up to the third tier there was an odd sensation. Block dice began to vibrate in our cups; our hair would stand on end; the windows began to rattle in their frames. The Deepest Voice in Blood Bowl was here, waiting, with the same roster and skills of my previous opponent. Lauth81 is the epitome of Teutonic power and quickly set about dismantling my team with textbook German efficiency.

Straight off the back of my victory over an identical roster I was complacent, brash and careless. I felt invincible, I felt I deserved to win automatically, I felt it was my right to obliterate this team. For lack of a better word I felt English. In the name of The Great White Queen I threw my players into compromising positions (this was Amsterdam after all) and sat back to nibble on an apple turnover and a waffle.

By the time I'd finished the apple turnover Lauth was nine touchdowns up, and after the waffle he was seventeen ahead. After washing it down with some orange juice I looked up to see that he had ceremonially burned the English flag and taken my wallet.

Burdened with such national shame I sought comfort in the arms of my fellow Englishmen. However they had all done well this round and proceeded to laugh relentlessly at my failings.


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 Post subject: Re: Flame On Team B's World Cup Odyssey
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:41 pm 
Moaning Git
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Whty do I get the impression Sizzler is referring to me with the bit about 'taches? Did we talk thursday evening? TBH, Thursday and friday are a bit of a blur...

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 Post subject: Re: Flame On Team B's World Cup Odyssey
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:18 pm 
Legend
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Man! I wish I could write like him! :orc:

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 Post subject: Re: Flame On Team B's World Cup Odyssey
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:18 pm 
Star Player
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I was referring to about 10% of De Schutter's clientele. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Flame On Team B's World Cup Odyssey
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:51 pm 
Da Spammer
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Anyway, he said bushy 'taches, not that light dusting you've managed. :wink: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Flame On Team B's World Cup Odyssey
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:34 pm 
Legend
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This is 100% genius, I love it!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Flame On Team B's World Cup Odyssey
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:57 pm 
Ex-Mega Star, now just a Super Star
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Excellent writeup as always Andy!

Funnily enough, I had an ear infection earlier this week too. At least I got the cold out of the way beforehand though :P

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