Chaos Cup 2012: My Day 1 Journey

I just got back from Chaos Cup 2012. I’ve already said this a few times in various online outlets but I’ve got nothing but high praise for Jonny P and his team for putting on an amazing tournament. I’ll do a separate blog about the events outside of the actual match-ups I had but I wanted to put down some thoughts on my matches while the thoughts are still fresh in my mind. As a reminder, here is a breakdown of the Chaos Dwarf team that I brought to the event:

  • Bull Centaur with Block (herein denoted BCB)
  • Bull Centaur with Sure Hands (herein denoted BCSH)
  • Chaos Dwarf Blocker with Stand Firm x2 (herein denoted CDBSF)
  • Chaos Dwarf Blocker with Guard x2 (herein denoted CDBG)
  • Chaos Dwarf Blocker with Leader (herein denoted CDBL)
  • Chaos Dwarf Blocker with Mighty Blow (herein denoted CDBMB)
  • Hobgoblin with Kick (herein denoted HOBK)
  • Hobgoblin (no skills) x3 (herein denoted HOB)
  • 1 team re-roll

Overall I felt that this was a really solid, reliable roster. My general plan was to put the ball in the hands of my Bull Centaurs and control the side-lines with the Stand Firm CDBs. I’ll also make mention that any notes about my opponents’ team builds should be assumed to be prefaced with “to the best of my recollection.” If any of my opponents are reading this and spot a mistake please let me know!

Match 1 vs. Khail (Skaven)

The accompanying picture makes Khail look like a scary biker but during the game he was smiling the whole time and a very enjoyable opponent. He didn’t take a Rat Ogre on his 12-man roster but the highlights of his team included two Linerats with Frenzy, two Stormvermin with Guard, a blodging Gutter Runner, and a Strip Ball Gutter Runner. I kicked off in the first half and Khail scored in two turns with his Gutter Runners which I more-or-less expected. I then went into grind mode and whacked away at his team for six turns and tied him on turn eight after handing him a slew of casualties and knock-outs so that he lined up for the second half kick-off with only four or five players. At this point, the stage was set for a text-book 2-1 grind and I thought I had the win sewn up. This assumption was my undoing. I neglected to notice that he lined up his blodging Gutter Runner on the line. I thought it was a Linerat but it was clearly marked and ringed so I have no excuses. The ball landed behind two of the CDBs I had on the line of scrimmage so I built a cage around it with the ball in the middle and moved up my BCSH. I would have had to go for it to attempt to pick up the ball and I thought that, since I had the ball in five of my tackle zones and eight turns to score, there was no need to take un-necessary risks. Even though I had Sure Feet and Sure Hands I just didn’t want to tempt Nuffle. That’s when it happened. Khail blocked one of my players on to the ball and it squirted out giving him a chance to pick it up with his Gutter Runner and scamper far outside the reach of my players that were over-committed far up-field and he scored to make it 2-1. I was able to resume the grind and got the damage under control but I did not want to try and go for the 3-2 win because I’d need to leave myself two turns to recover the ball and score and he had the speed to pull off the same feat much easier so I ground out a 2-2 tie. Khail was a very gracious opponent and it’s worth mentioning that he runs the Rat City Rumble out in the Seattle area.

Khail: The King of the Rat City Rumble

Match 2 vs. Andy AKA Majortusk (Dwarfs)

If there was ever a coach who looked like he ought to be coaching the team he was it was Andy! I’ll let the picture speak for itself. Andy was playing a Dwarf team with two Runners with Block, two Blitzers with Tackle, two Troll Slayers with Mighty Blow, and a Longbeard with Guard. I was a little surprised to see Tackle on both Blitzers but I suppose he was anticipating facing a lot of Dodge and wanted his more agile and fast players to be able to get to the likes of Wardancers and Gutter Runners. This was a fun match but went the way you’d pretty much expect Dwarfs vs. Chaos Dwarfs to go without a lot of crazy highlights. We met in the middle and bashed each other with the copious amounts of AV9 and Thick Skull keeping the KOs and casualties to a minimum. I received in the first half and was able to hold the clump of Dwarfs off with Stand Firm enough to allow for one of my BCs to trot up the sideline and score late in the half. Turns 9-12 in the second half were largely the same with Andy caged up but my two players with Guard to his one plus my having two BCs with ST4 gave me the strength advantage and I had good rolls that popped the ball out and allowed me to score late in the second half for a 2-0 win.

Andy giving a good name to the moniker “Longbeard”

Match 3 vs. Chris AKA Homie (Undead)

I’d met Chris the night before as I believe he traveled to Chaos Cup with DarkOrk20. He was a very friendly guy that really walked the walk when he said that he was just there to have fun. He was cracking me up with his match commentary and was a lot of fun to play which, by the end of the tournament, garnered him my vote for best sport. His team consisted of two Mummies with Block, a Ghoul with Sure Hands, a Ghoul with Sidestep, two Ghouls with Tackle, two Wights with Guard, a Zombie with Leader, and two standard Zombies. I received in the first half and was able to put the ball in the hands of a Bull Centaur and clog up the middle long enough to run in one of my BCs for a TD late in the half. Chris really burned through his re-rolls fast on relatively unimportant things (he only had two re-rolls total) which came back to bite him when he needed to try riskier moves later in each half. That being said, he kept smiling and joking the whole time and was a pleasure to play. I didn’t do much in the way of casualties in this game and my BCMB failed to remove any Ghouls from the pitch despite at least five good chances that all resulted in knock-downs but I was able to KO both of his Wights relatively early in the second half which didn’t leave him with much in the way of assists. He tried some risky stuff in terms of dodging with his Zombies to base my BCB that had the ball with his Leader and a Mummy but I was able to blitz off and sweep to the other side of the pitch, fortunately. I scored on turn 8 of the second half with a pretty lucky BC to BC hand-off to win 2-0.

Chris expressing his post-game feelings

Match 4 vs. Jeff AKA Zootsuitjeff (Orc)

Jeff gets mentioned regularly on Zlurpcast and is a big part of organizing the upcoming North American Team Challenge so it was cool to put a face to the name. True to his moniker, Jeff was bedecked in a snazzy red zoot suit for our match. Jeff was playing Orcs using the new Apes of Wrath miniatures by Impact. He took two Black Orc Blockers with Guard, two Black Orc Blockers with Block, a Thrower with Leader, a Blitzer with Tackle, and a Blitzer with Frenzy. He definitely had other skills on his Blitzers but my memory is failing me. I’d like to say Strip Ball but I’m not 100% sure. For the first 5 turns or so I was running a sideline pattern with my CDBSF in front. Jeff played off significantly never giving me free blocks on my turn so I would move my CDB up into contact with his foremost player and then blitz it with another CDB and was moving up the pitch a square or two at a time until I had the end zone within striking distance of my BCB who was carrying the ball. Jeff caught on to my plan on his turn 5 and started lining up his Orcs in a way that I couldn’t tip-toe up the sideline without making a series of 5+ dodges. He did, however, leave me a lateral lane where, if I successfully blitzed with the ball carrier and knocked down a Black Orc Blocker, I’d be able to be standing within a few squares of the end zone with little chance for Jeff to block me down. The blitz went off perfectly and I not only knocked down the Black Orc but caused a casualty, as well, which was a great bonus. I was then in a square where his best option was to do some dodge and go-for-it rolls to get a Blitzer basing me and then some more go-for-it rolls for a chance of a 1-die block with his Blitzer with Frenzy. He was able to do everything he needed but rolled a push on the first block. Not ideal but particularly so as a push would have meant that he had to follow up and block again with two dice my choice. He re-rolled the 1-die block and rolled a skull which allowed me to blitz off the Blitzer marking me and score. He had two turns to score but I was able to prevent any serious scoring threat and remained up 1-0 at the half. A big part of my being able to score in this half was the fact that Jeff had over-committed about a third of his players up-field. I think he was counting on getting the ball loose and throwing it down-field. If he’d caught the throw it would be a bonus but even having it on the ground would have been OK for him because he had superior strength and numbers.

I kicked to Jeff in the second half and he put a surprising number of players on the line. Instead of holding Black Orc Blockers back as cage corners he seemed to be opting for a run-and-gun offence with thoughts of breaking a receiver free to get downfield. The ball wound up along my left sideline with about 8 squares to go to get into my end zone. If I’m remembering correctly, I was able to blitz the ball carrier with one of my BCs which put the ball on the ground in a crowd. Not too bad but those bouncing balls can wind up anywhere. On his turn 8 the ball was in my BCB’s tackle zone on the ground and he had a Line Orc within 7 squares of the end zone. To tie, he needed to pick up the ball on a 4+ with his thrower, dodge out on a 4+, dodge out on a 3+ hand off the ball on a 3+, and then make two go-for-it rolls. The hands were sure but the feet were not and, without a re-roll left, his Thrower fell attempting to dodge out of my BCB’s tackle zones. I then took a few gratuitous blocks and the game ended with me winning 1-0.

Zoot Suit Jeff catching a quick nap right after our game

Day 1 Concluding Thoughts

I was very pleased with the way things went for me on this first day of the tournament. I was kicking myself for only obtaining a tie in my first match but I think, in the long run, it did me a favour because I was probably receiving a slightly weaker schedule than others that won in the first round. But, hey… going undefeated in four games in an 80-person tournament felt pretty good! Stay tuned for day two!

Re-posted with permission from