|One two three.... goooooooooo Omega!|
Ailsa has been off work the past fortnight and I've been itching to use the time to play something with her. Alas, she had sensible things that needed doing - revising for a course or preparing for a job interview - which meant that my hoped-for game of Dreadball only occured on Sunday afternoon as she prepared to go back to work.
Ailsa chose her human team the Omega Raiders who have risen quite notably in strength: 4 coaching dice, 2 cards and five players at rank 2. I would be once again taking Deimos Athletic and the Forge Fathers who are just under thirty mega-credits below the opposition but had a Keeper in their arsenal now - a muscley Guard who can also punt the ball down-field like a football goalkeeper.
|Starting layout showing Guards, Strikers, Jacks & the solitary Keeper.|
This matchup has occured twice before and The Streak has remained unbeaten - my strength may be better, but the Humans are faster. Will things go different this time or will I once again slump off defeated?
|My view as the game began. Note that technically I had two Free Agent players as well - an additional Forge Fathers guard and an Orx Guard - but they weren't used.|
A quick dash by Ailsa saw an initial 1 point strike, which saw her breifly in the lead.... only for a one-two punch of Forge Fathers to clear the defenders blocking a 3 point strike of my own which I then netted. I felt so smug playing my Run Interference card down, but it ended up making no difference.
|...That was fast!|
This was to prove prophetic. The next few turns involved a very quick back and forth as the ball was shot out, caught by the now losing player who then went on to score a 3 point strike and briefly tip the game back in their favour.
The physical battle was more around the 3 point strike I was defending, where 2 or 3 players from either side ended up embroiled in a large melee fighting to break the human team.
|A rammy begins to develop around the 3 point strike I'm defending. Note my slightly dickish positioning of the referee to complicate getting to the ball.|
|A 3-pointer is scored while my Guard tries to tie up any opposition.|
Of note was that for Ailsa and I it was the same striker scoring each time: player A would try clear player B's mark on their Striker, mark player B's Striker then dash and score, sometimes in the same turn if the dice came up well. Player B would then switch positions. Double successes on throws and 3 point strikes meant lots of fan cheers which meant our depleted Coaching Dice kept topping back up: I "ran out" twice only to find an extra dice back in my pool.
After 3 strikes each the score was sitting at 9-7 and it seemed that whoever won it would be a tight. Then, on Ailsa's fifth turn, the pattern was broken when an unlikely two dice 4+ throw for a 3 pointer came up 2+2.
|The melee goes in her favour; the throw doesn't.|
The ball scattered into my half, leaving Ailsa desperate to get rid of my Keeper and clear the way for a 4 point strike.... but it just didn't materialise.
Instead, I was able to make a mad dash up the back of the pitch, throwing the ball from Jack to Striker and managed to get a player up to the four point strike zone.
|IT'S A ME, GIORGIO!|
The odds were not in my favour but I managed to net a turn six strike that put the score to 13-7. I was six points ahead....
...and only able to score a maximum of four points in her last turn, Ailsa now could not win.
|No landslide victory for me, alas.|
We both got a nice chunk of cash for winning - I was able to afford two add two more coaching dice, which also got me up to 4. (Trying to play with just one or two dice was something I found a challenge - I'm used to Blood Bowl's larger pools of re-rolls.) Interestingly neither of us have ever bought any additional players beyond replacing deaths - with only six on the pitch at any one time, eight players split fairly evenly amongst the three positions seems to be OK. We've both concentrated on increasing our dice and cards.
Needless to say, I was very chuffed to finally have a victory against Ailsa. The match was very close - it was only in the last couple of turns I got the bigger lead when luck turned against Ailsa but otherwise it was a very back and forth, will-she-won't-she performance. The two teams, despite their difference in rating, felt fairly evenly matched- Ailsa's plethora of player skills were quite situaitonal and rarely came up.
Now that I've buoyed my spirits and ticked a major achievement box, I would like to try playing some different people. Hopefully some of my friends will rise to the task....