Well, it’s been over a week now, I guess I should write down what I remember of my first trip to Florida in more than 20 years…
I took Chaos Dwarfs, a team that never held much aesthetic appeal to me, but when one of my tournament participants at the 2023 Brawl was top drunk to play his last match and asked me to sub for him, I discovered that their robust, hard hitting style fitted with my temperament (and my hot dice that day), so without any further practice (probably a bad idea) I took them this year (probably the most robust team I’ve taken, after Skaven/Tomb Kings/more Skaven on my previous attempts. I went a bit sub optimal by choosing Borak as a star player, but then, why not? I figured if I could do as well as I did last year, that would be satisfying enough.
Match 1: killowoggy’s Norse
I spent a half beating the tar out of them, forgot about Jump Up and got sacked in turn 6, the ball got sent halfway down the pitch, and then I threw it back with my Bull Centaur to almost go 1-0 at half time. An early score by the Norse in the second half gave me time to thump my way to a 1-1 draw.
Match 2: Robert Love’s Snotlings
God, these were horrible: a giant, two trolls, Grak & Crumbleberry and Scrappa Sorehead, Robert identifying the opportunity to take 3 star players when most of us would stop at 2. I don’t think he expected me to go toe-to-toe with his giant, but I knocked it over, and when it got up, knocked it out. We fouled out Scrappa, murdered a decent number of snotlings and took a 1-0 score at half time, and the beating continued (barring an unwise reroll into double skulls) to deliver a 2-1 win. If I hadn’t done that stupid reroll, could even have been 2-0.
Match 3: Jonas’ halflings
Jonas, two time Chaos Cup champion, brought Griff and Deeproot, and I failed to isolate his trees, went down 1-0, lost the game early on psychologically because “everyone knows you can’t beat Griff” and also because I need to figure out how to stop Deeproot.
Match 4: Ben’s Halflings
So this was my third stunty match in a row. Would I get any normal teams? This time, Deeproot and Skorg, who I’d never played against before, a sort of non-negatrait Yeti. I got the ball, stalled out for 6 turns, he knocked the crap out of me, killed a Bull Centaur. Second half was a draw, although he was nice enough to point out afterwards that I could easily have won, if I’d moved the ball downfield instead of fouling. Then again, I did injure Skorg…
Match 5: Amazons
In the pouring rain. I got to receive (my kick off rolls were impeccable all tournament), took five or six of his players off the field, couldn’t quite score. Second half I kicked to him, the weather changed to sweltering heat, he burned 3 rerolls (of 5!) in his first turn, fumbled the pick up, and I mobbed up and took the 1-0 victory. Didn’t show good cage discipline, struggled to move the ball.
Match 6: Rob’s Chaos
like me, Rob brought Borak, so he sat out the match for both of us. He scored in two turns, which I should have stopped, and then I rolled quad skulls on a blitz when my ball carrier was open, and oops, 2-0 down. Desperation had me running the ball with the bull centaur to almost get 2-1 at the half, but 4 GFIs and a 3+ dodge put me down, leaving the second half to try to lose 2-1 but to go down 3-1 instead, rueing my poor positioning and tactics. I had lovely dice all tournament, my losses were the consequence of several turns of poor positioning and thinking player by player, not of the turn as a whole. Much to learn, but that’s good for the next time.
I finished 111th of 200, which was worse than last year with the same 2-2-2 record, but I finished above about the same number of people. Figure that out, statisticians!
The hotel was odd, this bears recording. After being checked in by a man funereal of aspect and attitude, I was sent to the welcome desk for a welcome pack ($5 coupons for all you can eat lobster, etc) and the offer of a “special tour”. How special? They asked me if I was over 28. I concurred. They asked me if I was single. I demurred. They stopped. I have great regret that I didn’t allow them to continue their line of questioning: how many kidneys did I have, perhaps, or did I have lots of one dollar bills?