First first

Today we took the kids for their covid vaccinations (totally uneventful, they were solid little things) and then doughnuts, and I dropped them off near where we’re staying and zoomed up to Everett with my Wood Elf team, Wooden It Be Nice If We Got Older, to compete in the Gravy Bowl.

The Gravy Bowl is a 7s tournament, which means more, shorter, games with very few rerolls, which in turn means every dice roll is a bit more risky. I was curious to try elves as I usually play bashy teams that are slow, clumsy and violent, and wood elves are the polar opposite, being fast, graceful and very, very fragile. (I’ve played one game with wood elves before this, where a friend of mine killed a quarter of my team in the first turn and it got worse from then on, so I didn’t have high expectations.)

And then I came first, with three wins and a draw, and I’m still amazed that I pulled that out. I had some very lucky moments:

  • We had random skill upgrades, and I rolled well – Block, probably the most useful skill in the game, and Sure Hands, which made picking up the ball more reliable
  • I had one game where I conceded a touchdown, then almost scored, lost the ball to the opponents, then they tried to pass down the field and I needed to roll a 5+ to deflect their pass – so I did, and scored on the rebound
  • That was the same game where we rolled an unconscionable number of consecutive 1s and skulls. I lost track – there were multiple 1/36 chances where elves failed to pick up or catch the ball, two double skulls for my opponent which saved me from being surfed off the pitch, and more that I can’t remember
  • That was also my only draw; 2-2 ain’t shabby
  • I had no emotional attachment to my players, because I was already expecting they would all get killed. My first opponent remarked on this: I just didn’t care when I had a player killed, whereas for him it meant something. Just more meat for the grinder …
  • I’m also much better on defence than attack – although I won 2-1, 2-0, 2-1 I gave up possession when I had the ball and had to fight back for it. But the other fun thing is you can score in a turn with two elves…
  • … which was how I won my final game. I’d been pushing forward hard to get an early winning score, then lost the ball and the other guy ran to the other end of the pitch. I had superior speed and took him down, but then he had another player come in and pick the ball up. I blitzed him, used a 3+ reroll to get a pow to knock him down, then had another player get up, pick up the ball, rush (a 2+) to get in range for a throw where I needed a 5+, rolled a 5+ for a successful throw, caught it on a 3+, dodged out on a 2+ and scored – around a 25% chance of success, but if you don’t try, you don’t succeed, and I figured it was time to go push my luck

So I was happy with the outcome. It’s easy to fall into the trap with elves of expecting everything to work (in our final game, nobody failed any of our dodges at all) but it’s also nice to have players who can move around without falling over their own feet. I also had the advantage of a small field: only six coaches made it today, due to hangovers and a big day yesterday. But a win is a win, a trophy is a trophy and so I’m still super happy that I managed to get this victory. After days this week where it felt like all my playing had not led to any improvement, being able to win the majority of my games was a nice boost to the weekend.

Went home, had pizza, got my hair cut. Lovely day.

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