“Welcome sports fans, to a Special Report on the MAD Blood Bowl League Season 3 to date. I, your touchline reporter Bertwold Humpernickle, have been following the progress of the totally focused, totally cutthroat Dark Elf team, Hag Graef Hexes, and here is my rundown of their progress so far.”
This team has come seemingly out of nowhere, after reportedly having spent the last few seasons raiding across the Great Ocean, they returned home to Naggaroth with their holds loaded with slaves and loot, only to be approached by none other than renowned Dark Elf coach Invillius the Unrepentant, with official backing from the Lord of Hag Graef himself, Mallus Darkblade.
My sources tell me that Lord Darkblade, a huge Blood Bowl investor and fan of all things competitive and bloody, had grown frustrated with the dominance of teams backed by the Witch King, Malekith, and decided that he just had to find a way to get one up on his Lord, and so the crew of the Dread Serpent and her Captain, ‘Paviel the Blade’, formerly a team playing in the New World Combined League before they went raiding, were ‘drafted in’ to play under the banner of the Lord of Hag Graef. Well Blood Bowl fans, that’s not an offer you can afford to refuse, not if you like your vital organs being on the inside of your body, but you didn’t hear that from me!
Now, for a rundown of their first match of the season. “
Match 1 – Hag Graef Hexes vs Asgard Wrath
The Hexes first game of the season saw them host the Norscan nightmares themselves, Asgard Wrath. Fans supporting both teams turned out in force for this first match of Season 3, gating at fourteen thousand screaming spectators, evenly split. It was a fine sunny day over Hag Graef, and perfect weather for Blood Bowl!
The Hexes won the toss and decided to Kick, but the Wrath must have planned for receiving as they darted off the line with a Quick Snap, hungry to take control of the game early on. The first half saw Asgard Wrath push hard through both the Hexes wings, while their thrower grabbed the ball and passed it down field to their runner, already into the Hexes half of the pitch, while in the centre the bellowing Norsemen battered the Hexes line of scrimmage.
The Hexes were quick to respond, plugging gaps and hitting back against the Wrath, but they were struggling to contain the drive until the duo of Witch Elf Jennai Scourge and team number two (and First Mate of the Dread Serpent), Blitzer Sirkis Black, managed to box in the ball carrier, Black taking him down, while Scourge deftly caught the loose ball. Unfortunately Scourge was almost immediately hit by a bone crunching tackle by Asgard Wrath Blitzer Havada, leading to her being stretched off unconscious. Ouch!
Sirkis Black tried to retrieve the situation, shoving a Wrath lineman out of his way and scrambling for the loose ball, but it was just beyond his reach, while on the Hexes left, we saw Lineman Erskin Boors also being dragged off the field after being knocked out. Wrath Blitzer Thor charged in to Blitz ‘Paviel the Blade’, but was smashed into the dirt for his trouble by the Hexes Captain. Sirkis Black crunched another Wrath player out of his way, but again failed to get a secure hold on the bouncing ball. While the Hexes 1st Mate fended off Wrath players, their Runner darted through the melee, grabbing the ball on the run and diving into the End Zone to make it 1-0 to Asgard Wrath.
Both Jennai Scourge and Erskin Boors returned to the field for the restart, but with almost no time left on the clock for the Dark Elves to respond to the Wrath touchdown, The Hexes fans became so incensed at the antics of the celebrating Wrath players that someone threw a rock, hitting Wrath player Odin in the back of the head, just at the whistle blew for the end of the half!
Having been a fairly close game so far, Asgard Wrath having taken almost the entire first half to take the lead, both teams were raring to go as the whistle blew for the second half, the Wrath kicking to the Hexes.
The Asgard Wrath kicker must have been put off by the chanting of the Hexes fans (unless someone put a ‘Hex’ on him! Ed.), as his kick went out of bounds and gave the Hexes a touch back, which went to Witch Elf Jennai Scourge. The Hexes started the half by crunching hard into the Wrath on the left wing. The recently returned Erskin Boors sending Wrath player Loki to the team dugout on a stretcher, the resilient Norscan gritting his teeth through what was clearly a nasty injury.
The Wrath hit back, with a terrible tackle on Miskas Eboas, the Hexes Lineman having his neck snapped and left dead in the mud, while Jennai Scourge caught a Blitz herself and hit the dirt. This sent the ball scattering across the field, to be picked up by Thor of Asgard Wrath, as he skirted the edge of the pitch. The action continued as Thor was Blitzed by Allia, the Hexes other Witch Elf, and was shoved off the field and into the stands! Graize ‘the Sharp’, Hexes Lineman, followed up to grab the ball. Unfortunately his control of the situation was short lived as he in turn was knocked down, the Wrath once again taking control of the ball!
The Hexes continued to pile on the pressure, conscious of the ticking clock, with Sirkis Black driving in yet another successful blitz on the Wrath’s ball carrier, sending the ball bouncing away, supported by the indomitable Erskin Boors, only for Allia to let the ball slip through her fingers!
Not prepared to lose their first game of the season in front of a baying home crowd, the Hexes players surrounded the loose ball, and Allia dived back in to the scrum to grab it under pressure from Wrath players. Captain Paviel drove the Wrath runner back to clear a path for Allia, while Assassin Villias ‘The Cruel’ dodged around a lineman and slid a wicked looking blade under his armour and between his ribs, leaving Allia free to run in an equalizer for the Hexes.
The two battered teams set up for a final kick with just seconds remaining, during which all hell broke loose, no thoughts at all of ball control, as the Wrath laid into the Hexes, leaving Jennai Scourge in the dirt with a damaged back. The crowd went wild as the final whistle brought this exciting match between two determined teams to a close for a stunning 1-1 draw!
“Well there we have it sports fans, Hag Graef Hexes coming out even, after a tough match against a very well established team and an experienced coaching staff for Asgard Wrath. I am sure that a few grudges have been sworn and some oaths of revenge taken after both teams came away with a bloody nose, the Hexes especially, now having to look to the ever present mob of hopeful Journeymen to fill out their roster for the next game having lost Lineman Eboas.
“I will be back again soon to give you all the gory details of the Hexes next match, an away fixture against the brutal Red Arrers Orcs! For now, this is me, Bertwold Humpernickle, signing off.”
Greetings Wargamer and Hobbyists. This is just a quick post script on ‘Blood Bowl and me’. Seeing as the game made such a glorious ‘comeback’ into Games Workshop’s mainstream of supported games, and so many other people were making their contribution to the online love for the game, I thought I would wake up old Bertwold Humpernickle and assign him a new team to follow this season, after he did such a sterling job reporting on Egdenberg Undertakers a couple of years ago.
I have been playing Blood Bowl since about 1994, and have always loved the game, one of the best GW ever out for sure. I was pleased as punch when the new game finally landed, and it turned out to be much the same as we have all been playing while the game was being supported by the amazing efforts of the Blood Bowl playing community.
We have been playing Blood Bowl at our club for the last three years, although I totally missed last season, and for this season I decided to play a team I have never played in a League before – Dark Elves. I like a challenge, and though they have decent stats, and can be shaped into an awesome team over time, they are a risk, with high player cost and relatively few skills starting out. Some people have called me crazy for kicking off the season with just eleven players on the roster and only one re-roll, but so far so good. Onwards and upwards from here on in…
Thanks for reading.