November 30th through December 2nd saw thousands of geeks descending on Philadelphia to take part in the second PAX Unplugged - a convention celebrating everything tabletop gaming. Hundreds of board games, role playing games, and miniature games were played, attendees flooded the expo hall to fill their bags with loot, and local eateries were overwhelmed with increased demand.
I did my part by putting together a Blood Bowl tournament on Friday. It was a pretty straitforward affair, since I didn't want to mess around too much with a well established formula on my first go - 1.1 millions teams, standard inducements, and 3 tiers of teams. Swiss scoring was in effect, with bonus points for casulaties and touchdowns.
We had a pretty good spread of teams, with Orcs being the most popular at 3 teams. The other teams included Amazons, Halflings, Goblins, Pro Elves, Humans, Chaos Dwarves, Undead, Khemri, and Slann.
My original expectation for the event was 16 players, and the actual number ended up being 13, so I had to jump in as a ringer.
There was plenty of interest from passerbys, and I had to unfortunately turn a couple away from the event since I couldn't fit them in after we had finished the first round.
From what the players told me after the event, everyone had a great time, and I was glad to hear it. It was a bit of a risk putting the event on a Friday, but doing to with PAX meant that the players had Saturday and Sunday to get their fill of the rest of the convention.
I ended up bringing my Slann/Kislev team with a pretty simple gameplan - use Leap as much as possible.
My first opponent was Shawn (the same guy whose High Elves I played against in the Warmaster tournament at Fall In!), who had brought his Orcs.
The game went pretty much as expected. The Orcs were having a great time beating up my Fantasy Russian Acrobats, but my non-brand-name Elves were able to use their higher agility, movement, and Leap skill to score a couple of touchdowns for the win.
My second opponent was Andrew and his Khemri team. I had flashbacks to one of my first games in the old Stomping Grounds league, when a pair of Mighty Blow Tomb Guardians wiped out my Orc team.
However, the dice were in my favor for this game, with Andrew losing a Tomb Guardian to an unlucky casualty roll. In fact, the Slann managed to cause three casulaties against Andrews team!
Once again, the higher speed and agility of my team meant I was able to quickly score, and Leaping Blitzers with Wrestle were able to keep the ball out of the Khemri team's hands for another win.
My last opponent was Kevin, who was coaching Amazons.
This was my toughest match, and a risky moved worked against me when a lone ball-carrying Catcher deep in Andrews backfield was knocked down. Andrew was able to make use of his pair of Guard Blitzers to form a cage that even my Leaping Blitzers couldn't break open, and the game ended up as a loss.
That put me in 6th out of 14 - not great, but certainly better than I expected for a team that I had never played before apart from a couple games in the computer version of Blood Bowl.
As I said, I enjoyed running a tournament, and I'm already considering how I can make next year's event a little more unique - maybe some Philly star players?