Monday, September 13, 2021

Blood Bowl Match Report - Ogres and skaven and dwarves, oh my!

This was the first time that Bryan and I had played Blood Bowl with new 'Second Season' rules. The main change has been the addition of a skill relating to how well a player can pass the ball. (Earlier this year I bought the new Second Season box set - read more here!)

Bryan has a dwarf team, which he has started painting but hasn't officially named yet. One of the possible names is the Dinas Delvers, so I've decided to go with that for now. I played with the skaven team with the addition of an ogre. Last time we played, my giant rats got really badly stomped on so I was hoping an ogre would give them a bit of protection.

Scrimmage line melee

What I didn't bank on was some of the dwarves (the "Trollslayer" characters) having an attribute called 'Dauntless', which basically took away the advantage of my ogre's higher level of strength. That led to a lot of shoving back and forth on the line of scrimmage and at one point my ogre ended up flat on his back.   

Ogre down!


Dinas Delvers 0-1 Bayside Vermin

(Match abandoned at half time as it was getting late and both managers were tired!)

Because we played the new season 2 rules which meant we had to look a load of things up and that slowed us down. This meant we only played one half, of 8 turns each. 

There is a new kick off procedure and you have to roll to decide what happens while the ball is in the air and how far it deviates from where it's supposed to go. It then took a few turns for any of the players to actually get the ball under control. To pick it up, a player has to perform an "agility roll" - throw the dice and see if they score the target number needed. The Vermin kicked off, and then various Delvers fumbled trying to pick up the ball. 

In this version of the game, your team go ends if (when) you mess up a dice roll. So every time a Delver failed an agility roll, the skaven could get closer to where the ball had ended up. Eventually one of the Vermin's pacy Gutter Runners eluded the attentions of the Delver defence and made a beeline for the ball. 

Eyes on the ball

Then it was a sprint to the end zone for the Gutter Runner and a glorious touchdown!


As coaches, Bryan and I haven't got round to naming our team members and actually keeping any kind of record of what each individual player does. Over the course of a league campaign, Blood Bowl players earn Experience Points (XP) if they manage to do something like score a touchdown. However, any XP earned by this particular Gutter Runner would have been cancelled out, because on the next play he got pushed into the crowd and knocked out by violent fans!

With limited turns left before half time, the Delvers attempted a long pass over the heads of most of the players. The dice roll for the pass failed, but the Vermin player attempting to intercept couldn't couldn't catch it cleanly, instead knocking the ball astray. That meant more agility rolls. 

On the Vermin's very last turn of the half, with the ball loose and for the taking, the Vermin player failed an agility test! This was very annoying, as agility is about the only skill skaven players really have. But, that was it, he fluffed the pick up and that was it for the night.

Overall, this was a great learning experience. The dwarf team has some useful attributes and although the ogre didn't really achieve much, none of the skaven players were killed this time! Which in the crazy world of Blood Bowl counts as progress!

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Snack of the Month - Mr Filbert's Olives

This little pack of olives were part of a Christmas hamper that has now finally been completely consumed.

I don't know who Mr Filbert is, but his olives were decent. Not sure they lived up to the claim of being "really interesting snacks".

Although they were apparently marinated in lemon and oregano, they mainly tasted of olives and a bit of salt. Unlike other packets of olives I've had they weren't oily, which was nice. The olives were firm, not slimy, and tasted reasonably fresh considering they came in a foiled packet.

Sunday, September 05, 2021

Outsourcing memories

Various apps are annotating my life. I've blogged about the Futbology app previously. Recently it has started pinging me reminders of football matches I attended, and have logged on the app. These are similar to 'Facebook memories' that often come up related to stuff I posted dating back to 2007 when I joined the site.

My Futbology reminder on 5 September is for Newport v Wrexham in 2010. 

That's not a photo from the game in question - it's their generic photo for Newport Stadium where Newport were playing at the time.

What Futbology doesn't know is that the game was moved from the Saturday to the Sunday but I didn't know so I ended up at the empty stadium on the Saturday wondering what was going on. This was long before I carried a portable computer connected to the Internet in my pocket.

I had totally forgotten that aspect of the game, except that I got an aforementioned Facebook memory on 4 September that cryptically mentioned driving to Newport on a fruitless trip, and then the reminder today revealed why!

Facebook then handily provided me with these reminders of the action from the game, including a missed penalty.

There were more updates about the game, with details I didn't remember. It made me think about how so many of our memories are now preserved online -  we are effectively outsourcing them. These are the memories of my "cloudgangers", as Douglas Coupland termed them. These digital versions of my life, stored on servers around the world, retain knowledge of the events that shape who I am long after I have forgotten them. 

This does make me wonder if there is a statute of limitations on our cloudganger memories. We change as humans, but our preserved content does not change. Can it truly be seen as representative of us, when we are new people?

This question might seem trivial, but this week a professional footballer was disciplined by the Football Association for the content of a social media post made in 2012, when the player in question was 14 (and long before they became a professional footballer). 

This made me feel slightly uneasy. Firstly, should we judge anyone as adults based on what they said or did as 14 year-olds. Most of us were dickheads when we were 14. Secondly, should we really hold people to account for opinions they held 9 years ago without checking in with them now? This blog has been running since 2006 - I have changed my mind about a number of things since I started.  

The choice seems to be whether we delete the record and lose the richness of who a person is, their faults and failings in their history. Maybe we should seek to expunge everything that does not represent who we are in this moment, recognising that everything we commit to the servers now might be deemed expungeable in a few years' time. 

But if we radically revisit our past selves and seek to remake them into versions we can accept, then we lose the sense of development that enabled us to reach the point we are at. We learn more from owning our past mistakes and explaining why we would do things differently now, than from pretending it never happened at all. 

Otherwise our cloudgangers may be highly accurate replicas of us, but have no memories. 

Saturday, September 04, 2021

August 2021 - End of month review

August was a month of football for me. I went to 11 matches, which is more in a month than I have managed in some seasons. I started with a trip across to Tremorfa to watch Grange Albion play their local rivals, Bridgend Street. And I ended my footballing month on the 31st watching Barry Town come back from behind to snatch a win with a penalty in the very last minute aginst Haverfordwest County. 

Along the way I watched The New Saints play against a team from the Czech Republic in Cardiff, watched Barry play away in Aberystwyth and Cefn, near Wrexham, and managed a "twofer" with a Grange Albion game in the afternoon and a Barry game kicking off at tea-time. It was hectic.

The Barry fans made a lot of noise at Aberystwyth - there was an interchange on Twitter where a local said they "could hear you in the pet shop", which would make an excellent slogan to stick on a banner some time. My friend Matt came with me to Aberystwyth, and after the game we went down and had a look at the seafront. It was a long day out, but it was a fun day out. 

This past month we discovered a fast food franchise that does a decent vegetarian alternative. The KFC vegan burger just about meets Cathy's dietary requirements, and is a much better option than any of the meatless meals available at similar outlets. We have been restrained and not eaten too many of them.

I haven't had much free time inbetween a full work schedule and a full footballing schedule. However, I managed to finish reading a book! (One of the ones blogged about here.) My reading has taken a massive hit over the past year and a half. It's tempting to blame the pandemic because it seems to get blamed for every other disruption in life.

I found some time to build some Blood Bowl figures. I constructed half the team of lizardmen that I was given for my birthday back in 2020 (almost 18 months ago!) and I have high hopes to actually play a game this coming month!

My favourite player is the Chameleon Skink, who has a special ability to intercept passes, courtesy of his long tongue. Here he is, pictured in the act!

If the team gets a run-out in September, then I will let you know how he gets on!