Friday, May 02, 2014

Wheel of Chaos Result

A month ago I posted that I was going to enter my human team into the Wheel of Chaos draw but that I needed to get some experience onto my rookie blitzer before I'd feel really good about playing. The team is a 'BlackBox' team which means you tell the system you want to play a game and it gives you an opponent from the other teams that also activated around that time. It tries to make 'fair' matchups, but 'fair' here is defined pretty loosely. BlackBox has a bit of a bad reputation going because of how many people build teams not to win football games but to just kill other people. I don't know how true that really is but the problem becomes that once people believe it to be true the only answers to fighting back are to go whole hog on avoiding conflict (be an elf team and just dodge away) or also build as a killing team and kill the opponents first.

So here you have my team, humans, that just had their killing guy die. My team is a ludicrously high team value for a human team in the box. I can't avoid conflict terribly well and I can no longer realistically fight back until I level up that new blitzer. But I could get lucky and play against an elf team, or I could get lucky and get paired way down (happened several times to me last time I was trying to level a player), or I could just get lucky in the games I got against killer teams. I didn't.

My first game was against a brutal dwarf team. Not that dwarf teams can be anything but killing machines. He got 9 casualty rolls off on my team, and only 2 of them were badly hurts. (Which should happen half the time... But I got unlucky.) Three deaths and a permanent injury. (One of the deaths was my apothecary trying to help and failing.) The really bad part was who died... I lost my current best blitzer and my best lineman, both of who had bonus agility and one of whom had my only remaining copy of tackle. I also had 3 more guys injured to miss the next game (my ogre and 2 more blitzers), so the next game was going to suck...

My second game was against the true scourge of the BlackBox. It was a team that was built to stay at a medium level and just kill people. It accomplishes this by firing anyone who skilled up except for a couple of players who roll doubles to get the killing stats. I did my best to avoid contact with those killers but they still killed two more guys (one of which was actually the apothecary again). This time it was a lineman built to take hits on the line. So his job was to die, but I would have liked him to do his job in a tournament game, not in a game where I was just trying to earn experience. Speaking of which, I only got 9 SPP in the entire game and they were all on the two players on my team that are good enough already.

My third game was against a nurgle team also build, unsurprisingly, just to kill people. This game featured a death (self inflicted, again, by the apothecary) and two retirement forcing permanent injuries. This time I lost my remaining skilled blitzer (who had bonus agility) and my kicker (who was the guy I'd last played games to level up).

Three games in, 6 players lost. Including my kicker, 3 of 5 agility players, and my tough guy.

I got frustrated and gave up. I'd built up my human team under a different matchmaking system and it no longer seemed like I could do it again. (Although if I'd gotten lucky with the apothecary instead of unlucky I probably keep 3 of those 6 guys and my way is not nearly as bad.) Certainly not in the short period of time before the tournament would start. Which, incidentally, I'd signed up for before I'd started playing games so I was stuck with playing them for a round. On the plus side my team still had a really good catcher and ogre. Maybe they could carry my team?

First round of the tournament I got a bye. Second round I was up against a lower value undead team. This was a team I was designed to crush! I have chumps to throw on his few slow killing dudes. I have the guard to beat up his linemen, or the agility to dodge away from them. I have a couple of fast dudes with tackle to take out his squishy ball carriers. Or rather, I should have had all of those things. Instead I had no copies of tackle left. Most of my agility was dead. My good tanky chump is gone. Almost all my guards are toast.

I got lucky early and was in a good way after the first half, but he got lucky with all his regeneration rolls and then I wasn't able to take down his ghouls even though he was forced to leave them wide open because I have no one with tackle.

So I lost the tournament in the second round, and my team is complete garbage now. On the plus side no one else died? But I suspect I'm just never going to play them again. My opponent suggested my best bet was going to be firing my two remaining agility players and rebuilding from scratch with a block ogre and entirely rookies. Maybe that would have the best chance of success but it doesn't sound fun, especially since I could easily get paired against a killer team while I have no skills at all to fight back.

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