CakeBowl 2017

I've just returned from a weekend of Blood Bowling in Swindon... or as my Garmin Sat Nav says "Swine-dun". This was the second CakeBowl tournament I have attended, and again it was good fun, if painful at times!

In 2016 I took Necro (following some mild success at Bunker Bowl V)... however the 1/3/2 record speaks for itself - ie pretty miserable;
This time however (only my 12th tournament ever!), as in all the 2017 tournaments I have attended I took dwarves (again, following some mild success at the NAF Champs) - however, this was the first time I actually was going to field my painted Death Roller... so it was going to be hit or miss as I had never used one before!;
The event was sponsored by TripleHelix Wargames and very well organised by Gary Brailsford (Hudson) via both Facebook and TalkFantasyFootball pages. Sadly it was Gary's last time running Cake Bowl, so hoping the new organiser has at least as much success!

The event itself was held at The Great Western Hotel, which came with a bar, plenty of table space (could even play outside in the beer garden!) and a hearty breakfast (extra) and lunches (included) both days... Sunday's lunch was a roast - very nice!!

With the matches being spread out over multiple rooms, it meant Gary couldn't offer spot prizes, it did mean the coaches could choose where they wanted to play, which was great. Sometimes these tournaments can get a bit air-heavy, so it's nice to have the option to relocate!

It was an unusual set of rules/skills for this tournament. The team value was 115 and followed a 6 games swiss style tournament. Each day you had 6 skill points to allocate, with a normal skill costing 1 point, a double = 2 points and a stat increase was 3 points, but skills could not be stacked.

The race breakdown was as follows. Note the 9 orc teams!;
  • 1 x amazon
  • 2 chaos
  • 3 x chaos dwarf
  • 2 x dark elf
  • 5 x dwarf
  • 2 x halfling
  • 3 x lizardmen
  • 1 x necro
  • 9 x orc
  • 2 x skaven
  • 2 x undead
  • 1 x chaos pact
  • 1 x khemri
Game One
The draw went up on the projector screen and I was going to be pitched against Nagrom (who finished with 0/1/5 across the weekend) who was a fairly inexperienced coach. He brought his orcs to the party - they were the new Games Workshop ones, and I find them quite hard to distinguish the black orcs from blitzers from linemen... but Nagrom had painted the bases of his blitzers red which helped a lot... trouble was I still found it hard with respects to the linemen/black orcs with their bases either being black or dark green (not easy to spot in a sunny room!), so there were a few times I almost made the wrong block!
The Deathroller made an almost immediate impact, braining an orc blitzer, but later, he managed to double skull fairly near to the start of a crucial turn that unfortunately relied on him... and this allowed Nagrom to equalise. Fortunately I carved out a 2-1 win in the end.

Game Two
Noooo!... drawn against Lizardmen... and my 5 guard linemen weren't due to come online until Sunday! And it was against Hawca too (eventual overall winner - 6/0/0) who was no slouch. I couldn't catch a break this game, despite a number of good hits on skinks, which is rare when the lizards are coached well... I simply couldn't roll more than 7 on any armour roll, while the block Saurus's simply took my dwarves out one by one, and I eventually lost 0-2 and I think probably the same in casualties against me too. I think, if memory serves, we had a Blizzard all match too which doesn't help with GFIs!
Game Three
I'm not too worried normally playing against Necro teams, despite them being the biggest threat to dwarven armour - in addition to 'Claw' they normally come with a combo of either Block or Mighty Blow... in this case however, coach glowworm couldn't stop breaking armour while my boys simply failed everything. They did take out one 'block' werewolf fairly early, but, yet again I was losing players first half to casualties and knowing the Deathroller wasn't coming back for a second drive (unless I rolled a 6 on argue the call - no, I didn't in any of the six games), it was always going to be a struggle. Despite being way too many pints into the day than I could manage in a weekend, glowworm's team didn't put a foot wrong and wiped the floor with me (0-3).
Day Two
I had finished Day One on 1/0/2 and I was going to struggle to come out of the weekend with many positives as regards my predicament.

Game Four
However, it seems JBone and his dwarves were having a worse weekend than mine already! The normally happy-chappy was down in the dumps... and unfortunately for him, his dice were his eventual undoing. After I received, we were three or four turns in at most and all Troll Slayers were off the pitch. I had two chances to score... the first effort was thwarted by some great consecutive dice rolls, including a dwarf blitzer dodging (3+), 2x GFI (ie 2x 2+), single dice splat (1 in 3) with the ball bouncing to within his tackle zone. However, I managed to recover to a point, with the ball being sent bouncing into the crowd to land on a square nearby my runner who 'just' needed to dodge (3+) and pick up (surehands 3+) to score... but of course I failed the dodge... with the first half finishing 0-0 and at least a Deathroller and Troll Slayer off the pitch. We matched each other in guard spam, which made for a slightly more considered approach to blocking... but we had made the mistake of sitting in the shade in the beer garden at 10am... on reflection, shorts weren't a good idea!!

The second half was a rollercoaster... JBone couldn't roll anything but a 1 on any GoForIt push, and my defence was looking more and more shakey as the half went on... that was until I managed to get a hit on the ball carrier which spilled into the welcoming arms of my runner... with JBones dwarves tied up I managed to storm away for a very unlikely and undeserved 1-0 win. It was one of those wins where you would hate to be in your opponents shoes, and I could only apologise to JBone... not that I think that helped his disposition much!
Game Five
Oh goody, Orcs again! The man-mountain that was thor87 stepped up to challenge my unimpressive dwarves this time...
However, this orc team brought along a Chainsaw Star... he managed to roll not one but TWO kick-backs, but despite being sent off when I scored... thor87 managed to successfully argue the call which kept him on the pitch... the star player was gloating about this... right up until he was killed by a dwarf who simply had had enough of his antics!
We managed to score in each others drive which probably sums it up nicely. The game finished 1-1 and 2-2 on casualties... it couldn't have been more even! These guys were easier to differentiate (arms raised for BOs). It was a very enjoyable match against a friendly coach.
Game Six
The final match of the weekend was against (you guessed it!) Orcs, coached by the charming and laid back Eski. Frankly by the end of the first half I thought I was out of it and resigned myself to a last game defeat. Eski was leading 1-0 after a multiple failure in my runners to pick up the ball deep in my half which was affected by Sweltering Heat. However, in the second half, as Eski probed my defence from side to side, somehow the ball got loose as he pressed for a second TD. With some solid dice rolling I managed to pick up and pass the ball, run up the field and despite being marked in turn 16 I managed to reroll a failed dodge and score for a 1-1 draw (3-1 casualties). Was a nail biter!
The final table looked like this, with a mid table result for me, which, after the first day was a miracle result!;
My results (thanks NAF site!), which showed my Dwarven ranking following the NAF Championships was far too high anyway!;
Personally I was pleased to see the actual most TDs winner etc go to the person who did them, as opposed to hand out 1 prize per coach... good job! Grats to all the winners below!
  • Winner: Hawca
  • Runner-Up: Wulfyn
  • Third: Ceetee
  • Fourth (Glowworm award): Besters
  • Stunty: Enderman
  • Spoon: Nagrom
  • Most TDs: Hawca
  • Most Cas: Besters

Looking forward to the 2018 CakeBowl now... will I still be loving my goblins by then? Probably not... but we'll see! Thanks to everyone at the tournament for making it so much fun - a friendly lot you are!


  1. Hurrah! Goblins next year!

  2. I was one of those 9 Orc coaches! The green tide is rising....

    Nice to catch up with you again, look forward to seeing you art another tournament.


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