Adelaide Dungeon Bowl Cup 2012 Grand Final Match Report
by Sinister Dexter
Blood Bowl is a game of many forms, and in Adelaide, South Australia, the locals are not satisfied with just one type. Southern Shrike Bowl has established itself as a strong regional tournament in the traditional style, but the Hindley Street Bowl has showcased, over three years, the small-pitch variants of the game (Street Bowl and Beach Bowl). But we also play Blood Bowl’s least hygienic cousin… the cousin that lives beneath the City, in the dank tunnels that, allegedly, honeycomb the Adelaide underground. We all know this cousin, as Dungeonbowl!
The Adelaide Dungeon Bowl Cup (ADBC) has now entered the records as an annual event, moving from the Greenacres Caverns to a new arena built immediately below the Windsor Stadium Complex, home to Southern Shrike Bowl. The custom-built facilities in this new complex are perfect, utilising the ruins of a long-dead civilisation embedded into the stone and a newly excavated series of caverns built out like the spokes of a wheel from the central Grand Dungeon.
We now take you, live, to our commentary team, Bruce Hackavaney and Robert Balls, at the Grand Dungeon, where the ADBC 2012 Grand Final is about to commence.
Commentary: provided by Bruce and Robert (dark elf and chaos dwarf)
Bruce: ‘Yes, here we are at the ADBC Grand Final and what a day it’s been, Robert Balls. Sixteen teams and four rounds of direct-to-Cabalvision mayhem culminating in the clash ahead of us. But before we discuss that, let’s take a look at the path to this match.’
Robert: ‘That’s exactly correct Bruce. Who would have thought, when we began proceedings today, that a coach, written- off after “winning” Worst Rookie at SSB earlier in the year, would challenge for the Grand Final position?
‘As you rightly said, sixteen teams started the day, but now only two remain. The first is coached by none other than Olaf the Stout, back to defend his title from last year with the Green Vein Cheeseheads. And what an accomplishment this is.’
Bruce: ‘You’ll remember that Olaf was at a particularly dark place in his career just last September, taking the wooden spoon at SSB with this very team. But he’s turned it around.
In fact, of his four opponents today, only one has beaten him, and it just happens to be his challenger, SSB ‘Worst Rookie’, Jimm and The Quickening.’
Robert: ‘This dark elf team really has come from nowhere Bruce. Their first match today was against renowned coach One Eye, and even Someone2040 has fallen beneath their spiked heels. In fact, their record is almost hypnotic, with 1-0 wins across the course of this tournament…’
Bruce: ‘It has a certain inevitability to it doesn’t it Ballsy? But before we look at the teams, I think we should revisit… the Dungeonbowl format!’
Dungeon Bowl Rules
Dungeonbowl… An ancient variant of the game we all know and love, played across the years and made famous by the Colleges of Magic and their Major tournament of the same name. But since the fall of the old order the game played by the Colleges has followed the traditional Blood Bowl rules, with only the venue reminding us of its subterranean heritage.
The Adelaide Fantasy Open Under Lights, or AFOUL, has spent years perfecting an older form of the game and making it new again. With these ‘AFOUL Rules’, they claim to have struck a balance that will work effectively for the modern Cabalvision audience.
The game is played to a strict time limit. This is 50 minutes for the peripheral dungeons, but the Grand Final will feature an extended 120 minute play period. If, after 60 minutes, one team has annihilated their opponent or scored at least twice, a runaway victory will be awarded. After 90 minutes, just one touchdown will win the game.
Touchdowns, of course, cannot be gained in the usual manner. Instead, the players must search the maze for one of six chests containing the ball and make their way to one of three exit points on their opponent’s side of the dungeon. Many obstacles bar their way, not least being that the other five chests are rigged to explode when opened, all manner of pit traps, and the opposing players!
The teams themselves are purchased from starting rosters using 550,000gc. Six begin the game with one reserve entering each turn from then on (if available).
Bruce: ‘The Quickening have gone with the crème of Nagarythe nobility, starting a roster of no less than four blitzers. Backing them is a lone runner and a lineman, for a squad of just the minimum six.
The Cheeseheads on the other hand have chosen speed and numbers, with four gutter runners, two blitzers and a single line-rat bringing their squad to seven.
Neither team has availed themselves of any available inducements, to the disappointed sighs of the Cabalvision audience who were, I’m sure, longing to see the Bloodweiser Babes out today.
Robert: ‘We now cross to our thing in the dugouts, Dipper, for a last word from the coaches…’ (dwarf)
Dipper: ‘Thanks Ballsy. I’ve spent some time in both dugouts, talking to the coaches as they get the teams ready to go. I have to say, I’m not sure which I would rather be out of faster. The blood is running thick and fast in the Quickening’s rooms, while it is phlegm oozing from the walls in the Cheeseheads’ area because coach Olaf appears to have one helluva contagion. Better quarantine this complex tonight!
The word from both dugouts, however, is surprisingly similar. When I spoke to Jimm he said “I hope to come out alive”, while Olaf told me “I just hope I can survive personally”. Seems both teams are expecting the worst and preparing themselves for a heavy beating.
I, for one, hope they’re on the money! Back to you fellas upstairs.’
Bruce: ‘Thanks Dipper. We’ve got the signal now and can see the teams stepping in to the dungeon.
It should be noted that this dungeon is the culmination of over a year’s work by master cave-smith and AFOUL Commissioner anc001. A marvel of modern engineering, the dungeon can be completely stripped bare and reconfigured each match, while still retaining all the charm and atmosphere of a ruined dwarfen stronghold.
This year’s dungeon is made up of several areas. Running through the southern section of the pitch is the River; a scum- filled, knee-deep trench of foetid sewage that can, nevertheless, be traversed at half speed. In the centre is the Main Cavern, a maze of stalagmites running the length of the field just north of the River’s icy clutches. In the very centre is the Courtyard, a small area also mazed with random pillars of stone and surrounded by the overlooking Upper Walkway that connects the northern edges. On the west (and underneath) this complex is the Catacombs - barely a crawl-space of nigh-pitch-blackness - while to the east is the Deck - a raised section of cavern floor ascended by either the Mossy Stairs to the north or Beige Stairs to the south. Finally, overlooking all, is the Tower!
Bruce: ‘The Quickening is to start, with Chest Two our quarry in this first drive. The mad dash begins in earnest as both teams stream in from their respective doors. Two Quickening blitzers quickly stream onto the Upper Walkway with a lineman hanging back on the Mossy Stairs and the others descending into the Main Cavern floor.
The Cheeseheads, meanwhile, are a blur of movement as gutter runner Marscapone and blitzer Pecorino reach the centre of the Main Cavern in the blink of an eye. The rest of the team either darted up the Eastern Stairs or through the Catacombs towards the Courtyard.
But Marscapone has become the first to reach the dreaded and coveted chests in the centre of the Main Cavern. Unfortunately for him, this chest is rigged to blow, and he ends up face down in the dust with a mouth full of BOOM!
But there is action all across the dungeon, as Tilthan has sprinted to the highest levels of the Tower and Telpur has found another chest on the Central Colonnade. Like Marscapone before him, however, he finds himself knocked back under the force of the detonation.
Celthric has moved back into the Main Cavern. Is he searching for chests, or rats?’
Robert: ‘There is a pack of rats now emerging from the Catacombs into the Courtyard, Bruce, where two chests are hidden. I think it is Cheddar the line rat, although it’s hard to make them out in that gloom. He’s opened the chest and… yes… he has the ball!
The call has gone out and he is shifting into the support of team-mates Pecorino, Camembert and Provolone. Looks like he’s handed off the ball to Camembert.
But the dark elves have cottoned on, with Huchanar now standing on the Eastern Bridge to try and get a view of the action. Now Ellessar has spotted the ball and he’s coming at Provolone hard.’
Bruce: ‘Oh, and that’s our first injury folks! You could hear the crack of that rat’s jaw as it hit the floor, moments before the apothecary wizards blipped him from the dungeon, and straight to the trauma room I’ll wager. Ellessar isn’t content to leave it there though, he’s followed further in, keeping his eyes on Camembert.
I can see Pecorino and Brie though coming back in to the fray to help their furry brethren and…
…that’s another one out, this time a KO to Celthric.’
Robert: ‘He was sandwiched like a nice slice of Swiss Bruce. But he looks a darned sight better than Provolone who seems to have taken a trip to the hospital.
But the action hasn’t stopped on-field. Tilthan is trying to cover Ricotta, who is sprinting along the Upper Walkway towards the Mossy Stairs. Meanwhile, in the main scrum, Ellessar is covering Pecorino. Telpur moves in to lay the blitz and only manages to push Brie away.’
Bruce: ‘Looks like we’re going to have a fight in the centre Ballsy. Marscapone, Brie, Cheddar, Camembert and Pecorino are going to have to go through at least three dark elf defenders, and with the tight confines of those corridors I’m not sure they can do it without putting one down.
Ricotta is dodging around on the Upper Walkway, but doesn’t seem to be doing anything productive beyond, perhaps, presenting a target to the two elves nearby.
And now we see Ellessar storm in to blitz Brie, who goes down, but he seems to be stunned and will stay on the pitch. That gives the elves a numerical advantage over Marscapone and, yes, Telpur blocks him…’
That’s a DELICIOUS block Ballsy! Marscapone’s broken body hits the floor and blips from the pitch for some emergency surgery, and now Telpur is right up in Cheddar’s grill, with support in the form of Huchanar moving in fast.
Pecorino is now looking to even the odds a bit, throwing a savage blitz at Telpur…’
Robert: ‘Oh! My! Gods! Bruce! That is unfortunate! Did you hear the snap of his leg as it went down that sinkhole? Pecorino didn’t know what hit him, and Telpur counts his lucky stars as yet another rat is teleported away to meet the apothecary.’
Bruce: ‘Yes, Pecorino skulls out and just four rats remain against five elves. The Cheeseheads still have the ball, but for how long?
Here comes Telpur to answer the question for us. He knocks Camembert to the floor and the ball spills loose, landing with a splash in the water. Huchanar swoops in and scoops it up, but he’s still not free of the rats. Cheddar wades into the river to take on Huchanar, but they just wrestle ineffectively.
Meanwhile, it looks as if Ricotta has his hands full upstairs. But he breaks free of his two attackers and heads to the red teleporter. He’s in… but… I can’t see him Ballsy, can you?
Dipper: ‘Bruce, this is Dipper, I can confirm that the sideline wizards are having trouble finding him, he’s lost in the void…’
Bruce: ‘A massive blow to the Cheeseheads as they drop to a meagre three. Hopefully they can retrieve Ricotta before it’s over.
Meanwhile Telpur has put Camembert on his tail and Ellessar has stunned Cheddar. Huchanar wades upstream, making for the door, but…’
Robert: ‘He’s down! Huchanar is down Bruce. Must be a deep section of river, but he hasn’t re-surfaced. That’s a lucky break for the rats and the ball is now drifting back towards the action.
Camembert is back up and splashing over towards it. He’s looking very lonely there though and Telpur has his tail. The ball drifts away from both of them in the eddies of the stream.’
Bruce: ‘Camembert has a couple of reinforcements though Ballsy. Brie has made it there to help and Cheddar is man- handling Telpur away from the ball. That’s left Camembert some room to grab it and wade to the southern bank where, just maybe, he will be free to make a break for the dark elf doors.’
Dipper: ‘Don’t speak too soon Bruce. In the dugout Celthric has roused himself and is moving to teleport in.’
Bruce: ‘I see him Dipper, he’s appeared on the yellow pad, right near the unfortunate Camembert, who he guards zealously. Cheddar hits the floor, and so does Camembert as Telpur comes up from behind with a vicious suckerpunch to the ribs. The ball goes flying and there are now two skaven left to wrest it from five dark elves.’
Robert: ‘The stadium seems to be holding its breath Bruce as we see some pictures from the coach’s box. Coach Olaf seems to be deep in thought, presumably trying to work out a way through this unforgiving dark elf defence with a dwindling number of warriors.’
Bruce: ‘He needs to think quickly Ballsy, because Pecorino is on the move. But he’s fallen on the slippery bottom of the river.
As if to rub the situation in, Celthric grabs the ball and legs it in the other direction. Telpur follows in support and the Quickening are away.
Brie takes chase, but the game has obviously taken too much out of him. The receding figures of Celthric and Telpur taunt him as he falls once… twice… and stuns himself for his trouble. He is surrounded by elves as Celthric reaches the door and disappears through it!’
Robert: ‘An amazing drive Bruce, and it doesn’t look to be getting any better for Olaf’s furry charges. Only two left to come back into the dungeon for the next drive, while the Quickening will field five.
And if the Cheeseheads can’t score sometime in the next 30 minutes, Jimm and his dark elves will take the victory on a timed win. What do you think, can they do it?’
Bruce: ‘Well, anything can happen in the dungeon Ballsy. So much crazy stuff has happened today that I don’t think it’s beyond the rats. But it will take a Herculean effort on their part to balance things up.
Bruce: The teams have re-entered their doors though and the timer is running again. The Cheeseheads hit the ground running and immediately make it deep into the central area. Cheddar gingerly opens a chest and… BOOM! He’s down and stunned.
The dark elves take a more cautious approach, with two heading along the Upper Walkway and two towards the Courtyard. One of them hangs back to defend if needed. Ellessar tests another chest on the Upper Walkway and also hits the floor as the explosion shakes free a couple of small stalactites.
Cheddar gets up, dusts himself off and limps toward the nearest teleporter.’
Robert: ‘And it looks as if the void has claimed him Bruce, I can’t see him anywhere.’
Bruce: ‘It’s not their day Ballsy. Because, while Cheddar was doing that, Celthric found the ball in exactly the same chest as last drive, right there in the north of the Courtyard. Brie, the last of the active Cheeseheads takes chase…
…but he’s fallen down a pit! That’s right, I’m not sure he even saw it, but as he crossed the mouldy trapdoor a board gave way, and there’s just a gaping hole now where once was a skaven. He’s also KOd himself in the process.
Looks like an annihilation win to the Quickening Ballsy?’
Robert: ‘Not yet Bruce. There’s two more minutes to go before an annihilation can be called. One last chance for the rats to re-group.’
Dipper: ‘Fellas, Brie has just arrived in the dugout and Olaf has come down here to slap his team around a bit. A bucket of ice cold, warpstone-laced water seems to have jolted Brie awake and you’ll see him any second…’
Bruce: ‘There he is, bolting in the middle door. But nothing he can do is going to work today. Like his namesake, Brie is soft in the middle, and he has splattered himself on the pavement trying to blitz Celthric. His quarry has no such worries as he sprints towards the door.
Now Camembert also shakes himself out of his stupor and also enters the dungeon, moving up to defend the door. He blitzes, but just shoves the dark elf around.
In return, Celthric shoves him back, dodges away, and disappears through the door.
Robert: ‘What an end to an exciting game. Even right at the end the skaven had a chance to stop the elves, but numbers won out and it is a convincing, and well deserved, victory to the Quickening.
We go now back to the dugout, where Dipper has coach Jimm…’
Dipper: ‘Jimm, you must be happy with the win.’
Jimm: ‘Very Dipper. I’d like to offer apologies to Olaf for smashing his team about. But it’s also revenge for awarding me the ‘worst rookie’ at Shrike Bowl this year. I offer tribute to his sportsmanship though, and to anc001 for being a great tournament organiser.’
Dipper: ‘Thanks Jimm, go and enjoy your victory.
Olaf, care to make a comment?’
Olaf: ‘At least I survived…’
Dipper: ‘There you have it Bruce, back to you in the studio.’
Bruce: ‘And that’s almost it for our broadcast here at the Windsor Stadium Complex. I trust our listeners have enjoyed a riotous game of dungeonbowl, played in great spirit. I hope you’ll join us again next year for ADBC 2013.’