With the divisional matches finished the season now moves onto the most anticipated part, the Play-offs, which will certainly prove to be a nail biting experience for all the participating teams and coaches. Before we move on to the next stages we will have a review of each team and how well they have performed this season regardless if they qualified or not.
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The Flayers at the start of the season were hot favourites to take the title this year and so far they have showed the skill and quality to go all the way. With a undefeated run of a staggering 11 matches this season, 2 resulting in draws, they are surely going to cause a stir when they enter the fray in the semi-finals in which they could face either Grimwood Voodoo or the Wherethehellarewe Tribe. Whichever team faces them will surely have their work cut out in knocking this star team out of the park. Key players to watch out for in this team are Aedir Blisteredheart and Aedeorl Coldheart who between them have scored a wonderful 10 touchdowns this season.
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One of the many newcomers this season the “Voodoo” have not had that bad of a season and picked up many fans along the way. This is not only down to their impressive seasonal start but the many icons that they have in their team. “Billy Bones” the number 3 ace skeleton has been a household Favourite match after a match. His ability to scare opposing players mealy by looking at them with his gaze is unmatched with any magical spell and his uplifting team talks are something to witness. The teams effort was also helped n part by Gurt Tombbrood the star Ghoul who has racked up a brilliant 7 touchdowns this season. The “Voodoo” are to face veterans, Wherethehellarewe in what will be a very exciting match to watch.
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One of the better performing teams than on paper this season in their début to the league. The Tobacconists have certainly done much better than first predicted as well as winning a couple of games along the way. The only thing that really let them down this season was the amount of games they had tied due to unlucky plays not going their way. Having said that they are filled with confidence and with a full roster going into the game they should overcome their opposition. The Tobacconists star player this season has so far been their Minotaur Lucky Strike who has so far caused 6 casualties one resulting in a death and currently joined second in top vicious players in the World Series. The Tabacconists have a real chance to advance to the next round if they can overcome the Gelfs and better their result from the last time.
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Although currently rated as a team likely to have the shield named after them along with the Lightning Claws, Creeping Death have had one of the most successful seasons as a newcomer. Their coach, Odin, who is new to coaching and the game has shown great promise in his ability to lead a great blood bowl team. They put a lot of teams under pressure by either taking the lead or equalizing in amazing style and class. The only thing that has let this team down was consistence in their normal playing style, if they could maintain the pressure they apply and hold the scoreline they could be one of the most deadly teams in the leagues history. An experience of a season in which they could still walk away with some silverware if they are triumphant in the Shield. Be sure to look our for Gandalf Thor who has so far proved to be invaluable to the teams attack.
Wee Tree Fellows
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The fellows have had the their best season in their four season stint in the HDWSBBL. They have dazzled fans and opponents at their quick scoring plays and their array of skills in which they seem unstoppable to anyone. Although they have achieved great success this year some coaches have complained about the amount the team has spend on training and the players this season wondering where the money has come from. Despite this the fans and players have enjoyed a great season, the only thing remaining is can they finally win a Championship Cup after all these years? Watch out for star catcher Harris who is currently valued as the most expensive player in the leagues history and has scored 21 career touchdowns 8 of them during this season.
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Having come into the season after following the exit of the previous Wood Elf team, The Loren Rangers, The Gelfs sure had a massive task of living up to the expectations of their kin. They have certainly done that this season with reporters already labelling them as the “New Rangers”. They have suffered heavy in the player department loosing 7 players in a single season to death and hiring a reported 15 journeymen and mercenary’s to fill the numbers. But whatever the cost they still overcame the odds and came out victorious finishing in a respected second in their first season. They face old opposition the Talos Tobacconists who they beat 3-2 previously. The star of the teams season is catcher Blanca who has scored an amazing 11 touchdowns and is currently rated as the second best player this season.
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When news of this troublesome tribe were to return a lot teams blew a sigh of discomfort upon hearing it. The tribe have been a tricky team to play against defying all the normal plays of Halflings they actually perform above standard in amazement to everyone. The team had been predicted at the start to again finish up going into the shield and most likely winning it this season, but again defying the odds these little “buggers” as most players call them, have made it into the play-offs and a shot at a major for the first time. Although they go into this game without a win in four games, and loosing to bogey team the Valhallen Vixens, they are full of confidence that they can outdo Voodoo. Thier star player Two Whistles will surely back this up being the top touchdown scorer of the team and having scored 8 already this season.
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The first Underworld team to enter the HDWSBBL, old veteran Arcarni Spark was hoping he could carry the same good fortune he had with the Tail Slammers. Sadly this was not to be his season as the team went 5 games without a win before finally winning their only match so far against newcomers, Creeping Death. The reason why this team full of sneaky gits remains a mystery even to the expert analytics’s. The team should of done better this season with Arcarni at the helm, but due to the animosity towards the two races which could of resulted in their poor performance this season. They do however have a chance to regain some reputation if they go and win the Shield this year, a task which Arcarni Spark is accustom to having won one previously himself. If they can sort out their differences then they could better the opposition, if not then I’m sure the team would be carefully dismantled by Arcarni himself. Despite the poor performance the aptly named Shell Four has been the rock in the team scoring 8 touchdowns this season.
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The Horrors stumbled to their début this season as have really made an impact topping the OWC East division, which is the only division this season containing all brand new debiting teams. After winning their first match reporters were praising the teams fresh approach to the game and having the consistency of being a Championship winning team. However confident the team may be they must keep it up to have any hope of advancing further and causing a few upsets along the way. And if they are going to do it then they have probably the best team going into the play-offs with the likes of Fenrir Canus who has so fair caused a gut ripping 5 casualties and scored a helpful 4 touchdowns.
Deamons Stump Deamonicans
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Here at the press office we have always wondered what this team name meant and wherever it reflected the team on the field. To our and the fans delight this was indeed true as the Deamonicans gracefully took to the field and displayed an awesome display of maiming, fouling, killing, deaths and winning that we as Blood Bowl followers always anticipate when viewing. The Demonicans have delivered their fair share of the carnage to the seasons and have not done too badly on their opening season finishing second in the division. The Deamonicans were the hot favourites to pick up the casualties awards this season but they also have high odds of going far in the play-offs. Despite doing well they have drawn too many matches this season costing them the top position, so they must keep their feet on the ground and concentrate on the game at hand. With the help of Dushruk their star touchdown scorer who has scored 8 this season they will surely give the viewers an exciting match.
Temper Bay Marauders
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The Marauders entered the league hoping to be among the best Orc team since the days of the Beaumont Blitzers. No matter how hard they tried it seemed fate always spat in their face and shone brightly on their opposition. Despite their unlucky run of four games straight loosing they managed to finally shake the fate deamons off their back and pick up a huge win against the Voodoo as they looked a totally new team. Having won that game they qualified for the play-offs as the Blackburners failed to beat underdogs Creeping Death. The Marauders are starting to look more like an Orc team but they have a very long way to go before they even come close to being a great as the Blitzers and only if they can prove they can rise to the challenge in these important matches. The duo of Ueghor Ironjaw and Captain Garash Rockhead are sure to score many more touchdowns between them as their joint total is currently at 7.
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The Blackburners have surely had the most unluckiest season to date since the days of the Manhunters and Damage Inc. After missing out on third place after loosing a crushing defeat by Creeping Death and vast array of crippling last minute plays by their opposition they find themselves in the Shield. The team started off very well with a draw against the Marauders but they just couldn’t keep up against their next few opposition. Currently they are having a four game loosing streak and they are sure going to be playing very hard to shake the streak off and advance through the shield semi-finals. If they can keep their nerve and stick to basic plays then they can certainly win it. To help them do this their rock at the front, Tantor TE, and Minotaur star has caused a head smashing 5 casualties so far this season and doesn’t look like he will settle for that.
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When hearing the name Drakwald you think of the Deadheads (The original team), but to everyone surprise the team was in fact a band of Chaos marauders calling themselves the Drakwald Defiers for some unknown reason. Despite using the same first name the Defiers soon won the fans over after a tremendous season of maiming, killing and of course plenty of winning with a current winning streak of 11 matches much like the Brimstone Flayers. But what makes this team hot contenders for the grand prize is the amount of casualties they have caused this season, a staggering 34 in total! Only 30 behind the Karond Kar Corsairs the best casualty causing team in the leagues history. With much more to be expected from this team it’s any body game how far this team can go. With the likes of Festus “The Pestitant” who has caused 11 casualties with 2 of them resulting in deaths anything can happen.
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The second Pro Elf team to feature in the leagues history, the Razorhawks, had to live up to the success that Wee Tree Fellows had set. With a catchy name they set out to become the best Elf team out their and the certainally didn’t do too bad of a job despite loosing 5 playing to deaths, many of them happing to the cursed shirt number 1. The luck seemed to be against them most of the time but the Razorhawks pressed on though the losses and came out on top nicking second place right under the noses of the veteran team the Jackles. The Razorhawks have the skill and ability to go all the way in this play-off but they always seem to lack the confidence to believe that they can. Hopefully their star player Rog Turin, who has scored 4 touchdowns for the team, can boost the morale of the team even if they do have three players missing due to injury.
The Tutsbone Jackles
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For many this season was predicted as the season the Jackles would dominate and for the best part those statements were indeed true. They have far exceeded the fans expectations and since they won the shield last season they have increased in confidence and performance every game. And it’s no wonder they have had a great season as the quad of Mummies ,who have been with the team since the start, have dominated their front line. Their tried and tested box play has been the bane of many teams including the Vixens, who lost out to the Jackles because of that tactic. The Jackles are to face the Demonicans who in their previous match up saw a shock 1-1 tie, could very well beat them and head to the next round. The keys players of the team are without a doubt are the mummies who have held every team back and caused no end of headaches for coaches.
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Without a doubt the biggest shock of the season so far. The Vixen’s who were highly praised for their wonderful debiting season a few years ago were favourites to make it to the play-offs. But with a terrible loosing streak of 9 this season and a career total of 13 straight matches without a win fans around the old world could not believe what they were seeing. Not only did the Vixen’s have no luck in any of their matches, none of their tactics ever went accordingly and their fan base slowly deflated week by week. But all was ended after a shock victory against the Tribe and a second against the under performing Lighting Claws. If they can keep this winning streak going they will surely go on and win the shield proving all of their critics wrong. Their star player Victor, who has been very quiet all season until recently, will surely guide the team to glory having scored an amazing 25 career touchdowns and also winning the best player of the season award two seasons ago.
After witnessing a very enjoyable season to date and a very close one as well it will be very hard to see how these games will end up. But never backing away from a challenge I will attempt to predict how each match will turn out the way I think it will.
Wild Card Round
Grimwood Voodoo vs Wherethehellarewe Tribe
Both teams have shared in their ups and downs but Grimwood Voodoo have been playing above par for a debut season. The Tribe, I feel, have been rather lacking in their finishing which has resulted in recent losses. They could rally up and dominate the game but I think Voodoo will stamp their attempts out and run out as the victors in this match up.
Predicted Win: Grimwood Voodoo
The Gelfs vs Talos Tobacconists
This will be the highlight of the wild card round in which it really could go either way. Both teams have had great seasons and both deserve to go though to the next round. I believe that this game will be decided whoever scores first or whoever can knock a player out first giving the fact both teams have minimal players. With that I believe that the Tobacconists will roll out as the winners as they surely can learn from their previous mistakes.
Predicted Win: Talos Tobacconists
Deamons Stump Deamonicans vs The Tutsbone Jackles
Another hard match to predict. The Jackles have the might of the mummies where the Deamonicans have the advantage of not playing fairly and fouling where they can. I think that this match will come down to brute strength and who can hit the hardest, and with that said I believe that the Jackles will come up as winnings here.
Predicted Win: The Tutsbone Jackles
Elfheim Razorhawks vs Temper Bay Marauders
Both teams will be looking to outdo each other as an old age rival will surely be felt in the air. The Razorhawks came out on top last time but they suffered a few injury’s in their previous match. If the Marauders can hit first and run the first touchdown in then they will surely walk away with the victory. However I believe that the Razorhawks skill and pace will be too great for the Orcs.
Predicted Win: Elfheim Razorhawks
Brimstone Flayers vs Grimwood Voodoo
This match would be highly anticipated by both sets of fans to amend the previous engagement. With the success the Voodoo have been having they could go all the way and if they quickly hit the Flayers hard they could win this one. Sadly I believe that the Flayers are just too good this season and are in no hurry to end their winning streak.
Predicted Win: Brimstone Flayers
Wee Tree Fellows vs Talos Tobacconists
The Fellows beat the Tobacconists previously 6-0 the highest scoreline of the season and I’m sure it will not happen again. However I still think the Tobacconists are still a young team and inexperienced compared to the Fellows. If they can hit first they may stand a chance otherwise the Elfs will run rings around them again.
Predicted Win: Wee Tree Fellows
Universal Horrors vs The Tutsbone Jackles
When two undead teams meet it’s always a spectical and it’s no excuse in this match. This will be the highlight match of the round in what will most likely be a sluggerknocker. Both teams have the skill to win this but I do think the Jackles will again dominate with their mummies unless the Horrors can put them out early one.
Predicted Win: The Tutsbone Jackles
Drakwald Defiers vs Elfheim Razorhawks
Another match which could prove to be very close. The Razorhawks can win if they stay out of trouble unlike the last time and rack up the points. However I believe the Defiers have grown as a team and will be far too strong for the Elves to withstand.
Predicted Win: Drakwald Defiers
Brimstone Flayers vs Wee Tree Fellows
This will be a very tight game with both sides scoring a lot of touchdowns. The Flayers will be putting the boot in as best they can in and if they do can cause a lot of problems for the Fellows. If the Fellows can hold their nerve they will surely win unlike last time.
Predicted Win: Brimstone Flayers & NWC Champions
The Tutsbone Jackles vs Drakwald Defiers
Although the Jackles would of far exceeded their exceptions they will certainly bring it on against the favourites. Entering the match as the underdogs I think it will be too much for the Jackles to hold out against the might of the Defiers unless they cause a few upsets early on.
Predicted Win: Drakwald Defiers & OWC Champions
The play-offs with certainly be historic wherever it will go and you can be sure that there will be a few upsets along the way. I invite fans and reporters alike to comment on my predictions but to also detail their favorite moment of the 2011/12 season. Thank you for reading and see you all at the Super Bowl Championship!
– Bob Fortune