Salutations everyone and welcome to the Playoff predict off for 2515-16 season!
Yes my friends it is back and just in time for the first round of games. The Predict-off where 3 veteran coaches go head to head to win the fame and glory of being the best pundit in the land. Each coach will predict the score of each match and will gain points depending on their answer. 1 point is awarded for a correct result e.g. who will win. A further 2 bonus points is gained if you can predict the right score! It can all change in a blink of an eye.
This season we have 3, yes 3, tiers of HDWSBBL playoffs. Never has this happened before and I, the Doc, will be again up against my two arch nemesis’s’s’s, Kai Konami and JoJo. Welcome back to the media centre chaps.
(K) Well, here we are again, the ultimate test of Blood Bowl knowledge, the predict-off! I look forward to successfully defending my crown against you and JoJo, lets get it on!
(J) Yes thanks, Okay, with the Big Society losing their race to forfeit first, it’s completely shook up the tables. I’m looking forward to posting my predictions for the post-season.
The Titan Trophy
The Asgard Marauders vs Morgs Raiders
(J) This years charity shield is mostly new boys who weren’t told they’d be dropped right into the meatgrinder this year (bad luck to Morgs Raiders who missed being in the League Cup by the slimmest of margins) as well as some familiar (and hated!) faces. The Azzies are a long standing team with a run of bad form, Morgs Raiders are an up and coming team with good prospects. If the Azzies play a patient game and the dice don’t favour the Raiders too badly we should see the Azzies through to a final, but if the Asgard Marauders take their eyes off the ball or Morgs Raiders have a string of lucky results… JoJo’s prediction: Asgard Maruaders reclaim past glories and secure a win.
(K) Not the best of seasons for the Marauders, dropping into the shield on the last day of the regular season was a kicker too. But don’t be deceived, a few of those losses were close run things and the Norsemen remain more that capable of giving any team a run for their money. Meanwhile, over in the OWC, the Raiders have flown largely under the radar for much of the year. This is another team where the results just don’t tell the full story. 2 of the OWC’s biggest hitters, the Horrors and the Tobacconists had some pant-wettingly close calls against a team starting to get a bit of a reputation for punching above their weight. I’m a big fan of the Marauders, but the Raiders have built some pretty impressive momentum over the last few games and I think it’ll carry them to a shield final.
My learned friends are both right here. This one will be close. The Marauders have had it rough this season and were so close to scrapping out of the shield. The Raiders on the other hand started slow but impressive form against the bigger teams in the division shows they have form and that form is to HIT! I am not sure that the Norse will have enough muscle to get around the pain barrier but they are more skilled. I am going to say it will be the Undead that march on.
Predicted Result: (K) Raiders win 2-1 (J) Azzies snatch it 2-1 (D) Raiders grab this one 2-1
Dark Wings of Fury vs Gitz and Shigglez
(J) The Gitz are very very good at what they do, however the Venn diagram with “Winning” and “What the Gitz do well” does not have a lot of overlap. The Wings are fairly decent, as it’s pretty hard for an Elf team to do badly at this game, bless the Wings for giving it a good go though. With minimal inducements the Gitz are going to struggle as they’ll be out of their comfort zone in a big way, but then again, the Wings have been getting used to having 400,000+ to spend on inducements as well, so who knows how these two teams will handle actually playing a game with just their team. JoJo’s prediction: It’s Youth and Speed vs Experience and Sneakiness, if the Gitz get stuck in and rack up early casualties sufficient to cripple the wings running and passing game then it’s all to play for, but if they can’t get that good start then the lack of bribes will do for them.
(K) That Rangers game though. I mean, really. This season had been up and down, mostly down, for the Wings, right up until they went Karond Kar Corsairs all over the Rangers season. All of a sudden their postseason prospects look a lot more rosy. Lets be honest for a moment shall we? Noone, noone at all wanted to play the Gitz this year. While they haven’t quite achieved the success that marked their first season, the Gobbos have been a fabulous comedy of Blood Bowl fireworks since day one of the season and can cause absolutely anyone problems on their day.
Pretty tough to call this, the Wings have increased their stock a bunch since their early season struggles but, and this is a big but, they don’t have a lot of experience against teams like the Gitz. I might be going overboard here, but I’ve got a feeling the mean greens will edge a thriller.
Those damned dirty Goblins vs the Dark Elf team of the moment. Who writes this stuff? No-one wants to play the Gitz when Shigglez has stopped drinking and started to coach the team. They can be deadly as I found out to my cost. The Wings though have had a mixed season, rubbish start, rubbish middle, stonking end! You can’t buy that sort of 3-1 result when you need it and yet they snatched Super Bowl qualification away from the Rangers as if it were sweeties from a baby Halfling. So who will win this one. I think it will be down to pure casualties. If the Gitz win the toss, elect to receive and smack merry hell out of the Elves this one is over and the little green monsters go to the final. Anything else (unless the Wings give the ball to the gobbos) and it could be a lot closer.
Predicted Results: (K) Gitz & Shigglez win 3-2 (J) I’d like to predict a tie after full time 1-1 but I’ll say 2-1 Wings, no 2-1 Gitz, no 2-1 Wings I can’t decide (D) No one is scoring 3 in this match. 2-1 Gitz.
The League Knockout Cup
The Loren Rangers vs Innsmouth Shadows
(K) So close for the Rangers. That 3-way shootout for third place was awesome to watch but unfortunately someone had to lose, and the Rangers were those someones. The venerable Wood Elf kings of the League Cup have been spectacular at points this season and hilarious at others, but they’re on familiar soil here, and who’s betting against them? The Shadows might have avoided this game, but for a walkover awarded to the Big Socks, more on that later. A decent year for the Shadows really, a spectacular giant killing of the Tobacconists was a particular high point, while those famous wolves look just as nasty as always. What a game this is. Both of these teams can beat just about anyone in this league on their day, so this one really could swing in just about any direction. But I’m backing the Rangers to have one of their vintage League Cup days, and on days like that, no-one wants to be stood across the field.
(J) Here’s a blast from the past, the Shadows haven’t had a game against the Rangers in 6 years, and ever since the infamous Ball Handling incident of 08 they’ve been looking for a chance to even the score. The Shadows have got a good team with plenty of tackle (so to speak), but is even that enough to stop the Rangers? Time will tell. JoJo’s prediction: The Rangers have a good Win/Loss rating against the Shadows but that was some time ago. Expect a Shadows win.
(D) Well well well. This is a throw back to years gone by in the dusty annuls of HDWSBBL history. I saw the last game these two played against each other and I can honestly say I never saw a more one-sided match. The Rangers crushed the Shadows. That isn’t going to happen this time. The Shadows are more savvy than before but will the stop the Rangers? No. It’ll be close but the Rangers snatch it possibly in over time.
Predicted Results: (K) Rangers win 3-1 (J) Shadows take it 2-1 (D) Rangers win this 2-1 with a ton of injuries.
Slaaneshi Big Society vs Suderholm Snow Leopards
(K) Oh the poor poor Big Socks, you try all year to drop into the Shield, then you get handed a free win by the Queens and end up in the League Cup. Nonetheless, 3 wins is not to be sniffed at in a difficult division, so once again the Socks have failed by being too good. Like I said before I got banned from the stadium bar, I’m just putting this out there. The Snow Leopards will be a threat, a big threat in the future. They’ve been threatening a big result all season and they would have got one had it not been for some poor luck and a rocket-powered Skink. This could be a quiet classic here, both teams have decent prospects in the latter stages of this competition and neither will want the season to end here. I’ve spent half of this section talking up the Leopards however, so I aught to back them.
(J) Big Socks are going to be FURIOUS at having missed out on the Shield. Whether this will translate into furious damage to the lightly protected Snow Leopards, or loads of mistakes and apathy on the part of Big Socks is the real question that will determine how this game goes. The Snow Leopards coach runs a tight team and he knows his stuff… Big Society on the other hand can attribute their biggest and most infamous moments of glory to “being really really jammy”. Which doesn’t work as a long term Blood Bowl strategy. I’ve tried. JoJo’s Prediction: A team that doesn’t want to be here wont last long against one that does. Snow Leopards.
Another close run thing here but the Socks go hot and cold. If hot then they’ll smack the do-da out of the Norse. If cold they will be given the run around. I am going to agree with my colleagues here. Snow Leopards get it done.
Predicted results: (K) Snow Leopards win 2-1 (J) Snow Leopards 2-0 (D) Snow Leopards win 2-1
World Championship Super Bowl X
Talos Tobacconists vs Carcassonne Province Paladins
(K) The Tobacconists might have won the OWC, were it not for a pretty shocking loss to the Slammers. However, the big red machine is still scary as hell, and plenty would still back them to go all the way this year. I won’t, but that doesn’t mean I’d want to play them. Those light-in-the-loafer garlic munchers remain one of the most entertaining teams the league has to offer, a little fortunate to sneak into the big playoffs, perhaps, but no less deserving of it. The Paladins explosive offence has carried them this far, no reason to assume it cant carry them a bit further. I believe in lots of things that don’t exist, father christmas, the easter bunny and the Paladins defence. Indeed we’ve already seen what an aggressive defence can do against the Tobacconists, so I’m going to take the, possibly controversial, step of backing the humans for this one.
(J) The Paladins are a good team with a good coach. But the Baccies are a team of psychotic maniacs led by a filthy sadist. The Baccies strengths lie in shutting down the lighter and more agile teams, and the Paladins are going to really have an uphill battle to win here. It’s not outside the realms of possibility, but I’d say the odds favour the Baccies going into this. JoJo’s prediction: Like I said, you’ve got to go with the odds and say the Baccies.
Let’s get one thing straight this is a game with awesome offensive potential and that is not the insults the coaches will be shouting at each other. The Paladins can score at will and the Baccies have more scoring options than any other team being able to pass and grind. I’m going to say this one will be a shoot out with the Humans just taking it if they can keep men on the pitch.
Predicted Results: (K) Paladins win 2-1 (J) Baccies 2-1 (D) Paladins squeak it 3-2
Teotigua Predators vs Lustrian Snake Queens
(K) A solid second for the Lizardmen, not good enough to catch the mighty Defilers but plenty good enough to stay ahead of the rest of the division. Quite a lot of positives to take with them into the playoffs, but some lacklustre performances will play on the mind. Believe it or not, the Queens have played until the end of some games this season, and when they have, they’ve been pretty impressive. It’s likely, however, that this season will be remembered more for the games they didn’t finish than the ones they did. This Lustrian derby may well be settled in the trenches, if those big, nasty Saurus can put plenty of hurt on the Amazons then the Queens might be home before the full time whistle.
(J) The Predators are going to struggle I think, the Snake Queens are just as good as they’ve always been and whilst the Predators have done well to get this far, I don’t know if they have what it takes to get past this hurdle. JoJo’s prediction: LSQ, but at this level of play you can never discount either team.
A wonderful match-up here. However, I think aggressive defence from the lizards and a rocket skink sees them through with the LSQ quitting mid second half.
Predicted Results: (K) Predators win 2-0 (J) LSQ win 2-1 (D) Predators win 2-0
Well that is it for the first round of predictions. Who will be right and who will be wrong? Don’t forget it is 1 point for a right result with a further 2 bonus points for the correct score. Who will be victorious this year?
See you Pitchside – The Doc