"A Brief Encounter With"
Since I started doing the interviews, some of the coaches came to me asking about different things. Some wanted to know if I planned to interview someone specifically, some wanted to know when the interviews would be published, some wanted to know the criteria I used, others wanted to know why I hadn't interviewed them already; and surprisingly no one asked me to stop yet.
Today's interlocutor is one that asked me several questions about them, and encouraged me to keep going. As my project entered its "full Big O" phase it felt natural to give him an early opportunity.
The coach I bring to you today is a Kiwi, pretty active on the local Table Top scene as you will see. He joined ReBBL during season 8, not unlike Serj, and now coaches "Da Git Mob", the Big O - Division 3 resident Orc team. Dear readers, today I treat you to : Geoffro !
As a foreword, I want to humbly acknowledge my own failings. Knowing close to nothing about Geoffro and, focusing on his team results added to the fact he joined the league last season, I assumed he possibly was a newer player who came into ReBBL recently, probably with an "innocent" take on Blood Bowl. How quickly did I realise my mistake...
First of all, "Geoffro", where does it come from?
My name is Geoff. My name somehow got abbreviated by people during tourneys etc to Geoffro. So I used it as my NAF name, I come from tabletop world. NAF is the official group that runs it if you did not know.
I indeed heard you played Table Top, is this how you got into Blood Bowl?
Yes, I play quite a few different gaming systems. 40k, AOS, Bolt action, Infinity and also Blood Bowl would be the main ones.
When did you start Blood Bowl?
I first played Blood Bowl when I was 14 with friends. Just casually in a 4 man league mucking around as young teens. Also some Dungeon Bowl for funsies. I had a long break and picked it up again about 4-5 years ago.
I see! When did you join the ReBBL then?
This would be my first proper season, I played about 4 games in 4A last season. Mira slotted me into a gap because he had a dropout. I did not play Rookie League or anything like that, just straight into Big O.
I'm rather new with orcs thought I'd try teams I have not used in BB2, I normally roll with Undead, Nekro, Norse, Chorfs.
Talking about your Orcs, how did you pick the theme?
I wanted them to be very "orky". So words Like 'Da' or 'Dem' needed to be in there. Also to me Orks are very mob like. I can just see a mob of Orks surrounding a bunch of poor useless elves on the pitch and screaming out 'GET DA GIT'.
I have 0 love for anything with pointy ears =]
Since Geoffro's mob seems to be having a few issues this season with casualties and limited results, I inquired about his future plans.
Do you plan to continue in the Big O next season?
Yes I do!
With your mob or are you considering rerolling?
I am unsure. I have considered re rolling, but in the back of my mind this is really only my first season with the Orcs. So perhaps they do need a little more time to develop. Also if you have seen many of my games, it's like my Greenskins are out there in paper bags there armour is shit!
If I reroll, I think it will be to High Elf kind, I have been told by wise men it is best to try and use that which you hate. Know your enemy.
Sounds familiar enough...
I saw you joined Upstart, but is there any other ReBBL format you'd like to try? Like the 1mn/1Day tourneys/ Elfly Open
I jumped in Upstart 'cos RoadWarrior wanted to boost numbers. I'm all into helping out community. I help run a league and also organise a tourney here in Auckland, so I know what it's like when you need numbers and it's cool to just have good people around you. "1 min" does not interest me too much, I have not looked too much into the tourneys. I could be keen on a 1 dayer. I probably would have entered into World Cup if I was around when it was all happening.
Ever considered getting on the news / admin / casting side of things?
Admin would be interesting. If I was to choose any of those 3 it would probably be that. I def don't have your talent with words. And I'd rather game than cast! 'Cos I play a fair few other PC games too. Big ups to those guys though it's like a constant job, they are machines.
Broadcasting sure ain't easy, Krusader et al. just make it look that way.
Also, I mostly copy/paste what you guys say, so you guys make the interview quality, not me.
So, until now, what do you consider your proudest achievement in your BB years, TT or Online?
Ok, so last year I got a 3rd place in Wellington with my Undead after losing to some Lizardmen. That was the first time I've been on the podium. There would have been close to 30 coaches. Also later on that year at a tourney here in Auckland I did 34 fouls in 5 games for 13 send offs, I also was playing for first place there but got dropped to 4th with a loss.
Other proudest moment would be in Basic Auckland League where I pitched cleared Orks with High Elves =]
Tourneys are awesome, there is a huge social aspect of getting drunk as hell, chatting with all the boys. Good food, good people. Always a beer in hand for your first game, the next morning seedy as hell.
Pitch clearing Orks with High Elves...
Despite your ability to play drunk, what do you consider are your strengths and weaknesses?
Im a very good basher/fouler. I like to get numbers advantage and then steam roll my opponent. I'm all for the 2-1 grind. I'm also not afraid to think out of the box and throw an Orc pass play or change up direction. If I can hit the ball without too many stupid dice, I pretty much always will. Pressure the ball and hussle the surrounding players. Downside is you can get wrapped up in bashing and loose focus, then you get elfed. Which often is their plan. Also if your dice are dry, your bashing will not go too well. With slow teams like my Orcs in Big O, which I'm not experienced with, I need to improve my positioning. You really can't make mistakes or a good player will take advantage of your bad position. I could also do with trying a few more teams as I have not used them all which means when you play against them, you really don't have much idea what they can do...
You mentioned "Wise Persons" that gave you advice, is there any coach around you you'd like to pick a card from their deck of skills?
Yes, Sandune. When I was looking at getting back into Blood Bowl about 4-5 years ago in Auckland, I went online and found out about a group called 'The ABBF', Auckland Blood Bowl Federation. I sent them off an email about being interested, etc. I heard back from Sandune who was running it. He said to come along down to a club, have a chat about the league and all that stuff. I was keen as, so I met him there on a Saturday. I think he had a game. I watched a bit then he gave me the run down and, long story short, I signed up for the next season. The season was rolled and Sandune was using Halflings! I can't remember what I had but I was like "OMG you're using 'Flings!" I was really average 'cos I had not played for a long time. We had an awesome time and I was hooked.
Sandune eventually left Auckland and handed the League over to me, and now my friend and I run it. Sandune is all about the community, he has set up many leagues in a few places around NZ. He got me in the NZ tourney scene. I also went to Aussie with him for state champs a couple years ago. Sandune is probably the best player I know. He makes little mistakes and is a great positioner. he always uses a different team per tourney 'cos he's trying to get through all the teams. He has given me plenty of advice on many things, not just Blood Bowl. Great friend, Great to have in a community and Bloody hard to beat!
With your experience, what kind of advice would you give to coaches looking to develop?
My advice to any coaches would be to plan your team out skill wise: have a plan for each player that fits in nicely with your overall dream. A Killer. A Baller. A few utilities, etc. Stick to your plan. Also plan for doubles and stats in there somewhere to.
Always have a game plan. Don't go into a game blind. Even it fails at least you had a plan.You can always go back and see if your plan was sound, if you think not, adjust and try a new one. This plan should vary between what teams you are facing. Force your opponent to roll dice. This is how you win at Blood bowl. Often try harder rolls than a few 2+. Otherwise you still may just get diced. Don't be afraid to go for the Bull shit Jammy play. Dodging into tackle zones on a 5+ with a RR is like a 50% chance. Sack the ball uphill with wrestle, etc. Throwing long bombs. I seen it all happen. Roll the dice and see what happens. If you don't roll, it can never be.
I took the liberty to add some illustration somewhere in there, if you will all allow me this disgusting self-promotion.
Is that how you prepare for your games : check the opponent, work a plan, then try to work on that and adapt with what happens on the field?
Yes. I go in with a game plan, sometimes not sound - but that's ok. As you know you have to be adaptable on the field. I personally like to be aggressive if I can. Obviously this can change. Pressure the ball. Line up lots of blocks. Drop fouls. always leave sweepers. so if your opposition breaks through he may score unless he wants to get beat down more. If they wanna stall : just line their players up, hit them with Mighty Blow and then a +5 foul.
I can do this all day, you may run out of men for the next drive. Fair trade off to me.
Sometimes you just have to admire such commitment to Bash. Khorne might even briefly notice it.
Which player skill do you have the most fun with?
Most fun? Multi block, or a DE Assassin. So shit but I love it.
More practical? Mighty Blow. Im a MB over Guard guy. Little Guard, More MB. Hit 'em hard and watch 'em drop like flies. MB for LOS hitting, Blitzing, Marking with Tackle... You get my drift.
I think we all caught Geoffro's drift, it's called a wake of chaos, death and destruction.
What about kick-off events, any of them you hate with a vengeance?
yes throw a rock, Always kills a Black Orc. At least 1 a season.
Dunno why. Dat crowd got beef wiff da Orks.
Since you hate the Rocks, is your favorite stadium enhancement the sandwich stand ?
Im actually really unfamiliar with the stadiums 'cos its not on Fumbbl or tabletop, kinda learning as I go. So far I have been surfed by Julian for a +1 injury ( got a -MA there) and run over constantly by Sharpy's Deathroller where we both had a bribe. But he killed my Dirty Player...
That's a way to experience them, yes ...
So if you could change 1 thing in BB , what would you pick?
I'd like Human catchers to be Strength 3 but still Av7, maybe 70k, just Dodge...Well they're Human, they should be S3. Price? I'm not sure.... A Blitzer is 7 3 3 8 Block 90k. Catcher 8 3 3 7 Dodge 80k?
Do you listen to anything while playing BB, music or podcasts?
Not podcasts. But I have music in the background, usually rock/metal. BUT sometimes if I'm really feeling it I'll bust out the dance party beats. Often loose focus then.
I have the focus of a 9yr old man, doesn't take much to distract me.
Any snack and drink to recommend for those long BB games?
Always have a beer when you play Blood Bowl of any form, Nuffle demands it. Usually no snacks. Well... not necessarily beer, alcohol of some form. It's bad luck in my eyes not to. That's how I was raised in BB.
If you read the others, you noticed I always ask people to do my job and give me One Question I have to ask. Walkerthon, just before you, put one I found pretty fitting for you.
Despite Blood Bowl's fickle nature, why do you keep coming back to play?
I play quite a few systems but the thing I love about Blood Bowl is there are very few dice compared to other games, Therefore making each roll quite important to the game. When 1's fail they hurt; but when the 6's come you love them. It makes a game exciting. You do your free moves, safe 2D blocks then you roll a few dice. Or a lot of dice if your opponent has done well. Also the randomness of the kick off events make it quite fun.
The basics of Blood Bowl are simple but to become very good requires a lot of time and skill. Just roll and hope for the best, this can work for you in Blood Bowl. Love it! Very clever system, probably Games Workshop's best.
And now it's your turn to give me a question I should ask in my list
"When everything has turned to shit, and it's totally your fault from a shit play, what do you do to stop yourself from tilting too bad and get yourself back in the game?"
Thank you very much to Geoffro for taking the time to answer those questions, after a long day too.
I learned how skewed it could be to judge a player on his leaderboard results alone. The discussion proved how mistaken I was, and bloody interesting as well ! 10/10 - Will not assume again.