A Brief Moment With...
As the new season starts, I keep walking Big O's trodden and less trodden trails. Last season took me on a journey into many exotic places, to meet with mad men, stat freaks, laughing coaches and fierce competitors. My search was not vain, but I found out that by looking for the spirit of the Big O, I was also changing it. Embracing chasing my own tail, I chose to roll with it. This is the next step on this journey into searching, and shaping, what makes the Big O what it is.
My first guest of the season is one I respect and always enjoy talking to. He proves that not all the cool kids are in the southern or eastern part of Australia. A CCL experimenter, roller of subpar dice, he hates taking unpunished half-die and 1D block to the face. Co-winner of the tipping comp in season 8, you'll see him proudly use his ReBBL mug on stream. For he streams his own games, and more, being the recapper for Big O's
purgatory Division 2 this season. Member of clan O2 where he plays Undead, this is the coach of "The Nurgtown Crooners", the one and only : Cynergy.
This interview was a long time coming and originally planned to be released earlier than that. Hence material irrelevant with actuality was culled out, so were some discussions that might have been fueled by fatigue and Scotland most famous beverage, and we're not talking Irn-Bru here ...
Where did you get your nickname from? It is not very common.
That's kind of the reason I've stuck with it. When I was a young lad, dialing up to the internet, using ICQ, I used to go by Griffon. I remember getting advice from my cousin, who goes by Wolf. that a good online nickname is something simple maybe an animal. The problem with griffon, as I grew older was that in games like WoW the name would be taken.
Picking names in WoW was the most difficult thing: I remember trying to make a rogue and trying to settle on a name. I was searching for terms around energy, being they're an energy based class and combos.Synergy came to mind but it was taken (and is also the name of an electrical company in Western Australia). I then thought about Cynergy and discovered it wasn't taken, I decided it was a mish mash of cynical and energy, which suits me because I am a miserable cynical person in general.
How long have you been playing Blood Bowl for now?
Yeah, I only picked up Blood Bowl 2 last year when LE came out I refused to buy it before then because of the crap DLC structure. I bought BB1, BB1 LE, BB1 chaos edition then BB2 came out with so many little teams. It got me angry enough to not give them more money. But I first played Blood Bowl back in, I'm going to guess here... the mid 90s.
My cousins are much older than me, say 10 years plus, and they were playing at my aunties house every week. So my brother and I were asked to join: there would have been at least 8 of us, we had a mini league running. We had to buy a team and everything, which for me.. I must have been... 13? 12 even. Maybe 14 or 15 max. But yeah, we decided to pick teams the others did not already have, I picked up the chaos all stars boxed team. It comes with 3 warriors and 9 Beastmen, I still have the box and the metal dudes on the shelf behind me, unpainted.
How and when did you decide to jump into ReBBL then?
I only ever got to play short leagues with friends,I wanted something better. Found ReBBL somehow, found the sign ups and away I went... Looked down the spreadsheet for a team that didn't have anyone, and picked amazons. Obviously being a LE team there wasn't many around anyway so decided to join in and test the waters. I'm not a very sociable person so I wasn't sure if I'd like it, but I loved it: the casting of the games, the really good people chatting and hanging out, the coverage of finals, the content that everyone creates, etc. It sucked me in...
I remember sweating like crazy during my first cast: chest pounding, stumbling over my words... Must have been towards the end of my first season. I must have covered my own game first or something, I can't remember, but the emails tell me followers started in February, and then I found myself doing weekly recaps with Tommo. Then I was doing them by myself, then I got Nick, such a legend.
For those who haven't yet I recommend watching Cynergy's broadcasts. His personal laid back style and cynical commentary always make for a good moment.
For example where do you think you are as a BB coach, the good points, the bad ones ?
I have no answers. I'm a specialist of nothing in Blood Bowl. I don't think I've found my niche. I'm always learning from my mistakes. and I try to play all the races. I don't think I'm a particularly good Nurgle player, but I think I'm getting better, I'm not sure I'm totally suited to them though.
That's him being humble as usual.Trust me he's rough to play against: always deliberate, hard to tilt despite what he might claim, he'll make any game a puzzle to riddle out.
Where do you think your difficulties lie with Nurgle ? The offense, the defense, the speed ?
I think my defence is generally better than my offence. My fouling game ebbs and flows, I really need to concentrate on it as a valid tactic. There was a period in the first season that I concentrated on manufacturing good fouls and it helped my game play. But I think lately I haven't been doing it well enough or thinking about it at all...
I struggle on offence getting up the field. Switching left to right is something I want to do, but can't with Nurgle, and I've done it anyway sometimes and it's failed me...
After all do Cyanide themselves not advertise Nurgle as "Frustrating on Defence ... Frustrating on Offence"?
Why did you pick Beatles songs for them though?
Umm... Towards the end of the 'Zon season, I played a bit of Nurgle on CCL, and made a Beatles theme. Because it made sense with 4 main pillars, and the pupper become Sgt Pepper. So it was straight up Sgt Pepper, John, George, Paul and Ringo.
When it came to the proper ReBBL season, I wanted to put some real effort in; and typically the pun names in Blood Bowl have been there since it's inception, so I amped it up. Pepper became Pupper. And Gorge and Mcgastroney were born... Then I went with album titles for the Pestis, and singles for the rotters. It's becoming harder and harder with each name though. And while "Yellow Grubmarine" and "A Hard Days Blight" returned to the pitch remastered, Magical Dysentery Tour is too long of a name for rmst...
Ensues discussion about season 9, strings of bad dice, how to face them and how best to give a Blockless Beast of Nurgle 1SPP without having it dying on a triple Both Down.
Any other race you think about playing after your UD and Nurgle adventures?
I've been considering Necro. But there's too many of them in ReBBL, I have a Necro team on the shelf behind me, in metal. And theres a tabletop event in March... I'm considering going, even though I've never been nor played TT since the 90s... The idea is the deadline will give me something to work towards with actually getting the team painted. I have Amazons up there too...
Discussion then segued into varied topics one again, it felt more long a long overdue catching up than a professional interview by that point. But don't tell that to my supervisor.
Until now, what is the proudest waste of time you had in BB?
I have a terrible memory... Making it into Harringzord's finals hype videos as a caster felt pretty damn good. And hearing that people enjoy me wasting my time casting games is really nice. The odd mention I've had in the ReBBL Alliance podcast, just being nominated in the Nufflies... We'll see how we go this season with coverage.
You said Sweltering Heat was stupid, any other Kick Off event you hate more ?
Mmm... Heat's probably the most annoying, it's affected me more so than others.
No unhappy Rock yet ?
KO rock: yes. But not death
Is there any player skill you're particularly having fun with ?
Does Agi count? Tentacles? They're fun. Especially +Str Tents.
I'd love my 4th Pesti to roll +Agi, then i could make a receiver/retriever: +Agi, Extra Arms, Two Heads... It probably won't happen though... And the 4th will be a surfer, which is fine too.
I do enjoy chain plays a lot. There's been a couple turn 8 turn 16 plays of mine that involved chain pushing a player into scoring. Feels good to see the chain pushes that an opponent hasn't seen or didn't work around when placing his/her pieces.
Chainpushes are a good standard to know that you're not a noob coach anymore.
Anything you eat or drink while playing and not casting ?
Usually just water, or nothing at all. Or coffee if its one of my weekend morning games.
We heard tales about that ReBBL mug being used for other than water and coffee, Sir...
What about music? We play a lot of stuff when you cast, but what kind of music do you tend to listen to when chat's not around playing some ?
Usually a lot of stuff that falls under the 'alternative' banner. When Pandora Radio was around in Aus, the most listened too station of mine was one created by telling it to play music like a band called Alt-j. Don't even know if they're still around.
The last coach to give me a question was Hiruma and it was : "If you had to make one skills access adjustment to your team (one + and one -, same piece) what would it be, if at all?" I guess we circle back to that Pestigor talk from earlier, or is there another piece you'd prioritize?
I guess it might be nice to have 2 General / Agi access Pestis, and 2 General / Str access Pestis. That would give you a ball carrier and a marker/sacker access. But really dodge is all you want from Agi. I guess at a stretch you could say Diving Tackle. But with mutation access you already have a lot of options.
My thanks to Cynergy for taking the whole evening, and finally enduring the dreaded interview to come. Glad that it was my 50th article for season 9. I hope it was easier to go through than you thought.
Again, for those not from the Big O that haven't watched him yet, check him out, you shan't be disappointed.