Too Long; Didn't Watch

With the Grand Final closing in, you see the chatter augment. Conjectures spring out like mushrooms after the rain, coaches go in a frenzy of analysis and hypothesis. And you are stuck in this maelstrom, afraid to acknowledge you did not follow the semi-finals. Well, fear no more my friend, we are here for you once again!
With our latest number, learn about the semi-finals match-ups, the coaches' play-off runs and state of mind, the players to watch and much more! For those of you still not in the mood to watch the game in their entirety, check the whole new Spoiler button, just for you! TL;DW : all the tools to make you the new top armchair strategist around the water cooler!


Elements of Style vs Deadly Nightshade
Mystaes (Wood Elves) vs AndyDavo (Dark Elves)
Twitch Vod: part 1  part 2 (Cast by: SuperFed, Metal, Krusader, Swagtusk )

Overview: The Elvish semi-final some have been calling for. A match-up that should please everyone: Elf coaches will enjoy the "beautiful game" and gloat about the superiority of natural AG4, their detractors will relish in the definite proof that Elves are overpowered and should be taken down.

Mystaes already equalized the record of distance in the playoffs for a Wood Elves team and will aim to fly the REL colors in the final. Refusing to be casted as a serious contender in order not to be jinxed, he went through a string of teams punchier than him. But that is a given when you play Woodies, ain't it? He also took down own a season-old Skaven team to step into the semi-finals, just to prove a Dash teams will not stop him either. His natural One-Turner will be his ace-in-the-hole, as it should.

Facing him, from GMAN comes AndyDavo; with his own season-old Dark Elves team. Bringing the bashiest of pointy ears to the table, his playoffs run was more of a mixed bags and this match-up would indeed be his second Elf-off. Having survived the onslaught of Ficction in Quarterfinals, he will aim to take his beloved Dark Elves into the final, after a single season. While his passion for surfing is of meme fame, his 7458 Blodge MB Blitzer is probably the piece you want to keep an eye on.

Choice Cut: How to say "Hi" in Druhir.


The Mesozoic Mighty Men vs RRMafia Mumblerats
Cakengrad (Lizardmen) vs Kummostern (Skaven)
Twitch Vod (Cast by: Harringzord, Krusader)

Overview: This could be called the "slayer semi", for both contestants took the scalp of a former Champion. Another rather "light" semi-final match-up as an added bonus for Bash team haters. Both races also proved being capable of clutching a title, which will add to the tension.

Cakengrad arrives in semis with a Triple Scalp, having defeated teams both heavier and lighter than his REL lizards. Amongst his victims lay the defending Champion, BleedinHippy; as well as RandomBoy, whose LuckerNoob™ wild streak was finally snuffed out by Cakengrad in Quarters. His no-nonsense Lizards will certainly be backed by many, being both the bashiest race still in play and in position to kick out the last rats out of the competition. With no superstar in his roster, Cake can still count on his 9237 Blodgestep SureHands Skink to hold the ball dearly.

Kummostern also had an interesting journey, which saw him go through a double layer of Necros interspersed with a serving of Chaos. Kummostern demonstrated that friendship his no obtacle either by defeating his GMAN fellow: former title holder, and friend, Sage. His roster is quite the opposite of the Lizards, resembling more a box of specialized tools than rats from the same litter. With a POMB killer, a couple of sackers and a +AG thrower you would forget Kummo also fields a natural one-turner...

 Choice Cut: Mastery of the Lizard playbook.


Elements of Style vs Deadly Nightshade 

First Half.
The first half started with Wood Elves receiving. Claiming a re-roll on the kick-off event, they quickly decided to set up and push on their left flank. The reply by Dark Elves did not wait, with a first blitz action claiming the life of a rookie linelf. After trading a handful of pushes the two team locked up, jockeying for position on the left side of the pitch. Hard pressed, the Wood Elves resolved to open a hole for their natural one-turner along the sideline. A few dodges and GFIs later, he scored the first touchdown of the game. 1-0 for the Elements of Style.

With a few turns to reply, Deadly Nightshade revived the ball and positioned themselves to push along their own left side. The Wood Elves replied and manned their right flank. The Dark Elves then tried to capitalize on the fall of the treeman to switch the play towards the other wing. As many expected a wizard to strike, Woodies jumped on the occasion and tried to highjack the play in the midfield. But no wizard was called, and premature re-roll use led to to a critical dice failure as the leaping wardancer tried to sack the ball carrier. With the rest of the team out of position on account of the early turnover, the Wood elves had little choice but leaving their opponents with a path to score before half-time. 1-1. Both wizards still in play and both coaches entering the second half with a finger on the trigger.

Second Half.
The second half opened with a Blitz in favor of Elements of Style, giving them a shot at positioning a catcher under the ball under the nose of Deadly Nightshade. Dark Elves quickly stunned the inopportune visitor, picked the ball back,  and passed downfield in order to push quickly on their right flank. Their foray into the enemy half was stopped with a lightning bolt, leaving the ball lying on the floor at the mercy of the Wood Elves. The fever took hold of the spectators as the Wood Elves moved the ball up field and peaked when a rookie catcher zeroed on the endzone. Fate was against Elements of Style for the second time, with the catcher being caught by a last second tripwire. 

The Dark Elves then recollected, and started their advance again. Setting up a  slower  pace,  they forced the Wood Elves into taking riskier actions. With the ball lovingly nestled in the hands of a witch elf, Deadly Nightshade moved forward while denying the attempts from their opponents to steal the ball. Their progression was accompanied by the grunts of Blood Bowl traditional tune "One Turner Gang Fouled Repeatedly Into Stuns" emanating from their end of the pitch. Scoring on their half of turn 16, Deadly Nightshade thus changed the score to 2-1 in their favor.

Wood Elves then prepared  for a last ditch action to draw the game and defend their chance in Overtime. Their One Turn Touchdown attempt seemed doomed when the Dark Elves came up with a Perfect Defense! But that was without counting with the Elements of Style ability to find a way. With their natural one-turner still on the pitch they managed to find a hole and plant the ball in the opposing endzone once more. 2-2 into Overtime.

Overtime.
With two Elvish teams on the pitch, spectators and commentators knew that the one starting on offense had a tremendous advantage. And the Wood Elves won the toss! Setting up for a second One-Turn attempt in that many turns, the fate of Deadly Nightshade seemed to hang on a thin string of dice. But Fate, or Nuffle, had another trick in their bag. An extremely rare conjunction of events caused the Wood Elves to leave the pitch, and unable to return in time!
The most extravagant playoffs cliffhanger until this day left crowds with frayed nerves and sent the admin team screaming in panic, as they flicked through their dusty rule books.
Finally, a decision was taken between the players and the admin team. The game was reset in the conditions of the Overtime kick-off and Elements of Style would try again to score. A challenge that was clearly acceptable for a Wood Elves team. With another one turn attempt succeeding, the Elements of Style chalked  the final score up at 3-2 and set foot in their first ever ReBBL final. 

Mesozoic Mighty Men vs RRMafia Mumblerats

First Half.
The second semi-finals saw the entrance on the pitch of 12 rats against 13 lizards accompanied by a wandering apothecary. The Mumblerats set up to receive before the kick-off. Carried on gentle gust of wind, the ball was kicked deep through the azure sky, sure sign of a nice Blood Bowl weather. The rats managed to KO a saurus on their first action, which triggered the immediate intervention of the extra apothecary.
As the Mighty Men circle and smothered their opponents, the rats armor held long enough for them to find a hole a move a single Gutter Runner carrying the ball in the opposition backfield. However, the Lizards managed to pressure that ball while punching rats, which left the natural one-turner stunned on the pitch after a punch and a well place kick. The Mumblerats got the message and scored early. 1-0 in their favor.

The Mesozoic bunch received for their first offensive drive, after the ball flew into their back field carried on a gentle gust of wind, again confirming the meteorological status of the game. Their offense drew their first victim almost instantly, with Kuro the +AG rat thrower leaving the field feet first. The rest of the lizard offense was a slow and methodical "Conga Cage" forward and up the middle, with an extra removal for flavor.
Their opponents managed to remove a skink out. After a risky foul that saw one of their skinks ejected, the Mighty men left their carrier wide open to a hit. An opportunity Kummostern jumped on, managing to sack the ball carrier and put the ball on the grass! However, Cakengrad managed to salvage the situation and quickly scored to close the first half. 1-1.

Second Half.
The second half started with another kick-off offering a gentle gust of - you get the gist. The Mighty Men went on offense, aiming to remove more rat before scoring. They alas made the funest decision of leaving a Gutter Runner tagging the saurus at the corner of one cage, which left the door open to some Gutter Runner magic. Despite a response by the lizards leaving some of the RRMafia a bit punchy on the pitch, the latter managed to stall and score with their ill-gotten ball on turn 12. 2-1 for the Mumblerats.

On offense for the third time, the Mighty Men saw with horror their opponents go on a Blitz! and pressure them quickly. Cakengrad rallied his troops and progressed forward on the left flank, slowly but surely. Managing to remove the POMBer from the pitch, he switched the play towards the other wing; while Kummostern applied guerilla tactics to slow the lizard offense. A last dash by Vinny, crossing the Skaven half in a long diagonal, allowed the Mighty Men to tie the game on their turn 16. 2-2, Kummostern to reply.

Cakengrad set up his team to defend against a One-Turn Touchdown attempt, Kummostern set up his aiming for it, hoping to kill the game here and there and avoid Overtime. The kick was shallow on the Skaven right flank, but the crowd knew that despite their Brilliant Coaching, the reptiles were in a tough spot.
Kummostern picked up the ball, sent it to his one-turner and the spectators could only watch him run down field. A filed dodge to pass behind a Saurus called for a re-roll, but the suspense was cut short when the ball carrier made it to the endzone. 3-2 for Kummostern's RRMafia Mumblerats.
For the second time in as many semi-finals, a natural one-turner sent his team in the grand final.


Acknowledgement.
As always credits go to the admins, the tech geniuses, the broadcasters, the playoffs coaches and those in the crowd. Without all of them the league, the playoffs, the atmosphere would never be that great. Thank you, for giving us news writer so much quality material to work with and write about. 

- Zee

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