12 questions to … Morka
It is known that the Big O is the smallest of the three ReBBL conferences. For those who are not sure yet: we are the conference living in what others call "future time", with mostly coaches living in Australia, New Zealand and dotted across Asia. Plus a few differently scheduled coaches from other parts of the world.
Since I joined last season, I have been wondering what are the elements of the Big O identity; besides our narrower pool of coaches and geographical location. Hence my decision to start a series of interviews with the coaches, admins, broadcasters and other Big O residents to help me on my quest in search of the spirit of the Big O.
I was lucky enough to start my journey with a household name of the Big O: Mr Morka himself.
As a quick reminder, Morka is an Australian coach and admin, who balances family life and love for the game. He is part of the renowned [O] clan and ran the Wood Elf team "White Line" with its famed Wardancer, Lird'nor. He's currently coaching another Woodies team, "School of Dance", in the division 3 for the season 9 of the Big O. Last season, for their first one, School of Dance went 9-3-1 with 37 TD scored in the regular season, before winning their Round of 64 play-off game in Overtime and bowing out on the Round of 32.
After harassing Morka to have him accept my request and offering the usual greetings, I started with a few classic questions, to have a better grasp of my interlocutor's relationship with Blood Bowl.
Q: How long have you been playing Blood Bowl for ? And how much of that in the ReBBL?
A: I have played Blood Bowl since 3rd edition, about 1994-5 I think. And I joined ReBBL in season 3, with about 5 games to go. But I have played online since the OLBBL which was run on the very old Avi Stetto Client.
Q: Your actual team's track record speaks volume about your experience with Wood Elves. Have you always been a Woodies coach or do you have a secret love for another race ?
A: No, my love is for the agility of Wood Elves. I played Orcs, Dwarves and Humans originally, because I had the miniatures. But I love the passing game and going after the ball, Woodies do it best.
Q: With such a long and varied experience, do you feel there is still a compartiment of the game you could improve in ? Or maybe you see something in the playstyle of other coaches you would like to emulate ?
A: My weakness is defense, I would love to defend as well as, say, Sandune or Luminous; but I tend to build teams all about offense and stealing the ball. It is only at High TV I need to make adjustments, so I am always learning new things even still.
Since I used the pretext of the launch of One Minute Showtime Season 4 to start my interviews, I then tried to steer the conversation towards it and its Big O division, the Speed O.
Q: You are one of One Minute Showtime admins for season 4. What do you personally get out of being an admin for the Big O and now the Speed O ?
A: I have run internet leagues for EA Sports prior to having BB2 in my life. I just enjoy the gamew and being that I do not take myself too seriously, I am happy to talk to anyone and share advice. And encourage people to play. The only reward is respect from the peers we have here, and I feel I have it. So I will continue to make myself available.
Q: Which EA games did you manage leagues for, before turning to BB2 ?
A: I was running an EA Sportz Ice Hockey league online for a couple of years, when you had to connect by phone direct. Only stopped doing that after having kids, which is a funny story. [My son]* used to sit on my lap and help me play as a 2-3 year old. One day he thought he would teach his mates Ice Hockey: 4 boys running around the front yard with sticks and a tennis ball; then, after a goal, he chucked his own stick and yelled, "NOW WE FIGHT!". Mrs Morka banned me from Ice Hockey.
*Name redacted for privacy purposes
Q: So, for the season 4 of Speed O, you're rocking a High Elf team, "Here if you NEED", centered around the gimmick of net ball - step and pass. How did you come to pick it ?
A: I coach my daughters netball team, which is also the naming scheme. It will be fun going all Agi skills and trying to pass up the field, the whole team will have dodge - catch - pass, which will be silly. I really have no idea how sucessful it will be in one minute turns.
Q: If you had to pick a die roll or result (2+, dub skulls, 6s, etc.) to symbolize your team trajectory this season in the Speed O, which one would you choose ?
A: 2+. Because by the time they skill up a little I will rely heavily on 2+. Game one I will make the passes throw back and forth until i get enough spps for a skill.
Finally, because I heard that is what you should do, I planned a segment with a series of quick questions about my interviewee's tastes.
Q: Which type of game to you prefer to watch : a good old 2-1 grind with an extra dose of cas, a 4-3 shoot-out with a side of ancy dodges and passes, or a nail biter with a miracle last minute BS play ? (I'm pretty sure we can guess the answer there)
A: I love the shoot out with the BS finish, so a combo of 2 and 3.
Q: We all know your love for the "Blitz" kick-off event, and that it loves you too. But which event do you hate the most ?
A: Pitch Invasion is my least favourite
Q: When it comes to player skills, which one is your favorite ? And which one will not have you shed any tears over, if it disappears ?
A: Dodge is my favourite, as you can imagine. Kickoff Return is probably the one I would never use.
Q:I know you just came back from dinner, but what would you recommend as snack and beverage for those long Blood Bowl matches ?
A: I normally do not eat or drink when playing , but will sometimes have some red wine, or a beer in summer.
I came packing an extra one, to see if I could get my interlocutor to do some of the work for me.
Q: Fyrs, a newcomer this season in the Big O, is next on the list; any question you'd like me to ask him ? Or is there any question you feel I should ask in general ?
A: hmm, I do not know... Ask him what or who got him into Bloodbowl. I cannot think of anything else to ask, really. Maybe "Do you have any proud moments in Bloodbowl?"
Many thanks to Morka, for his patience and availability. Really.
You can find him in the admin staff ot the ReBBL, he's regularly popping up on the ReBBl Discord as well. And if you see him scheduled to play, have a peek, for his games with Woodies are worth stopping for.
I will continue on my quest to find the spirit of the Big O. Next step: my interview with Fyrs.
I wish to question as many Big O coaches as possible, hopefully keeping a steady rythm of at least two a week. So stay tuned for more of this, unless death threats stop my investigation.