When you talk with people from all over ReBBL there are always names that create a general consensus around them; albeit for different reasons: sheer authority, working capacity, devotion to the cause, murdering frenzy or commitment to the Beautiful Game™. My guest today is one of those whose name usually generates approving respectful nods as many would call him a prized member of ReBBL.
Hailing from the US, he has been a staple member of REL for many seasons; he also streams regularly for the delight of his followers, so do not hesitate to stop by and say "01001000 01101001". He recently won the Huge Jackedman Memorial Cup 5 and claimed ReBBL supreme title for season 5 with the Skaven swarm Pastry Pests. These days you will find him herding his coven of Vampires, the Gourmet Governors, in the dark depths of REL10C.
Ladies and gentleman, I proudly introduce: Luminous_Light.
Luminous_Light: first rays.
I always start by asking people: "What is the story being your nickname? How did you end up with it?"
A lot of people have really old nicknames and I am not really much of an exception to that. I had trouble really finding a name for the longest time probably around a decade ago. I had a fascination with paladins and would have some name like that but nothing really never stuck. When registering a multiplayer account Warhammer 40k Dawn of War, the name I usually was taking at the time was "Light_Warrior" was taken and it gave me some pretty odd suggestions. One of them was Luminous_Light, which I ended up sticking with.
You've been playing games for a while then?
Yeah I have certainly been playing them for most of my life. I am not as old relative to many people in the leagues, though I guess now a days there are some people who are younger than me. I started gaming on an old windows 3.1 system with some stock games that my parents installed on it. Stuff like Jazz Jackrabbit, Clyde's Adventure, Hocus Pocus, and some other DOS games. Got a Gameboy and got introduced to Zelda Links Awakening and a variety of games. When I got my N64 was probably when I really started getting into it with Orcarina of Time, Mario Kart 64, Super Smash Brothers, and the like.
You mentioned Dawn of War, and you obviously play Blood Bowl, would you say strategy and tactics are your favorite type?
I think now a days that is the case. There was a time I was more into twitch based shooters and racing games. I mostly just stuck with the RTS genre when I was younger. Games like Command and Conquer Red Alert, Tiberian Sun, Battle Realms, Dawn of War and Company of Heroes. I didn't really get too much into turn based games until more recently.
How did you get into Blood Bowl then?
I got into Blood Bowl around Blood Bowl Chaos Edition. At the time some popular Youtube streamers were doing a "Speedbowl league" which meant 40 second turns. If you know anything about BB:CE and 40 second turns, you'd know that it was often times chaotic since the timer does not pause in between blocks like Blood Bowl 2 so block heavy teams simply could not complete all the moves they wanted to. I was watching those videos and thought the game could be a lot of fun so I researched and joined a league that advertised on /r/bloodbowl called the 50CGBBL which consisted mostly of newer players and had a lot of fun and kept playing it.
Admin, streamer; a coach serves his community.
And how did you move into ReBBL?
I was actually in the leagues that were a precursor to ReBBL. About a year in my Blood Bowl career, a player named Gamba came to the Blood Bowl subreddit. He ended friending me up on steam and he was new the game and wanted to start a league of his own, later which he called the GMAN league. At the time the Blood Bowl subreddit had a league called the RBBL which was league for single season teams that ran for a few seasons. There was also a perpetual league format called the RPL, Reddit Perpetual League, that was running just before Blood Bowl 2 was released. When it was released, Gamba and some of the other league admins devised creating a league for Blood Bowl 2. It would have an America's region, known as the REL, and a European region, known as GMAN. And that was the very beginnings of ReBBL.
I was one of the few that was playing since the very first season.
I guess this would mean room for his likeness on ReBBL's Mount Rollmore, if this is ever a thing...
And you were an admin right from the get go?
I was not actually. It wasn't until there was an incident which involved an admin needing to step down in season 1 that I ended up becoming an admin. Gamba wanted someone he knew and trusted, so he asked me and that's why I am an admin now. Metal volunteered for the European side at around the same time.
ReBBL was the first league I really started adminning. I mostly just stuck to playing until ReBBL.
Now, you obviously play, admin and also streams. What made you decide to stream your games? I know you're always helping other coaches, did it feel like the next logical step?
I originally did Youtube uploads of some very big games that I played back in BB:CE that are still on my channel. In fact my very first blood bowl game I ever played against another person is even on that channel. The reason I started streaming was because I kept getting requests from friends that wanted to watch my games. I would only stream if someone asked me, but it eventually got to a point, where there were people who would watch me even if no one asked me to stream my game in the first place. Eventually I just started streaming every game mostly out of habit, as it became less of a burden for me to actually steam my games.
So it is a kind of public service?
Ultimately yeah. There have been many times where some stranger will comment or message me saying how informative my streams were since I generally verbalize most of my thoughts when playing. That helped motivate me to keep streaming.
I never though myself as ever being entertaining. I almost always envisioned myself as the straight man who tries to focus completely on the game. Though people seem to find amusement in my reactions or criticisms of moves that my opponents make. I think it really came to fruition during the season 5 playoffs, especially during some of my co-casts, a couple people still reference to this day.
Pitchside picture of a Blood Bowl coach.
You won the title with the Pastry Pests, played Helves in Clan. Are you more into AGI style of Blood Bowl?
The first ever team I played was Norse, and then I moved to Undead for the second team. After that though I started experimenting with AGI and ended up liking it more. Ultimately I evolved into more of an AGI focused coach. I played all Agility teams in BB:CE except Skaven when BB2 came out. When season 1 of ReBBL was posted, there was a dearth of Skaven teams. I figured at the time they were a team that would struggle with attrition in a perpetual format and so I thought it would be more of a challenge. I ended up being far more successful than I originally thought I would be with them.
Is there any race you would never play?
There have been only 5 races that I have never really played seriously so far BB2/BB:CE. Dwarfs, Amazons, Chaos, and Necromantic. Out of those, Necromantic is the only team I would consider playing next. Though ReBBL there are already way too many Necromantic teams as it is. I really don't like the play style for Dwarfs and Amazons just seem boring in general. Chaos would probably be the next team in priority after Necromantic, but I really don't care for the kill style approach that Chaos usually fits into.
Though answering your question the reason I don't like Dwarfs is that an optimal Dwarf team has very rigid skill choices. That and when playing them, usually you are caging and using guard to push your cage forward until you reach the other side. On defense you use your high AV and guard to try and force your opponent into a scrum.
That kind of play does not really appeal to me that much.
Dwarven Blood Bowl Representatives meeting to prepare a response, expect a statement by season 15.
Where would you say your strengths and weaknesses lie as a Blood Bowl coach? And was there any part of the game where you would say working on was key to being a better player?
I think most of my current strengths showcase in teams that I played a bunch of recently, which was Skaven. With Skaven I learned how to protect my core players, and punish poor positioning. Though with the high movement is was certainly easy to accomplish the later.
The other strength I felt like I had mastered with Skaven, was stalling with an agility team. Most people would probably remember my ReBBL Skaven play for how hard I committed to win in a 2-1 grind and not shoot outs many people are accustomed to with agility. Ultimately it comes down to me spreading my opponent out and protecting my key players in REL 1, as so long as they are on the pitch I can usually keep the ball safe.
I think the weakest area in my game is probably positioning in such a way to keep a dominant bash advantage going into future turns. When you are positioning for assists, often times you have multiple options available to you and sometimes I lack the foresight to see which one puts me in a more dominant position for the next few turns taking in account what my opponent can do. With Skaven many times this wasn't an option since you could not count on your players to stay on the pitch, but with a higher AV slow movement team, this can be utterly essential.
How do you feel so far in Season 10 with your Vampires, after that much time handling Skavens?
It's about what I was expecting. My previous experience with vampires is that they tend to explode when the dice don't go their way early on in development, and I have certainly see that happen. I have been trying to find an approach where I can reduce my exposure to that kind of dice, and ultimately that comes down to positioning. Otherwise you'll be needing to roll dice to move vamps, or GFI's when you are out of positioning and that is usually a recipe for failure. The lack of speed is certainly something I need to get used to, and that just comes down to experience. However, Hypnotic gaze can open up areas that would not be possible on other teams, and I am hoping to incorporate that more into my general strategy.
A look at the trophy shelf: past, present and future.
You're pretty famous for winning the title with your Skavens, is it a goal you have with your Vampire team?
I would like to think so, though right now I am just trying to build a team that can win with consistency. The reason I chose vampires was that I believe they have the capability to excel in ReBBL. Randomboy has done very well with them so far, but aside from him I haven't seen many successful vampire teams in playoffs and I hoping I can buck that trend.
And you always have the Immortal league to have fun with your Skavens on the side, right?
Yeah it was just something different. Holes was trying to find a way to spice up All Stars league since they had no sign ups for the last season, and my team got brought up as a "what if Lumi could play with all of his best players" kinda thing, so it was hard to say no. It's funny how similar my Immortal's team was to my team that ended up winning in season 5, given pretty much half the roster is from that team.
For those interested: the Immortal League is a "Resurrection-cum-Wissen" style competition allowing coaches to bring all their passed glories back into the roster, for maximum cheesiness. Check our preview and analysis for more info.
It must be pretty exciting to play them at full potential...
Most certainly, given how busted the Pastry Pests started getting at the end of their career. The last season was particularly brutal and usually my team was at the top of most cas'ed teams.
If you are into violence against vermin, here's the state of Pastry Pests before retiring.
Must have felt good then to claim the HJMC 5? With rats too at that...
Yeah certainly, though I felt it was a long time coming given the kind of big guy I was rolling with. I have played in quite a few one day tournaments and there were many times that I would get to either winners or losers finals and would end up one short. For this cup I almost did not qualify for winners group, and the only reason I did qualify was that I was lucky to kill a tree in my final group game.
Though I managed to start rolling and funny enough I played Ghazkul back to back ultimately take the win. It was funny given how he beat me in the winner's semi-finals in HJMC1 and in the finals of HJMC2, so it was nice to get some payback.
The Huge Jackedman Memorial Cup is a Big Guy centered one day tourney; named after, you guessed it, a legendary ReBBL Big Guy.
Lumi's Rat Ogre, Cupkilla, definitely put his name up there, amongst other Big Guy glories. With a revenge story at that, who would hate such a script?
Any other ReBBL trophies you plan to claim for your shelf?
I am hoping to take at least another one day tourney win. I have a Wood Elf team, Tea Mobile, which is primed to make a good run in the Chaos Cup, which is the random skills tournament. 2 Sneaky Git Wardancers and even a Multiblock Catcher make it certainly an interesting team, but I think it certainly has enough to be able to go all the way.
Chaos Cup is always a trove of uncanny wonders with its random skill selection of every players. Like so many 6 legged, blind unicorns.
Cookie cutter questions to the pastry specialist.
What is the player skill you have the most fun with?
It's been a while since I have had player with the skill, but I really enjoyed juggernaut on a killer. The last serious player that I had with it was Vicious Nilla, but legend vermin killer on the Pastry Pests. It was a great skill because it meant that even if he 1'9'ed on a blitz, he could get a push to disengage which became important as he was -AG. Though the part I really enjoyed about it was how it canceled wrestle, and I abused it on many teams that I encountered in REL 1 that had a wrestle player. Ended up murdering a human catcher in the season 5 playoffs because I was able to take the both down. And since I used it quite often, I was one of the very first people to find it broken in a patch update, but fortunately they ended up fixing the skill fairly quickly.
Funny how many bash coaches have fun with Leap and Dodge, while dash coaches enjoy punching more things...
Which is your favorite star player?
There was one game when I was playing against Pro Elves as Kislev and I induced Hemlock and that gave me a new found appreciation for him. He's a skink with Blodge Step Jump Stab. My opponent would blitz him, time and time again and very rarely get him down. That often time allowed me to side step to a near by pro elf and stab him the following turn. That game he casualtied 4 elves, and KO'ed one more and easily gave me the edge to win the game.
What kind of drinks and snacks do you usually have during Blood Bowl games?
I generally try to eat before games as I typically stream them and I am sure my opponents would prefer not to hear me eating. Usually I just drink water during the games, but on cold days I may prepare some hot tea.
What is the most outrageous play you dished out or received in a Blood Bowl game?
There are so many sometimes it's a bit hard to keep track. There are some in ReBBL that I remember really well though. This was one of the more memorable ones as Koolaidconvoy did a pretty good set up to prevent the one turner and I got really lucky getting a push on the first 1D block. Though when doing the throw to the one turner, the one turner was unable to catch the ball initially. Fortunately though the ball was caught by a nearby Linerat who was able to hand it off to the one turner to get the touchdown despite having to burn the reroll so early. Not the first time I have had it happen, but it certainly was one of the harder one turns that I have had to do.
My gracious thanks to Luminous_Light for having taken the time, twice, to reply to my questions. As with my previous guest: double credits for going the extra mile and editing their own answers, saving me an incredible amount of time. Hat off, gents.