A Brief Encounter With ...
This is a first of a (looong) series of interviews to come. Some of you will be familiar with those already, since it is a continuation of my "12 Questions To..." I used as some kind of trial run inside the Big O. The idea is to give an opportunity to coaches, of varying fame, to talk about themselves and their relationship to the game we all have in common. By doing that I hope to discover what constitute the tenants of the Big O as a unique community.
To celebrate the launch of this larger scale campaign, I scored one of the household names for the Big O. The Russell Coight to our Big Oz, he's the one for whom the Big O's wildest places hold no secret. He's the man to turn to for health and beard grooming tips. He's the swearing streamer, the valiant vaper.
Leader of clan [bOot] (after a sordid coup), coach of Muten Roshi's Bear School - Big O's famed Kislev team, you will find him streaming his games and others', often in good company.
Without further ado, I give you: (unholy)Krusader !
With such an established gentleman, fact checking was imperative. You should have seen the letter my people had to send to his people to hopefully land this interview. Then we started with the basics.
The name: unholyKrusader, where did it come from ?
Hahahaha - I've told this one before on my stream. Basically, the unholy part is because Krusader was taken when I was creating my PSN Account when I got my PS4. But basically, there is no real story behind Krusader.
If you really want an answer - I am a huge fan of history, and the Crusades have always been one of those periods that I keep going back to - sooo... Yeah, maybe that?
There is an even money chance I picked it when I got my PS3 - but forgot the email attached to it... In fact, I am 99% sure I had Krusader as my handle for my PS3.
How did you get in to Blood Bowl, and how long have you been playing BB ?
I got into Blood Bowl in the 90's at some point. I played the tabletop for a while. It had been a bit of a play for a bit, take some time off, come back to the game - rinse and repeat sort of thing that many people go through.
I'd had a few years off prior to Blood Bowl 2016 being released - and when it came out, I got back into the game. I picked up BB2 around the same time - BB2016 had a 50% off voucher in the box, and BB2 was on sale on steam - the voucher and the sale stacked, so I think I paid $2.70ish for BB2.
As to how I got into the game - well, I was always a fan of Games Workshop's games - but being a young kid, never really had the money to get into their larger scale games. My best friend's brother played pretty much all of them though - and basically got us playing Blood Bowl, and showed us that as far as the games go - it's one of the cheaper ones based on the amount of models you need.
How long have you been haunting the ReBBL now ?
I joined in Season 5.
And when did you decide to become an admin and a streamer ?
I was streaming from day 1. It was a hobby I was always interested in so I figured I'd stream at least my own games, but well... Yeah, you know how that progressed.
I became an Admin prior to last season when the call for more went out. I enjoy my time here in the ReBBL and thought I'd offer my help in making sure the whole thing runs smoothly. Always believed if you like something, help it.
A sound creed.
How's life being Big O number one streamer, basically the flagship of the conference ?
Firstly, I'd like to thank all the people I had to step on to get here...
Secondly, I want to say thank you to the big guy - without whom none of this would be possible. He gave me guidance, and I am sure his invisible hand has helped move things to be where I am now - Thanks Satan!
In all seriousness though - I wouldn't say I'm the number 1, nor the flagship. Perhaps the loudest... And maybe the one with the most free time to cast.
But life is good - I love providing content for the Big O and the ReBBL in general, and the fact that people continue ask me to do so is a good sign I guess.
You dabbled in various formats in the ReBBL, which one is your favorite ?
I'll always say the regular season/playoffs. It's the way I like to play Blood Bowl. I like the progression and growth that league play offer.
One day tournaments are fun - but they aren't my preferred way to play the game.
Let's talk a bit about your team shall we ? What's the theme and why did you pick that one ?
Well, I saw the Orange kit that Kislev have, and if anyone tells me that it doesn't look like Goku's gi, they are delusional. So I instant thought of Goku, and he was trained by Muten Roshi - so there was the "Coach".
But then I just started thinking of Saiyan names - Yes I know that Goku was the only Saiyan trained by Roshi, but then if I was to have players named after people trained by Roshi, I'd have Krillin, Goku, Grandpa Gohan, Ox King, Yamcha, and that would basically be it...
Queue in nerd jokes regarding Yamcha subpar fighting abilities, and considerations on Krillin undeservedly taken flak.
Where do you see your team getting at this season ? What did you have in mind at the start of the season ?
To be honest - I'm not sure. I'm what 2-3-2 or something like that. That last game trimmed 400ish TV from me, and more or less killed Vegeta, arguably my best Blitzer. At this stage a middle of the table finish is looking like the best I can hope for.
At the start? Ostensibly, I play each season with the first goal of having a positive record. The second goal is to make the playoffs. Well, maybe saying first and second goal is a bit too strong. Basically I want to head to the playoffs, but I want a positive record at the end of the season. The later tends to help the former.
You play Kislev in Big O, Woodies in Clan. Which one is your favorite ? Any other you feel like giving a shot at competitively ?
Wood Elves used to be my favourite BB race. But Slann/Kislev has very quickly taken that position.
I'd give Brets a go - I've always like them, but never played them.
Now, queue me throwing expletives at AV7 - Fend, screaming peasants.
Until now what would you say is your proudest achievement as a BB coach ?
Ummm...Not sure to tell you the truth. Does just casting a bunch of games count?
Yeah - I'd say the success of my stream, which is more or less down to the community being so supportive would be my biggest success in BB.
A true man of the people, as his title of political commissar to the Kislevites hinted.
Play style wise, what would you say are your strong points and weaknesses ?
Being Bailed out by Nuffle, and Being Bailed out by Nuffle. I guess I have an alright aggressive defense. But that's more down to Kislev pretty much always having an option for an avenue of attack.
Is there any coach around from whose play style you'd like to pick some elements ?
Oh man, this list could go on forever.
Suffice it to say, that there is a lot of coaches out there that I'd like to be able to emulate.Obvious ones are coaches like Sandune, Morka, and Squiggy. All Elf coaches... Hmm....
But each of those coaches are all class, and play at a level I think everyone can aspire to.
Based on your experience, what advice would you give to newer coaches to keep progressing ?
Keep playing. Watch the replays of your games - losses especially.
And get over yourself. If you start to think "I'm better than X they just got lucky" you aren't doing yourself any advantages. As long as you are being honest with yourself when you watch games that you lost, you will learn a lot.
A solid advice, I should take myself, not taking the time to rewatch my own games. Nevertheless, You should.
Do you, yourself, have some preparation for your games ? Like watching your opponent's replays, meditating, getting hammered, ...
Not as such, haha. I look at their team, try and work out their key players, and plan on how to deal with them.
I might fix myself a caffeinated lead based beverage prior to playing if I am feeling like I need some energy.
I don't really have any special pre-game ritual. My vape is always by my side - so if I want to spend a couple of seconds thinking and having a nicotine hit, I can.
Which player skill do you have the most fun with ?
Leap. My short answer is that it just opens up so many other routes for you to take, and people have a hard time trying to account for all of those paths.
You missed a bunch of jokes with me pretending his favourite skill was Piling On, then feigning to discover I was not interviewing PapaNasty. Hilarious, I say.
The kick off event you hate ?
Basically all of them...
I hate things that take away from Player agency and remove the players from the outcome.So Pitch Invasion, Rock, and most of the Weathers I just don't like. But if I had to pick one...
Invasion is a pain as it can ruin your game and gives your opponent a free foul on the player of their choice, where as a Rock can just flat out kill a player. It's a hard call.
But I think I dislike Pitch Invasion the most in terms of it's potential impact on the game.
Which stadium enhancement do you prefer ?
I currently have the Squig Sandwich Kiosk - but that's because I don't want to see free Bribes during my games. I guess that is my preferred enhancement for the time being.
Talking about the squig kiosk, any food or beverage you recommend for those long BB games ?
Just the aforementioned lead based caffeinated beverage
Sound like somebody is subtly hinting at a sponsorship deal there.
Do you eat during your games ?
Some times. With my recent health kick, I tend to snack on protein balls or bars.
Any music or podcast you otherwise listen when watching/playing a game ? (Besides the horrors that chat puts on during your stream)
Not really. That's basically what I'll listen to when I play, haha. I might play my own music if chat isn't playing anything.
Now. If you could change 1, ONE, thing in BB2 - what would it be ?
Penalty kicks. I hate it. Fuck them off.
I don't have a better solution, but still.
And to finish, is there any question I haven't asked and you think I should ask people I interview ?
Would they rather fight - 5 Gnoblar sized Bull Centaurs, or a Bull Centaur sized Gnoblar?
As always, a massive thanks to my interlocutor for taking the time to answer my set of extremely original questions. Extra kudos for typing his answers like a true gentleman reducing the editing time by... a shit ton. One can only love the frank directness of his answers and his commitment to the community. Someone any coach of the Big O would proudly call "an Old Mate".