A Brief Encounter With ...
My search for the spirit of the Big O led me along the mysterious paths of it's backyard, or the Outback as some locals call it. I've met eager young coaches and nonchalant ones; instinctive leaders and scholars with years of research; outspoken members of the community and more reserved actors. The wide geographic size, the variety of its population, the tightly-knit community... A picture is forming but some elements are missing.
Rumors has that the Big O was a land of experimentation for programs that would be launched on a larger scale to the rest of the ReBBL; an infamous one only known under the shady codename of "Forwik's Wees". So I decided to investigate another phenomenon that started in the Big O but is now spreading overseas ...
My guest today barely needs any introduction. Having climbed from within the rank of coaches to the rarefied atmospheres in which admins evolve in, he's a scholar well versed in hammers. Member of clan [Metal], he (still) coaches "T.A.R.D.I.S" the famous Lizard band in Big O's first division. A band he took to the Finals twice, reaching the last 16 in season 8. Now returned to is German homeland, the one and only: Miraskadu.
First I have to ask, where does your nickname "Miraskadu" comes from?
From 15 (or so) year old me, you needed a gamer name for LAN parties and like all my RPG names it sounded good, and it stuck.
Is it a name you created from scratch or inspired by something?
Pretty much from scratch. For most names, which are not bound into a culture (real or fantasy) start with the first letter and syllable, work from there and keep adding or changing till it rolls from the tongue.
When did you start playing Blood Bowl?
Just at the end of the BB2 open beta. Pre-ordered so I could get into the beta and get either Lizards or Welves for free, got both
So how did you get into Blood Bowl, I mean how did you end up thinking :"BB2 ? Sounds like a good idea."?
Through Twitch, and there Lollash's stream, and then into the rest of the 5 (or so) old school streamers.
I started tabletop when I was 16 with Gorka Morka, so I knew the world a bit. Tbh I didn't think I would ever sink so many hours in any game or even into Blood Bowl when I first bought it.
I felt smart adding we're all basically dice junkies, Miraskadu outwitted me by saying Nuffle is both dealer and cops in that deal.
How long have you been part of the ReBBL?
I started in the second season of the Big O, so just after Sandune won the play-offs, I think that was season 4 overall.
Since I joined ReBBL, I saw that you were pretty active in the Big O, and it's a euphemism; as a coach, as a member of the community and of course as an admin. What made you decide to become admin?
Back then Walkerthon and Lark (who quite the league by now) were the only two admins for Big O, and Lark asked me if I wanted to join the admin team to help out, after I did some number work for the league. So kinda stumbled into it. Then Walker went over to England and had to take some time off, and Lark left the league, which pretty much left me responsible for the Big O.
And then you picked some others unsuspecting souls to help you?
Yeah, when Walker left, we asked around and for small survey application and went from there.
Miraskadu is now playing his last weeks under the flag of the Big O and, having returned to his homeland of Germany, will join the GMAN conference for next season.
How does it feel to get back to Germany and change conferences?
Good to be back in my home country and back with the family, was getting a bit over Australia after 10 years on and off. And also looking forward to maybe settle down in a place for once. And GMAN can look forward to me bringing the fun of dwarven pain from "Down Under" to them.
Before moving on to Dwarves, let's talk about your stretch as a Lizard and TARDIS in general. How did you decide to go for Dr Who theme?
Twiddling my thumbs around and trying to come up with a theme for Lizards and then realized they were blue, like the Tardis (might have been watching the show in the back ground ) And then it was just what can I turn the acronym TARDIS into so it kinda fits. The krox had to be the doctor and for the rest was the differences between companions for the saurus (all female at the start) to the male sidekicks reduced to skinks.
Miraskadu kroxigors were the source of many stories around the campfires of the Big O, the latest one being their short lifespan.
I like the doctor memes in the ReBBL.
That meme is earned with hard cash. 4 or 5 seasons old and I bought 7 big guys
In my play-off run I lost one krox during the season, plus the two in the play-offs.
The season before, in which I only lasted one game in the play-offs, did cost me the first krox in the play-offs
For the first krox dying: people did ask me if I would have apo'd the krox if i didn't apo the BH saurus, and tbh I wouldn't have, cause I knew I had the money in the bank to replace the krox.
And now you're moving on to Dorfs, what did make you decide for them?
I enjoy Dwarves (as weird as that sounds) especially the challenge of their low movement that forces you to play methodically through the whole game.
You can't rely on much BS; and if you over commit to either side most teams will punish you brutally.
Also, I know that AV 7 races tilt me way to fast That said I do enjoy playing Woodies, I am just not good at them
Having seen that transition more often than not, I call Miraskadu moving from Dwarves to Wood Elves. You heard it here first
As we said earlier you were into Quarterfinals, and played in the Finals previously. What would you say is your proudest achievement as a BB coach?
Proudest moment... For one getting the hype video despite playing with a battered team at that point, as well as beating Saace in the CCL with even TV teams. I think him on Undead and me on Lizards, but not a 100% sure.
After all that what would you say are your strengths and weaknesses, then?
Weakness... Def during defense: to force the opponent to score quick to then counter score. End up getting stalled out and opponent still scores on turn 7, as well as getting a bit attached to some players.
Offensively, I know I am better at it; and usually am able to score when I want to score.
After all these years, are there still any coaches you look at when you try to keep improving?
Sure there are a fair few, I either watch their play or ask for advice, for Lizards: def Isenmike or Gerbear. Sandune is still amazing on Elves or on Dwarves. Just to name a few.
And in turn what would you say to coaches trying to get better, based on your own experience ?
Relax, take your time to think about your moves, weigh up if the risk are worth the reward and if you can always plan for failure. 1/36 do and will happen, so can hexa skulls.
That being said, don't fall in the trap of doing all the moves from low failure risk to high failure risk and think that is what people mean by safe moves first. Every dice roll adds risk. If the risk is not needed don't do it, but also be aware that going for hero plays can and will win you games.
If you don't throw your guy into the cage on a last ditch half die, you will not knock the ball free for sure, otherwise you have a chance to do that.
After roaming around the ReBBL; what would you say is your favorite competition format? (Eternal, Resurrection, 1d tourneys, 1mn, Elfly open)
I think all have their pros and cons, it depends what you want to achieve. For playing point I like the eternal format in seasonal, to build up your team and generate some legacy players or teams; and see the other teams grow and complain "Why I can't have that many doubles or stat ups on my team."
Aahh. The moan of the Blood Bowl coach. Nothing can quite compare to that. Besides another Blood Bowl coach.
What is the player skill you enjoy the most ?
Ah that question.
Stacking Prehensile Tail is way too funny (even so not TV effective, but it is fun.) Luckily they fixed the bug in BB2, it didn't used to stack which was kinda sad.
Is there any kick-of event you despise?
The standard : ROCK. It is closely followed by Pitch Invasion. Both for the reason that who ever gets hit by it, can't do anything about it, to negate it during set up phase. And both can swing a game or hurt your team real bad. "Heat" I don't find too bad since I can see, prior to set up, with what I have to play with and can adjust. From my eyes, Heat is just players that got KO'd and missed their KO roll.
So your favorite enhancement is the Squig Sandwich Stand?
If that is the one that cancels the rock, yes.
Cause TARDIS still doesn't have a stadium enhancement, since all the money got spend on doctors...
I bought the level 2 stadium in my first season, but that was about it...
Investors are still debating on that one, rumors where that the money got diverted into performance inducing drugs for reptiles.
If you could change only 1 thing in BB2, what would it be ?
The Bank Rule. It doesn't help to curb the growth of bash teams in and hinders agi teams. Not sure what to, but it needs a fix, which then spills into inducement money as well.
Yeah it's something I heard, often in the ranks of the more experienced players, along the CPOMB issues...
CPOMB is ok, I hate the way they "fixed" it in BB2016, I really liked the way they had it in there before the errata.
Prior to errata it was using a RR and Claw MB didn't count when PO was used. In my opinion they cut the wrong half of the play tested rule. It is literally the only skill in the game now that cost TV to activate it.
What Miraskadu is saying is that they left the need to burn a RR, while he would only have kept the ClawMB not counting when PO was used.
When you play, do you listen to anything, like music or podcasts ?
Most times i have some music on; or podcasts to which I don't need to listen to all the time, or just a random stream of something. I have the tendency when I concentrate to ignore what ever is going on in the background. But if it is pure silence, I can't concentrate in the first place.
Or just get your opponent on voice so you can both complain about the dice
Do you recommend any drink or food for those long Blood Bowl matches?
Coffee and some sweets. Alcohol and gambling doesn't mix well
While I praised his good example toward the younger players of the Big O. He pointed out that, being German, he still thought that if you are old enough to play Blood Bowl, you can have a beer; since a lot of kids start in their mid teens these days anyway.
Rhys' question was: "What's the best most crazy play you have ever tried and actually managed to pull off? or vice versa had pulled off against you"
One of the more annoying plays was from Walkerthon: he managed to one-die-pow my skink with the ball on his turn 16, picked the ball up with his orc thrower in 2 tackle zones, dodged out, threw it with a (4+ or 5+ pass) to Sputnik who scored with 2 GFIs to draw the game out...
Otherwise I think most of my opponents in the Big O are annoyed at the ball handling skills of my Saurus
Oh that Saurusball attitude left a mark on the conference for sure.
In turn, I would then ask you to toss me a question I will add to my collection and ask the next guy after you. Whose identity I don't know yet.
To the great unknown, what is the weirdest skilled player you have seen while playing Blood Bowl?
A massive thank you for Miraskadu for making himself available across timezones. And waiting magnanimously for yours truly to show up, one hour late on the original schedule, for this interview.
May his Dwarves rock GMAN, something fierce.
For Miraskadu "Huzzah, Huzzah, Huzzah".