A Brief Moment With...
While the drums of the playoffs beat at their loudest, the usual pandemonium of the regular season ebbs to fade into the background. Backstage, admins scutter, juggling with off-season duties and next season preparations. The players, oblivious too all this, enjoy the show put on by the broadcasters, hone their skills in off-season competitions and build castles in the air for the next season.
It is also the season of people moving in and out of ReBBL, barring emergencies in the regular season. New blood signs up while your old mate decides to put the dice down or move to other pastures.
Today we speak with another Big O coach moving out of what is clearly the best conference. Moving from Singapore to England after splashing those around him with his class for five seasons, you can bet our guest will bring both his own style and the Big O touch to GMAN. Having lived on at least three continents, no doubt he'll adapt and shine soon. But will the "Flying Rainbow Ponies", or what is left of them, acclimate as well? Let's ask Hiruma Majere!
How did you get your nickname, Hiruma Majere? (the haha part I get)
Are you sure you get the haha part? Like, legitimately, I'm not sure if you know where that came from
So it's basically an amalgamation of two fictional characters that I enjoyed when I was younger. Hiruma is from Yoiichi Hiruma (Eyeshield 21, manga/anime) while Majere is from the brothers in the Dragonlance books. I slapped it together over the years of gaming, and its just stuck.
Its also unique enough that if you run into that name elsewhere, its probably me or so I like to think.
So tell me all about that "haha" part...
I use it a lot in text-based conversations as a form of punctuation however, keeps it more casual and friendly.
I pretty much punked Krusader during a bye week, and he gave me the Haha bit as a ...."reward" think it was last season actually.
Krusader was in his first season as admin I think, and being pretty spot on with his job. So he was going around making sure games are played and what not. And I mentioned that I had immense difficulty chasing down my opponent for the week, no luck with Discord or Reddit. My opponent...was the Krusader-run bye week team.
So he actually logged into the game to check who was my opponent to go chase him, and realized it was him, and that I just wanted my bye rolled.
Krusader likes to be messed with, but he replies in kind. And sometimes likes to get his retaliation in first. So be warned.
How long have you spent in the Big O then?
I've been around since season 5, so I started at the same time as Krusader and Tommo and Schlice. It's the season right before bb2leaguemanager tracked our league so I'm sure I'm forgetting a few names. It would have been the second season of the Big O I believe because we had 1 established div, and 2 fresh ones when I started.
If I recall properly, my division was Krusader (woodies), Tommo (DEs), Liam (woodies), Lark (dorfs), Schlice (rats), WesC (necro) and I'm forgetting the last 3, prob Serpickles and his humans.
How long have you been playing BB then?
Since season 5 well to be fair, 5 CCL games before season 5. I like Warhammer (DoW series) and I like American football. BB2 was on sale, looked interesting, gave it a whirl. 438 hours according to Steam.
We've all been there. 400 hours is also what I spent on Fishing Planet so I can't cast any ... stone.
Which competitions are you taking part in then? Regular season, Clan, Elfly too?
Right now? Rebbl, Clan, Elfy, Immortal (when it launches).I dabbled in 1 minute a little bit, and some of the 1 day tournaments. I don't really enjoy the res formats tbh, especially since those leagues don't actually mean anything.
Hiruma is a proud member of the Big O [O²] clan. After finishing at the top of Division 2 of the Clan league, you'll see them duke it among the top clans of ReBBL next season.
How did you get into O²? How much alcohol was involved?
Haha. You know, I don't actually remember. I know when clan league was announced, we (Big O) wanted to show the other regions that we're equally good if not better. (Unfortunately no alcohol.)
If I recall, [O] formed by sending in the best of the div 1 guys, and [O²] formed by sending the best of the div 2 guys at the time although XS is with us.
So, after playing in clan and in regular season for a while, you never thought of getting mroe involved with the community side of things like news/casting or even admin-ing?
It has occurred to me but I simply don't have the time. I'm generally fairly active in whichever associations/clubs/sports I'm a part of, but have learnt to stop over committing myself. And I'm grateful for the wonderful folks in the Big O (and ReBBL) who donate a lot of time to the league as a whole, it's a huge commitment.
The Flying Rainbow Ponies have been around for a while, and trust me they show the wear and tear. After the whole season 9 spent along the ranks of Big O division 1, they now have a mangled roster of 7. But, if the past players can be used as models, one can see Hiruma rebuilding them once more and picking up exciting players along the way.
Tell me, why do you play Helves and refuse to let them go then?
Hahaha, that's a good question. So HE are the 2nd race I ever played. DE being the first (those 5 CCL games). I just sort of figured that I like the idea of passing and agi plays, simply because its less popular (channeling that PNW hipster vibe you see) and not as "ideal". And I noticed that HEs have the best statline for elves, which means its the best blank canvas to work with. (Great when your team is healthy and 2k tv, shit when you're to rebuild). I also enjoy the thrill that comes with a scoop into handoff into long bomb for the score.
If I had to be honest, my min-maxing gamer mentality probably likes Chaos (or Chaos Pact, who I've never played) more.
I don't let the Ponies go because...well..there's always something going for the team that makes me want to stick with it. This is probably my 2nd major rebuild in 5 seasons, and while I have lost many players of the 5 seasons, there's usually been enough lying around to keep me going.
I mean....have you seen my immortal team?
That's a lineup,eh?
So what would you reroll into if you decided to?
Chaos or Necro most likely. Chaos offers me the joy of min-maxing (and you can min-max a budget thrower). Necro gives me some speed and flexible playstyle, where any stat up has a significant impact (especially on a positional).
Oh, and both have claw. So I can have my revenge.It's just nice to have the killing power for a change.
You seem pretty analytical when you talk about BB, what would you say about your own strengths and limitations as a BB coach then?
I would say my main strength is that I'm willing to take risks. I often make plays which aren't considered optimal, but usually have a decent chance of success 4+ (with a rr in hand), because the reward is far greater. Like, I'll take a 50% foul chance if it means taking out a BoB or killer.
Being able to take risky plays puts most coaches off guard, because they didn't anticipate it.Often times, there's a safer play to make. But by having this aggressive risky style, with a team that can score quickly, puts pressure on opponents mentally if not physically (in game).
Limitation would be that in my eagerness to make this risky play, I sometimes miss a crucial element. For example, I could misjudge my opponents positioning and leave my ball carrier open to a risky blitz (as opposed to being safe from such a blitz). Or I miss seeing a higher value play, where I could have been both safer and gotten more value from a turn.
I guess it comes with that type of Blood Bowl school: play more aggressively, but it can lead you to make mistakes and leave you open at times.
Are there any coach around you use as inspiration to develop parts of your skills array?
I don't have as much time to watch games anymore, but I would say Sandune or Morka. Morka because he emphasizes a very "don't step off the pedal" style of play (but yes he is blessed by Nuffle), and Sandune because he's just so good with his elf team (even when its just about as dead as mine) and beats you with solid fundamentals
With regard to your own development then what would you say was crucial for you to improve as a coach?
A broadly much better understanding of the game and the way HEs interact with other races. Safe to say that I didn't understand most basic concepts in earlier seasons, nor did I understand what was the best way to approach different racial matchups.But as I've gotten more exposure over the seasons, its helped me think of better plays to make.
Oh, and the support of the Big O. I asked a lot of questions in my first few seasons, they were very supportive and replied quite promptly, especially Papa.
PapaNasty is a mine of good advice for coaches with questions. You often get more than your bargained for too.
With your experience now, if you could change one thing in BB2 what would it be?
I would like to see either BB2016 method of assigning MVPs or tweaking the PO mechanic to have some sort of drawback (like a self-KO on doubles or something). They both come across as the most logical areas, but also because they've been addressed to some extent by BB2016. So an update to that would have been nice: I'm happy with the Claw MB interaction (since it makes logical sense) but the MVP / PO does not.
Which player skill do you have the most fun with?
Player skill? hmmmmm... That's a tough one. But I'd have to say Leap. You can use it both offensively and defensively, often to a game changing outcome. No other skill provides that variance of outcomes when used properly.
Do you have any kick-off event you have with your guts?
Blitz....the amount of times I've lost a game because of Blitz is really annoying; and its not to bash teams who get free hits, it's to people like Schlice, who run his gutters to the ball he just kicked, and scores
What's your stadium enhancement of choice then?
The one that stops "Throw A Rock", haha, although if I get back to a high enough TV, I probably would say Wizard Stand. Giving yourself a wizard back at high TV would be a huge amount of fun.
Leap + Wizard... You can see what kind of sick mind Elf coaches do have ...
Your favorite Star Player then?
Not that I can get him, but Hubris or the orc chainsaw player, haha.
If it had to be HE, I'd say Zara : ST4 + Blodge, with bonus stabs is pretty fun.
Do you listen to any music or podcast when you play Blood Bowl?
I don't actually. I don't usually listen to anything else when playing games since sound is usually an important cue. I am, however, sometimes doing work when playing BB2, or alt-tabbing to read something else. Because BB2 is a game where I don't really need to pay attention to what my opponent is doing during his/her turn. I mean, I need to make Apo decisions or Sidestep, but there's a sound cue that tells me when I need to do that. I don't need to watch your turn because I can react to those changes during my 4 min turn.
Food and drink of choice for a BB game?
Usually nothing but water unless I'm eating a meal while playing. I try to be healthier in my diet due to less time available to work out, maybe a sugar free soda at times.
I box, so weight is important.
"If you could make any change to the roster of your favourite team, what would it be? "
Give me a Claw POMB AG4 piece, hahaha.
We are clearly in presence of a gentleman, with simple tastes.
A major thank you to Hiruma, who I couldn't send away without an interview. Thank you for taking the time to reply to my questions after a long evening, and for making that conversation a fun moment! Best of luck for the new adventure in the UK and in GMAN !