Today's guest is another Australian coach, proud of his origins in the Emerald City. Having lived in the UK and in the US , he keeps traveling and you might have to face him while' he's away in the Philippines. Recently arrived in the Big O, he went through the gauntlet of ReBBRL to enter the Majors. A self-confessed statistics, enthusiast, he's the guardian of this season's Big O murder div tally. The last Human hero of the Big O : RoadWarrior!
My first question is always the same. Why RoadWarrior ? You fell in love with the first Mad Max or just Mel Gibson?
Love the movies, anything post apocalyptic always gets my attention. So you won't be surprised to hear I'm a huge Walking Dead fan. I love the stories where people are trying to survive after the world has gone to shit. Given I'm from Australia and the Mad Max movies were made here I thought it was a nice way to tie in a interest and my nationality.
Do you play other games besides Blood Bowl, survival games maybe?
Lately Warhammer Total War II but that's it. Real life keeps me pretty busy.
Previously a lot as I've worked for 2 different games companies, so playing games was work. It's great to work in something you have a passion for. It killed my interest in mobile games with all the monetization mechanics designed to part customers with their money, that side I did not like. In 2017 when I was working in the US, Legendary Edition came out and a few guys in my office were really into it. Their enthusiasm persuaded me to download it and try it out on the PC.
How did you start playing BB and how long have you been playing it for?
I first played the table top game in the 1990 at my local game club and thought it was great. I then went to work for Games Workshop in 1993. Stayed there 14 years and have a love for all things Warhammer.
In 2017 when I was working in the US Legendary Edition came out a few guys in my office were really into it and their enthusiasm persuaded me to download it and try it out on the PC.
I remembered my love for the old table top game and thought I’d try it.
Well now I’m hooked.
Aren't we all? There seem to be no middle ground when it comes to Blood Bowl: you love it or don't like it. Those who do not feel anythings simply have not tried yet!
How did you join the ReBBL then?
I was living in the US in 2017 and searched online for leagues to join and found ReBBL. I joined the College league and really thought it was an amazing experience. Well organised, very supportive admins and of course a lot of fun.
I then went into the Minor League. This comprised of 20 coaches from the previous College league split into a EU Div and US Div. I played in the EU Div from Australia.
This group of 20 coaches were great to play against and we still keep in touch now. In S9 I actually tracked the results of everyone's games and wrote a weekly update for the group so we could easily see how everyone’s doing. eFTy was in my EU Minors League so I’ve seen those Dwarfs developing for a while.
Now my Humans are in the Majors and into their 4th season. It’s been a lot of fun.
Now that's a story like I love to read: a coach went through ReBBRL as a rookie, developed under the supervision of their admins, played along a group of people they befriended, then "graduated" to the Majors and returns the favor by helping rookies in ReBBRL .
Always feels like the basis for a Hollywood script.
Does this ReBBRL love come from your days in College and Minors?
Yes! 100%. It's a key way we bring new players into our community. I'm actively playing in all the leagues I can, promoting it to others, answering questions in chat and last season I even entered the "mentor" program where you can advise new coaches.
It's also great practice. I've played against Rel, Gman and Big O Div1 coaches plus plenty from other Divs. so if people think Upstarts is just for newbies they are gravely mistaken.
You could face off against PapaNasty, like I did. Beat him too, just for the record. Love you Papa.
RoadWarrior is always trying to muster up some numbers to play in the Upstarts league of ReBBRL. League where he himself plays a certain number of teams. Expect to see him beat the Upstart drum every five weeks or so.
You play Humans in the Big O, Khemri in Clan and many other in Upstarts. Any race in particular you really enjoy to play?
Elves - when I look back over my stats I've done best with them competitively. I like the speed, ability to react and pull off BS. You can always threaten to win the game.
Saying that I'm thinking Nurgle and a bash heavy build when it's time to reroll as I have enough Elf teams currently in Upstart and Cripple Cup. Time to try something new.
Plus I have a cool name and team theme picked out. That's half the fun right?
Well picking a theme and cool names is half the fun, and leveling the players up is the other half. Playing them on the pitch is just the chore in the middle.
Is there any team you really dislike or would never play? (I doubt that, seeing that you're playing Chorfs)
Hahaha, you'll have to tell me about where your dislike for Chorfs comes from! There's none I'd never play. I do plan to try to them all. I've even played 10 games with my Goblin team The Pocket Rocketz and was surprised how much fun it was. Plus when you beat someone with Stunties it's just funny.
Kislev and Ogres probably interest me the least. Next up are Dwarfs. Now I've done Chorf I need to see what the other beards are like
For the record I hate Chorfs and Necro because I suck against them. There, it's said. You've unmasked me.
If you beat me, I probably hate your team too.
So you've been playing for a bit, and are also pretty active in the community. Ever thought about getting it a step further and consider streaming/writing or joining the admin staff?
I joined Cynergy last week on his stream. I really enjoyed it and would be happy to continue to help out. I don't have enough interest or time to commit to doing it regularly. This is such a great community of people, I like to help when I can.
You mentioned the Cripple Cup earlier, do you enjoy those one-day tourney style comps?
The Cripple Cup was actually the first one I tried and I do like it. I always check the rules when they are posted in announcements and then decide. Sometimes the formats are just to whacky to really interest me. Eg. you must play one handed, with only linemen and you have 1 minute turns. Thanks but I'll pass. With 3 Upstart teams and the main league I get 4 games of BB a week. That's heaps and normally fills my free time.
Is there any format you'd like to play but haven't tried yet?
Yes, two actually. I'd love see to ReBBL create a Stunty League and a Mixed teams league.
I would really love to play in more week to week leagues. Creating and developing my own team is one of my favourite parts of BB. That's why I don't play in the current Mixed Teams league as you have to build a team out of everyone elses players in ReBBL. I'm not really interested in using someone else's players. I want to build my own.
I think more coaches would play Stunties except they are worried about losing to Top Tier teams in the main league, so make a Stunty league. I think you'd get 100+ ReBBL coaches roll a Stunty team for fun and play against each other. Flings vs Goblins punching on would be funny.
Also, just to add..... I would start these at different times during the year so that while play-offs are going on in the main league everyone else can still play Stunty or Mixed Teams. Spread the schedule out so we have year round BB.
Talking about cups and play-offs, what is your proudest Blood Bowl achievement to this day?
Table Top - I was staff champion at Games Workshop UK in 2003 and that was pretty special. My team was featured in the annual catalogue of models and published. Very proud of that. I went over to Germany for the Dungeon Bowl BB tournament in 2007 in Dusseldorf but got my arse handed to me by “Ze Germans” and some other really good Euro coaches. Drank a lot of good beer though. It was fun. I mention this because BB is really a international game and most BB coaches are great. This was a fun weekend I’ll always remember.
The image was courteously offered by today's guest.
Online - I haven’t really won anything online. I made it to the Cripple Cup III semi final last year out of 88 coaches. Ended up losing to Dooof one of my old Minor league coach buddies. He then went on to win in the final. He’s the current champ and my Dark Elves - The Kar Karond Corsairs will be returning next week for Cripple Cup IV. Probably having a player that has a reputation amongst Big O coaches as a killer like Yuri “Hurricane” Weiss is kinda fun.
I tried to get the Averland Avengers for my humans on BB2 but someone has already grabbed it. Hopefully inspired by my team of old I hope, so The Carroburg Comets were born.
You clearly have a lot of experience under your belt , where would you say your strengths and weaknesses lie as a BB coach?
I'm patient and better on defense I think. I'm very organised. There's normally a plan I'm working towards however I can react as needed.
So the flip side would be I think I'm weaker on offense and don't see or take risks as much as I probably should. That maybe why I draw so many games. Need to win more
Do you have any coach you look at to keep improving?
The two guys I'd like to acknowledge here would be Jimmy Fantastic and the Sage. these guys make some fantastic videos and stream. I've watched all of Jimmy and Sages videos on each team. Strengths, Weaknesses, build options, future team development suggestions. These guys know a lot but can also share it in a way I find easy to digest. I'd encourage everyone to go watch their videos.
Apart from that just playing more games and watching other coaches. I truly believe you can learn something from everyone, even if it's what not to do.
What is the skill that gives you the most fun on the pitch?
Guard - as a Human coach it's priceless. so good on attack and defense. So powerful being able to control the block dice. I know that sounds obvious but sometimes you have to say these things out loud to really understand the benefits.
True, at times hearing yourself or somebody else uttering what sounds like a truism can help you realize how true and important it can be. Works for Blood Bowl as well.
And no, repeating "Don't roll Ones" do not fall in such category. It's just a bad joke.
Do you have a favourite Star Player?
No not really. Mainly due to the fact that my Humans rarely get any inducements or if we do it's a minor amount for a babe or something. I've hardly used any Star Players.
Used against me Slibli is pretty cool. I mean just what Lizardmen need another bloody ST4 AV9 Block, Guard piece.
Well you get a picture of Morg, since you used it to keep the magazine open for the photo above.
If you don't have a favourite star player, maybe you have a kick-off event you hate with a vengeance?
Hahaha, I think I'm going to disappoint you there as well. I don't mind any of them. I think it's a random part of the game and I like that. A 2+ on everything Elf or Skaven team I find boring especially when you throw in natural 1 turners. Where's the fun? If it's so easy then it's no challenge. So bring on the Heat, Rocks, Blitzes and anything else that upsets the balance. more random is good...
I also hate stalling. I know it's part of the game but... I think the fans would think it was boring and may start to react accordingly. So new rule: if you don't advance the ball at least 3 squares in your turn there's a chance they will throw a rock at your Ball carrier, to encourage him to get on with it. So I'd like to see more of this kind of stuff in BB.
So do you have a stadium enhancement of choice, or maybe one you'd like to add to the game?
My Human team is the only team I've played enough and had enough spare gold to buy a enhancement. it was the Security Gate. So I'm pretty weak on this area. No other suggestions. Sorry that sounds pretty boring to read.
Do you have any snack or drink to recommend for those long BB games?
Coke Zero is my go to drink. Don't tend to eat while I play at all.
And the final question, submitted by GdayNick:
"What is your favourite pump up song to get you in the zone?"
Great question. There's only one song.
Many thanks to RoadWarrior for taking the time to answer my questions as always. It was a nice moment spent chatting with an active member of our community. It also proved how much Ican see someone around and still know very little about them and their history as a Blood Bowl coach,