My guest today is Australian, proud inhabitant of Melbourne. Taught into the game from a young aged, he was forged through years of table top league and tempered in REL. A ReBBL admin, a staple of the Big O, he is also known for being an enthusiastic writer. Sometimes suspected of being part of a split personality disorder, he loves to re-roll from one team to another. I give you the former leader of Clan bOot, the coach of r/theredpill : Liam !
Since Liam is related to Morka, I wanted to ask him about playing together in the same league. But I also wanted the interview to be about him and not their relationship and BB. So here's the question I asked him about it before we moved on to the interview proper.
How do you enjoy playing in the same league than your old man?
Ahaha. Well me and Morka do enjoy talking about Blood Bowl a lot, so naturally, back in my REL days I played Woodies and watching me play got him back into the mood after about 5 years off the game. We did used to have our own table top league when I was a kid. So it's not like playing with Morka is something new to me, he has been prepping me for Blood Bowl from an early age (I can remember wood elves and reading the old Deathzones from about as soon as I could read).
Now that this is out of the way, let's move on.
I usually start with the why and how of people's nicknames but in your case it seems rather straightforward, no?
Yes it's just my name I can't think of anything better :)
Can't go wrong with your own name...
When did you start playing Blood Bowl?
So my first experience with Blood Bowl was watching Morka play it on the computer when I was about 4. I guess I've probably been playing it (maybe not in the best capacity) since I was about 8. Morka just told me the Woodies were frogs cause the dancers lept around.
So that's why you'll see I dislike Kislev cause I want some space frogs to play the game like I first did :)
You started on Table Top then moved on to PC, I imagine?
Yeah have some of the old TT minis, we weren't really into painting em back in the day, so getting Blood Bowl 1 was the next logical step. Had a lot of fun in that game
Before getting back to your PC career, I see that you still often play Table Top, do you enjoy painting more nowadays?
Yeah I have been getting back into it lately. Couple mates from school were into 40k, so started that up, really love the lore and painting my admech. That has translated into building some Blood Bowl teams up, got the Elf team a while back and also purchased a Slann team which I'm currently putting together. Going to be playing in a local TT league soon too.
To get back to PC, did you play in a league in your Blood Bowl 1 days already?
No never got into a league in BB1. Played a bit of 40 second turn open ladder but it was mainly that and, since I was very young at the time, a bit of single player.
How did you end up playing in ReBBL then?
Used to browse r/bloodbowl a lot. One day saw Gamba advertising REBBL, and I went "I have wanted to play in a league for a while let's try it." So I joined REL and played every Saturday morning to deal with time zones.
I take it that you became a staple of Big O as it was created?
Didn't actually play in the first season of big O. I was busy playing over in the REL, had a really good run with Woodies in REL 2 back when that was the new teams REL div! Came into contact with the O folks in season 2 of Big O, because even tho I was still in REL, that's when myself and Tommo started doing recaps for the 2 Big O divisions. That was great fun some awesome memories of streaming from these couple seasons
This was something Tommo talked about as well so you can tell they had a blast doing it.
And you did play Woodies in the Big O when you moved in too?
No it was straight to the dark side
My Woodies got pretty trashed in REL 1, accidentally may have fired an AG5 catcher pre-season which didn't help... So I rerolled into Chorfs for some good times.
The Emperor Says... were your Big O team then?
It was indeed. And don't pretend you didn't love the hobgoblin fouling brigade 4 DP was when that team peaked in its ability.
Then after the Chorf adventure, you went back to Elves. You're an elf coach at heart, yeah?
Yeah I think I really do like the positioning of Elves. While I really enjoyed the bashing aspect of Chorfs, and coaching even Chorfs takes a lot of mental calculation imho, they don't quite have the flashy brilliance of the elves. I never had crazy Bull Centaurs, nor were they the aspect of the team I enjoyed.
With elves, you can really take it to the opposition where it hurts (aka near the ball) and be flexible enough to move the ball around. I also just enjoy development of teams, you'll see I don't stick with races for too long, and elves allow you to speed up development where you want it and avoid it where you don't.
You played Woodies, Pros and Delves, playing HElves any time soon?
Helves are my least favourite Elves by a long way
Just not as interesting looks wise or rule wise as the other elf races. For example with my delves I do want to get a dump off skillstack at some point. Woodies you can be crazy aggro. Pro elves- well they die so fast any player with doubles is ultra special
Talking about your actual team.... That naming scheme, wtf? You got lost on Internet and took the wrong turn?
Hehe. See back in the Chorf days, everyone wanted my team to die. And this made me sad- even in playoffs, half the big O folks just wanted em all to die. So I went "Oh well no one could hate pro elves right?" WRONG! Everyone wants elves to die too.
So I figured I'm going to just embrace the hate, to quote to emperor- let the hate flow through you.
People are gonna hate the Delves anyway cause they're Elves, so why not play on it a little. Darkies are arrogant pricks anyway, so what group on the Internet better exemplifies them than the redpill? No one is gonna like it but the focus is winning not being liked. Also makes the death of my players not as sad for me ahaha! I am trying to not tilt at all nowadays.
I agree that there are insane amount of Elf hatred in the Blood Bowl community; now purging Chorfs on the other end is just common sense.
You talked about reaching the playoffs, it must be part of your proudest Blood Bowl achievements I imagine?
Yeah it is, I'm pretty proud. More proud of actually winning a game there tho, still 1-3 in playoffs all time, never had the best luck there,still have a lot to learn. I haven't played too much outside of REBBL, CCL really bores me, so it's up there. Topping REL 2 and coming 2nd in O1 have got to be up there tho.
While eternal format and ladder can offer the same adrenaline rush in knock-out rounds, CCL does not seem to have the same tension along the season as most of your opponents are not determined by a schedule.
You're playing in 1MN, you were the bOot clan leader and of course play in the regular Big O season. Which is your favourite format?
It's gotta be regular season. Drafting for bOot was always very fun and we came second overall that season, but the real season is the centerpiece of REBBL and that's certainly true for me. Always had a lot of fun with my teams.
And since we're still talking about ReBBL, you're an admin, you've co-casted recaps and written articles for the news; it shows how much you love the community. What to you have in the tubes for us next?
I have always talked about starting a stream, but really, it would be good to just get on stream with Tommo and Krusader more often again, and with anyone else that would have me really. Sadly school has gotten busier, I'll give you a secret: that being an admin is way easier than being a sports reporter, in the big O at least ;)
You recently started a new article series "Good Turns, Bad Turns" where you analyzed back your own play. What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses as a Blood Bowl coach?
Strengths are particularly hard ahaha, but I guess in blood bowl I'm probably good at being open to learn. Not really set in my ways and I am aware there are much better coaches than me. I enjoy tactical analysis a lot so I'm always open to it even if it's giving me trouble.
Bad- I can tilt out easily, playing Elves I get annoyed at Orc and Dwarf coaches who just base up "brainlessly" and sometimes it can throw me off. I probably can care more about looks of screens than their practicality. But most of all I really do try and maximize blocks at all costs from all that Chorf playing, even with the Chorfs it could land me in trouble sometimes against fast races. With Darkies it just leaves you out of position. But I'm learning- that's what keeps Blood Bowl fun for me.
Are there any coaches you look at to keep progressing?
Yeah my favorite player to watch in the REBBL doesn't play anymore. Koolaid was his name, played Chaos on and off in REL 1. Lost the Superbowl to Luminous season 5, although that was partially because Lirdnor (may he rest in peace) MNG'd his CawPOMB Warrior in the semi final.
And I mean playing against Morka often means I know how to anti leap cage so can certainly thank him for that ;)
Which skill procures you the most fun on the pitch?
Ooooh. I was going to say I have to think about it. But it's Dirty Player by a long way. Fouling never fails to make me laugh.
So your favourite stadium enhancement is the ref rest area for those free bribes?
Certainly ahahaha, although the one which allows you to hurt em more with surfs is so good, not quite referee rest area but it's close.
Do you have a favourite Star Player?
Not sure if I'm spelling him right, but Setekh is pretty cool, the ST4 Break Tackle Khemri Blitzer.
We talked about things you love, but what is the kick-off event you have with your guts?
High kick is often a pain for elves I love kick skill so it frustrates me.
Not the most common answer to the question, I'll give you that.
Any snack or drink you recommend to help with the BB matches?
And I usually have a cup of English breakfast tea with a little bit of a milk no sugar. But sometimes I forget to drink it focusing too much.
Ok it's time for the last question, the player submitted one, this time by RoadWarrior.
"If you could design the Slaanesh Chaos team for BB2 what would the roster of players look like?"
Oooooh. Ok well basically I want a team that is agility/mutation based. Cause that doesn't exist and would be a good niche to fill.
I don't quite know how I'd balance them tho ahaha.
No natural strength access. But all around mutations...
Probably 7338 GAM Beastmen.And 7339 GAM Claw, Disturbing Presence Warriors.
I think it would be an interesting team. Could get a lot of dodge 2 heads...
As luck will have it Kaosubaloo recently posted an article about a Slaanesh team possible roster!
My thanks to Liam for taking on his free time to answer my questions. This one proved full of surprise and a nice couple of hours to spend chatting. Confirming that you could spend seasons after seasons interviewing coaches week in, week out and not get tired of the discussions.