An interesting first round draw generally sees teams near the top of the league match up against those near the bottom. This will be the week for upsets. If results fall according to the division standings we will be looking at several games between the division big-shots.
The one notable exception to this is what will definitely be the highlight match of the week: The Boney Bois vs Fragile and Limp. A win for ElSod will eat up all of logosmani’s cushion and put him and Luke (assuming he wins too) within 1 more upset of 2nd place. A win for logosmani will keep him in striking distance of the prestigious 1st place Playoff spot.
Coming in with an honorable mention is the matchup between Grey Wusker and Lol3rskat3r which is a pure rematch from last week with only the home stadium changing. Grey won’t be happy to have to dodge Another Bloody Ball vs the claw&MB-ridden, murderous Gladiators of Batiatus.
Duuberman lucks into the bye week (though at least he played Shaoz early in the season) which essentially locks him into either a Playoff or Challenger spot. Only Luke could catch him at 24pts if he won out, while Duuberman were to lose both remaining games. The free win puts all the more focus on the race for second place. As the gatekeeper holding the 2nd place spot, logosmani’s record in the next three weeks will dictate the dynamics for the rest of the division.
Shaoz - Necromantic vs Duuberman - High Elf
Note: Bye week for Duuberman
The High Elves are coming out of their second loss of the season after some inopportune dice rolls and working with a big disadvantage of 4 loners. They escaped without any damage for once, but are lacking the funds to field more than 8 again. Fortunately, with the bye week their position at the top of the table is looking nigh unshakable; a single tie in the following two games will secure Playoffs for them. Duuberman may consider playing it safe until then or even try his hand at kingmaker for the rest of the division.
Moralazar - Ogre vs Luke4444 - Wood Elf
The Ogres limp away from a brutal game against the Dark Elves with a single MNG (and a replaced gnoblar). Unfortunately that MNG is perhaps the most important one in the form of the +AG, Block, Sure Hands Ogre. Having just experienced what skilled elves can do to an Ogre team lacking the ability to easily pick up the ball, Moralazar is sure to be cursing his luck in drawing into the even more elfy Wood Elves. Even being out of the running for the top spots, he might still have a role to play in how the division shakes out, as some perms on all those AV7 elves would surely have a massive impact on Luke’s future chances.
Luke finally showed us what happens when the dice don’t fail him for once last week (though the dice log shows he still had a slightly below average distribution) with their runaway victory over the Brets. The Woodies are surely looking to do the same again against the Ogres. Some nice level ups result in another side-step catcher and yet another double for some more guard. He will be missing at least one line-elf this game (the STR bust one is sure to be fired), but barring his bad luck returning, or the Ogres popping off, should be able to recover back to a full squad in time for the swiss to heat up. If the Dark Elves lose this week to the Khemri, Luke would only need to take one additional win over logosmani to steal the 2nd spot out from under them.
Koloski - Bretonnia vs IsenMike - Dwarf
Koloski faced a dominant Wood Elf squad and was unable to really generate much spp last week. He does survive with no damage and will be happy to get their other guard blocker back, especially as he has drawn IsenMike’s scary dwarves. Unfortunately, even with 4 guard pieces, he will still face a 2-guard deficit and will have to look for an advantage somewhere else. With ~240k TV of inducement and a further 80k in bank he will have some match defining decisions to make about how to spend that cash. Having just faced the Self-Hating Dwarves just two week ago, and this being the 4th week in a row to face a pretty bashy team, Koloski has definitely proven his ability to weather some nasty hits. Unfortunately he is too far down in the tables to qualify for anything so preserving his team and playing kingmaker is all he will be able to do.
The Dwarves scored some nice spp in their upset victory over Duuberman last week. A level for their +MA runner and another Piling On for the second troll slayer will stand them in very good stead. No one will be happy to run into this murderous team in swiss, especially this week’s Brets with their low AV squad. A full bank means they can scum any inducements should they need to too. As scary and healthy as his squad is looking, IsenMike will need some very good luck to eek out the 2nd place spot in the division. He is 6 pts shy of logosmani and the Goal Difference tiebreak is really not looking in his favour; he will need to win out to have much of a chance at all.
Grey Wusker - Skaven vs Lol3rskat3r - Chaos
Grey Wusker's Prospects
Grey battled his way to another loss last week after some critically bad dice at big moments. He has faced some severe attrition this season on his Gutter Runners and is only just beginning to fill out his roster with healthy pieces again. With 50k in the bank and no damage sticking from last week, he will surely, finally, be looking at replacing the legend that is Ratatouille, the 0spp -MA -STR -AG linerat. Seriously, how does that even happen. He will also have his -AV guard piece back, but without a score, there is little else to mention in terms of gains. Given the loss, Grey might consider changing his strategy from last week; with at least 490k in inducements he certainly has some flexibility in choosing one. Whatever his decision, persevering/surviving has to be at the forefront of his plans.
Lol3rshat3r managed a relatively safe win last week. The injuries were very kind considering the amount of claw and MB running around with only the single linegoat to be replaced. A full 150k in bank means he definitely has the option to do so, but he will be giving up more inducements again. Either way this match is sure to be violent; just as we saw last week. Lol3rskat3r will also benefit thsi time from one additional Block skill on his secondary killer and his Security Gate. He will need the win, as the first of several, along with some very good luck if he wants to maintain the outside chance he has of cinching the Challenger Cup qualification spot.
ElSod - Khemri vs logosmani - Dark Elf
A nice MVP level up on the Tomb Guardian from the admin win unlocks some more guard going into a very big game. With 190k in the bank, ElSod also decided to pick up a skelly (bringing him up to 13) and the third re-roll Mighty_Zug had been badgering him about for the entire season. Given how healthy logosmani’s Dark Elves are looking (Fragile and Limp is quite the misnomer), that still leaves him with ~250k in inducements. ElSod will need all the help and luck he can get if he is to avenge his earlier loss. A win for the Khemri would put them in striking range, but they will still need quite a sizeable amount of luck to cinch the 2nd place cup spot; they need to rely on others beating both the Dark and Wood Elves at least once.
The dark elves produced an incredible blowout win last week against the Ogres and gained quite the payday from it. 35spp and four levels (all on positionals) stands them in very good stead for this extremely important matchup. The addition of some more dodge, leap, and dauntless on one of the witches will certainly help pressure and control the Khemri. Though there are so many power players on this team of developed elves that it probably won’t change their strategy too much. With 170k in the bank, this might be a good time to consider grabbing his stadium enhancement, but it won’t help him in this Away matchup. A win for logosmani would maintain the pressure on Duuberman and almost guarantee some sort of Cup qualification: with two wins he can’t be passed and with this one only the Wood Elves and Dwarves have an outside chance. A loss would see his buffer evaporate and would leave four teams with at least a chance to catch him.