Rodder Stewart has a long-standing belief.

"The first rule of Blood Bowl," he muses, "is to entertain. That's what the coaches want from the time they invest into their teams but more importantly, that's what the paying public want each week. Entertainment."

Not at all wrong, and an important reminder that winning isn't everyt-

"However..."

Oh, he's not done.

"the second rule of Blood Bowl, and indeed any sport, is simple. You're always entertained when you win."

Hmm, also not wrong...

With that in mind, Rodder suddenly had the inspiration for the next entry into his new Record Book series.

"In order to entertain, how does a team therefore ensure that it wins? Scoring touchdowns, of course, but as we've seen before that's no guarantee of success. No, the best way to ensure victory is to ensure the opposition fails to score"

I'm not sure when Rodder became such a guru, but his logic is impeccable again. If your opponent scores zero, it's impossible to be defeated on the Blood Bowl field. So with that in mind, Rodder wondered which teams have been able to best harness this ideology across REBBL history?

The second edition of Rodder's Record Books looks at the Best Defensive Records in a regular season. As usual, there are a couple of rules to set out:

  • The regular season is again defined as a 13 week REBBL season. This is important here, because a few seasons ago the Big O ran an 11-week season, with a two week Swiss at the end. I don't have the records for that two week Swiss, so those seasons will have to be discounted.
  • REBBL history begins at Season 6, because I have data going that far back.
  • The list will be ordered from worst race to best race, defensively. Ties are split by achieving the same score in a higher-tiered REBBL division. All fresh divisions (lettered) are treated as Tier 10.

Alright, I think we're good to go. Before we start, have a little guess as to which races might be best performing. We'll see if you're right.

Goblin - GADS Gobstoppers

Coach: Ravenpoe

TDs Conceded: 14

When: Season 8

Division(s): REL Division 9B

Rodder Reckons: Goblins have the worst best defence in REBBL history! I doubt anyone is too surprised. GADS Gobstoppers hold the record, proving why they won the Season 8 Stunty Cup. After their playoff defeat the team were disbanded, with sources suggesting they were far too competent for their own good. Or maybe Classic Larry ate them all, who knows?

High Elf - Not an Anime Sports Team, The Voltrex Vanguard

Coach: ArchXL, Rama Set

TDs Conceded: 13

When: Season 9, Season 8

Division(s): REL 2, GMAN 5

Rodder Reckons: In actual genuine breaking news, it turns out High Elves are RUBBISH at defending. Of all the High Elf teams we've seen in REBBL, only these two have managed to produce a better defensive season than Ravenpoe's Goblins. A surprisingly weak result that goes some way to explaining why nobody plays High Elves...

Ogre - Maximum Ogrekill

Coach: Randomaxomus

TDs Conceded: 10

When: Season 7

Division(s): REL 5D

Rodder Reckons: More Stunties, and more Stunty Cup Champions as Maximum Ogrekill produced an impressive return back in Season 7. The Ogres weren't able to go on and make an impression in the playoffs but did at least stick around to defend their Stunty Cup crown. They failed, but they tried.

Skaven - Primetime Nibblers

Coach: SeanManTV

TDs Conceded: 9

When: Season 7

Division(s): GMAN 4B

Rodder Reckons: Another race who you'd perhaps expect to have done a little better here, especially given their prominence throughout the league. Primetime Nibblers claim the record from their debut season which, unsurprisingly, saw them qualify for playoffs. Might have been something to do with that Stormvermin killing the opposition. It'll prevent a score...

Elven Union - Pantheon Passers

Coach: tself55

TDs Conceded: 8

When: Season 7

Division(s): REL 5B

Rodder Reckons: Would you think Elf defence would be better at low TV or high TV? This list won't actually answer that. For Elven Union it appears to be the former, with Pantheon Passers able to produce a creditable return in the days when they had some players on their roster. Hundreds of loners haven't been able to provide an improvement. An honourable mention to The Arcana here, who also conceded just eight touchdowns in an 11 game season.

Halfling - Ménage à Trees

Coach: Larkstar

TDs Conceded: 8

When: Season 9

Division(s): REL 10E

Rodder Reckons: If you've kept track of these lists, you'll know that the Halfling records are invariably held by Ménage à Trees and this one is no different. Larkstar remains the only Stunty coach to post a positive TD difference in a REBBL season and his excellent defence was the cornerstone of his hugely successful campaign.

Vampire - Bloodsuckers Inc.

Coach: randomboy987

TDs Conceded: 8

When: Season 7

Division(s): GMAN 4B

Rodder Reckons: If you've kept track of these lists, you'll know that the Vampire records are invariably held by Bloodsuckers Inc and this one is no different. REBBL's most successful Vampire team (by far) have another string to their bow and achieved it in their debut season, when they were theoretically at their weakest.

Wood Elf - Le Gland Bleu

Coach: Thessa

TDs Conceded: 8

When: Season 8

Division(s): REL 4

Rodder Reckons: Not the name most might have picked out here, but Thessa produced an excellent campaign in Season 8 to finish second in REL Division 4 and take his place in the playoffs. In a developed division, with plenty of potential for implosion, the Wood Elves were regularly able to shut down the slower, bashier teams completely.

Amazon - These Violent Delights

Coach: Rodawg

TDs Conceded: 7

When: Season 7

Division(s): REL 5G

Rodder Reckons: REL's most well-known Amazons, Fallen Wonders, have produced 8 and 9 concede seasons but are pipped to the post by These Violent Delights. Interestingly, this wasn't even the best defensive record in that division as the top teams in 5G all produced stellar seasons.

Human - Oomies

Coach: The Richest Tea

TDs Conceded: 7

When: Season 7

Division(s): GMAN 3

Rodder Reckons: I say, they've jolly well done it Geoffrey! Having been on the verge of retirement, the Oomies made a last minute return for a final swansong in GMAN Division 3 and boy did they go out on a high. A first place finish saw them claim a playoff place, and set a Human defensive record in the process.

Bretonnian - Mustang BBC

Coach: Nourrou

TDs Conceded: 7

When: Season 9

Division(s): GMAN 3

Rodder Reckons: Anything Humans can do, olde-style French-themed Humans can do equally well. Mustang BBC were defensively rock solid in Season 9 but perhaps lacked a little bit of flair going forward at key moments. One too many draws ultimately saw them miss a playoff position by a single point but consolation is available in this defensive record. Not that it helped save the team, who disbanded before Season 10.

Kislev Circus - Sultans from Skull Palace

Coach: Kubusta

TDs Conceded: 6

When: Season 9

Division(s): GMAN 8A

Rodder Reckons: And anything Humans and French-themed Humans can do, their acrobatic Russian counterparts can do even better! Sultans from Skull Palace were the Icarus of Kislevites, flying high in the regular season straight into the playoffs - before being utterly massacred by a Nurgle team. My Greek mythology isn't great but I'm pretty sure that's what happened to Icarus.

Nurgle - Royal Rumble Boys, Infection Inc, The Grody Greens

Coach: AGrain, InfinitePink, LazarusDigz

TDs Conceded: 6

When: Season 8, Season 6, Season 8

Division(s): REL 7, GMAN 3, REL 4

Rodder Reckons: There's nothing quite like a three-way tie to make your article look messy but there's something quite apt about Nurgle making everything look worse. Three teams have managed six-TD-concede seasons but no-one has ever bettered that total. GMAN stalwarts Infection Inc managed the feat in Season 6 but still missed out on a playoff place by a single touchdown to Mad Rats: Furry Road. AGrain and LazarusDigz weren't so unlucky, with both comfortably making the Season 8 playoffs - where Infection Inc made the final, ironically enough!

Chaos - Slaanesh_Slaughterers, Straight Up Flatulence, Born to be wild!

Coach: the Sage, Stoobings, BlissfulFire

TDs Conceded: 6

When: Season 7, Season 7, Season 9

Division(s): GMAN 1, REL 4, GMAN 7

Rodder Reckons: Chaos and Nurgle are basically the same so I suppose this makes sense. Big props go to the Sage here, as the only coach on this list to have achieved a defensive record in a top division! Stoobings easily made playoffs from his record equalling season and BlissfulFire's dominant campaign in Season 9 was equally impressive.

Dark Elf - We Chillin'

Coach: C_Arnoud

TDs Conceded: 5

When: Season 7

Division(s): REL 5G

Rodder Reckons: The only Dark Elf team to have conceded less than six touchdowns in a season and indeed the only race on this list to set a record of 5. We Chillin' entered REBBL in excellent form and are two-time playoff qualifiers, with their success built upon the backbone of their excellent defensive prowess.

Khemri - Khemri do it? Yes we can!

Coach: McMacky

TDs Conceded: 4

When: Season 7

Division(s): REL 5C

Rodder Reckons: Season 7 was a particularly fruitful period for strong defence as new races entered REBBL and coaches struggled to adapt offensively. But anyway, who'd have had Khemri so far down this list?! The frankly excellent McMacky took this record easily and set it as part of his 30-game regular season undefeated streak across multiple REBBL seasons. The man knows how to Khemri.

Lizardman - Ready Lizard One

Coach: Hoyleyboy

TDs Conceded: 4

When: Season 8

Division(s): GMAN 6E

Rodder Reckons: Equally, Hoyleyboy knows how to Lizard. His team Ready Lizard One have been playoff challengers, and qualifiers, from the moment they entered REBBL, though their reward for a magnificent Season 8 was a playoff Round of 32 tie against Snow White & the 6 Chorfs. It didn't end well...

Orc - Orcs of Letters

Coach: Puppi

TDs Conceded: 4

When: Season 8

Division(s): GMAN 6B

Rodder Reckons: Plenty of candidates amongst Orc teams but Puppi's Orcs of Letters stand head and shoulders above everyone else, conceding only four touchdowns in their debut REBBL campaign. Their reward for a magnificent Season 8 was a Round of 64 match against liamcoulston's Chaos Dwarfs The Emperor Says... It didn't end well...

Norse - Bitter Soggies

Coach: Knockoff

TDs Conceded: 4

When: Season 6

Division(s): REL 7

Rodder Reckons:  No longer knocking around REBBL but still a record holder is Knockoff, whose Norse team Bitter Soggies racked up a mighty 22 touchdowns for the loss of just four back in Season 6. The team didn't go far in the playoffs and left REBBL shortly afterwards, but have certainly stamped their mark on it's history.

Necromantic - Drop Dead Gore Juice

Coach: Crowdog09

TDs Conceded: 4

When: Season 6

Division(s): GMAN 5

Rodder Reckons: Again, plenty of Necromantic candidates but I don't think many would have plumped for Drop Dead Gore Juice as the team to hold this particular record. That's ignoring this side's fine history though. Their debut campaign saw them finish agonisingly close to a perfect season as they posted a 12-1-0 record, before eventually succumbing to then-defending champions Pastry Pests in the Season 6 playoffs. Crowdog has never quite scaled the same heights since, but remains a formidable opponent.

Chaos Dwarf - The Emperor says...

Coach: liamcoulston

TDs Conceded: 4

When: Season 6

Division(s): Big O 3

Rodder Reckons: Finally, a Big O coach makes the list! They must have been sweating... The Star Wars theme is apt here, as Liam refuses to follow in his father's footsteps by claiming a touchdown preventing record, rather than every touchdown scoring record I can think of. A season long rivalry with Rats Of The Ancient saw Liam's side finish second in Division 3 but still qualify for the playoffs.

Dwarf - Berserkers

Coach: Owned

TDs Conceded: 4

When: Season 6

Division(s): REL 3

Rodder Reckons:  Another coach to have since departed REBBL's shores, Owned had a brilliant Season 6 as his Berserkers punched and drank their way into the Season 6 playoffs. Which was great fun, until the Sage did horrible, horrible things to them and the Berserkers were never seen again...

Underworld - Mutants in Human Clothing

Coach: Spoonybard

TDs Conceded: 3

When: Season 8

Division(s): REL 6

Rodder Reckons: Hands up anyone who had Underworld Denizens second best on this list. Now, put your hand down because I know you didn't. But that would be to forget Spoonybard and his legendary Season 8 campaign with his Mutants in Human Clothing. Yes, it must be stipulated that his 12-1-0 season did benefit from three bye week victories, but you find me another coach who's come close to matching that with an Underworld team. Gdaynick, put your damn hand down!

Undead - Crematorium Crew

Coach: BufordTJustice

TDs Conceded: 2

When: Season 8

Division(s): GMAN 6D

Rodder Reckons: Definitively the best ever defensive season in REBBL history and so, so close to the perfect campaign. Crematorium Crew were 12-0-0 in Season 8 until they ran into the Streak Slayer, Hudd, who promptly earned a 1-1 draw to end the dream of the first 13 win REBBL season. Still, BufordTJustice can take solace in being out on his own here, with no other coach ever conceding fewer touchdowns across thirteen matches. Take a bow.

- Harringzord

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Rodder Report: Never Expected, Always Delivering. - Zee

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