The season is almost upon us. The draw is done and the die is cast. Let's take a closer look at the first round of action!
Dingley Bypass vs Cemetery Dropouts
First up we have our 2022 Premier League Grand Final rematch! Dingley Bypass took the crown in a hard fought Grand Final that went deep into overtime. Cemetery Dropouts just didn't have the gas for a well-oiled and finely tuned Dingley Bypass juggernaut. Speaking of which, Dingley Bypass have undergone somewhat of a transformation since last season. Rules changes have forced a number of big name stars to retool, and Andy has been forced to make adjustments to key parts of his roster. It'll be very interesting to see how this goes for Andy given these changes. Jo on the other hand has managed to keep her roster largely in tact. The combination of Percy and Mary remains a serious threat on the pitch, and for a lot of people in 2022, enemy number 1.
I'm predicting a hard fought battle and one that will send a message to the rest of the competition that these teams mean business.
Final Prediction: 2-1 Cemetery Dropouts
The Pantheon vs Ageing Action Heroes
Next we have last years 4th placed team, The Pantheon and last years 2nd placed coach, Seve Kranz piloting a new team, Ageing Action Heroes. But don't let the hero in the name fool you. This is a dastardly Dark Elf team who will murder you and sleep with your mother at the same time. This will be an interesting match up. On one hand The Pantheon would appear not favoured due to the lack of meaningful ways to deal with dodge, and the speed and agility disadvantage, but equally, if The Pantheon can inflict early casualties, and especially on key pieces, there is a very real possibility that the strength advantage will take over as the game goes on. Having a big guy vs a fairly lean Dark Elf roster will be an interesting challenge for a faster, more agile and very resilient Dark Elf roster.
Even so, the Ageing Action Heroes are definitely favoured and a lot more has to go right for The Pantheon, than it does for the Ageing Action Heroes.
Final Prediction 2-1 Ageing Action Heroes
RE:Dead vs Yhetee Speed Dating
This matchup promises to be an absolute blood bath. Two teams who just want to get up in ya business and smash face. Yhetee Speed Dating have a noticeable speed advantage across the roster, but are fragile. One area that favours Re:Dead is that they're resilient. In an out and out slug fest Re:Dead will likely come out on top, but the mobility and resilience of Yhetee Speed Dating gives them the edge in a very close matchup.
Final Prediction 2-1 Yhetee Speed Dating
Mork's Maniacs vs The Rotting Horrors
Another absolutely bruising fixture of Blood Bowl. Again, In this instance though, it appears that The Rotting Horrors have the edge in manoeuvrability. Whilst Mork's Maniacs do have Goblin Linemen with 3+ Ag, stunty and right stuff, collectively they have a move value of 6, whilst The Rotting Horrors have a move value of 6/7 across the same number of highly mobile players. Mork's Maniacs do on average hit harder though where as The Rotting Horrors spike higher. The key to victory for both sides will be their ability to control the pitch and force the game to be played at their tempo. Once one of these teams ends up on the back foot it will be hard to come back.
Final Prediction: The Rotting Horrors 1-0
The Osseous Tossers vs The Hexoatl Heat
This. Is. A. Game! This could be the most exciting fixture of the round. Two teams who play fast, aggressive Blood Bowl with real ability to murder each other. High scores, high casualties, high drama. The Osseous Tossers have the edge, but it's not a forgone conclusion. The exciting thing is is that the team who defends the best will win. This game could be an absolute blow out. Don't be surprised if this is a 3 or 4 touchdown score line.
Final Prediction: The Osseous Tossers 3-2
Oof Right in the Wyrd Stones vs Gold Diggers
Our final fixture of the round delivers us two teams with completely different play styles. Unlike other fixtures where they're close but, in my opinion, there is a favoured team, this one is a complete coin flip. It could absolutely go either way and its about as potentially to close to call as it could get. If ORITWS get rolling this could be a blow out. If they stumble and get absolutely rolled by Gold Diggers, it could be a blood bath. I think the upside favours the Gold Diggers, but this is definitely in the too close to call category.
Final Prediction Gold Diggers 1-0
On the cusp of a new season we have some evolving story lines, rivalries and narratives that will be most entertaining to watch unfold. I cannot wait to see how these first couple of matches go. They're going to really set the tone for what will be a great season of Blood Bowl.
See you in the dugout.