Monday, February 23

Bunker Bowl 2009

This Sunday was the Bunker Bowl 2009, the now annual Blood Bowl tournament for the Chelmsford Bunker club. We had thirteen players signed up and ready to play on the day and I persuaded Luke Henderson to join in with his Dark Elf team so we could have an even number of players (he'd intended to build some models during the day while everyone else was playing). Gareth Williams took over data entry duties on my laptop so I could get on and play some games - I just ran the even last year which meant I couldn't play. It was a cracking day of gaming though - here's how I got on!

Game 1 - Bunker Bunnies vs Altdorf Cowboys.

In my first game, I was up against Neil Cooper's human team. Neil is a very, very good Blood Bowl player and I've faced against him a number of times at the club. He's quite clinical and rarely makes mistakes. The first kick off of the game was a "Get the Ref!" which meant we could foul as much as we liked without having to worry about players being sent off. I spent the whole half knocking over his Ogre and fouling it as many times as I could! I wasn't able to get him out of the game but he spent most of the first half on the floor so it worked out well for me. I was able to block Neil's cage most of the time but not well enough to stop him from scoring in the second half. I scored fairly quickly to equal though and it ended up a 1-1 draw.

Game 2 - Bunker Bunnies vs Skaven Blackhearts

In game two, I was matched up against my old mate Phil Staines who was down from Leeds for the day. Phil's coached Skaven for as long as I've known him so I wasn't that confident that I'd do well. Phil hasn't had much practise at Blood Bowl over the last year though so there was a chance I could get a win. Phil showed me how Skaven should be played. When I'm using my Warpstone Wanderers, I tend to dodge as few times as I can but Phil did it every chance he could - and the amount of times it paid off was eye-opening! He cheerfully dodged a Gutter Runner through multiple tackle zones numerous times. I got a break in the last moments of the game and scored to win the game 2-1 although it was a hard game as you can see from the photo below!

Game 3 - Bunker Bunnies vs Dead Alive

My third game matched me up against Andrew Thear's Undead team. Andy won last year's club Blood Bowl league with an Undead team so I knew I was in for trouble and facing against two ST5 Mummies with Mighty Blow meant my poor Amazons were sure to die in droves. I concentrated my blocking and blitzing on the only players likely to score and I'd soon knocked out both of his Ghouls and swamped his Wight. I'd also killed a number of his Skeletons so I had a numerical advantage over him in the second half. Towards the end of the game, one of his Mummies intercepted a throw and trudged off towards my end zone, only to fall over on a go for it! I tried some razzle-dazzle in the last turn to try to score but it didn't pay off and the game finished 1-0 to me.

This meant that I'd won two games and drawn the third - it all depended on the outcome of the game between Luke's Dark Elves and Paul's Dwarf team to see who'd lift the trophy. Both of them had won their first two games...

Their game ended as a draw - which meant that all three of us had scored seven tournament points (three for a win, one for a draw and nothing for a loss). It meant the tiebreaker would come down to who'd scored the most touchdowns and that was Luke's team.

So - Luke was named Bunker Bowl Champion 2009 and awarded the trophy! I was very happy with my performance over the day. There was even enough time left after the tournament to get in a league game with the Bunnies against Ian's Chaos team - and the Bunnies won that 2-1 on the final turn of the game. A good day all round really :)

Saturday, February 21

Four legs good...

These Skaven mutants still only have two legs even though they are very long legs. Not to disappoint George Orwell, I painted a pair of them to take the total of legs up to four...

I'm hoping to get the last of the Skaven Blood Bowl models painted this month as, although I'm proud of the team, I'm getting a little weary of painting the same colours all the time. Even with the break by painting Helmut Wulf and the spare footballs, purple and green may be colours I avoid for a while once these guys are finished!

What a load of balls...

I've been using the same plastic Blood Bowl balls for a few years now and one thing that used to annoy me was that they were too dark to see sometimes. Just when I'm ready for my players to kick off, the brown ball is nearly invisible on the game board, especially if it's gotten hidden behind some dice. I had a stack of Shadowforge and Heresy footballs that I'd never painted as well as a couple of spare GW plastic balls - so I painted all of them this morning to ensure I had enough for tomorrow's Bunker Bowl tournament. These are all a nice bright orange colour so they look similar to basketballs.

Thursday, February 19

Bunker Bowl Trophy

The 2009 Bunker Bowl is imminent now and yesterday I collected the trophy for the winning coach. It's a bit of a beast as it's 10 inches tall!

This is the third Bunker Bowl Trophy to have been made. The first trophy back in 2006 was quite small and rather than have a tournament, we had a cup competition for the highest ranking teams in the two leagues (one pro and one amateur). Scheduling the matches was a bit of a nightmare and the semi-finals dragged on into 2007. It was finally won by Erik Cooper's "Greenway Trackers" Wood Elf team.

The next year, I didn't want the tournament to run on the way it did before so I separated the league from the tournament. I changed it to a one-day three game tourney so everything was done and dusted on the same day. That first tournament took place in March 2008 and was won by Geoff Thirwell's "Von Erich's" Undead Team

So - only a few more days to go now for the third Bunker Bowl tournament at the club!

Tuesday, February 17

Chainsaw Wielding Looney

Star players in Blood Bowl are a contentious issue for some coaches. They say they spoil the balance of the teams and that's a fair point. I've had experience of that myself when I used Glart Smashrip Jr. in a recent game and he really helped me dominate the game, something Skaven don't usually do. At my club though, all of the coaches in the league seem to enjoy using star players whenever they get the chance and I'm no exception. Star players are a huge part of the background to the game so fielding one upon occasion is damn fun!

With the Bunker Bowl coming this Sunday and my recent decision to play Amazons, I've been trying to think of a way of dealing with some of the tough teams that I'm sure I'll be up against. Then I remembered that Amazons can, for some unexplicable reason, hire Helmut Wulf. He's a great star player as he armed with a flipping great chainsaw! Amazon players and rerolls are fairly cheap so I should be able to work out a roster that allows me to have enough spare players and still afford the hire fee for Helmut. He'll be sent off at some point during each game (it's hard to hide the chainsaw from the referee the whole game...) but hopefully he'll have trimmed the more dangerous opposing players down to size before that happens.

This model is the 2nd edition Chainsaw Wielding Looney from way back in 1988. I've only got one copy of this model though and, although I like having a star player for each team in team colours, I didn't want to paint this model in the pink scheme of the Bunny Girls - so I opted for a slightly more macho blue and white uniform for him. That should allow him to fit in with any other teams I use him for in the future.

Monday, February 16

Bunker Bunnies

I have been trying to decide which team I'll be using in the Blood Bowl tournament at my club and I finally decided that it would be Amazons. I sold my painted GW Amazon team last year at the end of May so I'll be using my Shadowforge team of Bunny Girls to represent them (a team I usually play as Humans). When I dug them out of their case, I found some of them were slightly chipped through being stored in some rather tough foam. I spend tonight retouching the chips and getting them ready for next Sunday. While I was doing that, I also found the Hasslefree "Kalee" model - a female gridiron player wearing a distinct lack of clothing. I'd only semi-painted her at the time I painted the Bunnies so I finished her off too.

Sunday, February 15

Forewarned is...

...four armed. Yet another Skaven player for my Warpstone Wanderers team, this time a mutant with extra arms.

As well as painting Skaven, I've been getting ready to run a Blood Bowl tournament at my club next week. I've organised a great trophy for the winner and, so far, it's looking like there's going to be something like sixteen people taking part. I'll post a write up of the day along with photos after the event.

Tuesday, February 10

Nothing can stop the Clawwww!

Yet more Skaven, this time is the start of some of the mutant players.

In the experimental LRB6 rules, there's a whole host of new star players and one of them is based on this model - the blitzer with a claw. Just before I finished painting this guy I used him in a game, something I rarely do as I really don't like using unfinished models. In his star player guise, this model represents Glart Smashrip Jr. who's a fantastically impressive Skaven. With ST4, Block, Claw and Dauntless he's a real threat to teams with high armour players. I was, therefore, desperate to get him into the game as I was facing an experienced Chaos Dwarf player. Glart really did help dictate the game as, for once, there was a Skaven on the pitch who really could hurt a Chaos Dwarf Blocker or a Bull Centaur. As it happened, he didn't cause any injuries but just fielding him was enough for my opponent to have to be cautious. It meant that when I had a lucky break with a loose ball, one of the other rats could pounce on it and run for the endzone. He's definately a better asset to the team than a lot of the other star players that Skaven have access to.

Wednesday, February 4

Rat Ogre a Go-Go

Another player for the Warpstone Wanderers, this time the star player Headsplitter. He's 340,000 gold crowns worth of Skaven goodness so, if you're doing things right, you shouldn't often get a chance to use him in a game. I'll be fielding him in my next game though so that tells you something...

Monday, February 2

Mickey da Rat

My Skaven team hasn't been doing that well so far in my club's Blood Bowl league. So far they've won once, drawn twice and lost three times. The players have been dropping like flies. I've never used so many Journeymen! I managed to get a Gutter Runner to be capable of a one-turn touchdown and then he got crippled in the next game. It is time for a change of management. So - Mickey da Rat is now the team coach.

Mickey da Rat is a tournament model for the West Coast Quake event in California. After the weekend, they started selling some of their spare copies of the model so I ordered one for my Skaven team. If you want to get one for yourself, have a look here:

Anyway - here's Mickey in my team's colours.