Monday, October 31

Stunty Cup Victory!

There we go.  The famed Stunty Cup!  Puggy Baconbreath brought the cup home to the Moot...

As I mentioned in my previous post, my club's annual Blood Bowl tournament took place this weekend; the Bunker Bowl II.  We had thirty coaches taking part ranging from multiple tournament winners right though to first timers in their first tourney.  We even had three guys who came from Australia to play - they are doing a European tour working towards the NAF World Cup taking place in November.

Out of those thirty coaches, only two of us were using stunty teams so I would be battling against my old mate Rid to see which of us would lift the Stunty Cup.  Rid was using his Goblin team - the Crap Town Sods.  It was all to play for!

As the games kicked off, I was randomly drawn against my friend Tom who's an excellent Lizardman coach.  My cunning decision to load up on fan factor and cheerleaders / assistant coaches in addition to the Halfling Master Chef meant he had far less rerolls to use that he would have liked.  It also meant that when the kick offs resulted in the "Throw A Rock" result (which happened four times!) that my hobbits had far fewer standing opposing players than normal.  It was looking like the game would end 2-2 but a sneaky skink managed to get a last gasp touchdown to give Tom the game.  A very close game but still a loss.

For game two, I played my only game against a non-club member, a great chap called Craig Andrews.  Craig was using Dark Elves with only 11 players and they took a real thumping in the first couple of turns with them being reduced down to only 8 before he knew what hit him (quite literally!).  Despite that, the elves natural agility and Craig's skillful coaching helped them to keep their heads and the game finished 2-2.

Game three and it was Halflings vs Wood Elves in a titanic clash against my friend Darren Lysenko.  He paints the most amazing models and he rightfully won the Best Painted award for his team.  He won the Best Painted award last year too with a diffent set of Wood Elves - he can't get enough of them!  With three treemen on the field, it was always going to be a battle of the giants - and that was a battle that Darren won when his treeman killed one of mine stone dead!  He was 2-1 up and I had one final turn left with his backfield sporting a long line of elves hoping to defend against a one-turn touchdown.  I had one reroll left ready but managed to pick up the ball, give it to a halfling next to a treeman, have the treeman lob him down the field and see the hobbit stick the landing.  All that was left was to try to get through the line of elves so I had to call over some of the other coaches to watch me try it as it was getting tense by then.  The little fellow scampered through them without needing a whiff of dodging...  The game finished 2-2 and the crowd went wild (well - they pointed and laughed at Darren...)   With that last game, my Halflings had two tournament points and Rid's Goblins were still on zero as he'd lost all three games.

After a good sleep, everyone was back on Sunday and ready for action.  My game four saw me lined up against another club member known as Shape with his Skaven team.  Well - I took a bit of a spanking on that one which was all the fault of the Master Chef.  He only took one reroll off him the whole game which was pathetic!  He should never have baked that cheesy mash pie I guess...  Shape also managed to get lots of kick off results in his favour with lots of Blitz and Perfect Defence appearing.  I just couldn't do anything about it as his team was so fast...  The game finished 5-2 and I was lucky it hadn't been more although on the bright side, Puggy had scored a touchdown.  Rid had a better game with his Goblins managing to get a draw so he had got his first tournament point...

After lunch, I was drawn up against Rid himself - it was a Stunt Off!  Rid's gobbos was heavily stacked with secret weapons and he had a fist full of bribes to try to keep them on the field.  In the first turn of the game, he blitzed Puggy with his chainsaw player and sliced him apart!  Poor old Puggy...  Still - with Puggy out of the game my Halflings had to dig really deep - before I knew it the hobbits had scored!  Rid used all three bribes and managed to keep all the secret weapons on the field but before the end of the half I'd scored again and they were out of the game.   Phew!  With that, Rid was fighting a losing battle and could only field three players at the end of the match.  We finished 4-0 to me and I was assured of the Stunty Cup.  Excellent!

Game 6 came and I was ebulliant.  I'd won a game, Puggy had got a touchdown and I'd won the Stunty Cup.  I was already happy with my weekend.  How better to finish the weekend off than a game against Barry Pittman?  Barry is someone I admire and respect - he's a great guy and it would be the first time I'd played Blood Bowl against him.  The only problem was that he was using Orcs with lots of Block players and a blitzer with Tackle.  Oh dear...  The Master Chef cooked up some tasty treats though and Barry didn't get very many rerolls to use, especially as I'd managed to get FAME +2 so when we got a Cheering Fans kick off, there was no chance he could win it.  I ended up with six rerolls at one point!  My Halflings did brilliantly, especially the Diving Tackle guys who caused Barry no end of problems.  Puggy was at his annoying best and took all the punishment the Orcs could throw at him without taking so much as a scratch.  At 2-1 to me, Barry had to try to throw a pass to get a draw but the lack of rerolls and a thrower in the dead and injured box meant that he fluffed it.  Another win for the Halflings and they were on 8 tourney points!  Rid got his sole win of the tournament in his last game so at least one game went his way.

So - the Stunty Cup was lifted by Puggy.  My team finished 14th out of 30 which I was very happy with and, something I didn't realise until later, they finished 4th highest for both Touchdown Scored and Most Casualties!  What an amazing weekend for the hobbits :)

Running the Bunker Bowl is a lot of work.  A LOT of work.  I think I've been working towards it on and off for about seven months and the weekend itself is especially hectic.  I think everyone who attended enjoyed themselves though so that definately makes the effort worthwhile.  Anyway - I can look forward to some time off before I start thinking about the Bunker Bowl III!

Thursday, October 27

A Bit Of A Fling

The Bunker Bowl II is upon us - the Bunker's Blood Bowl tournament takes place this very weekend.  You never know how many people are going to attend an event until the morning it starts but it's looking like we'll have around thirty-five coaches taking part which is cool as it's ten more than last year.

In my last league game, my Bluebay Crammers team pulled off an amazing 3-0 win against a Lizardman team so, as they've earned it, I've decided to use them at the Bunker Bowl II.

Most Halfling coaches in a tournament setting (such as a 1.1 mil tourney with extra funds to buy your team with) would take the opportunity to induce Deeproot Strongbranch, the star player Treeman.  Deeproot is a truely mighty player - ST7 with Block means he gets three block dice against a standard ST3 opponent.  The problem for me is that in all my league games so far, I've been able to induce Puggy Baconbreath (the star player Halfling) and he's been brilliant in two of those three games.  Puggy is an especially annoying opponent.  He's as strong as most regular Blood Bowl players, has Block and Dodge (so he's harder to take down) and he's still Stunty so he can dodge anywhere on a 3+ and gets a free reroll in case he fails it.  Puggy has been my hero in the league so far so I've decided to build my Bunker Bowl team around him.

My full roster for the tournament is going to be :

2 x Treemen - 240k gp
13 x Halflings - 390k gp
2 x rerolls - 120k gp
9 x fan factor - 90k gp
1 x cheerleader - 10k gp
1 x assistant coach - 10k gp

That leaves 240k gp inducements to put toward Puggy and the Halfling Master Chef.

Yet again, I'm going against the norm as I'm buying 9 fan factor.   The idea is that when the rolls for FAME are made at the start of the game, I'll have more chance of getting FAME +1 - or even FAME +2.  If there's a kick off event that gives a free reroll, I should have more chance of winning it, especially as I've got a cheerleader and an assistant coach.  What I'm aiming for is to deny my opponents a chance at getting a free reroll - especially as my Master Chef will hopefully be taking rerolls off them anyway.  If I can force my opponents to play without rerolls, I might just be able to takeadvantage when they fail something.  Having so many spare players will also be handy as Halflings aren't the toughest of chaps and they will get injured - so replacements are essential.  It will also allow me to foul with impunity if I need to.

So - here's hoping Puggy and the boys do a decent job for me this weekend.  If I can win the Stunty Cup or Wooden Spoon with them, I'll be happy!

Friday, October 7

New beginnings

Things have been quiet on the hobby front recently as I've been busy moving house.  That's all completed now though so I'm hoping to get back to painting my Firestorm Armada fleets.

In the meantime, however, the Chelmsford Bunker Blood Bowl League has started it's winter season.  Technically known as the CBBBL IV, the winter league is a short ten game run rather than the standard fifteen games the summer leagues feature.  As it is a short league, I thought it was apt to use a short team so my Halflings, the Bluebay Crammers, have taken to the field.  Fifteen other Blood Bowl teams are taking part and, out of those, there's only one other stunty team (Erik's Ogre team which features mostly Snotlings!) so I am expecting my hobbits to take a regular heavy drubbing.  The first game on Wednesday didn't disappoint as the Crammers lost 3-0 to an Orc team but it was a fun game.

In other Blood Bowl related news, my club's annual Blood Bowl tournament is taking place at the end of October and it's looking like we'll have more attendees this year than last.  All good stuff :)

* EDIT *

Rather amusingly, the Halflings won their first game of the season playing against my friend Paul's Skaven team.  Poor old Paul only had two players on the field at the end of the game!

Thursday, August 4

Plain Sailing

Game two of Firestorm Armada at the club last night.  Again, I used my Aquan starter fleet but I was facing a Directorate fleet played by Graeme who was playing his first game of Firestorm.  In my last battle I found out that I'd got some of the rules wrong so this time I paid attention to what we were doing and got the game mechanics right; although we still left out the rules for wings and mines - we'll save those for when we're all comfortable with moving and shooting

It's clear that when your ships start taking damage, it's very hard to start putting a decent attack together and you need to position your ships correctly to get them in the most effective firing soloution to help reduce the effects of damage on your ship's guns.  Torpedoes aren't affected by the damage your ships takes - but opposing ships all get some kind of point defence to try to shoot them down before they hit.  At one point, I managed to hit Graeme's battleship with eleven points of torpedo damage which would have been enough to cause a critical hit - but that ship has a point defence of 5 which meant Graeme got to roll five dice to try to reduce the number of torpedoes getting through the defence batteries.  They shot down six torpedoes and there weren't enough hits to even damage his ship, let alone to it critical damage.

As we were still learning, the game took a couple of hours but we were both fairly comfortable with how things worked by the end - and my Aquans finally won the day by some crippling strikes on Graeme's battleship.  Next time we play. we're going to start using the rules for wings and mines - which will be important as I've got some more ships waiting to be painted for the Aquans; a carrier, six escorts, a heavy cruiser and the fantastic manta battle carrier which is a real beast of a ship.  I'm also hoping to get some planets, moons and asteroids made so we've got some scenery to steer around.

Friday, July 29

First Firestorm

I had my first game of Firestorm Armada at the Bunker on Wednesday, using my starter Aquan Prime fleet against a Relthoza force commanded by Chris who's new to the club.  He's been a Warhammer / 40K player for years but wanted to find a place where he can try non-GW games - and the Bunker is perfect for that as there's always someone who's willing to try a new game system.  Chris already has three starter fleets and, like me, wants to own the all at some point so it seemed fitting that the first game of Firestorm at the Bunker would be between the two most addicted nutters...

We decided to just concentrate on getting the game mechanics right - so we opted to ignore things like mines, boarding actions, etc and just focus on shooting things up to see how it all works.  We quickly discovered that you can't just charge in on the enemy; you need to plan your ships movement so you get a chance to present the best option for a broadside at the optimal range.  We soon got into it though - and found it's not a game where you can just sit on either side of a table and roll dice as you need to be on your feet moving ships round each other to get the best firing solution.  We had great fun despite making a couple of mistakes - the most obvious to us was that we had been using the Point Defence against broadsides as well as torpedoes instead of Shields.  No wonder it took so long to damage anything!  Still, even despite our noobish fumblings, lots of people at the club saw us playing the game and wanted to see how it worked.  Just with Chris and I chatting about it on the club forum has meant that a bunch of the members have bought starter fleets so they can join in.  Hopefully we'll see Firestorm become a core game at the club and we'll get lots more space battles taking place over the next few months.  I certainly hope so as I've already received my additional models for my Aquan and Dindrenzi fleets and I'm halfway through painting my Dindrenzi starter fleet.  After those are done I'll get to work on the extra Aquans which I can't wait to start on as the Aquan Battle Carrier is a real beast of a ship and I want to use it in some games!

Although I didn't get it in time for Wednesday's battle, I have received my order from Hydra Miniatures which had my War Rocket rulebook, Galacteer and Imperial starter fleets and my Hotz Mat.  I've wanted a Hotz mat for a long time but the sale at Hydra gave me the cheapest way of getting one - and it's seriously cool.  I must admit, I would have preferred to have one with 2in hexes as that would have made it adaptable - but the no hex version I got can be used for both War Rocket and Firestorm Armada and it looks great.  Next thing I want to do is get some planets and asteroids made so expect to see that hobby project on here at some point.  Until then, I'll leave you with some pictures of my Aquan fleet on my new space mat...

Sunday, July 17

Aquan Prime

Spartan Games make a number of cool games but the one that's really caught my eye for a while now is Firestorm Armada.  I've always liked the idea of space ship combat games but I never got into Battlefleet Gothic mainly as no-one I know ever played it.  For Firestorm, my plan was to get the rulebook and a couple of starter fleets and use those to learn how to play the game whilst encouraging my buddies to give the game a try and hopefully persuade them to join in.  As it happens, a number of them have already been intending to start the game themselves so it looks like I've got some opponents to learn the game with without having to bend any arms...

For the two starter fleets, I chose Dindrenzi and Aquan Prime although I like all the fleets and do intend to own all of them at some point.  Today, I built and painted the Aquan fleet - it was fairly easy as the models are all one piece with the larger ships in resin and the small ships in metal.  The Dindrenzi are multi-piece models and now I've got one fleet painted, I can spend some extra time building those.  Anyway - I painted the Aquans with a fairly easy metallic blue scheme.  Nothing too complex and quick to complete.

I'll get the Dindrenzi built and painted next, hopefully before the extra models for both fleets I've ordered are delivered.

Although I'm just starting with Firestorm Armada, I've also just recently ordered another space combat game called War Rocket, made by Hydra Miniatures.  War Rocket is a pure pulp sci-fi game, with ships themed like Flash Gordon so I have wanted to have it ever since I saw it was being released.  Hydra were having a summer sale and all their rulebooks and models were 20% off - and as you can't order them anywhere in Europe, I thought I'd finally get the rulebook, a couple of starter fleets and a space gaming mat as it worked out I saved enough cash to cover the postage from the US.  I can also use the space mat for Firestorm Armada so it's all good!


I found a great intro video on YouTube which shows how the core rules work on Firestorm Armada - watch it now!
Intro to Firestorm Armada

Monday, July 4


First off, I should say that the Carrot Crunch tournament, run by Rodders and Magic Dave, is one of the most relaxed events I've been too.  £20 for six games of Blood Bowl over two days against some of the best tournament coaches in Europe - with free drink and food into the bargain.  It really helped that it was a lovely sunny weekend too!  If I can make the Bunker Bowl half as good as their tournament, I will be happy.

As for the games...

Day 1 kicked off okay - I was drawn against a nice guy with a Pro Elf team.  I got lucky on that game as I managed to stop him winning on the last throw of the ball - my gutter runner intercepted it to keep the game 1-1.  For game two, I was up against an unusual Undead team, with no mummies or rerolls!  He did have a lot of ghouls and lots of his players had been given extra skills (hence being unable to afford rerolls!)  The lack of rerolls really hurt him despite his faith in the pro skill - I won 3-0.  For my final game of the day, I found myself facing Lycos, president of the NAF and the man who's played more ranked tournament games than anyone else in the world.  Bugger...  Dave is a top bloke though and it was really nice to have a chance to chat to him face to face for once.  I did my best not to make it easy for him but his Dwarfs crushed my poor little Skaven bones and he won 2-1.  There's no shame in losing to Lycos so I was happy with my first day.

Day 2 and I was at the event nice and early, eager to get going.  As it happened, I was drawn to play my mate Paul Winter, fellow Bunker committee member and another Skaven player.  Paul will want to forget that game.  I won 4-1 and caused 6 casualties to his 2.  My best result of the weeknd and Paul's worst!  With that win under my belt, game 5 saw me facing Jim Slater who won the Bunker Bowl last year.  Jim was using Wood Elves so with me using Skaven, we were expecting a high scoring match - but it didn't happen that way and it turned into a tense tactical game.  Jim won the game 2-1 with him scoring on his turn 16 so I had to be happy that I'd had a decent game against a very good tactical coach.  For my last game, I was drawn against Tom Simms, another Bunker member and someone who'd given me a tournament test game a few weeks back.  That day I managed to beat his Norse team 5-0 - but today was the day he got his payback!  His team blocked and blitzed by Skaven out of their socks and I couldn't do anything to stop him.  He won 2-0 and crushed by rats utterly - I only had two left on the pitch at the end of the game, both of them flat on their faces!  Tom played a great game and deserved the win so I was chuffed for him.

My final tally for the weekend - two wins, one draw and three losses putting me in 21st place out of 39 players.  I had a great weekend though and will certainly attend again next year.

Tuesday, June 28

Carrot Crunch V

This weekend I, and a number of other guys from the Chelmsford Bunker, will be heading to Sudbury to take part in the Carrot Crunch V - a two-day Blood Bowl tournament.  I missed out on the NAF Championship earlier this year so I was really keen to try to get to this one.  The Crunch is infamous in the Blood Bowl communitity so there will be a lot of really expert coaches there.

I thought I'd take my Skaven team for a spin on this one, mainly as it's a resurrection style tournament so however many casualties I suffer, I'll have a full team again for the next game.  I've only ever tried my Skaven in league play when they get injured in droves!  One other reason is that the rules allow a 1.1 million GP team to be selected which means I can afford a rat ogre in my starting lineup - and I love using frenzy players!

My team selection for the event is going to be :

1 x thrower
2 x blitzers
3 x gutter runners
5 x linemen
1 x rat ogre
3 x rerolls
3 x assistant coaches (as I've already got these painted...)

So - I'll give you an update on how things go after the weekend along with any pictures I take.

Tuesday, May 3

Fergus Alecsson

My Middenheim Mustangs needed a team coach and I had just the model for the job - I just never got around to painting him at the same time as the team...  I've done just that now and he's ready to lead them to glory.  This is the Fergus Alecsson model made by Heresy Miniatures.

Monday, May 2

Griff Oberwald

I've been out and bought some more paints which I feel is an encouraging development in getting my hobby mojo back.  I was close to buying new toys too but then sense prevailed and I remembered how much I've already got that I've already bought and not built or painted yet.  So - I decided to crack on and get another Blood Bowl model painted, this time an old Griff Oberwald model for my Middenheim Mustangs team.

I'm already over half way through another model for this team; this time a head coach to lead them.  He'll be finished in the next painting session so hopefully it won't be long before he appears on here.

Monday, April 25

Zara the Slayer

Well - it's been a while.  I've had a hiatus from the hobby for a long time now which came about purely because of my feelings about Games Workshop.  As you can see from the previous blog entries, I've spent a long time collecting a Crimson Fists army for 40K and have bought a stack of stuff to start an Empire army for Warhammer.  I just couldn't get motivated to get any more painted and GW's focus on releasing new expensive models with less thought about balanced rule books just did it for me.  So - I took a break until I could get back into the hobby mood.

I still can't say that I'm totally motivated about a new project although I have recently bought the last few teams to make my GW Blood Bowl team collection complete.  After spending over £200 on toys, I thought I should at least try to get some models painted and hopefully my motivation will follow.

This Zara the Slayer model was started with the idea of her joining my Amazon team so I've given her a matching red uniform and dark skin tones (although not as dark as the Amazons themselves).

I'll try to put some more models up on the blog soon - probably some more Blood Bowl star players until I can get a full team together.  I've been using my Dwarf team in my club's league this year and I've been organising the Bunker Bowl tournament for this October - I've got a hankering to use an Orc team for that and that will mean I need to get my team painted...