Sunday, November 20

Cam Dub IV Tournament results

Mass brawl between Ogres and Slann
This weekend saw one of my favourite Blood Bowl tournaments take place, the Cambridge Double Trouble IV (Cam Dub IV).  I took my new ogres and the rules allowed them to take five doubles skills - I chose the following roster for my 1,100,000 allowance :

4 x Ogres with Block
1 x Ogre with Sure Hands
9 x Snotlings
3 x Rerolls
1 x  Fan Factor

1st game vs Goblins got me a 2-1 win and 2-2 on casualties.
2nd game vs Norse was a 0-3 loss with a 3-5 on casualties
3rd game vs Pro elves was a 0-1 loss with a 4-2 on casualties
4th game vs Goblins was a 0-0 draw with 3-2 on casualties
5th game vs Slann was terrible!  A 0-3 loss with 0-2 on casualties
6th game vs High Elves was a 1-0 with with a crazy 7-1 on casualties.

I was very happy with a 2-1-3 result.  Two of the losses were against former NAF Championship champions but all my opponents were really good coaches and all were fantastic fun games.

My buddy Chris all set for the weekend
First opponent - Billy Dee and his Goblins
Trooper Red 'n' Black - lunchtime treat! 
"Bloody Slann are armour plated!"
I was awarded the Best Painted Team which was brilliant.  I also was the Stunty Cup winner despite no official trophy for it and managed to get most casualties - but as I'd already won an award it was given to someone else which is fair enough :) On top of all that I won a Black Scorpion human team in the Blood Bowl bingo game!

Sunday, November 13

Ogre Blood Bowl Team

I've had to put my Tau project aside so I can concentrate on getting my Vortice Miniatures Ogres ready for the Cam Dub tournament.  I've really enjoyed painting them!  I barely noticed the time go past as I they are just fantastic minis.  I still have some prone/stunned tokens to paint for them but the team is already for use next weekend.

Just a quick update - I've painted the prone / stunned markers for the team now so I can use them at the tournament as well.

Thursday, October 20

Hobby / Gaming Update

It's been a while since my last update so I thought I really should post an update just to help keep a record of things that have been happening.

First up was the final of the Blood Bowl league at the Bunker - the CBBBL VIII final.  It was between Andrew's Orc team called Da New Ork Giants who taking on George's Dwarf team, the Bloody Owls.  I got to watch most of the game and it really was very close, aided by just one single casualty being caused the whole game.  Andrew managed to go 1-0 in the 2nd half but George equalised on the final turn of the 2nd half so it went to overtime.  Andrew received the ball but was denied the winning touchdown by a dwarf interception in the dying moments of the game.  The game went to penalties - and George won on the dice off.  He was very chuffed to have won it!

George - CBBBL VIII Champion!
I've also been playing a few games of Guild Ball here and there, with the last game being played outside on the patio when the club was really busy one night.  It was going really well until the sun went down and we realised that the lighting outside the club wasn't working.  We had to get our phones out to light up the pitch!  We only lasted a few more turns until the constant dive bombing of the moths made us abandon the game - it was getting really silly as we couldn't read the cards anymore!
Guild Ball by gaslight
Games Workshop released Kill Team which was is a stripped down version of 40K - the box set seems a really good deal so in a fit of nostalgia, I bought the set.  This was the first time I'd bought anything from GW in six or seven years.  The box contained a squad of Space Marines and a unit of Tau Fire Warriors - and as my buddy Paul had also bought the set, we agreed to trade models to maximise our minis.  I opted for the Tau as I've never painted or played with them before.  I've been painting them but need to finish off the core models and get them based (I bought some nice urban rubble type resin bases for them which is why they are pinned to corks).

While I'm still finishing off the Tau, Paul and I had a quick try at Kill Team the other night, him using Dark Eldar and me using my old Crimson Fists.  The Space Marines got wiped out very easily thanks to some terrible dice rolling on my part but it was good fun.
"Eat hot bolter death Xenos scum!"
 My next hobby project (apart from finishing off the Tau) is probably going to be my Vortice Miniatures Ogre team as I intend to use them at the Cambridge Double Trouble tournament at the end of November.  They're a great looking team and hopefully shouldn't take too long as most of the models are tiny!  I'll post up pictures one I make a start after deciding on the colour scheme.

Thursday, September 1

Guild Ballin'

With Blood Bowl season now over for me, I've started getting ready for some more games of Guild Ball.    I finally got my goal ready for use for my Butchers team and I have also painted a couple of new minis for them; those being Truffles the Season II mascot and Tater who's going to be a Farmer's Guild player in the Season III rules and currently available as a Big League player.  I still have Fillet and Tenderizer to paint so I have more options.

Dan - King of Guild Ball! Using his Hunters
Sherwin and Andrew
H-Bomb and Tom
H-Bomb and his Alchemists

Thursday, August 18

Blood Bowl League Playoffs and Hobby Plans

After nearly a year, the CBBBL season is coming to an end and eight teams reached the play-off stages, four from each division.  Quarter-final games are currently being played to see who will go into the semi-finals.

My Undead team and my Goblin team both finished 3rd in each respective division but my Goblins couldn't qualify as you can't take two teams into the play-offs - so it ended up that my Undead were facing off against my friend George's rather meaty Dwarf team.  His team was so well stacked that I could induce Count Luthor - which I did as I'd painted him as a test piece to see how the colour scheme for my Undead team would work.  It was about time he got a chance to hit the field.

It was a bit of a mammoth game in the end.  Both of us made mistakes and had luck at different times but the game was a 2-2 draw at the end of normal time.  Count Luthor did pretty well for himself.  He got injured but managed to Regenerate and he scored the final touchdown to equalise the game.  We then played one half of overtime and neither of us managed to get the winning touchdown.  After nearly four hours of playing, it came down to penalties - which George won 3-2.  So close!  George's team progresses to the semi-finals and that's the end of my Blood Bowl season.  I believe my next game of tabletop Blood Bowl will be in November when I attend a tournament in Cambridge.

With Blood Bowl ending, I will be trying to concentrate hobby and game time to playing Guild Ball as I've really been enjoying that.  I will be painting Fillet and Tenderiser to add to my Butcher's team as well as the new Tater model which is one of the Farmer's Guild players who is available for use in Big League games only.  I picked up the new Butcher's mascot mini last night too so I'll try to get him painted along with the other Season II models.  Once those four minis are painted, I need to decide whether I'm going to try to get my Malifaux Guild box painted, start on my Guild Ball Masons or pick a Blood Bowl team to paint.  I have built and undercoated an Underworld team as I had intended to try them at the Cambridge tournament - but I think now I might need to use Ogres instead.

Thursday, July 21

League Updates - Guild Ball and Blood Bowl

I've not had time for any hobby activity in the last week or so but I have been playing games at the Chelmsford Bunker in both leagues I'm part of.  Last night I played a league Guild Ball and Blood Bowl game so it was a busy evening.

Dave's Morticians
First up was a Guild Ball game which saw my Butchers team facing against our own Longshanks Dave who was using Morticians.  My team was formed of Ox, Princess, Boar, Boiler, Brisket and Shank.  Dave was using two of the new season 2 models in his team which was formed of Scalpel, Dirge, Bonesaw, Ghast, Cosset and Silence.  This was only my 2nd full game and I've never really seen much of what the Morticians can do - but things seemed to go well for me as I took control of the middle of the pitch and ignored the ball.  Ox took a lot of damage from Scalpel at one point and he was reduced down to one box of health left.  As she was doing this she was moving his influence to other Butchers team members - but they were so close to him that after she was done, they just charged in and attacked her in return!  Ox got healed up a bit and managed to suffer another round of attacks from Cosset but still refused to leave the pitch.  What a guy!  While this was all happening my Butchers were dealing out a lot of pain.  I was racking up the kills all over the place.  I was 10-2 up and I had the option of scoring with Shank who was well within range of the goal or standing up Ox and letting him smash up Ghast.  I thought Ox deserved the chance for revenge so he stood up for free and starting swinging.  Ghast, who was already damaged, was cut apart.  A good win for the Butchers with a 12-2 scoreline.

Paul's suspicious looking sausage
Next up was the final league game for my Goblins against the Goblins of my buddy Paul.  Both our team were in a decent condition - each had 15 players, a full set of secret weapons and only 20K in TV apart.  I won the toss and my fanatic managed to knock out a troll and also obligingly left a space for my chainsaw to run through the game and blitz Paul's fanatic which took him out.  In the next turn Paul did the same to my fanatic with his chainsaw.  It was mayhem!  Players were getting injured and knocked out all over the place.  I scored in my turn 8 of the 1st half which left one turn for Paul to try to equalise by throwing a goblin.  I'd had to bring on my bombardier who acted as the perfect landing spot for his thrown goblin, knocking them both down.  For the 2nd half Paul only had four players on the field so it didn't take long before I scored again.  Just to add insult to lots of injuries, I scored once more in the final turn of the game.  So a good 3-0 win for my goblins.  They were due to play one more game in the season but the coach I was scheduled against has quit the league so I get an auto-win.  My goblins end the season on 7 wins, 3 draws and just 2 losses so I'm very happy with that.  They would qualify for a play-off position in the Championship Division - but I am also running an undead team in the Premier Division who are going to qualify so my poor gobbos are excluded.  A fun team though and I'm kinda sad that I won't use them again for a while.

Saturday, July 9

Twisted Cup II

I went to the Twisted Cup II one-day Blood Bowl tournament today with my newly painted High Elves.  I will be honest and say I wasn't expecting to get a great results as I know that High Elves aren't a great tournament team and there would be some decent opposition going.

For my first game, I was facing a chap with a Slann team and he had a terrible amount of luck trying to get his Hail Mary Pass lineman to pick up the ball.  I kept sending my fast players up field to hog the ball - which worked great as thanks to his dice and me rolling for a Blitz twice, I was 3-0 up by turn 5!  My half time I had made it 4-0.  In the second half his dice got better and he started causing some injuries on my players.  Even so, the game ended 5-2 which, I believe, is my highest ever total in one game in a tournament.  A much better start to the day than I had ever expected.

Game two and I was in 2nd place which meant I was playing against my mate VultureSquadron who was also playing High Elves.  He won the 1st Twisted Cup the year before with them and, having played him before, knew I was in for a very tough game.  We were both being quite cagey but we finished the first half 1-1 with me receiving the ball.  More cagey playing and I eventually made my break in Turn 8.  All I needed to do was block a lineman out of the way which would make a gap for a blitz on the guy marking my ball carrier - and I rolled double-skulls.  Argh!  In his final turn he managed to surf my ball carrier, picked up the ball and got it to a lineman who just needed to throw a short pass to a catcher to steal the win.  I was so relieve when he fumbled it!  1-1 against a great coach with a tournament winning team - I was just annoyed I missed out on beating him for the first time.
For the final game I was playing another High Elves team coached by a new chap in his first tabletop tournament.  He was a nifty player and I was really struggling when I started losing players.  Despite my best efforts, I just couldn't cope with being so many men down and lost 2-1 in the end.

So - a final tally of 1-1-1 which really isn't that bad for my first time using High Elves in a tournament - and I am still ruing that bloody double skulls that stopped me winning Game 2!  I am not sure where I finished in the positions but I was very shocked and pleased to be awarded the Best Painted Team trophy.  Fantastic!  It was a really good event and great to meet some of my Blood Bowl mates from Belgium who had travelled over for the day.

Friday, July 8

New Camera Set-up for Photographing Minis

I've never been particularly happy with how my photos of my minis look on this blog.  I tend to do one of two things when taking photos of them.  The first is to just take a picture with my phone camera using my hobby lamp as the sole light source or I use a small digital camera with a light box, again just using my hobby lamp as the light source.  I then adjust the photo using Picasa to try to get the colours close to how they look in real life.  The problem is that if the colours are vivid, the adjustment really can look terrible.  As an example, look at my photo of some of my Goblin Blood Bowl team.

The models really do look nothing like this at all.  The skins have been yellowed and the red and yellow clothing are far too garish.  Terrible and quite annoying as I actually got a Best Painted award for this team at a tournament.

I knew I really did need to get some extra lamps so I have been keeping an eye out for something cheap on eBay - and I did eventually pick up a light box with four different backgrounds, two lamps and a camera stand all for the princely sum of £13!  I had also seen a webcast where a professional photographer had said that cameras in phones and small digital cameras save the image in .jpg format which means the device is doing a lot of the processing of the image before it's even saved to the memory card.  What you do in post-processing is fix what it messes up.  He took photos in a .raw format and uses his computer software to adjust the raw image data.  So - as the light box kit had included a camera stand, I dug out my wife's old Nikon D40 digital SLR camera which had been in a cupboard for years.  I have since found that camera manufacturers actually have their own proprietary encoding for .raw and Nikon uses a .nef format.  Thankfully it seems that Picasa can edit these so I was good to go.  First attempt was for the four journeymen goblins from the previous picture - and they now look like this :

This if far closer to how these models look on the tabletop!  I have taken photos of the rest of the Goblin team in this way and I'll post these below.  I still need to play around and work out things a bit better as the camera I'm using is a DSLR and it's a lot more complicated than the point and click of the little digital camera or my phone camera.  I need to work out how to expand the depth of field so I can take an image of a group of models and keep them all in focus.  Something for next time!  Until then, here's some better photos of my Goblin team.