1 December 2009

Painting disaster

Last night I was daubing away (for the first time in a couple of weeks) on some half-finished 15mm Hobilars, finishing off their straps and saddle-work. For some reason I couldn't work out it wasn't going well. The paint texture seemed wrong and the paint was clumping slightly as it dried, but only when using my really fine detail brush. I gave up as being 'too tired' and came back to them tonight. Oh dear. I decided I'd strip and restart, but still couldn't work out why - the same paint and same brush were fine tonight on some Outlaws for LotOW.

Then I packed my stuff up tonight and worked out what the problem was - I have a couple of DIY brushes sitting in a jar beside my workbench. They are soaking in White Spirit. I had dipped my brush in the blasted stuff before starting last night and ruined seven cavalry that were almost done. My comment on that mistake was not very polite, but at least I'd rinsed my brushes carefully when I'd put them away last night so the small amount of white spirit had obviously come off and not ruined tonight's Outlaw painting.

Note to self - BE MORE CAREFUL. Sigh!

29 November 2009

Et maintenant pour quelque chose complètement différente

Oui, c'est vrai, j'ai succombé à l'attrait du jeu napoléonien!

(Which my rusty memory, and a bit of help from Babelfish, assures me means I have succumbed to the lure of Napoleonic gaming!)

Yes, too much watching of Sharpe, reading of Aubrey/Maturin, and too many banner adverts from the Perrys and Victrix over on The Miniatures Pages, has led me inexorably to a New Venture, in which our Hero valiantly struggles against Tyranny, the Frenchies and the Corset Fastenings of Dusky Hispanic Maidens.

I had been instructed by the parents to give them a Christmas list, and I was having difficulty. I do need (!) some street furniture for Thorncreek's continued expansion (carts etc), but I rather fancy having a go at making some of it myself first. So I was idly trawling for a set of skirmish rules for Napoleonics in 28mm and discovered a company that was new to me - Too Fat Lardies. They produce a .pdf ruleset specifically for Sharpe-type gaming called Sharp Practice for the princely sum of Seven English Pounds.

They read like it's an absolute blast to play, so I've asked for a whole bunch of Victrix and Perry figures to allow me to do so.

I shall be tackling this project alongside my existing ones once I've got another 3 bases painted of HYW English for Impetus, my Outlaws are finished and I've constructed six buildings for Thorncreek. I've got two done so far:

Obviously this means other Unfinished Projects will suffer, but a couple of them have basically already been put in a box for a few months until enthusiasm for them returns.

Please note - this does not break the Pledge, as it's not my money.

Happy Advent Sunday, all.

8 November 2009

How cats helped win the West

I hope you'll be pleased to know that I haven't been just been sitting sulking about GW for the last few days, I've also been beavering away on the first building for Thorncreek, which I think is in the southern part of Colorado. This should allow mountains, plains, and (at a stretch) the occasional gang of Mehican bandidos that are on the run from down south. Well, quite a big stretch...

In case any of you would like to see how I did it, I've laid out the in progress pictures below. The method is very heavily based on this set of articles over on Geektactica, and using Gungnir's sterling work as inspiration as well.

First off, I measured out some templates (sorry, can't find the picture, but it's not that exciting anyway) for the walls, cut them out of 5mm foamcore and glued them square. I then started cladding the walls with the splints/spills/little-bits-of-balsa-like-wood-for-lightning-bunsen-burners-with. This took quite a while!

The elastic band was to hold the end piece in place while the glue dried. Use lots of glue!

More cladding in place...

I realised I had to add a pointy roof bit on the back of the false front to support the roof - lesson learned for next time, when I'll just make two of the back end pieces and stick one on the back of the false front.

This is where the cats come in! The corrugated iron roofing is made from the box my cat's food pouches come in. I just peeled off the outer layer and was left with the beautifully even corrugations you can see :) It took a little while to find the best way of removing the little bits of 'outer' that stuck to the bits I wanted, but I found that a sculpting tool scraped down each corrugation allowed me to clear the stubborn bits off in about ten minutes. Free and reused - bonus!

The finished building! I trimmed the scrappy bits of foam core around the windows so that they were smooth and stuck bits of splint to form door/window frames. I stuck the whole lot onto some thick card, put a ridge-cap over the tin roof, backed the door/window holes with thin card and used some more of the base card to make a front door. I cut two pieces of thin card rectangle to make the sign, removing the central section from one and sticking it over the other to make a frame. The boardwalk was made by gluing a few modelling matchsticks (from a massive bag I picked up for a song) at right angles to the direction I laid the planks which were more splints. I'm pretty chuffed with it for a first attempt, and now that I've done it once I reckon I'll be much quicker next time.

What will I use it for? As I hope my future buildings will be less crude, this should really be the oldest Thorncreek building. The Land Office, perhaps? Suggestions on a postcard...


5 November 2009

GW helps me reach a decision

One of my favourite websites out there (which has given me great hobby inspiration, advice and enjoyment over the last few years) is www.talkbloodbowl.com

However, if you're reading this entry after the 11th November then the above link will probably not work. This is because Games Workshop, in their wisdom, have sent a Cease and Desist letter to the website manager because it contains the word 'Bloodbowl' in the URL. Now, I can understand protection of Intellectual Property etc, but the manner in which it was done (a week's notice after operating for nine years as the premier fan-site which was heavily used by GW employees to test and produce the last couple of manifestations of the rules) was incredibly heavy-handed and angering. I do not see how it would have been any less effective to politely request that the URL or sitename were changed.

Which is the better way of doing things? To say 'Excuse me', or to roughly barge past, shoving aside the person in your way? Which leaves a better taste in the mouth? Quite.

So the decision? I will not be attending the Bloodbowl Grand Tournament in May (I've been to three of the last four) and I'm right on the edge of a total boycott on future purchases from the main GW. (GW Historical seems to be much more by gamers/for gamers, something I approve of wholeheartedly, so they escape my ire). I will be writing a letter to them to explain the reasons for my decision.

29 October 2009


No, not a type of floor polish, but a Pledge! I've said it out loud twice now (to wife, and to oldest friend) so I guess that means I have to stick to it:

I, Stephen, sometimes known as Rab, will not buy any new miniatures that go on a roster for any games I play or want to play until my next birthday, being the 26th May 2010, except with any money given to me specifically for that purpose.

Now, I was originally going to be more strict than this, but I know my own (lack of) willpower. The above Pledge will still allow me to buy painting/modelling supplies. At a pinch, it will also allow me to purchase, e.g. bystanders for LotOW games. Not so strict, really, but it's a start.

26 October 2009

Out and about with the Civic Patrol

A quick burst of painting tonight after a day filled with guests and their lovely, but very active, children and... I've finished painting my starting lawmen posse for Legends of the Old West. The new additions (from left to right) are: Charles Vickers, Sheriff Nathaniel Crawcrook and Deputy Jeremiah Ainsworthy.

And without the sepia to hide my hurried brushstrokes on the last three members:

So, now I've got:

- Sheriff (repeating rifle, sixgun)
- Deputy (shotgun, sixgun)
- Vigilante (sixgun) x 3
- Vigilante (sixgun, shotgun) x 2

Now, I've chosen their armaments entirely on what the models are sculpted with, so I may make some adjustments with a few games experience!


18 October 2009

Johan Meier

Johan (nicknamed 'Jonah' because of his dreadful bad luck) is the veteran of countless failed business (and romantic) ventures. His popularity is based evenly on his predilection for long, hilarious, self-mocking anecdotes about his latest misadventure, and his open-hand and open-wallet to those in need. For all his apparent foolishness, he is no imbecile and will not get taken advantage of. He's also pretty handy with that shotgun and is an active member of the Civic Patrol.

I'm actually a bit disappointed with this figure; there's something just not quite right about the way he's come out, although the funny shadow near his eye isn't there in real life. Ho-hum, he'll do - I'm not so unimpressed that I'll strip him and start again, and I want to keep up the momentum I've currently got. Here are the Thorncreek Civic Patrol so far:

Now, while the temptation is quite high to give them somewhere to patrol (i.e. Thorncreek itself), I'm determined to get the starting lawmen posse (sheriff, deputy, five vigilantes) complete first.

17 October 2009

The Harris boys

"See over there, yup - there on the table by the stairs? That there's Joshua and Daniel Harris. They and their Ma and Pa farm out East a little way. They're on the Patrol, but I still would be careful not to cross 'em! Polite and gentleman-like, a credit to their Ma, but talk down their family, or try and cheat them at cards and they'll knock you down. Do it again and they'll like as not shoot you where you stand! Good lads to have on your side when the lead starts a-flyin'. Patrol's lucky to have 'em"

13 October 2009

The founding of Thorncreek

"Pull up a chair, Pardner, and I'll tell y'a tale. Fifteen year ago, I bought me a patch o'dirt out here. Me an' a few other fellas, families, couple o' ranchers; you know, the usual. We were doin' well, building' up, bein' respectable folks. Then a couple o' years back the trouble started. A disagreement over a fence or two 'tween the Harris boys and the Claytons turned pretty nasty, been rumblin' on ever since. So me an' the town gents got ourselves together, formed the Thorncreek Civic Patrol. You gonna play nice in town? I hope so cuz we finally got ourselves a Sheriff on the way and I hear he's awful fond o' the noose."

Patrick Flannegan, Civic Patrol member, town founder and hotel owner

Finally got some painting done - whoop! I've also got a whole bunch more primed and ready to go. Cowboys and Space Hulk have got me pumped again, so I'm going to stick with them, and then go back to Impetus when the feeling grabs me. Surely I'll get more done that way.

Below are a couple of workbench snaps to prove I really have been priming away :)

3 October 2009

"Begin the litanies, brothers"

While the whole "I am more gothic than you" way the 40k universe has gone just makes me want to snort with derision (has it got worse, or have I just grown up?), I do like the idea of orders of warrior monks - templars, hospitallers, and, erm, adaptes astartes. Yeah, I've always kinda liked the idea of space marines, if nothing else.

So, as I explained in previous posts, I'm putting together a retro Hulk; the new board and pieces (except with a replacement timer that actually works - £1.49 from a cheapo store, btw, right next door to the local GW who couldn't offer me a replacement 'that day'), but with 1st edition genestealers and '89/'94 terminators. I'm basing them on really nice resin bases from Fenris Games.

This morning I got to sit down and do an hour's geeking for the first time in ages, and here are a couple of 'in progress' shots:

The Battle Brothers

The Xenos threat

Obviously I had to clip the slotta-tabs off the figures, then file, pin and glue them onto the resin bases (I may have mentioned how much I like them - they were great to do business with, as well, sorting out my messed up order in minutes over email). I may glue some washers to the bottom of the bases for extra 'heft', but, although light, they don't need it for balance.

Anyway, if the wind drops a bit, I'll get them undercoated later today.


1 October 2009

The main reason

Ok, time to come clean (I have permission!) - the main reason I've had no time to paint or game is:

Darling wife is 12 weeks pregnant (baby due on 13th April) and has dreadful morning sickness, so my mind hasn't really been on little toy soldiers. Fear not, Geekly Digest fans, normal service will resume shortly.

In the mean time, I'll be doing a little jig for joy :)

17 September 2009

A painting plan

Right, still no painting, but I've found another blog (here) which has a nice and straightforward regime for getting the 'stealers done very satisfyingly. Maybe this weekend...

14 September 2009

Into the Hulk

Yup, I gave in. I bought a set off ebay that was without the miniatures, which was fine as it was a [i]lot[/i] cheaper that way and it means I can use the luvverly Rogue Trader terminators I snagged as a bargain recently. I also got some 1st ed genestealers so the Emperor's finest have someone to righteously smite. Cool :)

What is less cool is that I still haven't picked up a brush - total painting block :(

3 September 2009

Oooh, shiny

I went over to Chris' tonight as his pre-order of Space Hulk had arrived. It took us quite a while to punch out all the board sections, counters etc and to get the figures off the sprues. What a lovely box of toys it is! We played one of the early missions (Cleanse and Burn, I think) both ways - he played the terminators first, while I commanded the genestealers, then we swapped over. Chris won both games, testimony to his greater experience of the game (he didn't miss this game first time round) and some astonishing dice rolling. In particular, the sergeant armed with thunder hammer and storm shield was (for Chris, not me) absolutely monstrous - a one-man swathe of destruction, utterly invulnerable and quite deadly. The game plays so well, I love it!

I got home fully decided to buy my own copy (and then flog the included figures on ebay as I prefer the 'old skool' figures I recently acquired), all my plans from the previous post discarded, but they've sold out from the online store!!!! I may be able to snag one from our local GW store, but as I won't be able to get there for opening on Saturday I may have to ask a favour of the manager who I know a bit...

What a strange position to be in - I now want to give GW money (!), but they don't seem to want it!

31 August 2009

Excuses, excuses....

Ooooo-kay, first off - the admission: I haven't picked up a brush since my last post.

Now - the excuses: family holidays, friends coming to stay, drinking more at supper so I don't want to start painting and screw it up, more holidays.

So what's next? I'm carrying on with my Impetus painting, but I'm going to intersperse that with some larger scale stuff again, particularly some Bloodbowl star players (skaven ones for an exciting and quick-play variant that Chris has come up with), and I fancy trying a cowboy or two having caught the second half of Once Upon a Time in the West on telly the other day.

Obviously, my butterfly mind has alighted on a new (well, old but resurrected by the re-release) gaming idea:

I just missed out on this first time round (it had gone out of print before I realised what a great game it was), but have occasionally costed up getting the various bits off Ebay. Now, I can't justify ~£60 for a boardgame at the moment, and a limited edition means they'll likely be all gone before I put, say, a tenner a month aside and save up. My plan, therefore is to take it step-by-step:

First - get some 1989-edition metal terminators.
I snagged a job-lot off Ebay for under £2 each; they haven't arrived yet, but if they match up with the photos then a bit of paint-stripping and I reckon I've got a bargain :) Any spares will then be resold on Ebay or traded with James, whose son is Blood Angels mad.

Second - genestealers
Metal 'stealers are rarer than hen's teeth it would seem, but the plastic ones are not too pricey (by GW standards), and show up cheaper on ebay fairly regularly.

Third - the tiles
These are rather expensive on ebay, and I don't want to shell out so much for something that will probably be a little worn (at least with figures you can strip and repaint, or even greenstuff if necessary). My plan is to order the space corridor tile-sets from Litko. They even sent me .pdf templates of the tiles so that I can resize some Space Hulk-esque artwork I found on the net to fit. I'll then print them off onto stickers so that I can just cut, peel, and stick for instant board pieces.

Fourth - the counters
More Litko stuff, here. They do custom counters for a good price, and their quotes hold for 90 days so I can get these in a month or two's time.

Fifth - the rules
This is the tricky one. I can't see any legal way of getting the newest rules, but I know they're based on the 1st Edition very closely. These are available (or at least, until the new release) as a free download from the GW site and I do have a copy. I'll have to keep thinking on this one.

So, that's me, getting ready for school (back tomorrow ) and ready for a bit of escapism which will get me back into the painting groove, I reckon.

27 July 2009

Henry, 1st Lord Scrope of Masham

Henry, 1st Lord Scrope of Masham, was born on 29 September, 1312, in Masham, England. Henry figured prominently in all the wars of Edward the Third, and in 1350, was summoned to parliament as Baron Scrope of Masham. He fought at Crecy, Poitiers and Najera. He died on the 31st July 1932. The Scropes of Masham were a cadet branch of the Scropes of Bolton family, hence the use of the white difference or cadence mark over the Scrope arms of azure, a bend or.

Anyway, scene set (real history, by the way, fact fans!), I actually chose Henry as he had a nice simple coat of arms, and I was able to download his flag (free, gratis, and for nothing) from the rather excellent krigspil.dk website. If you want a flag for pretty much any period, then check them out before spending any money.

I based these on a 30mm un-lipped base (i.e. a slightly larger version of the bases like those sold by GW), which handily is within a gnat's crotchet of the same thickness as my standard bases for the rest of the army. I think I'll base all my commanders like this. If I'd planned ahead a little better, I'd have put the banner-bearer on the other side of him so that I could stretch the flag out to the right and it wouldn't look (to the casual or uninformed viewer) like I'd painted his bend or going the wrong way!

The main reason I did him now, as opposed to later, is that I've been finding it rather more difficult than expected to get nice horse-flesh colours on the mounts of my hobilars. However, the English summer is doing its rainy best, so I'm off for another attempt.

22 July 2009


Managed to find a few moments (i.e. it was raining) and got these fellows polished off this afternoon. As mentioned before, the green and white livery is that worn by troops raised by the Black Prince.

Next up, some hobilars:

I also came across an article in the paper today, mentioning a website www.medievalsoldier.org which carries a database of the soldiers who fought for England against the French between 1369 and 1453.


20 July 2009

Oh yeah, baby, it's the holidays!

Nothing new to report, geek-wise, apart from a few splashes more paint on those archers from the workbench a couple of posts back. It is, however, now the school holidays :) Hopefully I'll pick up the pace a bit, but if it's sunny then I'll be down the allotment. So, anyone who likes seeing the geeking I'm up to needs to pray for rain in East Anglia.

The weather at this moment? Glorious sunshine; I'm off to get weeding...

6 July 2009

Carrot Crunch

No, not a new type of breakfast cereal but the name of the Bloodbowl tournament I went to this weekend. I had an absolute whale of a time; the Sudbury and District Wargamers did a superb job organising it. There were forty coaches - some very experienced, others at their first tourney - and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves throughout, no matter how their games were going. The continuous flow of free food, soft drinks and beer throughout the weekend may have helped towards that cheerful glow ;)

Game 1
Opponent - Amazons
Score - 0(1)-3(4)

First game was against Dave ("Lycos"), the current president of the NAF - the world Bloodbowl coaches organisation. This top bloke, aside from his other talents (gaming and organisation-wise), has the most remarkable memory for people's faces and names. He goes to pretty much every tournament running and has quite the results record, but we've never played each other before so I was pleased to see we were paired up for the first game. I really enjoyed the game, even if I was hopelessly outclassed, and I got a casualty with my chainsaw player...

Game 2
Opponent - Goblins
Score - 2(0)-0(1)

After the spanking I got in game 1, I headed right down to the bottom table where I met Emrys, another goblin coach. We were prepared for a game full of dirty tricks, secret weapons and fouling, and neither of us were disappointed - marvellous :) The picture shows the field in turn 7 of 8 of the first half when I had removed ALL of his players from the pitch. I scored in turn 8 to finish the first half 1-0. The second half was a highly entertaining repeat of the second, with poor Emrys reduced to one standing and one prone player before I scored at the end of the game to go 2-0 at the end. A win? Hurrah!

Game 3
Opponent - Humans
Score - 0(2)-3(5)

A picture of munson's human team (the lovely Greek-themed miniatures from Impact). Despite him still suffering from the night before, munson's aggressive style made absolute mincemeat of my little guys.

The roll at the beginning meant I got to receive the ball and therefore go first. Mwahaha - I fired up the chainsaw and killed his Ogre straight away before he even got to move :) This was about the best moment of the match, however, and I ended the half 1-0 down (not too bad), but with only two big (and stupid, needing to roll 4+ before they can do anything) trolls and one goblin left. As this left me no defence, another three TDs rapidly followed, with me down to one troll by the end who still managed to run, pick up the ball (!) and head for his end zone. To no avail. I have now been officially 'munsoned'. Funny though!

Game 4
Opponent - Humans
Score - 2(1)-2(2)

An awesome first half for me against Jason saw me score twice to end the half 2-0 up. The goblin on the pogo-stick (I told you they were a silly team) scored both of them, Leaping over the astonished humans and speeding towards a risky ball snatch and sprint for the line each time. The photo below shows Jason putting a brave face on things as I wound up to score the 2nd.

The problem was that for the 2nd half, all my Secret Weapon wielders got sent off leaving me somewhat reduced in numbers (down to 8 compared to his 11) and unable to defend (have you worked out the theme of my weekend yet?) as is standard for Goblin teams. He scored twice and then went for the winner. First up he cleared the pitch (including a very sneaky set of Crowd Pushes) so that I had no players for my turn 7. On to his turn 8. With the ball carrier being 7 squares for the end zone and having a movement of 6, Jason took the least risky option of the 2+ roll (with a reroll to hand) needed to Go For It one extra square. Breath held until the dice came to rest, I gasped as he rolled a 1, then I have to admit whooping when his reroll also came up as 1. The moment of his disaster is captured below, where you can also see all my players in the KO'd or Dead and Injured boxes.

Game 5
Opponent - Wood Elves
Score - 0(2)-5(3)

A game of endless misery. Sense of humour mismatch with my opponent, coupled with him managing an astonishing twenty-one succesful dice rolls in a row in a single turn, compared to me rolling eleven 1s in a row!!! Least said, soonest mended.

Game 6
Opponent - Chaos Dwarfs
Score - 0(0)-2(2)

My opponent (Val) really entered into the spirit of carnage and disaster that my dice-rolling wreaked upon my own team with great humour. By the end we were giggling like schoolchildren as we worked out more and more outrageous things that his team could attempt.

The pic above shows the ball coming to rest after I failed to roll a 3 on two attempts. The number of my players on the pitch reduced very rapidly from this point onwards. Only the truly unlikely (5+ dodge, 5+ dodge, 3+ dodge, 2-dice his choice block, pick up on a 5+) things worked for me, but it wasn't enough. My tournament ended with great hilarity, if little actual gaming success.

I will definitely be going to this one next year!

I will also definitely be taking a team that doesn't get smooshed so easily. Lesson learned.

30 June 2009

Mustering musings

Being on a real Impetus kick painting up my HYW miniatures from Corvus Belli, I realised last night after posting that I haven't shared my intended army list. I've roughed out a 500 point list, and then sub-selected a 300 point list from that. There may be some tweaking (I may swap out the Hobilars and the Levies for some Cannon), but for now, here goes:

Average CS, Fair Commander
32 pts

1 x King and Household
1 x English Men-at-Arms
1 x Hobilars
82 pts

Missile Troops:
5 x Longbowmen
115 pts

Melee Troops:
2 x Dismounted Men-at-Arms
1 x Welsh Spearmen
1 x French Levies
71 pts

Total = 300 points

On a side note, I probably won't get much further on those archers for a few days as I'm off to another Blood Bowl tournament this weekend. Given the lack of a podium finish with a super-competitive team, I'm going to go for the ultimate joke team - goblins. I had fun painting these guys up a couple of years ago, and will be aiming for the Stunty Cup instead of 'real' victory.

In fact if you look here, my team is in the gallery on the Stunty Cup site. Scroll down to the seventh picture, I think.

29 June 2009

Green and White

Beautiful wife was sorting through photos of beautiful son (18 months tomorrow!), so I got started on a base-worth of archers. I've chosen a green and white colour scheme in honour of the archers raised by Edward of Woodstock, the 'Black Prince', from Cheshire in the mid 1300s.

Just a quick snap from the workbench:

"But Stephen, one of those archers has a hammer, not a bow!"
"That's right, Skippy, but someone has to drive the stakes in to keep those naughty French aristos at bay!"

I was sorting through the great pile of sprues of CB figs in my lead pile and found him in the 'Armed Peasants' pack and thought "Ah-ha!" I hope it works out...

24 June 2009

In harness, and ready for action

I'm a happy geek! I got my first base of English dismounted Men at Arms / Knights / whatever you want to call them completed and based tonight (thanks, Jet, for the basing advice).

It's late and real world work is going to be heavy going tomorrow, so that's it for now, I just wanted to show off my handiwork. Not perfect by any means, but for a first go, and as a gaming piece, I'm pretty chuffed. Just another couple of hundred to paint!

These are Corvus Belli miniatures and are 15mm scale, based for Impetus.

From the front:

and behind:

and an crossbow bolt's eye view:

A little bizarre, perhaps, but my favourite is the trumpeter; I really like the linen colour I got on his coif.

17 June 2009

GT photo

I couldn't find any pictures of any of my games from the GT, but I did find a photo of me taken by my last opponent, Frank. I grabbed it from his website, so here I am looking particularly snazzy (read: knackered after two days solid gaming and liquid refreshment) in my spectacularly geeky club BB gaming shirt:

Over my shoulder you can even see a girl!!!! She was geeking away with the rest of us. It may not surprise you that out of 170-odd coaches, there were probably fewer than half a dozen ladies. You can also see the cod-medieval way the hall is set up. I'm only gently mocking, because it does add to the atmosphere hugely.

Oh, and I fixed my last post with the proper results from my games.

13 June 2009

Back in the saddle

After all that painting (every evening for a couple of hours) to get Mike's team finished in time for the GT (more on that in a few lines), I haven't felt like doing any active geeking until yesterday. I've sent off for a few supplies for basing miniatures etc, but no more than that. So yesterday evening I got the brushes out and painted up a squig (think toothy, psychotic space-hopper allied to orcs and goblins) as a turn counter for my Bloodbowl goblin team. It's not finished, was kinda rushed, and is pretty functional so I haven't bothered taking a picture, but it's got me back in the saddle.

So, the GT. Or, to give it its full title, the Blood Bowl Grand Tournament held in Lenton at Games Workshop's eagle-clad centre for world domination. I didn't take my camera (again - I'm rubbish, sorry), and all the ones I took on my phone came out as vaguely orange blobs. There were six games, three per day, and I took a team (Skaven) that I thought would be pretty good as a tournament team. Didn't quite work out like that, but I did finish 48th out of 170-odd, just outside the top quarter. For those not used to BloodBowl, the number in brackets is how many Casualties caused. I'll put my result first, then my opponent's.

Game 1
Opponent - Dwarfs
Score - 0(0)-2(3)

A nice bloke (Simon) as my opponent, so in that sense a pleasant start to the tournament. However, all my team got beaten up or killed, leaving me no way to defend. I was down to three players by turn 5 (of 8) of the first half. My notes for the game trail off at this point and just read 'oh dear oh dear oh dear'.

Game 2
Opponent - Norse
Score - 3(5)-1(3)

Incredibly random. BB is meant to be a game of barely controlled chaos, and this lived up to that billing. Every possible random event happened at least once and we laughed our way through those two hours. On top of that my team which had proved so fragile in game 1 came back with a vengeance - take that! Kerpow! My opponent Steve proved to be a top bloke, so the tourney continued well.

Game 3
Opponent - Lizards
Score - 1(2)-2(3)

Although highly amusing, every other dice-roll I made failed and led to a player of mine being sent off for fouling or breaking their neck while trying to dodge between enemy team members. Sigh. Dan (the other guy) played the advantages the dice gave him well, and we spent a chatty couple of hours across the table.

End of day one, and 1 win to 2 losses. I tried to be grown up about it, but couldn't help feeling a little frustrated over the way the (mis)fortunes of war(gaming) had conspired against me.

Game 4
Opponent - Halflings
Score - 1(2)-1(3)

I was delighted to see I had drawn 'flings as my first game of the day. They're basically a joke team, so I felt my luck had turned for the better. Not quite. For the first half I rolled a 1 or skull on over 2/3 of all dice rolls. I've blotted the horror from my mind, but I do know it ended with me 1-0 down after having received the ball at kick-off. The second half started in the same way but, turn by turn, it swang back to me and in the dying moments of the game, when it seemed I was fated to drown in a shallow muddy puddle of failure and self-pity, there came a spark of possibility. Knocking the ball free from grubby Halfling hands as they steam-rollered towards my end-zone, assisted by their treemen, I snatched at the ball, frantically pelted across the width of the pitch before launching a last gasp pass over half the length of the field. A fingertip catch, a scamper, lung bursting, and the draw (Draw?! Against 'flings?!) was mine.

Game 5
Opponent - Orcs
Score - 6(1)-2(1)

Now that is how skaven are meant to play. Every sniff of a ball, and I snatched it and speeded away to another touchdown. The balance of that speed is a certain fragility, but the greenskins obviously had forgotten their knuckle-dusters, and so I escaped almost unharmed. It seemed so unfair, in a way, and he took it in such good humour, that we took a longer break at half time and went to the bar so I could buy him a drink. Huge fun, great gaming companionship, and a much needed victory.

Game 6
Opponent - Skaven
Score - 3(3)-2(2)

I was paired up against Frank, a rather well-known BB figure, a German who designs and produces the most incredible scratch-built stadiums for the game (and scenery for every game he plays). I was intrigued to see how a skaven-skaven game played out. In the end it was a bit one-sided (he grabbed a last turn TD which makes it look less one-sided than it felt in the game) as my bad luck from earlier in the tournament now struck my opponent, and I was (if I say so myself) 'in the zone' and seemed able to see how the game was going to play out better than him. He took it really well, and I think still had fun. I thanked him for the game, commiserating when things didn't work out, but underneath I was taking a savage delight in my triumph. Does that make me a bad person? Or overly geeky? Both?

I had umm-ed and ahh-ed over the pretty high fee for the weekend, but in the end it was worth every penny. Even in the games I lost, and the moments when I had to overcome an internal pettiness over failed dice-rolls, I loved the whole thing - the good-natured, easy comradeship that sprung up even more than in any other tourney I've been to. Hurrah for geeking, and bring on the next tournament at the beginning of July.

1 June 2009

Da London Eye

Yay for me - I finished a project! With a mere 15 minutes before I had to set off for the BBGT, the varnish on Mike's team was dry and I could pack them up to hand them over. He seemed pleased with them (and promptly played them against Malc, leading them to a crushing victory), and I was satisfied with the result.

Rush job photos, but they're gone now, so this is the best you're gonna get:



black orc blockers


troll and goblins

Team photo

I promise you that the red has more subtlety than it appears in the pictures.

18 May 2009

Recruitment drive gathers pace

I got the remaining three blitzers painted for Mike's team last night, they just need their team 'eye' transfers adding - I'll varnish the whole team in one go once they're finished. We're heading up to the Blood Bowl Grand Tournament (BBGT) a week on Friday and I hope to have the whole lot done by then. Apart from anything else it means I'll be able to afford to pay for my room!

Once they're all done I'll put up a team photo and then I'll actually have completed a project!!!

11 May 2009

New recruits for Da London Eye

Mike's team (currently known as Da London Eye) got its first regular players completed yesterday. Not varnished yet, but everything else is finished on them, I think. I won't varnish them until all figures are finished in case any touching up needs to be done.

I'm still playing with camera settings, and these have come out with the red looking a bit funny, and the rest a little dark. The quest for decent photos continues....

Black Orc Blocker, Thrower, Blitzer

Lineman, and the two goblins allowed