26 February 2009


Having resigned myself to missing out on the new BB season opener to go to Mum's 60th (which was great and she really enjoyed it), I was geekily rewarded. She and Dad gave me a bin bag of my old gaming stuff from the loft that had been up there for over ten years. It was full of nostalgic gaming treasure from the early '90s:

- Talisman (main game plus four expansions)
- TSR's War of the Ring (the one with millions of tiny card counters and the massive map of Middle Earth)
- 4th Edition Warhammer and Battle Magic (pretty much pristine and complete except for the miniatures)
- some early '90s dwarfs, including a few cannons and two gyrocopters
- a D&D starter box from about 1990
- and (my favourite!) Man O' War (again pristine but without the starter ships)
- seven Dwarf ships for MOW

My wife was fairly kind in how little she laughed at me in my unrestrained boyish delight. Now I just have to decide whether it all goes on Ebay, as I have no storage space or finances for another gaming system. Although selling MOW would be a wrench....

19 February 2009

Finally - dice rolling in 2009!

Woohoo! I got my first games of 2009 in today over at Chris' place. His wife and baby were away so Malc and I went over for a few hours for a bit of BloodBowl. We actually played a variant called StreetBowl which I'd heard of but never played before. It's a streamlined version of the game with fewer players on a smaller pitch, set in the narrow alleyways of a crowded city rather than a proper stadium. The random events of the game are a little more low rent and humourous - we had three kick-offs during the day that were interrupted by donkeys runnning through the line of scrimmage!

Game 1:

This was me against Chris (I'm at the near end with my Nurgle team against his Humans). We were (okay, I was) a little slow getting on top of all the little differences with the usual game, but the increased level of anarchy and violence was entertaining. It ended with me snatching a last minute equaliser with Chris' team reduced to a mere three - the others either having been injured or snuck off to the local tavern (no, really!).

Game 2:

Here's Malc's Lizardmen team in all their purple glory. A combination of heavy-hitting from the larger ones and incredible dodging ability from the little ones (and a small imbalance in dice rolling) led to my team rolling over for a soft 1-0 defeat. I was very good and only sulked a little bit.

Game 3:

Malc and Chris faced off. I was kinda distracted during this game reading through Chris' Legends of the High Seas rulebook and planning a Naval crew, but I think it ended with Chris delivering a bit of a kicking to Malc. Served him right :)

Game 4:

Me and Chris again. We were playing a bit quicker by this point, and the game became a lot more violent. This was partly due to some extremely jammy dice rolling from yours truly, but also because we were getting the hang of lining opposing players up for a good smash against the alleyway walls. Like I said, my dice were good, and it was a bit one-sided (although games against Chris are never that one-sided as he's quite the veteran). Full time saw me win 2-0, having caused twice as many Casualties (not a random capitalisation, an in-game term) as him.

All in all, a good fun day's gaming. Nice to be doing more social geeking again.

10 February 2009

Ah-harr, pardner!

So, there's this friend of mine, Chris, who basically lured me back into gaming a few years back after a decade or so on the wagon. Anyway, he's usually the one to find new projects that he tries to get us involved in, and yes, I'm usually the first to submit (which is why I have a bunch of Aeronautica Imperialis planes sitting half-painted in a box somewhere). He has been trying to get games of Legends of the High Seas going - "It's only a few miniatures", "Pirates are cool", "You can borrow my figures to begin with". I swear he'd have been a fantastic crack-dealer in another life!

With a few extra quid in my pocket this month, and with a bunch of stuff about to get flogged on ebay, I thought I'd take a look at the Warhammer Historical site and see what the fuss was about. Looks ok. So I had a look at the Black Scorpion site as I'd heard they make nice pirates. Big mistake. They do make nice pirates, but they also make luvverly cowboys, varmints and lawmen. Instantly I think "If I get some gunslingers and Legends of the Old West as well as the pirates I won't have to pay shipping; that would save me money!"

"Hi, my name is Rab, and I'm a miniatures addict...."

7 February 2009

Blood Bowl is back!

Our local BB (that's Blood Bowl to the uninitiated - a sort of fantasy races rugby or yankee football) league is about to kick off its new season. Actually, we have two; one in which you can play whoever, whenever, and one in which we all try to get together at someone's house and play all day about once every two months. It's that second league that's just about to restart. Frustratingly, I'm going to miss the first day of games as it's my mother's 60th birthday, but that hasn't stopped me getting excited about it as well.

The most exciting part of it all, in painting terms, is that Mike has commissioned me to paint him an orc team based on The Gouged Eye team mentioned in the 'fluff'. Now, you mustn't let the fact that he lost an eye (yes, I know, ironic choice of theme for his team!) make you think he's so desperate for someone with depth perception that he'll take even my painting; he assures me it's because he likes it, which is very flattering.

Anyway, I'm determined to do as good a job as I can, and have already finished the star player for the team, Varag Ghoulchewer (who comes up with these names, eh? As if our hobbies didn't sound geeky enough...). I'm pretty pleased with it, and I hope you believe me that it's my poor photography that makes it look like it's been dunked in yacht varnish.

I really struggle with getting good photos of miniatures, I end up having to faff around with the brightness and contrast in Photoshop which makes them look really glossy and steals the top highlight and bottom shade. I think it's because I don't have enough light on my painting desk - more on that in a week or two, I hope - suffice to say that my wife is a pearl beyond price!