26 April 2009

Who are you calling a chicken?

Um, the chickens, actually.

Don't worry, I'm not going all surreal on you, and this isn't going to become a farming blog, but we've finally got some chickens. Three, in fact. They are ISA Browns and came from a battery-farm rescue run on Saturday. It was all very cloak-and-dagger, with texts telling me where to meet and when (the Carphone Warehouse car park at 1pm, in case you're interested), and what car they'd be driving. When I got there, there were little huddles of vaguely do-gooder looking middle-class folks (me included, despite the new thug look - see photo later) who would glance at each other and mutter "Chickens?" before the groups would coalesce.

Got my three 'girls', all moth-eaten from the cages, and brought them home to their new and freshly finished palace. They settled in straight away and have given us our first two eggs. I'm a happy hen-keeper :)

The palace, inhabited at last, and all my own work

Me (newly and mistakenly shaven-headed) introducing son and heir to layers

The first egg; beautiful, isn't it?

23 April 2009

No rest for the geeky

Just added my 'Unfinished Projects' list to the sidebar on the right. Blimey - that's a lot of painting still to do!

I have to get that one remaining pesky skaven finished by the Blood Bowl Grand Tournament (BBGT) on the final weekend of May, and really want to get Mike's stuff finished by then as well.

I think I'll add a 'Painted Mininatures' bit as well to cheer me up!

18 April 2009


I managed to get a full refund in vouchers for a duplicate copy of The Great Warbow by Robert Hardy that I got as a present, so today I snapped up a copy of the award-winning Carcassone. It's been like one of those films you know you must see, but never have: a game I've never played and always felt I should.

It looks really good. Lots of beautiful tiles, and on a first read-through it would appear to have fairly simple gameplay, but room for cunning thought.

12 April 2009

Cheesemongering vermin

Before I start, apologies that there are no photos of the games for this entry - I forgot my camera.

The day began dark and wet, but thanks to Chris', erm, "assertive" driving we were soon over at Dan's for a hot breakfast to set us up for Fenbowl II - a full day of league Bloodbowl play. We're running the league standings on percentage win, with a draw counting as half a win, and a minimum number of games having to be played to be in for a chance at the league title.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I missed the first league date because of my mother's 60th, so I was keen to get a couple of good results under my belt to catch me up. Having chosen the speedy but fragile Skaven (think bad-tempered, short rat-men), I was also hoping not to lose too many players. I was successful on all counts :)

Game 1:
I drew Dan's Wood Elf team first up. I knew this would be a potentially high-scoring game, with both our teams being quick and designed for ball-handling, not bashing. Dan's also got plenty of Woody experience. I was glad I'd chosen all four available Gutter Runners (the fastest players in the whole game) to boost my attack as it was end-to-end play for the whole match, with me edging the win at 4-3 by pulling off a ridiculous move that involved about twenty dodge rolls, picking up the ball in a tackle zone, passing the longest pass possible needing a 5+ (on a d6), catching, dodging a bit more and then having to Go For It (sort of like an afterburner that lets you go up to two extra squares dependent on a dice roll) to score. I like speed, especially after playing a couple of slow teams recently.

Game 2:
Mike's Humans. Mike plays a determined, driving game; a bit like a rolling maul in rugby union. I knew this would be tricky, and after I lost the ball immediately after having been kicked off to, I figured I'd thrown it away. Fortunately, by continuously chucking expendable linerats under the feet of his maul for the remaining seven turns of the first half I managed to shut him out. 0-0 at the half. I kicked to him at the beginning of the 2nd half, and prepared for another desperate 8 turns of defence. Luckily, forcing Mike to pass from an awkward position spilled the ball for me to very quickly counter and score. It's what Skaven do. Lots and lots more defence later, and a bit of unlucky dice for the Humans kept it at 1-0. Phew!

Game 3:
Chris and his Amazons. An unusual team in that they all have the same basic stats, all can Dodge but only have average Agility, are all moderately fragile, none are particularly quick. I've only played against them once before. It was at a tournament, when I smashed them, so was feeling fairly confident. It started evenly enough, but a couple of turns it all went my way, dice-wise. I didn't really have to do anything tactical - just pounce whenever the ball came loose, rely on being able to pull off ridiculous strings of dice-rolls to dodge anywhere I chose, and then score. 4-0. 

So, I now have a 100% win record which puts me top of the table and two of my gutter runners rolled Movement stat increases, making them MA=10. Nice!

The only downside to the whole day was giving myself mild concussion getting back into the car by smacking the back of my head into the door-frame hard enough to make the whole vehicle rock noticeably. I've never been concussed before and it was a bit like being seventeen again and trying desperately to hide from my parents that I had been to the pub on the way home from school for a beer, only without the pleasure of drinking the beer. Ouch!