4 August 2010

Blood on the streets of Thorncreek

Alright, alright, one last time for the latecomers and then I'm a-headin' for mah bed. Summa this Ah had to git from the Sheriff, 'cuz it happened after Ah got plugged in the shoulder here, but this is how it went when those darn cowpokes turned nasty....

The streets of Thorncreek were deserted after word had spread that some of the ranch-hands taken on by the Claytons were heading into town with mischief on their mind.

It wasn't long, however, before the Civic Patrol were out in force and ready to defend their town.

Sheriff Nathaniel Crawcrook and the Harris boys (Joshua and Daniel) headed North up Main Street, while Johan 'Jonah' Meier edged off round through the trees, and Deputy Jeremiah Ainsworthy led Patrick Flannegan and Charles Vickers over the fences and round to the West of the row of shops.

Up at the other end of Main Street, the cowboys were starting to throw their weight around, whoopin' and hollerin' and shootin' into the air.

Heading straight at them, and cursin' at them to mend their ways and clear out of town, the Sheriff and the Harris boys showed no fear.

Gunfire broke out along the side streets now, as it became clear that the trailboss and his nastier cronies were trying to outflank the Patrol. Yellin' and cursin', and then quiet told Sheriff Crawcrook that at least some men were down - he hoped they weren't his. "Joshua, Daniel; you boys go and see if Jonah's gone and got hisself killed. I'll be fine here with Ainsworthy over there" With that he calmly gunned down a cowboy with a fine piece of rifle-shootin'. He spat. "Lawbreakers. They sure do vex me somethin' dreadful."

Through the heat-haze of midday, and the lingering gunsmoke, the Sheriff could see his Deputy charge into two of the uninvited visitors and start layin' into them with his fists and the butt of his rifle. Crawcrook grunted in approval and then, cold as a mountian stream in spring, put a second cowboy out of the fight with a bullet in the gut that would prove fatal.

Round in the East, the Harris' had found Johan hurt but alive, and closed in on the culprit, gunning her down in a hail of lead.

They then headed over to Main Street, just as the rest of the cowboys did the same after dealing with Patrick and Charles. The Deputy was down in a crumpled heap and Sheriff Crawcrook was sluggin' it out with two ne'er-do-wells. As they rushed in to help him, the trailboss stepped out from behind the scrap and shot Joshua right between the eyes. Screaming in fury and loss, Daniel ran at him, but the man in the long pale coat calmly clubbed him to the floor and turned on the Sheriff.

Nathaniel did not have his reputation for nothin', however, and soon it was just him and Joshua's killer left standing. Toe-to-toe, and blow for blow they fought.

Neither giving way, battered and bruised, it was many minutes before the Sheriff finally toppled his foe with a blow that would have poleaxed a steer. Save fer burryin' the dead, it was over.

Post-game chatter
Phew! It came really close at the end with each of us (Me and Chris) gritting our teeth on every Head for the Hills check, but our posse's leaders were just too stubborn. In the end it came down to the Sheriff having a second attack that swung it, and it seemed fitting that it was the two bosses who faced off at the finale.

That was our first game of LotOW, despite it having been ages since I started on this project, but we'd both played GW's Lord of the Rings game in the past, and Chris has done a fair bit of Necromunda gaming, so the rules were familiar. I did nearly blow it early on by forgetting the Heroic Actions that could be called, and did lose two of the posse as a result on the left of the board.

We thoroughly enjoyed it, though, and I think the bad blood between the posse's after Daniel's death will add a certain frisson. Joshua was raised to Hero status for taking out two cowboys, and this seemed fitting. The Sheriff picked up two new skills (Trick Shooter and Pistolier), but we didn't get enough loot to replace the dead vigilante. Chris has his boss out for two games, and couldn't afford to retain his Gunslinger or replace his dead chap, so I reckon the Civic Patrol came out on top. Don't mess with Thorncreek!

I'm not going to mention the game of Elfball we had after lunch, except to say I was outplayed by Chris and destroyed by the dice. Yikes!

19 July 2010

Back... with a win!

Hello again. Life with the (generally wonderful, if somewhat tiring) baby Edmund is now reaching the point of a stable routine, and the geeking may begin again, albeit at an even lower level than usual.

A couple of weeks ago I got a Full Day Pass (!) to go and play silly games. My good friend Chris had organised the second ever Elfball tournament in the UK at a nice pub just down the road, so it would have been rude not to go along. I elected to take Thunder Hammer Dwarves as my team, which I finished painting, oooh, hours before the first dice were due to be rolled. I haven't taken a picture of them myself, yet, but here is one that I found among the photos posted by other attendees:

The team ('The Iron Bruisers') before their first game
Photo by 'spikey'

There was also a beautiful custom board that served as top table for the day's four games:

The day was great fun with plenty of banter (geeking, family, random stuff) and a couple of beers. Even better, I won my first two games which bumped me up to first table, then won game three against Chris (who had a moment of abysmal luck which allowed me to waltz in for the winning score in a very short game). Game four was against Mike from the Swindon lot who came up for the day. He'd won the first tournament and was good. He knew the newly released 2nd Ed. rules better than me and completely flummoxed me at one point with a change I'd not noticed to the Dash rules. Still, I ground it out for a draw........

..... and finished the day as Champion!

A particularly fetching picture of yours truly on the left, there - holding a pose reduces my photogenic-ness even further!

There are further pictures at Dan's album and Spikey's album, and always loads of stuff over at the Impact forum.


20 April 2010

Baby Edmund

Taa-daa! Baby Edmund was born on Friday night, 7lb exactly. Everyone is well, and we're all rather delighted.

9 April 2010

Tartan in 28mm

So, like I've been moaning about for a while now, I basically have no geek time. In true Rab style, therefore, I've decided to start a side-project (an elfball team so that I can enter Chris' tournament in June) and, in addition, try my hand at tartan for the first time, too. I am a sensible planner of my time, NOT!

Anyway, here you go:

The green around the base indicates that this player is a Defender, and the narrow line shows the rear facing. Facing is a vital tactical aspect in the game, which is by Impact Miniatures and is rather groovy.

Thanks for reading,

5 April 2010

Hanging on in here

Hello reader(s). I haven't abandoned either geeking, or this blog, but with baby number two due, well, now, I've been somewhat distracted. I've been doing some bits and bobs, but in such tiny snatches of time it's not really been worth sharing. As soon as baby is here and all is well then I'll get back on with things. Hope you all had/are having a happy Easter.


6 March 2010

My new favourite comic

For those of you not familiar with Sydney Padua's amazing webcomic about an alternative history steampunk version of Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace (first computer designer and first programmer), do yourself a favour and check it out on 2dgoggles.com. This had me snorting with geeky in-joke-satiated hilarity. Man, I'm a nerd!

28 February 2010

Land Office open for business

Whoopee! I got my first building for Thorncreek finished today.

I'd been dithering (how unlike me!) over how to paint the wood, and had done two rather labour intensive (multiple layers and washes) test pieces which I was fairly pleased with, but knew would be mind-numbing for a whole building or town:

So when I was out yesterday picking up some Master's Brush Cleaner (very highly recommended for bringing even nasty old splayed brushes back to life, btw) from the art shop in town, I also picked up two pots of craft paint (Chocolate and Coffee - I guess I was getting peckish!):

Some heavy drybrushing (more like wetbrushing, really) later, and taadaa! A finished building:

The Thorncreek Patrol, ever vigilant...

Quick and dirty pictures, as usual, but it keeps the impetus of blogging going and boosts my feeling of accomplishment if I post straight away I finish something. All the usual excuses about flash washing out layers, funny business from Photoshop when auto-levelling the contrast, but I'm pretty chuffed with how this turned out. The best bit is, the most time-consuming part of painting it was the couple of layers of blue on the windows!

Hope you like it,

21 February 2010

A bloodbowling diversion

The new league season having started (see last post), a little bit of Bloodbowl has snuck in to interrupt my LotOW preparations. Because it usually takes a fair bit of organising to get us together for a day's gaming, we have a fairly relaxed approach to fielding unpainted miniatures. This also means we can use new teams on a whim, but can detract from the visual appeal of the game. I was too ashamed, therefore, to photograph my two games (results in a moment) as I had decided on fairly short notice to use a new team (Chaos Pact) and they had to face their opponents clad only in a film of black spray undercoat [buries head in shame].

For those not au fait with the miniatures from the Chaos Pact team, my understanding is that they were originally a team converted by one of the old GW sculptors and painted by Phil Lewis back in the day for a spread in the White Dwarf magazine. They were then used as masters for a limited production run given as prizes at the Chaos Cup tournament over the years in the USA. Tom Anders ("Galak") was able to do a 500 figure run of each one as part of some highly complex deal with GW which seems to have been a victim of the latest round of C&D letters from the GW attack-lawyers. I'm not privy to any of the details, and I'm so fed up with GW's approach (see earlier posts) that I've no interest in finding out more. Anyway, I got a set of the figs when Tom was selling them, before the onslaught. This is what they looked like in the old magazine article:

After the games (one draw, one loss), I had a quick go at painting up the minotaur:

I went for a brighter and more lurid version of the original paint scheme - in homage, but without slavishly copying.

Anyway - the games. First game was up against Chris with his Slann (think psychotic humanoid frogs). They have the Leap skill across the whole team allowing them to bound over defensive lines and into cages around the ball-carrier. With Chris' positional play abilities I knew this was going to be a challenge. A bit of luck at the beginning of the second half (I pulled off the classic 'throw the goblin with the ball and hope' score - haha!) allowed me to draw level and the game finished 2-2, although he inflicted more casualties on me leaving me a player down for the following game with a permanent reduction in his Armour Value. Boo hiss!

The second game was against Mike and his Orc team. Mike plays a fairly... aggressive... game so I was expecting to lose many many players. As it turned out neither of us managed to inflict a single casualty, but the weather result (Blazing Heat) meant that after each touchdown a whole slew of players would troop off exhausted. It seemed to affect us each in turn, so one of us would be two or three players down at least. This led to a good-natured but unequal contest between us. It turned out 3-1 to him (as opposed to 2-2 which might have been expected) as I couldn't stop him turning me over on the deciding drive.

The other games were such that Chris was crowned the day's victor, but not by so much that the league look unbalanced for future league fixtures.

Phew - a long post! Back to school tomorrow...

12 February 2010

Blighty BB day coming :)

We (that's the Blighty Crusaders, which has sort of become our club name, after the team name we took for the Bloodbowl Worldcup in Nottingham in 2008) are getting off to a good start in our league for 2010. Our second gaming day will be next Friday - half term and teaching is luvverly :)

The rest of them have already played their first set of games, so my team may be a little underdedveloped in comparison. I'm taking a new team to me, Chaos Pact, which is a little temperamental with THREE Big Guys who may go 'stupid' and ruin my masterplan. On the other hand, they may cause absolute carnage. I have played two practice games total with them so far scoring a draw and a loss, so we shall see...

Wish me luck.

10 February 2010

Can't see the wood for the trees

Almost no painting undertaken this week, except to finish off another outlaw for my bad guy posse:

Mostly, I've been doing a little rooting through a box of trees I inherited, picking out the ones that are still serviceable and mounting them on washers:

A couple of pieces of street furniture to shelter behind:

And finally, the three-shops-in-one is nearly done. I'm just waiting on some model railway sheet tiling for the third roof and it'll be all ready to base up:

The purple-looking roof is some corrugated modeling card I found in a cheapo shop; far quicker than preparing the cat-food-box as I described in an earlier post - life is too short! The right-hand roof is overlapped strips of masking tape that I hope will paint up like tar-paper. We shall see.

Happy geeking,

24 January 2010

State of play (ing with toy soldiers)

Before I get stuck in, I thought I'd give you a quick tour of the workbench as it is now, and please forgive the hurried snaps.

First up, the boss of my Outlaws for Legends of the Old West (just finished, I thought, but I've obviously missed putting a wash on that bit on his right sleeve):

Next, the rest of the boys, in various states of preparation:

There's also another shop, or rather three which I'm doing in one go to speed me along:

On a completely unrelated note, the gang are getting back into another fantasy football game, Elfball from the rather fabulous Impact miniatures. This is my ancient Eqyptian themed team in progress:

And finally, I couldn't resist putting together the first of the 135 (!) mostly plastic Napoleonic figures that Ma and Pa got me for Christmas. I shall paint them with the nice new brushes that sister number one got me. They've finally given in and decided that geeking stuff is a valid present :)

21 January 2010

Write on

After a rather hectic six weeks or so (recurring bouts of family sickness, some serious, a funeral and pressures of work), I've not done much painting or western town building. Things seem back under control, however, so I should be back to a roughly weekly posting level by the beginning of February. I'm also doing a bit more fiction writing at the moment, so some free time will go on that.