Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Hisime (Noiembrie)

Well I met my November target. I introduce the:

Here are all 27 miniatures (and a ball) that make up the team I will be using in the 2012 WFC Blood Bowl league (some of you may remember my re-usable display stand):

 and the close up:

Time for a tour of the team.

First and foremost is the team manager: Count Kennerley XVIII'th Earl of the Busk. That's a skull goblet full of blood he is spilling as he watches the team score their first TD. He is a Reaper Miniature model that looked perfect for the role.

Next up the main players, the vampires:

There are 6 of them, the final model is a duplicate of the fella on the left. Their position number is hand painted in roman numerals onto their knee plate.

The vampires are going to fail the occasional blood lust roll (1/6 chance) so we need some meat and here they are (10 Thralls in all):

Again Roman numerals are hand painted onto the armour plate. The vampire team is going to be quite hard to establish. I see myself loosing quite a few of my first matches which means towards the mid-season I should start seeing quite a lot of inducement money. And that means I need star players. You have already seen Luthor von Drakenburg popping up in a few pictures. Here are the others I painted this month.

I have a Crazy Igor:

And Wilhelm Chaney:

The team will need some sideline support. Starting with a BLOODweiser babe to cope with the inevitable Thrall KO's caused by those failed blood lust rolls:

A cheerleader next, and a guy in a coffin (from my assistant 'black' coach) that will either masquerade as the assistant coach or apothecary (yes a vampire team can take the apothecary) until I get the Reaper Undertaker model.

And as a final addition to the team, some markers that can be used for things such as turn, score and re-roll markers. Or extra Cheerleaders or... well whatever. They are fairly generic.

Extra points if you can tell what is hand painted onto that final gravestone!

As if 27 models in 1 month wasn't enough I also promised to base my old Skaven team. Here are the 13 standard models on the work-station. A fairly easy job, static grass with a white line and then the edge of the base painted brown to add contrast. Much better than the plain Goblin Green they were before (See those earlier posts people):

For the Skaven mutants and Rat Ogre I wanted something a little different so decided to add some warp-stone. My first attempt at warp stone and I am really quite chuffed with it:

So there you have it. 27 Models for the Bite'em'all Ravens team and another 18 models based. Don't expect this much in December. I'll be lucky if I get my black coach completed.


Sunday, 27 November 2011

Acestea sunt în scădere ca muştele

It has been a while since my last blog update. Not that another Warhammer loss put me off wargames and panting, I have just been rather busy getting my vampires done and playing more boardgames. I managed to get the players done fairly early on this month and have been concentrating on sideline figures to support the team.

This started with a bit of a makeover for Luthor von Drakenburg. When you saw him last (see a few posts earlier) I didn't like the skin tone (Skull white with a blue wash) or overall highlights. He was done a few years back when I didn't have the range of blue paints I picked up for my High Elves. The vampires in the team are painted regal blue, with a layer of enchanted blue and ice blue before a highlight of skull white. It looked far better than the paint job Luthor had. So I dipped him in some Dettol and striped him down for his make-over. Here are the before and after shots! Luthor is now more defined, evil looking and confident (I feel like Gok Wang)!

I still need to finish the bases on all the team, but they should easily be finished for the November results post on Tuesday.

So what about sideline miniatures? I've been working on those since finishing the Thralls. I'll leave the majority as a surprise for the final November post (bet you can't wait), but thought I would tantalise your taste buds with this picture.

Seemed as apt model. Anyone know where he is from? Yep the Vampire Counts Black Coach model. This fits the team perfectly, 1, it has this rather smashing vampire in a coffin I will use as an apothecary and 2 it comes with a massive coach (my assistant coach - see what I did there, brilliant). I wont have time to complete the coach but am adding the coffin to my months target (I'll have more use for an apothecary in the first few games of the new season.

I actually wanted to use the Reaper Mini's Undertaker as my apothecary:

But with the Wife's maternity money drying up I am short on funds. Maybe Santa will get me one for being a good boy this year.

I am also adding the re-basing of my Skaven team to my target for the month. Loki may borrow the team for the 2011 WFC  Blood Bowl season. I painted the team back when they were originally released in the 90s. They were the last models I painted before downing tools and trying to be cool. I was immensely proud of them back then. When I recently started painting and playing Blood Bowl again I finished the team with the edition of a rat ogre and the mutants. I copied my old paint job to maintain the consistency of the team. The old models still look OK but could be better... starting with the bases. Here is the team as they stand:

Notice Luthor there trying to get in on the shot. Show off! I will just be adding grass and maybe some warp stone to justify the mutations. Here are a few close ups:

So that's a few more extras that I can squeeze in before the festive period begins and my painting time becomes limited. See you in a few days for the progress post and results!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Im harnannen!

Another day, another Warhammer battle with the High Elves and yup, you guessed it, another loss! I'm really starting to think that either I'm a very bad war gamer, or High Elves are too squishy! Probably the former. Here is the battle report (tips on how to win at this game much appreciated!):

I played host to another 2000 point pitched battle. This time against Craig's Tomb Kings. When we last met on the battle field I soon realised that the Tomb Kings are all about magic, never fleeing and fear/terror. Their weakness' are speed and arrows!

So it seemed simple, a Bolt Thrower, 14 Archers, 28 Sea guard to weaken Tomb King units as they slowly advanced. 13 Silver Helms supported with a BSB and a mounted Noble to clear up the field. And some Sword Masters (as I know Craig hates them). All I had to deal with was his Magic. For that I took a level 4 archmage who would dispel with a +5 (being a cheating girly High Elf). I took the annulian crystal to steal one of his power pool dice into my dispel pool (which he hated). This was all supplemented with the Banner of Saphery on the Sword Masters granting me and extra D3 power pool dice on my turn (similar to his Casket of Souls). Now which Lore to pick. I went with something different... Death. I wanted lots of direct damage spells to snipe at his magic characters and weaken the entire army. The lore attribute meant that any wounds I did had the possibility of further increasing my power pool. Try and out magic an ELF will you! It all seemed to make sense. We faced this:

Level 4 hierophant,
Level 2 Liche priest with the law of light,
Tomb Prince on foot,
Lots of skeleton warriors,
6 chariots,
10 skeleton archers,
7 mounted archers
a Hierotitan,
3 entombed Necro Knights
a flamming skull catapult
and an exquisite looking casket.
Criag got to go first.

Turn 1
Everything slowly advances, well except the mounted archers who had a reasonable movement. The first round of magic Craig ploughs most of his power pool dice into the casket of souls. Irresistible force (he can ignore miscasts) nets him 1 wound against the Bolt Thrower. I use my remaining dispel pool to dispel all other spell casting. Shooting and everything takes aim at the Bolt Thrower (obviously a unit he is worried about). The Skull catapult misfires and is destroyed (nice start), the archers fail to wound the Bolt Thrower. 3 Sea Guard are shot down by the mounted archers. No combat.

My Sword Masters march down the right flank towards the casket of souls hiding behind the brew house. My knights edge forward, keeping out of charge range but close enough to secure a charge if the undead should move. Magic and my prince uses his ring of Corin to auto cast Fury of Khaine on the mounted skeletons. It is dispelled. I try to snipe at the Tomb king general in the skeleton warrior unit. Dispelled with a scroll. I do manage to cast a hex spell on the skeleton knights to reduce their strength and toughness by 1. Shooting and I decimate the mounted archers with my Sea Guard:

My Bolt Thrower and Archers whittle down the Skeleton archers before they can hit the Sword Masters heading for the casket:

 No Close Combat.

Turn 2
After a fantastic first turn for the Elves...it starts to go wrong, the Chariots manage to pull off a 17" charge against my ill prepared sea-guard. Oh no! We can't flee we are too close to the edge of the battle field, we decide to stand and shoot. Luckily we take down 1 chariot meaning the impact hits are only 3D6 rather than 6!

The mounted skeletons move closer to the Silver Helms in an effort to remove the attention from the Bone Giant and Warriors. The remaining skeleton archer moves to the safety of the barricade.

 I catch a break. Craig forgets all about his Necro Knights.

Magic phase and the hierophant casts a spell which allows the Skeleton Knights another normal move. They move ever closer to the Silver Helms blocking their path and directing them away from the action should I charge and over-run. Worse still, the spell allows the unit to re-animate to full strength! All other spells are dispelled.

The Sea Guard raise their shields and wait for the impact from the chariots. 3D6. We can weather this right? Wrong! Craig rolls triple 6. Great! 18 hits. (Luckily) only 11 die. The Unit fights on. Craig issues a challenge, to Craig's surprise I accept with my Archmage. Have I gone mad? Possible. I had given my Archmage the robe which means he can only be hit by magic weapons. Ha ha. But my smile is slowly wiped as Craig tells me the character in that unit has a magical weapon. If only I had taken the talisman which null's magical weapons! Argh! I closed my eyes while Craig rolled his 3 attacks. Two 1s and a 2. My wizard survives. Would the unit? The sea guards kill another chariot and seriously wound another but are hit back hard and flee the confrontation to the table edge. Luck is on my side as the chariots pursue to 1 inch away! phew. I still have a wizard!

Time to retaliate. My Silver Helms charge the skeleton archers who are too close to stand and shoot. The sea guard reform. The Sword Masters continue their march towards the casket of souls. The archers rotate to aid the sea guard with a volley of arrows at the remaining chariots. Magic and with the mounted Noble in combat I can't use the Ring of Corinarchmage. My first spell is dispelled. I fail to cast my second direct damage spell and the phase is over. It's all down to the Bolt Thrower and Archers. Between them they manage to knock down the wounded chariot. Only 3 left but still 3D6 impact hits when they charge next turn:

Combat and the Horse Archers are destroyed before they can strike a return blow. The Silver Helms reform to face the giant and warriors:

The giant is currently behind the tree. You can just see the Sword Masters moving around the back of the brewhouse to face the casket.

Turn 3
No surprise I get charged by the chariots. The Bone giant moves forward but I can still wheel the knights to charge to warriors in my next turn. He remembers about the Necro Knights and tries to raise them near the silver Helm flank. They don't appear.

Magic and my only real mistake in the game. Craig casts a spell that allows him to move the giant again. I stupidly don't dispel as I was worried more about damage spells. The Giant is moved into the gap between my Knights and the skeleton warriors. Craig angles the giant so that when I charge and over-run I won't be able to engage the warriors. Smart move. I dispel all other spells while my archmage is still alive.

Shooting amounts to nothing now for the Tomb King army and we move into the combat phase. My Sea guard face another 3D6 impact hits. Surely I can't be that unlucky again. Oh yes I can. Another 15 hits followed by combat and the archmage and last remaining Sea-guard flee off the battle field. The Chariots reform to face the Bolt Thrower and Archers.

I charge the Bone giant with the Silver Helms and the Casket with the Sword Masters. No magic phase so straight to shooting. Everything aims for the chariots taking them down. My archers have been invaluable this game (thanks to Craig's inability to make armour saves):

Combat and the Silver Helms crush the giant and reform to face the warriors:

The Sword Masters crush through the casket and reform to pressure the warriors rear. They have to move through the graveyard of skeletons recently cut down!

Even though we lost our archmage things were looking up for the Elves.

Turn 4
The inevitable charge from the warriors comes. I'm not that worried my armour should hold. The Necro Knights pop up 10 inches away from the back of the archers. Would the Archers and Bolt Thrower prove their worth again! Magic and without my archmage dispelling becomes difficult. The warriors are blessed with an extra attack and I lose 1 Knight to another spell. A nasty spell is cast upon the archers meaning they can't rotate to face the Necro Knight without facing a difficult terrain test. 

Combat and Craig's general issues a challenge. I accept with my mounted noble. He scores a wound but is cut down in the end. My knights cause several wounds to the unit but suffer some back. A close round of combat - or so Craig thought until I declared my BSB was a battle banner granting me another D6 to the combat resolution. I win and 6 skeletons crumble to dust. The BSB worried him!

My turn and the Sword Masters wind around the brew house to face the level 2 priest and the remaining skeleton archer. I remembered that the aim of the game was to destroy units and claim the points. Leave no-one alive! I rotated the archers loosing 1 in the dangerous terrain test. Shooting and 1 Necro Knight fell.

Combat was where it fell apart. The Silver Helms had to take a fear test, and failed with a double 6. No matter I can reroll with the BSB. Another double 6. I was reduced to a weapon skill of 1. Damn. The challenge from the Tomb King general was met with the Silver Helm champion in an effort to keep the BSB alive. My champion didn't last long. Half my unit struck against the lvl 4 hierophant. My excellent rolling continued and even with low weapon skill I managed to hit him around 6 times. 3 caused wounds but were all saved by the 5+ ward save! The rest of the unit struck the warriors doing just as little damage. When I was hit back most went against the BSB and killed him. My Silver Helms were defeated and fled. They were easily chased down as they ran bring the skeletons closer to the Bolt Thrower and archers. Gulp! It ended pretty quickly after that

Turn 5 
The Necro Knights charge the archers, the skeleton warriors charge the Bolt Thrower. Both units are destroyed. In my turn I catch the level 2 priest with the Sword Masters and reform to capture the remaining skeleton archer in turn 6.

With that it was pretty much all over. Craig had easily won as his big unit of Skeleton warriors included his general and that nasty level 4 hierophant. A 700 point horde with the Necro Knights. Only my Sword Masters worth 200 points remained.

Lessons learnt: I'm rubbish at Warhammer?
I'll get you next time Galbraith!

So Matt/Kieron/Andy fancy an easy game of warhammer soon?  

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

M-am cam dus de val

So vhy do I vant to paint & play a Vampire Blood Bowl Team? Since the 3rd edition of blood bowl was released in the mid 90s I have had the Count Luthor von Drakenburg miniature. Back then I painted him some avful purple colours so vhen I joined the GIMPS blood bowl league 2 years ago I decided he needed a little re-paint:

After all vhat's an undead team vithout a vampire star-player! Last year he came in useful during the Hollin-Busk Horrors pro league clash vith a necromantic team (the brilliantly named the Battenburg Rising - especially with that colour scheme) scoring our winning TD! He vas a lot more useful than the cheaper alternative star player I used to field:

Hack'n'slash vould generally come onto the pitch for 1 turn before getting sent off as the opposition zipped past me to score! Still playing undead, getting my hands on the ball and slovly doing a funeral march up the field was fun and most games vould end in a draw or a vin for the Horrors! I just blocked whenever I could and nearly every player had guard and block. No dodging was ever attempted.  In the end the Undead didn't offer much variety or challenge.

I guess that's vhere the vampire come in. The vampires have strength 4 and agility 4. I can block and dodge, maybe even start thinking about playing a throving game against other tough slow teams. Something different. Vith the added annoyances of Blood Lust and Thralls as my supporting players. Vith the team being re-roll hungry and both re-rolls and vampires being super expensive it's going to take some team management to. But once a vampire team is established (with the pro skill on everyone) its great fun.

Here are the Bite'em'all Ravens in their unpainted glory:

OK as the above shovs I got a bit carried away over the last 3 days and have already fully painted 2 vampires and another 2 that just need highlighting!

Here is my vampire lord (even though these vere taken out for LRB version 5 - I vill use him as my number von vampire). It's nice to paint something dark and foreboding after all those girly elves. It also means my blue paints get a vell deserved rest. The main colour for the vampires vill be black and red (vhat else!). Lots of ink to keep the colours subdued. Their skin however, is Regal Blue layered vith Enchanted blue, Ice blue and then a skull vhite highlights. No inks at all. I think it looks great. Even better in real life, the picture isn't doing it justice.

Compare the Lords skin tones to those of Luthor above (vhich vere done vith inking). I think the new skin paint regime looks much better and vorks as a spot colour. Thoughts? I will probably add a quick touch up of Luthor's skin to my November target.

I have also completed the female vampire. Introducing Bella (I'm not a Twilight junkie I svear)

 The metal armour on the vampire has a brovn vash to make it look old and rusty.

So that's the team. Time to get those boring Thralls done!

Varhammer battle against Craig's Tomb Kings next. Expect a battle report soon!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Ed' i'ear ar' elenea!

That hurt. Last night I played host to a pitched 2000 point battle against Lee's Warriors of Chaos. As it was probably our last game before he heads for warmer lands (he must of had enough of those Northern wastes) we decided to include an additional 700 points worth of Characters. This was mainly so Lee could field Archaon at 695 points. I decided to try Teclis and the rest of the extra points were spent on a mounted prince to support my usual large unit of Silver Helms. As advised I took Lore of Metal with Teclis and 2 Bolt Throwers in an vain attempt to get through all that Chaos armour. As you can probably tell by my tone... it didn't quite pan out that way. In fact if I hadn't of turned up to command the High Elves they would of lasted longer just standing there like statues. Both luck and tactics evaded me.

I took plenty of photos but am leaving Lee to post the detailed battle report so he can brag... and he deserves to; not 1 High Elf was left standing. Ouch!

My strategy was to keep Archaon busy with a couple eagles. Block his movement and generally slow him down while I worked my magic (Metal to lower his armour and High Magic to rip apart his magical weapons so my mounted units stood a chance against him). My archers and sea-guard would shoot at the weak dogs and marauders (something that in fairness did work out for me), while the Silver Helms went around breaking his other stronger units. In fairness I had no idea what to do with the Sword Masters and they spent the game cowering in the pub!

Although I got a good spanking (which I enjoyed when the spanker is a true Gentleman) I learnt...

1) I have no idea how to use Eagles as a blocking unit. I would put them straight in front so that Archaon and his unit could run after me while I fled - towards my other units - DOH!
2) To move characters out of units about to be charged. I left Teclis in the unit of Sea Guard when I full well knew Archaon would get to charge them. DOH!
3) To ask my opponent if he has unbreakable units and to stay away from them. My Silver Helms which should be unit breakers spent most of the game trying to break an unbreakable Hell Cannon which was tougher than the pork scratchings at the Riverside Cafe. DOH!

Silly mistakes, and some really bad rolls for my Bolt Throwers an Magic (1 round saw Teclis roll 1,1,2,3 for a 12+ cast spell) sealed my fate.

So I think more warhammer practise is in order (who's next, come on I'll ave ya) and maybe I'll fly out to Aus for the re-match! Grrrr!

As an aside I did manage to snap a picture of my entire painted Elf force. It's been 1 year since my first 8th edition game with Craig. Not bad progress for 1 year. Still plenty more to do!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

O schimbare de direcţie

And now for something completely different.

My target for November is to paint a 16 strong Vampire Blood Bowl team for the new GIMPS season. 6 Vampires and 10 Thralls. Taking inspiration from last years worthy winners the Tinys 'n' Titans (The Rottenham Redsox still need a exhibition match against you Kieron!) I introduce:

The Bite'em'all Ravens 

I'll post up a picture of the un-painted team in a few days. In the mean time I have a pitched battle against Lee's Chaos Warriors to prepare for! Expect a battle report tomorrow!