Saturday, 31 December 2011

Ringare

My final post of 2011 - It is New years eve today (ah the party lifestyle of a parent with two young children). You may have noticed that blog entries have been a little slim over the festive period (unlike my waist-line). Well the painting has been even slimmer. Gok Wang would be proud.

To cut a long story short this month I only managed to complete Alarielle.


I did start Teclis but the festivities of Christmas (and running out of scorched brown paint - I refused to go shopping in December) just got in the way and I didn't even get past a simple base-coat.


Quite a lot of my month was spent stripping old metal miniatures using Dettol. Maybe the fumes got to me and prevented me from doing anything other than undercoating the Black Coach in... well Black.


I did discover during the stripping process that although great on old Metal miniatures (here is the black coach details and driver):


Dettol doesn't quite work the same on plastics. It took about 10 days to get the coach wheels a state where they could be re-painted keeping the original detail:


The final part of December's goal was to start painting the Inn I constructed a few months back. Well that didn't even make it out of the scenery box. So as you can tell my worse performance yet.

It didn't help getting distracted with and starting to paint a Wood Elf Blood Bowl team I have christened "The Oak'tree Rangers" for the GIMPS Blood Bowl league (I worry I won't find the time to play many games at GIMPS with my vampire committed at WFC but it is motivating me to finally finish the wood elves). Here is the team in progress:


A bit more highlighting to do yet but you can see how they are coming along:


Every good wood elf team fields a Treeman. So I scoured EBay for an appropriate miniature. OK so the model I found isn't exactly appropriate but I thought the size of Treebeard would add a unique feel to the Oak'tree Rangers (don't ask what I will do if anyone manages to knock him down - Maybe time to get some prone/stunned tokens painted):


I going to make Merry and Pippin detachable from the model so I can maybe run a Halfling team at some point. My purchase also came with a Warhammer Treeman:


This needs cleaning up and certain details changing and I am yet undecided if when finished I will re-sell on EBay to basically make the money back I paid for the 2. I just like the model too much I guess.

So my goal for January 2012 is to get the Wood Elves and Treeman finished. My break from the high Elves wont last long though. Santa filled my stocking with these beauties:


There are two packs of Phoenix guard... roll on February.

So with that... Happy New year and all the best for 2012. See you on the other side.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Sete de sânge va fi moartea de mine

No painting to report. To tell you all the truth I think I'm going to struggle getting anymore done before the end of the month. All my free time is being swallowed up wrapping various things - and coping with the old "don't get me anything for Christmas" line from the wife. I'm not falling for that one! You will have your regiment of Phoenix Guard and enjoy them dear.

So with no painting to display I'm obviously here for a game report: The Bite'em Ravens second pre-season friendly bloodbowl game. Well when I say friendly it was against The Deepcar Deaths (I didn't realise I was the only mad war gamer to live out in the sticks) who have signed up to the GIMPS rookie league. Over on the GIMPS forum it appeared to turn into some sort of grudge match between a WFC and a GIMPS rookie team. For me it was just another chance to test out the team. And Neville (playing as Undead) really showed me how vulnerable the vampire team can be. 

The game started with me receiving the ball and driving towards the Deaths goal line.
The Deaths started to pass a little love around though and caused 1 death and 3 further injuries in the first 4 game turns. Despite this we drove home for a touch down. Woo hoo!

The Deaths set up for receiving the ball and started their drive towards my goal line, causing mayhem  along the way (a few KOs etc). The situation wasn't helped by my poor rolling and towards the end of the first half  we were pretty light on the Ground with only 5 players left on the field.
The Death's got a last turn touch down; Half Time score 1-1.

What was worse was that for the second half I would have to face it all again but with only 8 players (4 Vampires and 4 Thralls).

The second half started with the Deaths recieving the ball. At Kick Off the crowd lifted my team's spirits (see what I did there) and we got a much needed extra reroll. On my first turn I knew i had to be fast and ignore the Blood Lust Risk. I sent 2 vampires around the Undead flank towards the ball, got hold of it and ran for the touch-line. I covered the Wights with Thralls (being the only players that could reach me). But an amazing dodge by the Wight saw him take the ball into midfield. Grrr.

To make matters worse for me, Bloodlust was starting to take over and my vampires thought it better to injure our own rather then any opponent.

With no camera at the event (and me too ashamed to display any of my team losing) you will have to put up with this rather fetching picture of Christopher Lee.


Desperate my best measures in midfield, the Deaths had numbers on their side (I only had 5 players left on the field) and the touchdown looked inevitable. But I didn't give up. I tried and tired for the sake of all the WFC players. I attacked again and again with the vampires (biting my Thralls whenever needed - which with the number of 1s I rolled was quite often) and a glimmer of hope - could it be a turning point: the ball was knocked free bounced to a Vampire but alas without any re-rolls left (I burnt them all on wither blood lust or dodge rolls) he failed to catch the bounce and it dropped into the hands of an Undead Skeleton. Neville's rolling had been amazing all night. The Skeleton needed to roll a 5 and caught the bounce on a 6! He is then free in his turn to knock down the vampire and make a path to the goal line.  The Mummies do their job and helped by the Zombies start clearing up whats left of my Ravens.

But just like a boil on the bum I didn't go away. Each turn I tried to get a vampire to that Skeleton. But the lack of numbers start to tell again and the Deaths do well in covering the gaps. A few turns left and desperate times for the Ravens to keep the score draw. No re-rolls left; 4 players left standing; 1 stunned, the rest KO'd or injured. One of my vampires makes a last ditch attempt to get to the Skeleton (whom Neville christened 'Femur'), a Blitz action, 2 4+ dodges, 1 'go for it' to reach him and another to block. All successful. Then DISASTER I roll double Attacker down. Femur is free and scores.

2-1 to the Deaths
1 turn left. I can't score. All I can do is try and hurt them (it is blood bowl after all). The Deaths are 'advised' to setup with 3 on the LOS and the rest on goal line. My vampires stare lovingly into the eyes of 2 zombies and a skeleton. But are too soft to even punch their fellow Undead beings. Another double attacker down and it's End of game.

Neville played a great game. He went in fast and caused as much damage to my Thrall's as he could. He had some lucky injury rolls early in the game. The vampire team then pretty much fell apart by itself when bloodlust got hold. But bar some un-lucky rolls the game could of ended differently or at least as a draw.

A great close game and I enjoyed it lots. Thanks for being a great host, but next time we meet on Vampire turf!

(Oh and thanks for the match report Nev - I shamelessly stole it off the GIMPS forum)

Friday, 9 December 2011

Vanimle sila tiri

Well I managed to complete Alarielle the High Elf Everqueen ready for a battle against the Tomb King hordes. Here she is in all her glory:


I went with a green pendent in her hand in the end. As I am using the miniature as a High Elf Archmage, this pendent will represent the annulian crystal so I can steal 1 D6 from the enemy power pool to add to my dispel pool. My tactic is to use my High Elf +1 to dispel attempts, dispel magic from High magic and the crystal to really hamper my enemies magic phase. I proved this tactic would work last night.

I'll try and keep the battle report short.

I fielded a similar army to the last time I met Craig's Tomb kings; 1 unit of Sea Guard, 1 unit of Archers, 1 unit of Silver Helms, 1 unit of Sword Masters and 1 Bolt Thrower. Heroes and Lords consisted of Alarielle (as a level 4 archmage - lore of death), a mounted Noble Battle Standard and a second mounted Noble with a special item turning him into a level 1 mage (High Magic).

I went with Lore of Death in an attempt to snipe Craig's Tomb King and force his army to take crumble tests (not the rhubarb variety either).

I was facing a large unit of Skeleton warriors, a unit of skeleton archers, a bone giant, 6 chariots, 1 screaming skull catapult and the usual characters. In addition Craig had 3 Necro Knights and a scorpion entombed and ready to pop up to annoy my flanks.

It was the first time I had played on a 6'*4' field for a while. It looked massive. In fact the size of it frightened me and I left my left flank completely empty. With lots of terrain in the middle of the board I was forced to put my Silver Helms on the right flank to avoid dangerous terrain tests. Craig met me there with his chariots. The other units set up centre field. I rolled to go first.

My Knights inched forward to keep out of charge distance of the chariots. My Sword Masters marched towards the Church to garrison it (knowing that they would reach it before the slow undead). The Sea Guard moved towards a hill on the right to support the Helms against the chariots. Alarielle used the ring of Corin to cast Fury of Khaine. Craig dispelled it. I cast the Death Vortex spell but it didn't reach the enemy and spent the rest of the game meandering around the battle field. My Noble cast flames of the Phoenix on the Chariots. I shot everything I had at the Skeleton archers to protect the vulnerable sword masters. I killed 4.

Craig advances his warriors and giant towards the church. His Chariots also inch forward in a game of chicken with the Silver Helms. The magic phase is a damp squib with my mages successfully dispelling any Tomb King attempts. The catapult misfires and misses the next turn, the archers strike at my longbows and slaughter 1 with their cursed "I always hit on a 5+" arrows.

I chicken out and don't charge the chariots (for fun we see if I would of made the 19" charge - and guess what I would have!). Instead I continue to move the Sea Guard onto the hill and pepper the chariots with arrows. My sword Masters make it into the church. Alarielle runs into the safety of the archer unit. Magic and Alarielle miscasts the lore of Death hex spell on the warriors. Her mind implodes and she is left a quivering 'level 1' mess. Luckily she manages to remember the useful snipe spell but Craig dispels her attempt to cast it. So instead I cast Dispel magic trying to make things more difficult for him. Shooting amounts to a few more skeleton archers biting the dust and a bit of damage to a chariot.

Then as seems the way when I play Warhammer things start going wrong. Craig charges the Sea Guard with his massive Chariot unit. The Bone giant charges my Sword Masters cowering in the church. With both the entombed scorpion and Necro Knights trying to pop up around the flanks of my Helms and Sea Guard things are looking desperate. Oh dear:


But then some luck, the scorpion pops up off table never to be seen again and the Necro Knights have a mishap and end up on a random table edge, the one nearest Craig. Woo Hoo!

Craig's magic phase again fizzles out due to my excellent dispelling abilities. His catapult misses my Helms.

Combat and the Bone giant is easily cut down when facing 21 strength 5 hits (there is a reason they are called sword masters). My sea Guard stand and shoot in an attempt to hold the chariots in place for the Silver helms to charge their flank next turn. They destroy 1 chariot reducing the pain from the nasty impact hits. They lose combat but are steadfast and hold.

Charge!


Guess what happened. With that many always strikes first rolls, the chariots crumbled. The Silver Helms over run 7". Exposing their flank to the Necro Knights. Gulp. In the centre of the battle field, I move Alarielle into sniping distance of the Tomb King General (can you tell I didn't care about my level 1 mage anymore - I was more worried she would explode again and take the archers with her).


Guess what? Magic and she miscasts again! At least I might take their general with me I thought. Fate of Bhuna: 2D6 minus toughness hitting on a 2+ with no armour save. I roll 11. Excellent. 8 hits for Craig to save with his Ward save. He saves all but 2. Damn 1 wound on the general left and Alarielle's mind implodes AGAIN, reducing her to a mere mortal. Dispel magic is cast again. I shoot everything at the remaining skeleton archers and wipe them out.

Craig charges the Skeleton warriors at Alarielle and the Necro Knights into the Silver Helm's Flank. Alarielle only has to flee (look how far away she is above). But the warriors make a 12" charge. Still OK, she only has to run 5" to safety. She makes it 3" and is cut down. Ouch, there goes my general. The level 2 Tomb King wizard who was hiding amongst the archers tries to run (well walk) out of range of my archers. Magic phase and although I have lost the annulian crystal, dispel magic proves too much for Craig and he has another bad magic round.

Now for more funny action as Craig's catapult attempts to hurl a screaming skull at my garrisoned Sword Masters. It misses and the artillery dice direct the skull straight onto the head of the cowardly level 2 tomb king wizard. Several pieces of him are found buried in the mud! The only combat is the Necro Knights vs the Helms. With armour holding on both sides it is down to the Battle banners extra D6 to combat resolution to save the day. It does I win combat and can reform to face this true evil.

My Sword masters exit the church to put pressure on the rear of the skeleton warriors. My sea guard also turn on the hill to face this remaining unit. Magic and with only the noble left it doesn't really come to anything. I shoot down a few warriors. In combat the Silver Helms defeat the Necro Knights and reform to face the Tomb. The resulting Tomb King curse does more damage than the Necro Knights.

Craig charges his warriors at my archers. They stand and shoot. Several spells are cast but nothing game changing. The catapult again misfires and misses the rest of the game. Of course the archers are cut down but the skeleton warriors only overrun a few inches and remain within charging distance of the Sword Masters.

In my final turn it seemed only polite to - so I charge both the warriors and the Tomb. Only the Sword Masters managed to complete the charge. With The silver helms out of range all that remains for them to do is cast flames of the phoenix at the Tomb. It does some damage but not enough to remove it. Worse still my Noble miscasts but only hurts himself. Good work soldier. In combat the sword masters manage as massive win in combat by enough to see the entire unit crumble and leave only the general with his 1 wound.


He didn't last much longer.

With only the loss of my archers and general compared to everything except the Tomb and catapult it was a crushing victory for the High Elves.

Am I on a gaming roll?

Monday, 5 December 2011

Entula en' templa

I have started on my goal for December before the busy festive period starts. I have stripped and done the first coat on Alarielle the everqueen. All that remains is the highlighting and the fine detail. Should be complete with 1 more session. Hoping to get her ready for a 2000 point battle I have with Craig on Thursday. The model will just be used as an Archmage. Here she is in her current state:


Already looks better than she did when she arrived from the mysterious land only known as Ebay:


I will do the majority of the gems in red to match the rest of the army but am questioning whether to do her necklace in green. Would that be too many spot colours? Thoughts?

Also forming part of the target this month is Teclis. Another of my Ebay bargains. I was actually looking for more spearmen to convert into sea guard and came across a curious little item described as:

High Elf Warriors Regiment + Free Magic Guy

No picture of the free magic guy but it turned out to be the new Teclis model. Bonus. Even better was the price. £1.04 for 16 warriors and Teclis. The postage was on the expensive side for £5, even so for this little lot it was a great deal. Anyway, as per any cheap purchase on Ebay he had to be stripped. Lots of glue and layers of thick paint meant 3 dips in Dettol, but here he is ready for some brush work:






I'm tempted to put him on some sort of rocky base. Think that famous lion king scene.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Victoria împotriva Galbraith

Well I finally managed it. I won a Games Workshop game against Craig.

It was a friendly between the Bite'em'all Ravens and Craig's human team the Tsun Tsu Slammers. Starting value teams. Craig won the roll off and decided to receive. I set up 3 Thralls on the line of scrimmage and left my vampires in relative safety mid field. I didn't want to give Craig the chance to block one of them with his Ogre, even if it would probably cost me a Thrall or two.

I kicked off, and got lucky being able to setup my team again. I moved the unlucky Thrall out of the Ogres tackle zone and moved the vampires forward to apply some pressure near the mid line on the sides. It was a touch back though and Craig placed the ball on one of his Blitzers on my right side. Straight away he blitzed (with the Ogre)  a hole in my side defence and ran several players through caging the ball in the process.

It was time to show Craig how good Vampires are at cage breaking. A few blocks and an Hypnotic gazes later a vampire blitzed the ball carrier and retreated to relative safety between another vampire and a Thrall:


Or so I thought. After standing up the Blitzer and marking a few more players Craig manged to pull of a brilliant Blitz from the Ogre on the vampire holding the ball. The ball bounced into a space between 3 of his players allowing him to run in a catcher and be within striking distance of the line. I was starting to feel the pressure and it was only turn 2.


But all was not lost. Those Ninja catchers are only strength 2, all I had to do was blitz with a Thrall. That Thrall would be number 10 above.  I stood up the vampire (near the midline) I forgot about last turn and hypnotised the nearby lineman. I got another assist on the Blitzer marking the vampire and the Thrall blocked. This freed the vampire up to hypnotise the Ogre. Without the Ogre tackle zone I was able to stand the vampire next to the ogre and hypnotised the Blitzer marking the Thrall. The Blitz was successful and I had the ball again. Another Thrall came in to support.

Craig attempted to block the vampire with is ogre but only managed to knock both of us down for a quick turnover. This enable me to move the all up the field to the vampress waiting on the line of scrimmage.


Craig tried his hardest to stop me by bringing back a few linemen to take out the Thralls and so pressurise the vampire:


But an easy blitz later and the vampress was free to slowly bring it home for the Ravens in turn 7. The drive was broken. This was looking promising. For Craig's final turn of the half 3 Thralls were used as punch bags, everyone else stayed away cowering in the corner (I did offer to play like a gent but Craig insisted I play to win the friendly).

2nd Half and me to receive. Another touch back allows me to give it to a vampire waiting on my left wing. Kick off grants us both an extra re-roll. The Ravens were heavy weighted for a drive down the left side. I started to push forward on turn 1. Craig reacted exactly how I expected and most of his team (bar the weak catchers and a few linemen) moved in to try and stop me. That's when I sprung the trap. A hand-off to a vampire 6 squares away allowed him to run deep into the Human half away from the left side and the nasty fight that was brewing. Two unmarked Thralls moved in to support and it looked like an easy second touchdown was on the cards.

Then my luck changed. Craig's Blitzer managed to pull off the unthinkable. A 2 dice blitz against my vampire. I would choose. Sorted! He rolled 2 defender stumbles. Great. Without any dodge skill my vampire fell and dropped the ball. This allowed a lineman to pick up the ball and throw it to an unmarked catcher in my half. With a movement of 8 and 2 GFI rolls he scored the equaliser. Ergh!

Time to try again. No luck with another touch back I had to pick up the ball with a vampire, hand off to another and pass the ball to a vampire waiting to blitz his way through the Human line. It all worked. Again Thralls and the remaining vampire were moved in to support.



After an easy block from the Ogre against the Thrall, Craig moves in his other players to surround my players. But he can't get that all important assist in against the ball Carrier. Knowing that I can easily dodge out of this situation Craig's left with no alternative but to Blitz the ball carrier with the unmarked Blitzer (above). Another 2 dice block in my favour. And guess what. Another 2 defender downs are rolled. History repeating itself. The catcher picks up the ball and runs it to the thrower. With the other catcher in my half I was again sweating. My only saving grace was that the Thrower had already moved. So I had 1 turn before that inevitable long pass to the waiting catcher.



With so many human players now between my vampires and the ball carrier this was going to be difficult. The easy things to do were to move in a Thrall to mark the waiting catcher. But a Blitzer was also available for Craig and I just couldn't get to him. So what to do. Just out of shot above is a Thrall next to that human lineman. He was to be our saviour. I couldn't risk the dodge out so moved a vampire in to hypnotise the linemen. I could then Blitz the ball carrier. It worked. What I wasn't expected though was for the Thrall to catch the dropped ball in 2 tackle zones. Doh! You can just see him in the distance below.



I still had my other players to move though and tried to reinforce the position. Craig attempted to block but again found himself on the floor and it was a quick turnover. The Thrall scored. It was 2-1.

Craig had 3 turns left to try and equalise. It started well for him. He gained another re-roll. He held the ball back in his half with his thrower while his Blitzers and catchers made a dash for the touchdown line.


I quickly moved in to Blitz one of the catchers and hypnotise the other. Craig was feeling the pressure. Some of my vampires were homing in on the thrower. He moved him to the safety of the Blitzers. My vampress moved in to mark the Blitzers. With the only catcher within striking distance hypnotise Craig wold have to move him before the pass could be attempted. In the next turn he did this. But I had enough players close by to ensure that Craig would either need a long bomb or a long pass in a tackle zone. So basically a 6. Here he is working it all out...


It was however his only option. And lady luck was shining on him. My iterception attempt failed, the long bomb was accurate. My face dropped. Until this happened:


Rescued b GIMP dice. The catcher failed the easy 3+ catch and the ball ends up n the crowd and into the safety of my vampire countess' arms.


I blitzed that catcher pushing him into the crowd. I didn't want to have to worry about the same thing happening again. Craig had one turn left and the only player close enough to score was his Ogre. He attempted one final 2 dice block in my favour on the ball carrier (it was his only choice). But as odds would dictate this tie he wasn't so lucky. With an attacker down roll the match was won!

2-1 to the Ravens.

A brilliant game of blood bowl. One of the most tactical I have played in a long time. Lots of drives were broken, several times. We were both lucky to some extent. Craig with his massive number of 2 dice blocks in my favour that went his way. Me only having to cope with 3 blood lust rolls (that I couldn't re-roll). I didn't really mention them in the report as with Thralls close-by they never caused me trouble. Only on one occasion did I KO a Thrall.

Not much in the way of blood-shed for either side. KO's for each side but that's about it. I'm guessing each team was embracing that this was a friendly match before the 2012 season starts.

But with all this considered. I still kicked ass and am looking forward to changing the current 3-0 warhammer lead Craig has on me. Roll on Thursday. The Elves will return!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Asistent Autocare & Entula en' templa

On the first day of Christmas my true love (Ebay) gave to me (well in exchange for cash sterling) a vampire counts black coach:


On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me; 2 High Elf mages and a vampire counts black coach.

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me; 3 coats of paint, 2 High Elf mages and a vampire counts black coach.
...
...
...
I could go on but think I will stop there as I don't envisage having much time over Christmas for painting. Every weekend is already full booked with visits to various family members or visa-versa. Oh and several trips to see the man himself.

So that will do for my target.

1) The rest of the vampire counts Black Coach as my assistant coach for the Bite'em'all Ravens. It needs stripped and re-painting but was a bargain at £4.50

2) Paint Alarielle the everqueen and Teclis

3) Paint the pub - 3 coats.