Friday, 3 February 2017

Bloodbowl - Dark Elves vs Nurgle

Last night saw an introductory game (half) of Blood bowl with Chris. He has been eager to learn, so much so he had read the rulebook (LRB6) and downloaded the game on his pc. Having the tabletop board and models in front of you, however, is a completely different experience.

We decided to try a 6 turn half and talk through out thinking as we went. Chris took the Elves and decided to kick to me. I started the slow crawl up the pitch with the ball (red gem as a stand in). Chris managed to take out a Rotter and it created a gap to the ball carrier. Despite the dodge rolls required, Chris sent a Blitzer charging in. He made the first modified dodge roll and the second, but failed his unmodified 2+ final dodge. Having used a team re-roll already, the Blitzer fell on his face - then disaster... he died!

I got a hasty cage together and the Nurgle beasties moved (excruciatingly) slowly up the pitch. The turns carried on in this fashion - slow walking with the ball and Elves being knocked down. We then talked through the Elves not needing to be in contact with the Nurgle players, just stand off them to slow me down and avoid casualties. Chris started throwing up road blocks in this way which slowed me down even more.

The game plodded on into the last couple of turns so I decided to go crazy. I was within a move and GFI of the end zone so decided to 'burst' through. It would involve a dodge however, but I was confident with my re-roll still in-hand. Alas it wasn't to be. I was within 1 square of the end zone but failed my 4+ dodge roll... twice. Beastman down, balls pops out into an empty square by the sideline.

Chris had one of his Blitzers make a daring raid through tackle zones for the ball. We talked the move through carefully and worked it out to precision. He ducked through, grabbed the ball and dodged back out ready to throw the ball. Perfect pass, and the ball was on its way to a Lineman in space. Then things took a twist.

The Lineman dropped the catch (2+ with no re-rolls left!) but it landed in an adjacent square containing another dark elf lineman. He caught it first time - no turnover!!

We had run out of time as Chris only had one turn left, but he raced down the pitch towards my end zone. Had we been playing a normal 8 turn half he would have scored with ease - my Nurgle boys just couldn't catch him!

So the game finished 0-0, but Chris found himself grabbed by the Bloodbowl bug. We may have another convert here - he just needs to decide who to play!

Bring on the league!!

Monday, 30 January 2017

Build A Gaming Board: part 4

No, I've not gone all George Lucas and started a new series with part 4. This is in fact the legitimate part 4 of a post series that began back in 2013!

That's right! After a four year hiatus, that included a house move, four job changes and a new baby who has grown into a toddler, I have finally made some progress on my gaming board. Hey, I may be laid back but I get there in the end… sometimes.

If you missed the beginning you may want to catch up:

Gaming Board: part 1
Gaming Board: part 2
Gaming Board: part 3

So the board was originally meant to be for my now defunct Dark Crucible ruleset. The frame and foam base have been kicking around attics, spare rooms and garages for ages now, getting more damaged by the year. I've always wanted to go back and finish it but for a long time it seemed very unlikely things would progress at all. With my recent stint at rule writing I've been looking to get a new neoprene gaming mat (as they are a superior solution) but every time I went into the garage I'd see my board looking neglected and very sorry for itself. I decided to just do something about it, so (disguised as part of a household chore) I spent some time knocking things into shape.

I've sanded down the frame ready for some undercoat. There were some sharp edges there so I was keen to get it user friendly. I was also bothered by how high the foam sat above the edge of the frame. My original plan was to carve some wonderful rolling hills into it, but that was a little ambitious as I discovered. I'm going for something a little more reserved this time as an opening effort. I spent a long time trimming several millimetres off the top of the foam to get it closer. Once done it looked pretty rough so I gave that a sanding before pouring lots of pva glue on it to fill a few holes and scattering some larger sand/stones on there.

The plan now it to cover the rest of the board with a combination of red oxide and textured emulsion to get a nice, flexible surface. Once that is complete I can paint it and get on with the flocking!!

We may see this bad boy finished yet!

To be continued...

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Tuesday Gaming

Tuesday this week saw a couple of firsts.

It saw the first instalment of the resurrected Tuesday Gaming Night - something that fell by the wayside over ten years ago! - which was immense. It is something that I have wanted to try and implement for a long time, but it just hasn't been practical up until now. I may be talking this up too soon, but I'm very upbeat at the prospect of regular gaming - even if gaming every week is not possible, Tuesday night has been marked off on the family calendar as hobby night, so it's down to me to make the most of the opportunity.

Tuesday night also saw the first game of Blood Bowl played by myself and Bull in two and a half years. We were very rusty to say the least - my Dark Elves for some reason aiming for a 4+ roll for their dodges, Bull forgetting the fact he had re-rolls, and some key rules being forgotten completely.

It was a practice game in name only, using the larger pitch for the re-released box set. Bull (using his newly painted Human team) and myself (with the ever reliable Dark Elves) found ourselves strangely nervous throughout - the will to win... and in style... overwhelming at times.

I won't go into too much detail about the game, as it was calamitous from a rules perspective and took far too long - 12 turns in 3 hours (that's right, we didn't even finish). The highlights included: using some random special play cards that were overpowered but didn't seem to have much effect (except the one that hamstrung my runner for the entire game!); Bull managing to eventually score in the 8th turn of the first half after getting bogged down in the middle for most of the half; me nicking a very quick score early in the second, only for Bull to grab a second with the last roll of the dice. Towards the end of the evening chances were being taken quite liberally - I had one Blitzer attempt a move that involved two negative dodges, two normal dodges and to 'Go For It' rolls (the last of which he finally failed).

The conclusion was Bull remembering how much he loves this game, and me remembering my love/hate relationship it and how the randomness of dice rolling can ruin your evening, never mind best laid plans. It's all very exciting stuff, and we're hoping to rope in a few more people for practice games and maybe a bit of a league... for fun!

Oh, and the blog had a birthday this last week too - 7 years old!!

I don't count the visitor numbers anymore as the spambots have killed any hope of getting a realistic view. Despite not posting nearly as often as I used to I have tripled the traffic, it's just not valuable or genuine traffic. I'd like to think that with the re-invention of Tuesday Night Gaming I'll have more to post about, but we've been here before. I'll just promise to post when I have something genuine to show and tell!

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Goodbye 2016… Hello 2017

What an eventful 12 months it's been!

The year started brightly with some Guildball action, laced with a handful of Frostgrave skirmishes. The latter had so much potential but I found the combat rules so frustrating and unbalanced that it made the game almost unplayable for me.

A game or two more of Guildball was had in the lead up to this year’s Salute - we even bought the Season 2 rule book. Then things just sort of evaporated. I was out of work at the time, on daddy-daycare duty, so rather preoccupied. When I finally started a new job in June I became very focused on that. Hobby time switched to Zombicide for ease and I speculated about a dream team for Black Plague - an interesting diversion when there was no hobby news to report.

Towards the end of the summer I tried a few things to get me back into painting, such as buying an entire Eldar army, but it was too big a project for such little spare time.

The only thing I found that I could focus on this year was writing my own rules again. I even joined an online group for advice and encouragement, but found them not very helpful and almost dismissive of my efforts. Having tired of all things medieval during the first half of the year, I went back to my sci-fi rules and Project Out Of Time in the autumn. I ploughed some serious hours into this and posted throughout November about various aspects of my draft rules. The end of the year was a bit of a washout. Several family birthdays, a funeral, two trips to Scotland, and then Christmas preparation all clogged up in a single month left no time to even think about hobbies

Outside of the hobby, first quarter of the year was pretty atrocious for us. The latter half of the year picked up amazingly and I have to admit that we’re in a much better position generally at the end of the year than the beginning. Dark clouds do have silver linings, you just don't often see them till later.

The hobby has declined dramatically for me this year. I may have acquired a new gaming cupboard in the house, but I've done less gaming or painting than ever. Aside from a few Eldar guardians I don't recall painting anything of significance this year.


It's difficult to lay out any plans for the new year given how little the hobby has featured in 2016. However, I thought about it over the holidays and have come to a modest conclusion. For 2017 I'd like to paint six models to a decent standard. That's one model every two months, so I'd like to think that even I can achieve that. I'd also like to play twelve games of something this year - that one game a month, but on game days we're likely to play a couple (or more), so that boils down to six game days I guess.

Hey, the ball still counts as a model!

My final hobby resolution for the coming year is that I would like to ‘finish’ one of my rulesets that have been bubbling along for some time now. When I say finish, I mean a first complete draft up online for fellow gamers to download. That will involve a lot of work and actually making a decision on combat rules and character abilities, so don't hold your breath just yet.

So, thanks to everyone who keeps dropping by the blog, despite the dwindling posts. I can't promise there will be any improvements but I hope to post something of interest in the next twelve months for you.

Happy New Year!!


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