27 November 2010

Victory by any Means!

I've been eyeing these rules off for a long, long time - who doesnt love a good SF campaign after all?

Well they happen to be 50% off this weekend at wargamedownloads so I couldnt help myself....

...in fact I bought four of the books in the end.  Having an initial flick through now and love what I'm seeing!


For more info on the VBAM system check out the publisher's blog here:

or their forums here:

23 November 2010

Dust Tactics Deluxe

A video review of the pre-painted version's components.
And I hear Oberst Owen has just had his unpainted version delivered....

21 November 2010

Into the Forest of Doom

Readers may recall a young Lad's foray into Fighting Fantasy books earlier this year, starting with the Warlock of Firetop Mountain (thanks to Comrade James):

Well, after many tough sessions and more than a few scribbled maps, the Lad has manged to finally defeat said Warlock!  Drama, excitement, tension - it was all there in spades.  Particularly when after killing the mage, we found that we didn't have the right keys to unlock the treasure room!  So a valued first lesson in Pyrrhic victories...

I can also report that we have also been playing the e-version of Deathtrap Dungeon on the iTouch but its not nearly as much fun clicking buttons compared to travelling around the book.  Something gets lost in the translation I think, but that could just be me.

So now we venture from Firetop Mountian to enter the Forest of Doom with this well loved 1st edition version from the depths of the Man Cave library...

20 November 2010

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena

If you liked Blood and Sand earlier this year, you'll probably be looking forward to this next offerring too! You'll have to wait until next Jan - lucky thats not so far away anymore.  Teasers from Youtube below

17 November 2010

Bloodbowl Magnetic Scoreboard

Very effective yet brutal in its simplicty - love it!
From Boromir and Ketmit's Hobby Page
I finished off my magnetic Blood Bowl 7s Scoreboard today. I’m really happy with how it turned out.
The materials used were things found very easily and cheaply. This is what you need to make it.
  • Paddlpop sticks
  • 2 Skewers
  • 2 Corks
  • 1 thin fridge magnet
  • Some foamcore
  • Small washers
  • PVA glue
  • Superglue
  • Paint
To start I chopped the skewers down to slightly longer than the desired height of the scoreboard. The sharp ends are smeared in PVA glue and stuck into the centre of the upright cork.
Once dry, simply glue the paddle pop sticks on to make the board section and then wait for it to dry.
Once dry, paint it up however you see fit. Cut up your fridge magnet so you get two small squares and glue them onto the scoreboard.  This is what it should look like:

Then all you need to do is create the score markers. These are made by cutting up small squares of foamcore and cutting cracks in them. Make sure these squares are larger than the magnet pieces you cut out.
Paint them up with the numbers on them and then superglue a small washer to the back of the number.
Once dry these will stick to the magnetic squares on your board.
Here is what the finished score markers look like:
The only problem with this scoreboard is that it makes the dugouts look very untextured and flat. The Worldworks Games (WWG) stuff is awesome, but I find it doesn’t mix well with scratchbuilt terrain. This means that I’m going to have to scratchbuild some dugouts to go on the board.
The WWG Chunky Dungeons that I have made can be put to good use when I build my DungeonBowl board later in the year.

I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.
- Ben.

14 November 2010

Rolf aka Rollo aka Robert I, Duke of Normandy

One from the Dark Ages this time: Rolf, also known by the latined Roolo, later baptised as Robert.  This chap was a Viking warleader who started life as a mischievous pillager and ended up founding the Normans. Good job.  He also earned the nickname "Rolf the Walker" for being so big that no horse could carry him and thus he had to walk everywhere.

Leading a few cantankerous lads ashore when the mood took him, he was one of the lesser chieftains who took part in the siege and capture of Paris in 885AD.  Enjoying themselves there to the consternation of the locals, he accepted a massive bribe from the Frankish King and then went off to enjoy himself annoying the Burgundians (and in his spare time no doubt spent his new wealth on ale and wenches).  Like most, he eventually tired of this so invaded northern France again but got a rude shock when King Charles of France defeated him in 911.

Tired of Vikings pillaging Northern France (the coastal areas were almost depopulated by this point), Charles needed a more permanent solution.  Tired of sodding about, Rollo wanted somewhere to stay, so it was agreed he would become the leader of the City of Rouen and the area later known as Normandy (literally, land of the North Men).  So he and the lads settled down, were baptised Christians (one of the conditions) and intermarried with locals to found the Norman society.
Interesting side-note: before he eventually died of old age (rare for a Viking Chieftain I would have thought) in 932, he donated 100 pounds of gold to the Church as well as sacrificing 100 slaves to Odin - thus hedging his bets for the afterlife.

He was succeed by William "the Longsword" and was the great-great-great-grandfather of William the Conqueror who was another boisterous chap who wouldn't stay at home. Through William, he is an ancestor of the present-day British royal family, as well as an ancestor of all current European monarchs and a great many pretenders to abolished European thrones. His descendants in Scotland, the Clan Rollo, were also involved in some uprisings and so forth so naughtiness seems to have run in the family.

All in all, a pretty decent outcome for a lesser noble going raiding, but not a chap you'd want to move in next door.

12 November 2010

The instant portable carnage storage..with sponsors!!

As I promised in the post below (Game 3), here are a few pics of the fantastic fold up stadium that Graeme designed and built himself. Its the Orc teams home pitch, as they play every game on it, and is also the scene of the North Bowl Grand Final...Note the clever way the centre structures come out allowing the whole thing to fold in the middle into a suitcase...astro felt...sigh!!! The sponsorship signs are all BB themed parodies of popular modern day advertisers, I believe downloadable for similar projects....

11 November 2010

Game 3....Da Orcs!!!

Game 3 of 5, and that meant something special for the Vanguard...we got to play in The Stadium!! Made by Graeme, the tournament organiser and BloodBowl fanatic, the Stadium is a fold up BB pitch complete with dice tower commentary box, stands , proper 3D dugouts and hilarious BB themed sponsor notices all around...not to mention the field is felt turf that makes a very pleasant change from the Astro Cardboard of the standard pitch....I will do a seperate entry with pics on the stadium, but for now, the game... We won the toss, and following some advice from the BB Tactics blog that Tas has linked to before, I elected to kick off. The idea here is when faced with a team that is bigger and stronger than you, the first drive is the only time in the game you will have a full team to oppose them so you may as well kick to them...sounds great in theory... so anyway, Turn 1 and I manage to KO his chainsaw orc with my Witch Elf Blitzer, which meant he was out for the rest of the game..a good start I thought...Graeme then formed up his ball carrying thrower with two blitzers in what would become a familiar formation, and started marching down the pitch. He warded off several attempts of mine to block and tackle from behind to NEARLY score on a straight drive, only to have my Assassin sucessfully stab his ball carrier, allowing a lineman to pick up the ball and then throw it to another DE Lineman in the middle of my half...sadly there were too many orcs and not enough DE by this stage and my elf was thumped to the ground, the ball coming loose and snatched up by an enterprising Orc Blitzer (is that a contradiction in terms??) who ran it in for Orc TD 1. Score 1-0 Orcs.. With only 1 turn left in the first half we let the clock run out, and had a well earned half time break...fortunately for me all 4 of my KO'd elves recovered for the 2nd half, and the 2 lineman substitutes were able to come on to replace the 2 lineman with Dauntless (remember them?) who were badly injured and out for the game.. As I had kicked off at the start of the game, I received for this half, and in 4 turns was able to score my first touchdown. It would have been 2 turns, but some last ditch tackling by the orcs saw the ball come loose, snatched up by an orc, who in turn was tackled, losing the ball to an Elf, allowing another to snatch it up and sprint twice to score.1-1 ! 4 turns to go, and I thought 'you beauty', all I have to do is delay him long enough and run out the clock....after setting up my team I was dismayed to see a rock hurled from the crowd hit my Assassin fair square on the noggin.Down he went, out for the drive, and leaving a big gap in the middle of my defence....(clearly a fan of the Orc he had stabbed earlier...) Still, for the next three turns I was able to make Graeme work hard to gain field position, putting the elves just out of range of his Black Orcs (he had 4 by the way...) and not allowing him easy blocks to knock my guys down...Turn 7 and all I had to do was keep a few Elves in the path of his ball carrier and he wouldn't be able to make the distance in the two remaining turns....I went to stand up one lineman then changed my mind as I thought he would be better dodging out later, so I moved another one towards the ball carrier instead, and then ,in a mad flash of impetosity, went for an extra square (A 'go for it')I rolled the dreaded 1, and with no re rolls remaining, had to let the DE trip over himself, causing the turnover...with that Elf down, and the other one remaining on the ground (remember I had decided against standing him up? Yeah, I didn't...) the Orc ball carrier had a clear run to the endzone, with only a single go for it required, which he made...2-1 orcs, 1 turn left....aaaaagggghhh!!!!!

So annoyed was I at myself that I didn't take any pics of the last few turns.... As the Witch Hag on the sideline started warming up the Cauldron of Blood to sacrifice the two lineman who had failed to stand in the right place, my Witch Elf captain grabbed the ball and screaming obscenities raced down the sideline past 2 orcs..she was never going to make it, but Witch ELves don't have a history of rational decision making...she was duly tackled, and in true Orc style, Graeme surrounded her with 5 orcs and fouled her, rolling a Dead for the inevitable injury...the Witch Hag was appeased.... I wasn't !!!!

Couldn't believe how after such a hard fought game I managed to snatch defeat from a certain draw....still, them's the breaks in BloodBowl, and I'm still sitting 3rd overall in the comp mainly on score difference, as I havn't lost as badly as other teams :) 2 games to go, must win both, especially as the one against the Skaven will be against the 2nd Placed team...Dec 1st is my next game against the Humans....Cormorragggghh!!!

Lest We Forget

09 November 2010

The Shamrock Cup

The fabled Shamrock Cup is steeped in tradition.  A "best of 3" match series face-off contested by Comrade James and I, it is now in its 10th year! Rumoured to be have swallowed by in a warp portal when a Skaven mage stole the trophy from the opposing team's locker room, it turns out that this lost treasure was simply misplaced under a giant stack of smelly cheese.  Its now been rinsed out and is ready to be recontested!

It all came about when after a major drought of gaming, the Comrade and I found that our programs would have us in Hong Kong for a few days at the same time.  Arrangements were made, components were packed and we met up in this jewel of the Orient to play (horrendously hung-over, it must be said) .  Now fortunately we had been wandering the Kowloon markets beforehand and found this wonderful cup which from that moment on was revered and cherished.  So that's the cup - why the name Shamrock?  The Hotel we stayed was the Shamrock Hotel, and its logo (cut from a box of matches) proudly adorns said trophy to this day.

But most mysteriously....why does it have a small red pepper glued to it?  Well, despite all our preparations, we forgot to pack a ball.  That's right, thousands of miles from home and we had a board, two teams, plastic templates, rulebooks....and no ball!  A minor setback of course - this small ornamental garnish was 'procured' (and was conveniently able to be wedged between the legs of any model) and thus was used for the inaugural three match tournament.  To commemorate this wonderful bit of ingenuity, it too was glued to the cup and remains there to this day.

And what of the tournies themselves?  We play resurrection style games to a point limit (which changes each series) and each time I have taken my Skaven and James has taken his Reikland Reavers.  There is no love lost between these two teams.

The Skaven took out the initial tourney back in 2000 with a 2 games to nil drubbing, winning the first game 4-3 and the second game 2-1.  Most amusing injury of the series was the death of Skaven star Hakflem Scuttlespike in the last seconds of the final game.  The most amusing play of the series was a stinkbomb launched by the Reavers which scattered and took out 2 Skaven and Zug, allowing gutter runners to pour through the gap and score!  Good times indeed.

The Reavers hit back in the 2004 series (its an Olympiad event - in fact we played the 2000 tourney while watching the Sydney Olympics.  Ironic really that we both lived in Sydney at the time and missed the entire thing!) and took out the cup in a closely contested 2 wins to 1.  The first match was a high scoring 6:2 Skaven victory with the Humans narrowly taking out Game two with 3 touchdowns to 2.  The final match saw some serious grinding up of players but the Humans scored twice against the Skaven's single TD - their worst performance in any Shamrock Cup match.

The projected 2008 series was postponed because of a serious case of long distance separation (2 states in fact) and all attempts to reshedule have so far proven fruitless.  It is hoped that the Man Cave will host the next event, potentially in early 2011.  Will the Skaven retake their beloved Cup or will the Humans retain the title? Or will a new team be included this time?

The competition will be tough, beer will be drunk and laughs will be had.  Bring it on!

08 November 2010

Viking Invasion!

Sound the Alarm! Northmen have landed on the shores of my doorstep!

Split up with the other lads, we'll each have 10 Viking Huscarls to raid with, plus 8 Saxon Thegns and 8 Fjord each with which to defend hearth and home.  Put together, that will generate much rampaging dark age fun!  Having a quick look, the plastic casting are wonderful and almost infinite variety.  I'm very impressed with both the quality and price of these figs from Wargames Factory.

I also got a few bits and pieces from Fenris Games to build the scenarios with - some chest and barrels (aka plunder) plus some Viking style runestones - and I've finished building my first Thatched style hut - one has to have something to burn!

PS Happy Birthday Owen!!!!

07 November 2010

More Blood Bowl goodness

A few more handy links for great sites about the web:

Old skool pics and illustrations for a bit of fun:

The Midguard Library - a great collection of Blood Bowl articles and tactics

The Way of the Orc: Doubleskulls blog with tips for Orc teams

BB Miniatures Archive: all editions

NAF facts you might have forgotten!

Looking for OOP BB models? Try these guys:

06 November 2010

Group North Open Day - Part II

More pics and wargaming eye-candy from Group North's open day last weekend.

And while the resolution isnt so good on these pics, I Spy Comrade James again...twice!

05 November 2010

Group North Historical Wargaming Society Open Day

Last Sunday was my gaming clubs Annual Open Day here in Adelaide. The primary aims were to showcase the games the clubs members play and to attract new members. The day was pretty successful in both regards, certainly helped in all endeavours by the various traders we had along as well. The club also ran its own second hand stall from items donated throughout the year by various members. Warhammer Ancient Battles King Arthur rules.... The pics below are from a playtest game using rules developed for these pre production figures by Eureka Miniatures.. The Trafalgar rules have proven pretty popular at the club...here the English Fleet are attempting to destroy the French Harbour..my arch nemesis Greg was commanding the French Fleet, and last I looked was recieving a right proper English spanking... A bit of Fields of Glory action, can't go past some Romans in 28mm now can you? Wings of War in action on a Hotz Game mat...how we marveled as they climbed, how we ooohed as they dove, how we applauded when one chap got cut in half by his own propellor... This War of the Ring display recreated a scene in the second Lords of the Ring movie when the Orcs are ambushed...apparently..I was just bamboozled by the number of (painted) models!! Finishing off with some Wierd WW2 and Incursion love...apologies for the out of focus pic....