30 April 2012

Z is for Zara

Today is the last day of April's A to Z Challenge!  Which means its Z today and Z is for Zara the Slayer...

Zara is a feisty young lass who may or may not be related to a certain other Blonde "slayer" character from a TV series.  She can play for Amazon, Dwarf, Halfling, High Elf, Human, Norse and Wood Elf teams with the following stats:

Mv 6 St 4 Ag 3 Av 8  Loner, Block, Dauntless, Dodge, Jump Up, Stab, Stakes     270,000 gold

These last two are a great combo, and Zara is the only player is the whole game to have Stakes.  Essentially, Stab is pretty much how it sounds - instead of making a block the player gets an unmodified roll against the Victim's Armour.  Stakes, means that Zara does this with a big, pointy wooden stake, which gives a +1 bonus against Undead players!

There are wonderful pics of Zara minis here and here

Thanks for sticking with me through the A to Z of Blood Bowl.  I hope you have found it of interest!

28 April 2012

Y is for Yhetee

A Yhetee is a 'Big Guy' player who can be rostered onto Norse teams (only).  He is an interesting beast because he starts with the skill Claw, but no Mighty Blow - indeed he is the only Big Guy not to start with MB.  His negative Trait is Wild Animal, which requires a d6 to be thrown every time he is activated.  On a 3 or less he doesnt do the action and instead just stands there roaring and bellowing.  A +2 modifier applies if he is Blitzing or Blocking an opposition player.

This is Angry Agnarr, the Yheti who plays on Right Stuff's Norse team: Oddin's Champions.  The figure is by Willy Miniatures.
Agnarr was captured when he raided a small Viking village in the middle of winter. Unfortunately for Agnarr, the great hall contained warriors from three ships who subsequently captured him. They kept him alive for sport, but soon realised he was taking a great interest in the Vikings' springtime training sessions. They led him onto the pitch to give it a try and the rest is history.

 Agnarr is famed throughout the Northern lands for once killing an opposing lineman while playing with one arm chained behind his back. He is uninterested in the gold and fame that comes with being a player, but enjoys the violence and bloody, fresh meat after each game.

27 April 2012

X is for Xtra Training

One of the great things in Blood Bowl is the range of inducements that can be used to even out a match between two teams of different experience and skill.  One of these is Xtra Training,  which gives the team an extra reroll for the cost of 100,000 gold.  The underdog team can take up to four of these.

26 April 2012

W is for Wizard

Blood Bowl is a Fantasy Football game, and everyone knows that all descent fantasy settings include Wizards!  Back in the old days teams could recruit their own Wizards for their team support crew.  Not so any more, but Wizards still roam the stadiums of the old world looking for a laugh and a bit of something shiny in return.  Any team is allowed to hire one for a match, but at the paltry cost of 150,000 gold pieces they tend to be contracted by the underdog team as an inducement to help even the odds.

A wizard may cast only a single spell during the match, and the choice is between a Lightning Bolt (which knocks over any player on a 2+) or a Fireball (which knocks over any player in the target or adjacent squares on a 4+).  Cast at the ball carrier at a critical moment, this can make a huge difference!

25 April 2012

V is for Vampire Lord

When the Vampire Team was introduced (in 3rd Edition), as well as the usual blood sucking stars it included a Vampire Lord  In fact, having one was compulsory at the time and while the rules have evolved since then, the background and theme was very interesting:

All vampire teams are coached by a Vampire Lord, a rather more strong-willed and powerful member of the vampire race. Vampire Lords are exceptionally intelligent creatures who thirst for power over other races. This being the case exactly why they should want to coach a Blood Bowl team is by no means certain, especially as the team under their command rarely does very well, but none the less they do do so.

All of the other players in a vampire team are the Vampire Lord's creations: vampires or human thralls. The vampires were one living creatures, which were almost - but not quite - slain by the Vampire Lord and then brought back to life as lesser vampires under his command. Vampire teams generally also include a number of human thralls; weak-willed mortal creatures that are willing to serve the Vampire Lord in return for the promise of immortality at some time in the future.

Vampire Lords are player coaches, and actually take part in the game rather than simply yelling at the players (and referee) from the sidelines. Although the Vampire Lord represents you, they must still be bought for the team, as shown on the team list below. The team will keep on functioning normally even if the Vampire Lord is killed, it being assumed that the next in line of the vampires in the team (i.e. the one with the most SPPs) will take over. The vampire that takes over the team immediately loses the 'off for a bite' negative skill as soon as the old Vampire Lord dies, and it's entry on the roster should be changed straight away to show that it is the new Vampire Lord of the team. Note that since you can only have one Vampire Lord per vampire team, the only time you can ever purchase a Vampire Lord for a team is when it is first created! If for some reason there isn't a vampire to take over the team when the vampire lord dies, then the team will disband after the match.

Vampire Lord   180,000 GP  Mv 6  St 5  Ag 4  Av 9 
Skills: Block, Dodge, Hypnotic Gaze, Regenerate

PS Neither Vampire players or Vampire Lords don't sparkle!!!!

ANZAC Day 2012

Lest We Forget

24 April 2012

I won 2nd Place!

Its the first time I've won anything for miniature related actually, so I'm pretty chuffed!  No, it most definitely wasn't a Golden Demon! It was the FF-Fields recent "Team Too Cool" competition, in the "Best Original Concept" category.

Hearty Congratulations to Axtlinge from Merry Mayhem News for winning with his awesome Mexican themed Halfling team!  And well done to Enrico for his 3rd place with his smurf themed Gobbo team and who I only just squeaked in ahead of.

And my own entry?  My newly finished Chinese themed Khemri team: The Terracotta Terrors

More pics to follow on these guys soon - lets hope they play as well on the pitch!
Of course, they will now get a nice, customised field to help them too :-)

See all the results here:  http://www.ff-fields.com/ttc/winners.html

U is for Unicorn

The Amazon team in Blood Bowl is composed entirely of lady players, and when they were first introduced they were able to field a Unicorn as their big guy!
Amazon Unicorn from http://www.coolminiornot.com/24854
First introduced in 4th Edition (in BB magazine no 1) they had the following stats:

Unicorn   Mv8 St4 Ag4  Av8   Sure Feet, Claw(Horn), Skitterish (Really Stupid), Non-Ball Handler.
130,000gp    Skill Access: Str & Ag

and there was even a Star Player Unicorn:

Lucky Luc   Mv10 St4 Ag4  Av8   Sprint, Sure Feet, Claw(Horn), Skitterish (Really Stupid), Non-Ball Handler.  160,000gp

23 April 2012

T is for Throw a Rock!

Having already introduced the idea of random events during Kick-Off in an earlier post, a result of 11 yields the result of Throw a Rock!

When this happens, each team makes a roll (adding FAME) and the winner's fans express their displeasure by throwing a deadly projectile (likely an empty beer can) at a random opposing player.  The armour of that player is automatically broken and you roll for injury.  Pretty annoying when its a key player - I've had a veteran Blitzer killed this way before!

21 April 2012

S is for Secret Weapons!

Anyone can  handle the ball or have mundane game skills - but its so much more fun when a player livens up the play by smuggling a Secret Weapon onto the pitch!

Secret Weapons include Chainsaws (such as that wielded by Star Player Hack Enslash), grenades, a giant ball and chain, and a vicious tractor/steamroller combination fielded by the Dwarves called a 'DeathRoller':
Death Rollers - great fun with high petrol consumption!
The problem with a secret weapon is that once it is brought onto the pitch the referee sees it and ejects the offending player for the rest of the game after that drive finishes.  This means there is some strategy involved as to when to put them on - you want to do so when you control the pace of the drive and thus get the most out of it.   Put them on when kicking to a fast team who can score in two turns and your secret weapons disappears before he can do much.   As an inducement, a team may be able to bribe the ref to look the other way, but just this once...

This secret weapon was from the first editions and is (sadly) no longer available
The curse with secret weapons comes from the fact that a team must field 11 players if it can.  This means that if you have a few players injured or KOed you can be forced to field them.  This happened to Right Stuff recently.

20 April 2012

Of course R is for Right Stuff!

naturally the Lad's nickname has to be explained on R Day!

Right Stuff is the skill that small players can have which enables them to be thrown by big bigger players with the Throw Team Mate skill.  Thus they can be launched over the defesive line, and try to sprint into the end zone.  Careful positioning (and a few good die rolls) means that this can all be done in a single turn, and is pretty much the only 1 turn score option for teams such as Orcs, Ogres, Goblins, Underwold and Halflings.  But beware the big guy with Always Hungry...

An interesting tactic I haven't yet tried to to launch a team mate at an opposing cage.  You see, if the thrown player falls over and is not carrying the ball, it doesn't cause a turn over.  And because the throw is always inaccurate, you can launch him into a square next to a cage (or inside one) and try to get him to fall on an opposing player - who automatically falls over.  This could then create a gap to run a blitzer in to cause some carnage.  I'll try this one day!

19 April 2012

Q is for Quetzal Leap

Quetzal Leap is a star player who player exclusively for Lizardman teams.  For a measly 250,000 gold pieces he will front up for a single game and bring his bevy of skills to your team: Loner, Catch, Diving Catch, Fend, Kickoff Return, Leap, Nerves of Steel, and Very long legs.  Coupled with his 4 Ag, he is a slippery customer and would be a very high priority target for my chainsaw and fouls!
Q.Leap Player by The Four Strands

18 April 2012

P is for Pitch Invasion!

Every time play commences the kicking player rolls on a random event chart called (funnily enough) the Kick-Off Table.  All sorts of crazy things can occur, but on a roll on 12 (on 2d6) a Pitch Invasion occurs.

Fans from both sides run onto the pitch, looking to get back at the opposition players or give their own team a big, over-enthusiastic hug.  Coaches roll a d6 for each of their players (adding FAME bonuses) and on a 6 or more, the player is stunned when play commences!

17 April 2012

Odinn's Champions vs Ellyrion Eyra's

Round 3 of our local Blood Bowl League saw Right Stuff's Norse matched up against the High Elf team Ellyrion Eyra's.   Coming out of his 3 nil loss to the Wood Elves and not having the cash to replace his slain Blitzer, the Lad needed to pull something out of the hat.  He had some coin for inducements, but instead of going for a Wizard, Right Stuff decided to go unconventional: Star Player 'Boomer' Eziasson and a wandering Apothecary.

He started off the game giving away 2 FAME - thats three times in a row he has done that! - and went on to loose the toss and receive the ball.  Adding insult to injury the Elves started off the game with a Blitz.  It seemed that Nuffle was going to be with the Elves this day.

A scrappy first half ensued, the Yeti failing many of his Wild Animal rolls, a elf got badly hurt and a Norse lineman got crowd surfed (and charted for a -1Mv) but the ball didn't go far from the centre.  The Lad tried somethign novel - a dizaaling mix of Got Fo its, Dodges, a long pass and a catch!  His Runner was in scoring distance but without support...splat down he went.  And then he couldn't pick it up again the next turn either.  Then the Norse thrower got killed in a block.  The Apoth saved him but he ended up with -1 Ag...bugger.  In the end the Norse managed to sneek it over the line to be up 1 nil.
...and another Elf bites the Bust!
The High elves had a single turn left to play in the first half.  The Norse had but 9 players, and so star player 'Boomer' Eziasson took the field, didnt even get a turn, and was ejected for his Secret Weapon.  Darn!

Right Stuff kicked off to the eleves to start off the second half, each team fielding 9 players each.  The eleves performed in typical fashion and 2 turns later the score was 1 all.  Right Stuff had 6 turns to try and grind it home.  His drive started well, and another elf was taken off the pitch - this time to the morgue though!  But again it got bogged down an ugly.  And elf charge pressured a hopeful Norse long pass but its didnt eventuate and after a tense few last turns the game was called as a draw.

Overall I think the Lad did well (though I bet he wish he had taken that Wizard!) and the score reflected the game well I think.  Annoyingly, MVP went to the Ag broken Thrower, who will now skill up...

Oddin's Champions now have an Move broken Lineman (no big deal) and an Ag broken Thrower (who will be kept for use as a Lineman until he can be replaced).   He skilled up with Wrestle, as did one of the Runners who has scored 2 TDs and took Dodge.

With a record of 1Win, 1 Draw and 1 Loss, Odinn's Champions are placed in the centre of the league, and as a team they have killed the most players (3) !  Next game will see Odinn's Champions carry three journeymen, going into another game against a Necromatic team: The Midnight Hour

O is for Open Stars

Open Stars, also known as a "Pow", is a result on a Blood Bowl block dice that causes a defender to be thrown backwards onto the ground (with potential for being injured of course).  Only 1 of the 6 dice faces has the Open Star result, and while other results can also have the defender on the ground, this is the only one that cannot be defended against - so its always great to see these come up :-)
Smiles all round when you throw a block and see these come up!

16 April 2012

N is for No Hands!

Halfway through the A to Z Challenge now!

Sometimes in Bloodbowl, players can be too busy to actually handle the ball!  Strange but true, this attribute is called No Hands.

Players equipped with contraptions such as a giant ball and chain, or a Death Roller, have their hands full as it is, and are therefore unable to pickup or handle the ball in any way.  However, players with other equipment, like a chainsaw, can still try to juggle the pigskin one-handed!
From  http://robtornoe.com/2011/12/eagles-playoff-hopes/

15 April 2012

100 Years On

Today is the Centenary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic.  While this story is widely known, the consequences of it are not.  International Maritime Distress regulations were rewritten to adopt standard emergency radio frequencies, and mandate minimum numbers of lifeboats and lifejackets to be carried on all vessels.  Many of these continue today.
My family has a direct link to this tragedy - my Great Grandmother has a steerage class ticket, a few years before my grandfather was born.  But upon arriving at the dock, had some sort of panic attack at going onboard something the size of Titanic and refused to board.  Lucky she did or I wouldn't be here!  Family lore suggests that tucked away in an attic somewhere is her used ticket - that would fetch a pretty penny if it could be found, but its likely it was destroyed in a number of family houses destroyed in the Blitz of WW2


14 April 2012

M is for Mutations!

The foul, the misshapen, and the downright noxious - who wouldn't want them on their team?  Some players can get mutations as they develop, which can bring some unique skills to the pitch!  Players fielded by Chaos, Chaos Pact, Underworld, Nurgle and Skaven teams can attract mutations, with varying levels of difficulty.  We have already seen one of these in Extra Arms, but here are some others to pique your interest:

The Australian Prime Minister's popularity rating of late indicates she has developed this mutation!
Foul Appearance: The player's appearance is so horrible that the opposition may be too revolted to go near him! (Game effect: on a roll of 1 on a d6, the player refuses to Block the Foul Mutant!)

Claw: helps you smash your way through an enemy's armour and get to the chewy vitals (Game effect; break any enemy armour on an 8+, regardless of the actual armour value)

Two Heads: Are better than One! Allowing a player to see both where he is going and his opponents at the same time (Game effect, +1 bonus to dodge attempts)
Tentacles: cool, writhing bits latch onto an opposing player and hold him in place!  But there is an opposed strength roll-off, so this is most useful on your bigger and stronger players.

Chinese "goatwoman" or future star blitzer for the Chaos All-Stars?
Horns:  Lower the head and Charge into contact! (Game effect: adds 1 to strength when blitzing)

Prehensile Tail: An extra appendage to wack people and trip them up! (Game effect -1 penalty when trying to dodge away from this player)

There are a bunch of others too, but you get the idea.  When combined with normal skills they can be very effective (Dodge and Two Heads, for example) or can just make for fun and unique individuals such as 2 headed Goblins!

13 April 2012

Ogre Ver6: Designer's Edition

Long time readers may know that Stave Jackson's classic game OGRE was my first wargame and I still deeply love it.  In fact, I think I have everything printed for it apart from the 1st edition game.  Thus I was pretty excited to hear last year about a 6th Edition being developed (see here).
Well, a year later on and this game is now up on Kickstarter!  SJ details why he has gone this way on the project homepage.  $100 will get you signed up for a copy (ONLY if you live in the US though...grumble spit grumble).  Its an awesome package and if OGRE is your thing, go check it out:  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/847271320/ogre-designers-edition

L is for Leap!

Aerial ballet on the pitch is always a thing of beauty, and of course a source of much amusement when it goes horribly wrong!

A player with the Leap skill can jump into any empty square (no jumping on top of another player!) within 2 squares, and needs to pass an Agility roll to land on his or her feet.  There are no modifiers for any tackle zones and it avoids all dodging.  It can thus be used to leap into a defensive formation of opposing players and get a shot at the ball carrier! (so it goes very well with Strip Ball)  Or on offense one can jump right over the defenders to get a clear run for the end zone.
Dwarves: You can't toss 'em but they can Leap! (not that I've ever seen it :-)
The only modifier to the landing roll is the attribute Very Long Legs.  This is generally only available as a mutation so is rarely seen.  One exception to this is the Slann team who, as a race of big frogs, all come with both Leap and Very Long Legs as starting skills.  Needless to say this gets somewhat aggravating rather quickly an I recommend a large serving of frog's legs to your players to get them in a mood to squash the slippery individuals when they can get their hands on them!

Want to know more? http://bbtactics.com/leap/

12 April 2012

K is for Knocked out

It may (or may not) be difficult to fathom that  players who take the field to play Blood Bowl could possibly get hurt.  Sometimes they are broken badly, occasionally they are killed, and sometimes they get Knocked Out.  And that is where the Bloodweiser Babes come in!

Players who are knocked out are removed from the pitch until they recover.  After each drive (including the half time break) you roll a d6 for each player and on a 4+ they can retake the pitch.  On a 1 to 3, they stay in the KO box.  This is where investing in some more lovely ladies (who are different to cheerleaders) can be most handy...
Bloodweiser Babe painted by the talented Laughing Ferret Studio
You purchase a keg of extra-special Bloodweiser magic ale for 50,000 gold pieces, and get a lovely lady to serve players before going out for each drive. The combination of the ale and the young lady serving it means that for each purchase of this inducement, players on the team gain a +1 modifier to recover from KO’d for this match.

You can buy two of these (at 50k each) so that a KOed player will recover on anything but a 1.  A great investment for any team, I find Bloodweiser babes very useful for lower armour teams like Skaven, Elves, Norse and Amazon where you players will get knocked about a bit.  And of course, it provides yet another fun modelling opportunity!

Bloodweiser Babe figure by Impact Miniatures
Want to know more? http://bbtactics.com/bloodweiser-babes/
The Bloodweiser Babes for the Undead proved unpopular with other teams...

11 April 2012

J is for Juggernaught

The smashing, bashing, unstoppable force running down other players is a classic scene in any sport.
The skill Juggernaught brings this to the BloodBowl pitch: A player with this skill is virtually impossible to stop once he is in motion.

This skill is great for two reasons: firstly, it turns a 'both down' result into a push back - which is very handy if your player doesn't have Block as it keeps him on his feet and avoids a turnover.  Its other key advantage is that it negates the defensive skills Stand Firm, Fend and Wrestle on the target player.  The negative aspect of Juggernaught is that it can only be used as apart of a Blitz action and thus is not good in defence.

Juggernaught is sometimes referred to the  poor man's Block skill because its very useful in attack, but not as versatile.  However, its generally more accessible to Big Guys (as a Strength skill).

I think Juggernaught would be a good third or fourth skill on a Blitzer and would be great in a safety role, especially if it was combined with the Strip Ball skill where the additional push back results will pop the ball loose.  Unfortunately though, my Blitzers don't tend to survive long enough to get three or four skills!

10 April 2012

I for for Igor

In any sport, a team of qualified medics can help players recover from injuries and get back onto the field.  Blood Bowl is no different and Apothecaries (as they are known) can be very, very useful.  However, some teams can't get such medical professionals no matter how much they pay as it is just too nasty a job: Undead, Necromatic, Khemri and Nurgle teams..   I guess you just cant pay enough to sew up battered, pre-killed corpses (even to medical students!)

However, in some circumstances these other teams can attract the assistance of Igor, the famous henchman of mad scientists:

Igor is a master of needle and thread on rotting flesh, connecting hip bone to leg bone, rewrapping funeral wraps and so on.  He can really get the boys shambling back to the pitch

Having an Igor on your team means that once per game (only) you can reroll a failed regeneration attempt of an undead player.

09 April 2012

H is for Hack Enslash!

Hack Enslash is a Star Player plays for Undead, Necromatic and Khemri teams.  We like him because he uses a chainsaw to carve up the opposition!  This is his player profile and background:

It was probably his idolization of retired star skeleton Barry Bigbones that led a young human lineman to arrange his own death and re-animation to become the latest Blood Bowl chainsaw sensation: Hack Enslash!

First appearing on the pitch in 2501, Hack is obsessed with breaking all his idol’s old records. He often talks to his beloved chainsaw, which he has named “Betsy”. Rumors abound concerning just how close the two really are, but Hack vehemently denies such allegations: “we sleep in separate caskets!”

Originally a member of the Champions of Death but now a free agent, there seems no lack of teams willing to pay his fee. Recently he was hired to play against the Westside Werewolves in an important play-off match. During the first half, one of the werewolves chewed off Hack’s left forearm and proceeded to run around the field with it. Minutes later the wolf swallowed the bones, but Hack
retrieved them soon enough (a rare instance of one-armed chainsaw use).

Hack plays every game according to his own agenda. In addition to the standard on-field maiming practices, he often roams the sidelines to take a swipe or two at any opposing players not currently in the match. He is best known, perhaps, for giving spectators in the front row a very “close” view of Betsy. In fact, his most ravenous fans (a sadistic lot that call themselves the Hack Pack) actually
jump out of the stands towards him in hopes of being decapitated by their hero. Of course, he never disappoints them!

Even though he has only been playing for a brief time, Hack Enslash already has a solid place in Blood Bowl history. He continues to amass fatalities and has grown into arguably the most popular chainsaw player in the game today.

268 Player Fatalities (opposing team)
42 Player Fatalities (own team)
493 Civilian Fatalities (357 willing)
67 Referee Fatalities
2 Touchdowns

Blood Bowl Network (BBN) Dirty Player of the Year (2502)
Player Most Likely (to get ejected from a game) (2502)
Bloodweiser Best Newcomer Medal (2501)
PlayBone Magazine Bachelor of the Year (2504)
Spike Magazine Star Player Rating: 298

GW Figure of Hack Enslash

08 April 2012

Happy Easter!

I hope you have a great one!
I have been educating the kids with the movies "Ben Hur", "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "The Life of Brian", in that order :-)