26 November 2012

Game 3 vs Dittiton Oddrugs

"Rodger the Furious"- ready for action!
Fans of Odinn's Champions may remember that the last game saw some players skill up- the Yeti Angry Agnar took the skill Guard, rookie thrower Boris Surespear got Sure Hands and the team treasury was finally large enough to draft an Ulfenwerner and so Rodger the Furious donned the team's purple and yellow jersey.

The next scheduled game against the human team River Stir Slayers had to be deferred because of the Viking raiding season on Lustrian coastline, and so the next game played was against the Skaven Team Dittiton Oddrugs (roster here), netting Right Stuff 420k in inducements which he spent getting his favourite star player Icepelt Hammerblow and a blood wiser babe.  His aim was to hit and keep hitting to make the most of the Norse blocking skills and the lower Skaven armour.   The weather was very sunny, the Skaven took +1 FAME while the Norse won the toss and elected to kick (Right Stuff had a 2-1 grind strategy in mind).
The teams take the pitch on the lovely "Eucalyptus Bowl" field
The ball landed midfield with brilliant coaching automatically won by the Skaven with their two assistant coaches and FAME advantage. The ball drifted onto a linerat who caught it and the game began. The skaven swung right to crowd Icepelt but the rat ogre wild animated out to foil the plan. The Norse moved to contain nicely with a few hits but no injuries and the ball remained midfield in skaven possession. The rat ogre punched Icepelt to the ground, but the star blodging gutter runner tripped over and badly hurt himself! A scrum ensued midfield for a turn or so before a gutter runner dodged out and sprinted into the end zone ready to receive a pass, but the skaven ball carrier missed another dodge and KOed himself, while the Norse failed to pick it up the next turn as the scrum continued. Another gutter runner did some skaven magic, dodging through multiple zones to grab the ball but fumbled the pass! The scrum continued, the ball eventually popped out and another fumbled skaven pass in the hot weather put it in the Norse half, but they couldn't pick it up either. The skaven scooped it but spilled it sprinting - it's a pretty messy half!  The Norse ended up grabbing it, a short pass and a hand-off later and the ball was half way to the end zone with some buddies covering him - could this be the making of the first Norse TD for the season? The rat ogre charged back to flatten one of the Norse screening players and base the ball carrier.  Right stuff then skulled out on his turn with no rerolls left and whammo!  The Norse carrier went down stunned by the Rat Ogre and the half ended at nil all.
The ill-fated Norse drive - thwarted by the Rat Ogre on the ground at the right 
The Norse received to start the second half one player up on the field and getting a quick snap! The thrower grabbed the ball, handled off the blitzer and the ball was at the halfway point when Icepelt double skulled out, allowing the skaven to reset and contain the Norse offensive. The Norse injured a linerat and moved slowly down the pitch but the skaven were closing the nose tight.
Norse drive up the left side
The Norse blitzer then burst forth, some buddies moved up to support him but the skaven managed to burst in and base the ball carrier in sight of the end zone. Being only turn 4, Right Stuff decided to try and stall - would it pay off???  In came a gutter runner sporting a Horns mutation for a 1 die block, a push only. Reroll; push again! Right stuff decided not to risk it any more and wisely waved his Blitzer over the line to score in his turn 5!!!  1 nil to the Norse
Norse preparing to score for the first time this season!
The Norse kicked in as the weather changed to fine and a gust of wind took the ball out of play for a touchback. Could the Norse hold out for four turns against the Skaven offense? It was certainly helped when a gutter runner failed his dodge and reroll right at the start of the drive, allowing the Norse to break through and sack the ball carrier nicely. 3 skaven turns to go when the rat ogre KOed a Norse lineman, a gutter runner sprinted downfield and the sacking Norseman was cleared off the ball. 2 skaven turns to go with 2 Norse tackle zones now on the ball.  Just then a Skaven blitz went horribly wrong and the linerat went down in his turn for a turnover. The Norse thrower, with a TZ on the ball, dodged out, scooped up the ball and pushed over the line in the last Norse turn to go up 2 nil! 1 skaven turn to go...
The opposing team was  a delightful mix of Aussie animals rather than the usual Skaven figs
The Skaven setup for a chain push, and the Norse got a perfect defence!  However Right Stuff very opted to let his initial setup ride to see how the chain push mechanic works, saying if if they Skaven get a TD it would help their team development - wonderful sportsmanship indeed!  The chainpush worked, but all the required dodging didn't and the Norse won in a 2:0 shutout- their best performance ever on the pitch!

A very messy game with lots of armour breaking on both sides but not many players removed from the field, and Pete would have done well playing yahtzee with all those 1s he rolled trying to dodge.   Odinn's Champions have now grown to a Team Value of 144, gotten a few players back, is in 6th place on the league ladder having conceded only 3TDs for the season, and is almost halfway to another Ulfenwerfer - a good week indeed! But what Nuffle gives he can easily take away...

22 November 2012

Da Smashin' Pumpkinz - WIP 1

An exciting Man Cave development over the last two weeks has been Right Stuff embarking on his first real painting project.  He played with painting before but had no real inspiration to try something out.  That changed recently when he came up with an idea for an Orc Blood Bowl team with a different play style to his usual one, centred around Black Orcs and Blitzers.  He then developed his own theme, finally settling on 'Da Smashin' Pumkinz' (possibly to be renamed the 'Pumkin' Smasherz') with an associated orange and brown colour scheme.

I had some old Warhammer Orcs and with a few weapon snips we were away with the first half of the team (and looking forward to the rest of them arriving Comrade James!).  They aren't finished, but are in a position for some WIP pictures - I know that Right Stuff would appreciate feedback and tips on how he might improve them.  While I have helped with some technique demonstrations and a small amount of detailing, its all his own work.  Here are his starting lineup figs, enough for a game of Blood Bowl 7s at least while we await the additional figs (hint hint Comrade James!)

3 Black Orcs - 1 more to come
currently nicknamed "Flashtoof" this one is Right Stuff's favourite fig and will be the team's captain 

1 Blitzer - 3 more to come
2 Throwers

1 Lineman - to come 

1 Goblin - 1 more to come in the future 

He is also taking 3 Re-Rolls, to which he will get a skill package for a Team Value of 120. As this is for our home league, I'm letting him draft two developed players from his other Orc team "the Death Stars" (link) as part of this starting TV.  One of these is a 5ST Black Orc with Jump Up so you can see where that one is heading...next skill: Piling On - ouch!

So a great start to the painting project and I know these are a mile above my first ever brush efforts. Thanks to our friend Ken he has developed a good idea of the basecoat/wash/drybrush technique and now, as we all know, its time to get better through lots of practice!

Comments most welcome please!

20 November 2012

Back to the Dark Ages!

Last week I had the pleasure of enjoying Alan’s hospitality as we had planned a few weeks ago. After a delicious meal he ran an introductory game of SAGA for me, pitting his fearless Vikings against a Welsh force under my command.  It was a 4 point “Clash of the Warlords” scenario, with both of us taking 2 Hearthguard and 2 Warrior Units.

Three pieces of terrain were placed (two swamps and a large forest) which I hoped to use to break up the Viking warriors.  I combined my Hearthguard into a single 8 man ‘shock unit’ to try and overwhelm one flank, accepting the loss of a SAGA dice for the extra hitting power.
Initial Welsh deployment - strong on the left flank!
The armies advanced to contact and all was going to my plan with one of the Viking warrior units isolated by the swamps and allowing me to gain superiority by reinforcing my left flank.  At this point I found that perhaps combining my Hearthguard wasn’t such a good plan – when I got 6 hits on his 4 man unit they all died and the extra hits dissipated - but his 6 hits in return whittled me down worse in the bigger 8 man unit.  Note to self no 1: it would have been better to rush one unit in, build up the fatigue on the enemy, then send another fresh wave in to finish them off.
The Horns of the Welsh Buffalo close in, but not strong enough to intimidate the Norsemen!
The battle continued with attrition on both sides but the Welsh wore more casualties.  I got to try different Battle Board effects and suffer some of Alan’s too.  In the end it came down to the Warlords in single combat for two successive turns without result.  By this stage my Leader had only a few badly fatigued figs around him while he still had a full Warrior unit and a couple of Hearthguard, so the writing was on the wall and like a good Welshman I melted back into the forest.  Note to self No 2: javelin volleys are cool, but Welsh aren’t Norsemen so perhaps not being so aggressive in the future would work better.
Welsh retire to the covers of the woods after taking casualties
I very much enjoyed the game and while the table mechanics are quite easy to grasp, the Battle Board is clearly where the interesting dynamic is (as well as the frustrations of not having the right dice to do the ‘killer move’ one might want to).  The lack of an overall force morale mechanic was very different and perhaps more of a tournament style than what I am used too.  Then again, it made me make my own decision of when to retire so when the awaited campaign rules appear (next year I think) perhaps this will be more prevalent.  Certainly it is a game I want to play more and as the table mechanics are simple it is a system my gamer Lad could learn quickly.  I’m keen to try Normans and Anglo-Danes, and the new supplement Raven’s Shadow includes the Irish and their wardogs, so I will be interested in those too.
Great dark Ages action: a Warlord Mano-a-Mano duel !
I greatly enjoyed the evening, meeting Alan’s family and using his beautifully painted figs - his hand painted shield work is fantastic and definitely to be envied!  So much so that I’m feeling all inspired to get my own figs out and pimp their shields!  You can see his remarkably similar version of events here (link)

Note to self No 3: There is no shame in loosing your first match to a tournament champion! (link)

18 November 2012

RIP War Puppy

Faithful companion Banjo at my feet
Long time readers of this blog will have noticed that our faithful hound Banjo the Beagle appears from time to time (like here), but truth be told he is my constant companion and never more than 3 steps from me when I am home.  I am very distressed to announce that he was taken from us last night.  We'll miss you buddy, the Man Cave will be emptier without you.
The boys hard at work

17 November 2012

The Raven's Shadow

It should be getting released today..alas on the other side of the world though!  Personally I really want to try out the Irish and their warhounds, under the command of warlord Fran of course!

Studio Tomahawk and Gripping Beast are proud to announce the forthcoming publication of "The Raven's Shadow", the second supplement to the SAGA rules system for Dark Age skirmishes. The Raven's Shadow contains all you need to field four new factions on the battlefields of Viking Age Europe.

The Franks – Whether your warband is Merovingian, Carolingian or Capetian, the Franks have a highly organised military structure and mounted troops are the key to your success. 
The Irish – Lead your brave tribal warriors against all comers and watch the enemy quail before the might of your champions. 
The Norse-Gaels – Born from the collision of Celtic and Viking cultures, your warband is ready to demonstrate its martial prowess – dare your enemies accept your challenge ? 
The Stratchclyde Welsh – Mounted on sturdy ponies, your warband is ready to surround and destroy any who are foolish enough to stand in your way. 

Inside Raven's Shadow you will find descriptions of the four new factions, all the rules you need to muster yourself one of these exciting new warbands (including new Heroes) plus of course a new Battleboard for each of the factions.

Each of these new factions presents new and interesting challenges, both to command and to face across the table but, as with everything in SAGA, each of these factions has been extensively play-tested against one another and against the eight already published factions in the rule-book and Northern Fury supplement to ensure that every game will be balanced and challenging.
>Also included are new rules for including war-banners in any of your warbands. Each of the new factions will be available in 4 point starter boxes with a full range of supporting blisters. The new factions use existing SAGA dice so there will be no new dice designs.

The Raven's Shadow will have a staggered release. The French language version of the book will be released at the Crisis show in Antwerp (Belgium) on Saturday 3rd November 2012. The English language version and the new miniatures will also be available at Crisis at the Comitatus/Studio Tomahawk stand but in limited numbers as the English version and the miniatures are officially released at the Warfare show in Reading (UK) on 17th & 18th November 2012. All the new figures, box sets and of course Raven's Shadow itself will be available via the Gripping Beast website and our distributors from Monday 19th November, the day after Warfare.

Gripping Beast's new Irish Warband - nice!
Now muster your warband, prepare for battle and let your mighty SAGA play out under The Raven's Shadow. The Raven's Shadow is not a complete game – you will need the SAGA Rulebook to get the most from this supplement. The Raven’s Shadow is 28 pages plus four A4 cardstock Battleboards for £12.00.

16 November 2012

Plodders on the Beat

Just finished up these policemen to reinforce Threshold raids on suspected Cultist lairs!
Yes, they are British Bobbys, and Arkham is in the United States, but it is in New England right?
Figures by Artizan Designs (pack PLP595 - Long Arm of the Law with Pistols, and pack PLP588 Long Arm of the Law Armed).  I got mine from Aetherworks in Sydney here

14 November 2012

Prize Arrives

Last month I was a lucky bugger and won a competition at the "Lost in the Warp" blog (see here).  This week the goodies arrived at the Canberra Man Cave, along with a nice extra - a set of customised Block Dice (which of course the Lad immediately claimed as his rightful share of the loot as Man Cave co-inhabitant).  Thanks very much James, thats awesome.  I'll post again when its all painted up!
Visit James's Blog here: http://www.lostinthewarp.com/

13 November 2012

Cemetery WIP 2

This is an update of my Cemetery project (first pics here) having now done some basing.  I am a true believer in spending the time basing: it makes an average figure look good and a good figure look great (which is convenient since my brush work is pretty average), and terrain is no exception.
This time I've branched out with some of the brown leaf fall product from Secret Bases.  I'm going for a dishevelled/overgrown look rather than abandoned/dilapidated

I made some vines with dyed string to cover up some of the skulls, but didn't want to go too overboard.  This is the net effect:

11 November 2012

More Monster Dice

You may remember that earlier this year my good friend Ken painted up some of the lovely Blood Bowl Monster Dice by "Fantasy Bowl Dices" for Right Stuff (see here) - well he has done it again with three new additions to the collection!
Nurgle Dice

Our 5 die collection!
You can see the whole range here  http://fantasybd.blogspot.com.au/

09 November 2012

4Ground Barn

There has been a lot of talk around the place of late regarding laser cut mdf terrain and a company called 4Ground in particular.  naturally I wanted to see what all the fuss is about so I picked up a small barn/outhouse style building as a bit of a test.
Darn Cultists seem to be everywhere these days!
It slotted together very quickly, all parts fitting together very tightly and here it is a bare 10 minutes after I opened the packet.  Still needs some extra washes etc and I'll probably make a base for it too, but having scratch-built a bunch of buildings last year, I am a convert to these kits where I can spend my time adding detail instead of the basic structure (similar in fact to my concept with my Dark Ages Church)

I'll definitely be getting more, particularly the Dark Ages range.  See Tamsin's detailed review of some of those here, which are now on my 'need' list:

07 November 2012

Cemetery WIP

I have been wanting to build a cemetery for ages - primarily but not exclusively for Pulp/Horror gaming.  I don't normally post WIP pics but that is one where I will make an exception.  This is from GW's Garden of Morr boxed set which is beautifully detailed.  There are a few too many skulls on it for my taste , but they aren't removable in the main so rather than paint them all up, I have gone with a 'part of the masonry' approach.

Gravestones are Renedra Plastic (this is one sprue's worth - half of one set), and the HPL ones are resin by Tengu Models.

Next step- flocking and basing