30 January 2012

End of month round up

On the painting front its been an excellent month with 60, 28mm figures painted towards my 12pt Viking warband. This leaves me another 24 to work and then I can call project 1 complete for the year. Since completing the painting work has kept me busy and caused me a fair few headaches due to the unpredictable weather. Walking into my workshop and seeing the resin rivers and marshes had all turned white over night friday really put a dampener on things Saturday morning for me. My evenings have been spent Map making and rule writing for the WargamersFC Saga campaign I have not completed everything as yet but the weekend should see this element completed.
Map a work in progress
I had originally tried to set the map based on the Heptarcy, but with more entarants than the Heptarcy could handle I had to make some revisions and create more territories. I willmake a further post oce I have the map fully set out and the rules completed.

25 January 2012

Saga Hardrada style

Last Thursday saw me playing my favorite game of the moment Saga.
One particular opponent Mal is a nemesis for my Vikings, the last few times I have played Mal he has caused a lot of frustration and claimed the life of my warlord on a few occasions.

Mal is a great opponent that has mastered his Anglo Danish battleboard, often resulting is me expending valuable Saga dice and slamming into a rock. Would tonights game be any different, I hoped so.

A six point game - Clash of Warlords, the table had a simple terrain set up a couple of hills and a long house and a small hut.

Mal's force was a Warlord, 1 unit of 12 thegns (3pts), 1 unit of 4 thegns (1pt) 2 units of 8 ceorls(2pts).
My force - Harald Hardrada (1pt) 12 varangians (3pts) 2 units of 8 bondi (2pts)

The Initial set up
This was going to be tough, Although Hardrada does give me the benefit of higher armour, those damned Dane axes and Mal's use of the Battleboard would mean I needed to hit Hard and first if possible.
Turn 1
I managed to roll great on set up giving me the advantage of setting up to my advantage, but as usual I rolled miserably when it came to getting the first turn. Mal sent a unit of Bondi towards the great hall, but I chose to ignore this threat that I knew would pop up on the flank at some point relying strongly on the ability of the Varangians to dispatch them if and when they arrived. Mal positioned everything else in a solid central block ensuring it would be a real struggle to get to his warlord. My Varagians trudged up the hill for a closer look at the opposing force, whilst my Bondi took full advantage of the flat ground before them forming a solid line.
Turn 2
This sees Mal occupy the great Hall and load the Battle board in preparation for the Viking Charge. I chose to advance the Varangians and a unit of Bondi into a central position to maximise my ability next turn loading my own battleboard with combat dice. I moved the warlord into a more protected position in case of the flank charge.

Turn 3 saw a bit of tactical manouvering on both sides, Mal sent a unit of Thegns to the bottom of the Hill
I moved a unit of bondi Up the hill to block any Flank move and slid the remaining bondi into the gap they had left. Still those Danes hid in the Great hall and I wondered what Mal had Planned for me.
Turn 4 ( that is a unit of 8 figures on the hill 2 kept sliding down TOO MUCH ALE)
I decided it was time to hit and sent a unit of Bondi into the Thegns. This was going to hurt, my armour 4 Bondi reduced to armour three because of the axes, against his armour 5 reduced to 4 because they have no shields. I needed some good old luck to pull this off and How the dice gods smiled on me, the combat result sent three bondi to Valhalla but importantly they had dispatched all 4 Thegns and opened a gap to the  Anglo Dane warlord.
The bondi pick up a fatigue from winning the combat, the other bondi get a fatigue from double moving.
Turn 5
Mal then launches another attack from the great hall a mob of ceorls slam into the Varangians, This saw 3 Varagians sail to Valhalla but had wiped the ceorls out in one attack. With a battle board loaded to his advantage Mal handed over to me.
Opportunity Knocks.
I decided to lanch an attack and try to dispatch the enemy, Mal spends my Fatigue increasing his armour but again a miserable result for him sees the unit of ceorls disappear.
Advantage Vikings
At this point I was confident and could smell the bloodlust having dispatched the Ceorls for no losses it was time to consider my next move.
Time for some blood.
Turn 6
This turn saw a valiant defence from Mal but depspite reducing the Varangians to Half their original number, considerable casualties were taken, allowing me to use the battle board to its best and with so many dice and nothing to throw in the way of the hits the Anglo Dane warlord succummed to his wounds and died honourably on the field of Battle.

Overall a great game with a very worthy opponent.

20 January 2012

W.I.P January (5)

On return from tonights game I sat down and completed the last unit of Bondi. Which means I have managed to complete my target for the month. A lot of painting for me in total thats 60 figures completed. This means I can use the rest of the month to do a few things off the agenda that take my fancy.
The first unit of 8 warriors (blue themed shields)

The second unit of 8 warriors (green themed shields)
The third unit of 8 warriors (red themed shields)
The forth unit of warriors (black themed shields)

19 January 2012

W.I.P January (4)

Its been a busy week here. I decided that I would prepare the last of the Vikings ready to paint. To that end I thought you may appreciate a guide on how I string my archers bows. Followed by a set of match reports on my foray into the world of Blood Bowl.
Tools needed, Clippers, Long nosed pliers and thin florists wire
1 prepared miniature (I did spot the extra flash at bottom of bow and removed it)
Wrap three times at the bottom of the bow.

Take the wire to the top pull tight with pliers and wrap three times again.

Cut of the excess and its ready to prime.
I have not completed the Bondi yet, they are almost finished but I have been rather busy playing as a complete Rookie in our clubs Blood bowl league. The lads allowed me a couple of practice games to get a feel for how it played (Much needed as I have never played this game before). The practice games taught me some valuable lessons about the fragility of the Skaven team, and in both practice matches I rarely had 11 players left on the pitch. JP gave me a bit of coaching and thanks to Kieron who gave me links to tactics guides, I entered the League proper on Saturday against Kelly.

Game 1 Saturday
The Stilton Stealers (SKAVEN) V Barrowmans Ball Benders (Girly Wood ELVES)

Score 2-2                        The Stealers inflict 2 casualties. The Benders inflict none.

The first half was a relatively normal game with neither side doing anything very spectacular the scores were tied 1-1. The second Half started badly for the stealers who managed to give a blitz advantage to the Benders on kick off, the elves took full advantage and managed to make a completion and score in the first turn. The luck continued to fail on the restart with the Stealers managing to roll heavy rain on the restart, this led to a complete mudbath for both sides until the end of turn 5 as both side either failed to pick up the ball or they fumbled in blocks. In turn six the stealers had a moment of luck and managed to put both wardancers on their arse at the same time. The Ballbenders were subject to some heavy hitting from a brave gung ho stealer linemen who tried to open a gap. This saw them have a real wobble as the casualty roll was a 68 on the player seeing him DEAD Kelly used his apocathery to re roll and accepted a fractured skull instead.

Still in turn six The Stealers (no10) Humboldt fog managed to pick up the ball and run like the wind and make a successful hand off to (no9) HIPI ITI who legged it deep into the opposition half, seeing and oppertunity Boule de roves (no4) legged it with him to at least try to assist no9.

Turn 7 the ball benders tried to maim as many rats as possible and failed. They did however set 4 players around the stealers no9. with the end of game fast approaching the stealers tried their luck, only one move was possible to allow an equaliser (no3) Blue Rathgore legged it up the pitch to assist (no4) Boule de Roves who managed to pull of a block and get through the Elfs armour, again this saw a result that Kelly did not like a 48 and he used the apocathary the re roll ended with a 61 so he chose the first result the result opened a gap for HIPI ITI to leg in into the end zone for a TD.

The rest of the game saw both sides trying to cause a few more casualties but as with any dice me and Kelly throw nothing goes to plan.

Game 2 Sunday
Rottenham Tight 'Uns (Nurgle)  v Stilton Stealers (Skaven)
Final score 2-2          casualties Rottenham 1  Stealers 0

28,000 rancid fans packed in to the New yuck stadium to see a scintillating game between the Rottenham Tight ‘Uns and the Stilton Stealers and they were not disappointed. Game started with the Stealers winning the toss and deciding to receive.
They then duly fielded the ball and handed it off to one of their dangerous gutter runners. However they were unable to fully shield him for the Tight’Uns strong defence so he was quickly hit twice in the same turn (Frenzied Beastman 2D blocking) but the gutter runner showed some nimble foot work and stayed on his feet. He then showed a good turn of pace to first out run the beast man then move down field and throw the a fellow gutter runner who was able to run in for the first score.

From the following kick off the Tight’Uns showed some ominous strength in moving the ball down the centre of the field over a number of turns knocking over anyone standing in their way to get a late second half equaliser.

Half time 1-1

The second half started as the first had ended with another long hard drive down the middle leading to a second score for the Tight'Uns. This just left two turns for the Stealers to try and grab a thrilling equaliser.

Tellingly the Tight’Uns had failed to inflict more the one casualty on the Stealers so they could set up with still 10 players on the pitch. Straight from the kick off the Stealers went for it, throwing all caution to the wind. However aggressive defence looked to have won the day for the Tight’Uns when the gutter runner holding the ball was knocked flat on his back with the ball being caught by one the Tight’Uns Rotters! However the Stealers were not to be denied and with the last play of the match they managed to knock the rotter to the floor and knock the ball lose, this then lead to a piece of skill almost never seen on the Bloodbowl pitch. The Stealers remaining standing Gutter runner surrounded by 3 Tight’Uns players skipped away from all three (4+dodge, 3+dodge, 2 + dodge) then ran across to the ball picked it up (3+) dodged away from the shambling rotter defender (2+) then ran into the Endzone (one go for it!) an amazing way to end the game!

Game 3 Tuesday

Karak Dur Bruisers (Chaos Dwarves) vs Stilton Stealers
Final score 2-2   Casualties Karak 2 Stealers 0

The Stealers started by receiving the ball and a poor set up by the dwarfs saw them scurry through a hole after caging the ball. The bruisers closed in but to no avail. Even with glaring sunlight causing all catches to be rolled at a minus 1 did not stop the Stealers who managed to dodge and pass to an early lead.

Smarting from the poor play, the Bruisers took the ball and battered their way to an equaliser late in the first half after having knocked down nearly every rat on the field.

The second half saw the Bruisers push again going for a quick score to see if they could capitalise. The Stealers tried their hardest to hold it up but too many dodges saw one player needing to be saved by an Apothocary and another awful dodge saw a Stealers Gutter runner trip on a shoe lace and kill himself, this resulted in the Bruisers score and take the lead.

Playing more defensively, now, the Bruisers covered the gaps they'd previously left but it didn't stop the Stealers from running all three gutter runners deep into the Bruisers half, The Bruisers then proceeded to cage every rat there was that was still standing. But the plucky rats made a brave move and they passed and dodged to an equaliser.

With little time left the Bruisers passed the ball up the field and headed for a third winning touch down. The Stealers, looking at the clock decided to go for a draw and slow down the Bruisers offense and run out the clock. With one chance left the ball carrying hobgoblin tried to hand off to one of the Bull Centaurs but it slipped out of his stubby grasp and effectively ended the game.

For a Rookie player, I am more than happy to accept 3 draws so far there a 6 more games to go. The game is Fast and furious Fun, but damned frustrating when you have a team that can run like the wind but can't punch its way out of a paper bag. I enjoy all the post and pre match preparation, and hopefully I will improve as the season progresses.

12 January 2012

Saga Tables in progress (1)

This is the first instalment in a series on construction of Craig and Kelly's Saga tables. Craig and Kelly are a couple of guys I game with on a Thursday, that wanted to start making terrain for their own gaming.
In this section the basic table design is constructed, and assembled. This sounds easy but when working alongside the aforementioned actually becomes a task in itself. With comedy moments a plenty lets crack on.
You would not think it too difficult a task to get 2 boards cut to 4 foot x 3 foot but Craig and Kelly actually managed it, having popped to the local timber merchants on route it transpires they just asked them to halve the sheet of timber (a fact they did not tell me until much later). As long as they repeat the error if they need extra boards the 1/4 inch wont matter.
These boards will serve another purpose, they will also be usable for their 10mm world war two antics, a fact that will need to be accounted for in the design. The first thing to do is rough out a design and sketch a few ideas, these boards will not be totally flat and will have an undulating surface but they have to be compatible with each other for the occasions they want to use both boards to make a larger table.

Framing the boards is the first task, it is even better when the wood purchased to frame the tables is actually the same size, but again the curse of the brothers grim struck, they purchased two different sized timbers for framing. It is at this point I discovered that they did not get the boards cut to size correctly. I began cutting the framework to length and assembling one of the frames before they both arrived for another terrain session. The other frame I was to do a step by step walk through with them doing the cutting and assembly for practical experience. Things went well and 3 of the outer edges were in place when I got elected to make tea, issuing a note of caution about measuring accurately and cutting it carefully on the mitre saw I was duly dismissed.
A well glued and screwed sub frame
Upon return to the workshop two shocked faces appear informing me they had cut the last piece of wood too short. I assumed it was a joke until I actually looked, it transpires that although everything was measured you cant account for anyone cutting the wrong side of a line thus the outer frame was 3mm short at a corner (the final piece of timber we had that was long enough to do the job). Kelly enthused that we should cut splice and do all manner of technical trickery to the middle of the length to make it larger. (I concluded it was safer now to remain firmly in the workshop until the tables were framed). The only real solution I could see for this was to carefully trim a 3mm piece of MDF to size and insert at the corner making sure it was pinned and glued into place.
The rest of the framing was cut and assembled without too much problem. Everything was glued and screwed into position for strength. Myself and Craig also discovered that Kelly didn't do much DIY but loved glue (or rather he remembered his Dad saying lots of glue on wood Son), and we actually had a frame floating around in a river of glue and the more we clamped the top to the frame the more glue oozed and flooded everywhere. A lot of wiping up later and we had two framed tables to work on.
One of the undulations in progress
Next up was the construction of the features, I have some usefull and expensive products to construct the undulations but the best one is a resin cast sheet material that comes in 6mm and 12mm thicknesses. Work began on drawing the required shapes onto the resin then cutting and chamfering the edges before being glued onto the tables and left to dry for a few days.

The next update will be completing the undulations before we texture the boards.

So here we have the end result from the first session of terrain making.
Craig's Table
Kelly's Table

11 January 2012

W.I.P. January (3)

Another day and more progress towards my target. I was due to have an afternoon of Bloodbowl Practice so had cleared the afternoon to play. Unfortunately my opponent had to cancel so what better than to get out the brushes and sort out the 14 Hearthguards that needed a little reworking.
This was fairly easy to acheive, I had to lose the metal rims I had painted while playtesting and make them into hide rims. I also added some designs to several shields, repainted a few items of clothing due to being not completely happy with the earlier work.

This keeps me on target so far for the month with 32 Bondi to complete.

10 January 2012

W.I.P January (2)

Another good painting session today meant I could work on some of the details for the Bondi.
So I set about doing all 32 shield designs in one session.
I decided to colour theme the shields for each point of warriors, makes it easy for me to work out on the battlefield, and should ties all the units together.
The reverse of the shields are simply done the centres are deliberately not painted as experience has taught me the glue bonds better when paint is not in the way, the hands also have an un-painted area to aid adhesion.
I also took some time to prepare one of the figures for next months batch of painting. I needed a New standard bearer. So a simple conversion of one Hearthguard figure, drilling a hole in the hand and attaching a long spear.
Obviously this meant I needed to think of a suitable standard to attach to this figure. One of my regular blog readers Ray from Dont throw a 1 does some nice flags and standards, I shamelessly used one of his designs as the inspiration. Having printed the design full sized it enabled me to break out my technical pencil and get drawing the design and start painting. Several hours later this is the result.
I really should not have chosen a design with that many Celtic knots but the end result will be worth it.

W.I.P. January (1)

I seem to have hit a rich vein of painting fever since the beginning of January.
Progress is going extremely well so far and I have completed a fair few figures. Apologies in advance for the poor pictures trying to work out using my new camera.

First up the 2 Hearthguards.
The figure with the bow had some fine wire added to make the Bow string.
Next up the 12 Archers.

Again all the Archers have had bow strings added, personally I think it adds something to the figures. Although in Saga archers are classed as peasent levies I wanted to have some armoured figures to enhance the unit.
I always base at the end of a project once all the figures are finished to ensure the entire army matches.

8 January 2012

Christmas Goodies

I never ask for much and am always Happy to receive a gift but this year has been great nobody bought me any Hankies or socks. I got many things on my wish list all wargames related.
The three outstanding tanks for my DAK army list (this means I have no excuse not to complete this in theory).

My boys thought it was an excellent idea to buy me some more Orcs for their armies.
An excellent start to my next Saga force of Anglo Saxons (Hmm maybe those tanks may take a little longer)
As the club all play Impetus I got the rules as gifts, as a bonus I also received 3 of the army list books. The only headache is which list to start with likely to be the crusades though. I also received a nice voucher for Games workshop which will be spent on some of the nice buildings they produce.

7 January 2012

New Year Fresh Start

Happy New Year to you all.
Firstly sorry for the lack of updates between the celebrations but I didn't achieve much in December apart from cleaning and preparing some vikings ready to complete the 12 points of Foundry vikings I bought earlier in the year.
The target for January will be to complete the prepared figures.
So ready to paint are:
12 Archers
32 Bondi
2 Hearthguard.
further to this I will be revisiting the 14 hearthguard I painted previously and sorting the shields out properly as I have been staring at them and the metal rims are completely wrong, so i will improve those and add some designs.
This will only leave me 12 archers and 16 hearthguard to complete next month.

Santa delivered me some nice goodies which I shall furnish an update on in the near future.

Thursday saw me play my first game of Blood bowl using the Skaven team kindly loaned to me by Aneurin. As I had never played this game before Craig offered to give me instruction into the fine art of the game. Things did not go well for me due to rolling double 1's at the wrong time usually as I was about to score (I rolled a fair few of them). Also learnt the Chaos dwarves are hard to stop with weak players (lol). I got thrashed 3-0 and conceded defeat, but I did enjoy the game although found it slightly confusing and mildly frustrating at times.

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