Sunday, January 30, 2011

Progress Report 1/30/11 - Money maker... putting it to the test

Another week, a few more models with paint and primer. I've had a strong desire to put brush to miniature but life has conspired against me. Puppy-sitting, working, and time spent on the Bellower have kept my hobby time to a minimum.

Something's got to give! Maybe I just need to stop reading and sleeping so much.

Had a few requests from the KUBBL folks to paint their models. I quickly turned down the initial requests, as I don't feel I am a particularly strong painter, but after a bit more badgering I agreed to do a test mini or two for one.. "client" ??

This Orc comes from the standard BB starter box and was very sloppily primed - leading to a loss of some fine detail and some craggy/cracked texture. My goals on this model were to present a tabletop quality miniature in under one hour total. Given that I am not a very fast painter I used a few techniques which I wouldn't settle for on my own BB minis but I think the results are acceptable (good?).

We'll see what the potential client thinks! I have another mini sitting here which I will try a slightly different skin technique on, and this Orc needs a few highlights and some minor detail work before I am willing to call it "good enough"

 This one post a week stuff is for the birds! I promise to get some more stuff up here soon... including a brief overview of my first season with the Nurgland Germs.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Progress Report 1/23/11 - here come the Lizards.

Oi! Been a bit since I updated the ole blog. I've been quite busy this week with my hobby time. Just a quick list of "accomplishments" ...

  • Cleaned, assembled, greenstuffed gaps, sculpted bits, based, and primed a new Blood Bowl team - the Lustrian Leathermen!
  • Finished the sculpting and assembly of the Ogre cheerleader who was missing her arm. 
  • Completed the red cloth basecoat on my January painting commitment for the Blood Marys.
  • Worked on the skin colors of my BB Ogres the Bulltimore Bullies and began work on the metals.

And now for a bit of photographic evidence:

Putting these awesome Impact/Rolljordan models together was quite a feat. None of the arms attached smoothly and all required greenstuff additions to fill the gaps. This wouldn't normally be too bad but these crocodile models have no smooth muscle near the joints so I had to sculpt on armor plates and scaly skin for each of them. I also ended up missing a hand on one of the Saurus models (a recurring theme with my new BB models as of late) so I added a scaler/saw/knife where the hand should be.

I also played my last KUBBL III season game with the Nurgland Germs and lost to the Maynooth Gits 0-2, ending my undefeated season. It was a fun game but coach Thom was out bashed the Germs with goblins for most of the game and I just couldn't seem to keep the ball out of his team's greedy little hands and claws. The Germs did manage a fair few casualties, including the death of the dirty S3 goblin who kept them from scoring twice during the game. Now it's on to the playoffs!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

First Blood Bowl tournament... a "short" report.

I attended my first BB tournament yesterday. It was Put A Ring On It in Glendale Heights, IL - a tournament to celebrate the marriage of two fine BB playing folks (valdric and rowdykatie).

I had originally planned on bringing my Amazon team the Bloody Marys but I was unable to complete a decent paint job before the event. I know now that anything would have been fine (as I saw several unpainted or only partially painted teams) but the rules pack specified a fully painted team was required. The only team I have "fully painted" right now is my Nurgle team so the Nurgland Germs made their debut appearance on the tournament scene. 

For those wondering what a Nurgle BB team roster might look like, here is the roster I ended up playing at the event. The restrictions were:

- Total roster of 1100
- Player and skills must be purchased within that limit
- No skill may be given more than twice in a roster
- Must have 11 players

There were a few others but these were the main points for building a team. In addition to these rules you were given two "skill rings" which could only be applied to each team's 0-16 choice. One added +1 ST or +1 AV while the other added +1 AG or +1 MV. For Nurgle that meant boosting up two Rotters, and they had to be unskilled to get the rings. All in all it was an uphill battle creating a "competitive" team roster for Nurgle but I soldiered on and came up with this:
Beast of Nurgle w/ Break Tackle
2 x Nurgle Warriors w/ Stand Firm
2 x Nurgle Warriors w/ Block
2 x Pestigors w/ Wrestle
4 x Rotters, one with Kick and one with Leader
and a Fan Factor of 1
11 players and only 1 re-roll might seem scary to most players but I am not like most players! I've been playing the Germs in our local league with only 2 re-rolls and it has yet to be a problem. With the right skills the team doesn't really require them all that often. After the event was over I realized there were at least 3 game halves where I didn't use my 1 re-roll at all!

So perhaps you're wondering how I did overall? Not so great. My final game stats for the day were 0 wins, 2 ties, and 2 losses. There were a few outside factors which came into to play here but for the most part my team just couldn't cut it against full rosters with more skills. Here's a quick rundown of my games (as I remember them). No names for the players or teams and no final point tally for the Germs - I don't want to half remember/guess them and be wrong!

Game 1 against High Elves
First pairing was against a High Elf team. In most situations this would be a great match up for Nurgle as the High Elves rely heavily on the passing game to win - something that is difficult to do with to much Disturbing Presence on the pitch. Coupled with a blizzard which lasted the entire game, it seemed that NUFFLE had the High Elves number for this game.. but in the end it was a 1-0 loss for the Germs. 

The Germs received the ball and began their slow, tank-like roll, up the field along the sideline. Shortly after entering the HE side of the pitch a (really) lucky blitz involving three dodges (one into 3 tackle zones) and two GFI's knocked the ball carrier down and sent the ball out of bounds. It was thrown back into the middle of the pitch where it was quickly ferreted away from the Warriors and shot down to score the first TD. The rest of the first half was a bash fest by the HE who managed to knock out a Warrior, my S4 Rotter, and a Pestigor, but failing to make it back into the end zone for a second score.

The second half started off strong with a great kick from the Germs (putting the ball 2 out from the end zone and along the sideline) followed by a blitz on the Kick-off chart which put Nurgle Warrior deep into the HE defense and kept them from retrieving the ball. After a long bit of bash and crash in the center field, with a few failed pick up attempts by the HE team, the Germs managed to get a hold of the ball and position themselves for a tie with 1 turn remaining. Unfortunately time was called before this could happen... leaving the Germs holding the ball only 5 spaces away from their TD. 
A fun (if disappointing) start to the event and a 0-1 loss for the Germs. 

Game 2 against Orcs
There were plenty of Orc teams at the event but I only managed to play one all day. This roster was heavy on skills and light on players which is something I was quite worried about going into the game. 

First half started with the Germs receiving the kick. Out of bounds kick put the ball in the slimy hands of a Pestigor while the throw a rock kick-off result knocked a Black Orc out for the initial drive. After a bit of cautious play on the line of scrimmage, the Germs managed to tie up the remaining Orcs while the ball carrier ran down center field and sat one space away from the end zone. With the Orcs safely tied up (either on the ground or hung up on Warriors and the Beast) the Pestigor danced to the far corner of the pitch and ground out the turns before finally scoring on the 8th. Not the most exciting half for my opponent, with the ball stall and some terrible rolls eating up all his re-rolls early in the half, but the Germs come away ahead 1-0 going into the second half.

The second half began as a complete role reversal as the Germs got plastered with a rock and the Orc offense quickly bashed a few players out of the game. With only 9 players on the pitch there simply wasn't enough Nurgle going around to stop the Orcs from driving their Black Orc bus/cage into the end zone to tie up the game 1-1. 

The Germs received yet again, determined to get a second score to win the game, but a rash of terrible rolls (mostly from the Beast) allowed the ball carrier to get knocked out of bounds and resulted in a loose ball. Even with tackle zones on the ball the Orcs managed to pick it up and run into scoring position with just one turn left in the game. A lucky blitz took out the one Orc TD receiving threat and stalled the game out on the last turn with no way for either team to get the winning score. 

With a lot of bad luck on both sides of the table this game really ground down the coaches and the Germs come away with their first tie ending the game 1-1.

Photo of the pitch - Orcs getting ready to smash a few Nurgland Germs!

Game 3 against Pro Elves
The third match of the day had the Nurgland Germs excited yet again as they saw the look of fear in the eyes of the Elf coach. Surely this would be another chance of victory for the forces of Nurgle on the pitch? Not if the skilled up Elves had anything to say about it...

The first half started with the Germs receiving the ball. Weather was nice and the kick off table was kind to both players... sadly the dice were not. After 4 rapid-fire turnovers from both sides of the pitch it seemed the game would be over quite quickly. The Germs scramble and manage to score a sloppy TD near the end of the first half. 

The second half began much like the first but the shining rays of NUFFLE energized the Elves who somehow managed to knock two Germs out of the game in quick succession. The Germs answered back with two injuries of their own but it didn't keep the Elves from managing a TD scoring pass out of two Disturbing Presence zones with their AG 5 Elf.

The remainder of the game was a back and forth scramble as the Elves lept into a rolling Nurgle tank and knocked the ball out of bounds. The Beast was Really Stupid for almost the entire second half but managed to finally wake up in time to tie up a few Elves who were threatening to score and led the Germs to their second tie of the game, ending 1-1. 

I hate playing Elves but this was a fun game with a lot of back and forth action on both sides of the table. A great (talented) opponent and hands down my best game of the day.

Game 4 against Dark Elves
Really!? More Elves?! God I hate them. For the last game of the day the Germs were once again paired up with an Elf team. Like the previous Elf rosters this team focused heavily on skills and less on a full roster. Lots of block and dodge made it difficult to knock the DE around much. 

Game started off in a miserable way for the Germs as they kicked off to the DE. The kick-off table was a High Kick, which took a far corner kick right into the hands of a skilled up Blitzer. A rash of armor breaking blocks left most of the Germs on their face or flipping over/standing up for the first 4-5 turns of the half. Coupled with the high MV of the Elves and the low MV of the Germs this made it incredibly easy for the DE to score the first TD. 

The kick to the Germs quickly devolved into a game of "don't let the Elves get that ball" as it shot into the Germ's end zone and sat far out of reach of the receiving Rotters. The Beast failed all his rolls (6 in a row) and the DE put two key players out of the game (the S4 Rotter and a Pestigor) before the first half mercifully ended. 

Second half started off much the same with the DE kicking to a lightened Germs roster. The one AG 4 Rotter managed to pick up the ball and run into a cage of Nurgle Warriors but the Beast continued his streak of absolute failure and stood around doing nothing for another 4 turns - culminating in a chance to score being shot by a failed Really stupid, successful Loner roll, re-failed Really Stupid combo that left the ball carrier open to a blitz.

The DE took the blitz, injuring yet another player in the process, and gained the ball only a few spaces from the end zone. With only 8 players on the pitch it became impossible to get the ball and safely guard the remaining DE players. A desperate one die block from the AG 4 Rotter gave the DE player a chance to Dump Off but the Disturbing Presence of the few remaining Warriors and Really Stupid Beast kept the recipient from catching the ball. 

The game ended 0-1 in favor of the DE team and the Germs left the field in pieces... tired and angry.

So that was my first experience at a Blood Bowl tournament. I knew I was going to have an uphill battle with the Nurgle team, but it was shocking just how handily I was pushed around by lower ST, lower AV teams. It just goes to show that a skilled up Elf team should be able to easily beat an unskilled Nurgle team every time. I had to fight so hard just to get the draw... it was really demoralizing. I much prefer playing the Germs in a league setting where their particular skills really start to shine when paired up with some experience gains. 

Will I go back for more tournament action? Probably. Am I sorry I went to this one? Absolutely not! It was a fun learning experience and I got to see first hand what the regional BB community is like. For the most part I liked what I saw, although there were a few folks I could do without, most everyone I met was friendly and easy going. 

Now to get back to painting up a few different teams... for the events where I don't feel quite so into being a punching bag for the higher tier teams.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Progress Report 1/9/11 - WIPweek

Not a lot going on in the gaming department this week. Felt sick on Wednesday and my BB league game was canceled so I stayed home to get some painting done and sleep. In the end I got less painting and more sleeping done but I didn't get sick!

Just one week left to get these nuns painted to a basecoat/tabletop standard for my first BB tournament. Got the black and skin done and I am working on the red cloth now.

I also spent a little time sculpting some greenstuff on an Orc Blizter. It's a start anyways...

I need to add some more to the "fisty punchy thing" as it looks a bit crap right now. I might just take it off if I can't make it look better. The biggest thing was making sure the spiked shoulder pad looked attached and not just "floating" on this arm which I have accomplished.

For my "best theme" award from KUBBL II (for the Bulltimore Bullies) I received a cheerleader model to paint. Sadly she was missing one of her arms. I decided to add on an arm holding a gnoblar/snotling to replace it. Here is what I have so far:

I'm thinking about having the gnoblar/snotling holding the other pom pom but we'll see how it looks once she is holding him. The end result should be suitably Ogrish and disturbing.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tavern Talk - New Year Resolutions.

It's the first Tavern Talk of the new year!

Kuffy asks:
"The new year is here, time for all those promises you make to the 'hobby gods', friends and family about your hobby.  It is time to admit them to the blogosphere, to share with us all the resolutions you have made for Fantasy in the new year.  What are your plans for the up coming year?  What goals do you hope to achieve for 2011?"
Before I dive into my plans for the new year I thought it would be interesting to see how I fared in my resolutions for 2010. So with that in mind let's take a look at what I was so "resolved" to accomplish and how I fared.

  • Be a better sportsman:  I think I did pretty well here. I learned to love the games I play and not get as caught up in the competitive aspects, but there are still ways I would like to improve more with this. I sometimes get caught up in a "downward spiral" when things aren't going well for me and that brings down the mood of most games pretty quick.
    Verdict: WIN 

  • Finish painting my Vampire Counts WHFB army:  I didn't even come close to finishing this one. After getting my army assembled, based, and primed I stalled out on the painting front. This was compounded by my move across country and the general lack of WHFB community in my hometown.
    Verdict: FAIL

  • Begin work on my Warriors of Chaos:  I did start building a unit of Marauders/Beastmen and even got test paint on a few models but overall I sort of stalled out here. Part of my problem was trying to decide on a theme for my WoC force. I really love the idea of Malal but I am quite tempted to go with a Khornate force now.I expect more work to be done on this army during 2011, most likely before my VC get any additional love.
    Verdict: WIN?

  • Learn 40k and start or don't:  Played a few games of 40k before I moved away from Austin and won them all. Overall I just can't get that excited about 40k as a tabletop game. I like a lot of the fluff/theme/setting and some of the models get me really pumped but as a game... I decided not to bother (now at least). Instead of 40k I started playing Blood Bowl instead!
    Verdict: WIN

  • Build some terrain:  I didn't even get started on this. The idea of building terrain interests me but as I don't have a gaming table right now (nor anyone to play on it) this resolution stalled out before it ever got started.
    Verdict: FAIL 

  • Release four issues of the Bellower:  We did it! It was a tooth and nail event that came right down to the wire but I did manage to wrangle up enough content for four issues last year. It will be difficult to make it happen this year but I am willing to give it a go.
    Verdict: WIN
  • Attend as many tournaments as possible:  I only managed to attend Adepticon for WHFB and I didn't make it out to any other events (although I had planned on going to a couple Blood Bowl tournaments). The biggest reasons for not accomplishing more here were economic and work/time related. I am hope to do better this year!
    Verdict: FAIL?
What was my final tally for the 2010 resolutions? Well counting the questionable verdicts we're looking at 4 wins and 3 fails. Not bad!

So what does 2011 have in store for me? An even busier professional life (opening a brand new grocery store that is four times larger than our current location), a general lack of hobby funds (meaning I will have to get very creative with the bits and pieces I have sitting around), and working hard to build a larger gaming group (I have Blood Bowl for now but I am lacking any real WHFB community). With those things in mind here are my resolutions for 2011:
  • Finish all the Blood Bowl teams I have started:  I currently have one Nurgle team fully painted and three other teams in various states of completion. I would like to get my Amazon (Bloody Marys), Orc (Trailer Orc Boyz), and Ogre (Bulltimore Bullies) teams finished this year. I also recently picked up a few models for a Lizardmen team so that is in the books too... lots to do!
  • Play on the tabletop more:  Gotta find some time to get down to the FLGS for some pickup games, out of town to tournaments as time and funds allow, and maybe even ramp up the "at home" gaming action in small ways. I want to play more games!!
  • Stop buying and start painting more models:  I did a pretty good job of this last year (without a formal resolution) but I want to be even better about it this year. I have plenty of models which need paint and there is little reason to buy more (with a few exceptions... like my WoC army).
  • Don't start any new tabletop games:  Unless there is suddenly a huge swell in local gaming around one tabletop game I vow not to start anything new. I'd love to get some Mordheim action going, and the Wyrd and Privateer Press games/minis have been taunting me, but...
  • Be an even better sportsman:  I want to be someone people like to play, knowing they are in for a fun game, and not someone people are dreading being around. Small incremental improvements are okay as long as I am always striving to have more fun in games.
  • Get another four issues of the Bellower released:  This one will probably be the most difficult thing on my list. I know the coming months will see a drastic reduction in the amount of hobby time I have, let alone time to edit/write/create/communicate enough to get this webzine assembled and released four times during the year. I'd love help if you are reading this and have any interest at all!!
That is quite a list... we'll see how I fare next year! In the meantime keep an eye peeled for periodic updates on my resolutions as time goes by. What do you hope to achieve in your new year of hobby?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Progress Report 1/2/11 - Light box take two..

What is this!?! My first post of the new year isn't a resolutions post? Nope. I meant to get that one up yesterday but working and then playing Axis and Allies took up the remainder of my day.

Still messing around with my new light box. I think I got the lighting better this time around and the pictures are much clearer. Color looks good too. Not too jazzed on the composition (the Ogre is standing a bit wonky) but here are pictures from my Ogre Stronghold December painting pledge:

There! One Ogre done for my Blood Bowl team. I am pretty happy with how he turned out overall. Spent more time on the skin tone on this guy and I also worked hard to make the blood look "realistic" without being too overpowering. Can you make out his gold teeth under the gore? I also worked on my first ever "battle damage" on the numbered shoulder pad... wanted to give it a worn look. I think the results are pretty good. 
For my January painting pledge I am trying to have my Amazon Nun Blood Bowl team done to at least a three color standard for an upcoming tournament this month (Put A Ring On It - 1/15 near Chicago). So far I have started the black. Just a skin color, white, red (for some cloth), and gold to go! 

That's all for now! Hope your new year is off to a fantastic start and stop by later this week for my new year resolutions... a look back at what I accomplished last year and what I am aiming for this year.