Sunday, February 27, 2011

Progress Report - February is a month for bullies.

Well... I did it! I set out to get my Bultimore Bullies done and painted this month and I managed to squeeze it in just under the deadline. I need to add a couple of details and seal the models but here is what we ended up with...

Now I need to decide which team to take to next weekend's tournament! Right now I am leaning heavily towards the Ogres.

Spent a bit of time on two commission pieces as well...


Neither of these are quite done - need to add a bit of detail and finish up the base on the troll model.

And then there was these two jokers...

Might be a bit hard to tell from the angle but the one on the right has a chainsaw in place of a hand. Be honest... do they look goofy?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Review - "Heldenhammer" by Graham McNeill

Another book in the "Time of Legends" series, this one being the first of the Sigmar trilogy. More Black Library reviews to follow - including "Bloodborn" by Nathan Long, the first in a series of books centered on Ulrika from the Gotrek and Felix novels.  

"Heldenhammer" by Graham McNeill

Sigmar. A name used sacredly in the Empire and throughout the old word. Bards and peasants alike spin heroic tales of his legendary rise to near god-like status, while temples and congregations worship his likeness and pray to his mercy for guidance and forgiveness. But well before all of this the legend of Sigmar began like most others... with a man.

Heldenhammer begins with a young Sigmar, then prince and son of King Bjorn of the Unberogen tribe, on a quest to prove his worth as a man. Sigmar is the living model of virtue and heroism and it is quickly apparent that his story is a stark contrast from the darkness and lower moral standards of most tales set in the old world. He envisions a future for all the tribes of man, one that has them working united to carve a peaceful existence out of the dangerous land within which they live. 

McNeill does a good job of portraying Sigmar as he ages throughout this first story. We see Sigmar as a young man with his friends, as a grieving son and sudden king, an envoy to the tribes of men, warrior and berserker, leader, and hero. The story is a mix of high and low fantasy - readily borrowing classic elements from writers such as Tolkien and R.E. Howard.

The battles scattered throughout the book are taught and action-filled affairs, from small skirmishes to full scale epic warfare, and you get a good sense of Sigmar as a leader, tactician, and warrior. High praise for a fantasy book right? Well, unfortunately the one battle that is less than stellar is the final one portrayed in the book - the battle of Black Fire Pass. This battle is "historic" and often referenced in the "modern history" of the old world but we're left with what feels like a rushed attempt at finishing the story "in a good place" for the next book in the series to begin.

While the story does falter in some areas the overall character development is quite interesting, especially in the first half of the book. I would gladly recommend this first novel to anyone with a fleeting interest in the WHFB old world, it's "history", or action filled fantasy stories in general. It may not be the most original tale but it is certainly an entertaining one.

Verdict: 8 out of 10. An action filled read that introduces readers to Sigmar - the man and the legend.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Progress Report - Ice is not nice.

You may already be aware of this but the area of the US where I live got a rather nasty winter storm over the weekend. It was an onslaught of snow, followed quickly by freezing rain, and it made traveling very dangerous while simultaneously bringing down trees and power lines all over the state. I ended up losing power (and thus heat) in my house for the past couple days, luckily it came back on today. It all started on Sunday morning while I was playing in a BRAWL...

I brought the brand new Hooded Menace team and walked away with third place overall scoring 1-1-1 in my three matches. The first game was against a fairly new Chaos team and started off with a "oh shit" moment as the first block of the game resulted in a dead (again) Zombie for the Menace. The rest of the undead rockers must have been a bit pissed to see Macehtazo go down (for good) as they came back to score 6 more casualties of their own on the Chaos team! By the end of the game there were only three players left on the pitch for the Warkittens, and only one of those was a Chaos Warrior! Walked away with the win and went on to play the overall winner of the tournament (and my new most hated elf team) the Umlauts.

It was a close game against the elves after the first elf score, but three turns of a Ghoul dropping the ball to score the tie (pick up, rolled a 2, re-roll, rolled a 1. same again for two more turns!!) led to the two elves and one treeman on the pitch taking home the win. If I had tied this game the Umlauts wouldn't have won the whole thing and the Menace would have likely tied for second overall in points. Oh well... on to the last game against a fairly developed Necro team!

The D-gens came out strong and knocked the Menace about the pitch for a quick score. The Menace came back and quickly managed to score one of their own to tie up the game. The last half of the game was a grudge fest with the ball switching hands multiple times before finally coming to rest in the middle of the pitch between two Flesh Golems and two Mummies for the majority of the half. A final last ditch effort to break out with a Werewolf was foiled by some incredibly "go for its" by the Menace Ghouls who redeemed themselves and kept the D-gens from getting the game winning score.

Still! Third place is pretty good for a new team I think! I haven't played many games with the Undead but so far I am really liking them. I will be using them in KUBBL IV which begins this week and is a much longer season as we now have 14 coaches in the league! Winning third is nice but it came mostly out of these numbers:

I scored 15 casualties (two of which were regen'd kills in the game against the D-gens)and topped out both of the number #1 and #2 slots with 4 casualties on a Wight and a Mummy! Awesome! Can't wait to see what happens in KUBBL IV once the team starts to develop a little more... although my current schedule is looking quite difficult.

Before the power went out on Sunday I also managed to get more paint on my Ogre team - adding some bashed up painted shoulder pads. I like the look of em!

That's all for now. Gonna enjoy the electricity, heat, and warm food before another crazy day of ice and snow.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Nurgland Germs - KUBBL III season recap.

KUBBL III Season Recap

Straight from the diseased heart of the Empire, deep below the city in dank darkened sewage systems, came the Blood Bowl champions of Nurgle - the Nurgland Germs! They came to hug, love, pass on a few diseases, and keep the high and mighty both unhealthy and low scoring throughout the season. For the most part this was a success:

The Germs came out strong in their first five games - managing to stay on the pitch and shut down the Norse, Wood Elf, Vampire, and Dark Elf teams they faced. Things took a turn for the worse when they played the KUBBL up and coming Orc team, managing to maintain their strong defense but failing to make the game winning touchdown.

This tie was quickly followed by their toughest opponent (and eventual winner) of the KUBBL III season in the nasty Underworld team of the Gits. Despite being pushed around the entire game by Goblins they did manage to hold the soon to be champions to a minor 0-2 loss while earning a place in the division playoffs (due to a forfeit by the Slann team).

The first round of the playoffs continued the downward spiral for the Germs as they lost to a substantially tougher version of the Dark Elves which they had dominated in the regular season. The game was lost due to a crucial Really Stupid roll by the Germs team captain Sucksore, who failed yet again after successfully managing his Loner reroll.

Overall it was a fairly stunning showing by the rotten renegades from Nurgland, performing admirably during the regular season and earning Best Defense for KUBBL III with only 4 touchdowns scored against them (two of which happened in the playoffs).

And now for some photos of the Nurgland Germs team! Please exscuse the dings and dirty bases. I hope to find time to clean these up soon (and hopefully my league-mates will stop dropping metal dice and unpainted figures on my painted plastic pieces).


The solid (on the outside) armored yet pussy center of the Nurgland Germs... the Nurgle Warriors! From left to right - #4 Fiddletaint, #3 Loatheflush, #2 Killbubo, and #5 Wartgristle.

The pusbeasts, the vilehorns, the movers and the shakers... the Pestigors! From left to right - #8 Helmdreg, #7 Pestbelch, #6 Rendclap, and #9 Glutman.

And then there are the stalwart slushy stand-ins, the beatable bums, the breakable blockers... the Rotters! From left to right - #10 Pustor ov Muppetz, #11 Maggotwine, and # 12 Spurtback. The lot of them without skills a hope nor a prayer. #13 though 16 have yet to enter the team roster.

And last and usually least we have the bloated bastard team captain of the Nurgland Germs himself... the Beast of Nurgle Sucksore!


Somehow he made it on to the KUBBL III All Star team though I don't know how..

Well that's KUBBL Season III in the books. The first for the Germs, but will they return for KUBBL IV or will the newly raised Hooded Menace step in to show the league what an Undead team can do? Find out next week (because that's when I need to make my choice by)! 

Tavern Talk - List Building.

Time for another edition of Tavern Talk courtesy of the Trading Post! This time around Kuffy asks:
"After listening to a recent show of Heelanhammer I came across the idea of list building. I wanted to see how people went about building their lists. There are a host of methods people use. Some start with the rare slots or their character choices, while others get the core choice out of the way. Do you see a difference between a friendly pick up game list and a tournament list? One thing it seems many gamers often appear to view and consider with their lists is the meta game - how much attention do you put on the local meta-gaming? Are your lists consistent or do you change from game to game? I have heard of gamers tailoring their lists to work against certain armies or lists, does this appeal to you? How do you feel on the topic of tailored lists?"

It feels a little disingenuous to be writing about "list creation" when I haven't played a game of WHFB since last year... but since when does a lack of experience keep me from blabbing away!?

My approach to list creation typically depends on the type of games I will be playing. Taking part in a tournament or other competitive play requires a different type of list with different tactics - specifically being able to handle threats and challenges of all types (the all comers list). Playing a random (or planned) pick-up game with others is a different type of list, though I rarely tailor my lists to be "the best" against a certain army it is important to have a fighting chance of a fun game.

I have refused games against opponents who have brought lists tailored to destroy my specific army - like bringing double doomwheels or aboms against my Ogres if you are a Skaven player for example. This decision has never been made from the "I don't want to lose" place, but more from the "I want to have a fun game" zone. Playing with my Ogres is already an uphill battle in most situations!

"Grey Seer at 1k LOLOLOL"

When creating a list I usually look at an overall theme. That might be completely subjective, fluff driven, or keyed to one or two specific phases or capabilities of my army. I try to have at least one thing I can do each phase if possible (neither Vampires nor Ogres get much in the way of shooting), and I usually start each list with my character selection. This is most likely due to the two armies I own both being very much character driven - Ogres with CC ability and Vampires with magical support.

The final filter that must be applied to each list I build is purely an economic/realistic one - do I have the models required to field this list? I am not rich nor do I own enough models to make every list possible with either of my forces so some sacrifices must always be made to make it work.

I think for tournament play it is most important to build a list and practice with it several times before making changes. Once you have learned how the army plays you will have a much easier time making those types of decisions without the aid of "theory hammer".

So that's it! The basic overview of what I look at when building my army lists. How about you? What goes into your lists and how do you go about deciding that?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Progress Report 2/14/11 - Happy Hooded Menace day!

Hooded Menace is done and painted now. Just in time to celebrate the announcement of the new Tomb Kings book in May!


Hopefully you can guess what each piece is by the letter on the base? M for Mummy, W for Wight, G for Ghoul, Z for Zombie, and S for Skeleton. The colors and poses are the same among those types as well. I still need to add a bit of static grass to the bases but overall I am quite happy with how they turned out seeing as I only started them late Friday night! 

I've already played two games with the Menace against a dirty Elf team - drawing the first 2-2 and winning the second 2-0. I'm really enjoying how the Undead team plays on the pitch... who knows, maybe this will be the team I bring to both the Headbanger's Ball and the start of KUBBL IV?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Progress Report 2/10/11 - where did all this come from!?

Holy crap! Have you seen all the new O&G WHFB book and model information? Who am I kidding... of course you have. Still! Most exciting! When I first got started in Fantasy I was quite intrigued by the idea of a Savage Orc list but the models just weren't there, nor were my modeling or sculpting skills. So the announcement of the new Savage Orcs and Forest Goblins models and units has me quite giddy. Hee hee! 

So I was sitting around trying to decide what team I should play in the next KUBBL season and I kept coming back to comments from my league-mates about playing "a better team". New teams require new models, and not only new models but newly painted models, something I don't have right now. I am still working on the Amazon team and I don't know if I am good enough to play them quite yet. I am taking my time on the Orc team and they won't be ready for the new season, and the same with my newly assembled Lizardmen team.. so where does that leave me? Looking around I noticed a box of LoTR "Army of the Dead" models collecting dust and suddenly...

I have a new Undead team! I plan on differentiating the positional pieces by painting them different colors and they are also in a certain pose. Lineman (Zombies or Skeletons) have an arm up, Ghouls are moving forward with an arm out, Wights have two hands out on their chests, and Mummies are standing straight up. Hard to tell from this photo but they look quite different on the table. To get these all painted up quickly, and also to practice some new skills, I will be painting them in an "ethereal" blended style. I'm hoping to have them all done by this weekend! Crazy!

Now I just need a name and a theme for the team. Right now I am leaning towards Hooded Menace - a name taken from one of my favorite bands at the moment. Slow, heavy, and relentlessly coming after you... sounds like the Undead BB team on the tabletop right?

The other thing I have poked at the last couple days is my "troll" for the Trailer Orc Boyz.


Still adding another bit of chain suspenders, a bit shoulder pad, and some other "orc" bits to make him fit in with the team more. I like how he's turning out though. What do you think?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Progress Report 2/6/11 - A super Sunday?

Darn it! Here we are... another Sunday and another one post week on the blog. I need to find another day or two during the week that works well for updating!

Got a bit of stuff done this week and still managed to work a bunch (in between sleeping and finishing two books). Quick rundown...
  • Assembled the rest of the "core" for my Orc BB team - the Trailer Orc Boyz (three more Blitzers and one Thrower). Working on my "troll" now (basically a big Orc made with an ogre body and Black Orc head and hands). 
  • Finished another test mini for my first potential painting client - basically the same just a different skin tone.
  • Got more basecoat/skin done for my BB Ogres.

And that's it! I didn't manage to play any BB this week due to the blizzard weather and some long hours at work on Wednesday, and the super-something-bowl put a cramp in my plans to get some WHFB in today. Behold! Photographic evidence of my progress!

So there you have it! Photos! Comment, critiques, and commentary are welcome as always. This week I hope to finish up my Orcs and get a bit of primer on them. Then it's time for me to decide which team I will be playing in KUBBL IV - Nurgle, Ogres, Orcs, or ???