Sunday, July 27, 2014

New Season of Blood Bowl

It's been more than two years since our last game, but fg and I decided to start a new season going.

I chose to field my fantasy Greek-themed Chaos Dwarf team, and fg fielded his female orc team which he used in our first league years ago.

The orcs are a rather versatile team which we have both used previously, but I found the Chaos Dwarf had no answer to the Black Orcs.

The teams face off for the first kick-off of the season.
A series of good dice-rolls on the part of fg saw several of my team go down, and the orcs were up by 2 touchdowns in the first game of the season. In the final turns I decided to run a passing play and managed to slip a hobgoblin down the side to score a point.

The depleted Spartans sneak a hobgoblin down the flank to score a touchdown.
With a bit of time left we decided to play the first half of the second game. This time the dice were a little more to my favour, and we both managed to score a touchdown each.

Line of scrimmage.
We used the pitch that fg bought from Impact!, which is really quite pretty.

As before fg has a more cautious style of play while I prefer the riskier style of play (hence my 4 re-rolls). The two teams seem well-matched, and I think the season will be a close-fought one.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pleasant Surprise 2014 Part 2

I went to the post office today to pick up a parcel which I thought was some spearmen I ordered, but it turned out to be my Pleasant Surprise!

My gift came from Simon, known as somegeezer on the Warhammer Empire forum, and are six Perry HYW armed peasants plus a priest, all of which I have actually been eyeing! What's more, in the friendly letter he had included in the parcel he explained that he tried to paint them such I can add these beauties to my unit of militia; and as you can see from the photo below featuring both his work and mine, he has done a pretty good job - my only complaint is that his work is better than mine!

These guys are definitely going on my army list for my next game!

The priest is superb - Simon's blending is beautiful on this figure. I can use him as a wizard or perhaps even a warrior priest. And not that I can field him in a unit of flagellants, but he really adds to the whole mood of the unit when I pose him together with them!

Thank you very much, Simon. I must say this has indeed been a surprise, and a very pleasant one too!

I can only hope that I can give so much joy to my recipient in next year's exchange.

Fifteen fanatical female flagellants...

...  furiously flourish flails from farms fringing forests far from fens...

Swing out, sisters! OK, there are actually sixteen of them...

The thing about a game with army lists is that, you tend to want to have figures for all the units on the list.

As a Warhammer (The) Empire player, one of the units I've always thought would be fun to field was the flagellants - a bunch of flail-swinging, self-flagellating fanatics who look like they were based on the Seinfeld character Kramer.

However, as my army is based on a Wars of the Roses theme, I couldn't think of a way to incorporate them into my army - curiously, the flagellant movement, popular for a time in Europe, never caught on in England.

Still reluctant to give up altogether, I googled around for some flail-wielding figures and came to the Kingmaker site. There I found some figures which I have not noticed on my previous: Hussite women. The all wear hoods over their heads, which gives them a rather nun-like appearance. And of course, they wield flails!

It was not long before I came up with the fluff for a unit of fearless female fanatics for my army. I imagined them to be the widows of soldiers who died in battle, banding together in their common grief and seeking either revenge or rest in battle. Their dress would have to be black, as befitting of widows, and they would be nicknamed The Black Widows.

As an all-black garb will make the unit appear too dull, I thought I might give them a badge of sorts based on the markings on a real black widow spider. And wouldn't you know it, the black widow spider has a red hourglass shaped marking on its abdomen.

It occurred to me that the marking also resembles a chalice, which was an emblem used by the Hussites! We have come full circle.

So there you have it: I have a unit of black-clad warrior-women called the Black Widows, made up of figures of Hussite women and bearing the Hussite emblem.

I think I will make them an order of nuns, perhaps the Sisters of the Order of the Chalice, although they are more often called The Black Widows or the Sisters of Little Mercy by other people.

I have ordered an additional figure which I hope will make a suitable leader for them. Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Eureka Gendarme as Empire General

As usual with my collection, one thing leads to another...

The general mistook the feathers meant for the horse as for his own helmet, and none of the knights dared to tell him...
After painting the Reaper Bones griffon I thought I would mount a knight on it to use as an Empire General for Warhammer. However, the WOTR figures look a little too plain for the fluff, and so I bought a Eureka Miniatures Italian Wars gendarme to play the part. The right arm comes from the Perry plastic sprue, and I puttied over the left sleeve to match the right.

As you may be able to see from the picture above, both the rider and the horse are a little smaller than the Perry plastics; I had to raise the horse on its base and also the rider on its saddle to make it look less obvious.

However, on the griffon the crest on the helmet lends the whole model some visual balance.

I have been battling a bad cough for the past four weeks, but today it looks like I am finally rid of it. Hopefully that allows me to do some work on my next unit, in between some household chores.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Frostgrave - Final Playtest

Last Thursday fg and I got together to play two games of the latest draft of Frostgrave - unfortunately, right after the game I got an email informing me that the final manuscript for Frostgrave has been submitted to Osprey.

Dwarves and goblins scour the ruins of Frostgrave for treasures.
The good news is, even after a lapse of a few months, we both managed to pick up the rules quickly again, and we had fun. I guess over all, "fun" is how I would sum up Frostgrave. The rules are not complex, there are lots of spells you can use creatively, and you can have different strategies, from going after the treasures and making off as quickly as you can, to aggressively going for your opponent's troops; you can go for a small force of elite, or a horde of cheaper troops; you can have mainly offensive spells, to "buffing" spells for your figures.

It is also easy to get into - your warband will probably start off from about five figures, and max out to about a dozen figures, and there are enough troop types for you to get a warband together using whatever fantasy or medieval figures you have. Terrain is important, but many of our games were played on geomorphic 2D tiles.

A goblin thug takes the treasure from the cold dead hands of a fallen dwarf ranger.
Unlike the previous books from the Osprey Wargames series, Frostgrave is planned to be a hardback book, but hopefully it will be affordable.