Thursday, 28 February 2013

Stillwater Stiffs 2-0-0

Phew! What a game! I don't know how they did it but the Stiffs managed to hold on for their second win of the season and got their hands on the Spike Trophy to boot. It was an awesome game against Simon this week and those bloody Elves were every bit annoying as they're rumoured to be. They would never stay in one place long enough for me to hit them and that abortion of a Star Blitzer kept jumping into my cage and laying a big, meaty, strength 4 smackdown on poor, defenceless Ronaldo; my Throw'Ra. Very briefly the game went like this:

I received first half where Simon promptly jumped his Blitzer into my cage, knocked the ball loose and scored off a dazzling passing play involving a string of 5's and 6's and a lot of gnashing of teeth from my side of the table. After that I started using Simon's magical dice of amazeballs and did the Harlem grind for the remainder of the half to score in my final turn. Verkummern the Vile sent an Elf to the morgue in the process.

In the second half Simon had it all over me as I desperately tried to cover his passing play down my left side. He played for time a little and then the dice abandoned him for two turns which was enough time for me to press his cage against the sideline and push them into the crowd. Simon was forced into making a low probability pass and I got a lucky intercept with a skeleton. After that it was blitz and counter blitz as my team fumbled the ball down field until Ronaldo finally picked up the ball to run in for a touchdown. Final score 2-1 and Cas 3-0 to the Stiffs.

Really good game and definitely makes me want to give a dash team a try. I don't think I can lower myself to playing Elves but Simon suggested Skaven so maybe next season I'll give them a whirl. As you can see Simon really enjoyed the game too.

A couple of skill ups from this game that will help me next round. I now have two Tomb Guardians with Mighty Blow; Dusty and Verkummern and Ronaldo with his brace of touchdowns has upskilled with Block which will help keep him on his feet. Looking forward to the next game.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Two years today

It's eerie how quickly these things roll round but today marks two years to the day since the Feb 22nd earthquake here in Christchurch. While an event like that will never be a fond memory for anyone, for me it is even worse than most as on that day I was working across the road from the CTV building which claimed 115 lives. It's certainly not a memory I would wish on anyone and one I'd like to forget, though I am eternally grateful I didn't personally know anyone who perished in the quake. Having talked to a few who do it is abundantly clear this is a pain that will take a long time to weaken.

There are however two silver linings which have come from the quakes for me personally. The first is that it has helped myself and a large number of others develop a greater appreciation for what is truly important in life. The idea of losing someone close to you is a great wake up call to the insignificance of all those petty problems in life such as money or material possession. And of course living without power for a couple of weeks means you no longer take hot showers and cold beer for granted either.

The second silver lining is that while I lost a number of models in the quake I also salvaged a few that were repairable. As a hobbyist I have really enjoyed piecing them back together over the past couple of years and today marks the final touches on the last model.

Last year I posted the start of this model as I completed the Thunderfire Cannon and now I have finally completed the Techmarine that goes with it. I'm very disappointed with the photographs which do no justice to the model at all though I can only blame my poor photography skills and rather amateur set up for that. Bad photos aside I'm happy with the final result and certainly look forward to fielding him fully painted on the tabletop again.

I probably won't post for the earthquake anniversary in future years as I've run out of models to repair so it's lost it's hobby segue now for me. But for this year and for all the years to come I wish you all the very best. My condolences to all of you who have lost someone or know someone who has and my hope, for all Cantabrians, is that as the years pass this day becomes less about mourning those we have lost and more about treasuring those we still have.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

New season, new team...kinda...

The new season of Blood Bowl has started here in Christchurch and the Stillwater Stiffs are returning to defend their championship title. However while the team name remains the same the race is drastically different. This year I thought I would really challenge myself and try playing Khemri. So going from a flexible and adaptable team I've shifted to a single minded killing machine. It'll be a tough challenge for me but hopefully a high casualty count will keep me amused during the games I lose. Here's the team I started with:

Tonight was my first game against Daryl's Chaos team called "Bruised, bloodied, bleeding". I'm certainly glad I'm playing him early because the two Chaos teams in the league are going to be murderers towards the end of the season. Daryl's team consisted of four Chaos Warriors and seven Beastmen. He had played only one game previous to ours so he had one skill up and that was a Chaos Warrior with Block. Very briefly the game went like this:

I won the roll and elected to receive for the first half. I was fortunate enough to roll a 6 for my first pick up with a Blitz'Ra and formed a wide cage starting the slow grind up field. On turn eight I walked in a touchdown with Daryl having a badly hurt Beastman and Chaos Warrior and me having a Skeleton with a broken jaw and another who was knocked out. We finished off the last turn of the half with Daryl stunning three of my Skeletons on the line and me waking up my knocked out skeleton for the second half.

The second half was a little more eventful with Daryl receiving and after making a number of blocks he dropped the ball on the pick up. After that he threw his Beastman playing fullback into the scrimmage and left the ball open for my other Blitz'Ra to run in a second touchdown for the Stiffs. From then onwards we both focused on beating each other senseless. Daryl put one of my Tomb Guardians into the casualty bin as badly hurt (I almost went into cardiac arrest while he was rolling up the injuries) and Arthritic Bob; my number '12' Skeleton, killed Daryl's number '4' Beastman to earn his second casualty of the night. Final score was 2-0 to the Stiffs with a 3-2 Cas count.

Daryl's pretty new to the game so was doing a lot of learning as we went. I can certainly see that by about game 9 his Chaos team is going to be a ruthless, killing machine. Even more so than the Khemri. I'm certainly not looking forward to playing them again. There are a lot of human teams in the league though so maybe if I play the draw well enough I'll be able to avoid it  ; )

First game down and a win for the Stiffs. Also one of my Tomb Guardians managed to get a casualty so with the selective MVP rules he has picked up the Mighty Blow skill which will be extremely useful for next game. Speaking of which, I organised game number two with Simon's Pro Elves, so keep an eye out and I should have another update about this time next week.

Thursday, 7 February 2013


I haven't been getting much painting done lately because I've had so much other stuff going on such as visiting rellies, a trip to the coast, a mate's wedding and a tournament this weekend. All in all it's left me with little time or motivation to paint any of my own models. Gaming on the other hand I have been quite tempted by. And so it is that when a friend suggested we spend an afternoon chilling out with a few beers trying a new game I agreed without hesitation.

The game in question was Dust. I've had my eye on it for a while but have always avoided purchasing it for the same reason I'm always reluctant to purchase new games; they just end up as unpainted models sitting in the cupboard. However a while ago another friend of mine bought the starter box and offered to sell me the Germans. After picking up one of the Laser Grenadier models I was easily convinced and within the space of 30 mins had somehow ended up with a small force of Krauts, despite my best intentions.

The idea behind Dust is brilliant in it's simplicity. It is basically World War II with a steampunk twist. So where you would normally have tanks you now have walkers and in addition to normal troops you also have heavy armoured infantry, jump pack infantry and guns such as phasers and laser cannons. Dust can be played in two ways, as a board game or as a tabletop game. My friend; Mark, had been reading up the rules and had a pretty good grasp of the board game so we thought we'd give it a try to start. Below are pictures of our first game.

Early deployment from both sides.

My Germans line up for firing.

Mark's Allies from the point of view of my Flak Grenadiers.

Both our Walkers ended up in a face off. In the background are Laser Grenadiers and Storm Company Pioneers.

After playing two games of the board game we thought we should try the tabletop game. It took a little bit of adjusting to a new rules set again but after a few turns it became much smoother. Below is a shot of the Germans taking up firing positions against Mark's Allies.

All up we played four games: two board games and two tabletop. The Germans won the first three before we switched armies and the Germans proceeded to win again under the command of Mark this time. From this we have learned that either the boxed armies are a bit unbalanced, the Germans are a bit unbalanced or the Germans are just very easy to play. I found the Heavy Infantry were ruthless. They could put out a bucketload of firepower and they could take a total beating and come out of it ok. The allied walker is also a bit rubbish being a bit of a one trick pony. It's half decent at destroying vehicles but pretty useless against infantry. The German walker on the other hand is very versatile being alright at destroying both infantry and light vehicles.

Overall I loved the game and am very envious of Mark's painted models. I would desperately love to get my models undercoated and start painting them but I know I have other projects to finish first, and I would dearly love to keep my New Year's Resolution beyond February at least. If you get a chance to try Dust I suggest you do. It's a solid game system with a really intriguing background and I enjoyed it immensely.