Saturday, 29 June 2013

What did I get up to on Thursday...

I'm all up to date with my BCL games for the month. I couldn't get a game of 40k organised. So what else would one do on a Gaming Club night? Well I decided to take the Blood Bowl board and the Stillwater Stiffs down and fish for a game. I know, original right. First time I've not needed to play a game of Blood Bowl in a long time and I go hunting for another bloody game of Blood Bowl. It's not quite that bad though. I have a 40k and Fantasy tournament coming up this month so I'm figuring I'm going to get far more of both of these games than I would like for the month of July so I may as well get a few games of Fantasy Football in while I can.

It was actually quite interesting. Not having any league games to play Tim and I threw a couple of tournament teams together to try out for the Blood Bowl tourny being run here in July. I took Khemri and Tim took Amazons. The cool thing about this tourny is that you get a spare 70k to spend on a 'Star Player' (this is just a regular player who can take stat upgrades, doubles skills and/or more than one skill). I took a Throw'Ra with +1 Agility and Block and Tim took a Blitzer with +1 Strength and Frenzy.

Our first game was the most interesting one for me because its the one I did well in. The second game is lacking in photos because I was losing but we won't talk about that, lets focus on the winning game.

Tim won the roll for kick off and elected to receive. Here we are ready to get the game underway...

Tim shimmied his players around and fumbled the ball a bit. Not great dice to start out with but the ball was well protected so not a big deal at this stage.

Sideline cam shot.

Eventually Tim had a second go at the loose ball and managed to get a hold of it.

Then he started running Amazons down field and I had to desperately cover. I had skilled up a Skeleton with Dirty Player so I was fouling every opportunity I got which was starting to pay dividends with the amount of stunned, injured and knocked out catchers.

My Dirty Player was sent off but my Blitz'Ras and Tomb Guardians had now managed to get to grips with a few of the girls and were putting more into the dugout. We got to the end of the first half and Tim could only put about 8 or 9 players on the pitch with me receiving so he suggested we call it there and start again.

So, into game 2. I didn't take many pictures of this game because I got smashed. This is why...

Ruckety ruck...

Maul, maul, maul...

Now you would think a situation like this would play right into the hands of a Khemri team right? Well apparently not. When your opponent has taken Block on every single model and Guard on all four Blitzers you will actually lose this kind of ruck even with four Tomb Guardians. Long story short Tim did to me exactly what I had done to him. By the end of the half I could only put 9 players on the pitch because Tim had knocked out so many of mine and I didn't wake any of them up. The second half was going to be an uphill battle for me so we did the same as the previous game and called time so we could drink some beer.

Overall a good way to spend a Thursday evening and great to try the team in a tournament setting. Teams can play so differently when used in a resurrection style tournament because you simply don't care about the long term effects of casualties like you would in a  league. It's much easier to throw someone into a bad situation and just see what happens.

That's it for another week. I'll likely have a bit more Blood Bowl action by next Thursday and then for the first weekend of July I'm supposed to be playing in a Gettysburg game which will be interesting. I'll make sure I snap some photos and get a post up here the week after.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Stillwater Stiffs 8-1-1

Another update for the Stiffs on their most recent game. Last Thursday they drew a game against Tony's Vampires; the 'Unhappy Meals'. Tony was down on team value by about 100k so he took an extra Re-Roll and we got straight into pre-game pep talks with our teams.

The weather was perfect Blood Bowl weather (just) and we had 26,000 fans pour into Stillwater Cemetery - a new record for the Stiffs. I won the roll for kick-off and decided to receive for the first half. Tony lined up his team making sure Napkin Nigel had a prime spot to sack my ball carrier.

Tony kicked the ball deep and I ran back some cover for Dodgy Dave to retrieve the ball. I left the Tomb Guardians on the line to try and put some of Tony's Thralls in the injured bin. The first half played out like a pretty standard eight turn Khemrian grind. I made sure Tony had to make some quite ambitious dodge rolls in order to get into my cage, this wouldn't have been too much of a problem for Tony if he had a Re-Roll for the dodge, but some awful dice meant he had to keep using his re-rolls on Blood Lust, Go For It rolls and 2+ Hypno-gaze rolls. Long story short my cage ground down the field with Dodgy Dave scoring on turn 8 and Dusty and Ana Reksit both getting a casualty on the way.

Caging up in the back field.

Getting serious on the line of scrimmage.

Dodgy Dave breaks free of the cage.

He's away! Touchdown!!!

Tony lines up to try and damage my Tomb Guardians in the dying seconds of the first half.

After the first half I wanted to play a little more defensively and see what Tony would throw at me before committing my better players. For that reason I put Skeletons on the line of scrimmage and set everyone else up a few squares back. Tony set up a wide line with a Vamp and Thrall in the back field for ball retrieval. The second half played out much the same as the first for Tony with his Vamps Blood Lusting as often as they could. It seemed every time Tony tried an important action the Vamps got thirsty and his Thralls were always one square away from where they needed to be. My Tomb Guardians and Blitz-Ras focused on getting the Thralls off the field while my Throw-Ras went hunting for the ball. I managed to pin the ball carrier against the sideline and turn over the ball, then Ronaldo got a hand on it and ran in a turn 5 Touchdown. After that we played out the last few turns seeing if Tony could get a consolation Touchdown. His dice continued to poop all over him and the game ended at 2-0 with cas 4-0 after Cleo landed another Thrall in the injured bin and the fourth hurt himself tripping on a bootlace.

Second half kick-off.

Tomb Guardians on the line.

The ball carrier; 'Arry the 'Andkerchief unfortunately had nowhere to go.

A really good game against Tony. I felt really bad about how his dice just seemed to abandon him on important rolls but he admirably took it all in his stride. Vamps are a tough team to play and whenever I was trying to see the game from Tony's side of the board I was having to really kick the brain into gear in order to work out the combinations needed to get a sack attempt. In saying that it very much opened my eyes to how fun and also how dangerous Vamps can be. Hypno-gaze is a game winner! (assuming your dice don't roll like Tony's) the ability to take out tackle zones and then jump in a strength 4 Vampire for the sack is a very scary prospect. I'm hoping to work my way through all the Undead teams in our BCL league over the next few years so I'm looking forward to when I get round to playing Vamps. It'll be a fun challenge.

We're now halfway through the season for BCL and the Stiffs aren't doing too badly. They're placed second equal on the table with Tim's Orcs who I played in my third game. I've yet to play Paul who is the table leader with his Slann so that'll be on the cards in the coming weeks. Otherwise there are not many people in the top 10 that I haven't played so I'm glad I got most of the tough games out of the way early.

That's all the Blood Bowl for this month. I'll post more in July when I play my next two monthly games.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Stillwater Stiffs 7-1-1

A quick update on how the Stiffs are doing. It's going to be quick primarily because I played this game a week and a half ago so my memory is a bit foggy.

The Stiffs have played their 9th game of the season at Stillwater Cemetery. In front of 25,000 fans (our biggest crowd yet) Coach Gus' Orc team; The Snaggletoof Stranglers, made the trek West to try and inflict an embarrassing defeat on the Stiffs in front of their loyal fans.

I had the Fame for this match but then lost the roll for kick-off so Gus decided to receive. I set up with open wide zones to tempt him down one side and then press him into the sideline. My cunning plan worked but unfortunately Nuffle was going to make me pay for my over-confidence. My kick-off scattered right up to the line of scrimmage into Gus' left hand wide zone and bounced directly into the hands of his waiting Blitzer. From there Gus progressed down his left wing and, while a very fortunate kick-off result for him, I thought I could manage to contain him. Not so easy it seems as for my first turn I rolled six block dice, 4 of which were Skulls or Both Downs, and my turn was quickly over leaving me one re-roll down. This kind of luck was to continue to plague me for the first quarter leaving Gus up by 1 Touchdown and me frantically looking to find an equaliser. It wasn't to come and the first half ended with Gus ahead by 1.

In the second half I set up as below and prayed to Nuffle for better dice.

Nuffle answered my prayers and while I still seemed to see an uncanny amount of Double Skulls my re-rolls came up good. I managed to push Gus' line back and get a cage set up. I foolishly left an opening which Gus capitalised on and spilled the ball loose but at this point Nuffle thankfully decided to even out the law of averages and Gus found his Orcs incapable of dodging or picking up the ball. I managed to throw my Tomb Guardians into the ruck around the ball and clear out enough Orcs to run in Jumpin' Jack's new replacement; Dodgy Dave. Like a pro he grabbed the ball and sprinted for the endzone. He managed to touchdown before the final whistle drawing even and leaving the Stiffs with a hard fought draw.

A good game against Gus if a little frustrating but these games happen sometimes. I've been on the lucky side of the dice plenty of times so it's only natural they are going to come up on the opposite side a few times as well, and I'm grateful at least that the bad luck was shared throughout the game leaving me with a second half opportunity. Less hubris and better positioning could have saved me but you learn from your mistakes. A good game and a great opponent.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Blood Bowl in Blenvegas

Over Queen's Birthday weekend a group of us Christchurch Blood Bowlers made a trip up to Blenheim for the first annual "Mootborough Sauvignon Block". There was a total of eight; six of us from Christchurch, Chris; our host, and a mate of his from Hamilton; Alex. We managed 5 rounds of gaming with a lot of drinking in between. I took the Khemrian version of the Stiffs with Mighty Blow on all my Tomb Guardians, Tackle on my two Blitz-Ras and Block on my two Throw-Ras. In the end I placed about midfield (4th out of 8) which wasn't too bad given how close two of my games were. The Khemri performed quite well with Mighty Blow really paying dividends against bash teams. I didn't get a lot of injuries but the stuns and knockouts gave me a good numbers advantage in most games. Speaking of which, here are the game photos:

Game 1 - Si the Welshman

Si brought the Municipals all the way up North with a truckload of Guard and a sprinkle of block. He also put Break Tackle on his Ogre which proved to be an incredibly useful skill.

The 14,000 fans packed into the stands. We set up and kicked off.

The Human Blitzers danced and pranced and my boys did their best to drag them down.

Si was one up on me until right before the final whistle where Jumpin' Jack Flash managed to dive over for a Touchdown.

A great game with Si and very challenging to keep up with a Break Tackle Ogre. Casualties came up as 2 all with Cleo causing a death and then another Human Blitzer being sent to the after life after tripping on a streaker. Gebaut the Groper was seriously injured and failed his regen but he came right for the next game. Biggest moment of all in the game however had to be when Jumpin Jack Flash put up a pass and it was actually caught by another player! Yes that's right! A Khemrian Throw-Ra with a completion! A really awesome game to start the Mootborough.

Game 2 - Paul the Pome

Paul reaches for the deodorant to tone down the stench of Undead against Nurgle.

Ronaldo goes for the equaliser.

Paul had brought his Nurgle team; Poetry in Motion, up for the weekend and was looking to wrap up my Tomb Guardians in his Beast's slimy tentacles. The crowd of 17,000 began the mexican wave and it was time to kick off. I can't remember who received first but I think it was me and I played the grinding game before running in a Touchdown with Ronaldo. Paul managed to equalise so we were all tied up at the second half where I believe Paul received. At this point the Stiff's casualty machine really kicked into gear and Nurgle Warriors were being dragged off the field left right and centre. But just as Nuffle giveth, he also taketh away. When it was looking like a walk over for my lads I went to make a blitz action to clear a player off a loose ball. I only needed a push but of course the two dice block came up with double skulls. One re-roll later and the dice had changed from double skulls to one skull and one both down. Without block against a pestigor who did have block my skeleton went down in a heap. Paul's Pestigor then made a string of 4+ rolls to pick up the ball and dodge through a handful of tackle zones like a Halfling. I had been a bit too over confident and had brought my sweeper forward to help out with the ruck so when I tried to race a Blitz-Ra back to cover Nuffle decided to punish my hubris yet again by tripping him up on his 'Go For It' roll. Paul walked in to make the score 2-1 and I was left wondering where it all went wrong.

Overall though some good things to take out of this game. I out beat the Nurgle in casualties 4-2 and despite the last few rolls of the dice I felt like I really did control the match. Unfortunately the loss isn't the only bad news to come from this game. Jumpin' Jack Flash, in a mad desire to get to the ball, tried a most unKhemrian of tactics and attempted what other teams call a 'dodge'. With Jack it looked more like he was rolling down a staircase and when he finally stopped, team physio; Igor Icanfixit wasn't able to glue all the parts back together again. Rest in peace Jack, your Blood Bowl career was short but eventful.

The evening entertainment...

I didn't take a camera out with us when we went to see the Blenheim nightlife but here is an image I found on the interwebs of Simon and Alex.

Chris and I quit early because we knew we had some serious Blood Bowling to do the following day (the others said we were just old but we know we're just dedicated to the game) kindly enough though when the two Tims returned home at 5am they mad sure I was awake and invigorated so that I would be in peak condition for my morning game.

Game 3 - Alex from the Tron

My third game was against Alex...he was having a tough morning. It's safe to say his focus was dedicated more towards keeping last night's dinner down rather than the game at hand.

So I scored against Alex after receiving and then in order to equalise he simply created a pitch invasion that stunned 9 of my 11 players...well played sir...well played.

Ronaldo retrieved the ball and bolted for the endzone in an attempt to find the winning Touchdown.

My game against Alex was very quickly played. After emptying the contents of his stomach all over Chris' spare room floor and bathroom Alex was feeling a little under the weather. Thankfully however it was an incredibly simple game. 20,000 fans clambered into the stadium (my biggest crowd all tournament) to see the Stiffs and Da Rollerz go head to head. Casualties came out even at one each; Bill Emik was badly hurt and Verkummern seriously injured one of Alex's Blitzers. The game started with me receiving and grinding downfield to score. I thought I'd be pretty safe for the rest of the half but then I rolled a 'Pitch Invasion' result on the kick off table and it seems Alex's fans were not at all happy about me scoring that Touchdown. They left nine of my players stunned and allowed Alex to walk over in two turns for an equaliser. In the second half my lads decided they had, had enough of this and were going to win the old fashioned way. They barged into Alex's Orcs, turned the ball over and ran in the winning Touchdown. I can't remember who scored which but the Touchdowns were shared between Ronaldo and Jack's new replacement; Dodgy Dave.

Game 4 - Tim the Orcy one.

Clearly a thinking man's game.

The thin green line.

I won't harp on about this one. Tim's dice were rubbish and mine were good, when it came to armour rolls they were hideously good. Cas came out 4-1 and score 2-1. The cas were going so one way that just for the lolz I fouled Tim's Troll with my Tomb Guardian; Verkummern to see what would happen. Sure enough the Troll was seriously injured but Verks was sent off in the process. Both Touchdowns were scored by Ronaldo.

Game 5 - Gil the Metaller

This is Gil. He's from Eeeeengland.

Kill the Elves!

My final game for the weekend was against Gil who was playing Elves for the weekend. The Blocking House 3rd XI had made their way up to Blenheim to show us how they could dance. 12,000 fans lined the seats for the Stiffs' final match. This was my lowest crowd for the weekend and I think it really shows what low opinions people have of Elves.

Oh my god what an awful game this was. I received first and set up for the upfield grind. Gil had brought Eldril Sidewinder who was being a royal pain at breaking up my cage but thankfully I managed to foul him off the pitch. It came down to turn eight and all I needed was a single 'Go for It' to score. What happens...1 and then another 1. Textbook Blood Bowl. To make matters worse the ball scattered into the crowd who then launched it back into the middle of the field next to one of my Tomb Guardians. Gil, with no re-rolls, moves a lineman in, picks up the ball, dodges out, goes for it twice, makes a short pass and then runs a catcher in for a Touchdown. It was like my game against Paul all over again.

The second half consisted of me systematically destroying Gil's team to make sure he had no passing options. Unfortunately I took a bit too long and didn't get enough guys up field to stop Gil from throwing the ball downfield in the last turn to put scoring out of range for me. I did take some solace out of the fact I left him with only two players on the field by the end of the game.

Wrap up

While I was pretty disappointed with my two loses, not so much about losing but about how I lost, I did really enjoy the weekend. It was a lot of fun and it was great to see Khemri doing so well in a tournament format. A great weekend and I'd definitely do it again.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Menoth - The Crusade...kinda resurges...for a moment...

After so much Fantasy recently I'm a bit Fantasyed out so I'm very keen to be playing other game systems right now. Seeing how much fun all the Warmachine guys were having at Ides of May I thought it was high time I broke out the Menoth for a game and begin to refresh myself on the rules.

I talked to Garth down at the club and asked if he wouldn't mind teaching me the game. He was very kind and brought along an incredibly soft army for me to challenge. We agreed to a 15 point game and a 20 point game so I turned up with what I had and set up after a few helpful pointers from Garth. We got the game underway and I started trying to dust off my rather vague memory of the rules. Here's some photos I took of the 15 point game:

I managed to take out one of Garth's Buccaneers early and then tried to maul his other jacks with what I had left.

My Repenter ran off on his own to try and defeat the Mariner...and promptly got slammed...

My Crusader tried to finish off the last Buccaneer after dealing with Garth's Freebooter.

My Repenter lined up the Mariner again to have another go.

I didn't get any photos of the 20 point game as I was putting not only unpainted models on the table but also unassembled *gasp* which I was a bit embarrassed about against Garth's fully painted army. Both games were really good fun and really helpful in terms of getting my head around the rules. Garth definitely showed me I have a lot to learn about the finer details of the rules; such as the various different attacks Warjacks can use, and being an experienced Menoth player he also gave me some great pointers on how to better use my army. It was hugely inspiring and has given me a lot of impetus to play more Warmachine. My only disappointment was in not being able to field a fully painted army. With my Menoth I really didn't want to be putting unpainted models on the table, my rule was going to be "If they aren't painted they aren't being played". I'm not far off 15 points with only a Choir unit to finish so I'll have to find some time to get these guys finished before the next game.

That's all for another post. There's more to come as I've just returned from a Blood Bowl Tournament in Blenheim so I'll start sorting through the photos this week and hopefully have a post up by the weekend.