Monday, 17 February 2014

AusBowl Team Championship - Work has begun!

I'm not sure whether you would call this project number two or three of my New Year's Resolution. I was hoping to get at least one figure painted before WarCOW, which would technically be project number two, but unfortunately that didn't happen as life continued to get in the way of my hobby. Damn life! So for the sake of argument, or for argument's sake or some such let's just say project two was a failure and this is project number three.

And project number three would be...

The Meadow Hills Half-Pints!!!




The Ausbowl Team Champs are on the 22nd and 23rd of March and in keeping with my goal of finishing off painting projects I would like to have my Halfling team, which has been decaying in a dusty cupboard for ten years, fully painted.

They're not much to look at right now but I am glad I've begun work on them. All models have been glued, filled and based. They are ready for the precise and meticulous application of paint! Of course actual preciseness and meticulousness will depend entirely on how much I leave till the last minute but right now with 5 weeks to go till the AusBowl Team Champs I'm looking like I'm in an ok position to have them finished in time...knock wood.

That's it for now, back to the painting table!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Warclouds...and stuff...

Waitangi weekend has been and gone and that means another year of War Clouds Over Woolston otherwise known as WarCOW. I was a bit of a last minute entry this year; seeing as it is a doubles event I wasn't quite sure if I had a teammate. Four of us organised all of this last year after WarCOW 2013 but of course life happened somewhere in between and our plans ended up in turmoil. Thankfully Carl got in touch with me about a month out and asked if I was going and wanted to partner up with him. Our armies didn't really match up in that I have only goody, goody Dwarfs painted and Carl has only evil, evil armies painted but as fortune would have it Carl had enough models in both his Orc and Goblin army and Vampire Counts army that I could just borrow one of them while he played the other.

Carl took the Orcs and Goblins while I tried my hand at Vampire Counts. I have to admit that, while I didn't really know what I was doing, I had a lot of fun. Vampire Counts are a really enjoyable army to play if you like annoying your opponent. When your opponent wipes out rank upon rank of zombies only to see them rise up and take their place in the line again they take on a look of despair and hopelessness that I find quite comforting.

I was far too busy drinking over the weekend to take any photos I'm sorry but here's a quick run down of how we did:

Game 1 - Against Dwarfs and Elves. Both armies tag-teamed Carl's Orcs while I failed with my magic and couldn't move my army across to help out quickly enough. End result - we lose.

Game 2 - Against Dark Elves and Skaven. I foolishly leave a corridor through to the zombie unit holding my Necromancer and Vampire. Dark Elf Cold One Knights charge through and kill everything. My army disappears and Carl is left to try and win by himself. Another fail to me.

Game 3 - Against Empire and Ogres. Ogres dice fail so Carl blitzes them while I do the shakey, shakey boom-boom with the Empire and we come out about even. I think because of the Ogre's bad luck team Carl/Nathan came out with a minor win here.

Game 4 - Against Dwarfs and Wood Elves. Wood Elves massacre Carl's side of the table, I massacre my side of the table, we both turn flanks and it ends up a draw.

Game 5 - Against Vampire Counts and Vampire Counts. This was played down the length of the table rather than the width so we all piled into the middle and beat the snot out of each other. Game ends up in a draw.

Game 6 - Against Chaos Warriors and Beastmen. We played kinda tactically here and were actually doing really well but my constant magic failing cost us in the end and it led to a minor win for them.

All of our games were fantastic with some hilarious moments in each, all of our opponents were great sports and tolerated my swearing and cursing of my magic dice in the most gentlemanly manner and Mike; the guy running it, did a great job of keeping the games moving along so we could finish on time. We improved from our Wooden Spoon placing last year to come out about 3rdish to last or somewhere like that. An awesome event and I'm already looking forward to next year.

Just so this post isn't completely lacking in photos I did get a couple of snap shots of my new Skaven Battle Standard Bearer. It really frustrates me that GW doesn't make a Skaven BSB as almost every Skaven army I've seen uses one. I have been pondering the arduous task of trying to convert one from spare parts when I found this chubby fella on the sale table at WarCOW:


I'm not a huge fan of the banner but I do like the model. Being quite bulky he'll stand out in the unit without me having to mount him on some kind of rock or plinth. I've clipped off the banner and attached a Stormvermin banner which is quite a bit bigger, and just because I struggle with the idea of someone swinging a two handed halberd while holding up a banner I have removed his halberd and replaced it with a sword. Here are a few shots of him before I get into the greenstuffing.




I'm really stoked with how he's turning out and can't wait to get started on painting him. Unfortunately that will have to wait while I focus on the Halflings and some commission work but at least I now have a model I can use rather than proxying my BSB with a Squig.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Capital Shield



Well seeing as Capital Shield was over a week ago I thought it about time I finally did a quick write up. I can't really remember much about the individual games anymore or any particular highlights or lowlights so all I can really say about how the Embers performed is that they did quite well for Humans. They came out slightly above 50% with 3 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses placing them in 7th overall. An honourable finish for a Human team I believe as they're not exactly one of the top tier teams.

I took the Humans to try and teach myself a bit more about team positioning and tenacity. They're known as the jack of all trades but master of none so while they can play almost any kind of game you can't rely on them to actually be competent at anything. This means you have to get your positioning right and you have to keep fighting for the ball and take some risks with passing, pick-ups, dodges and one die blocks.

While I struggled a bit with my first couple of games because I was too defensive I soon learned to throw caution to the wind and pitch my players into the game in a desperate struggle to fumble the ball into the endzone. I really enjoyed this style of play as almost every roll required at least a little bit of risk or a hard decision on whether or not you should use a re-roll. I found myself charging through any gaps I could find in a reckless attempt to get my Blitzers on the ball while my Linemen frantically (and unsuccessfully in most cases) tried to pin down opposition players to stop them tackling my Blitzers. It was a whole lot of fun and truly opened my eyes to the principle of using an aggressive offense as your main defensive strategy. On that note I must say a big thank you to our resident Hummie coach here in Christchurch; Simon "Welshy" MacDonald who suggested using Break Tackle on the Ogre. This proved to be a truly winning strategy! In all honesty the number of times my Ogre threw a block during this tournament could be counted on two hands but the sight of having an Ogre barrelling down on their ball carrier was enough for some opponents to take some risky actions which would in the end cost a turnover in their own half and allow me the opportunity to try (emphasis on try) and scoop the ball up for a quick Touchdown. At the very least the Ogre kept the play in the opposition half and turned my opponent's thoughts away from scoring and onto defending the ball. In addition to all of that I can't put into words how valuable it is to be able to move your Ogre with your cage when on offense. Having a strength 5 player holding up your cage corner is such a relief for the weakling strength 3 Humans.

So overall an awesome event; thoroughly enjoyed the Blood Bowling and the company wasn't too bad either :) I'm stoked with 7th place as I feel it was a hard fought placing for me and I also feel like I've learned a lot from playing these guys even just for one tournament. Most of all I'm stoked that I managed to get a full 16 man team plus Ogre painted in time for the event. These models have been sitting in the garage for about a decade so it feels like a huge achievement to have the team painted finally.

The East End Embers

Though I thoroughly enjoyed playing them this will be the last outing for the Embers in a long while. I'm on a mission to get my teams painted and to try new playing styles so I already have another team in my sights. The Melbourne team championships are in March and as part of my New Year's Resolution I want to have my Halfling team painted and ready to play. Here are the Meadow Hills Half-Pints dragged out of their decade long slumber, a little worse for wear, but ready for a fresh coat of paint and a crazy, fun weekend away in Melbourne.


Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Raaarrrrghraghrrrraaaaaaggggghhhhhraaaaggghhhhh!!!

I got this model a while ago when I traded for a small Skaven army. I'm not a huge fan of the GW abomination model but I love this guy and if I'm honest he was the reason I started the army. The Skaven clan of Hell Pit has always fascinated me; the idea of countless Skaven Packmasters toiling in the frozen, grimy pits of the north, mutating foul and savage beasts to be unleashed upon their foes in uncontrolled rage appeals to my anarchistic side. Of course the idea of the odd Packmaster losing control of their most recent experiment and having their own creation consume them piece by piece also appeals to my sense of fairness and balance.

He's been a long time in the process; I think I started him about October, but he's finally finished and I'm very happy with the result. He looks suitably disgusting; like a shambling, weeping sore which was just what I was hoping for. It was certainly a lot of fun playing around with layered washes to build up the highlights and shades as its not a technique I often use. Certainly one I'll be using again in the near future though.