Friday, 18 August 2017

Deathwatch White Scar biker

"OK men, we will be fighting on narrow, rusty walkways and gantries suspended hundreds of feet in the air. Any questions?"

"Can I take my motorbike?"

White Scar Jetek Suberei and his bike and his battle budgie. This was a fiddly model to paint, but I got there. I'm happy with the new technique I tried on his power sword- I'll refine that in future. I'm also happy with the chunky tyres- the dark grey helps set off the black armour. I slightly offset the model on the base to accentuate a sense of motion.

The lightning strike on his leg and on the bike were a minor hassle. I've given up on going for a really monochrome scheme, and so there are a few more splashes of colour around the place, including the bike's display. It's a bit hard to see, but I like how the scar on his face matches the damage on his helmet.

I don't know if that's what was intended or if I misread the sculpt, but I love the purity seal on the cyber-eagle. So daft.

This larger model took a bit of effort, but with last week's terminator done as well I feel I've broken the back of this squad and only have five more marines to paint.

Skullometer: 8
Total Squad Skullz: 43

Friday, 11 August 2017

Deathwatch Salamander Terminator

I kind of like this model. Garran Branatar has a subtle twist to his stance where he is just about to cook some heretics. The iconic terminator appearance is nicely done. It wouldn't be GW without some silliness, so here's your flamethrowing asset with canisters of fuel on his back- it's fine for him to balance a blazing brazier on his head.

He has a teleporter homer as well. The beacon is more of a light blue in the flesh.

Skullometer: 5 (+2 on the teleporter)
Cumulative Squad Skullz: 35

Friday, 4 August 2017

Imperial Assault- Rogue Two

I attended a Store Championship Imperial Assault tournament last weekend. I last went to one of these a bit over a year ago, and got thoroughly trounced, coming ninth of nine with a Stormtrooper list. I do not play competitive IA at all, so based on that previous experience I modified my expectations and went along to have a good time and learn. I made a Rebel list, which I have called Rogue Two.
Rogue Two

Match 1- Shielded (Nal Hutta swamps) vs Ben's Scum

I was busy re-learning how to play, so forgot to take a picture! Ben had a droid list, with IG-88, HKs, R2-D2, C-3P0, BT-1, and a jawa. I split my team up and got a few VPs from objectives, going down 42-32.

Match 2- Gaining Favor (Anchorhead Cantina) vs Paul's Rebels 

This was the first time I have come across the Smuggler Box tactic, where a few key characters use passive abilities to turn themselves into a hard-to-kill defensive block. Luke Skywalker was not in the box, and I was able to whittle him down and kill him before losing 46-25.
Smuggler Box on the right, Luke at the intersection.

Match 3- Anchorhead Cantina vs Andrew's Rebels

A similar looking team to my last opponent (but no Smuggler Box), and we had an attritional fight. Luke was doing the best to replicate his daddy and murder my troopers in a corridor, whilst I was inspired by my killing of him in the last match. I almost took him down, but he played a card that saved his bacon and gave him the win 40-24. I don't know if I should have gone for the objectives, but murderous Luke was in my way regardless.
Luke won't go down!

Match 4- Spoils of Crime (Jabba's Palace) vs Josh's Scum

This was pretty cool- I got to play against a Scum list containing Jabba, in his own palace. My opponent ran around killing my guys, but left Jabba alone in his starting location. I saw the opportunity and stormed him, taking down the crime lord in a hail of fire- but it wasn't enough to give me a win and I lost 43-25.
Rebels take down Jabba. I loved the jawa conversion.

So, I had four losses, and came tenth out of ten. But I was already expecting a poor result, so it didn't pain me too much and I learnt a lot about the competitive side of IA. The games were fast, usually around 40 minutes, which is nice. My opponents were very obliging to explain afterwards just how they were able to do so well.

IA Skirmish, like X-Wing, is much more of a game than a tactical simulation. It has trends as different models come out- IG-88 and Jedi Luke are currently atop 'the meta'. I prefer the narrative campaign, but it is good to try the other mode of play as well.

Rogue Two were OK, but not spectacular. I did better than last time, actually getting scores in double figures! I know I missed opportunities to really get Rogue Two working together well and using all their abilities to the utmost, but I also feel they were a bit lacking in damage output. Something to think about for my next tournament!

Bonus game- Flick 'em up

In the skirmish arena, I also got to play Flick 'em up. This is a dexterity western game, where you physically flick 'bullets' at your opponents cowboys to knock them down. It's visceral fun- you groan when you just miss, and sigh with relief when your bandit teeters but does not fall. Much more relatable than rolling a die.
Colourised period photo of lawman shooting at bandit.

It has some clever features- you flip your cowboys' hats to show when they have activated, and the town hall clock shows the turn progression.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Deathwatch Raven Guard

The Raven Guard, Edryc Setorax. This figure is pleasing to me- it is predominantly black, and doesn't have too much detracting bling. I like the classic beakie helmet as well. I would think about adding a blue tinge to his lightning claws- if I ever run out of things to paint!

I'm quite happy with the blue-black raven feathers. You can't make it out in the pictures, but the jump pack and leg scrolls say 'Raven Guard'.

Skullometer: 8 (including avian and xenos)
Total Squad Skullz: 28

Here's a group shot so far. Can you see how I'm struggling to get them to look like a coherent team, due to excess bling?

Friday, 21 July 2017

Blood Bowl Wood Elves test scheme

I'm still riding the wave of Blood Bowl mania, so I did some test figures for my next team- the Fangorn Forest Entwives. These models are from Greebo, and are a fiddly pain to put together. One of the cheerleaders and the apothecary are three part miniatures, not including the bases.

I envisioned a minty green-grey, but it came out much greener and I can accept that. I used Army Painter Kraken Green and Green Tone. I snapped off the needle on the apothecary's syringe whilst I was highlighting her buttocks- suffering for my art again.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Blood Bowl- Underworld Denizens

I had a few unfinished players left over from my new Underworld team, the Surrender Monkeys, and whilst I'm on a Blood Bowl high I thought I'd get them completed. So, here are a few more mutated goblins, a star player (and his biggest fan), and the team coach who is sharing his subtle strategies.

Lighting is a bit off today, they've got a funny hue.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Eucalyptus Bowl 2017

Euc Bowl was last weekend, and I had a great time with my new Underworld team, the Surrender Monkeys.

The Euc Bowl quick guide:  six games, two days, resurrection, Swiss pairing, ~125kgp, up to one non-double skill per player.

There were 54 coaches playing eighteen different teams. There were subtle incentives to take a variety of teams, which seemed to work- the most common team was goblins, and no-one took dwarves! Each round had a variety of unlucky prizes, such as the first coach to trip over on the touchdown line.

My roster was a Troll with Claw,  two Blitzers with Guard, two Linerats with Wrestle, one Thrower with Leader, one Thrower with Kick-off Return, seven Goblins (two with Two Heads), three Rerolls, and an Apothecary.
The Surrender Monkeys

Match 1

Chopper coached the Sin City Star Lords, a Pro Elf team. I got 2-0 up in the first half, and he tried valiantly to catch up but was unable to. Final result a 4-3 win with 2-1 casualties.
The Surrender Monkeys take it to the Star Lords

Match 2

I was relieved to face another elf team for my second match, as I knew I would struggle against a bashy team. George's Wood Elves, the University of Oregon, played a strong and unexpected stalling game to be leading 2-1 in the last turn. However, I pulled off a one-turn touchdown by throwing a goblin carrying the ball into the endzone for a 2-2 tie! It was really exciting watching every die roll, knowing that a failure would cost me the match. Casualties were 4-4 each.
The Surrender Monkeys barrel into the Wood Elf defences.

Match 3

Scott had an Undead team, Grabbed by the Ghoulies. He KO'd my Troll in the first half, and I was lucky to stop him from scoring leaving me 1-0 up at half time when my Troll recovered. He equalised in the second half, and with nothing to lose I pulled off a ridiculous dodging play to finish with a 2-1 win, although I was tailing badly 0-4 in the casualties.
The green ghoul has the ball- the Surrender Monkeys try to absorb the Undead drive

Match 4

I played JoeKano's Chaos Pact team, the Renegades of Skye. Joe won Euc Bowl last year with Amazons, and he had a slight edge over me for the first half. He played a really strong fluid cage play, swinging his offense easily from side to side. I luckily took out his Ogre early in the second half, which enabled me to win 2-1 by the end. I won the casualties 4-3.
The Renegades push down their left before swinging to the other wide zone.

Match 5

As yet undefeated, I was now on Table 2 and waiting for karma to catch up. Glen's orcs, the Eye Eaters, were happy to oblige, getting a Perfect Defence roll before the match had started. I loathe Perfect Defence more than I loathe Blitz on the kick-off table. This completely dislocated my offensive plans, and I spent the rest of the game trying to survive. I lost 2-0 with 1-3 casualties. Glen played very clinically, like a good dwarf coach, and there was little I could do. Glen ended up coming 4th overall.
The surviving Surrender Monkeys are helpless in front of the Eye Eaters

Match 6

I was relieved to face another elf team in the last match- Jason's Pro Elves, the Who's Town Rockets. He had an amazing thrower, and I was lucky to equalise in the first half 1-1. I got a few favourable armour rolls in the second half and took a leaf from George's playbook to stall for time. Jason put the pressure on, and I was lucky to dodge out of his grasp and score on the last turn for a 2-1 win.
The Surrender Monkeys smash through the elf front line.

So, I did much better than I had expected with a team I had never played before, with 4-1-1 record. This was enough to give me an overall placing of 6th! I don't think I've finished that high up the ladder before. I had a lot of lucky plays, which helped me pull draws from losses and wins from draws. The winning team was Bojo's Undead.
The prize table

I was impressed with the Underworld- the Skaven are really quick and the goblins are fairly flexible. The Claws on the Troll weren't great, but I didn't play too many high armour teams. I would have been better off with a Keg than the Apothecary. I could probably have dropped a Goblin and taken a few more skills like Diving Tackle or Side Step.

I've now played tournaments with 21 of the 24 official teams!

Best painted team: Jonno's Halflings on their display base!
Additional photos from the Euc Bowl Facebook page.