Hobby update – Wood Elves (and a bit of blood bowl)

It’s come to that time of the year when the competitions I’m most interested in, at the club, have kicked off.

Namely the Warhammer fantasy 8th (which I’m running) and the second Blood Bowl season.

As there are bonus points on offer for fully painted armies, my wood elf painting continues and I managed to finish off my Glade Captain on Great Eagle.

I feel like I’m slacking a bit recently as I’ve completely failed to create any fluff as yet for him. He doesn’t even have a name! (A sure sign that he is destined to become cannon fodder!!!)

The model itself is finecast and I am slowly coming to understand why so many people really dislike the stuff. I now own a number of models in it and by and large the moulds are ok. Even with my limited range of them there are a number that are slightly warped or have casting, let’s call them, inconsistencies. My main issue with them however is I don’t particularly like to paint them. The surface feels different to metal, plastic and other resin (yes that is listed in my order of preference).

Anyway, enough of my ramblings. The model itself was painted in the same scheme as the rest of the army. Yep green and fuchsia. To distinguish the great eagle from its smaller Warhawk brethren, it received a double black banding on its wings. I also tried to paint the leaves on it to resemble ivy and I’m quite happy with the effect.

Blood Bowl Kick off

The second season of Blood Bowl has now started and due to the delay of a Kickstarter (I’m not impressed with Willy miniatures at present. A delay I expect but it’s the poor comms that is inexcusable), combined with moving house, meant that I was totally unprepared and so ended up entering my Norse team again.

The commissioners had decided that last years teams wouldn’t carry over from the previous season, so it was the same faces but no skills in attendance. I once again decided to go against the grain and forgo rerolls in favour of big guys! I also took a thrower, something that most Norse teams don’t (at least in the starting lineup). I also favoured a healer over a 12th player. The team chosen was:

Gronn Fjord Raiders (GFR)

Uday Ragekill (Yhetee) – 140k

Erik Longhorn (Berserker) – 90k

Flokki the Swift (Runner) – 90k

Bjorn Grimurson (Thrower) – 70k

Beorg Two Skins (Ulfwerner) – 110k

Cadoc the Bear (Ulfwerner) – 110k

5 linemen – 250k

Apothecary – 50k

Fan Factor 1 – 10k

1 Reroll – 60k

Total – 980k

First Game – GFR vs The Stirling Strikers

Having failed to play all my league games last season and recognising that my club time is limited, I decided to try something different this year. I’m going to leave off playing any friendlies until after I’ve played my club games! I may be shooting myself in the foot but in this vein I lined up my first game vs Si and his Humans.

I won’t profess to being a top player but I’m far from being a newbie. Si was quite new to the game so I made sure to point out any really bad decisions and let him backtrack on a few occasions.

I won’t go into too much detail of the game but it ended up a 3-0 victory to me.

A couple of highlights (or lowlights perhaps) included:

My team were on the end of a complete ‘shoeing’. Seriously, I’m used to beating 10 shades of shit out of other teams and having 6 of my team in the injuries box (only badly hurt thankfully) was a complete turn around.

Si completely surprised me by laying in the boot a fair bit, even when he was seriously down on players (although the sending off curbed his enthusiasm to do it πŸ˜‚). Such blatant disregard for the rules and underhanded tactics are to be applauded and were the source of much amusement and consternation. With only armour 7 it was a great tactic to use against my team!

At the start of his second half kickoff, I did my usual heavy flank tactic, looking to steamroller down one side. He then rolled a perfect defence and moved all his players to the other side, out of the ‘danger zone’ and looked to turn the tables as he swept up the field to crush my ball carrier. This turn around quickly reversed again as he proceeded to kick the ball out of touch (even with the kick skill), allowing one of my Ulfwerner to run in a quick two turn touchdown. It just shows how things can change in a game and is one of the reasons I enjoy B.B. so much!

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Scythe (board game) – first impressions

After a particularly shit week at work I had been immensely looking forward to my whfb game when I then received an apologetic mail from my Friday night opponent who was ill. Annoyingly, although he emailed early in the day, I only picked it up late afternoon so was unable to book in another fantasy (or even 40k tryout) game so late.

On the club FB page (yep I stooped that low to find a game!!), I was invited to join a group playing something called Scythe. Not having played many board games which weren’t more MB brand style (monopoly etc) with the odd sprinkling of GW (bloodbowl and Heroquest) and after reading a number of reviews of interesting board games on the blog Start Your Meeples, I accepted the invite. 

The Game

It can be played with between 1-7 people and is a hex based board. The aim of the game is to achieve 6 stars for completing different tasks (these vary from deploying all 8 of your workers, to your 4 mechs, to maxing your popularity or winning a battle). In total there are something like 10 different tasks and depending on your faction, some are easier to complete. There are 7 different factions to choose from (we randomly picked) and each have different strengths (Such as to fighting or resource management). Once someone has achieved 6 tasks then the game ends and you get money based on resource remaining, number of stars gained etc. The player with the most money wins.

My faction (Crimea) player and action boards

After getting your faction, we were then dealt a random action board. They are in essence the same, in so far as you use them to mark which of the four actions you will choose to do each turn (and you generally can’t do the same action two turns in a row). However the difference in them is basically down to the resources required to complete actions or bonus rewards (I’m guessing this helps for replay ability). The choices are:

  • Move or get money
  • Produce Resources
  • Trade (to gain resources/popularity)
  • Bolster power level or attack cards

For each action there is a secondary option you can also do if certain requirements are met. This could be using resources to deploy buildings or to buy mechs (to name two). So you really want to try and manage your options so you can do both tasks under the one action (easier said than done). 

My avatar and mechs with workers in the background

To expand on the secondary mech deployment option, it cost me 3 oil resources to deploy one mech (the resource number could be reduced via a secondary upgrade option under the trade section). Each mech allows different bonuses to unlock, such as crossing rivers or extra movement (it varies between factions) and allows you to transport multiple workers. Finally deploying 4 mechs is one of the tasks that gives you a star. 

Gameplay is really fast with only two basic options for players each turn but there is a real depth to the gameplay and tactics given all the options available (most of which I haven’t even covered) with many of them linking together to maximise efficiencies. I will say that after 5 or 6 turns (and help) I had picked up the basics and by the end of the game (coming 5th out of the 6 of us) I know next time, I’ll be more competitive.

More importantly I thoroughly enjoyed playing this game, met a few members of the club I hadn’t played before and it has opened my eyes to the potential joys of non traditional board games. I would definitely play this again, especially given the change of pace vs my normal fare, which is perhaps the best accolade I could give it. (Though I’ll caveat that by saying due to limited play time and love of miniatures, I’d choose to play whfb over this every time).

The full game board