Friday, 30 December 2016

Review of the year - 2016

So here we are at years end, and once again I am giving a rundown of various gaming statistics...

My games count has tumbled further than last year, which is surprising as I am still attending club night on a regular basis. However whilst last year 40k stayed steady but Warhammer fantasy was NOT replaced by Age of Sigmar and instead I played more x-wing (more pick up games that I do not record) I don't feel I was doing as much pew-pew this year, however I did spend significantly more time on various board games.


Bloodbowl is an obvious contender and has taken a couple of sessions, but that was a recent arrival so cannot be blamed for the year. I've also had a couple of sessions of Captain Sonar (a game I highly recommend if you can get a big enough group - best with 8 but will run well with 6) and Lords of Waterdeep and other cool games. I think the biggest single club night occupier in the board games variety has probably been Star Wars: Rebellion. My love for this game grows and grows, although Neils love for it is possibly diminishing, after he lost both games against me last week in less than the average turncount for a single game. Combined. His rebellion was crushed by a single stormtrooper and an AT-ST when I accidentally stumbled upon his practically undefended rebel base on turn 2... and his turn as Imperial overlord didn't last too much longer.

Anyway, excuses for low game count aside, on to the statistics.

In 2016 I played 22 games of 40k, winning 11 losing 10 and drawing 1. So fairly even. But it turns out it was my guard that were dragging me down, losing 6 out of 9 games played. This was, in my defence, an army list written for fluffageddon that got tested against tournament standard armies at an unrestricted event when fluffageddon of 2015 was cancelled. So after such a dismal start to the year, I switched to my orks and managed to get that one plucky draw, as well as 8 wins and 4 losses. FOr an old codex, that's not too shabby...

Against my peers I played very few games... Ken once (lost) Rich H once (lost) and Neil twice (won both) I really do need to get more games in against those guys, and more games of 40k in general to be fair. Most of those Orks games would have been with my deffskulls army, and I've already started making another army... 13 games is not a good return on the investment of time and money put into the force, so I really should play more... or paint slower.

Speaking of painting, one bright part of this year is that my painting score (based on volume not quality) looks set to be my highest output since 2012... The track of my dip in painting can quite easily be tracked to the time at my last job, where I regularly worked 50-60 hours a week. I am now in a much more relaxed environment where I am working about half as many hours, taking home more money, and generally enjoying life a lot more... and getting more painting done. The only "downside" is the extra income to spend on boardgames has kinda eaten into my 40k time, but that's pretty much the definition of a first world problem so I'm going to stfu...

Looking forward to 2017, I'm about to start a bloodbowl league, which I'm sure will in no way impact upon my resolution to get more 40k games in... sigh. I also plan to run CATCH to develop ANOTHER Ork army, I have designs in my mind for a doubles list that will be the genesis of YET ANOTHER ork army, and I still have the finishing touches to put on my rebel grots army, and a decision to make about my skitarii force. Watch this space...

Friday, 23 December 2016

Distractions

A few years ago, when the ork codex came out, I wanted some of the new stuff, but felt that the nice shiny Meganobz (slow and purposeful) and the mek guns (artillery pieces) did not suit the army style of my existing speed freeks army. Thus I decided to do a Bad Moons force, as I had always liked the colour scheme, and seeing all the shiny new stuff in Bad Moons colours did, admittedly, help push me into that one. I was close for a while between Bad Moons and Deffskulls, but in the end I went with the Bad Moons.

A little while after finishing all that I wanted to do for that army, I looked into my box of unpainted orks (I picked up a load second hand) and still had about 20 lootas, 20 tankbustas, 10 burnas, lots of boyz with shootas... well that looked like a deffskulls force just waiting to happen. So happen it did with my Grand Loot.

I had decided that would be it for the orks. I had three tribes, I could add any future releases into whichever best fit the theme, all sorted...

But then I had a chat with a friend about feral orks, and a idea was born... an idea that will be fully explored in my CATCH which starts in the new year.

So with soon to be four tribes of orks, surely that will be enough.

Well almost. I also had a cool idea for what to do with some flashgitz I had, but while it would work with the Grand Loot deffskulls, it would look better in it's own little dedicated mini force... I have an idea for lots of flashgitz, led by badrukk, "sailing" in battlewagons that resemble modern navy frigates, with their boomguns in a turret on the fore of the wagon, superstructure behind it, open deck at the back. I need to make some land going frigates but it's a cool idea I think. Of course, I'm only planning to do this for an 800 points doubles thing, possibly with enough variety to make it fit a different rulespack 750 point doubles thing too. But then ideas start cascading around up there again... and I end up buying the following from ebay.

She's lost that loving feeling...

She needs a little love and a tidy up, then a few Konversions to be added, but then it's on to deck krew and deffkoptas and I think we could have a nice deffkopta carrier right here... I've had a box of about twenty of those I picked up when apoc first appeared that I still haven't done anything with. Maybe now they'll finally be useful.

Of course there are no rules for such a thing, and right now I am musing on what it should be... a fortification at a harbourside? Perhaps a skyshield landing pad would fit the bill. Although should probably pay double cost as it is a little wider than a standard skyshield...

Rhino for scale... yeah it's over two and a half feet long...
Could always make it a super heavy. Perhaps give it some sort of way to re-arm deffkoptas that have dropped off bomms or something. I don't know, i'll figure out how it works once I can get it to work. A standard conversion will suffice, although it would be nice to add a sound system that plays "danger zone" on repeat...

So will this be the end of the orks? Well probably, although the idea of a commando army with lots of stormboyz does also sound fun to do as a conversion project. And if I do that, I will have something to represent every clan in the book, apart from goffs... I guess I shouldn't really leave one force out by that point right? Might as well go for completeness...

One thing to say, I've come a long way from my "I only like da fast wuns, dat slow stuff duzzn't concern me" of my early waaaaaghing days...

Monday, 19 December 2016

CATCH 4: My List

So for my Combined Aspects Tale of Collective Hobbyists I have a planned army list of 2000 points I am working towards, and I have broken the list down into 500 point chunks for the four phases. I know which phase comes first, and that will be labelled phase 1. Phases A, B and C are so labelled because I have no idea on the order yet. One of those phases is considerably easier than the others, so if I think I may be pushed for time on any given month, I can always use that one to give me some breathing space. Anyway, the list...

Phase 1

Big Mek Barney - 35
10 Gretchin, runtherd with squighound - 40
30 Boyz, Nob Bosspole Big Choppa - 200
15 Kommandos, Nob Bosspole Big Choppa - 170
Snikrot - 60

Phase A
3 meganobz, all with killsaws, one bosspole - 155
ded tran truk, ram boarding plank rokkit - 50
3 meganobz, all with killsaws, one bosspole - 155
ded tran truk, ram boarding plank rokkit - 50
Warboss Fred, Cybork Body, Bosspole, Headwoppas Killchoppa - 90

Phase B
20 Stormboys, Nob Bosspole Big Choppa - 200
5 buggies w rokkits - 125
5 buggies w rokkits - 125
Shok Attack Gun upgrade for Barney - 50

Phase C
Battlewagon, 2 rokkit, deffrolla, Boarding plank, extra armour - 155
30 Boyz, Nob bosspole big choppa - 200
19 Boyz Nob bosspole Big choppa - 134
2 ammo runts for Barney - 6

So it's not 4 perfect 500s, it's as near as I can get it it'll be a 2k list so sue me, I can always cover the one month shortfall with wargear that can be dropped when the list is complete...

Phase 1 is built. Ready to undercoat. Also, most of phase C is built, just the Battlewagon to go on that one. I've got the meganobz ready to convert, and know what I want to do for the truks. I've ordered a model for Fred that I hope will work but he hasn't turned up yet so can't say for sure. As for phase B... yeah, that'll be a while methinks...

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Bloodbowl is Back!

So the hotly anticipated Bloodbowl is back, and I got myself a copy.

Having had a look through, it seems largely unchanged from the most recent Living Rulebook I read, with one very important change... Illegal Procedure is now an OPTIONAL rule you must both agree to enforce before the game begins. So gone is one of the most hated rules in wargaming. This is a good move.

Beyond that there isn't much to tell... for those that know it, it's much the same as you remember. For those that don't, it's sorta like American Football but with violence. And comedy. And you don't have to paint 99 miniatures or however big an American Football squad is...

Seriously, do half these guys even recognise each other on the pitch?
About the only bad thing is that I rushed the job of sticking the teams together as I was doing it late at night, and I didn't put together one of my linemen properly... he's stuck with a broken foot now, but as I plan to pick up another team so I can add more blockers and blitzers to my force, I shall have spare Linemen so can easily replace the casualty.

I played my first game on Tuesday, a solid 2-0 win over skaven with several casualties inflicted, although nothing counts yet as I am just demoing the game at the club to drum up interest. To be fair, if my opponent had played skaven to their strengths it may have been different, but let's just say for his playstyle I think he needs to collect Orcs or Dwarves.

Anyway, I am planning to run a Bloodbowl league at my club, and thought I would put my thoughts down here on how to organise it and if anyone who reads this can pick any holes in it before the league kicks off (some time in the new year) then that'll be handy.

First off, I have decided that a condition of entry is that anything on the team roster must be represented by a model. So team members (obviously) but also the manager (you) have to have a model to represent it. It doesn't have to be lifelike, it doesn't have to represent the race you are playing for, it is up to you the manager to make something that you feel represents you. For instance, I shall be dusting off my old coach, who I modelled to look like Alex Ferguson. He's just a human, pointing at his watch while hurling abuse at the referee. If you think he wouldn't be able to manage an Orc team, that an orc team is too fierce, I ask has an orc ever been subject to the hairdryer treatment before?

It was pretty much this exact pose if I recall...
Anyway, so everyone will need a manager. Similarly, if you add apothecaries, assistant coaches, cheerleaders etc to your roster, I want models for them too. Bloodbowl is a small scale investment, once you've got your team you're done, so I don't think it's too much to ask to throw a few conversions into the mix, we may see some cool ideas.

This rule will not apply to inducements such as wandering apothecaries or other such temporary influences. Only permanent additions to the roster.

Secondly, the team can be one of the currently released teams, or any team from the living rulebook. As teams are updated gradually we will of course switch from one ruleset to the new, but this will take some time. There are some teams I fear will never be transferred over (I'm looking at you overly generic amazons and norse teams, whose IP GW have no claim on) but until the LRB is down to just the last few stragglers who will probably never see the light of day again we shall keep using it.

Third, each team pays a price of entry. One trophy. The new teams have an advantage here, they come with a couple of trophies on the sprue, but I'm sure people can bodge together some little trinket to play for. Each season, we'll draw a trophy out of the bag - and that's what we'll play for. The prize for the trophy will vary depending on which one we are fighting for, with endorsements written to be race specific for whichever team donated the trophy. The winning team will get to KEEP the trophy, permanently.

Classics

If a team retires, it will effectively be put in stasis, and can always return. This gives managers a chance to switch to other teams for a season if they wish to. You do not get your trophy back, but you don't have to pay to rejoin. If you bring a new team, that new team will have to pay a trophy. So the league will have as many seasons as there are cumulative entrants, and if we ever run out of trophies and wish to keep going, we'll think of something else! Cross that bridge if we ever reach it...

And that's pretty much it really... all the rest will be following the deathzone rulebook, these are just my little personal additions for flavour. Why fix what aint broken?

Sunday, 4 December 2016

CATCH 3: Meeting your Production Team

 
Tonight we have a brief introduction to the production team that are currently looking after Barney and Fred. As they are still quite small and not even walking yet, we only require a small team to film the young orks.
The iic production engineers are well aware that the immortal Interschola Master Achtenburgh is under no threat, the same cannot be said for themselves, so they tend to be armed and wary at all times.
As for our young orks, just yesterday Barney took some twigs and bent them into a vague L shape, pointed one end at a squirrel, yelled "Bang" and killed it. He didn't actually hit it, he hit the branch about four feet away, the squirrel fell from the tree and was eaten by a cat, but the cat would never have caught it otherwise so we are crediting that as Barneys first kill. Perhaps this implies a budding career as a Mek for Barney? We can only follow their lives and see.
 
As for Fred, he took Barneys rudimentary "gun" and used it as a club to give Barney a black eye. Perhaps Fred is destined for a leadership role in the "might makes right" of an Ork society...

 
Painted up Achtenburgh for a bit of fun, still need to figure out the basing, plus make this old second hand war correspondants crew match his base, but I can get to that. For now, the Bloodbowl figures are calling...