Tuesday, 28 February 2012

They were soldiers - once

But after a dose of Vergeltungswaffe 4.........

They have become the Walking Dead, mindless automotons, whose only purpose is to add the living to the ranks of the Dead.

Yup it's the Strumzombies from the German Starter Set for the Incursion Game by Grindhouse Games

I'm sure my arm is around here somewhere

If you look closely you can actually see through this guy.....

So that just leaves the Bomberzombies (Sturmzombies with naval mines implanted into their bodies) and Hans the Hunter (Doctor Hugo Von X's oldest child and his earliest guinea pig for his experiments - what a lovely father) to do and that is the German Starter Set complete.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Transfer News Exclusive!! Warhammer Quest Minotaur in Genre Switch

Reg Scroatbage, Chief Scout of the Chaos Culumities Blood Bowl team, was not a happy man.

The Culumities previous match against the Skaven team, Rat Skinkies, was supposed to have been his last match working for the Culumities before retirement. However, following the 6-0 drubbing, the Culumities owner, Borab Donke-Slaya, had asked Reg to stay on for one more match, and find for the team a player who could turn round the Culumties' fortunes.

"Asked" is a slight misnomer, it was more a case of Reg being gripped by the throat and being barked at by Borab that if he didn't "F*%$!^g find a F*%$^g player to F*%$^g turn this F*%S^g team into a team of F*%S^g winners" then Reg would find himself working as a "F*%$^g Eunuch" at Madame Mezzanine's brothel house.

So, being quite fond of hanging on to all his bodily parts (literally), Reg, unfortunately, now found himself in a damp, dark, smelly cavern. Even more unfortunate for Reg, the smell, was not from the cavern itself but as a result of his digestive tract being in a state of turmoil from sheer terror.

Reg was not an adventurer, never had been, never wanted to be. Blood Bowl had always been his game but desperate times called for desperate measures. In the last village he had stopped in, Crabbitsass, he had heard of a nearby cavern, a magnet for adventuring parties, who were drawn to the cavern by tales of the fabulous lost treasure of Giz A'brayke, the notorious bandit lord. The villagers, of course, knew full well there was no such treasure, but weren't in any hurry to let this fact be known, as the rumour of the fabulous riches was good for the tourist trade and during the adventuring season (March to October) it was pretty nigh impossible to get a bed in the village as it was always stowed out with parties. Fortunately, for Reg, it was mid-January so the village was quiet and while drinking in the Stoat and Hare pub, one of the local worthies, their tongue loosened by several tankards of Mr Numpty's best bitter, had let slip to Reg that there was no treasure in the cavern, but what was there was a ferocious Minotaur that the locals referred to as Bovine Encephalopitus, or BE for short.

This was the break that Reg was looking for. Minotaurs were highly prized in Blood Bowl for their savagery, blood thirstiness, savagery and, well, savagery. Problem was they were also pretty difficult to sign up because they were, well, savage. However, the worthy had also let slip the secret of BE's only weakness, a fondness for Spicy Snotling.

So, Reg now found himself in the Cavern of Giz A'brakye, stomach churning. knees trembling, and clutching the only known effective weapons to counter the terrible BE, a bag of Snotlings and a tin of Auntie's Mabel's very hot chili seasoning.

Reg, cautiously approached the next turn in the corridor. A faint glow emanated from around the bend. Not the pale glow of sunlight but an orange glow of fire. Peering round Reg found himself looking into a broad chamber, in the centre of which burned a large bonfire and sitting on a boulder nearby, BE.

This was the difficult bit as Reg hadn't yet decided how he was going to approach the Minotaur and drop into the conversation the prospect of playing a game of Blood Bowl. While Reg contemplated his next move disaster struck. The Snotlings in the bag, no doubt aware that the proverbial was about to hit the fan started to get very agitated and suddenly a loud squeak from one of the Snots broke the quiet of the chamber. Quick as flash BE was up, axe in hand, and bellowing a terrifying cry, rushed towards Reg. Poor Reg was rooted to the spot in terror. As the ferocious creature bore down on him with axe raised about to cleave poor Reg in two all Reg could do was close his eyes and thrust both his arms out in front of him, one clutching the bag of Snots, the other the tin of Auntie Mabel's.

The fatal blow, never fell. Reg opened one eye and before him stood the beast, axe lowered and looking slightly stupefied.

"Moo", whispered the creature and gently took the offerings from Reg and trudged back to his boulder.

The rest was easy. Reg could not believe his luck when BE explained in Pidgin Common (Reg didn't speak Minotaur) that he was tired of being stuck in this dark hole and wanted to get out and see the world. The only reason he had really stayed was the regular supply of victims, sorry, adventurers who came to the cavern in search of the non-existent treasure. Reg was quick to tempt BE with the prospects of lots of travel round the Old World, nice, dry cavern to sleep in every night, as much Spicy Snots as BE could eat and still enjoy the prospect of smashing skulls on a regular basis, although Reg had to point out to BE that he couldn't take his axe on to the Blood Bowl pitch as using weapons in Blood Bowl, was of course against the rules.

BE was not put off by this one drawback and applying his hoof-print to the contract that Reg produced from his pocket, the pair wandered out of the cavern and back to the Culumities' training ground.

That season, the Culumities turned round their 0-4 losing start to the Season and finished 12-4 winners of their Divisional League. BE was top casualty scorer with 15 kills and 27 knock-outs during the regular Season. In the play-offs the Culumities won through to the final of the Blood Bowl where they ran out 3-0 winners against their former nemesis, the Rat Skinkies. with BE getting another 2 kills and  4 KO's. BE was voted Player of the Year by the fans of Spike Magazine, an honour he held for the next 4 years before finally relinquishing his title and unfortunately his Blood Bowl career in a fatal encounter with Morg N'Thorg.

Reg? Well he got his retirement and is now the proud owner of several take-away outlets specialising in Spicy Snotling delicacies.

Much as I like the Games Workshop Minotaur figure, I was not overly enamoured with the price. So being the cheapskate that I am, I was looking for a cheaper alternative to provide Minotaur mayhem to the Chaos Blood Bowl team that I seem to be taking an age to paint up. Other companies, such as Impact Miniatures also do Minotaur fantasy football figures but again I was not keen to pay full price as I wasn't convinced I would use the Chaos team that much.

I then remembered that Warhammer Quest had plastic Minotaur figures. For those of you Dear Readers not in the know, Warhammer Quest was one of GW's most popular boxed sets, a sort of cross between role-playing and board game and long, long time out of print. The pose, as seen in the first couple pictures above, was fairly generic and with a quick couple of clips with the clipper the weapon could be disposed of (because in Blood Bowl it's illegal to use weapons) and a couple of spare spiky bits from a Ork 40k box set would add a wee bit of decoration to the figure. Now, I do have a set of Warhammer Quest but there was no way I was going to hack up one of the figures from my set given that it is my pension fund but I was lucky enough to find someone selling the figure on Ebay which I duly purchased for £0.50 plus £1 postage. Result!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Loss of the Hood

Phil of The Wargaming Site has put up a post about wargaming bugbears. In this particular post he talks about that nightmare for all wargamers - the dropped figures.

I've dropped and broken a few figures in my time, each time was like a knife being stabbed into my entrails as I would survey the broken ruin of the figure that I had spent so long painting. I have, though, been spared (touch wood here) a major catastrophe such as those who have commented on Phil's blog about this topic.

It did, however, make me recall the day, many, many, moons ago of the one and only time I built the Airfix model of that pride of the Royal Navy, HMS Hood.

I had got the 1/600 scale model for my 15th birthday in [censored] . Up until that point I had only built 1/72nd scale planes and tanks, so this was a considerably larger model than I was used to and to be honest I didn't fancy the challenge.

So it stayed in it's box.

Then I got chickenpox.

(sorry unintentional rhyming couplet there).

Great! 2 weeks off school! However, these were the days before personal computers and day time tv and after the initial couple of days feeling pretty rough and stuck in bed, it soon became pretty boring sitting about the house with nowt to do.

So, out came the Hood. All the bits were carefully cut off from the sprue. I did lots of dry runs making sure the parts all fitted together and used my best paintbrush to try and pick out all the little details on the pom pom guns and so on.

I didn't rush it, I wanted to take my time and do a really good job and produce a model to be proud of.

Finally, the ship got it's final touch up of paint. In those days I was using Airfix and Humbrol enamels and as anyone old enough to remember those, they were a bit smelly and took ages to dry. So, in order to help the drying process I would put the masterpiece into a shelved larder in the kitchen, out of reach of annoying siblings. And so I did so again knowing that in a few hours the ship would be ready to take pride of place in my bedroom.

In those days, my mum was a member of the local WRI (that's Women's Rural Institute for my foreign readers). This was/is some sort of club for ladies of a certain maturity to go and entertain each other with their feats of Home Baking, Jam Making and so on. Actually, it was pretty serious business and to take home first prize for the annual pickling competition was a highly regarded honour.

On this particular occasion, my mum was trying her hand at making home made Ginger Beer.

I've never liked Ginger Beer. It stems from one New Year when I was about 5 and I had sneaked a swig out of my auntie's bottle of Ginger Beer that she had left sitting on the kitchen table. Unfortunately for me (remember I was 5) it was not Ginger Beer in the bottle but neat Vodka. I remember running to the sink in the bathroom and swallowing gallons of water trying to put out the fire that was burning in my mouth. Since that day I have avoided Ginger Beer like the plague (although strangely, enough I don't mind Vodka now).

Anyway, mum's Ginger Beer concoction had not long been made and she had spent the morning bottling up some of the brew. Apparently, it had to sit for some time in the bottle to let the fermentation process complete or some excuse like that but anyway she put the bottles of the offending brew in the same larder that my pride and joy, the Hood, was sitting in.

A couple of hours later, there was this almighty bang.

Initially we thought it was the sound of a car back firing on the street, but a quick glance out of the window and there was nothing to be seen. What could it have been? A few minutes later, I heard my name being shouted from the kitchen and so I wandered through wondering what on earth I was going to be accused of.

My mum had the door of the larder open. To be fair she looked a wee bit guilty, although it took me a few seconds to realise why. Inside the larder, a horrible sticky goo was covering it's walls, the back of the door and the contents. One of the bottles of ginger beer was no more - the bang had been this bottle exploding, no doubt as a result of the vile stuff inside going into fermentation overdrive and had vomited it's contents all over the inside of the larder covering everything

Including the Hood.

My work of art, that I had spent days slaving over was covered from bow to stern in this yellowey, sticky, foul smelling plasma.

"You could try washing it off?" advised my mum, sheepishly.

I took the model, turned around and dropped it in the kitchen bin.

I really hate Ginger Beer.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Short Lived Return of Snorri Borrison - The Sequel

Hollywood has this habit of re-doing films from yesteryear and trying to make them better/ more interesting/ exciting etc for today's audience. This "re-booting" of films sometimes works for the better - Star Trek springs to mind, sometimes they don't - "The Hulk" anyone? And some we have yet to see, for example, Spiderman, although the fact that the re-boot will not have Kirsten Dunst in it is an immediate fail as far as I'm concerned.

Sorry, slight pause while I wipe the drool of the keyboard following that Kirsten Dunst moment.......

So after the travesty that was last week's game with Alan as reported in "The Short Lived Return of Snorri Borrison" as it had taken longer to set the game up than it did to play it we agreed that we would re-boot and this time hopefully make a better/ more interesting/ exciting etc game of it.

Re-booted and ready to go

This time, however, Snorri is ringed in steel by his loyal and ready to die for their Lord, bodyguards. No fancy charging the Warlord this time Alan!

The scenario, lest ye forget was for the Vikings to capture all of the buildings in the Anglo-Danish village (if you can regard 3 buildings as a village, but hey we didn't write the scenario) within 6 turns and avoid losing their Warlord.

The problem for the Vikings in this new game, however, was the fact that the Anglo-Danish Warlord, Harold Two-Bellies, was a bit miffed at missing out in the action in the first game. Alas, he was about to more than make up for it......

Although perhaps someone should have told him his axe is upside down

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Vikings opening moves were similar to the first game (with the one obvious exception that I was keeping Snorri well out of harm's way)

The Viking Bondi on the right flank once again attempt their outflanking advance

The Viking Bondi on the left flank rush off their hill and head for the Church

The Viking Levy once more prepare to fire their weapons

Snorri, making sure that everyone else is in front of him

Alan, realising that he wouldn't be able to repeat his underhand and slightly gamey manoeuvre of the last game decided to use one of my tactics that I have been using when playing with the Welsh boyos. He runs forward with his Javelin armed Levy and starts chucking their javelins at my poor defenceless Levy

Once there were 12

Now there are 7!!  5 hits suffered from the Javelin throwing pastry munchers!!

On Alan's right flank, his Huscarls, now denied the opportunity to repeat their low down trick from the first game turn their attention to the Viking Bondi that have descended from the hill.

Alan should have received a penalty from his "to hit" roll for leaving his battle board intruding on the photograph. As it was the Bondi died to a man from the onslaught, although they did dispatch a couple of Huscarls before they set forth to Valhalla.

The Viking Berserkers about to avenge their fallen comrades.

Snorri, slightly rattled at the loss of the Bondi, decides to head towards the Anglo Levy as a more fitting target for his martial skills

On the Viking right flank, the Bondi continue their inexorable advance towards the nearest building.

While in the meantime my final unit of Bondi continue to lurk in the forest

The Bondi hack their way through the flimsy Anglo-Danish dwelling house and claim it for the glory of their Lord Snorri. Unfortunately, nearby was a unit of Anglo Huscarls and although the first assault of the Huscarls was beaten off

The Pastries would not be denied next turn and claimed the hut back for Two-Bellies. Two-Bellies, in the meantime had slaughtered the last of the Viking levy and now started barking orders at his own levy to meet the advance of his foe, Snorri. With a blood curdling cry, Snorri's bodyguard rushed forward to teach the impudent peasants the meaning of warfare

For a moment it looked like the Levy would buckle from the furious onslaught. However, the timely intervention of Two-Bellies steadied their frayed nerves

For a man with his waistline, he fair gets about the battlefield and soon puts the Vikings to the sword.

Finally, the Viking Bondi in the forest break from their cover to charge Two-Bellies and his peasants.
"Go Bondi! Go!"

The Bondi came

The Bondi went

By this time it was turn 5, only 2 turns left and the Viking war host comprised, Snorri, 2 Berserkers and 2 Bondi and only one building cleared of pastries and that was the Church. The other 2 buildings were occupied with cowering Anglos but were too far away for me to reach in time. Accordingly, the only way that some honour could be gained was to take out Two-Bellies. First the Berserkers. They get to roll 4 dice each because, well, they are berserk.

Surely there would be 2 hits scored from this frenzied attack?

Eh no!

So now Snorri, having survived all game through his natural wits and intellect decided now was the time to abandon all caution and charge the blubber mountain

"Yield, or my dog will bite you!"

But the two Titans simply bounced off each other. And the dog decides he's seen enough

Then Two-Bellies summons his last remaining peasant to his aid and rumbles back into contact with Snorri. Surely a rash move?

A De-ja vu moment for Snorri.

Two-Bellies then hunts down the last remaining prey, who will not be cowed by the thunder of his approach  and will meet him in combat

"For the memory of Snorri!"

The Bondi rolled their dice......

Yup that just about sums it up.

And Two-Bellies finishes them off, just in time for tea.

So no glorious re-boot for Snorri.

We didn't realise it at the time but the fight for the building on the Viking right flank was the key combat. If I could have hung on there then I would have had more options to close in on the building in the centre of the village. But alas, it was not to be, so hats off to Alan for winning.

I think I will need to play a few more times with the Vikings to get the hang of them and the different activations on their battle board, but I think we are giving Saga a miss next time, cos hopefully there's going to be some Blood Bowl!!!!!