This is where you can read any of my irregular wafflings about tabletop gaming.
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23rd April 2017 - Bowling 'Em Over
Compared to this time last year, there's barely been any gaming going on, which is unfortunate. The only real movement has been on the Blood Bowl front, where we continue to slowly push on with our little league.
We managed to squeeze in three games over Christmas, during which my performances got a bit better. First, my lizards put up a good fight against the top-of-the-league dwarves, who also had a deathroller for the first time, but still went down 1-0. Then I won with the lizards for the first time against Gareth's orcs which was another close 1-0 game. The touchdown came after a couple of turns of crazy errors which saw players from both sides falling over after failing go for it rolls. Then I used the human team against Scooby's wood elves, and after going 2-0 down managed to pull it back to 2-2.
In the most recent game I used amazons once again, against the wood elves. Scoob needed to win to keep pressure on the dwarves at the top, while my lizards had a chance to scrape second if the amazons could pull off a shock win. Alas, it was not to be. Though I think the amazons had the best of the play for the first time in any of their games, two bits of quick and agile play saw the elves win 2-0. Once again, the 'zons just didn't have anything to punch through a defensive line, not even an elf one. They're probably not going to get used much ever again after this league is over.
Speaking of the amazons, finally got them finished recently. Not a fan of painting white, as I couldn't get it right at all. But happy they are done.
I'm pretty sure I've not varnished any models at all since before I finished my Khorne epic army all the way back in 2009. As we're using the Blood Bowl models kind-of regularly, I got all my painted players out to give them a once over. I'll have to get around to spraying all the epic and 40K models I've finished in the last 8 years at some other time...
And my latest brush-based action has been to get my skaven team out and begin working on them. They've not been used in any games at all yet, but I've been hesitant as their mostly-converted nature makes it a little hard to pick out the positionals. A little paint will help tell who's who, and they can get on the field at last.
Working on the amazons
Some wild skaven appear
15th November 2016 - A Little Momentum
So a few more things have happened in the land of the tabletop. Firstly, I managed to finish updating the Blood Bowl human team, and the big guys for the chaos and human teams. Then I based them along with the dark elf team, so a full 6 teams are now complete.
The Blood Bowl season 6 document has also been updated with the games we've played this year. We're nearly half way through the 6-team league we've been running, and it's not gone too well for me so far. At the start of the league me and Scoob decided to use teams we wouldn't normally use, with him taking up the wood elves, while I started with lizardmen for the first time ever. Joining us for this league has been new player Gareth, who put together a new team of his trusty orcs.
The other three "filler" teams in the league are my dwarf, human and amazon teams. The amazons are another brand new team, who I've ended up using in each of their games so far. In my 5 games with these two new teams, I've lost 3 and drawn 2, and it doesn't look like its going to get any better, as the other teams are all improving.
The only game I've won yet is when I got to use the dwarves. For the lizardmen I made a massive mistake going for the extra re-roll rather than filling up on saurus players, and I've paid for that lack of strength, as I haven't managed to get through a game without at least one saurus player getting seriously injured. While I don't think I made any mistakes with the amazon starting lineup, I find them very difficult to use. They have no offensive skill at all. It's all well and good having dodge, but that doesn't help you block and put down the enemy, and neither does their lack of strength. While dodge can make them harder to knock down, their armour is useless when they do go down. In just three games they've had 15 casualties against them, and are without doubt the most useless team I've ever used in over 20 years of playing the game. Shame.
I seriously can't wait for this league to be over, so I can get back to my beloved Stompers and Rotting Chimps, and start bashing my way to victory again. After all, I used to have a fairly good record at Blood Bowl. Not any more...
Blood Bowl Season 6 Document
A lot of time these last few weeks has been spent working on my own Super Dungeon Explore rules. I managed to get the rules to a place where I could print them off and start having some real playtests with them, which has thrown up more interesting challenges in terms of balance and how I want the game to play.
I also went a bit mad and bought loads more stuff for it, after managing to find a great many things quite cheap online. These have included the old Caverns Of Roxor expansion, which was for the very first edition of S.D.E., as well as Von Drakk Manor and the Claws Of The Wyrm warband. I've even created and printed some treasure cards for the Roxor boss, as those old cards don't fit with the new ones.
I'm making some progress, but I'd need a very strong pair of binoculars to see the end of the road for this little task...
Painting big guys and humies
Buying more S.D.E. stuff
Some playtest rules appear
7th October 2016 - General Update
It's about time this here page got a new blog update, as despite its lack of activity this has been one the biggest gaming years of my life so far. However, rather than the wargames we have traditionally played in the past, this year's gaming has all been of the board game variety. A while back this led to me changing this section of the site from wargames to tabletop games, to encompass everything.
It was way back at the start of the year when this sudden urge to play a bunch of games kicked in, and since then we've had a whole bunch of games nights during which we have tried a whole bunch of games.
Up first was Pandemic, a co-op game where you have to save the world from a host of diseases. We really like this one, but as it only really works for 3-4 players we don't get to play it often, as there are too many of us on games nights. I've had a few quick looks at writing a modified rule set that allows for lots of players, but as yet nothing has clicked into place.
After that we tried two games that I got interested in after watching the Co-Optional Lounge, being Epic Spell Wars and Secret Hitler. Epic Spell Wars didn't really grab the attention of anyone in our group, but Secret Hitler has been a staple game pretty much all year. There's just something fun (and wrong) about trying to figure out who the fascists and their leader are, so they can be shot as soon as possible.
I bought Super Dungeon Explore back in January when it was on sale at Amazon for the rediculously low price of £25. I was looking forward to trying a dungeon crawler after Warhammer Quest didn't stick. Though it gets really good reviews, and I really like the visual style of it, we haven't played it after the first attempt. The game took way too long, and as it only supports a few players it's been really hard to fit it in anywhere. As with Pandemic, I've been working on a new co-operative ruleset so a whole bunch of people can play it at a faster pace. I have high hopes for this game, but it all depends on if I can get the rules working. If so, I want to grab the next version of the game, to give us loads more heroes to choose from.
A strange game called Nuns On The Run was the next one I bought. This game's concept is really interesting, but the execution of it doesn't quite work. It really needs everyone to know what they are doing and to pay full attention, as the hidden movement of the game can make it awkward to help players who aren't sure what they're doing. The game board itself is also really dark, prompting me to work on a digital version of the board, which you can preview below. I'm hoping to make it so that you can click on a location and it shows all the other locations that are in line of sight. My ultimate dream would be to completely remake the game digitally, so that we could play it using laptops, tablets or phones, but I don't think I quite have that skill.
One of our favourite games has been the monster-bashing mayhem that is King Of New York. This supports 6 players (though we've poked at it so that we can play with 8), and involves players picking a giant monster with which to stomp around New York and smack the other monsters in the face.
We've tried a few other games for lots of players, even mixing two versions of Cluedo together so we could play with 10 players, which was crazy. The most recent game we've played is a really old one called Buck Rogers: Battle For The 25th Century, which is kind-of a mix of a board game and a wargame. It's got some good ideas, but it certainly has the feel of an old game. We have not yet tried the advanced rules though, which might spice it up a bit.
Epic Spell Wars shenanigans
Playtesting new S.D.E. rules
Digital board for Nuns On The Run
Kings Of New York mayhem
Trying to take over the Solar System in Buck Rogers
A few things have also happened concerning our more traditional wargames. I stopped painting my Nids after the "Six-Limbed Freaks" update last year, which I really need to get back to. But I did almost finish the Carnifex below before calling it quits. In recent months I've been convinced to pick up the brush once more, as in March we started playing Blood Bowl again. Though our last game was in June, I've somehow managed to continue my sporadic efforts, and I finally finished my Dark Elf team yesterday. Next plans are to update the humans, paint their ogre, then paint the Chaos minotaur. That will give me 6 fully painted teams. Seeing as I started playing Blood Bowl in 1994, this means my other 4 teams should be fully painted by some time in 2030...
Must be a Man Utd fan, poor thing
Trying to get some wicked ladies ready for action
10th March 2016 - Can We Stomp Yet?
A few years back we were really into playing Blood Bowl, enough so that I even made my own board to play on called The Stompin' Ground. All these years have passed and that board has never even been used, as I was always really unhappy with it.
After three years away from the game, new interest has been forming, and preparations are now complete for the continuation of season 6. So that we do not have to use my old original Blood Bowl board, I have finally gone back to the Stompin' Ground to make it usable at last.
Firstly, I had to do something about the crappy and almost sandpaper-esque grass mat that I had used previously. Slapping a nice thick coat of static grass over the top of it has taken away its roughness. I'm not so scared about using painted minis on it any more.
After that, the grid needed re-painting, as it was really hard to see. I think I found the exact locations of most of the crosses, but I guessed for some of the more hidden ones, and they are probably slightly out of place. But never mind. It's still a lot better than it was.
I also had to remake the scoreboard areas, as a lot of the paint and glue had peeled off, making it look very untidy. I've contructed the new ones in a different way to minimize that problem in the future.
It's not that great, but I'm happy to use it at last. Hopefully, the little 6-team league we've arranged will begin soon, and some stompin' will finally happen on the Stompin' Ground.
Painting the new grid
The new scoreboard
Let the games begin
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