It's been a long while since the story section last had any attention. A while back, I gave up on the idea of ever finishing my Star Wars stories, so instead have typed out a rough outline as to what may have happened during the rest of the saga. I've also expanded the names & characters section with images where possible.
Did some work behind the scenes of the game blog page so that the game filters now work much better.
A couple of months back I found loads of old notes about all the old Epic Space Marine games we played, starting from back when I was in high school. I thought it would be a good idea to type them all up as best I could, and upload them all. While I was at it, I also converted the Epic-S and 40K battle reports from their PDF state to HTML, and they can be found on the Warhammer 40K page.
This is where you can read any of my irregular wafflings about tabletop gaming.
I can't believe it's taken us 29 months to play 15 games of Blood Bowl, but finally our latest league is finished. Phew. To begin with it was a really hard league for me, but it started to turn around near the end, and I won 3 of my last 4 games, including leading the dwarf team The Grog Guzzlers to the title in the deciding, last match of the league. I'd have preferred to have done better with the Crocoviles, who were my dedicated team in that competition, but I guess third isn't bad after how I started.
To read about all the drama, the pdf is fully updated.
As far as Blood Bowl games going forward, there really doesn't seem to be much desire to play it in my little group right now, so it's unlikely there'll be more games any time soon. Though that might give me the chance to try something I've wanted to do for a while, which is something I'm calling the Blood Bowl ERL, or Experimental Rules League. In this, I just want to try different house rules to see if I can speed up the game and balance the teams a bit better. I'd also like the game to not punish bad dice rolls so much, but instead punish bad play. Because lets face it, if Nuffle is not on your side, there's nothing you can do in that game no matter how good you play, and that's just stupid.
I've already got a whole page of ideas that I want to try, if I can ever get around to it.
Moving on, for the past couple of weeks I've put in quite a bit of work on my Super Dungeon rules, after I finally found a copy of 1st edition on ebay and got really motivated again. I'm now on the 5th version of my rules, and most of the changes for this one are in an effort to make the game even faster. The main change is that I've thrown out buffs and debuffs, so their counters are no longer needed, and there are less things to remember. The changes have definitely made it faster and easier, and I feel at last like I'm on the right track.
Of course, if I get these working I'll have to make a full, advanced rule set which adds all these things back in, for when we want to punish ourselves with a much longer game.
In regards to the 1st edition version of the game, I'm actually quite disappointed in a lot of the models. The sculpts are just not as good as those from the Forgotten King set. I don't know how clear it is in the picture here, but the 1st edition model (left) does not have the clear details of the F.K. model, and is also covered in more mold lines.
Still, I really like the boards, even though they're not the same size, as there's just less junk on them to have to move and fight around.
For my playtesting, I've put together some simple wooden counters, in grey and green, for use as terrain. The game doesn't really need them, but sometimes it's easy to miss symbols on the board (especially on games nights when drink is involved) and these just make it easier to see things the heroes are supposed to move around.
My efforts at creating my own Super Dungeon Explore rules have continued on and off over the last six months, and over Christmas I managed some good game time to iron out more of the wrinkles. In fact, the game I played yesterday seemed to work absolutely fine, with the one huge problem that it still takes way too long.
The entire point of me making these rules is to try and make the game simpler and faster, so it seems there's still some development work to do in terms of streamlining. I didn't really want to pull out too many things from the original rule set as it will make the loot cards more difficult to use. But I guess that's what it's going to take.
Oh well. Soldier on I shall.
The Blood Bowl season 6 document hadn't been updated since October 2016, so I've also done that. There's only been 6 games since then, but we're now only 2 games from finishing our little league, which we are hoping to get around to as soon as possible. We were hoping to play more games over Christmas like we did last year, but it was not to be.
Due to us failing in our efforts to get more games in, my painting motivation has also waned. I've barely touched my skaven team since last April, other than a few base colours and finishing one of the storm vermin to see what the final colour scheme will look like.
After a really slow 2017, with just one blog entry, I want to be much more active on the tabletop going forward. In addition to getting Super Dungeon Explore and the Blood Bowl league done, there's a whole host of things to get back into. For example, 40K 8th edition came out last June, and we've been wanting to try it, but haven't managed yet. Also, I'm going to go back to my Epic-S rules after not touching them for the better part of a decade. They were working quite well back then, and I've thought of a few tweaks that will help them out some more. It will mean typing out the whole ruleset again as I no longer have the software I used to use, but it should be worth it, even if we only get a handful of good games out of it. I just wanna see the little guys on the battlefield again.
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
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...
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