Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Unicorns - a little something to tickle your fancy

I had a fantastic bit of input from James Tiffin over night. Your going to love this. He has very thoughtfully considered some background music for the the new Pro Elf team.

Its not at all what you expect - so knock yourselves out. I give you the Unicorns

We had a hobby day on Sunday, a bit of painting and a small bit of play. I gave the Celestial Unicorns their first run out versus Nurgle. We just played a game of 'golden touchdown'. First touchdown wins.

I received and played a refused flank. I had learned my lessons from the last outing of the Skaven v's Dark Elves. I picked up the ball and kept the Thrower well back. No cage this time. I Blocked to create a gap at the LOS and then Blitzed to create a gap in the secondary and then pushed my Catchers through. Not far enough though!

I wanted to get beyond the slow moving Nurgle LOS. I succeeded but was too narrow and as such allowed myself to be swamped.

In future I think that I will give a little more thought to achieving some spread and splitting the Catchers even if I have to GFI a couple of times.

I still can't Dodge to save my life! I thought that the AG4 was going to help with this but not really and without the dodge skill you just burn up Rerolls.

Even so I should have scored but in my excitement I moved my Thrower before releasing the Catcher. Stupid of me. This is the second time I have committed this particular mortal sin! I think the lesson has been well and truly learned.

The Thrower was left exposed and duly mobbed. Well done to the Dark Templar. It was a great day.

On the painting side I learned the art of multiple thin coats of paint using a wet pallet. I have never used that before and the results are impressive. Definitely more Elvish as the colours blend better. Lots to practice.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

The Unicorns are here

Well having described the new team very accurately last week the Dark Templar has outdone himself with a logo that just captures the very essence of the pro Elves. I give you: -

It is just soooo 'goody two shoes' that it hurts! A prancing unicorn something for me to live up to! I better score some touchdowns in the first couple of games so that I can get that SPP count rolling.

I have been adding detail to the Elves who all now have eyes and I am working my through the gem stones. They have many more than I remember.

There is a lot of detail to the models once you get up close. My painting style has always been more Orc'ish than Elv'ish. I lack the finesse required to blend shades etc.

We have a Hobby Day planned for this Sunday so I may just learn a few new 'tricks of the trade'. Should be fun and I am looking forward to it.

Friday, 7 March 2014


The number of page views has been advancing steadily and yesterday we hit the landmark number of 10,000.

To celebrate I give you this bevy of beauties that I discovered in my search for a Blood Bowl referee.

I was lucky enough to log on and see the moment that the 10,000 threshold was reached.

Cheers and thanks for all the page views :-)

Thursday, 6 March 2014

New Blood Bowl Team

In the middle of April our mini league will be joined by a third player Mr Michael Awdrey. He will be a welcome addition indeed. I believe that he intends to try out a team of Lizardmen. I have done a little reading and look like a fairly decent choice. There are Skinks, very agile, fast, dodging types with AV7. Then there are Saurus, strong ST4 & tough but no starting skills like Block (that could be interesting) and then a Kroxigor who looks to be be a real power house but with the Bone Head downside. On a roll of a D6 - 1 = stands around doing nothing. I think this is a good team choice for a new player. There is a good strong spine to the team and then you have the speedy Skinks. No need to worry about Throwing & Catching just yet. The KISS principle will apply - Keep It Simple Stupid. Knock things down let the Stunty Skinks pick up the pieces.

As a result myself and the Dark Templar also intend to start a new team. This will mean that the teams are starting out at similar levels so it should even things up a bit.

Nurgle is the team that the Dark Templar is going for. They look like a very 'different' type of team with a good mix of possibilities. Disturbing Presence is a concern as it reduces D6 rolling for Throws, Catches and Intercepts by 1 and you only have to be within 3 squares for it to apply. Where as Foul Appearance means you have to roll 2+ in order to throw a block. They have a Beast of Nurgle, an unpredictable monster but slow with MA4. They also have strength 4, AV9, Nurgle Warriors but they are also slow at MA4. They are also high cost at 110,000 each. Well rounded Pestigors with MA6. Then finally Rottors who are similar to the Pestigors but do not have Regeneration.

These two teams are quite hard hitting and I think the Skinks will be amazing. I loved playing the Stunty Goblin in my Orc team. He was a star so I think that they will cause a bit of chaos.

I have a choice of 3 teams, where I already own models.

Option 1 - Dwarfs - I love them, but so slooooow.

Option 2 - Elves - Very tempted - AG4 - improves all dodging, passing, catching and there are some good starting skills too.

Option 3 - Amazons - Very tempted - I love the models. They are AG3 and very Dodge oriented. Emmm - now that sounds familiar and  I have not exactly been having a positive experience with that combination. The models do need some more paint and that would be fun.

The Decision

I am thinking that the Elves are very different to the Orcs and Skaven that I have already played so I plan to give them a go. Thinking of a name - the Celestial Unicorns kind of captures the spirit. All that prancing about, leaping through the air and tossing the ball around and thinking that they are god like creatures totally up their own **** - I never did like the Eldar and sometimes it just shows ;-)

They are very interesting indeed having both Throwers and Catchers as well as Blitzers. But the models are costly.


I am used to having 2 Blitzers, this being similar to the Skaven. I feel sure that they will be a vital component. Their stats are MA7, ST3, AG4, AV8. They are 110,000gp each and come with Block and Side Step. Side Step is new to me. Basically if a model with this skill is 'pushed back' the team coach chooses which square the model is moved to and it can be any adjacent square - not just the 3 behind him. That will be interesting and make them more survivable.

I can only take 2 of them. I reckon they are a 'must have' and plan to take both in the starting roster.


Stats of MA6, ST3, AG4, AV7. They also come with Pass. This is very similar to the Skaven but he has a better AG by one point. This makes him better at picking the ball up and throwing.

I can take 2 of them costing 70,000gp each. I think I will start with 1.


These are new to me and man they should be awesome. Stats of MA8, ST3, AG4, AV7 and they come with Catch and Nerves of steel. The MA of 8 makes them vey quick and the AG4 will help them to Dodge about and Catch the ball. Catch gives them the ability to reroll failed Catches. Nerves of Steel means that they ignore the opponents tackle zone modifiers when Passing, Catching or Intercepting. Now that is cool!! It means that I can move my Thrower up as close as possible - Throw to my Catcher (no matter how well marked he is) who can Catch with no negative modifiers, and then run up to 8 squares with the option to GFI twice more. I basically need to keep a Catcher within 8 of the end zone at all times to give me a quick score option.

I can take up to 4 of them in the team and they cost 100,000gp each. I really want all 4 because I know how important it is to start gathering SPP's as early as possible. There just won't be enough money for that though. I want at least 3 rerolls and they cost 50,000gp each. I think I will have to settle for taking 2 Catchers at the start.

That means that the starting roster would look like this:-

My top priority after this would be to get the Apothecary first and then the other two Catchers. That will be a lot of cash! I think I would also be expecting to lose a player or two to injuries what with having such a low AV.

I have selected suitable models and commenced work upgrading the very basic job that I had done previously. I started by applying a wash to everything and that took the flatness out of them. A lot to do to get them looking good - but looking forward to that.

Any thoughts?

I know that the Elves will receive a bit of a pounding and it is likely to be difficult in the beginning when I have limited numbers but they should be completely different to any team that we have played so far.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

My own sweet Fezglitch

When looking at the game 3 options for inducements I gave a lot of consideration to taking the maniac that is the Skaven Star Player - Fezglitch. Complete chaos in a single drive for 100,000gp.

Sense prevailed however and in the morning I did not take him.

However on the evening before I wanted to make sure that I had a model in place if needed so I paid a visit to the bits box.

I found an old chaos bit of chain attached to a skull. I glued a plastic marine head to the end of it and then covered in a very thin layer of green stuff before attaching it to some plastic rod that was on a tank sprue and hey presto I had something to represent the man himself.

But surely he has to have a 'fez'!

That famous' Tommy Cooper' hat. I am going to give it a try with some green stuff and lets see how it goes.

He he ...

Its the little things in life that makes the difference :-)

Skilling up a Gutter Runner - part 2

Well after game one we had lots of discussion about Skilling up a Gutter Runner

Following game 3 three I am now in a position to implement some of the advice received.

Defensive Gutter Runner
As you can see - Gutter Runner number 1 Plagueric Carbunkle has made great strides and now stands on 17 SPP's. I had given him Block, which served great in game 2, and am proposing to add Tackle for the second skill

This means that other players are not allowed to use their dodge skill when in his tackle zones. This also applies to Block dice 'Defender Stumbles'.

Plagueric is really starting to stand out and this will help to maintain his progress. He should be a menace from now on especially tying up the ball carrier or potential receiver. Dodge and Block to keep him on his feet and Tackle to prevent those agile types from using Dodge to get away.

Blitzing Gutter Runner

Treek Throttle blitzed the Dark Elf, Heartrender and killed him outright. It seems only fitting that he becomes the first Blitzing Gutter Runner build. His 6 SPP's have given him his first skill and I am thinking of 'Wrestle'. This will be to aid him in making Blocks.

Wrestle means that if 'Both Down' is the result of a block, both players are placed 'prone' (even if one has the Block skill) and it does not cause a turnover unless the active player has the ball.

The aim will be to combine this with a 'Strip Ball' skill. This will mean that even if the opposing player is not knocked down a roll 'Pushed' or 'Defender Stumbles' will strip the ball.

The result is that anything other than a 'Skull' would strip the ball. Now that is a potent combination!


What is interesting is that now I have 3 players with skills I am starting to feel that 1 apothecary is not a lot of saves!


We had been playing the Apothecary incorrectly - having had the feedback we did a reroll. I got my Lineman back and Heartrender is miraculously returned, with a broken ankle.

As such I have spent my money on another Thrower taking my numbers to 13. Its where I wanted to be.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Dead (well broken as it turns out) but not forgotten

It seems such a shame. The Dark Elf Darkblades blitzer, 'Heartrender' has departed this life. The Dark Templar had gone to such trouble to represent his increased AG by bringing in a special plastic model to make him distinctive and then cutting out a suitable heart shape and mounting it proudly on his chest.

A real stand out thought. I would be a shame for all that hard work to leave the league ;-)

So the 'life taker', skaven Gutter Runner number 4, Mr Treek Throttle ripped that heart shaped symbol for the chest of his victim and is now proudly displaying it as am emblem of his outstanding blood bowl skill.

Here he is in all his glory on the practice ground this morning.

Can you tell? Its almost like there is a life force emanating from that heart. The spirit and agility of the dark elf, Heartrender lives on in the in the most fast moving of Blood Bowl players - Gutter Runner, Treek Throttle. Well named for his ability to 'throttle' the opposition and the 'full throttle' speed that got him to Heartrender in the first place - 9MA and 2 GFI's to give 10 movement and a successful Blitz action!


After a reroll of the Apothecary (we had been doing it wrong) Heartrender is returned to life, but with a smashed up ankle. I'm keeping the heart though - lol.

Learning the lessons of a Skaven defeat

This weekend saw a rematch between my Rats and the Dark Elves. The Dark Templar has done an excellent match report so I won't duplicate his excellent work. In essence I lost the game 1:2 - but why? What was the learning?

Well first off the Dark Elves played some different, and as it turned out, very effective tactics that forced me to use my Dodge skill much more than previously. From the get go he played an all out zonal defence using two lines of players to cover the board with two sets of tackle zones.

This was to defeat my previous tactics of opening two holes in his single defensive line and then pouring through with my speedy Gutter Runners causing chaos in the back field and scoring quickly. One hole centrally using Block and then a second on one of the wings using a Blitz.

However, I still should have been able to achieve my goal by opening a hole in the first line using Block and then saving my Blitz to open a hole in the second line directly behind the first. In order to do this I would play a refused flank which would bunch up my Gutter Runners to take full advantage of this tube like hole. They should still be able to pour though and fan out maybe using a 'Go For It' or two at the end of my turn to squeeze the extra bit of distance  out of the turn. This would pull back his defence, create some space and allow me to advance the ball.

So what went wrong?

In truth I messed up. I set myself up perfectly, concentrating to the right hand side of the line of scrimmage which is where I intended to make my breech. Placement of my Blitzers and Gutter Runners was the vital component. I counted out the squares needed in my head and I was ready. Then distraction.... I noticed that I did not have full coverage of tackle zones to the left and I thought about the Kick Off table..... what if he got the jump on me? He could flood through into the back field...... So just before the start I shifted my guys slightly to the left and in so doing moved my blasted Blitzer out of range for his vital move. IDIOT!! I shouted at myself (in my head) once I realised my error early in the first turn.

Now instead of a hole I had created a small bulge to the right hand side. Not my plan and was forced into a defensive 'cage' until I could rectify the situation.

And forced is the wrong word. I was stupid enough to advance the ball and form a cage with the rats which invited trouble. I could have easily hung back and used the Gutter Runners more wisely. Not only this but I moved my claw Blitzer to the side of the pitch. I promised myself never to this. The Skaven only have two Blitzers and it is vital to keep them central to the action if I am going to force the game. I learned this in the second half of the last match.

The Dark Templar brought the pressure, which I was to expect. He started hitting me hard and man marking my Gutter Runners. This is fine normally because I can suck him in close and then dodge out to create the much needed width and fluidity to my turn.

However not on this occasion. Over 3 turns I failed 6 consecutive dodge rolls (failed dodge followed by failed reroll) causing turnovers in the process. There was a limited amount of movement and Blocking in between, but limited is the right word. This allowed the Dark Elves to get really close and stay close and pummel me. Ouch, ouch and treble ouch. I started to lose players to the sidelines with high dice rolling by the Dark Elves. My dugout was filling up fast. I had only started with 11 players so this was going to be both a short and medium term problem.

At the beginning it was funny as I loaded up the new orderlies stretcher. It became less funny which each occasion!

I lost both Blitzers, the guy with the claw was my own poor placement. He got bundled into the crowd with some shrewd push blocking! One of my Linemen DIED! and I lost more to the KO'd box.

Any kind of recovery from this position would require a minor miracle and to be fair in the second half I nearly pulled that off with some extreme tactics and very lucky dice rolling which is alway spectacular.

Six to Throw followed six to Catch for my touchdown wan't bad! (but not to be relied on)


1. Make a plan and then focus on its implementation. Beware the distracting thoughts.

2. Reduce the need for dice rolling and where possible give yourself the maximum opportunity for success.

3. Blocking and Blitzing is better than Dodging. Bringing up a Lineman or two and Blitz your way into space with a Gutter Runner. This may be more guaranteed than Dodging. At least to get one guy free and give width to the game.

4. Position the Blitzers with care and focus them on the action. I was much better at this in the second half. I would Blitz out to the sidelines but then recover to a more central position. This also creates greater threat.

5. Rats need numbers. During a game it is clear that I will need reserves so make sure that there  are at least 13 players in the squad. Otherwise you may find yourself with a very thin defensive line a vital stage in the game.

6. Use the Thrower to pick up the ball - but don't be afraid to handoff to a speedy Gutter Runner. Speed and movement at the back of the field potentially opens up space. Moving left and right stretches the defensive and staying deep can just mean that there is more space downfield. Patient - be patient.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

An unwelcome visitor

Todays game was the most spectacular and eventful clash so far. It was packed full of fun. Tiring in fact. And for the first time both sides had a visitor that no Apothecary could prevent & both tried.

Oh the soul can be chilled when the wrong dice appear.

I lost one of my Linemen. He had 2 SPP's and now he is gone!

But the big news is the departure of the main Dark Elf player. He had the additional point of AG and had been playing incredibly well. Picking up the ball despite multiple tackle zones. He was head and shoulders above everyone else.  Heartrender is DEAD!

He was taken down as he strode out for the end zone. I managed to get one Gutter Runner to him and then called for bold move. Treek Throttle, another Gutter Runner dodged out of one tackle zone, dodged through a second, moved his full MA and was one square away from Heartrender. I passed my 'Go For It' roll and then a second 'Go For It' roll to make the Blitz. It was a single dice Blitz and BAM down went Heartrender.

"I don't believe it" said the Dark Templar, but worse was to follow!

The Dark Templar was fielding this new model for the first time. He had painstakingly cut out a heart symbol and had it on  the chest all painted up.

But it did not save him. I rolled high on the armour roll and eleven on the injury table. 'Take him from the field' was the cry. And then we rolled again ...... and death made his second appearance of the day. There was no saving him. We were stunned. A minutes silence - pray!

More later - but what a day.