Monday 28 January 2013

Ready for Kick Off

I laid out some targets for the year in my last post, and I can now report some progress on the first of them. The Squig-fuelled Stabbers, my goblin Blood Bowl team, are now ready for the start of the club's 2013 Blood Bowl season.
The team photo - take a good look while they're all still standing...
I went for goblins this year because I've used human and chaos teams for as long as I've been playing Blood Bowl (which, now I think about it, is about 20 years now!) and it was high time for a change. With goblins expectations will be low, but I'm hoping to overcome as many opponents as possible with a high silliness factor...

Apparently, both of these count as "cheating" for some reason!
I did consider a starting team of just normal goblins and eight re-rolls, but that limits some of the silly things I can do with secret weapons and trolls. Kieron was kind enough to donate a fanatic, a looney and two trolls, so all of those have made it into the starting team, along with ten normal goblins.

The trolls as they came from Kieron...
The trolls can fling goblins downfield (or at opposing players, heh heh heh), and are the most expensive players available to the team, so I've gone for two to start with since they'd be hard to save up for later. These were already painted when I got them from Kieron, but I wanted to give them blue skin to make them stand out even more from the little guys so they got repainted. I might normally strip them first, but these are pretty old models without much detail and were also varnished, so I decided it would be easier to just paint over the top. Never overestimate the power of laziness.

...and now with my new paint job
The colour scheme is based on that of the Sheffield Sabres, one of the real-life American football teams my brother coaches, although it ocurred to me the other day that it's also the same colour scheme as used by the Gotham Rogues in the Dark Knight Rises. Incidentally, how come there don't seem to be any fans of the Rapid City Monuments in the stadium in that film? Everyone in the crowd is in black and yellow. Anyway.
The original pogoer paint job

So that I have models available to replace the inevitable casualties, I've painted a couple of spare goblins as well as a pogoer and bombardier. I've painted the pogoer before - it belonged to my brother many years ago and I painted it for him then. I think I've managed to improve on it this time round!

The modern paint scheme on the pogoer, next to the bombardier
I realised when I came to paint this team that it's well over a decade since I last painted greenskins - I used to just slap a coat of goblin green on them, cover it (and, more often than not, any nearby soft furnishings) with orc flesh wash and hope for the best. That seems a bit half-hearted now though, so for these models I used the same colours as for my US Armor for Flames of War, but with more of the lighter highlights. It seems to have worked out, if I do say so myself.

Finally then, some numbers. I wanted to paint 22 models for this team - a full 16 goblins, 4 secret weapons and 2 trolls. I still have 4 standard goblins left, and the eagle eyed amongst you may have spotted that the number is missing from the base of the pogoer. So, although I probably won't use all 16 goblins I would like to have one painted and numbered for every position, and while I've got some momentum going I'm going to carry on and get the last few models done. At the moment I've got 17.5 out of 22 done - there'll be some rejoicing when I get that up to the full 22!

This year's losers!

Saturday 19 January 2013

2013's Hobby Resolutions

I said at the end of my last post that I'd set some new targets for 2013. The more astute amongst you will have noticed that almost two weeks have elapsed since then, but I'm claiming that this is actually a good thing, as I've been focused like a laser on getting my goblin Blood Bowl team ready for the start of the club's 2013 Blood Bowl season on the 3rd of February.

Just for you though, I've found some time to get back to blogging, so I thought I'd share with you my plans for the year.

I've decided to make these more measurable than the list for 2012 was - while it's nice to have some aspirational goals in the list, having clear objectives that I can count progress towards is going to be helpful in getting me motivated. It'll also give a handy way of providing a score card in my blog as I achieve things!

This means that I really have only one resolution for 2013: "I will stick to the list". Hopefully people will read this and complain if I wander off the list, to provide even more "motivation". Or "intimidation", as some people call it.

Without further ado, let's have a look at the list of goals then...

1) Get the Squig-fuelled Stabbers ready for the 3rd of February
Pretty simple one, this. The Squig-fuelled Stabbers are my goblin Blood Bowl team, based very loosely on one of my brother's real-life American football teams, the Sheffield Sabres.
This is a pretty good approximation of the team colours, actually

I normally get frustrated during Blood Bowl leagues that my ability to purchase new players is limited by the models I have available, so I've countered that this time by converting enough models to cover every possible combination of players on a gobbo team (not counting the star players, which I never really like using much anyway). That gives me 16 Goblins, 2 trolls, and 4 secret weapons.

2) Play a four player game of Flashbang at the club
Right, I still want to drive forward with Flashbang, a set of rules for small modern actions that I wrote myself. I have an idea for a multiplayer scenarion for this that I'd like to run at the club, so job one will be to work out what I need to get painted for that.

This is a flashbang, you see. Until it detonates. Then you can't see anything.
3) Paint a unit of my 28mm Napoleonics
These are starting to get embarrassing! I have a big stack of Napoleonic British Highlanders that I want to paint but have never worked up the energy for. I'm going to aim to get a single unit done first, so I'll decide which one and how many models that is as a first step.

Mine are unlikely to look quite like this.
4) Paint all my terrain!
I've built up a modest collection of terrain, but most of it is still unpainted (some of it not even assembled) so it's not of any use at all right now. This is the year where that changes! First job is going to be to figure out what I've got and what would be most useful to paint.

Couldn't think of a picture that suggested "unpainted terrain", so here's a photo of some giraffes.
 5) Paint enough Germans to give me two effective Flames of War forces
Or two forces that can sensibly fight each other, in fact. I've always favoured the US for Flames of War, but this means that when I do use my Germans for a game, the lack of painted support options pretty much condemns them to a loss every time. I want to turn that around so I'll work out what I need to paint to give me some options for different German forces.
At the moment, my version of this table would be a bit one-sided.

6) Sort out a force using the Nuts! book for Flames of War
I got Nuts! for Christmas, and I really want to do Easy Company (truth be told I've always thought of my US Airborne as Easy Company anyway). So, I'll work out a force from the new book, and paint up the bits that I don't have ready yet.

Nothing to do with this, of course.

I think that gives me a fair bit to go on. I'm not sure how feasible it is to get it all done in a year yet, as my painting time is much reduced now that I'm a dad and I'm supposed to be all responsible and stuff. Watch this space though, part one of following the list is to work out how many models each of these goals would take, and start keeping a tally. Public accountability, that's the way (to make sure everyone can see that I've failed...)!

Saturday 5 January 2013

Review of 2012

No posts since November, eh? Whoops. I didn't mean to let that happen, but Christmas turned out to be hard work! Hopefully, normal service can now resume.

So let's kick off with the post I wanted to write in December, but obviously didn't. At the start of last year I wrote some hobby resolutions, so I should see how well I managed to keep them before I set some more for this year.

I'll take them one by one and see what happened...

1) I will get Flashbang to "Triples Standard"
Well, that certainly didn't happen. I did do some terrain painting for Flashbang, but then got a bit sidetracked and moved onto other things. I'd still like to do this, but as an intermediate step I have some plans for a multiplayer Flashbang scenario I'd like to get ready for a club night.

2) I will only buy models and books when I need them (or when faced with an offer I can't refuse!)
I think I did fairly well here. Admittedly I came away from Vapnartak and Triples with a few goodies, but I think all of those either fell in the categories of "things I needed" or "offers I couldn't refuse". I went a bit wrong by buying some "not-predators" which I intended to turn into a faction for Flashbang but never actually did anything with.
To be fair though, what with the house move and baby and everything, I didn't really get much chance to make any truly foolish purchases. I'm going to try to stay sensible this year, but we'll see what happens as I start to get a bit more freedom back.

3) I won't be afraid to spend money on wargaming

Difficult one, this. I can't really say whether I was afraid to spend money on my hobby or not, because I didn't have any to spare this year! I don't think I stopped myself buying anything because of the cost, but I did shy away from quite a few things because I didn't expect to have time to get them ready to use, which is a shame. Unfortunately, time is one thing I'm not expecting to have much of in 2013, so this situation isn't likely to get much better this year.

4) I will get my Napoleonics started!
That happened even less than the Flashbang thing. I did play a game of General du Brigade at the club over Christmas though, which has given me a bit of inspiration to finally get on with this. I think I'm going to have to tackle them in small stages, but more on that later.

5) I will prepare at least two armies for each of the games I play
I still like this idea, and I didn't do terribly at it - I now have a second painted force for Saga in the form of my Normans. I really do want to use these to try to lure in some muggles into trying some wargames, so we'll see if I that works in due course.

6) I will build up a collection of terrain
This is at least underway - I've certainly bought more terrain over the last year, but a lot of it isn't ready for the table yet. I do now have space to play (smaller) games at home though, so there's more incentive to get this done, and I'd like to be able to take terrain to the club as well. The only terrain I did any work on last year was for Flashbang, so it would be good to spread my wings a bit.

7) I will keep blogging and setting targets
This one I carried on with as much as possible, but I have to admit that I stopped setting myself targets in the blog as the "Tale of Gamers" project died down. Having the targets was a nice incentive, so I'm going to go back to that, although I might approach it in a slightly different way - I'm going to have a think about that.

Overall then, hardly an unqualified success - I think there's about four out of seven that I at least did something towards. I think I was being a bit overambitious when I set these, but maybe that's a good thing. In any case, hopefully I can do better for 2013 - starting with some better resolutions, which will be posted here as soon as I decide what they are. Stay tuned!