Television is rather a frightening business. But I get all the relaxation I want from my collection of model soldiers.
Peter Cushing

Sunday 26 April 2015

Watching Paint Dry

The Bloodbowl test pieces are more or less done. 

I need to check in daylight to see if the light blue accent works and if the stripes on the trousers are bright enough but as a scheme this seems to work. 

Not sure about the bright green accent here. The other alternative was sky blue which would certainly make the figure pop but would possibly overwhelm the face. What do we think?

I'm generally happy with the detail work including checks and chipped armour for that proper Orky feel. 

There is a certain chunky charm to these old school plastics. They have a lot of character - mainly as I think the sculptors focused on the face as they knew detail would be soft elsewhere. I've enjoyed painting them a lot

Next question is - finish the Lion Rampant retinues or paint the Orc Team while the iron is hot? Your thoughts, as always, would be appreciated. 

Saturday 25 April 2015

In Training

So in preparation for the new season, it looks like a couple of teams are getting themselves dressed. 

These are test pieces for colour schemes. Here we see Mrs West's as yet unnamed Orc team: 

The Black Orc blocker has a nice dark skin tone to help them stand out from their smaller teammates. The red sets this off well, but I've yet to decide on the accent colours. I'm waiting to see how the various washes and glazes dry before I decide. 

The bog standard lineman in the classic red Orc livery. I'm intending to keep the skin tones quite muted but will brighten up  the red to try and capture that Old School Eavy Metal look. Again, trim and accent yet to be decided although I'm quite temped to go with the classic black and white check. 

Here's the human test, working with the reliable blue and yellow combo with rich brown accents. 

Not only is it nice to get back to painting but painting this oldhammery goodness brings the happy memories flooding back. 

Tuesday 21 April 2015

The Bestest Yard

Construction has halted on the Darkside Bloodbowl stadium as, this last weekend, the Business Manager came across a deal. 

As we know, boxed sets of 3rd edition Bloodbowl go online for around £45-70 including postage. Well, this weekend I had that most wonderful of eBay experiences - someone listed a copy in the wrong place. Bidding was therefore slow and low and I found myself the proud owner of a complete set for the princely sum of £35 all in. 


Miniatures will need stripping but that's no great shakes. All complete including the two star players. 

All the counters and block dice present. One ball missing but I have a couple of 2nd Ed ones kicking about and they're not the hardest things in the world to sculpt. 

Only one roster has been used and the pitch looks pretty much brand new. 

So all in all, very happy with that. 

As an added bonus it still had the original GW leaflet from 98 in it, so I shall leave you with you oldhammery goodness:

Wednesday 15 April 2015


So this is the start of Project Blood Bowl, I suppose. 

I have the old pitch and templates but I know they're slightly small for the 3rd edition rules and onwards. 

So I might buy a newer pitch in or build one. 
The one thing I know I definitely want to build is the dugout - that's the bit that allows the most scope for modelling. 

As always, it starts with sketches

And then scale plans. 

Armed with these, I cut some offcuts of 3mm mdf to size 

And spend a princely £4.25 on eBay to acquire some rather nice precut polystyrene bricks. 

A quick half hour later and we have 

At this point, I face a Design Dilemma. The original plan meant that the reroll and turn tracker would sit onto the top of the dugout for storage like so: 

However, poking through the bits box that the Fragrant Lady West bought for me ages ago gave me lots of other stuff to work with. So did I stick with the original plan or cover the dugout with spiky bits?

It's Bloodbowl. I spiked the Hell out of that thing. 

The broken flagstones are snapped bases from the Perry War of the Roses plastics. 

Tomorrow I'll add some sand for the floor and finish off the turn tracker etc. 

Total cost of the dugout is currently £4.25 for the bricks. Everything else is from the bits box. 

As always, thanks for your support :)

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Dragons make me rampant

The announcement has just been made that the estimable Mr D Mersey is producing a fantasy version of the Lion Rampant rules for Osprey. This is rather fabulous news as I was intending to build a fantasy retinue when the WotR retinues were done. So that looks like the next project after Blood Bowl is sorted.

Friday 10 April 2015

Much Frottage and Porking on the Wold (Lion Rampant AAR)

Finally, a game of Lion Rampant. Two retinues, both alike in dignity - as in, not much.

I'd been up since Oh-Christ-Hundred Hours with a sick child; my brain was not functioning. My opponent - a fellow teacher and upstanding member of the community - was so hungover that for first fifteen minutes of the session he simply sat there soaking up lucozade and grunting. 

Here he is, bravely trying to look sober and awake.

The stage was set for an epic clash of medieval warriors!
(trans. two barely coherent blokes stumbling round a table at 9am)

As this was our first test game, both retinues were exactly the same; men at Arms, Foot serjeants and Archers at 14pts. Leader qualities were rolled for and my opponent picked the Nevilles and I got the Percys. This meant that his leader was Sir Stig, which would come to be an issue. 

The Battle of Much Frottage
"Bertrand!" called Sir Percy Percy to his trusty squire. 

"Yes, my Lord?" the boy replied, scampering up.

"Yonder lies the lands of our enemy, but it seems he has sent a force to protect that village. Canst thou seest the device of the Knight who stands against me?"

the boy squinted into the morning sun. "Aye, my Lord. That I can."

"Then, pray tell, who is my victim this day?"

"Some sayest that he sucketh the moisture from ducks, and that he thinks the Middle Ages are what happens when you turn forty, Lord; all I know is... he is called Sir Stig."

The Village of Much Frottage had no idea what was about to descend upon it.

For our first go we decided to simply have a go at the Bloodbath scenario. As you can see, deployment was relatively simple.

Turn one; my leader, Sir Percy Percy, ordered his archers to advance. They shuffled their feet and made a point of looking in the other direction. That was my turn over. Sir Stig ordered his Serjeants to advance. They looked at my archers and refused. Obviously, there was some sort of Mexican Standoff in Much Frottage.

The Foot Serjeants advance, into a withering hail of longbow fire from my archers. One of his men is killed.

"Lacastrians, Sir! Fousands of 'em!"

They advance again, into another storm of arrows:

Another few fall, but not enough to make the difference as battle is joined!

Rather predictably, the archers are hammered and retreat off the table. The Neville archers are still somewhere on the other side of the field, breathing in through their teeth and improvising on the theme of "oooh, nasty". 

Meanwhile, on the east side of the village, my foot Serjeants have stopped to pick some daisies or something. My Men at Arms however, sneak around the side of the cottage, only to discover that Sir Stig himself is also indulging in a spot of cottaging. At this point, Sir Percy Percy rashly issues a challenge. 

This is rash on two counts; firstly, before the battle, Sir Stig issued the boast that he would kill Sir Percy in a duel; and secondly, Sir Stig rolled the Braveheart leadership quality. Thirdly, incidentally, Sir Stig is the coolest looking miniature on the field. 

"Hi there. Loved you in Top Gear."

The two knights meet in the thick mud of the ploughed field and a deadly contest of skill begins as a flurry of feints, parry pas four and delicate-- nah, not really. Sir Percy gets disemboweled in short order.

It's the nonchalance that marks out the true craftsman. 

At this point, the Nevilles had picked up a pretty unassailable lead in Glory points. Although my retinue passed the courage test caused by the death of their leader, I was happy to call that one a loss so we could try again with a random scenario. We shuffled the scenery around a little, and got set.

"Right, let's get those swine!" Sir Hugh cried. "Errr, sir...?" One of the serjeants shuffled his feet nervously. "Thing is, guv.. well, me and some of the lad, we's related to them lads over there and we's not that comfortable wiv you callin' 'em pigses."

"No..." Sir Hugh sighed and shaded his eyes with his hands. The Peasant's Revolt had a lot to answer for, he reflected. "I mean it literally. We're going to go and set fire to their pigs."

"Oh, right." There was a pause. Here it comes, thought Sir Hugh. "I'm not entirely convinced some of the lads ain't related to the pigses, Sir."

This time the rolls placed me in the role of attacker and gave us the Sausages and Mustard scenario; so four pigs were placed in the central field and Sir Hugh Percy Percy - brother to the unfortunate Sir Percy Percy - bravely sallied forth to burn some pigs. 

This is the village of Porking on the Wold. Stop making your own jokes up at the back.

Now, anyone who cares to zoom in on that picture will spot the mistake that the defenders made in deployment. 

Let's have a closer look:

Troops who need to sit and wait for people to come to them... yes, let's give em pointy sticks.
This is a picture of a man who's just realised he should've put his archers in the rough terrain where they could shoot at anyone who dares to approach them and fight them all on more or less equal terms.

Doesn't he look happy?
The Percy forces stormed down the table. Well, except for the archers. They sort of meandered.

As my archers continued to pick away at the foot serjeants stuck in the middle of the field -

- our Men At Arms came within sight of each other on the north side of Porking on the Wold. Proving that the AA definition of insanity is pretty much spot on, I issued another challenge:

Which went about as well as the last one:

That's pretty much dismemberment, whichever way you read those results. 
Undeterred, the remaining Men at Arms charged into the Foot Serjeants.
That little paint pot is a pig. It's in disguise. 
They won the combat, but then the one remaining chap found himself the corned beef in a medieval military sandwich!

Behind you!
My Foot Serjeants are just there around the back of the cottage, ready to leap into action but by this point my opponent had a dentist appointment and I was falling asleep on the table so we called it a draw. Ish.

The undisputed Man of the Match was, of course, Sir Stig. 

Man of the Match. Held by hungover man of the match. 
So, what were the first impressions of Lion Rampant in play?

It's pretty much as good as everyone says it is. The activation rule adds a nice bit of friction to turns and requires you to think about the priority of your actions. It runs very fast and creates wonderful opportunities for storytelling. It will work very well with the kids at school - if the two of us with our cognitive impairments today were able to work it, 11 year-olds will have no problem.

Tomorrow - the start of an X-Wing Campaign!

Thursday 9 April 2015


Some of you may remember my 40th Birthday post from last year where I laid out my plans to stave off middle age. One of my aims was to start playing Blood Bowl again.

As previously mentioned, I'd found my old Dark Elf Team and - thanks to the wonderful Roy - measurements for all the various components. But then!

What should I find, again, long thought lost, but these beauties:

(Apologies for the photos, deep in the pile of stuff that was in storage)

So that gives me a pitch (which I can use as the basis of my own), a range ruler, a scatter template, full human, Orc, dwarf and elf teams. The only things missing are the dice and the fact that the dugouts are missing some of the 3rd edition gubbins. This is a massive time saver - it also means that, thanks to the NAF locating me a copy of the 3rd edition rules, I'm more or less ready to start playing. HUZZAH!

Of course, it also means more to paint...

Monday 6 April 2015

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Been in Scotland for a week and so trawling around a variety of medieval and Dark Ages sites. Upon my return I've also managed this:

This is the final unit in my two Lion Rampant Wars of the Roses retinues. So 24 figures to paint and the first major project of 2015 is done. 

They'll be getting their first run out this week so expect a battle report. Hopefully there should also be a little X-Wing action at the weekend.