Posts Tagged ‘Drakwald Ravens’

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Blood Bowl-a-rama #14 – The endgame

October 20, 2012

For me, this 2012 season of Blood Bowl is over. After playing the 13 league games and finishing third in our division of five, I made it to the playoffs – somewhat to my surprise. Less surprisingly the first playoff round proved to be my undoing, with Vikings IF sending the Drakwald Ravens packing, as well of killing one of my veteran ghouls, Karl Eye-Popper, and putting Ludwig Wightenstein in a wheelchair with a thoroughly destroyed hip. The poor wight suffered a “smashed hip” result in his first game of the season, never amounted to anything during the games he played, and received a second “smashed hip” in the Ravens’ last game. Poor Ludwig!

With my gaming part done, it’s time to look back upon the season. All in all I was more than pleased. My last season of Blood Bowl saw my orc team the Naughty Grinders finish with a 2-2-6 (wins-draws-losses) record from ten games, whereas this season the Drakwald Ravens managed a 4-5-5 record from a total of 14 games. So, fewer defeats, twice the victories and more than twice the draws. Can’t really be disappointed!

The Ravens steadily upped their game throughout the season, and before the playoffs actually had a four match long undefeated streak with two wins and two ties. The only thing I wasn’t happy about was my team’s seeming inability for violence. While a virtue outside the Blood Bowl field, 11 inflicted casualties in 14 matches is appalling, especially compared to the league (sans Ravens) average of over 21. Out of those 11 casualties no less than five were executed (tee-hee) by my number one flesh golem, Max Hurtheimer.

The more I play Blood Bowl, the more convinced I am, that this is the best game GW has put on the market. Blood Bowl combines luck and skill wonderfully – while sometimes horrible luck can bring you down no matter how good you are, most of the time the more skilled player will have the upper hand. It is an important skill in itself to minimize the role of luck, in other words the number of dice rolls you make. While I’m slowly learning the game, the more experienced players often seem to be a move or two ahead of me, no matter what I do.

What makes our Blood Bowl league especially fun is the narrative built around it on our internet forum. Press releases are made after matches, game reports are written for every game and players provide other content such as news, advertisements and rumours or even obituaries of dead players. A great example of this was the surprising death of one of my werewolves, Anti-Christian Wolff. Having just scored a touchdown, Wolff died due to amazingly bad dice rolling during a routine block against a dwarf player. The interpretation was that his heart suddenly gave out. This lead to several news items:

Ravens head coach disappointed in dwarf fans’ racist chants

This sprang from a few of our friends who were watching the game and celebrated the death of the werewolf by chanting the now-legendary “hukasta rukkaset!” which is Finnish for “make the wolf into mittens!” They were interpreted as being dwarven fans.

Dwarf fans respond to racism allegations

In this item the dwarf fans accused of racism were shocked and appalled. They claimed the chanting was a joke, nothing more. This was a parallel to several then-current events where Finnish politicians made racist comments in public, and then claimed that they had been ironic or joking.

Werewolf overbreeding: “This would be illegal with humans”

This was an adaptation of an actual news item dealing with genetic problems caused by overbreeding in dogs.

Drug scandal in the league! Warpstone overdose to blame for Anti-Christian Wolff’s death?

In which a Norse team’s werewolf comments that the combination of overbreeding and warpstone use is a deadly one, and that it is a public secret in the werewolf community.

2 in 1 furry mittens from Stockkleinemann sale!

A parody of then-current sale campaign of the Finnish department store Stockmann. Made by dwarven artisans, the luxurious leather mittens could be turned into furry ones by the touch of Moonstone™.

And so on. This is what makes our Blood Bowl that extra bit special. It’s very similar to the idea of Warpg’s I’ve often talked about.

What’s next? Well, there are still games to be played in this season’s playoffs, and then at some point it’s time for the 2013 season. I’ve already bought a new team from Impact Miniatures, the Middle Kingdom humans who are done in a classic Greek/Spartan style. I’ll have a lot of fun coming up with a back story for those guys. With all this, I’m happy to report that in our group Blood Bowl is alive and well!

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Blood Bowl-a-rama #13 – Repainting for nothing

April 18, 2012

A few days ago I did something I don’t usually do: a slight repaint on one of my models.

I had this werewolf from West Wind, who I originally painted for my Underworld project (now sadly defunct), and happened to need another werewolf for my Blood Bowl team, the Drakwald Ravens.

Click for a larger version

A quick pant and base repaint later, I had a new player, Anti-Christian Wolff. Apart from the base and the pants, I didn’t change the model and the differences apparent are due to photography. This repaint was actually a step back, due to my decision to not highlight the black on the Ravens’ uniform. It does make for a sleek, sporty wolf though.

Click for a larger version

Anti-Christian’s debut started out pretty impressive, as he scored what proved to be a winning 2-1 goal against the crafty bourgeoisie dwarves of Blackpit Arsenal. A few turns later a disastrous sequence of dice rolls meant that poor Anti-Christian dropped dead – from heart failure due to the elation from the goal, we concluded.

That’s Blood Bowl for you.

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Blood Bowl-a-rama #12 – The Coach

March 24, 2012

It’s time to present to you the coach of the Drakwald Ravens, Nekromantti Ruuminen. As is apparent to my Finnish readers, he is based on Antti Muurinen, the former head coach of the Finnish national football team. I named my coach in a spot of Finnish punning, and his Finnish name translates as “the necromancer Corpsy”.

Ruuminen has built a reputation for solid positivity in our Blood Bowl league. It should be no surprise, as this is what his real-life counterpart looks like:

That open smile, that wonderful moustache!

After the games, he tends to spout lines such as

Against an opponent like that, a tie can be seen as a victory, as can a narrow loss. Even a crushing loss, such as today, should be seen as a positive learning experience, and as such, a victory.

Coming up with a suitable model to represent him on the sidelines was a grueling task. You wouldn’t think so, but it was. Out of sheer curiosity, how many smiling human miniatures do you own? Check it out, you might come away empty-handed. I did, at least. I spent a good while browsing through different manufacturers’ catalogues, thought about sculpting my own, asked around on forums and was left with no great solution to the problem. The few smiling miniatures were stylistically unsuitable for my uses.

Finally I happened to notice a model that was sitting on my desk. It was one that I received from fellow blogger Sho3box as part of one of our trades. The model was that of a man dressed for a wedding, about to pull a gun from inside his jacket. Now, it’s a cool miniature and there’s even a matching bride, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how I could best use him.

A bit later I had my coach. I used ProCreate putty to add the all-important moustache and to turn the mini’s fairly gruff expression into a smile. I sculpted the pistol grip he was holding into a handkerchief, and that’s pretty much it. I did a very quick job on him, and painted his eyes larger and more cartoony than usual. He came out looking like a kindly magician from a kids’ movie. Not my smoothest or neatest paintjob at any rate, but still: great success!

Click for a larger version

I can’t keep myself from posting a song relating to Muurinen/Ruuminen. It laments the coach moving on. The chorus says:

“Wind, blow to where my walrus lies, play a moment with his moustache! Tell him of my love, tell him how I miss him, tell him that I’m still waiting.”

The song, a parody of this one (go ahead, treat yourself to some quality Finnish pop music – English lyrics included!), has become something of a running joke in our Blood Bowl games. Quite deservedly so.

 

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Sizing up

March 2, 2012

To my regular readers, apologies in advance. The post mentions a fair few points that I’ve made earlier, so there’ll probably be a feeling of repetition here.

Miniature size/scale is one of those things that tends to come up whenever different ranges are discussed. Some people will stalwartly refuse to combine different ranges in their games, if they’re not stylistically compatible. I used to be one of these people. However, as years have gone by I’ve started to alter my stance. See, the Colonial Marine review I did left me with a slew of miniatures from various manufacturers, in different sizes and styles. As I tend to favour a “waste not, want not” approach when it comes to miniatures (and stuff in general), I figured that the differences weren’t such a problem.

I think that one of the main reasons for the aversion to mixing sizes and styles comes from the way we view miniatures. Most comparisons are done at eye level, setting the miniatures next to each other and noting all the differences. However, when gaming we view the minis from what – half a metre, metre (that’s two to three feet for all you silly ancient measurement system types) up? In most games they aren’t next to each other either, and our eye will probably focus on the uniting factors, such as paint schemes and basing, instead of the differences.

Allow me to demonstrate. In the pictures below there’s a variety of scifi miniatures from six different manufacturers painted with a similar colour scheme. There are major differences in size and proportions, and viewed next to one another, the ranges certainly don’t look too compatible in terms of size and style, although the paint scheme and basing does help.

L to R: Woodbine, Denizen, Copplestone, 1st Corps, Hasslefree, em4, em4 plastic. Click for a larger version

Let’s have a look at the picture below. For some obscure reason my Marines have wandered onto a Blood Bowl pitch, where they are about to take on the Drakwald Ravens who are incidentally another group of miniatures of various styles and manufacturers. The photo is taken from a gamer’s eye view, e.g. me sitting down and viewing the game board from a usual gaming height. See my point? The same size and style differences are still present, but in my humble opinion they are far less prominent, even to the point of being negligible. The eye is drawn to the different bases (green vs. grey) and colour schemes (the Marines’ green and camo vs. the Ravens’ black and purple). What we have here is not a motley collection of miniatures of various sizes and styles, but rather two coherent factions.

Click for a larger version

Your mileage may vary, of course, but I believe that sticking too adamantly to a single manufacturer’s ranges will sometimes unnecessarily limit your options. Naturally if you’re painting miniatures only for display, it’s another story. If not, do something wild (well, ‘geek-wild’) and try mixing two or more ranges if you haven’t already.

Crazy, I know!

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Blood Bowl-a-rama #10 – an unkindness of Ravens

February 1, 2012

Did you know, that a flock of ravens is actually called an “unkindness”? Really! Read a column on the subject here.

Anyway, this curious piece of linguistics brings me to the main point of this post – namely my completed Blood Bowl team. There are a few extra models, and I have one werewolf pending a repaint. Other than that, here are the Drakwald Ravens in their gothic glory.

Click for a larger version

As you may have noticed, there are some players in the photo that haven’t been introduced yet. They are:

Arthur Schopenhowler the werewolf. I simply love this model from West Wind, see the review here.

Click for a larger version

A man can be himself only so long as he is alone. 

– Schopenhowler

Jürgen Habermassacre the flesh golem. The model’s a tank zombie from the FU-UK sculpting competition a few years back.

Click for a larger version

 One never really knows who one’s enemy is. 

– Habermassacre

Georg Henrik von Wight the..wight. The model is a custom build from GW plastic parts.

Click for a larger version

If one is satisfied with things, one doesn’t complain about the downsides that exist, either. 

– Von Wight

There you go! An actual, completed project. Should I need another werewolf, I’ll simply give the pants and base of a previously painted West Wind critter a quick repaint.

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Blood Bowl-a-rama #9 – Zombie incursion

January 9, 2012

I’ve been painting like crazy lately. Our 2012 Blood Bowl league has kicked off, and the Drakwald Ravens have already faced off against the Lustrian Swamp Shamans. I managed to field an almost fully painted team, but still have two half-finished models to go. The main step my painted team took forward was me painting six zombies in pretty much two evenings. I pretty much used my basic zombie recipe, and I think it worked fine here. As usual, flat colours only for the “uniforms”.

So here we go, new additions to the lineup: Martin Eyedigger, Friedrich Dark-Engels, Immortal Kant, Gore Marx, Gut-lob Frege and Hurt Gödel. Of these guys poor Marx and Gödel never made it past their first match and Frege is yet to make an appearance.

Click for a larger version

While we’re talking about the match, man…it was for me Blood Bowl at its worst. Or no, not really, so let me rephrase that. It was a good game of Blood Bowl, with my luck at its worst. Let me just put it this way: the most amazing moment of the match was poor Ludwig Wightenstein missing a trivial block against a weaker opponent, going down on a roll of double skulls, re-rolling those into another set of double skulls and receiving a shattered hip permanent injury. I should at this point note that the probability of such a chain of events is considerably less than 1/100 000. Needless to say, my opponent Joonas (of Dusty Gamer) had a field day.

To use a quaint expression, the lizards tore me a new one. A whole bunch of new ones, actually.

Oh well. At least my team is pretty. In a ghoulish, dead sort of way.

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Blood Bowl-a-rama #8 – Two ghoul for school

December 28, 2011

First of all, pardon for the awful (if there is another kind) pun in the title. It was my rather quaint way of letting you know that I’ve completed two new models for the Ravens. Let me present to you… Karl Eye-Popper and Oswald Strangler!

Both are ghouls from Mantic (reviewed here), and lovely miniatures to paint. What made them even easier to paint is the fact that I made the conscious decision to leave the uniform colours without shading to convey something of a game piece vibe as opposed to something more realistic. So, plain black and purple it was. To counterbalance this, I did some extra work on the skin and the self-inflicted wounds, trying to make the former deathly pale and dirty and the latter nasty and infected. I’d love to hear your comments on whether it worked or not.

Here are my new players, along with their thoughts on their existence.

Blood Bowl Mantic ghouls

Click for a larger version

Those who promise us paradise on earth never produced anything but a hell.

– Karl Eye-Popper

This is our purpose: to make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us; to live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves; to act in such a way that some part of us lives on.

– Oswald Strangler

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