Thursday, 31 January 2013

The House that NERD Built

As I may have previously mentioned I have recently re-established my abode. Mr Christian (aka Andrew) is now my landlord as well a long standing gaming buddy.

Thus the ease with which I have sorted out my view of the TV across the painting station with plenty of  Big Bang. The X-Box was setup Monday night (Skyrim & GTA) and there have been the games of Dreadball and Warhammer Invasion.

We've also been re-establishing the fortnightly Thursday night roleplay session with something a little different. That would be Mr C running Fantasy Flight's Dark Heresy.

I didn't realise that there are a number of settings to play in. We're going for the "standard" Inquisition crew. Not sure if that's the same as going Lawful Good as the Imperium is fairly dark!

Deciding to play someone a bit different to normal I've gone for a Psyker. As a Void-born spacer Janus "Jynx" McKree is a bit of a cold fish for a start ......and then he turned out to be a proper paranoid. I already imagine him nervously playing with a set of runes consisting of "lucky" nuts, bolts and washers.

An obvious big decision is which figure to use! I definitely didn't want  a GW figure and I'd been e-browsing some of the Infinity stuff so I had a real browse at Tabletop Nation and came up with these two options. Both are nice figures and do the job ........having weird face-masks.
Trying to decide I couldn't so I bought both! you do and then had the idea that justified it. Fig on the left is confident, ship-board techie Jynx. Fig on the right is paranoid, freaked, out in the boonies Jynx. Huzzah!
Dear god I need to get a life..........maybe :)

Wednesday, 30 January 2013


This week at Enfield Gamers Shaun let on that he'd had a copy of Zombiecide sat in the boot of his car since last November. So quick as Rob could rip off the cellophane we had Charlie devour the rulebook and run the zombies whilst six of us picked a random character.

I got Wanda whose starting ability is to move two zones per action courtesy of her roller-skates. Unsurprisingly each character has a different set of abilities gaining further abilities as you rack up the experience points by picking up objectives and braining zombies (sorry.....ish ;) )

Vaguely scarily we quite sensibly played through the two-tile tutorial (wtf?) which was somewhat unnecessary as the mechanics are simple and self explanatory.

We weren't entirely sure how many times you could search a room, crucial as you start with zero equipment but were sure there's a FAQ out there somewhere.
 Moving straight onto Mission #1 we upgraded to nine tiles and deployed into the centre building. The mission was to hit the objectives in the corners, find water, rice and canned meat (chilli night?) and then escape the board.
Zombies spawn randomly from a card deck which also kicks out a few random events. The game really is a co-operative effort, split the party at your peril! What really interested me was the player sequence.
Once you work out who goes first they get a "first activation" chit which then moves round at the end of the turn. As such player activation is staggered and you really have to think through to plan and co-ordinate actions. Working things out on the fly gets interesting quick!
Latter stages and as the kills piled up so the horde grew. Early doors we didn't feel threatened but there was an entertaining build up of tension. Walkers and Runners are easy kills but Fatties are less so whilst Abominations are definite beasts!
Fewer weapons have the ability to take down the Fatties and even less the Abominations. Come up against these guys without the right kit and you'll suddenly be scrambling around to find something real quick whilst avoiding the horde.
Luckily we found a Molotov Cocktail just after the Big A appeared and lucked out a bit with his positioning to fry him up real good followed by a final run for the exit.
No casualties, no wounds at all but then there were six of us and it's Mission #1. Definitely keen to try a few more. On thing for sure, it's definitely required to engage your gray matter! :)

Monday, 28 January 2013

Copper Bottomed?

So, relatively recently home from the DB Copper-Bowl tourney at Tabletop Nation and a jolly good day out for myself and the Tohn-Gaah tribe.

Still somewhat fragrant from Saturday night's coats of varnish I nor they disgraced themselves amongst a field of 18 players. Experience levels were decidedly mixed, with myself towards the bottom end of the pool.
Firstly the full 10 man team nets me 20 Painting Points, the first for quite some time. Fair bit of work to get the scheme sorted and adjust down to to true 25mm but I'm very pleased with the final result :)
From four games of the day I came up with a close win, two close losses one of which was in overtime and one major ass-whooping when my dice finally gave in to the varnish fumes!
All the losses were against Veermyn, who I learnt a great deal, whilst also learning the limits of the Orx. I had a hard time chasing them around but ws able to do damage when I caught them.
Orx Gaurds being slammed in the back are VERY vulnerable, Veermyn less so.
I also learnt just how valuable Jacks can be but also how that one less dice, compared to Strikers, for most tasks can be crucial. Still who dares wins, my win against Humans came courtesy of a massively jammy 4 point strike in the final rush with plenty of exploding 6s!

Gobbo power, though the team is a real combined arms affair against the power of an Orx Gaurd. Fairly simple when you've only got two positions to worry about.

Much happier with my positional play throughout the day, clumping up players far less and producing a more zonal defence. Orxs seems to be happier as the Home team rather than chasing the game. Didn't go too heavily for kills but picked up a couple along the way without fouling.
Maybe something to explore but not really my style of play.

Tried a few things which worked, tried a few things which didn't. Learnt plenty about the game and the team :)
Finishing up two-thirds of the way down the table was happy enough for me. Got a win and was competitive for another two so pleased. I've always judged a tourney by gauging my enthusiasm for the final game and today I looked forward to it. The whole day left me keen to paint up my remaining teams and get them on the pitch.

As an unexpected bonus I picked up best painted.......well chuffed!

A few action shots to round out the post;

Thursday, 24 January 2013


Still WIP but almost there are my DB Orx. Washed and awaiting highlights but hopefully they give the idea. Quite pleased on the quiet, as my first effort in almost four months, and hopefully not too far from their inspiration.

Goblins have just been washed and will dry overnight. Enough time to highlight everyone and get the numbering on ready for Sunday. Worked out a few more ideas for the Humans but they'll have to work for now.

The View from the Sofa part 1

So.......pretty much as I expected I didn't get as much done as I might have hoped today but I have re-established my painting space and got a decent start on the DB Orx which are now massive favourites to go to Sundays Copperbowl tourney.

It was a real pleasure to just spray up and then sit down with some figures, I didn't even seem to have accumulated much rust either. Didn't get painting til gone 2pm and sorting the scheme took a while but is just about there. Black and white dag tattoos required but getting there nicely.

I-Phone pictures I'm afraid as I was having an issue with blogger which has mysteriously fixed itself!
More of the same for tomorrow :)

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Un-Friendly Fire.....

......or how in Space(Hulk) no-one can hear your Sgt scream as you heavy flamer him!

This week at Enfield Gamers I cracked out Space Hulk as myself an Chris played through the first "Suicide Run" mission from each side of the table. Something of the partially sighted leading the blind as this was Chris' first upgrade from Space Crusade and I hadn't played in ages.

Ably assisted by our fellows and occasional reference to the mysterious pamphlet of rules we refreshed as we went and had a jolly good time doing it :) In short the Marines won twice, the second time being a relative cake-walk as plenty of early command points saw them leg it toward the objective at max power.
 During the second game we stumbled upon the scenario that you see pictured below:

Poised for apparent victory it all went a bit wrong via the BA dice. At this point the Sgt has expended all of his Action Points and no Command Points remain. All he had to do was clear a 'Stealer and get out of the way for the Heavy Flamer to win the game .........but NO!
Cunning minds went into overtime and it was suggested that a Heavy Flamer blast to the Sgt's tile would clear and block it, allowing the BAs to claim certain victory with their next turn. Due to the BA's rapid advance 'Stealer resources hadn't had the chance to build up and very few were about.

The point further raised was is this a tactic that ANY Space Marine would sanction, especially against a Seargent of the 1st Chapter in a highly valuable set of Terminator Armour?
Well, this is TOYS so of course we did :) 2+ to kill.......'Stealer roasts........Sgt rolls a 1!
A quick 'Stealer turn and Game Over Man, Game Over! but for the Xenos!
A highly entertaining evening of toy love, but are we likely to hunted by the Dark Angels as fallen?
Much mirth ensued as we chatted around the point and then reluctantly went home :)
More action shots;

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Hobby LURVE!!

As vaguely worrying as it is I spent a particularly satisfying evening last night basing some figures. Getting home after a hard day slaving over a hot desk I sorted out dinner quick as i could and got straight down to it :)

Not just any figures but four full ten man Dreadball teams. Shaun has been good enough to let me plunder his kickstarter kit until mine arrive to replace them. He has no idea how much joy this has brought to me :)

Now that I've resettled myself I have Wednesday and Thursday off work and the DB Copperbowl Tournament to attend at Tabletop Nation this Sunday. That's three whole days, inc Saturday, to paint up a team to take reeking of fresh varnish!

As Shaun had already built these lads all I did was glue them to bases and have a vague scrape at some flash. The most work was taking the bases off the sprue! its been so long since ive done anything, three months at leadt, that my joy could not be tempered by such a basic task.

I've been running paint schemes and fluff through my head since I grabbed them last Tuesday. Being somewhat rugby obsessed that had to come out somewhere.

The Orx will become Tohn-Gar (Tonga) a semi-feral tribe from a deep space asteroid making their way to matches stowing on old freighters.
Red base with white shorts and Dag tribal "tattoos" as per their shirt. The fact that the Tongan flag features a Christian dove will need to be worked in somewhere too :)

I really want the humans to be a take on London Wasps. The scheme is forming in my head. Yellow under suit, boots and helmets against black pates and white highlights. A decent corp name and background currently eludes me :/

For the Copperbowl I was going to take Humans as I've had most games with them, about 4 or 5, but reckon I can get the Orx painted quicker and better in the time AND have a Tonga shirt to wear on the day. I'm not worried about where I place so could be a good Orx learning curve as such.
Would still rather take the Wasps boys though. What do you think?

Club tonight to get Space Hulk some table time and maybe sneak in some more DB. Will let you lucky, lucky people :)

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Book Review: Dodger

And now for something relatively different..... the fact that its a book review that is. As with all of my reviews it'll be impressionistic rather than in depth.

The criticism of this approach might be laziness whilst the defence would be allowing people to make up their own minds :)

Anyway, as a lifelong Pratchett / Discworld addict this was something of an obvious purchase. I knew that it wasn't Discworld and as such would be different so was interested to establish how and how much.
Every fan is aware of his condition and enforced change of writing method and style. What effect this has is hard to know.

To be honest I've found the last dozen books to be a bit hit or miss but nor really known why. Felt a bit like the plot was becoming predictable despite the journey being an enjoyable one.

I have to admit that I initially struggled with Dodger. The character, story and style of its telling, unsurprisingly, was very Discworld-esque but then lacked the more fantastical elements that made, for me at least, so engaging. I found it all a bit confusing.

Once I accepted that this isn't a Discworld novel but a Discworld-eque novel about a cheeky chappy in the sewers of Victorian London then we got on much better together. It was still a bit of a push to get through to the rather obvious ending that was something of a relief.

Not a terrible read but hardly a classic. It's a shame that I won't be rushing out again :/

The acorn does not fall too far from the tree. Not so sure about the tree anymore.
I may burn for that!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


First two rounds of the DreadBall league down at the Enfield Gamers last night which saw a healthy turnout of coaches raring to go.
Levels of preparation were decidedly mixed with myself well towards the bottom end borrowing Shaun's unpainted, unbased humans. To cap things off I walked in with the team unnamed and unrostered as well.
Don't worry though they definitely paid me back for it :)

First game of the night was against Ian's Forge Fathers, the Green Tray Stackers. Ian is well known around the club for the quality of his dice to the point where "Ian Dice" is a fully coined phrase. Fully prepped and far more experienced I was soon handed something of a lesson.

In short it was 7-0 at the end of the 7th rush which did at least leave plenty of time for post match analysis and tea making.

In honesty I made a few opening turn blunders quickly compounded by poor dice resulting in quick turnovers. Ian took maximum advantage. Buying up event cards each turn he deployed them to maximum and brutal effect. 3+ strength for Slams also helped :)

Main lessons;
1. Cards are important buy them whenever you can. Effective use means three activations for that player / play.
2. Sequence of play, do the no risk things first (schoolboy error from an experienced BB player!). Just because the game is fast and furious doesn't mean you should be!

Second game of the night was against Rob's Veermyn team, The Biters. Due to my lowly ranking I got to choose my opponent and did so partly because Rob always gives a good game and also so that I'd gain some experience of the Veermyn.
What followed was a (full) game of Benny Hill-esque incompetence as we were both plagued by the same appalling dice conspiring to ensure that neither of us could score. We could both set up the strikes no problem but no matter how many dice we could muster.........NOPE!

Eventually I managed a solitary 2 point strike in the 12th rush to break the deadlock, snatching unlikely victory from the jaws (sigh) of ludicrous draw.   

Main lessons;
1. Those cards again, HUGE part of the game as is the need to "play like you've got a pair". Go for doubling the big strikes to whip up the crowd to gain more coaching dice. Risk vs reward not playing by the percentages!
2. Look at all the options. Veermyn are quick and skillful, several times Rob just stole the ball from me and skittered away. Slam and bash is not the only way to win the game, not by a long chalk!

So by the end of the evening;
A Guard died against Ian but selling his body and my income bought me a 3rd Guard which isn't so bad.
One minor win / one big loss means that I'm currently mid league which is cool.
I've learnt a lot more and enjoyed myself massively doing so. Lots / some prep before the next round!

I've just ordered the Gamers Edition :)

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Balls of Iron

As previously threatened I've just inflicted DreadBall upon my housemate / landlord, Mr Christian.

Basic rules with no event cards, fouls etc as this was my fifth game out of the blocks but even then my reference to the rulebook was minimal.

Mr C took Orx while I ran the Humans. As a seasoned BB player pick up was quick and he was soon giving out plenty of SLAM!! I meanwhile tried to hone the more silky skills which generally came off until the final move / which point cr@p dice struck.

All in all it was a good tight game the Mr C won in the last rush. So, one more convert and a definate purchase for myself. I've already started working through possible paint schemes in my head.

Happy days :)