Blood Bowl: Faucons de Brionne

A companion piece to the last post, this is my take on the other half of the 3rd edition box set. The plastic humans.

I have always been a fan of the Bretonnian fluff in Warhammer Fantasy Battles, so converting the team using Bret knight heads was a simple conversion to put a squad of knights on the pitch. I do use them with the human roster, and don’t necessarily have any strong feelings toward whether there should be a Bretonnia specific roster or not. However, with four different elf teams and undead teams, I can definitely see the argument for more human teams.

Anyway, I’ve sort of framed this team as a pro-wrestling/renaissance fair style theme. The team isn’t really made up of knights, they have more honorable things to do, but athletic citizens of Bretonnia dressed up in pageantry for the crowds. The team plays out of Brionne and their name, The Falcons, is in honor of the birds that Lord Fredemond summoned to assist in a aerial battle with greenskins in a battle at Brionne during the early years of the unification of Bretonnia. For fan appeal, we have players dressed up as historically significant or legendary Bretonnian heroes. So, the Green Knight and Repanse de Lyonnes (WFB’s “not-Joan of Arc” character) at the moment.

Playing humans has always been a struggle for me as I find myself pulled in too many directions in regards to their generalized strategy. I rolled this team out at a tournament last spring (ROT Cup) where I didn’t win a single match and ended up at the bottom of the list. In an attempt to redeem that performance, I took the team again this year where the boys, and girl, performed much better. We ended up recieivng an award for most TDs scored at the tournament. And if it weren’t for an Underworld team, we would have played at one of the top tables. Underworld…I’ve _never_ beaten an Underworld team in tourney play…perhaps a post for another time.

Anyway, a few tourneys in with this team and I feel I’ve got a better grasp on their abilities. I think I’m going to let this squad rest for a bit and focus more on another team for the near future.

Enjoy a few glamour shots. Blitzers have the full fancy Knight of the Realm helmets. Lineman, the more simple grills. Catchers are opened faced, as is the Thrower with his bowl cut.

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Blood Bowl: Badlands Blitz

“We are…The Blitz!” – Badlands Blitz

Playing Blood Bowl off and on for nearly 30 years, owning multiple starter sets, one would think I’d have fielded an Orc team before. Not until late 2015.

Historically, I haven’t been a big fan of the orc team, but I have always been a fan of the 40K Goff Rocker models and desired to paint them. The BB universe has a few anachronisms within, so figured those rowdies would work as BB sideline figures. Being the main inspiration for putting together a BB team, it would be the band that would also drive the team fluff.

The general idea is that Badlands Blitz (the band) has dates across The Badlands, The Dark Lands, and the World’s Edge Mountains. To hype their fan base with Waaaagghhh, they’d play over the fever pitch of a BB match so schedule opponents along the tour. The BB team in tow is a necessary part of the show. On the flip side, when the team qualifies for a tournament, the band accompanies them…never turning down an opportunity to melt the faces of races in Old World.

The team doesn’t have a coach in the way most teams do. What they have is an old, crusty, retired BB player that bankrolls the operation. He also uses his contacts from playing BB back in the day to set up these shows across the Old World. It’s the energy of the music that coordinates the play on the field.

In my head, the Badlands Blitz sound sort of like the Anti-Nowhere League. Same gravelly voice as Animal. Same offensive lyrics. Same biker-type appeal. The band/team logo is even a riff on The League’s fist logo:

I played the team for the first time at Nufflween III where they introduced the other teams to the brutality of “Raaawwwkk and Waaagghh”. The Blitz didn’t win many games but ground their opponents into the pitch and carried the ‘Most Brutal’ banner back to the east side of the World’s Edge Mountains.

The boyz then went on a bit of a hiatus until receiving an offer to play the double header of Orclahoma V and Spikey Cup IV. Again, the team on the field didn’t put many balls in their opponent’s endzones, but they proved to be fan favorites…and sold out of merch on the first day causing a riot in every one of their games at Spikey the following.

I wouldn’t say Orcs are my favorite team to play. I’ve had a lot of fun with this team though and am pleased to see that they’re performing at about the level they should per their fluff. Lots of damage and excitement around the ball…maybe less of a focus on putting it in an endzone…

Heroes for Wargames

cropped-bnfm.pngFor the past several decades the above piece of art has sort of been burned into my memory, in fact it was almost the banner image of this blog. Growing up in the 80’s I spent a lot of time in RPG books having not really gotten into minis wargaming yet. With the RPGs came painting minis for characters, npc, monsters etc. Seeing me into this, my parents bought me a book about the miniature hobby filled with beautiful examples and gaming history. For the longest time, and up until a few weeks ago, I thought the above illustration was the cover of the book. Several months ago I went to go find this book having gotten rid of my copy long ago. Well, I thought the book I had in my youth may have been the one on top here.

review_fm1Looks right. However, finding a few copies to preview, the pictures and layout of these titles is much different than what I thought I was remembering. My book had plenty of text. The above series are basically showcases for the Golden Demon winners in ’88, ’89’ and ’90. Also, there’s pictures of Blood Bowl and Dark Future minis in those books…games that came out after I had received my miniatures painting tome.

Well, I was able to track my old book down and find a great copy for a sawbuck. That art piece that had been lodged in my head for a few decades wasn’t the front cover of the book…it was the back

hfwI’ve been reading through the book the past few nights and it’s amazing how so many of the incredible pieces of art I’m still recalling. I must have spent hours pouring over this thing as a kid because looking at it now it’s as familiar as if I read it last week. Before we look at a few items inside, that cover still causes me a bit of confusion…Is that warrior riding something or just has an ornate shield? Is that a proto-genestealer in the foreground? Is this a book for Role Playing Games or Wargames?

Heroes for Wargames was published by Paper Tiger in 1986, again, before I got into miniature gaming (which began a few years later with Blood Bowl 2nd Ed and Dark Future) and is basically a Games Workshop house title in all but name and publisher. The inside is filled with pictures of GW board games (like Warrior Knights and Judge Dredd), early Warhammer campaigns (The Tragedy of McDeath and Battle at Orks Rift), history of gaming, painting and diorama tips, and all sorts of early miniatures and concept art. It’s more ambitious in nature than the above three Golden Demon books which seem to only focus on painted minis. Check out this acknowledgement list:

ackAlso included is a forward by Ian Livingston and Steve Jackson (founders of GW) and many of the models I believe are from the collection of Bryan Ansell. This book was compiled with a who’s who of the Oldhammer Guard. There is even a feature on the Games Workshop studio with many of the artists, sculptors, and painters working their craft.

studioI can’t run down every page and article, but I want to mention just a few things. First, during the time I originally had this title, like I said…I was into RPGs. At the time Ral Partha was the line I followed and collected knowing little of GW. Well, when Blood Bowl 2nd Edition hit my eye drifted to Games Workshop and their Citadel supported games. I wanted a skaven team but before I had enough cash for a full team, I bought some miniatures to use as coaching staff…my first ever official Citadel miniatures. It happened to be the two skaven in the following concept page.skavenThat horned skaven wizard became the coach of my team and my favorite non-BB skaven miniature to date. The three armed skaven mutant worked his way into my Advanced Heroquest game as a main antagonist. Incredible to see these sketches 30+ years later.

One other thing I want to mention is the character a lot of the minis in the book have. Character and whimsy that clearly draw many players into the Oldhammer scene. Check out the minotaur below. He’s not your modern bad@$$, highly armed and angry minotaur. He’s more like Joe Sixpack…your average Monday Night Watching, beer guzzling minotaur. Just looking at that model his background and character leap out at you. This beer bellied fella is not the antagonist in some maze…he’s out and about because his nagging wife yelled at him to get off his stump and go get some eats for the kids. What a great model.

minoAnd the dragon…it may be hard to tell, but he has a fairly surprised look on his face. A face that’s more muppet gargoyle, than fierce Smaug. I’d love to get my hands on that guy as well.¬† I don’t feel like I see dragons with unique character like that anymore. Much like current minotaurs…they’re mostly bog standard fierce creatures. Oh, how many mounted Citadel miniatures are posed like that Adventurer above…nearly every one of them in the 90s near as I recall. Classic Citadel mounted with raised weapon pose.

This book really is great, and perhaps the best coffee table book on the hobby that’s out there. Sure, the models and techniques within are many decades removed from being current, but the history is rich here and it’s well worth a read. Oddly enough, I may still end up tracking down those Golden Demon books simply because they do feature some Blood Bowl and Dark Future work…the two Games Workshop titles that got me into this mad hobby.

I’m going to close this post with an image from this book that is a piece of concept art from John Blanche. The Slann. Gaming Games Workshop worlds for close to 30 years now and I’ve never owned or played anything slann related. Later this year, I’m going to rectify that with a project that I hope can be a nod to the characterful style of these 80s masters.

slann

WHQ: Silver Tower – Sister of Silence & Blood Bowl Star Player

st_duo

Ending the year with a couple of new heroes entering the Gaunt Summoner’s Silver Tower.

I’m a big fan of this game’s setting and the idea that champions from across time and space can be summoned to challenge the Tower.

st_silence

First is the Sister of Silence. I was never really a 40k player, but I like these models in the new Horus Heresy: Burning of Prospero board game because they don’t have any visual sci-fi bits. The models for the Sisters fit in with fantasy figures, so good to go. Don’t need any space marines with bolters…yet. However, the bigger draw is that the Sister now gives my game a whopping _fourth_ female option. Silver Tower as is only has two, but I’ve now added the Branchwych and Sister of Silence.

sister-of-silence

st_orc

The Blood Bowl Star Player¬† is the character that initially had me looking outside the Age of Sigmar model range. I’m a big fan of Blood Bowl and with the new edition released by GW, I had an opportunity to get a model that is close in scale to the new Age of Sigmar line. In my mind, the orc is the quintessential representative of Blood Bowl, so one of those ‘ard boyz is what I went with. I had some old Gorkamorka transfers knocking around and the red lighting looks to provide the flair of a star player. In fact, the ‘flash’ reminds me of another football player out of place on a foreign world…

blood-bowl-star-player-orc

If you’re also a Blood Bowl fan and prefer to go with a human hero, I tricked up the same card with the human image. Enjoy.

blood-bowl-star-player-human