Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Blood Bowl!

This week sees the re-release of the Games Workshop classic Blood Bowl.

I've had a rocky relationship with Blood Bowl in the past. When I first got into it in 1998 with the re-release of the third edition (in a thinner box with a blue border) I liked it. I thought it was a fun, goofy, game that was perfect for a nerdy kid who didn't like sports. It was kind of like a satire in that regard.

Anyway, I played it, I enjoyed it, and when GW removed it from their shelves and their catalog, I was more than happy to go back to Warhammer and 40k (also around that time there would've been Mordheim, Warmaster, Inquisitor and Battlefleet: Gothic to keep my attention). Years later when I worked for Games Workshop, the era of Specialist Games was in full swing, complete with Fanatic magazine adorning the magazine rack alongside White Dwarf.

At this time people were again talking about Blood Bowl. The difference was that I couldn't muster the energy to get excited about it. Again, there was a lot going on miniatures-wise, and I just couldn't get behind the bandwagon this time around (especially with the "living rulebook." As much as I think it's cool that the community was given control over the game, I can't stand ever-changing rulebooks).

So why's this time different? Maybe because my excitement surrounding Games Workshop is at the level that it once was in the '90s. They've really been hitting it out of the park lately with their community engagement, creative supplements, innovative rules designs, and stellar models. I'd feel a bit foolish not jumping on the excitement this time around. So on that note, I'm going to paint up the Orcs in the base set in the colors of the local Canadian Football League team here in Vancouver: the BC Lions.

Again, I'm not a football fan, but I am a Vancouverite through-and-through, and I don't get to paint much orange. I'm going to wait and see what their High Elf models look like if/when they release them, and I'll paint them up like the Seattle Seahawks (the other half of my family is made up of Seattleites. Not to mention the name "Seahawks" just screams High Elves), so I can rep teams from both sides of the 49th parallel. 

Not to mention a good reason to get into the game is the inevitable league that will spring up around this game. Campaigns and leagues are really my favorite parts of the hobby. 

I'll keep you updated on this project as well.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Nightmare Kingdom Cometh

(Still workin' on my AoS Slaanesh force, don't you worry...)

When I went to Kippers Melee in Nanaimo, BC a couple weekends ago a friend won a copy of the Warmachine 2-player starter set in a raffle. He's a bit apathetic about Warmachine/Hordes, and so agreed to trade me the Cryx half of the set for a Harlequin figure (score!). Now I've been playing Warmachine since it was first carried in games shops here in Vancouver, and while I focussed mostly on my Cygnar stuff in those days, I always had Cryx in my back pocket.

When I get into a miniatures game I always look for two things: An army closest to an elf archetype (Legion of Everblight and Retribution of Scyrah eventually fit this description), and/or an army closest to the Chaos archetype (that is, demon-worshipping barbarians), and while Cryx aren't exactly "demon-worshipping barbarians" (that would probably be the Orgoth in the Iron Kingdoms (IK) world), they are the most sinister of the IK factions. I'm very excited to potentially be working on a Cryx force.

All the bits that're fit to Cryx!

When MkIII came out for Warmachine and Hordes this year, I wanted to jump into it with my Legion of Everblight force because I played them the least out of my factions in MkII, but my gaming group was knee-deep into Kings of War at the time and one thing or another kept preventing us from really diving into MkIII. Now the impetus has died down, and I don't feel as pressured to just jump in and rev up to 11 with the game.

Warmachine/Hordes is a complex game; there are a lot of moving parts, and for a casual gamer like myself it can feel a bit overwhelming. With this little project I want to slowly work on this Cryx force and play games with my painted stuff (a novel concept in the Warmachine/Hordes gaming scene), before expanding it bit-by-bit. This is the dream of every veteran miniatures gamer. We have a tendency to jump in and buy box after box of stuff, overwhelming ourselves. This way I can treat MkIII like it's my first time experiencing the game. Anyway, more will be covered on this here blog. Stay tuned!


Monday, November 7, 2016

They're taking Carmin to Isengard!

I'm still working on my Age of Sigmar (AoS) stuff for the Las Vegas Open (LVO) in February '17, but I'm a gamer, and like many gamers I'm often swayed by ideas or thoughts that come into my head. Recently I'm tugged towards Middle-Earth.

I work in a games shop, and as a games shop employee I have to be tuned in to what's happening in the gaming world. It seems that within the last year or more Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) has been shaking up its Living Card Game (LCG) line, starting with the acquisition of the Legend of the Five Rings (L5R) property, and continuing on with their separation with Games Workshop (GW), and the ending of Warhammer 40,000 Conquest and the final death of Warhammer Invasion. This got my attention and gave me an opportunity to take a look at my own LCG collection and take inventory to see what's missing, what needs to be acquired, and what needs to go.

At around the same time I've been taking another look at The Hobbit Strategy Battle Game by GW. This is spurred on by a friend's desire to give it another go after he re-watched The Hobbit movies. Of course, I don't want to take away any time spent on painting my AoS stuff, so what's a Lord of the Rings (LotR) nerd to do?

I'm going to give the LotR LCG another shot. I remember it being hilariously difficult to complete the quests when I first gave this game a go when it came out. However, I'm willing to give it another shot, this time taking my time and putting my paltry deck-building skills to the test. I'm going to use the LotR Quest Log (note: you must be logged-in to FFG's community site to view the link) and keep track of my progress and, most importantly, not get frustrated when things go poorly.

All the boxed expansions I own, to say nothing of the monthly
adventure packs!

Anyway, I have a lot to work through, obviously, and I'll make periodic posts about it here as well in case you care about that kind of thing. I'm going to start with the Hobbit expansions, then go on to the Lord of the Rings expansions (which are still ongoing). Then, depending on how I feel, I'll try all those adventure packs that have you play through the "behind-the-scenes" bits of the War of the Ring.