He shoots he scores! Goooooaaaaallll!!!

Less than two weeks ago I wrote a little post about my medium and long term hobby goals. I did it for many reasons, but mainly to give me a purpose and a direction with my limited hobby resources.

Like most gamers, I have models that I’ve never used and probably never will. I’ve got models in various stages of completion and things on the painting table that have been there too long.

As somebody returning to the tabletop gaming there’s also the challenge of breaking through into a world that you thought was long forgotten. Tournaments, clubs, leagues and armies have all started and continued without me and now we have the world of podcasts, forums, and global communication.

My goals were designed to help me gain some hobby momentum and to get out of the cave and into the wild.

Just having the list of goals printed up and stuck on the wall in my cave has been fantastic. It’s really got me thinking and engaging with Blood Bowl and Warhammer Fantasy in the way that I want to.

I’ve played my first game of FUMBBL after months of being a Blood Bowl voyeur. I’m 1/0/1 with my skaven and 0/1/0 with my orcs. I’m actively looking for games every other night or so. Considering my poor attendance at the gaming club over the summer I’ve played more Blood Bowl in the last week than I have in the last 6 months. I’ve really enjoyed FUMBBL and the coaches that I’ve played against. So far it’s not been the rookie bashing experience that I thought it would be. I’ve even managed a game of Cyanide:Chaos Edition online as well. I’m really enjoying playing Blood Bowl.

As for tabletop tournaments, I’ve been able to focus on the minis that I want to collect and paint and have made the decision to play ogres and other stunty teams in my first few Blood Bowl tournaments. The TalkFantasyFootball forums has a thread showing the UK tabletop tournaments and I’m aiming to attend at least one next year. There’s nothing stopping me in my mind any more, I just need to get all the family bits lined up to make my attendance possible.

I’ve not forgotten my Warhammer Fantasy High Elves either. I’ve catalogued my army and have built a simple 1000pt list based on painting as many small units of what I have and having fun with them. There’s 50+ models to clean, base and paint in the next few months; again I’ve printed the list up and stuck it to the wall.

So it’s been a great few days for me.

If you need a little bit of direction or have something that you’ve been putting off for a while, then I can recommend unleashing your inner manager and putting together your own Hobby Goals. It’s working for me 🙂

Let me know your hobby goals…


Medium and Long Term Hobby Goals

I’ve been thinking recently about what to do in terms of hobby in the medium to long term. Short term I’m enjoying listening to podcasts, starting WFB High Elves and painting my old Blood Bowl minis. But there are no real goals that are going to give me a broader direction and drive after that. Blood Bowl is my real passion in terms of gaming but I’m running out of Blood Bowl teams that I can recondition from my old collection and don’t have the funds to just buy new toys with no purpose. I’m also not playing games. I don’t get to the local gaming club as often as I should and although I’m setup on FUMBBL and Cyanide, I’m yet to play any online games. On top of that I’ve also got a shelf of Warhammer Fantasy elves gathering dust.

I need focus! I can’t wait until the New Year to make hobby resolutions…I need them now.

To that end, I’m setting myself the following goals that I’d like to share with you. Some of them are much longer term than others (as you’ll see) and others are there to just give me a kick up the arse!

1. Play in the local gaming club’s winter Blood Bowl league – Blood Bowl isn’t a massive game at the local club, but there is an annual league and pickup games can generally be arranged every now and again. I missed out on joining the local league last year because of the house move, but this year I am going to join. I’ll probably play skaven as that’s what I enjoy most at the moment, although I do love AG4 on the elves.

2. Play a game on FUMBBL – I set myself up ages ago and have watched several games, but have been put off by the high standard of play that I’ve seen. I should just accept that getting smashed is a learning opportunity and take it like a man. There’s also the annoyance of having to use my laptop to play games as most of the time I use my tablet these days. That’s a made up excuse though.

3. Join an online Blood Bowl league – I’ve got the Cyanide game and have played one game so far, there’s also the new Orca-Cola Podcast that specialises in online gameplay. This has got me playing more games against the (crappy) AI, but I need to play against challenging real-life opponents to get better. Joining a league will get me playing more games. I can make time for a couple of games a week for sure. I’m not sure if it’ll be a Cyanide or FUMBBL league that I join yet.

4. Collect and paint a tournament team for every Blood Bowl race – This is a long term goal and will give me some focus for my purchases and future painting projects. It also means that I can look into other aspects of the hobby such as display and storage with some idea of where I want to get to in the end.

5. Attend at least 1 Blood Bowl tournament in 2014 – I wasn’t even aware tournaments were running 18 months ago and I want to take advantage of my NAF membership and get a ranking 🙂 Attending tournaments isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible with enough planning. I live in the South West of England and reckon that there are at least 6 within a couple of hours drive from here.

6. Play each Blood Bowl race at a tournament – This may sound strange for someone that doesn’t play much and has never attended a tournament in his life, but this is something that I think will keep me going for a decade or so. At the moment home life means that even attending two tournaments a year is very difficult, this should get easier as my little boy grows up though. This goal couples nicely with my goal of collecting all of the teams.

7. Build and paint 1000pts of WFB High Elves – I’ve got enough models on the shelf to make more than 1000pts but by setting myself a low points army value to start with it means that I learn about list building and get some simple games played without going overboard or in the wrong direction.

8. Play a 1000pt game of WFB in 2014 – This gives me some focus for getting the High Elves built and will mean that I don’t get caught up trying to collect all of the Blood Bowl teams in one year.

Anyway, enough from me. Time to post on the local club’s forum to see when the league starts, time to check out the NAF website and time to log in to FUMBBL.

I’ll share updates on each of these goals.

Lonely Gamer +1(?)

I’m plotting and planning all the time, waiting for the moment when I can first introduce my son into games and gaming. He’s only 2 at the moment so I’ve got a way to go yet. Part of my plan involves getting my wife hooked on a few games so that it is an easier sell when I want to splurge on hobby, toys and models.

Having read a few reviews and checked out the 2-playerness of a few games, I’ve opted for Forbidden Island and Zombie Dice; both are in the post on their way to me now.

I’ve seen both games being played and like the look of them. They are also on the lower end of the price scale which makes them nice starter games. I went for Forbidden Island because it is a co-operative game and I really hope that it will prove to be not only a fun game but a good way into games for my very non-gamer wife.

I’ll be posting updates on our progress as the Summer goes on.


Match Report: Eshin Academy (Skaven) vs High Elves

“So here we are Jim, the Eshin Academy’s first run out into the Blood Bowl arena since they were formed and is it just me or do they look nervous? No, Bob you’re right. We could be in for a short and bloody game tonight…just the way I like it. The coach is trying to get them focused but is spending a fair bit of time in the latrine himself, Jim. Yes, Bob and tonight’s latrines are brought to you by ‘Mandrex Latrine Wipes: Human skin to clean your hole with’.

The elves win the toss and decide to kick and it looks like we’re set for a blizzard. The Academy will at least get a chance to touch the ball tonight. And here we go…

The ball goes high, really high Bob. Yes Jim, and it looks like it landed right on the linerat on the line of scrimmage in the middle…he…catches it. The rats move to get the ball to rookie thrower Gareek Shade, he takes the ball and retreats towards his own endzone. Interesting move there Bob, he seems a little disoriented. The rest of his team though seem intent on trying to punch a hole down the left hand side of the pitch, probably looking to release one of the runners deep into the elves half. Yes, Jim that’s exactly what’s happening. The elves are bunching up in the middle near the line and are looking to hold as many rats in tackle zones as they can. They’ve spotted the runner moving into the backfield and move to cover.

What’s this? The Academy coach seems to be calling a play onto the field. Yes, Jim. It looks like, yes, they are, they’re going for the score. Gareek runs forward down the left and hands off to runner Toxide the Sneak who himself runs forward and looks to pass. The release is perfect it’s only the catch to make. Sneek Creep is the runner with the task of making it. And let me cut in there Bob. Looking at Sneek’s Combine tape he has some lovely claws on him. You’re right Jim, but the catch is made more difficult by the elf blitzer within arms reach ou don’t don’t get that in practise…and…and…he’s dropped it. I can’t believe it Bob. The touchdown would have been his…”

That moment on Turn 3 shaped the game a little bit. The elves pick the ball up, after it bobbled to their player and they moved up the field and finished the first half 1-0 up. The second half didn’t start well for the skaven, losing 3 casualties. The elves got a quick score to go 2-0 up. At that point Coach Cameron took pity (rarely seen in Blood Bowl) and helped me with tactics and approach. With the elves looking very likely to make it 3-0 the game petered out and a lesson in coaching took over.

All in all I loved getting a game under my belt. It’s a big step to getting back into playing BB as well as the collecting and painting part of the hobby. The drop early on was typical in that when big plays were needed I came up short. The basic 7 AV is also very light. It didn’t take too many blocks for me to have players taken off the board in groups of 2s and 3s. Funnily enough when lining up after the second score I had 8 players left, and 4 of them were gutter runners. We agreed that I was too afraid of losing the runners to use them effectively. I’d over commit one of them in the elves half leaving me a rat down from the start. And with the others I’d not make enough plays to positively affect the play i.e. make the elves role the dice. As soon as I lost rats, it gave the elves Coach a chance to be super agressive on the line and my lack of numbers meant punching a hole through was always going to be uphill for me. When I did try to make something happen the number of times 1 Dodge reroll 1 came up was astonishing. What else? Well My brain wasn’t really engaged properly as I was spending too much time looking at what my opponent was doing rather than plotting my own route through the game. This meant that I often spent the first 2 minutes of each 4 minute turn, just looking at the board and looking at what I could do. This will come with time. Also playing against an agility team meant that there were too many players moving all over the place for my noobs brain to cope with.

I am happy I played. I’m looking forward to my next game with the skaven. Whether I play any better or not remains to be seen. I think when I’m more comfortable with the risk/reward it could be a different game 🙂 I am already thinking that playing humans and finding my style and approach again may be a good thing. It was also to have another week were BB was played at the club. Hopefully we can see a BB game or two being played every week 🙂

So it’s in the books.

Eshin Academy     P1 W0 D0 L1