Match Report: Elves v Orcs (Game 9)

The final game of the season and although neither team could make the playoffs, both coaches wanted to show that their style of play was the best. Bash or Agility? Who would win? The elves were coming into the came with 11 players, with their thrower missing this game through injury. The orcs came in with 12 players and induced the chainsaw to make up for the gap in TV.

With the elf coach, and players, nervously pacing the sidelines before the game, the chainsaw revved up putting the crowd into a frenzy…

First Half

The orc crowd was in a frenzy, but it was the elf supporters who threw a rock as the match kicked off; knocking out a black orc lined up on the line of scrimmage. The elves won the toss and elected to kick, hoping to steal the ball early. The chainsaw took up his position on the line and started hitting the stead fast elves on the line. The orc thrower, deep in the backfield, attempted the pickup but failed and the elf coach signalled the charge. elves flooded forward, exploiting gaps in the orc defence and stunned an orc blitzer on the side of the pitch with the ball. The orcs countered when the chainsaw KO’d a line elf and the rest of the team rallied around him using him as the point of their spear attach. The thrower managed to pickup the ball this time and passed it to the waiting goblin who ran behind the chainsaw for protection.The ball was in the centre of the pitch and the elves ran back to defend and blitzed the goblin carrying the ball who proved too nimble and managed to stay on his feet.

It was time for more saw action and the chainsaw again managed to KO an elf as the spear slowly advanced through the middle of the pitch. The second goblin player wanted something to do but only succeeded in stunning himself with a both down result. The Elves took over and this time did manage to knock the ball free and did their best to clear some space ahead of them. They were a little too keen through as one them tripped up whilst trying to dodge out of the grabbing arms of his opponent. The ball was now midway inside the elf half to the left of centre line. The ball was on the floor with elves and orcs vying for possession. The chainsaw was pushed aside as one of the black orcs rumbled forward to knock over the Elf blitzer. The blitzer was smashed to the ground put not before he fell onto the ball sending it bouncing around only for it to come to a stand still at the feet of four of his teammates. The orcs couldn’t get to the ball so proceeded to foul a prone elf killing him. The apothecary patched him up but he was still out for the rest of the game. The referee couldn’t miss this one and promptly sent off the offending player. The elves sensed the opportunity to score and end the chainsaw mayhem and swiftly picked up the ball and ran down the left wing, handing it off to the waiting catcher who ran in for the touchdown. 1-0 to the Elves on T4. 1 orc sent off and the chainsaw to follow. For the elves one player was seriously injured and one remained KO’d.

The elves kicked off again and this time the orcs came back with a renewed menace, seriously injuring another line elf and knocking down the rest of the elf defensive line. The ball was passed down the elf left flank and a half cage formed around the ball carrier. The elves pushed on surrounding the cage hoping to prevent players from joining the cage. The orcs countered by KOing an elf blitzer and stunning a catcher. The ball carrying goblin got excited and dodged away along the sideline. His excitement got the better of him though and he fell over spilling the ball. The elf players blocked away a couple of orc player before picking up the ball and running it up the sideline themselves. In an attempt to put more distance between him and the furious orcs, the coach signalled for two GFIs which were promptly failed, the ball again bouncing onto the ground; this time in open space. One of the goblins ran back to pickup the ball and threw it back upfield to the other goblin who ran down the sideline and waited nervously as the crowd urged ‘push, push’. The elves heard the cries and pushed him into the crowd who returned the favour by the chucking the ball into the orc half as far as they could. There were two elves who could get close to the ball and be in scoring range; a catcher and a blitzer. There wasn’t an orc player near the ball and all they could do was make it difficult for the elves. One black orc went for it to mark the blitzer who was closest to the ball while a lineorc blitzed the catcher but couldn’t knock him over. On the last turn of the half the elf blitzer dodged out, picked up the ball and made the GFI to end the half with the elves 2-0 up.

First Half Analysis

Overall the half went well. Too many players were leaving the pitch hurt but I had done what I wanted and got the chainsaw off the pitch and managed to score twice in the process. I probably shouldn’t have elected to kick but wanted to force the orcs to move the ball and at least think about scoring. A tackle piece would have been nice as trying to knock over a ball carrier with dodge is very annoying! The second touchdown was a little fortunate with the sideline throw in being perfect for me to make the most of.

Second Half

The orcs kicked off the second half with the elves down 4 players with only 2 blitzers, 3 catchers and 2 line elves taking to the field. The elf team only know one way to play though and immediately split to wide on each side of the pitch with one of the blitzers taking up the roll of ball carrier in the backfield. The orc team covered the attacking players and retreated to cover their endzone. The elves responded by waiting..and waiting..and waiting. Toying with the orc players by staying out of reach and dodging away from enemy players at every opportunity. This continued for three turns until the elf sandwich near the orc endzone became too dangerous for the sandwich filling and the orcs finally attempted to pressure the ball carrier. The elf coach didn’t want any more damage to be done and on T5 the blitzer ran forward and handed off to the waiting catcher to walk into the end zone unopposed for the 3rd elf touchdown.

The two teams setup again and again the orcs blocked down what was left of the elf line and the thrower passing the ball to a goblin on the right hand side of the pitch. Again the remaining elves managed to knock over the ball carrier and the ball landed at the at the feet of three players. the standing goblin ran towards the endzone ready to receive any pass that may come his way. The orcs attacked the elves near the ball but the agile blitzer managed to fall onto the ball which bounced into the open arms of the star elf catcher. The orcs, feeling the injustice of the bounce, fouled at face down elf who was unharmed. The referee though spotted the foul and sent the offender to the stands. The elves picked up the ball and ran forward with it, orcs and goblins chasing them to try to prevent the score. The last gasp blitz wasn’t enough though and the rookie catcher stayed on his feet before dodging away to make the score 4-0 on T8. With one turn left the orcs lined up and the fans took out their anger on the team’s performance by badly hurting a black orc with a rock.

The referee called time and the match ended 4-0 to the elves.

Second Half Analysis

I would have stalled for the whole half if I thought my players would survive. I would have run them out and back into my half but I’m not a big fan of stalling anyway and in the end the chance of serious injury was mounting and running in for the touchdown was the safest thing to do. I was a bit fortunate with the final score as I really didn’t expect the ball carrier to be so exposed again. I don’t block much in a game but running in to blitz a goblin just felt right 😉

Game Summary

The game was much more open that I expected. I was imagining a bashing, caging orc team but it was more of a screening, passing, bashing team. Once the chainsaw was off the pitch this gave me the upper hand as I was able to exploit the space and attack from all directions. Side step was very effective this game causing all sorts of problems with blocks and moving the ball around. In the end I think the movement was telling and I was never having to desperately chase anyone or feel stretched. Having only 7 players in the second half wasn’t as bad as it had been in the previous game as all of my skilled positional players were on the pitch and 4 dodge players against no tackle is very effective. I was very happy with the result. It feel good to get the first season under my belt, but I do feel that I am just getting started with this team.

So my season finished PWDL4.

I will be doing a season review in a future post and will put down my thoughts, highs and lows of playing a season with rookie elves.


Completed – Blood Bowl Orcs

Funny how things work out some times. My last post was a couple of weeks ago and it was an early work in progress post on my Blood Bowl 3rd edition plastic orcs.  I’d decided on the colour scheme and had just done a first watered down green as a base. Here I am now to say that I’ve finished them! The whole lot!

I’m as shocked as you are. It’s the time of year. I said over the summer that there are things that I’d rather do than paint when it’s still warm and light outside. Now that we’re back to rain and darkness and the chill is just coming back to the evenings, I love to hide myself away in the cave, paintbrush in hand and podcast or football playing on the radio. I think it is going to be a productive winter.

So what about the team themselves? Well, I went for my usual conveyor-belt a approach to paint them all at once. I like to be able to mix the colours once and apply them evenly to the whole team. I had a few issues with the priming on some of the models. I’m not sure if this was related to the plastics, the stripping that I had to do on a few of them of something else. Either way a few of them have a slightly different texture to the finish than the others. I’m not worried about it. I’m not at a standard to win any painting competitions and they are for tabletop play only.

The green is a base of GW/Citadel Waaagh Flesh, one coat diluted about 50/50 with water and then a second coat with only 80/20 to give a more solid finish. I then applied a wash of Coelia Greenshade and a few highlights using Warboss Green. To finish the flesh I drybrushed with Hellion Green. The Black Orcs were done in exactly the same way except with the addition of some Abaddon Black to the initial base coat mix.

The yellow is a base of Averland Sunset using the method as for the green followed by a wash of Casandora Yellow. To finish the armour I drybrushed with Hexos Palesun.

The black is Abaddon Black with a drybrush of Dawnstone. Details are done using Mephiston Red, Warplock Bronze and White Scar.

I think the black bases with the simple coarse black sand is very effective. I found a jar of black sand in Hobbycraft for £5 and PVA’d it directly to round bases that I painted with Abaddon Black straight from the pot.

In terms of technique, I’m slowly adding a few new elements to my painting as well as the lessons learnt from previous efforts. I’m using a basic prime, base coat, a shade/wash, one unblended highlight and then drybrushing and fine details. I still can’t do faces, so this is an area to work on in the future.

I like to do all of the base coats in one round, then all of the shades and drybrushing etc. Therefore all of the models all come together at the same time. It’s a hard slog when you’re starting off in the base coat phase, but gets more rewarding once everything is base coated. I’m not sure if this is the best or simplest approach, and would be interested to hear how you tackle the challenge of painting a number of minis at the same time. I just find that I’m not neat enough to be able to complete a section of a mini without the risk of me messing it up when I move to the next section. Using the method that I use, I think I get the cleanest, most consistent, finish to every mini for my current skill level.

Here are a few pictures. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on them as well as your approach to painting.


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WIP – Blood Bowl plastic orcs

Now that the humans are finished (post coming soon) I’m moving on to a new Blood Bowl project. I’ve decided to quickly put together an orc team with the plastic minis that came in the 3rd edition box. I picked up another full set for a tenner on eBay to give me enough of each position for a full league roster.

Back when I was playing as a teenager I remember getting the new box and seeing the new models for the first time. I was amazed at the quality of them as a complete team, both in terms of having different models for each position and the overall quality and detail of the sculpts. The human and orc teams that came in the 2nd edition box were red and blue coloured plastic, very plastic-y and all linemen. They were very uninspiring. The 3rd edition ones in contrast were fantastic. The orc team is the better of the two overall. The blitzers and the black orcs are still lovely models and the blitzer in particular is very dynamic.

Despite this…I never did paint them up. I had them stuck to bases and primed but that was it except for the beginnings of a Gouged Eye scheme on an orc thrower.

So now I have a complete rosters worth, I fancy putting together a bashy team to play when the humans and skaven have been a bit too squishy. I’m going to paint them in an Orcland Raiders, yellow and black scheme. I’ve got the paints which will help moneywise and it’s a team that I didn’t really connect with as a kid and want to give a chance now; I was always drawn to the red and white of the Gouged Eye myself.

The Orcland Raiders

The Orcland Raiders

Looking at the models now, and having put down some fleshy green on them all, I must say that my earlier joy at painting and fielding this team has dwindled a little. This is because the closer I get to the models and the more I apply paint, the more I feel that the detail on them isn’t a great as I remembered. The definition between arm and armour isn’t brilliant. Compare them to the high elf and skaven minis that come with the Island of Blood box and you see how far GW, and I dare say the industry, have come in terms of the quality of the minis they produce.

It’s a minor grumble. I still love them and I’ll love those black orcs smashing some prancing elf someday soon!

Work in Progress: Blood Bowl 3rd Edition plastic Orcs

Work in Progress: Blood Bowl 3rd Edition plastic Orcs

A few more early edition Blood Bowl orcs

As I spend more time looking through the minis that I have and working out how I can build new rosters I like to look at the old star players too. It seems to me that star players were just that in the olden days…stars. The Yellow star player book was read, reread and re-reread. The stories of Griff, Morg ‘N Thorg and the rest made me fall in love with the game and today the ‘fluff’ is really important to me.

Here are a few of the non-standard orc players that I have in my collection. Not sure I’ll ever get to play them on a pitch again but will get them all painted up over time.

My old Blood Bowl Orc team

As a kid I was an orc guy. The 2nd and 3rd editions of Blood Bowl came with plastics minis of both teams and were great starter teams. I’m not sure why but I gravitated to the Orcs and my brother was left with the humans…it was MY game after all. In other games in always picked the orc characters and I always picked the humans or elves. But that’s for another time.

The plastic minis were all a standard lineman and it wasn’t long before my pocket money was spent on metal minis. Every Saturday morning we’d take a family trip into town and we always had to go past the toy shop. It was an old fashioned toy shop with all kinds of toys and games on the bottom floor and upstairs it had a wall of miniature blister pack on one side and Tamiya models and RC cars along another. It also had jars of dice by the counter. One of the first complete teams that I managed to collect was orcs. My painting wasn’t up to much so my dad asked a mate of his to paint them for me. I’m not sure what else he painted or collected but he seemed to do a lot of ‘hobby’. I only went round there once to collect them once they were done. I remember being blown away by them. Looking at them now, they are good but not great. They played really well though and that was all that mattered. The scheme was taken from the orc reference card that came in the 2nd edition box. Unfortunately my card has disappeared and a quick internet search doesn’t show one (I’ll keep looking though).

Here’s the team complete with two minotaurs and one troll, again they were based on pictures from one of the books or from old copies of White Dwarf. It was from the days when orcs had positional catchers and all teams had a kicker introduced. I think kickers and kicking rules came in with the red Companion book.

Orc team

Orc team

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At some point in the future I want to try out the orcs again, but I really want to paint them as well. My current thinking is to strip these minis and to give them a new paint job before playing with them. I’m in two minds though. I could always use the plastics minis from 3rd edition. I don’t really want to mix plastic and metal minis in a team.

It’s not pressing as I’ve got lots to be getting on with 🙂 I’ve got enough figures to be able to create a complete orc roster as per LRB6/CRP. For now I’ll put these in a little display case and decide what to do with them.

Reikland Reavers vs Gouged Eye – Match 2 Half Time Report

“…Thanks Jim. You join us at half time here in Altdorf for this second pre-season exhibition match between the home Reikland Reavers and the visiting Gouged Eye. The Eye took the first match 1-0 and the Reavers are looking for revenge in front of a full crowd here at the Oldbowl. Both sides have rested their stars and we can see Griff up in the owner’s box with what looks like the Reavers cheerleaders.

On the pitch the Eye won the toss and elected to receive on what is a perfect day for Blood Bowl. The kickoff found its way out of bounds and the Orcs handed the ball to backup thrower Chucka Meanone. Chucka, a rookie making his first outing in an Eye uniform, immediatley called in support and the lineorcs formed a cage around him. Upfront, blockers Smash and Gash Blurtsplat, the fearsome twins, lived up to their names and caused havoc on the line; the Reavers line crumbling like a prize cumble at the Halfling Crumble Championships – Crumblethon.

The Reavers didn’t have much choice but to let the Eye march to midfield, progress only being stopped by the sheer number of Reavers lying in the dirt. Catcher Brit Nannyspears found it all too much for him and skipped his way towards the Eye endzone. The ferocity of the Orc attack has taken its toll, and Jim I’ve got a sad news for all the fans out there. Reavers blitzer Rico Levitan has suffered a serious injury and is out for the rest of this game. We’ll have to wait until the final whistle to see how he’ll be impacted in the long term.

In the second quarter though the Reavers managed to slow down the Orc cage and force it down the right flank. The Eye seemed to panic as the half time whistle got closer and Chuka looked to make a break for it and rescue the half for the Orcs. The door of the cage opened briefly when lineorc Busta Knut was punched to the ground by three Reavers. With the door open the Reavers sniffed their chance. Even Griff was watching the game now. Max Peril, the blitzer making his debut after transferrring from a local Altdorf League team, made the first move. He blitzed Chucka and the ball spilled out and was picked up by the elated Max who quickly ran towards the half way line. Catcher, Brit looked up hearing the anticipated cheers of the home crowd. Lineorc, Spit Headspliiter, known for his intelligence (he can count to 11 without taking off his shoes) sensed danger and closed in on Brit. With time running out and Max near the sideline every available orc charged towards him. Max stood firm, I think he must have been blinded by the afternoon sun, Jim. No sensible guy would stand up like he did there.

The Eye ran out of steam and with the referee’s whistle in his mouth, Max sensed bonus gold pieces. With two tired orcs grappling with him he threw the long bomb towards Brit. The covering Spit raised his arms hoping to intercept but the ball spiralled neatly into the arms of Nannyspears who bobbled it before securing it against his body. He dodged his way out of Headsplitter’s grasp and walked into the endzone for the score. The Oldbowl crowd eruptted as Brit danced in the endzone. Seeing him dance like that Jim makes me think he’s found his true calling.

1-0 Reavers on the last play of the half. The Eye will be kicking away to start the second half and it’s not going to be easy for them.

Jim, back to you in the studio…”

The cupboard is open! First reactions.

So the cupboard is open and I have mixed feelings really. Part of me is disappointed that more of the action figures and cars weren’t there. But I am the guy that sold his entire Star Wars collection for £50 at a car boot sale, so that chances are that I got rid of these many years ago and have since blanked it. The bigger part of me is really pleased with the haul. Blood Bowl is my new fixation and there is loads of it. I’ve now got metal teams of Elves, Orcs, Humans and Halflings(!) as well as several assorted Skaven, Goblins, Dwarves, Snotlings, Ogres, Trolls, Treemen, Chaos, Star Players, Mutants, Referees and Fans. I think that I must have had a chainsaw fixation too. Then there are the complete Human and Orc teams from both the 2nd and 3rd editions. I’m really pleased. Add to that a big box of Lego and a well stocked Hornby train set and Frank and I have hours of fun to come in the years ahead.

I’ve decided that a life rule is the more dice you own the bigger the geek you are. I am a massive geek 😉 I also found White Dwarf 173 which is the issue to go with the release of Blood Bowl 3rd edition. There’s a great turn-by-turn match report of the Orcs versus the Humans using the then new rules. I had forgotten that they used to have mail order pages in the back of the magazine. Mail order?! You were meant to cut out the pages and hold punch them to make your own catalogue. Mail order?!

I have a feeling that there is some stuff missing and that there may be another stash of toys somewhere. I’m basing this on that fact that only the red Blood Bowl Companion is there and not the yellow Star Player book. Both were equally loved and well-thumbed so to have one and not the other is a puzzle.

For now I’ve got several busy days ahead of me sorting, recording and photographing everything that I got. Then there’s going to be a lot of paint stripping as the paint jobs aren’t very good; which I did expect. I’ll post pictures and details when I have them.

Must get back to it now as I’m too excited.