Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Blood Bowl returns and it's glorious!

The death of Games Workshop's Specialist Games proved short and they have released a brand new edition of Blood Bowl! After what GW did to Warhammer Quest, I think many old BB players waited for this release with fear in their hearts. Now it looks very much like GW is giving us the new edition we're all hoping for! The rules are left intact and we get a new box with top notch components. The last time I bought a Games Workshop product new from the store was in 2009 when I bought the third edition of Space Hulk so I wanted to vote with my wallet and made this a day 1 purchase. Whoa, that's seven years already! I thought Space Hulk 3rd edition came out yesterday!

I'm sure you can find everything you want to know about this new edition from the Internet already so I'll just add a few notes.

I'm really happy with all the components. Everything is top notch quality in my mind and the box contains plenty of value for its (in GW scale) moderate price point. I hope this will attract new players from the boardgaming crowd as I think it could compete in that market. Note that even though GW hasn't released all the old teams as official rules in the "day 1 DLC" -type death zone book, there is a Ravening Hordes style pdf in the new which GW released and which you can use to play all the teams that don't have new official rules yet.

The new orc team looks great, especially the Black Orc. He really looks like he's having the time of his life out there :)

Size-wise the new models are a bit bigger than old Blood Bowl models, but not so much that they can't be used on the same pitch as long as they are in different teams.

 As you probably know, the new pitch has larger squares and the new models have larger bases as well. This means that old models fit on the new pitch but not vice versa. Actually, the old "big guy" base now fits on the new pitch just fine.

 I guess in a pinch you can play with new models on an old pitch, but it's going to be a tight fit unless you play a very loose formation:

So there you have it. It's nice to get some love from GW to some of it's non-core games and I hope this makes them enough money so they continue to support it. Next up it's time to have fear in our hearts over what they'll do to Epic. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Some dark age stuff complete

My dark age Finland project isn't exactly moving forward but now I have at least enough figures all in all for a small, Mordheim-sized match between viking invaders and Finns.

The earliest written record of Finns at war comes from a runestone in Gävle, Sweden:

"Brúsi had this stone erected in memory of Egill, his brother. And he died in Tafeistaland, when Brúsi brought (= led?) the land's levy(?) (= army) in memory of , his brother. He travelled with Freygeirr. May God and God's mother help his soul. Sveinn and Ásmundr, they marked."

Tafeistaland is a reference to Tavastia, or modern day Häme, a region in Finland that had settlements during the viking age. This stone tells us that a viking ledung raided Finland and lives were lost, probably due to resistance by the Finns. Meh, plenty enough to base my campaign on, especially when I sprinkle some Kalevala folklore in the mix :)

The Finns are pretty much your average dark age warriors. They have a few archers and have one "hero" character among them. Dark age Finns were particularly poor so the only model who has a sword or armor is the hero. They also don't have shield details like the vikings I did earlier had, to make them look like the poorer quality troops they undoubtedly were. 

Dark age Finns by artist Pekka Halonen. Historically they did wear dyed clothes so I made mine a bit more colourful. I might have made a mistake in doing so as they now "look wrong" to me because Finns are always painted like this with clean white clothes. Also the hat is something I don't think there is archaeological proof of existing but you see a lot in 19th century paintings.
  This model is the Frostgrave Knight I got in the nickstarter, I just gave him a Gripping Beast shield. He's based on Lemminkäinen, one of the characters in the Finnish national epic Kalevala. Lemminkäinen is said to be a mighty, red haired warrior who had traveled far. Therefore it's safe to assume he may have some history traveling with the vikings himself before settling down! He also drowned in the river of Tuonela but was saved and brought back to life by his mother so he counts as undead ;)

The mother of Lemminkäinen dragging his son's corpse from the river of the underworld, because that's what moms do!

I also did some personalities for the vikings:

Here is Brusi, the Viking leader. The Brodir of Man model by Gripping Beast was suitably imposing.
An old figure by Foundry perhaps. He can stand in as Egil although I'd like to get a younger warrior to portray him.
Two fearsome viking berserkers to add color to the force. I've had these Foundry models in my lead pile for ages and finally found use for them.

I've already shown these before but I'll add these viking raiders in this post for completeness. Real viking raiders wouldn't be so heavily armored, but what else can I do with all those Gripping Beast hirdmen? Besides, it helps set them apart from the Finns.

So, there you have them. Now I just need to do a lakeside village for the Vikings to raid and a boat for them to sail in!