Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Pink Horrors 0 - 1 Dhawii Zharr Rockets

The image of the pyres was still burned into the back of his eyes and he could see them as clearly as if he were there again, blazing against the impenetrable blackness of the night sky.  Palls of smoke had filled the air and his blackened lungs could even now barely  draw breath.  In quiet moments his  ears still rang with the screams of dwarfs, elves and men, piled sometimes eight or ten high, burning alive.

The Dhawii Zharr Rockets certainly knew how to celebrate a victory.

It was the night after the Pink Horrors’ final game of the season, the night after they had been denied a place in the league play-offs, the night that Coach Lysenko was being dragged to see the thing in the Skin Tent for the very last time...

The man-goat pulling him along suddenly hoisted him off the sodden ground by his chains and threw him through the heavy flaps of the tent.  He shuddered, knowing that every inch of that tent’s material had once been the skin of one of his predecessors.  Now it was nothing more than tanned hide, sewn roughly together by the hands of who-knew-what.

On reflection, the coach didn't think he’d done too badly this season.  After all, his team had only lost three games out of ten.  But sadly for Coach Lysenko, he thought to himself as he landed face-first before the broiling fire, whatever thing which dwelled beneath the heavy, mouldering robes opposite him didn't take stock in numbers and statistics.  He, as he was named, reckoned in blood and offal and things which no mortal could count without going mad.

And, imagined the coach, He would not be happy.

The Horrors had been thrown from the outset.  Looking at their opponents lined up at the start of the match, the Dhawii Zharr Rockets seemed like little more than huge beards in tall hats, carried awkwardly on stumpy legs.  What they sadly found once the fists started flying was that the Chaos Dwarfs were tough.  Really tough.  In the end, it was only the Oozing Gash who managed to use his Warrior’s strength to garrotte one of their hairy rivals with his escaping innards.  It wasn't long before Ermintrude the minotaur was knocked out cold and had decided, on reflection, that even he was out of his depth and perhaps he should spend the rest of the game recuperating.

Despite receiving the ball in the first half, no matter how hard the Horrors tried, they simply could not get it down the field.  It was a long and slow grind through the centre of the dwarf line, ending in dispossession and a sigh of relief at half-time that the Rockets hadn't managed to sneak ahead before the break.

The Horrors were two players down at the start of the second half, facing a nigh-unstoppable team.  They couldn't help feeling that this was exactly the situation that the term ‘damage control’ was invented for.  The Chaos team put up a good job of defending, but in the end couldn't stop Centaur Moomin Papa from smashing through their line and scoring.

Even as the Cloven Elf, the Horrors’ star man-goat, prepared to snatch up the ball after the resulting kick-off, Coach Lysenko could see the ref checking his hourglass and putting the whistle to his lips.

Coach Lysenko’s time was up; the match and the League were over.

And now, here he sat, staring upwards, watching billows of thick smoke escaping through the smoke-hole of a tent made out of hewn skin; a tent of which his own skin would soon be a part of.  Indeed, he had to admit, Blood Bowl could be a funny old game.

The man-shaped shroud of robes behind the dancing flames shifted, grew taller.


The coach thought about speaking, but before the words had even reached his lips, a clawed fingers appeared from beneath the robes and pressed itself where Lysenko could only imagine the creature’s  mouth to be.


The coach’s lips snapped tightly shut and he looked up to the hole in the roof, imagining his own dismembered face staring down.


Lysenko didn’t dare speak.  He just whimpered instead.

‘VERY DISAPPOINTING.’  Was he..?  Yes, He seemed to be slowly shaking his head.  ‘I AFRAID... WE...’

Here it comes, the coach thought.  A sad end to a mediocre coaching career.


Finally, Lysenko broke his silence.  ‘But wait!  Wait!  Hang on, you don’t –  What?’


‘Fire me?  Is that all?’  Lysenko laughed.  ‘Fire me!  Phew!  I thought for a minute there, you know –‘

The coach pointed up at the smoke-hole.  ‘I thought you were going to stick me up there!’

The creature He laughed.  It was a rare and uncomfortable sound.


‘Really?  Oh, well, glad to disappoint you then I suppose...’  Lysenko clambered to his feet, which was tricky, chained as he was.  ‘I’ll just be off then...’

The coach hopped about-face, trying not to trip over his ankle chains only to find himself face-to-face with the Oozing Gash.  Lysenko tried to conceal his shock with a surprised grin.

‘WHERE YOU GOING, ‘COACH’?’  sneered He.

Lysenko turned around to see, for the very first time, the thing in the Skin Tent standing – or at least as best it could in the confines of the tent.  Despite being hunched forwards as it was forced to be, the (former) coach could tell that the creature beneath the robes must have been twice the size of a man, if not more.

Lysenko’s heart began to race.  Something felt very wrong.

‘But I thought...’ he pleaded.


The Warrior was faster than he looked.  Before Lysenko knew it, Gash had looped a length of his fetid intestines around the coach’s neck and had pulled it tight.  Lysenko gasped for breath, clawing at the slippery entrails that were throttling him.  A huge, meaty fist grasped his hair and the Warrior pushed down hard.  Lysenko’s legs buckled under the force and he found his face just inches from the dancing blue flames of the fire.

He knew it would be useless to struggle, but then what else was there to do?  He tried to grab Gash’s hands, to claw at his very flesh if he had to, but dripping as they were with the pus from countless weeping sores, his own feeble grip just slid away from them.

All the while, he was being inched closer and closer to the searing coals, He’s laughter ringing in his ears as his cheek began to blister and crack.  The coach could do nothing but cry out in pain and hope that the end would come quickly...

But as with most things this season, the end didn't come quite how he expected.


Monday, 15 October 2012

Bunker Bowl III!

What can I say?  As always, it was an absolutely fantastic two-day event put on by the Chelmsford Bunker in Essex.  This was the tournament's third year now and I'm proud to say I've managed to attend all of them.

The Saturday was a great day and lots of fun, despite my run of dreadful results.

The first game was played against my friend Tom and his Norse team, the dreaded Jagermonsters.  The Pink Horrors, my Chaos team, had come up against these guys during the CBBBL V league and were absolutely torn apart by them.  And this was no different!  Although Tom failed to do as much damage casualty-wise this time, he still managed to pull off a 2-1 victory.  It was close, but I was definitely beaten by a better player!

The second game was against an excellent coach, Rodders.  He too had beaten me in the league with his Chaos Dwarf team, but this time he had decided to field Amazons.  We were allowed to give our teams five skills for the duration of the tournament and I had chosen Block.  Rodders had cunningly taken Guard across the board, making it extremely difficult to get a two-dice block against him!  It was also pouring with rain for the whole match as well.  Rodders scored a touchdown in the first half and I simply could not manage to pick up the ball to equalise, meaning a 1-0 loss!

The final game of Day One was against a Necromantic team.  I had never played this particular coach and, as he too had lost both his games so far, I hoped that I might be in with a chance of victory.  It was not to be, however.  His werewolves had the run of the pitch, and despite managing to make two 5+ dodges, a 4+ dodge, two Go For Its and a successful block against the ball carrier with one of my Chaos Warriors, my luck just wasn't holding for the rest of the game and I lost 2-0.

Three defeats in a day was my worst ever Blood Bowl performance, so I could rest safe in the knowledge that Day Two could only get better!

And, being paired against three Stunty teams, it did!

The first match was a very entertaining fight with a Goblin team along with all of the Secret Weapons, bombs, chainsaws and Bribes that they could field.  Luckily, I managed to smash my way through them with my superior strength and make it impossible for them to act effectively.  Despite this, I still only managed a 1-0 win!

The second game started badly.  It was against (with the exception of one Kroxigor) an all-Skink Lizardman team.  Skinks are fast, anyone who plays Blood Bowl will know this.  After receiving the kick-off, they managed to score almost immediately, despite one of the faithful Horrors fans Stunning the Krox with a thrown rock.  I honestly though I wouldn't stand a chance here, so I decided to just kill as many Skinks as I could and hope for the best.  Luckily, this tactic cleared the pitch enough for me to stroll home with a touchdown.  And, as luck would have it, I managed to roll a Blitz! in the subsequent kick-off, allowing me to place a Beastman under the ball and successfully catch it.  After that, it was merely a case of stalling the Skinks by smashing them into the floor until I could safely score the winner in the knowledge that there was no coming back for the scaly ones!

The last game was against my friend Erik.  We have a long and bloody history of hard-fought draws and today was no different.  Fielding two Treemen, including Deeproot Strongbranch, the Halfling team managed to relatively easily score their first touchdown.  After that, a catalogue of errors (and the Masterchef staling my rerolls!), most involving failure to pick up the ball, prevented the Horrors from scoring.  However, a second wind lifted them when we managed to kill Puggy Baconbreath who had been something of a thorn in our side.  We still only managed to equalise in the last turn - the ball spent most of the second half sat between  two seemingly-immoveable Treemen!  Luckily for Erik, my fortunate draw didn't stop him from winning the Stunty Cup!

In the end, despite a severe lack of wins, we managed to finish in the top half of the table thanks to a huge number of Casualties scored against the Stunty teams.

Better yet, the Horrors managed to take home the Best Painted trophy - which for me is my third year running!  Hurrah!

I just want to extend my thanks to all at the Chelmsford Bunker who helped to organise this excellent tournament, and to Mantic Games who supplied some great prizes (I got a metal Dreadball Refbot!!!).

Now to start planning for Bunker Bowl IV!!!!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Clash of Kings! (Part 4)

Well, it's been about three weeks since I last updated the 'Clash of Kings' portion of the blog.  In that time, I have been basecoating orcs like there's no tomorrow.  Except there was a tomorrow.  I knew this because I was scheduled to be basecoating more orcs...

I have to say, I'm pretty chuffed that I managed to get a hundred and ten greenskins ready for dipping in just three weeks!  It was a pretty monotonous job, despite loving the miniatures, so I set myself small, manageable goals for each night's painting, rather than trying to do everything too quickly and just burning myself out.

That said, I was due to finish the basecoating a week from now, but realised a couple of nights ago that this weekend was the last chance I would have to get outside and dip the miniatures for a couple of weeks (for anybody who doesn't know, it's the Chelmsford Bunker's Bunker Bowl III tournament on the 13th and 14th of October!) so I did put in a couple of marathon painting sessions over the last few nights to get them finished:

This morning, I spent a very messy and fun few hours reminiscing about Arnie's death in Terminator 2 as I slowly submerged a thousand points of orcs one-by-one into sticky brown goo.  Sadly, none of them gave me a thumbs up as they went in, but you can't have everything.

And here they are in all of their shiny, sticky, glory:

It'll be at least another fourty-eight hours before they'll be completely dry, so I'm going to reward myself by spending a couple of nights assembling my Krudger on Gore and four Flaggers.  After that, hopefully it should take slightly under a week to add the weathering to the orcs' armour, add snow to the bases and paint the edges.  After that, a quick blast of matte varnish and they'll be ready for battle.  This can only be a good thing as, apart from a couple of intro games courtesy of Tom Pugh at Cymbeline Games (an all-round decent chap and supplier of all my Mantic wares), I have not actually played a full game of Kings of War yet!  I may have a few 'victory issues' when it comes to the tournament in February.  I'll be the one on the bottom table, drinking beer and watching my army run away...

Anyway, more updates as soon as these guys are done.  I bought a huge amount of plasticard from my friends at 4Tk Gaming in Colchester this afternoon, ready to make my first ever scratch-build movement trays.  Hopefully, it's going to be as straight-forward as I'm imagining it to be...

More on that soon, but in the mean time - bye for now!!!