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Thursday, 13 February 2014

Vapnartak, DreadBall, God of Battles and Painting Progress

First off, apologies (again) for the gap between posts. This time I've been a little distracted by recent events. Contrary to certain scurrilous rumours to the contrary, I'm a lifelong Seahawks fan, and I'm not sure I've finished celebrating the yet...

The day of the Super Bowl was also Vapnartak up in York. This was my first time there and I have to say, I didn't leave with a great impression of the show. At first glance it looked good, but once you got off the ground floor the upper levels were cramped, with too many stalls in too small a space (and too many idiots blocking the walkways in order to have a conversation, what is it with some people). When you add in the fact that some parts of the venue were basically empty, and it all smacked of a lack of organisation.

What really bugged me though were the games that were on offer. They looked amazing, and it was obvious that a lot of time and effort had gone into setting them up but every time I went past there was nothing going on. What you had were a lot of impressive looking display tables, but nobody actually playing the games. With Hammerhead coming up in a couple of weeks, where every game there will be a participation game, I found it all a bit underwhelming.

That said, I was only really there for the DreadBall tournament. This was another official Mantic event and I've long since given up on actually winning one of these, as the tournament rules really work against my preferred style of game (i.e. they reward people who win games that aren't any fun). I'll probably rant on about that in more detail in future, but suffice it to say that I was going in looking to have some fun and maybe win the "Most Violent Coach" award (again) using my Teratons.

My first game I was up against Forge Fathers. A tough game but a lot of fun and I managed to pull out a win and get a couple of fatalities along the way. My second game was anything but, up against Orx and Goblins and nothing seemed to go my way. Meanwhile the goblins ran rings around me and scored an early landslide victory. My opponent even apologised to me for the way the game went, but at least it meant I got a longer break for lunch.

Next game was against Z'Zor, and for the first time ever I had a game that went to time and ended in a draw. Two very evenly matched teams, with an equal lack of luck when it came to scoring or causing injuries. When time was called I had one final shot to win the game, but threw a double-1. A draw seemed like a fair result given the way we'd played, and I had a lot of fun.

Going into the final game, I had one win and a draw and only 2 fatalities to my name. Things weren't looking good, but then I got drawn against a human team for the final game, My opponent, a guy by the unlikely name of Sock, had much the same attitude to the game as I did. This was a great laugh, and it didn't stop even as I took his team out of action one after the other. He got an early 3-point score against me, but I answered with a 4-pointer of my own and sat on that lead until the end of the game (I missed another couple of chances to score). At the end of the game I had a win, and six fatalities to go with it while Sock had no players left on the pitch.

Six fatalities in one game turned out to be more than anyone else had accomplished in the whole event, so mission accomplished and (mostly) a lot of fun had into the process.

God of Battles
Last week I set myself a mission; cobble together an army for God of Battles based on the spare Romans I had kicking about and a few other bits and pieces and head along to one of Foundry's regular gaming days to give it another try. As it turned out, I was the only one to turn up so I got to play a couple of games against Jake Thornton (the game's designer). To say I got schooled would be putting it mildly, Jake actually used our games as an object lesson in how to kill big powerful units like Ogres on his own blog. He's done a great job of writing up the games themselves so I won't duplicate that, all I'll say is that I had a lot of fun (despite the result) and I've really gained a new appreciation for this game. Anybody who's around Nottingham when Foundry are running one of these days, or who has a chance to play it any other time I thoroughly recommend that you check it out.

Painting Progress and New Armies
Like I said, I put together a new army for God of Battles last week. This consisted of a few units of Roman infantry from Warlord, plus some Mantic ogres and Foundry orcs and halflings that all together made up what I hoped would be an effective mercenary army. While I was building the army, I always had in mind the idea that if I built it correctly I could use it for Kings of War as well.

One thing I did when putting the army together was to base everything up using the Basius system from Wargames Bakery. I backed these on Kickstarter last year, but this was my first chance to actually try them out and I have to say I'm incredibly impressed. Easy to use, and the results look great. I got a number of compliments on the bases while I was at Foundry, and I've since gone on to re-base all of the WWII partisans I'm working on as well. The only downside is that it uses up a lot of green stuff, all told I've built almost 150 bases in the last 2 weeks and I'm all out.

With all that work, I haven't got a lot of actual painting done. I have managed to get a Nameless team done for DreadBall (plus a couple of spare players) and I'm working my way through a bunch of MVPs as well. All told, a total of 16 models painted.

On the other hand, I picked up a few figures at Hammerhead and a few more while I was at Foundry (some more partisans and a baggage train for the mercenaries) so that total's going up a bit as well.

Totals for this year so far: 42 painted, 27 bought.

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