Thursday, September 27, 2018

Blood Bowl: Princess Owayanna Tournament Report- Skaven vs. Orks

Lord Summervale: Thanks for joining us at Cabalvision IV for continuing coverage of the Deep North League- Southern Regional Conference as they compete for the Princess Owayanna Bottled Healing Waters Cup! Today, we are proud to present the next round of competition between the Ork Skulsmash Reeverz captained by Grimgrod Rotgut versus Da' Rat Packers led by Favre Da' Cheesemonger.

Mad Johan: Da' Rat Packers were part of this League last year, so they are the more experienced team on paper. However, in the off season they lost some key personnel to assassination, raiding, or were sold into slavery by a corrupt Grey Seer apothecary. However, Favre has managed to rally the remnants of the team from bench players, second stringers, and rookies.

Lord Summervale: Kaptin Grimgrod Rotgut is a veteran second stringer from another League, but he came to the Deep North League to make a break for himself. He managed to pull together a krew of Orks from the badlands.

Mad Johan: The winner of this game goes to face the Nottingham Nobles in the semi-finals.

Lord Summervale: Indeed. The Nobles had posted a convincing victory versus the Forever Jackals of Khemri.

Mad Johan: Kaptin Rotgut must be feeling pretty good about his chances. If he beats these Skaven, he knows his team can beat the Nobles. They did twice in Pre-season.

Lord Summervale: He better not look too far ahead. Da' Rat Packers host a pretty high powered offense with three Gutter Runners! They can score early and fast.

Mad Johan: If I were Kaptin Rotgut, I would focus on taking those Gutter Runners out of the game early. I expect the Orks to try to out play their opponents in the physical game, so we will probably see some punishing hits!

Lord Summervale: Well, we are about to find out as Favre and Rotgut have come out of the dug-outs for the coin flip. The two have the obligatory pre-game handshake, and then exchange some.... friendly.... taunts.

Mad Johan: I thought you Elves were experts on courtesy.... if you call that friendly....

Lord Summervale: The Skaven have won the toss, and Favre has elected to receive.

Mad Johan: I think they are hoping to get a head early.

Lord Summervale: Both teams line-up for the kick-off . The Skaven have all three of their Gutter-runners out there, along with Favre and their Stormvermin. However, they are playing back from the line. The Orks also bring all of their positional players, except the back-up thrower Runthugga.

Mad Johan: There is some confusion on the field as fans of the two teams have started jostling each other in the stands, chanting, and generally causing a ruckus!

Lord Summervale: The refs are too busy watching the fun, and forget to let the Orks kick-off. The clock has been running the whole time!

Finally, the Grot ref shakes it off and the Orks kick it up. Boom! The ball goes to the end zone, and the Skaven decide to give it to Favre to get the half going.

Mad Johan: Initial blocking up front does not go the Skaven's way, and Gobsmacka is trying to find a hole into the back field.

Lord Summervale: A nice block by Squish-Squish seals the hole in the line. Meanwhile, the Gutter Runners do what they do best. A blitze by Kil-Kil let's them flood across the line on the near side, while sheer speed takes some skaven around the right.

Mad Johan: Now is the Reeverz chance to take some of those runts out of the game!

Lord Summervale: Indeed! Ruck-Ruck unloads a punishing blitz on Sneaky, who is leading the dash across the line. The Orks push the Skaven far side back and Gobsmacka desperately tries to find his way around the edge and to Favre.

Mad Johan: A punishing team hit by Kil-Kil and Pokey sends Gutrippa off the field! That means Pokey is loose in the back field!

Lord Summervale: A hit by Bucktooth also clears a lane for Squeaky. Bashy and Nipper push back Big Ammer together, and Favre steps up in the pocket as Gobsmacka closes in.

Mad Johan: Like a cold eyed veteran, Favre delivers a strike to Squeaky...

Lord Summervale: ...who easily runs it into the end zone for a Rat Packer touchdown! A quick score for the Skaven is on the board. We knew going into this game that Da' Rat Packers were a high-powered offense.

The Skaven set-up to kick. Boom! The kick is short and one of the Ork lineman tries to catch it. Gitsplitta hauls it in at the line of scrimmage.

Mad Johan: Badgob comes in off the wing of the line and lays Nipper out! He is sent to the injury box. That hit will be on the highlight reel!

Lord Summervale: The Orks quickly make a cage around their ball handler and start to steam roll forward.

Mad Johan: Favre and his team are being very cunning. They seem to be using a defense in depth strategy to limit the Orks ability to move the ball forward quickly.

Lord Summervale: That maybe the strategy, but the Skaven are paying a heavy toll. Bowel Burna finishes his man...err....rat and sends him to the dug-out K.O.ed.

With time running out it is obvious that the Orks are not going to be able to plow their way to score this half. Following a block by Big Ammer, Gitsplitta staggers forward and hands the ball back to Rotgut. The Thrower uses the pocket to throw to Bowelburna who hauls it in for a completion. Badgob clears the lane and Bowelburna stretches for the end zone.

Mad Johan:... and that is the buzzer for the half. The Skulsmash Reeverz fall just short of scoring!

Lord Summervale: What an exciting first half of play as both teams tried to stick to what they do best. Da' Rat Packers raced forward for an early lead, while the Orks ground the ball down the field.

Mad Johan: Sure, but the team that is going to win has to score more points, and right now that team is Da Rat Packers.

Lord Summervale: Good thing there is still plenty of Blood Bowl left to play! Now let's get a word from our sponsors! Princess Owayanna Healing Bottled Water is proud to bring you today's match-up. I am sure Da Rat Packer Line-rat Nipper could use a bottle right now after being taken out by Badgob! Now, enjoy a half-time update back at the Cabalvision IV studios!

** ** ** ** ** **

Lord Summervale: Lot's of exciting Blood Bowl action around the Olde World today. Nuffle be praised! Welcome back to Freeboota Field for this tournament match-up between the Ork Skulsmash Reeverz and the Skaven Rat Packers. Right now, the Skaven are up by 1 Touchdown, but they are going to be kicking it off to the Reeverz to get us started!

Mad Johan: I talked to Kaptin Rotgut at the half and he had this to say about his teams performance.....

Kaptin Grimgrod Rotgut: Dem Dirty little blighters got lucky. This time, we are going to flood the zone and toss on them.

Lord Summervale: Sounds like a plan. Look at how he has stacked the line with his boys, with only himself and Runthugga back to receive the kick. And.... Boom! The kick is up!

Runthugga scrambles over to pick-up the ball. The Ork line goes to work and starts moving forward and trying to hem in the Skaven defenders. However, Ruck-Ruck trips on the approach to Pokey and falls down, opening a gap in the Ork plan.

Mad Johan: Embarrassing.

Lord Summervale: Bucktooth manages to break through the Ork line and gets right up in Runthugga's face.

Mad Johan: Gobsmacka comes back and picks-up the blitz and smashes Bucktooth down.

Lord Summervale: This gives Runthugga and Rotgut space to scamper away.

Mad Johan: A big collision between Lungbursta and Fodder leaves Fodder stunned and the center of the field open. On the other side of the field, a blown block by Bashy leaves Ruck-ruck potential free to make a dash for the end zone.

Lord Summervale: Ruck-ruck heads across the field while a block by Gitsplitta takes up Mick and opens a pocket for Runthugga to pass. After a pump fake, Runthugga connects with Ruck-Ruck. There is no one around to stop him.

Mad Johan: A missed block up front by Bad Axe has given Da' Rat Packers a chance!

Lord Summervale: Squish-Squish and Pokey make a desperate lunge to try to stop Ruck-Ruck, but a stiff arm by the Blitzer keeps them back. He is still up and has the ball. The Rat Packers swarm back to stop him, but the Ork Blitzer will not be denied. He dodges his way through and to the touch down!

Mad Johan: The crowd here at Freeboota Field is going nuts!

Lord Summervale: The score is all tied up, but we know this Rat Packer team can score quickly. All three Gutter Runners are back on the field.

Mad Johan: The Skulsmash Reeverz should have taken those Gutter Runners out earlier in the game.

Lord Summervale: Rotgut is going with an interesting strategy. He has no one back deep to protect, instead it looks like everyone is on the line of scrimmage all the way across the board. He is stacking the line.

Mad Johan: This Skulsmash Reever crowd here at Freeboota Field has really come alive. It must be firing up the Ork players.

Lord Summervale: The kick is up, and goes off the end of the field. The Skaven give it to Favre. Can he make magic happen again?

The Skaven make their move with the Stormvermin leading the way. They are going to try to open a hole in the Ork line to flood through.

Mad Johan: They hit a Black Orc Blocker shaped wall and collapse.

Lord Summervale: The Orks move in. Kaptin Rotgut himself puts a brutal hit on Bashy the Stormvermin and sends him off the field in a strecther!

The pocket starts to collapse and the Gutter Runners start scrambling out. Favre steps up and tries to dump it off to Sneaky, but he drops the pass! This is the Reeverz chance!

Runthugga picks up the ball and starts moving for the end zone. The Skaven scramble to stop him, and Favre himself with the help of Pokey and Squeaky bring the Ork thrower down! The ball bounces loose and is recovered by Bucktooth after he stretches himself out for it.

Ruck-Ruck takes out Bucktooth, and the ball is loose again!

Mad Johan: There is not much time on the clock! This one might be going to O.T.!

Lord Summervale: Finally, Favre scoops it up. Squeaky manages to break past a defender, and Favre tries to throw but it is knocked down by Ruck-Ruck.

Mad Johan: That's the end of the second half. It looks like we are getting extra Blood Bowl today!

** ** ** **

Lord Summevrvale: The Skaven won the toss, and elected to receive. They want to end this early.

Mad Johan: The Reeverz have stacked the line again!

Lord Summervale: The ork kick is up, and short! Sneaky scampers up and recovers. Meanwhile, the far side Skaven linerats go to work and push the Ork line back.

Mad Johan: The Skaven had stacked the box on that side.

Lord Summervale: Sneaky hands the ball off to Favre, who races around the edge of the line. Meanwhile, Squeaky dodges away from Kaptin Rotgut's coverage and to the sideline. Favre hands it off to the Gutter Runner who streaks away at full speed and goes in for the touch down.

Mad Johan: The crowd at Freeboota Field is suddenly silenced as Da' Rat Packers Eliminate the Skulsmash Reeverz from the tournament.

Lord Summervale: Wow, what a spectacular finish to a hard played game of Blood Bowl.

Mad Johan: The post-game injury report is coming in now. It looks like Gitrippa is badly hurt, but will have plenty of time to recover now that his team is out of the Tournament. Nipper was also badly hurt but is expected to return in time for the next game. Bashy the Stormvermin is not so lucky and will miss the next match with a broken arm. That will impact Da' Rat packers strategy for sure.

Lord Summervale: Indeed! After reviewing my notes, it is clear that the MVP for the Skulsmash Reeverz must be the lineman Badgob. He was out there grinding it every play and took out 3 Skaven on his own. For the Skaven side, it has to be the game winning run by Sneaky that makes him the Guillotine Razor “Close Shave” player of the game.

Mad Johan: Couldn't agree more.

Lord Summervale: Thanks for watching this tournament broadcast of the Skulsmash Reeverz versus Da' Rat Packers on Cabalvision IV. Stay tuned for further analysis and breakdown of this weeks match-ups across the Olde World. This is Lord Summervale and Mad Johan from Freeboota Field.... signing off!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Blood Bowl: Princess Owayanna Tourney Report - Humans vs. Khemri

Lord Summervale: Welcome to the opening match of the Princess Owayanna Bottled Healing Waters Tournament. Today, we are going to The Citadel, home of the Nottingham Nobles. They will be taking on the Forever Jackals of Khemri.

Mad Johan: We have seen hard hits from both of these teams, but the Nobles have proven to be a bit fragile in pre-season.

Lord Summervale: That's true Johan. Under their captain Rick Priestley they were decimated by the Skulsmash Reeverz but got their feet under them playing the Cheez-Ballerz.

Mad Johan: Meanwhile, in pre-season the Forever Jackals lost a close first game after some embarrassing ball handling... or lack there of.

Lord Summervale: ….but they brought the pain against a heavily armored Chaos Goat Herderz team. The hits were big and if they keep it up, will be on the highlight reels for a long time to come.

Mad Johan: It is all going to come down to who can keep their players in the game and scoring more touch downs.

Lord Summervale: With that bit of wisdom, let's get kicked-off. The Nobles are going to kick it to the Jackals to get the game started. ….. Boom! There is the kick!

Anoobis drops back and picks up the ball. The skeletons of the line move up and start to create a cage for Anoobis while the Tomb Guardians start to push the humans back.

Mad Johan: Here comes the Nobles Blitzer Jervis Johnson.... POW! He has flattened Anoobis and forced the ball loose!

Lord Summervale: I think Anoobis' head just popped off. He is stumbling towards the sidelines for help.

Mad Johan: Look at the violence inherent in the system! This scrum for the ball is getting vicious. Skeletons and Humans are being tossed around like straw men. Players are crawling off the field or laying stunned on the field.

Lord Summervale: Finally, Andy Chambers manages to pull the ball from the scrum and breaks across mid-field. He finds Gav Thorpe nearby and dumps it off to him. He begins to streak down the field with one eye on the clock for the end of the first half.

Mad Johan: The Jackals are all out of position.

Lord Summervale: Gav Thorpe ends the first half of the game by walking into the endzone for a Nobles touch down.

Mad Johan: With the Forever Jackals kicking it to the Nobles in the second half, the Khemri team is in a tough spot.

Lord Summervale: Indeed Johan. The Nobles lead the Forever Jackals by 1, Let's go back to the Cabalvision IV studios for a breakdown of more Blood Bowl action across the Old World. Our sponsors Guillotine Razors remind you that nothing shaves closer than a Guillotine.

* * * * *

Lord Summervale: Welcome back to our main event game from the Princess Owayanna Healing Bottled Water Tournament. The Nottingham Nobles lead the Forever Jackals by 1 touch down. The Jackals will be kicking off to the Nobles to start the second half.

Mad Johan: The first half was a bruising battle of bashing. The Forever Jackals lost many of their key players to the dug-out, but the Nobles took a beating too.

Lord Summervale: I expect the second half to be just as rough. The Jackals kick it up, and Rick Priestly recovers the ball. The Humans take their time and set up a cage.

Mad Johan: They are putting on a clinic of ball control and execution. The Forever Jackals are desperate to knock the ball lose, but the Nobles are not going to let that happen.

Lord Summervale: Indeed. They have managed to steam roll their way through the flank of the Forever Jackals.

Mad Johan: I think the Noble's blitzer Mat Ward just obliterated Mum-skull. The skeleton literally came apart on the field from that hit!

Lord Summervale: The Khemri Tomb Guardians have managed to maintain control of the line, but the Nobles bypassed them on the flank and are grinding their way to the end zone.

Mad Johan: Even Ra-Men the Unspoiled can't slow down the train as he is gang tackled and brought low by a horde of Nobles players!

Lord Summervale: Again, as the second half comes to a close the Nobles Andy Chambers carries the ball across the end zone for another score, and sealing the Human teams victory in the tournament!

Mad Johan: As the game comes to a close, I am getting an sideline injury report. It looks like I was right, Mum-skull was completely knocked to pieces and all of the Pharoah's men can not put him back together again! In addition, Ra-Men the Unspoiled had his arm broken and will not be available for the next game. However, it didn't go all the Nobles' way as Lineman Nigel Stillman was badly injured as well.

Lord Summervale: Well, for the Nobles Nigel will probably be back for the next game of the Tournament. The Forever Jackals will have plenty of time to heal up as they will be spectators for the rest of the Tournament.

Mad Johan: Congratulations to Rick Priestley and his team as they advance to the Semi-finals.

Lord Summervale: Stay here on Cabalvision IV to see the next exciting match-up in the Princess Owayanna Bottled Healing Waters Tournament, also sponsored by Guillotine Razors and Bloodweisser. Next up will be Da' Rat Packers versus the Skulsmash Reeverz. Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Super System 4th Edition: Battle Report- Smugglers Run!

I was very excited to continue using the Nano Metal toy superhero figures to keep building and playing games of Super System. Typically, all this metal models need is a few touch-ups for paint and a wash to be ready to play. They can be found easily at big box retailers and do the trick just fine for these types of games, allowing for fun games on a budget.

I divided my models into two teams. The Union of Semi-Professional Heroes A.K.A. The Union versus The Black Hearts. You can read all about the current line-up of The Union and the Black Hearts in a previous blog post. After the Black Hearts raided a museum and stole several artifacts of ancient and historical South-East Asia, they were confronted by the Union as they made their escape in the desert. Today's adventure is a continuation of the ongoing rivalry between the two factions.

The Nihilist flipped open the briefcase and turned for him to see. For a brief moment, the glitter and flash of uncut diamonds flashed in the dim light.

Look, it is worth your while to help us out. I have been told you are one of the best smugglers uncut diamonds can buy.”

The other man cast a long thin shadow. He craned his neck and it looked unnatural as he peaked into the container. A filthy blanket wrapped around him as his dark eyes glinted at the sight of the gems.

I can get you out of country unnoticed easily enough. However, you do realize where you go is a deadly jungle hell hole run by a murderous militia?” The man squawked.

The Nihilist and Metal Head exchanged the briefest glance. “We understand. That's why we are coming to you.”

The man shuffled forward awkwardly in a tattered blanket. His hand shot out and slammed the case closed. A metallic, claw like set of fingers closed on the handle. MetalHead stepped forward and planted his large hand on the case firmly and shook his head slowly.

Nihilist hissed through her mask, “Do we have a deal?”

The man's head twitched forward in what she assumed was a sign of consent. Then he slowly looked up above them. With a speed that surprised the two Black Hearts he stepped back and tore the blanket from his shoulders. As it drifted away, the man raised a red helmet to his head, and a huge pair of mechanical wings stretched outward from his body.

Company!” he squawked. The two villains turned quickly to see Mr. Amazing flying down from the darkening horizon. MetalHead eagerly crashed his fist into his palm, while Nihilist raised her delicate hood.

The caped hero hovered at the edge of the wooded clearing, “What do we have here? An unexpected catch?”

From the edge of the woods stepped the Riverine and his fellow Union pal, Safeguard. “We came to shut down Buzzard's smuggling ring, but it looks a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush!”

Metalhead grinned at the newly arrived heroes, “Let's Rock.” he muttered. However, the Nihilist placed a restraining hand on his bicep.

Remember, our job was to secure the Buzzard's help. Not smash up The Union. We have the Buzzard, now we need to make our escape.”

With a quick grunt MetalHead nodded his reluctant agreement. The Nihilist turned quickly to their new fellow Black Heart he was now hovering, buoyed by the soft whooshing of micro-jet technology, “It looks like you are one of us now. Come on!” She started running towards their hidden burrowing machine.

Riverine rolled his eyes, “We can't let them get away..... again!” He sprang into action. His fellow Union hero, Safeguard close behind him.

I knew we should I have asked Red Streak to come,” muttered Safeguard.

We have two new cast members today! For The Union we have Safeguard. Safeguard was a scientist and inventor whose family was killed tragically as collateral damage during a super-villain throw down. He vowed to protect those who could not protect himself and spent years creating the Safeguard armor. It allows him to project protective force bubbles around himself and others to keep other from harm. His appearance to protect civilians at various super-powered slugfests soon brought him to the attention of The Union, and he was recruited by the Riverine.

For the Black Hearts, we have the infamous smuggler and mercenary the Buzzard. Buzzard was able to acquire a suit of specialized flying gear from a smuggling operation that went wrong on the edge of Tajikistan. The former owners of the suit may have been the Soviet Union, Chinese Military, Islamic rebels, or worse. He didn't know or care as he used it to escape capture by a United States military raid. The suit allows him to fly and since he has equipped it with various upgrades to help him stay ahead of his competition and pursuers.

The Forces

The Union (of Semi-Professional Heroes)
Mr. Amazing- Brick- Stupendous Man Archetype
The Riverine- Brawler-The Shield Slinger Archetype
Safeguard- Blaster- Guardian Archetype

The Black Hearts
Nihilist- Mentalist- The Empath Archetype
MetalHead- Brick- Immovable Object Archetype
Buzzard- Blaster- Death from Above Archetype

The Black Hearts are starting on any board edge up to 12 inches in. The Heroes can start at the closest board edge. The Black Hearts need to get Buzzard off the opposite board edge to win along with one other Black Heart to operate the machine. He can not be captured by The Union. The Union must capture Buzzard first, any other captures are a bonus.

The board is to be a wooded clearing. There are rocks and small copse of trees scattered about. It is assumed the edge of the board is surrounded by thick forest and impenetrable, except for where marked for the Buzzard to escape to the Black Hearts waiting machine.
The Black Hearts are in a small group, where they were conducting there business before being interrupted. The Union are along a board edge within 12 inches and directly opposite where the Black Hearts need to escape the board.

Turn 1:
The Nihilist wins the Initiative roll against the Riverine. The Buzzard takes off and fires a blast of firepower. He targets Mr. Aamzing as he is the only opponent who can fly, but the super hero simply shrugs off the blasts.

The Riverine knows how dangerous MetalHead can be when he changes into his metal form, so he dashes forward and tosses his trident. It grazes along the rockers arm, and draws blood as he stumbles back. MetalHead grabs his arm, looks at the blood on his hand, and snarls at the Riverine. He quickly changes into his metal form. He takes a step towards the Union leader

Nihilist thows up her hand, “Cover Buzzard!” Metalhead reluctantly agrees and falls back towards the winged smuggler.

Mr. Amazing takes-off and starts to head for the Buzzard. However, Nihilist mind flares him and clouds his mind. Safeguard steps up and fires force bolts at Nihilist, but she manages to avoid them.

Turn 2:
The Nihilist out leads the Riverine again. Buzzard walks his fire from Mr. Amazing towards Riverine, but he acrobatically dodges the shooting. Casings rain from the sky as Buzzard falls back to the escape route. Mr. Amazing grimaces through the confusing haze in his head and makes his way towards the top of the hill to try and cut off his escaping prey. The mind flare still dances and clouds his mind.

MetalHead keeps his metallic form and falls back, but he is much slower than the Buzzard. He tries to get between the Buzzard and Mr. Amazing.

The Riverine sees his chance as Nihilist is undefended and races forward, and scoops up his trident and leaping attacks the mentalist. His attack strikes home and pushes her back from the impact. Cursing, she mind flares the impudent Hero. The Riverine stumbles back from the mental attack and is stunned. Seeing The Riverine stumble, Safeguard moves up to protect him with a force dome if needed.

Turn 3:
The Nihilist wins advantage again. Seeing the Nihilist get hit, MetalHead switches targets to the disoriented Riverine and smashes him as hard as he can! However, even with a woozy-head, The Riverine is able to dodge the incoming attack.

Mr. Amazing keeps up the pursuit and gets to the top of the hill, his mind still reeling from the Flare. Nihilist runs for the escape route at full speed. The Riverine breaks under MetalHeads swinging fists and chases after the fleeing foes. Safeguard chases after The Riverine.

Hey, wait-up!” Safeguard skitters after The Riverine. MetalHead glaring at him.

Buzzard keeps falling back, and unloads a barrage of mini-missiles from his suit at The Riverine. The old soldiers twists and turns, but a nearby explosion hits him with streaking hot shrapnel.

The Rioverine looks pointedly back at Safeguard as a trickle of blood runs down his cheek from a minor scalp wound. The scientist shrugged sheepishly, “I had to run to keep up with you, sorry.”

Turn 4:
The Black Hearts can still go first. The Nihilist scampers away from The oncoming heroes. However, The Riverine keeps up the pursuit, and throws his Trident at her. However, the mind flare clouding The Riverine's mind allows her to easily dodge away from the oncoming weapon.

MetalHead chases down the straggling Doctor, and tries to grab him. However, the Doctor squirms away from the lunging big man. Safeguard squirms away and gives MetalHead a blast to the metal face, which causes the metal man to smile like a feral wold.

Better luck next time, Do,.” Metalhead quipped.

With his head ringing, Mr. Amazing rips a tree from the ground at the top of the hill with a grunt, and throws it at Buzzard. The Buzzard tries to dodge the tree, but it is too large, entangles him, and he falls to the ground with the tree around him.

Don't leave yet, you forgot your trunk!”Mr. Amazing shouted playfully.

With the roar of micro-jets the battered buzzard burst from the tree with his chain guns blazing at the Riverine, who managed to barely dodge the ricocheting bullets.

Turn 5:
The Nihilist is a great leader and out commands the Riverine. The Buzzard hovered back to the edge of the clearing and laid down cover fire, again whinging the Riverine in the fire fight. However, it wasn't enough to stop him as he attacked the Nihilist. However, she easily dodges the mind flared Hero who hasn't taken the time to clear his head yet. She manages to duck around the swings of The Riverine's trident and manages to fall back to the Burrower with Buzzard.

A high pitch whistle filled the clearing, and MetalHead looked up from the cowering Safeguard, “Maybe we can dance next time, Doc?” With that he dashed towards his fellow Black Hearts. Nihilist put her hands ot her head and focused an extra strength mind blast that forced Mr. Amazing and The Riverine to grip their heads, momentarily paralyzed. By the time the heroes shook it off, the Black Hearts were gone.

Mr. Amazing flew down to his fellow heroes, his hand on his temple, “What were those two doing here?”

I don't know, but I am sure it was no good,” The Riverine walked to the edge of the tunneler's path and looked into the ground.

Safeguard shrugged, “Sorry guys, I guess you should have brought Red Streak afterall. He could have caught those guys. I wasn't much good.”

Mr. Amazing clapped his fellow Union member on the shoulder, “Don't be so hard on yourself. We all learned from this encounter.”

Well said Mr. Amazing. We will be better prepared next time,” The Riverine walked back to his friends, “Come on, let's get back to the Union Hall and consult with the others. Maybe they have some idea of what the Black Hearts are up to?”

Another Super Systems game under my belt. We probably are still making tons of mistakes, but the game was still enjoyable. I have really enjoyed the light role-playing element that this game provides. We were cracking one-liners, taunting each other, and generally just having a hoot at the table. There are a lot of little rules to recall about how powers and special moves interact, but the rules are laid out pretty well to answer most basic questions as you go. It was awesome to have Mr. Amazing throw a tree at Buzzard! That almost took him out too.

This game won't be to everyone's taste as the damage output is not high, and many of the heroes can take a pretty good beating. However, both games have had a strong evasion element to the plot and story line we are developing, so fleeing has been a high priority for the Black Hearts instead of sticking around and pounding each other into super-dust. There is a strong element of trying to create mismatches between characters and powers whenever possible such as having Riverine take on Nihilist and MetalHead vs. Safeguard. However, you also need to know when to put a brick against a brick and so forth. By no means would I call this a tight tournament set of rules, but it is a great tool set for super heroics on the tabletop.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Blood Bowl: League Play Set-up

When I first picked up the new Blood Bowl I was unsure how much I was going to do with it.  I had a few teams from previous editions but I had never had all the templates or pitch.  I left that up to other people.  Now, with the new boxed set, I had everything I needed to play BUT I was not sure I wanted to spend the money on newer teams.  This changed a bit when a new FLGS came into my town, and they were selling Blood Bowl teams for a good price, and there was the promise of some more local players.  In addition, my family began to show a lot more interest in playing the game too. 

This led to a Blood Bowl renaissance in my house.  I had managed to play several games with my hobby buddies between the Living Rulebook days and the new boxset, but they were few and far between.  Now, I had players much closer to try games with.  Soon, I had 9 teams ready to play and the Deep North League- Southern Regional Conference was born.  Sure, they are not all painted and maybe will never be painted, sure the teams were mostly just the boxed sets, sure the teams were not all optimized with 16 players….. but we had 9 legal teams ready to hit the pitch.  

My family first had to get the hang of the basics of the game with a number of exhibition games….

With those out of the way, they felt ready to start some League play.  Our League consists of the following teams:

Nottingham Nobles- Human team
Skulsmash Reeverz- Ork Team
Cheeze-Ballerz- Skaven Team
Rock-N-Rollers- Dwarf Team
Goat Herderz- Chaos Team
The Black Guards- Dark Elf Team
Forever Jackals- Khemri Team (Old School- Painted)
Da’ Rat Packerz- Skaven Team (Old School- Painted)
Gridiron Gravediggers- Chaos Team (Old School- Painted)

I would not be surprised if a few more teams join the League eventually, but this is what we have to start the season off!  What better way to get started with the season than to have an Open Tournament?  The invite list would be all of the teams listed above, minus the Black Guards as they still need to be assembled.     

** * * * *

Lord Summervale: Post-NAF Blood Bowl fans from the Deep North are eagerly anticipating the start of the new Blood Bowl season.  The Southern Regional Conference will be kicking the Season off with an open tournament held in honor of Princess Owyanna.

Mad Johan: Local legend claims that the original princess was gravely ill.  In desperation, her father begged a local forest spirit to cure the illness impacting his daughter.  The spirit agreed and gave her a sip of healing waters from a hidden local spring.  In return, the spirit only asked for Princess Owyanna to host a Blood Bowl Tournament in honor of the spirit. 

Lord Summervale: Hence the “Princess Owayonna: Bottled Healing Spring Water Blood Bowl Open Tournament” was born!  Nothing goes down easier after a viciously played game of Blood Bowl than a bottle of Princess Owayonna’s bottled Healing Spring Water.  Their patented enchantment will whisk away all of your aches and pains with a splash of this delightful, refreshing beverage.   

Mad Johan: After the tournament, I bet each of these teams will be celebrating their wins and drowning their pain away with a bottle!

Lord Summervale: Indeed.  This year, the competition looks fierce.  Fortunately for this year’s organizers, the Dark Elf team; the Black Guards was delayed by some coastal raiding.  Therefore, the even number of teams will make organizing the brackets easy. 

This will be a single elimination tournament.  As teams advance through the bracket, we will eventually declare a champion.  The champion will walk away with the prestigious Princess Owayonna Healing Bottled Water Trophy and a season long supply of the Princesses’ finest. 

Mad Johan: Let’s take a look at the line-ups! 

Lord Summervale: We have all ready seen these teams clash in the pre-season with some big hits and some intense scoring drives.  You can bet there will be some impressive games of Blood Bowl ahead!

Here is the bracket:

1.       The opening match will be the Forever Jackals of Khemri vs. the Nottingham Nobles at Citadel Arena. 
2.       The second match is the Skulsmash Reeverz vs Da’ Rat Packers at Freeboota Field. 
3.       The Third match will be the Cheeze-Ballerz up against the Gridiron Gravediggers in the Northern Wastes.
4.       The final match of the qualifying bracket will be the Rock-N-Rollers facing the Goat Herderz at the fable pitch of Khaz-a-Kill’m. 

Mad Johan: Those games are promising some hard-hitting match-ups!

Lord Summervale: The winners in the qualifying round will move into the semi-finals bracket, and the winners there will move onto the Finals.  The team that comes out of the Finals on top will be the tournament champions and win the Princess Owayonna Healing Bottled Water Trophy. 

With the tournament set to start, the only thing left to ask is……

Mad Johan: ….. are you ready for some Blood Bowl!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Battle Report: Rampant Galaxies- Rescue Mission

The forces of the evil Galactic Empire have deployed their winter weather thunder troopers to the ice world of Thoth.  In a lightning strike they managed to take control of the enemies’ anti-aircraft unit and hold the troopers of the native forces as hostages.  However, the natives have mobilized to mount a rescue mission.     

This will be the first run through I have done with the Rampant Galaxies rules since writing them.  I made up some templates and armies and got ready to rumble. 


Thundertroopers of the Evil Galactic Empire

3 Terror Trooper Infantry- 18 points
Infantry- Counter-measures, armored, Elite

2 Big Walkers- 16 points
Vehicles- Pursue, Armored, Transport, Walkers

2 Chicken Walkers- 14 Points
Vehicles- Pursue, Walker, Armored

Points= 48

Armored Task Force

2 Infantry- 6 points

2 Tanks- 18 points
Vehicles- Pursue, Armored, Armor Piercing, Tracked

2 APC- 12 points
Vehicles- Pursue, Tracked, Transport

2 IFVs- 14 Points
Vehicles- Pursue, Tracked, Armored

Points= 50 Points

The attacker sets-up the terrain per the guidelines.  The defender places one unit in the approximate center of the board.  Place a single “NPC” model with the unit.  In this case it will be the anti-aircraft unit of the armored company.  The defender deploys the rest of their force on any one board edge of their choice with one model touching the edge.  The Attackers can deploy on any other board edge touching the edge as well.
The attackers must secure the NPC.  They can take the NPC by eliminating the Unit accompanying it with shooting or assault and then moving  the NPC into their Zone of Control.  The unit with the NPC may not leave the board and if they retreat/rout the NPC is left behind.  The NPC can be passed off between enemy units this way many times.  The attacker must then try to move the NPC off the board.  The game last 8 turns, one hour, or until one side is destroyed/routed.  If the attackers have moved the NPC off the board, they win. 

I am not using any complications this battle.    

Outdoor, Snow world
You are fighting outdoors on a snow world.  It is covered in snowdrifts, barren rocks, and frozen ponds.  The terrain could be sand, snow, or worse!  Moving up and over dunes /hills is considered difficult terrain.

The board had a ridge on one side and a river on the other.  The river flowed between two large hills.  All hills and the river are rough terrain.  In the center of the board is the captured AA unit being escorted by a squad of Thunder Trooper infantry. 

On one side comes the planetary defense forces.  On the left flank is two APCs with troopers escorted by a tank.  The IFVs are next and then another tank is the far flank.  The Thundertroopers are the two heavy walkers in the center with troops onboard, while the chicken walkers are on both flanks.  The Thunder Troopers are the defenders with the armored column being the attackers. 

Turn 1:
First, we allocated command points to the units.  The armored column are spreading one across all the vehicle units and 3 to one of the tanks.  The Imperial troops are taking two each, except the escort infantry only take 1. 

Both sides move forward, with many units using their Command Points for extra movement.  However, the Thunder Troopers on guard duty use their command point to use counter-measures as they are expecting to get lit up by the enemy vehicles.

Turn 2:
Now, we add command tokens again.  The Thunder Troopers took two on the infantry guard unit, two on the heavy walkers, and the chicken walker closest to the river took one.  The armored column had the left tank take 1, the IFVs take 2, and the final tank took 3. 

The armies move forward.  The Thunder Troopers deploy from there Heavy Walkers and prepare to engage the enemy. 

The enemy IFV does target infantry on guard duty at long range and behind soft cover, plus they have counter-measures engaged.  It would take 4 hits to eliminate the unit, however the IFV uses a Command Point to provide an extra firepower dice.  The roll is 5 hits, so the infantry unit loses 1 morale. 

The rest of the units exchange fire but fail to cause injury due to range, terrain, and armor.

The Infantry unit passes their morale test and stays in the fight.   

Turn 3:
We start the turn by distributing Command Points

The Thunder Troopers begin to withdraw the hostage unit and form a wall to protect the withdrawal.  The armored company has no choice but to follow them into the valley.  The APCs deploy their infantry in cover.  However, the flanking tank has gotten around the hill.  The Thunder Trooper infantry deploy Counter-measures. 

A sharp exchange of close range firepower leaves an IFV and a Heavy Walker smoking.  Both units are forced to retreat. 

Turn 4:
We start by distributing command points.  The retreating infantry unit takes as many a sthey can carry to hoof it out with their hostages.  On the other side, the armored vehicles get ready to try to force the gap the heavy walk has left open. 

An IFV shoots the gap and engages the fleeing Thunder Troopers in a fire fight.   The flank tank is held up in a close range firefight with a rallied heavy walker.  In addition, Thunder Trooper infantry bravely charge in against a battle tank and an APC to slow them up.  The chicken walker on the ridge comes down with flanking fire on the armored companies’ infantry.  Finally, the last Heavy Walker and Chicken walker turn to try and use combined fire on an oncoming APC. 

The APC and the Heavy Walker and Chicken Walker exchange fire.  The Chicken Walker is down 1, and the APC loses two.  The Chicken Walker comes down the ridge and opens fire on the infantry with enfilade fire.  One of the infantry units is destroyed in the attack. 

The IFV attack on the guarding infantry is successful and they are completely scattered and no-longer effective.  The IFV is now in control of the hostages.  Other firefights see another rThunder Trooper infantry unit get wiped out, and the third reduced to 2 Morale.  The rest of the armored forces also take limited damage. 

The Thunder Trooper Heavy Walker flees the firefight with the tank.  Meanwhile, the other armored tanks falls back from the Thunder Trooper infantry. 

Turn 5:
Both sides lost some units, so their command points will need to be reduced. 

The Armored Company IFV escorts the Anti-aircraft battery with them away from the firefight with an APC supporting, and the flanking tank providing cover fire.  The last APC and Infantry unit charge into the Thunder Trooper infantry. 

Shooting from a Chicken Walker scatters the IFV that was on the retreat.  However, the other tanks takes a barrage of fire from the Heavy Walker and the rampaging Chicken Walker and is unharmed.  The last Thunder Trooper infantry damages the APC and enemy infantry, but is scattered in the process. 

With that, the Thunder Troopers decided to call it a day.  They were not in a position to recover the hostage unit and they were no longer in a position to do so by the end of the turn 8.  As the sun set on the battlefield, they withdrew into the night as the Armored Forces recovered and turned around. 

Here was the big question that I wanted to answer today.  Does this feel different enough from Rampant Stars or Rampant Sun to be a stand alone game?  The answer is a resounding yes!  The command points really change the nature of the game from the other two systems and makes you have to think at a different, higher level. 

The unit interactions are completely different.  This is partly due to the turn sequence where firing comes before moving.  This actually took me a while to wrap my head around and I kept wanting to do it wrong.  Heck, I might have any way a few times.  Plus, the way certain units got to move before others forced you to think about the flow of the battle different than my other games, but closest to Rampant Hordes.

I recommend playing with off-table tracking and bases being removed as morale is reduced.  However, that is all cosmetic.  The core mechanics worked well.

Rampant Galaxies was supposed to be a Sci-fi army level game of units.  It was supposed to act as a melding of Dux Bellorum and Dragon Rampant into the sci-fi universe.  In that aspect, I feel successful and happy with the results.  I kept the core ideas in place and the game is fun and quick.