Monday, February 25, 2019

Men of Bronze- Command, Control, Morale, and Friction

Thanks to all of you who have all ready purchased your copy of Men of Bronze from Osprey Games. I appreciate your support and I look forward to reading and hearing what you have to say about the game! I hope you have as much fun playing it as I did making it!

Command, Control, and Morale has always been an element of wargames that has interested me as a designer. These are two distinct concepts that never-the-less work closely together. To me they are defined thus:

Command and Control-
How you give orders to your little plastic men, and how they respond to these orders

How your little toy soldiers respond to the actions of the enemy toy soldiers.

The BIG QUESTION about these elements is how much player agency is involved vs. how much friction should be created when dealing with these two very important concepts? On one extreme, the player can not dictate what their soldiers do, and instead the act and react based on some sort of mechanic outside of the players ability to influence it. On the other side is the player being able to have their army men do exactly what they want them to do every time.

No Control is represented by a mechanic like the following: Once a unit reaches 50% casualties they are removed from the board. In this case, the player can not stop or respond to a unit that reaches 50% casualties. The unit is simply removed.

Exact control is represented like the following: A unit is not routed until it has reached 100% casualties and then removed from the board. In essence, the toy soldiers will do whatever the commander wants until it is completely annihilated.

The wording in these two examples is the same except for the % of casualties but you can see the result is completely different.

So, the next thing to to think about is what exactly is “Friction” in a wargame? I am no Von Clausewitz, but essentially friction is the 'difficulties' that a commander of little metal men needs to overcome in order win the battle. Typically, friction is not necessarily caused by the enemy but by all elements combined such as terrain, objectives, your cat, unit fatigue, morale, etc. These frictions are considered to compound as you are exposed to enemy actions, and therefore make victory more difficult to achieve.

The final interaction between Command, Control, Morale, and Friction is what leads to the “depth” of a game. If the game provides tactics and options to help a player minimize friction and morale effects while providing options for Command and Control. The decisions that the player makes in Command and Control can be used to offset or reduce the worst effects of Morale and Friction.

As a designer and a player, the question is how much of these extremes do you want in your game and where does it meet somewhere in the middle? It can be thought of as an equation.

Decisions+ (Command + Control) – (Morale and Friction) = Depth

That was a long introduction to talk about how I went about trying to tackle these issues in Menof Bronze.

Command and Control
Leadership, especially military leadership; was a topic of much discussion and debate in the ancient world. The Greeks spilled much ink on the topic, and many of their ideas are still relevant to our modern ideas of what Leadership means. One of the key concepts was that of Arete.

What the heck does that mean? Arete is the idea that a leader's purpose was to raise up those he commanded to a higher morale purpose. He was to act as an example to his soldiers and fellow citizens of what is “correct” behavior. This can be seen in action many times during Xenophon's Anabasis. 

This aspect of leadership is reflected in the rules in two major ways. The first is the importance of using a unit leader to establish a unit's movement, charges, line-of-sight, and flanking. The unit leader moves, and then everyone moves to position themselves around them. When combat occurs, the units rank up around their leaders.

The second way is that each unit on the table is assumed to have a leader. These leaders generate an Arete point that goes into the armies pool. These points represent the individual unit leaders inspiring, commanding, and organizing their troops in the field. This field of points has a number of uses while in the game and properly utilizing your Arete points will be a key element to victory.

These points are used to bid for initiative, try to interrupt your opponent and gain initiative, provide dice re-rolls, trigger special abilities, and declare charges. If you may not be able to complete all of your objectives. Therefore, as the commander you need to decide how you spend your Arete or command influence over your troops. There will be times where you have more than you need, and other times where you will not have enough.

All movement distances and ranges for shooting are known. However, like ancient commanders, there is no pre-measuring. Instead, you must eyeball the distance and decide if your unit can hit the foe with a javelin shot. Is the distance right for a charge? You decide, and your soldiers will carry it out without question.

Finally, as the player you can choose what units activate in what order. However, a unit can only perform 1 action per activation. They can move, shoot, fight, or charge. The player does not have unlimited choice, instead the choices are limited and a decision must be made. Is it better to shoot, move away, or charge an enemy? Once a unit is engaged in combat, it will stay until a decision is met.

Morale is a critical component of wargames. To me, it is one of the 4Ms which are the core building blocks of any wargame. As I define Morale it is how our models react to the actions of enemy models. In the case of Men of Bronze, enemy actions that can cause morale related reactions is being shot and fighting.

All Units have a Courage stat that is depleted by combat actions. Units that take Courage loss will have to take a Morale test or begin to waver. Once a unit reaches a certain level of Courage, they will change to wavering status automatically. This impacts their target numbers for combat rolls. Once their Courage is reduced to 0, they are turned around and eventually removed from the board as routing.

However, this will trigger a Collapse Test. All units that have leaders that can see the turned unit will have to also take a discipline test. As more Collapse tests are taken the likelihood of failing increases. If failed, the watching units will start to waver or rout as well. Like ancient battles, armies can disappear quickly as their nerve collapses. Leaving those that remain in a difficult position and forcing more friction on you as the player.

The final morale related component is the “push back” mechanic. Units that lose more Courage than they inflict will be pushed back 1d3 base widths at the end of the turn. Therefore, enemy units can be pushed off objectives, out of terrain, etc. In addition, this feature can force units to “join” a combat that may not have initially been engaged.

Therefore, as a designer my preferences are clear. On the continuum of Exact vs. No Control I like to mix it up with a leaning to less control as friction mounts. When Unit's reach certain points their ability to perform as expected will be degraded, they will still carry-out what you want them to do; but at a lesser efficiency. If they degrade too far, they are no longer in your control. This causes additional follow-on effects that may reduce your control further in a cascade of “friction”.

However, players have complete control over how and when they use their Arete points to influence the battle and your soldiers always use these points as intended. If you want them to charge, they will charge. Change formation, then they will change. Move and shoot, they will do it. There are no random charge distances or ranges, they are all set and known. The decision is yours for your men to carry-out.

I prefer a game that generates mounting friction for you as a commander that forces you to make choices. Often, the commander who faces the most “friction” is the one who will lose, but successful commanders find a way to overcome such “friction” through tactics. That is where a games “depth” comes from.

Hopefully, I have found the right combination of Command, Control, Morale, Friction, and decision making to create the right level of depth for you in Men ofBronze. There is only one way to find out!

Monday, February 18, 2019

On The Painting Desk- Inquisitor Warband

I first got interested in the 28mm Inquisitor scene in about 2012.  I was really into Games Workshop's Specialist games ranges like Necromunda, Epic, Battleftrleet Gothic, Aeronuatica Imperialis, Gorkamorka, and Inquisitor.  I had burned out on all the changes in the main 40K rules, and the Specialist Games seemed a bit more stable in the core rules department.  An investment there seemed like it would last for a long time.  However, those game ranges were on life support and died.  I guess I was wrong again!  Thankfully, I never let the death of a game really stop me from being interested in it. 

Anyway, I had long had an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor character that had been a character in various campaigns.  However, he was always just a plot point and never a playable character.  As I learned more about the idea of playing games of Inquisitor in 28mm scale (instead of 54mm scale) I thought it would make sense to make a warband for this Ordo Xenos chap.

Draxiz Xanatos and his retinue was born.  As mentioned, Xanatos was an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor who had zealously protected the God-Emperor's domains on the Eastern Fringe.  For decades he battled the infringements of the cursed Tau Empire's influence with the border worlds.  As a result, he frequently found himself in physical, spiritual, and diplomatic combat with the Tau and those under their sway.  Over the decades, he received severe injuries.  His body is a patchwork of scars, bionics, and rejuved, necrotic flesh.  He has received such severe facial wounds that his eye was removed and was irreplaceable with bionics, earning him the gory nickname of "The Cyclops" from his peers.

:Left to right: Seneschal Guiseppe Petro, Father Robertius, Inquisitor Draxiz Xanatos, Sergeant Major Danygan Bathory, and Spymaster Sebastian Twist 

Since Draxiz Xanatos was a fairly militant fellow, he tended to have close contacts with the Departmento Munitorium, Imperial Guard, and the Imperial Navy.  Therefore, much of his kit came from tried and true patterns seen across the Eastern Fringe.  Such equipment helped reinforce his authority as an enforcer for the Imperium in areas of space rife with the stains of the touch of the Tau.   

During a campaign to liberate the people of Centarius Prime, Xanatos was forced to trek with a small band of loyalists across the desolate and forbidding Plains of Gedd.  On this journey, he encountered ancient, monolithic structures that caused physical discomfort to behold.  On it was ancient writings and glyphs of a sort he had never encountered before.  These cylcopean and monolithic structures were truly ancient, and only revealed recently by the shifting winds of the Cantarius plains.

Later, on other worlds and in other campaigns, the Inquisitor uncovered or discovered more artifacts that were clearly linked to the primeval monoliths of Centarius and the Plains of Gedd.  It became clear to the Inquisitor that these artifacts were not isolated sites, but somehow linked in a terrible and horrifying way.  Soon, his attention turned to preparing the Old Guard Stars for the coming rising of this new, ancient threat.  His worst fears were confirmed on the planetoid Bin Mazar when he first encountered this ancient threat for himself, Necrons.

From Left to Right: Sir Rowlynd Taggert-Feral Worlder, Duke Vito De Selvig- Hunter, "Cleavus-345"- Combat Servitor, Prefect Primaris Hieronomous Deodoric- Xeno-Archeologist   
Since Inquisitor and skirmish games are all about individual characters, each of Draxiz Xanatos warband has a backstory.  I won't bore you with the details here.  Suffice to say that they are more elaborate than any 28mm model really needs.  However, one of the joys of individual model-vs-model skirmish gaming is the chance to couple it with light role-playing and for that a backstory helps immensely.         

Almost all of these fellows were made using parts from a few main sources; the old Empire Halberdiers multi-part kit, Imperial Guard Command Squad, Imperial Guard Infantry Squad, and the old Warhammer Fantasy Zombie sprue with copious amounts of greenstuff and goodwill.  I think there were a few Skaven bits from the Gutter Runners and some Khemri and Ork pieces as well.  Father Robertus is a Reaper priest model pre-Bones, who is now available in Bones.  I recommend him as a traveling friar model with a great deal of character.

The other thing about these guys is I mostly used cheap Super Store bought craft paints and cheap big box brushes to paint them.  The acrylics worked surprisingly well, but I recommend watering them down 2:1.  Then, I washed them with Army Painter washes.  Not a bad outcome and very cheap.

Ready to Purge the Heretic and smite the Xeno
I originally planned on using these guys for Inquisitor 28mm games and with my Warhammer 40K armies.  However, I originally built these guys in 2013!  That is 6 years ago!  Needless to say I don;t really play those games as much as I did.  I thought about using them in Kill Team, but apparently Inquisitor warbands are not a thing in those rules at the moment.  Therefore, I think I will use them to play either Pulp Alley or Strange Aeons 40K.  In a pinch they will also do for Rogue StarsRampant SunRogue Planet or other Sci-fi skirmish games.

These little men have been in my painting queue for a long time.  I have done more painting in 2019 then I probably did in the last 3 years combined!  Let's see what else gets done for 2019.   

Monday, February 11, 2019

Men of Bronze- Units Types

Thanks to those of you who have ordered the Men of Bronze book from the Osprey Website. Men of Bronze is up for order now and is scheduled for release in April of this year (2019). Many of those folks that pre-orderd have reached out to me to learn a bit more about how to go about building an army to play Men of Bronze! They want to be ready to hit the table as soon as they get the book, and I don't blame them!

Therefore, I thought I would spend a bit of time writing about some of the basic ideas in building an army for Men of Bronze. Before we get too far, the game itself has army lists and sample army builds in the book. These include the major Greek City-states such as Athens, Sparta, Thebes, and more. They also have lists for the classic foes of the Greek world such as the Persians, Macedonians, and various barbarian hill tribes. This allows you to play battles from the Ionian Revolt, Greco-Persian Wars, the Peloponnesian War, the Corinthian War, the rise of Thebes, Xenophon's Anabasis, and ultimately the wars with Phillip the II.

In addition, one of the key principles and design goals of Men of Bronze was to be scale and base agnostic. If you have all ready based Greeks for other games, there should be no need to change them out. There is no set or official “unit” size in Men of Bronze. If you have hoplites, you can use them. All actions are carried out on a unit-by-unit or unit-vs-unit basis. I use single based 28mm models from Victix in units of 10 models, but it works fine with multi-based units as well. You only need two things for the rules to work, know where the “center” or Leader of the unit is for measurements, and be able to tell if the unit is in Phalanx formation vs. Open Order. Formation can be determined by a token, a staggered front line, or a loosely spread out set of bases. The Leader can be a simple mark in the center of a unit or base. Therefore, any models can work.

The second piece to know is that all measurements are generic. They are in base widths. Realistically, a base width can be any mutually agreeable distance depending on the size/scale of your model collection. I typically use 1 Imperial Inch with my 28mm models for a base width, but you can use what works best for your collection and models. Typically, if the front of your base is 40mm across, that should be the equivalent of 1 base width. However, if you prefer to use something else, the rules will support it.

With some of those basic ideas out of the way, let's take a closer look at the units you will use to build your forces. While working on these rules, I was struck by the Daniel Mersey “Rampant” series also from Osprey Games. They were able to reduce wide swathes of troop types into easily digestible groupings which made army design a breeze. I wanted to mimic this style in my own game. Therefore, I opted for more abstract unit types to encompass the various types of troops you might see in a Classical Greek battle from elite Spartan Phalanxes to Persian conscripts.

The Phalanx
You can not write a set of game rules about Classical Greek warfare and not deal with the premier fighting formation in the ancient world at the time; the Phalanx. What made the phalanx unique was that it relied on the soldiers around them to protect and defend each other in a solid, disciplined wall of shield and spear. Individual valor and skill was less important than working as a unit. However, even though all City-States had a phalanx composed of citizen soldiers, not all Phalanx formations were created equal. Therefore, there are grades of Phalanx that impact their ability on the battlefield from elite units like the Sacred Band of Thebes, to the standard drilled hoplites of Athens or Corinth, to the citizen militia of smaller city-states such as Eretria or Thespia.

As the main military formation of the Classical Greek world, the rules are written to emphasize Phalanx vs. Phalanx combat. As such, phalanx formation has certain innate abilities that enhance their survivability and strength on the battlefield. However, they also have some weaknesses that can be exploited by a savvy commander. That said, the bulk of most Greek forces will be various levels of Phalanx formations.

Of course, many of the Greek's rivals and enemies did not make extensive use of the phalanx. Instead, they used more traditional Infantry formations of professional, conscripts or tribal soldiers. These could be very skilled warriors in their own right, but they choose to fight in a looser fighting formation than the Phalanx. As such, the rules have a place for these fighting formations too. Just like the Phalanx, there are also various grades of ability in Infantry formations such as the elite Persian Immortals, to the more mundane Persian Sparabara, to the warband driven barbarians.

Light Troops
In Menof Bronze light troops are available to you. Greek writers and historians would have us believe that the hoplite was the main focus and decider of battles. However, there were many cases where the humble javelin man in loose formation played a critical role. These rules include archers, slingers, peltasts, and psiloi. All had their place and roles on the battlefield in the minds of Greek military leaders.

The most famous and well-known light troops of the Classical Greek battles were the peltasts. These were often semi-professional skirmishers who were named after their famous light shields the Pelte. The were often hired mercenaries from Thrace, but could also be less-well off citizens of the city-state.

Psiloi had even less equipment and skill than a peltast. Sometimes they were Spartan helots forced into service, or Athenian rowers acting as impromptu landing parties, or dedicated javelin throwers. They typically only went to battle with a handful of Javelins and little or no protection.

Despite their lighter equipment and training, these skirmishers played a vital role in Greek warfare. They protected the vulnerable flanks of a phalanx, softened up enemy phalanxes with missile weapons, and supported attacks. These light troops generally went where phalanxes could not, such as rugged terrain where a phalanx could not stay in a tight formation or where greater foot speed was needed.

Archers and slingers were very useful in the Greek military as a way to attack at range.  Despite the general cultural disdain for ranged combat in Greek military culture, their was no denying the importance of being able to hit an enemy from far away.  Archers/slingers provided useful firepower for attacking or defending fortifications and cities.  They were also popular for negating the mobility of peltasts and cavalry.  Of course, the most famous of these types of troops were not even from mainland Greece; Cretan Archers and Rhodesian Slingers.   

Any army caught out without its light troops was threatened with annihilation from ranged pin-prick attacks, flanking, or even worse; encirclement. In Greek Warfare, the best counter to enemy light troops was to bring light troops of your own. Therefore, these important and valuable troops are present for you to put in your force.

On the Greek mainland, very few city-states could field an effective cavalry force. There was simply not enough good pasture land and only the very wealthy could afford to raise horses. The one major exception in Greece proper was Athens. They were said to be able to field a thousand horse cavalry at one time. For Greece, this was a huge number. Of course, cultures and areas outside of Greece could and did field larger cavalry forces. The Persians were well known for their superior cavalry.

There are two main types of Cavalry in Men of Bronze. The first is the standard light cavalry found all across the ancient world. In the age before the stirrup, riders had to grip and steer their horses with their thighs when riding. This made it difficult to deliver a shock, impact attack from horseback. Instead, Cavalry were frequently used as a type of mobile skirmisher to deliver a rain of javelins on an enemy. Their main strength was their mobility and ability to move faster than troops on foot. As such, the majority of cavalry in the game are this lighter type of cavalry. Their strength is their ability to provide mobile firepower and deliver supporting attacks in the flank or rear of an enemy phalanx.

As mentioned, cavalry tactics outside of Greece did offer some alternatives. For example, Persia and Macedon were able to field a heavier cavalry force in the form of armored spearmen on horseback. Persian forces even made use of chariots to deliver an attack. These well-armored and armed cavalry elements can also be fielded in the form of Heavy Cavalry. Again, their main advantage is maneuverability compared to a Phalanx, and the ability to strike where they are needed most to swing the tide. These heavy units have greater survivability than their lighter counter-parts and are great mobile supports for your main attack.

Other Units
To round out the period, there are a few stand alone or unique units of interest covered in the book as well.  These somewhat unique units are Light Hoplites and the Macedonian style Phalanx.  Both are interesting and unique variations of the more traditional "Phalanx" formation.  

Light Hoplites are a unit created to address the reforms of the Athenian general Iphikrates during the war with Sparta.  There is a great deal of academic debate about what exactly these reforms did! However, the sources are clear that the reforms were effective in Iphikrates battles and that his units had increased mobility.  I have found the argument that the reforms lightened the weight of hoplite armor and equipped them with a lighter shield in an effort to increase their speed and flexibility on the battlefield.  Therefore, these "Light Hoplites" are a bit less hard hitting than traditional phalanx units, but a bit more mobile.  

The Macedonian Phalanx is also interesting as it is an inversion of the principles of the traditional Greek Phalanx.  In the Greek Phalanx, the emphasis is on the defense, with each member of the unit protecting their comrade behind a large shield.  The Macedonian Phalanx instead puts the emphasis on offensive power as the unit's protection.  Instead of holding a large shield to protect their neighbor, the Macedonian Phalangite would hold a larger, longer spear so any opponents would need to first penetrate a wall of spear tips before they could attack a Macedonian.  This is one of the many reforms made by Phillip of Macedon that allowed his new military model to gain dominance over Greece.  

As you can see, the army building rules are designed to provide enough structure to build a solid, flavorful list for the period. The army lists and samples in Men of Bronze are there for you to build off and give you an idea of the possible. They are not intended to cover all possible armies from the period. However, they are abstract enough to allow you to build more niche or unique forces as well. I encourage you to go out and do your own research and make the forces you want to play!

The abstracted nature of the different army elements allows you to build a varied force. Each unit type has their own advantages and abilities to be exploited and used on the battlefield. No unit can do it all alone. Hoplites on their own have vulnerable flanks and can not maneuver freely. Infantry alone can maneuver easier, but does not have the combat power of hoplites in phalanx formation. Cavalry is quick, but can not overcome a determined phalanx shield wall. Light troops can go into rough terrain quickly, attack at range, and provide key support attacks, but will wilt under a charge by infantry or hoplites. Using these units successfully together is the key to success in Menof Bronze.

Monday, February 4, 2019

On The Painting Desk: Blood Bowl II- Electric Boogaloo!

I had 7 new Blood Bowl teams to paint and all year to do it, so naturally I painted them all in a matter of days!  I started with the Chaos Goat Herders, Skaven Cheez-Ballers, and the Ork Skulsmash Reeverz.  With the momentum built up, I just kept going, night after night.  I didn't expect to nearly get this far.... but there you go.  This is more painting than I got done all of last year and it is still January!

Today, we are going to look at the rest of my teams.  They will be the Human team from the Box Set, the Dwarf team, the Dark Elf team, and the Elf Union team.  I also have an Ogre to add.  So, let's get into this....

Dwarf Rock-N-Rollers
This was the next team I started painting.  I started with the Troll Slayers as I wanted to make sure my flesh color would last through the team.  I though it was running low.  Thankfully, it lasted long enough to get the job done.  I knew traditionally Troll Slayers all had orange-Hair, but I wanted to be able to distinguish them on the field.  Therefore, the second one I went with a grey look.

I am not exactly sure where the green and grey color scheme came from.... but there it is.  I think it turned out okay.  My Blitzers were actually the last models I painted for this team.  I tended to paint them 2 positionals at a time, and three lineman at a time.

The Slayers and Blockers had enough alternate heads that I could tell them apart easily.  However,t he Runners and Blockers all had doppleganger sculpts.  To help tell them apart on the field I went with alternating Helmet colors.  One set of guys all had Grey Helmets while their twin had green helmets.  A simple and easy solution to tell them apart on the field but still fit in with the team color scheme.   

There is the full Dwarf Rock-N-Roller team in all their glory.  Deciding the beard colors was one of the most fun parts of the team.  I used a soft tone wash to give them a less "gribbly" look than the Skaven and Ork teams.

Human Nottingham Nobles
The next team I *ahem* tackled was the Nottingham Nobles.  The astute reader will notice that they are all named after the G.W. Designer staff back when the Dev Team were mini-gaming celebrities and Games Workshop used a more "Cult-esque" marketing strategy like the one used by Apple.

Unlike the Dwarf team, I sat down and panted half the team all at once.  I decided to go with a Purple and White scheme.  Purple is the color of royalty, and with a name like the Nobles you were saying you were a cut above.  However, I also used this color scheme as if masked my own local NFL team.

  To differentiate the players in the same pose, I again went with an alternating color scheme using white shoulder and knee pads instead of the purple ones.  Of note, this team is almost complete painted using cheap acrylic paint from a big box retailer using brushes from said retailer.  I then washed them all with Army Painter soft tone.

I really enjoyed choosing the colors for the Blood Bowl balls on this team.  I have no idea why but it was a chance to throw in some off-the-wall colors from the rest of the team.

Dark Elf Black Guards
I picked up this team while traveling and was really excited to put it together and try it out.  However, they were not assembled in time for the Princess Owayonna Tournament.  I had a vision of what I wanted to do with this team's paint scheme early on.  I wanted Dark Blue pads, very pale skin, and a purple wash.

I actually painted the Blockers first.  I can't call them lineman, because there are two ladies in their midst.  I decided to differentiate the players with different color Cold One hides and a small shoulder ribbon of different colors.

Then I tackled the positional players.  I am not a fan of the Runner sculpts, but they turned out pretty neat once painted.  I think the purple skins turned out better than the green, but there you go.  Again, i mostly painted these with the cheap big box acrylic paints.  I was growing more confident in what they could do and didn't even bother to water them down at all.  They take a tad longer to dry, but I think the results turned out just fine.  Plus, the price was right and I had easy access to a large selection. 

I really enjoyed painting the Lilac hair on the Witch Elf.  It is not as striking as the red, but I really like how it turned out.

Ogre Blocker
I remember it was getting late, but I was on a roll!  I had just painted the Black Guards and wanted to keep going.  It was the perfect time to start on the Ogre.  I decided I wanted him to look different enough from each team that he looked like a hired thug just added to the roster so I could move him about as needed.  I wanted to give him a mix of metal armors.  I settled on jumpsuit Orange as his main uniform color to add to the thug look.

I actually painted his teeth brown instead of a whiter color so they would look gnarled and rotted.  A simple but effective paint job mostly using block colors and a quick Dark Tone wash to pull out the details.

Elf Union Superiors
The final team was the Elf Union team.  I have never really played any elf teams in the past and was interested in getting this guys painted and on the field.  I also bought these guys while traveling.  However, they were the last team I bought.

I started out with the Blockers and I knew I wanted Green and white somehow.  For some unknown reason, I started by painting their leggings a Lime green, the brightest green I had.  From there I went to an evergreen for the pads.  I did not know how it was going to come out and I was a bit nervous.  I was again using the cheap craft paints and these colors required a few coats to get the right coverage.  They were a bit thin.

The new sculptors did a great job on the athletic shoes most of the Blood Bowl models are wearing.  I just wish my painting skills could have made better use of the detail on the shoes.  I could imagine the players hawking contracts for their shoes on Cabal Vision, they were that detailed.  For the Elf team I went with white shoes, white ribbons, and white loin clothes.  The loin clothes were not fun to paint.  You will notice this team also uses a mix of male and female blockers.

The positional players were next.  Again, their hair and the Blood Bowl balls were fun to paint since they gave me a chance to break the scheme up.  For one of the throwers, I decided to go with pink tips on his white hair.  I really wanted him to stand out as a bit of a showboat.  I also tried to use more Blonde hair on this team than any of the other teams, but I really like the way the red-hair on the blocker turned out.  A soft Tone wash from army painter was again used after blocking the main colors with cheap craft paint.

My last Blood Bowl team was painted up.  I will probably add two more teams to my league, but I am going to wait for the Lizardmen and Chaos Dwarf teams.  Nurgle's Rotters and the Undead team just don't do that much for me.  However, my family may feel differently when they go the FLGS so we will see.

With all my Blood Bowl models done I painted more int eh first month of 2019 than all year for 2018.  A good start.  I went down to my stash and started digging around for what else I had to paint, but didn't find much. I checked my Hobby Cash stash, it it was looking a little low, so I will have to wait before I can get new Plastic, Metal, or Resin dudes to paint.  Try to self-fund my hobby from Wargame sales is hard!

*Shameless Plug* If you want to help me out, go to the Wargame Vault Blood and Spectacles page, and pick-up some games.  You can even pay what you want for them!* 

Thanks for looking.  I can;t wait to get these guys on the pitch in 2019.  I am very curious to see how these Elf teams play.