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Month: January 2013

Chubby Bowl I: Review

The first Chubby Bowl ran last weekend over two days in Dungeons and Donuts, Galway. If you missed this one, no worries, it’s now a quarterly event. The next event (Chubby Bowl II) is running from 6-7 April, 2013.

Did it go well? Yes, it did. The organisers ran into the issue of flaky players but the reliable half appeared on time and eight players sent their teams into the melee. The venue was the Dungeons and Dunots store in Galway. It’s home to the world’s only gaming themed doughnut stand which sports the Super Munchkin, one of the few doughnuts that comes with a bacon topping.

The White Isle Star Bowl tournament rules were used which meant that teams were slightly more developed than in a normal tournament. The Orcs proved massively popular and everyone went with the maximum number of Blitzers and Black Orcs but the Star Player requirement, extra skills and extra cash meant that no two teams were alike. All the Elf teams also went straight to Jordell Freshbreeze as their special character but again, the rest of the team varied massively in composition and skills. The Khemri team was the dark horse of the tournament and proved very potent. The decay nega-trait was less punishing when teams regenerated between rounds and those Tomb Guardians proved to be excellent Orc-hunters.

 I grabbed some team photos and the less horrifically blurry are presented below.

Gaydar (Pro Elf)
Shampoo Gorillas (Orc)
Uruk Hai Skool (Orc)
King Tut’s Waagh Waagh Hut (Khemri)
Blorcs (Orc)

The timetabling was relaxed and games ran until completion and the Illegal Procedure rule wasn’t enforced in any of my games. Like most niche tournaments, the atmosphere was friendly and people were chatty throughout. Wins and losses were taken in equal good humour and the soft drinks/doughnuts flowed like wine. All in all, a disgusting display of human decency.

Here’s shots of a few games underway. For the record, in the fifth shot, Morg didn’t actually knock any of those opposing players down, he just stepped into that spot when he spotted the camera. But the ability to take credit for the work of others is what separates the superstars from the journeymen.

A lot of the players had spare teams with them and I took the opportunity to grab some shots of the more eye-catching examples, apart from the first image, these are largely the work of Sean Nee and Ronan Murphy. Check out the Connacht emblem on the first Dark Elf and watch for the use of green stuff to make runes, numbers and team logos throughout the photos.

Blood Bowl Team Showcase: Tarentino’s Ogres

During the recent Blood Bowl tournament in Galway, I came across a very striking, heavily converted Ogre team. I was going to roll them into a review of the Chubby Bowl itself but they really deserve their own post. These are the work of Sean Nee, who can be found lurking in Dungeons and Donuts on occasion.

First up are the Reservoir Dogs themed Ogres with their colour-coded bases, Messieurs Blonde, Orange, Blue, Pink, Brown and White.

These little guys are now unrecognisable as Snotlings but you can spot your favourite characters from Pulp Fiction fairly quickly. Vince, Jules and assorted bystanders, gimps and mobsters. There are some doubles in there, too.

And that’s the lot. Sean’s skills with green stuff will also be seen in the Chubby Bowl review, once I get around to writing it.

Preening Dandies (December Edition)

I tire of our regular diet of well-dressed toffs and went with some dour (but preening)  preachers this month. We’ve got an eclectic mix of systems with only one GW model and absolutely no 40k entries.

Kolony Militia (Tomorrow’s War)

Quozl breaks turns his attention from creepy armed bears to some Pig Iron miniatures. These are those brave defenders of home, hearth and socialism, the much maligned Kolony Militia. From his email, he seems intent on converting 40kers to the joys of Tomorrow’s War by creating a 28mm force to use against their existing collections. The yellow and red accent the industrial nature of the models and you can picture them fighting through a foundry. As ever, the lines on the model are incredibly crisp and consistent. He claims it’s a home brewed wash, I say witchcraft. Burn him now.

King Apophas (Warhammer Fantasy)

Check this guy. Craftfeld impresses us with a really nice tomb king. The model itself is quite nice with the image of an insectile swarm thing being adequately conveyed. The painting is excellent as the head piece looks fantastic. I must highlight that very appropriate glowing rune on the forehead as I’m always awed by anyone messing with lighting effects.

He’s also working on what appears to be a Shawn Morris-inspired board on his blog.

Epic Feora (Warmahordes)

The fire effect on the base is nice but it’s the glossy red and white armour that appeals to me. The entire model has a rich hue that really pops against the darker fire lapping at its feet. I think a brighter flame would actually have detracted from the look of the piece. Just quality, detailed work, really.

Fianna Warband (Hail Caesar)

My own contribution is a historical entry. These are 15mm Scots-Irish minis and the entire force makes up a single Hail Caesar warband unit. The elites to the fore have the brightly coloured clothes that mark them as men of rank, the laggards are common warriors in the traditional colours. The progress of the entire force is being detailed here.

Preening Dandies
Player Score
Lowry 9
Newbreed 9
Nosediver 5
Quozl 5
Trget 5
Sycopat 4
Welshman 4
Craftfeld 3
The Big BZ 2
Bristolscale7 1
Crazy Aido 1
Frogdog 1
Jiggy 1
Maynard 1

We’ll be doing another roundup at the start of February so get your works into prd@onthestep.net before the end of January. As ever, our local tech adept states that photos above 5MB in size tend to bounce back so keep your entries below that size.

Rules Refresher
1) Each participant may only send in one entry for a given month. You can send in multiple photos of the entry but only one will be used.
2) The entry can be a single model or single unit. The smaller the unit, the more detail in the photo so aim low.
3) The model can be from any game system. If it’s particularly esoteric, we’d appreciate a covering note explaining what it is.
4) The entry must have been finished within that given month. You can’t submit completed pieces from your back catalogue.
5) If you want us to include a link back to more of your work, we’d be delighted to do that.

Two Irish Blood Bowl Tournaments Announced

We’re getting totally spoiled here. After all my quiet hoping, we’ve got two Blood Bowl tournaments in the first quarter of the year. I’m liking you, 2013, keep this up.

Chubby Bowl I (Galway 19/20 January)

This is shaping up to be a well-sized tournament with a strong local scene likely to push numbers into the double digits/ mid teens. It’s a two day event which is fairly unprecedented and I’m quietly optimistic about it.

The rules set is very interesting, based on the White Isle Star Bowl system. The game doesn’t change but the weaker teams get more starting perks to even out the odds. The mandatory inclusion of Star Players and higher starting gold make for some unique starting teams. I also feel the rules level the playing field between the teams as some Blood Bowl races (Amazons…) can field starting teams that outclass most of their counterparts.

Check the details here.

All-Ireland Blood Bowl Championship (Bangor, 17 March)

 I know, I know, it’s on Paddy’s Day but that just means you probably won’t be working that day. It’s a NAF-approved event which means that those funky custom block dice and memberships will be available on the day. The North may seem far away but it’s also very very cheap. There are sixteen tickets available and it looks like almost half are gone at this point.

The rules set is standard NAF which means that your normal starting team will work just fine. I’m also going to take the chance to point our Nordie brethren at NIBBLE, a forum for Blood Bowlers in Northern Ireland. I believe the tournament idea was spawned over there.

Check the details here.

Rankings HQ: Bait and Switch

Today, I was not very surprised to hear that Rankings HQ are switching to a fee-based system. I won’t replicate the entire letter here but it runs some like “case for sympathy, blah, blah, if you don’t find a sponsor for your national rankings, then each player must pay a $12 fee, blah, blah, hard regrettable decision”. It’s the classic bait and switch gambit that, let’s be honest, we were warned would happen when the decision was made to go with Rankings HQ.

I’m curious as to whether an alternative Irish rankings system will be created, some poor sucker convinced to sponsor the Irish page or whether it’ll mark the death-knell of the rankings system. I’m leaning towards the latter. It was originally intended to be a fair method of ETC team selection (despite claims otherwise) in a charged atmosphere. It’s fair to say that a lot of the heat has gone out of the selection process over time and this year, some captains are more likely to be troubled by a lack of potential players rather than an abundance of volunteers.

There is the possibility of a retailer taking the hit and sponsoring the page but I suspect that it will be hard to justify the cost as it’s not exactly going to boost their profile or sales. I’ve seen several other ranking systems sputter and die which suggests that a home-grown system might not succeed.

Personally, I’m now a staunch convert to the “rankings are evil” camp and will be hoping that this will prove a badly needed death-blow which will end the era of the rankings and let us all return to happy, simpler times.

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