Category: Miniatures

Blood Bowl – Basics

So in the first effort at branching out a little I thought I would revisit an old article I wrote for my local Blood Bowl League.

Now, the objective of a game of Blood Bowl (despite what an Orc player may try to tell you) is to score more touch downs than your opponent.  Of course how you go about doing this is where the fun of the game comes in.
The first thing to think about (after picking your team colours) is how you  want to score your touch downs.  The two basic choices are to play a running game or a passing game.  The running game lends itself well to teams with a high Armour Value (AV), good Strength (ST) and a few players with the Block Skill  helps (I said a few not all, damn Norse Teams.)  To play a good passing game on the other hand you want players with high Movement (MA),  good Agility (AG) and having easy access to players with both Pass and Catch helps.
Now after looking at your team and matching it up to the style you want to play what else is there to consider?
Well the basic mechanics of Blood Bowl actually favours not rolling dice, I am going to say that once more just to help it sink in Blood Bowl favours NOT ROLLING DICE.  OK so I got to type something in capitals and bold but what do I mean by this.
Simply that because in Blood Bowl if you attempt to do something and fail this usually results in a turn over.  That means that if as your first action of the game you try to pick up the ball and fail (even though it is on 3’s with a re-roll) your turn is over and your opponent gets to start his turn.
So how should that little fact affect how we approach each turn?
Basically if there is a chance you can fail to carry out an action and there is something else that you could/should do first than do the other thing first.
So how does that fit in to either the Running or Passing game?
Simple really if you are playing a running game and want to Blitz a hole in the line to burst through you need to consider what can go wrong.  Mainly you could end up rolling an Attacker Down result (Skull) on the block dice, there by taking out part of your line and given the opponent a route to sack the ball carrier.  If you can position players a cover the eventuality of failing on the block to mitigate the risks do that first then pummel the opposing lineman into the ground.
If you are playing the passing game there are even more things to consider.  Lets look at  what could go wrong with a simple pass;
  1. You could fumble it (roll a one when attempting to pass is a fumble and the ball scatters from the throwers square)
  2. It could be an inaccurate pass (the ball is scattered three times from the target square and can only be picked up after the final scatter)
  3. You could just plain and simple fail to catch it (the ball scatters once from the target square)
All three of these result in a turn over and this does not take in to account the chance of an interception.
Obviously there is more to go wrong when attempting to play the passing game but there are still things you can do to help. Again try to move any players into a position where you will be passing from and to, so that they can cover in case something goes wrong.
So, if you plan on throwing a pass this turn there is no point moving players to cover where the ball is now.  You need to cover the launch point and the target to minimize you opponents chances of capitalizing on something going wrong.
This is also where we first have to consider priority of actions rather than relative safety of actions.  As if you have moved two players to cover the launch point of the pass you want to make and have two catchers through waiting to receive the ball and a nice 3 dice you chose block to throw what do you do?
Well the 3 dice block is a relatively safe action but if you were to fail, you have moved your cover for the thrower in to the position you want him to be in and left him exposed so I would throw the pass first even if it means letting that block slip away.
And with the end of the post approaching I should sum up the points I am rather ineloquently trying to make.
  • Have a plan on how you are going to score your touch downs
  • Understand how good your team is going to be at trying to carry out your plan
  • Safe moves first
  • If you have to start rolling dice make sure you roll them in an order that will minimize the risks of not only turning over the turn but also the ball.
Well thanks for reading guys and remember it will all go wrong on the last Go for it!

X-Wing: Battlefoam Trays

Whilst looking around for a better way to store my toys I revisited battlefoam after initially disregarding them…

Hi people,

Just a quick one that may or may not help some people out.

Whilst looking around for how I wanted to transport my stuff I initially disregarded Battlefoam because the layouts, in my oppinion sucked…

This is not to get at them as they produce top quality products and I have done orders from them before for my Warhammer Fantasy stuff and can only say good thinks about the quality of the product but I just feel that they don’t actually play the game when it comes to X-Wing…

For Example the Imperial Fleet Tray come with space for 35 Small Ships and 3 Large which lets be honest is impressive but really why that configuration, 12 TIE advance and 11 Interceptors… Really.

Or if you want to store 2 YT-1300 you have to go with either a tray with space for 4 HWK’s or 10 Y-Wings.

Obviously Battlefoam being the awesome store that they are offer custom foam but I know from experience that the tool can be a little intimidating the first time you look at it but fear not.

Being the Nice Guy that I am I put the following together for you guys.

Those layouts will fit the following;


6 – A-Wings (12 if you don’t mind doubling up)

4 – B-Wings2 – E-Wings (4 should double up with no issue)

2 – HWK’s (don’t think these will double up but really, who has 4 hawks…)

12 – X-Wings or Z-95’s (the Z-95 will definitely double up, not sure on the X’s)

2 – Y-Wings (4 doubled)

2 – YT-1300


12 – TIE Fighters

2 – TIE Advanced (should double)

3 – Phantoms

2 – Defenders

6 – Interceptors

3 – Bombers (should double)

2 – Shuttles

3 – Firesprays

That is, in my opinion more like what a “standard” collection will look like at the moment and leave space for expansion in their bags or room for the Huge Ship tray that they do.

So feel free to use those if you want to do a custom order and who knows maybe they could become a standard tray at some point.

Having spoken with the guys from Battlefoam in the UK and e-mailed them about custom orders before they are really helpful and friendly so just give them a call and chat about what you want if my trays don’t work for you or just leave a comment and I will see if I can make a more appropriate tray for your collection/need.  Oh and no I am in no way affiliated with Battlefoam but just felt that this could do with being written somewhere…

X-Wing: Battle Report Twin Defenders v Twin Falcons

Here we are again, taking the time to write another X-Wing Battle Report featuring the Wave 4 Ships.

As I said in the last battle report I wanted to try the two Defender list against a two Falcon list and Gill was happy enough to give the Falcons a go. (Although she was not happy with two of them as we are both Fluff Bunnies at heart…)

So jumping right in to the action I was going to use the same list as our last game;

TIE Defender Swarm

Rexler Brath (51)
TIE Defender (37), Heavy Laser Cannon (7), Push the Limit (3), Engine Upgrade (4)
Colonel Vessery (47)
TIE Defender (35), Heavy Laser Cannon (7), Veteran Instincts (1), Engine Upgrade (4)

98 points

Same plan as before, but for those who missed it.  Veteran Instincts makes bot Ships Pilot Skill  8 whilst Push the Limit should let Brath get Focused Target Locks at the right time while Vessery just needs to Focus and then get his free Target Lock if he shoots at the same target that Brath locks on too.

The Heavy Laser Cannons allow me to just roll 4 dice all the time with the plan being to try to hold range, take advantage of my High Agility while I chip away at the enemy.

Gill’s list was the following list;

Han And Chewie Get Busy

Han Solo (52)
YT-1300 (46), Swarm Tactics (2), Engine Upgrade (4)
Chewbacca (49)
YT-1300 (42), C3-PO (3), Engine Upgrade (4)

101 points

So as you can see due to our poor math skills she was a point over but it was not a big deal for our friendly game (Honest it was friendly…) for the future however Swarm Tactics would be dropped and Chewie would gain either Veteran Instincts or the Falcon title.

Not really a hard list to figure out, if they can stay close together Swarm Tactics passes the Pilot Skill 9 for shooting letting them both fire before my Defenders and 3P0 should do his think to keep Chewie alive even longer.

Gill was not overly familiar with the Falcon but was happy to throw them down confidant that with her 360 Degree arch of fire she would be fine.

Asteroids and Deployment

With the Imperials having initiative I placed the largest asteroid just off center of the table wanting to stop the Falcons from just sitting in the center and picking me off.  Gill then started making a channel for her to fly along and we ended up with a line from the left in to the center with two lose asteroids.  Chewie was deployed in the center and I stuck both ships down in the face off again but this time more to the left flank while Han deployed on the far right.

Turn 1

Just a warning the early turns were quite as we both jostled for position with Chewi advancing but failing his boost as it would have placed him just on to the asteroid and Han starting to cut in.

My Defenders headed to the left with me being about 1mm out with my guess thistime for getting them to line up in formation.

Turn 2

Knowing that the gentle 1 would lead to a crash for Chewie he did a hard left and then boosted while Han rushed down behind me.

The Defenders turned up my left flank with Vessery doing a Gentle One and then another Gentle One with the Boost Action and Brath pulling a Hard Three and then a Boost for a Gentle One.  at this point I did start to wonder if I should cut in as I was not getting the positioning I wanted and didn’t want to gift her my rear for the opening shooting.

Turn 3

In the end, I decided to stick with the plan of swinging up in to the Rebel deployment area and trying to drag the Falcons back through the Asteroids.

Unfortunately this time I misjudged my bank and landed on an asteroid, losing my action and allowing Han to catch up enough to get a shot off, luckily he did no damage and I survived the collision with no damage too.

Turn 4

As I had been caught last turn I needed to adapt a new plan as I had been planning to do a K-Turn this round and come back along hand for a strafing run but I would be to far back down the table now and with Chewbacca lining up along the bottom table edge I decided to cut across in to the channel.

Both Falcons fired on Brath this round stripping all 3 of his shield off and I had no shots.

Turn 5

This round Gill misjudged her turn with Han going for a Hard One rather than the Hard Two and clipped the asteroid giving me a fair amount of breathing space.

Both Defenders Pulled the K-Turn this round with Brath Pushing the Limits to Target Lock and Focus on Han while Vessery just Focused.  With no shooting from Han both Defenders opened up with Vessery firing first for the Free Target Lock from his card text and between them they managed to strip all five shields and one hull point from Han so I was feeling a little better about the early play for position as another round of shooting like that and my troubles would be over…

Chewie took his Range 3 shot through the asteroid at Brath but only got one hit which was easily evaded on five dice.

Turn 6

Chewie turned up the table whilst I did a K-Turn with Vessery and Focused whilst Brath just did a Two Ahead to clear his stress and Target Locked Han.

Hans bank off the Asteroid left him in arch of both Defenders so Gill chose discretion and boosted to clear Braths fire arch but it did cut down on her offensive options with no Focus on Han.

This round the Dice gods mocked Gill a little with Chewbacca having Focussed he rolled all misses and Han’s Shooting was 3 Focus so the re-roll was used resulting in two hits which made it through Brath’s Evade roll had they been the other way around he would have been dead!

My shooting on the other hand had Vessery putting 3 hits on to Han leaving him with 4 Hull Points remaining.

Turn 7

This time I decided that I needed to try to keep Brath alive to ensure his Target Lock was still there for Vessery to take advantage of and managed to crash him in to Chewie while Vessery did a nice slow bank behind Han to ensure that he would not be getting out of his arch.

In the Combat Phase Han took what was to prove to be his last shot of the game and even with focus and his reroll only took one shield off of Vessery whilst the return fire got all 4 hits through with the Heavy Laser Cannon and sent Han to the dead pile!

Chewie’s shot at Vessery missed completely leaving it as a 2v1 even though Brath only had 1 Hit left.

Turn 8

Gill decided that she was tired of running and K-Turned with Chewie to put her in to a Head to Head with Brath who had pulled a One Bank ready to boost if I needed to chase one direction or the other but took the Target Lock instead just incase he managed to live…
As I had completely miss read what Gill would do with Chewbacca Vessery was way out of position as I had expected her to run up the Table back towards her table edge.

Shooting happened with Brath stripping 3 Shields from Chewie as Gill got Greedy with C-3PO guessing at 1 Evade and Rolling 0.  The return fire did put 4 Hits on to Brath who didn’t even bother to try to evade and exploded.

Turn 9

The only move left open too me really was to cut in to the table with a Hard Turn adding Stress to Vessery whilst Chweie headed in to the table again.

In the Combat Phase Vessery managed to land 3 hits on to Chewie but took one in return leaving him with 1 Shield and 3 Hull remaining compared to the 7 Hull left on the Falcon.

Turn 10

With the thoughts of No guts, No Glory i took a gamble and went for a Hard 3 in to the table while Chewie burst over the Asteroid to get some open table to fly in.

My hard turn left me still Stressed and just short of a collision so I opened up with some Range Band 1 Shots (still 4 dice and its not like I could Crit Chewie anyway…) with 2 Hits getting through after 3PO did his thing.  The return Fire took the last Shield down from the Defender and i decided that I didn’t want to be in Range Band One anymore!

Turn 11

Gill had obviously had the same thoughts as she banked off hoping that I would have either turned to chase her, in which case she would have been out of arch or that I would just be not moving as fast as I did.

Knowing that i wanted to clear my stress and would be unlikely to get a shot this round I went for the complete disengage with the 5 ahead and a boost as well.  Meaning that Gill had now shot either.

Turn 12

Getting more comfortable with the Falcon’s dial and Large base Gill went for the Three Bank and then the Boost to move a lot father than I expected her to meaning that I would be running the gauntlet of the asteroids to get to her.

As I had pulled the K-Turn I just Boosted to get in to a better position to avoid the rocks next turn but we still had no shooting.

Turn 13

Gill again went for the Three Bank taking cover behind the asteroid, unfortunately my orientation after my bank meant that closes to closes there was no cover so I took the target lock and got 3 Hits and decided not to spend my lock.

With C-3PO ignoring one of the hits Chewie was left with 3 Hull points while even with the Focus Gill missed completely with her 3 attacks.

Turn 14

At this point I think that Gill let frustration at her attack dice get the better of her and instead of Boosting went for a Target Lock on my which allowed me to take bank in and Focus giving me a Target Locked and Focused attack on her.

With only 3 Hit Points left one both of our ships it was a tense turn but with Vessery firing first he managed to land all four hits thanks to his Target Lock and Focus.  Gill called the 1 Evade result she would need with 3PO to survive but promptly rolled a blank to end the game.

Final Thoughts
Well that was a long slog but again the 2 Defenders came out on top.  I do think there was a bit of luck involved  but mainly the error of landing Han on the Asteroid and losing his shooting really cost her.

I am really liking the 2 Defenders and with a bit of fancy flying they are a lot more viable than I thought they would be.

Honest time now though, this was the second game we played for the battle report as in the first game I deployed facing off against Han intending to focus him early and Gill just took my stuff off in 5 Turns for 0 losses!  We both decided that a bit of a longer game would be better for a battle report and reset and I went back to my more passive opening moves.  So I do think that you need to pick at thinks with this list to make it work but we will be playing the decider soon and I will let you all know how we get on!

Again, thanks for reading people and let me know in the comments if you have any questions about this game or let me know what else you would like to see, more Defender games or is it time to bring out the Phantom?

X-Wing: Battle Report Twin Defenders Vs 5 Ship Rebels

Hi All, now that Wave 4 had been around for a few days I decided to get a battle report together featuring some of the new ships!

So taking advantage of the long weekend here in Canada I managed to convince my Wife that whilst doing some gardening was all good what we should really do is a battle report featuring some of the new ships.

So, my main goal was to have some fun with the TIE defender and as I had been struggling to fit it in to a more conventional list I threw all of my ideas out the window and just embraced the defender for what it is.  A high Tech powerhouse that should be able to bully any other fighter in the game one on one.  With this in mind I came up with the following

TIE Defender Swarm

Rexler Brath (51)
TIE Defender (37), Heavy Laser Cannon (7), Push the Limit (3), Engine Upgrade (4)
Colonel Vessery (47)
TIE Defender (35), Heavy Laser Cannon (7), Veteran Instincts (1), Engine Upgrade (4)

98 points

So fully embracing the Elite nature of the Defender I went with both named pilots, Veteran Instinct on Vessery to bring him up to pilot Skill 8 meaning that the can fire at the same time as Brath, hopefully triggering his Card Text for Free Target Locks whilst letting Brath spend his Lock if necessary.  Both Defenders get Engine Upgrades to add maneuverability and unpredictability to their locker and they also both get Heavy Laser Cannons to throw out 4 dice at all range bands and prevent an extra evade dice at range band 3 due to them being secondary weapons.

The Rebel list was a mini swarm just taking advantage of fielding the new ships with the B-Wings adding some reliable Fire and a good amount of Hit Points.

It’s A Mixed Bag

Blue Squadron Pilot (22)
Blue Squadron Pilot (22)
Tala Squadron Pilot (13)
Tala Squadron Pilot (13)
Blackmoon Squadron Pilot (29)

99 points

So relatively low Pilot Skill compared to my Two ship list but if they could concentrate fire it could be a quick game…

The Imperials gained the initiative sitting at 98 point so I tried to force the majority of the asteroids on to the Rebel side of the table but we ended up with a ring of Asteroids and then on to Deployment.

So with all the Rebels going down before the Defenders the deployment was something I had been thinking about whilst planning the 2 ship list and the Defenders white K-Turn.  Seeing that the E-Wing had been deployed as a Flanker with the B’s and Headhunters in a box formation on the opposite flank I decided to not give anything away and deployed on the back line facing off against each other looking like a head on collision.
Turn 1
The E-Wing burst forwards at full speed whilst the Rebel ships on the right flank were a little more cautions due to the slower nature of the B-Wings.
The defenders on the other hand started having some fun right from the off, with Vessery doing a 5 forwards and then Barrel rolling in to the table whilst Brath pulled out the White 4 K-Turn and then Busted to bring himself in to formation with Vessery.  (I was really happy with my guessing on deployment as I didn’t measure anything and they are withing millimeters of being lined up side by side!) Both now gunning for the E-Wing.
Turn 2
Seeing the threat to the E-Wing it tried to stall this turn to give the 4 man group time to get in to a firing position, unfortunately the Engine Upgrades ensured that I had all the movement I needed to sneak both ships in to range band 3 with Brath taking the Target Lock as he moved first and seeing as he was just in range Vessery took a Boost to take advantage of his lock.  The E-Wing had Evaded whilst the 4 Ship Group started to cut across the table to help out their isolated comrade.
As the shooting began I remembered to do Vessery first as i normally forget about Veteran Instincts but with it being the whole premise of the list, it was a little easier to remember and the free Target Lock let me get 4 hits with the first shot of the game.  Only 1 evade on the 3 dice forced the spending of the Evade token for Two shields lost and then Brath opened up and and took the last shield down and put one point of damage on the E-Wings hull, no to bad for an opening volley.
The return fire went on to Vessery and got 2 Hits and with 4 Evade dice I got 4 eyeballs but with no focus tokens I was down two only one shield with him.
Turn 3

I gambled this turn as I really wanted to just focus down the E-Wing before I had to take on the other 4 ships, so a K-Turn and Focus for Vessery and a Two ahead and target lock for Brath (who luckily didn’t crash) The E-Wing did a K-Turn hoping to at least get behind one of the Defenders but I had managed to out bluff the movement and was just out of range of the B-wings who came through the gap to occupy the center of the asteroid ring.
The E-Wing unsurprisingly went down under the weight of fire but with the positioning from turn 2 I don’t think there was much else she could have don’t that would have kept it alive.
Turn 4

This turn was the inevitable joining of the party by the B’s and Z’s with them deploying to cover as much of the table quarter we were fighting in with lines of fire as possible.  The Defenders also cut in with Brath pulling the White K again and boosting in to position and then using Push the Limits to get a target lock on to the B-Wing that had locked on to him whilst Vessery did a hard 3 and then boosted to get in to Range Band 1 of the closes B-Wing in the hope of putting some potential Crits on to it.  (this was me being stupid really as I would be firing him first to take advantage of his free target lock so would only be taking shields down but I got excited…)
The fire from the defenders stripped all 5 shields from the closes B with Vessery taking some punishment this round and being left on 1 Hull point, he so far, had failed to make a single evade in the game but was still alive so would just have to do some work before he went down.
Turn 5

The Rebels tried to hold position as much as they could to try to continue the joust for one more round before they had to K-Turn or go evasive.
Again she just miss judged the distance on the 4 K which got Vessery out of arch whilst Brath did a 2 Ahead to clear the stress and then Barrel rolled to get out of arch of all but 1 Rebel Ship then Pushed the Limits to get a Target Lock on to the Damaged B-Wing which took the fire from Vessery first and went down leaving Brath free to strip 3 shields from the other B-Wing.  The only Shot from the B-Wing got 2 hits as the target lock was on the wrong defender but the Evade dice continued to mock me with 3 blanks.
Turn 6

With my confidence high now I got a little complacent and whilst I knew the Rebels would have to K-Turn this round or be faced with unanswered fire I miss judged the distance they would be going.  Vessery’s K-Turn was blocked by the Headhunters but he was out of arch of the B-Wing meaning he only had to contend with one Headhunters shooting, Brath also went for a K-Turn electing to keep his stress for better positioning next turn.
Both Defenders focused on the B-Wing this round and even without any re-rolls this round took down it’s last 2 shields and all of its hull points with a lucky Direct Hit from Brath.
The shooting from the Z-95’s was split due to Vessery’s collision (More luck than judgment this time…) taking the last shield from Brath and putting a point of damage on to his Hull (still no Evade’s…) but the Range band 1 shot at Vessery came up with 3 Eye Balls much to my amusement.
Turn 7

Vessery again went for the K-Turn ( I am sure I said in my review that the Defender was going to get gimmicky to fly at first..) landing behind both the Z-95’s whilst Brath crashed in to the lead fighter, with the other out of his arch. (It did clear his stress though so I was not too down about it.)
Shooting this round was getting much tighter as both the Headhunters were undamaged but I still had two much better Defenders on the table even if they were starting to bleed a little.

Vessery Boosted in to close range of the rear Headhunter and opened fire doing 3 Hits, all of which got through whilst its shots on to Brath left him with 2 Hull points.

Turn 8

Focusing both Defenders on to the Stricken Z-95 I wanted to ensure that I at least went in to the next turn 1v1 with it banking away to line up a shot for its wing-man.  Vessery K-Turns (no really he did, it’s white on the Defender you know…) and then boosted to be right behind his foe whilst Brath Banked in and just avoided the crash whilst he target locked.
Shooting predictably dealt with the damaged Headhunter with the surviving one choosing to shoot at Range band 2 on Brath rather than Range Band 3 on Vessery.  This resulted in a a Hit and a Crit but I finally managed to evade something with just the Crit getting through and damaging my Primary Weapon reducing it to 2 until repaired.
Turn 9

So 1 Undamaged Z-95 against 2 Defenders both on 1 Hull remaining.  the game was getting tense and I decided to try to pull range and take advantage of my Heavy Laser Cannons again, especially whilst Brath’s primary’s were damaged anyway.
With the Z-95 banking in Brath K-Turned whilst Vessery Banked to face off against him but ended up in a collision rather than the Range band 1 shot I was hoping for as I broke for the center table.
My shooting managed to knock down a shield but the Tala Squadron pilot was a Hero and got two hits on Brath, unfortunately Brath finally managed to jink his fighter and evaded bot shots to last for at least one more round!
Turn 10
Concerned that I was getting predictable I deiced  not to K-Turn this turn which ended up costing me a round of shooting as I was out bluffed by Gill, with Brath Colliding with the Tale squadron Pilot whilst Vessery covered a lot of table in preparation for next round with his Hard 3 and then a Boost to the right.
Turn 11

Without many options this round the Z-95 went to start the bank around the asteroid hoping that that and range would give it one more round to position.  This almost worked out with me miss judging the hard turn on Brath and just clipping the Asteroid in question, luckily no damaged came about and then Vessery managed to roll a hit and a Crit with 2 Focus, promptly spending the token for 4 hits meant that a at least 2 evades from 4 Dice would be needed, only one was rolled exploding the last Rebel for an Imperial Victory.
Final Thoughts
Well it was a very enjoyable game, that could have gone either way despite the early mistakes by the Rebels.
It was our first go with the Wave 4 Ships and I was impressed with the Defender List to be honest, I know I was lucky to get the Evades at the end when I needed them but feel that is balanced out by the damage I took early.  I do think this list could have been flown better and I did get K-Turn Happy in the middle of the game but with the Engine Upgrade as well it becomes so versatile.
From a Rebel Perspective I think being so aggressive on turn 1 with the E-Wing was a mistake and that a slower advance may have been the order of the day, other than that I think that luck played its part in the end game and that attrition almost won out the day.  I do think that replacing the Blackmoon Squadron E-Wing with  Two Prototype Pilot A-Wings with Chardaan Refit’s (once Rebel Aces hits the shelves) will keep the style of the list the same but will just preform better in almost all cases but then it could just be inexperience with the E-Wing in general talking.
Thanks for reading people and if you would like to read more of my ravings please take a look at my blog at The Dice Hate Me – Kris
I hope you have enjoyed the read people and I will be sure to post another battle rep once I try out some more Wave 4 Ships or I am considering taking the two Defender list against a 2 Falcon list to see if I can get the damage down quickly enough…