Saturday 23 November 2019

Welcome sports fans...

It has only been, oh, 30+ years since I played this game as a school boy. We ran a school league with 14 teams when first edition came out, back in the 80s. Well, the latest edition of Blood Bowl has fallen into my hands, so I painted up the teams and have decided to play a few games with the basics. First game, rules trial, was a 0-0 bore-draw. Next game, introducing the advanced rules, was 1-0 Orcs. The 'Gouged-Eye' followed that up with 2 more wins, 2-1 and 2-0 and the humans were struggling to match the Orcs in the fight. My human team was down to 5 walking players in the 2-0 defeat. Anyway, a change of players, and I took over the Orcs for once. Payback! Err... nope!

Saturday's highlights package... and another defeat for me (first win for the humans) in a  2-0 hammering... the Orcs were terrible... never got the ball into the humans half, never looked like scoring a touchdown, fumbled it, fell over, got beat in the blocks, turned it over again and again in a pitiful display of dice rolling by me... so, it is just me. The humans scored from a fumble by my thrower in the backfield, which allowed them to walk it in. They were unlucky not to score second at the end of the first half, 1 square short of sneaking in a score when the whistle saved me. Half-time would see a turn around.

Except, after kick-off, the Orcs instantly turned it over again, and saw a huge gap torn in the line of scrimmage. His speedy catchers were through, a quick break by his thrower with the ball, a hand-off, a dodge and the catchers were gone... streaking in for a second as the Orcs just stood about dumbstruck. 2-0.

No coming back, even the on-pitch riot went the humans way... shortening the game. The humans were on the attack again and also in for third when the final whistle released me from my dice rolling torments. A wretched performance by the 'Gouged Eye' saw the old enemy, 'Reikland Reavers' take their first win. Another game I can't play! I'm feeling a bit dice-cursed atm... just cannot roll for toffee.

Anyway, it was a fun few hours. Anymore games like this though and the coach's head is on the block.. literally. Might need to get a few star players to spice it up.

 Kick-off, the Orcs are so far unbeaten, and have handed out the pain. 

Short kick-off, my Blitzers in hot pursuit. Until they all fell over! 

The humans are through the gap, a single-hand-off and the catcher makes 1 dodge and covers 10 squares to score as the Orcs stand and watch! 

End of the game, the ball is loose, but those humans are attacking my end zone again. 
It could have been 3 or 4!

Wednesday 20 November 2019

Longstreet, Game 2 - Attack along the Maytown Turnpike

Having repelled my attack on Muller's Crossing, it was now the Reb’s turn to go on the offensive, attacking up the Maytown Turnpike to secure a crossroads. The first battle in the campaign in 1962.

It was one hell of a close run thing… a slow start, our artillery failing to hit much, the Yankees staying in place as the Rebs advanced in column and deployed into lines for the frontal attack. As his second gun battery deployed on the overlooking high ground, I sent my eager, fresh, Zouave unit (first game out) into a rapid spoiling attack, to drive-off or seize those unprotected guns. They raced across the open ground at the quickstep and up the slope, about to take a round of evil canister-fire at point blank range, but the cost would be worth it. Death or Glory! If I could turn his flank here, his whole attack plan might be thrown into chaos and stalled as he had to turn to face the rampaging Zouaves. Meanwhile, his own fast flankers, his cavalry, had swiftly advanced, dismounted and begun their own distraction attack on my left, now faced up by my Pennsylvania recruits. The exchanges of fire, were, well rubbish, neither could hit much or do any damage… stalemate then. Fire and fury, for no result.

On the hill, in the glorious (foolhardy) Zouave attack, it was neither death or glory. His canister blasts killed, err… nothing, misses all round! My bayonet charge killed, err, nothing, being thrown back by a determine defence of the guns. My Zouaves withdrew, almost unharmed. So much for that. Stalemate again.

In the centre, around the crossroads the main attack was now on, 3 Reb infantry units against 2 Union ones, but mine were veterans, and I sent my mobile reserve (the cavalry) to join them, dismounting to fight (fire) on the crossroads itself. On the right, my Ohio boys put up a hell of fight for the cornfield, skirmish fire and bayonet- work saw off the Rebs, bloody work for both sides, but I’d just come out on top. On the left, my New York vets were hammering volleys from behind the rail-fencing into the Rebs in the open, and their more accurate fire was whittling the enemy down. In the centre, directly up the road, my dismounted cavalry found themselves hard pressed by rebel-yelling southerns, and driven back with losses. The objective had fallen - no!. But the Rebs had paid a high price. Still, on casualties inflicted it was very close. My dismounted cavalry had to try and retake the lost objective and so charged back in, sabres and pistols in hand. Only for find the last Rebs waiting  ‘like a stonewall’. Driven-off, the poor cavalry were decimated, this was not the glorious role of the cavalryman! That loss was enough for the Rebs to edge it. A very marginal win for Johny Reb in a close, tense fight, and again so much fun. These rules are so good, ever game a winner!! I love the dynamic, the ebb and flow, the unpredictability.

It’s 2-0 on wins to the Rebs in the campaign, but there’s a long way to go yet. New Yankee guns will start to claw it back. A big delivery of factory-new parrot gun has just arrived.

A few phone snaps of the action's highlights along the turnpike.

Death or Glory! My newly finished Zouaves about to get their baptism of canister fire storming the hill. Then it missed, and then my charge whiffed too...  just when you think you have him, you don't. Damn those cards (and dice).

The Turnpike. dismounted cavalry have the centre, Ohio to the left in the cornfield, New York to the right, Rebs just approaching, not in range yet.  Steady boys! 

 The far left, my boys deploying in a refused flank to meet the cavalry end-run. Guns have turned 180 to cover the rear, as that cavalry was moving so fast in column I thought it might run right round me. It didn't they stopped and dismounted to attack on foot, in an inconclusive firefight of ineptness from both sides. 

New Yorker's muskets leveled at Rebs in the open, my veterans gave Johny Reb a bloody nose here, but it didn't save the day. Exposed Position cards helped, and seemed about right too...

Saturday 9 November 2019

Longstreet, Muller's Crossing

Game 1 of a new Longstreet Grand Campaign, 9 battles to play... a new brigade to command. The first fight, in 1861, was a river crossing scenario with my Union boys attacking and the Rebs awaiting across the Creek.

After a long break, this was a reminder of what a great set of rules these are... a top game of tactical decisions and hard card choices, my refused right flank and echelon left attack started well and saw my boys in blue race to threaten three of the creek's fords... all looked good, everything was in place... the Rebs were worried (but not that worried)... and the dice, well they can go the hell... my volley shooting was less than convincing, my eager recruits stalled and then were not so eager to et stick in with cold steel. The return fire took its toll, his artillery out shot my own and in the end, even though a quick bayonet charge by the New York boys in the centre carried 1 ford, it wasn't enough, the attrition wore me down too fast... and Colonel Dupont ordered the retreat, leaving the field to Jonny Reb.

So we are off... and I'm looking forward to it all, the last 2 campaigns were great fun and we stand at 1 win for the Rebs, 1 for the Yankees, so this is a bit of a decider.

Failed to take any pictures, but here is an oldie, and my brigade roster for game 2, in 2 weeks time, the first battle of 1862 will see my brigade on the defensive, this time holding an important crossroads. Let hope I can roll a 4+ more often than 1 in 4 times! (Ah, blame the dice!).

We're going on to Richmond... it should take about 5 years.