Hobby Goals 2018

or, how to make promises I’ll no doubt break.


Without wanting to make too many excuses, 2017 was probably one of my worst years for hobby activity all round. I’ve had reasons for this, mostly as I changed career path a couple of years back and this has resulted in a need to return to studying which had significantly eaten into my free time. This isn’t likely to change this year, so I’ll need to manage my time better. It might be necessary to enforce a rule to spend a minimum of 30 minutes a day at the painting table, allowing me to chip away at some of the models sitting there. There’s nothing like progress to motivate more progress.

On the gaming side in 2017, I played a few games of the new edition of Warhammer 40,000. I’ve enjoyed it but my lack of a proper painted army have kept me reluctant to arrange more games. I don’t like playing with unpainted models, so that’s one obvious goal to aim for. Most of my 2017 gaming was on the Blood Bowl table, I participated in two leagues with my Orc team. The first was run by Fergus, a regular gaming opponent for many years and the second was my own league, the LennyBowl. I’m likely to run the LennyBowl II later this year, and I hope I will be able to participate in another league or campaign (maybe Necromunda this year).

I’d also like to get back to some full size battle games this year, and given my gaming interests at the moment, that’s likely to be Warhammer 40,000. The easiest way to get games in might be to attempt to attend more events. Four sounds like a good target to aim for.

2017 was an awful year for painting too. Far too often, I paint a few models for one race or faction or game and then move on to something else. This has resulted in me having far fewer fully painted armies than I should have – I do have a few painted Warmachine/HORDES armies, but unfortunately the effective requirement to play theme forces in third edition caused me to lose interest and I’ve fallen out of contact with the game as I have been unable to get my hands on the most recent issues of No Quarter magazine.

My focus in 2018 will be on preparing fully painted armies or factions ready for use on the tabletop or board. So my goals are to paint a full 40K army (hello, upcoming Adeptus Custodes Codex!), along with a new Blood Bowl team and Necromunda gang. I also want to paint up an army for another game specifically for display – I might do a historical army, or maybe something for Age of Sigmar or Lord of the Rings. I’m not a big fan of either the AoS or LotR rulesets, but I do really like some of the figures.

One other game I’ve looked at over the years is SAGA. I’ve bought a few boxes, but never painted them. With a new edition due soon, I’d like to get a faction painted.

Finally, I backed my first Kickstarter last year, CMON’s A Song of Ice and Fire tabletop game. Lannisters ftw!

Last thing I want to do is update more often here. I hope increased activity will motivate me more to do this.

In summary:

Gaming Goals

  • Avoid the use of unpainted/unfinished figures on the gaming table.
  • Attend and play at four events during the year.
  • Run the second edition of the LennyBowl Blood Bowl league.
  • Participate in a gaming campaign of some kind run by another member of the local gaming community.

Painting Goals

  • Complete a fully painted Warhammer 40,000 army, to a minimum of 2,500 points.
  • Complete a full Blood Bowl team roster, including the maximum amount of all non-Lineman players available and as many Linemen as necessary for gaming purposes. In addition, paint at least two usable Star Players in team colours.
  • Complete a Necromunda gang, including a full 1,000 credit starting gang and at least 5 extra models for expansion in case of campaign play.
  • Complete and point a SAGA warband to a minimum of 8 points (or equivalent if new edition changes the points system).
  • Paint at least one army for non-gaming purposes (this might be a historical army, Age of Sigmar, Lord of the Rings or Warmachine/HORDES army, to a standard game size).

Writing Goals

  • Write at least 26 blog posts (an average of one every two weeks).
  • Update the blog galleries as I paint new models, including a new gallery for all models painted in 2018.

Looking at it, that’s a lot to do. I probably won’t manage half of it, but it will give me something to work towards.

Until next time,

Lennybowl 2017

Blood Bowl Winter League rules

I’m running a Blood Bowl league starting soon, and the easiest way to make the rulespack available is to post it here.

Welcome, Sports Fans, to the first annual Lennybowl tournament. We know what you all came to see – Touchdowns! Horrible Injuries! Displays of Extreme Player Incompetence! So let’s get down to business, shall we?

Lennybowl 2017
The league section of the 2017 Lennybowl runs from Monday, October 16th to Sunday, December 3rd, inclusive. At this point, the top 4 teams will go forward to the playoffs (the League Commissioner’s team may not qualify for the playoffs under any circumstances and will be ignored for determining the playoff teams).
The semi-finals will consist of the 1st seed playing the 4th seed, and the 2nd seed playing the 3rd seed. The winners of the semi-finals meet in the final.

So, how does it work then?
All games are played using the rules in the Blood Bowl rulebook, and all league rules from Death Zone Season 1 and Death Zone Season 2 apply unless stated otherwise in this rulespack.

Starting Rosters
Each coach selects an initial roster to a maximum value of 1,100,000 gold pieces. These may be selected from the lists in Death Zone Season 2, or from the Teams of Legend PDF (available here). If a team or skill is listed in both Death Zone Season 2 and the Teams of Legend PDF, Death Zone takes precedence if different.

Players may include Star Players on their initial roster, or hire them permanently during the league as per the rules in Death Zone Season 2.

Your starting roster must include a minimum of 11 players.

Starting Advances
A player may give up to 3 players on their roster an advance prior to the start of the league. If given an advance, increase the player’s value as normal. These advances are subject to the following restrictions:

  • No skill may be selected more than once.
  • No more than one advance may be taken per player.
  • Only one of each type of player may be given an advance (You can advance a Thrower, a Blitzer and a Catcher, but not 2 different Blitzers)
  • Advances may only be given to players with ST4 or less.
  • You may only take only one of the following advances : MA, AV or a skill that the player gain only gain on a double.
  • You may not increase a players AG or ST, or take an Extraordinary skill.

Advances gained through accumulating SPPs are not subject to these restrictions, they only apply to advances on your initial roster.

Playing Games
The normal league rules for arranging games and separating teams into divisions are not used. It is up to Lennybowl players to arrange their own games, and may play as many or as few as they like. The games can be played at any location, at any time that suits the players. In order for a game to qualify for league points, it must meet the following criteria:
A coach may not play the same opponent twice in a row.
A coach may not play another coach more than three times.

In addition, to qualify for the playoffs, a coach must play against a minimum of either 60% of the other coaches in the league, or 4 other coaches, whichever is less. A coach is deemed to have entered the league when that coach plays their first game.

Scoring league points
A game qualifies for league points as long as it meets the two conditions above. In addition, the coaches must both, individually, contact the League Commissioner with the result and the date. Where a coach plays more than one game in a day, he should inform the League Commissioner in which order the games were played (this is important as it may affect calculation of league points).

Each team starts with 100 league points, and can never fall below zero. Teams gain league points by winning or drawing games, and lose points when they lose. The amount varies depending on the difference in the league points between the teams before the game

Points Difference (Points Available)
0-10 (16/16)
11-32 (15/17)
33-54 (14/18)
55-77 (13/19)
78-100 (12/20)
101-124 (11/21)
125-149 (10/22)
150-176 (9/23)
177-205 (8/24)
206-237 (7/25)
238-273 (6/26)
274-314 (5/27)
315-364 (4/28)
365-428 (3/29)
429-523 (2/30)
524+ (1/31)

The first column is used where the team with the higher amount of league points wins. The second column is used when the team with the lower amount of league points wins. The winner gains this amount of league points, while the loser loses the same amount of league points. In the case of a draw, both teams gain half the amount of league points (rounded up) that it would have gained if it had won.

For example, Lenny plays a game against Fergus. Lenny’s Green Boyz Smackas have had a poor start and have 60 league points. Fergus and his Woodland Wierdos have had a few victories and have 147 league points. As the difference is 87 league points, the relevant points scored for this game is 12/20.
If Lenny wins, his team gains 20 points while Fergus loses 20 points.
If Fergus wins, his team gains 12 points while Lenny loses 12 points.
If the game is a draw, Lenny gains 10 points, while Fergus only gains 6 points.

These points are added/deducted from their scores before calculating the available points for each coach’s next game.

Rules Amendments
Special Play Cards
A coach may draw Special Play Cards as normal, provided no cards are selected from the Miscellaneous Mayhem deck.
If a coach wishes to draw from the Miscellaneous Mayhem deck, they may draw a single card from that deck. The coach may not draw any other Special Play Cards for any reason for the rest of the game.

Illegal Procedure
This rule is not used.

Being Sent Off
A player gains 1 SPP each time he is sent off. This represents the added notoriety gained for such a sensational foul. Add another column to your team roster to keep track of this.

Optional League rules
Of the Optional League rules from Death Zone Season 1, only the Piling On skill and Spiralling Expenses rules are to be used.

Famous Referees
This rule from Death Zone Season 2 are only used if both coaches choose to do so.

Random Stadium
This rule from Death Zone Season 2 is only used if both coaches wish to do so, unless one or both teamss have a home stadium, in which case the rule must be used.

Turn Timing
Turns are not timed unless both coaches wish to do so.

So, how do I get involved?
A coach may get involved in the league by sending an email including your starting roster to the league commissioner – thelennyexperiment@gmail.com. A coach may start to play games once thee starting roster has been validated by the League Commissioner. A coach officially joins the league once they play their first game.

A coach is required to keep and update their own roster up to date. It does not need to be sent to the League Commissioner once it has been validated. Coaches are trusted to keep their own rosters – anyone found to be cheating will be removed from the league.

Coaches will receive an update on league goings on once a week, by email. These updates may also be posted here.

Until next time,

The Season of Fire

Campaign rules for Shadow War : Armageddon.

shadow war armageddon

I recently wrote a set of Campaign Rules for Shadow War: Armageddon, with the intent of actually using them, however plans have changed and I won’t be running the campaign after all. However, since they are already prepared, I’ll present them here.

I’m going to keep it simple and close to the standard rules for a first campaign attempt, so here goes – “The Season of Fire”

The Season of Fire : A Shadow War: Armageddon Campaign

Across Armageddon, the battles continue to rage. Ghazghkull has long gone, with Yarrick in pursuit. But for the forces left behind, artillery shells continue to scream across the battlefield, tank treads continue to grind and the bark of bolters and the cracking sound of lasgun fire continue to dominate the planet. As another year draws towards a close, temperatures become more and more unbearable, and the battles in the open waste are slowly drawn into the limited protection of the battered and ruined hive cities. The promethium sprawl of Hive Acheron becomes ever more crowded and battle becomes harder to avoid for the numerous kill teams fighting for territory and resources. This is the Season of Fire

Kill Team
To participate in the campaign, you will need a Kill Team selected to a maximum of 1,000 points. Remember, any unused points are lost, both when selecting your initial Kill Team and when you Recruit or Rearm after any of your games. You will need to send your starting roster to the campaign organiser for checking before your first game – unless this has been done, you will not score any campaign points for your game. All models in your kill team must be easily identifiable (a name on the base is the best way to do this) and must be modelled with the correct equipment as per the Shadow War: Armageddon rulebook.

Playing Games
There are no set schedules or gameplay requirements, players can arrange and play as many or as few games as they like, anywhere they like. You must agree with your opponent before the game if the game will count towards the campaign – in order for the game to count, both players must be participating in the campaign and you may not play two consecutive campaign games against the same opponent. All campaign games use the full campaign rules as presented in the Shadow War: Armageddon rulebook, including all parts of the pre-game and post-game sequence. Rosters are open and you must have a copy available for your opponent to view at all times during the game.

You may also play friendly games outside of the campaign using your kill team, but you gain no long term benefits or penalties from playing this game. You do not make advance rolls, suffer serious injuries or gain promethium caches and so on. If any of your fighters must miss a game due to serious injury, it is the next campaign game they must miss, they may not miss a friendly game and then participate in your next campaign game. No campaign points are scored for playing a friendly game.

After a Campaign Game
After all campaign games, both players must report the game result and the total number of promethium caches held once the post game sequence has been completed.

The post game sequence must be completed and witnessed by your opponent after each game, and rosters fully updated before playing your next game.

Brother Sergeant Valerian and his team picked their way through the ruined remains of the water refinery. The Ork mob they had been tracking sat clustered around a fire blazing in an old promethium barrel, grunting, shouting and farting loudly as the captured Imperial Officers shuddered in the crude iron cage. With a series of short, chopping hand gestures, Brother Amadeus and Brother Dorian hefted their sniper rifles and took careful aim. With a nod of Valerian’s head, the two snipers fired in unison and two Orks dropped immediately. A second round of shots dropped two more Orks, but before they could fire a third shot a great bellow erupted from the remaining Boyz who grabbed their weapons and charged. At this, Brother Stefano opened up with his Heavy Bolter. The Orks surged forward, oblivious to the casualties falling around them as accurate fire from the Scouts resulted in a carpet of green bodies. The largest Ork muscled his way to the front and swung his massive claw at Valerian’s head. Valerian gently redirected the blow with the back edge of his chainsword, and as the claw harmlessly glanced off the edge of his shoulder pad, reversed the sword and carved deep into the neck of the Ork Nob, although it took several seconds before the Ork realised he was in fact dead.

Campaign Scoring
Players score points for the following achievements:
1 point per game played
1 point per game won
1 point for each different opponent played
1 point per promethium cache held

5 bonus points are awarded to any player who plays one or more games with a fully painted and based kill team (to be verified by opponent when reporting result).

Razfang Gitkilla grinned as he bisected the Imperial Guard Sergeant with a mighty swing of his big choppa. The stupid humies thought they could ambush his boyz, didn’t know he could smell them as they stayed in wait for their pitiful ambush. Behind Razfang, Garruk Facesmasha laid into the three Guardsmen surrounding him with his choppa, while Urruk Moredakka blazed away with his big shoota. With a mighty WAAAGH!!!, Razfang led the rest of his mob in a frenzied charge as the remaining Guardsmen tried to get a few panicked shots away before being slaughtered.

So that’s it, keeping it as close to the rulebook as possible.  If anyone wants to run your own campaign and use all or some of these rules, feel free, I’ve not invented anything new and own no exclusive rights to it or anything like that.

Until next time,


A new beginning in the 41st Millennium

or, Why I’m actually excited about the 8th edition of Warhammer 40,000.


Unless you’ve been living under a rock with no internet access, you’ve probably seen the above picture more than a few times today. With a new edition of Warhammer 40,000 on the way, I’m not going to try and break any news here, there’s far too many other sites out there that can do that far better than I can. What I’m actually writing about is why, for the first time in a long time, I’m excited about a new edition of a core GW ruleset.

If I’m honest, I’ve not really enjoyed 40K since 5th edition, or Warhammer since 7th, and the less said about Age of Sigmar, the better. I’ve drifted away from Games Workshop for years, largely due to their lack of decent, balanced rules. For a long time, it seemed to me, the only important thing was to add large, powerful and imbalanced models to the game. While many of these were visibly spectacular, it created an atmosphere of “pay to win” and an excessive amount of expensive hardback rulebooks required to keep up with the game – and every time a new Codex was released, you had to buy the new models to stay competitive. Possibly the worst example of this was when new rules for Screamers and Flamers of Tzeentch were released, which were so powerful many Daemon players rushed out to buy 3 units of each – and then six months later, a new Codex was released nerfing them. I never even read the seventh edition rulebook after buying it when it was released – and this was before Formations, a ridiculous concept where players got free points and special rules for taking certain combinations.

And then, a miracle happened. Tom Kirby, chairman and CEO, decided to step down to a non-executive chairman role. As a result, the whole approach of the company changed. Games Workshop finally embraced the internet for something other than selling models and began to engage with the community again. Tournament gaming is once again recognised and GW staff members are attending external events. The culture of absolute secrecy around new releases has been dropped, and it even seems like the previously heavily litigious nature of the company has been relaxed. White Dwarf was brought back to a monthly magazine, with the ability to have long proper articles again. Blood Bowl was re-released, with fantastic new models and most importantly, rules intact rather than being Age of Sigmar-ed. This was followed by the use of the classic Necromunda rules for Shadow War : Armageddon. While I don’t agree with everything that they do, I’ve seen a lot more positives than negatives for the last several months.

So, 40K. I played a bit of 6th edition and didn’t particularly enjoy it. I didn’t play 7th edition at all. It just seemed to me that new things kept being added to the game – Formations, Allies, Lords of War, Flyers to name a few were added to the game with seemingly no thought on how to properly integrate these things into the game. The rules just seemed to be bolted onto the existing ruleset, which hasn’t had a proper overhaul since 3rd edition was released in 1998. As a result, I thought that the ruleset ran it’s course several years ago and could do well with a simplified, consolidated set of rules which covered all of these things in the main rules. And finally, it appears GW are doing just that.

There are many things I like about the new rules. One is that Movement Values and dice roll modifiers return. These things allow for a graduated effect, rather than the all-or-nothing nature of previous rules such as AP values. The return to save modifiers means weapons now effect all armour equally rather than having a disproportionate impact on lighter armour and no effect on heavier armour. This is balanced by making cover a bonus to the armour save. Another is the removal of blast templates instead giving multiple shots (to reflect the number of models hit), meaning players will not be penalised by having to bunch up due to irregular or uneven terrain.

I have heard some complaints about vehicles being given Toughness and Wound characteristics as well as Armour Saves. I however think this is a good idea, as it results in all weapons having a chance of inflicting damage on anything (even if in some cases the chance is rather small). One thing I disliked previously is the idea of players being allowed to take a full army of Imperial Knights – of course players should be allowed to use their models, but sensible restrictions should be in play. There should never be a situation where large proportions of models can’t harm the enemy. Players should not have to buy, assemble and paint models just to put them on the table to no purpose other than to be killed. The new rules prevent that.

One of my favourite rules, however, is the return to the removal of casualties by the choice of the owning player. While previous casualty removal systems were intended to reflect the possibility of special weapon/sergeant models becoming casualties, essentially they resulted in gaming of the system. Straight forward removal by the owning player should speed the game up and make the game less random.

Of course, with the new rules, this results in a new set of Codexes. As all of the previous ones are being made obsolete, there are naturally complaints, but anyone who has played for any length of time should know that Codexes were always updated anyway. It also means that all models will now have a point value assigned based on the current ruleset, rather than with models pointed for the preceding edition, or even the edition before that. Speaking of points, there will be two sets, full points for competitive matched play, and a looser system of power levels, useful for rough balancing for more casual games. This is a good idea and it is nice to see GW finally recognise that all types of play are equally valid, once the players are enjoying themselves. It will also hopefully result in less mismatches where very competitive players play a more casual opponent, easily thrash them with a more optimised army, and resulting in neither player getting what they want.

The Keywords being added to special rules and characters not being able to join to units should prevent some of the deathstar shenanigans that have blighted the last couple of editions and should reduce some of the combinations provided by allied characters to units that never should have had access to those rules in the first place. This should help with the balancing of combinations and also result in more coherent armies rather than the current mish-mash of formations. I was delighted to see the end of these, free models is a benefit that should be extremely rare or non-existent (if you have a model in your army, or a model has a special rule, you should have to pay the appropriate points cost for it) – it’s one of the major issues with Warmachine/HORDES right now, and my desire to play that has fallen dramatically.

Is the game going to be prefect – no, of course not. It might turn out to be rubbish, we haven’t seen the full rules together or points costs yet. I’m not 100% happy with everything in the new rules, as to date I have not seen anything to indicate removal of a few of the things I don’t like. As far as I’m aware, random charge distances, true line of sight and pre-measuring all remain. Also, with the close combat to hit roll no longer taking account of the opponent’s Weapon Skill, it does seem a little strange that a model can hit elite combat characters just as easily as lumbering vehicles or unskilled conscripts. But overall, I’m happy with what I’ve seen so far, and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it. My only question now is which army to go for. I have an idea, but I will leave that for a later post.

Until next time,


For the Warmaster!

A Heresy Begins

I’ve been an admirer of Forge World’s line of Horus Heresy models for a long time. My only issue, which I suppose is a common one, was the expense of purchasing the figures, and the high shipping costs. Of course, I was rather excited to find that Heresy-era Astartes would be available, and eagerly snapped up a copy of Betrayal at Calth on release.

And, as is not unusual for me at all, opened the box, admired the plastic and cardboard, and never got around to doing anything with it for several months. Until, of course, I needed to organise a Christmas present from me to me. I noticed that Forge World were offering a free shipping voucher for January with orders of £75 or more in December.

Even though I really don’t intend to game much (or at all) with the army, I still prefer to assemble game legal squads. So I put in an order for the Legiones Astartes army list and legion books, and included a pack of shoulder pads to bring my order up to £75.

The books arrived shortly before Christmas. For those of you who haven’t any experience of Forge World’s rulebooks, they really are top quality hardcover books with a thick, durable paper (it’s so much thicker than regular, every time I turned a page, it felt like I was skipping one).

After a few days of browsing, I then sat down to write an army list based off the plastics in Betrayal at Calth, and from there I could decide what extras I was going to need. I knew I was going for Sons of Horus and wanted a full 20 man Legion Tactical Squad, and eventually came up with the following list :

Legion Praetor – 197 points
Combi-Meltagun, Master Crafted Chainfist, Cataphractii Terminator Armour, Digital Lasers, Grenade Harness.

Legion Centurion – Chaplain Consul125 points
Plasma Pistol, Crozius Arcanum, Frag & Krak Grenades, Artificer Armour, Melta Bombs, Refractor Field.

Legion Terminator Squad (Sergeant & 4 Terminators) – 260 points
Paired Lightning Claws, Cataphractii Terminator Armour.
Sergeant with Grenade Harness.

Contemptor Dreadnought225 points
Kheres Pattern Assault Cannon, Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon w/Meltagun, Havoc Launcher, Extra Armour, Searchlight, Smoke Launcher.

Legion Tactical Squad (Sergeant & 19 Marines) – 315 points
Bolter, Bolt Pistol, Combat Blade, Frag & Krak Grenades, Power Armour.
Sergeant w/Plasma Pistol, Power Fist.
Marine w/Nuncio-Vox.
Marine w/Legion Vexilla.

Legion Tactical Support Squad (Sergeant & 4 Marines) – 200 points
Meltagun, Bolt Pistol, Combat Blade, Frag & Krak Grenades, Power Armour.
Sergeant w/Power Fist.

Legion Tactical Support Squad (Sergeant & 4 Marines) – 200 points
Plasma Gun, Bolt Pistol, Combat Blade, Frag & Krak Grenades, Power Armour.
Sergeant w/Power Fist.

I wanted some of the Sons of Horus parts to customise some of my Marines, so I bought a pack of 10 torsos and a pack of 10 helmets. I also wanted Sons of Horus shoulder pads, so I bought a further 2 packs of 10 shoulder pads (giving me the full 30) and a set of shoulder pads for the Cataphractii Terminators also. I picked up a pack of 10 Meltaguns for the Support Squad – I was originally taking a squad of 10 with Meltaguns, but thought this might be excessive so split that into two 5 man squads, one with Meltaguns and the other with Plasma Guns. I needed a pack of command parts also for the Nuncio-Vox (there is 2 in the pack, along with 2 Legion Vexillas and some helmets) and the Contemptor Cyclone Missile Launcher upgrade pack (in order to use it as the Contemptor’s Havoc Launcher. I also ordered two pots of Lupercal Green and two pots of Sons of Horus Green.

So far, I’ve managed to assemble the first half of the Legion Tactical Squad. I’ve just done standard Marines for now. The next step is to decide whether I want to do some more assembly or maybe test out a colour scheme first. Maybe I’ll combine both and assemble the Contemptor while working on a test Marine.


Until next time,


Introducing – the Green Boyz Smackaz

Orcing it up in the world of Blood Bowl.

I’ve been a big fan of Blood Bowl for a long time, so needless to say I was extremely excited to see Games Workshop decide to bring it back. I played countless games back in the day, mostly with my Human, Chaos and Elven Union (just Elves back then) teams.

Of course, I had the Orc models from the previous edition of the boxed game which mostly sat around unused. Eventually, several years ago, I finally decided to add the missing models to fill out a roster. Then, as now, the boxed game came with 2 Blitzers, 2 Throwers, 2 Black Orcs and 6 Linemen. So I added a Troll, 2 more Blitzers, 2 more Black Orcs and 3 Goblins to my squad. Obviously, I don’t need 3 Goblins, but they were sold 3 to a pack, so I painted them all anyway.

Compared to the current models, these guys are a little small and much less dynamically posed, but have a certain retro charm to them and if I remember correctly, I really enjoyed painting them.


Anyway, I’ve never actually got a chance to play with these models since I painted them, so I’m taking the opportunity to unleash them in the local league being run by Fergus (of shorts fame). I’ve got 1,000,000 gold crowns to spend and 6 different model types to choose from, so here’s a quick breakdown of each option.


The Orc Lineman looks mediocre on paper, and there’s a reason for that – he is. However, he’s relatively cheap and quite resilient. Ultimately, this guy is your fodder. He’s there to take hits for more valuable team mates, to get in the way of the opposition and provide assists and the occasional foul. He only gets General skills as standard, so will largely only see the field when better team mates are not available. Block and Tackle are obvious choices for advancements, but if you get +1ST, he instantly becomes better than an unadvanced Black Orc.


The Orc Thrower comes with the standard Thrower skills – Pass and Sure Hands. My Human and Elf teams have always been strong users of the pass play. The Orc Thrower is almost identical to his Human equivalent, except for being a square slower. He’s just as good a passer and ball handler and has access to the same skills on advance. He’s unlikely to rack up the same number of completions, due to his lack of Catchers and the generally mediocre speed and agility of Orc teams. He may be better used as a ball carrier, but even so, I’ll need to be careful, as his lower AV makes him a tempting target for the opponent’s heavy hitters. When he advances, it’s an interesting choice between giving him passing skills, or to turn him into a runner.


Black Orc Blocker
Essentially, the Lineman’s bigger, stronger, less agile cousin. They’re a bit slow and have below average AG, so probably shouldn’t be trying to play the ball (unless, say, you get a touchback and give it to him). He won’t score much in the way of touchdowns, but he’s not on the field for that. He’s stronger than most opposing players in a one-on-one situation, so will often get a 2 dice block, but lacks any skills, so you still need to be careful until he acquires Block. He gets General and Strength skills on advancing. Block is a must, and Guard is a solid choice for his second skill.


The Blitzer is the star of the Orc lineup. I’d always immediately max out on these guys in almost every team building scenario. They’re faster than other Orcs, and come with the Block skill as standard. This, as any Blood Bowl veteran will tell you, is huge. It benefits on both offence and defence. These guys do it all, they have the speed to move around formations, break away with the ball, blitz and perform protective duties for a ball carrier. They’re also the best targets for an emergency pass play. While they can do duty on the front line, they’re probably better utilised as flankers where they can avoid getting bogged down and use their higher MA to get where they need to go. On defence, you can keep them in the backfield to blitz any ball carriers or Catchers attempting to catch a downfield pass. These guys have the most options for upgrade. You can take Tackle to make taking out agile ball carriers easier, Guard makes them better in a tight scrap, or if you get a double, Dodge can be a nice surprise, or even Catch.


Big, smelly and really really stupid (reminds me of me). Lacks agility, but hits really hard and is hard as nails. Not really much use except for hitting things and completely unreliable – he will go stupid just when he’s needed most and you have to have a babysitter near him at all times. It’s generally worth it though, he will take opponents off the field. He’s also useful for a the classic Goblin throw play. He only gets Strength skills as standard, but should he get a double on the advance table, take Block immediately over anything barring possibly +1S.


The Goblin is the most agile player available, and he’s cheaper than any of the Orcs, but he’s very breakable and not much use in the blocking game. His role is mostly for gadget plays. The Troll can throw him (provided he doesn’t prefer to eat him instead) and he can use his Dodge and Stunty skills to get into and out of places that an Orc can’t. I’d generally never run more than one Goblin in a squad, but he can be useful to have around and could nick the occasional touchdown. He only gets Agility skills normally, so Catch is a viable option to give you a downfield receiving option.

So, what did I actually take?
While I personally prefer a league to start with more than the standard 1,000,000gc, I find this restricts Orcs less than others, as Orc players aren’t particularly expensive, so it makes starting with a Troll actually viable. I can’t have everything I want as I could with 1,100,000gc, I still have a pretty useful starting lineup.

I start out with my skill players. I take the 2 available Throwers and 4 Blitzers immediately. This comes to 460,000gc. I then added a Troll, and a Goblin, just for fun. This leaves me with 390,000gc. At this point, I need 3 more players at a minimum, but I’ve not bought any team re-rolls yet, so I’ll take 2. This leaves me with 270,000gc. I really want 4 more players, so I can leave my Goblin in reserve. I have enough for 2 Black Orcs and 2 Lineman, with 10,000gc left over for Fan Factor 1. I would like to take an Apothecary, but can’t afford one yet. I’ll probably pick one up first chance I get, it’s cheaper than replacing too many dead and crippled players. So I get 12 players, including my Big Guy (I rarely start with these unless I have extra starting money) and 2 re-rolls. Let’s see how it goes.


Green Boyz Smackaz Starting Line-up
#1 – Troll
#2 – Black Orc
#3 – Black Orc
#6 – Thrower
#7 – Thrower
#8 – Blitzer
#9 – Blitzer
#10 – Blitzer
#11 – Blitzer
#12 – Lineman
#13 – Lineman
#16 – Goblin

Until next time,