Da Vulchas Showcase: Throwers

Greetings, Everyone!
Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting pictures and descriptions of the players on my Orc Blood Bowl team, Da Vulchas. In my home league (not the new Goblin Beat league), we place a heavy emphasis on narrative and often write up game reports, post-game interview transcripts, exposés on the teams’ inner workings, etc. Taking the time to do this adds a lot of flavor to the games and gives us an opportunity to poke fun at our fellow coaches. This is something that I’ve done for a lot of the game systems that I play, and I find it really helps me get invested in the experience and makes the game more than just pushing toy soldiers around and rolling dice. So…on to the Showcase!

First, we have #1 Morkid Krookhacka, currently the starting thrower for Da Vulchas Blood Bowl team.  He’s been with the young Orc team from the very beginning and over the past two seasons has put up 6 Completions, 5 Touchdowns, 1 Casualty, and 1 game MVP. He has racked up 28 SPP, and has gained the Accurate & Block skills. Rumor has it that Krookhacka feels he’s outgrown his rookie contract and has been pushing to increase his salary for next season. With the league’s tight salary cap and ban on sponsorships, Da Vulchas may have to part ways with the Veteran Thrower if they can’t come to some sort of agreement before the next season starts.

Next, we have #2 Binn “Squigfinger” Rockeye, currently on Da Vulchas practice squad. His inability to turn down a dare has gotten him into trouble more than once, the most recent example leading to his nickname “Squigfinger.” Fortunately, it was not his throwing arm, so it’s not necessarily a career-ending injury.  (I dropped him while painting and broke off two of his fingers.  Easier to slap some “Blood for the Blood God” on there than try to repair.  Lazy Hobby Win!) If Da Vulchas aren’t able to reach an agreement with Krookhacka, “Squigfinger” may finally get his chance to crack the team roster and prove his talent on the pitch.

You’ll notice that the team has outfitted both of its throwers with custom Orcdidas cleats, made from the finest purebred Squig leather. The hide is specially treated to enhance its natural red pigmentation because everyone knows “da red wunz go fasta!”

I hope you enjoyed this brief showcase, and let us know if you want to see more of this kind of article.

Da Vulchas defeat Nuln Lions 2-1, Secure Division Lead

Greetings, Blood Bowl Fans!

We’re coming to you live from the Carrion Coliseum where Da Vulchas just secured the top spot in the South Division by defeating the visiting Nuln Lions with a score of 2-1. This game had been designated the Cabalvision Match-Up of the Week and 30,000 fans turned out to see these two teams battle it out for the top spot. The Lions had fought Da Vulchas to a stalemate when the Orcs visited Standford Stadium earlier in the season, which had left the two teams tied for 1st place. However, Da Vulchas were determined to leverage their homefield advantage during this rematch, and the fans did end up helping the Orcs secure victory and continue their push towards the post-season.

Da Vulchas won the coin toss and elected to receive the kickoff. Lions Kicker Yale Lary hung the ball high in the air, allowing the coverage team a chance to charge down the field before the Orcs could respond. The two teams clashed at the line of scrimmage and Star Black Orc Bumgag Facecutta was knocked out cold and would spend the remainder of the first half shaking off the effects of a concussion. The Lions Blitzers attempted to recover their own kick, but were unable to come down with the ball.

A little slow to react, Da Vulchas response was no less brutal as they recovered the ball and began their usual, methodical march down the field. The Orcs sent two Lions players, rookie Lineman Buke Milson and Blitzer Joe Schmidt, to the Apothecary’s tent although it appears that both escaped serious injury. Thrower Morkid Krookhacka scrambled to avoid defenders while the offensive line tried to open up a running lane. The Lions made the Orcs fight for every yard. At centerfield, Ogre Donk “Night Train” Lane hit Grumm the Troll hard enough to knock him out cold.

The Lions kept shifting the formation to plug each gap that opened until Kicker Yale Lary stumbled as he shed a block and fell awkwardly. With an audible crunch heard all the way in the announcer’s booth, it was clear that he had suffered a gruesome injury to his neck. The Lions medical staff were just able to save his life, but with an injury so severe, Lary may never be the same.

With so many players nursing wounds on the bench, it was inevitable that one team or the other would find an opening to strike. Krookhacka finally handed the ball off to Blitzer Jumm ‘Edwakka and he made a break for the endzone, putting Da Vulchas up, 1-0, and the home crowd went crazy!

After the kickoff, the Lions had just seconds left in the first half to try even the score. Lions Thrower Jake Rudock scooped up the ball and attempted to lob the ball to Barry Randers as he streaked down the field, but pressure from Da Vulchas caused him to fumble the pass as time expired.

Original art by obgnuoy, colors altered
Blitzers Purbag Bonekrumpa & Kubub Silentmaw pursue Lions Star, Barry Randers.

The Lions received the ball at the start of the second half. Da Vulchas, over-confident due to outnumbering the beleaguered Lions, mistimed a strike into the backfield leaving their defense out of position. The Lions capitalized on the mistake as Star Blitzer Barry Randers took the hand-off around midfield and bolted towards the endzone. Da Vulchas attempted to catch the speedster, but a couple of well-timed blocks kept the Human Blitzer clear. Racing down the sideline, Barry racked up his third touchdown of the season, accompanied by the jeers and boos of Da Vulchas fanbase.

As Da Vulchas lined up to receive the kick-off, the fans made their displeasure known. With uncanny accuracy, a bench from section 328, all the way in the nosebleeds, sailed onto the pitch and caught “Night Train” in the side of his head. The big Ogre slammed face down in the mud, and his large, limp form had to be dragged from the field before play could continue. Da Vulchas Head Coach immediately dispatched a team scout to that section of the coliseum with instructions to sign to the practice squad whoever had hefted the bench that far.

Down several players and without their linchpin Ogre to hold the center, there was little the Lions could do to prevent Da Vulchas from driving back down the pitch. Jake Rudock, determined to prove who was the best Thrower on the field, laid out Morkid Krookhacka with a vicious block that drew a confused response of anger and respect from the crowd. Although the Lions continued to throw themselves in front of the Orcs in a last ditch effort to run out the clock, Jumm ‘Edwakka brawled his way into the endzone for his seventh career touchdown and sealed the win!

With two touchdowns on the day, ‘Edwakka was awarded the match MVP. Goblin Taktot also received recognition for filling in during the first half without screwing anything up or getting killed. The Lions, frustrated at the loss, apparently took out their frustration on the visiting team locker room, doing nearly 20,000 gold pieces worth of damage to the facility.

Head Coach Vomad the Vicious didn’t seem overly concerned. “Da Visitas Locka Room wuz too fancy for dem gitz inny-wayz. Dey kin change pantiez in da squig stalls fer now. Da gobboz kin fix it win dey git to it.”

With three games left in the regular season, Da Vulchas need to finish strong to maintain their lead in the division and secure the best seed for the playoffs. Next week, Da Vulchas will host another divisional rival in the Grudge Bearers. Check your Cabalvision listings for broadcast date and times.

Product Review: Metallic Dice Games Dice Tray

MDG Dice Tray in Red Velvet

Greetings, Everyone!

As with any hobby, there are many items that are not necessary, but can significantly contribute to the enjoyment of the experience. I don’t have to wear a Chicago Bears jersey on game day, seeing as they still haven’t signed me to the squad (I’m cheap, Ryan Pace!), but it makes it more fun when I’m out in public and run into other fans. In the same way, there are many gaming accessories that aren’t required but can be very useful and make the games we play more enjoyable.

Many games rely on dice to produce the random results needed to play the game, and most players develop a “style” of rolling those dice quickly and conveniently. Some like to use dice towers, relishing every clack and clatter of the die as it falls through the tumblers within. Others like dice cups, swirling the dice within like a fine wine before authoritatively slamming the cup down to show the game who’s really in control. Then, there are the troglodytes that like to bowl the dice across the playing surface attempting to knock over all your meticulously painted miniatures. But the most civilized, well-mannered, and discerning gamers use a tray to gently cradle their favorite dice and ensure the fairest result. (No bias here!)

Today I will be reviewing Metallic Dice Games’ Collapsible Dice Trays. These retail for $16 normally, but I was able to snag a two-pack of them on Massdrop for $23. The trays are very portable because they unsnap and fold flat, making it very easy to throw into a bag for game night without taking up a lot of space. There is a leather (maybe?) backing on the outside, and a soft, velvet lining on the inside with some sort of stiff material in between. If you like to roll with fancier metallic dice (can damage a table because of their weight) or the semi-precious stone dice (can chip if treated roughly), I wouldn’t be without one of these bad boys. Measuring in at 10×10 inches, they are large enough to let the dice roll a little bit without taking up too much of the table real estate, which can be an issue with bigger games or smaller gaming spaces.

I picked up a blue one and a purple one (to match our Blood Bowl team colors), and liked them so much that I picked up another two-pack in red and black so we can have more around the table on Zombicide nights. Recently, I saw that they released a multi-colored one in a chevron pattern the last time they popped up on Massdrop, but it looks like the lining on that one might be a more standard cloth rather than the velvet. I’m sure that there are other dice trays that would be just as nice, but the price point for these in the two-pack was good and I was very impressed with the quality of these trays.

Fancy!!!

At our table, my teenager has a tendency to send dice careening around the room when he gets a little excited, so we spend a lot of time chasing dice. Of course, whenever it is a good roll it counts, but if it’s not what he was hoping to see we need to re-roll since it fell off the table (Seems legit….wait a minute!!!) So, I implemented a house rule that if it doesn’t end up in the tray it doesn’t count, no matter the result, and must be re-rolled. This has eliminated 95% of the dice on the floor (there’s still the odd one that bounces out or misses the tray), and has had the added benefit of eliminating “cocked” dice when playing games that involved uneven terrain features. If I’m using the trays away from home, I always let my opponent know how I use the tray and I’ve never had anyone complain. In fact, many roll their own dice in the trays as well!

So, readers…how do you roll at your table? Let us know in the comments if you use a tower, cup, tray, box lid, Vegas-style craps table, the hollowed-out skull of your enemy, etc. We’d love to know!

In Which A Nerd Is Introduced…

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Greetings, Everyone.

I wanted to make a quick post to introduce myself, since I’m going to start contributing to the page. My name is Jon, and I’m a nerd. I made peace with this long ago, which helps when you have a teenager. Then, when he points out how uncool I am, I can just respond with “I know.” I’m betting that you are also a nerd, since you’re hanging out on a website like The Goblin Beat, so I’ll say… Well met, fellow nerd!

My introduction to gaming of any sort began shortly after the turn of the century, when I walked in on a co-worker painting a Moria Goblin from Games Workshop’s Lord of the Rings game. I was blown away by how tiny the miniature was and how well he painted it, but protested that I could never paint anything so small. He offered to let me try my hand at one, whether because he was trying to grow the hobby or just trick me into painting part of his horde I could not say. Either way, I found the experience oddly satisfying and here we are, years (and hundreds of dollars worth of miniatures) later.

I still actively play what is now called the Middle-earth Strategy Battle Game, as well as Blood Bowl (also by Games Workshop) and the X-wing Miniatures Game (by Fantasy Flight Games). I’m not much of a competitive gamer, so don’t expect much in the way of high-level tactics articles or tournament reports, but I will be writing about these game systems in the future. When it comes to table-top gaming, I’m much more drawn to campaigns and narrative-style games, which is probably why the transition into RPGs was so easy for me.

As for Role-Playing Games, I dabbled in some 2e Dungeons & Dragons, primarily set in Middle-earth rather than one of the established settings, but drifted away for several years. Then, the Goblin Beat crew invited me to join their Curse of Strahd campaign, which introduced me to 5e D&D and I fell back in love. Our weekly games were a blast, but they created an itch to DM my own games and I began running a second campaign on a different night of the week (which are not recorded…for now).

If you listen to the podcast sessions, you’ll hear my dulcet tones bringing Haleth (War Cleric of Lathander) and Einkil Ironfist (Charlatan Battlemaster) to life. In our Call of Cthulhu games, I play Dr. Lindsay Holt, who may be retired now that the rest of his crew is dead, but them’s the breaks when you face the Elder Gods and their minions.

Anyway, I look forward to interacting with you all over the coming weeks & months, and thanks for supporting the Goblin Beat.

May the dice rolls be ever in your favor!

JRB