Wednesday, November 14, 2012

creating the Insane Goblin Posse

Here is my post describing everything that went into creating this blood bowl team.  Hope you enjoy and are inspired.  Try making a display base or put extra effort into the fluff of your team and translate that to the models & paint job and you will feel great about your accomplishment.

The initial inspiration for doing a goblin team came from (misreading) the Blingtoof 2012 rules pack, which included a free goblin shaman.  Originally I thought that you got one every game and was unwilling to give my opponent such a large advantage.  Finding out on the day of the tournament that it was once during the tournament definitely kinda sucked since I thought I read the rules pack very closely - but oh well!

Now I wanted to win a set of silver winners dice to go along with my gold winners dice from being Best Fouler last year (especially since it was my suggestion to make the winners dice different colours for each year).  So I figured the only way to guarantee that when playing goblins was to go for Best Team (aka Best Appearance) and since there are a number of very skilled painters in the Canadian tournament scene I had to pull out all the stops to pull this off!

Then my inspiration for the ICP/juggalo theme came because the Zlurpcast hosts had committed to attending, and I knew they would appreciate the theme and might bag me a couple easy votes for Best Team.  Unfortunately due to reasons beyond their control they found out very late they were unable to attend.  Damn you Goodyear!!

I had already won the Neomics goblin team at last years inaugural Blingtoof so I purchased some goblins from Gaspez Arts to supplement these models.  Whenever I plan a team I always aim to have every model I could ever want to play with sorted.  I felt ok leaving a few of the 16 goblins for later as well as a model for Ripper since I didn't plan to bring him to Blingtoof (I did cut base holes for them though).

I will mention right now I am really unimpressed with the Gaspez goblins.  The detail is pretty weak and the molds/pieces are too fidgety and too many.  Also several models had defects.  Its been explained to me that it's due to the drum size for their molds but honestly I would never recommend these goblins to anyone - they are just too annoying to put together and it took a lot of painting on details to make them look as good as the pics on their website.  Although I do have to say their customer service was quite good.  Sent some free models with a large purchase and when some pieces broke they replaced them quickly without hesistation.

I knew I need to have an awesome display base to help win this trophy and as I researched ICP, it became clear that a concert with a "dark carnival" slant would be very appropriate.  Especially as the goblin secret weapons (including pogoer) fit very very well into the dark carnival theme of ICP's albums.  I did lots of research and built up a set of names and numbers for the goblins models I was planning to use.  I've detailed out this below, but first I wanted to speak about the display itself.

I was thinking about what I could use as the display base - how to texture it, and while browsing around a FLGS ( I found some zuzzy mats which were quite small (about 11"x14") and pretty cheap so I picked one up to play around with.  The owner mentioned how difficult it would be to cut the latex properly - suggesting folding it from behind and using a pair of scissors.  I am really confident that my method was better.  There happens to be a kind of artist commune near my house that has lots of specialized tools like mills, etc. and some of my friends had done some laser cutting there.  So I started asking questions about using it on latex which I was assured works quite well so I signed up for the laser cutting course and duly planned out where all the models were to stand.  I also built a stage out of bamboo sticks which turned out to be infinitely more difficult to laser cut properly than the latex.

L-R: Guts on the Ceiling, Jake Jeckel, Night of the Axe
* The chainsaws (looneys) seemed to fit perfect with the "Carnival of Carnage", the first album.  I eventually selected two song names from that album to be the names of the looneys.  Night of the Axe worked well for Gaspez' axe murderer looking looney, while "Guts on the Ceiling" made sense for the Neomics looney whose chainsaw is pointing straight up.  For their #'s I used the album and the song number.  (ie. 1-9 and 1-7 respectively).  I put them with Jake Jeckel figuring they are looneys and could be juggling their chainsaws while he juggles bombs.


* Gaspez' "il Mago" miniature was perfect to represent "Ringmaster" - the second album.  He simply got the #2.  I ended up creating a small podium for him to stand on near the middle of the stage.  It would have been nice to create an actual stand for him to be behind but with how short goblins are it just would've looked silly. I used some black felt cloth to cover the foamcore.


* The Neomics "spring shoes" pogoer seemed a perfect "Riddlebox" (the third album) character - especially bouncing out of a jack in the box.  Eventually when I realized that Riddlebox is also a song on the album, I selected the name "Three Rings" for the Gaspez "stilts" pogoer and gave them the #'s 3-2 and 3-8 respectively.  "Riddlebox" is the "ticket taker" standing near the entrance, and "Three Rings" is fighting "Bizaar" (see below).

Great Milenko conversion
Milenko in Fortune Teller booth

* For the fourth album - "The Great Milenko" I purchased the snake charmer Gaspez goblin and used his head to replace the head of the "Superman" neomics goblin.  I then glued a small bird that I was fortunate to get from a friend @mrkevinstewart which I think is from some privateer press miniature.  Finally I just used a piece of wire as his wand.  Also the model had a defect where his left ear was missing, I used the "V" base letter and liquid green stuff to replace it, which worked surprisingly well.  I would like to try and add additional freehand to his turban when I get the time.  I also thought he would be cool as the "cashier" to get into the concert/carnival and at the same time kinda look like those old automated fortune tellers, so I built a little booth on the display to put him behind out of popsicle sticks, with a bit of the same felt cloth over the top. He simply got the #4.

Jack Jeckel
* Bombardiers were perfectly suited for the fifth album "The Amazing Jeckel Brothers" (Jack Jeckel/Jake Jeckel - two variant editions, just album art AFAIK) the brothers are juggling balls of fire, with one (evil - Jack) attempting to make the balls drop and another (good - Jake) attempting to keep juggling.  The Gaspez bombardier is a juggler and I selected him to be Jake - he was placed with the two looneys (see photo above), which meant the Neomics bombardier will be Jack (and I painted his molotov cocktails as Faygo bottles). Since these were two variant "editions" I selected the numbers 5e1 and 5e2 - imagining the numbers spoken phonetically.

* The sixth album had two discs, so I definitely was using two goblins for it.  The discs were called Shangri-La (disc 1) and Hells Pit (disc 2)  They didn't really seem to fit the fanatics at all, so instead I selected two normal goblins whose pose seemed suitable.  For Shangri-La I selected the Neomics goblin who seems to be pretending to be an airplane and figured he could be about to stage-dive into the mosh pit.  For Hells Pit I selected the Neomics goblin who was ducking - figuring he could be right underneath Shangri-La on the display board but also someone condemned to hell would probably curl up into a ball.  Similarly to the bombardiers I numbered them 6d1 and 6d2, again imagining the numbers spoken phonetically.

* After the 6th album, that was the end of the dark carnival cards theme.  Doing other research I found out the number 17 was important to ICP as that was the number of albums they sold off their first run.  So since the numbering of the albums was quite messed up by the multiple editions and discs, I decided then that I would number the trolls 7 and 10.  Originally I was thinking to paint the numbers on their backs in letters, but to spell "TEN" wrong (TEEN) so that when viewed from behind the stage it would say seventeen.  Unfortunately one of the trolls isn't wearing a jacket so it didn't seem to make sense - although I may revisit it and just use their pants.

* Before the 6th dark carnival album, ICP put out a couple albums that weren't really a part of the dark carnival theme called Bizaar and Bizzar.  I thought that the names were very suitable for the fanatics so I decided to use them as their names but just gave them the #'s 8 & 9 since they didn't fit into the previous numbering scheme and having other albums #'d six-something would be confusing.  I decided to build a "striker" (aka the test your strength game) for the Neomics goblin (who I use as Fungus).
Three Rings vs. Bizaar

Meanwhile for Bizaar (the rostered fanatic) I was using the Gaspez tightrope walker, and I had this idea to give the stick he was holding some weights on the end and he would look a bit like the old american gladiators joust game.  My friend Eric gave me the idea to mount him and "Three Rings" on some stools, which worked out very well.

no caption required
* Originally I was planning to have a single goblin named "Bang Pow Boom" and #'d 11 for that album - however further research showed it had several album covers (one blue, one green and one red) as well as an "Extreme" edition.  For now I have 3 goblins, one named "Bang" in red (#11R), one named "Pow" in green (#11G) and one named "Boom" in blue (#11B) - as I fill in the other 8 goblins I need for the mosh pit I am definitely considering doing a "Bang Pow Boom" goblin in the colours of the extreme edition.

* The 12th album is called "Mighty Death Pop" and I thought about splitting it up as well - however the album just has one cover so instead I purchased the Snid Vicious goblin with giant spiked boots and used him as #12.  His pose is very brutal so I placed him near Hells Pit in the mosh pit so there's a couple reasons for that poor guy to be cowering in fear.

Mike E, DJ Chops, cheerleader

To add to this, I have a few sideline figures.  The Gaspez "boss" is my leader reroll and is named "Mike E" after their producer, the Gaspez "apothecary" is obviously my apothecary and is named "DJ Chops".  I also used a goblin cheerleader as my FAME marker and put her near the DJ as a "groupie".
I used the Gaspez squigs as my bribes - the thinking being they eat the ref and a new one has to come on the field.  I put them beneath the apothecary/DJ desk (which I made by using some shelf liner on a piece of foamcore) on the stage and used leftover bits from the Gaspez snake charmer as the body parts they are snacking on.

reroll, wizard  & generic counters
The Gaspez cannon/fusilier act as reroll counters (as do usually the Faygo barrels - though I purposely left them blank on the base in case they need to be used for something else) while the Gaspez goblin with a "rocket hat??" is my wizard (goblin shaman) token.

The two Gaspez goblins on unicycles became my Turn and Score counters - I envisioned them riding along a track to mark the turn/score.  So for that reason I contacted my friend Axtlinge about helping me to create a custom dugout that I would attach to the display base and I built some magnetized ramps to allow them to ride off the stage onto the dugout.  That's why I had Axtlinge rotate the stage texture so when they are positioned riding along the dugout tracks it makes sense.  Also why I painted the description (ie. turn/score) on the side that faces the field to help identify them.

unbelievably awesome dugout
Axtlinge did an incredible job with the dugout - it really adds a ton of character to the team and I can't thank him enough.  He was full of suggestions and advice and I really am not sure if I would have done anywhere near as good a job without his help.  The dugout itself uses the texture from photos of the latex zuzzy mat and the bamboo sticks stage to very closely mimic the actual display itself.  Axt had tons of great ideas about the actual design but also took my direction extremely well meaning that I always felt in control of the outcome.  I especially liked that he took my doodles that I copied from the impact weather dice and coloured them and used them as the weather marker - brilliant!  His placement of the scatter template within the stripes of the KO tent was pure genius!

Finally I got Carl who deals with the laser cutter at Site3 to cut out a "hatchet man" logo in acrylic to be my weather marker.  This ensured I had something very fitting to go on the stage and really help bring the theme together.  I also want to thank Carl & Hillary at Site3 who helped me with the laser cutter.

Feel free to hit me up with questions in the comments.  Instead of posting the WIP pics in this post, I am planning to upload them to a google+ post and just share that link (to preempt any requests for WIP pics :p ;) )

Monday, November 12, 2012

Blingtoof's Gitbash 2012 - result = Best Team + no spoon!

I'll apologize right now, I meant to tweet lots of pictures and stuff over the weekend but I forgot my phone on Saturday so didn't really have easy access to twitter or taking pictures.  So my game recaps are going to be brief since I have no pics or any tweets to spark my memory.  I will be doing another post about the actual team and display base, etc. later on.  For now a huge huge thanks to Axtlinge from Merry Mayhem News for creating the custom dugout for me, as well as providing a ton of advice and inspiration.  Also thanks to Carl and Hillary @ Site3 for their assistance with the laser cutter, and Jason from The Printing House (branch 63) for help printing the dugout.  Here is a link to the NAF thread for this tournament.
Insane Goblin Posse - aka the gobblugalosch
I went all out to try to win Best Team with a goblin team with an ICP/Juggalo theme.  This was sparked in two ways.  One was that I misread the rules and didn't realize the goblin shaman lightning bolt everyone gets was only 1 per tournament.  I thought it was 1 per game and for that reason really felt I had to take goblins.  To find out I only had one sucked!!  I picked the theme because originally the zlurpcast guys were supposed to come, and they love juggalos! Unfortunately they weren't able to make it but I did such a good job with the team it didn't matter.  So I won the Best Team award and was successful in my goal of getting another set of winners dice.  First year they were gold and I had tossed Chris (the T.O.) a suggestion to make next years silver (guessing next years will be bronze - after that who knows!) So I've got a set of gold blingtoof dice as well as now a set of silver.  I'll be trying to get a pair of those, so we'll see what award I go for next year.
Best Team Award
The team I took was;
Troll - block
Troll - stand firm
Bomber - hail mary pass
Fanatic - mighty blow
Fungus the Loon
Looney - dodge
Pogoer - sure feet
8 goblins
3 rerolls
2 bribes
1 assistant coach
1 cheerleader

Game 1: 0-1 loss to Dave's Skaven
I was really pleased with this game, holding Skaven to 1 touchdown was a good result.  I don't really remember a lot of what happened since it was the first game and was still nursing a bit of a hangover from Friday night's festivities. Except I seem to recall a goblin getting eaten.  I also remember I didn't get to use the bomber very much since I didn't start with him on the pitch.  I definitely won the coin toss and elected to receive, but if I recall correctly Fungus danced around his skaven instead of hitting them a lot on that first drive and I wasn't able to make enough inroads to score.  He duly nipped around behind my team and stalled out til late for his TD and I think I ate my goblin trying to OTT.

Game 2: 0-4 loss to Kevin's Orcs
I made a mistake in the first turn of this game that really lost any momentum I could've gotten.  Kevin rolled a blitz on his first kick off, but tripped going for it to get the ball.  I surrounded his down player and did everything up to the foul and picking up the ball/handing it off to my bomber.  I should have just tried the foul first since I had a bunch of assists and it was his tackle blitzer.  Instead I went for the ball since if I got ejected he was just going to grab it and score.  But that happened anyways and I didn't get to foul his guy!  He scored on turn 2 and I had to spend 2 bribes and then had to use all my secret weapons on the next drive anyways.  Went downhill from there.

Game 3: 2-1 win over Pete's Goblins
Pete made a mistake in his first turn, going with Fungus first (he basically copied my roster) and he ended up hitting my troll meaning he only got 2 dice and he rolled skull/both down.  He failed his loner and lost Fungus + turned over.  I capitalized heavily, getting the ball, knocking down a troll, chainsawing a goblin and then used my goblin shaman to hit his other troll.  I scored with about 3 turns left for him but he was already doing a good job taking on my trolls, he killed one but thankfully it regenerated.  Start of second half he kicks to me and I have the bomber sit in the back and wait for an opportune moment after he flooded forwards, to run my pogoer deep into his end and I hail mary passed the ball at the end of a turn, landing near the end zone and just had to wait a turn to run up, pick it up and score.  Now 2-0 up I am out of bribes and I was  running out of players (2 ejected for fouling, all 4 secret weapons gone and he kept KO'ing my trolls).  By the end of the game he had cleared me off the pitch to walk in his touchdown, but it was too late for him to try for another so I got the win and he got fouling points.  This win basically saved me from the wooden spoon and simultaneously gave the spoon to Pete.

Game 4: 0-4 loss to Eric's High Elves
Eric is a big ICP fan and so obviously was a huge fan of my team. Eric won the coin toss and chose to receive.  I think he scored on turn 2, so first bribe gone to keep the looney around.  I just couldn't catch up to Eric in this game and he had 3 of his 4 TDs in the first half.  Eric kept a very thematic viewpoint during the tournament - in that High Elves would hate having a goblin on their team and they would never want him involved if possible and they would hope he would die.  So he gave his goblin stupid skills like break tackle for a double, etc. and he also didn't really foul a lot - so of course the one foul that worked for him all tournament was a casualty against me - LOL!

Game 5: 1-2 loss to Rod's Chaos
This was a heart breaker.  It was very back and forth as he got pieces ejected for fouling and we were both causing lots of KO's.  He won the coin toss and everytually scored in the first half, thankfully a number of KO's came back so I was able to save my bomber for the second half - although he did KO my pogoer who didn't come back, but thankfully I got Sure Feet on another goblin as the skill up before this game so I used him in place of the pogo'er, and managed to get him deep into Rod's half before hail mary passing the ball.  My fanatic and fungus both were on for the same drive and they totally destroyed Rod's team.  I made an EXTREMELY annoying and crucial error forgetting that on my turn 7 in the second half, Rod still had two turns.  I thought we each had one turn so I scored thinking I was the only team able to score in one turn.  I was right but I was wrong about how many turns he had, and with each only having 5 players it was easy for him to just walk in the touchdown after changing weather had the ball bounce out of bounds for a touchback.  My goblin was safe on turn 7 so if I had just been happy with the tie, I would have gotten it - but that mistake basically gifted him the win.

In terms of great things happening in game over the weekend the best were;
1. I never had a bribe fail.
2. I never had my HMP bomber fumble.
3. I never had Fungus go down as a result of a block (that I did, ie. double/triple skulls or both down)

Which leads me to believe I did a pretty decent job with Fungus AND I was extremely lucky with bribes and bombs!  Although the bombs almost never did any damage.

ps. my fouling points record from last year is intact.  116 points and this years winner of best fouler was Rod with 76.  40 points more, not sure if anyone will break that record :)

dual posted on Merry Mayhem News
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