Greetings Terrans, how goes it? I have a fun post for you today, as I have finished a quick project to create a Blood Bowl team. As usual for me, I wanted the minis in my team to do more than one job, so they needed to stand as their own thing as well as work as a BB team. I tried the same trick about 3 years ago when I made and painted a bunch of AdMech servitors that could double as an Undead BB team.
Coincidentally, I’ve gone back almost 3 years for the inspiration behind my latest team, and I revisited some ideas that I’ve been kicking around since I took part in The Chapel project… Long-time followers of this blog might remember that I had a lot of input into the Albino Forest – a setting that was used as part of the Chapel campaign. During the project, I bashed together some grim denizens of the forest, and even put together a short story to introduce some of my ideas. There was something about the concept of the tree-devils in particular that has been tickling away at the back of my mind ever since, and creating a horror-themed Blood Bowl team was the perfect excuse to dip back into my Sylvaneth bitsbox for another journey to the Albino Forest.
I loosely had the idea of using the tree-devil concept to build a Wood Elf team – a very literal interpretation one might say! A starting Wood Elf team can go one of two ways – either 2 Wardancers, a catcher and a bunch of linemen, or a Wardancer, a Treeman, a catcher, and a bunch of linemen… There are a few less common builds that involve fewer re-rolls, more catchers and/or a thrower, and I wanted the flexibility to experiment, so I ended up with the following list:
- 8 Linemen
- 2 Catchers & 1 Thrower
- 2 Wardancers
- 1 Treeman
The ‘linemen’ are all based on the Dryad mini – a hard-working but basic monopose plastic body with separate arms. I’ve trimmed and matched the arms, and I replaced the heads with skulls & sculpted in vines & tendrils for ‘hair’. The Catchers and Thrower are variations on the theme, just tweaked for a more catchy or throwy pose. Note the slight colouration of the ‘hair’ to denote role:
The Wardancers are unconverted Spite Revenants – I love these minis, so there really wasn’t anything I wanted to change! The sharp-eyed among you will notice that there are 3 of them, even though you can only have 2 in a team… I’ll explain the spare in a bit:
The Treeman is a re-posed Kurnoth Hunter, (obviously, he is too short to be more than a sapling compared to a real modern Treeman, but he is the perfect size for Blood Bowl). I brought the legs together so that he could fit a standard 32mm base, and I trimmed back the most extravagant branches. Again, I swapped the head, this time bringing in a bestial skull that I liked:
And here’s the Wood Elf team assembled in a few different ways:
So remember that spare Wardancer? Well, as I was building the minis I was debating whether to swap out the heads or not, but I felt that the Spite heads had a really nice vampiric look to them, and I decided to keep them. I also watched Dracula over Christmas, (superb TV btw!), and putting two and two together, I thought I’d check out Vampire teams in Blood Bowl. Turns out that they are really simple teams to build, as there are only 2 types of player – Vamps and Thralls. The only real decision is how many Vamps to include in your team… They are excellent individual players, and mathematically, you can take up to 6, but you would be mad to do so… Vamps roll for Bloodlust every turn they try to activate, with a 1 in 6 chance of failing. If they fail, you either burn a re-roll and hope for the best, feed on a Thrall, (stunning said Thrall), or bugger off to feast on the crowd… Basically, Vamp teams need to balance the number of Vamps with statistics, the number of re-rolls, and the number of Thralls available to snack on.
Most starting rosters suggest 2 Vamps, 10 Thralls, 5 rerolls, but you can reasonably push your luck with 3 Vamps/10 Thralls/4RRs. That’s why I did a spare Wardancer folks – so I can run the three as Vampires, and use the Dryads as Thralls:
And here’s one final pic of the lot together, and a reminder that these minis are not just a pair of Blood Bowl teams, but are a horror-inspired warband in their own right:
I have a feeling that I may return to the Albino Forest setting again and again… The thing is, the Albino Forest of my imagination is a wonderful and terrible place. It is not a single group of trees, but rather a multi-dimensional network of flora that spans time and space. It exists in patches across the 40k universe, but can also be found in the Mortal Realms of AoS, or the Old World. It is a place that can be visited in the worlds of Frostgrave, Erehwon, and Shadow Deep… You can find it on Toril, on Midkemia, and on Middle Earth… If you’re lucky, you can even find it in right here on our world, in our time – just ask Wudugast!
Go outside, visit an ancient and deserted piece of woodland in Autumn or Winter, and let the small hairs on the back of your neck guide you… you might just find yourself in a small part of the Albino Forest, where the normal laws of nature are twisted and the dead do not rest easy…
See you on the other side ;-)