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 ;-)
Those are fun, they came out looking really nice.
Cheers dude, it was fun to do something a bit different :-)
They look excellent. And Albino forest was almost three years ago? :O Where does all this time go…
I know mate, it really is ridiculous how quickly it goes these days! Glad you like ’em though :-)
Pete S/ SP said:
Very nice- certainly has a different (and better) look to a standard BB team.
Thanks mate – you know, there is part of me that likes the whimsy & comedy of classic BB, but I’d be hard pushed to justify painting an old team… I’d much rather play around the edges of what defines a BB team, and do something a bit different ;-)
Brilliant! Just love ’em! :-)
Cheers dude :-)
Lovely work, Alex – a very moody looking and feeling collection of cross-genre models :)
Thanks mate, they are a flexible bunch aren’t they? Good to hear from you mate, I hope all is well :-)
Nicely done Alex, not that I would have expected anything else! Like the base work too. The small splash of colour works a treat.
Cheers mate, glad you approve. Yeah, I’m glad I added the leaves to the base – the wife suggested that I do it, and I’m glad I listened! :-)
Even SWMBO has her moments! 😉
Great work! It’s nice to see the magic that people bring about with those old dryad figs.
Thanks mate – yeah, they are pretty useful minis, and all that texture is a doddle to paint… you can get them looking decent for very little effort tbh!
Brilliant Alex. Very woody and very, very creepy. I can’t believe The Chapel was three years ago. I’d say it’s about time for another joint project. Oh yeah and the wife and I finished “Dracula” last night and loved it. Episode 1 was the best. I loved the scene where he was at the gate of the Convent. Creepily delicious.
Cheers dude, glad you like ’em, and glad you liked Drac too! I thought it was a fab program, very well written & acted.
Yeah man, 3 years… gone quick :-)
A Dracula inspired narrative game it is then hehe
Can confirm; every word you’ve said here is true :-)
These are cracking mate, real works of art and wonderfully sinister to boot. Love that they work both as a Vampire team and a Wood Elf team, or indeed as Sylvaneth for a darker look at AoS or for some rural-Inq28. Multi-tasking miniatures are always a good thing in my book.
I’ll definitely be coming back to look at these as and when I get around to my own Sylvaneth, and I’m very curious to see what else you find in the depths of the Albino Woods.
Cheers dude, I knew you’d know what I’m talking about :-)
Glad you like ’em mate, I’m really pleased with how they came out, and with how much flexibility they have. Makes me want to do more!! :-)
These are very nice and I think it is pretty smart of you to make them such that they’ll work for more than one game. Back when I was excited about Blood Bowl I figured that I’d shove my Nurgle BBer’s into the burgeoning poxwalker horde too in 40K. Alas, the enthusiasm for BB with the people I was gaming with was extremely short-lived so that project never got off the ground. I’m glad you’ve had no such issues with your tree team!
If they were my team possible names might include The Santa Cruz Shamblers or the River Street Redwoods, River Street being the place where my favorite game store in Santa Cruz (near where I live) is located.
Thanks Ann, but that’s a pity about your idea for a team – sounds like it would be a good mini project! Why not do it the other way around? Grow the Poxwalker horde in a way that just so happens to work as a team? You never know when a BB team might come in handy!
Oh, as for the name, I’m from Wales – I therefore am legally obliged to love watching rugby and shouting Wales a lot at the telly. These guys get to be the ‘Corpse-Wood Wails’ for phonetic reasons 🤘😆
That’s true, you never know. Perhaps the people I know, who play the game, will get back around to it eventually.
Legal requirements aside, Corpse-Wood Wails is a great name for a team.
Too funny!! I too have been thinking of the Albino Woods recently and was going to chat to you about it. I’d love to do another Inq28 game based in the dark depths of that very strange place and have a few Ostium Guides take on the horrors it hides. The Tree Devils are a great idea and I like how you’ve expanded on the theme. The models are very cool!
Great minds eh? Cool man, glad you like them – they can just as easily stalk the Albino Forest as they can a Blood Bowl pitch :-)