Sunday 28 June 2015

Bat in Action

This weekend I attended my third Batman Miniature Game tournament, again at Titan Games in Lichfield. After the debacle with the League of Shadows at the last one (where I lost my second game to a Green Arrow crew so badly that I only just managed to avoid coming last), I realised that I needed a crew that had either the maneuverability and ranged threat to counter enemy batclaws and guns.

Of my tournament legal crews (i.e. made of official models), this led me straight to the big man himself...Batman.

My crew consisted of:

  • Arkham Origins Batman - very maneuverable, with remote batarangs (which can shoot round corners), a tough profile that's hard to take down, and the ability to dish out 10 stun damage in one turn with his Shock Gloves.
  • Catwoman - she has the speed and abilities to not only grab loot quickly, but keep hold of it and rack up bonus points and allow me to keep my VP total rising, hopefully putting pressure on my opponent.
  • Robin (Tim Drake) - a bit of an odd character, he doesn't do a lot of damage, but he's fast and can provide buffs to my henchmen, but also carries Flash Grenades which have the potential to really hamper the enemy for a turn.
  • Agent Ron - a gun toting cop with a Magazine for extra ammo. His short range makes him more of a defensive shooter, but if I could get him into the right position, I could really dissuade the enemy from coming round a corner.
  • Agent O'Connell - with an Endurance of six, the Veteran trait and a Medi-Pack, he was in the crew for his durability. His job was to get onto an objective and survive. He also had a Whistle to enable him to impede enemy movement.
  • Female GCPD Officer - to some extent this low point character was making up the numbers. She made it in ahead of the male cop as she is better defensively and I had no need of his Lantern ability.
My plan was quite straight forward. With Batman's Total Vision and only short ranged weapons in the rest of the crew, I had no need of light, so I would place my streetlights where they wouldn't aid enemy shooting. Catwoman would rush forward (with the aid of strategies) to grab loot as quickly as she could and consistently score 2 VPs per turn. Robin would support the cops to advance or defend as appropriate, seek to grab available objectives and try to obstruct the enemy in their plans. Batman would have the responsibility of inflicting damage on the enemy, heroically sniping from cover until he could launch blitz attacks on vulnerable enemies.

If I was concerned about vulnerabilities with this crew, it was about their damage potential. Batman, although tough, lacks re-rolls and so is prone to the occasional fluffed attack. He only does stun damage and so downed enemies would have the chance to get back up unless the rather slow and vulnerable cops can get in position to Arrest. The rest of the crew are not really damage dealers, which would mean I'd be likely to lose battles of attrition.

Game 1 - Plunder - Tom's Green Arrow Crew

Green Arrow, Speedy, Black Canary & Huntress
It was almost fate that my first game would be against my nemesis, Green Arrow. However this time things would be different. Firstly, this game would feature the original Green Arrow model rather than the 'spawny-multifire-stupid' TV series version, which meant I wouldn't have to deal with a mobile machine-gun nest. Also the scenario was Plunder, which is about grabbing objectives rather than crossing open ground in a scene reminiscent of the Somme.

Also, I was looking forward to this as I'd played against this crew before, and my last game against Tom's crew in the first tournament was one of the most enjoyable I've played. His crew, although small, is thematic, fun and offers a very different type of game.

The game began with most of the Arrow crew taking up firing positions whilst Robin and the Cops advanced using the cover of darkness. Canary and Catwoman predictably made a dash for their respective loot tokens and Batman swung up onto a roof and began what was a decidedly unheroic assault on Huntress by smashing her in the face with a Batarang. Both sides, in quick succession managed to score minus points for failed attempts at riddles, but Robin waiting a turn to fail to solve his Riddle allowed me to snag the scenario points for controlling two objectives first and I was able to establish an early lead.

With only one lamppost in the centre of the table, I was able to keep my distance from Green Arrow and Speedy and sneak Robin and O'Connell onto my Titan Container and start racking up points. When Green Arrow came over to threaten the two from above, Robin got a bit giddy, batclawed up to attack, failed and got an arrow in the face for his trouble. O'Connell's timely use of his Medi-Pack and a Titan Dose prevented him from meeting the same fate before Green Arrow had to go and find some more ammo.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the table, Catwoman scurried off with her loot, whilst Canary took the opportunity to scream at the Female Cop, stunning her. However, clever use of whistles kept her at bay and when backup arrived in the form of Agent Ron, Canary backed off with her loot.

In the centre, Batman perpetrated a vicious campaign of assault and battery on Huntress. swinging in, knocking her down and out, and then swinging away. He was unable to take her out of the game due to abysmally poor dice on the coup-de-grace rolls, and her Runaway ability meant I couldn't Arrest her.

By the end of the game, Green Arrow and Speedy were camped around the loot and manage to snipe Agent Ron, who was scooping up riddles for the last few points, but the points obtained by Catwoman's Loot and O'Connell camped on the Titan Container had garnered me enough of a lead to resist Tom's late surge of Ammo related points.

Despite there being quite a VP gap at the beginning, this was actually a close game. As it went on, the blood damage that Tom's crew could dish out at range began to tell and the gap closed. I don't think O'Connell would have survived another turn but Batman might have been able to deny Speedy his points from the Ammo if another turn had been required. I was severely helped by the lack of light on the table, but mainly the Plunder scenario always favours the larger crew, as ultimately I was able to control objectives and threaten my opponent's models, whilst Tom was often forced to choose between the two.

Final Score: 27-20 (Narrow Victory)

Game 2 - Patrol - Leon's Black Mask Crew (Army)

I played Leon at the last tournament as we scrapped for last place and I was on the winning side of a draw. Leon was not enamoured of his Poison Ivy crew's performance and since the last event has been feverishly assembling a new, and rather large, Black Mask crew.

Black Mask, Riddler, Deadshot, Anatoli, Turk, 2 Goons & 2 Prisoners
Picture from

The scenario was Patrol, and so I was going to have to hold back the swarm and prevent them from, literally, mobbing me. I was also aware that the ubiquitous Deadshot would pretty much instantly murder any of the Cops who so much as popped their heads up. What's more, Riddler's chicanery would ensure that Leon usually took the lead. However, in Batman I had a beatstick which none of Leon's crew would be able to handle single-handed and in Catwoman, a way to rack up points long before other objectives were within range of Leon's slow moving gang. The table also featured a really long wall with a ledge that I planned to use as an assault point for Batman, and hopefully a shield for Catwoman's Loot and endzone run (she would be after bonus points).

The game began predictably with Black Mask advancing with his mob straight towards my thin blue line and Robin, who advanced cautiously. Catwoman made a run for her loot around the back of the wall, and it seemed that only Anatoli would be in a position to challenge her for it on the next turn. Batman shot up onto the wall and let a Remote Batarang fly at the axe-wielding Prisoner, dropping him on the first turn.

The horde continued to advance, but one Goon dropped into the sewers, clearly intent on sneaking into my deployment area. Robin and the Cops scurried out to solve riddles for a couple of VP's before taking up defensive positions. Anatoli presented a threat to Catwoman's Loot, and so the gentlemanly Batman swung down to beat the crap out of him for the lady, who was able to sidle up, swipe the Loot and begin to rack up points again. Annoyingly, on the following turn Anatoli passed his Endurance roll and Batman and Catwoman wasted a turn trying to finish him off, whilst simultaneously blocking a sewer entrance.

On that subject...whenever an opponent enters a sewer, I always like to see if I can trap them in there, or at least limit their options. Part of the Cops dropping back was to allow Female Cop to grab a Titan Dose on O'Connell to block the sewer, preventing Leon's Goon from appearing until the last couple of turns.

Meanwhile, the situation in the centre had got a bit hectic. The second Goon went down to a combination of fire from Agent Ron and Robin, who found himself caught in a crossfire, and desperately tried to take out Black Mask's bodyguard with a Flash Grenade, before being bushwhacked by Riddler and Deadshot, before Agent Ron also fell to Turk's guns.

Responding to the sounds of battle a little to late to save his partner, Batman reappeared on top of the wall and failed utterly to drop the Bodyguard as well (snake eyes!), but was in a position to make a final strike on the final turn. Catwoman, gave up on flailing uselessly at Anatoli, and remembered what she was supposed to do and made a dash for Leon's deployment zone.

In the last turn there was a flurry of point scoring. The Cops had retreated further (to avoid an advancing Black Mask) so up popped the Goon in the sewers to snag an Ammo Crate, a late rush by O'Connell to clobber him (a deliberate ambush) but narrowly failed enabling the Goon to score 6VPs by himself. Batman bushwhacked Deadshot preventing him from getting the chance to finish off another of the cops, and resisted a fairly futile attack from the Bodyguard. Catwoman made it into Leon's deployment area to finish the game.

This was another game where I was able to get into an early lead, only to see it whittled down as the game wore on. I foolishly allowed Anatoli to distract Batman and Catwoman for too long and after being dropped the first time Batman should have returned to the fray earlier to support Robin and the Cops, who were really overwhelmed. However, I was pleased that the broad plan I had of hitting hard on one side, whilst backing off on the other manage to blunt the Black Mask horde enough to win the game.

Final Score: 22-12 (Narrow Victory)

Game 3 - Skirmish - Steve's League of Shadows Crew

Ra's Al Ghul, Dallas, Lotus, Ying & Yang
(the crew also featured Lady Shiva)
In what was turning out to a bizarre scenic tour of the last tournament, my final game would require me to confront a League of Shadows crew controlled by somebody who knew how to use them. With Handy and Sharp Katana's all over the place, Dallas toting his Assault Rifle and equipped with Night Goggles, Ra's Al Ghul's Lethal Strike, and whatever it is that Lady Shiva does, this game could be over quickly. I would have to be VERY cagey.

I once again set Catwoman up for her Loot run, but knew that Dallas would be waiting the moment she popped out of cover, and his assault rifle have more than enough damage to take all of her nine lives in one go. However, I got lucky on taking the lead on the key turn and she managed to make off with the Loot without getting blasted.

Batman was covering one flank on his own whilst Robin and the Cops were again poised to work together for mutual support, however, when I saw Steve deploy Ra's Al Ghul, Lady Shiva and Lotus opposite Batman and put his high scoring Ammo Crate on the same flank, I sent Agent Ron over to support the big guy and attempt to stem the tide, a move that would prove to be crucial to the game's outcome.

The game was really divided into two halves, with Batman and Ron battling the Demon's Head and two Ninjas (Ying popped out of a sewer), whilst Lady Shiva used her funky move ability to switch to the other side of the table and lead Dallas and Yang in chasing down Catwoman to stop the flow of VP's and advance on a deployed Titan Container.

I was surprised when Dallas left his sniping perch to chase down Catwoman, and it was an interesting lesson in using firearms in the game as Steve wasn't waiting for the perfect shot, he was setting out to make any shot count. Robin and the Cops braced themselves in cover and waited to leap out on Catwoman's pursuers. O'Connell and Female Cop leapt out on Yang, O'Connell didn't do enough to finish off the Ninja and was cut down, but Female Cop finished the job and arrested him before heading off to solve riddles.

Shiva and Dallas went furiously after Catwoman but found their way blocked by the ominous form of...Robin. In what turned out to be the biggest chain of fluffed attacks I've ever seen, Shiva took four turns to drop Robin who kept on backing off to block her route to Catwoman, with Dallas vainly trying to keep pace. Just before he finally fell, he managed to hit Dallas with a Flash Grenade and blind him, preventing him from shooting. Catwoman escaped, but Dallas did manage to at least grab the Titan Container.

On the other flank I was worried about being overwhelmed. Ra's Al Ghul grabbed the Ammo Container, and to get him off it, Batman would have to get in range of his potentially lethal blade, all it would need was a roll of a 6 and Batman would fall. All Batman had to support him was Agent Ron, who came trotting round a corner, and, learning from Steve's willingness to shoot on the move, fired off a snap shot at Ra's Al Ghul. He not only hit, but manged to knock down the Demon's Head...

...this was my chance, Batman rushed in and quickly beat the prone Ra's Al Ghul into unconsciousness, and on the following turn Ron trotted up and arrested him. This didn't score any extra points, but it did mean he was out of the fight and guaranteed me an extra 3VP's at the end of the game. However, in my joy at this turn of events I forgot to batclaw Batman out of danger and he was suddenly mobbed by Ninja's. Agent Ron was cut down and Batman, outnumbered, was knocked to the floor.

With Batman on the floor, the Ninja's would be hitting on 2+, with rerolls on hits and woulds. Batman was down to 5 wounds, and even with hit Bat-Armour, things looked grim. What followed was the second biggest chain of fluffed attacks I've ever seen. Batman survived, got up and with an newly arrived Catwoman's help, battered one of the Ninja's down and denied the other on the Ammo Crate.

This was a really close game and I am under no illusions that had either Shiva or the Ninjas not messed up as many attacks the game would have ended differently. Luck was definitely on my side in this one, even the take the lead counters came up for me when I needed them. Tactically, Steve had me on the ropes from turn one and I was simply fighting for survival. But sometimes, that's how dice games play out.

Final Score: 26-20 (Narrow Victory)

So with three victories under my belt, I found myself in second place overall, not something I expected at all before I started. The overall winner had one clear victory as two narrow wins and had scored fully 25 more VP's than me. He was also using a Batman crew, although he had Nightwing and Red Hood leading the line, so it seems that the Bat-Family really lived up to its reputation in this tournament and cleaned up Gotham.

As ever, the tournament at Titan Games was played in a fantastic atmosphere with fantastic terrain, and I'd highly recommend anybody thinking of trying out a Batman tournament to get along to the next one. Everyone was friendly and there was lots of friendly rules discussion and advice exchanged.

It was because of this sporting atmosphere that I was so gutted when on the drive home it dawned on me that I'd been confusing the Detective rule on Batman and Robin with the Informer rule, and instead of cancelling my opponents' passes, I was claiming extra passes each round. I'm pretty sure that this wouldn't have changed the outcome of the games, however, the error did give me a minor advantage I shouldn't have had and it's possible that I profited from it. I really want to apologise to my opponents Tom, Leon and especially Steve for this error, and I've tried to contact the organiser and offered to return my prize as I don't like the idea of being thought of as 'that guy'.

Anyway, neurotic guilt aside, it was another fantastic day and I've really got my taste back for painting Batman figures, so expect to see some more pop up on the blog in the coming weeks.

Wednesday 24 June 2015

Operation Unthinkable: Guildball Teams

It's coming up to the end of the month and I've finished of my Union team with the team captain, Blackheart, the team mascot, Coin, and the team hatchet-man (literally), Rage. For these three I needed to get a bit more creative than with the previous repaints and hand swaps, and despite some reservations I'm quite pleased with my work.

Blackheart, Team Captain, Central Midfielder

This is not the model I originally planned to use. I'd orginally intended to build Blackheart from an ancient Citadel miniature, Lord Aquila. However, when I got him out of the deep recesses of the bits box I found that a smidge of scale creep had happened and he was now a midget. Therefore I returned to the bits box to see what I could find and the best I could do was a Wizards of the Coast D&D Red Dragon Samurai (no, I don't know what one of those is either).

I quite like the helmet, but the rest of the mode was somewhat flat and featureless. What's more that sword had some kind of dodgy flame effect, so that needed to go. However, I managed to cover up some of the dullest elements of the model by adding a cloak from a Heroclix Robin model. I'm particularly pleased with the fur collar I manage to sculpt out of 'blue stuff' onto the cloak to cover the join.

Overall, I'm pleased that I've managed to make a model that I really didn't like into something useable that I wouldn't be too embarrassed to use in public.

Coin, Team Mascot

The mascot probably present the biggest obstacle to cheaphammering Guildball. The Union's mascot is a snake with a distended belly due to Blackheart feeding it his gold. Not having a snake to hand, I got creative and joined the head and tail of a Heroclix Lizard (as in Spider-man) model. Sadly, the picture reveals part of the join that I hadn't noticed, but I'm still happy with my creation.

I'm perhaps most pleased with the treasure pile, which was made from a Bretonnian chest and some coins I made by cutting some plastic rod. It's a technique I may use to improve my Batman loot counters.

Rage, Attacking Midfielder

Rage is a player who seems to be wholly focused on  damaging the opposition. He is a loner who can't gain benefits from working in conjunction with his teammates. The official model is clearly based on Daniel Day-Lewis' character from 'The Gangs of New York', and I felt it important for character recognition that mine also had a top hat.

Fortunately, I had a War of 1812 militiaman I wasn't planning to use and so a simple head swap onto a model made from the old Empire Free Company box from GW mad a suitable model for Rage. I also added a different hand and weapon to sword the model originally had.

So that's the Union team complete. I'm not as happy with them as I am the Mortician's, but that's largely because they were a last minute solution to realising that I couldn't really do a Masons team. They're good enough to allow me to begin to play games with my friends, and perhaps tempt them into the game.

What's more, both Rage and Mist are eligible to play for the Morticians, allowing me to mix up my line up in games against people who already play the game.

So with 12 models and two teams created I'm going to claim my first joker from #6MMRPC for completing a project, and a bundle of previous unused models have been removed from the lead pile. I probably need to create a ball and some goals at some point, and I need to get round to printing out the Union cards, but those were never in my targets for the month.

In terms of next month, I'm not sure what I'm going to work on yet, and next week's post will provide details and the 'before' pictures for my next project. I'm torn between finishing off my Flames of War Americans, putting together a either a Native Warband or a US War of 1812 force for Muskets & Tomahawks, or returning to some Batman miniatures.

On the subject of Batman, I'll be attending another tournament at Titan Games in Lichfield on Saturday. This time I'm taking the Dark Knight himself. Expect another tournament report in the coming days.

Saturday 20 June 2015

Cheaphammering Guildball: Joining The Union

After finishing the Morticians' Guild last week, I've turned my attentions to a new team. Initially I'd planned to build the Masons' Guild but a couple of issues arose to change my mind. Firstly, I was struggling to identify how to make their mascot, which is a baboon; I had thought about using a snotling or child, but neither of these are animals and it bugged me. Secondly, I was planning to use a plastic human Bloodbowl team I've had knocking about for years as a base for the male players, but they really haven't aged well and being one piece plastics, converting them was likely to be a pain. Thirdly, and most improtantly, my close study of the Guildball range recently has led me to the conclusion that if/when I actually buy a team, the Masons are the team I like the most and so it seemed daft to do them twice.

And so, in order to meet my target, I needed to choose a second team and I settled up the Union, a bunch of shady mercenaries who as well as playing for their own team, are also able to feature in other Guild teams.

Snakeskin, Fangtooth, Coin, Blackheart, Rage, Decimate, Mist & Gutter

This decision turned out to be quite straightforward as I had been intending to make a couple of Union players to provide some versatility in my squads and cover for players I didn't know how to make. I'd already picked out my base models for a few players, and these are the ones I've been getting on with this week. From left to right: Gutter, Mist and Snakeskin. (apologies about picture quality - the light is terrible today)

Gutter, Central Midfielder

Gutter is a brawler, who is not only able to dish out damage, but also heals when she hurts others. Her hook and chain can be used to haul enemies closer, or inflict damage on everybody near her, including her own team. The models I've used is a Mage Knight character I've had for years (I've no idea why I had her, I never played the game). I had been planning to use this model for the Masons' captain, Honour, but when I switched focus she just as easily fit Gutter. A hand swap (from a LotR Rohirrim - smaller model = smaller hands better for female characters), a head swap (Wargames Factory Female Survivors sprue) and a bodged together hook and chain made for a straightforward build.

Mist, Striker

This elusive character strikes from the shadows, stealing the ball and evading pursuit. Mist is also available to play for the Morticians and was one of the Union characters I'd always intended to do as he can bring some much needed speed to their line-up. It's because of this that I've kept the colour scheme so similar to my Morticians team. This was also a simple build, using a D&D Githyanki with hand swaps from GW Wood Elves and adding a mask over the lower part of the face - this is not only matches the character design, but also covers the frankly terrible facial features on this model.

Snakeskin, Winger

Snakeskin is also nimble and fast, but as well as being able to steal the ball, she can dish out damage, along with the poison condition, which can really hamper opponents. This probably makes her the most versatile of the three players I've done so far. She was also the easiest model I've done all month, and is simply a Heroclix Spoiler (a Batman character), repainted with a shortsword added. I actually have a couple of these models and one of them is due to be painted up to join my BMG collection.

So that's three down and three to go. These three were the easy ones, and I'm having to be more creative to make my remaining players: Blackheart, Coin and Rage.

Sunday 14 June 2015

The Cabin in the Woods

I've been trying to get somebody, anybody, to play either a 7TV or 7ombieTV scenario. Last week, Matt and Wes relented and we arranged to play the Cabin in the Woods scenario from the 7ombieTV rulebook.

For this to happen, not surprisingly, we would need a cabin.

Ta da!

This is a Perry log cabin from their plastic set that I've had half done for ages and this game finally provided motivation to get it finished. It's a simple enough kit, but I'm a bit miffed that I couldn't find an effective way of making the roof removable; but given that there's no detail inside, it isn't too much of a problem.

The basic scenario is that a small group of survivors are trapped and surrounded and must survive a night of zombie attacks. I was controlling the zombie horde and Matt and Wes split the survivor force between them.

We had a bit of back and forth with the rules early on and got a few things wrong (such as the fact that unbarricaded walls don't slow zombies down) but eventually things began to move more smoothly.

Matt and Wes put together a defensive strategy quickly and began frantically searching for things to defend themselves with and firing wildly into the darkness. Initially they struggled to hit their marks but as the zombies got closer, and they learned about aiming, the walkers began to fall thick and fast.

Here's the point where the zombies had reached the walls.

It was around this point that the survivors' scavenging turned up a butane tank and some Molotov cocktails which allowed Matt and Wes to launch an artillery barrage which tore a huge chunk out of the approaching horde, and when I finally got close enough to attack, event cards and poor attack rolling saw the survivors slip through my clutches (although the Natural Leader was reduced to just one hit). What's more, precious few zombies were returning from the dead and so the horde was eventually whittled down.

By the end of the game, the survivors were holed up in the cabin pouring fire into what was left of the horde and it had all gone a bit 'Zulu': "Front rank, fire! Second rank, fire!", and the survivors lasted the night and endured the zombie apocalypse without losing a single character... embarrassing!

In my defence, I was playing nice and mindlessly ambling towards the compound rather than trying to be strategic, and had we got the movement rules correct, I'd have been on the survivors at least a turn earlier and it might have got more bloody.

The main thing, though, was that it was fun and I'm sure I'll now be able to tempt them into playing some more 7ombieTV, 7TV or 7th Voyage scenarios in the future.

Also, I got the cabin done...which counts as winning!

Friday 12 June 2015

Cheaphammering Guildball - Finishing the Morticians

Guildball requires six players on a full team, and I now have that. I've completed the final two players on my kit-bashed Mortician's Guild team: Cosset and Casket. That means I can now start playing games and losing badly.

COSSET, Winger

Cosset is a screaming banshee of a player, able to attack without spending influence and able to take damage to increase her attack potential. For this model I used a Wargames Factory Zombie Vixen body with arms taken from the Wargames Factory Female Survivors sprue. Wargames Factory's kits are really versatile, but the heads lack definition, and so I used a metal head from a Crossover Miniatures superhero model. I think it's meant to be a female version of Vision from the Avengers, but I feel that it give my Cosset a creepy porcelain doll feel.

CASKET, Central Midfielder

My final player is a bigger guy, built for endurance and obstruction. Casket has the fun ability to trap enemy player in the coffin he carries about, and so it wasn't optional about whether I gave the model his unusual backpack.

The base model is a Heroclix Solomon Grundy that I'd been planning to turn into a tank zombie. A simple weapon swap was easy enough to do, and the coffin was the last thing I bought before the beginning of the Mountain Reduction Challenge, in a pack of four from Warbases. The most difficult part of the model was solving how I was going to secure the coffin to his back.  I settled on actually using painted string, an idea that came from my five-year-old daughter, and frankly, it was better than anything that I could come up with. I like it.

So that's my Mortician's Guild team finished. I've even printed out the game cards and am ready to play. However, my goal was to make two teams and, as I'll detail in my next post, the plan to do the Mason's Guild has hit problems, the solutions to which have called on some heavy duty lateral thinking.

Friday 5 June 2015

Cheaphammering Guildball - the Mortician's Guild

I've completed the first four miniatures in my kit-bashed Mortician's team for Guildball. I'm building a Mortician's team simply because it's the easiest one to do given that I've had a WFB Undead army for 25 years and so have plenty of appropriate bits knocking about.

Guildball requires six models to play: a captain, a mascot and four other players. There are no points values in the game, and so you can swap any players eligible to play for your team in and out as you wish. There are currently seven possible players for the Morticians, along with five Union (mercenary) players, who can be used by the Morticians. I'm only aiming to make six of the Mortician characters (mainly because there's one that I can't think of a way to build), and later I'll also be making some of the Union players.

First off the production line are Obulus, Dirge, Silence and Graves.

Here are the models I'm trying to represent. Just to be clear, I don't think my kit-bashed team are as good as the official miniatures (in fact, I will almost certainly buy an official team at some point), but I think they're good enough to enable me to play games, and for opponents to know which player is which.

Graves, Cosset, Casket, Obulus, Ghast, Silence, Dirge (on Silence's shoulder)

OBULOUS, Team Captain, Defensive Midfielder

As the team captain and chief play-maker of the Mortician's Guild, I wanted Obulus to be characterful and imposing. As such, I decided to use one of the first miniatures I ever owned, a Liche from the Games Workshop 'Skeleton War Machines' boxed set, and gave him a head swap with a plastic zombie as it had more detail (and a beard...that was important). The age of the miniature is given away by its absolutely MASSIVE hands, but I still like the miniature, and the pose is suitable for a character with an ability called Puppet Master, that allows him to control opposition players.

DIRGE, Team Mascot

The first thing that you're likely to notice is that my Dirge is a bat, and not a Crow. I'm aware of this. However, I figured that just like a crow, a bat has wings (relevant to movement rules) and is somewhat Gothic and graveyardish in atmosphere. The bat I used is from one of my briefly useful Bat Swarms for WFB. I've pinned it to the gravestone to prevent having an obtrusive flight stand, and I hope that it looks like Dirge is flying over the gravestone.

GRAVES, Winger

Graves seems to be a fairly combative character, who seems to be capable in both attacking and defensive rolls. He's been cobbled together using a combination of Empire Free Company and Bretonnian bits, along with an Ancient German head. I'm a bit disappointed with the positioning of the weapon arm, but I keep telling myself that he's in the middle of his 'Scything Blow' special move. I've used the same skin tone technique that I use for my zombies to give these character a deathly feel.

SILENCE, Central Midfielder

This was a simple repaint of a Wizkids Star Wars Miniature Game figure (one of the very few I still own). I'm really quite pleased with the face on this model as the detail were very shallow and I put a lot of work into shading the eyes, which like the rest of the team are blank to add to the deathly palour of the skin. My only concern with this miniature, is it doesn't have the exaggerated extremities of the GW figures, and so comes across as having a bit of a tiny head. Individually, though, I'm really happy with how he came out.

So that's my progress so far. I'm mid-way through the next team member, and then I've got some clipping and sticking to allow me to complete the team next week. I set my target to complete two teams (which is twelve models) this month, so it looks I'm current ahead of schedule...can it last?