Tuesday, 30 October 2012


Right then, that's fucked it. How many years do you reckon it will be before they decide the "franchise"(*) needs a gritty, reimagined reboot for a more modern age and they wipe the slate clear and remake the original? Probably after a long chain of steadily worse films that come out every three years to increasing indifference.

Wouldn't it just have been cheaper to have done this before making John Carter and then not bothered to make it?

(*) I really, really, really fucking hate the modern mis-use of this word to refer to film or computer game series. Anybody who uses it front of me in person will get kicked in the cock or vaj (delete as applicable).

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Once Upon a Time I Sent an SAE to Nottingham

Once upon a time, which I now know to be around the July of 1985 I saw this in the back page of a Lone Wolf book, quite possibly the very one I photographed this from twenty minutes ago.

So I begged a 1st class stamp off a parent and off it was dispatched. And pretty shortly afterwards somebody took a break from being whipped mercilessly by Bryan Ansell to send me some mailshot sheets of the new Citadel releases printed in red on yellow paper. In fact despite only asking for one SAE they continued to send mailshots out for a couple of years, probably until (I guess) they stopped doing them in favour of White Dwarf instead.

Now I couldn't remember what was on the mailshots but by remarkable coincidence, wardy-la has posted some scans of exactly that red on yellow mailshot from 1985.

I hadn't seen either of these for twenty-seven years so this was probably the most nostalgic gaming thing I'd experienced since, oh, Tuesday and, before that, the previous Friday.

Seeing the D&D Skeleton reminds me that at about this time, I got a free Dungeons & Dragons-branded hologram in some breakfast cereal. It was this very Skeleton in exactly the same pose (so probably taken from the original Citadel Miniatures studio shots) and I remember there being a Bugbear in the same series - also a model from BDD2.

So, hardcore Citadel collectors, somewhere there exists a range of cardboard-mounted holograms of Citadel Miniatures from BDD2 Monster Starter Set. What you waiting for? Get on with it... :)

(Sod's law says this will draw out a post from amongst the Oldhammer blogs with someone's complete collection of 1980s breakfast cereal Citadel-Miniatures-under-D&D-Basic-license holograms within about a day and a half. Don't let me down now...)

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The Battle At The Farm 3 - This Time It's Personal!

You thought last Friday's game of 1987 vintage Rogue Trader was retro? Well you ain't seen nothing yet you heretical xenos scum.

Those of you who's memory reaches back 25 years may well remember that good old GW gave you a sheet of counters for TBatF which you could photocopy and use to play the game before you bought any figures (I know, completely unfuckingthinkable isn't it...). Which looked like this

After removing the blue and grey in GIMP (the white balance option), printing on appropriately coloured card, laminating, dismembering with Mr. Stanley and the steel rule and then gluing to 30mm square pieces of watercolour board painted Chaos Black, they looked like this

(Oh, and that man jailed over sex with girl in the newspaper somewhat surprisingly didn't actually work for the BBC. I think that might have been his problem).


But they did. Again. And Ork Number 2 Hruk died from the very first shot the Marines fired. Which was a plasma missile aimed at somebody else that missed it's original target. Just to rub it in like.

Anyway, pics of just how retro this looked. You can tell there is a new iPhone out that they want you to buy as my older one has suddenly lost the ability to take decent photographs. Weird that, it's almost like they know...

Classic Old School 5 man squad formation - three up, two back with the back two firing through the gap. Maximum nostalgia.

 Battle-Brother Tomsk(*) on sentry duty.

Space Marine defenses. Can we get true LOS over the wall sections to the counters under 40K 5th edition rules? Who gives a flying fuck?

Banzai charge. Squad Leader Baldgazh doesn't give a fuck about the loss of his squad in two turns of Marine fire. Ld7 and low dice rolling is all an Ork needs.

Thrugg leads his counters models behind The Orchard. Don't look at the missing aquarium plants that were accidentally left behind at Coop Towers II. I meant it, stop looking.

High water mark of the Ork advance. Three dead Marines in the farm-house all casualties of Thrugg's following fire plasma pistol. S6, +2 at short range, -1 save. Following Fire - if you wounded (even if saved) have another shot at same target or anybody else with 4". Keep going as long as the dice keep up. Lovely.

Sad state of the Ork firing line after the battle. I always used to lie down "dead" models in games when I was a lad so it was nice to do something similar in tonight's battle.


Anyway that's it for the nostalgia experiment. However it has highlighted what a great game 40K is if played in 1987 style with tiny forces and GM-led scenario games and the next plan is to complete forces for The Wolf Time, the campaign from Chapter Approved. As well as a few games mucking around with robots and vortex grenades and Ambulls and bio-wire and powerboards etc. and maybe even a diversion into playing it with 15mm figures.


If you, or anybody you know, have been affected by the issues raised in today's and yesterday's posts then man up, pull your finger out and dust off your copy of 40K, forget about anything that came out later than WD94 and get on with it. It's ace.

(*) Have you noticed that one of the second wave of Space Marine models (which ironically enough is the ones that came out at the same time as RT) is called Communications-Brother Orinocco? And Orinocco is a Womble is he not? No, I never noticed at the time either. Yes, I appreciate that this subnote makes fuck-all sense outside of the UK. Sorry about that.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

PhotoIntel From Rynns World

In another dimension lost within The Warp is a place where it is still 1987 so fuckyeahtimeforroguetrader!

Phil S, Steve B and myself played Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader yesterday (Friday 19th), 1987 style. The scenario was The Battle of Farm from the original book, the rules were original book and the original book only, with no later amendments, no errata and using the frankly bizarre rules for template weapon deviation. Phil tried to grow a mullet especially for the game but only started seriously thinking about it late afternoon on Friday so it wasn't particularly noticeable. I want a FRANKIE SAYS... t-shirt for next time we play.

Anyway, via Astropath relay, witch machines and the efforts of the servo-tortoise have some photointel of hostilities upon Rynn's World, trying not to notice that the calibration of the optical sights appear to be slightly off possibly as a result of violent re-entry into realspace from the warp. Our chief Jokaero techie has accordingly been punished by applied use of the porta-rack. Inquisitor Obi-Wan Sherlock Clouseau has extracted a full confession and mea culpa from the alien concerned apologising for this heretical incompetence.

Overview of the famous battlefield showing the titular ruined farm, the L-shaped orchard and Bultha's Rise complete with it's power generator which is a shower gel bottle sprayed-up by Phil for the game.

Battle-Brothers Tarquin and Tobermory on sentry duty. Isn't it amazing how Rynn's World agricultural buildings look nothing at all like ruined Norman churches?

Battle-Brother Tarquin looking a bit newer than 1987 if we are brutally honest.

The Finger of Mork! Thrugg Bullneck tells his "Troopers" (they must be dismounted cavalry...) where to go. This happened to be across open ground towards some hiding Space Marines but obviously NOBODY REALLY KNEW WHAT THE SCENARIO FROM TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO IN A BOOK WE ALL OWN AND HAVE READ THOUSANDS OF TIMES WAS REALLY ABOUT so how was Phil to know?

Commander Pedro Cantor holds an impromptu team meeting about whether it is chapter policy to allow Battle-Brothers to paint KIL KIL KIL and smiley faces upon their Power Armour. (For the record, it is apparently).

Space Orks of Charadon attempt to infiltrate through The Orchard. With 2" visibility in woodland NOBODY REALLY KNOWS THEY ARE THERE just like those Orks DON'T KNOW THE MARINES ARE THERE.

Orks. Orchard. This is, I think, from game 2 whereby I controlled the Marines and Phil the Orks. Steve was Marine Commander in game 1. The third player was THE GAMESMASTER BECAUSE IN THE EXCITING WORLD OF 1987 YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO HAVE ONE.

Last, aerial photography from an Orgus Flyer high above the battlefield. Cantor takes advantage of the incredible lethality of Bolt Pistols at close range (seriously, +2 to hit at under 8", S4, -1 Save) to close in and engage the greenskins.


More about the game later. We were pleasantly surprised, suspecting that casting eyes used to modern games back upon the old blue book would show us a clunky, slow-moving system but actually for smaller-sized games it's nigh on perfect and as a toolbox of funky stuff to build a scenario around it's without peer. We are going to play it again, but next time we aren't going to be using the mix of figures from last time. Next time we are going proper 1987 Battle At The Farm. With these beauties...

The scenario isn't massively balanced but might have been a bit easier for the Orks had it not taken us nearly two games to realise that Space Marines only have T3 under these rules...

I have noticed though that the followup "Skirmish on Rynn's World" from WD94 doesn't give the devastating Bolt Pistols to the Space Marines and gives all of the Orks crack and frag grenades which massively changes the balance of power at close quarters so presumably Rick Priestley decided something had to be done about it.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Next Friday's 40K Army List In Full...

...and if Commander(*) Pedro Cantor survives The Battle At The Farm then next session he may get to defend the road tunnel at Jadeberry Hill that runs under the Pakamac(**) river and leads to the gates of New Rynn City.
Time to party like it's 1987!

(*) His counter seems to have him demoted from Chapter Master, no doubt as a result of losing his chapter to a rogue defence missile while ineptly failing to fight off the invasion of Snagrod, the Arch-Arsonist of Charadon(***).

(**) Yes, I only just noticed that one as well.

(***) Pete Cantor was/is a mate of Rick Priestley during the 40K playtests. Apparently he wasn't very good at 40K.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Aquila 1974

Apposite to a recent US court-case involving GW trademarks, have a picture of Barney Bubble's cover for Hawkwind's 1974 album Hall of the Mountain Grill.