Monday, 30 July 2012

My Neo-Mordheim Chaos Warband Let Me Show You Them

Sorted for tomorrow night's game of Song of Blades and Heroes at the oddly-named October, Birmingham's wargame club. Confronted with a virtually infinite choice of warband construction, I felt it artistically necessary to go down the Old School 1980s Realms of Chaos Khornate Chaos Warband/Aspiring Champion route.

Straight out of the Coop school of crap, point-and-click cameraphone photography is this team shot of Barbas the Wing'd One's Brethern of Blasphemy...

Apart from the Derro in the chequered hood, all of these pj's are at least a decade old, dragged out of The Vaults beneath Coop Towers and given a little bit of paint tarting up, varnishing and re-basing. It's a motley crew because it was picked from what floated to the top of the barrel first and appeared to need little remedial work before fielding in anger.

Rear row, left to right - The Bandaged Dead #1 and The Bandaged Dead #2 (GW/Milton Bradley Heroquest Mummies), Barbas The Wing'd One (possibly a Reaper Miniatures figure), Vladimir the Eternally Angry (GW/Milton Bradley Battlemasters Chaos Thug).

Front row, left to right - Heinrich Bloodbather (Citadel Chaos Thug, 80s vintage), Jawcracker Whiteskin (Reaper Miniatures Derro pretending to be a Chaos Dwarf), Killfuck Soulshitter (IIRC a Heartbreaker figure, possibly a licensed Magic:The Gathering figure).

I have since finished another Chaos Warrior that might replace Killfuck as the original Killfuck figure isn't really a Chaotic type.

Will be playing Darth Phil of A Game of Bones, no idea what he will turn up with, probably Spanish Civil War Republicans or similar...

Friday, 27 July 2012

Suddenly Derro! (and Subbuteo)

More painting little mans. Having played Song of Blades and Heroes on Friday I immediately decided to get my own warband, which will be Old Skool Chaos Warband in style.

Reaper Miniatures Derro pretending to be pre-Assyrian-beard-and-big-hat Chaos Dwarves. The influences behind the pale skin, chequerboard, Rotring-inked tattoos and lashings of gloss varnish should be obvious to fellow travellers.(*)

SoBaH is a sort of Neo-Mordheim in that you play with about 5-12 figures and have a campaign system that tweaks your warband after every battle however, unlike Mordheim, you can play a mini-campaign of 3 or 4 games in a single evening (i.e. the amount of games of Mordheim - or Necromunda for that matter - that a campaign needed before becoming a pointless exercise of the big boys trouncing the whipping boys every single time leading to it's abandonment).

Current plans are to finish off the other three Derro I have and then a blister pack of two Bugbears (again from Reaper) as Khornate Chaos Beastmen.

Also I suddenly want to play Subbuteo again but only if I can paint my own Athletico Fightingfantasista team -

(*) But just in case it isn't obvious, it's the Blanchitsu/Aly Morrison mid-80s thing.

Friday, 20 July 2012


One of those brilliant ideas one wishes one had had oneself...

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Newhammer is Oldhammer

Been painting little mans let me show you them.

I love gloss varnish but it really doesn't help my already piss-poor photography non-skillz. These two are resin toys from Ramshackle Games, painted in a sort of Blanche style with limited palette, red, subdued bases, chequers and lashings of gloss varnish. While it isn't obvious from these particular figures,  they are the start of an Adeptus Mechanicus warband based upon a whole load of robed-with-crude-cyber-bits-hanging-off-them figures that Curtis at Ramshackle produces.

Chaos Renegades Brothers Shitbastard and Uterusbiter from the Insane Abortionists chapter. Evil Empire plastics, also Blanche tribute in style.

So what am I going to do with these? Well, wouldn't it be great if there was some of hardback science fantasy wargame that was published this century that didn't just propose tedious competitive, equal points "encounter battles" between people who think winning a cookie-cutter wargame somehow reflects back upon their "skill" and "generalship".

Something that encouraged and cajoled gamers into creating their own scenarios and forgetting about balance and including optional "here, try this for a fun and memorable game" stuff like rules for fighting in hard vacuum, on planets or space stations where the gravitational constant is not equal to 1, entertainingly explosive terrain, orbital platforms where you can be blown away into space by template weaponry, lightning storms, corrosive atmosphere, sub-zero temperatures, dangerous fauna, dangerous flora, toxic rivers etc.

You know, all the stuff that makes the tournament wargamers whimper "my optimised build is nerfed". Something I could play while wearing my Oldhammer scene shirt.

Handy that, because there is. This bastard.

FFFFuck!!!!!!!!!!! Steady on Coop. Shurely shome mishtake?

No. I have recently acquired a taste for humble pie served with side platters groaning under the weight of roast crow.

This is such a sea change from previous GW offerings that it almost ought to be put out under the Specialist Games label, ignored by senior management, not supported, removed from shop shelves and then nixed because an Excel spreadsheet told them to. 6th edition is encouraging gamers to make up their own planets and campaigns and characters, nagging them to at least set their game amidst the background (rather than just 2000 pts Black Templars vs 2000 pts Tau) and start mucking about with the game setup so that balance and optimisation get fucked.

Someone on Frothers described this as a bloody great big two fingers up to the tournament crowd.

So why did I notice this? I read a post on one of the "40K is teh greatest evah" boards in which a stateside 40k player who had bought the book on midnight of the release day claimed to be a (very near quote) "47 year old player who is in tears at what they have done to my game".

Let's be honest if my own Father said something like that I'd immediately kick him in the bollocks although he admittedly wouldn't since he doesn't give a toss about gaming unless it's Tiger Woods on the Wii and I really ought not to since I still owe him a favour for him taking Das Coopwagen for it's MOT retest because I was at work.

But if a 47 year old competition manchild can be reduced to tears by a game becoming far less "BEHOLD ME PROVING MY RAW PURE SKILL YOU ARE NOTHING LESS THAN NOTHING" than it was before, despite him being of serious need of a kick in the bollocks if indeed he has any, the likes of muggins here gets very interested. And hence the £45 missing from my wallet now.

Anyway, Grandfather and Grandson at a happy family reunion. Grandfather was telling young 'un about  Abdul Goldberg, Catachan Face-Eaters, graviton guns, flowchart-following robots, and Space
Marines with captured shuriken catapults.(*)


(*) I believe this may be the first time I've knowingly used an Oxford comma in print. I say them all the time though.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Worlds Hardest Gamebook Puzzle (Possibly)

PROTEUS 12 - The Weaver of Nightmares. This puzzle has left me baffled since 1987 and I only discovered the answer today - and that was from a long Google search for it following several abortive searches in the past.

(That's not the titular Weaver BTW, that's actually a wise woman called Frowellyn who helps you out. In exchange for gold. The actual Weaver looks like a gay social worker who ran the youth club for problem children and tried to turn them against "Fatchah".)

Anyway, the Weaver is effectively a CE aligned high-level Illusionist who is holding a large number of the men of Glengantha hostage in his dungeon-funhouse-house. For reasons nonsensical that only really make sure if treated with a large dose of Balthus Dire's Curtains the Weaver's henchman Dreadthread (Yeah, mon!) has hidden seven metal tokens around Chez Weaver that you will need to in order to tell the Weaver exactly how many of the men of Glengantha he has hostage. If you can't tell him he will kill you. If you can tell him he will errr... attempt to kill you.

(Does any of this make sense to you? If so you may have accidentally banged your head on the headboard when getting out of bed this morning and could still be concussed. Seek medical aid.)

I'd tell you where to download all this nonsense yourself for a more in-depth look but last time I did that the PROTEUS people came out of retirement to go all DCMA and similar batshit on me. If only there was some of form of well-respected Internet site that automatically catalogued web pages and offered some form of textual searching on those catalogues. Why by now, it would have a number of pages that surely must number in the googolplexes!

Right then, each token has a few letters on it. The tokens are

And one of ZEOBEB, ZEO or ZEOPSAJ. Why the ambiguity? Because of this paragraph.

With those seven and a somewhat obscure clue from The Weaver (...“and I will even give you a clue –  I am also known here as SAW-RAN. How many prisoners?” ) you need to determine the number and since it's a case of "turn to that numbered paragraph" and the gamebook is 225 paragraphs long you can quickly determine that it's between 2 and 224 since 1 is the first paragraph and 225 is GOAL IN A WINRAR IS YOU!!1

Right then, that's either so blindingly obvious that you've twigged it already or you'll be stuck for a quarter-century.

And furthermore, I'll actually give you the answer since it's easy to brute force a 225 paragraph long gamebook (hey, it was good enough for Inside UFO 54-50).

It's 57.

Which probably makes life even harder as the BritOldSchool Examiners Board really wants to see the workings.

Get on with it, leave your thoughts in the comments remembering that the target audience for this magazine was probably about 10-14 years old.

(You could Google and find what I believe is the only webpage with the answer on it, but please don't spoil it for any others who are scratching their heads unless you can work it out yourself).



Straight out of The Weaver of Nightmares, the SPEARWING basically a flying Cat-man Furry bat-winged-with-unicorn-horn thing. Illo by Gary Harrod.

P.S. Blogger, owned by Google, has a spellchecker that flags up "Google" and offers no alternatives. I find this almost as amusing as the fact that auto-correct on my iPhone, masterminded by a fellow atheist, doesn't auto-capitalise "god".

Thursday, 5 July 2012

WARPS - A Grim World of Perilous Adventure

Earliest print mention ever of WFRP? White Dwarf 78, June 1986.

Presumably stood for Warhammer Roleplay System.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The New Arrivals

I'm not going down the expensive and time-consuming route of collecting OOP 80s vintage Citadel lead off eBay. No. Not happening. It's just that these immaculate white metal babies arrived today;

Slagroth Vilestaff and Jazekal Iron Face respectively. Slagroth is intended to be my Magician General for my ever-growing Hordes of the Things Goblin army (aka The Goblins of Crippledick Peak) which is ever-growing since it's a re-basing project of my abortive WFB7 Night Goblin army.

On the subject of Hordes of the Things, The Goblins of Crippledick Peak got an outing against the forces of Darthphil of A Game of Bones which is the first time I'd played HotT in nearly a decade. Had forgotten what a great game it is that "feels" like a gargantuan battle but actually gets away with using the sort of figure count you'd more normally associate with a skirmish setup.

Hordes of the Things rules are now free - although you don't get the army lists which were effectively only suggestions anyway.

With the demise of The Stronghold (the main site for all things HotT) the next best thing is probably The Stronghold Rebuilt on which Alan Saunders (elder brother of Darthphil) is slowly copypasta-ing some of the old Stronghold's content.

Another good site is the dedicated entry at boardgamegeek.