Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Oldhammer. I fancy a Broo.

Prepare for some misty-eyed nostalgia! We are journeying back 31 years! The one thing missing from Lord Savage, my Slaaneshi Champion for the Oldhammer Weekend, was a bit of undeniable, hardcore retro-cred. Problem solved...

Postmen. Not just there for utilities bills and SKY magazines.

Originally released in 1982 as part of the third Runequest boxed set, 'Attack of the broo', this chap is going onto the base of Lord Savage, diorama style. Even though it came all the way from Germany I got it for a bargain price and it is a real pleasure to look at in the flesh. There is even detail underneath where you would expect nothing but shortcuts.

Progress is being made with Savage's crew and I will have a maiden battle at my club soon, I won't be able to photograph every detail (and the lighting will be against me anyway) but I will aim to make the text interesting. In the meantime I am hoping to get alternate games of Rogue Trader and WHFB3 in each weekend.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Blackwold Road, Part Two.

Read on for the conclusion...

Combat favours the adventurers as first Grognomma then one of the ladz succumbs to Saul and Fingers. Toin is managing to stay alive, just, but things look very dangerous for the Dwarf and Lazarus too.

The Orcs find their formation was over-cautious about the Ihmissusi and over-confident regarding the Humiez. While one of the ladz gets a charge in on Fingers they are unable to respond swiftly to the loss of Grognomma leaving Urklasch under threat.

Lazurus breaks off from supporting the Dwarf to unleash another Fire Ball which kills another of the ladz, but could be a mistake. Saul and Urklasch duel in the highlight of the game, there is a real sense of excitement as the two toughest hombres on the field of battle hew mightily at each other. In the end as the dice settle, Urklasch is slain while Saul staggers on with one wound.

Things were looking pretty grim for the Orcs and we decided a morale check was in order. The three survivors take to their heels as a result and with that the game ends.

In a fit of generosity I head for the hills with the Ihmissusi too, but he'll be back for more now he has the taste of Dwarf...

So, victory to the adventurers. They were luckier than the Orcs when it came to rolling up stat lines and the extra wounds made a big difference as Saul and Toin took some serious damage yet remained in play. They can now journey deeper into the heart of the Blackwold in search of fame and fortune, tracked all the time by the fearsome Ihmissusi.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed our game.

The Blackwold Road, Part One.

I have a WHFB3 battle report for you today. I don't want to introduce every report I do by apologising for any technical deficiencies or half-finished paint-jobs, so it suffices to say that you will be seeing things improve gradually in the coming months as things get done.Really it comes down to the fact that I want to evolve the battle reports rather than wait forever to get everything perfect first time. With a new nipper on the way getting permission to buy new camera equipment was a surprisingly easy sell to SHE.

If any of you have advice about putting in textured backgrounds during a fun game with friends while managing to not turn it into a full-on photo-shoot then feel free to let me know. I have also seen people do all sorts of sexy stuff in post-production, if you want to recommend a program for that let me know please.

For this game I selected an adventurer party of four characters and pitted them against two Orc characters backed up by six minions. There was also the obligatory GM monster to shake things up a bit. All the characters (both Human and Orc) were level 5, but we rolled up random stat line bonuses as per page 91 of the rulebook. Well, I am practising for a Realm of Chaos event!

We ignored unit restraints in favour of a more 'skirmishy' freedom and concentrated on the movement, combat and magic rules. One or two GM changes were made along the way, for instance I allowed cure light wounds to be cast into combat and from a short distance away.


Saul Feyblade. Level 5 Human Hero. Heavy armour, double-handed sword.

Fingers Wilde. Level 5 Human Hero. Sword, dagger.

Toin Deepwater. Level 5 Dwarf Hero. Light armour, double-handed axe.

Lazarus Longshanks. Level 5 Human Wizard. Staff. Spells; Cure Light Injury & Fire Ball.


Urklasch the Irredeemable. Level 5 Orc Hero. Heavy armour, axe, shield, double-handed sword.

Grognomma. Level 5 Orc Hero. Heavy armour, axe, shield.

Hakkr the Horn-blower. Orc Musician. Hand weapon, shield.

5 x Orc ladz. Hand weapon, shield.

Urklasch the Irredeemable, Leader of the Orc warband.

The Orc camp is in the overgrown ruins of Kamalz, inside the Blackwold Forest which is famous for its abundance of Linden trees with only the occasional pine.

Urklasch and the ladz squabble good-naturedly over a bit of roast merchant. Urklasch's champion, Grognomma wanted the liver, but Hakkr the Horn-blower has touched it and put it back. 

Our doughty adventurers, approaching from the opposite corner of the Blackwold Forest. Left to right, Lazurus, Saul, Toin and Fingers.

The chaps are able to make it up to the road without being detected, thanks to some appalling stat checks by the 'festive' Orcs.

This is the cue for the GM to step in and spice things up a bit. Behold the Ihmissusi! The unexpected appearance of this beastie automatically alerts the Orcs who spot the sneaking adventurers as a result. With a mournful howl the Ihmissusi lopes towards the scent of prey.

Apparently, Dwarfs are not natural sprinters, they are natural rearguards. The panicked adventurers flee along the road wall leaving Toin to face the approaching predator.

The Orcs are equally convinced the Wolf-thing is coming for them (and I haven't even rolled the dice yet!), they leave three of the ladz to guard the camp while Urklasch leads the rest towards the road.

The Ihmissusi lifts it's shaggy head and tastes the night air...Grrrr, MANFLESH!

Battle is about to be joined, the Ihmissusi can only be half-glimpsed as it thunders through the trees.

The brave Heroes continue their 'tactical withdrawal', (the controlling player doesn't even know the stats for the Ihmissusi, fear of the unknown seems to be unmanning him).

The Orcs are altogether more reckless, they leap over the wall into the road and advance on the adventurers.

The cunning monster bounds over first one wall, then the other. This leaves the unlucky Toin Deepwater in deep something else.

Saul and Fingers finally overcome their doubts and charge into the Orcs, though a cautious exchange of blows sees the combatants circle each other ineffectually seeking an opening. Lazarus claims first blood with a Fire Ball that incinerates Hakkr the Horn-blower. Toin wisely falls back towards his comrades.

The Orcs prepare to crush the intruders, three Orcs guard against the Ihmissusi (I have been dicing to see whether the beast stays focussed on the adventurers or decides the orcs look tastier), while Urklasch charges Saul. One of the ladz positions himself for a charge on Fingers.

The inevitable happens, the lightning fast Were catches up with the encumbered Dwarf, badly wounding Toin. Lazarus, seeing his own life in danger, frantically casts cure light wounds on the bleeding Dwarf.

Part Two to follow...

Monday, 25 February 2013

Kellar's Keep.

Following on from the general positivity created in the blogosphere by HeroQuest nostalgia I thought I would upload the first expansion 'Kellar's Keep' to Scribd and also make it available here.

I think this is the North American version. Our Trans-Atlantic cousins, convinced their brawny, bright-eyed youths were made of sterner stuff than the pasty offspring of milk-drinking Europeans, were prone to beefing up monsters stats occasionally, just so you know.

A few friends and I played through Heroquest in an obsessive and completionist way last year. As DM I found it very simple to scrounge up suitable components to proxy for original parts we didn't have. We mainly kept to the HeroQuest rules rather than AHQ to keep things speedy, as there is quite a lot of material to get through. We didn't want to rush it but you know, real life and all that guff.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

HeroQuest remembered.

I was reminded today of the retro-overload I indulged in last year. I played through every quest from the Heroquest game/expansions. I even got hold of all the American missions in PDF form. I would heartily recommend revisiting this 1989 game with a mate or two, or even your nippers.

First though, get yourself in the mood...

Then, turn yourself green with envy...

Finally, rescue what you can from the loft, fill in the gaps with other minis and get cracking!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Games Workshop. Responsible for all the world's evil. Discuss.

I love the internet. It does take a fair amount of wading through sometimes, to get to the good stuff I mean. One recurring theme any media-savvy wargamer has to confront is that of Games Workshop and its corporate evilness. It's like Twilight really, hard to avoid and impossible not to have an opinion on. For most people it seems, the more polarised that opinion the better. As my cyber-self floats ethereally through the 'Ereality' of the internet I find it very difficult not to pause and engage with the comments and the articles of others, leaving self-righteous apophthegms in my wake like little karmic turds. Difficult and sometimes impossible. Well it's only fair then that I invite people to come to my territory and vent their wrath here. If you have a Games Workshop experience you would like to share, then feel free to let it all out.

Let me get you started. While I often try to explain away some of GW's eccentricities they did annoy me a while back when I tried to get a part for a faulty Thunderfire Cannon. All my purchases sit in cupboards for months until needed and said cannon was no different, I had opened it and checked it and chucked it in a drawer as usual, but this time I had lazily missed that one integral piece was missing.

This period of fallow for said cannon spanned the change from alloy to resin. :(

The local store manager (after asking me what I was painting at the moment) and the Mail Order department (who for 25 years have been angels at sorting problems like this, one guy once packaged something for postage while he was still on the phone) and the complaints department (THE COMPLAINTS DEPARTMENT) all told me that as they didn't do alloy stuff anymore, I was screwed.

Now, legally they may or may not have a point. I don't care. I want to know what on Earth happened to GW. They used to be so keen to help. When did that memo go around to their employees?

"Attention all at Customer Complaints, if you have any customers contacting you to actually complain,  tell them that you regret that they feel that service has been not up to GW's irreproachable standards, then abruptly tell them to go away".

There, I've been carrying that inside for ages. It's been very cathartic to share it finally. Thanks.

Just so you have closure, I ramped up my campaign several notches and when they finally got tired of the frequent, lengthy emails GW sent me a brand new resin cannon. Which I have never opened.

Games Workshop HQ, Lenton, Nottingham.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Slaanesh warband & Blood Bowl Vampire

Thought I would explain the process used to roll up my Slaaneshi warband and let you know the results, I posted most of it in the comments section of this inspirational article so I don't actually have the details on this blog yet.

I rolled straight (let the dice fall as they may) from the holy tome itself, as opposed to following the articles suggestions exactly, and came up with a Dark Elf level 10 hero for my champion. I rolled his attributes etc. before I chose his alignment so only after having been endowed with a 'Mane of Hair' did it become apparent Lord Dibdin Savage was a Slaanesh worshipper. He rolled a Chaos Steed (Throatripper, horrifying skull-faced appearance) and a Daemon Weapon (with a 'cosmetic' Daemonette inside) and was blessed with a fair number of followers, seven Beastmen, four Dark Elves with crossbows and two adoring Ogres. It all makes a surprising amount of sense. Here's a WIP photo of the whole gang.

Tonight at the club I have some more Blood Bowl going on, I'm leading out the Dark Apostles (a Vampire team) this time. They are only half painted so I did some work on one of the vamps this lunchtime, he is really starting to shape up. I got him from a Spanish website, Comixininos, as the GW Vampires are not my cup of O+.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Oldhammer Day.

Oldhammer Day is alive! Good news, considering it is the main inspiration for this entire blog. Thanks to everyone who made this possible, the Ansell clan and the Oldhammer movement luminaries. Cannot wait until the weekend of the 31st August/1st September.

I would like to thank Erny in particular for his advice and support.

Below is a new arrival for my Slaaneshi warband that coincidentally turned up today. He is one of the second release (1985, Jes Goodwin) troopers from Golfag's Ogres. Also got a batch of Army Painter strong tone in today's mail, I have taken to thinking of the postman as a kind of perennial Santa Claus.

The spikes on the club needed straightening and there was a small patch of damage on the fur cloak that needed resculpting so it was a fun little lunchtime project. The poor fella has incurably bandy legs and he would not stand straight so I created a mini diorama on the base, leaving him stalking forwards through some razor sharp rocks. Evocative. As he is a comparatively midget 25mm scale Ogre the 40mm base I mounted him on leaves a nice amount of room for extras.

Having been gazumped on a 'Skrag the Slaughterer' recently (oh well, he is apparently connected to Malal anyway) I am hoping to use another of Golfag's lads that should be winging it's way to me soon.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Challenge accepted.

Having seen THIS,

I felt compelled on behalf of Slaanesh to share this...

Challenge accepted.

Citadel catalogues online.

I have found this site, The Stuff of Legends, to be extremely useful for authentification purposes when chasing down antiques online (it covers loads of manufacturers BTW, just go back to the home page and renegotiate your way back in). Well, actually, I have found that more often than not it dates low-priced old beastmen labelled as 80s on ebay to the 1991 range rather than a bona fide 80s range BUT it is still a useful resource and if you don't already have it in your life (or perhaps you have originals of every catalogue?) then you definitely should take a look.

I have bailed two Ogres on ebay which will supercede the current 90s chumps in my Oldhammer ROC STD (sounds like an awesome disease), back to the leadpile with you losers! You will embarrass me no longer. I am having difficulty finding seven legit OS beastmen/broos though :(

Ebay has me tempted by a few Slaanesh champs that are reasonably priced but I want to hack up convert my ever-evolving rewards onto him and I probably won't be able to do that to a classic. I can envisage myself poised, frozen, over the critter with a dremmel in hand, tears streaming down my face and the stench of whiskey on my breath. Gives me vertigo just thinking about it.

Anyway, moving on.

P.S. Other online pseudo auction house classified advertisement sites are available.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Rogue Trader Battle Report One. The Bank Job.

[We went through a roleplay phase during which both players were made aware of their character's background and mission. Then I had both players issue a set of movement orders for me to enact on their behalf, I would interpret those orders on the approach to the objectives and let the players take over as soon as conflict started (assuming they didn't try to talk their way out of bother). As it happened, both sets of orders were pretty nonchalant about a possible enemy presence and this led to the following action...]

The Miltruck slowed and pulled over causing Captain Travers to jump, he had been on the verge of nodding off. Normally he would care more about being professional, Hirshfanger Private Security bigwigs notoriously lacked any sense of humour about customer complaints, but the fifteen hour drive through monotonous terrain had beaten him long ago. The driver explained the stop, they had reached the outskirts of Gracetown and intel had warned things in Gracetown could get 'lively' for Imperials. Not that Travers and his men were Imperials, the HPS just took the creds, but the new inhabitants of Gracetown thought that anyone without horns or a third arm was an Imperial. Then they castrated them. Travers beat on the cab partition behind him and called out a few imprecations to help his section get it together. They drove on. Pretty soon the Navfinder on the teleport homer had picked up the bank, half a k, Travers signalled the driver to stop and let them debus. They would go the rest of the way on foot.

As the mercenaries poured out of the back most of them took up defensive positions automatically but three, the new guys, looked to their Captain for approval before getting it right.

Porkins was last out, as always.

Lawson hefted the homer, it was a big piece of kit and lugging it half a k through rebel country to a ruined bank was not going to be a walk in the park. Payday better be worth it.

Elsewhere, Ardal Reilly and the Dogpack are fresh from causing mischief somewhere, and are now on the way to a safehouse for a rendezvous with the mysterious rebel general 'Red Axe'.

That safehouse, coincidentally, happens to be the ruins of the Gracetown Imperial Bank. Unbeknowst to Reilly, the south-east room contains the vault entrance buried under some rubble.

The northwest room is used by the Rebellion to cache weapons, food and a voxcaster.

The Dogpack approaches the bank from the east, completely unaware of anyone else in the vicinity. They don't seem to be expecting anything they can't handle.

Security protocols are lax amongst the slovenly rebels and their mistakes are being monitored by an unimpressed third party.

The HPS mercs reach the bank, their own formation is tighter but they have approached from the west and the bank is obscuring the Dogpack from view. Looks like things are going to get messy at close quarters.

The Dogpack get to the bank perimeter, two rebels are ordered to go on point and check the building out.

The mysterious watcher casts a mocking glare over the proceedings and silently waits to see how Reilly will react to the presence of the HPS.

The vault room. What is it the Imperium wants so badly?

Four of the mercs enter the bank, two head up the main corridor while one breaks left into the cache room while a new guy nervously clears the southwest room.

CONTACT! The rebels sweeping the bank and the mercs in the corridor spot each other at the same time, both duos pause in shock before screaming out a warning to their comrades.

Reilly is first to react, he sends two of his men into the northeast room with orders to fight through to the cache room and raise Red Axe on the vox.

Three rebels go around the north side of the bank hoping to flank any interlopers.

Two of the Dogs rush into the vault room, not knowing that this room is the target of their enemy.

The mercs respond by reinforcing the new guy in the southwest room, hoping to push on from here to the vault room. Travers and Lawson hold back, for now, at the bank entrance.

Porkins and a buddy race into the cache room and climb onto the first floor, Travers has never seen the big guy move that fast. He must be spending his pay on suspensors. The third new guy guards the enemy route to that room. Higgins and Baker blaze away in the corridor, though to little effect.

The rebels cautiously continue to advance and some are able to return fire.

Reilly enters the bank and one of the Dogs takes up an elevated  firing position.

The flanking force makes progress and remains hidden from view.

Baker buys the farm first, rebel autogun rounds tear through his flak armour and he bleeds out in seconds.

Rebel whooping is cut short as first one Dog goes down in the vault room...

Then a second dies in a hail of shots as he tries to make it to the cache room.

Higgins falls back down the corridor, dismayed at Baker's death, and rallies at his Captain's side. Travers and Lawson are able to rake the corridor with lasfire.

Reilly steps up to replace the fallen rebel near the cache room and brings his shotgun to bear; if a jobs worth doing... Supporting fire from the Dog on the first floor helps keep the merc's heads down.

In a sudden sequence of events things start to turn against the Dogpack. First their flanking force rushes out of cover impatiently, allowing the HPS mercs to react.

The threat is neutralised as all three go down under disciplined fire from Travers and his soldiers.

Next, Porkins finally gets some shots off having gotten a bead on one of the enemy from his position in the cache room. One of his targets goes down and stays down.

Reilly's shotgun and his buddies supporting fire kill two of the mercs in return, but after a series of lucky escapes in the firefight that ensues the Dog pack begins to rout.

They fall back to the bank's eastern entrance.

The victorious mercs push aggressively towards the vault room.

Unable to hold the bank the rebels continue their withdrawal.

The rebel rearguard is shot before he can escape.

The HPS have taken the vault room and the teleport homer is primed.

Travers and his section spread out to secure the area as the Imperial agent and his security team crack open the vault. Whatever was in there remains a secret, for now, as the Imperials hurriedly teleport to safety leaving the mercs to their long drive home.

Ardal Reilly and two of the Dogpack survivors make good their escape...

Except they have some explaining to do, to the Red Axe. Preferably under torture, of course.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it. We had a blast playing it!