Thursday 28 March 2013

Otherworld goodies.

OK I'll admit, this is a bit of a showing off post but look what I picked up from round the corner at Otherworld HQ today:
First two adventurers boxed sets and about 2/3rds of the stretch goal goodies.

Inside one of the boxed sets.

So far my favorite extra! Sad I know but I love Familiars. These are tiny.
Perhaps I'll do a bit of a review in  the coming days.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Adventure awaits: Card driven Dungeoneering!

Another little break from all things Oldhammer, today I’d like to share some Old School dungeoneering instead. Some time ago I made my mind up to develop a card driven system for solo/GM-less dungeon bashing. What I came up with was a system of cards, one pack to describe rooms and corridors, one pack to drive events and another to drive encounters. Treasure to be added later.

Each room or corridor section explored triggers the draw of a dungeon card. This gives an interesting description of the area and any contents. It also goes on to indicate if something more is happening as an event, encounter or both could be triggered by the room card.

Adventure cards are only drawn when a dungeon card indicates to do so. They contain descriptions of random events such as traps, weird sightings, sounds and smells, dungeon furniture, loot and plunder or NPC encounters. They may even trigger further monster encounters.

Monster cards are triggered by either Dungeon or Adventure cards each card representing a random number of monsters of a given level.

A little on the design philosophy.

By removing events from the rooms they occur in a greater variety of rooms can occur, not every guard room will now look the same and thanks to the monster cards the guards you find there will vary as much as your monster cards. I really wanted to include the heady unpredictability of old school dungeons so some event cards include random tables making the variety of adventures obtainable even greater.

Some of the cards interact for example a randomly encountered sound may be more meaningful later on if a particular room is reached when certain things will occur only if the sound has been heard. Or perhaps an NPC will be very interested in items found or encounters experiences already or in the future. I have included enough challenges of different sorts to ensure thieves, magicians, fighters and clerics will all be useful if not necessary in your adventure party. Currently the cards exist as a system agnostic version and a Labyrinth Lord/Osric/ADnD version with illustrations pulled off the web. If there is enough interest from people I’ll clean them up put on good legal Illustrations on and post them here for all to use.

To give you an idea what sort of adventure I’ve been having with the cards I present my first little venture into the Chaos of Caverns:

The background art is by William McAusland.

Sunday 17 March 2013

The Battle of Plank Street, a GMs perspective. and a little tactical lesson from history.

It was an utter pleasure to host a battle between two brilliant Oldhammerers on Friday night. That we did it over the internet on our computers hardly seamed to matter, that the other two were typing and only I was talking  was, odd, but worked.

Some of the action.

I have to say it was great, I live in a different town to my gaming mates, have two kids, a very busy wife, well you all know the story, most of you are living it too. not to mention when I do see my gaming mates they ain't all over 3rd ed.  I've been looking for some time for a way to play my fellow oldhammerers, Gaj and Dreamfish are running quite nicely with their turn based system. But I'm afraid I have no patience, I need immediate results to keep my attention.

close up of above to show the detail.
I've checked out many virtual table tops but never found one that fitted the bill, until an ad in Gygax magazine sent me to roll-20.

Long story short it works and we had a blast, Thantsants and Warlord Paul have done a great job writing up the story I actually don't feel I need to. (I'll do one any way with close ups of the fronts of many of the staring minis..) I think it is reasonably fair to say this is the first real time battle between us blogging oldhamerers.

However in this post I'd like to look at some of the finer points of what we call TAKTIKS. I'm reasonably sure Thantsants mentioned he recently (past few years) got back into the hobby and my guess is he hasn't played anywhere near as many games as Warlord Paul. Warlord Paul I think is a bit of a ringer, he regularly goes to club (this may stop once BOJ appears WP!) and I think he knows his military history.

Lets look at this set up before the first turn of the battle of plank street. WP plays the orcs at the top, Thants the dwarves at the bottom.

The flanks of WPs army are his strongest units, yep even that unit of goblin spears due to the champion. His center is weak though not to a fault. He also set up first. Thantsants who admitted to never having played dwarves set up with his missiles on the hill. Not a bad place, but failed to anchor the flank of his line against the wolf boys. The main body of his troops was arrayed to fight the center, not the most important threat, the orc boys on the left most hill. Rookie mistakes I'd say and  the magic amulet played no part in that.

Now ignoring how the battle eventually fought who can tell me what other warlord on what other distant battle field arrayed his troops thus against more disciplined and better equipped foes? (WP no chipping in).

 The toughness and Ld of the dwarves may win out yet though.

Anyway thanks for a great game guys, look forward to finishing it, exploring the region of
Axwoon and Scabbie Rump further and hopefully playing more Oldhammerers at my place.

Friday 15 March 2013

The field of battle. Virtual Oldhammer fun!

Tonight I'm going to GM what I hope will be the first of many online virtual table top games of Oldhammer at Erny's place. I always found that, although I love club gaming my best experiences were with friends over someones place, that's the feel I hoped to capture with my blog hence the name. I'm really pleased to actually be able to invite people over how ever virtually, shame I can't offer beer and snacks.

Anyway I thought as a bit of fun I'd present the battle ground to you, this is worked up from pdfs and 3d modles and I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out. Soon orcs and dwarves will be fighting across this landscape and thats where other oldhammerers come in.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on where this is, why is there a road going through the middle of it? What is the forest on the left? Why are these two forces fighting here? Hopefully soemthing will spark my imagination and we'll have a great story behind this test battle.

Tuesday 12 March 2013

The 4 year old general.

After Arthur's exploits playing Goblin Quest I thought now was the time to introduce him to the fun of mass combat.  It just so happens I have been working on a simple system for us to enjoy together. I have long thought the way to get young minds really interested is to simplify the hard bit, the rolling dice and looking up results on tables. No good to just be told the result or struggle to work it out yourself it should be obvious from the dice roll even to a four year old.

To that end I ordered up a bunch of blank dice to add my own symbols to. Each dice represents one warrior and he can with each throw of the dice, defend successfully, attack successfully, both or neither. The chances for each of these outcomes is dependent on the colour dice you use. It allows attacking, defending, wounding and saving all to occur with one dice roll and comparing the result to your opponents. There are a couple of other symbols in there but they are for advanced rules. More on this another time if there is any interest.

On to the game, Arthur quickly got moving his little figures, measuring, rolling, removing casualties. His own casualties were taken hard but I was probably just as bad at fourteen never mind four. He certainly wanted to finish so, oh just read the battle report..

Oldhammer online?

Just a quick post this morning to show the redone goblin spears and orc boys I’ve added to my set of tokens. Thantsants and Warlord Paul are on board and hopefully this Friday well have the first game of what I hope will be a bit of a break through for my ambitions to play Oldhammer with so many of the wonderful Oldhammerers around the world.

Again, I don’t think I can be too clear about this, I’m using photos of my own miniatures for my own personal use.

Orc boys and Gobbo spears face off against stout Dwarven warriors.

Sunday 10 March 2013

So who wants a game of warhammer?

Lets just say I've figured out a way to get my miniatures into a program on the internet. I can move them around as I like either singularly or in groups as I define myself. I can give control of what ever of my miniatures I like to someone else logged into my game. They can log in and play free of charge and only need to be running firefox or chrome. Actually internet explorer will work with a free download.

It is in real time, we can talk and even see each other. You don't have to leave your house. It is quick and I think simple to use.

There is a tape measure.

There are dice.

Who wants a game?  (Well a test game, there are bound to be teething problems.)

Friday 8 March 2013

And in the sky a twin tailed comet did appear.

The resurrection of 80’s Warhammer has been going on for a while now but it is less than a year since we all started talking about Oldhammer as a movement. This in other words is still our founding year. We are growing, more each month flock to our banner and we have a special event to look forward to.

Is it not right and proper then that our first year should be marked by a twin tailed comet! Called C/2011 L4 Pan-Starrs I’m sure we all know it’s true identity..

Thursday 7 March 2013

Oldhammer - Bring Out Your Lead! (2013)

The Oldhammer community are pleased to officially announce Oldhammer - Bring Out Your Lead! (2013). Of course, you've heard about it already. But this is the official announcement, so now you can officially start panicking about how long it will take to grow a mullet.

We are also extremely pleased with and grateful to our hosts - Foundry Miniatures in Nottingham. The event is taking place over the weekend of the 31/08/2013 - 01/09/2013.

So, first things first: This is a gaming event. The entire idea and surely the primary purpose for attending is to play games.

BUT - it is NOT a tournament. Nothing can be won. Your victory over your opponent is purely moral and for retelling in a pub later. There are no ladders, no leagues, no recognition of your amazing army building talents and keen interpretation of the rules. THIS IS NOT A TOURNAMENT!

Which makes things a little harder to organise. In a traditional tournament, the organisers would set a points limit, army restrictions and painting guidelines in order to ensure that everyone has a fair chance. There is no need to worry about who matches who, as once the first game is completed, better players will be faced off against better players and the whole thing is supposedly fair.

Because it's NOT A TOURNAMENT, we can't do any of that.

This means we need your help. In order to understand the numbers attending, we have a booking form. BUT, because it's NOT A TOURNAMENT, the organisers will not allocate you an opponent on the day. Read this as the organisers do not guarantee you a game.

You, aspiring gamer, CAN ensure a game, however, by following up your booking with an entry on the BLOOD Forum Looking For Game thread. In this forum, you will be able to tell others what you're planning to bring, how many points/figures you plan to field and what sort of game you want to play.

You are still welcome to simply turn up at Foundry with your army and no booking, but if there is more demand than supply, preference will be given to those who are registered.

How much is this gonna cost me?

Entry to the event is free. Our generous hosts, Foundry Miniatures, are not charging us for the venue, and as it's NOT A TOURNAMENT, we're not offering any prizes.

Of course, you still have other costs to consider - if you're travelling a long way, you might need a place to stay overnight. You will need to get there. And, of course, you'll probably want to get an army ready. Start saving now!

Where and when is this all happening?

The even takes place over the weekend of the  31/08/2013 - 01/09/2013 at The Wargames Foundry:

View Larger Map

Saturday (31/08/2013) from 10:00 until 20:00.
Sunday (01/09/2013) from 10:00 until 17:00.

Foundry's Address:

Foundry Miniatures Ltd
24-34 St marks Street,
Nottingham NG3 1DE
United Kingdom.
+44 (0)115 8413000

Please feel free to call Foundry if you have any questions on how to get there or where to park, etc.

We do ask that you arrive on time, as you will need to factor in finding your game, meeting your opponent, unpacking and packing of figures and copious amounts of pointing at things and going "Wow! Is that (delete as appropriate) [your amazing paint job / that ultra rare figure I've never seen in real life before / really your sister*]?

*Okay, probably not that last one. 

Foundry? They're in Nottingham! That's miles away!

Yes, it is. As mentioned above - they have offered their facility free of charge. They have the space, the tables and the interest in the hobby and so stand head and shoulders above any other option we've considered to date.

To be clear, we have no official relationship with Foundry - they've offered because they have an interest in what we're trying to achieve and they've offered us the facility as a result.

Also, they have provided a list of suitable accommodation for travellers. These are just suggestions - neither the organisers nor Foundry benefit from these suggestions or are accountable for the quality of the establishment you select.

That's awful nice of them!

Yes, it is. So lets talk about Foundry. Perhaps you've heard of Bryan Ansell? No? Once upon a time, he ran Games Workshop. Take a look at your Warhammer 3rd Edition books - that's right, he co-authored some of them. Marcus (Bryan's son, following in the family footsteps) runs Wargames Foundry. They have a clear 'spiritual' connection to the Oldhammer movement.

We mention this because we ask that the Oldhammer community respect the facility and the effort that Foundry (and the Ansell family) have gone through to host this. When you're on site, please don't litter, or break things, or steal, or do anything that would bring the Oldhammer community into disrepute. We would dearly love to be invited back to the Foundry. Keep this in mind when you attend.

I remember reading about cream cakes somewhere. Will there be cream cakes?


But - the Ansell family also conduct business in catering. As a result of this remarkable good fortune, Foundry are able to offer hot food and are licensed to sell alcohol. Of course, you'll have to pay for this (expect typical pub rates), but you won't need to go out onto the mean streets of Nottingham in search of lunch. 

A note of warning: if you are unable to handle your alcohol, you will be ejected from the event immediately! The idea here is to fulfil every gamers fantasy of playing cool games whilst having a pint -  not to lose your temper and get involved in a fist fight. 

I've heard there's some sort of Realms of Chaos Open Table game. What the hell is that?

More details on the Realms of Chaos Open Table game can be found over at Realm of Chaos 80s.

And the Rogue Trader Open Table game?

More details on the Rogue Trader Open Table can be found over at Fighting Fantasist

Tell me about the participation events?

The participation events are showcase games, where the figures will be provided and players will be able to just 'jump' into a command and play. The form has options for the participation games simply so that we know how many people are interested. The actual 'bookings' for the various scenarios and commands will be arranged on the day. 

There is no intended participant for these games - its as much an opportunity for an experienced wargamer to participate in as it is for someone with casual interest to 'have a go'. That said, if there is a lot of demand for these games, we will apply a 'one player, one scenario' limit in order to allow everyone to have a go. 

We are offering two scenarios:

Bloodbath at Orc's Drift. If you're interested in Oldhammer and you haven't seen Thantsants' superlative efforts with this 2nd edition scenario, either you need to go there right now, or you need to pack up your desk, check in your oldhammer badge at reception, and leave. 

Forenrond's Last Stand. The scenario in the back of the Warhammer Fantasy Battles 3rd Edition rule book. If you haven't ever played this scenario with the photocopied cutouts in the back of the book, then you need to:

  • Stop what you're doing, get the copies immediately and fill in this heinous gap in your upbringing, or...
  • Register for this game, or...
  • Pack up your desk, check in your oldhammer badge at reception, and leave. 

What's the Golden Gobbo?

Full details of the Golden Gobbo have yet to be worked out, but this is a painting contest. This is a minor exception to the fact that this is NOT A TOURNAMENT. Andy Craig has offered to be the judge, so you'd better get started. 

The theme of the contest is The Spirit of the 80's. Any figure, from any range, from any era is eligible. It could be your own sculpt, a scratch build from a power ranger, a monster, a vehicle, a lone goblin. No restrictions - just in keeping with The Spirit of the 80's.

I need more lead! Can I get some there?

Yes you can! There will be a bring and buy stand where you can trade OOP figures. We would recommend a realistic pricing strategy, however - don't use the Buy It Now prices on eBay as a guide, because they're mostly wrong (and too high!). We would recommend trades over cash buying, but both will be allowed. Note that the bring and buy has nothing to do with Foundry Miniatures.

We do ask, out of respect to Foundry, that you don't trade or sell anything that is currently in production and available.

Did you know that Foundry Miniatures still produce figures from Citadel moulds from the 80's?

Foundry will have these, as well as the rest of their range - including many contemporary items from famed 'GW' sculptors (such as Kev Adams) on sale.

These are their ranges from the Citadel moulds - very relevant to the Imperial and Bretonnian armies:

Foundry also have other Perry sculpts which would fit in perfectly with your existing Citadel ranges:

What else do I need to know?

  • In case you missed it: this is NOT A TOURNAMENT!
  • The only unpainted figures we're expecting to see are those being traded. If you are playing a game, you must play with painted figures! You effectively have seven months from this announcement to get your figures ready. We acknowledge that there might be latecomers -  tough. Painted figures are a sign of respect to your opponent and to the community. 
  • Chances are, you're not as familiar with the old rules as you think you are. Take some time to read the rules before you arrive, but please allow for the fact many of the 'classic' rulesets are badly organised, badly written and sometimes just plain missing. You should expect that your game will involve lots of reading and discussion as you try to work out how to resolve whatever is happening. Don't panic - this is normal!
  • You may bring figures from any manufacturer and from any era. Although the Oldhammer movement is rooted in the 80's, we are interested in the spirit of Oldhammer, not the manufacture. You are as welcome bringing a heroic scale 28mm modern plastic army as you are bringing your soft lead pre-slotta army. 
  • There is a question on the form about scenery. Foundry have offered to supply some scenery, but if you are able to bring something, please do - every little bit helps. Where possible, we'll do our level best to ensure that scenery remains table specific - both to satisfy the aesthetic 'it all looks the same' perspective and to help ensure that your scenery is all in one place (for easy identification and care).
  • Ultimately, you are accountable for the fun you have. This event is a framework for you to create the ultimate oldhammer experience that you never had in your youth. We're trying to make it as flexible as possible, but we can't do that without your participation and effort. Let's be clear: you will have to do something for yourself before you arrive at Foundry this summer!
  • Neither the organisers nor Foundry Miniatures accepts any responsibility or liability for you. Although we've tried to make this as 'formal' as possible, it is absolutely an informal get together arranged by enthusiasts who have never arranged an event like this before. 

Okay, I'm in. What am I supposed to do again?

Oh - did we mention that this is NOT A TOURNAMENT? Good.

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Goblin Quest, battle report.

Rab over at Rab’s Geekly Digest has put together a little game to play with his five year old. Called Goblin quest it pits heroic knights and their retainers against hordes of evil monsters in search of adventure, fame and gold. Now the clear selling point of the game is it can be played with a five year old, a common theme I’m noticing these days. Just look at Gygax magazine or a host of games on RPG Now/Drive thru RPG. People really want to play RPG like games with their young children, are we the first generation to do this? Perhaps the generation of dads before us were too old when they started in the hobby and never went through the stage of being very young and wanting to play like us 30 some-things?

I digress, last Sunday night my eldest, Arthur, a 4.5 year old of reasonably sound mind and I decided to give the game a go. We were ably assisted by the dice losing Wilfy. Now the game is still in development and I guess it is fair to say is a labour of love, Rob has asked for feedback and emailing him would probably be the right way to do this. I don’t want this to be a full blown review post but a few fundamentals are worth exploring. It is rules light as you may expect and book keeping is at a minimum thanks to the use of descending collections of poly dice for combat and as a inbuilt health check. All well and good. Movement is by dice which we had to house rule out due to impatience on, well both our parts. We had no Knight and retinue but a hero adventurer and assisting dwarf and elf, they had the same stats as the knight and retinue though so we were testing Robs game as written.

EDIT: A few further points due to requests.

We liked and really enjoyed the game but we did alter it slightly to make it run faster, even given that we didn't get very far mainly because a good 15 minutes (spoiler alert!)was spent in anguish over the elfs death. Noooooooo!

Main take away pionts:

As a rule set it is quite seamless and easy to understand even for a 4 year old. 

It could do with being faster but that may just be myself and Arthur. I'd be inclined to have one dice monsters and more of them. I may well try it that way next time.

It was lots of fun.

The point of course is to have fun so without further ado I present our Goblin Quest Battle report.

Friday 1 March 2013

How do you solve a problem like a diminutive flying devil that is half swarm in all the wrong places?

Those closely following my Realms of Chaos Slaaneshi warband development will know that I have a very useful familiar. They will also know that it has some very strange characteristics.
The fullpost can be read here but to summaries the familiar is a half breed daemon/scorpion swarm. Parts of its body are wholly swarm, other parts slightly swarm like. Further it has two heads one of which is a goats. And it can fly. Now I’m sure we can all imagine exactly how this looks and in a rpg this would be fine, I’ve got to represent this on the table and I really didn’t know how to do this using vintage citadel as I like to.

Being a half breed means you average out the stats of the two parts but take on all the special rules of both. The rules for swarms clear sate that the swarm is represented by ten models on a 5cm round base. The rules are unclear if this is 5cm radius or 5cm diameter mentioning both! I suspect radius because fitting ten swarm size figures on a 5cm diameter base is crowded. The ten figures may represent one dog each ten rats or one hundred scorpions. They also represent the swarms wounds, removing a figure whenever the swarm takes wounds. So even the rules make it clear that representing a swarm of scorpions on a 1:1 basis is not possible. This got me thinking.

Looking good, should I just go for it and base them properly?
Instead of representing a daemon that was part swarm what about a swarm where each individual scorpion was part daemon. Then I also remembered my epic collection. With my first warband battle rapidly approaching and no solution to my familiar problem in place I decided to try out a test base of epic fiends. In 28mm they are about the same size as the scorpions sold for swarm bases, they are half daemon/half scorpion to look at and they came out in 1990 so are contemporary to the RoC rules. I used five because that's how many wounds the familiar has. I’m not yet sure I want to commit these fine models that are a good proportion of my epic fiends to something else. I do however think they fit the bill and work quite well. Oh and I dropped the goat head, i should try and work that back in because that is an extra attack.

In action helping summon an undead horde.

Dadhammer moment, Wilfy agrees the familiar looks sort of cool.