Thursday, 28 September 2017

Game for Crisis 2017: Oldhammer WFB1 scenario, Ziggurat of Doom (3)

A few more paintjobs have been finished for our CRISIS 2017 game.

The idea still is to play the Ziggurat of Doom scenario from Warhammer 1st edition, using vintage miniatures that were available during the early eighties, and could have been used to play the scenario when Warhammer 1st edition was published in 1983 or shortly thereafter.

Earlier, I already reported on 12 Minifigs Forest Orcs that were finished.

Fellow wargamer Wim VdB (check out his blog) has now finished the dwarves (including Thorgrimm Branedimm), and some goblins and orcs.

First, we have the dwarves:. These are pre-slotta Citadel, and you can see the Thorgrimm Branedimm model as well.

 Next we have Chronicle Orcs:

And finally Ral Partha Orcs:

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Some chaotic conversions (2)

Earlier I reported on some conversions I was working on ... chaos knights with mutated slithering insect bodies. Here they are painted

The base is kept rather simple - green grass as I use for all my fantasy figures. I had to contrast the green body of the snake-like figure, so I decided to surround him with a glossy shade of greenish blue. I also had 2 Nurglings lying around, so I added them also to the base of the figure.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Gandalf and Hobbit Children

When you're in a bit of a painting funk, which I definitely am at the moment, one of the things that can help is to radically change what you're painting. In my case, I switched from historical figures to something more fantasy like:

That's the old Gandalf and hobbit children from Mithril Miniatures. I bought it decades ago in our Lonely Mountain period in Leuven and it has been laying around unpainted ever since then. Now it's painted :).

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Some more Aegyptus figures

It seems I'm on a painting spree lately. Four more figures finished from the Aegyptus range from Crocodile Games (see also this earlier blogpost).

Also, don't be alarmed by the high frequency of fantasy or scifi topic on this blog lately. We're still firmly entrenched in historicals as well!

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Large insects

Another victory over the unpainted lead pile. This time some giant insects.

First are some giant termites, originally 15mm Demonworld figures. They came with goblin riders, but I think they can serve my wargaming needs better without them.

Next a humanoid mantiss. This is a "Mantis Krieger" from Excalibur Miniatures. No idea how it got in my collection, but it was there, so I painted him. Could be the general for an insectoid army, or an alien, or a Chaos creature, or ... anything really.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Some chaotic conversions

I made a few quick conversions today - some slithering Nurgle Chaos Champions - from old parts I had lying around.

The first photograph shows the various parts.  The bodies of the Chaos Knights are from Citadel, and were once sold as leg-body pairs (see their old catalogue pages here). The bodies are (from left to right): A Lord of Atlantis figure from Heartbreaker's Magic the Gathering range; a termicatus body from Demonworld; and a spider body from Marauder miniatures.

Given the insect-like or slimy nature of the body parts, Nurgle seems an appropriate team, so the main colour will be green.

Individual body parts
Holes drilled and wire (still to be clipped) glued in,
Bodies attached.
Green stuff (not very visible) to fill up holes in the body-body joint.

This blogpost shows them painted.

Situational vs Inherent die roll modifiers

A new post on our sister-blog, Wargaming Mechanics, about die roll modifiers.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Minifigs Forest Orcs

My first batch of Minigis Forest Orcs, for our upcoming CRISIS game, is finished. The idea is still to run the Ziggurat of Doom scenario from WFB1, using WFB1 rules and vintage fantasy miniatures.

I have painted them in an early 80s painting style, which really is an excuse for my below-par painting skills.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Eureka chaos creatures

I am currently painting some Minifigs Forest Orcs for our upcoming CRISIS game.

But as a quickie, I decided to paint some figures from the Eureka "Chaos Army" range I had lying around. These have a distinctive "Jeroen Bosch" feeling to them; weird little critters that can serve as familiars, little demons, chaos mutants, or depraved humans that will burn in Bosch' depiction of hell for eternity ;-)

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Aegyptus Heru warriors

Another quick paint jobs, this time a unit of Heru warriors, available from Crocodile Games in their Aegyptus range.

I bought these particular miniatures back in 2000 or 2001, when the Aegyptus range was first available. I have a few more character models, which are currently on the painting table. I had to finish these, because I need a clean painting desk to start painting for our CRISIS game.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

How to cull the gaming collection

Every wargamer can tell stories about his mountain of lead ... heaps of unpainted miniatures acquired for projects that never materialized. But the same goes for other games: roleplaying and boardgames also have the tendency to pile up in large amounts that never get used, or perhaps only once. Now, if you're a wargamer that has a huge mansion at his disposal, this hoarding of stuff might not be a problem, but for most mortals, it is.

Over the years, I also amassed huge quantitites of games, gaming books, miniatures, cards, etc. But I somehow managed to keep it all under control. The secret? A few real-life moves, and training yourself into emotional detachment towards all the gaming materials.

My gaming purchases were rather limited when I was in high school and university. After all, when you have little money available, stuff doesn't pile up that rapidly. But when I started my career, things quickly started to get out of hand. Between 1989 and 1998, I acquired large heaps of gaming stuff, mostly roleplaying books, but also fantasy miniatures, magic the gathering cards, etc. I was single and earned a salary. A deadly combination for a young gaming geek.

My first big sell-off came in 1998, when I moved from Belgium to the US. I took a position as a post-doc at an American university, so I had to move continents. I started selling off a lot of things - mostly obscure gaming systems, but also all my AD&D material. My MTG cards were sold off a few years before, so I didn't needn't to worry about that. When I look upon it now, I don't regret selling most things, although I had a large collection of flyers and fanzines from various gaming conventions which I tossed out. I wish I had kept them, because they would have given a nice overview of gaming culture during the pre-internet days.

When I lived in the US, the dot-com boom was in full swing, and eBay was still a fun and innocent place. I used eBay to buy a lot of Avalon Hill games I drooled over when I was a youngster, as well as many more wargaming books. Moreover, the "euro boardgames" trend really started as well, so that caused another increase for the pile. After 3 years, it was time to move back, but not before selling off a lot of stuff to American gaming friends. I did ship a sizable amount of loot to Europe, and overall, I think my pile was somewhat bigger than before I left in 1998.

For a number of personal reasons, I did not acquire much during 2001-2005, but actually sold a lot of excess games. At some point I was convinced gaming was not my thing anymore, so that was the motivation to do this. However, the gaming bug bit again around 2005, and I started buying again, but now in much more moderate amounts. I stopped buying miniatures - at some point you realize you'll never have the time to paint them, and I thought hard when buying new games.

In 2008, I hauled a large load to CRISIS, and sold f many games at the Bring&Sell. Ever since, my bying habits are somewhat under control. Occasionally, I bring stuff to the FLGS (they have a 2nd hand section), and price my used stuff at very reasonable prices.

So what do I keep?
- Miniature I painted myself, these take up significant space;
- A few boardgames I am emotionally attached to - but not too many. I have my original copy of Tactics II, my very first wargame. I also have a copy of Starfall, becaue it was a game my dad bought for me when returning from a business trip. I have a few Avalon Hill classics. Whenever I get a serious bout of nostalgia, I simply go to Board Game Geek and look at some images. It makes no sense to keep all those games, if you're only going to open the box every other year just to take a peek.
- Classic wargaming books. Featherstone, Grant, the lot.
- Roleplaying adventures I once GM'd. The entire Enemy Within campaign for Warhammer is one example.
- Old Wargaming magazines
- Etc. Etc.  I guess I'll never learn ... :-) :-)

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Game for Crisis 2017: Oldhammer WFB1 scenario, Ziggurat of Doom (2)

A little follow-up on the previous post about our upcoming Ziggurat of Doom convention game.

One of my wargaming buddies reported he did find an original Thorgrimm Branedimm figure in his collection. How cool is that?

Here's the picture - a pre-slotta original  Thorgrimm Branedimm. So, we will probably have an original Thogrimm Branedimm at Crisis.

I also noticed Stuff of Legends has some more images of this renowned dwarven figure.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Oldhammer: Treeman (2)

When I was cleaning out some old archive boxes, I came upon photographs from a Warhammer 3rd edition game we played over 25 years ago, involving the infamous scratch-built treemen. I didn't remember we took pictures from that game, but here they are, quickly re-photographed.

See the full story here (blogpost August 2014).

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Game for Crisis 2017: Oldhammer WFB1 scenario, Ziggurat of Doom

We have decided what our game will be for Crisis 2017. We will run the Ziggurat of Doom scenario from the first edition of Warhammer, using vintage fantasy figures that could have been used in 1983, when Warhammer was first published.


The scenario is pretty straightforward. A large Ziggurat is defended by 6 dwarfs, who have to hold out against an attack by goblins, 6D6 in total. The Ziggurat is located in an open plain, surrounded by forest. The scenario was also slightly modified and published in White Dwarf 340, for the 25th anniversary of Warhammer.


Luckily, I already have a big model for the Ziggurat, made for me in mid-90s, and which was based on exactly this scenario. The model has been used in various games before, but it is still an impressive model that should draw some spectators.

A first mock-up of what the table could look like is shown here. The table at CRISIS will probably be somewhat larger.

We might still add smaller scenery elements such as lichen, rocks, and various other little bits and bobs.


This is the hardest part. The idea is to use vintage fantasy figures that were around at the time of publication of Warhammer 1st edition, so the figures must be from 1983 or earlier.

First, the dwarfs. I have a couple of old Ral Partha Dwarfs from their Fantasy Collectors range. These show up in the Ral Partha catalogues as far back as 1979, so that's vintage enough.

Ral Partha dwarves from the late seventies (Fantasy Collectors, 02-03x).
Below you see some of these dwarf models on the Ziggurat. They seem rather smallish (more on that later), but I will still base them on a slottabase, so their height will increase somewhat

Dwarves on the top level of the Ziggurat.
The leader of the dwarfs is Thorgrimm Branedimm. This was a promotional figure which you could only get by using a voucher in the first edition of the Warhammer rulebook, and I guess it's quite costly to find one now. However, I have another old Citadel dwarven figure, and he looks in pose very similar to Thorgrimm Branedimm. Perhaps a little conversion might do the trick.
Update: Thorgrimm Branedim found!

Citadel dwarf in my collection (C06 Dwarf Adventurers)
Thorgrimm Branedimm
Thorgrimm Branedimm, pre-slotta
As for the goblins, I have three options. For each group, I have roughly 20-30 figures, which should be enough to populate the goblin army as per the original scenario.

Option 1: Citadel goblins. These are figures from the Fiend Factory range, and these are models FF20, FF22 and FF23. These were later also part of the C13 Night Goblins range (see also here).

Old pre-slotta Citadel goblins.
Option 2: Custom Cast goblins. These are models from "Lesser Orcs of the Red Eye" from Custom Cast, dated 1975 (more info here).

Old Custom Cast Lesser goblins
Option 3: Valley of the Four Winds Orcs.These are "Forest Orcs", once published by Minifigs, and go back to 1978.

Option 4: mix and match of any of the above ...

In any case, the relative size of the figures is also important. Below you see all figures at the foot of the Ziggurat.

From left to right: Custom Cast goblins; Ral Partha dwarves; Citadel goblins; Minifigs orcs; and for comparison, 2 later Citadel miniatures (fighter and dwarf). Note that all these miniatures are listed as "25mm". Scale creep visualized!


WFB1 rules as closely as possible. The idea is to summarize all relevant rules on a single sheet, leaving out all the rules that are not needed for this specific scenario or troop types.

No unit formations are necessary, this scenario is obviously meant to be played using individual figures. Sometimes we forget that this was a mode of playing that was still very much present in WFB1.

Pimping the scenario

We might "pimp" the scenario by using more vintage Citadel figures, especially monsters that might appear out of the woods using random event cards or something similar. Maybe my scratch-built treeman can make an appearance? Or some of the other Oldhammer monsters (see here, here, or here)?

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Scifi buildings from Fantasy Forge

In 1992, on a trip to European Gencon in Camber Sands, England, I bought a new ruleset for Scifi skirmish games called Kryomek. It seemed like the next big thing to me, and so I eagerly bought a number of figures, and from the same company (Fantasy Forge) also a resin sci building - a dome with a heavy cannon.

Needless to say, we never played Kryomek, but the dome-shaped building featured frequently in many scifi games we played during the past 25 years. It was always my intention to buy more of these buildingsdue to their nice modular design, but that plan never materialized.

A few months ago, at the Bring&Buy at  CRISIS, there was a fellow wargamer selling a few more of these building modules. Of course, I needed to have them.

So, here they are. I tried to paint them in the same shade of green as I did the original 25 years ago, but that was more difficult than I thought. Probably also because the original colours have faded over the years.

Two hobbit houses

I painted two hobbit houses today. As explained in a previous blogpost, these are a piece of Belgian wargaming history, since they were made by Gedemco.

The models were quite easy to paint, and adding some flock and other tufts was an easy afterthought. The largest hobbit house needed a green door, obviously.

The models shown for size comparison are Mithril Lord of the Rings figures, Gandalf, Frodo and Sam (from MB237, boxed Lord of the Rings set).

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Some thoughts on the turn sequence

A new entry on our Wargaming Mechanics blog:

If you missed out on the previous posts, be sure to check them out!

A quick paint job

I managed some time today to finish some figures I started several months ago.

The firsr are 3 Oldhammer militia figures. These are late eighties GW figures. I used painted shields I still had lying around.

Next are 5 "blue worms", Ainsty figures I acquired last year at CRISIS.

Monday, 17 July 2017

"Fast play rules" again?

Just a quick rant:

I recently saw an advert for a new set of rules: "Fast Play Rules for the <insert period here>".

It reminded me of notorious rulesets of the past that were also labeled as "Fast Play Rules". Just do a Google search on "fast play wargaming rules", and you get a whole series of results.

Now, according the the designer, the rules might actually be fast to play. But that's as seen from his point of view. Other players might not think the rules are fast at all, and might consider them a terribly slow and painful exercise. Actually, the whole adjective of "fast play" is meaningless, if you lack a common fame of reference.

Would any ruleset ever advertise itself as "Slow and tedious rules for ... "? Sure they are all fast play? Or do some wargame designers specifically aim for slow play?

It also reminds me of academic papers that list the advantages of certain algorithms (I am a computer scientist working in academics, so I know a thing or two about academic publishing). The adjectives are hyped up with each consecutive paper: "fast" , "really fast", "extremely fast" - or in the case of computer graphics "interactive" or "real time". In most cases - unless actual timings are given on specific machines - meaningless.

And on another note: I managed to clean up my painting desk a bit, so I might actually get some painting done during the next couple of weeks after a hiatus of several months.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

I want my mojo back!

I just counted the miniature wargaming games we played since January. Exactly one! Shame on us!

Now, there are more important things in life than playing games, but still, it's a bit of a sad affair. There is of a course a good explanation. In our gaming group, there are 2 of us that host the games at their houses. If these 2 persons simultaneously experience some kind of slump due to real life, job pressure, a slight lack of motivation, ... then things start falling apart quite rapidly.

Also on the painting desk things have grinded to a halt. The figures sitting there right now have been undercoated the week after Crisis in november. Since then, no action whatsoever.

However, I have to admit I did write a few things for the Wargaming Mechanics blog.

I am not panicking. Not yet. But clutter starts to pile up on the gaming table as well as the painting desk, and that makes it hard to get things moving again. It's a sort of psychological barrier that becomes harder and harder to overcome.

Perhaps the upcoming summer months will bring some fresh mojo!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Magazine Index now contains 3600 article entries

Almost 2 years ago I started the Wargames Magazine Index.

So far, each magazine had its own tab in the overall data sheet, but a few week ago, I added a compiled list (all entries in one big sheet), which greatly facilitates searching. This single sheet is updated automatically once every week.

Currently, this are the number of articles entries, counted by magazine. Multi-part articles usually have a single entry.

wargamesillustrated 1711
miniaturewargames 422
practicalwargamer 372
miniaturewargames w battlegames 272
wss 236
battlegames 232
wargannual 163
wargamesworld 56
vae victis thématiques 40
classicwj 38
secrets of wargame design 25
wargamersnotes 12
wargamesjournal 8

Visualized in a pie chart: