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.

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: