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)?