Sunday 29 January 2017

Where it all went wrong!

Hi all, i always find it interesting how people found their way into this hobby we all share. When you think about it its quite a small group in the grand scheme of things, compared to some hobbies burring yourself in a pile of lead/ plastic toys and pushing them round a table at the whim of some dice occupies a tiny minority in the world of procrastinates. So its always fun to ask what got you into the hobby?, where did it all go wrong?!?. For gamers in my age range (35-45) some commen threds do tend to be in evidence. The names Games workshop and fighting fantasy tent to feature as well as the influence of older siblings of either the toy solder infected host or of one of their childhood friends. For me the first exposure came from that route. So i thought i would throw it out their with 5 simple questions for you all (both of you), and i will answer for myself as i go along.

1) What is your first memory linked to what would become the hobby you would go on to have?.

 For me i remember my mate bringing in a plastic goblin head to school and being blown away by it. As i type that i realize just how mental it sounds but its stuck in my mind to this day. It was a head taken from citidels fantasy regiments boxed set. He 'borrowed' it from his older brother (risking his wrath) to show us all. Odd i know but it all went down hill from there!
Image result for fantasy regiments

     Bottom right on the head sprue, thats the culprit officer!. (picture from 'stuff of legends')

2) What was the first piece of gaming/ modeling related 'thing' you ever owned?.

For me it was this:
Related image
One trip to the local news agents and it would never be quite the same again (pic from 'relm of chaos 80s' a blog you need to check out!).
I cant remember much from this but it had a feature on what would be my 'big prezzie' that christmas....HEROQUEST!. I went on to barely miss an issue till i was in sixth form and had a massive pile of them under my bed (who said weird teen!?) until i went traveling after my exams and my mum 'tidied them up' never to be seen again!.

3) What were the first miniatures you ever owned?
 Im not including the regulation green army men in this. Aside from the magnificence that was heroquest my first propper minis were a gift from an aunt and uncle one birthday. We had visited them months before and i had discovered a bucket of 20mm ww2 soldiers owned by my uncle. We took them into the garden and had a blast playing 'war' (complete with gun and explosion noises). On my birthday i opened a prezzie from them and discovered  these:
Image result for italeri barbarians
(picture from sunnys models)
Image result for esci romans
(picture from
These would become the gateway to a life of 1/72 plastic abuse. The amount of times these ninis faced off must be in the hundreds!.

4)Looking back what was the biggest influences on your future hobby activity?.

 For me growing up in the u.k. Games Workshop was the true giant of wargaming, it was so vibrant and alive back then and still in the cycle of developing and releasing the games that would go on to be re-hashed for years to come. Back then they were truly king with me and my mates. Second to them were the Fighting Fantasy books, these dumped you in the action in a way nothing else at the time ever could (remember that computer gaming was only just establishing 8 bit at that point). If you liked your fantasy and were a lad of the 80s they were too good to be true. Games Workshop sold you the dream and fighting fantasy gave you a way to live out the stuff the big boys filled your little head with each month in White Dwarf.

5) Is there anything from those early years you look back on with special fondness?, anything that captured the imagination in a way it has never been captured since?.

The thing that made the penny drop for me and will always stay with me is from White Dwarf 117
Image result for white dwarf 117 battle report the best laid plans
(picture from terapeak)
 It contained my first exposure to battle reports, something that would go on the be the thing i would most look forward to each month. It was a simple affair done with black and white sketches in the place of photos but where i had heard of playing out battles with figures this was an actual example of a game in progress, this was  how it was done!. Que one pre-teen mind melting!. The army lists, the tactics discussion, the ebb and flow of the turns and the sheer scale of the battle sparked a love affair with gaming, rule sets and getting minis on the table. I think the reason i love tinkering with rule sets and playing with mechanics as well as the gnawing desire to write scenarios and roll dice comes from reading and re-reading this. You can keep your 'Eavy metal and vintage minis adverts, those old battle reports are the thing that makes me excited about gaming like nothing else in this world!.

So what hooked you in?. Till next time

Thursday 26 January 2017

knackers for cloak hooks AAR

As the dawn broke over the hamlet of Smere shallow long boats drew up the beach. Silently the occupants stalked across the sand and into the rough brush of the dunes overlooking the settlement. They began to down the sandy slopes to take up position when in the distance a horse whinnied. they stopped dead as one.  Before them stood not a sleeping village but a force of annoyed looking armored men, and they seemed intent on them. A broad man astride a mighty black stallion rode towards them, stopping not 50 feet before them he raised his sword arm. 'Foul raiders' he bellowed 'today is the day you meet whatever foul and depraved gods you choose to spend your time sucking up to. I am lord  in these parts and i am here to tell you that all this coast is under my protection and i offer you this truth......if you take one more step on it i will personally stick this blade so far up your jacksies you will be able to taste your colons!. I give you one chance, turn around, get back in your nasty little ships AND BLOODY WELL BUGGER OFF!'. From the rear of the mob of raiders a giant of a man in black spiked plate strode forward. He knelt for a moment, seemingly offering up a prayer. He then rose, pulled an ugly horned skull helm over his head...and laughed. Behind him his men slowly and deliberately  moved forward. The leader bellowed a command and as one they charged!......

This is not just my first game of the new year but also the first to get the write up treatment here on Wronghammer!. I used the really rather fantastic Lion Rampant rules as i find they give a quick and exciting game and i was a little pushed for time, also as i intended to do a write up and take photos i needed an easy to use rule set so i could concentrate on these things and not do anything too stupid!. I went for a small engagement with just 18 point forces and no scenario as i wanted to use the germ of an idea for background that has since become the piece of fiction i posted last time.

The forces are as follows:

Lord Yanics retinue, the defenders of Smere.

From left to right: GUNNERS- Crossbowmen (4pts)
                              MEN AT ARMS- Expert foot Sarjeants (6pts)
                              KNIGHTS OF THE COAST- Mounted Men at Arms, led by lord Yanic (6pts)
                              RANGERS- Bidowers (2pts)
 The force is designed to represent Yanic calling out his fellow lesser nobles and drinking buddies to keep their oaths and protect the area (the knights)  and the house hold troops he has under his command ( the men at arms and gunners). The rangers are one of many groups charged with defending the coastline from smugglers and small time raiding parties). It is made up of minis from Red box and mini art.

The bloodborne, raiders from the northern tides

   Clockwise from bottom left: BLOODBORNE BOWMEN- Archers (4pts)
                                                 BLOODBORNE WARRIORS x2- Fierce foot (8pts)
                                                 BLOODBORNE REAVERS- Foot men at arms (6pts)
 I designed the Bloodborne to be a wild raiding force full of savage warriors led by an elite group of dark warrior priests in the Reavers who form the commanders retinue. The minis used are a mix of Dark Alliance, zvesda and imex.
As i tend to use unpainted minis i use a colour coded bases for each force. Yanics forces are on red with white trim and the Bloodborne are on black with blue trim.

Set up
  The battlefield, a patch of land near the coast strewn with a few rough hedges and weathered rock piles.
Yanics deployment
                                       Knights on the extreme left supported by the rangers
gunners and the men at arms hold the center,

The Bloodborne deployment
                        The warriors thrown forward in the center supported by the Reavers.
The bows on the Bloodborne left ready to get the drop on the defenders unguarded right.

 I decided it would fit the nature of the Bloodborne to make them the attackers so they went first. The bowmen snuck forward to take advantage of the unguarded area on the opposing flank and as one the Bloodborne warriors surged forward towards the center shouting foul curses at the defenders as they went. I was planning to move them as far forward as i could to tempt the Knights to charge them leaving them open to a counter charge from the supporting Reavers next turn but as anyone who's played Lion Rampant will know when you need an activation to come off.........
                'Right behind you lads, thats it you get stuck in, don't mind us we'll be there in a mo!'.
With that fluffed activation play passed to the defenders who wasted no time getting the Knights in position to charge home against the warriors next turn. Lord Yanic struggled to make himself heard over the din of the warriors colourful language however because the next activation failed meaning no shots were taken at the advancing horde.

The Bloodborne warriors continue to belt forward shouting warcries about 'crows feasting on nipples' and 'kicking people with their own severed feet' and so forth. The Reavers again amazingly failed to activate leaving the warriors on the right unprotected against the Knights!. For their part the knights slammed into the warriors flank killing 5 of them to no losses!

The warriors were forced back but some how passed their courage test, until the rangers peppered the remainder with shot and they suddenly remembered they left something important on the ship!.

 Angered by the loss of their battle brothers the second regiment of warriors slammed into the Men at arms but failed to do enough damage to rout them. There was some joy for the Reavers as they remembered why they came and advanced towards the defenders troops. Having been forced to retreat by the men at arms the warriors now made a tempting target for the Knights who charged wildly into their ranks. The resulting carnage looked like this:
Leaving this:

The remaining warrior decided he was no longer fierce and took to his feet!.

Both regiments of warriors had routed meaning the Bloodborne had lost their first wave and were in a very dodgy position. The Knights had run rampant, like lions!. With the center cleared of immediate danger the men at arms turned towards the right to threaten the enemy bowmen and the gunners and rangers moved into firing range of the Reavers.

 The Bloodborne bowmen opened fire on the men at arms as they rounded the rock killing one of them, the men at arms promptly failed their courage test and became battered!.
'Oh no pointy sticks whatta we do?!'
The Reavers advanced for the second time, advancing into charge range of the knights and close range of the gunners!. At the first chance they could the Knights charged the Reavers....... and failed to do any damage!. Their opponents also fluffed their lines meaning the Knights had to retreat but help was at hand. The gunners leveled their weapons, took aim....and failed to activate!.

 The Reavers needed no invitations and charged the Knights killing 2 and forcing them back.
,Taste spikey death horse face!'
The bowmen ignored the battered men at arms and doubled back into the center to try to support the Reavers. Seeing his drinking buddies falling around him Lord Yaric decided their was only one thing for it. Pausing to shout 'COME ON THEN YOU SPIKEY FACED SHERRY DRINKING SKIRT WEARING PANSY' he charged towards the Bloodborne leader who stepped forward and heft his giant mace towards the hated enemy.
Battle is joined

Mace hits face, face hits hits floor, 
Yanic hit the floor with a sickening thud. Seeing their leader floored the rest of his forces surrendered their weapons. The field, the day and the northern shores belonged to the Bloodborne!.

Well that turned round quick, at the end of turn 3 i thought the game was up for the raiders, one charge and the Knights would wipe the Reavers out and claim the field. Just goes to show in Lion Rampant there is no such thing as a sure thing!.

Till next time......

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Knackers for cloak hooks (prologue)

'Hey sprinks, its all well and good having this blog but is there any chance of some BLOODY CONTENT?!!!'. Funny you should ask because, well....yeah.

  'Give him a flagon of sour wine and his pick of the goats and get him back to his hovel by sun down. That o.k. for you, em....oh what was your name again...oh you peasants all look the same to me', Boomed Yanic, lord of the northern shores and warden of the waters from the plinth he occupied at the far end of the great hall. 'I...Im tom yr lordshipness, tom dropsy of smudge.'ventured the ragged clump of rags and muck knelt at the foot of the lords plinth. 'Tom dropsy? odd sort of name' replied Lord Yanic. 'it..its because me fatha gave me Tom yr loirdy and me uncle gave me the dropsy'. 'Urgh yes good well done. now, guards if you would be so kind'. Yanic gestured to the guards at the sides of the main doors. With out a look they moved as one and grabbed tom under his admittedly disgusting armpits and dragged him roughly towards the doors. 'Oh thanks ya lordness for your kindness' babbled tom as he was manhandled away, his voice fading as he was pulled through the entrance and down the corridor. 'You is the bestest lord we av ever been serving and that's no li..AWWOW!'. The remaining guards filed out of the hall and with a bow closed the great doors for the last time that day. Yanic stretched his arms 'well thats another days judgments and wisdom dealt out, time to drink, feast and make lude remarks to the surving wenches. God i'm great at being a lord'. 'Quite so my lord' said a pile of musty brown robes on the stone chair at the side of Yanics own larger throne. 'Will his lordship be needing the runes read this evening?'. 'Ah Magnusson i almost forgot you were there, no reading thanks you may go about your works'. 'Are you sure?' asked the druid hopefully 'might bring you the luck of the gods, you've always loved the luck of the gods ever since you was loin high to a lamb'.'Magnasson' said Yanic turning to face his wrinkled wise man. 'How long have you been seeker of the gods for my family?'. 'Well as you know your lordship i was made to office by your grandfather after the last rune reader had that incident with the trout pate, then i served your father till he passed and now i'm with you' answered the old man proudly. 'And in all that time how often exactly have the gods deemed you worthy to receive an answer to your questions?'. Magnasson shuffled in his seat 'very busy your gods' he ventured 'what with all the manifesting and hexing and what have you'. 'How many? demanded Yanic calmly. 'Well all told... if you include the last moon and the weeks chantings,.. not to forget the solstice its a guess...about' Magnasson replied counting off on his thin fingers as he did. 'Its none isnt it' said Yanic bluntly, 'nothing, nada, never. In fact, as a rune priest you have all the success of a paraplegic in an egg and spoon race!'. Magnasson looked hurt. 'What about seven moons ago, isaminit, god of badly made puddings answered after that night of feverish chanting and reflection' chanced the priest. 'Ah yes i remember that one' answered Yanic. 'And what message did he choose to bestow on his faithful servant?'. Magnasson looked at his feet and shuffled 'I dont recall' he said, sulking. 'Coarse you do, what type of priest forgets a word from his sponsors?'. 'Its not important' mumbled the wise man 'did you mention a feast, im starving, its these lo....'. 'MAGNASSON!' bellowed Yanic. The old priest folded his arms in a huff and looked away. 'He said 'we're out haunting at the moment but your faith is important to us, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as eternally possible'. never rated him anyway, i was going for one of the top gods like, you know, poxy Dave or the majestic seth, hindquarters of the lower cosmos!. The real all seeing types'.
At that moment the great doors flew open and a sweaty jumble of rags and filth stumbled to his knees before the plinth followed by a red faced guard shouting 'Oi, i told you his lordship is retired for the day now get back here before i feed your tackle to the dogs!'.' Please your lordship, they burned it all, the took them and they burned it, burned it all!'. Yanic gathered himself and gestured to the guard to hold back. 'What, who took who and burned what?, what are you wittering on about?'. The pile of rags lifted his tired looking face from the floor and wiped away his tears from his eyes (which served to cover his face in the muck from his forearm). 'The raiders me lord, the animals from the sea, they comes for us last dawnlight with axes and swords and fire, they killed those what fought back and carried off the rest. Soon as they come they were gone and everythin was aflame lord, its all gone!'. 'What bloody raiders?, am i the only one that is confused here, where did they come from, what did they look like?' demanded lord Yaric in his biggest Lord Yaric voice. They comes from north me lord and they look...they look spikey and bloody, helms like skulls of animals and creatures fro the pits. They was terrorfyin lord and i wi never forgets them lord, never till me dying day!'. 'Oh no' whispered Magnasson,... 'They came back'. 'What, who, faces like spiked animals in a pit, what the bloODY HELL IS EVERYONE GOING ON ABOUT!', screamed lord Yaric. 'The bloodborne my lord, the crimson brohers. They were the scourge of the northern waters during your grandfathers time, taking villages at will and burning the fields. Its sacrifices they want for their rituals. They do unimaginable things to them my lord, things so awful you would never believe it'. Explained Magnasson. 'They take the skins for waterproofs, very useful if you spend so much time at sea i suppose, and they use intestines for belts, spleens for braids, scalps for sunhats, even knackers for cloak hooks!'. 'Well whoever they are they will regret the day they came to my bloody shores' said Yaric puffing out his chest. 'Peasant, which village did they burn?'.'...ssssSilage me lord', they were sailin east'. So the hamlet of smere will be next'  Yaric deducted. 'Guards ready my horse and call the men we ride at dawn.....come to my bloody coast will they...' he demanded as he strode from the hall. 'Oh dear' whispered Magnasson again, he looked at the guard  'oh dear oh bloody dear'.

Thursday 19 January 2017

Why Wronghammer?

So another blog by a wargamer?, hey sprinks this had better be bloody good, a bloke only has so much time to read blogs and procrastinate each day and the list is already longer than the great wall of bloody china with a mirror leaned against one end!. Make it good you time wasting parasite!. Well hello to you too sir (or miss, its the 90s after all!). First let me welcome to you to my blatherings about war gaming from my personal perspective. 'And what is your personal perspective?' i hear you cry, well glad you asked, this is my first post so i thought i would use it to underline my own unique (many would say stupid...or silly...or take on this hobby with (wait for it)..... a bullet point based manifesto!.

. Wargaming should be fun. If your not having fun you are defeating the object of hobby time!. If you cant be bothered to make scenery that's fine. Short on cash, fine buy plastic army guys (i know i have!), cant/wont/hate painting/gaming/modeling o.k. drop that part and do the bits you enjoy.
. Use whatever you have to acheive the objective above. Do not let cost, confidence, ability or whats available and to hand hinder this.
. Rules are a starting point not the end. They are a tool kit to be mashed up, house ruled and rebuilt to fit what you wish to do. If you want to play rallyroundthefantasyhammerrampantwarlordofthethings40,000 more power to you!. Oh and point systems are a handy guideline not God himself!.
.Whats right depends on who's doing it. There is no such thing as the wrong minis, wrong scale, wrong uniform or approach to modeling. If in doubt refer to point 1 above.

That in a nutshell is my personal approach to gaming and the guidelines to what you will get in these poorly presented pages.My own games are normally like this:

Cheap, quick and dirty...........Which was almost the name of the blog!.
Anyhow till next time......