Friday, 22 September 2017

Mentally Terraformish: When in Lamavic (prologue)

Garrat pushed his way through the throng, his four bodyguards flanking him. The air stank of smoke, sweat and mead and was so hot and heavy he struggled to breath. Low mournful singing filled  the room, the crowds of clansmen, the women and the children all stood transfixed. Some had their eyes closed and he noted a few of the grizzled folk were weeping.  The doorkeeper pressed ahead, gesturing for them to follow. Garrats party struggled to keep up as the doorkeeper made his way to the center of the room. Not one of the men looked at the party walking among them, the song seemed to weave its way around the room. Garrat shook his head, savages, no wonder they had no future, still held by the ghosts of the past, ghosts of their own making. A moment later the Doorkeeper turned and whispered to Garrat and his men to stop. They were in the center of the room, a large stone firepit stood, wood blazing away, its heat engulfing the space around it. Along side it stood a high backed stone chair, seated on which was an enormous bearded old man, in his furs he looked like a cross between a bear and a man. His face was set like carved rock, concentration etched on his face, his head moving slowly to the music winding around the throne. Next to this was a group of eight wizened old men standing in a line singing. Each looked to be older than any man Garrat had ever encountered. Each wore rough faded black woolen robes. The men were in the grip of the song, tears rolled down their wrinkled cheeks as they sang.  Garrat and his men stopped at the foot of the throne. He stepped forward a pace further than his guards.....pulled a large scroll from his belt and slowly unrolled it.....took a last glance at the press of silent bodies surrounding him.......and loudly cleared his throat....

,........It must have only taken a few moments for order to be restored, but to the cowering Garrat it seemed like a lifetime. The large man rising from his throne bellowed threats to the men in his charge, cutting through the shouts and curses raining down along with the fists and debris on Garrats guards who had gathered around the scribe to shield him from the angry mass. One of the old singers had spat at Garrats boots and another had showered him in dregs from his drinking horn. For a moment the throng had stood confused, not sure what to do but one more shout of ' AH SAYS BLOODY WELL LEAVE IT BHOYS!!!!!!' from the throne made them step back. Garrats guardsmen sheathed their blades but kept their hands on the hilts. They fanned out a step facing away from the throne but towards the mass of men in the room. The man bear sat back on his throne and sighed. He seemed to gather his thoughts for a second before leaning forward and fixing Garrat with his steely gaze. 'Wat the fuc do youz lot think youz doin eh?, youz jus waltzed inte our hall, THE FUCCIN HEART OF CLAN MALARRAC', he threw his arms wide and looked around the room to great cheers from the rest of the men within. 'Do youz know what youz just intefuccinrupted?' he continued. 'Youz just intefuccinrupted the lament of breccan field, where we lost two hundred proud bhoys to the SCUM of Verland'. 'Somma the folks youz sees here lost relatives there, they remember, an they dont needs youz bunch a whet shites intafuccinruptin it!, so scuse us if we dont welome youz to ar hall but considerin youz seem to want to pisch on the memory of our deed clan brothers youz betta get on with whateva youz caim for and get oot while youz still on ma good side ya ken?'. The big man sat back and folded his arms. Shaking, Garrat stepped forward gripping his scroll in front of his chest like the worlds most ineffective shield. 'oh mmm mm mighty Lord Aaa Aaralin ll ll llleader of ccllann Mmmallarric' he stammered, his nerves turning his knees ( and bowels) to jelly. He took a deep breath to compose himself. 'My name is Garrat and i am head scribe to Govenor Paral, Leader of the mining expedition ordered by high Govenor Fantilan of the Mining guild into the Northern Frostfangs and your lands of North west Lamavic. I have been sent to deliver my masters glad tidings to you and your Clansmen and to invite you to take advantage of a fantastic offer'. Clan lord Aralin stood up with a face like thunder 'WHUT FUCCIN' MINING EXPEDITION IN MAH LANDS?!'.
'wwell' started Garrat as Lord Aralin stepped towards him and swiped the scroll from his hands 'Ah think ah could do wi' readin' this mysel'. Garrat stood around looking at his feet and giving the occasional smile to anyone that met his glance. Lord Aralin turned his back to the scribe and read, mumbling to himself as he did.........
........A blow sent Garrat to his knees before Lord Aralin, Clansmen pressing in on all side baring any hope of escape. beside him the bodies of his guards were piled. The jeers of the Clansmen filled his head as the Lord closed in waving the ripped scroll in his huge fist. 'The fuccin nerve o' the man, mining mah lands wi no word ta us an offerin us half what he gets..HALF OF WHAT WE ALREADY BLOODY OWNS!!!'. 'Its not as it seems' tried Garrat wiping blood from his lip more in hope than anything else. 'The govenor has a permit approved by the high govenor himself and the mariners guild and the guild of money lenders have helped fund it. Lord Callar of the frost fangs has already agreed and signed'. 'Callar!' spat Aralin 'that bastard would sign anythin to get at us lot afta his exile, i shoula finished him last time'. 'Look' said Garrat 'The fleet has landed, there in the Frostfangs just over the ice ridge as we speak, The mining is going ahead as planned with or without your consent, why not make it easy on your clan and make some gold in the process?'. Lord Aralin stepped forward and slapped the scribe with the back of his hand. 'Listen ta me ya dumb pup, yous an yous guild are havin none o' our land. Tell Paral Clan Malarac are no stupid enough ta fall for his shite'. 'No, no you dont understand its...' attempted Garrat before he was cut off again. 'No its yous that no understands, you cant see what hes doin' can ye?.Paral wants me an' the bhoys to go chargin afta him so he can report back thats wes attackin him an call for reinforcements, next thing ya knows we got all a the guilds invadin' an the clans are at war. That way he can get the numbers te try te take our land by force. Yous tell him ah says he can chew on mah shite before he gets his war but if any ah yous guild arsewipes sets foot in mah lands they fuckkin die. If he wants a war he can have the good grace to start it himsel. As for yous ya cluless shite, ah can see he picked yous caus ye cant see yer bein used by that shite ta get things started, yous going back ta him ta tell him what happened tonight, i would kill yous but thats what he wants so run, run back before i change mah mind, go on git'. Aralin grabbed the scribe by the scruff and lifted him off the floor, carried him ten paces to the door and flung him into the snow. As soon as Garrat hit the hard ground he was up and running. 'AN TELL CALLAR THAT IF AH SEES HIS UGLY FACE A'LL CUT IT OFFA HIS FAT HEED' shouted Aralin into the darkness over the laughter of the clansmen. He turned to face his men. 'Righto lads, whos for a bloody drink...'

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Ooooh, get me!

Just a very quick post to let you lovely peeps know that i have had a brainwave (it happens, not often but it happens!) and have gathered all the Mentally terraforming background material in one place to make it easier for folks to read it. If you check the top of the blog page you will see the tabs you can use to switch pages to the grouped material. As i add more posts to the project i will also place the new bumph in the new page with the rest. Also i have decided to go a bit page mad and give Blood, Guts and Severed Heads (my very simple intro wargaming rules) their own page to make sure people that want to use them (the poor, poor fools!) dont have to dig through my babble to do so!.

Being aware i have just wasted peoples time with this non entity of a post i 'll leave you with a smile....

Oh, while your here, have you met The Witch Queen?.

......Till next time.....

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Merely a flesh wound....

Hello, just a quick post on the subject of wound markers. For ages i have been using dice to keep track of wounds/hits in games but playing with the kids has convinced me this may not be the best way (the amount of times the wound dice is picked up and rolled...!). So i have been searching for an alternative. I have looked at a number of cheap solutions to the problem (coloured dice, counters, card blood splatters among others) when i found what i think is the perfect solution!.

They are small skull beads i found on the bottomless black hole of time manors and money that is ebay for a very reasonable cost (you can find them here). At just 4p each they are they are a very cheap option and at 10x8mm i think they are the right size to stand out on the table without taking away from the spectacle of a game in progress. And they're so cute and cheeky looking!!.... 

How can you not love that (blurry) little face?

 I bought 150 of them, taking advantage of the 3 for 2 offer and after Mrs Sprinks laid claim to 50 of the buggers (soon to be a necklace im told, pulp cannibal chic must be the thing this season) i am left with 100 which will be plenty for any rule system. 
'Right, who was that?. No one leaves until i find out who twatted me!...'

Anyway, just thought i would share as im chuffed with these and they are recommended if you are looking for your own hit markers (recommended by a nob but well....)........till next time....

Friday, 15 September 2017

Mentally Terraforming: Bloods thicker than mead

Hello again all, its been a little while since i touched on the home brew setting i am (very slowly) building, but have no fear, its not been forgotten, its time to crack on with the next nation!. The previous posts in this group of...well..posts can be found here, but as ever it will show the most recent first so you are advised to read them from the bottom up!.
As with the rest of these posts i have written it for a few reasons. First it is to document the setting i am building and collecting towards. It will also be the setting for a lot of the games i play so it will give some context to what im posting here on Wronghammer!. Also it is hopefully a way to show that anyone can create their own setting and to encourage anyone that wants to do so to have a crack at it!. As always if you want to use any of the material in this post or adapt any part of it for your own games feel free!.


A Lamavic force prepares to meet the foe!

The nation of Lamavic is situated on the northern border of Verland, to the west are the lawless Frostfangs, to the north is the vast and endless Iceblade ocean and to the west are the disputed border with Tradjev and the Walled city state of Immere. 

The dodgy map is back!!

The land is cold, its winters can last between 6 and 9 months depending on how far north you are, the snows are on the peeks all year round and even summer temperatures stay in single figures!. The land is hard and rugged but it is not unfruitful, the people of Lamavic have long ago worked out many ways to hunt, farm, fish and generally live off the foreboding terrain.
 The people of Lamavic were almost made for the cold hard land they populate. They are hard, unforgiving, rugged men, trusting strength and practical thinking. They are not a nation concerned with the artistic or ornamental, anything without a practical use is seen as a waste of time and materials. Having said that many great artisans are from Lamavic and although they do not bother to decorate their work they long ago perfected the art of making things to last, often objects are kept in a family for generations before needing to be replaced. The people of Lamavic trade in these goods with other nations and all around the world it is said that goods from lamavic 'look like shite but last forever'!.
 Lamavic society is based around a number of Clans. Each Clan is made up of a number of families and all can trace their roots back to the first settlers in the lands. The Clans range from the huge ruling Clans that can make up up to ten percent of the total population to smaller Clans of just a few hundred. What all Clans have in common is the pride the members take in their Name and history. Each Clansman is bought up to be knitted into the fabric of the Clan, they eat, sleep and breath this identity and are a clansman first, citizen of Lamavic second. The clans tend to have areas of control where their will be a principle clan (the most numerous) that rule the area along with their blood clans that live along side them. Blood clans are so named due to the 'blood bond' between the two clans, either as a result of marraige, honer or debt and once so bonded the Clans will live and die to protect the other. Each area will have a Clan leader presiding over it from the main clan as well as his bondsmen that work to ensure his will is done and in large areas to oversee the boarders. Bondsmen are chosen by the Clan Leader for their honer, courage and skill at arms and form a kind of knightly force to protect the honer of the Clan. The name Bondsmen comes from the ritual all must undertake before the clan where they 'bond' themselves to the clan leader by way of a pledge to serve and follow him. Where more than one Clan are in the area it is customary for the Clan leader to name members of the blood clans to be bondsmen as well as those from their own. When a Clan leader dies the new leader is chosen from among his serving bondsmen of his own clan.
Pikemen stand ready

 Each Clan bears the word mal (meaning herth) as the first part of its name. This is common to all clans. The largest clans include clan Malrain(, clan malherric, clan malferr and clan Malderrain, each of these clans control many areas and are the leading clan in a large proportion of those areas. Most of the minor clans claim to be linked to at least one of those clans. Lamavic survives very well with this rough leadership model and has not had a king since the age of strife. If any internal conflicts occur the threat of the major clans is normally enough to quickly bring it to an end. 
Clan Life revolves around three things:
 Work (including building settlements, farming, hunting and working a trade). All members of the clan are duty bound to 'pitch in' to the work around the settlement as well as working in the family trade.
Drinking: Mead is a major part of life. Each settlement regardless of its size will be built with a mead hall in its center. This is a meeting place, the seat of the clan leader, a feast hall (a feast is held each evening so all members of the settlement always eat together) and the settlements seat of learning where the clan elders pass down the clans history to the young. The mead hall is the only place clan members are allowed to drink and is often full of shouts and song long into the night. The men of Lamavic take drinking very seriously and pride themselves in their ability to pack it away! (when abroad the men of the clans can bring publicans out in cold sweats just by walking through the door!).

Honer: In Lamavic honer is the principle currency by which a man is judged. There are three areas honer is judged and a slight on either may never go unpunished!. The areas are Personal honer (the honer of the individual and how trusted he is among his fellow Clansmen), Family honer (the honer of the clansmens close family and the bloodline he is connected to, important because a debt of honer or slight may be attributed to a whole bloodline!) and Clan honer (how the Clan and its actions are judged by other Clans). Any man that feels he has been slighted may challenge an action or word of any other that he believes has slighted his honer in any way. These are settled by the clan leader or by a feat of arms via a duel. Often the mead hall is filled with the claims of honer dashed and the threats of the Families involved!.
Clan history is a key part of clan honer. A clans history is preserved in the same way by all clans, through the singing of Sagas and Laments. These are very old songs shared by the generations telling of deeds and wrongs done to/by the clan. They are known by heart by every clan member. The singing is mostly done in the cold nights in the mead halls after the feasting is done and is a highlight of the evening. The singing is led by the Clan elders whos job it is to keep the songs and to pass them on to the next generation. Sagas are songs of the clans achievements, often in battle and of the great heros of the clans history. They are sung with great vigor, pride and celebration, often being repeated until the singing collapses in drunken cheers!. Laments are the stories of dis-honer and defeat, somber songs sung in hushed tones reminding the clan of wrongs yet to right and debts yet to be paid. These are normally sung just by the elders to the silence of the room, interrupting a lament in a room full of drunken clansmen is most unwise indeed!. Sagas and laments often form the battle cries of Lamavic forces before battle, many foes have reported the clansmen singing at the top of their lungs as they charge!. 
Most of the Sagas and Laments are held by one clan, however their are two that join the whole nation: The songs of strife.
The songs are made up of one Saga and one Lament detailing Lamavics part in the period known as the time of strife hundreds of years ago, a time when dark forces threatened to engulf the world. The lament of strife is over an hour long when sung and tells of the nations king being corrupted by darkness and his directing of the Clans into the nations darkest days of dis-honer fighting for the forces of the shadow against the followers of the powers of creation. It covers all of the deeds of the armies of Lamavic as they rampaged south, bathed in the blood of their foes to bring about the damnation of the world. The saga of strife covers the un-named hero (who each clan claims was a member of their own) who was visited by the powers of creation and turned to the path of redemption. He led the forces of his clan against the king and his loyal clans and slew him in personal combat. As the old king died the hold of the powers of darkness on the clans was broken and they saw the dis-honer they had brought upon themselves. The kings clan was exiled and the men of the north charged against the forces of darkness in the final battle of Mornmire, tipping the scales and winning the day. 
The singing of these songs penetrate deep into the core of all clansmen. They live each day knowing the dis-honer of the nation in ages past as well as the redemptive power of the powers of creation by which they turned from that dis-honer. As a nation that dis-honer still bites deep.

Huntsmen protect a cannon

The need to right these wrongs stir the soul of all Clansmen but some go much further. Throughout the Clans are the bezerker cults lead by the individuals known as the Bezerker Priests. These men seek the righting of these wrongs by following the priests into battle against the forces of the shadow wherever they are perceived to be. They are willing to loose their lives so that their blood may help bring honer to the nation. Bezerkers put aside their clan when they decide to follow the path of the bezerker and lay aside all belongings and former honer.They drink no meed and sleep under no roof. They travel the length of the land seeking ways to weaken the shadows hold on the world. They are seen as an odd bunch by the clans (they dont DRINK!!!) but the debt of the age of strife needs to be repaid so they are accepted on the most part. Stories of the wild northmen are well known around the world and they are feared by all but the bravest (or stupidest) enemy. Often the bezerkers are the difference between defeat and victory in a hard fought battle. 


The bulk of lamavic armies are made up of clansmen. All clansmen are expected to take up arms in defense of the clans honer and often a clansmen that exceeds himself in battle honers himself, his blood line and his clan!. They are well trained fighters, armed with weapons and armor that are often family heirlooms, handed down through the generations with stories of victories carved into their blades. The main battlefield rolls are:
Most clansmen are trained to fight in this way, the sheildwall is seen as outdated by most modern nations but in the hands of the Clans it is deadly. The wall is by no means a defensive formation (although it can be) but is used to break through the enemy line.

The clan forces have only just begun to adopt the pike after brushes with enemy pike formations. The lamavic clans can take a while to change but have begun to use these weapons in small numbers.

Crossbow men support the sheildwall from the ridge.
Lamavic has yet to trust the black powder weapons of the south seeing them as 'loud, smelly and as reliable as a Verlander in a drinking contest!'. They refuse to change from their favored crossbows they have used for years.

Horsemen prepare to sally out to sweep away the enemy.

Clan horse is a mainstay of the clan forces. They are used to harass the enemy and chase off missile troops that would threaten the sheildwall among other tasks. They are used as light horse most of the time but that wont stop them charging any enemy that get too close!.

As well as the clansmen the Bondsmen are duty bound to fight for their Clan leader and are the cream of the lamavic forces. Each takes to the field in full plate, suits of which are made from pieces handed down through the generations from Bondsman to bondsman and as such are relics of the clan, an awe inspiring reminder of glories won and Sagas to be sung!. These suits, like all things produced in lamavic are not adorned with plumes and crests, just hard wearing and functional. Bondsmen take to the field on horseback where they can but are happy to fight on foot with the rest of the clan.

On horse back or foot Bondsmen are the big hitters of a Lamavic force.

Where lighter troops are required teams of huntsmen are called upon. These rugged men can survive in the toughest conditions, tracking prey for long distances in harsh terrain. They use teams of hounds to track and bring down smaller animals. In battle they range ahead as scouts or work with the main line as light troops.

Huntsmen and their hounds move quietly through the copse.

The most feared troops in the lamavic forces are the Bezerkers lead by their Priests. They will often appear on the eve of battle to aid their comrades in expunging the dis-honer of the past. These grim fighters take to the field singing the Lament of Strife at the top of their lungs banging their shields and hollering and screaming in anguish and rage, all sense of their own well being long forgotten!.

A bezerker priest leads his followers into battle!. 

Despite their loathing of the handguns and muskets of the southern nations the clans are impressed by the destructive power of the many cannon used in modern warfare. They will loot cannon from beaten foes, often these are older models maintained by the clans.

A looted cannon ready to fire!.

The northern heartlands used to be home to huge tribes of mammoths. These creatures were at first hunted by the early settlers but soon they realized the benefits of capturing and raising their own as beasts of burden and war. Clans seem to enjoy showing off the size of their mammoths and boasting of their breeding methods. In war trained mammoths are used to trample the enemy dumb enough to stand in their way!.

Pee wee doing his day job!.

Native to the Frotfangs the eggs of the Greater snow eagle are much sort after by rich nobles including Clan leaders, They are trained to take a rider and used to transport messengers across the long distances between some settlements. In battle they are given to trusted bondsmen to give support to the ground troops.

Air support, lamavic style!.

Well thats about it, you got through the wall of text so well done you!. You owe yourself a nice cold  pint of whatever you fancy ( i would say my round but im not there so...well you know....its the thought that counts n' all that!).....Anyway, till next time....... 

Thursday, 7 September 2017

You just cant leave it alone can you?!!!

 Carrying on from my last post the MASSIVE battles rules are actually coming along very well ('Its alive..ALIVEEE'!!!!). Hopefully it will be ready to write up into some kind of usable(ish) document soon!. While attempting to play test it again one of the Sprinklings said 'Dad, its all nice having big battles but i bet it cant do really big battles, not really'. He stated it as a fact, not even a question!. Well to prove a point (and to see if the system could handle it....but mostly to prove a point!) this resulted:

.....'Ave that you snot nosed doubting little sh.....*ehem*, sorry.....what i wanted to say is it worked o.k.!. It took a while to set up ( and was less than fun to pack away!) but with over 600 minis on the table it played in roughly 3 hours which i was chuffed with. It would have been better on a wider playing area as it was tough to maneuver (and the 'dead pile' spilled onto the table) but there is an argument that a real 'historical' battle would have been a clash of battle lines charging so it was fine for a test. And it looked cool (mrs Sprinks even snapped a few photos after it was set up!, high praise from mrs 'got your little men out again dear'!).

Anyway, the next post may contain something of actual substance, not just me pratting about......(yeah right!)......till next time......

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Dumb from the start!

You know when you know something may be a dumb idea but you do it anyway?, yeah, well i had a germ of an idea to come up with a 'proper' mass battle system that plays quickly but allows a '1 mini representing i man' type of scale without copping out on unit sizes a la a popular wargame that rhymes with boreslammer. I chucked a few minis on the table to try a small game to test the idea:
I worked with over 350 minis on the table to try to work the system into some kind of workable shape, im thinking in terms of games double that size!.

Pee Wee the mammoth poops dice!.

Some idea of the size of units im thinking about for a small game! (note the horse in the background have lost 2/3 of their starting number!).

I think i have something close to a workable system that will scale up and down without breaking and will allow MASSIVE battles to be played out quite quickly (it took less than 90 mins to play this one with me faffing about changing stuff and taking notes, but took more than half an hour each side to set up/ put away!). It also allows for units to be made up of more than one troop type (go pike and shot!). The only thing that makes this a totally stupid waste of time is who has the time or minis to put a game on?!. Looks nice though.

 Anyway enough of the 'whats going on in Sprinks' soggy and broken brain' stuff, its time to say another big HELLO AND WELCOME to another man of fantastic taste (who must of pressed the follower button by accident!) to the seedy world of Wronghammer!, welcome Mr Thomas its great to have you along!. Couldent see if you have a blog or not, if you do please feel free to post a link in the comments.

Anyway, till next time......