Friday, 31 August 2012

Cthulhu Approved Beer?

Found this today in Aldi supermarket...

Mythos Beer!

I am usually a real ale man, give me a pint of Oscar Wilde Mild any day but I couldn't resist the lure and temptation of picking up a bottle. Perhaps it was the potential promise of the dark powers that lurk within, or maybe it was the non-euclidean geomertry of the bottle, or something. Either way I grabbed a bottle and it now sits in the fridge, awaiting a time when the 'stars are right' or perhaps when I am a bit thirsty...

As the Zombie Master says - "SAN rolls please!"

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Legend of Kremlo the Slann.

The First Citadel Compendium.
I have recently been digging out some old gaming files and folders and stumbled across a long forgotten collection of old Citadel / Games Workshop flyers and newsletters from back in the day. Among other things   there is also a copy of the First Citadel Compendium in all its glory. I thought I still had it but had lost track of it so to speak and I am chuffed to be re-united with it! Apart from the wonderful old line drawings of all the Citadel figures of the time there are a few interesting articles plus the classic Warhammer scenario "The Legend of Kremlo the Slann".

Kremlo the Slann.
Thinking of Oldhammer, this would be a great one to be able to play. Along with "The Ziggurat of Doom" from the first edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, a scenario I loved playing and also managed to get hold of the Thorgrimm figure, this is another one of those early forays into Citadels own gaming system.

Kremlo Norse.
 Much as I would love to make this an Oldhammer project in the vein of Gaj's Lichemaster and Thansants Orcs Drift I regrettably never sent in the order form at the end of the scenario to pick up all the models on offer. I have about four Slann (a friend had roughly ten but sold them all for pence years ago!) but only ever picked one of the Norsemen, the one in the middle with the pigtails / braids. Rob seems to think this chap is female but he actually represents Sven, one of the two adoptive brothers of Kremlo.

Kremlo Slann.

I have over 100 painted Vikings now from various manufacturers, mainly Foundry, that are for my Dark Ages / Viking project so I could muster up enough to act in the place of the original Norsemen but without Kremlo himself and indeed, a substantial force of Slann this would all be wishful thinking. I have tried to bid on ebay for various Slann, the Norse beserker and Kremlo but these guys go for crazy prices now. I guess I will have to content myself with having the scenario in print and think what might have been.

Kremlo and the Skeggi.
The scenario itself tells the tale of the orphan 'BlueSpineSpick' Slann, Kremlo, who was washed up on the shores of Southern Lustria and adopted by the chieftain Harold Stoutback of the village of Skeggi. Following the death of his adoptive father and the eldest son, Kremlo finds himself the unwilling leader of the village despite the protest of two younger sons, Sven and Ben.

The Slann.
When a random attack by young Slann leaves many fishwives and some warriors slaughtered it is decided that the village must seek revenge so a small force is gathered and they set sail for Central Lustria and the ancient Slann spawning grounds of Zapotec.

The village of Skeggi.
Trouble is, the Slann responsible are from Kremlo's own hereditary tribe and on top of this Sven and Ben are secretly plotting to kill Kremlo and take over the Chieftainship. Kremlo led the warriors to Zapotec - what happened there is unknown. None of those on the boat were ever seen again...

A map of the lands of Zapotec

The scenario featured extra rules for alcoholism and a special offer sheet for all the models needed to play - 98 figures for £40.00!!

Extra rules and the Slann offer sheet!

I am scanning lots of the old Citadel newsletters and might post these at some point for interest and posterity!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Strange Aeons - Hon. Basil Ignatious Howard G.C.

Hon. Basil Ignatious Howard.

Hon. Basil Ignatious Howard G.C.

The Hon. Basil Ignatious Howard was born in May 1880, the second son of Lord Burford, Earl of Gloucester. His early years were spent at the family home of Bramish Hall, just outside Fulbrook, under the watchful eye of his Nanny Pewsey. At the age of seven he was sent to boarding school where he began his long academic career. The greatest influence in the formative years of his life was that of William Winstanley, his personal tutor. Winstanley was himself a student of the occult and a member of the recently formed Golden Dawn, an occult society with its history in the Rosicrucian Society of England. A close friend of Dr William Wynn Westcott, Winstanley had progressed through the ranks of the Masons and was welcomed into the Golden Dawn when it formed in 1887. This obsession nurtured an interest in the young Basil and Winstanley slowly introduced him to the religious and historical aspects of the occult. In his teenage years his depth of reading increased and by the time he was to attend Harrow his knowledge allowed him to focus his studies on this chosen subject. Howard later attended Oxford, as a student of comparative religion and it was at this time he was to last see his mentor. William Winstanley had set off for far away continents in search of lost cities. It would be the last time anyone was to see Winstanley alive again. No trace was found of his disappearance.

Following university, Howard worked in research at the British Museum for several years, but found this to be too unfulfilling. This prompted his resignation from the Museum and his joining with his old school chum Henry 'Harry' Winstanley on a trip to the Americas. Harry Winstanley was the nephew of William and the son of Hugh Wallace, the Earl of Thewkes, and he too shared a fascination in the occult. The two, along with Harry's friend Dr Frederick Sunderland, an archaeologist, decided first to travel to South America and research ancient civilisations and religions there, but the trip was curtailed early on in Iquitos on the Amazon in Peru. . For reasons they never divulged, what happened there resulted in the death of Dr Sunderland and a hasty retreat to the United States soon followed. After some travelling the two young men stopped in the town of Arkham, Mass. Settling here for a year Howard gained employment at the Miskatonic University as a researcher. Before long the intrepid duo set out on several funded field expeditions across the globe for the University and made many incredible discoveries.

In 1906, Howard returned to London. His father had died from poor health and his father’s executor had called him back to England to receive his inheritance. His older brother, Christian, inherited the main estate at Bramish and became Lord Burford. Basil inherited the families London holdings and a substantial amount of money, allowing him the freedom of independent wealth.

The following year Howard, now circulating in the London occultist sets, met with Arthur Edward Waite, the famed occultist and current leader of The Golden Dawn. Howard enjoyed a brief spell in the Outer Order, making many contacts in Masonic and occultist circles, some due to his association with William Winstanley. In early 1908, under the guidance of Waite, Howard set up his own club with the intention of attracting students of the occult to somewhere they could go to be among those with similar interests. Howard raised capital by the sale of some of his London properties, then reinvested in a luxurious building in the elegant St. James area on Pall Mall. This was the most popular for gentleman's clubs, such as The Carlton, The Reform and The Athenaeum, and Howard decided it would be the most appropriate area for him to attract the right class of clientele. Its several rooms included a library, a study, a smoking lounge, a billiards room, a meeting hall and a small dining area. Howard staffed it with some of the best chefs, valets and stewards in London, stocked the cellars with the finest European foods and wines and ensured the library was as comprehensive as possible. Howard deemed that regular monthly meetings, with speakers and open discussion, would be necessary to retain the basis of the club and its intentions. In honour of his and Harry Winstanley's friend, the club was named The Sunderland Club. Its initial members, included eminent occultists, historians, archaeologists and authors such as Dr Ernest Blackwood, Michael James Wolfe, Harry Winstanley, Dr George Herbert and William Augustus Winstanley, Harry's younger brother. With members of this stature the club grew quickly and became well regarded within the year. Membership had increased to one hundred and fifty eight by 1914, a number that looked likely to grow steadily, but this was not to be. The problems in Europe had escalated and in August of 1914, Britain went to war with Germany. Howard joined the 24th foot regiment as a lieutenant and over the course of the war was to see much fighting. Howard fought at the first battle of Ypres in 1915 and the disaster at the Somme in 1916. Following this traumatic battle, he found himself promoted to Captain and transferred to Palestine, due to his smattering of Arabic. Serving under Viscount Allenby Howard fought at the victories of Beersheba, Gaza, Jerusalem and Damascus in 1918. By the end of the war Howard had been promoted to Major and had received the Gold Cross, the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Howard spent the next two years in Egypt, studying the culture and history of the land. Howard returned to London again in late October 1920 to re-open the Sunderland Club. The old members flocked back to the club, some bringing new initiates with them. A younger member, Count Josef Von Sondergaard, had travelled to America during the war years and formed a small American wing of the club. Several members of the American wing were to join including the eminent French occultist and spiritualist Emile Lagaronne. The club continued its growth. Howard allowed the senior members of the club to run it on a day to day basis but remained the Chairman. He returned to his research work and spent much time abroad on exploratory missions with Harry and Jonathan Winstanley.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Strange Aeons - Daphne Lamont.

Daphne Lamont.

Daphne Lamont 

Pretty but tough twenty five year old American journalist working at the Boston Gazette. She is in fact the only daughter (with five brothers) of Hugo Lamont, of the famous 'Boston Lamonts', the wealthy industrialist family. Determined to go it alone, despite the efforts of her father to aide her every move.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Fantasy Miniatures - Part 4. (Monsters)

"C'mon 'ave a go then..."
A Citadel Fiend Factory FF14-2 Cyclops and FF16-2 Two Headed Troll.

Recently picked up from ebay and requiring basing and probably in need of a painting makeover.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Call of Cthulhu - Strange Aeons.

Call of Cthulhu RPG.

I have been a Lovecraft fan for so many years now and Call of Cthulhu was one of the first RPG's I really got into and to this day it is still my favourite, although I don't really get the opportunity to play these days. More recently I tried to run the first scenario from 'Walker in the Wastes' as I sort of prelude to the 'Beyond the Mountains of Madness' campaign but despite positive feedback from a couple of the players I struggled to commit to being a Keeper again and had a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that another couple from our RPG group are just not really into Cthulhu in the same way. Perhaps I will try again one day with just a couple of the players I know really like it but for now it is tucked back onto the shelf with all the other unused campaign books!

Strange Aeons.

I have collected many Call of Cthulhu figures over the years, most of these admittedly remain unpainted, from a few ranges but predominantly Grenadier. Having picked up a few more packs recently when I realised they were still available through Mirliton or Velillia Ltd I have been thinking about digging these out and getting around to painting them. Well, some of them anyway! I have also picked up some other 20's-30's period figures from Musketeer, Woodbine Design, Mutton Chop, Copplestone and Artizan plus a horde of Deep Ones from Black Cat Bases, Grenadier and RAFM. Perhaps a Raid on Innsmouth is needed?

Innsmouth Docks.

With this in mind we have been discussing Strange Aeons for ages and I know the Zombie Master has wanted to play for a long while but I believe the postage costs always put him off! I have finally picked up a copy of the rules from Black Hat Miniatures along with the scenario book Morbid Adventures.

Black Cat Bases Deep One.

I also like the idea of some 'High Adventure' settings in the far flung corners of the Earth.

RAFM Deep Ones.

Between us we already have plenty of scenery and terrain and you only need a small playing area and a handful of figures. ZM has a lot of Cthulhu stuff painted up, especially monster types so I am putting together some figures for a team of Agents. Next will be the Deep Ones (not that you need that many) and we definitely need some cultists but Artizan or Pulp?

Next up - Investigators / Agents.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Fantasy Miniatures Part 3. (Dwarves)


In the picture below I have tried to cram in as many of my old Dwarves as possible. There are actually some more Alternative Armies ones that somehow managed to escape the shot. No doubt down the "Crippled Dwarf Tavern" having a few pints of Bugmans Old Peculiar.

My dwarf army. A fair amount to paint then...

Left side: From the back, left we have a unit of Citadel slotta-based Norse Dwarf warriors led by a Lord of the Rings ME15 Gimli. In front of them are another unit of slotta-based Citadel. Next is yet another! Next in front is a unit of Asgard Dwarven Warriors then a final unit of Citadel slotta-based Imperial Dwarves.

Middle: First up is a mixed group of older Asgard and really old Citadel including a 'pirate' dwarf and a Grenadier figure. In front of them is another mixed unit of mainly old Citadel Dwarf thieves and a couple of Runequest Dwarves. Next is a mixed unit of crossbow armed Dwarves by Citadel, Grenadier and Asgard. In front of them is a unit of Citadel Northern Dwarves. Finally we have a unit of Bugmans Rangers.

Right: At the top is a unit from Grenadier Battle Lords. Next is a group of very early Citadel Dwarves and in front of them some more pre-slotta Northern Dwarves. Then another Asgard group and a further unit of Bugmans troops.

Along the front is the old Citadel Dwarf cannon! Next to this are Bomban Ironbeater, the Royal Armourer and Cyril Bear, the Royal Mascot, plus a wily old codger charged with looking after Cyril!

The final five are a couple of miner from Alternative Armies, a old Dwarf, an early boxed set Dwarf by Bryan Ansell (Odan Grimbeard) and a Runequest Dwarf adventurer.

The Dwarf Kings Court.

Standing proudly at the very front are the Dwarf Kings Court - (l-r back) Royal Guard Mimbrin, Corbit Shortstuff the Jester, Oran Dragonsmiter, the Queens father, Clando the Bane, Dwarf Lord of some repute, Sgt. Dimgol, the Master of the Guard. (l-r front) Quintin Limpfondle, the Queens Champion, Queen Asabelle Dragonsmiter, King Dumin Ironbeard, Fungil Wisebeard, the Sage and finally Orizad Oldrock, the Kings Champion.

Dwarf Kings Court from the 1st Citadel Compendium.

Marauder Miniatures Warrior.

Marauder Miniatures Warriors.

Ostur Okak - Standard Bearer.

Orthal Thakk - Musician.

Naldak Alyr.

Eriam Erhak.

Vonur Deft.

Whurain Bardar - Champion.

Azrid Backk.

Lord Bofthur Duerhak.

Ovgrim Gorr.

Enough with the Dwarf stuff already!

With thanks to the "STUNTIES" website!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Wild West - Escape From 'Bloody' Bledsoe.

Blood On the Streets of Inconsequence.

Over a bloody weekend in Bledsoe, in the County of Inconsequence, two titanic struggles took place between law and outlaw. The Man at Inconsequential News will give a full and shocking chronicle of events.

The Cast of Characters.

The Town of Bledsoe.

Day one: Escape and Capture.

It is quiet in Bledsoe, very quiet. Last night the gang of the madman Hal "Crazy Gun" Stacks had raided the jail and after a furious fire fight in which he was sorely wounded they had retreated to the Golden Star and Rouge Saloons at the east end of Main. The Sheriff, Clint Dedman was holed up in the Red Faced Hotel with a few wounded deputy's and hastily deputised some citizens. he knew that Marshal Harrison Dooley, the legend of Gunshot City on the far side of Inconsequence County, was on his way to pick up the prisoner so all he had to do was stop them leaving town which meant blocking the way to the barn where all the horses had been herded after last night fray.

Day Two: Bloody Revenge.

It is quiet in Bledsoe, very quiet. Last night the gang of the madman Crazy Gun Stacks had returned to Bledsoe and again raided the jail to rescue the still sorely wounded Stacks along with Joey Martinez who had been captured with him, and so locate the stash of bullion from their last job. In a repeat of the previous raid they had been cut off from their horses (locals have herded them into the barn as before) and retreated to the Golden Star and Rouge Saloons at the east end of Main.

The Sheriff, Clint Dedman was holed up in the Red Faced Hotel with a few wounded deputy's and hastily deputised some citizens. Marshal Harrison Dooley had been called away for a few days but was expected back today to reclaim Stacks for the county court. He had done it before so he should be able to stop them again at least until the Marshal arrived. However the gunshot wound received at the end of the last battle while recovered from has left him a much more cautious man.

(See GM's After Action Report above - some shots of the action below)

"Two Guns" Caffrey, "Porkins" Garrity and "Longhorn" Pete.

Bobby "Boy" Roach takes cover.

Hal's enlisted help drag him across the street!

Marshal Dooley takes out Daniel "Red" Carson.

"Two Guns" Caffrey and Rosie Thorn sneak down an alley.

Joey Martinez and Leo "Smiley" Owens.

Joey Martinez kicks down the Hotel door and unleashes a shotgun blast!

Blood on the streets of Bledsoe...

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Board Games - Battlecars!

Battlecars - The Game of Deadly Driving.

We were missing two players for our usual Wednesday RPG session so we decided to go old school and dig out a retro boardgame. The Judge Dredd boardgame, Aliens boardgame and Battlecars made the shortlist - Battlecars won out! We decided on a fairly free interpretation of the rules as it was just for fun. I took the Green Team, Rob was Blue Team and Andrew Red Team.

The initial set up. Note strategically placed Chocolate Hobnobs.

We agreed to go for one car and one bike each, randomly drawn from the set. Rob and Andrew picked up pretty similar options but I managed to get the equivalent of the 'rickety chair', the car with two machine gun turrets! Pah! We stocked up on MG bullets, Shells, Flamethrowers and Rocket Launchers with no limitations (we allowed Rockets in the bikes!) and Andrew and Rob both grabbed a few mines as well.

The mapboard.

For the map layout we went with a random selection with half the board 'residential' and the other half 'industrial'. It had little bearing in the game and the 'residential' part only saw my bike ride through it in the initial couple of turns. With random entry points and a made up on the spot initiative system we all ended up entering in roughly the bottom left corner apart from my bike that had to motor over grass for a bit before he could join the action.

My car and bike combo - the Mohawk Brothers. Rubbish two turret car...

The action kicked off really quickly with my car driving past Andrews bike and both taking pot shots at each other. My thin side armour got me in trouble almost immediately and took internal damage from the first shot - luckily my shell didn't explode! Andrews bike took some minor front armour damage which was soon added to by and attack from Rob. This was to prove devastating for Andrew later in the game.

Robs car and bike selection. Look at that armour on the car!

As Robs car drove around aimlessly for a bit and my bike sped in to get to the combat I did a u-turn in the car and shot up to 'ramming' speed - I fired off a round of MG bullets and in a shot slammed my car into the side of Andrews bike. My heavy front armour could take the impact no problem but Andrews flimsy side armour started to look even flimsier!

BOOM! No more Green Team car.

My car took another hit in the rear armour which was to prove pretty deadly in the next turn. With Andrews bike on its side he decided to retaliate and immediately sped his car right up to my rear bumper and let rip with a MG burst followed by a Rocket! With him maxing out his damage and rolling lucky on the internal damage I took six hits to my fuel tank. No fire extinguisher = no more car. BOOM! Strike one to the red team.

Blue Team Rocket attack on Andrews car. My car is a burning wreck!

By focusing on each other we had both forgotten about Rob - as he sped past on his bike he let rip with a Rocket and massively damaged Andrews car. With very little armour on the front-right side he started to take damage to his engine, resulting in his maximum speed being reduced to '1'!

Andrews bike and car looking in a bad way already...

 Getting his bike upright again Andrew sped down to the bottom left of the board, possibly to get behind Robs bike. Rob had spotted it and maxed out his speed resulting in a head on collision with the red bike.

BOOM!! Red Teams bike is toast.

 Rob rolled a massive 14 damage but his bike just about soaked it up. With no front armour already it was a different story for Andrew. His second weapons pod took a hit followed by the fuel tank and the driver - no matter the  bike erupted in a ball of flame anyway. BOOM! No chance. Strike two to the Blue Team.

Blue Teams car flames the slow moving Red Team car!

My bike finally arrived in the action and added to Team Reds woes by shelling his car on a drive by. Team Blue was next to take a shot and flamed the poor Red car that was trying to reposition to get some more protection.

Blue Teams bike looking a mess but the car is having no problems...

As Robs Blue car appeared I was able to get a Flame shot into Robs rear but it didn't have much of an effect. His return fire with a shell into my front (where I now had no armour) luckily only went through the bike into one of my weapon pods. I managed to get off one more shot doing a fairly decent whack to Robs bike leaving him with no right side armour.

Andrews Red Team car out of action.

A final parting shot from Robs Blue car finally put Andrews car out of the fight. With no engine, the driver deemed it was best to bail out and put it all down to experience! Jumping out of the wreck he ran across to the nearby building and laid low until it was safe to run off.

Green Team - car exploded + bike in a bad way = game over.

Surveying the wreckage - one burnt out car, one burnt out bike, one immobilised car - we looked at the condition of those still in the fight. My bike just simply didn't have the firepower to take out Robs surviving bike and almost untouched car. Remembering he had forgotten to switch the telly off, the rider sped off home while he could...

Final Result -

Red Team (Andrew) - Bike destroyed, car immobilised. Car driver escaped! Destroyed Green Team car.
Green Team (Mark) - Car destroyed, bike damaged but escaped.
Blue Team (Rob) - Bike and car damaged. Destroyed Red Team bike and immobilised Red Team car.

All in all we had a great time playing this classic. We speed read the rules and added a couple of things on the fly but in all this game really stands the test of time. Now, where did I put my Car Wars stuff...